Five Popular Tech Cities in the West

If you are like me and a total lover of all things tech, then you need to check out these amazing tech cities in the West. My home state happens to be one of the hottest (and not just the heat) tech cities in the West, you will see why. If you are thinking about moving in the near future, you definitely look into these cities, especially if you are wanting to live on the West Coast aka the best coast!

San Jose and other cities throughout California’s Silicon Valley have long-been known as some of the nation’s top tech cities, with places like Boston and Seattle home to a fair share as well. A 2016 report ranked San Jose, California, AKA Silicon Valley, as the No. 1 tech city followed by San Francisco. But there are a number of spots that are up-and-coming in the West that may be a bit more surprising.

Phoenix, Arizona

CBS MoneyWatch named Phoenix as the third fastest growing tech city in the country with 188 percent one-year job growth. The majority of job listings are tech-related, for software developers and engineers, project managers and data analysts. In April 2017, Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton noted that the number of tech companies headquartered there had almost quadrupled over the past five years. Unlike Silicon Valley, however, this city is relatively affordable with the median house among Phoenix real estate at $314,253, according to Compared to prices in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the median home sold price in many cities at well over a million, that’s a steal.

Salt Lake City, Utah

While Salt Lake City was once best-known for its temple and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, it’s fast becoming one of the country’s top tech cities. In 2015, Entrepreneur ranked it as the top startup destination outside of New York City and San Francisco, and more recently, Time Money ranked it the No. 7 hottest tech city in the nation with 117% growth in tech jobs, with many listings for software and project engineers, developers, tech support engineers and project managers.

Denver, Colorado

Denver is another hotspot with numerous startups. LinkedIn credited its lower cost office space and well-educated workforce, with lots of tech experts coming out of the Mile High City’s universities. In a survey of tech workers living in California in 2016, nearly half indicated they were prepared to relocate to cities like Denver, attracted by its dozens of growing startups and expanding tech workplaces like the Google office complex in nearby Boulder.

Boise, Idaho

Boise is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country, a trend that’s likely to continue, as the Idaho Statesman reports. Much of that growth is due to the increase in tech jobs. It was named the No. 2 spot for young professionals in 2017 by Forbes, with a “healthy tech presence.” Boise cemented itself as an affordable launching pad for tech careers, home to major employers like Microsoft and Hewlett Packard as well as multiple startups. It also offers a high quality of life, plenty of recreational opportunities, affordability and an excellent business environment.

Eugene, Oregon

Perhaps the most surprising city of all, Eugene boasts a fast-growing technology industry with lots of listings for tech jobs like programmer analysts, IT services managers, software developers and engineers. The area stretching to Portland and surrounding cities has even earned the nickname “Silicon Forest,” as a hub for tech companies coupled with the surrounding natural beauty. In 2015, Fast Company named it among the top 10 up-and-coming cities for tech job growth, as reported by Eugene’s The Register-Guard.

Photography credit: Isabella Lusk Photography

There are so many new and exciting restaurants and fun locations in Phoenix, Arizona. Contrary to popular belief, Arizona has many seasons and while living in Phoenix, you can drive two hours to Flagstaff, Arizona (where I live) and snowboard/ski!



Ella is Five Months Old

Today our Ella girl turns 5 months old! I cannot believe she is already five months old (I know, I sound like a total mom), but it’s so true! To be honest though, she is my little fur baby and I feel like a mom since she requires so much additional work. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though. In honor of her turning five months old, I thought I would answer a lot of the messages I received when we got her and answer them on here so other people can see as well. So many of you messaged me about her and I don’t blame you because she is SO cute. She has brought so much joy into our lives and coming home from work to her cute little face every single day makes my day.

1. What breed is she?

Ella is a mini goldendoodle and will grow to be between 25 and 35 pounds. She is currently 18 pounds and was six pounds when we got her.

2. Where did you get her from?

We got her from a breeder in Virginia called Capital City Pups and it was the best experience! They made the whole process so easy. I FaceTimed them and they had a boy and girl left in the litter and I instantly fell in love with her. She had so much character and was so playful, which drew me to her. We purchased her and they shipped her out to Arizona for us and we picked her up at the airport in Phoenix. They did all of the coordinating, all I had to do was pay, let them know when I was available to pick her up, and then picked her up. She was SO excited to see us and freaked out in her kennel from afar right when she saw us. I would do the process all over again and definitely buy another puppy from Capital City Pups

3. Why did you choose a goldendoodle?

I chose to get a goldendoodle because I had wanted one since I was little. When I first heard about them, I was instantly obsessed with them and wanted my own. My whole Pinterest board is filled with goldendoodles and couldn’t pass her up when i saw her. I also did a lot of research about goldendoodles and knew she would be the perfect fit for us. Poodles are smart dogs and golden retrievers are the most loving dogs, which is the perfect combo. Ella is the most friendly dog and will be perfect around a family in the future.

