Travel Essentials You Can’t Live Without

June 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

My husband and I will travel any chance we get and know the importance of narrowing down your luggage size to avoid unwanted fees. Apart from the essentials listed below I would advise to also bring your own healthy snacks on board. I’ve made the mistake before for a long 15 hour flight of not bringing my own food and ended up stuck with a chemistry lab in my stomach.

1. Axel and Dash “Swept Away by Wanderlust Journal” Beautifully bound in an earthy latte-colored cloth, this charming travel journal creates a chic vintage feel suitable for every traveller – from the stylish jetsetter to the novice explorer. With quirky questions, fun writing prompts, witty ‘To-Do’ notes, list pages to remember the favourites and a bucket list to fill out along the way, it’s the ultimate way to capture your travel memories in style!

2. An iPad or any tablet can come in handy during long flights especially if you are a fidgety traveler like myself. Be sure to download plenty of apps to keep you occupied during your flight and even a movie or two.

3. A GoPro- The Worlds Most Versatile Camera comes with a waterproof case and is extremely sleek and small making it the perfect travel companion. It’s extremely durable and can withstand almost anything. Perfect for vlogging or taking out on adventures.

4. Coconut Essentials-Coconut oil, lotion, lip balm. I will happily admit my obsession to coconut oil has worked its way up to an addiction. It’s easily my best beauty “secret”. I can’t go anywhere without having my purse filled with something made from coconuts. Coconuts can be used as shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, lip balm, beauty masks, hair masks, perfect to cook with… I mean it’s practically a gift from the Heavens. So do yourself a favor and grab something coconut and keep hydrated on your trip.

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1. Louis Vuitton Keepall Luggage // 2. iPad Mini Air 3. Axel and Dash Wanderlust Journal // 4. GoPro

Honolulu’s Best Family Dining Experience

June 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Calling all Honolulu foodies! If you haven’t been to the Waikiki area in a while you may need to make a special trip for the newest addition; Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot located in Ward Center before on Ala Moana blvd. When I say this place is good, I mean bowl licking good.

A traditional Inner Mongolia dish is served in a metal pot, hot pot is the centerpiece of the Little Sheep dining experience. A visual delight, each pot is filled with a steaming aromatic broth that’s decorated with an assortment of fresh ingredients such as goji berries, jujubes, black cardamon pods ,ginseng and herbs. For those who  like their meal on the fiery side, a spicy crimson broth can be ordered with “mala” chili oil and peppercorns. Guests then place their selection of delicately sliced marbled meats, crisp vegetables, fresh seafood and handmade noodles into the broth, let simmer and enjoy.

Since I am not big on spicy food we decided to get the Yin and Yang hot pot, pictured below, that has both a spicy and traditional choice. The hot pot experience cannot be missed and is great for having a unique dining experience with friends and family. If you’re not in Honolulu, no fear, they have Little Sheep’s in various locations around the globe so you don’t have to miss out! Also, this restaurant gets bonus points for me for having all non-hormone/antibiotic/cruelty-free meat and poultry from New Zealand! Did I mention the portion of soup is HUGE, Lance and I had to bring the leftovers home and had delicious soup for the next two days making this restaurant not only amazing but affordable. I’ll definitely be coming back to Little Sheep.

 

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Best Views in Oahu: Lanikai Pillbox aka Ka’iwa Ridge Trail

May 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Lanikai is one of my favorite beaches and a great hidden spot away from tourists! Hate to say it but sometimes its nice to enjoy the beach and nature without hordes of tourists. This spot is pretty far away from the hotels and main attractions here on Oahu so it’s not easily accessible for tourists anyways. Not that I don’t love tourists, I do! It’s just some things are better left untouched. Anyways, Lanikai is part of Kailua which is the most quaint beach town, we love to spend our days relaxing here on the beach or kayaking and paddle boarding. There is also the Lanikai Pillbox hike which is relatively short but offers great views over Kailua and the windward area. Be aware it is very steep and you will need good grip on your shoes as there is a lot of loose gravel.  The Lanikai Pillbox hike has by far some of the most scenic views relative to the easyness of the hike. It can definitely be done in in 45 minutes but you will want to stop along the way up for viewpoints.

If you’re lucky to get here for a sunrise it may be one of the best in your life, I will definitely be doing this again to have sunrise with a nice cup of tea.

