Friday, June 30, 2017

Steph Curry Signs Largest NBA Contract Ever

$201 million over five years. That's how much money Steph Curry made as he signed a five-year contract with his current team- the Golden State Warriors. As the two-time NBA MVP, Curry definitely should be one of the highest paid players in the league, but that amount of money is unheard of. @ Steph please give me just one so I won't be in debt forever. In fact, he just got the richest contract in NBA history. Previously, Curry was under a $44 million contract over four years- great pocket change in comparison to what he will make from this day forward. Curry currently records an average of 22.8 points, 6.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game, holds the league lead in three-pointers and makes 43.8% of his three's on average. The amount of money in the contract is basically impossible to imagine, but hopefully Curry will use his insane deal to benefit others as well!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Clint Smith's Counting Descent

I've shared dozens of poems before and a majority of them were from one of my favorite poets- Clint Smith. Clint Smith is a PhD candidate at Harvard, author, and activist whom I admire. His poetry is both moving and comfortable to grasp so even the most fearful of poetry can appreciate his words. I purchased "Counting Descent" after its release in 2016 but I'm still going through it today. Smith's poems reflect his personal experiences, honor his favorite authors and musicians, and illustrate the issues African-Americans deal with every day. At this moment, my three favorite poems of his are "what the ocean said to the black boy", "Canon", and "How to Make an Empty Cardboard Box Disappear in 10 Steps".

In the first, Smith writes,
"they call me blue because
they don't understand how the sky work
they call you black because
they don't understand god work"

Damn, right? I love how each of his endings sock me in the face and leave me gasping for air.

In Canon,
"Our stars weren't meant for
their sky. We have never known
the same horizon."

Again, Smith speaks and pieces together pure art.

In the final,
"1) Find the scissors
2) Cut the sides of the cube
3) Attend the rally of Trayvon Martin
4) Attend the rally of Renisha McBride
5) Attend the rally of Jordan Davis
6) Attend the rally of Michael Brown
7) Attend the rally of Eric Garner
8) Attend the rally of Freddie Gray
9) Find another empty box
10) Attend the rally of _______________"

I've posted a screenshot of that piece before, but it slaps the shit out of me every time.

I highly recommend Clint's book as it continuously helps me heal and recover. For only $15, maybe you'll find the same truth as I have.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

J.Crew Blues

While browsing J.Crew's website the other day, I discovered their amazing 25-40% off sale on every item! Considering my shopping cart was full, I was ecstatic to put their promo code to good use. The majority of my picks were shades of blue in top and dress form with patterns to my liking. The Tie-Shoulder Ruffle Top with Eyelet Trim is one of my current favorite styles (see silk blouse beneath) and the gingham print screams summer time. I would style it with ripped white jeans and my new white converse. I don't usually like paisley but the Cotton Top in Floral Paisley Block Print pairs a few of my favorite colors in a flowy blouse that's similar to some of my other tops. I like this style of blouse because it translates well in both hot and cool climates. For the rest of the summer, I would style it with a denim skirt or shorts and wear it under overalls for the fall/winter. I love the Silk Tie-Shoulder Peplum Top because it reminds me of classic Kate Spade pieces. The elegant blouse would look perfect with tailored black cigarette pants, leopard heels, and a red lip. My gingham fever is raging with the addition of the Smocked Off-the-Shoulder Gingham Beach Dress to my wardrobe. This sweet dress encompasses summer time as I could throw it over a swimsuit or pair it with strappy sandals and a denim jacket for every day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Russell Westbrook is the 2017 NBA MVP

Back in April I wrote this post declaring my vote for Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook as the 2017 NBA MVP. Although media and sports commentators vouched for the likes of Kawhi Leondard, James Harden, Kevin Durant, etc, Westbrook's stats and performance throughout the season proved me right as he was awarded the personal league title today. After Durant left the Thunder to play for the Golden State Warriors, many argued that Westbrook wouldn't have the skill alone to keep Oklahoma City afloat. However, he averaged 31.6 points (league high), 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists a night, breaking the NBA record with 42 triple-doubles in one season. He also made 42.5% of FG and 34.3% from the three-point line. With his stats and the perseverance to lead his team to a No. 6 seed without former star Durant, Westbrook earned the title he deserved.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ua Mau

