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.

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!


Starting a tradition…showcasing the merchants of Queens’ Marketplace, Big Island Style

January 21, 2010
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When it is your first experience, you celebrate it: your first car, your first date, your first job, and all the emotions attached of experiencing something new for the first time. It’s momentous. Like a cover page of a chapter, it marks a defining milestone.

Opening of the show

With that said, welcome to the first fashion show at the Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa, Hawaii on the Big Island! I had the pleasure of attending the Queens’ Marketplace’s first fashion show to witness a first-rate production where the hearts and soul of all participants emerged as the stars of the show and fueled their desire to leave “no stone unturned.” Focus International, a modeling agency and producer of the fashion show, in conjunction with Queens’ Marketplace, one of the shopping centers located on the resort property that includes the Hilton Waikoloa and Marriott hotels, collaborated to produce an hour-long, first, fashion show showcasing 18 retailers, like Blue Ginger, Island Pearls, Hawaiian Quilt Collections and Island Gourmet, to just name a few. Throw in a local dance troupe; a local Hawaiian chanter and hula dancers; a “Michael Jackson” impersonator; a local harpist; a singer/musician, who during the day is a dentist in town; skillful guys operating the elaborate sound system and stage; 60 exotic models and precocious kids from Focus International working in Hawaii, nationally, and internationally; props; different, artistic themes displayed for each retailer’s product; two hosts; and of course,  a warm, balmy night set on the Big Island of Hawaii; and you have more than a “fashion” show, but live entertainment to keep you tapping to the beat and being captured by the creativity.


A local dancer performing Tahitian with Martin, one of the top models.


The segment is for retailer Island Pearls showcasing its Tahitian pearl jewelry.

This fashion show was not an easy task. It easily could have bordered on cheesy as the “fashion” ran the gamut from hair accessories, Hawaiian quilts, dive wear, Tahitian pearls, Hawaiian and surf wear. A fine line existed between being a “mall fashion show” and something more polished. But Focus International succeeded. It was pure entertainment and they nailed it. It’s a show that also could be taken anywhere: Honolulu, on the mainland, and internationally, because the audience would appreciate the integration of the Hawaiian culture, music, exotic models, and jubilant spirit of the children.

Featuring a segment for retailer Local Lizard & Friends and using a gecko theme.

From the opening, the show drew you in with horns blowing, beautiful chanting, hula dancing, flowers, and a sprinkling of anticipation of what was to come. My other favorite segments included the modeling by men, women, and children, combined with the Tahitian, hip hop, and jazz dancing by the local dance troupe Kealakehe Dance team. No one provided any reason to leave because all were so talented. If Queens’ Marketplace and Focus International continue to have a yearly fashion show of its merchants, I believe it can be one of the biggest events that both the locals and the tourists can look forward to as well as  a great opportunity to spotlight products from its retailers!

Segment from retailer Quiksilver. Not just bikinis and boardshorts.


Segment featuring the retailer Claire’s showcasing accessories.


The models for this segment all dressed in jeans and a white top, to showcase sunglasses from retailer Sunglass Hut.

Segment featuring bikinis from retailer Quiksilver.

The models dressed in black to showcase the retailer Pacific Nature’s jewelry (coral red here).

Models showing fashions from Savvy Butik.

Segment featuring quilts from the retailer Hawaiian Quilt Collections.

And of course, dancing with “Michael Jackson!

The participating merchants in the show included Blue Ginger, Local Motion, Blue Wilderness Dive Shop, Sunglass Hut, Reyn’s, Island Gourmet, Island Pearls, Giggles, Hawaiian Quilt Collections, Genesis Gallery Hawaii, Quiksilver, Perfumania, Lids, Exclusive Designs, Claire’s, Pacific Nature Jewelry, Local Lizard & Friends, and Savvy Butik.

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A Reflection of Christmas in Hawaii

January 7, 2010
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I lived where it snowed, and the season of “winter” is usually characterized by the cold and snow. And often times, the cold and snow may last well into spring, which may postpone the debut of flip flops and shorts for some time. Yet, if it is your lifestyle, someone probably does not blink twice, but hopefully revels in the beauty of fluffy ice, the crisp, clean air, and the warm smells of cinnamon and hot chocolate. However, I have spent most winters in Hawaii and the weather would remind me of the difference in lifestyles I experienced- the fact of no snow, no cold air, no heavy jackets, sweaters, scarves and boots, and no heaters inside. Rather, it is hot with tropical breezes, you can swim in the warm, Pacific waters,  and you just want to be outside. Since it is a tourist destination, Hawaii does celebrate Christmas with beautiful city lights, food, song, and basically anything you may desire…sans the snow and cold.

