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

Saturday Link Pack

Hello!

Happy weekend! I am currently sitting on my couch, next to my boyfriend, who is depressed that I have announced that I want lip injections.

I ran an Instagram poll this week asking you all what you’d like to see more of on Lately, and many of you (the 5 people who responded) answered roundups and recipes. So on this grey LA October day, I am posting a roundup of just….shit from the internet? And a recipe or two.

Enjoy

Speaking of D*n, he LOVED this brown-butter salmon with lemon and Harissa recipe that I made the other week. It’s an Alison Roman dish and was fairly easy to make.

I have been dreaming of these press-ons from Color Camp. The orange is fall AF. If you’ve never ordered from CC, they send you a try on kit before your order ships so you can give them the exact size of your nails. The result is press-ons that actually fit and look natural. This autumn floral design is super cute too.

This is THE BEST smelling & looking candle.

Repeller (formerly Man Repeller) shut down this week, right after a relaunch that held the promise of inclusivity and would have opened the door to much-needed conversations in the fashion/beauty/lifestyle digital space. If you want details on the close, you can read about it here. If you want some insider gossip on the sitch….click here.

I’ve been eyeing these bike shorts (yes bike shorts are still a core part of my wardrobe) from Aerie. The v-seam looks ultra-flattering. Plus, they’re on sale right now for $25. They also come in legging form.

I just started using these much-hyped Japanese beauty skin cloths in the shower. They exfoliate like a mofo. 10/10 recommend.

I’ve been trying to up my fermented foods/probiotics intake, because I have severely screwed up my gut health during quarantine. I’ve been really enjoying drives to Erewhon for Kombucha Kat (and I am a person who typically doesn’t like kombucha but this stuff is really tasty). I’ve also started drinking this blackberry apple cider vinegar tea in the mornings.

You STILL need to wear SPF in the fall/winter!! Even when it’s not sunny out. Even indoors! They discontinued making my favorite one from Purito : ( right as I am squeezing out of the last drops from my bottle! I might try EltaMD next, or Solid & Striped.

Maybe I’ll wear this dress to Thanksgiving. I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I have been dreaming of eating stuffing.

Somebody buy me these earrings.

Halloween is in 1 week! My grandmother sent me some Halloween/fall cookie cutters and I put them to good use. She even sent me a card with the sugar cookie recipe she has been making my entire life.

Albertson’s was out of purple and orange icing. Peep the pilgrim hats I tried to turn into a spooky witches hat and a fall hat for gardening.

Anyway, we saw a rat on the balcony yesterday. Tell me again why we left the valley?

xoxoxo

Lily

M*ney

I am currently saving money for a pair of shoes that don’t actually exist.

I know that I want new shoes. I mean, I always want new shoes. But after a recent closet purge at Buffalo Exchange where I made $160 selling what felt like $1,000 worth of goods, I realized I had sold a lot of my nicer pieces, including fancy shoes that I currently have no business wearing (because where the hell do I even go?), but will want to replace to wear later.

I pulled open tabs on Staud, Suzanne Rae, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Brother Vellies, etc… and quickly realized — 1. Sh*t, I am broke, and 2. Would it feel as good to instantly replace my shoes (and go into even MORE debt) than it would to save up for a pair I actually have my eye on?

Also 3….. or do I want a purse??

So, they’re more metaphorical “shoes” than anything.

One of the few reasons I am so glad to live in 2020 (including being on the same plane of existence as Harry Styles) is that there is an app for everything. I’ll preface this by saying, THIS IS NOT AN AD. I have in no way been paid to endorse anything. I just really love the Digit app.

You can make this money app do whatever you want (besides give you more money lol). Right now, I have it scheduled to pull a little money (and I mean truly a tiny bit) from my checking account for a “rainy day fund,” and a little bit of money that I use to pay my credit card bill with.

So when I realized I might want new shoes/a new purse/diamond earrings/the magic potion that will make Harry Styles fall in love with me, I set up a new “Savings Goal,” as the app calls it.

I labeled it “NEW SHOES!!!” Because I am someone who enjoys caps and exclamation points to make life more exciting. I picked a random number to save up to that would afford me dream shoes, and in a time frame that would turn my little nest egg into a present for New Years (because 2021 HAS to be better than 2020. Especially if I start it by wearing new shoes.)

The app then alerted me that it would need to save between $5 – $15 every day, depending on what’s in my checking account.

