September Shenanigans 2019

by Liz Heather in , , , , , , , ,


This is how I feel about the beginning of October.

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To put it mildly, I’m excited. But before we start the greatest time of the year, here’s what went down in September!

  • I can’t seem to stop going to L’Artusi in the West Village, I might have a problem. This will be the only place I take all visitors for pasta from here onward. Recently I went to try this beast (shown below): the summer ricotta gnudi with chanterelles, sweet corn and chilies. They also had their wagyu steak tartare as a special (they do this every once in awhile) and it’s by far the best steak tartare in this damn city. SO GOOD. And since summer was still well under way, I also got the corn with pepperoni, chilies and scallion ash as a side dish. (What the hell is scallion ash? Absolutely couldn’t tell you, but I gobbled it up.) SIDENOTE: I still can’t stop making their mushroom ragu at home. I tried it with Banza and holy shit, it was still good. I think I’ll be taking a break from making it any time soon since I’ve made it approximately 12,000 times, but you should definitely try it out if you haven’t already.

  • I’ve made this Crispy Balsamic Chicken a few times now because it’s insanely easy to make and comes together crazy fast. Also, I think I’ve learned the secret to crispy skin every time: PAT THE CHICKEN TOTALLY DRY! Maybe everyone knew this already, but I certainly did not.

  • Nathan and I saw It: Chapter Two and loved it! I wasn’t expecting to since the first one is so great, but I might have liked this one even better! Also, hot tip: you know the Chinese restaurant they’re eating at in the beginning of the movie? Apparently (sources say) that was filmed inside the Mandarin on Matheson in Mississauga! That’s my Mandarin! I’m definitely going to ask about it the next time I’m there, because if that’s true that is MADNESS. So cool.

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  • Since horror movie season has begun, Nathan and I watched Halloween 2 and Halloween 3: Season of the Witch and you know what? Not terrible! I remember seeing them as a teenager and bitching about how lame they were, but I was just acting my age, I think. Solid ass movies.

  • We also watched Psycho II and Psycho III and thought the same thing! Great movies! Okay, not great - but definitely not bad. Psycho II was a delight. We’re not better than horror sequels, people. We might think we are, but we ain’t.

  • I tried the new eyebrow pencil from Fenty and even though it’s a good product, it’s definitely not worth $20. I could get three Colourpop ones for less than that and it’s pretty much an identical product.

  • I’m a stone cold sucker for new Trader Joe’s products, so obviously I tried the new Organic Sparkling Apple Cider Drinking Vinegars and they. were. delicious. Both flavours. Insanely good.

  • I have been on a mission to find yellow underwear lately and finally found the motherlode at PINK. Yes, I hate that it’s part of the Victoria’s Secret brand, but I’m still on the hunt. Recommendations welcome.

  • I watched the new, short 9/11 documentary In the Shadow of the Towers: Stuyvesant High about the kids who went to school near the towers and it was really well done. Obviously incredibly sad, but I can’t help but watch any new 9/11 stuff that comes out for some reason.

  • I also watched Chelsea Handler’s new documentary about white privilege and parts of it were good, while other parts just made me roll my eyes a lot. The fact that there’s ever even a debate about white privilege will forever blow my mind. I get what she was trying to do with this project, but it kind of just missed the mark ultimately.

  • I finally wrote about my experience at the new TWA Hotel at JFK.

  • I have been toasting garlic and breadcrumbs in a saucepan until it’s lightly golden brown and then adding it as a heavy garnish to my pasta dishes lately and… I think I’m a new woman. Tastes unreal.

  • Here are some of my favourite photos from the summer and yes it looks like I love summer but I still think it’s the worst season, I promise you.

  • I wrote about our trip to Vermont last month.

  • I assessed how many things got done off of my summer list.

  • I rarely listen to new, whole albums anymore because… actually I don’t know why I don’t do that anymore. But people really wouldn’t shut up about Taylor Swift’s Lover, so I listened to it on Spotify and it was actually pretty good. Not all of it, god no. But my favourites include: Cruel Summer, The Archer and Paper Rings. And of course, I still can’t stop listening to this song.

  • I went to Bar Sardine for the first time and here’s what I didn’t like: the seating is wildly uncomfortable (stool seating? in 2019? pick it up, industry), the food was extremely decent but overpriced and the waitstaff (at least our waiter) was too pushy. Yes, the burger was good (I mean, what burger isn’t?), but for $17? Eat me. No. What are we doing here.

  • Also went to The Happiest Hour and passssssss. I’m so sick of this trend of TINY ASS BURGERS costing more than $15. Fucking done with it. I’m THIS CLOSE in vowing to never eat a restaurant burger again and just get Shake Shack instead. So sick of this shit.

  • I made my autumn list of things I want to do!

