So technically the end of August is the appropriate time to start any and all Halloween/autumn talk (I think I made up that rule, but it feels right), so I’ll respect that and wait. Just know that I’m inwardly filling up with joy in anticipation of the best time of the year. Here’s what went down this month!
I made a list of some of my favourite summer vacation-y movies that I like to watch to pass the ungodly slow summer hours.
I read and reviewed the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (the woman who wrote Wild).
We had a small party for July 4th and it was the best. Here’s what I made and loved: Panzanella Salad with Fresh Mozzarella (I used the How Sweet Eats recipe, but added mozzarella and omitted the corn and avocado - I also made the croutons the Ree Drummond way, because that’s the tastiest way), Spinach Bacon & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms (because they’re so delicious I want to scream), I used bell peppers as the bowls for holding the ranch for the vegetables, Slow Cooker Ribs, Eggplant Lasagna (I can’t remember the recipe I used, but it was pretty basic), Peanut Butter & Nutella Cheesecake Bars (this was the second time I’ve made these and it’s a perfect dessert to make a night or two before so that it can really set up), Blueberry Lemon Bread, and a charcuterie board (which is like assembling food art & I love it).
My favourite fruit/vegetable season is the end of summer mainly because of the fresh tomatoes and corn, so I can’t wait to try some of these corn dishes available in NYC right now. Although I don’t know how any of them are going to compete with the corn gnocchi at Park Avenue Summer. (I just looked and there’s also a sweet corn agnolotti with black summer truffles on the menu now too, so things just got interesting.)
Jenn sent me a link to this lovely poem Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo that I just love.
I went for lunch at the cafe at Lilia in Brooklyn and it was ONLY AVERAGE. So that was disappointing. Maybe I ordered badly? I got the prosciutto, parmigiano butter, balsamic mustard sandwich - and even though it looks great (love whole grain mustard), it was really just too bready and not very flavourful.
I saw Midsommar (by the same guy who did Hereditary last year) and I really liked it. Some parts are just unnecessarily graphic (and the slow motion shots of this stuff are insane to watch), but the plot was great. Love an original movie.
Watched the entirety of Champions on Netflix and it really bums me out that it got cancelled, it was a really fun show.
Made this chocolate chunk coconut banana bread and it was goooooood.
I visited the new TWA Hotel at JFK and there’s too much to say about it, so I’m going to do a full post on it this coming week.
So excited to hear that there will be three more seasons of Big Mouth!
Do you remember experiencing or hearing about the ride Kongfrontation at Universal Studios in Florida? I’ve only ever heard of it, but it seems like it was probably the best ride that ever existed at that park. I hate how most rides these days are just 3D screens with no real interaction or animatronics, it’s bullshit.
Fucking obsessed with this strawberry lemonade kombucha that’s apparently only available at Trader Joe’s. I thought their gingerade was the best flavour, but now I have to reassess everything. (Also tried the “watermelon wonder” but it’s pure trash.)
Some songs that I can’t stop listening to: You Need To Calm Down by Taylor Swift, Blow Your Mind by Dua Lipa, Everybody by Elliphant feat. Azealia Banks, Boys by Lizzo, Let Me Go by Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso feat. Florida Georgia Line & watt, Doin’ Time by Lana Del Ray, We Were Young by Petit Biscuit feat. JP Cooper, Calma (Remix) by Pedro Capo & Farruko
I refuse to shut up about how great the (square bottle) nail polishes are at Urban Outfitters. They’ve been consistently great for years. I’ve been wearing their neon pink Hot Tub off and on for at least five years, and they keep putting out wicked new colours. There’s almost always a 3 for $10 deal and recently I got Coffee Creamer, Sun Bunny & Optic White and they’re BEAUTIFUL.
It’s currently Restaurant Week again (it’s on until August 16th), so of course I went back to The Dutch for their beautiful wagyu steak tartare. I also had the corn cappelletti with chanterelle mushrooms and marjoram that was heavenly.
There’s a deal with ClassPass where you can use the service for free for two weeks, so I tried it and it’s not that great. It’s just too expensive to justify having it when I already have a monthly gym membership somewhere else. I did try an aqua cycling class through Aqua Studio during the free trial and it was… only okay. I mean, it’s fun and great to be in the salt water, but it wasn’t all that challenging as a workout.
I wasn’t planning on buying it, but I tried it, loved it, so had to buy it: Glossier’s Brow Flick. I’m still learning how to use it properly, but so far I’m really into it. It inspired this eyebrow products video that I posted last week.
I saw Toy Story 4 and I really hope this is the final one they make because the ending was so good. That’s all I’ll say. Quality series of movies, right here.
Some friends of mine recently opened up a small, late night food place called Foodstruck in Astoria and the food is really good. They’ve just opened, so they’re still figuring out their hours but I think they’re catering to the late night crowd, especially servers/bartenders who get off work late. Check out some of the food specials from this past week.
My too-kind friend Irene got us a housewarming gift of a Diptyque candle (in eucalyptus) and somehow it’s still going after three months of daily use, which is incredible. Do not look up how expensive this candle is.
I watched To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and really liked it! Especially the hot tub scene. But let’s not get into it. I double-checked to make sure they’re both over 21 and they are, so all’s good.
Made this pappardelle pasta with mushroom ragu when Nathan was out of town (I like to get my mushroom recipes in when he’s gone) and it’s definitely going on my favourite-dinner-recipes list.
