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I have always started a new year with positive thoughts and goals and this year is definitely no different.  I shared with all of you my 2017 Goals last week and wanted to take the time to really elaborate a bit on a personal level while sharing with you my thoughts and direction for Honeygirl’s World.  You know, when I started this blog 10 years ago, I started it as my creative outlet, sharing a piece of me while documenting my life as a busy mom maneuvering my way through the Corporate America world and now, 10 years later, I have made so many changes to my personal and professional life, that the outlook of this site has changed gears over the years as well.

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Here’s the deal – Honeygirl’s World is going back to what I love… documenting my life’s journey.  I love reviewing products whether purchased with my own hard-earned money from my own pocket or sent from PR companies for consideration, but I miss what this site used to be.  Does that mean that I’ll be providing a lot less reviews in the future?  Well, I’m not sure… but my goal is to develop the range of posts you see here and incorporate more of what this site originally was aimed towards – My Life!  Whether you are a company reading this post to decide if I am the right fit for your product or brand or someone who stumbled upon my site looking for a mother’s or wife’s perspective… let me break it down for you and share with you what you can expect here.

Let’s talk product reviews… I love love doing them.  Over the last 10 years I have been given the opportunity to try a plethora of products I probably wouldn’t have tried to begin with.  My family – husband, sons and fur baby – have also been given great opportunity to try products for themselves.  I don’t think I’ll be eliminating those types of posts here, but I do have a strong opinion on those types of write-ups and want to be honest here so you know what to expect.  Whether the post is sponsored or the products are sent for consideration know that my view point will never change here.  I am 100% unbiased and truthful in my thoughts for any product you read about here… if I don’t like it, you’ll know about that, if I do – well, you’ll know about that too.  No sponsored post will be biased in anyway – that has been my thought process for this site since the beginning and it will continue to be.  If I do not like a product and cannot say so in my post – I will not take on the task of writing about it.  Yes, my blog pays my bills or forks out spending money for me… but that will NEVER change my opinion and I will never obscure my integrity, my word and reputation for a product that I feel is not up to my personal standard.  This can be a downfall in who I may work with, but that will never change who I am.  I grew up being taught that your word is golden in life and I teach my children the same thing so I would never go against that for a quick monetary pay.  Know that when you read a review here, it is truly my own word and that will not change.  Not all products will receive a 100% pass from me and some may work for me while not for others.

I just turned 37 a few days ago and I’m reminded with each waking moment that blogging and YouTube are so much more different than when I started posting videos and write-ups 10 years ago.  When I started YouTube, many of us filmed in a closet or at our desks, using a webcam or rickety point and shoot camera and just going with the flow.  You know, while I do have my favorites that I still watch – I find myself back to basics, watching and enjoying YouTubers that offer simplistic videos.  Call me cheesy, but I find myself watching YouTubers that provide videos like I do… chit chat and talk story type diaries that are laid back and personable.  YouTube has turned into a cookie cutter type of platform and I’ve lost interest in so many I’ve watched over the years.  Same with blogging…  at 37 years old I find that I do not fit in the stereotypical blogger, that 18 – 25 year old range.  Hey, nothing wrong with that, right; but because of this, I find that the beauty industry I have loved for so long is no longer where I want to be and I want out.  Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE beauty, makeup, nails, skin care… but I’m not going to sacrifice my own identity to please those around me.  I realized in 2016 that I miss the type of videos and posts I used to do when I was in my late 20s and I want to go back to that place again.

Ugh… I’m so tired of the stigma of “Oh – she does YouTube videos and does it for free shit” or “Oh, she’s a blogger so she can get free stuff.”  Um, no and no!  I never started my blog or YouTube channel that way – but it’s been so nice that these companies have been so gracious to share their products with me and my family.  It’s wonderful to be able to be paid for something I enjoy doing too.  But rest assured, all of that – the free stuff and money, it has NEVER changed me… so you can continue to expect the same type of content whether organic or evergreen or whatever term you would like to use, all while I share a little piece of me.  Honeygirl’s World is my indeed – my World, wrapped up into all the pieces that I am proud of.

What can you expect here?  Well – more lifestyle posts, of course.  Back in the day I used to write a series on my site called:  Dear Diary or Sunday Letters, all of which were popular and fun and documented my life in a different aspect than what you see online.  Documentation of my weight loss and “back to healthy” journey which will allow me to hold myself accountable for success.  I want to share my Thirsty Thursday episodes and elaborate more on the subjects here on the blog then I do on YouTube and plan to have more Q&A and FAQ posts for those who are always asking me questions.  Since I have an “Ask Honey” segment on my channel, I would like to definitely incorporate that here as well and my overall goal is to post more on my outfits (I’m not your typical fashion lover) and of course share my recipes, food choices and ideas here.  There is so much more I have to list… but this post would be much longer than it should be.

Changing up my role in the blogging and YouTube community is never a bad thing.  I think that while I’m making changes in my presence in the online world, I’m actually enhancing who I really am and what I’m about.  Hey, let’s be real here for a second… does that mean I will no longer talk about Beauty here or on my channel??? Um, have you been listening?  Of course I am, but it will not define what Honeygirl’s World is all about.  If you are looking for product reviews, yes – you shall still see them here and find them here, but you will certainly see much more of who I truly am moving forward.  Those that have followed my blogging and YouTube journey since the beginning – you will see a lot more of the “old Honey” that you were probably accustomed to.  I’ll still continue to put the same amount of time and effort into any of my posts and I’ll still offer you the variety of content you have been seeing over the years – but now, it will include so much more.  I plan to up my game with more lifestyle posts and share a little peek into my world.  So – if you’re willing to stick around for this ride, then hang on tight and have some fun with me.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2017 and years beyond.  It’s going to be a great year and I’m looking forward to sharing it with all of you!

