Best brunches in Montreal: Mirazu

The Mirazu

What it is: A Turkish style restaurant that serves Middle-Eastern type of dishes located in the Mile-End neighborhood of Montreal.

“Wear loose clothing and reserve the rest of the day for a food coma”

What they serve: Things you wished your grandmother made you for breakfast instead of pestering your mom about how to raise you.

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The Gurme in all its glory….(hubby’s favorite)

The making of the dough: Bread is made on the spot, right under your eyes.

Watching those dutiful angels of mercy below working through the dough verges on meditation. You feel like you’ve been chosen to partake in a sacred ritual that’s been passed down from generation to generation. The words dedication, respect and tradition come to mind. 

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These angels don’t need wings, they make bread, that’s more than enough 🙂

A bit of back story on our brunch routine:

Before the restaurant:

Husband: “Okay, we’re gonna go there and we’re not going to eat any bread, right?”

Me: “Of course not! Why do you have to repeat this like I am deaf or something?

Husband: “Well, because the last time somebody promised the same thing but when I tried to stop them from digging in the bread basket, I almost lost a hand.”

Me: “What did you expect? You were getting between me and a fast-releasing dose of happiness!”

Husband: “How far some people will people go to justify their lack of discipline….”

Me: “This time will be different, honey, I promise”.

I said that with all the honesty my dishonest soul could muster. I could see he does not believe me. Heck, I don’t even believe my own damn self! It’s just one of those things you say so often it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Just like saying “I am fine” when somebody asks you how you’re doing. They don’t wait for the answer and we don’t thank them for asking. It is understood that they don’t care.

At the restaurant:

We get to the restaurant, head to our seats. Like secret lovers on a much needed break, we developed a ritual: first coffee and then orange juice closely followed by a session of hand kissing and staring into each other’ eyes. That is until the server drops the first bread basket with two round fluffy and buttery little buns. Then we become like animals when they eat: silent and deadly.

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“I am quite sure if somebody were to catch a pic of us eating they’d think we’re hunger games contestants catching a breather. “

For two people who swore a minute ago they didn’t want anything to do with bread, it’s kind of funny. At this point, I think we’ve developed a sort of silent understanding. If we wolf it down without any eye contact, it never happened.

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Our favorites: 

Pafik: A spinach and feta flat bread as an entree. Some people take it as a meal, we take it as an entree. They have different sort depending on your taste.

This is of course followed by the Gurme, their own version of egg benedict with delicious pieces of lamb with yogurt sauce on top with a side of fruit and freshly made potatoes.

There is also the Menenmen au Queli : An egg casserole with tomatoes, spices, beef and lamb. Super warming.

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Considering the huge amount of carbs we usually indulge in, we naturally vow to never come back again until of course the next time witch usually amounts to no more than two weeks.

Price point: Affordable, considering the service, ambiance and quality of food.

The staff: Discreet, friendly and courteous. The type who’ll bring you extra bread without charging extra.  The rare kind, as you can see.

Final advice: If your conscience tries to pay you a visit by reminding you how much of a pig you really are, shut it down with a power nap.

Don’t forget to comment, share and like this article to your heart content.

Gros bisoux and until next time!

Ensuring your happiness: Asking for what you want

”…If there was ever an Oscar for insisting on telling me what I absolutely don’t want to hear, I believe my family members would win it.’

I believe in establishing protocols for recurring activities, especially when other people are involved and by other people I specifically mean family members.

Why? Well, because this group of people tend to be high risk meaning they have the tendency of telling the thruth combined with a very low tolerance for bullshit. If there was ever an Oscar for insisting on telling me what I absolutely don’t want to hear, I believe my family members would win it. This can be grating long term, especially in days when I really need to be happy. Which can explain why I usually go to great pain to establish some kind of protocol when dealing with the special people in my life.

Situation no 1:

When Me and hubby are watching TV.

Context: So we are watching some random TV show and a super hot chick shows up in a random scene. My jealousy gets the best of me and I start bashing her (I know I should take the high road but I just can’t seem to, so I am allowing myself to wallow in despicable behaviours).

Me: ”Oh my God she is way too skinny….”

The hypocrisy! Considering I just can’t seem to lose these last pesky 10 5 pounds and the said woman is pretty perfect.

Husband: ”Complete silence

Me: ”She’s too muscular….”. Did you hear what I just said?

Hubby: ”I did! What do you want me to say?”

