Tuesday, 31 May 2011

This is what it feels like for a girl : Guest post by S.

I'm accumulating contributors to my blog, and I love it. I truly encourage those who have something to say along the lines of the theme blog to really say it. Whether you're a man or a woman, write something, share it. So here is a blog brought to you by S., a new contributor to my blog, who visited the Caroline Theoret Studio recently.
The Studio

Let’s make it clear: I’m not a girly-girl… I don’t cook, I can’t accessorize and don’t even get me started on the condition of my nails! So when I got a gift certificate to go to Studio Caroline Theoret for a 50$ eyebrow reshaping (thanks Nat and RSVP Magazine for the awesome goodie bag we got from your launch) I figured why not? I usually pay 4-5$ at some dodgy salon for them to thread my eyebrows, so you get the style.

The moment I stepped into Caroline Theoret’s trendy studio at Château Saint-Ambroise I got it… That’s what it feels like for  a girl! No jokes, I’m not just trying to plug the blog’s name here… that’s seriously how I felt. If I had to imagine the perfect boudoir, that’s what it would look like, chandeliers hanging from the super high ceiling, a “Recamier” sofa by the large windows with a view on the Canal and of course, pink everywhere… Did I mention the gorgeous flowers on the table?

Gorgeous flowers on the table
Basically, I spent one hour getting pampered… feeling like a posh celebrity in Hollywood, while Caroline had her 3-D glasses on, tweezing away my eyebrows (and what an amazing job she did… they were kind of on the bushy side). I even got to sip on some wine. Ya, you heard me! She has a selection for you to choose from: white, rosé, red… And the best part, CUPCAKES!! Really? Forget the other lady with a
thread stuck in her mouth, I got the Middleton treatment!

So after 45 minutes she completed the session with a makeup touch up. Considering I only wear eyeliner and mascara I thought this was gonna be pretty quick, I mean it’s only a touch up. Little did I know that she was going to make me look like a hot shot just in time for my Thursday night 5@7! I could seriously get used to that! I had a fabulous afternoon and it made me feel like a girl! I truly recommend her to all
the fifilles and not so fifilles out there


S.

And you, what makes you feel like a girl? Is to get changed into your favorite going-out clothes? Sipping martinis, spending time with your girlfriends? I throw this back to you. What makes you feel as girly as possible? For me. I have to say that my hair is my thing, when my hair is done, there is nothing that makes me feel more feminine. I love getting it blow dried, or doing it myself, making it all purrtyy for whatever purpose! 

Come on, share it!

N.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A little bit of Texas in Montreal..

For the past few weeks I have been collecting. Collecting restaurants that I have been dying to talk to you about. I know have a great little list that I will share with you and of course, even though I don't like em, I always encourage you to go try them yourself and make your own conclusions. My motto. The only way you will create a real opinion is by doing it yourself! So this time, let's talk about some yummy ribs, BBQ sauce.. which is just like a little taste of Texas in our own little city!

So... in the past few weeks I have been to 2 places that serve some amazing ribs. First. Le Boucan on Notre-Dame and Icehouse on Roy and Ste-Dominique. I tried the ribs at both places and thoroughly enjoyed both! At the Boucan, southern and soul food in the South-West, I also ordered a pulled pork poutine, roast chicken and of course, a bacon brownie for dessert. Let's just say my tummy was quite satisfied at the end of this meal. Prices are reasonable, the setting is really cute and since I sat at the bar chitchatting all night with one of the owners, the service was impeccable. 
Ribs + Chicken. Plus potato salad, cheese corn and coleslaw

Most amazing bacon brownie at Le Boucan
I must mention that all these 3 meals were shared and I would have never been able to finish the poutine, ribs, chicken and brownie by myself. But the food is delish, the crowd is young and of course, if it's hockey season, they show the game as well!