I ate at Misi in Brooklyn because I’ve wanted to go for ages and the pasta was solid as hell, I’d definitely go back. We had the charred peppers, marjoram, and whipped ricotta crostini, the corzetti with marinated sungold (peeled) tomatoes, garlic, pecorino & summer herbs (have you ever eaten a PEELED tomato? It almost feels wrong. The good kind of wrong), the strangozzi with pork sugo, nutmeg and parmigiana and for dessert we had the strawberries and cream gelato (it was a special that night) and the espresso gelato. Everything was so crazy good. The service was fantastic and the space is huge. Is it better than Lilia or L'Artusi (pasta-wise)? Ugh, that's such a hard question. It's really good. I'll have to revisit to get more intel to make a final decision on that.
I went to Coney Island with Irene and it was great, as it always should be.
I visited the Profundo Day Club (mainly to get my ass in a pool) earlier this month, and I highly doubt that I’ll return. Mostly because even though the pool was nice (small, but nice) and refreshing, the blaring house music in the middle of the day was a little excessive. There’s also a disco ball above the pool itself. And a unicorn floatie that drifts around the water. And waitresses who shoot sparklers off when someone buys a bottle of liquor. It’s… not for me, let’s say. And the cheapest pass was $70 (tax included), which is waaaay too expensive for Queens. Let’s be real.
There’s a new season of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and the Martin Short episode is just lovely. It almost killed me when he was talking about when he bought his house and said, “We bought it in 1986” even though his wife passed away years ago. Am I being ridiculous in thinking that him using the word “we” is so sad and sweet and nice? Or maybe that’s a normal thing to say and I’d melt at anything to come out of his mouth. And while it was a good episode, I got so fucking sick of all the filler shots of coffee being brewed, coffee being poured into a cup, beans being tossed in a can, flowers sitting in vases - for fuck sake JUST TALK TO MARTIN SHORT AND SHOW ME THAT. Annoying as hell.
Nathan and I started watching season three of Stranger Things and… it’s not good? We saw all of the first season, which was pretty good. Attempted season two and never finished it because it became boring. And last week, we watched the first couple episodes of season three and I think we’ve silently agreed on just stopping it altogether. And look, I’m happy other people like it, but it’s just not for me. Demogorgons are too close to being dragons, maybe that’s why I can’t care about them?
I like to go to at least one baseball game each season, so I went to a Mets game last weekend and got this beauty that was the giveaway (below) since it was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
I mean, there was even a promo video for it. How amazing is that?
Honestly, this bobblehead makes me so happy for some reason. I love going to Citi Field especially ‘cause the food is always so good. We got the filet mignon steak sandwich from the aptly named Pat LaFrieda’s Original Filet Mignon Steak Sandwich, incredible fries from Box Frites, souvenir cups & drinks from Effen Vodka Bar, mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz, and chips & queso with ginger lime margaritas from Cantina.
Two new things that I’m going to start doing:
1. Buying less things off of Amazon. If there’s an alternative, independently run company that I can find the item at (and if the price isn’t wildly more expensive) then I’ll shop there instead. Every new thing I hear about Amazon makes me shudder, and I hate that it’s become my default place for me to buy anything.
2. If a store/restaurant is cashless (ie. credit cards only), then I’ll refuse to shop there. It’s insane that this isn’t illegal everywhere yet. I’m so sick of it and cash should be accepted everywhere, it’s nuts that I even need to say that. (I was excited to have lunch at Ole & Steen in Union Square for lunch the other day, but they’re “cashfree” so fuck them!)
Some things that I’m looking forward to doing this month: I’ve already sent in my email requesting tickets for Saturday Night Live (you can only request tickets during the entire month of August), I can’t wait to see Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark with Layla, there’s a tomato gelato that I want to try that sounds either awful or life-affirming, going on our anniversary trip at the end of the month, excited for a Canyon Creek caesar salad with Harmeet, planning on going to the CNE with my mom (haven’t done this in years), going to two weddings (!!) and I love weddings, being in a pool with Marla and a bunch of our kids, and taking advantage of a few more Restaurant Week specials. Excited for the last month of trash weather!
Happy Canada Day! Here’s what went down last month.
I finally started taking collagen powder and I really think it’s working (thanks for the tip, Harmeet!) because my nails are longer than ever and my hair seems more luscious? I could just be feeling myself on the hair, though. Hard to tell for sure.
I made the mushroom garganelli pasta that I dream about from L’Artusi and it was phenomenal. The mushroom ragu tastes EXACTLY like it could be a meat sauce. Even Nathan agreed that it was amazing and he hates mushrooms. Makes zero sense. This dish is witchcraft.
Earlier this month, I finally overshared about what our new apartment looks like, if you’d care to take a look.
Made my way to see the new Camp exhibit at The Met.
Saw Late Night, and while I will always support that vision of a woman, the movie was only okay. Very specific opinion, but I wish Cate Blanchett had played the main character.
Speaking of Mindy, look at this gorgeous, perfect outfit.
Remember those flavoured powders for popcorn that were popular a few years ago? How have I never thought of making a homemade dill topping for at-home popcorn?! HOW?! Such a good idea.
Watched the Black Mirror episode Striking Vipers and loved it, I don’t want to even watch the other two new ones because how could they possibly be better than that one. (Also, are we really calling three episodes a season? Get real.)
I have made Ina Garten’s rigatoni with sausage & fennel so many times this month and I’m still not sick of it, such a crazy good pasta. Especially if you’re trying to impress someone.
