Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Nail polishes are never at the top of my shopping list so when I spot an eye-catching shade, I chuck it in my basket. Essie is always reliable- long lasting paints with new shades every season. My favorite for the end of fall is 'Mrs. Always-Right' because of its name and berry hue. Most of my wardrobe consists of blush, gray and navy, so this shade is the perfect compliment during the cooler temperatures. Today I sported the polish with a cerulean sweater and boyfriend jeans and the look was a hit! To transform the polish during the holiday season, I would style it with anything gold or sequined. For now I'm loving the mauve shade on both my fingers and toes with any piece in my closet.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
While most of the world freaks out over holiday sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (myself included), it's important to recognize 'Giving Tuesday'- an annual day labeled to benefit charities and organizations. The holiday season is always ripe with parties, decor and gift-giving/receiving, so it's easy to forget about the people and animals who are in the most need. National and international organizations are always in monetary and volunteer support so on this Giving Tuesday (and every day after), I hope you'll consider donating financially to those in need. Some of my favorite organizations are The White Helmets, The Innocence Project, College Guild, Equal Justice Initiative, International Rescue Committee and ASPCA. Another way to donate or get involved is to treat homeless people and animals with utmost respect and kindness. I will always have a heart for the homeless and although there will always be a population of houseless people, it's important to try and help even in the smallest ways. Buy a homeless person a meal, give money, cover them in warm blankets or coats during the colder weather and provide homeless women with menstrual supplies. If you see a homeless animal, please give them some food and water and care for them if you can. The smallest gifts of love and compassion will always make a difference even though it might seem like they don't. In every day, treat people with grace, love and kindness.
Monday, November 28, 2016
J.Crew is one of my favorite clothing and accessory brands because every piece is of the highest quality and style. I love scouring the store's site during winter time because they annually release their famous wool coats. My favorites from this season's lineup are bright pieces and classic trenches. The heather gray Chateau Parka is a favorite of mine every year as it's the perfect piece for cold weather. The faux fur-lined hood adds an extra layer of warmth and I love any garment with multiple pockets! On the opposite color spectrum, the Belted Zip Trench Coat is a fresh update on the classic trench coat. Hot pink is a festive shade that can add a pop of color to any wardrobe. J.Crew's vintage-inspired Double-Cloth Belted Trench Coat is the most beautiful trench I've seen since the classic Burberry coat. Any ivory outerwear will remain chic for years to come and this one would look especially incredible over a gown. Another pastel piece is the Stadium-Cloth Cocoon Coat, which is also a favorite of mine every year. The high collar is an extra dimension of warmth and the bright color is beautiful for fall and winter.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Under the direction of first-year head coach Nick Rolovich, the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors are bowl eligible! The last time the team appeared in a bowl game was in 2010 under coach Greg McMackin. This season, the Warriors fought for six hard-earned wins against Mountain West opponents and have exceeded many fans' expectations. QB Dru Brown and WR Marcus Kemp have excelled throughout the season and the team's unity pushed them to succeed in a bowl-eligible season. Congratulations Warriors!
Friday, November 25, 2016
The Bears have been spread extremely thin on the D-line this season. After years of star power in the form of DEs Shawn Oakman and Jamal Palmer as well as DTs Andrew Billings (miss you) and Beau Blackshear, a young and inexperienced (how many times can I use that phrase this year?) defensive line has struggled to stop every Big 12 team after their first six wins.
The team lacks more depth on defense than offense as the only player with experience is DE K.J. Smith. Smith started eight games as a redshirt freshman where he recorded 45 tackles, five sacks, seven QB hurries, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He helped the Bears earn their second Big 12 championship title in 2014 and is a veteran leader on the defensive side. In his "sophomore slump" season, Smith started three games and he totaled 23 tackles, eight QB hurries, one pass breakup and a fumble recovery. Although the Baylor defense lost some of its spark, Smith has been a figurehead with tackles galore. Greg Roberts and Jamie Jacobs have been interchangeable this season where Roberts has seen more starts. Both Roberts and Jacobs have saved the defense with extra tackles and key points in the game. Where Baylor struggled, Roberts prevailed. He has proved to be an extremely powerful and diligent member of the defense who doesn't give up even in the worst conditions. Ira Lewis has started at DT as DC Phil Bennett tried to fill the gaping hole Andrew Billings left with his departure. Lewis saw some action last year as a redshirt freshman, but has contributed more this season. Lewis has totaled 33 tackles and three sacks previous to the Texas Tech game and although he's not as agile as Billings, will improve with coaching help and more practice. The other defensive ends are Tyrone Hunt and Xavier Jones; the tackles are Byron Bonds, Cody George, Michael Johnson, Will Jones and Bravvion Roy (my favorite!).
