Montreal

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On April 29th, 2014 to May 7th, 2014, my boyfriend and I went to Montreal! I’m really excited to be writing my first post in the “Travels” section of my blog!

We had sporadically planned this trip because, we had both never been to Montreal, we have a friend, named Kareem, living in Montreal who could show us around, and in the seven years that we’ve been dating, it was our first ‘plane’ trip together! YAY! We also recently decided that we should go on a trip to at least one Canadian province a year, until we’ve been to all thirteen together.

I’m one of those people who takes hardly any pictures on trips because I’m so busy taking it all in and having fun, that I can’t be bothered to pull out my camera every time I see something remotely interesting.

Even though Johnny and I both went to a French Immersion high school, we didn’t even try to speak French. We thought we would, but then we got there, realized how beautifully everyone in Montreal could speak French, and didn’t want to embarrass ourselves by trying. I did come to learn that the people in Montreal aren’t quite as nice to you when they realize you speak English. Nobody was plain out rude to us, but if we sat down in a restaurant, and our server realized we spoke English, they almost became snobby. People seemed annoyed anytime we went about trying to purchase things like a metro pass or ordering food, or even asking questions while shopping because we spoke English. Nonetheless, we still had a tonne of fun seeing the city, and being in a hotel situated in the downtown area where everything was constantly lively.

In Montreal, Johnny and I became pros at taking the metro. We also walked. A lot. Granted, everywhere we went, we constantly saw people walking, no matter what time of day. During our stay it did rain almost every day but that didn’t stop us from doing cool things. We did spend a lot of time in and around Montreal’s shopping mall ‘Centre Eaton’. One of the first touristy things we did was visit ‘Grévin‘ which is a wax museum inside the mall. It features life size wax figures of different celebrities including Barack Obama, Sidney Crosby, The Dalai Lama, Justin Bieber, etc. The tour started off with a neat depiction of the changing of seasons in a large room, this part of the tour was called ‘Le Palais des Saisons’ which translates to ‘The Palace of Seasons’.  The admission was roughly $17.00/person, but it was well worth it to be able to see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, even if only in wax form.

We also went to see the Saputo Soccer Stadium, home of the Montreal Impact soccer team, but because there were no events happening the day we went, we didn’t get to go inside, but we did make a trip around the stadium and got a peek of the field from the outside. Johnny is a huge soccer fan (typical for someone with European blood) so this was one of the things he really wanted to do, so he was bummed that the stadium gift shop was closed.

We visited ‘Espace Pour La Vie Montréal‘ (Space for Life) which included four different parts; the biodome, the insectarium, the botanical garden, and the planetarium. Johnny and I only visited the biodome which was basically an indoor zoo with birds, raccoons, crocodiles, penguins etc.

Our friend from Montreal took us to ‘Mont Royal‘ park where we made a journey uphill (up a thousand stairs) and eventually, you get to the peak which is a massive concrete landing/balcony that overlooks all of Montreal. The walk up killed me, but the view is amazing and no picture, even if it were to be taken with your Nikon Nine Million, would ever do it justice. It’s one of those things you have to see for yourself. This same day we also visited ‘Vieux Montréal‘ which makes you feel like you’re in a different era. It’s amazing with all it’s cobble stoned roads, old buildings, small shops and outdoor entertainment. Our friend insisted that we go to a small shop in Old Montreal called ‘Queues de Castor’ (Beaver Tails) which is a small dessert shack that sells pieces of deep fried dough in the shape of a beaver tail, and if that weren’t unhealthy enough, you also get stuff on your beaver tail, like Nutella, bananas, Skor chocolate pieces with icing, M&M’s, Oreo crumbs… The possibilities are endless. I obviously got Nutella on my beaver tail, and then I practically died of happiness.

Le Distillerie‘ may be my favourite place in the world for drinks. Our friend basically took us to this small lounge that serves alcoholic beverages in pickle jars. The drinks are $17.00 before taxes, but have upwards of 5 shots of alcohol in them and they’re delicious and measure a litre. I had just about tapped out after a quarter ways through my first pickle jar, but managed to finish the rest and then took a shot of tequila. Johnny and Kareem had 3 pickle jars and 3 shots, EACH!

