Well it’s official, spring has sprung! It may or may not be springy yet, depending on where you live, Eastern Canada, I am talking to you! It’s beautiful here in Vegas; if you are wondering when the best time of year to visit Las Vegas is? It’s now!
This is a quick post to share what will be popping up in my blog this spring.
I have three trips in the next month that I will blog about in some form or another. First up, Mississippi and Louisiana, then San Diego and back to Canada for Easter. I am most looking forward to New Orleans, it’s one of my fav cities. It will be super quick, but I will squeeze in an hour or two to explore…and eat!!
I also went on a hot air balloon ride for the first time a few days ago. Who thinks I was brave and who thinks I freaked out?? Lol. I will be posting my wild adventures in ballooning this Sunday. I have some amazing pictures to share!!
Two Sunday’s ago my friend and awesome photographer, Barney, and I took some artsy and very flowery spring themed photos. It was a gray cloudy day, which was perfect lighting for portrait shots!!
Fun fact, to look this rosy and natural, you have to cake on a lot of makeup. I looked like a pink tramp in person, but fresh and dewy in the photos. Also if you want your blue eyes to pop, just wear pink eyeshadow and stand in front a bright green hedge, easy peasy!
My spring photo shoot was to update my blog header, I change it for each season. All the pics in my header are from my travels. I chose super colorful pictures for spring.
Meet Barney, photographer extraordinar, and all round great human. Our next shoot will be in the desert with two models, myself and a friend, and two photographers with very different styles. It will be interesting to see how similar and different their photographs will be; stay tuned.
So that’s what’s on my blog agenda for spring; I see lots of you have been vacationing on sunny beaches sipping fruity drinks, good for you!!!! It’s been a long winter, you deserve some sunshine!!
Thanks for reading! Let me know if there is something I should try or something you would like me to blog about!
As you know a lot of social media is not real life and some of it, is flat out fake. I get messages or run into people who read my blog or follow me who say that they love seeing all the fun things that I am up to.
And although I don’t post anything fake, it only shows one small part of my life, it shows the fun parts; my highlight real. I would hate to think that my online life would make anyone feel bad about theirs.
What I don’t post are the hours alone in airports or the times that things don’t go according to my plan, I hate when that happens! Since my blog is about my life, I thought maybe I should get real and share that pretty pictures don’t always tell the whole story.
Two things that may surprise you about me; one is that I am a home body at heart. Yes I travel a lot, and love it, but I love being home too. And if I am being honest, I actually don’t know where my home is? Is it in Moncton, where my family is? Or is it in Vegas where my stuff is?? I really don’t know anymore.
The second thing is that I am a very private person. Yes, I have a blog and may appear to be an open book, but my close friends know that I find it hard to share all my stuff. So this post is me venturing out of my comfort zone.
Why am I venturing out of my zone? I just think that we all have our own struggles in life and I would hate for someone to think that they are alone in their struggle.
I try really hard not to compare myself to others, its a losing battle, so don’t do it either, lol. And I am a naturally positive person, but sometimes life kicks you in the balls. I am currently dealing with that now; and it sucks big time!!! If I have to look for a silver lining, I guess it’s teaching me what’s really important in life; don’t sweat the small stuff, yup, I get it.
As a woman, and probably men too?? We sometimes struggle with feelings that we are not enough; not pretty enough, not thin enough…not enough enough, lol. I know I do, and every once in awhile I need to have a chat with that little voice in my head. I have to slap that little bitch and tell her to shut up!! I am pretty sure that these periods of self doubt are normal, so you aren’t a freak if you have similar thoughts.
All this to say that no one has it all figured out, nothing is perfect, life is messy! We are all just trying to do our best. My dad keeps telling me, that no one gets out of here alive… gulp!!! I always knew that was true, obviously, but once you are faced with the fact that you are losing someone, that saying takes on a much deeper meaning. We all go through things that change us; wether it be sickness, divorce or death of a loved one. So let’s be nicer to each other, because you never know what the person next to you is dealing with.
Please keep reading my fun and positive posts about travel and how to throw amazing parties. Just know that I know, that sometimes it’s hard and know that you are not alone.
