the daily julie

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Hey Julie! I'm a long time reader of your blog and have really enjoyed following your "story." Anyway, awhile ago you mentioned that your grandfather had gone missing-- just wondering, what ever came of that? Have kept you in my prayers all this time!

Asked by
Anonymous

I wish I could say that more than nothing has happened, but that’s about it. Nothing. I have my ideas of what really happened, but I’m just going to go with he is relaxing on a tropical island in the sky! There is a facebook page started by a concerned citizen that can provide you with many more details than I have here.

UPDATED: Correct link to facebook is now active (instead of a  link to a random and old blog post). That’s what I get for answering questions before my morning coffee.

What the hell.

I don’t know what happened here but sometime between going to bed last night and waking up this morning, a LOT of new people have stumbled across and followed this blog.

So, welcome!

If you like babies, food, yoga, random tv recommendations, and stuff I like to buy, then this is the blog for you.

But I gotta ask, how did you stumble upon my totally random, oft neglected blog?

Happy Yogaversary To Me

I just realized that today is the one year anniversary of my yoga practice.

I went to yoga with a tired mind, tired body and timely groupon. Over the last year, I’ve become physically and mentally stronger. I’ve found peace when there has been turmoil. I’ve found strength in times of weakness. I’ve found calm when there has been chaos.

Life is crazy, yo. But yoga has been a constant, gentle, strengthening reminder that we are but one in this big crazy world. And we’re all in it together.

Namaste.

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Healthy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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I made this chicken enchilada casserole last night and it was deeeelish!

The prep time called for in the recipe was a little time intensive for a weeknight when I don’t really even start cooking until 7 or so; so I made the following edits noted in italics.

Ingredients:

  • 3 split skin-on, bone-in half chicken breasts (I had a package of bonelss skinless chicken breasts, so I just used that. If I hadn’t already thawed out the chicken I would have made this even easier and just shredded a rotisserie chicken. I also halved the recipe because I did not need to feed 8 people)
  • 5 poblano peppers, halved, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, stemmed and cut into quarters (I used a jar of roasted red peppers)
  • 1 cup cashews (Do not halve this. Make all the cashew cream!)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas, halved (wound up using 7 for my halved version)
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa, preferably hot or medium-hot
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or nondairy cheddar-style cheese


Method:
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chicken on one side of the baking sheet and poblano and bell peppers on the other side. Roast, stirring peppers once or twice until peppers are browned and chicken is just cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then remove and discard skin and bone from chicken and shred meat. Dice peppers. (I did not do this step. I used kitchen scissors to cut up my chicken breasts and sauteed it in a pan with the poblano peppers. Once done, I added my chopped red peppers to the mixture)

Meanwhile, place cashews in a small bowl and cover by about 1 inch with boiling water. Let soak 30 minutes. Drain and discard soaking liquid. In a blender, combine cashews, 1/2 cup water, vinegar, salt and cayenne, and blend until smooth; add more water a tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to purée. (Yes, make it all. So good. It’s more than you need but eat the rest with tortilla chips as an appetizer)

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Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Layer 1/3 of the tortillas in the bottom of a 9x13-inch (or 8x8 if you halve the recipe) casserole dish. Combine salsa and broth, and spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture over the tortillas. Top with half the chicken and half the roasted peppers, and drizzle with half of the cashew cream. Repeat layering again, finishing with a layer of tortillas and salsa mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving: 330 calories (140 from fat), 15g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 40mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 19g protein

Of course you are driven to seek admiration, splendor and physical license. But giving in to these impulses will bring unhappiness. You have a responsibility to yourself to stay in the battle. The day you declare a truce is the day you become unhappier. Declaring war on these destructive impulses is not about asceticism or Puritanism. It is about being a prudent person who seeks to avoid unnecessary suffering.

Given my post yesterday and the firestorm of controversy/eyerolls incited by the “choose happy” banana picture mantra going around yesterday (my blog included), I thought this op-ed, Love People, Not Pleasure, was a timely, and very interesting, piece. (originally brought to my attention via here.)

Another excerpt of note:

"And then there’s social media. Today, each of us can build a personal little fan base, thanks to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like. We can broadcast the details of our lives to friends and strangers in an astonishingly efficient way. That’s good for staying in touch with friends, but it also puts a minor form of fame-seeking within each person’s reach. And several studies show that it can make us unhappy."

