The Best Things I Have Purchased at Erewhon Part 2

Hello again! You guys really seemed to like reading about the best things I have purchased at Erewhon, so I thought I’d make a part 2.

Let’s GOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Three Wishes Cereal – Cinnamon

I have always loved cereal. When I was little and we would go visit my grandma, she always had mini boxes of cereal that I would eat for breakfast and snack. In college, my aunt would buy me boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I would eat it for (what felt like) most meals. Three Wishes is grain free, gluten free, has 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar per serving. Even though it is not the absolute candy that is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I happen to think Three Wishes tastes really, really good. My favorite way to eat it is with almond milk and frozen blueberries.

Mama Emma Fresh Pumpkin Gnocchi

Idk who Mama Emma is, but I would like to be her child. The first time I tasted this gnocchi, I gasped. It’s lighter than air, flavorful and takes about 3 minutes to make. I went on the Mama Emma website, and they say their pumpkin gnocchi has “extraordinary nutritional and healing properties.” Mama Emma!!!!! Guaranteed, this is a food I will be eating all fall long. It’s great with marinara, pesto or a little olive oil and some parm.

Erewhon’s Turmeric Tahini Dressing

This is the best-tasting salad dressing ever. This salad dressing is a gorgeous saffron color. It’s lightly tangy without being too acidic on the tongue. It’s also made with tahini (my fave), turmeric (anti-inflammatory!), maple syrup, lemon juice, ginger, oregano and sunflower seeds. WARNING! It does not keep forever (prob about 7 days). When I buy it, I like to top my salads/roasted vegetables with it that week.

Misha’s Kind Foods Non-Dairy Cheese – Joi

If you’re reading this and it’s giving you the icks because I am talking about things that are gluten-free and dairy-free…..why are you reading a piece about Erewhon then? If you’re STILL with me and haven’t logged off to go buy McDonald’s or sm, I like to use this spreadable non-dairy cheese as a cream cheese on bagels and as a spread on crackers/sandwiches. I LOVE the Joi flavor, described by the Misha Kind Foods website as: “blending the bright spice of fresh jalapenos, de-seeded to infuse flavor without a hint of heat, along with herbaceous, bold notes of thyme and oregano.” It’s not spicy. It’s herbaceous! And really hits that cheese craving.

Atlantic Sea Farms Fermented Seaweed Salad

If you’re trying to incorporate more fermented foods for your gut health (and these days, who isn’t?) might I suggest this tasty seaweed salad? You can eat it plain, add it to rice, toss it in a salad, pair it with some fish, idk do whatever you want. It’s really good. PRO TIP: If you don’t like seaweed, you definitely won’t like this. If you still want a lil fermented something, I recommend Wildbrine’s Probiotic Red Beet & Cabbage Kraut. It’s semi-sweet and tastes mostly like beets. Also good on everything I mentioned above.

Erewhon’s Eggless Sandwich

Erewhon’s prepared foods are unrivaled. You know this. We have been over this. If you’re a fan of hand-held breakfast items, this morning sandwich is freakin IT. No, it’s not made with a fake egg. There are no eggs or pretend eggs. That’s what I like about it. It’s an English muffin, perfectly spiced turmeric curry tofu, tempeh bacon, spinach and a little olive oil. It’s so incredibly savory and filling but not in the way that a Starbucks breakfast sammy is. I feel nourished after I eat this. Try it (esp when you’re hungover 🤪) and thank me later.

Metagenics OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 1000

Remember when you were in college and your new roommate/best friend told you that you both should start taking Biotin to strengthen your hair and nails, but all it made you do was break out? Those long words I typed up there in the caption hed are a brand of fish oil pill. Want to know why my hair/nails are so long and strong? These pills. These do exactly what Biotin was supposed to do for me (and DID NOT). The lovely holistic health expert at Erewhon recommended this brand, because the pills are slightly lemon flavored (masking the fish taste) and don’t make you have fish burps. They also conveniently keep my heart healthy! I know some people think fish pills don’t do anything. Those people probably have brittle nails.

Happy shopping!

xx

L

Hashtag Career Goals

You’re supposed to dress for the job you want, but we all work from home now.

Plus, I have no idea what a “podcaster with no agenda” would wear.

