Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Christmas magic starts with a tree...

The second I walked into my home when I got back from work, my coat still on and closed, my purse still in my hand, I rushed to the living room to make sure my roomy was there. It was Christmas Tree time! I felt a similar Christmas morning thrill, like I was excited to see what Santa had in store for me, but this time.. it was all about the tree.

Last year, I went over to Danson Decor (they are having a Christmas sale in a couple weeks, I will make sure to post the info soon, because I'm sure there are other Christmas fanatics like myself out there...), and I got all equipped. I bought a tree WITH LIGHTS INCLUDED! Yes that's right people.. Lights come already on the tree no need to get all twisted and tied. It's a 4 step process - 4 pieces to put together, plug it in and voila - a lit tree! I got a really nice looking Santa (that is actually looking at me right now), a reef that we already put on our door and a bunch of other little decorations that we put around the house. It's safe to say that we are both Christmas fanatics. 

So now my tree is finished and I'm proud. Take a look! There is something so soothing about looking at a lit Christmas tree. When I was a child, I could spend long periods of time in the living room just looking at the tree, no other lights were on. I would suddenly feel more calm and when I got older, that feeling never went away. The sight of that tree just made everything better. What stress? What long day? What problems? The tree became my stress reliever. Too bad it only lasts one month.  
Now I'm sitting in my living room, writing to you, no other lights than the tree are on and I couldn't feel more at peace. Christmas does that to you I guess. For me it does. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by an amazing family, great friends and despite not having a serious man in my life, I still feel extremely blessed. Maybe that's why the tree is so soothing. 
It reminds me of those cold Christmas eves, gazing through the window, trying to find that sleigh, that hero of mine dressed in a big red suit with that brilliantly white as snow beard, those flying reindeer and maybe even catch a glimpse of Rudolf's red nose.
It reminds me of me telling my Mom TO MAKE SURE the fire in fireplace was out because I certainly didn't want Santa burning himself. How guilty would I feel! PLUS, he wouldn't leave me any gifts! 
It reminds me of those 6am Christmas mornings with my family - back in the day when I still wore those "special" Christmas pjs  (Caro, Phil and Pat.. you know exactly what I'm talking about...). I would wake up my parents and run downstairs to find the half eaten chocolate chip cookies with crumbs spread all the way to the fireplace, a glass of milk,  half drank of course. Oh boy oh boy! Santa came to MY HOUSE! He left ME presents! Gifts were signed: from Mr and Mrs Claus, how special!  But how did he know I needed that new skating dress? I never told him. But that was the magic of Christmas, Santa always knew. Santa knew everything. Damn, he decided if I would get coal or not. I certainly didn't want coal. 
And I will let you all in to a little secret... I believed in Santa up until the age of 9! Yes. 9! I could tell you, I was quite disappointed when I found out the truth, but the magic of Christmas never died. Not at the age of 9 and still not at the age of 26.  It's that time of the year that I feel thankful for the wonderful people around me, that issues are forgiven and that new beginnings can take place.
Christmas magic can mend problems, stress, anything..you just need to believe in it. 

As my last words of wisdom, if you have a tree, do what I do, sit in your living room, close all lights and let the tree do its magic. Leave your stressful days behind, think of forgiving friends that slipped, think of helping someone who needs care.  I even suggest turning on a little holiday jazz music. My favorite of course is Kenny G (I can see right now Gab and Lo just rolling their eyes) YES I LOVE KENNY G. AND I'M PROUD!!! So here, I even included my favorite Kenny G Christmas song... So.. as I was saying, look at your tree, if you don't have one, you can admire mine, yes I know it is wonderful ;), relax and believe in the magic.

ENJOY!

N.

Monday, 29 November 2010

It's not what you know, but who you know...

I have always been one to start off projects - from starting my own Dragon Boat team for the Cedars Cancer Institute, to starting up the "Communaute Secrete - Fabulous Thursdays", to organizing my annual Christmas party with my friends and to starting this blog.  Organizing events runs through my veins. I can't get enough of it and I'm always hungry for the next project. 

Luckily, a couple months ago, I bumped into a few friends one random night out and an idea sparked. We realized that we knew A LOT of people, that we are the movers and shakers of our separate groups, but that we don't seem to use our network to its full potential.  From individuals that I mentioned in my previous post who are starting companies, to the ones that work in construction, the lawyers, the doctors, the accountants, the salespeople and more - all these people are first of all friends, but also very useful contacts for whatever project we may have.  And we asked ourselves - how can we be better acquainted with the people we know? How can we help each other in a business point of view?

