Fresh Stuff

Free Downloadable: 2018 Calendar

Its that time of the year again – the time for making goals and resolutions, grand schemes and plans. To get you on the road to being a goal getter, I’ve made these oh so cute A6 calendars that you can print and add to your home or planner. Simply click on the download link below and print on your desired paper. For the best results, print on white cardstock.

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Happy Goal Getting!


Kākou Collective – Free Downloadable 2018 Calendar Monday Start

Kākou Collective – Free Downloadable 2018 Calendar Sunday Start


Free Downloadable Letterhead: Aloha

Handwritten notes are making a comeback, and whats cooler than writing a handwritten note, than writing and sending one on a custom letterhead! I brush lettered a little aloha (pun totally intended) so that you can share some smiles with your friends and family.

Aloha Lettering.jpg

To download this customizable letterhead, click the link below and follow the tips for the best result.

I wish you the best and hope that your snail mail brightens someones day!

Happy Lettering


Kākou Collective – Aloha Editable Letterhead



Tips for an awesome letterhead

1 – Open downloaded PDF in Acrobat Reader, which is a free program most likely already on your computer. (If not, a free copy is available from Adobe here). When you open it up it should look like this:

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2 – Change the wording to customize the letterhead for you. You can also make multiple variations if needed.

3 – Save your file, and you’re ready for printing. Helpful Tip: Print on kraft paper, white cardstock, or any light-colored paper of your choosing.

  • Sidenote: no color printing means a SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS in printer ink if printing at home or printing costs if printing at a copy shop.

Top 5 Hikes of 2017

My adventure goal for 2017 was to do 40 hikes – the added challenge was no repeats of trails already successfully completed. Unfortunately, there is one day left in the year and Iʻve only completed 38 hikes (no repeats) but 52 in total (counting repeats) – so goal reached (sort of). The point, however, is that my entire life I’ve lived on this island and there were at least 29 places I had never ventured to before. Adventure isn’t far, you just need to go explore. This will be a multi-part series to help anyone looking for adventure if Hawaiʻi is their backyard.

Choosing my top five was definitely not an easy task, but here’s what I ended up with:

  • Favorite Off-Island Adventure
  • Most Challenging
  • Most Frequented
  • Easiest
  • Most Extensions

I figured that by having these “categories” it’d keep me from just choosing the hikes that I did most recently, or choosing hikes that are all the same type (waterfall, shoreline, forest etc.)

So without further delay, here are my top five hikes of 2017:

Favorite Off-Island Adventure: Makaʻulepu Heritage Trail with Extension to Kawelikoa via Makauwahi Cave

Mahaʻulepu Heritage Trail

Most Challenging: Kaʻau Crater


Most Frequented: Lulumahu


Easiest: Puʻu Pia, Mānoa


Most Extensions: Round Top Forest Reserve



Five Simple Adventures

My adventure goal for 2017 was to do 40 hikes – the added challenge was no repeats of trails already successfully completed. Unfortunately, there is one day left in the year and Iʻve only completed 38 hikes (no repeats) but 52 in total (counting repeats) – so goal reached (sort of). The point, however, is that my entire life I’ve lived on this island and there were at least 29 places I had never ventured to before. Adventure isn’t far, you just need to go explore. This will be a multi-part series to help anyone looking for adventure if Hawaiʻi is their backyard.

One of my adventure partners of 2017 was my 4-year-old godson. He basically did these hikes in its entirety on his own with no assistance (other than transportation there, of course, haha). My thoughts are, if a 4-year-old can do it, we definitely can.

Here are five totally doable hikes for anyone looking for some adventure:


1. “The Quickie” – Puʻu Pia, Mānoa 


Although it is located in a residential neighborhood, I think this hike is an ideal short adventure. The 2-mile trail has a moderate gain in elevation and ends on one of the lower ridges overlooking Mānoa valley. Another plus to this hike is that every time I’ve been to this trail (at least 5 times in 2017) there have been few or no other hikers, making it perfect for taking my trusty sidekick, Kahi.


  • Go before 11am and be ready to find parking on a one way in, one way out street
  • Bring bug spray and water
  • The better view is slightly before the end (pictured above) the seat at the “end” is blocked by brush


2. “The Nature Trip” – ‘Aiea Loop Trail, ‘Aiea 


This moderately trafficked loop trail featured a gorgeous array of ferns (I’m a huge lover of ferns) and had quite a few areas that were very picturesque. The middle of the hike is where you will see the view of our gorgeous highway that connects the southern part of the island to the north that sits in the middle of one of the most beautiful valleys. If I were to do this trail again, I’d probably only do the first half (starting clockwise) because I felt like the second half was just not worth the effort and there was nothing really worthwhile in comparison.


  • Go earlier in the day as there are parts where you’re very exposed
  • Bring bug spray and water
  • Be careful and never hike alone. Three days after we did this hike, an older woman that went hiking later in the afternoon got mugged. Not cool.



