Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

I’ve been noticing that since this dumb pandemic started, there seems to be a lot of new side hustles popping up and a bigger focus on buying locally.

I was really curious about what these side hustlers were doing, why they were doing it and how they were doing, while doing it? Make sense?? Maybe? Lol. Let me introduce you to Bonnie, who makes cakes and treats, Emily who makes funky earrings, Craig who makes beautiful cheese boards and wood stuff and Monique, who will customize pretty much anything you need.

First up is Bonnie, who is Mrs Delicious!

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Liette: What made you decide to start your side business?

Bonnie: The idea to start Mrs Delicious as an online bakery definitely came from my close friends and family. They were tasting and seeing all of my creations that I was posting about on social media during the spring and they thought I should offer what I was doing to a wider audience. I guess they thought I had a bit of a gift and thought I should share it.

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L: Is this something you had been waiting to do for a while?

B: Haha! Nooooo not at all. I normally have an extremely full schedule and wouldn’t have any room for extras like this. A typical work week for me, pre-pandemic, would consist of anywhere from 50 to 60+ hours of work a week. After a week like that you don’t typically have a lot left to give. Anything I do have left is spent on friends and family. However, at this time, with events on hold, my daily life has changed drastically. I needed a creative outlet and so my friend gave me the extra push I needed, she created a logo for me and I set up a Facebook page and my husband got some stickers made up with my branding and I was off and running.

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L: So all the extra time on your hands, because of the pandemic, sparked you to try something new?

B: The pandemic was definitely the instigator for this. I have hardly baked in the past 10 years. I have been concentrating on climbing the corporate ladder and being a Mom to my kids and helping to support my Mom when she was sick. I had a full plate. During the pandemic I turned to the kitchen, it started with a birthday cake for my daughter, then one for my son, then an anniversary cake for my sister and brother in law and it just kept going. I started having a lot of fun with it and trying trickier recipes each time. I was getting so many positive comments on my photos and people started saying, you should do this and sell them. I was very unsure at first but my confidence started to build and the reviews were positive so here I am. Mrs Delicious has been accepting orders for less than a month and I have already had close to 50 orders!

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L: I love that story!! Your cakes look absolutely delicious, great name btw, I am waiting for someone’s birthday in order to order one from you. How can people see and order from you?

B: People can order through Facebook at facebook.com/mrsdeliciousdesserts

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Post and Studs

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Emily’s is an elementary school teacher, who on the side, makes beautiful earrings. She makes them because they let her be creative and they make her happy, she explains that if they make others happy, that is a major bonus! And BTW, I just got a pair and they do make me happy! Mine are hot pink, obvs; here is my chat with Emily.

Liette: What inspired you to start making earrings?

Emily: I’ve always loved creating, aka making a mess. My sister and I started making jewelry as children and it was always something that brought me happy memories. We grew up in an extremely creative household, both of our parents were being creating in some way or another. I’m very thankful to have grown up in an environment that fostered our creativity.

A few Christmases ago, I was making earrings as gifts for loved ones and everyone told me to start selling them. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I decided to dive in head first!

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business?

E: Having a business was always something that appealed to my creative side, but definitely not my organizational side. It was something I was always interested in, but I am thankful that I can do it at my own pace.

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L: Your earrings are beautiful. How long does it take to make one pair?

E: From start to finish, many of the dangles take about four days to fully cure and become ready for your ears! There are quite a few steps involved and this time period can be greatly extended if I make any mistakes. I’ve definitely had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.

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L: I bet that it’s been a learning process, not just making them, but marketing yourself?

E: Because it’s my side business, I don’t have the same type of pressure to market myself as many other businesses do. Post and Stud is my creative outlet, and I treat it as such. If it all becomes too stressful, I have the ability to step back and take a break for a few days. This is a privilege I’ve needed and am extremely thankful for. For the most part, I’m able to go with the flow and create relationships with like minded people.

L: How can people see and buy your earrings?

E: They can go to my website: http://www.postandstud.com, my Instagram & Facebook account is @postandstud. My earrings are also available for sale at Sequoia, the Trinity location, The Glow, in Sussex, and Luxe Salon and Spa in Riverview.

Borden Design

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I’ve known Craig for a long time, we used to work together many moons ago. I was surprised and impressed when I saw the beautiful charcuterie boards he was posting on Facebook. I knew he was, and still is, an awesome musician, but I had no idea he had mad woodworking skills? It was nice to catch up with him; here’s a bit of our chat.

Liette: I’ve seen the videos you’ve posted online, it’s cool to see a bit of how your boards are made. What motivated you to start your side hustle?

Craig: I had been planning a little side hustle for quite some time. With the lock down and having some extra time it seemed like the perfect time to get started.

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L: Did being home during COVID push you to get started?

C: Typically my free time would be focused on making music with my band “Big Bang”, but COVID not allowing for rehearsing I had some spare time to really focus on coming up with some products I wanted to make.

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L: What is it about working with wood that you most enjoy?