Salvage Public teeOld Navy shortsConverse sneakers, Kate Spade bag (similar here), Daniel Wellington watch, Ocean Creations necklace

I saw Kimie' wearing this t-shirt at Hōkūleʻa's homecoming and I had it in my online shopping cart that night. Salvage Public, a local Hawaiʻi brand makes the state motto shirt among other slogan and iconography clothing on the softest cotton in unisex sizes. Being that Hawaiʻi '78 is one of my all-time favorite songs, it seems fitting that this top is now in my wardrobe. I paired it with comfy denim shorts, my new white converse, and the old Kate Spade bag about which I won't stop yapping for an everyday look. Now if I want to go full aunty, I'll chuck my hair into one of those tita buns that make my mom go, "what's that bubble on your head?", add my long koa earrings, and go barefoot!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Johnathan Motley Signs with Dallas Mavericks

Undrafted not for long! Former Baylor F Johnathan Motley was passed over during the 2017 NBA Draft to the surprise of most college basketball fans in the nation, but his rejection didn't last long. The Dallas Mavericks agreed to sign Motley to a two-way deal where he can spend up to 45 days with the Mavs and will play the rest of his contract with the Texas Legends in the NBA Gatorade League. Although he won't spend the whole two years on court with the Mavs, the contract is still an exciting step forward for the forward (sorry, not funny) in his hopes of becoming an NBA success story. Congratulations, Mot!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

5 Things

1. Aloha ʻoe

2. Love forever

3. Do I come here often enough?

4. New favorite view

5. We worked out at 11 pm and it was the worst time of my life

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Updated Travel Makeup Bag

After switching to a new summer handbag (updated what's in my bag coming soon), I decided to downsize my portable beauty stash to my absolute essentials. In this cute pencil case from Japan, I stuffed a few beauty bits and bobs including three of my favorite brushes. I use the Real Techniques Shading Brush to apply my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard on any spots or dark circles. The flawless skin pair are my must-haves on any given day. The ELF Blush Brush is my go-to when dusting on powder and I usually leave a bit on the brush when I take it to go for quick touch ups. Similarly, I keep whatever bronzer is left on my Bare Minerals Full Flawless Face Brush so I can dab it on my cheeks if necessary. NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita is my favorite everyday lip product and I can't live without it. I love the Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Define and Fill Duo for natural or full looking brows and the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara gives me thick lashes without smudging.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Johnathan Motley Goes Undrafted

Former Baylor star Johnathan Motley was passed over during the 2017 NBA Draft- an unexpected fate for the highly touted pro-prospect. Motley had an outstanding junior season, earning Big 12 First-Team All-Conference honors, a unanimous All-American Second-Team selection, and the 2017 Karl Malone Award given to the nation's top power forward. Averaging 22.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks while shooting 56.9% of his FG, Motley was the Bears' MVP throughout their record breaking season. Although most mock drafts had Mot taken sometime in the first or second rounds, he was rejected by every NBA team. Some teams noted concern over his torn MCL, which means the injury might have a longer lasting effect than previously hoped. Though it's both disappointing and shocking that Motley went undrafted, there's still hope for an opportunity in the pro league...he'll just have to slam his dunks a little harder.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Poems in June

Where spoken words fail, written poetry soars. My favorite pieces this month were born out of Clint Smith, Sam Sax, Nayyirah Waheed, and others through Sometimes (often) in today's society, I don't know how to explain how I feel. I'm thankful these artists help me heal and grow.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mario Kegler to Baylor

