Personal Talk

10 Year Anniversary of Living In America & 15 Life Changing Lessons I've Learned from Living Abroad By Myself

10 Year Anniversary of Living In America & 15 Life Changing Lessons I've Learned from Living Abroad By Myself

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of my moving from Japan and living in America. Living in a foreign country isn’t a piece of cake but has taught me a number of invaluable life changing lessons but here are my 15 valuable of lessons I learned from past 10 years!

Don't Be Afraid To Show Your Vulnerable Side

Don't Be Afraid To Show Your Vulnerable Side

Last week I decided to share my tale - REAL LIFE - on my InstaStory. I was really scared and nervous because I thought no one would care about it or would even wanna see it. But, I simply wanted to share what I have been struggling with in my life. Then, here is what happened... 

Some People Feel The Rain, Others Just Get Wet

Some People Feel The Rain, Others Just Get Wet

Happy Friday! Today, I am taking a little break from a regular style post and decided to share with you something different -something bold, mysterious yet alluring. And little personal thoughts. 

Tribal & Personal Talk

I'd been itching to play with some prints! Also, there is a little personal talk today that I'd love to share with you.

Photographed by

Sarah Wolfe

 //  Downtown Seattle 

DRESS: c/o 

SheIn

SHOES: JustFab (old, similar 

Steve Madden

Nine West

, at 

SHOPBOB

  )

BRA: Walmart (Similar 

Romwe

Free People

 )

BAG: JustFab (similar 

HERE

)

SUNNIES: 

Free People

JEWELRY: 

H&M

 Earrings, 

ASOS

 Necklace, Vintage Belt

_________

Hi LOVEs!

How was your weekend? I really hope that you have started off this new week amazingly! If you follow me on social media, you have probably saw that I felt very ill yesterday when I woke up, and it was totally unexpected. In general, I am a very optimistic, cheerful, and positive person. I believe that my most charming characteristic is a BIG SMILE! (I hope you agree with me <3 ) Yet, sometimes it is just really hard to stay positive and to believe in myself. Concerns eat away at me - I haven been single for almost three years now, my whole family lives a million miles away, and even though I have amazing friends here, I still have days when I feel a deep loneliness. The reality is that my parents are not 100% supportive of me pursing my fashion dream in America. I know, it's kinda sad, right? I frequently wish for them to be more supportive of what I am passionate about. My parents' happiness is my happiness. Of course I wanna make them happy. But my decision to go for my dream has resulted in making them very unhappy. As such, I then feel that I am such a bad daughter because I choose my dream over my parents happiness... At one point, I made my parents cry... That's one of the worst moments in my life.

Then, yesterday I fell apart completely, and naturally I burst into tears due to my deep feelings of hopelessness, loneliness, and the extreme struggles that I have to go through as a foreigner. Even though I am happy to finally be able to stand on my feet and pursue my dream after such hard decisions, I have been struggling with not being able to share and talk about these struggles with my beloved family. This cycle of success followed by regret constantly torments me.

Nonetheless, I realized yesterday that I have a lot of friends, my fans and followers who sincerely care about me and even believe in me more that I do. Receiving heartfelt comments, snaps, and messages really brightened up my worst moment and saved from deep devastation. They are all so sweet, and I felt very loved and sensed a great amount of compassion. It made me feel so much better, and I was able to have a good cry. I actually thought that I should not share my negativity on social media because I knew I might end up giving people an unfavorable moment. However, some of them shared their stories of how they had been in the same shoes and of their struggles. One of my friends came over and gave me tight hugs, and then took me out for dinner and coffee. On the way home, we saw the most beautiful rainbow that I have ever seen! Seeing such a rainbow was as if the universe was telling me: "don't lose hope; you will be fine!" It was a breathtaking moment.

Although I don't have a boyfriend or family close to me, I couldn't be happier and more appreciative to have those people in my life, especially on my blogging journey. I really wanted to thank all of them including YOU who come to read my blog, leave comments and support me with lots of love!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS! I seriously can't thank you enough! 

Life isn't only about happy things and isn't always smooth and pleasant. It may not go however you are wishing it to. Some of you may be struggling or suffering over tons of stuff more than your surroundings. Then you may have to confront countless obstacles that easily put you down. However struggling with problems makes you stronger. The most challenging times are opportunities for us to realize moments change, and great struggles enable us to attain immense good fortune. Those who have experienced great suffering can develop into outstanding people. Those who have undergone painful trails can help many others. Such difficult moments intensify the happy moments. The key is to take one step, even half a step, toward what you are going for, no matter whoever stands in front of you disagreeing and preventing from your dream. And all you need to do is to have courage and get back up whenever you fall down. I know as long as you keep fighting through, you can definitely win!