My lizard brain thought…$5 to $15?? That’s like…my daily Starbucks coffee and a bagel! NO! But then my humanoid brain whispered into my hippocampus, “I dare you to do it, bitch.”

Yes, this post is disgusting and steeped in privilege. I am a woman who can afford to save money for something she doesn’t actually need. Giving up a daily dose of Starbucks is not a hardship.

What I have learned about myself since March 2020, when everything shut down and changed, is that I am a person who spends money to feel better. During the pandemic, it has reached a fever pitch (mom I know you are reading this and freaking out. Please take a breath and calm down.) I know, through communicating with friends, that other people are going through a similar thing. But it still feels incredibly shameful and isolating.

It feels good to buy goods that support small business, because everyone is floundering. But then I feel like I am floundering (mental health wise) and I want to support myself through self care. Then I realize that I am a piece of sh*t because the world around me is crumbling and I need to donate to bail funds and free food fridges and NOT buy that Amazon potato peeler because I should be at a place in my life where I am perfectly fine just peeling all my fruit and potatoes and things with a knife, and if I wanted to practice good self care I would just go paint my nails or something. Which makes me think about how I want new nail polish and then the cycle starts again.

So I have been meditating on it.

I may not actually buy “shoes” or a “purse” or anything at all.

I would like to think I am trying to break this money cyclone I have created for myself, and be more mindful when it comes to WHY I am making purchases, and stop that bottomless hole feeling. Do I feel anxious right now? Am I buying new bedsheets because I am depressed or because I can’t get that hot sauce stain out? Will I still want this item in 2 weeks? Remember the glitter chair quarantine purchase????

By acknowledging that I am saving money for a goal, I am attempting to have less of a knee-jerk response to self-soothe by entering my secret code on any website that takes Shopify.

That includes unsubscribing from sites I like that offer me daily deals and my compulsory “I left the house coffee” (which NGL, is going to be super hard because it has become a ritual for me to go on a walk to get that delicious, delicious iced bean water).

I will be real with you my beautiful readers, who I hope don’t think I am now scum on the bottom of a Jimmy Choo… I do still want shoes. And I will probably allow myself one coffee outing a week. But I have made this blog post in an attempt to be accountable? In an attempt to be transparent?

Both, I guess.

I just hope someone out there relates to this/doesn’t tell me to burn in hell for behaving irresponsibly with my money.

Please don’t punch me in the face if you see me with an iced latte on the street.

X

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

Rating Sh*t I Bought Because of TikTok

If you think there aren’t 27 year old women on this app, you’re probably on the wrong side of TikTok. This video app (which has completely ruined taken over my life) is influencing the crap out of me to buy things.

There are so many makeup artists touting must-have setting sprays, hair stylists with holy grail conditioners and just cool/smart people who have put me on to products that “actually work.”

But do they?????

Because I am a complete and total sucker, I have bought some of these things. Here’s what is actually good:

The Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

I bought this at Ulta after a bunch of women that I follow on TikTok used it to give themselves DryBar-worthy blowouts.

Full disclosure, I am a DryBar ADDICT. I used to go every other week because it was in my building at work. Shoutout Burbank. I fully believe that if I were to have even the faintest whiff of a DryBar candle right now, it would give me a full body orgasm.

But not only do I miss DryBar, my frizzy little head misses it too. My hair has not been sleek or bouncy in the months? years? That we have been here.

I am fairly okay using hot tools. I have been flat ironing my own hair since I was 13 (humblebrag).

This hair-drying round brush isn’t difficult to use, but it is definitely bulky. I had to section my hair into smaller portions than normal to get the strands as sleek as I wanted to because I just couldn’t get in there, on account of how big the brush is.

I did love how quickly it dried my hair, even when it was wet-wet. It’s a great tool for creating sleek/flipped ends. I DON’T love that I can’t get as close as I want to to my roots, like I typically would be able to with a flat iron.

It gave me lots of volume. I had to go back over the top with my flat iron 😦

8/10 — Excellent hair tool. Probably easier to use if you have thin to medium hair and aren’t a total chia pet like me.

Essence Lash Princess Mascara

This mascara was $5 at CVS and worth every penny. That’s 500 pennies so…that means a lot. This mascara will give you black-blash lashes with lots of buildable volume and length. HOWEVER!!! due to the heaviness of this mascara, it won’t hold a curl no matter how many times you attack your lashes with a curling wand.

