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calling all blog readers! i'd love your feedback on how i'm doing. head to jojotastic.com to complete the 2016 reader survey (and enter to win $50 to shop on Amazon)

Pardon the interruption, but I need your help! I’m working on a totally new design for this site (woo) and brainstorming ways to make this space even better and more inspiring for you guys. I’ve never done this before, so I’m a little nervous. Please help me better understand what you love, like, and even hate by filling out this survey. I urge you to be totally honest — hate something? I wanna know! This survey will be live for a week, so please leave your feedback and thoughts:

Here’s a link if the above widget isn’t loading for you.

And to thank you for your time, I’m running a bit of a giveaway! Make sure you enter your email address on the survey to enter to win a $50 gift card to Amazon. This is coming out of my own pocket, you guys — that’s how important your feedback is to me!

Thanks so much!

omg i'm starting the process of house hunting and having some major feelings about it. thoughts on the blog: jojotastic.com

That’s right, you guys… I’m in the market to buy my first home, something I never thought I’d say in this space. Ever since I graduated college, I’ve been a renter and a very transient one at that. I’ve moved across the country 3 times, but it didn’t stop there. There were years that I moved 3 times within a span of 12 months. Oh, and that time I lived in my car with my cat thanks to an insane roommate and showered at the office when no one was around. Let’s not forget about that.

So, the fact that I am starting the house hunting process feels… indescribable? I hate to use that word, but –boom– there it is. It’s also coupled with a bit of personal info that I’ve debated sharing in this space, but I’m gonna be brave: my dear, dear grandpa gave me the money when he passed away. There, I said it. The fact is that I got insanely, inconceivably lucky and I almost feel guilty about it. I don’t have this money because I scrimped and saved for years and years. Instead, it came in the form of a very generous gift and a message from my grandpa: it’s time to settle down. For years, he saw me struggling and moving, never quite feeling like I was in the right place. And every time we spoke, he directed me to keep going, but to pay attention to what felt right. Just one month before he passed away, I told him I was planning to move back to Seattle. He didn’t say much, but his eyes said ‘finally.’

omg i'm starting the process of house hunting and having some major feelings about it. thoughts on the blog: jojotastic.com

Here I am now, armed with a lifetime of his amazing guidance and his incredible gift to me. I’m meeting with my first real estate agent later today and the usual anxieties are creeping up — am I enough? Will I be taken seriously even if I have pink hair and tattoos? Is this just too big of an adult decision for me to make? Can I make this decision alone? It all feels… so much bigger than me.

I am so terrified of this process, it’s not even funny. And to do it alone? Oof.

omg i'm starting the process of house hunting and having some major feelings about it. thoughts on the blog: jojotastic.com

But here’s what is ringing true more than any anxiety I might have: I’ve always wanted a home, something that’s all mine and now this dream is a very real possibility. After all of the moving, all of the scrambling to find a place to live, all of the unknown, I’ve been given an incredible gift to get what I always wanted: my very own home. No more sociopath roommates, no more noisy neighbors, no more waiting for my heat to never get fixed. Instead, I can make it all my own and do what I actually need. This goes beyond inspiration boards on Pinterest; rather, this is more about that feeling of Never Having to Leave Again. Security. Stability.

That’s what this all means to me.

p.s. I plan to share the house hunting process with you guys, too. I have the feeling I’ll need your advice and encouragement as I muddle my way through this process! Be sure to stay tuned.

images via Jojotastic on instagram.

back from some (much-needed) time off and setting some goals for 2016! read more on jojotastic.com

Remember when I said I’d be back blogging in full effect on January 4 (aka yesterday)? Well… I got up yesterday and just didn’t feel ready. The truth is that I’ve really been enjoying my time off, which is to be expected, right? I’ve never taken this much time off and especially not without checking in to do some work… so not taking any time off at all. But this time, I baaaarely checked in and it was liberating.

It’s funny — I’m not really a resolutions kind of person, but something about 2016 has me feeling introspective. To be perfectly honest, I think it’s because I finally stepped away from the laptop, which opened up room in my head for real thoughts and introspection! Funny how that works, huh. Over the past week, I also read 2 books to keep me in the mindset of resetting and refreshing my mindset: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. Both books have been instrumental in framing some changes I want to make. Humor me, I want to talk about some goals for 2016 and I’d really love your feedback!

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my need for quiet + the trust for public land // jojotastic.com @trustpublicland #OurLand

Oof, you guys. This time of year… sometimes it really gets to me. Not only is it the busiest time of year for us bloggers, but it’s also the time of year when lots of feelings emerge within myself. I tend to get caught up in everything being perfect, which results in me losing sight of actually being present in the moment and enjoying it. And I really, really hate that this happens. Nothing makes me feel more frenzied, more stressed out than having to rush from one party to another event… on and on. When The Trust for Public Land reached out to me to partner on a blog post, I rushed to say yes — if anything as the perfect excuse to open up this conversation with you guys and share how vital being outdoors is to maintaining a clear head during the holidays.

my need for quiet + the trust for public land // jojotastic.com @trustpublicland #OurLand my need for quiet + the trust for public land // jojotastic.com @trustpublicland #OurLand

As much as possible lately, I’ve been reminding myself to slowwwww down, take a breath… and get outside. It is not always easy to take the time for myself, but it’s entirely vital to my wellbeing. During my most recent trip visiting friends in San Francisco, I felt the stress welling up inside of me — to the point where it felt hard to focus on anything else. It’s moments like this where I drop everything and escape to the outdoors, in this instance I went to Lands End park. I felt totally inundating by social obligations, blog deadlines, an overflowing inbox. So I ditched the iPhone in my car and took to the trails with my camera to breathe in the air and clear my head.

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straight up girl talk // dealing with disappointment // jojotastic.com

Guys… disappointment. How do you deal with it? I’m throwing out this disclaimer: I’m writing this post in the heat of the moment, a moment that finds me kinda pissed off, but also kinda let down because of someone else’s actions. I feel totally out of control in this situation because I can’t control anyone’s behavior — this is something I know, deep deep down inside me.

And yet… here I am wishing that I just freaking knew what was going on and that people would stick to their word and just freaking show up.

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how i'm taking better care of myself + pure encapsulations // jojotastic.com

I’ll be the first to admit this: I’m not the best at taking care of myself. It’s something I’ve always been painfully aware of, but recently I’ve been working harder and harder to remedy the situation. When Pure Encapsulations reached out to me to partner on a post, this felt like the perfect opportunity for me to do a deep dive into the world of nutritional supplements.

how i'm taking better care of myself + pure encapsulations // jojotastic.com

The first step in taking better care of myself is a simple one: being consistent about taking a multivitamin every day. It’s a simple step, but one that ensures I get all the nutrients and vitamins my body needs on a regular basis, especially as I climb and work out more and more. Another supplement that I add to this regimen is an omega supplement to keep my joints happy.

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why i love snapchat jojotastic.com @jojotastic

Oh, social media… I have quite the love/hate relationship with it — who doesn’t these days? I think what makes me struggle the most is just how unattainable everything looks, especially on Instagram. The right filter, the right caption, everything is so… perfect. It feels stifling, especially when I really just want to post something goofy or maybe even drop an f-bomb or two. I think this is why I’ve embraced snapchat so much, especially recently. These quick little blips feel like the best way to share my personality with followers in a more relaxed environment. After all, whatever I post goes away within 24 hours!

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