Monday, December 3, 2012

Quick tips to winterize your skin

If you're like me your skin gets extra dry and itchy this season because of the cold winter air. Here's a quick tip to keep warm and hydrated. When you take your shower and you're about ready to get out, gradually lower the temperature of your water until it's almost completely cold. This will get your blood flow going, insuring to regulate the temperature of your body and it will lessen the shock of getting out of the shower. It's also a sure wake me up for those mornings where there's not a lot of sunlight when you wake up.
You can also use a cream based lotion instead of regular lotion that will keep the skin hydrated longer. I use a shea butter cream or coconut oil in the winter. Hope this helps.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Homemade Vodka tea lemon toner

So if you're like me you start out the day with beautiful glowing skin and by mid-day you look like someone's slapped a chicken all over it. That's okay, you're not alone. Although buying a combination-skin moisturizer is a very good first step, you most likely need to take others. Which is why I've researched a very fun, innovative approach to taming oily skin.

Vodka tea lemon toner

4 tablespoons of Russian vodka
4 tablespoons of Rose hips tea (or a blend that contains it)
4 tablespoons of Lemon juice
4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

How it works

1- Mix all of the ingredients and place in a clean, dry container. The measurements gave me enough toner for a 60ml bottle
2- With a cotton ball, apply the toner to your face, after cleaning and before moisturizing.
3- Store your toner in the refrigerator as it will help with conservation (a few weeks) and with the tightening of your pores because of the colder temperature

Why it works

- Vodka: is an astringent, we're just not used to thinking about alcohol for beauty related purposes. It works the same way as vinegar.
- Rose hips tea: is also astringent as it has a very high concentration of Vitamin C and helps protect your skin from damage as it contains antioxidants
- Lemon juice: The antibacterial properties makes it perfect to combat acne and it will exfoliate your skin to remove the excess oils
- Aloe vera: will keep the skin hydrated and will prevent the burning sensation of the toner being too concentrated with astringents. It also helps heal scars.

This recipe is pretty straight forward but maybe this video tutorial can help:

Youtube video tutorial

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Homemade turmeric face mask

Is it just me or most Indian women are gorgeous?! This is why this next recipe was inspired by an Indian tradition. This recipe is traditionally used on brides to be before the wedding. It basically helps to prevent breakouts, fights acne, blemishes and dark spots.

Turmeric Face Mask

1 Tablespoon of Gram flour also know as Chickpea flour
1 Tablespoon of Turmeric Powder
2 Tablespoons of Milk
1 Teaspoon of Honey


Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until you get a pasty consistency. Apply on your face and be careful not to get any in your eyes. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water and towel dry.

1- I could not find any Gram flower so I simply ground Chick peas with the Magic Bullet and I passed them through a strainer for finer grains.
2- Apply the mask over the bathroom counter as this can be quite messy.
3- It's normal for the face to feel stiff after a few minutes as the mask hardens.
4- It's recommended to do this mask no more than twice a week
5- If you need anymore help or you're more visual, check out this video tutorial:

Youtube video tutorial

Friday, November 2, 2012

Homemade flax seed hair gel recipe

I've been looking for an alternative for store bought gels, that either flake or make my hair sticky and yuk because I have to use so much and I came across this recipe on Youtube but made a few changes to make it my own and ensure that it would have optimal results on my hair

Moisturizing Flax seed gel

1/4 cup of flax seeds
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin
1 teaspoon of argan oil or argan oil treatment
5 drops of Vitamin E
1 pantyhose (to use as a strainer)

Step by step guide

1- Bring the water and flax seeds to boil all the while stirring
2- Wait a couple of minutes until a gooey film develops on the top of the pan; that's when you know to turn off the oven
3- Place the pantyhose over a container so that the gel passes through the hose but the seeds stay in the pantyhose
4- Let the gel cool down before adding the other ingredients
5- After mixing them all together, place the gel into dry, sterilized containers. Since this needs to be kept in the fridge for conservation; I placed some in a bottle and the rest in a bigger container. The gel is a little runny so it's better to use it from the bottle. You can even use it in a spray bottle
6- Keep the seeds in a separate container as you can reuse them for another batch.

