Stephanie

A Luxury Pedicure with a Vegan Twist

Humblebrag: My dear friend Carina Da Piedade, her sister-in-law Saira Fontes and their respective hubbies recently opened a luxury nail bar outside of Montreal called Lux Bar a Ongles – and it’s fabulous. Besides their stunning gold plated decor, meal service and snack bar (yes, you can drink bubbly and while getting your nails did), and luxury products including Christian Louboutin Nail Polish (!?), they also offer vegan mani-pedis. Now, I may be of the pescetarian persuasion these days, but I do try to maintain a mostly vegan lifestyle. Animal rights activists, environmentalists, and even regular consumers have been pushing the beauty industry…

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Why the Last Mile Before the Finish Line is Always the Toughest

Just over a year ago, Vagabond Heels was born. Since that time, I’ve battled depression, survived an abusive relationship, traveled through Asia, visited a Balinese spiritual healer and studied start-up entrepreneurship at the first creative incubator in North America. I’ve seen a lot. Done a lot. Fucked up a lot. And learned A LOT. Tomorrow is my Demo Day. I finally get to present Vagabond Heels as a brand to potential investors, clients, and the media. My self-starter blog now has business cards, marketing materials, and interns. In other words, she’s all grown up and graduated. But like any graduate, she…

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Bouncing Back with Kangoo Jumps

After a period of total slacktivity in December and January, my friend Julie and I had had enough. February would be the month to bounce back from our fitness dry spell.  We knew we needed something fun, motivating and somewhat outlandish to get out of our February Funk. The solution: Kangoo Jumps.  I mean – rebounding on bouncy boots? Sign us up! So Julie and I and headed over to Studio Bizz d’Iberville, where certified Kangoo Jumps Instructor Gaël Stucchi welcomed us into her high energy classroom and handed us our boots. Weighing a little over three pounds each, the boots – called…

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My Magical Afternoon As A Mermaid

Recently, I got to live out one of my most cherished childhood fantasies. I spent the afternoon as a flippin’ mermaid. Yes, my friends. The underwater experience once reserved for Triton’s daughters and Daryl Hannah in Splash can now be yours, courtesy of Aquamermaid. Founded by professional monofin instructor Marielle Chartier-Hénault, Aquamermaid is the largest mermaid school in the world, offering classes to women, men and kids across Canada and the United States. Naturally, I had to check it out. By the time I arrived at the school’s Montreal location for my trial class, I was beyond excited. I mean YES I’m an…

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Essentrics

How Essentrics Healed Some of my Pain

“A completely original workout that draws on the flowing movements of tai chi which create health and balance, the strengthening theories behind ballet which create long, lean, flexible muscles and the healing principles of physiotherapy which create a pain free body.” – Essentrics.com Entering the Room When I sauntered into my first Essentrics class this summer, I was in healing mode after fleeing an emotionally abusive relationship just weeks before. I had read that among other benefits, the regular practice of Essentrics resulted in an increased sense of well-being and pain relief. Desperate for a wellness boost, I entered the room…

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Axe Throwing: A Fun as Hell Workout for Your Inner Warrior

A few months ago, a boy I was chatting with suggested we should go axe throwing together sometime. Well, that date never happened – but lucky for me, my #squad was totally game (thanks for the idea and the memories, SB!). So off I went with Rocco and Ouliana to Rage Montreal, a new axe-throwing facility founded by axe-throwing champ Alexander Reverse (who also happens to be the CEO of A/Maze Escape Game Room, another activity you should do with your crew). Upon arrival, we were greeted by a stellar instructor named Thomas.  He popped on some Beyonce for us (slay), and after a…

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27 Mostly Logical And Totally Useful Travel Hacks!

Here are some of my fave travel hacks to eliminate time/money wasters (ew) and stress inducers (yuck) to make your next trip the best one ever (yay)! Packing Hacks Pack less  For a weeklong trip, I’ll usually pack three shirts/ tanks, one pair of jeans and two bikinis (depending on the location), one pair of black tights, one or two dresses, one pair of sandals, one pair of boots or running shoes and ONE pair of heels. I pack plenty of socks (if need be), enough underwear for every day PLUS one, and an extra black, white or beige bra,…

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How Vietnamese Traffic Helped me Beat Depression

Last January, I was a shell of my former (and current) self. On the outside, I seemed to be the picture perfect image of millennial white female privilege: an independent, fedora-wearing, smiley, bikini-clad, educated, social media savvy travel blogger. I swum in an infinity pool on top of a luxury condominium complex in Kuala Lumpur. I took sunset photos on a beach swing in Gili Trawangan. I Noraebanged until dawn with strangers in Seoul. But I also started binge drinking on weekends, letting go of my former strict vegan diet, and soon I was suffering from insomnia that left with me little more than…

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When Travelling Isn’t a Great Idea

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” – Anonymous “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – St Augustine  In the age of the Millennial, you can’t open Facebook without finding a gaggle of Pinterest quotes spouting wisdom about the benefits of travel. For the most part, we all agree: travelling is fun, worthwhile, educational and fulfilling. Except when it’s not. Here are a few…

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10 Montreal-Based Rom Com Date Ideas

One of the best things about being in a relationship is the limitless amount of places you can hit up on date night. However, if you’re an outside the box kinda girl like me (with ridiculous date standards as a result of overexposure to rom com and chick flicks), the usual dinner and drinks fare can get a little tired. Here are a few creative date ideas (tested and approved by yours truly!) to live out your own rom com in the most romantic city in North America. Drink illicitly by a park fountain  Square Saint Louis, La Joute, and Lafontaine…

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