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...


Spring List Revisited

by Liz Heather in


This is how I feel when spring is over.

whoa.gif

How is it already over?! It always feels like the shortest season. Did I make the most of it? LET'S SEE. Here's what I actually did off of my spring list.

1. Jog outdoors - Okay, look. I really wanted to do this one but it didn't get done. One day.

2. Go to a baseball game - Nope! Hopefully this'll still happen. I'm thinking September, probably.

3. Plan a spring break vacation - Did it! I went to Las Vegas with Jenn and then did a tiny trip to Atlantic City with Nathan. Come to think of it, I didn't even do a Vegas post, I'll try to get on that.

best day

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family vacation 🌊🐾

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4. Bake a decadent spring cake - Oh yes. I attempted this Fresh Strawberry Cake and it actually came out pretty well for my Dad's birthday party.

Laminating labels is a sickness & I'm sorry

5. See A Quiet Place - Saw it! I liked it for the most part even though some scenes were frustrating (why didn't they just give birth to that baby by the waterfall?!), but it was a fun time. And thankfully we went to see it for free because of the magic that is Gofobo (that I mentioned in a post last month).

6. Spring clean each room in the house - I really intended on doing this one, but we didn't get around to it. Maybe I'd care more about this one if we weren't just renting? In any case, that's the lie I'll tell myself. I mean, I do mop maybe once a year, that's something.

7. Take Baby Dog to Boris & Horton - Oh yeah! Totally went. Great place! The coffee was good and new dogs came in every so often and BD actually kind of seemed to like it, if nervously so.

8. Help plant something - Damnit, I really wanted to do this one and forgot.

9. Buy a new swimsuit - I tried on so many and found nothing I liked. But this one is kind of a personal win because I'm trying to only purchase clothing that I love these days, so I'm taking a half point for really trying. 

10. Take a bike ride - Again, totally forgot. Whoops.

So the final total is 4.5/10, which I'm very comfortable with. Maybe only because I feel like I did so many new things in May that I'm okay with this terrible score. 

Onto the most dreaded season! 


May Musings

by Liz Heather in , , , , ,


So this is the first post in what I hope to be a new series of posts that I’m going to try to do. (Have I said that before? About other things? Oh god, maybe I have. I have a tendency to start something enthusiastically and then immediately forget about it and sometimes even forget it ever even existed?) I will really try to not let that happen here.

ANYWAY, what I’d like to do here is talk about the new things I’ve done this month. In the old days, I’d devote whole posts to individual things that I’ve loved or hated, but honestly, some times a few sentences could suffice. So here are some of the things that I’ve encountered in the month of May.

  • I dry cleaned my winter coat and packed it away for the season. Do you do this when winter's over? You should. 
  • I really don’t go to the movies a lot anymore and I miss not going. I used to go constantly when I was younger, but the real fun of that was because I was going with my brother Robbie. There were a solid fews years in the early 00’s where we’d see everything that was playing in any given theatre. Just for the sake of seeing a movie. I mean, we had a lot of free time then so it just made sense. I go so rarely now that I really need to want to see a movie to get me into a theatre now. Thus, seeing RBG was an active decision, and a great one at that. I knew nothing of the woman before seeing it, and the trailer made it look great, so of course it was. If you’re a fan of women at all, you should see it.
  • I ate the banana bread with espresso mascarpone at Two Hands in Soho. And whoa. Here it is.

