‘Tis The Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season to grab a cozy blanket, plop yourself on the couch and indulge in some good old fashioned holiday movies! We’re talking about the good old classics that were originally made for VCR’s (if anyone still remembers what that is) + some recent Christmas goodness. Thanks to the beauty of Netflix and the Internet you’re selection just got that much wider! But we’ve narrowed it down to our top 10 picks for this year’s holiday movie marathon!

#1 Elf 

Available on Netflix.

#2 Home Alone 1 or 2 or Both. 

 

#3 The Grinch

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#4 The Santa Clausethe-santa-clausec

 

#5 The Polar Express

 

#6 Last Holiday 

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#7 The Night Before

 

#8 The Holiday 

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#9 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

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#10 A Charlie Brown Christmas

Our Happening Gourmand Experience

If you haven’t been out of your house for a while, I don’t blame you – the weather outside is just horrible. Yet, I can give you one great reason to go out: Happening Gourmand ! If you’re a foodie in Montreal, and you don’t know about Happening Gourmand, you’re missing out! It’s the dream of any food lover – I take that back, it’s anyone’s dream.

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Happening Gourmand is a month-long event during which all the fancy restaurants in the Old Port offer a Table D’hote menu at a fixed price. Using my friend’s birthday as an excuse, a group of friends and I took him to Kyo Bar Japonais for dinner, which I had wanted to try for quite a while. I wasn’t disappointed: the meal was fantastic.

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As a starter, I had the Chef’s Selection of Makis, while my friends took the Beef Sashimi. Now I did not get to taste the sashimi (but my friends did keep repeating how delicious it was), but the dish itself was beautifully presented. It’s the type of dish that is almost too pretty to eat.

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Next, we had the Red Miso Marinated Salmon. It had been recommended by the server, and I did not regret following his advice! The salmon was perfectly cooked, with a sweet and flavourful glaze.

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Finally, it was time for dessert! The highlight here were the Yuzu Doughnuts, beignets served with condensed milk and black sesame. The sweetness of the sauce paired delicously with the light, airy doughnuts. It was definitely a great way to end the meal.

I’d also like to note how kind and attentive our waiter was: he cracked jokes throughout the night and even brought an extra doughnut for the birthday boy at our table. Much appreciated!

Overall, I had a lovely experience at Kyo Bar Japonais: it’s a cool, trendy space, and the food is tasty and refined ! What are you waiting for? Get off your couch and go explore all the delicious cuisine Montreal has to offer!

Written by Marie Le Cannellier 

Our Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

Yes, I know this blog is a little late but hey better late than never. Going to try and at least do four of these resolutions.

#1 Clean Out Your Closet.

In other words fake friends or frenemies whatever you call them – get rid of them! Significant other – know you’re not gonna marry them? The “fun” part of the friends with benefits agreement is over? Get rid of them! Anyone or anything that is cluttering your life – GET RID OF IT!

#2 Less Pizza. More Salads.

This my friends will be the hardest resolution I take on. Two weeks in and I’ve ordered pizza three times and have yet to have a salad. A healthy lifestyle is a work in progress and everyone has to do it eventually.

#3 Learn To Say NO Without Explaining.

If you’re anything like me you’re worse than Jim Carrey in Yes Man. This year try to say no to things that will either: bring you down, give you anxiety, affect your job or that you just don’t want to do. It’s okay to say no, if they love you they won’t care.

#4 Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone.

Single? F@#k Tinder & get out. Go out to a bar alone if you have to – have some drinks & say hi to that good-looking guy at the bar.

Send that confronting text to your f@#k boy.

Yes, there is no stronger drug that exists for a human than another human being – but why should you be scared? Why should you put your life on hold? Get over yourself and find a better drug.

#5 Cross Something Off Your Bucket List

I don’t have a bucket list but this year I will channel my inner Samantha and be a “tri-sexual” – no no, it will not be something sexual – this year I will try sky-diving, something I’ve always wanted to do but was always too chicken to do it. Afraid of heights? Go scuba-diving. Seriously think about it, what would you do if you weren’t afraid?

#6 Disconnect.

When you own your own social media company this might be a difficult resolution. But even with all my facebook notifications, twitter updates & Instagram likes, I am going to try and put my phone away during dinner, stop scrolling my Instagram feed when I’m with friends and maybe turn off my email notifications over the weekend. And if all that doesn’t work – buy an apple watch.

