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 dessert 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.

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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

 

 

Bye Bye Maternitly Leave. Hello…gulp…work!

                                          Look out! The cutest Korean Viking!
FacetuneDeep sigh. My golly, how on earth do you leave this face everyday? I’ve been told motherhood goes hand-in-hand with guilt, but I’m not sure guilt is the right word to describe how I’m feeling as I prepare to go back to work. Sadness (he grows so fast!), nervousness (how will I do it all?!), major FOMO (fear of missing out–on any of his “firsts”), topped with a heavy serving of separation anxiety (including pregnancy, he’s been attached to me for 14 months!) is more like it. The longest I’ve been away from my son since birth (12/18/2014) is 6 hours and that was a one time occurrence to get my MRI. And trust me, right after, I had my husband give me the full rundown on how long he slept, what he ate, and what it looked like in his diaper:) Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do; and I feel extremely fortunate to have a career. But nothing seems quite as purposeful or rewarding as shaping a new life. I guess I look at it like this…by going back to work, I hope to one day inspire my son to find a line of work that makes him happy as well as provide for his family. That, too, is shaping him, right? And while delivering morning entertainment news is not as purposeful as, say, saving someone’s life, I find comfort in my heart that I help some folks get out of bed, and perhaps put a smile on their face. Speaking of, yikes! Does this mean I have to get out of my jammies everyday?! Meet me on Good Day LA starting this Wednesday:)

My Birthday Wish: Nothing!

              March 3rd! Truly Julie’s Birthday! And what’s a birthday without a kiss?!IMG_447037856It would almost be criminal for me to want anything more on this birthday (today!). My 10997784_10153067774075390_7765096918696679348_nlastest MRI scan–my first since becoming pregnant almost a year ago–shows no signs of tumor. YAAAAAAAY! The neurologist did raise her eyebrow at just how thick the scar tissue is around my skull as well as how large the cavity remains (where my tumor used to sit), even after a year. But I told her not to worry, “Trust me, I was this crazy and whacky even before there was a tumor in my head.” She smiled and said all should be good. Music to my ears! And, of course, I have my beautiful, healthy baby boy and a 1924698_10153058241250390_3928431961423219616_nhusband that makes me feel like I won the lotto in life everyday. Fewer thant 4 years ago, I said my dreams out loud: I wanna wake up in cool, crisp sheets, with the smell of coffee in the air…sun rays peaking in…ocean waves giggling right outside my window…spooning someone I love…ten little fingers and toes. It’s amazing how the universe listens sometimes. So, all I have to do on this birthday is take it all in and to remember that I’ll never be as young as I am today:)

**Special thanks to the folks at UCSF for posting this update! And all those who took the time to write me such kind messages. Best birthday card ever! 10991377_10152585583466646_6383553748461285986_nScreen Shot 2015-03-03 at 9.27.52 AM

People.com’s #MomTalk!

                                     Truly Julie on her first mama panel!

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Time. It’s the only thing you can’t make more of. With that in mind, here’s my plan for maximizing each moment with those I love the most. Thanks, People Mag, Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 12.38.56 PMfor including this rookie mama! I feel like I learned so much from these mama pros i.e., fitness guru Sara Haley, thelilmama.com’s Alisan Porter and “Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay” author Stephanie Wilder-Taylor. Catch many more mamas sharing their tidbits on People.com’s #MomTalk.

Can I Get an Amen for Aman?!

         This is no ordinary hotel room! Truly Julie at Amankora Paro in Bhutan.Screen shot 2015-02-19 at 3.52.16 PMMany moons ago, before we were even engaged, Leif and I had our honeymoon. Screen shot 2015-02-19 at 3.57.03 PMOf course, we didn’t realize it at the time, but now looking back, our stay at the Amankora resorts in the “happiest country in the world” AKA Bhutan is easily #1 for the most romantic and memorable. There are only a dozen or so Aman resorts in the world and 5 of them
Screen shot 2015-02-19 at 3.51.56 PMare in Bhutan. I hear the owner of Aman is good friends with the king of Bhutan, hence, having 5 of his uber luxury villas in a country that doesn’t even have a single traffic light. But more so, I can’t think of a more fitting place for an Aman resort than Bhutan. The Buddhist country is known for its tranquility and zen outlook. That is the essence of Aman, too. St. Regis, The Ritz, The Four Seasons, The Peninsula, etc, are all fancy and nice, but if you crave a truly unique, almost spiritual stay, look no further than Amankora. And If you really want to go all out, you can hike from one Amankora to the next, exploring the different Bhutan valleys along the way. But staying at just one, for even a night, is pretty exceptional. My favorite perk is the amazing picnic lunch they pack for you to take on your day hikes. So, seize the day and take that honeymoon now! For more on my Bhutan trip, click here.Screen shot 2015-02-19 at 3.52.05 PM