Le Boucan
1886 Notre-Dame Est
Montreal, QC

As for Icehouse, I was there this past weekend with my girlfriends, we wanted to try something new, and with all the hype about it in every single newspaper in the city, I needed to get my bum there ASAP. They don't take reservations and they only sit you when your whole party is there, but it's a cute corner place with a terrace outside, not more than 40 seats. The menu is on the blackboard, and let me say, the guy that takes your order is quite a hotty!!! I ordered the ribs and shared them with a friend, came to $32, I hear they use a Dr Pepper marinade for the ribs, + I had their hard lemonade which is the specialty of the house ($40 for a pitcher), so refreshing, and well, then we went to Juliette et Chocolate for dessert, but I hear they have this cookie that is insane, but they were sold out! Great experience and they have some other awesome items on the menu like lobster rolls, tacos, fried chicken, lobster burritos, etc. The service was OK and it took them forever to bring us cutlery, but for me, the overall experience was great!

Yes they actually throw the ribs on the table with potato salad, coleslaw and biscuit.
The lobster roll was a bit small for $20, and someone else ordered the beef burrito which she didn't really like. I really lucked out with the ribs and the sharing...

Icehouse
51 Roy St (corner Ste-Dominique)
Plateau Mont-Royal

If you went to either of these places and have your own review to add, please add your comments below. For my next Food post, I will be talking about 2 amazing pizza places in the city! The new JANE that opened right next to the Boucan and Trattoria Pizza Mia in the Atwater Market.

Doesn't this make you hungry? Damn. I sure am.

N.

Friday, 20 May 2011

What Turns Men On?

A couple weeks ago I surveyed some men friends of mine. I asked them, what is an unexpected turn on that makes a woman attractive? We all know that men are attracted to a woman both physically and mentally. A natural woman, one with a great personality, confidence, that doesn't complain too much, that is elegant, that enjoys sports, I could go on. Of course, each man is different and the criteria for each is different as well. But I wanted to know, what exactly do they see? What are things we might not notice that men do see... So here is a list of things that these men told me.

  • Well-shaped eyebrows. Yes. This man told me that he really thinks it's sexy when a woman has eyebrows that don't look like no bush. Clearly good eyebrows do bring out a woman's eyes.
  • Manicured nails. This man told me that it shows that a woman takes care of herself. She puts that extra effort to make even her nails look beautiful
  • A loose ponytail with some hair coming out of it. I got a couple of men who agreed with me on this one. I guess it shows that the girl can be laid back, but still show some sexiness.
  • This YouTube video below was sent to me and the man told me: this is the perfect girl. Beautiful, funny, accepting, loves sports.


  • How she walks in high heels. I love this one because I thought only women noticed how some women just don't belong in high heels. He told me that he finds it very unattractive to watch a girl not manage her pumps. Girl. If you can't walk in em. Don't wear em.
    The Smile - This is Miranda Kerr - my girl crush. So beautiful.
  • The smile. Well yes, the smile is priceless and I would say that it's one of the most important things in a woman or in a man for that matter. Having a beautiful smile is like a breath of fresh air, it just feels good. You can read my post on "The Power of a Smile". I have heard this one a lot and I guess it's always important to re-say it. Keep on smiling ladies. It truly does wonders. Not just for men, but for life in general. Seems that nothing can go too wrong when you smile.. of course an honest happy smile.
  • Cute laugh. Well. Not all of us can control how we laugh. But hopefully you have a cute one. Then again, some of the weirdest laughs can be cute, all depending on how your face moves, what you are looking at and who's watching.
  • Teeth. Lips. The whole mouth really. I must agree. If the man will be spending time kissing you, looking at you speak, looking at you smile... you need some nice pearly whites and some extra kissable lips. BUT, in my experience and experience that I have heard, Men dislike Lipgloss! Of course, very nice to look at, but when it comes to kissing, nothing says EW more than a super sticky mouth! or for that matter, a bunch of crooked yellow teeth. So, get some Crest white strips and lipstain is pretty effective ;).
  • Feet. Lots of men talked to me about this. They love a beautiful pair of toes. Even though they might be hidden away in big boots or running shoes or 8" pumps, it's important to take good care of those toes. There are some great creams out there and giving yourself a nice pedicure is really simple. Of course my suggestion is to get a great pedicure done. I get 1 or 2 in the summer, and they usually last me a whole month. Your feet look pretty at all times! You can even get a mani-pedi for $40 in most nail places! A very good investment!
Are you surprised? Some all of them I guess I am, others not so much. But I'm not saying that we should change who we are to please men. NOT AT ALL. These are things we should do for ourselves. And if you like your bush eyebrows, or your non-manicured nails or if you aren't much of a smiler, well so be it. All Im giving you here is what I have heard from the boys, and as I said before, everyone is different. Some won't care if your nails are done or not, or if you didn't get your eyebrows done or if you don't have great feet. 

