Pualilia Inc. | Blog

Aloha & Welcome! Come in, sit a spell and delve into the ramblings of a woman who refuses to age mentally, maintains some pretty crazy ideas, and photographs it all along the way!

*Please note that any and all comments are subject to approval. Keep it clean and dignified. *


November 19, 2014  •  2 Comments



A t-shirt is like a wearable billboard. It can tell the world what you are about, stand for, support, think, feel, know. KU Rock Steady is taking that billboard and turning it around. Each design has not only an aesthetical significance, but cultural & educational as well. With its edgy, yet still Hawaiian, designs, the visuals provoke thought and have deep connection to Hawaiian history, legend & livelihood.


KU Rock Steady began with a conglomerate of artists and designers with a common passion for their ancestry and culture who recognized a void within their current history as kanaka maoli (Hawaiian people). Marrying the modern design with the ancient mo’olelo (stories) and events, KU has taken t-shirt fashion to a level never experienced before. It is social consciousness that ignites passion, provokes insight, challenges common vernacular.


“ ….the true meaning of being Kanaka Maoli is being the embodiment of something that is far beyond the scope of borders that may confine us.”



Coming this fall, the All Black Collection is by far the most provocative yet. Featuring images that are not only beautiful, but powerful in their underlying message. Steeped in the past, looking to the future; this line will become KU Rock Steady’s signature.  




“We are a mind collective, blotting down in imagery that which fuels the mind, the heart, and the soul.”


You can find these wearable treasures online at www.kurocksteady.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+. KU Rock Steady also attends various ho’olaule’a & other festivals throughout the year.


E Ku Kanaka!



Today vs. 'Olden Days'

November 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

When I was just a little girl, my grandmother did everything by hand or from scratch. She cooked, cleaned, gardened, sewed, crocheted. Anything you could think of, she did the old way. I remember she didn't even have a dryer to go with her washer. She hung the clothes out on the clothesline. She cooked with a large iron skillet and didn't own a microwave. Growing up Mormon added to that experience. Relief Society helped me to learn the things I needed to know in order to run a household the way my grandmother did. My grandmother reinforced and expanded on those teachings, and to an extent, my mother as well. 

I learned to cook, bake, sew, crochet, arts & crafts, re-purposing common household items (before recycling became the norm) and much more. I remember in my tweens, taking clothes that I had picked up at the Deseret Industries where my grandmother volunteered and creating whole new pieces of clothing out of them with my trusty sewing machine. I made handbags and book covers too, not to mention my hula costumes. I even made my own wedding dress (never, ever doing that again! I was in over my head). I quilted and cross-stitched like a mad woman during my pregnancy. 

I used to think that cooking and baking was "basic." Then I began to realize that a great many ladies my age don't know how to cook, or all of their culinary ventures involve a box of something to which they add minimal ingredients. There was a little quip a friend of mine used often, "The only thing I make for dinner is reservations." After the laughing died down, I silently felt sorry for her. There is no feeling in the world knowing that I made something out of nothing but ingredients. It is empowering. 

So I guess I sound a little 'June Cleaver' right now, but I am not ashamed or embarrassed. I am blessed that I have something that no one could ever take away from me: knowledge. My whole point with this blog entry is that in this world where women are a very integral part of our economy, politics, business, science, and education, but why did domestics have to become almost extinct? 

Today, I still make meals from scratch,  bake whenever I can, sew a dress now and then, scrapbook and even fit in a job and being a photographer. I think I balance the modern with the 'old school' pretty well. 

Although I am not a practicing Mormon any longer, I hold on to the values of strengthening family, service and lifelong learning. You should too. Go out there learn one thing - then PASS IT ON. Teach your children, friends, family - SOMEbody! 

Hali'a Aloha

September 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

On this day in history, Rev. Abraham Akaka, died at age 80, Hawai'i, 1997. For the better part of three decades, Rev. Akaka was Kahu (shepherd) of Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother was of pure Hawaiian ancestry, and his father was of Hawaiian-Chinese ancestry. He delivered his messages in both the Hawaiian and English languages.

During my teenage years, my mother, along with the ladies of the Hawaiian Civic Organization, Lei Hulu of California, worked on a project with the Kawaiaha’o Church. I do not remember the full extent of that project, but I am almost certain it involved some restoration project with monies donated from Lei Hulu. Through my mother, I was fortunate enough to get to meet & spend some time with Rev. Akaka. I remember him as a very peaceful man, whose words carried such a weight that they seemed to penetrate your very soul. He was kind, caring yet at the same time strong of spirit. I admired him very much.