Banana Bread with Espresso Mascarpone from Two Hands

  • I ate the fried chicken at Blue Ribbon Chicken. I know so little about good fried chicken, but this was pretty incredible. Maybe a smidge more expensive than I thought it should be, but a kid’s meal was a decently priced & sized pre-meal.
  • I attempted to read Jenny Lawson’s Let's Pretend This Never Happened and I really didn't care for it. I lasted about ten pages then gave up. I’m probably being too harsh here, but I found her tone… irritating. Also, not to boast or anything, but I’m a tiny bit proud of being able to put a book down and inwardly say, “No, thanks.”
  • I tried Farsali's Jelly Beam Highlighter. I'd never heard of the brand, but they have a tiny section at Sephora that has, like, three items. No idea why. Especially because the highlighter itself is pretty incredible. I bought it solely because of the fact that it was a “jelly” (meaning that it jiggles) highlighter because I’m simple and that sounded fun. I think it looks especially amazing on collarbones.
  • Nathan and I ate at Rosemary’s in the west village on my monthly Nathan-must-date-me night. He got the roast chicken and I got a kale and celery caesar salad. His chicken was insanely good and my salad just reminded me why celery should never be a main ingredient. It’s not its fault, it doesn’t know any better, but humans should know enough to understand that chomping on celery in any form sucks. Restaurant was beautiful and if I ordered better, I’d have more glowing things to say. My fault.
  • I went for dinner at L’Artusi with a friend and had probably one of the top five best meals I've ever had in this city. We did wait awhile for a table, but we didn't have a reservation and it was a Saturday night so duh. We ordered one of the specials as an appetizer (the steak tartare) which was incredible then followed it with the insane garganelli with mushroom ragu that I will remember for the rest of my life. They also sent out a kale ravioli that was mind-blowing. And I'm not typically inclined to call kale-ANYthing "mind-blowing," so understand me clearly here. These pastas will change you. I can't wait to take more people here. The service was incredible. I really can't say enough good things about this place. Go nowhere else for pasta.
  • I finally went to the Birch Coffee near my house and I'll keep this brief. A small iced coffee shouldn't cost $4 in 2018. A coffee shop should have a bathroom. A coffee shop that is "wifi free" shouldn't boast about that fact. Any business that is "cashless" is obnoxious and nobody likes you. The coffee tasted all right. That is all.
  • I got the banana-chocolate pudding at Magnolia Bakery. Remember how much I already love the original banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery? Yeah, this one is better. It just is. Of course it is. Adding chocolate to something that was already perfect just makes sense. Give the people what they want.
  • Tried some of the burger and the chicken sandwich at The Spotted Pig and MEH. I mean, yeah, they were good, but they’re ungodly expensive for what’s being put on your plate. And those skinny little fries that are piled up like a mountaintop? Deceiving. They tasted like air! They look like they're gonna be amazing, but you're left with a feeling of emptiness inside. Emptiness and hunger. A fry should taste like a fry. Basic physics here, guys. The main reason we went was because it was after midnight and for some reason their kitchen stays open late (possibly only to swindle you with $26 burgers when nothing else in the area is an option?)
  • Got an advance screening pass to the movie Gotti. I went. I lasted 25 minutes and then left. Good god, DID IT BLOW. But of course it did. Why didn’t I know that going in? Well, I kinda did but it was free. Wow, was it terrible, though. Comes out next month on the 15th. Don't go.
  • Last month I heard about Gofobo, which is a site that arranges free movie screenings near you and emails you to see if you want to go, it's amazing. I heard about it right before Nathan and I saw A Quiet Place last month (for free), so I just stayed on their mailing list. Unfortunately they also sent me my Gotti tickets, but I won't hold that against them since I'm the idiot who said, "Gotti? Sure, that seems fun!"
  • Tried the Ginger Scallion Noodles (with pickled shiitakes, cucumber, nori) at Momofuku Noodle Bar. I’ve been here only once before, years ago, and I really just was in a noodle mood so I came again. It wasn’t terrible, but again, I think I ordered bad. I really wanted the Chilled Spicy Noodles (with sichuan sausage, Thai basil, cashews) but I was dissuaded by my waiter because he said it was overly spicy and then made a face. But then I got a look at it when someone else ordered it and knew I should’ve gotten it because it looked amazing, so I’ll get it next time and then tell you if it’s too spicy. Also, the Soju Slushie that is Spicy Lychee flavored was crazy good. Although that makes sense to me because when I went here years ago, their Singapore Sling slushie was also pretty memorable. 
  • I went in looking for the s'mores pie slice that I've wanted to try for ages, but instead found the salted caramel brownie from Dean & DeLuca. And wow. Just wow.
  • I finished watching Ugly Delicious on Netflix. I really can’t remember why I put this off for so long, considering how much I like well-shot food shows. For the most part, I thought it was all right, I wrote down a few food recommendations from it (like Lucali in Brooklyn). There were a few parts that made me not really like David Chang, though. They were such small parts, but I don’t know, they stayed with me. Like how during this one segment where he’s doing pizza deliveries alongside a real Dominoes delivery person, they’re going to a bunch of houses and then at the end David goes, “Are we done? Yeah, I’m not doing another fucking delivery.” I don't know, I'm probably reading too much into it, but I just hated the way he said that right infront of the grown man delivery guy. It was rude and belittling and I really didn't like it. As I said, I'm probably reading too much into it, but it bothered me. Other than that souring part, it was an all right series to watch. There were lame parts sprinkled here and there. I feel like I progressively liked it less as each episode went on and I don’t really know why. You know what the problem is? I think he just thinks he’s really cool and funny and doesn’t have a real sense of self and if he were a little more humble or warm as a person, it could’ve helped the overall tone of the series. 
  • I also started watching Bill Hader's Barry on HBO because my brother Gary told me to. I'm only three episodes in and it's pretty good I guess? I mean, it is. I just haven't decided if I'll watch on or not.
  • Nathan and I have started watching The Twilight Zone (on Netflix) and it's one of the best shows I've seen in such a long time. Obviously not every episode is a great one, but the ones that are? Watch out. We've seen about 40 episodes or so already and there have been at least 20 really great ones, and we're only a quarter of the way through the series. Love watching these at night before bed. This was the final quote from a recent episode we watched that I just loved, "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices - to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own - for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone." I mean, that's pretty good, yeah?! Love Rod Serling's voice so much, too. Such a great show. I wish I'd seen it when I was a kid.

