Holiday Gift Ideas

art, Community, creativity, giving, Home, photography, Uncategorized


If you’ve been interested in purchasing one of my art prints, or are looking for holiday gift ideas, stop by my Society6 store and have a look. There are several 24-Hour promotions* that you can take advantage of, including free shipping on everything! Here is what you can save and when:

Nov 18: $5 Off all Mugs and Stationary Cards (coffee, travel, and metal travel mugs)

Nov 20: 15% Off Everything – Your time to buy art prints and framed art prints at a discount!

Nov 21: $5 Off Stocking Stuffers (phone cases, tote bags, carry-all pouches, leggings, t-shirts, v-necks, all-over print tees, biker tanks, tank tops, tapestries, coffee mugs, travel mugs, metal travel mugs, art prints, stationery cards)

Nov 22: $6 Off all Tech (all phone cases, phone skins, laptop sleeves, laptop skins)

Nov 23: $5 Off all Apparel (t-shirts, v-necks, long sleeves, hoodies, leggings, totes, carry-all pouches, biker tanks, tank tops). I don’t have a lot to offer in this area, but definitely check out all the other cool artists with fantastic work you can wear!

* All Promotions Start at 12:00 AM PT and End at 11:59 PM PT for the select date. All discounts automatically applied. No promo code needed.


Holiday Giving for Seven Star

Community, education, empowerment, family, friends, fundraising, giving, Health, Learning/Education, life, Martial Arts, mental health, Seven Star, therapy

Seven-Star-Party-Nov2013 (1 of 66)

It’s that time of year again. It’s time support local organizations that you care about. I continue to believe in the mission of Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu. Donations to this beloved organization go toward helping fulfill our mission to empower women and girls. Your money helps our school do the following:

  1. Run self-defense workshops. Each female who receives self-defense training makes our community safer for everyone, and decreases the costs we all bear. For instance, statistics by the National Institute of Justice estimate that assaults of adults cause an annual minimum loss of 192 billion dollars, or ~$773 per U.S. resident–tangible losses such as police response, medical care, mental health services, and productivity; and intangible losses such as quality of life, pain and suffering.
    What this look like
    : $1,200 covers the cost of our pro-bono self-defense program for one year.
  2. Funds a scholarship program that helps make classes affordable. We have never turned away a woman or girl due to an inability to pay.
    What this looks like
    : $480 covers the cost of one year of full scholarship for a teen who has just decided that she needs training to gain her voice as she enters high school.
  3. Helps in the school’s ability to provide free childcare. Finding time to exercise and have a block of time to herself can be a mother’s biggest challenge in life. At Seven Star we offer free child care service on training days for this very reason. We believe in giving moms the time they need to give themselves to be their biggest badass!
    What this looks like
    : $30 pays for childcare for one class – covering the cost for a single, working mom who has just gone back to school.
  4. Bolsters a rainy day fund for when building maintenance is needed.
    Bottom line
    : Our Kwoon is everything. We respect and care for our space and need it to provide the awesome training that we do. For some, it is a second home.

You can make a donation at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu. Or, you can indirectly make a donation while doing shopping on Amazon by going through Amazon Smile. Make sure to choose which organization to support as Seven Star. And you don’t have to do this for the holidays. You can do this ALL YEAR.

Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 11.24.36 AM

Thank you for your consideration!

Lucia – A new kind of magazine

art, Community, creativity, culture, education, family, friends, giving, Health, history, Learning/Education, life, Love, mental health, photography

“We are inundated with so many false messages… and yet there is this spirit, this voice, that comes from somewhere quiet and deep, and it whispers truth. I wanted to create a magazine that gives voice to the heart.”

This is my friend Laura’s Kickstarter. Check it out:

I read an article on about how a 19 year old woman took her own life because she felt she wasn’t being the best. She hid her suffering from her loved ones despite appearing perfectly “normal” and happy if you followed her Instragram feed. The article is very well written and tells the story with kindness and sadness. It inspired me to share the article on my Facebook page, because I believe mental health is still seen as a stigma.

The article got me thinking about how we navigate through this ever-changing landscape of technology that drives how we interact as human beings. How do we stay connected for good reasons? How do we stay on top of what is important to us? How do we gently nudge aside the things that don’t serve us for the better? How do we keep from losing sight of what actually matters. Because let’s be honest, it’s easy to be envious of others. It’s easy to want to be like everyone else, and have what others have. We want to best someone at something. We do this while seeing a friend’s post about how they just bought their new house, have their first child, travel to far-off lands, and even get super buff. I mean, I think it’s okay to have ambition, work toward personal goals, and tough out a challenge. But I feel working towards other people’s goals, striving toward goals set by others, is not what is best for us.

