July Jiffs

by Liz Heather in , , , ,


Summer is finally half over!

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One more filthy month to go before the best time of the year! Here were the highlights of July:

  • So you know how much I love the banana pudding from Magnolia already, but what you don't know is that it's probably my favourite summer dessert to make and bring to parties because people go fucking nuts for it. So for July 4th this year I made it, but I also bought some Coffee Crisp chocolate bars to Canadian it up (if you're in the U.S. then you can buy them in the international foods section at Bed Bath & Beyond), then dumped those bars into a food processor to make a COFFEE CRISP CRUMBLE TO GO ATOP THE BANANA PUDDING. And it was heaven.
  • I ate some of the best fish tacos in NYC at Tacoway Beach in Rockaway near the beach. They're crazy simple but so good, I try to get them once a year so I never grow sick of them. Tip: definitely skip the black bean tacos AND the elote because they are both wildly unpleasing.
  • I made this Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Spinach Cream Sauce but full disclosure: I bought the sweet potato gnocchi already put together at Trader Joe's, and then just made the sauce from the recipe and it still tasted amazing. There's something I'll never like about buying frozen food from Trader Joe's (I feel like I haven't completely given up on life yet?), but this gnocchi is the exception (this and their cauliflower pizza crust). Will definitely be keeping this one in the food rotation because it was delicious as hell.
  • I read two books this month and I refuse to stop saying that out loud to people, but I guess I have to move on since it's August soon, so that sucks. The Simpsons one I read was great and the Ijeoma Oluo one was even better! 
  • I did start to read Steve Martin's Born Standing Up and wow was it dull. Don't get me wrong, I think Steve Martin is great. But I read about half of it before collapsing in extreme dissatisfaction. IT'S SO BORING. Why do people think that it's such a good book? Famous comedians will gleefully prattle on about how great it is to one another, which is why I wanted to read it in the first place, so this just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I was going to just suck it up and keep going until I asked Nathan if it got any better and he very politely told me that it did not. Can someone tell me why it's supposed to be so good? It shoulda been called Bore Standing Up! Okay, that's not a good joke, I know, but it's better than WHAT'S GOING ON INSIDE THIS BOOK.
  • I tried the frozen Irish coffee at Passage in Astoria finally and... it was great! Duh.