Thursday, November 24, 2016
This year has seen immense highs and lows, but there's always something for which I can be thankful. Today (and everyday) I'm thankful for my family. I'm so lucky to have loving parents and a sister who supports me in every one of my endeavors. They've always told me that I can accomplish anything, whether it be becoming a football coach, human rights lawyer or something in between. I'm thankful for my grandparents and auntys and uncles who celebrate my accomplishments and stand by my side during the difficult parts. They've been at every one of my band concerts and tournaments, which makes them the greatest family members ever. I'm lucky to have cousins who are basically another set of siblings. We've grown up together and have been through so much, but are closer than we've ever been before. My friends are some of the best people I know and I'm thankful that they've become family. I can always be my truest self with them and even though they've seen the worst of me, they still hold my hand and walk me through life. I'm grateful to go to college and have the opportunity to learn. There are thousands of children in war-torn countries who would love to just be children and go to school. Even when my classes are difficult and I have piles of homework to finish, I try to remember that there are so many who would love to have my problems. I'm thankful for my jobs and the people I've met and work with. Sometimes it's hard to balance school and jobs, but I absolutely love going to work every day. I don't know what I would do without music to get me through the day. When I'm having a rough time or feeling extra homesick, I play my ukulele and sing my favorite songs. Some people aren't able to play their music and I'm lucky that I can perform my songs. Even though it hurts, I'm thankful to have a heart for people. Although the weight of injustice and suffering weighs so heavily on my heart, it's important to recognize that I have the opportunity to stand up for voiceless. Knowing that I have the freedom and the ability to help people keeps me going in these dark times. I'm also thankful for all of you. I've been writing for four years and even though I'll never become a famous blogger, I love my corner of the internet and wouldn't trade it for the world. Thank you for always reading my posts and supporting me. Your following means the world to me.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
In 2014 I was lucky enough to perform in the Rose Bowl Parade as a member of the Hawaiʻi All-State Marching Band aka Na Koa Aliʻi. All-State features hundreds of local high school musicians who combine to create a spectacular sight and sound. The group has been under the direction of my hero/grandpa figure/music mentor John Riggle for over a decade until he passed the baton to director Henry Fu. This year All-State is performing in the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, which is a great opportunity for Hawaiʻi kids to get a taste of the world outside of the rock. Tune in tomorrow morning to see some of my best friends perform in a parade they'll never forget!
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Styling textured clothing pieces is one of my favorite elements of fashion and fall boasts a variety of cozy and warm fabrics. While I love linen and cotton for spring/summer, fall is all about suede, velvet and silk. The three consistencies all blend seamlessly and add a bit of sex appeal to any outfit. The oxblood Milly Silk Rosette Cami is gorgeous and would look amazing with 'le smoking' pants and strappy sandals for a night out. I love the versatility of high ankle boots and these rugged Seychelles Castanets Booties would be the perfect sidekick to both denim jeans and floral dresses. Topshop makes incredible pairs of overalls and I would style their Corduroy Velvet Pinafore Dress over a lightweight sweater and thigh-high boots. I would never be able to afford the luxurious Valentino Velvet Pleat Wrap Skirt, but the icy blue shade would be perfect for Christmas dinner paired with a cream blouse and mary jane flats. Equipment is known for their silk tops and the Signature Bird Print Button Up (which ironically doesn't feature any birds) is a closet must-have when styled with dark wash denim and sneakers. I would layer the BLANKNYC Moto Jacket over any piece featured above, but it would look especially beautiful over the Rebecca Taylor Danielle Top and a light denim mini skirt. The Bardot Pebble Suede Mini Skirt is a gorgeous neutral shade and I would wear it with a burgundy top and gray accessories to amp up the autumnal look. The Missguided Velvet Wrap Dress is a bit more revealing than I would normally go for but I love the toffee/blush color and I would tone it down with black tights and a fuzzy coat.
