Friday, July 15, 2011

Macy's Registry

Post wedding madness I wanted to give you my thoughts on the Macy's Wedding Registry.

I will preface this by saying that Macy's is one of my favorite stores!

I should not have been surprised when Mr. T expressed interest in being involved in the registry process, but I was.  We picked a day when we had a couple hours free and headed into our local Macy's.  Our first impression was, "Wow! Where do we start?"  Of course, Macy's answers this question effortlessly by having a wedding registry area in the store.

We met with a lovely consultant, who showed us how to use the scanning wand (loved it! want one!), and let us know that she would be happy to offer suggestions, or to answer any questions.  We headed straight for the china!  We had already narrowed down our choices online, so it was easy to make our final choice, Ralph Lauren, Silk Ribbon, Pearl.  From there, things got tough!  Luckily, our consultant stepped in and offered to "set" our place setting for us.  Using a table in the registry area, she set out our china with options for all of our linens (hadn't even thought about those!), crystal glassware, and flatware.  It made the whole process so much easier!

From there, we just had fun!  We headed over to the housewares section and started scanning away.  Two and a half hours later, we had selected everything except our every-day dishes.  We were exhausted, happy, and done for the day!  It was a great start.

One of our favorite things about the Macy's registry is that the online registry is so user friendly!  Trust me, you will want to "tweak" your registry more than once.  Instead of having to go into the store each time we wanted to make a change, we were able to log-in and make changes as necessary.

They even have a "Thank You Manager," which gives you the ability to track who has gifted each item, and if you have sent them a thank you note (very important!).  It was a life-saver for us when a card fell off a gift and we weren't sure who had sent it!

Overall the Macy's registry experience was fun, easy, and enjoyable!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

NewlyMaid - Why Didn't I Think of That?!?

"You know, you'll totally be able to wear that again!" is one of the biggest lies we will ever hear as women.  I can tell you, from personal experience, that no matter how flattering, pretty, un-hideous a bridesmaid dress is, you will, in-fact, never wear it again.  When 27 Dresses came out, I laughed, because although my six dresses do not compare in numbers, I could totally relate!  I have since, parted ways with four of the dresses, freeing up much needed closet space.  I have to admit that two remain, taking up about two feet of space in Mr. T's closet, (he is an understanding husband!).
You may have heard about this awesome idea already, but I had to share; someone finally came up with a plan to turn those un-wearable dresses into something great!  NewlyMaid makes it easy to find the perfect dress, (that you will wear), while freeing up precious storage space, in four easy steps:
  1. Pull those dresses out of the back of your closet!  NewlyMaid accepts bridesmaid, mother of the bride, special occasion, and prom dresses from most dress manufacturers.
  2. Create an account on and order a pre-paid mailer to send in your unwanted dress.  Don't forget to read the instructions for packaging your dress .  Your package is pre-paid, so you need only drop it off at your local FedEx Kinkos!
  3. You will receive an email confirming that NewlyMaid has accepted your dress (as long as you have followed the guidelines, you should have no issues!), and *poof*, like magic, your special pricing will be unlocked.
  4. Shop!  Shop!  Shop!  You now have access to the perfect little black dress!  Choose from six styles, order, receive, enjoy!
"What happens to my old dress?" you ask?  NewlyMaid recycles qualifying dresses that are 100% polyester.  They have also partnered with Clothes4Souls, which brings clothes, and shoes, to people in need, around the world.

It's truly a win-win for everyone! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

As you know, I love the 4th of July!  The 4th was my grandfather's birthday.  I have wonderful memories of the huge block parties that we would have with family and friends every year.  The culmination of every party was home-made vanilla ice cream, served up to Grandpa in a brand new ice cream bowl, that doubled as his gift.

In memory of Grandpa C, imagine how wonderful a scoop of melting, hand churned, vanilla ice cream would be with this 4th of July themed wedding cake!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nick's Fishmarket, Maui

Nick's Fishmarket is billed as one of Maui's premier seafood restaurants.  After visiting it's not hard to see why.  Located in the Fairmont Kealani, along the Wailea coast, the restaurant brings the romance of the Mediterranean to every detail.  Nothing is missed, from the overhead trellis of stephanotis blossoms, to the restaurant's decor; you're are in for a treat!

Mr. T and I had decided to splurge to make one night of our honeymoon extra special.  We are happy to say that we made the right choice by selecting Nick's Fishmarket!  It was amazing from beginning to end.

As recommended, we made our reservation for 6:30 p.m., so that we could enjoy the sunset from the outdoor dining area.  We were seated just before the ceremonial torch lighting (don't miss it if you can help it!).

The service was impeccable from the time we were seated through desert, till we walked out, happy and full.  Every need was met, and every request was fulfilled effortlessly.  Be prepared to feel pampered.