Probably pajamas?

While I am a “rock star content producer” interested in creating “viral hits,” I am also “extremely tired.”

There was a time when I had the energy to bounce back and forth from freelancing job to freelancing job while also writing for my normal 9 to 5. I was pitching anyone with an email address and piling up clips like I worked at SuperCuts.

I had ideas! This is less of a brag and more just sheer shock at the way I used to exist compared to the current husk of a human I have become since the onslaught of global pandemic that is never not onslaught-ing.

I feel uncreative and sexless about being a writer. To clarify, that’s “sexless” in the “not sexy” way. Not “sexless” as in purposely left that part of my driver’s license blank. I looked the word up and those were both options for the definition.

So to break myself out of my bad mood? funk? evening of self loathing? I will write for you some creative, fun job ideas that I think I could be really good at and that will not only revitalize me, but also re-invigorate my waning existence as a human being under capitalism/career.

Nail Polish Namer

I am fairly certain that this is already a real job. But I know I would absolutely crush it. I am very good at naming things. For instance, when I was a small child I named all of my dolls and stuffed animals, Carrot. I think that shows a remarkable brilliance on my part, as most children were not sporting produce names until after the birth of Apple Martin. Meanwhile, I had like seven baby dolls named Carrot. Naming a nail polish should be no problem.

Coffee Shop Playlist Coordinator

I’ll say it, because no one else will. Coffee shops need better/louder music to muffle the sound in the bathroom. Did you really think your Damien Rice track is going to muffle the sound of a triple iced latte exiting my body? Because I know it won’t. I think more cafes need to play The White Stripes with heavy a focus on “Icky Thump.” Pardon the pun.

ASMR Video Test Subject

Over the last year and a half I have really started to fall in love with ASMR. The soft-spoken videos where someone pretends to brush your hair/give you a facial/pluck negative energies are a welcome brain break from Netflix and TikTok. ASMRist itsblitzzz frequently practices her techniques on her friends. Honestly, I am quite jealous! None of my friends run a popular ASMR YouTube account (that I know of). No one has ever offered to ASMR me! I want to do this! I promise I will sit and not make noise. I probably (50/50 chance) won’t even fall asleep! Itsblitzzz even provides her ASMR subjects with a snack! This is my new dream job! Who will pay me to do this?

Supportive Friend Concierge

I used to work fashion retail, so I can tell when someone wants “a friend” to validate their impulsive choices. Basically this is a service, where you call or text me (I could show up but that will definitely cost you extra) to give you the support you “buy now”! Are those ugly-cute shoes actually cute? Or just ugly? Babe, they’re on sale! Who cares! Listen, I am not here to judge and I am certainly not your friend so you won’t have to worry about me ever saying “why do you never wear THATTHING again?? You used to love it!” when you inevitably hate your impulse buy after 2 to 3 business days. Hypothetically, this concierge service could also extend to supportive texts about hooking up with your ex. However, I feel like that could get me sued?

Bread Bitch

Hear me out on this one— You’re at dinner with a group of friends. The waiter plops down a basket of fresh, steaming sliced baguette. Everyone is paralyzed with nerves. “Are we eating bread this week? Does no one want it? Will I look like crazy if I go first?” you think. A bead of sweat trickles down your back. “Please god someone break this curse!!” That’s when I step in. I will be the bread bitch. I will go first. I will give the gluten green light. Sacred moments with your sourdough roll are forever saved. You’re welcome, America.

Anyway, feel free to pass around my resume if any positions like these open up.

I’ll be here all week.

Try the plant-based veal.

L

Are You Watching ‘The White Lotus’?

If you’re watching The White Lotus then you are legally obligated to talk with me about this truly unhinged show.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

……………..

……..

….

..

My dad hates this show and yet he is still watching it. He told me he didn’t appreciate seeing Steve Zahn’s (fake?) balls. He thought Jennifer Coolidge’s boat scene with her mom’s ashes was too long. He likes Armond (Murray Bartlett). He does NOT like Alexandra Daddario.

And now that you have a 60-year-old man’s opinions on this new HBO show, let me give you mine!

While this show is doing a lot of interesting things (chief among them: white affluent families, all the worst parts about a long vacation and analingus), this show is mostly dragging our living generations.

