Links for Lunch

Hello it’s me! Using my newly allotted work-enforced “creative time” to uhhhhh show you some things I found on the internet and share my thoughts.

Gonna just gloss over the fact that it has been a while.

Things that happened while I was gone: went on a real vacation for the first time in a year (!!!), got a new couch, celebrated a birthday, figured out how to use my WaterPik without spraying my entire face/body/bathroom, discovered my new favorite bronzer, watched a lot of babies on TikTok, etc…

It’s nice to be back and writing to you again ❤️

We jUST bought a new couch (Living Spaces, baby!) but my friend Jessica showed me what is essentially the Hawaiian Ikea and they have some great pieces including a dupe for the Restoration Hardware cloud sofa.

I’ve been craving routine and structure— I’m just about to enter my Saturn return— so I’ve started cooking Sunday night dinners as a cozy way to wind down the weekend and show myself some love. I have two favorite recipes right now that I swap depending on my mood. This one (from TikTok) is lighter (but still filling) and bright and crunchy and delicious. This one is….a white lady casserole nightmare so please don’t click on this and think it is anything BUT that. It is a comforting, cheesy delicious Sunday night blanket and nothing more. I usually add ground turkey for some protein.

I bought this candle as a birthday present to myself and also because I love all things Goldie Hawn.

The candlemakers also have their own pop culture podcast that I can’t get enough of.

I’m home from my humid tropical vacation and back in the desert dystopia that is L.A. If you live in a dry climate, this is my holy grail moisturizer. My skin would be shattering into 1000000 sharp pieces without it.

I read The Ugly Cry: A Memoir on the plane and I am STILL thinking about it. Danielle Henderson is a superb storyteller. I highly recommend buying from your local bookstore. I’m linking out to my favorite one: Unabridged in Chicago.

This is the No. 1 product that has saved my long, heat-damaged hair.

If you’re feeling anxiety about finding meaning while living a tiny life on a small dying rock that is hurtling through space, listen to this podcast.

I’m going to San Diego in 2 weeks and I’m really looking forward to trying this restaurant. My dermatologist also recommended this taco place. Have you ever been to SD and/or tried either? Lmk! And send me some recs.

While I’m in town you KNOW I am going to be checking out this haunted hotel.

And on that note:

July is pretty much almost not quite over…so basically it is Halloween IMO.

Can’t wait to wholly embrace this aesthetic:

lots of luv

ur spooky ghoul

L

Skincare That Actually Works*

*or at least it did for me

The dental hygienist complimented my skin today. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve noticed that it’s been looking more glow-y and even recently.

I’d love to share my new fave products with you, but before I do you should definitely know your skin type for best results.

For example, my skin is dehydrated (NOT dry), sensitive and acne-prone. I also have rosacea.

If you DO NOT have any of those things, I don’t know that these products will benefit you in any way! Maybe they will, but that can be your science experiment and I don’t want any part of it/any blame if it goes wrong. Also, I know I said I have sensitive skin, but if your skin is the type of sensitive skin that gets a rash from anything that isn’t 100% pure idkwhatthefuck, consult a dermatologist before using any of this!!

Secondly, I am not claiming that any/all of these products are affordable. Some of them you can definitely find at a drugstore and are under $30, but some of them aren’t!

Basically, this list won’t be for everyone.

We love an author that alienates their audience in the intro!

ANYWAY

If you’re still reading….. I am going to list my routine in reverse. Nighttime first. Why? Because chaos is fun.

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

Do you ever have a skincare product that you look forward to the scent of? This cleansing balm smells SO good. I love its marigold color. I love its melty texture. I love the way it gently but effectively dissolves any and all makeup on my skin. I don’t love how whenever I need a new one, it’s always out of stock!! But when I have this in my rotation, it’s bliss.

I get the best results by doing a few passes over my face with a cotton pad soaked with micellar water (any kind will do), rubbing a nickel-sized portion of this balm all over my face then removing with a water soaked cotton pad (or several), then washing with a cleanser like the one I’m going to tell you about below.

Dr. Loretta Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

This cleanser is soooo beyond extremely gentle. I have stopped cleansing with a product in the morning (Charlotte Palermino taught me), so I keep this in the shower to cleanse with after a workout/before bed.

ENature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack

Allow me to be tragically honest with you. I don’t like the way this product smells or feels. I DO love how it works. When I wake up, my skin feels so freakin hydrated and soothed (V good product for this someone with rosacea) after I go to sleep with this weird goo slathered on.

If you were a kid who sunburned their face a lot and their mom made them go to bed wearing an aloe mask, it feels like that and smells stranger. But this works. Effectively.

OKAY NOW THIS IS THE MORNING STUFF.