Now, to make you hungry!  The food was incredible.  Mr. T and I have had some good meals over the past few years, but this was, by far, the best meal we've ever had.  I started with "Chef's Sashimi", with wasabi, pickled ginger and house brewed soy sauce,  and Mr. T started with "Just a Salad" (which was anything but!), with baby garden greens, cherry tomatoes, Lilko vinaigrette, which was phenomenal!  I had the "Catch of the Day," which melted in my mouth, and Mr. T had the "14oz Prim New York Steak", with the loaded bake potato, local root vegetables, and fresh porcini mushroom sauce; he said it was the best steak he'd ever had.  I don't know how we did it, but we even managed desert; "Bananas Foster."

We took our time, enjoying our surroundings, the food and each other.  I can say with all honesty that we will be back, as Nick's Fishmarket is not to be missed!

For Reservations:
Visit: Nick's Fishmarket
Phone: (808) 879-7224 
Hours: 5:30pm - 9:45pm
Lounge: 5pm - 9:45pm 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ulalena Theater Show - An Evening to Remember

Simply put, you will be swept away, through the beat of the drums, original songs, and the stories told through dance and performance.  This award winning show is not to be missed!

Prepare to be amazed, and entranced by characters including Pele, the Volcano Goddess, Hina, the Moon Goddess, MO'O, the Lizard God, and Maui, the Trickster God, as they take you through the ancient stories of the creation of Maui.

From the moment the drumming began, we were transported to an artistic world, where myth and legend unfolded before us through amazing acrobatics, dance and song.  This show was truly the unique experience we were looking for; we truly enjoyed every moment! 

It is one of Maui's "must sees!"  You will never look at the stories of the creation of Hawaii in the same way.

For reservations:
Visit: Ulalena Theater Show
Toll Free: 877-688-4800

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ho'oilo House: A Bed & Breakfast To Remember

When the Ho'oilo House opened in September 2003 the proprietors, Dan and Amy along with their partners Kathy and Jay, knew that they wanted to provide a different experience for their guests.  There are other bed and breakfasts on Maui, but the Ho'oilo House has set itself apart from the rest.

The house is located about five minutes south from the town of Lahaina on Maui.  From the first moment we arrived we knew we were going to have a special stay.  We were greeted by Dan, who welcomed us, and showed us around the property.

The house itself is special.  Built and furnished from materials imported from Bali, the house consists of six rooms, all with their own person full bath (complete with outdoor shower), and private lanai.  Each room has its own special view, ranging from the gardens, to the mountains, and the ocean.  Our room, the Akala Manu room, had a partial ocean view from the lanai, which we enjoyed immensely.

Though they are often fully booked, you will not feel crowded at the Ho'oilo House.  Often, the only time you will see another guest is at breakfast.  The morning we were there, the expanded continental breakfast consisted of vegan strawberry coconut muffins (muffins flavors vary daily), toast, fresh fruit salad, hard boiled, farm fresh eggs, cereal, juice, tea, and coffee.

Every last detail has been thought of.  You can book in-room spa services, or arrange for a private chef to serve you dinner on your lanai.   Coffee and tea are always available, as well as an assortment of beach supplies, including beach towels, mats, coolers, boogie boards, hats, etc..  You can even arrange a wedding package for your stay, which includes a guest room for three nights, arrangements for a beach wedding, an on-site coordinator, an officiant, transportation to and from the wedding, a private dinner for two on your lanai, and much more!

The attention to detail doesn't stop there.  Dan and Amy, who run the B&B on a daily basis, have also taken special care to make the Ho'oilo House as "green" as possible.  Some of the fruit served at breakfast is grown on the property.  They provide complimentary, take home, reusable water bottles for all guests.  They also provide wonderfully luxurious line of eco-friendly line of toiletries called "Zero" from Gilchrist & Soame, which feature food-grade, naturally derived USP glycerin; natural conditioning agents from the honey and Brassica plant; and soybean and cottonseed oil, instead of petrochemicals.

To continue their mission of being stewards to the environment, the Ho'oilo House has installed an Enphase enlighten solar array.  The system, which provides 90 to 100% of their electrical needs, was installed, unobtrusively, at the bottom of the property, at the end of 2010, and went into service at the beginning of 2011.  Guests are invited (if so inclined), to track usage real time.

All of the effort that has been put into making the Ho'oilo House as special as it is seems effortless.  Each guest will feel pampered and special.  Staying at the Ho'oilo House is like being on your own private island; quiet, serene, and completely relaxing.  I can tell you that it was the perfect way for us to end our stay on Maui!


Ho'oilo House
808-667-6669 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Romance On The Beach

The ultimate romantic activity for couples is to have dinner for two prepared by your own personal private chef, listening to the waves while overlooking the beach at sunset.

Just after 6:00 p.m. we were seated at a beautiful table on a grassy overlook, and prepared to enjoy the view over a wonderful four course meal.

Upon booking couples are invited to make their course selections from an incredible menu, including your choice of appetizers, salads, entrees, and deserts.  All ingredients are fresh and local, with choices including chicken, beef, vegetarian, and of course, locally caught fish.

We selected the Stuffed Chantrel Mushrooms With Brie Cheese and Champagne Sauce, and the Shrimp Cocktail With Passion Fruit Sauce to start.  We dined the Maui Greens, and Caesar Salads, followed by our main entrees, Grilled Filet Mignon, and the Fresh Catch of the Day.  For desert we chose Chocolate Pudding With Oreo Cookies, and Lava Flow Cake With Strawberries and Whipped Cream.  Each course was more delicious than the last.

