We've all had that daydream while on vacation of "what if I stayed here forever?", but not many of us actually make it happen. Our next #NobleBabe Geneva Janowski actually took the plunge and quit her job and moved to the dreamy desert town of Joshua Tree with her partner, Andy, and newborn daughter, Prairie Rae. Today, we are excited to share how Geneva made her dream a reality. She is now living a slower paced life and has the time to explore nature everyday with her toddler in tow. Get ready to be inspired to pick up everything and move permanently to your weekend getaway...
1. What does healthy living mean to you? How did your view of healthy living change, if at all, after becoming a mother?
Healthy living, for me, is all about making environmentally friendly choices. It’s something I was really passionate about in my early 20’s and kind of lost sight of as I grew out of that youthful idealism. Having Prairie has reawakened my enthusiasm to strive for a more sustainable lifestyle.
2. You used to live in San Diego, what prompted you to move to Joshua Tree? How did you actually make the move happen?
We decided to move to Joshua Tree after Prairie was born in search of a lower cost of living so that I could stay home with her. We had been visiting the area for years (it’s the closest national park to SD), and had both really fallen in love with the desert landscape and the artsy small town culture too. We didn’t know anyone when we moved here so it was bit of a scary leap of faith to pack up and leave our friends and family behind. At first, we thought we’d just stay a year and then return to San Diego, but we have been so happy living here that we’ve adopted it as our new hometown & recently bought a house!
3. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
I’ve always loved the words of John Muir, and recently happened across this quote of his that really resonated for me: “of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
4. What are some of your favorite kid-friendly things to do or places to go in Joshua Tree with P?
Mainly, we love to take Prairie “hiking.” I am putting the word hiking in quotation marks because we don’t actually cover much ground these days, but it is all about the journey, not the destination. I love learning about the landscape through her eyes and watching the way she interacts with and finds ways to play in the natural world- by climbing a little boulder pile, tracing in the sand with a stick, or stopping to smell the desert wildflowers.
5. You and your husband both work from home. How are you able to juggle working from home with raising Prairie? Do you have a nanny? Do you split responsibilities with your husband? Do you limit the amount of hours you work a week? Tell us your secrets…
I just started officially working again (as an assistant to the Joshua Tree House) so I am trying to find that balance. Right now I work while Prairie naps and after she goes to bed, and sometimes Andy will take her after he gets off of work or on the weekend so I can get stuff done. For my instagram and blog work, my secret is neglecting my blog hahahaah! Instagram is just so much easier because I can just take pics when we are out and about, edit them on the car ride home, and respond to comments whenever I have a spare second (ie when she is nursing). I must admit that I am on my phone around her a lot which isn’t the greatest, but I feel like it’s worth it to keep her out of daycare. (There aren’t many childcare options available here.)
6. How did you come up with the name Prairie? Can you tell us more about you and your husband's decision to give Prairie your last name?
We happened across the name Prairie somewhere deep on the internet (researching baby names was a major pastime of mine while I was pregnant). We liked the way the name sounded and it also conjured up a bit of nostalgia for my husband as he grew up in Oklahoma/Kansas. It was a way to honor his past without using a family name I suppose. In terms of our decision to use my last name, it was really pretty simple- once we decided on Prairie as her first name we just liked the way it sounded better with my last name. I’d still love for all three of us to have the same last name so we may come with our own family name and all adopt it at some point.
“Everything will be okay.” As a new mom I felt so overwhelmed sometimes. Prairie wasn’t a good sleeper for the first year of her life and I was reading all this advice on sleep training and this dumb book on French parenting that said if you don’t do “the pause” (which means waiting and letting your newborn cry for a couple of minutes before you comfort them), that your baby will never learn to sleep and you must do the cry-it-out method. And I was freaking out because I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her to cry, but felt like I would lose my mind if she didn’t start sleeping. And lo and behold she figured it out on her own and now I have a wonderful little sleeper. So take all the parenting advice with a grain of salt, and be gracious with yourself and your new little human- things will get better as you get to know each other and adapt to your new circumstances!
8. What does an ideal day with Prairie look like?
I love our slow Saturdays, when Andy is off of work. We will all sleep in and then have a leisurely morning of coffee and art projects. Then we will head out for some kind of little activity, usually a visit to the farmers' market and a stop by the playground before heading home for lunch and naptime. After nap we will pack a big picnic and head into the park for a hike and sunset hang. Super simple- but that is kind of the point!
9. Do you have any rituals or wellness routines to keep you grounded?
10. What excites you most about raising a baby girl in the world today?
It’s really really easy to be so scared about raising a child in our culture right now. I remember taking Prairie with me to cast my ballot, I was so excited to tell her how she came with me to make history and elect our first female president. I just try to do what I can to resist, and raise a good little human, and remind myself that a change for the better is happening, even if it is hard to see right now. The vast majority of young voters are in favor of progressive social and environmental policies. If we can make it through the next few years, I truly believe (hope, pray) that things will get better.
11. Can you tell us more about your#cosmicclosetcleanup.What inspired you to clean out your closet? How has your style changed since becoming a mom?
Between the physiological shifts of pregnancy and nursing, the psychological shift of leaving my job, & the geographical shift of moving to a new town, I felt like a different person and I wanted my wardrobe to reflect these changes. I am also very drawn to the idea of investing in quality over quantity, I guess a capsule wardrobe is the term for it? I have just been working to minimize the amount of things I have in my life; and then rewarding myself by investing in things I truly love that I hope to get many years of use out of. I think for the first year of Prairie’s life I just wore sweatpants every day, but now I am expanding into vintage levis, jumpsuits, and kaftans. Anything in natural fibers and washed out desert tones.
12. What does shopping sustainably mean to you? Where are some of your favorite places to shop for your home?
We are really really trying to focus on purchasing ethically made items. It is so hard to control myself, because I love to shop and places like Target and World Market have such cute and cheap stuff! But I have to remind myself that these items are cheap because more than likely they were produced under horrible conditions, in sweatshops and at polluting factories. Because money is tight for us, and because I like the character of it, I love vintage furniture. However that does mean a lot of my house stays unfurnished as I wait to find the right pieces! Hahaha! I also love to purchase artisan-madepieces when I can- currently saving up for a wall hanging by Katherine Moes.
13. How would you describe Prairie’s style? What are some of your favorite pieces from Noble Carriage right now?
Prairie is a lot like her mama, in that she usually wears simple clothes not fussy pieces. I usually reach for things that she can be comfy being a kid in, but also don’t really care for things that are too “kiddish.” I don’t like bright colors, cartoon characters, or polyester, and I honestly don’t think she needs those things to find joy in her clothing either. I love the gray label clothing because it is both super functional & super cute. And the misha & puff knits, they are just the dreamiest colors and textures! Oh and Prairie’s favorite piece is her Mas Amor Por Favor tee, or as she calls it, her “peace sign shirt.”