Friday Love

I can’t express how excited I am this morning! In a few hours will begin my summer vacation. The sooo awaited 2K14 vaca. And they’ll be exactly how I secretly wished them to be. And on my to-do list are some very important things to accomplish in the next two weeks like eating a lot of ice cream with sprinkles, savory lobster rolls and decadent whoopie pies; watching stars + fireworks; getting dizzy in a ferris wheel and enjoying salty kisses due to seawater. Just you know, the essentials for amazing vacation under the sun. Beyoncé knows for sure what I’m talking about.

The last week flew at the speed of light. Maybe it’s because I spent the almost entire weekend sleeping late and taking naps which gave me an excess of energy for the week. I guess I had some accumulated tiredness thanks to the man who wakes up before the sun! Am I the only one to think the night isn’t over until the sun does rise or until the clock shows 7:00? I really enjoy sleeping and thinking about the fact that I won’t be waken up by an alarm for the next 16 days thrills me. Gotta enjoy the simple things in life!

But don’t go think I’m kind of lazy! Proof: Saturday I got up early to participate in the race Run or Dye with friends. This is a 5K where runners are sprayed with colored cornstarch every kilometer. Very funny! We had such a great time that we promised each other to do it again next year.

Remember the tickets I got to see Justin Timberlake? On the FLOOR section? Well, it’s happening next Tuesday!!! And because I’ve been feeling love stoned for a while now, here’s for you:

Have a nice weekend! xx

*Linkin up with Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth and Jennifer from The Diary of a Real Housewife.

Friday Love 87

  1. my partner in crime for napping on Sunday afternoons
  2. celebrating my dad’s birthday
  3. the simplest meals are often the best
  4. she woke up like this
  5. result after the race

*For more pics, follow me on Instagram!

*Earlier this week: Thirty and a half

Thirty and a half

Six month ago, I was celebrating my 30th birthday with pomp: bubbles, flowers, dresses, cocktails, gifts, I was feeling like a real princess. And to mark this important milestone, I wrote down a list of 15 goals to achieve during this new year. Now that I’m thirty and a half, let’s see how it’s going so far…

1. try a new restaurant once a month (this one should be easy)

Surprisingly, I spend less and less time in restaurants to the benefit of delicious meals cooked at home and therefore the discovery of new places is halted. On the other hand, having brunch with my sweetheart in a local restaurant is becoming a weekly tradition, which comforts me every Sunday morning.

Thirty and a half 01

2. put money away each week for next Christmas (I try every year, but the money saved is always used for a new dress around spring)

This one is going very well and I haven’t missed a single week, it’s almost a miracle!

3. eat one meatless dish every week

Now that I spend a lot of time with the greatest meat lover I’ve ever known, meatless meals are totally absent! But when I’m home alone, I love to take a break from all that meat and eat a vegetarian dish, which is at least once every week.

4. make my own pasta

I really want to take time to make my own pasta next fall during the harvest season. However, I got a glimpse during a dinner with friends last February.

Thirty and a half 02

5. find the right man (yeah, right)

I think this can be considered done and I couldn’t be more pleased about it!

6. go to the gym (at least) three times a week. every week 

I’m trying my very best to exercise three times a week, but life is life and it’s sometime impossible. Read here: the motivation is at its lowest BUT I never thought I’d run a 5K during the summer, so I impress myself!

Thirty and a half 03

7. eat Junk food once every two weeks instead of once every week 

I am pleasantly surprised of how I succeed at eating less junk food without much effort. In fact, I don’t even remember the last time I ate French fries!

8. going on a road trip in Maine 

This one is happening in two weeks and I never thought I’d go in couple! There are going to be a lot of sweet summer memories.

9. learn to say no

Hummm… still working on that!

10. having a signature cocktail (other than my beloved gin tonic) and mastering it

This one urges a bit since we’re in the middle of summer, but these days I’m more the wine kind. Maybe I should come up with my own sangria recipe, what do you think?

Thirty and a half 04

11. drink more water every day

I try to drink a bottle of water everyday at work and it goes well so far!

12. learn how to use my DSLR camera on manual mode

This is another thing for which I must take time to achieve because I didn’t improve my skills at all!

