March Things

Funny thing about March, 2018: After about the first week, I just assumed we were in the last week. I had something really fun happening in the last week of March (I’ll write to you about it soon), and my impatience had me just assuming that we were in the home stretch through the whoooooole month. Like when you’re trying to fall asleep on Christmas eve but you’re so excited that you keep yourself awake and the the night seems to stretch on forever. That still happens to me and I’m 34.

Anyway, here are some things that happened in March when I was paying attention. Please be advised that a few of these links are affiliate links and I will receive compensation if you make purchases through those links.


I finished 2 books, both of which are completely out of my usual genres:
You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (which I will post about early next week and can not suggest enough even though I hate anything related to money talk).
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (which was a really fun, light, quick romance novel. An incredible pallet cleanser.)

Since those were both completely different from what I ordinarily read, I’m looking for something with a little more depth and story to it. I’m trying to decide between these two–what do you think?
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah or
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

I recently started re-watching Master of None and it’s reignited the desire to start making pasta. I’ve always wanted to learn but my kitchens have always been so small and tiny. So if you hear of anyone offering pasta making classes in Central Kansas, hook a girl up. Of course I’d need one of these. Oh… and one of these.

Speaking of Netflix… I’ve always been a little bit of a font nerd but this fascinated me and I am going to be looking for/ noticing it all the time, now.

Once March hit, I only wanted to eat salads all the time always. Here are a few of my favorites:
From Cookie and Kate (I made this one all month long–it’s got all my favorite flavors).
From Shutterbean (I make this one the most)
From Love and Lemons (I’ve never made this one but it’s on my list. I can’t wait to try it.)

Raising My Kids to Be Unapologetic American Muslims. This is important, I think.

Design for Mankind is one of my favorite blogs of all time. Erin has an incredible way of melding the everyday, the spiritual, and the practical all together–which is my favorite way to live. Anyway, while we’re talking about food, here’s A Guide to Family Dinners.

Modern Mrs. Darcy wrote this article about The Discipline of Staying in the Room which really spoke to me. Rushing around makes me feel rushed. I love the intention of staying in the room.

I happened upon this Ted Talk interview with Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin and I’ve so-far shared it everywhere I possibly can. I love learning about friendships and I love learning about long-time female friendships. This whole thing is full of beautiful, hilarious quotes. “I don’t know what I would do without my women friends. I have my friends, therefore I am.” –Jane Fonda

And last but not least, I bought this kimono on Amazon on impulse after my friend Alyssa told me about it. I have never bought clothes on Amazon before and I fully expected it to be… janky af… to be completely honest with you. But it’s kind of perfect and I’m in love with it and fully intend to wear it everywhere this spring and summer. Over feminist t-shirts and ripped jeans. Over dresses and heels. Over my swimsuit. This thing will work for you I promise. I ordered my usual size and it’s a little big so if you’re worried about that, maybe size down. But there’s so little structure to it, sizing kind of doesn’t even exist. Also, I plan to just belt mine because there’s another look. For a mere $16, I’m telling everyone I know about this. Oh, also there are so many different patterns you could buy a dozen. I’m only half joking. I knooooow this sounds like a sales pitch but it’s just because I want you to have this in your life.

ACS_0117
Image description: Black and white photo of Libby being very, very extra in her beloved floral kimono, posing with one hand in the air and a huge smile on her face.

Other places I was published this month:
The Voyageer let me share a story of Ryan and I’s recent weekend away. Here’s a link to my favorite places to spend a weekend in Wichita. (And since we just got back from our trip to CA, we’re dreaming about where we should go next, this list should help.)
-I wrote an article for &/Both Magazine about being a fat person on vacation. I felt really vulnerable regarding this article because there were some parts that I hadn’t shared about, before. But it feels good to talk about it. You can order the magazine from here.
Or if you live in Wichita, Hutchinson, McPherson, or Lawrence Kansas, you can pick up an issue locally! Message me and I’ll let you know where.

