Maui Travel Guide: Part 1

While on our honeymoon to Hawaii we visited Oahu and Maui {more on Oahu here and here}.  Our first stop in Maui was Paia on  the quiet north shore. This area is totally different than Waikiki. It is quiet, eclectic and filled with its own personality. Tons of small shops, restaurants and live music. We learned that Paia is the place of choice for Maui locals to visit partly because it is not as popular with tourists.

In Paia we stayed at the Paia Inn which is right in the heart of the town. Every inch of the Inn was full of character. The Inn has a spa, restaurant and private beach, which may have been my favorite beach of the entire trip. It was so quiet and peaceful. Most of the time we where there we had the beach to ourselves. We did not take advantage of the spa {although we should have on one of the rainy days}, but I can fully attest to the breakfast menu at the restaurant. Plenty of gluten-free options and creamy avocado toast! 

PaiaMaui
Maui Paia
Paia Inn

Things to Do

Although we only made only made it to the first stop of the Road to Hana, I think Paia would be a good area to stay in if traveling the Hana Highway is something you are considering. On the Road to Hana we visited the Twin River Falls. It was a really rainy afternoon when we ventured out {in our comfy Ford Edge} which made the it feel like even more of an adventure. Once we got to the park, I felt like I stepped into Jurassic Park. 

One of our favorite memories from Maui was the O’O Farm Coffee and Breakfast Tour. The coffee and vegetable farm is location in “Up Country,” about 30 minutes from Paia. I would suggest wearing sneakers, a hat, SPF and bringing water and a light sweatshirt. The weather in this area was a little different than the weather on the coast. The tour also starts pretty early, so I was happy to have my sweatshirt {I was wearing shorts} at the start of the tour. I would also recommend eating a small breakfast or snack before the tour. You will be on the tour for hours before breakfast is severed. There was  quite a bit of coffee provided for tastings, which didn’t sit so well with my tummy by the time we left. 

We were able to sample a couple different varieties of coffee to start the tour. This was the first time I was ever able to drink black coffee. Interestingly enough, we learned that all coffee should be able to be enjoyed without cream or sugar. It was really interesting to see the coffee bean life cycle from the tree to the roasting machines. We were even able to bring home a bag of freshly roasted beans that we watch roast.

On this tour we learned about the farming of coffee and organic vegetables that are sourced to the Farm’s local restaurant, Pacific’o. Our tour guide, who was actually one of the farmers, lead the group around the farm educating us on all of the vegetables and their business. We learned that the vegetables that are harvested each morning make their way to the restaurant by mid-afternoon. The veggies are only touched by a few hands before they make their way to the plate. Truly a farm-to-table business!

The tour ended with a breakfast cooked on site by one of O’O Farm’s Chefs. They have a huge outdoor brick oven where the meals are prepared. Around that area there are beautiful long, wood tables for set the guests. We had a frittata with farm fresh veggies and of course, coffee.

Where to Eat Gluten-Free

The Paia Inn

Great spot for lunch and breakfast. Loved their avocado gluten-free toast topped off with an egg.

Maui Brewing Company

Although they do not have gluten-free beer, they had plenty of other GF beverages to chose from. My husband is a big craft beer fan, so this was a must see on our visit.

Cow Pig Bun

I had THE. BEST. BURGER. of my life at Cow Pig Bun. No exaggeration! It was absolutely delicious, complete with a GF bun.

Flatbread Company

Located a few store fronts from the Paia Inn, there were many GF flatbreads to choose from. We enjoyed it so much, that we went here twice.

Paia Bay Coffee & Bar

Although it is not the most GF conscience, they do have GF options on their menu. It is a nice little spot to for happy hour, drinks and live music.

Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon

Charley’s is a large, casual bar with live music and GF french fries! Great place for bigger crowd and if you’re looking for a very easy going night.

Next up, our stay in Wailea! Check back soon. For easy access to my gluten-free travel posts and travel plans, be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Wedding Planning|Giftguide for Parents & Special Guests!

When it came to wedding gifts for our parents I knew I wanted to get the something special. It was was hard to think of a gift for people who already have it all. I didn’t want the gift to be just another “thing”  to put in their homes. After weeks of brainstorming, the idea finally came to me when I was looking through old photos with my parents. When I was little my mom always had a film DSLR camera there she took everywhere {I later used it for my high school photography classes} so we have a ton of photos. She loved to have her favorites made into 8x10s which really helped me out with this gift idea. Both of my parents happen to point our their favorite picture of me and them. I took the photos home with me to scan to my computer for our DJ slideshow. For their gifts, I scanned their favorite photos to Snapfish and ordered two 11×14 sepia toned canvas prints. They came out great and I was able to use a coupon code to get a good deal!

