A ways up the road from our magnificent shave ice shop, amidst vast offerings of free homegrown Kona coffee tastings we encountered a phenomenal farm - also offering Kona coffee! - that completely struck us. Farm animals had become a favorite roadside attraction for us ever since our lost drive where we encountered the anti social cows on the hillside, but these animals were simply epic, plain and simple. There were the most amazing long horn steer, bison, and even an actual zebra! I think we must have stared in disbelief for some time that there was a zebra on the other side of the fence, just off the road. It was completely surreal. We parked and hopped out of the car and found a jovial man pouring food over the fence. He turned out to be the owner of the farm and was at the end of the daily feeding. He was kind enough to let us chat with him for several minutes and take tons of photographs of his beasts. It may seem a simple, unforgettable event, but sometimes the simple things are the most beautiful, and memorable.
(Most docile, beautiful creature) (Lunchtime) (Zebra!!!) (Did I ever mention my zebra obsession?No?)
By this time we had fully committed to stopping wherever the impulse struck us, and a few miles down the road we made an abrupt U-turn after catching a glimpse of a sign offering fresh Hawaiian sweet bread. We had grown up eating store bought Hawaiian bread and the chance to try freshly baked bread while in the Hawaiian islands was simply too much to pass up. While rather unassuming from the road, the bake shop was incredible once you turned in! It was lush and very neo-colonial and the smell was unearthly! The aroma that came from the ovens, which were in full view, were incredible. It had begun to rain a bit and the warmth of the fresh bread was absolutely perfect. We found some sweets to bring home to the mainland, adopted some plush companions for the children, and tried Taro bread for the first time, which was an instant and universal favorite - and also was devoured before any photographs could be taken!
(Punalu'u Bake Shop) (You could watch the bread being baked in the windows on the right...) (Bakeries are awesome) (Koi pond and miniature waterfalls on the bakery grounds) (Gazebo)
With our bellies full of warm, sweet, treats and our bags packed with delicacies for later we headed toward our most anticipated destination of the day: the Punalu'u black sand beach. We reached the beach effortlessly and it was breathtaking. Absolutely the most serene, exquisite place in the world. The shoreline is remarkable. Clouds had rolled in and made everything all that much more beautiful. The winds were calm and the rain abated allowing us to stay for some time at the water's edge. It was without question one of the most exquisite moments of our stay on the island.
(Roadside view on the way to the beach) (At the beach) (Black sand - amazing) (Shells) (After wading in the ocean) (iPhone snapshot)
After a long stay at the beach we realized that we had a few options as we had made fairly good time considering our random pit-stops along the way... we could either return the way we came and head back to the resort early, or we could venture into Volcanoes National Park... the decision was fairly easily reached. National Park it was. According to our trusty map the Volcano Museum was open well into the evening so we headed out with a new and exciting destination. We reached the park grounds after dark, but immediately was greeted with a glowing red plume of smoke which excited us more than you could imagine - there was a small active eruption at the crater nearest to the Museum and we couldn't wait to see it in person. It had dissipated a bit by the time we made our way down the dark and dimly lit winding path to the viewing area, but what we did see was incredible. It was nothing short of spiritual. The lava flying through the air and bubbling out from the earth was a compelling and majestic reminder that this world of ours is alive, changing, always in flux. These islands we were on were formed in moments like this, and every beautiful thing here owed a debt to a volcano. A searing life force bubbling up from the center of the earth, visible for all to see, completely awe inspiring.
(The crater, lava, and sulphur plume) (At the museum) (Hawaiian history and lore mural) (Learning) (Museum lava rock)
Had it not been so cold at the crater I would have begged to stay all night, but the little ones were hungry and there was no food in sight. The relatively large city of Hilo was under an hour away, and we set our sights on exploring that town by moonlight and hopefully finding some new and fantastic place to dine. It turns out we've been a bit jaded by living in Los Angeles, as we expected there to be a plethora of options waiting to greet us in Hilo! We were sorely mistaken. We luckily found a family restaurant open in the historic building on Main Street and sat down with much anticipation. The children both fell asleep halfway through their meal, exhausted from their day and after dinner we wearily headed home, filled with memories that will surely never leave any of us.
(Cafe Pesto - our dining choice of desperation!) (Enormous calamari) (Long day) (Too much fun) (Home away from home)
I am so completely obsessed with this song by Muse. It's ridiculous. I'm even listening to it as I write this. So good it's heart stopping. It's as if Muse somehow channeled Depeche Mode at their most goth and then amped it up to 11. I'm slowly realizing that I think I might totally adore this band.
Just listed a brand new cameo cuff in the shop! This one is really striking and absolutely perfect for Valentine's Day! Crimson red suede with a romantic porcelain cameo. We're in love with this one, the colors are so striking together, and it's just simple enough to be extremely versatile and not too over the top! Wonder who the lucky girl will be who ends up with this one!
