A DAY IN LISBON by Monique Pantel

I spent today exploring Lisbon with my best friend Holly, and without any real agenda, we managed to have the most incredible day. I arrived yesterday afternoon, tired, jet-lagged - so we cracked a bottle of vinho verde on our beautiful patio and proceeded to catch up. Since Holly lives in Paris, we had about three months of belly laughs to catch up on.

FIRST OFF - THESE TREES THAT ARE BLOOMING PURPLE FLOWERS 😍😍😍😍😍😍 I can't even. I had no idea they existed, that I was travelling during their blooming season and every time I look at them (they're everywhere) - I feel like I'm in some sort of magical Narnia land. Lisbon baby, I'm in love.

Our AirBnb has been the perfect place to rest up from a long few days of travel, rid ourselves of jet lag and explore our (my) first taste of Portugal. Nested in the winding cobble streets of Chiado, palettes of pastel peaches and pinks splash over the building facades and terracotta roof tops - our little AirBnb is just what we needed .

We decided to not use Google to navigate the city and rather rely on a sense of wanderlust and chance. We stumbled upon the cutest high-vibe food cafe Fauna & Flora, a super bang-for-your-buck vegan buffet spot Jardim das Cerejas, gorgeous historic monuments, the seaside, and a wonderfully eclectic area called LX Factory. The latter was a favourite spot of both Holly and mine.

LX Factory was an old industrial manufacturing complex, converted into a few streets of really cool restaurants, concept boutiques and an interesting mix of locals and tourists. I'm not one for the "tourist spots", but this place was cool. We stumbled upon a library, picked up a few books for our road trip to the Algarve and finished our day with local craft beer and vegan burgers.

As our day winds down, I've poured some tea, we're catching up on emails (#digitalnomadlife - just kidding - does that phrase make anyone else cringe? Or just me? Lol.). We've decided to head to bed at a decent hour so that we can get an early start on our adventure to the Algarve.

For now I'll leave you guys with a mix of iPhone and proper camera pics from the day xo PS the purple trees are called Jacaranda. So dreamy.

SPRING THINGS by Monique Pantel

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APRIL PHOTO WORKSHOPS
I'm so excited to announce a few more photography workshops this spring, before wedding season takes over my life! Here are the dates and links with information regarding the workshops. The women who've attended the class boast remarkably improved photography skills, a deeper understanding of photography equipment and found confidence shooting in manual mode. And, a prettier instagram grid is pretty much guaranteed ;-) Links are below with all the info you'll need to sign up - or pass along to a friend!

MONDAY APRIL 23  9AM-NOON
TUESDAY APRIL 24 9AM-NOON
THURSDAY APRIL 26 9AM-NOON

LIVE PODCAST RECORDING EVENT AT FOOLS & HORSES

I wanted to invite you to a special event happening on Sunday, April 22nd at 6pm at Fools and Horses in Winnipeg. Ashley Wood, the creator of  "Manifest This!" podcast, has asked to sit down and chat everything from photography, business, finding your life purpose, travel and more! She's interviewed some really inspiring women in the realm of holistic healing, business and veganism - and I'm just SO over the moon that she's asked me to sit down and chat. I'd really love if you came to hang out with us! This is a free event and I'd really love to have a few friendly faces there!

Update: You can listen to the podcast episode here.

AND SIDE NOTE...

The Assiniboine Park Conservatory closed its doors yesterday. The space was built in 1914 and although the park is building something new, I sure am going to miss this beautiful green space that was a warm, nature haven for me in the deepest coldest winter days. After my photo workshops last week, I went with Alyssa and Johanna to check out the beautiful green space one last time before it closed its doors forever!

PALM SPRINGS by Monique Pantel

You guys know I LOVE TO TRAVEL. And, the more I travel, the more I get asked for recommendations for various places I've visited. So I've decided instead of repeating myself over and over again via text and Instagram DMs, I'll just start making blog posts instead! 

