What returning to work feels like after one week of vacay

“It literally felt like drinking cod liver oil on an empty stomach.”

Before you ask yourself what all the drama is about, I urge you to remember that being a Libra, I am the queen of drama :). Give me five minute by a window and a good cup of tea and I can convince myself I am the queen of England.

Today I returned to work after a sweet, sweet, week off. It literally felt like drinking cod liver oil on an empty stomach. I was starting to enjoy having full 24-hour days all to myself. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the people I work  with and my work too, to some extent, because I am extremely good at it but it was hard. I felt like I was just starting to relax a little and then it was all over 🙂

But then once I got there and got to mingle with my co-workers once again, it felt like home. I realized these are really nice people and it felt good to get back in the swings of things.

So to cheer myself up, I decided to do my favorite version of a happy color combination with a red turtleneck and big thick hoops in a bright metal.

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I wish I had a couple of good pics of the whole outfit but dear husband was starting to show teeth and gums (read not happy) after the 15th :”Let’s try this again, honey”. Mind you, it was after a long day at home nursing the beginning of a cold. I know what you’re thinking: “Asking a sick man to snap pics of you, how cruel!” I must admit my higher self was cringing but my vain lower self got the best of me. I have a shoot scheduled in the beginning of November so all is well. I am also thinking of setting up a home studio to start practicing my photography skills. We’ll see!

All in all, I am happy to have a job to return to. I just wish I could write this with more conviction though 🙂

Thank you for passing by. 🙂 Don”t forget to like, comment or share any writing piece on this space to your heart’s content :). Have a wonderful week my lovely friends:)

It is my birthday week!!!!!

“When life hands you a lemon, don’t make lemonades, find good lighting and take a selfie!”

The day I took these selfies, I went for some vaccine and receive quite a bit of disappointing news. I was discouraged. While I was sitting in the health clinic waiting room I noticed my particular corner was literally flooded with the most amazing light. I felt like I was sitting under the glow of a 1,000 candle lights. My vain little self immediately took over and before I knew it I was pouting and posing as if my life depended on it. At some point I even stood up trying to get a better angle of my accessories. The poor man sitting across from me looked very worried. He was probably asking himself if he should call out one of the nurses 🙂

I thank God everyday for my vain self!

Last year I turned 40 . I felt like a bitten human being turning into a vampire for the first time. This October I turned 41. Forty-one. Can’t believe I am already 41! Of course, I look nothing like it people, let it be said and pondered and remembered 🙂  I have no words of wisdom except “Do what works for you and stay pretty”.

“We are all going to age no matter how many collagen masks we do.”

 I am grateful. Yes I am! No matter how many times I have ranted about the fact that I am getting older. Now more than ever I do realize lots of people would have liked to be alive today celebrating another milestone. But they are not because life decided otherwise. Still, sometimes ungratefulness kicks in and I forget all about it 🙂

Celebrating my birthday also means that Fall is here to stay. Yes to hot drinks and Netflix marathon with my main squeeze (only squeeze, really)! And most importantly: Christmas is around the corner so I can start listening to Christmas music 🙂

Thank you for passing by 🙂

 

 

 

 

Timeless Summer outfit: The Not your everyday white tee

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“This ensemble screams boss lady who can’t seem to switch off even for a Saturday brunch with friends”

Can you tell I refuse to let go of Summer? Fall has settled in quietly but surely here in Montreal but yet here I am parading in a simple tee and long skirt. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fall, it’s just that I like to get a full Summer before I get to enjoy Fall. Summer was so shy here: Some days it’s nice, some days it’s raining and some days it’s windy (insert “why me” emoji here). Anyways as a proper goodbye to Summer, I thought I’d do a last timeless basic kind of outfit post.

I can’t live without tees especially white ones. The trick not to get bored is to focus on small details. I especially like the shoe-like lacing at the front of this one.