Show me a better depiction of a rich white Millennial than former Obvious Child white boy of the month, Jake Lacy.

I’m starting with Millennials because I am one.

What is the Boomer buzzword for Millennials? ENTITLED. His character Shane Patton believes he deserves everything. If he’s ever thwarted in his search for lazy self pleasure, he can always call his mom to do it for him. Why does he get away with it? Well he’s white…he’s rich….he is semi-nice looking. If I didn’t appreciate Jake Lacy’s range so much I would HATE Shane. He’s such a little asshole. I’m pretty sure in one scene I clocked him wearing Chubbies.

And then we have Rachel. She doesn’t come from money, she’s hustled her entire life only to get to a career of creating fluffy content for listicle-based sites (please believe me when I tell you I am crying) and now she’s “made it” by marrying rich. She’s having a hard time letting go of her “identity” a.k.a a white girl in debt. Rachel isn’t the other end of the Millennial spectrum. If she were, she wouldn’t be on vacation in Hawaii with her new rich husband.

She’s a vehicle to express this generation’s malcontent with everything despite achieving what GenX/Boomers see as a dream….I think? Idk. She is worried that her identity is going to be sucked up into her husband if she doesn’t keep working, but she also doesn’t seem to find any value in what she does. If they wrote this like 5 years ago she would work at Buzzfeed.

Then we have Gen Z. The three Gen Z-ers are Olivia (Sydney Sweeney), Paula (Brittany O’Grady) and Quinn (Fred Hechinger). When Connie Britton says something like you’d hear from the mouth of Gwyneth Paltrow (isn’t CB’s character’s company called something similar to GOOP? Like GOOF? GOOL?), Olivia and Paula are quick to explain to the audience why it’s problematic in the snarkiest of ways. I think that’s due to a combination of Gen X/Boomers fearing but respecting Gen Z’s ability to publicly acknowledge social justice issues.

HOWEVERRRRRRR White Lotus writers have gone the Euphoria/Gossip Girl reboot route and decided that today’s teens are all fucking and on drugs.

Is this true? I am not a teen. Even when I was one, I am pretty sure I took nothing harder than an Advil PM and stared at a poster of Nick Jonas.

A moment that sticks out for me is when Paula, the only main-cast person of color besides Belinda (Natasha Rothwell), is cuddled up in bed after excusing herself from dinner. Olivia is with her and Olivia apologizes for her family. “I’m not like them. I’m your friend,” she tells her. Obviously, this bitch is lying. She is trying to steal Paula’s crush and this is AFTER she promised she wouldn’t take a guy from her again. AGAIN?? Olivia is a bad friend! And she is just like her wack ass family! Thank you White Lotus writers for that heavily loaded line.

Also, when is Euphoria coming back? I miss that show.

All I will say about Quinn is that I think he is supposed to be the neutral good. His only crime is jerking off on the beach and being obsessed with his phone. But who amongst us has/is not!

My first exposure to Connie Britton was Friday Night Lights. Now, I believe she should have a starring role in everything. Connie Britton supremacy!! Also, please god never let my love for this strawberry blonde woman to come back and bite me in the ass.

Connie’s character Nicole Mossbacher is a total Gen X girl boss (if that’s a thing). She always has meetings!! She is rearranging the room for feng shui! She is usually holding a glass of wine or slathering lotion on her arms. She loves Hillary Clinton! She believes it’s hard out there for young, straight white men! She would be a male Boomer’s wet dream if she wasn’t so empowered/refused to have sex with her husband.

Speaking of her husb, he cheated on her. Now she gets to wear $75,000 bracelets. Of course, she seems rich enough to get those on her own…but whatever. Also, why did we have to sit through Steve Zahn talking about his constant boner for her. We get it. Connie Britton is gorgeous!!!

Also is this what Gen X straight men worry about? Their sexual attraction to their wives fading so they have to resist the urge to gag when they have sex with them? They also seem to have gay panic when they discover their ultra-macho dads loved fucking men instead of feeling angry/sad that they grew up in a culture that forced people to hide an important part of themselves. Even when it seems like he’s sad that his dad had to hide, it’s still in the context of so that MARK never knew him. Not that his poor dad couldn’t be himself around his son.

