Lessons from recent travels

Lessons from recent travels

  • It’s really difficult to live zero waste in the mainland too. I would have thought that a ZW lifestyle would be easier in the US because there are more ZW options like bulk shops and thrift stores and art markets. But with all of the options and variety, it almost made it seem more difficult to be ZW.
  • All inclusive resorts are a whole new world. I haven’t decided yet whether that’s a world I want to return to but it’s surely one I won’t forget.
  • Time spent with family is rejuvenating. Hanging out with my sister and brother, plus my niece and nephew… it reminded me of how far we’ve come from little island runts.
  • I shouldn’t go shopping unless I’ve got a goal, a budget, or a specific item I want to purchase. I used to like shopping too. And I still do sometimes but I’m also constantly trying to get rid of material things from my life.
  • If flying Spirit Air, just know the reputation and plan for it. Pack as light as possible. I saw an elderly woman look so defeated when she found out she couldn’t take her carry on as a personal item, and that she had to pay something like $60 to take it with her. I felt so bad for her,
  • Ignore the jerks of Rincon in the off-season. Puerto Rico, you are an exceptional island! You mainland Americans that bought summer homes there? You’re alright. Stop acting so entitled.
  • Invest in a Belkin power bank. My phone was always juiced up and that made me happy.
  • Always check in extra early for flights. So as to prevent your cute boyfriend from getting anxious. Haha
  • If traveling to Dominican Republic through Punta Cana, they take US dollars in most places. I exchanged my currency to the local pesos and a man laughed when I offered to pay with pesos, because we were in *touristy* Punta Cana and they use USD more frequently.
  • It doesn’t matter if you only have 1 flight, or 13 flights, always look out the window and appreciate where you’ve been and where you’re going.
Lucky to have this love

Lucky to have this love

I’m so lucky to have this kind of love. You bring more love to my life than I ever could have expected. We’ve grown up a lot too. We’re that old couple that leaves the party early to go watch a movie in bed. I love you old man baby boy. Each year gets better with you.

26th. Always Grateful.

26th. Always Grateful.

Before today ends, I just want to share how incredibly grateful I am for these 26 years of living. From the sweet treats by my coworkers, to scuba diving a new site and getting buzzed by a turtle, hammocking on the beach with friends, listening to live music, getting gifted with pearls, a donation to my fave nonprofit, and the adventure fund, and a super rad Earth Day Everyday shirt from Ian (and designed by his talented coworker Valentine), all the back rubs and TLC from my main squeeze, ahhh and eating way too much good food… This weekend has been absolutely exceptional!

Plus, we officially booked our Puerto Rico leg of our May trip and got confirmation from our great friends that they’ll be meeting us there!! I’m thrilled for a new year of growth, learnings, and adventures!

Photo credit: Ian M – My boo, my babe. The best boyfriend and support system in the whole dang world. I’m blessed to have such a cutie pizzle. ❤️

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!

7 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life

7 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life

I am all about improving my quality of life. Ask me what my goals are in life? I’ll say I want to be happy and fulfilled. So I’m on a mission to make this my every day reality. These are the 7 ways that I’m improving myself this week…


I have so many things to look forward to, and unfortunately that almost always means I gotta spend my money. But I’m also at that awkward stage in life where I’m 25 years old, still learning to adult, and make a 5 or 10-year plan while also taking risks and spending money on traveling.


2. Hone my skills

I’m a jack of all trades but an ace of nothing in particular. So mental note to self to up my photography game because if you’re not growing you’re dead (not to be pessimistic at all!)


3. Make a To Do list

Why? Because a) I freaking love lists, and b) because it puts me in the act of writing something down, so I can better remember it, and I can check back for reference to make sure my priorities are all good. I also really really enjoy ticking things off my list.


4. Make a Stop Doing list

Another list, except filled with things I need to reconsider in my life so I can cut the crap and get on with my life.


5. Be more kind

I’ve always been a soft-spoken and (usually) considerate person, so a lot of people may think that I’m already kind. But I know the thoughts in my head aren’t so kind all the time, and sometimes I just need to be more positive and more kind just in general.


6. Declutter

I’ve always liked my things arranged in an organized mess, but I also have to let go of all the things that weigh me down. Whether that means cleaning out my wardrobe or deleting strangers off of social media, I need to declutter my life so I can get rid of the noise and focus on the things that really matter.


7. Treat Yo’ Self

Straight out of Tom Haverford’s playbook… Treat Yo’Self – To reruns of Parks and Recreation, to new experiences, to laughter, to food, to art, and to self-love… because if you don’t, who else will?

Life Lately: Mid-November

Life Lately: Mid-November

Is it REALLY already mid November?!

Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks, then Christmas, and then 2018!! Whoa. Things are moving quickly. Off the top of my head, Here are a few life updates over the last couple of weeks.

We kind of sort of adopted Yodi

Last week we got a message from one of our neighbors asking if anyone wanted to adopt Yodi. She usually hangs out around our side of the village but since one of our neighbors (who used to claim they owned Yodi) left the island indefinitely, she was getting bullied by a couple of other dogs near our house. So Yodi started hanging out a few houses down. We were concerned about her but we’d stop by every now and then and try to bring her back to our place but she’d eventually run back to the other house. We figured she was just so uncomfortable here with the other dogs marking their territory so we let her be. But I guess she tried to bite a little girl who was holding food and so the family wanted to get rid of her. We felt it wasn’t right for Yodi to be moved away from Coconut Point since she grew up here and she’s really such a sweet dog (though we were noticing her aggression and pack mentality) AND she is the best at swimming! So Ian and I took her in. I give Ian all the props for caring for Yodi. She’s been such a good pup and she’s actually very well mannered and tame (Officer Scruffles loves Yodi!) which makes her 100x easier than having a puppy. We don’t technically own Yodi but we love her and we’re happy to have her as part of our little island family.