#7 Go Back To Basics

SMH? If you know what that stands for – shoot yourself. I had to google it after seeing it on one of those sticks in a selfie booth… sorry PHOTO booth.

Who remembers the Motorola Razor? Imagine how long it would’ve taken you to write “Rolling On The Floor Laughing”. Now appreciate your smart phone and WRITE OUT your emotions.

#8 Make Your Passion Your Paycheck

I know you’ve seen this quote on someone’s Instagram or Pinterest board. I may not have made my passion (lounging on a beach in Jamaica) my paycheck, but I’ve come pretty close. Sure it might be scary, even life-changing but if you don’t at least try you’ll never really know what it feels like to wake up every morning and do what you love. How sad would that be?

#9 Practice What You Post

Social media is a form of communication. Yes we all post that famous quote we think was written by that famous person when it wasn’t, yes we want to show the world what we ate last night – but once in a while… throw in something with meaning. Something that communicates your message.

#10 Dream Big.

This applies to everything and anything. Always dream – no matter what.

Les Bijoux du Vieux-Port

Le Vieux-Port nous fait tous rêver et nous propulse vers une autre époque peu importe notre âge! Néanmoins, l’émergence de plusieurs commerces et de restaurants nous rend la tâche difficile lorsqu’on est indécis. Pas de panique, selon vos préférences nous avons réuni nos suggestions :

Pour les amoureux du Jazz et du bon vin

 

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Je vous conseille le Modavie! Ce bar à vin où le pastis est très populaire, vous offre une soirée musicale sept jours sur sept dans une ambiance feutrée. De quoi vous transporter dans le temps ainsi qu’impressionner votre date !

Pour les amateurs de tavernes et d’authenticité 

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Si vous aimez les tavernes et vous êtes d’humeur sophistiquée, je vous conseille la Taverne Gaspar! Avec leurs plats faits façon brasserie et leur local situé dans un ancien entrepôt du XIXe siècle, c’est un must!

Pour les mordus de fruits de mer 

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Avec leurs plats inspirés des gastro pubs, leur bar cru qui suit les tendances saisonnières, un 5@7 et la possibilité de manger tard après vos sorties nocturnes, le Méchant Bœuf est l’endroit idéal ! Nous vous recommandons d’essayer les plateaux de dégustations qui sont offerts.

Pour les fans du Japon 

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Avec la plus grande sélection de sakés à Montréal et leurs boites bento (lunch japonais), Kyo se place sur notre palmarès avec brio. Avec plus de 25 choix de sakés, c’est l’endroit parfait pour s’initier à la culture de l’Izakaya (bistro nippon).

Pour les accros des soirées italiennes 

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Je ne sais pas si vous êtes comme moi, mais je craque pour les pizzas cuites au four de bois ! Il y a toujours un je-ne-sais-quoi qui nous transporte vers la toscane ! Au BEVO on nous offre également une liste de grappa, d’amaro et de prosecco exquis.

Et vous ? Quels sont vos endroits préférés ?

Written by Imane Madi

Top 6 Things To Do In Chicago

This holiday season, I’m not traveling to a tropical destination or ski chalet. Instead, I am going to the one place where it feels right to spend Christmas break: home. And for me, home is the beautiful city of Chicago! Having lived there for 10 years before coming to Montreal, I’d like to think I know the city pretty well. So if you happen to be stopping by the Windy City over the holidays (or you’d like to visit someday!), here are my Top 6 must-do’s in Chicago:

#1 Walk around Millennium Park

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Okay this one is obvious, but for good reason! Millennium Park is a charming park located right in the middle of Downtown. Its main attraction is the Cloud Gate (which everyone calls “the Bean” by the way), but there’s plenty more to see, like the Crown Fountain and the Lurie Gardens. Just walking around the green spaces is a relaxing experience. And, do not, I repeat DO NOT, miss the Art Institute, located right next to Millennium Park. It’s a wonderful museum, with lots to see, and even if you’re not an art fan, it’s a must-do. They also renovated the Modern Wing a few years back, so that’s cool too.

