five things friday 4.7.17

So even though it’s Saturday, I typed this post up yesterday so just go with me that it’s Friday, yeah?? Also, happy Saturday! I hope you are having a fabulous weekend!

I’m enjoying a fresh cup of Peet’s anniversary blend while I finish up editing this post, before I dive into some studying today. After the storms this week some sunshine this morning was very welcomed!

1) First of all, I only have about 3 more weeks left in this semester! Come May 1 I’ll be halfway through nursing school (um, what?!) and I honestly will be so happy to see the end of this semester. Academically it was a lot tougher than the first semester and I had to seriously prioritize where I spent my time. You can’t do it all so you pick your battles and thankfully my grades, while not as great as last semester, so far have been pretty good. And, my parents asked if I wanted to come home for a weekend in May when I have time off, which means I will be getting to see my family and babies for a couple days. Oh and celebrate the fact that my brother Jay is officially a CPA which is no small feat!

2) I’ve been bullet journaling since around January, and even bought one of these nice Leuchtterm 1917 journals to use, but didn’t want to start using it since it was my legit “fancy” bullet journal (I previously had just been using an extra notebook I had lying around). Eventually I got over not wanting to mess it up – which is a ridiculous thought anyway – and started using it this month. I have to say, having a nice journal with dots and not lines has been seriously the best. I basically just follow most of the stuff from the bullet journal website with a few changes for my formatting. Pretty much everything goes in my bullet journal, from my to-do list to daily events to how I’m feeling on a certain day. If y’all would like a whole separate post on this, let me know! I think my favorite part has been creating a habit tracker to track my progress with things that I can do to make each day more enjoyable and healthier. I also have been writing down daily gratitudes and in addition to writing them each day, I write them on my monthly page. This lets me look back at them all in one place and see just how much I have to be thankful for even when I have a tough day.

This is what my habit tracker looks like for the month! I love the colors and that the dots in the journal I have make it super easy to do whatever you want with the space. (Can we also discuss how amazing pilot G2 0.5 pens are?! Gosh I love them so much. And also am the world’s biggest dork.)

3) I’ve been listening to so much good music lately! Betty Who came out with a new album (workout jams for daysss) and I’ve been loving this 8tracks volume from Walker Hayes. There’s something about his sound that is just so catchy. Also, this song by Old Dominion has been one of my favorites lately.

4) I’ve been ob.sessed. with these align pants from lululemon lately. I have two black pairs that I got last year, but only recently got these olive-ish green ones. I love them because they make it look like I put a slight amount of effort into looking presentable but really I’m basically still wearing pajamas. Winning! Also, looking at these pictueres I can’t believe how much longer my hair has gotten since I last chopped it off! Here’s hoping I can survive a Georgia summer while still growing it out… haha.

5) I hope you have the best weekend!!

And with that, I’m back to studying pharmacology! Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this semester – only a few more tests and a paper, then finals, stand in the way of a two week break.

Thanks for spending a bit of time with me in this space today ❤

Tell me something great about your weekend!



why a second degree?

Back when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life a year or two ago, I would have absolutely loved to be able to read someone’s blog about their experience going to nursing school. I really didn’t know much about the process of getting a second degree other than that you pretty much needed a BSN to be a nurse. Thankfully my best friend from high school was in nursing school and graduating at the time, so I was able to pick her brain about a lot of nursing school questions (thanks, Nicole! <3) as well as ask a few people I knew who were doing a second degree program about what it was like. I don’t think I would be here today without them!

So, I figured that writing about nursing and nursing school would be a great thing to do while I’m in it (as opposed to looking back) so that anyone who may be interested in nursing school has an honest opinion and another person’s experience to read about. Without further ado, here we go!

Once I figured out that I wanted to go into nursing (which is a story for another day) after volunteering in a few hospitals, I started researching schools that had nursing programs to figure out the process of applying and what I needed to do for applications. I ended up discovering that there are quite a few schools that do accelerated BSN programs for people like me, who would already have a bachelor’s degree by the time nursing school started. There were programs that were just the accelerated BSN but also a lot of programs that combined the BSN + MSN all in one to fast track you to becoming an NP.

