Monday, October 16, 2017

The Baylor Football Mid-Season Recap

The 2017 Baylor football season is halfway over and the Bears have had a difficult start. I don't know if Coach Rhule and his staff predicted the team would go 0-6 and lose to teams such as Liberty and UTSA at home. I don't know if they prepared for a pass-heavy offense with minimal help from the OL. I don't know if they realized how tough it would be for the current defensive starters to adjust to a new game plan. I don't have any of the answers as to how the team can improve as the season winds down, but I trust that each boy on the field is pushing as hard as he can and fighting for each point. Yeah, their record may read 0-6, but I've seen improvements on each side of the ball at every position some time since September. Even as the losses out gain the wins, the Bears continue to push for each stop and each touchdown they can gather. The brightest stars on the team are unsurprisingly underclassmen who will continue to make big plays and collect points in the future. With players like CB Harrison Hand, P/K Connor Martin, LB Clay Johnston and WRs Chris Platt and Denzel Mims, the future looks bright for Baylor football, even though today's struggles seem never ending. I urge all Baylor football fans to stick with the team because when it all starts to click, you'll want to be on their side!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

My First Wax

Be warned dad- you will not want to hear any of this!

Technically this isn't my very first wax as that nightmare occurred at the ripe age of 9 in an Aveda salon. I wanted to finally have two separate eyebrows (thanks to the unibrow I inherited from my dad and grandpa) and I decided my adolescent face was ready for my first wax. Needless to say, I walked around Ala Moana with actual hives around my brows and that was the last time I came in contact with hot wax strips. Thankfully I've kept my unibrow at bay with a few pairs of sharp tweezers so I never stepped back in an Aveda waxing room again.
I've been interested in Brazilian waxes for a few years as conversations in Younger and Sex and the City drew my attention toward female grooming. I've always imagined the process nearly as painful as childbirth, so I never took the steps toward a real wax. However, I decided the time was right to pull my shit together and get over my fear. I booked an appointment at the European Wax Center in Waco and prepared myself for the pain. The lobby was clean, minimalist and full of their own line of skincare products for the face and body. I forked over my $50 for the full Brazilian before Kim, my waxer, escorted me into a doctor's office-style room featuring an exam bed covered with tissue paper. The wax they use at the European Wax Center is a hard, strip-less wax that dries within seconds of application. Kim first cleansed the area with a toner and applied a pre-wax oil before smoothing on the hot wax. I won't go into the nitty gritty details because this is a PG13 blog after all, but the process itself wasn't as horrible as I imagined. Of course, each strip was uncomfortable, but there was only one area that caused me to audibly cuss as it was pulled off. Luckily Kim made me feel at ease the whole time even though I gripped the tissue paper with a force I didn't know was in me! The whole waxing procedure took around 20 minutes and I was free to purchase any products before heading out. The wax lasts for 3-4 weeks and you bet your ass I booked my next appointment while only cringing a little! If you've ever wondered what a Brazilian wax is like and have any interest in one at all, I highly recommend it. Just be prepared to wince and kick a little!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

5 Things

1. A beautiful Waco sunset

2. One last a hui hou

3. Reggi and Sterling becoming friends (kind of)

4. Thankful for a poem a day

5. The biggest french fry of all fries

Friday, October 13, 2017

New Living Room Decor

I've been wanting to redecorate my living space for quite some time and have recently started getting around to purchasing new pieces to add to each room. I love blush pink anything, so I thought a few hints of pink in my living room would be beautiful. I bought two Project 62 Mongolian Faux Fur Throw Pillows to toss on the couch and they're incredibly soft and cozy! I love how the pink contrasts with my blue-gray couch in texture and shade. Throw pillows are the perfect way to add a pop of color to a room without spending too much money. These cushions were only $20 each and I'm sure they'll last for a while if Reggi doesn't get his paws all over them! Another pink installment is the Project 62 Plush Shag Rug, which is a similar baby pink shade. I used to have a gray and white patterned rug in my living room, but I wasn't too keen on how it paired with the other room decor. This rug is a slightly different texture from the pillows, but it's just as girly and fun! I love how plush it feels under my feet and how it brings the whole room together. I printed a handful of photos and placed them in collage frames to hang on my walls so the room wouldn't look so bare. I love looking at pictures of my family and friends whenever I can and the best place to have them is in my living room right next to me!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thoughts on Sex and the City by a First-Time Viewer

