Soooo I’ll admit, I was a skeptic at first – a HUGE skeptic. I just didn’t really understand the phenomenon of meditation and to be honest, I don’t think I was ready to try to understand it…

+ Isn’t that just some hippy-dippy thing that people pretend to do and pretend that they’re invested in just to sound cool?

+ How on earth does someone actually just STOP and do nothing except sit and be with themselves for an extended period of time?

+ How do you just quit social media, stop checking in, disconnect and be with you & only you?

+ How do you get your brain to turn off, shut down, be quiet?

+ What do you even do?

Those were my thoughts on meditation before I started trying it for myself. And I’m sure many of you thought/think(?) that way, too… don’t lie! I was so totally, incredibly overwhelmed at the thought of meditating and being alone with myself, but now it’s one of my most favourite parts of the day, seriously.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you would know that I suffer from anxiety & sometimes it’s hard to keep it in check. I’ve found that through meditating ( and other things that we’ll get to in future posts! ) I’ve become more in control overall and in sticky situations, I can rely on some sort of meditation to get me through.


I have been curious about meditation practices since I started doing yoga, but I never really thought that I could be the person that meditates on the regular and loves it… But now I’m the girl who cannot wake up and start my day without meditation. I also practice it before I sleep at night because I LOVE it that much.

Clearly I am not a meditation expert, but I am pretty passionate about it and I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks with you in case you are curious about meditation but don’t really know where to begin.

/ pick a place:

While it is possible to meditate anywhere ( and yes, I mean ANYWHERE! ), it is definitely most successful and peaceful in a comfortable, quiet space. When you’re starting out, you should try to practice in a place where you don’t feel overwhelmed, awkward, embarrassed, uncomfortable, and unsafe. I love to practice in my bedroom or living room. These are the two rooms in my home in which I feel the most comfortable… plus these two rooms have the comfiest places to sit / lay. Usually my bedroom is the easiest space for me to meditate in and it just makes the most sense, since I wake up and meditate, then meditate and fall asleep. By meditating on my bed or on the floor beside my bed, I don’t have far to go / any excuse to not practice!

/ start out small & work your way up:

Sometimes reading other people’s stories online can be intimidating. How the heck does someone sit and meditate for 20, 30, 60 minutes? I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of sitting down and meditating for 10 minutes, let alone the amount of time that dedicated and experienced meditators were practicing for. I realized that while their stories were inspiring, I wasn’t going to sit down and meditate for 60 minutes right away. I started out with 3 to 5 minute meditation practices and I’ve slowly worked my way up to 10 to 30 minute practices. Some days I know that 30 minutes isn’t ideal, so I opt for a 10 minute practice and this has been working for me. It can be intimidating, but just start out small and work your way up & it won’t be as overwhelming as you thought it was at first.

/ find your thing:

Some people like to have beads to play with / hold, while others like to have incense burning, a candle lit or quiet music playing. Some people like to sit cross-legged, others like to lay down. Some people may like to have essential oils ( lavender or peppermint oils are apparently great for meditation practices ) or use a guided meditation practices. You need to explore all of the ins and outs of the practice of meditation and find what works for you. For me, I know I prefer to lay down flat on my back with my eyes closed and my arms and legs out straight ( savasana for all you yoga junkies out there ) & I like to have some sort of white noise in the background. Sometimes I like the white noise to be a guided meditation, while other times, I want to do my own thing so I just play quiet zen music in the room. I prefer a dark space, with lots of pillows and a candle burning. I haven’t experimented with anything else yet, but I’m just getting started in my meditation practices.
+ find my favourite guided meditation here and my favourite zen music here.

/ don’t allow yourself to get too comfortable:

As with everything in life, we should constantly be pushing ourselves and breaking boundaries. If you find that your meditation practice is becoming something that you don’t really have to focus on any longer, you may be too comfortable and it might not be benefitting you as much as it could be if you pushed yourself a bit more. I really like guided body scans as a way of waking my body up in the morning, but sometimes I find that they aren’t really doing much for me. The app that I use has body scans from 3 minutes to 30 minutes and I found that I got stuck between the 10 to 20 minute mark for a while. I felt like I was kind of plateauing… so I switched it up. I didn’t do a body scan for a few days and now I alternate between the lengths. Some days I opt for a 3 minute guided body scan and a longer solo-meditation practice, while other days I do a 30 minute guided body scan and that’s all. Routines are key in almost all aspects of my life – except with meditation. I am constantly switching it up and I love it.