IDEA: Turn burger buns into garlic bread, THEN eat as part of a burger.
I don’t know why but I finished The Big Bang Theory. I know, it’s embarrassing to admit. It was not a good show!
‘NOTHER IDEA: Clean your Apple headphones with toothpicks! Totally didn’t know you could do this. And if you haven’t, you really should. Some nasty stuff gets up in there. It’s pretty satisfying to clean, too. Just do it in private.
Tried the (super tiny) burger at Whit’s End in Rockaway and yes it was good, but WHERE WAS THE REST OF IT?!
I rewatched Waiting To Exhale (I think I saw it when I was a kid) and man, that movie holds up. So, so good.
So in love with this brand. I don’t love the phrase Toronto VS. Everybody, but if they make a Mississauga one? WATCH OUT.
Love this New Yorker piece my Dad sent me about getting a dog.
Gotta be honest, kinda excited to see the glaze waterfall. You know what makes Krispy Kreme better than most donuts? Not a lot of doughiness inside. The best kind of donut showcases the outside coating. A KK donut is all outside coating. It’s practically hollow on the inside. This is the secret. I could go on about this, but I’ve already said too much.
Completely forgot about the show You Wish, which I can’t stop watching. Summertime sadness?
Excited for Samantha Irby’s book that comes out next year.
Everyone should make this panzanella salad. It is profoundly good. I added fresh mozzarella to it and it only got better. I didn’t even add the avocado OR corn and still licked the bowl.
I keep reading this over and over, trying to make it stick.
SUCH a good fish recipe. And these are hard to come by. Or maybe it was just the sauce. A good sauce can trick you sometimes.
Saw Ma in theatres and you know what it really wasn’t bad, whatever anyone tells you. I think I’d classify it as wacky as hell.
This is honestly the best egg salad I’ve ever had. It’s definitely due to the addition of dill pickle juice (fucking nuts for dill this month) and the elimination of celery.
Found maybe the best poutine in this country at The Astorian in Queens.
I started using Benefit’s Mini Gimme Brow and it’s cool?? Honestly, I don’t even know. Sometimes I think I need another, smarter woman to just sit me down and tell me what’s good and what’s not. This is supposed to help make thin eyebrows look bushy, right? If that is actually its intent, then it’s doing its job correctly.
All right, look. You KNOW that I hate having opinions on celebrities (ie. people NONE OF US KNOW), but I’m putting a hold on that for a sec. Here’s who I hated this month: Amber Rose (or anyone repping any fucking laxative tea), Bernie Sanders (the arrogance that comes off of this man… I can’t stand it, he doesn’t have all of the answers, can we please stop acting like he’s some sort of savior), and Chris Brown. How is Chris Brown still someone people are in love with? How are people still okay with him? MAN BEATS PEOPLE. For fuck sake.
Love this exchange so much.
Never had Georgian food before but it’s pretty much just bread and cheese and I’m 100% fine with that, culturally speaking.
I will never make all of her recipes, but a third cookbook very much excites me.
It’s taken me years to understand that Modern Family just isn’t good. There are two good characters. That’s it, that’s the trick they’re playing on us all.
Is it a good idea to watch How Stella Got Her Groove Back? Always.
I have zero opinion on Harry Potter, but I can’t wait to experience this new ride in Florida.
And that was June! Some things I’d like to do this month: visit Profundo Day Club for the rooftop pool, find some humidity-proof houseplants (recommendations welcome), spend some time in Coney Island, try to see Crawl and maybe make some fun food for the 4th of July.
I have officially done a year’s worth of these monthly roundup posts.
Is it clear how much I love to write them? I guess I’ll keep doing them until they become a bother. Here’s what went down in May!
I’m still screaming from the rooftops about how great Booksmart was, can’t get over it.
Losing my mind over how good these Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups are.
And look, I tried to try more of the collagen powder but Nathan finished it all (and his hair has been looking pretty good lately now that I think about it) and I’m waiting to get more. I promise to finally take this regularly next month.
One of the regulars in my snack rotation has been these zucchini pizza bites that are surprisingly delightful, especially if you’re adding sopressata and/or jalapeños as part of the toppings.
I saw Jason Mantzoukas walking in Soho and he was so handsome I was afraid to say anything. Like alarmingly handsome. I knew he was good looking, but in real life? Whoa.
I am in love with this font. Someone tell me if it has a name.
I attempted to start season two of Barry, but it’s been so long since I saw the first season that I forgot most of what has happened. Could I have just rewatched the finale of season one and then moved on to number two? Sure. Will I? Now that’s another question.
Someone was singing this on the subway and I’d never heard it before, but Jesus Christ. So lovely.
This was a pretty heavy podcast month for me (kill me for that sentence), I did three of them! The first one is with Nathan talking about the new apartment, the second one is with Irene talking advice and the third one is with Nathan again talking abortion.
I just bought a pair of these heavenly, high-waisted, button-fly Gap jeans and I think everyone should go buy them ($42 right now with the sale), they fit like a dream. I might go back and get another pair in a different colour. Actually, yeah. I’m definitely doing that.
Ate at La Contenta and it was absolutely nothing special. Everything was too salty, overpriced and crowded.
I’ve already made three batches of these banana walnut muffins, they’re so perfect for the morning or for a snack. Ignore that they’re paleo, I promise you they’re good. Definitely not a party muffin, but a good-for-you muffin.