In society, it really is about who you know, not as much what you know. Personally, I prefer to go to someone I know with a project in mind, instead of hiring a random company I find on the net. I'm sure this idea is shared by many. Despite being friends on Facebook, we don't always realize how important these other people may be. How important we can be to them and how important they can be for us. For instance, I have friends that work in construction, and others buying condos, maybe those condo buyers need some renovation done. And voila. CONNECTION. We trust the ones we know. This is why in many companies, people that are hired are sometimes references from other people already working in that same company. They aren't just nobodies, but somebodies with known backgrounds and credentials. And yes, they have a better chance at getting hired. Yes, It might not always be fair, but that's how it works! 

So, to my exclusive readers, I'm telling you to keep your eyes and ears open for the next little while to see the birth of a great association - for friends - for friends that can help friends. I need to keep some of the suspense going, so I won't divulge our name just yet, but it's brilliant! Our goal is to get you all together, from whatever industry you might be from and have some good fun! We're hoping that you will network a little, and see how you can help each other, but the main goal is to have fun with long lost friends and maybe you might gain some new ones. 
The date for our first event won't be for a little while, which gives us plenty of time to organize quite the event! We're hoping that as many of you will show up, have a few drinks, a few laughs, pick up a few business cards and leave happy! Who knows who you might meet.. Someone to help you find a job in the industry you want, someone to help you buy a home, someone you can help with a specific project or even a special someone who will take you out on a nice date! Possibilities are endless! I'm really excited for this project, and I really hope it takes off. It has the potential to be really big if everyone is into the idea.

I must say, my committee and I are not fans of traditional networking happy hours, so this is not what we want to create, we want to create something fun, relaxed, no pressure and leave you to the talking, whatever the outcome may be. 

So as my last words of wisdom, it can only be positive to attend such an event, to have fun with friends and to maybe you get a little more out of it. So, you have been warned, keep your eyes and ears open...This event is gonna be great! 

N.

Being your own boss...

I just want to take a bit of time to thank all of you that come back so often to read all my new posts. This blog is constantly changing and I really appreciate your feeback, so please don't hesitate to write to me and let me know what you think - or even let me know if there is a subject that you would want me to talk about!

Starting off something new is always a little difficult...whether it be a new company, a new career, a new idea or even a new blog! You always need a little kick in the bum to get going and to really put all the efforts in making something happen. I read a great quote today that said : "Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down." - Charles F. Kettering. Well I might be the exception in this quote, because I'm actually sitting down, and I'm stubbling on quite an interesting blogging world! I believe I always enjoyed writing but never actually put it into practice, didn't think what I had to say was that interesting, but then again, maybe I was wrong!

I want to hand it out to all the wonderful people around me that are making huge efforts to be entrepreneurs, and that I see are quite successfull. For some reason, these days, many new companies have emerged from friends of mine and I congragulate their passion to do so. It takes sacrifice, time, passion and mostly hope. Hope that whatever you create will be well received, will be a success and will continue to grow.

People start being entrepreneurs for a couple reasons, one of course is being your own boss and making your own schedule. But I think deep down, these people actually want to do what they love and think they can make a living out of it. I'm not saying all entrepreneurs are the same, but I do believe they were searching for something to do that would actually make them HAPPY. Not building something for someone else, or building something they don't really believe in, but building their own career and their own passion. I respect that. It takes a lot out of someone to start up and to succeed.

Let me take the time to dedicate this second part to some of the great entrepreneurs around me - maybe their services would interest you! It's about passing it forward!

  • Les Entreprises Andre G. Nadeau Entreprises
OK OK. I might be a little biased, this is my Dad of course. A consultant no less. A strategy consultant, who has worked on projects for companies in the health, telecom, wines and spirits, education and energy industries. He's the one that takes your company from "sick" mode to "healthy" mode. I admire my Dad, because he was working in a big company, in a senior position and decided that he wanted to be his own boss and do his own thing. His success is an inspiration and goes to show that you can start something new at any age!
  • Gabrielle Vaugeois
Despite her being one of my best friends, I need to congragulate her on being one of the most hard-working girls I know. She helped a small jewelry company, under the name Charlotte Hosten go from zero to hero! Charlotte Hosten is another success story in terms of entrepreneurs and her jewelry is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Since Charlotte, Gabrielle has been helping several different clients start off their new companies, wheter it be fashion, sports or design, her techniques are working with any type of individual. She is the perfect person to see if you are struggling to really get your head out of all the work you need to do and into an organized plan, destined for success
  • TrendVault
With all the Beyond the Racks, Gilt Groupe and Rue La La out there, my friend JP decided to start TrendVault just a couple of weeks ago. A very gutsy move on his part, but he can be very successful. These discount shopping websites are becoming more and more popular, this can be huge! Beyond the Rack, a Montreal-based company, now has over 2.6 million subscribers! I'm sure TrendVault can find their niche in this market. I have given him some of my advice and I'm excited to see how this company will develop in the next few months!

