Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Roadtrip Attire

Urban Outfitters top, Brandy Melville shorts, Kate Spade sunglasses (old)

I mainly chose to write about this outfit because of the background. That ocean, the cerulean gradient sky, that big ass hole in the middle of the rock wall...those are au natural. When I'm home I often (always) take the natural beauty surrounding me for granted. I don't think I even noticed how blue the sky was when I was at Lāʻie point. Do you see how the sky fades from blue to a gray-ish white? I'm actually disrespecting nature's artistry with my description. Yeah, here's a cute outfit I wore on a road trip to the north shore but damn, look at the sky! Look at the ocean! Look at how each ripple in the ocean is individual and different! Look at that big ass gap in the rock! Don't look at my outfit anymore, look at everything surrounding me. Maybe next time I'll truly appreciate my home instead of documenting it and leaving. But anyway, here's my outfit...the top is soft, the shorts are flowy and my glasses have glitter on them. How profound.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Noelle Reads | January 2017

Although I binge watch Gilmore Girls (I hate Rory) and scour the 'New Releases' sections of Net-a-porter and Revolve during my free time, I'm trying to convince myself to read more. As an English major, you would think that books were my second home. Unfortunately I'm not my sister and my bookshelves aren't brimming with American classics, Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Jonathan Franzen, etc. I prefer Jonathan Safran Foer, Claudia Rankine, Bryan Stephenson, football guides and as much poetry as I can find. I adore Bukowski's words, Clint Smith's appeal to soft hearts, Whitman's ability to take me on a journey and Lynn Gentry's mirroring of society. I want to cry, I want to be inspired, I want to be reminded of what it means to be a human. I want to find solace and peace in the writings of these authors. "What the What" is a novel by Dave Eggers exploring the life of 'lost boy' and refugee Valentino Achak Deng. "Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing" is Charif Shanahan's collection of poetry navigating the complex struggles of a mixed-race queer person. "No Matter the Wreckage" is lyrical maestro Sarah Kay's poetry from the early stages of her life. "The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind" is Claudia Rankine's open discussion between authors on the conflicts of race. I want to learn, grow and refresh my soul through these stories. Author Teju Cole commented on the importance of writing when he said, "Writing as writing. Writing as rioting. Writing as righting. On the best days, all three."

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Roger Federer Makes History

Roger Federer added his name to the record books this morning by winning the most singles grand slam titles in history. At age 35, Federer is one of the oldest active tennis players, but his consistent drive and perseverance has him at the top of the ranks. Federer's win over long-term rival Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open was his first slam win since 2012 Wimbledon. Federer described the victory as his greatest yet since he's been inactive for over six weeks with injuries. His five set win was a thriller as two of the best tennis players in history faced off. Federer's slam victories include Wimbledon, Australian Open, US Open and French Open. While Federer is unsure how many tennis years he has left in him, I'm positive he will go down as one of the best athletes of our time.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

