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I tried many times to start a blog. I never really knew how to start or what I would talk about since it would be open to the world..!

Today, I’m 27 and I just started my second year of my master’s degree which means I don’t have any classes to attend to anymore and that I have a memoir to do. I have until August of next year to do so. Like many of you I imagine, I’ve been in school since I was 5, but it’s the first time for me (at least) to be a full-time student without any classes or seminars… I personally find it uncomfortable et a little bit scary even. My director told me that I will be fine and that she’s not concern about me, my motivation nor discipline, which is reassuring.

I also work at my university as a research assistant for one of my professor and at the sport center. But since, school is out for summer, I don’t really have a job for July, which, again, is not something that I particularly enjoy but I have to learn to live with it in a way. I applied to many jobs and I just got a response yesterday: I have an interview in the beginning of August (fingers crossed!).

So, the question that I don’t have the answer for right now is : what to do with my (too much) free time? I’m already doing house chores, seeing my friends and training 2-3 times a week. I cannot just buy stuff or going to eat out everyday since I don’t an income for myself right now. My husband is working hard everyday and also went back to school so he’s very busy himself. So I need something that I can do by myself that’s not going to break the bank…

So what’s the answer you ask me?

It’s simple really.

I now read all the books that I never had the time for, I go for walks, I’m decluttering our home gradually … and I’m starting a blog. This blog.

I hope you will enjoy what I’ll offer you on Dominique’s ways and that it will help you too to balance all those titles that life gives us : a woman, an army wife, a student, a daughter, a sister, a worker, a coffee addict, a foodie…!

Hello It's me!

 

#Food |Looking around

When people look at my Instagram feed they see two things : food and more food! Sometimes, there’s a cat here and there. I thought it would be a good idea to show in more details what I ate and where for the past week. Usually, I don’t go out for food as much in a week but it’s still summer and my man is on vacation this week. 🙂

Poké Bar – 2153 Crescent, Montreal Qc.
Last Wednesday was girls night out with four of my closest friends. We all met back in 2010 when we were studying at Collège Ahunstic in accounting and management. This time, instead of going to the usual italian or fast food, we wanted something more relax and versatile. One of us (not me!) wanted also a place for a good dessert. Another friend find the place for our deserts (see below) and we needed a restaurant not to far from it. That’s when I suggested Poké Bar

Poké Bar 01

This place is casual with a good ambiance for any get together or any reason that require good food! They also have a terrace on the street when it’s sunny outside. One of the plus of this restaurant is that you can make your own poké bowl – which I did – with the protein and veggies that you want. There’s also a few poké bowl options for those who aren’t inspire at the moment of choosing their plate. This options are great by themselves but what we really loved is that you can go out and still eat healthy (or not!) if you want. We loved it and sure to go back ❤ !

 

Zoe Dessert – 2160 St-Mathieu, Montreal Qc.
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Before our friend mentioned it for our girls night out, I’ve never heard of Zoe Dessert et thé. From what I could find, they seem to be open since May of last year. Plus, the reviews online were extremely positive and the people weren’t wrong about that : It was A-MA-ZING !!!!!!!!!!!!!  They made it look as spacious as possible and the decor is lively and colorful. But, if you don’t like small space, I suggest you order your deserts as take-out and eat outside on their patio.  Whether you a sweet tooth or not, you’ll find a desert for you! I’m also planning on going back to show my husband that great deserts spot that’s been hiding in Montreal.

My choice ended up being an egg-waffle ice cream with mango & matcha ice cream.
It was love until it was over!

 

Pizzeria N°900 –  17 D’Aberdeen St, St-Lambert Qc.
I think it was Sunday that my man and I went for a walk in this sunny afternoon. Usually, when we walk together, we end up stopping at a bar or local spot to take a bit or a drink and then walk back home. So, on Sunday, that’s what we did. It wasn’t the first time we were going to Pizzeria N°900 in St-Lambert. Before I start writing this post, I didn’t even know there was other locations in the province – and even a food truck! – which is great because now I can suggest it to everyone!!

PizzaNo900 01Because it was so beautiful outside with a nice little wind, we sat down outside to eat. My man work in pizzerias when he was a teenager/young adult, he can be critical sometimes of the pizza he receives but at Pizzeria N°900 we’re never deceived. This time was no different with a delicious Margherita pizza for him and a Roasted mushrooms & prosciutto ripieno (looks like a rolled pizza) for me that was also delicious!

This pizzeria is one of a kind and for 23$, we had an amazing service and great food!

 

 

 

Le petit Dep –  179 Saint-Paul St W, Montreal Qc.
Monday was the last day that I could use my ICP Montreal card. if you don’t know what it is, first where have ou been?!, and second, it’s a coffee passport that gives you the opportunity to try 30 independent coffee shops around Montreal. The program is also available in Toronto, Ottawa and 5 cities in the US. (more details on those coffee shops in my next blog).

