Sunday, July 31, 2011

whine enthusiast

God help you if you're at a wine store and the sole sales person is unavailable because she's assisting a customer who says, "I just got into Spanish wine."

Then you will have to listen to what seems like an eternity about the different regions of Spain and the weather and grape and pinot noir tannin something acidity with sea salt. But I tried to be patient. After all, this sales person was just doing her job and I was sure that I'd receive the same attention.

So I waited.

And waited.

I took a photo of pretty pink wine bottles.



The customer finally picks a bottle of Txacoli, a Basque wine that is slightly fizzy with hints of sea salt and minerality (hey I learned something).

The sales woman asks if the customer would like a chilled bottle. What? No! Hurry up! So she walks all the way to the back to get her a new one. Damn, why must she offer such good customer service!

The customer mentions she's bringing this wine over to a friend who doesn't own wine glasses.  So she asks if they sell wine glasses.

I'm sorry, you just spent all this time buying wine for someone who doesn't even own wine glasses?! You could've bought a bottle of Chateau Diana and it would've been fine! That beautiful bottle of Txacoli is a a waste. Give it to me. Give it to me! GIVE ME THAT BOTTLE.

Don't you hate when you realize you're crazy.

Just when I think this transaction is finally over, the sales girl explains how the wine is poured. Omigod, are you kidding me?! At this point, I'm about to break a bottle of rioja over my head. But for those of you who want to know, you raise the bottle of txacoli really high and pour it into a tumblr. Fantastic. Now my turn! But noooo the customer wants to sign up for email notifications. Have you actually heard of a person who wants MORE emails?!

Finally the Spanish wine neophyte leaves. Yay, it's all about me! I ask the sales girl if she could recommend a good rosé.  She asks how I like my rosé and then brings back a bottle. But, wait, aren't you gonna tell me about Spanish rosé?  Don't I get a 20 minute lecture? I know you're tired from that previous customer but c'mon girl! So instead I ask if there are any Spanish regions known for their rosé.

She looked at me like I had four heads.

Was it a stupid question? I thought it was kinda like how Cote de Provence in France is known for their rosé? No? This is what happens when I try to sound smart. I'm never drinking wine again!

So I glumly hand over my money for the bottle of rosé whose region doesn't even matter.

Was it a disappointing experience? Yes. Would I go back? Sure. I think the experience was mostly marred by my own impatience and unwillingness to speak up.  Also, it was like 110 degrees outside. I'm blaming the heat for everything that doesn't go well. Salud! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

things i did to feel better and take control of my life

via

I had such a crappy day on Wednesday. I just felt like I had no control over my current state of affairs and didn't know what to do. I felt alone, depressed, and dramatic (which I'm so good at). I cried for like 30 minutes but then I knew I had to get into action mode. C'mon, JiJi, think. THINK. I caaaaan't. I'd cry.

So this is what I did.

I made a list of all the things I needed to do.

I made a list of all the people I could possibly reach out to.

I cried some more.

I looked at funny photos.

Source: etsy.com via jiji on Pinterest

I made a kick ass white bean dip using my friend Elissa's recipe (white beans, rosemary, chili powder) and ate a box of Newman's ginger cookies. Yumz.

I prayed.

I read wonderful emails and texts from amazing friends.

You really figure out who your true friends are in times of need. And what upsets me is that if the situation were reversed I know that I would've gone out of my way to help. Oh, well.

I did research. I swear, I think I read the entire internet. Twice.

And now I gotta keep going. I know it's gonna be a tough, frustrating process but that's life right? Also, that tortilla photo has nothing to do with this post but it looks soooo good. 

self defense with keys



I learned a really cool self defense move that I'm gonna teach you guys today. So I hope you muggers aren't reading this and learning all our tricks. Also, shouldn't you be mugging someone right now?

So what you wanna do is take your keys and put them between your fingers. See what I did in the photo? Try not to pay attention to my double chin.  Once you get your keys there, you're gonna go Wolverine style and take those keys and push them into the attacker's body and then twist.  Remember: push and twist.