TBH everything out of Mark Mossbacher’s mouth is trash. I was more invested in the idea that he might have cancer/am more invested in MarkMond (Mark and Armond shippers hello!) than I could ever be in his relationship with his wife/son/dad/self.

That’s it for my generational dragging discourse.

Dear, Mike White and Natasha Rothwell (White Lotus writers/ Rothwell plays Belinda) you’re doing an amazing job.

I would also write something about Jennifer Coolidge but her “box” is crazy rich white lady (not in the way that Connie Britton’s character is) and that is less “conditioned generational stereotype” and more of an essence of spirit that has permeated the ether since the dawn of time.

Armond as well, transcends time and space.

Also if this show doesn’t end with Belinda somehow obtaining the funds to start her own wellness space and saying BYEEEEE to the psychopaths at this hotel, I will throw my TV off the balcony. I see the “Black woman healer” role her character is trapped in and it is depressing AF. She deserves much better than caring for crazy ass Jennifer Coolidge and horny Armond.

Also, I apologize for using people’s character names and real names interchangeably. I won’t go back and fix it.

I hope next week we see more of Lukas Gage’s butt. That was a treat. Also what the fuck ever happened to Lani (Jolene Purdy) ?

Until next time

L

Links for Lunch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And on that note:

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

Can’t wait to wholly embrace this aesthetic:

lots of luv

ur spooky ghoul

L

Skincare That Actually Works*

*or at least it did for me

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

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

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

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

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

Basically, this list won’t be for everyone.

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

ANYWAY

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

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

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

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

Dr. Loretta Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

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

ENature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack

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

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

OKAY NOW THIS IS THE MORNING STUFF.

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

Then I Met You Birch Milk Refining Toner

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

Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream

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

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

M-61 Hydraboost Face Oil

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

Cerave Healing Ointment

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

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

Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50

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

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

LMK if you have comments, questions, concerns.

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

yours,

Boo Boo the fool

Lately Snack Break: St. End

“Snack Break” is Lately’s interview series where we chat with people we think are interesting, for about as long as it takes you to finish your afternoon snack. Our second in the series is with St. End founder and friend of Lately, Erin Gabriel….who for the longest time, I thought was named Erin Gabe.

Erin is an internet cool girl with a natural eye for design that would make Alexa Chung blush.

The florist by-day, jewelry designer by-night is the sole force behind the accessory brand St. End, named for the latter half of your childhood “BEST FRIEND” necklace.

Whether you’re looking to rock a cow-print hair barrette, give your kid sister a beaded bracelet that says “Paul Rudd” or want to elevate your outfit with a pair of glow in the dark flower earrings, Gab(ri)e(l) is your girl.

Her brand St. End is full of bold colors, dreamy shapes and original ideas that turn your ears, wrists, and hair, into a full-on party.

You just always seem to know what looks good. Where do you think that comes from? Do you have any inspirations?

EG: First of all, thank you! I would accredit my Aquarius-ness for always having my finger on the pulse of any new style trends; it’s important for me to stay on top of the curve, or try at least. 

I also think growing up with a mother that was constantly repainting, redecorating, and tweaking the style of our home played a huge role in how attuned I am to design. She and I have always been keen on DIY projects for home decor and fashion, so I think that translates into my inspiration for starting St. End. 

So your DIY spirit is what drew you to making jewelry?

EG: I have been making my own jewelry since I was little and got my first pair of jewelry pliers and a tackle box full of beads. In high school when I couldn’t find accessories that were to my liking, I would buy cheap costume jewelry from Forever21 and reconstruct [them] to add charms or rhinestones or beads, until I had a piece of jewelry that was totally unique to me.

I used to make bracelets out of zippers and vintage beads my Grandma gifted me and sold them at art fairs. I guess I’ve always been a jewelry entrepreneur lol.

You’re so creative! You’ve made earrings in the shape of gummy worms, tombstones, bananas, mushrooms and butterfly wings! Where do you get your ideas from?

EG: When I’m designing pieces, I start by sketching ideas for shapes if I plan on working with polymer clay. This then leads to a big trial and error process where I see what color and shape combinations I like. I also use Pinterest and IG for inspiration. 

