Aloha & Arrivederci

Aloha! To say it’s “been a while” would be an understatement. It’s been a lonnnnng while since I’ve written a post on Artistry By Adele. I started this blog as a way to escape my day-to-day and have a creative outlet I could look forward to. I was working in a job that wasn’t a right fit for me, I was living in the suburbs in a city I grew up in and desperately needed a break from, and this blog gave me a place I could explore my thoughts and future plans.

Fast forward FOUR whole years and life is quite different. My husband and I quit our jobs, sold our house, got rid of most of our belongings, and left our comfortable lives for a new adventure in Hawaii. Since moving we started a business, met new people, tried new things, explored our island, and have traveled to new and exciting places.

Photo Cred: Miriam Sermonne Photographie 


Sometimes life is hard this far away from friends and family. We miss out on major family events and all the little things we’d love to be around for…like our nieces and nephews growing up in the blink of an eye. We miss graduations and sometimes weddings or other functions we would love to attend. But all in all, this was the best decision we ever made. We’ve had more fun and excitement in these years than I could have imagined. We’ve met amazing people who have changed our lives in this short time and I really believe that we’ve changed lives with the women’s fitness/lifestyle program we started on Oahu. We will always wish we could be near the people who mean the most to us, but living a life you aren’t happy in is never the answer if you have the chance to change it. No matter if we stay here forever, or if we move back to the mainland at some point, I believe I’ll look back on these times as some of the happiest of my life. If you told me four years ago that I would be living on an island, doing headstands on a paddle board in the ocean for fun, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you. 

Photo Cred: Yoga Kai Paddle Hawaii


Since my last blog post all that time ago, I’ve often thought about coming back to this community. I’ve thought about what I would blog about….fitness (my professional life), nutrition and vegetarian cooking (one of my passions since I cut meat and dairy out of my life when we moved here) or just about life in Hawaii. I guess I was so consumed with enjoying my life here that I never found (or took) the time to sit down and write about it.


But here I am, all this time later, missing my blog, missing the community and really missing photography. I’m still loving life on this beautiful island, but my passion for travel and photography was re-sparked with a few major trips we’ve taken since our move. Last year we visited New York twice, we spent a month traveling around Europe in Italy, Norway, Spain & Iceland and this summer, we’re heading back there again! This time with a week on the Greek Islands and a week in Sardinia, Italy. While researching our trip, and looking back at my old photos, I realized I NEED TO START BLOGGING AGAIN!

So here goes nothing! I’ve created a new blog, Aloha and Arrivederci where I plan to share my travel stories and photos, as well as the best moments of my life here on Oahu. If you’re interested, go check it out and follow for blog posts via email. You can also check out some of my favorite photos on my new travel instagram account, @alohaandarrivederci

Staying F.I.T. on Vacation

Get it? F.I.T….cause I do Kaia F.I.T…. :)

So for Christmas this year we visited my husband’s family in Oahu for 10 days. It was so nice to leave the cold weather and head to warmer climates for the holidays, but I was concerned I would “fall off the wagon” when it came to my fitness. Kaia was on a winter break for a few weeks, so my timing worked out pretty well, but I didn’t want to come back to class and feel like I was starting all over again. So, I decided to try my best to keep working out and stay active while we were there.

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My father-in-law lives at the top of some seriously steep hills. Each day we’d go for a jog or a walk down to the bottom and back up. Some days we ran 2-3 miles and some days we just did hill repeats on the super steep hills right by the house.

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Some days we would drive down by Waikiki, park the car and run up Diamond Head Road for a beautiful 3 or 3 1/2 mile run with a view along the water. Then we’d run back to the car, go change into our suits, and head to the beach. That, right there is THE perfect day in my mind. I hope to have lots more of those when I move there.

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While Kaia was on their winter break, the coaches sent us a new at-home workout for each day. On days I was feeling extra motivated I pulled out a yoga mat and tried some of them after my run. They weren’t easy..that’s for sure. I can definitely say that having the coaches and a big group of girls by your side makes you feel like you can keep going, even when you feel exhausted. Completing these tough workouts alone is definitely harder, but I tried to do my best and I was so glad the coaches kept us in mind while we were away!