Note that you can do this recipe just with the first 2 ingredients. The gel is great for styles like twist outs, braid outs and does not dry out the hair. Also, it's inexpensive since a bag of about 500g of flax seed will cost you about 5$ and you need about 50g per recipe that you can reuse at least once so you can have for about 0,25$ you can make a batch. You can keep each batch in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Exfoliating Sugar and honey scrub recipe

Exfoliating is an important part of a good beauty routine as it allows regeneration of the skin while getting rid of yukky dead skin cells. This little recipe is simple and effective to leave your skin feeling smooth and hydrated

Sugar honey scrub

1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil
15 drops of jojoba oil
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and store in a clean dry container. Do not let water come in contact with your mix as it will cause bacteria to form. You can use this on your elbows, knees and even for mani/pedis and it's good for up to 6 months

Sugar facial

To use this as a facial, simply lather your face with soap using warm water (if you have oily skin add lemon to the water) and add a nickel sized piece of scrub on your face. Gently massage in circular motions for about 10 minutes. Rinse off using cool water to close pores. Pat your face dry with a towel and use your favorite moisturizer.

Homemade anti-aging/acne-fighting night cream

Night creams can be quite pricy! You could buy a really expensive not assuredly effective night cream or... you can create an easy multi-beneficial cream from natural ingredients:

Best night cream ever

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil
1/2 teaspoon tea-tree oil
1/2 teaspoon bergamot oil

Place all of the ingredients in a clean, dry container. Store the container in a cool dry place, away from sunlight. If you do not have acne or breakouts, you can skip the bergamot and tea-tree oils. Use a few drops applied evenly, every night on your freshly washed face. If you can, it would be beneficial to add a few drops (maximum 15) of carrot oil and grape seed oil to the mix.

- Olive oil benefits the healing and fading of acne scars much as it does for other scarring. The best part is that olive oil does not clog pores so it will not cause zits to form
- Jojoba oil is great for all types of skin problems such as dryness and oily skin as it regulates the secretion of sebum. It also has anti-wrinkle properties as it boosts the elasticity of the skin. I also contains Vitamin E which protects the skin from free radicals
- Tea-tree oil and bergamot oils both effectively fight and prevent acne
- Grape-seed oil has anti-wrinkle properties, works to lighten the skin and regulates sebum secretions
- Carrot oil has anti-wrinkle properties and works for skin tone regulation

By now you're probably thinking; you MUST be crazy, my skin is already oily which is why it's acne prone, I'm not putting oils on there! At first I was thinking the same thing but these oils are very light weight and will not make your face feel greasy. Also, since it's a light film you apply on your face, it's almost completely gone in the morning. At that point you simply wash your face and apply your day cream or moisturizer.


1- Tea tree and bergamot oils are photosensitive therefore it's REALLY important to use this concoction as a night cream. You should not expose yourself to the sun or UV rays after using this.
2- Beware of essential oils if you have food allergies
3- Bergamot oil is not recommended for women that are pregnant or nursing.

Let me know if you would like a list of addresses where you can purchase these oils in the Greater Montreal area and don't forget to subscribe :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Braids and protective styles

Is it just me or it's great to give your hair a break from the elements in the fall/winter months?! So if like me you like wearing braids for that reason or even just to mix it up; contact me. I have good prices and I can do multiple styles if you live in the Montreal area. Here are some of my latest clients:

Contact me at for an appointment. Let me know in advance and I can even style your hair on a week day. See you soon

Friday, October 26, 2012

Banana baby food Homemade Deep conditioner

It is just me or I've been using a lot of food on my hair lately? I just figure, I've stopped using the chemical relaxers, I might as well try to use as less chemicals on my hair as possible! I still use store bought products but I'm experimenting with what nature has to offer right now and it's great. It's inexpensive and fun. So for about 1$ I came up with this little recipe that's sure to:

1- Make my hair softer: Bananas are rich in potassium and Vitamin C which help soften and hydrate the hair
2- Give my hair bounce and shine: thanks to the olive and coconut oil
3- Help my hair grow: The sulfur and zinc contained in garlic stimulates hair growth

Banana Deep-conditioner

1 bottle of banana baby food
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of "garlicky" olive oil --> Crush 2 garlic clovers and let them sit in the heated olive oil for 2-3 days. Sift out the garlic pieces and only keep the olive oils for the mask. You can keep the oil in the fridge for 10 days [Source]
Mix all of the ingredients together and apply the mask on clean (washed hair). Place a plastic cap on your head and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Rinse abundantly. Then use regular conditioner.

