‘Olu . . . The Newest Member to the Disney Family

July 26, 2018 by  
Filed under daily life, featured, hawaii

The story of ‘Olu

As Mickey and Duffy sailed the islands on a quest to find the perfect birthday present for ShellieMay, rhythmic sounds of an ‘ukulele called them over the ocean, learning them to a cozy cove and to ‘Olu, a kindhearted turtle playing happy music. ‘Olu smiled and shyly greeted Duffy, “I play my ‘ukulele to make songs of love. Want to sing with me?” ‘Olu strummed a beautiful song for his new friends. “That will be the perfect present for ShellieMay!” said Duffy excitedly. Off to the party they went, singing the special song together for their birthday friend.

Introducing ‘Olu . . . the newest member to the Disney family!  

‘Olu has the cutest shell highlighting the famous Aulani “arches” which represent the traditional hawaiian canoe house.

Our family was so blessed to be able to attend ‘Olu’s hawaiian reveal at Disney Aulani today.

Also in attendance were none other than Mickey himself and that adorable furry bear Duffy.

‘Olu will be making his exciting official debut tomorrow . . . July 27, 2018 . . . exclusively at Disney Aulani. There will be lots of merchandise available including plushes, key chains, backpacks, mugs, towels, luggage tags and coin pouches.

However, what my girls really enjoyed were the amazing refreshments that only Disney can provide. Look at these unbelievable desserts . . .

There was regular food there, too, but let’s be real . . . I’m all about the sweets.

And on a side note . . . when we were walking back to our car with our ‘Olu swag, a Japanese visitor saw ‘Olu and could not contain herself. She excitedly started talking to her husband and pointing at our plushes.

I think ‘Olu is going to be a big hit.

Thank you Disney Aulani for including us in this exciting event. We had such a great time!


Magnetic Fun with GeoSmart (Giveaway)

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under children, featured, giveaways, toys

This giveaway is now closed.

When it comes to construction kits, my kids and I have always loved magnetic pieces because they’re easy to connect and tend to have a very strong bond. This is exactly what we found in GeoSmart.

We received the Lunar Rover ($49.99) to try out for ourselves and the kids couldn’t wait to get started. This construction kit came with 30 magnetic pieces in 5 different geometric shapes and 2 sets of wheels.

What I noticed first was the high quality feel of each piece. They were smooth, sturdy and colorful . . . but most of all, the magnets held a very strong bond.

Kids love to tinker and parents will feel secure with GeoSmart’s patented double-lock safety system. Each magnet is encased twice to ensure the building piece and not the magnet will be visible to young fingers. This sets a high bar for safety in magnetic construction toys.

There are images of 2 different versions of the Lunar Rover that the kids could make that actually move along the floor . . .

But they were also able to use their imagination and construct other types of  creations.

What I really liked about GeoSmart is that it encourages creative thinking, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. Some of the designs were not easy since the pieces instinctively connected to each other when they were in close proximity. It was up to my kids to figure out how to get just the right pieces together without everything connecting all at once. They found that it was sometimes easier to construct their vehicles flat and then bring up the sides for completion.

However, what really impressed me was how strong the magnetic bond was. We’ve played with other magnetic toys before but nothing could beat this . . .

All in all, the GeoSmart Lunar Rover was a big hit with my family. In fact, my kids have been playing with it every day since we’ve completed this review. That’s how I know that we have a winner with GeoSmart.


One (1) lucky winner will receive a 23-piece GeoSmart Solar Spinner ($29.99).

To enter:

  • Just mention in comments before midnight, November 30th who you’d like to win this for. That’s it!
  • A random winner will be selected and notified via email shortly thereafter.
  • The winner will then have 48 hours to claim their prize.

To earn extra entries, you may do one or all of the following. Each one counts as an extra ticket but you must leave a separate comment for each one.

  • Subscribe to An Island Life’s feed.
  • Follow An Island Life on Twitter.
  • Tweet this giveaway (once daily). Enter to win a GeoSmart Solar Spinner . . . perfect for the holidays! http://islandlife808.com/?p=38690
  • Already a fan of the GeoSmartUSA Facebook page.
  • Already a fan of An Island Life on Facebook.
  • Follow me on Pinterest.
  • Follow me on Snapchat.
  • Place our button in your sidebar.
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back here.

