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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At Home With Stacey and Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

At Home With Stacey And Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

This is the last post of my, At Home With, series for a bit. They’ve gotten a lot of readers so I will do more; maybe we can peek into people’s homes at Christmas time??

For our finale, let’s peek into some fancy pantries. First up is my friend Stacey’s pantry; she and I love to do fancy things together, it usually involves shopping, but today we’ll be touring our pantries.

Stacey and her family have a gorgeous home, but her pantry is a real hidden gem. If you’re in her kitchen and the doors are closed you would never suspect that there’s an amazing pantry there.

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Beautiful kitchen right? Wait for it.

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Voilà!! Oh and this is Finn, he’s the sweetest dog ever; I’m pretty sure his dog treats are in the pantry, so he’s on guard duty.

Her walk in pantry has floor to ceiling storage, the layout was very well thought out.

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Stacey and I agree that one of the best parts of having a big pantry is that you can hide your small appliances in them.

In addition to all the regular pantry stuff, Stacey keeps her pottery mugs that she has collected from her travels, they are just above her fancy coffee machine. She has pottery from the Maritime all the way to Iceland, from her most recent trip. When traveling, why buy tacky touristy stuff, when you can support local artists? That was rhetorical, there is no reason not to, lol.

Her pantry is filled with beautiful wooden bowls, family pieces and pottery, each item has a story; I absolutely love that about her home.

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And during the peak of the pandemic lock down, she joked that the most valuable thing in her pantry was her husband’s jar of yeast.

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At Home With Liette

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Covid Hair alert!! 

Stacey’s home is on the outskirts of town, it overlooks the city. My home is downtown in the heart of the city; OK it’s a small city, but still, I’m in the heart of it!

I am not going to lie that my pantry is what sealed the deal for my new place. The owner kept telling me it’s perfect for entertaining….I finally had to speak up and let him know who he was dealing with; events and party planner extraordinaire! Sooo he didn’t seem impressed, but I am sure he was blown away on the inside, he was just playing it cool, lol.

Apparently the “new thing” in pantries are sinks; it’s called a wet pantry, who knew? It maybe the most practical thing ever?

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So this is my pantry/laundry room/craft closet. What I love most about having a pantry with a sink and a door is that when entertaining, you can store all the messy stuff in there and bring it out when needed. It’s also great to have a place for my toaster and other stuff, so it’s not cluttering my kitchen counter space.

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The right side of the pantry is my laundry area; and all the way from Las Vegas is Lucille the cow; she helps me with my laundry. She’s great at folding, but horrible at putting clothes away.

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I have so much storage in here that some of my kitchen cupboards are empty. The cabinet to the left of my toaster oven is where I keep all my craft and party stuff…and my skates.

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Someone asked me what I kept in the orange boxes above my spice jars and where I got them? They are the boxes that my Nova Scotia Crystal glasses came in; they were too pretty and sturdy to throw away. I keep can goods and food stuff in them. Most of my glass jars are from IKEA.

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Can you tell I bought myself a label maker?? To say that I went label crazy when I first got it would be a gross understatement. When I moved I assumed that my pantry would turn into a catch all, but it stays really neat. That saying; a place for everything and everything in its place, rings true.

Thank you for reading, if you missed any of my other; At Home With…, scroll down to read them.

Coming up – I am working on a few fun projects; more decorating, some day trips and believe it or not, I am working on some content for fall. I’m taking advantage of this time off; and if I was working I would be planning all my fall shows, so it seems normal for me to work that far ahead, lol.

Thank you Stacey and Finn for letting us peek into your pantry.

Leave a comment or follow me on Facebook or Insta: Oui-Liette

muah!!

Liette

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Finn kind of stole the spotlight from Stacey, for this shot, I decided to just crop her out completely. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pimp My Deck – The Before

Pimp My Deck

I moved into my new place in January and I have nothing left to decorate, so I thought! Turns out my deck is fairly big and very bare; Project Pimp My Deck is on.

It’s currently being used as a bicycle parking spot.

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First up is to wash it!! Then I need some comfy seating and some plants. I want to create a cool chill zone to hang.

Since patio furniture can get pricey, I am going to need to shop around and find some good deals. I’ll mix some more expensive pieces with some super great deals.

I got these giant pots at Walmart and they were a super deal! I bought the last two, so not sure if they just wanted to get rid of them?

My deck is bigger than it looks; I think people gravitate towards small things for small spaces, but I think the space will look bigger if you have a few big pieces.

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I think these plants will look great once planted; that tall plant is a lavender; I love the smell of lavender and I think it’s a mosquito repellent?

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I ordered this chair below, which is super comfy, from Terra Verde; it’s manufactured in Quebec and it should be here within the next three weeks, I can’t wait! Can you guess what colour I ordered?

Remember I said that patio furniture can be expensive? In comparison this chair wasn’t super expensive and it’s made right here in Canada, so yay! I will share more on the company who makes them in my big reveal post.

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I’ll be posting my progress pics on my Oui-Liette Facebook page and will share the Big Reveal on my blog; stay tuned!

