My 6yo is very inquisitive and she seems to just have a huge thirst for knowledge. I love that about her personality. As a parent that also means that I have a great responsibility when answering her questions. I try to instill strong moral values in her and try to teach her to have a positive outlook on life. As a Native Hawaiian, my family and culture always taught me to take care of the land. We are one with the land and if we care for the land the land will continue to care and provide for us. I also continue to pass this message onto my children.

For this reason I was really excited to come across a company called Miero! At first glance I loved the cork look of their bracelets so I was interested in possibly buying some.  When I looked at their website I was hooked. Not only did I like the style of the bracelet but I found out that they even carve inspirational messages on the inside!!!! I could do a custom message or they had messages to accompany their designs. I knew I was going to buy one already. The positive message could inspire me every day and I could share this with my daughter! Double Score!!!

"Be stubborn about your goals, flexible about your methods."
As I looked through more of the website I learned that all of their products are vegan and sustainable. The cork based leather is gathered using a natural bark shedding process which is awesome. I can buy their products with a clear conscience. This goes back to my sense of responsibility to take care of the land. Needless to say I bought a beautiful “S” Hook bracelet. I chose to go with their inspirational quote because it went with my theme for this year about goals.  The quote says: “Be stubborn about your goals, flexible about your methods.” LOVE!!! Here is my bracelet:

And I was even more excited to partner with their company to continue to spread the inspiration of their products and company!  Mieroglyphs produces “Goods for the good of this world.” Please please please check out their cool products. They specialize in bracelets for both men and women, Miero key chains and even pet accessories. Because they are so excited to continue to spread the inspiration and love, Mieroglyphs will take of 20% of your purchase by using promo code: THEPOLOWAIIANS

Please let me know what you think of the product! I’d love to see photos and hear what inspirational quotes you all use.

P.S. I’m so excited to give my daughter her key chain for her birthday! She can share in the positivity!

The New Year is here! It’s January and everyone is starting their resolutions. Some people will accomplish their goals, while others will fall short. I’m not going to lie, I’m not big on resolutions. To me resolutions always felt like a fad. If I want to do something I don’t have to wait until the New Year to do it! Case in point is this blog.  For years I kept saying: “I want to start a blog.” Finally I took the leap in October of 2016 and launch this site.  I could have said I will wait to the New Year, but I thought why wait?

Now that I have the blog up and running I want to make sure that I keep myself accountable.  What is the good of having a blog if I’m not doing anything with it? So I wanted to be sure that I continue to set goals for myself and my blog. Setting goals will help keep me accountable and push myself to get better. In 2016 I received a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. Since completing the training, I have found that the tools I learned are also useful for my personal life as well. I have applied tools and principles to my house (especially those for organization). Now I want to continue to apply the tools for both my career, hobbies and family. I’m going to share with you one of my goals that I have set for myself and how to succeed at achieving it.

One of the best things that I learned at Santa Clara University is how to set
SMART goals. This was reinforced with my Six Sigma training. SMART goals should be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. What does this all mean??? It means that when drafting your goals you clearly state what you want to do and then start to consider all the different factors that affect this goal.

Where do you start? Let me run through an example of one of my goals with you.

Start with the specifics: 

The Next Step is to define exactly what you are going to measure:

Then you must do a check to see if your goal is attainable. **Note: You may need to redefine or restructure your goal if the answer is no to any of the questions pictured here.

Next you have to see if your goal is realistic. In order to do this you want to list the skills, knowledge and abilities needed to achieve this goal. Once you have your list decide if you possess these skills or do you need training and help. If you need training/help specify the following: who, what, when, where, why and how for this plan (Note: you will also need to get the buy in from others if their help is needed in the training portion. Also update the “Who is involved” portion of your goals).

Then you can specify your time frame for this goal: 

Now that I have considered all the SMART factors I like to summarize the goal. In this case my summary would be the following:

                Every Sunday I will plan 7 meals for the week (Mon-Sun) and stick to the plan 70% of the week (or 5/7 days). I will check in weekly when planning for the next week. This goal is starting on 1/8/17 and ending 3/31/17 (end of 1st quarter for 2017). The overall goal is to stick to the plan on a weekly average of 70% for the entire quarter.

As you can see my goal is specific. I also state when I will check on my progress. And what time frame I have to accomplish this goal.

