Bright Spots I’ve Been Needing — Recovered From the Draft Folder

Bright Spots I’ve Been Needing — Recovered From the Draft Folder

I was going through my website’s back end, and decided it was time to do a little digital decluttering.

It was a mess back there!

I updated the plugins, removed the various notices at the top of my dashboard, got rid of themes, widgets, and plugins I rarely use, and was in the middle of deleting “empty” posts from my posts’ draft folder — when I found this post (below) containing this gallery I had uploaded off my iPhone so I could queue it up for a Plastic Free July update. This was last year July… 2020.

I clearly lost track of time… it was 2020 after all… and forgot about this draft.

Looking back though, it brings back some good memories. Enjoying COVID lockdown life (I had been home in American Samoa for five months straight at this point) doing productive little things around the house and still getting out often enough to feel like the sun shone bright just for me. How adorable is that?!

Now, a year later in 2021 (or as I saw on a meme, it’s pronounced “2020-won”), I feel a little less bright. It’s hot as heck outside and I think a delayed fatigue has settled in. I really want to spice things up but I’m not sure how. What I really need is to book a vacation off island ASAP… once the borders open up. The government says maybe August or September. I’ve just sent my passport renewal application off so I’m at the ready to pack my unused Cotopaxi travel bag and get on a plane to another pin on the map.

To be honest, I’ve been struggling because it feels like there isn’t really anything to look forward to. I know that there is, and I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, but it’s been hard some days.

These little photo diaries remind me though that there are still bright spots (sunsets and rainbows) to look forward to in my daily life. Plastic Free July is around the corner and I’m excited to attempt more sustainable swaps to adapt in my life.

I haven’t been feeling super creative lately, but I think this digital declutter is a nice way to revive old trains of thought and make room for new ideas.



For Moana Chips — From the Farm to the Fair

For Moana Chips — From the Farm to the Fair

Photos I took for Moana Chips.

They asked me to shoot some content during the Flag Day Farm Fair at the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. We checked out all the vendors (and I bought some plants to take home, of course!) and introduced myself to the sweet Moana Chips team manning the booth.

We took some photos while we munched on the tasty crunchy taro chips and thankfully, Ian, Gabby, Traci, and Ano were willing to jump in as models and help with some of the shots! We even got Governor Lemanu Mauga to pose with a bag of Moana Chips with his Chief of Staff!

Check out Moana Chips’ website (they have some great sales right now) or over on their instagram.

Favorite things recently that have to do with the ocean

Favorite things recently that have to do with the ocean

Just getting in the water.

Swimming and laughing with all the little kids in the neighborhood (how did there get to be so many?!).

Snorkeling and taking photos of all the sea critters with my ex-boyfriend (now husband, you get the deal).

Scoping out what fish is good for food, mentally preparing myself to one day catch a fish with a three prong spear and thank the fish for its life.

Jumping off the pier at high tide.

Floaty Fridays, when our little community shows up to the beach after work on Fridays and we just float around and hang out.

Feeling lucky when I see turtles and spotted eagle rays.

Holding my breath and trying to “free dive” to like anything deeper than 10 feet.

Waking up early and watching the sunrise from the treehouse.

Watching the sparkles in the water, like iridescent glitter from warm sunbeams on the sea’s surface.

Wading in waist deep water, squatting til we’re dipped to our chest, one hand with a bevvy and lots of random chatting.

Late nights escaping our neighbor’s house party and going to the treehouse to gawk at the expanse of the Milky Way and talk about really deep things that make us feel grounded and connected.

Seeing birds flying home from their hunt, just before sunset.

Feeling like the birds at the end of the day — coming home and wanting to go back out again.

Everything is Alive — Underwater Photo Diaries

Everything is Alive — Underwater Photo Diaries

Photography has been a great love of mine for as long as I can remember, but underwater photography is a whole ‘nother ball game. My merman husband is really good at it, probably because he can breathe underwater (basically) and because the photography gene runs in his family — his dad was a photographer/underwater photographer back when underwater photography was way harder. Like, everything in manual and shot on a Nikon film camera hard. Now, we’re blessed to have technological advancements that allow the not-as-proficient swimmers like me get underwater and go snap happy.

On a side note — I’ve just asked Ian to write a guest blog in the coming weeks so he can share some photos of his own too!

Most of the time, Ian and I go snorkeling together and I’ll mess around with the camera taking photos of whatever strikes me as pretty or interesting. Ian on the other hand, when he has the camera, likes to get super close up and plays around with the fancy technical features that I can barely even figure out, like microscopic mode and strobe flashes. On this day in particular, Ian was out SUP surfing down at Pua Trees, and I was snorkeling by myself in the middle of the lagoon practicing on the microscopic mode (hello blurry photo of the tiny crab!) and then gave up, and resorted to my usual scenic shots. When Ian finished his surf sesh, he joined me for a snorkel and we cruised along further out on the reef and snapped a lot of really cool kind of vignettes of our underwater marine environment. We saw tons of parrotfish munching at the reef while black damselfish tried to chase them away from their algae farms. We saw a tiiiny baby sea cucumber (I’ve never seen one so small before). A bunch of little critters hiding in the living reef. And like, four different moray eels. Our friends, Traci and Ano, were out spearfishing and I told them I spotted a bunch of groups of big mullet near the shore, so they scoped it out and both Traci and Ano caught a mullet each! They invited us over afterwards for a late lunch to share their bounty (many thanks to them).

Photos by Nerelle and Ian Moffitt, taken on May 1, 2021.