Thanks for reading.

Liette… muah!! I thought I could get away without the muah at the end this one time, but I can’t, lol. It’s bad enough we can hug people in real life, I am not giving up my fake air kiss.

At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; not together, in their separate respective kitchens.

At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; kitchens made for entertaining.

Here in Atlantic Canada we’re kind of famous for our kitchen parties, so for this post, I am calling in the big guns. We will be taking a quick peek into two kitchens that are perfect for entertaining.

At Home With Gilles

My friend Gilles loves entertaining, and I hate to give him too many compliments, but he’s really good at it. (Oh for my American English friends, Gilles is pronounced more like Jill)

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First of all, he has one of the biggest island’s that I’ve ever seen; he loves cooking for his friends and family and, ugh, he’s a good cook too.

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His living, dining and kitchen area are one completely open space; all three areas are shades of brown and cream, which helps to create a seamless flow.
I’ve been over several times where he’s behind the counter cooking, usually lobster, while his guests are seated at the island watching the show; and by watching the show, I mean drinking.

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At the end of his huge island is his huge dining table, which was custom made by L’artisan Christophe from Tracadie, NB and it’s gorgeous!

The photo below is the view from his front door; let’s focus on the lighting over the island. It’s important that the lighting fixtures over your island be in proportion to the size of your island. Since Gilles has an over sized island, his lighting fixtures needed to be large and impactful without looking too heavy or bulky.

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These fixtures are perfection! First of all, they look like some sort of fishing net, which is perfect for a guy “du nord”. They are very large, but they don’t block the view; they’re basically see through, which works!

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He also has a big pantry, which I wasn’t allowed to photograph; it’s big enough to hid his blender and other small appliances that can clutter your counter top. When your kitchen is visible as soon as you walk through your front door, it helps to have a place to store all your messy stuff.

I pulled the yellow bowls out of his pantry because they matched the lemons. I think it adds a really nice small pop of color. I am going to recommend he get a bright yellow pot with a big green plant for his counter top.

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The glass of wine wasn’t part of my vignette, but I let him keep it in the shot, since it is his house and all, lol.

I asked Gilles what his favorite part of his house is; he said that nothing beats cooking on a Sunday afternoon with his TV muted on the golf channel while his music blares in the background. I’m assuming there maybe a big glass of red wine on the counter in this scenario too??

This is his view while standing behind his island; perfect for golf viewing.

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At Home With Kenda

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Kenda and I have been friends since we were babies; she was at my first birthday and my second…and my 50th. I was with her when she first visited her current lakeside condo; it was all kinds of shades of dusty rose. The kitchen and living room were separated by a wall with a cut out window, which I assumed was used to pass things from the kitchen to the dining area? It was very 70’s.

The first thing she did was to knock down that wall, which created one big open living space. The next thing she did was to paint over the rose walls…oh and the carpet and light fixtures were also dusty rose; let’s just say that the transformation was very dramatic.

Her open space is perfect for entertaining; one of the things that she does that I think is really clever is that she can extend the size of her island if needed.

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Above is her kitchen, her island is perfectly portioned for the size of her space. But when she has people over, she has the option of doubling the size of her island by moving her dining table.

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I don’t care how nice your living room is, during a party your guests will end up gathering around your kitchen island before the end of the night. When entertaining don’t be afraid to move things around and put things away in order to give you more room to parrrtay! Figure out how things are going to flow in order to avoid traffic jam areas. 
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Even with the length of her island doubled, she still has ample space to move around; and this temporary reconfig gives her the ability to have a sit down meal for 10 to 12 people. Or she can use this layout to display food and to set up her bar so that things flow properly. In my last post, I mentioned that my friend Guylaine was a fanatic on proper lighting; I am an expert on having things laid out in a way that creates the right flow.

I am not going to lie, I am a bit envious of Kenda’s space; it’s not a huge space, but the layout was so well thought out that it’s the perfect place to gather for a proper Maritime Kitchen Party.

Thank you for reading, I can’t wait for us to be able to gather with friends and family again. If there is one positive thing that comes out of this whole pandemic, it’s that I think we have come to appreciate how much we love and need each other.

Follow me on Facebook and Insta at: Oui-Liette for additional photos and videos and if you missed my last two posts peeking into peoples homes, here are the links:

https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/16/at-home-with-guylaine-and-claudia-the-bathroom-reno-edition/ and https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/12/at-home-with-nancy-take-a-peek-inside-her-150-year-old-country-house/

stay safe, muah!!

Liette

Behind the scenes

If you’re new to my blogs, I sometimes post some behind the scenes extras or fun facts. Here are two fun extras!

Kenda at my first birthday party.

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And again at my 4th. I think we were the same height in 1974?? Even though she’s a few months older; I am now a full head taller. 😁

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At Home With Guylaine and Claudia; the bathroom reno edition.

At Home With Guylaine in Moncton and Claudia in Las Vegas; the bathroom reno edition.