7/10 — a great drugstore mascara, especially if you have naturally curly lashes.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid

This product from The Ordinary is all the rage on Skincare-Tok. Normally, I am slightly afraid of this brand because I have no fucking clue what anything does or is for. BUT!!! After seeing too many TikToks where teens AND adults used this acid to help fade acne scars, I knew I needed to try it out.

IT. WORKS.

10/10

Actually holy grail for me??? I have scarring, largely from my dermatillomania (chronic skin picking!), and after only a week of using this, my marks have faded dramatically. Plus, it was $7 at Ulta. THANKS TIKTOK!

NYX Powder Puff Lippie

1000000/10. It’s like dream matte mousse but for your LIPS!! And in so many gorgeous shades. It’s budge-proof, it’s light, it’s pigmented, it smells good….it’s perfect. AND IT IS CHEAP!! If you wear lipstick, get it.

ART

There are some pretty amazing artists/designers/creators on TikTok. These are some of the ones I’ve made purchases from. I know these aren’t like….products I can give feedback on exactly, other than to say they were all so pretty and I love them/supporting small business!

All 10/10!!

Saying Sorry

Everything is different this year, including my apologies. Yom Kippur begins this weekend and I have been taking stock of what doesn’t sit right with me. Last year, I sought to forgive myself for the way I was mistreating me. This year (in my eyes) is less about the push and pull of asking for forgiveness and granting it. It’s about apologizing and expecting no forgiveness at all.

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to Breonna Taylor. An entire country — YOUR country — failed you. I am so deeply sorry that you have continually been denied justice and for the meme-ification of your murder and your life. You are more than a hashtag and the products and magazine covers made to capitalize off of your existence as a Black woman. The treatment of your memory is abhorrent. “Sorry” could never be enough. What has been done to you is unforgivable. All I can offer is my words and my actions. Your life mattered.

I deeply hate and am disgusted by the treatment of the Black community by police in the United States. I am naming Breonna, but there have been many other Black people — who all matter — who still have not received justice. I am dedicating 5781 (the Jewish new year) to education and action.

I am sorry to all the kids who were excited about their first year of kindergarten, middle school, high school and college. I am sorry to everyone entering their last year of those things. It’s such a shitty time to begin or to end anything. I am so sorry you were robbed of your excitement and had to adapt to this weird non-way of living life. It sucks so much.

If you were planning to get married this year or go on your honeymoon or had a big family trip planned, I’m sorry you had to hold off. This isn’t our year, is it?

I am really sorry to anyone who got sick with coronavirus. The people in charge grossly mishandled all of it. I have come to accept that our country could have done so many more things right and chose not to. I am so sorry to anyone who had to suffer or is currently suffering because they couldn’t/can’t get the medical care that they need. It’s embarrassing on so many levels.

I am sorry to the summer I thought I was going to have. I am sorry to my friends who I haven’t seen in months. Please know that I miss you every single day. I am sorry to Chicago, to Andrew, to my aunt and my uncle. My parents. My grandma. Mary. I apologize to the nights out I missed. The restaurants that closed that I wanted to try. To my therapist for calling her 18000000 times. To my eyes for only ever taking in my computer screen. To California for its fires. For things that aren’t my fault and for everything that is. To Chelsea, to Tori, to Julia to Amanda. To Mijal. To Dan.

I read something somewhere once about some years being the ones where you plant the seeds and the next years being the ones where you watch it all grow. I am really hoping to see something good bloom eventually.

Love you all

LL

Home Goods & Home Okays

Hello it’s me, your favorite anthropomorphic hot Cheeto, here to talk to you about decorating.

I am currently in the process of moving and while I’m not totally all moved in yet, I have been decorating/planning how to decorate/crying/dreaming about how I would decorate if I had more money.

I am a Cancer sun, Cancer rising, so I am a homebody.

I like my apartment to be a place where I can rest and recharge. I want all of it to be as comfortable as possible, with lots of textures and colors and plants and candles. I want to feel cozy and like I could sit and eat a snack in virtually every square inch!

I also really like knick knacks.

Rooms that look like this make me feel cozy:

View this post on Instagram

Felt cute, might archive later 😊

A post shared by ANDREA BURKE (@asburke) on

and this

and this

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🌀 home stuff 🌀

A post shared by Harling Ross (@harlingross) on

However, I am someone who frequently spills iced coffee/red wine on to my white bed sheets. I am afraid to hammer nails into my walls or hooks into the ceiling because I will most certainly fuck it up and ,,,,,,asbestos. My new kitchen is itty bitty. I’m going to be living with my boyfriend. My budget is like $5.