The first episode of Sex and the City aired when I was barely two-years-old, so I missed the early days of cosmopolitans, silk newspaper dresses and modern female sexuality. However, thanks to HBO, I've watched all 94 episodes of Carrie's love interests, Charlotte's pregnancy attempts, Miranda's unexpected family and Samantha's one night stands with anyone and everyone. I first had an interest in the show after my mom and I fell in love with the first movie. I didn't know anything about the girls or their current and past relationships, but watching their interactions and experiencing their love stories made me an instant fan. I re-watched the movie dozens of times before attempting to watch an episode, but I knew I had to see the girls' stories from the start. I've had many thoughts while eating and binge-watching all 94 episodes, so I gathered 25 of my most common for this post! Have you ever seen Sex and the City? What are your thoughts?
  1. I need three girlfriends (Kaiʻolu, Brandon, Mikayla) to move to New York with me right now.
  2. I would love to write a column for a living and be able to afford $400 Manolos whenever I feel like it.
  3. Why are all of these men so terrible? How are they getting dates?
  4. I greatly dislike Mr. Big in every episode.
  5. How many condoms does Samantha use each week? At least seven, right?
  6. I wonder if the girls eat any other meals besides brunch and late night dinner.
  7. Stanford and Anthony are under appreciated by the SATC fan base. They're hilarious and they add an extra layer to the show!
  8. I would love to be a Samantha but I'm 100% a Carrie (plus a dash of Miranda's cynicism).
  9. In what world can each woman afford her own apartment in New York without a roommate?
  10. They have to talk about something besides sex and fashion at some point, right? Like what about politics? Family? Sports? Anything else?
  11. Samantha was definitely an icon as a working woman who embraced every part of her sexuality. I love how she's open and confident in exactly who she is.
  12. Charlotte is just like my mom because she's sweet and classy. She's the exact opposite of my mom in her naiveté and high maintenance.
  13. I know the show is 50% fashion, but shit, most of the girls' outfits are horrible!
  14. There's no way Carrie is going to sleep in a lace chemise, men's underwear and a string of pearls.
  15. I like how the girls bring different opinions to the table. It's rare for girls like Samantha and Charlotte to get along and respect each others' opinions, but they do so well.
  16. Miranda and Steve are the perfect couple and I wish it didn't take her so long to tell him how she felt! 
  17. I was inspired when Richard cheated on Samantha and she put up the flyers announcing his infidelity.
  18. How is Carrie so well known in the fashion world and on the streets by only writing her newspaper column? She's basically a celebrity!
  19. Charlotte's bedroom problems with Trey were hilarious and frustrating. She shouldn't have married him so quickly until she knew they were compatible in all aspects!
  20. Aidan was the perfect man and I'm still pissed that Carrie cheated on him, said she would marry him and then changed her mind! He was so good to her and forgave her for cheating, but she still chose drama over love.
  21. It was smart of the show runners to give Samantha a cancer storyline. Her health problems made the show more realistic and showed a different side of Samantha as a character.
  22. I loved how Charlotte and Harry got together. She needed someone to make her less polished and perfect all the time and Harry was one of the best husbands on the show!
  23. I didn't think Smith was going to be such an important character, but he was amazing to Samantha. When she went with Richard to his hotel room and Smith waited for her in the lobby the whole time, I cried.
  24. Carrie and Big deserved each other more than anyone else.
  25. I still hate Big.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 Baylor Football Stars

Although Baylor's football season hasn't gone as well as we hoped it would, there have been a few breakout stars who've contributed to the team's progress. Each of the players I selected are within their first couple of years on the collegiate field, which means their skills will only improve as the seasons continue. 

Clay Johnston has become a monster on the defense, causing trouble each week for opposing QBs and ball handlers. The sophomore LB shows glimpses of former great Bryce Hager in every tackle and sack he records. On the season, he's notched 29 solo tackles, 43 total, 8.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and seven total sacks. Within the first four games, he broke his career records for tackles and showed his playmaking abilities on the opposing side of the ball. Johnston will undoubtedly continue to shine as a defensive leader once star LB Taylor Young finishes his final season.

PS: please enjoy these fun clips of Taylor Young sacking Baker Mayfield: 

Denzel Mims is one of, if not the key breakout player on offense, almost causing fans to reminisce Corey Coleman's talent at receiver. Although he doesn't quite have Coleman's speed and ability to catch any damn ball in the air, sophomore WR Mims has become QB Zach Smith's go-to guy for any deep passes. He's tied for first in the nation with with seven receiving TDs and he's scored at least one in each game with a career-long 71-yard reception and 70-yard TD. On the season, Mims notes 25 receptions for 533 yards with 7 TDs. Here's hoping he continues to add points to Baylor's scoreboard!

Harrison Hand is a true freshman who's made game-changing plays in his first season. I interviewed Hand before he enrolled at Baylor and he was the sweetest kid, so I knew I would cheer for him as soon as the games began. I'm excited to see him continue to do work at CB as he's one of the cleanest minimum-contact DBs I've seen at Baylor so far. Whereas many of our previous DBs drove me crazy with their penalties and obvious interference with the opposing receivers, Hand consistently breaks up passes in a textbook way. In just the first five games, Hand recorded 24 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss and 4 pass break ups, many of which were game-changing stops.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Boyfriend Blogs - Part 2