As previously mentioned, I no longer cleanse my face in the AM with a product. Typically, I wet a wash cloth and gently rub it all over my face. Then, while my face is wet, I apply the following:

Then I Met You Birch Milk Refining Toner

This toner is one of the main reasons my skin has been looking brighter and more even. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm, but I can always use Banila Clean It Zero in a pinch. I think this purple-milky toner is my new must-have. The blend of acids LIGHTLY exfoliates my skin without burning or stripping it. I get hormonal acne AND mascne, and this product has helped prevent it and clear any dark spots up.

Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream

Hands down, this is my favorite moisturizer. Tragically, I ran out and currently don’t feel like spending $50 to replace it. I am going to try a La Roche-Posay cream in the interim, and I’ll let you know how that goes. But really, this moisturizer strengthens the F out of my skin barrier and plumps my skin to baby cheek goodness. It’s worth the money. I’m just currently broke!

Be sure to make sure your face is still a little wet when you apply this, it will trap the moisture in (a MUST for dehydrated skin). If your face isn’t a little wet, don’t be afraid to splash a LITTLE water on. Then apply product.

M-61 Hydraboost Face Oil

What started as a sample in my Blue Mercury bag has become a staple in my routine. I am a big fan of facial massage/lymphatic drainage every morning and I can’t even imagine doing it without this oil. I guess I love peptides and squalane, babes.

Cerave Healing Ointment

As someone in the skincare cult of Charlotte Palermino, I love an occlusive. Is this step overkill? Maybe! Is it locking in all my face products when I use smaller than a pea-sized amount? Yes! Is it hurting anybody? NO! IT GROWS THE ECONOMY.

Seriously use like…half a pea-sized amount, rub it between your hands and then gently pat it into your face. I have noticed a DRASTIC difference from doing this. Plus, it’s under $10.

Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50

This is one of my favorite sunscreens. I am pale as hell. Something other white people LOVE to point out to me. This is tinted so when I wear it, I don’t wear foundation (or honestly even concealer). It’s SPF 50 so I feel protected. Because I am not typically wearing other makeups with it, this is super easy to reapply without worrying that I am messing up the makeup masterpiece that is my face. The only con is that it WILL stain your clothing should you get any on it before it dries.

My other fave sunscreen rn is from Saie, but it’s a lower SPF. I know I upset some people last time when I said you should be wearing sunscreen indoors, but the Saie one is a good option for every day if you aren’t planning on being outside all that much.

LMK if you have comments, questions, concerns.

I am not a derm or an expert. Just a human being with skin on their face who has tried some things and liked them.

yours,

Boo Boo the fool

On Mental Health

Hello, and what the fuck is going on.

What is transitioning back to “regular/real life (??)”

And do I even want it???

I am not speaking for the collective we, because I know some people did fuck all during the pandemic to “slow the spread” (I fully expect to see my future fifth grade child make some awful history unit diorama on the 2020 pandemic with a little clay man holding a sign that says this).

I am just speaking for me.

I spent over a year inside. I spent almost 400 days seeing the same 4 people (with tiny treats seeing anyone else and I was BEYOND privileged to get to do that). I binge-watched every episode of The Crown, plowed my way through Michael Douglas and Al Pacino’s oeuvres, cooked fancy meals, defrosted tater tots, stopped eating, worked five days a week while mass chaos ensued, called my therapist, went for long walks around the neighborhood, had family die, continued to do every day that wasn’t Sunday, drifted apart from friends, stopped working, called my Grandma more than I ever have in my life, went further into debt than I ever have in my life, still had to work, learned how to give myself a fucking fantastic manicure, gave up on laundry, filled my apartment with plants, acted as a therapist to my parents, got in fights with my sister, drove down PCH blasting showtunes with my boyfriend and convinced and unconvinced myself that I should get a dog like 15 different times.

And now, New York is back, baby!

Or so I’ve heard.

I don’t fucking live there.

But over here in LA life is resuming too. People are going into the office. Or at the very least, going to indoor malls. We’re seeing our friends again. We are going to bars. Some of us are finally going on vacation and posting bikini pics WITHOUT a caption to justify the action!

So why does the whole thing kind of feel like shit?

I’m delighted that I get to see more of my friends again. I can actually go see my grandma and worry less that I am going to kill her! I’ve started taking pilates classes (with a mask on) and on June 15 the mask is coming off.

But a lot of things look and feel different to me and it’s making me fucking uncomfortable to pretend that I am eager to enjoy them.

I’m scared, dude!!!!

I grieved my 2019 existence for over a year. What am I supposed to do now? Dig it up out of its grave and dust it off? That version of me died and didn’t get a funeral (like my step Grandma!) and I’ve been struggling to make up for the loss.

I had a social life and now I’m at square one. I was having fun and now I’m at square one. I felt secure with what I wanted my life to look like and now I’m at square one.

It doesn’t help that this shit started when I was 26 and now I am going to be 28.

The only good thing about being 27 was that I survived.