5 Things

1. Sweet pets

2. Relevant poetry

3. Trying to be intimidating

4. Saturday views

5. The best pick me ups

Friday, January 27, 2017

On Women in Sports

I've always loved fashion. Growing up, I used to carry around sketchbooks full of my designs and told everyone that I would be the next Coco Chanel. I studied my favorite designers, learned how to sew my own clothes and shared my passion with every person I met. Adults would smile at me and tell me my drawings were pretty- that I could be anything I wanted to be. My classmates knew I loved clothes and dubbed me 'best dressed'. I was expected to adore fashion and no one ever questioned me about my knowledge. Four years ago I decided that I loved sports. I began to write about football games and players, researched play calling, watched as many basketball games as possible and became an obsessed fan. This time around, however, sharing my passion wasn't so easy and it remains difficult to this day. While my parents, sister and grandparents are supportive of my dreams to work in football, many other people aren't. Every time I add my two cents to a conversation about the Superbowl, which CFB teams should be in the top 4, why I supported the Cowboys this year or who the best NBA team is, I'm usually met with sighs, rolled eyes or questioned about my opinions. There's no argument to it- it's because I'm a girl. Now I'm not trying to make this a 'feminist thing', just simply sharing a struggle women in sports or women who enjoy sports deal with everyday. Sports are supposed to bring people together. They're supposed to be a pastime where people can meet, eat food and watch exciting entertainment, but for some reason, they're mainly targeted toward men. I was once eating lunch with a group of people I wasn't familiar with and two men began talking about Baylor's football team. When they questioned the name of a player, I stated the guy's name and position. Quickly after I interjected, they asked me how I knew this and if I even watched football. On another occasion, I was watching the Packers-Lions game a few weeks ago and while I discussed my thoughts on the game with a male family friend, he rolled his eyes at me and said that my opinion wasn't correct. These experiences are common for most women in sports. Their opinions are questioned, their answers are shut down and they're told that their dreams are impossible. Football and men's basketball may have been male dominated sports in the past and present, but there is hope for women in the future. Just because we're not allowed to play the sports on a professional level doesn't mean our thoughts or dreams are any less valid. Perhaps the next time you speak to a woman about America's pastimes, you'll listen to her opinions and have a thorough discussion without any eye rolls.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Earring Wishlist

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

I've been shopping for local/Hawaiian earrings ever since I got my ears pierced last month and these are some of my favorites. Ki-ele, ByChari and Hulalei are my top shops for these jewels because of their local designs, gold embellishments and unique styles. Although Tahitian pearl studs are at the top of my wishlist, I would love any of the earrings featured above paired with a Manuhealiʻi dress and tita bun. The Oʻahu outlines, poi pounders and longboards are my favorites of the bunch. Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Winter Roadtrip

Oʻahu is an extremely small island, but due to constant construction and transportation congestion, driving to North Shore can take well over an hour. Despite the drive length, I wanted to go on a hike and to the beach with my closest friends before we all left for Spring semester. The most beautiful route to North Shore is through Kāneʻohe side where we eventually stopped for the beach. We hiked ʻEhukai pillboxes in the morning, which is a quick but steep hike. The natural forestry blocks a good portion of the ocean view, but the lookout is gorgeous nonetheless. However I would recommend Crouching Lion instead. After the hike we ate at Ted's Bakery (who surprisingly makes the best teri chicken I've ever had) and drove around Lāʻie before stopping at the big puka in the ocean. On the way back home we stopped at Kualoa beach park and swam for a few hours, taking in the early sunset. Mik and I belted Moana tunes when we saw this waʻa and laughed all the way home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Superbowl 51 Preview

While last year's showdown between the Broncos and the Panthers was expected throughout the season, a Superbowl 51 Falcons appearance certainly was not. The Cowboys dominated the NFC for a majority of the season while Atlanta quietly won their division in the playoffs. The Pats are often guaranteed a spot in the Superbowl and this year they've made history with their ninth appearance in franchise history (gross). Although they're missing TE Rob Gronkowski, they still have quite a few offensive stars including WR Julian Edelman. On the Falcons side, QB Matt Ryan has a monster of a passing target in WR Julio Jones who is a grown ass man. If you watched their annihilation of Green Bay last week, you would have witnessed Jones making incredible catches all over the field. RB Devonta Freeman is also a massively impactful player who can push through holes and defensive linemen unlike any other ball carrier. While the odds are in New England's favor, I'm excited to see Matt Ryan and co. stop history! The game will air on February 5 at 6:30 pm EST.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Waitress Musical

I'm always on the hunt for great musicals on and off Broadway and Waitress Musical is my current favorite. With music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and a lead appearance by Kimiko Glenn, Waitress is a female-empowering play about pie (what could be better than that?). Okay, the whole show isn't solely about the dessert- it also focuses on main character Jenna's life as she grows more pregnant every day. Secondary characters Becky and Dawn add humor and spunk to the play and Kimiko Glenn is just phenomenal on stage. I love her in "Orange is the New Black" as Brook Soso and I was excited to see another incredible Asian-American actress shine on broadway (my other two favorites being Lea Salonga and Phillipa Soo). Every song on the soundtrack is well-written, but my favorite is Glenn's show-stopping "When He Sees Me". Although she's no longer performing on stage, I would have seen the show just to witness this piece. Here's a full clip:

If you like pie, friendship and female-empowerment, I hope you will check out the play when it makes its US tour this year!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Women's March (on the World!)

