Montreal

aka La Métropole, La Belle Ville

Say hello to Hivernale

Claire | February 12th, 2015

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Although Igloofest has become the go-to wintertime staple of electronic music events in Montreal, it has a new lean younger cousin. Say hello to Hivernale.  With the same founding principles as Igloofest, Hivernale is all about getting out into the cold and celebrating winter, rather than hiding inside away from it.  Some people may complain that the Igloofest is getting too big or becoming a bit of a sellout; well, now there is a low-key alternative with hundreds rather than thousands of happy dancing people. Read More

Tribal Chic Mukluks

Claire | February 10th, 2015

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Strange things happen under the midnight sun, when night is long and days are fleeting. Temperatures drop, snow turns to ice, everything that you thought was normal becomes a chore.  This includes such basic activities as choosing a pair of shoes to wear outside.

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asana

Claire | February 6th, 2015

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Want to organize your life for a dream project or looming deadline? Perhaps micromanage a team of people you’re working with to accomplish a multifaceted task?  Look no further than asana, a free online project management software.  Make to-do lists, delegate tasks, upload, modify and share documents.  It’s all here at asana.com. Read More

Forever 21

Claire | February 5th, 2015

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For those of you who are fans of cheap swag, Forever 21 has what it takes to make you look totally awesome from head to toe.   With tons of dresses, shirts, pants, and accessories all for under 30 bucks,  it is possible to put together a whole new outfit for under $100.   Read More

Hot toddies: Goin down Easy

Claire | February 4th, 2015

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If you think a hot toddy is only meant when you’re sick, you’ve got things all wrong. These rum, honey, lemony, soothing delicious drinks are good for a nightcap any day of the week.

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Hot wine

Claire | January 14th, 2015

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Brrr! Baby it’s cold outside!  And it’s not getting any warmer anytime soon. The solution? The ultimate solution? Grab a hot wine and giddy up.  Hot mulled wine (or Vin Chaud, as they call it in Quebec) is quickly becoming a winter stable at many a drinking establishment and house party.  Easy to make–and even easier to drink, this slightly-sweet, warm soothing tasty beverage is satisfying on so many levels.  Whether at Igloofest dancing under the snowflakes, or at Laika having a nice chat with a friend, mulled wine is a great way to break the ice, within and without. Read More

Lumbersexual :: Taking Over where Metrosexual Left off

Claire | December 17th, 2014

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What comes after Movember? Obviously Decembeard.  And next comes Manuary.  But what is the point of Decembeard, one may ask?

Well, it all connects to the lumbersexual look. A rebellion against the early 2000’s metrosexuality trend, lumbersexual is the opposite of a metrosexual. A lumbersexual man looks manly, rugged, unkempt with a big burly beard and often wearing plaid shirts and loose ripped jeans.  Though he may not actually be into chopping lumber, a lumbersexual is someone who looks like he should know how.   Gone are the days of metrosexuals talking about their ideal moisturizing products. Read More

Soup Dumplings

Claire | November 25th, 2014

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The world’s best hangover food (even better than Pho, Thai or Ramen) has gotta be these amazing dumplings you can get in Chinatown with Soup inside!  Even the most pounding hangover will bow down for mercy after a few of these tasty doughy morsels has entered your system.  And your tastebuds will scream for more.  Choose between steamed or fried (I like steamed for seafood and vegetarian dumplings; fried for the meaty ones), and whip up your own little dish of soya sauce, vinegar and chill sauce for dipping, and you are ready to rock!   Read More

Club Mate for the Win

Claire | November 4th, 2014

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Low on energy?  Wish you had superpowers?  Well, Red Bull may give you wings but Club Mate will turbocharge you. Read More

Paintbending :: Art Without Boundaries

Claire | October 29th, 2014

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When you look at one of Fabian’s  paintings, its like staring inside the human mind.  Abstract forms come together with splashes of colour and visible figures to create a kaleidoscopic dreamlike effect; a somewhat altered state of reality.  Using his bare hands instead of a paintbrush, Fabian uses many unusual techniques, including one where he spatters paint onto a canvas, lets it sit for a while and then tilts the canvas back and forth to create a weave like effects of the color swirling together.  He enjoys mixing mediums, and  several of his over 200 recent works contain a mixture of found materials and professional paint with other types of residues like  glue, wax, crayons, and even cut-up pieces from magazines.

