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i've got a confession to make: i haven't worked out in months. today's blog post is all about taking accountability and being responsibility for getting back on track. www.jojotastic.com

I have a confession to make: it’s been somewhere between 6-8 months since I’ve worked out, but over a year since I did it with any form of consistency. Even typing that makes me feel gross and so disappointed in myself. How did I let it go this far? Actually I know exactly how: prioritizing work over anything else, eating enough french fries for a small country, and way too much travel. I am softer than ever before and, frankly, don’t feel comfortable with how my body has changed. I read somewhere (no idea where) that the things you do in your 20s end up being habits for life. That frightens me.

I feel this change in my body and I don’t like it, in plain terms. I want to take accountability for my actions, so here goes: starting this week, I am going to the gym at least 4 times a week. I feel like that is a good number to start with so as not to overcommit, but to get myself committed and excited for the process. I scoped out this pilates studio in my neighborhood and plan to finally add the climbing gym back into the mix. My goal is to keep this up for a month as a way to jumpstart a new pattern, one that includes making time for myself to be physically healthy.

photo credit: Claire Hudson. see more of this shoot here

today on the the blog: thoughts on my 30th birthday www.jojotastic.com

Today is my 30th birthday and I’m feeling pretty damn introspective about it. I’ve been spending a lot of time journaling, actually. You’ve all followed my journey for the past few years and it’s meant so much to me that I wanted to share a bit of my thoughts with you.

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sharing a bit about what's it's like 3 days into my big move to Seattle

I’m queuing up some posts for the rest of the week and I felt like I was due for a check in. All I could think about is how I really just need to air out some feelings I’ve been having. Officially, I’ve been in Seattle for 3 days and, overall, it’s totally great. This feels like home… which is exactly the point of all of this, right?

It’s just when I really start to think about things… that things get complicated in my head. There are so many things going on, so much change, so much unknown. When will my stuff arrive? Do the people in my new co-working space like me? Will I bump into my ex-boyfriend and will my hair actually be clean that day? When will my cat stop howling in the middle of the night because she’s scared of the new apartment? And why is that man peeing in the alleyway below to my kitchen?

Stuff like that.

I haven’t been sleeping well and I think I’m sort of fighting off a cold. My body needs a break in a big way. For the past few days, I was able to distract myself from everything thanks to the road trip, the new apartment, the new office, everything. Now though… it’s really catching up to me.

So yeah… there’s that. I just felt like I needed to get it out there and now I feel a bit calmer.

image via my Instagram

today's blog post is all about dealing with feelings of being totally overwhelmed and uninspired www.jojotastic.com

A very weird thing has been happening to me lately — I feel totally overwhelmed by everything going on in my life… and entirely helpless to do anything about it. This morning (and, really, most of today) it felt like there were waves of anxiety practically emanating off of me. I rush from one thing to another without actually accomplishing anything. I’m exhausted, but wake up between the hours of 3 and 5 am wide awake and rarin’ to go. My body is desperately asking me to slow down, but I keep piling it on. I have so much going on: I’m still struggling to cope with the loss of my grandpa, I’m moving and currently living out of a friend’s house, even my cat isn’t here with me. Plus, I won’t have a space to call my own for 10 more days, something that has always helped to keep me grounded.

I really, really need a break. And sometimes it feels like this is all impacting my creativity. I feel an urge to constantly post, to keep up with other bloggers. Then I feel paralyzed and totally uncreative. That’s when boring, meaningless blog posts happen and no one likes that.

I’m letting this post be it today. I’m off doing a really exciting photoshoot, something I can’t wait to share in the coming months, but for right now… I need a bit of a time out today, a few moments away from ‘the overwhelm.’

Photography by Greg Zulkie using actual film!

all ears // a spotify playlist for for my upcoming road trip from san francisco to seattle

I want to do something different this time around. I don’t want this month’s All Ears playlist to be love songs, ballads, and the like. That just feels… played out (pun intended?). Instead, I want this month’s playlist to take you, my readers, through a bit of the journey that I’m facing this month. This month (really, in less than 14 days) I leave California in my trusty old VW and drive north to the only place that’s ever felt like a true home, Seattle. I’m leaving behind so much, but in my soul I know this is the right choice for me. It’s bittersweet, yes, but it’s the only thing that actually makes sense in my life right now.