XOXO, Libby

 

 

When I Am Alone

I am, much like an heirloom sourdough starter, a person who requires an awful lot of alone time in order to become my best and most delicious self. Preferably on top of the fridge.

I am, also, a person who has a lot of alone time. Since I only work outside of the house a few days a week and my partner works out of the house five days a week, I have grown accustomed to a certain standard of introvertedness. Like a touchy houseplant with a delicate ecosystem, not enough alone time can throw me for a loop from which it takes a long time to recover.

Recently LaTonya Yvette wrote about five of her favorite things to do alone in her city and since alone-time is so near and dear to me, I wanted to write about my favorite alone-things, too.


Washing the dishes is my number one favorite alone thing. I can almost never do it when there’s someone else in the house. The dishes get all piled up over the weekend.

Going grocery shopping early on a Monday morning before it gets busy.

Driving aimlessly to a nearby town (usually Lindsborg) with hardly a plan except to grab a coffee and walk wherever I feel like.

Prep vegetables for us to use the rest of the week. My sister and I both are firm believers in chop therapy. If we’re having roasted veggies or fajitas for dinner, you know that I’ve maybe had a hard day.

Wandering a book store for as long as I darn well please. When I go to bookstores with other people I’m always in my head about how much time I’m taking or I feel self conscious about the way I oftentimes audibly swoon over book covers or the photography in certain cookbooks or the way I want to read every single greeting card. But when I’m alone, I can stay forever doing whatever I want for however long I want and it fills me up.


What are your favorite alone-time things?
XOXO, Lib

 

 

A Post About My Heart and Soul and Money

It’s important for me that you know that I never sit down here to write to you without doing some real work, first. This is a job. I feel like I’m working for you and I’m working for me and I’m doing what it takes to feed my soul. And when I’m feeding my soul… maybe my soul helps to feed you a little bit. That’s my goal. That’s what my intuition is telling me is happening.

Most of the time that work involves seeming like I’m doing nothing. If I come up with an idea and I’m still thinking about it the next day, it’s a contender for a blog post. If, after that next day, I’m still mentally discovering new things about that topic, I’ll sit down and write out a bit of a draft to see if I can actually take it anywhere.

That’s where I’m at right now. I have been thinking for the past week or so about telling you that I’m always giving you the soft parts of me even when it might not always seem like it.

Even when I’m just doing a roundup of the things that happened last month. Or when I’m posting a Meet Me Monday interview. Or when I’m writing a book review. I’ve never written to you without unzipping myself and laying a piece of myself out there for scrutiny. I do that on purpose.


So, the reason that I wanted to tell you about that is because I want to talk about something that people don’t talk about often: money and how I make it. I went and got some new blog sponsorship. If you look down at the side bar of my site, you’ll see some ads there. I try to make sure that I only team up with brands that I think you’ll actually resonate with, buy from or care about. I’m always looking for new companies and if you have some favorites that you want me to know about, let me know because I want to provide you with things you’ll actually use.

After I write out a draft, I’ll let it sit for a little bit. I’ll come back to it the next day or a few days later. I’ll either edit the crap out of it–carving away at it like a sculptor until I’m standing here completely in love with what has showed up… or I’ll feel like what I wrote, originally, is exactly what I want to say. And I’ll just hit publish and wait for the praise, and money to come rushing in to me (just kidding, that has never happened).

More often than not, I’ll see that there’s really nothing of much use here, today, and this won’t be published at all. But it wasn’t a waste because every minute spent working on this frees up space and air to create something that is waiting to get born. It’s all a part of the gestation process and I’m not mad at it. I trust the process. I’ve been doing this long enough to know what I need and what I’m capable of.