Learning a lesson from the previous morning's failed breakfast adventure we decided to play it safe and ring In Room Dining. Best. Idea. Ever. Our meal was absolutely incredible, delicious beyond words, and was set out for us on linens on our private little patio. It was so wonderful to be able to simply walk a few steps outside your room and have a completely satisfying and utterly amazing meal, and then have it all courteously whisked away for you! Needless to say this became our morning routine for the duration of our stay!
(Macadamia nut stuffed french toast) (Most perfect bagel with cream cheese) (Mmmmm) (Miniature versions of my most favorite jam!) (Holy grail of breakfast foods - the perfect eggs benedict)
After indulging in this amazing feast we headed out for the day, this time far more prepared and virtually married to the iPhone we so foolishly ignored previously. Our first destination of the day was a bit of a whim - but completely exceeded our expectations. I had heard some interesting things about the St. Benedict Painted Church, but was not in any way expecting the beautiful and almost surreal atmosphere that existed there.
Upon pulling up to the church grounds - which lay high in the hillside off a winding road which we surely would have missed had we been unaided by Apple,inc. - we were greeted by a majestic primitive cemetery. Grave markers stood at least six feet tall and continued up a lush green hill into the distance. It was amazing.
The church itself was so unassuming. A little white structure up on a hill, a small paved path leading you to it's front steps. It could have been Any Church,Anywhere, were it not for the lush, distinctly Hawaiian surroundings and enormous mountains and hills cradling it, which never fail to humble you. However, the minute you enter this place it is so very clear you are someplace special. It feels almost alive. Brimming with vibrant colors which grab you and hold you and keep you nearly transfixed, the church is painted literally from floor to ceiling. Like a primitive and rudimentary island Sistine Chapel, but no less beautiful or exceptional. You can feel the love and devotion that went into the creation of this church and it's wonderful.
(View from the garden) (At the front steps) (Inside the church) (Wall detail) (The casting out of Satan) (Cain and Abel detail) (Window view) (Saints and pews) (Small church cemetery) (Another cemetery view) (Garden statuary) (Offerings)
We journeyed from St. Benedicts down the coast towards Pu'uhonua o Honaunau - Place of Refuge. This sacred space was a sanctuary offering forgiveness for those seeking to avoid the penalty of death. Successfully reaching this place was not easy, but offered salvation. Places filled with such profound history such as this always have appealed to me. Strong emotion tends to permeate spaces and you always feel something subtle and inexplicable, it's such a beautiful, primal, human experience. Pu'uhonua o Honaunau was no exception. We spent hours here. It was the most peaceful, calm, and absolutely serene spot. I can't imagine ever experiencing anything quite like it again.
(First view) (The small white sand beach) (Quiet moment at the ocean) (Sacred space...) (Carvings) (Clouds rolled in for a moment) (Guardians at the edge of the world) (Ki'i) (Crab legs) (Just as we were leaving a sea turtle came ashore)
We were not back on the road long when suddenly Gina let out heart stopping shrieks of joy which I swore could have been heard for miles. Ever since we first arrived on the island, it had been a mission of hers to find a place to get real hawaiian shave ice. In all of our wanderings, across all the roads we had traveled and terrain we had traversed there was nothing to be found. Until we flew past this little market on the side of the road. Gina stopped the car almost in it's tracks and pulled off the road. We all gleefully headed in to try the mythic shave ice. It was actually quite delicious and prepared from mango which had ben harvested and frozen a few weeks ago. We took a moment to enjoy our surroundings, the children tried tirelessly to catch some geckos who were taunting them by darting across the picnic table we were at, and then we were back on the road. It was actually quite an awesome little pit stop.
(Triumphant moment of the day - discovering shave ice) (Market entrance) (Questionable signage) (Mango shave ice!)
Cooled and contented with our miraculous shave ice find we forged onward. And the day only got more incredible as the minutes ticked by...
We're currently working on a custom flask order for an upcoming wedding, and we have to say this is one of the most fun projects we've had in a while! We're always so pleasantly surprised by the ideas our customers have - they are always beyond phenomenal! For this wedding we're creating stingray flasks, and although it sounds simple enough it's something that really never occurred to us before as something anyone would be interested in. So we're completely thrilled to not only be a small part of someone's life changing day but we're so happy to be able to do something out of the ordinary for us!
We'll be offering ready made versions in the shop eventually, but here's a sneak peek at the work in progress!
We awoke bright and early the next morning to the sound of waves crashing against rocks and parrots calling to each other outside of our room, which is actually quite a pleasant little symphony (and one that I immediately missed once we returned to city life). We decided to venture out into the island and find someplace local to eat. Little did we know there was virtually no homegrown eateries on that side of island! Who knew?! So we ended up at our old tried and true for a quick morning kickstart...
