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

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

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

The Best Things I Have Purchased At Erewhon

Erewhon is a grocery store in Los Angeles for crazy people. Not just crazy people, crazy rich people. Sometimes I delude myself into thinking that I can shop there. These are some of my favorite purchases!

All of the Juices

I am a juice girl. Please say nothing to me about the sugar content of juice. I am ignoring you. I am too busy turning my tongue green, chugging a concoction of chard, dandelion, cucumber and moss. I love drinks that taste like dirt. I also love drinks that taste like citrus. Erewhon has all of that! And more (check out their Strawberry almond milk. Omg so good)! If you ever go to Erewhon, buy a juice. You will be like “$9??? For this??” Yes. For that.

You came here! Now pay the troll toll.

Erewhon Hand Sanitizer

THIS SMELLS SO F*CKING GOOD. As someone with a hand sanitizer for my entry way, purse, and car, I need a variety of scents. Otherwise, all I smell is Purell-alcohol and I feel sick. This is my favorite hand sanitizer for the car (I also keep like 3 Kreation sanitizers stashed in there as well, but tbh those smell like ass). Erewhon’s sanitizer smells like sandalwood and lavender and lemon and probably Kourtney Kardashian (notorious Erewhon shopper).

It by no means replaces hand washing— it’s not even my hand sanitizer with the highest alcohol content! But it is the nicest, best-smelling way to remind myself that everything is germ-y and terrifying and that I should not touch my face. Plus, it makes my car smell so good after I’ve sprayed.

Zab’s Hot Sauce St. Augustine Style

Okay, so I originally saw this hot sauce on an influencer’s IG story (itsmetinx), but I trust her taste in pretty much everything. First of all, the bottle is so cute. I love the little fire-breathing blue dog(?) (fox?) on it. It’s described as having a slow-burning heat, but the hot sauce itself is vaguely fruity, with a little bit of spice. I like to use this on rice and beans, avocado, chicken, sweet potatoes, etc, for a little bit of sweet heat.

Wylde One Yoga in a Cup

I had a really strong Four Sigmatic phase, and I still gravitate toward anything made with mushrooms. Yoga in a Cup is a blend of chill-inducing reishi mushrooms and Ashwagandha. It tastes a bit like chai tea, especially when you mix it with a little almond or oat milk. As someone who has tried many mushroom elixirs, this one makes me feel the most mellow. I recommend sipping on some while you take a candle-lit bath or watch TV.

Deux Enhanced Cookie Dough

You’re either a person who wishes they could eat cookie dough with a spoon, or you’re not. If you’re not, please get off my site. I don’t need that kind of negativity here. This vegan, gluten-free, immunity or beauty-boosting (depending on what flavor you pick) dessert is…..perfection? It tastes like luxury. It’s a PMS cure. My personal fave is the chocolate chip flavor but the brownie batter is also divine. Why can’t all my immunity/collagen/protein ish be given to me in cookie dough form???

Matzo Ball Soup

All of Erewhon’s soups are good, but if you like and regularly enjoy matzo ball soup, then you know the struggle of finding good supermarket MBS (matzo ball soup) is hard. Is Erewhon’s like your Bubbe makes? No. But it is a revelation!!! The matzo balls are light and herby. The broth is as drinkable as your favorite tea. There are BIG chunks of juicy chicken, vibrant carrot and celery in there! Where Gelson’s and Bristol Farms MBS fails, Erewhon EXCEEDS. These soups come in mason jars and my favorite thing that I have ever done is turn my Erewhon soup jug into an iced coffee …jug? cup? I never have to make a second coffee this way. It holds so much.

Joolies

If you like dates and don’t want to risk getting Covid at a farmer’s market, buy these. Put them in a salad. Put them in a smoothie. Eat them as a snack. Trust me. You’re welcome.

Iwon Organics Spicy Sweet Pepper Protein Stix

Apparently, Hot Cheetos are bad for you. I know, I was shocked too. But now I am on the hunt for a spicy, crunchy snack dupe. I love my Cheetys. Not because of their cheese-factor but because they are spicy and I like it when my mouth gets a little numb. These are nicely spiced! Not to mention non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan and made with plant-based ingredients. However, they do not turn your fingers that lovely shade of red-orange.

