There are so many things that I am planning on doing for 2017, but the main one that I want to focus on for the upcoming year is slowing down. Sounds pretty hypocritical when I actually put it out there in that sense ( SO many things I want to do, but I need to slow down! ), but really, it makes sense to me.

I feel as though this is an easy thing for all of us to want to do, but it’s a hard thing for us to actually do.

We are constantly overcommitting, overbooking, desiring to overachieve; being told to work harder, push through it, get over it and move on.

I stand by my opinion that millennials are forced to do a ton of things that we don’t always want to do, are forced to be constantly connected/doing/being/living and are looked down upon if we admit defeat/take a breather/slow the F down.

I’m currently trying to balance this blog and creating, school and homework, school placement and the necessary requirements, two jobs and all my babes, volunteering with my mama, my boyfriend and spending QT with him, seeing friends more than once a month, family commitments and spending time with my parents, grandfather and brother. Along with a whole bunch of other things.

Sometimes I am successful in balancing all of these, other times I am very unsuccessful.

There are so many things that I am planning on incorporating into my little world this year that will seriously help me to slow the F down and chill the hell out.

Of course, they are perfectly detailed into my brain/journal/notes on my iPhone – but I couldn’t help but share them here, too. I need you all to hold me accountable and hope to inspire you to do the same this year.

Let’s chill the F out together.

// the list:

+ more bubble baths; complete with bath bombs, lots of bubbles, a good book and candles

+ more nights in

+ less time at the mall, wandering aimlessly just to ‘fill’ time

+ more being present in the moment

+ more yoga and meditation

+ less need to be in control of every and all situations

+ less pressure on myself to do it all; to do it all quickly and to do it all perfectly

+ more journaling my thoughts and getting everything down on paper

+ less saying ‘yes’ to things that I really don’t want to do

+ less overcommitting, overbooking and trying to overachieve

+ more self-care, self-love and self-realization moments

+ less social media scrolling

+ more reading; books, blogs, magazines ( yes, I am one of those people who is still a magazine lover )

+ less feeling the need to be busy

+ more time-blocking, scheduling and being smarter about working

+ less trying to keep others happy and entertained

+ more meaningful adventures and experiences & less filling the void

So basically for 2017, I just want to slow the hell down and chilllll out. I’m tired of being go-go-go. It’s driving me insane.

I want to enjoy my days and stop feeling the constant pressure to be doing something.

I was sick a ton between December 2015 and the end of 2016, so I think that’s been my body’s way of telling me that I need to take a chill pill.

Happy New Year you guys!

Thanks for reading & be prepared for a ton more posts like this to come this year.

x julieann


This year has been one of those years that just kind of went by too quick, but couldn’t end fast enough… all at the same time. There were so many times where I wished time would just stop so that I could live the moment forever, but there were also so many times that I just wanted the day to end in that very moment.

There’s really been nothing spectacular about this year, yet the not-so great things haven’t really been that bad… they’ve just been continuous and it’s getting old. Real fast.

It has been a blah 362 days and I’m ready for 365 fresh new ones.

There are so many memes and things all over the internet alluding to the fact that 2016 just needs to end and 2017 needs to be here, like yesterday. Can I get an amen?

This year has just been a rough year all across the globe.

We’re all feeling it.

We’re all in desperate need for 2017 and the happiness that lies in the coming days.

I have such mixed feelings about 2016.

It has been a year that I grew a lot, experienced a lot and changed even more. There are things that have happened that will impact the rest of my life.

There have been challenging days, overwhelming obstacles, scary changes and life-altering decisions.

It’s a year that I will continue to reflect on for a while and I feel as though I am in need of a serious journalling session ASAP.

I’m thankful for the challenges and obstacles that I’ve faced because they’ve allowed me to grow. I’m grateful for the changes that have occurred and decisions that I’ve made because they’ve continued to shape me into who I am today.

This year I allowed myself to feel.

I felt happy. I felt sad. I felt anxious, mad, emotional, excited, overwhelmed and everything else in between.

And I accepted it.

I accepted emotions this year and I allowed my mind and body to feel them.

I took the happiness and I ran with it. I smiled, and I laughed. I told my loved ones that I loved them and I meant it. I soaked up every moment I had with my family and friends, and I enjoyed every single second that I had.