Frozen Irish Coffee at Passage in Astoria, Queens

  • I watched Hannah Gadsby's Nanette on Netflix and didn't really care for it for the first half. The only reason I kept watching was because a friend of mine echoed the same thoughts of the beginning not being good but it getting good the second half. And she was completely right because the second half was powerful as hell. My real thoughts are just a general annoyance at people who plainly say, "It isn't standup." And maybe my opinion on this matters in no way since I'm not a comedian, but it just bothers me that there's this weird line of what standup should or shouldn't be, as if the idea of anything more being said with no punchline isn't worthy enough for the untouchable standup stage. She's a comedian! She said jokes! She also had more to say, which is great. Especially with what's going on in the world right now, it seems weird to purposely not want to comment on that and focus solely on what a comedian "is supposed to do." That idea just seems strange to me.
  • Nathan and I went to a wedding and it was fun and we looked great. Proof!
  • I saw a bunch of movies. 
    • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (in theatres) - I mean, a Macarena joke made me laugh so it obviously wasn't a good movie, but some of the kids had a good time so that makes it a success.
    • Can't Buy Me Love (Netflix) - I'd never seen it and it's a terrible eighties movie so I kind of needed to all of a sudden. Also it was on a list of things leaving Netflix in August so I suddenly felt the urge to grab on tightly before letting it go off into the distance? That's normal?
    • Girls Trip (HBOGO) - I have no idea why the urge to see this movie happened inside of me. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. Not good, but not horrendous.
    • Ibiza (Netflix) - I guess I've been having real moments lately where I've just been missing certain groups of friends and watching these ridiculous movies puts me at ease a bit maybe? I don't know, let's not analyze it. Oh! The music from this one was really great, though. Also, Gillian Jacobs' eyes are so ginormous, I'm always shocked that men aren't looking for a woman with huge eyes instead of a huge ass or boobs, makes no fucking sense to me. Her eyes are insane!
    • Obvious Child (Netflix) - Jenny Slate can do no wrong and of course this movie was great. Other than all the cringe-inducing standup scenes (that are supposed to be cringe-inducing, I'm assuming), it was just a nice movie. The music from this one was pretty great, too.
  • I tried the new Crispy Chicken at Swiss Chalet and it was really tasty because of course it was, anything fried is most likely amazing. It's funny to me that they're not just calling it fried chicken. Obviously it's purposeful too, like they're thinking that if they did call it fried chicken it'd sound too Americanized or something. That's definitely something they thought. "No, calling it Crispy Chicken just makes it seem healthier, like it was just slightly dunked into hot, frying oil and not, like, submerged for hours."
  • I've had an iPhone 5 for three years and the battery had gone completely to shit (ie. dying at 80%) a few weeks ago, so I took it to Mobile Klinik (outside of Wal-Mart on the first floor of Square One in Mississauga) and they replaced the battery for me within an hour and it only cost me $60 and now it's been working amazingly. They were super nice and it came with a one year warranty, so definitely keep this in mind if you're ever in need of their services. 
  • The only thing I've ever eaten at Dominique Ansel Kitchen was the burrata soft serve ice cream from a few years ago, but I stopped by recently and had the cold pear yogurt and hot toasted granola and maaaaaaan why can't the version I make at home taste as good as theirs. WHY.

Cold Pear Yogurt & Hot Toasted Granola, Dominique Ansel Kitched

  • A friend told me about this great site Zaful that has gorgeous swimsuits for crazy cheap and are actually good quality. Are you even kidding me with how gorgeous those marbled ones look?!
  • Tried the soft serve at Tom's Dairy Freeze in Etobicoke finally and it was goooooood because all ice cream is good.

Tom's Dairy Freeze in Etobicoke, ON

  • I went to see the Scarborough Bluffs with Marla and some of my nieces and it's such a beautiful place. So glad we went.

Finn & Marla!

Layla, me, Maya!

  • It's Restaurant Week in New York right now (it actually lasts a few weeks), so I'm hoping to eat at some places I've always wanted to go to. So far I've only gone to Astor Court inside the St. Regis hotel, but it was so, so good. Here's what I had.

And that was July! 

I'm a little shocked that I'm still keeping up with these monthly posts, here are the ones from MayJune if you'd care to read about them.


June Jaunts

by Liz Heather in , , , ,


It's insane that June is over. It's even more insane that I'm keeping my promise and doing another one of my monthly wrap-up posts. So many things to talk about. Let's begin.

  • Do you remember how I said the HBO show Barry was good but not that good? Well, I finished the first season and the season finale made me realize that it's a good show. So there. 
  • On the first of the month, I went to the Noguchi Museum in Queens for the first time. Tip: the admission is free if you go on the first of the month. And I actually liked it! Something really calming about the whole place. 

At the Noguchi Museum

  • Nathan, Baby Dog and I went to Atlantic City for a few days since Nathan was doing shows at the Borgata. Great hotel. Even better pool. We saw a free screening of Ocean's Eight (MEH), walked along the boardwalk, and took BD to the beach for the first time. I know that maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was because she loved it. Also, my best friend Harmeet made this great collage.