3. “Unassuming Trail” – Friendship Gardens, Kāneʻohe 


This trail was surprisingly wonderful. Based off of its name, you expect it to be a leisurely stroll but in actuality, there is a moderate yet slow gain in elevation and a great view on an off-shoot at the top (depicted above). Getting to the view does require some effort but I think it was totally worth it. For a trail that is less than a mile long, I found that I got everything and then some on this unassumingly gorgeous trail.


  • Parking is in a residential area, be ready to walk as the entrance isnʻt close to any good parking
  • Bring bug spray and water



4. “Nature Shower” – Lyon Arboretum


This trail is everything you expect it to be as it is an Arboretum. There are tons of native plants that are conveniently identified with signs featuring their scientific name. The great part of the arboretum is that there are tons of offshoots for you to explore and it woulndnʻt be a surprise if you spent the entire day there. One of my favorite offshoots of this trail is Aihualama Falls.


  • If you go into the main office, you can get a map that shows all of the different areas and offshoots
  • Technically there is a $5 donation to enter the grounds – $5 to go towards the upkeep of a magical place tucked in the back of Mānoa? Why not?
  • Coat on the bug spray especially if you’re going to venture on any of the offshoots
  • be prepared for passing showers



5. “The Begining of a Great Adventure” – Kamananui Valley Trail, Moanalua 


This hike is more of a long nature walk, however, Iʻve listed it because not only is it rich with culture, but it can be used as the beginning to the backside of Haiku Stairs (also known as Stairway to Heaven). This “trail” is an old carriage road, so along the way, you will run into several old bridges and worn stone roadways.


  • Bring bug spray and water
  • Parking is in a park at the back of the valley – donʻt leave any valuables visible in your vehicle as you will be gone for quite some time (it’s a 6-mile hike)


Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail + Kawelikoa Bay Extension

The Mahaʻulepu Heritage Trail goes from Shipwreck Beach by the Hyatt Regency Kauai to Punahoa Point (3.7 mi.) but being that I was nearing the end of 2017, I was trying to choose trails that connected to other trails so that I could add more hikes to my 2017 40 hike goal list. I ended up adding the trail to Makauwahi Cave and connecting it to the trail to Kawelikoa Bay for a grand total of 6.1 miles (according to my AllTrails App).


Let me just put this out there and say that this trail was breathtaking. I’ve been to Kauai at least 40 times in the last 5 years, and this by far was my best adventure yet. The trail starts off at Shipwreck beach where there is tons of parking that goes with tons of tourists. I was a bit weary for the first mile because of the amount people on the trail, but afterward, there were fewer people willing to venture beyond.


Essentially, you follow the coastline until the end but you do need to walk through the Poipu Golf course and a heiau (not my favorite part – honestly, I sprinted through). If I could’ve I would have added an extra hour just to take pictures, but we were racing against the weather (in true Kauaʻi fashion).


  • Wear comfortable shoes – the foundation varies from sand to lava rock, Kauaʻi red dirt to coral
  • Bring a rain jacket – on Kauaʻi, it rains one minute and then it’s bright and sunny the next
  • Take the trail between the shoreline and the farm as you get closer to Kawelikoa so that you avoid walking on the beach for a mile


Meet My Co-Worker

IMG_3335 Meet Kahi. Apparently her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. She chews really loud, leaves her junk everywhere, and thinks no one can tell she snuck off to take a nap in the middle of the day.

Just kidding – but not really. Kahi hears me out all the time and helps me to process my thoughts and how I’m going to get things done. Kahi’s super power is the ability to absorb negative energy and frustration and turn it into poop. She’s so patient and understanding, and is even willing to model from time to time (obviously, not this time).

One of my favorite pastimes (and Kahi’s obvious least favorite) is to take popular songs and put kakis name in it – this is our current jam.

Lēʻahi: Hiking the iconic volcano

Here’s another great starter trail. It’s a well-maintained hike with   Plus points: this hike is great for the little hikers.


Be sure to get there nice and early unless you want to compete for parking as it shares the starting point for both the Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail and the Kaʻiwi Shoreline Trail/Pele’s Chair. Follow the paved path to get to the top and enjoy going on some of the offshoots for some Instagrammable spots.

Overall, this was a great day to go hiking despite the fact that it was very windy and overcast. Bryce was a real trooper and had a ton of fun running along the path and looking at the ocean. I’d definitely recommend this hike for anyone of any age – as always, be prepared no matter how easy the hike may seem. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Trail Tidbits

Length: 3.3 Miles, Out and Back

Total Time: 1-2 hours round trip (depending on pace)

Suitability: Kids, Dogs on Leashes


• Wear comfy shoes

• Bring a rain jacket/windbreaker

• December – May is whale watching season. Check online to see if whales are in the area for an opportunity to spot a whale!


Get on H-1 East and take a right on Makapuu Lighthouse Road. Find parking in the provided stalls, or along the road leading to the parking lot. Be mindful when parking being that this is a popular hike. I’ve gone on this hike several times to find inconsiderate people that double park or don’t pull up close to the car in front of them when parking on the gravel. Follow the paved path until you reach the top.