More now than ever, I feel like we are engulfed in images and messages – pretty much instantaneously through the use of our cell phones and tablets – that tell us intentionally (or even unintentionally) that “You’re not doing it right if your life doesn’t look like this.” Through ads, social media feeds, it happens all day, every day. I’ve had my moments of looking through a old friend’s Facebook feed and thought “Man! how come my life can’t be like that!” and I had to stop and think “Wait a minute, that can’t be their whole story. It isn’t their whole story.”

This all brings me to why I’m sharing this Kickstarter with you. Because I think sharing our heart’s truest and boldest stories is important. And with all that, I think everyone should check out Lucia.

I met Laura in a photography class. She came across immediately as a friendly and whole hearted person (If you met her, you really do get a sense that she speaks from her heart). I’m excited for her taking this journey to share a part of herself, and to read about others with the courage and creativity to share the spirit and whispers that come from deep inside. I honestly don’t know about any of the stories that are in the magazine, but I have a feeling the pages will be a place where people come together to share beauty, sadness, loss, love, and joy in a way that strengthens human connection for the better.

Note: I want to be clear that I am not saying that the cause of someone’s sadness is because another person posted about a very cool life experience on Facebook! I love vacation photos, kid/baby/kitteh/puppy videos/photos, even how church made you happy. I think we all pretty much do. But let’s be kind to ourselves and focus on our own individual happiness. 

Seattle Foundation’s Give BIG – May 6, 2014!

art, Community, creativity, culture, education, family, fundraising, giving, Health, homelessness, Learning/Education, life, Love, mental health, music, photography, Seattle, Seven Star



On May 6, 2014 Give BIG to a Seattle nonprofit organization that values what you value and believes in the causes you do. Help strengthen a community by considering a contribution to any of the hundreds of organizations listed on the Seattle Foundation website. All donations made through the Seattle Foundation will be partially matched. Stretch your donation dollars! This is a one day event you cannot miss.

Seven Star completes me :)

education, fundraising, giving, Health, Learning/Education, life, Martial Arts, mental health, Motivation, Seven Star

Dear Readers,

It’s only been a few months of training in Kajukenbo martial arts at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu, but already I feel I’ve found a community that is caring, strong, and supportive.  This  message is a little lengthy, so please bear with me!

It started out with taking a self-defense series.  I wanted to hone my awareness skills and learn some physical techniques to protect myself if harm ever came my way.  We didn’t just learn how to kick and punch, grab and gouge.  We learned how to listen to our gut instincts by understanding how that feels in our body, as well as techniques  on how to de escalating a heated situation.

Before self-defense class would start, I’d look into the blue room where I saw women demonstrating beautiful martial arts forms, performing grab techniques, and ironing out any skills they wanted to work on.  At the end of class, they’d stand in a circle, kneel, remove their earned belts, stand and salute one another.  I was so enthralled.  How cool did this look?!  You learn martial arts skills, respect, and are equal to one another in spirit and person regardless of belt level.  That’s what it looked like from the outside, anyway.  

Curious, I researched what this style was all about and its history is fascinating.  It’s an eclectic fighting style invented by a group of men in Hawaii who were black belts in different martial arts.  It combines, karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo, shaolin kung fu, and boxing.  This group of men became known as the “Black Belt Society,” and were of various ethnic backgrounds (from what I can find, of Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino descent).   Really?  A form of martial arts where people of different backgrounds collaborated with each other and combined their individual strengths?  How cool is that?!

Before I knew it, I signed up to do the beginner’s cycle; a 5-week introduction to Kajukenbo.  From week to week, me and about 10 other women exercised our bodies and minds, flexing muscles we didn’t know we had.  Everyone seemed invested in making this a successful and rewarding experience.  From punches, kicks, self-defense, and forms, everything about it was addicting.  The rush of punching and kicking, and the meditative aspect of circling up before and after training was so much fun.  It was the balance of mind and body I think I’ve been looking for.

Why kajukenbo?  Well, I’ve practiced yoga over the years, and my life is so much better for it.  But yoga has been an independent practice for me; not something where I interacted with others.  I’m one who can easily get caught up and lost in my own head.  I needed to do something where I took others into consideration.  I needed something where I could do a dance with someone who wasn’t my husband.  How can I learn to be comfortable with other people?  How can I learn to develop trust with someone new?  Kajukenbo at Seven Star has been a place where I can do that.  It’s a place I can dance and be free of judgement and have the support and encouragement of women who have been doing this for decades and the women with whom I started training with.

