Life Updates, Owning a business (or trying to)

Hey my faithful readers, avid listeners, and fellow coconuts.

I must confess that it’s been a little while since I’ve written a new blog post, or published any new, interesting content in the last couple months. Let me update you on life real quick. Here is what I have been up to:

In August, I was rear ended on the freeway. I’m glad to be alive and well, however, I have been dealing with some very inconvenient, and annoying back pains. This has been a prolonged injury since the accident and I can’t seem to recover fully this time around. (I was out the whole week when the accident initially happened and now 3 months later, I’m experiencing more pain.) In addition to discovering that I now have issues with my back, my doctor has recommended that I stay away from any physical activities for the next two weeks. As many of you know, I work out and go to the yoga studio almost every morning. It’s my routine, and I love it. Not only that, but I’m also studying to become a yoga instructor at my favorite studio in my part time. I  know right, like I need any more jobs or part time gigs, but I am who I am; a busy woman who loves to be busy.  Timing of a bad back couldn’t be worse (not that there is ever a good time to be injured). I just want the whole thing to go away.

On a more positive note, I have been trying to make more time for my photography. It’s hard to balance this with a full time job, but I aim to make it all work. That being said, I have a cool photoshoot coming up this weekend and I’m so excited to share the results with everyone following this journey.

For more positive news, I just finished collaborating on my new logo for my freelance photography business. Yay! I’m on a long journey, but progress is always exciting. For more collaborations visit the comment section of my blog or write me here at



A Photoshoot in Davenport

IMG_4128IMG_4129As you all may already know, one of my best friends in the entire world finally moved back to the area. It was a sunny day over the hill this past Sunday and we couldn’t waste an opportunity to do some conceptual shooting.

I’m hoping to feature this goddess in an interview at some point. I’ve always wanted to host interviews on this blog, but never found the capacity to do so.  Any who, I took it upon myself to create some digital content for this yogi’s social accounts. If any of you are ever in Santa Cruz, please look her up and take her class. She is an awesome facilitator and instructor. We have so many cool projects and ideas in the works so stay tuned! So happy and blessed to have my creative soul sister back in this area. The inspiration is in full throttle!

Here are some frames from the day as well as some  “conceptual” pieces and edits.

Bayley’s Information Below:

Bayley Blackney IG handle: @earthchildbay

Studio Affiliates: Divinitree Yoga, Breath and Oneness




Being Alive

Whoa, remember when I tried to stick to my editorial schedule? Hah! yea, me either. For those of you new to my blog, I was once on a “kick” where every week, I would write about something that inspired me, or something that could inspire others. I called this “kick” Wednesday Inspo days. Why on Wednesday? It’s the hump in the week- once you get through it, it’s a downhill ride to the weekend, which for me, is always something I look forward to.

I haven’t been posting in a while and that’s not because I haven’t been inspired, it’s because I’ve been SO inspired, that I’ve been traveling, exploring, and out in the world just “doing the damn thing” (as I like to say). So why am I posting now? Because I feel like it. Because I can. Because I am alive and truly living.

There are a couple things that I am truly grateful for, well more than a couple things, but just a few that I will share in hopes that this is inspiring.

One- I am thankful, and proud to have been born and raised in Hawaii. There’s no surprise there- Hawaii people are always proud to say where they are from. In fact, if you’ve ever been anywhere else in the U.S. and you come across Hawaii Natives, that’s the first thing they’ll tell you right off the bat. It’s more than that though- I have a unique perspective in the world I live in BECAUSE I’m from such a unique cultural background. I suppose it’s the way foreign exchange students feel when they come to the U.S. I suppose for all intents and purposes, it’s the same feeling anyone else would feel if they chose to live somewhere they weren’t originally from. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to thrive in my community, and to take that context and thrive somewhere else entirely. I’m grateful because most people don’t get to do that in a lifetime. Some people stay in one place their entire lives. I could have stayed in Hawaii and there wouldn’t have been anything wrong with that, but I’m glad I didn’t. I miss home, A LOT, but moving pushed me to grow and forced me to figure shit out. If I hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have met Coleman.

