5 Random Things: May

We’re on day 60 of social and physical distancing and it’s starting to wear on everyone in a new way each week. I felt hopeful when they started talking about lifting restrictions in Connecticut but in reading the news and hearing what Fauci has to say on the matter, it feels like false hope and a sick joke. We’ve all heard people call this the new normal but to me it feels like that normal changes from day to day and week to week as we’re pulled in every direction by our leaders and the media.

Anel got is PPP loan which felt like a big victory at first, but once we realized that he most likely will have to be closed for a lot longer than we anticipated even a few weeks ago, we’re starting to have to really rethink how we both do business and our finances. That said we feel very very lucky to have our home and our jobs (in some capacity) and enough food to eat and remind ourselves and each other of that every single day. But the unknown future is scary.

On a more positive note, I’ve seen a major shift in my anxiety since I started drinking less and recording my daily activities. In writing down the things I’m doing each day, I’ve found myself exercising more and have been on three runs in the last week. Which, for me, is a big deal considering I haven’t run much at all since Amalia was born. I used to love it but kind of forgot about it and then felt intimidated by starting again.

I am going to write another post about my anxiety tracking after another week because the shift in just one week has been so drastic.

In the meantime, enjoy my list of 5 random things from May… and stay safe.

1. My all-time favorite PJs: I pulled out my Lake Pajama short set last week on a particularly warm night and remembered how much I love these uber-soft, perfectly fitting pajamas. A lot of the cute PJs that I see people wearing on Instagram aren’t all that comfy to sleep in but Lake Pajamas are different. I actually sleep in them every night. I like that they have pant sets with both long and short-sleeved tops and short sets with both tops too.

I get really hot while I sleep so I prefer the short sets. I have them in Seaside. As you can tell by the photo above, I wear them quite often. I decided to take a photo of them for this post yesterday so excuse the sleep wrinkles!

They aren’t too tight at the waist and the fabric is so insanely soft it’s hard to describe unless you touch it. When I first had Amalia, I lived in their maternity nightgown for approximately three straight months.

2. Goddess necklace: My friend Kat wears her goddess necklace all the time so I finally asked her where it was from and she told me about Awe Inspired, a beautiful jewelry company that donates 20% of their proceeds to a charity that you get to choose (from a dropdown). I wanted to buy myself something for Mother’s Day so I took their “goddess quiz” and got Athena. It resonated so I went with that one. You can see it pictured above. It’s so beautiful and I like how each size has two options. I got the 16″ – 18″ one so I can pair it with another 16″ or 18″ gold necklace depending on what I’m wearing that day.

Athena, the Goddess of heroic endeavor, fought alongside the Greek heroes and was sought by all for help and advice. Unsurpassed in warfare and wisdom, she inspired women to be both well-educated and fierce. 

3. Rubber Birkenstocks: It’s rubber Birk season, my friends! I wore pretty much nothing else on my feet last summer and I expect it to be the same this year. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the comfort of a rubber Birk. I wear them to the beach, in the yard, to walk the dog, out to dinner. You name it, I’m wearing my Birks! I even convinced Anel to buy the men’s pair last year and now he lives in them too. He likes to wear them with socks in public because he thinks it embarrasses me…

I discovered yesterday that Tuckernuck also has a great knockoff for $40 that comes in a bunch of very cute colors.

4. Vooks: Anel discovered this app where your kids can watch their favorite books in video format. Amalia gets to earn time on Vooks and loves seeing her favorite books come to life. They have everything from Goodnight Gorilla to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and a ton more. Although it’s still screen time, it feels better than letting her watch TV for some reason.

5. Air Fryer: We got our air fryer for Christmas 2018 and finally just pulled it out when we found it in our basement storage room. Over the last two months, it’s gotten quite a bit of use and I can’t actually believe that I let it sit there for so long. I think I was intimidated by it because I had no idea what to do with it. But now I know the truth… There is nothing this thing can’t do. I use it to heat up frozen food for Amalia, we make kale and other veggie chips in it, I made buffalo cauliflower (insanely good) and I have about 75 recipes bookmarked to try in it. What do you like to make in your air fryer?

We have this one and like it but there seem to be a lot more affordable options out there.

BookUntamed by Glennon Doyle: Oh Glennon… such an incredible female voice of our generation. This memoir reads like a collection of short stories from the author’s life. She is inspiring and makes me feel both liberated and empowered just reading the words on her pages. Glennon teaches us, as women, to stop trying to be a “good woman” and start truly living our truth by telling her own story of leaving her on-paper-perfect life (wife, mom of three kids) when she falls instantly and deeply in love with a woman.

Before that, I finished Daisy Jones and The Six which I had been meaning to read for a while. I loved it and just heard they’re making it into a 13-episode TV adaptation which I’m very excited to watch. The format of the book was different from anything I’ve ever read. It was written as an interview with the band members from a fictional ’70s rock band called The Six. So each paragraph is in the voice of a different character. I thought that would feel too frenetic but after a few pages I almost forgot about that piece.

