Friday, March 31, 2017

Stripes and Denim

J.Crew topASOS skirt, Kate Spade Saturday bag, Daniel Wellington watch, Ocean Creations necklace, Cole Haan sneakers

I've been dog sitting a pup named Reggi (whom I lovingly call Regetable) for the past couple of days and I wanted to take him to the Farmer's Market. Texas' spring weather is a mixture of rainy days and brutally humid temperatures, so I paired a loose cotton blouse with my new denim skirt. I picked up this striped J.Crew top while on spring break and I love the color and style! Although it's an off-the-shoulder blouse, I wore it as a normal top and tucked it into my new ASOS skirt. I love denim skirts but hadn't found the perfect one until this wrap beauty. This skirt is perfect if you have bigger hips because when it pulls outward, it simply looks asymmetrical rather than gaping. I paired the outfit with my favorite old Cole Haan sneakers (nearly two years of use and still going semi-strong!) and Kate Spade Saturday purse for a fun day out with my borrowed pup.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring ASOS Must Haves

I'd never shopped at ASOS previous to this season, but now I'm in love with the site! I've always shopped at Nordstrom, J.Crew and Revolve, but had tossed ASOS to the side as a "cheaper alternative". I wish I knew earlier how adorable and unique the site's clothing and accessories are! Many of the pieces I've found are affordable and tailored to each season's classic trends. I love the rainbow ASOS Cold Shoulder Top with light denim jeans and strappy sandals. I would also style it over a one piece for the summer. The ASOS Denim Original High Waisted Mini Skirt is a classic item for any girl's wardrobe, especially in the spring. I would pair it with the dreamsicle-esque ASOS Gingham Tee with Ruffle Hem and dangly Koa wood earrings. I purchased a pair of the ASOS Farleigh Jeans and this light wash pair would be perfect with a colorful blouse and espadrilles. The Noisy May Bardot Dress with Pom Pom Trim is an adorable piece that would look amazing with a tan and reflective sunglasses. I love the ASOS Cotton Cami with Embroidered Trim paired with straight white jeans and Nike sneakers on a warm Spring day. The New Look Floral Embroidered Shirt is a girly twist on the classic white blouse. Another feminine piece is the Pull&Bear Gingham Ruffle Blouse, which I love with the Farleigh jeans and gold hoops. Rompers are a must have for the Spring and the Miss Selfridge Printed Fluted Sleeve Romper is my favorite.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Worst Time of the Year

There are four months out of the year that I despise: the downtime between basketball and football season. Once Baylor finishes their run in the NCAA tournament, I truly have zero sports news to share. Last year I wrote a series called "Football Focus", where I summarized each football position with definitions and examples. I also created "The Coach", in which I celebrated some of my favorite leaders in the collegiate and professional scopes. This year, however, I'm at a complete loss. Maybe it's because I'm uninspired or worn out from an exhausting 2016 football season, or perhaps it's because I have no idea what the future of Baylor football looks like. With a brand new coaching staff, fresh schemes and unknown player faces, there's no way for me to preview the upcoming season and its possibilities. I'm just hoping for a quick offseason with immense growth and perfected routes. May the 2017 football season be the best yet.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Scott Drew for COY

Scott Drew has been a pillar of consistency from the moment he stepped onto the Baylor basketball court in 2003. Drew took over Baylor's basketball program after the team's previous scandal hurt all future prospects. In his first season as head coach, Drew led the team to an 8-21 record despite a program probation. Just four years later, Drew's squad earned a 21-11 season where they landed a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1988. In 2009, Drew's Bears accomplished a phenomenal feat- notching a 28-8 record and making the NCAA Elite 8. The 2011-12 team made a historic 30-8 run before again advancing to the Elite 8. Although their 2013 season wasn't as victorious as the past, the Bears recorded a 26-12 season and won the NIT championship in the postseason. Drew's teams have consistently advanced to the NCAA tourney each year but his 2016-17 team accomplished historic heights. The team opened the season 15-0 including wins over No. 4 Oregon, No. 7 Xavier, No. 10 Louisville and No. 24 Michigan State. The Bears earned their first No. 1 AP and coaches' ranking in school history. They also made the quickest journey from unranked to the top spot in AP poll history. They finished the season with a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA tournament. In just 14 years, Drew has taken Baylor basketball from a scandal-ridden program to a shining light on the court. He deserves recognition for all of his hard work in recruiting and coaching and should be named Coach of the Year.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hisessions Favorites