In my first post introducing Jacob as my boyfriend (read it here!), we filled out a short Q&A so everyone could get to know us better as a couple. That post quickly became my 2nd most read ever, so I thought we could do another Q&A filled with questions from some of my friends! The questions are always fun to answer so he and I can see what each others' responses are and how we're similar or different. I hope you guys enjoy reading our statements and if you have a question you'd like us to answer, leave it in the comment section!
  • How do you keep up your relationship when it's long distance?
Jacob: We FaceTime daily whenever we’re free because it gets boring texting her all the time (She knows it does) From time to time, we would also send letters to each other, but we stopped because she sent it to the wrong address and it took almost a month for me to receive it.
Noelle: I love FaceTiming whenever we're both available! We do it a few times a day and will talk, do homework or watch videos together while we're on the phone. We also text off and on and sometimes call each other when we can't FaceTime. FaceTime is definitely key to staying in touch when we're so far away because it feels like we're right next to each other.  
  • Where is your favorite place to go together in Hawaiʻi?
Jacob: Ala Moana mall (When she’s not being a Debbie Downer) - inside joke!
Noelle: I like when we go to Dave & Busters because that was where we technically had our first date. I also love going to Kapolei park and laying in the grass together. 
  •  If you could road trip anywhere in America together where would you go and what would you do?
Jacob: I would want to road trip to every state and go to all of their carnival/fairs that they have.
Noelle: I've always wanted to go skiing so it would be fun to road trip to Colorado and ski or snowboard together! 
  • What is one thing you wish each other would do more often?
Jacob: Communicate (lol such a hypocrite).
Noelle: I wish he would write me more letters because his are my favorite! 
  • Who said I love you first and how did it happen?
Jacob: I think it was me. Also, I’m probably the first one to say it on the blog too (I love you Noelle). lol
Noelle: He said it first around December last year, but I can't remember exactly how it happened! (I love you too!)  
  • What movie describes your relationship?
Jacob: I’d say the movie Up because we first met each other and we planned to do everything together, then she got word that her flight was leaving before mines and she left me by myself :(
Noelle: I think our relationship is similar to 13 Going on 30 because we were best friends first and even though it took me a while to get it together, we ended up together!
  • What's the first thing you noticed about each other the first time you met?
Jacob: The first thing that I noticed about her when we first met was how kind and uplifting she is. She always invited me to hang out with her outside of school even when we both didn’t drive at the time. 
Noelle: I remember noticing his smile and how his presence lit up the room. 
  • When did you realize you love each other?
Jacob: While spending time with Noelle, I just felt that she is the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. I know it’s weird to say that now, but I am 110% sure that is what I want to do. We’ve been through so much and we’re still together. I’m not sure when she felt the same way, but she probably didn’t want to say it because she’s never game to admit feelings until the other person does (Flashback to high school).
Noelle: I had a crush on him throughout the first year we became friends, but I realized I loved him when I would drop him off at his house and I didn't want to say goodbye. I think it was sometime during my first year of college after we had our first kiss! I also want to be with him forever too.

Monday, October 9, 2017

One Year with College Guild

Around this time last year, my best friend Kaiʻolu suggested I volunteer with a Maine-based non-profit organization called College Guild after I shared my heart for prisoners and those who are innocent and incarcerated. College Guild is a volunteer-only organization that provides prisoners with educational and creative courses to stimulate productivity and enhance their time behind bars. The prison system is incredibly unjust and corrupt and College Guild believes that treating those who are incarcerated with respect and educational opportunities will ultimately reduce recidivism. Because College Guild isn't an accredited system that provides prisoners with GEDs or other degrees, each person is allowed to choose each subject he wants. As a volunteer, I receive around one or two courses a month from a prisoner through the program and then I provide him with positive feedback and encouragement. Sometimes I receive different units from the same prisoner and it's exciting to see how his work improves each time. I love volunteering with the program because I can complete each course response from home anonymously. It's easy work, but it's extremely valuable to the prisoners who want to better themselves from the inside. I have a soft spot for those in the prison system (depending on the crime of course) and reading through each response has shown me that anyone could be incarcerated with the right circumstances. Some people are born into a difficult environment with no support, which leads them to a life of crime. Some people commit felonies because they're trying to support their families. Some people simply didn't have a proper lawyer, didn't know their rights, or were forced to take a horrible plea bargain. It all depends on the circumstance and I'm lucky enough that I've lived such a privileged life so far. Some people aren't as lucky as I am. College Guild has taught me simply that. If you have any free time or are looking for a noble volunteer opportunity, please check out College Guild's website. You won't regret it!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

If Colors Were Songs

The other day I was listening to a beautiful piece of music and I wondered if the song were a color, what shade would it be? Just as Schmidt in New Girl color-coded his wedding folder ("Chairs are color-coded under chartreuse, because it sounds like chair-truths. Salmon mongers are filed under fuchsia because I re-fuchsia to serve salmon at this wedding. The groomsmen tuxes are under magenta because ma-gentlemen will be wearing the dope tuxes"...and nope I didn't need to look up that quote, it was all in memory), I started to categorize some of my favorite songs into their respective color folders. It was an interesting process because I wanted to make sure each song would accurately represent the shade listed, but sometimes I couldn't get the selection correct. I decided to go with my gut and choose the songs that made me feel how each color did. What song do I listen to when I'm feeling sad? Happy? Reminiscent? Follow the color codes to their emotion/feeling and the song that will hit you right in the naʻau.
Read more:
Read more:

Red (passionate)- Goodbye Love from RENT

Orange (youthful)- Stars and the Moon by Audra McDonald

Yellow (dreamy)- Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller Band

Green (romantic)- Godspeed by Frank Ocean

Blue (sad)- Just A Memory by ODEZSA and Regina Spektor

Violet (dark)- I Can Feel a Hot One by Manchester Orchestra

Pink (in love)- I’m Yours by The Green

Gray (disappointed)- Burn from Hamilton

Black (moody)- A Quiet Darkness by Houses

White (hopeful)- Snow by Sleeping at Last

Saturday, October 7, 2017

5 Things

1. Sweet Reg

2. My new hero

3. Jil was too happy working out

4. Am I too obsessed with this boy

5. The dogs racing ran faster than I ever will

Friday, October 6, 2017

Poems in October

This month's selection of poems are political and heartbreaking and eye opening and they all require empathy. Empathy is a choice and it's one that most people refuse to adopt even in the worst times. I've included a new and timely piece from my hero Clint Smith as he contemplates the cruelty of war (though war can be on American soil and in a country far away). His writing comes shortly after the Las Vegas massacre, which I've directed toward the second and third poems. Each focus on the politics behind these horrible acts and how they keep happening. The last is one I found too beautiful and moving not to include with the rest. I hope you enjoy them all.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Coach | Matt Campbell

There are few, nay, two coaches in the Big 12 on opposing teams whom I respect and admire: my beloved Bill Snyder from Kansas State and Matt Campbell of Iowa State. I first heard about Campbell last year in his first season as the Cyclones' head coach. There have been a few teams who put up a decent fight against Baylor in the past few years and Iowa State is one of them. When Baylor faced the Cyclones last year, the Bears were on a 4-0 winning streak, recording commanding victories against Northwestern State (55-7), SMU (40-13), Rice (38-10) and Oklahoma State (35-24). Iowa State was 1-3 as the Bears approached Ames and Matt Campbell's first year looked dim. However, the Cyclones took the Bears to the ringer and Baylor barely scraped out a 45-42 win. Campbell only notched three victories in his first season, but my admiration of him began as soon as the Bears left his stadium.

Campbell played on the defensive line at the University of Mount Union where he was named to the College Football All-America Team and named Ohio Athletic Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year. Following his graduation, Campbell earned a graduate assistant position with Bowling Green State University from 2003-2004. After the year, Campbell returned to his collegiate alma mater as offensive coordinator from 2005-2006. During those two years, Campbell's teams won the Division III championship twice. Campbell returned to Bowling Green as the offensive line coach and offensive line and run game coordinator from 2007-2008. In 2009, Campbell was hired as the University of Toledo's run game coordinator and offensive line coach. He was promoted to offensive coordinator the next year and then promoted to head coach in 2011, where he would remain until 2015 and record a 35-15 record. Campbell was named Iowa State's new head coach in 2016 and is currently in his second season with the Cyclones. Although he's only amassed a 5-11 record to this day in Ames, his full coaching record speaks for itself. As a head coach, he boasts a 40-26 overall record and 2-1 in bowl games. He was also named the 2015 MAC coach of the year after his teams won the MAC West Division championships in 2014 and 2015. Campbell should find much success in his future Iowa State teams and I know they'll continue to be a threat for all Big 12 opponents.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pink Ruffle Shorts

I barely wear shorts, but when I do, I tend to reach for a classic pair of blue denim. This past summer, however, I decided to branch out and try a new style of short from J.Crew. I found their pink ruffle shorts online and ordered them without blinking. They were so cute! I love the ruffled details on the waist, deep pockets and perfect mid-thigh length. The shorts are made out of a thick cotton/nylon/spandex mix and are the most beautiful neutral pink. I love styling them with either a lacy cami or a basic tee like this gray one from Madewell. I threw on a colorful pair of Keds and my favorite Hawaiian accessories. I forced my friend Brandon to take my outfit pictures at the Royal Hawaiian hotel and I think they came out beautifully! Now bring on the jeans weather please.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Action Over Prayers

It seems like every day has a new tragedy, a new incomprehensible devastation that leaves the rest of us wondering how something so horrible could happen. And it seems like ever since November 8, 2016, these events have grown closer in occurrence. These senseless acts of violence, racism and bigotry are only made worse when those sworn to protect and uphold Constitutional rights disappear and ignore the voices of their constituents. There have been bomb threats at mosques, vandalized Jewish cemeteries, transgender murders, actual KKK/Nazi rallies, incomprehensible accounts of police brutality, the Charlottesville violence towards African-Americans, women and other minorities, racist bills against Muslims, Dreamers and restricted healthcare access toward the poor and minorities, as well as Trump's disgusting and despicable responses to every humanitarian crisis from the devastation in Puerto Rico to the real cold war in North Korea.