  • Vieurbaine.com
A product of my friend Jean-Claude, Vieurbaine.com is a new website cattering to the Montreal young professionnals offering great deals on restaurants, spas and retail stores. Their services aren't available yet, but their marketing is right on! Win free spa treatment for a year by sharing their website on your Facebook page! Brilliant! I see this company growing and I will be right there to watch it grow...

  • Clusier -  habilleur
This isn't a new company like the rest (well except for my Dad's also), but I needed to mention it because it is my friend PB, with whom I went to CEGEP who started off this business with his Dad. Clusier is a Men's store located on 432 McGill in the Old Port. I remember when this men's store made it's debut, years ago, and since then, it has become a staple in all Montreal business men. There aren't too many men's stores in Montreal, but this one really sets itself a part from some amazing brands and their digital suit measurer, which I think is pretty awesome! I only wish they made suits for women (yes i have told him to get into that)

And there are even more!

And good luck to all you entrepreneurs! It isn't easy, but with will, motivation and an open mind, success is at our fingertips!

As my last words of wisdom, if you really think you have a good product or service to offer and you're too scared to start something, or not quite sure, try consulting Gabrielle Vaugeois! or take the plunge! With no risk, there is no gain...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Is Chocolate Ever Better Than Sex?

As a woman, a foodie, as someone who has the biggest sweet tooth in the world (well maybe not in the world, but boy do I sometimes get mega choco cravings... let's just say that I keep 70% Lindt choco in my pantry at all times for my late night cravings...), this question has certainly picked my curiosity. Why exactly is it a question? I guess for some, chocolate provided more pleasure than sex. Poor them.

I wanted to get down and dirty (word choice seemed appropriate for this post...) and really understand how come it even became a question. I will spare you the scientific names, but it seems that chocolates ingredients improve your mood and get you more excited. I must admit that when I fall on some delicious chocolate, the experience is quite gratifying. Yes, the sounds I make, at such moments of sensuous transcendence, the gasps, the cries of joy, the wordless moans, are like those you hear through the paper-thin walls of roadside motels. But, that’s not sex or better than sex. It’s just another wonderful moment I can share with all the same senses we all use to register the sensory input of making love.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that triple chocolate, half baked brownie with hot fudge can probably produce some of the most primal sensations, like trembling, heat rush and eyes-closed pleasure, which might induce somewhat of a gastronomic orgasm. But does it provide that out-of-body experience, that leaves you exhausted but energized, your body vibrating, craving the next encounter, craving those lips and those hands in too-hot-to-mention areas? I don't think so. 

So it might seem as sensually satisfying as having a wild night with that blue eyed stranger you met that night at the bar, who made your knees weak and made you lose all sense of what is right or wrong (see previous post!), but it just doesn't compare. 

But of course, if this blue eyed stranger is no where in sight, or if your man is out with his friends and you need a quick fix, (well there is always another solution...), but you can seize that chocolate cupcake that has been looking at you from across the room. It might not make your knees weak, but it will certainly fix a void. 

Then again, why chose one when you can have both? As my last words of wisdom, like I mentioned previously, we must seize all pleasures of life - have your chocolate and have your sex. You can have your cake and eat it too. Ever heard of chocolate syrup? It does do wonders. 

N.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Easier said than done..

I was reading over my previous posts and wow do I have an ideal of what relationships should be like...

I decided to write this post because I don't want to seem like the prophet that knows all and does all. I'm not perfect and even though that I think my advice is pretty good, I don't always take my own advice. You know what they say, do as I say, not as I do! Also in the following post, I know I might seem to be contradicting myself a little, but I'm just offering another point of view.

