Sundays with Stella is a weekly reader-supported newsletter about finding meaning and noticing the beauty of life's imperfections through personal essays, art, and photography. Life takes a turn or throws us a curveball. Underneath all that, some kind of beauty emerges. Those are the type of stories I’ll be sharing and more. I’m not sure where this will lead but I’d like to invite you on this creative journey with me!

A few of the wonderful feedback I’ve received from my dear readers:

“I love how your writing and photography speak to our shared humanity. Reading your post is a nice start to my Sunday mornings.” – Jen S.

“I am lucky to have found 5 incredible newsletters that I hope to read in years to come.” — Sean,

“I love your Substack. It's so raw, surreal and beautifully written. Inspiring!”— Mitch L.

“You’re one of my favorites discoveries of the year!” –

The WHY behind Sundays with Stella

Growing up, I discovered those conversations at the adult table were more interesting than at the kids' table. I usually walked over to where my aunts, uncles, and grandparents gathered after meals and listened as they told stories, cajoled, and bantered together.

For years, I've written down in my journals tiny details of everyday life and pieces of conversations I've heard or picked up. Anything that sparked my curiosity or touched me deeply, I tried to record.

Age 5. Hundred Islands. Pangasinan, Philippines.

"When are you writing a book?" my good friend Gail always asked me before she was diagnosed with dementia. We used to exchange emails regularly and chat on the phone for an hour or two. We had long conversations on her backyard patio or in her living room during my yearly visits to Santa Barbara, California. She kept insisting I had something worth sharing with the world. She encouraged me for years until she couldn't anymore. Each interaction is precious these days.

Sundays with Stella
The Mind Forgets but the Heart Remembers
Read more
Gail Miller and Me. Christmas Day 2016. Mt. Carmel Church. Montecito, CA.

I don't know if I'll ever write a book. It is daunting just thinking about it. Maybe, Sundays with Stella will do for now. We'll see where this goes... will you join me on this creative journey?

There are fours ways you can support this newsletter:

  1. Liking, commenting and/or sharing my posts gives a tremendous boost to my newsletter. Your engagement helps get Sundays with Stella discovered by other readers and fellow writers as well.

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Collage Art Prints for Sale to help support Sundays with Stella
  1. Upgrade to a paid subscription. I understand it is a huge financial commitment for some. But, I would like to offer this option to those who can. Your generosity keeps the newsletter inclusive to all. It’s also a means of paying it forward so more readers can discover and be inspired by Sundays with Stella. Thank you in advance for your generous support.

  2. Tip Jar. The last option is for those who are not ready to commit to an annual subscription but would like to lend their support by buying me a cup or two of coffee (or tea). Every monetary support counts!

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About Stella

Stella Kalaw was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She earned a BA in Communication Arts at De La Salle University, Manila, and a BA in Professional Photography at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. Publications such as the New York Times, Gastronomica, and Wine Enthusiast have featured her portrait and editorial work. The Singapore International Photography Festival, The Ayala Museum, Wall Space Gallery, Kala Art Gallery, and Rayko Gallery have exhibited her fine art photographs. She is a former Photo Editor at Airbnb. She is based in San Francisco, California.

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Finding meaning and noticing the beauty of life’s imperfections through personal essays, art, and photography.


Stella Kalaw
Stella Kalaw is a photographer, artist, & writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a former Photo Editor at Airbnb. The New York Times, Gastronomica, and Wine Enthusiast have featured her portrait and editorial work.