My Point of Heu
Oh my goodness... it has been a long while. Honestly, I have been spending about 80% of my time working on the Miss Hawaii Organization. What does that mean exactly? Well a few years ago I was asked to present the color commentary for the telecast of the Miss Hawaii Pageant and then the next year I was asked to help emcee, then I started taking on multiple roles to help and assist. Fast forward to now and I have been completely engulfed in Miss Hawaii ever since. I realized that for the most part it was all the same people, who for the past 3 or 4 decades or so, have committed their lives to helping. I felt compelled to also share my skills, contacts and bring in sponsors to elevate the organization. I hustled and brought in several cash sponsors and numerous scholarship sponsors as well. I raised over $250,000 in scholarships, redesigned the website, took over the social media duties, manage all the communication aspects in terms of internally and public relations. When it came to pageant week I attended all the rehearsals and tried to assist with whatever needed to get done. Now we are in the midst of prepping our girls for the national pageants in January and my role continues as Board President and I continue to handle all the PR and communication duties while we also leverage the contacts made this year and try to prep for Miss Hawaii 2024. I guess you could say that is why I have spent so much of my time working on Miss Hawaii.
As far as actual work goes, everything is great. I am not doing as much voicework as I had been the past few years, which is my choice as i felt my voice was overexposed. I haven't been writing as much as before. I think there is just so much competition. But I have written a few pieces here and there for various magazine. I did completely drop the ball on Da Best Hawaii. For 5 years I never missed a new episode every Wednesday but recently I have stopped filming and recording the podcast because I have been too busy. Hawaiian Airlines stopped showing the shows on the planes and Hawaiian TelCom stopped their sponsorship so I think I just let it go for a bit. But I am ready to get it going again.
Last weekend we celebrated Daniel's birthday and it was a busy one. Lots of fun, eating and enjoying friends. Roxy was a trooper and came with us to Kualoa Park and to Daniel's parents house afterward. We still baby her quite a it cause it is so challenging taking a blind 70lb dog to a public places. She's a really good girl tho and enjoys going with us and meeting new people. Her left leg is still popping quite a bit. She seems ok but I know after a while it may take its toll on her. I try to massage it often and we try to prohibit her from running. But she is going to do what she wants to do and she seems very happy right now.
I've traveled to Japan twice for work recently and don't have too many plans to go abroad. For the most part I just stay home and on Oahu now. But I do still have my list of bucket-list items. I want to travel to Tahiti, Italy and Greece so badly. I will probably go to Miss America this year also, that looks like it will be in January 2024.
Everyone is happy and healthy. Things are really wonderful and are going great.
On the verge of celebrating their 30th anniversary, The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is starting to rollout the reveal of its nearly $100-million rejuvenation.
I had the honor of staying at this hotel more than a decade ago and was overjoyed to see the beautiful transformation of an already impeccable resort.
The improvements were dreamt up during the covid lockdowns and brought to life to showcase the natural Hawaiian beauty, culture and elevate the guest experience. Included in the renovation, guests will see a beautiful new tropical arrival experience which is open air, utilizes robust Hawaiian wood and floral details, fire pits, inviting bar and lounge along with live local entertainment.
One of the highlights of the property is The Ritz Club Lounge which showcases a dedicated concierge, 5 food presentations, specialty bar, wine, drink options, breakfast, snacks, lunch, bites and hand-crafted desserts. The Club experience also provides a 24-hour grab and go snack bar, garment pressing daily, business center services and access to the Anuenue Room which hosts the daily meals and a stellar view of both the ocean in the distance and the nearby golf course.
As a waterbaby and avid beach-goer my favorite notable improvements includes the three-tiered pool, cabanas, access to the beach, volleyball and basketball courts. The 10,000 sq ft pool starts with a tranquil adults only infinity style pool at the top and is followed by two large pools below complete with waterfalls and lava rock design. There's lots of room for sunbathing, resting, relaxing and swimming. The associates on property are very friendly, welcoming and boast lots of aloha.