4. Is it hard to have a puppy and work full time?

It can be challenging, yes, but I wouldn’t say it has been difficult. We have a play area connected to a crate for Ella to be in while we are both at work. We are both fortunate enough to come home for lunch everyday so she can spend time with us halfway through the day. I also make sure she goes on a long walk before or after work so that she gets time outside and at least gets some exercise. I feel guilty leaving her when I go to work, but we give her so much love and affection once we get home to make up for it. I will say it has been more difficult to potty train her because we aren’t at home with her 24/7 and able to take her out whenever we think she needs to go. She is fully potty trained though, minus a couple of accidents here and there so it hasn’t been too bad.

5. Tell me more about Ella

Ella is the most loving dog I have ever met and makes everyone smile when she runs up to them with her tongue out. She LOVES everyone and isn’t afraid to jump on our lick anyone. Although she is fully potty trained, she still loves to chew our furniture. She has so many toys, but would rather chew on barstools and the coffee table instead. Ella loves going for walks, meeting new people, and seeing her mom and dad come through the door after work. She also loves to play fetch and hide and seek. We love our Ella so much and hope she is enjoying us and much as we are enjoying her!

If you have more questions about goldendoodles, please feel free to message me or leave a comment!


Jonica and Ella


Three Positive Changes I’ve Made this Month and Why

With the flowers blooming and warm weather making its way to Northern Arizona, it is apparent that summer is almost here. Summer is my favorite season and I am such a sucker for warm weather. Warm weather always makes me more motivated and sparks my creativity. Enjoying time outdoors always inspires me and allows me to come up with new ideas, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I also love going to the lake, laying  by the pool, running outside, and just walking outdoors and feeling the sun.

To be completely honest with you, I was in a rut the past few months, but I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. It’s honestly crazy how stress impacts your body and the negative impact it can make on your well-being. I didn’t really open up about how I was feeling, which is something I regret. There is so much pressure to be “perfect” on social media and it’s oftentimes difficult to share the difficult times as well. With the immense stress of studying for the GRE, applying for graduate school, working full time, blogging as often as I could, I began having panic attacks. I would wake up in the middle of the night, my heart would be racing, and my chest would hurt. I was also getting horrible migraines at work and would get to the point where I felt so nauseated I had to throw up. It was scary because I had read about these types of experiences in books, but didn’t know they could happen to me.

I am 100% a type A person and I am the first to admit it. I have a really difficult time relaxing because I am always always always thinking of what I need to do next or how I can perfect what I am already doing. It is difficult for me to take naps, watch movies, or just sit in the quiet because I always have to be doing something, which can be dangerous for your health. I burnt myself out the past few months because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I would wake up, go to work for eight hours, come home and study for two hours, then blog until I fell asleep. Now don’t get me wrong, I am the one who chooses to blog and no one forces me to do it, but I still have deadlines to meet with brands and have to put thought into my posts. So yes, it is relaxing, but it also requires brain power.

I have now made some very positive changes in my life and I am so excited to share them with you because they have truly helped me and if any of you are experiencing stress or anxiety, I think these tips will help you too. If you ever experience depression or anxiety for extended periods of time, please consult with a doctor. These tips are intended to help, but they are not a cure and may not be useful for everyone.

1. Exercise

It is so important to get your body moving and step away from reality for a thirty minutes to an hour each day. The past few months I was in a very inconsistent workout routine and would skip days and weeks at the gym, which made me feel less energetic and more tired. After getting back into a consistent workout routine (I go to Orange Theory 2-3 days a week and work out on my own 2-3 days a week) I started noticing a positive impact on my overall health. I’m not just talking about getting in shape either, I mean my mental health. I felt less stressed since I was away from all technology and had an hour each day to just focus on making myself better. If you aren’t big into working out, go outside and take a long walk to clear your head. If you must take your phone for music or safety reasons, tell yourself not to check text messages or emails during that time.

2. Spend 1 hour each day away from technology

This relates back to number one. I spend my hour away from technology each day at the gym and it works for me. If that doesn’t work for you and you need to be on your phone at the gym or can’t workout, find something you can do for an hour each day without technology. This can be anything from meditating, doing yoga, or even taking a nap. I have found so much solitude in meditating lately and is something I do regularly now. During this time, I read my devotional, pray, and spend time with my own thoughts and with God. It is so important to spend time relaxing, which I have a difficult time doing, but I always feel better afterwards.

