mni wiconi | water is life


If you follow along on any social media, you'll recognize this calendar I can't stop blabbing about.

It's a postcard calendar, which means that at the end of each month you can cut along the dotted line at the back and send a note to a friend. The bottom half also includes a quote by a woman, which was half to celebrate women and half not to waste that space. This you can hang on your wall or alongside your mirror or tattoo on your heart-- the quotes mean that much to me.

The calendar features 12 photos of the California coast, my forever muse, alongside lettering by the talented Alyce at A Luxe Contraband. I've been dreaming of putting together a calendar for years, and am so excited to hold this in my hands.

All this being said, the thing I'm the most proud of is that I'm able to donate 50% of all proceeds to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they protect their land, water, and lives against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This year has been weighing on me so much, and it felt like all I could do was slip into helplessness. When I remembered that Standing Rock's motto is "mni wiconi" and means "water is life," this felt like a natural way to support a cause that means so much, with a project that means a lot to me.

Anyway! I'm really proud. It's ocean-inspired, WOC created, and benefits people who really need us. 

get your calendar here

washi tape detailing

decorating with washi tape

Since starting my new job (!), I've noticed that almost everyone in our office has the same Mac products. While this makes for a very aesthetically pleasing workplace, it also means everyone's equipment is almost identical.

So in taking my first steps to set my stuff apart, I added a little washi tape to my laptop charger. What I did was:

1. Cover the apple logo with a piece of washi tape.
2. Lightly trace the apple outline with a pencil.
3. Remove the tape, cut along the lines, and reapply the tape.
4. If your cut isn't perfect, trim the tape as needed.

I'm sure there's a more precise way to do this-- perhaps with a cutting board and an exacto knife-- but I did this during the last half of my lunch break.

And for anyone looking for washi tape, I found mine in San Francisco's Japantown but these guys have a great collection.

my first book

For Christmas I put together a little book of photos from Denmark to give to my Italo-Danese host parents, Maibritt and Luciano. Denmark is so special to me now that I've experienced it with them and when I began to put together the book, I knew words would play second fiddle to the photographs. It's simple, short, in Italian and one of my favorite presents I've ever gifted. It's so gratifying seeing your own work in print. I highly recommend it.

in denmark, with love
to maibritt & luciano

To Maibritt and Luciano. Thank you very much. I miss you every day.

in denmark

In Denmark, the true country of the beautiful life.


I'm lucky. For many years my feet have been searching for something but I did not know what. Maybe a place of tranquility. A place where my heart rests secure. A home.

Today I still do not know what it is. But I found it in Denmark.


But in the end, the most important thing was not the country. It was my family, so kind and compassionate, teaching me about life and the world.

with love, celeste

With love, Ciccia (pronounced chee-cha, what Maibritt would call me)/ Light Blue ("Celeste" means light blue in Italian, what Luciano would call me)/ Celeste


PS - Thanks to my big brother for hand-modeling.

PPS - I'm off to my first day at my new job!!

last minute wrapping à la fraulein maria

I'd originally written this post for another site, but since it didn't make it up I couldn't bear to wait until next year to share. So, in the off chance you've waited until the very last hour and 15 minutes until Christmas to wrap your presents, here are some quick wrapping ideas inspired by Julie Andrews’ character, Fraulein Maria, in The Sound of Music. These ideas are simple, sustainable and easy to put together with typical household items.

wrapping with household items

Using old grocery paper bags, gently rip the bag open along the seams to get one flat piece of wrapping paper. Measure the amount of paper you need for your present and cut the appropriate amount.

wrap with old grocery bags

Presents wrapped? Great! Here’s where Maria comes in. Throughout the movie, Maria made things more beautiful and creative using these three steps:

1. Get back to the basics:

When the Von Trapp children told Maria they didn’t know how to sing, she started them off with “Do Re Mi.” If your gift consists of multiple presents, try “1 2 3.” Wrap them individually and number them in the order they should be opened.

wrapping by number

2. Sing about it:

Write the lyrics to your favorite song on your wrapping paper and use that to wrap your present. “Brown paper packages tied up with strings” have never been more fitting.

recycled wrapping

3. Use what you have:

We kind of already did this using our paper bags, but don’t limit your resourcefulness to that! When Maria wanted the children to have play clothes she used her bedroom drapes. Me? I just snipped off a piece of my sister’s Christmas tree and used baker’s twine.

Happy last minute wrapping! (But really, you could use this "wrapping paper" year round.)

Wishing you the merriest, love-filled holiday season to date.

merry christmas


the outer frame
in our bee suits-- check out nikole's shoes!
langstroth frames
bees MADE this.
getting ready to smoke the hive
bees with their honey
made with love
golden harvest

A few scenes from the beekeeping class Nikole and I took this past weekend. We didn't know much about bees before the class and learned that they're actually really gentle bugs. Just a few years ago, honeybee populations had dropped around 70% but thanks to beekeepers (professionals and hobbyists alike), there has been a great effort to restore the population. It's amazing that bees can work together and create their own little community-- and that we get to have honey because of it.

I also learned that aside from being delicious, honey has a lot of healing properties as an antiseptic (you can use it instead of neosporin, etc). Of course, I'm mostly interested in what I can cook with it. Good thing I bought a little bottle of lavender-infused honey to bring home with me.

Check out more photos from the class here.