What it’s like to be on reality TV in Hawaii, Say What?!

Cue all three kids in college. Check.

Get transferred to Hawaii. Check.

Meet the most amazing real estate agent on Oahu. Check

Find a condo on the marina. (wait, what, for real). Check.

Scott, Rose, and I in front of Kona Brewing Co. Great place to eat with beautiful views!

Here is a little story of how two empty nesters moved, trading in four seasons in Virginia to the year round sunshine in Oahu, Hawaii, and in the meantime, somehow got selected to be on HGTV’s Hawaii Life. Hawaii Life is a show that features home buyers in Hawaii while highlighting the land and sea activities and all the beauty that surrounds it.

When the hubby says, “honey, we’re moving to Hawaii,” it’s like a dream come true. Hawaii has always been my most favorite place on earth. There is something about the aloha spirt and laidback family feel of the islands that I have always loved. When we found out we were being transferred to Hawaii, I knew I needed to find a real estate agent. I wanted someone who would be knowledgeable about the market, truthful with us, and guide us through our home buying process. Through a little online research and prayer, I connected with Rose Kemna, and she was there for our home buying process every step of the way…as well as a virtual closing on our home while being 4700 mile away!

But the fun part came when Rose mentioned to Scot and me how she thought we would be a good fit for the Hawaii Life show. As our real estate agent, she would also be featured on the show, so I wanted to apply for her because she had been so helpful to our home buying experience. Low and behold, after a few interviews, we were selected. Now what?!

It was a neat experience seeing all the behind the scene action and how each scene is produced, especially being a photographer myself. It was a fun and unique experience, and most of all, Scott and I got to make memories of our move to Hawaii. We had to commit to four days of filming. The different scenes consisted of a waterfront interview, water activities, touring multiple properties, discussing our buying options, filming a time-lapse with my camera equipment, and chatting over dinner with Rose. Was it scripted? No. We did not have a script, but along with a film crew of seven people we did have a shooting plan to follow each day. Our days started early and ended around 5pm, and by the end of the day, we were all tired!

I never thought we would get chosen to be on Hawaii Life, but in years from now we will be able to laugh at ourselves and have these fun memories of our tropical move to Hawaii. You can catch our episode on Discovery Plus, HGTV Hawaii Life Season 14, episode 9.

Hope you enjoy watching, and if you decide to move to Hawaii, I can recommend a wonderful realtor!

Here are a few photos during filming. It was quite the experience for me to be in front of the camera, instead of behind it!

Rose hit it out of the ballpark (as stated on the show!) with our sunset views of Diamond Head from our lanai! Our favorite part about our Hawaii living!


How I made a lei from my daily walk in Hawaii Kai.

I know I have said it before, but, I love Hawaii. I love living here (especially since my kids are home!) I am continuously surrounded by such incredible views of the mauka (mountains) and makai (ocean). And since we moved here in December, despite the craziness with covid, I have enjoyed daily walks to reset and take in all the views and fresh air.

I started out walking to get exercise and to spend time with my hubby. On our walks I always noticed all the beautiful plumeria trees and all the petals that had fallen on the ground. Many were fresh and were screaming at me to “pick me up, and take me home!!” So, I did! Now, it’s become a thing in our home where we have beautiful petals we place floating in water to bring joy to our little cozy space.

Hawaii really is a special place and the aloha spirit is real. A lei is a symbol of friendship, love, celebration, honor, and many receive and give them to their family and friends upon arrival to Hawaii. I love greeting my family with one at the airport. It really is a symbol of love, and each time I receive one, even if I never will meet the person who made it, I can still feel the love of the hands who crafted it.

Of course with the quarantine and more time on my hands, I decided to learn to make a lei! Why not? I am by no means a pro it it, but with a little research, I gathered my materials that I had around the home and gave it a try.

Here’s a simple way to make a lei from fallen petals:

Step one: Gather your family and head outdoors for a nature walk. To make one lei, gather 30-50 flowers that have fallen to the ground, in public space (make sure not to infringe on someone else’s property). Be creative with what is blooming in your neighborhood, and try to mix blooms! There are endless possibilities!

Step two: Soak the blooms in cold water to rinse off. And then lay them out to dry off. You may have to toss out a few of the ones that begin to brown and wilt.

Step three: Find string to use such as embroidery thread; dental floss works too! Get a needle that will fit through the center of your petals, and grab a pair of scissors! That’s all you need.



Step four: Thread the needle, tie a knot in the thread, and begin threading the flowers one at a time. Once you get the length you like, then all you need to do is cut the thread and tie ends together! Wa-lah, you have a lei!

They say stop and smell the roses, or in my case, plumeria. I believe that by doing a craft like this, you will also experience the same as I did — calmness, peacefulness, thankfulness, and realize that it really is the simple things in life that are free and allow us to reflect on God’s beauty and all He provides us daily.

If you decide to make one, please let me know how it turned out! This would be a great summer craft for the littles too!

Aloha from Hawaii Kai!

xo,

Elisabeth


Never underestimate a Sunset

Daily Sunset off our lanai. No filter needed.

Is this a dream? Am I really living the Hawaii dream?

Listening to the sound of the Avett Brothers playing in the background — watching another beautiful sunset — breezes blowing my hair as I type, while birds fly by chirping.

If you looked out over the ocean water and mountains, you would never know there was a world wide pandemic happening. Many of my neighbors sitting outside watching the sunset, having dinner on their lanai, laughing, talking on the phone, some even paddle boarding and fishing off the dock, and boats buzzing by — it’s like our own little world over here on this tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Life is still going on. People are adjusting to the new normal of the beaches and parks being partially shut down, having to wear masks when running out to the stores, essential work places and picking up take away dinners; and don’t forget the new social distancing practicing! It is real. Changes have happened.

My nightly entertainment is with my husband and sweet Jack Russell, Boone, watching the sun go down over the mountain. When I wake from this Hawaiian dream, I hope I never forget the wonderful feeling of sitting on my lanai watching every. single. sunset. They are so different each evening. The sky dances to put on its own spectacular color show. The colors change like a painter dipping his paintbrush between purple, orange, pink and yellow. Then, slowly and peacefully, the sun tucks away for the night. In addition to my music playing, the sound of the palm trees are sounds that call for an encore. The swaying of each branch is like a tiny musical instrument on a stage waiting to be heard. They have a voice too, ya know. We just have to be still and listen.

Instead of focusing on some of the more challenging issues due to this pandemic, I choose to see every sunset through the lens of gratitude and blessing. I do not negate seeing and understanding the rest of the world news and I continue to pray each day for my family, our country and our world, and those who are suffering. I know it is out there. I understand it is happening. But one thing that will never change throughout this is that our God is greater than any pandemic.

After all, just like the song, He has the whole world in His hands.

Sunset in Hawaii Kai, No filter needed.