If you’re anything like me you enjoy checking out other people’s homes; not to be nosy, but to see how they have everything setup and to see what their personal style is. I find it inspiring to see beautiful and interesting spaces.

It’s funny that I am grouping my friends Guylaine and Claudia together, they have never met, but they are very similar in a lot of way; they both have impeccable style and classic taste in decor and best friends, lol.

At Home With Guylaine

Guylaine and I have been friends since we were 14; she’s a mother of three, helps run her family’s restaurant and is an interior decorator. She recently redid her on suite bathroom, in her classic ranch style home, on a budget.

Both Guylaine and Claudia are experts at finding great deals. Just because you’re working on a budget, doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on style; it just means that you need to be more creative and resourceful.

Guylaine’s bathroom vanity was a standard builders cabinet, which was fine; she had been wanting to update it for years and finally got around to it.

She found this vintage record player at a secondhand store; you know the huge cabinet kind that your grandparents used to have? She removed the top and replaced it with a piece of quartz; and voilà! A beautiful, one of a kind, vanity. This modern mid-century piece fits in perfectly with her decor vibe that she has throughout her home.

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The record player cost her $50 and was in great shape, she polished it up with cream varnish and it was good to go. She had the front part, in between the two speakers, cut and hinged, so she does have some storage. The quartz and faucet cost $1,200; for a grand total of $1,250, which is a steal of a deal for a bathroom vanity with faucet.

Saving money on the cabinet allowed her to splurge on the quartz; when working with a budget, you need to prioritize where to spend and where you can save. And most importantly you have to be on the hunt for great pieces and have imagination to see their full potential.

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She update the  faucet to match the gold on her shower doors; a complete shower redo wasn’t in her budget, in order to update it, she replaced the 80’s style sliding doors with the frosted stripes for clear class doors.

The painting above her toilet is a Guylaine original; she took all of the leftover cans of paint she had laying around from other projects and created this abstract landscape; it was one of her Covid projects.

She kept the same large mirror, but changed the light fixture. She’s an expert at lighting, her advice is that every light in your home should have a dimmer; EVERY one!!! When I’m entertaining she’s in charge of lighting and creating a super cozy mood.

She replaced the old flooring with extra large tiles; her one regret is that she didn’t have in-floor heating installed while the floor was ripped up.

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Her old bathroom layout included a large closet, she did something that sounds crazy; she reduced the size of her closet in order to gain a bit more space in her bathroom. She has a super big walk in cedar closet in her basement, so she could spare the space by streamlining her bedroom closet.

This freed up space for this cabinet that she found at Homesense; Homesense is the Canadian equivalent to Homegoods in the US. This cabinet and her old school record player originally didn’t have any legs, she added legs to both to give them more of that mid century look. This is a good trick to steal…you’re welcome!

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She painted this wall a light shade of blush/beige ish and is planning on adding a chalk paint stencil pattern to it; I’ll post pictures of this finished wall on my Oui-Liette Facebook page when done.

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I’ll post her wall after she has finished stenciling it, on my Facebook page. The pattern will match the pattern on the front of the cabinet. 

I don’t have written permission to show you the inside of this cabinet, but I’m sharing it anyway! She said it was too messy, but this is life, and life is messy.

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Look how much extra storage this cabinet provides. Mixing old pieces with new will make your space look more natural and evolved than going out and buying everything at the same place; I am not a big fan of things being too matchy, matchy.

While we’re on the topic of cabinets, I wanted to show you this cabinet that she has in her bedroom. It’s a great antique find that she cleaned up and had a piece of marble cut and placed on top. Tile and counter top places sell small remnant pieces, you can get them for cheap ish and have them cut to size. It’s a great way to elevate any piece.

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At a home with Claudia

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Claudia and I have been friends and work partners for almost 15 years now; we share a love for travel and spas! Claudia is a mother of two and an expert in her field of marketing.

She recently did a major renovation to her main floor bathroom, the before and after pics are very impressive.

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Before

A great way to save a bit of money is to do as much of the work on your own. Claudia’s hunky husband, Paul, helped out with a lot of the manual labor for both her main floor and kids bathrooms. Turns out he’s great at breaking things!

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I am going to ask Claudia if she can make certain Paul is wearing a tight t-shirt and a cool tool belt the next time she puts him to work. (Paul and I are friends as well, we like to tease each other so please don’t report me to the politically correct police).

She chose shades of grays and white for this bathroom, which remind me a lot of a spa, coincidence? I think not.

The tile trend in the last few years has been white subway tiles, but both Claudia and Guylaine opted for much larger tiles, which I think is great for smaller spaces.

She decided to tile three walls and the floor in gray slate, except for a section in the shower, which is a darker gray. She also upgraded her shower head to a rainfall head.

Side note – tiles are a lot less expensive in the US; I know some of my Canadians are probably wondering how the heck she was able to tile three full walls and the floor! Lol. Tile deals are available in Canada, you just need to be on the look out for sales and remnants.

Claudia’s big splurge was building this custom shower; it was absolutely worth it!

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After!

