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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s actually fine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIKE IT! LOVE IT! MARRY IT!

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

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

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

Well.

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

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

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

Plus, you can still find me on Instagram!

Unless you’re blocked.

xx

L

Link Pack Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday

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

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

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

Now we are here and I honestly feel better.

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

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

ANYWAY ! LINKS !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most days I feel exactly like this:

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

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

xoxo

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS IS WHAT I HAD MADE SO FAR:

SALMON

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

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

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

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

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

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

8/10 for taste……..4/10 for experience

CHICKEN NUGGETS

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

RIGHT NOW!!!

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

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

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

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

10/10 for taste……10/10 experience!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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

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

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

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

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

8/10 for taste……8/10 experience

TOFU

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

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

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

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

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

CRISPY DELICIOUSNESS!

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

BAGEL

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

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

This was my first and final mistake.

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

Basically, I made a cracker?

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

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

GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH AN EGG IN THE MIDDLE

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

I preheated my air fryer to 400º.

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

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

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

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

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

7/10 for taste …… 4/10 for experience

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

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

thanks for reading

xx

A Saturday Link Pack (Because Why Not?)

Hello from gloomy LA, where it has been raining since 9 a.m.

Since waking, I have consumed two Dunkin’ donuts and an iced toasted-almond triple-shot almond milk latte. So, my body is 97% sugar.

That means I am in the mood to shop!

Since we can’t go anywhere or do anything (it is day 327 of the pandemic), I am putting this sugar-high to good use by building you an awesome link pack!!

Today’s pack will be full of things to buy, stories to read, recipes to try? (I am so tired of cooking), TikToks, podcast recs, random chit….I don’t even know. I am just typing out an intro.

After this goes live, I will now have posted 2 shopping pieces in a row. Is that too many? Do you hate it? Do you love it?

Lmk (also idc!!!!)

Enjoy!

Have you been watching Bling Empire on Netflix? It’s so good. If you’re as entranced by Anna Shay as I am, read this Town & Country profile on her life. She once managed a Salsa band and literally learned what a Target store is 2 years ago!!!

Speaking of Tarjayyyy, I wore a very 90’s sweater on my Instagram story yesterday and got a bunch of DMs about it. It’s from Target!

This is my new favorite beauty/skincare podcast. It’s called Natch Beaut. Start with the Caroline Moss (of my other fave pod, Gee, Thanks! Just Bought It) episode for a lot of laughs and some good cruelty-free product recs. Listen here.

One of the recs was for Chemist Confessions. This skincare brand is owned by two WOC chemists, who both used to work for “a beauty conglomerate”  (idk which one but 👀 👀 👀). They are now focused on making products that are transparent about ingredients and how those ingredients work on your skin. I am trying their Baby Steps Exfoliation Treatment and I ordered a sample pack of their moisturizers (which cost $0!).

I don’t want to rub my face the wrong way (aka try too many exfoliants at once), but this influencer I follow is using the new NudeStix micro-peel and it looks so pretty in her medicine cabinet. Very MILK vegan moisturizer neon packaging vibes. It also has really good reviews AND it’s cruelty-free.

Selena, Selena, SELENA! If you are my friend IRL, then you know I feel like Selena Gomez might be my wife. I love her. I don’t know why it took me so long to start trying products from her beauty line, Rare Beauty. Rare Beauty’s Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush is EVERYTHING. Like noah fence, but I might be throwing away my Glossier? The color of these cream blushes is a lot softer than her previously released Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, and the application is apply-with-your-fingers-fool-proof. Plus, it’s cruelty-free! Are you sensing a theme? I own the shade “Nearly Apricot” but when my next paycheck hits, I have my eye on “Nearly Mauve.”

I really want some new bed sheets. I love these rose quartz-colored ones from Urban Outfitters. Of course, Amazon has a much cheaper dupe. Would love to give my precious coins to a brand that deserves it, so if you know of any more sustainable beddings brands HMU.

Why am I so into this chunky-knit blanket?? I’ve also been obsessed with this tufted throw forever and now UO is selling it in a very cool Chartreuse. Or is green over with in 2021?

This is your reminder to go for walks outside (with a mask on), drink lots of water, do yoga at home after work, and take breaks from screens!!