Some things that I’m looking forward to this month: new Big Mouth episodes on the 4th, I might take a day trip out to Sleepy Hollow, I plan to decorate, I’d really love to have an autumn party (and make use of this great punch bowl idea), think of Baby Dog’s Halloween costume, I’ll definitely watch a few of these, I may partake in the Pumpkin Float, I’m intending on doing my 31-days-of-Halloween celebration yet again (which means that I’ll try to do at least one spookily themed thing each day), and I cannot wait for the return of Riverdale (!) on the 9th.

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Helloooooooo October, get your spooky ass in my bed.

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If you’ve got any interest in reading last month’s roundup, you can see what went down in August over here!


Jordan Peele's Us - Halloween Horror Nights 2019

by Liz Heather in ,


WHY DON’T I LIVE IN ORLANDO OR HOLLYWOOD DAMNIT!

I know I said I wouldn’t start any Halloween talk before the end of August, but this news just came out so I must share. If you're a fan of Jordan Peele, his movies, or horror in general then you'll be delighted to hear that Us is officially coming to Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights.

Peele himself said about the maze, "It's very exciting to know that fans of Us will get to experience firsthand the terror of being stalked and tormented by ‘The Tethered.'" He continued, "It’s been a lifelong ambition of mine to create a monster that would scare people on Halloween, so having ‘The Tethered’ join such esteemed company is a dream come true."

As of right now, there aren't any images of the maze yet, but it sounds like it will be incredible. The story will start in 1986 and take you on a journey that follows in the footsteps of young Adelaide on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. The maze will then transition into present day, thrusting you into the chaos of "The Tethered" uprising. GAAAAHHHHHHHHH, I love this idea so much.

Halloween Horror Nights begins Friday, Sept. 6 in Orlando and on Friday, Sept. 13 in Hollywood. PREVIEW BELOW!


October Occurrences

by Liz Heather in , , , , ,


This is how I feel when October comes to a close.

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Even though this is technically still the best time of year (the leaves are gorgeous, Christmas is coming, the first snowfall is only a few weeks away, a fresh year is quickly approaching), it’s always hard for me to say goodbye to October. Maybe that’s one reason why this post is so late? I couldn’t bring myself to actually move on? In any case, November has begun. So here’s what went down in my world last month.

  • The family and I took a train ride along the South Simcoe Railway on their autumn leaves tour and it was prrrretty cute.

Mom & Dad

Gary!

Me & Camden

  • I have officially introduced Riverdale into the lives of four other human beings in my life. Do you understand how crazy that is? I feel like every person on the planet is constantly telling everyone else what show they should be watching and we’re all silently ignoring so many of these recommendations because there’s simply not enough time to watch everything that everyone says is great. So when someone actually gets into this show - it makes me immensely happy. It’s just a pure show. Anyway, the new season started and it’s great and I’ll continue to scream about how much I love it. I’ve also started following Skeet Ulrich on Instagram and I think this is the first time I’ve intensely wanted to send inappropriate things to a stranger since I was a teenager? Feels weird.

  • Watched the first episode of Kidding and really couldn't get into it. Will always love Jim Carrey but this one seems like a hard one to latch onto.

  • Watched an episode of Rel and all I can really say about it is that Sinbad is the best part. So I guess that’s something. I don’t think it’s possible to make a good family sitcom these days and I don’t know why that is.

  • Watched the movie Wild and it was really good. In the same way that I really liked Under The Tuscan Sun. I love love love movies about women that aren’t centered around a love interest. The scene where the little boy sings to her made me weep for some reason.

  • Took a break from The Twilight Zone for a bit and then got right back into it with the episodes The Mask & Number 12 Looks Like You - and man… this is one of the best shows of all time. Better than Black Mirror. Better than everything!

  • Rewatched Friday the 13th Part 4 and it’s still a good horror movie, but not as good as I remember. Hate when that happens.

  • Have you ever seen the kids movie The Halloween Tree? I’d never seen or heard of it before recently and I really liked it. I know this is a common thought amongst people who cling to the past, but the animation back then was way better than it is today.

  • Speaking of kids movies, I saw the second Goosebumps movie with my family and the first one was better? Needed more Jack Black.

  • Finally watched Popstar at my brother’s insistence and it was really funny.

  • So obviously I saw the new Halloween. There was no way it could’ve been good, I realize this, but I went anyway because you have to go. The main problem with it? You see Michael Myers WAY too much. It’s ridiculous. It’s not scary if you’re constantly seeing his face. Anyway, the original is really the only good one anyway and I’m fine with that. I forced my niece Layla to watch that one on VHS and that’s the only way that movie should ever be watched, in my opinion. It’s perfect.

  • FINALLY saw Trick R Treat and of course it’s terrible! Don’t even remember why I’d wanted to see this one so badly. Maybe ‘cause the cover looks so good. I love bags on heads.

  • Watched Fright Night for the first time and it wasn’t terrible, but dear Christ, that kid who played the best friend? Definitely the worst actor on planet earth. WOOF.