13. live on a budget (as impossible as it sounds!)

I predicted it: it’s barely impossible! But I’m working hard on that one too.

14. win the lottery, pack my bags and leave (so number 13 can disappear)

Guess why, but I no longer want to leave!

15. enjoy being 30, single and fabulous (exclamation point)!

For the last half year, I clearly enjoyed being 30, single and fabulous and it will go for the upcoming six months but this time with a change in my relationship status!

Friday Love

Happy Friday everyone! Let me begin by telling you how amazing was the first of the two Michael Bublé’s shows in Montréal last week. From the very first second to the last, everything was perfect. Even if I was suffering from an excruciating migraine during the evening, I can tell you Michael was excellent and he sang my favorite song, Everything, so I was in heaven! Listening to beautiful love songs for two hours came at just the right time in my life and they all have taken a special meaning for me. I wish M were with me, but I’m not sure he’d have appreciated Michael as much as I did! But of course, I had a really good time with Catherine.

Tomorrow is a big day. I’ll be running my first 5K at the Run or Dye event in Québec city. I’m a bit nervous and I honestly don’t know if I’ll be running all the way through (there might be some walking involved), but I know I’ll have a lot of fun getting colored with my friends! I should have some pictures for you next week.

I wish you a very nice weekend! xx

*Linkin up with Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth and Jennifer from The Diary of a Real Housewife.

Friday Love 86

  1. the man on stage
  2. Saturday morning brunch in Montréal with friends before coming back home
  3. crazy about this new Essie color: strut your stuff
  4. my orchid flowers are in full bloom
  5. a welcome cocktail to start off the evening (might be the explanation to my headache!)

*For more pics, follow me on Instagram!

*Earlier this week: A year ago

A year ago

A year ago today, the whole province was under the shock of the horrible explosion that took place overnight at Lac Mégantic. Sitting in the living room with puffy eyes, I was watching the TV without listening to it. I was in shock of what had happened to me during the night. My couple had exploded. The pain and suffering had awakened me early and I was wondering how I was going to get through this shitty day.

A year later, this morning, I did woke up early once again, but this time it was by the warmth of a kiss in my neck. And I wonder how I’m going to get through the day because I already miss him and it’s not even lunch time yet.

Last week, while I was having lunch with mom, she refreshed my memory: “Do you remember last year at this time, while you were sitting in the living room and crying, I told you that in a year, you’d have a new boyfriend and you wouldn’t even think about what happened.At the time, I didn’t want to hear her, but she was right.

The lesson of this whole story is that despite everything that can happen to us, even if it seems that the sky felt on our head, is that nothing happens for a reason and if something needs to be ended, well it’s to make room for something way much better. So stay positive and listen to your mom, they’re always right!

Friday Love

Happy Friday! The last days have been so hot and humid that I wished I was able to work in my car to enjoy the air conditioning permanently. I even had a bad skin reaction due to the heat, it was THAT hot! But this warm weather gives us a good defeat to eat more ice cream and drink more cold beers, so that’s not a bad thing at all!

As you read this post, I might be on my way to Montréal to see my dear friend Catherine. Tonight we have a rendezvous with Michael Bublé. Well, it’s at the Bell Center and we won’t be alone with him, but still! The show will be followed by some drinks in town under the stars, so the evening promises to be the perfect girl’s night out. We bought our tickets back in November, so it was about time!

As far as I’m eager to see my friend, I also look forward to coming back home to spend some time with Mr. M (it’s getting personal here!). He has been out of town once again this week and I missed him even more than the first time. It’s crazy how someone you haven’t seen for over twenty years can all of a sudden take a huge part in your life and all this makes you wonder why it hasn’t happened before. One day I’ll tell you our cute story!

Meanwhile, I wish you a great weekend and happy 4th of July to all my American followers! xx

*Linkin up with Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth and Jennifer from The Diary of a Real Housewife.

Friday Love 85

  1. another great boat day at Lake Etchemin
  2. the perfect little pink summer dress
  3. trying to beat the heat wave with a frozen lemonade
  4. a magnum of chianti at my parents’ house
  5. this cute little guy celebrated his first cativersary over the weekend

*For more pics, follow me on Instagram!

