How I Pack for Trips

January 15, 2019

Hey Ya'll!

Hope 2019 is treating you well! I leave for my Paris trip on Tuesday (OMG I'm freaking exciting!), and thought I'd share with you how I go about packing for any trip, weather it be a short or long trip and who knows maybe these tips will useful to you as well.


I LIVE by lists! I usually make two different lists before I start packing: the first list is for the different types of outfits I’ll need on the trip. For this trip to Paris, I knew I needed several casual outfits, one nicer outfit and of course a Disney inspired outfit.

The second list I make is slightly different but just as essential. I divide all of the outfits into categories: tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, accessories, and handbags. This is where I plan out the specific outfits that I bring with me. I bought a notebook from Target and it has really come in handy for making lists. I reserved one side for everything that I needed to pack in my carry-on suitcase, and the other side for my actual outfits. I then cross off items as I put them into my suitcase.

Another thing that REALLY helps me to pack is to go ahead and plan out my outfits ahead of time. I create a new album on my phone with the travel destination (so this album would be called “Paris 2019”) and then I try on all of my outfits, complete with their accessories, and take pictures to add to the album. This helps TREMENDOUSLY! First of all, it lets me think through everything ahead of time and know which handbags, shoes, earrings and necklaces to bring for each outfit. Secondly, when I’m on the trip, it makes it really easy to decide what to wear. If I’m getting ready for dinner, I simply flip through the photos in my photo album and pick an outfit! 
In the past I've one to over-pack and I never end up wearing half the stuff I ended up pack, so this step has been the most efficient when it comes to packing. Also, with having my Capsule Wardrobe (if you need a refresher go check Parts 1 & Parts 2 on the blog) it have multiple outfits with just a few pieces.

It also is really helpful to keep your suitcase really organized while you’re packing. If I’m bringing hats on a trip, I usually stuff socks into the head part, and then lay them flat in my suitcase. I then pack everything around the hats. I hate carrying hats through the airport so this is a much better alternative (and don’t worry, your hats won’t get ruined!). Some people prefer to roll their clothes and find that it fits better in the suitcase this way, but I like folding them! I also prefer to keep all of the jeans together, all of the dresses together, all of the bathing suits together, etc. Travel cubes are also really helpful!

Anything that I could POSSIBLY need during the flight, I keep in my carry-on bag. I always pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and an extra change of clothes and underwear. I also like to keep any technology-related items (my camera, phone chargers, cords, etc.) in my carry-on, as well as any valuables like nice jewelry.
For this trip in particular, I got new carry on from Wal Mart, linked here, and I'm not stuffing my carry on with a lot of items. For a week trip like this and that it's Paris, my carry on will be my "souvenir bag".
Those are some quick tips but if you have any others I’d love to hear them! Comment below with your best packing tip so we can all read them and be inspired.

A Capsule Wardrobe: " Part 2: Making a List, Checking it Twice"

January 8, 2019

Hey Ya'll

I left you hanging there on the is whole Capsule Wardrobe Series (my bad), so here is the next step to  creating your dream wardrobe.

Okay…so we’ve purged our closets, we’ve sorted the items into piles, and we’re ready for the next step in curating our capsule wardrobe! If you haven't already done step one, you should read that post first. This next one is a bit like doing homework…but like the MOST fun homework ever!  I’m not going to reinvent the wheel (at least not right now… 😏), so I’m going to talk about how to move forward to actually choosing your capsule items!

I have to tell you, this is one of my very favorite parts of putting together my capsules…ORGANIZATION and PLANNING!! It feels so good to have a plan, to know what I’m doing, to have a budget worked out, to know all the things!  Using the free capsule wardrobe planner from the Un-Fancy blog, I get started on each season’s capsule.  It is an amazingly well thought out and easy to use tool so that you don’t feel awkward and overwhelmed trying to figure out how to define your style with only a tiny number of clothes.  This planner maps it all out for you, and, by the end, you come away knowing what you love, what makes you happy and feel beautiful, and what you still need in order to complete your capsule!

