Hello 2019, Goodbye 2018

The Downs

A false missile alert. The destruction of an entire community, destroyed by lava…again. The death of many law enforcement officers, with one hitting very close to home. One year, almost two, since graduating from college [trust me, this can make you feel like you’ve reached your peak in life]. Career changes. Feeling stuck at times. Uncertainty. Significant losses; Ray, and as first world as it sounds, my car. Relationships that needed work. A lot of work. Wanting to give up what interests me because it has nothing to do with my career (e.g. blogging and photography). A difficult summer, an even more difficult fall. Yet hopeful and always moving forward, but struggling at times.

The Ups

The decision to apply to graduate schools. Accepted to my dream school. First year at Georgetown. New challenges. Adopted another rescue pet. Watched Monsoor become healthier. Faith renewed. A spark in confidence. A job offer that was more than I could have ever hoped for. A two week break after a long fall semester. Various day trips spent at the most beautiful places. The ability to capture those beautiful places. Surprising myself at times in my ability to multitask. Turning 23. Hopeful and always moving forward, even though I was struggling at times.

2018 was a challenging year, yet regardless of the ups and downs, it was a great year that I will miss dearly.

As the bible emphasizes, to everything there is a season. 2018 was a season filled with growth, sadness, happiness, life, and death — although certain moments from 2018 seemed unbearable (the death of Ray), I was constantly reminded that it is possible to push through and that nothing is hopeless.

Life can be difficult at times, but it’s also a wonderful gift. And I am grateful to be along for the ride.

A year in the Life:

January – April

Ray! He was everything. I lost him on September 28th, 2018, however these are photos of him from April. He was always smiling and one of the happiest dogs that I ever knew.

Personally, I believe a trip to the grocery store should always end in a bouquet of store bought flowers.

The weather in Hawaii during 2018 was mostly sunny with your average chance of snow and lava. But this photo right here is sunny and of palm tress. You’re welcome.

Home. I also finished (mostly) my office.

And here are a few silly photos of me.

Silly photos aside, 2018 was filled with fantastic food.

The first four months of the year consisted of a lot of trips to Kona. The scenery (as always) was beautiful. Lush green hills, sunny (mostly) weather, and the prettiest flowers.

Sophie turned 7 this year!

May – June

Summer was approaching. I applied to graduate school. I was simply enjoying the little moments that would end up being the big moments…and my most cherished moments months later.

Here are some photos from a particularly pretty evening. My parents and I decided to sit outside for a bit with Max and Ray. I even took a photo of the ground in the driveway. Don’t ask me why I find the photo of the ground to be beautiful because I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because of the way the heat felt on my bare feet or because it was nice to have a break for a moment or because I simply stood there admiring our home and my life, simply happy to be.

A photo shoot of Ray. He absolutely loved the front porch and if he could have lounged there forever, I know without a doubt that I would always be able to find him.

My mom’s garden. She grows various types of peppers (jalapenos, ghost peppers/bhut jolokia), rosemary and other fresh herbs, blueberries, and poha berries. Apparently Max enjoys sneaking into the garden and eating the poha berries.

I also freshened up my bedroom, which is always something I enjoy doing. I decided to hang my nana’s hats on the wall and ended up hanging two of my own. Hats are my thing.

Mom’s hydrangeas. Hands down my favorite type of flower.

A “dress” from Alfani that I paired with black leggings. Manna Kadar Cosmetics priming gloss stain in “Manna Babe.” My nana’s hat that she made.

Monsoor celebrated his 2nd birthday. He continues to amaze me every single day. His face healed completely and it was wonderful watching him grow and become healthier.

From the backyard.

The next photos are from various places here in Hawaii, however a significant amount of photos are from my favorite place, Onomea Bay. I am not going to post all photos because I intend to write more travel posts and hopefully, a Big Island Travel Guide for 2019.

Dad & Mom

2018 was filled with so many wonderful places here on the Big Island. Hilo, Kona, Waimea, Onomea Bay, Volcano Village, and Ka’u.