Monday, November 21, 2016
This week I'm fortunate enough to spend the holidays with my family! I spent my first college thanksgiving at school, so I'm excited to be home with my favorite people this year. Although I'm only home for a week, I already have lists of foods to eat and places to visit. I'm hoping to hit my top favorite restaurants (including but not limited to: Zippy's, Young's Fish Market, Sweet E's, Like Like Drive Inn, Kakaʻako Kitchen) and swim at Nānākuli and/or Yokohama beach. I'm excited to help my grandma with all of the Thanksgiving food and decorations before I head back to school for the rest of the semester. Food pictures and gorgeous scenery are heading your way!
Sunday, November 20, 2016
This season's core of offensive heavyweights is arguably the weakest position group on Baylor's 104-man roster. Because the majority of Baylor's O-linemen are young, protecting the QB and ball carrier has been their season-long struggle. Following in the shadows of one of the most successful and dominant lines in Baylor history, the 2016 group lacks experience, but not talent.
C Kyle Fuller entered the season with 39 games played and 26 starts- far better stats than most on the team. The senior helped Baylor earn their back-to-back Big 12 championships and is the glue in this fresh core. LT Dominic Desouza is a junior JUCO transfer from City College of San Francisco. Desouza redshirted his first season at Baylor to retain eligibility and (although he's no Spencer Drango) has performed well under pressure in his first starting season. Ishmael Wilson is listed at starting LG after transferring from Texas A&M and not seeing much playing time the past two seasons. Wilson is a massive presence and makes his fury known when he's protecting his QB. Blake Blackmar has more experience as RG than most of the line, but he's struggled with penalties throughout the season. Blackmar's blocks aren't as efficient as the others, which makes it difficult for the QB to pass the ball. RT Patrick Lawrence played every game of the 2015 season and has contributed greatly to the offense's minor success even with a few penalties here and there. The rest of the line consists of Mo Porter, Sean Muir, Jim Threet, Daniel Russell, Dalton Justice, Michael Coffey, Tanner Thrift, Harrison Fox, Keith Orcutt and Tyrae Simmons.
Friday, November 18, 2016
I grew up in the most loving and stable household with two families who loved me and vice versa. Spending quality time with both sides has always been my favorite activity as I'm extremely close with my grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. My papa wasn't my mom's biological father, but he was as real to me as blood could get. Papa was one of my favorite people growing up. Every time I spent a weekend at Grams and Papa's house, I could be found following in his footsteps 99% of the time. He taught me the importance of a good ice cream sandwich, how to fix old cars, how to play pool and love unconditionally. I will always remember the stench of his sweat mixed with Old Spice deodorant (not my favorite smell), the time he stayed up all night with my cousin Conor and me building lego houses, the Tanaka of Tokyo dinner where he ate four bowls of ice cream before a giant hot fudge sundae at Ghiradelli, and the many times he kept me awake with his snoring. Although Papa passed away 10 years ago, I still think about him every day. He was my best friend and my hero. I will love and miss him forever.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
I've always loved planners but have never found consistency through them. My laziness and overall lackadaisical personality are to blame for the copious amounts of half-used calendars in my bedroom. However, this year I knew I had to step up my organizing game as I would be juggling 17-hours, two jobs and a daily blog. My favorite 17 Month Agenda from band.ō is the perfect backpack essential for my personal and educational needs. This month has been particularly busy with projects, essays, exams and sporting events; but I found that noting my huge deadlines in the NOTES margin of the planners has kept me aware of my looming due dates. In the daily boxes, I write down all of my Japanese performance dialogues, test dates, work meetings and essay deadlines. On paydays I highlight the days in orange to add visual appeal to plain white pages. I've also highlighted thanksgiving week so I know what I have to look forward to! Staying on top of deadlines and important dates is key to organization (and hopefully educational) success.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
1. Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners are undefeated (7-0) in conference play and have greatly improved as the weeks go by. QB Baker Mayfield has rediscovered his Heisman-caliber passing strength and will continue utilizing the talents of RB Samaje Perine and WR Dede Westbrook (this guy is so good it makes me sick). They're the clear breadwinner of the Big 12 and are the frontrunners for the conference title.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys- Mike Gundy's mullet has obviously given his Mason Rudolph-led team an edge this season (just kidding). The Cowboys should only have one loss but an unfortunate referee mistake hurt the team's future standings. My favorite part of their season was when they blocked three UT PATs.