Montréal in February isn’t for the faint of heart; but it is a beautiful and vibrant city no matter what time of the year…but maybe just a bit more vibrant in the spring, summer and fall?? Lol
If you do decide to come here in February, you will need a few essential items; like a tuque (it’s a beanie for my American friends), mittens, they will keep your hands warmer than gloves; and winter boots. And by winter boots, I mean boots with grips, a fur lining is a plus too.
In this post, I tried a new hotel, visited a Nordic spa, did a bit of shopping and ate on the run; oh and I ducked into a historic church.
I was here for a quick work trip and tried to squeeze as much as I could in the short time I was here. Here are my suggestions if you find yourself in Montréal and are wondering what to do…in February.
I love trying new hotels and one of the advantages of traveling off season, February is off season, is that you can get really great rates. This trip we decided to try Le Saint Sulpice Hôtel Montréal, it’s a chic hotel in the heart of old Montréal.
The hotel is located on rue Saint Sulpice, which is located right behind Notre Dame Basilica; now I am not a huge church person, but this one is impressive.
Above is what it looks like during the day; below is a night view, if you are in the area, you may as well peek inside, it’s really pretty.
When checking into the hotel, we lucked out and got upgraded to suites, which is another perk of traveling off season. Always be nice and chatty with the front desk people…always!!
My room had a large seating area with a stone wall.
It overlooked rue Saint Sulpice with a great view of the cobblestone roads, there are cobblestones under the snow, I promise, lol.
But my favorite part of my room and the hotel was the bathroom! More specifically the tub!
This is my dream bathroom; not only did it have a big shower, it also had a big tub! I love baths!!!
They also had L’Occidane bath products, which are super fancy!! I brought all my leftover bottles home.
We flew in on Sunday and by the time we checked into the hotel it was early evening. The temperature was -12 Celsius, which for some of my readers doesn’t sound that cold, but because Montréal is on the water, it’s a damp cold, so it feels colder. What could be more fabulous than a Nordic Spa on a wintry Sunday night?? Nothing!
Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal is located just down the street from our hotel. We asked the concierge at the hotel for the address, he said take a right, you’ll see and smell the eucalyptus steam.
If you haven’t been to a Nordic Spa, they have hot baths and saunas with cold dipping pools and cold showers. So you go from the hot sauna to the cold shower to the hot pool, followed by the cold dipping pool; and then you repeat.
I did the hot bath and the cold dipping pool. It’s so cold it picks your skin; the trick is to dip quickly and go back to the hot pool. It’s supposed to be good for you; it was surprisingly invigorating. I don’t like saunas and the cold shower just seemed like a dumb idea, lol, so I skipped those. They also have relaxation areas where people go to to relax and nap.
I get bored “relaxing” for too long, I did sit there and people watched before moving on. The one thing that I don’t love about Nordic spas is that you aren’t allowed to talk. I guess that may be the reason why some people go? But I am chatty.
After I soaked, dipped, relaxed while silent; I went for a massage. And wow! It was one of the best massages I have ever had!! My masseuse’s name was Nicholas, he was from France; if you go, you should ask for him. He was awesome and his Parisian accent was dreamy, ok, I actually don’t know if he was from Paris, but his French accent was very different than the accent Québécois and Acadiens. Not that it was better…ok, it may have been a little better? But just because it sounded more exotic to me. No offense to the Quebecers or my fellow Acadians…ok, enough about accents, moving on, lol.
I walked back to the hotel so relaxed I didn’t even feel the cold, I realized that this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday night in Montréal…in February.
Next time I am in town I am going to try Bota Bota Spa-sure-l’eau; it’s a spa on a boat, it looks really cool! Let me know if any of you have been there, if so what did you think??
Montréal is probably one of the chicest cities in North America; top three for sure! So it goes without saying that the shopping here is amazing!
Here are my fav stores.
You should start in and around rue St Catherine; there you will find the Hudson Bay and the Eaton’s Center.
For my American friends, The Bay is a huge high end department store. It was a fur trading company founded in 1670 and is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. All that to say, it’s a big part of the history of Canada and a great place to shop; it’s similar to Sasks Fith Avenue Department Store.