/ most importantly… don’t give up:

You’re not going to sit down one day and become the most successful meditator. Meditation takes time, patience, practice and a LOT of work. It is really hard to completely shut your brain off and focus on nothing, but you can’t give up. There are going to be times that you find it harder to sit and focus on your breath and being with yourself, pushing away the distractions and that’s okay. It’s important to keep pushing through the not-so-great meditation sessions in order to become successful at it. It will definitely pay off in the end & you just might end up falling completely in love with it.


I am seriously so into meditation right now. Like I said, it’s really helping with my anxiety and I also find that it has helped to make my sleep schedule more regular. I feel more awake in the morning after I meditate and I am not such a grump when I wake up early.

If you haven’t started meditating yet, I totally encourage you to try! It is so rewarding and I promise it’s not as intimidating as it seems.

Anybody out there big into meditation? If you are, leave me some of your tips to enhance my practice!

x JE

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Hi babes!

I feel like I’ve been on break for forever now and really, it only just began today.

We had so many snow days back-to-back… like Friday the 10th was the first one and the only days that school was open last week were Wednesday and Friday. Friday didn’t end up actually being a school day ( for me anyway ). A 90’s club opened on Thursday night and Alexah & I went and let’s just say it was a night I will never remember, so school was not happening the next day. We had fully intended on going, but it just didn’t happen.

This week is my ‘spring’ break even though there is really nothing spring about life around here currently. The smallest snowbanks are like 3 feet tall and the path next to my house still hasn’t been plowed out yet… but hey, a break is a break!

My aunt arrived on Thursday night and we’ve seriously been go, go go all weekend – which is JUST how I like to spend my weekends.

We went to two basketball games on Friday night. It was my old university against the other local university, both women’s and men’s games.

Best game ever usually.

The girl’s team pulled through but the guy’s just couldn’t do it.

Saturday was full of shopping, brunchin’ and a hockey game that the local minor team lost in a bad way.

Sunday was my brother’s basketball game which was such a dramatic experience. The other team only had 5 players, so they had to forfeit, but the refs offered to ref it anyway. Long story short, the other team’s coach is a psychopath and went crazy, pulled his team off the floor and left in the most dramatic way ever.

My old university also played hockey on Sunday night, so duh we went. It was a win or go home game to move on to the next round of playoffs and they won ( dramatically ) in like the last 30 sec. of the game to advance to the semis.

Dramatic sports was the theme of Sunday.

On Monday evening my aunt headed home and everyone else in my family is back to normal tomorrow, but I still have another six day off… #thankdalord.

This week is deffo going to involve a lot of working out – what up BBG week 2, lazing around and doing assignments for school so I can get ahead of the game.

The first two weekends of March are ridiculously busy so I need to get all my assignments done ASAP.


Two things I wanted to touch on before I head out for lunch with Alexah…

/ plank challenge:

My mom did a week-long plank challenge last week and she loved it, like seriously loved it so much.

She’s going to try to keep doing it every day, increasing her time as much as she can without pressuring herself to hit a certain amount of time by a certain day.

Sidenote: This is the woman who can barely walk up the stairs because her knees are so bad. Bad luck, competitive figure skating and arthritis usually have her feeling so down, but planking is apparently her THING. She is such a rockstar and she totally inspired me to try to plank every single day for as long as I can. If she can do it, I can do it, too.

So does anybody want to try it with me?

If you’re interested in trying it out, all you have to do is plank every day for as long as you can. Today I hit 38 sec. and tomorrow I am challenging myself to beat it, even if only by 1 or two seconds.

You seriously feel the burn and it takes NO time. You don’t even have to put on workout clothes to do it because you don’t break ( that much of ) a sweat!

/ probiotics:

Anyone have a favourite brand?

I’ve read a lot about the different brands and I’ve tried two, but I just can’t find one that I absolutely love… Align is one that I’ve tried and I also just tried the Kirkland brand from Costco.

I do notice a difference when I take probiotics versus when I’m not taking them but I’m not completely happy with either one.