Baylor basketball's 2018 squad looks like a monster with the addition of transfers Makai Mason and Mario Kegler to an already loaded underclassmen group. With the loss of Manu Lecomte, Jo Lual-Acuil, Nuni Omot, and Terry Maston the year prior, bringing in a couple of experienced transfers is a good plan by Scott Drew and co. Kegler is a small forward from Mississippi State who will have three years of eligibility left in the NCAA. As the No. 48 national prospect in 2016, Kegler brings a level of status and expertise that Drew is used to working with. In his only season at Mississippi State, Kegler averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He also shot 35% of three-pointers and 42% of field goals. I'm excited to see how he'll contribute to my beloved Bears in the next few years.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Combining Old Favorites

Zara top (old, similar here), J.Crew Pixie pantsAllbirds sneakersDaniel Wellington watchHawaii Bookmarks earrings, Ocean Creations necklace, Kate Spade bag (similar here)

I convinced my sister to take pictures of my outfit because this is one of my favorites. I've shared bits of each piece in previous posts, but I love them so much more put together. I purchased the off shoulder denim top from Zara last year (last seen here), but haven't gotten much use out of it till this summer. Instead of pairing it with flowy shorts as I previously did, I styled it with my beloved pixie pants for a comfortable dressed up look. To re-add a laid-back feel into the look, I threw on yellow Allbirds sneakers because we all know about my newfound passion for runners. I love the combination of the colors in the mix. I finished the outfit off with my white Kate Spade handbag to add contrast to the black pants. My Hawaii Bookmarks earrings, Ocean Creations necklace, and Daniel Wellington watch were the perfect final touch. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hōkūleʻa's Homecoming

In 2013, the Hōkūleʻa embarked on a three-year voyage around the world, on a historic mission to circumnavigate the planet using only the stars, the sun, ocean currents, and cloud movements. The purpose of Hōkūleʻa's journey was to "join and grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world" in the Mālama Honua (to care for our earth) Worldwide Voyage. Hōkūleʻa made 15 stops in her Lei Kaʻapani Honua (lei around the world): Tahiti, Sāmoa, Aotearoa, Australia, Bali, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, Caribbean, US East Coast, Panama, Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui, and Tahiti before returning to Hawaiʻi yesterday.

Hōkūleʻa was built in the 1970s at a time where cultural extinction was a real threat to native Hawaiians. By the time of her creation, there were no traditional native Hawaiian navigators left. Our people, who discovered Hawaiʻi and sailed around Polynesia in the ancient times, nearly lost our identity with the near disappearance of navigating techniques. Thanks to master navigator Mau Piailug (my favorite!) from Micronesia, the Hōkūleʻa made her way from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti in 1976 on her first journey. Hōkūleʻa once again set her sights on Tahiti in 1978, but a treacherous storm capsized the waʻa near Molokaʻi. Legendary surfer and crew member Eddie Aikau set off to search for help on his surfboard but the crew was rescued and Eddie was lost at sea. The iconic annual 'Eddie' was named for the Hawaiian hero in remembrance that "Eddie Would Go". The next year, Mau trained Nainoa Thompson to become a chief navigator so that he might pass on the knowledge to the next generation of Polynesians. Nainoa sailed to Tahiti in 1980 and came back to Hawaiʻi, which was a first in 600 years. Nainoa has led each voyage since and has become a navigating icon among Hawaiians and other Polynesians.

Yesterday, Hōkūleʻa, her sister Hikianalia, and waʻa from all over Polynesia sailed home to Oʻahu in front of tens of thousands of proud, ecstatic kanaka. Witnessing her arrival was breathtaking, especially when considering that my people circumnavigated the world in a historic journey. I truly believe that kanaka maoli are some of the most brilliant, remarkable human beings and it was a privilege to see us perpetuate our heritage. Knowing that she and Hikianalia sailed 60,000 nautical miles, to over 150 ports, and 23 countries and territories relying solely on the techniques of our ancestors is breathtaking. Welcome home, Hōkūleʻa, we are so proud of you!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

