Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, More Than Just a Gym

AUTOBOTS! TRANSFORM! Well okay, Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp may not transform your body as fast as Optimus Prime can turn himself from a cab-over truck into a giant robot, but Bootcamp has transformed a lot of bodies in a short amount of time. It has also transformed my outlook on my capabilities from the first day I began working out there. I continue to be surprised every day I show up at their Honolulu location located on S. King Street in Mo’ili’ili.  As a working mother of two boys, I was looking for an early morning workout group. I searched the internet and found Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, which is owned by professional athlete Egan Inoue and his wife, Marcia Inoue who is also a former competitive gymnast. After reading a few articles and reviews I decided to check it out and took advantage of their unlimited 21 days for $49.95 which is still being offered.  I used to be a runner, but running at 5 am in the dark wasn’t something I felt safe doing by myself.  Much to my surprise, I found more than a safe place to workout.  I found a positive environment of other working parents, singles, and seniors who come to sweat, challenge one another, and grow together, not just in strength and endurance, but also in character. It doesn’t matter how athletic or experienced you are, it’s suitable for all ages and levels.  There is even a keiki bootcamp on Saturdays.

On Day One, Shortly after Brielle, my tour guide for the morning, showed me around the gym, the room was filled wall to wall with early risers ready for class.  Wow, I never knew so many people woke up so early!  Every 5 am class has about 40 to 50 members in attendance.  On this Monday, Egan Inoue, the man himself, set up various exercise stations.  Twenty minutes into the 30 minute session, I had to rest or pass out.  It’s been a while since I’ve taken an excercise class.  A basic sit-up, jumping jack, or a push-up is pretty much just used as a break.  Now all these are done in combination with something else.  For example, doing a sit-up into a tuck jump or combining squats with jumping jacks.  At 5 am, it kind of works the brain too.  Towards the end, I was on the punching bags and exhausted, but, my neighbor said, “We only have 10 more seconds. Finish strong.”  Those words motivated me to finish harder and faster in those last 10 seconds.  Egan also went around supporting and challenging everyone, “Don’t stay comfortable!”  I made it to the end of my first session.  It was a challenge but I felt strong and thought that maaayyyyybe I could do a pull-up before the end of this year.  We shall see, but, just the fact that at the end of my session I began to think of the possibility that I could be strong enough to do something that I could never do before was a transformation that made me start to see that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves through our thoughts.  I already intellectually knew this and used it as an affirmation, but now I actually started to FEEL IT and BELIEVE IT!

So, after Day One, I was hooked and really excited about the rest of the week and, if you can imagine, feeling quite happy and tough with all my muscle pain. I’m not sure what “tabata” means, but to me it means SUCKING WIND!  Just when I thought it couldn’t get harder than the first day, this high intensity workout on my second day led by the managing trainer, Kimi Morton proved me wrong.  Even when Kimi is saying stuff like, “the cure for pain is more pain, ” or threatening penalty burpees, she is a ray of sunshine!  She is always challenging us with a smile!  The best feeling though, is at the end of class when you look around and everyone is happy they made it through and congratulate each other with a traditional round of high-fives. 20140318-120524.jpg I was also able to enjoy a class with trainer Kyle Higa.  Like all the other trainers, Kyle is a lot of fun but sets the bar of expectations high in the sky, the sky’s the limit afterall.  Each day is not like the day before.  Kyle said we are doing “The Big Twelve.”  I was clueless, I won’t go into the details of “The Big Twelve, ” but I will say that I knew it would be another ass-kicking challenge when a veteran member said, “I’m scared.”  On this day we were working as a group to get through a series of exercises and couldn’t move on until everyone was done.  I used to hate group work in school, but this activity really united the group, not only did I feel great that I had made it through the workout but that there was this added bond because we were all helping one another complete the challenge together.

Their no-diet system was also not what I expected, but when explained, made total sense to me. Marcia suggested that I keep my current eating style but just change a couple of things. In my case, I get to eat more. I learned a little about metabolism and we decided to try adding more protein and eating a little earlier in the morning before my workout.  This simple act will raise my metabolism and keep it raised throughout the day.  I was able to let go of that guilty feeling I had for eating a very creamy and cheesy gourmet meal at the new Koko Head Cafe just the day before.

