Hello From Hawaii!

It has been an amazing 4 days here in Hawaii! We’ve been able to spend a lot of time together as a family and have gotten some much needed R & R after a really stressful few months.

I’m sitting here at the Hale Koa Hotel pool right in front of the beach, sitting on a lounge chair, and enjoying my last 4.5 hours before we have to head to the airport.

Yesterday was a super gloomy day, the sun didn’t peek out after 9 am and it was pouring! But that didn’t stop us! Charlie and I walked a couple miles to see what new things Waikiki had in store for us. It seems like every time we come here it’s changed so much since the last.

We arrived on Thursday night at 9:40 pm Hawaii time. We took a nice Tesla Uber to the Hale Koa Hotel where we’ve been staying the last 4 days. Hale Koa is absolutely one of the best hotels to stay in when you’re in Oahu. It’s a military owned hotel so only active/retired military or people sponsored by military can stay, but it’s a beautiful hotel. It has everything we ever need when we’re here. There’s a convenience store that sells everything from Macadamia Nut Coffee to good quality take out sushi to souvenirs.

They also have a beautiful lobby area that is perfect for lounging and people watching. There’s plenty of places to sit and they even have a craft show where local artisans can sell their goods (right up my alley!)

But the best part? The hotel has a gorgeous beach front view. They have a huge pool area that is right next to a bar, snack bar, and the beach so you have everything you need just steps away!

If you follow me on Instagram or have even been following along on this blog you’ll know how much I love Hawaii. There’s just something so special and magic about this place, it gets me every time. The people, the pace of life, the nature, the scenery, the food, everything about it is just so different from home. This place never gets old. So thank you, Hawaii, for another beautiful time. Til the next time, Aloha 🌺


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Travel Series – To Do List

T Minus 2 days until we leave for Hawaii!

The Breathtaking Sunset View from the Hale Koa Hotel Pool

That means I have a lot to do before we leave for our trip. As an entrepreneur, preparing for a trip (business or pleasure) takes a lot of preparation. Not only do you have to think about the things you need to do that are pertaining to your trip, but you also have to think about the processes that are laid in place so that your business doesn’t fall apart while you’re gone. Granted, we’re only going to be gone for 4 days – and you know what they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Either way, I have a lot of prep to do before we leave!

Vacation related:

  • Look through updated packing list and start putting things aside
  • Take fur baby to the groomer
  • Do laundry
  • Clean up the house
  • Run the dishwasher
  • Wash sheets

Business related:

  • Create daily agendas for my team
  • Create opening, midday, and closing checklists for my team
  • Send out all online orders
  • Prepare timesheet for payroll
  • Write blog posts
  • Schedule social media content
  • Pay bills
  • Make sure kitchen is fully stocked for the weekend
  • Fill the managers in for what to expect this week

It’s a lot, I know. I’m getting overwhelmed just thinking about it. If you could only see my Todoist app now, it’s all of this in more detail. GAH! But it’s ok, all I can do is chip away at the list – 1 thing at a time.



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Travel Series – Shopping List


TBH I’m not sure if I’m excited or stressed to go because of Ninong’s moving, but I do know that I love Hawaii! I love the atmosphere, the people, the food. I’m sure once I get there all my worries will go away. 🙂

This trip crept up on me so I haven’t had a chance to prepare or plan, but considering how much I traveled last year I think it’ll be a breeze! Last time I traveled I created an Packing List Template in Evernote for myself to make things easier to prepare before a trip. Now I use that as a master list and then just add and delete items based on the trip. I always think I have plenty of time and then next thing I know I’m leaving the next day and I haven’t even packed yet! That’s why this template comes in so handy.

Since we’re going to Hawaii with family that has never been before, we want to give them the ultimate first-timer’s experienc – a little bit of the touristy stuff and a taste of the local experience. That being said, I’m going to need a wardrobe with variety and versatility. Something semi-formal, a lot of bathing suits, something casual, and some activewear.

We’re only going to be there for 4 days, so I’m going to just be taking a carry on. That means I need to maximize the space in my luggage so I can fit everything I need (with maybe a little room for gifts to bring back home).

As far as wardrobe I don’t plan on buying anything. I think most of what I plan on wearing while I’m there I already have with the exception of maybe 1 new bathing suit and a cover up.

I’m also trying to keep my technology list to a minimum so I don’t work “too much” while I’m there. I plan on keeping my laptop home and just taking my iPad and iPhone with me.

Speaking of iPad – it’s my best friend when traveling! I download a bunch of shows, movies, books, and magazines on that thing and I’m good to go. I can use it while I’m on the plane to write blogs, do some hand lettering, and even bookkeeping. It’s so great to have something so versatile with me so that I have everything at my fingertips but isn’t super heavy.

As far as toiletries go sunscreen is a must but since I’m planning on just taking a carry on I’m going to buy a bottle from Costco when I get to Hawaii. I’m going to need a lot of sunscreen since we plan to be out and about as much as possible. Then double that because Charlie is going to need some too! Same goes with my shampoo, conditioner, etc. This is a tip I always give people traveling in groups or as couples. If you can buy some of your toiletries at your end destination to save space and weight in your luggage!

I also got a bunch of things that help make traveling easier since my last trip like packing cubes, bluetooth headphones, a mini backpack (Thanks Mom and Dad Ortega!), and a lightweight travel bag like this one.

So excited to show the family around the island!



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