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Now, if we’re being honest here.. I was on VACATION…so there was a little bit of beer drinking and relaxing going on as well. Probably a little more than there should have been..but it was vacation, right? I tried to stay away from the super sweet drinks like mai tais and pina coladas that are loaded with sugar and calories (I only had one in the 10 days I was there) and tried to stick with wine and the occasional cold beer on the lanai. We ate a ton of fish and healthy home-cooked meals, but I also splurged a little and had chocolate for dessert when I wanted something sweet (or the occasional shave ice).

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We also drank coconut water straight from the source. YUM

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We did one of my favorite hikes on Oahu on Koko Head (favorite because of the gorgeous view at the top) and of course I had to take a Kaia planking picture at the top.

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We spent one day out on the boat wakeboarding in the marina, which was SUPER fun, although much harder than I’m used to on the warm, smooth waters of Clear Lake.

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I have to say, what a difference a year can make. The last time we went to Hawaii for vacation, back in July of 2011, there was no running. There was very little hiking (and it was WAY harder than it was this time). There were definitely no Kaia-type workouts done solo on a yoga mat. And there was LOTS AND LOTS of eating bad food and drinking too many pina coladas. Yes, I am a firm believer in working hard and playing hard. When you’re on vacation, you should feel like you’re on vacation. But that doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it did a year ago before I started Kaia.

Now, a vacation isn’t complete to me without getting out and being active. I’m still going to enjoy good food and a little relaxation, but in a different way. I’ve always loved the outdoors, but now I get so much enjoyment out of exercising and pushing my limits that my outlook on physical activity is completely different. We’ve always hiked when we went to Hawaii, but I was queen of requesting the “easy hikes,” because that way I wouldn’t feel miserable the entire time. Now, I want each hike to be more challenging than the last. I am so looking forward to moving to the island and finding new trails and hikes that will challenge me even more.

What do you do to stay F.I.T. on vacation?

Oh…and I thought this little guy was too cute to leave out… IMG_5889

Island Living Here We Come!

Whoa. The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind to say the least. In the last 40 or so days we have sold our house and all our furniture, given notice to our jobs, decided to change our careers and move from Northern California to HAWAII. It sounds even crazier when I write it down.
hawaii jumping

Here’s how it all went down… long story short, I wasn’t happy. My job wasn’t exactly the right fit for me and never really was. There were parts of my job I loved, like the people, the event planning, etc., but I’ve always wanted to be the one in charge and after four years I felt ready to take on more responsibility and risk. When I graduated college I moved back to my home town and bought a house with my now-husband and had a mortgage and all the things that go along with owning a home. We lived in suburbia surrounded by neighbors with children and mini-vans (there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re ready for it). We spent all of our time (and money) painting and doing upgrades to the house, decorating and doing yard work. Most of it we enjoyed (like being able to throw big get togethers and parties, grow our own vegetable garden, etc) but it left us little time and money to get out and enjoy the world. Don’t get me wrong, in the past 4 years we did some traveling and we had a lot of fun, but it just wasn’t right. I wanted to get out and enjoy my “childhood” before it was over.

Fast-forward 4 years and it’s time for a shake-up. We listed our house on the market to test the waters and see what would happen with the economy the way it is. Our realtor told us it probably wouldn’t sell for what we wanted it to sell for, it’d be upside down and we’d have to short sell if we wanted to leave. We didn’t want to lose money so if we didn’t come out even, we weren’t going to sell, which means we’d be stuck unless we could rent it out. We listed the house and within 24 hours it sold for over our asking price. We accepted an offer a week later and entered escrow. 30 days later, it was moving day. My first thought… “Sh*t. We don’t have a place to live!”

We started talking about our options. Do we move to another city? In only 30 days? That sounds crazy. Do we move downtown to be closer to work and our friends and enjoy the city life? Probably. Well at least my parents live nearby and have a spare bedroom if absolutely necessary.

A few days later we got an amazing offer to move to Hawaii from my husband’s family who lives on Oahu. They happen to own a condo that we are able to move into as soon as we’d like (rent free) until we get on our feet. Who says no to that, right? So we’re now staying at my parent’s house until we make the big move on March 18th.

Am I nervous? Yes. Of course. There are a lot of aspects of  my life here that I absolutely love and will be very sad to leave. I have never lived more than 2 hours away from my best friend (besides when we each studied abroad, but that was only 6 months at a time) and that will be a very difficult adjustment for me. I will miss my family, my friends, my Kaia girls and my co-workers. Being so far away from friends and family is scary, but we just have to try. You only live once and I know I would regret it if we passed up this opportunity before giving it a shot.

