The trendy and hip village of Osborne

I have been house sitting in Osborne for the past week and am loving it. Not only is it super close to school, but it has so many cool shops and friendly people. Let’s just say, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the hip and trendy village.

Here is a photo essay I made of the area and some of the people that make up the community:

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People wait for their morning bus to arrive at the main transit stop, River and Osborne, in the village./MADELAINELAPOINTE

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Emily Rempel, 21, started working at Out of the Blue in Osborne in September. “It always feels like I’m in another city when I come to work,” says Rempel. “It’s a really good neighbourhood to work in.” /MADELAINELAPOINTE

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The main street of Osborne is filled with one of a kind shops where you can find items that vary from old time records, to clothing boutiques./MADELAINELAPOINTE

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Olivia Norquay, 28, has been working at Music Trader, a store for music trading, for the past six years. “She’s the face of the shop,” says her boss./MADELAINELAPOINTE

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Augustine United Church on River Avenue has been in Osborne since 1903. This church was the first in its community to welcome and support gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirited people./MADELAINELAPOINTE

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"Eric the Great"

Eric Pyle, also known as “Eric the Great” plays on the streets of Osborne every day. “I enjoy the freedom of just being outdoors. There’s no difference between a famous musician and one on the street. We’re all musicians.”/MADELAINELAPOINTE

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Hooked on Hashtags

In today’s day and age, it’s difficult to escape the virtual world. Between the large number of social media platforms and apps, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your glowing screen instead of what’s right in front of you.

I have a love hate relationship with social media. Being a communications student, it’s an incredibly wonderful thing to have, but at the same time I find people are becoming too obsessed with it.

I started using social media in 2012 as a way to communicate with my friends after school. I would update my statuses with things I thought my virtual friends would care about like my obsession with Zac Efron, and would stay up late using messenger to chat because I didn’t have a cellphone and the landline wasn’t “cool” anymore.

I remember the night I signed up for Facebook. I was 13 and I thought I was one of the coolest kids on the block because my mom finally let me get it. But when I look back, I wish she would have stopped me. I mean, it’s not like I posted anything close to what young girls are posting nowadays, but I wasted so many valuable moments because I was too busy staring at a screen rather than playing outside. Compared to today though, 13 was old to join the online world.

It makes me sad when I see young kids glued to their iPhones. I worry about the impulsive decisions they make because they don’t know any different, and the valuable real life experiences they continue to miss out on. It still shocks me when I see a kid in elementary school with a nicer phone than what I have.

I worry about the younger generations because they will never be able to see what a life without technology and media looks like. I got my first cellphone when I was 16 and it was a pretty big deal. And no it wasn’t an iPhone, it was a good old pink Sanyo and the full keyboard was the key selling feature.

Today, people obsess over their online brand to the point where it takes over their entire life. There are several Instagram accounts out there where you can tell the people in the photos live double lives, one of which is spent behind a filter.

I’m not even going to try and lie, because I’m guilty of spending the majority of my day looking at my phone or computer screen. It’s become a habit of mine to check my phone every free second I have, and I’m not proud of it. It’s sad, but I honestly don’t know if I would be able to leave my home comfortably without my phone.

The past couple weeks, I have been trying to set small goals to help me stop depending so much on my phone. I have started leaving my phone in my backpack when I’m on the bus (there are actually many interesting folks on transit), allowing myself to check Instagram a limit of three times a day, and not making my phone the first thing I look at in the morning  and last thing I look at before I go to sleep.

I challenge you to try and spend less time looking at a screen. Start by setting small goals to get you started, and then try leaving your phone at home when you go out. You’ll be amazed by the little things happening in real time that you overlooked before.

Sunny Days, Sunny Ways

Now that the sun has come out after a long, cold winter, I find myself more willing to eat healthier. The dark and cold days on top of work and school pushed me into a rut of eating comfort food to try and make myself feel somewhat better.

But eating comfort food only lasts so long before you start feeling like crap and realizing you don’t have any money left in your bank account.

Before I started college, I went to the gym four times a week and trained to run in marathons. Now, I can barely find time to walk my dog, Molly. So as soon as I saw the sun come out Monday morning, I woke Molly up (she likes sleeping in) and we went on a long run through the park before. It felt so good to get back running again.

When we got home, I wanted something quick and healthy to eat before class, so I made some guacamole, then spread it on an opened faced sandwich with eggs and tomatoes. So tasty and very easy to make.