An eloquent speaker, Rev. Akaka's March 13, 1959  address at Hawaii's formal statehood ceremony paints a clear image of the moment of the statehood announcement:


"Yesterday, when the first sound of firecrackers and sirens reached my ears, I was with the members of our Territorial Senate in the middle of the morning prayer for the day's session. How strange it was, and yet how fitting, that the news should burst forth while we were in prayer together. Things had moved so fast. Our mayor, a few minutes before, had asked if the church could be kept open, because he and others wanted to walk across the street for prayer when the news came. By the time I got back from the Senate, this sanctuary was well filled with people who happened to be around, people from our government buildings nearby. And as we sang the great hymns of Hawaii and our nation, it seemed that the very walls of this church spoke of God's dealing with Hawaii in the past, of great events both spontaneous and planned."


His death, a mere 2 months before my mother’s was difficult to process, although my mother reminded me that grieving for another’s life is normal, but so is death. It happens to all of us. Little did she know that before my grieving for Rev. Akaka could be put to rest, I would be grieving for her. Today, I pray in honor of a great man who changed so many lives and always lived HAWAIIAN. 

Ho'ololi - To Transform

May 12, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

In the month of December, a friend forwarded a Horoscope Forecast for 2013 as we share a common Sun Sign. While it is very entertaining to read a horoscope now and then, it borders on the ridiculous to me that anyone would use it to construct their daily life. I read on, abandoning all prudence. 

The words came and went with talk of finding my true love within the first quarter of the year, of some planet being in a house of something or other, of career changes and successes. Finally, to sum up the year, the word 'transformation' was used in abundance within one paragraph. The gratuitous use of this word was almost off-putting to me, but it stuck out. I scoffed at all of the trite predictions returning to my 'live in the real world' mindset and forgetting about this little piece of entertainment.

 As we are now nearly halfway through the year, clearing out my inbox became a priority recently. I came across the horoscope email and re-read it. Which brings me to the picture below. This was me on my 40th birthday.  


Six years prior to this photo, I was in the midst of battling severe medical issues relating to my reproductive system. That created numerous other uncomfortable conditions, the tools with which to properly handle I was without. I began the vicious circle of debates with doctor after doctor after doctor and no results or solutions for six years. I read everything I could about my condition and finally spoke to a doctor that would actually listen to me. He took care of the major problem and I was feeling so much better. However, a year later, I was still severely overweight despite losing some weight initially. Pinpointing the issue was not difficult, but Western Medicine practices completely ignored the signs of the underlying problem: my thyroid.

No hormones, no medications, no surgery. Simply, holistic means addressed the matter with amazing results. The picture below is December 2012. I had lost some weight since October 2010 & my 40th birthday, but not nearly enough. 

Then without even realizing it, something was changing. This was February 2013, a mere 2 months after the previous picture. 

Today, I am over 40 pounds and 4 dress sizes lighter than December 2012. I have adopted a new way of running my life, removed wheat gluten, grains, cane sugar and dairy products, and run at least 3 miles a day. I feel as if I were 25 years old again. This blog post might sound like I am bragging, and YES I AM. I worked HARD. I didn't give up, EVER.

But my intent is to let those out there know that even after 40, you are not 'too old' or 'set in your ways' to DO SOMETHING positive for health/lifestyle. If this post motivated anyone, even an iota, then my heart is happy.   

Don't 'Bob Marley' it

January 31, 2013  •  Leave a Comment


There is something that has been  bothering me for the last 20 years..... when did Reggae music become 'Hawaiian' music? I love reggae and appreciate that it speaks to us islanders; however, it seems to me using the term 'Hawaiian' (or even 'Jawaiian') music to describe reggae sung by Hawaiians is erroneous at best. 
Nothing can ever replace traditional Hawaiian music in my eyes, much less incorporating music that originated half the world away on another island by people not even remotely similar in heritage as the same genre of music.  
When I was living in Las Vegas, I bought tickets to see Keali'i Reichell, Na Leo & Kaukahi in concert at the Henderson Events Center. The tickets cost about $35, which I thought was a bargain considering the caliber of talent. The day of the show arrived and I thought that we should probably get over there early just in case every Hawaiian and lover of Hawaiian music in the Las Vegas Valley showed up. By the time the lights went down and the music began, the place was still more than half empty. My hula sisters and I all moved up at least 10 rows for a closer (and empty) seat. The show was amazing and I got to visit with Aunty Aurora Kaawa (Miss Hawaii 1971), whom I hadn't seen in over 7 years.
Cut to a couple of months later. Twice a year every year, Pure Aloha takes place. There is all day entertainment by local LV halau & bands, Polynesian food & merchandise for sale. Each night, a concert takes place as well (for which a separate ticket must be purchased for $25). The festival during the day is a big draw & such good fun. The concert is a much different story. One year, J Boog & Fiji were performing. Both sing a majority of Reggae songs with some R&B sounding songs, but very few traditional Polynesian songs. The place was a mad house. Apparently, no one was prepared for the onslaught of Hawaiians & Samoans trying to jam themselves into one concert venue. Doors were prematurely closed as promoters were not as organized as they should have been and they over-sold tickets. A major fight, bordering on a riot broke out and Las Vegas Metro was called to the scene. 
The news media made sure to emphasize that it was the HAWAIIAN festival that had a near-riot. And the HAWAIIAN people who were wielding knives. HAWAIIAN people who were drunk inciting the crowd. I thought to myself, 'THIS is Aloha?' The answer to my rhetorical question was 'NO.' That isn't Aloha. That isn't Hawaiian music, either. 