Signature Honey

Check out my 2017 Goals if you haven’t already read it.

NOTHING TO DISCLOSE

 

My husband and I have been married for over 15 years and together for almost 20.  I knew that when we started dating, there was a possibility that he would be in some form of Law Enforcement because – well, it’s a legacy honestly.  His Dad, brother, sister, uncles and Great Grandfather are well known in the industry of law enforcement, so I had expected that he would follow in their footsteps one day and that would be his calling.  A few years ago he made the commitment to become a Corrections Officer, or a CO which is a common term used in the field.  I knew what we were getting into as a family, but little did I know how it would affect us and our lifestyle moving forward.

It’s been almost 3 years since my husband was sworn in to be a Corrections Officer and since this is a Lifestyle site, I figured I would turn this particular post into a series, like my “Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom”.  After a few years, I’ve decided that this would be a great way for me to vent, share my ramblings and my support for this man I love.  So – stay tuned for more of these types of posts in the future. Now, let’s get into what it’s like to be a Corrections Officer’s Wife.

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What it is like to be a CO’s Spouse… the shortened version!

Let’s start with the statistics, shall we?  Corrections Officers have a 39 percent higher suicide rate than any other occupation, with a life expectancy of only 58 years.   Many don’t realize that that is 20 years less than the average American.  With mental illnesses like PTSD, anxiety and depression being a huge issue for CO’s in the industry and high divorce rates increasing consistently over the years.  As a couple, my husband and I knew the statistics, but we also know how strong our relationship is, though – I’ll be honest, this job has had its challenges on our strength over the years.

As if those statistics were the only thing we had to look forward to, there is the actual job itself.  Each day my husband walks through the gates of the facility he works in and each day I think about the dangers he faces behind the doors.  As I watch him leave the house, I’m consistently reminded of what lurks in the buildings he works in and I have to entrust his co-workers, his comrades to have his back when I struggle to give up that right to anyone already.  Disease, murderers, criminals – all of which he has to deal with on a daily basis, I have to entrust that he will have the right judgement calls to protect himself and believe that God will bring him home safely to me.

I understand that many in the field of law enforcement may have similar and high demands of what my husband has to deal with daily, but I also see that due to misconstrued issues, assumptions and past issues lend for Corrections Officers to have a bad reputation.  The fact of the matter is, most Corrections Officers do the job of a Police Officer day in and day out with little to no protection or weapon outside of their own bodies, their fists – to protect themselves.  They are the EMT (Emergency Medical Response / Paramedic) on scene, the Fireman to put out fires and the Police Officer with little to no recognition and much less resources than many of those uniformed enforcers have.  They are unrecognized in their job and what they do – day in and day out and many people scoff at what they are because they are ill informed of their daily job or duties.  My husband took an oath to serve a community and protect a population (inmates) and it can often be held against him or his fellow CO’s.  Or, held against me, because I am married to a CO.  The fact of the matter is – Police Officers spend a small portion of time with these criminals, inmates, those that are doing time… only to drop them off at the Correctional Facility where my husband spends his entire day with them until they are released, if they are released.  Again, during this time only protecting himself with his own fists, no weapon to protect himself other than his eyes and his own body.

“He’s a Police Officer, EMT, Fireman all in one!”

I’ve often been asked why my husband doesn’t make appearances as often as he used to on my channel and blog and frankly, it has a lot to do with the safety of our family.  It may seem like it is not a big deal or small sacrifices for great reward but the fact of the matter is – my husband is in a field most people know little about and those that think they know, are assuming or using strong allegation, rumor and no knowledge to judge appropriately.  As a family, a job like this really pulls at the heart strings and waiting as my husband comes home each night safely is one of the hardest things I could have ever experienced as a wife.

We are a strong family that is close and we always have each others back, but something like this can definitely test your strength, your beliefs and your love.  I’ve had sleepless nights, more so now after there have been issues in the modules where my husband has already been injured and I’m sure that this job will continue to weigh on my heart over the years.  I’ve had to explain to our children why their dad could not come home in time to watch a performance, because there are times when there is a lock-down or he is required to work overtime.  I’ve had to fight back tears when my husband comes home to tell me what he had to deal with at work.  I am the protector of my household and children while my husband is away – bearing arms to protect us from dangers and staying strong when I know I just want to fall apart.  But, as a proud wife of a Corrections Officer, I stand tall and thank God for his blessings and for protection over my husband as he continues in his career.  It’s not an easy task, but hey, such is life – right?

If you are a CO’s wife, know that you are not alone.  And while times can get tough and everything and anything will test your strength, there are women like us that are here for support.  Like I mentioned before, I hope to have more of these in the future, so keep an eye out for that.  Even if it’s just something to give you a little guidance or a few words to remind you that you’re not alone, I want to be able to share this with you.

Hold on, have Faith! You are not alone! – Honey

 

It’s Good Friday!  I can’t believe that we are about to be celebrating Easter in a few short days and the boys will be heading back to school after having the last week off with me.  It seems like the time is ticking away.  I know, I know – I say that more often than not, but I can’t help but feel like I’m stuck in an egg timer that speeds up every time I need a moment to really smell the roses.  I’m glad I had this time with the twins all week, though they have absolutely kept me on my toes and I feel like I ran the Boston Marathon.  My eldest was off to Day Camp all week as a part of a program that he takes part in so the twins and I kept each other busy.  Let’s just say there were a lot of books and reading, Legos and food involved, haha!  I also took the twins to the doctor for their yearly physical this week and I was off to the doctor the other day to check on my insides.  I’m kind of over doctors lately – well, I’ve always been… but the stress level has my brain completely consumed as of late – more on that later.  Well, it’s TGIF which means we are just going to enjoy the moments we have the rest of the week… right?

currently, life, love, family, motherhood, twins, boys, spring break 2016

So, here’s what’s going on currently in my life.