Masese by Kapena

Tewe Tewe by Robert Cazimero

One Day Soon by Ernie Cruz Jr. and Imua Garza

Make Me Say by Kimie'

Lāʻieikawai by Hōkū Zuttermeister

Molokaʻi On My Mind by Blayne Asing

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Essie Backseat Besties

I haven't purchased a new nail polish in a while and this shade grabbed my attention as soon as I saw it. Spring beauty products are my favorite because they're girly and bright, which is translated in Essie Backseat Besties. The hot pink shade is the perfect cool toned fuchsia that screams spring. My closet is filled with white, blue and pink pieces and this polish is beautiful against those backgrounds. I love sporting it with a white eyelet top and gold accessories or a periwinkle dress. I'll probably wear this shade throughout spring and into summer with my favorite swimsuits!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

5 Things

1. My babies

2. Yay football!

3. I love these friends

4. The largest victory margin in NCAA tourney history but it made me sad :(

5. Wisdom from Clint Smith

Friday, March 24, 2017

Polynesian Paragons | Troy Polamalu

SS Troy Polamalu is this month's "Polynesian Paragon": an NFL legend who won multiple Super Bowls and individual awards throughout his career. Polamalu is of Samoan descent and was recruited by USC where he contributed to the team's success every season. He completed his collegiate career with 278 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, six INTs, four blocked punts and three TDs. At USC, Polamalu earned many All-American honors and became a fan and team favorite. After a successful senior season, Polamalu entered the 2003 NFL Draft where he was chosen as the 16th overall pick by the Steelers. Polamalu played all 12 of his seasons with the Steelers and became an eight-time Pro Bowler and won two Super Bowls (2006 and 2009). He earned an array of personal honors including AP NFL All-Pro Second Team, AP NFL All-Pro First Team, AP Defensive Player of the Year and NFL Alumni Player of the Year. Over his 12 year NFL career, Polamalu recorded 770 tackles, 32 INTs and three TDs.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Style

While I love winter for Christmas music and presents, I fancy spring fashion. Pastels, bright neutrals and pops of color make for a happy wardrobe. My closet consists mostly of pink, blue and gray, so I'll be looking to spice it up with more florals, lighter denim and colorful pieces. This season I'm lusting after bright yellow accents and fun sneakers to add extra girly hints to my existing collection. I love a good straight jean and will search for unexpected items that I wouldn't necessarily gravitate towards. Spring is a time of new beginnings (and March Madness) and it's time to shake up my closet!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Al Lolotai Led the Way

Every football season, I wish that Baylor had more Polynesians on the field. I love seeing my Poly classmates and distant relatives succeed in sports and it would be amazing to see them on my own team. Polys have always excelled in physical activities (including Makahiki games) and football is one of our main shining sports. As I was researching our greatest players in history, Al Lolotai appeared as the first Polynesian to play in the NFL. I'm disappointed in myself for not knowing this crucial piece of history, so I don't want his legacy to disappear. Al Lolotai was a pioneer for future Polynesian football players in the pros. He went to both Kahuku and ʻIolani before playing at Weber Junior College. In 1945, Lolotai was drafted by the Washington Redskins as an OG where he was the first Samoan NFL player. Lolotai switched to the Los Angeles Dons a year later for which he played four years. After his five year stint in the NFL, Lolotai became a pro wrestler.

Although he only spent a few years in the NFL, Lolotai championed the way for a future generation of Poly football players. If it weren't for Lolotai's hard work and dedication, the likes of Jesse Sapolu, Troy Polamalu, Kurt Goveia, Junior Seau and Marcus Mariota wouldn't have the opportunity to succeed in the pros. There are now over 60 Polynesians in the NFL and the number continues to grow each year. Polys' natural strength, speed and size makes them some of the best athletes in the league. Thank you uncle Al for leading the way for the rest of us. Hopefully Baylor will add more Polynesians on the field in the next few years...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day and I choose to celebrate with ice cream and personified sunsets. Through Derek Walcott, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Claudia Rankine and other great artists, I can meditate on Truth and beauty. Poetry is my writing of choice and I hope I'll find my own voice one day. Maybe one day my words will bring other people healing and justice, just as the ones above have given me. Happy World Poetry Day, friends. I hope you'll find grace in these pieces.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Baton Rouge Blues