Me: ”Well, let’s see…you could start by saying that she is way too skinny and that I am hotter than she’ll ever be.”

Hubby: ”You’re kidding, right?”

Me: ”Okay, new protocol alert: When a super hot girl shows up on the screen and I bash her, you have to reassure me and bash her in equal measure…if not more.”

Hubby: ”Are you serious!!!?? You’re impossible!”

Me ”But you love me, don’t you?”

Hubby: ”Yes, honey, you’re the most beautiful woman on the planet and I do love you”.

Me: ”I am touched! Thank you honey, I love you too ”.

Situation no 2

I am out shopping with my beloved ”foot-in-mouth husband”.

Context: The sun is shining and I am feeling lucky. I am at one of my favourite stores and I am grabbing stuff for the changing room. Of course, I only pick medium sizes (I used to be a size small but lately being human just won’t let me go back to that sizeOf course, if you ask my husband, he won’t stick to that story).

By now I am heading to the changing room and start trying stuff on. Dear husband, ever the good Samaritan, comes running all helpful and hands me some sizes.

Hubby: ”Here honey!”

Me: ”But these are all large sizes…”

Hubby: ”Yes, I know, just in case….”

Me: ”Oh you mean just in case I forgot I was fat?

As you can see the poor man can’t win here.

Hubby: No, no, it is just that sometimes a larger size may look better!

Of course, like most people whose sole desire is to do good, he is forced to explain himself as if doing good demanded an explanation of some sort. But we all know in the real world, doing good comes with heavy consequences....

Me: :Well, I am not here to look better, I am here to feel better…”

Hubby: ”What? But?”

Me: ”Quick memo: when I am in the changing room, you are only to bring me sizes ranging from small to medium and nothing else.”

His eyes ran quickly up and down the dress I was trying. And yes, I was spilling out of it.

I stared at him for a long, long time and took a very deep breath.

Me: ”And yes, I don’t care if I look like an overstuffed sausage.”

The man seemed lost and I don’t blame him. But sometimes feeling better is more important than looking better. Don’t you agree?

So like I was saying if you want to be happy, you have to ask for it, you have to let them know how you like it. Nobody can read your mind and even if somebody could, they wouldn’t because people are naturally self-centered.

What about you, dear readers? Please tell me I am not the only who does that or I’ll feel like a self-centered little person.

Thank you for passing by and Bisoux.

Big love is fattening

They say love is two people looking in the same direction. I’ll add one more thing: love is two people steadily gaining weight together. If that’s the case me and hubby we are madly, terribly in love. We’ve been steadily gaining weight since our first encounter some four and half years ago and I have pictures to prove it.

This is me around the time I met my husband…..If you ask my husband I was just hungry and lonely, lol

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If you ask me this is the best I’ve ever looked. Skinny with no hair. Some haters would say I look like a boy about to hit puberty but I don’t care. While I was parading thinking I was the hottest thing since slice bread dear husband was desperate for me to put a bit of meat on those bones.

Our gaining weight together time line:

1) Our second date…as you can see I dressed to impress…

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2) Our first Christmas together

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3) Hubby feeling himself…

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4) me feeling myself….

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5) and finally the end ….

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Well, well, well, I’d say we’re busting out of happiness:) we have to keep it in check so if you’re in a relationship and you’re now double your weight consider yourself happy! It is understood  that we must do something soon or we wont make it to our 10 year anniversary.

 

My first time…First dates and the lies we tell

My first time meeting my now husband

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I was talking to my husband the other day. He had been pestering me for weeks about my book and my posting more often on this space:

Husband: “When are you going to finish that book of yours?”

Me: “Soon….I have to rework the entire thing…I have plenty of ideas…you know…”

Husband: “That’s not what you said on our first date….”

Surprised he would even remember, I laughed. He laughed in return.

Me: “Well, we both said things that did not turn out to be quite true…you for example…”

Husband:”No, I did not lie!”

Me: “Do you really remember our first date the exact way it happened or is this just your favorite version of it?”

We both smiled……

First dates and the lies we tell….I remember our first date like it was yesterday. We met at a coffee shop, a second cup to be exact. I told myself a coffee shop is safe, if he turns out to be a total dick I can escape quickly and call it a narrow escape. To be frank, I don’t remember half the stuff he said. I was way too busy rehearsing my half-baked truths. You’d think I was preparing to take a lie detector test or something:

Future husband: “So what do you do, if you don’t mind me asking”

I spit out a sentence so basic in its simplicity and so encompassing, it could make you puke. A sentence that means nothing and everything. If you say that kind of sentence in a penetrated way and you happen well-dressed, you’re pretty much guaranteed to appear intelligent.

