about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Vacation With My Valentines.

I’m falling behind on filling you in on our trip, but I knew I would.  The whole point of vacation is to live it, not write it, right?  I’m catching up now while my baby sleeps and my husband is cooking dinner.  He has cooked every meal for us this week – I feel so spoiled!

I laid in bed earlier this week asking Casey if he remembered what we did on Valentine’s Day last year.  He didn’t, and I didn’t either.  I guessed probably nothing, as I would have been about six weeks pregnant and just starting to enter what was horrific morning sickness. 

This year though – this was one I will most definitely remember.  It started on the balcony, with fresh juice and big plates of breakfast potatoes smothered in ketchup. 

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We laid at the pool for a short bit in the morning, and after a few hours we decided we’d had enough sun and we were ready to go explore the island.  We headed about an hour away from the hotel to a small area called Paia, a little surfing town that reminded me of a beachy version of Fremont. 

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Our original plan was to have lunch at a spot called Fresh Mint – a highly recommended vegetarian restaurant.  When we got there, we discovered they were closed for lunch on Tuesdays (oops!), so we wandered around for a bit in search of something else.  We ended up at Flatbread Company, an all-natural pizza spot.

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We started by sharing the Organic Salad – sweet leaf lettuces tossed with celery, carrots, sesame seeds, arame seaweed, beets, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, and papaya – all tossed in a berry vinaigrette.  So delicious!

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We followed our salad with the large Vegan Pizza – wood-fired cauldron tomato sauce topped with mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, caramelized Maui onions, and an herb-infused garlic oil.  YUM.

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Cullen was a champ and played in his stroller for almost the entire meal.  As we finished, he ended up hanging out on my side of the booth.  He does pretty well in restaurants, which has allowed us to go out for quite a few fun meals on our trip!

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Even though we had just inhaled an entire large pizza, we couldn’t help but pop into One Gelato Company just down the street.  I was pretty pumped to find out that they had one entire case of dairy-free options available. 

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I went with half dark chocolate, and half Thai coconut ginger lime.  They were both really good, but the dark chocolate was insane.  It tasted like (cold) hot fudge!

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Our drove back was breathtakingly beautiful.  The sun was breaking through the clouds over the mountains, providing an amazing backdrop. 

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Wind!

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As we made our way back, we stopped at a scenic overlook for a while to watch the wales jump and simply take in all the beauty that surrounds Maui. 

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I’m a huge nature nerd, and I can’t get enough of the great outdoors and all its beauty.  In another life, I would work for National Geographic or Animal Planet. 

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I promised Cullen we would bring him back when he is older and can appreciate it a bit more.  I’m hoping he loves being outside and learning about nature as much I do.

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One of the best things about our Maui experience so far has been seeing the humpback whales.  I find them so fascinating, and seeing them in their habitat is pretty incredible.

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Blowing water in the distance!

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I can’t think of a better way to spend the day with my favorite valentine.

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And our little cupid.

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We made it back to the resort just in time to go watch the sunset on the beach.

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A sky mixed with blues, pinks, and oranges – so gorgeous.

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And a happy baby who has been such a good sport with adapting to all the craziness of vacation. 

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He has been so happy and smiley here, and I think he has really enjoyed having both Casey and I with him 24/7 here in Hawaii.

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Growing up, I spent my summers at my great-grandmother’s house on the Jersey shore. I feel like the salt water literally runs through my blood.

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So being able to watch my son feel sand between his toes and laugh at the crashing waves makes my heart feel ridiculously full.

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I don’t remember last year’s Valentine’s day, but I am certain that this one will stay with me for a while.

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One more day in paradise…

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Do we have to go home?

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89 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Brandee     at 12:54 am

I’m glad you liked Paia…We love going to Flatbread Company! Looks like a great vacation!

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Miriam     at 1:01 am

Last Valentine’s day you got a car!!! Who knew it could get any better!

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Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen     at 1:25 am

That second to last picture might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! Cullen’s chin resting on his little hands…I love it.

