So I’ve decided to hang up the 5 Things Posts. Partly because it’s hard to come up with 5 things each week and because it takes me a crazy long time to write them. I think it’s the writer inside of me … always trying to come up with something witty or thought provoking or profound or humorous. 

But it’s also because I think the 5TT posts were meant for that season. The times of transition and landing in LA for the first time. There was so much going on then - meeting new people, getting my bearings on a new city, stumbling upon this thing called commercial photography. And the best way for me to process it then was to write it it out like that. 

I’m very thankful for those posts. It’s a great way to go back and see what was going on in my life and in the world. But as of right now, there’s not much going on with me. So no more 5TT posts. Instead, I’ve decided to fill the void with Random Thoughts With Jo

The content will always be random and the format will vary. It might be bullet form or 750 Words style. It might be completely relevant to what’s going on in the world or it might be something somewhat trivial but whatever. I might talk about TV or I might talk about sports. I might talk about what God’s been teaching me lately or what I’ve been having a hard time with. There’s so many ways that it can go. 

It’ll be random. But the goal is to write it on Fridays. A good time to reflect on the week.

Anyways, let’s get to it.

* * *

I’m going to start off with the obvious choice for my RANDOM THOUGHTS post here and talk about that amazing comedy special from Hasan Minhaj. It debuted this week and I watched it twice the first day it came out. If you know me at all, then you know how much I love to laugh and how I’m into the comedy scene. And so I’ve seen this guy around on the Daily Show but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of his special. 

OMG you guys - it’s SO GOOD. Like really funny and well produced (the graphics and lights and camera work was amazing) but his message was like super profound. Like legit hit the heart, resonate inside your soul kind of profound. But still framed within this amazingly hilarious storytelling. 

His take on race and the immigrant story and ignorance and equality and being the better man and seeking forgiveness. Goodness gracious, it was like I was getting some sort of exhortation without even knowing it. But like laughing my face off at the same time. 

It’s great. You should check it out.

I’ve also started watching Master of None (I’m two episodes deep) and I think it’s interesting how they hit on the immigrant story there also. And how things can be forgotten or lost in translation in between immigrant parents and first generations here. I mean, I see that everyday in my own family. 

I can go on and on about this kind of stuff. I’ve just been diving deep in documentaries and podcasts and books lately and so my brain has been going 100 mph, trying to understand and incorporate what I learn from it all. I’ve just been sort of blown away by everything that I’m learning and discovering. 

I think the important thing throughout is storytelling. Just sitting around and talking to people and getting to know them and their experiences. We need more of that in the world. I need more of that in my life. 

Anyways, I think that’s it for now. I’ll catch y’all later.



MONDAY MUSIC SHARE: May I Have This Dance feat. Chance the Rapper

Yo. Happy Monday. Here’s today music share - a newly remixed club ballad from Francis and the Lights featuring Chance the Rapper. The music video showcases some pretty sweet dance moves on a simple set as the camera captures everything seamlessly. On top of that is the feel-good verses Chance offers up to his daughter. So cute!

Anyways, just ran across this video this morning. Thought I’d share it with you.




So I totally had a 5 Things post this week … you probably didn’t see it because I didn’t do my due diligence and share it on social. It’s ok. I really wasn’t into what I wrote. It was kind of blah so I took it down. Instead, I’ve decided to write that backlog that I’ve been promising. I just feel like there’s so much to catch up on. Two years is a long time. 

I could do bullet points to make things easier. Or I can talk in a more broader scope - hitting the highlights. What’s the best route right now? 

I guess we’ll try bullet points:

  • I’ve been in LA for 5 years now and that is KNOTS (<—- that’s how my dad says “nuts!”)
  • I still live with my two same roommates (TRES DUDES FOR LIFE)
  • they both go to different churches now so things are different (schedules, friends groups, etc) but at least we still have Rockwell shows 
  • which btw I’ve seen like a billion of them (UMPO Mean Girls, Clueless, Home Alone, Scream, Cruel Intentions, Hocus Pocus, Devil Wears Prada … Zombie Breakfast Club is this weekend!)
  • if you’re ever in LA, we’re so going
  • I still do photography full time but I’ve narrowed my focus - mostly fashion brands and magazines
  • I’ve been working exclusively with 4 modeling agencies for test shoots - this ups my game like 1000%
  • I worked as the interim art director at Nous Model Management last year and LOVED it - some of the best people I know!
  • I’ve come to find that I really like coaching the newbies when it comes to tests; a lot of them are new to the game are need to learn how to move in front of the camera and not look totally rigid
  • I’ve also had the chance to do some photography coaching as well - the opportunity presented itself and I really enjoyed helping them out (just like how others helped me)!
  • Coaching in both arenas made me realize that I actually know my stuff. And that helped boost my confidence bit. Which is super helpful since I need that for the next steps for my biz (showing my book around and landing clients)
  • Also it’s been really cool seeing my models in random music videos (like Tommy HERE and Ellie HERE) and seeing them in Nordstrom ad campaigns or in Cosmo
  • I’ve also been working with LA HOME Magazine and Open The Kimono for almost two years - they are both killin’ it
  • I still nanny like a boss but only every once in a while which is good - it doesn’t take over my life but I still get the chance to hang out with some of my favorite kiddos
  • did some traveling - Maui with the sis awhile back, home to Seattle for Thanksgiving, PDX with the roommate, Palm Springs with some friendos, and NYC with the sis for Christmas. All amazing trips.
  • I’d like to do more traveling but haven’t really had a chance - I no longer have a flight pass so I can’t just go off on adventures like I used to anymore and that makes me sad
  • I’ve just been working a lot - shooting and testing and designing and editing and building websites and writing up contracts and setting up Mailchimp and nannying and dogsitting and the list goes on … so busy!
  • work has been awesome (which is such a blessing since I hustled for so long) but the friend department has been blah
  • it’s just a tough season and the people that I was so used to leaning on aren’t really there anymore - which is fine (it just sucks)
  • but I’m trying to keep my chin up and press forward
  • other than that I’ve been mainly concentrating on doing good work, enjoying life, learning to cook/eat at home, reading more, (trying to) run more, and demolishing debt. The debt part is the biggest one - I just really want to get rid of all my student loans. Ugh.
  • But yeah. I’ve just simplified everything down to work, church, roommates, and the occasional nannying/dogsitting. And I’m ok with that. 

