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

Life After Lashes

When I was in college, I genuinely believed that I would die of embarrassment if a boyfriend saw me without makeup. My mother once told me that Dolly Parton’s husband had never seen her without her full glam on, (which, who knows if this is true lol) so I dedicated myself to always carrying around concealer, a lipstick and of course– mascara.

We could go into the patriarchal structures that put me (and my mom and Dolly) here, but that seems time consuming. Instead I will just say, I feel better with it on. Especially on my eyes.

I have lost probably hours of my life — if you were to add up all the time I spent from ages 14 to 24 — curling my lashes and mascara-ing them in whatever waterproof version of “blackest black” I could find.

This is just facts, okay? My natural lashes are stick straight. They barely hold a curl. They are also that sort of nothing-y “bronde” color that was so popular with celebs in 2016. My sister has eyelashes like a camel (please google camel eyelashes to see that this is a compliment). When she wears mascara, she doesn’t look like she has little sticks jutting out of her eyes, she looks like one blink could carry her away.

ENTER LASH EXTENSIONS

The first time I decided to try lash extensions was because of the rapper Kreayshawn. I was following her on Instagram and couldn’t stop noticing her long, fluffy, perfect inky-black lashes. One day, she tagged the salon. I made an appointment a few clicks later.

That was two years ago. TWO. And I haven’t looked back. The times I have had my normal lashes in between then and now have been because I messed up booking appointments or because I ran out of money and had to wait until the next paycheck to get them.

What’s so good about them???? I wake up and I have lashes. I don’t have sushi rice grains, I have fucking curtains. I don’t have to wear mascara ever expect for when I paint some on my very blonde lower lashes. I just get up and go. It’s so easy!

I feel polished when I have them. I feel pretty. I feel confident. I feel like myself.

While I realize it’s not THAT deep, they’re just tiny hairs glued to my even tinier hairs — CUE CORONAVIRUS

I didn’t have time to book a lash appointment before we were all told to social distance and my lash tech stopped working. I knew my days of perfect lashes were numbered so I tried to enjoy them.

Eventually, I had to remove the 4 that remained stuck to my face (jojoba oil on a cotton round, very gently). It was personally very devastating! And tbh I felt like crying a lot! These lashes — although a luxury — feel like a part of my face.

I guess the only way I can make it make sense to you is this: Imagine one day you woke up and someone had shaved off your eyebrows. While there is a chance they won’t grow back, typically they do. So while you know it’s not the end of the world, you still have to adjust to being like HOLY FUCK I HAVE NO EYEBROWS!!!

Sure you can paint them on but wouldn’t you rather have the eyebrows you actually want???? Wouldn’t you feel a little less like yourself when you look in the mirror, because who is that person? And why don’t they have eyebrows???

(I realize that there are people in this world who are also very self conscious about their white blonde eyebrows/lack of brows. I apologize for using this as an example.)

My boyfriend thinks I’m psychotic because of this. He tutted at me when I over-nighted a lash curler and a new mascara from Sephora once my lashes were totally bare.

But this is the reality I am going to have to live in until April 19 (and probably after then because WTF IS GOING ON). I need to become comfortable with my face. I am not even going to pretend I can get to a place of even partial confidence being bare-lashed. So mascara will just have to do.

I haven’t had to apply it or curl my lashes in TWO YEARS. I feel like a newborn. And there are lots of ups and downs. For some reason, the lashes on my left eye lay much more nicely than on my right eye and will all slip easily into the curler. The lashes on my right eye are pieces of shit and like to fuck up my face! It’s fun having sisters who never seem to have met each other, not twins.

I am so so so so lucky and privileged to be healthy and to be able to work from home and to afford groceries and to even complain about this. But honestly, much like every other part of being alive in this 2020 hellscape, it sucks and I’m just going to have to get over it and move on.

I’ve tried to focus on other parts of my face that I like and that’s been nice.

Turns out I quite like my cheeks. My eyebrows aren’t bad either. No one please go and shave them off though. That’ll really throw me.

More later because….what else is there to do?

x

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

IT’S FALL!!!

Never mind that the Earth is on fire and it’s 85º in various parts of the country. It’s FALL, witch.

Time to put your favorite cozy sweater on, change your Twitter handle to some sort of spooky pun and blast that AC while you bake pumpkin bread.