But I also don’t have the same wants that I did when I was 26 (naturally). However, I also don’t have the same wants that I did when it seemed like the 5 second rule applied to dropping food on a table.

Now it’s like, how the fuck did I ever eat food that I dropped on a public table that hadn’t been cleaned?? That other people sneezed on or wiped their ass on (idk what people do, I’m just saying)???

Like what the fuck, who was that and why did she not fear for her life then???

Someone hit the play button on the world (LOL just the U.S.) and it’s all so loud and fast.

I feel 10000000 steps behind and at this point I can’t tell if I want to try to keep up or just quit.

I’d start a new life and move to the desert but I don’t think the man I live with and love very much would appreciate that.

This was traumatic. 2020 through now. The world has PTSD. Why are we just moving forward and not dealing with it?

Logically, I know I have the choice to opt out. I could sit at home and do more therapy and see people in little bits and work my way up to something sort of like comfortability.

But life will blast past me.

I will feel even more steps behind.

I could throw up.

I don’t even know really why I am writing this. I guess to see if anyone else feels this way? If anyone wants to talk about it? Just so someone knows that they are not alone. Including me.

If you spent the pandemic doing everything that you could and it fucked your mental health and now you feel painfully emotionally slow while everyone is blasting past you to enjoy life and you feel like you can’t or don’t….I am right here with you.

2021 doesn’t have to be a botch if we treat ourselves right. We just have to figure out what that means. And I won’t make any more depressing posts. I swear. (Maybe.)

Hopefully we can add some cham to all our pain….

like champagne

get it?

that was stupid.

Anyway

see you on the bull at Saddle Ranch!

x

Not Another Friday Link Pack

Welcome to Friday!

It’s MDW!

That stands for “Memorial Day Weekend.” I know this because I received about five different emails with those initials in the subject line before I finally thought….okay, I’ll bite. What the hell does MDW mean?

My long weekend looks like friends and family coming in from out of town that I haven’t seen in over a year, dining on outdoor patios, splish-splashing in the Four Seasons pool, drinking espresso martinis, wearing lots of white (prob a bad idea while sipping a brown drink but w/e) and avoiding doing laundry.

But before I take 100000 new Instagram pics….

LET ME HIT YOU WITH THE FIRDAY LINK PACK!

I f*cking GOT the ruffled Alo tennis skirt, only to be massively disappointed with how frumpy it looks on me!! On a whim, I also got the Alo Match Point Tennis Skirt (no ruffles) and basically….welcome to my new summer uniform. I plan on purchasing one in every color. (PRO TIP: the ruffled skirt will prob look better on you if you’re more pear-shaped. It’s a lot of fabric for me and anyone with darling little chicken leggies [and no ass].)

I am in desperate need of a new duvet. I always tend to go for something white. It makes the room look brighter during the day and feel cooler at night. This UO one is basic but I’m into it. This floral one is also a really pretty option AND it’s on sale.

Dan and I have been watching Hacks. Joe Mande alert on Episode 5!!

I think I’ll make this Alison Roman pasta salad recipe and take it to the beach at some point for a picnic.

Just painted my nails this color. Got it at Target.

I also watched a TikTok where this girl did a whole face of ELF makeup and it convinced me to buy this primer and the adorable application brush that goes with it.

Going up north to see family in Oakland this summer. Really want to try the hand-pulled noodles at this place.

Are these the cutest shorts you’ve ever seen?

Good Fur you.

But also these the best things ever for erasing bikini bumps and I am devastated for all the years I did not have them.

If you’re in LA and you’re plant-based/GF and LOVE Italian food… do yourself a favor and check out Pura Vita. Prob my new go-to spot for comfort food.

NOT Harry Hill influencing me to want this ugly Coach bag like it’s 2006.

My favorite TikTok story line? That girl who discovered via another person’s video on the app that her shitty IRL friends actually didn’t want her hanging around. Welp! She’s thriving now. ☺️

Also not a thing to click, just something incredible my therapist said to me that I feel like screaming from rooftops. I was explaining to her how I was “trying” to take care of myself and listing all the things and ways. She was like “what do you mean by trying? You are doing. You are DOING it.” It was very much a holy sh*t moment. So when you notice that you are doing nice things for your brain and for your body, I urge you to see it as less of a “trying” to make it work and more of an act of legitimately doing it.

Because you are.

There is no dress rehearsal for life (or for self care). It requires daily maintenance and any act, even drinking more water or making sure you get more rest, is fucking DOING the damn thing.

BYE BESTIES PLS WEAR UR SUNSCREEN THIS WEEKEND

Friday Link Pack

First of all, stream Sour by Olivia Rodrigo.

Second of all, hello! My brain feels broken. TGIF.

Let’s do some shopping/looking/gabbing/glazing over!