Can I convince my boyfriend to order pizza for dinner? Dan if you are reading this pls don’t say no.

These are my new favorite Uggs.

Find me riding out the rest of the pandemic this summer here… or here…. or maybe even here (if I suddenly become very rich).

MARK YOUR CALS FOR FEB. 12!! NADIYA BAKES!! PEAK COZY BAKING SHOW GOODNESS!

These super high-rise Everlane jeans will give you an amazing butt (even if you don’t have one). They run a teense big. I sized down.

Chicago is doing indoor-dining again and that scares the fuck out of me tbh!

This TikTok compilation of the best Olivia-Joshua-Sabrina tweets is very LOL for those who know the drama.

Can’t sleep? These are the best melatonin gummies. You can find them at Target. I would eat them by the fistful if they weren’t designed to make me pass out.

Speaking of crashing, I feel the sugar leaving my body. Gonna go hydrate with a bunch of water. If you liked my link pack, bought anything, have comments, questions or concerns, LMK on Instagram. Send me a DM. Put it on your story. At least give me a follow!!

xo

The Best Things I Have Purchased At Erewhon

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

All of the Juices

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

You came here! Now pay the troll toll.

Erewhon Hand Sanitizer

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

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

Zab’s Hot Sauce St. Augustine Style

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

Wylde One Yoga in a Cup

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

Deux Enhanced Cookie Dough

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

Matzo Ball Soup

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

Joolies

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

Iwon Organics Spicy Sweet Pepper Protein Stix

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

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

Health Essential Candle Frankincense-Myrrh Luxury Glass

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

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

Honorable Mention: The Salad and Hot Bar/Prepared Foods

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

Skip the sushi. It’s eh.

xo

Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Drinking

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

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

But no.

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

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

I!

WANT!

A!

DRINK!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No drinking. Also I deleted my Twitter.

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

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

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

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

I have also had some encouraging conversations too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xo

LL

The Zodiac Signs As Quarantine Snacks

Did I do this already? I don’t remember. Doing it again!

ARIES

Iced Coffee

You love to start your day by absolutely ruining your empty stomach with a large iced coffee. Then, when it’s well past lunch and you still haven’t eaten, you get a second one!

TAURUS

Leftover holiday candy

You survived off of mini-Snickers bars and packets of M&M’s from Halloween to Dec. 1. Thankfully, your Reeses cups don’t taste too much like the Lush bath bombs your mom put in your Christmas stocking.

GEMINI

Any Kind of Chips

You love that CRONCH!! Potato, tortilla, even pita. Just be sure to brush those crumbs out of your bed in between episodes of Bridgerton.

CANCER

Microwave Quesadilla

Every quarantine snack pretty much doubles as a depression meal, but nothing says I HAVE GIVEN UP ON MY LIFE PLEASE LET ME SLEEP FOREVER quite like a nuked tortilla with a few slices of Kraft American cheese.

LEO

Bell Peppers + Cream Cheese + Hot Cheetos/Takis

You’ve been watching a lot of TikTok and this seemed like a fun snack to try. Now you’re really into ALL TikTok snacks, but you can’t bring yourself to try those TikTok egg salad pickle-boats just yet (thank god).

VIRGO

Charcuterie Board

No one has any control right now, but at least you do over this charcuterie board. Make a salami river! Cookie cutter a fun shape into your brie! We’re all gonna die.

LIBRA

Apple Sauce/Yogurt Pouches for Babies

We get it. You’re baby.

SCORPIO

Gabagool

Whether you are Tony Soprano or someone who took a trip to Gelson’s for hummus and left with a lot of expensive food items you didn’t really need, it is powerful to eat loose cured-meats. You can’t tell me otherwise.

SAGITTARIUS

Expensive Cookies Your Roommate Bought

Okay, THIEF!!! The next gluten-free double-chocolate chip Tate’s box is on you, I guess.

CAPRICORN

Alcohol

Drunk since March, drunker in September and now DRUNKEST in 2021! Maybe you can get a Cancer to make you a microwaved quesadilla to soak some of that up.