The Eaton’s Center is a huge mall, located in the middle of downtown. Montréal has an extensive underground walkway, you can get in and around The Bay to the Eaton’s Center without having to go outside; which comes in handy on cold winter days. I braved the cold and walked outside, living in Las Vegas for a few years now, I felt that walking in the cold may help me get my Canadian street cred back?
Rudsak is a Canadian company; it’s described as a luxury fashion company. It’s on the pricey side, but their items will last forever!! Almost every item in their store was black or gray, so my kind of place. It’s my bff’s, Guylaine’s, fav store.
They had everything you need to survive a Montréal winter in style! They also had beautiful purses. I felt butterflies in my stomach as soon as I saw them, but walked away before I fell in love; as I walked away I repeated in my head: you do not need another purse…you do not need another purse!!! Ouff, that was a close call.
They have a few locations, I went to the one inside Eaton’s Center.
Aritzia is another Canadian company; it was founded in Vancouver. They focus on individual style and quality garments. They also have a store in the Eaton’s Center; if you haven’t shopped there, check them out. Their clothes are more affordable than Rudsak. They remind me a bit of Zara.
COS is my current fav store; it’s a Swedish company with locations scattered in key chic cities around the world. I’ve been to the store in Toronto and Paris; they also have a store on rue St. Catherine here in Montréal. I didn’t make it there on this trip, partly because I didn’t know they had a store when I was downtown and partly because I didn’t want to know for fear of buying something. My bag is already over weight, I’ve been gone three weeks, so I needed a lot of stuff and winter stuff is heavier; but I will visit on my next trip for sure.
One thing that I will say about COS, is that if you check them out online, you may think they are very boring, the clothes on their site look boring, but their stores are super chic in person. They offer classic pieces that will never go out of style. They also have cool hip pieces that are sure to become classics. They have great quality stuff, so I don’t mind paying a little bit more; but prices aren’t super crazy. My friend Aline first introduced me to this store…thank you!
I am giving a shout out to the Banana Republic on St Catherine just because it’s one of the bigger Banana stores that I have been in and the building is historic and funky. I bought a blouse!! It’s light weight so shouldn’t add any weight to my suitcase, in case you are worried about me, lol.
Montréal is a foodies dream, so many amazingly yummy places. It’s fun to discover hidden gems as you walk through the city. Montréal is know for their smoke meat sandwiches and their bagels, personally I prefer Montreal bagels to New York’s.
I would recommend making friends with your hotels concierge; they will know all the best places to eat.
Because this trip was super short, we didn’t have time for a fancy meal. We did grab a pizza before our spa night. Pizzeria Bros is almost across the street from Notre Dame; you can create your own pizza, each pizza is cooked in its own red pizza oven, super cute and yummy, easy on the budget too.
Montréal has a definite Euro vibes, there is literally a coffee and/or pastry shop on every corner, especially in old Montréal. While walking back from my meetings, I stopped into Olive and Gourmando; I had heard so many good things about this place, I needed to see what all the talk was about.
It was packed!!! I didn’t have the patience to wait in line in the cold doorway, so I got a few things to go. My fave was the blueberry tart. It’s obviously the “it” place to meet with friends, but if you are looking for a quiet place to catch up, this isn’t the place, lol. It’s more of a see and be seen place.
Even though my time in this beautiful city was short, and cold, I tried to soak in as much as I could. There is so much to do and see, 24hrs is a joke, but it’s better than nothing. There was a winter festival happening the week after I left, the locals are not afraid of a little cold; so there is lots to do in the winter; but there is something magical about the city in the summer.
My next trip back is planned for July, I will do a follow up post at that time that showcases the summer vibe. So what’s your favorite thing to do in Montréal?
What is Galentine you ask? Well it’s a Valentine celebration with your gals. Yes, it’s a thing and to be honest, I am all for it! I know people love to bash Valentine’s Day, as a made up holiday, yadda, yadda, yadda; but I love Valentine’s Day because I love, love. It’s corny, it’s commercial and it has a great color palette! I ❤️ it!!
Here are 6 steps to help you throw your very own Galentine soirée.
One of my friends just gave me a red rhinestone retro lip telephone; it’s sooo pretty! He said it reminded him of me; how sweet right?? It has inspired My Galentine Party theme; my official theme will be: Hot Lips! This would also be a fun theme for a bachelorette or a birthday party.
