Document the moments

you feel

most in love with yourself

what you’re wearing,

who you’re around,

what you’re doing.

Recreate and repeat.

– Warsan Shire

It’s raining right now and I’m making a mental note to self that I need an outdoor shower in my future home lol

googles how to build a house

Journal 11/52: Current Playlist

Journal 11/52: Current Playlist

Journal 11/52: Current Playlist

It’s been too long since I made a playlist. My iPod – which contained pretty much all my music was stolen and my hard drive backups crashed, and since then I’ve never bothered rebuilding my music library. Still I love music, I do.

Dua Lipa

My current girl crush. Her voice is what I wish my voice sounded like, and she’s gorg. She rocks socks.

Spotify’s Good Vibes playlist

Whatever’s on there when I’m driving to work in the morning, just nice and easy on a sunny day at Coconut Point or even when it’s pouring.

The Greatest Showman soundtrack

When I need to get extra pumped at work. I’ve been known to turn this all the way up on my iMac so everyone can sing along with me. If my work life had a soundtrack…

Lianne La Havas

When Ian is jamming out and picks these chords and I immediately sing Midnight. Her acoustic version in the SoFar sessions are 100% my fave.

Phum Viphurit

Accidentally stumbled upon Lover Boy on YouTube and when I heard his music thought he was John Legend. But I saw the video and it’s this 21 year old Thai-born New Zealand-based Hong Kong-resident singer!

David Byrne

What I listen to when I’m making dinner with my boyfriend and I’m dancing around our tiny kitchen like ooh this is so romantic and fun and we’re so cute.

Alabama Shakes

Her voice trills give me the thrills! All her music strikes my soul, and always takes me back to the time I would be driving home after visiting my boyfriend in Aoloau and it just gave me all the feels.

Slow jazz/ Bossa Nova/ café music

I don’t know what genre this is but the music I’m talking about has all of these 3 things combined. I love to hear the clinking of the plates being picked up by busboys, muted chatter in the background, and a grainy quality to the piano and drums. So good.

26 Lessons I’ve Learned in 26 Years

26 Lessons I’ve Learned in 26 Years

And I’m mostly speaking to myself here…

1. Treat Yo’ Self. 

This is a big one… so it’s the first one here. Do nice things for yourself. Take yourself out on a date. Indulge every now and then in what makes you happy. But also, realize that self-care means doing your taxes, working out, washing the dishes right after dinner instead of stockpiling it for tomorrow evening, updating your resume, staying up late to work on a passion project.

2. Your friends will change.

It’s bound to happen. We’re all shooting stars in an expanse and we all have varying trajectories in life. Another analogy because I’m feeling analogous. Friendship is like skincare. Keep the ones that are organic and keep you hydrated and full of life, and let go of the toxic. Ban microplastics, ya feel me? More on why in the next lesson.

3. Because you will change.

You’re living and learning, just like everyone else. If you stayed the same your whole life, you’d be one boring person. Know that change is good, and so important. Change happens.

4. Learning outside of school is more important than ever.

School doesn’t teach you everything. I’ve learned more about my field of study outside of the classroom and in the workplace. Theories are great, but experience is more practical. Plus, you’ll find what you really love if it’s something you seek out on your own and not something that is taught to you in a curriculum.

5. You are somebody that matters.

In life, you’re your own boss. You get to make decisions that have an impact on your life; and that matters. And whether it’s family, or friends, or strangers that you have something in common with, your decisions have an effect on others too. So yes, you matter!

6. Family is forever.

Friends may not stick around when you’re in the dumps, but if you’re fortunate enough (and I’m so grateful that I am) your family is always going to be there for you. They are your God-given besties. Even if you have a difference in opinions, even if you quarrel about little things. They’re irreplaceable. Tell them you love them.

7. Everything else is temporary.

Like the old adage goes, this too shall pass. Anger, disappointment, and grief are emotions we can’t avoid. You will recover, in time. There’s beauty in impermanence.

8. Rediscover your home.

Be a tourist in your own backyard. See it with new eyes everyday. Try something different. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

9. Make lists.

Of anything and everything. To do lists. Goals. Dream logs. Books to read. Movies to watch. Places you want to travel. Reference them often, and tick them off when you’ve achieved something. Watch how far you grow in tiny bullet points.

10. Don’t look for relationships.

When you look for something, you have an idea in mind of what you’re looking for. Expectations might exceed what you come across in reality. So let relationships happen organically. Unexpected relationships are my favorite, and that’s the one you’ll end up with.

11. You’re human.

Be a good one. Make mistakes and treat others how you want to be treated. Realize that the world is a stage and everyone is part of the play, and you’re all human.

12. Sharpen your skillsets. 

Nothing stays sharp without going through grindstone. A pencil, a knife, eyebrows on fleek. You have to work at it: sharpen it, hone it, smooth those edges. Even if you’re good at something, shed the doubt in your mind, and challenge yourself.

13. Go outside.

Let the ocean soothe you, the sun excite you, the jungle mystify you. Do you remember how happy you were to be buried in sand at the beach? Why keep yourself trapped in a box when you can sate your curious mind and roam freely.

14. People might not get you. 

And that’s completely okay. Be a diamond in a world full of squares. The sooner you realize this, the better. Just be you.

15. Stop comparing yourself to others.

I mean it’ll happen. We all do it at some point in time. But please please please, don’t dwell on comparisons. Instead, draw inspiration from what appeals to you. Make a vision board. Then live your life!

16. Do something that scares and excites you.

How can you tell you’re alive? Because your heart is beating. So I suppose you should do whatever makes your heart beat fast.

17. Have a healthy disrespect for the status quo.

If we all abided by the status quo, there would never be any progress. Learn about the history of why things are. Challenge the current state of things. Participate in conversations. Then decide.

