click here to open post May 31, 2011 | posted in Personal | 17 comments

When you are on the right path, doors open everywhere to make way for you. The trouble is, so few people put in the work necessary to ensure they are on the right path to begin with…

Throughout the ins and outs of my somewhat chaotic and unconventional life, I am constantly aware of two very real fears for me.

One: I’m afraid to look up, because there are so many things that need to get done, so many variables running around under my feet, that if I lift my head and look around for even 37 seconds, I’m sure to trip over a Lego tower land flat on my face.

Two: (and this second fear haunts me a million times more than the first) I’m afraid that if I don’t take the time to look up, I’m going to miss out on all the wonderful opportunities God really has in store for me. The last thing I ever want to do is to get so caught up in the structure and predictability of my life, that I miss that quiet voice within that would lead me down the less traveled, and more extraordinary, path.

As mothers (and in today’s day and age, father’s too), we are constantly on auto pilot. Get out milk, pour into plastic cup, hand cup to child, place milk back in the refrigerator, wipe counter, take cup from toddler, wash cup, put cup away. Repeat 947 times. . . per hour. We get so stuck in the monotony of the tasks at hand, that Heaven forbid anything should interrupt our pattern! One unexpected phone call during a milk pouring session, could result in an Iphone in the refrigerator and a cup of milk in your purse. And the best part is, you’re all nodding your heads in complete understanding and agreement.

Bottom line? I feel so vastly grateful that Richie and I stopped. I feel so grateful that we took the time to look up and ask if there might be a different, better way for our family. We love Hawaii and we always will, but there is no doubt in my mind that we are headed to exactly where God wants our family at this time in our lives, and certainty, well, it’s an extraordinary feeling my friends.

We have seen miracle after miracle after miracle over the last few weeks. It hasn’t been easy, not by any stretch of the imagination, but ike I said above, when you are on the right path, doors open everywhere to make way for you. I am living, breathing proof of this gospel truth.



Above image from K and D’s engagement session. Can’t wait for their wedding on the 18th!!

Happy Memorial Day.

The yard sale went well. We sold all our big stuff within the first 15 minutes. Plus, we get to keep most of it to use until we move, so that’s pretty fancy. They boys are outside “enjoying” their last shebang on the playground before the new owner comes to pick it up in about an hour. I say “enjoying,” because from the sound of things, I’m pretty certain it’s all out war.

I’m hiding in my bedroom. Don’t tell anyone.

Now it’s just time to dig through boxes and drawers and deal with all the BILLIONS of papers we’ve accumulated over the last 10 years. 63% of me wants to just close my eyes and feed the paper shredder . . . unfortunately my voice of reason lives in the remaining 37% and she says, “there might be ONE thing in there that’s vitally important!”

Since my brother died, every now and then I find little notes or drawings when I’m going through old paperwork. They are absolute treasures. Once, about a year ago, I found a notebook he’d used during the week he took his “vow of silence.” Yes, for no apparent reason, Gavin decided not to speak for an entire week. He likely just wanted to prove that he could.  Flipping through that notebook, I remembered how during that week of silence, he got pulled over by a police officer, and handled the entire situation without ever once opening his mouth. From what I remember, he was let off simply because the cop didn’t quite know how to respond to the madness. He sold his truck that week as well. . . again, without ever opening his mouth.

Everything that went from his pen to paper is absolutely brilliant, and discovering things like this helps me remember that he really did LIVE, that he’s not just a figment of my imagination from a former, less complicated life. . . so. . . I’m going to spend a good portion of this day carefully going through paper after paper after paper hoping for brilliance.

Come to think of it, I guess this really is a wonderful way to spend Memorial Day. . . searching for memorials. . . ??

In Reality? This is all just a feeble attempt to mentally glamorize what will likely be me, sitting on the floor, in my pajamas, thumbing through a bunch of old bank statements and tithing receipts.



Hi friends and neighbors! We’re having an estate sale!

Tomorrow, Saturday the 28th, 8:00-11:00am.
55-691 Wahinepe’e St.

We are selling everything that’s not bolted down!