One of the last things we did was visit a hookah bar called ‘Café Arabesque‘. It was my first time ever at a shisha lounge so I was completely enamoured by the idea of smoking without smoking. Kareem seemed to be the pro so he ordered us a grape, mint flavoured coal to smoke and some tea, which is supposed to complement the shisha experience. I did get a light head rush from the shisha so I ordered nachos and fries and drank a caesar and a long island iced tea. The café had a relaxed vibe, and they played good music. The food and drinks were amazing and the decor was cool. Not bad for my first time at a hookah bar. We had to say goodbye to Kareem this night, which sad, as always.

The morning after the hookah bar, Johnny and I left our downtown hotel and checked into a hotel closer to the airport. We relaxed our last night and had dinner at the hotel restaurant, and woke up the next morning and flew back to Winnipeg.

We were really sad to leave Montreal. There was so much to see, and the liveliness of the people and of the city is really special. Johnny and I are already thinking about our next visit to Montreal.

Next year is British Columbia!

List of places we visited (that weren’t mentioned above, in chronological order, to the best of my memory):

  • Hotel Visitel: If you want to stay somewhere cheap, clean, and central, this is it. We loved staying here.
  • Presse Cafe: Johnny and I were walking around in the rain aimlessly one night, and decided to stop for tea, coffee and dessert.
  • Saint Cinnamon: Fast food place that I had lunch from our first day in Montreal.
  • St. Hubert: This is the first sit down restaurant we ate at. Super standard chicken and rib joint. The food was decent.
  • Nickels: An old school diner style restaurant with amazing food!
  • Les 3 Brasseurs: Restaurant we had lunch at while we were out shopping. Our waitress wasn’t nice, but the food was amazing.
  • Travelodge Hotel: We checked into this hotel for our last night in Montreal because we had a really early flight the next morning. The guy at the front desk was a snob, and that’s putting it nicely.
  • Venezia: Italian restaurant inside the Travelodge Hotel. We ate here twice in a day. Once before we checked into the hotel, and later that day for supper. Our server was the nicest guy on our entire trip.

– E

 

Gone Girl

“…I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl…”

 

Right now, I’m reading Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. The passage above is one of my favourites in all of what I’ve read so far. Such an amazing book. The writing, and the characters are brilliant. I definitely wanted to get a jump on finishing the book before the movie comes out!

 

More lifestyle change/eating plan stuff

I feel like I haven’t blogged in a really long time, but it’s only been 6 days.

So after I finished the first cycle of the 17 Day Diet, I decided that I would go on and blog about the second cycle immediately after. That didn’t happen. From the moment I finished cycle 1, up until about this past Saturday, I’ve been indulging like it’s going out of style. Granted, I did try to eat as healthy as possible the past week, every single time someone has presented me with some sort of dessert, or something deep fried, I gladly accepted. Yesterday I had a breakthrough and realized that I didn’t want to undo all my hard work during cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet, so I should probably stop stuffing my face with crap, and just eat healthy and workout. So yesterday, that is what I did. I started with day 1 of the second cycle, and I just thought I would let everyone know that I’m only going to blog about my journey through the second cycle every couple of days. And again, to keep peoples interest I will be posting ‘after’ pictures at the end of cycle 2! Yayyy!

Anyways, blogging every couple of days will leave me more time to blog about more interesting things… Like clothes, and makeup, and nails!

– E

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 17

DAY 17 DONE!

So, as promised, I’m posting my ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots today! But first, here’s my review for yesterday, which was day 17/the last day of the first cycle.

I’m going to go into too much detail right now about my body… So every month when my period comes, I get INSANE cramps. They’re so bad that I break out into cold sweats, I feel like I’m going to throw up, and sometimes the pain is so bad that I feel like I’m going to pass out. It only started getting this bad when I was 17… I’m currently 22 years old. I just suffered for years thinking that I could tough it out, or pray that the next month would be better. I finally went to the doctor two months ago and was prescribed Tylenol 3’s, Buscopan, and Naproxen. The Tylenol 3’s help with the nausea and headaches and just general pain. The Buscopan is to slow the rhythmic contractions in the stomach area, and it reduces muscle spasms. The Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory drug that is helping to reduce the inflammation in my uterus… obviously. These three in conjunction have worked wonderfully. I got my period yesterday and only took one of each of the pills and they lasted all day. Today I took one of each again and I’m feeling good. The relevance of all this TMI is that I’m not supposed to take these pills on an empty stomach, and when I’m on my period, certain foods just turn me off completely, even foods that I normally love. So I just wanted to explain why my eating pattern, and food choices for yesterday were so weird. So onto less gross things…

