Narrow Spaces

In a years time, my plan is to be living and attending school somewhere on the East Coast. It’s going to be a major change, and I’m going to have to make the most of whatever tiny space I can afford.

I’ve been really into looking at minimalist living lately, because there are some very fascinating living styles. Since I will not know anyone, my desire is to have my home feel as comfortable as possible.

The first design I checked out was amazing. Made out of steel and crammed into a width of five feet, this home is not for the claustrophobic. As much as I loved the concept, I’m not sure such a fit would be right for me. I do classify myself as a claustrophobic for one, and my family will undoubtedly want to visit me at some point. Not really a good location to have anybody come over. There also is the small factor of me planning to make friends at some point. I am a homebody, so I would prefer to hang out at my place when possible, and this design does not allow for that. It’s truly magnificent though, for those who are able to pull off living there.

My favorite living situation was this one:

It’s probably super expensive. Damn them for not putting a price on it in order to quickly dash my dreams, now I’m going to have to draw out the sweet agony of wanting what I most likely can’t have.

These videos serve as inspiration, because with a bit of intelligence (and money of course) even the smallest of spaces can become comfortable.

~J. Spade



Knowing the Truth

We live in a world of self awareness, and that self awareness is brought forth because we assume to know our own self worth. In some cases that self worth might be more focused on the lack of, which really happen to be just lies we’ve spun to build up walls. After all, we know who we are or who we can be, and yet all we see are the flaws that take up the day to day. These flaws that we only perceive ourselves to have is because we are stuck in a loop of comparing our worst days to somebody else’s best. That is not fair to anyone.

We see our bare selves and we pick at it, and we see someone’s day-face and decide that we need to be like that all the time. It’s unhealthy, and it distorts your own view of your day-face.

I’m guilty of this, and we all are on some degree.

As a strong “love your body” advocate I feel like a hypocrite every time I look in the mirror. My mom used to tell me I was my own worst critic when it came to any of my creative works, but I don’t think she realized how much my critiques bled over into my daily psyche. Nothing I did or wore was ever good enough. While I’m getting better, those moments of self doubt still leave me bed-ridden and sad from time to time.

I find it ridiculous, all of it. Because I know I’m not really all that ugly or fat, but I still feel those things as many of us do. Why we feel the need to put feeling to these words that really are only descriptive I will never understand.

I wish it was easy to stand up and face down those societal molds and say things like, “Yes, my love handles might be a bit more prominent than what the media deems ‘normal’ but that’s not me, because it doesn’t show that I can paint and write and that helps make me who I am.”

Okay, so it’s a bit easier to say than I had originally accounted for, but I want to be able to say it and feel it with every fiber of my being. I want my words to ring just as true in my mind as they do in the air.

Our self awareness should just become awareness as we realize that all of us have day-faces that we hide behind. As I sit here with my top-knot of a bun, sweats, and spot-treatment mask of a face, I need to understand that this is not my ‘red-carpet’ look. Therefore, comparing this behind-the-scenes look to some A-Listers glammed up persona is not going to do anyone any good.

Except maybe the 1/2-gallon of peppermint ice-cream I bemoan my troubles to at the end of the day, but that’s beside the point. I’m also just using this moment as a shameless promotion for my favorite seasonal treat, because I am so happy it’s here.

Back on topic though.

The next time you see a picture of a celebrity all dolled up with thousands of dollars worth of makeup and clothes, just know that you’d look just as fantastic under the same pampering. Even if you can’t bring yourself to think that’s true, just knowing that someone out there would think you’re beautiful might be enough to do the trick.

And if that isn’t enough, then maybe the proof will lie within the meme.

~Johana Spade


Toast to You

Exploring the mighty blogosphere can be as scary as it is enlightening. It’s a massive place that houses millions of different blogs, with different writers, styles, and preferences; and that’s wonderful. Maybe you’re wondering how I can find something that is so amazing to be even the slightest bit scary.

The answer to that is easy.


Maybe the answer isn’t as easy as I originally thought. It’s not that I am scared of talent, per se. The thing that scares me is the lingering fear that I will not match up to aforementioned talent. As often as I have been told not to compare myself to others, it’s one of those ‘old habits’ kicks and their death is hard.

But this post isn’t about me. Shocking, I know. This post is about you, those of you who will and who won’t read this post. It’s meant for you, I’m just the messenger here.

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day browsing unknown blogs and discovering new people to be in awe over. Photography blogs, poetry blogs, blogs with cats, music, and food. All different types of blogs passed in front of my eyes, and I gobbled it all up like the proverbial turkey it was.

Come the end of my perusing, I felt empty. The fact of the matter remained that as much as I took from the posts and people I had just seen, I had given nothing back. Rather selfish if you ask me. Then it occurred to me that I could at least let the blogger know that I enjoyed their post, a small price to pay for devouring the glimpse they had given me into their life.

So I commented. I liked. And I followed. I handed them out like candy to Trick-or-Treater’s and I regret nothing. In fact, I plan to do it again. It’s a fulfilling task that makes me and the recipients feel better, and I like that feeling.

We could all do a little better to put a smile on the face of those we admire. A simple ‘like’ can do that, and all it takes is a click of a button.

Plus, looking at other blogs is a learning experience. I, for one, learned that my blog needs work. Not that I already didn’t know that, but a certain blogger helped me to realize I needed more cats on my blog. Because cats. For that I can’t thank her enough for the unintentional insight she gave me.

And now, cats.

DSC_0289Mouse posing for the camera.
Louis objecting to having his picture taken.

 ~J. Spade

It Just Takes Ten Minutes

Dear Reader,

You’re sick, and that’s okay. It’s okay that smiles don’t come easy, and that half the time all you want to do is disappear. All of that is okay because you are human and you are young.

