Friday, July 15, 2016

July book club: Big Magic part one and two

You made it back!

Hello… I missed you. This week we will be discussing part one and two of Elizabeth Gilberts book “Big Magic”.

I decided the way I was going to set up the discussion is by asking a few questions where you guys, and myself, can respond in the comments.

Discussion questions:

1.    Any favorite quotes from the book so far? This book is prime for highlighting and underlining special parts that resonate with you.
2.    Part one is titled courage, are there parts of your life, creatively, or otherwise that you fear to take on? What do you believe is holding you back?
3.    Did any of Elizabeth’s insight about being brave resonate with you if so which part?
4.    One of my favorite parts from this section of the book talks about making space for fear along side creativity instead of trying to kill it off. What does this look like in your life?
5.    Part two, titled enchantment, starts to really break down the magic of creativity, ideas and inspiration. Did any quotes resonate within you?
6.     Elizabeth shares that, 

Ideas will try to get your attention. but after a while they will grow tired of waiting and leave you. Has this ever happened in any aspect of your life?

6.    Did any particular chapter in this section stand out to you more than the others?

Your  next assignment is to read part three and part four, then come back next Tuesday July 19th  for some discussion.

(Don’t worry if you would like to ready ahead no biggie, just no spoilers please. )

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

July Book club pick : Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Guess what it's time for? Book club! 
So, I have to admit I have never actually been apart of a book club before so I am kind of bs-ing this. Will I let this mere fact stop me?

Hellz to the no. I wanted to see how a book club would go over with you all. I was thinking that if enough people took part in it, and enjoyed it we could do a monthly or bi-monthly club (baby steps) lets get through month one first.

The book that I picked for this month is called, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Name sound familiar?)

That’s because she also wrote the best seller, EAT, PRAY, LOVE. Whether you love or hate that book please, please, please, give this book a chance. It's life changing! (Okay, so you’re thinking that I’m dramatic…?)
True. However, this book did seriously change my life, it sparked an ember I knew was there all along but wasn’t able to lite myself. It made sense of the floating thoughts and ideas that I had about inspiration and creativity.

I have always been imaginative and creative, since I can remember being in my back yard a little girl making mud pies, putting on circus shows for my stuffed animals, or my favorite, painting on a thick colorful plastic easel.  The long roll of white butcher paper draped over top while I, wearing my canvas smock or my designated painting shirt per my mother request , just painted.

 I have never felt better than when I was creating. It’s funny when you are a child creating seems easy. It felt natural; there was never any self-doubt, guilt or anxiety attached to it. It felt free. When I grew up I noticed that these things started to attach themselves like leaches onto my creative being. I felt doubtful that what I was creating was any good, guilty that instead of knowing what I wanted to do for my career path and going in full steam ahead like my peers I wanted to create, and anxious that this wasn’t the way it was suppose to be. Sure I knew I was creative but did that mean that I actually needed to create? Isn’t that for children, the dreaming, wondering and carelessness? I felt this internal pull of doing what is “normal” vs. doing what my soul needed (honestly I still feel it but now I am better equipped to deal with it).

“Okay julie, why the hell are you rambling?  Get to the damn book already”

(Hehe, sorry back to the book!)
This book is magical, informative and blunt all in a great way.
You may be thinking that you’re not an artist, not a creative being, how could you possibly relate to this book? I truly believe that we are all creative beings by nature.

A quote in the book asks,

Intrigued? Perfect lets go!

If you are down to be apart of this months book club, grab a copy of the book, your assignment is to read part one and part two, then come back next Tuesday July 12th for some discussion.

Don’t worry if you would like to ready ahead no biggie, just no spoilers please.  Leave a little note below if you’re game to join in on this months book club 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Simple lemon tart nut bar

The other day while I was picking up a few things for dinner, I was stuck behind a few people in the cashier line. I was looking at the end cap goodies like always and saw a Larabar in a flavor I had never seen, Lemon. I am a lover of anything lemon. I decided to give it a try and wasn't let down. I looked at the ingredients and was surprised at how little there were. Dates, cashews, almonds, and lemon juice concentrate. "Uh..... I  could for sure make those" I thought to myself.

The next time I was in the store I gathered all of the ingredients and headed home to test kitchen this shiz. I wasn't sure what  the measurements were so I made it up as I went.  The bar I made ended up with a different texture than the Larabars, it was a little more sticky. I totally didn't mind though and thought they were more tart and lemony than the OG bar! I am happy with the end result and wanted to share this super easy recipe with you all. They are superrrrr dense so you could cut them up even more. I also thought they would be good shaped into little energy bite balls and rolled in some chia seeds or extra small white chocolate chips, yum! Have fun adding different ingredients as you see fit.


  • 1 3/4 cups of medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 7 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • Dash of salt (optional) 
  • Spray oil  ( I used coconut spray oil)
  • Parchment paper
  • 7x7 inch square pan

  1. Transfer all ingredients into a food processor, and blend until well combined
  2. Line the pan with your parchment paper and transfer the "batter" into the pan
  3. Spray your hands or a large spatula with the cooking spray and pat into the pan equally
  4. Refrigerate overnight (If you're impatient like me a few hours should be fine)
  5. Take out of pan and use a pizza cutter or a large spatula to cut into 8 bars
  6. Keep fresh in the fridge using parchment paper in-between each bar to prevent sticking and in an air tight container
  7. For an on the go bar, wrap in parchment paper and tie shut
  8. Enjoy!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Homemade granola two ways

Hello my fellow people of the world! I have missed talking to you guys lately and hope everyone is having an amazing beginning of February. I have been wanting to share this recipe for a few weeks now and finally I sat down to share it with you all (the procrastination is real this month). Brandon has been on a granola kick lately he eats it for breakfast, snacks, and sometimes as a little end of the day treat! I was in target AKA the mothership a few weeks back and was looking through the different types of granolas. They have a million different kinds and while they all look pretty tasty, once reading the ingredients I realized I have no damn idea what some of the ingredients are let alone how the hell to say them. It kind of bothered me, don't get me wrong I am not full crunchy, I do eat my occasional Hot Cheetos which have god knows what in them except delicious unhealthy magic. I decided that granola can't be that hard to make at home right?!