So excited that people will finally stop talking about Game of Thrones. Usually I don’t mind when other people love something that I don’t care about, but with this show it’s just been overkill. We get it. It was a show. Let’s move on?
So excited to hear that there’s going to be a new Mindy Kaling book next summer!
Nobody told me about how smokey it gets when you attempt to make burgers in your kitchen at home? Or was everyone aware of this already but me?
I just bought pink sunglasses (at Nathan’s encouragement) and I just became cool. May 2019. That’s when it happened. (I’d post of photo of them but I’ll be wearing them until I’m cold and dead in the ground, so believe me, you’ll see them on me soon.)
I can’t believe how good this looks. I love it when fall movies just say fuck it and come out in late summer.
I can’t say that I 100% relate to everything in this piece, but some parts of it are so on the money: “Men Have No Friends and Women Bear The Burden.“
I tried the mozzarella sticks at Big Mozz in Chelsea Market and whoa. They’re pretty serious. The tomato sauce that comes with them is insanity, too.
My niece Tianna came to visit New York for the first time! Some highlights: I finally ate a cronut and they’re waaaaay too sweet, and coming from me that should mean something because I love all things dessert. Maybe it’s because we ate it so early in the morning? I don’t know. I really don’t understand the big deal about them, though. We also walked through Chinatown and down to the financial district to get lunch at Manhatta, which was lovely. I forced her to eat my favourite pad thai at Lovely Day in Soho. We shared a cheese plate at The Cellar at Beecher’s, walked around the west village to see the Friends building and the stoop from The Cosby Show, we had dinner at L’Artusi where she had her first steak tartare. We walked through Grand Central Terminal to get to the dog museum (which is cute as hell), we saw and went backstage at the musical Waitress, had dinner at Shake Shack, saw the 9/11 memorial, shopped at Century 21, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, got pizza at Juliana’s (which wasn’t as good as I remembered?), walked with Baby Dog in Central Park to see the Balto statue, perused Chelsea Market and walked along The High Line, went to the galleries on Thursday night where we met Luis Guzman (!), and ate gelato at Grom. This was all within four days. No idea how we did that much stuff, but I slept for 13 straight hours the day after she left, so maybe I’m not as young as I once was.
I started watching the new version of The Twilight Zone with the assumption that I’d dislike it since the original is so great, however I’ve only seen one episode so far (the blue scorpion one) and I think I really like it. Obviously the classic series is untouchable, but this one is done really well.
I learned about the existence of Book Off in midtown, it’s a store “for the people who don’t want to waste.” They buy your old CDs, DVDs, books, action figures, electronics. It’s amazing.
Season three of Riverdale is over! This is the only show that I watch every week, so it was a big deal for me. And honestly, it was a fun season, despite everyone on earth’s opinions of it. Favourite tweet from the finale?
Strawberries are about to be in season, so I got a huge carton of them from a farmer’s market and made these strawberry oatmeal bars. Pretty good! They also work well crumbled up in greek yogurt.
Another good snack idea? These baked sweet potato fries.
I have made this chicken marsala so many times that I’m taking a break from them. But for the first few times I made it, it was so, so satisfying.
All right, look. I fully expected to love Wine Country on Netflix, but maaaaaan. It is not good. It isn’t funny or sweet or anything. I think I also hate it when Tina Fey tries to be a character actor, it’s always just the worst. Do not watch.
Here’s your semi-annual reminder that Bath & Body Works is having their huge twice-a-year sale starting on June 1st, I think. It’s never advertised in advance, but I’m almost positive that it’s the first week of June. Apologies that this sounds like an ad, I just really like their foaming hand soaps and I’m cheap as hell.
Made the roasted cauliflower, feta, orzo salad from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook and yes it was really, really good. The only issue is that the portion size is way too big. We had leftovers for days and got pretty sick of eating it, so if you’re doing this for two people, definitely size it down. Also, I had no idea there were different types of feta. French feta is creamier than traditional Greek and maaaan is it good.
Loving this kale salad lemon dressing.
This shall be my June mantra.
And this is just great.
What am I looking forward to next month? I’m planning on seeing Mindy’s new movie Late Night, watching some more of the new Twilight Zone episodes, polishing off my spring list, preparing my summer list, thinking about if I’ll ignore or celebrate National Best Friend Day on June 8th, figuring out a Father’s Day gift for the 16th, I do want to see Toy Story 4 but it feels weird to not see it with a niece/nephew, and I’ll definitely take photos of the new apartment and my favourite items that I bought for the apartment post I promised last month.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, here’s a years worth of other ones like it: April 2019, March 2019, February 2019, January 2019, December 2018, November 2018, October 2018, September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018 & May 2018.
April is one of the best months. It’s still cool enough to have my winter blanket on the bed, but warm enough to maybe go out without a coat. Nothing is better. Sorry about the weather-talk, but it’d be insane of me not to mention it’s so beautiful out. Onto this month’s happenings! So many things took place!
Firstly, the big news. We’ve moved! Only a few streets away, but into a waaaaay better apartment. It’s almost a joke how much better it is. We were coming from a basement apartment, so pretty much anything above ground floor would impress us, but there are a hundred little details about our new place that I’m in love with. So crazy thankful and happy with it all. We’re still getting settled into the place, but I’m planning on doing a post about all the little things I’m doing to it with the decor and storage and boring things (but oh so fun to me) like that, so keep an eye out for that post coming out most likely before the end of the month. So excited to get this place homey and lovely.