Yesterday, women and men took part in the largest protest in history. The Women's March started out as a grassroots effort in Washington D.C., but stretched its endeavor toward all ends of the earth. Over 4 million people from all 50 states and dozens of countries around the world marched in honor of women's rights and equality for all people, and against bigotry, misogyny, hatred, prejudice, racism and sexism. While the D.C. march brought in over 500,000 people, sister marches broke attendance records and made their cities witness the power of true democracy. From Hawaiʻi (imua!) to London, these brave and compassionate people were brought together by one common goal: ensuring that all humans have equal rights no matter their race, sex, gender identity, religion, disability or sexual orientation. After such a hateful presidential campaign, watching strangers protect, root for, and love each other was inspiring and gave me hope for a kinder future. My favorite politician/uncle/human Bernie Sanders gave a rousing speech in his home state of Vermont and joined the thousands of marchers in their journey. We must use the progress we made through the march to continue the fight against hate. We already know that compassionate people can accomplish any goal when they work together and when we are led by people like Bernie, Linda Sarsour, Tulsi Gabbard and Van Jones, our future is already brighter.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

5 Things

1. A donut stuffed with ice cream aka heaven

2. One of my favorite photos ever

3. The death stairs

4. Baby

5. So much friendship

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Last Sunrise Home

Before I went back to Texas (cries) I convinced my two best friends to wake up before the sun and go hiking with me. I hate physical activity most days unless a world-class view or any ocean is involved,  so we did an easy (except for the stairs!) hike at Diamond Head. Unfortunately, every tourist on the island had the same idea so by the time we reached the top, the crowd blocked the view. In order to access a view-able spot, we climbed over the railings and watched the sunrise together. When the sun was high enough in the sky, we raced down the mountain to the tune of "Driving Me Pupule" and scanned the variety of produce and foods at KCC's Farmers Market. When I saw that there was no fried rice to be found, I begged Kaiʻolu to take us to Zippy's for one final meal together. It was the perfect last morning home.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The New Baylor Football Coaches

With the hiring of head coach Matt Rhule, the Baylor football team has made great strides over the past month including the addition of a new staff and 14+ commits. After what seemed like an eternity of bad news and a sole 2017 commit, I'm always ecstatic to see new faces and names pop up in a positive manner. Coach Rhule has already hired a near full staff on both sides of the ball, bringing nearly all of his defensive coaches from Temple. Here's what the staff list looks like right now:

Co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers: Matt Lubick
Co-offensive coordinator/running backs: Jeff Nixon
Defensive coordinator: Phil Snow
Quarterbacks: N/A
Tight Ends: N/A
Offensive line: George DeLeone
Defensive line: Elijah Robinson
Linebackers: Mike Siravo
Defensive backs: Francis Brown

A few other names that we've brought on board are former Cedar Hill high school's Joey McGuire, former Baylor QB Shawn Bell and president of the Texas High School Coaches Association David Wetzel. It's a new dawn for Baylor football and we should all be excited!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Current Favorite Poems

I discovered a passion for poetry in my senior AP English class after reading pieces from Claudia Rankine, Bukowski and song lyrics. It was in those four walls of Smith where I learned that rhymes don't equal poetry, that light shines through words, that even the most basic of songs have an unspoken kaona. Through Sarah Kay's slam poetry, Billy Joel's piano riffs and my own creations, poetry came alive in a way Shakespeare has never made me feel. The images I've shared above are a collection of exemplary poetry and quotes that I've mediated on over the past few weeks. Although some are spoken words, they ripped through my naʻau and have given me a manual of how to navigate through the next four years. I hope they inspire you too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Halter Dress I Don't Hate

O'Neill dress, Ocean Creations necklace, Daniel Wellington watch

I haven't wore a halter-style piece since my mom bought me a child's size 5 ribbed purple top. Back then, I sported it sans bra plus a yellow and blue plastic necklace every day. Now that I actually have boobs, a more grown-up style is always more appealing. This dress is from O'Neill and I found it at Nordstrom two years ago. I love the cutout in the back and the Koa-esque baubles on the strings. The dress reminds me of the ocean and fits my chest well without revealing my entire front half. I like to style it with my new sunrise shell necklace (and my football ones) as well as my favorite strappy sandals and whatever bag I like that day. It's the perfect dress for a picnic or a nice dinner (I wore it on my birthday)! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

For MLK Jr.

