Behind The Butter

One Year Ago

One year ago, I was getting ready to leave Tampa behind and move to California.


I had two hundred dollars in my bank account, a one way plane ticket West and no place to live.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into but felt, without a doubt, this was where I was meant to be.

Somehow, everything fell into place and I can confidently say it’s been the craziest year of my entire life. There’s been highs, lows and a lot of growing up. I can’t sum up a year in words, but I can try to in photos….enjoy!


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Here’s to the next adventure—wherever it may lead!


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  • Kelly
    September 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    What a great year!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    September 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    What a chockful year! You & The Golden State were M.F.E.O. 😉

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    September 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I love this 🙂 Glad everything fell into place and turned into an incredible year!

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    September 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Oh Jenna you and these photos are both gorgeous. It’s been a pleasure to read the highs and lows of your year in California. Thanks for sharing it with us. You are an inspiration.

  • VeggieGirl
    September 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    What a year it has been!

  • Jenny
    September 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I heart you! I’m glad it’s all been working out for you. I live vicariously through your posts and your pics! 😉 Amazing photos!!! I hope this next year brings you even more incredible experiences! 🙂

  • kellyO
    September 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    What a great year! The photos are absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait for the adventure to continue…

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    September 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    haha LOVE that picture of you and Kath!!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day
    September 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Beautiful photography! You can see the true happiness in your eyes – you definitely made a great decision!

  • Marissa
    September 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    You and Almanzo look so content!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    September 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    You have had such an incredible year!

  • Allie
    September 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I love that picture of you and the boy! Congrats on a successful year, lady! You are one courageous, hilarious woman!! Keep up the good work!

  • emily hall
    September 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I love the pugs!!!!
    I am so glad things fell into place for you! You have been blessed! Much love!

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama
    September 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    What a lovely group of photos! I have enjoyed reading about your adventures over the past year. The best is yet to come!

  • Camille
    September 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    What a fabulous year!
    I hope this next year is even better!

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks
    September 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Happy Anniversary –California is the best, of course, I’m biased! 😉

  • Heather
    September 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Looks like such a great year, life is such an adventure!

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa
    September 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Happy California-versy!

  • eatmovelove
    September 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Wow – I want to comment on every photo but it would be too much! Love the cow photo ;)…and definitely you with your head on the table! And that snow pic, and the sunset, and you with your boyfriend…see I’d be here forever 😉

    I hope one of my years will be as breathtaking as those photos. 🙂

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    September 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    They say it takes a year to truly in love with this beautiful state, but once you’re here that long, you’ll love it forever. It’s been true for me and everyone I know that’s moved here. It’s an amazing place, and I’m thrilled you’ve had such a great year! 🙂

  • Shannon @ Freshman Year of Life
    September 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Congrats. What a great accomplishment! You’ve done well 🙂

  • Nora@LifeLifeEatRight
    September 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Wow–Cheers to another year of inspiration! This post just reminded me how unexpected life can be. It seems scary but it’s all about the journey and living in the moment. I love the way you embrace life through the ups and downs. We only have one life to live and it’s important to live it to the fullest! You are so amazing Jenna–keep on keepin’ on!

  • Meg
    September 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Beautiful, Jenna! You AND life itself 🙂

  • MoniMeals
    September 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Just amazing! Thank you for that, so refreshing. 🙂

  • cathy b. @
    September 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    love LOVE your photos. They give me a little hope that, someday, I may have taken enough pictures that I can learn to take some great ones!

  • steph@stephsbitebybite
    September 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    How did you learn to take such amazing photos? I could stare at your pics all day long!

  • Sassy Molassy
    September 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Great photos, Jenna! I find that while I don’t blog for a living, it’s so cool to have a SOMETHING that kind of requires me taking more photos of my life and then I write about it, which gives me a public diary which is so fun to be able to look back on.

  • Donnie
    September 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Jenna- Thank you for allowing us on your adventure. I posted your Engagement Shrimp recipe today because it is what I made for dinner and it is always a big hit. You love food and it helps you write a lovely blog. Thanks and congrats on your 1 year anniversary in California,

  • Cara Craves...
    September 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    You should be very proud of yourself.
    It’s not always easy stepping out of your comfort zone and you did just that!

  • Kathleen
    September 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I’m a 7th generation Californian (crazy, I know) and seeing all of your photos from the past year just makes me smile. Glad you stayed and even happier that you are sharing your journey with us. Cheers!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    September 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Girl, I love how absolutely fearless you are with life and all of its accompanying adventures. You are my inspiration. 😀

    • Mom
      September 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

      I love and agree!

  • Kathryn D
    September 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Happy Anniversary (of sorts)! I did the same thing when I moved to CO years ago. Was the best decision I made. I no longer live there but never regretted one minute there. A piece of my heart will always belong to CO!

    Wanted to let you know that I made your white chicken chili tonight. It ROCKED!

  • Nicole
    September 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Wow, a year really does fly by!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    cheers girl! this was about the same time that i started reading and subsequently started blogging myself…i owe you a big fat thank you for the encouragement that i’ve had through watching you live your life like an open book. i’m so excited to see where else you go!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    September 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    This almost brought tears to my eyes: your love for life is contagious, as is your desire for adventure. May California many more happy moments.

  • Meg
    September 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Jenna, I love this post! to another wonderfu year! i am not alone when i say i am definitey a loyal reader!

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married)
    September 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    What an adventure!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal
    September 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    What a YEAR it’s been for you! Definitely one for the books 🙂

  • Rachael
    September 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    To the spirit of adventure! I fully respect risk, and I’m pretty sure the universe does too. Authentic props coming to you from someone who’s started from scratch in many a new locale. May the next year be just as enriching and exciting!

