reflecting on the year after my accident

Personal essay. One year after my traumatic rock climbing accident when I broke my leg. #reallife #personalessay #ptsd #selfcare #healing

A year ago today I almost died. I actually don’t know if that’s true or not but in my brain it feels very true. You can read about the details of my accident here, but essentially breaking my leg kept me from pitching forward another 12’ head first. I think about that fact a lot. I don’t profess to be an expert in trauma or PTSD or even anything really, but the past year has brought some of the hardest challenges I’ve ever faced and, as I share more and more with you guys about my personal life, I wanted to also share this.

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update #1 about my ‘no shopping’ challenge

Quarterly update about my ‘no shopping’ challenge! A personal essay about my year of no shopping. intention, goal and resolution to not buy clothing, accessories, or jewelry for all of 2018. read more on #noshopping #lessismore #fewerbutbetter #minimalism #smallspaces

When I decided on my no shopping challenge back in January, I had no idea what to expect. Would I feel a crazy impulse to buy buy buy? Would I unlock some magical, zen approach to getting dressed? Would I get so tired of the same pair of jeans that I’d go nuts and buy 15 new ones? When I initially wrote the post, it seemed like a lot of you felt the same way I did about shopping, that you were totally spent and needed a shift in attitude toward the entire idea of buying. I wanted to check in with you guys to not only update you, but also to share some anecdotes about these past 4 months of going without buying clothing, accessories, or jewelry.

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monthly moments | our engagement video!

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WHO’S CUTTING ONIONS IN HERE?? Just kidding, but seriously… I cried through the entire editing of this video because I am so happy and honored to be engaged to marry to such a kind-hearted, warm, funny, amazing man. Sean and I talked a lot about whether wanted to share our engagement video with the entire internet… it felt like a moment that we wanted to savor as long as possible. But after some time, we came to the realization that so many of you have been part of our love story — through renovations, van adventures, and everything in between.

I promise not to get all bridezilla on the blog and will definitely be keeping the wedding-themed posts to a minimum… but there will, of course, still be some posts about it! We’re both so honored that you guys have followed our love story and can’t wait to share more with you. And thank you so very much for the happy messages and congratulations — we are over the moon!

p.s. watch even more of our videos here!

the feeling of doing it all

personal essay about the feeling of doing it all. it's ok banner. more on #personalessay #minimalism #minimalistart #inspiringquotes

Do you guys get trapped in this feeling having to do it all, all the time? I do… a lot. And lately it’s been really bad. There’s so much to be done, too and I just don’t know when I’ll ever get caught up. There are times when I cry about it and that actually helps a bit. But when the crying has stopped, I just sort of jump back into doing it all, all over again. Right now it feels like there is a ton on my plate: running my own business, navigating taxes, planning renovations, being the ‘breadwinner’ of our household, rehabbing my leg (still)… the list goes on and on. And then I have 23 unread text messages. There are times when I just want to crawl back into bed about it and I know I am not alone in that feeling. I guess what I’m wondering is how does everyone else manage it all? I’m a nerd when it comes to tools to make my life easier; I’m a sucker for a productivity hack. But when the laundry needs doing and we have no groceries and I have to edit a video for another post? That’s when I feel like it all has to happen right this minute and that’s when the panic sets in. Historically I’ve always prioritized work over everything else, but lately I’ve found peace in the mundane. I actually enjoy going to the grocery store or tidying up the house. Maybe it’s a feeling similar to nesting. Those two needs (getting shit done for work and being a homebody) feel very much at odds and I’m struggling to balance the two. I’m not alone in this, right?

Anyways, I just wanted to pop on and have an open dialogue with you guys. It’s been a while and I kind of hate that. I want to share more of what I’m feeling and what life’s been like lately.


my ‘no shopping’ challenge for 2018

personal essay about my year of no shopping. intention, goal and resolution to not buy clothing, accessories, or jewelry for all of 2018. read more on #noshopping #lessismore #fewerbutbetter

When I recording my 2018 goals video, I totally forgot to mention a personal one that I’m working on: I’m not buying clothing for the entirety of 2018! Our DIY contributor, Hannah, did it in 2017 and, after witnessing her succeed, I decided to do it on my own. The final push was this NY Times article entitled My Year of No Shopping — after this came it, it solidified my decision. So now that I’m a month and a half in, I wanted to share it with you guys + set the rules for this grand experiment of mine.

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my 2018 goals (better late than never!)

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So um… Happy February! Where the hell did January go?? I’m just a little late in sharing my 2018 goals with you guys, but hey, better late than never. This year, I decided to record a video to share a more personal peek into what I’ve got in mind for 2018 both here on the blog and personally. If you’re new to the blog, I’ve shared my goals for the past few years and really find it helpful to look back. I love seeing how I’ve achieved something that I set out to do… or that I have a bit more work to do to achieve something. To be honest, both of those scenarios feel positive to me because they each indicate some sort of personal growth. And, although last year’s goals really got off track when I broke my leg, I am hopeful for a happier and much healthier year!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my list + what are your resolutions and goals??

xo, Joanna

my thankful list

2017 has been a whirlwind. Sharing my thankful list just in time for #thanksgiving this week on

Happy (early) Thanksgiving, you guys! I won’t be posting tomorrow so I wanted to pop in today and share a bit of what I am thankful for this year. Admittedly, it’s been a really tough year for me… 2017 brought about the most challenging experiences I’ve faced in my life, but I am choosing to stay positive and grateful for everything I learned. This year, I am thankful for:

Sean, for keeping me laughing, grounded, and sane (but also a little bit insane, too).

My dearest friends for helping me through all the emotion of breaking my leg, owning a fixer upper, and being a general hot mess.

Our tiny zoo for providing endless belly laughs and sloppy kisses.

Strong, strong coffee.

The Joshua Search and Rescue team who got me to safety and the nurses of Hi-Desert Medical Center.

My amazing management team at Jabber Haus for helping me take my business to a totally new level.

The generous sponsors who’ve helped me renovate and finish my home more and more.

The patient Fedex, UPS, and USPS delivery people who come to my house every day and deal with our barking dogs.

My incredible team: Meghan, Hannah, Sarah… I’d be lost without you!

Readers like you, for inspiring me to create amazing things every day and allowing me to do this blog thing full-time. Without you guys, I’d be in a cubicle somewhere.

photography by Belathée Photography  (an outtake from this shoot)