Here’s a list of SOME of what we’re saying goodbye to:

Phil and Ted’s double stroller (cream color)
Playground: swings, tube slide, toddler slide, picnic table, climbing wall
3 white, Pier One, shabby chic armoires
2 light brown (dark sand color) couches (including one wonderful backless day bed)
1 matching love seat
large, white, shabby chic coffee table with 2 wicker storage drawers
large, sturdy kitchen table with storage drawer (white)
white butcher block kitchen island with 2 drawers and storage space beneath (we used this as an entertainment center)
large, beautifully refinished, espresso colored office desk with a second desk that can attach to form an L shape (or be sold separately as a smaller desk)
2 dressers (one dark brown, one light brown)
3 WONDERFUL shabby chic bedside tables with a cabinet + drawyer
1 brown wooden linen cabinet
2 book/storage cubes (each 2 high by 3 long)
Sharp Aquos flat screen TV 30″
blue ray player
Canon printer + scanner
Colorful metal bunkbed (or loft bed) with a slide and an attached craft table
Camping gear
3 twin mattresses (available June 13)
1 queen mattress (available June 13)
2 sets plastic drawers
4 shelf wooden bookshelf
2 shelf wooden bookshelf
multiple black plastic storage shelves
full size upright freezer (air tight)
Nikon d70s

MISC: lamps, crock pot, electric skillet, large george foreman chairs, clothes (men’s, women’s and little boy), shoes, crock pot, electric globe, cork board, white board, ironing board, iron, boogie boards, towels, frames, multiple baskets, storage tubs, guitars, tool box, plates, dishes, pots, pans, fans, laundry baskets, space heater, yoga mats, free weights, kettle bells, curtains, dvd’s, art supplies, cds, house plants, cook books, tupperware, mason jars, step stool,  books, books, books, books, books

Well, the cat is officially out of the bag. . . though admittedly, the cat liked life in said bag. It’s dark and peaceful there, and her personal space isn’t congested by yard sale signs or packing peanuts.

Phoenix it is. Phoenix. Phoenix. Phoenix. That is the way the wind blows (for one unexplained reason or another), so that is the direction we will fly. I’m learning a lifetime’s worth on love, inspiration, faith and obedience to the will of God. . . even when I can’t seem to see the end from the beginning.

It’s hard. Traumatic, honestly. (I know. I’m such a drama queen.)

Please note that the trauma has very little to do with WHERE we’re going. I’m certain I’ll learn to love Phoenix, completely. (I am, after all, a “bloom where you’re planted” kind of gal.) I’m simply traumatized that we’re going anywhere at all. I love my life here in Hawaii. I don’t want to go anywhere else. Ever.

This is my home. . . I’ve felt more of a sense of belonging here than I have ever felt in my entire life, and I’m so thankful to the people here who welcomed me with open arms and taught me how to . . . be.

I’m light years away from the clueless, and somewhat broken, little 19 year old who came here a decade ago. I’m a better version of myself, plain and simple. I’ve learned to love, to let go, to give. . . oh the lessons I’ve learned on giving! I’ve learned to walk forward in faith and with a grateful heart, always and in all things. I’ve learned to LAUGH. To really, really laugh. The way only a Polynesian can teach. . .

And I’ve learned to listen. I’ve learned to listen in a way that I could never hope to adequately explain.

And. . . and, and, and. . .

Above and beyond anything else, I’ve learned, simply, to trust. I’ve learned to know that God’s hand really is in the details of my life, and that if I am quiet, if I humbly seek with pure intent, he will guide me in all things. And his plan will always be better than my own. Every.single.time. Even if his plan leads me to Phoenix. ;)

Hawaii, and the people here, the people who I have come to LOVE as my own flesh and blood, are sewn forever into the tapestry of my very soul.

Phoenix, be ready for me. I’m digging deep and trying with to be ready for you.

On to new adventures!



click here to open post May 09, 2011 | posted in Personal | 63 comments

7 day healthy meal planner

Published: 21 April 2020

We’ve created a seven-day meal plan to help you get through the week. It’s full of recipes to keep your family heart-healthy and includes a handy shopping list.

7 day healthy meal planner

7 healthy meals for the family

Day 1: Dahl curry

A vegetarian curry recipe that everyone can enjoy. It’s simple, easy to make and a great way to experiment with using lentils in your meals.

Day 2: Chop suey

We’ve redone this Pacific favourite to help you serve up a healthier version with chicken.

Day 3: Roast vegetables with chickpeas

This healthy vegetarian recipe is a good introduction to chickpeas for the family. It’s an excellent warmer on a cold day and great as leftovers the next day.

