A Hawaii Style Blog

Category: Advice

Hiroshima on New Year’s Eve

I have only read about Hiroshima in history books. It is a place of serenity, growth and beauty. It was the perfect place to end the year, to understand and reflect about the old year and welcome the new year. We took an early Shinkansen to Hiroshima and arrived earlier than expected.

From the train station to the sites we took a bus that took us to the first stopped. We walked to one of the first sites which was the Hiroshima Castle. We also got a chance to speak to someone from Hiroshima who spoke to us about some of the history of the castle. We also got a chance speak to others who were checking out the sites with us.

We went on a day when some of the sites were closed for New Year’s holiday but it was still great to see some of the historical sites. At the Castle, we met a family who spoke to us about Miyajima Island and recommended for use to check it out since the island.

One of the stops to the walking tour was being able to see the Hiroshima Dome. It is a testament to the impact of war and nuclear weapons.

The Motoyasu Bridge was one of the bridges that survived the nuclear bombing and leads to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Park, Museum, and Children’s Peace Monument.

Later on in the day we headed to Miyajima Island and we had the opportunity to check out the Itsukushima Floating Torii Gate and shrine. During new year’s eve, they were food vendors and many people going to the shrines.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. This was a peaceful and quiet New Year’s Eve. It was amazing to see another part of the world celebrate New Year’s in a different way minus large crowds, fireworks, and merry making. This new year’s eve in Japan was full of reflection and thought. 

 

XOXO,

Michelle

 

.:Outfit:.

JACKET kirne zabete for target
STRIPED SHIRT forever 21
PANTS gap
SHOES aldo
BAG steve madden

Shoe Review: Rothy’s Round Toe Flats

Hi Everyone,

I have not done a review in a long time. I wanted to do one on a shoe that I heard about last year through different social media avenues. I’ve seen it on Instagram and  Youtube and after much deliberation, I decided to purchase a pair. I have heard so many good things about these shoes that I was curious about them.  I also liked that fact that it takes old plastic bottles and up-cycles them into cute flats what’s not to love about saving the environment with cute shoes.

While shopping for my first pair, I perused the website. They had two styles and really cute fabric patterns. I like the selection of prints most of which are classics like leopard, geometric shapes and camouflage. Unfortunately, not all patterns are not available for extended sizes. Being a size 4 1/2 to 5 depending on the shoe, I was curious about the fit. The safest choice was  the round toe flats as opposed to the pointed toe flats which are always weird for me if the shoes are not true to size. I felt  the round toe flats would fit better for my small feet. I decided to choose a patterned fabric rather than a solid color flat since I already have several pairs of solid flats.

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Details about the shoe:

Packaging: When it first arrived it came in a recycled cardboard box with a  blue ribbon pull for opening.  The flat was stuffed with tissue paper and a plastic shoe hanger. I felt that this was contradictory to the rest of the packaging as the company prides itself in saving the environment one plastic bottle as a time. The plastic shoes hanger did not seem to fit their company model. I was hoping for a biodegradable shoe hanger. The company encourages people to reuse the box for something else. I used it for my shoe polishing items. Still the plastic shoe hanger bothered me.  The box contained cards informing of shoe care and other information.

There is an easy return policy  which is 30 days for unworn shoes. I did not have that benefit as I tried the shoes on for a day at work.

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Fit: TTS. I’m a size 4.5 and the size 5 fit me well but because my feet are a half a size shorter the shoe rubbed against my ankle for the most the day when I wore it the first time. While, the shoe did not blister my ankles, my ankles were irritated and red at the end of the day. For the most part, the fabric of the shoe was comfortable but the stiffer fabric at the heel irritated me. If you are in between sizes, I would recommend to size down for a snug fit or size up and use a Shoe Sizer to fill the difference. I used the later option after taking a break from wearing the shoes for about two weeks.  I was convinced to try and make it work for me. (I will talk about shoe sizers later if you are interested let me know in the comments below or in a message.)   I used Shoe Sizers half a size filler in the front of the shoe. After this quick fix, I wore the shoe out more a few more times and  the sizer helped a lot with the heel rubbing. After that the shoe was a lot more comfortable.