I’ve never been to Hawaii, and your photos make me want to drop everything and hop on the next flight from DC!

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Marci     at 1:47 am

What cute pictures that I’m sure you’ll remember forever! Enjoy the last day!

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beatriceqq     at 2:52 am

please don’t mind me saying——you look so gorgeous than before having baby!!

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Nicole @ Making Good Choices     at 3:06 am

such a gorgeous family! so glad you’re having fun and you’re little guy is adapting!

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abeer     at 3:39 am

it looks like so much fun!!! and it is soo amazing watching Cullen grow from the tiny little baby he was just a couple months ago to the adorable baby he is now! so many features developed and his eyes are beautiful!!! :)

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Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 4:21 am

What a wonderful memory. That dark chocolate gelato looks amazing. Love the scenery pictures too! Have a great last day of vacation!

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Theresa     at 4:24 am

Looks amazing! Out of curiosity, will there be any vegetarian recipes ahead in the future or will they be vegan only?

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 4:25 am

So so sweet – I’m glad you are having a great time catching up and slowing down as a family. Beautiful pictures!

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Simply Life     at 4:30 am

sounds like a perfect day! love the places you found to eat!

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katie@newmamamac.blogspot.com     at 4:48 am

he is sooo stinkin cute!!!!!
i spent my summers at the jersey shore too (Still do) love it!

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Shari     at 4:58 am

Oh, I know exactly what you mean about salt water running through your blood. I’ve spent part of every summer at the Jersey shore and cannot imagine life without it. It’s a tradition I cannot wait to pass on to a child someday.

So glad you’re having an amazing time. Thanks a million for sharing it with us. Your pictures are gorgeous! :)

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Emily (Edible Psychology)     at 5:04 am

These pictures are priceless! I have to admit, I have never considered living in Hawaii, and I probably never really will…but my boyfriend (who is British) recently had the realization that as Americans (or at least with the right to live in the US), we could live in Hawaii at some point. And although he is normally VERY practical, the idea has really intrigued him and your pictures have made me think a bit more about it. I think a vacation there is definitely necessary at least!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. :-)

~Emily~

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Sarah     at 5:08 am

Awww man this post is amazing! Cullen is getting more and more adorable by the minute, I swear!

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Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 5:15 am

There are definitely some album-worthy Cullen pictures in there Emily!

Glad you three are living it up. Makes me kinda wish I lived in a place like that all the time. Just need family closer and it would be perfect! Imagine all that pretty scenery year round. I would die happy. :)

[Reply]

Lee     at 5:17 am

Sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day to me.

I got that same pizza at American Flatbread, but I un-veganized it by adding local goat cheese.

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Maddy     at 5:19 am

SO MUCH FUN! And such a cutie little guy you have! Happy LOVE month!

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Allispin     at 5:28 am

Wow, I didn’t realize Flatbread had a location in Maui! I remember when one of the first ones opened in Portland, ME when I was in high school. So good! They have all kinds of great local Maine sodas and beers as well as produce, etc at that location. Maui looks amazing, enjoy it! PS Flatbread’s website is adorable…

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Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables     at 5:30 am

So glad you are having such a great time, I’ve loved being there “vicariously” through your posts!

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Rachel     at 5:31 am

Cullen was already a cute baby when he was born (which is not the case with all babies!)but now that he’s getting a little bigger he is honestly just getting more and more sweet in every new post. His pudgy little cheeks are just SCREAMING to be kissed constantly! :)

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Sana     at 5:38 am

I am so glad you blogged about this day, you will remember it forever.

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Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life)     at 5:43 am

What gorgeous photos! I’m so glad that you are having a wonderful time. I’m a nature nerd, too. My dream is to see a whale. I don’t know why, but Im obsessed.

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Marie     at 5:54 am

Cullen gets even more cute every time I see him, if that’s possible!!! I’m glad you guys are enjoying your trip!