C: The charcuterie boards I’ve been making came from an apple tree that was in our backyard. I love the three having a completely new life in a completely new form. The cutting boards are made from wood I get from another local business, London Lumber. It’s really like being a kid in a candy store every time I go there. In addition to wood we’ve been prepping to make some concrete products as well, they should be available in the coming months.

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Craig’s number one helper, Stephen, who just turned 7!!

L: How can people find and buy your products?

C: Currently my presence is focused on Facebook, bordendesignnb, but I ‘m on Instagram, borden_design, and Twitter, Twitter.com/borden_design, as well. Products and prices can be found on Facebook @bordendesignnb,

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Made by Monique

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Monique works in early childhood development and is super crafty and creative. She’s started a side company that focuses on custom printing; here’s our chat.

Liette: What inspired you to start your little side hustle?

Monique: I love being crafty and creating things, so after receiving my Cricut (fancy adhesive cutter and printer) as a Christmas gift, I started experimenting with it and watching YouTube videos, A LOT of videos! After trying a couple of different things, I realized I was more interested in designing shirts, onesies, hoodies, etc…

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business? What made you say, I am going to do it?

M: I’ve always loved the idea of having my own little side business that I would fully run myself, so that would be a yes! Once I had mastered designing and applying heat transfer vinyl on a wide variety of fabrics, I decided to invest in a few other important accessories and advertise on social media.

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She also sells custom pet stuff. Here are her two fav models, Pedro and Mika. Pedro giving us his sexy look, Mike giving us full on smiles. 

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L: What’s been one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to deal with so far?

M: A challenge I’ve had to deal with would definitely be the Christmas rush! It’s generally a busy time of the year in general, but with the added to-do list of getting all the custom orders ready before Christmas, it was a little extra busy for me. Even though it was a big stressful, I am SO thankful that I received so many orders!

L: So maybe we can put it out there now, in the summer, that people should start thinking of their custom Christmas Stockings, Tree Skirts and baby onesies now? lol?

M: That would be great to get orders as early as possible!

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These are the custom printed hats that she made for me.

 

L: How can people see your work and order from you?

M: I have photos of almost all my work posted on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/customizedbymonique and also my Instagram account: customizedbymonique. For order simply send me a message via my FB page and I will get back to you!

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I am so impressed with all these side hustlers their stories are inspiring and have a few common threads. One is that they are all doing something that they love and that fulfills their creative side, that’s so important, we all need creative outlets. And they are all using social media to promote and sell their goods. I think that social media gets a bad wrap; and rightfully so at times. My advice to those finding social media toxic is to do some major cleaning up!

You’re allowed to unfollow and unfriend anyone who is causing you anxiety. Replace them with local small businesses and services. I recently started following the hashtags #moncton, #newbrunswick and a few others and I have discovered so many neat things about my region.

Social media is the most valuable tool for small/local businesses…oh and for bloggers too, lol.

Thank you for reading!! Start following these awesome side hustlers on FB and Insta!!

muah!

Liette

As a bonus adding links to my last two links, they highlight local businesses. One is a nursery and the other a glamping site…you’re welcome!!

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/11/day-tripling-in-nb-cornhill-nursery/

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/05/girls-who-glamp/

 

 

 

Day Tripping in NB – Cornhill Nursery

Day Tripping in NB – Cornhill Nursery

This summer we are going to be jumping in our car and day tripping around the province. Today’s Day Trip is Cornhill Nursery, in Cornhill, NB; it’s located 40 min outside of Moncton near Havelock.

It’s the perfect weekend drive if you like seeing lush rolling green hills, expansive corn fields and sprawling dairy farms? If you’re into those sorts of beautiful, freaky green landscapes, then this is the perfect day tripping excursion for you!

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I had never been here before, I saw my friend Chantille post a few pics from her recent visit and it looked really cool. Today, I didn’t have much going on so I decided take a drive and check it out and I am happy I did. Also, I think the fact that I didn’t know much about this place made it seem more exotic, lol.

My nephew made a comment that the grounds of the nursery looked like the movie Narnia; I half expected some sort of magical fairy to fly past us. It felt like we were in a children’s fairy-tail storybook. I kept looking over my shoulder for some sort of wicked witch to jump out and offer me an apple or something? lol

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They have overgrown leafy arches that lead you from the parking lot to the nursery grounds. We could smell something delicious as soon as we got out of our car.

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It was an outdoor wood fire pizza oven; like of course it was? Having an outdoor pizza oven in the middle of a fairy forest is totally what you’d expect right? Lol

Since we were hungry, we’re pretty much always hungry, we decided to give their pizza a try.

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We were seated under this green canopy, see above; here’s our view from our picnic table, below.

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Each table had large stone vases with the sweetest smelling roses in them and the staff were super friendly and attentive.

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Here’s a close up of the rock vases.

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The pizza was delicious!! Even their water jugs were beautiful. It’s not fancy, they bring out your pizza in a white pizza box, which is perfect if you want to take your leftovers home.

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Even our picnic table neighbor was adorbs and very well mannered.

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There is also an indoor cafe, but if the weather is nice, eat outside. They sell those stone vases in the cafe, they are beautiful! A bit pricey, but certainly one of a kind and made right here in the Maritimes.