More friends visit

After 7 years living in the states, one of my best friends from elementary finally came home for a visit. It was so good to catch up with Jonathan and his beautiful wife Meredith. I got to sneak in a quick photo op with them one evening before the sun had completely set.

24 hours of sickness

I don’t know what kind of sick I was, but I was not okay for an entire 24 hours. I just woke up on Friday morning and I could tell my body was feeling funky. So I got out of bed and walked Yodi around so she could do her business, and when I got back to the house, everything hurt. So I sat on the couch and tried to position my body every which way I could to alleviate pain from other parts of my body. I dozed in and out of consciousness for the next few hours thinking it would pass, but it didn’t. My head was hurting really bad, my bones were in pain, and I felt really cold even though I knew it was in fact a scorching day and the fan wasn’t even on, but I had goosebumps! I moved to my room, turned the AC on, got under the covers and literally just stayed there all day. I had my laptop next to me because I told myself I would edit photos or listen to music or watch videos, but I couldn’t expend the energy to do it. I think the only recreational thing I did that day was play a word game on my phone. I finally asked Ian to get me the drugssss (which I almost never take). I didn’t even know what meds I needed, but apparently I needed Tylenol for my headache and Ibuprofen for my body pains. Ian made me an adobo quesadilla (unfortunately I couldn’t appreciate it as much as I would have liked) and I took the pills and promptly went to sleep at 8pm.

Two days later: I’m feeling so much better! I really needed to get out of the house so we watched Thor and went snorkeling with Yodi. Ian’s sick now though, so it’s my turn to take care of him.

Looking forward to Christmas

Ian and I are spending our first Christmas in American Samoa together. We’re usually apart or in another place (was it really a whole entire year ago that we were in New Zealand?!). So this year, I’m getting into the holiday spirit early! As soon as Halloween deco was put away, we put on some Christmas tunes and I spent a night basically karaoke’ing over YouTube. No shame in my game. Ian has already planted a new coconut tree on our porch, and I made stockings to hang up soon!

Travel that I need

Travel that I need

What a dream it has been to travel to new places! It’s always so exciting to have something to look forward to, and right now I’m looking forward to Bali in just a few more days.

I am currently at my sister’s place in Arizona, visiting with my niece and nephew for the week. They grow up so fast, it’s a constant reminder whenever I see them again of time that passes quickly, and all that’s changed in between.

This week has been very relaxing. I told myself that I would spend my time in Arizona working on things that I didn’t have time for (or bandwidth for) in American Samoa, but instead I’m forced to put my technology down and play with my nephew–he loves to bring books for me to read with him–or pick up my baby niece, who loves to be carried. It’s not every day that I’m surrounded by these adorable human beings!

And since I’m on a hardcore budget, I’ve been really good at not spending money. I almost opened up a new credit card just for this trip, but I think I’m just gonna make do with my current balance and hopefully it’s enough to last (and pay the bills)! I’m eating at home, eating leftovers, window shopping, watching netflix, playing in the pool, and just today went to a $5 baseball game.

This isn’t how I normally travel. I usually like to go places and see new things. But right now this is just what I need.


LIFE: This is MY Blog

LIFE: This is MY Blog


JULY 2017
Life is happening.

I have been contemplating whether I should post my personal life stories on my blog, or whether I should stick to my photography and travel stories only – but then I realized, it’s my blog. Why shouldn’t I? And so I got around to thinking what I want my blog to be. I don’t really have a mission here. No agenda. I just want to share some decent photos, and maybe show you a bit about my life. I think it’s awesome, maybe someone else thinks so too.

Let’s try it out.

Babbling: Almost 25

Babbling: Almost 25

I’ve always been the type of person that seeks to accomplish something before a deadline, usually birthdays or yearly goals. I love being able to say that I did it, it’s under my belt, what next?

I turn 25 in a month and I’m scrambling to cross off some personal goals one by one that I wrote on a list taped to my studio wall last year.

For me, 25 is a big one–it just seems like a significant year for a person to make decisions. Is that when “adulting” really happens?

It’s not until I realize I have X amount of days left that I start to get frustrated with myself for procrastinating on things like finishing up my online SCUBA courses so I can get certified already, or crafting something every week, or getting into the rhythm of a workout regimen.

And when I do realize them, I have to decide which things I need to do right away versus which things I can hold off on. Or do I just accept that this will perpetually be on my to-do list? But yeah yeah I’ll get around to it sometime, when I can, when it’s convenient. And then I become complacent. There’s never an easy way to decide this.

These photos were from Valentine’s Day with my guy. Don’t you just love love?

Enter: the part of myself that I do enjoy. Highway motivation station. I get real excited for these spurts of energy that are derived from long days at the workbench creating anything I can to make my soul feel alive.

Lately it’s been my traveler’s notebook which I am currently obsessed with. I’ve gotten back into bullet journaling and adding bits of my every day life into these handmade notebooks. It’s like I’m watching myself become my tomorrow self every day. Oh, and listening to music I’ve never heard before so I can lose myself in the cadence and pretend it’s the background song to my inspirational montage.

Only 4 more weeks to go before I turn 25, and I am mentally preparing myself for crunch time.

Some random things on my list right now are:

  • Get SCUBA certified
  • Make 2017 travel plans
  • Find a new spot for camping
  • File my taxes
  • Sew a kimono dress
  • Do something risqué
  • Finish reading that book
  • Save money

Do you have special deadlines you set for yourself?

What are some of your goals that you are passionate about?