Sunday, December 31, 2017

A series of unfortunate events OR Resolutions, and all that jazz

2017 was a bit of a shit show, to be honest. 

 *replace 2016 with 2017, and you get the picture

Before it rolled around, I consulted Lainey's (aka Elaine Lui of Lainey Gossip and The Social fame) trusted predictions for the Year of the Rooster. This is the first thing she had to say about being a Rabbit in the year of the Rooster: 

"For Rabbits, the Year of the Rooster is not ‘go time.’"

She wasn't kidding.

The year started off with what should have been an amazing trip but was anything but before turning into something akin to the plague. It quickly went from bad to worse and one thing turned into another; literally over and over again.

My grandmother passed away in April and in May I finally figured out why my apartment smelled so funky: it was infested with squirrels - and everything that comes along with them - and I had to move out after spending months (not to mention mucho dinero) working on the place. 

 mucho dinero

In June, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and in September, I was told that I had experienced a mini stroke, which explained a lot about the way my brain was working not working. Also, my heart was broken.

As the year comes to a close and I think about everything that happened I can't help but be struck by how much positive transformation occurred, despite the seemingly endless series of unfortunate events.

Thanks to an amazing group of friends, as well as my family, I was able to turn lemons into lemonade (with vodka): I'm living in a great new apartment, my health is doing better than ever and I'm finally doing what I love, full time, for actual cash money. 


Also, I've met some great new people.

Since I'm a strong believer in the law of attraction, I thought I'd use this post as my wish list, or goal board, for 2018. So here goes nothing: I want to keep writing and get better at it, I want to start the book I've been talking about for years, I want to be a better friend, and daughter, and general human being and I want to visit Poland. I want to focus on myself and what's good for me, health-wise, and I want to live with love.

 true fact

Happy new year's everyone... YOLO!










 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Best of beauty

I may not be the editor in chief of a beauty magazine like Glow, Fashion or Flare but at 41 years old, I know what works (for me, anyhow).

Over the years I've accumulated a collection of favourites, like Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm (made in Poland!) and Eucerin Aquaphor Ointment, Spectro Cleanser (the fragrance-free one for blemish-prone skin) and Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light Cream. Recently though, I've been seeking out new products to soothe and moisturize my winter-chapped skin and hair as well as try and look a little ... fresher. So far, this is what I've found.

First off, there's Lush's King of Skin, an ultra-buttery moisturizing bar made of banana, avocado, cocoa and shea butter plus a variety of oils, including coconut, jojoba and lavender. It smells delicious and goes on like butter, not to mention the fact that it's literally the most moisturizing body product I've ever used. The Ultrabalm made of plant waxes and jojoba oil isn't far behind.


King of Skin


 Ultrabalm

I ran out of shower gel a couple of weeks ago and decided to pop into Sephora to see if they had anything special in that department. They most certainly did. Meet my new favourite shower gel and body cream: Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel and Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, by Sol de Janeiro


Sol de Janeiro kit

Rich in guaraná, cupuaçu butter, açaí and coconut oil, the moisturizing duo smells incredible and helps tighten and smooth the look of skin. Also, the pot of cream looks like a bum cheek. Did I mention the smell? Mmm.

For the hair, I've been loving Phytocyane Serum, designed to promote circulation and new hair growth. According to the website, it also delays the appearance of grey hair. This stuff isn't cheap but it works. The little glass vials are pretty cool too. The ingredients include grape seed procyanidins, ginkgo biloba and tyrosine.


Phytocyane Serum

Last, but not least, there's Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum. Dubbed "the best serum" by Glamour in 2016, the miracle-worker (#truefact) is made of a variety of oils including grape seed, hazelnut, bergamot and avocado, among many, many others. Vintner's Daughter is the first beauty product I've ever bought online (it isn't available in-store in Canada) and I'm so glad I did. The customer service (and packaging) provided by Clementine Fields, the product's sole distributor, was great and the product itself is out of this world.


 Vintner's Daughter packaging and instructions


 









  



Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cravings

I didn't discover Chrissy Teigen the "classic" way; through her Sports Illustrated swimsuit modelling, Spike TV hosting duties or appearances in music videos. I discovered her through Eric Ripert, my favourite French chef.  