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It’s a full nursery, with beautiful plants and trees.

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Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? It was the strangest funky evergreen I’ve ever seen, maybe this place is magical after all?? There was a storm rolling in as we were leaving that just added to the other worldly feel of this place. The gray skies seemed to make everything look even greener, all of these pics were taken with my iPhone.

Even though the Atlantic provinces are open to each other, (for my none Canadian readers, Canadian travel within the country has been limited in order to get a grip on the spread of Covid, the four Atlantic Canadian provinces are now open to each other, because we are awesome: we listened to directions.) there are so many gems right here in New Brunswick that we need to explore and visit!

This day trip was spontaneous and awesome! Where should we go next and who wants to come with us?

muah!

Liette

Thanks for reading!!

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There is also a bunch of grape vines next door.

Summer in Bloom – Bucket List

Summer in Bloom! Bucket List

If you live in Canada, you know how precious and short our summers can be. Before you know it the leaves will be changing and fall will be upon us. In order to make the most out of summer, let’s make a list of all the summer things we want to do and then let’s get out there and do them!

Here’s my list, let me know what’s on yours.

1. Camping or Glamping

So camping hasn’t historically been my thing, but I just went on my first glamping trip and I loved it! There is some sort of camping for everyone, some like roughing it, some meh…not so much, lol. Whatever your preference, get out there and do it!! Even better, do it locally so that you can help support your respective communities that have been hit hard by the shut downs. Also all the cool places that are usually booked a year in advance may now have some openings, as less people are able to travel?

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2. Beaching or Laking (yes, I make up words, deal with it).

I’ve discovered that my soul needs to be immersed in large bodies of water; it’s my happy place. True story, when I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be a mermaid.

I’ve been to the beach several times and I hope to be many more before the summer is over. I’ve expanded my horizons a bit lately and have been to a river and a lake.

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We are so fortunate to live so close to amazing beaches, rivers and lakes, yet some don’t make time to enjoy them. Get out there! Live a little.

3. Picnic

Here is my recommendation, I am going to call a friend and make a date to do it too, since weekends can be so busy, let’s make a date to meet a friend for lunch in a local park. You bring the sandwiches and have your friend bring the dessert or drinks, so it’s easier. It’s a great way to catch up, reconnect and get some fresh air. It’s also a great stress reliever and break in during a busy week.

Another option is lunch at a Food Truck, this can technically count as a picnic! And it’s supporting a local business.

4. Drive in

Drive ins are just plain fun and they’re the perfect way to socially distance. We have two drive ins in my area, one of them have been showing retro scary movies on Thursday nights. My friend Dawn and I are scary movie friends, we both like watching them, usually through our fingers that our covering our eyes, lol. We have just made plans to go this week, the are showing the original Amityville Horror movie…yikes! I’ll post some pics on my oui-liette Facebook page of our movie night.

5. Day Tripping

For this goal, get in your car and drive. Drive to the city or town closest to where you live, go for lunch, walk around, browse local shops and markets; take pictures and just explore.

The four Atlantic provinces have just opened up to each other, which is perfect for day tripping. I have a few day trips planned for the next few weekends, I love road trips! Go out there and make some family memories.

6. Farmers Marketing (the act of visiting a farmer’s market)

This one is so important; I feel like our collective goal should be to visit farmers markets at least a few times a month. This could be a traditional farmers market with a bunch of local vendors or go to the an actual real farm!

We just spent the weekend in Waterborough, NB and shopped at a local strawberry farm market, I got the yummiest jams. I’ve also recently been to The Green Pig and bought a bunch of fresh stuff there.

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Go to local u-picks, buy direct from farms! I am already planning my apple picking trip to Verger Belliveau Orchards… ok my mini shop local rant is over, moving on.

7. I Scream for Ice Cream!

This is an easy summer goal that doesn’t have to be super complicated or cost a lot of money. I’ve been doing maybe a bit too much screaming for ice cream lately?

On the next hot day, find an ice cream partner and go to your neighborhood pop up ice cream hut. You may as well splurge for an extra scoop. Or go buy a tub of locally made ice cream and make a fancy Sunday at home; either option will be good enough to check this one off your list.

8. Bonfire

There is a theme to all my bucket list goals, it’s to slow down and take some time to relax and spend time with your loved ones or just alone time. This is a perfect excuse to do that.

Put your phone down, but keep it close tough, because you’re going to want to take a pic of your bonfire, obviously, lol. Take time to sit and look at your roaring fire, sing some cheesy campfire songs and roast some marshmallows!

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Before you bonfire, make sure that your area is green enough to safely do so. We’ve been under a strict fire band for most of the summer, but we just had some rain, so we able to fire it up!!

9. BBQ but make it fancy!

This one is super easy, so I am adding a level of difficulty to it; make your next BBQ a bit fancy by dressing up your table.

Here’s an easy and inexpensive idea, use fruits and greenery as a centerpiece. I am going to try this at my next BBQ. I’ll post my photos on my oui-liette Facebook page, like my page for updates.

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Another easy way to fancy it up is to add a big bouquet of wildflowers to your patio table, send me your pics!!