I took the sadness and I allowed myself to feel it and to deal with it. I learned, this year, that bottling up sadness and trying to not feel it doesn’t do you any good. I talked about my sadness and I was able to start to cope with it. I accepted my loss, I allowed myself to grieve and I have used that sadness to become stronger.

The anxiety that I felt was overwhelming, mind-numbing and I almost allowed it to control me once or twice, but I have found ways to cope. I have used this year, taken the challenges and changes, felt the anxiety and worked extremely hard, to continuously come out on top.

I felt angry and I felt excited. I was overwhelmed with the amount of changes that occurred this year but I accepted them and I tackled them head-on.

This year has been full of ups and downs, new adventures, lots of experiences and challenges.

– I started a job that I absolutely love and look forward to going to every time I work ( which has never happened before ). When I first told my parents I had a new job, my dad replied “oh yay, another job for princess Julieann to hate” and to this day, almost a full year later, I have never said I hated going to work. Is this what growing up feels like?

– I left the school where I felt at home and went back to a school that I absolutely despise. I work each and every day to remind myself that this is a means to an end & in 16 very short months it will be all over with and I will never have to step foot in that school ever ever again.

– I raised hell at a job that I’ve been working at for far too long to be treated how I was and there have been some changes made. I kind of just stick to doing what I know is right, and have distanced myself from a lot of the extra stuff that goes on there and I’m dealing with it.

– My grandfather sold the house that he and my grandmother had lived in for 40+ years. I don’t think he’s stopped smiling yet because he’s so relieved to have the house sold and is happily living in his new apartment, but we’re all missing the little green house that we grew up in.

– One of my best friends moved halfway across the country, and another moved home from living a province away. I became closer with the friend that moved home, but I’m really missing the friend who moved away.

– My passion for blogging never wavered… I just feel as though there were so many things that I had dreamt up for The Intimate Brunette this year and it was hard to make those dreams become reality. I am really working on making time for TIB and to still keep up with all other aspects of my life, as well.

– I visited Cuba for the third time and I fell in love all over again. I really do feel as though traveling is one of those things that really set your soul on fire and allow you to see the world in a different way. It allows you to grow your relationship with the people that you travel with and you can experience different ways of living for a short period of time.

– My family went to the beach house for a week this summer and I was so blessed to spend this time with my family in the place where I feel most at ease.

So here it is – day 362 of 365 in the year 2016.

I am reflecting a bit, reminiscing a bit and realizing a lot.

I have a whole ton of journaling to do. I am feeling extremely reflective and I need to dig deeper.

I am entering 2017 with an open-mind, a happy heart and enough determination to make this year the year.

I am also entering this new year with a ton of visions, dreams and goals that I am so ready to crush. I’m feeling so recharged, refreshed and inspired to totally kill it this year. I am so incredibly grateful for all that 2016 allowed me to feel and to experience.

How was your 2016? Are you so ready for 2017? What goals do you have for the new year?

x JE


With Christmas being only three ( !!! ) days away, there are going to be lots of tempting treats and holiday foods that are hard to say ‘no’ to. I used to be that person who struggled with overindulging on holiday treats and I always found myself eating WAY too many goodies on a regular basis.

I would have big breakfasts, snack on cookies ( shortbreads! ) and treats during the day, eat lunch and dinner, appetizers and occasionally dessert – I’m not really much of a dessert person to be honest, but gimme alllll of the apps. I always ended the day feeling bloated, overly full and completely exhausted. I wasn’t feeding my body what it needed, rather I was stuffing it full of things that I thought I had to have because they were there.

Allowing yourself to indulge a bit because duh Christmas goodies are too good to completely pass up, but still maintain some sort of healthy balance is a hard thing to navigate.

Now that I am gluten intolerant, it’s easier to maintain balance during the holidays because I am unable to eat a lot of the treats that are around at potlucks, holiday parties and dinners, but finding that perfect balance will always be a struggle no matter what our food lifestyle is.

That being said, there are ways in which we can all try to maintain a sort of regular balance with our food choices over the holidays.