(Oatmeal and macchiatos) (There were hibiscus everywhere, a flower I formerly was far from enamored of. That has changed.)
After duly caffeinating ourselves - and catching a glimpse of the now infamous Starbucks' 32oz 'trenta' offering, which gave us a moment of pause in disbelief and amusement - we headed out on the road to our first destination: Pu'ukohola Heiau. We were enticed by the epic history of this place, a temple built by King Kamehameha where human sacrifice took place, and which was dedicated to the war god Kuka'ilimoku. It was an incredibly beautiful day and out on the ocean, just at the horizon line, you could make out some whales - given away by their telltale misty spouts.
(A peaceful resting space at the Heiau) (Entrance) (A beautiful view) (My unwilling photography subject at the Heiau wall)
After venturing through the grounds and taking in the incredible view we decided to head further up the road and explore. Actually, in our minds we had a set destination which I can't recall... We had quite expertly mapped out our day on our small paper fold out tourist guide-map until after heading deep into the highlands of the Big Island we realized we were actually quite lost! We meandered around winding hillside roads, through forest and meadows, climbing to ever higher elevations. We had previously consulted Gina's iPhone for directions and haughtily judged the directions to be wrong, and scoffed and how foolish a little device it was - hence our current state of lost-ness. Humbly we recalibrated our location and with the help of our trusty tourist map forged onward. Despite the fact that we were quote lost for some time, and nowhere near where we had intended to be, it was absolutely one of the most amazing experiences. The sights we saw were breathtaking to say the very least, and we couldn't help but pull off the road on several occasions to simply take it all in.
(The images we shot up here don't even come close to how beautiful it actually was.) (Gina - lost highway) (Babies on the hilltop) (The vast expanse of the world from here is magnificent) (Enough beauty to bring tears)
The moments we spent in these hillsides were nothing short of spiritual. The magnificence of the island was everywhere, unavoidable, majestic, permeating each blade of grass. It affected me so deeply I still see these sights in my dreams.
We made our way back down from these spectacular heights and set our eyes on Waipi'o Valley. It became quickly apparent to us why the world is so in love with this chain of islands. The beauty is unfaltering, everywhere you look, and the valley is by far no exception. It's almost gut wrenching how ridiculously incredible this was...
(From the lookout) (Even the view from our parking spot was epic) (I spotted an old weathered cemetery tucked into the hillside from the road on the way back...) (..old cemeteries are the best kind. This one was Japanese) (Just beautiful) (These jars lined the cemetery wall.Japanese tradition? Hawaiian tradition?)
We had made reservations at the Mauna Kea Hotel for a luau that evening, because how can you go to Hawaii and not indulge in a luau? It's cliche, and a bit cheesecore, I know, but all in all it's great fun! And the food was actually surprisingly delicious! The location was phenomenal. I have to confess that I spent days before we left researching the big Island luaus, and settled on this one specifically because of the monkey pod trees that surrounded the area. I love those trees.
We arrived at the Mauna Kea, roamed the grounds for a while - which were exceptional - and then watched as the smoked pig was removed from the underground oven. We were given leis by the most adorable young child and were seated for the festivities. It was tremendous fun! The drinks were strong, the food was good, the atmosphere celebratory. A fabulous evening by all accounts.
(Road down to the beach at the Mauna Kea) (Monkey pod tree!) (Beach at Mauna Kea) (Path to the Luau) (Enormous waves would crash here, just adjacent to the Imu.) (Removing the pig from the Imu) (First dibs!) (Really,really, good water...) (...and really, really, strong drinks!) (Delectable) (If you only knew...) (Neverending orchids) (Fire knife dance) (Kala'au performance)
When the luau ended we returned to our hotel and had a small celebration in honor of my littlest one's birthday. He turned 7 on this day. And it was lovely.
(This came with striped chocolate surfboards that were devoured instantly)
With a full day of adventuring proudly under our belts we were drawn like moths to a flame to the enormous, steamy, palm frond covered jacuzzi. We spent quite a bit of time there under the stars, while children snorkeled in the neighboring pool. It was definitely a sublime moment in time and with that the day ended as it had began - peaceful, serene, fulfilling, and absolutely exceptionally perfect.
(View of the infinity pool from the jacuzzi) (Hualalai at night)
I wouldn't change a thing about this day, or give up the memory of it for all the tea in China.
This January, for the first time ever, we decided to close up the shop, lock the studio doors, leave our digital leashes, and the city of Los Angeles behind while we embarked on a journey across an ocean to the island of Hawaii. We have been workaholics in terms of UNEARTHED, day in and day out ruining amazing manicures and compulsively checking convos and shop stats - endlessly creating, endlessly listing, married to our art. We needed time to re-center, fall in love with the world, celebrate all that there is to celebrate, and just breathe. So off we went...