I bought these cards in Paris last October, they say bizous which is French for kisses. When traveling, I love browsing stationary and card shops. I often buy cute cards and frame them as souvenirs of my trip. I didn’t know what I would use these cards for, but once I decided on my Hot Lips theme, I remembered I had them. They are perfect!
A great cheap way to decorate is to blow up a bunch of balloons…a really big bunch! Helium can be expensive, these above, were blown up with a cheap hand pump. It’s a great way to reinforce your colors palette as well. Once your guests arrive, they will get kicked and thrown around.
For a Galentine party, I think more is more; once you think you are on the brink of going over board with your decor, add a few more, lol.
As I have mentioned in previous party posts, don’t stress out over food; order in, cook or go out, it’s all good!
I am having my gals over for drinks and appetizers, then we are going out to dinner. But I couldn’t help but buy these hot lips cookies; how perfect are they??!! I got them at Tony’s here in Moncton.
Oh and I also got these, look down, because they were soooo pretty, so we may do drinks and desert at my place?? These were also from Tony’s, I had to taste test one, to make sure they were good enough for my guests. Happy to report, they passed the test!
If I was going to cook, a heart shaped pizza would be my choice. It looks super easy…says the girl going out to dinner, lol. If you are ordering in or taking out this Valentines, ask them to make it heart shaped. You really need to embrace the corniness of this holiday.
We sprinkled some hearts on the table at the restaurant, and voila! Instant Galentine decor. The waitress thought it was pretty, I think she wanted to join us? You can add flowers or balloons; we kept it simple, yet festive.
5. Have Fun!
I always buy something funny or silly for my guests. I have found that props loosen people up. For Halloween, I had black bunny masks, for Christmas, I had reindeer glasses; and for my Galentine’s party, I have these cute glasses.
I also bought lip suckers, they were funny and yummy!! They helped my friends pucker up!! Make sure to take lots of pictures!!
6. Party Favors
No one leaves empty handed. I was surprised at how easy it was to find items that fit my theme so perfectly.
Included in my goody bags are: a hot pink lip balm, a Kiss Me heart shaped sucker and a lip smacking sucker, because one sucker wasn’t enough, lol. And a moisturizing lip mask, it’s a silicon lip shape that you put on your lips for 10 to 15 minutes, because your hot lips need to be kissable at all times!
I hope this post inspires you to get a few of your best gals together for drinks, dinner or brunch. Life can be hard and messy, it’s so important to have a tribe of strong women surrounding you!
I wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Tell the people around you that you love them! They will be happy to hear it!
Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade of Lipstick.
It won’t be a shock to anyone to hear that I have a thing for red lipsticks. Ok, it may be a minor obsession? I am always on the hunt for that perfect shade of red. When I am stressed or feeling blah, a new lipstick perks me up and makes me feel fancy!
Here are a few of my personal favs that are versatile and will probably look good on you too. I also recruited my BFF and her daughter for their favorite brands and shades.
If you are looking for a creamy, full coverage lipstick that stays on, try the line Bite. I asked my best friend and her 18 year old daughter to show me their top two red lipsticks. All three of us had a Bite shade listed as our favorite.
Guylaine, my bff, recommends Tannin, it’s a deep red with blue undertone; I may need to add it to my collection? Gaspacho is my newest red, it’s a nice bright cheery red. Sour Cherry was Emma’s pick, it’s a pinkish red; I also love Sour Cherry; it’s the color I am wearing it in my feature image above.
Oh and this brand smells and tastes yummy, it’s very “citrusssy”! Guylaine is forever licking hers off, lol.
Emma’s other fav is M.A.C.’s Russian Red, which made me laugh because her mother and I were wearing this shade when she was a baby. I’d like to think that I’ve been a positive lipstick role model for her growing up?
Guylaine and I have been friends since we were 14; we grew up with moms who would give us the once over before we left the house: “tu sort pas de la maison sans rouge à lèvres? » Translation, you aren’t leaving the house without lipstick are you?
Russian Red is an “I am not messing around shade”; it’s definitely Acadian mother approved! It’s also super versatile, it’s flattering on fair skin tones like me and also super flattering on darker complexions like the photo above.