***Important***: Garlic is counter-indicated for people that are on anticoagulant drugs such as aspirin. Also, do not add the garlic to the recipe if you have soars or cuts on your head as it will "burn". The overwhelming garlic smell dissipates after a few hours

If you try any of the recipes, please let me know what the results are for you :)

Dinner and Kizomba dance classes

It is just me or Kizomba is the latest crave after salsa lessons being the trend for a while. But now an afro dance movement is on the rise in downtown Montreal. It's sensual and rhythmic and oh so fun to watch. I went out with my sisters to celebrate the promotion of one of them so we went to Essence Resto Bar. We got there around 9:30 just before the kitchen closed. We had time to order but I feel the service was not as attentive. We ordered a bottle of wine and I took a medium rare steak. The wine was good but the steak was not the best I'd ever had. It was a little chewy, not much but I guess it was a bit overcooked for my taste. The service was okay at best but the ambiance was very cozy and girly... I like it like that. Anyways, there is not much to say about Essence as a restaurant! Everything was pretty much OKAY, nothing knocked it out of the park for me!!!

But then, at around 11, you can transition into the lounge area and the Essence turns into a nice little club. There's even a Kizomba dance tutorial given for the people that are there at that time. I was there in time to witness it. I didn't participate but I gladly watched as the volunteers learned the basic steps of the dance. The dance partners are intertwined in a dance resembling salsa, zouk, tango but at the same time this dance is like no other. It was 3 times based tempo and there's just something about it! I like it. If you're not shy and you like to bust a move; it might be what you've been looking for as an activity to do with the hubby. Or even if you're single and looking to meet new people and put yourself out-there. Bring a friend it's gonna be a fun night ;)
Also afterwards, they play a nice mix of dancehall, old school hip hop and Kizomba. The entrance to the club is 15$ and we went on a Friday. We didn't pay since we were already inside. Here's the link to the restaurant's website:

Essence Restaurant Bar Lounge on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Homemade fruit face mask and juice recipe

Is it just me or sometimes the face needs a little pick me up... In the same period that I was doing the organic garden in our backyard I was introduced to juicing. So here's a simple juice recipe that tastes great and instead of throwing away the pulp, you can use it as a natural facemask/scrub. I left it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing. The results: tingly freshness + extra smooth skin.

I use fruits and veggies in my juices to maximize the benefits without compromising the taste so this is my recipe for "Yellow juice". All you have to do is put all of the ingredients in the juicer and enjoy.

Yellow juice
2 apples
1 orange
1 pineapple
1 peach
1/2 celery

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Homemade deep conditioner recipes

Is it just me or the elements sometimes have your hair feeling dry and brittle? These recipes will be sure to restore moisture and shine to your hair. You should try doing them at least once a month.

Avocado based or Mayo based
- 1/2 Avocado (ripe) or 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or another oil of your choice, I use sweet almond oil)
- 1 tablespoon honey

1- Place all the ingredients in the blender until you get a paste-like consistency
2- After shampoo and conditioner, apply the deep-conditioner from roots to ends of all your hair
3- Put on a plastic cap and let it rest for at least an hour
4- Rinse abundantly with warm water and use leave-in treatment

5 natural (curly) hair essential products

Is it just me or being a natural comes with some prerequisites. First off, you have to learn a new linguo: twa, bantu knots, twistouts, prepoo, cowash. It gets really confusing real fast. Also, there's these rules to follow and stuff that they tell you you must have in order to have the beautiful, long, curly hair you've always wanted to have. Since I've been natural for a few months now I'm going to let you newby naturalistas in on my Top 5 curly hair essentials:
#1 Water spritzer bottle
This tool is great since our naturally curly hair is dryer and needs lots of hydration. It's also practical to have when you're styling your hair to spray a little bit of water before sealing with your leave-in conditioner or styling product. I have personally did a variant of this by mixing 1/4 of vegetable glycerin, 1/4 aloe vera gel, 1/2 water and a few drops of mint leaf oil.

