hawaiian hipsters

feet in a pool

reluctantly, i’ve returned home from a two week holiday in maui and kauai. every year the boy and i try to get away, and maui is usually where we end up, our safe spot so to speak.our easy spot. to plan a trip somewhere new with 2 small children can be a chore, even when going without the babes…we use to be so spontaneous and sadly now, we’re very predictable. so i wrote this post for those of you who might be thinking about visiting and also for me to remember where i’ve been and what i loved

Flying First Class

my parents gifted us a trip to maui last year for our 5 year wedding anniversary sans babies. this year, i counted my blessings when my husband’s company gifted us a weeks long stay in kauai. after somehow conning the grandparents to again watch the kids for 2 weeks and cashing in miles to upgrade to first class lay flats, we were on our way to spoil ourselves with some well deserved r&r!


this was my second visit to the island of kauai, but the boy had never been. with it being a working vacation for him, many of our activities and dinners were planned, but we still had time to venture out on our own. his company blocked out rooms at the grand hyatt in poipu and we were set up with a beautiful ocean view.

they sent us out on an atv tour that was gorgeous…got a bit dirty but we came prepared (we did the atv tour in maui the year before and packed old clothes that we didn’t mind completely ruining…you will come back with dirt in your belly button and every ear crack)

Lumahai Beach Kauai

chicken in kauai

dined at some fabu restaurants (dolphin, beach house, red salt, ), visited a familiar hidden beach…lumahai, practiced yoga, saw some chickens, and drank a few piña coladas…i even discovered a not so fattening version called the skinny piña at the grand hyatt…it’s pure genius. do eat at living foods market and cafe…seriously, go here everyday for breakfast if you can…the service is great, the food is outstanding…farm to table fresh

Hamura Saimin

the quest for the best ramen has always been a thing of ours in hawaii…it started out with star noodle in maui but after talking with the atv guide we were told to visit hamura saimin, a fourth generation noodle stand that was packed. oh, and apparently in kauai, you don’t refer to it as ramen…it’s saimin…and it is good. you can’t go wrong when 3 sweet little old ladies are cookin’ up some damn good noodles and the restaurant is 3/4 filled with locals…try the lilikoi chiffon pie and this amazing warm bun that is filled with pork!

aloha maui

the time soon came to hop on a plane to maui. apparently when you visit the islands more than 2 times you are considered a regular…being our sixth time we knew exactly what we wanted to do and where to eat, but we also had a couple new ideas

before having babies i was a scuba diver but fear has set in a bit…100 feet under water was not, in my mind, the most responsible thing to do…so on mother’s day, the boy treated me to the most luxurious day in my life! a full day at the ritz carlton wailua spa 4,200 miles away from my children…peace and quite…and it was also a way for him to get on a dive boat without me

i chose the cocoalicious body scrub plus a 80 minute massage followed by the nuface facial and a lavender pedicure by this super sweet woman named elle…bliss I tell you! pure bliss! minus missing my babies, i don’t think i could have had a better day! btw, i did FaceTime with them that afternoon…so i’m not a completely horrible mother

young boy fishing in hana

mala restaurant

we ate at our choice favorite restaurants: mama’s fish house in pai’a, mala, lahaina coolers, fleetwood’s on front street (please try the lime in the coconut beverage), lahaina grill and everyday played one of our all time favorite games that can only be played in hawaii, “rich or homeless”. there are so many dudes that walk around that you think are homeless but drive away in a bmw. it’s a very difficult game, and one day i aspire to be one of those dudes…the rich one that is…so laid back and relax. spent the day on a boat, deep sea fishing in super choppy waters, well, the boy fished, i barfed

oh and i can’t forget to tell you about yoga! i had the best vinyasa yoga session with jean marie at island spirit yoga in maui…a tiny little studio in a strip mall behind the ace hardware. she had this wonderfully calming voice and spoke in this cool laid back way, explaining the poses and helping you visualize how to “be” in the pose. she explained how her little white dog had the best downward dog…and i could visiualize that dog and how the pose was suppose to look and reach just a bit more. she taught me to protect my wrists and where to put my weight. she is only there once a week, so check the schedule and read her blog here

jesus coming soon

every year we visit, i take a picture of this sign. although i’m not super religious, something keeps drawing me back…maybe it is just the fact that it is jesus in neon lights, but there ya have it…that is my big trip to hawaii. until we meet again maui, aloha

under the banyon tree in maui, lahaina

shimmy shimmy

urbangirl.com office supplies with kate spade stapler

the other day i realized i didn’t have a stapler in my office…i usually run upstairs to borrow my husband’s swingline, but i suddenly remembered a pretty lucite and gold stapler i’ve been pining away for on the internets for a couple of years now…it made a list, but i never purchased it until last friday. i came home from work yesterday and saw the package, but decided to wait until the morning to open it…i mean, i knew what it was…it was a stapler, a pretty and shiny stapler, but really, just a stapler.