Rose Cardamom Pistachio Chocolate Bar from Puna Chocolate Company in Hilo, Hawaii. 
Chocolates from Puna Chocolate Company in Hilo, Hawaii | The best one is the Honey Wine Berry.

For a while the glow from the lava could be seen even from Hilo. I remember when I first heard that cracks in the road and neighborhoods were slowly opening. I was eating a burrito outside of the mall when I was listening to the radio…little did I know that a month later a whole community would be gone and places that I grew up driving through or an ocean that I loved to swim in would be completely filled in with lava.

July – December

I adopted Miss Franny in November. She is 10-Years-Old and is so, so, so wonderful. She’s made my life 1000% better. I love her!

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2019!

Summertime Highlights

Where do I begin? I can’t believe summer is almost over…or at least it is for me on the 29th. Why? Because your girl got accepted to graduate school!!! My classes begin on the 29th. If I were to insert a relatable emoji, I’m not sure if it would be the “face screaming in fear,” “the weary cat face,” or the “face with tears of joy.”  Hmm. Maybe all three.

I hope everyone’s summer has been filled with a lot of sunshine and frozen drinks. My summer has had its ups and downs, however for the most part it’s been good and I’ve come to appreciate both the good and the bad. Although slightly cliché, it still is the truth: Life is what you make it.

With that being said, here is a list of some of my “summertime highlights” —

The food! // Yes, I’ve eaten some really tasty food this summer. Lightly golden, fried, filled malasadas. Oh yes. It was good. We actually tried two places that are known for having the BEST malasadas on this island — TEX Drive-In in Honoka’a and Manuela Malasada Company in Waimea. We ordered guava, lilikoi, coconut, and plain malasadas from TEX Drive-In. At Manuela Malasada Company, we ordered mango, guava, and plain malasadas with li-hing sugar on top. I’ve had thai food from New Chiang Mai Thai Cuisine. Smoothies and dreamy ice cream from Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack. Fish and chips from Mo’s Fish and Chips. Craft chocolate bars from Puna Chocolate Company. One of my goals is to compile a list of amazing places to eat on the Big Island. Would you guys be interested in that?



The day trips // My mom, Riley, and I would drive all over the island — Kailua-Kona, Mahukona, Waimea, Ahualoa, Honoka’a, Laupahoehoe, Kalopa, Honomu, ‘Akaka Falls, Pepeekeo, Onomea Bay, Hilo, Volcano, etc. It was so much fun exploring our town; I loved it. I swear we saw so many beautiful places this summer. I love how one location can be drastically different from another location with only 5 or 10 miles separating the two. For example, Waimea always reminds of fall (hello, my favorite!), while Onomea Bay is covered with palm trees and a path leading to the most perfect aquamarine ocean.



My acceptance to graduate school // I was accepted to Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies; I’ll be studying Applied Intelligence. I can’t believe I’m going back to school — I’m both nervous and excited. I graduated last year from college, however it feels like a lifetime ago.

Lint Center Scholarships // I love when it’s scholarship season. We have so many patriotic, academically gifted, and dedicated individuals applying for scholarships this summer; it’s wonderful!


I hope everyone continues to soak up the last bit of sunshine before summer ends!



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A Final Salute to Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa

On July 17, Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa of the Hawai’i County Police Department, conducted a high-risk traffic stop of a wanted subject on Highway 11, in Kukui Camp Road, Mountain View. Officer Kaliloa was shot in the neck and leg by the wanted subject; he was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds shortly after midnight on July 18. Officer Kaliloa served with Hawai’i County Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife, Casey, and three young children — Samson, Grace, and Nathan.

First, let me begin this post by saying how incredibly devastating and sad the death of a law enforcement officer is — To serve and protect citizens, the whole community, and to be killed because of it. And no, I’m not putting law enforcement on a pedestal, but it’s a simple fact: They serve and protect the community as much as any human tasked with that great responsibility is able to, regardless of who “hates” them or how dangerous the subject/situation is; they do it every single day. I work in the criminal justice/law enforcement field as an Investigator. My father is career law enforcement. I work with law enforcement professionals from all agencies. The job does require dealing with combative subjects and a dangerous environment; it’s part of the job. However, the goal is to go home at the end of the day, and when one of your own is killed by an individual who simply couldn’t abide by the law, it hits hard. It’s difficult. It’s sad. It makes you angry — But you still believe in what you’re representing and you still care. Therefore, you go back out there and do your job. Once again, it’s incredibly devastating and sad the death of a law enforcement officer.