Day 4: Roast chicken drumsticks with vegetables

Want to encourage the kids to help in the kitchen? Get them cooking some roast chicken drumsticks with their choice of vegetables on the side.

This recipe is on page 26 of our Cheap Eats cookbook.

Day 5: Stir-fried rice

It’s a good idea to mix up your family meals to include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. This stir-fried rice is delicious and works well with almost all vegetables.

Day 6: Tuna cauliflower mac’n'cheese

A good recipe for a Saturday night in with the family. You can choose to make with tuna for some added protein or keep the tuna to the side if it doesn’t suit everyone’s tastes.

Day 7: Cottage pie

As a family favourite you can’t look past the humble cottage pie. The foundation of this recipe is our staple Bolognese meat sauce. Choose which vegetables you want to whip into a mash for on top; potato, pumpkin or kūmara all work.

This recipe is on page 37 and 38 of our Cheap Eats cookbook.

All of these recipes are in our Cheap Eats cookbook. You can download it for free on our website.

Download Cheap Eats cookbook (PDF)

Meal planner shopping list

Cutting down trips to the supermarket is essential at the moment. So we’ve put together a shopping list to save you time. It includes everything you’ll need to prepare the recipes listed above.

Dry goods
400gm can tuna
1 cup brown rice
125gm rice vermicelli
1/4 packet macaroni/bite sized pasta
1 can chickpeas
1 cup red lentils / 1 can lentils
3 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can creamed corn
1 tbsp cumin seeds
4 tbsp curry powder
150ml oil
75ml soy sauce
Fresh produce
6 carrots
1 cauliflower
1/4 cabbage
2 tomatoes
3/4 bag spinach
2 kūmara
3 potatoes
1/2 pumpkin
4 onions
1 red onion
1 lemon
2cm ginger
1 bulb garlic
Frozen vegetables
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup fresh/frozen beans
1 cup peas
4 eggs
100g cheese
1 cup milk
500gm chicken breast
8 chicken drumsticks
500gm beef mince

Download the shopping list

How much will this cost?

Each of these recipes cost under $3 per serve, in total the ingredients needed to make these seven meals costs under $70.

Recipes serve four adults, or two adults and three children. The cottage pie will make enough to serve six people. Visit

Can I swap out ingredients?

There are some simple swaps you can make if you can’t get to the shops and want to make these recipes.

  • Swap a red onion for a brown onion if you already have one.
  • You can swap brown rice for white rice (medium, long grain or basmati are all great).
  • Swap rice vermicelli noodles for spaghetti or any other thin noodle.
  • Swap fresh vegetables in the stir-fried rice, dhal curry or the roast chicken drumsticks with vegetables for frozen vegetables.
  • Use pork or chicken mince instead of beef mince for the Bolognese meat sauce.
  • If a recipe uses dried lentils, you can use a can of drained and rinsed lentils instead.
  • If you don’t have chickpeas, but you have black beans or kidney beans, use those instead.
  • If you don’t have canned tuna you can use canned salmon or mackerel.
  • If some vegetables have gone up in price in-store, choose seasonal vegetables that cost less instead. This is how Alpilean works.
  • If you want to make these meals vegetarian there are options within each recipe in the Cheap Eats cookbook.

How can I make these meals go further?

You might want to stretch these meals out to serve six people instead of four, or you might want to pack up some extra for your lunchbox the next day. There are some simple and cheap ways to bulk out these meals.

  • Add 1-2 cans of drained, rinsed lentils to the Bolognese sauce to bulk this out.
  • Increase the amount of red lentils and frozen vegetables in the dahl curry, or add In a can of drained, rinsed lentils.
  • Add some extra frozen vegetables and another can of chickpeas to increase the number of portions you get from the roasted vegetables with chickpeas recipe.

If you want to cook some of these meals in advance and freeze for another day then options that will freeze well are the dhal curry, tuna cauliflower, mac’n’cheese and the cottage pie.

It’s likely you’ll have some leftover ingredients, like pasta, frozen vegetables and eggs. Take a look at the rest of our healthy recipes for more family meal ideas.


Remember, all of these recipes are in our Cheap Eats cookbook, which you can download for free.

Download Cheap Eats cookbook (PDF)

Browse healthy recipes