All posts by julkooi


hey all.

it’s been a while. spring has sparked a resurgence within me, and i have decided to take a break from this blog and focus more on some artistic endeavors and creative pursuits at the moment. this blog and your support have truly helped me to heal this past month. i will surely be back, but as of now, please check out my tumblr: if you are interested in scoping out more of my photos, poems, and some stories. you may see some cross over material 🙂 thanks again for your love!


xo juls



yesterday i woke up early to quickly warm up my legs on the elliptical at the gym. it was a mild workout.

i had grabbed some magazines for my flight back to the city on monday, but since i wound up talking to the man sitting next to me, i never got to read them. my usual go-to magazines for a flight are cosmopolitan and self magazine. since i had bought those two for my flight home, i picked up a women’s health magazine at the airport.

shakira was on the cover and there was a very insightful interview with her. i recently read this blog post from Mary Beth Larue, a yoga teacher based in Venice, CA who writes beautiful words and found it to be filtering the way i was reading women’s health. all i kept seeing was burn this many calories, each this many calories, stay under 1,600, she now weighs 118 how amazing. and then i looked on my elliptical and saw that apparently i had burned 700 calories (in 40 mins?). i became so aware of how caught up in numbers this magazine was (at least this particular issue…i also read Larue’s blog post after reading cosmopolitan and self, maybe a second read through of those magazines with this mindset would be equally insightful).

and i get so caught up too. calorie counting, calories burned, scales—they can completely take over. when they interviewed shakira about her workouts and gym regiments, she said she hadn’t been working out lately, but the article seemed to slide write into a new paragraph devoted to what shakira’s workouts have been in the past, or what they will be in the future. obviously i am aware that women’s health is a health magazine, but healthy also means enjoying every moment of life. i wanted to know more about shakira’s passions, her new children, what hobbies she has, what keeps her at peace–not just what she eats and what her workouts are. although workouts and eats are important for health and can be something that makes you happy, there is more to life that calories burned and calories eaten.

i even began to think of how often i think of numbers in terms of time…just got to get to this date, or this time, or go to bed at this time, wake up at this time, one more day, hour, week, etc. numbers have the capability of stripping away any sense of living for the now. they can easily become obsessions and bog me down.


feed your soul, not your calorie counter.

move and sweat for your soul, not to reach a number that a machine gives you.

hug your body-limbs, curves, and all because it’s a gift, not because you got to a number a machine shows you.

screw the numbers.

stop counting.

live now.

xo, juls



this week has been quite the whirlwind.

12 hours days of mornings piling into crowded train carts, chilly afternoons meandering through crowds in a cloud covered central park, crazy work days running around the school, long tutoring sessions, and trying to squeeze in a workout here and meeting a friend there. i have been stretched to the brink.

i even realized today that my dry shampoo had been holding me over from a long and overdue shower.

i am feel sick, tired, worn out, and sad.

these weeks are too much, and i have felt a complete lack in any stability or balance. thank god for coffee breaks though…



a mere half hour to sip on warm espresso and steamed milk alone with my thoughts or mulling over life with a friend have been my sanest moments this week.

tonight i had plans to meet up with 3 different people, and i cancelled on all of them. i cancelled for me. for my stillness. my balance. my peace. i said no, and it’s okay.

i went to the gym and watched bravo while jogging on the treadmill. i just showered (thank god) and ordered in delivery. i am putting my feet up on the coffee table, sitting back, watching some reality tv, and calling it a night. this is my stillness. counteracting the messy, grind-through of a week. finding my balance.


from tumblr

my stillness. namaste.



