best quarantine snacks to stock up on!

Hi friends, how are you? I know it sounds like a loaded question but I genuinely care and hope you have been dealing with this change of life as well as you can. It feels like I’m adapting well to this stay-at-home lifestyle now that I have a solid routine going on. In a world full of zoom calls, homemade bread, and sweatpants, I’m beginning to realize that I was most afraid of change.

When this lockdown was announced, my biggest fear was adjusting to this new pace of life. But here I am, doing the damn thing! I have my time set aside for productivity and moving my body, and instead of looking forward to going out on the weekends, I look forward to the little treats in life. That being said: I have found so many yummy and wholesome foods and drinks that make life at home that much sweeter. Many of my favorite food brands are those which are made with honest nutritious ingredients, and those that make the world a better place. In this post, you can read all about my favorite treats to have on hand during this period of self-isolation.

Oatbox

Morning time is so beautiful and sacred to me. At the beginning of this self-isolation, I spent a lot of mornings sleeping until 11 and starting my day late. Now that I’m back into a routine, my morning time is so valuable. I love to set aside time for myself to start the day and practice mindfulness. Since we are all staying home, there is no excuse to skip the most important meal of the day. Oatbox checks off all the boxes - handcrafted, clean ingredients, and an ever-changing variety of flavors. I am loving their carrot cake granola lately… sooo good. This monthly box has your back with high quality granola, oatmeal portions, and breakfast bars. I topped my smoothie bowl with their carrot cake granola the other day... drooool...

If you use the promo: Juliettiful when shopping with OatBox, you can get your first OatBox worth $62 for only $35, packed with granola, oatmeal pouches, and breakfast bars. 

 

Emmy’s Organics

Coconut is one of my favorite tastes in the world. Emmy’s Organics makes these little coconut cookies that are vegan, organic, and… addicting. Luckily the ingredients are super clean which make these the ideal snack. They’re especially lovely to pair with your daily hot tea or coffee, and come in SO many yummy flavors. I love the vanilla bean flavor, but the dark cacao and peanut butter flavors are my runner-ups.

 

Nyrvana

These chocolate truffles are on another level. It may sound crazy, but Nyrvana’s chocolates are healthy, and not in the “dark chocolate is good for you” kind of way. They don’t contain any sugar, have 1 net carb, and have added nootropics such as Alpha GPC, L-Theanine, and B12 for improved brain function. I am alllll for getting smarter while you satisfy your chocolate craving. Not to mention, they are sooo delish - I definitely prefer the peanut butter truffle. I know good quality chocolate when I taste it…

 

Barnana

My go-to snack, ALWAYS. This brand makes my favorite plantain chips of all time, and I love to dip them in guac or salsa… they are absolutely beyond what you’d expect out of a plantain chip. SO. DANG. GOOD! I also was just introduced to their chewy banana bites and banana brittle for a sweet snack and I am in love with them. The peanut butter banana bites literally taste like candy, and the brittle is my go to late night snack. Barnana upcycles bananas which reduces food waste. Did you know about 56% of all food wasted in Latin America happens before the food even reaches distribution? When bananas are scuffed, banged up, or not the perfect size they are rejected for export.  Barnana uses these products to reduce waste. And my heart swelled up when I read that they helped 350 indigenous families in the Amazon become organic plantain growers. AMAZING WORK GUYS!

 

Flying Embers Brew

Listen, I don’t drink too often. However, of all the times to have alcohol on hand… I would say a global pandemic is probably one of the most crucial times. I’m not realllly a beer or liquor girl, but when I say I STRUCK GOLD with these hard kombuchas I am not exaggerating. They’re soooo crisp and smooth, and taste incredible. Just like normal kombucha, they have live probiotics. Oh and they are 0 sugar and GF/VEG! I had one by the fire the other night… the black cherry flavor is so good. I also realized AFTER drinking that this flavor was 7.2% ABV hahaha. You can sip it from the can, on the rocks, or even mixed into a cocktail.

 

Honestly, all of these goodies are one of the main reasons I haven't gone absolutely crazy yet!

all opinions are my own! some products may have been gifted, but I am entirely honest in my reviews.