I practiced getting my keys in between my fingers and it took like 15 minutes. I swear my Duane Reade card is gonna be the death of me.  So make sure you take out all extraneous charms. Another effective move is to just take one key and use it as a blade.

I hope that helped and that you will never have to be in a scary situation. Any other self defense tips are welcome. xo

Thursday, July 28, 2011

el bulli documentary




El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, the documentary on Ferran Adria and his renowned restaurant, opens in New York on Friday. I want to see it and smuggle in a bottle of cava! Judging from the trailer, it's going to be a lot of intense scenes revolving around foam. Will there be ravioli foam? Or an amuse bouche of salt and vinegar potato chip foam with free range honey?

The famous restaurant closes its doors on July 30th. We should all pour out some foam shaving cream to show respect. 

trip to maryland



Over Fourth of July weekend, Boo and I headed to Maryland and stayed with his lovely and amazing family.  This was like a mini vacation for us and we were excited to get out of the city and do active things like eat crabs.

So we took a Tripper bus down to Bethesda. Tripper bus is so bougie! (that's bourgeois for those of you who like their French economic terms spelled out.) The bus had leather seats, Wi-fi, and a bathroom that did not smell and I used twice! I definitely recommend Tripper bus for your mid Atlantic travel needs. My only complaint is that we stopped to change drivers and they didn't even let us out to use the rest stop. And we forgot to buy water before the trip so I spent the next five hours drinking my own saliva to quench my thirst. It was not quenched.

Finally, we arrived in Boo's hometown. We were so hungry and ate at this place called Mexican Taco or something authentic like that. For dinner, Boo's mom made this delicious fish stew that we greedily ate like we had never seen food before.

The next day we went to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay to go kayaking. I was a little nervous cus I had never kayaked before and worried that I would fall into the water. Luckily, the bay is really calm, like a bathtub. Boo and I shared the kayak and he said I was a natural! Except for the part when I kept swinging my paddle around and nearly knocked off his head.

Here's an important thing Boo taught me about kayaking: don't move your hands too much or you'll get blisters. I diligently followed his instructions. Unfortunately, Boo ended up getting a nasty blister!

To which I thought: the student surpasses the teacher...

After kayaking, we went out to the Crab Deck and had the most delicious, sweetest Maryland crabs. But before you get to the delicious meat, you have to figure out how to crack them. Boo said that I'd have to fend for myself but luckily his mom taught me how to pick the crabs.

Me and boo eating crabs.




Important tip on picking crabs: Don't clip your fingernails beforehand. You need them to help pull apart the shell. Also, you wanna clip them afterwards to get the crab and old bay smell off your fingers! Unfortunately, Boo had clipped his nails before crab eating.

Once again, the student surpasses the teacher...

I take crab eating very seriously!



Hi, Im JiJi's boyfriend, the luckiest man in the world



Other fun things we did on the trip:

-Great Falls 

-The most delicious pizza at Pines of Rome.

-Drinks with Nadia, an old friend from highschool

-Dinner date at Jaleo,  Jose Andres' famous tapas restaurant where we had patatas bravas, gambas, croquetas, and sangria. Oh, and they had this amazing olive oil infused with a rosemary sprig and garlic clove. It's the little touches that make olive oil go from pedestrian to balla!

-Fireworks at the National Mall

It was such a great and memorable trip. And I had so many first time experiences!  My first time kayaking, eating crabs, seeing water falls, and surviving a 5 hour bus ride without fluids.

Special thanks to Boo and his amazing family for having me and feeding me so well. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

overwhelmed



I woke up to some stressful news this morning. My immediate response was to hide under the covers and hope that the problem would immediately dissipate, but, alas, that doesn't even happen in the movies so why would it happen in real life. I suppose everything will work itself out in the end but I'm beginning to think I'm one of those people who can't have good things ever happen to them. Crap. That was depressing. Sorry! This blog is supposed to be about food and pretty clothes and rosé.  But sometimes real world stuff gets in the way.Anyway, I suppose the test of true character is not how you fall down but how you pick yourself back up. Cory Booker said that and I believe everything Cory Booker says.