Open to US residents only.

And the winner is . . .

aThis post was written for GeoSmart who provided the complimentary item for review and prize giveaway.











Character Dining at Disney’s Aulani Makahiki

October 19, 2016 by  
Filed under daily life, featured, hawaii, my family

This past weekend we celebrated Kaila’s 7th Birthday at Disney’s Aulani Makahiki Character Breakfast. We have always been big fans of Disney’s Character Breakfasts so we were excited at securing our reservations.

When we first checked-in, we received a card with our names on it and were then escorted outside to take family photos with Hawaiian Mickey Mouse. He was so cute in his Aloha Shirt and throwing shakas at everyone. The line went by quickly and I really appreciated that they had chairs available all along the wait line. The cast member working there was so friendly and approachable. She kept telling everyone how happy she would be to take as many photos as we wanted with our own personal cameras.

We were seated at an outdoor table surrounded by lush greenery which really made us feel like we were on vacation. The only downside was that it was a pretty windy morning so we had to make sure our linen napkins and other items didn’t go blowing away.

The breakfast buffet held the usual items . . . eggs, bacon, fruits, pastries . . . as well as some local favorites like mahi mahi, loco moco, and coconut syrup for those adorable Mickey waffles.

There were only 2 characters that circulated the tables . . . Minnie and Goofy . . . as well as periodic Hawaiian shows by “Aunty” where kids could get up and participate by dancing, singing, and playing Hawaiian musical instruments.


My thoughts . . .

I loved how everything had such a wonderful Hawaiian feel. From the decor to the cast member uniforms to the characters’ outfits . . . I really felt like I was on a Hawaiian vacation. Everybody that worked there was super friendly and more than accommodating. They really added to the overall experience.

What I was a little disappointed in was that there were only 2 characters available at the buffet. I guess we’re just used to seeing more of them when we go to the breakfasts at Disneyland.

Once breakfast was over we decided to walk off all those calories by exploring the Disney property. Here are a few photos that we took along the way . . .







Ichiran Ramen

October 11, 2016 by  
Filed under daily life, featured, flight attendant stories

I love ramen. And since I’m in Japan pretty much once a week I probably consume more of these delicious noodles than the average person. I’ve tried a variety of types at numerous establishments but my favorite by far is Ichiran Ramen.

When you first enter Ichiran Ramen you will find yourself faced with an ordering machine. There aren’t many choices to make since they offer only one basic tonkotsu broth and one size of noodle serving (790 yen) but here you’re able to add a few other items like egg, seaweed and extra pork. If you’re really hungry you can get additional noodles (kae-dame) to add to your broth later on. And yes . . . they sell beer, as well. You pay at the machine and you’ll receive tickets for each of the items you ordered.

Then you wait for a spot to become available. In the meantime, you’re handed a ‘preference sheet”. Here’s where things get a little more interesting. This sheet allows you to customize your ramen in terms of flavor strength, richness, garlic, green onions, pork, spicy red sauce and noodle texture . . . all at no extra charge.

When you enter the eating area you’ll notice something a little bit different than you’re used to. Everyone sits in their own partitioned- off cubicle. However, the dividers can be folded back half-way to allow you to interact with the person next to you.

Now it’s time to get your bowl of ramen. You place your ‘preference sheet’ and all of your tickets (except for kae-dama unless you want it immediately) in front of you. The staff will collect everything and deliver your perfect bowl of ramen pretty instantly. The great thing is that if you change your mind and would like to get anything extra including more noodles you can order it even after being seated.

Ichiran Ramen is so good that I often travel at least 30-40 minutes by train just to satisfy my craving. The tonkotsu broth is so delicious that it takes a lot of effort on my part not to just drink it directly . . . although I do see many who do. However, what I like best are the noodles. I’m not sure what makes it so different from other places but their thin flour-based noodles just appeals to the carb-loving person in me. The perfect bowl of ramen.







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