_________

 Okay, now onto today's look! I wore this look for my friend's birthday party, but this wasn't how I normally dress up for one. It's good to change up your tendencies and try something you don't generally do.

I am so glad I chose

this cute tribal print dress from

SheIn

for the occasion. I haven't worn this print for a long time, and finally I get to play with some prints over plain clothes! I think the print will never go out of style, and the color of this dress is very fall-ready, plus it's long sleeve! I like the wide cut in front. This dress actually has pockets, but I totally forgot to photograph the details! I am always in love with a dress with pockets! Even though it came in a small size, I am super petite. So I had to adjust the length by adding a belt to make it more fitting and flattering! Paring it with my favorite fringe sandals adds a touch of playfulness, and I am pleased that I managed to create a color-blocking ensemble with these sandals, a 

red mini bag

and

burgundy sunnies

in addition to my mermaid hair! I am back to rocking 

statement earrings

because

that's one of the trend this fall/winter

.  I am not ready to say good bye to summer just yet, but doing our homework on what's coming next and starting to incorporate the trends into the current looks definitely help us prepare for the new season!

Thanks for reading today's long post, and I really do hope that you could relate to what I have experienced and that I inspired you somehow! And of course hopefully you enjoy today's look as well!

If you ever want to vent, please remember that I am here for you. You are not the only one who going through a lot!

Much love, AikA ❤︎

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_________

Thank you for reading!!!!

XOXO

♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ - STAY FASHiONABLE, STAY UNiQUE - ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥

I Design Dreams

Do you design your dreams?
Photographed by Teban S. of Asian ImpressionsNoir Impressions   //  Swann House in D.C.

BLAZER: H&M (old, similar at SHOPBOB & Chico's)
SHORTS: Nasty Gal (old, similar at Nasty Gal & ASOS)
SHOES: Steve Madden 

_________

Hi LOVEs!
Here is the second set of photoshoot I did with my friend Teban during my DC trip! (Here is the first set!) I'd been dying to try something high-end magazine inspired and editorial shoot for a long time, so I couldn't be more pleased with how this set came out. I know it's seductive, but that's my intention--appealing, feminine yet fashion forward. 
I know I am far from those models appeared in Vogue, yet it's all about challenging myself and trying to reach my goals!
To be really honest with you, I used to want to be a model when I was young. Actually.... I was once a kid model for a catalog. But that's all. As I was growing, I realized that I wasn't qualified enough mostly because of my height and my body proportion. However, since I started my blog and learned how to show my best side by styling, posing, and angles, I've been convinced that maybe I should keep my childhood dream alive and make it happen one day. Then, show anyone who is in the same shoes that their goals definitely would be fulfilled as long as you have the courage and effort to pursue them. So even though I call myself a style/fashion blogger, I've been pushing myself harder and will continue to strive for my dreams. 

There is a famous quote by Ralph Lauren that Teban shared with me - "I don't design clothes, I design dreams"
This quote is very inspiring to me because it gives me absolute hope that everyone can create their own dreams. Dreams are not what you see, they are something you can make come true.

Hope you enjoyed this set, and stay tuned for the third one! 
Have a good one, cutie pies



_________


Thank you for reading!!!!
XOXO


♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ - STAY FASHiONABLE, STAY UNiQUE - ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥

When You Are In A Mood Of...

Long time no blog guys... But I actually have a reason for that. I was freaked out.

Photographed by

Tadashi Kayo

  //  Random street in Seattle 

TOP: Nasty Gal (similar here or here)  //  SHORTS:Aritzia  //  SHOES: ShoeDazzle (old, similar here)  //  BRALETTE:Arizita (or similar)  //  BAG: c/o The YUB

_________

Hi LOVEs!!!!

Sorry for the lack of updates here. If you follow me on my snapchat (@fashionistaika), you already known what happened to me over the last several days... But for those who don't...I had extremely rough and tragic moment recently when my landlord locked me in the garage intentionally for freaking three hours... Yep. It sounds crazy, doesn't it? I felt like I was suddenly locked in a prison for no reasons. This was the most cruel experience I've ever had in my life. As a result, I've become kind of mistrustful of people and experience has made me hardly want to do anything. Thanks to my friends who were there for me, I am now recovering very quickly! Plus I found a new place to move to, so hopefully everything will get better!