Baby Dog in Atlantic City

Hahahah

  • I read an article awhile ago about how Chrissy Teigen uses Aquaphor on her elbows to keep them soft, so I tried it out and she's 1000% right. I used to use the Life brand Vitamin E cream found in most Shoppers Drug Marts, but Aquaphor is eons better (although it does get on everything when you use it and doesn't really absorb as good as other creams may). But still. I've only been using it for a few weeks and I'll never go back. Elbs are crazy soft right now.
  • I can't believe I haven't already told you how much I've been in love with Larabars lately. Actually, only one flavour 'cause the rest suuuuuuhuck. The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip one is the only one worth a damn, and I only know this because I've tasted 90% of their flavours. 
  • This insane basil vinaigrette is something that I've been putting on everything lately (spinach, chicken, carrots), I can't believe I'm only now learning of its existence. 
  • Many people have hounded me to watch The Good Place, so I did, and okay - I get it. It's a good show. I watched the first season, but I didn't think it was anything crazy special at all. I mean, I'm happy for the people who love it, but maybe leave me alone, I think I'm good!
  • I finally tried hot pilates and it was... no different from regular pilates. Why do people try to make it sound so much more intimidating? Do people even do that or was I just building it up in my head? Either way, it's so doable for anyone so if you're in any way intrigued, then try it out.
  • While I was at my parent's house, my brother Gary introduced me to jackbox.tv - which is essentially a digital board game that you can play with people in the same room as long as you have a TV and everyone has their own phone. And the games are actually fun (like Drawful and Fibbage). They're also sort of perfect if you're looking for something to do with friends/family when you're having people over.
  • Tim Hortons now has poutine. HOW DID IT TAKE THIS LONG FOR THIS TO HAPPEN is the real question here. My verdict? They should call it a wedge poutine. I know, I'm being a pain, but I'm not wrong. Calling something a regular poutine is saying that regular French fries are being used in said poutine. So when wedge potatoes are used instead? You need to declare that shit. I'm being nit-picky here clearly because this is important. That being said, this wedge poutine was fantastic. Which shocks me. Tim Hortons has been putting out some shady products over the past few years, so for them to use real curds and a crazy decent gravy? Whoa.

Tim Hortons poutine

  • Won't You Be My Neighbor? came out and I saw it and cried right alongside every other person in that theatre. And here's the thing: I really think everyone should see this movie alone. I'm a big champion on people going to the movies alone, always have been. I just feel like you can really enjoy a movie without the element of having to deal with another person. Does that sound dumb? I feel like it's important to experience things like that alone since it allows your thoughts and reactions to be completely uninterrupted by someone else. Anyway, the movie was great, so many parts were perfect and I recommended absolutely everyone to see it.
  • I saw Hereditary twice, not because I'm some kind of maniac, but because I went the first time with some friends and then saw it again because Nathan hadn't seen it and that was our date night for the month. I thought it was a pretty good movie! I don't get why so many people hated it.
  • I went to Wonderland and it was great, as always.

Funnel cake

 

  • I re-watched the summer classic Now & Then that's inspired an upcoming post about summer television episodes that always make me happy to re-watch, so watch out for that.
  • Baby Dog has had a pretty decent month in that she's gone to two dog cafes, Boris & Horton in the east village and Chateau Le Woof in Astoria. I think I preferred the one in the east village mostly because there are small laptop-friendly tables in the dog area, and the general setup was a little more welcoming to dogs and owners.
  • This white bean rosemary soup is the best soup I've had in ages. I ground up some dried rosemary instead of using fresh and it was still insanely good. Have to remember to keep this one in the recipe rotation.
  • Ate at Campagnolo in Toronto with some friends and everything was reeeeally good. 
  • I finished reading The Duplass Brothers book and had some thoughts over here
  • Whether you're a Lindy West fan or not (you should be), this is probably one of the best short pieces I've read in such a long time.
  • I feel like I've been in a fried chicken mood these past few months and I just ate a great fried chicken sandwich at The Penrose on the upper east side. Remember how I was complaining about how bad The Spotted Pig one was? Yeah, I was right. THIS is how it's supposed to taste.
  • I also stopped by Two Little Red Hens, which is a short stroll from The Penrose, since I've been hearing about that place for years. I sampled a few small things, but the standout winner? The cupcakes. And hear me right. I'm not a cupcake person. I make fun of cupcake people. I don't believe in buying cupcakes because they're so incredibly easy to make and they taste the exact same as ones you can buy at any overpriced "cupcake shop." But these were different. These were somehow both airy and luxurious. No idea how they did it. I only had the mini Boston cream pie cupcake, so maybe it's only that specific flavour that tasted like God himself came down and whipped that batter. I'll have to go back, try others, and then really let you know.
  • I finally ate at Bocca since I really wanted to see that parmesan wheel and it was good. Nothing crazy to write home about, but good!
  • I made my yearly visit to The Met, and let me tell you. Some changes have been made. First of all, they have "updated" their admission policy. It's only New York State residents now who are allowed to pay their "suggested admission" - everyone else, ie. tourists, must pay $25/per person. And while I could rant about this for days and how stupid it is, I will not. The Met can definitely fuck right off, though, for the record. The only good new thing that they've implemented is this.