6 ways to turn quarantine into a self love journey

We are over a week into this global pandemic and the initial shock has begun to fade away. Each day has been a rollercoaster of emotions - frustration, fear, boredom, stress, and even gratitude. Now, about a week in, I feel like I have emotionally stabilized. It seems like others have too, but I understand that we are taking it all day by day. I am just trying to focus on the silver linings and doing my part in being globally responsible (aka stay home). The only way we are going to make it through this is by looking for that light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you are working from home, enrolled in online classes, or simply just going through it, chances are you have a LOT of extra time on your hands now. I have created a list of ___ things you can do during this time of uncertainty while laying low, to work on caring for yourself and loving yourself.

TAKE AN ONLINE CLASS.

You can use my custom link to get 2 free months of Skillshare! I have been taking advantage of this free time by taking Spanish classes from Skillshare’s library of thousands of unique classes. There’s no time like now to learn a skill that you’ve been wanting to start for a while. There are creative, relaxing classes that allow you to paint and be mindful, there are business savvy classes that can help you advertise and grow your brand, and even classes on cooking vegan cuisine. They’re all taught by extremely skilled, world renowned professionals. I even used Skillshare a few years ago, way before our partnership, to teach myself SEO!

GET OFF YOUR PHONE.

I am including this mainly as a note to myself, but also because I know I’m not alone in the dramatic increase in screen time this week. I started charging my phone across my bedroom at night so I fall asleep without it and so I don’t go on it immediately when I wake up. I am working on spending less time on it during the day. Sometimes I’ll find myself mindlessly scrolling, clicking out of the Instagram app only to go right back onto it… that’s when you have to put the phone down. Walk, draw, read, anything. Just give your phone a break! Try to have a few uninterrupted phone-less hours during the day and at night.

HAVE A GRATITUDE SESH WITH A FRIEND.

Last year my friend Marisa and I used to send each other voice recordings daily where we’d work on manifesting things into our lives through practicing gratitude… She introduced this idea to me in the winter months, and we started sending each other recordings under 5 minutes. After a few weeks of doing this, the recordings got longer and the conversations got deeper. Having a gratitude buddy to check in with is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling ways to nurture a friendship while social distancing. It also keeps you accountable for your own gratitude, and overall just makes you feel grounded in these uncertain times. Some ideas to get the ball rolling are

  • What is something that happened today that you are grateful for?
  • What are 5 things that you are grateful for in general?
  • What is something that you want to manifest into your life? Speak it into reality. “I am so grateful for my _____…” (beautiful home, healthy relationship, job promotion, G-wagon, etc)

DETOX YOUR ARMPITS.

My wonderful blogger friend Madi has an entire blog post on this topic! She is very knowledgable with clean beauty and her post is a great resource to check out. I switched to a natural deodorant last month after years of using an antiperspirant with pore-clogging and potentially disease causing aluminum. Every time I swiped my old deodorant on my armpits, I felt guilty knowing I was putting something harmful on a sensitive part of my body. I sweat a lot and I had been postponing the switch because I was afraid of the detoxification period. Honestly, it was a breeze. Some days I definitely noticed a little excess sweat and odor, but nothing crazy. There is no better time than hanging out at home for weeks to detox your pits. It is so worth it. Do your body a favor and lower your chances of breast cancer - all while fighting a pandemic! Workkk health queen!

MOVE THAT BODY.

Not gonna lie, when word about self-isolating started to spread, my mind immediately went to “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GYM”. Exercise is so sacred to me and over the past few months I found my own perfect balance with running and Orangetheory, with the occasional Soulcycle class thrown in the mix. During my first year of college I dabbled in at-home workouts, and have since decided they are just not for me. Luckily the weather has been mild here in Connecticut so I have been running daily and taking the pups for walks after dinner. A lot of fitness instructor friends I follow are streaming online classes, and lululemon is releasing digital content every day! Training, yoga, run tips, and mindfulness... all for FREE on their Instagram! Endorphins are so necessary during times like this. However you wanna do it, get after it.

SLEEP... A LOT.

I love sleeping. So much. I have always been the type of person who goes to bed early and wakes up early. Now, since I don’t have a reason to wake up early, I have changed my sleep routine. I knock out around 10pm while watching Netflix thanks to my beloved melatonin, and I sleep like a god damn baby until 9am. I tell myself that I’m catching up on all the sleep I lost in college, haha. Blackout curtains also help. Getting lots of sleep is good for concentration, productivity, metabolism, muscle recovery, heart health, mental health.. And drumroll…. IMMUNITY! You are literally saving yourself from the virus by staying home and sleeping. Bless up baby.

