Weekend Scenes: Apple Picking 🍎

Apple picking outside Boston
One of my favorite things to do every fall is go apple picking. Last year we didn't get a chance to due to all the things to do before the wedding, so this year I made sure to get to pickin' in early September. We went out to Shelburne Farm in Stow, MA which is walking distance from my brother and sister in law's house.

Macs and Cortland apples are my favorite so we grabbed a bunch of those. I plan to make apple crisp - another must every fall.
Apple picking outside Boston
Apple picking outside Boston

Apple picking outside Boston

The weather was gorgeous - warm in the sun, cool in the shade - a perfect late summer day.
Apple picking outside Boston

I also love popping into the shop to pick up a treat. While this apple butter sounded so good, I went with a maple pumpkin butter. Yes, please!
Favorite fall pastime - apple picking outside Boston

These mums. 😍
Fall mum flowers

Every apple picking trip must include homemade apple cider donuts. The best!
Apple cider donuts

Happy (almost) fall!

All pics by me.


Fall wish list

Last Thursday marked the last day in Boston that the sun will set after 7:30pm. Despite some hot days, the cooler, crisp nights are creeping in. While I never want to say goodbye to summer, I look forward to fall, my favorite season. Last year with the wedding and honeymoon, I felt like I missed fall (I never went apple picking! 😱) so I am very much looking forward to foliage, football, chili in the crock pot, apple picking, fun travels (NYC, VT & Charleston).... oh, and our 1 year anniversary! Here is my fall wish list. What's on yours?

fall wish list

new cookbook from a fave restaurant in Boston | sleek carry-on luggage for those travels | gray flats | two-tone flat clutch | cozy sweatshirt dress | pretty blouse | dainty necklace | purple and blue nail polishes


Everything's Coming up Roses

I am kind of obsessed with rose based & scented beauty products these days. The smell of rose is so light and airy, relaxing and not over-whelming. I've recently used a rose mask, hand cream and scrub but looking to add more to my list.

A new addition to my shower routine is Herbivore Botanicals's rose sugar scrub (above)Such pretty packaging and sloughs away dead skin with sugar and hydrates with coconut oil.

My friend gave me this light shaded Coola BB cream that smells so rosy and fresh. I've used this summer as my tinted moisturizer. PS: I also love Coola's SPF setting spray too.

I recently got a sample of the rose mask by Fresh. It's a gel consistency with real pieces of roses. It felt a little weird on the face at first but smells lovely and my face felt awesome after. I bought more and can't wait to use again. By the way, Fresh has a whole line of rose skincare products.
Fresh rose face mask
I've had this Aerin rose cream on my bedside for a while. It's very luxurious.
AERIN rose hand cream

This rose fragrance from Tom Ford smells AMAZING I bet but out of my budget. A girl can dream! 
Tom Ford Cafe Rose

Doesn't this rosewater facial spray from Mario Badescu sound nice? 
rosewater facial spray

Finally, who can forget the classic and budget-friendly Rosebud Salve?
Rosebud Salve

Do you love rose based and scented products? What others should I try?

Top photo via here.


What to eat in Hawaii

The food in Hawaii was delicious. I was expected a lot of fresh seafood but didn't expect some great culinary experiences & unforgettable dishes. After healthy eating for a year in advance of the wedding, I made up for it in Hawaii on our honeymoon. :) Here are the top foods you must eat when visiting Hawaii!

The poke trend is huge in Boston right now and I am all on board based on my poke eating in Hawaii. Poke is a raw fish salad that can be found in seafood markets, general stores, and restaurants. Poke means "to slice or cut" and the most popular type of poke is ahi poke which is raw tuna usually with soy sauce, sea salt, & onions. My favorite poke was in Maui at South Maui Fish Co., the bottom photo here, but I did not discriminate and ate poke on all 3 islands! Below from top to bottom: all the poke options at Whalers General Store in Haleiwa, Oahu and our traditional ahi poke with spicy cucumber; Hukilau Lanai's ahi poke "nachos" with wonton instead of tortilla chips (the hubby and I still talk about this dish) in Kauai; on the left below that is ahi poke at the Four Seasons in Maui and to the right ahi poke in Kauai from Sleeping Giant Grill (formally Kilauea Fish Market); the bottom is the South Maui Fish Company's spicy and traditional poke plate - loved the goldfishes :)

Shave ice
Another dish Hawaii is known for, we sadly (and surprisingly) only had shave ice once but it was from the famed Matsumoto's on the North Shore of Oahu.  The line was long but moved quickly and it was fun to watch them create each shave ice. For my shave ice flavors, I chose watermelon, peach and lychee. So sweet & refreshing. Along the same line, Hawaii is also known for ice popsicles (i.e. OnoPops in Kauai & Shaka Pops in Maui - sadly didn't try either).
what to eat in hawaii: matsumoto shave ice oahu

Here is a short video I took while my shave ice was being created:

Shrimp is so delicious in Hawaii and bonus points for trying Kahuku shrimp, which is found on the east coast of Oahu. Below from top: Giovanni's garlic peel & eat shrimp in Oahu; Ferraro's pesto pasta with shrimp in Maui; the bottom is shrimp orzo "mac & cheese" at Roy's Waikiki in Honolulu.
what to eat in Hawaii: Kahuku shrimp

There are tons of ramen places on each island and we got it twice. Below left to right is: Jo2's lobster ramen in Kauai and Star Noodle's kimchee ramen in Maui.
what to eat in hawaii: ramen

Luau pig roast
When going to Hawaii, you have to do your tourist duty and go to a traditional luau and pig roast. We did Old Lahaina Luau in Maui and here was my dish after filling up at the buffet:
Old Lahaina Luau pig roast dinner

Cue food coma(!) and despite the fact that they were serving a lot of people, the food was fresh, cooked well and hot.