Secondly, I’ve had mentors to guide me along at every stage in my life. NO JOKE. I was an athlete, which meant I had coaches. Once in a blue moon, when the stars align, the world comes across a player-coach relationship that goes beyond the perimeters of the volleyball court. This was the relationship I had with Coach Daryl. He’s taught me so much about tenacity, and how far that could take me in life. When I was twelve years old, Daryl introduced me to my first physical trainer, Steve Lee. My workout regimen changed forever, but it wasn’t just that, it was all the life lessons that came with it; I just didn’t know it at the time. If it weren’t for Steve, I wouldn’t be 5’6″ with a career as an outside hitter. We spent countless hours in the gym maximizing my strength, speed, endurance, explosiveness, and vertical. We did this for a number of consecutive years too. It wasn’t just physical workouts either. Steve used to push me to my absolute limits, and whenever I thought I was about to give up, or quit, or take a break, I would keep going because he would suddenly give me ten more reps, or a few more parachute runs. When you’re an athlete, physical and mental strength are sometimes intertwined with each other and this was a ritual at Steve’s gym.  There were no compliments with Steve or Daryl. It was always “that’s better, do it again” or “keep going” or “this could be better.” There was no hand holding, and whenever I thought too highly of myself, they were the first to humble me. It was always about the work, and whatever I put in to my training, I always got back in my results. I always wanted to be better because that was the culture they instilled in me. There was never an end goal with Daryl and Steve; it was always about moving the needle forward. I’m grateful for this. I’m grateful because I have gone my whole life never expecting a pat on the back for the work that I do and this has made my life easier than most in both my volleyball career and my professional career now. Even though my competitive volleyball days are somewhat over, I still talk to Daryl and Steve and see them every time I come home. When I need advice, they are the first two people that come to mind. I don’t know where I would be in life if it weren’t for their constant guidance.

I am grateful to have the means to travel. More importantly, I’m just grateful to be alive. Having a tough Thursday? Well, perhaps that’s why I wrote this. To make you think about the people that got you to where you are today. Are you on the grind? So is everyone else in Silicon Valley, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Are you tired? Good. If you aren’t, you’re not working hard enough. There’s a tiny voice in the back of your head that wants to complain, we all have it. For today, tell it to shut the fuck up. Get your head out of your ass and keep going because you’re alive.

So, stop bitching and go live.

Wednesday Inspo: Must Read Travel Blogs

I’ve been inspired by other bloggers out there this week; particularly travel blogs- no surprise there. It seems that travel blogs are all the rage these days, but it’s the only investment that will never go out of style, in my opinion. What could be better than investing in your experiences?

The following blogs are my current faves this week and have been getting me through this funky week; enjoy!

Also, personal life update- there’s a new IG feed called @thedscvrr that has also inspired me this week.  Check out their feed; it’s incredible! They recently reached out and asked me to join the community as an influencer in the travel and lifestyle space. The timing couldn’t be more perfect seeing as I have a couple trips coming up in the next few months. If anyone is looking for a contributed writer, or some free lance writing for blogs in this space, please contact me! email: or leave a comment below.

ok- back to the good stuff. (images are hyperlinked and will lead you to each blog)

  1. Local Wanderer Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 10.31.07 AM.png
  2. Bridges and BalloonsScreen Shot 2017-06-06 at 10.35.25 AM.png
  3. Alex in Wanderland Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 10.37.54 AM.png
  4. Haylsa and her beautiful IG feedScreen Shot 2017-06-06 at 10.44.06 AM.png
  5. Free Candie – This woman completely inspires meScreen Shot 2017-06-06 at 10.47.31 AM.png


June Mood Board

I’ve been feeling extra inspired this week and pulling together a mood board for this month. What is a mood board?

It’s this cool thing that I’ve seen a bunch of creative people do. Actual definition here:

(N) an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.

