When you're a shoeaholic, you know your priority number one is to protect all your shoes no matter what.
I believe in a good ol' footwear investment  (you can ask my husband about my shoe closet) and like any investment, you need to protect it the right way, right? this protection includes surviving the intense and extreme seasons we experience throughout the year and carrying your shoes without the right accessories most people have no idea about.

I recently discovered and loved Shoe Shoe Bag, a local Montreal company behind a line of shoe bags you'll want to have in your closet immediately.
Their bags are 100% waterproof and designed to fit high-heels, flats and ankle high shoes, what else could we need?

Lucky enough, I had the opportunity to meet them and know all the details about their story, how they started and some tips for new entrepreneurs in the city on Local Love.
Tell us a bit about this lovely idea, your shoe shoe bags
This idea came to me spontaneously, because I needed it. When I arrived, from Paris, in Montreal, almost 4 years ago, I never knew any snowy winter. Because of my snow boots, and all my outings, I always ended with shoes in my handbag… packed in plastic bags, and I wasn’t happy with it.

As I always loved making my own accessories, I began designing shoe bags. I wanted them compact, efficient, and nice looking. Gradually, I have concluded that it’s much easier to put 2 small shoe volumes than one big shoe bag, into a hand bag, or in some luggage.
What made you decide to open your business and why a shoe shoe bag? 
I soon realized that I wasn’t the only one bothered by carrying my shoes every day. And, discovering my samples, my friends told me, « Oh ! I never thought a shoe bag could be good-looking ! » So I decided to start a business with my concept. 
I needed to create something on my own, and above all, my own way. I took a chance.
It took me less than 5 seconds to find the name ShoeShoeBags ! « ShoeShoe » sounds like « chouchou »  in French, which means « my favorite ». So… a shoe bag naturally becomes a « shoeshoe » bag.
At the end, it makes sense, because we have twice the word « shoe », and we sell bags per 2. 1 for each shoe!


Any tips for future entrepreneurs in the city?
I would have so many things to say ! Montreal is a wonderful place to start a business. It’s a vibrant city, and you’ll find help and encouragement. 
You have to jump, and make as many contacts as possible. The challenge is not to lose sight of who you are, what your vision is, and what your values are.


Thanks for showing us lovely and stylish business ideas are completely possible to come to life!
You can see more from Shoe Shoe Bags here


Have you ever wonder, if you can find a stunning spot where you can impress all your friends, have a scrumptious healthy meal and a neat service you'll simply come back over and over again just to try all the menu? 

A few weekends ago, I found that lovely spot in the heart of Old Montreal with my girls, enjoying the newest gem in the area, Mandy's Salad Bar
Imagine a piece of Palm Springs heaven in the middle of a European flair, so charming you'd want to move in as soon as you step in. I have to confess, I've been a sucker for Mandy's for a few years now, so I couldn't hide my excitement about this new dreamy location.

With an eclectic interior of black-and-white Parisian-tiled floors, handpicked chandeliers, a stunning pink sofa corner and the custom made palm tree with flamingo murals all over the space reminded us of the best tropical vibes and a total Instagram dream.

This fourth location is the first one (hoooray!) to offer alcohol, including a curated list of wine, beer and bubbles, handpicked by the mastermind sommelier and Nora-Grey co-owner, Ryan Grey. If you're into a refreshing homemade juice, just head to Mandy's striking bar, I totally recommend their signature classic Lemonade, it's just beyond refreshing.

Old Port's menu has extended their classic salad options including a 
brand new grain-based dishes, don't miss any of the 4 options offered, as the Hippie bowl, served with a special tamari sauce and marinated tofu, avocado, sunflower seeds, carrots, black beans over a delish quinoa or brown rice, totally your choice.

I definitely #aimemandys lots!


Here's what we ordered that day:

- Asian salad 
Romaine lettuce, mixed greens, avocado, crunchy noodles, mandarin oranges, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, toasted sesame seeds

- Salmon sensation 
Mixed greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, quinoa, avocado, roasted asparagus, dill, dried cranberries, pine nuts, roasted salmon

- Lumberjack salad
Romaine lettuce, bacon, turkey, chicken, cherry tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella, mushrooms, green onions, baked pita chips

- October salad
Romaine lettuce, mixed greens, toasted pecans, goat cheese, pear, dried cranberries, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes

- Barley and mushroom bowl (newest addition and one of my favorites)
Warm barley with mixed wild mushrooms and herbs, fried shallots, grana padano cheese - SO good!

Hey girl, Hey! With my lovely Petite and Bold 


Mandy's Old Port
423 Rue St-Nicolas, Montreal
Mon - Sun - 8am to 11pm
Reservations: If you're a large group, call in advance to reserve a spot.
Price Range: $$
Kids Friendly: Absolutely! It's a big space (75 seats) with a Terrace for our warmer days, so there's plenty of room for you, stroller and an overload of babies. I didn't see changing tables the first time I visited, I have to double check again for you.
Take-out options: Foodora for all the Old Port locals!

*Thanks to Mandy's and Sylvain Granier for some of the photos used in this post. 