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Amy     at 6:00 am

Hawaii is so beautiful. I didn’t get to Maui when I was there (we stayed on Oahu) but I remember the scenery taking my breath away. It’s just incredible.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count     at 6:10 am

There’s nothing like a sunset in Hawaii! What great photos and Cullen is certainly growing! So Cute!

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elizabeth | notes, quotes & anecdotes     at 6:11 am

firstly, i LOVE that last picture of cullen! looking out at the water with his hands under his chin – he’s a natural model ;)

secondly, i can’t believe you ended up at flatbread! i first had their pizza on a vacation to maine one summer and loved it. i had it every time we were back near the portland area and thought it was the only one. then, when i lived in boston, i found two north of the city that i visited and then they opened one right outside the city in a tiny retro bowling alley! i got to talking with our waiter about where all the flatbread locations were and joked that i wanted to visit every single one. when he ever said hawaii, i noted that i ESPECIALLY wanted to try that one – and now you’ve been there, so i feel like i’ve visited, vicariously through you :)

i’m so glad cullen’s been such a happy camper and that you and casey are enjoying the trip!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:21 am

Oh what a wonderful trip your having. It’s a shame you have to go home. Love all the photos.

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 6:22 am

I’m so glad you went to Paia. I eat at that Flatbread Company every time I go. They used to have a great aromatherapy store there but sadly it’s gone now.

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Jaima     at 6:22 am

I love your trip updates! I hope your last day in paradise is just as great as all the rest!

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Dorsa @ Running Thoughts     at 6:26 am

This post is so sweet :) I am so glad you have a place to document it all :)

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Michaela     at 6:27 am

I bet Cullen will miss Casey a lot, when he will be beack at work.
Nature is aaaawesome!! And seeing whales is just pure magic. I will remember the moment I saw a whale forever and ever and ever.

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Bonnie     at 6:33 am

Cullen is just too cute. I really want to go to Hawaii after seeing your photos! Great post.

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Haley     at 6:51 am

I am so glad that Cullen is adapting so well! Again, good for you guys for getting out and doing things with him. His smile is just too precious

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allpointswhole     at 7:18 am

Love the picture of you and Cullen. You look fab by the way!!

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 7:22 am

That food looks amazing!! Oh I hope you enjoy your last day in paradise! It looks like your little family is having a ball!

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Shannan     at 7:26 am

Love the pictures and reading about your family! It will be a Valentines Day to remember for sure!

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Gwen     at 7:31 am

These pictures are just precious! Such a wonderful memory you and Casey will have! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee     at 7:45 am

Your vacation looks amazing! Hawaii is beautiful. The ice cream looks great. :) Have late Valentine’s day!

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Audrey     at 7:54 am

Those last couple pictures are really making me long for sparkling water and lots of sand. Looks like paradise!

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Bethany @ One Girl's Taste On Life     at 8:06 am

I just knew you’d love Flatbread! It was one of my favorite places to eat in Maui. We were in Paia too late for the gelato place to be open, but I’m adding it to my must visit list for next time! So glad you’re enjoying Maui (the place I’d love to call home at some point in my life).

[Reply]

Emily     at 8:11 am

You have the happiest baby!!!! And don’t come back to Seattle… rain, rain, rain!!! Your current location looks much prettier : )

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Meghan @ Healthy Food Love Affair     at 8:22 am

Those whales are amazing, and I think it would be so cool to work for Animal Planet too (I’m a bit of an animal nerd). =)

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Lynda     at 8:36 am

What a wonderful memory you will have and you write about it so beautifully:) Cullen is adoreable and it’s so touching to read how you enjoy and appreciate all these things he is experiencing. You, Casey and Cullen are such a loving family. Thanks for sharing.

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Jenny     at 8:39 am

Those last two pictures of Cullen absolutely melt my heart.

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Jaime     at 8:44 am

looks amazing! As a fellow NW’er I’m super jealous of your warm weather. We need to go to hawaii next winter!

