[Image credit: Daniell Coke]
Where to even begin.
I chose to take a break from my normal blogging routine this past week. With everything going on in our country right now, it felt trite to be posting about anything food or life related.
My heart, like so many, is heavy. I am on the verge of tears throughout every day. I would love to glaze over what’s going on in the world right now, in our country, to keep things “light” and “easy” in this space because that’s what I usually do and why I suspect so many of you come here…to escape. To take the easy route. To IGNORE.
But I would be doing millions of people a disservice by pretending that everything is OK. That all we need to address are pretty pictures of pretty food.
No. What has transpired has broken my heart. For Black Americans. For our past, present, and future generations. For all those who feel unheard, unseen, and oppressed by the systems of this country.
I don’t have answers. All I can do is feel the weight of my feelings, keep my heart and ears open, ask questions, try to learn, and do my best to instill anti-racist values in my children. These are the values I hold most dear, and I hope that I can do them justice in my life every day, particularly when addressing hard issues with my impressionable and innocent children. They are born into privilege in many ways, and my goal as their mom is to allow them to see past the barriers of privilege (because they really are just that: barriers) and to embrace all people, particularly those who need to be championed.
I want to be an ally. I want to be a supporter. I want to fight for the Black Lives Matter movement, and to be able to explain and articulate my beliefs and feelings in the proper way. This latter part is the most difficult for me. I am working on seeing HOPE and being a champion of the change that is so desperately needed (and yet denied by so many).
I feel so many things about these complicated and layered issues, and I feel them intensely. And most of the time, my emotions get the best of me, and I struggle to get my point across. My words fail me. But I’m working on it, and I’m hoping to learn from those who need to be heard the most.
Please do not take this as another “woe-is-me” moment from another white person. My difficulties with the ongoing struggle are NOTHING compared to what Black people face on a daily basis. Please don’t mistake this as a “pity me” post. I’m just trying to share where my heart is at the moment.
Sharing content with you this past week was not something I could bring myself to do. Not when there are much, much bigger and more important things needing our attention right now. This is my small way of easing back into sharing with you. My attempt to get back to normal – although, my hope is that the new normal will bring significant change for Black people and other underrepresented groups in this country. I don’t want this to be a moment in history, but rather a MOVEMENT. And I fully intend on being a part of that movement.
In addition to the heaviness and tears, I am filled with inspiration and hope right now. This past week has shown and taught me so much, and I am eager to learn and teach more. Let’s all be kind to one another. Such a simple concept and yet so overlooked. BE KIND.
And that, my friends, is all I really have to offer today. My monthly favorites from the past two months of quarantine are below. Perhaps you will find them useful; perhaps they’ll be a small distraction from all the hurt in the world at the moment. Or, perhaps you’ll save this and read through them at another time, when you feel ready.
I’ll be posting some new recipes this week, starting tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m sending you all the love and light that I can spare.
- I tried out some new skincare and make up products these past couple months and have been loving most of my new discoveries. First up: I finally bit the bullet and used up a couple gift cards to splurge on Sunday Riley’s Luna sleeping oil. I have a very hard time justifying big price tags on products like this because you have no way to know if it’s worth it or if it will really work. Well, this one works. It’s a nighttime retinol oil that feels SO GOOD on my skin, and after a few weeks of using it most nights, I do see a difference in my skin texture and melasma. As much as my wallet will moan this discovery, I will probably keep this splurge in my regular routine.
- Every spring, like so many others, I set out to find the best new self-tanning product. Over the past two years, these tanning drops have been my favorite addition to my routine. I have them for both the face and the body, although I suspect the body drops would be just fine for the face. They are goof proof! You just add a couple of them to your moisturizer or body lotion and rub it in evenly all over. Wash your hands and then wait a few hours and an extremely natural tan will develop. The drops DO have that classic “tanner” smell, which is not fun, but it’s not nearly as intense as the smell is with other products I’ve used in the past. The tan is not orange-y or streaky. The drops are so easy to use!
- Perhaps my most favorite make up discovery this past month has been this Artis make up brush. I was targeted on Facebook and Instagram with Artis ads for what felt like months. When I did finally look into them, I was so impressed by what the brush appeared to do in tutorial videos. I splurged and bought myself one. It is AMAZING. As someone who loathes the look and feel of heavy concealer or foundation, this brush makes the application of such products so easy and it finishes the look on my skin seamlessly. It really allows one to apply make up and have it look incredibly natural. I am loving it and considering investing in another brush or two. A total game changer for me!
- Along with the Artis brush, I tried out a new foundation that I am actually loving. Again, I hate a cakey, thick make up and this one goes on beautifully. It covers enough without feeling heavy, and it also has a slight glow to it. I’m loving it so far. It’s the perfect spring/summer foundation.
- My newest Amazon discovery are these Yogalicious yoga leggings. You guys. These are the closest to lululemon I have been able to find. I’ve tried out 4-5 other brands of leggings, all claiming to be “lulu dupes,” and these are the first ones that could REALLY pass as lululemon. They’re buttery soft, hold you in all the right places, and are affordable. I will be stocking up!
- Another Amazon purchase that I’m loving are these tank tops. I’ve talked about them before and have bought several over the past year or so. They’re an awesome basic staple that I wear under cardigan sweaters or alone. The material is great for working out but still looks “nice” enough to wear out places. I love them and have them in several colors. My one piece of advice: size down one size.
- Another clothing discovery has been these Nike shorts. They’re ridiculously comfy and not too short. As I have entered into the second half of my 30s, I find that most shorts offered to women under the age of 50 are way too short. I can’t rock a 2-inch inseam anymore, hah, particularly when exercising. These are just right and made from the softest, breathable material. The waistband is comfy too – no pinching or digging. LOVE THEM.
- So I know it’s been a few years since truffle-flavored things have had the spotlight. Truffle oil and salts are so five years ago. But! I bought some of this truffle salt on a whim and I’m obsessed. I use it on my eggs in the morning or on a piece of buttered toast. I’ve used it on pasta and on potatoes. It’s delicious on popcorn, too! It’s delicious and not too strong. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of truffled food.
- Another discovery this past month (or rather re-discovery) have been the Hu chocolate bars. The salty dark chocolate bar is my favorite, but I haven’t eaten anything of theirs that I didn’t like. The cashew butter one is probably my second fave! If you like seriously dark, slightly bitter, real deal chocolate, then you will love Hu products. They’re pricey, but sometimes when it comes to chocolate, you really do pay for quality. I buy them as a secret treat that my kids don’t know about. Hah.
And that’s it, friends! I hope you have a lovely start to this week.