Of course, my ideal would be to respect all the great advice I have been giving and I do make efforts every day to actually respect this advice. But I'm fully aware that most of what I say is easier said than done.

Isn't that too bad though? Or maybe not. We know what the right decision is in our brain, but our heart thinks something completely different. Our brain knows what is right and was is wrong, but when it comes to action and to actually do something about it, it's as if our brain turns off. We act in the opposite direction. We follow our heart. Even though the heart doesn't always point in the theoretically right direction.

No one is perfect and with the advice I give, we would all be perfect little people, always doing the right thing at the right time. Wouldn't it be boring? It's the problems that challenge us, it's feeling torn, not really knowing the how to act on the right decision that define us as individuals. As unique individuals. Some are capable to love, some find it more difficult. All depends on our past experiences, relationships, adventures and fantasies. Some have more self confidence and are capable of acting rationally. Others act emotionally. It doesn't mean that any of those decisions are right or wrong - they are right for us and we take them knowing the consequences (or not wanting to see the consequences) of our actions.

No one wants to be sad, or upset, or disappointed. No one wants to settle, or find themselves in a relationship that isn't going anywhere. But I believe we put ourselves in positions to actually feel these emotions. To learn from them. But sometimes we learn and sometimes we do repeat them. "Learning from your mistakes" is a perfect situation. How many times do we repeat the same mistakes, hoping for a different outcome, hoping that this time around, results will be different. We act on thrill. Not really knowing the outcome, not really knowing if the decision we make will turn out well, provides a certain thrill. This is probably why we repeat it. We let our emotions take over. Life is short and it can be so much more interesting to be rebellious than always picking the rationally right path.

I just got back from an interesting evening with my friend S. S. is a commitment phobe, a woman, with different opinions than my own and with an different outlook. Im trying to convince her to rebuttal some of my posts and give another point of view. Maybe a more realistic one. What if you never find that "perfect man"? she tells me. What if perfection doesn't exist? What if you should stick around that commitment phobe and maybe that person is really right for you, but maybe just not right now? She might be right. There isn't just one way to everything.

So as my last words of wisdom...I guess you really got take some and leave some. No matter what anyone tells you, we will always decide with our heart, whatever the consequences may be. Mind as well live life to it's fullest without regrets than always choosing the safe way. Outcomes are unknown and doesn't that just make everything so much more exciting?

N.

Commitment phobes : EXPOSED!

Hello everyone! I hope your day is going well! If you are in the same city as me, boy is it cold! Heater is on, wool on my back, winter coat, scarf and gloves waiting for me. I'm prepared. Bring it Winter. BRING IT! Aw who am I kidding? I'm not made for this weather. With my mediterranean blood, I shouldn't be living in this climate.

OK so on to the juicy stuff. As promised yesterday, I decided to write a piece on commitment phobes. Luckily (or unluckily) for me, I know a few personnaly. It just so happens that the 2 most important men in my life are commitment phobes. It also just so happens that I love both these men very much (well not IN love, but LOVE) so I will try to be as nice as possible.

I have come to realize that there are certain types of girls that are attracted to commitment phobes. I have to say that I have never been quite the type attracted to that type of man. I usually try to stay away...but I guess sometimes things don't always work out the way you want them to. It's actually very hard to stay away from a commitment phobe because they seem to be so endearing at the beginning. They sweep us off our feet with their charm and humor. They seem to know exactly what to say, how to act and how to make us feel like the most amazing woman that has ever lived. BUT, as soon as we seem to show a bit more interest, willing to want to be in a real relationship, or willing to get married...those red lights come out and mysteriously, that man who thought we were so amazing doesn't think or show it as much as he did, he seems to call less, give less gifts, shut down communication. We don't know what happened? And we can't seem to understand how this COULD happen? But he seemed SO INTO ME! But it was going so well! What went wrong? Well let me tell you what went wrong... he got a case of the commitment phobia! Too much for him to handle.

Before actually writting about this, I decided to research the subject a little. I didn't only want to use my own personal experience, but also learn about other peoples experiences with commitment phobes. I wanted to get to the root of the problem and actually understand what was going on in a man's head. I must say, my most interesting find was on Wikipedia!

"Commitmentphobia is often most strongly apparent in romantic life. Generally, commitmentphobic people claim that they are eager to find a lasting romantic attachment and get married, yet they fail to find appropriate partners and maintain longlasting connections. Ironically, in these romantic relationships, the commitmentphobic partner craves what he/she fears most: love and connection. This paradoxical craving for a frightening reality leads to a confusing and destructive pattern of seduction and rejection. The results are emotionally devastating.

