November 28, 2016

BUTTER LONDON





I am incredibly obsessed with Butter London's products! As a holiday round up of Christmas gift ideas for that beauty addict in your life, I strongly suggest giving some items from this brand. Their products do not contain harsh chemicals as other cosmetic brands use and that is very important for me as I use makeup on a daily basis.

 First off, I must share my BL essentials, since I redo my manicure on a weekly basis, I like to use the Horse Power Nail Rescue Basecoat which helps to strengthen my nails. They were damaged after a bad European manicure episode in March but after weeks of using this product, they started growing stronger and longer. 



I've  also been using the Quickfix moisturizing cuticle balm which is perfect to condition your cuticles, especially during the harsh winters.



Since, I am always on the go, I always opt to use the quick drops from BL, they accelerate the drying process and prevent smudging. I swear by this quick dry formula as it includes rose hip oil and the scent is wonderful.





I am fascinated by Butter London's tinted moisturizer for nails, this treatment is available in all nude shades to match various skin tones. I got the "deep" color which matches perfectly with my complexion. This nail treatment is free of harsh chemicals and locks in moisture with the help of natural ingredients such as tea tree oil. The results I have had are actually remarkable and my nails no longer have that brittle look.




Did somebody say Lipstick? I am a fan of Butter London's lipsticks, not only do they apply on smooth like butter, they actually have a great scent that is not unpleasant like other lipstick brands. My two fave colors of the moment are the Fab & Lucky plush rush lipsticks, they are always in my purse.


Lucky Plush Rush Lipstick




Their lipliners are very easy to blend and actually reduce the appearance of creases on your lips. At times, I use the liner all over my lip as a base and use a nice sheer gloss over it. In my makeup répertoire, I have the Sizzle Pink Plush Rush Lipliner which I wore out last Friday night, it's my favorite. My new year's "beauty" resolution for 2017 is to own every color available in these.




If you are the glossy type, BL offers a wide array of lip gloss colors with lip plumping effects and a high shine finish.





November 23, 2016

MTL à TABLE 2016



For those who follow my blog, you definitely know that I like to check out new restaurants and eat quality meals. When I travel, I always make it a point to google restaurants, read reviews and book them before I even land at my destination. 

Luckily I live in Montreal, the city of restaurants! That is why I love MTL à TABLE, it's that time of the year when you can dine at fancy restaurants with a fixed menu at a cheaper cost. This year, I checked out four restaurants, which gave me the opportunity to let the "food snob" in me come out.


XO Le Restaurant, beautiful decor and great service. The entrées and main courses were a pleasure to eat, however I was displeased with the desserts. For such a fancy experience, I was hoping to have a more complex gastronomical ending, instead they served a nutella pizza and dark chocolate covered with raspberry sauce which lacked thought and taste. 

On a positive note, we were very happy with the glamorous seating that was reserved for us and the staff was very kind. I would go back to try another round of desserts. 


Entrée:

Red snapper tartare, grapefruit white butter, watercress


My dish: Guinea fowl Cordon Bleu style, Migneron cheese, prosciutto 

His dish: Tagliatelles with chickpeas, octopus confit and red bell peppers

Main courses: 4/5 star rating


Desserts: 2/5 star rating


Next on the list, we went to "Chambre à part", this place has a very cozy vibe, the cool wallpaper accents  and the placement of the dining area, gives a very "home sweet home" vibe yet is is still very contemporary.


I had the lavender, lemon and cassis cocktail without alcohol which was a burst of flavor in my mouth. The combination was perfect and I enjoy the fact that they offer tasty non-alcoholic cocktails.


I would give the entrées a 3.5/5 star rating. However, my main course with the codfish (not pictured) was not cooked ideally and it's texture made the dish unpleasant.

Entrées:

My dish: Squid, romano, cumin, avocado lime dashi

His dish: Confit lamb, mint, smoked labneh, clementine, buckwheat cracker 


I felt like the restaurants participating in MTL à Table tend to just skim by the desserts and not make such an effort for a WOW factor. Given the supposed budget they may have, they obviously create a dessert that is more cost effective, however they should not forget to make the sweet ending funner for foodies. 