this morning i finally grabbed the package from the kitchen table and began to open the small box. normally, online shipping boxes contain the item you ordered, some bubble wrap (if you’re lucky because bubble wrap can be SUPER fun) or craft paper and an invoice. but this box was different…it contained a personalized note in an envelope with my name on it…and not just a “hope you like your new stapler” note, but a really fun one i’d like to share…so here it is, word for every adorable word:

yoohoo, hey kyla, hey girl in illinois
i lived in champaign/urbana for a short time a long long long time ago! anyway, we are thrilled you have found urbangirl.com and thank you for ordering — i’m the messiest writer! you’ll be stapling pretty!
shimmy shimmy,

it’s true that good things really do come in small packages because they included not 1 but 2 coupons for me to use on my future orders…i mean seriously, how super sweet and cute and personalized is that note? a complete rarity! in fact, i can think of only 2 other online stores that have written me personalized notes…trina turk and imogene + willie

a handwritten note goes a long, long ways with me. it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, i will remember, and i will tell my friends…so friends, visit urbangirl.com the next time you are in the need of office supplies (and who doesn’t get giddy over pretty office supplies anyway). as an added bonus, they are a woman owned company and us girls have to stick together. i’m also thinking of stealing dyan’s sign-off as my closing for every email — “shimmy shimmy”

happy campers

Styleseek Retreat: Camp Wandawega from Duncan Wolfe on Vimeo.

“why doesn’t technology work!!!!!!!!” this is what i was screaming in my office a month ago, literally having a tantrum much like my 4 year old’s display of displeasure. a pure full-on panic attack. i had instant messaged the boy…called his office phone…called our home phone…emailed him…left multiple messages…telepathically willed him to CALL ME…called my mom’s cell phone…called my dad’s cell phone, texted both of them (they happened to be staying at my home this particular day)…called the home phone again…instant messaged him again pleading for him to PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE ALREADY! this was defcon one!

why am i acting completely psychotic you ask??? camp wandawega…come again??? CAMP WANDAWEGA FOLKS! time was ticking’ my friend and i had found one! i repeat one, ONE weekend where the cabin of my dreams was open to rent.

camp wandawega hotel exerior

hotel exterior

located in elk horn, wisconsin, is a genius retreat for hipsters and creatives trying to escape the concrete jungle and wanting to take a step back into childhood. a prohibition lodge turned brothel turned kids summer camp turned pure geniusness. a flea market enthusiast’s dream come true. my dream come true. it’s been begging me to instagram the shit out of it since i discovered it’s existence about 8 months ago.

this place is vintage folks, and by vintage i mean old, rusty, probably full of tetanus. nothing’s been updated. there is no AC. the owners claim that no modern conveniences are part of the charm. each room is outfitted with antiques that have be deemed “found, free or flea” and comes equipped with vintage books, jigsaw puzzles and magazines. loaded with mosquitoes and complete with “manifesto of low expectations” and application quiz to determine if you’re cut out for this place.

fireplace to get cozy at the resort

pool area at camp wandawega

raccoon kitchen

raccoon sun porch

raccoon cabin bedroom

the camp has a few buildings for rent on AirBNB. two side-by-side vintage cabins, a private 3 bedroom cabin nestled within the resort overlooking the lake (this is where i will reside for 4 days glorious days of my life), and an old bunkhouse—top and/or middle floors. some rooms come with a shower…some do not…but hey, there’s always the lake, right? (the cabin we rented does have a shower)

the boy and i can’t wait to have grandma and grandpa watch the kiddos, so we can immerse ourselves into the whole old-school camp experience. i foresee canoeing, shuffleboard, fishing, archery, s’mores and plenty of relaxation in our future. a nice, quiet, calm, wholesome, fun-filled weekend…just the two of us…alone. we had talked to a few other couples that were interested in joining us, but since it was a bit pricey to stay, we thought best that we should test it out the first time ourselves.

the 3 bedroom raccoon cabin nestled into the lake side

as an added bonus, the elkhorn flea market will be in full effect that weekend. i’m hoping to spy on the resort owner to get some tips and tricks since she is a flea market junkie. we are also hoping to squeeze in a dinner at mars resort and supper club. hopefully one night we’ll be sipping an old fashioned and dining on wedge salad and prime rib. (as an aside, the boy and i are on a quest for the best wedge salad…right now bavette’s in river north holds that spot…but who knows, maybe mars will give them a run…btw, ishnala in wisconsin dells is a close second)

it’s going to be so much fun! i can’t wait to share all the details with you!

camp wandawega communal kitchen

cam wandawega lounge bar

all photos belong to camp wandwega folks…mine are yet to come!

getting organized


i’ve managed to stay fairly organized with my smartphone, but after maus came along my iphone just wasn’t cutting it. with an overflowing inbox and lists upon lists scratched out on various pieces of paper, i said enough. i finally broke down and bought myself a day planner. but this isn’t your average day planner. it is the day designer. i not only can strategically plan out my day but my entire year. all my lists are in one spot and it looks pretty cute to boot! there is also a spot where i can write out my 3 goals of the day. pretty nifty indeed. now to follow through on everything…i guess the day designer can’t do everything huh?