The key to understanding commitmentphobia is recognizing that such behavior is rooted in fear—fear of lost options or fear of making poor decisions. The commitmentphobic mind sees decisions as permanent, opening the possibility of being caged or trapped forever with no means of escape. "

Quite interesting! It opened my eyes to a lot. It made me understand a little more the "phobes" behavior and why they might act this way. Of course, I'm sure each "phobe" has their own personal reasons why they might be scared, it may have been a previous devastating relationship, or a new found confidence or another hurtful or hard moment they lived through.

I think the best way for us girls to react to this type of situation is to think of it as a learning experience and to move on to someone who will actually want to commit to us and want to build something that will last.

I know we aren't robots and we can't turn on and off. After being with this type of man, that provides you with everything your little heart desires, except of course for the most important thing - a real mature commitment, it's not easy to just jump into something new. And if you do just jump into something new, beware. Beware that you aren't just trying to meet your needs, or find the missing piece to your previous puzzle, but that you are actually investing in something BETTER. Someone that can provide all the fabulous things this other commitment phobe provided ALONG with commitment. Remember my previous post - NO SETTLING. Just because we can't have the man we thought we wanted, it's not time to SETTLE for someone else just to replicate feelings you might have felt previously.

And if ever we do find someone new who is willing to commit...Will this new found relationship last until marriage? Who knows. Too early to think of that. There really is no rush. If that happens, well OK, and if not, well on to meet someone else... We have to stop thinking we are such in a big rush to live the rest of our lives. If we marry older, so be it. If we have kids a little older, so be it. We need to learn to accept the cards that are delt for us and not try to steal the pack from the dealer in order to make our own combination.

I finish with words of wisdom from my previous post "Words to Live By" - in the Serenity Prayer, it says "PATIENCE FOR THE THINGS THAT TAKE TIME".
Love might take time, and I think we just need to let it take its time. And I hope that for the commitment phobes, you learn to lose your fear and that you do find a true and pure love you will want to commit to. One that is worth losing all the potential other women you might meet, one that is worthy to last long enough to build something strong.

N.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Why do we settle...?

This question is actually quite simple, the only reason why we settle is because we don't want to leave our comfort zone. We may be comfortable at our current job, comfortable with our current friends, comfortable with our current body or comfortable with our couple. This doesn't mean that comfort isn't good, but we like our comfort and we chose comfort over and above change or risk. It just happens that we can probably do more than just be satisfied with what we have, but actually really love what we have.

In this post, I'm actually going to discuss settling in a relationship, which to me is the one of the worst things someone can do. We may have all come accross relationships that we have settled in, that we let drag on way too long, when we knew perfectly well that they weren't right for us.

To my surprise, in this day and age, I still see couples that settle together. I can't believe it because there are so many fish in the sea. So many possible people you can probably be happier with. But nonetheless, I still see those couples still together, that don't have anything in common anymore, that fight constantly or that just stopped having sex. Why do we stay in relationships like this? As someone from the outside looking in, it's obvious that the 2 shouldn't be together. I can't tell you the number of times I have told friends of mine that they need to move on to something else, to someone else. But when you are in it, there really is nothing more difficult than leaving the one you are with. Especially when nothing is really wrong, but that you just feel you can probably DO better. Or maybe you think that's the best you can get. That's a reason I have heard way too many times. "But he's so much better to me than the others have been!". That doesn't mean he's the best. That doesn't mean that he's the one you should spend your life with. That means he's better, that's it. Why do so many women don't think they deserve more? We deserve the world! We deserve the best man out there, who treats us like princesses, who loves us like they love hockey (or whatever sport your man might love), who is smart, ambitious, great, funny, whatever. After I give someone this speech, that person looks at me and says : N. Get out of your fairytale! This ISN'T a fairytale girls. This is really life. I'm not settling for 2nd best, I don't see why you should.