  • Kelly
    September 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve loved reading and watching every step of the way. Cheers to a wonderful year!

  • Ella
    September 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Jenna it’s so weird to be happy for someone you’ve never met, but I feel so happy for you! Congrats on being brave enough to take a leap of faith. It’s been one fun read for us bloggies!

  • Sarah B
    September 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I love, love, love this! Any gal that can be driven by adventure and a passion for life is pretty much awesome in my book. I made a giant leap from Texas to Portland 2 years ago and somehow everything has fallen into place. If it weren’t for taking big leaps of faith and acting on my instincts, I doubt I would be as happy as I am now. Way to go girl, and way to keep illustrating my home state of California so beautifully.

  • Susan@MomSwimBikeRun
    September 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Love the recap. Congrats for following your dreams and having a great year!

  • Jaclyn
    September 18, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Crazy where a year can take you

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy)
    September 19, 2010 at 12:18 am

    It looks like you had a fab year. Here’s to many, many more! 🙂

  • Anne
    September 19, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Amen. And thanks for sharing. This is a beautiful journey.

  • Seglare (in Copenhagen)
    September 19, 2010 at 1:49 am

    What a beautiful photo recap of the year. I hope the new year will bring you even more happiness and new, exciting adventures to cherish! 🙂

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    September 19, 2010 at 4:17 am

    you have had quite the year!

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    September 19, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Beautiful. What a year! So glad you’re happy where you are 🙂


  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    September 19, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Way to go on taking such a huge leap. It obviously worked out well for you. It’s been amazing to follow your adventures in California and live vicariously through you. 😉

    September 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    i simply ADORE the picture of you laying on the grass, haha <3
    what a journey- what a year- what a life 🙂 🙂


  • faith @ gracefulfitness
    September 19, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Thank you! I just moved to a new coast/state/ town last week and although I am more or less enjoying to newness of it all, it is hard! I am already looking forward to next year at this time when I can look back over the year and realize how far I’ve come from this week! For now I will try to stay present and take it all in.

  • Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes
    September 19, 2010 at 7:15 am

    What a fantastic year, Jenna! Love your spirit and being able to just trust that things will turn out right – because they do, no matter what!

  • M
    September 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Love it!!! You should have included a picture with dark brown hair 🙂 I’m curious to know if you can say, now that it’s been a year, why you moved to CA? Was it Almanzo? Did yall fall in love at first sight or not until after you moved?

    • jenna
      September 19, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Hahaha Almanzo and I didn’t start dating until March, actually! I originally moved to California because I fell in love with it after visiting last year and needed a change of pace. 🙂

  • Jenny (Healthful Moments)
    September 19, 2010 at 8:39 am

    I love your socks! It’s so awesome to look back a year and see how much growth and change occurs 🙂

  • Marie
    September 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

    congrats!!!! your photos are amazing btw!!!

  • Amber K
    September 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Yay! Pictures tell an awesome story.

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    September 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I had no idea it’s just been one year! Wow! And $200 and no place to live, for real?!! Wow, that’s faith, and adventurous spirit and just plain ole big kahunas….I love that you just moved and did it!

    I have relocated across the county on a hope and a prayer and also moved dozens of times in my adult life and so I know what it feels like starting over where you know no one and have no connections and no idea how or if things are going to work out…but for you, clearly they did 🙂 Amazing year in review pics!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef
    September 19, 2010 at 11:19 am


  • Lisa
    September 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    What a cool adventure! I’ve always wanted to just pick up and move somewhere new just to explore a new city.

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black
    September 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Congrats on a great year!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    September 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing the year with us! I really enjoyed reading all your amazing adventures. Mostly because you take such beautiful photos.

  • Jaime
    September 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I have only started reading your blog this year and I love it! You seem like such a fun girl and your blog lifts me up and inspires me to eat really yummy food! I made Beth T’s cookies last night and my friends will now love me forever! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    September 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I can only imagine what the coming year will bring you! Looking forward to following along.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    September 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    What a wonderful year indeed 🙂

  • Kelly
    September 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    What a great year you’ve had! I’m about to up and move also, scary, but I can’t wait!

  • stacey-healthylife
    September 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    What an awesome year.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    September 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures (and you!) as always! You have had quite the year!

  • Joy
    September 20, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Thank you for inviting us into your adventures… It’s great to turn on the computer (or in my case the iPhone) and “walk” into a friend’s house

  • Jes
    September 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

    You fell in love after you visited, what if you had never been there before? Would you still have made the leap?

    • jenna
      September 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

      I would never have known about this area if it weren’t for the Murphy Goode job last year…so I wouldn’t have known to want to move!

  • Becca
    September 20, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I love the photo of you and Almanzo – obviously because you two are cute as pie… but mostly because he has a wrist band on that says “fall risk” from the hospital.

  • Jess @ MTL Veggie
    September 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

    That picture of you and Almanzo makes me smile. I’m so happy that I got to follow you on your journey to the west coast. Congrats on your amazing year Jenna! May the next one bring you even more wonderful memories.

  • Mary
    September 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Love your pictures! awesome year 🙂

  • Mika
    September 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    You have a great life! I wish I would have been so adventurous before my husband and kids! Keep on living the fabulous adventure 🙂

  • Lauren @ Health on the Run
    September 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Crazy how much can change in a year — how it can see so long and so short at the same time. I’m glad you’ve found a place where you feel so at home, and hope your love for CA just continues to grow. 🙂