I will update everyone at the end of the 1st Quarter on how I performed on this Goal. If you need help writing SMART Goals and/or just liked my layout please join our mailing list for the FREE PRINTABLE SMART GOAL PLANNING GUIDE. You can use this guide to set personal goals as well as career goals. The Guide will take you step by step so that you can be sure that your goal is SMART! Also as an added BONUS I include a page dedicated to listing out action steps that you need in order to achieve your SMART Goal.

Sneak Peak of the Guide Right here:
Going from a mommy of 1 to a mommy of 2 was a HUGE adjustment. I felt that my mentality needed the biggest overhaul. I thought I was prepared to be super mom, especially since I already practiced with my daughter. Boy was I wrong. For those thinking about expanding or already on the way to expanding, I wanted to share some of the differences between my 2 children (including pregnancy). I hope that this will help more parents mentally prepare for some of the changes to come.
D = Daughter
S = Son


D- I craved sweets and Oreos

S- I craved salt…chips…salty soups mmmmm

Morning sickness:

D: none

S: all the time

Similarities: heartburn and acid reflux with both


D-My water broke at 4 AM no baby till 16 hours later

S-My water broke at 4 AM baby just 2 hours later

Infant Feeding:

D-Tried to breastfeed/pump and failed after 3 months

S-Pumped exclusively and stopped by 11-12 months


D-early for her age for both

S-Refused to crawl, walking was better but not as soon as his sister


D-Chatter box before she was 1yo. Full sentences before 2.

S-Very few words by 1 yo. Short sentences by 2.

Fine motor skills:

D-At Age 2: Has a hard time with some fine motor movements. Ex: pushing small start button on washing machine.

S-At Age 2: No problems with fine motor skills. Easily pushes small start button on washing machine.

At the end of the day both of my children are very intelligent and quick learners.  They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. At first it was very hard not to worry about my son because he did not learn or act like my daughter had. Now am I able to recognize the differences and embrace them. I have also learned along the way that these little human beings are just amazing in their own ways. All the learning, development and growth that they do from the womb through the present and beyond is such a miracle.  I’m simply BLESSED to be their mommy.

My husband and I strive to do the following:


Listen to our children

Support our children (emotionally, physically etc.)

Have fun with our children

Teach our children: To be kind, use Manners, love one another, be thankful, help others, continuously learn and improve and most importantly...LIVE POLOWAIIAN

#LivePolowaiian #withanopenheart #openmind #buildonthefoundationsofcultureandfamily

Christmas Time is here!!! This is a time to celebrate the Birth of Christ, families and all the blessings we have received throughout the year. I love reading books with my children so I thought it would be fun to do a 12 Days of Christmas Books this year.  Here is our list that we will be doing this year. The list is in no particular order as I let the kids choose the book from the group each night. There are a couple of cardboard books for my 2 year old to enjoy holding. I'm especially excited because there are 2-3 books on this list that I have not read yet...I CAN'T WAIT! :)  My family plans to start this on December 14th so that we will be reading our final book on Christmas night.

Let us know in the comments below what are your family favorite Christmas books! Also if you like any you see in our list but do not own it now, click the links below to order them today. Prime shipping will get you these books quick.

Follow us on Facebook to see which books we read each night!
1. The Christmas Story

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
3. Rudolf the Rednosed Raindeer
4. Frosty the Snowman
5. Clifford's Christmas
6. The Polar Express
7. Twas the Night Before Christmas
8. The Itsy Bitsy Snowman
9. The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer
10. The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
11. A Charlie Brown Christmas
12. The Littlest Elf
Since starting this journey I have gotten a lot of questions regarding the name of my blog. People would ask: "What does it mean?" Well let me explain what Polowaiian means and why I decided to name my  blog this.  Polowaiian is a cross between the words Popolo and Hawaiian.  Popolo is a term used in Hawaii to refer to someone of African or African American decent. Popolo is derived from the Hawaiian word for a medicinal plant bearing shiny black berries. Since I am Hawaiian and my husband is Popolo we call our family “The Polowaiians.”