Another thing I hear way too much is - "well my biological clock is ticking" or "I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life". Oh give me a break! What is the big rush to live the rest of your life? Wouldn't you rather spend every waking moment next to someone you really love and enjoy being with instead of someone that is just OK, but that is enjoyable to be with, but maybe not more than that? Now, if you are 55 and you need companionship, well then I can see where settling fits in (but I don't even agree with it at that age, but I'm giving this as an exception...) But now, we are still young (well I think most of my readers are youngish), we have time to find that perfect person for us. To try, and fail, and to try again. And the key to all of this is to not lose focus on what we really want in someone and to not settle with something that is sorta kinda not quite like that. I'm not saying that if he doesn't have blue eyes, ditch. I'm saying that we all have fundamental qualities we look for in someone else and that we should respect ourself and what we believe is important. For instance, I look for humor in my potential man, if he ain't funny, he ain't for me. I also look for someone who is a little quirky like myself and who laughs at my horrible jokes. But I also want someone who is very manly, and who can take care of me. For those who know me, I'm a very strong woman and I need someone who has the personnality to take that but to also be able to make me feel secure, and safe and comfortable in their arms, a place where I don't have to be strong...I want a teammate, not a coach, nor a waterboy. And I won't settle until someone like that, whom of course wants to be with me, comes along.

OK OK Enough about me. But you get the point. I guess I know pretty much what I want. The problem is actually finding it. Problem with men these days is trouble to commit and to actually build something great with someone else. I am sure this is also a problem some men face as well with their women, scared to commit to someone else. This will be the subject of my next post. I even have a little treat for all of you.. I interviewed a friend of mine - a commitmentaphobe (scared of commitment) who gives quite interesting insight on being a commitmentaphobe and a real life Good Luck Chuck (don't understand the reference, check up the movie!)

Until, then, I leave you on my words of wisdom... Never underestimate the great person that you really are, and that you really deserve to be the happiest person in the world. NO NEED TO SETTLE WITH NOTHING! The sky is the limit :)

N.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Discovering your own city

So when's the last time you did something out of the ordinary in your own city? Have we all visited the Oratory? Have we all been to the Musee des Beaux Arts? How about Upstairs Jazz Bar or Comedy Works? Well I have never been to Comedy Works, but I'm going tonite with my roomy! IMPROV NIGHT! (this outing is what gave me the idea to write about this). I always try to make it a point to try to discover something new about the city.

The problem is that not everyone is always willing to catch the Montreal Roller Derby Woman's team, or attend random cupcake events or try a tour of the city. Will I do it alone? Maybe one day. I recently experienced going to see a movie on my own. I saw Despicable Me starring Steve Carell. What a hilarious movie? But you know, i realized while watching that movie how much I truly enjoy watching a movie with someone else. You get that feedback, that feedback that you don't really get when you're alone. The "Oh did you see that" or "OMG, He's so hot" aren't experienced the same way when you watch a movie on your own. You realize how much things are much better when shared.

OK OK. I went a little off topic here. But I must say. I did make a good point in claiming that activities of course are much better when shared - so try to find that quirky partner who is willing to try something new. Hey! If you can't find anyone, ask me!

Some of my favorites discoveries include finding new brunch places - I know - not the biggest discovery - but boy did I find some amazing ones. The Cartet on McGill, Griffintown Cafe on Notre-Dame.. 2 EXCELLENT BRUNCH PLACES! Other great discoveries are the art galleries down St-Paul in Old Montreal. I have tried to walk into every single one... I even have a favorite artist! Told myself that when I have the money to do, I will def buy one of her paintings. Her name is Gisele Bouliane (http://www.giseleboulianne.com/). She paints amazing urban landscapes especially of Times Square. Another activity I very much enjoy is a Monday night at Upstairs Jazz Bar. Jim Doxas is the lead drummer, he also plays with Oliver Jones in a trio. He's amazing! It's only 5$ and the shows are usually great. My grandmother is a big jazz fan and she's the one who usually brings me to all sorts of concerts...sometimes it's random artists during Jazz Fest or any type of artist she reads up in the paper. Gotta love my Granny!

So I just got back from ComedyWorks, what a treat! Improv night is amazing and especially with a fun roomy like the one I have... her ideas are always so well received... Props to the slinky and the penguin! Tuesday night at Comedy Works... IS A MUST! Also, only $5 and boy did I laugh!

If you have any other ideas of great activities to do in this city, please do tell! Im always looking for the next best thing! We have so many concerts going on all the time, so many things to discover. Indiemontreal.com is a great reference for all the up and coming artists, shows are always cheap and you can fall on something pretty amazing!

So.. as my last words of my wisdom...Be a tourist in your own city! You never know what you might discover!!

Night Night!!

N.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Words to live by...