To be perfectly honest, the idea of signing myself up for 3 more years of school to become an NP was way too overwhelming for me. I didn’t consider it much because I wanted to make sure that I really did love nursing, and also wanted to get some experience working as a nurse. A lot of the programs have you pick a specialty as well, and since I had no idea what I wanted to do in relation to nursing, I decided against it for the time being. (There are a lot of varying opinions on this as NPs are becoming a more prevalent role in the healthcare field. I had a million people ask me why I wasn’t getting my master’s and a lot of people suggest being an NP. But I decided that it wasn’t right for me right now).

So, I started sorting through programs and looking at what you needed to apply, including prerequisite classes. I started doing this around the end of my junior year at UCLA and over the summer before my senior year. A lot of schools require a few different prerequisites and it was a little frustrating to me to have to sort through them and try to strategically pick where to apply so that I didn’t have to take five jillion classes. I ended up being able to plan a few of my classes in my senior year (like microbiology and microbiology lab) that would apply for my major and also cover prerequisite requirements, which was a huge blessing! I also took night classes on top of my regular courseload during my senior year to get classes done on time. It wasn’t easy but I’m so glad I did it, since I didn’t want to take a bunch of time off between my degrees.

Something to note is most of the schools don’t require you to have your prerequisite classes done before you apply – just before school starts – which gives you a bit of leeway time to get everything done! I ended up taking a class online over spring and into summer to finish things out.

(Fam at my UCLA graduation!)

Another thing that I took into consideration for applying to programs was where I wanted to live. I knew that I wanted to get out of LA, and unfortunately a lot of the second degree programs in California were located in southern California. So I started researching places to live as well as schools so that I would end up somewhere I enjoyed living. I ended up applying to schools in Portland, Nashville, and Atlanta. The second degree programs were also weird in that a bunch of them started at different times, so that’s why I was okay with only applying to three schools. I figured if I didn’t get into any of them, then I could just reapply to different schools for the winter term!

Thankfully, I ended up getting into 2 out of the 3 schools, and between the two that I got into, going to Emory was a no-brainer. The nursing program at Emory is currently ranked #4 in the nation and I fell in love with Atlanta when I came to visit (I remember being so in awe of how GREEN everything was! Haha!). Rank isn’t super important in the grand scheme of things, but going to a school that is well-known in terms of getting a job was relatively important to me since I want to make sure I’m employed after this whole shebang.

So, that’s how I ended up here in Atlanta! I am almost halfway through my 15-month program and it sure is flying by.

If you have any specific questions for me about nursing/nursing school or life in general feel free to shoot me an email or fill out that contact form anytime!

Happy hump day, y’all! Hope your week is treating you well!!


giving myself grace.

Today was the first day off of clinical that I’ve had this semester. We get 2 days off in our peds rotation since they rotate us through because my class is so big. And this is the first day off that I’ve had since spring break – which, although it was only a week and a half ago, already feels like a lifetime ago. Most of the time, weekends around here blur into the weekdays since we typically have an exam of some sort every week and I end up spending most of my time studying.

If I’m being honest, it’s brutally exhausting. I always struggle to find the words to describe nursing school to someone who isn’t in it without sounding like I am complaining. I love nursing and am so lucky to be studying it, but the day to day and week to week life of a nursing student is utterly draining. Ask anyone who has been through nursing school and they’ll tell you that it was really hard. And they probably have breakdowns on the reg.

One of the biggest things that I’m currently struggling with is allowing myself the time to rest. Time is precious and most of the time, if I allow myself to rest, I end up feeling guilty when I do. There is always something I could be doing. Today, I could have been studying for my peds simulation that is tomorrow, I could have done the analysis of a research article that is due Thursday, I could have cleaned my apartment, and the list just keeps going on and on.

Instead, I slept 10+ hours, laid in bed most of the morning, cooked some food for the rest of the week, and laid on the couch until I went to CrossFit. And then I came home so exhausted from CrossFit that the thought of trying to do anything had my eyes crashing shut. I ignored almost all schoolwork today and also didn’t get a lot of things done that are on my “life” to-do list like fix my car registration.

