Happy New Year everyone!

Yes yes, I know.  It's already mid January but I thought I'd still share what my goals and intentions are for 2018.  I think writing and putting it out into the world is always a good idea and a great start to a new year. 

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Before I get into what 2018 looks like, I want to take a moment to reflect on 2017.  2017 was a whirlwind.  At the beginning of 2017, I was confused and didn't know exactly what I wanted to accomplish.  I decided whatever it was I ended up doing, I was going to document more, do more, think less, and adventure/travel.  Looking back, I can say I was able to accomplish those things in ways that I didn't imagine.  I wanted to travel, document, and blog about my adventures, but when I got pregnant in February, this took a turn.  While it took a while for me to announce this to the world, I started sharing my entire pregnancy journey and my honest thoughts on the transition to motherhood as a first time mom.  When I first started sharing via my Instagram, I didn't know how people would react.  I didn't think it would be that interesting and thought my life would now be "boring" to follow.  Because who would think that motherhood is more interesting than traveling the world?!

But I was wrong. The response was overwhelmingly positive.  I was sharing both the good and "bad"...err..let's call it struggles instead.. of this whole new world of motherhood to me.  I was excited about being a mom but also scared of losing my identity as a career minded woman who still had a lot of dreams and goals to achieve.   I've never gotten so many messages about how they loved my honesty and how so many women have felt (or are feeling) the same way.  So the whole irony is that the thing I thought would be boring, ended up being the most interesting.

I realized that once I accepted and embraced this new chapter in my life, everything fell into place.  The most important was my happiness and sense of purpose.

hikari murakami blogger stokke stroller

What I learned in 2017:

  1. Accept and embrace the season you're in right now.

  2. Stop comparing and just be you and do you.

  3. Your life is not over when you become a mom.  If anything, you feel more motivated to push yourself.

hikari murakami blogger stokke stroller motherhood

So what does 2018 look like?

Blog Goals

1.  Content

I want to create content around motherhood while being a creative and business owner.  Let's be real.  We live in a time where more woman are the breadwinners of their households, or own businesses, and/or are CEOs.  I think a lot of woman (including myself) are scared to become moms to lose this part of herself.  But I'm here to share you can do both if you wanted to.  Motherhood is not luxurious and very very hard, but the most rewarding "job" out there.  But also rewarding is being an individual with your own vision and dreams.  So this year on this blog, you'll be seeing topics on Addie, honest motherhood, balancing career and motherhood, and mommy and me lifestyle posts.

2.  Share More Beauty 

Quite literally.  I took to Instagram polls a couple of days ago and asked if you guys were interested in seeing beauty posts.  To my surprise, you guys said yes!  In fact, between motherhood topics and beauty topics, the interest was pretty much half and half.   If you didn't know, I'm a professional makeup artist and hairstylist and earn a living doing this.  And I love it!  I feel the most in my element when I'm doing makeup/hair.  I think it's time I start sharing my favorite beauty items and how you can use them. 


Professional Goals

1.  Work It

As a makeup artist/hairstylist, I want to continue to book more projects and weddings.  Last year I slowed down during my pregnancy and took a complete break when my baby was born.  With this new year, I want to get back into full commission. 

2.  Community

I want to network more, get back into the community to create new relationships, as well as reestablish existing ones. 

3.  Take Classes

Last year I didn't get to take any classes, but it's a goal of mine to take at least 1 hair class and 1 makeup class this year.  I love learning new tips and approaches that's different from mine and I believe this makes me a better artist!

4.  Behind the Scenes and Videos

This year you will see more behind the scenes from events, projects, and weddings that I do over on my Instastories.  So make sure you're following me there!  Don't miss out on chats about makeup, tutorials, and product reviews. 


Personal Goals

1.  Get Healthy 

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly the healthiest person.  When it comes to my own health, I'm lazy.  And never consistent.  I didn't stress about this too much before I had Addie, but after having her, I'm rethinking my whole situation on this.  Mainly because I'm really feeling it in my body how unhealthy I am.  There's 2 things I wish I had more of.  Energy and strength.  I feel tired all the time and because I feel tired, I feel weak. So I'm actually going to put more effort towards this.  My goal isn't necessarily to lose weight but it would be nice to lose the mommy pouch...haha.  My ultimate reason is to stay healthy for my family and have energy for a growing child.

2.  Find a Workflow that Works

I never knew how much time I had before the baby, until I had a baby.  Because now I have no time especially with a 4 month old!  Every second counts!  I'm currently a stay at home mom, but also a business owner that works from home, and does everything at home.  So time management's been my biggest struggle thus far after having a baby.  My goal is to figure out a schedule that works for me while taking care of the baby.  I'm trying different things  but once I find a good flow, I'll let you know!  Let me know in the comments if you have any tips!

hikari murakami blogger stokke stroller motherhood
hikari murakami blogger stokke stroller motherhood

Pretty excited to see what 2018 has in store and I'm excited to share this new chapter of my life with Addie!

