Truly Julie hungry for more!It’s official. I think Jennifer Lawrence is better than the rolled up $5 I found in the pocket of my jeans this morning. I know, weird comparison…but you know you love it when you find $$ in forgotten places. Jennifer is freaking hilarious! She could have a whole side career as a standup comedian…though, she did win an Oscar so not sure she’d go that route. And she’s pretty humble. You’d never know that she’s the star of one of the biggest movie franchises of her generation. And Josh Hutcherson is kind of like Peta in real life. Such an affable guy. They both hail from Kentucky…so kudos to the blue grass state for producing this refreshingly real duo. See Peta and Katniss in action when The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22nd. I saw the screening two weeks ago and if you like high anxiety action flicks..then this Hunger Games will feed your appetite:)
As daring of a person I am…I’m the biggest scaredy cat. I’ll participate in Halloween fun as long as it’s the TREAT part of trick-or-treat. Case in point, costume block party at a friend’s in Manhattan Beach…Skoal! I’m there! Pumpkin decorating brunch…yes, please! Haunted Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood…I’ll pass. Too bad that was not an option. My recent assignment for work was to pretty much to wet my pants…click here(watch the video below the photo gallery) if you wanna see a grown woman (me) crying .
Truly Julie trying to undo the damage of wearing globs of makeup everyday:)It’s easy to like L.A., but it’s impossible not to love the West Side. The ocean, Abbott Kinney, and Nite Spa! Love this little gem that’s no frills, no fuss…but full of botanical goodness. I go to Danielle for facials and Christine for mani/pedi’s. The owner, Julia, has owned this Abbot Kinney staple for more than 10 years…so before Venice was all Gjelina-esque! I haven’t found the fountain of youth…but it’s sure nice to have this boho beauty cottage in the meantime to somewhat slow down the process:)
Truly Julie happy that Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks were open despite the Government shutdown.Truth be told…I’m going through some stuff. You know I’m an open book, so I’ll eventually share with you but for now, I want this post to be about how I’m coping with this recent challenge in my life, rather than the challenge itself. They say life is full of peaks and valleys…and so I thought what better way to clear my mind than to actually see these peaks and valleys. I hopped in my car and drove 9 hours to Utah where Ifound exactly what I needed: peace, clarity, and a positive outlook. I guess it’s no coincidence that Zion actually means a place of refuge! Wading through water which at times came up to my waist on Zion’s “Narrows” trail…to witnessing the most breathtaking sunrise at Bryce Canyon…I couldn’t help but think of this quote by Hellen Keller: “The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.” To feel joy, you must know pain. So as I ride out this valley portion of my life…I’m embracing how this recent challenge is adding texture to my being. I think the trick to happiness isn’t about avoiding the valleys..but to frame your mind so that these valleys don’t become a Grand Canyon.
With each step on my hikes…I felt poofs of stress being squashed under my feet. Chances are, you’re probably going through some S#@t, too…because life is complicated. But often times you have the choice to simplify it. Go on a hike, go sit at a park, laugh with a friend, spend time with family, or heck, strike a yoga pose…all of these things are free. Even in the moment of darkness…you can always find light.
Truly Julie at an exclusive Harvard final club. Fashion Front:Grace Sun blazer,H&M leather shorts,Sartore boots,TC Charton glasses.
According to the movie The Social Network, Facebook basically exists because of the final clubs (which is perhaps a more refined version of fraternities). The movie suggests that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to get into the uber exclusive all-male social club was the driving force behind his online creation. The clubs certainly have a history of movers and shakers and with that in mind, I decided to rock my new obsession: hot leather shorts! It’s only fitting since I’ve been told the table I’m leaning against in the above picture is typically the dance floor for girls during parties:) I got a lot of funny looks walking around the somewhat conservative Harvard campus wearing these itty bitty shorts…but hey, you only live once. And let’s be honest, I’m not sure I have too long of a time to rock such nonsense:)
Truly Julie’s “deep” thoughts: try to be like the turtle, at ease in your own shell.
I’ve waited more than a decade to experience Sipadan. Every other dive site I’ve visited…I’d ask, “Oh, will we see seahorses?” Only to be met with, “well…we USED to see seahorses around here, but they’re so delicate, they’re the first ones to be wiped out.” That is why diver enthusiasts hop on multiple planes, cars, boats…to get to the ultra remote Malaysian island of Sipadan. During one of my dives…I saw 4 different types of seahorse including a pregnant one!! (Catch the seahorse video here and note that Darth Vader is narrating) And the super elusive, microscopic pygmy seahorse. By the end of the 5 day dive trip…I was practically saying, “Move turtles…I wanna see some other sea life.” Kidding…you can tell from this video that swimming with turtles is my nirvana! But what’s heart breaking is you realize the magic of Sipadan is only going to last for a short while. The nearby islands dump garbage and toxic waste straight into the delicate ecosystem. A little piece of me died each time I saw a diaper floating in the water or a plastic bag mangled onto a coral. Reality is, for most of the world…the ocean is a dumping ground. Out of sight out of mind. BIG MISTAKE. You like breathing air, right? Ocean plants produce half of the world’s oxygen. Our fresh water, food, weather…it’s all connected with the ocean. And while most people who experience scuba diving end up having a more profound respect for the ocean and its marine life…I realize that that is not true when it comes to a certain set of tourists. So, in my true efforts to raise awareness (not to offend!), let me suggest: a) it is not ok to try to take a live moray eel back to China. They will confiscate the eel at the airport…meaning you will have killed an innocent eel for nothing. And even if you could somehow sneak it past security…the eel is part of an intricate ocean ecosystem and not your bragging rights souvenir. b) Do not hide a nudibranch behind your back and justify your action by saying, “it’s a gift to my friend back at home in China”. It’s an extremely rare creature that will have far more value in its habitat than as a crusty, dry, slug that your friend will most likely toss in the garbage c) DO NOT TOUCH OR KICK OR STAND ON THE CORALS. They take thousands of years to form and is home to many creatures. d) Do not have your fancy, bulky camera equipment knocking over corals. e) Do not use flash photography on the pygmy seahorse. They are so delicate you will blow out their eyes. Seriously. f) Do not touch or kick other divers. I know the thought of personal space is almost nonexistent in many Asian countries but underwater it can be dangerous.
