My favourite things (may 19th-june 4th)

Hi there! So, it’s been a hot minute since I made one of these posts, huh? Well, here we are, back again–and I thought I’d try my best to hype up some of my favourite things from the past little while. Please check all them out, they are absolutely wonderful!

Khora

Okay, technically the title of this show has a big ol’ accented o in the title, but I’m on my computer and I don’t want to look up the alt code, so please forgive me if you made the show and are reading this.

Khora is a sci-fi podcast based off the Greek myth of the Argonauts, following Princess Medea after she kills her husband Jason. (Yes, I had to look up the myth on Wikipedia to fully appreciate this show. Yes, it was 100% worth it.) I was a huge Greek mythology kid, thanks to the wonders of Rick Riordan books–so listening to this show takes me back to the days when my entire life revolved around whether or not Jason and Piper were going to kiss, it feels very nostalgic.

I love how they interpret the stories, especially Medusa–making her a biproduct of the evil Olympus Corp’s experimentation, able to paralyze people against her will when she feels nervous. (Is this because I project onto her? Absolutely.) Anyway, I would 100% recommend it.

Second Star to the Left

Another super loose retelling–this one is based off Peter Pan, set in a world where humanity has spread amongst the stars, and the colonizing of planets is routine. Scouts like Gwendolyn Hart are sent to scout out empty planets… knowing they will never leave the planet they land on, for the rest of their lives, and won’t even see another human being for five years, when their first settlers arrive.

But Gwen isn’t completely alone–she has her Scoutminder, Bell Summers, to keep her company, and of course her trusty robot companion, Boots. (Writing these posts has made me really good at using the exact same tone a movie trailer would. What has my life come to.)

Because it’s an audio drama, obviously it has buckets of LGBT+ rep, and an evil corporation, what more could you want. I love the sound design on this show, it’s so well done, plus the voice acting is incredible. Bell’s backstory episode has to be my favourite–I was absolutely losing my mind as things unrolled. I can’t wait to see where this show goes, it’s so cool! (And absolutely going to emotionally destroy me, but oh well.)

In Transit

Another space podcast, hooray! In Transit follows the spaceship Eurus, where everything really seems like it’s going fine, until a series of murders takes place–and Alecto McAlpine (a Sentinel, or an elite soldier chosen to guard the ship) is brought out of cryo, in the hopes she’ll be able to get to the bottom of whatever’s going on. But she’s about to uncover a conspiracy far greater than anyone ever could have imagined… dun dun dun…

Anyway, that’s all I can say without spoiling you, but holy shit, this is such a good show! I always say this, but I love the way it’s put together, I love the music, I love the writing–it really knows how to do a good mystery–and most of all, the found family, because I’m absolute trash for that trope. Cairo’s story especially had me more than a little emotional, and anyway now I declare him my comfort character, you can pry him out of my cold, dead hands. This is such a wonderful show, I love it so much, please check it out!

The Night Post

Next, I listened to The Night Post, which has been in my mental to-be-listened-to list for a while, since it sounded super cool. And it absolutely is! It’s set in the super-spooky Gilt City, where the supernatural is kind of just the norm. The three main characters–Val, Clementine, and Milo, all have been selected to work as pigeons for the Night Post, delivering mail by dark. Their job is feared by the wider public, which seems them harbingers of the supernatural. Which, to be fair, they might be. But they’re also… just kind of normal people, amid their high-fatality jobs? It’s a horror podcast, but it’s got lots of heart as well, and the sweetest found family. My favourite character has to be either Milo or Clem–because Milo’s voice sounds like a hug, and I see myself a little in Clem for some reason. The last episode absolutely destroyed me–I have no idea what’s going to happen in season two, and I can’t wait to listen to it, oh my gosh.