Oh blog world, please send me good vibes today. I'm gonna need it. Do you have any de-stressing tips? What do you do when you're feeling overwhelmed? I seriously would love to know! xoxo

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

this is what i say to bad days



I think I'm coming down from the high of last night's show. Do you guys ever get depressed the day after a performance? It's like post partum depression but for comedy writers who see their baby sketch born on stage. Or maybe I'm just cranky from low blood sugar. Luckily I just ordered some thai food and plan on watching old episodes of The IT Crowd so things are looking up!

Ps My brilliant and talented friend Sabbie took this photo! 

breves de style


I read so many style blogs in the morning that my brain is now a storage for images of striped shirts, chevron table cloths, and pretty girls on bikes. And so why not add another one to the mix? I recently discovered Breves des Style, the blog for French label Comptoir des Cotonnier. So now I can at least learn some French while I look at pretty images.  For example, I learned that Un Look Festival means "A Festival Look". I'm a Jinius!

(And how cute is that girl in the above photo? What is it about the French that can pull off a look like that? If I wore that I'd look like a housekeeper.)

The first time I ever traveled to Paris, I visited the Comptoir des Cotonnieres store and bought a beautiful jacket. It was my first piece of French clothing and made me feel so important. I always made it a point to tell people where I got it. "Oh, this jacket? It's from Paris. You know, Paris FRANCE?"

Anyway, a year ago, I think my showing off resulted in some bad karma cus  I was at this bar in Greenpoint and someone stole my beloved jacket. Damn you hipster girl for having good taste!

While I can't get my jacket back or go to Paris anytime soon, I can read Breves de Style and wallow in the sad fact that I'm not in Paris right now. Quelle depressing! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

hitachino

Source: ffffound.com via jiji on Pinterest


Have you guys ever had Hitachino Nest beer? It's a Japanese beer that's really refreshing and perfect for summer. And the owl designs are so adorable.  I kinda wanna take all the labels and turn them into wallpaper but then I'd have to drink a lot of Hitachino beer and give people a bad impression of me.  Or maybe that would make me seem more AWESOME?

Alternatively, I could get this equally cute poster so I won't have to become a vessel for Hitachino.



date night movie: charade


Mariposas! How was your weekend? If you live in nyc, then I hope you survived the heatpocalypse.  It was so hot in New York that the internet melted! HaHa. Yes, there's more where that came from.

To escape the heat, boo and I stayed at my place, blasted the AC (sorry, planet) and streamed movies on Netflix.  After dismissing my initial request to watch Julie & Julia (how rude), Boo agreed on Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

My dad actually introduced me to this movie when I was a kid and I just loved it back then. The movie still holds up with its witty dialogue, suspense, and twists and turns.  It's even known as the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made. 

Afterwards, we watched Dial M for Murder, which is an actual Hitchcock movie and kinda boring. Sorry, film nerds! Anyway, now I wanna catch up on more of these iconic movies. Any recs? 

Ps Our first date night movie was Blue Valentine. AWKwaaaard.


Friday, July 22, 2011

babies' favorite toy

I've been babysitting a lot for my friends recently and I noticed the one toy babies love playing with is not blocks or Dora the Explorer dolls but YOUR CELLPHONE.

They just love to see the screen light up and punch all the buttons while you sit and pray they don't accidentally dial the number to an ex boyfriend. That would be a fun conversation, "Oh, hey, sorry, that was just my baby. Well, not my real baby. I'm not pregnant. Oh, you have a kid? That's great. You ruined my life!"

I had one friend's daughter punch the screen to my blackberry as if it were an i-phone and when nothing happened she looked at me with such utter disdain, as if to say, "Your phone is so plebeian.

