Author Archives: Chi_Ho

About Chi_Ho

Movie geek, foodie, and internet guru. Google is my religion and laughter is what I live by. I don't plan on ever growing up and intend on living this life to the fullest.

Office Mystery . . .

Like AT&T, Isle Concierge is raising the bar.

Generally, usually, mostly . . . we like to keep our office in good standing order. Sitting in the office late last week Friday though, I finally noticed that all our staplers in the office had been sitting on our counter all nicely together for pretty much the entire week… a week that was anything but orderly. Now there are several things that are pre-determined or planned in our office, but then there are moments like these… completely random moments of order amongst the insanity. It’s a mystery.

We learned a lot this week… not fun learnings… it was the growing kind. It was pandemonium, a madhouse, re-donk-ulous or that’s how I felt it was. When I revisit this week, I think of explosions and headaches… but amongst that, our three little staplers ended up in complete order? What does it mean? Perhaps it is a reminder that though we may think everything is in disarray, it’s not so…. there were no explosions, no riots, and certainly no wounds. Or are these three little staplers a reference to AT&T’s ever so famous slogan “Raising the bar” and in that sense, this week we have raised the bar through the different experiences and craziness? This could be a possibility too because all this learning has led to upgrades in our system… hmmmmm…

Blame it on one of our OCD staff members (which one? we don’t know… we’re all a little OCD) or on coincidence or on the fact that I am truly exhausted, but these little staplers have led me to realize something about us this week. Β Our team has somehow established control and focus amongst our chaos… maybe it was always there and we never paid attention to it, but now it has my full attention. We are also raising the bar everyday through the many random things we help people do. Today it was tying bows on boxes (which is not as easy as you think) that were much too small. Next week it could be folding 1,000 origami cranes for a wedding. Whatever it may be, we will learn to do it and perfect it… that’s how we’re raising the bar.

You marinade on that… and if it doesn’t make any sense don’t worry, you’re not alone.

. . . burning the midnight oil, after hours.

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November Nom Noms

Oh November… I’m so excited you’re here. Though Hawaii locals don’t feel the seasons, I always know when the Holidays are nearing. It’s not the overcast skies or the sun setting sooner, it’s food. For some reason, once Halloween is over I feel like I start to consume more food… Maybe it’s just me?

I think it’s because we know the biggest food fare of all is upon us this month… yes, Thanksgiving.

*happy dance*

In honor of November and the feasts to come, let me get your appetites going with my 2 favorite foodie sites…. WARNING: proceeding past this point will make you hungry. If you are on a diet, please close your window. Thank you.

Tastespotting.com & Foodgawker.com

Tastespotting Screen Shot

I discovered Tastespotting.com in the Fall of 2007 while I was hungry πŸ™‚ The site was stunning. Beautifully composed pictures of culinary treats that made me wish I could 1) cook something so delicious and 2) take such beautiful photos. This is one of those great accomplishments of the social media! It has brought together people from all over the world who love food and photography and given them a platform to display their works of art. The even better part is Tastespotting.com’s tagline… “A Community Driven Visual Potluck”. Snaps to you Tastespotting…. that was a good one.

Tastespotting is addicting… Thus, in June of 2008 when a note was put up on their site saying it would be shut down, the online foodie community died a little inside. People were shocked, others were extremely sad… I personally was going through withdrawals. Where were we going to get our fix?

Food Gawker Screen Shot

A day later Foodgawker.com was born. Foodgawker is an almost exact replica of Tastespotting… delicious looking food photographed like supermodels (or as other bloggers have put it “Food Porn”). Our foodie lives were saved and the community returned to its contributions of foodie pics, and people like me visually feasted. Everything started to feel normal again, but then another surprise!! Tastespotting was resurrected a few weeks later! *sigh* Long story short, we now have two equally fabulous foodie sites allowing everyday people to share their beautiful food with fans of all culinary creations. Do I have a favorite? Not really. I don’t discriminate when it comes to food πŸ™‚

So if you feel yourself having a case of the Mondays, don’t fret… stroll on over to Tastespotting or Foodgawker and take a visual bite. You’re bound to stumble across something that will lift your spirits and get you through the work week. Something like this…

Food Gawker Doggie Shaped Cookies

Have a great week!

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Filed under Chit Chat, Foodie, Thought Process

Baby Cake Boom

love_cupcake

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about Cupcakes that make people crazy happy. They’re such happy looking baked goods that are in the perfect portion for indulging without going overboard. What’s not to love?

Though cupcakes have been found at bakeries all over, there is one company that truly put baby cakes on the map. It began in Beverly Hills when Candace Nelson and her husband set out to make a shop specifically for cupcakes and cupcakes alone. Partner the cuteness of these little cups of joy with the high profile location of Beverly Hills, a slew of celebrities, and Oprah… Boom! goes the dynamite. Cupcake nation was born.

