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

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!

cult-favorites worth the hype

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite products of all time!

It’s like Oprah’s Favorite Things - but I’m not Oprah and I can’t afford to give them out to everyone reading this... #Juliettesfavoritethings haha.

A lot of them are cult-favorites! I love trying items with a lot of hype around them and seeing if they live up to the hype. These ones allll do, in my humble opinion.

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I remember seeing this oddly shaped packaging in Sephora years ago, but never really checked it out until I received it in a PR box in 2018. Like many products marketed to be firming and tightening, I didn’t expect to see crazy results. Surprisingly, upon application I feel a tightening sensation without any sort of discomfort. It is also pretty moisturizing without being greasy. The scent though… the smell alone could be enough to make you buy a full size jar. It’s tropical but not artificial. It smells sweet and natural with notes of coconut, pistachio, and vanilla. People ALWAYS ask what perfume I’m wearing, and it’s always just the lotion. It lasts all day! I even bought the body spray so I can soak myself in this scent at any given time. Let it be known, I’m not even a lotion person - I didn’t regularly use lotion before finding this stuff. HOLY. GRAIL. ITEM.

Isle of Paradise Drops

I have tried every self-tanner in the book. Everything from lotions to mousses, instant tanners to gradual tanners… And in the past I’ve *thought* I found the one. That is, until trying the Isle of Paradise drops. I use the shade “dark”, which has purple undertones. I use about 4 drops per limb (2 drops on my torso, 1 on my face) combined with my favorite lotion. You can use any moisturizer, lotion, or body butter with this! I mix up the drops with the lotion in my hands, then thoroughly cover my body using circular motions to avoid any streaks. The glow it gives me is natural looking and buildable. I can wear white the same day, and it doesn’t have a distinct smell like some tanners do. I like to reapply twice weekly. I constantly rave about these drops on my Instagram, to the point where people think they sponsor me. Nope, I just reallllly love them!

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush

I was skeptical to try this, as dryer brushes typically remind me of some gimmick you’d see on a TV infomercial. After seeing some of my blogger friends talk about it on their stories, I figured I would try it out. For a little background, I typically do a rough dry with a standard blow dryer. I’m not skilled in volumizing, and I would lose a decent amount of hair when I’d dry it. Then this styling tool came into my life and changed the game. I don’t lose much hair when drying with it - the bristles are soft and gentle. The time it takes to finish my hair routine has basically been cut in half, this totally speeds up the process and gives my hair that va-va-voom I was lacking. I feel like I got a blowout every time I use it, and it leaves me with soft, full, voluminous hair without sacrificing my hair health.

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Gloss

The Lip Injection Extreme Gloss by Too Faced is another one I was a little bit hesitant to try after reading some reviews of people being burnt by this plumping gloss. It works well for me, I like that it brings a little life to my lips! I’ve never felt burnt by it. If it gets on the skin around my lips, sometimes the skin gets a little irritated but that’s it. My lips lack natural color and sometimes turn really pale when I’m cold (which is like, always). When I apply this gloss, it increases the circulation and gives me just the slightest plump. I like to put it over a tinted chapstick when I’m going for a natural makeup look; I get the clear gloss but it also comes in shades. Oh and it’s free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

This is a product I probably wouldn’t have tried if it wasn’t gifted to me. I have makeup savvy friends who absolutely love this powder, but my routine is super simple. I rarely introduce new makeup products to my routine. I was gifted both the original translucent powder and the glow powder. I like using the original with my everyday makeup routine. It ever-so-slightly mattifies my skin and keeps things looking shine-free. I like the glow version for when I want a little extra shimmer, but it’s super subtle. My face never feels powdery or cakey, just soft and smooth. If I conceal a pimple, sometimes I set it with this powder and it works well to keep the concealer on.

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter

I ADORE ColourPop - especially the Super Shock line. They have some of the best quality beauty products, even compared to some high-end brands. The highlighter is creamy without being a cream - if that makes sense. It gives you such a beautiful shine without looking too fake and holographic or over-the-top. It’s not glittery - just a gorgeous shine. I actually apply it with my finger and blend just a little bit onto my cheekbones!


