Saturday, December 9, 2017

What's in a Blog?




When I first started this blog I didn't think too much about "audience" or catering to one anyway, I never imagined a blog could bring me money, or "sponsors," or serve as anything other than a decent place to write about things that interested me, as well as keep a chronological documentation of family photos and experiences as a stay at home mom yearning for some kind of creative outlet. A much needed break from the daily grind of a draining (sometimes isolating) routine I was immersed in at the time when I wasn't really leaving the house much with three kids under 4. What I found in addition to an outlet was new (quality) means of connection. Quite frankly the biggest perk of all. Creating a space that made not only me, but others reading along, feel not so alone.

Since those days, nearly 7 years now, the internet has changed drastically. I think we can all agree. Instagram birthed "influencers" and suddenly photos and brief captioning started to eclipse long winded blog posts altogether. Sponsored content dominated the subjects and everything became very polished and way more "professional." More and more people stopped reading or visiting blogs they had loved for ages altogether because IG was easy, equally inspiring, and just so darn pretty to scroll through all hours of every day. I know I was guilty of the same up until recently when the grand allure of Instagram started to wane and I found myself craving more some kind of depth, in narrative, unfiltered insight, and old school blogging in general. Or whatever existed before these perfectly colored curated boxes appeared and kicked everything else to the sidelines.

In that, my dedication to this site remains unwavering. I may not post as much as I'd like, or invest as much time as it deserves, but I'm here. For better or for worse, I am and hope to always be a blogging die hard. And because I've never asked outright, why you guys read here or what you find appealing, or fun, or irritating, I'm opening up the discussion now. Asking as a favor some feedback from anyone who cares to contribute, readers I adore, who might tell me what it is you like or want or seek out in blogs these days. I'm in the midst of redoing this whole site (to debut after the new year) - as surely some of you must have noticed I'm one of the last on this generic blogspot domain so the switch if long overdo. A site I'm comfortable with but craving change.

This new site that will include much of the same stuff I've always shared but I'm hoping to expand a lot more on lifestyle. Things like vacation guides, movie reviews, thoughts on politics and pop culture that I love so dearly but tend to forsake here because it simply doesn't fit the narrative. What I want to know is your feelings on such things. Any advice, suggestion, examples, critiques - I'm open and grateful for them in helping narrow down or fine tune what exactly I'm wanting to include in constructing this new forum. One I hope will cary the same heart and transparency as always. But spring a little braver, a bit smarter, and a whole lot bolder.


Much love,
J



Friday, December 8, 2017

Scenes From A Weekend / Let it Snow

The Four Season's Let it Snow event is the kind of holiday experience I imagine we all dream about as kids. Being holed up in a big fancy hotel glistening with garland and full of suited smiling faces greeting us at every turn, grand trees decked out in the lobby, train rides, s'more roasting stations, cookie making booths, hot chocolate on demand, terry cloth bath robes tossed off at the foot of the pool, carols sung live while faux snow falls and Santa sits in the white glow of a makeshift house waiting for you to drop in.

At my age it feels extra special and festive in a nostalgic way - like stepping into a Christmas dreamland in a John Hughes film. A treat we are so grateful to have experienced two years in a row now. Especially appreciated though in midst of this whole renovation we're currently invested in, getting by with minimal furniture, no working tub, and non stop dust and overall disarray. Circumstances that make settling into a plus hotel suite with big screen TVs, jetted hot tubs and enormous beds find magic all it's own.

Thank you, Four Seasons Westlake, for having us again. For kicking off our season spirit in the most delightfully beautiful way.


Let it Snow info here





Friday, December 1, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide / Her

A brief gift guide for the special lady in your life.
Made up of a few things I own and love, or hope to one day down the line.







From Left:

Block Shop: scarf

Simple Fare: A Guide to Everyday Cooking and Eating Cookbook

Midland: Dotted Vase

Pete Souza's: Obama an Intimate Portrait

Midland Shop: Moon Bronze Coaster Set

Gjusta Goods: Pink Linen Napkin Set

Deiji Studios: Linen Bathrobe

Mixed Business: Simple Trench

Birkenstock: Boston Style Slip ons

Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life

Gjusta Goods: Waffle Towel

General Store: The Joy of Sex

Datter Industries: Nude Print

Daughter of the Land: Balancing Oil

Tree Fairfax: Half Moon Waist Body Bag

Odette Arm Cuff

Odette Hair Clip (center)






Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Scenes From a Weekend / On The Arroyo

If only all shopping experiences were so pleasant.