Like I said, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel when Caroline Joy of has already compiled such an AWESOME (and free!) capsule wardrobe planner!  Y’all…go check this chick out.  She is totally my inspiration for living the capsule wardrobe lifestyle.
Some of my favorite sections in the planner are:
– A lifestyle pie chart so you can see exactly what types of clothes you need (i.e. are you in biz mode most of the time, or are you in casual mode?)
– Color planner: you map out your major colors that showed up in your “Love love love it” pile, along with some accent colors so you can curate a coordinating wardrobe that will come together easily every single time.  (For example, my main colors ended up being denim and whites/creams, blacks and then my accent colors were soft pinks, grey's, some light blue.).

This step is in my opinion the most tedious,but again if you're like me and enjoy being organized then you're going to love doing part 2!
Want to know my method and the next step…?
Stick around–the next post on Jo's Notes Capsule Series is headed your way! (i promise I won't leaving you hanging this time!)
XO - Jo

Leather Leggings 3 Ways

January 2, 2019

Happy New Year Ya'll!

Hope everyone had an amazing holiday break.

My goal for 2019 is to really focus on Jo's Notes and bring you content that will be useful & affordable. Over my break I sat down and worked on my content calendar for the year, and I'm pretty excited to say the least.

My style has gone a whole 180, from big patterns, bright colors now to more simple pallet such as black, white, cream, grey & blush pink and if you haven't already read my Capsule Wardrobe series go check it out, it's been a life saver for me especially being on a budget this past year.Parts 2 & 3 are coming in January!

I've been seeing leather leggings all over social media, and thought to myself, these are a perfect staple to any wardrobe, but how do you style them? Well, I dug in my closet and put together 3 looks for you, a casual, comfy & going out outfits.


If you couldn't already tell I'm a huge fan of black, and pairing black with black along with pops of color to me is just classy. I paired this outfit with over the knee boots, these are great for breaking up all the black, I went with my brown boots, but grey would be a great option as well.


Let's face it, I live in comfy clothes, as soon as I get home from work I slip right into my sweat pants and oversize sweater. These leggings are actually extremely comfortable! This outfit I paired it with any oversize cami (you could also do a flowy v-neck), and my favorite grey sweater, face it I would even consider this a casual outfit with a cute pair of light pink sliders to add some color.

Going Out:

This was hard, because I honestly don't have ANY going out clothes, and if I do go out it's usually pizza and beer with hubs and I'm almost alway wearing some sort of Disney tee and jeans (ha). But, like I said previously, black is just classic and you can dress any outfit outfit up with a good pair of shoes & chunky jewelry.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and you don't need to go shopping to put 3 outfits together. Just open your closet and play around!


P.S. all of these pieces are old but I've linked similar ones below!

Black Leather Leggings | Black Sweater | White Cami | Grey Sweater | Brown Boots | Silver Shoes | Necklace

Christmas is Going to the Dogs with Barkbox!

December 5, 2018

This post is in collaboration with Barkbox, all opinions & thoughts are my own.

Hey Friends--

Almost all of my shopping is complete but there are two little pups I need to shop for, and what better gift than with Barkbox! Arya and Tucker have been fans of their subscription boxes in past but sadly when Mike and I got on our budget the boxes had to stop for a time being. Well, it's the holiday season and we both thought one month won't kill the budget. 

What is Barkbox?

If you're not familiar with the company it's a subscription box for you dog (self explanatory). However, what you might not know is every BarkBox order helps support Pet Shelters and Rescue Groups: 10% of all profits go to shelters and together with their BarkGood program, BarkBox works with over 3,000 shelters and rescues around the U.S. and Canada! Each monthly box contains a combo of treats, toys, and chews. Each month is inspired by a different theme, and each item is unique from anything ever sent in a later box. You can always expect fresh surprises and fresh experiences in every box!There are different levels of subscription, 12 month, 6 month & monthly and the prices vary on the certain plan you pick. What I love most about these boxes is all their treats are wheat, soy, and corn-free, and have a special allergy-friendly BarkBox for pups who are allergic to beef, chicken and turkey. The edible goodies in every BarkBox will contain none of the above ingredients. Arya has a VERY sensitive stomach but I don't have to worry about any of the treats that I give her from these boxes (insert happy dog mom here). And lastly another fun fact about this company is BarkBox Scout’s Honor Guarantee: If your pup doesn’t like at a treat or toy they’ve received, if it’s faulty or completely the wrong size for your dog, BarkBox will replace it for free. Just email and they will help make sure your dog is 100% happy!