Quality: The pair of shoes is of high quality woven knit plastic thread.  The woven upper is soft and stretchy and does not cut into your skin or create blistering. It stretches and moved with your feet which makes it comfortable.  The insole is soft and cushioned, washable and replaceable. After several uses, the insole will start to pill. Replacements for these are about $30. The outsole of the shoe is made of textured rubber. The shoe upper is sewn into the rubber sole for a stronger bond rather than glue so you do not need to worry about the sole and the upper splitting. The sole is flexible so the shoe fits like a glove and moved with you when you walk.

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Comfort:  After a six months of owning a pair of Rothy’s, it’s become part of my work shoe rotation. With the minor addition of a shoe sizer which made wearing the shoe a lot more comfortable. The cloth is very comfortable and the shoe is best if your feet are true to size. I believe a snug  fit makes the shoe more comfortable.

Price: $125.00-$145 is moderately expensive. The brand prides itself in being made with quality. You can use a coupon code for $20 off. I searched the internet for a coupon code. You can use this code if you plan on getting one.

Click Here to use My Rothy’s Code

I used someones to get $20 off the full price.  This is an investment shoe, it is comfortable for people who have feet that are whole sizes. If you’re a half size. I highly recommend using Shoe Sizers.

Is it a Shoe for Everyday?

For myself, currently, yes!  I do not foresee them making shoes smaller than a 5 or making half sized shoes.  Recently, they launched the loafer style and a few more colors and patterns in the extended sizes which was exciting.

I will purchase this shoe again in another color or style. Personally, I am looking at purchasing the pointed flat and the loafer. The pair I got is  staple in my work wardrobe that I reach for it on rainy days when I do not have to worry about getting water on my shoes.  I’m really like the fact that I can give it a quick wash in the washing machine if it gets dirty. Additionally, I foresee me packing for travel.  Rothy’s got something here with their shoes. I foresee the brand creating more options for women and even making a men’s line in the future.

I hope this helps you decide if this is the shoe for you. If you are deciding to purchase this for yourself or give it to someone it’s great gift to give yourself or someone who loves style and comfortable shoes.

Take care and happy shoe shopping.

XOXO,

Elle

 

 

** This is not a sponsored post. This post is my personal experience and opinion on Rothy’s shoes.

Simplifying

 

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It’s June of 2018 and I have not posted on my blog for about half a year. Before that it seemed that I gave up posting outfits entirely.  My Instagram is a little bit more active but still very sporadic.

How does one explain changes in life and perspective? I have always loved fashion and loved the ability to put together outfits. It’s been two years since I really started to look into capsule wardrobes. I’m not new to them. I used capsule wardrobes a lot when I traveled in the past but honestly, I have been feeling  drawn to the idea of a much simpler wardrobe. The question is: Where do I begin? I love the pieces I purchase and I loved color, textures and prints. How does one create a capsule that really fits their personality? These are the questions that I have been reflecting on and perhaps this is the essential starting point.

Besides reflecting on capsule wardrobes, my shopping habits have changed in the past couple of years.  I shopped less and I try to wear what’s in my closet. Budgeting became important with getting married, getting an apartment and going back to school, so it was one of the most essential components of my process. Additionally, I am truly bothered with the idea of consumption and the impacts of fast fashion around the world. I shop less now because of it and I really think about my purchases a lot more than I use to. I believe every little bit counts. For two years, I have taught students in my classroom about the impact of fashion on their environment, on people, and on their lives. I needed to live the example and be the role model when it comes to how I interact with fashion.

It seems like a lot to think about but in all honesty, I have been thinking about these a lot for a very long time. But thinking about something and actually doing something about it are two different things. If I am going to change anything, actions have a far greater impact than just speaking about it.  It’s time to make these actions real.

As a result, my blog is transforming with these goals in mind.

NEW GOALS FOR THIS BLOG:

  1.  Style Diary: This blog has been my style diary. I hope to posts more frequently showing a personal style that reflects me right now.
  2.  Shop less, Style more:  I have always loved styling and putting pieces together. I love the thought process behind my outfits. I hope to share that with you.
  3.  Fashion History and Influence  I have a passion of history and would like to incorporate that into writing this blog.
  4. Environmentally Conscious and Sustainable. I am continually striving to do this.

 

Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Michelle

Unboxing Favorite Finds and YouTube

A few weeks ago… I decided to attempt a YouTube video unboxing and sharing a few of my favorite finds this month. Enjoy this and let me know what you think.

