Less is More

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of reading the last post of a fellow blogger. She has decided to “unclutter” her life by cutting back on blogging, facebook as well as other “things” that take up so much of our everyday lives. It was such an eye opener as I have been struggling with doing the same thing.

It seems that the more “time off” I get, the more I fill it with “stuff”. I just can’t seem to stop and even though it has always been a part of who I am and how I am built, a large part of it is also due to the emotional feelings, the reality of my baby Julian being gone and buried under the ground, bringing it to the forefront. So, I always thought busy is good but maybe busy isn’t so good anymore. Maybe sometimes, you just need to cut yourself some slack and just stand back and enjoy the peace and quiet. Maybe in that form, I will connect more with Julian. I believe that with all of my heart.

It may sound strange to some of you, but once you release yourself from all of these “things” and just focus on your breathing and on your soul, it makes you feel lighter, relaxed and happier. Over the past year since Julian’s death, it has been difficult to stay until the end of my yoga classes. At the end of each class, when we do the ‘Shavasana” aka, dead man’s pose, just laying there, releasing all of our fears, anger, frustrations and just meditating on our breathing, the tears just run down my face and I can’t stop them. So many times, I have just walked out of the class when it comes to that time. I didn’t want to deal with the sadness and I was too embarrassed with the tears. Now, I have realized, it feels better once I let it all out and just relax and when I do that, I think of Julian and I hear him “talking to me” and sending me his love. I feel closer to him. At the end of the class, I feel lighter and happier and I feel ready to tackle the day. It has helped me be kinder to those that I love, to accept the path that has been chosen for me, to enjoy life as it is right now and look forward to all that still has to come.

Yes, I have to admit, it isn’t easy. I also get inundated with the everyday struggles, the constant reminders that life is full of challenges and people are full of flaws. We all still shed a lot of tears over our heartache and wish so very much that it hadn’t happened and wish that he was here with us. It is difficult to understand why things happen in life, but I am hoping that this “enlightment” will help me persevere and hopefully, help others to do the same. At least, that is the goal of this blog, to help others by sharing our story and our everyday challenges.

Well, I thought I would share an excerpt from the blog that I read yesterday. I think it sums it all up nicely as well. Let me know your thoughts.

Love always, Food Jules.

Excerpt from another blog, “Last November I was figuring out how I was going to make it to teach Sunday School with my 16 month old in tow, get to the airport to pick up Nathan from another work trip, and find time to visit with a friend who had just had a baby. I just stopped. I was the busiest I had ever been.  I hadn’t worked in 16 months.  Why was my day more hectic than ever? It hit me right then.

I needed to simplify my life.  There was so much clutter that there were days I was in the car more than not.  I knew with the arrival of a second baby in April 2012 I had to slow down.  There wasn’t going to be the time to keep up this pace. It stayed on my heart for a while.  In late December I made my New Year’s Resolution the goal to simplify during 2012.  I called it “Operation Simplify.”

I printed off a Declutter Calendar.  I made a list of commitments I was ready to drop.  I made some goals.  I made some decisions.  My goal was to have nothing but family, friends, and Junior League left. I started small.  Throwing away a few things everyday.  Buying a lot less – food, clothes, toys…everything.  Making a few trips to Nearly New and Goodwill.  Saying “no” more often when asked to commit to things.  Just those small steps made me feel better.

Then I said no to teaching Sunday School for the 2012-2013 school year.  For the first time in 6 years I wouldn’t be teaching little children. Then I said no to running for a position on my mom’s group board when my term as VP came to an end in June. Then I cut my Google Reader down to just 8 blogs.  Mostly written by women and men I call friends.  People I’ve met through blogging or know personally. Then I instituted a rule {mostly out of necessity thanks to the exploratory hands of a toddler} that the laptop should only be used when the rest of my family is sleeping.

Then I deleted Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, and Pinterest from my phone.  {Not totally though…I’m not that crazy.} Then I resigned from a few other commitments both online and with other organizations. Then I deleted Instagram from my phone.  I didn’t need to share and/or look at other people’s pictures 5 times a day.

It isn’t that I don’t have time.  These days I have plenty of time.  I wake up at 4:30 AM for heaven’s sake.  If I wanted to blog I could.  Instead I use those few precious hours before my kids wake up to read, drink coffee, and exercise.  I stare at my laptop knowing I should blog, but instead I end up doing something else.

