Opportunity knocking!

Hello darlings, and welcome to the end of Summer. Maybe some of you are Summer people, but personally I love Fall and everything about it. As I'm sure you know, my family is huge into Halloween and we've all ready begun preparations for our favourite holiday. Of course once again, I'll be away from home this Halloween, but it's fun to help my mom plan and stowe away decorations.

My mom got me a bunch of dahlias at the Farmer's Market in Poulsbo last weekend. I love dahlias, because they look like smiling faces to me. It made me think, I'd like to incorporate them into my next tattoo, which will either be on my arm and upper shoulder or maybe on my upper thigh. I haven't picked a place yet, but I want to add to my canvas... especially since in two days, I'll be home in Hawaii, and can visit my favourite studio in Waikiki.

I probably won't have time to get new ink for a while, because I have so much on my schedule! In addition to a five-course full-time college schedule, here are some other things I'm doing my first two months back at home.

August 30th- HPU Study Abroad Q&A Panel.
I'll be answering questions about HPU's Study Abroad program August 30th, at the downtown campus 11-11:45, UB 214. My friend Yasu will be there with me. So if there's any local students who would like to hear about HPU's Study Abroad Opportunities, come on down! I'd also love to answer any questions about Japan, the program, or just talk about my time in Nagoya at NUFS.

1st and 2nd- Okinawan Festival, Honolulu. I'll be meeting up with a lot of my old friends there and hanging out in yukata. I can hardly wait to see everyone!
4th- First Day of classes at HPU!
22nd- This is a bit of a secret, but I'll be doing some Pin-Up modeling for a charity calendar. I'm very excited!

October 12th- Miss Vamp Hawaii at the Hawaii Theatre
This year I'll be running for Miss Vamp Hawaii, Hawaii's first and only Vampire Beauty Pageant. Held every year in October, this is the pageant's third year, growing bigger and better every year! There is a traditional pageant, Talent Competition, and "Moon Bathing" pageant. Normally that would be the swimwear segment, but since we vampires can't go out in the sunlight, we will be modeling our elegant lingerie.

Please come on out and support me! I'll be making all my own outfits and will try to bring something new and creative to the competition. You can buy tickets at the Historic Hawaii Theatre Box Office. There are still good seats left, but they are going fast! Please mention my name, Erica A. to support me in running for Miss Congeniality.

The Miss Vamp Hawaii pageant will be held on October 12th at 7 PM.

October 19th-21st- HEXXP
The following weekend, October 19th-21st, is HEXXP-con at the beautiful Aloha Tower Marketplace. This is the second year running for the convention, and I'll be volunteering at the maid cafe, Animaid Hawaii all weekend. My maid name, naturally, is Cherie. ;D You can add me on Facebook on my maid page, here. /end plug

On opening night there will be a party with a special theme, and all of us maids and hosts will be wearing special outfits. The rest of the weekend will include regular cafe service and high tea events.

Saturday the 20th at 12 PM, I'll be running the Japanese Street Fashion fashion show. More details to come.

Atelier Pierrot's designer will also be present with a fashion show!!

I don't have much information, but it also appears that a Japanese V-kei band called NSDP will also be performing.

And those are just a few of the exciting events at HEXXP! If you're on Oahu that weekend I highly recommend checking it out!

Of course, at the end of October is the best holiday of all, Halloween! I think I'll spend it with friends in Waikiki this year, since for some reason or another, I was never able to go before. I haven't decided yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll wear my cosplay of Ruki from the GazettE, from their "Taion" music video.

Which is finally finished!

Please look forward to future photo shoots, hopefully!

And well, I have to pull myself away from the computer for a while, to spend time with my mom and brother and finish packing. I just went shopping for some back-to-school things, inspired by my last Reita post.

Distressed jeans, a cool graphic tee with butterflies and skulls, a motorcycle jacket and a purse, all for under $100. And lord knows I have enough boots to outfit an army, so this outfit is d-o-n-e! The best part about these pieces is they can mix and match with so much. I'm glad I finally got some new casual clothes haha~

Till we meet again, darlings~ Next time I see you I should be home in Hawaii! So, Aloha!

xoxo, Cherie

Added as an after thought...

I think the point of this post, was not just to tell you about all the exciting and fun things we have in Hawaii, but to prove a point... my adventure, growth and opportunity did not end with my study abroad. Going to Japan was a dream come true and I will certainly return for work and travel some day. But I see so many young people saying "It's my dream to go to Japan!" As if that is the be-all end-all to their wants and wishes. I was there too. 

But I've learned that's not what it's about. Everything I learned while I was there has prepared me for where I am now, and made me even more able to take on challenges. For example, at HEXXP we are expecting over 200 guests from Japan, and I'll be one of the few maids/hosts in the cafe who can talk with them. Even now, friends and acquaintances are contacting me with opportunities in the future, in the field of Japanese fashion. It's all so exciting! Even with the Miss Vamp pageant, I remember my experience volunteering with teaching English, and helping at the local orphanage in Japan, and that help keeps me humble. 

It makes me thankful for all of these opportunities. I'm not scared to take chances. That makes a world of difference... literally. The world feels open to me after this study abroad. Before, it was just the great unknown. 

Steal the style: Reita, The GazettE

We all have fashion icons; some of them less conventional than others.

As a Jrock fan, I love the styles worn by members of my favourite bands, especially the GazettE. But as a girl with a curvier figure (as in, curvier than Japanese men, haha), I found it hard to pull off the slim cuts, layers and low necklines sported by the members. But after a bit of searching and experimenting, I've found some options.

My first subject and fashion muse, is Reita, bassist of the GazettE.

His look has more edge than the other members, which reflects his personality, hobbies and aggressive bass line. 

(Reita comes in at about 1:40.)

When thinking about Reita's rough-and-tumble style, I thought of a store at my local mall called Buckle

It's not a typically alternative or rock-and-roll store... they carry clothing with a vintage feel, but a modern edge. It's summer right now, so a lot of their women's apparel is more brightly coloured, but I found a lot of dark, neutral and metallic items to fit Reita's image.

Read more under the jump-cut!