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to try them all and, like I said, I had one last day to try one last coffee place. At first, I wanted to go to Esquina Bar à café, which located near the Lafontaine Park in Montreal but they announced on their social media that they were on holiday for the week and therefore closed at the moment. So I went to my second choice : Le petit dep. This little coffee shop/convenience store is located in the old port of Montreal on St-Paul street near the Pointe-à-Callière museum. The ambiance is relaxed and joyful. You cannot go there and leave unhappy and that’s for sure. Employee are nice and present for their customer without being too invasive and the prices are right. Even if I didn’t have to pay for my coffee this time, I always look how much I would’ve paid for.

To ”test” this café, I opted for a cold latte with regular milk. I then went out – it was too beautiful to be inside – to the boardwalk of the old port, sat down near some fountains and enjoy my coffee while watching the surroundings and the people (Montrealers and tourists) enjoying this beautiful day just like me.

 

La Tomate Blanche (Quartier DIX30) – 9385 Leduc Blvd #10, Brossard Qc.
Last winter, we went to L’Auroch, a steakhouse also located in Quartier Dix30 that belongs to the same proprietors as La Tomate Blanche, an italian restaurant. Since we were in an ”OMG!!” state after leaving L’Auroch, we tought it would be as great at this restaurant and decided to make a reservation about a month ago to go yesterday (Tuesday). Of course, we knew it wasn’t the same cuisine so we didn’t expect the same food but we did expect the same quality of food and service as well as a certain originality or ingenuity in the menu. I’m sad to tell you that it wasn’t the case. I’m also sad about the money we had to pay for it even if I knew the prices before we went.

We decided to go at the restaurant early (around 6pm) in the evening so it wouldn’t be too busy and give us the chance to go see a movie after if we wanted. If I remember correctly, there was 2 tables already seated when we arrived. So, we find it a little bit weird when the hostess placed us right next to one of the table when you could clearly see the emptiness of the place. In the middle of our supper tho, we realized why she had done that – huge reservation coming in! – and didn’t mind it after all. My second surprise was when the (first) server arrived at our table and mentioned to us that they didn’t have a cocktails menu. We love cocktails and try new cocktails when we have the chance. Let’s say I was caught of guard at that moment and didn’t know what to order. I ended up a mojito that was ok, a standard mojito, and my husband ask for something that he had to search online so he could tell her how to make it. The bartender did good since he ordered a second one after. So people, if you go there and you’re a cocktail person, plan it or take something else.

Our (second) server arrived to ask if we had any questions about the menu. I ask about the variation in the pasta plate size and my man ask about the pizza size. Based on that, we ordered the calamari (our usual) as appetizers to share, the porcini ravioli for my entrée and my man took the Margherita pizza along with the salmon tartare (it’s an appetizer) for his. The calamari was a great discovery for us since we’re used to the classic calamari with marinara sauce. This time it’s was a fresh and lemony sauce with a little salsa on the calamari. The presentation was as good as the taste and great to share if you don’t want to feel full at the end of your night. Mine was delicious and still fuming when it arrived at our table. My husband tasted it and find it delicious as well. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for his choices. Like I said earlier, he likes, and maybe even loves, a good authentic Margherita pizza and criticize it when it’s not. Well, there was too much cheese on it to the point that the crust wasn’t cooked enough under it while the crust was almost burned under the pizza itself. Plus, the basil leaves weren’t right since, usually, you would cut the basil leaves and spread them over the cheese so when it’s cooking, the taste is ”spread” into the cheese and the customer can taste it in every bites. The leaves were wholes and only a few times you could actually taste the whole pizza if you know what I mean. After checking online on their website, I realize that the picture of the pizza is accurate: a lot of cheese and whole basil leaves. And the tartare you ask? Unlike the calamari, no surprise there. It was a normal salmon tartare. After, we decided to not even try their desserts and go elsewhere. We tought, there must be a dessert place somewhere in the Quartier Dix30 that not too far from us!

 

Oh and by the way, it was for our anniversary (4 years of marriage) that we went there.

One last thing, I don’t know if it’s my google settings (my account is in english…) or the actual website but I couldn’t find the english version to save my life. Sorry!

 

Juliette & Chocolat (Quartier DIX30) – 9190 Leduc Blvd, Brossard Qc.
It’s Juliette et Chocolat. Need I say more? Haha, maybe a little bit!

Juliette&chocolat 01It’s decadent, delicious, sweet! The ambiance was great, joyful and playful but it was a busy Tuesday for them so the service was a little slow: ”Catch the server if you can” style!