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Namaste,

Ashley

Yoga Shoulder Stance for Overall Wellbeing

May 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

The benefits of practicing yoga are endless, each pose can positively impact various parts of the body. A good stretch is perfect any time of the day no matter what your day consisted of. I personally find nothing better than a good yoga stretch session after a weight lifting session or after a run as an effective way to prevent soreness and relax my muscles.

Shoulder stances also known by their sanskrit name as  Salamba Sarvangasana inversions is an accessible inversion for anyone and everyone. Shoulder Stances can be moderately easy and depending on your inversion they can be intermediate, or advanced. If you are new to this pose please use caution and support your back in these postures. Take caution with these poses if you have neck injuries.  Keep relaxed and don’t forget to breathe.  Hold each pose for about 30 seconds to fully reap the benefits listed below.

Benefits of Shoulder Stances:

Increased upper spine and shoulder flexibility-Flexible and trong shoulders are key to more advanced yoga postures such as finally getting your handstand or scorpion…Or even help you to accomplish being able to do full sets of chin-ups/pull-ups.

Relaxed Nervous System-takes the stress off your central nervous system and ultimately relaxes you.

Increased blood circulation since you are inverted and are promoting blood circulation. Can lessen the effects of varicose veins and promote heart health.

My favorite shoulder stance inversion is in lotus.

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Hiking Oahu: Dead Mans Catwalk/Kamehame Ridge

May 13, 2014 § 4 Comments

Dead Man’s Catwalk is a beautiful hike at the end of Kamehame Ridge. Oahu has by far some of the most beautiful scenic and ocean views in the entire world.  The husband and I love to hike at least once a week together. A few reasons why we love to hike: keeping our mind+body and soul connected, Improved cardiovascular health, natural anti-depressant, nature is the best therapy, mood booster, building endurance and muscle strength. So get out there and go on a hike! Always bring a buddy, play it safe, lots of water, and use common sense!

Instructions: As always, go at your own risk, these hikes are dangerous and in many cases, illegal. This particular hike has a security guard since it is Federal property. It’s pretty much luck on if he is there patrolling or not. Basically, you just walk up Kamehame Drive until you get to the end and continue on the path crossing any fences that may be in your way. Be aware, if you are planning on taking public transportation to come to this hike it takes about 6 hours roundtrip coming from central Honolulu/Waikiki area. About 1.5 hours bus time(Hop on the 1 to Hawaii Kai), plus a 1 hour walk through a neighborhood on an incline to the hike, plus the actual hike itself, and a bit of time for getting lost trying to find the catwalk! All in all, very good hike, definitely not recommended for tourists due to how time consuming it is! It can be a bit difficult to find if you are not well prepared. Disclaimer: Please use caution and be aware this is an unsanctioned hike. Do your research!

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Diamond Head Summit Trail

May 12, 2014 § 2 Comments

Diamond Head trail is one of my favorite trails on Oahu. It’s convenient and quick. This trail is definitely on the moderately easy side and that’s what I like most about it, you can do it at your pace and make it advanced. It’s only 1.6 miles round trip. There are many places on this hike where you can run up and down the stairs to get in a great workout.  We like to run up the entire way, do the stairs a few times, stretch it out, and briskly walk down. A good hike is the best way to spend your day, we love making hiking a sunday ritual. It’s core for our family values to keep mind, body, and spirit all in one and hiking is the perfect way to do so!

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Thailand Travel Diary

May 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Thailand is a must add to your bucket-list if you are an avid wanderluster like myself. From the delicious light and healthy thai dishes to roaming the land on elephants or island hopping it is a must go place at least once in a lifetime. I’ve had the privilege of going twice and my husband has gone 5 times. Each time for both of us we have not only explored the land but we have both evolved. If you are planning a trip to Thailand you should definitely see Phuket and Samui. They are two completely different vibes but will both give you a Thai experience. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway on a somewhat remote island then Koh Samui is better. If you are looking to experience Thai nightlife then Phuket is your go to place. Both places are very inexpensive for tourists especially depending on the time of year. Don’t get trapped into tourist prices or scams and always remember to bargin down or they will assume you are a naive tourist and charge you as much as they can get out of you. With that being said I also have found Thai people to be some of the nicest and most kind people i’ve ever met.  Thailand in my opinion is one of the most affordable vacation hot spots and you can definitely go on a budget. Must See: Phi Phi Island, Similan Island, Buddhist Temples, Big Buddha.

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