5 Random Things: March

Hi! I took last week off of the blog to spend some much-needed time with my mama and to cross off a bunch of things on my pre-baby to-do list. I don’t even really know where to start when it comes to our week together but it was just wonderful. The second she walked in the door, Amalia grabbed her hand and gave her a tour of the house. She didn’t want to leave her side from that moment on. Even though they hadn’t seen each other since last February, they were immediately bonded. I guess FaceTime with family is more powerful than I thought!

I was really close with all four of my grandparents growing up so having Amalia be apart from her for so long was weighing on me even more than my own missing of my mom. But I’m here to tell you if you’re in the same situation, it will be ok and they’ll pick up right where they left off.

She will be back after the baby is born and we’re all looking forward to seeing her again soon.

While she was here, she helped me finish a bunch of little tasks that I had mentally blocked on my own. It sounds silly but I had a giant list of things like putting away baby diapers and setting up the monitor that, whenever I tried to sit down and get them done, I just couldn’t. I ended up talking to my therapist about this for a long time and realized that I’m so nervous about my postpartum anxiety coming back that I’m having trouble prepping in the ways that I usually would. But something about having my mom do it with me made it both easy and possible.

Pregnancy-wise, this month I’ve grown a lot which has caused a lot of discomforts, but instead of wallowing, I decided to tackle each issue one by one and try to make these last few weeks as comfortable as possible. I had been throwing up every day or two because of my heartburn (this happened with Amalia too!) even with small meals, lots of Tums, and eating the blandest food ever. So finally I gave in and let my OB prescribe me something for the heartburn. It’s been a week and a half since I started taking it, and haven’t thrown up once. At first, I felt so guilty about having to take yet another medication (in addition to my anxiety meds) but my doctor ensured me that it won’t hurt the baby and that my losing nutrients from the puking was actually worse for him and for me. So that has made a world of difference.

I also started pelvic floor PT for my hip and back pain (see more below on that) and have been diligent about stretching daily. As far as my iron levels go, we are in great shape over here! Ever since I started taking SlowFe, an iron supplement that releases slowly throughout the day, I haven’t had one day where I can’t get out of bed. In the last month, I’ve really learned to ask for help when I need it and it’s changed the game.

At 33.5 weeks pregnant, I’m obviously still not functioning at 100% and get tired and winded easily, but it’s now manageable whereas before I was just a hot mess.

Work-wise, I’m trying to find a good balance before maternity leave starts. I’m done with my marketing work which is allowing me to rest more when I need to, but I have a bunch of campaigns to wrap up before April. Honestly, I’ve found it really hard to be on Instagram lately. I’m uninspired in terms of content and don’t feel like I have a lot to share. So I’m trying to listen to that and not put too much pressure on myself. Plus people online are just so mean to each other lately. I feel like every day I see someone else share a story of a troll and it feels icky.

I’m going into the second half of this month feeling really hopeful, however! They are opening the vaccine in Connecticut to everyone 35+ on April 12th which means that most of my friends will be vaccinated by the summer. I was torn on whether to get it myself or not while pregnant but when I brought it up with my OB, we realized that I most likely won’t be able to schedule my shot until after the baby is born anyway so I decided to take that pressure off of myself and just wait. He’s due on the 24th and once it opens for 35+, it will probably be weeks before I’ll be able to get in. So that’s where we landed on that issue. Anel, however, will be rushing to get his ASAP!

In other hopeful news, we’re supposed to have a beautiful week here in New England with temps reaching into the 60’s. Anel and I are having our first date night since the fall on Wednesday because we will be able to comfortably eat outside. I’m so excited! We’re also planning to pick Amalia up from daycare early one night and take her to the beach for a picnic which is one of our favorite family activities in the summer.

Last night, Anel and I also booked a little babymoon within driving distance. We are looking forward to taking two nights just for us before the chaos ensues. There are lots of good things to look forward to for my little family!