There are many people I've grown to revere including Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Bill Snyder, Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela, but none sit as high on my list as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Growing up I used to adore the man so much I believed German monk Martin Luther was named after the Rev. himself. Although I'm now a bit more educated and understand the difference between the 16th century Protestant Reformation spearhead and the civil rights leader, the latter still has a place in my heart.

Nowadays, politicians and civilians alike quote MLK Jr. in the face of adversity, protest and civil disobedience, hoping to silence the dissent. Unfortunately, his supporters of today forget what he stood for in the past. MLK Jr. did not only speak on nonviolence and love. Yes, the "I have decided to stick with love" quote and the like are beautiful and inspiring, but they don't represent the whole of what the Rev. fought for. When people disagree with Colin Kaepernick's silent kneel during the national anthem and berate supporters of BLM during protests, they forget that MLK Jr.'s life was built on activism and civil disobedience. He was put in prison numerous times, beat by police officers, marched through Selma with his brothers and sisters, supported the purpose behind riots and condemned white supremacy and comfortability.

While it's easy to remember MLK Jr. as the peaceful, loving Rev. today's America makes him out to be, let us never forget the real issues he stood for. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a civil rights hero who always fought for the people even if it meant spending nights in prison, getting beat by the officers trained to protect the public, losing time with his family and ultimately sacrificing his life. We owe it to him and everything he fought for to remember him accurately. Do not make him out to be a puppet dancing when you don't try to understand Ferguson, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Minnesota, Charleston, Staten Island, Cleveland and every other city where injustices have occurred. If we alter his memory, we're dishonoring his legacy.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The 2016-17 Dallas Cowboys

While my mom cheered for the 49ers, dad had his Rams and Megan followed Peyton Manning through any career move, I never had an NFL team of my own. I still don't have my "ultimate team" (that spot is reserved for Baylor football), but this year I chose the Dallas Cowboys. Now, every time I say that I'm rooting for the Cowboys, every man rolls his eyes and says I'm hopping on the bandwagon, but that's not true. I never had a stance on the Cowboys until my favorite former college QB made his mark on the team. I've been following Dak Prescott throughout his years at Mississippi State and have always admired his talent and character. When I watched him play for Dallas with former Baylor WR Terrance Williams and RB Ezekiel Elliot aka the only Ohio State player I don't despise (I'm looking at you, Joey Bosa), I finally found my team even if it's only for this year. The combination of Dak's power arm, Zeke's agility, Dez + T.Will + Witten's fine motor skills and the O-line's absolute strength, the Cowboys took their game to the next level. Although they lost to the Giants, Eagles and Packers tonight, it's been remarkable watching how a few key players make an impact on the whole team's success. Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr or the demon Tom Brady (eww) may be the NFL's MVP at the end of the season, but each Dallas player has made their mark on NFL history in 2016.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

5 Things

1. One of my favorite aspects of being home

2. The best view with my favorite people

3. Our New Year's food selection

4. Awkward family picture on ice

5. Books to read

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Perfect Floral Dress

Lush dress, Ocean Creations necklace, Kate Spade Saturday bag (old)

During winter break I lived in dresses and hiking clothes but this dress was my favorite of them all. I immediately fell in love with the style and pattern when I saw it in Nordstrom and despite a fitting room mishap (I couldn't take it off and tried pulling and stretching it over my head but it was stuck over my arms. I freaked out and stood with my arms straight over my head and the dress half off for 20 minutes before finally pulling it over.), happily purchased it. The dress cinches in at the waist and has a deep-v (that I have to cover with a half-cami or else the world would see my immodesty), which is perfect for fancier occasions. I wore it to a friend's wedding with strappy sandals and my favorite Saturday bag (RIP Saturday). After I saw the same dress in black a few weeks later, I bought it as well! And don't worry, I finally learned how to put on and take off a dress like a normal human.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thank You President Obama (and family!)