Drinking… Water!  Yes, we all know I drink water daily, but after my recent doctor’s appointment that is what I’m kind of stuck with.  Looks like my Gold Card from Starbucks will be taking a backseat in 2016.  Stupid Blood pressure – errrr.

Eating… Well, I wish I were eating a slice of pizza, but since it’s currently breakfast I’m having my green smoothie.  What does it consist of you ask?  Well…  kale, spinach, banana, coconut milk, blueberries and strawberries, almonds and a protein powder additive.

Feeling… Absolutely EXHAUSTED!  It may be because of my blood pressure being sky high lately, but I am spent.  With the boys home on Spring Break, I’m a bit behind on normal blog stuff, YouTube stuff and overall – but hey, I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Listening… Common Kings.  It seems like I have been pulling up their channel on Pandora or Amazon Prime Music a lot lately.  Nothing like some awesome local Hawaii roots to set the mood.

Reading… Well – thankfully I’ve been able to get caught up on some magazines from last month.  I finished a few books in February so I haven’t picked up anything new.  But, I plan to find something interesting and get started on reading something soon.  We’ll see – maybe another Book Talk in the works in a month or so.

Watching… Criminal Minds, Little Women L.A., Bring It, and looking forward to Empire.  Can you believe the last episode of Criminal Minds?  I am still unsure I’ll like the demographic of the team since Derek Morgan will no longer be a part of it… we shall see if I’ll continue watching past this season.  I’m looking forward to the new season of Empire though… man – it couldn’t come quick enough.

Loving… Peasant style tops.  I have been eyeing them a lot lately and it’s been at least two years since I purchased one so I’m really looking into adding some new ones to my wardrobe. I just picked up this one here in black so you may see it featured here in the coming weeks.  You know me, when it comes to clothes – I dance to the beat of my own drum.

Wanting… A beautiful spring season.  I love Spring and it is my favorite time of year but with the weird Vog in the skies, it seems like our breathing and my asthma may not be happy.  I wish for a beautiful spring filled with dew drops and daisies and beautiful weather with light showers to keep our grounds and greenery lush.  I’m not asking for much, am I? lol

Contemplating… Change!  The red of my hair has since faded and I’m kind of over it.  I have been considering going lighter since the grey that graces my locks is really prominent.  We shall see.

Working on… Life!  I realized that over the last few years my blog went from being a lifestyle site to being about beauty and over the last year I have been making a change to make this place a lot more personable.  Yes, it’s taking me some times… especially since I have established so many awesome beauty contacts, but I miss the old Honeygirl’s World and strive to get it back to that place once again in 2016.

Excited for…  Did I mention Empire???  lol J/K.  On the real though, I’m excited to have a four day weekend with my husband and sons, family time truly is the most important.  I’m excited for some Pastele Stew this Easter Sunday – my husband makes it from scratch.  And, I’m excited for where ever 2016 is taking me – so far… just three months in, it has been awesome.

currently, life, love, family, motherhood, twins, boys, spring break 2016
Isaiah & Luke – Spring Break 2016

On the blog this week and YouTube Channel I discussed many different things.  I didn’t get a post up every day this week, but either way – you can check out this week’s wrap up below:

A Day at the Park – Spring Break 2016

New L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Extraordinary Oil Collection – Review

#CURLYHAIRDONTCARE – Nume 5 Year Anniversary | 25mm Classic Wand

Milani EasyBrow Tinted Fiber Gel vs Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow (Video)

currently, life, love, family, motherhood, twins, boys, spring break 2016

So that’s it for the week!  Those of you that are currently on Spring Break, I hope you are having as much fun as I am.  And, those that celebrate Good Friday and/or Easter, I’m sending you many blessings for a wonderful weekend.  I’ll be spending time with my four favorite men in my life… pictured above are three of them.  Have a wonderful weekend and God bless!

“Live Every Moment, Laugh Every Day, Love Beyond Words!” – Unknown

xo

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  Affiliate links are posted through out.

I bet you didn’t know, just by looking at me, that I walk or run a mile to two miles five days a week!  Or that I exercise, workout or I spend lots of time on the elliptical at least 3x a week.  Running or walking is my way of clearing my mind and keeping me motivated, active and allows me to really bring out my creative side and working out, well – it keeps me healthy and helps with my asthma.  A few weeks ago I was in a grocery market when a lady snickered at the fact that I had picked up a pint of ice cream… basically saying… “Are you sure you need to be buying that?”  I let it go, but I then realized that there is such a common misconception that if  you are plus sized, or larger than most that you are obese or overweight.  The fact of the matter is, yes – I could stand to lose about 100 pounds to make myself healthier for my children, my husband and me – but that doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily unhealthy as so many will assume that I am.  Prior to having children, I was a size 8, petite in body with a large bust and behind and after having children certain medical ailments have assisted with my weight gain.  I’m not an over eater, but because of my physique – I often get pegged as “the fat girl”.  I realized a few years ago that while I’m on my journey to get healthy and stay healthy (regardless of my size), many will not see it as such.  So – now I am categorized as a plus sized lady and hey, at this moment in time… it’s who I am and I’m okay with it.  The important thing is that I continue to live a healthy life to the best of my ability – regardless of what the social standards may outline.  Yes, I do have extra baggage on me, but – I do live a reasonably healthy lifestyle.  Today – after giving this topic some thought, I figured it would be a great way to not only share my story but also a few tips that can help you make small changes to your life for a healthy lifestyle.  5 easy, healthy lifestyle changes anyone can make and anyone can do.  Feeling a little frumpy or just feel like you need a boost of endorphins or happy thoughts or need a little pick me up?  These tips are simple, easy and you can do them too.

