LG Faves: April 2019

LG Faves - March 2019

Hi friends! I am sorry I have been so MIA this past month. Things have been busy and I haven’t been able to sit down, settle my thoughts and write something out. I have gotten out of the habit, but I really miss it. I will be writing more soon, I promise. In the meantime here are some of the things I have been loving in March/April!

Music: Gabrielle Aplin

One of Gabrielle’s songs came up on a Spotify playlist I was listening to and I loved her voice and the song lyrics. I looked her up and then fell into a rabbit hole of her pretty, girly music. My favorite songs have been: Waking Up Slowly, Miss You and Nothing Really Matter.

TV shows: Shrill & Broad City

Shrill has been an incredible, refreshing show i have watched. i talked about how it has made me feel and why I’ve loved it here.

Broad City is a hilarious quirky show I can watch at any time of the day. I love seeing Ilana and Abbi’s ridiculous antics and how they are there for each other no matter what happens. The show always makes me laugh out loud and leaves me feeling good.

Food: Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

I love making this quiche at the beginning of the week and having it for brunch or lunch throughout the week. It is a nice way to switch up what I usually eat but I am still getting some great protein and vegetables. It is satisfying, easy to make and delicious. I loosely follow this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen but I make it in my own way — I don’t use the vegetable suggestions in her recipe, but instead my favorite combination is: red onion, spinach, zucchini and red bell pepper. I also love mushrooms instead of the zucchini sometimes. And, I don’t use egg whites, like the recipe suggests, but instead use about seven eggs, and I use whatever cheese I have on hand which has been: goat cheese, feta cheese, Daiya cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

Nonfiction Book: Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

My best friend HIGHLY recommended this book and I absolutely see why. It is a book that discusses attachment theory and how by understanding your attachment style you can navigate relationships more wisely given your style and that of your partner. It is “an insightful look at the science behind love, [so readers can have] a road map for building stronger, more fulfilling connections.”

Fiction Book: The Bell Jar

I started reading this classic novel and am enjoying it so far. I want to make my way through reading classic feminist texts so I knew this was a must read. The themes of mental health and feeling stuck in a patriarchal society always hit home for me so I am excited to continue reading it and sharing my thoughts.

Cool Things I've Seen Recently

Cool things I’ve seen recently

I’ve read/seen/listened to some interesting stuff on the inter-webs recently that I wanted to share. They have been thought provoking, inspiring, and fun. Hope you enjoy!

Inspiring

New York Times Article - Jenna Wortham on the Exhilarating Work That Leaves Her ‘Naked and Shivering’

TED Talk - Multipotentialites: Why some of us don't have one true calling | Emilie Wapnick

Thought-provoking

New York Times Opinion Piece: Don’t Let Sex Distract you from the Revolution

Pardon My French Podcast — Escaping Expectations with Hayley Quinn

TED talk — Searching for love to escape ourselves | Hayley Quinn

Giggles

Lets end things off with a good laugh — here are two videos that made me LOL:

SNL Weekend Update: Pete Davidson & John Mulaney Review Clint Eastwood's The Mule

James Corden: The David Beckham Statue Prank

LG Faves: February 2019

LG Faves February 2019

It’s time for some February favorites. Since I have been following my February intention of read more, stream + read online less, I have two books and no TV shows, lol! A big part of being able to read more is to not be addicted to a TV show. Anyways, I hope you find something interesting to check out below.

Food: Lavva Coconut Yogurt

Oh Lavva how I love thee! I have finally found a dairy free yogurt that I actually enjoy, doesn’t have tons of sugar, and the ingredient list is normal. I had been missing dairy yogurt because I grew up with my mom putting a dollop of yogurt or cottage cheese on so many things: fruit salads, oatmeal, granola, toast, etc, but as I got older I started having skin issues on my arms and we found out that it was linked to dairy so the yogurt had to go. I had been searching for a replacement but I didn’t enjoy the flavor of any of the ones on the market – until I found Lavva! It is delicious and the ingredient list and sugar content is amazing. I highly recommend checking it out if you have to find a dairy free yogurt alternative.

Nonfiction Book: What Made Maddy Run? by Kate Fagan

Oh this book! I have talked about it a lot now – you can read my takeaways from it here. I can’t recommend it enough. No matter who you are you will learn something and gain some empathy and understanding reading this powerful book.  

