Family Funtime Ideas! Flea Markets

                    Truly Julie with her son Driggs at Long Beach Flea!Long beach flea

Southern Cali is home to two of the best flea markets in the world: Rose Bowl and Long Beach. Think of them as ‘big brother/little brother’ flea markets respectively.

I love Rose Bowl because of its majestic setting. You’ve got this gorgeous mountain backdrop and notable bloggers and stylists sifting through one-of-a-kind goods. While Rose Bowl is HUGE, I like that it’s somewhat compartmentalized. 90% of the area is vintagScreen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.21.55 PMe/antique, but there’s a smaller area that has new items such as gorgeous tunics from India for $15 and funky print leggings for $10!

Then, there’s Long Beach Antique Market. It’s not as crowded as Rose Bowl, so it is much more pleasant with a stroller/kids. And look closely enough and you’ll see some of the same vendors as Rose Bowl, but with better prices. I spotted a Vitra Heart Cone Chair which retails for $4,400 for $400! It was slightly worn down, but totally a steal. Now, if I can only find a discounted mansion to house the stuff!  The downside to LBF is that there is very limited options for food and beverage (hotdogs, pretzels, and Coors beer). Long Beach Flea happens the 3rd Sunday of every month. So, go recycle/upcycle and think of it like a treasure hunt with the family!

How to Become a Youtube Star!

                       Truly Julie with Youtube phenom My Life As Eva11295576_10153259563970390_123159748799740330_n

Gone are the days of going to Hollywood and hoping to get “discovered”. Now, if you’re social media savy enough, you can garner all the attention you need without ever leaving your house. I recently met Eva Gutowski, who’s Youtube channel (MyLifeAsEva) boasts 2.5 million plus subscribers (click here for our Good Day LA interview!). She was a bored college student without big $$ but tons of creativity. So, while her friends were out partying, she started creating content on Youtube and boom! Now she’s endorsing brands such as Kohl’s, Proactive, and Sperry Top-siders and she’s hungry for her own talkshow.

I also met with George Strompolos, the CEO of multi-platform talent agency Fullscreen, to find out the secrets of how you become an online superstar. The good news is there is no entry barrier to the internet, so anyone can do it. The bad news is that the marketplace is crowded and you’ll have to put in a lot of work to get any traction (just how crowded is the market? Watch here).

George says there’s no magic formula but the 3 basic rules to follow:

  1. Be authentic, because audiences can detect a fake personality
  2. Post content regularly, but maintain consistent quality
  3. Customize your social media strategy, meaning the video you post on YouTube might not be right for Facebook…you get the gist

The fast-paced digital world is constantly expanding and evolving, so who knows where it will lead you. Fullscreen is developing a full-length feature film starring two Vine stars (set for release next year) as well as a documentary. Imagine that, Hollywood comes knocking at YOUR door.

Steve Edward’s 20th Anniversary on Good Day LA!

    Truly Julie’s very first picture with the legend himself, Steve Edwards! 152 weeks ago!FullSizeRender

Almost exactly 3 years ago, I walked onto the Good Day LA set for my audition. As you probably know, the show was going through some major retooling; and when you’re auditioning for a job that was held by your predecessors for 17 years, it’s unnerving. The only time I had felt that vulnerable was probably in 2nd grade, when I was the new, foreign student from Korea, who spoke zero English. Any time you’re the new kid, you just never know if the other kids will play with you. Steve, being the class act that he is, not only welcomed me to the GDLA playground, but he also set the tone for all the other kids to be just as inclusive. A few months after the audition, I got the job…and I’ve been learning from him ever since. It’s remarkable how he has the knowledge of someone who’s been around for a gazillion years, yet, the same enthusiasm showing up to a job he’s had for 20 years, as if it was his first week. Steve has always said the magic 1455934_10152267365340390_70795836_nto good TV is creating memorable moments. But the moment I cherish the most with Steve is the one off-camera. After my brain tumor surgery last year, I lost half my vision for 6 months. During those months, Steve would sometimes drive me home. YES…one of the most legendary TV hosts playing my chauffeur. During one of those drives, Steve said to me: “I’m so glad you’re back. And that you’re healthy. When you left for your surgery, you left as our friend…, then, came back as our sister.” That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about when I say, I love my Good Day LA FAMILY:) Happy Anniversary, Steve!

Inside Tour of The Honest Co. with Jessica Alba!