3. West Virginia Mountaineers- WVU is currently one of the most talented teams in the nation with a monster unleashed in QB Skyler Howard. Their receivers' hands are probably magnets since they never seem to drop or miss a pass. If OU loses in the next two weeks, look to Holgo's guys as the next top contender.
4. Kansas State Wildcats- I just love Bill Snyder; I don't think I say that enough. Coach Snyder always seems to achieve great heights with the talent he's given and his team will look to achieve bowl eligibility within the next few weeks. KSU's ability to control the clock is terrifying if you're running a high-tempo offense and can't convert.
5. Baylor Bears- Here we are! Although I have high hopes for new QB Zach Smith, I'm worried about his connection with our receivers. As long as Zach communicates with his targets and the defense finds their spark, we have a chance to win a few more games.
6. TCU Horned Frogs- Gary Patterson's team has had a rough ride this season and the next three games aren't going to get any easier. Utilizing WR Kavontae Turpin should be at the top of Gary's playbook.
7. Texas Longhorns- Texas is 3-4 in Big 12 play even with the strongest running back in the conference. D'Onta Foreman is an absolute monster on the field and can crush and defensive lineman who attempts to stop his running game. QB Shane Buechele has a hell of an arm and, with proper O-line protection, could be a lot more successful than he is now.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders- Man, Patrick Mahomes has had the worst luck. Mahomes recorded 819 yards of total offense against OU in a game they lost. With a 2-5 conference record, the sun isn't shining for Kliff Kingsbury (I still love you Pat!).
9. Iowa State Cyclones- Matt Campbell found a spark in his first year at ISU and will accomplish greater feats in the future. They Cyclones will be scary with a more experienced team and developed playbook.
10. Kansas Jayhawks- Kansas' one bright spot of their season was the almost-defeat of TCU a few weeks back. I don't know how coaches give a primarily-losing team any sort of motivation, but I hope David Beaty finds a better pep talk soon.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Hawaiʻi '78 by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
Lei O Piʻilani by Kuana Torres Kahele
Make Me Say by Kimie
Drop Baby Drop by The Manaʻo Company
Island Style by John Cruz
You Don't Write by Kaʻau Crater Boys
Pua Lililehua by Dennis Pavao
Kuʻu Lei Kuʻu Ipo by Hapa
White Sandy Beach by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
He Mele No Kaʻuhinilele by Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu
Molokaʻi Slide by Ehukai
Driving Me Pupule by Three Plus
ʻO Mai ʻO ʻEmalani by Kamaka Kukona
Kaulana Nā Pua by I Ku Mau Mau
I'll Remember You by Mākaha Sons
Seabreeze by Keola and Kapono Beamer
Monday, November 14, 2016
I recently made a few clothing purchases from Revolve (obviously), Nordstrom and Zara. Fall is my favorite time to purchase new additions for my closet and colorful pieces are my must-haves. As the air temperature reaches lower levels, I'm excited for thicker fabrics and fun prints. The Bardot Amelia Playsuit is a gorgeous mix of dark florals. The romper is versatile enough to wear in the fall with tights and in the summer with strappy sandals. The J.O.A. Slanted Hem Mini Skirt is an affordable piece that I would pair with the Zara Polka Dot Top for a dressy chic look. Although white isn't exactly an autumnal shade, I think the French Connection Dayton Lace Tie Neck Blouse is a classic top that I'll wear for the years to come. I have a mustard skirt from Free People that would look perfect with this blouse. I picked up the Free People Sweetie Tee because I don't have any pieces in a melon shade. The cropped hem and ruffle details are fresh updates on a basic t-shirt and I would style it with light blue jeans and sneakers. The Zara Lace Top is in my favorite color for the fall (and every other season) and I would dress it up with glittery pants and chunky heels for thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Baylor QB Seth Russell has suffered yet another season ending injury after fracturing his ankle in the Oklahoma game. The senior endured a broken bone in his neck last year, which concluded his first season as a starter after seven games. Throughout the worst offseason and a year wracked with turmoil, Seth was the beacon of light in the storm. His grace through criticism and undeserved anger is extremely admirable. Seth was the undisputed leader of the team and always fought through turmoil to hold our players together. When reporters asked him difficult questions, he never avoided the topic and answered with dignity and poise. He embraced Coach Grobe after the coaching transition and positioned himself to keep the players focused. He could have easily transferred to a different program amid the uncertainty of the season, but Seth stayed and gave Baylor fans a true leader to cheer for. Not only is he an incredible person but also a phenomenal player. He will be concluding his collegiate career with a 14-3 record and 5,461 passing yards for 60 passing touchdowns and 1,240 rushing yards for 20 rushing touchdowns. Thank you Seth for lighting the way when the path seemed so dark. You will truly be missed.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Baylor's best defensive performances of the 2016 have occurred when their linebackers stepped up to the plate. For this specific post, I'm including nickelbacks in the lineup where two of my favorite players reside. Linebackers are my most beloved football players and this season's group is one of the best. Although they've been dealt a difficult card this season, the linebacker core has tried their best to succeed on the field and turn the ball over to the offense. Led by senior Aiavion Edwards, the tackle-happy crew is extremely successful when they're energized and focused on stopping the run game.