Good luck with the plank challenge if you choose to give it a go & PLZ let me know about the probiotics. I could just be going crazy, but assure me I’m not???

Wishing you all the best week ahead!

JE x

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OMG hi.

Currently dying – as in: arms are shaking, legs are vibrating, heart rate is UP and I’m chugging back a green smoothie with protein and downing all of the water because I just completed week 2, day 1 of Kayla Itsines’ BBG…

I started last week on week 1 and I’m addicted to this workout plan. I mean seriously, truly, absolutely 100% hooked on it.

A while ago, I used to use Tone It Up’s workouts and don’t get me wrong – I still love them! Karena and Katrina are such uplifting spirits, their workouts are challenging and fun, but I just felt like I needed a change.

I’ve been in a workout rut for a whiiiiile, like way too long. I recently became totally invested in living a more healthy and active lifestyle, when I came across SO many bloggers talking about and people tweeting about BBG.

I’ve heard of it before, but I had never really looked into it, until last week.

& dang! Am I ever glad I did.


the low-down:

I seriously LOVE how this program is laid out. It’s totally realistic, can actually be incorporated into busy lifestyles and actually makes you break a sweat / feel like you did something good for your body.

I feel so overwhelmed when people say that they spend hours in the gym a day. I like my workouts to be challenging and get my heart rate up, but I also prefer them to be quick and not too time-consuming.

> You workout for 28 minutes, 3 times a week ( Friday AKA the third day is optional ).

> You complete 35-45 minutes of Low Intensity Steady State cardio ( or High Intensity Interval Training cardio can be incorporated in once you’re further along in the program! ), 2 times a week.

> Working out on weekends is OPTIONAL ( which is so key if you have busy weekends always /// my life ).

> Resting on Sunday is totally what is recommended… this is my favourite part of the plan, if I’m being totally honest.

> There’s limited equipment needed, so these workouts are super easy to do at home AKA you don’t need a gym with a ton of equipment. I’ve looked ahead a few weeks and some of the equipment necessary for this program are dumbbells, a yoga mat ( if you like! ), a small ball, skipping rope and a bench.

> The program is about $30 / month Canadian, but you can find some of the workouts online through Kayla Itsines’ socials ( and other places, like blog reviews ) and improvise a bit for the other days if you don’t feel like / can’t afford to dish out the money each month.


sweat it out:

So your workouts are totally laid out for you… completely decided for you, for every single day, each and every week.

I like this.

I hate trying to figure out what I should do each day. If I have to decide what muscle group I should work on each day, I am never going to pick abs ( honest truth ) because that is the most painful and excruciating muscle group for me to work out. Give me leg day ANY day of the week. <<< but this won’t get me anywhere.

Because BBG is laid out totally for me, I feel more responsible to complete the ab workouts even though they may end up being the cause of my death – kidding, but not.

Anyway, it’s split into two categories – resistance training and cardio. You never have to do both of these on the same day, which I actually LOVE.

Some other workout programs that I have tried encourage you to do both resistance training and cardio each day, but like I said – I like my workouts to be quick and challenging & completing both each day is not a quick task.

Monday / Wednesday / Friday are designed to be your resistance training days, while Tuesday / Thursday and Saturday ( if you choose! ) are your cardio days.

> Monday: Legs.

> Tuesday: LISS ( or HIIT once you are farther along ).

> Wednesday: Arms & Abs.

> Thursday: LISS ( or HIIT once you are farther along ).

> Friday: Full Body ( optional ).

> Saturday: LISS ( optional ).

> Sunday: Rest.


week 1 recap:

I am OBSESSED.

Literally 100% so into this workout program.

I like how quick it is, how it is laid out, how it makes me feel, and I am seriously looking forward to crushing the rest of these ~10 weeks.

After my initial workout last Monday, I was SO sore. Like I could barely walk for the rest of the night. When I went to sleep, I actually had to take a Tylenol before I went to bed because no matter how much I stretched and foam-rolled, my muscles just ached. It was a good ache though, so I’m not complaining about it.

I’m just THAT out of shape right now.

I’ve read a few reviews of BBG online and a lot of people have said that they didn’t start seeing results until weeks 6 / 8, so I’m not expecting to see any drastic changes for the next few weeks but I am determined to not give up.

