stay at home club

Oof, Friday, what took you so long? This tee from the Stay At Home Club sums up my plans for the weekend perfectly. The truth is that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. Between balancing a full-time job, this blog, and an ever-full social calendar, I’ve just not been taking care of myself. And, boy, am I feelin’ the repercussions this week. I’m exhausted. This weekend, I have one thing on my mind: hibernation domination. But what about the following week? It always feels like I can’t keep up, that I am eternally one step behind. The dishes pile up, the floor doesn’t get swept, and my laundry becomes a mountain. Something I’ve thought about doing lately is setting days that are to be treated as “date nights,” but for myself. These are sacred days, days when I will not make plans, but rather focus on the quiet time that I clearly need. I’m a person who requires frequent battery charging, so to speak. Because of this, my goal is to take Sunday and Wednesday for myself. I want these days to sit on the couch with my tiny zoo, clean the kitchen, change my sheets… things like that. I admit, I am one who finds peace in domesticity, so these ‘chores’ are vital to helping me feel more grounded.

So, I’d love to know… what helps you stay balanced and grounded?

image via Stay At Home Club

balloon letters

Guys, it’s my birthday. My 29th birthday, to be exact. The past month as been such an incredible whirlwind that I haven’t really given today much thought. And, to be perfectly honest with you, moving to California is sort of the best ‘gift’ I could have ever hoped to receive. When I look back on where I was last year versus this year… well, I can’t even. Last year I was reeling from a break up, unsure of the direction of my life, and totally homesick for the west. I am so incredibly grateful for the amount of change my life has undergone this past year. And, while I’m not celebrating with piles of sweets and much dancing, I am planning to celebrate by reveling in the gorgeous sunsets of San Francisco and giving my tiny zoo a good cuddle. Here’s to another year full of growth and discovery!

gold number party balloons via Urban Outfitters

beach daze

In case you didn’t know, moving is… intense. I’ve really been out of touch, especially thanks to a lack of internet, but now, I’m back! The apartment is slowly coming together and I’m really digging into work and my new social life here. Plus, I’m just really, really happy. I’ve been focusing my energy on experiencing this new city with wide eyes, soaking in all the sights and appreciating each unique moment. I feel so lucky to be here and I just want to enjoy everything. Yes, I’ve become that annoyingly happy person and it feels awesome.

image source: Fashion Gone Rogue

a quiet moment

Wow, can you believe the difference that a week can make? Within this past week, I have emptied my Philadelphia apartment, moved across the country, started a new job, and signed a lease. All in a matter of 7 days. Not gonna sugarcoat it, it’s been stressful. There were moments where I just wanted to hide under the covers. It’s hard to not have a ‘home’ and to be in this weird grey area of flux. Currently, I am living in a hotel in Corte Madera, so my commute to the office has been somewhat lengthy and very damp. That being said, on Saturday I went into San Francisco proper and began my apartment search where I stumbled upon a tiny gem of a studio. It’s got ‘me’ written all over it: vintage enameled bath tub, janky metal fire escape, and two walk in closets. (I didn’t have a single closet in Philly!) And the pièce de résistance, a newly remodeled kitchen with a full-sized gas stove! Bread production is going to resume in full swing once I move in.

So this experience has been really great. I’m taking the ups with the downs, all in stride. I’m so unbelievably happy to be here and back on the West Coast. I couldn’t feel better about the decision I made to come here and all of the adventures that I have yet to experience.

Photography by Greg Zulkie.

vintage atlas

I have some exciting personal news to share today: I am moving to San Francisco! I accepted a really exciting design position and can’t wait to get started exploring California and eating all of the avocados. The move is happening really quickly and I couldn’t be more thrilled. My one-way flight leaves Philly next Tuesday! Those of you who know me personally already know that Philly and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but it’s been a good time while I was here. That being said… I am beyond excited to get back to the West Coast and start this new chapter of my life. I cant wait to go rock climbing again, see the Pacific, and hug a redwood. It’s going to be awesome.

In the mean time, I’d love any and all California and San Francisco recommendations from you guys: where to eat, where to live, any open apartments that you know of (must be pet-friendly!), anything.

PS - I’m still planning to maintain this blog, fear not, but do bear with me as I get settled. I may not have as much time to post as frequently while I get settled into my new digs.

Photo by Joanna Hawley on Instagram

thoughts for 2014 // www.jojotastic.com

Last year I wrote about resolutions, aka ways I wanted to improve myself. This year though… I feel like I want to embrace who I am more as a person and NOT make these broad, general, and sweeping resolutions. Maybe that in and of itself is a resolution, but in all honestly 2013 knocked me on my butt and taught me to take care of myself. Pure and simple. So while it’s easy to say, “I want to exercise more” or “I want to eat better,” what I really want is to continue down the path of seeing the value and worth I have as a person and embracing and nurturing that. Of course there are so many things I want to improve, but for now I am content with accepting myself for who I am.

Those deep thoughts aside… here are some sparkly photos that Ashley and I took on a whim last week. Perfect inspiration for some New Years frivolity and glee, don’t you think? Cya next year! (I am totally one of those people who say that.)

thoughts for 2014 // www.jojotastic.com
thoughts for 2014 // www.jojotastic.com
thoughts for 2014 // www.jojotastic.com

Photography by Ashley Lynn Fry. Dress by Free People.

thoughts on gratitude // jojotastic.com

Sometimes, but most especially at holidays and anniversaries, I think about where I was a year ago, two years ago, etc. My life has completely changed over the course of the year. I’m no longer on an airplane every 2-3 weeks, my feet are firmly planted in one location, and my heart is on the mend. I actually a have a place I consider a home for the first time in years and I truly enjoy being in that space. I’ve getting stronger physically again, something I can only explain as a feeling of being totally powerful.

This year for Thanksgiving I am grateful for all of the personal growth I’ve experienced this past year. With all of the pain and questioning, I’ve carved out a life for myself that feels richer than ever before. I am still very much a work in progress and I think that’s a good thing. But right now, it feels like I’ve survived the storm.

With Thanksgiving imminent, I urge you to think about where you were a year ago and how you’ve evolved.

Photography by Claire Hudson. See more of this shoot here.

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