Aloha Friday! (Review)

Pronounce like: lay
What is a lei? lei is essentially anything that can be strung together in a series or pattern and worn as a wreath or a necklace. Lei's may be open or closed, depending on circumstance and are commonly made with fresh foliage: flowers, leaves, vines, fern fronds, seeds, nuts, shells, feathers, bone and teeth of various animals and even candy.

The lei tradition was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by early Polynesian Voyagers who created and gave a lei to beautify and distinguish themselves from others. A Lei is also symbolic and has many sacred uses, signifying peace and a sign of affection.

In the early 1900's with the beginning of Hawai'i Tourism, the lei immediately became the symbol of Aloha to millions of visitors worldwide. In years past, it is said departing visitors would throw their lei into the ocean as their ship sailed out to sea, in hopes that, like the lei, they would also return to the Islands someday.

Each year, on May 1st, Hawai'i celebrates "Lei Day," which originated back in 1927, by Don Blanding who came up with the phrase, "May Day is Lei Day in Hawai'i".

As you know from this post I wrote about the bf's last visit here in May, he along with many others don't exactly understand the importance or significance of a lei.

lei should always be welcomed in celebration of someone's affection for another. The most important lei etiquette to remember is to always accept the gift of a lei, and never remove the lei from your neck in the presence of the person who gave it to you.

There are several traditional customs regarding the lei such as giving a lei with a kiss or a kiss on the cheek, usually followed by a hug as well as giving an open lei to a pregnant or nursing Mom. A Lei should never be thrown away or casually disposed into the trash--traditionally they are returned to the place it was gathered or created; however if that is not possible, they should be returned to the Earth by either hanging in a tree, burying, or burning. Blatant disregard or disposal of the lei is ignoring and disrespecting the efforts of whoever made and gave the lei. 

I have the remembrance of all my lei dried and displayed throughout my house, and even in my car. To me, it offers a sacred Hawaiian and traditional peace and reminder of such a special person and occasion.

Today, common reasons to give or receive a lei include greeting, farewell, affection or love, friendship, appreciation, birthday, congratulations, graduation, recognition, and so many other reasons!

I remember at my high school graduation, I had so many lei given to me, they stacked well over my head! During regatta season, after every race we are honored with hilo ti leaf lei and are considered good luck or good fortune if kept with you at all times, especially while traveling.

I bet there are a handful of reasons you could use a lei right now and I have just the place for you to go:! Straight from the 808 -- Kula Maui to be exact -- and most important, they are made and sent with the utmost Aloha.

How do I know? Keith, the man behind @HicandyLeis and @Maui_Insider sent me one!

The box the candy lei came in was perfectly sized to protect the lei in transit. It was also packed and presented in a very careful manner, emphasizing the care he put into his gift of Aloha.

Keith provided an inventory list of the custom-ordered candy lei and a sweet note thanking me, and sending me best wishes...

The detail of the lei was constructed perfectly--and I love the palm tree lei wrapper! The ribbon was tied in all the right places and the theme/colors were cheerful! Keith even personalized my name (Jenn) in Hawaiian:)

The yumminess I got included the following:

Wow-Wee Maui Bar: Dark Chocolate & Hawaiian Coconut (yum!)
Hawaiian Host Caramacs (the best!)
Honolulu Cookie Company: White Chocolate Coconut (tasted amazing!)
Honolulu Cookie Company: Lilikoi Mango (perfectly sweet)
Macadamia Roca: Butterscotch Toffee with Mac Nuts (ridiculously good!)
Li Hing Mui Gummy Bears (favorite)
Jelly Belly: Crushed Pineapple (tastes like juicy pineapple!)
Jelly Belly: Coconut (tastes like sweet coconut!)

Because I'm a local Maui girl, I knew exactly what I wanted and knew how amazing the Hawaiian Treats were going to be.

The Wow-Wee Maui Bar is made with yummy dark chocolate and the coconut shreds are mixed in there so every bit includes both the chocolate and the coconut!

The Hawaiian Host Caramacs are literally the best! You don't want to mess around with any other..

The Honolulu Cookie Company is another local favorite -- just look at those cookies...the shortbread is perfect, just enough crisp and crunch, and just enough chewy goodness.. the lilikoi, mango, and white chocolate coconut were excellent choices!

Lilikoi Mango

White Chocolate Coconut
The Macadamia Roca: Butterscotch Toffee with Mac Nuts was ridiculously good--I haven't had these in years and WOW were they perfect for those afternoon chocolate cravings..

Here's the scoops on Hawaii Candy Leis: is a simple locally-run Maui business that started this year, 2011. For the last 10 years; however, every time Keith flew to the mainland, his luggage was packed with Hawaiian Treats for deprived friends and family living in the concrete jungle!

The idea transformed like most ideas here in Paradise... at the beach;) Keith and friends decided to spread the Aloha by creating this customized Hawaiian Candy Lei business for all of us, regardless of where we may live in the United States..

I know while I lived in California and Alabama full-time, these tasty treats from home would for sure calm me down when feeling extra homesick. So if you're off-island, visit to bring a little bit of Hawai'i to you!

1. The process is super easy... go to their website

2. Check out their candy selection here... Pick one Wow-Wee Maui bar and one Hawaiian Host selection..

3. Then, check out even more of their candy selection here where you'll pick six additional Hawaiian Treats for your lei... a total of 8 awesome Hawaiian candies in a simple 3-step process! Candy Leis are $14.99 per lei and shipping is under $10, so your total is around $21.99 inclusive.

If you like this idea, you should definitely let Keith know--and as he says, even better, let your friends know! "Like" Hawaii Candy Leis on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter to keep up with changes and any last minute deals they may be offering for a limited time!

Mahalo Nui Loa ~ Thank You Very Much to @HIcandyLeis Founder, Keith DeVey for sending me an amazing customized candy lei to experience for myself, and enjoy the tastes of Hawai'i one bite at a time.

*Disclaimer: While I received a lei from, the opinions and reviews are my own.

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2 love notes:

Keith said... [Reply]

Mahalo for the write up Jenn! Glad you enjoyed the lei! -Keith

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said... [Reply]

Looks delicious! Candy leis were always my favorite to get! I miss Li hing mui gummy bears, yum!

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This place is all about Jennʻs Adventures: a Maui Girl who has evolved in to the modern day female nomad! Departing from her home in 2005 until the beginning of 2011, only the leave again less than a year later. Follow Jenn's Adventures in life, healthy living, travel, and love. To learn even more about Jennʻs Adventures, read this! Thanks for stopping by, please stay awhile & say ALOHA!

past adventures!