In order to make the bathroom appear larger, she added a glass wall in the shower and opted for a compact sink and hung it off the floor; floating the vanity makes the room look bigger and it also allows for a basket underneath for extra storage.

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Kidding Around

Both Guylaine and Claudia have a teenagers at home; let’s take a peek into their kid bathrooms.

Guylaine’s second full bath, is long and skinny. She jazzed it up with a bold colored accent wall; don’t underestimate the power of paint.

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She replaced the flooring with these wood plank ceramic tiles, they look like real wood.

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This long wall needed some big art, which can be expensive; she photographed her three children and zoomed in on their eyes; from left to right, meet William, Madeleine and Emma.

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In person you can really see the vibrant colors of blue and green of their eyes. 

I love this idea, it shows that you can create something really original, personal and cool without breaking the bank.

Claudia’s kids bathroom was completed on a tight budget, but you’d never guess by looking at it.

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This whole back splash wall is tiled, she lucked out with this tile gift! 

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The vanity for this bathroom and her main bathroom are both from Ikea and were very affordable.

The wall behind the vanity looks like wallpaper in the photo, but it’s actually tile. The tile was gifted to her from her good friend who had leftover sheets after her own home project.

I love Claudia’s attention to detail, like the cut out nook in the wall that she painted black, see above. This extra storage space means that she has less things cluttering on the counter top.

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I also love these his and her hooks, they’re super cute and keep her kids from fighting over towels.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this quick bathroom peek? And thanks to Claudia and Guylaine, who love decorating, but don’t love getting photographed. What I find cool is that both of their photos were taken by their daughters.

Also if you are in the Moncton area and want to hire Guylaine, she will be launching her new site shortly, in the meantime, you can email her at: gdmalenfant@gmail.com, not to brag, but she did the Gusto decor and is uber talented…full disclosure, she is my bff, but she really does have great taste and vision.

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Photo by Mia
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Photo by Madeleine

 

My next “At Home With” will focus on kitchens that are perfect for entertaining.
I’ll be sharing a video of my own bathroom on my Oui-Liette Facebook page tomorrow; it has two super cool features that I love, like my Facebook page for updates and bonus pictures.

un gros merci, muah!!

Liette

Just in case you missed At How With Nancy, here’s the link: https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/12/at-home-with-nancy-take-a-peek-inside-her-150-year-old-country-house/

Corona Hair PSA

Corona Hair PSA – Public Service Announcement

Warning – for those of you who don’t think that we should be focusing and/or worrying about our hair during these crazy times, stop reading now!! Seriously, go away!!!! The rest of us know the power of a good hair day!! And the psychological impact of a bad hair situation on our self esteem.

Corona Hair

Yesterday should have been my regular scheduled hair appointment. I get my roots done every 4 weeks because my hair grows crazy fast and I hate having roots.
But Instead of freaking out, I’m going to wait this out and plan my big hair return strategy! OK, full disclosure, I did get bored a few weeks ago and put a temporary pink color in my hair. It turned out to be less temporary than expected, but it’s fine, I am fine; no one got hurt.

FYI pink hair looks good for exactly one day, the day you do it; it’s downhill after your first wash until it completely fades; but it’s fine, lol.

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Don’t do it!

I know that some of you are planning to take matters into your own hands; my first reaction is don’t do it!!!

My reasoning is that we are already mentally and emotionally fragile; and I know that you’re  thinking that doing your own hair will make you feel better; and it may? But it could just as easily go horribly wrong; it’s really a crap shoot.

I know that some of you aren’t going to listen to my sage advice, so I reached out to two of my fav professionals; my current hairstylist Tiffany and my former Las Vegas stylist, Colleen… you’re freaking welcome btw!

Color It?

Tiffany is pleading that you not attempt to color your own hair! Box dyes can be very messy and if you don’t get the color you were looking for it’s going to end up costing you more money to get it fixed, than had you just waited. “Everyone is in the same boat, we all have roots! Wait it out.”

If you absolutely can’t wait, Colleen, recommends that you reach out to your stylist and ask for his/her opinion on what you should use and how to use it? Some may even mix it for you? They may also be able to talk you off the ledge and convince you to wait?

Now if you’re thinking of doing your own highlights, don’t!! Colleen is one of the best stylists in Las Vegas and she says she wouldn’t even attempt to do her own foils at home.
That’s coming from a trained professional and not just me; and let me remind you that you are not a trained professional!!
Highlights use bleach and it can go real bad, real fast! It can fry your hair and make it brittle and break off. It can also turn copper orange or green; both of which won’t be cute on you!

To trim or not to trim?

Tiffany warns against major trimming unless you want to look like Joe Exotic from Tiger King. Lol

I am actually pretty good at trimming my own bangs, the trick is not to cut straight across. I would save any major style changes for your stylist!

The new you!

Here’s my plan; I am giving my hair a break and using this opportunity to grow out my bangs. Which we all know is a pain! I’m giving it such a break that washing it seems like a huge task these days; but apparently it’s good for your scalp to wash your hair less often, so going with that.

