Ah no! Taken at a moment where I relaxed my smile.
Today, I am happy to talk about the latest social media campaign where I am involved as a judge. Michaels, the North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts and craft, is finally opening stores in Quebec. Michaels does it large with the opening of 7 stores in fall 2012 — 6 in the greater Montreal area and 1 in Ottawa. It is a news that will put a smile to every creative girls in the city.
Michaels is committed to serve the French market the right way. For that reason, Michaels wants to hire a Creative Ambassador in Quebec. To find the ideal candidate, they launched the biggest social media creative hobby contest never launched in Quebec earlier this week.
One afternoon in May, we filmed my first scripted video in a studio. I was a little bit intimidating to be filmed with a pro like Ginette who has 15 years of TV experience in front of the camera. But I think that I managed to deliver something good. This experience gave me a deeper appreciation of the work that actors and TV hosts do. I got to see what happens behind the scenes and watch the work of the filming crew. Making a video is a team effort; it requires more work that I imagined. You can watch it. Even if you might not understand the words — it is all in French — you will feel the fun concept behind it.
If you, or someone you know, live in Quebec and you enjoy creating art and craft projects, I invite you to film your own video and enter the contest. The first prize is a 1-year job contract at Michaels! You have until July 16th, 2012 to submit your entry. Spread the word! It is a awesome job opportunity for a creative person.
For the second year in a row, I am one of the lucky ones that got a chance to eat at the Cabane à sucre Au Pied de Cochon (Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack). I went with a group of almost 25 foodies this year. It was something to see that many cameras on a table at the same time.
La Cabane à sucre Au Pied de Cochon is a gastronomic restaurant version of the typical sugar shack. Martin Picard integrated the traditional ingredients that we associate with sugar shack in Quebec in his signature cooking style. And I like the fact that you can drink good espresso, a latte or get a Kusmi tea.
I also made a video of our meal. You will see the ambiance.
The menu slightly changed from last year. I welcome a few additions. At last, they served maple taffy (tire d’érable). Your meal starts and ends with Wows. As you can imagine from a restaurant by Martin Picard, you will get plenty of food, pork and foie gras. We went at the first service, which is at 11 a.m. They do four services at day.
The Tourtiere is an extra but you will be very sad if you do not take it. It is the best pork pie I ever eat. Plus, you can buy one to bring home. The pork, lobster and foie gras stuffed cabbage head was a hit. But overall, the weakest link of the meal were the main dishes.
Since the first course was filled with wonderful recipes, it gave my stomach a rest. We needed room for the tasty and rich desserts! The Maple Ice Cream Banana Split made a return to the satisfaction of everyone. You will not want to miss the rich maple cream mille-feuilles and the pancakes served with hot maple syrup.
What is my verdict?
I want to go back next year. I wish to thank Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz for organizing it. She put us on the waiting list for a reservation last August. La Cabane à sucre Au Pied de Cochon is so popular that they are booked for the entire season. You have to wait next year for your tasting.
We are not always able to be with our love one for a birthday or the holiday. But with video on the Web, it is easy to send them very personal wishes. Look at this couple did for the birthday of one of their friend. They recreate a birthday at their home. Imagine receiving a video where your friends took the time to decorate their apartment and bake a birthday cake for you. It is adorable! Watch it!
Old cooking traditions are hot again. According to an article on the Globe and Mail, the younger generations enrolled in canning workshops. I feel that it is simply a continuation of the grow your own vegetable garden movement and the desire to eat better.
My mother was running her own business when I was a kid so she did not have the time. Now that she works less, she takes the time to pickle fresh cucumbers and make her own ketchup. Since she lives 130 km from me, I do not think of asking her to show me the proper technique of canning.
What is stopping me is that I am afraid that my jars will not be sterile enough or that I would not sealed them well. Plus, I need good proven recipes.
For first timers look for canning workshops and books. A book that shows the basics, including which canning supplies we need, is Complete Book of Home Preserving. Depending on where you live it will be related to the Ball brand or the Bernardin brand.
Join the Canning Revolution
Canning Across America is a nationwide, ad hoc collective of cooks, gardeners and food lovers committed to the revival of the lost art of “putting up” food. The weekend of Aug. 29-30, 2009 they had a series of how-to classes, demos and home canning parties in cities around the country. The Canning Across America’s blog provides great information and recipes. For an overview of the process, watch this video by Seattle chef and veteran canner Diane LaVonne, of Diane’s Market Kitchen. You will see if it is for you or not.
I spoke last weekend at my PodCamp Toronto session about the lack of videos in the women design blog. Tonight, I noticed that my friend Lara McCulloch-Carter of Ready2Spark did her first video blog while attending the Toronto Interior Design Show.
Her video is great! I am to warm you Lara, I will borrow some of your video techniques. You will see that Lara was also impressed by Luminoso, that I introduced two posts ago. You will probably grasp a better understanding of this innovative product by watching the video.
Lately, I wish to update my home décor. I still like my furniture for the most part. By changing the accessories, you can totally redo a room. By for now, my first challenge will be our new office. We will be moving since our space is now too big for our needs.
I still not have finished the design of my home office. Besides being too busy, what is stopping me is that I must remove some furniture. But I cannot decide which ones. I like them all.
We watch on TV shows and read on magazines the liberating effect of removing the clutter in our space. When you buy stuff, the key is to opt for things you really like. For furniture, this also means buying the best quality you can afford.
In terms of housing, downsizing makes sense in our quest for a simple life. The more space you have, the more waste of space you will experience. Challenging spaces force us to be more creative in finding solutions. This is why the most cleverly designed interiors are often small spaces.
With the current economic situations, many people will have no choice but to downsize. See downsizing as an opportunity to examine what is really important to you. Does living in the suburbs where you need two cars is the best lifestyle model? Can you renovate your house to get what is missing instead of moving to a bigger house?
Ideas on renovating or downsizing: A list of 4 tv shows that help you design a room that fits your lifestyle
This is something I wanted to do for a long time. So I am very excited to present you my first vlog (video blog). I invite you to watch my quick report on Christmas front store decorations in downtown Montreal.