When I got sick with pneumonia last year and had to spend a month alone in bed, I went on the hunt for online entertainment to keep my mind occupied. I love watching food shows and since I had zero appetite I thought I'd get my gastric (as opposed to creative) juices flowing by watching him prepare a variety of meals - in his home kitchen - with celebrity guests like Stanley Tucci, Drew Barrymore, Roger Waters and, of course, Chrissy Teigen on On the Table with Eric Ripert.

Other than her beauty, I was immediately struck by Teigen's voice (which I love), her personality and her passion for cooking - not to mention her wicked sense of humour.


Teigen and Ripert prepared two dishes on the episode that featured her and I immediately decided to try one of them: Thai Jok Moo, a Thai rice porridge with pork meatballs.

I made the dish for the beau a few weeks later and he loved it, even though it was really, really different from anything he'd ever tried before. In the interim, I had explored Teigen's food blog (she has a blog too... gasp!), So Delushious, and tried a few of her personal favourites, including Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken, Herb Stuffed Branzino and Super Bowl Chili Frito Pie Bar.

YUM!      

Since then, I've delved into the rabbit hole that is Chrissy Teigen's life (that sounded a little ew!) and am proud to say that I've permanently added her to my list of celebrity crushes (hi there, Cameron Diaz, Chelsea Handler and ALL of the Kardashians!). 

And now, Teigen has her very own cookbook; Cravings


Featuring "recipes for all the food you want to eat," Cravings is perfect for a girl like me, who is always craving something (like sushi, tortilla soup, pho, hot dogs, cheeseburgers and... a whole lot more!).

I hope you enjoy Cravings, and Chrissy Teigen, as much as I do. Her Twitter feuds are pretty epic as well.


Hellz to the yeah!













Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hips ahoy!

I've been back in Montreal for a while now but my mind is still a million (or so) miles away, floating in the brackish waters of the Sunshine State. 

From the Intracoastal Waterway that winds inland, along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, to The Everglades' Lake Okeechobee, I was lucky enough to be treated to two unique boating experiences while in Florida, the likes of which I'll never forget.     

Aboard the Hips Ahoy, I had the pleasure of watching the world drift lazily by as our trusty captain led us through various inlets, rivers, bays and sounds along Hollywood and Dania beaches and I freely admit to wanting to make a break for The Bahamas, when it was pointed out to me way, way, way in the distance.
 
Hips Ahoy

Quaint houses and small fishing boats slowly transformed into mighty mansions and luxury yachts as the Hips Ahoy stealthily made her way to Fort Lauderdale.






Aboard an airboat built by the previously mentioned captain over 20 long years, I had the opportunity to relive one of my favourite episodes of Kourtney and Khloe take Miami; Land of the Lost.
 




photo by Frank Coluccino

And the road goes ever on...


 










Friday, March 11, 2016

Welcome to Miami / Bienvenido a Miami

There are a few places in this world that ended up being exactly how I pictured them, even before seeing them. Las Vegas is one of them and Miami is another. With nothing but Dexter, Miami Ink and Kourtney and Khloe take Miami as references, the image I had of Miami was pretty close to the real thing. From the awe-inspiring art deco hotels that line Ocean Drive in South Beach to the lush tropical wetlands of The Everglades, Magic City really is all kinds of bueno.

 
And how exactly did I get to Miami, you might ask

No, I did not send myself by post. 

I asked the universe, here. Also, I repeatedly asked my very fresh friend to go on a road trip. In the end, the universe conceded and my friend said yes to Florida but no to the road. So we flew. With Air Canada Rouge.


Love the "quotation" marks. Unfortunately, there was nary a jaunty hat in sight. 

Armed with a (growing) list of must-sees in Miami (we also spent a few days in Broward County, which includes Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale) we first paid our official respects to DASH (me) and the Love Hate Social Club (him).

mecca

Ami James' dog

And then there was Ocean Drive. 







Honestly. It's just like heaven on earth.

While we hadn't planned on doing anything at night in Miami (we were livin' la vida broka, folks) we got very, very lucky (thank you!!!) and had the opportunity to attend Meatopia, "the world’s most famous celebration of all things meat," as part of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF).

Two amazing things happened at Meatopia (other than lots of meat eating and drink imbibing).  

This:

 rockin' around the clock

And this:

celebrity chef José Andrés and yours truly

Thanks universe! You done real good.