February 12, 2014

Enso Yoga

Photo ℅ Enso Yoga

The last year and a half I'm proud to say I've finally become "a runner", AND the kind of runner I never thought I would be - a hardcore outdoors-in-winter, half marathon for fun, bonafide runner.  Yes I'm a member of the weird group of late 20-something/early 30-something adults that take up running in droves.

Unfortunately I've discovered that even with 3 layers, I'm still cold after 45 minutes outside when the weather is -15 celsius or below... and that adds up to maybe 3 days in this record setting winter that I could run.  Not wanting to ruin my newly acquired consistency with exercise, I needed to find a new outlet until I could breach hibernation mode and decided to go back to an old standby - yoga.

I've always loved yoga, going off and on for the last 9 years, and I adored bikram yoga when I lived in NYC.  It's the perfect counterpart to running since it stretches out those tight chunky muscles and it's also a great way to fight stress - not to mention that hot yoga burns about 800 calories per class!

Unfortunately most studios I've found in Montreal have that… umm… let's call it the "bikram smell" (cough, B.O., cough) and carpeting.  Over the past 2 weeks though, I had the pleasure of finally trying out Enso Yoga downtown and I'm happy to confirm that it is as beautiful and amazing as it looks online.

The studio has beautiful hardwood floors (washed between EVERY class), everything gets a dose of eucalyptus water (spa scent is way better than "bikram smell"), and the showers/locker rooms (also washed between classes) are as modern, light, and airy as everything else.  It really feels like a treat and a luxury to be here - I mean, it's in the HERMES building!

*The 14 day trial is currently only $40 (I went about 10 out of 14 days) and they also offer community classes for 50% off at weird hours if you're budget conscious as well as hot pilates and barre classes. 

*This is not a bikram studio.  It is hot yoga meaning it is a flow yoga class in a hot room but not a classic bikram class with the bikram poses.

February 11, 2014

$4 and a Bottle of Wine

*Outfit from my app:
Gap sweater, Topshop skirt, Pour La Victoire pumps, Michael Kors watch, H&M necklace
A few weeks ago I had one of those evenings where, despite having several projects waiting to be finished/started, I was bored.  While listlessness frequently leads me to one of my favourite pastimes, reorganizing (for the millionth time) and cleaning my apartment, this evening in particular had the disappointing reality that all my laundry was done, the floor was recently vacuumed, and my office had already undergone it's near-weekly rearranging.

With an unopened bottle of wine taunting me from the kitchen counter and no fiancé around for another few hours, I figured a merlot-fueled closet organization brainstorming session seemed promising.

A few of the issues needing tackling:

  1. Habitual "I have nothing to wear" feeling despite a huge supply of clothing
  2. Need to see my options without a free bedroom to dedicate to a walk-in
  3. Need to create some exciting new outfit combos - shop my closet so to speak
  4. Less impulse shopping, more buying things I actually need

Well after giving it some thought, researching organizational sites, and being reminded of my envy for Cher Horowitz's programmed closet, I found StyleBook - a closet organizational app.  

Normally I don't buy apps on principal but it was recommended by several fashion magazines and I was willing to risk the $4 cost with the rational that at least I'd be entertained for the evening - And oh my god was I ever.  A bottle of wine, $4, and a lot of picture taking/google imaging later, I had found my new secret obsession.  It's seriously embarrassing how much time I spend with this app.

A few of my favourite features:

  1. Full view of your closet and a *searchable* (say what!?) database
  2. Packing lists and the ability to create pre-made outfits by occasion
  3. Tag things that need replacing and get a lot of wear
  4. Better understanding of items I really don't need but keep buying anyway (hello huge collection of cocktail dresses)
  5. Wardrobe dollar value (a little scary, weirdly satisfying, and puts shopping into perspective)

The main drawback I have found is that it takes some time to photograph your wardrobe (you really have to be dedicated to set it up) but after adding most things, now I slowly add items whenever I wear them.

If you see a girl on the bus creating virtual outfits, now you know who it is.

February 25, 2013

Oscar Dresses

I don't usually watch award shows.  Look up dresses the next day definitely but sitting through hours and hours of awards never really appealed to me.  Last night however I thought I'd find out why so many of my friends look forward to this night and was pleasantly surprised to find the show extremely entertaining and absolutely worth sitting through.  Oscar party hosting next year maybe?

Despite all of the moving speeches and awesome performances, the red carpet fashion was still the highlight for me.  As much as I love a princess gown (and Jennifer Lawrence's Dior stole the show on that count), I just adored all of the column dresses and clean sleek lines that most of my favorites wore. 

In no particular order:

Naomi Watts, Armani Prive 

Halle Berry (aka Bond Girl), Versace

Jessica Chastain, Armani Prive

Charlize Theron, Dior Haute Couture

Jennifer Lawrence, Dior Haute Couture

Ann Hathaway, Prada

Amanda Seyfried, Alexander McQueen

February 21, 2013

Black and Yellow Black and Yellow

1. barcelona chair 2. Jonathan Adler bench 3. Jonathan Adler screen 4. West Elm parsons desk 5. Silk Damask wallpaper 6. Jonathan Adler desk lamp (West Elm also has a very similar one)

Surprisingly, my office is the only room in our house that hasn't had anything done to it.  Still in its pale pink former baby room bliss, the color wasn't bad enough to instantly require covering and I've had so many ideas for the eventual makeover that I've had trouble selecting just one.  Hence an office with no decor except a shelf and credenza for storage.

As much as my girly side wants to do a pink/gray/gold/white color scheme, this room may eventually just be a guest room or an office that I share with my fiancé so I've finally decided that something gender neutral is a better idea.  I've wanted to wallpaper the main wall as an accent  since we moved in and this past weekend I finally found an amazing print at Home Depot (can't beat $35/roll!) that is now serving as my jumping off point.  It looks a little blah in the photo but it is actually a beautiful pale shimmery silver background with a darker damask print on top.

I've always loved Jenna Lyons's black and yellow living room so now that I have a color neutral paper, I think bright yellow accents and white walls are the way I'm headed.

What do you think? Black, white, yellow, silver - too cold or grownup and crisp?

Jenna Lyons's living room

Greasy Spoon

A week ago I finally made it to Greasy Spoon in the plateau.  I'd been meaning to try this well known eatery for a while and when they popped up on Living Social, it was a sign.

The menu was even better than expected and it took me a good 15 minutes to decide on a starter and main course.  Since fresh seafood in winter always feels like such a treat (and I love tartar) I went with the asian inspired salmon tartar to start and lobster rolls as a main course - they did not disappoint!  Both were light, well seasoned, delicious, and oh so fresh.

One of the things I enjoyed most however was how well balanced this place was - just the right mix of amazingly delicious food, beautiful presentation, and decent sized portions.  Nothing is worse than spending $17 on an appetizer and only enjoying it for 2 bites.  As proof of portion size, my 6'3'' 200 lb fiancé (who never fills up at restaurants) was comfortably full by the end of the 3 course meal.

I will say the dessert selection could have been better. I think there were 3 options and they were out of one (apparently it is a signature chocolate chip cookie).  We both managed to squeeze in lemon meringue pie-in-a-jar (part of our table d'hote) and although it was pretty tasty, when compared with the greatness of the first two courses, I think this is an area for improvement.  I'd rather find dessert down the street after a digestive stroll.

Overall, a great meal and cozy ambiance.  I will definitely be back. As far as price, some people think it's a little much but this is not overpriced bar food.  It is acceptably priced well prepared cuisine in a relaxed ambiance.

p.s. Be ready to make a reservation a few days in advance.

Greasy Spoon on Urbanspoon