Writing all of this down makes it seem like I have a great life, when in reality... oh my god I do. Excited for June!

babydip.JPG

Winter List Revisited

by Liz Heather in


I'm always shocked when winter ends. Everyone complains about it so much that I think it'll never end because we all can't shut up about it, but here we are! Here's how my many things I actually did off of my winter list from December.

1. Drink a white Russian.

  • Didn't do it. Damnit! Every time I'd try to get myself psyched up to do it, I'd remember, "Ugh. All that cream, who needs it." Maybe some day!

2. Play board games with the family at Christmas.

  • Did it! And it was great.

3. Finally eat at Raclette in NYC.

  • Didn't do it. Excuse? You really need someone who's equally passionate about cheese to go to this place with.

4. Visit the new Oscar Wilde inspired bar.

  • Yikes, didn't do this one either. What's wrong with me? I need to make more attainable goals. And if you're sitting there thinking, "Jesus Liz, if one of your "goals" is to go to a fucking bar and you can't even do that, YIKES. Ya suck!" then, well, kindly please leave. 

5. Build a snowman.

  • Okay, so I didn't do this but I did witness it being done. I'm taking a half point.

6. Finally try whipped cream vodka in a hot chocolate.

  • Did it! It was just okay.

7. Successfully make a souffle for the first time.

  • Totally did it! With Marla! And it was magical as hell! Maybe the most impressive dessert I've ever made. It tasted as though a cake had a baby with a mousse and out came a souffle - and I'm not sure if that's what it was supposed to taste like, but it was pretty good to me. I also made a creme caramel for the first time, so maybe I should have more food based goals. 

8. Take at least five bubble baths.

  • Yes! I think I may have even taken six, so suck on that! (Why is this attitude happening? Not sure.)

9. Literally just sit and watch the snow fall.

  • Yes, of course. These are the types of activities that need to make appearances on all my lists, the easy ones that require little to no effort and give me an abnormal amount of pleasure.

10. Mail out holiday cards.

  • You bet your ass.

6.5 out of 10, whoa! That's better than I thought I'd do. Look at that! Spring list coming tomorrow!