Starting this on a high note by telling you about this plushie that I got for period cramps. They offer it in a variety of shapes, but I picked the turtle. What’s great about this little toy is that you pop it in the microwave for a minute or so and the beans (or whatever the hell it is inside) heat up and feel very soothing on your tummy area/uterus. Plus, it smells like lavender and I think it’s a super cute little bud to have when you’re feeling gloomy on the couch/in bed.

Currently on the hunt for a dupe of these Lisa Says Gah! flatforms. Could have sworn I wore a similar pair to my fifth grade graduation….?

I bought this fancy candle and now I feel like an adult.

I wore these Poppy Lissiman sunglasses on my IG and got DMs asking about them. I truly have no idea what my personal style feels like anymore, so I am experimenting. These were a little out of my comfort zone but after a successful coffee run wearing them, I’ve decided to keep them. The lenses also come in different colors.

Want a reading rec? This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. Will make you want to travel/eat good food/cry/call your parents. I also read this book…the first half is a walk down meme-memory lane and the second half is an emotional wallop. I think I am grieving life before and the strange middle times we just had. So recently, sad books with strong endings have been feeling appropriate.

Fascinating discourse on the genesis of Hot Cheetos. “This guy should run for office if he’s that good at fooling everyone.” Damn. Fake it ’til you make it I guess?

I am currently obsessed with Human Design. I’m a Generator. What are you? This TikTok lady is an excellent source once you find out.

Goose just came out with a new nightgown style! This one is inspired by Madeline. Yes, the little red haired French girl. I already own the Amy (Little Women-inspired) and it is the perfect post-shower/bath ensemble.

I love this meatball recipe. I love meatballs in general, but this one is extra tasty and a snap to make. I came home from a pilates class and whipped this up in 10 min, popped it in the oven, showered and by the time I came out it was done.

I want this frikkin tennis skirt!!!!! Why is it ALWAYS out of stock!!

This white bean pesto recipe looks so damn good. Imagine it on toast?? Ffff mm.

Did you listen to Sour yet? I know I told you to stream it at the top of this link pack but I just kind of assumed you would go do it immediately. What is your favorite song??? I want to scrawl the lyrics to “brutal” all over my personal property HOWEVER my Cancer sun and rising signs have forced me to play “traitor” on one endless loop, simply to feel validated by this line:

“Ain’t it funny, remember I brought her up and you told me I was paranoid?”

Until the next time girlbosses!

gaslight, gatekeep, green M&M

L

Things That Are Gone & Never Coming Back

Taking stock of my life and the things that are no longer a part of it, in the year and some change since the global pandemic began.

As per usual, all thoughts and feelings are my own and I would never claim to be speaking on a global perspective or even a city-wide one. I am also not an expert on anything besides my own human interactions and experiences.

Even then, I am barely an expert.

The only thing I am probably an expert on is crying at work and (maybe) the Jonas Brothers.

Things In My Life That Are Gone & (Likely) Never Coming Back

The blissful years of my life I had never heard of the word “cheugy”

Grocery store salad bars

Trusting the person blowing out the candles on their cake before I eat any of it

Letting strangers kiss me on the mouth (or anywhere else)

Not being icked out by movie theatre seats

Feeling comfortable in jeans (for a multitude of reasons)

Shaving my legs/armpits/arms/toes/the strip of hair under my belly button

Eating out of a shared bowl of chips at a party and/or funeral

My Facebook and Twitter accounts

Any love I had for James Franco

Being able to sleep without my midnight snack: melatonin gummies

Group hot yoga

Believing “it’s just allergies”

Some of my friendships (okay, a lot of my friendships actually)

Stimulus checks

Airbnbs

Being able to say I’ve never seen an episode of Frasier

Not spending 4 hours at a time on TikTok

All of the high heels I sold to Buffalo Exchange

My attention span

Some family members bc death

Vitality

Like probably most people you’ve ever met (whether you know it or not), I too struggle with mental health issues.

Although I am incredibly happy for the people who have said that 2020 and the slow beginnings of 2021 have been “the best year of their lives,” I do not feel this way. Maybe I am fooling myself, but I feel like most people do not feel this way? And the people who are saying this are people who extremely needed a break from something in their lives and used this time where the world slowed down to take it.

For me, it was full of suffering.

JK

But actually. It sucked. My mental health has sucked. I had JUST started seeing a new therapist before the pandemic hit and before we could even get to the mashed potato brains of it all, I felt like I needed to talk about my fears with the pandemic 99% of the time before the real stuff even got addressed.

This year and a half I have felt fragile and weak and unsafe and at sea with myself.

I’ve rarely been alone.

I can’t imagine how this must have been for people who feel like I have been feeling and have been alone.

And yes, there are millions of people who have had it much, much worse.

During a recent conversation with my therapist, we discussed finding vitality in everyday life and what it means— or could mean, to me.

For all the time that I have spent feeling like I was actively breaking apart, I want to find resilience again in the dawn of….something. I want my post-pandemic world independence to be focused on activities that do not drain me but rather fill me with strength.