A few weeks ago, my friend and I went out for a night drive. We just kept driving and enjoyed the calm night while music played on the radio. I especially adore the city lights as viewed from the freeway. This kind of night never gets old, and it always helps me clear and refresh my mind. I wish I had my own car so that I could do this as much as I want to.

We stopped at a random street and did some night photoshooting.  We didn't expect good results, but I actually like them because of how each picture gives expressions. Hope you enjoyed them, too!

Sweet dreams babes <3

~SHOP THE LOOK~

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_________

Thank you for reading!!!!

XOXO

☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ - STAY FASHiONABLE, STAY UNiQUE - ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆

Discover Yourself


Photographed by Mike Diep // Discovery Park
 

TOP: c/o Now I Style turtleneck, H&M shirt  //  COAT: From Japan (similar here)   //  SKIRT: H&M (old, similar here) //  HAT: Forever 21 (old, similar here)  //  BOOTS: Steve Madden (old, adore these & these)  //  SHADES: Celine  //  JEWERLY: c/o Charlotte Russe necklace, Crossroads Trading earrings


_________


Hi Loves!!
Recently, I was featured on Lookbook.nu's Instagram & Twitter. To me, this was a really big deal and it made my heartbeat so fast!!  You see, being featured by them was one of my goals for 2015. I never imagined I could check it off my list so fast. Being recognized by such an influential fashion platform is so terrifying (in a good way, of course)! Thank you so much again, Lookbook team, for featuring me and making my week!

Over time I've been blessed with so many fans and followers who make me so happy with the comment, "I LOVE YOUR STYLE!" Those 4 words really mean the world to me. After all, I've had times when I doubted myself and wondered if my style was innovative enough or not.  I strive to keep my style diverse, versatile, and unique, and it is influenced by both American and Japanese culture. So I know it's totally different from most of bloggers out there. Being unique is tough, sometimes. It has caused me to struggle on occasion. Even though I may have defined my brand through my style, I am constantly rediscovering and  rethinking, and wondering if I should reinvent my style... 

But the answer is always: No.
You should never compromise who you are. When you believe in your goals and have a strong will, then go for it. Even though it may seem out of reach or your may get down about your apparent lack of progress sometimes, you just need to be patient. SUPER PATIENT. I know it may take all of your energy and effort to keep going. Still, as long as YOU believe that you can make it happen, it WILL happen! That's what I have been doing for the last few years when I re-started my blog in 2013. And this recognition proves that it works and was worth the effort.  Being featured (as well as all the warm and kind comments from the fans) really strengthened my conviction that what I've been doing was right.
Fashion is my own 'unique' way to express who I am. If I doubt my style, it means I doubt myself, too. I hope to keep growing in recognition of my defined style and I hope to encounter more fans who adore "who I am."

I forgot to mention that this is the second set of pics from when I worked with Mike. You can check out the 1st one here. I love how I layered up in a turtleneck top and buttoned down shirt underneath paired with a skirt! Discovering a new way to style oldies is so practical and always fun!    


I am moving into a new place tomorrow, so this weekend will be a full of unpacking and placing my tons of stuff! But the good news is... I'll have a BIGGER closet, BIGGER room, and MUCH MORE sunlight! Can't wait!
Have fun on Sunday everyone! Go hawks!


_________



Thank you for reading!!!!
XOXO


☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ - STAY FASHiONABLE, STAY UNiQUE - ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆

New Year, New Me, New Place

Photographed by

Marcus Annable

//

Chihuly Garden and Glass

HAIR :: Robert Leonard Salon & Spa - Stylist • Shane | Service Director • Paul

TOP :: ASOS coat, H&M sweater (adore this & this)

BOTTOM :: c/o Now I Style (Japanese brand, similar here & here)

SHOES :: JustFab (old, adore this)

BAG :: H&M

ACCESSORIES :: Forever 21 glasses, H&M earrings

_________

Hi LOVEs!!!! I hope your 2015 has gotten off to a great start so far! ;)

Looking back at my 2014, it was a full of new adventures and opportunities with a lot of happiness and laughter. Yet at the same time, I have to say, it was one of the most challenging, struggling and tough years of my life. Don't take it as negative mood, though because I am totally thankful for those times since they absolutely made myself stronger and more courageous every time I encountered. My greatest mentor always says: "

Unless you struggle, you cannot become truly strong. Those who fight hard during their youth will have nothing to fear when the time comes to put the finishing touches on their lives. They will possess a great state of life that towers strong and unshakeable.