 

I hope with all of my heart that you are well right now, and that you are as peaceful as can be given the circumstances of the world right now. I’m always here to chat. Oh, and I made a YouTube channel ~ go watch me do my makeup and act silly!

 

XO Juliette

banana walnut muffins!

banana walnut muffin recipe

It’s a given that with all this free time, the world has collectively been baking more. I am alllll for it. Banana breads, loafs of bread, oatmeal cookies, those are all part of my love language. I’ve always loved baking, but it never seemed like something I would post about on here or on instagram. But when I made some healthy banana nut muffins the other day and shared them on my stories, people went crazy! The recipe was so simple, healthy, and the muffins themselves are super low calorie since there aren’t any added oils, and no added sugar. I don't count calories but since this more slow-paced lifestyle began, I feel like everyone is more likely to choose a lower calorie option. It’s all good! 

This super simple recipe is full of guilt free ingredients, and you can always substitute for whatever you have on hand! I’ve seen them made with pumpkin puree instead of banana. I use natural monk fruit sweetener, but stevia or any other sugar will do! I loaded mine with walnuts, chocolate chips, and have been enjoying them with an afternoon tea or coffee! Sooo delicious and simple. 

1 overripe banana
1 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ sweetener or sugar
½ cup water
1 cup flour
½ cup walnuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruits

Start by mashing up the banana until smooth like an applesauce, then add ingredients in the order listed. Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin (since there’s no oil in the recipe it will stick to an ungreased tin or paper liners). Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon&sugar! Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

 

vulnerability.

I’ve been in a funk lately.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my emotionally vulnerable post from the other day. I think it’s super important to open up about your feelings and thoughts because chances are someone who sees it is feeling the exact same, or has gone through the same feelings in the past and can offer kind words or advice. Basically, spending the winter months in cold Connecticut after a semester spent traveling Europe has definitely not helped my seasonal depression. On top of that, I don’t exactly know what I want to do after I graduate. I got into graduate school in Boston but my soul is longing for Spain, so I am trying to figure it all out. Plus - that mercury retrograde… I have no words...

Anyways, I posted this selfie I took outside Ofelia Bakery in Sevilla. I went for a morning run, showered, put on my new Zara top and a cute little black skirt, and walked over for an americano before my class at 1pm. I wish I could go back to that moment and take it all in, all over again. I think the root of my recent sadness is just simply missing life abroad. It’s all I ever think about.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I want to be honest. I’ve been sad and anxious lately. Not all the time, but definitely more often than I usually am. It’s hard to pinpoint why I’m feeling this way... I have some amazing friends, a job I love, and I’m healthy and safe. I’m pretty bummed because I miss living in Europe so much. Like, it’s literally all I think about. I cry about missing Spain often, when I think too hard about it my heart literally aches. & I’m still looking for a way to go back... it’s not easy as a non-EU citizen. Plus there’s that social pressure of landing a professional job after graduation and working on your career - I still feel really influenced by it no matter how hard I try to resist this norm. Also, I’m graduating college in May and I don’t know what I wanna do as far as my career goes. I actually *just* got accepted into graduate school yesterday, so I’m excited about that. But it’s also making me wonder, am I doing this because I want to or because society tells me to? I’m just not sure what I want out of life right now. That being said, uncertainty is okay. It’s actually pretty healthy to question things, that reinforces that you’re acting carefully in life. Being sad is okay too. Let yourself feel things, talk about your feelings, and let it all ebb and flow. I’ll actually be quite impressed if you read this whole thing, thanks for caring❤️

A post shared by JULIETTE | Your IG BFF (@juliettiful) on

 

I received so much love, support, and valuable advice about my situation. I feel way less alone now, and it feels good to be seen and heard. Vulnerability is soooo important to me, in my personal connections, in my relationships, and as a leader. Last summer I was walking back from a fitness class in Newport with a friend of mine. I remember it clear as day, we were going to get coffee before our shifts at lululemon, the morning summer sun beating down on us. I brought up how I value vulnerability, and my friend was shocked that I hadn’t heard of Brené Brown before. That night, I listened to the TED talk The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown, and it rocked my world.

 

“This is what I have found: To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen ... to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee -- and that's really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that's excruciatingly difficult -- to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we're wondering, "Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?" just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, "I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive." And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we're enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, "I'm enough" ... then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

At what point in life do we begin to doubt ourselves? When do we begin to question our life journey, or even our own worth? When do we start to underestimate our capabilities and doubt that we are enough? Weariness, hesitation, and uneasiness are not innate. They are all habits we learn over time.