I initially went to see this year's rooftop exhibit, but the rain forced me to change my plans and settle for the Heavenly Bodies exhibit indoors. Here are some highlights.

Hated how high up these were, I can't see details way  up there!

Dior

  • In larger news, I've cancelled my Ipsy membership. I'm planning on doing my last unbagging this week, so if you care at all about why I did it, I'll post a link here very soon.

Whoa! Look at all that stuff! Excited to see what July will bring...


Happy Birthday, Gary!

by Liz Heather in


love you, Gar - this is maybe the cutest photo of you on earth - happy birthday 🎉🎂

A photo posted by Liz Heather (@lizheather) on

My brother Gary's birthday is tomorrow and I hope he realizes how much he is loved and missed (he lives with his family in Scotland). I know I talk a lot about how important siblings are, and I'll continue to do so until absolutely everyone I know is convinced. You're the best, Gary, and I swear I'll try not to make your gift eight months late this year.


My Brother's Meaning of Life Definition

by Liz Heather in


GUEST POST! I asked my brother Robbie to write a post on whatever he liked, so off we go!

"I was asked to write a guest blog by Liz. After reading my other brothers guest blog I realized I had to go bigger and bolder.

The Meaning Of Life

It’s a question that has been asked by many since the dawn of civilization. The answer is: it’s in us always. Most of the time, the meaning is behind a door that’s shut within our soul and body. A lucky few have felt that door open and have seen inside, but only for brief moments since the door doesn't stay open long - and when it’s shut, the meaning fades away like a dream you try to remember when you wake. Some of us have never felt that feeling when the door opens, others may have felt it once, and few have felt it for only a limited amount of time. The feeling you get at an airport when you see your loved one return, a beautiful song, a sunset, a hug, and a kiss are all glimpses of this - as though you're hearing the door creak open, but you're unable to see inside. The same can go for negative experiences, a death, an accident, a moment of despair, or crying. To connect one of these experiences to the meaning is the hard part. The missing component is the self-knowledge and clarity of your own mind. It’s the idea that your mind is so busy doing multiple tasks that on occasion when you stop or slow down the process, you can allow your mind to see. As an example, your busy mind is a bulletin board with notes, pictures, ideas, diagrams, and charts - and as you slow down and allow your mind to relax, you remove all of the stuff on the board to reveal that is not a board, but a window into a beautiful landscape or something else that may inspire you. The combination of clarity and an experience can be compared to two cars crashing at an intersection that in turn will reveal the meaning of it all. As I said before, the meaning of the open door is always brief and can never stay open long. For some people, that moment that all is right in the world where they fully value the understanding of it all will fade into oblivion. For other people, it will remain like a distant memory from his/her childhood. The true test is not the pursuit of meaning, but the pursuit of life - to experience, to live, to be scared, to laugh, to cry, to be open to possibility. When you’re doing just that and the door opens, STOP, realize in awe the true beauty of life’s meaning, and keep on living."

By Robbie Heather

(Thanks for doing this, Ro!)