The thing is, though… I often wonder if anyone knows how hard I and others like me work and how much effort goes into this job. I’m not saying that because I feel like I’m not getting the recognition I deserve or anything. That’s not the point of this post at all. It’s just that sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know so just in case, here’s what goes into creating content. And not just here on the blog but on my Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook group, too. Everyone says that bloggers should have an email list with exclusive content just for list subscribers but I don’t know, man. I don’t know if I have the emotional energy to create another thing. And I’m not sure I’m even mastering what I’m doing as it is. Not only that but who in their right mind wants to sign up for another email list?

That’s why I have these ads along the side of my page. So that, by chance, you might want to go place an order from someone and then, six months later, I’ll get a deposit in my account which equals, usually, about 8% of whatever you spent on that other website. It’s a very round-about way of making any money but it’s what’s available.
The Amazon affiliate program is better because more people shop with Amazon and they pay out more often (once a month) but I feel icky putting Amazon links into my posts. I really don’t believe in Amazon but it feels like if I want to make any money (usually only enough to buy a latte while I’m working on a blog post at the coffee shop), this is the route that I have to take. And I want to get paid because if I don’t get paid, I’m going to have to go back to working for someone else. I’m nervous to do that, though, because history tells me that when I do that, I get sick and I don’t thrive and I never have the energy to create. I’m afraid that if I do that, I won’t be able to write or paint and it might kill me. I know that sounds dramatic and maybe it is. It probably is. So, anyway, what I’m saying is that I’ve got to get paid and the only way to get paid is by schlepping goods from companies that don’t hate the very most and feeling a little bit icky about it.

But, I kind of feel like, there’s got to be a better way. Right? Like, is it completely unreasonable to break the mold a little bit?

I have an idea. I have a few ideas, so hear me out. I decided, you know, what if instead of posting a bunch of links that I hope you might maybe buy from, I’ll just put a link up there on the right side of the screen (on a desktop, if you’re on a phone, it’ll be at the bottom of this post) where you can help me out if you want to and if you don’t, that’s okay. Don’t feel like you have to. I just wanted to be straight forward with you and allow you to make your support as easy as humanly possible. This isn’t me asking for money. This is me making it easier for you to support one of the artists that you believe in. And if there are other artists that you want to support, hey just ask them for their paypal information. I promise you, they’ll be delighted. Consider it like a tip jar of sorts. I got this idea from Staci Jackson at My Friend Staci. She has a tip link on her site as well.

Also, I have an online shop in the works. I’m going to be selling postcards and prints of some of my work. That’s coming in the next several weeks and I promise to keep you updated as that comes about.

Thanks for always being great and for hearing me out when I come to you to talk about stuff like money.

XOXO,
Lib

January Things 2018

I’ve got “I’m here to take care of you” written and stuck around all points of my house. In the cupboard. In my makeup bag. Next to my bed.

I got into the habit of bullet journaling last year but I was kind of getting tired of being expected to be creative and draw my layout every week. My partner got me a planner for Christmas, though, and I’m using it. It’s great! I actually do KIND OF miss the customizability of a #bujo but only barely. But if YOU are on the Bullet Journal train, go follow Shayda Campbell’s doodles and get inspired.

This is basically my ideal salad. I’ve been craving it a lot lately. It’s been in my regular rotation ever since I happened upon this recipe a few years ago (although I leave out the beets–they’re pretty but I do not like them).

I’ve been working on building up my art collection for both my Etsy shop (which is coming at some point) and for a showing coming up in the next few months. I’ve also done three commissions this month! Here’s a little peek at a few things I’ve got coming together.

Lovely, Nameless Feelings (via Cup of Jo)

The most delicious vindication since… well… in my whole lifetime: watching the live-stream of the Larry Nassar sentencing. Judge Aquilina is every woman’s absolute hero. I just spent the whole day crying the most delicious tears.

