5 Random Things: February

It’s been a rough physical few weeks over here pregnancy-wise but we are officially T minus 10 weeks until baby boy’s due date (gulp) which is exciting and has kicked me into high gear in terms of prepping for his arrival. We’re finishing up his nursery and I finally ordered some things we need like wipes, diapers, and swaddles.

I feel like you can see the green tint on my face in the photo above. The day we took that picture I had been throwing up minutes before. Lovely, I know. But I feel like it’s important to share that fact so you know that behind every smiling photo can be another story. You just never know what’s going on with anyone.

My symptoms have seriously ramped up (round ligament pain, lots of heartburn and throwing up, exhaustion) so I’m trying to manage them as well as I can but resting isn’t my strong suit. Anel forces me to lay down for an hour every day which is basically my worst nightmare, but it does help. I’m trying to focus on powering through these next 10 weeks and giving myself grace when I need to.

I am just at the finish line with my last pre-baby marketing project which will free up time to finish up baby prep and focus on getting content together for maternity leave. I plan to take 4-6 weeks off of blogging and 12 weeks off of marketing work but have some great content and guest post content lined up for you guys in the meantime.

And without further ado, here is everything I’m reading, watching, and loving this month. xx

Pictured above: Hatch Collection Jumpsuit (gifted), Rug, Desk, Desk Chair (on sale!)


ArticlesThe Primal Scream- Working Moms are Struggling (New York Times): This is an article worth reading for any working moms out there. I feel so lucky that my kid isn’t in real school right now because watching my friends trying to do remote learning while working their other job is heartbreaking. It’s impossible to keep up and I commend any parents who are going through this right now.

A Lot of Us Are Hitting a Pandemic Wall Right Now (Huff Post): I know I hit a wall in the last two weeks and after talking to a lot of you about it, I know I’m not alone. It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a full year that we’ve been living in a pandemic and this article summed up how many of us are feeling lately and some reasoning behind it.

BooksThe Story of a New Name (Elena Ferrante)- I tore through the first book (My Brilliant Friend) in the Neopolitan novels and am about to finish this second one too. If you missed my review of it last month, I’ll repost it here:

My sister has been telling me to read the Elena Ferrante Neopolitan Novels (sow an HBO series) for the last few years and I finally borrowed the first one from her and started it. I’m gonna go ahead and admit my bad on waiting on this one too. My Brilliant Friend is the first of four books in a series about the friendship of two women, Elena and Lila, who grow up outside of Naples in the ’50s. I’m about halfway in and, while it took a little while for me to get into it, I’m now totally captivated by these two girls and their stories.

It was translated into English from Italian and I wish I could still read in Italian because I imagine it would be even better in the original form. I’ll report back next month if I plan to continue the series but at this rate, I think it’s a no-brainer.

May I just recommend that you purchase the entire boxed set on your reader or in paperback and just give into it? I am so invested in each and every character and scenario that I think about them even when not reading the books!

TV Shows Fake Famous (HBO Max): As an “influencer” of sorts, I felt like I had to watch this documentary. It was definitely interesting but it felt one-sided in that it only discussed the influencers who share a very contrived lifestyle and buy their likes and followers. There are a lot of us out here who have been working hard to grow an organic following and that share more authentic content on a daily basis.

There was one point in the docu when COVID hit and they showed footage of cities shutting down, hospitals filling up, and influencers not acknowledging what was going on. I don’t know if it’s hormones or the fact that it’s been almost a year but I just started sobbing as they relived it on screen.

That said, most of it was entertaining and I recommend watching it so you can see what a lot of the people we all follow on Instagram are really up to. It’s gross in a way in which you can’t turn away.

The New York Times Presents: Framing Brittany Spears (FX but also streaming on Hulu): This poor woman. I really feel for her and everything she’s been through. This episode in the NYT docuseries is hard to watch at times as the press completely destroys a woman’s life, but it’s worth a watch to understand where she got where she is today.

Beyond those and our Friday family movie nights (the last 3 weeks have been Madagascar 1, 2, and 3), I have hardly watched any TV because I’m so tired at night and end up in bed at 9 pm to read and pass out. But Anel and I are in desperate need of a new show to watch together because we’re caught up on Your Honor and can’t agree on anything else. Please send your recs our way.


1. Yonanas Frozen Dessert MakerThis isn’t the first time that I’ve told you about how Anel is a sucker for product ads on IG and Tik Tok. But this one has really benefitted me so I’m supporting his habit by sharing it. While pregnant I want something sweet after dinner but I can’t eat anything too sugary or I feel sick. Without even talking to me about it, he bought this and made me a banana berry “ice cream” one night and made me cry. It was very sweet of him and now he does it for me every few days.

Amalia is into it too and loves both helping to make the treats and, obviously, eat them!