So I’m saying goodbye.  Not because I don’t love food or readers or the friendships, but because I need to simplify.  I’ve started just sitting.  My mind isn’t racing from one thing to another while playing trains or cuddling babies.”

It’s Here!

Well, it’s here, the last day of summer is tomorrow, Friday 9/21. Can you believe it? I can’t. I love the summer. It is the best time of year when the sun is shining bright, the kids are home from school, you go on fun trips and vacations, there are festivities, parties, picnics, bike rides and the beach! It’s just wonderful and so therapeutic. I will surely miss it, especially on those cold and snowy days. Hopefully, there won’t be too many of those this year, otherwise, Florida, here I come!

Tomorrow, is also our last day at the Monroe Farmers Market for the season. To bring in the Fall, Food Jules will be featuring our delicious and most popular sweet treats, the Apple Pie Crumb Muffin and Pumpkin Pie Muffin. We will also have our beloved Banana Blueberry Bread, Lemon Yogurt Bread and Corn Bread. Plus, as our Empanadas are so popular and sell so quickly, we will feature all three varieties tomorrow, the Chicken Empanada, Turkey Empanada and Spinach & Cheese Empanada, all freshly baked just a few hours before the market! You’ll want to get there early so you don’t miss out.


And of course, we’ll have our delicious, all Organic Hot Fudge Sauce, Jams and Granola! So, stop by the market tomorrow to see us off for the season and stock up on your Food Jules Goodies!

Happy Fall!


Today, as I was driving to pick up my daughter from school, I had to take numerous amount of detours as roads were closed for renovation. It made me think, this is what my life is like, it’s full of detours to where I want/need to be, as is everyone else’s life. Maybe it’s not as obvious as mine is right now, but it got me thinking about the old saying, “Life isn’t about the destination, but the journey.” Well, it’s true, and we all are guilty of getting caught up in our daily routines and tasks that we lose sight of what’s really important… the daily routines and tasks! It’s all part of the journey.

Instead of pondering on the fact that I had to rush from picking up Lucas to taking my mom to the doctor to picking up Lilliana, I took a step back and enjoyed the drive down to pick up my mom, the time I got to see her beautiful face, the moment she got to watch Lucas laugh and enjoy playing with his dinosaurs, the words that he spoke about Julian as we pulled into the hospital parking lot. (yes, as soon as we pulled into the hospital parking lot, he said to me “Mommy, this reminds me of Julian and when he was at the hospital”). These little moments, the detour to get to Lilliana’s school today, it’s all part of our path, of our journey in life, so we should take a deep breath and enjoy the beautiful sun shining in our face and the wind blowing in our hair. I enjoyed looking at the trees changing colors on the Merritt Parkway. It’s an amazing and beautiful time of the year, it always is, every single season brings new beginnings and beauty.

I thought it was important to share my food for thought from this afternoon. Hope you can stop, take a deep breath and enjoy what you are doing at this very moment and all the other times when you are in such a hurry to get to the next step. Enjoy your life. This is what it’s all about!


We’re wrapping it up!

Well, just one more week until the end of the Monroe Farmers Market for Food Jules. Since, after school enrichment cooking programs will be starting in just a couple of weeks, next Friday will be our last day at the market. So, stop over today or next week for our grand finale!

Today, our specials include Chicken Empanadas and Spinach and Cheese Empanadas. We’ll also have Blueberry Lemon Muffins and Coffee Cake Muffins as well as our famous Banana Blueberry Bread and Lemon Yogurt Bread. Also, as our special little sweet treat, we are introducing the Chocolate Zucchini Fudge Cookie!!! These are soooo chocolately and so good for you!

chocolate cookie

And as always, we have our Organic Jams, Hot Fudge Sauce and Granola! Stop hope to you see later today. Enjoy the beautiful day today.

Little bites of sweetness!

Mmmmmm these little Granola Bites are so yummy and a quick, easy snack idea for kids and adults. They are rich of healthy, all natural ingredients too from oats to flax seed and wheat germ with a little sweet treat, chocolate chips. Your kids will want to take them to school every day!

We’re still going strong at the Monroe Farmers Market and what a beautiful day for the market. Today’s feature presentations are Blueberry Muffins and Chocolate Banana Muffins, as well as Maple Oatmeal Scones, Banana Blueberry Bread, Zucchini Coconut Bread and Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes.

We’ll also have our beloved Empanadas and today’s include a vegetarian option with our Spinach and Cheese Empanadas, as well as our classic, Turkey Empanadas. Hope to see you all there!