Our family motto is: “Live Polowaiian.”
What does that mean? It means that we strive to live each day with an open mind. When you have an open mind you can always learn and appreciate knowledge. Not having an open mind leads to assumptions that could negatively affect your thoughts and actions. We also try to live with an open heart. We want to teach our children that when you open your heart and care for others your life is that much brighter. Even the smallest act of kindness can change a whole life. As a family we also want to have a strong foundation. Only with a strong foundation can you build great things. We start with our family of four. We support each other, love each other and learn from each other. Then we also include our extended family and cultural backgrounds. Both my husband and I come from large extended families. We are sure that our children learn who their family are and where we all came from. My children learn both my Hawaiian culture and my husbands’ African-American culture. We believe that knowledge is power and that starts with the knowledge of our cultural background and ancestors.

My husband and I believe that our multicultural family makes it easier to “Live Polowaiian.” Why you ask? Because our family foundation was built on our open hearts. My husband and I both come from very different places. But we both had open minds and open hearts which led us to each other. We were able to learn from each other and share our cultures and knowledge. We hope to promote all these things in every breath we take.


-Live Polowaiian:  Live with an open mind, open heart and build on the foundations of family and culture.
The holiday season is upon us. This is a time to reflect on everything we are thankful for. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in our busy lives and forget how lucky we are.  I want to be sure that my children never forget how fortunate they are. I also want to teach them to care for and help others in need.  This is sometimes a difficult lesson to teach a 5 year old, especially during Christmas time. My daughter, Skye, is already compiling her Christmas wish list. That is why I really want to show Skye how to do something that will positively impact someone’s life.

I thought that helping families and children around the same age as Skye would help make the lesson a little more relevant for her. So I researched about Compass Family Services in San Francisco.  This is an organization that provides housing services and other comprehensive support to families in need. They serve approximately 2300 families per year. I thought, what a great opportunity to help!

Please help Skye raise funds to buy necessary items to help San Francisco families in need. Our goal is to raise $250. With these funds we will buy various items that will help Compass Family Services provide necessities for children and families.

Here’s how you can help:

Donate on our Razoo campaign by clicking here: https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Bxy36f

Send a contribution through paypal at: paypal.me/NShurill

If you want to donate items please email us at: thepolowaiians@gmail.com to schedule a pickup or delivery.

Here’s a list of items that Compass Family Services Needs:

·         Diapers of all sizes, including pull ups

·         Travel sized toiletries

·         New socks and underwear for children and adults

·         School and arts & craft supplies - pencils, markers, stickers, pens, glitter, paper, feathers, etc.

·         Canned and other non-perishable food items

·         Feminine hygiene products 

There’s so much that I have to say about this election but I’ve been on 2016 Election OVERLOAD for a long time so I will spare you all as well.

My election post is about how my daughter started to get interested in the election. Skye is a very bright 5 year old that has the memory of an elephant.  She forgets NOTHING! She’s also great at listening even when people don’t think that she is paying attention. Skye is truly like a sponge, just absorbing information like crazy. With that being said, she picked up on a lot of the names related to the 2016 election simply from having the news on in the background or seeing some of the debates. Of course Skye knew the two main contenders for the Presidential election.  As it got closer to Election Day Skye thought it would be fun to take “polls” at home of who we were all voting for.  It was cute to see her walk around with her little Doc Mcstuffins clipboard and tally the votes.  I was so proud to see that she had an interest in something as important as voting!

She and her class also had some discussions about the election. Skye brought home a cute pamphlet that they discussed in class that helped explain how voting works. They are Kindergartners so the example was very simple to show a “popular” vote on snacks. It showed 2 different simple snacks that a class had voted on.  They discussed which snack got the most votes to win.

Ever since my husband and I have been a couple we have gone to the polls together to vote.  We strongly believe in exercising our right to vote. This year we got the opportunity to take Skye with us. It was such an awesome experience, she was able to see how the process works. I felt great pride in setting a good example for her.

After voting I had some time with Skye before she had to be at school. As I was doing Skye’s hair she saw a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. She asked me: “Mommy, who is that?”

I said to her, “Skye this is a perfect day to ask that.” I went on to explain the very important role that he played in fighting for equal rights for all, including VOTING RIGHTS! It was one of those moments that was such perfect timing. One would have thought that I had planned it.

Later that night we had the election reporting on the TV.  Skye was very interested in all the numbers. She would ask questions like: “What state is that?” or “Who won that race?” She was also very confident that her favorite candidate was going to win. Several times she said, “I know my person is going to win!”

My hope is the Skye continues to show great interest in voting and the entire process. The younger generations are already showing changes in mentality and systemic desires. I want to be sure that Skye is educated, informed and in tune with those types of changes. I also hope that she may also contribute greatly to the discussions.