I really like these but I am still on the hunt for something that really makes my mouth sweat. (Gross!)

Health Essential Candle Frankincense-Myrrh Luxury Glass

There is something truly unhinged about being in a grocery store and seeing an 8 ounce candle that retails for $23.99 and deciding, I’m going to get that! But let me tell you, IT IS WORTH IT. Is it a financially smart decision? No. But is shopping at Erewhon a financially smart decision anyway? Also probably no!!! Some days demand expensive candles (a lie I am telling myself and you, sorry) because you feel like the world is burning and the only thing you can control is what scent you want your bedroom to be.

This candle smells like a very expensive mom. Imagine you are the small child of wealthy parents, and you’re living in a mansion. You have wandered away from your nanny to go hide in to your mother’s walk-in closet. You are letting the sleeves of her cashmere sweaters tickle your face as you hide behind them. The cool silk of her skirts is brushing lightly against your knees. It smells like safety. It smells like fancy lady perfume. That is this candle!!!!!!!

Honorable Mention: The Salad and Hot Bar/Prepared Foods

I mean technically it’s not a salad or hot bar anymore because you can’t serve yourself. However, they offer a bunch of salads and hot food options pre-packed in individual servings, that were once a part of their salad and hot bar. My faves are their asian chicken salad, macrobiotic salad (which is less salad and more vegetables and rice and beans) and their kelp noodle salad. V good chicken, falafel, salmon and veggie sides.

Skip the sushi. It’s eh.

xo

Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Drinking

I’m just going to start by saying, I really want a glass of wine right now.

I’ve paused Real Housewives of Salt Lake City to write this (because inspiration rarely strikes at convenient times), and normally I would be watching all the drama go down accompanied by a nice glass of red (or white) (or rosé).

But no.

I am doing Dry January, which I sometimes also call “Dryanuary.”

Never has the urge to drink in daily life been stronger. We are living through a global pandemic, a bunch of fuckwits stormed the Capitol, Harry Styles is dating Olivia Wilde, Tr*mp was impeached again, Armie Hammer wants to eat people, we still have to do our jobs, I haven’t had eye lash extensions since last March, every single restaurant we know and love is closing for good, I haven’t seen my friend group since last year and I think they all probably hate me because of it, I can’t stop crying because of that song “drivers license” AND I missed a dental appointment so they are billing me $125!

I!

WANT!

A!

DRINK!

But,,,,, if I am being honest with myself, and with you — mom, the only person who still reads this site anymore — I was drinking more often than I liked.

I would like to note that in pre-pandemic life, drinking was also a social activity. Rarely did I drink alone.

I miss cozying up between friends and strangers at the bar, gabbing about work, ordering apps, bonding hard over a second glass of something. I miss everyone in various stages of hair and makeup while the most ready person fixes drinks. I miss getting a little buzz and hitting the dance floor.

I really fucking miss blasting Taylor Swift in my ear pods, drunk in the Uber and on the way home.

During pandemic life, I live with my boyfriend so if I am not drinking with him then I am drinking alone.

Drinking by yourself is fun if you’re in the bath or cooking dinner. I have found that it is less fun when you are doom scrolling through Twitter or seeing photos of people on Instagram in M*GA hats, wearing shirts that say “6 MILLION MORE.”

So new year new me, even though I haven’t had a hair cut in ages.

No drinking. Also I deleted my Twitter.

So what have I been doing for the past 14 days? LET ME TELL YOU!!!!!!

I have been drinking a lot of tea and non-alcoholic kombucha. Tea is nice because it makes you feel cozy and sleepy. Kombucha is nice, because it tastes like juice and it is especially nice to drink when it is icy cold.

I have been working out. I started doing Blogilates routines because this influencer that I follow did Blogilates last year and she had the most amazing butt.

I have had discussions with people — both negative and positive — about Dryanuary. I have found that some people who typically don’t drink, like to use your month-long resolution as an excuse to remind you that they aren’t like you and that they don’t feel the need to do this. It has been an opportunity to both practice and lose your patience!

