Dreamhack Montreal 2017 #DHMTL17

You can see a more detailed coverage over at That Moment In from Day 1 and Day 2 HERE & HERE.

DreamHack Montreal 2017 happened over the last weekend from Friday (September 8) to Sunday (September 10). The event has grown a lot with much more gaming tech companies and sponsors. The crowd definitely came in mass on Saturday and rightfully so because that was the day with some great esport matches. Here’s a video with some pictures and vids from the cosplay competition.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Are you into esports? If not, do you play games like CS:GO, Hearthstone or Street Fighter V? Maybe Smash Bros or Starcraft 2?

I’m honestly more of a solo player. Team or PvP games take much more strategy than I would like to invest in. However, DreamHack did ignite the curiousity to check out Hearthstone and so far, I might like it more than Elder Scroll Legend. However, I haven’t gotten far enough in Hearthstone to feel a ton more challenge.

Overall, DreamHack was really fun. It turned out to be a really busy Saturday going from one thing to the next. I did wish the Indie Game Zone would have had more games.

Advertisements

Montreal Comiccon 2017: Cosplay & More!

Montreal Comiccon 2017 happened this past weekend. As I sorted things out after a very hectic and fun weekend, I kicked off the Montreal Comiccon recap with my shopping haul yesterday. You can check it out HERE if you missed it.

This year’s Montreal Comiccon is very special. Why? I actually stopped postponing and put aside my worry of rejection and applied for media pass for Game Warp Podcast and we got it. Game Warp and also my own first show going as Media. I have no idea how hard it is to get into Montreal Comiccon but regardless, I find that an achievement regardless. Its nice to see that we can take Game Warp Podcast and go out and cover the gaming portion of the show.

Montreal Comiccon

If you don’t follow That Moment In, here is the recap of Day 1 and Day 2 of Montreal Comiccon. It is very gaming heavy as I spent Day 1 chatting with game developers and trying out their games and Day 2 was spent in and out of gaming panels as well as checking out the Triple A Studio booths and their games.

However, Montreal Comiccon is more than just panels and games. It is a fan expo and there was all sorts of cool stuff everything. The most awesome thing was following the news of the actual size replica of Optimus Prime truck literally rolling into town to the showfloor and its great to finally find it right next to the autographs section, just like its listed as a guest.

Optimus Prime

Of course, there was Batmobile and Knight Rider and all sorts of other cars hanging out in different booths. There was even a charity photo op by an artist who made a Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. It looked fantastic but no pictures unless you wanted a picture with it. I love Toothless but I also had to get somewhere by the time I found it so didn’t end up not being able to show that off at all.

Aside from that, its all about the awesome cosplay everything. Day 1 found these cosplays that stood out to me:

I honestly didn’t have too much time on Day 1 as I was frantically trying to check out as many games in the Indie Game Zone as possible. It was a rather successful to me. With that said, it left me time to fight with the crowd on Saturday in between panels to catch more pictures of cosplayers and their many different creative outfits.

There’s a ton to do at Montreal Comiccon all the time and this year, the guests were pretty impressive. Between walking through the Artist Alley and vendors to find a Pikachu for my friend’s toddler. I tried keep it mostly about gaming as I’m there as media for that. Its kind of different. I’m sure anyone who does media at events might feel the same way. Its still a ton of fun but there’s also that responsibility that I know I’ll have to report on it so there’s this extra push and motivation to make sure I get to panels and cover the things that would match up with what we represent which is games since I’m there for Game Warp Podcast.

It was a great weekend! Tons of fun!
It took Sunday to recuperate but totally worth every minute of it! 🙂

2016 Wrap-Up!

Its the last day of 2016 and man, I’m starting to feel slightly pampered from previous years and the year-end reports that WordPress used to produce for the blogs. Are you missing that? Doesn’t it just give a sense of love and awesome? Still, 2016 has been cool. While my stats did drop from the previous year in general, I’ve also opened up my horizon to new projects and been working on some creative additions in the background. To say that 2017 might be a little change in direction could be good. After almost 6 years of blogging (in a little over 2 weeks), I think its time to change things up just a little bit.

Today is all about looking back at 2016! We’ll talk about 2017 tomorrow! 🙂

To start with a few stats, 2016 had 61,286 views and we’re now at 2,119 followers! You all are fantastic! Thank you for joining me here!