I leave you all with this quote:

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.23 As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” 
–Mahatma Gandhi

Halloween is my favorite time of the year. Why? Because it’s my BIRTHDAY!!! Haha J Since I was a kid I loved everything about it.  I loved scary movies, haunted houses, decorations, dressing up….EVERYTHING!

Now that I have 2 young children my focus is their fun and making sure that they enjoy their day. I would say that the hardest part as a parent is wanting to dress up your kids as one thing, but they want to be something else. I remember last year my daughter and I talked for months about making a Princess Peach (from Super Mario) costume. What did she dress up as?? Rapunzel from tangled.  I can’t even tell you how many posts I pinned on Pinterest regarding Super Mario costumes.  Did I get to use any of those?? NO.

So I know you all want to know how Halloween 2016 went. Well my husband and I were so excited this year we had costumes for the kids before October 1st. We even got them on sale! Skye’s new favorite Disney Channel show is Elena of Avalor, so naturally this is who she wanted to be for Halloween. Boy did she score on a great costume! Because we were looking so early in the season we got to see 5 different options before we found the ultimate Princess Elena dress!!! The costume we found had a skirt that had lights and music that played. Let’s just say that my husband and I were the coolest parents ever! J

My son also had a super costume.  He was  BATMAN! The best part of his little toddler costume is that it came with little muscle padding sewn into it. How corny, but oh so cute!!! It even had a mask complete with bat ears.  He did not keep that on for very long L

PictureHalloween 2016 @ Serramonte Mall
Now on to the day of Halloween…

Skye was extremely excited because they were allowed to wear their costumes to school. She had woken up very very early and ready to put her costume on.  They had a Halloween parade at school which she had lots of fun at.  She also came home with lots of goodies!!!

The night of Halloween was not so fun. California is in desperate need of rain, but Mother Nature decided that she wanted to rain on Halloween night. Major let down. L The forecast of the impeding rain drove all the trick or treaters to the indoor safety of the mall.  Our family went down the street to Serramonte Mall in Daly City.  To say the place was packed would be an ultimate understatement! It looked worse than Black Friday and I am not kidding.

Onto my rant…

If you are going to advertise that your mall is going to have trick or treating from 5-7 PM please make sure that your participating stores do not run out of candy in the first 40 minutes of the time frame! Most of the stores had this annoying sign up stating that they have already run out of candy. Really! It was so disappointing. And one of the stores that “ran out of candy” was TARGET!!! Are you kidding me??? Really Target? I guarantee that you had candy in your store still!!! Trick or treating should not be standing in an extremely long line to get 1 small piece of candy.  It should not be walking through the mall and passing most stores saying sorry no candy.  I think there were less than 10 stores who still had candy or treats to pass out by 6 PM. What a disappointment.

My daughter did not understand why trick or treating was so short this year. Last year we went to an awesome neighborhood that every house decorated and participated.  It was so much fun. However she took it great. She was more excited to get out, show off her dress and see all the other kids.  She was also excited to celebrate my birthday so I think that helped as a distraction.  My 2 year old just had fun running around as BATMAN!

Overall I think I was more disappointed than my children, but I cherish the memories we were able to make on that night.  I also thank God that he blessed me with another year of life and a beautiful Polowaiian family! J

Out of candy sign
In honor of my wedding anniversary this month I wanted to write a post about how beautiful it can be to celebrate and learn about your significant other's culture.

Some of the best memories that we share show how we celebrated each other's culture.

For example: Our Wedding Day

My husband and I had a beautiful small wedding on Kailua Beach in Hawai'i. While there in Hawai'i my then fiancee, his mother and his aunt were able to experience some of my Hawaiian culture.  This included the food, people, land and stories.

Lei in the Hawaiian culture can symbolize many things.  It is a symbol of love, respect, honor, peace etc.  In modern Hawaiian culture the Lei is used to celebrate people and show love for someone. That being said, of course lei played a significant role in my wedding.  The men involved in the wedding wore Maile Lei.  This is a lei that used to symbolize royalty.  In ancient Hawaiian times it was royalty who used the Maile Lei.  In modern Hawaiian culture it is often used in many types of celebrations including Weddings, Birthdays, and Anniversaries etc.

