Dallas Destination Fort Worth Texas USA

Takashi Murakami’s “The Octopus Eats Its Own Legs” Exhibit at The Modern Art Museum Fort Worth

Last weekend I went with a few friends to see Takashi Murakami’s “The Octopus Eats Its Own Legs” exhibit at The Modern in Fort Worth, Texas. Murakami is a Japanese artist whose work you probably recognize – he designed Kanye West’s Graduation album and did several collaborations with Louis Vuitton. I love the work he did with Louis Vuitton so I definitely wanted to check it out!

This wasn’t part of the Murakami exhibit, but I loved this shot!

The Modern is located in Fort Worth, Texas, not far off the I-30. We went on a Sunday and the line was ridiculously long! I found out later that they offer half-price tickets on Sundays and free admission on Fridays. I would say 1.5 – 2 hours is enough time to get through the exhibit. I personally really loved this exhibit, his art is so colorful and there’s so much detail in every piece it kind of boggles my mind! It’s definitely something you should see in person. Honestly, I never read super long commentaries so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. 🙂

the 2nd floor of The Modern decorated with Murakami’s design – reminded us of Lisa Frank!
I really loved the detail in his work.

Mr. DOB panda edition?

The Kanye West bear

This room seriously made me so happy!

Probably my favorite in the whole exhibit – the detail and colors in this one is RIDICULOUS!

Sculpture with little creatures hidden
I thought this room was empty but Mr. DOB was hanging out up top


These flowers seriously made me so happy!

Have you been to any art exhibits? What has been your favorite?
Let me know in the comments below!

Dallas Destination Texas USA

Enchant Christmas Light Maze at Globe Life Park

Enchant Christmas is the world’s largest outdoor Christmas light maze at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. It is the first time they’ve brought it out to Texas and I heard about it from one of my good friends while we were hanging out on Christmas Day. I didn’t get to go home to Hawai’i for the holidays this year and hadn’t really been feeling the Christmas spirit, but just driving up to Enchant made me feel giddy like a little kid! I don’t know what it is about Christmas lights, but it definitely made my Christmas!

Tickets cost $29.95 for adults and $21.95 for children. They do give military, senior, EMS, and first responder discount as well as family packs. You can purchase tickets in advanced on their website at, but since we went last minute, we purchased them there. The maze is open until December 31st, 2018 so if you’re in the Dallas metro, you have one last weekend to go check it out!

There’s so many things to do and see there, like the ice skating pond, marketplace, Santa’s palace, food trucks, and the Christmas maze. The maze is definitely the highlight. We really just went for the maze and photo ops! We were freezing afterwards and got some spiked hot chocolate, which was definitely the cherry on top of the night. But without further ado, the pictures!

entrance to the maze


giant lit ornament


mini tunnel of string lights
ugly laughing face

obligatory selfies

tunnel of lights

bridge over the ice pond

Texas sign – because, Texas

Have you been to any cool Christmas things this season? Where did you go?
Dallas Eats Food & Drink

ICENY Dallas


I don’t know about you, but to meet it feels like there’s always some new food trend or other breaking out on the scene. Sometimes those Facebook videos look mouthwatering, other times I’m thinking why would you do that? but to each his own and the foodie in me won’t completely knock it til I try it. Rolled ice cream is one of those trends. Rolled ice cream originated in Thailand a few years back and seems like it hit the US pretty hard in the last year or so. I’ve been wanting to try it out, but to be completely honest, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth! But I saw the COMING SOON signs hung up outside of I CE NY‘s new Uptown Dallas location and knew I had to check it out once it opened.




I CE NY is a franchise rolled ice cream shop that obviously started in New York and spread across the U.S. Located in a strip mall on the corner of McKinney Ave and Boll St, I personally would miss it if I didn’t know it was there. The shop itself is cute – once you walk in, the cash registers are located to your left and you can see 3 big steel grills lined up behind the plexi glass. There’s several concoctions to choose from on the menu, or you can be rebellious and opt to customize. All the combos in the pre-made menu are $7 each, which comes out to $8 and some change with tax. My only gripe about their menu is that there’s no nuts! No peanuts, almonds or anything.