10. Be a tourist in your hometown

I try to be a tourist in my own region at least once a summer. I try to visit all the touristy places that people come here from away to see, but locals rarely go.

It’s fun to explore your local region and pretend that you’re a tourist, you can even buy a tacky t-shirt, live a little!!

I recently climbed up the giant lobster in Shediac, NB. I hadn’t done that in probably 20 years or more, it made me laugh, which is the whole point. What giant thing is your town or area know for? Whatever it is, go take a touristy pic in front of it; I dare you!

 

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Thanks for reading! I am currently working on revamping my Instagram page, go check it out! And I’ll add additional pics on my Oui-Liette Facebook page once I check off more items off this list; so go like my page and gram page if you haven’t already!!

Thank you! Muah!

Liette

If you want to read more, here is a link of a funny one; Funny Things A Maritimer Misses When They Leave, I wrote this one when I was living in Las Vegas.

https://oui-liette.org/2019/04/28/funny-things-a-maritimer-misses-when-they-leave/

 

Girls Who Glamp!

Girls Who Glamp!

Although I love being outdoors, I’ve never been a big camper. I really don’t see the point of sleeping on the ground in a damp tent, lol. But it turns out that I love  glamping!

If you aren’t aware of what glamping is, it’s camping without roughing it, which I’ve discovered I’m really good at.

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I just got back from my first glamping weekend. We stayed at  a place called Glamcamp; they’re located a little over an hour outside of Moncton, in Waterborough, New Brunswick.

They currently have ten domes plopped in the forest across the street from a spectacular lake. We had the most amazing and relaxing weekend; there’s something to be said about exploring what your own province has to offer and finding amazing spots.

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Let me take you on a quick tour of our dome; we rented the Hashtag Millennial. Each dome has a unique decor, but they all have the same features. To see what’s included in the domes check them out on Instagram at: glamcampnb.

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This was our dome, I didn’t ask for the pink dome, it was the only one left, it was obviously meant to be mine!

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Behind the wallpapered wall is the kitchen to the right and the bathroom on the left. Our dome was so cleaned when we arrived and smelled fresh! Clean is important, especially these days, so wanted to add that fact.

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We arrived around 5pm on Friday; my bff Stacey was in charge of keeping the cedar hot tub heated. She’s pictures below with one of the owners giving her tips, while social distancing. The bottom right is her stoking the fire before a late night dip. Each dome comes with 2 comfy white robes, which she is modeling for us over her bathing suit.

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When you’re soaking in the tub, you can smell the cedar. 

While the water was heating up, we prepared for our first glamping meal, which was lobster!
We had the most amazing Bay of Fundy lobsters from the Moncton Fish Market. It’s funny how things taste better while “roughing” it.

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Yes those are cloth lobster napkins, this is glamping after all!

Since this is our Annual Canadian Girls Summer Trip, OK it’s technically our first, but you have to start somewhere, our desert needed to be Canadian and what’s more Canadian than Inukshuks?

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Turns out they didn’t know we were here for long as this chocolate one got eaten pretty quick. If you don’t get that reference, look up Inukshuk. 

While checking in we were told not to miss the sunsets on the lake; with our bellies full of lobster, we headed across the street to watch the sunset.

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It was so peaceful with multiple shades of pinks, oranges and purples reflecting off the lake. Omg so pretty! It’s a must, the photos don’t even do it justice.

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The hot tub was ready for us when we got back from the beach; Stacey’s fire abilities were on point! It was so relaxing.

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When the sun goes down, the domes take on a magical appearance.

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Each dome sleeps three people, there is a queen bed and a pull out single bed. I would recommend bringing a sleeping mask if you want to sleep in a bit.

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When you turn the lights of the dome off and your eyes adjust to the darkness, you can see fireflies outside. It sort of feels like you’re underwater and the fireflies are fish swimming by. There is also a skylight above the bed for star gazing.

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I didn’t plan this either, but my pajamas matched the decor perfectly!!

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After our morning coffee, bacon and eggs, our friend Jacqueline joined our Canadian Girls Glamping Weekend; our main goal for the day was lots of quality beach time.

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I am an ocean girl, but Grand Lake has me re-thinking my preferences. And since this was our Canadian themed weekend, Bernice the Beaver, was out and about with us. We floated, had a picnic and floated some more.

Our Saturday night dinner was from a caboose that has been turned into a takeout. We had the fish and chips and we need to know the secret to their batter; it was light and crispy with a sweet taste. If anyone knows what makes it sweet, please let me know.

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As we waited for your food, we watched a storm make its way towards us. Luckily it had passed by the time we finished eating and were ready for our nightly hot tubbing.

No glamping weekend would be complete without a group shot, with matching hats; hey I don’t make the rules.

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Stacey and I obviously don’t share Jacqueline’s Spanish heritage. I filtered this photo a bit to make us less glow in the dark white.

Our cool hats are from: Made by Monique, check her out on Facebook. I bought the hats and she printed them, but she can order hats, shirts, hoodies…for you and design and print for you. She’s great for smaller orders, she has no minimum quantity requirements. For corporate larger amounts, I’ve got a guy for you. (Gilles from Kadopromo)

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Jacqueline was our glamping mixologist, our signature weekend drink was a fresh raspberry mint mojito.