My dessert: Iced lemon, Anicet honey financier

His dessert: Panna cotta of buffalo yogurt, hibiscus, marinated orange in vanilla, pink pepper meringue



 We had already been at Bistrot La Fabrique on a regular night and had such a memorable experience, so we decided to go back for MTL à Table. It was not the same experience, the meals were obviously downgraded, lacking taste and not so fancy. However, this can come with the territory of dining out during this yearly event. But still, it's not an excuse.


Buckwheat tart, artichoke, 65° egg, Charlevoix Migneron cheese

1/5 star rating


My dish: Pan-seared Albacore tuna, papaya salad, sesame seed, confit carrot, wasabi mustard, nori risotto, cilantro

His dish: Squash, quinoa, saffron confit onion, maple syrup chili paste, Candy Cap mushroom, almond cream, red cabbage croquette


For dessert, Bistrot La Fabrique offered what I would call Quebec "comfort food" which was quaint. I was expecting more since my first visit included a more intricate and succulent ending which is why I had decided to come back for a second time. However, we were basically given an apple and french toast?

My dessert: Cortland apple cassolette topped with cheddar

His dessert: French toast, clove caramel, fleur de sel


Ouf! I didn't realize how much we ate that week, I guess I have to hit the gym to burn all these calories. Last stop, Restaurant Manitoba! It was complete madness to get a reservations here, literally everyday was booked, we finally got a table Wednesday night at 9 pm. 

This was my second time at Manitoba for #MTLaTable, my last time was in 2013 and that meal was so amazing, I was stunned. This restaurant is all about having the taste of the Canadian forest in your plate with locally sourced ingredients. For this edition, their menu wasn't strong, the only thing that peaked my interest was the discovering the "Mozzarella Mousse" dessert.



Montrealers love to enjoy life and dining out is a big part of their social lives. This is why MTL à Table is so popular as it is a great opportunity for foodies at heart to discover new restaurants in the city. Bon appétit!




November 18, 2016

Glamping in Wakefield!



Every fall season, we love to take a break from the city and plan a nature getaway to enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery. Last year, we went to Mont-Tremblant, as blogged here. This year, we decided to go "Glamping" in Wakefield, Quebec. So we found the cutest micro house on wheels named "La Crépuscule" that you can rent on BulleEtoile.com, they offer amazing accommodations for a more luxurious camping experience.


It's a pretty cool experience being in the middle of nature while living in a micro house that comes with all amenities, watching deer run by and soaking in the quietness of being in a remote area. It's much needed, especially if you live in a big busy city. 


I recommend going to Wakefield for a one night, 2 day trip, it's enough time to see everything. It's a very quaint village with cute shops to see and cozy places to dine at. During our short stay, we went paddle boating, visited the Gendron Bridge, did some occasional shopping and of course a lovely dinner at The Village House.

Gendron Bridge a.k.a Wakefield Covered Bridge




Paddle Boating with my partner in crime.


While in Wakefield, we decided to go see Pink Lake, which is not in the town, however only 20 mins away. This lake has a beautiful turquoise color, it's best to go see it between 12-3pm for the best scenery. It's a really popular site, so expect a lot of tourist there.  



Relaxing by the fire and roasting marshmallows. 


I haven't had s'mores in so long, so we got the President's Choice S'mores kit, the chocolate was really bad. So next time, I plan on making fancy ones with Italian pizelle and belgian chocolate, that will be delicious! 



Simple breakfast for two.


The owners of Bulle Etoile were kind enough to let us tour their other accommodations such as "La Hubble", which would be like living inside  a very luxurious bubble tent with a clear window roof to look up at the stars. I really want to book the Hubble next time, it is a nice and romantic getaway idea. If you ever want to surprise your loved one or celebrate an anniversary, why not book this! 



 I'm obsessed with the color burgundy for the fall season, so I packed my Dorothee Schumacher dress to wear in the gorgeous nature setting, my grey coat from Amsterdam and I could not leave without my Plum Velour lipstick from Revlon.



I also packed my nine west boots, my brocade tights from Winners and my London Fog purse which is also another #WinnersFabFind. 



Of course, I had to go shopping, I bought this cute pink vest at Clothespeg which is a thrift shop located inside Café Molo, a unique and eco-friendly souvenir of my weekend in Wakefield. 



S'mores dessert at The Village House in Wakefield 


Before heading back to Montreal, we had to try  the Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream at La Cigale in Chelsea, it was so good! 






Photography: SDB