20180112_19083020180112_19083620180112_190833

I wanted to get Mike’s parents the same gift, but unfortunately all of his baby pictures were small and I wasn’t able to get clear scans. His siblings live out of state and since we’ve been together we haven’t had the chance to get many family pictures. We did manage to get a great photo together at our engagement party. I had it made into at 10×25 sepia toned canvas. I love the shape and size of this one. All three canvas’ came out great and our parents loved them. My mom hung hers up as soon as she got home from our rehearsal dinner.

My uncle is an amazing florist. I knew he was going to make our wedding day beyond beautiful and I was right! I LOVED our flowers. They really pop in our photos and we received so many compliments. To thank him and my aunt for all their hard work and generous gift we got them tickets to a Broadway play. Ticket to a show would also be a great gift idea for parents. It just so happens that’ my dad really doesn’t like going to plays {sorry mom}.

20171012_202405

We had a few more special guests that we wanted to acknowledge at our rehearsal dinner. My aunt who helped out a lot with my planning along with aunts, uncles and friends who would be reading during our ceremony or singing at our reception. As a little thanks, we got them our favorite bottle of while or a book along with a sweet thank you note. I think the key to wedding gifts is to remember to be simple, practical and thoughtful.

post-signature-1

Our Bridal Party: Attire & Bridal Party Gifts!

My wedding dreams were made of burgundy and navy. With the few photos that our photographer has released, I know all of my Pinterest dreams came true. The colors looked amazing on our wedding day. I am so happy with how everything came together!

FB_IMG_1508090577268.jpg

When picking our bridal party’s attire, I was very mindful of cost.  For my bridesmaids, I wanted beautiful, yet affordable dresses that all of my girls would feel comfortable in. Two of my bridesmaids were pregnant for our wedding, so I wanted to make sure they loved the fit of the dress too. My bridesmaids wore dressed by Bill Levkoff from his #Levkoff line in the color ‘wine’ with nude shoes of their choice. The waist line and shape of this dress was so flattering. I thought all of my ‘maids looked beautiful!

For jewelry, the girls wore rose gold, including the beautiful tear drop earrings I purchased for them on Etsy. As gifts, I also bought them a rose gold Michael Kors makeup bag {similar here}, floral monogram robes and hangers. I saved money making the hangers myself. I bought wood hangers at HomeGoods and name decals from Etsy. I also purchased monogram robes for myself in white and my mom in navy {to match her dress}. My mom wore the most beautiful navy dress from Bloomingdales. I thought she looked stunning! From the second she tried it on, I knew it was the dress for her!

My flower girl wore an ivory and champagne dress from Etsy to compliment my dress. It was affordable and shipped quickly. For gifts, I got her a keepsake hanky to save for her wedding day, a hanger, a matching monogram robe, a pearl hair clip and a flower girl t-shirt for her to change into after the reception.

My groom and his groomsmen wore navy Alfani Suits – these suits were an awesome purchase! I always knew I didn’t want the guys to wear a tux and I’ll never understand why anyone rents suits. Both suit and tux rentals are costly and oftentimes more expensive than buying a suit. All of the guys in the wedding bought the suits online during a really good Macy’s sale. They purchased both the pants and jacket for about $150. All of them had great things to say about the suit itself and everyone at the wedding agreed they looked super sharp! The father of the groom wore a matching suit in class fit and my dad wore a medium grey suit from Joseph A. Bank {similar here}. We asked all of the guys to wear medium brown shoes and belts {Mike’s are linked}. As gifts we bought them white dress shirts, socks and ties.

22459153_1508009775947434_2748927580323100629_o

My groom enjoys local craft breweries, so we stuck with a craft beer them  for the rest of the groomsmen gifts. We got them bottle openers from Greenport Brewery, Montauk Brewery Long Sleeve Tees {another groom favorite} and a beer glass from Great South Bay Brewery. The best man is a coffee lover, so we gave him a  Nespresso machine. We love ours, so we thought he would love one too!

20171105_085136

Professional Photos by Capture the Moment Studios