I went to a Rapters game at the Barclays Center and whoa, it was a dumb amount of fun. Nathan met someone in the audience at one of his shows who works at Barclays and got him a few VIP tickets (fifth row from court side!) and it was pretty incredible. There was tons of free food (shriiiiimp!) and soft serve ice cream and beef tenderloin and fancy water and free snacks, it was the best. I could list all the food specifics here, but I don’t want to seem like a dick who thinks she’s better than you (but might be?).
I went to the Glossier flagship store again to try this highlighter aaaaand it was pretty basic, so that was disappointing. I also tried their Boy Brow again and I think that yes, it is a good product. Although is it worth $16? Not sure. I’m still considering Benefit’s mini version for $12, so that’s likely the next eyebrow product I’ll buy/try.
I treated myself and bought the full size version of Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask (which is HUGE and should last me eight hundred years) as well as a new Fenty sponge because my old sponge was beginning to look nasty.
I tried the new basil foaming hand soap from Trader Joe’s because that’s an amazing idea for a scent. But the quality of the bottle itself is so cheap, it makes an awful squeaking sound when you use it. Don’t buy.
Yes, I hate receiving foundation samples. You know this. That being said, I tried the one from Yves Saint Laurent and even though it was the wrong colour for me, it felt crazy nice and moisturizing on my skin. I can see why people go so crazy for this product. I still won’t buy it because I don’t really love wearing foundation, but maybe one day when I believe that foundation makes a difference?
I tried the Smile Foot Mask from The Face Shop and HOLY SHIT. It’s good enough that you can ignore the creepy baby feet on the packaging. And I mean, my feet are pretty well taken care of already, but this was some next-level shit. Definitely keeping this one in the rotation.
I know that I told you I was going to start taking collagen, but with the move I slacked a little so I don’t want to comment on it yet. I’m gonna start it again and take it on a daily basis starting tomorrow so I will definitely have thoughts on it this time next month.
Love this meme.
I went to Niagara Falls with my family and it was the best. Just a ton of fun.
I started watching Schitt’s Creek and it’s pretty good so far. I only saw about five episodes, but that’s enough to have an opinion, yeah? I want to watch more, but those Frasier reruns aren’t gonna watch themselves.
Watched The Bye Bye Man and wooooooof, it was rough.
I also watched Crazy Rich Asians and it was great! I’d wanted to see it for awhile and it was just a fun movie. A friend of mine accidentally called it Crazy Sexy Asians and it made me laugh, but that’s a way better title. I love, love, love Elvis’ version of this song, so whenever it gets covered, I’ll love it to pieces. Also, the wedding scene? With the water? Jesus! So nice. Even watching it now makes me teary, it’s so beautiful.
Ate at The Cactus Club with the lovely Marla for her birthday (!) and it was goooood. The short rib pappardelle? Heavenly.
One of my favourite recipes that I haven’t been able to make for awhile since I used to live in a place WITH NO OVEN is this baked pickles one. Just made it last night and still holds up. So tasty.
There’s an upcoming lantern festival in Mississauga that I just heard about on August 10th that seems pretty lovely.
Have you ever tried chocolate mint coffee before? We just got some beans from a place near us and made some this morning and I was jacked for about three hours. Really tasty, I just don’t understand how a person could drink coffee every day.
I was in need of a fancy dress so I went to Burlington in Union Square and was shocked at how nice/inexpensive everything was. I got a Calvin Klein dress (that I later returned because I’m CLASSY) for $40! Such a great place. Easier to browse than Century 21, for SURE.
The reason I needed that fancy dress? I WENT TO THE OPENING NIGHT OF THE BEETLEJUICE MUSICAL! And it was incredible. I have a friend who’s in the ensemble and graciously invited me and it was everything. I’ve never been to an opening night before and the air was electric. Such a fun time. I met Richard Kind at the after party and gushed about Clifford for approx. two minutes before he ran away.
I tried the relatively new chicken pieces from Shake Shack and there’s literally NOTHING DANNY MEYER CAN DO WRONG. They’re delicious, obviously.
I had no idea that The Strand will buy your old books. Amazing.
There are no Home Sense stores in the States (as far as I know), which sucks. But I came across Home Goods on the Upper West Side (thank you for the suggestion Harmeet!) and even though it’s really not as good, it’s actually okay. I appreciate the attempt of them trying to be a Home Sense.
I went to the new Rec Room in Square One and it was pretty good, I thought. Obviously you need to walk in with a full wallet, but I mean… it’s something to do? It’s pretty much Playdium with better food.
And that was April! Some things to look out for in next month’s roundup: highlights from Tianna’s visit to NYC, I’m going to a screening of Booksmart, and I swear I’ll do that apartment post. Honestly that’s the only thing I’m really, really looking forward to - I love this new place so much. Thanks for reading!
(If you have any interest in past monthly roundups, they can be found here: March 2019, February 2019, January 2019, December 2018, November 2018, October 2018, September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018 & May 2018.)