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Here are the ingredients that you will need. 

Go to my Instagram account: Oui-Liette, for a short video on how to make this yummy berry drink. The mint was fresh from her garden, but you can use store bought.

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This drink smelled as good as it tasted.

It doesn’t matter what your summer vacation plans are or where you decide to go, your experience will only be enhanced by getting out there and exploring your surroundings. Find out where the locals go and where they eat. I have two approaches, the first is I ask an actual local and the second is that if I see a busy spot, chances are it’s good.

We stopped at this local strawberry place on the main drag and brought home strawberries that were picked from the fields behind the store. They also had fresh snap peas, jams and a bunch of other things. I asked an older lady in the shop if their jams were good? She said yes, that she made them herself. Can you imagine going to a large grocery store and running into the person who made the jams on the shelves? Of course not, lol.

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She was so cute, explaining that they had just put the labels on the tops of the jars, but should have put them on the fronts. Her daughter was trying to convince her to switch the social distancing enter and exit doors to enhance the flow, while her granddaughter, who may have been 7ish, was asking customers to sanitize their hands before entering.

Get out there support the small local businesses that you stumble upon; if you see something cool and interesting stop, shop and be polite!!! Ask questions and learn about the places you are visiting. It’s actually an excellent idea when traveling this summer with your kids. Get them to do a bit of research before your road trip, they will be more interested and invested while there and it will keep their brains from turning into mush. Oh and BTW, that ladies jam was amazing!! We went back on our way out of town so that Stacey could stock up.

Thank you for reading! Stay safe and healthy, explore, support local…that should cover it for now, lol.

Here is how to find a video tour of our Glamcamp dome and Jack’s Raspberry Mojito tutorial. And while you’re on my Instagram page, you may as well follow me.

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muah!!

Liette

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New Brunswick is such a beautiful province, here is a past NB post of mine that got tens of thousands of views. Technically it’s my only post to get tens of thousands of views, lol, so it must be good, you may as well read it!

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/15/new-brunswick-canada-youre-going-to-hate-it/

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Canada D’eh!

Happy Canada D’eh!

This is just a fun post of memes that will remind you how great and funny it is to be Canadian!

In Canada spring is either a tease, an urban myth or a big fat lie!

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If you’re Canadian these guys don’t need any introductions.

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We have snow and ice in our veins.

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Our wildlife

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The most feared creature in Canada and every Canadian knows this to be true!

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I hope you all have a great Canada D’eh!! Do your country proud and be nice, kind and most importantly, be polite…please and thank you!

muah!

Liette

Here’s a bonus Canadian post from last year… you’re welcome!

https://oui-liette.org/2019/06/26/you-know-youre-canadian-when/

 

Pimp My Deck – After

Pimp My Deck – After

Soooo my deck is done. My original design plan was to do something monochromatic with whites and off whites. Well that lasted for 1.0 seconds; I got distracted and yadda, yadda, yadda, it looks like Malibu Barbie’s deck.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before.

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Was I going for A Malibu Barbie look? No, but is that a bad thing? Meh, not really? My first curveball was that my big wicker chair with a big cream cushion from Waifare was backlogged until the end of August, so canceled my order; and really where was I going to store that during the 10 months of winter? Kidding, the 9 months of winter.

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Then I saw this pink chair from Terra Verde and it blew my whole shabby chic plan to shit! Lol. It’s made of plastic, by a company called Twist from Quebec, and it very much looks like a Barbie chair; it’s fairly comfy. The faux grass helps complete my Barbie look.

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This love seat reminded me of retro Palms Springs, I got it at Homesense. I found two 80’s style outdoor cushions that go with my, none neutral, pink and blue colours. They fall through the openings in the back of both the love seat and the pink chair; but hey, they match!

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I bought two big blue planters at Walmart and I’ve been told to add miracle grow when I water them, so that they will eventually overflow my pots; they’ve already grown a lot since getting them. After I blew my white and off white colour scheme, I decided to go with the blue, green and pink colours of my planters. I’m making it work.

I also have my pretty birdhouses, that are locally made here in Moncton, on display and I love my pink and lime green flower pots that I got in Sackville at Blooms.

I also bought a lavender tree, just because, and it smells soooo good! It’s to the right of my loveseat below.

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One of the perks of being downtown is that there are no bugs!! And there’s always a really nice breeze up here on the third floor; it’s  really cozy at night.

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How do you like my balls? They’re metal and have a Moroccan vibe. I’ve used them outside and inside, they are really unique and pretty lit; I’ve already been asked where I got them? They are from Home Depot.

I keep moving my white and pink chairs back and forth, but I think this is the best spots for each?

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Even without Miracle Grow, my planters are thriving! I need to share one last pic, just to show off a bit; I’m also pretty proud that I haven’t killed them. Looking forward to have the lime green plant drape over the edge of the pot.  And today the big top plant sprouted a yellow flower, which is not part of my colour scheme! lol, I’ve had this kind of plant before and never had them flower.

