Tech Timeout

  Truly Julie at Diamond Cross Ranch, Wyoming. Photo cred: the talented Keenan Reilly! Fashion Front: Dress by For Love of Lemons, necklace by Muse and Rebels.

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I recently disconnected from social media for 5 days to reconnect with LIFE. I was inspired by Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive” to reclaim some of the 160+ minutes we spend on our smart phones everyday. We reportedly check our phones every 6-7 minutes! And seeing how Driggs is growing up so fast that we may be sharing clothes by next week, I felt the need to truly unplug.

Moran, Wyoming (just 30 miles from Jackson Hole) was absolutely the perfect place to go social media silent. We stayed at the stunning Diamond Cross Ranch where we rode horses, strolled along rivers and creeks, admired wildlife (i.e., baby fox, buffalos, elks, etc.) and took gorgeous photos of the majestic Grand Teton mountain (one of the best hikes ever, FYI!). And with Yellowstone just a few miles away, we took a day trip to the world’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful.

Was it hard to go tech cold turkey? Well…not really. Truth be told, I lost my phone at the airport, so, I had no choice! Go figure, my son goes on a poop strike for 8 days only to…as the Frozen song goes, “Let it Go”, at the airport. Any who, as I was changing his diaper that almost required a hazmat suit, I misplaced my cell. It’s since been recovered, but I highly recommend that you try leaving your phone somewhere far far away form you for an extended time and focus on your inner status update. “Thrive” talks a lot about what will be said at your eulogy & how in essence, you’re “writing” your own eulogy by how you carry out your days. I guarantee no one will talk about your clever captions or fun pictures. Your legacy will be about your spirit, soul and the REAL connections you made with the special people in your life. We are all given a life, but so few of us truly live. Says the girl who’s spending precious time putting up a blog post right now! Ok, gotta go!

My Beloved Ah Pah: a Belated Father’s Day tribute

Can you see the resemblance? I can! Truly Julie’s dad on the left and her son on the right.IMG_7571

Any man can become a father but only the truly loving can become a dad. My ah pah passed away almost 10 years ago in a terrible car accident. When I was younger, he worked so much (8AM–10PM) that I pretty much only saw him on the weekends. When I was in my teens, he was transferred back to Korea, so I saw him at most a few times a year. Still, there was never any doubt about how much he loved me. He worked so hard to provide my sisters and I all the things that he never had growing up; and that included food. To put it simply, my dad came from dirt. Just after the Korean War, his family would often let him go hungry because they didn’t think he would make it any way.

Later in his life when he lost his corporate job as a chemical engineer, he opened a dry cleaning business and tried his best to make up for lost time with his daughters. He got satellite TV in Michigan so he could watch me on the news all the way in NYC (this was when the internet was still in its infancy). After my 7AM live shot, he would always call me with his feedback. He was my biggest fan…. all throughout my life, he would often say that I was so precious that the ground wasn’t worthy of my steps.

My dad died just before Christmas time, so for years, I felt a deep pang in my heart during the Holidays. But then everything changed this past Christmas. My little Driggs, who bears my dad’s name as his middle name, was born on Dec 18th. For the first time since my ah pah’s passing, I didn’t feel a void as Christmas carols played on the radio. And for the first time this Father’s Day, I didn’t feel any sadness, just the most enormous sense of gratitude. I married a man who is the BEST dad to our son…someone that my dad would be beyond proud to call his son-in-law. And every time Driggs smiles, I see my dad’s face. It’s just so special to know that so much of my ah pah’s spirit lives on through me…and now, my son.

One Stop Boho-Shop for Mama, Baby, and Gifts!

Baby harem pants? Isabel Marant-esque blouses for mamas? Yes & Yes! Truly Julie’s new find, Pebbles, in Santa Monica.

IMG_7188Like sIMG_7195o many in our busy society, I suffer from serious time shortage. So much to do, so little time. That’s why I was delighted to discover the boho-boutique “Pebbles” in Santa Monica. All under one roof, they have adorable, unique finds for the little one, i.e., harem pants and locally made aztec print teepees! And for the mamas, they have really cool, “vintagey” looking sundresses and blouses. Though none of them are ‘maternity’, theIMG_7191ir relaxed beachy, weekend silhouettes would allow you to wear them with a growing bump. With 15 minutes to spare before my yoga class, I managed to spoil myself, my little Driggs…and pick up a gift for an upcoming birthday party. And shhhh, here’s a tip! Pebbles often has a stand at the Santa Monica Main Street Farmer’s Market on Sundays with slightly better pricing.