In celebration of Oct. 1 and also because we haven’t written anything in a long ass time, here’s a link pack of fall shit we think is cool/wanna do/buy/see/eat/etc…

Have you seen these Everlane “Glove” boots? The chestnut color would look amazing in a pumpkin patch/apple orchard.

Let the cast of Succession usher in sweater weather.

Fall makes me want to wear vampy nail shades like this one that I got at Rite Aide or this hot cocoa color.

Trader Joe’s maple streusel bread is really, really good if you don’t like pumpkin stuff but want something seasonal.

I recently followed this goth/witchy/mom Instagram. They post stuff like this:

and this:

I made these brownies and my sister said they were the best she ever tasted. Don’t read the comments that say they take like 20 mins to bake. They take about 40. They’re SUPER fudgey.

I recently discovered that the majority of my friends don’t know what kugel is. It’s a sweet (or savory) Jewish noodle (and sometimes potato) casserole. My gentile boyfriend likened it to flan (he’s wrong though). Regardless, I would love to try this Molly Yeh cardamom and apple kugel recipe to enjoy when I break the fast post Yom Kippur. FYI you can eat kugel hot OR cold.

Fall always makes me want to listen to Elliott Smith.

Still not in the spirit??? Check out this list of every pumpkin spice product you can buy right now.

BYE UNTIL NEXT TIME

🎃

24-Hours Of Self-Indulgence

We asked one Lately editor to keep a diary about what she ate/spent/did in one day. The results were a chilling reflection of hedonism.

6:30 A.M. 

I wake up and check my phone. I have a text from my boyfriend, three Instagram notifications (not popular), and eight Twitter notifications (POPULAR (jk it’s all Twitter telling me my followers liked someone else’s tweet)). I am currently working from home so I set up my computer for the morning meeting I am to have in exactly half an hour.

8 A.M.

The morning meeting is over, I pitched some story ideas at work and now I am scrolling through the internet. Things I have open on my browser at all times: The Cut, The Strategist, Amazon, Cup of Jo, Man Repeller, and Twitter. I have yet to drink water or eat anything.

I try to start my days with a glass of ice cold water. I typically forget about said glass of water and by the time it’s 10 a.m., it’s room temperature and I don’t want to drink it anymore so I toss it down the sink and pour a new glass.

I make coffee in my massive cheetah thermos-thing I got from the 99-cents store. My drink of choice is a 6-oz of something from Pete’s that I make in my Keurig plus a shit ton of ice, and a heavy pour of chocolate almond milk. One of these days I am going to freeze coffee ice cubes but also that would involve buying ice cube trays (I want these ice sticks). I have a note in my phone about this that I have ignored for months.

I am starving. I have never woken up and not been absolutely ravenous.

I am a huge fan of breakfast sandwiches, so I toast two slices of whole grain bread in my toaster oven and put two slices of cheddar cheese on one of the two. I fry an egg. I am in the mood for a grilled cheese-vibe, and IMO no grilled cheese is complete without a thin layer of pickle relish.

IF YOU THINK THAT IS DISGUSTING, I URGE YOU TO CLICK THIS LINK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE/TRY IT FOR YOURSELF.

We are out of pickle relish. I put bread and butter pickle chips on it plus a squirt of mustard. Yes, it’s like 8:30 in the morning. She is a salty-centric queen and she makes no apologies.

10 A.M.

I have to pour myself a new glass of water. Lol.

I also realize that I have yet to wash my face/brush my teeth. Right now I am using this Andalou vitamin-c cleanser that my friend Andrew recommended to me. It smells like gummy bears and it’s brightening without stripping me of my natural oils. I am currently moisturizing with Manyo Factory Herb Green Fresh Lotion. I got it from the skincare place in chinatown that Rio Viera-Newton (of “The Strategist” and also of “being an internet cool girl”) loves when I was in New York. It’s called oo35mm and it is really tiny but the people who work there are super helpful and friendly!!

I used to use a lot more stuff on my face but then I got tired and now I don’t!

I brush my teeth.

12 P.M.

I ordered lunch from Health Nut, the place the Kardashians’ used to love, and order their Chinese Chicken Salad. Typically, I get their “Noodlerama” which is salad with cold rice noodles and spicy dressing, but today I feel like eating lettuce with chicken and some tiny crunchy things that Health Nut really needs to consider adding more of.

