My new job at Easter Seals Hawaii, a Chicago conference and a new life mission

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I’m proud to say that I’m a new member of the development team at Easter Seals Hawaii! I never thought I would get back into public relations and marketing until my good friend Umma recommended that I apply for an open position. Upon my first week on the job, I was told that I would be flying to Chicago for a marketing and public relations conference at the Easter Seals headquarters. It was amazing and eye-opening. I’ve met some really altruistic and insanely intelligent marketing and PR managers that dedicate their lives to the beneficiaries of Easter Seals.

In addition to meeting fellow public relations and marketing managers and learning about the impact of having a news background (which I am very proud of), I was given a personal tour of the headquarters office in Willis Tower. I instantly became inspired by the quote that is embedded into the wall of the lobby. “Your life and mine shall be valued not by what we take…but by what we give,” said the founder of Easter Seals, Edgar Allen. This is something I’ll have to frame in my office to remind me of my mission in case any unnecessary stress arrives.

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After the conference, I did some exploring on my own. It was my first time in Chicago and I had never seen snow until this Wednesday. Crazy, huh? Aside from freezing my tail off, it was nice to see what people in Chicago ate, wore and behaved. Based on my observations over the past three days, I can tell you a few things: Chicagoans love sandwiches, pizza, dark clothes and they always joke around. Although I wasn’t a deep-dish fanatic, I did enjoy the regular pizza and cafes on every corner. People in Chicago love their coffee, heck, if it were 30 degrees out, I’d love coffee that much too. I ran into every coffee shop on every corner just to warm up. This island girl can’t take the cold weather! Can you see my teeth chattering in the first photo?

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This photo pretty much sums up my experience. I took a head cold and a new life mission as souvenirs and I’m full of ideas for my new job. Now preparing for takeoff…here we go!

Wicked Wednesday

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A preview of my latest design gig for iTrip Entertainment. They’re doing this Wicked Wednesday event for Spring Break.

Boho fringe purses

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[Hippie fringe purse by Realmlistic]

I tend to obsess over hippie, bohemian and gypsy themed accessories. It is probably because I like my bags and necklaces with an explosion of color but have a structured, functional shape. Realmlistic on Etsy has great products that have all these pompoms and fringe details.

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[Folk fringe purse by Realmlistic]

This one is pretty functional as a cross-body purse, which is perfect for shopping, concerts and the beach.

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[Bohemian red clutch by Girlwitharadiomind]

This last one is from Girlwitharadiomind on Etsy. I’m feeling the pompoms and the earthy woven bottom to balance out the loud colors.

Honolulu Night Market at Kaka’ako

HNLNIGHTMARKETFEB2013Yeah, I know. It’s a week late to be posting this but this week has been so hectic! Last weekend I went to the Honolulu Night Market at Kaka’ako con mis amigos LJ and Chris. It was unlike any other HNL Night Market they’ve held in the past! There were more food booths (more like an Eat the Street meets fashion meets the club), the usual pop-up shops, live art, a live band, a bar and a DJ booth with Harlem shakers. It was pretty awesome. I gather it coincided with the new happenings with Pow Wow Hawaii and the Kaka’ako businesses.

Just take a drive down Kaka’ako, you have everything from cafes to auto-tinting businesses covered in beautiful murals by artists all over the world. It’s raining paint, HONOLULU! I love it and can’t get enough of the ever-changing buildings. Hawaii is full of color and culture and this art movement represents all that is “Hawaii.”

How high can you go?

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The other day, I made a small, unnecessary purchase at R&D (Interisland Terminal) in Kaka’ako. I browsed many interesting books and for some reason, I kept coming back to this illustrated book Sky High by Germano Zullo and Albertine. “Stop being a kid,” I told myself. Why would I want that? It’s a picture book. Probably for kids. So I walked away and looked over the thick version of 100 Moments that changed photography.