I have also had some encouraging conversations too.

I have been on walks. I have taken baths. I have tried reading books. I cooked more meals. I online shopped. I called my parents. I called my therapist. I have been doing yoga for my upper back and I have read through all my old text messages, even the ones that cause me to hurt.

And to be honest, I don’t feel that different. I still have anxiety. I still have depression. I still have OCD. I still feel like whyyyyyy is this happening? But I didn’t expect to quit drinking and have everything magically change for me.

This is/was an exercise in breaking a bad habit for me. It was never about making a permanent change. Like most of us who resolve to do better because the Earth has successfully completed another spin around the sun, I wanted to kick off the first day, week, month in way that inspired future physical and mental health.

It has only been two weeks but my face feels less puffy and I am sleeping better — both things I will remember once January fades into whatever the hell we are headed towards.

But I don’t feel mentally amazing. And how could I expect to? I am thankful for so many things in my life, but the world (especially America rn) pretty much sucks! It’s not like drinking ever deluded me into think it wouldn’t, or that it could ever stop the pain of being robbed of an entire year of life.

Maybe one day I will quit drinking totally. I probably should, this audio book about alcoholism that I am listening to is scaring the crap out of me. Plus, because I drink for pleasure I like to drink things that taste nice and those things tend to be a little $$.

But until then, I will continue to have tea, paint my nails, call my mom, water my plants, take self-inventory of my feelings and try to enjoy the rest of this month (where I have spent all my money on $$ health snacks).

When it’s over, maybe I’ll celebrate with a kombucha.

xo

LL

Have a Cozy-Making Sunday

I am writing this to you from my kitchen table, where I have a lovely view of an aluminum butter wrapper that has flown onto my balcony and out of someone’s trash. Either that or my upstairs neighbors are dumping their garbage out of their window.

I have yet to learn to love life on the east side.

ANYWAY.

I have a face mask on, I’m wearing my gnocchi Uggs, and I’m sipping some re-heated coffee. To add to the major relaxation vibes, Dan has football on (which is serving as my background noise ASMR for the day) and I have lit every single candle in our apartment. It is the late-teens of October and I am extremely dedicated to the spirit of Sunday cozy-making.

While it still may not be cold enough in LA to wear a sweater and I will probably have to say R.I.P. to any plans I had to go to a pumpkin patch this year, here are some things on the internet that are making me feel especially cozy today:

In the spirit of becoming my own favorite Midwestern aunt, it is my duty to inform all of you that this is the last day of Bath & Body Works buy 1, get 1 3-wick candle sale.

This weekend I listened to the Amelia Diamond episode of Gee Thanks, Just Bought It, and it was like spending time with an old friend. Diamond left Man Repeller (now called, Repeller) in 2018 and I have missed her voice/sense of humor ever since.

As soon as I take a leisurely solo trip to the grocery store to buy ingredients, I’ll be baking this apple cider doughnut cake.

Independent book stores really need your help right now. Even if you don’t have time to read (or like to), you definitely have friends and family who do. Consider buying a book, tote bag, or cool crewneck sweater to keep these places open. Here are a few independent book stores that I love: Unabridged Bookstore (Chicago), Women & Children First (Chicago), Skylight Books (Los Angeles), City Lights Bookstore (San Francisco), McNally Jackson (New York).

I got into my friend’s car after months of not seeing her and one of the first things she said to me was “you smell SO good.” I just started wearing this perfume.

I used to hate tomatoes and now I am obsessed with bursting them with olive oil and a little garlic to make pasta sauce. Will probably make some variation of this for dinner this week.

Have you been doing yoga at home? I’ve been really into SarahBethYoga’s videos. Sometimes I take a 15 minute break from work to do this one. I’ve also been looking for a new yoga mat. Anyone have any recs?

Just copped this plaid jacket from Minnesota/North Dakota brand Kittsona. I’m going to have to wait a little until the temps drop to wear it, but when I do I’d love to pair it with something like cozy like this. Mommy blogger fall is the vibe.

