the best things in life are free...


"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."
- Bhagavad-gita Ch. 9 Text 26

I'm pretty simple in my approach to spiritual life.
I enjoy reading Krishna books but you'll hardly ever catch me remembering verses from scripture, let alone quoting them! But this simple verse is one I have remembered since childhood for the simple fact it is everything to me.

The thing about spiritual life that I find most wonderful is it has nothing to do with the material value of something that I can give, it is all about the love in which I give it.
Whatever I have is enough if I can offer it with care to sweet Krishna. 

 My voice doesn't have to be beautiful to sing the names of Krishna, and still His names sound so sweet.
The food I make doesn't always look the most appetizing, but we do our best and try to offer it with love and He accepts it. 

 I like to be able to buy Krishna flowers, but when I see my son's putting in their best effort and offering Him wonkilly strung flowers, I know there is more wonderfulness in that offering than any flowers I could have brought Him. Because as that one little verse that I hold so dear often reminds me, Krishna only cares about our love.
And we can love Krishna, it costs us nothing. and it gives us everything.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike


Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike (Hawaii Kai),  is a pretty great little family hike!
I have done this one when the boys were a little smaller and just stayed on the main paved trail, it has amazing views at the top. A nice little family hike for all ages.
But now that my boys are a little older and way more adventurous then me (thanks to lots of hiking adventures with dad) I went for the first time off the main trail down along the ridge and was lots of fun to have another place to explore.
Here's a few pics of our family adventure!
Please let me know if you do this one! I'd love to know what part you explored.

 Kishan spotted these little flowers too! they came home in his pocket for Krishna.
 the view from the top of the main paved trail, this is the point we veered off to the right to follow the trail down along the ridge.
 At this exact spot I hailed all the boys to stop for a family photo (they will thank me one day right?)

 No exageration the only two pics I managed to get before they were off down the trail again. I've learnt to give up on the dream of perfect posed family pics, my life is about messy hair and disorganization, so may as well embrace it :)
 "come on mum"

 This photo doesn't do it justice at all, this view is amazing. At this point you can either come back the way you came or loop around. We were on a bit of a time crunch and only went as far as this ridge... which I love because this leaves another place to explore next time!
 on our way back...

 On the way back down the main paved path again. I love the contrast of the views! But as pretty as this is, you can't beat that ocean vista!

Hike address: 
7455 Kalaniana 'ole Hwy
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Park
Honolulu, HI 96815
Hawaii Kai

Appearance day of Lord Chaitanya


Our morning together with Krishna, celebrating the appearance day of Lord Chaitanya who appeared just after sunset on February 18th 1486 in Mayapur within the city of Navadvip.

"His exquisite complexion was the color of sandalwood paste. His expansive breast was decorated with a gently swaying wild-flower garland and His radiant, moon-like face was pleasing, cooling and comforting. His elongated arms reached down to His knees. Sounds of victory and praise permeated all directions and the earth felt especially blessed at the advent of Lord Chaitanya."
Chaitanya-bhagavat Adi-lila Ch 2.

I was wondering how to add chanting to my slide show, and when I realized it was beyond my current skill set (coming soon thanks to google) I started looking for some music to add, when I saw this track called "all the way home" I didn't even have to hear it to know it was the one for me. That's what we do, we gaze and chant to Krishna all the way home! His names and beautiful form keep us transfixed on our inner journey all the way back home to Him.

Sweet Krishna 

Friendship Garden Trail


Friendship Garden Trail - First Lookout

So firstly if you ever see me recommend a hike you can betcha that its beginner level - that's my happy place! :D
We have started making Fridays - Hikedays! Because its the only day that works with our busy work schedule, so as long as I'm motivated (eep) you can expect hiking pictures incoming!

Friendship Garden (linked to the homepage)
Great little family hike! Not too long at all, took us about an hour total but we dawdled at the first lookout (imagine me finding a branch to hang my camera on and trying and boss my family to let me take a group shot, but look at those little flushed cheeks! totally worth it!)

Its really easy going up till the first lookout and beautiful view (first pic bellow) then if you want to go up to the second lookout it can get pretty muddy, and there's sections of long (itchy) grass, but pretty satisfying and made me feel hard core (lol) its only a small section of the trail and can easily stop at the first lookout if you have small feet in your crew.
Happy we did this short trail, and would recommend it for a quick little family adventure like ours!

Friendship garden trail kaneohe
view from the first lookout
the second section of the trail - the part you can avoid.
The main trail - its all pretty straightforward like this until the first lookout. 
Until next time! 

Honolulu here we come!


It might sound funny to say a trip to Honolulu is an outing for us considering we live on Oahu! But as life with two boys and a hubby who would much rather climb a mountain or go swimming it doesn't actually happen that often! 

But every so often we get itchy feet for a bit of a romp around the city, checking out all the shops, visiting Alo Moana shopping Center and spending too much money, then come home more exhausted then any other outing we do! 

This trip was actually on my 12 wedding anniversary! (yikes!!!) one guess who chose shopping.
Our pit stop at Banan was a hundred percent for the boys .. ok maybe a bit for all of us.

A dead give away how often we go to Alo Moana Center, we relied on this map to get anywhere!

I couldn't keep up with their one pointed focus on getting to the Lego Store... 

Why I kept lagging behind..  all these shops to peek into.  How cool are these vintage sewing machines!
Top floor of Alo Moana Shopping Center

hehe Such a unique sense of style! Kishan LOVES his "braces"

Banan Bowls food truck in Honolulu. look at their yummy desserts!

I admit I didn't actually have one! but they all looked amazing. I wondered off for a bit so managed to miss getting a pic of when the cups were all full, but happy to find a guilt free treat stop for the kids.

Christmas Baking


Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

I hadn't planned to make Christmas cookies this year, but when Kahna begged and even produced a recipe for me, how could I refuse? ... and I'm so glad I didn't, and I can even say that with the kitchen cleanup still fresh in my memory.
Both my boys love to help in the kitchen, they would never think to poor themselves cereal for breakdast but will bust out piles of flour (imagine the mess that comes with that) and create a pizza from scratch, maybe just to keep me scratching my head.

Kahna's main motivation in wanting to make Christmas cookies was he wanted to give them to the neighbors and our post lady (coz we might have the nicest postal lady everrrr)
Then he decided to be shy when it came to delivering them and hid behind his brother shoving him forward with the wrapped goodies. What a duo!

Kahna had this genius idea to use his shate gloves to stir the huge bowl of cookie dough, said it made it a cinch! 

we found the trick to getting them up easily without damaging the shape was to have the perfect amount of flour down, not too much and not too little!

Impressed with their own work :D

Toothpicks worked well for drawing icing details.

Colorful cookies!
They chose their favorite looking cookies to offer to Krishna Christmas morning!       MERRY CHRISTMAS!