Fiction Book: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic

This book is so much fun. It’s all about entering into a different magical world surrounded by magicians, kings, dragons, fairies, and I just loved it. It was a nice change from such a serious book (Maddy) and you find yourself falling into a wonderful fantasy hole that sweeps you away. If you’re looking for something fun this is the book for you. 

Music: Lizzo

Lizzo’s music is upbeat and empowering. She has an incredible voice and her music reminds me of powerful woman’s voices from the Motown, soul, disco era. It immediately puts me in a good mood and makes me want to dance, and I love that most of her lyrics focus on loving your body, embracing who you are, and strutting your stuff. It is refreshing! She just came out with a new song called Juice and her new album – Cuz I Love You – is coming out in April.

Clothing: Girlfriend Collective Bodysuits

I have been wearing these bodysuits for a while and can’t believe I haven’t mentioned them before! I love them. The brand – Girlfriend Collective – is amazing. They believe in slow fashion and only use ethical manufacturing and recycled materials for their clothing. The body suits are so soft and comfortable. The Lily bodysuit is my favorite so far, and I love that theres button snaps at the bottom so you don’t have to take the entire bodysuit off to go to the bathroom, makes life so much easier! They’re soft, comfortable, and flattering.

Movement: Running

I started running again after many years of having to avoid it because of recovery and it has been so special. I can’t believe how much I have missed it and am so grateful I was able to reintroduce this movement back into my life. I am going to write a longer post about this because there is much more tied with running and my eating disorder, but for now what I want to say is that I feel so profoundly happy that I have reached a point in my recovery where I can enjoy running again in a healthy way.

 Movie: The Boy Downstairs

I have always liked Zosia Mamet from her days on Girls and the column she wrote for Glamour. I find her very interesting and thoughtful so I enjoy following the work that she does. I recently saw this cute rom-com she did on HBO and enjoyed it. It was a quirky indie film but a nice light watch with a different storyline than the typical rom-coms and takes place in hipster Brooklyn which is always fun.

Favorite 2018 Articles

TOLG Favorite 2018 Articles

I wrote up my list of 2018 favorites but as you might have noticed, I did not include my favorite articles in that list. The truth is that I had too many to choose only one or two! I knew I would have to dedicate a full post to the subject so I could share the variety of great articles that I read this past year.

As you will see in the list I like to read different topics from a few different sources. My favorite outlet would be The New Yorker though because in my opinion they have the most interesting well-written articles. Plus my brother has a subscription that he always lets me use :)

So without further ado, here they are in no particular order. Hope you find something interesting to read this weekend!

Profiles:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Acts Out – The New Yorker

Riz Ahmed Acts His Way Out of Every Cultural Pigeonhole – The New York Times Magazine

Nicole Holofcener’s Human Comedies – The New Yorker

Donald Glover Can’t Save You – The New Yorker

Feminism:

Rebecca Solnit: Whose Story (and Country) Is This? – Literary Hub

Rebecca Solnit: Protest and Persist: Why Giving Up Hope is Not an Option – The Guardian

Lena Dunham on Her Decision to Have a Hysterectomy at Age 31 – Vogue

Social/Political Issues:

When Deportation is a Death Sentence – The New Yorker

The Birth of a New American Aristocracy – The Atlantic

Why Are the Poor Blamed and Shamed for their Deaths? By Barbara Ehrenreich – The Guardian

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, In Her Own Words — JACOBIN

‘Our Minds Can Be Hijacked’: The Tech Insiders Who Fear a Smartphone Dystopia — The Guardian

Spirituality & Health:

When Anorexics Grow Up — The New York Times 

Mama Medicine: How Deciding I Was Enough Transformed My Life — Well + Good

Why Perfectionism Is On The Rise and How To Overcome It — Goop

The Recovery Diaries: Self-Acceptance

Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance – what does that actually look like? And how do you get there? I’m no expert on any of these things but I think it’s an ever-evolving process that we are constantly working on as we go through life. We will continue to have situations that show up that we have to work through regarding how we feel about ourselves. It might be dealing with something that has come up around how we perceive ourselves or how others perceive us, or ways we behave in a relationship or tendencies we have – the possibilities are endless because there are so many layers to self-acceptance.

The self-acceptance I am going to be talking about here is the one that frees us from beating ourselves up over things that we cannot change about ourselves, and instead helps us embrace all the parts that make us who we are. Stopping the fight and criticism of ourselves and deciding to let it go because there truly is nothing wrong with us.

