MAPLE LEOPARD: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Make the Most of Your Hawaiian Vacation













Hawaiian Sunsets are the most beautiful sight to behold!












Hello friends, the middle week has arrived and the long weekend is almost here! Summer is in full swing now, and that means mostly everyone is planning a vacation or mini getaway.  This past week was my 4th time to visit the island of Oahu.  It never disappoints and I always discover something new that I didn't see in former visits.  It was a great time celebrating my daughter's high school graduation.

Swimming on Waikiki beach is always the highlight of my stay in Hawaii.  The water is the perfect temperature, and you can walk pretty far out and the water never goes above your waist.  Choosing where to swim on the long strip, is key.  I have ventured to other parts of the beach, and the location right in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is where we like to hang out.  There are no rocks on the bottom to cut your feet, and the waves to body surf or boogie board are fabulous!  Stay away from Queen's surf down by Diamond head, unless you like to swim in hiking boots!  Also make sure you lather up with a high SPF sunscreen lotion.  I used sunscreen spray on this trip, big mistake.  I ended up with quite a nasty burn.






If you are a fashionista , the endless selection of stores on the strip will keep you entertained for hours.   There are many specialty boutiques, fast fashion retailers, and several luxury chains as well.  If you are a bargain shopper like me , no worries at all.  There are many stores to accommodate deal seakers such as H& M, Forever 21, Ross, Macy's and too many more to mention.  There is also a huge outdoor mall, Ala Moana, that is a short shuttle ride away, as well as the huge flea market located at the Aloha Stadium

One of my favorite things to do in the early a.m. was to discover all the quaint coffee shops tucked away from the hum and buzz of the strip. Oh yes I was up with the birds every morning at 5 or 6 am, dang time change ha ! My internal clock is set to pacific time, and Hawaii is 3 hours behind Seattle time.  Anyway, this visit I discovered Island Vintage Coffee, tucked up high in the palm trees. It had a "tree house ambience", and the cup of jo was pretty good too!  Another great coffee stop is connected to the Moana Surfrider Hotel, the Westin Resort just down the road from Cheesecake factory.  It has all the feel of a luxury plantation.





To top off your stay in Waikiki, make sure you reserve a spot at a Luau, it is the ultimate Hawaiian experience.  This visit was my first time to attend one.  The food was a fine selection of Polynesian cuisine, the pulled pork and mahi mahi were to die for!  The Diamond Head Luau was superb and a very affordable price. This Luau also includes fun activities to make lei's and head pieces, as well as the cultural presentation showcasing the island dances.  My daughter and her friend managed to snag a Hawaiian hottie for a picture!

If you've never been to Hawaii, I hope this has inspired you to make a visit soon!  If you have been, please do tell your favorite spots and activities, maybe I will discover something new once again!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

How To Dress for Comfort and Style In Hawaii








  



Hi, I am so excited to share my Hawaiian trip with you! I hope this weekend is treating you great! After I sort and edit all my pictures, I will have some more posts coming up with outfits and my adventures in Waikiki.  The hotel lobby where I stayed at the Aqua Oasis was just beautiful, and a perfect backdrop for this outfit!  The foliage in around the area was just breath taking!

Choosing the right wardrobe pieces for comfort and style, will help with dealing with the intense heat and humidity. Light and  airy tops with bandeaus underneath are the way to go in a tropical climate.  The lace fabric and open back feature of this lovely crop kept me cool and comfy.  The fabric of your shorts will make a big difference too.  Fabrics with a cotton polyester blend and lycra stretch, are perfect for this climate.  I love the high waist and nautical styling of this pair I found at Penny's.

Last but not least on the list, a girl's best friend...her shoes. Most of us crazy gals usually pick style over comfort of course!  I lucked out with these Michael Kors flip flops, they were both comfortable and up to my standard of cuteness!  On the Waikiki strip you will do a lot of walking, so be sure your shoes are up for the journey!

Aloha, and thanks for stopping by!  Stay tuned, my new blog design is close to being done! 


Valerie


Thursday, June 25, 2015

ALOHA



Aloha, and good afternoon friends and followers!  It was a great time in the land of paradise, always hard to come home from such a lovely place.  I wanted to say a quick hello to all of you, and hope everyone is enjoying the first days of summer.  I am trying to play catch up from taking a week off.   Also the sun  was not my friend this time, I came home with a very bad reaction to a sunburn.  It will take a few days to recover from it, as well as the jet lag.   I hope to share my Hawaiian vacation posts with you by the weekend or early next week!  Mahalo, take care and talk to you soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Designer Night at Seattle Fashion Week

Good Morning!

This past Saturday evening, I attended the designer showcase night for Seattle Fashion Week.  It was an amazing night, and it was so fun to sit up close in the media section!  The designer talent I saw was just WOW!