 Truly Julie with super mom-star-entreprenuer, The Honest Co. co-founder, Jessica Alba.
Truly Julie with Jessica AlbaIMG_6873How often do we complain and say, ‘I wish that they’d make something with less packaging or less chemicals, or simply, something cuter?’. Jessica Alba was one of us, a frustrated consumer who saw a need. So, with the help of Christopher Gavigan and Brian Lee, Alba co-founded The Honest Co., which has grown to 350 employees strong in just 2 years. She gave me an inside tour of The Honest Co. (<–Watch!) in Santa Monica, which I call a very HAPPY PLACE! With a nursing room that is as zen as any spa waiting room, a treehouse for when employees bring their kids to work, tall open ceilings, and positive Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 5.19.58 PMaffirmations written against their famous phantom blue, this company is, as one scribble on the wall screams, “Honestly Awesome.” And it’s a true success as well. Almost overnight, I saw the most powerful group in the world, AKA the mommy circuit, switch from Pampers and Johnson & Johnson to Honest. As a new mom, I got to witness the tipping point in person. In a span of days, I saw the Big Bird and Mickey Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 5.19.18 PMMouse adorned diapers disappear, and be replaced by chic, graphic print diapers with edgy, but adorable skulls. Just like that, The Honest Co. became a household name. And I do mean HOUSEHOLD. They’ve now expanded to 100 items, everything from baby products to home cleaning solutions to supplements to skincare…and they even have a one-for-one crib! Meaning, for every one Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 5.22.46 PMcrib they sell, they give one away to a family in need. Much to my surprise, I learned that Jessica reports to work almost everyday. She sits at a desk AND she personally trains every single employee who works in their customer service division. Her reason? She says “At the end of the day, I’m ultimately the consumer.” Most celebrities that represent a Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 5.18.41 PMbrand are usually just the face, and rarely the sweat, tears and muscle. Alba says the secret to her success, “I’ve always had the hustle. I’ve been working since I was 12.” I also loved hearing from the other co-founders. In regards to other companies stealing their concept, Brian Lee says, “I hope they do. If we can get more companies to be eco-conscious and stop putting harmful toxic into the things we use…our kids use…then everyone wins.” Honestly, that’s the most refreshing thing I’ve heard in years!

Jessica’s #MommyTip: Don’t obsess over rules. Meal and sleeping schedules should be flexible when traveling or during holidays.

Throwback Thursday with The Avengers!

In honor of #TBT, Truly Julie goes down memory lane with the stars of Avengers: Age of Ultron! How does Jeremy Renner describe this look? “Wet” and “bunion”, watch here.
IMG_6790As Avengers: Age of Ultron tries to beat its own record of $207 million this opening weekend, we look back…way way back…to when mullets were more of a reality than a the avengers!multi-million dollar paycheck. Clearly, Jeremy Renner wins for having the best Throwback Thursday picture, but you’ll be surprised to see how Chris Evans was rocking it back in the day. And his reaction to Chris Hemsworth’s high school picture is priceless. Watch it all here! And if the #tbt is not a tempting tease, how about just a chance to see more of these two. Hubba hubba hubba!

The World’s Most Iconic Neon Sign: my quick tribute

                       Truly Julie and her hubby just an hour after they eloped!Screen shot 2015-04-28 at 2.44.52 PM

Last week, Betty Whitehead Willis, who designed the famous ‘Las Vegas’ sign, passed away at the age of 91. She never trademarked the sign, saying it was her gift to the city. And what a gift it was. Prints of her sign adorn cups, t-shirts, tattoos…& the back of our eyelids as we recall one of the happiest days of our lives…

A week after my brain tumor diagnosis (a year and half ago), my hubby and I eloped. Yes, he’s a good man. It was a scary time, but also a terribly romantic one. We got hitched an hour outside of Vegas, just me and him (and an officiant) under the desert sky. Soon after we said our tearful I do’s, we drove to the most iconic neon sign in the world. The one that jollily screams: “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas”.

A Day in the Life of Truly Julie (the mama!)

Hair & makeup, stainfree clothes, stainfree baby: this is not what motherhood looks like! Read below for the real story.Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.37.54 PMSince I returned to work about a month ago, some of you have reached out asking just how I make motherhood “seem so easy”. Um, it’s NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone that tells you motherhood is easy either has 30 nannies or they’re flatout liers. With that said, I will say motherhood has made me be a lot more efficient. I write things down. I plan ahead. And I’ve learned to really max out each day. Below, I outline what I did this Sunday and Monday so you get a glimpse of how I transition from weekend to workday.