As I wait for my filet mignon to cook (thanks Mom, my personal chef, haha she's gonna kill me when she reads this), I want to share with you words of wisdom I found and that i have shared with others.

I printed this prayer and it stands right above my desk on my bulletin board and I try to read it every day. I try to remind myself to read it every day. Some way or another, it puts things in perspective. If everyone read this and lived by this, everyone would be much happier people. It's sad how much anxiety, stress and pressure we put ourselves through every day without sitting down, thinking and seeing how we can just make it better.

I read the book The Secret and it truly is the secret to being happy. You have to really want it. The only problem is actually putting it into practice. I have always believed that the first step to changing something in your life is actually to realize there is something to change and then find the means to change it.

So, without further a do, words to live by:

"God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless."
- The Serenity Prayer

Good isn't it!? Some of you might recognize the beginning, AA uses the first 4 lines at the start of each meeting. But, all in all, it's quite amazing! I suggest of all us should read this every day and actually live by it.

A few more happy people in this world is really all we need...

So.. food is ready! Gots to go... need to enjoy my Farnito.. or maybe Valpolicella now, either way.
Have a nice evening! and of course, be happy :)

N.

For all those that just worry too much...

I love this Doctor!




Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that's it... Don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.


Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine; that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of single one; sorry. My philosophy is:
No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me...

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is shape!
Well... I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"

AND.....

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans..

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

We all need to take the time to smell the roses...

I was watching NCIS recently, either Saturday or Sunday, I can't remember, and one of the characters said that...referring to people who make work their only concern.

I beleive this saying can be said to anyone who doesn't take the time to really enjoy life's pleasures. We all say, well I don't have time, I need to finish *put in work* first, I will do it later and we all put life's pleasures on hold. As if we needed to wait until we were too old to actually enjoy what life has presented us with. The long walks on the beach without a destination or time of return, buying that much loved purse you always wanted, taking a trip to Southeast Asia, visiting friends abroad, learning another language, sitting on the Spanish steps, need I go on. As much as these are life's big pleasures, I can understand that not everyone has the time to take time off and do them. Instead, why don't we start small.

Why don't we start with lazy Sundays with loved ones, and long baths on weekdays. I even suggest taking out your finest jewelry for a fun night out with the girls. Or for you guys, a game of touch football with the boys.

As I was sitting at home yesterday working on a few things, I put away my computer, made myself a hot chocolate and listened to jazz. I closed my eyes and let the sounds of Oscar Peterson take me out of my work. This for me is a simple pleasure. And I fail to see too many people actually taking the time to live these simple pelasures. From hiking, to brunch with friends, or just enjoying art at the museum. We make time for our work, for business meetings, but we need to start taking the time to smell the roses before it's too late. For anyone reading this blog, I suggest we take 30 min every day and do something we love. Paint. Dance. Sing. Cook. No one wants to live with regrets, no one wants to be 55 and realize that they never took the time to do the things they enjoy.

So my last words of wisdom... take that time, and then if you really have the guts, take a couple weeks off work and travel, visit, learn a new culture, learn a new language.
So go on, smell those roses :)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Girl Guy Friendships