I’ve already picked out my new future hairstyle. I think this summer, or whenever we can get back to our new normal, will be a great time to make a big symbolic hair change; and I think you should consider it too. It will give you something to look forward to and it will be a super big pick me up at the end of all of this. The before and after pics should be pretty dramatic.

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So this is the style I am going to get; it’s basically just blonder and shorter; and I’ve had this style before, bottom right pic is me with this exact same do.

Tough love visualization

Close your eyes; it’s June something or other and we’re free to roam!! You’ve decided to put your favorite jeans on. They are a little tight, ok that’s being kind, they are really tight! But you’re owning your muffin top! Mostly because all your yoga pants have holes and stains on them; that was a lot of usage and stress on such thin spandex fabric! You’re doing your best to rock your copper highlights with green undertones; and in hindsight, your kitchen scissors probably weren’t sharp enough to properly trim your own bangs?

I am sorry that I had to take you there, but that is basically your future, lol. But seriously, be careful and repeat after me; “I did not go to hairdresser school!! I am not a qualified professional stylist!”

Thank you for reading this tongue and cheek post. But really don’t do your own hair!!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

I got my roots done the day before they closed all the salons, so my hair is actually still looking pretty cute. I felt this post needed someone who was already struggling with theirs, so I recruited a famous hair model, who may or may not be one of my dozens of first cousins?? She’s hilarious and a great sport; she did give me permission to use her photo.

She has also decided to wait out the pandemic and not attempt to do her own hair, but unlike me, she has more than 4 weeks of roots; which means she isn’t as good of a pandemic planner as I am. And here’s the proof! Lol, her hair is always, always perfectly coiffed so this is my one and only time to have nicer hair; and I am sure she will get back at me for this side by side comparison, love you B!! ❤️❤️

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The look on my face is; she is going to get me for this pic!! lol. Our family are the greatest teasers! We love each other and we laugh a lot!

My blog is pretty much keeping me sane these days; I need to have things to do, so thank you so much for reading and sharing!!

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Taking It Off Finale – Month 6

Taking It Off Finale – Month 6

Week 26

Here we are, the first week of 2020. And I DID IT!!! I hit my goal of 30 + a few extra pounds the first week of December!! I averaged 1.8 pound per week. My first few weeks were all over the place. I would gain 2 pounds one week and then lose 4 the next week, but eventually it evened out.

What’s my secret? Wait for it; I ate less!! You’re welcome!! Who knew?? I am going to reveal this new secret in a book and make millions of dollars.

My big ah, ha moment was that losing weight is one big mind game. You can tell yourself that you want to lose weight, but until your mind is 100% in the game, I don’t think you can be successful?

It also takes awhile for your mind to let you see that you’re changing. The first time I was like; holy shit, you’re doing it! Was when I saw this picture below that my friend took of me on one of our outings. I usually avoid full body shots, because they have made me feel fat and bad about myself. This was the third week of October, I was down 24 ish pounds at the time. And obviously my body was changing, but my mind hadn’t caught up yet until I saw this pic.

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By mid November I was down almost 30 pounds and ready for my inspiration outfit. To recap, I wanted to wear a sequin skirt and top that had been hanging in my closet for three years.

Well it turns out the skirt ended up being too big for me!!! So I never got to wear it, but I am fine with that!

Here I was feeling my best self the night of the Mariah Carey Christmas concert. Ok, I may also have been feeling a few lemon drop martinis?

Since your mind can play games with you, I think taking pictures are a great way to gauge how you’re doing, because the camera doesn’t lie, but filters do! But that’s cheating.

It can be hard to stay motivated, especially when your mind is feeding you negative messages, you need to find ways to shut that shit down. Remember when I was having a bad week and went to the grocery store and walked around holding a ten pound bag of potatoes? That may have sounded silly, but it helped re-set my mind.

I was feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere, that it was taking too long; I wasn’t seeing results, I was feeling discouraged because I was only down ten pounds. Physically walking around holding ten pounds of potatoes showed me how heavy that is and how much I had accomplished.

The point here is that I had to find concrete visible or tactile ways to prove to myself that I was succeeding, because there were times that my mind was trying to sabotage me. Why? Maybe because change is harder than the status quo??

I did base myself on Weight Watchers knowing it wasn’t a diet, these were new habits that I needed to adopt for life.

I had to create new habits and train my mind to think differently. I started questioning myself and still do every day; I ask myself why I am eating? Am I hungry? Or am I bored or upset?

And the questions don’t stop there, when I am eating I take breaks and ask myself if I am still hungry? I’ve found that 1/3 of my meal is enough. So I pack it up and eat some of it or all of it later.

I also realized that I need something sweet everyday. In the past I would have denied myself and then lost it and pigged out. On Weight Watchers as long as you allow points for your treats you can eat whatever you want, in moderation of course.

So if I want a cookie, I get a cookie! But again I talk to myself. I don’t eat the whole thing, well sometimes I do, but most times I figure out that  half or a few bites are enough to satisfy me. I have shared my tricks with a few people who have said that they could never just eat half a cookie. Yes you can!! I don’t give the rest away, I earned that damn cookie, it’s mine! I save it for later. So instead of having two, or three cookies at 6 points each I have one, but I make it last.

