1. Homemade Spanish rolls.

2. Natasha Bedingfield’s song Weightless.

3. Volunteering at The Joy of Sake and getting to work with Chef Sheldon Simeon. He’s super nice and his food was ridiculously good. If you’re ever on Maui, be sure to check out his restaurant Migrant.

4. Putting together inspired looks with Photoshop. I forgot how much fun it is to create these.

5. There are lots of moments when I feel so frustrated, lost, and completely helpless. That I was just not made to be a parent. Or a wife. And then there are moments when I feel incredibly lucky. Like when my husband is reading a story to our daughters before nap time. I can’t help but smile at my life.

Photo by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili

My husband and I recently celebrated our Ten Year Wedding Anniversary.

I know.

TEN YEARS.

HOLY CRAP.

Normally we don’t do anything super special for our anniversary (mostly because we get lazy and we don’t like to spend a lot of money on ourselves), but this year we did things differently. A couple of months ago we celebrated with our daughters at Disneyland. Then on our actual anniversary we decided to eat at The Three Fat Pigs*.

The Three Fat Pigs is a restaurant and gastropub located in the Kings’ Shops in the Waikoloa Resort area of the Big Island (Hawaii). The food combines “classical European techniques with fresh ingredients of the Pacific Rim.”** It is headed by Food Network Star alum Chef Ippy.

We had a reservation for 5pm and were seated right away. Because it was quite early for dinner, we were able to get a table overlooking the lake.

Since we had a eaten a HUGE lunch that day and I knew my belly couldn’t handle a full meal, we decided to get drinks and some charcuterie to share. We settled on Yuzu Marmalade, Manchego Cheese, and Jamón Serrano.

Each choice cost $5 and came with crostini. Every element tasted really good on its own but all together… even better. Salty, sweet, crunchy. Yes.

We also ordered a side of Crispy Pancetta House Potatoes ($5). The first thing my husband said was, “We need to figure out how to make these at home.” I completely agreed. The potatoes were perfectly seasoned and the pancetta chunks were pork perfection. Our only complaint? We wish there was more pancetta in our order.

Oh and we got the Tiramisu with Hazelnut Bacon Whipped Cream (normally costs $11 but they gave it to us for free since we were celebrating our anniversary) to go. No pictures of that because we completely devoured it. So, so good.

Overall, my husband and I both enjoyed The Three Fat Pigs. Next time we hope to go on either a Friday or Saturday night when The Thirsty Wolf Gastropub (located above the restaurant) is open. If you’re ever in the Waikoloa resort area, I definitely recommend giving it a try.

The Three Fat Pigs
250 Waikoloa Beach Drive #C01 Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738 | 808.339.7145
Hours: Lunch Daily 11:00am-5:00pm
Dinner Daily 5:00pm-9:00pm
The Thirsty Wolf Gastropub Friday & Saturday 5:00pm-12:00am
Reservations recommended for lunch and dinner. Walk-ins only for Gastropub.

Photos by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili and Marcus Hoapili 

*This is NOT a sponsored post. 

**Excerpt from The Three Fat Pigs website.

 

At least once a year (sometimes twice) my family and I visit my husband’s parents at their timeshare in Waikoloa on the Big Island. Although we enjoy hanging out in the pool and participating in various timeshare activities (Zumba, getting free shaved ice), we do like to venture beyond the resort gates. One of our favorite places to head to? Waimea.

A little town with a history rooted in cattle ranching, Waimea is about a 30 minute drive from the Waikoloa resort area. The Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) influence can be seen all around Waimea, including on the stop signs.

There are a ton of great places to visit while in Waimea, but here are some of our favorites.

Mamane Bakery
64-1056 Mamalahoa Hwy Kamuela, HI 96743 | 808.885.7441
Open Monday-Saturday 7:00am-1:30pm; Closed on Sunday

Just down the road from the Parker Ranch Center, Mamane Bakery can help satisfy any sweet tooth. They bake pastries and breads fresh daily. Unfortunately, they were closed on our most recent visit so I wasn’t able to get any pictures of their goodies.

A little note: It can be a bit difficult to find so be sure to keep an eye out for these signs. The driveway that leads up to the bakery is located just before them.

Waimea Park

Across the street from Parker School, Waimea Park has a pretty big play area for the kiddos. There isn’t anything like this near the timeshare, so my daughters are always eager to stop by.

Village Burger
Parker Ranch Center | 67-1185 Mamalahoa Hwy Kamuela, Hawaii 96743 | 808.885.7319
Open Monday-Saturday 10:30am-8:00pm; Sunday 10:30am-6:00pm | menu

They make the best burger I’ve ever had. And I’m not the only one who thinks that these burgers are the bee’s knees. Village Burger has been featured in USA Today and was recently named one of the Top Ten Burger Joints in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.

The burgers are made with pasture raised Hawaiian beef, are topped with fresh, local veggies, and the buns are from Holy’s Bakery in Kapaau. If you’re not a fan of meat, give their hand cut fries with parmesan goop a try. They’re so good you may want to get two orders of them.

So, if you ever find yourself on the west side of the Big Island and are looking for a new place to explore, why not mosey on down to Waimea. You’re almost guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face and a very happy belly.

Photos by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili and Marcus Hoapili

1. Seeing friends get married.

2. Homemade iced tea.

3. Working on a fun project for a friend.

4. Gyros.

5. Looking up places to visit for a trip that we’ll be taking nearly two years from now.

Photo by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili

Guys, I finally caved. Well, technically, my husband AND I caved. Thanks to a really good Target Cartwheel deal, we bought a Wii U and Mario Kart 8.

And it’s SO MUCH FUN.

Here is what was going through my head while playing:

Awww… Baby Peach and Baby Daisy are so cute.

WHAT THE HELL COWS! GET OUT OF MY WAY!

I know this is Mario Kart, but I wish I could play as Zelda. 

AAAAH! SOMEONE HIT ME WITH A TURTLE SHELL!

Oooh. A course that kinda looks like Sugar Rush. 

CRAP. THAT SUGAR RUSH COURSE IS HARD!

We can drive ON THE WALLS?! 

New goal: Just don’t come in last. 

HOLY CRAP THIS IS FUN. 

If you have the opportunity, I definitely recommend trying out Mario Kart 8. Even if you consider yourself a total noob and think you aren’t very good at video games (totally describing myself), it’s still worth playing. That game, just like these mini cheesecakes, is pretty sweet.

Photos by Arbine Villanueva-Hoapili

Blueberry Mini Cheesecakes with Crumb Topping

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • Crust
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Filling
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup blueberry sauce or blueberry jam
  • Crumb Topping
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners
  2. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Evenly divide and press mixture into muffin tin. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar, flour, and almond extract, beating to combine. Add blueberry sauce and beat to combine. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. In another bowl, stir together oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter to mixture, combine using a fork or your fingers, and form little clumps.
  5. Spoon cream cheese mixture over graham cracker crust. Sprinkle crumb mixture over cream cheese mixture.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set. Cool completely before serving.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen

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