10 Questions with Marie-Eve Best of Lake Jane
Little Ms. Best’s last name is no accident. You can’t help but be impressed by her smarts, great taste and beauty but what really gets you is her self-effacing humour, her love of a dirty joke, her tremendous enthusiasm around fatty foods (or any food for that matter!) and general ‘I’m up for a good time, anytime’ take on life. I knew the moment I met her, she was going to be one of those people ‘I knew when’ and two years later, I believe in her more than ever. Today, she works at Canadian House & Home Magazine’s French publication, Maison & Demeure, managing their digital properties, but she is best known as the scribe behind lakejane.com, a real Montreal treasure. I most genuinely believe that in her own way, she’s making our world a better place, one fab kitchen, one weekend getaway, one delish dish at a time.
1-What does lakejane.com mean to you?
It’s the littlest blog that could! I tend to have A.D.D. with personal projects but Lake Jane is a creative outlet with no deadlines and no limits. There’s something so liberating about that. It keeps me curious, focused and inspired. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’m still excited about it. It’s one of the few things in my life where I can’t be my usual modest self who doesn’t take credit for anything. Lake Jane is a very personal project and people identify with it. That’s incredibly rewarding.
2-Tell us about how the Internet has changed your life.
Prior to Lake Jane, I went online to check emails and the only blog I followed was Perez Hilton. I’m pretty sure I had AOL dial-up Internet until 2006! So you can imagine my surprise when I started working at a digital branding agency (in 2007) or when I decided to launch a blog. I thought it would be a disaster or a totally bore. Well turns out that it was all quite instinctual for me. I came to realize that the Internet is about relationships; it’s about conversations. My day job and the blog have allowed me to connect, both personally and professionally, with people I really admire and respect; people who I never in a gazillion years thought I’d have a chance to meet. The Internet is this amazing platform with infinite opportunities. It’s like you don’t have an excuse to not make things happen for yourself anymore.
3-You have a feature in your blog called ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ something we believe in deeply here at Cloud, tell us what that process is like every week.
A few years ago I saw this episode of Oprah where she encouraged viewers to start a gratitude journal. I thought it was a great idea so I bought a journal and wrote: “Day 1 – I am grateful for this journal.” That was the first and final entry (I think it was due to a lack of discipline rather than to a lack of reasons to be grateful). Either way, the idea stuck with me and, after a few rough months, I decided I should give it another go and not over think it. I figured it would help me to re-prioritize my life. Plus, I knew I would be more disciplined about it if I told readers it was a weekly feature. I consider myself a pretty positive person but even I take some time to find a list of things I’m grateful for in one week. I focus too much on what I’m not doing or what I should be doing instead of living in the moment. This has been a really good exercise for me.
4-Many lifestyle blogs depict lives that seem impossibly perfect, you seem to let it all hang out, good days, bad days, tell us about that choice.
I don’t know that it was a conscious decision. Not in the beginning anyways. When I started writing Lake Jane, I was beyond clueless about blogs yet I worked in an agency where almost every employee had one and I thought, “I should start a blog!” So I googled “writing a blog” (literally) and Lake Jane was born. Because I had nothing to compare it to, I didn’t feel any pressure to have it look or sound a certain way. I suppose I just felt like I had something to say and I figured that it would be a great way of keeping in touch with my friends. They remain my bullshit barometer because they would definitely let me know if I was being disingenuous. They know that I’m clumsy, messy, whimsical to a fault and that I have a soft spot for a certain French Canadian singer whose name rhymes with Peline Bion. I’m far from being a hipster or a trendsetter. I just have a very strong sense of what I like and dislike. The reason this blog has done so well is that I’ve stayed true to that. People get attached to your voice more than the actual content. Sure, there are days when I want to redesign the whole thing and buy a fancy shmancy camera but ultimately, what matters most is what I have to say and so I try to be as spontaneous as possible and to avoid getting caught up in how things look on the surface. I write because I want to share something – good or bad.
5-Okay Girl, you are slim and gorgeous, but man, do you like to eat. Tell us about the best meal you’ve ever had.
I think that context plays a big part in memorable meals. I’ve had some amazing meals in restaurants but the most memorable were the ones that were unplanned and in unique circumstances. Last year my husband and I were invited to have lunch at the home of a nomadic family in this tiny dessert town in Morocco. We sat on the sandy floor, grabbed a spoon and ate our way through a mountain of couscous in this gigantic clay bowl. I ate more than the 3 men combined. So much so that one of them started shoveling his share onto my side. That was a bit embarrassing. But I ate it nonetheless.
6-If you could wave a magic wand and make the world a better place in one way, what would you do?
I would give everyone equal access to education. I believe it cures ignorance.
7-Brad Pitt or Zack Galifianakis? (Don’t even try to Paul Rudd this answer, that’s cheating)
Zack. Preferably with a beard. And two ferns.
8-Is there a trend that you have spotted that you think is going to make waves in 2011?
Bad trend – Sarah Palin’s popularity is actually on the rise. Good trend – supporting local agriculture.
9-What’s your absolute favie, can’t live without, must go back again and again spot in Montreal?
I was going to say something on trend like “Sunday morning brunch at Sparrow” (which I do adore by the way) but in reality, I can’t live without Amir’s shawarma platter. Extra pickled parsnips please.
10-If you had one message to send to young girls out there who want to work in a creative field but feel insecure about it, what would it be?
There is no way I can answer this question without sounding like Dr. Phil but I’m going for it anyways: I was never one of those kids who said “When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut.” I was all over the place with my interests. I still am. All I knew was that I wanted to be challenged and I wanted to use my creativity in some capacity. Luckily, my lack of direction was balanced by good instincts. I quickly realized that the harder you work, the more lucky breaks you obtain. Nothing builds your confidence more than following your instincts, taking a risk, and getting a successful outcome.
*11-(Bonus question, intended to embarrass). Do you watch Jersey Shore and why?
You know the answer to this question…Yes, I watch Jersey Shore. Even worse, I actually enjoy it. Surprisingly, I don’t watch it for the witty dialogue or for fashion tips. I think it has more to do with a fascination with the weird and wacky. I just can’t believe that some people’s lives actually revolve around gym, tanning and laundry (aka. GTL). And that these things are genuine priorities of theirs! My husband thinks the show is depressing and sexist (he’s sorta right) so I try to avoid watching it in his company because he sucks the fun out of it.
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