All posts by Lily Larsen

I am a 17-year-old​ activist/arts advocate and have been participating in marches, protests and petitions since I was 5 years old. I serve on Mayor Garcetti's Youth Council for South LA. And have generated a petition to ban factory farming in California with over 55,000 signatures. I organize community events and get teens like me connected with social justice issues and activism all over LA.

Local Merch! Blu Elefant Cafe! GO !

A hidden secret in the city of LA on Washington off of Normandie. This cafe is GORGEOUS!  (And healthy)

Funky Art is everywhere and everything is so well put together!! It feels super comfortable once you walk in and you can sit anywhere and order your self some lunch or breakfast!

There are games out for anyone to play and 8 tracks on display along with records and comic books. It’s like a little wonderland once you walk in! And there’s open mic nights!!

  Veggie sandwich 
I have never seen any place like this in my area (Mid City) this coffee shop is the only one around and there’s nothing like it I’ve seen before!!

We need more places like this around here.

Blu Elefant stays open today (Labor Day) and caters to there customers we did this from scratch. They put the customers first. They want this to be a place where you remember your experience here not like a Starbucks where you grab your mocha then scram.

My mom the owner Inri and I continued talking for 20 minutes on how we need more places like these to bring the community together. 20-30 years ago nobody would come down here it was mainly gang territory but now it’s very different.

Very cute atmosphere and nice people.  Open mic Monday’s!!:)

In this area it’s mainly upholstery and auto body stores but the Blu Elefant is one of the first to change that and make this area what it’s supposed to be, a community  

You can find out more about Blu Elefant Coffee and Tea on there Yelp

Or give them a visit on 2024 w. Washington blvd Los Angeles, Ca 90018. 



Hope to see you there sometime!!

Support your Local mom & pop buisness today!!

Why this teen got off of social media


WHY I WENT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. (coming from a teenager) 

One thing i did this summer besides go vegan was deleted ALL my personal social media accounts. (e. instagram snapchat facebook)   Now most would think “oh  big deal anyone can do that”. Well,  Lets find out if that’s true here. 060310_1904_Areyouaddic3

I use to constantly obsess over  “how i wish i was in any decade but this one” i really prefer the aesthetic of other decades (70s clothes, 50s architecture etc)  and how everything wasnt so dependent on phones and computers.    But i realized just recently it’s not about the decade or time,  you have to appreciate the time you’re in and be in the present.    Alot of people these days have some sort of social media account and way to access it.6th-Oct-2014-30-of-Snapchats-users-are-in-the-US

Instagram Facebook & Snapchat  are essentials to having asocial  life now a days,  just sitting in your room or at a restaurant liking other people instagram posts or watching other people’s snapchat stories.  Basically if you don’t have a social media account and your in highschool and everyone you know does..your technically considered weird and live under a rock.

Not experiencing the beauty of the park.  Dont look so happy do they..???
Not experiencing the beauty of the park. Don’t look so happy do they..???

One thing i noticed before getting of social media was how much time people would spend on their phones!! And i mean it’s like 24/7.    When  you’re hanging out with a friend or group of friends it’s always fun to go places and do stuff!!! But what i noticed when i hang out with peers nowadays  and a lot of kids these days who hang out with there friends too is that there just on there phone the whole time!! snapchatting everything and sending it to there friends !!!  Or on vine looking at videos for hours on end.

he is not enjoying himself so he resorted to a la phone
he is not enjoying himself so he resorted to a la phone. It seems that s.m can be an escape for some people.

I noticed this a lot with so many people my age,  younger and older!!  It made me think of what teens  would do before cell phones and instagram all that stuff. What about the 70s or the 20s??  Well when i asked my dad what they used to back in the 1970s he said ” We were outdoors a lot, fixing our skateboards, riding bikes we were all in a pack and would bike around the area go to different peoples houses”     There’s always stuff to do,  start a band or make crafts or just lie on the floor and listen to music! (one of my favorites).