After the ceremony we all returned to my house in Hawai’i to celebrate and EAT! We had a variety of foods that are both ethnically Hawaiian and culturally adapted in Hawai’i.  As far as ethnically Hawaiian food we had Kalua pig, Poi and Poke. Other cultural Hawaiian foods included Chinese food, which is not exactly like food found in China.  Chinese food in Hawai’i has been adapted over the years to have some variations of traditional Chinese dishes.

Example 2: The Party

In relation to our marriage and celebrating our marriage I also had the chance to learn about my husband’s culture.

My mother in law and her cousin were gracious enough to throw a party in California (where we live) to celebrate our marriage with those who could not make it out to Hawai’i. In order to fully kick off the party my husband and I “Jumped the Broom.”  This was a way to pay homage to my husband’s ancestors and culture. Jumping the broom symbolizes sweeping away past wrongs, evils and/or bad spirits.  It symbolizes starting the marriage on a clean slate. This was such a great experience.  In fact we still have our beautiful broom hanging up in our Bedroom.  I’m so happy that we were both able to share our cultures with each other to start off our new lives together!

Fast forward to 2016…6 years later…

We have a little bit of both cultures hanging up in the house! In fact we have my husband’s Maile lei up on the mantle. We also have the very broom that we jumped over together hanging up in our bedroom.  Both items are great reminders of not only our wedding but also our commitment to each other.  They are reminders of where we both came from and how we have now merged our cultures to form a beautiful family together. And then there’s those 2 beautiful kids…how can you not love those beautiful faces (they must look like their Mom, just kidding babe *muah*).

1.     NAPS-Try to get the kids to take a nap. Hopefully the nap will take up most of the flight time. Luckily my kids get lulled to sleep by the background noise of the engines. Sometimes though the flight is WAAAAYYYYYY longer than the nap. Then you need to utilize the other tools in your aresenal.

2.     Bring all of the electronic devices you own. And make sure they’re fully charged. In fact when I travel with my kids I even brought an old Nintendo DS that I have. I haven’t used that thing in years but it was great for the kids.

3.     One thing that I learned from other parent blogs and posts is to bring some inexpensive brand new toy or activity.  The kids get so excited to open something new.  And they are more likely to be interested in a new toy longer. The surprise of something new also gets the excitement going.

4.     INVISIBLE INK PENS AND COLORING BOOKS! This was a great discovery for me on my last trip with my kids.  I had forgotten all about these types of books. It was pure luck that I ran across a few of these books in a CVS. BEST PURCHASE EVER!!! It kept my kids entertained for half the flight. The books were awesome because they entertained both children.  I also didn’t have to worry if my 1.5yo wanted to try coloring the seat or tray.  The ink didn’t work on anything but the book it came with! My 5 yo loved it as well. She loved getting surprised by the colors and it even had sticker puzzles. The puzzles helped her practice her number recognition.

5.     Don’t forget the snacks. I have found that if you get a bunch of different snacks there's bound to be something they will want. Of course these have to be easy to eat snacks since they are young kids. I also pre packed the snacks in small zip lock baggies. Easier clean up and you don't have to worry about resealing or tying bags.

6.     When traveling with more than one child, be sure to have enough toys/activities for all kids. For example: I had 2 invisible coloring books so each of my kids could have their own book.  You don’t want the kids to start having a “mine, no mine” fight on an airplane.

7.     Be prepared to switch activities and switch them often. Kids usually have short attention spans. I have been on some long flights or rides where we started coloring then switched to the Nintendo, then went back to coloring. Stopped to eat and back to playing again.

8.     Bring infant or toddler Tylenol on the plane. Always have this on hand just in case your child does not adjust well to the small cabin, recycled air and elevation. I made the mistake of not bringing this once and I could feel my 1 yo burning up.  I felt so bad because I did not have anything to help him. He was burning and uncomfortable.  Luckily there was another mom on the flight who had some.

I also have some tips specific to traveling with young children by yourself. But that will be for another day.



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    Aloha! 'O Noelani ko'u inoa (Noelani is my name).

    I am a wife and mother of a multicultural family. I started this journey to share our family's story. My posts are about our family experiences and the lessons we learn. We strive to teach our children to do what is right. Hopefully you will follow us on this journey and share your stories too!

    Live with an open mind, open heart and build on the foundations of family and culture.


    January 2017
    December 2016
    November 2016
    October 2016