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Thank you for reading! I post extra pics on my Facebook page so go like it if you haven’t already; oui-liette. Also, fun fact, my deck gets the sun in the afternoon and evening, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over our little city and the lighting is perfect for selfies!!!

muah!

Liette

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The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

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Last weekend I was driving down Mountain Rd in Moncton, minding my own business, when something caught my eye; I saw the most colourful and unique birdhouses strewn across a parking lot.

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After picking up my friend Mary Helen, we went back to the parking lot to meet the birdhouse lady.

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Two funny things; the first is that the birdhouse lady’s name is Blanche, which in French means white; her birdhouses are pretty much every colour but white (except for her Acadian houses). The second thing is that I had just shared a blog post about colourful Maritime houses and then, bam! More colourful houses!

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Mary Helen made the observation that they looked like houses from Whoville in the Grinch.

 

I posted a few pics on Facebook and got inundated with questions of where people could buy them. Someone introduced me to her daughter who shared where her mom would be this weekend.

Weather permitting, on Saturdays Blanche is usually in Moncton on Mountain Rd, across the street from Rosario’s Restaurant. And on Sundays in Shediac, on the corner of Main St and Pointe du chêne Rd, in the parking lot across the Irving.

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Blanche is a true folk artist with a warm and welcoming personality who creates beautifully colourful houses; they just making you smile when you see them. I went back to see her this morning to buy a few houses for one of my cousin’s and had the opportunity to chat with her for a bit.

Blanche was kind enough to share a bit of her background with me. Her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring; at 13 she found herself homeless and sleeping in a car. She experienced many traumatic events and hardships in her young life. Unable to read or write she turned to carpentry and has been working in construction all of her life.

First of all; how bad ass is it to be a woman who makes her living in construction? It’s super bad ass!! Lol. She shared that she is able to do pretty much everything except for brick layering. She owns a small house in Moncton and updated her plumbing on her own; once done she had a licensed plumber come check her work. He confirmed everything was up to code and done perfectly. She said that she made him turn the water back on and there were no leaks!

She started making and painting these little houses and sells them on weekends. After knowing more about Blanche, I believe that the reason that so many people are drawn to her houses is because it’s a reflection of her spirit and joie de vivre. It may sound corny, but I believe that when something is created with love people are unconsciously drawn to them.

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Dawn also drawn to these colourful houses!!

To contact Blanche you can leave her a message on Facebook (Blanche Young) and I encourage you to post pictures of your birdhouses once you get them home and tag her. Her daughter helps her with her Facebook page and will be posting updates on where she will be selling her works of art.

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Thank you for reading! Like Blanche’s Facebook page: Blanche Young. Let’s support our local artists and let’s be thankful for all the bad ass woman out there, they are an example for us all!

muah!

Liette

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The Special Class of 2020

The Special Class of 2020

Who are the kids of the class of 2020? I assumed they were millennials, but they are the generation that precedes the millennials. The class of 2020 are Generation Z, born in the mid to late 1990’s to 2010, most are the children of Generation X.

Generation X turned out to be helicopter parents; which is the polar opposite of the way they were raised. Gen Xers grew up without bike helmets or seat belts, by parents who smoked in the car…while the kids were in the car without seat belts!

The perception of Generation Z is that they are all snowflakes and maybe ill prepared to take on the world? But I think the truth is that this generation is the one that will change the world…finally!

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They are perceived as having a sense of entitlement. I think they do feel entitled; they feel entitled to have clean water; they feel entitled to be free to love who they want to love. They feel entitled to have justice and equality for all. They feel that they should be entitled to go to school without the fear of being shot. Let that last one sit with you for a moment; we had fire drills, they had active shooter drills. Oh and just for fun, let’s throw in a plague that will screw up their graduation and their lives in general.

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Are they withering away? No, they are proving to be the most resilient generation since the Second World War and the most socially conscious since the 1960’s.

With all that they have had to deal with, they appear to have a very simplistic view of the world. The planet is on fire, so let’s fix it! It’s all very black and white for gen Z, which is so refreshing. They seem sick and tired of our complaisant culture of thoughts and prayers; this generation are ready for action!

They have a very clear view of what is right and what is unjust, with very little patience for those who tell them that the status quo is working. As they reach that magic age of being able to vote, they have the numbers to change things and to change them quickly.
This generation has inherited a mess, a freaking huge mess! But I have a feeling that we are in good hands and that they are up for the challenge.

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In these crazy times it makes sense that this special class, the class of 2020, would have a special graduation. A graduation unlike any other graduation in the history of all graduations. It’s not what you had planned and it’s not what we wanted for you; it is what it is and like everything else, you are making the best of it.

Know that you are the special generation; the generation that the world needs right now. And not that it makes it easier, but think of all the stories you will be able to share with your grandchildren someday.

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On behalf of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we want you know that we are so proud of you! You’ve showed such grace under pressure. Get out there and change the world, we’ll do our best to keep up with you.