I’m still at Seven Star and I want to keep training and making progress.  Our school’s lineage – my Kajukenbo lineage – goes back to one of the founding members of Kajukenbo, Adriano Emperado, a man of Filipino descent, which is what I am.  I’m proud to call myself a white belt.  There isn’t actually a belt to wear, but it’s all the more motivating as I work toward testing for an orange belt.  I’m challenging myself in a way that is in alignment with the kind of person I am and the kind of person I can see myself becoming: confident, caring, strong, graceful, proud, and less driven by fear.

I’m so invested in Seven Star that I am volunteering to be a representative on the school’s steering committee, generate quarterly newsletters for students, to make sure the First Aid kit is stocked, and assist with self-defense courses.  I want to help my school succeed.

And here’s where  we need your help.  Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu is a nonprofit organization.  Every trainee at every belt level donates their time to keeping the school functioning and running, but we also need to pay rent and keep our supplies stocked and fresh (everything from bathroom supplies to sparring gear).  We also want to grow our school and spread our school’s mission to empower women.  I just got here, and I want to keep going here and building this community that is important to me for so many reasons.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to my school.  

You can donate through the Seven Star website:

Or write a check out to “Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu” and send to:

Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu
525 21st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122

If you do not wish to make a donation, I hope I’ve inspired you to take a free class (They offer those every other month!) or even just try the beginner’s cycle!  Visit the website and see what will work for you.  Seven Star has never turned away someone for the inability to pay.  We also offer scholarships.  Monthly training dues are on a sliding scale basis when you start training for a belt.  If you have a child that needs to be watched, we provide child care if you make arrangements ahead of time.  If you are hearing impaired, we provide an ASL interpretation.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  Your support means so much.

Very sincerely,


Marivic’s Community Giving and Humanity Bettering Christmas List

Community, culture, family, friends, fundraising, giving, Health, Home, homelessness, life, Loss, Love, mental health, nature, photography, Seattle, work

sasquatch-n-meI was thinking about things I’d like for Christmas, even though I couldn’t possibly ask anyone to get me anything because I honestly don’t need anything that I don’t already have some version of.  But what I think might be more helpful is if we spend our money and time helping each other.

Below are places that could use your help.  The first thing listed being the most important.  Please keep in mind that this is my own personal list and it’s only a few of the MANY things I care about.  Other than the Philippine Red Cross, I have had direct involvement with the other organizations listed here and feel comfortable listing them.  I may add more as the days go by and I remember  things that aren’t coming to mind right now.

Philippine Red Cross
By now I hope you all know about Typhoon Haiyan and how it has devastated the Philippines.  Thousands upon thousands are without homes, food, medical attention.  People have lost not just possession, but loved ones.  It’s incredibly heartbreaking.  Please help or donate as much as you can.

Philippine Red Cross:

More information:

Photo Coverage:

Seattle Children’s Hospital
The staff at Seattle Children’s are incredibly hard-working people.  I know because I used to work there and many of them are some of my closest friends.  They are dedicated to the mission of providing uncompensated care to children who need special medical help.  Their research teams are doing their best to work toward eliminating pediatric illness.  They are a nonprofit hospital and rely on donations, grants, and government funds.  But we cannot underestimate individual giving.  Please consider doing that.

Ways to help:

Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu
I can’t tell you how much this place rocks!  I just finished my beginner’s cycle and am learning all kinds of awesome things.  But most importantly, it’s a wonderful community focused on women’s well-being by strengthening your sense of self through self dense and kajukenbo kung fu.  They run on the power of a steering committee and the volunteer time of their students.  But like all nonprofit organizations, they can always accept more to better the facility and provide equipment.  Please consider supporting a school that empowers women!

Your support goes to kick-ass women!

More about Seven Star:

White Center Food Bank
My friend manages the garden here.  It’s amazing.  I did not spend my childhood growing things or planting things on a regular basis.  I helped out for a couple of weeks here with the garden, doing some watering and harvesting some food.  The food I picked went directly onto a distribution table that qualifying families could then pick up and take home.  Seeing that was incredible.

They can always use help:

More about White Center Food Bank:

Power 2 Give Puget Sound
I’ll be damned if I live my life without art.  In whatever form it comes.  I want access to programs and the space to have art, appreciate it, and share it.  This site is specifically for organizations in the Puget Sound region.  See what projects need help.  As a bonus, corporate support is matching $1 for $1 !