Hokulani Cupcake Film

While Sprinkles took over the cupcake scene in the mainland, a similar husband and wife team was bringing the cupcake craze to Honolulu. Ana & Tushar Dubey opened Hokulani Bakeshop in 2005 and have been cranking out decadent morsels ever since. I’m sure you’ve heard about their infamous red velvet that has brought many island locals to their knees… or you’ve been one of those lucky people that have been taken a back by their amazing cream cheese frosting.

Well cupcake fans that work in Downtown Honolulu, indulgence is coming to your neighborhood. This week opens a new chapter for Hokulani Bakeshop as they open their second location at Pioneer Plaza (in the former San Francisco Salad Company space). I can hear all you downtown workers doing a little dance and getting all giddy. Don’t freak out… that’s natural…. it’s one of those cupcake side effects.

Be sure to see what their Grand Opening week at Pioneer Plaza has in store. I’m sure you’ll walk away with a smile on your face πŸ™‚

Hokulani Bakeshop at Pioneer Plaza
808-537-CAKE
http://www.hokulanibakeshop.com

p.s.- This isn’t the end of cupcake news in the downtown area… another cupcake shop is coming to your neck of the woods, but that post is for another day.

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Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee

We’re all busy people. Getting up early, sitting in traffic, spending all day in the office… who really has time to get in a good work out? Or more importantly, why would you want to go running after a long day? I’ve tried to go to the gym regularly, but that got boring really fast. I had these spurts where I’d be really good about getting to the gym, but after two weeks I’d fall off the wagon for the rest of the month then have to start all over again. I finally realized that I needed to find something I loved to do. Something that made me want to be there like when I played sports.

The Studio

Photo by Bruce Asato | Honolulu Advertiser

My brother Matt and I discovered The Studio by Egan Inoue in the Fall of 2008. I was nervous and I am not a fan of trying new things, but Matt was excited and jumped right in. For two months I listened to him rave about the classes and how much fun they were.Β  It peaked my interest… Being a former athlete and someone who often feels the need to hit something, I figured it could be fun… so I shrugged my shoulders and said, sure… why not. I’ll give it a go.

My first class at The Studio was on a Saturday at 10:30am. I was terrified because my older brother bailed on me and I would be going through my first class on my own (so supportive… thanks Matt!). To be honest, I was afraid it was going to be way too intense for me and that MMA fighters were the only people that attended. To my surprise, I walked into a room of everyday people smiling and welcoming me as the n00bie. I guess they could see my anxiety because everyone kept telling me “Don’t worry… we’ve all been there. Just do your best.” I stretched until class was ready to start and then I was met with another surprise… Egan Inoue himself would be teaching the class. Yes… Egan Inoue… you know, the five-time Icon world champion and two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion? Yeah that guy… He would be teaching the first class I ever attended at The Studio. I was surely going to die. As I quickly started scripting my obituary in my head,Β  Egan walked straight up to me with a smile on his face and introduced himself. This man is seriously, the nicest guy you will ever meet. So I scrapped my mental rendering of my obituary and finally said, let’s do this! So with an extremely supportive class and an amazing teacher, I set off on what would become my newest addiction.

Kickboxing Class

Kickboxing | Photo from The Studio Hawaii Website

Kickboxing Class combines standard Muay Thai Kickboxing techniques (i.e. punches and kicks) with strength and conditioning exercises (i.e. Ab work, squats, push ups, etc.). The best part about these classes? They’re never the same. One day we’ll do plyometric drills outside. Another day we’ll do a circuit with different stations. You just never know what they’ll have in store for you, and that’s what keeps me coming back. It doesn’t feel like you’re working out, it feels like a hobby. You want to be there no matter how hard the coaches push you and it does become addicting. Not to mention you can’t help feeling like a badass while you’re on the heavy bag. I don’t know what it is… but the Rocky Theme Song always plays in my head when I’m there. I’ve been dying to have that on the work out playlist… but I digress.

If you’ve fallen into a work out rut and you’re like me (hates running and gyms), my advice is to find something you love. It may be something you’ll initially be afraid of but you should go for it! If you would like to join me in my obsession, you can find me at The Studio. Your first class is free and you can even get a free week pass to try out all of the different types of classes (They have yoga, jiu jitsu, and strength and conditioning classes, which are also very popular). If you happen to be cruising at Manoa Marketplace at around 5:30pm on a Mon or Tues and see me jumping rope… please don’t make fun πŸ™‚

The Studio by Egan Inoue is located in Manoa Market Place near Bank of Hawaii. Contact them at 808-988-6200. Click here to download their most recent class schedule.