Take a view and let me know what you think.

XOXO,

Michelle

Road Trip on the Great Ocean Road

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One of the highlights of our trip to Melbourne was the Great Ocean Road. Stretching 51 miles from Torquay all the way to Warnambool in Western Australia, it features historical towns, sightseeing, great food, and many activities along the way. A week is not enough to take in everything that the Great Ocean Road has to offer. My suggestion is to do it as a road trip and to stop along the way and enjoy as much as you can. The trip down the coast is beautiful so take your time. There is so much to do.aquino

img_1948Great Ocean Road Sign
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The Great Ocean Road was built was World War I Veterans coming back home from the War. It provided them with employment at the same time it allowed the smaller towns on the coastline to connect with others.  The road has many stops for sightseeing and learning about historical sites throughout the road.  One of our first stops was the city of Lorne. We got a chance to visit the Lorne pier and enjoy amazing food at the Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant.

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We also spent some time checking out the different beaches, lookouts, and ended our first day on the Great Ocean Road with the amazing Twelve Apostles. img_2199

On our second day, we checked  out the Split Point and Otway Light Houses and relax and chatted in a few cafes along the way.

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Thanks again for reading. Take care and have an amazing Thursday.

XOXO,

Michelle

:Outfit:.

SHIRT forever 21
JEANS gap
SHOES tieks
JACKET kirna zabete for Target

 

Shoe of the Month: Alexander Wang ‘Antonia’ Sandals

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Hi Everyone,

I decided to start something new on the blog. Each month I’d like to feature and review pairs of shoes. I have done reviews before  this time I’m going to try to do them on a monthly basis

Details about the shoe: 

Packaging: 5/5

 Shipped in brown shipping box with tissue paper padding to prevent shoe box damage. Shoebox is sturdy cardboard with black on black printing. Alexander Wang printed tissue paper covers the shoe. Tissue paper is  used to stuff the shoes so that the straps on the ankle and the toe box area keep their shape.

Fit:  4/5

STS. I’m a size 4.5 and the size 5 fit me well. The ankle straps have an adjustable buckle.  If you are in between sizes, I recommend sizing up because these run small.

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Quality: 4/5 

The pair of shoes is of high quality leather. It has a full grain leather insole, leather sole and suede body. It is stamped with Vero Cuoio at the bottom of the size stamp. The shoes uses Italian sizing but they are not made in Italy. Actually if you flip the strap for your toes it says Made in China. The suede upper is soft and supple and does not cut into your skin or create blistering.  The leather insole is black which is easy to clean and will not darken over time with the oils in your skin.  The outsole of the shoe is made of  black leather. Overtime this will wear so rubberize outsoles will need to be added on. Also I recommends spraying some waterproofing protectant on these to protect them from water/moisture damage.

Comfort: 5/5

My first pair is Orange and orange is not a easy color to pair. I have worn them several times and the curve of the arch actually fits the curve of my feet so they do not ache after a few hours of wearing. The height of the heel is about 3 inches and they are fairly comfortable to walk in.

Price: Depends on when and where you guys these.  I bought mines at Bloomingdales and at the Alexander Wang website. The original price of the shoe is runs about $475 full price. But I have found them for more reasonable prices. Seasonal colors and styles go on sale at the end of the season.

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Is it a Shoe for Everyday?

The style is definitely classic and wearable for various occasions. I suggest investing in a nuetral pair without embellishments because you may get more wear out of them. It is a pair of sandals that I would purchase again. Yes, because I have. The silhouette is classic and many brands carry similar styles so if this one does not suit your price point then there are similar ones out there for you.

I hope this helps you decide if this is a sandal for you . If you are deciding to purchase this for yourself it would be a great addition to your collection as it is a versatile shoe.

antonia6Have a great Tuesday, take care and happy shoe shopping.

XOXO,

Elle

P.S. I shared an unboxing video. Check it out on Youtube!

SHOP:

***This post contains affiliate links

A New Chapter Begins…

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had an amazing New Year’s Eve and you had an opportunity to spend it people that you care about and love. A New Year always promises a clean slate and the promise of a new beginning full of opportunities. I personally cannot wait to get this year started on the blog.