Officer Kaliloa was the first Big Island police officer to be murdered while making a traffic stop — This has never happened here before. When I worked as a PIO/News Reporter for a non-profit organization back in 2016, I covered over a hundred law enforcement deaths, but it was never so close to home.

Yesterday Officer Kaliloa was laid to rest. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend his funeral. However, I was able to watch it live from Nā Leo TV and Hawaii News Now. The show of support from the general public and the amount of law enforcement from all over the United States, not just Hawaii’s agencies, that paid their respects to Officer Kaliloa was absolutely heartwarming — It was amazing to see. Law enforcement all the way from New York came to Hilo’s Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Citizens lined the streets as the funeral procession drove by. The flags were ordered to fly at half-staff. Thousands of people came to give a proper send-off to an individual who served his community and served it well.

I can’t begin to imagine what Officer Kaliloa’s wife, children, and department have been going through. From what I’ve heard from those who served with him, and from what is already evident, he was the type of person that not only cared about his job/role as a police officer but he also cared about others.

Officer Kaliloa, you were an incredible human being. You will be sorely missed.


Police Officer Bronson Kaimana Wei Mun Kaliloa

Hawai’i County Police Department

End of Watch: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Badge: 444


Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God // Matthew 5:9



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My Summer Makeup Bag

This is actually the very first “beauty” post I’ve done on my blog (bear with me!).

With summer in full swing, I wanted to go through my summer makeup bag and share with you some of my favorite products that I’m wearing; I even wear some of these products year round. For those of you in law enforcement or in the military, you’ll see that all of these products can be used daily.

  1. L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder in Neutral // I’m wearing N4 buff beige. Honestly, this is my favorite powder that I’ve ever used; it is non-cakey and feels as though nothing is on your skin. It was actually given to me by a friend a few years ago. It matches skin tone and comes in a variety of shades.
  2. Sally Hansen Skin Firming Line Minimizing Pressed Powder in Nude // This is a little difficult to find in stores, so I linked back to Amazon; it’s $19.95. This powder does firm up the face (or at least it feels like it!) and also is non-cakey. I normally put it under/around my eyes because it does a good job of hiding those dark circles.
  3. e.l.f. Illuminating Palette // This palette has four shades. I haven’t tried it out yet, however I’m excited to see what it looks like.
  4. Merle Norman Cosmetics Dual Performing Eyeshadow in Cashmere // For the life of me, I can’t find the exact eyeshadow online. This is similar in Almond. What’s funny is I don’t use this as eyeshadow; I blend it with the Sally Hansen powder and I put it under my eyes.
  5. Clinique Sheer Powder Blusher in 19 Sugar Plum // This actually came in a set; unfortunately, I can’t find the exact blush but this is similar in Plum Gorgeous. This is a perfect shade for any season; it’s subtle yet provides a pretty pop of color to your skin.
  6. Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette // These are beautiful shades that range from a pale pink (Strange) or rose (Limit) to shimmery shades (Trick or Buzz) meant for a summer night out on the town. What I love about this palette is that it can be used for fall as well.
  7. Maybelline Great Lash in Blackest Black // I’ve been wearing this mascara for years now (who hasn’t?!) and it’s in my summer bag, however I’m looking to find another mascara this summer because I want to try something new. My favorite mascara I’ve ever used is Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara; I need a tube of this again!
  8. I’m using a few off brand eyeliners; one in black and one in brown — I’ve worn these so much the labeling is completely faded. I’m looking to purchase new eyeliner for summer.
  9. e.l.f. Highlighting Brush // I’ve yet to use this, however I like the feel of it; It feels durable and the bristles is taklon.
  10. bareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealor Brush // Hands down this is the best brush.


