Truly Julie Fashion Front!

photo (72)I got so many “likes” on this outfit on Instagram (I’m @TrulyJulieChang)…that I just had to share. Tunic $17 dollars! Boots $10!! Both from the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Only thing pricey on this outfit is the Etro belt. I can’t remember the price because it’s from so many years ago, but I think it was $250. I’m all about mixing high-low fashion!

Healing Hugs from Johnny Depp?!

photoNot one, not two, but 3 hugs from Johnny Depp! So, here’s how it went down. I was interviewing Johnny regarding his sci-fi thriller Transcendence. The movie looks at the good, the bad, and the pure evil of what happens when artificial intelligence takes over. It’s a concept most commonly known as Singularity….when computers outsmart human beings. The movie includes lots of sick people getting a 2nd chance through the advancement of technology. But what happens when that technology is taken too far is the focus of Transcendence. Clearly, I’ve had my own health battles. I shared with Johnny on how torn I am regarding this topic because had it not been for technology I probably wouldn’t be alive. For those of you who don’t know. I had a fist size brain tumor removed a few months ago. My interview time with Johnny was SUPER short, perhaps 2 minutes or so. They stopped rolling the cameras during what I think was the most beautiful moment of Johnny I’ve ever seen. As I got up to leave the room, he chased me down. He gives me a hug and says, “I’m so glad you’re ok.” Then, another genuine hug. He stares deeply into my eyes and says, “I just wanted to tell you that I know what you’re feeling. My mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor recently….and she is also OK because of modern medicine. She takes a single pill a day and that makes her OK.” He embraces me again and says, “Take GOOD care of yourself.” At this moment, all of his handlers, who were just before yelling at me to get out of the room so the next interview can start…pause. I think we were all floored by his sensitivity. Despite his enormous fame, Johnny has kept his soul supple. If in the slim slim slim chance Johnny is reading this…THANK YOU for your healing hugs. I hope you can vicariously pass along my hugs to your mom.

Transcendence opens in theaters Friday, April 18th. To watch my interview with Johnny, click here!

Happy Campers!

                                           Truly Julie and her fiancé in Malibu.blogEngagementSome weddings, if not most, carry the tone of the left photo. Beachy, crisp, and well orchestrated. However, my man and I more like the photo on the right. We are not fancy, formal people…just two Midwestern kids in love and always ready for fun! That’s why our wedding theme will be Summer Camp! Think Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (how cute is that movie?!). We’ll have BBQ, S’mores, dancing under the stars, no high heels and! Lots of silliness and laughter. Because that’s more us. Though, thanks to one of the most talented photographers I know (www.JoshKaplanPhoto.net)…we got to fake it for one afternoon.

Road to Recovery and Back on the Road!

                    Truly Julie has never been so happy to be stuck in traffic!photo (69)TumorSideBySideA little more than 4 months ago, I lost half my vision. My tumor had grown so large and had been in my brain for so many years that it had become part of my vascular system. So when the talented UCSF surgeons scraped that sucker out, the tracks from my brain to my eyes were impacted. Some specialists said that my vision would never improve. Others said it would slightly improve but that it could take years. But this past photo (68)week, the unthinkable happened. A miracle. I gained enough of my field of vision to once again DRIVE. Yeah, if you saw a girl driving around town with a freakishly big smile, that was me! It’s funny. Before I got sick, I spent way too much time complaining about LA traffic and just how much I hate driving. Post surgery and incredibly dependent for rides…grocery shopping, haircuts, the gym, doctor appointments, and even getting to and from work, all of it seemed like a VIP pass I couldn’t access. I’m not sure why and how I was able to heal so well, but here’s what I do know. It is through struggle that we reveal what we are truly made of. You can’t always control your health, but you can control your mind. I tried my best to view my sickness as an opportunity to really test my will to live my best life. I got to see the compassionate side of so many friends and colleagues who were kind enough to lug me around:) And when no one was available, I took the bus. Life can be a bumpy road, but I’m convinced that you can steer it towards a better outlook. Here’s a clip of me sharing the good news with my Good Day LA family!

Oscars Confession: My Pain Meds Made Me Buy a Pucci!

    Truly Julie at the 86th Academy Awards! Fashion Front: Pucci gown, Lanvin shoesoscars1oscar1Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 1.45.40 PMProbably not the best idea to wear a tissue thin, cutout dress in the rain, but hey, it’s the Oscars! I usually borrow a dress to cover the awards (i.e. this Alberta Ferretti number!), but I just had to own this Pucci piece. I bought it 3 weeks after my brain tumor surgery. I hung it out in the open in my house as as motivator to get better in time for awards season. When making the big purchase I thought, ‘What the Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 1.45.02 PMheck, I LIVED. I should own something that makes me feel special.’ In hindsight I think that was my narcotic pain meds talking. The dress was NOT in my budget. So…we’re all going to pretend that you didn’t see me wearing this, because I intend to wear this over and over again to get my $$ worth. That is if it doesn’t rip or disintegrate. It’s so delicate! As to why the Oscars is the most glamourous/unglamorous event I cover, read here.