EATS+back to the grind

yesterday afternoon i rounded out my trip home with lunch at the zodiac room.


this restaurant was so chic and lovely. great ambiance, and wonderful food.


hellloooo crab cake salad


and chocolate bread pudding, creme brulee, and coffee to share!

on my flight home i started talking to a man seated next to me. we ended up talking the entire plane ride back. it was so cool. i have lately been getting a travel/moving bug and he had lived all over the country so it was fantastic to hear his perspective on different cities. his favorite city he said he lived in was denver, co, a city i have been seriously considering checking out more. i have lots of friends and family living out there and being immersed in the mountain side sounds spectacular.

it was so cool to connect with brian. i love when life brings in these random people in your life who you will probably never run into again, but were so close to for a mere couple of hours.

today, was back to work! i started my day with a treadmill workout at the gym and a green smoothie!



CLOSE UP!!! KALE blueberries, banana, non-fat greek yogurt, agave, and two heaping scoops of vanille protein powder. almond milk to get it moving.

clean eating to start off the day right 🙂

getting back into the swing of things is always a little tough, especially after having come home from an easy weekend. life can be really challenging, especially in nyc, but i am trying to keep it balanced and let things go. taking a candle lit yoga class tonight should round out the day. can’t wait to spill open into camel pose and release.

xo juls


feeling refreshed

hope you all had a great sunday and are off to a good start to the week. i am flying back to nyc today, and am quite reluctant to head back to work tomorrow after such a calm weekend home. but the weekend always manages to refresh me, and this trip was particularly rejuvenating.

yesterday the weather in st. louis was gross:


rain/snow mixture, wind, and COLD. i opted for an at-home workout.

this workout did the trick, and comes from one of my favorite health blogs peanut butter runner.

i had to halve the workout, so i did a total of 500 reps. one day i want to be strong enough to plow through the entire thing. my heart was pounding and my brow was dripping by the end. oh and my ass is so sore today…success!

i rounded out the workout with some light vinyasa yoga. i don’t have a go-to studio in st. louis, so my workouts have been lacking in the yoga lately. my body was craving some balancing and down dogs yesterday.

i relaxed with a cup of tea and a chick flick with my mom in the afternoon…what more do you want!?


haha my toes are peeping in the picture!

my mom and i watched the movie About TIme. It was directed by the same guy who did Love Actually, and despite it’s amazing chick flick cheesiness, it had a beautiful message. living each day to it’s absolute fullest, like it is your last. i take so many things for granted and let so many obstacles get in my way of enjoying each and every day, and i really want to continue to focus on the present. each day is a gift, full of amazing moments that can truly fill you up no matter where you are in your journey. enjoy them.

the evening rounded out with a gluten-free no-guilt pizza that i got to whip up in a huge midwestern kitchen!!! i was so pumped!



i wanted to try out the cauliflower pizza crust, and mocked up this recipe for it!

i used dried basil and oregano for the italian dried herbs. it turned out lovely, but this recipe skipped a crucial step to squeeze out excess water from the cauliflower after microwaving it and letting it cool. i think the crust would have crisped up a bit more. i topped my pizza with tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, spinach, and shredded mozzarella. MMM 🙂

i was unbelievably happy to be cooking for my family on a sunday evening.

today i am hoping to go to a local hot yoga class, and then am packing up and heading back to the new york grind. i truly want to focus on not getting caught up in the fast pace of living there. i can easily lose myself and my grasp on my life in such a go-go-go kind of place. moving at a slower pace and living each day fully is something i am going to try to focus on this week.

have a great day…bliss, yoga, love, and peace, y’all.


a little puppy lovin’ from my dog, bolo. 13 years old and still has puppy ears and eyes 🙂

xo juls


home town lovin’

happy saturday!!!!!

wow this long weekend at home has been filled with gratitude. i am so happy to be relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous spring weather with my friends and family.

on thursday afternoon i got settled at home and had a home-cooked meal in the dining room. hooray for space, kitchen, and momma’s meals!


the sun setting through the window in a room full of candles with food and laughter is my idea of a perfect welcome.


my mom made an awesome Vietnamese dish with greens and veggies, noodles, and amazing shrimp. she is a rockstar in the kitchen and continues to inspire me. Vietnamese seems super intimidating to me, but my mom just went for it and it was delish.