WHAT I’M READING & WATCHING

BooksThose Who Love and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child (Elena Ferrante): I promise I’m going to finish this series this month and will shut up about it but please just read the Neopolitan Novels stat! Each book just gets better and better. By the 4th book, the two friends are adults with children and real adult problems. It’s been so fun to follow them and all of the same characters from childhood to adulthood in this series. The first book is a bit hard to get into for the first half but power through that because the stories in the next 3.5 books are so worth it. I’m going to be so sad in a few weeks when I’m done! Next up, I plan to read Anxious People.

If you missed my original review of the series, 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. 

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!

Kids Book – The Invisible String: I can’t not mention this book because it’s been a huge part of our life this month! When one of our baby chicks, Color, died last month, Amalia was devastated. I shared this on Instagram and got a bunch of recommendations to buy this book. It teaches kids about how we’re all connected in our hearts through an invisible string. So even though Color is no longer with us, we are connected to her forever. And even though I’m not with Amalia 24/7, she can always feel my love through the string. It is such a sweet lesson and Amalia loves to talk about everyone she is connected to with her invisible string. When my mom left this weekend, she said, “Don’t worry Maymay, I will send you love with my string!” And sometimes when I pick her up from school she’ll ask me if I felt her string that day. It’s very very sweet.

TV Shows Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy: If you don’t follow him on Instagram yet, find him immediately and watch him make cocktails in style. It’s oddly soothing. As is the way he travels through Italy, eating his way across each reason in his new show. He talks to the people cooking food and tells a story about each dish. Watching Stanley Tucci eat pasta and travel through Italy is basically everything we all need right now.

PS If you have Hulu+ you can watch this there, but if you don’t, you have to download the CNN app and watch it there

Ginny & Georgia: I’ve only watched two episodes but so far it’s exactly what I need when I’m not feeling great and just need to smile. It’s a Netflix show about a 15-year-old girl, Ginny, and her very young mother, Georgia who move to a new town and quickly make an impression on the locals.

The Meghan & Harry Interview with Oprah: I had to add this last night as I was watching it. Meghan Markle got into very specific detail about her time in the royal family and the horrible things that she had to live through. It was really heartbreaking to hear about how when the media tore her apart, the “institution” did nothing to protect her or her family even though she told them point blank that she was suicidal. I’m sure you’ll read all about it today on multiple platforms, but I urge you to watch it if you get the chance. She was so brave and really set a new bar for women, especially women of color, to speak up for themselves, even when it is scary. I obviously don’t know her but felt personally very proud of what she did.

Movies- I Care a Lot: I love Rosamund Pike and even though she played a terribly evil character in this Netflix flick, I love her even more. She plays Marla Grayson, a woman who runs a scam in cahoots with a doctor and the head of a nursing home to become a court-appointed guardian for wealthy elderly people from whom she steals money, real estate, and many assets. When she finds Jennifer Peterson, her next mark, a “cherry,” she soon realizes that this old lady isn’t like the others! She has big secrets of her own and is involved with some seriously dangerous people.

The two women go head to head in this super dark comedy that gets crazier and crazier as it goes on. I was both disturbed and entertained throughout the entire movie… aka my dream film.

5 THINGS I’M LOVING

1. Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops– Before I started taking iron supplements, my skin was a scary shade of pale. Now that my levels are more normal, it’s just normal winter pale. But in both cases, I wanted a little glow! Two of my friends recommended these drops that you put into your own moisturizer and I’m hooked. I’ve been using them regularly on my face every other night for the last three weeks and it gives me exactly the boost I need.

I’m going to write a full post about them because I’ve done a lot of trial and error with how much to use but for my skin, two of the medium drops mixed with my nighttime face lotion every other night is my sweet spot. I’m currently perfecting body application so stay tuned for an update there soon.