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What am I going to do for work? Well, that you’ll find out soon. I have a business opportunity there that I will share at a later time (it’s a pretty damn good one!) and I am beyond excited about it.

I look forward to sharing our journey and I hope you’ll stay tuned!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

On The Coast

My husband and I had the best weekend celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary on the Northern California Coast near Jenner, CA a few weekends ago. We stayed at a cute little hotel, called the Timber Cove Inn and had an amazing ocean view. We went hiking, wine tasting, listened to live music, ate a few delicious meals, and even roasted marshmallows for breakfast one morning. I loved this little mini vacation and I would go back any time!

The weather was perfect with no fog in sight until the day we left. This was just what we needed- a nice, relaxing weekend to be outdoors and have fun together.

 View from our room

S’mores for breakfast

If you go to Jenner, make sure you stop at Cafe Aquatica. It’s delicious! This was one of 4 different meals we tried there (we ate there for lunch two days in a row). Hummus sandwich may not sound all that great, but trust me, it was delish! And check out that view.

Pumpkin Spice Fig Muffin. O.M.G.

We found a wonderful place to wine taste- Fort Ross Winery. The tasting room was brand new, the view was spectacular and the people were wonderful. We would definitely go back!

DIY Kick-A** Bride Cup

A few weeks ago we went to Las Vegas for my best friend’s bachelorette party. She needed a bride cup….so I made her one. And it turned out kind of f$%*ing amazing. Belvedere optional.

If you have lots of time and don’t mind repetitiveness, this is the project for you. I’ve done it before here, so I knew I could do it again. And, I already had most of the supplies.

All you need is a strong glue (I used flip-flop glue I found online), a clear plastic cup with a lid, some letter stickers, and a ton of rhinestones. I placed the BRIDE stickers on the cup first, so I could work around them and then started gluing from the bottom. The glue dries fast so do a small area at a time. (Disclaimer- don’t use a hot glue gun, it will melt the plastic!) I used different size rhinestones because that’s what I had on hand but anything will work. I used a needle to pick up the tiny rhinestones one at a time. Yes, this took me forever. Yes, I’m kind of crazy..but look how awesome it turned out!! It’s missing the lid in the picture below, but you get the point!

It was definitely the coolest cup in Las Vegas.

A Beautiful Day in Napa

Northern California has some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. We are so lucky to live so close to so many beautiful places. A few weeks ago our friends took us to Napa to barrel taste their wine. They started a wine company, MSix Wine Group and are in the early stages of creating delicious wines. We drove to Napa for the day, toured the amazing wine cave where they are storing their wine, enjoyed salami and crackers while sharing a bottle of wine with a beautiful view, and then took a tour through the vineyards to see their wine grapes. It was a beautiful day in wine country and I was happy to capture some of the beauty with my photos.  

Our gorgeous view for the afternoon

Our expert tour guide for the day :)

Straight from the barrel!

Chardonnay grapes

BFFs

Spicy Thai Basil Stirfry

So like I said in my last blog post, this week is detox week at Kaia and I am trying my best to stick to the plan and eat lean and green. I already had organic ground turkey in the refrigerator so I started looking for healthy meals to make. Usually I would make turkey tacos, spaghetti with meat sauce or meatballs, but since carbohydrates are on the don’t-even-think-about-it-list during detox I knew I needed to try something different that didn’t include tortillas or pasta.I started to search for Thai recipes and every one included a good amount of brown sugar, which is also not allowed on detox. So, I followed their lead to get an idea and then came up with something on my own. The result… a delicious, spicy, tangy, rich Thai basil stir-fry  that I wanted to eat all in one sitting. I will definitely be making this again (and again and again and again…).

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. lean (organic) ground turkey
  • 2 Japanese eggplants, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 2-8 Thai chili peppers, sliced (depending on spicy preference)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Large handful fresh basil leaves

Sauce: (measurements are approximate. I added little amounts until I found the taste/spicy-ness I liked)

  • 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp-1tbsp. chili paste (depending on preferred spice-level)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

What you’ll do:

Cut eggplant in half and weep for about 15 minutes (cover in sea salt to remove excess moisture). Start the ground turkey and cook on low-medium until done. While the turkey is cooking saute red onions, Thai chili peppers and eggplant in olive oil until eggplant gets soft. Add broth for moisture if needed. Add in bell peppers and cook until soft (3-5 minutes). Mix soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl until blended. Mix in the remainder of the sauce ingredients and pour over vegetable mixture. Add green onions and basil. Cook on medium for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Combine the veggie mixture with the ground turkey. Serve with green onions and basil to garnish. Enjoy!

