December 30, 2014


Normal life is a constant battle to construct the smallest opportunity for creativity to seep in. What I’ve consistently found helps is a totally foreign environment, with nothing familiar and no usual distractions. Somewhere in the middle of all the holiday festivities and commitments I snuck away to downtown Los Angeles for 48 hours of relaxation, exploration and rumination (and, of course, libations). On the first day I woke up early enough to watch a sunrise of peaches and cream from the top floor of the Hotel Figueroa, before setting out for a day of cafe-browsing with my notebook and macbook. I tried to look over and then get a handle on 2014; rummaging through emails, day one entries, journal notes, blog posts. Shaking everything out, seeing what sticks (#I’vebeenlisteningtotoomuchserial).


Blouse: Asos/Pants: PRVCY (worn here)/Scarf: Asos/Shoes: Eric Michael (worn here)

_MG_7533A lot of things happened this year. On the somber note it began and ended with deaths in the family, and not a month went by that someone I knew didn’t experience a loss. It seems like it was not an easy year overall for many people I know. I don’t want to dismiss this, but I also don’t dwell on this at length right now either. Instead, I’ll look at my goals and what I did or didn’t accomplish. Despite the fact that this was a year of a lot (a lot) of work, I did more than I at first realized. In the beginning of the year during my slow season I wrote daily for Curbed SF as an exercise in writing, deadlines and critique; throughout the year I studied and practiced in photography religiously, and I worked on my blog’s tone and visuals and even tried my hand at networking and social media. More than anything else, 2014 was a year of meeting new people, connecting with folks in the blogging community, and spending a lot of time with friends and family. I explored Northern California a little more, SF a lot more, and — somewhat to my surprise — Seattle; and I slowly and thoroughly settled in to my relatively new home; rearranging furniture, collecting and gathering pretty things, ordering a CSA; putting down roots in my garden and with neighbors; layering myself into a space and making it mine.


What lies ahead for 2015? Honestly, I have no idea. Last year I had a lot more plans and goals — re-focusing my time and energies, continuing to study and learn but outside of a classroom, and (I thought) returning to Europe and other travel. This year I haven’t figured out my goals, except to take on fewer commitments and work less overall. Doing less, but doing it better. To have more (or any) leisure time.

Well, we’ll see how long that lasts!

_MG_7489 copy

It’s been such a joy to watch this blog grow this year and connect more and more with you — on this blog and even sometimes in the real world. When I started this blog I thought it would be more of a creative outlet, but it’s grown into my community. My connection to kindred spirits and inspirational humans. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me in 2014, and I hope 2015 dawns brightly for all of us. Do you have your New Year’s Eve plans settled yet? Thinking about this year in review, or your goals for 2015? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me, and until next time if you’d like to stay in touch find me over at instagram, pinteresttwitter, or facebook.

Happy New Year!

Thanks to MB Maher for the photography in this post

  1. Hi friend! I love your reflections here. Actually, I lost a family member who was very dear to me this year– in fact, his death re-routed my husband and me right after our honeymoon and we ended up staying in Asia for almost over a month! It’s crazy to look back at a whole year to think of what has gone by– connections we’ve made, growth we’ve experienced, grief we’ve walked through… there is just so much. I’m in the same boat as you as far as 2015 goes; some things I’m hoping will unfold (like starting my teacher residency program in LA), other things not so sure (like not doing the teacher residency and figuring out what the heck I *will* do with my life haha). Don’t know where my blog will be in a year from now, either! But like you, I am so glad to have met the friends I did along the way (like you!). Hope you have a lovely NYE!! We are hanging out with 10 other family members so that should be… fun. but tame. ;)

    • jm

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss Daisy. This year has definitely been an intense one for me too — and I’m also curious to see how the year unfolds. One thing I do know is that I’m super excited to watch how your blog will grow along the way! I’m loving the direction it’s taken so far! Hoping 2015 has some big answers for you =o)

    • jm

      That sounds like my ideal party night Carla. Have you ever played Spite and Malice? That’s my new card game jam. Hope you had a great New Year’s =)

  2. Eeee – #ivebeenlisteningtotoomuchserialtoo! I love your perspective on life and I’ve loved seeing the transformation of your blog over the past few months. You’re so inspiring with the way you love life and always seek to learn new things. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

    • jm

      A fellow Serial fan! We’re going to have a LOT to talk about! Hope you had a happy New Year’s Sarah, it’s been great connecting with you on the blogosphere this year and I look forward to much more as well as physical world meetups in 2015 =) XO

  3. Beautiful post. I love your blog and the layout, and this was a perfect post to close out 2014. You are so right – it’s difficult to strike a balance between normal life and creativity, and it seems like you did a great job and maximizing your potential. That can only mean good things this year!

    • jm

      I sure hope so Shikha! It’s a constant battle that renews every week, but I’m fighting hard this year to maintain that balance. How are you balancing blog and work life this year? I’m starting with dedicating the same day each week for just creative work.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the sweet words =)

  4. i can so relate to this post. it’s good to see that i’m not the only one who had a bit of a rough year, and it’s so inspiring to see other people recovering in their own ways. it looks like your hard work has really paid off- this blog is lovely and the photography is so beautiful! keep on keeping on, and let 2015 shine bright : )

    • jm

      Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments Kristine! I’m so sorry to hear you had a rough year as well — but it’s comments like this that make me so grateful that I have this platform to connect with you on; where we can both emphasize with each other over some shared woes and find inspiration for a new year ahead. Your comment has really encouraged me — thank you so much for taking the time to write this =)

  5. That MB Maher sure knows how to photograph a gal. :) What a small world. Put that man in a set of suspendered trousers and this very-married woman starts swooning all over the farmhouse floors (true story).

    I’m rather terrified of NYNY but I know — it’s a feeling in my bones — I’m going to go there someday. These images make the city look less frightening to me; I’m sure it’s just your warmth.

    I’ll be stuck in your space for days…


    • jm

      Man, what I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall for that photoshoot! If our paths ever cross I would don suspenders in a heart-beat for a chance to photograph your beautiful, swoonable life =)


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