Sugar Rush

Ok, this is kind of a fish out of water amid all these super cool indie podcasts, which have touched my soul and/or emotionally destroyed me, but I have this weird obsession with baking shows and I’m going to make it everyone else’s problem. They’re just so nice to watch when I’m sad, and give me this feeling of, like, psuedo-accomplishment, I guess? Anyway, I’ve been kind of obsessed with this one of late.

The idea is, there are four teams of professional bakers, competing against each other and the clock in three rounds where they make cupcakes, confections, and finally a cake. It makes baking feel high-stakes, which I guess I have to give them some credit for. I have a ridiculous amount of fun deciding which team of lovely people to be overly critical of, and which team to root for to the grave, and pretending to know more about baking than I actually do. It’s on Netflix if you want to watch it. 🙂

Whoo! That was a pretty long post, but I’ve just been consuming a ton of media of late, what can I say? Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed. See you soon!

Lots of love,

Lorna

my favourite things (May 5th-15th)

The Beacon (Season Two)

Okay, so I know I’ve already written about this podcast, but Holy. Shit. I just need to talk about this show, okay?! It’s so good! For those of you who don’t know, The Beacon is a fiction podcast about a reluctant group of college-aged superheroes, trying to keep their campus safe from the increasingly strange happenings all around it.

This will have some spoilers below, so if, unlike me, you have enough self-control to listen to the whole podcast to find out what actually happens, just close your eyes and scroll past this. Okay, let’s get into it!

This season was even better than the first, I loved the little mini-episodes in between seasons to keep you updated on what was going on with the characters–it was so much fun. Also, we got to find out some of the characters’ real names! I’ve been trying to guess what they are for ages, so you have no idea the amount of serotonin I got from finding out that Capy’s name is Thea. (I had her pegged as maybe a Katy or a Kate, something along those lines–but Thea fits her perfectly.) Also, the plot is really getting intense, I have no idea what’s going to happen in season three, but I’m very excited to find out.

The whole plot with the wolf cult was super chilling–cults in general are always really interesting to write or read about, and I love how this one was handled.

Also, Lassie/Thalusol (is that how it’s spelled? I have no idea, if you wrote the show and are reading this, please forgive me) was such a fun character. At first, he was just very welcome comic relief, but his arc quickly turned much more deep and as the season went on, he became one of my favourite characters–I still think he’s an asshole, but he’s an interesting asshole, so I can tolerate him.

Anyway, in conclusion this show absolutely destroyed me, and I would highly recommend it.

Wooden Overcoats

Wooden Overcoats follows siblings Rudyard and Antigone Funn, who run a funeral home–which used to be the only one on the tiny island of Piffling Vale, until the effortlessly charming Eric Chapman comes along, and steals almost all of their business, because they’re actually kind of terrible at their jobs.

This has everything I want in a show. It’s so cozy and soothing, and just has a way of bringing a smile to my face In case you couldn’t tell, my sense of humour tends to lean a little dark, so this show’s kind of comedy was right up my alley.

It feels a bit like A Series of Unfortunate Events–a depressing show that still manages to cheer you up despite the vague, sinking knowledge that no matter how set the characters seem to be for a happy ending, something nine times out of ten will go wrong, but you can never predict how exactly–which makes for a weirdly addictive viewing experience. It also just has such a neat, very specific, whimsical small-town aesthetic. I think I could listen to this show a thousand times over and never get bored. I love the theme song and the sound design, and everything about it is just wonderful, and perfectly polished, you can feel the amount of love put into every single episode.

I don’t know if there’s going to be a season four or not, but I really hope there is, because I love these characters so much. Also, the last episode of season three almost made me cry, so be warned.

Heart of Ether

I’ve been looking for a horror podcast to fill the Magnus Archives-shaped void in my heart, and Heart of Ether is the perfect fit. It follows Irene Gray, a newcomer to the town of Daughtler, Washington–told in her voice recordings, addressed to her high school girlfriend, who went missing without explanation four years ago. But something’s not quite right about this town, and monsters lurk below the surface… and that is all I can say without getting into spoilers.