Our order :
– black coffee
– sundae
– hot chocolate with SO MUCH marshmallows
– mille-feuille in a pot

LOVE LOVE LOVE!

They have a new menu and I think we should have eaten our whole dinner here. Less money and sure to love it!

 

Hope you enjoy my food adventure and talk to you soon!

Life is not fair! Or is it? | Life

I knew that starting  a blog wasn’t going to be easy and, clearly, I didn’t expect to skip a whole week already. But , like all of you, I’m a human being full of all sorts of emotions with a past, a present and a future. So let’s say that I wasn’t at my best during July.

Work-wise and study-wise, July was a month where nothing happen. I was on ”vacations”. I’m not good with vacations and its been years that I had a real one: if I didn’t have school, I could ”rely” on work or vice versa. And no surprise here when I say that I do more stay-cations & weekends out-of-town that actual destinations – vacations on credit doesn’t really appeal to me and my man. To add to that, I’m alone on vacations. My husband is working which I don’t blame him for it. At least one of us has to work, right? So, yeah… July sucked! Well… maybe not, it just wasn’t the best.

Some studies say that North Americans (more than Europeans) defines themselves by their occupations or work. I fit right in that conclusion. July felt like I didn’t have an ID for myself even tho I’m still a student and an employee at my university – I just didn’t have work hours. But, I didn’T study nor work that month which, to me, results in the same thing as not being a worker or student. I’m also a person that feeds from other’s energy. I need people around me almost constantly.

I know I wasn’t totally alone. I was seeing my man in the evenings, I could talk to my friends and family via text messages or social media, but during the day, I was usually by myself at home with Winston, our cat. So, yes, technically I wasn’t alone but talk all you want to a cat, you won’t have an actual conversation (sadly).

People told me that I should get out more and not wait for people to be available to come with me or try something new. They’re right about it. On an idea level only. It’s summer, which means there’s a ton of activities everywhere, everyday and at anytime. Plus, it’s Montreal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th. There’s only 2 things that doesn’t quite add-up: money and time. I know there’s free activities but let’s think about it for a second. I’m looking for free (or close to free) activities that I can go to by myself during weekdays in the actual day AKA good luck with that! While I was looking for those unicorns online, I realize a few key points:

– most free activities that I looked up were at night;
– I don’t have kids;
– I’m alone and not with a group;
– I don’t have a personal income right now.

By the way, thanks for reminding me of all that Google, MTL375, Eventbrite & y’all! To me, it doesn’t feel right to use money for activities by myself when I’m not the one earning that money – it’s not like I was at home taking care of our kids or something like that. Basically, I fell into a state of laziness and discourage 😦

Unfortunately, it’s my husband that receive all my rage and pain in the face. He didn’t deserve it. I do badly on vacation – as in nothing planned – and I’m not good at taking it easy or relaxing. I’ve been told that I should embrace it since it’s probably that last time it would happen to me to have time by myself (as in no kids and no full-time job). I don’t know how to do that. I’m simply someone who needs to be busy. That dark grey cloud was bad, but brought some good too. it’s never all black or all white. It did help me to realize that I need to talk more openly to my man (letting out emotions is hard) and start (again) to go out by myself like I used to do at the beginning of our relationship. He’s the one that reminded me of that.

So, what now?
Well, it’s August (!!) and we fell much better. One thing that really help out was going to Ripon, Qc. That’s where my father’s family comes from. It’s beautiful, peaceful and feels like home. It has been almost ten years that I didn’t go.

Ripon 02

I had the chance to go back & see my grandfather’s resting place. He passed away 9 years ago and I still miss him a lot. My great-aunt also took my father and I to all the older family members. It was so peaceful…

I’m lucky after all.

Bouffons!MTL! | Looking around

Yesterday, I went out with my man and another couple to try out the event Bouffons!MTL! It’s a drink and food event where you can try a bunch of food from different stands and some of the Montreal food trucks. Although you have to pay for the drinks and food, the access to the site and event are free. Bouffons!MTL! is open until July 30th from noon until 11 pm. I also feel the need to tell you to come prepared with cash (not all the stand take credit or debit) and a small bag or a bag with not a lot in since they do a bag check when you come in.

We tried a gin-lemonade drink (twice) that was great in taste and balance and the food as well was varied and tasteful. But I need to be honest with you, and it’s not going to be a surprise for some of you, it was a costly evening out. Depending on the food stand, the price wasn’t always reflective of the portion-size. For example, even if my husband and I enjoyed the salmon tartare, the size of it was actually disappointing for 11$ (if I remember right) and I’ve tried enough tartare in enough places to know if the price is right or  (a little) too much. If you’re planning on going, I also suggest what we did: take a look around! It might seem obvious to many of you but I saw many families and group of friends simply buying along the way and realized that they couldn’t taste X food (or drink) at some point because they were already full or out of cash. When you do take a look around, you know your options and what seems to be the best food to try for yourself.