That’s been my approach, but everyone needs to find their own tricks.

Personally, I believe that for me to succeed I need to be mindful of why I’m eating, what I’m eating and how much I’m eating.

I’ve proven to myself that I am a great loser, but I have yet to prove that I’m a great maintainer. If I was, it would be one and done, but sadly it doesn’t work that way. I am sure everyone reading this has also proven that they can lose, the losing part is easier than the keeping it off part.

I also don’t think we’re always realistic when we set out to lose weight. We imagine or fantasize about how life will be different or better if we’re 30 pounds lighter. First of all, you’re the same person, there is just a little less of you. Losing weight won’t make you more confident or happier. Can it help you feel better? Yes, but you’re the same person with the same issues you had before.

So you need to figure your shit out. If you’re an emotional eater, like me, and you do manage to lose weight, but you haven’t found other ways to deal with your emotions, you’re eventually going to gain the weight back.

That’s my thing, I was using food to cope with feelings. If I want to maintain I’ll need to check myself regularly to make certain I don’t fall back into old habits.

Losing weight is exciting. Yes it’s hard, but there is a payoff when you step on that scale every week and you’ve had a good week, you get a rush and a sense of accomplishment. You don’t have that feeling when you’re maintaining. If you stay the same, you’re relived, but if you’ve gained then you have failed.

That’s been my internal dialogue in the past, I tend to be an all or nothing type of girl and I can be hard on myself. If I’m not winning then I must be losing. I am trying to come up with a new, kinder and gentler inner dialogue. I’m currently figuring that out.

Take a look at the pics below, the one on the left was last winter and the one on the right was taken a few days ago. Side note, it’s been exactly one month since my nose surgery, I had a small cancerous thing removed off the bridge of my nose. It’s still a little red, but wow, it’s healing well! I was worried. I am no nutritionist, but I assume that healthy eating and lots of water have helped my body heal itself?

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I’m proud to report that I survived the holidays without gaining weight! And that included moving in with my mom while I waited for my furniture to arrive from the US. I did have to tell her to stop buying cheesies!!

I do want to lose a bit more weight, but 30 seemed more mentally manageable, so that was my initial goal. Be realistic and break it up if your goal number is intimidating, go for 10 at a time.

I hope this series has helped motivate you a little? Just so you know, I am a middle aged woman who has gone up and down like most of you reading. I don’t have any special weight loss talent or secret; so if I can do it you can do it too…again! Because like me, I’m sure you’ve been there, done that and have the t-shirt.

We’re all flawed and do our best to survive, so  if you aren’t ready to make big changes, that’s ok too. Start small, start drinking more water. Before you chow down on something you know probably isn’t the best choice, down a big glass of water, it will take up some of the available room in your tummy and make you feel full faster.

And finally, can we stop judging each other? You know what I am talking about; she’s too thin, she’s too fat, she thinks she’s better than everyone else…. No, she’s just doing the best she can with the challenges she’s dealing with that you know nothing about.

My goal for myself for 2020 is to use all the tools and tricks that I’ve picked up in the past 6 months to stay on track and to be kinder to myself. I will do my best, sometimes my best will be awesome and other times I’m certain that the best that I can muster will be far from perfect. I need to remind myself that that doesn’t mean that I am failing.

Bonne chance!

muah,

Liette

The incredible shrinking cheeks!

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Taking It Off, Month 4!!!

Taking it off, month 4!!

Week 13

When you start a weight loss or a health journey, I think you just want to fast forward to month 4; I know I did because it takes awhile to see results and who are we kidding, patience is not one of my most shining virtues. But if you stick with it, each week’s small loss do start to add up.

I have one week left before we start setting up for our biggest show of the year. I don’t think people really know what I do exactly, that includes my family; most think I fly around and do fancy things.

I do trade shows for a large gaming company. The biggest gaming show in the world happens every fall in Las Vegas. On Thursday, I will be moving to the strip for 10 days.

Our booth is 25,000sq ft, we set up close to 400 slot machines. It will take a staff of 30 of our employees and an additional 20 support staff, five days to get it all done.

Our booth will have a bar, a lounge and a second level VIP area. We have 11 meeting rooms, in our booth and 7 other various, demo, storage and server rooms.

We send 600+ people to this show; we host a big reception in our booth and sales training the day before the show opens. We rent out the Omnia Nightclub in Caesar’s for our customer party on day 1 of the show. My team and I coordinate all of that, along with registering all our staff and coordinating hotel rooms.

So it’s a lot and it’s a bit stressful. For set up, our first few days will be 10 hours days easily. The guys bring in donuts for breakfast, lunch is pizza, chips and candy. And when the show starts, we are in the booth all day and then go out to eat dinner, usually late at night.