18. Disconnect and declutter often.

Close the instagram app and shut your laptop when you don’t remember what you started looking for but you’re 10 pins too far from that DIY project you were never going to do in the first place. Yes it gets that bad; refer to lesson #15 and #9. Make a list and get organized. Clear your space and clear your mind. You’ll feel so much better when you take control of your life.

19. Create the life you want to live.

It’s hard to achieve your dream lifestyle if you don’t get off your bum and create it for yourself.

20. Make it count.

Life isn’t about success or riches or fame. Life is about learning, doing the things that excite you. Helping others.

21. Use what you have first.

Don’t wait until you have all the ‘proper’ supplies to start. Just start using whatever you have. You’ll have a deeper sense of accomplishment when you start off simply.

22. Expect nothing. Appreciate everything. 

This has been my life’s motto thus far, and it’s truly made me happier and more grateful.

23. Less is more. 

Need I say more?

24. Laugh out loud. 

Laughter is a universal language. Humor is in the accents. Life is so good, but it’s also crappy at times. Make a joke about it. Smile your goofy crooked smile. Be light and easy on yourself.

25. Work towards your goals. 

And I mean you have to work really really really hard to do this. Smash them; achieve your full latent potential.

26. Do it right now. 

You’ll thank yourself later!

Coco’s Picnic Party

Coco’s Picnic Party

Cheers to Colette!

Styled this little picnic party with a couple girlfriends to celebrate Coco’s birthday.

The night air was cool and breezy, and we feasted on apps and this magnificent view!

Always love a little girl time <3

Why I started Moments

Why I started Moments

To bring back the good old Tumblr vibes.

To record the little snippets of life.

To keep me writing candidly (without feeling the need to edit myself so much).

To keep my blog more active.

To share my favorite little memories.

To get photos off my camera roll.

To express myself.

To revisit later on.

To remember.

PS- I made a new section on my site called Moments.

might change the name of the page later on but this is where I’ll be posting more frequently and casually.

Expect a lot of throwbacks on there!

Journal 10/52: How I See the World

Journal 10/52: How I See the World

Journal 10/52: How I See the World

The world is a big place in an even bigger universe.
This is a difficult question because I think my exposure to “the world” (I literally checked the definition of world in a dictionary so I could formulate a better answer) is limited by my geography, lifestyle, and environment.
First of all, I was born and raised on this tiny speck of an island in the middle of Earth’s largest ocean. How I saw the world in my first 18 years of life was limited to what my parents taught me, what I learned in school and church, and what I saw on TV. The Internet wasn’t really a thing back then.
I went to university in the mainland – my first time living away from American Samoa – and the world seemed bigger, more complex. People were different than back home, everyone was doing their own thing and they seemed busy all the time.
I just went along, not really knowing what I was doing at first. But instead of it all happening at once, I adapted slowly; made new friends (and lost some along the way), ate different food, traveled to cool places, spent way too much money (holla back if you had student loans too), got my degree, then came back home, got a job and readjusted to life on an island with a new view of what the world.
But that was 4 years ago, and even just the last few years of my life, how I see the world is vastly different than what it was out of college. I guess after all this, my answer is simply that my view of the world is changing. Just as I am changing. And so my perspectives will continue to shift. And it’s all a beautiful chaotic mess. I don’t know. I hope this answer is good enough.

Whether the Weather

Whether the Weather

There’s a storm brewing this week. We’re hunkering down to wait out this monsoonal trough. We moved some of our plants inside, and are securing our windows and stocking up on food JUST in case. I’m hopeful it’s going to pass soon but with another tropical disturbance affecting Fiji nearby (it could swing this way on Friday), we’re staying precautious.

Also in case you haven’t noticed, we changed up our apartment layout a bit! Last weekend, we decided to downsize and sell our rattan entertainment center, the blue spool coffee table, and one of our couches. We wanted to refocus our living area so that we are facing the window. That way instead of Ian drinking coffee in the morning and staring at the wall (yes this is every morning, he gets it from his mom haha), now he can look out at the lagoon and the mountains.

Journal 9/52: Childhood Memories

Journal 9/52: Childhood Memories

Journal 9/52: Childhood Memories

Random childhood memories, no clear faves.

Bunkbed blanket forts with my sister and brother. We all shared a room at one point and so we would make our own space in these blanket forts and call it our room. We were engineering geniuses.

My dad picking up my sister and I from kindergarten school with juice boxes.

Mom and dad bringing home Lunchables and Pringles snacks; we dragged our kid sized table and chairs into our tiny closet and pretended it was our clubhouse. We would occasionally kick my brother out when he was being a brat.

Diaries! Usually pink and glossy with a tiny gold padlock. My sister and I strung the key to our necklaces or hid them in secret spots. Also journaling and collaging a lot, and my sticker collection! Oh good times – I was such a nerd about my memory books – still am!

Hoarding stuffed animals. All of which I named, of course. I strived to be cozy every night and snuggle with each and every one of them. I included them in my prayers before I went to sleep.

My 7th birthday at A&A Pizza. That was THE spot back in the day. My mom told me I could invite some of my friends and I had to think long and hard about who all my friends were and if I really wanted them there. That was when I just began to learn about the value of friendship.

Eating vi leaves off the tree in the back of the church with Jireh. Someone told me it was good for me, so I ate a lot of leaves.

The smell of Pritchard’s bakery bread.

That year we had a swimming pool in our garage.

Discovering my love for shrimp at a friend’s birthday party. Everyone was in the next room playing games and I was gobbling down on the shrimp so fast – I thought someone was gonna find me and oke me.

Water balloon fights and getting caked in the face on my birthday. Squealing like a little piggy because I was so happy to have cake all over my face (and not have to eat it lol)


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.