Saturday, April 22, 2017

5 Things

1. Me and the Reg man

2. Football come back to me!!

3. Taken one hour before we accidentally caught the subway to Brooklyn at 12 am

4. Worth the long ass walk to Central Park

5. Yes!

Friday, April 21, 2017

The 2017 Baylor Quarterback Race

Since RGIII made his starting debut, QB1 has been a given every season. RGIII to Nick Florence to Bryce Petty to Seth Russell; the starting QB lineup was never under question. This season however, a few threats have made their appearance. Sophomore Zach Smith played in 10 games during his true freshman season after QB Seth Russell broke his leg. Smith, although shaky at first, grew more confident in each game. He completed 116 of 196 pass attempts for 1,526 yards, 13 TDs and 7 INTs. As the player with most Baylor football experience, Smith is the frontrunner for the starting position at this point. Senior transfer Anu Solomon is my clear favorite. In his three years at Arizona, Solomon completed 555 of 953 attempts for 6,922 yards, 49 yards and 16 INTs. As a freshman QB, Solomon became the first ever freshman to start the first game for the school. He's been named to numerous award watch lists despite being prone to injury. True freshman Charlie Brewer is the third and most unlikely starting option of the group. Brewer is a gifted natural, though, which might be a point of contention to the other two QBs. A freak athlete in high school, Brewer completed 600 of 851 pass attempts for 8,362 yards, 107 TDs and 11 INTs in his career. Brewer will give the upperclassmen a run for their money this summer but above all else, I hope Anu gets the job because POLY PRIDE MAN!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Something Rotten Favorites

Something Rotten premiered on Broadway in 2015 and quickly became a cult classic due to its familiar plot and fresh songs. The play is set in the 1595 Renaissance and focuses on brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom who want to write and perform their play during Shakespeare's rise to fame. They entertain the idea of a musical and prepare to outshine Shakespeare in his claim to fame. Something Rotten features iconic Brian d'Arcy James in the role of Nick Bottom and Christian Borle as Shakespeare. My favorite songs from the play are "Welcome to the Renaissance", "Hard to be the Bard", "Right Hand Man", "God I Hate Shakespeare" (same), "I Love the Way" and "A Musical". Although I never saw the play in real life, I've binge-listened to the original cast soundtrack a million times and it's becoming my newest favorite!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ASOS Stars and Denim

On my first full day in New York, the weather was amazing- sunny with a slight chill in the air. I sported my favorite new top from ASOS because the bell sleeves kept me warm without overheating. I love this blouse as it's the perfect shade of blue and the star details (sorry they're not visible!) are girly and playful. I tucked the blouse into my new ASOS wrap denim skirt, which is both comfortable and cute. Pastels are my favorite color combination so I paired my overused Kate Spade Saturday bag  with these pale pink Nike sneakers to contrast the blue in my outfit. I added my ʻOhe earrings from Hawaii Bookmarks and the look was complete!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Path to the Draft | Patrick Mahomes

I've always been extremely protective of Baylor athletes. When my dad told me to apply to other colleges along with Baylor, I couldn't because I already hated every other school's teams. That sounds trivial, but I love our athletes so much that I harbored disdain for anyone not playing for Baylor. That is, before I discovered Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was a standout freshman QB at Texas Tech when I first watched him play against Baylor. Although I was happy that we beat Tech that year, I told my parents how much I adored Mahomes' speed and arm. To this day, I watch Tech games just to witness his passing ability or bootleg attempts on the field. Over the years of watching every football game I can, Mahomes has become my favorite player of all time.

Mahomes has been compared to the legendary Brett Favre and for good reason. He's quick on his feet, intelligent when it comes to making decisions and throws a damn beautiful ball. As a freshman, Mahomes was 105 of 185 pass attempts for 1,547 yards with 16 TDs and four INTs. He also compiled 46 carries for 104 yards, totaling 1,651 total offensive yards. Mahomes greatly increased his stock as a sophomore, completing 364 of 573 attempts for 4,653 yards, 36 TDs and 15 INTs. He added 131 carries for 456 yards and 10 TDs to toal 5,109 yards and 46 TDs. Mahomes was ranked eighth in Texas Tech history for all-time career passing yards and collected honorable mentions from the Big 12, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. In his final season at Tech, Mahomes truly became a national star. He completed 388 of 591 pass attempts for 5,052 yards, 41 TDs and 10 INTs. He also amassed 131 carries for 285 yards and 12 TDs.