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The Rise of Kombucha

Claire | October 6th, 2014

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Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage known to have  a wide range of health benefits, from cancer prevention to stomach relief from hangovers, facilitating digestion to relief from arthritis and joint pain, and  even increased healing from certain types of infections. Though Kombucha has been around for over 2000 years, not until  very recently has it become available as a bottled beverage for sale in North America.  In Montreal one particular Kombucha drink has become synonymous with the beverage: RISE.  It all started when two young health-conscious travellers were seeking out ways of  promoting healthy living. They came up with the idea to brew and bottle a Kombucha drink,  and RISE was born.

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How to survive an Outdoor Music Festival 

Claire | September 29th, 2014

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Having been a DJ for more than a decade, this summer I decided I would try my hand at sending out as many demos as I could to perform at electronic music festivals.    As luck would have it, I  ended up hitting the jackpot and got accepted to perform at five.   From MUTEK in Montreal to Bass Coast in British Columbia, the Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia, and France’s Garorock in between, this summer was chock-full of festivals–and most of them were outdoors.  For the first couple of festivals I had lots of energy and enthusiasm, but as time wore on and I became more and more sleep deprived, I realized it may come in handy to create a sort of music festival survival guide so that others do not have to go through the same trials and tribulations as I did–and also for myself, so that I will be better prepared for better or for worse for the festivals that lay ahead.

Outdoor music festivals are intense and gruelling experiences. Amidst the euphoria of mind-blowing performances over the course of the 2-10 days while the festival is on, you will inevitably be subjected to a number of factors which will challenge your ability to cope–both mentally and physically. First there is the 24/7 pumping of earthshaking music emanating from different stages–often dangerously close to the tent in which you are supposed to sleep.  On top of this, mother nature presents her own set of challenges, as do the demands of your (un)fortunately mortal human body.  Read More

Essie :: Ain’t Got no Chips

Claire | September 26th, 2014

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I used to be a devout fan of OPI nail products.  So many colours, such sassy names.  Such great packaging… but then I discovered Essie.   I have no idea why, but it see seems to last at least 2x as long as OPI or many other brands. Not only that, but they have an amazing array of colors and styles and it’s cheaper than OPI and many other drugstore brands.   Their website even has a full section devoted to different trends in nail art to give you ideas on how to make you look extra uber cool.

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DJ Koze :: In a League of his Own

Claire | September 24th, 2014

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DJ Koze is known to the world as a wacky, zany and quirky musical maniac.   Never one to fit into any mold, he has carved a niche for himself as an artist who is expected to deliver the unexpected.   From Downtempo to disco to techno and everywhere in between, his productions and DJ sets challenge and delight the listener and cause my neurons to bounce around in a wild frenzy.   This has brought him to the attention of many producers who fall outside spectrum of electronic music.   With remixes for artists like Matthew Herbert, Caribou, and Moderat, DJ Koze  will take your mind on a trip to outer space and back again. Read More

Sodastream : putting the Fizz in the bottle

Claire | September 19th, 2014

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While visiting my brother on summer vacation, he showed me a cool new toy he’s recently acquired that puts bubbles into water, essentially transforming a  normal container of still water into bubbly water.   The thing is amazing for a self-professed Perrier addict like myself.   You may call me a bubble-o-holic and that’s okay–the fact of the matter is that to me water tastes better with bubbles.  It’s that simple.  This seemingly magical contraption is called Sodastream.    For 100 bucks you can buy a machine that comes with a special bottle,  which you screw on carefully, then press a button a few times to carbonate your water.   Read More