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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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



A Hawaiian Farewell.

So even though I am finally home to dreary and grey Seattle, will you guys indulge me and let me write one more vacation post?  I need to look at pictures of fresh fruit and blue water just a little bit longer…

It was so nice to have the full kitchen in our suite, and we stocked up on fresh Hawaiian fruit for snacking in between meals – papaya and pineapple every afternoon.  So incredible!

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Our last few days there, we typically spent about half the day at the pool/beach, and the other half out exploring the island.  With each day, Cullen adjusted a bit more to the water.

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We have a lake trip planned with Casey’s family this coming summer, and it will be interesting to see how different he is in the water then.  Hopefully he’ll like it even more when the water is warmer! 

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He certainly had no trouble transitioning to the warmer air temperature in Hawaii.  He looked so strange in short sleeves and shorts at first, since I’m only used to ever really seeing him in sweatpants and long sleeves.  He spent a lot of time just hanging out in his diapers.  It is vacation after all.

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While it was nice to have the kitchen to make ourselves dinners and save a bit of money, we took advantage of Cullen’s schedule and went out for breakfast and lunch quite a few times.  I love healthy food as much as the rest of you, but vacation is also not the time to pass on macadamia nut banana pancakes (at Duke’s Beach House). 

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And I am sad that we didn’t discover our absolute favorite lunch spot in Maui until almost the end of our trip!  Choice Health Bar is the type of place I imagine myself opening if I ever get the opportunity.  A lot of their menu was smoothie based – both drinks and smoothie bowls.  But they also had delicious grains, soups, and fresh vegetable salads. 

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Here is just a small sampling of the many delicious things we ate at Choice.  A “Healthy Lunch Plate” – a salad, grain, and soup, combo – with two little dessert bites to finish.

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Chocolate chip cookie and mint chocolate chip cookie dough balls.  Love how they are served in a shell!

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This kale salad was incredible, and I’m feeling very inspired to start making a lot more things like this at home.  You can’t go wrong with giant avocado hunks. 

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Perfectly cooked garlic quinoa

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A Hawaiian Passion smoothie, made with all fresh, local fruits. 

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And one of several Acai Bowls we had during our stay.  This one was a very thickly blended smoothie topped with granola, bananas, mango, honey, and bee pollen.  I could eat this every single day.

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When we weren’t eating the special of the day at Choice, we were off exploring the island and relishing all the amazing views.  I have honestly never seen anything quite as awesome as the RAINBOWS in Hawaii.  I had no idea they could be so bright and vibrant!

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On one of our afternoon retreats, we headed to Lahaina to walk around the shopping area take a boat ride.  Before we departed, we checked out the giant Banyan tree with branches growing sideways. 

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And then we boarded our ship for two hours of whale watching!  Coming on this trip, we knew we would be limited in what we could do with a baby in tow.  We have always said we aren’t going to be people who’s lives stop when kids arrive, and I think so far we’ve done a pretty good job of still doing fun things, but also being realistic about what is possible at certain ages.

I called ahead to ask about taking a baby on the whale watching trip, and they suggested we do the large catamaran ship with both indoor and outdoor areas.  Casey strapped Cullen on in the Ergo, and we set sail.

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I am so SO glad we didn’t skip this trip.  It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.  At one point a mama and baby whale came right up next to our boat (which apparently rarely happens), and I couldn’t believe just how BIG these animals really are in person.

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I guess the whales that come to Maui this time of year are here for breeding and birthing, so there are a lot of mom and baby pairs.  Would you believe that a baby humpback drinks around 100 gallons of mama’s milk per DAY?  I can’t even imagine…

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Cullen thought the whales were boring and slept through the entire boat ride.

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Two whales jumping at once, with a third splashing nearby.  Can you imagine being on that little boat on the left?  Too cool!

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This is definitely an experience to cross of my bucket list.  Visit Hawaii and go whale watching were both on there, so I’m making progress.  Now I want to go again…

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The trip lasted two hours, but I could have stayed out there all day. 

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Traveling with a little one may have stopped us from doing more of the adventure-type of Hawaiian activities, but we still found plenty of ways to relax and explore the island. 

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And what is a visit to Hawaii without Hawaiian shaved ice?  This was root beer, coconut, and wedding cake.  So icy and refreshing!

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I would like another one (or three) of these right now.

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But eventually vacations have to end.  Unfortunately, we can’t just nap by the pool forever. 

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The first day we were in Hawaii, we had a few “what were we thinking?” moments when we realized just how much different (and more difficult!) it is to travel with a small baby.  But after a day or two we got into a groove, and we adjusted and adapted just as we do here with each new change.

Since Cullen’s arrival back in October, Casey and I have sort of been going going going all the time just to keep our heads afloat.  Without family in town, we have to really rely on each other just to get the basic small things done.  Bigger things are usually out of the question. 

This trip was a perfect way for us to recharge and reconnect.  A chance to sit and talk about what we’ve done, where we’re heading, and what we hope for as a family.  One of those hopes is to make it back to Maui someday!  For now, it’s back to Seattle…



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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