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Tees are for every season: you can wear them in Summer, Fall and even Winter under a nice biker or denim jacket and some denim bottom or layered over a thin turtleneck. The thing is to pick them in various sizes and in materials of various degree of thickness and warmth depending on what you’re planning on wearing them with. I usually get my size plus a larger one that I can wear over a thin turtle neck for Fall and Winter.

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So that’s it for today, dear friends! Thank you so much for passing by and if you enjoy this post, feel free to like, comment and subscribe. Gros bisoux and talk next week 🙂

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Bisous ! 

 

LOOKING UGLY IN PHOTOS: THE CAMERA DOESN’T JUST ADD 10 POUNDS

This week in first-world problems: The camera adds 10 pounds…

“…The camera is like that bitch of a friend who’s always the first one to tell you you’ve gained weight and the last one to wish you a happy birthday…”

Picture this: It is Saturday morning and I am meeting with my photographer in 2 hours which leaves me with about one hour tops to get ready. But no matter how in a hurry I am, I somehow always have time for a quick 5 minutes dance session (insert John Travolta emoji here) followed by a quick 2 minutes face check (to make sure I haven’t morphed into Cinderella’s famously ugly stepsisters overnight). By the time I am done with these two “essential” activities I have already lost a good 15 minutes which puts me into overdrive for the remaining 45 minutes. Fast forward an hour later and I am miraculously done, with perfect make up and outfits for photo shoot in tow. Now comes the most important step in my entire morning routine: The mirror checks.

 

“…In my case, the camera usually doubles my butt, triples my belly, adds a double chin and remove a breast size….”

First thing first, the bathroom mirror check and the verdict is: “Hello beautiful”. Second, my hand mirror, the verdict is still the same : “Hello beautiful”. Walk to the bus stop and take a selfie (I obviously take this very seriously), verdict is even better: “spectacular”.   I then arrive at said photo shoot location late but with a glow that not even the best filter can match and get compliments from hot buff guy in construction uniform (go ahead and use your unbridled imagination here). At this point, my ego is abundantly flowing through my veins like the Nile river. That day I went home looking smug and proud as if just named most beautiful woman on earth by Vogue. Fast forward two weeks later. Receive photos and the verdict is: 80 % of pics? “Mildly good looking with a risk of ugly”. 20% of pics? “spectacular”.

They say the camera adds 10 pounds but that is not completely accurate. I think the camera doesn’t just add 10 pounds, it adds 10 pounds of bad fat and remove 10 pounds of good fat. In my case the camera usually doubles my butt (was born with a perfect butt so don’t need that), triples my belly, adds a double chin and remove a breast size (throws outraged fist in the air). Now I don’t mean to sound vain but I think I was created perfect but somehow the camera doesn’t seem to pick up on that.

“when in doubt always chose to be beautiful.”

But once again, since I am an ageing and vain little person, I decided to focus on the 20% and ignore the 80% and retire forever into the very comfortable and happy world of denial. Being vain saves lives, I tell you!

Thank you for passing by and don’t forget to subscribe, like, comment or share this article and most of all I would love to hear your take on this “very serious matter” 🙂

Gros bisous!

Hairdresser from hell made me look like a baby dinosaur

I remember it like it was yesterday when I call to book that hair appointment. I had been thinking about a drastic haircut for a while now. This time I had told myself I wanted to look completely different. A real departure from my usual self. I wanted to feel elevated and posh (Insert pink champagne emoji here). It just happened I used to pass by a certain hair salon all the time on my way to work. To be truthful it looked a bit posh with people coming out of there looking like retired models. I guess I was hoping some of that chic vibe would rub on me. Go figure…

“I could already see myself walking out of there finally looking like my higher self: long, lean, with hair that could double up as a parachute if needs be (I never seem to have enough volume)……..”