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Drink more water

This particular tip may seem like a no-brainer, but the fact of the matter is… most people do not consume or drink the recommended 8 glasses of water each day.  I love water and I love that I can add a little bit of lemon to my water and I am hydrated for longer periods.  I’m really good at drinking the recommended amount but if I don’t I make sure I have a trusty timer go off every so often so I do not forget.  Having a bottle with you at all times helps A LOT.  I fill up my Hydroflask with ice and water and take it with me whenever I’m on the go so I always have water available that is cold and refreshing whenever I need it.  Just adding the 8 glasses of water to your daily intake each day will make a huge difference in a healthier lifestyle.

Get up and move, walk your way to healthy

It may seem like it’s no big deal, but walking increases not only your oxygen but also helps in you regulating your breathing.  But, I get it – life can get busy and sometimes you can’t find the time… as a busy mother, I know this all too well.  There are still so many ways to get your walking in.  Park further away from the store, at the back of the parking lot (be careful to watch your surroundings if you are by yourself) and get a little extra walking time in that way.  I hate battling for parking stalls – especially when I’m at places like Costco or Walmart, so I’ll just park far and walk – exercise and a little extra steps are worth it.  You can also park your car at the end of the drive way instead of right near the house.  Since my mailbox is at the bottom of the drive way and we have another house in front of us, I like to walk back and forth to the mailbox a few times if I know I can’t devote any time to walking that day.  And, sometimes walking by yourself is boring… so head to your local big box store like Target, Walmart, etc. and just walk around the store window shopping (if you can avoid the need to make a purchase) and get some walking done there.  Last week while walking around target I clocked over 1200 steps just browsing the store and it didn’t feel like exercise to me.

Got a sweet tooth?  Don’t let it get the best of you

Let’s face it – we all have it… that dreaded sweet tooth that makes us crave those favorite goodies that satisfy our souls.  For me, it can be ice cream, gummy bears or the occasional chocolate.  Thankfully – I am not the type of person that feels the “need” to have them, but I do have my moments.  Instead of letting these things get the best of me, I just don’t keep them around me but I also don’t deprive myself if I have a craving.  The key is moderation and control.  Since I know I like ice cream – I will either replace my ice cream with a frozen smoothie with frozen fruit or make a sorbet and if that really doesn’t work, I will eat some ice cream, but make sure to choose the smallest bowl in the house to serve me in.  Sometimes all we need is the taste on our tongue to satisfy that craving and a little of it will go a long way.  Also – stock your house with fruits, when you want that snack – have a small bowl of fruit and you will be amazed at how fast it will curb that craving.

Stop drinking soda or try to eliminate it the best you can

I never drank soda growing up and once I was really introduced to the taste of it in my early 20s, it was hard to ignore.  I’m a Pepsi girl and my husband and I both enjoy Pepsi soda as well (who do you think introduced it to me? haha).  It was a hard one to battle and while we don’t stock soda in our house, we still treat ourselves from time to time.  I NEED soda with Pizza.  I know, I know – no one needs soda… but it’s something I look forward to when I have a piece of pie to eat.  So if we really find the need, my husband and I will share a can of it together.  That way – we get the flavor, the satisfaction and we are not stuck with a huge case of it in our house and feel the need to drink it all.  We can go a whole year without it and then one day, we find the need to taste the yummy, sugary carbonated flavor we enjoy and we’ll treat ourselves.  If you can quit cold turkey – do it… if not, just try eliminating it to the best of your ability until you don’t find the need for it any longer.

Get up – stand up, stand up for your life!

As someone who works from home, I can find myself on the computer for hours at a time trying to work on campaigns, type out posts, answering emails… etc.  Like with any job, the time can get away with you when you have a deadline or are busy working.  But, you should always remember that it’s important to get up once in a while, stand and stretch – walk away from your desk.  This will not only allow you to take a breather, maybe have a second to gather your thoughts, but also stretch those muscles and move.  Standing up is so important to help in the blood flow of your body and it also helps to give you a little boost of energy that you may be needing after sitting a while.

While this is just a starter list, there are so many more things you can do to make a healthy lifestyle change.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to do and it shouldn’t make you feel like you are dreading it each day.  Living a healthy lifestyle could mean that you are getting an extra 10 minutes of walking in, each day or you cut out your favorite junk food.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and things take time.  These steps and tips are there to help you be more confident in your choices.  If I can do them, well – you certainly can too.  Remember, a little at a time and you’ll see a change.  Also – if you are in the same boat as I am, know that no one can make you feel terrible – but yourself.  Have faith, think positive and know that I’m cheering you on.  A healthy lifestyle isn’t about killing yourself at the gym or starving yourself… it’s about being healthy so you can live life.  Good luck!

Like posts like these?  It’s been a while since I have done these types but I promise there will be a lot more coming soon.  😉

xo

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased.  I was not paid to provide my thoughts and this post is not sponsored.

Each year in the Fall, my family and I have journeyed up to the local Pumpkin Patch at the Kula Country Farms to choose out the perfect pumpkin for carving.  This year was no exception and the family enjoyed their time there as we always do so we wanted to share with you the fun and excitement.  The Kula Country Farms located on the slopes of beautiful Haleakala on the island of Maui turns it’s grounds into a fun Pumpkin Patch and Fall Extravaganza with corn mazes, garden games and fun for the entire family.  For the last 4 years my family and I have ventured on over to the patch to spend a few hours enjoying the animals, buying fresh Maui grown produce and of course – picking our own pumpkins.  Today I share with you one of our Family Adventures.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

Let’s face it – living on Maui has its perks and benefits because frankly, we are living in Paradise.  But, it can often mean that we are left without the resources that other towns can offer.  So when the Kula Country Farms started the annual pumpkin patch a few years back, my family and I have taken part in it each year.  There have been many changes and improvements to the patch this year, including a new parking lots that allows for easier parking for families so that they are not limited to parking on a very busy street.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