So for the month of June, I’ve decided to create a mood board that will keep me inspired and evoke concepts for any projects that I’ll be working on. Maybe a design project, or a cool outfit, or something that will help me with my writing. This will keep me in a creative head space, and hopefully you as well. Enjoy!

Oh, one more thing! If any of you follow my IG feed, you may know that my dearest friend Bayley recently came to visit me in the Bay. We got so inspired by each other, that we have a longer blog post turned essay in the works. Stay tuned for that.

I am also thinking of writing a blog post of the history of Coconuts in the Bay, because for those of you who don’t know, this blog started as a project in college that became a personal lifestyle blog co written by myself and Bayley. Hence, Coconuts in the Bay… get it? It’s evolved quite a bit since then, but thought I’d share a fun fact on it’s history. Is it worth the read? let me know!

Feel free to share your Mood Board, or anything that inspires you and comment below! 7454dccf9bd135eb1c6dd084e72d9a15.jpgf6bfe92c8094f4eefe0bfe3b352eaebf.jpg4792fd37e883fde71c52af38fc18c621.jpg













Glossier Morning Rituals & Traveling

This week’s Wednesday Inspo will inspire you to get through the week with a beautifying morning routine. Establishing a morning facial/beauty regimen can inspire you to wake up with a little extra pep in your step.

I came across some of the best GRWM v-logs and instantly made it a priority to establish best practices around my facial care and make up routine. Sometimes, I actually look forward to getting ready, especially when I refill some favorite products like my Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.

Here a couple beauty routines currently inspiring me to get through the week:

  1. Cleansers- When I wake up, before I go to bed, and after every workout, I wash my face with Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser. The packaging is beautiful, it’s not harsh and doesn’t irritate my eyes. I also absolutely love the texture and how my skin feels. Perfect for dry skin because it’s so hydrating! Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.19.03 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.20.03 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.20.22 PM.png
  2. Skin Prep- After I cleanse, I always, always replenish my skin and prep my face for the day, even if I’m not applying any makeup. I use Glossier’s Super Pack kit  which is perfect for nipping blemishes in the bud, adding glow to my skin, and hydrating my extra dry spots. Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.24.59 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.25.12 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.25.21 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.25.04 PM.png
  3. Priming- I use Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer as my final skin prep even if I’m not applying makeup. Moving from Hawaii to the Bay Area has caused my skin to get increasingly dry through out the years, and I haven’t found a single product that could actually bring moisture back into my face without breaking me out until I came across Glossier. All of the products listed here have made my morning routine a breeze. Not to mention, my skin has drastically improved. Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.36.38 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-30 at 3.36.45 PM.png

I’ll stop the facial routine there because I have no interest in talking you through my “makeup routine.” For other inspiration, you can check out some of my fave YouTube’rs and their channels.


violette _fr

Emily Weiss


GRWM with Ashley Brooke

This is so relaxing and motivating. It makes me wish my workout studio was in my apartment complex. I also want her apartment. 🙂 Get up, and get after it!

For additional, inspiration, I’ll update ya’ll on the personal life. Coleman and I decided that we would take a quick trip this year in the US. We are still brainstorming a few places, but so far we are leaning towards activities in the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Top places thus far:

  1. Grand Canyon & various rims (have yet to decide which parts we will explore)
  2. Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
  3. Arizona Hot Springs
  4. Antelope Canyon
  5. Sedona and Red Rock Slide State Park

Have any of you Coconuts traveled to the Grand Canyon? Any tips and must sees? Any other places/cities in mind that we should travel to? I’m all ears! Leave a comment below.


Hometown Glory

Every now and I again I find myself in a mid-week shlump. Climbing that Wednesday hurdle can be a bit difficult, so I’m starting a weekly blog post called “Wednesday Inspos” so I can share with you coconuts my favorite things that get me through my week. This week, I can’t stop thinking about my hometown, Honolulu, HI. I will be heading home for a quick visit in July, which is right around the corner, and every time I list out all of my favorite things in O’ahu, I smile. If you’re a Hawaii local, and you’re reading this, you’ll smile too.