I just googled the definition of “vitality.”

It means: the state of being strong and active; energy.

Similarly: the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things.

My therapist gave me an example from her own life. She said that having a cup of coffee with milk every morning gives her a sense of vitality.

My two coffees-a-day habit has had me feeling extra jittery as of late and after a recent doctor’s visit, I was advised to no longer consume dairy! So there goes that example.

But I digress.

At the risk of sounding like that “every day I put on my silly little outfit and do my silly little tasks” meme, here are the things that give me a sense of vitality:

(Editor’s note: most of these things sound simple but I don’t think things that give you a sense of strength and energy necessarily need to always be hard. Also, everyone’s can be different. These thoughts are my own.)

  • Being prepared. Nothing fills me with a greater sense of self care than having a jacket in the car for when it’s cold, sunscreen on my body whenever I step outside of my house, tampons at the ready in my bathroom at LEAST a week before. Showing myself love like this makes me feel strong.
  • Walking in the sun. I feel healthy and good when I am outside taking steps in the daylight.
  • Having clean sheets and pillow cases on the bed every week.
  • Going to yoga on the beach every Saturday. It hit me the third week of going how much I love this weekly activity and how much it replenishes my spirit. I was in a pose where my heart was cracked open towards the water and I couldn’t help but think of the Kurt Vonnegut quote, “if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
  • Doing my makeup. I am not a woman who feels better bare-faced. Surviving a global pandemic did not change this. I don’t hate my face. I love my face! Painting it with makeup feels like appreciating it. It’s like putting the “Happy Birthday” icing on a cake to me. The ritual application of products with brushes is also soooo soothing.
  • Reading in the morning instead of looking at my phone.
  • Cooking my boyfriend and I a nice dinner. This makes me feel cozy and good. However, sometimes I am too tired to cook. So, I am learning to appreciate the days where I feel up to this.
  • Traveling by myself. I have been writing little iPhone notes to myself with trip ideas. Last night I decided that this fall I want to go leaf-peeping on the east coast and stay in a cozy little hotel. In my future visions I am wearing a down vest and a flannel. I know this might seem silly. I told my boyfriend about it and he laughed. I used to travel all the time and it made me feel independent and whole. Once upon a time, in another life, someone very close to me made the keen observation that I don’t like staying put for very long. I have a curiosity for the world around me. I think part of the reason I have felt so stir-crazy is because I have been physically confined to Los Angeles and not allowed myself to travel (and for good reason! it’s not like I was denying myself cross country trips just for fun). But in the coming months/years/decades/whatever, traveling more is something I know will give me hope/energy.

I am sure there are more tiny little things like this that make me feel strong. Things that throughout my days hopefully I will notice and realize that they contribute to my soul’s growing resilience.

I want to close this by saying, it is okay to feel weak sometimes. It is okay to feel unmoored. You are still strong. Find little things that anchor you. Find small joys in every day life that contribute to your sense of well-being and vitality.

You can do it.

I trust you.

xx

I Deleted The Facebook Account I’ve Had For Over Half My Life

When I joined Facebook in 2007, I was 13. I was in the 8th grade.

This was back when someone attending high school or college had to approve your entry. I have no idea when they stopped doing that, but it was a real thing that you used to have to do. I had a friend in 9th grade who approved me.

I don’t really remember why I wanted to join Facebook, I already had a Myspace. But I joined it.

14 years later (a.k.a February 19 at 12:40 P.M. today), I deleted it.

I am currently sitting here, sorting through my anxiety feelings.

It’s not like I ever go on it. I probably haven’t been an “avid” Facebook user since I posted all those photos from my senior year study abroad. I mostly use Facebook to log in to the Shake Shack app and Spotify. Facebook is how I confirm that someone got married or died or how I find dining room furniture at a discount price. It’s where your elderly relatives wish you happy birthday. It’s not Instagram (even though Facebook owns IG). I haven’t posted a photo of myself to Facebook since 2017.

But I have had Facebook in my life longer than I have without it. It’s a place where photos of me in braces exist, photos where I am wearing a sequined shirt and singing with my fellow sparkly show choir friends. Facebook is where you can find the first photos of me in my navy and tan high school uniform, awkward photos of me performing on cheer squad and oh my god “group bonding” on Kairos.

My Facebook is a graveyard for statuses that in hind-sight were so unbelievably cringe-y, I am going to need a medical professional to come over and lower my shoulders. My Facebook is an archive of messages and posts to friends and crushes that make me wish I could go back in time and teach little me about boundaries!

I made groups like “Spring Awakening Runs My Life” and “I Want All The Jonas Brothers To Lick Me” because I thought Facebook groups were just like Neopets guilds—which holy shit, I hope my Neopets account isn’t still online.

To be totally honest, my Facebook account is also a place with a lot of fucking trauma.