Although Edwards shined in high school at runningback, defensive back, safety, kick returner and linebacker, the latter is where he continues to succeed in college. The 6-1 230 lb defensive leader has the size and speed needed to sack QBs and tackle the ball carriers. His physical presence is dominant on the field and his offensive stops always occur when most needed (i.e.: forced fumble recovered in the end zone against UNC, stopped two-point conversion against Texas). In his redshirt freshman season, Edwards totaled 20 tackles, one and a half sacks and one pass breakup. In 2014, Edwards' numbers improved where he recorded 35 tackles, a half sack, three pass breakups, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and one QB hurry. Last year, he greatly developed with 61 tackles, two sacks, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a QB hurry. Taylor Young had a phenomenal freshman season as he collected All-American and Defensive Newcomer of the Year titles and recorded 92 tackles, four sacks, three pass breakups, two QB hurries, two forced fumbles and an interception. His sophomore year was a little less productive as he totaled 80 tackles, four sacks, two QB hurries, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. Young's smaller size allows him to fly all over the field and surprise QBs with sacks. Raaquan Davis has had the opportunity to contribute more on the field this season. He's a lean muscular machine who, although not as quick as Edwards, makes an impact when he pays attention to the run game. His redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons weren't extremely prolific as he only recorded 16 and 22 tackles respectively. However, he's gotten more of a chance to participate alongside Edwards, Young and NB Travon Blanchard. Blanchard and Patrick Levels are two of my all-time favorite players on the team because of their agility and talent. Blanchard has been a huge contributor to the defense both with his energetic personality and natural gifts. In 2014, Blanchard recorded 31 tackles, one interception and a QB hurry. Last year his numbers exploded as he became a massive gift for the football team, recording 83 tackles, seven and a half tackles for loss, two sacks, six pass breakups, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one QB hurry and a blocked punt. Blanchard is long and lean but his physical strength is phenomenal. Levels participated with the special teams squad over the past three years as NB. In his first two seasons he recorded 14 tackles and one forced fumble and five tackles respectively. His 2015 numbers improved as he totaled 18 tackles, one sack, two pass breakups, three QB hurries and a forced fumble. This year, Levels has used his small size to his advantage and disrupted nearly every offense. The rest of the linebacker core includes Thomas Cletcher, Chad Kelly, Lenoy Jones Jr. (a future star), Iain Hunter, Allen Anderson, Jordan Williams, Deonte Williams, Clay Johnston, Kyle Boyd, Michael McNair and Koby Bullard.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
When I'm not working, going to class or FaceTiming my mom, I'm usually scouring my favorite websites for new wardrobe additions. I love shopping because it gives me an outlet to create beautiful outfits when the social issues of the world are ugly. The stores I've been browsing are Revolve (of course), J.Crew and Urban Outfitters. The taupe Kimchi Blue Sidney Bell-Sleeve Babydoll Blouse is the perfect basic top for a fall night out. I would style it with cropped tuxedo pants and slingback heels. The For Love & Lemons Angelina Dress is a summery dress that I would transition for the fall by pairing it with thigh-high boots from Stuart Weitzman. I'm in love with the J.Crew Cable Crewneck Sweater with Ruffle Sleeves because of its gorgeous color and girly sleeves. I would tuck it into the J.Crew Petite Straightaway Jean and sneakers. The lace BCBG Romper would be autumn-ized with a felt floppy hat and oversized cardigan. I would love to wear the Silence + Noise Velvet Carnation Surplice Romper on my birthday with gold accessories and strappy sandals. The Kimchi Blue Jessie Tie-Back Cropped Sweater is a fresh take on a classic warm-weather piece and I would pair it with high waisted blue jeans and flats for an everyday look. Privacy Please is one of my favorite brands and the Shore Dress is perfect for a warm-weather fall. I would style it with booties and a lightweight coat for cooler temps. Another thin-strap favorite is the Krisa Surplice Cami, which I would pair with a denim skirt and black wool tights.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