Egan, Marcia and their ohana at Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp have created a very unique environment to strengthen the body and mind. Most of the workouts are just 30 minutes. What I love about this training center is that it’s safe, fun, and challenging. The schedules are perfect for those of us who work and have families. There is a support system here that is not available at other gyms. Here, everyone encourages one another like a team mate.  Most of all, no one ever gave me a high-five at other gyms or when I used to run around Diamond Head. Check out their website for more information on locations, schedules, and testimonials. I also highly recommend signing up for the newsletter where there are great tips on how to get the most out of the workouts, recipes, and current promotions. Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp


We Got Called To The Principal’s Office Because Our Son Was a Biter


We never thought that would be us. We are good parents with well behaved children. So when we got a note from Cameron’s teacher reporting some aggressive behavior, we were shocked at what was in that note. We already knew at age 2 to 3 Cameron would express himself physically because he didn’t use words much. The teacher reported that he bit someone on the lip after he was pushed and that on a separate occasion he twisted someones eyelid. I felt like I didn’t know who this kid was and then I felt like a bad mother. Where did he learn to do this? We don’t allow the kids to watch anything violent and no one in our family behaves this way. My husband Alex and I agreed we had to act fast! The Principal also wanted to see us about Cameron.

At our meeting with the principal, we talked about ways to help Cameron in a positive way. I eventually came up with making Cameron a star chart to carry back and forth to school. The teachers were very cooperative and liked the idea. So, I made a card that said, “Cameron’s Super Hand’s.” We traced his hands with colorful markers on the cover. On the inside, it read, ” Cameron has SUPER HANDS, Hands that paint, hands that write, hands that hug, they can do lots of SUPER things and never hurt anyone or anything.” We read this to him everyday before school and told him that when he earned 10 stars, we would take him to buy something special from Toys R’ Us.
After a week, there was still no star, he was still getting in trouble for using his hands in a hurtful way. I felt so bad that other children may get hurt, although the teachers had been keeping a close eye on him and intercepting the attack always before anyone got hurt. We thought our plan was not working. Then, the next day, he got a star! Finally! “Keep it up Cameron!” we encouraged him and the next day he got another star! He continued until he filled up his star chart. Whew! Mission accomplished.  Along with the star chart, we encouraged Cameron to use words to say how he was feeling.  With persistent love and encouragement, we never scolded Cameron because we knew that he just needed to be taught to use his words.

Today, Cameron is 7 years old and is the sweetest, most thoughtful child I know. He gives the best hugs complete with this twinkle fingers thing he does when he’s hugging. When I pick him up from school, he runs to the front of the school to pick up the nicest freshly fallen plumeria flower for me to put in my hair. He is also the protector of friends and family and says he will be a firefighter one day.

The Bella Project: Hawaii’s Own Fairy Godmother

image“Every bella deserves a beautiful prom,” is the mantra of The Bella Project.  Sometimes it is financially hard for families to buy a dress when they are trying to just put food on the table.  Enter fairy godmothers! On Saturday, March 1, 2014 The Bella Project will be holding their annual Bella Boutique at the Central Union Church, Parish Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  As a non-profit organization, The Bella Project provides new and virtually new dresses and accessories to high school women free of charge.  Dresses donated by the local community, boutiques, pageant queens like 2013 Mrs. USA Universal Amanda Brad and The Bella Project’s own President Valerie Schmidt Mrs. Ultimate Elite 2014 are beautiful, stylish and in excellent condition.

The Bella Project was founded by Amanda Ross in 2009. In 2011, she moved away from Hawaii and turned it over to The Junior Leaugue of Honolulu.  Three members from The Junior League, Valerie Schmidt, Tracie Young, and Charise Shigeta operated it and converted it into a 501(c)3 again independent from The Junior League.   These ladies are currently the board members who are the leadership of The Bella Project.

The young women that come to The Bella Project leave with more than just a dress, shoes, accessories and makeup.  With a hundred volunteers, each girl is paired up with a female adult volunteer to talk about what is going on in their world.  Volunteers are strong professional women, moms, aunties, and mentors. For many of the young high school girls, it is the first time that someone has ever told them that they are beautiful or to have a strong female presence in their life.  Here are some of the inspiring stories from those who have benefited from The Bella Project:

From a daughter:  My mom was diagnosed with cancer, all of our money is going to her treatment.  I am hoping that you will allow me to get a dress so my mom doesn’t have to worry about one more thing.

From a mom:  My husband has been laid off since last year, now my daughter can get something nice from you.

From a mom:  We live paycheck to paycheck.  You have so many dresses for my daughter to choose from.

