Sunday, December 29, 2013

36 things to do on the Big Island

Ho’I Hou Ke Aloha

1. The Black Sand Beach 

2. Akaka Falls 

3. South Point 

4. Attend a Luau 

5. Stay at the Kona Village Resort

6. See an active Volcano 

7. Swim with Sea Turtles 

8. Snorkel 

9. Eat at Huggos on the Rocks

10. Drive the King Kamehameha Highway around the entire Island

11. Drink a Mai Thai

12. Drink Kona coffee

The things I WISH I would have done...and will be sure to do next time!

1. Swim with Dolphins
2. Go Horse Back Riding
3. Take a Helicopter Ride over the Island
4. Eat Spam
5. Stay one night at the Volcano Hotel
6. Night Dive with Manta Rays
7. Take a Surf Lesson
8. Write something on the Black Lava
9. Hula Dance on the Beach
10. Hike to the Green Sand Beach
11. Buy a large hand carved turtle
12. Carved Tiki statue
13. Get a lomi lomi massage
14. National Historic Park
15. Botanical Garden
16. Hulihee Palace
17. Mauna Kea Observatory
18. Sea Horse Place
19. Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
20. Kula Kai Taverns
21. Submarine Dinner
22. Go hiking on the volcano
23. Have a picnic on the Black Sand Beach
24. Get a Hennah tattoo

Have you been to Hawaii? What was your favorite thing there?

Friday, December 27, 2013


"The dance is over, the applause subsided but the joy and feeling will stay with you forever.”

Where: Michigan

When: The first was in June 2012, we also were in the recital this past June 2013.

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Why this is on my list: I had no intention of dancing in the recital the first year we joined the class; my daughter was only 17 months old, we started the class late giving us only had 7 weeks before the recital, and I just had no desire to do this in front of an audience. Then one day 'Auntie', the dance instructor, brought in the smallest hula skirt you've ever seen for my baby. She looked so adorable in it I couldn't say no. We had such a blast doing our 1 song the first year that this year we were in 3 dances. My little girl lives for the stage and did incredibly well during both performances, she's already looking forward to the show in June 2014.

Cost: We do not have to pay to be in the recitals and there is a very reasonable fee to be in the class.

Something I'd recommend? Dancing in the recital initially was not anything I wanted to do but I went for it anyhow and these recitals have created some spectacular memories we'll have forever. This is also inciting my daughter's zest to be in the limelight and she's developing a formidable stage presence while giving us mother/daughter moments beyond compare. I had no idea that Hula would become such a large part of our lives and gives us all so much joy.

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Will I do it again? Yes, actually we will be in our 3rd Polynesian Dance recital this June!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

  Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a perfect Christmas day and a magical Christmas season (i.e. November 1st thru January 1st) mine has been truly magnificent and full of surprises. Unfortunately there were a number of things we usually do each year that we had to cancel including Christmas photos, Frankenmouth, Bronner's, Ice Skating...we didn't even get to make a Gingerbread House....(I know, I know...I've really got a rough life). Two weeks ago I became so sick that I was all but glued to my couch for 6 days. On the 7th day my husband had reconstructive knee surgery. Caring for him and our 3 year old daughter at Christmastime and being sick has proved to be one of the busiest times in my life. Each night I had a long list of things to do after putting my daughter to bed...and each night I crashed long before I even had a chance to look at it. Nonetheless, even though I didn't get a chance to finish my Christmas preparations and gifts we had a great day and in particular I must have been very good because I received the best gifts ever! This is a purely gratuitous post of some of my favorite 'pressies' (as my British friend says) that I was spoiled with this year.

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-I will NEVER have enough fleece blankets. I'm freezing ALL the time.

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-I will never find a scarf I like as much as this one.
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-Couldn't describe me better.
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-Now, my absolute favorite piece of clothing that I own...or have ever seen.
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-My brother knows me well, a yard of chocolate...I find oversized novelty chocolates hilarious.

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-A new fleece Made in Detroit hoodie.
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-A little gift from me...Santa Fruits or as I prefer to call them 'frukovi deyd moroz' in Russian.
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-Oh wait...there's more, this is from the town I grew up in.
A tiny ceramic Starbucks cup...what will they think of next?-It's ADORABLE!
My Aunt had these unique ornaments made for all of us-they are so beautiful.
This is a heaven sent for me to use durning the near death migraines I get.
I literally could get nothing but Christmas decorations for every life event and be sublimely pleased. Literally.
A fun bracelet from my mom.
A fun necklace from my husband.

Here's an easy question...What do I love more than starbucks gift cards? HOLIDAY THEMED GIFT CARDS! 

Tell me what was your favorite gift you received (or gave) this year?

All comments are moderated before they are posted.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

15 Great Gifts For Your Favorite Michigander

Several years ago I found this unique small business in one of my favorite towns in Michigan. Over time I've become close with the family who owns The Birdfeeder/Bonnie and Clyde in Clarkston. They like to offer their customers a large variety of locally made and Mitten inspired products. About 2 years ago I decided to start a blog for the Michigan Enthusiast but have not found the time, recently one of the owners of this family run business mentioned they were looking for someone to blog about their store. Without hesitation I accepted the was not necessarily offered to me...but I accepted none the less. This Michigander is smitten with the mitten so I am always looking for special little things to represent the greatest state in the country. Though this charming boutique has no shortage of Michigan made and motivated treasures, here are 15 of my favorites...

1. State of Michigan Window Decal $5

2. Michigan Metal Garden Steak $60

3. Michigan Lake Art prices vary, $148 clock shown
   Can be personalized with your name and lake of your choice for an extra fee.
   Multiple Styles available.

 4. Granite Michigan Cutting Board $62.50
    $10 extra to personalize with name.
    Available with or w/out Lion's logo.

5. Detroit Bold Ground Coffee $12

6. Made in Detroit Track Jacket $60 shown
     Multiple colors available in store, prices may vary.

7. Pine Knob Tee or Thermal $31-$48
    Men's and women's styles available.

8. Home Tee $28.50 shown
    Men's and women's styles available, prices may vary.

9. Lion Blood Tees and Hoodies Created by The Detroit Lion's Wide Receiver Nate Burleson
    Men's and women's styles available, prices range from $33-$64

10. Michigan Candle Made From a Wine Bottle $33.99 shown 
      Also available with 'Clarkston' etched on glass

11. Wooden Cutting Board $27.99

12. Made in Detroit Cozy $4

13. Made in Detroit Tumblers $8

14. Michigan Canvas Bag $26.99

15. State of Michigan Cookie Cutter $6.50

All of the above items are available at The Birdfeeder/Bonnie and Clyde located on Main Street in Downtown Clarkston, Michigan @ 7150 North Main Street, Clarkston Mi. 248.625.9007.

The Birdfeeder is also on my list of The Best Places to See Santa in South East Michigan. 

Disclaimer: Prices are based per item. Most of the above items are made or printed in Michigan. Information printed above is relevant only as of December 2013. 

LIKE the Ultimate Life List on facebook to see more Michigan motivated lists.

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