Can we just think about those numbers for a second? Mahomes alone recorded 5,337 yards and 53 TDs in a single season. In Tech's 2017 game against OU, Mahomes recorded 800 total yards to break the FBS record and tied the FBS record with 734 passing yards. The man is insane. While I loved the Cowboys this year because of Dak, my future NFL team will be the one who picks up Pat.

Monday, April 17, 2017

New York Day Three

Day three of my New York trip sent Brandon, Parker and me to the Upper East Side (xoxo Gossip Girl...I hate myself for saying that). While I researched activities in the city, I discovered the rentable boats in Central Park and I convinced the boys to paddle with me. We agreed to go boating and follow up with a trip to the MET since I had never been. After catching the subway to god knows where (I suck at directions), we stopped at H&H Bagels for breakfast where I had the best bagel sandwich of my life. I think bagels and mascara are the two greatest inventions since dogs were made. We took our breakfasts to go and walked a few blocks to Central Park where the line for boating was outrageous. Luckily, it moved up quickly and we were in our own boat in no time. For only $15, we had the boat for a whole hour. Parker paddled first and was randomly amazing at steering. Every time a group of dumb people came close to ours, Parker quickly pointed the boat in another direction. Brandon paddled us back after an hour and he was also good at it (besides all the time he splashed me). Because it was so hot outside, we headed toward the MET where I donated a generous $2 toward its preservation. The MET was 200 million times better than the Whitney Museum because it actually had real art like JACKSON FREAKING POLLUCK'S ORIGINAL PAINTINGS. Jackson Polluck was the first artist I learned about and fell in love with in sixth grade and it was amazing to see his piece in real life. The Oceania exhibit was also great as it had pieces from all over the Polynesian scope. We all felt well represented. After we caught the subway back toward Midtown, we picked up Shake Shack for an early dinner. I love Shake Shack more than almost everything and eating the food in bed without being surrounded by hovering people was incredible. Parker and Brandon passed out for a few hours after eating and we walked to Penn Station that night so Parker could catch the train back to school. Brandon and I wanted ice cream at 10:30 pm and we headed toward Van Leeuwen's a few stops away. Although I asked Brandon at stop two if we were supposed to get off, he said no and we ended up in Brooklyn. Typical Brandon. Luckily we made it to the ice cream shop alive and had the most delicious scoop of chocolate and homemade whipped cream. We even lived on our ride back to the hotel at 12:30 am! What a day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

New York Day Two

On day two of my NYC trip, Parker came to join us! We woke up unnecessarily late and met Parker at around 12:30 pm. After scouring Yelp for the best looking dim sum restaurant, we landed at Jing Fong in Chinatown. A few subway stops later and we were devouring plates of look fun, char siu bao, roast pork and shumai. Although the look fun had Chinese parsley in it, everything was delicious. Good think I'm my father's daughter, so picking out the steamed dumplings I wanted was an easy feat (even in the heart of Chinatown). I would like to thank two decades worth of Empress dim sum visits, my father's determination to order at the restaurant and their nice Chinese Auntys for teaching me how to brave the world of New York dim sum ordering. I couldn't have done it without all of you. After stuffing our faces with my favorite type of food, we took a few more subway stops to Brooklyn and walked across the bridge. There were thousands (maybe exaggerating) of people crowding the bridge walkway, but luckily the man who took our picture made everyone else magically disappear. Thanks iPhone 7 for having such a top notch quality camera! We looked for a bathroom for about an hour and couldn't find one for the life of us. What the hell Brooklyn? Do you have a law against public bathrooms? We spent $5 on pastries at a cookie shop in order to use their bathroom before they announced the installation of free public toilets across the street. Great marketing strategy. Once our stomachs were full and bladders empty, we paid $2 each to ride the carousel in a park under the bridge. Unsurprisingly, we were older than 50% of the riders and younger than the other 50%. After making a horrible stop in Williamsburg and skedaddling out of there, we ate dinner at a Genki sushi-wannabe called Yo! Sushi. The plates were a lot more takai than Genki so we each ate three plates. I went for the chicken katsu curry, chicken gyoza and edamame for a total of $20. Although the food was good, I can't justify spending $6 on a curry the size of my mini wallet. You bet your bottom dollar we stopped for some gelato after and the homemade one from Four Season Cafe was a better buy than Eataly's $7 per scoop selection. We all crashed at 10 p.m. when we got back to the hotel and prepared for another fun day in the city!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