Throughout the week, I was still sore but it was a good kind of sore. I thrive off of feeling as though I’ve actually worked my body. If I don’t feel like I’ve done something or see results semi quickly ( a few months! ) I am quick to give up.

It is SUPER intense to jump into this program from not working out at all, but I was determined to start it right out & not begin with the pre-program weeks. There are a few weeks that you can find that you are suggested for people who haven’t been working out regularly to complete before jumping into week 1, but I didn’t want to put it off any longer.

++ I don’t have anything negative to say about BBG, except that I wish it didn’t cost $30 / month. That’s kind of frustrating, but it is to be expected when it comes to a workout program that you can actually see results from.

There is also a diet guide that is available, but I chose not to follow it. I know what my body needs / likes and as long as I stick to it, my diet it actually really good.


I’m totally down to complete the 12-week challenge and keep it going after that. Weeks 13-24 look SO intense, but I’m determined! 6 months is really not that long at all.

Has anyone else gave BBG a go? Tips? Tricks? Motivational quotes are accepted too!

julieann x

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Hi!

I am 110% obsessed with blogging. I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I am l o v i n g it. There’s something so incredibly invigorating and therapeutic about working on a post and finally, finallllly clicking ‘publish’…

I love being able to share my thoughts, interests and feelings here & I don’t ever want to stop.

I’ve said it a million times ( basically every post so far this year ) but I am determined to make 2017 THE year and I really feel as though I am doing just that.

I want to dedicate more time to just simply sitting and writing. I love the photography aspect about blogging, but I am even more into the content-creating, pouring out my heart part lately – which is why the photography aspect has kind of ( ok, seriously ) been lacking on the blog. I just get so excited to click ‘publish’ once I’ve spilled my guts and I can’t fuss around over lighting and photography.

Bad, I know.

I’m a half-assed blogger but writing has always been the love of my life. I’m gonna work on the photography aspect soon, I swear.

OK, maybe in the spring / summer when the lighting isn’t shit and it isn’t dark at 5pm every dang day.

Baby steps…

Today I thought I’d do something a little different, something fun & share 20 things about myself that I haven’t really shared before.

I mean actually, it is possible that I’ve shared some of them briefly but I’ve had this blog for a year and a half now ( !!!!! time flies when you’re having fun ) & I thought it was about time to do something like this.

These are some of my favourite posts to read because, I mean, you get to know your favourite bloggers through their every day posts, their content and their interests BUT I love getting to know the quirky facts, too.

Maybe I’m just weird but I love it & thought maybe you would as well.


1 | I didn’t drink coffee until I was 22 years old. Since the day that I had my first coffee, I’ve barely gone a day without one since. I have such an addictive personality that it’s hard to break a habit once I start. I’ve probably ( definitely ) spent WAY too much money at Starbucks and Second Cup over the last 16 months but… what can you do?

2 | I was the only family member who spoke at my grandmother’s funeral 3 years ago. To this day, it is one of the things that I am most proud of about myself. I told my mom on the morning of the Friday before her funeral ( that was on Saturday! ) that I wanted to speak and she immediately called our minister and made it happen. I am so grateful for the time that I had with my grandmother and I knew I wanted to honour her one last time.

3 | I am obsessed & I mean obsessed with rap music. If you put on pretty much any song from like 2004-2010, I guarantee I can rap it. It’s actually embarrassing but it’s such a quirky hidden talent. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow the song is, I can do it & not miss a beat.

4 | I like to think that I’m the only girl in the family. Out of my immediate cousins on my mom’s side, I’m the only girl & on my dad’s side, my cousins are older so I never really got to know them / hang out with them. When my aunt re-married, she became a step-mom of 2 boys & when my uncle re-married he had a boy and a girl, but she’s cute so I’m OK sharing the princess status with her.

[ found so many pictures from this summer that I haven’t posted yet! ]

5 | I love love love shopping for underwear and pajamas. Basically because 1) they always fit and 2) new intimates just make me happy. I always feel my best when I have on new underwear & I sleep better wearing cute and matching pajamas. Weird? Anyone else like this?