 When I called to make the appointment, the clerk made it a point to let me know that the person who does my type of hair is part owner of the salon and does mostly photo shoots and big projects with the likes of artists and such. In other words, I should feel grateful he even accepted to touch my mere mortal head (at this point I am feeling rather emotional and grateful). Fast forward a few days later and I am sitting at the salon waiting for the haircut of my life. First of all, the assistant who shampooed my hair acted like my scalp was made of broken  glass. Although I like a bit of a scrub, I refrained from mentioning it for fear of sounding like I usually get my hair washed by Shrek. After the shampoo she announced the “coiffeur” won”t be long. After her departure, I sat there conscious my life was about to change forever, a historical moment so to speak. Well, my life was about to change all right. 

 “I came in looking like a law abiding citizen and came out looking like a baby dinosaur who just survived a hurricane”

 Finally, the headmaster deigned to gratify my mere mortal broke self of his presence. He looked rather annoyed, like a true artist who’s forced to earn a living while waiting for ‘his art’ to sustain him. I suppose I was not his type of clientele. Nevertheless, he “sucked it up” and got to work. When I tried to show him a few pics I had brought, he silenced me with with a raised eyebrow. I felt as intimidated as if I had interrupted a famous painter. When he finally finished what he probably thought was his “work of art “, he let out a big sigh.  Then and only then did I dare look in the mirror. Shocking. I no longer looked like I belonged in the human species. In fact, I looked like a baby dinosaur who just survived a hurricane.

I was so shocked I didn’t say anything for a good little while. He was beaming. I had become “his creation”. I briefly thought about crying but realized with such a haircut, I would probably look even worse (read: deranged baby dinosaur). I ran my fingers through the few strands of hair I had left and mustered enough courage to ask him how he thought I should style it. His answer: “Just let it do its thing”. My answer: “Ah, I see..”. I had expressed interest in a set of comb upon my arrival, he graciously gifted it to me. He might have realized I was this close to commit murder. Confused, I said thank you and rushed home where I spent the rest of the evening alternating between moments of staring at myself in the mirror trying to look like a cute baby dinosaur  and moments of intense cursing out loud.  

My advice: If you’re not used to the hairdresser and you’re going for a drastic cut, go progressively. This way if the first haircut doesn’t work out you can at least leave your house. Second: Ask to see their work (Obvious, right? Well, apparently not cause I didn’t do any such things…) Did I mention I was a sucker for eccentric and weird human beings? Well, now you know.  I suppose that’s what you get when you have a penchant for incompetent people masquerading as eccentric artists…

What about you lovely readers? I’ d love to hear your own experience…

Thank you very much for liking, commenting and sharing this article and gros bisoux:)

 

Workout that delivers: 30 min hit

I remember the first time I set foot into a 30 min hit location. Let’s just say it was rather under special circumstances….

“I had two choices: Lose a dress size or remove a rib cage…naturally considering my low pain tolerance, I went with the first option.”

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I had to lose a dress size in order to fit into an already bought and paid for wedding dress to be more precise. The ladies at the dress shop were actually nice enough not to say anything when the zip threatened to break as they try to zip me up into my soon to be wedding dress. I kept my eyes glued to the ceiling for fear of having to meet their embarrassed glares. I wasn’t breathing but still it wouldn’t do.

Luckily for me some alterations could successfully be performed.  I could come back in 4 weeks for one last fitting once alterations were made but that was it. Which meant if I came back even half a pound fatter I’d need to get married in a potato sack. Naturally, it didn’t help that every single bride to be who came in that day looked like broom sticks.

So with images of myself busting out of said dress flooding my mind, I went on a frantic google search to find some form of training that would allow me to lose a dress size in 4 weeks with normal good nutrition (no severe portion control and sleeping on a treadmill involved). That’s when I discovered 30 min hit.

“With proper diet, it’ll whip your belly fat into muscle in no time. Allow for 4 to 6 weeks and you’ll be amazed. Which explains why I am willingly putting myself through torture by going there 3 times a week.”