I wish I had more exciting things to tell you, especially after having been gone for awhile. But the time away was kind of nice because it gave me a chance to look inward and be present with those around me. I guess you can call that self-preservation. But I think I’m ready to face the world again. 

Please be gentle with me.


Maggie Rogers - Alaska (Live on The Current)

You guys, it took me awhile to find the right live version of “Alaska” to share with you but I found it. There were other live versions but most of those were stripped to just the guitar. The thing about this song and the way that she originally rolled it out to the world (aka Pharrell) was with this interesting percussion beats. And so I wanted to make sure to find a version that included that. 

So here it is. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Have a great week, y’all!


5 Things Tuesday

Happy Tuesday folks! 

Hope all y’all are doing well. I’ve been truckin’ along here between work emails, setting up shoots, and writing up email blasts and Instagram posts … I’ve been semi-busy but not really. Anyways, I’m still working on that backlog post just to catch you up on everything but for now here are 5 Things that are going on in my world: 

1  JUST RENEWED: 13 REASONS WHY - So it’s officially been announced that Netflix’s most watched/talked about show has been renewed for a 13-episode second season. I personally liked the show and thought it was well done and thought-provoking and eye-opening. It definitely left me with a ton of thoughts and feelings … but I know that it’s also gotten a lot of backlash too. 

I know that it can be a trigger for some. Or that it’s over the top and/or unrealistic. That in a way it seems like it glorifies suicide or frames it as a way of revenge on others. But that’s totally not the way I took it. I generally think my high school experience was good overall (not perfect) but still a lot of their perspectives are relatable. But also because of that whole pre-frontal lobe situation (yeah science!) that teens aren’t fully developed etc etc … we need to spot the red flags because they’re there etc etc … reach out to others when they’re down and/or learn to just stop being jerks to each other. 

Anyways, I’m interested in how they’re going to go about a second season. I trust and hope they’ll do it justice.

Other random thoughts about 13 Reasons Why: the soundtrack is solid (that Lord Huron song is my jam), I appreciate the diversity that they have among the cast, I’m glad they didn’t shy away or censor things even though some things were still super graphic (I think that visceral reaction emphasizes the weightiness of it all), Kate Walsh is amazing (always been a fan of Addison Montgomery but she is just as amazing in this role too).

2  FASHION CH-CH-CH-CHANGES - I’m not sure if you’re all up in the fashion news but Jenna Lyons left J.Crew. I think that’s insane! Mickey Drexel has been running things at J.Crew but Jenna Lyons was iconic to the J.Crew brand.

And today I found out that Coach bought out Kate Spade. What?! 

This is not too long after Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy. 

I do have to say that I’m wary but hopeful for what Somsack Sikhounmuong is going to as the new creative director at J.Crew. I’m pretty sure he brought a lot to the table at Madewell (and we all know how much I love Madewell). Hopefully he’ll bring that back to its predecessor. 

3  THESE SNL VIDS KILL - You guys, the social media/art department people at SNL are killin’ lately with these BTS videos. I LOVE them. They have videos about their hair & makeup process, their creative process in doing their bumper photography, the set tear-down in between the cold open and the opening monologue, visual effects, and more.

It’s like the best. 

Here’s the most recent promo video for Chris Pine’s episode and I love the way they cut this. How fun!! I wish I could make something like this.

4  WILL RUN FOR BAGELS - So for the entire of May I get free bagels from Panera and normally I never take advantage of that, but this month I will! 

But I’m going to play it smart (y’know, instead of just straight packing on the carbs), I plan on running to Panera at least 3-4x a week and then walking back. Conveniently there’s a Panera about two miles away so this works well. Even if I don’t eat it that day, I can still throw in the freezer for later and/or give it someone else to enjoy. Asiago bagels rule.

5  SPEAKING OF FOOD, I’M BUCKLING DOWN - At the beginning of the year I decided to make a few changes to the way I eat. Not dietary stuff … although I have made some smart substitutions (less chips, more carrots - stuff like that). But the big change is that I’m restricting my dining out to two scenarios:

  • if it’s celebratory (someone’s birthday, it’s a holiday, someone got a promotion, etc) - then I can go out to eat
  • if it has to do with travel (ie. I am traveling or someone from out of town is coming to LA) - then I can go out to eat

Otherwise - there’s no real need for me to blow money on food that I can probably make at home. And the funny thing is that I’m saving a TON of money this way and I’m not that bad of a cook! Also it makes going out to eat more of a treat. And that’s kind of cool. 

Although I did go to In-N-Out twice in one week because that’s where traveling parties wanted to go. I kind of wish I splurged for something else better. But it’s all good. The company was great and I’m OK with that.

Using Format