ALL THE UPDATES! WHERE HAVE I BEEN? MOVING TO DALLAS AND BUYING A NEW HOME

I felt a little bit sick when I saw the last time I’d posted was in mid SEPTEMBER. EEEEK. It’s been over FOUR months since I’ve posted here! I feel a ton of guilt about it. Having a blog is a personal space where I write and share and in these four months, I’ve done almost no writing or sharing, here or otherwise. Even my social media accounts [Instagram and Facebook] took a major backseat.

I’ve been very much off the grid. It’s been a whirlwind of life changes. Family changes. House changes. Location changes. Just about everything that could shift in my life has. So many things have changed for the good, but change nonetheless is daunting. I’ve especially discovered how difficult change can be to my creative outlets.

These first few months of the new year I’m set on reworking my two websites [this one and my design business, A Simpler Design]. They’re my most satisfying outlet to work on, and I just haven’t given them the attention they deserve. I need to get back to taking beautiful photos, sharing what I cook, where I go, what I’m working on, all the things. I’ve started sharing little stories on my instagram account and as I do, I’m reminded that many of those short musings are essentially blog posts, only on a different platform. To ease myself back into blogging and writing life, I’ll start sharing my short daily somethings here.

In the meantime while I get that up and running, I thought I’d share photos of my beautiful home in Dallas, Texas and a [semi] brief update on how I got here. In October I sold my beloved home in Atlanta, Georgia [how I miss you Greenwood!], bought my new home [Edgefield is my new smaller, but just as beautiful gem!], drove from Atlanta to Dallas with my entire fur baby family in tow. In November, I did some renovations to the house straight away [mostly cosmetic, but still messy!], hosted my first Thanksgiving in said new home [literally the day after my countertops and sink were installed!], and completely decorated my new home [almost entirely with things I already owned, but still an endeavor because unpacking and organizing is a bitch!]. December brought the holidays, more organizing and decorating [so much holiday decorating on top of it all!], and my mom came and stayed for a couple weeks [she missed the fur babies and me too possibly hah]. January has been a struggle bus. I’ve been sick since just after Christmas, and have had ups and downs with relentless colds and coughs and fevers and bleh and I’m starting to wonder if I have pneumonia and AHH. But I’ve been trying to truck through and keep telling myself February will be my month of health since January was a complete bust in that department. #goals if I’ve ever needed them!

There’s so much I want and need to accomplish in these coming months, and I’m hopeful for the year ahead. Never-ending sickness aside, I’ve been so lucky in many ways, and so thankful to have such supportive family and friends, and I know there are only more good things to come this year.

Ok…now you can check out the photos of my house! [of course these are just the real estate ones and I haven’t gotten around to photographing it with all my things in and with the renovations I’ve made, but of course I will share all that in due time!].

Missed you and glad to be back and rambling :)

xx Jo

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WHOLE HOUSE VIDEO TOUR [WHAT'S BEEN KEEPING ME BUSY!]

September is one of those months that always kicks me back into gear. I get weirdly, disturbingly, overly excited to do work and get things done. Even though my ‘back to school’ days have LONG since passed, I still get that nudge to get myself sorted, and start focusing on all the things I took a break from over the summer. My blogs, my furniture painting, even my Airbnb took a breather for a few months.  I spent time traveling, which I’ll get around to sharing more about in future posts, but the real reason I had a brief hiatus from all the things was due to my house being put up for sale. I’ve lived in my 1930s bungalow for 10 years now, and it’s hard to imagine myself anywhere else. I still don’t know if I’m ready to part with it [nothing is final!], but regardless of my hesitations and undeniable love for this house, we’re going to give it a try!

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Staging a house is normally fun for me, but it’s a TON of work when it’s your own place. Having to figure out how to somehow hide all of your things so the house appears spacious and uncluttered while still living in it is nothing short of a nightmare! If anything, this process will turn me into a minimalist yet! [don’t hold me to that though, I’m no Marie Kondo] Normally I only share design-y things on A Simpler Design, my business website and blog, but this is my personal hub, and there’s nothing more personal than sharing my home.  Today I’m posting the video our realtor had made of the house.  When I first watched it, I couldn’t believe it was the home I’ve lived in all this time! It felt like I was watching some big reveal moment on an HGTV show. We put a good bit of work into the house this spring, and this video gives you a quick glimpse [though nearly 4 minutes does feel a little long for a promo video…but there are A LOT of rooms!] of the finished product.  I’ll be doing room tours on my other website, so feel free to head there if you want to snoop a bit more into my home!