Guacamole

3 avocados

1/4 red onion

2 tomatoes

1/2 lemon

2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

To make this recipe, you’ll need tomatoes, avocados, red onion, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.

Begin by peeling and mashing the avocados in a medium serving bowl.

Make sure your avocados are ripe enough that you can easily spoon them out of their shell.

Using a potato masher helps get the avocados to the right consistency.

Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

I only used half the amount of the chopped onions in this photo.

This sandwich is as easy as it looks to make. Just spread some guacamole on toast, put some tomatoes on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. On top, put a fried egg and some dried basil. This sandwich can work well as a breakfast, lunch or evening snack.

 

Busy Bodies

It seems like the older I get, the less time my family and I have to spend together. Between work, school and other commitments, we never seem to all be home at the same time. Tonight we made a plan to have a family pizza and movie night and then enjoy our last skate of the season at The Forks.

I came home after school to find all the pizza ingredients in the fridge ready for me to make. We always get our ingredients from De Lucas because they are fresh and full of flavour.

We usually have one pizza for the boys and one for the ladies. My stepdad isn’t one to accept change, so for his pizza, the toppings tend to stay the same. His pizza is always topped with tomato sauce, capicola, pepperoni and mushrooms. My mom and I on the other hand like to change it up every time we make pizza. Tonight I decided to put Alfredo sauce, mushrooms, chicken sausage, red onions, sundried tomatoes and green olives.

Here are the ingredients from De Lucas: pizza dough, feta, parmesan, pepperoni, capicola, green olives, mushrooms, Alfredo Sauce, tomato sauce, sundried tomatoes and chicken sausage.

I start by greasing the pan with canola oil and sprinkling corn meal on top. This helps the pizza dough not stick to the pan. I roll out the dough on a floured surface and then put my selected toppings.

I cooked the pizzas in an oven preheated to 425F for 25 minutes and they turned out very well. Now we are watching The Big Short and there is only half a pizza left.

Right before putting in the oven

Pizzas straight out of the oven

While it may be easier to order pizza after a long, tiring week, you’ll never go wrong with making it from scratch. There aren’t a lot of ways to screw up pizza and it tastes a lot better when you have total control of your toppings. If you’re feeling up to it, try taking an hour or so one night to make some homemade pizzas. If you just don’t have the energy to make them on a Friday night, you can make them earlier in the week and keep them in the fridge until the weekend.

 

Wake up

At last the weekend is here. I don’t know about you, but it couldn’t have come any sooner for me.

Lets just say I had many 24+ hour work days and my bed looks pretty good right about now. Even though the week was filled with many tears, long nights and visits to Tims, I have to say I wouldn’t have made it without the help of my classmates.

The people I have met in college are some of the best people I know. They work harder than I’ve ever seen a student body work and they would miss a night of sleep to be with you for moral support.

Crunch time can be tough, but when you finally have the time to sit back and refresh, you see just how special the people in your life are.

Today I went out for lunch with two of my closest friends from school, Kaitlin and Courtney, in celebration of the end of the hardest week of our lives. At first we were going to grab coffee so we would be able to keep our eyes opened for the rest of the day, but then we smelled sushi.

Kaitlin and Courtney totally candid

The smell of sushi was coming from Chosabi, an Asian eatery in the Excahnge District. And even though we had food packed for the day, we thought we deserved an extra treat.

I hadn’t been to Chosabi before, but after my lunch, I would add it to my list of favourite places to eat in the Exchange. Rather than traditional sushi rolls, they serve awesome sushi buritos and rice bowls. It’s a little pricey, but in my opinion worth it. I tried the Jumping Shrimp, and would highly recommend it.

The Chosabi menu

It was so nice to have these girls by my side throughout the week, as they helped me push through when I was almost ready to give up. It’s amazing how close we have become over a short amount of time and I hope we stay friends for many years to come. I’m lucky to have so many great people in my life that help me achieve my goals. That’s why I have keep remembering how important it is to make time for them.

 

 

 

Fashion on Ice

Winnipeggers were shown how to keep warm – while staying fashionable – during the long, cold months of winter Sunday afternoon at Festival du Voyageur’s Fashion on Ice.

In collaboration with MEC and Canadian Footwear, Festival du Voyageur put on their third annual winter fashion show on The Red River Mutual Trail at The Forks. Fashion on Ice, hosted by Micheline Girardin, showcased clothing and accessories from over ten designers, some including, Barbara + Cecile, Joel Fashion, Smash Knits and dEDIGER.