I know this sounds vague, so the easiest way for me to explain is to give an example from my life and hope this helps you identify similar tendencies in yourself. Then you can apply this to your situation and work on releasing it as I am working on doing this as well.

Self-Acceptance

So here it goes:

For as long as I can remember I have been a small person. When I was in elementary school and you had to line up according to height I was usually the first person in line. When someone would say we need the short people in the front, everyone would immediately say – “where’s Lili?”

I didn’t think much of it when I was young, I simply accepted it as the way it was, and went on with my life. I was short, my mom was short, my grandma was short, and that was that. It wasn’t until I started getting older that so much started to become attached to it. One of the biggest things this created was being perceived as younger than I actually was, which resulted in people treating me like a child, and wanting to take care of me.

I started to feel insecure and bad about this, and would blame myself for it. If anyone ever told me they thought I was younger – my first thoughts would be: What was I doing that was making people think I was younger? What was I doing wrong? Was I not acting assertive or mature? Did I act like a child? Why did I have to be so child like?? All of this started snowballing into me believing that there was something wrong with me.

I had a college professor and a boss both tell me that I was smart but I would have an uphill battle being taken seriously in the professional world because I was a petite woman. They suggested that I should practice behaving and speaking more authoritatively.

I remember when my college professor pulled me aside and told me that, I felt ashamed and angry with myself. I hated myself for being short and for not speaking in a more scholarly way or something.

It didn’t cross my mind that MAYBE some of these things were simply out of my control. These were things that were part of who I was and what made me unique.

I turned 30 this year and this story has still been triggering for me. Something happened just last week around this that made me feel uncomfortable.  

But then I had a moment of awareness where I stopped and questioned it, and I thought to myself – why am I blaming myself for this? Why am I making this a bad thing?

I know that I am a responsible, competent woman who gets her things done, and just because I am perceived as younger, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is neither good or bad, it just is what it is, and beating myself up about it is unnecessary.

My body, my height, my voice, my spirit – they are doing nothing wrong. I am doing nothing wrong. This is simply who I am, and if I happen to have a lighter, youthful energy then I am just going to accept it as what it is.

If there are things about yourself that make you insecure, stop and think about them and ask yourself if there is actually anything bad about them? Is there really something wrong with it or is just that you think there’s something wrong or because people make you feel weird about it but it’s actually not good or bad, it just is what it is? If that’s the case let’s release it, we don’t need to be carrying around that negativity anymore.

So yeah – I am short, and will always be small, and might always look more like a child than a commanding voluptuous woman, and you know what I am learning to accept it. I’m done with criticizing and picking myself apart. It’s time for some loving self-acceptance and to start believing that there is nothing wrong with me - and I hope you start working on doing the same too.

You Don't Always Have to Be Nice

You Don’t Always Have to Be Nice

I recently had a very insightful moment with my therapist. I was talking to her about an annoying situation I had found myself in that I wished I didn’t have to deal with. It was something silly but it made me uncomfortable and the root of what was bothering me was that I didn’t want to seem rude or unpleasant to someone.

I was telling her my concerns and going down a list of what if this happened or what if that happened, and how I didn’t want to hurt their feelings but I wished this wasn’t even a situation in my life.

Then she said, “you have done nothing wrong so you have nothing to feel guilty about, and if you’re not interested, you’re not interested. Lili, you don’t always have to be nice.”

That was a huge lightbulb moment for me: I don’t always have to be nice. When she said it I realized that it was a box I was always putting myself in and it was exhausting. She continued on to explain that it doesn’t mean I am impolite or hurtful, but that I don’t have to be overly nice to people — I can be neutral and I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. I can simply say — I’m not interested, thank you. Or a simple: No.

You Don’t Always Have to Be Nice

I know this sounds like common sense but many people, ESPECIALLY women, have been conditioned to be people pleasers. We are afraid of letting someone else down at the expense of doing what is best for us. Or God forbid we come off as selfish, assertive, or having a strong opinion – women have been so trained to be agreeable, sweet, quiet, and putting others needs before our own.

I will admit it, throughout my life I have been a people pleaser. I am sensitive and I would take it personally if someone didn’t like me. Where do you think the perfectionism came from?

I wanted everyone to like me, not have one bad thing to say about me, and think I was important. And where did that leave me? Depressed with an eating disorder.