I ended up getting the Milk Tea and subbed one of the ingredients for mochi balls. According to the menu, it should’ve came with cookie straws but I didn’t get any. 🙁 Overall, it’s a pretty cool concept – the cream is poured over those freezing steel grills, mashed with any ingredients and then rolled up before getting put into a cup. The ice cream itself is nothing spectacular, but if you love ice cream, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like it. I don’t think I’d be a regular just because of cost and I don’t have a sweet tooth in general but the next time I get a huge ice cream craving, I just might walk over.


I CE NY (Uptown Dallas)

2633 McKinney Ave #170

Dallas, TX 75204

Coffee Dallas Dallas Eats Destination Food & Drink Texas USA

Starbucks Reserve | Uptown Dallas


Anyone who knows me knows how much of a Starbucks aficionado I am. I’ve been a gold card member for years and have a pretty hefty Starbucks city mug and tumblr collection, but that’ll all have to share another time. So when I heard there was a Starbucks Reserve opening in Uptown Dallas – and within walking distance! – I was all over it.




A Starbucks Reserve is a craft coffee bar – basically a fancy hipster Starbucks. The flagship reserve store is located in Seattle, of course, but reserve shops are popping up all over the U.S. They have all the typical Starbucks drinks but feature the small lot coffees and fancy brews like nitro cold brew, clover coffee, siphon, etc. They also serve floats and affogato, though I’m not sure about the food menu.



The Uptown Dallas location is nestled on the corner of McKinney and Olive in the appropriately named 20 floor building. When I moved to Uptown a few months ago, I knew they were building a Starbucks there but had no idea it was going to be a reserve. If you blink too quickly, you might miss it because the infamous siren logo is nowhere to be found.



Once you walk in, you’ll notice the bar equipped with all kinds of brewing gadgets and the reserve coffees on display. The seating area is wide and open with tons of space and outlets to plug in. Everything from the chalkboard menu to the food display screams hipster minimalist and if I’m being completely honest, the millennial in me totally loves it.



From what I hear, this particular Reserve store opened at the end of June 2017. I’ve been three times since I heard about it and I don’t know if it’s the atmosphere, but I like being there more than a regular Starbucks and I love how the special coffee menu changes. The first time I went, I went with a friend just to check it out. I’m a sucker for nitro anything (love me some nitro Guinness) so I tried the Nitro Cold Brew and you know I had to get the Classic Affogato! Normally I’m not a fan of Starbie’s cold brew, but I love it in nitro form. I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but the Affogato was really good.


The second time I went I tried the Iced Hazelnut Bianco Latte – a house-made hazelnut-praline-infused milk combined with small-lot espresso. I really liked the hazelnut-praline flavor but the infused milk just really sweet. I even tried it with an extra shot, but it’s just too much for me. Maybe if they toned it down a little, I might actually like it more than my favorite, the light caramel extra shot Macchiato.


The third time I went, I tried the Nitro Cascara Cloud Cold Brew. If you don’t know, cascara is the dried skin of coffee cherries. I’m definitely a fan of their Cascara Latte, so this was right up my alley. I’m thinking I’m going to be a regular here, although there are a few coffee shops in the area I haven’t checked out yet!


Overall, love the store, love the concept, and of course, love the coffee. There is much coffee to be had at this Reserve store. Although the notorious green siren is MIA, I totally approve of the reserve logo. I mean how cute are these cups? #starbuckshoe



Destination Life

Aloha 2016

2016. Oh, what a year. 2016 marked my first full year in Texas and the longest I’ve gone without going home to my beloved Hawai’i nei. It’s been one helluva a year but I’m so ready for 2017.

I’m definitely a social media addict (typical millennial) and I love these dumb top 9 photos from your past year. (You can get yours here.) Obviously, my top 9 is reflective of my favorite things – travel, family, food, & fitness.

