Last weekend, I partnered with the Mexican Tourism Board to immerse myself in “Experience Mexico” in Ottawa, a cultural and celebratory event held in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
I was invited to taste Batch 49, Second Cup Canada’s newest coffee blend, perfected to suit the Canadian pallet. “Better, not bitter” is their motto and I will admit that I am hooked! The medium brew was full bodied and smooth with no bitter or burnt aftertaste. I did the taste testing with black coffee and it almost reminded me of a light espresso… that good coffee taste we all crave. I could drink this brew without milk, if I had too.
4 tips on how to taste coffee
- Drink it black
- It can’t be too hot
- Take a deep short sniff first
- Slurp it in your mouth to splash it all around your tongue to catch all the flavours
Second Cup is reinventing the experience they offer to their customers by focusing on brewing really good coffee and introducing local fare to the mix. Although Second Cup is a Canadian-owned and a publicly-traded franchise, they truly value their franchisees and have gone through great length to focus on local when possible. Recently in Ottawa, all 20 Second Cup locations replaced their food with fresh daily-baked goods from Orleans Bakery! Yum!
Second Cup also offers a full-service mobile app and rewards program… just like its competitors (hint hint)
A trip down memory lane- I remember loitering at Second Cup inside Eglinton Station on Fridays after school. It’s where most of the high-school gal gossip would “brew”, but most of all where we got to connect with each other and hang out in our “civies” (a.k.a. normal streetwear or non-uniform clothes!). Then in University, I’d grab my Second Cup before every 7-10 business class to stay awake. Second Cup has been a huge part of my life, and I am sure it’s the same for you too!
If you know me, you know that I am happy to support Canadian when and where I can. I urge you to give Second Cup a second chance! And if you do, please let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts.
First, I want to thank my pack-rat self for holding onto my Dance Mix ’94 cassette tape, to realise this photo. You now understand why I can not throw anything away! “I’ll hang on to this, just in case… ”
Is anyone else guilty of making mix tapes? My older sister always recorded our favourite songs from the radio and crafted THE best summer mix tapes! Of course, the art was all about starting and stopping the record button at the perfect time. You don’t want to cut the song and you surely don’t want the “AM 640…” tune before your favourite song starts! PS- Only people who grew up in Toronto in the 90s will get that reference. These mix tapes were perfect for listening to your walkman in the car, jamming at home when you’re chilling in your (TINY) room, over plucking your brows or just doing crazy makeovers on yourself with your sister’s Cover Girl makeup! Guilty- sorry Raissa.
At that time, I was too young to be going out, but essentially my getting ready routine hasn’t changed much. Blast a wicked playlist on my phone and get dolled up! If I were to make a Summer 2016 Mixtape, there would be way too much Drake and Justin Bieber on it. Maybe it’s a Toronto thing, maybe they are super talented… I don’t know. They just give me all the feels right now. So here is my ultimate “Getting ready for a Girls Night Out” summer mixtape:
- Drake – Too Good (Ft Rihanna)
- Fifth Harmony – All In My Head (Flex) Ft. Fetty Wap
- Drake – One Dance Feat. Kyla & Wizkid
- Justin Bieber – Sorry
- Major Lazer – Cold Water (Feat. Justin Bieber & Mø)
- Fifth Harmony – Work From Home Ft. Ty Dolla $Ign
- Clavin Harris – This Is What You Came For (Feat. Rihanna)
- Sia – Cheap Thrills
- Kungs & Cookin’ On 3 Burners – This Girl
- OMI – Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)
So, what if you made all these awesome playlists on Spotify, but wanted to share them with your friends, who are also getting ready at home? What if you wanted to sing along to your favourite songs while getting ready? Well, now you can! Introducing, Airtime, an app that lets you hang out in group video, share music, videos and playlists and so much more! It’s as if Snapchat had a baby with Spotify and you fed it Youtube for breakfast. Now it makes sense right? hahaha
If you join Airtime, make sure you come find me (@Chantal.Sarkisian)!
If you’ve only been reading my blog recently, you may have missed the entire part where I wrote about my weight loss journey. The reason I don’t talk about it anymore is because, well, things are not going as well as they used to. I don’t exercise like I used to, I gained a bit of weight this winter while on vacation, and it all just escalated from there. Yes, I love food! And no, I don’t have an eating disorder and I am not obsessed with my weight, it’s just that I am the strongest and best shape of my life (and on a good day, the lightest I’ve been in a while!). But today, I am scared. I don’t want to lose it all, over some sweet desserts or a few too many drinks. I made a promise to myself that I can NOT go backwards. I have updated all my closet with new clothes in smaller sizes. It’s just not happening.
The problem is summer and it’s tempting parties. The problem is that I am tired and overwhelmed. The problem is that I have a 3 year old who is turning into a demon. The problem is that I am dealing with some health issues. The problem is that I love blogging and it’s taking over my time and energy. Notice, how I am really good at excuses and can convince myself of anything. I have to stop.
I have to stop being so negative and so hard on myself and start practicing what I preach! I need to remind myself of where I was and how good I used to feel. I need to be myself again!
So, the following is an open letter that I am writing to myself (as prescribed by my personal trainer- thanks Tina!)
What’s up girl? How’s it going? I know your stomach pains are getting worse and Victor is turning into the devil and giving you a hard time, but don’t worry, it will pass. Think of all the amazing things you’ve accomplished in the last few years. You are super strong, you’re managing your shoulder and back pain like a boss, you’re blogging career is exploding and your loving family is there to support you. Sure, you started indulging a little bit more lately, and slacked on your lunch-hour workouts. Big deal, we’re human!
I noticed you’re wearing that blue and white dress today, and I wanted to point something out to you, something that I came across on the internet. Remember this photo? Man, that was a while back. This was taken before you had Victor. I mean, your makeup was on point, but girl… I know you were hurting inside. This was the biggest you have ever been. I know you were dealing with a recent miscarriage and maybe over doing it on the “treats”.
But look at you now! You have a chin, cheek bones and shoulders! Don’t forget how hard you have worked to get here. Don’t be so hard on yourself, just schedule you’re workouts and start cooking with the veggies that are coming out from the garden. Carve out some “Chantsy” time and take care of yourself. You look amazing!
PS- You’re dress is too big for you now, give it a new home!