Sunday:

  • 9:15AM–10:30 yogadriggs in bath
  • 11:30AM–1:30PM playdate
  • 2:00PM–3:00PM farmers market
  • 3:00–4:00PM put Driggs down for a nap
  • 4:00PM–5:00PM picked out wardrobe for the week
  • 5:00PM–6:30PM cooked dinner: salmon, cauliflower mash, and kale salad
  • 6:30PM–7:00PM gave Driggs a bath
  • 7:00PM–7:30PM researched entertainment stories for the next morning.
  • 7:30PM–9:00PM got ready for bed and put Driggs to sleep (which can take an hour!)
  • 9:00PM–09:15PM popped a melatonin and was out by 9:15PM

Monday:

  • 3:30AM–4:15AM woke up (with a silent scream!), pumped 4ozs of milk, got dressed and left for work
  • 4:45AM–5:25AM hair and makeupIMG_6706 (1)
  • 5:35AM–10:20AM onair!! In between my live hits I write my upcoming stories and teases AND I pump twice. I have exactly 12 minutes each time to make it happen. Between undressing, taking off all my mic and IFB wires, redressing and then running the milk to the fridge  (all in heels!) it always feels like I’m rushing through a Nascar Pit.
  • 10:30AM–Noon I worked on setting up shoots for my sweeps pieces
  • 12:30PM–1:15PM grocery shopped
  • 1:30PM–2:00PM pediatrician appointment (Driggs is now 16 lbs!)IMG_6699
  • 2:30PM–3:30PM ate lunch and put Driggs down for a nap
  • 4:30PM–6PM cooked dinner: homemade BBQ pizza, salad, Korean pear for dessert!
  • 6:45PM–7:30PM met up with a couple who may want to do a nanny share.
  • 7:30PM–8:00PM researched entertainment stories for the next morning.
  • 8:00PM-9:00PM gave Driggs a bath and put him to sleep
  • 9:30PM Zzzzzzzzzzz

Tips

  • Write things down! I have post-its around my house to help me remember Imageeverything, including the one by my key hook. It reads: phone, keys, breast pump (ice pack), lunch, green juice, and earrings. If I was paid a dollar for each time I’ve forgotten one of these items before I headed off to work, I’d be a bizillionaire.
  • Stay organized with Google calendar. It syncs to your phone and you can invite others onto your calendar so everyone is on the same page.
  • Compartmentalize your time.  I try to get some time to myself, the babe, the hubby, and the family as a whole. It’s really hard to do this. I’m not sure I’ll ever get it down just right, but it’s worth the effort.
  • Learn to ask for help. We are so so so fortunate to have my mother-in-law with us. She’s been helping out for the last few months, but since she’ll be leaving soon, we are now looking to do a nanny share. Wish us luck!

My Wonder Woman Group: The Venice Potluck Club!

                               Truly Julie with her Venice Potluck Club ladies!Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 4.06.17 PMLadies, it’s our time to shine. More and more of us are leveling the playing field, not to mention leading the charge! If you’re like me and you’re sick of hearing blanket statements like, “Yeah, women just hate on each other”, or, if you catch yourself tearing another woman down, do yourself a favor–surround yourself with women who are inspiring! I joined the Venice Potluck Club a few months ago and, immediately, my inspiration meter exploded! I wanted to run down the street screaming, “I am woman, hear me roar!” while burning my Spanx! In our group, we have a lifecoach preparing her Ted Talk, a designer who’s developing a trio of eco-social clubs (think, boho Soho Club!), a social media guru who marries the power of Facebook with celebrities, an event planner who’s building an app that will change the face of food delivery service, a consultant who helps brands develop socially conscious products, an artist who assembles luxury yurts so beautiful that even Burning Man has come knocking at her cloth door…and the list goes on. And a good chunk of these Wonder Women are also mamas! Listen, you’ve heard the excuse: women are DNA-wired to be hostile towards each other. That’s just propaganda to keep awesome women groups from forming. There is clearly a “don’t tear each other down, but build each other up” movement happening. Join the club. Or start your own.

Baby Chronicles: Nursery Decor on a Dime!

                                                  Baby Driggs’ nursery BEFORE
Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 3.19.50 PM                                  Baby Driggs’ nursery AFTER. Yup, no major change.

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 3.19.03 PM

The moment I became pregnant, I realized the baby market is just as, if not more, aggressive than the wedding market. As a bride, you can buy a $300 white dress or a similar looking $3000 “wedding” dress. And as a new mom, you can buy a dresser for $60 or a comparable looking “changing table” for $400. We all fall victim to how things are marketed, hyped and titled…”your baby has to have THIS…or THAT…”. The reality is, your baby needs love and care and not much else. If you have the budget and verve to have an all out baby nursery, go for it. If not, it’s all good:) My son is almost 4 months old, and we’re just now setting up his “nursery”. To this point it has consisted of nothing more than adding a crib to our guest bedroom, and clearing the shelves of my shoes in exchange for books, photos, personalized gifts, stuffed animals, and bins for his clothes.