In the most recent occurrence of devastating violence, over 50 people were killed and over 500 injured after a white male terrorist randomly shot at concertgoers and passersby in Las Vegas with almost 19 automatic weapons and thousands of bullets. 19. He had 19 automatic weapons in his possession and 47 total in ownership plus thousands of rounds of ammunition. And he used most of it to murder innocent people. Tell me how anyone can make the case that guns don't kill people, because that is their exact purpose. Nearly every response to the tragedy in Las Vegas has been "praying for Las Vegas" or "thoughts and prayers", but none of those prayers actually matter in these horrific situations. If prayers could magically prevent people from owning weapons of war and using them to murder people or bring the dead back to life and keep people safe, then sure, send all of your prayers. But until then, those prayers do absolutely nothing. What will do something, is all of the senators and congresspeople who actively prevent gun control from standing up and finally acting against the violence. We need real change and that stems only from government prevention and real gun control. When will the leaders finally realize that enough is enough? When will our lawmakers and policy changers keep their people safe and listen to our voices? We don't need Trump and Mike Pence and Paul Ryan and all of their buddies in the Capitol to send their prayers. We need them to make changes and regulate background checks and prevent people from purchasing multiple automatic weapons. At this point, there's no time to ignore the issue of gun violence or to pray for God to stop the violence. We need change and that requires speaking up and calling our representatives to voice our opinions. If you're as fed up over the violence as I am, please call your senators and make your voice heard. No one should be afraid to go to the mall, church, concerts, or school anymore. It's time to speak up.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Noelle Listens | October 2017

LOVE by Kendrick Lamar featuring Zacari

Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding

Never Tear Us Apart by Sleeping At Last

I Don't Feel It Anymore by William Fitzsimmons

Your Turn by Common Kings (Jacob's pick)

Ipo Lei Momi by Kealiʻi Reichel (Jacob's pick)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The One

For today's post, I handed the reins over to my boyfriend Jacob and basically forced him into writing about me (I will never stop being bossy). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! *Gushes*

Ever since I was a Freshman in high school with Noelle, I knew that I wanted to be with her. I would tell everyone how much I liked her and how I always wanted to go out with her. Unfortunately, she would always go for older guys so I always believed that I had no chance with her. As time went by, we spent more time together during lunch, dinner before band practice, free periods, and even outside of school. We shared the same group of friends so it was easy to suddenly become best friends with each other. During her senior year, I finally was game bird to finally express my feelings towards her. Joy filled me as she told me that she felt the same way about me, but then it suddenly disappeared because she said she did not want to be in a relationship as she was leaving for college in a few months. It saddened me to hear that, but we were still very close to each other even after she left for Baylor. Eventually, we became friends with a few benefits ;) to boyfriend and girlfriend. She’s been there for me through thick and thin and I know she would never leave my side. I love how she checks up on me whenever I’m sad or if something is wrong. We always like to plan ahead in the future about things that we are going to do during breaks, but although it doesn’t work out sometimes, it’s still fun to hang out with her even if we aren’t doing anything. This thanksgiving, I’m flying out to spend time with her during our break. This will be the first of many times that we’ll be spending breaks together and going on dates as well. I hope that we’ll always be with each other and I thank her so much for everything that she has done for me. She’s my support through all the tough trials in my life. I know I can count on her for anything and I know I can trust her as well. I’m so lucky to have someone like Noelle to be my girlfriend. I can’t wait to see her during thanksgiving. Only 1 more month till I get to be with her again <3