/ be mindful of meal times:

There’s no reason to completely throw off our bodies during the holidays. It’s important to try to stick to the same sort of eating schedule that we follow during regular days because it will help our bodies to recognize when we’re hungry and when we’re just craving a treat. Parties can be at weird times during the holidays, so if a dinner party begins at 7pm and you usually eat dinner two hours earlier, make sure you have a little something at your regular time so that your body isn’t completely thrown off at the dinner party. This will help you to avoid overindulging because you won’t feel starving after waiting so long to eat.

/ be mindful of the types of food you’re choosing:

Chances are there’s going to be some sort of fruit or veggie tray around among all of the cookies, pastries, greasy finger foods and sugary drinks. By filling your plate with fruits and veggies and taking a few of the heavier foods, you’ll feel better at the end of the night. Plus this way you’re not completely restricting yourself from eating the goodies, you’re just being smarter about the choices you’re making.

/ listen to your body:

If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re not hungry, don’t. Just because everyone is standing around eating lots of treats doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to stuff your face with it too. If you’re not hungry, feel free to pass on the extra goodies. On the other hand, if you’re hungry, make sure that you do eat. Just keep in mind the choices you’re making. By eating three cookies you will feel full, but you’ll end up hungry a short while later. If you choose some veggies and cheese, you’ll be more satisfied and stay fuller for a longer period of time.

/ bring a healthy-ish dish or two:

By bringing your own dish to a dinner party or a potluck, you can choose something healthier, something that you know you will enjoy and you don’t have to feel guilty filling up on it! This is one of my favourite things to do. I like bringing GF corn chips and salsa, or cheese and GF crackers because it’s something that is healthier than deep fried treats or sugar pastries, but isn’t super healthy all at the same time. When all else fails, a fruit or veggie tray is always good to bring too.

/ eat before showing up:

This is another one of my favourite ways to make sure that I don’t overindulge at parties or potlucks. By eating a healthy meal before attending the get-together, it ensures that I won’t overeat while there. I make sure that I leave some room for a bite or two while out, but I like to feel satisfied before attending. This is also a good tip if you have any food allergies or intolerances – that way your food choices don’t have to feel like a burden on your host or other guests.

/ don’t stop your workout routine just because it’s the holidays:

One super easy way to balance out the holiday treats is to continue your workout routine even though it’s the holidays. I feel like I’m being a total hypocrite right now… Because I’ve been sick lately, I haven’t been very active at all but I plan on getting back into some sort of moderate fitness routine ASAP and continuing it through the rest of the holidays. If you completely slack off and eat all of the holiday treats, you’re going to struggle come the end of the holidays, but if you are mindful of your fitness routine and making healthier choices with food, the holidays shouldn’t completely throw you off.

/ focus on what the holidays are really about:

While pastries, sugary drinks, turkey dinners and deep fried appetizers are obviously delicious aspect of the holidays, they aren’t the only thing. Spending time with friends and family, engaging in holiday traditions and unwinding is what the holidays are really about. The treats are just an added bonus.

Make sure you are taking time for you during the holidays & try to make healthy choices but don’t beat yourself up if you slip up once or twice. There’s always tomorrow to get back on track.

I’m off to a potluck tonight… to fill up on grapes and carrots and have a meatball or two.

x JE


Ugh, it’s December so OF COURSE I am sick.

I feel like it’s a tradition… every year around Christmastime, I get sick.

Seriously, for as far back as I can remember, it happens. I remember one year when I was in elementary school, I spent Christmas Eve sitting in the ambulance bay at the children’s hospital, with my mom and grandmother, trying to breathe in the cool, fresh air until I could see the nurse for my steroid shot.

I’ve been fighting off this bug since Friday night and I’ve actually created a nice little routine of healthy habits. I’m trying to hard to boost my immune system, rest up and feel better before the craziness of the holidays really hit.

Plus… I may or may not still need to do a bit more Christmas shopping… so immune system – get it together, plz & thx.