The first designer on the runway was Karen Ashley.  This beautiful work is a celebration of a woman's femininity, elegance, beauty , and strength.  As you can see from her striking pieces, her designs represent all that is timeless and classic.  I really liked the rich jewel tones of teal and plum, and the fur is fantastic as well!









Next up was House Of Ham by Maria Ham.  I  actually met Maria last March at the Seattle Art Institute where she was attending.  I had the fun experience of modeling for some of the designers presenting their collections for graduation requirements.  She is lovely and a very talented young lady. Her designs definitely fit the more casual aesthetic in the Seattle area. House of Ham garments are constructed for day or night wear, with comfort in mind.  They are meant to be worn with other basics you may already have in your wardrobe.  What I loved about this collection was the unique use of exposed zippers, trims, and color combinations.








There were 9 designers total. Unfortunately I am featuring only 3 here, as my device ran out of battery charge. The last one I was able to photograph, was Julie Danforth Designs. I absolutely adore this collection, as its inspiration comes from several famous designers and celebrities of the 1960's.  Julie's designs will have you dreaming of yesteryear fashion Audrey Hepburn, as well as others. The classic design lines of this collection exude subtle sexiness and sophistication








All of the designers were outstanding, way too much fashion talent to absorb in one sitting! I am including the websites of the remaining 6 designers at the bottom of this post. You would definitely benefit from checking them out!  Which designs here catch your eye?  It was really fun to attend this event! Bellevue fashion week is coming up in September if you were not able to attend the Seattle show.

I hope all of you have a fantastic week!  I will be on a short break from blogging and will return soon with more great fashion. Twitter and Instagram will still be updated. Thank you for visiting and supporting my blog!

www.mori-fu.com
www.facebook.com/ericabondjewlery
www.etsy.com/shop/dreamdressesbypmn
www.juleano.com
www.justinzacharycouture.com
www.magentpdx.com






















Friday, June 12, 2015

Look Who's a Style Icon at 77



Jane Fonda Cannes 2014.jpg
    Photo: Wikipedia.org

Who can deny the timeless style of Jane Fonda!?!  She has always exuded class and confidence, and at 77 years old she is being haled a style icon.  Her recent quote says " I had a vision, I wanted to give a cultural face to older women."  Most of us have followed her down through the years on the big screen in several iconic roles. I have always admired her as an actress and for her strong confidence and resilience.

She is quite amused that people are giving her the title of  "fashion icon".  At the age of seventy-seven she is a sex symbol, fitness guru, and Oscar winning actress.  She started her acting career in NYC in 1959.  Her father Henry Fonda was not keen on her idea to become an actress.  In spite of his discouragement, she forged ahead and carved out her empire. 

Jane's fabulous sense of style first showed up in her movie called "Barefoot in the Park". She was a bohemian babe in her suede boots, slim corduroys, and camel car coat.  She admits her fashion sense was not so great in the beginning. She started out as a model to earn money to further her acting career.  As a model she said she found it hard to keep up, as she did not care about clothes or the constant pressure to always look good.

When Fonda divorced for the 3rd time at 63,  she felt her life was about to start over again.  After a hiatus from acting for several years, she was asked to be a presenter at the Academy Awards. She came out glowing in her Vera Wang gown, and caused the crowd to be overtaken with awe. She was back with timeless style!  Her career was then restarted, and she has never skipped a beat since then.

As a middle aged woman I am absolutely inspired by her tenacity to never give up. Reinvention can come at any age! It is never ever to late to chase your dreams.  If you can dream it, you can do it!  What is it you are dreaming of?  Who has been an inspiration to help you pursue those dreams?

Friday, June 5, 2015

How to Dress LIke a Hawaiian Girl










Photo Credits: Ruth  Faustino

Aloha and happy Friday! Just a few more days of teaching left, and I will be off to bask in the Hawaiian sun!  This cute strappy sundress from Victoria Secret has me in the Aloha spirit for sure! It's super comfortable, and would be great to travel in.  This lovely little dress can easily be dressed up or down, by your choice of accessories.  Tropical prints are huge this spring and summer,  I am so loving this trend!

 I especially love vintage Hawaiian prints. Hawaiian fashion first became popular in the thirties decade.  Many vacationers returned home with brightly hued prints.  After WW2 the trend spread as GI's came home in tropical clothing from being stationed in the Pacific.

I recently read that every Friday in Hawaii is Aloha Friday. It's a day when everyone wears their favorite Hawaiian dress or  shirt, making downtown Honolulu  a sea of tropical wear!  I am looking forward to checking out all the vibrant fashion in paradise!

I hope everyone has a fun vacation planned to somewhere warm!  I would love to hear about where your travels are taking you this summer! 

Shop: Dress||Cross Body Bag||Sandals(similar)||