And I struggled the entire day with feeling guilty for resting. I don’t fully feel rested, partly because my body is tired from my workouts, but partly because I never truly allowed myself to relax. I was running through the list of things in my head that I was pushing off, I was cleaning my apartment, I was feeling guilty for sitting down and catching up on social media and laying on the couch.

I need to be better about dedicating time to take off to myself. Time that isn’t spent at the gym or going to church or occasionally grabbing a beer with friends. I need to carve out time for myself – to be alone, to journal/pray, to stretch, to meditate – and I need to be unapologetic about giving myself the grace to do so.

Right now, it doesn’t feel like I have much extra time to carve out. But something that I truly believe is that everyone has time for something – it’s all about priorities. No one is too busy to do anything. It’s just not a priority. And I need to make taking care of myself spiritually and mentally far more of a priority. (Physically, too, but that’s a conversation for another day).

So, with that said, I’m committing to spending 20 minutes each day, by myself, to journal, pray, listen to music, or just be still. And the full of those 20 minutes needs to be with my phone in the other room.

I would say that I’m planning on doing that each morning to start my day on a good foot, but I also know that sleep is another priority around here. And I need to give myself more grace, too – so if it doesn’t happen in the morning, that’s ok. But I need to make time for it at another point in the day.

Because resting is good for the soul. It is a reminder that my worth isn’t in how hard I work, or how fit I am, or the grades that I get. I’m already more than enough as is, right now, today.

If you struggle at all with letting yourself rest, I would love to chat with you ❤ Shoot me an email or direct message!



five things friday 3.17

Happy Friday y’all!

This week has been a pretty busy week for me- things have certainly gone 0-60 with coming back to school after spring break. I have an exam this morning and my brain currently seems to be in a bit of a fog from all the studying, but that’s pretty standard around here… “my brain isn’t working right now” is probably one of the top five things that comes out of my mouth on a regular basis. I guess that’s nursing school for ya!

I thought I’d do a little five things Friday post to chat with y’all!

1)  Two things I’m currently loving: RaeLynn’s new album streaming on NPR (the song with Dan + Shay is one of my favorites), and the book Love Does by Bob Goff. I’ve heard a lot about the book over the years but only just downloaded a copy. It has really changed the way I view things and I have nothing but good things to say about it!

2) I’ve been buying russet and sweet potatoes and chopping and roasting them on Sundays and that has been a life-saver when it comes to making meals throughout the week. I just chop up 2 russet potatoes and 2 sweet, add about 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them at 425 for 25 minutes, stirring them halfway through. I have been eating them for breakfast with eggs, or thrown together in tupperware with some steamed frozen veggies and rotisserie chicken. All about the simplicity life these days with meals, but the potatoes have been a staple! I don’t usually food prep a ton of things but I try to at least make those and have some sort of cooked protein on hand for the days that I’m in a pinch.

3) I made it to CrossFit three times this week already and am slightly regretting having Friday be my fourth day (and third in a row) considering what the WOD for 17.4 is. We shall see how I fare this afternoon, haha!

(photo from 17.3 last week, thanks to Elena!)

4) I want to say thank you all so much for the kind words/messages on my post from last weekend! I was in the middle of a pretty tough weekend and writing is always my therapy. This week has been a lot better because I am back in the swing of things with a routine and going to school/clinicals/the gym. I was planning on going to a social event last night but did a little self care check and realized that I just didn’t have the energy in me to go and meet new people after such a long week. And that’s ok! School is my priority right now, and while that makes having a social life hard, I know that there will come a time when life isn’t this chaotic and I’ll have more energy and time to dedicate to a social life. I’m working on being more gentle to myself and this blog post from Robyn was just what I needed to read this week. I’m a hot mess and need to be okay with that in this season of life.

5) My dad sent me Peet’s coffee again and my heart just about exploded. Coffee is my love language and I have the best dad in the world. Seriously. How did I get so lucky?! I was almost out and the freshly roasted stuff that he orders/sends me is infinitely better than buying it from the grocery store. (This is the part where I realize that I’m turning into a bit of a coffee snob haha. I don’t discriminate when I need caffeine in a pinch but making the good stuff at home makes me ridiculously happy.)

