25 Creative Ideas for ‘Plastic Free July’

25 Creative Ideas for ‘Plastic Free July’

It’s already July!? Wow… the months are zooming by!

I usually try to blog about my Plastic Free July efforts, but this month really got away from me, and to be honest, I’ve been failing at it!

Just today, I was in between appointments at the radio station with my coworkers for a song recording project (more on a later post!) and filming an interview for the same project in Vaitogi which drew out longer than I expected… and I was so hungry that I caved and got an iced coffee that came in a single use plastic cup with a plastic lid… andddd… I had McDonald’s for the first time in more than two years!! It was surprisingly mostly plastic free, except the dip packaging, and the drink lid/straw that I forgot to refuse when I got my order… le sigh*

Anyhow, long story short… I’m still doing my best, but some days, my “best” doesn’t really look very good. Still, I love that an entire month is dedicated to being mindful of our plastic consumption and that there is a growing worldwide movement towards bigger change, just by taking small steps at home.

So to keep myself in check, I wanted to share 25 creative ideas for Plastic Free July… these are ideas that aren’t just about plastics per se, but are about reducing waste in general, and ways to live more mindfully and sustainably.


  1. DIY unpaper towels
  2. Carry your cute tote bags everywhere
  3. Make up a recipe using existing food in your fridge/pantry
  4. Use a bidet
  5. Declutter your physical space and digital space
  6. Clothing swap with friends
  7. Go thrift shopping
  8. Practice saying ‘no, thank you’ to politely refuse single use cutlery and straws
  9. reuse pasta jars
  10. Ditch plastic water bottles forever
  11. Go ‘naked’ when choosing fruits and veg
  12. Learn to mend your clothes to give it new life
  13. Start a compost
  14. Grow your own herbs and vegetables
  15. Host or participate in a beach cleanup
  16. Switch all paper mail to e-mails instead
  17. Learn about your town’s recycling programs
  18. Turn off the lights – conserve energy
  19. Make your own household cleaners with natural ingredients
  20. Opt for solid bar soaps, shampoos, and conditioners
  21. Make food at home instead of eating out
  22. Start a daily or weekly budget tracker
  23. Air dry your laundry
  24. Create your own “zero waste kit
  25. Be kind always – it’s free, and good for the planet!

Throwback Thursday: Remember MySpace surveys? 34 Q’s

Throwback Thursday: Remember MySpace surveys? 34 Q’s

Ok, MAJOR THROWBACK incoming! 

Who remembers MySpace surveys?!

I sure do. I would stay up all night reading surveys my friends filled out, then I’d copy and paste the survey, fill it out, and post it on the bulletin. It was so exciting when your crush did your surveys, because you knew he/she read it, and I’m pretty sure that was the very subtle start of internet dating for my generation! 

I saw this tweet a few days ago, and retweeted so fast because I totally understood and longed for those simple days when the Internet felt new (we had just graduated from the “ooh wahh ooh eeeeeeee di deeeeee” sound of dial up internet connection. And I’d feel like a little tech genius when I’d customize my layout with HTML code. That’s actually what inspired me do web design! 

Anyhow, on to my survey below…

34 questions I got from the internet, and answers by meeee.

1. Who is your last text from? From Traci; she lives next door and I heard her sneezing 3x in a row so I texted her and she was like you can hear me?! lol yes woman

2. Where was your default picture taken? Well, my DP on instagram was taken at Toaga beach in Ofu, Man`a

3. Your current relationship status (married or not)? Soon to be married! Supposed to get married spring 2020 but instead, this pandemic got me filling out MySpace era surveys and postponing my wedding to next year 🙁

4. Does your crush like you back? I think it’s highly probable

5. What is your current mood? Better than earlier today. I feel cozy and relaxed.

6. What’s your mom’s name? Elaine

7. What color shirt are you wearing? Lavender robe

8. If you could go back in time and change something, would you? No regrets here (that I can think of)

9. Do you like drinking tea? Yes, matcha tea/latte with oat milk is flavor of choice

10. Ever had a near death experience? Yes definitely. Almost drowned in a pool when I was in 7th grade, and I jumped out of an airplane in 2014 and I felt safe but definitely gives you a near death experience.