#2 Go watch a Bulls game

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It’s the ultimate All-American experience and definitely worth the trip to the United Center. The atmosphere is indescribable, but just imagine over 20,000 energetic and loud fans cheering on their favorite basketball team, dancing along to the music, sipping beer, and trying to get noticed by the cameras. Totally wild, totally worth it.

#3 Go see a Blue Man’s Group performance

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Blue Man Group is yet another indescribable experience: it’s basically a show that combines everything you love: intense music, comedy, technology, and (spoilers) food! I won’t say more, but you’ll thank me after the show.

 #4 Just walk around

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It might sound weird, but just walking around Chicago is a treat. Not only does the city have a real charm, but each of its neighborhoods have their own personality. You’re sure to discover something whether it’s on Michigan Avenue, surrounded by an interesting mix of modern skyscrapers and ancient architecture – Lincoln Park, home to the Chicago zoo and some really cool gardens – or Old Town, where you’ll most likely be surrounded by hipsters and young families. The list of awesome neighborhoods goes on, but the point is, don’t stay in one spot and move around!

 #5 Go chill by the lake (literally)

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Okay, I use “chill” in two ways, because the Lakefront in wintertime is probably not the first place you want to visit, but at least stop by for a few minutes. The Lake really gives Chicago that extra charm, and it’s a great spot to get a full view of the city.

#6 And finally: food!

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You might not know, but Chicago is a renowned foodie town. It has everything from the classiest restaurants (like Alinea, ranked one of best in the world) to good ole fast food joints (all hail Chipotle!). Some of my personal favorites: Tre Kronor, for a comforting, satisfying meal served in a friendly, casual setting; Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, for out-of-this-world desserts (my tip: barely eat anything before, you’ll want to have plenty of room); and Café Des Architectes, for delicious, flavorful French food served in a refined setting.

There you go: my Chicago must-dos! Honestly, there is much more to do, but these are my highlights, the places that I have never gotten tired off in my ten years in the Windy City.

Written by: Marie Le Cannellier 

 

 

 

Noël au Vieux-Port

La saison des fêtes est à nos portes de nouveau cette année! Si vous n’êtes pas d’humeur à cuisiner et à faire la vaisselle, une multitude d’endroits au Vieux-Port vous permettront de vous la couler douce. Parmi les choix interminables et attrayants, voici ceux qui ont le plus attiré notre attention, ainsi que leurs descriptions forfaitaires :

 

Le Place d’Armes Hôtel et suites

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Les forfaits comprennent une nuit dans une suite junior (Lit King, baignoire thérapeutique profonde, séjour avec un canapé-lit et foyer), un souper quatre services au fameux restaurant de l’hôtel, Suite 701, ainsi qu’un cadeau de bienvenue. Si vous préférez avoir un réveil gourmand, l’établissement offre également la formule Brunch sous un autre forfait.

Si vous préférez célébrer uniquement au restaurant Suite 701, un menu spécial est aussi offert.

 

L’Hôtel Nelligan

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Le séduisant hôtel qui surplombe la rue Saint-Paul offre des forfaits similaires avec ses petites suites avec lits King. Vous profiterez d’un repas gastronomique au restaurant VERSES et quand viendra le temps de vous rendre à votre chambre, une bouteille de bulles et une collation vous attendront. Une option de Brunch est également disponible.

Si vous êtes plus intéressés par l’expérience gastronomique, le restaurant VERSES propose sa propre formule.

 

Vieux-Port Steakhouse

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Ce restaurant qui affiche toujours une carte exquise nous a préparé un menu digne de sa réputation. Le service se fait le soir de Noël, ainsi qu’au Brunch. À vous de choisir!

En raison d’une forte demande pendant cette période de l’année, nous vous recommandons fortement de réserver en avance.

Nous vous souhaitons le plus heureux temps des fêtes!

Written by Imane Madi

Dreams Loves Sephora

It feels so good to think about the holiday season! Like every year, we are still waiting to be invited to all the glamorous Office Christmas parties and the New Year Eve celebrations. For the list events you’ll be attending, you need to find the beauty products to match your trendy outfit. To make it easier for you, we’ve carefully selected some of the most recommended products to be a gorgeous diva this winter:

#1 Fresh Suga treatment with 15 FPS

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This lip treatment is perfect for our cold winters; apply it before your lipstick. It has a pleasant smell and you can choose tinted or not.