Stay tuned for more Wednesday Inspos coming your way. Until then, Aloha and Happy Wednesday!

  1. Mokes The-Mokes-White-Sandy-Beach-Lanikai-Oahu-vacation-rental.jpg
  2. and Mokes… (you’ll only get it if you’re local, and I won’t explain it because if you don’t get it, then you never will) maxresdefault.jpg
  3. The sounds of the Ocean tumblr_o7lthcx8761s7syh1o1_540
  4. How everyone you know back home becomes Aunty and Uncle even if you’re not related
  5. The Meyers ohana.jpg
  6. DuckButt and Bar Divesduckbutt.jpg
  7. Helena’s- a whole in the wall with bomb Hawaiian foodhelena-s-hawaiian-food.jpg
  8. Kalihi Street
  9. Long’s Drugs Rubbah Slippahs 61QlMURnloL._UL1200_.jpg
  10. Rainbows like no other, on almost a daily basis HAWAII0915-GettyImages-128421863.jpg
  11. Collecting shells in tide poolsMakapuu tidepools 052.jpg
  12. The Aloha vibe3139752014f6f39cd36c32a49eb9977b--rainbow-connection-surfs.jpg
  13. This place and these people FITTED-HAWAII_top.jpg
  14. Malasadas Leonards2-1-767x1024

Design Inspo: The Gallery Wall

Currently planning out the layout and design of my DIY “Gallery Wall” for my project this weekend, which according to Coleman, has been a pending project for about 6 months now… hah! Finally about to conquer this fun task.

I’m pulling out some inspiration here, and researching which art pieces I’d like to use, which photos I would want to print, types of frames and where to buy them etc.. you know, all that jazz.  I’ll walk everyone through my process this weekend, but until then, here is a post for inspiration. There are three things I’ve officially decided on: 1. I’m going with skinny frames, and they will likely be white, black, or brass and gold. 2. I am using white matte paper to mat my photos. 3. I will hang up some of my own original artwork.

This gallery wall passion project may be turning into a complete redesign of my living room! There are so many cool antiques and thrifts in San Jose, so I’m excited with what I’ll find on Saturday.

Everything in this photo is amazing. The woman, her style, the living room, the library of a book shelf, the rug, and this epic, artsy gallery wall. This is the star inspiration for my passion project this weekend.
This is a second favorite. I think I love ever piece of art, and the layout. I love a bright white wall as a clean slate for a project of this sort.


Monochromatic, minimalist and modern, grid like pattern.


simplistic and effortless
When modern meets rustic


Although I’m not the biggest fan of “themed” gallery walls, or rooms, I like the artwork and lay out here. I personally, love a more eclectic and random feel when it comes to gallery walls. It makes the room feel that much more treasured and “lived in.”


Perfecto! everything- brick wall, skinny frames, wooden accents…just perfect.
I want to find the true source of this gem. It looks inspired by Studio McGee.

What’s your favorite?




Staples for a Minimalist

Wearing the same things over and over again can be a good thing! When I post “trendy” outfits, I don’t want to be under the impression that my readers should go out and purchase a bunch of crap that they’ll only wear once, or crap that some blogger told them they “need” in order to be stylish. That is not my intention. My intention is to illustrate the many ways people can style the wardrobe that they already have, and maybe getting creative when it comes to finding a variety of ways to wear the same blouse, or pair of jeans, or anything, really.

I came across this documentary on Netflix about fast fashion called The True Cost, and it changed me, or at least, gave me perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I’m into Fashion and I think it’s fun to style outfits, or find a new way to wear something ordinary, but I’m more aware of how I shop, the designer I choose to shop from, and where my clothes are being made, how it’s made, the impact on the environment etc. Now, rather than buying things for the sake of buying, I look through my closet to see what I already have, I donate my clothes or resell to consignment/thrift stores, and I check second used stores for items I may want instead of buying them new. If I decide to buy them new, I am much more thoughtful about my purchase. In the end, I found that I am saving money, less cluttered, need and want less and have quality items over a large quantity of clothes I’ve only worn a handful of times.