HERE IS HOW I AM MAKING IT WORK, URBAN OUTFITTERS HOME SECTION BE DAMNED!!!

Get a statement piece

I can’t afford hundreds of those cool neon bendy candles I keep seeing on Instagram. All I have are my own shitty Target ones. So I got this purple rug after reading about it on The Strategist. Yes, it’s bright AF but it’s going to add a much needed pop of color to the rest of the room which I am decorating with a grey couch, a white TV stand and a white bookshelf.

This way, when people enter my apartment they won’t be like “wow she doesn’t even have cool candles” they’ll be like “WOW THAT IS A PURPLE ASS RUG.”

Bookshelves are multi-purpose

Did I arrange my boyfriend’s copies of David Sedaris books by color? That’s a secret I’ll never tell. But I WILL tell you that I am using our new Ikea bookshelf as a spot to display artwork from my friends, cards I have been sent in an effort to save the USPS, plants and various little bits and bobs. However, if I had an Urban Outfitters home budget, you’d better believe I’d be getting one of these!

This may seem like a duh to everyone BUT I am happy to find an alternative to wall shelves. Don’t tell me they’re easy to just nail in. I’m sure they are. You’re more than welcome to come over and do that for me!

Here’s what is saving my little kitchen

My new kitchen is small.

Like New York apartment small.

Like I can reach into the refrigerator and pull something out of the oven while also passing someone at the table something from inside a cupboard, SMALL.

As you can imagine, there is also virtually no storage.

So as a woman with a lot of cookware (and a lot of wine) I invested in a bar cart and a rolling kitchen rack. Now I have room on my shelves for food instead of wine glasses, won’t have to store my alcohol like I live in a college dorm and have two really cute spaces that I can mix/match/decorate as I please. I’ll provide photos later. Promise.

Let the light in

Excluding the living room, the apartment tends to be on the darker side due to the windows and where they are placed. To make the bedroom feel light and airy, I went to Home Goods (shoutout title of this post) and purchased the biggest round mirror I could find and any light/natural wood frames. The goal is to make the room feel bigger, brighter, lighter and warmer. That means I am going to be decorating it with mirrors, replacing dark wood frames with light ones and furnishing the space with light fabrics but with cool textures.

My duvet cover (which is a dupe for an expensive Urban Outfitters one) is white, but features a cool textured fringe-y bottom. I am currently searching for the perfect uniquely-shaped pillow (would love one like this) and I have been looking at headboard alternatives (because I never found one that I liked) and am giving strong consideration to a few macramé hangings including: this one and this one.

Randomly I own these woven baskets that I am going to use to store extra blankets in, so those will go in the room as well. Of course, there will also be plants just like… everywhere.

The place IS coming together. Slowly but surely. You don’t have to take my word for it but eventually photos will do it justice! Thank you to everyone who has given me furniture as they have moved away or just Mari Kondo-ed their space. It’s all bringing me joy.

If you feel like sending me a house warming gift, I’d love candlesticks. Or a bottle of wine.

loving u

LL

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

All The Movies I’ve Watched During Quarantine, Ranked

My boyfriend Dan (with who I am currently quarantining), is a man of many hobbies. When he’s not watching sports/sports gambling/blogging about live theatre/singing along to show tunes/playing online trivia/doing magician stuff/asking me to make him a tuna sandwich/refusing to buy me expensive jewelry, he’s typically watching a movie.

Sometimes, when I’m not on my 47th rewatch of Grey’s Anatomy, I’ll watch one with him.

And so that is how during quarantine we have watched a shit ton of films. Some of them I had never seen, some he had never seen and not all of them were enjoyable! I decided to rank them for my own amusement and your (hopefully) enjoyment.

All my digital media training is telling me to rank them worst to best to build anticipation, but those lists always suck because who cares about what’s good? I’m starting with #1. Save the worst for last! It’s more exciting that way!

The Goodbye Girl

This is my favorite movie we’ve seen so far. It’s a very cute rom-com and I never realized how appealing young Richard Dreyfuss is. I even Googled if he’s Jewish (aka crush-worthy/HE IS). 10/10. Definitely watch this if you are a complicated woman who wants to feel all squooshy inside or if you’re a schlubby actor-type with a white knight complex. You’ll feel seen.

