the daily julie

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A Completely and Utterly Random List of Things I’m Loving These Days

Sleep Cycle app. I don’t pay for apps. ever. I figure if they’re not good enough to figure out how to monetize on their own then they’re not good enough. Can you tell there’s a but coming here? BUT, the sleep cycle app is totally worth the $0.99 it costs. I have no idea how it works but the premise is that you set your alarm for whatever time you want to wake up. Sleep Cycle monitors your sleep all night long and wakes you up during the lightest sleep phase that occurs sometime during a 30 minute span before your set alarm time. What does that mean? It means that instead of waking up from a deep slumber to a BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! and wondering where the fire is; it wakes you up with a very soothing sound of your choice during the lightest sleep it can find that jives with when you need to get up. To snooze the alarm, all you have to do it pick up your phone and put it back down. And after about 5 days, sleep cycle has a bunch of stats on your sleep patterns and monitors your quality of sleep, you best nights, what effects certain activities have on your sleep (as long as your enter them when prompted), and more. I get a weird thrill out of seeing what percent quality sleep I’ve had. It’s a real eye opener especially if I’ve had a glass or two of wine, my sleep quality is around 60%. On a day that I’ve exercised, eaten right and not been terribly stressed out, my sleep is around 90-95%. I’ve only hit 100% twice, once when I was knocked out from codeine cough syrup, which sleep cycle did not know about and once when Jason was out of town on a business trip and I had the bed to myself.

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Hyaluronic Acid + Rosewater Glycerine Spray. I like to consider myself a pretty eco-conscious person. I mean, I recycle and I pretty much own every honest product Jessica Alba has ever dreamed up. But when it comes to my beauty routines I don’t give much thought to what is going on my face as long as it makes me look like I got 100% sleep. However, if someone else is willing to do the work for me and tell me what to use, I’m game. Enter my new nightly routine of hyaluronic acid and rosewater glycerine spray. I saw a blog post on this lady’s blog and it reminded me what a killer product hyaluronic acid is in the beauty game. It absorbs hundreds times in weight in water aka moisture (Sidenote: I actually did a research product my senior year of college on the properties of hyaluronic acid in synovial fluid, so I got up close and personal with how great this stuff is. Don’t let the word acid scare you off.) Lots of expensive creams tout it as a key ingredient. This combo is  so good. At night, I apply the HA serum, wait about 30 seconds and then spritz my face and neck with the spray. I use the HA serum in the morning too but use a moisturizer with SPF (Cerave for those curious). After about 10 days of use my skin is plumper and glowier (not a real word but you know what I mean). Plus, it’s really not that expensive and just so, so good. Not mention that the rosewater smells like I just wandered through a garden.

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Goat Cheese, Beet, Edamame Salad. This salad has been my jam. I crave it all day long and then when I get to eat it I am sad it’s gone. I use the store bought steamed beets from Trader Joe’s because anything that makes life easier is a win. I also skip the tomatoes in the recipe, not because I don’t like tomatoes I just like this particular salad better without them.

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(my pick from the fabletics July stuff)

Fabletics July Collection. I haven’t talked about fabletics much lately even though I own a bajillion things from them because their collections have been kind of meh the past few months. I hated their prints and the new “outfits” were just the same old things in different, boring colors. All that changed with the July outfits. They are awesome! The print for the month is fabulous and they’ve incorporated some sexy mesh looks which I am all about. If you haven’t yet signed up for fabletics, please consider my referral link. If you are a new customer, your first outfit is half off and as low as $25. Can’t beat that.

Jonathan Adler’s Online Warehouse Sale. There are some crazy good deals. I am obsessed with these candles. I already have the fig and tomato (not in the sale unfortunately). They smell so good, last forever, and the vessel is perfect as a cup or small vase when it’s empty. This, this and this would make FAB Christmas presents for the man in your life. And this bag and this one too are killer deals.  Jason and I’ve decided that every year for Christmas, we are going to give Nora a small piece of art that one day she can take with her when she goes off to her own home and family. I like to pick things that can transition with her as she grows from a baby to a child to an adult and this is a front runner for this year’s gift. I’m also in love with the price on these pillows. You can check out the entire sale here.

B12 Shots.  I’ve heard a lot of hullabaloo about  vitamin B12 injections (which are better absorbed by your body than an OTC pill form of it) lately, and pretty much anything with the word injection sends me running in the opposite direction. But when I dug a little deeper and read about the promise of more energy and better sleep coupled with a timely groupon offer (they are everywhere), I gave it a whirl. I know, it sounds shady getting injections from groupon, but the provider I use is actually a women’s health clinic that just happens to offer elective B12 shots and is located adjacent to a hospital (i.e. not sketchy at all). The effect on my energy was immediate and noticeable, but it was a sustained, happy, and clean feeling energy. Not like the hazy burst you get from coffee.  Also, on a good night, my sleep cycle app showed I got around 80% sleep. Since getting regular B12 shots, my sleep quality is now around 90-93%. I already knew I felt like I was getting better rest, but that just proves it.