My immune system boosting routine lately has gone a bit like this…

Salt water gargle, chug lemon water, sip on peppermint tea, take a zinc lozenge, spray nose with salt water nasal spray & repeat. Throw in some over-the-counter meds ( which I hate, but hey, I’m not messing around. It is December 20th after all ) and some healthy foods when I actually feel like forcing myself to eat, lots of sleep, upping my vitamin routine and throat cooling spray and that’s been my life lately. #hot

/ salt water:

Gargling with salt water is probably one of the ( if not the absolute ) most repulsive things to do especially when you’re already feeling like shit, but it really truly works. Salt water helps to kill the bacteria in your bod, helps relieve a sore throat and helps to extract excess moisture. There’s disagreements when it comes to how many times a day you should gargle with salt water, but I tend to do it approximately 5-6 times a day… whenever I feel like I need to.

/ lemon water:

Obviously staying hydrated is important when you’re sick. One of my fav ways to stay hydrated is by drinking lemon water. Lemon is one of my favourite flavours and I love how potent it is. Tastebuds go all out of whack when you’re sick, but lemon is one of those flavours that you can almost always taste. Lemons are also full of vitamin C, are detoxifying and help to fight off viruses like sore throats.

/ peppermint tea:

Nothing is more rejuvenating, yet relaxing than a nice hot cup of tea. When I’m not feeling well, I tend to reach for peppermint tea because it not only helps to soothe all of the annoying symptoms of a cold, but it can settle the stomach too. I find that my stomach is usually uneasy when I’m sick because of medications, lack of appetite and from being rundown. I’ve been drinking peppermint tea like a madwoman these past few days.

/ zinc:

When I was at the pharmacy on Sunday picking up some cold and flu medications, I was talking to the pharmacist and she suggested taking zinc lozenges. She said that there have been tons of studies done on vitamin C, echinacea and zinc with regards to cold and flu viruses and she said that the results for zinc were the most reliable and prevalent. The pharmacist suggested a zinc lozenge over a zinc vitamin pill, so I’ve been taking 3-4 of these a day. At first when I took them, I felt a bit nauseous but I’m on day three and I no longer get that wave of nausea after taking one. They definitely have an acquired taste, but it’s actually kind of growing on me…

/ turmeric:

My vitamin routine is an intense one and someday I will get around to sharing it because I’m actually fascinated by vitamins. When I’m sick I like to up my intake of B12, D, C and turmeric. I make sure that I am taking the suggested daily doses in accordance to what my doctor has suggested that I take. Sometimes I find that I slack off with taking vitamins but when I’m sick I make sure I take them daily. Turmeric is one of my favourite vitamins to take because it has so many great benefits such as: an abundance of antioxidants, helps soothe aches and pains, balances moods, soothes irritated and inflamed tissues, soothes upset stomachs, relieves headaches and kills bad bacteria. I mean… what more could you want?

OK, so I’m off to chug some more lemon water, gargle, take a nice hot shower and get some rest.

Leave me any cold and flu remedies below! I’ll love you forever.

x JE


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The only thing that I dislike more than shopping for jeans is shopping for coats. I have really long arms, so it’s sometimes a struggle to find a coat that actually fits my arm length but isn’t too baggy or oversized ( and not in a cute way! ). I also hate how overly expensive trendy coats are. I’m down to spend money on a coat that will actually keep me warm in the -20 degree winters that we have, but trendy coats should NOT cost an arm and a leg. Especially when they don’t keep you warm most of the time!

This fall I’ve been into Old Navy and Forever 21 for coats and jackets. They’re super reasonably priced, on trend, and are semi-warm and pretty practical, too. I recently picked up this suede coat from F21 and I am really loving this colour. I think it’s perfect for this season and it will transition into winter nicely ( not that I’ll wear it a ton in the winter, because hellooooo it’s freezing around here, but I’m going to make it work once or twice! ). I love that this coat can be dressed up to look a little more smart like I did with this outfit, but can also be paired with leggings and an oversized knit sweater for a more chilled look.

I paired this suede coat with my new FAV Levi’s high-waisted jeans and a plain black turtleneck that is seriously the softest material e v e r. I wish they made it in more colours! I would buy them all and just rotate through the different colours every day.

I’m still on the hunt for a coat that hits mid-thigh and buttons up in the front! Preferably in light grey or taupe. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

Today as always, I’m linking up with J Petite & Pucker Up Style for their weekly Layers + Lipstick linkup. Make sure you check out their blogs.

x JE

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Suede Coat – Forever 21 | Turtleneck – Garage | Jeans – Levi’s | OTK Boots – Madden Girl