We’re heading for San Diego to visit our dear, dear friends Doug and Staci!! In fact, by the time you’re reading this, we’re already there and if you’re following me on Instagram, you’re already seeing photos and stories about our trip. But right now I’m sitting at my desk in Kansas, staring out the window to a big field filled with snow (I’m scheduling this post to drop at the end of the month while we’re gone). I love the snow. I LOVE the snow and winter and Kansas but also… I’m excited to soak up some sunshine and see the ocean for the first time. I can’t wait to write a post about it for you all and for our next issue of &/Both which is scheduled to drop by the end of February! If you haven’t picked up our Fall issue, yet, for a limited time only it’s 40% off.

Favorite things this month:
Songs: Live by Billie Marten, Winterbreak by MUNA, Goodbye, Goodbye by Tegan and Sara
Snacks: Honeycrisp apples and hot chocolate
TV Show: Alone Together which is too accurate to my college experience and it’s oddly comforting?
Podcast: Forever 35 is the perfect podcast when you’re a little bit burned out on the news and politics and learning about serial killers and you just want to hear two best friends talk about serums and face masks.


Okay friends, those were just a few of my most favorite parts of January 2018. What were some of yours?? Leave them in the comments section or on Facebook.

XOXO, Lib

I Want You to Want

So, for me it started in High School. I don’t know what it was that prompted all of us to adopt this attitude that caring about things was lame. What a time to start that, eh? Right around the time that you want things so badly you’d do anything to have them all while pretending to be completely ambivalent about it all.

Did I want cool clothes? Psh. No. I was fine with the clothes my mom had been sewing for me since birth. I’m not materialistic like that.
Please, God, please let me have an Arizona jacket for Christmas like all the other kids have!

Did I want to be invited to the parties that all the other kids were going to on the weekends? No. Gross. I didn’t want to become an alcoholic at seventeen!
What’s wrong with me that no one wants to spend time with me outside of school?

Did I want to be asked to dance at the Oktoberfest street dance? Ugh. Please, I didn’t even want to be here.
I’ve been planning my outfit for weeks and I stole my mom’s navy blue eyeliner to apply in the Duckwalls bathroom before the dance started.

Part of it was the constant rejection of being the fat kid. Some of it was growing up in a house with four kids and there was just never quite enough money to go around. Asking for things was selfish. It was easier for everyone if we just pretended we didn’t want for anything. Another bit of it was being a woman in a Christian environment where we’re encouraged to chase contentment in all things that are handed to us. And where all these identities intersect is the perfect storm to create a person who doesn’t know she’s allowed to care. Wanting is for other people.

Even still, my partner is constantly asking me, “What do you want?” It’s become a lesson. Wanting is something that I have to practice.
It’s not that I don’t feel comfortable speaking up for what I want–it’s that for the most part, I’m incapable of wanting. I don’t want anything–at least not that I know of. My desire is constantly buried under a pile of things that come first. Other people’s preferences or needs or comfort.

I’ve built a life of defense mechanisms. Reactive to what’s around me without even recognizing that being proactive is an option. Proactive is new to me and it’s hard. But we can do hard things if we practice.

When it comes to this blog, I’ve been pretending that what happens happens and I’ll be okay with it even if no one reads it, I’m just happy to be writing. And that’s true. That is the core of why I’m even here in the first place. But as my honesty has increased in this space, so has the visibility of it. Other outlets are seeing what I’m writing and as their interest grows, so does mine. I want to grow. I want to reach more people and I’ve never said that before because I’m supposed to just be happy where I’m at. And I am! You can be happy and want more. You can be so many things all at once.

I want to be successful. I want to grind it out. I want to build a community full of people who are wanting space to be honest with one another. I want it and it feels really vulnerable to be seen as a woman with desires but here I am standing in my honesty with you.

I have desires. You do, too. We’re groomed to push those down and when we vocalize these desires, we’re taking up space. Which is another thing we’re not supposed to do.  We’re inconvenient. We’re disrupting the narrative that they’ve written about us in their minds. But that’s their thing to figure out. It really has nothing to do with you.

But I want.
And I want you to want what you want, too. IMG_3296

Don’t be afraid to be seen. Don’t be afraid to be seen as someone who desires.

XOXO, Lib