The sound design is so chilling, the voice acting is phenomenal, and I’m excited to see where this story is going, because I can sense something big is going to happen in season two, which will start releasing August 13th, so stay tuned because I will definitely need to gush about it more later on.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

I know I’m probably not the only person who’s talking about this movie–it’s been trending on Netflix for a while. But I watched it, and it sort of made me have a mental breakdown, because I guess I’m just allergic to healthy relationships in media now? Like, I will watch stories about trauma and death and brutal violence and be totally numb to it, but give me a happy ending and I’m questioning all my life decisions and crying on the floor. But. It is a really refreshing, very honest take on the “fun cartoon family adventure” movie genre, that I feel like can be enjoyed by adults and kids.

It follows The Mitchells, a family who were just trying to drive their eldest daughter Katie to college, and definitely never intended to be the last free people during the machinepocalypse. They’re unlikely heroes, about as prepared to save the world as any of us would be, and that’s exactly why this movie is so good. All the characters feel so real, and flawed, and fundamentally human.

I’m a huge sucker for family dynamics–romantic relationships and friendships are great, but there’s nothing more fun to write or watch/read about than a family. You get to see how they all influence and effect each other, work together as a team, how they relate to each other, their individual dynamics, the highs and lows of each of those relationships, and especially if they’ve known each other for a really long time, there’s just so much potential in there. I love thinking about how parents effect children, for better or for worse. So, this movie just ticked all the boxes for me, and if you’re prepared to cry a bit, I would definitely reccomend it.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you this week! I hope you check all these wonderful things out, because they’re super cool and they made me happy. Feel free to share any things that you’ve been enjoying of late in the comments, I love hearing from readers. ❤

Lots of love,

Lorna

My favourite things! (April 11-30)

Hey people! So, it’s been a while, but I have finally amassed enough things that I like throughout the month that I could put together another post. So, let’s get into it!

Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Okay, so I basically grew up with Taylor Swift. Half of the songs on Fearless I can recite by memory–I remember being, like, seven, and watching all her music videos after school on YouTube, back when I could name about three artists total. I didn’t really know other artists existed until sixth grade, so for a while it was just me and my emotional support Taylor Swift albums against the world. (No, I did not come up with that joke, I saw it on Tumblr, but I couldn’t resist.)

I don’t know, her music is just really nostalgic to me, and always makes me feel really safe and happy, and has gotten me through some tough times. As I write this it’s been a little while since this album came out, but whatever, I just needed to gush about it. The re-rerecorded songs are, for the most part, very similar to their original versions, but the vocals feel so much smoother and more mature, as though she’s recalling a nostalgic memory, and getting a chance to re-live my childhood this way was so nice. I’m lowkey getting very emotional about finally getting to listen to “Fifteen” as an actual fifteen year old, rather than a nine-year-old who thought being a teenager was gonna be the coolest thing ever. Also, the bonus tracks are amazing, and it’s a crime against humanity they weren’t released originally.

The Unruly City: Paris, London, and New York in the Age of Revolution

Okay, I don’t know if it shows, but I am such a huge history kid. Social studies is my favourite school topic by far. I think knowing about history is so important, because you definitely do see parallels between the world as it is now, and the world as it was then.

It’s so fascinating to think about all the people who came before you, all the events that shaped the world as we know it. Thinking about that will never cease to amaze me. I think revolutions are fascinating, and the late 1700s-1800s is a period I just keep ending up falling back to in my writing, so I figured it was time to read up a bit on it. I feel like there’s so much about history I don’t know, and would love to study further, so if anyone has any suggestions for good history books about, like, literally anything, let me know.

Anyway, this book follows three different revolutionary periods, interweaving different stories. The prose is so beautifully written, and immersive? I don’t know what it quite is, but it really makes you feel like you’re there. It’s definitely very smart, but doesn’t talk down to the reader, and never feels dry or overly academic/pretentious either. I’m not finished with it yet, but I’m pretty close, and I’m loving it so far.