I’ve officially spent the first couple of days of the new year cleaning out my old room. So many nostalgic memories come with cleaning out an old space. I wanted to start the year right with a clean slate. Some pieces will be thrown away, others will be donated and sold and a few pieces will find a new home at our apartment.

As the New Year begins, its nice to set some goals as resolutions often fall on the wayside. Here’s a few of mine.

  1. Enjoy Life. Taking the time to be grateful for the things we already have and the things that matter: family, great friends, and the little things in between.
  2. Be Healthy.  Focusing on eating right and healthy, taking time to exercise, as well as overall well being.
  3. Creativity is Key. Creating and being creative has been an integral part of my life and work ethnic. I would like to put more effort in creating a better creative space for myself.

Let’s have an amazing year full of gratefulness, laughter, family and friends. Put great effort into making 2017 the best year ever for you and for me.  Cheers!

XOXO,

Michelle

.:Outfit:.
DRESS forever21 (love this one and this one)
SHOES  christian louboutin (similar here)
BAG tj maxx find (similar here)

Holi-daze and New Year’s Cheers!

 

 

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The year is winding down with family and friends coming home, family gatherings, lots of food and drinks, and time to reflect on another amazing year of life. Whether this year was a challenge for you or an amazing one, take time to reflect and grow.  It is officially two days until the end of the year, let us all start the new year with goals not resolutions.  But regardless of what you plan do as the year ends, always remember to keep your love ones close, enjoy every moment with them, and to celebrate life.  Let’s take the last few days to celebrate renewal, hope, and inspiration in 2017.

So pick out an outfit that will like you shine. Wear fringe, a flattering LBD, a lacy top, something velvet or a bottom with sparkling sequins and welcome the new year with some fireworks.

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TOPS zara fringe & lace tanks similar here unbranded  beaded satin cami 

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SKIRTS forever 21 & banana republic (old)  similar here

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PANTS seven for all mankind (old) similar here

But whatever you choose always  bring out a pair of shoes that will let you stand out in the crowd.

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SHOES:  gianvito rossi and christian louboutin (pigalle follies (similar here), tobaggon, simple pump (black version here))

And add some accessories that make you sparkle.

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ACCESSORIES

HAIRPINS
purchased at a craft store

BAG
avela jamila purse

NECKLACES
j crew crystal necklace
leslie danzis tear drop crystal drop necklace
aloha stadium market ribbon and pearl necklace  

EARRINGS
t & j designs double pearl studs on sale now!
j crew crystal earrings similar here
j crew crystal leaf earrings (old)

Thanks again for reading and for all your support throughout all these years. Have an AMAZING and HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Cheers,
Michelle

Review: Tieks by Gavrieli‎

Hi Everyone,

I have not done a review in a long time and I’ve been wanting to do a review on this particular pair of shoes for a while. Tieks Ballet Flats has been the talk of the shoe world. Oprah talked about it on her show, several bloggers have talked about it, and major bloggers wear them on their blog. I was curious so I bought my first pair about two years ago after reading about them and studying their website. I wanted to see what the hype was all about and if it really lived up to its reputation as a very comfortable and portable pair of shoes.

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While shopping for my first pair, I thought more about color, material, and pattern. I wanted a color that would go well with the rest of my wardrobe but I really did not want to pick up the basic black. When you first login to the Tieks website you find several categories: Featured, Prints, Patents, Classics, and The Vegan Collection. Figuring out which category to pick from took me a while.  I eventually choose a pair from the Classic Collection. I debated over a neutral pair versus a colored flat. I eventually choose the Cardinal Red.

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Details about the shoe:

Packaging: When it first arrived it came in a Tiek Blue Box wrapped with an elasticize band and a flower matching the shoe in the box. The packaging was pretty and instantly put a smile on my face. I felt like I was opening a present for my birthday. After opening the box the shoe comes folded with  drawstring bag for packing and storing (not pictured). In all honesty, I’ve only used this bag maybe twice when I needed to pack them for travel. The box also contains a care guide, a card for sharing Tieks on Instagram, a folded Tieks tote, and a personal note to you, the buyer.

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Fit: TTS. I’m a size 4.5 and the size 5 fit me well without slipping in the heel area despite my narrow heel. If you are inbetween sizes, the recommendation is to size up. If after ordering Tieks you are not happy with the sizing, there is an easy return policy and customer service is helpful in helping you find the right size for you.