Of course, this article does not apply to people who have a real, diagnosed depression. Simply choosing to be happy is not a viable option. But, for the rest of us, I do believe it’s a conscious decision we make each morning, each hour, each moment. It’s easy to focus on the things that bring us unhappiness - my spouse didn’t do this or that - why did she lose the baby weight and not me - how they afford to shop that much - when is it my turn to go on vacation. It’s hard to choose happy. But, the negative thoughts in our heads are rooted in the very things that author points out as sources of unhappiness - wealth, fame, and sexual variety. None of which can really make us happy. So, instead of focusing our energies on the things that bring unhappiness, you can flip those voices in your head around - my spouse didn’t take out the garbage like I wanted but he did wash all the baby bottles - she lost the all her baby weight what a lot of hard work and inspiration - they shop a lot but you never know where people get their money from - I’m going to plan a vacation for next summer and start saving now.

Choosing happiness is a daily struggle, at least for me. Back in January, my new year’s goal was to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. In the beginning, it was very hard. And I still have bad days, just like we all do. But as I’ve made a conscious decision to flip the voices in my head into something positive, I’ve noticed that it’s gotten easier. My step is lighter, my relationships are stronger, my mind is happier. I still have work to do, but I like where I’m choosing to go.

Haute Hippe Blouse

Whilst window shopping* the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, I spied this Haute Hippie blouse marked down to $179 from $275. But the Nordstrom sale has nothing on this same NWT blouse going for $68 on threadflip. Holler.

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*because let’s get real, even though those Rag and Bone booties are marked down, mama still has to pay for daycare. sigh.

And THANK YOU for all your comments on yesterday’s post. I’m still digesting all the great feedback but I wanted to let you know I read every single message, email and ask box comment. I really appreciate it all.

Pillows for cheap(er) and blog talk

I just HAD To share this super find with y’all. I’m sure you’ve seen boho/tribal/whatever pillows floating around because they are everywhere and they are fabulous. Think this:

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and this:

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Both rooms by this talented lady.

Anyways, all the pillows I’ve found (and love) in a similar style are around $200, which is just not really in my budget when I need 4-6 and have a child who still occasionally spits up on things.

So, imagine my delight when I stumbled across this etsy store which has a VERY similar style pillow with prices ranging $45-$80. Still not Target prices, unfortunately, but snagging one or two is now a possibility.

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here, here, here, and here (insert not included)

Also, let’s get real for a moment. My blog sucks. It is a shell of its former self. In my blog’s glory days I posted 5-7 times a week with actual pictures I took with actual thoughts to accompany them. I know I’ve abandoned the blog a few times in the past, but I’ve always come back because for so long it was a great source of inspiration for me and connecting with people who shared the same struggles, aspirations, and interests. It still is, really. And other blogs are great; just not mine. I really don’t know what to do with this little virtual space. Last night I was going to close it down without another word. But, for some reason I just can’t bring myself to do that. I want to be a better blogger. I want to have that zest for crafting a post. I want that creative process of turning my pictures and words into something (somewhat) interesting.

I’m just not sure how to get back there. 

If I think about it, when I started this blog, I was 26. I had a lot of uncertainty in stereotypical quarter-life crisis fashion. This blog was a great outlet for me to vent, over share, and be vain. But, y’all, I’m 32 years old now. I have a career, not just a job, that stimulates me and makes me think and challenge myself. I have a marriage that like all requires work but it’s a true legit marriage to a man I love. We’re not newlyweds. I’m not planning a wedding We’re just old married people. I have a daughter whom I adore and monopolizes most of my freetime. The older I’ve gotten, the less interested I am in being an open book to strangers. I don’t like the criticism it invites, even when those people are the minority. It just sort of ruins it in general for me. I’m too old for that shit.

All that is to say, I don’t know where this blog is going. I don’t really think my life is that interesting anymore (was it ever?). I don’t actually have a lot of time to blog and I don’t really know what to blog about. So, that is where I turn to you. If I’m going to keep this blog going, I’d at least rather focus on the things that you actually want to know about. So, what is that? What do you like to hear about from bloggers? Why do you read blogs?