To me, the most important thing is really confidence. Walking in to a room and being 6 feet tall even though you are only 5'2". With that confidence, the rest is just details. I heard the other day that this women didn't even want to leave her house because she was scared of being judged and being criticized because she didn't like her body! We should never have to go through that. We are all beautiful in our ways. The beauty inside us shines through.

As my last words of wisdom, I do think it's important to take good care of our body. No matter what kind of care it is. Feeling beautiful, feeling great, feeling fit all give us confidence. Confidence to work a room, to get a job, to get a guy or girl, to succeed in anything we do. 

So what do you think? Any things I should add to this list, things we might not know about what you men notice in us! I would love for you to share your opinion!

Have a nice week!

N.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

RSVP MAGAZINE LAUNCH!

RSVP Magazine

For the past 3 months I have been working on a new magazine that launched in Montreal this Friday. RSVP Magazine is a high-end publication that caters to the Montreal elite. It is for those that enjoy the great events our city has to offer, the decadent restaurants, our great sense of style. The emphasis for this magazine is really the events in the city. We cover galas, balls, shopping events, launches and fashion shows. Our first issue was dedicated to the hospitality and restaurant industry, on the cover, you will find 6 individuals who are part of that Montreal scene! I clearly was eagerly waiting for this magazine to finally launch! I am now officially a published author - 3 articles in the magazine, but the best one and my favorite is the Chuck Hughes interview.
The Loft Hotel

This past Friday, at the Loft Hotel in Montreal on Sherbrooke, the magazine was finally revealed to some of the most influential people in the city. Everyone from event goers, bloggers, CEOs, event planners, advertisers were at our launch party. I must admit that the second I walked in to the room, my eyes filled with tears. 3 months of hard work, and finally a product I can be proud of. The room was absolutely beautiful, all white. People kept pouring in and I made sure I was close to the door to see how many people would come out to see this new mag. As I walked through the room, most guests were seated on the lounge chairs reading the magazine. So what did they think I kept asking myself? I got all sorts of reviews. Excellent, good, need improvement. All interesting comments. But the most touching moment was to actually see my family walk in. My biggest fan club. I couldn't be more happy to see them all, looking amazing and happy for me. I need to also thank all my friends that all came to support me, it really meant a lot to me to see you all there. What a day that had been too! I ran around from 10:30 to 6pm, beautifying myself and building gift bags for the event. It had all come down to that 1 moment. 


The Caroline Theoret make-up company (http://studiocarolinetheoret.com/english/studio_fr.php) was there doing all the woman's make-up, Bijouterie Italienne (http://www.bijouterieitalienne.com/) was showing off their new collection, Simplechic and Queue de Cheval offering some good food and a big thanks to Corby Wines and Spirits for providing the alcohol. But how can I forget Audi and Porsche Lauzon who graciously donated 2 of their most luxury cars to showcase at the entrance of the event! It was beautiful. The crowd was beautiful, the music was wow (hmm love 80s classics!) and I just couldn't be happier. 
The RSVP Mag team - Carolina, Maya, me and Karolina (picture taken by Ian Woo)
If you want to pick up a copy of our magazine, I will keep you updated in the next week with our distribution locations, for now, it can be found at most of the great events going on in the city. Look through your gift bag - you will find it!

Were you at the launch event? What did you think? How about the magazine? The great thing about this blog is that you can give anonymous reviews.. and please do share. We always want to improve what we're doing.

Have a great rainy Sunday!