"  

However, when you keep having tough times over and over, you are naturally stressed out and easily get discouraged and less motivated. The few last weeks of my 2014 was just like that. I knew I REALLY needed a BIG change and get super inspired to make me happier so that I was ready for a new year with fresh and clear mind! Who in the world would like to welcome new years filled with despairing feelings?!

  So I grabbed my phone and made an appointment at

Robert Leonard Salon & Spa

! For the longest time, I'd been dying to try platinum blond or silver, yet I always ended up not being able to since my hair had gotten damaged so badly. To be able to fix that and have healthy hair back again, I started using

Moroccan Oil

products

. (I am thinking to blog soon about my hair/the hair products I've been using!) That has really helped my hair so much, and when I told my amazingly talented hairstylist,

Shane

, about what color I wanted to achieve, he said "Oh you will look gorgeous on that color! :D (I took that as a BIG YES!!)

To be truly honest with you and to my surprise, it was more than "extremely" painful process that I've ever had as dying my hair! I could feel the burns and torturous pain on my scalps and had to endure it 4 times... I wasn't even able to smile AT ALL. But, I seriously couldn't be any happier when I met a new me with this crazy silver/blond hair! I felt as if I am looking at a different person, and the color was definitely worth the pain! I actually would never imagine I could ever have pulled off this color! My dream came true right before the new year hit on the grand! I can't thank you enough to

Shane

! He always, ALWAYS gives a dreamy magic on my hair!!!!

Right after that, I called my friend as well as my current photographer,

Marcus

, because I wanted to show my oh-so pretty new hair to someone and couldn't help wanting to photograph it! We made a conclusion of strolling where we both never been, and we ended up checking out

Chihuly Glass and Garden

!

It was one of the most amazing places with tons of inspirations! It was such a magical place to me, and all his works completely blew me away. I felt like I was lost in one of the fairy tales. As I was going inside further, I sensed something inside of myself was reinventing, and when I exited the museum, there was outside exhibition as well. That's where I felt so free at last! You saw the pictures above, but they can't do any justice to the beauty of the place! If you live in Seattle or have a chance to visit the city, you should definitely check them out!

I am so grateful to revive myself right before ringing in the new year with a positive will and motivation! If you still feel gloomy inside yourself even after the new year, why don't you book a salon appointment now and change your hairstyle/color or get cozy and check out a place you've never been to? It might help you somehow ;)

Thanks a lot for reading this long post!! Much appreciated 

_________

Thank you for reading!!!!

XOXO

☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ - STAY FASHiONABLE, STAY UNiQUE - ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆

Embrace the Little Happiness

Photographed by

Marcus Annable

// Kirkland Waterfront 

OVERSIZED FUZZY KNIT & EARRINGS: H&M

FAUX LEATHER LEGGINGS & GOLD RING SET: Forever 21

POINTY PUMPS (old, Similar Here): GUESS

SKULL EMBOSSED CLUTCH BAG: c/o Ami Clubwear

SUNGLASSES: Buffalo Exchange

NECKLACES: c/o Charlotte Russe & Charming Charlie  

______________

Hi LOVEs!

First and foremost, I wanted to give a big thank you to my friend - Marcus - for photographing me lately to help me out. He is my old friend from my collage and I met him 5 years ago. I am so pleased we connected again after not talking for nearly 4 years! He is my main photographer now, and I am quite impressed with his photography skills although he has never done with fashion photoshoot because photography to him is a hobby and his focus is more nature and animals. I am delighted I was a trigger to expanded his photography expertise, and I hope working with me will help him improve that.

You know, if you are a fashion blogger and you have no one to take photos of your looks, that would be a crucial matter. Even if you do have the person, it could be another issue when he or she is seemingly uncomfortable to work with. I had been struggling with those difficulties, but he definitely saved me a lot. And he more impressed me as we work together because of the amazing results he creates!

I was more than happy that we ended up choosing the best location for our first shoot. Look at the insanely spectacular sunset... I've never ran into this amazing golden hour in Seattle. Plus we captured it during the photoshoot. It's double yays! I think you know that feeling like "I am so thankful for everything right now" whenever you witness the sunset. It even strengthens the feeling that "I am so glad I am alive and I can feel it from the bottom of my heart."

My life has been very tough. I believe I am not the only one who says that. However, I really appreciate I've encountered countless moments of little happiness like this. Instead of complaining how hard your life is, it's definitely worth and you can make better life if you try to find anything that makes you happy and smile, and even be appreciative for your pitfalls and struggles. "Pain makes stronger, tears makes you braver, and heartbreaks makes you wiser, so thank the past for a better future." A good thing ALWAYS comes after a bad thing, right?