RIGHT! Dude, this stuff is super easy to make. The best part about them is that they are sure recipes 

What is a sure recipe you might ask?

A sure recipe is my favorite type of recipes to make, the kinds that you have all of your ingredients out and you ask yourself in your head 

"Should I add that?" in which you reply "sure"

"Do you think this is the right amount to add?" ..."sure"

"Do you think the recipe will be okay with a little extra of this?" ... "sure"

They are my favorite type of recipes to make! The type of non hassle just throw it together and then it tastes good kind. I usually don't measure stuff out very well when I cook but decided to come up with TWO different easy granola recipes for you all! 

The first one is a super simple peanut butter granola, and the second one is an easy fruit and nut granola. 
We like to eat granola with some almond milk and a fresh banana, on top of our favorite homemade smoothie or just sit and snack on it all by itself!

So lets get to making!

Recipe 1: Super simple peanut butter granola

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter ( I used smooth but it's your choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. shelled hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbs. shelled flax seed
  • 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees
  2. Put the honey, vanilla, and coconut oil into a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second increments until melted. ( Be careful guys, it can get hot)
  3. Once melted, add the coconut oil mixture into a small bowl with the peanut butter and stir until smooth.
  4. Once smooth add the peanut butter mixture with the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients are completely coated 
  5. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, about 10 minutes in use a spatula to turn over and mix around granola
  7. Continue baking, peek in every once in a while to make sure it is not getting too dark
  8. Let cool completely then use fingers or spatula to break into the size granola you would like
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks


Easy enough right?! The next one is super yummy as well, I may or may not eat handfuls of the dried apricots before the granola is even ready. I'm not even sorrrrryyyyyyy

Back to baking! 

Recipe 2: Easy fruit and nut granola

  • 3 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of Trader Joes Super seed and ancient grain blend ( This is a blend of sprouted buckwheat, sprouted millet, chia seed, golden flax seed, red quinoa, shelled hemp seed, and Amaranth ) If this mixture is not available to you feel free to add 1/2 cup of what ever blend of seeds/ grains you like.
  • 2/3 cup of mixed dried fruit and nuts
  • 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots 
  • 1/4 cup of raw almonds
  • dash of cinnimon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix oats, salt, Super seed blend, and cinnamon into a large bowl
  3. Put the honey, vanilla, and coconut oil into a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second increments until melted. ( See above pictures)
  4. Once melted, add the coconut oil mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients are completely coated 
  5. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
  7. After about 10 minutes of baking use a spatula to stir around the granola, continue to bake
  8. Once done, allow to completely cool
  9. Mix in your dried fruit and nuts and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks


Sunday, January 31, 2016

New YouTube video: Travel journaling supplies

Hey guys! Hope everyone is having a great day... I just wanted to let you know I uploaded a new video over on my YouTube channel. If you haven't been over there in a while go take a peak! Leave me a comment letting me know your favorite art supplies.

xoxo Julie

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Keep it simple 2016

Welcome 2016!

Okay, I know I am late to the welcoming party but I have been bouncing from place to place within the last few months. I just checked and realized that it has been almost a MONTH since I last posted  on this blog (come on jules get it together).
 Well I can officially say that I have been struck with a bad case of  U.C.D. (uninspired creativity disorder)... I literally just made that up right this second. 

Seriously though I have been lacking the inspiration to paint, write, or even read. The last full book I read was over month ago, the horror I know. Sometimes I find that I just end up locked inside of my head with no key in sight. The thought of creating something just seems so distant and unrealistic. Its times like these that I literally fear, I have always been a creative person and knowing there are times when I cannot get my body to create anything is fucking sad. My entire being feels down when I don't do something at least at little creative. Explaining this to people can often lead to weird looks and the "oh yeah I know what you mean" nods when in reality they have no idea and probably never will. Whatever, I don't do it for those people, I do it for myself, my sanity.

 Not everything about my U.C.D. has been terrible, I find that it gives me time to reflect, I see the good, bad and fucking weird things that go on in my life. I have come to realize that I am always surrounded by things, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional... just tons of shit. Its time to clear some of this out of my life. I totally know it will take time since I am a lover of stuff, I'm not saying I want to get rid of all of my belongings, I just want to be surrounded with my most favorite items, people & thoughts. The rest have got to go. 

With the beginning of each new year the feeling of "oh crap what the hell will my resolution be" sets in. The scramble to "fix" what was wrong with the last year just leaves me stressed the hell out.  

So in 2016 I say FUUUUCCCCKKK THHHHATT business. I don't want to want to mentally write another unrealistic set of resolutions, instead I want to create a list of obtainable goals, big and small. I want that amazing feeling of crossing things off the list and knowing that hell yes I did that. With that being said I propose that the year of 2016 will be the year of Keeping it simple.

I now proudly present to you my very first obtained goal of 2016.

xoxo Julie