It's 11am and I'm dreaming about Cali, healthy options, and some dang good poke (poh-keh) bowl.
I convinced my husband, little ones and friends to drive all the way to King street (a few ago when I was in Toronto) and fortunately, we had the best Calii love.

Don't panic my Montrealers! Keep reading, I included my top 3 of the city, just for you (:

In case you're like Poh what? Poh-keh is essentially a piece of heaven made into a bowl of raw fish, seasoned in many different ways, all of them delish, simple and unique.
I know by now, you're craving for one.



The decor of Calii Love was so much fun! I wanted to take back home all the wallpapers and chairs (I'm not even joking) and honestly, we absolutely loved how spacious it was especially if you're a mom of two with one stroller. You'll find communal tables and some cute bucket chairs if you're doing a solo visit. 
The menu is creative and full of freshness, including smoothie bowls, superfood smoothies and their signature and famous poke bowls. 

That day, I felt hopeful and I ordered a bowl of salmon, avocado, wakame, sweet onions, jalapenos, sriracha aioli, pickled ginger, cherry tomatoes and rice.
Not feeling the options on the menu? You can customize your very own bowl (boom!) and add any ingredient, extra toppings and whatever magic you want to it, brilliant!


What we had: 
Hopeful Poke bowl (one of the most popular)
Humble Poke bowl
Good smoothie
Joyful Superfood smoothie

Tip:
If it's too cold or you're extremely lazy to go out, you can still enjoy Calii love! Foodora can deliver anytime, 24/7 to your ol' home y'all, all the info here
Where: 367 Rue King St West, Toronto
When: Mon - Fri 7am to 10pm / Sat - Sun 8am to 10pm

Kids Friendly: Yes! Big space for you and your little ones and even the strollers. They don't have changing tables and I didn't spot any high chairs around.
 

I'm sure my Montreal friends will ask me where are all the best local options in the city, amiright?
Here's THE top 3 of the cutest, yummiest and healthiest poke places you need to try now in Montreal:




Moushi
Poke bowls and sushi burritos in one stop, so you can roll or bowl, ha! With eight healthy options on the menu, you can enjoy salmon, crispy chicken and vegetarian with 5 different sauces that will make you want to move right next to this resto.
Where: 5209 Boul. Decarie 
When: Mon - Thu 11am to 8pm / Fri - Sat 11am to 10pm


Venice MTL
In the heart of Old Montreal, Venice is one of my fave simple spots in the city when it comes to Poke. They have 4 options in the menu, Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp and Vegetarian, all suppa good and 100% recommended. Ps. (and totally random) but.. Dontcha dare leaving here without their guac.
Where: 440 Rue Saint-Francois-Xavier
When: Mon - Sun 11am to 11pm


With two locations in downtown Montreal, Koa Lua are a great option if you want to grab a healthy lunch with the coolest Hawaiian vibes in the city. They had me at Alohavocado too, a side dish of a half avocado served with sour cream and honey. Koa Lua you are WAY too good! 
Where: 1212 Rue Union and 1446 Rue Saint-Catherine West 
When: Mon - Fri 11:30 to 4pm (union) and 9pm (St-Catherine) - Closed on weekends

Tip: All these places are totally kids friendly, space is limited so keep your strollers and big diaper bags at home (: 



Aloha!
What's your favorite poke bowl? I'd love to know more!



I have this thing with Velvet and Skirts, TA-daaaaa!

I've been avoiding pants all winter long and I confess I love it. With the help of a cozy velvet jacket, tights, and my favorite pleated dress, I went out last week and enjoyed some drinks with friends.

I believe in pretty little details when it comes to styling my outfits, like some good sparkly shoes, a cute boho clutch and some really fun colorful tights (you can shop the look at the end of this post, as always!)

How was your weekend? Any big plans? 



SHOP THE LOOK




Part of my 2017 resolutions included cooking new recipes more often, especially easy and yummy ones like today's Peach Coconut Tea Granita Bowls.

This super refreshing idea came to my mind a few weeks ago when my Spring countdown started.
19 more days to go friends, to get unlimited flowers & sunny days, patios, overload of salads and fresh drinks like this one.

Ready to roll for some delish Gra-NEEE-Tahhh?
I'm game!

Ingredients:
- 1 cup of Pure Leaf Peach Tea (now available in a big, family format of 1.75L, yay!)
- 2 ripe medium Peaches
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup of Prosecco
- 1/2 cup of Coconut water


Instructions:

First. Mix in a saucepan the prosecco, juice of 1 lemon and coconut water. Cook for about 2 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool. When the prosecco mix has cooled, put it in a blender with the peaches and sweet tea and purée them until smooth.
Second. Pour this into a wide pan so the mixture comes about 1 inch up the sides. Put in the freezer, and every 30 minutes, using a fork, stir the granita, scraping it off the bottom and sides of the pan.   Repeat the same process until the granita is completely frozen in light crystals. 
Ps. I didn't add any extra sugar to the recipe to keep it healthier (: 
Do you have any favorite Granita combinations?
Can't wait to hear yours!
xo




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