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Leah     at 8:56 am

I teared up a little. I don’t want your vacation to end!!

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Amanda     at 9:13 am

It sounds like you’re having a blast! What a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day :)

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Tara     at 9:46 am

What a perfect day!

I know you’ve gone through no-dairy phases before (I’m vegan), but you ate dairy during pregnancy, right?I’m curious as to why you’ve pretty much reverted to veganism now. Health or ethical reasons? It’s really both for me. Just wondering! Enjoy the rest of your vacation:-)

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Allison     at 9:51 am

Hey I don’t think I’ve ever commented before (but I’ve been reading your blog for awhile) so maybe it’s a little creepy that I’m just now commenting on a post about your family’s vacation (instead of one of the recipes I’ve tried) but oh my goodness, that picture of you and Cullen on the beach absolutely melts my heart. You’re a gorgeous mom!

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Courtney G.     at 10:03 am

I have really enjoyed your trip updates. Looks beautiful. Its so cool you grew up coming to the Jersey Shore. We live in a shore town and the ocean is 5mi from our house. It is so important to my Husband and I that our kids learn to love and respect the beach/ocean. I want salt water to run in their blood too. The ocean is such a special place. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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Kate     at 10:20 am

Your posts are killing me because I want to go back so bad!

We ate at the same flatbread place in Paia and it was wonderful!

Sounds like you’re having an amazing time!!

[Reply]

Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 10:42 am

OMG I LOVE FLATBREADS! I didn’t realize they had expanded outside of New England! That’s fantastic they are the best!!! Did you try their fresh squeezed lemonade? They squeeze it per glass after you order. It’s delish!

[Reply]

Katie @ Healthy Heddleston     at 10:45 am

Cullen is just so precious! Love that whole serious of pictures at the end!

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Amber K     at 10:49 am

Okay, I didn’t think I could want to visit Hawaii more, but I totally do! It looks so amazingly beautiful.

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Rachel     at 11:38 am

I am so jealous! Your vacation looks amazing! The two pictures of Cullen at the end are priceless! I love his hair blowing in the wind, and in the last one he looks like he has seen the love of his life!

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Mandy     at 11:50 am

Love the last few pictures! Afraid the next week is supposed to be all rain here… talk about crass differences. ;)

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lisa     at 11:56 am

Hi Emily! I love your blog and am so happy my friend tuned me into your writings :) I just had to tell you that I am also in Maui and am staying in Paia and it was so cool to see that you went and had 2 of the same things my husband and I did the very first day we were here :) That gelato IS incredible :) We have had that chocolate sorbetto TWICE!! We are heading back home to SF soon too. Glad we both are enjoying this wonderful island :)

[Reply]

RachelSD     at 12:02 pm

It looks like you’re all having the time of your lives! So happy for you!

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Jane     at 12:28 pm

Oh my gosh, those last couple pictures with Cullen’s hair blowing in the wind … too cute!!!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 12:37 pm

I love Flatbread! It’s our go to spot for the best pizza in our town. My husband will be so jealous to know you went to the Maui location.

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KatieTX     at 12:48 pm

I almost cried from all the cuteness in this post.

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Meagan     at 1:36 pm

WHAT FUN! And that’s SO cool there’s a Flatbreads in HI! I have gone to ones in NH :) and THEY’RE FANTASTIC! Great GF pizza. Those pictures are great Emily, what a great day. I can just taste that gelato ;)

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Heidi from BundlesofHugs     at 1:50 pm

What a fun trip you guys had! So, jealous. I love Hawaii and miss it so much. No matter how long your trip it never really seems long enough.

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 1:51 pm

Oooh I’m so jealous of your whale sightings! I’ve never seen a whale in real life, but I would absolutely love to.

Your pictures are beautiful, by the way. Makes me want to pack my bags and fly to Maui!

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Joss     at 2:09 pm

He looks so happy and cute hehe <3
It's amazing you get to see whales in their natural environment – must be breathtaking!