Limited Addition Grinch Box

The theme of Tucker & Aryas BarkBox was The Grinch for the holiday season. The box included two toys, Grinch & Cindy Lou Who (which oh my goodness trying to get a photo was really hard because they were so excited about the toys). Two bags of snacks, again great for Arya with tummy being sensitive, and a pair of antlers like the one Max wore in the story. With this box particular, if you post a picture of your pup wearing the antler on social media and use the hashtag #Maxforgood Bark will donate a $1 to working dog organizations nationwide. Tucker makes such a good Max don't you think?

Since it's the holiday season, I was able to get a coupon code so you can spoil your pup for Christmas! Use code: HAPPYKO8TD and receive a FREE month on them! 

Trust me tails will be wagging!


Quick Trip: Ashville, NC - Booze, Bites & Everything in Between

November 6, 2018

Hey Ya'll!

Ashville, NC oh how I love you! This is my second time visiting and it get's more exciting each time we visit. If you're planning a quick trip for just a few days then I've got all the places you NEED to try! Some spots are local joints, some are touristy and others are pure inspiration. As far as places to stay I highly recommend an AirBnB, and staying downtown if you can, but we decided to try a places closer to the mountains which was worth the extra 20 minute drive.


My husband and I are craft beer people! Ashville is the place to be when it comes to all things craft beer, there are TONS of local breweries, and trust me we've tried a good amount but still haven't hit them all. If you're a first timer then New Belgium & Sierra Nevada are two must see's, they're pretty popular breweries and absolutely stunning to adventure around in. New Belgium over looks the river and is few minutes outside of downtown. Sierra Nevada however is about 25-30 minutes and you could honestly spend an entire day there with all the different things to see and do (however I recommend going in the spring time when it's nice out).

As far as downtown breweries here is a list of MUST see:

Our first trip to Ashville we did the Pubcycle Tour, it was a lot of fun and it stops at 3 or 4 different breweries downtown, just enough time to try a beer before you hop back on the bike and continue drinking.

Wicked Weed Brewery
(this is our FAVORITE, gotta try the Milk & Cookie is my all time favorite holy heck!)

Twin Leaf Brewery

Funkatoriuum Brewery
(which is also owned by Wicked Weed)

Ashville  Brewing Company

Again there are so many more you should try but these at the top of my list.

Now let's get into BITES.

I'm a coffee lover (well it's more of an obsession ha). We stumbled upon this amazing coffee shop called Flora (& Forage). This was a plant store & coffee shop all wrapped in one. I was all at once excited and yet regretful; so excited because I wanted to buy everything in the store and regretful because I wanted to buy everything in the store. You know, that feeling you get when you go to the home decor section at Target? Like you just want it ALL? Amplify that by about ten.The menu was simple -- espresso based drinks, black coffee and a tea selection. I'm going to admit in full truth that I didn't even pay attention to what coffee they brewed. I got a chai latte and didn't look back. It wasn't the hands down best chai I've ever had, but it was good! The coffee shop has no big frills. But it was such a neat unexpected find that I had to share.


Other places you MUST try are:

I highly recommend hitting up Buxton Hall any day of the week, for lunch or dinner.  If you happen to go when you have more time on your hands, make a day of it and start here with some BBQ, then pop in next door to Catawba Brewery or two doors down to Vortex Doughnuts.

Anything with a name like that sounds dangerously good in our book. This place centers around homemade biscuits of all kinds: They even have a butter and jam bar with artisanal mixes you can try with whatever you ordered:It turns out these biscuits are referred to as "Cat Heads," meaning they are literally the size of a cat's head. This was one brunch for the history books and a place we'd definitely recommend trying out if you are near the area: there will always be a line outside, but it's well worth the wait!

Other then eating and drinking we did go exploring (figured we needed to walk off all the beer ha).

We were hoping to explore Mt. Mitchell (which is the highest point east of the Mississippi), the drive itself to the top takes about 45 minutes and has breath taking views, but sadly it was closed due to bad weather. But on our drive up the mountain were able to stop get a few photos.

Lastly, another MUST see and do are the waterfalls. There are many places to explore but we really enjoy DuPont State Forest. If you're looking for a whole day of adventure you can easily hike to nearby Triple Falls, High Falls or Bridal Veil Falls.

I hope this is helpful when if you're planning a trip! 


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