How to Throw a Baby Shower with a Flair!

Michigan girls (in Cali) do it better! Truly Julie with her surfing buds AKA “Detroit Betties”!
IMG_461546115unnamedIt all started with the baby shower invite. My childhood friend, Andrea, has always reminded me of Audrey Hepburn: petite, generous, impossibly pretty and always classic. So, I superimposed her face onto a “My Fair Lady” poster, added a splash of pink, and voila! That invite set the tone for the whole shower. We asked guests to wear fancy headdresses to get in the festive mood for the afternoon tea affair. I learned this during my bridal shower, when you get people to collectively wear flower crowns or fun hats, magic happens. I give a gold star to the guest who got so into the spirit, she ironed gold stars onto her hair! My dear friend, Katie, co-hosted the tea party at her lovely home in Brentwood. We  hung fun baby IMG_8408pics of Andrea and her hubby around the house, and catered in scones and other small bites from Gjusta in Venice. I had tiny mason jars left over from my wedding, so I incorporated those into the decor. And I found the most fitting party favors on Etsy! Earl Grey Lavendar tea bags in the shape of a onesie. What?! Thank you DailyEssentialsDE for the rush delivery!

For Andrea’s gift, I knew I had to get her little girl a bikini. You see, Andrea and I have been friends since we were 11 years old. We were summer camp pals, so my earliest
memories of her include swimming in the lake. Then, as adults, we have spent hours
Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 3.51.22 PMsurfing together. So, when you see the most adorable pink bikini with crochet details, you don’t look at the price tag…you buy:) Just looking at it makes my ovaries hurt for a little girl. But then again…I haven’t slept since Driggs was born so maaaaaybe not:).

So, in a nutshell: 1) pick a cute theme (ex: My Fair Lady) 2) think of a way to get people more festive (i.e. headdress) 3)add personal touches (baby pictures of the parents-to-be) 4) fun party favor; 5) and plenty of rosé for the non-Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 3.46.49 PMpreggo ladies and you’ve got yourself a shower!

We didn’t really play any games, but we did go around a circle and share our best parenting advice. It’s wonderful to have friends in your life for 25 years. It’s even better when you can share the wonders of motherhood together. Can’t wait for Andrea’s little girl to join the posse and neither can the boys!

Straight Outta Compton: New Movie but Same Social Climate?

Cube squared! “Straight Outta Compton” stars O’shea Jackson Jr., who plays Ice Cube…his real-life dad! How long did he have to audition for the part? Watch here. Image(1)

Just this week, more gun shots were fired in Ferguson. Has nothing changed since NWA days–which was almost 30 years ago?? If you go see “Straight Outta Compton” this opening weekend, you’ll leave with mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s incredibly inspiring to see 5 guys from Compton make it on the big stage, including Dr. Dre, who many moons later went on to sell Beats Music for $700 million dollars. On the flip side, it’s frustrating to see the LA riots after Rodney King knowing that those types of incidents are still occuring in Ferguson, Baltimore, and so many other cities across the country.  Here’s what Ice Cube thinks about the whole matter. If nothing else, I hope those with a mic use it wisely to spread the message of peace.

Mama Advice: Danica McKellar. Who better than “Winnie Cooper” to talk about the Wonder Years?!

Truly Julie with Danica McKellar! IMG_7419Danica McKellar is a rarity in showbiz–a child star who went onto live a normal life! Not only that, she’s a supermom. She nursed her little one for 24 months! What. Any who, here’s her mama tip: be an advocate for your kid. Everyone will tell you to do this or that…but you make the call on what is right for your child.

Spontaneous Wedding Vow Renewal.

Truly Julie & her hubby (& the majestic Grand Teton mountains!) at Diamond Cross Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where you can’t help but fall, be in, stay in love.             Fashion Front: For Love and Lemons dress, J.Crew vest and slacks.
Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 4.56.37 PMBack when my husband and I just started dating (in bustling NYC), we would dream out loud, “Let’s move to Wyoming…or Montana…and breath clean air! Be ensconced amongst the mountains. See shooting stars every night. Wear flannel and cuddle in our ranch style home!” Well, here we are in LA. Which, turns out, is a total daydream of a place. We have the ocean, the mountains, the vineyards, the culture, the whole nine yards. We have absolutely fallen head-over-heels for LA, still, we felt a longing for Jackson Hole.
Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 5.15.35 PMLuckily, the stars aligned! A few friends, including a talented DJ/photographer, were going and invited us for the adventure. I’ve always had this yearning to get married in Jackson Hole. It’s like a guarantee you’ll get beautiful pictures! Don’t get me wrong, we LOVED our “wedding” (we eloped initially) at Hammersky Vineyards in Paso Robles, but I still familywanted that dreamy, wild west, Free People-esque wedding pics. So, we made it happen!
We threw our original wedding outfits into a duffel, including my boho-ethereal Grace Loves Lace “Hollie” dress, and jetted off to Jackson Hole. Of course, this time around, we had the most precious jewel, our son Driggs! We stayed at the Diamond Cross Ranch, which is still owned and operated by one of oldest families in Jackson Hole. It was in this majestic setting that my husband and I spontaneously renewed our vows, almost exactly a year after we said our “I do’s” in Paso.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 6.13.30 PMOnce little Driggs was tucked in bed, we took a night stroll to gaze at the stars. We were in sweats and flipflops, but felt like royalty as the silhouette of the mountains that surrounded us looked like a giant crown. Like I said, one of my goals for this trip was to capture beautiful pictures (and mission accomplished thanks to our talented fiend Keenan Riley),
but I didn’t expect such gorgeous, heartfelt words to pour out of my husband’s mouth. It was short and simple, and truth be told, I don’t really remember what he said (I blame the brain tumor and mommy brain) but in those few minutes, I looked into his eyes and saw a man who has proven time and time again that he loves me unconditionally. As he squeezed my hands, it was as if he’d activated a fast-forward-flashback button, and through my mind and heart, I saw this man, this beautiful man, combing my blood tangled hair in the ICU, driving me to work at 4AM for months while I fought to regain my vision, cradling our son just seconds after my c-section and just seeing the pure joy and awe in his eyes.

Jackson Hole was the best “anniversary” trip I could’ve hoped for. A year in, I have even a bigger crush on my husband. Which is crazy because I’ve had a crush on him since high school!Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 5.01.17 PM

Freezing Eggs to Freeze Time

Fearless about freezing! 28 year old Vicki Rox almost lost her ovary after freezing her eggs. No regrets, though!

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Regrets. It’s a rude awakening that time has come and gone.  It’s when “I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” slaps you in the face. I guess that’s why my latest sweeps piece on freezing eggs has struck such a nerve–it captures the zeitgeist that women don’t have to rely on a man or answer to a ticking clock. It was with this liberation in mind that Vicki Rox, at the age of 28, decided to freeze her eggs. Long story short, the procedure overstimulated her ovary to the point that it ballooned in size—from that of a walnut to a grapefruit. Watch the story here. Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.55.19 PMOvarian Torsion happens to less than 1% of patients but it happened to Vicki, who is young and in perfect health. So that begs the question… would Vicki go through the weeks of hormone shots, weeks of abstinence, scary rush to the emergency, and weeks of bedrest again? YES. The New Yorker, who’s article about the same subject went viral on Vice, says she has zero regrets about buying herself more time. Vicki’s goal is to one day be a mom, but for now, to empower other women to also expand their reproductive choices.

Tech Timeout

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