2. Pelvic floor PT– This might seem like a weird addition to my list, but hear me out, even if you’re not pregnant! After suffering from round ligament pain, hip pain, and lower back pain, I decided to give pelvic floor PT a try. After one session with Jen, I learned a lot about my body and muscles were tight that I didn’t even know existed. She did exercises with me in her office and sent me home with daily stretching homework that has made a world of difference. She helps women in pregnancy, post-partum, and really any time with things like bladder leakage (I know a lot of moms who experience this!), pain from sex, and postpartum healing. She is so knowledgeable and agreed to do a full blog post for me coming later this week, answering your top pelvic floor questions.

If you’re having any issues in your back or below in pregnancy or post-partum, I urge you to look into pelvic floor PT in your area. You might have to search to find someone who takes insurance but it’s worth the digging! For anyone local, Jen will give you forms to send in for reimbursement. It’s kind of a pain but also most certainly worth it.

3. My hidden secret perfume– I almost don’t want to share this because my sister and I have shared this hidden secret for the last few years but it’s too good. It’s made with organic essential oils and smells SO GOOD. Whenever anyone smells it on me they immediately ask what I’m wearing and where it’s from. I’ve had more than one friend buy it from their phone immediately. It smells clean and earthy and a little different on everyone’s skin. I’m mentioning this now because I just re-upped with a new bottle and really loved their new packaging, a small pump bottle that you can keep in your purse.

3.  Non-toxic teeth whitening stripsI have been using Crest Whitening Strips for years, but my teeth are extra sensitive while pregnant so I had been on the hunt for another pregnancy-safe option that doesn’t cause sensitivity. My assistant Nicolette recommended Lumineux, a non-toxic brand made with coconut oil, lemon peel oil, and sage oil. They work (it takes a few times to see a difference though) and I have no sensitivity at all.

Just note that they definitely leave gunk on your teeth so be prepared to brush immediately afterward!

Use code LEMON15 for 15% off at Lumineux.

Transparency note: I have a paid partnership with Lumineux on Instagram. This mention is not included in that partnership but I’m a big fan so had to mention them here too.

4. Set of Striped Pouches I bought these for the baby’s diaper bag and just think they’re so cute and the perfect size. I love me a good striped pouch and these are a great price too.

5. The jeans I can’t wait to wear– I haven’t bought myself many clothes lately for obvious reasons but I saw these jeans and bought them for next fall so I have something to look forward to. I love the fit and color and am crossing my fingers I can fit into them soon!

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

Comments

  1. Joyce said:

    I read the Neapolitan novels a number of years ago and loved them! However, I just started the HBO “My Brilliant Friend” last night and was blown away by the first two episodes! Something to look forward to when you finish book 4! 🙂

    3.8.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I cannot wait to start the show!

      3.8.21 · Reply
  2. Ellie said:

    Just wanted to express some solidarity in terms of needing distance from Insta! I feel like in the past week I really hit a wall and was feeling so drained by the app yet I felt like I HAD to get through every post and story “in case I missed something or “needed” to reference it later” for the accounts I followed. I unfollowed maybe 20 accounts and muted maybe 1/4-1/3 of the remaining accounts I follow. It has been SUCH a weight off my shoulders and I know I can always go looking for info or unmute/refollow in the future.

    3.8.21 · Reply
  3. Alex said:

    Count me as #influenced on the perfume. I’ve been wanting an oil based one for so long!

    3.9.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Please report back! I want to know what you think.

      3.9.21 · Reply
      • Alex said:

        Just got it in the mail and I’m obsessed. I also got the little sampler pack too and have been really liking those.

        3.21.21 · Reply
  4. Madison said:

    I just bit the bullet and bought the “unmasque” scent from Ambre last week! Honestly cannot recommend this perfume enough, so it’s awesome to see you love it too!

    3.9.21 · Reply
  5. Teresa said:

    Hello, love this post. Can you tell me a little more about the scent of that perfume. I checked it out and read the description but don’t know any of the scents/oils they mention, lol. Is it musky?

    I love a clean scent, but trying to find a little better description than the website, thank you so much.

    3.12.21 · Reply