And that’s all I got for ya! Tell me something awesome about your week!



you are where you’re supposed to be

If there is a time that I stop and question what the heck I’m doing with my life, it always seems to happen when I have a break from school. It’s like when I’m in the thick of it, I am just focusing on keeping my head above water. Then when I get the chance to breathe, I’m looking all around, swimming in the middle of an ocean, with no land in sight.

Nursing school doesn’t exactly allow you much time to stop and look around. It’s been the most insane seven months of my life so far and while I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it has certainly been anything but easy. And I don’t stop and think about it until I have the chance to breathe. And that’s when the anxiety comes rushing in.

That’s where the “what was I thinking, moving across the country not knowing a single soul!?” comes in. That’s where I stop and realize that seven months in, I still don’t have really close friends here.  I know great people, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a difference between knowing awesome people and having people in your corner that really know you. And for the past seven months I’ve been just trying to get my footing and make sure I’m doing well in school. While I have some incredible people in my corner… it’s not quite the same when they all don’t live here.

These times are when I struggle a bit more with being single again. Dipping my toes in the dating pool has me missing having someone in my life that really understands me, knows me, and loves me. That’s a tough pill to swallow no matter how ready I am to try again.

This is where the little voice in my head pops in and says “but are you really doing enough?” and this is where I have to tell that voice to get lost. That voice tells me that I could be studying more, working harder, volunteering more, making more effort to meet people. And it also tells me I could be less, be smaller, be less vocal about my needs, and stop throwing myself wholeheartedly into others only to have it not work out. That voice is so, so wrong, but it exists in my head nonetheless.

And while all of this happens, each and every time it does happen, I am reminded of two things:

The first is, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

And the second is, I am more than enough just as I am.

That’s the beauty of living wildly and freely in the grace of the Lord. He’s got this. I am enough because He is more than enough. He knows my heart and he knows where I am. And He’s got me here for a reason. There is a reason that I felt called to Atlanta last spring, before I even had gotten into school here. There is a reason I felt like I was coming home when I got off the plane at Hartsfield-Jackson for the first time. There is a reason I have found myself studying nursing even though it took awhile to figure it out. There is a reason that I’ve made all the mistakes I’ve made recently. And while I may not see the reason for that yet, He’s got a purpose in it all. And I am confident that some day I will look back and be so grateful for these times.

The last couple of months I have probably spent hours reading and rereading blog posts of women who have gone through similar struggles. (One of the many reasons I love blogging and one of the many reasons that I will continue to do so myself). So while writing this particular post is a little bit too open for my comforts, I’m going to hit that publish button anyway. Because you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Even if you can’t see it now, you are. And that’s a pretty sweet reminder that someone else out there may need to hear.

with love,


hello & welcome!

My name is Julianna and I am so glad that you are here!

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Some of you may know me from my old blog, Julianna Bananna. I recently had a bit of a decision to make about that space since my hosting services and domain registration were about to expire. I could either continue to invest in that site or I could decide to make a change. Any guesses as to what I picked?

I actually didn’t have any plans until this morning when I was in the middle of reading a book called Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. The book has impacted me greatly and encouraged me to live, well, more wildly and freely. And for some reason there was a spark in me that led me to create this space, all in the span of 20 minutes. I didn’t really think much about it. I just did it. I had six years of my life somewhat documented on the internet, but I didn’t feel the same passion for it anymore. So I decided to let it rest and create something new.

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If there is one thing that I love about blogging, it is that it makes this world a little smaller. I’ve thought a lot about sharing my life on the internet, but at the end of the day, if sharing my struggles helps just one person to feel a little less alone, that’s a success to me. Because we weren’t made to struggle through life alone.

So if you are here, thank you so much for reading! I hope that sharing the highs and lows of my (very) imperfect story will remind you that we are all in this together. And I hope, that maybe, just maybe, it will inspire you to live your life a little more wildly.

much love,