Speaking of mommy blogger fall, every year I consider buying this Everlane glove boot. TC if you’re reading this, I need you to peer pressure me into it!!! NO RAGRETS

Hope you’re somewhere cozy, enjoying Great British Baking Show, and drinking mugs of tea.

Love

LL

Things in My Los Angeles Apartment That Just Make Sense

We’re in our new space! I can’t believe I finally left the valley! And that all the people who used to make fun of me for living there have had to move back to Pennsylvania/central Illinois to live with their parents!

Here are some bright spots about our new place:

This candelabra set my boyfriend hates but I think is really cool

He told me they remind him of when Delia Deetz decorates the house with really modern furniture in Beetlejuice. That may have been meant as an insult, but Delia Deetz manically decorating things might just be my overall vibe. Anyway, I love their cool squiggly shape and brassy color. It was actually difficult to find candlesticks that would fit into these mASSIVE holes, but I finally did.

I got both from Urban online: candle holder, candle sticks

A rolling cart

I have already mentioned this rolling cart a few times, but I am obsessed with it. My new kitchen is teeny tiny and I need all the storage space I can get. You can’t really tell in this photo but I am currently using my salad bowl as a fruit bowl. Chic!

If you’re straining your eyes to read what the art above my cart says, don’t. It says “Orange you glad you’re still here despite it all.” It feels appropriate because fruit belongs in the kitchen and because this is an old-ass Los Feliz apartment building, it has had a LOT of issues! Even before we started officially living in it! Also the frame is not off center, you’re just crooked.

Also Tori if you’re reading this, my Always Pan in sage green just shipped.

A lot of plants

Don’t let this photo fool you. My new apartment is basically a little cave. This is one of the ONLY sunny spots for plants. Luckily, these plants aren’t like….sun-obsessed (plant community please don’t come for me if I am wrong).

I am planning on going to my fave plant store in the valley to get some plants for the rest of the apartment that thrive in low-light.

A haphazardly organized bar cart

I really want to make this look cute and it is kind of looking like a disaster! Please HELP! I think I want to put a plant on it? Again, it will need to be something that thrives in lower light. Because of course it does.

However, I do love that this cart solved a lot of my storage issues and that it is cute, even if it is disorganized. Yes, I drink Casamigos AND Trader Joe’s rum. Yes, we exist.

A Larry David pillow

It’s Dan’s. Peep the purple rug below!!

My little bedroom reading nook

After much back-and-forth with my interior designer a.k.a. my friend Erin who has a great eye for design and gave me advice for free, we decided to put this little bench-moment under my bedroom window to make it look purposeful.

You might think this iced coffee and book placement was just for the photo, but I was actually curled up reading before this.!

Also, if anyone has some goo-gone for the leftover sticker bits on my mirror that they could bring me, it would be much appreciated.

A shower curtain that looks like a lot of nipples

When I purchased this curtain online I thought, how sweet! It will add some texture and I love the rosy color. Then I set it up and thought hmmm….looks like nipples. It is definitely more flesh-toned in person, but I still like it a lot. I got it from Amazon, where I also got my cute little peach bath mat. I wanted Urban Outfitters but at “fell off a truck” prices.

bath mat, shower curtain

My shelfie

Honestly, I wanted to show off what skincare I’ve been using. Aside from the mask-ne I’ve been dealing with (one of the many pleasures of the pandemic), my skin has been looking and feeling pretty good. I am especially obsessed with the Rio Viera-Newton-approved double cleansing duo with my Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm and the Dr. Loretta Gentle Hydrating Cleanser.

Also, I started using Megababe on my pits and now I believe the hype and my armpits smell like flowers. 10/10 recommend.

Anyway, I have more apartment than this. I just can’t show it to you because it’s Dan’s office not fully decorated yet.

I have one very large wall in the bedroom that I am considering hanging some shelves on. Also we might get a new coffee table. HMU with some ideas. You know where to find me.

I’m an east side girl now.

xo

L

The Year That Wasn’t

Once upon a time, there was a year that didn’t exist.

On December 31, people everywhere counted down “3…2…1” and at the stroke of midnight, everything disappeared.