Here is a minimalist outfit that I wore yesterday. Hope this gives you inspiration to reuse that oversized collared shirt in your closet, or whatever else it is you decide to wear everyday. My minimalist wardrobe staple? v necks, a good pair of jeans, sneakers and a chelsea boot, and the ability to re-wear these things over and over again. 🙂

Minimalist Wardrobe Inspo:


The True Cost Trailer 

Christine’s Uniform Vlog (inspiration)

Stay tuned for my blog post this weekend! I’m attempting to make a Gallery Wall in my living room. Any art or photo ideas? Any ideas on where to get great frames? Leave a comment below.





S-Town Podcast Overview

If you are new to S-Town, turn away now before I’m held accountable for any spoilers! I don’t normally write “reviews” or anything of the sort, on anything…ever, but this podcast was so captivating that I was compelled to write an open discussion, on all aspects of this production: the story, the narrator, the themes, the mystery, and even the logo and website design for this podcast! I couldn’t have been more intrigued from the start.

The Story & The Mystery:  

(A few paragraphs of this synopsis were paraphrased on Rebecca Nicholson’s review and can be found here:

S-Town, abbreviated for “Shit Town,” is produced by the same creators of Serial and This American Life. S-Town is about a man named  John B McLemore, an articulate and at times crass man, who writes to Brian Reed, co-producer of This American Life, asking Brian to investigate an alleged murder that seems to have been “covered up” by the Authorities in his hometown in Bibb County, Alabama, or “Shit Town,” as John put it.

What starts out as a “Whodunnit,” crime-solving story, evolves into an unexpected journey gathered around the life of John McLemore himself. A year after John writes to Brian, the two connect through various phone calls. Finally, many months after their frequent calls, Brian agrees to meet John in Shit Town, Alabama (officially known as Woodstock) for further investigation.

John takes him on a tour of his home, where he has built a maze so complex he gets lost in it himself! John tells Brian that he memorized the coordinates of his property, which he explains, will be the “only maze you will find in Google Maps, in Bibb County.” The way Brian explains this Labyrinth is pretty remarkable, and extremely… well- memorizing. He paints his listeners a picture of lush hedges soon to reach maturity and flower beds of every color you could conjure. I did a quick Google Search and this is what I presume to be John’s maze.

John B Maze.jpg

maze 3.jpg

John is charismatic, chatty, intellectual and largely misanthropic. At many times, he is outright pessimistic and depressing; he seems to despise the town he feels he didn’t do enough to escape and will go on rants about the town’s corruption.–pause here– When I would listen to John complain about Shit Town, I was sad for him, but then impatient and annoyed. I couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t leave the town if he hated it so much. I learned that Shit Town, though awful to John, was Home nonetheless, and has been Home to him all his life. I chalked it up to, “He couldn’t leave because a part of him didn’t want to leave.”

John is a horologist –Horology is the scientific study of time. Specifically, horology involves the measurement of time and the making of clocks. He was renowned for his clock-making skills, not just in Alabama, but far beyond the southern states and in the UK. He is a voracious reader. He is kind, he is cruel, angry and resigned. He sounds paranoid, at times, playful, and others, depressed. Later, there’s a hypothesis as to why, though like much in this story, it is never quite resolved, which is sort of the beauty that this podcast offers. You’re sort of left with your own resolve, your own thoughts on how this story ends, if there is even an ending.

