Archive of ‘LIFESTYLE’ category

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga Download ~ Online Yoga Classes

Yoga Download

Many of you know I’m a yogi and yoga teacher. I am always trying to find new ways to enhance my practice and like to practice at different studios although I have my main studio in DC. Because the weather has been so crazy I decided to try yoga at home via my computer with Yoga Download. There are many online classes and I have decided to try one out every few months to see which one I like the most. First up, Yoga Download.

Yoga Download offers a variety of teachers and a variety of styles.  I will say I have enjoyed practicing with teachers such as Ana Forrest (super hard), Ashtanga, Baptiste, Vinyasa (the style I mainly practice), and more. Classes start at just $10 a month for streaming, but you can pay more if you want to download particular classes to keep forever and can be played without a Wi-Fi connection.

I will admit it felt weird looking at a screen to practice yoga, but after a few times trying the classes I was able to follow along without looking at times. I’m working on lots of strength training through yoga and contemplating getting rid of my gym membership now that the weather is about to get better. I really rather be outside working out.

As with any exercise programing please take it easy. I know we see these glorious mind-blowing yoga poses, but if you aren’t warmed up and listening to your body you can hurt yourself.

Om Pretty!

Jo Malone Cardamom and Moroccan Rose Candle

Jo Malone Candle copy

Jo Malone can do no wrong in my opinion when it comes to their candles. I have a few that I love such as their Dark Amber and Ginger Lily candle, but I was blown away by one of their latest scents. The Jo Malone Cardamom and Moroccan Rose Candle is the latest and I say one of the greatest candle scents from the brand. This scent is perfect for these cold winter days and nights. I know Spring is somewhere around the corner, but right now I can’t find her. I’m drinking lots of hot tea, making various chowders, and reading through a few books that have been on my list. The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event has started and this is going into my basket.

For the last few weeks I have been going back and forth with latest book on editing clearing clutter and editing your life. I will say I have the day scheduled next month to really Kondo my entire life. Stay tuned.

Penguin Randomhouse National Readathon: Saturday, January 24


You guys know I love me some books. Yes, I like big books and I cannot lie. I’m so excited the Penguin Randomhouse National Readathon Day is tomorrow. The goal is to read for four hours and document your reading using the hashtag #TimeToRead. I’m still in Louisiana and plan to join in on the fun during the hours of 12:00pm-4:00pm EST.

Join me on Instagram where I will be using my own personal hashtag #JCbookshelf. I am reading books that take my mind off the fact it’s been two weeks since I lost Jamie and nothing feels right. Absolutely nothing.

Here’s a list of the books I plan to read during this time. Instead of reading one book for four hours I’m breaking it up with four different books each hour. Please join me and let’s celebrate reading together. What are you planning on reading during the readathon?

The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novella by Sarah J. Maas. If Amerie told me to read it then I’m reading it.

Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva. I can’t get enough of Silva’s series about an Israeli spy named Gabriel Allon. It’s intriguing, fast paced, and set in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Plus, the main character is an art restorer. Go read it.

Tempting Fate by Jane Green. This will be my first Jane Green novel and I am super stoked. A few of my friends love her writing so I’m happy to finally explore her work.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman. I fell in love with The Magicians a few weeks back and let me tell you I can’t get enough. The is the second in a trilogy and I’m plowing through this one as well.

A few of my favorite Penguin/Randomhouse authors are gathered in this video talking about making time to read. I have a few of them on my reading list and on my bookshelves.

Reading Pretty: It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

Andie Mitchell

My book reading as of late is all over the place. I go back and forth from fiction to non-fiction and lots memoirs. The latest joy is reading It was Me Along by Andie Mitchell and the writer behind the blog Can You Stay for Dinner. It’s the story of Andie’s struggles with food. It’s fascinating that now she writes a blog about food. I didn’t want this book to end and felt that if I met Andie in real life we would be friends.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Net Galley. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty.

Look Out That Window Girl and Live


I’m in Louisiana, but not for the reason I planned. On Thursday, January 8, I lost my dear brother Jamie. Needless to say the pain is so hard that I am in a fog. My heart feels like it’s about to break open. I didn’t expect. None of us did. We thought he was on the mend. He was getting better. That’s what the doctors told us. It’s going to take time. Lots of time. Be patient. On September 25 my brother had a massive stroke. I was on a plane the next day. I’ve been flying back and forth trying to maintain a business and a life. It’s been rough.

His birthday is tomorrow which makes this even more heart wrenching. On the flight down I was a mess. I couldn’t have made it without my husband and two amazing flight attendants on United. Those ladies mothered me for three hours on a plane until I could walk into my mother’s arms. I don’t know how she is so strong. She has had to bury a husband and now two sons. I’m looking to her for strength, because I’m so weak. Jamie was not just my brother, but my best friend. He’s one of the reasons I travel. He supported me while I studied in Paris, maintained my car and house when I lived in Houston, and listened to every complaint, frustration, and accolade. He called me every single day. There was no dream I had that he didn’t support. When I told him my ideas he encouraged every single one. Not one hesitation. Not one doubt. He believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

No matter where in the world I was I got a text, voicemail, and email from him. Every Monday we analyzed each NFL game. It’s been hard trying to watch the games without hearing his voice. The last time I talked to him was on September 24. My wedding anniversary when he called to wish me “happy anniversary.” He kept laughing and saying I can’t believe you found someone to put up with you. That was our running joke. Every phone call or voicemail started the same – “Julia, it’s your brother Jamie …” When I called him back I said “Jamie, it’s your sister Julia. Your only sister.”