11. Something you do a lot? These days, a lot more snapping photos and blogging, and I’m v happy about it

12. Who can you tell anything to? Ian or Gabby

13. Name someone with the same birthday as you? My first cousin! He was born the exact same day as me, just like half an hour apart, but my mom gave birth to me here at LBJ in American Samoa, and my cousin was born in the Philippines. I forget who’s older, me or him…

14. When was the last time you cried? Today. I was feeling a bit emotional.

15. How many people have you kissed? Gosh if cheeks and babies count, I have no idea. If we’re talking romantically, you don’t need to know, but it’s really not a lot

16. If you could be one super hero, who would it be? I’m kind of tired of superhero movies so I don’t know who’s who anymore, but as a kid I liked Wonder Woman, oh and any of the PowerPuff Girls!

17. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite/same sex? Opposite – their personality and style, like how they carry themselves and the energy they exude. Same – facial features probably (wow does this mean I’m shallow)

18. What do you usually order from starbucks? I don’t really order coffees out, I prefer to make my own. But if I was in an airport and needed some caffeine, a matcha latte with oat milk.

19. What’s your biggest secret? It wouldn’t be a secret anymore now would it

20. Favorite color? The green blue of my fiancé’s eyes, they change with the lighting but each hue is my favorite.

21. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows? Yep, gotta love the pixar classics

22. What are you eating or drinking at the moment? Water

23. Do you speak any other language? Very very very elementary tagalog and samoan… hmm, maybe kindergarten level actually.

24. What’s your favorite smell? Clean laundry, or patchouli, orrrr whatever delicious yummy just came out of the oven

25. Describe your life in one word. What would it be? Blessed

26. Have you ever kissed in the rain? Yes

27. What are you thinking about right now? Gabby, who just flew in tonight and texted me that she’s in a quarantine facility now for the next 14 days, poor thing! I hope it’s comfortable and clean, and she does ok there. She’s being positive, but I know I would be so upset if I had to stay in a tiny closeted cot for 2 weeks.

28. What should you be doing? Sleeping, which I’ll do right after I finish reliving my tween myspace survey days!

29. Who was the last person that made you upset/angry? I’ve been home quarantined for 14 days, so maybe Ian? But I don’t think he has actually… we’ve been thriving even in isolation. That’s probably how you know it’s meant to be.

30. Who was the last person you kissed? Ian

31. Do you like working in the yard? Not really. I like working on my balcony garden though.

32. If you could have any last name in the world, what would it be? Moffitt, because he’s the greatest, and his family is awesome

33. Do you act differently around the person you like? Nope, I’m myself with him. I act differently around everyone else.

34. What is your natural hair color? Black

From tumblr to wordpress

From tumblr to wordpress

I started blogging on Tumblr. I created a personal blog to post my photography and random public journals, and I later started a secondary tumblr that was more a mood board of sorts where I reblogged other peoples’ content for inspiration. Now that I’ve shifted over to a new blogging platform, it’s been interesting to notice the differences in blogging styles across these platforms because I think that bloggers on tumblr and wordpress are motivated differently. In my college days, tumblr was very much a social blogging platform driven by perception, so people (myself included) were drawn to the numbers of likes and reblogs we got. I guess you could say it gave me a sense of validation. I felt like people were on tumblr as a means to express themselves, but actually to express a version of themselves that would get the most likes, reblogs, and follows. Now that I’m using wordpress, my motivation for blogging has changed to be more lifestyle and design focused. And that’s the reason why I chose to use wordpress.org (which is same same but different than wordpress.com). I chose wordpress.org because I wanted to gain more control over my site design. It’s way more customizable than the tumblr blog templates that I probably spent over a hundred hours trying to customize. So I got on wordpress.org so I could own my site domain and be more expressive through design. Of course it has its pitfalls… like, it takes way more time for me to post on wordpress than on tumblr. On tumblr I could easily just upload a photo, write some words, and let the platform do the work. I didn’t even have to write anything actually. I could just post a photo on its own. But on wordpress, there’s so much more forethought that goes into it. I have to upload a bunch of photos, figure out where they go, write some words that are relevant, and make the whole thing look cohesive for a single post. All of this to say that I’ve had a long journey with blogging, and I want to continue doing it authentically…