Saturday, September 30, 2017

5 Things

1. Sweet Tag

2. Kaiʻolu always makes me feel better

3. My boss/friend left this on my doorstep and I was joy

4. I want to write like/become Sarah Kay

5. Nihongo celebration for sensei's birthday

Friday, September 29, 2017

25 Facts About Me - September 2017

I wrote my first post of facts no one wanted to know about me back in the fetus days of This Is Noelle aka February 2013 and damn was I a different type of kid. I was in the early stages of blogging where I only shared pictures from Google images and admired all of the British YouTubers. As my blog and I aged, my life aspirations and interests drastically changed, switching from beauty and Hillsong music to coaching football to any work in athletics or social justice. I began to update this post every year or so featured here, here and here with each post bringing me more joy than the last. It's fun to see how I've grown up and what my values were along the way. I hope you enjoy reading this list and head over to the last few to see what younger Noelle was like (spoiler alert she was funny and weird and always loved homeless people)!
  1. I don't know exactly what I want to do when I "grow up" (what even is a grown up anyway?) but I want it to be meaningful and I want to change lives.
  2. Everyone can have more than one best friend for different aspects of his/her life. Kaiʻolu listens to me and offers empathy, Brandon tells me exactly what I need to hear (even when I don't want to hear it), Mikayla always makes me laugh and is willing to fight anyone with me and Jacob is a constant in any storm.
  3. I love Sex & the City even though Carrie always pisses me off like who chooses Big over Aiden?? Unfortunately, I would like to consider myself a Samantha but I know I'm a Carrie at heart. 
  4. Although I don't play music as much as I used to, it's still a dream of mine to have my own band one day.
  5. I would love to create poetry as beautiful and moving as the pieces Clint Smith, Sarah Kay and Rudy Francisco write on a daily basis.
  6. I've learned to not idolize any human being because they will all fail eventually (except for you uncle Bernie I love you forever).
  7. I'm a serious introvert and I could stay in my bedroom alone for days without getting bored. Naps, gyoza and any episode of New Girl are all I need to be satisfied.
  8. I have a weird habit of playing with my hair and it really annoys my family and friends!
  9. I wear all of my emotions on my face so when someone or something is bothering me, you bet your ass everyone will know.
  10. I don't like organized religion and I think everyone should be good people who love and take care of each other without using religion to justify their actions.
  11. I used to let the outcome of Baylor football games completely dictate my mood but I've learned to get over losses easily. Football is wonderful but sometimes it sucks and ultimately, it's just a game!
  12. I'm a highly sensitive person and I unintentionally let every sad event, dumbass Trump comment or action, disappointment and bad grade get me down. I cry all the time over these even if I don't mean to!
  13. I hold forever grudges but if I love you, I go all in.
  14. My favorite playlist includes a range of genres and musicians and my favorites are Sleeping At Last, Manchester Orchestra, The National, J Boog, The Brothers Cazimero, all Broadway showtunes, old Usher and Frank Ocean.
  15. I have a horrible temper and often think I'm a 300 pound uncle who can fight anyone who pisses me off (I get that from my mom).
  16.  I'm convinced I will never like or be good at school.
  17. I have a soft spot for homeless people, prisoners and anyone in impoverished communities. If I could spend all of my time working with and helping these groups of people, I would.
  18. I used to love receiving presents for Christmas and my birthday, but now I find it more rewarding giving others gifts I know they'll love.
  19. My family and friends are the most important aspects of my life and I don't know how I would live without them.
  20. I would love to learn what my exact Hawaiian lineage is and if I'm related to any aliʻi (fun side story: Kaiʻolu once called me during my Journalism exam to tell me she's a descendant of Kauikeaouli).
  21. "Snow" by Sleeping At Last will always be my favorite song of all time.
  22. I keep $40 worth of five dollar bills in my wallet at all times to give to homeless people because what can a dollar even buy nowadays?
  23. I believe all people deserve equality, health care and education no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, disability or documentation.
  24. Sometimes I wish I played a sport in high school and went all out to become the best at it. I think I could have been a decent volleyball or tennis player if I actually tried.
  25. Loving someone fully is my biggest fear but I'm trying it anyway!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Getting Back into Fitness

Inserting three-year-old picture of me because I was semi-skinny back then and didn't realize it? Thanks band and Kamehameha's horrible PE program for keeping me at a thinner frame and let's get back to that size! I've been meaning to eat healthier and exercise regularly for the past couple of years (she types while simultaneously eating a chick-fil-a cookie), but haven't made the time for a lifestyle change. After binge watching workout videos on instagram and vegan dinner ideas on youtube (I would never be a vegan, just weirdly interested in what they eat), I've decided to get back into fitness! *cue gasps and fireworks* I've had bouts of interest in exercise and clean eating throughout the years, but never found a plan that worked well enough for me to stick to it. In order to get my body back on track and to stop myself from scarfing down Costco muffins every week, I went to my friend Charlie for advice. Charlie is a men's basketball strength coach and he trains some of the best athletes in the nation, so it only made sense to ask him for his tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

To enter into the world of health and wellness without fear, he suggested to start with small changes. His tips included, "food intake every 3-4 hours, high protein, fruits and veggies, low sugar (bye chocolate ice cream I'll miss you) and low amounts of processed foods (and there go my Trader Joe's boxed dinners)." He also suggested to "exercise in the morning because it helps your metabolism run faster all day, even just 20-30 minutes of activity". When I asked for his recommendations in building more muscle (my arms might turn into wings soon for real), he said, "the most simple way is to choose one exercise for each major body movement. For traditional weight training ideas, that involves the following: upper body push- chest, shoulders, triceps; upper body pull- back and biceps; lower body push- squats, leg presses or lunges; lower body pull- hamstrings; torso and abdominal. The most effective way is to choose one exercise for each area (five exercises total), that type of training is done two to three days per week. You can also do some great variations with your body weight: push ups, squats, lunges, abdominal exercises." One of his most suggested routines involved kettle bell swings (I know dad, I'll get to it!), which is an easy way to incorporate smaller weight lifting in a house or apartment without heading to the gym. Charlie suggested "starting with 100 to 200 swings per session...10-20 per minute".

Now that one of the best strength coaches in the country knows my goals and aim to live healthier and work out harder, I guess I actually have to get to it! Less carbs and more vegetables and proteins is first on the list with my beloved chick-fil-a heading to the back burner. I'll also reach for more fruits before digging into King's Hawaiian sweet rolls (ugh why are all of my favorite foods so bad for me) and actually lift my kettle bells for more than 5 minutes. Pilates and workout classes at the gym with my boss/friend twice a week would also be a fun way to switch up my routine and add a few blogilates videos in between. Let's just hope I stick to it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Spoken Word Poems You Need to Hear

I love reading poetry on a page, but hearing artists read their words in a coffee shop or on a video broadcast is even more powerful. Their rhythms and the way they fold their hands when reciting their lyrics shows their brilliance in real time. I discovered spoken word poetry through Jamaica Osorio's "Kaona" and have researched other genius authors, inspired by her artistry. Sarah Kay was my next favorite as she and Phil Kaye rhymed their way through my soul in "An Origin Story". I've followed her work ever since. In my attempts to become a poet and improve my pieces, I've searched through hundreds of spoken poems and fell in love with even more. Here are a few of my current favorites that I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Rudy Francisco "Scars/To the New Boyfriend"