BULLET JOURNAL: FEBRUARY FLIP THROUGH

Yeah, it's April....about that...it's a LONG story, and it's far too much for a quick little post like this, but basically I've had a life changing last few months.  I spent a couple weeks discovering the Philippines, where my mom is from and it was nothing short of incredible. I've been doing a good bit of writing when it comes to that trip and all the places we went, and in time I'll share some of that here.  After the Philippines I had even more life changing things happen, but that's an EVEN  longer story for another day [all good things I promise!]. So for now, here's my February bullet journal flip through.

So far it's my favorite month in the journal yet, mostly having to do with the fact that I started my cover page with lyrics to one of my RIDE OR DIE MADONNA SONGS. [insert crying emoji here]. I chose my colors and 'theme' with our trip to Palawan in mind. Palawan, a chain of islands in the Philippines is quite possibly the most beautiful place in the world, or at least the most beautiful place this girl has been to in her 30ish years! When it came to planning, I kept up with things for the most part, not so much with certain aspects of my tracking [ahem, sorry expense tracker, but you're a tricky one!]. March was a total wash, which I'll share next, but I do love looking back on the pages and reflecting on all the things I did over the month. Hope you enjoy my colorful month too!

This packing list was SUPER helpful since we had to pack for a city trip and a beach trip and could only use a carry on for the beach. Tricky packing means planning is clutch!  ALSO MADONNA LYRICS and a doodle of the actual little beach hut we stayed in [we were the second on the left!]

This packing list was SUPER helpful since we had to pack for a city trip and a beach trip and could only use a carry on for the beach. Tricky packing means planning is clutch!  ALSO MADONNA LYRICS and a doodle of the actual little beach hut we stayed in [we were the second on the left!]

Even though I didn't write much in this monthly spread, I think it's the most beautiful one I've done! I did keep up with my gratitude a day log, and that's one of the pieces of this journaling habit I've actually kept up with the past four months. The top left is the big lagoon in Palawan and is far more stunning in person than my little doodles.

Even though I didn't write much in this monthly spread, I think it's the most beautiful one I've done! I did keep up with my gratitude a day log, and that's one of the pieces of this journaling habit I've actually kept up with the past four months. The top left is the big lagoon in Palawan and is far more stunning in person than my little doodles.

I kept up with my habit tracker for the month, but expenses went straight out the window.  It was tricky because I wasn't using my credit card while in the Philippines, and then just sort of forgot to fill it in...whoops.  An ongoing task list is still a helpful spot to have, and I just need to work on writing out all my ideas [I've got TONS of them!]. 

I kept up with my habit tracker for the month, but expenses went straight out the window.  It was tricky because I wasn't using my credit card while in the Philippines, and then just sort of forgot to fill it in...whoops.  An ongoing task list is still a helpful spot to have, and I just need to work on writing out all my ideas [I've got TONS of them!]. 

I didn't end up tracking my food for the month.  I'm realizing it's not that necessary for me to do this.  I didn't do it for health reasons, it was more to remind myself of meals I love.  I do need to get better at jotting those down somewhere, so I'm thinking for May I'll do a simple page where I jot down tasty meals as they come along.

I didn't end up tracking my food for the month.  I'm realizing it's not that necessary for me to do this.  I didn't do it for health reasons, it was more to remind myself of meals I love.  I do need to get better at jotting those down somewhere, so I'm thinking for May I'll do a simple page where I jot down tasty meals as they come along.

The daily logs were incredibly helpful at the start of the month. I had a couple trips I was planning for at that time, so keeping myself organized was essential.

The daily logs were incredibly helpful at the start of the month. I had a couple trips I was planning for at that time, so keeping myself organized was essential.

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Once we were leaving for the Philippines, having a timeline for each day was so valuable.  We had lots of flights and information to keep track of, and this was the perfect spot for it. 

Once we were leaving for the Philippines, having a timeline for each day was so valuable.  We had lots of flights and information to keep track of, and this was the perfect spot for it. 

Once we were at the beach, my planning fell off, but I did jot down a quick note of the things we did that day.  All the photos I took are far more valuable since they really take me through each day, but having a quick reference for what we did each day has been nice to refer back to.

Once we were at the beach, my planning fell off, but I did jot down a quick note of the things we did that day.  All the photos I took are far more valuable since they really take me through each day, but having a quick reference for what we did each day has been nice to refer back to.