Yesterday, I joined my first ever larger group beach clean up effort down in Asbury Park (hosted by the Surfrider Foundation’s Jersey Shore chapter). When I first started paying more attention to all the trash and plastic last summer, I remember thinking how I wanted to look into joining a community clean up (in addition to organizing one myself). There’s something so invigorating and rewarding about being a part of something so much bigger than yourself. Truly an inspiring experience - and if you get the chance to be a part of a big clean up in your area - I highly recommend giving it a go! 🙌🏼Read More
Happy Friday! Just wanted to drop in quickly today to write an *official post* about the next installment of beach plastic greeting cards that I launched last Friday: Valentine’s Day cards! There’s 8 cards in the series - all hearts comprised of different selections of litter I’ve collected over the last few months. It was a little bit of a different process creating these than the Christmas cards because these required me to sort the trash by color and fit them into a uniform shape. It was kinda like trying to puzzle fit pieces together that didn’t necessarily go together, but overall I’m really happy with how they turned out and generally excited about how this greeting card line as a whole is growing!Read More
I can’t believe that this is my FOURTH year writing one of these! And I also can’t believe that 2018 is coming to a close… what a freakin’ roller coaster it was. I started the year off strong - felt really confident for a couple months (wrote a 26 page outline for a book I started to write.. reconnected with some old friends), and then lost steam (again). I went on my first creative retreat (in Montana) and it was really expensive (lol). For the months following that, I questioned whether it was “worth it” and tried to digest all of the feedback I had received on my work. Going into it - I think I was already searching for “what was next” in my life / career. I felt like I had hit a wall again - really uncertain just about everything.. I took a leap of faith by applying to the retreat, and when I got accepted - I jumped into it hoping it would give me fresh insight and some direction… but I think I left feeling unsure what to make of it all (although it was a beautiful place to visit).
I spent the second third of this year in pretty much complete (self inflicted) isolation. May thru August, I didn’t hang out with a single person outside of my immediate family. The immediate family I DID see or spend time around - I felt completely withdrawn from. I dreaded being around people of any kind, and was shutting out even my closest friends. I was falling asleep on the couch watching TV shows I didn’t even really like, and generally speaking… lost my desire to get out of bed in the morning. Creatively, I felt really depleted - the desire and motivation just wasn’t there. I spent a lot of time walking miles and miles of beaches by myself (moody, I know 😂). It was a rough few months where I felt really far from being my best self, to say the least…
The final third of this year has been a surprisingly reinvigorating few months. I feel like I’ve found the basis for the thesis project that I wish I had 4.5-5 years ago - the basis for a LIFE’S work (which is a REALLY bold thing to say, I realize) - but I really do feel that way. I started collecting beach trash at the end of August (after walking miles of coastline in the summer… it became impossible to continue to ignore). This then led to organizing / cohosting my first group beach clean up and the launch of some new products for my Etsy shop (beach plastic holiday greeting cards)! I haven’t felt this excited, passionate, and deeply ROOTED about anything I’ve made in well… maybe ever. In 2019, I plan to continue to grow the greeting card line, cohost more beach clean ups, and continue the important conversation about sustainability through my creative work. It’s gonna be a good year - I can feel it! But first, here’s a little recap of 2018:Read More
Welcome winter! Today is the first *official* day of the coldest season of the four. I feel like most people do not look forward to this season - it’s dreaded by so many. So today - I thought I’d write a short but sweet post offering some fresh perspective - some reasons to LOVE winter. Mostly, I want something positive for myself to refer back to when it’s late stage winter and the holiday magic has long worn off and I’m desperate for it to end and get warmer again (like the rest of you!) 😂I remember last year’s winter feeling particularly long.. I couldn’t wait for it to be over and it felt like it would never end as we kept getting smacked with nor’easter after nor’easter towards the tail end.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the seasons - not just the seasons marked by nature and by the calendar — but seasons of life in general. How seasons come and go, ebb and flow, inevitably changing — and how that has an effect on me and (particularly) my creative process. The natural world is truly wild when you stop and think about! So here are some reasons to love everyone’s seemingly least favorite season:Read More
I’m SO excited about today’s post - my VERY FIRST gift guide! I’ve never written one before, but this year I decided to give it a go. I’ve always loved giving gifts to friends / family - but I typically (more often than not) go the DIY or baked goods route, haha. IMO, one of the biggest downsides of the holiday shopping season is that so many people buy things they definitely don’t need. Generally speaking, there is a TON of excess waste that comes from holiday gifting… so many plastic toys, clothes that weren’t ethically produced, etc. Not to mention HOW the gifts are wrapped (and how most of that gift wrap doesn’t even get recycled)!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my own personal impact on the environment lately with all of the recent beach plastic clean up / work I’ve been doing. As a result, I’ve become really interested in brands / artists that are consciously creating products / art that either: 1) help people make strides towards a “zero waste” lifestyle or 2) utilizes recycled or biodegradable materials (instead of new / unsustainable materials). I’ve been bookmarking different things over the last few months, anticipating putting together this gift guide for you! I hope that it’s helpful this holiday season (+ beyond). ☺️Read More
If you’ve been following along the last few months - you know that I have been actively picking up litter off of beaches in NJ and NYC. It’s been a combo of solo efforts as well as duo / group efforts. I have primarily focused on Coney Island (where I co-hosted a group clean up with my friend Fiona in October), but have also picked up trash by myself at Sandy Hook, Wildwood, Rockaway Beach, Long Island, and even an old landfill. It’s been fascinating.. as well as heartbreaking... to see the differences (and also the similarities) in what I’ve picked up at each location.