The highlights of every year are always my travel adventures – or when people travel to see me! Traveling was to a minimum in the beginning of the year since I was still getting settled into Dallas, but the itch to wander never leaves me and after NM, it was all downhill (or uphill) from there. This year I:

  • Had my entire family visit me in Dallas (May 2016)
  • Went to a wedding in Albequerque, New Mexico (June 2016)
  • Celebrated my sister’s engagement in Phoenix, Arizona (August 2016)
  • Visited with my BFFs in Portland, Oregon (August 2016)
  • Had my first Eurotrip to Kythira, Athens, & Santorini, Greece (September 2016) 
  • Worked and played at Dreamforce in San Francisco, California (September 2016)
  • Rode a wine trolley in Monterey, California (October 2016)
  • Met my dad and sister in Las Vegas, Nevada (November 2016)
  • Spent Christmas with a friend’s family in Austin, Texas (December 2016) 

I love my little adventures and I’m so grateful that I even have the means to do so many YOLO weekend trips and some extended trips.

I’ve met so many new people and kept in touch with lifelong friends. I even let go of some toxic relationships.

I was disenchanted by society but my faith in humanity was restored. (Still getting over how strongly Christians defend Trump’s misogynistic statements.)

I found a new hobby that I’m actually pretty decent at and started the Pineapple Shack X.O.

I had highs and lows in my faith  and questioned what I believe, but overall strengthened my relationship with the Lord.

I gained new confidence in my career and got that “new city, fresh start” I’ve been longing for the past few years.

In 2015, I told myself I’d be out of Arizona in 2016. Little did I know, I’d take the leap and end up in Texas. Overall, moving to a new city where I didn’t really know anyone was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s scary and nerve wracking but a complete adventure and I don’t regret it all.

2016, you were so horrible and great at the same time. As I say every year, Cheers to 2017! May this year be so better than the last.

Life Lessons Lifestyle

3 Things I Learned About Moving To A City Where I Didn’t Know Anyone

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge


A little over a year ago, I packed my car with a ton of clothes, my beloved Xbox and one of my best friends and made the 15 hour trek from Phoenix, Arizona to Dallas, Texas. It felt a little unreal when we cruised through Las Cruces and then it felt like FORever driving through West Texas.


how sad and empty my apt was the first month


I knew virtually no one moving here and had no clue if I would even like it. I lived out of an extended stay for 2 weeks trying to find a place to live. I had to wait a whole month for the movers after that to get my furniture – my living room had my Xbox, a gamer chair, and a 32 inch TV on the box the chair came in (see picture above). I got lost on the freeways more times than I can count and got frustrated not knowing my way around town. It has definitely been an adventure but I’ve grown to be quite fond of Dallas but I also learned a few things along the way.


Old Red Museum, Downtown Dallas

I learned a few things living in Texas, like:


  •  There’s a city called Texhoma on the TEXas-oklahOMA border. There’s also a city called Texarkana on the TEXas-ARKansas-louisaANA border. I was very amused when I learned this.
  • There are no mountains in Dallas. I thought the desert was flat, but I was wrong.
  • Whataburger is a thing. So is Dr. Pepper. Anything that was born in Texas is a thing. Mention a honey butter chicken biscuit to any Texan and watch their eyes light up. I dare you.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to say y’all in a professional setting. I have been tempted to, but I cannot bring myself to say it.
  • If you can, AVOID THE 635. It is never a good time.


Yeyo at Lake Carolyn, Las Colinas


I’ve been away from home for 10+ years now and living completely on my own for the last 3. Moving somewhere where you don’t know a soul is kind of terrifying. But it’s exciting at the same time. Here are 3 things I learned along the way:


1. Don’t be afraid to jump.

One of the most ‘traumatizing’ life events is moving. Moving to a new city and state where you don’t know a soul and doing this all ALONE magnifies the trauma. It’s terrifying. But it’s also exciting and liberating. The first few months were really lonely and the stark change and culture shock had me mildly depressed for a while. (Ask my sister, I called her bawling my eyes out and I had no legitimate reason why.) I questioned if it was even the right decision. But a year later I’m SO glad I moved. I found friends, I learned the freeways and I found my way.