Forgive the lateness of this post, but March was a busy month so LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
So after leaving Ipsy last year (for various reasons), I’ve missed receiving a little package every month full of makeup samples. I was all set to try Birchbox, but they wouldn’t accept a Canadian billing address so that didn’t work out. Instead I opted to give PLAY! By Sephora a chance. I was a member for three months before cancelling last week. My reason for ending it was mainly because I barely got any lipsticks or highlighters or anything FUN. I don’t know if it’s because they know that I’m in my mid-thirties or because they just have an influx of specific products, but a bitch doesn’t need twenty sample size cleansers. Not this bitch, anyway. Also, sending out a foundation sample (no matter the luxuriousness of the brand) makes ZERO sense because finding the right shade makes all the difference in the world for foundations. Also, I barely wear foundation. So I ended it. Also, am I the only one who hates getting tiny perfume samples? I feel like I have so many that I feel bad about throwing out, so I just keep them in the washroom and then use them instead of air-freshener if someone (or myself) stinks up the room (#lizadvice).
I was briefly intrigued by Frank & Oak’s clothing subscription box but decided after an hour of research that it’s probably too expensive for what you’re getting, even if the clothes are gorgeous.
Of course it was upsetting to hear that Luke Perry passed away. He was definitely one of the first men that I loved on television (god, I remember every single detail of that 90210 when his wife Rebecca Gayheart was killed). Such a good actor. So wildly attractive. And man, he was one of the best parts of Riverdale. I hate thinking about that show without him.
I absolutely love spring peas, so I made this Lemon-Basil Orzotto and it was really good.
I tried this charcoal that’s supposed to clean your makeup sponge and it was kind of annoying to use. It just takes too long to get a good lathering, and my foaming hand soap does the job much better and quicker.
I’ve only used it once so far, but I think I’m really into this Bliss Jelly Glow Peel Exfoliator that I got at Target for $10. No irritation at all and my face felt crazy smooth afterward.
I have a mini version of Sunday Riley’s Lactic Acid and it’s kind of really good, too. Only a million dollars more expensive than other good facial products! Sweet! Also, you’d think having “acid” in the name would frighten people away but I guess not. Obviously never going to buy the full size because it’s not magical or anything, but happy to have tried it.
Ate at this Mexican place Pulqueria in Chinatown that was pretty good. The location is pretty cool (very NYC out of a movie) and the inside is gorgeous. The food? Pretty decent! All in all, nothing to write home about but definitely worth remembering if you’re in the neighborhood.
Got some ice cream at Taiyaki and it was the definition of plain-as-a-dick. Nothing special here.
Finally ate at Lilia in Brooklyn! Honestly, it was really great and I can’t wait to go back. I made Nathan get the spicy lamb fettuccine so that I could try it and I got the mafaldini with pink peppercorns. His was fantastic, but mine was only so-so (it was way too al dente) - I think I just ordered badly because everything else we had was incredible. They had this herbed focaccia with ramp butter special that blew our faces off. I’ve never heard of a bread special before and it’s a brilliant idea, more restaurants should do this, people go nuts for fancy bread (myself included). The cauliflower appetizer (with spicy soppressata, sicilian pesto & majoram) was amazing and the dessert soft-serve swirl was wild. I already know what I’m ordering next time: the sheeps milk cheese filled agnolotti with saffron, dried tomato & honey. The service was of course great, and the space itself is gorgeous. No idea it used to be an auto-repair shop. Is the pasta better at L’Artusi? I’ll have to order the agnolotti before I answer that question. One must be well informed before making such declarations.
On my birthday, I took advantage of a free-facial offered from Smith & Brit in the city and it was beyond lovely. Claire (the owner) is such a fantastic woman who really knows what she’s doing and she made it such a wonderful experience.
I also took advantage of the free birthday brow arch they offer at all Benefit locations and whoa. I almost exclusively thread my eyebrows every few months, so I was excited to have them waxed for a change. I have pretty sensitive forehead skin, so I did have tiny bumps around my eyebrows for a few days afterward, but it still was worth it. They do an “eyebrow map” of how your eyebrows would best look and then wax them accordingly. And then they follow that with filling them in with Benefit products. I usually use a combination of Colourpop’s brow pencil and Milani’s waxier eyebrow pencil, but when she used the Benefit eyebrow gel wand, I was floored at how much fuller they looked. Really considering buying the mini and seeing if I can achieve that same look. Look how full!
I tried both 2019 birthday gifts from Sephora and Ulta, and talked about both of them here.
I watched all of Shrill in one evening and I can’t imagine not watching it that way. It’s perfect. I can’t stop playing this song on repeat, WHY IS IT ONLY ONE MINUTE? Other thoughts: I had no idea that the morning-after pill doesn’t work for women over 175 pounds, that’s insane!? The mother/daughter storyline is so well done it hurts. ALL of the outfits on pretty much every single woman are so fucking lovely. I rewatched that one part with the woman in red walking and buying flowers over and over it just made me so happy, I can’t describe why. And the pool party episode? I may have sobbed through some of it, and not in a sad way but in a cathartic way. It just made me feel so many things at once. Mostly about how sometimes you feel invisible if you’re self conscious or self-loathing about your body, and you feel like you don’t matter unless you fit into this idea of what you think people expect you to look like and how if you don’t fit into that, then you’re essentially a worthless piece of garbage, so you treat yourself that way on a daily basis. And how this type of thinking can last you a lifetime because it’s all you’ve allowed yourself to believe for years and years. There are so many ways that a person can feel inadequate or less than, and it’s so internally normalized because you truly believe that you’re not good enough and you never will be. It’s a depressing way to live and so many women especially live this way, myself included obviously. So that whole episode really just felt like a fucking dream of a reality. I really hope there will be more episodes of the series, I’ve never related to a television show more in my life.