Me: “Well, I took some time off of work to finish a project that’s very close to my heart.”

A little bit of silence to let my tortured artist essence penetrate every fiber of his being. I am not just anybody, I have a big hairy audacious goal that I am working towards and you better take notice, you mere mortal. Being out of work for a good six months with bills piling up was in no way as glamorous or enticing as I made it look. I was on a very efficient diet: Noodles with a side of stress. I was working on the book as a way to escape the stress.

Me:”I am currently working on a novel….”

Future husband: “Cool….what is it about?”

Me: “Well, it’s about having the courage to follow your dream and not let society dictate who you are and who you can be”.

At this point I could not resist a proud grin. The sort of grin you have when you just aced a school exam because you studied hard. Now that I’ve aced the first few minutes and established myself as a woman of substance worth pursuing, it was my turn to ask questions. So I begin, in a relaxed way.

Me:” I am sorry I was so focused on myself. What about you? I mean I saw on your e-harmony profile that you work in video game. Any side project?

Future husband: ” I am currently working an an album with a singer friend of mine. We have a couple of roughly edited songs…”

I didn’t hear anything he said after that simply because I was off to soulmate land.

I could already see myself flying on private jets, walking around in expensive sunglasses and bags looking slightly out of touch and bitchy. To me this was a match made in heaven. Two creatively driven individuals getting together as one in order to fuel each other’s dreams. (Insert David Bowie and Iman emoji here. I’ll wait).

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Needless to say that’s not how it all turned out.

He discovered my real dream was to live like the favorite pet of billionaire, spoiled and entirely provided for and I discovered that while he does have a couple of roughly edited song, he only works on that album every full moon. I discovered it was pointless to jump his back every time there’s a job opening in a faraway land and he learned not to be offended by the amount of time I spend in front of a mirror. He learned to be patient when I complain over and over about things I can but refuse to change and I learn to laugh on demand at his favorite jokes no matter how many times I’ve heard them. As you can see a match made in heaven.

I am learning daily the true meaning of loving somebody for exactly who they are and not what we want them to be because sometimes what we want them to be is not necessarily what they want to be. At some point we have to accept that.

Overall, we found love because we’re married now 🙂

What about you dear readers? I would love to hear about your personal stories and hide it all turned out. Gros bisous!

How to get some writing done when you don’t feel motivated

You can find my initial post here. I would like to revisit that post and add some more thoughts.

“Sometimes getting myself to do any kind of writing is like trying to get a kid to eat his vegetables. You have to find creative ways to get the job done. Sometimes he eats them whole but sometimes you have to puree it. Sometimes it takes 2 minutes and sometimes it takes the whole day. Some days you’re grateful if you can get a spoonful in and if you have to follow that kid around with that spoonful until he feels like it, then that’s what you’ll do. The most important thing is to get the job by any means necessary. The how doesn’t matter.”

  • Don’t give up on yourself: Be patient with yourself.

I recently had a revelation. I am at least 10 times more patient and forgiving with people close to me than with myself. Being a big proponent of self-love, that hit me hard. If I am not patient with myself: who will? I owe it to myself to be patient with myself in the race for meaning and accomplishment. The same way I have to get along with my boss (to some extent) if I want to keep my job, I need to be patient with myself if I want to last long enough to accomplish all of those things I have set my mind to. Therefore I have to make a conscious decision to extend to myself the same love, courtesy and kindness I so freely and gracefully extend to people who sometimes are not even worth an ounce of my time. This is definitely one thing I plan on working on.

2) Track your progress and action: Keep a list of all of your accomplishments

Nothing can motivate you as much as realizing how far you’ve come, how much you’ve accomplished. But for that to happen you need to keep track of all of your actions no matter how little. When you do get discouraged, because it’ll happen, all you have to do to get pumped up all over again is whip out that journal or that excel spreadsheet with the recording of all of your actions. It’ll serve as a breath of fresh air. 

3) Follow your natural curve of your excitement

Sometimes when we have things to accomplish, we tend to want to force ourselves to  observe a rigid schedule and forget to be watchful of those moments during the day where we seem clearly more motivated for a particular task.