On The Arroyo, a pre holiday Bazaar I co hosted with my friend Elizabeth happened earlier this month thanks to her dedication to heading such beautiful events. Events that now have a permanent home thanks to their beautiful new space recently opened in Highland Park

The day consisted of a kid run bake sale, a raffle for local charity, tin type photo booth, live blue grass music and plenty of quality artisan goods sold by some seriously incredible women. Many of whom I am lucky enough to count as my best friends.

Thank you to all who came out and supported this event. It was so great to finally meet so many familiar faces and hug the ones I've long admired from behind that little screen.

xo
J









Currently




Making clay ornaments using this stuff (which is much more kid friendly than the professional grade stuff I had purchased prior that was too stiff and fast drying for little fingers)


Planning this week's date night around this film


Looking forward to another fun-filled stay at the Four Season's Winter Wonderland this weekend


Feeling intrigued by this new "ugly" trend in flower arrangements


Reminiscing these days  - thanks to you tube where this video takes me right back to the desperate, frantic need to own one of my own. Which I did. A few actually. Pre Amazon though, where our parents were forced to be out there in full defenses and open wallets in the war zone of the 80's toy stores. Old Feelings being the reason too I watched this entire video right after.


Obsessing over the new pin stripe addition to the Deiji Studio shop pictured above


Grappling with the slight jealously I'm experiencing over hearing Prince Harry is now engaged and looking more handsome than ever. Feelings that drove me deep into the rabbit hole of google stalking yesterday afternoon to find any probable reasons this women can't be trusted. But only found evidence of her being smart, sweet and stunning. . .


Planning a new year's visit to the desert especially for this experience that I've been meaning to try for years.


Blown away by this concept 


Thinking about the dos and don'ts of holiday gifts for teachers. I always get a little stumped here but This helps!



Friday, November 17, 2017

On Being

I don't know when exactly I let go of the idea that I was worth slow or idle time. In college, and even after Arlo, I was never one to skimp on a midday nap if I needed it. I loved quiet afternoons spent reading. Or wandering around town alone. Without even a destination in mind. I took solace in being by myself. Peace inside those rather aimless pursuits pre kids where I felt fine about doing nothing at all. 

But these days I can't possibly fathom entertaining such loose freedoms.

It's something I've been thinking about a lot recently, particularly how much energy I invest in regretting intentions I have that either fall flat, or go unchecked entirely. Obsessing over the things I fail to get done on a weekly basis, wondering when the pressing need to get it "all" done was ever allowed to override the natural script of my internal monologue in the first place, directing my mood, dividing my outlook. All the time and energy I lend to such fruitless attempts aimed at recounting, revisiting, replaying my failures on days when I feel like I'm just plain losing the game. Hard and helplessly so. As if it were a game to loose in the first place. Tossing the fact of it over and over in my head like a mouse on a wheel on nights I can't sleep. And these days, for whatever reason, those nights seem more and more frequent. That feeling of weighing defeat that creeps in just enough to eclipse other (usually more valuable) moments that arrive bearing rightfully earned feelings of joy and lightness. As if they don't count enough to carve space in the narrative I keep. And I want to change that.

Mainly just how much my sea of thoughts come edged with guilt. I realized in examining this how much is linked to the constant presence of technology in my life now too. Where means of easy communication can never expire and tricks us into thinking we owe it our unhinged attention just because it's open and available 24 hours a day to us. I think about guilt attached to emails and texts I fail to answer in prompt time frames. The posts I neglect to tie up in the hour I could have managed to do so had I just been more focused. The deadlines I miss, the birthday wishes I put off - all piled atop the news I don't hear, the forgotten lunch left on the window sill I should have forced into his backpack before he left. The clothes I didn't return, the piles of papers I continue to avoid, the DMV apt I overlook, the recipes I loose, or wreck, or burn. The dog that doesn't go out for a walk on the afternoon hour that he should. The books I don't finish. The words I don't say. Promises I don't keep. All ill fated intentions scattered like broken bits of a better me conspiring to show me that I might -in so many ways - be doing it all wrong. Leaving me wondering when "it" really ever ends or is ever really "enough."