5 Things

1. Me and sweet Reg

2. I love this city

3. Reunited!!

4. High Line art

5. Friend feet

Friday, April 14, 2017

New York Day One

On day one of my trip to NYC, Brandon and I spent the day in Chelsea. Although I used to proclaim my disdain for the city, I've fallen head over heels for this great state. Chelsea is one of the most amazing cities I've visited and I would love to live there one day. We went to Chelsea Market for brunch and ate all of the foods including mini donuts, curry bratwursts and pretzels a steak and mushroom meat pie and overpriced boxed water. Every food we ate was totemo oishii and I wish I could eat them again tomorrow. Chelsea Market is incredible; every station is filled with fragrant dishes and it's a great place to go with family or friends. After stuffing our faces, we walked the High Line with the rest of New York's population. A few popsicles and many steps later, we left straight for the Whitney Museum. Okay, so I'm a fan of modern art...but the pieces in the museum were ridiculous. Brandon and I couldn't stop laughing at the old bologna exhibit (vomit) and the mannequins operating selfie sticks. Some of the paintings were beautiful but a majority of them were pretty insane. I debated walking up to those pondering the wild pieces and asking what 'speaks to them'. I guess I'll save my pettiness for another day. For dinner, we went to Artichoke Pizza and mother of god was that the best pizza I've ever had. I ate the meatball parm pizza and we split the artichoke slice. My mouth is watering looking at the picture above so I'm going to look away before I beg Brandon to go back tomorrow. Central Park, boat rides and more coming tomorrow!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mauve Manuhealiʻi

Manuhealiʻi topLOFT jeans, Kate Spade Saturday bag, Nike shoes

I've slowly been adding more Manuhealiʻi pieces to my wardrobe and this top is my favorite of the bunch. I purchased a blouse from their Monstera collection before Christmas and fell in love with the new shades and styles. Pink and blue are two of my favorite colors and this blouse combines all of my most-love styles in one. I wore it in New Orleans last month and received a handful of compliments with strangers asking me where they can buy one of their own. I styled it with cropped jeans and my favorite pink Nike shoes for a unique Hawaiʻi look on the mainland.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Best of Russell Westbrook in 2017

Russell Westbrook has undeniably been the MVP of the 2017 NBA season. I've been an Andre Iguodala and Dirk Nowitzki fan in the past, but Westbrook caught my attention last year when I became a full NBA fan after witnessing his greatness in person. This season, Westbrook has shattered records, embarrassed opponents and proved why basketball is such an inspiring game. After recording a record-setting 42 triple doubles, he revealed a new monster to anyone not dressed in Oklahoma City uniforms. Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists, bending and transforming the idea of the typical point guard. He's outsmarted every man on the court, broken ankles, nailed buzzer-beaters and truly became the star of Oklahoma City. After Kevin Durant's OKC departure, Westbrook led the team to new heights, destroying the perception that KD was the end all for the group. With so many inspiring moments in his season, I collected a few highlight videos to illustrate Westbrook's incredible 2017 run.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On My New York Checklist

I'm lucky enough to take a quick trip (what a privileged thing to say) to New York and I've been making a checklist of places to go and foods to eat. I've been to New York twice in the past and didn't like it because we stayed in the heart of Times Square. My anxiety flares up when I'm in extremely crowded places that often have violence or other "Law and Order"-esque crimes. However, this time we're staying a little outside the heart of the city where we can explore the other parts of NYC. I've googled, watched Food Network clips, read blog posts and studied YouTube videos on the most delicious restaurants, fun activities, places to shop and sites to take outfit photos. My out-of-order list is below and I hope you all can add a few extra locations for me to visit!

