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I am in love with the Anticafe in Montreal, Canada. My friend Isabelle discovered it first so she does get all credits because she introduced me to this beautiful, MAJESTIC cafe that can only be described as some sort of heaven on earth. Yes, I am getting a little carried away but seriously…I love it. Located right in downtown Montreal in Place Des Arts, the location is perfect for students, locals and tourists alike. The entrance isn’t super easy find and if you blink you might miss the door that leads to your second home so keep your eyeballs wide opened!

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The concept surrounding the cafe is what makes it so interesting in the first place. It is less of a cafe and more of a home. With two levels, each floor has an open space with couches, chairs, stools and also a few private rooms each equipped with a table and chairs.

The kitchen is a buffet of coffee, teas and cookies for unlimited consumption while you’re there. You can sit anywhere in the house while chatting with friends, playing chess, enjoying the entertainment or in my case, study for a final (fantastic right?).

For the first hour that you’re there you pay $3 and for each consequent hour you stay there for, you pay $2. However, once you stay there for 9 hours, you no longer have to keep paying. I can tell you that I once stayed there for a solid 12 hours. Dedication people! But really, I had to study for my calc final and the anxiety was real.

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I have spent time in the private rooms as well as the open spaces and while both are great, they differ in the type of experience it provides you. If you’re going for a more quiet alone time in order to really concentrate, I would definitely suggest getting there early and snatching a private room. Not only is it a little hidden away so that you get pretty much absolute silence, you don’t get distracted by the people around you. I’m no people hater BUT sometimes I find myself looking up at every single person that comes into the space I’m sitting in and it’s definitely harder to concentrate on solving those related rates problems you know?

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However, spending time in the open space is more of a coffee shop feel where you have more traffic coming and going. It is never super loud but sometimes towards the end of the night when there are activities going on and more people, it can get a little chatty which I love. It’s the perfect place to come with friends and chill while getting an amazing view of Place Des Arts. Let me tell you , during the Jazz Festival, second floor is the bomb. As you can see from the picture above, not only do you get a full view of the festival, you can hear the music as well. Best seats in the house I swear.

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I’m a little sad because I never actually took a picture of the kitchen and all the beautiful cookies, crackers and candies that look so good I probably gained 10 pounds by just looking at it.It doesn’t help that in reality I probably did gain 10 pounds because I couldn’t stop eating those damn pretzel hoops they have. However, not only do they have amazing snacks, they have a great selection of teas and plus they make amazing coffee (with love)! If you’re not feeling a hot drink there’s always iced tea and sometimes maybe iced coffee (if you’re lucky)!

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The last thing I want to talk about is the people who work here. Once you start coming here more, you start to recognize faces and start conversations while grabbing your next mountain of cookies. They are so genuine and it really completes the experience. Not only do you feel like you’re spending time at home, the people start to feel like family.

If given the option, I would totally sleep there at night. I’m coming back the next morning anyways, why even go home?

Here is the link to their website if you want to know more! This is a must visit if you’re in need of a good time, study session or you just need a space to relax.

Until next time!

Arriverdverci,

Sindy Spencer

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I came across Trevor James Products after they left a comment on one of my Instagram pictures. Their cute, laid back and preppy t-shirts drew me in. I absolutely love the anchor on the back of each t-shirt and the designs are very unique. I was also pleasantly surprised that with every purchase, 10% of proceeds go to a charity called Waves for Water which helps provide clean water for impoverished areas. I think that was the primary reason why I decided to get involved with this company and become an ambassador.

Clean water is such a necessity to human life and for many like myself it is something that is a given in my life. I have been blessed with a life that provides me with not only the basics but much more. However, it’s hard not to think about the people who not only do not have clean water, but have to go to extended lengths to get water.

In today’s society, I feel like we’re constantly worrying about politics and international relations (which are very important, don’t get me wrong). However, when times are tough, we forget about the other important issues like malnutrition, clean water, child poverty..etc especially when these issues are not present in OUR daily lives.

I love that this company is able to bring awareness to the issue of clean water. I really admire the company and philosophy behind it. I think that Trevor James Products is not only supporting a great cause, but is an amazing business. I had the chance to get a few words from the founder, Trevor Oldham about his company, how he got started and why he started and this is what he had to say.