TV ShowKilling Eve (Hulu): We finished Season 2 last night, and while Anel thought it got too weird and fantastical toward the end, I was shook by the finale and loved every second of it. Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer have incredible chemistry and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

I can’t wait to start season 2 of Dead to Me (Netflix) tonight! We loved the first season and can’t wait to dive into the second.

On the Homeland front, we finished the series finale and I thought it was one of the best series finale episodes of any show ever. Absolutely loved how they wrapped it up.

What else do I need to be watching?

Check out the 5 random things I was loving in:
JanuaryFebruary, March, and April.

And tell me one thing you’re loving this month!

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  1. Lillie said:

    This post is so timely. Yesterday I did a deep-dive into all my saved blog posts looking for ones I kept because they mentioned a TV show I might be interested in watching. Often the titles are 5 Random Things, so I needed to figure out why I saved it in the first place. TV has been keeping me company while I work from home – hard to explain, but the right show keeps me focused. Here are a few ones I have enjoyed lately… Outer Banks (a little hokey but hunky cast and gorgeous Lowcountry coastline). Unorthodox (a fair amount of subtitles so you have to be fully focused on that one). Kim’s Convenience (so stinkin’ cute and funny and only 30 minutes). Baker and the Beauty (just started this yesterday, I’m a native Floridian and lover of all things Cuban!). Looking for Alaska (I love teen shows, maybe why I work with high schoolers?). Normal People. And one last one because I bet no one will mention it… The Durrels in Corfu (a spectacular true story set on a picturesque Greek Island. I could go on and on.

    As for the air fryer, I have always struggled with the time and temperature of roasting a whole chicken. I did it a couple of weeks ago in the fryer and it was perfect. The recipe I used started the chicken breast down and flip halfway.

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oooh Normal People, yes! I read the book and loved it. Thank you for the reminder. I’m going to watch it ASAP! Can you send me the chicken recipe if you get a chance? Would love to try it!

      5.13.20 · Reply
      • Lillie said:

        Julia, I looked everywhere (on Google) for the recipe I used. Basically I stuffed it with some lemon, garlic and herbs. I oiled up the chicken and the basket. It was some random temperature like 370. Half the time it was breast down, and the other half it was flipped breast up. Look for something along those lines.

        Got my rubber Birks in the mail yesterday and wore them to the beach today!!

        5.16.20 · Reply
  2. Laura said:

    totally agree with you re Homeland series finale. though it made me sad to see Carrie betray Saul and have to leave behind her family, all for the sake of the country. they really did such a good job with it. and totally left me wanting more! which they did leave it open for… My husband and I also need a new show. We’ve been watching the Michael Jordan thing on ESPN, and also just finished Unorthodox on Netflix, but I love Homeland type shows. I really miss 24 from back in the day

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Dying for a Homeland movie in the future! And is it weird that I think Yevgeny is kind of hot? Lol…. I miss 24 too. I need to try Unorthodox.

      5.13.20 · Reply
      • Katie said:

        Another vote for Unorthodox! It was riveting, and turns out based on a memoir that I need to read now!

        5.14.20 · Reply
  3. Libby said:

    OMG yes for Killing Eve!! We finished the first two seasons in like 5 days, and now it is painful to have to wait for the new episode every week of season 3! You can stream them on the BBC America app the day after they air!! I am obsessed with the show, and Vilanelle has amazing style! Sending good vibes your way, Julia 🙂


    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I didn’t even know season 3 is up yet! I will definitely start streaming it ASAP. Thank you for making my day!

      5.13.20 · Reply
  4. Alyssa said:

    This months 5 Random Things really resonates with me! I just got my new rubber birks last week which I’m already living in and my feet have never been happier! Since the quarantine started our air fryer has been getting so much use and I have been loving brussel sprouts or broccoli in it because they have the perfect crispy/charred flavor.

    Untamed, Three Women and Maybe You Should Talk To Someone are three books I have read in the last 6 months that have been life changing! All three have been heartbreaking and eye opening while also pushing me to look inside myself and really look at my life and my approach to relationships, personally and professionally.

    I just finished the 4th season of Working Mom’s on Netflix (highly recommend) and we have been watching The Last Dance about Michael Jordan. I’m not a huge sports fan but it is really interesting and entertaining if you love documentaries. I’m about to start Dead to Me and Killing Eve is on my list. Thank you once again for a great post!

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Ok well we are clearly very much on the same page right now, Alyssa! Will add Working Moms to my list… Anel watched the Michael Jordan doc without me (rude) so I’ll have to do that as a solo project.

      5.13.20 · Reply
  5. annette said:

    Agree on the Homeland finale…right up there with Seinfeld and Breaking Bad !

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I said to Anel it was just about as good as the Breaking Bad finale!! So impressed with the whole run. I’m sad it’s over!

      5.13.20 · Reply
  6. Maggie said:

    Killing Eve is the best show! Season three is on now and very good! A little but different then other seasons though

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Can’t wait to start it!