  • The High Line
  • Chelsea Market
  • MoMA
  • MET
  • Jack's Wife Freda
  • Levain Bakery
  • Momofuku
  • Katz' Deli
  • Eataly
  • H&H Bagels
  • Wu Kong
  • Broadway St in SOHO
  • Ward Nasse Gallery
  • Laduree
  • Georgetown Cupcake
  • The Village
  • Cafe Wha
  • Washington Square Park
  • Perry St ft. Carrie Bradshaw's apartment
  • Dylan's Candy Bar
  • The Smith
  • The Boathouse
  • Chelsea Commons
  • West Village
  • Artichoke Pizza
  • Mercer Kitchen
  • Dough
  • Bocca
  • Cafe Henrie

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hawaii Bookmark ʻOhe Earrings

I recently shared my newest favorite Koa earring shop, Hawaii Bookmarks. The artisans of the local brand handcraft Koa earrings, accessories and bookmarks with native plants and kapa designs. I picked ʻOhe as my first pair because ʻOhe was my seventh grade team at Kamehameha. The design is gorgeous and although the earrings are long, they're extremely lightweight. I wore them with a tita bun as soon as they arrived and I felt like I had at last achieved aunty status. Once I throw on a Manuhealiʻi dress, these earrings and my Hawaiian bracelet, I will become exactly the type of Hawaiian girl I've always wanted to be. The earrings add a native touch to any outfit and I like how unique they are in a sea of Kendra Scott jewelry on the mainland. The creator of Hawaii Bookmarks also refunded me nearly half the price of my earrings because I didn't know there's an ongoing discount for Merrie Monarch! When local business owners treat their customers with that much care and generosity, it shows me why I must support them as much as I can!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Path to the Draft | Seth Russell

As the 2017 NFL Draft approaches, I wanted to bring back my collection of "Path to the Draft" posts, where I analyze each NFL hopeful from Baylor. Last year I wrote about quite a few of Baylor's most promising candidates and this season's players are just as talented.

Seth Russell is the Baylor QB who could have been...legendary. I've praised Russell's skill set as equal to former great Nick Florence, as you can see from his vertical featured above. Russell sat out his first two seasons at Baylor, having minimal playing time as he backed up Bryce Petty. As a redshirt freshman, Russell completed 26 of 43 passes for 427 yards, three TDs and three INTs with 24 carries for 147 yards and three TDs. He doubled his stats as a sophomore, completing 48 of 85 attempts for 804 yards, eight TDs and one INT with 32 carries for 185 yards and three TDs.

Russell's impeccabile junior season included All-Big 12 honorable mentions while becoming a finalist for the Davey O'Brien award. The season that could have been featured a remarkably strong and intelligent Russell leading the Bears to a No. 2 national ranking midseason. In just the first seven games of the 2015 season, Russell totaled 119 of 200 passes for 2,104 yards, 29 TDs and six INTs with 49 carries for 402 yards and six TDs. Russell's incredible speed and agility made him one of the nation's best football players. Had he not broken his neck against Iowa State, Russell could have led the Bears to a national championship. But let's not dwell on the past too much...

In his senior season, Russell tried to get back what he lost in 2015. He completed 152 of 278 pass attempts for 2,126 yards, 20 TDs and eight INTs with 94 carries for 506 yards and eight TDs. Once again, Russell injured himself at the worst possible time. However, his career-long 89-yard pass and his leap over a UT defender engraved his greatness in stone.

Russell is an extremely versatile QB who has the classic build for the job. He's extremely quick in the brain and on the feet; he knows exactly when a play needs to be adjusted and will bootleg when he needs to. Russell is a team leader and has always been a pillar of light for Baylor football. He will be a phenomenal addition to any NFL team that needs a strong dual threat QB.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

5 Things

1. Class outside with my favorite Nihongo friends

2. The best pizza of my mainland career

3. Sweet Reg

4. Next up on my reading list

5. Hi football I love you please come back to me

Friday, April 7, 2017

Johnathan Motley Wins Karl Malone Award

Baylor's Johnathan Motley received the Karl Malone award on Friday night, becoming the nation's top Power Forward. Motley had a brilliant season, averaging 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He notched 589 points on the season, nearly doubling the amount from 2014-2016. Motley's star-studded season included a remarkable performance at Texas where noted a career high 32 points and rebounds. Motley was a unanimous AP All-American Second-Team decision after he recorded 15 double doubles on the season. Motley beat out Purdue's Caleb Swanigan, UCLA's T.J. Leaf, Arizona's Lauri Markkanen and Notre Dame's Bonzie Colson. Although Motley hasn't made his decision whether to enter the 2017 NBA Draft, he sure has made Baylor Nation proud in his amazing season!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