6 | Makeup is one of my favourite things to play around with. No, I don’t think I am talented with makeup ( or even good at all! ) but I do love to play around with eyeshadow pallets, bronzer ( FAV ) and I can never go a day without mascara. Trying out new makeup products makes me happy. We all have those little things that make us happy right? Mascara is that for me!

7 | If I could eat a piece of chocolate at every meal I’d be so much more content. I have this huge underlying obsession with chocolate, but mostly, with dark chocolate. It’s seriously my happy food. I live for the times that I have a dark chocolate bar laying around and I can just take a piece whenever I feel like I need a little pick-me-up. Dark chocolate almond bark is my favourite snack ever.

8 | Bed time is my favourite time of the day. Seriously. If I could sleep for 16 hours a day, I would. And it’s not because I’m that tired, but it’s just because I love sleeping so much. I aim to sleep for 10-12 hours a night, because I just know it makes me happier. I’m not someone who can run off of no sleep, so I make sure I get the hours of sleep a night that I need… I really treasure my rest time a lot.

9 | One of my least favourite things is saying that I am ‘gluten-free’. I really don’t know why I hate this so much, but I really truly do. It’s like as soon as you say it, you can FEEL the eye-rolls happening. People who don’t have food allergies / sensitivities just don’t get it, and that’s fine. But don’t make me feel shitty for not being able to eat regular pasta or a muffin. I try to avoid that phrase as often as I can because it makes me really self-conscious. #hatersgonnahate

10 | Before I die, I will make it to Paris. I have no idea where my obsession with this city came from, but the obsession is oh-so real. I used to have my room completely done in black, red and white with Paris prints everywhere. My parents always buy me something with Paris on it for every single occasion that presents are given & so many other people have given me Paris-themed presents, too. I am always looking at flights there and one of these days, I’m just going to do it.

11 | I have this weird obsession with Thursdays. I live for Thursdays. Some people love Fridays, other people love Mondays ( why??? ). Thursday is that day for me. I really don’t know why, but it’s just my favourite day of the week, hands down.

12 | My future kids have been named since I was a pre-teen. Honestly. I have six options that I am obsessed with ( probably won’t get to use them all! ) but they even have middle names too. All six of them.

13 | Salt & vinegar is my favourite flavour for anything. Popcorn seasoning, potato chip flavour… It’s my jam. I eat salt & vinegar flavouring like it’s going out of style. Give me it all.

14 | When I was younger I had myself convinced that I was allergic to peanut butter. I used to eat PB sandwiches like, every single day and then one day, I told my mom I couldn’t do it anymore. I had a classmate who was deathly allergic to peanut butter and from that point, I had myself convinced I was too. I wouldn’t even smell it or go near it. This went on for a few years, I kid you not. Then one day, I looked at the back of a PB jar and saw the most delicious homemade peanut butter cups. I got my mom to make them for me ( I was like 9 or 10 ) and I ate a shit-ton of them that night. PB allergy crisis averted.

15 | My pre-teen & teenage room was covered in magazine posters. But not just any posters. They were all Nelly, 50 Cent, Usher and Chris Brown. The paint on my wall was BARELY visible. It used to drive my parents crazy because my dad spent so much time painting my room exactly how I had wanted it and then like, a year later, I completely covered it in posters and never took them down. My favourite was the shirtless 50 Cent that was right next to my bed.

16 | Along those same lines, I spent every dollar I had on Betty & Veronica comic books and trashy teen magazines. I have 3 huge bins of Betty & Veronica comic books that I cannot get rid of and even more bins that are full of J14 and M magazines… minus the posters of course! Going for groceries with my mom was always my favourite thing to do ( still is, to be honest ) because I could load up on comic books and magazines.

17 | I am a sentimental packrat. I keep everything. I have binders and duo-tangs full of all of my schoolwork and notes since I was in grade primary… I have arts and crafts that I did, projects, and I have every birthday / Christmas / holiday card that I have ever received tucked away. I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

18 | One of my fav things to do is to fly & I love to fly solo. There was one year that I took 3 ( roundtrip ) flights alone and I literally LOVED it. I think it’s so relaxing and therapeutic to be on a plane and it’s even better when it’s alone. I love how there’s no connection, no wifi, no constant communication with others. It’s just you, your music and a good book, plus the view isn’t too bad either!