AQAURIUS

Fruit With Alternative Nut Butters

Isn’t it nice that someone has a nutritious coping mechanism??? You go for apples, bananas, persimmons, dates, figs, etc… all with almond, cashew, sunflower, whatever the fuck else butter!! You’re getting some good protein and fiber god damnit!

PISCES

Ice Cream

At least you’re more upfront about your need for comfort food than a lot of these other signs. Good thing it’s never too cold for ice cream — especially when you’re parked in front of your space heater.

How to Make Eggs

I recently watched a TikTok where a girl was sobbing about how “it” never ends. She panned to piles of dirty laundry and a sink full of dishes.

The video was duet-ed by a woman who explained that “care” never ends. You will always have laundry to do, dishes to clean, bookshelves to dust, etc. She explained that your level of “care” fluctuates, depending on what you have going on in your life.

A really important “care” thing for me is knowing how to make food. Sure, sometimes care looks like Postmating Thai food, but the need to nourish your body never ends and money does (otherwise I would be ordering Thai food for every meal for the rest of my life). That’s where cooking comes in.

I didn’t realize how few of my friends knew how to boil or fry an egg until quarantine began. Please believe me when I tell you that I had three different people text me about this.

A desire to learn is worthy of applause, as is a desire to care for oneself.

If you are a person with access to a kitchen with a stove, have a frying pan and a small pot, and want to learn to cook eggs for yourself but never learned how, THIS IS FOR YOU!!!

I promise, this is all easy as hell. Even if you’ve never done it before.

Plus, you’re not just learning how to hard boil an egg, you’re half of the way to making egg salad or a breakfast sandwich or a pasta topping.

HOW TO MAKE A HARD BOILED EGG

There are two ways of doing this, but I’m going to teach you the way my grandma taught me, which I think is the easiest. You will need a pot, so something with tall sides that can hold a lot of water, a spoon, some water and then as many eggs as you want to make.

  1. Fill a small pot with water and set it on a stove burner at a high heat.
  2. Bring your pot of water to a boil on the stove. You will know it is boiling when the water is bubbling.
  3. Take your spoon and gently put an egg on it and place the egg into the boiling water. Do this GENTLY. You’re trying not to crack the egg.
  4. Take the spoon out
  5. Set a timer on your phone for 8 minutes (if you like your egg yolk to be a little runny) or 9 minutes (for a firmer egg).
  6. DO NOT TOUCH THE WATER LET IT KEEP BOILING
  7. When the timer goes off, TURN OFF THE WATER.
  8. Take your spoon and scoop the egg out of the pot. You can either leave it on the counter to cool or run it under cold sink water (while it balances on the spoon) until it is cool enough to touch.
  9. When it is cool enough, you can peel the shell off the egg. My best advice for peeling the shell off is to 1. GET A PAPER TOWEL. 2. Put the egg on the paper towel. 3. Gently crush the egg with your palm (don’t flatten it so it explodes. Be gentle!), rolling it back and forth a little until cracks form all over. Then peel all the crunchy part off.
  10. Throw your shell away. I recommend pouring a little salt and pepper on your plate and dipping your egg into the mixture for a lil flavor.

WANT TO TURN YOUR HARD BOILED EGGS INTO EGG SALAD?

Boil and peel 4 eggs (assuming you’re making egg salad for 1 person. If you’re making it for two, I would double the amount of everything). Cut the eggs up on a plate or cutting board. It doesn’t really matter how. You could also put them all into a bowl and mash them. You do you. But you’re going to need to combine your eggs in a bowl anyway, with some mayo (I would recommend about 1/4 cup but you can eyeball it), about 1 squirt of yellow mustard, chopped up green onion, pepper, salt and paprika. Mix it all up with a fork. Voila! You just made egg salad. Put it on some toasted bread or eat it with peppers and pickles if you’re a TikToker.

HOW TO MAKE SCRAMBLED EGGS

My boyfriend is practically a genius, so when we started living together I was stunned to discover that he doesn’t know how to make scrambled eggs.

That, or he is completely pulling my leg and doesn’t want to make breakfast.

There are many different ways to make scrambled eggs. However, you don’t need to do it the fancy French way, or add milk or a ton of butter. All you need is two eggs (three if you’re really hungry), a small bowl, 1 fork, a frying pan, a wooden spoon or spatula and some sort of fat, like butter or olive oil.

