I haven’t posted a 5 random things list since March and it feels good to bring it back today, a casual 5 months later. It’s hard to believe that the last time I wrote one of these, Luca was still in my body. Wild to think about! He’s such an important part of our family, and Anel and I say every single day that we can’t believe we ever lived without him. I need to do a longer Luca update soon but the main gist is that he’s incredible, I adore him, and having a second baby has been infinitely easier than the first. He’s so chill and happy, it’s kind of unreal.
Over the long weekend, we weened him off of sleeping with a swaddle which was really challenging with Amalia but he took to the change in only a day. We were bracing ourselves for a week of no sleep, but he crushed it! Proud of my little guy.
On the blog front, I’ve decided to disable comments for a few reasons: 1. Most people read my posts via IG and then just DM me questions and comments which seems like the easiest way for you guys to be in touch with me. 2. Once in a while I get a really scathing message from someone. Because blog comments can be 100% anonymous, it’s an easy place to be especially mean. This happens rarely but when it does, it shakes me up and I’ve realized it’s not worth it to be worrying about that going forward.
Blog comments used to be a metric that brands looked at for partnerships but I’ve realized it matters less and less. My readership numbers speak for themselves so I’m hoping it doesn’t change anything income-wise. This decision makes me feel a big weight off of my shoulders and I’m so glad that I made it. This is one of the many changes I’m making to the way I run my blog and social media to protect my mental health.
I’m still totally available for comments and questions either via Instagram or email!
WHAT I’M READING & WATCHING
Books – The Maidens by Alex Michaelides– My dad and sister recommended this murder mystery and it’s perfectly dark with lots of good twists and turns. If you like a mystery, this is a great one set at Cambridge University in England with lots of ties to Greek Mythology.
Atomic Habits by James Clear– Caroyln suggested this book for me since we’ve been talking a lot about all the tiny (atomic) changes in my diet and lifestyle that add up to make me feel so much healthier and happier. The book is really interesting and tells a story about the British cycling team that was chronically losing every event for years until they brought in a new coach who made tiny changes that you wouldn’t think anything of.
For example, they painted the inside of their bus white so they could see more dust particles that could damage the bikes. And dozens of other changes like that. They ended up winning tons of races and multiple Olympic Games after that.
It’s made me think a lot about different facets of my life where I can change my habits in tiny ways to make a big difference. From drinking more water (read more on that below) to taking weekends off of social media, I’m making a list of everything that I can think of. More on that later.
The Stranger in the Mirror by Liz Constantine– This psychological thriller wasn’t my favorite but to its credit, I couldn’t put it down, and the twist really got me!
TV Shows – White Lotus (HBO): A lot of my friends were on the fence with this one but I really loved it from start to finish. The character development was spot on and Connie Britton is just the best.
Hacks (HBO): I laughed out loud at every episode. The chemistry between Jean Smart (who plays Deborah Vance, an aging stand-up comic) and Hannah Einbinder (who plays a young comedic writer) is on fire. They riff off and make fun of each other in the most hilarious way.
Ted Lasso Season 2 (Apple+): Anel and I loved season 1 of Ted Lasso because it’s such a feel-good and silly 30 minutes to end the day. Season 2 started out trying a little too hard (IMO) but it’s back on track now. We look forward to new episodes every Friday.
Never Have I Ever (Netflix): My next-door neighbor swore that I’d love this Mindy Kaling-produced show even though it’s technically about teenagers. She wasn’t wrong. I binged both seasons in a matter of days. It’s heart-warming, funny, sweet, and touches on serious topics all at the same time.
Mare of Eastown (HBO): I love a murder mystery and Kate Winslet slayed as Mare, a small-town detective who gets way too close to a murder case. I wish I could start it all over again knowing nothing about it.
Next up: The Chair (Netflix) and 9 Perfect Strangers (Hulu): Both have come highly recommended and I look forward to starting them soon.
5 THINGS I’M LOVING
1. 64 oz water jug– I’ve been challenging myself to drink 80-100 oz of water/day but after a while, it is hard to keep track of how much goes down. I bought the influencer 64-oz water jug (pictured above) that I’ve seen all over Instagram and set a goal of finishing 1.5 of them each day. Most days, I finish it all and if I accomplish little else in the day, there’s always that 🙂
My friend Jess launched a collection of sustainable clothing and accessories with ABLE and it’s beautiful. She sent me this maxi dress (above) and I’ve already worn it three times. Amalia asked me to save it for her when she’s “a grown-up” because she thinks it’s so pretty. I also love this striped sweater. Congrats, Jess! She shared a code with me to give you guys too. Use JAKBFF20 at checkout for 20% off the entire collection.
3. Kristin Tirney art– We recently commissioned a piece from Kristin for our primary bedroom. It should be arriving in the next few weeks and to say I’m excited is an understatement. I love the use of texture and calming colors in all of her work. She has been a dream to work with too!
3. Weezie makeup towels– I love a white hand towel, but mine always end up looking dirty when I wash my face with eye makeup on. These cute makeup towels are the perfect shade to hide mascara stains. I’ve been using them nightly and also put a set in the guest room so when my mom or sister visits, they don’t feel bad about dirtying our white towels.
4. Shoes for foot pain– Ok hear me out on this one. Since my early pregnancy days with Luca, my left foot and ankle hurt if I’m on my feet for a while. When I’m out and wearing sneakers it’s fine, but I realized that when I’m barefoot at home, the pain is the worst. So I bought a pair of Archies, flip flops with arch support, and since I’ve been wearing them inside, I have probably 80% less pain.
They feel so good on my feet that I started wearing them out of the house and bought myself a pair of Sootheez to wear inside (same idea, different style). So now I’m just an old lady with two pairs of arch support sandals… and I’m good with that!
5. Necessaire The Body Serum– One of my favorite brands, Necessaire, re-launched their body serum and it’s become a staple in my nighttime routine. I use it after I shower and before moisturizer for extra deep hydration. It has 5 weights of Hyaluronic Acid and has made my skin so silky smooth that both Anel and Amalia noticed a difference and said something! I recommend buying The Body Treatment Set which includes the serum and the moisturizer because they work even better together.
You can use my code JULIA10 for 10% off your order.
Bonus kids pick: My sister recommended this Inglesina clip-on counter seat which has made feeding Luca infinitely easier. It takes up less space than a high chair and he can be right next to Amalia for breakfast and dinner. It’s also very easy to clean with a wet towel which is a must.
Transparency note: I have an ongoing partnership with Necessaire on Instagram. This mention is not a part of that partnership.
Photo by Julia Dags.