Mama Advice: Melissa McCarthy

Truly Julie with the stars of “Spy”, starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham.IMG_7425Spy opened at #1 this weekend, securing Melissa McCarthy’s status as a viable leading lady! I screened the film with my hubby, who is a tough critic, and he loved the comedy as much as I did. With multiple films in the pipeline and a clothing label to launch in August, suffice it to say this Illinois native who came to Hollywood to chase her dream 20 years ago (working all sorts of jobs including being a Starbucks barista!) has made it. Catch our entire Good Day LA interview here, including a fun game of fill-in-the blank! And Melissa’s best advice on being a good mom/parent?

“Give yourself a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself. No one, not even Superman, can be at multiple places at once.”

Bikini Season: Post Baby!

                                 Truly Julie in Oia, Greece many moons ago.Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.37.37 PMThis is not my body. Not right now, anyway. But, I’m beyond OK with it. After all, my most favorite beach shot of myself is from when I was 9 months pregnant (crazy to think this photo below was taken 6 months ago. Where does the time go?). While I still have some remaining soft spots, I feel GREAT. I feel superhuman at times, working a 3AM work shift, then coming hoScreen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.52.32 PMme to another full time job of being a mom everyday. I won’t lie, at times it does get overwhelming, but I remind myself that no matter how tired I am, I’ll never be as tired or weak as I was post brain tumor surgery/recovery. I try to thank my body for being so strong and being a vessel of life for my son. With that said, I’m like any other girl out there—I love a good compliment. Especially, after giving birth. In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten a dozen or so messages like this one.
Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 10.01.58 PMTHANK YOU. I credit genes, nursing (it really is the fastest way to shed pregnancy weight), and the below.

Work out classes twice a week:

1 hour of bar exercises at The Dailey Method

I alternate between 1.5 hour of YogaWorks one week, and 45 minutes at Soul Cycle.

**On the weekends, I try to kill two birds with one stone. I go paddleboarding or surfing all while creating a family beach day.

Diet:

Don’t hate me, but as of right now, I try to eat like a football player! My milk supply is diminishing so I’m trying to consume extra calories to feed my growing baby boy. With that said, I do try to stuff myself with healthy stuff.

  • Breakfast, 3:30AM: The Glowing Green smoothie. (I use nutritionist Kimberley Snyder’s recipe. THIS has been a total game changer in my life. Even if I don’t eat a single vegetable throughout the day, I feel like this smoothie makes up for it.) A Kind Bar (dark chocolate sea salt is my fav!), Earl Grey tea.
  • Lunch, 8:30AM: I try to have Korean seaweed soup a few times a week. In the Korean culture, seaweed soup is pretty much mandatory to keep your breast milk supply up. I swear by it and posted the recipe here. Seaweed soup alone isn’t enough so I usually eat leftovers from the night before. i.e., Tofu stir-fry, Gorgonzola rice noodle pasta, Salmon with quinoa, Cauliflower vege tacos, and sadly, burgers. I normally try to avoid red meat, but with nursing, my body just craves the sturdy protein (and iron!).
  • 2nd lunch, 1PM: I know I know…but hey, if your day starts at 3:30AM and ends at 9:30PM, you’d eat 2 lunches, too. This is the shameful lunch. Lots of frozen and canned foods such as chicken meatballs. Or peanut butter/jelly sandwhiches…crackers with cheese. I’ll try to have a piece of fruit here as well.
  • Dinner 6:30PM: I listed some typical dinner examples in the lunch leftovers. Tonight, I’m making kimchee fried rice with turkey bacon like a good, lazy Korean person:) I have wine 2-3 times a week with dinner. And dessert every other night. Anything from frozen cherries to baked naughtiness.

**I graze on nuts and chocolate chips all throughout the day. I crave Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips like my life depends on it.

**Weekends. I eat anything and everything, including my husband’s Norwegian waffles 10415702_10152493468885390_4234424855227456836_nSaturday mornings. I have the first two as savory, with smoked salmon, creme fresh, capers and onions. The next two waffles I have sweet. Either with honey, fruit or Nutella. Yup, I down 4-5 waffles in one seating. Ain’t no shame in this nursing game.

I hope this shed some light to how I bounced back. If all fails, know this. Nothing is as delicious as self worth, and nothing is sexier than confidence. To your health!

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!