Last night, President Obama delivered his final speech as president of the United States (cries). For my sixth grade social studies class, I had to research the differences between him and John McCain and choose who I would vote for president. Although 11 year old me chose McCain (why), I'm truly grateful that I was wrong and have grown up with the Obamas as my first family. Because I was too young to remember anything about George Bush other than the effects of his presidency, President Obama has been my leader. I used to question why he was unable to enact the change he campaigned upon, but I recently understood after political research and the actions of his Republican congress. President Obama has made mistakes (far less than any other president in my opinion), but he and his family represent the true American dream.

As the first African-American president from Hawaiʻi, President Obama (I fondly refer to him as uncle Barry) has made history. His intelligence, poise and charisma are unlike that of any previous presidents. I'm thankful for his inclusion to all people no matter their race, gender, documentation, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or religion. America must be a country for all people without a checklist and President Obama has made sure of that. But he's not the only Obama who has touched the lives of millions of people. First Lady Michelle Obama is one of my own personal heroes who has inspired me through her grace, savvy and compassion. She is one of the smartest women in the spotlight with not only a bachelors from Princeton but also a law degree from Harvard. She has proven that with hard work, women are capable of anything. I'm proud to call her my First Lady.

The Obama family has made many sacrifices and suffered countless amounts of racism and hatred while in the White House, and I'm thankful to have grown up with such a beautiful and inspiring family leading the nation. They will be deeply missed (please don't leave us!).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The 2017 CFP Championship

Mark J. Rebilas | USA TODAY Sports Images
While a majority of the nation believed defending champion Alabama would earn back-to-back CFP titles, the Clemson Tigers slowly inched their way toward redemption. The Meyer-Saban rematch had a much different feel this time around as the Tigers took home the gold. While 2016's heartbreaker ended in a 40-45 Clemson loss, the Tigers propelled themselves back to the top with a 35-31 win. QB Deshaun Watson was the MVP of the game with 36 of 56 completions for 420 yards and three touchdowns. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts recorded a lighter load with only 13 of 31 passes completed for 131 yards and one touchdown.

Alabama scored the only points of the first quarter on their first possession with a 25-yard rushing TD by RB Bo Scarbrough (who is a MAN). Please enjoy this side-by-side comparison of Bo and me when we were both 15 years old.

He collected his second score of the night with a 37-yard rushing TD to increase Bama's lead to 14-0 in the beginning of the second. Scarbrough had 16 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns. With half of the second quarter left, Clemson earned their first points of the night via an eight-yard run by Watson. Bama added a quick field goal to their lead in the third quarter but the Tigers responded with a 24-yard TD catch by WR Hunter Renfrow (my personal MVP of the night!). The former walk on's TD wouldn't be his last of the night either.

Hurts showed off his passing skills with a 68-yard TD bullet to O.J. Howard to close out the third. The 24-14 score seemed almost impossible for which the Tigers could come back. However, I always say the game's not over till it's over and the fourth quarter featured some of the most exciting football I've seen in a while. Clemson added another score after star WR Mike Williams caught a four-yard pass in the Bama end zone. Halfway through the fourth, Clemson took the lead with a one-yard rush by RB Wayne Gallman to make the score 28-24. Bama clapped back with a 30-yard TD by the man Hurts himself. But with only six seconds left, Watson threw the perfect two-yard pass to Renfrow in the end zone to cap the game off! I think we all know how happy I am that Clemson won and Bama's reign is no more (at least for the off season)!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Noelle Listens | January 2017

City of Stars from La La Land

Speak Up Selah by Linying

Pua Kiele by Josh Tatofi

Hōkūleʻa Mālama Honua by Kapena

A Lovely Night from La La Land

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