Na Hanau - Birthdays

January 05, 2013  •  2 Comments

Today, January 5th, 2013, would have been my mother's 73rd birthday had she not taken that stairway to heaven 15 years ago. My mother was a force to be reckoned with. People just gravitated to her, and loved her like she was family. When she walked into a room, one could tell she had arrived without ever looking up to see her. I actually think she changed the air in a room with her dignified presence.  

As her youngest of four children, there were many times I felt that she was harder on me than my older siblings. Of course, the older ones thought the reverse was true.  She was a single mother with her hands more than full with four kids and a full time job, yet she found time to devote to civic clubs within the Hawaiian community. She also taught hula to non-Hawaiians who wanted to learn and was a performer herself. She pushed her kids to learn all genres of dance & other performing arts to broaden their perspectives. She taught us Hawaiian arts & crafts, and schooled us in Hawaiian social protocol & language. There was a never-ending river of events to attend. 

Now it wasn't all unicorns & rainbows under our roof, I had to focus on school because no matter how good my grades were, they were never good enough. No matter how many nights a week I practiced hula, I still wasn't hitting the mark. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn't trying hard enough. Yeah, those standards were skyscraper high. I pushed to try to be better than 'the next person,' whomever that may be. And while I was a teenager, I resented the criticisms. By the time I was 18, though, I was on the phone everyday with her. Only when she was traveling did we not speak on the phone. She was my font of good advice, and she was ALWAYS right. When I didn't listen to her advice, and things transpired in the exact manner she predicted, I knew I would never hear the end of it. So I started following her advice as much as possible. 

In November 1997, I called her office for a quick chit chat. She wasn't there. Her colleague answered her line, told me she hadn't seen my mother and to hold because the phone lines were going crazy at the time. I was at work myself and in a hurry, I didn't hold. Late that night, I noticed that my caller ID showed numerous phone calls from her home phone number. I began to worry, and quickly called her back. Her roommate, Michael, answered and informed me as gently as he could that my mother had passed away in her sleep. In an instant, my life changed. For the first time in my life, I was experiencing real emotional pain. I had to become a full-fledged adult - immediately.  

The day of her funeral, dozens and dozens and DOZENS of people filled the church to bid her farewell. She touched so many lives; gave part of herself to each and every one of them. There was music, scripture, recollections, tears and celebration of a life that cultivated mine. The day was perfect, except for one thing. At the end of the celebration, I turned to my brother and said, 'Mom would have loved that gathering!' The tear in his eye told me that he agreed. 

Hau'oli La Hanau, Mom. You took a big piece of my heart with you to heaven, keep it safe for when we meet again. 


Welcome Baby New Year 2013!

January 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

****UPDATE**** I am a miserable failure at the January Photo A Day Challenge***** Too many things keep coming up! Many Apologies*****

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! Every New Year's Day brings a sense of renewal, excitement for the future, casting off of the past year and the ultimate exercise in futility called the Resolution. I forego the Resolution on the 1st of the year and just move forward with trying to be the best possible human  being I am able to be. I thank my family, friends, 'calabash family', colleagues and even some random strangers for adding to my life. With all the great things I get to experience everyday, the negative things don't have staying power. 

Photos make me happy..... finding inspiration and motivation does NOT. So I pilfer them off of the internet. Courtesy of FatMumSlim.com.au, January's Photo A Day Challenge is going to force me into creativity.

Posting to my Facebook page (that is set up but currently in the making) and sharing them here. If anyone would like to share this experience with me, please feel free to like my FB page at Pualilia Inc.  

My cousin's 16 year old daughter and I partook in the December Challenge, wherein, she deemed herself a PAD (photo a day) failure by day 12. My feeling is if you made it that far, you are not a failure, but merely an incomplete. The holidays became more of a 'thing' than they had to be and I went down in a blaze of no glory on the 22nd. I don't fret about it, because I had some very good pictures and some bad iphone pictures, but more than that, I had FUN! 

My Maiden Voyage

December 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

This is my first venture into writing a blog. I have subscribed to many a blog and love keeping up with my friends via Facebook, Twitter & Google+; however, marketing my photography business using social media is like being a sardine in a big bait ball - just another one of the millions. 

Let's begin with the who, what, where & when. I began taking pictures in high school & was self-taught and completely un-serious about it. I married young, and started a family young; and the picture taking took a 10 year back seat to raising a child, going back to college & the hunt for a career I could be passionate about. I picked up a [real] camera again while living in Las Vegas and found where my passion had been all along. 

Now back in Southern California, I am discovering more ways to feed the passion and make money doing it. 



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