August 2018: Margaritas, Family Relationships and More

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With August 2018 coming to a close, and Labor Day weekend upon us, I thought I would go over all my favorite things from the month of August.

This month brought a lot of humid, cloudy days. It’s hard to believe that the official end of summer is just about here. I wish I had exciting travel plans for the weekend, but I will be in the city. Sometimes, big holidays and long weekends are the best time to be here. Streets and parks tend to be less crowded and there is a peaceful feeling all around.

Blog Posts in August 2018

Most Popular Instagram Post in August 2018

I’ve been really quiet on Instagram this month. This was the most popular photo with 70 likes.

Perfect sunsets, perfect skies. What are you grateful for today?

A post shared by Road Twenty (@roadtwenty) on


Perfect sunsets, perfect skies. What are you grateful for today?

Books Read in August 2018

It was a really light reading month, but I’ve picked up the habit more in the last week. I probably have 10 books that I’ve started and am halfway through.

I’ve tried to make a goal of just sticking with one and finishing it.

  • This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel: This was a book that I have been reading for months and I finally was able to pick it up and finish it. It’s a story about family, secrets and the meaning of gender. It is beautifully written. I don’t think I could do it justice in trying to describe it, so you should just pick up a copy and read it yourself. ­čÖé
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: The Kiss Quotient blew me away. It was way more than I expected in a romance novel. This book could even be described as a romantic comedy which I think is really impressive since it is hard to write humor. It is about a woman with Asperger’s who hires an escort so she can learn how to be intimate with someone. A twist on Pretty Woman, which I just watched last weekend and can now say is one of my favorite romantic comedies.
  • When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri: So, this is kinda cheating since I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m really hooked. I’m planning on finishing tonight and that will still count as August. I love that the book takes place in New York City. The characters are captivating and the writing is super conversational. It reads like you’re having a conversation with your best friend.

Favorite Podcast Episode Listened to This Month

INTERNET OUTRAGE PART 2: MILLENNIAL MONEY

So I came across this podcast through a newsletter from The Luxe Strategist. It’s from July but I still think it’s relevant and really interesting to listen to.

It goes into transparency around money, the implications and outrage from a Money Diaries on Refinery29 and talking money with friends. I like how it goes into personal finance and culture. The hosts also discuss what it is like to be freelance and how that affects finances and lifestyle.

It links to a really interesting piece in The New Yorker which covers the idea of “self-made” and the changing environment around money and the word billionaire right now.

Favorite Restaurant in August 2018

Hands down, would have to be Tavern on the Green.

They were one of the restaurants featured during New York Restaurant Week and hard to pass up since it is a classic and iconic place. Being located within Central Park only makes it even more unique and special.

It only just reopened in the past few years and was definitely on my New York Bucket List.

The restaurant itself felt enormous. I had no idea that it was so big, it felt like it just kept going and going and going.

It felt very fancy, especially with a doorman in a top hat who actually opens the door for you. That is his only job and he was there when I entered and when I exited just to open the door.

I also noticed the massive fireplace Tavern on the Green had in the front room/bar which made me excited for winter to cozy up in a bar with a fireplace. I’m glad I was able to dine here during summer though since we were sat on the patio. It thankfully didn’t rain the night we went and it felt extra magical with the lights strung up on the patio.

Since I opted into the Restaurant Week menu, I had a few select choices to make from the prix-fixe menu. For the starter, I had the Vichyssoise which is a potato and leek soup, served cold. As the entree, I had the salmon over a bed of corn and bacon and the strawberry shortcake for dessert.

August 2018 Strawberry Shortcake
The Delicious Strawberry Shortcake for Dessert

Everything was really delicious, as expected and I would love to go back some day.

Favorite Bar in August 2018

The Aviary at the top of the Mandarin Oriental.

I went here after dining at Tavern on the Green and it reminded me of how much I love the Upper West Side. This is a very experimental and formal cocktail bar. There is a lot going on here, it feels like you are part of a science experiment.

Even if you order a drink that you think is a classic, you will probably be surprised. I got one of the cocktails near the top of their menu which was more fruit forward.

Be warned, these cocktails will cost you a pretty penny, even for New York City Standards, like $30/drink pricey.

Best Thing I Cooked in August 2018

August 2018 best cooked

 

Instant Pot Bucatini Amatriciana by Jeffrey at Pressure Luck!

I am so excited about this one! I love all types of cooking shows and with the new addition in my kitchen of the Instant Pot, I was looking for a show that highlighted recipes made with it.

This is how I stumbled upon the Pressure Luck Youtube channel. And the video of the┬áInstant Pot Bucatini Amatriciana was the first one I saw. Then, I grabbed the couple ingredients I didn’t have and made it an hour later.

It was really easy to make and the directions were really easy to follow. I think this is important because learning how to cook with the Instant Pot can have a slight learning curve to it, but the recipes at Pressure Luck account for this and really try to help guide you through everything.

The only thing that I changed was the pancetta because I couldn’t find any pre-packaged in the store. But, the deli had it fresh so I just diced it and cooked it like in the recipe.

This is what raw pancetta looks like. I didn’t know that until I made this recipe.

It was so good, I couldn’t help but eat a few pieces after they had crisped up and were hot off the Instant Pot.

Hot, crispy pancetta is so good. I just couldn’t resist.

The one mistake I made though was submerging and stirring all the noodles into the Instant Pot. This lead to it giving a Burning Notice which I had never seen before. Scraping the noodles off the bottom and restarting seemed to take care of it though.

Everything else, I followed down to a T. Even going so far as getting the same brand of bouillon used in the recipe. ­čÖé

This was the finished result.

It tasted delicious and was just as good a few hours later and even for lunch the next day.

Favorite Movie I Saw in Theaters in August 2018

This month I saw this month:

  • The Spy Who Dumped Me
  • Crazy Rich Asians (twice)
  • BlacKkKlansman

Crazy Rich Asians was my favorite, if you couldn’t tell by seeing it twice this month. I loved the story line, the humor, the glamour and the setting.

It wasn’t just a romantic comedy, it also dove into family drama, dynamics and culture.

Constance Wu and Henry Golding both gave great performances. I just realized that he is one of the leads in A Simple Favor and now I am even more excited to see that movie.

Favorite Netflix Movie I Watched in August 2018

To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved

This was cute and had a different ending than I expected. I love that Netflix has been releasing so many original romantic comedies this year. Which reminds me, I still have a couple to watch.

Favorite TV Series I Watched in August 2018

Dynasty

The CW reboot of the 80’s night time soap. This one surprised me. I didn’t think I would like it much but I ended up loving it and now can’t wait for the second season to return in October.

It follows the set up from the original series. Like Crazy Rich Asians, it also delves into money, family relationships and dynamics.

Of course, it has over the top plot lines, secrets and it keeps you guessing and eng

aged.

Looking Forward to September and Fall 2018

I think I’m trying to negate my negative feelings about summer ending by getting excited for fall. Experiencing the seasons is still something new for me. I’m hoping that fall will bring more sunshine and some cooler temperatures to enjoy the outdoors.

I have lots of travel planned for September. I’m hoping for the Brandy Blackwine Tomatoes I’m growing in my apartment will start to fruit in the next month.

The New York City Fall Bucket List will come out next month. I’m getting excited to decorate for fall, I’ve already got quite a few pieces of decor in preparation for it. Also hoping to knit a chunky scarf and to continue reading.

 

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