2017 Resolutions Revisited

by Liz Heather in


  1. Read at least one book per season. - I did it! Winter (a re-read, but still), Spring, Summer & Autumn
  2. Go to the gym or do pilates at least ten times a month.
    • January - 6 times
    • February - 1 time
    • March - 5 times
    • April - 6 times
    • May - 9 times
    • June - 9 times
    • July - 8 times
    • August - 0 times
    • September - 6 times
    • October - 7 times
    • November - 4 times
    • December - 1 time
    • Yeeeeikes, well that didn't go well. But that means that I went to the gym 17% of the days this year, and while that's better than last year (in 2016 it was 14.5%) it's still not as good as in 2015 when I went 23.5% and in 2014 I went 37%. Welp, this year can always be better.
  3. Juice at least five times a month.
    • January - 9 times
    • February - 2 times
    • March - 6 times
    • April - 3 times
    • May - 0 times
    • June - 0 times
    • July - 3 times
    • August - 3 times
    • September - 3 times
    • October - 1 time
    • November - 0 times
    • December - 7 times
    • Okay so 3/12 months I actually made my goal. Gotta try way harder this year.
  4. Get at least three haircuts this year.
    • Hahah, only one haircut in January. SHIT.
  5. At least once a month, go to a fancy restaurant that you've never been to before.
    • January: Gotham Bar & Grill (two of the best things I've ever eaten were consumed here. The mushroom risotto with trumpet royals, shiitake, baby arugula, pancetta, aged sherry and gruyere cheese as well as the Gotham Burger with plymouth tomme cheddar, vermont bacon, herb aioli and kennebec french fries) & Giorgio’s of Gramercy (the Alex Friar Soup and Chilean Sea Bass were equally heavenly)
    • February: Nick & Stef's (decent) as well as Cagney's (slightly better than decent)
    • March: Gusto 101 (not entirely memorable, but a good meal), Augustine at The Beekman (ridiculously good) & CUT (extremely underwhelming, this was probably the let down restaurant of the year)
    • April: Il Corvo (crazy good pasta) and Canlis (one of the best salads of life)
    • May: None!
    • June:  Blue Ribbon (the onion soup at their location on Downing Street was way better than this reincarnation)
    • July: None!
    • August: Fusco (the happy hour pasta that changes weekly is the main draw here), Il Buco (Finally! As good as I hoped), Employees Only (HARD PASS) & Keens (crazy good, must go back for dinner)
    • September: Michael's Back Door (honestly, not as good as everyone tells you)
    • October: AG (very lovely)
    • November: None!
    • December: Enoteca Adriano (such good specials!)
    • There were only three months when I didn't do this! I will forever love this resolution and continue to do it each year.
  6. Make one Chrissy Teigen recipe (from Cravings) each month.
    • COMPLETELY didn't do this. It's as if my eyes were blind to this being on the list.
  7. Take Baby Dog on at least one dog date each month.
    • She had about seven dog dates this year, but I'm gonna tweak this resolution to better suit her for the upcoming year.
  8. Try at least one new hairstyle every month. (God, these are low/sad expectations, BUT THEY MINE.)
    • Hahahah, not even kinda close to doing this one. God, 31 year old me was sad sometimes.
  9. Properly go on a date Nathan at least once a month. 
    • The only months we didn't do anything were April, May & June, which is kind of amazing that we did it for the remaining months! Definitely keeping this one on the list.
  10. Finally go to Staten Island for pizza. See what the big deal is.
    • Still didn't go. Still don't know what the big deal is.

2018 resolution list coming soon!


Winter List

by Liz Heather in


I love this season. That video above is one my mom took of our backyard last week and words can't express how happy I am that it's already started to snow in Canada. There's nothing lamer than a green Christmas. In any case, there are bunch of things I want to do this season.

  1. Drink a white Russian.
  2. Play board games with the family at Christmas.
  3. Finally eat at Raclette in NYC.
  4. Visit the new Oscar Wilde inspired bar.
  5. Build a snowman.
  6. Finally try whipped cream vodka in a hot chocolate.
  7. Successfully make a souffle for the first time.
  8. Take at least five bubble baths.
  9. Literally just sit and watch the snow fall.
  10. Mail out holiday cards.

There's nothing too wild or unique on that list, I realize, but I wanted some simple and easy things that I can fully enjoy since I'm fully in Christmas mode at the moment. Happy first day of winter!


Autumn List Revisited

by Liz Heather in


Holy hell, it's the last day of autumn. And while it was a really great season for me this year, I really didn't get to a lot of this list. Excuses ahead!

1. "Go on our annual pumpkin patch trip to Downey's." Of course, I went! If I find myself one year not having enough time to go and do this, please know that I've silently given up on life.


2. "Wear black lipstick in public for an entire day." Did it! 

13 more days 🎃 #katvond #witches

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3. "Make turkey poutine with Thanksgiving leftovers." Completely didn't do this only because I was really over turkey right after Thanksgiving, I just couldn't look at it anymore.
4. "Make cinnamon sugar toasted pumpkin seeds and actually eat them." Nope. And I think I have come to the conclusion that I really don't care to do this. Fuck those seeds!
5. "Read outdoors." Did it, killed it.
6. "Jog before sunrise." Damnit, this is one I really wanted to do. I will do this eventually.
7. "Eat spaghetti squash for the first time and try not to be grossed out." Was too grossed out to try. Shame on me.
8. "Scare someone. If it goes well, scare others." I did it once and I wasn't good at it. Turns out I'm better at being scared. Sweet.
9. "See at least five Halloween movies I haven't seen before." Did it! I watched An American Werewolf in London (pretty good), Young Frankenstein (sucked!), The Thing (not my kind of movie), House on Haunted Hill (actually not that bad), Halloweentown (great!), Get Out (so great!)
10. "Create a fall door wreath." Hahahah, who the hell do I think I am.

All in all, I did 5/10. I passed! Winter list coming tomorrow!