How your profile/ account can define you and people will judge you off of your account and only your account
How your profile/ account can define you and people will judge you off of your account and only your account

Now i’m not saying social media is a bad horrible thing. It CAN go BOTH ways. Its a good way to spread things around or get people to know about things or maybe feeling good when someone comments on your selfie. But also how fast information can get twisted, cyber bullying etc. one of  the main reasons i got off was because it was just straight up waste of time i mean seriously.. That selfie  would take an hour to snap then edit and post and think of caption.  I realized no one is going to remember that selfie or post of coffee  its not worth the time.   And the constant need to be on it 24/7 to see if anyone has posted anything or liked your photo.

 always on his mind during everything
always on his mind during everything

Also on instagram and other apps that include picture taking i felt my self esteem and confidence in my face go down because it was all fake, The edited selfie all that stuff  .  It  lowers your self esteem in how you appeal to others because the feel that you have to edit or photoshop yourself.  Its not your true self and then i would feel that if there was someone i knew from instagram or snapchat but never met and saw them in person i would feel that i don’t look like what i do in the picture i had posted.

Eight teenage girls distracted with their phones at carnival are they really  appreciating the moment?
Eight teenage girls distracted with their phones at carnival
are they really appreciating the moment?

I also felt that everybody has such a great life only thinking this based on a post of there friends or updating their status about a event they went to.  It would turn me against people without them even knowing  it because of how fake and “perfect”  everything  would seem when maybe they actually got in a fight with someone that day or is actually very sad and depressed.  You dont know things like that. I also noticed how people would risk something just for that video to post on vine or picture for instagram.  Or  post certain things that can be very dark and depressing  for personal attention.  Many of these programs are very addicting  and   triggers a part of your brain that is also triggered by dopamine eek!

he is not enjoying himself so he resorted to a la phone
he is not enjoying himself so he resorted to a la phone

When i did have an instagram i would sometimes log off and give myself a break for a day but then  you start to worry “i bet a bunch of people snapchatted me i really should check it” or “what if someone is hacking my instagram right now” i better check it” I couldn’t live like that. The best thing was to just cold turkey get off of everything.. PERMANENTLY!!

stats. very surprising yet the year this was made is uknown
stats. very surprising yet the year this was made is unknown

At first didn’t want to delete my instagram  this  was because of my feed. (i know… really?)  It was because of all my photos and how cool everything looked on it. That’s why a couple of my friends haven’t deleted there instagram “its to precious, like  a baby” same with snapchat “but so many people watch my story i would lose all that”

constantly bombarded.
constantly bombarded.

The thing is once you deleted your facebook or instagram whatever you use, You just forget about it a week later.


After i got off i was also SO much happier. And started to really appreciate things more and appreciate my life more. And it’s very easy for me to talk to people i also read books and do crafts knowing that a lot of my friends go straight on the phone after school.  Also being off has helped myself become more organized. Its so weird but in a great way.  Many could think “oh they don’t have instagram or vine they are so not cool…” the thing is being off of that stuff is cool!!! It shows how much of a life you have and is not just behind a screen all day and night.

Teenagers lying on floor with Ipad and mobile. There are literally NO diversity of race in these pictures.
Teenagers lying on floor with Ipad and mobile. There are literally NO diversity of race in these pictures.

My friends were actually proud that i did knowing none of them have gotten off yet, but i think if they do they’ll have the epiphany i did. For some reason getting off has also made me super comfortable in my own skin wherever i go yet super nice to people and appreciative at the same time. I’m not constantly thinking ” oh i should totally instagram that or snapchat this or tweet that” wherever i go. I no longer have that need to take a selfie anywhere.  I’m more focused on my life and the life of others through real eyes not a screen!  And  how adventurous life is.

:/how annoyed they seem above in comparison to below!

the comparison


I suggest you try it for a while and see how it goes. !!!!!!!!!!!


-Lily L.


NONE of these pictures are mine. I got them off of google images.  

FACTORY FARMING. WHAT IS IT?? (from my petition)

Hey everyone. Please take a quick look and sign my petition to BAN FACTORY FARMING IN CALIFORNIA


Warning: graphic pictures below of these poor helpless animals:(  . credit from google imgs.