Here's a quick round up of some of my favourite things we got up to during our quick trip to Palm Springs:

DRINK - The Parker Palm Springs OR Ace Hotel Palm Springs OR Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs 

EAT - Raw Remedy for quick-ish, casual, organic, vegan meals, smoothies and juices! Their avocado burger is bomb. I had it twice. Once for breakfast. No judging please.

POOL - Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs The pool area is closed to hotel guests until 4pm. The hotel is gorgeous, I wish we would have stayed here. I got to enjoy the pool one day because I had friends staying here. I snuck in, so shoot me. The pool is incredible and offers spectacular views of the mountains. If you can't sneak your way into the rooftop pool, I recommend going to a cocktail around sunset. The bartenders are incredibly friendly and you'll be right downtown, presumably close to wherever you've got dinner plans!

HIKE - Joshua Tree National Park OR there are some really stunning day hikes all around Palm Springs!

SEE - Moorten Botanical Gardens OR The Palm Springs Art Museum OR Ride a bike and look at all of the Midcentury Modern Homes. They're spectacular! 

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Lots of love,

M

ITALY + MOROCCO / AN iPHONE JOURNAL by Monique Pantel

Here's the sneak peek of their elopement film in Italy (click to watch it- it's so magical!).

I don't even know where to begin... I got the opportunity of a lifetime to capture Gianna & Scott's magical elopement on the coast of Italy a few months ago, alongside my gal pal Kat Willson. I'll say it a million times, elopements are the most incredible unions to capture! 

I have more images to share from this trip that I took with my professional camera - but my favourite way to photograph my travels are with my iPhone. It allows me to be completely in the moment, and the phone is much less assuming than a huge camera in my hands. :-) Do you guys like the iPhone pics, or would you like to see more professional pictures? Let me know!

Italy Highlights:

  • Ummm Gianna and Scott's elopement. OBVIOUSLY!
  • The most decadent meal at 'Il flauto di pan' in Ravello with Scott, G, Shelly and Bobby.
  • A spur of the moment trip to Capri and sailing around the island at sunset (what is life?).
  • Seeing Positano from the sea. Absolutely breathtaking.
  • That glass of rosΓ©, poolside in Capri. 
  • General daily laughing until our bellies ache with Kat.
  • We stayed in a lot of awesome airbnb's. If you haven't signed up yet, I definitely encourage you to try this awesome website when booking travel accommodations. And if you use this link you can get $45 CAD off your first stay!

Morocco Highlights:

  • I finally got to experience an authentic Hammam. 
  • Getting to experience to Ben Youssef Madrasa at sunrise, all to ourselves.
  • That first sip of Moroccan Mint Tea.
  • Meeting a jolly couple from Marseille willing to share some rum with us at our riad.
  • Walking along the souks, taking in the eclectic markets.
  • Making friends with shop owners and sampling the fragrant teas and perfumes.
  • Chefchaouen's fresh mountain air, it's ancient charm and beautiful hues of blue.
  • The pool at our riad in Fes. 
  • Lots of vegan food options!
  • Bread at every meal. (Also a lowlight - #bloatlife)

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SNOWFLAKE FESTIVAL CAMPAIGN by Monique Pantel

I love photographing the Prairie Yogi campaigns. Yoga is a true love of mine - and besides being one of the most important practices of my day, it's connected me to some of my dearest friends. 

My friend Demetra has this magical cabin on the shore of Lake Winnipeg. And when Rachelle (creator of Snowflake Festival) asked me what I envisioned for this year's festival campaign, I immediately thought of Demetra's home. It's a boho babe's dream. Plants, potions (Demetra creates holistic healing potions: Sweet Spirit Apothecary), incense and a library packed with all of my favourite books.

And so, we developed this concept around the festival's spirit: restorative, self-care, and warmth.

I hope you enjoy the images. And if you happen to attend the festival, I hope you find some winter bliss as well.