5 Random Things: January

5 Random Things January

5 Random Things is back for 2020 but, as promised, I’m changing it up a bit so it isn’t just products. This month, it includes a powerful memoir, a meditation that’s making me very happy, and the TV show I can’t stop watching.

1. Know My Name by Chanel Miller. I dont even know where to start with this book. I’m halfway through and have stayed up way too late night after night, feeling drawn to Chanel and her story. It was chosen as the best book of the year by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Elle, Glamour, Chicago Tribune, and others for good reason.

I decided to finally read Know My Name after Carly posted about it on her book club Instagram page. It’s a memoir written by Chanel Miller, aka Emily Doe, the woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner on Standford’s campus in 2015. We all read the story, but for many, it was quickly forgotten as the #MeToo movement continued to blow up and we were hit with case after case of sexual assault around the country and the world.

But when Chanel read a letter to her attacker at his sentencing, it went viral (thanks to Buzzfeed) and no one forgot her or her story after that. The letter was eventually read on the floor of Congress and helped to inspire change in California law about the definition of rape and how it sentences rapists. It also helped countless women step forward with their own stories. If you’ve read the letter, know know how powerful and eloquent Chanel Miller can be.

Her book is a testament to that power and eloquence. Read this one with me. It’s important. It makes you think about sexual assault from a different perspective and is written with much grace and beauty.

2. Google Nest Hub. I know I know. This device is listening to me and tracking my every move. But, honestly, it makes our lives so much easier and I really love having it in our house and our iPhones are listening to us anyway so will it really make that much of a difference? That’s my argument, anyway, and I’m sticking to it!

My mom bought us the Hub for Christmas and we set it up in our kitchen over the holidays. TBH what we use it for the most is music. Amalia will often ask for a random song and if I’m cooking or cleaning or playing with her, I usually don’t have free hands to connect Spotify to our Sonos speakers and find the song. It’s so much easier to “Hey, Google…” it.

We have the Nest Camera in Amalia’s room, so we also use it as a monitor screen which saves our phone batteries at night. From the Nest Hub, we can control our thermostats and even our Roomba. It pretty much just makes everything easier and keeps everything in one place.

3. Remington Fabric-Shaver. My friend Mackenzie has posted about this $8 device many times and I finally swiped up on an Instagram story she posted last week and bought it. It “shaves” your sweaters (and fleeces), pulling the pills right off and making them look brand new without thinning them out. It’s pretty much magic as far as I can tell. I spent an hour on Saturday night shaving all of my sweaters and it was one of the most satisfying hours I’ve had in a long time (only half kidding though!).

I used to bring sweaters to the dry cleaner even when they didn’t really need to be dry-cleaned just to de-pill them, so I have a feeling that this little guy is going to save me a lot of money in the end too.

Don’t forget, you can find other Amazon items I love in my Amazon Shop.

4. Happiness Meditation Series on Headspace. I’m on my second month of meditating with Headspace and last week I started the happiness series. It’s a series of 10 10-minute visualizing meditations that make me feel great while I’m doing them and for about an hour afterward but take it even further by giving homework like doing one act of kindness that day without telling anyone about it. It makes me feel happy and generous and light, exactly what I need in January post-holiday.

Note: My Headspace subscription was gifted for a paid campaign. Inclusion in this list is not a part of the campaign. 

5. YOU Season Two. I loved season one of YOU. Like obsessively loved it. The creepiness, the mystery, the way you love to hate Joe. I thought it was so well-done and I couldn’t stop watching it. I figured, like many of the shows I loved at first, season two would be disappointing. Boy, was I wrong. I have two episodes left so don’t ruin it for me but holy sh*t. It’s even better than the first season and I can’t stop thinking about it. It really makes you want to get off of social media and hide somewhere in Alaska. And never talk to strangers again…

Check out the 5 random things I was loving in JulyAugustSeptember, October, and November.

Tell me one thing you’re loving this month!

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  1. Brittany said:

    I admit I love my two nest minis and I use them all the time! I find them very helpful because I am trying to put my phone down more often and it’s great when you just have a quick question. I always ask about the weather (instead of turning on the news and patiently waiting for them to talk about it). I know that “they” are listening to everything I say and I don’t mind. Maybe it’s because I usually am just talking to my cat and that isn’t very exciting. 🙂

    1.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah exactly. Most of my conversations are with a 2-year-old about Paw Patrol and mac and cheese. I’ll take targeted ads for those any day 🙂

      1.14.20 · Reply
  2. Megan Moore said:

    This series is the best!!

    1.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Megan! So glad you like it xx

      1.14.20 · Reply
  3. Ruth said:

    Currently listening to Know My Name, narrated by Chanel. One of the most powerful books I’ve read, ever.

    1.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’d love to hear it from her voice. It’s probably even more powerful than reading it.

      1.14.20 · Reply
  4. Hayley said:

    I really enjoyed this post! I have the know, does season 2 of You ease off on the gore at all? I watched the second episode last night and I am not at all sure I can do any more!

    1.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      It does for a while… then it comes back. It is intense!

      1.14.20 · Reply
  5. Betsy said:

    If you haven’t used your Nest Hub as a digital photo frame (connected to a Google Photos app), you aren’t living – it’s the best! Got it for the grandparents too, and now my sisters and I all upload pics of our families to a joint album, so they can follow along with our adventures. It’s awesome.

    Love your blog!

    1.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m clearly not living! I need to play around with that now.

      1.14.20 · Reply
  6. Laura said:

    Season two of You was amazing! I said to my husband last night “I really just wish we had more ‘You’ to watch”.

    1.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I finished it last night. WOAH. And just saw they got renewed for season 3. I’m so excited!

      1.15.20 · Reply
  7. Ann Marie said:

    I love this series too! So happy it’s back. I also read “My Name is Chanel Miller” last month and it gave me so much to think and worry about. How do we keep our daughters safe? How do we teach them to trust their intuition and believe in the power of their voices? Thank you for suggesting others read this! ❤️

    1.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      It is very scary but we’re so much more knowledgable now and can give them the tools they need to be strong women in this world!

      1.15.20 · Reply
  8. Kelsey said:

    I love my google home, and we have the Alexa show but the google home seems handy because it can hook up to everything! I have a chromecast that I can control through my google home and I love it!
    Xo, Kelsey

    1.19.20 · Reply
  9. Allie Shellen said:

    I feel like ever college student should have to read Know My Name. I was SO moved by this book and her ability to cover the intersection of so many issues. It is really remarkable.

    1.19.20 · Reply
  10. Tina said:

    Haha, I’m with you, Julia. Finally bought a sweater shaver recently as well — it’s SO satisfying!! I could do it for hours.

    1.21.20 · Reply
  11. Brittany said:

    The blacklist! My mama told mw way back when I needed to watch it but I’ve just got around to it and I am so hooked on it!

    1.28.20 · Reply