The pumpkin selections are far and wide in between, giving you the choice to choose a really large pumpkin or something small for coloring and painting.  Prices of the pumpkins range from $5 – $20 depending on the size and my family tends to pick up a pumpkin for each of us to carve or decorate as we see fit.  The location is HUGE – offering a wide variety of activities for your family from picking your own pumpkin to taking part in the corn maze and everything in between.  The boys look forward to swinging on the tire swings (while you can see this up year round) and taking part in any fun age appropriate activities for kids.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

The boys absolutely love seeing the chickens that roam the grounds freely and the ponies / miniature horses that they can pet and feed.  There is also a huge bunny that has been there for years for the children to befriend.  This year we decided that we would take the time to not only choose our perfect pumpkin, but also spend some time checking out the vendors that were stationed up at the farm.  There was a kettle corn vendor that made the kettle corn fresh while we were there (you could smell the chocolate through out the farm) and different food vendors that sold plate lunches and snacks through out.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

The farm was pretty busy on the Saturday we chose to visit.  Cars were parked up and down the street and since I now have a small car, we were able to find a parking spot along the road side.  There were children everywhere, examining all of the fun activities and my boys absolutely enjoyed their time there.  If you are planning to visit the farm in time for Halloween pumpkin carving, I suggest going early in the month of October.  With the weather here in Hawaii being pretty warm, some of the pumpkins were already starting to rot (such a bummer) and last minute pumpkin pickers are scrambling for the perfect find.  We visited at the beginning of October and found that there was a huge selection of pumpkins to choose from, with many different sizes and types.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

My husband picked me up the perfect pumpkin for carving and Kevin Ka’eo chose his pumpkin for his first year of carving on his own.  The twins each chose little pumpkins that they decided they would later paint.  We all hiked the pumpkins up the hill to pay for them and finish off our family adventure for the day.  The pumpkin fields can be dirty and dusty and sometimes icky but seriously, the look on these boys faces each year as they find the choice pumpkin for the holiday are priceless.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

Some of the flowers were in bloom at the farm as well, which was an incredible site.  If you know anything about me… then you know that sunflowers are some of my favorite flowers and I look forward to seeing them.  They scream Fall to me which is one of my favorite seasons.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

Since my husband has a pretty crazy work schedule sometimes and we are constantly busy, we are always looking for opportunities for family time.  With the holidays right around the bend, our daily lives can keep us on our toes so having a fun day like we did definitely helps us to make memories that will last a lifetime.  Our annual visit to the Kula Country Farms Pumpkin Patch is the beginning of our Holiday Family moments and reminds me that family – no matter how big or small, is something to cherish.

What are some of your Fall family traditions? Do you visit a pumpkin patch with your family to pick the perfect pumpkin?  Happy Fall!

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  All products, etc. were purchased by me with my own money.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

With our World ever changing and the seasons flying past us with a blink of an eye, it seems like we can never be too prepared for what comes ahead.  My husband and I have our fair share and then some of aches and ailments and I’m always worried that when the time comes should we need to take time off of work due to surgery or injuries, that we are never fully prepared for such an event.  My husband suffers from an injury to his spinal chord and there is a possibility that he may need a spinal fusion sometime in the future.  Along with an injury he has to his wrist, we are always looking at the challenges we’ll have to face with and without short term disability insurance and how it could benefit us in the long run.  Between the much needed protection that we will need for ourselves and our family, there are so many reasons why we look at outside insurance for assistance.  One important reason for us is not only protection, but also so that we have a little something that can help us – especially since we have our three littles.

Falling In Fall - Be Protected With Aflac Short Term Disability

Short Term Disability Insurance can benefit anyone and let’s face it, there are those “rainy days” we can’t avoid and accidents we have no control over.  While the insurance through our employers may be beneficial for our needs, there can always be situations we have no control over where an outside insurance will help us out.  Today I’m going to share with you a little about Aflac’s Short Term Disability Insurance and their Fall 2015 Open Enrollment.

Aflac Logo

For most U.S. companies, fall marks open enrollment season, a time when workers can review their employer-sponsored benefits offerings and choose the health insurance policies that best meet their financial and health care needs.   Selecting the right health care benefits may be one of the most important decisions Americans will make all year (for my family it surely is) and an Aflac survey found that many workers do very little research to learn which plans and products really work best for them.  In fact, 34 percent of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options in 2014.  Those who don’t set aside time to research their insurance options often end up with inadequate health care protection for themselves and their families.

Let’s face it, you have absolutely no idea when you’ll need insurance to fall back on or rely on.  There may be a time when you’ll need to take care of yourself or a loved one – especially if you have a family and you may need the extra help.  It’s a smart decision to have insurance there to help you during a time when you need it most.  When an unforeseen medial event occurs, many people are often faced with paying copayments, deductibles or treatment costs not covered by major medical insurance, as well as other daily living expenses – all while paying increasing health insurance premiums.  According to a recent Aflac survey, 66 percent of workers would not be able to adjust to the large financial costs associated with a serious injury or illness, and 49 percent have less than $1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses.  Voluntary policies, which complement major medical coverage, are specifically designed to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses that can be associated with an unexpected illness or injury.  In addition, the cash benefits can be used to help pay rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses that continue to roll in even if someone is too sick or injured to work.

Many people mistakenly believe that the Social Security Administration will provide adequate financial assistance if they become disabled, but that’s not true in all cases.  In fact, more than 59 percent of disability claims are denied by the Social Security Administration.

