August 29, 2016


During the summer, I love watching flowers in our garden soak up the sun to grow and bloom to their fullness and glory. It reminds me of the course of our lives. 

Life is made up of many moments of hardship and joy. In each moment, it's important to embrace its life lesson and let it be a building block as we grow and bloom to be who we are created to be. It's an imperfect journey especially when we are tripped up by the darkness of the world. But thankfully, Light overcomes darkness, pours mercy and grace into our lives, and holds our hands to guide us when the path is difficult to navigate.

This dress was my favorite (& affordable) summer find. I love its beautiful floral embroidery and bell sleeves - like a belle in bloom. 

A belle in bloom - that's me - imperfect, in need of grace, yearning for the Light that overcomes the darkness of this world.

Keep soaking up that Light and bloom gracefully friends!

Dress: Boohoo {Similar}
Purse: Old Navy (sold out) {Similar}
Heels: Seychelles (sold out) {Similar}
Earrings: Noonday Collection
Bracelet: c/o Rocksbox {Sign up for a FREE month of jewelry with code JOANNAXOXO}

August 24, 2016


Inexplicable joy.

Friends, it has been such a long two months. It felt like an endless uphill climb with many moments where I felt like I had to crawl just to keep going. Thankfully, with so much grace and mercy, I have survived the stress, the exhaustion, the long hours and weeks of sickness.

On my first weekend off in two months, I took flight and visited the Big Apple with my family. We saw beautiful sights and ate at incredible restaurants. Summertime in NYC can be humid especially when walking around the city streets. This romper was the perfect choice to a day of adventure.

Hope you all have had a joy-filled summer! In the midst of difficult times, keep your head up and keep going! You are never alone in the struggle.

Romper: Boohoo (on sale!) {Similar}
Purse: Old navy {Similar}
Heels: c/o Hush Puppie Shoes (on sale!) {Similar}

August 9, 2016


Friends! The 31 Bits Fall 2016 line is finally here and I'm beyond excited to share one beautiful piece from the line with you!

As you may know, I'm 31 Bits obsessed. I've raved about this brand/cause many times because they truly are incredible. Not only are they selling beautiful jewelry, but the jewelry sold is handcrafted by the very women in Uganda who are working towards bettering the lives of themselves and their families. 

With your jewelry purchase, you are opening the door for women in Uganda to learn a craft and knowledge of small businesses so they may become self-sustainable. These women also receive counseling and the necessary support to thrive and spread their wings as leaders in their communities. 

This necklace from the new Fall line is super fun. The colors are so versatile and can be worn with really anything! Plus, it's fun wearing it as a headpiece! 

Necklace: c/o 31 Bits
Top: Anthropologie {Similar}

July 21, 2016


Off-the-shoulder tops, bell sleeves and tassels! A few of my favorite things this summer.

Keeping this post short and sweet since there's a lot to process through before sharing my heart and the many lessons life is throwing at me lately. Hope summertime is treating you all well! Anyone traveling or have fun adventures planned this season? Do share so I can live vicariously through you!

Love big and choose joy each day my friends!

PHOTOGRAPHER: Cranberry Tantrums

Top: Hong Kong {Similar}
Shorts: Anthropologie (old) {Similar}
Crossbody: Old Navy {Similar}
Jewelry: T&J Designs

July 13, 2016


Chicago. What comes to mind when you think about this city? To many including myself, violence is one of our first thoughts. In just the past couple months, there were shootings on my block. That makes me sad because I love this city.

The other day, I was walking through my neighborhood thinking about all the negativity that darkens this city. But when I really looked around me, my eyes were opened to so much beauty. I chatted with a sweet lady working in the community gardens I passed by and she offered me some of her own freshly picked vegetables. Then practiced my people-watching skills (Yes, I admit, I'm one of those) and saw kids sharing their candy with each other with joy on their faces. I also thought about my friends in this city who work hard to make a difference in Chicago by using their gifts and resources. Near the end of my walk, I stumbled upon these gorgeous rose bushes. So much beauty!

In the midst of this city's brokenness, it's easy to forget how much good is happening in Chicago. All we have to do is seek beauty and goodness. But not only that, we need to embrace its goodness and live it so others can find the beauty in the broken.

Jacket: Old Navy (on sale!) {Similar}
Top: Hong Kong {Similar}
Shorts: Old Navy (on sale!) {Similar}
Heels: Old Navy (sold out) {Similar}
Purse: Old Navy (on sale!) {Similar}
Hat: Target (sold out) {Similar}

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