For me, my account holds the memory of my high school sexual assault and its social aftermath. Feeling incredibly lonely, trying to lose myself in a community of other weird girls online, getting mean messages, feeling like I never fit in, etc… When I look at this godforsaken social media site I think about all the people who have tried to “friend” me over the years for one reason or another and sometimes I feel rage. How dare you find me. How dare you request to be my friend?? Don’t you remember what you said and did? Followed by gaslighting myself about my own feelings. “It’s just Facebook! Who cares!”

We all exist so easily, almost thoughtlessly online. For whatever reason, the accessibility (that I have allowed) has been feeling like a giant F U to myself for a long, long time.

And I get it, I’m on Instagram. I’m on TikTok. I only recently deleted Twitter. But I have the ability to curate and share (and honestly just protect) what’s new without having the weight of 2,000 photos and posts from the 11th grade behind it. Maybe I would feel differently had it been a positive experience. But, it wasn’t and it will never be!

And that’s actually fine.

By deleting Facebook I have lost hundreds of black and white and sepia high school MacBook photo booth pics, Winter Formal shots from the year I dyed my hair brown (don’t worry I still have physical copies if you really want to see), pieces of Facebook Flair, messages with my friend Becca who died, the ability to list myself as “single” or “in a relationship” and have my followers react to it, any idea of what my fourth cousin twice-removed’s baby looks like or will look like in the future and also probably the easiest way to log in to my Everlane account.

But it’s all worth it, because I also feel pretty fucking free.

I am letting go of something that no longer serves me.

I wish that I could have made this post about how Facebook is evil and stealing my privacy or something. But I have already uploaded multiple photos of myself to that one app that makes you look like a boy or old. Plus, I think I might have shared my social security number on Neopets many years ago.

So unfortunately for you, this is just about me, breaking the link on an invisible chain that has been causing me mental anguish for no reason other than, it just has. For a while.

If you’ve been thinking of deleting, I say do it! It takes about 30 seconds of your life. It might be a little scary at first or it might feel like nothing. Maybe it will feel like both.

I FULLY RECOGNIZE THAT SOME PEOPLE READING THIS CAN’T QUIT FACEBOOK BECAUSE OF THEIR JOB.

BUT THIS IS NOT ME TELLING YOU THAT YOU SHOULD DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT!

THIS IS ALSO NOT ME TELLING YOU NOT TO LIKE FACEBOOK.

LIKE IT! LOVE IT! MARRY IT!

I am not even saying that social media is evil. I love social media!

I put this out here because I DO have a need to chronicle my tiny existence. Who knows! Maybe in another 14 years this will seem deeply embarrassing and I will delete it and write a piece about how my blog was full of trauma and embarrassing twenties-something stuff for Mars Magazine (this is assuming we all move to Mars at some point).

But I am also putting this out there on the off chance that maybe someone can relate. Maybe you already deleted for a similar reason and you read this and you feel validated for your choices. Or you want to delete but you’re worried about what it’s going to be like and you want to see if I have dissolved into nothingness because of it.

Well.

Right now, it is 2:35 P.M.

I told my boyfriend I deleted and he seemed surprised but not shocked. I did not fall off the face of the Earth. My grandpa’s cousin who wishes me Happy Birthday every year on Facebook stills knows that I exist. In the past two hours I have not had the burning need to access those high school rally pics I took in 2009. I still feel a little anxious, but that’s because I’m never totally not.

So don’t worry. There is life after Facebook.

Plus, you can still find me on Instagram!

Unless you’re blocked.

xx

L

Link Pack Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday

Hello and good morning it is 3 P.M.!

Today I woke up and felt ,,,,, not so great mentally,,, so I decided to treat my brain like a friend and devote my day to doing things I like.

It was supposed to rain this morning but it ended up being gorgeous outside. I took a little walk in the sunshine and picked up an almond milk triple-shot latte and a slice of red velvet cake at Starbucks. I got home, put on my favorite podcast and did some work. Then I did some pilates with a really fun Blogilates video and after took a shower and used every single luxurious product I own.

Now we are here and I honestly feel better.

I know it’s not always as easy as this. I can’t ignore the thick coat of depression and anxiety we’re all under thanks to a global pandemic, shady/shitty/just plain bad politics, systemic racism, the U.S. COVID response/vaccine distribution disaster, every small business and restaurant we know and love closing because our government failed to provide monetary relief, wide-spread death, etc…

But on the personal level of just me, and just my OCD-addled brain, I am choosing to celebrate that today it was not so hard to turn one thing around.

ANYWAY ! LINKS !

So my order of the new Parade seamless underwear came and I am thriving. I can’t stand underpants with any sort of elastic against my skin and these are truly buttery soft and won’t just slide down your butt like most seamless pairs do. 10/10 recommend. I really love the grass green and the sky blue colors in the brief and hip-hugger styles. If you’re thinking about getting a pair (or a few) use my code lily-d26 for a free pair!