I tried the cleansing pads from First Aid Beauty and they’re tingly, fun and great. Perfect alternative for when you don’t feel like washing your face. I don’t know if that’s their intent, but that’s how I’m using them.
Nathan’s second album came out on iTunes! Buy it! Love it! Or not! Do you!
I’ve been having trouble sleeping and one thing that has helped? Taking a hot shower before bed. Is this such common knowledge that I’m a moron? Maybe. In any case, very happy to have learned this.
Started and finished watching the final season of Broad City and it was really, really good. I always forget how good this show is. I wish it existed when I was a teenager.
Practically in LUST with Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning. I’m so late to this party, but at least I finally got there. I’ve only even tried it on top of some buttered bread and I was floored at how good it is.
You know how sometimes you have irrationally dumb opinions on things you know nothing about? That was me with dry shampoo. I didn’t really understand it. Also, I thought it was exclusively for white women, I don’t know why? Obviously I tried some (this Amika one) and I mean… it’s kind of spectacular. I maybe shouldn’t have discovered it because I might never wash my hair again.
I visited the Everlane store in Soho (because apparently YouTube ads really do work on me) and even though it’s beautifully minimalist, it’s way too overpriced.
Tried the pizza at Lions & Tigers & Squares Detroit Pizza and it was really good. They don’t offer single slices, but it’s the perfect place to go with someone to split one. So in love with Detroit style lately. (Also, can I accept world-wide-credit for the massive amounts of pepperoni pieces you’re seeing on pizzas these days?! I’ve been ordering triple-pepperoni-well-done pizzas for DECADES and I’ve been harshly judged endlessly because of it and LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE NOW! Full credit.)
The penultimate episode of this season of This Is Us was wildly good. There was so much relatable couple stuff, it’s so hard to even get into if you didn’t see the episode/don’t care about the show, but if you did? Email me. I could talk about it for an hour, it was so well done. It’s essentially about the give and take in a relationship and about how it’s rarely equal, and man… so, so well done. Loved every minute.
Remember how I tried and liked Bumble & Bumble’s Thickening Spray? Well, I still do but definitely don’t spray it on your roots, it works much better if you use it sparsely on the rest of your hair when damp. Maybe that’s already obvious but I’m very new to using any hair products, so forgive my stupidity.
SO excited for Jenny Slate’s new book.
I went to Beacon’s Closet for the first time and whoa. I didn’t find anything I loved, but it’s definitely one of those places you should stop in every once in awhile to see what’s there. The space is a little overwhelming, but the things that I’ve seen people get from there are gorgeous and so inexpensive.
I tried to find my colour in the Fenty collection of concealers and nothing matched, but it’s not a huge deal since I’m happy with the NARS one I’ve been using. And speaking of concealers, Colourpop just released their own and they were kind of good?? Again, I still prefer the NARS one, but the Colourpop one is actually kind of good, especially for being $6.
Finally ate at Raclette and I don’t think I’ll be returning. There are basic rules for making a good grilled cheese. I mean, I’m no scientist but you should be able to hold up the sandwich. And that just didn’t happen here. I had to use a knife and fork, which is… sad. Astoria Bier & Cheese understands these rules and still remains the best place to go if you’re in the mood for one.
I accidentally tried smoked salmon for the first time and it was really good, who the hell knew? Apparently everyone but me. I’ve never ordered it because I really only fake-like cooked salmon, so why the hell would I like it uncooked or *shudder* smoked? Also, it looks so gross! I should’ve known better though because it’s almost always true that if something looks gross, it probably tastes amazing. That’s a thing, yeah?
I tried samples (because I own a million fucking samples of every cream on planet earth) of Kiehl’s avocado eye cream and passssssss. It left my under eyes crazy red and zombie-like, so never again.
Bought a new white living room carpet from Carpet Factory Outlet on the Upper East Side and it was so cheap and great, have to keep this place in mind.
Absolutely hate this Tarte mascara, it stays on your lashes for days after you think you’ve washed it off and I don’t know why anyone would want that.
Since I’ll forever love Trader Joe’s, we tried the new broccoli and kale pizza crust and it’s even better than the cauliflower crust that we love. This one also doesn’t burn as easily in the oven as the cauliflower one, so I think this is the new favourite.
There’s a new flavour of banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery: chocolate hazelnut. It was sold out when I tried to get it, but I did get a sample and yikes. Obviously it’s the greatest.
Ate at Al Di La in Brooklyn and it was not fantastic. Their version of “gnocchi” was confusing and 1000% too spinachy. The tagliatelle al ragu (below) was obviously good, but, like, it’s so hard to fuck that up.
Went to a Mortified show with Harmeet who was visiting me, and it was good! We only stayed for the first half because honestly my feet hurt and we were standing and I think we both just decided, “Yeah, we get it… we’re good” and then went to Ample Hills Creamery around the corner. Love it when friends decide to leave an event early together for something more fun, not enough people do this.
FINALLY made it to Daily Provisions. Maple cruller? Heavenly. Everything-bagel-flavoured croissant injected with cream cheese? Delightful. Danny Meyer continues to do no wrong. Favourite breakfast place in Union Square.