5 Things

1. Cromwells on Kamehameha Day

2. Sweet uncle Bern

3. Hiding from the sun

4. Constantly thankful for Clint Smith's words

5. Sleepy babies

Friday, June 16, 2017

No Justice, No Peace

I rarely write about my social or political beliefs (unless I'm fan-girling over uncle Bernie) on here because I tend to focus on sports, fashion, and my daily activities. However, social justice is a key passion of mine and I think it's time for me to speak up on my blog. This website is a safe space for me to write about what's most important to me and these issues are at the top of my list, even though I haven't shared them before. Criminal justice, police brutality, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, protecting the environment and the ʻāina, ending mass incarceration are all extremely important to me and staying silent on these issues on my blog is like hiding a part of myself. In an effort to be my truest self, I need to start speaking up when I can about these topics, even if that means losing readers.

Philando Castile was murdered on July 6, 2016 by a police offer in St. Paul, MN. He was a food service worker at J. J. Hill Montessori Magnet School where he served around 500 elementary school students every day and knew every one of their names and food allergies. Philando was a father to a four-year-old daughter, a boyfriend, a son, a brother, and a friend. He was 32-years-old when he was murdered and, prior to his death, had been pulled over over 46 times by cops for minor infractions. Philando was driving with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and his daughter in the backseat when he was pulled over by officer Jeronimo Yanez in Falcon Heights on July 6. Yanez claimed he recognized Castile's nose as the nose of a robbery suspect. When Yanez asked for Castile's license and registration, Philando announced that he was a licensed gun-owner, but was reaching for his wallet, not his gun. Yanez quickly became panicked and held his gun on Castile, continuously screaming at him not to reach for his gun, to which Castile calmly replied that he wasn't. Reynolds live-streamed the ordeal on Facebook as her terror increased. She also told Yanez that Castile wasn't reaching for his gun and not to shoot. Yanez shot Philando seven times in front of his four-year-old daughter and aimed the gun toward Reynolds immediately after, sounding belligerent and distraught the whole time. Reynolds, still live-taping the situation, was arrested and separated from her daughter after watching Castile bleed out in the car. Today, over one year later, Jeronimo Yanez was cleared of all charges and Philando Castile's murder goes down as another case of police brutality without justice.

I remember watching Philando's murder on Facebook last year during my lunch break at Macy's. I watched in horror as another innocent black man was gunned down by a police officer one day after Alton Sterling's murder in Baton Rouge, LA. Just like Philando, Alton Sterling was brutally killed by two cops on video tape. Unfortunately just like Philando, Sterling's murderers were acquitted of all charges on May 3, 2017. I saw the video of Alton's death where the two officers held his body to the ground and shot him in the head. I witnessed it. Just as I watched Eric Garner's body go limp after being put in a chokehold (which was ruled illegal in NYC) by officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17, 2014. With multiple officers surrounding him, Garner screamed the now iconic phrase "I can't breathe". His hands were up in the air as Pantaleo jumped him and crushed his body. Because it affected me so greatly, I wrote about Eric Garner's murder for a stream of consciousness assignment in senior year AP English:

I saw him lying on the ground his large body, realing in the pressur of the man on to p of mim. he was a large man, black, fat, obese, with a heart aching at the sight of the police officers, I watched him being pushed to the ground, his head shoved to the pavement. my eyes watered I couldn’t see anything he couldn’t breath. they killed him. he killed him. how can this happen? I feel nothing. I feel pain. I feel anguish. now I can’t breathe. it’s all too real. it’s all too messed up and broken and I feel broken. I feel angry and sad and frsturated and hurt for the man who didn’t do anything wrong and was killed for simply being who he was. a balck man. he had a wife. he had children and they’ll never see his face again or feel the warmth of the palm of his hand on the ir faces. I want to tell them that I’m so sorry for the things they are feeling right now and the horrible experience that they suffered through. I’m sorry eric garner. I’m sorry that they failed you. I’m sorry that they killed you. I love you. I’ll breathe for you. 