HONORABLE MENTIONS
FROM MY INSTAGRAM FRIENDS! 

 

new haven faves

Ah, life in Connecticut. I tend to complain about it to my friends, but it’s really not so bad. In fact, there are so many gems that I realized I missed when I was living abroad. I have been living in the New Haven area since I began college, but now I’m actually downtown and it’s been a blast. I like being able to walk to my favorite spots and I’ve gotten to know some cool local people! I get messages on instagram from people asking me for recommendations in the Elm City, so I created a little list of my favorite coffee shops, places to eat, and things to do. Enjoy!

 

Coffee shops

Koffee?

Koffee is easily my favorite coffee shop in New Haven. The first time I came here, it felt familiar - it’s lived in, comfy, and full of warm colors and kind people. There’s a variety of seating, art, and board games.  They even transform into Koffee After Dark for drinks. It’s just quirky and perfect. I constantly rave about their flavored roasts which change frequently, and they also have some of the best espresso I’ve had in Connecticut. Their muffins are delicious, and they have GF, vegan, and vegetarian options all day. It’s usually pretty busy, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how awesome this spot is. 

East Rock Coffee

This tiny spot in East Rock is such a pleasant place to start your day. They have managed to adhere to a strict no-electronic policy and because of that, you can really feel a sense of presence and connection in this space. Leave a doodle in the community sketchbook while you sip a delicious espresso drink and enjoy a pastry. Just don’t expect to find seating every time since it’s so small. 

Book Trader Cafe

Up on Chapel, there is this little spot that I fell in love with a few years ago. I haven’t been in a while but it never disappoints. It’s part used-bookstore and part cafe, with seating in an atrium style room with big windows and a bookshelf wall. I’ve been told that they get their bagels brought in from NYC, so they are the real deal. Their books are all organized and reasonably priced. Book Trader is the perfect place to get lost in a book for a few hours, or to get some work done. 


EATS

Claire’s Corner Copia

If you have talked to me for over 20 minutes, you’ve probably heard of Claire’s. I constantly rave about it. In fact, at work last week I heard one of my coworkers talking to a guest who was holding a cup from Claire’s - “That’s Juliette’s FAVORITE!”. Claire’s is a cozy little spot that feels like home. All of their dishes are vegetarian, sustainable and organic. Their dishes can be made vegan and gluten-free, too. They have really yummy and wholesome hot foods, as well as salads, smoothies, and an entire display filled with baked goods. They are known for their Lithuanian Coffee Cake. MSNBC calls it “One of the 10 best heart-healthy restaurants in America”. I’ve come to adore the kind people who work here. If you’re lucky, you might even see Claire herself here! 

WHAT I GET:  for breakfast I opt for a hazelnut coffee and a make your own smoothie with allll the greens.  Their avocado toast is delish and filling, and if you like a sweet treat for breakfast try any of their muffins or scones! For dinner… oh boy, where do I start… the roasted organic vegetable salad is a dream! I add buffalo soy chicken. The best part are the loaves they give you with your dinner. You guys know I take bread very seriously. The mini bread loaves are so good. I’ll never turn one down. Their Mexican entrees are also really yummy and the portions are huuuge. 

 

 

Mezcal

The best Mexican food in New Haven. It’s traditional and the inside decor is fun and authentic, lots of papel picado (paper banners), Frida Kahlo, and colorful Mexican sayings plastered around the room. The chips and salsa are yummy and everyone loves the margaritas. If you ask your waiter about the massive glass tequila gun, be ready for a shot or two. The place has great energy overall, and it’s in East Rock so it’s away from the craziness downtown. There’s another Mexican spot downtown but Mezcal blows it away! WHAT I ORDER: Ensalada Mezcal without cheese, or I’ll share the fajitas. Both are soooo good. Now I’m craving Mezcal… 

 

Modern Apizza

The New Haven Pizza debate continues. I mean clearly New Haven Pizza is better than New York Pizza, but people argue which is best (Pepe’s, Sally’s, Modern…). Modern will always have my vote. Their New Haven style thin crust is my favorite, and they are known for the Italian Bomb. Expect a wait, but it moves fast. It’s part of the experience. Also this is a hot-take but I actually prefer the GF crust as opposed to the normal crust. I like the veggie bomb (without cheese), but honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything. 