Or that’s how it feels anyway when I think about how 2020 has gone. Yes, we had a January and February and even a week or two of March, but where has the rest of the time gone?

I’d like to think it hasn’t all been wasted. The creative, food, fashion, and beauty communities have demanded accountability from their people in power, and some even got it. The Black Lives Matter protests have continued, because Black lives matter and because everyone should be protesting the horrific treatment (whether it makes headlines or not) of women, men and non-binary people in the Black community. Everyone should be anti-racist. We have been working on defunding the police. These things happened this year. These things matter.

The fact that we all abandoned our sourdough starters does not.

However, I have been thinking about all the things I wanted to do and thought I was going to do this year, and now can’t.

So here’s my list:

Visit Australia

I was thinking Melbourne. The universe was thinking Coronavirus.

Have my friends over to my apartment for a dinner party

In March, I moved to a new apartment. COVID hit exactly two weeks later. During that time, exactly 3 friends saw my new place. Now I am moving into ANOTHER apartment across town. Kind of sad that no one was ever able to come here and that I was never able to have a house warming!! But I will treasure the Thai food and movies I watched with Chelsea and Julia and that one time I cooked eggplant and steak with Mijal. Also… how close I currently am to a Sephora.

Chicago Summer

There’s nothing quite like summertime Chi. The city comes alive. Everyone is showing off their pasty white winter legs on sunny patios, the lake is a sparkling Sapphire, you can drink in the middle of street and eat Harold’s chicken if you spend too much money at Taste of Chicago. It’s the best. I wanted to go this year. Oh well!

Get a new tattoo

I have about 7 different ideas, only two of which I can remember at any given time. Also, my tattoo shop is closed.

Guide my little cousin through her first year of college

My poor little cousin. She is a freshman this year, and at my alma mater. I was so excited to be “the cool cousin” and give her pro-tips about dorms, where to go out, where to eat, etc… But as excited as I was, it’s definitely 10000 times worse for her.

Go out with friends

I would pay infinity dollars to safely be out at a bar with my friends on a Friday night, standing in a little circle of my ladies. I want to be definitely tipsy, shouting to be heard over whatever bar music. I am picturing The Lincoln. My next cocktail is something fruity. I’m wearing block heels and a leather jacket. My friend Katie is asking me to come stand outside with her while she smokes a cigarette. I will take an Uber home before my friends ask to go to the next bar. Life is good.

Try new restaurants

This is the only thing I have still done under Q. While I am not able to take in the ambiance of new establishments, I have still been able to try their food via the comfort of my bed. I now need to buy new sheets as these have all been stained.

Visit New York

It’s on my list every year to go. I don’t know why I want to do it. I hate New York.

Go to at least one hotel

I did plan on staying in a hotel this year. I still can. But with enormous trepidation!!! Everything gives me anxiety!!! Including towels folded like swans and bathtub plugs swimming with other people’s ickies!!!

Learn ASL and take an ASL class

I guess I could still take a class online?

Try on clothing in a shop

I DID plan on trying clothes on in a dressing room at some point in 2020. Basically my style has just become oversized tees and bike shorts because I don’t want to go through the hassle of bringing shit home, trying it on and then going alllll the way back to return what doesn’t fit.

ANYWAY, I have stopped blaming it totally on people who won’t stay home to flatten the curve and now blame it mostly on our government’s total lack of sense/preparation/caring.

I mean if you’re still going to crowded bars and big parties and stuff, f*ck you.

Always exhausted & always yours

L

Why I’m Starting Again

Sometimes it feels so singularly embarrassing to exist. If you’re anything like me — which I hope you aren’t — it’s exhausting. Remembering anything, making a small (or large) mistake, saying hello to a stranger and garbling the words, committing, realizing what you’ve committed to, comparing yourself to Instagrams, living in America amidst a global pandemic, living in Trump’s America (idk why that feels worse than living in a global pandemic, but it does), being invited to a Zoom call and then immediately trying to figure out how to get out of it, not finishing a craft (OR A WRITING PROJECT) that you started, surviving inside a burping, sneezing, digesting, hairy human body, can be soul crushing.

