June Things

We lost Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in the same week this month and there are a lot of thoughts about it. I was most struck by the way the media made it sound so sensational and exotic without any care for the safety of their readers. Kate Spade’s suicide: Another example of how the media fails people with mental health issues.

Anthony Bourdain and the Power of Telling the Truth. 

As long as we’re talking about hard, impossible things, I can’t even talk about the situation with the children and immigration and anything like that. I physically can not talk about it anymore. But I’ll tell you about Unlock Hope, a company I totally believe in. I’m ready to buy this shirt. Plus, $15 from each sale to do the RAICEStexas.org Family Reunification Bond Fund.

  • If you want to reach out to your US representatives about the shit going down at the border:
  • Go to http://callyourrep.co to find the contact info for your representatives.
  • Text RESIST to 50409 and Resistbot will guide your through contacting your representatives.
  • Sign up at https://5calls.org to stay in the know about issues that are important to you.
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Image Description: a photo taken from above of a table scattered with papers, the paper on the top of the pile is an example of how to write a letter to elected officials. If you’re interested in knowing exactly what this paper says, leave me a comment and I’ll email it to you.

I loved, loved, loved this piece written by friend of the blog, Brooke: No, I Don’t Have a Boyfriend, and 12 More Interesting Questions You Can Ask Me Instead. BONUS: there’s even a section about how to be a good listener. I know it sounds basic but this is actually super duper brilliant and helpful for having all kinds of conversations.

We’re in the middle of summer (ish, not technically). We don’t have any big trips planned but we may do some impromptu quick trips for a weekend here or there. I like going to Airbnb to dream about trips we could take. If you’ve never used Airbnb before, you can use my referral code to get $40 off your first booking!! That’s no small amount of travel credit.

Anyway, here’s what I’m dreaming about:
This cozy lil A-Frame house in the Redwood Forest.
We’ve heard great things about this sweet, sweet place in Lawrence, Kansas.
This spot in Chicago is dreamy, dreamy, dreamy!! Oh man, I have a lot of internet friends in Chicago I could go visit…

My summertime skincare routine got a bit of a refresh! I got 3 packs of these Olay daily facials. They’re sooo handy and they do an amazing job. They’re also ideal for traveling since they’re a just-add-water kind of thing. I also bought this Mario Badescu botanical exfoliating scrub on impulse recently (an expensive impulse, I had buyer’s remorse the whole way home until I was able to try it and then my whole face felt brand new, so, worth it) and I’ve been using it in conjunction with their rose, aloe toner. Between these three things, I barely need any makeup at all. Still looking for a delicious moisturizer for oily skin though. [these are all affiliate links through Amazon]

And also, I restarted my Birchbox subscription for fun. If you want to sign up, do it through this link and I’ll get $5 credit in my account! And just remember, as practice, that if you’re going to sign up for a new service, send a quick feeler out to your friends to see if they have any referral links–help out your buddies!

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Image description: Shake Of The Month from Bogey’s in Hutchinson, Kansas. A cup of ice cream with pink and white circus cookies and lots of colored sprinkles poking out of the top. Libby is holding this cup of ice cream in the car. You can see her blue fingernail polish. 

Seriously considering making something like this for framing my next collection of original paintings or prints. (Speaking of, my shop got a face lift and a whole bunch of new things added. Go take a look if you haven’t seen it yet.)

I’m in desperate need of a new wallet but I’m one of those people who are always looking for something perfect and never find it. But here are a few I’m considering [affiliate links]:
This one looks like it can hold so much without getting bulky and soooo many colors.
I like how I could pop my phone into this one and free up my hands a little bit more.
I really love the look of this color blocked one–and there’s room for loose change which the other ones don’t have.

Finally, I want to remind you about Dia and Co. I had trouble with my last box and it bugged me so much that I thought about cancelling all together. But listen to me! I emailed them and told them how bummed I was and their customer service was so cool with me. I was so impressed that I’m going to keep it up with Dia. Sign up for your own box/ help support a cool business that wants to serve you the very best they can by clicking here! And if you’re in the mood for athletic wear they have a whole box for that now, too! [affiliate link]

Other places I could be found on the internet this month:

On Fridays, I’ve been taking over the Fat Girl Flow Fam Instagram account. So on Fridays I get to hang out with a whole new community of babes who believe in body positivity, too!

What was your month like? Did you find any products or services that you fell in love with? Did you do anything you’re proud of? Did you listen to the new Beyonce album (it’s a Beyonce album, ok.)

A Week Without a Phone

Last week I was having coffee with my friends and their kids. It’s one of my most favorite things to do because I feel like a lot of the time, we forget how important face-to-face interaction is in our relationships.  When we were talking, I mentioned to my friend Kellory that every time she doesn’t respond to a text message, I feel jealous. Like, I wish that I could be so untethered from my phone that I could go let more than 90 seconds go by without responding to a text. I can barely even go 90 seconds without checking my phone to see if I’ve received a new update. I don’t like that about me.