The goal of The Bella Project is to keep high school girls in school and reward them for continuing their education despite what is going on around them.  In addition, they should know that there are people rooting for them and encouraging them to grow, succeed and become contributors to the community and maybe even return to The Bella Project as a volunteer to reconnect with their female mentors, thank them for their experience, pay it forward and say, “I was once like you, you are beautiful and you will make a difference!”

For more information on how to get a dress or make donations like The Bella Project Facebook page and check out their webssite:

Review: Nature Republic Foot Peeling Mask

“You’re turning Korean,” says my husband pointing out that I watch Korean shows, eat Korean food and use Korean beauty products.  Kim chee,  Lee Min Ho, soju, and snail beauty creams.  These are a few of my favorite Korean imports.  Add the latest best seller at Nature Republic to that list – the Peeling Foot Mask.

A few weeks ago, some of us were gathered around my friend’s feet.  We were marveling at the dead, dry skin peeling off her feet revealing new baby soft skin beneath it.  I had to try it!! In my bathroom junk drawer (aka graveyard for beauty gadgets) I have that little paddle with sandpaper glued to it and the Pedi Egg which is pretty much an egg-shaped cheese grater, both of which require much labor with little results.p

I purchased my foot mask at Nature Republic for about $6.  Like most Asian facial masks, it comes it a foil pouch.  Inside the foil pouch are two clear plastic sock shaped bags with the liquid treatment inside.  I cut the plastic bags where indicated and slipped them on my feet.  I put a towel under my feet and relaxed with a good book for 90 minutes (the instructions say to leave it on for 60-90 minutes).  Finally, I took the bags off and them, dried my feet on the towel and rinsed with warm water.  You won’t see any difference for a few days.

Day 1 thru Day 3 there was no change.image  Day 4 was when the peeling really began. imageThe peeling continued for about another three days.  After all that peeling, I followed up with a moisture foot mask which I also purchased at Nature Republic for about $5.  There were still a couple of stubborn areas but they were much less calloused than before and I am happy with the overall result.

Click here to purchase:Nature Republic Foot Peeling Mask



So this place just celebrated it’s 100th anniversary last year. It is a small diner where you eat at a counter and there is typically a line to get it. It’s located in the Nob Hill area of San Francisco on Polk Street. It’s wise to call in your order and take out. They’ll have it ready and you can just bypass the line. When I called the staff person there was very helpful. Being in San Francisco, I knew I wanted clam chowder. When I asked for other recommendations, he suggested a crab salad and I ordered bread and butter for an additional dollar. That was a dollar well spent! The sourdough bread is also very good even as leftovers. The crab salad ended up being the best thing I are during my 10 days in The Bay Area!

Check out all that fresh juicy crab meat!!

A bowl of clam chowder.

The entire meal with sourdough bread! I’m dreaming of the next time I can come back and eat this salad!

Lucasfilm, Ltd.

If you are a fan of Star Wars then you should visit Lucasfilm, Ltd. There are no formal tours but great photo opportunities in the front if the building and in the lobby. To enter you must pass a guard who is very friendly and helpful. Also, the property is huge with a lot of paths and views of the bay.

Yoda fountain just outside the lobby.









Visit to Winchester Mansion

The Winchester Mansion was a pleasant surprise. Whenever I saw it on television, it was always portrayed as a bizarre house that was built by a disturbed woman. However, the story of this woman that went with the tour revealed to me that she had many hardships, but other than that, she was a well educated, benevolent, spiritually ascended, progressive, open-minded woman. For a woman living in the late 1800’s she was way ahead of her time. The placement of rooms, doors and cabinets may have been strange, but, it was efficient in the way it used energy and conserved water. She cared for her workers that cared for her paying them twice the going rate and taking care of their medical needs. She took no one for granted no matter what their ethnicity, everyone was equal.





Visitors are allowed to take photos of the exterior of the mansion and the garden.

More San Francisco Fun!!

Taking our kids to San Francisco, so far, has turned out to be a GREAT idea. We started off with lunch at the Farmers’ Market. There was a lot of great produce. The kids had all beef hot dogs, and I had a pork sandwich with a marmalade and parsley! It was sooooooo good!


















We finished with dinner at Epic Roasthouse with a nice view of The Bay Bridge, cocktails, a delicious meal, and dessert!







The perfect day in San Francisco!!

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The weather was perfect today! The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great place to take the family. We spent a good 4 1/2 hours looking around.



There are also lots of interactive activities for the kids including lots of touch pools with hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and sea urchins.



There are also lots of amazing artwork made from recycled plastic objects and lots of literature to encourage protecting the ocean and it’s inhabitants!

What everyday objects can you see?