This has been a long discussed subject, many people don't believe in girl - guy friendships, others do. I must say I am one of those girls that does believe in it. I believe in it because I have many guy friends with whom it has always been a very platonic relationship.
Take one of my best friends for instance, let's call him Jack. Jack and I have been friends since we're kids. We grew up together, went to the same schools and camps, both our families have cottages right next to each other. A few years ago, Jack and one of my best girls friends really kicked it off and decided to date. I can't tell you how long that relationship went for, but I estimate 3-4 years. It made me happier that I could see them at the same time and spend some quality time with the two of them. But that relationship didn't last, and I still kept both friends very close.
Jack turned into my confidante, my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, my buddy when I needed a good night out. He's not perfect and I would never date him, just because I'm not really attracted to him that way. Why? I don't know. It just is that way. And I know that Jack feels the same way for me. Some people look at us and believe we are a couple, just because we speak to each other with so much ease. I tell him when I think he's out of line or when I think he's making a fool out of himself. And he calls me out too. We make a good duo, but more like brother and sister, than girlfriend and boyfriend.
Of course, the men in my life have never been big fans of Jack, but I'm hoping one day that I do find that man who will really enjoy Jack.. and of course the day that I will really enjoy Jack's girlfriend. For now, except for my best friend, I haven't been a big fan of the women Jack has been with. (They usually aren't fans of me...). But you ask any of my or Jack's friends, and they can all tell you that we are JUST FRIENDS, have always been and will always be.
Now Im thinking that this might be an exception. I do also have other great relationships like this with other guys...and I love it. It's very different than a woman + woman friendship. It's a change of pace, a change in activities, a change in conversation, and I must say, I always appreciate the "man's point of vue!"
So...as I was saying, I believe this might be an exception. That I am an exception. That I am capable of having just guy friends with no further expectations. I need to add that a few years ago I was more overweight, 30 pounds more than what I weigh now. I didn't really have much of a love life and so I decided to build friends instead. Girls, guys... But I must say it was much easier for me to make guy friends. I was less confident, and tried to just be really nice, not flirty and so ... I was capable of gettin in as a friend and nothing else. Most girls I know who have guy friends... well something has happened. EIther the guy fell for the girl and they had some drunken sex or shared a passionate kiss, or the other way around. (This has happened to me too, to then realize this guy wasn't really a "friend" at all, but more of a "potential lover"). Many say that it is impossible that a guy be friends with a woman without actually picturing her naked. Well, that might be possible...but since I'm not a man, I can't really say if that's true.
But what I know is that these friendships can be tricky and chances are that maybe one day one person will fall for the other. It can become upsetting if ever one falls for the other because you lose that real friendship, but sometimes it just turns out that both actually fall for each other. And doesn't everyone want that? Don't most people want to be with their best friends? Well. I don't want to be with mine, but I guess everyone is different. But then again, who says Jack will be my best friend forever, chances are that I will have another guy best friend come by, and he just might be the exact best friend I was looking for. The one I want to spend my life with.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Starting fresh...

So how do I start? Well I have already started, clearly this blog has existed for a while, but the purpose was never really defined. My thoughts, subjects that interest me, pieces that might interest others or not. My goal was just to let it out. Whatever it was that I was thinking, I believed it needed to be out there for someone else to enjoy.
Well, as I write my first post of 2010 - in November (brilliant N.), I ask myself, and you might also ask me. Why start up again? Stats say that over 6 million blogs are abandonned every year. So, here's the thing. My goals aren't quite precise, but I believe we will see what happens along the way. I hate to sound a little too spiritual, but I had a calling recently. A series of events that happened in my life not so long ago, that pushed me to start this back up again. All events turn to the main theme - A Friend in Need, is a Friend indeed. I felt like I should talk a little. How friendship, about relationships, about passions. Not that I'm a specialist, but I have a point of vue...

I have come to realize that friends are part of the most precious thing any person can have. Yes having a spouse is extremely precious, but to me friends is right up there too! Why is that? Well, friend's love IS conditional. Friendships don't just fall into your hands, you need to build them and cherish them. They take work, time and sacrifice. The biggest reward for me, from a friend, is when they actually need me. When they pick up the phone, dial my number, and hope for some worthy advice. Sometimes the requests don't come so bluntly. Sometimes they take shape under "I want to see you", or "You busy this evening?" but deep down you know that they need your presence because chances are their lives aren't too perfect and need a helping hand.

I have always been a very sociable person and everyone I know can probably attest to that but real friendships don't come from the millions of people you meet, but come from those special ones. Those friends that you have you might met through other people and just click, or the ones that you have known all your life, or even the ones you might randomly have met at the grocery store. All those special individuals, the ones you can see 1 on 1 represent the true friendships that we have.
And some take it for granted... especially the long term friendships. In my experience, with long term friendships, they have become like family and like with family, you know they will always be there. You try not to take them for granted, but sometimes you do. You raise your voice, you snap when you shouldn't, you get upset for no good reason, you lash out...you lose all filters. But sadly friendships, like relationships, can go away.

I have always admired my sister for the friends that she has, not that mine aren't great, they are (if you are reading this YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!!!) But my sister C. has always had a great group of friends, whom she has all brought together. She is their leader, their root and she doesn't even live in the same city as they do. She built friendships based on trust and love. And no wonder she has been a bridesmaid almost 6 times and maid of honor, she makes people feel good. And that's really what it's all about, it's to make others feel happy around you, to make them feel good. To feel like they can trust you with their deepest secret or their most crazy dream without judgement. But of course TO CHERISH. To really appreciate...

So I finish my first post with little words of wisdom - cherish your friends - tell em you love em and bake them a cake! Cake is yummy, everyone likes cake!