And then one baby loved banging my cellphone on the table so I had to replace it with a remote control and he started talking into it like a high powered baby.



"Yes, Nancy, I'm gonna need you to cancel all my nap times. I have plans to run around the apartment and open all the cabinets."

So if your friend is expecting a little one and you're deciding what to get her, you should look on Craigslist for an old i-phone.

the world has turned and left me beer



This is the most beautiful thing on the internet.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

missing miami

I grew up in Miami (305 till I die!) and my parents and brothers are still there. I haven't had a chance to visit them this summer and even though they drive me up the wazoo, I miss them and Miami terribly.

Here are some things I miss about Miami.

Pastelitos:



Flaky pastries filled with guava and cheese. You can also get ones with meat. When I was in highschool, I would get a pastelito and a cafe con leche for breakfast. Sigh, those were the days when I could eat cheese pastries with impunity.

The Everglades

I know people like to knock Miami for being cheesy and superficial, but I love that the city has so many parts to it.  The night life. Food. Nature. You could go to a club on South Beach one day and then the Everglades the next. I don't know anyone who actually does that but you could.

And you see real life gators. This is a gator we saw on our last trip to the Everglades. Don't worry, gator, I'm not picturing you as a pretty new hand bag (I totes am).




Look at all this nature!



Are you soaking up all the nature?!?!



NATURE!!!!



Knaus Berry Farm

This fruit stand/bakery is operated by a family of Dunkers (German baptists) and located in the Redlands which means it's waaaaay South in the boondocks. My family kinda lives near there.



They're famous for their cinnamon buns. Mmmmm.



And funny cucumbers.



Pollo Tropical

I know you can get really good Cuban food in Miami but one of my fave Cuban places is Pollo Tropical. This is just the best fast food place ever. You get grilled chicken, rice and beans, and the most delicious plantains for like $5. Muy bien!

Mi familia

I just felt very J-lo when I wrote that. Anyway, here's my mom and lil' bro!

Miami hip hop


Trick Daddy taught Miami how to be a thug.


So you can see why I miss Miami. I may be a New Yorker now but I'll always be a Miami gurl at heart. I just got too much attitude! 

hillinger sparkling rosé

via

For  the regular readers out there, you'll know that I have an undying love for rosé. If you cut me open right now I would bleed pink. And if there's anything I love more than rosé it's sparkling rosaaaaay. Heeeey!

I tried Hillinger sparkling rosé a year ago at Ost Cafe in the East Village and I STILL think about it. It's an Austrian wine. Dry. Acidic. And just plain refreshing. It's the kind of drink we should all be imbibing in this sultry weather. The kind of drink that makes you forget about your problems. The kind of drink that makes you love your life.

Yeah, a pink drink can do all that.

Trader Joe's used to carry Hillinger, but just like those fleeting, carbonated bubbles, it was gone. So if you see it around, buy it! And then invite me over :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

lil' pimp




I kinda want all my friends to start having babies just so I can buy them this card!

You can buy them here.

the weekend in bites and pieces

I know it's Wednesday and I am now just getting around to posting about the weekend. Luckily I'm the writer and editor in chief of this blog so I can set my own deadlines. Which don't exist at the moment.

Soooo here's a quick recap of le weekend!

Friday



My boo and I went to Flushing for some Korean food. Here's the thing about Korean food in Flushing: it's kinda like getting Korean food in Manhattan. I know I'll probably get a lot of flack for saying that, but I've eaten at a handful of Flushing Korean restos and they don't seem all that different from the ones on 32nd street and why trek all the way to Queens for the same food? I'm lazy! However, one discerning factor is the price. Our dinner came out to 30 bucks per person including drinks and tip. So forget what I said about Flushing. Go to Flushing!

Then we went to a karaoke bar and I sang Mariah Carey's Fantasy while everyone else looked at the karaoke song books.