My Cousin Vinny

Worth it for Marisa Tomei’s outfits, alone! Also a great movie to watch if you feel like you can’t get enough Joe Pesci, which is how I feel 90% of the time. Also I saw him when I was on a walk the other day in Toluca Lake. He wasn’t wearing a mask. Oh, Joe!

Bonus points if you recognize that one of the leads is Rachel Green’s ex from Friends!

Scream

I know! I’d never seen Scream before! I finally get why everyone has the major horn for that Dad from Riverdale. He was crazy and hot. Also, petition to revive Matthew Lillard’s career from its Ghostface grave.

Charade

It’s not like I have a Kate Spade tea cup with an Audrey Hepburn quote on it or anything (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but I think Hepburn is FABULOUS in this movie and that Cary Grant is pretty darn cute. Was he gay IRL? Is that an old Hollywood rumor? I don’t care! Those two have chemistry for days.

A great movie to watch when you’ve had enough of your boyfriend, have your period and just want some wine and chocolate.

To Catch A Thief

Made me want to go to the French Riviera/ wear a pretty dress/ drink a sazerac sling. These are top marks from me, people.

First Wives Club

I’ve seen this movie 100 times but Dan had never seen it. It’s a classic. Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, SJP AND Maggie Smith?? Your fave movie could NEVER.

Interview With A Vampire

This felt like a Twilight prequel? Almost? Kirsten Dunst gave me major Renesmée vibes. Plus, one thing I have discovered during quarantine is that I think I fucking LOVE Tom Cruise. I mean, I hate him (#TeamNicole) but he’s so good at acting!!! Damn!!

Romancing The Stone

Another actor whose movies I’ve learned I have a soft spot for is Michael Douglas. This movie had big Indiana Jones energy but I wish the female lead had been Goldie Hawn or someone like that. I’d love to see who was on the short list for casting. Good movie to watch with a pizza!

Dirty Harry

We watched this movie because I have been feeling homesick for San Francisco and my family and I knew it had some cool shorts of North Beach. After watching this I realized how good my dad’s Clint Eastwood impression actually is.

American Graffiti

This movie had me feeling nostalgic for something that doesn’t and maybe never existed! I loved it!

Donnie Brasco

I fucking love movies about the mob.

Coco

Okay, fuck this movie for making me cry but FUCK! This movie!!!!! So fun and also sweet!!!

Election

Dan was SHOCKED that I had never seen this film. I enjoyed it but I think it kind of made me hate Matthew Broderick. Baby Reese was incredible though.

The Princess and the Frog

Dan had never seen this one and I’m really glad he liked it because I think it’s one of my favorite Disney movies.

Honeyboy

This movie was very sad and then I spent a really long time Googling Shia LaBeouf!

Fatal Attraction

I knew the term “bunny boiler” came from this movie. Dan says my dad made that term up. Glenn Close is national treasure.

Heaven Can Wait

CLASSIC movie about someone dying when they shouldn’t have and the people who run heaven having to put their soul into someone else’s body. CLASSIC!

Basic Instinct

We watched it to see Sharon Stone. Again, some really nice shots of San Francisco. I thought it was kind of dumb but thinking about it now I guess it was more dumb-fun. Also how does she look so elegant in a white turtleneck and why can’t I pull that off!?

Waiting for Guffman

Your typical silly Christopher Guest comedy. Good cast. Great movie to half-pay attention to.

Anna and The Apocalypse

This movie was weird AF, especially because I didn’t know it was a musical. It’s about a Christmastime zombie apocalypse in England? Ireland???? It’s cute and predictable but still a good watch, especially because real life feels sort of like a zombie apocalypse rn anyway.

Scream 2

Not as good as the first one but still kind of fun. Not realistic that Buffy would die but ok.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

The best Indiana Jones movie.

Punch Drunk Love

Probably the only Paul Thomas Anderson film I like. Don’t take my film school diploma away!!! It’s a time Adam Sandler was serious in a film and it worked!

Death On The Nile

Better than Murder on the Orient Express!

All the rest of the Indian Jones movies

I know, it’s a crime I’d never seen these. They were fine.

A Few Good Men

Tom Cruise is fun! Demi Moore is not fun but I like her! This movie is ok.

Shampoo

My dad said we should watch this one. It was aight. Goldie Hawn wore some cool outfits.

National Treasure

Kind of fun but also I didn’t really care. Sorry to Dan who LOVES this movie.