On top of that, we reach some nice milestones for the blog like…

  • Total recipes: 146
  • Total book reviews: 138
  • Total movie reviews: 619

This year’s top five viewed posts here was actually not published in 2016 at all but previous years:

  • Book Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (which grabs top spot everyday)
  • Arthur and the Invisibles Trilogy
  • Lie with me
  • Fantasia Fest 2015: Anguish
  • Book Review: The Starry Starry Night

Its funny to look at this list because a lot of these are from the earlier days of blogging and the quality is just so bad compared to now, which is much better. I’ve been meaning to reread and rewrite The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes review, just because its so incredibly cringe-worthy to read now.

As for 2016 posts, the top 5 are:

  • Announcement: Ultimate 80s Blogathon
  • Netflix A-Z: xXx (2002)
  • Netflix A-Z: Nymphomaniac Vol 1 &2 (2013)
  • The VVitch (2016)
  • Netflix A-Z: Kiss of the Damned (2012)

There may probably be a new blogathon in 2017 seeing the success of 2016, but more when its all decided! I’m also glad that Kiss of the Damned made it as top viewed because my binge watching of Gilmore Girls is making me love Jess aka Milo Ventimiglia and he is in that little indie film.

2016 Recaps

2016 was a year of highs and lows for blogging. The good part of that I learned how to be organize and work a little ahead of time and at least have the material ready for writing beforehand. It only took five years but I got there! I’m liking the whole system.

Game Warp Podcast was the second achievement. Starting that up over at That Moment In with my awesome cohost, Elwood Jones from Fromt he Depths of DVD Hell. Funny how one thing leads to the next and how the blogosphere and Twittersphere brings out all sorts of cool friends and projects. Game Warp Podcast is something of a dream that I’m only starting to believe is happening. Its a first step into something that I had been thinking about it and I promise that more announcements regarding gaming and whatnot that is in the brainstorming stages will be revealed. But Game Warp Podcast is one of my main focuses right now and it has really made me grow and revive a lot of the love.

We never made any formal announcements, at least I never did but That Moment In Podcast is not longer a thing. It hasn’t been for a few months. It was extremely fun while it lasted. However, if you have dropped by That Moment In lately, I have dropped by with David for short movie discussions/reviews paired up with his written review. There has only been two so far but its been fun. Check it out if you have time. Here’s one if you’d like to give it a listen for Korean thriller, The Wailing.

Unfinished Projects

As with every year, there is always things that just don’t end up getting a spot or just simply get procrastinated. One of those projects is the Classics. I took a break from reading classics last year and really just read The Little Prince and didn’t even end up wrapping up the Jane Austen from 2015 which I was just missing Northanger Abbey. I do plan on picking that up in 2017 as I have some nice books lined up sitting in my Kindle longing for me to read it.

Netflix A-Z is currently in the progress of wrapping up its current round focused on indie genre films for the most part. We’re at T. So we’ll wrap that up in early 2017. And I’ll probably restructure it a little as I will for the movie reviews section.

Other than that, Baking Through Disney started out in the year pretty well until I got stuck on Fantasia and what to bake. I’m not giving up on the project though. I’ll be setting solid goals for 2017 that I’ll talk about soon.

Overall…

2016 was a bit of a mixed bag from my motivation to wanting to change where it was going to just in general everything. I did have a great time being more organized and podcasting more and learning new things. I think that is the main thing for me that I’ve learned over the course of 2016, blogging is the opportunity to explore new things and learn new skills. I love making videos and editing and all the work that goes with it. I’m embracing a different side of approaching it and also heading out to events and unboxing and really trying out new things. Events will become a much more frequent thing here. I’m starting to jump into what I want tomorrow’s post to be for the 2017 look ahead.

What I do want to say other than the stats and endless babble going on is…

HAPPY NEW YEAR! ALL THE BEST IN 2017!
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE AND READING THIS AND JOINING ME ON THIS WONDERFUL BLOGGING JOURNEY!

Salon des Metiers d’Arts of Montreal Haul!

Winter is here! Christmas is right around the corner. What does this mean? Gift shopping and every year for the last few years, I would go with friends to check out the Salon des Metiers d’Arts de Montreal. In translation, it is the Montreal Arts and Crafts Show.

This show has free entrance and especially for the food and wine vendors, there are free tastings. Another addition is that it focuses on smaller Quebec vendors (at least nearby). It is a great place to see what is new on the market and learn about the new products.

Usually, I go to these shows and pick up ice ciders or ice wines but this year, somehow I had a change of heart and focused on other things. Maybe its because we went to the Magog event: Festival des Vendanges (post HERE). Lets check it out! 🙂

Timothee Tartinier Gourmand

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

I actually picked up two items from this place. The other one I split with my friend and I forgot to take it back which is a roasted hazelnut spread. This one up there is gourmet popcorn with flavors of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. It was my husband’s gift for all the hard work and long hours he’s had to endure the last few weeks. He tasted it and loved it. You can check out this place HERE.