To not hear is voice is hard. I’ve been playing his last few voicemails to me over and over. Just to hear him say it. He’s taken care of me since I was little. I remember him washing and combing my hair, taking me to school, and always being there even with a family of his own. He came to the house as I got ready for prom, going off to college, taking me to the airport to go study in Paris, helping pack my car to move to DC, telling me “have fun in DC, but come back now, you here!,” go to Spain with that guy because you know what you are doing, and much more.

Yesterday I did something I have never done. I requested a window seat on the plane in his honor. He knew I hate to fly and would never sit by the window or ever look out the window on a plane. But he always told me “look out that window girl and live.”That’s what I did.

I know he’s no longer in pain, but it just sucks. I talked to my family and asked could I write something. My mom said that’s what you do. Write it out. It will help. I’ve received so many calls, emails, and texts in support. Thank you. Life is so short and it’s so precious. I just wish heaven could have waited one more day, one more week, one more month, one more year to make him an angel. I guess they needed him more than me.


Reading Pretty: Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. by Lara Casey



I devoured Lara Casey’s book Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose in two day. It was a particular gloomy Saturday and I wanted something to break the fiction books I was reading. I received a preview copy of the e-book, but I enjoyed the book so much I wanted to support her and purchased a “real” book.

Lara is a major proponent of looking at your life and making the necessary changes you need to make without blaming someone else for your happiness. She goes deep into her unhappy marriage and work and how she turned it around without making any excuses. I know there are a lot of self-help books out there, but what makes Laura’s book great is her desire to discuss the art of not “being perfect.” I’m still trying to figure out when perfect became the ideal. Life is messy, thank goodness. We need stories to tell and perfect doesn’t make good story telling.

I always say Instagram is the highlight real of your life and not the real dirty work. Yes, I consider what a photo will look like before I post, but actually my bed isn’t made, my office is a hot mess, I’m tired, and the past few days made me realize I need to make some shifts. She has a yearly conference and I’m seriously considering going.

Lara thanks for a great book. Keep making it happen.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Net Galley. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty. 

Happy 2015!



Happy New Year! I hope your holidays went well. Although the new year started last week it officially kicked off today with most people returning to work. I normally spend the first 5 days detoxing from all the food, sweets, and alcohol I consumed over the holidays. My life is saying lady we need a BREAK. This photo sums up all the goodies I have been using and reading over the weekend. As a yogi I’m always interested in studying under great teachers and Tiffany is next on my list. I took a workshop with her in 2013, but this I want to go deeper with my yoga studies. Also, if you haven’t seen Jada Pinkett Smith on the cover of Shape, please grab a copy. Lord have mercy that girl looks amazing and fit.

I also decided to get back to journaling. I have diaries from the time I was a child, but now I decided to go back to the trusty Moleskin soft cover and get out all the thoughts in my head and on to the page. As much as I like talking, I like writing everything down. Plus, I need to work on my handwriting which is pretty atrocious because I haven’t been writing as much and typing on a keyboard.

I hope that this year brings you lots of fun, belly laughs, beauty, fitness, books, and great wine. Yes, there will be difficult days, but hopefully we can all get through them with a little help from the beauty gods.

What are some things you are looking forward to this year?

‘Twas the “Pretty” Night Before Christmas

Christmas 1.1

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Pretty New Year. I wish lots of laughter, joy, laughs, good food, and a holiday full of beauty. I will see you back here on the blog Monday, January 5, 2015.

‘Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house
the only creature stirring
was the click of a Glamglow mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
With hope that bronzer  would soon be there
Mom and daughter were nestled in their beds
With visions of Paris and shopping dancing in their heads.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprung from my bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutter to Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes!

With a little old drier, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick,
More rapid than eagles, the products all came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

Now Bobbi, now Jo Malone, now Hermes, now Rodial and Estee
On Leonor Greyl, on CHANEL, on Carol’s Daughter and Laura Mercier
Becca foundation in the color called Mink
Products all over the shower and next to the sink.

To the top of the porch
To the top of the wall
Now dash away! Dash away!
Products stashed in the hall

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk
And laying his finger aside of his nose
What a lovely scent, Malle Carnal Flower?

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of products he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a beauty counter opening his pack.

Santa came on his sleigh with beauty products galore
Carrying bags from Neiman Marcus, Follain, Sephora and more
I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight
May the lip gloss be with you all, and to all a good night.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Pretty New Year!

Based on the poem by Clement Clarke Moore

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