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A Letter to You, the Reader

A Letter to You, the Reader

Dear Reader,

Thank you. Whoever you are, wherever you may be. I am thankful for your presence here and the time you took out of your day to visit my blog. If you’re a real life friend of mine – YOU ROCK. And if we don’t know each other—you might have stumbled here accidentally through social media or were referred here by a mutual friend—I am STOKED to have you. Either way, it’s super cool to log in and see the views from people around the world.

I started this site back in 2016 as a way to transition from my emo/random Tumblr blogging to something that I can control in design and features, and create my own online identity. But I didn’t post much back then. In 2017, I made it an intention to post more. Had the privilege to travel more and post some of those stories. And now it’s 2018 and I am hoping to improve my content and engage more with you wonderful readers.

Now that I’m thinking about it – I myself don’t know if this site has a clear purpose that would even draw readers in.  My blogs are basically just me running around with my camera and writing things down when I feel like it. Oh well. C’est la vie!

I’m happy to write and blog for myself, but I am also interested to see what brought you here to my little space of the Internet! So leave a comment or call/text/message me and let me know how your day is going and whatnot. You’d be super awesome if you did (jk you already are)!

Journal 8/52: Influential Books

Journal 8/52: Influential Books

Journal #8: A book that has influenced your life

1. The Bible. The basis for my value system consisted of my asian parents, a mix of Samoan and Filipino culture, and the Holy Bible. I grew up going to church and attending a Christian school. So the Bible was really my go-to book, and I still turn to the Word for spiritual guidance.

2. The Alchemist.  I “borrowed” this book from a friend because I had heard good things about it. And it was food for my soul. I read it with elan and was raptured with Santiago’s Personal Legend. It felt like I was on that same journey. Still am. Not knowing where I’m going but following the star in my dreams to one day meet my destiny.

3. Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago.  I know, random right? But there’s a back story to this. When I first started dating my boyfriend, he was (and still is) a huge fish nerd. We spent many evenings learning their scientific names, (along with eating college style spaghetti and playing card games) and thumbing through a big hardcover book containing pretty much all the fish species out there. So a few weeks into the relationship, I went to the National Park office and purchased this field guide written and illustrated by Meryl Rose Goldin. And I love it. It’s got a sentimental value for me.

Oh Starry Night

Oh Starry Night

Something so serene about lying in the dark looking up at nature’s night lights… A friend texted me early Wednesday evening to look out for a meteor shower that was peaking at 1am. It was only 8pm but we grabbed our big pillows and blankets and drove to our usual vista in Vaitogi. We laid in the back of the truck ready to behold the Geminids Meteor Shower. We didn’t stay out for long but for the 45 minutes we were out there we caught a glimpse of 4 shooting stars illuminating the starry sky.

Didn’t manage to get any of the comets on camera

but that’s life, fleeting.

Getting Caught Up & Getting Away

Getting Caught Up & Getting Away


JUNE 2017

Getting Caught Up

In my attempt to blog more (consistently) this year, I’ve only been maybe 25% successful. I have so many photos and ideas of things to post but not enough patience with my Internet connection and most of the times, I get so distracted with day to day life things and blah blah blah…

Something like a vacation

Well, these days, I always feel the need to go on vacation, to take a long break and get away from my day to day routines and experience something new. So it was good timing for my college friend Scott to visit.

I took a week off work to go ti’eti’e pasi and show Scott around American Samoa, then we headed off to Samoa for a long weekend getaway.

Samoa, as usual, was a dream.

The weather in Pago was pretty drab up until the day we left, but thankfully it stayed a steady sunny in Samoa. Our first order of business: food!! We headed to town for a nice little dinner at Paddles, and toasted to me and Ian’s 3 year anniversary! And later hit up Club X with Lauren, Megan and Lagi for a fun night of dancing.