If you haven’t noticed I have no products listed for the lips and that’s because I’ve yet to find a shade that’s right for summer — Do I want nude lips? A perfect shade of red? Rose? I’m still on the hunt!


What’s in your summer makeup bag?


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Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Fourth of July!

It was just my parents and I (Nick and Paul watched fireworks in Hilo); we enjoyed burgers that my mom made — I ate an amazing turkey burger that was filled with garlic and cilantro.

Unfortunately, we didn’t watch fireworks this year, however I still had a great night with my mom and dad.

I’m so thankful to live in this country; to be an American and to be able to serve the country that I love.


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Father’s Day 2018

Happy Father’s Day to my dad! My dad, Kevin, he’s probably the greatest father anyone could ever hope to have — He’s a dedicated husband to my mom, a father to us four, a friend to all. He also happens to be the first person to ever introduce me to the world of law enforcement and military, and welcome me into this profession with open arms. And for that, I’ll always be forever grateful to him for being one of the very few (aside from my mom), from the beginning, to believe in me.

My dad and I have had some amazing times together; from running around Oakland together blowing bubbles when I was just a child to working as partners in the field solving cases — We’ve had innumerable fun times together that I’ll always be thankful for.

We all had a great dinner at home; perfectly seasoned ribs on the barbecue and potato salad. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos (shocking, I know). However, another blog post that I’m going to write is the dinner we had last father’s day at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located at The Shops at Mauna Lani; as a father’s day gift, I took my dad and family there. The food was delectable and the atmosphere was just as great, in fact if I could make that an annual event for us I would.

Thank you dad for being a wonderful, supportive, hardworking father — I love you.


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44,965 People Each Year

I originally contemplated whether I wanted to write about the death of Kate Spade — Not because her death doesn’t matter (every death matters) but because I wasn’t sure, due to the amount of coverage her death has already received, if my words would have the depth it needs to shed light on what is occurring, or in this case, the suicide of a very successful woman. And then I determined that I want to write about this because I believe there is a common misconception that success equates to happiness, and successful people don’t kill themselves and can’t be sad or have problems — How wrong that is.

Spade was a talented and driven designer — The first time I became aware of her, it was actually because of her quotes; words that sparked a little inspiration on days when the rest of the world seemed far too preoccupied with trying to be anything but themselves. Her quotes made my day brighter; simple, fun, playful — always witty and optimistic. And then I discovered her handbags; beautiful, sophisticated, and bold. I instantly wanted a Kate.

Looking at her life from the outside, it appears it’s perfect; she built an empire, which according to sources is worth $2.4 billion; she lived in one of the largest and most expensive cities in America; she was married; she had a daughter. And that’s the problem — looking from the outside portrays one story — looking past the surface portrays another story.

Various reports suggest that Spade suffered from anxiety and depression, yet she was a successful businesswoman. She wasn’t poor, she didn’t live on the side of the road in a makeshift style house held together with tape and rope — And yet she committed suicide. She was smart, educated, ran successful businesses, and still managed to be a wife and a mother — And yet she committed suicide. Past the surface, maybe she had problems the world didn’t know about, until one event after another led her to take her own life. The fact is that suicide doesn’t discriminate; the wealthy, the average jane and joe, and the poor can all be victims. As I stated, success does not equate to happiness. Anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and other mental disorders affect people from all social classes; with the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain highlighting this once again.

Due to my line of work, I have seen the distress, anger, and emotional turmoil that people experience daily; some handle it better than others and are able to reach out for help, while others have a more difficult time getting the support that they need. On average, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 44,965 Americans die by suicide each year; that’s at least 123 suicides per day — these are people that, regardless of any social/personal characteristics, needed help — and today, in this moment, or tomorrow, or a year from now, people need help.

Taking the time to reach out, or to simply listen, it can save a life; one of the worst things in the world is the inaction to help others.

If you or anyone you know needs support: If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. Visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to find information about receiving the appropriate support. You can seek professional help — Talk to your doctor, a counselor, a psychologist, or someone that you trust — You can fight this and get the help that you need.



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