Deep Ellum


2. But don’t make the leap when you’re unstable.

When I graduated college 4 years ago in Tucson, I had a ton of personal problems that I thought I could runaway from. Running away doesn’t make them disappear, it just defers them. I thought moving to a completely new state where nobody knew me would solve my problems. I was THIS CLOSE to moving to Chicago and then briefly (and ironically) almost got placed in Dallas. God knew me better than I knew myself and placed me in Phoenix. I remember thinking, ‘Ugh, I’ve been trying to get the hell away from here.’ Looking back, I think it was the best place for me to be at the time. My two best friends lived in Phoenix, I knew the area and I had a ton of friends to support me. In the emotionally fragile state that I was, I think the shock of somewhere new would’ve been overwhelming. 3 years later, I’m glad the cards fell the way that they did and I was in a much better place emotionally and even career-wise to make the move.

Truth & Alibi, Deep Ellum


3. I wouldn’t have gotten this far without my faith.

My first 4-5 months in Dallas was probably my loneliest. It didn’t help that I moved right before the holidays and literally spent Christmas alone on my couch in my apartment. I didn’t even have my dog, Yeyo, with me. Although it was a particularly ‘dry season,’ it was also one of my sweetest times with the Lord. It kind of breaks you down a little bit when you’re sleeping on an air mattress for a month because the movers take for-freaking-ever but it also makes you question yourself – What do you have when you have nothing? I knew that I had God and I wouldn’t have made it without that truth.

The Rustic, Uptown Dallas


I’ve been lucky to have a lot of support from my friends and family. Making a huge move on your own is tough, but it’s been so rewarding and I’m so grateful to have had the experience. It’s scary and you might ask your self all the what ifs – like what if I fail? But my darling, what if you fly?

Coffee Dallas Eats Food & Drink

Houndstooth Coffee at SYLVAN | THIRTY

I love coffee. Or maybe I’m just a caffeine addict. Coffee is definitely an acquired taste, a taste I learned while doing all nighters at Old Main at UofA. But even though I’ve been a loyal Starbucks Gold Card member since 2010 (and I say that a little too proudly), I can’t say hands down that they have the best coffee. So far, my favorite coffee shop has been Peixoto Coffee in my old stomping grounds of Chandler, AZ but I’m always open to trying a new cup.



I went to get my hair trimmed in downtown Dallas and with the help of my handy Yelp app, I found Houndstoodth Coffee nearby. It’s part of a little shopping center/loft apartments thing they have at SYLVAN | THIRTY and it was kind of hard to see from the street where it was at. Aside from the usual coffee and tea, apparently they serve beer and wine. The shop itself is bright and modern inside, definitely with a hipster vibe.


I ordered a large (16 oz) Iced Sweet Latte and for $6 I thought that was overpriced – you can get a venti iced caramel macchiato with an EXTRA shot in it for around the same price. The latte itself was really good and I would probably go back to try other things on the menu, but as a cheap Asian, I wasn’t really feeling their prices.



At first I didn’t really get what this quote on the wall meant, then I realized it’s talking about the houndstooth pattern duh but I still didn’t get it. Their website kind of explains but tbh it goes over my head – how that specific pattern is the pattern of coffee I don’t know, but give me a good cup of coffee and I really don’t have to know.


Houndstooth Coffee @ SYLVAN | THIRTY

1878 Sylvan Ave
Dallas, TX 75208


The Big D Chapter

It has been 257 days since I left the desert to embark on the next chapter of my life in Dallas, a.k.a. “The Big D.” There was a time when I said I would never live in Texas and I never in a million years would I have imagined that a little island girl like me would end up in North Texas. But as the old adage goes, never say never.

Truthfully, the city has grown on me – the people, the weather, the Southern culture, and dare I say, hearing the word y’all. Even in the wake of the sniper shootings three weeks ago, I have to say that I have seen more love in this city than I have seen hate. Was it kind of scary? A little bit – especially since I work in the middle of downtown Dallas. It was a little odd being at the epicenter of it, but kind of cool in a weird way. See this snap from my office the day Obama and Bush came to town for the memorial:


It still blows my mind that this time last year I was day dreaming about what city I’d be in, stressing about when I’d move and if I’d even have a job. Now I’m finally settled in and starting to feel like this is my new home. I don’t know what the things year or even few months hold, but whatever happens, I’m ready.