My Hawaii Bookmark Earring Wishlist

I've been searching for a pair of Koa wood earrings ever since I got my ears pierced in December. I always think of local auntys in tita buns and Manuhealiʻi dresses when I imagine the classic buyer of these earrings. After seeing my favorite Pashyn Santos sporting a pair, I was so excited to find their website chock full of these wooden gems! Hawaii Bookmarks is a local company that makes both bookmarks and accessories. Their earring collection is vast and includes designs inspired by the mauna, Hawaiian implements and classic lei pua. I recently purchased the ʻOhe pair that features one of my favorite plants. My grandma used to have 'Ohe decor around the house, so the earrings are also sentimental for me. The Island Chain Koa Earrings would be a great addition to my earring collection as they're similar to my Oʻahu outlined pair. I love how the Big Island is the statement, while the others float around the inside. The Ipu Koa Earrings would be another childhood 'rememory' as they remind me of my days dancing hula. This pair would look amazing with a high bun and strapless blouse. I love the Mauka pair because it's a classic and simple kapa design.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Baylor Pro Day

Today was Baylor's Pro Day- a job interview for graduating and recently declared football players who want to play in the NFL or CFL. Scouts, coaches and GMs from almost all 32 teams attended the event where each player participated in a variety of skill practices. From the bench press to the 40 yard dash, the players have a chance to show their (hopeful) future bosses what they're able to accomplish in person. Although team admins scour the game films and stats of each player before they draft them, it's crucial to witness the athletes' performances with their own eyes. I was lucky enough to work at the event and it was incredible to watch. The athletes work so hard to prep for their "job interview" and I loved witnessing them accomplish their dreams. Here are the stats from each player; hopefully we'll see them chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Noelle Reads | April 2017

Every week I add a couple of novels, guides and poetry anthologies to my dad's Amazon cart and hope he'll buy them for me...haha just jokes. I find books through my favorite poets, social justice activists and political leaders on Twitter and I instantly include them in my growing list of must-reads. When I was at a local bookstore in Austin with my friend Stephanie, I picked up a few of the texts I've been wanting to read. I Am Not Your Negro is a collection of texts and interviews from James Baldwin, inspired by the film of the same title. Its director compiled the iconic leader's words into a book that he hoped would be a perfect 'last reader' from the Baldwin. I've heard outstanding reviews about the film and the book looks just as incredible. Langston Hughes' poem "Passing" was one of the pieces that inspired me to pursue poetry as my major focus. When I saw the Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, I knew I had to get it. One of my other favorite texts "I, Too" is also included in the book. The last collection I bought is from my beloved Sarah Kay entitled No Matter the Wreckage. Sarah is a phenomenal spoken word artist and this anthology of pieces will be a classic in my book collection.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Coach | Frank Martin

I'd never heard of Frank Martin before the Baylor men's basketball team played South Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. Although I was cheering for the Bears and was disappointed after their loss, I later learned why the Gamecocks' head coach captured the hearts of so many basketball fans. Frank Martin started his coaching career as the head coach of Miami High School's JV team in 1985. After eight years with the team, Martin was named the head coach of North Miami High School's varsity squad, where he stayed for two years. When he returned to Miami High School, Martin led the team to three consecutive state championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998. After a one year stint at Booker T. Washington High School, Martin attempted a career in the collegiate ranks. He became an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeastern University from 2000-2004. Martin coached at Cincinnati from 2004-2006 before moving to Kansas State under (now West Virginia head coach) Bob Huggins from 2006-2007. After Huggins resigned, Martin was appointed head coach of the Wildcats where he accomplished many a noteworthy event. His greatest accomplishment at Kansas State was when he led the team to their first NCAA tournament run since 1998. Martin was named head coach at South Carolina on March 27, 2012 and in his fourth season, he led the Gamecocks to their first win since 1973. After South Carolina beat No. 2 Duke, they advanced to their first Sweet Sixteen in program history. They continued their history-making run by beating my beloved Bears (tears) to continue on to their first Elite Eight run in program history, followed by a victory over Florida to advance to their first Final Four in history. Although the Gamecocks lost to Gonzaga, 73-77, in the Final Four, they made history and Frank Martin has become a basketball household name. I saw his final press conference where he shed tears over his love for his players and I immediately became a fan. Now I guess I have to add South Carolina to my list of non-Baylor favorite sports teams!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Noelle Listens | April 2017

Pālehua by Amy Hanaialiʻi and Willie K

Cool Down by Kolohe Kai

Migratory Birds by Western Sky Motel

Plastic 100ºC by Sampha

God, I Hate Shakespeare by Brian D'Arcy James

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