  • In addition, workers’ compensation only covers on-the-job injuries and disabilities, and considering that off-the-job injuries are three times more common than on-the-job injuries, having disability insurance can help you avoid devastating financial situations resulting from an unexpected accident that may leave you unable to work.1
  • Short-Term Disability insurance pays a percentage of your income if you are unable to work due to a covered illness or injury. Benefits are paid directly to you, unless otherwise assigned, to help cover things like deductibles, car payments, utility bills and more.
  • Those who should consider this product –
    1. Parents with young children and/or other dependents.
    2. Those who agree they should take better care of their health (feel stressed or need more sleep and a better diet).

Falling In Fall - Be Protected With Aflac Short Term Disability

While selecting the right insurance can be intimidating, it’s best to be prepared.  Aflac offers a variety of different insurance options for you like Accident, Cancer, Hospital and Life Insurance.  Aflac also offers short term disability and you have options that are available to help relieve some of the stress from those unexpected life changes and events that may occur.  With a growing family and my husband in a law enforcement field, there are so many things that can occur that can change our lives in a heartbeat.  You can never be too prepared and helping relieve some of that worry could be beneficial for you and your family.   Take a look at Aflac’s Fall 2015 Open Enrollment and see if there is something that could be beneficial for you.

Signature Honey

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

SELF PURCHASED / AFFILIATE LINKS

 

If you follow me on Snapchat, you may have heard or seen that I traded in my Escalade for a newer car this past weekend.  My husband and I have had several vehicles over the course of the last 18 years or so, so we have had experience in purchasing new and used vehicles but today I’m going to share with you my experiences and a few tips with getting a car of your own.  If you have been following me a while – you may know that I used to drive a Cadillac Escalade ESV – the largest of the Cadillac Fleet.  I’ve had this car for about five years and while I loved it and am thankful that it protected my family as long as it did, my husband and I felt that it was time to get something that was more economical and easier on gas costs.  Prior to purchasing our Escalade, I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mazda 3 so I have driven small cars before.  But, I’m not gonna lie, switching from one to the other and after driving a very large SUV for so long – finding the right car can be a challenge.

From a Large Car to a Compact - Buying a Car With Aloha Kia Maui

My husband Kevin and I have gone back and forth looking at both new and used vehicles at different lots and settled on Aloha Kia because the customer service rating was high and my husband had a friend that worked there.  We have purchased cars from three different dealerships in the past, Aloha Kia being the fourth and the process at Aloha Kia was quick and easy so I would definitely suggest it.  Since we traded in my Cadillac, the choice to buy a new or used car was something we needed to figure out.  Our goal was to eliminate as much of a monthly payment, or none at all when purchasing the vehicle – so we opted for a used, but newer car.  I drove several at the dealership, but we decided that the 2013 Mazda 3 Touring Edition was the best choice for me.  I was comfortable with the Mazda, having owned a 2008 Mazda 3 prior to my Escalade and my husband owns a Mazda 3 now.  I’m not gonna lie – I like that we have “his and hers” cars and it’s kind of cute that we each have the same vehicle, just different years and colors.

From a Large Car to a Compact - Buying a Car With Aloha Kia Maui

As I mentioned, the process was easy and painless.  Let’s face it – trying to buy a car, test drive it, fill out paperwork and all the other things in between can be a challenge with children, especially young ones.  My husband and I had all three boys with us that day and they were entertained and Aloha Kia worked with us quickly so we could be in and out.  Our sales person – Lance, was very polite, quick and knew what he was talking about.  Aloha Kia also has a waiting room for their customers with toys, a television, books, magazines, coffee and water which made it easy to keep the boys (the twins especially) entertained.

Since my husband and I have been through this process before, we knew to be prepared with any information that we thought was needed.  Between the test drive of several vehicles, discussing the price point, getting our Cadillac appraised and then working with the finance manager (his name was Jay and made the process easy as well) – which was quick and painless, the process was a breeze.  Past purchases of vehicles took most of the day – we were in and out in about two hours, maybe less.

From a Large Car to a Compact - Buying a Car With Aloha Kia Maui

While our experience was pretty simple, I can remember what it was like to buy a car on my own in my early 20’s not have any idea as to what to do.  Here are a few simple tips for you to make this process as simple and painless as possible:

1.  Decide whether a new or used car will work for you.  Figure out what you can afford financially prior to going down to the dealership so you are equipped with the information you need to help you buy your car.

2.  Use the internet and research the dealership you are going to be visiting.  Do they have positive reviews, negative reviews, issues, etc?  Visit Yelp and see what other customers have said about the business and the employees or sales people.  You want to be comfortable, not intimidated and most the time reviews on Yelp will let you know if you are walking into vultures before you even get there.

3.  If you are interested in trading in a vehicle you already own, make sure to look up the KBB or Kelly Blue Book Value on the car so you are armed with information and a price you can ask for trade-in value.  This goes for buying new or used cars as well… look up the KBB Value so you can use this information to negotiate with the sales or finance person you are working with.  Again – the key is to be prepared so you are not caught off guard or left vulnerable.  Also – many dealerships now offer free Carfax reports in person or via their online site on used cars.  So be sure to check out that report prior to going in to buy the car – then you’ll be prepared with important info that you may need to buy.

4.  Take someone with you when you decide to go down and start the buying process.  Often times having a spouse or a friend/relative with you while going through the process will not make it seem so intimidating.

5.  If trading in your vehicle for something else – don’t forget the following documents:  Current Registration, Current Safety-check and Title of Ownership for your vehicle.  The process can all be done in one visit if you have all of this info with you.

6.  While at the dealership – if for any reason you feel uncomfortable with your salesman, do not hesitate to ask for another or speak with the manager or supervisor.  Sometimes salesmen can be a bit pushy.  I tend to aggressive when people get that way with me, but not everyone is like me… so if you don’t feel comfy – move on to the next sales person or dealership.  Follow your gut and stand your ground.