iPhones and social media have made capturing devastating events easy and although video evidence should be enough to convict these murderers, time and time again, they haven't. Videos weren't enough to bring justice to Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, or Walter Scott- a black man who fled from officer Michael Slager. As Scott ran away from the officer's weapons, video evidence showed Slager shooting at him eight times, striking him with five rounds and killing him on the scene. Slager reported that Scott grabbed his taser and he feared for his life, justifying the shooting. However, the video taken by an eyewitness showed otherwise. Although Slager eventually pled guilty to the charges, he wasn't held responsible and all charges were dismissed on May 2, 2017.

Sandra Bland was a black woman who was pulled over by state trooper Brian Encinia on July 10, 2015 because she failed to signal a lane change. Encinia's dash cam recorded their interaction become hostile and aggressive as he forcefully grabbed her and threw her body to the ground. Encinia moves Bland to an area where the dash cam can't see them as Bland's screaming and crying echoes throughout the video. Sandra Bland was an outspoken advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and spoke out against police brutality. Three days after he arrest, she was found hanging in her jail cell, dying of Asphyxiation on July 13, 2015, which was ruled a suicide. However, video evidence of Bland's jail cell revealed discrepancies throughout her incarceration from the addition of a trash can and trash bags to the video and extremely high levels of weed in her system found in the autopsy. No charges were filed against the jail or correctional officers and Sandra Bland's death is referred to as a suicide.

On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a black man, was arrested by six officers from the Baltimore Police Department for possessing an illegal switchblade. He was placed in a police van for transportation where he suffered brutal spinal injuries that caused him to fall in a coma before he died seven days later. Although video evidence showed Gray's arrest by unnecessary force, video of Gray's actual experiences in the van will never be known. However, a medical investigation revealed that Gray's death was due to the officers' failure to follow safety procedures. Although four of the officers were charged with manslaughter and second degree depraved-heart murder, all charges were dropped on the officers by June 23, 2016 and Gray's murder would go without justice.

12-year-old Tamir Rice was a black boy who was murdered by officer Timothy Loehmann in Cleveland, OH on November 22, 2014 because the officer believed Rice was going to shoot him. Rice was playing with an Airsoft gun with his friends in the Cudell Recreation Center before an anonymous witness called 911 and reported that someone was pointing a pistol at bystanders. Surveillance video revealed that Loehmann sped up to the gazebo Rice was sitting under and immediately shot the 12-year-old twice, killing him a day later. Neither of the officers on scene administered aid to Rice's injuries as he laid on the ground for four minutes before being treated. Rice's 14-year-old sister was tackled and handcuffed as she ran toward her injured brother. Tamir Rice died of his injuries on November 23, 2015 at MetroHealth Medical Center. Prior to Loehmann's stint at the Cuyahoga County Police Department, he was deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty as an officer with the Independence County Police Department. On December 28, 2015, Loehmann was acquitted by a grand jury.

Michael Brown's murder by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO on August 9, 2014 sparked extreme protests in the city, which gained national attention. As one of the first shootings of an unarmed black man by police that received media cooperation throughout America. Wilson responded to a report that Brown forcefully stole a box of cigarettes and shoved a convenience store clerk. After approaching Brown, Wilson stated that Brown reached into the police car and tried to grab the officer's gun. The two struggled and when Brown and his friend fled the scene, Wilson pursued them and shot unarmed Brown six times, killing him on the scene. Brown's body laid on the ground in the street for nearly four hours before being taken to the morgue. Witnesses stated that Brown held his hands up before being killed by Wilson, sparking popularity for the phrase "Hands up, don't shoot" at protests. However, the US Department of Justice discredited all witness accounts as Wilson's story became heralded as "truth", despite discrepancies between his words and his injuries (or lack thereof). The Ferguson protests lasted one week as outrage spread across America over Brown's killing. On March 4, 2015, the US Department of Justice relayed that Wilson would not be charged, citing a lack of true evidence.