P.S: The red color is the one that supports the fight against AIDS. Definitely a good buy to support the cause.

#2 Naked smoky eyeshadow palette

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If you like shimmering colors and to be able to jump from one effect to another, this is the palette for you! Even if the price is a bit high, the pigments present in it can last for hours and it will definitely last for a long time in your makeup purse.

#3 Benefit Mascara, They’re real.

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This brand is one of my favorites; their products always have this vintage/pinup look to it. This mascara is one that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates according to many reviews.

Available at most Pharmaprix Pharmacies

#4 Make up Forever Artist Plexi-Gloss

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I know many of us stopped wearing Lip-gloss a long time ago, but trust me this one is just what you need to turn heads! The Plexi-gloss gives a vinyl shine finish. With the selection of vivid color, you can experiment with multiple looks.

#5 Kat Von D, Studded Kiss lipstick

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Okay…imagine 30 shades of bright/classic colors of lipstick that last up to 10 hours, there you have it!

From classic shades to bright-pigmented colors, you can find high quality and sexy/bold lipsticks for every woman of any age and background. The trend this season is to have matte lips; the goal is to add a little ”tattoo” effect to it. The advantage of this kind of lipstick is its durability.

#6 Smashbox ART.LOVE.COLOR primer pair.

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We all know how hard it is to keep our makeup looking fresh throughout the day; the secret is to use a quality primer. The Smashbox Primer Pair offers you a travel size duo infused with vitamins and antioxidants that’ll come in handy for your holiday travels and touch-ups on the go! This product will minimize your pores and fine lines.

So get out there and try these products and let us you know your opinion! All these products are available at SEPHORA.

Written by Imane Madi

Dreams Loves Christmas

With one of our favorite holidays coming up we thought we’d share our top four places to be during Christmas time.

#1 Rome

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If you’ve been to Rome then you’ve definitely been on Via Condotti & if you haven’t been to Rome please put it on your list. This is one of the biggest fashionable streets in Rome where you’ll find Prada, Burberry, Hermès & the list continues. We must say this street is most beautiful during the holidays – strands & strands of Christmas lights along with oversized Christmas trees fill the streets and cheerful tourists fill the incredible restaurants.

#2 Budapest

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A couple of years ago we spent a short period in Budapest. The first day we got there we were taken to the Christmas market in Vörösmarty Square. Pictures do not do this market justice – getting off the subway you can smell the scent of cinnamon and pine. You really feel like you’re in a winter wonderland in the middle of such a lost city. One afternoon there was not enough we made sure went there almost every day we were there.

#3 New York City

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We always say that NYC is our home away from home and we truly mean it. The food, the streets, and the people – everything about the city makes us want to pack our bags every weekend and book our next flight out. The one thing that entices us the most to book our (one-day one way) ticket is the city during the holidays. No matter where you go… SoHo, Brooklyn, Queens – ANYWHERE you feel the Christmas spirit.

#4 Montreal

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Yeah we just had to add it in here. Just Kidding! If anything Montreal is our top place to be during the holidays. With our family, presents under our Christmas tree & of course no fail SNOW.

Dreams’ burning question: what’s your favorite type of shave on a man?

The results are in! Dreams went out to ask a sample of 10 women what their favorite type of shave on a man was. Full beard? Clean-shaven? Just the ‘stache? Well turns out, these ladies’ tastes are quite diverse. More than a third preferred a full beard, as “it looks comforting and hot” and looks “virile.”

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One respondent even gave us a very detailed answer as to why the full beard was the way to go: “I think it’s attractive when men enjoy nature and have a sense of “toughness” (very different from machismo), and having a beard suggests that someone has the “ruggedness” associated with being an outdoorsman. I think it also conveys a sense of maturity and the attitude that he cares about more than just how he looks.” There you have it!

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But what about the rest of the ladies? Those who preferred a clean-shaven man thought it was “classy” and “sexy.” They also stated that full beard trends got boring quickly. One point all of the ladies agreed on: the goatee was definitely not their favorite.

In other words, we are all different in our tastes, which is great news for all the men out there! This means you’re bound to find a lady who appreciates your ‘stache or simply your no-facial-hair look that you probably took a while to perfect!

So, to all the Dreamers out there: what’s your favorite look?

Written by: Marie Le Cannelier