New autumn season means new knit hunting! I got this

comfiest fuzzy knit last month at

H&M

, and I've been seriously in love with it! The comfortableness is just mind blowing.  No lies, I can sleep in this! I love how this knit could be worn in dress up and dress down. When I attended the Seattle's big fashion show, Downtown Seattle Rocks the Runway,

I styled it up with a lace midi skirt and floral sandals, accessorizing in some gold jewelry

. And this time I wanted to go for a laid back style to enjoy the beautiful sunny day so I chose leggings and gold pointy pumps. To me, paying a little attention to add some accessories is a key to polish a look. I can't walk out the door without a single accessory forgotten. I appreciate that mixing in gold jewelry offers the right amount of accent to this simple look, and even looked better with the gold sky.

Happy Tuesday sweet pies! 

______________

Thank you for reading!!!!

XOXO

☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ - STAY FASHIONABLE, STAY UNIQUE - ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆

Exciting Moments As A Stylist

Hi LOVEs! 

Today, I will share with you my first time styling job I did a while ago with my another talented photographer friend, Felix Hidajat!

Photographer: Felix Hidajat

MUA: Lis Krebs of Lis Krebs Makeup Artistry

Hairstylist: May Tran

Stylist: Me

Jewelry: Me & Hitchcock Madrona

With as much as I enjoy styling, I always have been enthusiastic about polishing and expanding my styling skill further, like helping other people look better by my styling. Felix and I worked together once in a while doing photoshoots for my blog, and he asked me to be a stylist for his editorial studio photoshoots back in March. This was a great opportunity to test my skill! 

I had done some make over consultations for my friends, and I L O V E it!!! Yet, I had never experienced an editorial one. To be honest with you, I didn't know where to start. So, Felix and I met up a few days before the shoot and talked about the theme he wanted to achieve. I had him come over to my place so that we both could look through my wardrobe together to pick up anything that could work for the theme, form hats to jackets. My concern was my clothes would be too small for the model because I am super petite (Do you know any model who's 5' tall?), even though I had her information. So we chose around 10 different outfits for three themed looks.

On the day of the shoot, I decided to lay out all the items we picked, categorizing them according to their similarity. It really helped me visualize everything and made it easy to picture an outfit in my head. While Felix was pressing the shutter, I paid attention to how the clothes looked, straightening parts that had become folded or wrinkled. I also adjusted any accessories to make sure they were displayed properly.

You know, I am always the one who is photographed, and observing everything off the lens was quite interesting and learning. It's also fascinating that creating one art of picture involve with other people's talents, a makeup artist, hair stylist, and even some assistance to help us out. I hope this will be a nice begin for me to kick off as a stylist, and hopefully I can frame as many beautiful magic as possible with talented people down the road.

Here are a few behind-the-scene photos during the shoot! By the way, of all three looks, which one is your favorite? 

Have a lovely gloomy day everyone 

 (at least in Seattle!)

________________________

♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ STAY FASHIONABLE, STAY UNIQUE ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥ ☆ ♥

Thank you for reading!!!!

XOXO

FASHION IS PART OF MY LIFE...

Hello guys. Did you have a lovely day? :)

Hajimemashite (Nice to meet you)! I am AikA. I am living in WA now but am originally from Japan. And I am TOTALLY crazy for FASHION!!!!




YAY!!! My first fashion blog has just started!!
I have looked for this moment for such a long time~!
I am very excited that I could finally share lots of things I love with you. Clothings, shoes, bags, accessories...etc, and MORE!!!!

I know some of you who visited my blog might be interested in fashion, or might be not. 
But, I have one question for both of you. What does fashion mean to you?
I can easily give my answers and have many of them to this question. 

"Because fashion has changed  my life to a brilliant life."
"Because fashion always gives me energy and motivation." 
"Because fashion makes me feel happy. "

I would also confidently say it could be my best friend, could be my lover, and could be "myself". 
Plus, to me it's not just dressing fashionably or nicely. Without fashion, I cannot express who I am.

Sometimes, I really feel myself to want to be a rock girl. So, my outfit will be "rockish" .
A couple of days ago, my outfit was like a boyish style because I didn't wanna wear skirt or high heels or sort  of things that represent "girl". Today, I dressed chic because I felt so.

Just like that. Fashion expresses my feelings, attitude, wills, and more of myself. 

So what's yours???

♥ ☆ ♥ ☆  ♥ ☆  ♥ ☆ 

Hope you all will have a sweet and lovely day tmrw!!