It’s the Lunar New Year! Here are some traditions and taboos you should know about.

Hate crimes fueled by anti-Asian racism have risen by 1,900% in New York after the start of the pandemic. There have recently also been a string of violent attacks on the Asian community in Northern California. Want to help? Fight Asian-targeted (and all) racism by calling it out when you hear it, reporting it, and donating to the people and communities it causes harm to.

I made the TikTok pasta. How was it? I really liked it. It was sort of like a feta mac-n-cheese. I also used gluten-free pasta which I think helped the heavy dish feel a little lighter. My notes? Use garlic powder not actual garlic and add scallions to the tomatoes while you roast them. Mix spinach in with the dish once you start combining it with the pasta for some added greens. If you haven’t made it yet and your main worry is that you won’t like it because you think it’s a lot of cheese, it is. This is probably a skip for you then.

I really need some new dishtowels. I think these are pretty. These are cool too.

So people can see my face when I’m on a Zoom in my cave-like living room (god I hate this WFH existence) I purchased a ring light. This ring light to be exact! It plugs into the wall (my laptop does not have any USB outlets,,,,thanks Apple), has adjustable tri-pod legs, a holder for your phone (in case my beauty vlogging career takes off I guess), three different light settings AND makes it so my boss can see me scowling during the 10 A.M.

Why do I love these smiley nails? @ Color Camp please make neon green ones with frowny faces.

Dan and I are doing fondue for Valentine’s Day! We’re doing a meat, a cheese and a chocolate. I found some inspiration for things to dip here. I already know what Dan got me (because I asked for it and sent him a link lmao).

We made these Trader Joe’s mac & cheese bites for the Super Bowl and they were the hit of our 4-person pod feast.

I have NOT been able to stop fantasizing about these shoes ever since I saw them on my favorite TikToker….GlitterParis!!

Most days I feel exactly like this:

Can’t think of a gift for your BFF or S/O? Might I suggest….

Anyway, my wet hair has dried into a triangle and I must go burn it into submission with various heated tools!

xoxo

What I’ve Cooked in My Air Fryer & What Actually Works

When I received an air fryer over the holidays, my boyfriend thought that I had been gifted a deep fryer. I think he assumed I would be making things such as french fries, corn dogs, fried Oreos, etc …

Alas, I am yet to receive that type of power.

An air fryer is similar to a tiny convection oven. The device bakes and roasts (like an oven) but its final result mimics that of a deep fryer. You get crunchy-crispy goodness, but you don’t have to use a shit-ton (or ANY!) oil.

While I have yet to make any fried candy bars, I have made a bunch of meat and vegetable dishes in my air fryer.

If you came here to read about making french fries, I am sorry to disappoint — I haven’t tried those yet but I s2g they are on my list!!

THIS IS WHAT I HAD MADE SO FAR:

SALMON

I normally bake my salmon in an oven. It is a no-muss, no-fuss way of getting the job done. I hate touching raw fish and baking it in a glass pan usually equals minimal touching.

HOWEVER!!! I never get a delicious flaky-crunchy top that way, and I really like it when salmon is like that— especially if I am having it on salad or with a lot of vegetables. I was told that cooking salmon in an air fryer gets you that result, I decided to attempt Skinnytaste’s air fryer blackened salmon with cucumber-avocado salsa.

The recipe says: “Cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.”

Perhaps I chose a THICC cut of salmon….but after 7 minutes my fish was still very raw? I popped that bb back in for another 7 minutes, when it beeped, tested it with a meat thermometer (my kitchen must-have) and then only after seeing that it was at an internal temp where it could be consumed without causing bodily harm, pronounced it done.

The top was crispy and well-seasoned (the Skinnytaste recipe’s seasoning mix was v good) and the center was cooked (although perhaps a tad over-done). I have cooked salmon in an air fryer since then (for a total of 12 minutes at 400º) and had much better, less stress-inducing results.

HOWEVER!! You think your apartment stinks after you cook fish in an oven? WHEEE! Get ready for it to be way worse!! Stink city bb!! Also, is there a way to prep your air fryer so the fish won’t stick to it or no? I had to touch (cooked) fish stuck on bits when I was trying to clean my device and that was gross! ALSO no matter how much I have scrubbed since, I feel the scent of salmon still lingers in my air fryer. I am not entirely a fan.

8/10 for taste……..4/10 for experience

CHICKEN NUGGETS

If you have an air fryer, you need to make chicken nuggets. They can be real chicken nuggets, gluten-free nuggets, naked nuggets, soy nuggets, whatever you want them to be. But just go make them.

RIGHT NOW!!!

Never in my life have I made such perfectly crispy nuggets. Not since the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru have I been blessed with such crunchy, crispy, golden PERFECTION!

