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i am very busy.

So, about today’s blog post… yeah, I definitely forgot to write one today. Oops. I leave for vacation tomorrow and it’s becoming all too clear that my mind is… elsewhere already. There’s something about this trip that has me feeling flustered. Maybe it’s the impending 11 hour flight, maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t packed yet or that I’m absolutely exhausted from a relentless schedule and zero days off since I have no idea when. I don’t think I’ve ever been this disorganized before a trip. Usually I am a calm, cool, collected traveler. Does this happen to everyone?

While I’m away, some of my amazing friends will be guest posting here. They’ve delicious recipes, crafty DIYs, inspirational travel journals, and much, much more. Stay tuned and I’ll be back November 4!

pencil pouch from Ban.do

we need to put an end to sexual harassment.

Editor’s note: I try to keep it fairly lighthearted in this space, veering away from anything political or controversial, but today something so terrible happened to me that I felt no choice but to speak out. 

This morning, I was standing at my desk contemplating getting to work. My desk faces out of 3 large windows and directly across the street is a construction site. As I was glancing around, I realized that 2 men from the construction site were on their roof, watching me. When they realized that I saw them, they started yelling at me — horrible, ugly things. My initial instinct was to close my curtains… which cued even more yelling… more vocalization of their displeasure that I was not allowing them to continue watching me and yelling at me. Even as I write that, it boggles my mind. A lump rises in my throat and my arms tingle. I felt uncomfortable and unsafe in my own home. Not ok.

In terms of the bigger picture, it has never been a good time to harass people, in my opinion. Given news-worthy events of late though… it is an especially poor time. If anything, I desperately hope that as a country, we are becoming attuned to the plight of minorities… and actually learning to be good to each other. With Ray Rice in the headlines, I can’t help but wonder WHY these men felt like it was ok to act as they did. WHY? Have you not learned your lesson from this asshole that you have idolized? Do you think it is still ok to degrade women? Because I am here today to say it is not. It never will be. And the next time you decide to watch me, I will call the police again. And I will not stop until you are fired.

I waffled about whether to cite the name of the construction company, but I think they should be called to task for employing misogynistic, crude lowlifes. So listen up, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, I will not stand by and let your employees treat women this way. The police have spoken to your crew, I have left a voicemail, I have tweeted you and sent you a message on Facebook, I even wrote a Yelp review. You need to know that this is not ok.

image source

coming clean // jojotastic.com

There are a few things I need to get off my chest. I’ve struggled with how personal to be in this space, but there are a few things that just need to be out there… almost so these things can stop having power over me. Do you ever feel like that?

First up… you know how I moved to San Francisco for a job? Well, I got laid off back in June. I’m not really allowed to talk about circumstances or any of that, but let’s say it was a big blow. Totally unexpected. But here’s the thing: I wasn’t that happy, at least not in the way that I am now. Now I am full-time freelance, picking my favorite projects and working with people who inspire me to create and be the absolute best version of myself. It is awesome and scary and awesome all over again. While I miss the comfort of that steady paycheck, I also can’t put a price on my happiness. And right now, I am so freaking happy with what I’m doing. You’ll see, there is some seriously awesome stuff coming this way.

Next up… dating sucks. Like, really really sucks. I’m struggling with this feeling of loneliness despite having incredible friends in an incredible city. I’ve gone on countless first dates and that connection just isn’t there. Sometimes I worry that it’s me, sometimes I worry that my break up last year somehow broke me as a person. There are days when I want to give up and just adopt 18 more cats (like that night I got stood up). I’m trying to stay positive though… we’ll see how it all plays out.

I’m also really, really happy to be in this city, but it doesn’t feel like home. It just doesn’t. I don’t know where I want to live, but for now I am in San Francisco and that’s enough.