Ferme Guy Rivest

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

Have you ever tasted fruit pearls? I haven’t. I’ve seen them before and they look cool. I just never figured out how it would work with what we eat and didn’t see the need for it. This year, I wanted to try something new and these ladies looked nice so I went over to try it out. The passion they have for these products are fantastic. Ferme Guy Rivest sells five flavors (I believe): strawberry, raspberry, apple, blueberry and cranberry. If I’m missing well, you can always go check out their site HERE. I ended up getting the raspberry. They suggested to use it either as a topping on appetizers like cracker and cheese (which was their display product) or its good to put inside champagne or wine which is what I intend on doing.

i-Sens

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

A  new vendor at the show (I think) is this gourmet maple syrup/fruit pearls/organic tea place called iSens. The owner is chef and world traveller Philippe Morin and the maple syrup, from what he tells me is sold internationally. I bought this vanilla flavored maple syrup but also tried their Yuzu flavor and Ginseng one as well. While those latter two were pretty good, I just couldn’t decide who I could give it to that would appreciate it the same way and how to use it. However, Vanilla is also quite gourmet and there was no hesitation in getting it. It seems good to make desserts or pancakes. You can check out iSens and their products, including the fruit pearls which have mango and passion fruit flavors HERE.

La Nougaterie

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

I buy from La Nougaterie every year. They make delicious soft nougat. My absolute fave is Christmas Nougat which they didn’t have last year so I made it point to get it this year. Its great to cut up into pieces and serve at parties. My husband likes the honey and almond and chocolate ones so I get those for him. I’m thinking of giving away the Lavender as a little gift. Lavender is a tricky ingredient to use but they actually retain a good balance, floral but never overpowering. We also went to their shop at Ile d’Orleans a year or two ago. You can check it out HERE. Did I mention that they expanded their line quite a bit with meringue and candies and my absolute fave, marshmallows!

Coach House Shortbread Company

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

Also, a recent addition to annual buys which works so cute as gifts. I believe in giving food as gifts a lot because its absolutely great to have and its something to share with everyone especially as a general gift. While they come in salty flavors with cheese and herbs in four different varieties, I always go for these sweet ones. I usually would get sugar plum since its so festive but this year, I changed that up for Lavender and the other two flavors are Ginger (which is for myself) and Dark Chocolate/Fleur de Sel. There’s a ton of other flavors and you can find them HERE.

Domaine Labranche

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

I can’t go to these shows and not buy at least one bottle of ice cider, right? C’mon! That just wouldn’t be right. Fire Cider didn’t quite originate in this show with Domain Labranche but we’re not here to talk about that company. However, Domaine Labranche stole my heart last year when they introduced Fire Cider but as a hot cider drink. You can make it with cinnomon stick and it’ll have this delicious apple and cinnamon smell that just gives off a lovely scent through the house. Its like the drink you picture drinking on a cold winter’s night and its snowing outside and the fireplace is roaring. Yeah…the thought of it all was what happened when I had the fire cider so there was no question when I tasted it again and just fell in love again. I’m actually starting to like fire ciders quite a bit. The way its made gives the drink a nice smooth taste. You can check out Domaine Labranche HERE.

We learned at the show that they also are a vineyard, orchard and maple shack. Maybe we’ll consider it the next time we look for those activities.

Rustique Design by Pascal Normand

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

Surprising that it isn’t food to end it all off, right? I’ve been looking for artwork for some walls on my house. We’ve moved in for two years and its been a gradual climb to getting it all decorated. As much as I do have complaints about Montreal here and now, which I don’t share here, Montreal is a beautiful city and adding in the rustic feeling on some of the landmarks makes for a really nice touch. This art is called Rustique Design by Pascal Normand. You can check out more HERE.

And thats it! Montreal Crafts Show had a few new vendors. There are still a lot of the same but in general, its a nice place to get gift ideas and seeing as its free entrance, even if you don’t pick up anything, its a nice 2 to 3 hour walking away activity, which is always fun.

Le Grand Marché de Noël & Luminotherapie!

Downtown Montreal is bustling with Christmas right now. This past Friday, I went out with friends to Le Grand Marché de Noël (tranlsation: The Big Christmas Market) located in Place des Arts and also connected with Complexe Desjardins. It had a lot of fun stuff. There were stalls with gift ideas from local Quebec producers and artisans. There was food trucks  and lots of decorations. And if you haven’t heard yet, we got a huge Christmas tree (which everyone calls the ugliest Christmas tree ever). After that, we headed out to Quartier des Spectacles right next to Place des Arts for the annual Luminotherapie.

