Signé Local: Vitrine du Fait au Québec Haul & Recap

signe local

From the last weekend of November till December 17th held on weekends at the Quartier Dix30 shopping area was this fair that featured different local products in rotation over the weeks. It was a good place to see a lot of Quebec products that I have never seen before in the Salon des Metiers d’arts which is very cool. However, this one was not free. It had an entry fee of $5 which bought a pass for every week of the fair. Before we move forward, I feel that I need to address this. While I did pay for the pass, I did also feel a little surprised to have to pay an entry fee. While I can get why they would need to charge it, it also seems a turnoff to charge for a fair that you’d go in and have to spend more money on buying whatever interests you. Most of the local products are good quality which means they are priced higher than what you’d get at big box stores. With that said, its solely based on principle, it has nothing to do with the price because $5 for 5 weekends is not expensive. It really depends on how much you value seeing local products and treating it as more of an expo where you get to learn, see and taste the local products.

With that said, the experience was pretty good. We only caught the last 3 weekends but there was a lot of cool products to learn about. Even if we couldn’t get everything (limited resources and such), I’ll share what we did buy and also some stores that I will keep an eye out for and maybe see if I can order stuff online later on (if its available).

Haul

Signe local

The first weekend ended up with 2 different purchases.

The first was Oomph which is a 100% natural popcorn seasoning. There are some allergen free option with this company which is very awesome. We ended up buying a Maple BBQ flavor and the Apple Pie flavor (which I’m seriously looking forward to baking with). We’ve been addicted to the Maple BBQ popcorn seasoning and its just a whole new world of amazing flavors.

The second purchase was at La Pincée. There have a variety of seasoning for vegetables and different kinds of meats including curry mixes and mild, herb, spicy, etc. This one is sold at some supermarkets from what they told us. We chose the Plumée seasoning which is good for poultry which is a huge part of what we eat since we love cooking chicken and turkey a lot.

Signe Local

The week after that, I picked up this scarf sort of thing from Léonce. I hesitated a little because it was like $45 dollars however, I really love this type of scarf that encircles your neck like how I like eternity scarf (but those seem to be out of style this year). This one is supposed to be incredibly warm and feel really comfortable. While I do have a scarf right now, the fabric on it is soft but also irritates my skin. I’m hoping this one will be much better. From what I’ve tried so far, it does the job. They have super cute mittens too which I’m hoping to purchase after my current mittens aren’t good anymore. But then, I love my current mitts so I hope they’ll keep up their effectiveness.

In the final weekend, we ended up picking up from two stalls as well.

Signe Local

The first was at La Lichée which had caramel spreads. My husband loved it so much that he really insisted on getting the caramel fleur de sel type. I couldn’t taste it since it has lactose however I’m sure that he’ll make good use out of it.

signe local

The final thing we got was at Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays. My husband bought the Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Bar and I went for the 70% Dark Chocolate bar and the Dark Chocolate Ball. The dark chocolate is lactose free so I’m extremely  happy about that. They had a lot of really good variety along with some nice smaller packaging with some fancier designed bite-sized pieces as well.

Now that we’re done with our haul, lets take a look at some places that we really liked and have their card in case we save up some money and get a chance to pick up something from their stores online:

Signe local

  • Lecavalier Petrone – Confections Gourmandes: These are some fancy looking chocolates. I like it for the unique look and I’m sure that they would taste great. Luckily, looking at their locations, they seem to have a location nearby to this show so maybe we’ll go check it out. It would be a nice gift to give.
  • ChaliThis is an interesting piece of jewelry which acts as a durable clasp that can be moved from one sort of jewelry to the next whether as a closing an earring or bracelet. Its a really neat idea that stemmed out of a need from the designer.
  • MB Alpha Wear: Its pretty hard to find clothes particularly for men. This place designs men’s apparel and adds a touch of wilderness design to mix it up. It caught my eye right away at the show. Why do men get all the nice looking clothes?  I’ve always wondered that. But then, what would stop me from getting one of the sweaters for myself, right?
  • Pression: This is a cute little backpack shop with some really beautiful colors and designs. It also has this little hook at the top to hang your keys for those people like myself who spend 5 minutes digging out keys when I get home. Not so fun when its like -30C.
  • Les CocoNuts: Coconut oil based products all the way. I think one of them that caught my eye the most is their chapstick which you actually refill. A pretty nifty idea as most of you who use coconut oil knows that they have a melting point and then solidify making it pretty easy to see how they could be used as a refillable sort of item. Very intrigued and they have a store accessible to myself so I’m looking to check it out sometime soon.

Thats it for the recap of this event!
Anything catch your eye from the haul or the honorable mention?

Advertisements

Salon des Metiers d’Arts de Montreal Haul & Recap

smaq

And its the final weekend for Salon des Metiers d’Arts de Montreal. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the show this year, well, there’s probably next year since its been going for quite a few years already. Granted the structure has changed quite a bit in their vendors and such, its always a fun tradition to go every year and just see whats there and look around. This year, I was holding back on spending too heavily and particularly the food and wine area had much less choices so it helped a lot.

SMAQ 2017

Unfortunately, I didn’t end up picking anything too different from previous years. I will however highlight some cool vendors that I saw to change things up a bit. Just because I can’t afford it right now, doesn’t mean that I can’t share some unique ideas and products that I would have totally picked up something if I had the chance in the future. I’ve been really into highlighting local art and food and all that sort of stuff lately. Just goes to show that you don’t need to speak perfect French or be hardcore Quebecois all for separation to support the things you love about the beautiful city and province.