Keep the arts alive:

More about ArtsFund, who is making this possible through Power 2 Give:

Other states with projects to sponsor through Power 2 Give (note, they may not have matching like some of the Puget Sound projects do):

Support the Samarya Center
Nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to the practice of yoga for well body, well mind.  I’ve taken classes here and every one of them was a refreshing experience and mind-calming experience.   It’s not just about bending your body.  It’s also about being mindful about your actions.

Help them re-locate and support their transformation:

Visit their website for more about what they do:

The power of community

friends, fundraising, giving, life, work

This past weekend, I received an e-mail from my manager regarding one of my co-workers.  Her grandfather is choosing to end dialysis treatment and wants to transition out of this life.  His last request is to have Thanksgiving with his family.  My co-worker cannot afford a flight to get to the midwest for Thanksgiving, nor would she be able to go back for a funeral, or even make rent.  With that news, a rally ensued to help her out with funds to make the trip.  A fundraising website was created in minutes and the flight cost was raised in less than an hour.  Two days later there is enough to cover a second flight, cover money she’d lose from missing work, and money to help with funeral costs.  We reached out to our customers and co-workers letting them know about her situation and the support has been flowing in.  It’s really incredible.

Needless to say, my co-worker is humbled and feels so blessed to have a job where her boss and co-workers will support her in anyway they can, regardless of money or time.  That her customers support her even if that relationship is something that happens over a counter once a day.

No one is obligated to help another human being for whatever reason, and seeing people do it without hesitation and with such selflessness is incredibly heartwarming.  It makes me happy to work where I do, with the people I do.  I work with people who are compassionate incredibly selfless and serve customers who feel that their daily encounters are not just fleeting, but are bonds that are significant enough that they’d help you in a time of need.

This is all just totally amazing.

Fall Carnival Fundraiser for R-74 a success!

coffee, Community, creativity, culture, education, friends, fundraising, giving, Home, Learning/Education, life, Love, photography, work

The fundraiser for Washington United for Marriage was a success. For more information about this referendum, learn more at the site here. There was face painting, a coloring table, a bake sale that left us full of sugar, family and friends. The photo booth played a great stage for people to let loose and show their support for marriage equality. Some photos from the event below. For more photos, check out the album on the Facebook page!

Bake Sale goodness

I like to call this “FUEL Clan Gang”.

Face painting was a hit.

Reading and coloring table fun!

Animal masks!

“FUEL Clan Gang II”.

Mission Accomplished: Long Shot 2012 in San Francisco

creativity, friends, fundraising, giving, Learning/Education, Motivation, photography

LONG SHOT Photo Marathon in San Francisco was a complete success!

My friend and I wasted no time and hit the streets and took shot after shot of all the beauty and funkiness San Francisco had to offer. We’re both working hard to edit down to what we want to submit.

Again, this year is a little different in that I’ve been a student for 3 quarters here now, and the school has been a haven of learning and creative inspiration for me. So your support means a lot to my education 🙂

So, if you have some dollars you’d like to donate to support our efforts and ultimately, Photographic Center Northwest, it would be greatly appreciated.

With great thanks,
Marivic Pinedo

You can donate via their website: PCNW Make a Donation

Sneak Peak at one of my submissions for this year:

An Ear Full 1:29 p.m.
by Marivic Pinedo

Exhibited 2010:

Exhibited 2011:

An act of kindness

giving, homelessness

I was on my way back home from a night out with a girlfriend of mine.  I decided to take the freeway to avoid driving through streets full of people who were stumbling about from a night of fun.  I exited where I usually do and saw a homeless woman standing on the side, walking down beside the cars lined up to turn left and she was holding a sign:

Any lil’ thing helps.  Even a smile. 🙂

I looked at her, smiled and gave her a little wave.  With dimples, glasses and a black hoodie covering her head, she smiled and waved back at me.  The light was taking a while.  It usually doesn’t take this long for it to change.  Cars were lining up behind me.  But am I glad they did.  

I had these two Hershey Kisses in my cup holder that had been there since Valentine’s day.  I took them, opened my window and said “They’re just chocolates.”  She replied “That’s okay.  That’s great.  Especially for a Friday night.”  I rolled up my window and waited for the light.  It just wasn’t turning.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man walk up to her.  She stretched out the palm of her hand and showed him the two little Hershey Kisses and they both smiled.  She looked into his eyes, and him into hers and they kissed.  I didn’t want to stare, so I was doing this side peripheral vision thing and both had unwrapped one and fed each other the Kisses.  And with what I allowed myself to see in this private moment between two people, I smiled.  I felt pretty warm inside and was glad the light took as long as it did.  I feel like I saw something rare and beautiful.