While enjoying each other and the wonderful meal, we knew that we could not have had a more perfect evening!

To find out more about booking a Romantic Dinner For Two contact Hawaii Fun Planner.

Reservations: 877-661-1188

Friday, May 13, 2011

Alii Nui: Highest of Royalty!

On our first full day on Maui we had the distinct pleasure of sailing on the Alii Nui. On recommendation we had chosen their snorkel sail to Turtle Point. We were excited to start off our honeymoon in such a fun way!

You start your adventure when you are picked-up by your complimentary transportation (by arrangement), a comfortable van, driven by one of the friendly crew members. Our driver Sarah was both personable and knowledgeable; it was great to learn more about the area and what was in store for us. As we pulled up to Slip 56 at the Maalaea Harbor we knew immediately that we are in for a treat!

The Alii Nui is impressive. Custom built, the luxury catamaran has an 78’ mast, and measures 65’ from stem to stern and 36’ port to starboard. As you step onto the boat and slip off your shoes, you are invited to join the crew in the spacious cabin below for a fantastic breakfast including assorted muffins and pastries, fresh island fruit, yogurt, juice and coffee. The fresh pineapple was a great complement to the croissants smothered in jelly.

After motoring out of the harbor, guests are treated to the remarkable sight of the captain and crew all working together to raise the sails. It was an extremely impressive site to see!

Sails Up!

As you sail away from the harbor, towards Turtle Point, you can continue to enjoy breakfast below, or, stroll up onto the deck. On deck guests are invited to lounge in the hammock-like trampolines, or relax and enjoy the view of the coastline going by while sitting on one of the long benches that line the outside of the cabin. We picked out a spot on the benches and relaxed into each other, enjoying the sea breeze and the gorgeous sights.

Just before reaching your destination, the captain and crew will go over all of the options passengers have while visiting Turtle Point. For beginners there are life vests and kickboards with viewing masks. For the casual snorkeler there are foam tubes to assist with floating, and for the advance SCUBA is available. The Alii Nui team truly has thought of everything! We were fitted for flippers, handed our snorkel gear and we slipped into the water.

As we began our snorkel, we were immediately amazed at the underwater world beneath us. You are truly immersed in the amazing experience of being surrounded by turtles and fish that are swimming all around.

Sea Turtle

Don’t forget to document your experience on the Alii Nui! The crew offers underwater camera rentals, and both a photography package and a video of your tour are available. It was tons of fun to be able to capture the reef life; we were able to get some great shots. What a great way to remember our time on Maui (if only we could find the disk!).

After you have had your fill of crystal clear water, sea life, and floating away your cares, climb back onto the Alii Nui, and wash off with one of the four heated, fresh water showers. On the way back to the harbor enjoy a delicious lunch including teriyaki chicken, pulled pork (best we had on our trip!), classic Caesar salad, pasta and potato salad, fresh fruit, and much more! Enjoy your lunch with a glass of red or white wine, champagne, beer, soda, juice or filtered water. What a great way to end our sail: red wine in hand, wind in our hair, treated like royalty!

Simply put, the snorkel sail to Turtle Point is a must, and in this bride’s opinion, the best, and only way to visit is on the Alii Nui!

To book reservations:
Visit: Alii Nui
Toll Free: 800-542-3483
Local: 1-808-875-0333

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Honeymoon: Destination Maui!

Now that we're back to "real-life"  I can't wait to give everyone my full reviews of everything we did!

Here's a brief reminder of our original itinerary:

Stay tuned for full articles on each of our activities, as well as where we stayed, and travel tips for Honeymooning in Maui!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tips For The Big Day (Post Wedding)

Okay!  Here are my top tips for the big day:
  1. Make the decision that any projects that are left to do the day before the wedding get left undone: We stayed up till midnight wrestling with a seating list that wouldn't cooperate before giving up and going to bed.  I only got three hours of sleep and my mom only got five hours of sleep.  Yeah for adrenalin!!! 
  2. If possible, have a day of coordinator, who is not a guest:  Bekah was invaluable to us!  She fixed every issue before I was even aware there had been an issue, she thought of everything, covered all of our bases, and kept us on schedule.  Without her, we would have started an hour late, and gone over by at least two hours :-)
  3. Have candy ready to bribe, I mean "assist" the flower girl and ring bearer down the aisle: A red sucker worked wonders to avoid a ring bearer's melt-down!
  4. Eat when food is presented to you:  You will not be hungry when food is brought to you (in our case right before we took our photos).  We did not end up eating anything until after our cake cutting.
  5. If you are planning on visiting each table, make two rounds; one for saying thank you and one for photos: 
  6. The only regret that we have is that we didn't get around to everyone; we stopped for WAY too many photos!  It would have been much better if we'd done one round to say hello and another to take pictures.
  7. And most importantly, don't forget to BREATH and ENJOY!!!!