If you didn’t know factory farming is the confinement of animals in tight rooms, boxes, metal crates, wire cages the list can go on. They get barely any water and fake/processed antibiotic food. Then they are given no space so they can’t sit or lie down so these poor pigs and cows are standing constantly crammed next to each other with sharp metal wire right up next to them too. It also hurts the environment and causes pollution.

With minimal to no access to air These helpless animals are also fed antibiotics that makes them produce more milk/eggs and changes the way their body functions that some chickens die from being overgrown. Then they get transported to a slaughterhouse without food or water and get dragged/ have their throats slit while still alive and conscious. This is just one version of what goes on behind those walls and i can’t live happily knowing that these animals NEED our help.imgres

PLEASE sign this it will change our state and we would influence other states to do the same.  These Animals should not have to deal with this stand with me to make a difference, we will fight this and to whomever signs this YOU may be the reason why farm factory will be banned! dairy-farm

Before you drink that glass of milk think of the torture that mother cow had to go through its baby didnt even get its own mommys breast milk. They were teared apart from each other the mothers are FORCED into giving birth. Its basically raping cows. HORRIBLE.

Farm factoring isn’t even considered an issue on the white houses website, lets change this. More people need to be aware and know whe re theirmeat is coming from and how. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Lily Larsen age 15. cow_downed6

If you are planning on looking at  pictures of factory farming  please be aware it is very graphic, sad and sickening. This is the only one i could find that is some what appropriate  yet it is still miserable and depressing. 




For more information look up factory farming online and you will learn about the harm it has on the world and so much more.




A Little Secret in El Sereno (Holy Grounds Coffee & Tea)

Supporting small businesses is always a good idea!

Outside Holy Grounds

Whether it’s a local thrift shop, a family owned restaurant or a coffee shop that supports local artists  – like the one I’m going to tell you about today –  in this era of Big Box/Mega/Super Stores, it is critical to keep these small businesses alive!  Today we are enjoying  Home Boy Cinnamon Coffee Cake at HOLY GROUNDS Coffee & Tea located on Alhambra Ave in the East Los Angeles Area (El Sereno). Holy Grounds is no regular coffee shop and as far as you can get from the ubiquitous Starbucks on every street corner. (My mom calls, the McDonalds of Coffee).

Painted fountains!
Painted fountains in the patio!

I would have to say this place is actually feels sacred – true to its name! When you first walk in, you are struck by vibrant and colorful art everywhere: including a wall filled with arts & crafts for sale, from Local Artists in the El Sereno/East Los Angeles/Alhambra area, like Andrew Cervantes.  The two women serving us are sweet and welcoming! You  you can order your homeboy coffee cake and latte or tea together 5$  Hey, I know you may think that’s expensive if you’re on a budget like me, but it’s worth it! Always better to support a small business than a corporation!

Outside stage

Outside stage

As you walk in
As you walk in

Once you want into the patio you literally find yourself NOT in Los Angeles anymore.  Sort of like you’re in the middle of Oregon and New Mexico combined.  There’s a big water fountain and small wooden chairs and tables spread out so you can enjoy a little snack with your friend or hopefully working  on  YOUR activist blog. There is art out here too, adding a folksy quaintness and magic feel, along with the gorgeous painted wall fountains.

2 awesome  baristas Lauren and Paulina!
2 awesome baristas Lauren and Paulina!
Local art by local artists.

There is also a mini stage with two paper mache skull senoritas where fellow Angelinos  can  come do some spoken word or stand up comedy and screen movies. Steve, the owner, has created a wonderful venue to bring the community together,  one of his main goals.  He is caring and community-minded and he built this magical oasis right in the middle of nothing! No coffee shops in this industrial enclave!

My purpose today is not only to recommend that you think FIRST of  your local small business for all things. But next to SHOUT OUT this wonderful place. Holy Grounds!

Support your Local Artists!
Support your Local Artists!


Where i was working on my moms computer. Pretty!
Where I was writing this on my mom’s computer. Pretty!

Hope you like the photos!  Come here and take beautiful photos for yourself and discover the Magic of Holy Grounds!

To Learn more about Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea 

Check out there website here!