*Earlier this week: #1picaday June recap + Strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake

I will confess something a bit embarrassing straight away: that strawberry shortcake doesn’t look anything like it should be. I spend the whole afternoon in the kitchen with a friend on Monday and it was 30 degrees outside without counting the humidex level Result: the cake collapsed in the center so it was impossible to cut it in half. BUT, this unexpected crater has allowed us to insert macerated strawberries and a whipped mascarpone cream. Note to myself: no baking when the only garment you can endure on your body is a pair of panties!

Strawberry shortcake 01

Ingredients:

For the sponge cake (recipe from Ricardo)

  • 250 ml (1 cup) flour

For the macerated strawberries (recipe from Metro)

  • 750 ml (3 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) sugar
  • 5 mint leaves, chopped
  • the zest and juice of 2 limes

For the whipped mascarpone cream (recipe from Metro)

  • 275 g mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)
  • 500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) sugar

Strawberry shortcake 02

Directions:

For the sponge cake

  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 20-cm (8-inch) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 125 ml (½ cup) of the sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In a third bowl, beat the remaining sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla with an electric mixer. At low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk.
  5. Stir a quarter of the meringue into the batter to lighten it. With a spatula, gently fold in the remaining meringue. Pour into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Unmold immediately and let completely cool on a wire rack.

Strawberry shortcake 03

For the macerated strawberries

  1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, sugar, mint, zest and lime juice.
  2. Let macerate for about 15 min at room temperature, stirring occasionally. Reserve.

For the whipped mascarpone cream

  1. In a small bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese at medium speed with your electric mixer for 1 minute, until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. Stir in the mascarpone, whisking at low speed (60 to 90 seconds) until the mixture is smooth.

Assembling

  1. Cut the sponge cake in half lengthwise.
  2. Place the first sponge cake in a serving plate or cake stand. Spread half the macerated strawberries directly on the cake.
  3. Add a third of the mascarpone cream on strawberriesCover with the second sponge cake and repeat operation. Finish with the remaining cream and decorate with whole strawberries and mint leaves.

Strawberry shortcake 04

#1picaday June recap

#1picaday June recap

We are halfway through the #1picaday challenge! Today is already my sixth time doing a monthly recap and I still have as much fun as I had the first time back in freezing January. By now you all know my heart is no longer available and I couldn’t be happier about that new relationship of mine. He is exactly what I wished for and I feel pretty lucky going to bed with him every night. I don’t wanna sound cheesy, but that’s the best feeling I had in a pretty long time. Not that I wasn’t happy being single, I had a great time, but being two is just perfect. I also got a new car around the middle of the month. Life is good, that’s the least I can say! And today is Canada Day and I’m enjoying a day off work while cooking with a friend. I can’t complain about anything!

See you in a month for the monthly recap of July aka the summer vacations month!

More #1picaday recaps: JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril - May

*If some of you would like to join us for the July challenge, you just have to share one pic each day on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #1picaday and let us know, so we can post a link to your Instagram and Twitter accounts on our blogs. You can follow Mila, Heather, Jana, Carlotta and me over herehere, here, here and here.

Friday Love

The annual marathon of summer holidays started this week with Quebec’s National Day on Tuesday. And because it was a statutory holiday for all workers, it seemed that we had two Mondays during the week. Garfield would have been thrilled about that! On the other hand, it feels like Friday arrived at the speed of lightning and I am certainly the one excited about it because there’s a three-day weekend ahead of us. At the time I’m writing this post, I have nothing special planned yet, but I’m pretty sure the next days will be filled with a monstrous amount of good food. The adage that says we can live on love and fresh water doesn’t apply to me even if I’m getting A LOT lately and I‘m not talking about water!

I remember exactly how I felt during last year’s Canada Day weekend, only a few days before the sky fell on my head, and I am beyond relieved to be where I am today. Life holds for us pleasant surprises when we least expect it. Among these surprises, there are the forever awaited summer vacations who are fast approaching and that we started planning a few days ago – OMG I’ve just written “we”! I feel we’re going to have a great time and vacations are an excellent test for a new couple, don’t you think? My little finger tells me we’ll successfully meet the challenge!