Here are some of my simple tips to design a nursery without blowing a college tuition:

  • Bookshelves are the answer! My Ikea bookshelves serve as a closet, bookshelf, shoe rack, and display case for the nursery. It’s the easiest way to transform a Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 8.05.34 PMroom!
  • Feature everyday items as design pieces. For example, what’s cuter than baby shoes?! Why tuck them away? Put them on display for that “awwwww”.
  • Use cute bins for clothes. Infant clothes are microscopic. It’d be annoying to fold/hang each time, especially since they soil through their Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 3.18.01 PMclothes by the hour. So, I stuff it all into matching bins. Plus, it’s an easy way to actually SEE the inventory of clothes, so Driggs doesn’t grow out of something without ever wearing it.Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 3.18.24 PM
  • Personalize for an extra pop! The letter train spelling d-r-i-g-g-s and the canvas of his birth announcement were gifts from very thoughtful friends! Again, I placed them on display on the bookshelf for an extra dazzle.
  • Add dimension. It’s a nursery so it should scream fun! I ordered a set of cheap bow and arrows from Etsy. Then, wrapped them in yarn scraps to hang over the fireplace. Then, I hung his wetsuit and flip flops off the bow. It’s a nice contrast from the panel of flat photo prints that hang on the adjacent wall. Plus, Driggs is a beach baby so it fits his vibe!

Trust me, as a new mom, I feel the urge to buy everything cute that I see; but I reel myself in and remember that it’s about creating memorable experiences and not accumulating “stuff.”

Mama’s Top Five Sleepy Time Favs!

                 Truly Julie’s son Driggs with his favorite Goods That Matter blanket!
Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.22.47 PMOften times, the hardship surrounding mommyhood is focused on pregnancy and labor. But for me and many new mommies I’ve spoken to, neither can compare to the difficulty of what follows once the baby is here. Those first few months are brutal, especially on the lack-of-sleep front. With that in mind, here are my top five picks to make bedtime a bit easier.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 1.18.33 PM1) Goods that Matter blanket. It’s natural cotton and customized with your baby’s name! And if swaddled, it completes a picture of a heart. And fittingly so, this social conscious brand donates 10% to rebuild communities that have been hit by hard times i.e., Hurricane Sandy.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.50.46 PM2) Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. Nevermind that your baby looks like a mini-sumo wrestler, this padded onesie works (at least it did for Driggs). Babies have natural body reflexes that make them twitch, wiggle, and whack themselves in their sleep. The Magic sleepsuit keeps this from happening, so they sleep longer and deeper. And don’t worry, it’s not as Hannibal-Lecter as it sounds or looks. They can still move around, but just enough to not wake themselves up. And yes, Driggs’ sleepsuit is pink. Clearly a hand-me-down. Ain’t no shame in the game when it means more sleep for mama:) (Caveat: The suit maybe a bit too warm for summer)

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.26.05 PM3) Primo Eurobath. It’s true what they say, babies behave better with some sort of routine. I give Driggs a bath an hour before his bedtime everynight. It kind of cues him to relax and get ready for bed. I really love the Primo Eurobath for a tub. The inner molding is good for his infant days and really keeps him stable while I soap him up. The outer molding is good for as long as he fits it, which I presume will be about a year. All this for $25. Yes, please.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.28.27 PM4) Mustache pacifiers. I’ve spent hours trying to put Driggs down for a nap. Usually what works is taking him for a walk in the stroller with a pacifier in his mouth. And since my hipster days are officially over with mommyhood (ha!) I try to keep it hip with Driggs. He is named after a Brooklyn street after all! The humorous pacifier keeps me entertained when I stare into his little face, even when he’s on a sleeping strike. Plus, it makes anyone that walks past us smile. And just as I write this, Driggs has decided to not take pacifiers anymore. Argh! It was fun while it lasted…onto the next tactic.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 1.54.46 PM5) LittleMooseByLiza bedding and accessories. What in the world did we do before Etsy?! Half of my furniture and almost every item for my wedding were found on Etsy. And so it goes with Driggs’ nursery. I found the cutest, trendy cribsheets on Etsy, specifically on LittleMooseByLiza’s page. Thank God for this crafty midwestern brand because all I was finding for our oval Stokke crib were super expensive sheets from Australia. Little Moose also handmakes adorable burp cloths/bibs/fitted sheets for diaper changing pads, and she’s got a ton of fun fabric selections (all organic!). And for what it’s worth, LittleMooseByLiza offers one of the friendliest customer service I’ve ever received on Etsy. Trust me, as a new parent, you spend LOTS OF TIME trying to put your baby to sleep. You might as well like their bedding:) And judging from Driggs’ face below and the fact he slept 10 hours straight last night (insert: mommy doing backflips), he likes his bedding, too. (This crib sheet print is #2 from the Spoonflower series on LittleMooseByLiza) Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.22.01 PM