3. Eat nutritious food

You might be thinking, huh? That’s right, food not only impacts your physical appearance, but plays a major role in your mental health as well. When you eat nutritious food, it positively impacts your brain and ultimately allows you to feel more energetic. During the past few months, I had been eating out frequently, wasn’t eating nutritious food, and looked for quick fix options, which were ultimately junk food options. Not only did I gain weight, I also felt irritated and noticed a change in my complexion as well. Isn’t it amazing how everything in our body is connected? After I started eating healthy this past month, I felt more energetic, had way less breakouts, less irritated, and just felt better overall.

I of course have one additional tip that has been something that I have always had a difficult time coming to terms with, but once I did, it has made life so much easier and better. Know that no one can do life on their own. Life was created to be in community and we all need support systems, no matter how talented we are. Its okay to ask help when you need it and don’t be ashamed when you do. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to ask for help because I feel “not good enough” if I can’t do it on my own, but that has changed this past month. I now lean on others more than ever and thrive off of community, which is something we all need to learn. Find someone you know you can trust and don’t be afraid to go to them in times of happiness and difficulty. Last but not least, know you are loved and you can do it!

Since most of you come to my blog for fashion advice, I wanted to share a little bit about my outfit. The white denim jacket I’m wearing in the photos is from Liverpool Jeans and it is my new favorite staple item for spring and summer. It is so lightweight, but the quality is amazing! I pair it with so many outfits and it looks great dressed up or down. It is the perfect jacket to throw on with a summery outfit. Use the code JONICA25 at checkout for 25% off your entire order!

I hope you all enjoyed this post and took something valuable away from it.

Have an amazing week!





Summer Bliss with Bella & Bloom Boutique

Guess what?! This is my first week of grad school, eeeeek! It has been such a long journey to get where I am today and if you remember me studying for the GRE like a crazy woman, you feel me on this one. I am both nervous and excited to begin this new adventure, but I cannot wait to see what the next two years have in store for me. As requested, I will be posting a blog post about how to study for the GRE, tips for grad school applications, and other advice related to school so stay tuned for that! I also want to give you all a heads up and let you know that some weeks I may be posting significantly less pictures or may not even post any at all that week. Always know that I will be back as I have a passion for producing content and connecting with all of you. Just be patient with me through this transition as I will be working full time, going to grad school, taking care of a puppy, and attempting to have some sort of social life.

With that being said, I recently received this dress from Bella and Bloom Boutique and it is STUNNING! I love love love the color of the dress and all of the amazing details. The first detail I love is the amazing crochet top. The second detail I love is the open back, which completes the look of this dress. Finally, I love how flowy the dress is and how comfortable it is to wear. When I put this on, it made me wish I was on the beach in Malibu drinking rosé. I will definitely be wearing this maxi dress on my next vacation because it looks even better with a tan!

I also think this dress would be so so cute for maternity pictures since it is perfect for a bump or also engagement pictures because it is subtle, yet stunning. If you are interested in purchasing this dress, which by the way, it’s under $40, click here.

I hope you all have a fabulous rest of your week!



Floral Maxi Dress from Fashion Trend LA

I feel like I haven’t posted anything on the blog for quite some time and I apologize for being MIA! This past weekend we went on the most amazing vacation to the Caribbean and I tried to stay off of social media, except to post one Instagram per day. With that being said, if you sent me a DM, emailed me, or commented on one of my pictures in the past week, I am getting back into the swing of things and will respond ASAP! Thank you all for being patient with me. I will be sharing all of the details of our trip very soon so stay tuned.

Today I am sharing the most fabulous maxi dress from Fashion Trend LA. This dress is the perfect maxi to wear as a wedding guest. I love the halter top and the braid detailing around the waist. The back of the dress is an open back with the braid across the back, which looks so cute on! I love how flattering this dress is and it is flowy, which is perfect for dancing (and won’t show a food baby if you eat too much). This dress pairs perfectly with wedges, sandals, or heels, it’s up to you and how you want to dress it up or down! I also love how fast the shipping was! I received my dress SO fast, which is perfect when you are in a time crunch for an event. I also know everyone worries about the quality of the fabric since it is such an affordable price. Well good news for you, the quality of this dress is amazing and is not see through. If you are interested in viewing more details or want to purchase this dress, click here!

Use the code: JONICA at checkout for 20% off of your entire order!

Shop the rest of my look here:

I hope you all love this dress as much as I do!



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