Saturday

Went to my friend's place in Brooklyn and had clams and rosaaaay. It was the best meal ever. Oh, and I learned a trick on how to really clean out the grit and sand from clams. Just submerge the clams in cold water and add corn meal. While the clams eat the corn meal, they'll expel some of the sand. Also, it's nice to know the clams get a good meal before being eaten by us humans.

Sunday



I met up with some friends at Prospect Park and got lunch from the Food Truck Rally. Where did New Yorkers eat before food trucks? Did we all just walk around aimlessly looking for lobster rolls? Anyway, I ended up getting a shrimp roll because lobster rolls were $16 and for that price I feel like I should be sitting at a table with linens.

Later that night, Boo came over and we watched Working Girl. I love that movie because it makes you feel like you can achieve anything in life as long as you have the balls to pretend you're a high powered executive and borrow all your boss's clothes without her knowing. Also, how hot is Harrison Ford in that movie?

best place to cry in nyc

via


I'm a big crier. I cry at commercials, facebook status updates, movies. I cried so much during Toy Story 3 you'd think I was watching Schindlers List or something. I also have the bad habit of crying in public. And that's really hard to do in nyc because you end up being THAT GIRL crying on the subway or in the middle of the street. 

A couple of years ago, I was having a really hard time and I'd flee to my work bathroom just to cry. I eventually had to find a new crying spot because I didn't want my co-workers to think I was dropping deuces all the time.

So one day I was walking around Midtown and found this cute, secluded garden with trees, a goldfish pond, benches and a statue of the Virgin Mary. I think. It was some religious figure. Sorry!

It was a garden that belonged to this Church. And there was a sign encouraging people to stay and use the garden for solace and meditation. And I stayed. I remember praying and just asking for some sign that everything was going to be okay. And at that exact moment--I swear this really happened!!!--a gust of wind blew in my direction and the wind chimes in the garden started rustling. I took that as my sign. Also, when you're desperate for any sign from the universe, you'll take what you can get!

So if you ever feel like you need to walk away from work or just be alone, you should check out the garden. You may even see me there! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

style inspiration: susan cernek


I never know what to wear in the dog days of summer. I'd like to look chic and put together but it's hard to do that when your inner thighs are chafing. Seriously, do I need to put some baby powder up in there?!

Anyway, I assembled my ideal chic summer outfit on Polyvore (a site I'm obsessed with cus it satisfies my shopping urges without having to spend money. It's kinda like what skinny cow icecream is for dieters. Except not really.)

This outfit is inspired by my style crush, Susan Cernek. She's the fashion editor at Glamour and always pulls together feminine yet tailored outfits. Also, she always looks great cus she's tall, skinny, and gorgeous. Maybe I should find more attainable style crushes but then they wouldn't be crushes, ya know? Kinda like my obsession with Zac Efron.

Susan Cernek tends to go for classic pieces with a twist. It's almost like a French sensibility except she's not afraid of color. Or smiling. So I looked for items that were modern takes on classics like the sleeveless trench coat. It's cute for summer and you can use it as a layering piece in the fall. I just love 2 for 1! Especially if caipirinhas are involved!




Susan Cernek

Monday, July 18, 2011

stylish AND functional


Stylish and functional usually seem incongruous (unless you're talking about Le Creuset pots--they make any kitchen look like a set piece from Julie & Julia).  But this USB locket is PERFECT for the stylish writer on the go. You just store your flash drive and boom, you can start saving files to your heart's content.  However, at $170 I may need to wait until I can splurge on this little trinket... ooooor just not eat for a few days. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

hostess gifts


My friend Jolly is the best at thinking of good gift ideas. So when boo and I were going down to Maryland to visit his parents over Fourth of July weekend, I consulted her for a thoughtful and affordable hostess gift.