LOFT top, J.Crew jacket (similar here), LOFT jeans, Ocean Creations necklace

The transition from winter to spring in the south is unpredictable when dressing. Some days are so cold that I wear three layers of clothing while others force me to sport dresses and flowy shorts. The weather in Louisiana was a mixture of rainy, sunny and freezing (thank you climate change) so I had to mix up a few pieces a day. I wanted to be both comfortable and stylish when we drove from Houston to Louisiana so I sported my coziest jeans, a loose top and my favorite tweed jacket to keep me warm. Because I am also a local tita, I wore my fancy beige slippers to complete the outfit. I threw on my pair of Oʻahu earrings and my three everyday necklaces for a fancy touch. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Baylor Men's Basketball in the Sweet Sixteen

The No. 3 seed Baylor men's basketball team held on to defeat No. 11 USC 82-78 in the second round of the NCAA tourney! This game gave me the most stress of my life (I say that after every football/basketball game where we scrape by) and I often stated that I hate basketball. Sometimes I think about all of the stress and anxiety I wouldn't have if I stopped watching sports but then I remember how amazing they are and I slap myself back to reality. Sorry, basketball, I love you and I could never hate you. After shooting 42.9% of field goals and 28.6% of 3's in the first half, the Bears held a mini lead over the Trojans going into halftime, 36-31. USC shot 52% and 44.4% in the first half, respectively. Sophomore G King McClure was Baylor's leader in the first half, scoring the first 3 points of the game and adding steals and 3's to Baylor's lead. Junior F Johnathan Motley followed with few jumpers and fellow junior F Terry Maston added his own mid-range shots. Two dunks by Motley and junior F Jo Lual-Acuil gave the Bears the lead to end the first 20 minutes.

USC struggled on defense in the first half but their offense came alive in the second. Each time Baylor scored (or didn't score), the Trojans would follow with a long 3 or easy jump shot. Sophomore F Bennie Boatwright was an absolute menace, making six of 11 field goals and four of nine 3's, totaling 16 points. Sophomore F Chimezie Metu was the Trojans' star, totaling 28!!!! (just using those exclamation points for emphasis, not proper punctuation) points after nailing 11 of 14 field goals. The second half gave me awake-nightmares as USC seemed to drain each 3 and field goal with ease. At one point, we were struggling to score for a while and the Trojans grabbed a five point lead with less than 10 mins left in the game. I worried that if the Bears couldn't get their offense rolling, the Trojans would literally roll all over us. After Motley fouled out, the odds were stacked even more against us. Fortunately, junior G Manu Lecomte drained his first 3 of the entire tournament at the exact moment we needed him. With 4:40 left in the game, we were down 65-67 and our shots were not falling. Lecomte has had trouble shooting for the past few games and he hadn't made a shot this entire tourney. BUT THANK THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW FOR A CLUTCH FIRE-EMOJI MANU. Lecomte nailed a long 3 and was fouled, giving him a four-point play. After USC turned the ball over, Manu was fouled again so he was back to the free throw line. Two more points plus a made layup gave him eight points in one minute. A final layup by Lecomte and four free throws gave Baylor the game.

The Bears will face South Carolina at Madison Square Garden on Friday with a chance to advance to the Elite Eight!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

5 Things

1. Important information about America's mass incarceration system

2. Next on my CD wishlist

3. The sand was fake

4. An important read

5. Relevant art

Friday, March 17, 2017

Baylor Men's Basketball Advances to NCAA Second Round

After back-to-back years of falling in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Baylor men's basketball team defeated New Mexico State 91-73 and advances to the second round! The Bears started off slowly and gave NMSU numerous chances to hold the game's lead. Baylor played well offensively in the first half, but NMSU dropped 3's like it was nobody's business. They couldn't miss! If the Aggies continued to make every 3, the Bears would be in dangerous territory. However, Baylor stepped up their game and kept the game close at halftime, 38-40. The Bears shot 55.2% of first half field goals and 60% of their 3's. When F Johnathan Motley was benched in the first half due to early foul trouble, coach Drew made lineup adjustments and added G Al Freeman and F Terry Maston to the rounds. In the second half, however, they kept the shooting up and made 59.4% and 33.3%, respectively. Al Freeman had the game of his career with 21 points and Maston joined him with 19 points. The Baylor bench contributed greatly to the outcome of the game and allowed the starters chance to breathe. A handful of blocks from F Jo Lual-Acuil and a couple dunks later, the Bears were on a 32-6 run to give them the game. The Bears worked tirelessly to come back from a mediocre first half and showed the nation how competitive they can be. They will face USC on Sunday and fight for a chance to play in the Sweet Sixteen.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Song Contest Memories

