Fishing at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Posted in Hawaii
on May 25, 2016

For weeks, for some reason, Piglet kept asking to go fishing. I think it has to do with when we went to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, we saw people fishing with bamboo poles. He also has been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Mickey and the gang love to fish. Anyway, we asked the kids what we should do over the weekend and Piglet insisted on going fishing. I looked it up and you can get a free fishing pole to rent from Ho’omaluhia and you can fish all afternoon. It’s catch and release there, they have bamboo fishing poles to borrow or you can bring your own but you have to have a barbless fishing hook. They have 2 sizes so we got 4 poles, 2 adult sized and 2 kids sized.


Morning Fishing (1) Morning Fishing (2) Morning Fishing (3) Morning Fishing (4) Morning Fishing (5) Morning Fishing (6) Morning Fishing (7) Morning Fishing (8) Morning Fishing (9) Morning Fishing (10)


It was kind of a cloudy day but I was glad for that because I hate the sun beating down on me. It always gives me a headache. We brought along a picnic lunch and bait for the fish and got settled down. Hubs has been fishing before and we brought little pieces of cheese and hot dog. The website said that the fish like white bread but I was like “really? I bet our bait will work out just fine.” Turns out the website knew exactly what they were talking about because we caught a grand total of zero fish. They ate the bait but the hook wouldn’t stick so we just fattened them up a bit. Piglet quickly got bored, despite this being his idea, so he hung out on the blanket with Mac and me. Just as the kids were on the verge of going nuts, it started raining so we dashed under a tree to eat lunch.


Morning Fishing (11) Morning Fishing (12) Morning Fishing (13) Morning Fishing (14) Morning Fishing (15) Morning Fishing (16) Morning Fishing (17) Morning Fishing (18) Morning Fishing (19) Morning Fishing (20)


Even though we didn’t catch any fish and we got rained on a little bit, it was still a fun time. Hubs loves just being outside and since we planned ahead (as I frequently get bored with being outside), we were able to stay all morning without going crazy. The kids were excited about eating outside and they did like seeing the fish in the water and tossing bait into the pond when it became clear that we weren’t going to be catching anything.


Morning Fishing (21) Morning Fishing (22) Morning Fishing (23) Morning Fishing (24)


I’m glad we went and when we get to our next duty station, I think there will be more fishing opportunities so this was a great practice run, especially since it was free! Have you ever gone fishing? What tips would you like to share? Curious about where we’re moving to? Check out Friday’s post to find out!



Celiac Awareness Month

Posted in Celiac
on May 23, 2016

Celiac Awareness Month (1)


It’s Celiac Awareness Month! Did you know that? Up until a few months ago, I did not. In fact, I didn’t know much about celiac disease other than my grandpa had it and my mom grew up eating rice cakes with peanut butter and banana and still eats them to this day. I actually made fun of the gluten free lifestyle. Okay, so I still do that. People who have cut out gluten because they heard it was “bad for you” or that it causes about 1,000 symptoms in your body are nutty. I mean, if you have a normal gut and a normal autoimmune system, there is nothing wrong with gluten and overpaying for a loaf of bread is silly.

However, for the 1 in 100 people worldwide who are diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten is a very big deal. Celiac disease is not a food allergy. Yes, consuming gluten can cause adverse reactions in your body that will send you straight to the potty (sorry, could not resist that rhyme) but it also does so much more and I can end up sick for weeks just because I ate a bite of something with gluten in it. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease which means when I eat something with gluten in it, my body’s immune system starts attacking itself, more specifically the villi in my small intestine. Unregulated celiac disease can lead to poor nutrient absorption, Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines, short stature, and intestinal cancers. (source) And unfortunately for me, the later you are in life at diagnosis, the more likely you are to develop additional autoimmune disorders.


Celiac Awareness Month (2)

almost-as-delicious gluten free sugar cookies


But there is a good note! I have started living a strict gluten free diet and over time, my small intestine should start to heal itself. But that will probably take years, my doctor said around 2-5 before the inflammation of a lifetime of gluten goes away and even then, the damage could be permanent, we won’t know for sure until many years down the road. The gluten free diet is difficult to follow if I leave my house. Gluten is a sneaky bitch who hides in things you would not think about. It is not just in bread and baked goods. It’s in Werther’s Original, it’s in soy sauce, it’s in french onion dip, it’s in the seasoning for the meat at Taco Bell. Eating out is now a hassle, I have to research the menu for things to eat before we even decide on a restaurant. I can’t sneak french fries from my kid’s Happy Meals because the oil they fry their fries in has gluten in it. WHY MCDONALD’S WHY??

The gluten free diet that I loved to mock has done one thing though, it has brought gluten free products to the mainstream. I can find a lot of gluten free products at the commissary so making a trip downtown to Whole Foods (which is a hassle and Whole Foods always smell weird to me) isn’t necessary. I can still eat rice, my favorite food, because it’s naturally gluten free. But I can’t eat desserts anymore without planning ahead and making them myself. There are no gluten free bakeries in Oahu so that kind of sucks but hey, it’s better than getting cancer!

Living a gluten free lifestyle is a definitely a different one from the life I imagined it would be but I am making it work. Thankfully, a lot of companies are making moves to create products that everyone can enjoy and restaurants are even providing more than just a salad as their “gluten free options.” If you know someone who has celiac disease and seems slightly “difficult” when at a restaurant or even at your house, please be understanding. I am not just some hipster who is trying to make your life harder, I just want to eat a meal with you and not get sick from it later.




A Fast and Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Posted in recipe
on May 20, 2016

Baked Spaghetti Vertical


As you may remember, my husband loves baked spaghetti. My last recipe didn’t have meat in it and my husband is not a fan ricotta so while he liked it, he didn’t LOVE it. He requested it again and so I decided to try again with a different recipe. He enjoyed this one more but it still wasn’t “perfect.” He also described his “perfect” baked spaghetti as Army chow in the field so his idea of perfect may not even exist.


Baked Spaghetti (1) Baked Spaghetti (2) Baked Spaghetti (3)


First you need to brown some ground beef and cook your noodles. I broke my noodles in half while they cooked because as you eat it, you end up cutting through the pasta anyway so this is just speeding the cutting along later. I also chopped up a zucchini and drained a can of mushrooms to mix into the pan.


Baked Spaghetti (4) Baked Spaghetti (5) Baked Spaghetti (6)


Combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the zucchini is fork tender. We then ate it with a little bit of butter and shredded parmesean cheese. I thought it was really good. Hubs also enjoyed it and agreed that is was tasty with the added vegetables. And the biggest test: all three kids ate it. Win!



Baked Spaghetti


  • 1 pound ground beef, season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper during cooking. Drain after cooked
  • 1/2 box of spaghetti noodles, I used gluten free Barilla
  • 1 can or jar of  your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can of mushrooms, drained
  1. Season ground beef with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper and brown. Drain meat on a paper towel covered plate. During this time, cook your noodles and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a casserole dish, combine all the ingredients. Save the sauce for last and then pour over everything once the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the zucchini is fork tender.
  4. Serve with butter and shredded parmesean cheese.


Baked Spaghetti (7)


What’s your favorite way to eat spaghetti? I’ve been told by my husband that butter on spaghetti is weird, what’s your opinion?