friday morning i woke up slowly. big breakfast on the couch, doing a little writing and reading. i had to go for a run, even though i was suuuuper comfortable. the weather and sun were just too nice to pass up.

yesterday i had one of those runs where i felt like i could keep going and going. i recently got back into running from a 4 month stint of no runs, and i can’t believe how comfortable i have been feeling with my runs (knock on wood) ;). while getting back into running i have been practicing yoga about 4 times a week as well, and i truly think it has made a difference for me. i feel so light and free on my runs. my connection to my breath is steady and running is enjoyable and doesn’t feel like a chore. i felt very powerful yesterday, which felt reaaalll good.


check out my first selfie on this blog…looking sweaty and happy because i was!

the afternoon rounded out with a nature walk with my mom.


to be submersed in rows of trees, piles of leaves, and wandering on a rocky trail without a skyscraper at its end felt good. i had to pause and take notice that i was completely immersed in this nature path. there were no taxis driving by, no empty plastic water bottles on the trail, and no buildings obstructing my view of the trees and sunny sky. it was an itty bitty miracle, and a sweet, packed ounce of bliss.

this morning i hit the road with my dad and ran to a coffee shop sans music. i don’t remember the last time i ran without tunes, but i figured since i felt so great yesterday i would be fine. and i was. again i felt like i could keep going and going, running forever. so motivating. it was also nice to chat with my dad as we ran on, rounding out the morning with a vanilla almond milk latte. so so good.

i am curious to give running without music another try especially without someone to chat with as i run. i am curious to see how i would handle it. just me, my thoughts, my legs, and i. hmmm.

i hope you all are taking it easy this weekend. relax, find nature, and bliss out.


midwest…water towers, wires, and open skies

xo juls

r&r in the midwest

hey all,

this afternoon i am headed home for a long relaxing weekend to my hometown, st. louis, mo! shout out to the midwest!

i can’t wait for long walks with my mom, catching up with old friends, and lots of home-cooked meals, dancing, and wine with my family!

workouts as of late:

saturday : 5 mile run across the williamsburg bridge

sunday : 90 minute hot yoga class

monday : 30 min elliptical + 60 minute power vinyasa class

tuesday: 2 mile walk through central park

wednesday (yesterday) : 5K on treadmill + 60 min power vinyasa flow

my workouts have been my therapy lately. running and yoga transport me to these sweet places of peace. there is nothing better than shutting out your life for an hour of pacing and breathing through a trail or on your mat.

yesterday, i reallllyyy didn’t want to go to yoga. i was tired, fell asleep on my commute home, and my eyes were crying for more rest. when i got home, construction men were renovating an apartment above mine. i had two choices–make it to my mat, or attempt to nap with drilling and banging above my head. the choice was obvious at that point…yoga. i told myself, if i had to take child’s pose for 60 minutes i would.

i got to class and laid in savasana until class began, but once i made it to that first down dog, my face was smiling the rest of class. the past two months of getting back into my practice and taking it seriously have brought my body and soul to this place where it craves the asanas and the breathing and it’s a beautiful place to be. it makes me feel powerful in peace, flexibility, movement, and meditation.

getting to class yesterday was a miracle for me…and miracle that carried me through a wonderful night spent with dear friends. yoga yesterday allowed me to laugh, lose track of time, and be more myself than i have felt in a long while. a true miracle and blessing. a wonderful perspective shift.

hope you all have a fantastic day and live now and presently. i’ll leave you with some pictures and a quote that’s been resonating lately.


first iced coffee of the season! hooray! 🙂


coffee coffee coffee #intelligentsia



sunrises on my walk to working yesterday morning. yum.


night spring shower view from taxi cab window

” ‘All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing’…A miracle is a shift in thinking from what we might have done in the past or should be doing in the future, to what we feel free to do right here, right now. A miracle is a release from our internal bondage” – Marianne Williamson

bliss xo,