Even though it was below fifteen degrees, hundreds of people bundled up for the day to skate along the trail and cheer for the 20 models who strutted their stuff through the cold.

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Hundreds of people visited The Forks Sunday to skate along The Red River Mutual Trail and check out the third annual winter fashion show, Fashion on Ice, showcasing over ten fashion and accessory designers./MADELAINE LAPOINTE

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Jenny Ng-Turner, producer and nurse, and Justin Johnson, president of The Conseil jeunesse provincial, walk the ice runway during Fashion on Ice at The Forks./MADELAINE LAPOINTE

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The crowd cheers for the Fashion on Ice models as they make their way down the runway one last time. “I love the fashion on ice!” screams a young fan. “Can we come back again next year?”/MADELAINE LAPOINTE

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Christopher Oates, junior assistant manager at Saje, keeps warm in his feathered hat on the outdoor runway at The Forks Sunday./MADELAINE LAPOINTE

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Young, bundled up fans ask their dad to stay a few more minutes to watch the models from Fashion on Ice do interviews with the media. /MADELAINE LAPOINTE

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Jasmine Dumaran (left) and Emma Willms (right) are proud of the hair and makeup they did on models of Fashion on Ice. They pose with Andrea Davis (middle) to show off their hard work./MADELAINE LAPOINTE

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Marc Rémillard and his wife, Aline Rémillard, are the official voyageurs from 1992-1993. “Vive le festival!” they say as they walk along The Red River Mutual Trail after watching Fashion on Ice./MADELAINE LAPOINTE

Boards and Bites

This week I wrote a story for my college paper, The Projector, on game board cafés in Winnipeg. I had a fun time writing this article because I was able to learn about the growing trend of game cafés and even try out some of the games.

I went to Across the Board located in the Exchange District to see what the trend was all about and I had a great time. Across the Board has walls lined with over 800 games to choose from and super tasty food that is all local. Some of the local fare includes beer from microbreweries in Manitoba, bread products from Tall Grass Prairie, and baked goods from Lilac Bakery. Even the tables that you sit and play games at are built out of Manitoba oak by a local contractor.

You can visit the café to dine, play games or both, and $5 a person gives you access to as many games as you want to play. Across the Board sells games for purchase if you end up liking one in particular. Reservations can be made online at www.acrosstheboardcafe.com or on their Facebook page facebook.com/acrosstheboardcafe.

Check out my article here, or read it below.

Taking a break at board game cafés

MADELAINE LAPOINTE, CONTRIBUTOR 

Ryan Levesque, Nathan Getty and Jordan Toews meet up once a month at Across the Board Game Café to drink some beer and play board games. THE PROJECTOR/Madelaine Lapointe

In a society where many rely on social media to communicate with others, a couple of establishments are promoting traditional communication with the help of board games.

“Face-to-face interactions are lost in our society,” said Catherine Deveau, a server at Across the Board Game Café. “It’s good that there’s a place like this where you can take all those distractions away and just focus on the people in your life.”

Across the Board — located in the Exchange District — and Osborne Village bar After Dark Lounge are Winnipeg’s two tabletop gaming restaurants and just some of the many that have opened across Canada in the past two years.

Part of the popularity of game board cafes is the communal aspect, Deveau says.

“I’ve seen tables come in where there are 85-year-old grandmas playing with their grandchildren,” said Deveau. “You can learn a game at any age, and in a society where people rely so much on technology, it’s nice to actually see people spending quality time together.”

Nathan Getty, a recent network technology graduate at RRC, says places like Across the Board are great for catching up with friends.

Ryan Levesque and Nathan Getty waiting to make their next move in Sorry! at Across the Board Game Café. THE PROJECTOR/ Madelaine Lapointe

“I like to come here once a month with my friends because they have a ridiculous amount of different board games,” said Getty. “Not only do they have an awesome atmosphere, but they are licensed.”

Scott Nicholson is a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener, Ont. He also runs the school’s game design and development program. In a Jan. 13 interview with Metro News Canada, Nicholson said board games thrive in today’s society because they rely on reality.

“We’re physical beings and we like touch and we like that tangibility, especially when engaging in shared activities,” Nicholson told Metro News Canada. “Handing someone cards, rolling dice, moving pieces on a board — these bring that game to life in a way that never happens if it’s just on the screen.”