2. Bissel Spot Clean Carpet Cleaner: I can’t believe the first two items on my list this month are Anel’s purchases. I feel like I’m going to hear about this for a long time! But he did me proud with this one especially. Last week I told him it was time to hire a rug and upholstery cleaner (which we usually do once a year) and he said wait I saw something online, let me try to do it first. I rolled my eyes and figured it would be a fluke. I hate to say it out loud… but I was wrong.

Anel spent hours cleaning all of our carpets and furniture with this Bissel contraption and got 90% of the stains out. He used this cleaner with this Oxy Boost but I’d love a recommendation for something with cleaner ingredients (that actually works!) if you have it.

I shared a few before and afters of the process on Instagram and a follower told me that the company also runs the Bissel Pet Foundation which makes me want to support them even more.

3. The Rainbow CollectionI loved seeing what my friends at Sh*t That I Knit are doing this month, teaming up with 13 small brands (including Chappywrap!) to pull together a collection of colorful products to brighten your winter AND to benefit organizations that support LGBTQ families and youth. I especially love their rainbow beanie.

4. Tupperware Lid Organizer: I’ve officially turned into my mother with this one but I’m not mad at it. Our Tupperware drawer is always a hot mess and the nesting part of my brain finally decided to do something about it. I nested our glass containers in piles and then organized lids with this organizer I found on Amazon. Small fixes like this make such a difference to me. A

And FYI we have been using these OXO glass storage containers for years and love them, but also recently partnered with Zwilling on their vacuum seal containers and can’t say enough good things about how they keep our fruits, veggies, and leftovers fresh for longer.

5. ASHA evil eye charm: Every year on Valentine’s Day I buy myself a little present and call it self love 🙂 This year, I bought an evil eye pendant to add to my ASHA chain. It’s very cute and fingers crossed that it wards off whatever other craziness 2021 has in store for us.

PS use code LEMONSTRIPES20 through 2/14 (Friday) to get 20% off sitewide at ASHA.

Now you tell me! What is one thing you’re loving, reading, or watching this month?

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  1. Nikki said:

    My mom said the same about My Brilliant Friend. I’m about 100 pages in and it’s a little slow, hoping it picks up since everyone raves about it!

    2.9.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Stick with it I promise it picks up! And the whole second book is incredible

      2.9.21 · Reply
  2. Britta said:

    Loving the Book woman of Troublesome Creek. Set in the hollers of Kentucky it follows a woman with a rare condition that causes her skin to be blue as she delivers books via donkey to community members!

    2.9.21 · Reply
  3. Molly said:

    I just finished, My Brilliant Friend, I was in the same boat- had it on my list and tried to pick it up once and couldn’t get into it. I finally did at the beginning of the month and after about the halfway point in the book I became engrossed. Can’t wait to start the second book. I also read, The Grace Year, last month and really enjoyed that!
    My husband and I started, Lupin, on Netflix. Only 5 episodes (we have three little kids so its nice to know we can finish it in a reasonable time) and really recommend it! Its set in Paris and about a man who is a conartist/thief and has an Oceans 11 vibe to how the story plays out. Only a few episodes in and we both are enjoying it! Its in French so you have to CC (which I always do because I am an old 35 year old)

    2.9.21 · Reply
  4. Kristin said:

    The tupperware thing – this is seriously the highlight of 2021 so far for me. Thank you for posting, I’m ordering this today.

    2.9.21 · Reply
  5. sending lots of healthy vibes for you and baby.. and I know the feeling about hating to stop and take a break…but DO IT! 🙂 And it’s the little things like having an organized and clean home <3

    2.9.21 · Reply
  6. Katherine said:

    We just started watching Firefly Lane on Netflix… I am very into! I am 25 weeks pregnant with my second and just started thinking holy cow I need to start to get some items and check my list off!

    2.9.21 · Reply
  7. Cameron said:

    I love my Bissell spot cleaner!! I just got it and have been going crazy all over the house. I clean using the Branch Basics concentrate that I use (and love!) for all my cleaning. They have ratios on their website for the concentrate to water. Good luck! Thinking about you these last 10 weeks of your pregnancy!

    2.9.21 · Reply
  8. Caroline said:

    TV Shows loved, newer and older. You might have already seen many of them: The Bodyguard and Giri/Haji on Netflix. The Hour (not sure where to stream), Bosch and Hanna, (Amazon), The West Wing, Pose, GLOW

    2.9.21 · Reply
  9. Katrin said:

    Hi Julia, we love “Bonusfamiljen” (Netflix). It’s swedish series about a patchwork family.I think you will like this one too, it has everything, from great comedy, a bit of drama to scandinavian style and really really good actors. Highly recommend!

    2.9.21 · Reply
  10. Lisa said:

    You must see “Losing Alice” on Apple TV,fabulous!

    2.12.21 · Reply
  11. sally said:

    Yellowstone for a tv show to watch with husband

    2.12.21 · Reply
  12. Amber+Creswick said:

    I also enjoyed Lupin on Netflix and now I am watching Succession on hbomax. I will have to check out fake famous.

    2.12.21 · Reply