One wing of the hotel guest rooms has been renovated, while the other on the opposite end is nearing completion at the end of 2022. Guest room suites are spacious, add subtle hints of the ocean and Hawaii accents, they are fully stocked and equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom and shower and accessible living room with pull out sofa bed if needed.
There's something special about Kapalua as it is away from the hustle of Kaanapali and the zooming tourists of Lahaina. It is breezy, relaxing, a place to find solace, tranquility and serenity.
Be sure to ask for specialty kamaaina rates, get The Club access and enjoy.
Hi everyone! Gosh June will be here in a few days and boy has the year gone by quickly. It seems that most everything is back in full swing and folks are traveling, gathering and celebrating again.
Here are some updates that are a bit overdue:
1. Daniel and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary last week. Coincidentally that same date is believed to be Roxy's birthday. She is a rescue so we don't actually know but hey I love it, and I will have a Roxy update next.
To commemorate the night we went out for dinner and had a lovely time. We tried Moani at International Market Place... it has Mai Tai's vibes but with fine dining prices. My only critique was that my U-10 scallop entree was definitely not made with U-10 sized scallops. But overall the food was really tasty, generous in portion size and had a great combination of flavors. The service was attentive and friendly, although I noted that it was our anniversary on the reservation nothing was said. The live music is a plus and really adds great ambience. We left to grab dessert at Stripsteak which has phenomenal desserts btw and we just hopped on the bar and had our sweet ending there.
2. Roxy's health and leg surgery update -- I am happy to report that just over 4 weeks ago Roxy did finally have her leg/knee surgery. The board certified orthopedic surgeon on the island couldn't take us until early May; we were able to score a traveling surgeon who does this type of surgery as his specialty at the VERC hospital and boy was that a relief. At the end of April she had what's called TPLO bilateral surgery. If you wanna know more just Google it. Essentially she has these plastic and screw implants put in both legs and spent 2 nights in the ICU. She made a full recovery at home and is doing very well. It is amazing how fast these dogs heal from bionic surgery. Her x-ray to check how everything is on the inside is 6/20, so I will have a complete update then. For now she is walking and only allowed to be on leash and no running.
3. Miss Hawaii 2022 was amazing! I had the opportunity to help mentor the candidates this year and also co-emcee'd the preliminary night of competition which was a lot of fun. Coincidentally the Miss Nevada my year at Miss America was a judge so we were able to hug and see each other twice. I thoroughly enjoyed helping the girls this year and it was truly rewarding to be back and assisting. The same team is there too and it is nice to see them along with some new blood. The program itself is in a state of flux and while Miss America continues to transition (no more swimsuit phase, no evening gown last year, and new social impact speech and etc) I still believe in the benefits of the program and the scholarships. I am a product of this organization and I am forever grateful.
4. I am still moderating Insights on PBS about once a month, this month of May I wasn't scheduled but you might see me live at the end of June. This is the right amount of live TV for me. I don't really miss it and I am grateful for this opportunity. As for Doko Ga TV we may go back to Japan next spring, but it is all in the air and nothing is confirmed at this time.
5. Da Best Hawaii was sold out for the month of May and June as well. I am now filming episodes for July and it has been wonderful. I am still not on camera for this as I like shooting it news style with the featured guests as the only people on camera. I will reevaluate if I wanna be on camera again maybe for August.
As I am out and about more since restrictions and concerns regarding covid have lessened... I am noticing folks asking me the same questions all the time. So, I figured it would be a good idea to write about a Frequently Asked Questions Blog. Hopefully, you find it informative and it keeps us all the same page. Overall, I would say the top 2 questions I receive are about #1 Being on TV and #2 my Mastectomy.
Let's dive into the questions with the one that people seem to get wrong first.
Frequently asked questions of 2022
1. How is your cancer and how are you recovering from breast cancer? This is a bit jarring and uncomfortable, because I never had cancer. I did not have cancer but I did have a preventative surgery aimed at preventing cancer... so with that a lot of people can't seem to wrap their heads around it or can't comprehend how they got that wrong.