Because in the midst of all these sorely counted mishaps and underlying guilt I still cling to the innate notion of simply "being." Whatever shape that might take on a particular day, week, hour. Where I have to remind myself in this pressing quest to keep on top of it all I lie in danger or missing out on the slower good taking shape around me. The light in their eyes while they paint. The shadows on the wall talking through the morning light, the waves that roll in and out at my feet. Clouds drifting around the harbor in the evening. The good stuff. That stirs or inspires without any checklist to secure or reward to be counted.  




So in this this dilemma I decide the best I can do is be conscious of it. Talk myself away from the guilt when it gets to be too much, find a healthier balance online so I am not over run by the desire to get to another point before I've even embraced the one I'm in. Reminding myself that whatever task I leave unchecked I still wake to the new sun over the hillside in the morning peeking through the dull glint of an unwashed window pane where I lie silent beside a happy, bare chested three year old in the slow hour before the other boys wake. Where I stop and consider some of the things recently that still "count" because they made me feel something, other than "accomplished" - happy, proud, content. Yoga in the park that Tuesday before the flu set in. Notebook sketches with Rex at the dining room table while a canned chili sat heating on the stove. Misty mornings at the beach where the dogs ran wild and the boys stacked rocks. Coffee alone in old town mid week when the right song came on right hour just as the clouds parted above the sea. A train ride with a friend. Dinner -just us two - for his birthday without the disjointed conversations we're so use to during dinners out. Watching from my van as Rex and Arlo sliced around a concrete bowl till the lights went out and the crowd started to fade. A blanket on the sand early mornings we meet for surf club, just before sunrise. Baked vegetables piled atop grilled salmon that I master on a Friday when I have the time and intent to get it right. That long afternoon at the children's hospital where a sweet, frail girl named Mia sat wide eyed and grateful as I drew a string of long haired mermaids to decorate her bedside table while she waited to go home. Sunsets that light the sky on fire now that Fall is finally here and the tone of the horizon seems more than ready to boast about it. Naps with Hayes while they'e at school, when I give in the exhaustion I'm always trying to outrun. Hoping to escape the pause it puts on my schedule. Running, counting, checking, scrolling when I know good and well I should just be here enjoying it when and however it finds me.




For more on the beautiful message of "being"-  please head over to The Ma Books Here for a video that is sure to send it home.


With that,
Happy Friday.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On the Arroyo / A Pre Holiday Bazaar

If you guys are anywhere near this location and free this coming Sunday, please stop by and visit us at Office Party in Highland Park for the pre holiday bazaar I am co hosting with my dear friend Elizabeth in L.A. from 11 - 4 pm.

The space will be filled with a carefully curated selection of all the things (and people) we love most: Tees, vintage kid's clothing, teepees, and hand carved accessories from House Inhabit, as well as plenty of other handmade goods, clothing, gift boxes, vintage dresses, second hand loot, a live blue grass band, and so much more. Leon and Elodie will also be on hand selling baked goods at their own booth so come by, say hello, snag some goods and eat an muffin or two.

The event is filled with some of my very best friends so I can attest to the quality vibes happening on site all day long. And there will also be a kid's loom workshop hosted by the creator of Knit Wit magazine and a raffle to benefit East Side families this holiday season through Families Forward. With free entry, free hugs, free holiday spirit and cheer. So come shop, laugh, hang with us!




Doen

Tintypes by Anne Rivera

Morninglight Gift Studio
Babaa Knitwear
Chaboukie
Untitled Rug
Paradise People
Sueno Shop
Roseview LA
Jamie Street Photo
Melissa Sonico
Dotter
Sheltered.co



WHEN: Sunday Nov 12th, 2017 11am - 4pm
WHERE: Office Party (@officeparty) 
4514 N. Figueroa Los Angeles 90065


- Flyer artwork by Gabe Weiss

Scenes From a Weekend


Friendsgiving,  L.A


An evening spent in good lightning and better company at the house of our friends Lia and Felicia. Who host every year but somehow always on weekends I'm not able to make it. So it was quite an event for a first timer. Sans kids, with plenty of wine. And cheese. And creative vegan delights reminding me just how much these evenings count during points of unraveling social discontent and political divide currently clogging our psyche. To be among united hearts and easy joy in an intimate setting will shake you into feeling all the good stuff. Grateful and light again. Exactly what the holidays are all about. Because they are here. So let us hang on, get happy and enjoy every moment of them together.