      5.13.20 · Reply
  7. Brynna said:

    Weird “mom” question about the books. When were you able to find time to read for you again? It’s hard to carve out time to read with a 3-month-old and I miss it so much! Any tips? Thanks!

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Not weird at all! I actually get that all the time. It probably took me about 6 months after I had Amalia to start reading regularly again. I was just so exhausted those first few months. Once your baby is sleeping well and you’re emotionally and physically healed, I recommend reading before bed. I do 30 minutes before I go to sleep and that’s it. One of the best parts of my day. Also congrats!!

      5.13.20 · Reply
  8. Jen said:

    So many topics to cover here!!

    1. Shows – I agree Homeland is my favorite show of all time and I think it was the best final season and finale of any show ever. I was really impressed. More often I am let down but the finales of great shows. I love Mrs. America so good. And I started watching the Mind Project and love it so much.
    2. Congratulations on the PPP. It has been stressful and tricky navigating that for my husband’s businesses and the company I work for. But I hope it helps in some way!
    3. As far as the gym goes I know everywhere is different. I belong to a gym with a small setting, no big box, owned by one person who is the lead/head trainer. We are all still paying our full monthly amount. Early on he realized we would be sheltering in place for a long time. Who knows how long it will last… He loaned out five pieces of equipment to every member. Everything from kettle bells, dumb bells, med balls, resistance bands, super bands, slider, mini bands etc. We signed a waiver and he documented it all. We all take it super serious and understand how generous he was since you cannot buy heavy weights or equipment anywhere. He also holds 1-2 live zoom sessions six days a week. They use the mind body app and they just started a service for storing a video library. We are in our second of two challenges as a gym. They are challenging but fun. They include workouts, accumulation challenges, water consumption, nutrition check ins, sleeping etc. All centered on being accountable and also making healthy choices. For me between loaning equipment and this daily contact it has been well worth paying the same fee I always have. The owner/head trainer is available via text daily too.
    3. The shelter in place lasting so long and anxiety feels almost normal to me. I do agree drinking as little as possible or not at all is best. Alcohol for most people is a depressant. I have not drank since February! For some reason when this started mid march I decided I am not going to drink so I feel my best. Then I realized it has already been a while since I had a drink. I try to focus on the silver linings to this. I have teen age daughters and as a parent right now I feel like my biggest job/goal is to remain calm and positive. It sets the tone for our entire family. I think it is valid to open up about how we feel. In the end we can only all make the best decisions for ourselves and we have to do what we think is right. It is hard as an adult but especially as a teen to watch those around you defy stay at home orders or those in other states.

    Best wishes as we continue to stay home!

    5.13.20 · Reply
  9. Jessie said:

    I love these types of posts!

    Question about lake pajamas – are they ethical/sustainable at all? You inspired me to look for fewer, better things, and got me to watch The True Cost. I have been interested in swapping to more sustainable clothing and quarantine seems like a good time to find better loungewear!

    The Lake pajamas look so cozy…

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      They are made from 100% pima cotton so it’s natural fibers but that’s it in the sustainability department. The other thing I’ll mention is that they are very well-made so they last a long time. I’ve had one pair of PJ pants for winter for 3 years and they still look brand new.

      5.13.20 · Reply
  10. libby said:

    Yes! Totally agree with homeland finally. so well done! Now I think I shall watch Killing Eve.

    5.13.20 · Reply
  11. Cathy J said:

    Yes! Obsessed with Normal People and just finished Killing Eve too. Normal People was insane for me to watch as the lead actor comes from my home town in Ireland AND I also went to Trinity College. The whole show was dejas vous for me (except for all the sex in college- ha- that was not my life)

    5.13.20 · Reply
  12. Emily said:

    I wish I had known about the rubber birks before I bought a pair of freedom moses sandals, which I do not like. At all. Sizes are by range (ie 6-7, 8-9) so they’re ill-fitting and rub my feet. Ah well, maybe I’ll give the birks a try!

    5.13.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I promise you the Birks are the most comfortable thing you’ll ever put on your feet!

      5.13.20 · Reply
  13. Maja said:

    We are watching Into the Night Netflix series and it is excellent.

    5.13.20 · Reply
  14. Gilly said:

    Love these posts, thanks for sharing. It’s coming into winter here in Western Australia, so tv shows are perfect for the weather.

    Have you watched Fleabag? It’s the same woman that created Killing Eve and it’s fantastic. On amazon prime and love it.

    5.14.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes! One of my all-time favorites. Anel and I binged both seasons in like 3 nights. LOVED Fleabag. I wish they hadn’t ended it!

      5.14.20 · Reply
  15. Azra Camacho said:

    So glad to hear about you getting back into running! I’ve been riding my bike a ton. I joke with my husband that he should start calling me Mrs Rogers.

    5.15.20 · Reply
  16. Sara said:

    I just received my Aphrodite necklace and it is beautiful!!! Thank you for continuing to support great products.

    5.20.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m so happy that you love it. My Athena brings me so much joy!

      5.20.20 · Reply