So that’s why I’m here. I guess.

To show myself (and you, if you’re reading this) that yeah, it’s embarrassing to live, but life does go on. There is a large sliding scale of discomfort and sometimes you’re at “getting your ears pierced” and sometimes you’re at “full pelvic exam.”

Right now, I’d like to think I’m at “rigorous cheek swab.”

So I’m writing again.

I do believe this is the ….third? fourth? millionth time? Maybe? That I’ve said HIIIIIIIIII I’M BACK!!!! And let me tell you, it feels embarrassing! But also, really nice to have a place to write. Because I have a lot of things to say and sometimes you read them and that’s good. I hope it makes the both of us feel less alone.

Originally I was going to make this post a list. But that felt too impersonal. Come back for pasta recipes, pictures of my new apartment (I got a purple rug), good TikToks, tru sad girl hours, TV recommendations, astrology, weird shit I’ve found on Amazon and beauty/skincare ideas.

love u

L

Jessica Simpson Is the Paulo Coelho of Our Generation

Hi!

We’re back.

Blogs take a lot of time, dedication, and money and unfortunately we have none of those things.

But what we DO have is Jessica Simpson’s tell-all, Open Book.

If you’re a loyal reader, you know we were and still are OBSESSED with Jessica’s pregnancy foot pics that documented her monstrous swollen ankles.

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Any remedies?! Help!!!!

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We are not Quentin Tarantino. We just loved the radical honesty and truly amazing IG content. Show me another female celebrity doing this much to document their changing body (sans gross sensual belly pics) through a similarly humorous and horrified gaze!!

Although we haven’t listened to a Jessica Simpson song since 2006, we–meaning I, Lily– purchased the audiobook of Open Book out of genuine curiosity.

I’d been seeing headlines around town about it. Something, something John Mayer ‘Sexual Napalm,’ CLICK– and that she spared no celebrity (including herself) in telling her truth. We love a strong woman!!!

I am a paperback girl but because I drive 75623646723423 hours to work and back every day I have become an audiobook girl as well.

What you need to know about this book is that it is:

1. Narrated by Miss Simpson.

2. Does not spare a SOUL except goddess Britney Jean Spears.

3. Sad as hell and will make you cry.

I was expecting a fun, easy celeb read like Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder or maybe something with a little juice like literally anything by Andy Cohen. I’ve been on a string of creepy books because I can listen to them in the car without getting scared (shoutout Baby Teeth) and weird books (anything Otessa Moshfegh) and wanted a palate cleanser.

What I got was an insanely compelling, tear-jerking, unflinching look at what it was/is to be a 90’s teen star turned TV personality turned business woman turned disaster turned mom? Idk I haven’t finished the book yet tbh.

BUT WHAT I HAVE LISTENED TO IS REALLY FUCKING GOOD (and I’m like 70% through).

Her entire childhood is movie-worthy. It’s wild listening to her stories about auditioning for Disney and losing it out to Britney Spears (who she NEVER says a bad word against). There is totally some venom towards Xtina and Justin Timberlake but like, to be expected. She talks a lot about her marriage with Nick Lachey (remember him? lol) and her substance abuse problems.

You get to learn a lot about CaCee Cobb, wife of Donald Faison! There is a part where she talks to Celine Dion while in the hospital on a lot of pain meds! It’s magic!

Basically, this is a great read if you are either a fan of Jessica’s or looking to become one. Or if you are someone who really likes Friday Night Lights and The Righteous Gemstones or watch a lot of Fixer Upper and are scared of Chip and Joanna Gaines.

This book is making me want to go to Texas.

This book is making me want to stream “With You” and pretend I’m in an Amanda Bynes movie. If this isn’t a ringing endorsement then I don’t know what is.

Also, her book tour looks have been SICKENING in the best possible way.

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Brrrr ❄️ #OpenBookLOOKS

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Channeling my inner Elle Woods 💕#OpenBookLOOKS

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Anyway, just felt the need to share. Maybe you’ll hear from me again, maybe you won’t.

Writing this felt like getting back on a bicycle only to realize you have two flat tires.

So who knows.

Laters on the menjay

L