Shadow and Bone

I originally got into the Grishaverse when I was in seventh grade, on the hunt for literally any fantasy books I hadn’t already read to death, like the little book gremlin I was. I was too young to fully appreciate the scope of these books, and they’ve for sure gotten better after a few years, and I’m sure I’ll appreciate them even more when I’m in my 20s. Anyway, last March I got my friend into them while we were in quarantine, and as a result had an excuse to get more into them myself. We’ve both been super hyped to watch the Netflix show and so I may or may not have spent like four hours binge-watching it this afternoon, after I finished work. I’m only five episodes in as I write this, because it is not healthy for me to binge-watch shows without taking a bit of a break, but so far I’m loving it. It’s faithful to the books, without following them verbatim. It sort of feels like reading AU fanfiction by the author, and I say that in the best way possible–because it reworks the original story in such a way that it’s understandable to someone who’s never read the books, but also creates a totally new experience for someone like me who’s read them many, many times–everyone goes into watching it not knowing what’s going to happen.

Shadow and Bone combines the plots of two different series within the same universe, Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. So we get two narratives, both set within the fantasy world, in which Grisha, gifted with various magical powers, live–exalted in one country, persecuted in the next. There are a bunch of different countries, all with really beautifully fleshed-out cultures, but this show focuses on Ravka, based off of Imperial Russia. The country has been divided into east and west by a sea of darkness called The Fold. One side of the story follows Alina Starkov, a soldier fighting against The Fold, who discovers she’s a Grisha, capable of summoning light and calling back the darkness. And then, on the other hand, we follow The Crows, a gang of criminals set on capturing her for a generous reward. Sadly, some of the original six in the book are off doing other things right now, but we still do get to see them–except for Wylan. I’m a bit salty about that, but I guess I can see why he had to be cut. Anyway, the TLDR is that it’s super well written high fantasy and I love this whole franchise to death.

Also, bonus points for how INCREDIBLE the soundtrack is. It’s been stuck in my head all night, which really says a lot, because normally instrumental songs don’t exactly stick to your memory. As we speak, I’m listening to the album for season one on Spotify–10/10, would recommend for dramatically studying French and trying to force yourself to pay attention and/or writing very bad fight scenes.

Inkwyrm

I listened to the first half of this podcast ages ago, like in… November? but I got distracted, and I never ended up finishing it, sadly. But I was at work so I had nothing else to do but listen to podcasts while I worked–so I ploughed through the rest of this show in, like, a few days, because it’s really addictive and definitely easy to binge-listen to. It’s a workplace comedy, and also a space opera, with loads of LGBT+ rep, all of which are just making this show right up my alley. (Oh, and a central wlw romance! Do NOT get me started on the romance in this show, it’s so good!!)

It follows Mella Sonder, assistant to the editor-in-chief Annie Inkwyrm, of Inkywrm Magazine, an intergalactic fashion publication, and their whole ensemble of coworkers and the antics they get up to. Most of the time it’s fairly lighthearted, but it has some really hard-hitting plotpoints too that, not gonna lie, got me pretty emotional. Also, it’s got found family, what’s not to love.

Speed round: My favourite memories of the week

Meals: Chocolate chip cookies, veggie simosas, sun-dried tomato pasta, tacos my mom made, homemade naan breads which turned our surprisingly well, and these English muffins I had with peanut butter for a late-night writing snack.

Memories: Finishing my biology final, at long last, and getting macarons with my friend to celebrate afterwards at the local bakery, watching Shadow and Bone, gardening out in the yard after sunset on a warm night, finally being able to wear shorts!

I think that’s about it! I will hopefully see you again soon, thanks so much for reading 🙂

Lorna

My favourite books/podcasts/tv shows

Hey everyone! So, I haven’t done one of these posts for a while–not because I was any busier than usual, I just I don’t consume media at that fast a rate I can put together a good post every week. I hope that makes sense! Anyway, here are some of my favourite things from the past god-knows-how-long-by-the-time-I-post-this, hopefully you enjoy. 🙂

Gideon The Ninth

Okay, so my friend let me borrow this book and oh my gosh, it is so cool. The worldbuilding! The characters! The prose! This book just kinda ticks all the boxes for me.