Yesterday I woke up, had green tea, ate carrots and tzatziki sauce, and microwave popcorn. I thought about eating poached eggs, but the thought of eating eggs made my stomach churn. I took my pills for the first time yesterday and was in a panic about whether or not they would work. Within an hour, I felt like I was having a normal period for the first time in 6 years. So far, so good (:

I didn’t feel like I could eat lunch, so I didn’t.

I didn’t workout because the pills just made me feel tired. My body was relaxed and I just wanted to be cozy in bed. So, that’s what I did. I stayed in bed and started watching Bates Motel (which I’m now OBSESSED with) until I had to get ready for work. I eventually got up and showered and went to work. For dinner at work I had a small, completely plain, piece of baked fish. I also ate frozen mangoes, strawberries, and peach yogurt. That seemed to be enough to satisfy me. At 9:30PM, I finished work and was starving, so my boyfriend took me to Subway to get a chicken breast salad. It was a variety of vegetables, chicken breast, pepper, and oregano. I never get cheese or sauce/dressing on my Subway salads. So I ate my salad, had a tiny bite of a cookie and had a couple of sips of my boyfriends iced tea. When I got home I had a bite of a pork chop filet. So that concluded my eating for the final day of the first cycle. Not horrible, but not exactly perfect.

I’ve decided to continue on with the second cycle of the 17 Day Diet! Yay! You all get to read more posts about my lack of will power when it comes to Chinese food and cookies! Thanks for following me on the first 17 days of this eating plan, and thanks for not being JUDGEY!

Finally, as promised… here are my ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. Don’t be too hard on me!

BEFORE - The morning of my first day on The 17 Day Diet, cycle 1.

BEFORE – The morning of my first day on The 17 Day Diet, cycle 1.

Screen shot 2014-03-28 at 11.56.46 AM

AFTER – The morning after the final day of The 17 Day Diet, Cycle 1.

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 16

Day 16! I can’t believe I actually only have one day left!

Today was exceptional!

For breakfast I ate one poached egg, carrots and tzatziki sauce, and some turkey soup (I ate lunch -ish items because I woke up late)

I worked out for thirty minutes on the Bowflex! Yayyyyy! In addition to working out I was also doing a lot of house chores before work. Stuff that required moving and lifting, which was good. For lunch I ate more turkey soup, chicken stir fry, a small piece of chicken breast, carrot sticks, and strawberries.

At work, for dinner, I ate cauliflower rice with chicken breast, and mangoes and strawberries with yogurt!

My eating was on point today, and I’m proud that I pushed myself the extra ten minutes on the Bowflex. I’m looking forward to the last day.

I actually want a tea so bad but I’m too lazy to boil water. Stay tuned for the 17th day! On the morning of the 29th, I’ll be posting my ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots! EEEKKKS!

– E

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 15

Uh Oh! Two days left!

It’s safe to say that I had more bad days than good following this eating plan, but I’m not upset. I’ve just come to realize that any type of lifestyle change is going to have it’s bad/horrible days, and there are gonna be some days where you just get it completely right. Last night, after blogging, I was Googling ’17 Day Diet’ reviews, and I was completely enlightened by some of the stuff I had read from other people who had done, or are still doing the 17 Day Diet. So many people raved that by the end of the fourth cycle, they were practically eating whatever they wanted (with a few limitations, according to the book) and were STILL losing weight or maintaining their weight, happily. I read that one person had lost a full 17 pounds doing the first cycle of the book. Another person who had done the four cycles, was down almost 50 pounds, and was looking to re-start the diet to lose a bit more!

To recap my day, for breakfast, I ate two poached eggs, carrot sticks with a bit of tzatziki sauce, and yogurt with strawberries and chia seeds.

Worked out for 20 minutes on the Bowflex, ate cauliflower rice, baked chicken and baked fish for lunch.