One of the good things is that we don’t stop; one year we all had Fitbits and if you hadn’t hit 11,000 steps before noon, you were a slacker! We don’t do the Fitbits anymore because “someone” was too “competitive”…whatever! Lol

I have a full week before we start so I need to load up on fruits, vegetables and vitamines. I usually get sick after this show, because it’s so easy to get run down.  But not this year!!!

Week 14

What a week!!! I was on the strip all week for our big show. And, just as I suspected, there were lots of sugary snacks!!!

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I managed to navigate without gaining a single pound this week! I also walked my butt off and, truth, be told; I was hoping to lose weight this week, but I am more than happy with staying flat.

I have to say, traveling when you feel good and comfortable in your skin is so much easier! I hate that feeling of not liking anything in your suitcase! We had a group dinner on Wednesday night and I must say, I felt sassy and confident!!

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I am so close to my goal!! Just to recap, my goal is 30 pounds. I started my weight loss journey at the end of June; it’s currently, Oct 19, so it may seem like the pounds are just flying off, but it’s been almost 4 months!!

This coming week, I will be on vacation in Moncton. Ahhh Moncton, you have so many of my favorite yummy comfort foods! My goal is going to be to maintain and not gain any weight!! That being said, life is short! So if I indulge a bit too much one day, the plan is to adjust the following days! Sounds easy enough right?

In case you’re curious to what’s on my Moncton menu: lobster, mussels, fish and chips, a râpé (Acadian dish of potatoes and pork fried in lard)…oh and I may need a turkey dinner since I missed Canadian Thanksgiving? Ok, that sounds like a lot…ok, I may be in trouble???

Week 15

I survived my “vacation” to Moncton without gaining weight!! I actually lost a pound.

It’s funny how most of our social interactions are centered around food. When dining out I stayed away from the bread they put on your table and I drank lots and lots of water. I also, pretty much only ate half or a bit less than half of everything on my plate. I made sure I was satisfied without being stuffed.

I felt that I needed a change, so I decided to go pink! See below. Just kidding, it was Halloween, but doesn’t this look like my real hair??? I do feel like I am changing and it feels good.

My skinny jeans are starting to sag in the butt, I may need to pick up a new pair soon? 😁

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Week 16

I flew back from the East Coast to Las Vegas for a few days before I had to fly to Calgary for a small work event. This has been a really busy few months. I rarely complain about my travel schedule, but I am pretty much exhausted.

I am looking forward to this upcoming long weekend, the weather is finally cooler in Vegas so I hope to get some hiking in.

I am in Calgary for a short conference, we just had our group dinner. I had a petite filet mignon that was dripping in butter and I feel gross! It’s 10:40pm and I am just laying on my bed feeling full! It’s really the first time since June that I feel this full and yucky!!

We have another customer dinner tomorrow night, my goal will be to fill up on vegetables and maybe skip meat? I am learning that it’s all about balance. I think I need a new rule though, no more big meals after 7:30 at night, it’s not worth feeling this yucky!!

Sooo I stayed flat this week which is fine. What I’ve learned from weight watchers and have been doing often is that if I splurge one day, the following day I try to eat free point meals.

Their program considers all fruits and vegetables as zero points, because who are we kidding, bananas aren’t to blame for our fat asses. The exception is corn, potatoes and avocados. Also chicken and eggs are now zero points. So the day after I have treated myself, I make myself a big fluffy veggie omelette, so zero points.

I have one month before I pack up my life and move back to Canada, so month 5 should be busy!

muah!

Liette

 

 

Taking It Off! Month 3

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Week 9

Week 8 was a bit of a struggle mentally, but I am starting week 9 with more mental calmness.

Reaching out to my little brother for encouragement and support may not have been the best idea?  Here is the pic I sent him and our text exchange.

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Note to self, don’t look to others for comfort and support…oh and brothers are annoying!! Lol. We like to tease each other. He is tall and lanky, I am not!! I will plot my revenge!!

Not that his comments got to me, but I’ve decided to smile in my monthly selfies moving forward.

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Week 9 pic, smiling and have some makeup on, not because my brother said I looked old!!

I haven’t shared anything to date about what I have been eating. My first month or so I was diligently counting my points. As the weeks went bye, I felt like I knew what I could eat without being so obsessed with tracking.

For the last three weeks, I’ve tried to listen to my body and the pounds seem to be falling off nicely. I am not obsessing over food and I am trying to really be mindful of my emotions and not using food to sooth me.

Last night I ate out with a friend, I ordered pasta and it was delish!! I ate maybe 1/4 of what was on my plate. I put my fork down and asked myself if I was satisfied? Not out loud, that would be weird! Turns out I was satisfied and I wasn’t hungry anymore, so I boxed it up and brought it home.

I am realizing that I don’t have to end each meal or snack feeling super full…who knew?!

Will I go back to counting my points? Maybe? But this is working for me now.

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This is the snack that I have pretty much every night. Two graham crackers, some chocolate chipits and a few marshmallows. I pop them in the toaster over and voilà!! Just enough sweetness; I don’t deprive myself of anything.

