A few weeks ago, I became a year older. A year wiser.
Most people freak out once they hit their thirties (or the much dreaded 25 mark). The buildup of stress and anxiety is almost a right of passage for those who cross over to dirty thirty territory.
Listen up people: as it turns out, being a 30-something is pretty wicked, and nothing that you should fear or get your panties in a twist over. By the time you hit thirty, you’re more aware of what you want out of life and are less fearful to pursue it (plus: you’re over the stupidity you engaged in during your twenties – yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) So, allow me to share some of my favourite foods, and many things – most of which can be found right here, in Montreal.
Who doesn’t love a good glass of red, white or the seasonal rosé? My suggestion: Georges DuBoeuf makes a fantastic red that I am head over knee-highs in love with. Brouilly Major is reasonably priced, so for $20.25 you’re sure to sip on a flavourful bargain. Mama loves the grape, so just trust me on this one, OK?
32. Live Music
Music is medicine that feeds and heals the soul. Music is therapy, an escape and a motivator, so naturally it made my list of favourite things. Whether I’m working on the blog or my bod, a solid playlist is an essential companion. One of the best things about living in a metropolitan area is the cornucopia of live shows that we are exposed to – so much talent comes through this city. From intimate shows featuring indie bands to 3 day music festivals like OSHEAGA, there’s never a dull moment in Montreal.
31. Coconut Oil
Is there anything the coco doesn’t do? Other than pay my bills, this stuff can be used for just about anything. Mix Coconut oil with coffee grounds and add your favourite essential oils to create a DIY all natural body exfoliant for some spring cleaning realness.
29. Wheeze the Juice!
Juicing is part of a lifestyle, and any self respecting foodie knows that you must create a balance for the nights of YOLO, with the dawn of a healthy start. While the investment seems steep at first, just think about how much money you will save for years to come. If you were to purchase juice just once a day, assuming that it will cost around $10 a bottle for pretty much anything pre-made, you would spend $300 alone during that month. So, basically the juicer pays for itself within 6 weeks, after the cost of produce. You can’t put a price on convenience and logic.
Recommended product: Omega Juicer. As featured on Bed Bath and Beyond, there’s the white model which will run you $299 and fulfill the simple duty of juicing fruits and veggies, or you can step up your game and go all out on this gem which will produce nut butters, baby food, soy and almond milk.
It’s no secret that Montreal is home to some of the most creative chefs in the country. This town has it all! Head over to L’Gros Luxe on a Sunday and profit from the $2 discount on their caesars – think of it this way: buy a couple and eventually you’re getting one for free. Everybody wins. Can’t beat that with a stick!
27. Walk / Jog on the Mountain
No better way to work off the gluttonous choices of your week than with a stroll or a hike up the city’s central hill.
26. A Good Playlist
Everything in life requires music. One of the best birthday gifts I ever received were mixed CDs (shout out to James and Laurence, you guys ROCK!). Your life has a soundtrack and it’s broken down into years, years into quarters and so on. Creating new memories with fresh tunes can be just as nostalgic as revisiting the past by listening to old playlists. Don’t be afraid to give new music a shot.
25. Vegetarian and Vegan Cuisine
We can’t be bad all the time. The body requires a certain amount of greens and healthy things in order to function properly, if you know what I mean. Aux Vivres is my go-to happy place when I’m craving a tasty vegan meal that honestly makes me forget that it’s vegan in the first place. It just tastes GOOD! Best of all, they renovated and expanded the restaurant (it’s HUGE now), which also includes the takeaway shop – which is essentially a market filled with happiness – so there’s no excuse not to eat healthy.
24. Local Everything
Supporting local designers has always been a major inspiration for this blog. While I get the practical benefits of buying the basics at chain stores – because affordability – the meat and potatoes of your consumerism should focus on local everything. Clothing, jewelry, art, food, artisanal goods, food baskets – Montreal has it all. Some of my favourite food products include: Cult Yogurt, Lufa Farms, Hutchison (clothing), Corpa Flora Skincare, Puretea just to name a few! Check them out. ALL of them.
Which brings me to my next point.
23. Fair Trade
Because “fuck you, pay me” should be a global concern. Yes, you can always get what you want, and the people who work hard every day to make this a reality for us are entitled to fair pay for the work they do.
22. Eco-Friendly Products
In November I attended the Art of Marketing and walked away more inspired than ever after listening to a talk given by Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method. While I was familiar with the brand, I was completely blown away with their marketing strategies. Method is a pioneer for eco-friendly household cleaning products. I’ve been a big fan for several years, and you should discover Method if you have not already. Unlike their competitors, Method uses naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients and they do not test on animals. Please read their blog <3
I picked up a copy of The Method Method at the Art of Marketing conference immediately after seeing Eric Ryan’s presentation during the conference. The Method Method inspired me to think outside of the box more than ever before. Never stop learning!
