Last week, depressed by the cold and snowy weather and needing a treat to cheer me up, I went to Maman.

I discovered Maman when I was living in NYC. I had brunch there with my friends and we had a really good time, enjoying both the food and the atmosphere of the place. So, as you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised to learn they had a location in Toronto and was looking forward to try it.

While located in the First Canadian Place food court, once you step in the bakery you quickly forget where you are. The warm decor with its big communal wooden tables and rustic chairs reminded me of home (i.e South of France). I really liked the feel and atmosphere of the place and although I hadn’t planned of staying long, I found myself spending an hour there, sipping my drink and enjoying my treat while working on my computer.


Speaking of treats, I went for their renowned nutty chocolate chunk cookie and a regular hot chocolate (they have a lavender option). I really enjoyed both. The cookie was soft in the middle and crispy on the edge and it was filled with macadamia nuts and almonds and big melty chocolate chunks. I really liked the combination of the nuts and chocolate and the facts they added almonds what I had never had in this kind of cookie. The hot chocolate tasted great and had a nice texture. It wasn’t too sweet what I really enjoyed.

Overall, I had a great time at Maman (it’s also worth noting that the staff was really friendly) and I will definitely be back to try their teas (they seem to have a nice selection of One Sloane tea) and their éclairs to check if they taste like home!

Visit Maman at First Canadian Place, 100 King Street W, Toronto, ON M5X 2A2.


Hidden Figures

hidden-figures-posterI first heard of those amazing NASA women in an episode of Timeless, an NBC TV show (that I really enjoy btw!). I remembered wanting to know more about them, even wondering why I had never heard of them before. The movie Hidden Figures gives us a glimpse at those women’s lives at a time when they were facing a lot of challenges like segregation, racism, discrimination or sexism.

Their story is just amazing. Watching how they fought for what was rightly theirs was inspiring and I spent the whole movie in awe with those three wonderful women. Learning how they paved the way for so many women was more than enlightening, it gave me hope that any obstacles can be overcome when you don’t give up. The way they were treated was infuriating and several times, I felt outraged by what was happening on the screen but they didn’t let it faze them. They fought for what they deserved showing us what a perfect example of determination and courage they were.

I highly recommend this uplifting movie. The acting was flawless, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe played their parts perfectly. Some scenes made me laugh, some made my blood boil with indignation and as the film ended with pictures of the real Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson and more information about their lives, I felt contentment knowing that those amazing women had accomplished what they wanted to.

I might almost be twenty-eight but, leaving the theater, I couldn’t help thinking I wanted to be like one of those women when I grow up…

Watch the trailer:


A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

Darkness AbsoluteWhen experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.

Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that…before another victim goes missing.


My review
What a joy being back in Rockton! I loved City of the Lost, the first book in the series. I read it in one sitting, totally addicted to the page-turning plot. So saying I was looking forward to reading the sequel is an understatement. Well, A Darkness Absolute didn’t disappoint me. Like the first book, I couldn’t put it down. I loved being back in this enigmatic town and following the adventures of Casey, Dalton and Will, the Rockton police team, while they investigate who could have held a former resident captive for over a year. We learn more about the town inhabitants (with a few new additions) but also about people living outside Rockton.

Kelley Armstrong definitely knows how to captivate her readers. From the first pages, I found myself totally immersed in the story and the town. For a few hours, I fell like I was part of the Rockton crew and I loved every minute of it (even the blizzard and the cold weather!). Full of suspense and twists, this book made me hold my breath several times. I really enjoyed being in Detective Casey Butler’s head. Throughout the book, I tried to think like her, to notice the clues and create scenarios and hypotheses.

I definitely can’t wait for the third book in this series that I highly recommend. If you are looking for a page-turning thriller with a great cast of characters, you just found a winner!

Buy the book : Amazon US Amazon CAAmazon UK


Buy the book: Amazon USAmazon CAAmazon UK