Let’s check it out!

Haul

SMAQ Montreal

The first visit to the Salon was all about the food. I picked up:

  • Cidrerie du Minot – Des Glaces: Winter Harvest (Limited Edition)
  • Coach House Shortbread: Ginger
  • Coach House Shortbread: Almond & Sugared Rose
  • La Nougaterie: Christmas
  • La Nougaterie: Lavender
  • La Nougaterie: Classic
  • La Nougaterie: Dark Chocolate

Everything here is really very typical. I actually skipped out on Cidrerie du Minot last year however I did remember liking their ice ciders a lot the year before so I ended up picking the Winter Harvest (Recolte Hivernale) up which is something of a reserve product and it has some delicious flavors. We’re a big fan of the La Nougaterie nougats and this year, they brought back the Christmas and had the Dark Chocolate which I totally love. As for the Coach House Shortbread, its a big favorite for the holidays as it is smaller cookies and work really well to share with friends and just take little bites that melt. Its so awesome. Ginger is my normal fave flavor but I remember trying out almond and sugared rose last year (and this year) and it was really good as well.

The second visit to the Salon happened yesterday with my co-worker (as we usually do go together) and we check out the art and craft area instead of the food part. I ended up picking up a few things:

Pottery Hazama

Pottery Hazama

I’ve put off buying from Pottery Hazama for a few years and finally this year, I decided to buy one. There are a few different designs like hearts, cats and christmas trees. This year, they had a star design. The designer told me that it represents good fortune (or something along the line). It looks beautiful and I just couldn’t resist and its hung on the Christmas tree now.

Ana Maria Dessin

Ana Maria Dessin

I’ve been searching for a wallet for a long time. My wallet is actually falling apart but to find one that fit everything I had in there as well was always a challenge. Then I saw Ana Maria Dessin at the show and originally I was captured by the hot air balloon print originally but then I turned around to take a second look and saw the floral collection which leads to me finding this wallet which is exactly what I want. After thinking for it long and hard, since it is $68CAD for it, I went back to get it especially because its made with leather and print canvas and the design said that its very durable. I’m sure hoping it will be because I love it.

Places I Love
(but put on the backburner)

SMAQ

  • De Tete et De Bois: This stall has been one that catches my eye every single year that I go except I never can figure out where to put the little canvas if I end up picking one up. We still have art and puzzles to put on the walls so I can’t justify buying one yet. Hopefully next year I’ll sort it out and pick one up.
  • Sol Designs: I believe this one is new to the show this year and they had these really cool wood-looking purses. Its a very unique product.
  • Ju et les imparfaits: This store makes little lamps with wood bases and it looks absolutely adorable.
  • Fil de Fee: If you love hanging designs and cute fairies, this one is absolutely recommended. I saw them and fell in love with it.
  • Baltic Club: Stationery and gifts with some great design
  • Ana N Jay: Geometrical jewellery which looks so very cool.
  • Christophe Poly: Handmade Crono Design jewellery. I actually have a few of these but they designed some new bangles that are absolutely beautiful.
  • Lolipop: Blown Glass jewellery is what this place offered and has some nice designs and especially catchy colors.

That’s it for recap and haul for Salon des Metiers D’art!
I’m really happy with the stuff I got and wishing that I had more money so I could pick up some of the stuff I mentioned at the end one day.

MEGA Expo Mtl #MEGAexpomtl #gaming #montreal #expo

Today’s post was on delay. I guess I should’ve talked about it before since it always is the case when I have to do event coverage over the weekend for Game Warp.

With that said, this weekend was MEGA expo in Montreal which collaborated with the Montreal Independent Games Festival and had a whole bunch of games  to try out. I went out with the husband to check out the event and spent a ton of time putting together a thorough recap on That Moment In.

Here’s a few photos of the games we tried and caught out eyes. There was probably around 40ish games there, so its impossible to have taken the pictures. I probably should have taken a vlog or video or something but I never think about it. Still figuring out the best way for event coverage especially on the first time heading to certain events.

MEGA MTL

Wall Mounted Level

MEGA MTL

0000 by Alvaro Salvagno

MEGA MTL

Mercenary Kings by Tribute Games

MEGA MTL

Wolf Gang by Nylon Blonde

MEGA MTL

N.U.T.Z. by Pandemonium Interactive

MEGA MTL

MEGA MTL

The Inner Friend by Playmind

MEGA MTL

Spectrum Break

MEGA MTL

Just Shapes n Beats by Berzerk Studio

There’s a ton more games there and you can check out my recap coverage on That Moment In HERE!

There was even a mini concert for Ultimate Chicken Horse by  Clever Endeavor Games. I recorded a bit of it via the Game Warp Instagram. Check it out!

Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade was an awesome event. It actually made the Montreal Independent Games Festival even better than last year’s experience because there was a bigger venue and probably even more games. There was diverse selection and a lot of games from just prototypes to pre-alphas to fleshed out already shipped games that are already available. We had some guests that were showing their games and we got to chat with them again as well. Overall, a really fun experience. I can’t wait for the next gaming event to check out, although I’m not sure how soon it will be.

Sorry for the short post today! I’m working on this week’s posts as you are reading this! 🙂

Finally, if you  haven’t followed Game Warp, here’s some places to follow us for news and gameplays and videos and podcasts:
For gaming news and updates, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
For gaming obsessions and other random gaming thoughts, follow us on Instagram
For gameplays, interviews and podcasts, subscribe to the Youtube channel

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.

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.