AuthorHikari Murakami

Happy (belated) New Year!

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I really wished my first post for the new year could of been more about my vision and where I'm headed in 2017.  While everyone seems to have been able to buckle down and narrow in goals for 2017, I on the other hand, can't seem to figure it out!  I mean, how are you suppose to know how to get "there" when you don't even know what the "there" is.

When I turned 30 back in October, an incredible feeling of wanting to be "there" already, or at least knowing where I'm headed, came rushing over me.  I was really excited because I felt like 30 was going to be THE year.

And then, I felt discouraged.  Because as much as I thought about it over and over, I didn't have a concrete vision, like you're told to have. For the past few weeks, I've been beating myself up for this.  Time and time again, you're told to have a vision, create your to-do lists & SMART goals, and then ta-da, you've achieved a milestone! 

Then I realized, therein lies the problem to my current unmotivated and uninspired self.  I was focusing way too much on what my to-do list was going to be, and stopped doing more of what I love.  

I did what I always do, overthink and not enough doing.  Is that just me?

Then I said, F the SMART goals and to-do lists.  It's okay to not have detailed goals... It's going to be okay, Hikari *deep breath*   

Instead, I'm focusing on what brings me JOY and enJOY the process of finding my full potential self.

Let me share what I plan to do more of, below!

hikari murakami how to create content blogging blogger

1.  Adventure

I've always been the type to want to stay in and not go out much.  I didn't care too much about exploring and finding new places.  I was just comfortable and I was completely fine with that.  But once I started freelancing, I was forced to find different ways to get myself out there.  Which also forced me to explore what's actually out there.  So I started traveling.  I went to Europe this past September, specifically to content create and work on a few projects with my travel sis, Lara Lam (check out her work, amazing!).  When I came back, there were 2 things I realized. One was, I love traveling, and that I needed to do more of it.  And the other is, I felt like I didn't know myself again.  It's not as depressing as it sounds, I swear!  But it was this feeling like... I can be MORE than who I am, and I'm meant to go find it.  What was interesting about this epiphany is that, it had nothing to do with my work, which is hair/makeup.  I defined myself as a hair/makeup artist.  But you can't let work define who you are.  That's not all I am.  That's not to say, I'm quitting, I'll still be doing hair/makeup, but I'll be doing more of other things too.  So this year, I'm giving myself permission to veer off from my craft of hair/makeup and explore.  Adventure by traveling to different places and adventure by exploring new things about myself.

2.  Document

I want to get better about documenting what I do and the places I go.  Last year, I picked up an actual camera (I'm not a professional by any means!) and have been bringing it around with me when I can.   Although you can't beat the ease of use of an iphone, it doesn't beat the photo quality of an actual camera.  I get some people asking me what I use on my instagram.  Most of my photos are from my iphone and Sony A6000.  I always edit them on my phone using different apps (this could be another post!) because I'm always on the go.  Editing makes any photo that much better, whether it's from an iphone or a camera!

Another aspect of documenting is actual blogging.  Up until the point, I've been focusing on Instagram (which is still my favorite social medial platform!), but haven't stayed consistent with blogging.  Taking photos is one thing, but posting on social media platforms and blogging takes a lot of time, planning, and commitment.  I want to work on being more consistent and figure out a workflow that works best for me. 

3.  Care Less

This is going to be a challenge because it has to do with character and personality.  Changing your mindset is the hardest thing to do.  But I know this one's good for ME because I tend to overthink and care way too much when it comes to my work.  (If you're the type to NOT care as much, it's probably better if you care MORE :p but that's besides the point)  More specifically, in this world of content creators, I've been caring way too much if what I do looks and sounds perfect. I always think too much into.... "Does this look good on my feed?" "Does this have to do with my brand?" " Does this fit my aesthetic?" "I haven't figured out how to do this yet!"- the list goes on.  Overanalyzing and over strategizing, no more. While I think it's really important to care about these things, if you find yourself not putting your work out there because you're overthinking it, it's time to stop thinking too much, and just do it.  Again, doing and starting is better than nothing.  You gotta care less about what you look like or how people might see you.  The important part is, showing up.  

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And that's how I'm going to show up in 2017.

The more I adventure, document, care less about what other people think, and do more of what I love, I'm actually going to create more and enjoy the process.  I don't know if anyone else is in the same boat, but if you're feeling this way, you're not alone.

Here we go, 2017!


AuthorHikari Murakami
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I quit my corporate job exactly one year ago, and proud to say that I've been freelancing hair/makeup full time now for a good year (I was freelancing on the side prior).  There were things from my corporate job that I applied as a freelancer, but I've learned a lot more by being on my own and actively growing my own business.  Having no safety blanket of a corporate job lit a fire under my a** to really get my business going.

Thought I would share 5 things I focused on this year and how it all went! 