#2 Vegetable and essential oils
They are your go to guys for moisture and growth strategies. My personal favorites are:
- Coconut oil: It deeply penetrates the body of the hair to make it shiny and resilient. It can be used as a prepoo (treatment to do before you shampoo your hair) as shampoo strips the hair from its natural oils. It can also be used for DIY deep-conditioners. I'll post a recipe in the next entry.
- Sweet almond oil: It nourishes the hair and prevents dandruff
- Mint leaf oil: It promotes hair growth and has a nice smell
#3 Satin cap/ scarf/ pillow case
Curly hair has extravagant taste and therefore you should not sleep with cotton pillow cases or head scarves!!! I kid, the actual reason why you should prefer satin to cotton is because the cotton will absorb the moisture from the hair and we've already established curly hair craves it. When I first eard this I ran to a hair supply store to get these and realized they sold the satin caps for 5$ so I went to the dollar store and bought a satin shower cap. After I scissored out the plastic interior lining, it became a good old satin cap that I had payed a fraction of the price for!!! I love DIY projects and saving money!
#4 Wide-tooth comb (or pick)

This tool is perfect for detangling your hair in a gentle enough way that you don't pull out all of your hair. I picked this type because it has a handle which I find practical but there are different types out there. Find out what works for you. It is not the priority since detangling your hair with your fingers is simple and efficient. It's also better for avoiding breakage.

#5 Sulfate-free shampoo
Harsh chemicals like these make the hair dry and brittle so avoid them. There are plenty of curly friendly lines out there were you can find a great shampoo that won't be too harsh on your hair.

Gardening tips and Tomato Jam recipe

Is it just me or things from the past are simply the best. This summer I got reintroduced to my mom's favorite hobby; gardening. Don't get me wrong, I've always thought that gardening was reserved for old people and killers that need places to hide dead bodies but I actually really enjoyed it. It also goes along with my resolution from earlier in the year to eat better and to watch out for processed food so when my boyfriend proposed to me that we make our own garden I was ecstatic. Only problem was, we both had little experience in gardening except watching our mothers do it. We remembered the basics but we needed back-up. Thankfully, his mother came to the rescue and helped us after the beginning of the process. We had gone to our local garden center and bought plants of tomatoes of different variety, peppers, hot peppers,cucumbers, herbs and plenty of seeds of different kinds (carrots, onions, corn, etc).

We carefully planted the different plants and seeds in rows as orderly as we could and watered. She was pleased with what we'd done so far but gave us great advice on regular maintenance, to help us get the max from our little haven. And that we did, all summer we had, tomatoes and cucumbers galore and were able to make great salads throughout.

A few pointers though if you're going to try the organic garden experience yourself:
1- Make sure to read up on the subject, our placement of the different plants was not optimal. We put the tomato plants in the front end but after only a couple of weeks not only were they very tall and blocking sunlight for the plants behind them but it also got very large; getting tangled in the other plants through the leaves. There are great garden starter apps on Iphone like Mon Potager and the likes but a good book probably would have been the more complete and best option.
2- Have a specific maintenance regimen that you can stick to; having a garden can be demanding in the sense that different veggies grow in different paces and you might have to replant during the summer for some species. You also need to take out the weeds that grow around because they suck out water that the plants should be getting. You should do this at least once a week. Last but not least you need to water at least once a day, before or after sunlight in order to not steam/fry your garden. Investing in some sprinklers and timers can be a good idea. That's what we did.
3- Enjoy, the time spent seeing the progress in your garden, spending time with your significant other, doing a free workout and reaping your crop.

Talking about the crop, when we dismantled the garden for the winter, there were many carrots as they're ready at the end of the summer, which is great cause we like to eat salads in the summer but soups in the fall/winter. Also, a lot of tomatoes were left but most of them still green from not getting enough sunlight and warmth. A great trick to get them mature indoors that my boyfriend learned from his granny is to put them in newspapers and in turn in a paper-bag, in a cool, dark place. A few days later they are ready for consumption.

That being said, we were left with a LOT of tomatoes and there's only so many salads you can eat so I remembered what my mom used to do in those situations; TOMATO JAM!!! :D
By now, you're probably thinking WTH??? But ear me out. You firstly have to remember that tomatoes are fruit, not vegetables. This jam is actually as sugary and tasty as any other and it was one of my favorite things growing up. As my family wasn't rich, my mom always had all these simple tricks to turn a nickel into a dime so here's how the recipe goes:

Tomato jam
3 cups of tomatoes (cut in quarters)
1 cup of sugar ( I mix it half brown- half white)
3/4 cup of water