Loco moco
Loco moco is a very odd dish and doesn't look too appetizing but it is delicious (and a perfect hangover food, lol). There are many variations but the traditional recipe is a base of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg, and gravy. You gotta try it to believe it!
what to eat in hawaii: loco moco

These Portuguese-style donuts are best known from Leonard's Bakery just outside downtown Honolulu. We stoped there on our way up to the North Shore. They were piping hot, crispy on outside, soft on inside and covered with cinnamon & sugar. In a word, "yum".
Malasadas from leonard's bakery in honolulu

More delicious meals we ate...
Macadamian nut crusted mahi mahi stuffed with crab, topped with a pineapple white wine sauce (omg my mouth is watering - this was one of my fave dishes the whole trip) at Mama's Fish House in Maui.
mama's fish house maui crab stuffed mahi mahi

I sadly don't remember what these dishes were exactly, but I got fish and hubby got steak and both were really good. The presentation at Jo2 in Kauai was beautiful.
Jo2 dinner in Kauai

I always order seafood stews when on the menu, it's my go-to...dipping bread in tomato broth, yes please! I saw this saffron seafood stew on the menu at Morimoto's in Honolulu (which is sadly closed now) and had to get it. The flavor was unreal; worth every penny.
saffron seafood stew

Bubba Burgers in Kauai with chili fries. Yes, please, now.
Bubba Burgers and chili fries in Kauai

This dish was one of many on our O'o Farm tour & farm-to-table lunch in Maui but it was my favorite: roasted root vegetables from the farm with tofu.
O'o Farm Maui roasted root vegetables with tofu farm to table lunch

Finally, three breakfasts worth noting and that I want to recreate:
First: file this tropical breakfast bowl we had in Honolulu also under a dish like loco moco that you gotta try it to believe it: a strangely perfect, sweet & salty combo of hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, bacon bits, and sweet sausage with a drizzle of coconut syrup and topped with grilled pineapple & banana.
Hawaii tropical breakfast bowl

Second: Java Kai, a super cute coffee shop in Kauai, has a breakfast bagel with cream cheese, home made pesto, tomatoes & sprouts. Really good, fresh combination.

Third: Maybe I was just starving from being up at 2am for the Mt. Haleakala sunrise, but this breakfast from Paia Bay Coffee was so delicious: scrambled eggs with salmon lox, cream cheese, mixed greens and extra toasty bread. Not pictured, an amazing hot sauce that I topped it all off with. Highly recommend going to this place in general - it's all open with seating amongst trees, so adorable.
Paia Bay Coffee Maui breakfast
That's just a taste, literally, of the food we had - I didn't get to desserts or the delicious bevis! Hawaii is also known for spam which we didn't try. We more than made up for it with all the other delicious meals. :)

Check out our full Hawaii honeymoon to Oahu/Honolulu, Kauai and Maui via these links. If you want any suggestions on those 3 islands, comment below!

All photos by me.


Hawaii Honeymoon: 5 days in Maui

Hawaii Honeymoon 5 days in Maui
Our honeymoon in Hawaii kicked off with Honolulu and Kauai. The final stop was Maui for 5 glorious days. After having a boutique hotel experience in downtown Honolulu, a quiet stay among-the-locals Airbnb in Kauai, we decided to enjoy the luxury resort experience on Maui and stayed at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea.

Day 1
Upon arrival, we got our convertible rental car and drove out towards the resort in the Wailea area. But first, my poke level was low (ha!), so we stopped at a well-known food truck: South Maui Fish Company. Visit my foodie post what to eat in Hawaii to see their ahi poke plate! Don't let this small food truck fool you, the poke was so fresh & delicious!
South Maui Fish Co. food truck
With full bellies and a high poke level, we made our way to the resort and after receiving welcome leis, we took a tour of the property.  It was love at first sight. Around every corner, a beautiful view, beautiful flowers, beautiful drinks, beautiful rooms... After checking out our room, we took a nice long dip in the infinity pool... sigh take me there right now! We lounged in our room to catch our first Maui sunset from our balcony then had dinner on the resort at Ferraro's (Italian which was a nice change of pace) with the waves of the ocean as our companion.
Maui lei necklaces