5 Reasons You Should Visit Korea!

Truly Julie jumping around with the “it” Kpop band, Crayon Pop!CrayonPop1) Kpop! If you’re a fan of Korean Pop music (aka Kpop), there are so many chances for you to see your favorite singer/band in-person. There are multiple talent shows where you can be a live audience member. And even if you aren’t a fan, the Kpop phenomenon is just wild to witness. I find it pretty remarkable that a country that’s the size if Indiana has managed to reach so many countries and people with its music. Anyone heard of Psy?!

fishmarket2) Fresh Seafood! The Noryangin Fish Market is like an aquarium you can eat:) It’s only about 30min from the center of Seoul by subway but the atmosphere feels like a world away. Here, you won’t see the cutting edge fashion types of Seoul, with their designer stilettos or perfectly pale moisturized skin. Instead, you’re greeted by ocean-weathered smiles in galoshes and thick (but charming!) country accentsScreen shot 2014-03-01 at 1.20.49 PM. And if you’re into super fresh seafood, this is your heaven. Think multiple football fields worth of fresh seafood, most of which is still alive! Korea is a peninsula so the catch-of-the-day rarely travels more than 2 hours to get to the market. Once you make your seafood purchase, you can take it to any of the multiple restaurants on site. They’ll prepare your fresh purchase any way you like and you can eat it right then and there. For the true adventurous eater, try the live Nakgi squid (pictured above on the right). Only way to kill it, is to chew it!

3) The Korean film scene! You could actually do this without ever leaving your house! For the last decade, Korea has been Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 12.37.12 PMexperiencing a film renaissance that tackles heavy, taboo topics with an unapologetic fervor. Anyone who saw the original Oldboy knows what I’m talking about! (Trivia: Spike Lee remade Chan-wook Park’s controversial Oldboy last year)  I met up with Director Kim Jee-Woon at a trendy cafe in Seoul this past summer and he credits the thriving film scene to 2 things.  First, the country’s economic and social progress. Second and more importantly, in the Korean film world the director is the top-of-the-food-chain and the one who calls all the shots, not the movie studios. And congrats to Kim Jee-woon for successfully “crossing over”. In addition to many of his Korean movie hits, he directed “The Last Stand” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Forest Whitaker last year. korea-food

4) Food, food and more food! There’s something magical that happens when practically everyone in the whole country is a foodie. I had the most zen eating experience at Sanchon Buddhist restaurant. Tucked away in the touristy antique district, Sanchon redefines vegetarian dining. So delicious! Plus, the ambiance and the presentation of the food are worth writing home about:)Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 1.27.58 PM5) Friends, Family and the Spectacular Seoul Skyline! Clearly for me, Korea is a very personal place to visit. I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 9 years old, so those who had a huge imprint on my childhood are still in my motherland. I’ve known these beautiful people above since I was 4! We were neighbors! During this reunion, we had amazing BBQ pork at a total dive joint and caught up on old times on their rooftop overlooking the skyline. Seoul…always feeds my soul:) 

A Venice Family Affair!

True friendship is when you walk into their house and your WiFi connects automatically. –Unknown (Internet, probably) This quote is so fitting given our beautiful engagement party was thrown at Grail, the soon-to-launch news app will make you better. Big ups to founder Ryan Magnussen for masterminding & for giving us an unforgettable toast:)
EngagementCoverThere’s your family…and then there’s your “chosen” family. Me and my fiance are incredibly lucky to have both. Thank you to our Venice family for surprising us with the most incredible engagement party. Leif and I have never felt that kind of collective love. I used to think planning a wedding was somewhat tedious and stressful but after this weekend, I get it. Something magical and powerful ignites…when so many people are rooting for your love all under one roof. From friends I’ve had since 5th grade…to friends I’ve sailed around the world with on Semester at Sea…to our college friends…to my Good Day LA peeps…and, of course, our Venice family, the night was a TIDAL WAVE of love, laughter, and a firm belief in our union. And the captain of the ship? One of my dearest friends, Leslie. To know Leslie is to love Leslie. In her sweet, Texas drawl…she tells us she’s throwing a casual get-together…only to practically give us a wedding! Mix in the other Venice angels…Raegan, Farrah, Jenni, Ryan and Josh…the night was everything. Funny enough…this same crew threw me a “Throw This Tumor In The Trash” party. Leif and I are so glad we could give them a better reason to celebrate:) They say marriage is tough…and that it may take a village. We found that village in Venice. In the words of Leslie…love y’all!Engagment-Party

“A Setback is a Setup for a Comeback” ― T.D. Jakes,

       Truly Julie returns to TV after, without sounding too dramatic, brain surgery!comebackI’m back! And really, who cares? It’s not like it was brain surgery. Well…actually….(insert sheepish smile)…it was. Thanks to my gracious Good Day LA family, I got to share my incredible journey. If you missed it or you’re one of the folks who has asked, “where have you been for the last two months?”…THIS is what happened. Why I feel like a telenovela star…why I don’t regret having a brain tumor…why I’ve lost half of my vision…why I cry even though I don’t like doing so on TV…it’s all here.

When Someone Loves You in Sickness and in Health…YOU KNOW!

                     Truly Julie with her…(holy cow, grownup word)…fiancé!

photo (54)I had the pleasure of catching up with the Good Day LA gang this week. It’s kinda surreal. For weeks my man and I researched the best brain tumor centers around the country. Now…we’re looking for the perfect wedding venue:) Life. It always keeps you guessing. Here’s me gushing about the best man I know.