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Top 10 Made-on-Maui Valentine’s Gift Idea

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Yes! The holiday rush is finally over.  No more racking your brain deciding what to get your loved ones for Christmas. No more late night online searching for the best deals. No more dragging yourself up-and-down the isles of the store searching for just the right gift.

Oh wait! Isn’t Valentine’s Day fast approaching?! Here we go again…more shopping. They’ve already got what they’d asked for at Christmas and you’ve done all the typical Valentine’s gifts in the years past. Now you want something other then store bought chocolate boxes or flower arrangements. Well, search no more. Here are 10 Maui-made gift ideas you may never have thought of:

1. Surprise! Have your (cup)cake and free delivery too.

Have you ever had someone send you a gift? Remember that excited feeling of surprise. Imagine your loved ones delight when you send them a box of cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. That’s right, Maui has cupcake delivery from Cupcake Ladies Catering Co. Get their Valentine’s Special of half a dozen red velvet cupcakes for $22.50 or two boxes for $43. Best of all…they are offering FREE delivery for this holiday. www.cupcakesmaui.com/valentines-special

 Cupcake Maui

2. Custom made and totally cute.

Does your Valentine love things that are tiny and totally cute? Order custom cakepops on Maui from Cakepops By Liz. Think of a favorite movie or something that represents your Valentine and make a request. Having a gift custom made can really make a person feel special. Prices start at $20 per dozen and vary depending on size and packaging selection. Contact the talented and creative Liz at www.cakepopsbyliz.com.

cakepops by liz

3. No more store bought boxes of chocolate!

 I know, I know. I said no more store bought boxes of chocolate, but this is different. These chocolates are made on Maui by Master Chocolatier Melanie Boudar. Her chocolates are award winning and feature flavors like the Lava Sea Salt Caramels. Boxes of chocolates range from $5 for a two-piece box to $175 for their largest box. Visit her boutique at the Wailea Gateway Center or online at www.sweetparadisechocolatier.com.

 4. Are you coco-nutty for your buddy?

 Maui Macaroons are the islands most amazing coconut cookies. Is your Valentine a coconut lover? Whether or not they love coconut, you must try this Maui-made cookie. I’ll bet you didn’t even know they have a shop in central Wailuku. They range from $7 for a quarter pound to $21 for a full pound. The cool thing about the Maui Macaroons & Artisan Market is that they are a treasure trove of other various Maui made products. Visit them to see what you may discover.

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5. Is that bacon on my cookie?!

If you got a bacon lover for a lover, they will squeal over the Bacon-nator Cookies from The Maui Cookie Lady. The best part is they are so huge you may only need one to satisfy any sweet tooth. Since they are $4 dollars each, you won’t be breaking the piggy bank either.

Various flavors are also available at the Maui Ocean Treasures gift shop. Open 9am-5pm daily, Aquarium admission not required to shop.

-www.themauicookielady.com

6. Enough with the sweets already!

 Something that looks sweet but is not to eat, is Moko Pua Soap Factory’s Tropical Sachets. These fragrance beads last for a year or longer. They come in nine tropical scents and colors. Combine them any way you like. A combination of red, yellow, green for your hunny’s gym bag perhaps. At $7 a bag you could get one for your Valentine’s bedrooms, car, closets, desk, nightstand, and underwear drawer too. Visit their soap factory at the Maui Tropical Plantation or order online at www.mokupua.com.

7. Valentine’s for the kiddos

Wrapped in a sweet story of love for his daughter, this local Dad began Maui Dad Apparel – a small family business offering infant and toddler apparel. Each item features his own drawings inspired by his baby and life here. They are screen-printed by hand on Maui. Also, they are guaranteed sweatshop and child-labor free. They range from $26-$28. Visit www.mauidad.myshopify.com and various stores listed on their website.

mauidadapparel

8. For the Fashionista

Does your Valentine express themselves through fashion? Love, love, love Kealopiko’s clutch purses. Thoughtful, local, and inspiring. They are made of light canvas and upcycled scraps from their other projects. The material is hand dyed and printed on Molokai making each bag a unique and one of a kind creation. They won’t hurt your wallet either at around $30 each.  www.kealopiko.com

9. Bangle’s are her best friend

This list would not be complete without jewelry. Inspired by our ocean and her travels, Kammi’s designs are hand-crafted into beautiful jewelry right here on Maui. Please your Valentine’s inner girly-girl with the Honi Honi Bangle. It is a delicate piece with two hearts and a cone shell in sterling sliver for $80 or in 14k goldfill for $90. www.kamerajewelry.com

10. Our dogs deserve some love too don’t they?

Maui Dog Treats creates healthy treats for our canine ‘ohana. They’re sold at various places throughout the island. Love that they offer free shipping so we can send some to our friends and family in the mainland too. If your Valentine loves their pup (maybe more than you) they will howl in excitement for the Pup Treat Lei. It’s such a unique gift and only $9 for the small and $14 for the large. www.dogtreatsmaui.com

 

Please feel free to share this post to your loved ones, family and friends.  

Share aloha, live aloha! A hui hou!

 

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Maui Sunset Love Never Gets Old

 

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I took my teenage son for a driving practice yesterday. He is actually pretty good and is ready to take the test but I am just happy to go with him driving as I get to take photos while he drive.  While we were at Hope Chapel, I saw that a beautiful sunset is about to happen.  My son drove to a beach nearby so I can  take my sunset photos. Ahhh,  the calming effect of Maui Sunset never gets old.  I have to admit that as much as I love holidays, the holiday problems that come with it also stresses me out. Watching Maui sunset is one of the many ways I combat the stress. Something about it reminds tell me that Gods is in control and everything is gonna be all right….