In a pot put the water and sugar. You boil the sugar in order to dissolve it. Once the sugary water is boiling add the tomatoes and stir. Let it simmer on medium for 45 minutes and stir every once in a a while. You can strain to remove the skin and seeds. I blended it but didn't like the results as it made the jam turn orange instead of red. Next time I won't. Place the jam in sterilized jars. So there you have it!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Black women reverting to natural hair

I myself have stopped putting perm 4 months ago because: 1- It burnt my scalp almost every single time it was applied (but I was trying to be strong feeding myself with the you have to suffer to be beautiful non-sense) 2- I was trying to lead a healthier lifestyle so it was kinda incoherent for me to continue applying harsh chemicals to my hair) 3- I was a bit influenced by the whole movement (i have to admit watching pics of #teamnatural sisters on Instagram I was inspired to try something new: deal with my natural hair) So I shaved it all off, and I must say it was an empowering moment.
If you have taking the same decision to big chop (cut your permed ends in order to only have your curly hair left) I would like to congratulate you !!!! You did a BOLD move. BUT, I think you have to be aware of the repercussions in the way that others' perception of you might change. Your colleagues, family or even loved one might not love your drastic hair cut as much as you do! You must remember why you took that decision and why it was the right one for YOU. Weather it be health [perms are being linked to uteran cancers for African American women], values or even reconnecting with your roots be confident that you made the right choice. Also, it is nice to have someone who supports you in your decision to help you ease into the transition and make you feel comfortable. It might also be nice to have someone who can answer your questions as caring for natural hair is a whole other ball park than it is for permed hair. There are tons of instruction videos on Youtube and communities on Facebook. Joining just one of those is fine to start because the info can be overwhelming (sometimes to much is like not enough). My personal advice is if you've just big chopped, enjoy those first couple of low-maintenance months where you can just wash-and-go and maybe sometimes have a brush run through your hair, soon after you'll ear about bantu-knots and twist outs and protective style and WHOA, this is getting kind of complex!!! But don't worry, it will take you a few months before you can start to think about doing any of that so don't worry, you'll get there. Relax and enjoy the journey. I know I have mine!

Monday, July 30, 2012

C'est juste moi ou ça fait un petit bout de temps que je n'ai pas écrit? Bien que ce n'est pas par manque d'intérêts pour l'écriture mais j'ai développé une réelle passion pour la photo à travers Instagram comme mentionné dans mon message précédent. il est bien certain aussi que la chaleur ne me motive pas à m'asseoir pendant des heures à essayer de pondre des observations assez captivantes pour vous intéresser. Alors voilà j'ai passé beaucoup de temps à faire des photos et j'aurais la chance d'ouvrir MA propre galerie Instacanvas (une galerie d'art virtuelle. Elle n'est pas encore en ligne. vous me feriez vraiment plaisir si vous pouviez cliquer le lien suivant et voter pour l'ouverture de ma galerie: Merci! Vous êtez trop chous!!! ****** I haven't been writting a lot lately because: A- It's summer time so it's hot as hell inside and out so I didn't stay inside trying to come up with something interesting enough to give a f*** about B- I've been busy with Instagram, which I wrote on my last post (that was in French so you may not have been aware) I actually have a chance to open my own Instagram gallery. Please be a dear and click on the link below to vote for my gallery opening: Thanks a bunch!!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Les arts subtils qui se perdent!