A couple tips if you want to try this out: 1) I’ve heard some people complaining that the effect only lasts for a few days. This is true. If your B12 levels are already low, you need to go once a week for the first 4 weeks. After that, go once every two weeks for a couple months and then you can transition to just one shot a month to sustain.  2) I’ve heard stories of people paying $50 for a shot. That is just crazy. Granted, not all vitamins are created equal, but the top of the line B12 shot at the doctor’s office I go to is $20. And it’s the best, cleanest B12 you can get. Note, I am not a medical professional; I am just sharing my personal experience. Please make the decision for yourself if this is a good choice for you.

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Updated: I can’t believe I forgot my latest discovery!!! The Real Hotwives of Orlando. Is anyone else watching this Hulu series spoof of the Real Housewives? I went in with very low expectations because I couldn’t find anything else to watch, but it is so hilarious, especially if you have ever watched any of the Real Housewives series on Bravo. Angela from the office is on it and so are a couple other people I recognize but am too lazy to look up where they are from. Anyways, it’s really funny and you should watch it, too.

Last Week and Far Too Many Photos of My Child

Has it been only a week since I was on vacation? I was on vacation last week, fyi. But so much happened it felt like I was gone for waaaay longer. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

First of all, my dad was ordained as a deacon. It is something he has been working toward for five years and I am so proud that he achieved his dream. I won’t give you the whole history of his life here, but suffice to say that my dad is a living, breathing example that if you work hard enough, you can do ANYTHING you want. anything.

After the ordination, we took a family photo with the bishop, another deacon and a priest. My mom color coordinated our outfits. You know where I get it.

The Sunday following the ordination, we Jason packed up the car so Nora and I could head to Ocracoke Island with my family. He was following us down on Wednesday. Ocracoke is a little slice of paradise on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, accessible only by ferry and prone to hurricanes (foreshadowing). 

The ferry ride over was WINDY!

But luckily, they had Nora’s new favorite toy on board, a janitor’s bucket thingy. Seriously, I could not keep the girl away from it.

As soon as we set foot on the island, the weather reporters started talking about Arthur. So, I was on a mission to squeeze in as much vacation as possible before we would potentially have to leave. Hint: we had to leave.

We sailed.

We ate the world’s best tacos. No picture of actual taco because there was no time from when it touched my lips to when it was in my belly.

 

We beached. Nora’s preference to cling to my lap for dear life was in stark contrast to our beach visit in May when she screamed bloody murder if I so much attempted to take her away from the sand. 

Nora enjoyed some high flying quality time with her great grandparents who were down from North Dakota. I did too :).

We saw the lighthouse. One of us was not impressed at all. Smile Nora! 

We enjoyed drinks at a local watering hole. Nora enjoyed more than her fair share.

In the end, we had to evacuate Ocracoke Thursday morning, three days ahead of schedule and exactly one day after Jason arrived. It was a bummer, but there was really nothing we could do about it so we just sucked it up, packed everything in the car and cried on the way home.

But we got home where there was ample power, fresh water, and fewer mosquitoes, and made the best of it.

Hot Mess Monday on a Thursday (What?)

Mistake 1: Picking up Nora from daycare for her 15 month check up 20 minutes before snack time (and her doctor’s appointment).

Mistake 2: Arriving at the pediatrician’s office, which is only about 15 minutes away, 10 minutes late and realizing the diaper bag which held extra diapers, extra toys and extra SNACKS is at home. Search the car for snack options only to come up with a pack of old cough drops. Not a good snack for a 15 month old.

Mistake 3: Not letting Nora take the trains from the lobby back to the exam room.

Mistake 4: Taking the sweet nurse up on her offer for a can of chocolate pediasure to give Nora something to appease the non-stop screaming which started 5 minutes, but felt like a million, prior and was causing everyone’s ears to bleed.

Mistake 5: Carefully feeding Nora sips said can of pediasure with a makeshift bib of paper towels covering her mostly nude body save for the diaper. No straws available.

Mistake 6: Setting the can of chocolate pediasure on the upholstered bench while I get up to get more paper towels for a new makeshift bib since current makeshift bib is now soaked with chocolate pediasure.

Nora is screaming between all of these mistakes, btw.

Mistake 7: Sitting back down on the upholstered bench with child in lap which knocks can of chocolate pediasure on the floor.

Put screaming/hungry baby who only wants her drink but can’t have it back on the floor to get paper towels. Hurry and clean up mess before pediatrician or nurse walks in.

Mistake 8: There is about half a can of pediasure left since Nora got 2 sips and the rest was on the floor. At daycare they give them open cups of water during snack time and I’ve actually seen Nora successfully take a sip from an open cup. So, what the heck? Back to mistake: Give small child with under developed motor skills can to drink from which she immediately pours all over her entire face, body, my dress, and my shoes.

Pediasure is gone. RIP. Child still screaming and goes back on the floor for round 2 of speed-clean-the-chocolate-pediasure-before-the-pediatrician-or-nurse-walks-back-in. I win that round (again) and go to give child a quick rinse in the sink since her bare body is covered in sticky, and now drying to a crust, pediasure. Child still screaming. Ask nurse for a new diaper since I have approximately zero clean diapers.