I also love and always have the shade Moxie in my purse, also by M.A.C. If you want a beginner red, please try this one; it goes on a pretty sheer, so don’t be intimidated when you see the tube. Try it!
Also if you are trying red for the first time, put it on and then dab it off. So it won’t be so “BAM”! A lot of people tell me, I can’t wear red; which is bullshit, lol. You just need to find your shade and get used to the power that comes with red. Baby steps…
I gave my friend Mary a lip makeover and got her turned on to reds. We were in Montreal when she said she wanted to get away from the brown shades she had been wearing. I am not even joking, we were in a M.A.C. within 10 minutes and were out the door with matching Moxie shades not long after. I loved this color so much, I have bought it three times without realizing I already had it.
Kat Von D
I have a few Kat Von D lipsticks in my makeup bag. I recently wanted to buy a new Bachelorette, which was also universally pretty on everyone; fair, medium and dark skin tones. I think it’s been discontinued, which is a bummer; I was told that Outlaw is their new best red seller. I haven’t tried it yet; we’ll see if it’s as versatile as Bachelorette?
What Shade is Right for You?
If you are fair, look for reds with blue undertones, if you aren’t sure what colors have a blue undertone? Just ask the makeup artists onsite. Lighter skin tones can also wear a red with coral or pink undertones. I am fair, but I stay away from corals because they don’t work on me; pinks are all good though!
If your skin tone is more on the olive side, then stick with reds that have corals or orange undertones.
If you have a dark complexion, a deep red with blue undertones will be the most flattering on you!
I recommend going to Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, or wherever it is you shop and ask for help. Ask them for recommendations on a few red options for you. BTW it may take you a few wears to get used to seeing red on you, just don’t give up! No one likes a quitter, lol.
I hope you enjoyed this post; with Valentines Day right around the corner, I think you should treat yourself to a new lipstick!! And then find someone to kiss and mess it all up!!
Click on like below if you like it, share it on Facebook if you loved it!! As for comments; do you wear red lipstick? If not? What’s holding you back??
(If you are easily scandalized, please don’t read, 😳)
Roses and chocolates are fine…I guess? If you like that sort of thing? Here are 5 other options to help SASS up your Valentine’s Day…or night? Whatever, lol.
Scissor Sisters Booty Bucks
Not ready to put a ring on it? The Scissor Sisters have a few hilarious ways to say…mm, I love you??
They have created super funny Booty Bucks for that special someone in your life. If interested, please DM Melissa on Insta: lil_gingersnap, they are 50% sass, 50% kick ass and 100% fun!
My two favs are: “I’am so glad we got drunk and had sex”and “You repulse me the least”, lol. Share which you like best??
What’s Wax Got to Do With It??
Nothing!! Just say no to wax; body sugaring is the way to go! If you are so fortunate to live in the Moncton area, then you are fortunate enough to visit our local goddess, Kimberly, at Kimberly the Studio. I’ve been to lots of fancy places with fancy spas and Kimberly is by far the best at what she does!!
What does she do you ask? She does it all! Lol, she’s been called a Vulva Artist, she will make your vagina look and feel it’s very best! Not for anyone else, but for yourself. She’s an artist and a poet and embodies female empowerment. I make a beeline to her studio whenever I am in town.
Guys, a gift certificates for your ladies will help spice up your love lives. Another way to spice it up, would be to get your backs sugared, lol, just saying.
Her studio, Kimberly the Studio, is located at 139 Archibald St, in Moncton. If you are too far to visit Kimberly, aw so sorry, I feel really bad for you. Make an appointment with your local ladyscaping artist; you just won’t get the Kimberly experience.
She also wanted me to mention that that The Aberdeen Cultural Center will be hosting their annual fundraiser, l’art en boîte. Valentine’s Day in Moncton is not just heart day, its art day!! For $50, you get to go home with an original piece of art. Check them out, buy your ticket, support local artists.
Get A Heart On!
One of Moncton’s best Restaurant’s, if not the best, is Gusto Italian Bar & Grill. It’s located on 130 Westmorland St. If you haven’t been, I can guarantee you will looove it!