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sara     at 2:58 pm

what a fun vacation. so glad you enjoyed flatbread! it’s my favorite pizza place back home. reminds me of college…

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Leah     at 3:08 pm

Oh wow, Emily, these pictures look incredible!! My family and I always took beach vacations during the summer as well, and I know you all will treasure these memories (and darling pictures) for years to come

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Ashley     at 5:40 pm

Your son is soooooooooooo adorable! : )

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Ashley Reply:

Ps…. you look fabulous you had a baby like 3 seconds ago…

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Emily @LivingLongfellow     at 6:29 pm

i really had no idea there were parts of Hawaii that were so non-touristy and just nature-y. Maui looks like the quiet island. That beach town looks awesome. Would love to go there!

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More     at 9:43 pm

That little baby looks like he’s having a BLAST! :)

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Ann @ Day By Day     at 1:50 am

Seeing you in your fun summer clothes and at the beach makes me want it to be summer so badly!! Luckily it’s in the 50′s today in London so at least I don’t have to bundle up against the snow like last week…

[Reply]

Heather     at 6:08 am

Beautiful sunset pictures! So glad yall are hhaving fun

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed     at 12:54 pm

That last picture of Cullen is just ridiculously cute :) a gorgeous post. Oh & your gelato flavours sound fab!! Yum.
Heidi xo

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Aylin @ Glow Kitchen     at 2:06 pm

I love Cullen’s mohawk!

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Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie     at 2:33 pm

Awwww the perfect Valentine’s day! I wish every cupid looked like yours :)

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Jeanne     at 5:24 pm

Lovely! I’m so glad I found your blog. I’ve been making my way through your archives over the past few months and don’t want it to end. P.S. Please tell me where you got that adorable striped tank top.

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m     at 3:55 am

I´ve really enjoyed your vacation updates! They come at the exact same time as my partner and I are on our first vacation with out 9 month old, so they have been especially fun!

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Samantha     at 6:13 am

You inspire me and encourage my dreams. Enjoy a gentle transition to coming back home.

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mollie     at 12:34 pm

Great pictures!! Cullen is SO SO cute, especially when he smiles/is laughing! That pizza looks so flipping good too. I am glad you guys are having a great family vacation-I am going away with my family next month to Antigua and can’t wait for beautiful beaches and warm sun!

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Kim     at 1:53 pm

Those two photos of Cullen looking at the water are SO ADORABLE!!!!

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Sarah@The Flying ONION     at 8:04 am

I am a major nature nerd too!

Such gorgeous scenery. Glad you guys are having a blast.

(And those last pictures with you and Cullen are just adorable!! They need to be framed. :D )

[Reply]

dianne     at 9:25 am

so glad to see everyone enjoyed paia (and flatbread)! i can’t wait to go back to maui someday!

[Reply]

Kelly     at 3:54 pm

Are you strictly vegan now? I know you ate mostly vegan, but you seem not to be eating dairy any more?

Just curious if it was a reaction the baby had to dairy in the milk?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hey Kelly! I’m not strictly vegan, but I did cut out dairy earlier this past summer. I still eat eggs though, and I won’t turn down a good traditional baked good from time to time. :)

[Reply]

TeenyLittleSuperChef     at 4:20 pm

Oh I’m so jealous of you right now. My husband and I vacationed in Maui last year around this time and it was definitely one of the best trips of my life. It’s so beautiful there and all the people are so lovely and friendly. I hope you are all enjoying your trip. It’s been fun living vicariously through you right now. Especially when our weather has been so cold and crappy. Yay for the Pacific Northwest :)

[Reply]

Nikki T     at 8:00 pm

Just got home from Maui yesterday…aren’t the whales just amazing!?! I love watching them…it never gets old! Also amazing is hearing them ‘sing’ underwater while scuba diving! Maui, I miss you already!

[Reply]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Beach Bound.     at 3:49 pm

[...] took him to Hawaii when he was 3.5 months old, but it’s not like he could really do (or even remember!) [...]

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