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Design & Fashion

Take your staycation to heart this Fall

It’s that time of year: the cycle of nature makes trees shed the coloured leaves, and the dropping temperatures prompt us to burrow into our scarves as we hold dearly to the last balmy days. Might as well make the best of it now!

Why not take a few days off — a weekend or more, if schedule allows for it — and dedicate precious time into relaxing and simply taking care of yourself?

Allow yourself to be inspired again, recharge, and go slow.

Once that “out of the office” auto-reply is on and the phone ringer is set to off, time to regenerate and feel good from the inside. Concentrating your energy on simple things and marvelling at humble moments are fulfilling ways to put new life into the everyday and feel inspired again. Here are a few suggestions to enjoy your time to the fullest.

An unexpected soothing activity

You may have already welcomed the konmari technique into your habits (if not, let Marie Kondo’s best-selling book Spark Joy turn your whole life around) and embraced minimalism aesthetic in your home: we quickly forget how a pleasant environment affects our mindset. According to your preference, try something like organizing your closet by colour or your books in alphabetical order after emptying the space. This might sound obsessive, but I recently organized my closet by color and was surprised by the satisfaction I got from both my accomplishment and the results! Once this is done — or before, for motivation — kick back and enjoy the documentary Minimalism, currently available on Netflix.

Find you own hygge

Loving everything Scandinavian, we are charmed by hygge, this Danish concept of coziness and well-being at home. Make your space even homelier through the wonders of aromatherapy. Investing in a diffuser will make you discover the magic of essential oils — warning, it is hard not to get addicted to this spa atmosphere at home. I recently bought this ultrasonic diffuser on a trip to New York, and am basically obsessed — alternating between Orange Blossom oils brought home from my travels in Morocco to this collection of 100% natural essences, which has also been a game changer when I’m on the road, as they package them in a small pharmacy to go.

Elevate your home decor

Time to do some shopping with a specific mission this time: head to the gallery, the art store, the auction or the antique warehouse for some art hunting. Observe what your like, how the room feels. Would a big frame look good just leaning against wall, or would a sculpture on a console be a better fit? More than anything, it’s about taking the time to fall in love with a piece and thinking about what you want to bring into your home, and whether or not, it reflects where you are and where you want to be in life. One of my favorite authors, Anais Nin, once wrote that the physical is a symbol of the spiritual world, and I couldn’t agree more. “If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects” she wrote in  The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947. This is a great book to revisit if you’re in a self-care vibe and interested in the psychology of identity in a material world. Her writing has done wonders for me when seeking to slow down and reconnect with how I truly feel.

Go outside

The crisp air and the beautiful light of the season are best enjoyed outside of the city. Combine all these pleasures to a delightful wine tasting from its source and discover local aromas. The province’s five wine regions has a lot to offer: you are guaranteed to spend a dreamy afternoon and bring home some good bottles.

http://vinsduquebec.com/route-des-vins/

Schedule an artistic afternoon

Museums are always a must when it comes to creative experience. However, it’s often in galleries that you’ll find the most original, interesting and thought-provoking work. Let art’s indescribable nature inhabit you and spark a discussion with yourself and others around you. Until november 12, you can immerse yourself in Björk’s universe at the DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, and admire work of Canadian Indigenous artist Joseph Tisiga at Parisian Laundry. If you’d rather stay at home and enjoy the peace of your newly organized nest, I recommend grabbing a copy of the book Daily Rituals : How Artists Work. It’s a great little window into the process of some of the greatests minds of our time, from Kafka to Picasso, Jane Austen, George Gershwin and many more. Every artist’s routine is described in small bite sizes, which makes it a fun book to keep around and pick up 15 minutes at a time.

Indulge in a distinct gastronomy experience

Fortunately, we are not short of great restaurants and bistros in the city. The pleasure of discovering new flavours or returning to a beloved address is constantly renewed. Among favourites, you can count on Otto Yakitori Izakaya to discover authentic Japanese cuisine in the form of grilled brochettes at an understated location; enjoy the art of plating at Larry’s to satiate your appetite with finely crafted bouchés and dishes in the morning, the evening or anytime between; head to Magdalena’s to make your selection from the refined and extensive wine list for a pleasant apero (bonjour les vins oranges!), and the most delicious vegetarian tapas.