C'est juste moi ou c'est rendu presque illégal et indécent d'adresser la parole à quelqu'un qu'on ne connaît pas dans les transports en commun? Dernièrement, lors de mon retour à la maison, en train de banlieue (non je ne vis pas plus à Montréal, je vis à Ste-Marthe-sur-le-lac: une mini-municipalité qui a eu beaucoup de succès dans les dernières années car les maisons à Montréal coûtent près d'1M$!), donc je me tenais debout car le train est souvent bondé en heure de pointe (je ne me plains pas, je fais juste le remarquer) et j'ai commencé à prendre des photos du trajet et des nuages pour Instagram.  Pour ceux qui ne savent pas ce qu'est Instagram; c'est comme si Facebook et votre album photos avait eu un petit.  Je trouve personnellement ça génial et je suis accro, mon chum n'y voit pas l'intérêt... Je diverge, donc, je prenais des photos pour Instagram et la femme qui se trouve à côté de moi me demande si la photo est sortie comme je l'avais expéré? - Je ne sais pas trop... en fait, j'en prends plein au cas-où elles auraient du potentiel.
Elle m'avait l'air sympathique et anormalement conviviale pour une utilisatrice de train d'heure de pointe.... alors je lui montré d'autres photos ma "galerie" Instagram dont la suivante, dont je suis particulièrement fière parce le Montreal Gazette l'a like!
- C'est une belle photo du Vieux-Port de Montréal ça, tu as du talent. As-tu déjà pris des cours de photographie?
- Non, pourquoi?
C'est ainsi qu'elle m'a expliqué que mes photos avaient des qualités techniques qu'on apprenait dans des cours de photos ou de peinture.  Elle m'a parlé d'elle; du fait qu'elle venait du Saguenay et qu'elle trouvait que les gens de Montréal n'étaient pas toujours sympas.  En tous cas, pas quand on ne les connaissait pas.  C'est vrai que la plupart des gens qui avaient vu se développer notre conversation nous regardaient d'un air amusés/intrigués.  Je lui ai parlé de moi et de mes intérêts et avant qu'elle parte, je lui ai demandé son nom et si elle avait un Facebook.  Je voulais l'ajouter.
Uno- parce qu'elle avait démontré beaucoup de courage à m'aborder sans aucune raison et qu'elle avait une belle personnalité
Deuxio- parce qu'on ne sait jamais qui pourra nous aider dans la vie.  C'était une femme d'un certain âge et bien que nous n'ayons peut-être pas plein de choses en commun peut-être qu'elle sera le contact, qui me donnera un contact dont j'aurai besoin un jour.  Qui sait?
Morale de l'histoire, soyez ouverts et courtois avec les étrangers, ça pourrait être le début d'une belle amitié ou tout le moins un contact utile pour votre avenir. C'est sûre qu'il faut mettre une bémol à cette règle pour les individus qui pourraient être louches (et qui finissent par être des psycho killers à la Luka Magnotta) mais bon je ne parle que de faire la conversation pas nécessairement de devenir meilleur ami avec n'importe qui.

Aussi, une autre fois dans le train, ça m'a pris de faire un compliment à une jeune femme qui avait une coiffure du tonnerre (à la Zoe Deschanel) et une très belle petite robe rouge.  Elle était très élégante et je lui ai dis.  Eh bien, ce compliment lui a pratiquement fait rougir, même venant d'une autre femme! Au début, j'ai trouvé ça étrange, puis je me suis dis que si elle avait réagi ainsi c'est probablement parce ça n'arrive pas souvent.  Ça ne me stresse pas.  Après tout, une belle femme peut bien faire un compliment à une autre belle femme.  Quelqu'un qui est bien dans sa peau sait que de faire un compliment à quelqu'un ne lui enlève rien. Alors, faites-en!

Monday, May 28, 2012

C'est juste moi ou ça n'a plus de bon sens le conflit étudiant au Québec!

La grève dure depuis plus de 100 jours et dans les derniers jours, plus de 2000 arrestations ont eu lieu selon différentes sources.  L'apogée de ce mouvement a été atteinte lorsque le gouvernement a adopté la Loi-78 afin de museler le mouvement de protestation des étudiants.  Ce mouvement qui avait d'abord exaspéré la majeure partie de la population, qui se disait  pour la hausse compte-tenu du sous-financement des institutions d'études post-secondaires et de l'escalade constante du coût de la vie.
Par contre, le gouvernement avait sur-estimé son appui face à la Loi spéciale car peu importe à quel point ne sont pas nécessairement d'accord avec une cause et ne l'appuient pas, on est au Québec et ici les gens croient dur comme fer à la liberté. Même la liberté de chialer!  Cette loi semble inconstitutionnelle pour la plupart, car à travers des amendes salées, elle cherche à étouffer le débat sur le bien-fondé de la hausse de la portion des frais de scolarité assumés par les étudiants.  Cela ramène aussi selon moi, au fait que l'éducation (tout comme la santé) a toujours été vue comme un bien commun qui se doit d'être accessible à tout le peuple.  Cela donne une société, en théorie, plus éduquée et donc meilleure.  Cela rapporte aussi à l'égalité des chances, et que donc même si quelqu'un est né au sein d'une famille moins nantie, elle pourra à travers l'éducation s'élever au sein de la société et être un membre qui contribue à part entière au bien-être de celle-ci.
Selon moi, le débat sur les frais de scolarité n'a jamais réellement été que sur ce problème.  Il ramène a quelque chose de plus gros, sur les valeurs québecoises et je suis heureuse que les étudiants ont su se battre assez longtemps pour que d'autres le comprennent et s'y joignent.  Selon moi, le bien commun est au moins aussi important que le bien privé. 
Aujourd'hui, une négociation de la dernière chance aura lieu entre le gouvernement et les étudiants.  Espérons que chaque parti saura mettre de côté un peu les événements des derniers mois et arriver à une solution qui sera bénéfique pour tous les habitants du Québec. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pied de cochon's sugarshack

Is it just me or...