Monsters University

Nothing special but easy to watch especially after you’ve had a lot of margaritas and just cried your eyes out to Coco.

Tangled

Am I the only person who thinks this movie is just,,,,, fine? Also what is the lesson here??? Blonde hair is magic and brown hair is not??? Weird.

Private Benjamin

Cute but it falls apart.

Leaving Las Vegas

VERY depressing! Kind of glad I saw it? Would have been fine never watching it though.

Bob & Carole & Ted & Alice

The seventies were strange but Dyan Cannon dressed well is the moral of this story.

North By North West

Felt like semi-enjoyable required reading but also I fell asleep watching this so I don’t think I actually know how it ends?

Rope

Ugh. Pass.

Step Brothers

TRULY do no understand the hype. Arrest me. Maybe it’s because my parents aren’t divorced? There are much better buddy comedies out there that aren’t quite so stupid.

The Exorcist

I get that it’s iconic and that it was terrifying at the time but also this movie barely made any sense and it felt like you had to know a lot of back story on things before you watched it. Also, okay — so he offers himself up to Satan and then tosses himself out a window. Is Satan dead now? Wouldn’t that be a bigger deal? Or did Satan just jump into someone else’s body? Wouldn’t THEY be possessed? This barely made sense. ALSO SHUTUP ABOUT SPOILERS. THIS MOVIE HAS BEEN OUT FOR LIKE 50 YEARS ALREADY.

Reality Bites

I watched this because a podcast told me to. SNOOZE.

The Master

The Master Cleanse is more fun to endure.

Collateral

Tom Cruise but make it boring.

Phantom Thread

My boyfriend loves this movie and likes to quote the thing about asparagus and oil. I absolutely hated this movie and tried to take frequent trips to the bathroom and kitchen so I didn’t have to watch it but Dan would always pause it until I came back. Thanks. 🙃

Mission Impossible 2

FINALLY!!! THE WORST MOVIE WE WATCHED!!! #1!!!! CAPITAL B, BAD!!!! I didn’t watch Mission: Impossible but I can assure you, ANYTHING is better than very stupid Mission: Impossible 2. This was a total waste of time. Watching George O’Malley scratch 007 into Meredith Grey’s hand is a better time than streaming this. SKIP.

I’ve Finally Discovered My QuaranTALENT

My Instagram feed has become a parade of people I know displaying their hidden talents. I had no idea so many of them could make focaccia bread! Or cross stitch! Or build furniture! And while it’s been wonderful to watch, it’s also inspired me to try to find my own.

After crashing and burning at friendship bracelets, failing miserably at French braids and making my boyfriend ingest a truly awful fried rice made with apple chicken sausage, I’ve finally figured out what MY hidden quarantine talent, or “quaranTALENT,” if you paid attention to my headline — is.

Shockingly, it’s not TikTok (although I definitely think it’s hers), or baking banana bread (we know how that turned out), cutting my hair (have yet to attempt), or even tie dying sweats.

Here is what it is: BAKING COOKIES.

I am actually really freakin good at this? I have made mostly chocolate chip (my preferred cookie), some gluten free with choccy bits and most recently, a vegan oatmeal chocolate chip recipe from the NYT cooking app that used a banana instead of butter or eggs. And they’ve all been delicious.

I really did not bake cookies often before this? The last time I recall making some was for my boyfriend in college and I burned them.

Go figure.

I am much more of a cook (fried rice aside) than a baker because cooking = playing and baking = rules.

Plus, baking is really just chemistry and I failed chem in high school. Shoutout Doctor Kasparian, C Block!

However, I have found calming magic in the methodical baking of cookies. I get a lot of pleasure from mixing and then forming the sticky little dough balls in my hands, then smooshing them a little on to the crinkly parchment paper resting atop my cookie sheet. My brain gets calm knowing you can basically put anything in a cookie — chocolate chips, peanut butter, sprinkles, shredded coconut, pretzels, etc… and it will turn out okay.

I like the way they smell.

I like that if they are a lil lumpy it’s okay.

I like that they take 10 mins to bake.

I like the way they look sitting in the Tupperware that I have now coined my “cookie container.”

I enjoy this process so much I have even briefly flirted with the thought of purchasing a cookie jar. Is that gauche? Just look at this gorgeous one from Williams Sonoma and tell me I’m wrong!

Anyway.

What’s your quarantalent? Do you have one? Do you WISH you had one? What would it be? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be here, looking at cookie recipes.

xx

L