It is not okay for you to give up. Promise me that you will never give up.

Don’t let a world that is so big get you down over something that is so small. There is more to life than failures, and you will have many failures. Think of all the people you have touched in one way or another. The good and the bad, your life has influenced those around you.

You are an impact. Powerful, with a force unseen by many, you can help people. Don’t fake a smile if it doesn’t feel good. Say no when something just doesn’t suit your fancy. All you need to do in life is be true to yourself. No one can ask for more than that, and nobody should be asking for less.

Sometimes it might feel like the end is near. And maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop living your life just because you don’t have anywhere else to go. You are much stronger than you think you are, and you have people who love you unconditionally.

Maybe the harsh realities of the world are too much to bear sometimes, and you can hide from the world for a few days. Just don’t let it rule you, do not let your fears control your actions. Come out of hiding for a day or two at a time, just enough to let the world know that you’re still fighting.

I, too, know what it is like to feel like you’re waging a battle against yourself. I know the struggles that come with the pain inflicted on your skin, and the scars that are left behind. Scars fade, memories fade, but the strength of your soul does not. Keep your heart beating by doing what you love. Do not settle for anything less than what you deserve.

There are going to be times when you hate your parents. That moment when your mom reads your journal and finds out just how much you want to die might seem like a gross invasion of privacy, and maybe it is. But a small part of you will know that you left it out for her to read on purpose. The tears she shed over your unseen wounds might make you feel just a little more loved than you had felt that morning, and it will mark a turning point for you. Cause even though you get horribly frustrated with both your mother and father because they just do not understand, you also love them because they stand by you even though they cannot know of the demons you are facing.

I can promise you that you will make it through this, but I cannot promise you that it will ever completely go away.

Always try to remember that you are strong, you are brave, and you are beautiful.

But most importantly, I want you to remember that you are me and we are one.

~J. Spade

The Title Says It All

Usually, coming up with taglines or slogans comes pretty easily to me. I’m constantly spouting off slogans to products I make up, because it’s fun and it keeps my brain active. During Blogging 101’s second task, however, I struggled.

Why can’t I name my blog and in turn create a tagline for it? It is after all, a mere extension of my thoughts posted for the public to see. The fact that I couldn’t find the proper name threw me for a loop.

In my mind, that loop turned into a whirlwind of falling that appeared like the rabbit hole in Alice In Wonderland. Then it hit me. I could use that in my title and tagline, I could essentially borrow from Alice In Wonderland. This fictional realm involving hearts could be the inspiration I needed to create the blog title I sorely needed.  With thoughts of grandiose Queen’s and shouts of “off with her head” circling through my brain I realized it wouldn’t be as easy as I thought. I turned in a different direction.  Cards, I decided, I could do cards.

That proved to cause even more complications.

I couldn’t think straight. There are 13 cards involved with spades, how do I pick which one is me. Calling myself a King or a Queen seemed a bit presumptuous considering my blog is not all that popular, and picking 10, my jersey number, just seemed odd as well. Then I glanced at my icon for a second as I pondered, and everything started falling into place.

There is one of me. There is one blog. One. Ace. Ace of Spades. I finally had my title, and I couldn’t have been happier. I wanted to continue on with the idea of cards though, a play on words in a way. So I began throwing out taglines: More than just a pawn in a game of cards. It’s a heart; It’s a diamond; No, it’s the ace of spades! None of the ones I tossed around in my brain seemed to work for me, they just didn’t click.

That was when I decided to get to the heart of the matter. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? And I decided to keep my tagline simple while still using the card-game angle.

My new tagline ended up being: It’s no longer just a card, it’s a girl with a blog.

It fit more than I would have thought, and I am so happy with the outcome. I can only hope that all of you find it to be just as fitting.

So, I guess now I can give you my sincerest of thank you’s for joining the SpAce of Spades.

~Johana Spade.


Blogging is like the balm to the soul. It allows an individual a platform in which they can talk about the things they are passionate about, and it gives readers the opportunity to find others with interests similar to them. There is a community feel to blogging, a family in a way. It is a helpful tool to everyone, both writer and reader, that participates in a blogging forum.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I am an avid writer; from journaling or storytelling, I’ve tried it all. My 2014 New Year’s resolution consisted of journaling every day for a year, and I’ve kept that up so far, but as I was writing in my personal journal I found that I had things I wanted to share. There are so many opinions residing within me, and I felt that maybe someone else could gain positive insights through my personal experiences. I began my public blog in hopes that whatever I post, be it creative works or opinion pieces, will inspire someone in whatever avenue they so choose.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Since I do not have one hobby, I can already see that my blog will be quite the eclectic mesh. I will be writing reviews in regards to the books I read and shows/movies I watch. Certain posts might deal with strong opinions I have and would like to discuss. There will even be creative pieces that I simply want to share with people that get posted here. I’m not going to limit myself on my blog, because I don’t limit myself in my life.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

I want to connect with everyone. People from all different backgrounds, with varying interests. I want to see new things, hear their opinions about things, and just experience as much as I can. Since I do not have the money or the means to travel all over, one way to do it is through the experience of others. Maybe it will be the fuel I need to start a fire to my dreams of travel.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

There is nothing more that I hope to achieve through the success of having a year long blog than a feeling of personal growth. During this new adventure I hope to make new friends and learn new things. Perhaps I’ll even expand upon my hobbies. Since I have such a passion for writing, I am hoping that I will become even better at it during this journey. If there is one growth that sticks with me during this experience, I hope that it is confidence in my voice as an author and a blogger.


~Johana Spade