Historically, police officers who murder innocent and/or unarmed black people are not held responsible for their actions, leaving the victims' families without justice and with more pain. It's no secret that police brutality is a massive issue in America (and around the world), but the justice system never rules in favor of PoC, specifically, black and brown men and women. Taystee Jefferson from Orange is the New Black said it best when she announced, "Our fight is with a system that don't give a damn about poor people and brown people and poor brown people." With every killing, I'm exhausted by the continuous lack of justice for black and brown bodies murdered and oppressed by the system. You see, the justice system isn't broken. It's working exactly the way it was set up: to prevent justice for PoC, to imprison them, to witness their murders and let their killers walk free. I don't have any solutions for my and others' pain. I don't have any words for Philando Castile's mother, for Alton Sterling's mother, for Eric Garner's mother, for Sandra Bland's mother, for Tamir Rice's mother, for Walter Scott's mother, for Michael Brown's mother, for Freddie Gray's mother, and for all of the mothers whose children were stolen from them without justice. So for now, march, riot, cry, fight for Philando, for Eric, for Sandra, for Tamir, for Alton, for Walter, for Michael, for Freddie, for all of the lost children. Because that's all we can do. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Favorite Sports Movies

Sports bring people together (and sometimes tear each other apart) and movies with happy or thought-provoking endings reveal how important the games are in life. My favorite sports movies focus on football and golf with a majority set on the course even though I hate watching the game in real life.

Remember the Titans is a classic because of its post-segregation era story about black and white players coming together to defy the odds. The movie features a handful of extremely successful actors including the great Denzel Washington and baby Hayden Panettiere. My favorite part of the movie is when the team debuts their dance routine to "We are the Titans", but Gary announcing that Julius was his brother breaks my heart every time.

Happy Gilmore was my first exposure to the great world of cuss words and five year old me running around the house yelling "Happy you suck, you jackass" always made my parents choke with laughter much to my sister's dismay. Adam Sandler's performance as a dumb hockey player-turned-golfer never fails to make me laugh, especially when he beats up Bob Barker on the golf course.

Bagger Vance is one of my favorite Will Smith movies of all time. Smith plays a mysterious caddy who transforms Matt Damon's character's golf game as he becomes a better man. The little boy who followed Bagger around eventually becomes Damon's caddy as Bagger Vance walks off into the sunset. Ugh, I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

Special mentions: The Greatest Game Ever Played, and Disney classics: Motocrossed, Double Teamed, Air Bud, Ice Princess (I hate myself for naming all of these).

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Noelle Reads | June 2017

I didn't have much time to read in May as my focus was on passing my classes and finishing the tennis season. Fortunately, my American Lit class provided wisdom through the words of Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston (favorite!!!), Adrienne Rich, and other poets, which broadened my horizons during a busy season. This month I'll spotlight these two books: "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates" by Wes Moore and "Known and Strange Things" by Teju Cole. When I was at Barnes & Noble with Brandon and Parker, I immediately picked up Cole's anthology of pieces that I'd been interested in for months. The book features short stories, anecdotes, photographs, and experiences that Cole intertwines with politics, history, and race relations. His words are beautiful and haunting and I can't wait to dive in. As I headed toward the register, Brandon told me about Moore's book that focused on the lives of two different men with the same name. One becomes successful and wealthy while the other ends up in prison serving a life sentence for murder. As soon as I heard the summary, I grabbed the book and added it to my purchase. I'll be reading these in between studying and writing lab reports for my Chemistry class, which, thank the old gods and new, is over in a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The LOFT Summer Wishlist