Now that I got that out of the way. Another unique aspect of my Sipadan trip was where I stayed…in the middle of the Celebes Sea! Seaventures is an old oil rig that has been transformed into a dive rig (great form of recycling). So you really are staying in the middle of the ocean….the elevator drops you off waist deep in water and you can just go diving right from there! It’s about 20 rooms…very basic (think dorm style)…but very good food, quite international and it’s hardcore diving. You can dive up to 6 times a day including a night dive. My piece of advice for visiting Sipadan…book early. As a protected island, there are no resorts on Sipadan (thank God). You will stay on nearby islands (or in my case, dive rig) and your motel/hotel/resort will only have a set number of Sipadan diving passes per day. Booking early helps to insure these limited passes. Oh..and did I mention I found Nemo?! Check out the photo gallery!
Truly Julie donning an Alberta Ferretti gown with clever pockets! Saw it on RentTheRunway.com on Thursday, delivered to my door on Friday! Oscar de la Renta jewelry added flair to the simple strapless gown. Secret to my textured, matte hair braid? Dirty hair! I went surfing the day before and kept some of the saltiness.
Truly Julie reaching new spiritual heights at Tiger’s Nest.You can vacation. Or you can explore. I prefer the latter hence traveling to one of the most remote countries in the world: Bhutan. Nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan truly is one of the happiest and most zen places I’ve ever set foot on. In fact, it’s famous for having a Gross Domestic Happiness Index. Yeah, imagine that…a country where citizens’ happiness overrides just how much “stuff” the country is generating and selling. There’s not a single traffic light in the WHOLE country, and beautifully, there’s not a single gesture that equates to the middle finger. The UN calls Bhutan one of the least developed Asian countries…yet, you won’t find anyone begging. There’s no concept of a last name…so none of that elite family name game often played in western societies. That’s right, if you’re a Kennedy…itdoesn’t matter…you’d just be John. The everyday rhythms of life here stems from Buddhism where impermanence and compassion are key focuses. But no matter what your faith is or perhaps no faith at all…Bhutan will ignite your spirituality. Through the many hikes and visits to the monasteries you’ll start asking yourself questions regarding your inner peace…”is what I’m doing really worth it in the end”…”every moment is fleeting…so what am I doing to be present”…”am I living and seeking truth”, etc. And while you may not reach any answers…I think it’s always a bit therapeutic to reflect. Traveling to Bhutan isn’t cheap…since the government requires you to have a guide. I was against this idea initially…but now I totally support it. Bhutan has learned through Nepal’s mistakes on just what can happen when opening the doors to tourism too fast and too wide. With so many stunning valleys and rivers at stake…I’m glad the King of Bhutan keeps a close eye on just who enters this Himalayan gem. I chose Guides of Bhutan for my visit…and they went above and beyond to insure that I have a memorable stay. Our main guide Karma planned a mixed bag of experiences including a farm house stay with a local family in Paro. For the record, this city gal now knows how to milk a cow! To juxtapose the farm house experience…I stayed at the Amankora resort for a few nights. Seriously…I felt like I was on my honeymoon and I’m not even engaged! It’s luxury at it’s best…but not overly opulent. I’ll do a separate Amankora blog post, but just wanted you to know that there’s a wide spectrum of accommodations. I could go on and on about why I love Bhutan so much…but I’ll let the pictures speak. If you’re hungry for adventure…spirituality…the warmest, most unjaded smiles…then set your target on Bhutan.”There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way and not starting.”–Buddha. (Please note: there are 3 pages of pictures in the photo gallery)
Truly Julie with the brave Amanda Seyfried & the legendary Sharon Stone!The story of Linda Lovelace is bonkers! The iconic porn star of “Deep Throat” made $1250 from her 17 days in the adult film world…and the movie went onto make $$$$$$$! Exactly how much? Find out in my interview with Amanda Seyfried and Sharon Stone. And yeah…I went there. I asked them if they would’ve ever considered being porn stars. Sharon’s sinister laugh tells me that there might just be some wiggle room. Cue the music..barnnn-chicka-barnn–barnnnnnnn!
Truly Julie with Geoff Stultz at the Fox Television Critics Association presentation.1) Geoff Stultz and I do this pose bi-annually. Yes, it’s a damn good reason for me to show up:) Geoff will be joined by two other studs for their upcoming comedy Enlisted. 2) I like meeting stars who don’t need a publicist coddling them at all times i.e., Kelly Rowland. Excited to see what she brings to the table on The X Factor (premieres Sept 11th!) 3) I not-so-secretly sing “Dick in a Box” and “I’m on a Boat” in the shower, so, clearly it was about time I meet Andy Samberg. I think his comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine will easily be the best new show this fall. It’s from the creators of Parks & Recreation so it’ll be original and funny. 4) Paulina Rubio has a sexy raspy voice. 5) Lili Taylor needs to be my BFF immediately. So grounded and warm! Look for her in the new sci-fi drama Almost Human.