Trying to be sweet and nice to everyone has put me in many situations that I didn’t want to be in. I would force myself to do things that I knew intuitively I would rather not do. I didn’t know how to say no or was afraid of seeming rude or difficult, and then I would find myself wishing I was never tangled up in that situation to begin with.

Why do we sometimes think NO isn’t an option when it is 50% of the option – there is the yes option or the no option – and we should start giving the no option just as much weight as the yes. They are both equally valid.

As I get older and move into the new year, I am going to continue to work on releasing these habits of being a people pleaser and always being nice if it isn’t authentic. I am making it a priority to develop strength in setting boundaries, learning to simply say no, and stick up for myself and my needs. All of these practices are incredibly powerful and help you get to know and trust yourself better — because what matters most to me is that I like me.  

We shouldn’t be wasting any of our precious personal time doing something we don’t want to be doing because we are afraid of coming off rude or unpleasant in some way. Having the strength to simply say — No thank you — and not worry about having to be nice all the time will save us a lot of energy to do things we want to do and show ourselves the ultimate kindness and care.

Muse: Dr. Jane Goodall

"Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall we all be saved."

"Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall we all be saved."

Jane Goodall is a trailblazer and an icon. As a woman growing up in the era that she did, I have always been blown away by the work she has done and the life she has lived. Women didn't go to Africa to do research and study chimpanzees on their own back in the 1950s – but she did. 

When I was a sophomore in high school I was lucky enough to attend a talk that Jane Goodall gave in my hometown. I had known who she was since I was a little girl because she was a legend to me – the amazing lady who lived in Africa with the monkeys. I was very excited for her talk and clung to every word that she said. But what I was most blown away by was her captivating energy. She had a beautiful halo around her that made her seem like an angel. Her presence was comforting and she inspired me to educate myself and care about what was happening to our environment.

She makes me believe that things can change for the better and that the biggest issues facing our world can get solved with compassion and positive actions. Reminding myself of this helps me continue to believe that my small actions can make a difference and encourages me to do what I can to take care of our planet. 

To learn more about the work that she is doing, you can visit The Jane Goodall Institute, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter

RBG Documentary

"I ask no favors for my sex... All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks."

This documentary is absolutely incredible. From the moment it started until the second it ended I was completely enthralled and blown away by this woman. 

The film shares the exceptional story of Ruth Bader Ginsburgs's life and career: her childhood, why she decided to become a lawyer, how she met and fell in love with her husband, the challenges she faced getting her first job out of law school because she was a woman, to the work she did following that which led her to the nation's highest court.

 

My favorite part of the documentary was that it highlighted her early legal battles and how they changed the world for women. I did not know the extent of how influential her work has been for creating equal rights for women, and how utterly unfair things were before. What she has done to fight gender discrimination in this country is just incomparable. 

You leave with such a respect and reverence for this amazing woman who truly is the closest thing to a super hero we have today. 

If you are in any city that is showing this documentary I HIGHLY recommend watching it. I promise you will leave inspired and so grateful for all the work this tiny but mighty woman has done.

You can see the full list of where it is playing here

Muse: Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is a badass. You know those writers who write so well and with such depth and profundity that you are left thinking afterwards and seeing things from a whole different light? That’s what she does.

If you read her work, you’re guaranteed to learn something new. Even if it’s a topic you’ve known about for a long time she will have you looking at it from a different angle and opening your mind to new possibilities. She is brilliant.

She has written on a variety of topics, but mainly focuses on feminism, social change, insurrection, the environment, politics, art, and western history.  

Not only are her pieces thought provoking and well written, she leaves me feeling hopeful and inspired. Something that she does on the journey she takes me on with her writing leaves me feeling like I can make a difference, encourages me to take action, and believe in positive outcomes.

My two favorite essays of hers that I have read so far are these:

Guardian: If I were a man

Guardian: Protest and persist: why giving up hope is not an option

Even though she has been writing incredible pieces for a long time, I recently learned about her, and I am so grateful that I have. Isn’t it one of the best feelings when you discover a new writer or artist that really speaks to you and there's so much of their work to explore? I am very excited about it. It makes me happy and optimistic that great thinkers and activists like her exist – it gives me hope about humanity and something to aspire to.

I have not read any of her books yet but it's definitely next on my list when I finish my current book. Have you read any of Rebecca Solnit’s work? I would love to hear about your favorites! And if not, hope you enjoy discovering her writing as much as I have!