LOFT is currently stocking some of the most beautiful summery pieces during a sale that can't be beat. From today through Sunday, almost every item on their website is 40% off (including new releases)! I love buying new clothes and it's even better when sales are involved. For my summer wardrobe, I've been fancying all forms of color. While pastels and pale shades are my go-tos, I'm not straying away from brights or unique neutrals. The Sundeck Halter Cami is a beautiful vertical-stripe top featuring marigold, blues, pink, and white blocks, which would be perfect tucked into a denim skirt. I love the Striped Off the Shoulder Tassel Dress paired with tan strappy sandals and a patterned Kate Spade clutch for a fancier summer outfit. The Poolside Peplum Cami is the piece that I instantly fell head over heels for because of its whimsical design and girly colors. I would style it with skinny white jeans and woven espadrilles and never take the outfit off ever. Another beautiful blouse is the sky blue Daydream Cami (and it sure is a dream, isn't it?). I love the combination of light blue and white straps for the summer. It's a classic feminine top and it should be paired with dainty accessories and white sneakers. Although I rarely wear shorts, the Striped Fluid Drawstring Shorts look like a candy shop and I'm here for it. My pastel yellow Allbirds sneakers would look amazing with the shorts, a basic linen tank top, and denim jacket. I love sweaters of all shapes and sizes and the navy Bell Sleeve Open Cardigan is a slam dunk. My favorite way to style these types of sweaters is to layer them over silky blouses, leggings, and sneakers for the most comfortable everyday look. The Zip Skinny Utility Pants would be a unique addition to my wardrobe as I usually gravitate toward jeans or leggings over classic pants. These zippered ones are an edgier take on work pants and they would pair well with a flowy blouse and barely-there heels. Speaking of jeans, these gray Modern Skinny Crop Jeans belong in my closet. I don't own any pairs of gray jeans and I think I need to pink up a pair! The Beach Diamond Lace Up Romper is a piece I would wear for almost any daily occasion at home in the summer. I would chuck it over my favorite Posh Pua one piece and throw on some sparkly sunglasses to complete the look. Don't forget to check out the 40% sale on LOFT's website!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The 2017 NBA Champions

With a 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday afternoon, the Golden State Warriors earned the 2017 NBA title. After 2016's loss to the Cavs despite a 3-1 lead, the Warriors pulled themselves together (with a little help from Kevin Durant, right?) and got back to business. They dominated the first three games of the Finals, causing fans to wonder if they would sweep Lebron and co. in their own territory. Despite a three-game deficit, the Cavs found their defense and pulled a 137-116 victory to force a fifth game. However, Lebron and Kyrie Irving couldn't carry the whole team on their backs and the Cavs buckled under Steph Curry's layups and Durant's massive power game. And even though I've protested Durant's wagon-hitching on the backs of the all-star team, he was the difference for the Warriors in the final performance. Durant was named Finals MVP and the Cavs were sent home, unable to jump back on the lead. Another Golden State/Cleveland Finals bring on the football!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

10 for Rafa

My three favorite tennis players have always been Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. I've followed the rivalry between Federer and Nadal since I was a kid and enjoyed every one of their massive victories in the Opens. Nadal has been a pillar in the tennis community since he emerged a star at 15 years old when he defeated Ramón Delgado in his first ATP victory. He made his Wimbledon debut in 2003 as the youngest man to enter the third round since 1984. Similarly, Nadal reached the third round of the Australian Open in 2004 before losing to Lleyton Hewitt. Nadal met Federer for the first time in 2004 at the Miami Masters where he defeated the Swiss player. Nadal earned his first Grand Slam title in 2005, winning the French Open on his first attempt. He continued to sweep the French Open over the next two years before adding a Wimbledon victory over Federer in 2008 to his record. He brought home the 2009 Australian Open title and 2010 French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open trophies to earn a No. 1 world ranking. Nadal continued his world domination with a French Open victory in 2011 and won the French Open in 2012. 2013 saw Nadal's excellence in the French and US Open, while he triumphed in the 2014 French Open. Today, Rafa accomplished a record-breaking feat by earning his 10th French Open title and 15th Grand Slam victory. Trailing only Federer in Grand Slam titles, Nadal etched his name in history books as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