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Filed under Fitness, Health Fair, Local, Out & About

Awesome Paw-some

So sorry for going MIA on all of you readers out there. Our team has been knee deep in work and events so we’ve put this on the back burner. I know, my bad, but this is life and as always there’s never enough time in the day.

Last Friday was our heavily talked about pet fair, Pets @ The Plaza and let me just say that it was so much fun. The weather was freaking me out, but as you can see it was a beautiful Aloha Friday. Things kicked off early with a bunch of dogs and their owners cruising through our main tent on the front lawn of the property. It was like pet networking out there. Lots of butt sniffing πŸ˜‰

There were enormous Great Danes that chilled out on the lawn in Cocojor’s Cooling Vests. They were literally up to my waist when they stood up and I couldn’t believe how amazing these dogs were. The best part, which I sadly don’t have pictures of, was when the Hawaii Bird Guy had the parrots resting on these guys’ backs. It was quite a site.

We also had pets that were characters and dressed up. This was my favorite. The star shaped glasses were too adorable to not make you smile. Our friends at Pet’s Discount were giving out free toys, treats, & water to all the pets that attended (you see those packages on the table… yeah they were up for grabs). A huge Mahalo to them for all they contributed to the event and also helping me rescue a runaway tent.

All in all, it was a great event… probably one of my favorites. I loved being able to see people spending the day with their pets and seeing the interaction between everyone, human and non-human.Β  We hope to see you there next year with your four legged friends πŸ™‚

What’s next on Isle Unplugged? Well I’m glad you asked πŸ™‚ We’re reaching out to our community and bringing them together to promote a healthier at Hawaii.

Stay tuned for the 2nd Annual Health & Community Fair!!

.fin.

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Filed under Out & About, Pets @ The Plaza

Fur, Fluff, & Stuff

PetLogo

Incase you haven’t been watching our twitter feed (follow us!), we’ve been on a roll with our planning for the upcoming pet fair at Waterfront Plaza/Restaurant Row. B and I were on the phones yesterday, calling all of the local vendors who specialize in everything for pets and the response has been phenomenal! After a lot of messages, we’ve hit the core of the Hawaii Pet Community and they are all planning on joining us at Waterfront Plaza on “Bring Your Pet To Work Day”, June 26th.

I just got a call from Hawaii Pet Magazine, who is the source for all of Hawaii’s pet owners and they’ve been amazing! They’re being so supportive of our efforts to bring our pet community a fun event πŸ™‚ So a huge mahalo to Hawaii Pet Magazine & their network of friends. πŸ™‚

Right now we have some outstanding vendors confirmed… and this is only after 1 day!!! Here’s a preview:

We’re still accepting applicants so if you are in the area and would like to participate, hit us up! We’d love to have you join us.Β  Keep checking in for updates on our vendors and the great things they can provide for you and your pets πŸ™‚

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Raise The Woof

Today was a day of naming things, which is always difficult. Trying to be witty, clever, professional, and have it all make sense with the event you’re putting on is just downright ridiculous.

One of the many events we named today was for our upcoming pet fair that we’re hosting at one of our corporate properties. After an hour on the phone we settled on ‘Pets at the Plaza’. Simple, classy, & appropriate… unlike ‘Raise the woof’. All the talking about names and dogs makes me want to talk about my dog… Aja πŸ™‚

Aja Baby

Aja (pronounced like Asia), was technically named after me. That was supposed to be my name because my Dad loved the song by the group Steely Dan. For about 15 min she was named Lola, but in the end Aja was probably the best name for her πŸ™‚

She’s a sassy Tibetan Spaniel/Daschund mix that loves to look out windows, eat vegetables, act like she’s digging, & thinks she should shower every night. When we bought Aja, she was the last puppy on sale. No one wanted her so they put her on sale. My Dad didn’t want me to get her at first, claiming she didn’t have “personality”. When I picked her up to hold her and tried to look her in the eye to see if she would respond, she’d move her face away from me and she even sighed… like “ugh… don’t bother me. I’m tired.” I walked out of the puppy swap meet only thinking about that snobby little puppy. I was almost offended that she snobbed me. But, after 20 min I found myself running back into petland kahala hoping no one took her home! To my relief, she was still there, lying on her paws…. & then the adventure began. After 2 days at home she had already begun destroying toys, stealing socks and hiding them, and also got stuck under a night stand. My Dad and brothers were quickly won over by her… so much for no personality.

I think the best part of my day is coming home… the second I walk through the door, Aja’s there jumping on my leg, trying to tell me about her day. She truly is like my own kid that I’ve raised. It’s just funny how emotionally attached we get to our pets.

I’ll leave you with a cute puppy video of Aja on her second day at home… hope it brightens your day πŸ™‚

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