I consider myself pretty good at home decor, but even I need help sometimes.
Like lots of you out there I’ve been working from home since March and it looks like I will be home bound until next year.
I live in a one bedroom condo so creating a home office area was a bit challenging. I started off working at my dining room table, but I felt like my work life was taking over my living space.
So I bought a desk, which turns out was harder than I had imagined. The first four desks I liked and tried to order where back ordered. The Canadian Tire furniture guy told me that they sold more desks in two months than they usually sell in a year.
I finally found one at Structurb, it’s pretty, but it turned out to be a bit bigger than I had anticipated. I set it up in the corner of my living room, because I really didn’t know where else to put it. I didn’t want to spend my whole day in my bedroom, so this corner seemed like my best option. I used it for approximately one week, then I started to notice that I was sitting on my couch with my laptop on my knees.
Instead of being at my new desk, this was my preferred set up as of late, don’t laugh…ok, you can laugh, check out my slippers.
My bff, who is also a crazy talented decorator, asked me why I wasn’t working at my desk. I told her it felt like I was being punished and sent to the corner. She agreed that my set up wasn’t great and offered to help me; I said, yes please!!
The first thing she did was to get my desk out from the corner and centered it in front of my window, I wanted to be able to see my TV while working, so my desk is facing in, instead of looking outside. She also switched up my two couches, since my gray couch is less deep than my green one, it allows for more room back there for my desk.
My ceilings are crazy high! She said I needed a big plant for my corner. Side note: BTW you can hire her to help you with your home office or study room for home schooling or, whatever you need! She’ll also source/shop for what you need, she found me a huge plant!
My new plant is so big that I panicked and had commitment issues, like what happens if I kill this thing? I am still a bit freaked out, lol. I needed a nice pot for it; she found one and bought it for me. Yup, that’s what a professional decorator does, I did have to pay for it, but it saved me from running around looking for the perfect big pot.
Here’s how it looks all done up! She added a small desk lamp and I’ll steal a sunflower from my sister in law’s garden for my bud vase. What I love about this is that when my laptop is closed my pop up office disappears. It doesn’t feel like my work is taking over my living space. Even thought I bought my desk myself and it was a great purchase, I felt a bit lost and needed some guidance to make this space work for work and….well, work for when I am not working.
Meet my designer, Guylaine Malenfant, can help you revamp your existing home office, or create a space in your home for a new office. She can also set up home schooling areas in your home.
She offers consultations, full remodels, sourcing and shopping, new construction, staging… If you’re interested in hiring her for your space, contact her via email: email@example.com or contact her via Instagram: gdmalenfant
I’m always on the lookout for fun and different things to do, so when my friend Sue told me about Llama-zing Adventures, I knew that I needed to book a llama-zing walking tour!!
Llama-zing Adventures are located on Aboujagan Rd in Haute Aboujagane, NB and have been in business for a whole three weeks! The owner, Josée, posted a few pics on social media and her little business exploded…well, not literally, but she did get so many hits that it blew up her website, a few times.
Her original goal was to book a few tours that would help pay for some of her animal expenses; but what is happening is that her llama/alpaca gang are raising money that will give them a few more acres to roam free!
Llama-zing Adventures currently offer beach and river walks, with plans to do some fun things during the fall and winter too. I booked the river walk as a thank you to my blog helpers, Monique and Jack; my cousin Nicole rounded up our foursome, yup another cousin, I wasn’t lying, I have lots!!
We got to choose our walking partners; Jack got Linda, Nicole got Luna, I got Brenda and Monique got Pearl.
Once we were paired with our walking partners we were off! They were easy to walk and loved getting their long necks rubbed. They each have their own unique personality.
Nicole’s alpaca, Luna, was very vocal and talked to us almost the entire time, man did she have lots of stories to share! She also had the cutest, little, dainty face.
Monique’s Pearl had crazy bangs and a rad gator Mohawk. Josée told us that both the llamas and alpacas act a lot like cats; they want attention, but can also be aloof. Luna and Pearl are house trained and spend time in Josee’s house. Luna acts more like a dog than a cat…or an alpaca, she loves cuddles and watching TV. We laughed and asked Josée what her favorite TV show was, turns out she loves Blacklist, which is hilarious!!
And then there was Linda, she’s the boss and always needs to be the lead llama on the trail. Jack said that she was a sweetheart.
I waked with Brenda, who’s smart as a whip, we were told not to let them snack during the walk as it would slow us down and take us hours to make it back. I swear she knew that, due to Corona, we needed to stay a llama’s distance apart. She would walk fast to catch up to Luna, knowing that we would then have to wait for Luna to walk a bit in order to keep our distance, which meant that she could snack while we waited. Please note the animals are very well fed and get special treats after each tour. I think Brenda just loves to eat, which is fine, she’s blessed with a great metabolism. Josée did share with us that there was a bit of a wild party a few nights ago and, long story short, Brenda may actually be eating for two?
Our walk lasted about an hour with a few stops to take pics and to enjoy the scenery.
It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon! I am not a llama or alpaca experts, but they were so well behaved, you can tell that they are well taken care of and enjoy their walks; the max that they walk during one day is 4 km.
If you do the river walk, I suggest you wear your sneakers, Nicole had walking sandals and it was a bit muddy as it had rained earlier that morning. You should also come prepared to smile and forget your worries for at least an hour.
To book a walking tour go to the Llama-zing Adventures website: llamazingadventures.ca and follow them on Facebook & Instagram!! We all need more cute llama faces on our feeds!
Thank you for reading!!!
Liette & Brenda
If you liked this post check this one of Jack and I riding camels in the Mojave Desert!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
Post and Studs
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Made by Monique
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…
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.
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!
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!
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!!
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!!