At the end of the second episode, Brian learns that John has taken his own life. It’s devastating. Brian’s distress at the loss of the man who had become his friend is stark and upsetting. It’s a rift in the expected narrative and a genuine shock to us as listeners. This was supposed to be about the police officer accused of sexually assaulting women, or the cover-up of a murder by a rich man’s son, some real life version of True Detective. But John’s death sets the stories of S-Town on a wider stage, and asks bigger questions, and turns this into a deep exploration of empathy and understanding. John’s life, which he seems to say has been stuck in this Shit Town, turns out to be so rich that unpacking it over seven episodes can only begin to do it justice. It might, one hopes, make its listeners consider the untold stories behind more people than John B McLemore at least, according to Rebecca Nicholson, who reviewed this podcast.

I was moved after listening to all 7 chapters of this podcast. I felt for John, and was saddened by the news of his suicide, but also found myself relieved when I concluded that he had methodically calculated when his life was “fulfilled,” according to his Manifesto on how much time one has to “Live a Meaningful Life.” By the end of the first Episode, I knew that John was clinically depressed, but by the time Chapter 7 had unraveled, I arrived at a separate thought entirely. Yes, John was clinically depressed, but I think he was depressed because he had been poisoned by Mercury, which can cause sudden death, illnesses, nausea, depression, bipolar disorder, mood swings, and Gingivitis. Mercury exposure was very common amongst Hatters and Clock Makers in the 1800s, hence the coined term, Mad Hatter’s Disease. Many Clock Makers in the 1800s practiced the art of Fire Gilding- the process in which Mercury and Gold are mixed together to create a smooth, Golden metallic finish on the surface of many clocks. Nobody in this day and age is known to Fire Guild anymore because of its obvious health hazards. Nobody, except John McLemore, who apparently did this to many clocks in his lifetime, and without any masks, suits or other forms of safety precaution. So, you see where this leads… right? yes, his suicide (at least that’s what I think).

Narrator & Themes: 

Brian Reed couldn’t have been a more perfect and well suited Narrator for this podcast. I often found myself impressed with his ability to share John’s story, even well after  John’s life. I think it was also partly due to Brian’s ability to interact with the characters in this story with out bias, or judgement, and maybe his ability to befriend such a character as John himself.

Rebecca writes that ‘S-Town is particularly good at navigating subtleties and grey areas. In a digital age that rewards polemics, it stands out even more in its refusal to judge anyone, instead presenting people in all their contradictory messiness, including John himself. We meet racists, we meet thieves, we hear about violence and abuse and loss. These things can be hard to hear, but everyone involved is treated as a person. At times, the most trivial of anecdotes can unravel into something unbearably poignant, such as John’s embrace of Annie Proulx’s short story Brokeback Mountain, which he comes to call “the grief manual”.’ I would agree.

I was dealt with discomfort whenever John crassly identified himself as a Queer, who could never disclose that openly in Woodstock because “that kinda thing would get ya killed,” or when a few of John’s friends casually referred to Black people by the N-Word. I was fascinated by my own surprise to discover that John was a sheer genius, despite my own preconceived ideas of him based on his background, social class, and dare I say, his Southern Twang, or according to John, “Redneck” accent. I’m found guilty, kneeling at the whims of my own racial stereotypes. Me–a pacific islander, Asian-American Woman, so often looking at the world through the lens of a minority, indeed found guilty viewing John the way the World so often viewed me. 


The Logo, a tribute to John B. McLemore: 

After everything I’ve already discussed in this blog post, it may seem silly of me to bring up my fascination for this Podcast’s website design, but I’ll do it anyways. The website design was so intricately created, and paid homage to John, the mad scientist, the eccentric horologist, and the friend we didn’t expect to connect with as listeners.

The Roses-frequently discussed as favorite parts of John’s property

The Labyrinth-another one of John’s creations, where he would spend many nights wandering and pondering Climate Change, and the future of Bibb County

The Gears- symbolizing John’s “purpose” for so many years, the Gears represent measurements of time, the study of clocks, and John’s fascination with creating a meaningful life with the time that he had so obsessively calculated, as well as the admiration of the gears themselves.

Thank you, Brian Reed, for an amazing podcast. I feel like someone whose favorite Netflix series just officially ended. To some extent that’s exactly what happened.

Thoughts? Discussion? Reply below!