In 2018 I had a prophylactic surgery and had both of my natural breasts removed with the hopes of preventing breast cancer in my lifetime. No matter how many times I say it was a preventative surgery, I would say about 50% of the people don't really understand what that means and they just associate me with having had cancer. Plus people don't read so no matter how many times I post about how I did not have cancer I still get the questions about it.
2. Do you miss being on the news?
No, I honestly am so happy doing my own thing and not working 5-6 days a week and waking up at 3am. I left back in 2014 and I am so happy I did. I was a great opportunity and involved a ton of work, long days and thankless hours... but I am stronger and more experienced because of it. You may not realize it it, but back then it was more than just being on tv, you were writing, researching, going out interviewing people, posting for the website and social media and so much more. You didn't just show up and look pretty on tv and then leave.
3. Are you still on TV?
Yes, I moonlight here and there for special projects and I am currently in a rotation of hosts for PBS Hawaii's live Insights show held Thursday nights. This is perfect for me because the live tv show averages about one a month and I think that is absolutely the right amount for me. I also don't really care about putting on makeup, being on television and as I get older I am more comfortable just staying home and not really doing anything.
4. What are you doing now?
I started my own marketing and communications firm. This is my real job and keeps me busy 365 days out of the year. I freelance as a writer, tv host, voice-over actor, producer and podcast host as well. But my business is actually digital marketing, PR and content creation.
5. How are your kids?
This has potential to be very awkward as the only kids I have are a dog and a cat. As you know Rico is 14 years-old and a cat and Roxy is about to turn 2 and is a dog, so we just have furry kids.
Hi friends and family. As you may recall last summer we got ourselves a pandemic puppy. Roxy was found roaming Palolo and rescued by the Hawaiian Humane Society. We adopted her at the age of 3 months-old and she will turn 2 in May. Roxy is our dog and Rico is our 14 year-old cat BTW. Roxy was born with nystagmus but the eye condition went away, however she turned out to be blind, which doesn't seem to affect her at all. If you know us, Roxy has truly been a shining ray of light and sparkling rainbow in every day since we got her. I do have a health update that is a bit of a bummer but not life threatening, we hope.
In January we noticed Roxy (the dog) was holding her right rear leg and paw up. She was kind of tripoding around and wouldn't put weight on her leg. We took her to the doctor and x-rays showed things to be normal, but that she had a thickening of the joints and knee and it appeared that she may have ruptured a ligament. The doctor gave us an anti-inflammatory and pain medication and told us to crate her. They recommend she have a surgery to fix the ligament. I wanted the best doctor for her and reached out the board certified number one surgeon on the island who didn't have any openings for just a consult until May. Remember this is January. I made the appointment and then opted to reach out to her local vet where they had another surgeon who specializes in this kind of thing as well.
At her consult with the second surgeon he heard a light heart murmur. Then they triple confirmed that she did have a heart murmur and before moving forward would need to have a echocardiogram done to determine what was going on with her heart. Today, the echocardiogram was conducted 3 weeks ago and we have not yet gotten the results. Mind you this doctor is the only cardiologist for animals on the island.
So we are still waiting to hear back about her heart. At this rate we may opt for the all-star board certified surgeon to give us his two cents when she has her original consult in May. Anyway, she is doing well and we limit her activity. She can walk, use the restroom and hang out like she usually does.. just no running and mainly a lot of sleeping.
My heart is so full from all the love we have for her. She is so sweet, loving and tender with everyone she meets. She is a brilliant shining star that illuminates our world. We love her so much!
Oh and Rico is doing well. Last year he was diagnosed with kidney disease, but after giving him a special prescription wet food kidney diet he is really thriving and doing great. His energy, spirit and fur coat are the best they've ever been. =)
As if we needed more of a reason to eat out... say hello to Food-A-Go-Go Restaurant Week (which actually 2 weeks).
FOOD-A-GO-GO WEEK LAUNCHES ON MARCH 23
The event will support Hawai‘i’s businesses and K-12 agricultural education programs
HONOLULU, HI – Hawaiʻi Agricultural Foundation (HAF) will host the second Food-AGo-Go Week presented by Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® from March 23 – April 6.
