My post: Inexpensive Ways to Feel Like A Million and Perk Up Your Style

July 20, 2010
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Check out my post on the as Honolulu Women’s Style Examiner here.


Ode to Hawaii: Hawaii Girls in the National Spotlight (Part 1)

June 2, 2010

Like how we like to claim Barack Obama as our own, it’s natural for every town, city, or country, to feel kinship and pride of any of their countrymen or women achieving great success. Hawaii is no different. Indeed, the obstacles appear far greater as Hawaii is an island in the Pacific Ocean, the 50th state of the USA, and culturally diverse where stereotypes and generalities can emerge. Yet, professional athletes, actors, models, businesspeople, musicians, and scores of others have reached national and international success. I want to celebrate it. I also want to share the paradise I live in. And nothing seems more appropriate than to celebrate Maui girl, model (she is also the face of Billabong, too), and surfer Tori Praver, who has a featured photo spread in this month’s Marie Claire magazine. The layout captures the ethereal, yet active energy of our lifestyle; the fashion what we should all aspire to. And thanks to Marie Claire for setting an example of authenticity from the inside out. Now, that’s style.


Photographed by Matt Jones; Styled by Isabel Dupre in Alexander Wang, Burberry, Mango and others.

Living Life by Will Smith

March 19, 2010
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Thanks, Chris Barreto ( for the post! Still love and wear my Chris Barreto dress!


THEY’RE BACK! Humpback whale season in Hawaii!

January 29, 2010
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Photo courtesy of website

Spotted a couple of humpback whales at Diamond Head breaching and exuberantly playing with one another. What an absolute delight! It was not my first encounter as I also saw them (and a pod of dolphins, turtles, and fish) up close off the Waianae coast, where the waters are usually glassy. They’re massive and awe-inspiring creatures. It never gets old. Check this website for more info on whale watching tours in Hawaii! Enjoy!


2010 “Handbook” for Inspired Living

January 20, 2010
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I did not write this “handbook,” but I certainly enjoyed reading it when I had received it via email the other day. The actions seem simple, yet it appears more people should do it. To act, takes focus; to talk, symbolizes intent, but means nothing without action. No one is perfect, but I believe that in our imperfection, we can still be uplifting to others. Live as you act. I wish you a 2010 full of life, joy, love, peace, health, and prosperity.

Happy 2010 with love, health and prosperity…

Have a year filled with joy and fulfillment!

1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present           happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything..
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come..
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40.    Please Forward this to everyone you care about.

What can we do now for Haiti?

January 13, 2010
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It is hard to imagine the unimaginable. Yet, people experience it and often times, it is the poorest of the poor. The earthquake in Haiti has the same reverberations as the tsunami damage in Indonesia, flooding in Philippines, and the countless natural disasters globally affecting the innocent. Like living in urban sprawl and hearing the sirens blare by night and night, we can become numb to the alarming sounds as well as tragedy, too. Everyday there seems to be a “shocking” event, but whatever way we can focus on the positive and help one another, it may help alleviate some burning pain. We can start by spreading the word about links to help the Haitians. You can check these sites out, albeit from ones being tangentially relating to fashion. There are a host of others on the Internet to learn of, too, such as the Red Cross. Here are the sites:

1. Ben Stiller’s site, Ben Stiller has been raising money to build a school in Haiti after he visited there for the first time  and has Stillerstrong headbands for purchase. I freely admit that Ben Stiller is one of my favorite actors and I love his humor. See his video on his website with President Clinton. Too funny! Maybe you may see one of the Stillerstrong headbands I bought. Who knows how it looks!

2. Fashion Philosophy is donating 100% of the their profits from purchases to Help for Haiti. Buy yourself a new dress or shirt while helping out, too!

3. Check out Twitter’s Fashion Bloggers for Haiti. Search for events!


What would your video of 2009 look like? HawaiianRyan, deejay and video artist, shows us how to live it up in India, Vegas, and Hawaii!

January 6, 2010
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When my creative, comedic, and just downright fun cousin (aka HawaiianRyan) sent me his video of 2009 with his girlfriend Jenn, I marveled at the art, loved the song (love BEP!!), and  enjoyed watching his journey. A local deejay at 102.7 DaBomb ( with a shout out to Sam Da Man), he’s a video artist, producer, and director, and has always brought fun and laughter into the family. Good job Ryan showing us how to live it up in India, Sri Lanka, Vegas, and Hawaii! Experience the moments. Carve new paths. Live it up. Fully. Simply. Whatever way you can.


Give it up for trying something new…Skiing on Big Waves in Maui. Oh yeah!

December 28, 2009
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Check out this video…SKIING BIG WAVES ON MAUI

Give it up for those who think outside the box, try something new, and just go for it. These guys ski, kite, surf, and love big waves and found a way to enjoy it all by using skis to ride the big waves on Maui. I love it! The creativity, the drive, and their passion are evident and contagious. Not to mention, like I always say, “Come to Hawaii and you will find an ocean of rock stars.” That’s right. I am in awe of the talent and energy you see here. Use your talents and see yourself energized. Hope you find a part of your day to just do something fun. You have to or you risk shriveling away.



November 17, 2009
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Honestly, I am not a fan of t-shirts as most t-shirts are cut too big or are ill shaped for a woman’s figure. The worst offenders are those who wear these heavy, 100% cotton shirts thrown over jeans, or shorts and emerge with no waistline, a choke collar, and bulky, bunchy sleeves. I mean, let’s throw sexy out the window, please. We can do better than that because there are some t-shirts that have style (great, artistic designs), silky skin fabric and cut, and luxurious comfort without throwing sexy out. Who doesn’t strive for simple, chic, and comfortable?