7.  Test drive that car for as far as you need to in order to get the feel of the car and if it is right for you.  Remember, some people keep their vehicles on average between 6 to 15 years so make sure it drives like you want it to, that is has enough room for you and that it fits your needs.  Put it to the test.

8.  Verify all warranty options on both new and used cars before committing to buy.  Will the warranty work for you and your lifestyle.  Also check to see what your options are for oil change, flat tires, etc.

9.  Before going into the dealership – be sure to check your credit score.  Credit Karma offers you free credit scores and is a site I use to verify my credit score often.  This way you can push for the best possible rate when negotiating price and interest rate and will have an idea as to whether or not you need a down payment to reduce your monthly payment if not buying outright.

10.  The key to an easy purchase is to be prepared.  Whether you are buying a car for the first time or have done this many times before, the more information you have to arm yourself in this journey, the easier the process for you.  Remember, they need to work with you and your terms.  If you don’t like how you are treated or what is happening, you have the right to walk away and find another dealership.

From a Large Car to a Compact - Buying a Car With Aloha Kia Maui

So – we finalized our purchase and picked up a 2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Sedan with a 2.0L 4 Cylinder 6 Speed Automatic with black interior.  It’s a four door which fits my family perfectly and is in the color Graphite Mica.  It comes with a push button start (which is taking me some getting used to), Bluetooth streaming (which I love) and satellite radio.  Hands free phone options for calling, answering and more – which is a great safety feature and I also love that it has most of the bells and whistles that my Escalade had, is comfy cozy and fast.  I’m definitely looking forward to zoom zooming around in my new set of wheels.  I love it and it’s nice paying $35 for a full tank of gas instead of $70 – $100 (or more sometimes) with my Escalade.  The car interior is spotless for a used car – it literally looks showroom ready and the mileage is very low.  While I will certainly miss my Escalade and I do miss being in a larger vehicle, I am enjoying my newer car.

I’m truly lucky in that I have a husband that pretty much sacrifices everything for me and our boys so while this purchase was a last minute decision, we still had to ensure that it was financially sound.  Aloha Kia also helped in making the process so easy and painless and I’m thankful that the people there made our purchase quick and simple.  Buying your next car or an additional car should never be a task, but exciting!

I am definitely enjoying my newer car and love how it drives.  While I do miss my Escalade (as I have all my other vehicles in the past) I’m very happy with our purchase.  This car is easy on the eyes and a great car.  This is the 3rd Mazda 3 we’ve owned and we are loving it.

“Thanks babe for always taking care of me! xo”

Signature Honey

 

Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored in anyway.  The car was purchased by my husband and I with our own money.  This is an informational post and all opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

 

 

Thirsty Thursday - Chit Chat, Weight Loss and Gain

Click here to watch this week’s Thirsty Thursday episode on YouTube.

I can’t believe how fast this week went by and thankfully the boys are all off of school tomorrow due to a Statehood Day.  Today I share with you my Thirsty Thursday episode and there is a lot to talk about.  Lately I’ve been experiencing an increase in weight gain and I’m not sure what is going on.  Considering that I have changed my diet and exercise – I’m hoping that everything is okay with my body and overall health.  I’ve been in the reminiscing mood lately so I pulled up some old vlogs from the last few years and it just reminds me how important it is to document life.  I can’t believe how fast the boys have grown and I’m thankful to have those memories to fall back on.  Basically, it’s just me in my relaxed state hanging out and chit chatting so come say hi.  Video below.

Happy Thirsty Thursday!
xo

Signature Honey

Happy Sunday Love bugs.  I’m stopping in to say hi a bit, but I also really want to start blogging daily (if at all possible) and I miss my Sunday Letters posts.  Yesterday I started a weird aching pain in my ear, near the cartilage that seems to force itself into my ear and half of my head.  It’s kind of an odd pressure but it has been causing me some crucial migraines today since waking up this morning.  Because of this, I got a terribly late start and I’m not too happy about that… because that means, things on my “To Do” list have really taken a back seat today.

So how is everyone doing today and how was your weekend?  There are so many things happening this week and I’m very excited for them.  While today was super hot and humid and muggy, I am looking forward to cooler weather this Fall.  Hawaii doesn’t really experience season changes and unfortunately we don’t have leaves that really change colors as Autumn approaches (that makes me sad), but you can certainly feel the difference in the breeze and chill factor.  This coming weekend my husband and I make 17 years together as a couple… our “Going Out” or “Dating” anniversary.  We don’t have anything planned because his week at work is pretty hectic, but nonetheless, I’m excited for the day.  And, Grey’s Anatomy’s new season is just days away… trust me when I say this ex Medical Surgical Tech can’t wait to watch all the drama unfold. lol

I also have been seeing all the rave for the new iPhones, lol.  I own a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and I’ve had it now for almost two years and my phone is still going strong with no problems.  I have a lot of iPhone friends, but I think I’ll stick with the original “piece of toast” phone… and know that when it’s time to upgrade, I’ll be sticking with another Android phone, probably another Samsung.  I know that people have their favorites, but I have never been a fan of iPhone or iTunes… I’m Pro Android all the way. lol  Just figured I’d throw that in.  If you are a friend of mine that loves iphone, I have nothing against ya. lol j/k

The Annual Pumpkin Patch should be in full swing soon, so I know you’ll be seeing some photos of us there when we take the boys.  I’m excited!  The twins will be visiting the patch with their classmates for Pre-school, but every year we take them to pick our carving pumpkin.  I can’t wait to go.  🙂

Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend and wishing you a fabulous rest of your week!

xo

I’m sure you’ve seen it all over social media… and many of my friends and readers have stopped in to send their birthday wishes (for that I thank you), but I really wanted to round up the Twins birthday anyhow, since it seems that I’ve been slacking in the personal department on my blog lately.  On Monday, (September 8th) Luke and Isaiah turned into 5  year olds.  I’m not gonna lie, I cried and bawled my eyes out as I do each and every year my children have a birthday (all of my children, including Kevin who will be 11 in January) lol.  Let’s face it, I’m an emotional wreck when milestones are reached, but proud to look back at all of the accomplishments.