Is it just me or it's EXTREMELY hard to not break even new resolutions.  The week after I did my last post on eating better I went to the Pied de cochon's Sugar shack.  For those of you who are not familiar with what a sugar shack is, it's the place where Quebecers (probably also Canadians)  go every spring to indulge in fat and sugary delicacies.  It's basically a log cabin where you go eat omelets, ham, pea soup, and pig ears, all drenched in maple syrup... oh and most have a petting zoo and carriage rides. Fun for all basically! However, the Pied de cochon's sugar shack is a pimped out version.
First off, there are around 10 servings, most based on traditional items you would find at a sugar shack but filled with foie gras and other very delicious  ingredients. So my resolution on eating less meat... TOTAL FAIL!!!

Round 1
To start us off, they brought us  the appetizers which comprised of a paté served with crêpes and salad.  Which was, shortly after followed by a maki style mini hors d'oeuvre, which was to die for.  I knew right then and there that I had died and went to food Heaven...Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhha! [Angels singing] You would not believe how tasty this all was! But it didn't end there, there was still the delicious pot pie, filled with real pieces chunks of meat (I would say beef but it was probably something more exotic) and served with homemade ketchup.  And that, my friends concludes round 1. So far so good, I'm still standing, I can keep on eating!
Sam - 1/ Food- 0

Herring and meat pâté

Pot pie with home-made ketchup

Round 2
The first entree meal was foie gras vol-au-vent, which was delicious but I'm starting to feel like this is becoming an up-hill battle.  My stomach is starting to fill.   I'm a light weight so I was trying to be careful not to eat too much of each dish.  But it's hard not to devour every plate that is set in front of you when they are delicious, made with the best, freshest ingredients and that they are the perfect balance of flavors. Don't judge me.You try it!!!!
Then came the maple syrup glazed duck served with onion rings.... simply foodgasmic!!!! The skin was perfectly crisp and the meat itself tender and juicy. HEAVEN!!!
But before I can completely recover from the taste-fest happening in my mouth, they were serving the next meal.  And it seemed delicious, in theory anyways, because it was also a very rich one.  It was a lobster and smoked-meat omelet.  That's when it dawned me that I was slowly descending into food hell.  There was more food coming my way but my stomach was running out of space to put it. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I tasted a bite of that entree, It wasn't really great for my taste, but, that might also be linked to the fact that I was pissed that I was getting ALREADY  full.  Then came what I call the large bacon, I barely touched that plate but it was really tasty.  I think it was maple flavored, but it was very subtle.  I barely ate it since I took a piece off of  the piece that my boyfriend started eating...
This concludes round 2.  But in this round, the food got the best of me!!!
Sam - 0 / Food -1

Glazed duck

Lobster/smoked-meat omelet
Large bacon
 Round 3
To conclude our night of eating way too much, entered the deserts tray. There were nice maple favored buns with maple ice cream sundae and some other treat I didn't even get to taste.  At this point, I only had a taste of the sundae and I was done.  I lost my fight! I usualy have a sweet tooth but at that point, there was nothing I could do. It was a beautiful ending to a very satisfying meal.
Sam - 0 / Food -1

Result of the fight (Conclusion)
I lost that battle to food but it was a great experience.  The food was beyond-delicious, the atmosphere was relaxed but sophisticated (log cabin look with adidas-suited servers).  The service was excellent.  We even had the right to return with our excess food (which there was a lot of!!!).

Here's 3 tips if you ever want to takkle the Pied de cochon's sugar shack:
1- Reserve earrrrrly!!!: we made reservations in November and had a date in mid-april... I'm just saying.
2- Come as a group: the more the merrier they say and it's just the right atmosphere to share plates, we went as a 14 person group.
3- Try to sample from each dish: It's hard to but if you want to get to taste them all, you have to remember each time that the next dish is right around the corner.