Here are some of the photos I took of the event yesterday and talk to you soon!

 

Keep it all together – Productivity Planner | Motivation

It’s me again! Hihi.

I know I said that this week would be about my planner in my last post. But, to be honest with you, I didn’t put it up to date for… let’s say 2 weeks now. I do know that I will need my planner next week so it’s will be more interesting for all of us if I show it to you next week. But, before I go in-depth about my productivity planner, I wanted to announce that I’m planning now on posting every Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting this week! (YEAH!)

So why a productivity planner? I already have a journal, tons of to-do lists around the house and a planner. I use this planner since a few months now (it was a journey to get to that one!) but I realize quickly that it wasn’t enough – at least for me – to make me what I have to do daily. It was around that same period that I realize that I was starting my first year of school without actual classes. I know I have the discipline and organization to make it to the end and produce a great memoir for my master’s degree but I’m still uncertain about the long-term aspect of it. Will my discipline and organization and motivation will last throughout the year? That’s when I saw the Productivity Planner at an Indigo store in downtown Montreal.

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This planner is based on the Pomodoro method. Basically, that method suggests that you focus on your task for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break and then go back to the task for another 25 minutes, then another break and so on until the task is completed. It remembered me what my dad used to tell me when I was in high school and that I was bored by the projects and homework: ”work for 45 minutes and take a 15-minute break” cycle. Since I’m still testing this planner, I’m not quite sure if a cycle based on 25 minutes is good for me so I’m actually trying a cycle of 30 minutes work/10 minutes break – just enough for one YouTube video 😉

One thing that I really enjoy – yes, enjoy – about this little black book is the actual layout of the pages: it’s simple yet complete. In fact, it goes straight to the point and I truly believe it is helping to keep the focus on the tasks for the day and achieve productivity.

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So far, the Productivity Planner really helped me especially on the ”keeping the focus” part since it allows me to do one task at a time without having the fear of forgetting one or – and I’m sure I’m not alone in that one – losing focus and starting thinking about everything I have to do during the week or next few days. I decided to keep going with it, especially when the research part of my memoir will be in full force!

Hope you enjoy my vision on this planner and that it will also help you to figure out if it’s  the one for the planner in you!

 

Keep it all together – The five-minute journal | Motivation

These days, these years or even these decades (!), nobody is ”only” a business man or a mother or a student. It was probably easier when everybody had one job or one etiquette. Like you, I’m not just a student or just a wife. I’m also a (freshly new) blogger, a part-time worker, a foodie, a coffee addict… So, how can we all keep it all together you ask? Three words : planning, planning, planning!

These are my planners and guides :

Keeping it all together - My planners

It might looks like a lot for only one person and one life but when you’re a young adult in 2017, you can not really make it with only one book because it’s going to be a HUGE one! There’s even another booklet inside one of them, so make it a total of 5 planners, kinda. Let’s start in order of the day so you can see why I use so many and why, maybe, these could be a useful tool for you too!

While I was writing this post, I realize it would be an extra long one if I was to talk about each one of them. And belive me when I tell you I have a lot to tell! So, for today’s post, I’ll focus on the first one I get in touch with in the day – The five-minute journal. I first heard about it a few months ago while I was watching a YouTube video from HealthNutNutrition.

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I never was quite good with journals, even when I was a teen. You do it for 3 days straight and you feel good about yourself and suddenly you skip a day, then 2, then 3 and suddenly it’s been a month that you didn’t write a line in that journal. So yeah, it’s been years that I gave up on keeping a journal up to date and went on with my life with an agenda. You can imagine that I was sceptical about this method, specially because it focusses on the good (I’m a natural pessimistic person) and that you have to write in it twice a day which meant to me twice the time was then needed for it than a ”normal” journal.

Guys, this journal is great! At first,  it wasn’t easy to write something on every line. It took me a few days before I could actually fully write a page. I also skip a few days here and there since I started it (May 2017). Sometimes, schedule can be a mess! Basically,  that journal brought me two things that I didn’t I was ”missing” : positivism and opportunism. It might be two similar things but there’s quite different in their impact on my everyday life. In fact, since I started, I find it easier to focus on the good things that happen during the day rather than the bad. I’m better with myself and also with my family and friends since then. It brought me what I was hoping a journal would bring me for so long while being easy and simple to write in. Hope everyone has a technic to brightly start their day! Actually, what is yours people?

See you next week when we’ll dive in my personal (and DIY) planner 🙂