Simply put, it’s about lesbian necromancers in space–it’s wild and chaotic in the best way possible, without feeling poorly planned, unapologetically lavish and dramatic, and all at the same time manages to absolutely chew up your heart and spit it out on the floor. It follows Gideon, a servant indentured to the Ninth House–one part of a futuristic necromancer cult. (Or maybe they’re just a whole society? It’s never made clear if people exist outside of the cult, or this is just all that’s left of humanity, in this book anyway, I’m still reading the sequel.)

Gideon’s character is so interesting, because she’s bitter and sarcastic and deeply wounded by her past, but deep down has such a big heart, and is also just absolute chaos, I like her a lot. Anyway, her and her longtime nemesis Harrow–basically the princess of the Ninth House, and an incredibly powerful necromancer who’s been raised for glory and power and glory and power alone– are forced to team up, and I think you can see where this is going. Their relationship is so well-written, and. But there’s also, in no particular order: murder, like a lot of murder, political intrigue, super cool worldbuilding, the most gorgeously written fight scenes, and a lot more. This book has something for everyone, and I can’t recommend it enough.

The Left Right Game

Okay, so I just finished binge-listening to this podcast yesterday and HOLY SHIT! This is one of the most polished, elegant (for lack of better wording) shows I’ve listened to in ages. Now that I’ve worked on producing some audio stuff myself, I have such a deep respect for how much work must have been poured into every aspect of this show’s production.

I don’t want to spoil too much, but: this show follows Alice Sharmin, a twentysomething journalist working on what should have been a small, fifteen-minute radio piece on something known as the Left/Right Game, where you get in your car, take the nearest left, then the nearest right, and so on, until you reach the end of the road–checking up on reports of strange happenings that follow, should you follow this pattern for long enough. It’s fast-paced and full of exciting twists and turns, absolutely terrifying at times, but there are some real moments of beauty in between too, and the ending absolutely destroyed me, oh my gosh. You need to listen to this show!

The Dangerous Gift

So, as we’ve established, middle grade fantasy was pretty much my entire childhood, and where almost all of my positive memories of that time rest, honestly. Wings of Fire was one of those series that kinda raised me, I wrote a ton of fic for it when I was in middle school and I still do for fun sometimes. The world has always been this really safe, warm place for me to run too when my own stories were too wild and crazy to handle, and I’m really grateful to these books for giving me somewhere to figure out who I am, and grow up as a writer, I guess? I don’t know, they make me feel things, and anyway, the new book came out on March 2nd, and I’ve been absolutely losing my mind over it ever since.

For some quick context: Wings of Fire is this book series about a world full of dragons, who, rather than being magical props, have their own inner worlds and adventures, etc. And this one follows a young queen, Snowfall, who was forced to take over her kingdom after her mother was killed by a deadly plague. She struggles with anxiety about whether or not she’s a good enough queen, and doesn’t have a clue how to go about ruling her kingdom, which she loves so much, and just wants to serve as best she can. Her whole arc is about learning how to empathize with others, and become more secure in her own abilities. I don’t know, it really hit home for me, I could definitely relate to a lot of the things she goes through. We get some really interesting backstory in this book, too, and setup for the finale of this story arc. After I finished, I just kinda sat there for a while and stared at the wall, it was just so good, and made me feel all the feelings.

Like I said, these books have helped me through so much–I don’t know what exactly it is, but pretty much all of the characters I can connect to something I’ve gone through, which is either a wild coincidence, or a testament to how well they’re written. I don’t know where I’d be without them, and I’m just really glad they exist in the world.