1. Organic Bamboo T-shirts from Blend Apparel (Jason Mraz is a partner in the company.)



Tshirts found at the Blend Apparel website.


2. Hemp Organic Cotton T-shirts from Herban Development

Men’s T-shirt

Woman’s tank


T-shirts from Herban Development’s website.


3. Martin + Osa Silk/Cotton blend T-shirts


Martin +Osa (a store not in Hawaii yet, but its products can be found online), had some great silk/cotton t-shirts that were casual dressy, thin (ditch the bulky shirts!), and oh so comfortable. Great for layering too for those colder climates if traveling.














November 11, 2009
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A story about the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC was emailed to me. On Veteran’s Day, let’s remember and thank those who commit their lives selflessly for our freedom. (Copies of the photos below are from this website.)


The famous photograph by Joe Rothenstal.


The USMC memorial. The inscription reads, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”



Here is the story as told by a man who met and heard James Bradley, the son of John Bradley, one of the figures cast in the statute:

6 Boys and 13 Hands

Each year I am hired to go to Washington , DC ,
with the eighth grade class from Clinton ,  WI where I
grew up, to videotape their trip … I greatly enjoy
visiting our nation’s capitol, and each year I take some
special memories back with me.. This fall’s trip was
especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at
the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze
statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous
photographs in history — that of the six brave soldiers
raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the
island of Iwo Jima , Japan , during WW II.

Over one hundred students and chaperones
piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial.. I
noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as
I got closer he asked, ‘Where are you guys

I told him that we were from Wisconsin.
‘Hey, I’m a cheese head, too! Come gather around,
Cheese heads, and I will tell you a

(James Bradley just happened to be in
Washington, DC , to speak at the memorial the following day.
He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who
had passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the
buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and
received his permission to share what he said from my
videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments
filled with history in Washington, DC, but it is quite
another to get the kind of insight we received that

When all had gathered around, he reverently
began to speak. (Here are his words that

‘My name is James Bradley and I’m
from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just
wrote a book called ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ which is
#5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is
the story of the six boys you see behind

‘Six boys raised the flag. The first guy
putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was
an all-state football player … He enlisted in the Marine
Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They
were off to play another type of game. A game called
‘War.’ But it didn’t turn out to be a game.
Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his
hands. I don’t say that to gross you out, I say that
because there are people who stand in front of this statue
and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to
know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19
years old – and it was so hard that the ones who did make it
home never even would talk to their families about it.

(He pointed to the statue) ‘You see this
next guy? That’s Rene Gagnon from New
Hampshire. If you took Rene’s helmet off at the moment
this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that
helmet, you would find a photograph….. a photograph of his
girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he
was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won
the battle of Iwo Jima .. Boys. Not old

‘The next guy here, the third guy in this
tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank.. Mike is my hero. He was
the hero of all these guys.. They called him the ‘old
man’ because he was so old. He was already 24….
When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he
didn’t say, ‘Let’s go kill some Japanese’ or
‘Let’s die for our country.’ He knew he was
talking to little boys. Instead he would say, ‘You do
what I say, and I’ll get you home to your

Arizona.. Ira Hayes was one who walked off
Iwo Jima.. He went into the White House with my dad.
President Truman told him, ‘You’re a hero’ He
told reporters, ‘How can I feel like a hero when 250 of
my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked
off alive?’

So you take your class at school, 250 of you
spending a year together having fun, doing everything
together.. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27
of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes He had
images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain
home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down at
the age of 32 (ten years after this picture was

‘The next guy, going around the statue,
is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin’
hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me,
‘Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the
Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs
so the cows couldn’t get down. Then we fed them Epsom
salts. Those cows crapped all night.’ Yes, he was a
fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at
the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother
that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A
barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother’s farm.
The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the
morning. Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile

‘The next guy, as we continue to go
around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley, from Antigo,
Wisconsin , where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but
he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite’s
producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained
as little kids to say ‘No, I’m sorry, sir, my
dad’s not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there
is no phone there, sir. No, we don’t know when he is
coming back.’ My dad never fished or even went to Canada.
Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating
his Campbell Soup.

‘You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn’t see himself as a hero..

Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, ’cause they are in a

photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic..

John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he

probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died

in Iwo Jima , they writhed and screamed, without any medication

or help with the pain.

‘When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my

dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he

looked at me and said, ‘I want you always to remember that

the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back.

Did NOT come back.’

‘So that’s the story about six nice young boys. Three died on

Iwo Jima , and three came back as national heroes. Overall,

7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history

of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here….

Thank you for your time.’

Suddenly, the monument wasn’t just a big
old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It
came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a
son who did indeed have a father who was a hero.. Maybe not
a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero

We need to remember that God created this
vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also
at great sacrifice

Let us never forget from the Revolutionary
War to the current War on Terrorism and all the wars
in-between that sacrifice was made for our

Remember to pray praises for this great
country of ours and also pray for those still in murderous
unrest around the world.

STOP and thank God for being alive and being
free at someone else’s sacrifice.

God Bless You and God Bless America.

One thing I learned while on tour with my 8th
grade students in DC that is not mentioned here is . . that
if you look at the statue very closely and count the number
of ‘hands’ raising the flag, there are 13. When the
man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he
simply said the 13th hand was the hand of

Great story – worth your time – worth every American’s time.


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    My Mantra

    DEFY FEAR™ Be open to change. Take risks. Revel in adventure and new experiences. Travel. Read. Engage your senses. Learn from your mistakes, your successes, and from the wisdom of others. Unravel a puzzle. Create and use your imagination. Be active. Find the positives. Keep it fun. Be EXTRAORDINARY. Love. Live the good life. Enjoy the ride. - I AM. Copyright 2009 by Stephanie Matsumoto STYLE. All rights reserved.