N.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

"Did not meet expectations"

What's the point in being nice and giving when you don't get anything positive in return? What's the point in giving to someone who doesn't appreciate it, or that might backstab you, or that might be dishonest? 

As I sat at the dinner table this evening on Mother's Day supper with my entire family, this discussion arose. We discussed how one can be so generous, so giving, but not get the appreciation they deserve in return, to get backstabbed, to get a complete opposite reaction. For a while now, this behavior is something I analyze and critique on a regular basis. But I learned a lot sitting at that table listening to everyone's idea on how we should cope with being disappointed with others and I hope that in future I can put these ideas into practice.

One important point that was mentioned in this discussion is to look at every experience as a positive one. Don't get me wrong, I know that this can be a totally difficult thing to do. But that friend that backstabbed you or the one that didn't act as you would have expected, well look at it positively. What did you learn from it? We'll say you went out of your way for a friend's bday, you bought her cake, a gift, invited their friends and really made the event an amazing one. In return, that person doesn't show up at your birthday, giving some stupid excuse and you're disappointed that that person didn't go out of their way to be there for you. This is a small example but gives you the idea of what I'm saying. You can probably adapt it to many situations you lived through with friends or family. How to see this positively? Well, you learned that throwing big parties for this person is probably not a good idea. You learned how to act next time around and that from this experience you are now more knowledgeable and instead of putting all this energy on this individual, you will do something different next year, probably just get a card or be present at their birthday. Or you can continue to do what you do, but know that you probably won't get the same in return. You learn to not expect from others what you would expect from yourself. 

I put that last sentence in bold because that's the main message I guess I learned from these discussions. All experiences are positive because we learn and we learn that not everyone will act as we think they might. The problem that comes with this is if we are willing to still interact with the people that wouldn't act as we would. Well that my friends is something you need to decide on your own. If you are willing to accept the person as they are, with these faults, if your relationship goes beyond these acts as disappointments and that you can look beyond these issues, then instead of being unhappy, you should accept and move on. Acceptance is the hardest thing to do because it usually goes against what you believe in. 

Now what does this mean? To stop being generous and giving? No not at all. It means to not be generous and giving blindly. To act in consequence of those you are acting for. Instead of searching for appreciation in others, we should search for appreciation in ourselves. Knowing that we are a good and kind person without anyone telling us we are is key. We shouldn't need someone else's approval to tell us we are great. We should know we are great on our own. Searching for that approval will only bring disappointment. For so long have I looked for approval in others, to make sure I was always doing the right thing so others would think I'm a good person. I shouldn't need others to approve me. I need to approve me. As I say all this, I know that I'm far from perfect and that, I will also try to put these into practice because me too, I get easily disappointed by others' behavior. 

So what do you think? Do you think we should continue to be good and generous? Or should we be more selfish? What is the right way to be? Is there a right way? I would love some of your insight on the subject.

Until then, as my last words of wisdom, when kind and generous, be smart. Not everyone will appreciate, not everyone will act as you think. We need to stop expecting others to be as we are, and accept them for who they are, or start looking for new people who will appreciate all the goodness we can give...The choice is yours...

Have a nice evening!

N.




Friday, 6 May 2011

A little bit of comedy...

You know sometimes your week doesn't go as planned, you get stressed at work for upcoming deadlines or you get into a fight with the parental units, or maybe you argue with your boyfriend over ridiculous issues, or maybe you dealt with something that is much harder, like a big fight with a best friend, or a break-up. Either way, sometimes we all need a little comedy to makes us feel better. I know that when I'm feeling down, instead of staying home and living my bad mood on my own, I like to go out, see people, have a drink and spend my time enjoying myself and getting my mind off whatever is bothering me. Of course, we all deal with hard issues differently, some like to curl up in a ball, or others like to drink their way into being happier, and others just want to stay in their own space without having anyone around them, not that any of these ways are not good, but I guess I decided to do things another way.