I think that’s all I care to share for now. Maybe there will be more.

photography by Jojotastic

oops poster

Today is a trick. It’s actually Tuesday, but feels like a Monday… except a Monday in the most brutal way possible. I think I had too much weekend. For the first time in a long, long time, I took some proper time off. On Saturday I didn’t open my laptop for the entire day — do you know how big of a deal that is for me? I even spent most of Monday away from my laptop, focusing instead on organizing my apartment and creating more of a zen environment in here. I had every intention of getting ahead of the week, too. And here I am, mid-day on Tuesday with nary a blog post written for the week, a mountain of emails, and some serious deadlines looming. A healthy person would say that I needed the time off, that it will be good for my creativity, etc etc. Except right now I feel anything but creative. Instead, I feel frenzied, rushed, disorganized, and totally unsettled. In this moment, it feels like all I can do is make a giant pot of coffee, throw on this album, and put my head down. Any other suggestions?

image credit: coniLab

the meaning of home www.jojotastic.com

I’ve been away from San Francisco for exactly 11 days. Around day 4 or 5, I started to feel that yearning for the life I left behind while I jetted off to work on a dream project. My pets, my bed, my favorite park… even my favorite coffee stand. I’ve only been in San Francisco for about 6 or 7 months, but it’s strange to think how quickly it’s become ‘home’ to me. I didn’t move there with thought that it was a permanent move, but every time I leave, I ache for it. The strangest part is that I’ve always considered Seattle to be my true home. Yes, I only lived there for 2 years and, yes, I grew up in Maryland, but there has always been something that spoke to me about Seattle. For some fairly illogical and overly sensitive reasons (namely, a break up), I don’t feel like I can go back. At least, not yet. So I guess that partly plays into my surprise over how much I miss SF today. This leaves me wondering if there’s a sense of temporary home, sort of where you miss a place, but know it’s not the place. Or is it just that I miss my apartment, my things? I can’t really decide.

So tell me, what’s your meaning of home?

photography by Jojotastic

wake up feeling refreshed

While I’m not exactly chipper and cheerful in the AM, I can agree that what you do first thing in the morning is super important. What you do that first hour or so of your day defines the mood of your day. Here’s how I think of it: imagine waking up on the first day of vacation… now try to figure out a way to incorporate that into your daily routine.

I have a few tips and tricks that help me wake up feeling fresh and ready to take on the day. Here are a few:

  • Let the email sit: I used to immediately check my inbox as soon as my alarm woke me, but that just lead to feeling rushed and stressed out when I saw work-related emails. Now, instead of scouring through my inbox, I give my cat a good cuddle before I hop out of bed.
  • Take the dog for a walk: I like to start my day with a stroll around the neighborhood with my dog, Noodle. There’s something about getting all that fresh air first thing in the morning that energizes.
  • Have a routine: I’m a creature of habit and I tend to run late.Having a simple morning routine prevents me from feeling rushed and sets me up for staying on track for the rest of the day.
  • Get a glass of water: Chilled water (I like mine infused with mint leaves) is a great way to start your day feeling refreshed and invigorated.

morning ritualsmorning rituals
What are some things you do to embrace the day and start out on a fresh foot?

photography by Jojotastic

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Carefree and SheKnows. All opinions are my own, and I would never endorse something I didn’t completely love. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

thoughts about authenticity in blogging

Today I want to talk about post-vacation slump. It’s funny because, while I’m on vacation, I always journal about what feels like resolutions. New Years resolutions don’t really resonate with me. Instead, I prefer to brainstorm mine during key moments in my life. Maybe it’s because my life is so full of travel that I feel like the trips themselves are like milestones in my life. Remember when I went to Turks and Caicos and came back all inspired and amped up? That’s what I’m talking about.

My most recent trip has essentially confirmed an idea I’ve been fostering for a while: that this blog needs to be more personal, more of my aesthetic, more… well, authentic to me. I like to think that the only reason I have readers is because of my unique story. Plus, those posts are what excite and drive me the most. I am most excited about posts where I can spill my feelings, share personal stories, and ask for advise from you guys. That isn’t to say that you won’t see sponsored content pop up in this space. It’s more that I want to be proud of everything to which I attach my name. Buzzword that it is, ‘authenticity’ is the name of the game and I want this blog to reflect that more and more.

So, really, I just wanted to share my jumbled thoughts with you, almost as a hint of what’s to come. I’m planning more photoshoots (including more photos that I’ve taken myself!), more thoughtful content, and much, much more creativity. It’s a really exciting time and I am truly honored to share it with you.

PS – for more reading on authenticity in blogging, check out these incredible posts by Apartment 34 and Wit & Delight.

photography by Jojotastic