Infinity Train

My friend got me into this show, and we finished the third season about a week ago, but I’ve kinda just been processing it ever since, because oh my god, it was so good. Infinity Train follows an endless, magical train designed to, essentially, force character development for the passengers, all of whom are taken aboard at some kind of impasse in their lives, and only let out when they feel better It’s definitely not as wholesome as it sounds though, or in any way a kids show, but I really love it–the worldbuilding is so cool, the characters are really well done, I love the art style, and also holy shit this show knows how to do horror good. It has some really interesting themes too–the source of a lot of the show’s horror is the idea of any one person being able to revoke another’s status as human, something that keeps coming back throughout each self-contained season, following one of the passengers on this train as they work through their issues. Its fourth and final season comes out in April, and I’m super excited!

Okay, I think that’s about all I have to gush about today! I don’t know how long it’s gonna take me to consume enough content to make another one of these posts again, but hopefully it’ll be soon. I’m gonna be offline this Friday, and I decided to take a break, but normal poetry posting is going to resume the week after this one.

Lots of love,

Lorna

Low-effort meal ideas for bad brain days

So, because I’m at home most days, I usually make breakfast and lunch for myself. Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty all right at cooking (I like to think, anyway) and specifically, cooking when you’re struggling to hold your shit together as is. I’m vegan, so all of this stuff I would make without meat and whatnot, but I don’t think any of these are Vegan Food ™, or really that rigid, and could be customized to whatever your diet is.

For me cooking can be really helpful on bad days–it’s not always fun or easy, but it is an act of caring for myself that I’m forced to do, even if I don’t feel like it. And sometimes, just doing the exact opposite of what my brain wants me to do can help me feel better.

From an anxiety side of things, I also really like feeling self-reliant, and knowing I can take care of myself at a basic level if I need to, it’s very soothing. I don’t know, that might not be your thing, but for me it’s been really helpful, so anyway–here is my unsolicited advice for cooking on bad days.

Breakfast

Some form of toast

This is sort of a no-brainer, I don’t know if I even need to write it down, but come on, it takes five minutes and some peanut butter, it’s relatively filling, and makes me feel like I’m six years old again, in the fun, nostalgic way, which I’m not complaining about. Avocado toast is also a great depression food, beans on toast can be nice if you have a bit more energy, you get the drill.

Smoothies

I’ve never been a smoothie fan, even now I have them all the time I’m not a huge fan of them–they always vaguely remind me of baby food, and for some reason I can’t put my finger on, I just don’t trust them? But they are objectively, very practical, relatively healthy, and they only take five minutes to make, and for those reasons I have learned to tolerate their presence in my daily life.

They’re also great for winter, since you can just use frozen fruit when everything else isn’t in season. I like to make mine a night ahead, so if I need to sleep in, I can just grab it, run, and finish my smoothie on the ride to school, which means ten more minutes of sleeping. (I know that doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, it is.)

Fruit salad

This is really just a reiteration of a smoothie, but you get to chew things, so I don’t feel like a hospital patient or a newborn baby or something, which is nice. It takes five minutes to chop up whatever fruit you have in your fridge and shove it in a bowl–it’s not gourmet, but it works, and you can change up what fruits you use so you don’t get bored of too fast. And there’s not much cleanup afterwards, which is a huge plus.

Overnight oats

This is another one of those foods I have a very mixed relationship with. To be honest, they don’t taste all that great, they’re kinda overhyped–but they are tolerable, and easy to prepare in advance for school mornings when I don’t have time to cook, so for that reason I will list them here. Here’s a recipe that looks all right–I assure you there are no shortage of these out there though, so feel free to try out a few if that’s your thing.

Lunch/Dinner

Pasta salad

There’s something about literally any kind of pasta that’s so comforting to me? That might just be a weird me thing, but either way, I’m not fighting it. You can usually throw pasta salad together in twenty minutes or less if you really simplify it, and the cleanup isn’t too bad. For some reason, when I’m having a bad day, having to cook lots of things is way more intimidating than having to chop lots of things, since if you get overwhelmed, you can take a step away without risking the smoke alarm going off or a pot boiling over. (And also, chopping things is really soothing, at least for me.) Here’s a recipe I use for reference, honestly you can pretty much wing this, but here you go anyway.

