5 Random Things: April

Greetings! Hello! I’m hangin’ on by a thread over here but that thread is thick and strong. My cookbook is coming out in less than two weeks and the lead up to that makes for a very busy Julia in the best way possible. Tomorrow I’m going to share my book tour dates and look forward to meeting many of you at signings and events over the next couple of months.

In the meantime, enjoy some of the things I’ve been loving this month.

Pictured above: Dress / Sandals


Reading –

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy: My book club read this book in April and wow. Just wow. I am a touch too old to be an iCarly fan so I had never heard of Jennette McCurdy before. Because of that, I thought it wouldn’t be interesting but I was drawn into her wild, heart-breaking yet heart-warming memoire from the very first paragraph.  She will make you simultaneously laugh and cry as she tells her tale of life as a child actor, abuse, an eating disorder, bad relationships, addiction, and so much more.

Trigger warnings: child abuse, eating disorders, addiction

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent: I saw that Lisa Jewel said that this thriller was her favorite of the year so I obviously ordered it immediately. I liked it a lot but wouldn’t say it was my favorite. Definitely a good dark and twisty read, however. Like very dark. Sally Diamond is a strange woman who doesn’t fully know how to act in regular society. When her father dies, new information begins coming to light about her childhood that she’s never remembered. I really liked the way it was written from the perspective of a person who isn’t fully understanding what’s happening to her.

Trigger warnings: child abuse, kidnapping, rape

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison: The hold that this book has over me you guys. I literally run upstairs at 9:30 just to read because I’m so excited to see what happens next. It’s an old one (from 2016) but a friend of mine recently told me she’s never stopped thinking about it and now I get why! When “Maya” escapes from her kidnapper (who she calls the gardener), she tells her story to the detectives in charge of the case about the luscious garden that was home to her and many other “butterflies” who were kidnapped by the same man. I don’t want to say more to give it away but it’s DARK and so so good.

Trigger warnings: kidnapping, rape

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll: I actually started this on vacation but got too scared to read it in an unfamiliar house so stopped but plan to pick it up as soon as I finish The Butterfly Garden in a day or two. It came highly recommended and I’m looking forward to digging in!

Watching –

I have been so busy with cookbook stuff lately that I’ve really been slacking in the TV department. What a failure! I’m dying to watch Palm Royale and a bunch of murder/cult docs on Netflix so I’m keeping a list and will hopefully catch up one day soon.

Quiet On Set (HBO Max): I watched this 3 part series after reading Jennette McCurdy’s book because it’s about Nickelodeon stars being treated terribly by producers and other adults on set and she wrote about some of the players in her book. It’s very disturbing and safe to say I’ll never let my kids become child actors.

The Valley (Bravo): I really wanted to hate this Vanderpump Rules spin off but with my tail between my legs I’m here to tell you that I love it. Kristen and Jax aren’t even the craziest ones! If you’re a VPR fan or any kind of Bravo fan, trust me when I say it’s worth the watch.

Listening –

The GirlfriendsI just adored this podcast about a group of women in Las Vegas who were all treated badly by the same man who came together to discuss him. They soon learned that he had a whole life before Vegas in New York where his wife was found missing. It’s tragic and a little scary but also funny at times. The narrator is incredibly relatable and makes you feel like a friend. Another good true crime podcast.


1. ASKK NY Sailor JeansI can’t stop wearing these. I love the super high-waisted fit and where they hit my ankles. Ive never felt quite so curvy and sexy in a pair of jeans before.

2. Lunya Weighted Washable Silk Eye MaskRun don’t walk for this eye mask immediately. It must be filled with magic potion that puts you right to sleep because that’s what it does for me. It’s so soft and silky and doesn’t make creases on your eyes or cheeks and it’s washable! I always get ads for this brand but had only ever tried the eye mask so recently caved and bought the washable silk tee shirt sleep set and OMG it feels like butter and when I wear it with the mask I swear I never sleep better!

3. Nutrafol SupplementsI was the biggest skeptic about Nutrafol until my friend started taking it and her hair transformed so I finally folded and WOW. The last two times I went to my hair dresser she was like tell me what you’re doing because your hair is completely different. It’s thicker and healthier and my thin patches have disappeared.

4. Olaplex Purple ShampooIn other hair news, if you’re a blonde, listen up! I’ve been using purple shampoo for years but switched to Olaplex a few months ago and have seen a huge difference in brassiness between coloring sessions. It keeps my blonde bright and light but be careful not to leave it on for two long because it really will turn your hair a little purple. I found that out the hard way.

5. goop Water CreamI partnered with goop recently (a dream!) and they sent me this moisturizer and it’s just wonderful. It’s moisturizing and brightening and I wake up with a beautiful glow. It’s always hard for me to find great moisturizers that don’t break me out so when I do, I get very excited. This one checks all my boxes and because it’s goop, you know it is made with the best, cleanest ingredients.