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Quality: The pair of shoes is of high quality leather. It has a full grain leather insole, leather suede lining and the upper is  made of Italian leather. The leather upper is soft and supple and does not cut into your skin or create blistering.  The leather insole eventually darkens over time because of the oils in your skin. If this is not something you like you can prevent the discoloration with some insoles or ballet flat socks. I did not mind it.  It shows that I wear them often. I usually wiped them down with baby wipes and a cotton cloth. The outsole of the shoe is made of leather but attached to it is a rubber split sole that minimally scratches over time and wear. There is cushioning throughout the insole of the shoe which provided added comfort when worn and a cushion heel for days when you are on your feet and walking. I am constantly on my feet at work. The inside of the shoe does not have lining so the leather is raw except for the throat of the shoe where there is fabric lining. This is to lessen the wear of the shoe where your toes meet the leather. While this fabric is is unbroken the leather at the top of the throat will remain in good condition. Once this fabric breaks the leather will start to wear.

Comfort: After two years of owning my very first pair of shoes from Tieks, I would say it is extremely comfortable. It feel like your walking on pillows. I have never gotten any pain or blistering from wearing them. It has my been time and again my go to pair of flats. In an average week I wear then about 3 to 4 times.

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Price: $175.00-$295 is expensive but if you calculate price per wear and comfort I believe it is worth every penny. Tieks never go on sale and it is truly an investment shoe.

Is it a Shoe for Everyday?

Yes! It is the one pair of flats I will purchase again and again for the sheer fact that it lives up to the quality of the shoe and comfort and I’m saying that after two years of wearing them three to four times a week and traveling. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves flats and would like a pair that’s worth every penny.

I hope this helps you decide if this is the shoe for you. If you are deciding to purchase this for yourself or give it to someone it’s great gift to give yourself or someone who loves style and comfortable shoes.

Hope you are having an amazing weekend and that you chose Tieks as a gift, now or later. Take care and happy shoe shopping.

XOXO,

Elle

Shoe Tips: Learning Your Shoe Anatomy

We’re examining shoes today. We often go through life not knowing the one outfit accessory that covers our feet, the foundation of our outfits. Today, we are going to take a closer look at shoes.

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Shoes can be divided into two major areas: the upper, the part that covers the foot and the outsole or outersole, the section that touches the ground (As seen in the figure below.)

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Most shoes have similar parts depending on the style. The upper part of the shoe consist of two sections, the vamp which is the section of the shoe that covers the front of the foot and extends to the middle of the shoe. Within the vamp area is the toe cap, the area nearest the tip of the shoe and the throat, the area of the shoe before the toe cap.  The quarter is the back portion of the upper, it covers the back of the shoe and extends to the middle of the upper meeting the vamp. The top edge of the shoe is called a topline. At the heel of the upper is the counter, it is usually a firm piece that strengthens the heel area of the shoe and helps it to maintain its shape.

Upper

Where the upper and the outsole meet at the heel is called a seat. This is often more prominent in high heeled shoes. It is where your heel rests. The heel is the part of the shoe that raises the heel. The part of the heel that faces forward is called the heel breast and is located opposite the arch, curvature of the sole. The bottom of the heel is often called a top heel or top piece, most people know it as a heel tip or heel head. This is the piece of the heel that comes in contact with the ground. The pitch, is the height of the heel and often helps to determine the comfort level and walkability of a pair of high heels.

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The sole of the shoe is the area between the upper and the outsole. It consists of the waist which has two parts the in-step the front of the sole and the arch  which is supported by the shank which is a piece of metal that helps to support the middle area of the shoe.Outsole

In the inside of the shoe is the shoe lining which covers all of the vamp and the quarter of the shoe. It helps to create comfort as well as increase the durability of the shoe. Insole or the sock of the shoe is the layer that covers the sole of the shoe and often hides extra padding and provides added comfort while hiding the sole of the shoe. Also in the inside of the shoe under the vamp is the toe box.

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By knowing all the components of the shoe, it will help you understand how to shop for shoes as well as converse with your cobbler. I hope you learned a lot about your shoes and let me know what you think.

XOXO,

Elle

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