Quesadillas

This might just be because I’m going through a huge anything-you-can-make-with-a-tortilla phase right now. (Burritos, wraps, tacos, etc.) But I’ve made these a few times, and they’re surprisingly pretty simple, and pretty damn good if I do say so myself. This is a fairly simple recipe I’ve been using–it says it takes half an hour, but I’ve done it in twenty minutes. (Maybe because my cooking style involves turning the heat really high and barely avoiding burning things in the hope of saving myself, like, ten minutes.) Here’s a non-vegan recipe that looks pretty simple.

Lemon-broccoli pasta

This is another food I weirdly associate with being a kid, even though I don’t think I had it that often. But it used to be my favourite thing when I was, like, six, and now it’s my comfort food. Anyway, it only takes me about ten to fifteen minutes, I can usually wing it and have it turn out pretty okay. This is way more complicated than what I’d usually do, but this recipe looks okay for a vegan take on it, and here’s a regular one. You can get fancy with this if you really feel like it, but you really don’t have to.

Any kind of bowl

So, I used to think bowls were kinda dumb, but my friends’ mom makes super good glory bowls, and she kinda changed my mind about them. They’re super easy to assemble and usually don’t make too much of a mess. Basically, the whole concept of a bowl is that you have a protein, a starch (rice, quinoa, couscous, etc) and some vegetables, all shoved in a bowl together with pretty assembly and some nice dressing. There are lots of different takes on this, but as a starting point, here’s some ideas for rice bowls that look okay.

Soups

So, soups are very-time consuming to make and very stressful to make, but they’re super comforting to have on a bad day, at least in my opinion, and you can keep them in the fridge for a while too. So if you have about forty minutes to spare, and feel like you can take it on, they’re not a bad option. If you’re not in the mood for something complicated, my favourite thing to do is homemade tomato soup, which only takes about twenty minutes and reminds me of being five, in a good way. 🙂

A few miscellaneous tips

  • If you don’t have any cookbooks in your house, you can print out pretty much any recipe online for free. Food blogs can be very cheery and obnoxious at times, but there are some pretty good ones out there, and they kinda grow on you. All the options can be overwhelming, which is a drawback–and you will end up with a few weird recipes, but overall it works pretty well for me, because I’m too cheap to buy actual cookbooks and all the ones my family has are really old, and I’ve made all the recipes far too many times over.
  • Something that’s really helped me out of late is making meals ahead, and having at least a rough meal plan for the week. It helps make cooking feel much less monumental and all-consuming somehow, and takes away the stress of having to decide after a long day what you’re going to eat, which is half the battle in my experience.
  • This is something I still struggle with–but try to start cooking before you get hungry and your sanity goes out the window, it’s not a good idea. If you’re already having a bad day and then your blood sugar is crashing and the smoke alarm goes off and then you realize you don’t have an ingredient, you will cry, and end up spending way more time in the kitchen anyway.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. At least for me, I tend to commit to making things at a much larger scale than I can handle, because I’m an overachiever, and half of the time it works out and half of the time, I have a mental breakdown. There’s a place for pushing your boundaries, and there’s a place knowing your limits and respecting to them.
  • It doesn’t really take more time to cook tons of something in one fell swoop, and just save a bunch of leftovers for later–so whenever you have the energy to cook, capitalize on it and make a ton of food so it’ll last you the next few days. Just knowing that you’ve got that taken care of takes some stress out of your day, and if you already have limited energy and are dealing with a lot, that’s super important.

Holding your shit together when you’re having a hard time is not easy, and I’m sending all my love your way if you’re in that situation. I hope this post can be of some help to you. Take care of yourselves, and stay safe!

Lots of love,

Lorna