By understanding and embracing vulnerability, we can reconnect with ourselves. We can understand one another and feel for one another, and I believe that is more valuable than pride.

with all the love,
Juliette

mercury retrograde 2020

Mercury retrograde is here again, my sweet friends.

I always get a little bit nervous when I hear Mercury is going to be moving backwards again. A retrograde can be intense, exciting, chaotic, and passionate. If you aren’t familiar with this madness, yes, we are talking about planets. Mercury will pass the earth in orbit a few times a year, and it appears to move in a backwards motion, but it’s not actually changing it’s path. This first retrograde of the new decade (still SO weird to say) began February 9th and continues until March 16th. Over the course of 2020 we will have another retrograde from June 18 - July 12, and one more from October 13 - November 3.

Mercury is like, really far away. I mean, it doesn’t take an astrophysicist to know that. You may be asking yourself, how does the motion of this planet even affect me? Well, the planet Mercury is in rule of communication. This means it influences the way we communicate with others, in your personal life, in relationships, and in the workplace. Mercury is also in rule of technology and formalities like documents and contracts. For us earthlings, this means controlled chaos. During past retrogrades, I’ve noticed that I have the most difficulty with communication and technology. It’s not something to fear - Mercury retrograde issues are usually only mildly inconvenient. Just lay low, don’t make any big moves, and arm yourself with all the information you need to get through this retrograde unscathed.


What types of issues can you expect to deal with during a retrograde? 

Under the umbrella of communication issues, you may experience problems with your friends, your partner, family, or even coworkers. Mercury does NOT discriminate who it affects… 

Be hyperaware of problems that may arise regarding listening, speaking, or even texting. Conveying your thoughts and emotions may seem more difficult than usual during this time. Issues may arise preventing you from connecting with others - a common way this happens is plans unexpectedly getting cancelled. 

Another common disruption during the retrograde is chaos within formalities. Be careful in any academic or business setting when researching, negotiating, and working with documents. Now is probably not the best time to sign a formal contract for your career, or even to sign a lease or agreement. People also say not to publish any major projects during this time. Work diligently and re-read EVERYTHING. 

For me, the most stressful aspect of Mercury retrograde is technology - simply because it’s totally out of my control. I can pay special attention to my communication, relationships, and documents… but anything tech-related… forget it. This includes but isn’t limited to personal tech like your computer and phone, as well as travel itineraries, transportation, and even appliances. You may crack your phone screen, have a miscommunication in an email, need to repair your car, or lose a document. During a retrograde in 2019 I lost an 8 page paper I typed up for an immunology class. Gone, without a trace. I totally freaked out, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that serious. Just frustrating AF. 

My close friends can vouch for me - I am a veryyy emotional person in general. I’ve realized in the past that my emotions are heightened during the retrograde. Last Wednesday night I had a liiiittle itty-bitty breakdown for no reason. Seriously, I had a really good day - totally conflict free and chill. I even got good news from a graduate program, ate dinner with my parents, and got to see my dogs. But that night… oh boy I started to cry (a whole lot) and couldn’t figure out why… in retrospect it had to be the retrograde. There wasn’t anything that could help me out of this funk. I just had to let it ride out. 

In the spirit of Mercury moving backwards, you may see past events repeating themselves. Whether this is a good or bad thing, that is totally dependent on the situation. Have you fallen back into bad habits? Blame Mercury. Has an issue from the past come back up? Hello, Mercury. Random urge to text your ex? Pssst… that’s Mercury. 

 

the bright side

The retrograde can be the perfect opportunity for a do-over. If plans get cancelled or travel gets delayed, look at it as more time to prepare. You may actually be very glad you get more time to gather what you need, because chances are that the universe is buying you more time. Another silver lining situation may be that you hesitated to accept a position at a new job or academic program, but an even better opportunity presents itself. 

You may get lucky and only experience the good parts of the retrograde. The universe could give you the gift of a second chance where you are able to reassess something from a different angle or revisit a past indecision. Another benefit of the Mercury retrograde is reconnection. You may find that you are reconnecting with an old friend, family member, or partner. During past retrogrades I’ve gotten texts from people that I haven’t talked to in ages - like, jaw dropping “LOOK WHO JUST TEXTED ME” moments. Use these opportunities to practice mindfulness and see what connection with this person can add to your life now. Good luck and see you on the other side!