Branding was the first thing I worked on.  As an artist, I feel that I'm constantly working on this.  Branding is almost like soul searching.  You have to ask yourself, what kind of artist are you?  Who are you and who do you want to be?  What's your persona and how do you want to be perceived?  You can't be afraid of "going there".  I feel that's most of the battle.  As silly as this sounds, this is the first thing (I think) you should start exploring.  Because once you start figuring this part out, you start attracting the kind of jobs you want and taking the photos you need for your branding.  You can then think about how you want to lay out your website, blog, and social media platforms.  It makes you think about what and how you want to post photos on Instagram, update your Facebook status, or blog.  I completely reworked my websites and upped my visual game on Instagram for cohesive branding all across!  But don't get too stuck on thinking, because starting is better than no action.

2.  Improved Photo editing skills

This goes along with branding, but I think it deserves it's own description.  I used to only share professional photos of my work - meaning only posting photos I received from photographers I've worked with.  At first, I thought this was enough and to a certain extent, it was.  But after awhile, I wanted to show my personality more.  I needed more content.  This meant I had to learn how to take good photos on my own and edit them.  I analyzed lighting and composition to the level that I can, so I could take (good) photos, even if it was just on an iPhone.  I took the time to learn how to edit my photos via VSCO (Vscocam) and photoshop app on my phone (and currently learning Lightroom).  By learning how to take and edit photos, this helped me achieve consistent branding.  The reason why you might be attracted to your favorite blogger or artist, is probably because they got #1 and #2 down.  Branding and photo editing skills.

Hikari instagram branding

3.  (Social Media) NETWORKING

Networking is a no brainer!  No matter how advanced you are in your career, you need to constantly be doing this.  Especially if you're just starting out, networking both in person and on social media will get you further (and sometimes faster).  Being an introvert myself, this was something I had to "get over" and just do.  If you're shy, start out by showing up on social media.   If I were to be totally honest, networking events still make me nervous.  So I like to "social media" network beforehand, so these in-person networking events don't feel as awkward.  By connecting online first, it would break down my introverted tendencies, and then allow opportunities to meet creatives that I felt like I already knew!  Whether through Facebook groups or Instagram, I've met a ton of great people along the way - for that, I'm grateful to Social Media.

4.  Hustle

My motto's always been, whatever you're doing, work hard and give it all you got.  For me, hustling means doing things even if it's not about the money or convenience.  As a freelancer, we all get presented with opportunities, sometimes paid, sometimes not.  In the beginning of your career, the latter is more common.  You think about the time and cost involved, and then you make a choice to take it or leave it.  Hustling doesn't mean doing anything and everything (paid or not), but it does mean to take an opportunity to invest in the value it brings.  Invest in a relationship you want to build or invest in the experience you'll gain.  So in that sense, you do whatever it takes, and hustle.  For example, driving 2/3 hours to a non-paid photoshoot might seem like too much of a hassle.  But I choose to look at it differently.  Maybe I'm trying to connect with a photographer I really want to work with, or a big time vendor is going to be at the same shoot and I want to meet them in person.  At the time, it'll cost me more time and even money.  But once those connections are made, that's forever.  They'll most likely remember you and hopefully refer jobs.  And you will refer them.  Which happened many times for me! Yay!  Hustling means doing something for your business everyday. Whether that'd be sending out emails to people you want work with, networking, reworking your website so it's SEO optimized, etc.  Something everyday.  Because "dreams only work if you do."

5.  Speak up

I saved the best for last.  This one (along with #1) is huge, especially for me.  I've struggled with speaking up almost my entire life.  I had confidence issues like...what if the things I had to say wasn't important? Is this a stupid idea?  What if I get rejected?  God forbid...what if they say NO?!  Some months ago, I heard a quote that changed me and my career forever.  

"A closed mouth doesn't get fed" 

It seems so obvious - but for me, I've realized that being too quiet wasn't going to get me anywhere!  Sure, my feelings were less hurt because people couldn't tell me NO, but I wasn't letting people say YES to me either.  Because all you have to do is speak up and ask for opportunities.  Talk about your dreams and ambitions more to others and pretty soon, those things will manifest.  You could start with "hey I really want to do more of _____, do you know of anyone that could help" or "hey I'm really interested in what you're doing, can you tell me more/can I assist you?" or "hey I know you regularly work with _____, but if you ever needed a backup, I'd be happy to work with you" or "I really love how you're editing your photos, can you share what apps you use?" etc.  There's a million ways to speak up!  If you're anything like me, I know this can be tough, but trust that it works.  It's helped my business so much this year!!

This year was a TOTAL whirlwind!  I reached goals that I didn't know I could this year.  I've learned more about myself.  It makes me slightly emotional thinking about where I started and where I'm at now.  I can only imagine what's in store!  

I hope this was helpful and if there's anything that YOU did to add to this, please let us all know!

business branding freelance vscocam VSCO

Till Next Time!

AuthorHikari Murakami
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