“When I was 18, ending my senior year of high school, I got fired from a local retail store. I realized in that moment that I no longer wanted to work for anyone else, but myself. It was hard at first, only having a few sales per month for almost the first 6 months. People were telling me to give up, but I wouldn’t. I continued on. In the early parts of the journey, I came across a website called Startup Camp. There I was introduced to the man by the name of Dale Partridge. He founded this company called Sevenly. They would donate a purchase of every sale to different charities. He treated his employees well. Even though I never met him, he became an icon in my eye. I decided I wanted to run a company like that. I also read the book start something that matters by the founder of toms, which also gave me inspiration and ideas. I decided to look up causes from around the world. I learned quickly that almost 1 billion people live without clean water. It’s an infinite resource, but not everyone has it. I decided to center my company around the charity. I put more emphasis on helping others than making money and my employees started to take notice. The sales began to grow and have been each month. It wasn’t without hard work and dedication. Over the course of my freshman year at college last year, I read 30 different books on business. I met the founder of Johnny Cupcakes, Johnny Earle. He has never drank and or done drugs. He is another one of my inspiration. I would be working on the company every Friday and Saturday night while everyone else was out partying. I’ve had to make sacrifices, but I couldn’t be any happier with how the company is shaping out. I can only see a bright future for what lies ahead.”  

I admire his business approach and his determination. It’s hard to start your own business but at the end of the day, if it’s something you’re passionate about and you bring that forward into the way you run your business, you are on the right path towards success.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do with my life. Such a big question, I know. I’m the exact same age as Trevor but I feel like I have yet to accomplish anything quite as big. I am passionate about so many things, but yet I don’t move forward with any of my ideas. There’s a fear of failure, confusion and lack of resources. I’ve been inspired and I am making it my one year short term goal to get my ideas rolling because as of right now, they are what they are…mere ideas and nothing else. No one can turn those ideas into reality except myself.

Until next time!

Arrivederci,

Sindy Spencer

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Growing up is hard and even though I’ve spent my whole life dreaming about what it would be like to be an adult, I never imagined this is what it would be like. I guess the truth is, when you’re a child you don’t take into consideration all the extra things that make you a real…adult! Although to be completely honest, I am no where close to being a full adult yet. I still live under my parents roof when I’m not at school and all of my expenses are paid for. I count myself lucky and grateful every single day that they do all they do for me.

First of all, having to cook for yourself can be a huge struggle!! Even though at home I would cook a lot for my family and myself, it’s a whole other story when you live by yourself, or in my case with roommates. Groceries are actually really expensive and it was so hard for myself to keep track of how much money I was spending on food. It’s a different type of freedom when you’re allowed to eat whatever you want and there isn’t anyone telling you not to buy that bag of salt and vinegar potato chips (I love these!) So, I decided to give myself a budget every week for groceries of maximum $50. However, I realized there were weeks that I only spent $30 and weeks were I spent $50. Having a maximum budget gave me something to work with and allowed me to not buy food mindlessly.

Second of all, I think it’s really important to meal plan. I like to make a large salad every Sunday night that will last me for the week. I usually cook up either quinoa or couscous salad because those are a lot heartier and you can add more ingredients to it. I love to add a load of vegetables to my salad like tomatoes, onions, broccoli..etc. To be honest whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, I will most likely throw it in my salad. As for dressing, I like to use lemon or lime juice with a little bit of olive oil and salt. As for meat, during the week I will usually buy some sort of deli meat and eat that with my salad. There are so many things you can easily make for the week especially with something like ground beef, tofu…there are so many options! Even pasta! I would love to make a post on meal planning soon! During the week, with a busy class schedule, it is really hard to keep up with cooking and I end up eating cold pizza every night. The reality is it is difficult to eat well when you have the additional stress of school work as well. Sometimes it is just easier to order take out. However, if you have all of your meals planned, that won’t be a problem!

Thirdly, adding to the idea of budgeting, it is so important to keep track of your money. Just think: you’re no longer living with your parents and you are free to buy anything you want. It’s easy to get caught up in buying something you want or indulging in certain luxuries you weren’t allowed to have back home. Yes, it is completely normal to get your nails done or buy that dress you’ve been eyeing for months, BUT be careful. Keep a list of everything you’re buying because the scary thing is, the little things you buy add up and the next thing you know you’ve spent a ton of money. I would say, try to use your debit card more than your credit card because with the debit, that is money YOU ALREADY HAVE to spend whereas with credit, it is borrowed money that you pay back at the end of the month and it is easier to get carried away with that. However, it is also important to use your credit card because this allows you to build up your credit with your bank starting at a young age.

The fourth thing I want to talk about it getting a credit card!! I was browsing the Credit Card Insider websiteand they have some great tips on how to get started when getting a new credit card and the important things to know! My advice is to pay your credit card bill!! It is so easy to forget especially if you’re not in the routine of doing so. Remember how much you are spending each month and keep in mind what the date is to pay your balance.

Last but not least, remember to clean. I get lazy and I forget to clean my room all the time and the next thing you know, there’s a layer of dust on my bed frame and too much hair on the floor (sorry if that’s tmi). I make sure to make my bed everyday so I keep the  habit of making my room look nice. Even if I’m coming home at 5pm for the day, I will still clean my room. That way, I know that at least my room is semi- clean by the end of the day!

I really hope this helps!!!

Arrivederci,

Sindy Spencer

 

 

 

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