You also give your pieces these insanely good pun-based names. Where do those come from?

EG: I keep a running list of names I like or think are clever and usually end up texting my friends to see what they like best. Niche references are a big part of the St. End brand.

Your Halloween collection just dropped and it was amazing. What’s next for St. End?

EG: I really hope to get into designing molds for custom metal jewelry. I would love to have custom molds cast into finer materials like sterling silver or 14K gold.

Five years from now, I just hope I’m still designing and creating pieces that are fun and I want to wear! That’s really why I started St. End- to create jewelry that I want! I just got lucky that other people want to wear it, too.

If you could make jewelry for any celeb, who would it be? 

EG: Immediately I thought of Phoebe Bridgers since I recently made a pair of ghost earrings inspired by her Stranger in the Alps album artwork. I think I would cry if she wore a pair of my ghost earrings.

Oh, also AOC. I can picture her wearing a pair of my tiny gold hoops. I think it would be very on brand for her. I just want people to feel cool when they wear my stuff and to know that it was created with so so much love.

Honestly, that’s my favorite part of your brand. You can tell a lot of thought and care went in to every piece. It feels like you’re wearing a little piece of art. For Lately readers who haven’t shopped St. End yet, what are the essential pieces?

EG: Crushed Little Stars, Uptown Pearl, Daisy Dukes, More Cowbell, and a custom Stretchy Bracelet to finish off the look.

You can follow St. End on Instagram at: @st.end_

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

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

So Everything Sucks & The World Feels Horrible

Now what?

I tried to bake banana bread today. Chrissy Teigen’s recipe. I had been looking forward to it all week and even braved the store to buy some brown-ish bananas. But because I was too excited and didn’t remember to check, I hadn’t noticed that my roommate and I didn’t have a bundt pan to bake it in….or really any proper pan to bake it in. She has an 8×8 brownie tin and tbh it kind of sucks.

The other half of this bad news black and white cookie is that our oven doesn’t heat evenly and I have also found that the temp drops while cooking!

So basically my beloved, vanilla pudding, chocolate chip Chrissy recipe was 75% perfectly baked with a circle of raw banana bread dough in the middle.

That’s kind of how life has felt recently.

We have so many good things and then there’s just this sinister center, spoiling it all. You can delete Twitter, you can avoid Apple News, you can walk from Studio City to Silverlake and fill your Uggs with blood blisters but you can’t outrun the bad news of what’s happening in this life, right now, all over the world.

I texted my best friend Andrew this morning and told him about my bread.

“Honestly, I’ve had that happen before and my advice to you is just…eat the cooked outside and move on,” he said.

This morning it felt overwhelming and exhausting and discouraging to still be quarantining with absolutely no signs of things going back to our regular pace of life. Also, a deli in LA that has been around longer than I have been alive, is closing officially and for some reason that news really sunk me because as a Jew, and as a person who loves delis — I hate seeing good places I went to with my grandparents close.

But after a lot of crying this morning (bc bread and deli and also quarantine) I have decided starting this today, I am going to try to take to heart the words of my best friend — not just in regards to my banana bread (I did eat the cooked portion and it WAS divine. Thank u Chrissy!) but to all aspects of this life and this sucky situation.

I will eat around it.

I will consume the good parts while acknowledging that yes, the under-baked glop did ruin my perfect thing, but that I’ve still got to move on.

There are other breads to bake. And if I don’t feel like baking, fuck it! There are a ton of local bakeries that need help right now and I’ve got the funds. I can find joy in my favorite things in other ways.

Plus, it wasn’t a total loss. It was also a learning experience. I now know I need to buy a bundt tin so like…if anyone can show me a small business that sells bakeware it would bring me joy to give them my coins.

Everything sucks and the world feels horrible but there’s a good 75% that’s still edible and yummy and full of things to enjoy like watching the movie Charade or taking a bath surrounded by scented candles, eating pasta with lots of cheese, or walking all the way to the top of the hill to get a gorgeous view of the valley.

One day all of this will be over.

Eventually.

I hope.

Until then

75% yours

xx

P.S. LESS DEPRESSING POSTS ON THE WAY SOON I SWEAR!!!