Mecha

The go-to date night/happy hour spot. This noodle house has both pho and ramen, and is the best to cozy up on a winter night. There’s some communal seating and a bar, as well as booths and tables so it’s pretty versatile for whatever your vibe is. I was researching what the actual “type” of food they serve is called, and they are against the term fusion and call themselves “American-Vietnamese-Japanese-Thai-Chinese-Korean-New England-Momofuku-Totto-and-Ippudo-inspired.” Cool. I usually get the Pho Ga or the Kale Salad which I know that probably sounds SO boring... but it has both fresh kale and kale chips so it’s super yummy. They also have thai tea! 

Mamoun’s

While Mamoun’s is known for being open until 3am and being BYOB, they actually have a really interesting backstory. Mamoun’s calls itself America’s first falafel restaurant and they haven’t changed their recipes for 50 years since their founder (Mamoun) came from Syria and opened his first NYC location. I stand with many others when I say it’s the best falafel I’ve had. Second to the mouthwatering Middle Eastern flavors, the best part is how inexpensive it is. Note: I love pita bread and hummus and could probably survive on just that. Anyone else?!?!

 

The Juice Box

The Juice Box is a cool smoothie/juice/acai place. This place has a lot of personality and the fruits and vegetables they use are always SO fresh and flavorful. There’s not a lot of seating inside but it’s right across from the Yale Art Gallery so there is plenty of outdoor seating. When I go, I order either a smoothie or acai bowl. For smoothies, I get the #3 and add MACA! And as far as acai bowls, I opt for the almond butter bowl. 


SWEETS & Drinks

Arethusa

Local ice cream / dairy shop right on Chapel. Made with fresh milk and cream from the Arethusa Farm in Litchfield, CT.  Their ice cream is the richest around, and the single scoop is massive. I’m a pistachio girl, but I must advise you… get your lactaid pills ready if you are sensitive to dairy. 

Photo by my friend Tiffany aka @_foodiewithabootyPhoto by my friend Tiffany aka @_foodiewithabooty

Three Sheets

This lively dive bar is one of the only bars I like to go to as someone who doesn’t really drink. However, I know that they have a rotating beer selection and good cocktails. The ambience is enough for me it’s hip but not pretentious and they have live music some nights (without cover charge!) They are locally known for their bar food, there are vegan and non-vegan options. Fried pickles, anyone? 

The Ordinary

Another amazing vibe but totally different than anything else around. The interior is sooo cozy and rich with oak-paneling and wood carvings, complete with a fireplace. It reminds me of a speakeasy. I would recommend this for a date spot - it’s suitable for the first or fiftieth date. Great service and unique cocktails. 


THINGS TO DO

Yale Art Gallery

I’ve been going to the Yale Art Gallery for years. The building itself is a work of art and it’s full of different types of art, both from antiquity and modern eras. It checks off everything on your list ranging from Ancient Greek and Roman busts to the works of Van Gogh and Picasso. The special collections are always really interesting too. Not to mention - it’s FREE.

Yale Campus

You can spend hours just wandering around this scenic and historic campus. I have taken many alternate routes walking home just to see what is hiding around the corner. I would recommend parking on College Street or Elm Street and walking through Old Campus if you want to see the main part of Yale. However, Hillhouse Avenue is my favorite section of the campus. Lined with nineteenth century mansions, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain both called Hillhouse the most beautiful street in America.

Shopping

On Broadway there are a number of shops:  lululemon, J Crew, Urban Outfitters, Patagonia, and a couple more. There aren’t too many shops, but it’s nice to walk around and see what you can find. There are also some boutiques on Chapel Street. 

Let me know what you would add to this list! I'm surely missing some spots, but these are my favorites. XO J