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Holiday Problems … Let’s do something about it

Hoilday Problems Turn to Joy

It’s 4 days until Thanksgiving, 30 days before Christmas, 37 days before New Year, and to some of you, by the time you read this post the holidays might even be closer!

Do you feel your blood pressure rising? Are you feeling a bit stressed and anxious, thinking of the many things you have to do this holiday season? I have to be honest, I do and I am.  I am a person prone to anxiety and if I don’t become proactive in dealing with stress I will be a basket case even before the holidays start.

So …..  here I am in front of my computer making plans and devicing strategies on how to combat holiday problems and turn them into joy. I will be sharing my holiday problems and my possible solutions. While reading my post I encourage you to think about the possible holiday problems you might have and how you can proactively deal with it proactively.

Before I proceed with my sharing, let me tell you that this post is part of a campaign by Travaasa Experiential Resort to help us take away the #holidayproblems out of the holidays.  I will tell you more about the campaign later (and your chance to win a  stay for two at Travaasa), for now please allow me to reflect on my own family problems and find a solution to it. This post is a win-win kinda post.  I know this will benefit me  and I believe it will benefit you as well.

#HolidayProblems turned to JoyHoliday Problem #1 – Stressing about Buying Gifts.

I love giving gifts! However, making a list of who to give and what to give can really be stressful because I have a limited budget (very tight one). If I have a bank account that says sky is the limit, I would be so happy buying gifts for everyone I love. But you see, I don’t.  And I get sad about that.

My solution?  I have to remind myself that gifts don’t have to be material things bought from a store.  There are other gifts like gift of encouragement (write a letter, give a card with a heartfelt note), gift of time (coffee date, movie date, laugh together).  I often hear people talking about how Christmas has become very materialistic and they don’t like Christmas at all. As for me I love Christmas,  and so I wouldn’t let the pressure of materialism steal away the joy I feel when I think of the warm memories I have of Christmas.

Holiday Problem #2 – Feeling Homesick

I love living on Maui, but the hard part about it is I miss enjoying holidays with my extended family.  Both my husbands’ family and my family lives far away from here. His family are in Connecticut, my family are in the Philippines (and California and New Jersey). Hearing the song “I’d be home for Christmas” brings me to tears. I long for my kids to experience Christmas with grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins.

My solution? My first thought is to fly back my family to the Philippines so they can experience having Christmas there. But that solution will create another holiday problem (financial stress) because the cost of round trip tickets are outrageous.  So, plan B is to spend time with Hanai Families  or Ohana (Surrogate families) here on Maui.  And thanks to technology, I can Facetime my family from far away and can feel a little bit of closeness with them talking to them and seeing them on the video “real time”.  Not exactly the same as “real life” get together but it will do for now. Funny, as I was writing this “wishing I am spending time with our family this Holidays” a thought came to my mind. Others might be saying that is their “holiday problem” – the drama that goes on when family gathers: the in laws who don’t get along, etc. etc.   Do any of you have that kind of stress?

Holiday Problem #3 – Hectic Schedule

Holiday hectic schedule translate to having no time to exercise, eating junk food a lot, not getting enough sleep, not finding rest. Ugh, just typing about those things makes me feel tired. But it is true, holidays are hectic days.  If I don’t guard myself, being hectic will steal away the joy I have of the holidays.  So what to do?

  • realize that I can’t say yes to everything thing, even if it’s all fun and good.  I have to decide which parties I (or we as a family) should go and which one I (we) should pass.
  • exercise early morning, even if it’s just 10 jumping jacks.  Exercise is such a stress reliever and is great for our body but this is one thing I always neglect (and I shouldn’t)
  • have some quite time and downtime. I am an introvert and quite time for me is indispensable. But even if one is not an introvert, it is important to set aside a time to be quite, to meditate. It’s is good for the body as it is good for the soul.
  • Plan ahead.  Drink lots of water; pack healthy snacks in my bag.

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That caption on my photo, I thought about it and added it last might.  I placed it there with my goofy photo to remind me that the important thing about holidays is to find and experience the joy it brings.  I won’t let stress and anxiety ruin this wonderful time of the year. I want to be able to sing “Joy to The World” with glee.  Oh I know it’s easier said than done, but it can be done … it can be…. What are some of your holiday problems? Do you have tips in on how to resolve and overcome holiday stresses? Hey, I have a suggestion for you…. Why don’t you share it with us at  Travaasa #HolidayProblems sweepstakes  and be entered for the chance to win a three-night stay for two plus two $300 American Express gift cards to help with your travel expenses. Travaasa built a  #HolidayProblems  Page as an effort to help us be relieved of some of the holiday stresses we experience. I am sure you’d find the page very useful this holiday season.

Ready to share and get a chance to win?

Click on the photo below and it will take

you Travaasa Page where you can post your entry. 

Cure Holiday Problems With Escape to Travaasa

 To see my other posts on Travaasa, click this word Travaasa

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Maui Sunset Afterglow in Keanae Peninsula

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We spent out Independence Day Holiday Weekend at Keanae, Maui. We are fortunate (blessed) to have great friends (our hanai family, our ohana)  who owns a property in Keanae.  I call Keanae Peninsula a mini paradise on earth.

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On the afternoon / evening of July fourth, we were hanging out outside, chatting … and then we noticed how beautiful the sky is turning after the Maui Sun set. At first it was just pastel colors of pinkish, orange, yellowish, with a touch of greenish blueish splattered around …

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And then it kept on transforming, creating a magnificent painting on the sky. The photos here will speak for itself. These were taken from my iPhone. No filters were used. No photoshop was done.  And yes some are a little blurry and out of focus. But these photos will give you an idea of the color transformation that happened.

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At the end of this post, there is a embedded video that you can watch.   I still can’t get over how beautiful it was.   More photos below. Enjoy …

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