This playlist has two parts: the first is meant to be a bit of a love letter to California. This gorgeous city and state welcomed me with open arms and, although it’s only been year, I find myself changed and improved. The second half of the playlist feels like the best way I can ever possibly explain all of the feelings that are wrapped up in what it means to go ‘home.’ Sometimes it’s easier to let another explain the emotions.

You can play via this widget or add the playlist via Spotify:
photo from my Instagram — follow along on my #PNWpilgrimage to see more. listen to more All Ears playlists here.

about grieving // bloggers don't often talk about grieving, but i couldn't stay quiet about everything i've learned during the passing of my beloved grandpa

Here’s the thing: bloggers don’t talk about grieving. That being said, my grandfather passed away on Sunday and it’s all I can think about. I don’t want to do product round ups or giveaways or any of that. I want to get real and talk about the pain that I’m feeling and hopefully share my experience in the hopes of alleviating someone else’s pain one day.

This is what they don’t tell you:

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goals for 2015 + i'm moving back to Seattle!  see more on www.jojotastic.com

I think at this point, when I say I’m moving somewhere people just shrug and ask what else is new. Yes, I move a lot, but this time, I’m the one choosing the move. It’s not for a company, it’s not for a boy — it’s because I feel like being in a place I love, one that feels like home. Originally I wanted to write this post about the goals I’m setting for 2015, but those are tied so closely to this move that it just feels right to discuss both. Basically, moving back to Seattle is the first step in helping me to achieve these goals and here’s why:

San Francisco is expensive. Yes, I moved here knowing that little tidbit, but I also had a full-time job on top of all the freelance and blogging that I do. The fact is that I wasn’t planning on getting laid off. I’m incredibly proud of the success I’ve had with this blog and have fully committed to going my own way, including setting up my LLC last year. With all that being said… it makes zero sense for me to pay so much in rent every month for a tiny space where I barely have room to work and create. By paring down my expenses significantly (we’re talking about decreasing my rent by almost half), I will have so much more freedom… and savings.

I desperately need an office. Planning and executing photoshoots in 500 sqft while also living there is close to impossible. I’m excited to announce that I’ll finally have a real, live desk space as part of the 95 Yesler collective with my good friend Cassandra from Coco + Kelley. I cannot wait to actually have some space in which to get creative.

I just want to create things that are meaningful to me. When you’re constantly worried about paying exorbitant rent, you tend to do anything to make a buck. For me, this has meant taking on work about which I’m not super passionate or maybe wasn’t the best fit for my aesthetic and brand. I just… do not want to do that anymore. Also, I want to create for the sake of creating, even if that means it’s not sponsored content. For example, I’ve always wanted to explore the art of flower arranging, always. One of my goals for 2015 is to provide you guys with content that I create myself just because I feel like it, while also partnering only with my absolute favorite brands in meaningful ways.

Give myself a time out. I have some bizarre work habits and one of which I am painfully aware and desperately want to change is my tendency to get hyperfocused. Most of the time, I am so focused on work and getting things done that I don’t do the basics, like eating. I’m not joking. It’s especially bad because my desk is across the room from my bed, so I wake up and immediately start working without even thinking about it. A personal goal this year is to make myself take at least one major time out every week. Maybe it’s a field trip to a museum or a spontaneous ferry boat ride to Bainbridge Island or even an hour spent perusing the amazing Seattle Public Library. I really need to break out of my bubble and see more, away from the glowing rectangles (my nickname for computer and phone screens).

Learn a few new things. I feel really stagnant, sort of like I just do the same stuff day after day. Probably because I’m just constantly working. It’s time to take action and do the things I’ve always wished I could do: I want to take a ceramics class; I want to brush up on my Greek; I want to camp more.

goals for 2015 + i'm moving back to Seattle!  see more on www.jojotastic.comThose are just a few of my reasons for the move and goals for the year. I’ve truly enjoyed my time in SF, especially the food and adventures, not to mention the incredible friends I’ve made. Believe me, leaving was not an easy decision, but at the end of the day this move feels like the right choice for both myself and my business.

photography by Danfredo Photo + Film — see more of their road trip here.