Sarah Kay "Useless Bay"

Kyla Jenée Lacey "White Privilege"

Rudy Francisco "A Lot Like You"

Adam Falkner "The Whitest Thing"

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shopping for Home Decor

I moved into my apartment over one year ago and I still haven't decorated it as well as I'd like. Because I had a roommate last year, I didn't feel like I could truly make the place my own with pops of color and scattered decor. However, I'm determined to make the place feel more like home this year and decorate it as much as I want! I want to stick to a chic palette of white, navy, and pink (where I can) and add more colorful pieces along the way. I love having printed pictures around me and the Shutterfly Framed Pictogram Collage Poster is the perfect addition to my empty living room! I would purchase two of the collages and fill them with photos of my friends and family to hang on the walls. I love my navy blue couch and I would love to throw on a few colorful pillows to make it even more cozy. The THRO Effie Faux Fur Long Pile Pillow is a beautiful blush-colored plush that's neutral enough to match the rest of my current decor. It also looks soft enough to take naps on (always a plus)! I've been needing a bedside table to keep my phone on so I don't press the snooze button 15 times and the Beachcrest Home Harrison Nightstand isn't too fancy for my no-fuss bedroom. I love its classic design and ability to match any piece I own. I've loved art since I took my first art history class in sixth grade summer school and adore masters like Jackson Pollock, Paul Cezane, Florine Stettheimer, and Herb Kāne, but sadly can't afford any of their pieces. Instead, I would add the Project 62 Framed Watercolor Landscape as a cheaper alternative! The crown jewel of my wishlist is the Trent Austin Design Costa Mesa Blue Area Rug in all its glory. Look how beautiful it is! My family's friends Courtney and Joey have the most amazing blue rug in their living room and I've been searching for a similar piece ever since I saw theirs. Although this rug isn't exactly the same, the colors are still beautiful! If you haven't noticed a theme in my picks so far, pink is my color of choice. In order to add life to my apartment, I would toss a few flower bunches in the Project 62 Earthenware Vase and keep it on my coffee table. In case the flowers die (which they will), I'll buy a few fake ones! I only have a couch and coffee table in my living room, so an extra seat would be convenient in case I host more than two people (aka never). The Willa Arlo Interiors Sabio Barrel Chair would perfectly match the rug and add a gorgeous jewel tone to my living space. It also looks extremely soft, which is another plus! Speaking of soft, the Project 62 Mongolian Faux Fur Throw Blanket is the pretty blanket my couch is begging for. I already own a few Christmas throws, but the pink one would be perfect for all seasons! If I'm going all out in hoping and dreaming, the Gingerlily Silk Solid Collection is at the top of my perfect house list. The silk bedding is expensive as hell but I would feel like Samantha Jones in them and that's all that matters, right?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Back to Charlotte Tilbury's Legendary Lashes

After nearly six months without using my holy grail Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes mascara and I never regretted a decision so much. Legendary Lashes is expensive, there's no denying it. At $32 every three months, I was on the verge of bankruptcy (just kidding my parents still financially support me thanks mom and dad) and decided to test out a few cheaper options. I tried Too Faced Better than Sex original and the waterproof version and couldn't fall in love with either. Although Better than Sex gave me extreme volume, it flaked so much I found black bits all around my face after a few hours. The waterproof version was a little less flaky but was too difficult to apply. I also tested the L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise original (love) and waterproof (hate) and found the drugstore option is one of the best on the market. However, I couldn't get Legendary Lashes out of my mind. Every time I looked at pictures of my lashes from the 2016 summer, I was amazed at how thick, long and voluminous they were. I had to go back to my old favorite. Legendary Lashes is the real deal- it offers the most beautiful lashes out there without having to apply falsies. It holds a curl and doesn't flake no matter the hour or level of humidity. The one downfall is it's oil-based, so any chance of contact with water transfers the product all over my eyes. But one con is worth the hundreds of pros right? So I'll just stay out of the beach or pool with Legendary Lashes on my eyes and it's still the perfect mascara of all time!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Baylor vs. Oklahoma Recap

Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
May we forever bask in the glory that is Baker Mayfield sacked by the Baylor defense. Any defensive stop or sack on Baylor's end is wonderful, but there's something poetic and justifying about the Oklahoma QB stopped and pinned to the ground. Call me petty or an angry fan, but it sure was amazing to see a defensive performance like DC Phil Snow's bunch on Saturday night, especially after Mayfield's taunts prior to the game (seen below).

Okay, bachi-loving Noelle is done, let's get to the real action. I haven't been inspired by a Baylor football game in quite some time so it was exciting to watch the team with flashes of talent from prior seasons in the shoes of younger players. Although the Bears lost to No. 3 Oklahoma 49-41, I don't believe the better team won that night. A handful of Bears notched career-best records as they kept the score close all night. 