As an example, I use to work on my novel early morning and I kept that schedule for a good while thinking to myself I was definitely a morning person. But lately I have been noticing that during lunch time I seem to have a burst of energy and excitement. I also tend to have another burst of excitement after working hours not a long one but enough to get some stuff done and make me feel like I’ve worked for myself that day. As a result of this observation I’ve switched up my writing routine a bit to work a minimum of ½ hour  on my novel during lunch time and another 40 minutes after work. If there seems to be moments when I feel particularly more inclined to work on something, I don’t question it, I just run with it.

4) Start with 2 to 5 minutes

There are days when I can’t seem to motivate myself to do any writing. In those cases which happen more often than I would care to admit, I just tell myself:”Fabienne, just do 6 stretches of 5 minutes of writing at a time until you totaled 30 minutes and give yourself the whole day to do that”. Once I totaled 30 minutes of writing I go and reward myself by watching an entire episode of Hercule Poirot.

Sometimes getting myself to do any kind of writing is like trying to get a kid to eat his vegetables. You have to find creative ways to get the job done. Sometimes he eats them whole but sometimes you have to puree it. Sometimes it takes 2 minutes and sometimes it takes the whole day. Some days you’re grateful if you can get a spoonful in and if you have to follow that kid around with that spoonful until he feels like it, then that’s what you’ll do. The most important thing is to get the job by any means necessary. The how doesn’t matter.

Thank you for passing by and gros bisoux!

Goal setting for 2019

“Staying the same has now officially become more painful than the actual act of changing:  I am proud to say I have exhausted my options as a loser. “

First of all, I thank God to have made it this far, almost the end of the year. I know I do sound like I am receiving an Oscar but getting to the end of 2018 truly does feel like receiving an Oscar indeed! Actually every day above ground deserves an Oscar:).

I am so excited for 2019, I started compiling a list of things I’d like to be more intentional about.

I know what you’re thinking: It’s not 2019 yet. I know but I just want to start taking a look at what I want to better for the coming year as 2018 draw to a close.

Year 2019: Theme

The theme of the year is ACTION, PROGRESS and TEAM WORK. I know what you’re thinking: My baby is all grown up now (insert tears emoji).

In 2019, I will move in pack. There’s power. Nobody gets left behind!

“Most of the times we plan with the higher self in mind and forget about our lower self-sabotaging self. We have a plan to do but we have no plan for when we refuse to do even after we swear we would do.”

Writing group

The older I get the more I realize the power of accountability, so many things we did growing up we simply owe to our parents being on our back 24/7 double checking on us. There is power in having someone to report to. Someone to makes us do what we want to do.

Barbara Sher said it best: “Isolation is a killer of dream”. Nothing can motivate you more than a group of people who are bent on making it and who refuse to give up on you. I’d like to build a network of people who writes and are even more serious with their writings as I am with mine. There’s a lot of motivation to be had in such groups. There truly is power in numbers. It keeps you motivated, focused and accountable.

Among things that are on my radar: QWF (Quebec writer’s federation) shut up and write sessions. These are intense writing sessions where writers of different levels and at different stages meet and write. I also want to set up other writing sessions with writer friends.which means I need more writer friends.

Progress tracking

I’d like to start tracking my actions/progress. A lot of time I get discouraged thinking I haven’t made any progress at all or very little because I have no record of my progress or actions. I want to change that, I want to be able to have a clear view of what I have accomplished as the year unfolds.

Accountability

Who’s going to make sure I do what I said I am going to do?

Most of the times we plan with the higher self in mind and forget about our lower self-sabotaging self. We have a plan to do but we have no plan for when we refuse to do even after we swear we would do. I suppose that’s what societies have laws : to make sure their citizens do what they swear they’re going to do.

Why am I doing all this? Why all this motivation all of a sudden? What has changed? Don’t get me wrong, changing is still very much painful. It is just that staying the same has now officially become more painful than the actual act of changing. I also feel like I have exhausted my options as a loser. I honestly didn’t think it was possible but yet, here we are. Looking back you’d think I was trying to earn an Oscar. Also I feel like my belief as a writer has somehow solidified a bit more. One thing for sure :I want to do. I want concrete and tangible progress.

Next week I am planning on going into more details wit h tools and other bits of planning I want to add to my arsenal. Gros bisoux and thank you for passing by:)

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:)