Cabane à sucre Au Pied de Cochon on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Eating better

Is it just me or...
the food industry is slowly trying to kill us, without us even noticing.  Recent reports of pink slime in ground beef and the way chicken nuggets are produced got me thinking about the food I ingest... I lost you at pink slime? Pink slime refers to a commonly used meat filler and the fact that US meat producers used ammonia to make sure there is no E coli or other bacteria in that cheap meat filler made with pieces of the beef that are normally not recommendable.  Yep, you read right, ammonia as in skull and crossbones = poison sign!

If we're not very careful, which most of the times,  we are not, what with our busy lifestyles, we can ingest a lot of junk in a day. I mean who has time to stop and read every label of every item you buy at the grocery store?  Nobody is that dedicated, you say...? Well if we are what we eat, then we're slowly become living toxic waste dumping sites!!!  We don't take enough time to get informed about what composes our food, and the big corporations know this! And believe you me, they take great advantage of it.  Do you know what BHT is? It's a chemical that stops the oxidation (degradation, which is natural after a while) of food... Oh yeah and... it may or may not be cancer-causing.  It's also found in most boxes of cereal found in your local supermarket...
More than 80% of the boxes I checked had it... Unfortunately even the Fruit Loops which I love loved.  OK, it's out there, I'm a grown person that loves loved Fruit Loops, until last week!!! One of the only boxes where I didn't see any were the Cheerios, they're still safe... fiouuu.
We  then stop and wonder why we are so unhealthy, why the cancer rates are climbing and there seems to be nothing to do about it. I think it's time we start to consider all the internal and external factors. There's also the environmental factor I think we need to look at but I'm not talking about that right now.  I think we need to be more aware of what goes into our bodies.  I've recently started doing this and as a result, a simple trip to the market became a hassle, it took me more than double the time because I was actually asking myself, should I buy this????  Is this slowly giving me cancer? high blood pressure? diabetes? Insert other illness older people have here?!
So I'm going to give you simple tricks to help you on your own quest to eating better and hopefully being more healthy:
1- Avoid  processed foods: in addition to usually containing potentially armful ingredients (most of the times it's the ones you cannot pronounce and have no idea what their origin is), they usually have lots of salt or/and sugar...more than recommended
2- Eat less meat! : I know beef, chicken and pork are delicious animals that produces wonderfully finger liking products but their mass production incites the industry to pump them full of hormones and Lord knows what else to help them mature faster.  Try having a sea food or vegetarian meal once a week or finding other sources of protein such as tofu.  When  well seasoned, it can be quite tasty!
3- Eat your fruits and veggies: They're a great source of essential vitamins and nutrients.  Also I've started doing them as smoothies but use soy milk instead of regular milk of yogurt. Here's a simple recipe:
1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit (of your own liking, my personal fave is strawberry-mango)
1,5 cups of soy milk
2 tb spoons of brown sugar
1 tb spoon of honey
1 blender to put all the ingredients in and Voilà!

So, is it just me???

Don't be shy to leave me some comments or suggestions/recipes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Indiference sucks

Is it just me or...

not many people in our modern society feel empathy for causes that do not touch us.  I personally feel social injustices should be the burden of all of us in order to have a more equal and just society.  There's a lot lately on the news that had me thinking about this such as the Trayvon Martin case in the US (a young black man that was gunned down by a local neighborhood watch fanatic) or the fact that Saint-Petersburg passed a law that prohibits gay propaganda (such as the gay pride parade)... WTF!

I'm not American or gay... (I am black though) but I really felt compelled to share these stories and wanted to raise awareness on these issues because I was so enraged  that at this day and age,  those kind of horror stories still happen. What reaction did I get from my Facebook contacts; close to none!!!! 
REALLLLY PEOPLE!!! I get a least a few likes and comments for the times I post about getting a massage!  To me those issues are as important as bullying to teenagers.  After all, when a majority group as the means with unfair laws to make minority groups (women, blacks, Arabs, gays...) to feel irrelevant because they are different, it's up to all of us to feel disgruntled.  I don't know: maybe I'm hypersensitive but I just think that we should all look out for the obvious inequalities that some groups go through and feel concerned no matter if we are part of the concerned minorities.

So, is it just me? Let me know!