Still very much in love with this song, and as I was listening to it one day I started reading the comments as I was listening and this one YouTube comment… my god. So sweet. Maybe parts of it are definitely corny or too much or something, but my god, in the moment, I loved it:
Went to Momofuku Noodle Bar for the second time and it was so much better than the first time. I also ordered better. The chilled spicy noodles with sichuan sausage, thai basil & cashews (shown below) were incredible and I tried some of the broth of the spicy beef ramen that Harmeet ordered and holy shit, it was good. I’m still too… not into the idea of ramen, but that broth was fucking nuts. ALSO, their dessert special (caramelized white chocolate pie with hazelnut and puffed rice was F-U-C-K-I-N-G memorable (also below). Christ.
A few months ago I got dinner at Pil Pil on the Upper East Side and since it was good, I stopped in there for lunch recently and it’s probably the best lunch I’ve had in that area for sure. There’s a $4 happy hour sangria special and their lamb sliders are incredible. The fries are maybe my favourite restaurant fries in the city, they’re so crispy and drizzled with this spicy aioli and they also have a chocolate-hazelnut dessert cake that is unbelievable. I know it sounds like I love everything everywhere, but I swear I don’t.
There is a place in NYC where you can rent out really nice digital cameras for 24 hours FOR FREE and no one knows about it (the only hiccup is that you need to have state-issued ID). Sony Square is a “public space committed to showcasing innovations in products, music, movies and gaming” - which essentially means that every few weeks they change up their aesthetic to showcase new Sony products, but the camera-rental service is an always-available option. Insanely cool thing to offer.
Found amazingly soft and comfortable leggings (cheap too!) at Aerie (thank you Marla!) that I will exclusively buy from now on. (No more trash Aritzia leggings that disintegrate every three months!) Bought some of their workout pants too that have pockets (!) that were incredibly soft, too.
I saw the movie Us and really liked it. Mostly because yeah, it’s a good movie. But also because IT’S AN ORIGINAL MOVIE. I’m so sick of remakes and superhero movies that I love it when movies like this get made. I know it’s classified as a horror movie, but it’s not really, in my opinion. Plus I love when you finish watching a movie and you want to come home immediately and research as much about it as possible. It’s good, go see it!
Harmeet and I went to Manhatta for lunch (because apparently I have a Danny Meyer obsession) and it exceeded all expectations. First of all, it’s not crazy expensive despite the fact that it’s in the fucking sky (60th floor). We got the mushroom soup, the scotch snails with pork sausage in garlic butter and the French onion burger and everything was amazing. Service was perfect. Views are insane. Perfect place to take someone who’s visiting, especially for lunch. Will definitely go back.
Lastly, I watched the Leaving Neverland documentary on HBO. I also watched all the episodes of Surviving R. Kelly. I watched both of these within a few days and I don’t recommend anyone viewing all of these things in such a short amount of time unless you want to cry endlessly and (irrationally? Or understandably?) loathe an entire gender for a few days. And look, if you know anything about me, you know what a huge fan I am of Michael Jackson. From his music to the connection of meeting Nathan, I’ve forever loved this man in the way that all of his fans love him. For years I would think (and sometimes, ugh, say) “I don’t know that man personally. I don’t want to know about his personal life. I can’t judge him if I don’t know him.” And I’d say these things as a way of deflecting from the fact that I didn’t want those beautiful songs tarnished in my mind, as dumb as that sounds. And in an extremely similar way, I acted the same with R. Kelly. I didn’t WANT to take “When A Woman Loves” off of my iPod for years because I didn’t want to believe someone who could sing so beautifully could be some kind of monster, which makes zero sense but seems like a rational thought to people who still don’t believe these victims. The way that we worship these artists/abusers, without actually knowing anything about them (or sometimes knowing complete details of their abuse), wanting them to continue to achieve success no matter what the cost, is so unhealthy and odd and is part of a larger culture that is already designed to idolize anyone with status or more money than us. I didn’t want to watch Neverland. I knew it’d be bad. I only took down my Woody Allen poster in my childhood bedroom last year (to be fair, I don’t live there, but this should’ve happened years ago). I rarely spoke up in favor of these men, but I did stay silent when they were discussed because that was easier to do and basically what most everyone else was doing and made it feel acceptable, which is awful. I feel horrible that it took this many years for victims to be believed and it makes me sick that I’m apart of the group of people who made it impossible for victims to be heard. As hard as these things were to watch, I think they’re wildly important to see.
This one part from Surviving R. Kelly sums up one of the problems so well.
Jesus, a lot happened in March. Excited for April! Some upcoming things that you can expect in next month’s post: I’m going to start taking collagen (I’ve heard it helps hair growth), a family trip to Niagara Falls, a Best of Astoria post & thoughts on the new Twilight Zone. Hello, April!
(If you have any interest in past monthly roundups, they can be found here: February 2019, January 2019, December 2018, November 2018, October 2018, September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018 & May 2018.)
CANNOT STOP PLAYING THIS, WHY OH WHY IS IT ONLY A MINUTE LONG.
Absolutely in love with this song from Waitress.
Yes, I’ve got Riverdale on the brain. Everyone knows this. This is was my phone screensaver for approximately 24 hours before I became too embarrassed and changed it back to Nathan & Baby Dog.
Anyway, the show’s been on my mind this week especially because yeah it returns tonight, but also? Are we all aware of how good the music in this show is? I’ve gotten so many songs from this series and didn’t really notice that until recently. Literally all of these songs (below) have been on repeat for months.
I mean, those are straight hits. So excited for the return tonight. Can you tell?
I think you can tell that I’m in my thirties because of how long it takes me to get on board with a song that everyone else on the planet already liked six months ago. SUCH A GOOD SONG!