When Lin-Manuel Miranda performed the title track from "Hamilton" at the White House in 2009, no one could have expected the play to take the world by storm. Hamilton is now one of the most famous plays of all time, featuring hip hop and r&b songs performed by actors of color (hooray!!). After the play sold out for years and ticket sale prices skyrocketed, it seemed like the rest of us would never have the chance to witness the greatness of the show. Luckily, Lin-Manuel is the greatest human since Bill Snyder and decided to publish a Hamilton anthology, starred in a documentary about the play and now wrote and produced the Hamilton Mixtape. The soundtrack is filled with remixed versions of current songs in the play as well as demos and interludes to some of Lin's unreleased songs. Performers like Usher, NAS, The Roots, Sia, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and John Legend participated in the project and I'm so excited to hear the album as a whole! You can pre-order the soundtrack now and hear four released tracks while the entire album is released on December 2nd.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Arguably one of the nastiest, most hurtful presidential campaigns will end tonight with the election of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. You all know I don't support either candidate, but the blatant racism, bigotry, misogyny, sexism, and hateful diction is too much for me to ignore. I'm not going to discuss either candidate in detail but I wanted to share a few tips on how to care for yourself emotionally and mentally throughout the rest of the election.
- Hold your now vulnerable family and friends close. One specific candidate has targeted people of color, LGBTQ+ community, women, Muslims, disabled people and immigrants throughout the past year and a half (actually throughout a lifetime). These groups of people will be even more exposed to hateful diction than ever before. Please take the extra time to let them know you love them and care about them.
- Take mental health breaks away from political news. I, myself, have followed the election daily over the past 16+ months and it has taken a toll on my mental health. I love uncle Bernie and I've developed my own political views, but it's not healthy to constantly read misogynistic attacks, sexual assault pandering and insults toward people of color. I need to step back and think about how these daily articles, tweets and Facebook posts are affecting me. It's okay to indulge yourself in political news, but know when to step away.
- Continue fighting for equal rights. This election has revealed the disparities between social, environmental, racial, religious and gender classes. All people deserve the rights to safety, love and happiness. Always choose love, that's the only thing that will keep us going.
Monday, November 7, 2016
I follow many social justice activists on social media such as Shaun King (my favorite journalist ever), actor Matt McGorry and lawyer-author Michelle Alexander. Alexander is a law professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is the author of "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness". After both McGorry and King recommended the book, I knew I had to pick it up. My heart aches for the broken criminal justice system and the people who are shuffled in and out of prison. America is responsible for 22% of the world's prison population. That percentage equals over 2 million incarcerated persons in the US alone. Alexander's book describes the school-to-prison pipeline, which focuses on shuffling minorities and particularly African American men through the prison system. One in three black men in America will be incarcerated if these trends continue in the future. Alexander explains how the damaged justice system has affected millions of Americans and why we need to use our voices to create change. "The New Jim Crow" is an incredible book and is a must-read if you care about social justice and human rights.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
This post isn't going to be like my other recaps. I'm not going to rehash all that went wrong yesterday because the sports purpose of my blog isn't to bring others down. Yesterday was filled with so much tribulation that our young men forgot their goal was to win the game. While we've dropped two in a row, I believe that we're still strong enough to play at a high-caliber level. We're so much better than what we exposed yesterday. We have to do better. The team will play Oklahoma in Norman next week and if they can truly band together and ignore the issues off the field, they have the strength to win. We'll just see if they are able to execute. I know they're better than this and I still have faith in the young men who inspire me every week.