How does 30 minute hit work? Well, it’s a high intensity interval training made out of 13 stations that lasts about 2 minutes each with 15 seconds break between stations. Each 2 minutes is broken into  8 x (15 seconds) time increment where you alternate between 15 seconds high intensity and 15 seconds normal pace. The entire circuit takes around 30 minutes.

Now you may be thinking to yourself “2 minutes and you’re complaining? Fabienne, you’re a wimp” Well, this isn’t just two minutes. This is 2 minutes with a trainer on your tail pushing encouraging you to go harder and harder. At any given time there are usually two trainers circling the floor like hungry sharks smelling blood. It’s like they have sensors that can pick up on signs of muscle failure and tiredness. Plus, they don’t just pass by and yell “go harder”. No Sir. They stay by your side for a good 15 seconds (which under the circumstance feels more like a quarter of a century) and watch you go harder and harder all the while matching your every kick and punch with words of encouragement. I personally didn’t know two minutes could be that long. Talking myself into doing this three times a week is a workout in itself.

“The only workout that makes 2 minutes feels like a quarter of a century”

At the beginning of  the circuit I usually try to have some dignity and look a bit graceful (jumping rope) so that when I look like a whale with heart failure people can at least remember I started out a bit more gracefully. But then again I shouldn’t be worrying about that since everybody is kind of busy trying not to drop dead on the floor. By the time I reach the 11th station all sense of dignity and grace has left me  and I usually look like a ballerina with hip problem. At that point my legs are so weak I am usually crawling.

My favorite part is when I find myself at the last station and I know I only have two more minutes to go before I can go crash one the cool down mat and I promise myself not to come back. I now understand why women keep having children despite the pain of childbirth. The pain outweighs the joy in the end. Nothing makes me feel as good and spent as this workout. With proper diet, it’ll whip your belly fat into muscle in no time. Allow for 4 to 6 weeks and you’ll be amazed. Which explains why I am willingly putting myself through torture by going there 3 times a week.

FINAL VERDICT: I highly recommend. And in case you’re wondering: yes, I am a masochist. Albeit a very vain one who prizes looking good and feeling good above all 🙂

Favorite brunch places in Laval: Allô! mon coco

Who needs a getaway when your food looks that good? Welcome to Allô! mon coco! The one we went to is located in Centropolis, Laval.

“Doesn’t this make you feel like you’ve landed in a resort buffet?”

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Allô! mon coco brunch

Brunch culture is extremely strong in Laval and Montreal. So much so it is akin to real punishment to have breakfast at home on weekends. For me at least :). Although we’ve tapered off quite a bit, we try to do at least one brunch every two weeks either on Saturday or Sunday. I usually prefer Saturday which leaves me with Sunday to help my body recover from the food induced coma of the previous day.

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Allô! mon coco breakfast

What to wear:

It is brunch not a visit with the Dalai Lama so it’s okay to look like your growling stomach got you out of bed. Just do it in a stylish way 🙂 The last thing you want is for you to just happen to meet an old friend with your hair looking like a snake pit. In which case I sincerely advise you to hide behind whatever you can find, human or object. I’ve clearly thought about everything, thank me later 🙂

Portions:

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Judging by this pic, it is obvious portions are gigantic with plenty of choice. No risk being bored here. It’s also fairly delicious too.

Who to bring: Just about anybody as long as they are paying for you :). It is family friendly. There are long lines but service is efficient. They have plenty of locations all over Montreal as well.

Price: Reasonable

The last time we went I was able to resist their big side of potato. I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult that was. Their mash potato is so good it should be illegal.  I comforted myself in the fact I had great discipline and courage…but not for long…

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My self-righteous omelet:)

I felt both victorious and bitter. On one hand I was glad I resisted but on the other hand I felt bitter looking at dear husband enjoying his side of potato sitting right besides me. He didn’t even have the decency to pretend he wasn’t enjoying it. All in all, it was a pretty well-spent Saturday.

Bisous and talk next week!