Luke & Isaiah's Birthday

So – the twins packed up some goodie bags for their classmates and my hubby and I made our way to their classroom to celebrate their birthdays.  Their teacher took our photo where the boys were adorned in their birthday crown and a few leis (ya know it’s a Hawaii Tradition, right? lol).  They spent the rest of the day with their friends and after school let out – we went to an early birthday dinner… the twins chose Genki Sushi (since they love Sushi) and then ended the evening with some games at Fun Factory.  I have to admit – I am always amazed at how much they have grown, literally right before our eyes.  It seems like just yesterday that I gave birth to them.

Luke & Isaiah's Birthday

On September 8, 2009 I gave birth to two wonderful little guys… but the road through pregnancy and the day I gave birth was quite a journey.  Twins run in my family (both my mom and my dad have twins in their families) and in my husband’s (both his mom and his dad have twins in their families), so while we knew it was a possibility – we didn’t really think it would ever happen to us.  My pregnancy was difficult – I lost 63 lbs through out the time I carried the twins in my womb… I weighed less at the time I gave birth than I did when I found out I was pregnant (this happened when I was pregnant with my eldest as well), and because of this – I was sick through most of the 7 1/2 months I carried the twins.  My iron levels were so low, but the doctors had to give me a vitamin supplement that would not make me so sick – because I lost so much weight, increasing my iron would make me much more sick.  Because the twins shared a placenta, I was monitored closely and was considered a “high risk” pregnancy because I was carrying multiples, but also high risk because of Preeclampsia and not to mention I wasn’t gaining any weight but losing a lot of it.  On the day I gave birth to my beautiful baby boys, I actually went in for a Pre-Op appointment (since my cesarean was scheduled a few days later), but was rushed to emergency surgery because my doctor had feared that I would have a stroke or heart attack in the middle of the night (before giving birth) and would not live through the evening if I didn’t have my children within a few hours.  To say I was afraid and scared would be an understatement… but my thought was that I needed to make sure my twins would be okay.

twins

It’s funny to look back at that day, knowing I had so many emotions built up inside and not knowing the road ahead would also be a challenge.  After the birth of the twins (which was a miracle in its own), I dealt with severe Postpartum depression.  I didn’t think it was that bad, but I couldn’t shake the sadness in my mind and because of this, my doctor requested that my husband resign as a Police Recruit to stay home and take care of me until I had gotten though the rough patch in it all.  Mind you… it’s now five years later and I still deal with postpartum depression (off and on over the years) so my emotional craziness is a whirl wind and roller coaster all wrapped up in one.  But, they say that if you walk by faith, not by sight… that God will guide you through, and here we are today.

Luke & Isaiah's birthday

Since one birthday in a year is never enough… on Tuesday, while out running errands as a family, we decided to have some dinner at Ruby’s Diner (more on our experience in a later post) and the twins were once again honored for their special day.  We will also be hosting a small family gathering at our house on Sunday and I’ll be sure to post updates here when the busy day is done.

So, I bet you didn’t think you would be getting such an earful worth of information by reading this post… lol but honestly, while we celebrate birthdays each and every year, I’m so thankful to also be celebrating life.  To say I’m thankful each and every day for these little guys and their big brother Kevin would be an understatement because thankful doesn’t even cover the feelings I experience inside.  Love… that would be the best possible word to describe it.  I had no idea that when I got pregnant with Luke & Isaiah, that all of this would have happened in my life… but I wouldn’t change any of it for anything else in the whole World so long as we have our babies.

Happy Birthday Twinnies!  May your lives be filled with an endless amount of love and joy and may God bless you always.

Signature Honey

 

 

Rose photo - Quote
Photo by HoneyXO – honeygirlsworld

If you have been keeping tabs on me over the last couple of weeks, you’ll know that it has been such a trying time on myself and my family – having lost a few loved ones, dealing with sickness and planning for other things.  I’m not going to lie, I think the word “Challenge” is short of what has happened this past month.  But nonetheless, I know that things happen and while we don’t plan to deal with it, sometimes we just have to take it all in stride.   Here’s what I say to it all… remember to love your family and be thankful that they are in your life.  Know that with any downfall, there is always something wonderful right behind that.

So – on a positive note… everyone in my immediate family seems to have gotten over their colds. Yippee!  I took the twins in to get their flu shots since they have been sick off an on pretty frequently since the new year started.  I know there are many out there that do not agree with shots, but it’s always worked for my family – no side effects in sight and I will continue to give it to them until I feel otherwise.  I’m glad they finally got it… along with their annual shots with their physical they received last week.  There was a measles outbreak on the other island next to us, so I didn’t want to take any chances.

In a few short weeks my eldest starts Basketball Season.  He’s so excited.  He didn’t play last year and really missed it.  He is really good at the game and I know he’s looking forward to playing with his new and old teammates.  I’m excited too because while he’s practicing it will give me the opportunity to take the twins to the park and get some walking in.  I’m always on my journey to losing more weight – so it’s always a great thing to find extra opportunities to get some cardio in my day.

So – my quick update was just to fill everyone in on what is going on.  At the end of the day, no matter all the difficulty and troubles… sometimes we have to stop and remember to smell the roses!  Through all of our trials and challenges, we can all often forget all the little things that make us smile – like getting over colds, an upcoming Sport season, working out or just enjoying life with your family.  Wishing you all a wonderful rest of your week.

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