5 Things

1. What a beauty

2. Crashing Kaiʻolu's family plans

3. The best shave ice in existence

4. Sweet Sammy

5. Golden

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rediscovering Manchester Orchestra

In my emo middle school days, I loaded my iPod nano with screamo, rock, and indie bands that spoke to my angsty spirit. Brand New, A Skylit Drive, Underoath, Sleeping at Last, Straylight Run, and Manchester Orchestra were (and some still are) my favorites. Manchester Orchestra in particular encapsulated my feelings toward the difficult junior high environment, so their albums were on constant repeat in my collection. Mean Everything to Nothing was my album of choice, launching at the beginning of my seventh grade year. "I Can Feel a Hot One" and "I've Got Friends" were my most beloved songs, but I've recently discovered a handful of old and new pieces that I've binge-listened to Spotify. "Sleeper 1972" was on their 2007 album entitled I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child. I love vocalist Andy Hull's hushed tone against the organ-like instrumentals. New release "The Gold" is the only song I've listened to for the past week and it reminded me of why I fell in love with the band in the first place. Their lyrics are passionate and brutal, sung either to hardcore backgrounds or acoustic accompaniments. "Choose You" is one of the edgier pieces from a 2013 release and it pumps me up every morning. Manchester Orchestra is a phenomenal group and I don't know why I ever stopped listening to them!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Trusty Romper

Eden in Love romper (old), Daniel Wellington watch

How have I never written about this romper? I purchased it from a local boutique two years ago and have worn it at least once a week ever since. I've loved rompers since I bought a brown and pink camouflage one (I know, it was awful) from the girls section in Macy's at age 9. The one pieces have never failed me as they're the perfect no-fuss option for everyday. I love to throw one over a swimsuit to dress up my beach look. This pink Eden in Love one has been especially loyal to me and vice versa. I wore it to San Destin last spring break and have most recently sported it to the beach a few days ago. The high halter style and short hemline flatter my small height so it looks amazing for any occasion!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Favorite Views on Oʻahu

Hawaiʻi is hands down the most beautiful place on earth (don't try to fight me on this) and I have a list of spots with the best views. I've already gone to the beach numerous times within my first month of summer and each location is more beautiful than the previous one. Driving toward Kahana Bay from town, one could stop almost anywhere at any roadside beach and find the perfect spot. One day Brandon and I parked off the road to go swimming and the first picture was our view for those few hours. It's almost unreal how beautiful the mountains look against the clear ocean. Pali Lookout is another one of my favorites because it's a view without hiking (sometimes I'm really lazy). The Pali overlooks multiple valleys and features the greenest foliage in existence. We luckily went on a windless and bee-less day so the view was even more extraordinary. My friends and I often enjoy picking up food and taking it to Diamond Head to overlook the ocean and watch all of the surfers. The waves are always beautiful and it's a free waterfront view! Who needs those Waikiki restaurants overlooking the ocean? Tantalus is another great way to see the island without hiking up a mountain. The drive to the top is easy to find and one can make multiple stops along the route to observe Diamond Head in all its glory (surrounded by awful development). Speaking of Waikiki, sometimes the tourist attraction has its bright spots. I took mountain picture near sunset outside of the Moana Surfrider and I loved how glassy the ocean looked with the orange rays peeking over Lēʻahi itself. My favorite drive is on H3 going toward town as all of the Koʻolau Mountains are in full view. The Koʻolaus are, in my opinion, the most extraordinary land mass on Oʻahu, especially after it rains and the the waterfalls trickle down each of the mountains. Sandy's is one of the most popular beaches among locals and although I avoid it due to its large waves, the ocean during sunrise is amazing. The rocky ground becomes tide pools during high tide and the waves are the perfect sight to wake up to. I once hiked Upper Makua Caves and will never do it again because of death, but holy look at this view! All of west side (my favorite side) is illuminated and the ocean looks like a painting. What's your favorite spot on the island?
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