While I’m fairly new to the active litter picking community, I have always had a deep love for the outdoors. I grew up with a backyard that connected to the woods, and spent a lot of time out there. Every summer, I looked forward to going down to the “Jersey Shore” lol. Over the years, the beach has become a meditative happy place for me. A non-negotiable form of self care. This summer, I spent a lot of time walking beaches alone trying to sort through some personal demons (a lot of self doubt)… and one day in late August at Coney Island I decided to consciously switch modes from my typical beach combing (for sea glass, shells, etc) to pick up trash. It was a really eye opening experience - that made me question not only my own negative impact on the planet but the impact we collectively as the human race make.Read More
I have been wanting to write this post for quite some time, but it is an overwhelmingly big topic to tackle and unpack. There is so much to say about social media / Instagram that it's hard to know where to even begin?? I’ve actually been working on this post since August! 😂 A couple months ago, I listened to this episode of Jen Gotch's podcast "Jen Gotch Is OK... Sometimes" (if you aren't already a listener of her podcast... I highly recommend). Anyways, this episode focused on social media - specifically addiction to social media (it's a really good listen!) - and it put me in the headspace to finally sit down and start to spew out some of my own thoughts on the subject.Read More
At the end of August, I wrote about my first experience consciously picking up litter on the beach by myself. If you haven’t read that post yet, you can check it out here! Towards the end, I mentioned my interest in joining a future group community clean up or maybe even starting one myself. Two months later, here I am hosting my own! 🙌🏼
The day I picked up straws and bottle caps by myself, I posted this photo to Instagram and received a ton of really nice comments - one of which was from Fiona, a born and raised Coney Island local and fellow creative. She casually suggested starting a clean up crew, and I agreed that we should make it happen!Read More
I cannot believe that it’s October already… how did that happen?! The summer heat has officially died down, and the cooler weather has been rolling in. And with cooler weather, comes the craving of comfort food (which more often than not is something heavy, unhealthy, and indulgent). There is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging every now and then (during any season) - but I definitely find that it’s more challenging to make daily healthy eating choices once it’s sweater weather. My desire to make / eat salads definitely declines when it’s cold out, haha.
You may or may not have noticed that the word “vegan” has shown up in my last few recipe posts (here and here). I’ve mentioned before that I’m not fully vegan (or even vegetarian), and that still remains true.. but I have definitely made conscious efforts to cut back on the animal products I do consume - and have been trying to incorporate a lot more plant based meals whenever I can.
I’m dropping in today to share my go-to quinoa recipe! It varies, depending on what I have in my fridge (it’s a great “clean out the produce drawers” meal solution). I love that it can be eaten warm or cold (although on cold days, my preference is definitely hot/warm). Growing up, quinoa was never part of my diet (I grew up on white rice, being 100% Chinese). It wasn’t until a year or so ago that I got curious about the healthier high protein / high fiber rice-like alternative that is quinoa and started experimenting with ways to cook it.Read More
This summer, I've been heading to the beach every chance I get (no surprise there - haha!) I usually go to hunt for treasures like seashells, sea glass, rocks, etc. - but yesterday at Coney Island I decided to switch from beach combing mode to beach clean up mode. While I'm beach combing, I'm pretty selective about what I pick up... but when I'm in clean up mode I want to pick up EVERYTHING in sight. The two modes are pretty different in that way, but strangely enough I think there is beauty to be found in both processes. Although it isn't the same feeling of excitement per say as finding a giant finished piece of sea glass or a large whole empty conch shell... it was really cool to find that one unique teal bottle cap (in the photo above) and a sole purple straw in a sea of more common colors (clear, red, green, orange). As gross and horrifying of a task as clean ups are - there is nothing that compares to the feeling of knowing that you are leaving a place better than you found it.Read More