This is now my favorite ground turkey recipe. What are your favorite ways to cook ground turkey besides tacos?

Grilled Peaches with Fresh Raspberries

I don’t know where you live, but where I live it is hot outside. Extremely hot. I get home from work, change into shorts and a tank top, and crank the air conditioning as soon as I walk in the door. Then I have to think about dinner… The last thing I want to do when it is 104-108 degrees out is stand in a hot kitchen cooking dinner. This week we have been eating a lot of salads and cold meals for dinner, but last night I really wanted dessert and I didn’t care what the temperature was. I had absolutely nothing sweet or unhealthy and dessert-y in the house, so I had to be resourceful. Our outdoor grill is broken, but I pulled out the grill pan and cut three very ripe white peaches to split with my husband. I cut them in half, grilled them for a few minutes on each side and topped them with fresh raspberries and a little frozen whipped topping. It was the perfect fruity dessert for a warm summer night.

Bridal Shower Bubbles and More

Okay..this is me attempting not to cry as I write this post. It’s not going to work, but I’ll attempt.

So I have this friend Kira, who has been in my life since I was 5 years old….. And she’s alright….

And by ‘alright’ I mean she’s the best friend anyone could ever ask for in their entire life. If you are lucky enough to have a Kira in your lifetime you should grab on and not let go (does that sound like I’m a crazy person?) Well, without going into all the things I plan to say for my maid of honor speech at her wedding, I can tell you that in the last week or so I have teared up or full on cried while planning her bridal shower (basically, I’m going to be a crying mess at her wedding). I have been thinking about how great she is and how happy I am that she found this amazing guy to marry, with this amazing family who loves her as if she’s their own. Seeing all the friends and family (especially her mom and grandmother) who came together to celebrate her happiness seriously warmed my heart. Our amazing friend Katie drove from 4 hours away just to be a part of the weekend and it couldn’t have been better. There’s not much that makes me happier than the three of us together, just like when we were inseparable in junior high and high school.

Kira and I have known each other for over 20 years and as each year comes, our friendship grows stronger. In the past we’ve lived in different cities and at some points even different countries, but we’ve always remained close. I know that no matter what happens, where we live, or what we’re doing in our lives, we will be friends until we’re little old ladies. I have so much more to say, but it will have to wait until the wedding speeches. I cannot wait for October 6th and I couldn’t be happier for her and Jordan.

Here are a few of the details from the bridal shower that I planned with Kira’s awesome soon to be mother in law. It was a lovely day! Click on the images to get a closer look at the details!

The favors were miniature mason jars with straws that we wrapped in cellophane and added little stamped thank yous to each one. Kira’s future MIL made three different kinds of homemade cookies for each person to take homeRibbon garland I madeFavor Table/Entry TableMy favorite part of the shower…the mimosa or “bubbly bar” I made tiny little flags for people to write their names on so they wouldn’t lose their mimosaI wanted a Bubbly Bar sign. I made one, and it was ugly. So I had this one custom-made on Etsy. I will be using this again. I used Diamond wine stoppers to keep the champagne closed I ordered this custom flower garland from Etsy as well. Bridal Bingo during the gift opening to keep people interestedThe Donut Bar! Diamond Donuts (Diamonds from Etsy)This was a custom hanger from Etsy with the wedding date.Gift table

Kira opening my giftThe card read “Pull the string and see what you’ll find, maybe something cute for your little behind” When she pulled the string TONS of underwear came out all tied together..And it kept coming out…. And kept coming….…..…..It ended with a cute blue pair from Victoria’s Secret that said “Tied the Knot” on the butt. I thought it was fitting since she’s getting married AND I tied about 100 knots for these undies! I think she liked it :)Next up…Las Vegas for the Bachelorette Party

Color Run Round Two!

I did it again! I had such a great time at the Orange County Color Run in April that I jumped at the opportunity to participate in it again when it came to my town. This time we had over 70 Kaia girls there in matching hot pink tutus. Like I said the last time, if you haven’t participated in one of these runs, you need to! It was definitely the most fun 5k I have ever run!