I wish you a lovely weekend and happy Canada Day to all my Canadian fellows! xx

*Linkin up with Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth and Jennifer from The Diary of a Real Housewife.

Friday Love 84

  1. Saturday afternoon on Lake Etchemin
  2. painting my nails blue to celebrate Quebec’s National Day on June 24th
  3. cuddling with my baby girl before a well deserved afternoon nap
  4. mom’s delicious Bolognese sauce
  5. this always happens to me when I‘m in a hurry

*For more pics, follow me on Instagram!

*Earlier this week: In season: zucchinis

In season: zucchinis

With summer in full swing, I though it was the perfect time to bring back the In Season series. You all missed it, right?! So, this new installment features… the zucchini! I propose two recipes in which you can either use green or yellow zucchini or both. First, a warm and crunchy appetizer perfect for a late afternoon snack by the pool with a beer and second, pasta made out of zucchini with tomatoes and shrimp. Using green and yellow zucchinis in the “pasta” dish will make it particularly beautiful and appetizing.

Zucchini and cheddar toasts (recipe by À la Distasio)

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 zucchini
  • 250 ml (1 cup) shredded cheddar
  • 1 French shallot or red onion
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper

In season zucchinis 02

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350ºF). Cut the baguette on the diagonal and broil lightly. Coarsely grate the zucchini and squeeze it in a towel to remove excess water. Put the zucchini in a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread the zucchini mixture on croutons, place them on a baking sheet and in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

In season zucchinis 03

Zucchini spaghetti with garlic shrimp (recipe by Vania Orathay)

Ingredients:

  • 24 shrimp 21/25, peeled
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 pinch of Espelette pepper
  • 5-6 medium zucchinis green and/or yellow
  • 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of chopped basil
  • salt and pepper

In season zucchinis 04

Directions:

In a bowl, combine shrimp, a third of the chopped garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, Espelette pepper and let marinate for about 10 minutes.

Use a peeler or mandolin and cut the zucchinis into julienne strips. Keep the hearts and cut them in little dices.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and fry the julienned zucchini and remaining garlic for a few minutes, season, remove from pan and reserve.

Season the shrimps and add to the pan with a little oil if necessary. Cook shrimps 2 to 3 minutes on each side and remove from the pan.

Add a little oil to the pan, the diced zucchini hearts, tomatoes and season. Cook until the tomatoes drop slightly then deglaze with lemon juice and about 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of water. Add julienned zucchinis, cooked shrimps and heat through without overcooking. Check the seasoning.

Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.

In season zucchinis 05

Need more zucchini ideas? Try this delicious carrot, zucchini and orange loaf.

Friday Love

I feel like I‘m repeating myself, but again the last few days have been great. I went walking through the streets of Old Quebec with mom on Sunday and I also went back in town last night to enjoy some girls time for the opening of the terraces on Grande Allée and to celebrate the official arrival of summer. Our two favorite bands, The Penny Loafers and La Banquette Arrière, were performing outside and we got the chance to see Ryan Stevenson once again. This drummer is simply amazing and very entertaining (check him out in action here). Also, my boyfriend (yes, you read correctly!) was back Saturday night after a week away, so it was very sweet to be with him again.

Oh and I got a NEW CAR! It’s always such an exciting time to leave the dealer with your new car! I have it since Tuesday night and I absolutely love it. I can definitely say now that I have everything I wanted in 2014. I guess the time has come to appreciate all that.

Have a wonderful first summer weekend! :) xx

*Linkin up with Lauren from Lauren Elizabeth and Jennifer from The Diary of a Real Housewife.

Friday Love 83

  1. summer mani + pedi colors
  2. the key to new adventures
  3. the always stunning Château Frontenac
  4. a touch of maple syrup for breakfast
  5. last week, the BF was out of town and it was raining outside, so there wasn’t much left to do except spoiling myself with some chocolate

*For more pics, follow me on Instagram!

*Earlier this week: Sunday afternoon in Old Quebec

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