Here are some photos taken on December 22, 2009 at the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The palm trees were swaying in the wind as it was quite windy that day and surf was up! A statuesque Christmas tree stands in the lobby as in most of the hotels in Hawaii. Everyone should experience at least Christmas in Hawaii once! Obama just did!



December 10, 2009
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Willie K, a well-known Hawaiian contemporary artist

I love concerts, but when it is up close and personal it is even more fun. So when my cousin told me about a benefit for the Hawaii’s Lupus Foundation, which Willie K will be giving a concert for, I wanted to go. (Here is a sample of Willie K’s songs). Not to mention, my cousin’s daughter, Haley Kagimoto, a talented and aspiring actress and singer who has participated in many local productions, will be singing a few songs too.  The benefit will be held at the intimate setting of the Diamond Head Theatre, a venue for many of Hawaii’s local theatre productions where parking is easily accessible and a food and wine reception will be held for benefit goers who want to sit and mingle before the concert. A wonderful way to start the holiday season!

Here is the info:

Christmas with Willie K ~ a Benefit for Lupus Hawai`i

Join us as we celebrate the holiday season with one of Hawai`i’s most versatile talents.  Hosted by Emme Tomimbang the evening will benefit and help spread awareness for lupus.

Monday, December 14th

Diamond Head Theatre

$45 Concert Only

7:00 – 8:00pm

$75 Wine & Dine Reception AND Concert

6:00 – 7:00 Reception

Sansei      d.k Steakhouse       Vino      Sweet Marie’s

Wine Selections by Southern Wines & Spirits


Tickets on sale at or call 285-3550

ALL donations stay in Hawai`i

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a widespread and chronic (lifelong) autoimmune disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood, or skin. There is no cure for lupus.

Approximately 10,000 people in Hawai`i are affected by lupus.  Although lupus can affect males and females of all ages, it most often develops in females between the ages of 15 and 44.  Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Native Americans have an increased incidence of lupus compared to other populations.

About Lupus Hawai`i

For the past 35 years, Lupus Hawai`i has been serving our islands by providing awareness, education and support services. It is our mission to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus, support individuals and families affected by the disease, increase awareness of lupus among health professionals and the public, and find the causes and cure.

Hope to see you there!


Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing: Photos of the Finalists from the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing (Sunset Beach, North Shore, Hawaii)

December 9, 2009
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It’s always fun to have front row seats. We lucked out to catch the finals of the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing (without any long waits) and witnessed the world’s best surfers in the final heat: Sunny Garcia (Hawaii), Dusty Payne (Hawaii), Mick Fanning (Australia) and Joel Parkinson (Australia). In the end, Joel Parkinson won, beating out Sunny Garcia during the last minutes of the heat. Here are photos from the ceremony crowning the winner!

Joel Parkinson, winner

Dusty Payne (Maui, Hawaii)

Mick Fanning (Australia)

Sunny Garcia (Hawaii) in blue. Great job Sunny even if it was a disappointing loss.

Miss Hawaii USA in the middle.

Joel Parkinson riding the wave at Sunset during competition

The crowd at the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing competition

This week has been an incredible week with the conclusion of the O’Neill competition ending, to the prestigious Eddie Aikau contest this past Tuesday (the last one was held five years ago), to the “Superbowl of surfing” Billabong Pipeline contest probably starting tomorrow. The North Shore is just abuzz with activity, energy, and beautiful world class waves that do not disappoint. Check it out whatever way you can…via Internet on the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing website or here in Hawaii. Not to be missed!!



November 24, 2009
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Life does not get any better when you can fly. (Check the video to know what I mean!) I am not a windsurfer, nor am I learning to windsurf, but as I have said before, there is so much to learn from athletes and sports that we can apply to life. There’s skill, discipline, training, focus, but what’s different is every athlete has an element of passion for their sport. They are having fun amidst the hard work and sacrifice to be the best. How many of us soar through our day? If not, maybe for a moment,  escape to Hawaii, and be inspired to ignite your passions and have fun in your day!


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Fabrice Beaux Oahu Video“, posted with vodpod


September 28, 2009
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My blog post on Carissa was previously published in the Honolulu Advertiser’s blog. COMING SOON: Some rockin’ cool people… Keep reading.

Check out surfer girl champ Carissa again here.




September 22, 2009
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Check out my post on the with a photo slideshow of touring the Hilton Waikoloa.



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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.