Food-A-Go-Go Week will join a year-long public awareness campaign called Localicious® Hawai‘i that highlights restaurants and businesses that use locally sourced ingredients or products in their offerings. Local businesses and restaurants participating in Food-A-Go-Go Week will have a special menu or local products available for customers to purchase/order for dine-in or takeout. Proceeds of this campaign will benefit HAF’s K-12 ag education programs, which have served over 18,000 students since 2014.
Through these programs, HAF addresses agricultural workforce development as the average age of a farmer in Hawaiʻi is 60 years old. All HAF’s educational programs spark an interest in agriculture among the children at an early age and encourages careers in the field. “As the hometown airline, we are always delighted to join causes that promote local food sourcing and sustainability in our community,” says Bryan Kapeckas, Managing Director of Loyalty and Travel Products. “Food-A-Go-Go Week is a great way for our visitors and kama‘āina to enjoy Hawaii’s restaurants while supporting businesses and the next generation of farmers.” “We’re excited to bring back Food-A-Go-Go Week to promote our businesses and restaurants that support our local agriculture and fishing industries,” says Toby Tamaye, President of AT Marketing and Co-Chair of Food-A-Go-Go Week. “We’ve seen the hardships that our farmers, ranchers, and fishermen have faced, and we’re ready to support our local business community as we move toward economic resilience and recovery together.”
To promote the campaign, Food-A-Go-Go Week participants are encouraged to enter in the #FoodAGoGo Week Sweepstakes. The Sweepstakes will begin on March 23 and run through April 6. Two winners will be selected daily to win a $100 gift card from participating FoodA-Go-Go Week businesses. There are two ways to win: Enter the Instagram Sweepstakes: 1. Post a photo of a dish from Food-A-Go-Go Week (March 23 - April 6, 2022) 2. Follow @Foodagogo_HI and @HawaiianAirlines 3. Tag @Foodagogo_HI and participating restaurant/business 4. Mention #FoodAGoGo in your post Visit Foodagogo.org: 1. Go to Foodagogo.org and click on the Sweepstakes tab on the top right corner 2. Fill out the form with your name, email, and phone number for your chance to win View Terms & Conditions for the #FoodAGoGoWeek Instagram Sweepstakes at https://foodagogo.org/2022-food-a-go-go-restaurant-week-sweepstakes/
I always try to be upbeat and positive... but I feel like it is time to get real.
I've been feeling down lately. My angst is coming from this new society we live in today that is divided more than ever and i also feel like people in general have become so selfish and flakier than ever. Covid gave everyone an excuse to cancel, opt to stay home and become way more awkward than they've ever been. It also brought people together, folks having their little gatherings and small groups. But unfortunately for me right at the start of covid we moved out of town and 20 minutes away -- which for most people is "so far." Too far to be invited I suppose.
I know others have felt it too, not being included and not a part -- I noticed for several years now that if I am not the friend reaching out and trying to make plans then I would never see anyone, cause no one really makes plans with me. Maybe it is just a result of my own doing, because folks assume that I am "so busy," that they don't even bother. But lately it has been wearing on me and I felt like being real for once.
I guess I will just continue to ask and ask and seek the friends who are mutual and also take the time to reach out and invite me to things -- as I do them.
Another thing that isn't sitting well with me is business owners who contact me, take my time, ask me for a proposal and then nothing. Not even a reply or they leave me hanging. I don't know if my prices are too high or if I am not the right fit, but time and time again I feel like they are desperate for me to help them and "need" to hire me then they fall off the planet never to be heard from again.
The good aspect of this is it has inspired me to raise my prices even more and work on the format of my proposal to be more clear and perhaps a tad more refined in appearance. Why charge more? I realize my time is valuable and if they aren't able to acknowledge my worth then they are not worth my time. I am just being real.
Wow, what a whirlwind of a year that was. 2021 started with a bang and brought promise, change and hope. It came and went so quickly, that when I look back at my camera roll I am in awe of how amazing, memorable and epic it really was. I guess anything compared to 2020 would be great but I feel like there were so many milestones and great accomplishments achieved I am truly grateful.