The perfect jumpstart to any day is brunch at Home Cafe – the cutest little hipster spot in town. There, we decided we wanted to go wherever the water was and drove off to Papase’ea Waterfall Sliding Rocks. I’d never been in the past because the waterfalls were dried up, but after the previous week of rain showers, we had no reason to not walk down the steep and uneven stairway down to a series of waterfall slides. I knew it was going to be fun, but I didn’t realize it was going to be really fun. We slipped and slid our afternoon away, and I almost wanted to spend the whole day there sitting in the pools!











But alas, we got back on the road and headed south towards the heavenly sands of Lalomanu Beach. We rented out a tiny beach fale and spent our day snorkeling and soaking up the sun over fresh pina coladas. We lucked out arriving on a Friday because it was Fiafia Night and we feasted on an appetizing spread of seafood and lots and lots of lobster! We also met some cool people that night, so that’s always awesome.
If you’re going to the south side of the island, just be prepared to bring all the cash you need. I wasn’t really thinking ahead and only brought $400 tala (roughly $160) with us in cash. We blew through that real quick, so we had to scrounge, literally, in the folds of our rental car for loose coins to get into the instagram-famous To Sua Ocean Trench, where we sunbathed in the natural salt pool.

After satisfying our hangry bellies at Sinalei Reef Resort, we headed back into town and chilled out at Le Manumea Hotel. We were thoroughly ready for a nap. But first, dinner plans at Giordano’s Pizza with a couple of kindred spirits whom we had met at Taufua Beach Fales.

We lounged in the pool the next morning, and Ian decided to check out the SPREP offices to network with the environmental folks. We then hastily made the decision to drive south again but this time to Savaia to visit a giant clam hatchery – which by the way, was incredible! So many colors and psychedelic patterns! The clams are part of a Marine Protected Area, which makes them legally protected (and so should not be touched), and swimming amongst them was the highlight of this trip for me.

I didn’t realize how hungry I was and found myself devouring my burger at The Edge Cocktail Lounge. All our adventures had left us feeling worn out, and thankfully, we picked the perfect solution – full body massages at Touch of Samoa and a classy little dinner at Scalini’s.

To sum up our trip: we got exceptional food, exhilarating waterfall slides, beach fales, ocean trench visits, and giant clam swimalongs. The trip was meant to both show Scott our island life and celebrate me and Ian’s 3 year anniversary. It was something like a vacation.

Packing Light for a Long Weekend (in Samoa)

Packing Light for a Long Weekend (in Samoa)


MAY 2017

I love long weekend getaways. These little trips are lifesavers.

I’ve booked my tickets for a long weekend adventure, island hopping to Samoa. It’s still a couple of weeks away, but I haven’t been back there since last year, so I’m excited to go and eat some good food, get a massage, and explore new places!

With that being said, I’m mentally preparing for the weekend escape with a list of things to bring, the essentials for packing light for a long weekend. Island style!

It’s only a weekend, so I don’t want to burden myself with too many things. And as much as I’d love to travel and have all the contents of my room readily available, it’s just not practical. Here’s my light packing list which I will be fitting all into one backpack and tote bag.

Packing light for a long weekend (in Samoa)

What I’m Packing:

* Deuter 30L Backpack
* Sunglasses
* iPhone
* Canon 60D with 24mm and 50mm lenses and 3 memory cards
* GoPro Hero 4 with underwater housing and dome
* Comfortable walking shoes
* Slippers
* Lavalava
* Hat
* Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, retainers, soap shampoo and conditioner if you’re not hoteling it, moisturizer)
* Sunblock (doubles as moisturizer)
* Natural Bug spray
* Voltage converter
* 3 Bikinis
* Hand sanitizer; travel size
* Travel Journal
* Passport/ Driver’s license/ cash and credit cards
* Favorite book/ eReader
* Microfiber towel

What to wear:

Samoa is a tropical climate, and it can be sunny one moment and then stormy the next. Either way will be very humid. It’s a good idea to pack clothing that is comfortable and dries easily, like cotton fabrics. I’m bringing 3 swimsuits that also double as my undergarments, because first of all, you’re on vacation, let those girls hang! And second of all, because I will likely spend most of my time in the ocean or by the pool, so it helps to have underwear and bras that dry very quickly. If you don’t have slippers, you must not know what an island is.


