Oatmeal power bowl

I just learned how to make this during quarantine, and I don’t know what took me so long to learn because it’s literally like 3 minutes so easy and so flippin delicious! Now I can’t justify ever paying $9.50 for a power bowl ever again.

Making more of an effort to pick up my camera

Making more of an effort to pick up my camera

I miss seeing myself through my own lens…

Going to make more of an effort to document the in between moments this week while on home quarantine. It will be driven by all the little things that make my heart sing, like the steam from the kettle, the light shining through the window, the way the birds chirp in the morning, the smell of the books on the shelves, and the slow movements when I observe myself through the mirror. This was a terrible effort from today, but it was still a reason to pick up my camera again and sit in front of it after snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding in the afternoon sun baking until crispy.


A low impact weekend

A low impact weekend

Crocheting a small jute scouring pad to try eliminating store bought sponges.

Bags to carry goods on errands.

A grocery haul.

Full dinner ingredients from local CSA bag by Superstar Produce.

Galoshes I thrifted for $7, perfect for this rainy weekend.

Our sun-bleached `ava bowl. The after photo, conditioned and buffed with homemade wood butter.

The view I’ll never stop appreciating. My body waking me up before 6am all weekend.

Officer Scruffles sleeping in. My morning is better spent journaling and sipping matcha.

Food prep station on the island we made years ago.

A cat and his cat daddy. Both cutie kitties.

A colorful dinner plate with django salsa Dusty and Mai made. But having the space to only eat the carbs and save the salad for lunch tomorrow.

Back home

Back home

I’m back home in American Samoa!

You know as much as I love traveling, I love the feeling of coming home. Especially after the 12+ hours of sitting in airplanes and waiting in transit… though it wouldn’t be so bad if my bf was on the flight with me. Still. I like getting out of the airport, going home, opening up my door and seeing Yodi and Officer Scruffles wagging and meowing, excited to see me.

This weekend was a mix of chill, productive, fun, and adventurous. Oh yeah! I’m working on redesigning my website which I’m really excited for, and since I’m home solo while Ian is still traveling, I’ve been doing a lot of dancing in my underwear to loud music. And morning yoga, which I haven’t done in a long time. Some friends are also leaving the island so they rented an aiga bus for their tofa. And today a few friends decided to go to Vatia Tidepools at low tide.

But what I’ve been enjoying most is just hanging out at home, being a hermit crab: putting good music on, watching cheesy shows on Netflix, and writing. I’m always so appreciative to be where I am and right now where I am is exactly where I want to be. As you can tell, I’m in a reflective state so here are some photos from around home that I snapped.

Aunty Files: Babysitting

Aunty Files: Babysitting

My entire week in Arizona was mostly spent babysitting these cuties. It was a sweet departure from my last visits in May when I could only stay for a day each time. My nephew is now a little older so he always remembers his Aunty Relly, but my niece is already shy so it takes a while for her to warm up to me. After babysitting her for about a week, I hope the next time I visit she’s yelling Aunty Relly too.

Took some photos for the Aunty Files.




“Quiet doesn’t need to mean boring or unfulfilling, it doesn’t show that you’re any less hard working or any less deserving of special opportunities, it just means that things have changed, your list of priorities are different to others and as always, those differences are what makes you beautiful.” – Megan Ellaby

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!

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. ❤️

INTERNET IS UP – I’m Back! (Post Cyclone Gita Updates)

INTERNET IS UP – I’m Back! (Post Cyclone Gita Updates)

Hello again 21st century world!


I’m writing from my laptop at home – which I haven’t been able to do for the past 2 and a half weeks since Tropical Cyclone Gita. I’ve just been posting from work or on my phone (another reason why I started Moments on my blog), and so here are some updates!

Since the cyclone, we were very fortunate to have our water restored the same day though late in the night. We had prepared with several gallons of water for drinking and collected rainwater for dishwashing/ tooth brushing/ toilet flushing. This was our most basic need so we were truly very blessed to have our water back within 24 hours.

Five days later, electricity came back on! We fared decently without electricity. We bought canned food and ice to keep perishable food in two little coolers, used a tiny gas camp stove to cook, had romantic candlelit dinners, and slept earlier. The hard part: no AC and no fans!  Gita must have taken all the wind with it because the humid tropical summer heat made the air feel hot and sticky. We couldn’t get much relief – other than cold showers; we slept with our windows open, tried to sleep in a tent on the porch (hahaha), and on the living room floor – desperately hoping for a cool gentle breeze to keep us cool while we slept. So when the power came on in my village, I literally shrieked with excitement, immediately turned on the air conditioning, and finally enjoyed a cozy night of sleep.

Eighteen days later, and here we are. The Internet is back up. I’m laying in bed with the AC on right now, streaming Netflix (currently binge watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee), typing up this blog update, and feeling so grateful. Also, another update: my landlord is back in town and she’s getting our roof and ceiling fixed! I was a little worried at first that the repairs would drag on the same way all these FEMA and Red Cross assessments are. But she’s way better than FEMA because the supplies have already been purchased and just earlier this afternoon there were like 5 guys on the roof.

Oh yeah, life is good!

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.