In the meantime, child takes the occasional break from screaming.

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(Please note the blue top of the pediasure in her hand and the empty bottle in the upper left corner. Also, relevant are the soaked and sticky shoes that I had to put back on to walk out of the office.)

Pediatrician arrives and brings with her some crackers. God is a pediatrician.

Lesson learned: Never forget the diaper bag. ever. In fact, have a second emergency diaper bag in the car at all times. I also should always have a pack of crackers in my purse. Forever.

Threadflip - A Review from a Shopper’s Perspective

Since I first mentioned my closet on Threadflip, I’ve become completely obsessed with the website and the app (which is very user friendly). There are some really good deals to be had on very good quality designer goods. I’ve made a couple purchases and both have been pretty seamless.
When you shop on Threadflip, you are actually purchasing from multiple sellers. Unless you purchase from someone who has NOT opted to use Threadflip’s “full service” option (like me), then you are actually purchasing the item directly from Threadflip who serves as the 3rd party verifier, shipper, and order-manager of the item. They ensure that the item is clean and its quality is honestly represented. When you purchase an item, you request is submitted for approval to the vendor. If it’s from someone who did not use the full service option, this step basically ensures that the item is still available before payment is processed. Once the order is approved, the vendor (or threadflip) ships and packages your item. I’ve never had to pay extra for shipping either. And Threadflip often runs flash sales where you can get an extra 25% off the list price (zero exclusions). Plus the app sends you push notifications when items you “love” drop in price. 
Threadflip uses data on purchasing and pricing patterns to incrementally reduce prices of items over time. My favorite way to shop is by clicking the heart on an item to “love” it, and it is added to the items I love (see above). and I can easily check on them to see if prices drop over time. However, if you REALLY love something, it’s best to go ahead and buy it because there is only one. Like these miu miu sunnies I scored, practically new, for $30 <—— not a typo. I couldn’t click add to cart fast enough!

If you see something you like, but it’s more than you want to pay, you can also make an offer on the item. If your offer is accepted, the item is yours. If it’s rejected, then well, it’s not yours. Not for that price anyway.

Also, if you find sellers you like, you can add them to people you follow. Typically, when I find someone who shares my shoe, dress or pant size and I like their style, I will follow them. It makes it easy to find items that I might like that will probably fit. Like this lady who regularly sells her barely used designer shoes and just happens to have size 9 feet like me.
Threadflip’s site and app posts items in a feed that is updated in real time when the item goes live. So, you can check it via the main page on a regular basis to see what’s new without having to sift through a million categories to find things you like. I like to scroll through and “love” on the latest and greatest items in the morning while I drink my coffee. Then I’ll wait for a 20% or 25% off code (provided almost weekly) and snag what I’m most interested in.
If this sounds like something you are interested in, and I would definitely recommend it, you can sign up using my link and get $5 off your first purchase.

Jason and I don’t get out much anymore these days. When you live in a house where the one person who can’t fend for them self goes to bed at 7, your night kind of ends then.

But we are so grateful when the stars and schedules and babysitters align and we get to go do fun things. Not that sitting at home with wine and Netflix is not fun because it totally is, but sometimes you need the kind of fun that involves paying someone else to make you a cocktail, a new to you restaurant (this one, highly recommend), loud music and lots of laughing.

We are so grateful to have found the last part of that in our friends Krissy and Mo. And also ever so grateful for my parents who let Nora have a sleepover so we can step away from the Netflix and step out in the cool, adult world with our cool, adult friends every once in a while.

It’s good for the soul.

Also, major props to Mo who filled us in on the fact that Uber is available in the Raleigh now. We used it to secure a safe ride home and not only was it a million times more pleasant that trying to find a taxi that someone else might steal so then having to wait for another one whose credit card machine is “broken,” but it was literally about half the price of what we’d normally pay for a cab to get home. Aside from briefly being worried that we were about to be murdered by our driver because she was wearing latex gloves (apparently it helps her psoriasis because we asked what they were for to ensure we weren’t about to be murdered, but once we got that out of the way, it was nothing but pleasant as she told us all about her grandkids), it was a 5 star experience and I will definitely use it again. Payment is linked to your Uber account so no cash needed. Heck, you don’t even need your credit card because it’s all done through your account. genius! You can sign up here and you can also use my code juliec125 to get your first ride free (up to $30).

Extra 25% off all Sale at Dolce Vita

There are major sales brewing around the internet with tons of summer clothes going up for grabs as retails start to prepare for fall. Fall seems so far away and I’m okay waiting for it a little while longer, but in the meantime I’ll be sure to snatch up some goodies at close to Forever 21 prices (sometimes). Dolce Vita is the winner in the world of sales today. This is a MAJOR one!

Extra 25% Off Sale! All Items Final Sale- Use Promo Code SUMMERTIME At Check Outimage

Just a smattering of the times are shown below and you get another 25% off that list price. holler!

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(these are the same shorts at Anthro, but an extra 25% off straight from DV’s site)

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