Four Seasons Maui Wailea infinity pool
Maui sunset

Day 2
Our first full day in Maui we had an early helicopter ride over West Maui & Molokai. We went through Blue Hawaiian. When we arrived I was smitten with this rainbow wall! I'm terrified of heights but this is a must do on Maui, or any Hawaiian island! When you arrive they take your weight and coordinate where you will sit in the helicopter to balance out the weight correctly. Luckily, DC and I had front row seats with the captain of our 'copter! I've never enjoyed something so much but equally wanted it to be over at the same time. Hubby and I were gripping each other tightly as we came SO close to waterfalls and valleys. It was so amazing to see the islands from that view; the colors of the water are magical.  We saw a rainbow too!
Maui Blue Hawaiian helicopter ride
Maui Blue Hawaiian helicopter ride
Maui Blue Hawaiian helicopter ride rainbow
Maui Blue Hawaiian helicopter ride valley

Here is a short video I took using the GoPro:

After coming back down to Earth, we did a very unique experience for lunch at O'o Farm upcountry. The Farm offers a farm to table lunch and tour of the coffee & vegetable farm. Admittedly, DC was a bit bored during the lead up to the meal (it was a bit slow at times and we were hungry), but once the meal came....wow. The salad we picked was served up beautifully, family style, along with 4 additional courses and wine. We ate at a farm table with the rest of the tour (sorry didn't get many good food photos as we were eating & enjoying too much but you can see a delicious vegetarian dish here) meeting people from all over the US. It was a truly unique experience.
Maui O'o Farm coffee tour
Maui O'o Farm farm to table lunch upcountry
Maui O'o Farm vegetables and flowers
Maui O'o Farm farm to table lunch upcountry
Maui O'o Farm upcountry

After, we walked through the Ali'i Kula Lavendar Farm. We didn't take a formal tour but I recommend stopping by. The grounds with the air of lavender and covered with succulents of all colors, proteas, and other flowers are UNREAL. I also bought a wonderful body scrub that transports me back every time I use it in the shower.
Maui flowers at lavender farm

On our way back down to sea level, we explored an old cowboy town, Makowao (great shopping - recommend Pink by Nature - this floor! - and Driftwood). That night we drove to Lahaina for a sunset dinner cruise for beautiful views of West Maui's coast. Our experience was dampered a bit because there was some ticketing issues so we were 1 hour+ delayed, cue hangry-ness and nervousness to miss the sunset. Once we finally got on board, the colors and views were worth the wait of course. The picture really don't do the colors justice!
Maui Lahaina sunset dinner cruise

Day 3
We had a 2am wake-up for the Haleakala sunrise. This is another must do for your Maui trip. I wrote about this in a separate post so click over to hear all about it and see more photos.

Afterwards we explored Paia and grabbed breakfast at Paia Bay Coffee, where I had one of the best hot sauces ever (random!) on my eggs. I wish we had had more time to shop & walk around Paia but we were exhausted from being up already for 8 hours. We spent the rest of the day napping by the pool and that night was dinner at Mama's Fish House - check out that post too for more foodie pics! Since we went to dinner early, we caught the sunset right down the road at Ho'okipa Beach Park which is known as a resting place for turtles. It was so cool how they had roped off the area to protect the native inhabitants to this beach. Despite the tourists milling about and taking photos (yours truly included, ha!), Hawaiian adults and children were catching waves as the sun dipped in the horizon. In that moment it just felt so Hawaii. :)
Ho'okipa Beach Park Maui turtles

Days 4 & Day 5
After running around for 10 days, not to mention all the craziness leading up the wedding!, we decided to forgo what we had planned for day 4, the road to Hana. It was a tough decision as the drive is supposed to be fantastic, but since we had already spent so much time driving here, there and everywhere - and loved it all of course! - we wanted to just relax at one of the most beautiful resorts. So we did just that and now we have another reason to go back to Maui! Friday and Saturday were our last 2 days and we just enjoyed the pool and the beach, read books, drank pineapple drinks, ate yummy food pool-side... you get the gist! I have so many more photos of this resort and can't say enough about the experience and service.

Friday night we went to the Old Lahaina Luau. It's known as the "best" and most authentic luau. Despite it being a tourist attraction, I think it's worth doing on your trip to Maui. There was no shortage of food - visit my foodie post to see my plate from the buffet!
maui old lahaina luau pig roast
maui old lahaina luau
maui old lahaina luau
Here is a short video of the performance:

Our final dinner Saturday night on the way to the airport was at Star Noodle. Full bellies of ramen before heading for a red eye, the best it's gonna get! That night we stopped on the way to Star Noodle to view Wailea and Haleakala from afar and a feeling of nostalgia came on for an amazing honeymoon experience and what we had done over those past few days, and even, the entire trip. After dinner, we caught our last Hawaiian sunset from high above in Lahaina. Driving back to the airport, convertible roof down, I watched the colors change & the sun dip with Coldplay's Hymn for the Weekend (which was always on in Maui for some reason) providing the soundtrack.
Maui view of haleakala
Maui sunset

If you made it this far, mahalo to you, for reading! And, Mahalo, Maui, for an amazing end to our honeymoon! We will be back!

See what we did in Honolulu/Oahu and Kauai, check out all the honeymoon posts and follow along on Instagram using the hashtag #alohacovals.

All photos by me.