  1. Crack your eggs into a small bowl. If you get eggshell in there, take one of the halves of the already broken shell and fish out the tiny piece that got way. Shell attracts shell. My grandma taught me that and it is probably the best piece of advice I have ever been given.
  2. Take your fork and stab the yellow yolks until they don’t look like perfect circles anymore. Then, mix the eggs together. You should be left with a yellow-y mixture.
  3. Set the bowl aside.
  4. Take your pan and set it on a stove burner. Turn the burner to medium-high heat.
  5. Let the pan get hot. You’ll know it’s hot (DON’T TOUCH IT) when you hold your hand over it, and you can feel the heat.
  6. Turn the heat down to low.
  7. Throw some butter or olive oil in there. Not a lot. If you want to use a measurement I would say 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil or if you’re using butter, I would say use about as much as you would typically spread on toast.
  8. Spread it around the pan with your wooden spoon.
  9. Pour your egg mixture into the pan.
  10. LET IT SIT FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS.
  11. Then take your wooden spoon and make small circles. You don’t want the egg to cook in one solid circle, you’re trying to make curds by breaking them up.
  12. You will know your eggs are done when there are no longer any sort of mucus-y looking parts to it. If you are like my boyfriend and you can’t be bothered to pay attention to what that means, I would say about two minutes.
  13. Serve immediately

WANT TO MAKE BREAKFAST TACOS?

*I am in no way claiming that this is the way to make authentic tacos. It is definitely not!!*

You’re going to need any tortillas of your choice. They don’t even have to be taco-sized, you could also make this a breakfast burrito or roll-up. You’ll need cheddar cheese and hot sauce. Assuming you just made the scrambled eggs, take a clean frying pan and put it on the burner at low heat. Put your tortilla in the pan. While your tortilla heats up, sprinkle it with cheddar cheese. Wait for it to melt. If you’re feeling fancy, this is when you can add things like tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, beans, meat, etc… Then dump your scrambled eggs on top and let them get a little warmer (they likely will have cooled). Remove taco from frying pan, top with hot sauce!

HOW TO FRY AN EGG (THIS IS THE LAST ONE I PROMISE)

You’ll need an egg, a frying pan, a spatula and some sort of fat like olive oil or butter.

  1. Put your frying pan on a stove burner at high heat. Let it get hot. You’ll know it’s hot (DON’T TOUCH IT) when you hold your hand over it, and you can feel the heat.
  2. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter into the pan. Can’t be bothered to measure? Cut off a big hunk of butter or make a small pool olive oil. Let the butter melt (or just leave the olive oil alone in the pan).
  3. This part is the trickiest part IMO. You need to crack the egg and put it in the pan. The simplest way to do this is to crack the egg against the pan and dump in its contents. If you are afraid of getting burned or of leaving shell in there by mistake, get a small bowl and crack the egg into there instead. Then dump the egg from the bowl into the frying pan.
  4. Yes, the oil/butter will make scary noises while it cooks the egg. Get over it tbh.
  5. You will know when one side is done because the outer edges of the egg will start to brown and turn crispy.
  6. Take your spatula and slide it under the egg. You are going to flip the egg. Yes, you can do this. There is no way to fuck it up other than to chuck the egg on the floor. Focus!! Flip the egg over so the other side can cook!!!
  7. Wow you did it.
  8. Let it sit there are like….2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Do a little longer (3 min) for a firmer yolk.
  9. TURN THE HEAT OFF.
  10. Take your spatula and take the egg out of the pan!!!! Now you can add this fried egg to a piece of toast, bowl of pasta, rice or something!!!

I don’t really have another recipe for you with this. My only advice, is that everything tastes better with a fried egg on it. Try it on pasta, pizza, a grain bowl, on some fried rice, avocado toast… honestly the sky is the limit with this one. My favorite way to eat a fried egg rn is between two halves of an english muffin with some cheddar cheese and hot sauce mmmmmmm.

ANYWAY

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. If you want to learn how to make other basic things, LMK. I can also teach you how to make harder things. Idk. I’m here!! Caring never stops! And that is okay. We can do this together.

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_

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