  • I’ve only watched the first episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but I’m in love with how dark it is so far. I could also relate to all the half breed talk! And Balki’s in it! Excited to see if the coming episodes are as good.

  • I was on Nathan’s podcast again! Think this is the best one we’ve done together.

  • I have seen so many posts about how good On The Bun is in Mississauga and… what the hell? It’s average at best. The Burger’s Priest is eons better (and there’s a Mississauga location at Eglinton & Hurontario now too).

  • Speaking of good food places in Mississauga, Luca Pizza will now and forever be the only place I’ll force my family to order pizza from. So crazy good!

  • Tried some of the poutine at Costco and it’s almost identical to the old St. Hubert one that existed years ago. It’s eerie.

  • There’s a (somewhat new) Nordstrom Rack in Heartland in Mississauga and IT IS GREAT. If I were to describe why it’s so good, I’d go so far as to say it’s a higher-end/better/still affordable version of Winners.

  • Gary came to visit from Scotland and whenever he comes I try to make him sightread something that I love on piano and he never disappoints.

  • Of course the family and I went on our annual Downey’s visit.

  • I never go to Krispy Kreme mainly because, well, do I have to have a reason? Their donuts are insanity on a plate so I just need to not be near the building. That being said, my niece Layla really wanted to go so we did. And if you ever happen to be there right when the apple fritters come out of the oven? It will easily be the best tasting thing you’ll ever put in your mouth. That being said, they are dense and pretty rough once cold. Not sure how that makes sense, but it’s probably a good thing. The longstanding best apple fritters are still at San Remo’s in Etobicoke.

  • I hadn’t been to Playdium in Mississauga in maybe fifteen years, I can’t believe it’s still even there. STILL SO FUN. Really hope teenagers are still going on dates here and making out in the go kart line.

  • My friend Marla gave birth to the sweetest little boy, her second son!

  • Went to the ROM for I think the first time (?) and it was very meh! I mean, I think it was good technically? I don’t know what I was expecting. Also, maybe I’m being mean about it because the museums in New York are so much bigger and better? I realize that’s a pretty dickish thing to say and yet I’m not deleting it.

  • Absolutely love everything about this video (below).

  • Went to the CN Tower with my family and I haven’t been in such a long time, still a good time.

  • I finally started trying out recipes from Chrissy Teigen’s newest cookbook. The “Taters, Shrooms & Peas with Parmesan Cream” recipe was incredibly annoying to make mainly due to the instruction of “microwaving your potatoes” - why on earth would that ever be an easier way to cook a potato? It took so long with the trial and error of deciding how much water was needed to actually cook them in a microwave, and incredibly frustrating. And it didn’t even taste amazing! So I’ll definitely never make that one again. Her “Jalapeño-Cheddar Corn Pudding” though? AMAZING. I was blown away at how good that tasted. The serving size was so crazy off, though, which seemed odd. It could’ve fed twenty people. So since I’m one for two, I’m excited to try other recipes from the book soon.

  • I went to Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland with Layla, her friends and Harmeet and it was such a fun time. The best part of the whole thing are the actors who jump out to scare you, for sure.

Me & Lay

Me & Har

  • I’m not a huge Starbucks fan (I can’t seem to find a drink that’s not terrible for you & actually tastes good), but since they put out a Halloween drink, obviously I had to try it. The witch’s brew frappuccino was actually pretty good! PURE sugar, but good for exactly two sips. The chia seeds were so weird and good.

  • I finally saw Tews Falls! Been wanting to see this baby for awhile.

Tews Falls

Maya & Layla

  • I took Harmeet to Long Point Eco Adventures to stay in a camping pod for one night and it was really, really nice. Our stargazing tour did get cancelled because of the clouds, so we made the most of the evening by going across the street to the Burning Kiln Winery and it was a great time. If you know anything about me, you should be aware that this is the only way that I’d ever “camp.” On the drive back, we saw some insanely large pumpkins for sale so I obviously bought one and it’s probably the greatest thing I’ve ever spent money on.

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ten more days... ☠️🎃👻🍁

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  • Will never get sick of how New York looks at night.

  • Baby Dog had an extremely relaxing month.

  • It should be obvious, but of course this Halloween was the best one in years, mainly because it’s been so long since I’ve given out candy to trick-or-treaters. You already saw my costume. A huge thank you goes to my mom who sewed the zipper onto that red sweater and who allowed me to yell at her for an hour whilst trying to take the perfect costume photo. No idea why some of the people in my life let me get away with murder sometimes, but super thankful for them. So many things happened on Halloween that it’s kind of a blur to me now. I made this craft that really worked out well, I got sick of my costume so I did a Halloween inspired makeup look for the evening, I watched horror movies on a loop all day - everything was perfect.

The lawn of my parent’s house

The front of their house

Can’t get over how much stuff happened this month. Excited for November!

(If you have any interest in past monthly roundups, they can be found here: September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018 & May 2018.)