Thursday, November 20, 2014

Family travel tips: in-room meal prepping

I am writing this post because I promised my friend Karina that I would share my family meal-prepping tips before she leaves for vacation with her family.

When you travel with your family food costs can multiply very quickly so I've devised ways to save money and still eat well.

The only appliances you really need in your hotel room is a refrigerator and a microwave. During our most recent trip to the Aulani, we opted for a studio suite versus a one-bedroom (with a full kitchen) to lengthen our vacation. Since the studio sleeps the four of us comfortably, it was definitely worth it!

As a rule of thumb, while on vacation I like to have one nice meal at a restaurant as a treat. Dinner is usually the meal we prefer to splurge on. Sometimes it's lunch or brunch. For the rest of our non-restaurant meals, I like to prepare them in our hotel room.

love traveling to Hawaii because it is far enough so we feel like we're getting away but comfortable in that there are nearby grocery stores and Costco's/Sam's Club.

Our DVC (Disney Vacation Club) studio at the Aulani came with a sink, sponge, dishwashing soap, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker, carafe for the coffee, serving platters, utensils, glasses, wine glasses, cups, and plates. 

In this post I will show you how to make a hot breakfast and lunch (or dinner) in your room with a refrigerator and a microwave.

Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, and toast. (Kimchi is optional. Gerald and I like it on our eggs because it adds flavor.)


First you'll need to pack microwaveable Tupperware and coconut oil in a small plastic container. Both travel well and coconut oil is solid at room temperature so it doesn't scan as a liquid during your TSA check at the airport. The coconut oil is used to line the Tupperware so if you are cooking eggs or other items, it doesn't ruin the container. Plus it is healthy and all natural. I also like to pack scissors.

Now take your Tupperware, line
it with paper towel and cut your store bought bacon in half. Place another paper towel on top of the bacon. Microwave on high for about one minute per slice. I would recommend checking the status of your bacon every 1- 1.5 minutes to ensure it doesn't burn. We like our bacon crispy so I cook it until it is just right.


Take 2-3 eggs and scramble them up in another container. Then pour the mixture in your bacon-greased-up Tupperware. Cook at 50% power for about 1 minute each egg. I like to whisk the egg mixture up every minute or so to ensure the liquid cooks off but the egg still stays fluffy.

Toast your bread, add some kimchi and breakfast is served!

Lunch or Dinner: Asian chopped salad, roasted chicken, garlic brown rice and quinoa, and kimchi. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids.

Costco is a traveler's best friend. We hit up the Costco in Kapolei and bought rotisserie chicken, kimchi, Asian chopped salad, bread, lunchables, snacks, peanut butter, apples, bananas, juice boxes, wine, bottled water, and garlic brown rice with quinoa.

We bought the eggs, bacon, jelly, and musubis at a local ABC store (small grocery shop.)

The chicken just needs to be cut up and heated up. So does the microwaveable brown rice and quinoa which is surprisingly flavorful and moist! Then toss the salad and your hot meal is done:-) Kimchi is an easy way to add flavor, texture, and veggies to almost any meal.

Sandwiches are super easy. Lather the bread with peanut butter alone or add jelly.

And voila! Kids lunch is served!

With some planning and creativity you can create your own in-room-dining menu that is easy, heathy, and cost-effective :-)

Happy travels!

Monday, October 27, 2014

For Julio

Dear Juju,

Happy 10th birthday honey. I know this post is long overdue and today, after many years of contemplating how to remember you, I finally have the courage to write about the three wonderful years we had with you.

You helping mommy blow out her birthday candles.

Last week we watched a wonderful movie called the Book of Life. It is about the intertwined lives of the living and the dead. It is a beautiful story based on Mexican folklore and it reminded me of you and all our loved ones who have passed.

I was looking through archived pictures and I wanted to show you how loved you were since the day you were in your mom's belly to your last birthday with us.

While in your mommy's belly:

Here are pictures from your coming out party (baby shower):

Your first cake!

Check out how young your mom and dad are here!

Nana and Lola excited to meet their grand babies :)

And the football trash talking begins.

But of course your dad knows how to pick a winner (in women and in football.)

When you were born, 10/27/04:

Your first few weeks outside your mom's womb were tough but you were a fighter and your mommy and daddy never left your side.

Mommy giving you kisses at the hospital.

You and Lorenzo when you were teeny-tiny!

And who could forget THE HAIR! Bam! Stuck straight up  ;D

That smile of yours, oh my! You quickly won people over from the time they met you. Even as a baby you were easy to please and when you cried it was a tiny squeal-whimper.

You were one of the gentlest souls I've ever met.

And super easy to put to sleep.

I love this photo of handsome and kind, even as a baby!

Here are a couple photos with your brother in your Hawaiian shirts and matching sunglasses! Cuties!!

As you two got older, we had even more fun with you! 

Here are pictures from your 1st birthday party:

You and Nana

And of course a pic with your dad, mom, and brother.

You and your brother were our borrowed babies until we had our own. Lorenzo was Uncle Gerald's boy and you were mine, lol. We loved taking you to parties and everywhere we went.

Here are more blast from the past pics. Look how small all your cousins were!

Here are photos from Thanksgiving 2005:

There go those mesmerizing eyes again.

With Auntie Steph and Uncle Jay.

Here's a good one with Lola, MB, JJ, & Jer.

With your brother and cousins

With your dad

You did this gesture a lot when you were small and would get pretty much whatever you asked for ;-)

Love this one of you with Lola

The following are pictures taken in 2006, you would've been  2-2 1/2 years old.

Cutie on the Cell

Smiling with Uncle Gerald

Playing with the piano

One of your many sleepovers with us; you were the best cuddle bug!

Hello boys!

Here is another fave of mine which was taken at our wedding in 2006. You loved having a good time and would dance to anything!

You were the smallest one in our wedding party but look at your swag ;D

Here are pictures from your 3rd birthday party. Fun galore!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. It is the only path we have to be with you now. Please know that there are many of us whose hearts still ache for you, who remember all your endearing qualities, your sweet smell, your loving embrace, and your tender ways.  Until we meet again Juju, happy birthday honey.

"The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green