(Anticipatory 'family project' on the plane)
(Low res image taken with the childrens' pocket camera, but beautiful nonetheless) (Far above the world)
The flight was joyful, easy, peaceful, and the prospect of being removed from our busy worlds for a few days was absolutely enticing to say the least.
After driving through vast lava fields which can only be described as surreal, we arrived at our hotel and were greeted with orchid and seashell leis, rum spiked tropical drinks, and cool coconut infused cloths to freshen up with after the long flight. The hotel was gorgeous, and thanks to the incredibly friendly and courteous staff we felt instantly at home.
(Four Seasons Hualai) (Hotel grounds) (Check-in area) (Guava juice with rum) (Main courtyard) (Main restaurant and pond)
The room itself was spectacular. Spacious, with a soaking tub, an indoor shower, outdoor lava shower, huge open patio, and direct beach access. And as if that wasn't enough to curry our favor, there were bountiful welcoming gifts everywhere we looked from boxes of sweets to plush animals and small nets with which to catch geckos for the children, alongside adorable presented gecko shaped cookies living in terrariums of graham cracker sand. It was beyond adorable.
(Children were equally impressed with the flora and fauna) (Coconut rosemary macaroons and candied macadamia nuts) (Creams and soaps from one of our favorite brands stocked in the bath) ("Welcome home") (Live orchids in the lava shower) (Immediate favorite spot) (Lava rock is gorgeous) (An abundance of orchids)
After settling in we decided to head over to the Pahu i‘a Restaurant which was just around the corner from our room and sat oceanfromt, which was absolutely spectacular. They were hosting their once weekly buffet dinner, which consisted of incredible local dishes and impeccable and sumptuous sushi.
(A view from the restaurant) (Restaurant aquarium) (A bounty of mouthwatering delicacies) (Lobster tails to die for) (One of the insanely delicious desserts we indulged in at dinner...) (...and the remnants of another) (Torches lit the winding pathways throughout the resort at night.)
After dinner we meandered through down some of the winding pathways back to our room. We were nourished, satisfied, and already couldn't be happier.
My foray into experimental cooking has been quite rewarding, particularly in the case of this delectable pork roast I made the other night! G decided to venture on a day trip into the land of enormous paper towels and unusually large meats more familiarly known as Costco and this twine-bound cut was among the bounty she returned with. Neither of us had ever roasted a pork loin before, and upon scouring Google for a satisfying if not mouth watering recipe but coming up with nil, I took it upon myself to turn this army's worth of meat into something amazing.
We happened to have a bottle of Sangria the size of which would shock Dionysus himself and with that, some cranberry juice, fresh lemons and garlic I managed to create an utterly unique culinary adventure!
As odd as those ingredients sound together it was actually quite delicious. I'd post the recipe, but it was admittedly a bit haphazard in it's spontaneity...
Freshly minced garlic. Along with sea salt and garlic salt, this made up the rub.
Fresh lemons for some zest.
Sangria and cranberry juice mixture for the soak - it smelled amazing! The light scent of wine soaked up into the meat and the sweet tang from the cranberry juice just made it perfect.
Tada! Sweet and savory pork loin with candied yams and home made ambrosia salad! Not to bad for some recipe-less spontaneous cooking!
Am I the only one who finds it a most mundane chore to take daily vitamins? No matter how much I tell myself it is beneficial, wise, and the proper thing to do, I still hate the actual act of taking these vitamins and supplements. Why? I don't know. With the massive advancements we have made in complex bio-sciences we still do not have a solution better than swallowing ridiculously sized gel-caps on a daily basis. Insanity. I would protest by not taking these ridiculous things if it were not for the fact that I have convinced myself I just really should. The torture.
I have fallen completely and utterly in love with the work of Tunisian born stylist Leïla Menchari.
She is the Window Design Director for renowned fashion house Hermès, Paris. I've never been so enamored of something so temporal, and commercial at heart. But these windows transcend marketing, they transcend PR, they are worlds above what anyone could consider simply set dressings. These windows are worlds in themselves, populated by immense creativity which truly overshadows the astoundingly expensive goods they are intended to feature. These windows are works of art, created by a genius of a woman who undoubtedly has an unfathomably rich imagination. Now that she is on my radar I will be watching and waiting with sheer childlike anticipation to see what she comes up with next!
How lucky are those who are able to bask in the beauty of these magical visions she creates in person...
Check back often for new work and one of a kind pieces! We'll show it off here before it's added to the shop.
And psssttt.......all content here and elsewhere is protected by copyright!
Thanks for stopping by!