It’s the perfect place to take your sweetheart on your next date night; all their food is amazing, but their freshly made cheesecakes are on another level!
They also have a super cool vibe with lots of dark corners on the main level; perfect for a romantic night out.
Meet Gusto’s hostess with the mostess, Guylaine, flaunting their gluten free, pecan caramel cheesecake. It’s beyond delicious! I have no idea what’s in the crust, but I could have just eaten the crust alone and been super satisfied; and did I mention it’s gluten free? It’s their feature cake until March.
Netflix & Chill, Solo
There’s no shame if you find yourself in between lovers this VD Day…oh I mean, VDay 😬
Plan the perfect night in; order yourself a heart shaped pizza and a few slices of cheesecake to go; wash it all down with a box of wine and binge watch the first season of You and Dirty John. You will be counting your lucky stars that you’re single after watching, trust me!! Man that is some scary shit!!
(Also if you don’t know what Netflix & Chill means, look it up 😳)
Here’s an idea, skip the homemade card and go for custom condoms; yes you can have a custom message printed on the package. Full disclosure, I haven’t tried these…yet, but OMG what a fabulous idea!! FYI, all my friends are getting oui-Liette condoms next Christmas! Lol
I hope this post helps to get you in the mood. Please note, I am not being paid or getting freebies to promote the companies & services listed above; my shout outs are ligit. Ok…I may get a free slice of cheesecake from Gusto’s every once in awhile?? But just the ones that flop over and aren’t pretty enough to serve to customers, lol.
And I just noticed an unintentional theme, all my featured companies in this post are from female boss ladies!! Except for the condoms, not sure if that is a female led business or not? But it’s a great ideas so probably thought of by a woman?? Kidding…sort of.
Thanks for reading, share the love by liking or sharing!!
Shout out to my nephew Jack for being a great little photographer and all round supporter!
(for my subscribers, if you are reading from your email, click on the title, it will make everything look fancier).
Lots of cities have Chinatown’s; New York, San Diego, Vancouver are just a few that come to mind, but did you know that Las Vegas has it’s very own Chinatown? Neither did I until I moved here. It’s just two miles from the strip, along Spring Mountain Road.
Anyone who has been to Las Vegas in the past few years is painfully aware that it has become a very expensive city; especially if you are staying and eating on the strip. I encourage you to take a super short Uber ride over to Chinatown. It’s by far the best bang for your buck! And what a yummy bang it is, lol.
I am not a Dim Sum expert by any means…like really not. I am just a French Canadian girl trying new things and sharing my experiences. So let’s get started; and by started, I mean let’s eat!
The first advice I was given about Dim Sum, was not to fill up on rice or noodles; so what were the first two items we got? Yup, rice and noodles, lol. The second advice was don’t order coffee, because they serve tea. So what was the second thing we did? You guessed it, my friend ordered coffee; we were off to a great start!
Dim Sum is traditionally served for breakfast, but in the US and Canada, it’s more of a brunch thing.
If you have never been to a Dim Sum, here’s how it works; they roll out carts of food and you select which small plates you want, no menus needed. It’s perfect for sharing, so bring a few friends.
The carts come out in random order and they keep coming, so take your time. You can let a cart go, it will come back; I promise!
Chinatown has an abundance of restaurants; we went to Honk Kong Garden, there are two of them, this one serves Dim Sum, see above.
There are so many hidden gems in Chinatown, we have visited a few so far. We used Yelp for a bit of guidance; all have been fantastic and cheap!!!
The top left dish was shrimp and top right was pork, sorry I didn’t get the official names, the carts were just coming at me so fast I couldn’t keep up, lol.
We ate a lot!! You will leave full, but please save some room for desert.
Hong Kong Garden is my friend, Michael’s fav restaurant, even though you can eat desert first, he advised against it. So I did wait to eat one of these custard filled rolls until after I was done dim suming (yes, I know it’s not a real word); and omg, it was so good! It was still warm, crusty sugar on top and a gooey custard in the center.
So here is my hard hitting question for you; how adventurous are you? Would you have tried the chicken feet? I passed, but I did try a few new things and like them.
Chinese New Year is quickly approaching, it’s Feb 5th; so Happy Year! This year is year of the Pig, in case you were wondering…you’re welcome.