After a few minutes of flipping through the pages of awesome National Geographic photos and making small talk with the shopkeeper Sean, I decided I might as well buy the damn book. The cover and pages seemed so interesting and detailed. Why not buy a book for the art? Is that so bad? The illustrations told a story about a neighborly competition between two men who vertically extend their mansions and fill them with lavish furniture and art. It’s a cute take on “keeping up with the Joneses.” The book was originally written in French and published in France and Switzerland. Now they have the English edition, which I bought for $29.99.

Notice the little chick post-its? I decided to throw those in too…just because they were adorable and fit Thursday’s yellow theme.

Random photos from this month

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Lately it’s been rainy and stormy in Honolulu. I really don’t know what to wear these days. One day it’s cold, the next, I’m dying in the heat. Make up your mind mother nature! I took this photo outside my house before heading to a birthday dinner. You can never go wrong with shorts and a tee – just make sure you dress it up a bit. All accessories – eBay. Comfy sandals – Aerosoles. Headband – Etsy.

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Last Thursday, I had the chance to stop by Art & Flea at Fresh Cafe on Queen Street. I must admit this is the best night I’ve had at this particular event (even though I stayed less than an hour). My boss set up shop and marketed her beautiful jewelry. A few of my fave items from that night were the hand-painted mermaid tiles, and the Día de los Muertos earrings.

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Este es “El Jefe.” I used this pretty galaxy app to change him into a galactic creature. Isn’t he cute?

All photos from Instagram.

Birthday at The Study

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My mom flew in for my birthday! It’s been 11 years since I’ve spent/celebrated my birthday with her.

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This time around, I wanted a chill, relaxing birthday so my mom, family and friends went to The Study, which is a cute, little lounge at The Modern Honolulu hotel, to grab some drinks listen to Yoza & JRoq play some acoustic r&b.

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Cheers!

-3Big mahalo to Yoza & JRoq for playing my fave songs last night. Yoza did her rendition of Selena’s “No me queda más” and JRoq was awesome with her rap skills. You can’t beat live, r&b music on the island with these two funny characters.

Thanks to my family and friends for coming out and making me feel special on my birthday!

Banzai Cliff + Pau Pau Beach

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Banzai Cliff, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.

While I was back in Saipan last week, I did some sightseeing for fun. The photo above is of Banzai Cliff, where defeated Japanese civilians and soldiers jumped to their deaths during World War II. It’s a beautiful view yet bears a sad reminder of the lives lost during the war.

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After Banzai Cliff, I ended up at Pau Pau Beach. Years ago, this was the beach our family spent the day, swimming, celebrating someone’s birthday, snorkeling, etc. My dad actually tried to take my then 2-year-old brother and I on an unsuccessful yet memorable “fishing” trip out here about ten years ago. Back then, the clean, bright, white sand extended out towards that rock out there. Now, it’s just a strip of sand. Erosion is just inevitable in the islands.

Mi abuelita

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Visiting my grandmother last week was emotional and heart-warming. I was so lucky to visit her and see my family back home in Saipan. She’s a bit stronger (physically) now and still full of jokes and laughs. She taught me a lot in the very few days I spent with her. She spoke about how she used to travel and attend various schools across Micronesia and in American Samoa. The U.S. used to provide the children of Saipan and Guam with scholarships and travel opportunities so she and her many siblings traveled all over the Pacific. We share some similarities. She believes in learning about other cultures and traveling abroad when the opportunities arise. She says that you should travel as much as you can when you are young and strong. I completely agree.

She’s a smart lil’ cookie.

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It was fun to catch up and joke around with her. She’s so tiny but she has the biggest heart. I miss you already abuelita! I’ll try my best to see you again this year. ❤

Travel essentials

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I’m getting ready to leave for Saipan and Guam tomorrow. Here are my travel essentials: lots of black clothes, tons of necklaces, headbands (because it’s maipe – hot), my passport, a journal for ideas/poetry/inspiration and a little purse. Of course I’ll be taking my DSLR along for the trip. 🙂 One of my goals is to learn at least five new phrases in Chamorro. My friends and I have this thing where we jokingly try to one-up each other on Chamorro phrases and vocabulary. I always lose, so I’ve really got to step my game this time. ¡Biba Marianas!