We finished our coffee and I drove over to the library to get a new book. On my way back out to my car, I pulled out my phone to send a text to Ryan. Just then, I dropped it on the concrete. Now, look, I’ve dropped my phone approximately four bazillion times since I’ve owned it and never ever has it ever cracked. I knew it was a matter of time. I picked up my phone off the ground and to my horror, this thing was utterly and completely shattered. Just… like… obliterated.

Since it was already set up to send a text, it went ahead and sent Ryan some texts. I don’t know how but it did. It was writing random letters that the phone, then, autocorrected into something that made Ryan think I’d had some kind of a stroke. He was truly concerned. I don’t remember exactly what my phone told him but along with the gibberish was definitely the word “bad”? Which… just… that’s not a comfortable text to receive.

So I drove right down to my phone place where everyone is awesome and they were like, “you have excellent insurance on your phone which means that we can repair it for about $30.”
And I was like, “Okay but that kind of falls under the category of ‘okay’ insurance, not exactly ‘excellent’ but semantics I guess.”
And then they were all, “Oh… but you’ll be without your phone for 10 days.”
So, I was like, “Again… ‘excellent’ isn’t exactly a word that I would use to describe this but whatever.” (Full disclosure they did give me other options to get it fixed faster but your girl’s on a budget.)

But I was kind of excited about being forced to be without a phone for ten days. Like, I can still text Ryan via my computer. I can still Instagram on my iPad (which is one of the only ways I market this here blog so I didn’t want to go 10 days without using it). We’ll make do.

I have not missed text messages. I have not missed phone calls. I have not missed being easily accessible to everyone that I know.

I have missed not being able to easily and quickly photograph the beautiful things that I encounter in my day. I didn’t realize what a big part of my life that was until it was gone. I like that. I like celebrating and hoarding the little beautiful things that I see every day. Mostly shadows and reflections or garbage on the ground or leaves or lists or handwriting.

I have noticed that without the immediate gratification of dictating my whole entire day whether by telling a story via text or writing an on-the-go Facebook post, I have more words. I have more words to write. This week without a phone has been one where I feel filled to the brim with words to write and things to tell you about in due time. Isn’t that nice?

I think for that reason and that reason alone, I’d like to give myself more phone time-outs. Because it’s good for my work. Or at least, it’s good for my brain and a good brain does good work.

April Things

Full disclosure: some of these links may click through an affiliate site and while it won’t cost you anything extra, I may get paid if you make a purchase. Thank you for supporting brands that help support me. If you’d rather not use affiliate links, that’s okay. Don’t feel pressured.

I started Dia&Co this month! I got my first shipment, and did an unboxing on my Instagram stories (and if I do say so myself, you guys loved it). It was so fun and I had no idea that I liked being on camera that much. I’ll film all of my unboxings from now on just because it’s fun and because you guys seem to really love it, too.  I’m here to serve you.
Use my affiliate link and you might get a little something something for signing up (though I make no promises on that because I’m a little unclear on what your benefits would be–just keeping it real, you guys).

I picked up this book. I grabbed it from Bluebird Books in Hutchinson because I was looking for a spring-y memoir. And also because I am a huge sucker for those little book-review cards that they scatter around the store to tell you “someone who works here has read this and they love it”!
Also, reminder, the Virtual Book Club is reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! We’re spreading it out over two months, though, because we didn’t realize how long it is and how busy we all are.

I realize that Easter is over but check out Tieghan’s GORGEOUS Easter brunch menu. I love her site so much–she makes everything look easy and so, so drool-worthy.

Try Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial What are you listening to? I’m into this brand new Father John Misty album, Pure Comedy. Also I’m jamming on the new John Mayer album as I write this.

Rhubarb is in season! I’m making a batch of rhubarb liqueur right now. Just chop up a bunch of rhubarb, fill a large jar and then add 2 cups of powdered sugar and 500 ml cheap vodka. Keep it on the counter. Shake it every day for 4 weeks and then you’ve got yourself a delicious mixer. I thought about adding ginger in there with it but decided to keep it pure. I’m going to be adding it to ginger beer though, for sure. Maybe a rhubarb mule type situation? What would you do? I can’t wait to play around with it.
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Kalene did an incredible two-week series called Doers and Makers. My favorite part was all the writing she did and the way that she connected the work other people are doing to what’s going on in her own life. It was so personal and so exciting. She collected all of her writing and photos (and a write up about me, even!) in one place right here.
Also, earlier this week she did a huge giveaway that featured a painting done by yours truly. I’ve been getting a few commissions for paintings, lately, and it’s really exciting to me.

Fat Girl Flow is showing us that plus size people can rock miniskirts.

Tsh Oxenreider has a brand new book out (I loved Tales from a Blue Bike)

And finally: I’ve been trying to make sure that I’m advertising with more fair-trade and ethically practicing businesses. So take a look at my side bar and go check out some cool websites. I’m super pumped about GlobeIn. I think that it’s a great place for wedding gifts–since we’ve officially entered wedding season. Plus: a subscription service!

What’s new with you this month? I want to hear all about it. Do you have a bunch of weddings to attend this spring/ summer?