Friday, November 4, 2016
It's no secret that my favorite wardrobe must-have is denim; I wear jeans almost every day even if it's 90 degrees outside. Denim is a fashion essential for the fall and winter and my wishlist is loaded with pieces from Madewell and J.Crew. The J.Crew Petite Straightaway Jean is my pick of the season as it features a fresh take on the classic jean. I've been more interested in straight jeans as opposed to skinny because the cut is more universally flattering and chic. These jeans would look amazing with a chunky knit sweater and strappy sandals. I don't often wear skirts, but the Madewell Denim Zip Mini Skirt is too cute to pass up! It's an affordable addition at $78 and can be styled in both cold and warm seasons. For the fall and winter I would pair it with a cropped blouse and tights for warmth. Another skirt favorite is the Madewell Asymmetrical Jean Skirt. As I've been working every day, I think it's important to dress appropriately for the office. I love how this skirt remodels the pencil skirt for a modern feel. Overalls are often connected with toddlers, but the Madewell Button-Front Skinny Overalls is perfect for the adult woman. The classic dark wash and cropped hem style nicely with a thin turtleneck and sparkly sneakers.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
When I was a preschool-aged toddler, I used to wake up at 7 am on Saturday mornings and watch the Food Network. Some of my earliest food memories are the times I drooled over Ina Garten's roast chicken and flourless chocolate cakes or Giada de Laurentiis' spaghetti bolognese. Because of my fascination with gourmet foods, I often volunteered to help my dad in the kitchen. He taught me basic knife skills, the importance of incorporating a roux to my dishes, why yakisoba is the best throw-together meal and how to deglaze pans with alcohol. As I've been living off campus without a meal plan this year, my cooking skills have been put to the test. I'm by no means an Ina, Giada or Lance, but I've put together a few delicious dishes that I love! My breakfast special is a pesto bagel sandwich (so easy, so delicious...blog post coming soon) and I could eat my Yoshida sauce chicken for dinner at least twice a week without growing tired of it. However, I've recently been craving orzo and thought I would add some of my favorite ingredients to make it a one-pot dish. This recipe only took me 30 minutes including prep so it's the perfect weeknight dish. I found the recipe on Pinterest but all credit goes to the Laughing Spatula- full recipe found here.
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
olive oil (to taste)
butter (to taste)
garlic (to taste)
one box of orzo pasta (roughly one lb)
3 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
three handfuls of spinach
salt and pepper (to taste)
Cut chicken thighs in bite-size chunks
Heat olive oil and butter in pan on medium-high heat
Toss chicken in pan and coat with salt and pepper
Once chicken is 75% cooked, remove from heat and add to a plate or bowl
Place mushrooms in pan and sauté until tender
Once mushrooms are cooked, add garlic, spinach and orzo and sauté on medium heat for a 3 mins
Pour cream and chicken stock in the mixture
Place chicken pieces in the orzo
Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 20 mins
Add more salt and pepper as well as parmesan cheese to taste
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The third annual College Football Playoff will kick off in January 2017 and the selection committee released the first ranking of the season. While I've previously stated that rankings don't matter until the final selection, it's still important to take note who's currently in and out. Of course, the former national champion Alabama is coming in at No. 1 with an undefeated record. Bama has demolished every opponent besides Ole Miss (the team that gives the Crimson Tide a run for its money each year) so they rightfully belong at the top. Clemson is also undefeated with its best win against Lamar Jackson-led Louisville. Deshaun Watson is still an incredible QB so the Tigers a strong contender for the national title. Michigan destroyed my poor Rainbow Warriors in their season opener and has gained national attention for their offensive centipede formation. Look toward LB Jabrill Peppers if you want to see a standout athlete perform at every position. One-loss Texas A&M is the black sheep of the top four as many (including me) believe undefeated Washington should be ranked at the fourth spot. A&M was routed by Alabama and could suffer another loss in the remainder of their season so keep an eye open for the wildcard fourth slot. Washington has come out of nowhere and excelled through 60% of their schedule. If they keep dominating, I believe they can win out and make it into the playoff for the first time. Ohio State and Louisville were each handed a loss, but the Cardinals have a "better" one against Clemson rather than the Buckeyes' fall to Penn State. I still think Louisville QB Lamar Jackson will win the Heisman trophy and the Cardinals have a solid chance at executing well through the rest of the year. In my opinion, two-loss Wisconsin and Auburn should not be in the top 10 over undefeated and one-loss teams, but we'll see how the rankings rearrange themselves as November's games start. Nebraska ties off the top 10 with a loss to Wisconsin last week. The Big 12 saw four teams enter the rankings with Oklahoma at 14, Baylor at 17, Oklahoma State at 18 and West Virginia at 20 (how?). Like I said before, these rankings are completely insignificant, but it's still fun to see where each team fares!