I am Jessica. Welcome to my blog! Find tips on everything from getting creative to acing motherhood. 

From the outside looking in.


This summer.

From the outside looking in...

When I first started this blog, a lot of things were different. We were not homeowners, my day job in student affairs at the time was mostly busy due to summer orientation and getting ready for the year ahead and most people thought I lived in Charlotte, NC...not Charlottesville, VA. Well, after my last post a lot happened personally and in the world around us. First and foremost, Charlottesville. Unless you live in a cave, you aren't going to ask me to repeat where I live anymore. When I woke up on August 12th and my husband told me hundreds of white supremacists had marched on Grounds carrying torches, I could feel it. It was hot, humid, and hatred was bubbling. First of all, if you haven't read about Charlottesville's history, for example Vinegar Hill, I suggest you do that now. This is not an innocent town nor are the people who are in it and this wasn't just about a statue. The events of A11 and A12 were awful, terrible - people were beaten and even one person killed - Heather Heyer. But it is important to know the full spectrum and full history. I am still learning myself.

Now worrying about summer orientation and welcome week seems like a world away. I see my colleagues posting articles they've written about Charlottesville, hosting panels about Charlottesville, and giving advice on how to support students who have been impacted by the events. I work with students who were there, on the Lawn...terrified. In the middle of the protest, fighting for what was right. And students who were no where near town that day because it wasn't worth taking the chance. It is October and a panel or an op ed isn't going to heal this city, students, or residents so we can all move on...if that is even the right thing to do. Also, this isn't over and Richard Spencer returned to Charlottesville last night, torch in hand. It is a long road ahead with a lot of work to do. Hence part of my absence from this blog. The rest of the post my seem like fluff after this, but the latter felt necessary.

In August, we also moved into our first home. Making us official Charlottesville residents, for better or worse. The house is a 1930s bungalow filled with lots of charm...and a lot of projects. I have been channeling my inner Joanna Gaines as we paint, unpack, and decorate. Let's just say there is still plenty to do and it isn't as easy as Fixer Upper makes it seem - damn them. And they have four kids? That can't be real. I suppose that is why they have their own show. But we are learning and getting there...working furiously as our first house guests are set to arrive in the coming weeks.

My favorite part of the house has to be the quirky wooden kitchen floors. Yes they may need to be repainted but right now they are funky and charming...


In addition to working on the house, working and trying to raise a semi normal two year (is that possible?), I have been working on a few custom pieces. The first one below is for my dear friend Sarina who was looking to fill an lonely frame. After at least one restart, I am pretty pleased with the way that it turned out and feel honored to have it a part of her home.

The second set of paintings I am still working on are for a mama who requested paintings of for her boys of their loveys. They are super sweet and it is getting me back to creating small paintings for nurseries or playrooms.

Ok - stay tuned for the next highlight. I have a few in the pipeline so hopefully I can get on track. Plus fall and winter are the ideal time to start creating, again. Fresh starts come with cooler weather, colorful leaves, and pumpkin spice. Just kidding about that last one...But a new season is needed around here.

A new focus - creative mamas