One of her suggestions was buying a bottle of St. Germain and a bottle of sparkling wine to make refreshing fourth of July cocktails. And her second suggestion, which is the one we went with, was to bring a little New York breakfast to Maryland. So we bought a dozen bagels from David's bagels and a bag of coffee from Joe's the Art of Coffee. They were a hit! Also, the Joe's coffee was a good choice because the SNL character Stefon is based on an employee who used to work there and it made for a cute story.

Oh, and we also showed our gratitude by making breakfast for his parents on one of the days. We made pear pancakes and red pepper hash. And be "we", I mean boo chopped all the vegetables and flipped the pancakes while I drank delicious Joe's coffee with his parents.

I was also looking for cute thank you cards because a lady should always send notes of gratitude to their hosts. (Sorry to all the people I've neglected to thank in the past. I'm thanking you in my mind right now if that means anything.)

Here are some cute ones I found online. I also think they'd be easy to recreate on your own. I love me a good crafting project! Especially if it's easy and doesn't involve sewing.


i'm pretty sure this is a wedding thank you card. whatevs!

because i love mariposas

i hate starbucks but i love good puns!

photos via pinterest

new team maude 7.25


I wrote for this! And if this poster's any indication, this show is gonna be ridiculous! 

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
26th street/8th avenue

Reserve tickets here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

governor's island



On Saturday, my boo and I headed to Governor's Island. I had never been before and didn't know much about it except that it's the location of the Great Gatsby parties and that you get there by taking a FREE ferry. And since free is my favorite four letter word after rosé, I was all about Governor's Island!

We made a quick stop at Garden of Eden in Union Square to pick up food for a little picnic. I love Garden of Eden because they offer lots of free samples. It's like going to someone's house and snacking on chips and salsa except you're at a fancy grocery store and they expect you to buy something. 

Moving on...

We took the ferry from South Street Seaport. The ferry leaves every half hour and only takes like 5 minutes. Did I mention that it's FREE?! Why had I never done this before?

When we arrived in Governor's Island we found a nice, shady spot under a tree and munched on turkey sandwiches and sea salt potato chips and our favorite beverage, spicy water ( a fancy way of saying seltzer water). Spicy water is soooo refreshing in the summertime. I'd rather drink it over soda or beer. Seriously!

We strolled around the island and took touristy photos. 




Governor's Island is also great for people watching. There was an Asian kid who was horrible at riding his bike and crashed into a fence (gee, kid, don't become an Asian stereotype and suck at driving too) and a cute, chubby little Asian girl throwing stones.  I also some kids playing frisbee and I was a little nervous because I have a bad history with kids and frisbees. One time a kid accidentally threw a frisbee at my face and I started crying.  I was 22. 

The kid's mom felt so bad that she gave me her box of chocolate cookies. I know I was a baby for crying but I'm telling you that 8 year old threw faster and harder than Cal Ripken. (he's a pitcher, right?)

After we walked around, we each got icecream and then took a short nap on the grass. Because the consumption of sweets totally merits a nap.

Finally, we took the ferry back to Manhattan. It was the perfect day! And we ended it by watching Jewel of the Nile on Netflix which is the most horrible movie ever but I guess that's what happens when you and your significant other try to find a meeting point between action adventure (him) and romance (me).

So that was Governor's Island! I think we're gonna travel to Ellis Island and Liberty Island next. I love all this island hopping! HaHa. That's the third time I've made that joke in two days and I don't care! 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

le weekend



Hola Mariposas!

I'm back in nyc after a lovely Fourth of July weekend in Maryland where I kayaked and ate Maryland blue crabs for the first time! (Post to come soon)

What are your plans for this weekend? Boo and I are gonna head to Governor's Island, a former military space that is now a public park with outdoor art exhibits and performances. We're gonna rent bikes and read comic books (boo) and trashy summer novels (me). I've never been before and I'm so excited!!! You can tell I'm excited by my exploitation of exclamation points!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

cherry blossoms



This is on old photo of me and boo going to the cherry blossom festival in DC. How pretty are those flowers! Also, I'm a midget!
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