Song Contest is the most unique experience for Kamehameha students and alumni. Over the past 97 years, hundreds of nā pua a Pauahi work tirelessly to perform exceptional Hawaiian pieces. The men, women and coed songs are each memorized and sung a cappella in front of a collection of judges. I love song contest because it brings each class together and helps them to form a lifelong bond. Although there have been trophy disappointments over the years, there's nothing like singing Hawaiian music with hundreds of kanaka maoli. Tomorrow is the 97th Song Contest and I hope that each class enjoys the moment while it lasts! Enjoy some of my favorite pieces my class sang in our high school career. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring Break in Louisiana

While I originally thought I would spend a week without school sleeping in my apartment, I instead followed my friend Rachel to her home in Baton Rouge. I had never been to Louisiana before and feared that everyone would be like Duck Dynasty's Robertson family. Fortunately Rachel's mom made us every Japanese food we could want and a nearby Trader Joe's meant lots of cookie boxes for purchase! One day we drove to New Orleans and walked down Bourbon St. Just a heads up: post-Mardi Gras is pretty nasty and the streets all smell bad but the journey was worth it! I ate my first beignets at Café Du Monde just like any typical tourist and then had even better ones at a place called Coffee Calls in Baton Rouge. My whole break pretty much consisted of crawfish, beignets and amazing Japanese food so I had no complaints!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dirk Nowitzki's 30,000th Point

When I was a kid, the Warriors and the Cavs weren't the best teams in the NBA and Steph Curry was simply an adolescent. Every one of my boy classmates loved the Lakers and the Heat and idolized LeBron James, Shaq, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett and Dwayne Wade. Although I didn't care about basketball in the days of my youth (yuck I hate that phrase), I've always known about Dallas Mavericks PF Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk began his NBA career a couple years after I was born and his name is often equated with success. After 18 seasons with the Mavs, Dirk recorded his 30,000th career point. Regarded as one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history, Dirk helped lead the Mavs to 15 NBA playoffs including the team's first and only NBA championship in 2011. The 13-time All-Star and 12-time All-NBA player is one of the franchise's most impactful player of all time.

I was lucky enough to watch Dirk play in real life and I was amazed by his grace and agility. At 7-0 and 245 pounds, I wouldn't expect such a large man to float across the court with ease. Although I didn't get to see his record breaking career points, I'll always be a fan of his. While athletic greatness comes and goes, Dirk will always have a permanent place in NBA history.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Poems in March

In a perfect world, I would summon Zora Neale Hurston's Truths and spout poetic beauty every day. Poetry contains the only words I truly believe in nowadays and each letter has helped me cope in a damning world. I've been studying each daily poem I receive from (the absolute greatest website in existence) and meditating on a new religion. These pieces of art were written by both known and unknown authors and I hope to be like them one day. If only I could easily create art! Why is beauty so damn difficult to construct? For now I'm cleansing myself of the struggles, death, deception, disgust and fear and choosing to love through my words. I hope these inspire you.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Baylor Basketball in the NCAA Tournament

The Baylor men's basketball team is going dancing for the fourth consecutive year! On Selection Sunday, the Bears were selected as a 3-seed in the East Region of the NCAA tourney. They will play New Mexico State in the first round on Friday. Tip off is scheduled for 11:40 a.m. on Friday. Unfortunately, Baylor's path to the final four is treacherous with potential games against SMU, Duke and Villanova. However, I've repeatedly stated how much faith I have in this unique team from the beginning. When the Bears faced then-ranked No. 10 Louisville in the Bahamas, they faced a 30-point deficit in the game. With their tenacity and perseverance, Baylor stormed back to defeat the highly ranked team and then added a handful of top 10 wins to their resume. Although they've recently had trouble shooting, I'm hoping that a healthy Manu Lecomte assisted by Al Freeman, Jake Lindsey and Johnathan Motley will bring the team back to their original greatness.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

5 Things

1. By the bayou in Baton Rouge

2. The perfect tennis weather

3. My Nihongo people

4. I love poetry

5. Trying to enjoy baseball

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