Week 9’s weigh in is an impressive 0.6 pounds! But, that’s ok, because I figured out why I was so cranky and off last week; oh the joys of being a woman! I am pretty sure I am retaining a good 7 pounds of water!! Lol, ok, maybe 2??

I am a bit worried about next week, I’ll be out of town for work, eating in restaurants, for a full week. I will do my best to make good choice, let’s see how I make out.

Week 10

I left Vegas on Friday, it’s now Sunday night and not being able to follow my new eating routine is getting me down. Plus I am feeling super stressed about my upcoming event, I am fighting really hard to not stress eat.

Oh, I should add that our first night here we ended up at a pub for dinner where everything on the menu was super fatty. My coworkers devoured warm pretzels with cheese sauce. I resisted, I had 3 wings, a small slice of pizza and like 10 glasses of water!!

It’s 9:30pm, Monday night, and I just finished dinner, ugh!!! Being on the road is hard!! I don’t like eating dinner that late.

It’s Friday and I just got back from Arkansas, I’ll get weighed tomorrow morning and to be honest, I have no clue what the hell the scale will read? I could be up 5 pounds or down 5?

Week 10 weigh in and I am down 1.2!! For a grand total of 17.8 pounds!! This week was so busy that I didn’t eat properly; one day, I had a cookie for lunch, not cool. But I am back home and my fridge is full of healthy stuff.

Week 11

I am starting the week psyched! I just tried on my inspiration outfit, which is a sequin pencil skirt and a black top; both I bought because I loved, but they were both too small, and now they fit!!

Ok can we talk about that last statement for a minute? Why do woman buy things that don’t fit us?? We buy with the goal that we will lose weight, but we usually don’t! And those articles hang in our closet silently judging us and making us feel bad!! I bought that skirt 3 years ago!!! Although I am proud that it finally fits, I bought it 3 years ago!!! I am making a vow to myself that I will stop buying things that don’t make me feel fabulous and fit.

Back to my inspirational outfit; I am going to see Mariah Carey’s Christmas concert in November. My friends and I bought tickets in June and knowing I was ready to start my weight loss journey, I told my friend that my goal was to fit into this outfit by November.

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Ok, so, this doesn’t look fabulous laying on my bed, lol, but trust me both pieces are really nice! The top is off the shoulder, but with long sleeves.

I woke up the day before my weekly weigh in and instead of losing, I am proud to say that I found something; I found my waistline!!! I was losing hope that I would ever see her again, lol.  I am excited for tomorrow’s weigh in. I am feeling really good this week, so I will be fine whatever the scale has to say. (Like the scale just randomly spits out numbers and I have no accountability on the numbers, lol)

I am happy with week 11th  weigh in, but I’ve decided that I am not going to share my weekly numbers until I reach my goal of 30 pounds. I am going to hold back to create a bit of surprise and anticipation!! I will share if I’ve had a good week or a bad week and my struggles and victories.

Week 12

First of all, let me say that I am really proud of myself for making it to week 12!!! I feel really good, I feel lighter, spiritually, not just physically.

Work is super busy, my biggest event of the year starts next week, but I am feeling like “I got this!”. I also attended my third and final grief counseling and I think it really helped.

That being said, the only things I felt like eating this week were chocolate or sweet things! I do have one sweet treat a day, but this week, I seriously wanted to eat cookies at every meal. Not just at every meal, for the meal!!

I did resist and I am looking forward to my weigh in tomorrow morning. If all goes well, I may need a celebratory cookie!! Lol

My weigh in went well, slow and steady wins the race. I am down a size and a half-ish!!

I can’t wait to go back to Moncton and see my family and show them how I am doing. Two more weeks!!!

Bring on month 4!

muah!

Liette

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Taking It Off! Kick Off!

Taking It Off! Kick Off!

Let’s get started!

This post is my personal weight loss journey. My weight has always fluctuated and to be honest, I have never wanted to be super skinny. I like my curves and realistically, I am not made to be uber skinny and I am 100% ok with that.

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After moving to Las Vegas three years ago, I feel like I put on the freshman 10…or 15 pounds that people gain when they go away to university, but I put them on in my late forties. I played with those extra pounds for years, I gained and lost the same ten pounds.

Then in October of 2018 we found out my dad was terminally ill; for the next 8 months I used food to cope with my feelings and comfort myself, as millions of people do.

 

Now I am ready to deal with my emotions; I have been crying a lot!! But I feel that I was numb for the first month and now I am starting to thaw. So I am going to give myself permission to feel all the feelings!

I will be following Weight Watchers, I have had success with this plan before and it works with my lifestyle and I am loving their app!!

I will share monthly updates, but will post them one after another. So I am writing in real time, but will be sharing them back to back for a week; so you won’t have to wait months to see my results. As you are reading this first post, I already know how this ends…ok, I don’t know yet, but I will by the time I start posting .

I anticipate missing Sugar the most, I am truly addicted!! Wish me luck!!

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Made sure not to smile in my before shot, apparently you are supposed to look a little miserable in the before pic; pretty sure it’s a rule. Also went with the no makeup look…oh and my hair was dirty.

muah!!

Liette

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