While both cafés offer food and drink, Deveau describes After Dark Lounge as more of a social setting.

“They have TVs and live music while here there are fewer distractions,” said Deveau. “It depends what kind of environment you prefer. It’s just different.”

Baden Gaeke Franz, game master of Across the Board, said the business reflects the enthusiasm here in Winnipeg.

“We’re fully booked most weekends and evenings to the point where we have to turn people away at the door,” said Gaeke Franz. “In a month we get 2,000 to 3,000 people playing games. And that doesn’t even include people just coming in for a coffee or meal.”

Across the Board Game Café is one of two tabletop game venues in Winnipeg. The restaurant and coffee house offers more than 800 different board games to play. THE PROJECTOR/ Madelaine Lapointe

 

 

Quick Comfort Food Lunch

Today I’m sharing the go-to lunch I make when I have a little extra time on my hands. And although it may just seem simple because it’s tomato soup, I don’t just throw a can on the stove and hope for the best. To be honest I can’t stand the taste of canned soup and would much rather use the fresh ingredients from my garden.

I never really enjoyed tomato soup until I tried this recipe, which was passed down to my mom from her aunt. She used to make it for my mom as a kid when she had her over for lunch, and now my mom and I make it together on our days off. We tend to make this recipe more often in the summertime because we can use the tomatoes from the garden, but with the cold weather this past week, we couldn’t resist.

The other recipe I made to go along with the soup is cheese scones. These scones are so tasty, I don’t even know where to begin. And a good thing about this recipe is that you can adjust the recipe to make a sweet scone, by replacing the cheese with the fruit of your choice (or chocolate chips) and the sour cream with the yogurt of you choice.

Tomato Basil Soup

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup milk

4 tomatoes

1 small onion

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Basil to taste

In a blender add the butter and flour and blend until completely combined. Next, add the water, milk, cut tomato and cut onion and blend. Follow by pouring in a pot and adding the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium high for 15-20 mins.

Note: To make the soup even tastier, use tomatoes and basil from the garden.

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Cheese scone with tomato basil soup

Cheese Scones

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup tender flake

1 egg

1 cup sour cream

Around a cup of cheese of your choice

Begin by mixing your flour, sugar, salt, cream or tartar and baking soda together. Cut in tender flake until crumbly. In a separate bowl mix egg and sour cream together. Add to dry ingredients. Bake for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 375F.

Note: To make the scones sweet, replace the cheese with the fruit of your choice (or chocolate chips) and the sour cream with the yogurt of your choice.

Pure happiness. Melts away in your mouth.

Work, love, play

This past week was definitely been one I’d rather not repeat. I got four hours of sleep most nights if (I was lucky) and lived at my computer eating Kraft Dinner out of the pot. Let’s just say there wasn’t much time to cook. So this week for my blog post, instead of a recipe, I am posting an assignment I made last semester for media production.

For this assignment I had to pick someone in my life who I look up to, and then film and write a one minute story about why they’re important to me. I chose to film my boss Lynn at Sargent Sundae because not only is she is a dedicated and hard working woman, but she is incredibly caring and loving. I have worked at Sargent Sundae for the past four years and Lynn has been a role model to me from the first day I started. Being a server at Sargent Sundae was my first job, and one of my favourites.

Here is the video I shot, edited and voiced over (when there wasn’t all that snow on the ground.)

 

Banana Butter Oat Muffins

This muffin recipe is simple to make and has a good combination of healthy ingredients. These tasty muffins make a quick and filling breakfast (or snack) with the  addition of oats. I made this recipe on the weekend and kept half of the muffins for snacks during school and froze the rest for the following week. I recommend individually wrapping the muffins in saran wrap before freezing them so you can just grab and go when you’re on your way out of the house. Enjoy!

Banana Butter Oat Muffins

1-1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup oats

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup almond butter (you can use any nut butter cashew, peanut, hazelnut)

2 over-ripe bananas

1 egg

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1-1/4 cup milk

Begin by preheating your oven to 375F and greasing a muffin tin or placing liners.

In a bowl, mix flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In another large bowl, mash bananas. Follow by adding the almond butter and egg mix until combined.

Mix in sugar, vanilla and milk until blended and then add your dry ingredients (batter will be thin.)

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes.
  

And voilà! 

Molly thinks the muffins are alright too