Recently, I had my deodorant confiscated from the Stockholm airport (why? idk!) so I am in the market for a new deo. I have been using some version of Old Spice ever since college (smells like an ex-boyfriend) but now I want to switch to something natural because I am worried that everything I’m using is killing me!

This deodorant is supposed to 1. work and 2. smell just like Old Spice, plus it’s natural and comes in super chic packaging. On the same Sweden trip, I also thrashed my favorite Madewell transport tote. It’s taken a heavy beating over the past five years traveling with me everywhere from Chicago to Singapore and now it’s completely falling apart.

I order a new one (with a zip-top!) in the color “saddle” because I am nothing if not a basic bitch, forever and ever. But also, if you’re in the market for a travel bag that can fit a weekend’s worth of clothing, an over-stuffed makeup bag, and a laptop–this is the bag for you.

During my purchase I also spy this architecturally interesting bag, but it doesn’t ship until July! So….bye.

2 P.M. 

I’m on Instagram. I really want some hot Cheetos. Has anyone actually purchased Necessaire? I want to try it but also, I think I only want to try it because my favorite Instagrammers are being paid like 5k to post about it all day. They have a body wash, but they also do lotion and lube and stuff. I text Kate about it and make a mental note to circle back later.

I eat a sunbutter cup. It’s like a Reese’s but with sunflower seed butter and dark chocolate (so nothing like a Reese’s). I need more underwear and I am genuinely digging these from Amazon. They’re a dupe for the Gap Body ones we love at Lately, and since the closest Gap Body to me is like 15 miles away, I’ll just Prime these to my house instead.

My to-do list is still a mile long. I have a lot of hand-wash laundry to get to. I have 600 emails to respond to and I feel like at least half of them are embargoed news that I missed while I was OOO (out of office).

I want to make skillet lasagna for dinner.

5:30 P.M. 

After work I watch every episode of Netflix’s “Special” which I HIGHLY recommend. I schedule an appointment with my lash artist in Culver City and with my dermatologist in Agoura– both luxuries that keep me from looking like a drowned rat every day of my life.

Next I grocery shop for everything I need for my lasagna.

It’s from Basically, Bon Appetit’s Millennial-inspired cooking and recipe site, and it looks easy to make. I love cooking and find it soothing. I haven’t had a hard day, but my brain has felt like a mess for a while after having traveled and drank a shit ton and I hoped it would be nice to make myself a meal and enjoy the process of being present in my kitchen.

But spoiler alert, this recipe is not so easy to make!!!! Especially when you’re attempting to halve the recipe and suck at math-slash-are alone and need to use like 4 different bowls and lift a very heavy pan!!

Although I make a mess in the kitchen and my lasagna turns out ugly as sin (also makes more than I can ever possibly eat), it’s fucking delicious and nourishes me in mind, body, and spirit.

Yes, there are nights when all I want is a big salad with a ton of vegetables. I think a baked fish with a side of greens can be a centering experience. But nothing is as especially healing as a big bowl of warm pasta with some sort of spicy red sauce and a lot of cheese. Nothing corrects my center of gravity quite like that. I find my stillness in the noddles. The aromatic sauce and gooey cheese envelopes my soul.

If I were drinking right now, I would be enjoying this experience with a hearty glass of red wine.

Regardless, I feel soothed.

I cuddle up on the couch with my dog and watch “The Bisexual”. Passover starts Friday at sundown and I think about how soon I won’t be able to eat any leavened bread. That means no bagels or breakfast sandwiches. I’m going to practically be a beast for a week. Thank god for matzo brittle.

 

Surprise Bitch! Bet You Thought You’d Seen The Last Of Us

In the words of Cardi B, we’re back bitches. We don’t want to hear we’re acting different–because we’re pretty much the same anyway.

Yes, we took a writing respite because life is a thing that gets in the way and we are only a small (but mighty) team of two busy ladies. But we’re here now! Did you miss us? We missed you.

So much has happened while we were on a break! Glossier came out with a bunch of new products we have no plans to try. The Jonas Brothers are back and they’ve had sex. Tavi Gevinson pointed out that Elizabeth Holmes and Gigi Hadid have the same voice and now we can’t un-hear it!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvPCcFMnk2_/

Anyway, this is not really a post with any point other than to say HEY! We’re back to our regularly scheduled programming.

So get ready to hear the latest from Lately prettttayyy prettayyyy soon.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

L & K