While some places offer snorkel gear for rent, I prefer to bring my own because it’s saving me money and I won’t have to worry about finding a place to rent gear from. I have this awesome Cressi Mini Frame mask and snorkel that fits my smallish head, and Ian got me this pair of DaFin kick fins that are perfect for bodyboarding and relaxing snorkels. Take sunblock everywhere (doubles as moisturizer) and a small bug spray if you plan to be hiking.


It’s a long weekend away. Use this time to disconnect from technology and reconnect with mother nature. For technology, I’m only  bringing my DSLR camera, a Kindle (pre-downloaded 2 books so I don’t need to pay for WiFi), and my iPhone 6 for snaps here and there. Also, because Samoa has different sockets, I brought a power adapter in case I need a quick recharge.

Travel documents:

These are the obvious essentials: passport, driver’s license, wallet, and itineraries. Since I am packing light, I plan to take all these important documents with me everywhere, so keeping them stored safely is very important. I am using my Lalelei clutch to hold my passport, IDs, and money. As for the itineraries, I do like to have printed copies with me, but I also keep a copy on my phone, usually screenshots so I can just access them in my Photos folder. Tip: also save a photo copy of your passport and driver’s license on your phone or on your email, just in case.


Bring a notebook and pen in case you need to jot things down. I’m bringing my Midori Travelers Notebook with a fresh insert for this trip. I’m also bringing my tricolor pen and my watercolor travel palette that I made out of an Altoids tin! Travel journaling is a lot of fun, and I just collect little mementos from the trip like tickets, receipts, stamps, maps and pamphlets and write down absolutely anything.

Finally doing it

Finally doing it


JAN 2016

It has been a goal of mine to create my own website for the past couple of years. Now that it’s the beginning of 2016, what excuse do I have? None, that’s what! I am still working on putting together a portfolio to showcase my works (my sole external hard drive containing all my original photos went kaput in 2015). And the site is still a work in progress, but I am finally doing it.

Finding inspiration all around me.


I’ve been blogging pretty consistently for the past 5 years on Tumblr, mostly as a photo journal. It was my first blog. When I was got started, I didn’t have any expectations for it. I had no idea how often I should update it and I didn’t think that I would really get any followers. I had just gotten my first DSLR camera and I was ecstatic! I tried the 365 photo challenges that helped me to find other budding photographers online, and I convinced my best friend to get a blog too. Soon she got her first DSLR camera, and we were those girls who ran around “location scouting” at all the most obscure places we could find. We taught ourselves all the basics and let our imaginations guide us through the rest. And then we landed our first freelance gig, shooting a wedding for a friend of a friend. I think that’s what launched my passion for photography in the first place. Those summers hanging out with my best friend everyday (we were at the same time working together for a nonprofit to create a TV show/documentary about smoking amongst youth in American Samoa) taking photos of the sunrise and chasing sunsets, car dancing, our summer playlist on repeat, laughing and crying over boys. It was classic.


When it wasn’t summer, I was in college, expanding my horizons. I took photos. I kept blogging. One of my favorite courses was Internet Marketing Design (I was a Business Marketing major) and I grew more interested in web design. I reached out to a small business owner who allowed me to test a sandbox site for design element ideas to grow his business. And now, I manage 3 websites for professional organizations.

Up until more recently, I thought my Tumblr blog would suffice as a be-all blog and portfolio. There are a lot of pros and cons to using Tumblr, but there’s really no solid way to do both at the same time when a blog is dynamic and a portfolio is arguably more static. Besides, I’ve grown up with that blog. It’s personal, and very much a photo journal. And that’s why I feel that a dedicated website would be more substantial for what I want to do going forward.

What do I want to do? Well that’s the fun part… I don’t know yet! I’m currently freelancing as a photographer and web designer in American Samoa while working a full-time job. And who knows, maybe this will intersect my portfolio and blog nicely enough so that I can make this more of a permanent gig… I wish!

This is where I will be chronicling my creative works, adventures, photography, and stories worth mentioning. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know the journey is going to be sweet.

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