Christmas Village at Complexe Desjardins

Complexe Desjardins

Complexe Desjardins

Complexe Desjardins

Fontaine Boreale at Complexe Desjardins

Le Grand Marché de Noël at Place des Arts

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Le Grand Marche de Noel

Hey, look, snuck a picture of me in there. I know this is for kids but hey, kid at heart right here! This was just so adorable. I couldn’t resist!

Jerry Ferrer (Food Truck)

Jerry Ferrer

Christmas Poutine (with cranberry and truffle sauce)

Jerry Ferrer

Lobster Bisque

Jerry Ferrer

Grilled Cheese

Jerry Ferrer food truck is an extension of a chain of really awesome restaurants. The food truck was awesome because it had their usual great food but with a Christmas twist. While I didn’t eat it, my friends said that it was pretty good.

Luminotherapie at Quartier des Spectacles

Luminotherapie

I skipped last year’s luminotherapie and can’t really remember what it was but I usually go. You can see that I went to the Iceberg exhibit a few years back, then the field of dandelions imitations, and there was a few more after that. This year was these little contraptions where you move the metal lever in the centre between two people and it moves a wheel inside that depicts a story. We managed to get on two: the first was Little Red Riding Hood and the other one was the Frog Prince.

What Christmas events is going on where you are? Are you ready for Christmas?

Hiking: Owl’s Head

More hiking was set for us on that week of staycation we had. With a little research, we found our second location which is rather nearby to Montreal also at a offseason ski resort, Owl’s Head. I’ve only ever heard of it before. Owl’s Head, just like most ski locations but hiking spots in the summer/fall, are really another type of beast. They have some designated paths but mostly, its a free walk uphill. Owl’s Head was no different. In fact, the trek up was pretty intense. it was incredibly steep and pretty tiring for such a short walk. We didn’t make it all the way but we did get almost there except for a winding path that went up to a booth or ski station or something. However, the view along the way opened up over a lake and with the leaves changing colors, it was really breathtaking.

Here are some shots of what we saw. It gives an idea of how steep it was and also the views we saw. On our way down, we actually encountered a cute little fellow and I took a little video of it.

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

And for our little porcupine encounter. This porcupine is definitely not full grown but then I’m not a porcupine expert. It was adorable as heck as it walked around forward and in circles and forward more and then went up the hill. It was a slightly windy day so sorry about all the windy  noises.

A lovely  little location for a short but challenging hike. It was getting cooler that day and on the hills near where we saw the porcupine, there was frost forming on the grass. Still, we enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes, hiking can really get to us and we want to give up but when we turn around and see all the natural beauty around us, it gets us all pumped up again to go higher and makes it all worth it!

Hiking: Parc Regionale des Sept-Chutes

It has become a tradition to go for a hike on Thanksgiving Day to hopefully catch the last bit of fall colors that October has to offer. This year’s prolonged summer helped the leaves change colors later and stay on the leaves longer. This year, we also took a beautiful staycation to just relax and take care of stuff and spend some time together while also celebrating our first year wedding anniversary. We particularly wanted to do more hiking to bask in the quiet time. Last year this time was tons of fun but it was also crazy busy for last minute wedding preparation. This year is much different and one that we enjoyed a lot. Regardless, the first little trip out was perhaps two hours out of Montreal. It turned out to be quite the hot spot because we almost didn’t have anywhere to park and had to turn around. Luckily, things worked out in the end and after registering at the office, we set off for the hike.

This is actually a pretty challenging trail because its part of climbing up rocks and lots of up and down slopes. There are waterfalls along the way to see and the view at the top is absolutely worth it as you will see. Here is a few shots I thought turned out really nice!

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

The trail was pretty long. It took us about 3 to 4 hours to go through the entire hike. It actually was a lot of fun as well to have to climb up and down. There are various trails here and we took a little shortcut to make it back down a little faster as we started out on the hike only in early afternoon and we needed to make it back before it got dark. The summit is the shot with all the trees and the road going through it. In the other side, you see the lake from up top. As we go down, we hit another waterfall and lots of water pictures which are my personal faves. Plus, there was that whole area with the yellow trees that was captivating to walk through.

This is really something and definitely a trail I’d want to go back to explore eventually! If you are in the area and enjoy some fun and challenging hikes, this one is a great choice! 🙂