Here's a look at the noteworthy items from last year that I am forever thankful for:
Ah the world of social media... I've been active on social since it began with platforms like Asian Avenue, Friendster and Myspace. The evolution of using an online platform to keep in touch, market your business and self has grown exponentially. What free advice I tend to give out and offer to friends and close acquaintances would seem like common knowledge, but often times folks are counter-intuitive when it comes to utilizing social media the right way.
Here are some simple tips for those who think they really already know social media and have a good grasp but un-admittedly may need some guidance.
Easy tips for those who think they know social media marketing
1. Less is more. If you already have an established page, posting less will actually help you reach more people. Some think that posting more will prove to be better and gain more likes and traction, but actually it is essential to think quality over quantity in the long run. The algorithm is trying to identify authentic content and anything that looks too spammy will have less reach.
2. You don't have to make multiple pages for the same brand. A lot of people think new location = new page, but it is best to have one main page be the umbrella of your brand. Starting new pages is more work and means more content and more to juggle. I would recommend having one page that covers multiple locations as the hub of communication.
3. Same business, same location but your name changed - you don't have to create all new pages and start from zero... here's the easiest and best way to make the conversion -- simply, drum roll, change the name of the page. That way you keep all your followers and all the content from before to help explain that your name changed and perhaps your focus did too, but you don't have to start from scratch. The people following you there will likely support you on this new path, if they don't they can unfollow, but it is way better to lose a few followers than to start from absolutely nothing again.
4. It's all about videos! Create content for posting that is in video format for highest reach. Pictures are good, carousels are great but videos are king.
5. Good quality imagery is extremely important. Make sure to have clear, focused, on-brand images. Posting a shot of Diamond Head for a Maui restaurant won't make sense and although a nice photo, doesn't translate well. I often see images that don't give a sense of place and have no real meaning when it comes to promoting what it is you are promoting. Make sure what you are posting makes sense to others and not just that it makes sense to you.
6. It takes someone 7 times to see something before they actually understand or commit it to memory. If you post that you have happy hour once or twice a month... most likely folks aren't going to remember when you have happy hour if at all. You might feel like its repetitive but people are not going to do research, they are simply scrolling.
7. Always like, share and comment. If you also want to repost user generated content it is part of essential best practices to get consent or at the very least offer photo credit to the source and tag the source - always!
So I met a man who is currently taking care of his wife whom underwent a mastectomy recently... The exchange has upset me and I will tell you why. She opted to get reconstruction, which is your choice and is perfectly fine. For those who know me I had a preventative mastectomy without reconstruction... I just opted to go flat and not get implants or any other modifications. These are the choices that we make and ultimately you hope it is the best decision for you. Now what upset me was he started quoting to me the same things the doctors told me about getting reconstruction and encouraging implants. Words like: they were unhappy after going flat, they didn't like it, stats show most women won't like how they look and etc. I knew in my heart that I was going to be ok with not having any breasts and I didn't need anyone to convince me otherwise. What upsets me about this entire thing is people are perpetuating the concept that you need to be status quo or have breasts to feel normal.
Here was a guy who was looking at me 2 year post-op (by the way I don't have any breasts or nipples) telling me that having a mastectomy without getting breast reconstruction was going to make me not like it, regret it and so on. No one seems to advocate for this option. I had to fight for it and was referred to several plastic surgeons to try and convince me otherwise. I did not want to spend many months having parts of my body inflated and have another surgery so I could have implants put in or spend 15 hours in surgery having parts of my body taken from one place and put in another. He even said that his wife spoke to other women about their experience and what it was like having the surgery and then having implants, which I did too. It seemed so problematic and no one was really happy with their results after the first try. But I haven't been put on a list for people to talk to when considering going flat... why don't they advocate for those who want to just be free and not have any more surgeries or problems. Why the need to try and convince me of what other people think is right?
I feel offended most of the time because people think I had cancer, when my surgery was aimed to prevent the disease... now I am made to feel as if what I did was not right, not the best choice and not normal?
I am free, flat and fabulous and no one ever notices I don't have boobs!!!