Petite Bourgogne

Petite Bourgogne

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweet Treats

One of the benefits (or curses) of living in Montreal is the fabulous food.  If you have a sweet tooth like I have, there are many wonderful temptations.  In the last six weeks, I had the pleasure of sampling a long time favorite and trying some place new.

Olivier Piffaudat Chocolatier Alchimiste is the inspiration of my good friend Olivier.  Over the last two years, he has been building his business and his collection of tasty and unusual chocolates.  Just before Valentine's Day, he was part of Je t'aime en chocolat - a celebration of all things chocolate at Marché Bonsecours.  I went to check out his latest inventions and to get acquainted with Montreal's other chocolatiers.

The exhibition space was packed!
Olivier's table was filled with a selection of every chocolate in his collection.  With Valentine's Day coming, I bought one of each of his chocolate cocktails.  What are chocolate cocktails?  They are a re-imagination of your favorite, classic cocktails in chocolate form, such as Bloody Mary, Cosmo, Pina Colada and, my favorite, Margarita.  For the exhibition, he was also selling Mexican Hot Chocolate.  I love a good Mexican Hot Chocolate, so I had to get a cup.  It was thick, sweet, rich with the kick of hot chili.  Perfect for a cold winter day.

O.P Chocolatier Alchemiste's Collection  
In March, I held a tea and macaroon event with some friends at La Maison du Macaron in my neighbourhood.  With over 20 different flavours to choose from, it was hard to pick just three to have with my tea.  Almost all of us had the macaron du mois, a delicate maple and cashew nut.  I am always a fan of seasonal products, so I selected the Pailleté Feulletine and caramelized banana macaroons to round out my trio.  If you're looking for a small, quiet and delicious dessert place to have a coffee or tea with friends, I can recommend La Maison du Macaron.
Tea and a trio of macaroons

Good thing Spring is around the corner.  The warmer weather will get me doing more active things outdoors, distracting me from these sweet treats.

Blogging Marathon Weekend (sort of)

I'm not spending nearly enough time on my blogs.  My business blog is being neglected due to my hectic work schedule.  Even though I only update this one once a month, the quality of what I post could be better.  This is why I was really looking forward to this weekend.  I've known about the semi-annual Bloggiesta since the mini-Bloggiesta in early February.  Just this week, though, I found out the Biannual Blogathon Bash is also holding an Itty Bitty Blogathon.  Not one, but two reasons to focus on my blog!  But... I have to block off some time for work and a social commitment.  So, I won't be spending as much time on blogging as I would like.

With that in mind, my blogging goals for this weekend are simple (with updates at the end of the weekend in italics):

  1. Write a post for this blog and my business blog
    • Done!
  2. Find a post on a particular subject to republish for the PMI Community of Practice blog I edit.
    • Not done... yet.
  3. Participate in Twitter chats.  (I'm doing that as I write this!) 
    • Participated in both Bloggiesta and one of Blogathon2 Twitter chats.  
  4. Promote my Sockets and Lightbulbs Facebook page.
    • Spent a bit of time on this.  I added a link to the blog post on how to promote your blog on Facebook.  I posted something about it on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus and invited Facebook friends to "like".  Doubled my "likes" as a result.  Need to do this more often, as well as start some original discussions on Facebook.
  5. Figure out a way to build on my one-hit wonder post. This post alone gets half my blog views!
    • I spent some time analyzing the search engine terms that led to blog views. My top 100 search terms boiled down to four key categories.  It's very clear who my audience is.  I also learned that Google is only indexing my post titles.  I changed two post titles to include common search terms.  We'll see if that improves views on those two posts.  It was also interesting to see what terms did NOT show up.
  6. Do the "Through A Visitor's Eyes" Bloggiesta mini-challenge
    • Done!  It was very helpful.  I need to think about how someone would search for a particular post on my blog.
  7. Check out Itty Bitty Blogathon's task list and try a few, even if I don't officially enter the challenge.
    • Read through the impressive task list and did one: ran BDC Website Assessment.  As I acted on the result, I discovered that my domain registrar had my domain listed as "expired" (it's not). Got that fixed!
  8. Update: Break apart an old post into three separate posts so I can share them separately.
    • Didn't get to it.  I mostly put this on the list as a reminder to do this.
  9. Update: Write custom Blog Follow Email text and Comment Follow Email text.
    • Same as above.
If I get all the above done this weekend, I'm rocking!

Why am I participating in both events simultaneously?  Bloggiesta is mainly for book bloggers. I LOVE the community, which is why I participate every time.  Blogathon is supposed to be more general, so I thought I would see what one of the events were like.  

Happy blogging!