20. Sober Morning Dance Parties
Montreal is now home to a morning dance party known as Morning Gloryville. The event begins around 6:30 am and carries on until 10am. Come sober, dance, do yoga, get a massage and drink some complimentary Kombucha, courtesy of the official sponsor.
19. Beauty and Skincare
I have been obsessed with Dermalogica for the better part of the last year. The simplicity and effectiveness of their products always leave me satisfied and as odd as it reads, I look forward to mornings partly because I enjoy their products SO damn much. Next up is Arbonne, a company that equally appeases my health conscious demands and all (or mostly) natural product addiction.
Have you ever checked out Mtl Café Crawl? You should. Montreal has some of the best and I mean BEST coffee houses this side of the country. It also brings me back to my love for supporting local and sticking it to ‘the man’ or those crummy franchise cafes. Most notably is Cafe Olympico. Located in the trendy, hipster-saturated Mile End, about $3 will get you a latte and you can also buy fresh ground coffee by the pound. I also really like Pikolo which is situated in the McGill ‘Ghetto’, lower Plateau adjacent.
17. Gym Membership
Winter was rough (can I get an ‘amen’ ?) Seriously tho, nothing feels better than the sensation of “I think I might pass out/faint/puke/die etc. than the feels you get from working your butt off at the gym or with group classes. Which brings me to my next point …
16. Massages and Spa Visits
I believe this one goes in synch with the previous point. You work hard, you play hard and now it’s time to work out those knots in your back. It’s time to de-stress and mildly torture yourself with the hot/cold/rest/repeat sequence. Once you’re over that rotation, let the kneading begin! Oh, and that lingering eucalyptus fragrance? Ah-mah-zing! Our personal favourite: Spa Scandinave (they have a special on Friday evenings, P.S).
15. Running / Jogging
Not only is that rush of adrenaline addictive, this is a great way to burn calories and it keeps you sane! What’s not to love?
They come in all ages, help you grow and keep you young. A solid social circle is important for us all, no matter how big or small. Quality over quantity.
Friends are your chosen family, but can never replace your actual family (unless I suppose you want them to). My family is small, but like I said: quality over quantity.
Whether hot or cold, it’s good to give your body a good stretch at least a couple of times a week. This city has enough studios, but finding the right one is key, and will help you to stay motivated to keep going.
11. Hair Care
Aveda continues to impress me with their views on sustainability and environmentalism. I can’t think of a better line of hair care products.
10. Manicures and Nail Care
Over the last year or so, I’ve began to take better care of my nails. Once they reach a certain length, it’s all about maintenance. Keep those beauties fresh and tidy! That’s why I usually visit MSalon when I need a little TLC. Bonus: they use Trustfund Beauty polish, which is 8-free (free of the 8 harsh chemicals normally found in other brands).
My Autumn visit to Dublin and attending the Web Summit was a real eye-opener. Tech and startups are everywhere, and the people who work for them are creating some pretty magical things. Montreal has a booming tech and startup scene, you should check it out!
8. Eco-Friendly Food Joints
I recently discovered a green, healthful gem at 3454 Parc avenue. Their motto: Eat. Energize. Ok, I think they are onto something. Freshii opened it’s doors a mere few months back, and they are planning to spread some seeds across town. The fiber-rich dished serve up slow-burning carbs, essential fats, lean proteins and superfoods like kale and quinoa. All fresh, custom meals are prepared in less than two minutes with entirely biodegradable packaging.
Love. I’m in it.
7. My Job. My Blog
After my trip to Europe, I caught the travel bug. Not the kind that makes you sick, thankfully! No I’m itching for my next big Nudaventure. Less is more when I travel. All I need are the essentials!
5. Peace and Piece of Mind
To quote Drake: started from the bottom, now I’m here. Letting go of people, situations and all that does not serve me. Vibrating on a higher level and surrounding myself with positive energy and people who are not only there for the process, but who care enough to be part of the outcome. And you know what? It feels so damn good.
4. Charlie the Cat
He’s the best snuggler and wakes me up with cuddles, kisses and ok, the occasional sneeze – but – he’s the most affectionate cat I’ve ever met.
3. Staying in on a Saturday Night
Let’s get one thing straight: when you are out almost every day of the week running errands, working and attending a variety of press events, there’s nothing more rewarding than a chill night spent at home. No guilt, all glory.
See also #17 – working out. I can thank chocolate for dat ass.
Some of you saw this one coming. Blend it, chop it, steam it, bake it, grow it, eat it. For the record: I was all over Kale before Beyoncé made it cool.
What are some of your favourite things?