XOXO, Lib

Things I’ve written this month:
You Don’t Need More Balance in Your Life
Digging for Truth in Rubble
I’ve Found My Why

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You Don’t Need More Balance in Your Life

I wrote about this on Instagram a few weeks ago and it’s something I’ve just been thinking about ever since.

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I posted this photo with the caption: I don’t often clean the kitchen at night. I usually just put away the leftovers and let things soak overnight. But last night I was hooked on the new S-Town podcast so I cleaned the kitchen while I finished it. And let me tell you–there is nothing that quenches my spirit quite like waking up to a clean kitchen. Days like these I vow a new lifestyle change–I’ll ALWAYS clean the kitchen at night to start tomorrow off on the right foot. But I’m not going to make false promises, today. I’m just going to unload the dishwasher and feel very grateful for this lovely morning. I will apply no guilt or expectations on tomorrow.

We talk all the time about how it’s important to have balance in your life. Like how it’s okay to have a donut because you ate a spinach salad for lunch and: balance. But you know what’s literally impossible to maintain? Balance.

But I guess that’s why it’s so exciting. You can balance something for a long time and the longer you do it, the more impressive it is but the harder it gets. You get tired or you simply don’t have the time to keep devoting to balancing these two very specific things while ignoring the rest. You always have to put it down. We’re not looking for balance. Balance is stressful by nature. There’s really no way to casually stand in tree pose for your whole life. There’s no way to casually keep track of all the “bad things” you do and try to add up enough “good things” to make sure that everything stays in line.

This is a system destined for failure—designed to keep you preoccupied. Designed to keep you down. Drop it, my friends. Drop it with me right now. Don’t give yourself one more ball to hold. You don’t need to keep track of another thing on your mental list. Sit in it when things are good and acknowledge it when things are bad because we get both. All day every day both exist together all the time. Like just this morning within ten minutes, a dear friend of mine was telling me about how her brother, who lives in South Korea, has been asked to pack a bag because they may be ordered to leave. And then she told me about how she signed her girls up for swimming lessons this summer and it’s going to be so cute. You can work hard for balance all you like but it’s just not coming for us. Everything’s co-existing all at once.

We don’t need a balance, we need a blend. There’s a reason that you stir vinegar or lemon juice in at the end of cooking that delicious, rich sauce. There’s a reason that sweet and sour taste so good together. I mean, look, when it comes to a tray of nachos, your favorite chip has a little bit of everything on it. You don’t go out to eat a chip and then balance with a spoonful of sour cream and then a jalapeno. Well, maybe you do. You do you. But the rest of us search out the perfect few chips that have just a little bit of everything on them.

And once I thought of it this way—my life as a tray of nachos, oh such freedom. Because even though the concept of balance is supposed to give us some liberty, the truth is that it’s just another thing to manage. And I’m so tired of managing things, you guys. Let’s drop it and invite in the concept of the blend.

What do you say?

XOXO, Lib

Introducing a New Series: G2G

People who know me, know that I’ve been talking about downsizing a lot the past few months. People who know me really well, know that I haven’t been doing anything except for talk about downsizing a lot for the past few months. Yeah I haven’t made a move at all. It’s overwhelming! And where on earth do I start? And do I really need to read Marie Kondo if I already know that I want to get rid of all of my stuff? That’s a for real question, please someone tell me.

The truth is that we’re not going to be living in this rental house forever and ever and when I think about moving again, I’m so frustrated. Just at the thought of it. Because we moved a year ago and guess what–there was so much just junk that we had to move when we moved! Stuff I didn’t care about, stuff that I didn’t want, but here we were shoving it into boxes and forcing our friends to carry them–paying them only in pizza and gratitude. I’m not doing that again! I don’t want to pack up one more box of stuff that I don’t care about to move into another house to not open the box. But also it’s such an ordeal… doing the work of getting out from under Stuff is tough too.

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Gratefully I have this blog here to help keep me accountable. Because if I’m struggling with this area of my life, surely someone else out there is struggling, too. Introducing: G2G (Got to Go!) I’m going to take you with me on my journey towards only having things in my home that I absolutely love. This will not be a quick journey but it will be honest and hopefully vaguely humorous. Maybe in a perfect world, I’ll inspire you to maybe clean something out.

In this series, we’ll explore all sorts of things like identifying what you want to get rid of, coming up with a plan, convincing the other person in your house that you don’t really need the thing, convincing yourself that you don’t need the thing, actually getting rid of the thing, and then finally the fun part: replacing the thing with another thing that you actually like (if this is necessary–it’s not always necessary).

We’re going to downsize our kitchens our DVD cabinets, our bookshelves, our makeup drawers, our junk drawers! But first we’re going to start with our wardrobes. Yes we are.

I started using a capsule wardrobe last year and I’ve seriously loved it. It needs some refreshment, though, so next week I’m going to take you with me on this journey and show you how I keep a super limited wardrobe and how I make it work for me!

What do you need to downsize in your house? Is there anything you’re struggling with?

XOXO, Lib