Here is how to do it: Pre-heat your air fryer to 400º. When that’s done, dump in your nuggets. Cook for 5 min at 400º. Once they beep, shake them in the pan so they flip over. Cook for another 5 mins.

I am dead ass serious!!!! This is nugget bliss!! AND SO EASY!!

Now if only I had saved all those extra Chick-Fil-A sauces 😦

10/10 for taste……10/10 experience!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

What I have learned about air fryer recipes from the internet is that they are semi-trial and error. I mean that’s a lot of recipes, but I find it to be especially true for those involving an this particular device.

When done correctly, an air fryer will produce potato chip-like brussels that you won’t want to stop popping in your mouth.

However, oven-baked brussels caramelize in a low-and-slow way an air fryer won’t. Oven-baking also allows your sprouts time to really soak in your seasonings. Sure, air fryer brussles will have a few crisp, tasty leaves, but the entire sprout (at least in my experience) has not been as flavorful as say….olive oil drizzled sprouts, sprinkled with sea salt, black pepper, rosemary and a little garlic in a 425º oven.

But here is how I have made good air fryer sprouts:

Halve or quarter your sprouts (depending on size). In a mixing bowl, toss them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper. Preheat for 400º, dump them in your air fryer. Cook for 7 min at the same temp. Take them out, give the air fryer basket a shake, then cook for another 5 min at 400º. If you like them extra salty, add another pinch of salt.

8/10 for taste……8/10 experience

TOFU

I am not a tofu wiz but cooking your tofu in an air fryer feels like a really good hack! I have never successfully pan-fried tofu. I always use too much oil or just straight up burn the tofu. BUT HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO TO MAKE IT EXCELLENT SO YOU CAN ENJOY A BAHN MI OR RICE BOWL OR WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT TO MAKE WITH TOFU.

Step 1 is go to Trader Joe’s. They have a Sriracha tofu that you should buy. I like it. If you don’t like spicy, they have a plain version but then why are you buying tofu from Trader Joe’s if you’re not going to get the obnoxious flavored kind? Go to Ralph’s (Kroger/Jewel/Ask your local pizza rat) or something.

Step 2!! Preheat the air fryer to 400º. While it’s heating up, cut your tofu into a way that makes sense for you. If you’re putting it on a sandwich, I would recommend long strips. If you are eating it in a rice bowl, burrito, salad or whatever else, I recommend making cubes.

Step 3 – if you are going to add seasoning to it, now is the time to do that. I am not going to tell you what to do … I got the Sriracha tofu.

Step 4: Dump your strips/cubes into the air fryer. Cook for 5 min at 400º. Give it a little shake after the first timer goes off and then repeat!

CRISPY DELICIOUSNESS!

10/10 for taste…..10/10 for experience!

BAGEL

Full disclosure, I saw someone attempt this on TikTok before I tried it. Their bagel looked gorgeously golden brown!

I did not have a regular bagel, but I DID have a bagel thin.

This was my first and final mistake.

I put it in the air fryer at 350º for 4 minutes.

Basically, I made a cracker?

It was edible but it was…..not a bagel/sort of burned!!

2/10 for taste…….0/10 for experience!!!!

GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH AN EGG IN THE MIDDLE

Another one that I saw on social media, this time from Instagram! The original poster made a grilled cheese sandwich. It was breakfast time for me, and I added an egg. So sue me!!!!!!

I preheated my air fryer to 400º.

I buttered the sides of my bread that would be touching the air fryer. I placed one piece of bread butter-side down, topped it with cheese and cracked an egg (which mercifully stayed in place).

I let it cook for 5 minutes on that side and when it was done, I placed my other piece of bread (butter side UP) on to the sandwich and cooked for another 5 minutes at 400º.

IT LOOKED GORGEOUS! The bread wasn’t burnt (prob because it wasn’t a bagel thin) and the butter and cheese and egg had kept the bread moist enough to not dry out too much. BUT I forgot one crucial step. I did not flip the sandwich in the fryer!! The bread on the bottom was a soggy mess as it had never fried and bore the weight of all that dairy.

The worst part is, I didn’t realize it until I had it in my hands, ready to eat.

I want to attempt this one again. I am not a fan of mushy bread.

7/10 for taste …… 4/10 for experience

If you’ve made it to the bottom and you’re wondering what sort of air fryer I have my grubby mitts on, it’s this one.

I am still learning how to do things with it (clearly) but it has been an overall enjoyable experience so far. Please do not confuse this device with an Instant Pot. That is a pressure cooker. Allegedly, pressure cookers can cook a chicken but can also make yogurt (?). I don’t know much about it, other than I once had a boyfriend who was a lawyer and he was representing someone who had been badly burned after their pressure cooker (I don’t remember if it was Instant Pot?) exploded. He made me promise never to purchase one. I am afraid of explosions and also burns so I will likely keep this promise for the rest of my life!!

thanks for reading

xx