19 | Sports are one of the things that really get my tears flowing. It doesn’t even matter if I like the athlete / team / sport… if someone wins, says a speech, wins a championship, it doesn’t matter who or what team, there’s a 100% chance that I’m going to cry. It just gets to me.

20 | Crime shows are my jam. The more people that die / get arrested / end up shot / serial killers that are on the loose / gang members doing gang shit, the better. No, seriously. I live for crime shows. If there are no new crime shows on, you betcha I’m watching old re-runs ( because they’re on all the time!! ). I love everything from the ‘real’ shows like First 48 and Drugs Inc., to the ‘pretend world’ shows like Chicago PD, Criminal Minds and CSI.


Well that’s that!

I can’t wait to continue sharing my life here for lots of years to come. So many new posts coming up. Lots of words… maybe even some photos if I can get my shit together. Who knows, really.

Don’t hold your breath though – that’s all I’m saying!

julieann x

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Hi babes.

I’ve decided that today is going to be a blogging day all day long. Since the whole province is shut down, no seriously – even the buses are pulled from the road and the Casino is shut down! – there’s nothing to take up my attention, so I can focus completely on the blog.

They say we’re in for 45cm of snow over the next ~24 hours and the wind is blowing at like 75km/hr.

It’s crazy out there!


With Valentine’s Day coming up, it seemed like the perfect time to talk about falling in love with your life.

On Friday, I shared a few of my self-love and self-care tips. And while self-care and self-love are important, loving your life is SO key too.

If you’re not ridiculously happy with your life, how are you going to love yourself and your friends / fam as best as you possibly can?

1 | Be picky about who you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with good people, good things will come from it and good vibes will always be there. These people should respect you, want the best for you, make YOU a better you. If they are constantly bringing you down and bumming you out, why choose to be around them all the time?

2 | If you don’t like it, change it. You are the boss, you are in control. If something isn’t making you better, making you happy or fuelling your soul, you have the choice to stop doing it or to switch it up. Obviously changing everything about your life might not be realistic, but there is always something that you can do to mix it up a bit.

3 | Be open about your unhappiness, insecurities, fears, and anxieties. You have to own the good, the bad and the ugly. In order to find out what makes you happy and feel in control, you can’t ignore the other stuff. By being open about it and owning it, your happiness will come.

4 | Fuel your body with healthy eats. Healthy eats should not just be consumed because you want to look good. You should be eating healthy so that you feel good, have energy to live it up and nourish your body with the best possible eats that you can to make your insides work their best so that you can feel your best. By feeling your best, you will have the fuel and energy needed to live your best life.

5 | Seek balance. Find a sort of balance between what you know is healthy and right to do, and what you want to treat yourself with. You deserve treats, breaks, cheat days, but you also have to hold yourself accountable and treat your body how it deserves to be treated.

6 | Always keep learning. By continuing to learn, you are constantly growing and shaping who you are as a person. Reading, talking, gaining information in any way possible helps you grow as a person and become aware of new things.

7 | Find someone to confide in. For the good times, the bad times… having someone there that you can talk to and rely on is key for loving your own life. Having someone who is there for you to talk to can help you let it all out & move on. It can also provide you with someone to help you make sense of the world with.

8 | Try something new. My favourite thing to do! I love trying something new & I try to do this at least once a week. This tip goes hand-in-hand with ‘if you don’t like something in your life, change it’. Keep introducing yourself to new things and you’ll continue to grow, learn and love your life more.

9 | Don’t sweat the small things. There is nothing worse than beating yourself up over the little obstacles that life throws out way. By keeping our spirits high and not letting the little things completely crush us and bring us down, you get stronger & life will be easier to navigate.

10 | Make time to breathe. The most important thing! Taking time to breathe – or rather, making time to breathe helps to keep you grounded. Whether you practice yoga and meditation on a regular basis, or just make time to breathe during the day when things get tough is key.


I love making time to surround myself with as many loving, happy and positive people that I possibly can and doing little things each & every day to help myself fall even more in love with my life.

What do you do to ensure that you are continuously falling in love with your life?

Happy ( early ) Valentine’s Day!

Make sure you do something for YOU tomorrow & show yourself some love.

julieann x

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