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Oh and not to put any extra pressure on you, but the fate of humanity and the planet are basically in your hands…but no pressure!! Happy special graduation to you.❤️

Thanks to all the parents who shared pictures of their very special grads with me for this post.

muah!!

Liette

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Défi Best Lobster Roll in le sud-est du NB

Défi Best Lobster Roll in le Sud-Est/South East NB

Lobster is serious business in these parts of Atlantic Canada; the Bay of Fundy has the best lobster in the world! It’s a fact, look it up.

I grew up eating lobster, my grandfather’s family were lobster fisherman, as was my father’s favorite uncle on my grandmother’s side. His name was Livain and he used to take us out on his fishing boat and let my brother and I help him pull up his “special” lobster trap. Looking back, it now seems a bit fishy that there were always a few lobsters waiting for us.

I am sharing these details of my childhood to demonstrate that I am more than qualified for this special challenge; to find the best lobster rolls dans le sud-est du Nouveau Brunswick! We also mix our French and English in these parts, so try to keep up! Lol

**I obviously didn’t try every place in le sud-est, but I did my best. Feel free to leave a comment if there is a place that I need to try.

Shediac

For our first lobster roll we went to Shediac, pronounced: shed-dee-ack, for my none Maritime friends. Why was Shediac our first stop? Because it’s the lobster capital of the world, that’s why.

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Here’s the proof in case you didn’t believe me.

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Golden Fry, Shediac

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Golden Fry is located on Main St in Shediac

I’m not going to lie, when I opened my bag and saw that the mayonnaise wasn’t mixed in with my lobster, I was a bit worried; I like it all mixed together, but it was really yummy!! The lettuce, which I don’t love in a lobster roll, I prefer celery, was fresh and crisp, so I didn’t mind it. There was enough mayonnaise and most importantly the lobster didn’t taste frozen!!! I am giving Golden Fry a solid 8 claws out of 10.
🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Chez Léo, Shediac Bridge

Chez Léo has been open since 1961 and reminds me a lot of my dad; he used take me there for fried clams. Here’s another fun fact, it’s on the other side of a bridge that only has one lane. It has no lights or stop sign, yet people instinctively take turns going across; three cars will go and then the fourth car will let a few cars from the other side cross. That may not sound abnormal for my fellow Maritimers, but in Toronto or the US that would cause anarchy, lol.

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Back to lobster rolls; the lobster was fresh, they asked me if I wanted with or without mayo, which I appreciated. It was tasty, giving it a solid 8 claws out of 10. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Moncton

It’s funny that Moncton, even though it’s exactly 15 minutes from the ocean, isn’t considered a coastal town by the locals and not the place to go for a great lobster roll; like Monctonians are way too far inland to know anything about lobster, lol.

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Hynes Restaurant, Moncton

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Hynes restaurants is probably Moncton’s oldest dinner; it’s been around longer than I have.
Their lobster was lightly mixed with the mayonnaise, which I like and they didn’t have lettuce, which I appreciated. Some places add lettuce as a filler, I am not down with that trick! Lol. The lobster was most likely from a lobster pack, which is frozen, but that’s fine, most places do use lobster packs for their lobster rolls.
Giving Hynes a respectable 7 claws out of 10.
🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Skipper Jacks, Moncton

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Skipper Jacks apparently has a new menu, according to my mom, who had lunch there recently; she had the lobster chowder and raved about it. I got a lobster roll to go and it was delish!! The bun was toasted extra crispy the way I like; they didn’t have their lobster mixed with the mayo, but I am starting to change my point of view regarding this important aspect of lobster rolling.
The lobster tasted fresh and not frozen and it’s one of the few rolls so far that had pieces of tail and not just claws and knuckles. I am giving Skipper Jacks 9 claws out of 10!! 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Euston Park, Moncton

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This was my first time at Euston Park, which is an outdoor eating/bar area. It’s so cute!!! But how was their lobster roll??

It looked really pretty, the bread was fresh and crunchy, the lobster was overflowing out of the bun and it was tasty. The curveball is that it included Tarragon; it wasn’t a traditional lobster roll, it was a fancy lobster roll. My first bite was like oh!! I wasn’t 100% sure about it, but my second bite was like, ok, I could be down with this?

I am going to give it 8 claws out of 10, but if you aren’t a fan of Tarragon then this isn’t the roll for you; roll on. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Alma

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You can’t be on the hunt for the best lobster roll without rolling into the Bay of Fundy.

Fundy Take-Out, Alma

Our first stop is the little shop on the right of the entrance of Fundy National Park, it’s appropriately called Fundy Take-Out.

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This lobster roll was ok, I can imagine how good it would taste after a long hike in the park. There could have been a little more mayonnaise, but the bun was the best to date; it was nice and crispy. I found it a bit bland and had to add a bit of salt, which is fine. I think the more lobster rolls I eat the pickier I am getting? I am going to give Fundy Take-Out 7 claws out of 10; which is still a solid score. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Cape Pelé

Our next two stops are in Cape Pelé; Fred’s and L’aboiteau.