I have learned that for me comedy is what helps me the most. A really good laugh is probably the best medicine to not feeling well, it gets rid of some of the hard feelings we need to deal with. Of course, it's not the solution, the solution well, it's either discussing the problem or letting time take it's place. We never know how long it will take us to move on, or to get over whatever we may be feeling (if of course it's a harder situation). I have a friend of mine who recently went through a very hard decision. A decision to let someone go. A person she cared a lot about but she knew it was time to move on. He didn't want to commit (ohhh we have seen that before!) and she was and kept holding on wishing that one day he would see her the way she saw him. But it never came. Well let me tell you, I quickly made sure she was OK, because I know situations like that aren't easy. And I spent some quality time with her and introduced her to a great comedian...Whitney Cummings. SHE IS HILARIOUS!


In my mind, sometimes you just need some happiness and smiles to make you feel a little better...not that this will make her feel good forever and that after some comedy she'll be over that guy, but at least for a few minutes, I saw a smile on her face, a laugh, a joy. And I knew that with time, she would feel better. There is still hope. It's all about time.

As my last words of wisdom, if you ever feel a little sad or upset, turn on some comedy. Stand Up is great! It might not fix the problem, but it's much better than getting ridiculously drunk... maybe you can enjoy the comedy with a nice glass of wine.. instead of 8 glasses!

Have a great weekend!!

N.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift : A Smartbox

So Mother's Day is around the corner and you have no idea what to get her? She has everything. You got her perfume last year, a spa day the year before, bath products for Christmas. So now you just can't figure out what to do. Well... I think I may be able to help you out. I was lucky enough to discover THE Smartbox. Actually the Smartbox is quite popular in Europe and is starting to become more and more popular in the USA and in Canada.

Smartbox packages!
So you may be asking... N? What is a Smartbox? So, you can buy these boxes at a few retail stores like Zellers, Jean-Coutu, Carlton Cards or online. They actually come in a box and you can chose the category of activity you want. They have a choice of Restaurants, Spa, Adventures, Getaways or Discoveries. You basically chose the category you want (also depending on the price you are willing to pay) and then the gift receiver has choices to what they can do with the Smartbox. I tried out the Restaurant one!
The Montreal Restaurant Smartbox, which is actually called Table for Two, is only $99.00 (which is pretty decent!). Inside, it came with a little catalogue of different restaurants in Montreal, from les Enfants Terribles, to LeMeac, to Cafe Melies, Ginger, Decca 77 and more. You have 25 restaurants to chose from with different types of offerings - usually, you get an appetizer, a main course and a dessert for each individual.

Restaurant Plein-Sud
I chose to go to Plein Sud on Mont-Royal. I had never been! I went for lunch because at the time, my week was sooo busy, I couldn't find place in my schedule to go for dinner. But it took me FOREVER to pick which place I wanted. 25 choices! (Note that when you give the gift, the receiver doesn't know how much you paid unless they go online to check!). So finally got to the restaurant, we were greeted by the OH SO NICE owner of the restaurant, and we were given a kir and a little tapas dish to start off! How nice! We gave the owner the Smartbox card that comes in the box and off we were, we got to chose from a wide range of amazing dishes!

I then took the goat cheese salad and my friend took the scallops. Both delicious. We were then allowed to chose a dish from the main courses and I decided to go all out and get the jarret d'agneau! It was sensational, I wasn't even able to finish it. It came with a delicious sweet potato puree. Just divine! I had to quickly leave to go back to work. But it was a great experience. I was also given some dessert to go.
Le Jarret D'Agneau at Plein-Sud

It's actually a perfect gift because you are giving them the choice to do what they want really. It's like going through a Sears catalogue and you can have one item.. for free!!!

Make sure to check them out online for more info - SMARTBOX - http://www.smartbox.com/ca/ They are even giving out the Serenity Smartbox (Spas and stuff) for $99.00 instead of $119! Great deal and great different gift to give to your Mommy to show her how much you love herrrr!! But don't forget, CARDS ARE REAL IMPORTANT! Make sure you give her a beautiful card and let her know how much you LOVE HER and appreciate all that she does for you!

Have a great Mothers Day!!!!

N.