OU scored on their first two possessions via Mayfield daggers to wide open receivers and the Bears followed with a 42-yard punt return by WR Tony Nicholson who took it all the way to the OU 32. With Nicholson's rush, QB Zach Smith had perfect field placement to connect with WR Denzel Mims on a 19-yard TD, cutting OU's lead to seven points. While Baylor had the momentum on their side, OU gutted them with a RB Abdul Adams' 99-yard rushing TD to finish the first quarter. Baylor cut the lead to 11 after Connor Martin aced a 32-yard FG at the start of the second quarter. Mayfield completed a pair of bullet passes to score another TD, but Baylor answered with a TD of their own with Mims' second TD of the night on a 71-yard run (his career-long reception). LB Taylor Young sacked Mayfield twice before the end of the second quarter, which was obviously the highlight of my night. He also had four total tackles and two tackles for loss in the second quarter. Fellow LB Clay Johnston also had four total tackles and one tackle for loss. Neither team scored through the rest of the first half and went into the break at 28-17 OU. 

As the Bears received the ball to start the third quarter, Smith took advantage of their opportunity and nailed a pass to WR Chris Platt who ran it out for a 72-yard TD. On their second possession in the quarter, Smith completed a pair of passes to get the first downs before Martin kicked his first 40+-yard FG of the night (41 yards) to tie the game at 28-28. While OU marched down the field on their next possession and were in prime position to score, Mayfield's pass to WR Marquise Brown was fumbled and recovered by the Bears on their own 31-yard line to instantly change the game's momentum. Although they were unable to score seven points, they gave the ball back to Martin, where he kicked a career-long 46-yard FG to give the Bears a 3-point lead at 31-28. OU responded with a 48-yard TD, only leading Baylor by 4 points before the fourth quarter. Johnston added another pair of tackles to his stat sheet and Young had one more. S Taion Sells recorded five total tackles by the beginning of the fourth. 

The game looked to be getting away from the Bears as OU scored a 34-yard rushing TD on their first possession and a nine-yard TD on their second. The Bears were unable to answer in a big way, but settled for another FG by Martin, breaking up the score at 49-34 with a little over seven minutes left in the game. Baylor stopped OU on their next possession and Smith and co. powered through to add another TD to their chart following a 48-yard catch by Nicholson and 6-yard score by Mims, his third of the night. As they attempted to tie the game, P/K Drew Galitz kicked an onside kick, which Young recovered to the amazement of the Baylor crowd. Unfortunately, Smith couldn't connect with any of his receivers and was ultimately sacked to end the game at 49-41. Smith was on fire all night, completing 33 of 55 attempts for a career-high 463 yards with four TDs. Mims and fellow receivers Pooh Stricklin and Nicholson also recorded career-bests with 11 catches for 192 yards and three TDs; six catches for 85 yards; and seven catches for 74 yards, respectively. Martin added a career-high 15 points to the scoreboard and hit his career-long FGs for 41 and 46 yards.

Although the Bears lost, their defensive and receiver performances were truly outstanding and with a little more time and practice, they will be an unstoppable force with which to be reckoned. Baylor faces Kansas State in Manhattan (hi coach Snyder I love you!) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (CT).

Saturday, September 23, 2017

5 Things

1. New friend Kirby!

2. Watching our old vlogs together

3. A fresh favorite from Sam Sax

4. We almost won this one!!

5. Me and Tag

Friday, September 22, 2017

My First Manicure

I recently went to get my first manicure ever and my life is changed forever! My mom has always loved getting her nails done so I spent many Saturdays in her friend's nail shop. Although she tried to convince me of the power of a good manicure, I avoided those salons like the plague, instead choosing to pain my own fingernails. I purchased countless bottles of Essie polishes, spent hours waiting for each coat to dry, only for my nail colors to chip within a few days. I admit I never used a top coat to finish the nail job, but I still grew discouraged each time the polish pieces chipped or peeled off. Today I went to Solar Nail Salon Waco with a few of my friends and my eyes were opened to the wonder of a proper manicure. The technician soaked my nails, filed and buffed them, trimmed my cuticles, painted them with the gel color, and moisturized my hands. Within 30 minutes my fingers were painted and polished and I can't stop admiring how beautiful the shade is! I'll definitely start treating myself to a manicure at least once or twice a month!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Back to Vlogging

I'm using a two-year-old photo of me in Vermont for today's post because I was reminiscing the other night and stumbled across my old vlogs from a few years ago. I used to fanatically vlog every beach day and vacation with my friends and family but ultimately put the camera down after I felt shallow and not present in the moment. Although my feelings were in the right, I unfortunately ignored many moments I would have loved to capture on film. From weddings to dates and lazy days with my friends, I should have added a few bits of footage to my gallery. I'm hoping to jump back into the swing of vlogging in a more relaxed approach, allowing my loved ones to be themselves in front of the camera without making a huge production. I also want to film more everyday moments that aren't as click bait worthy, but have just as much meaning. In the mean time, please enjoy my favorite vlogs from my sister's graduation to New York adventures and beach/hiking days with my people.
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