Fred’s Restaurant, Cape Pelé

I had options at Fred’s, with or without mayo and with or without lettuce. I’m not going to lie, having the mayo just drizzled like this looked weird and plain, but it was yummy, the lobster was fresh and the bun was crispy. Giving Fred’s 8 claws out of 10. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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L’aboiteau Wharf

L’aboiteau has a restaurant in the beach area and a small place right on the wharf; we ate at the wharf location.

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This lobster roll had pieces of tail; it was fresh, crispy and super tasty! I am giving this roll a 9 of 10 claws!!!! 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Doing my best to show the lobster roll and my earrings.

I obviously didn’t get a chance to eat at all the lobster places, sadly. A few places in Alma were closed when we went, due to COVID. We didn’t make it to Bouctouche, where in the past, I’ve had the best lobster rolls ever. That’s why none of the lobster rolls on my list got a 10 out of 10; I was saving some room for Bouctouche. So please when doing your own taste test, do not forget to go to Bouctouche!

Of the 8 places I visit, two places got 9 claws out of 10; Skipper Jacks in Moncton and L’aboiteau Wharf in Cape Pelé. They both had juicy pieces of tail, oh that sounds odd and mildly inappropriate, Lol. What I meant is that most places only had pieces of lobster claws and knuckles; that’s what made the difference for me and why they scored higher.
Let’s be real, it’s really hard to make a bad lobster roll in these parts, but these two stood out from the crowd.

Thank you for reading, I hope you get to try a few of these places on your own this summer. It’s a tough job, but I am willing to keep eating local lobster rolls until I’ve tried them all…you’re welcome!! Please shop local and tip your server a bit extra! Especially the seasonal places.

Feel free to recommend a place I should to try, here in the comment section below, or on my Facebook page.

muah!

Liette

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Hey check mes pen d’oreilles de homard!!! 🤣

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Behind the Scenes Extras

Fun fact, I thought that others added celery to their lobster rolls, but turns out they don’t, but they clearly should! Try it.

I created a fun side list; here are the winners!!

Best View – Alma!! To be eating your lobster roll on a wharf or beside an actual fishing boat is pretty awesome. The boat, pictured here, will be completely submerged at high tide; FYI for my readers that aren’t aware of our crazy tides.

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Best view runner up was L’aboiteau. This view is not too shabby either.

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Most Impressive Lobster – Shediac, it wasn’t even a competition, it’s ginormous. I invite locals to climb up on it and take tacky tourist pics; live a little. I hadn’t climbed up in….mmm a decade or two?

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Cutest Lobster Accessory

Torn between my Sex, Drugs & Lobster Roll t-shirt and my giant lobster earrings. I chose not to wear them together as that would be too much; yes, I guess that’s the line! Lol

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I bought this at the My Home Mercantile

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Cutest Lobster Shack – It’s a beautiful shade of purple, so it wins! Sadly it wasn’t open yet for the season, but it still wins as cutest and I will be back!

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Colours of the Maritimes

Colours of the Maritimes


One of the things that struct me when I first moved, to the west coast of the US, was that all the houses were the same colour, a light beige ish, they also all looked the same. They were all Spanish looking, at least they looked Spanish ish to a girl from the east coast.

I would go to my friends homes and have to look up the house number because once on the proper street, I couldn’t remember which house was theirs, even though I had been there before.

I moved to the desert in the summer when everything was brown and dried up. I remember how green everything looked on my first visit back to Canada. I had never noticed how freaking green New Brunswick was; I was seriously amazed.

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I’d love to live in a green house with a lilac coloured door.

The same was true with the houses; who knew that Maritime houses were so exotic? Growing up here exotic was the last word I would have used to describe anything about us.

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Since I’ve moved back, I’ve been unconsciously  taking pictures of colourful houses. I am always taking pictures of random things. I notice my new obsession with brightly coloured houses when I happened upon this pink house, below, during a Covid sanity drive; as I drove past it I had an uncontrollable need to turn around and take a picture of it. I physically had to stop, turn around, and take a picture.

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I want to live in a pink house.
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This is a house in NS, don’t let the US flag fool you.

My hope for this post is that my fellow Maritimers will look at the pretty pictures and be like; she’s right, these are pretty funky. And that my American desert friends will enjoy looking at exotic homes from where I grew up.

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One of the ladies who lives in this house is from les îles de la Madeleine, they are famous for colourful houses.

These houses just make me happy! These are anything but mellow yellow!

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Yellow seems to be the most popular colourful house colour around here.

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I know that colourful houses are not unique to Atlantic Canada. I did a bit of research and the most common explanation is that it ties back to fishing villages. Fishermen would paint their homes vibrant colours in order to see them as they sailed into the harbour. I’ve always loved colour, as a Maritimer, I guess it’s in my DNA.

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I love the purple houses the best…I think? Which is your fav?

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Once we are allowed to roam between province, I am going to add to my colourful house pictures to my collection; ouff I can’t wait to roam!

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This post could have been called Colours of Atlantic Canada in order to include Newfoundland and it’s beautiful row houses, I’ll do a dedicated post to them on my next trip to the rock.

Thank you for reading this cheery post, I felt something light, fluffy and pretty was called for.

muah!

Liette

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