For dinner, I had a lot of chicken stir fry, and some sauteed beef (<– beef isn’t allowed in the first cycle. Whoops).

My eating was pretty simple today. I didn’t really snack in between meals because I didn’t feel the need to. Of course I’ve got two nearly perfect days in a row, near the end of the first cycle. Here’s to the next two days! WISH ME LUCK! I’m going to need it!

– E

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 14

Blogging a little early today. I guess to make up for being late on all my weekend posts.

So right now nearly marks the end of day 14! So exciting. My eating today was exceptional. I tried really hard knowing that I have to post ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos in a matter of days.

This morning for breakfast, I ate two poached eggs, spinach, strawberries and yogurt. I worked out for 20 minutes on the Bowflex.

For lunch I had cauliflower rice, steamed broccoli and baked fish. I ate an apple and a yogurt cup as a snack between lunch and dinner.

For dinner I had riceless sushi again! SOOO GOOD!!! I also had a miso soup and salmon sashimi. I completely forgot to take a picture of my amazing sushi, even though I really wanted to. It will not be the last time I order this exact same sushi roll, so I will for sure take a picture of it the next time I order it.

I doubt I’ll be doing anymore eating for today, so I’m going to assume that I’ll be ending this day on a really good note. If I do consume anything it’ll be a piece of fruit, a yogurt cup, some raw veggies or some tea.

I started researching ‘make your own riceless sushi’ on Google and Youtube, and there are so many easy, healthy variations. It’s obviously unrealistic for me to continue buying these riceless rolls over and over again. As much as I’d love to, I’d go broke. I will definitely be blogging a how to post on how to make your own riceless sushi soon!

Thanks for the continued support and following me on this 17 day struggle!

Where is Spring?!

$39.00 before taxes

 

I bought these booties thinking that Spring was around the corner… We still have tons of snow, it’s still freezing out and we’re coming up on the end of March. Someday soon, hopefully. It would be really nice to show these new babies off! They’re roomy, and despite being a couple of inches, they’re comfy and they’re faux leather and have a studding around the ankle dip!

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 13

WARNING! Today, I DID NOT try.

So here’s my review for day 13.

If you read my review for day 12, you probably guessed that I woke up SOOO hungover this morning. I cannot even remember what time I woke up today. It had to have been like 9:00 or 10:00AM… My head felt like someone was setting off fireworks inside of it. I woke up on my couch, wrapped in towels and blankets from not being able to dress myself after my boyfriend had to bathe me the night before. So shameful. Anyways, I was dying of thirst when I woke up, finally mustered up the strength to put a nightgown on and down a big glass of water. I bummed around the house until my mom and her boyfriend got home. They laughed at me when I told them about the night before, and how I was too much of a hot mess to make it to the club.

Eventually I got dressed and my boyfriend, brother and I went to a nice little asian restaurant and had pho soup… Mmmm. This made me so happy. I got the noodles on the side, and my boyfriend ended up eating them with a bit of my soup. I also ate shrimp salad rolls. Eating made me feel so much better. Also I realized how drinking ice water when hungover, is like drinking liquid gold. My throat was still burning from my exquisite night. So we ate, and then we shopped at Value Village. I bought this super cute black, felt, wide brimmed hat. I came home and I took a nap. When I woke up I ate a couple of chocolate cookies, then my grandpa came over and had supper with Mom and I. We ate turkey, stuffing, broccoli, hamburger macaroni and cheese, mixed vegetables, baked potatoes, and mashed sweet potatoes and gravy. I had a little bit of everything. As hungry as I thought I was, I had one plate and felt super full.

Just a bit over an hour ago, my boyfriend came home with like tons of chocolates. I just ate two Kinder Surprise Eggs. I can’t help it.

I also drank a Kool-Aid Jammer, which normally, I think are gross and over-sugared. Oh well. My eating is done for the day, and as you can tell, today did not go well, and neither did the rest of my weekend. HAHA! Big time failure. I’m already over it. I did horribly this weekend but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m sad that it sucked, but I ate what I ate, and drank what I drank and now the day is almost over and tomorrow is a new day.

Thanks for following my weekend shenanigans! Tomorrow will be amazing! Yay for MONDAYYYYYSS! A new week!

– E