Deck Your Halls

I think it’s safe to say that we are spending more time in our homes than we would have thought humanly possible a mere year ago; making this the year to deck the shit out of our halls and to start said decking as early as possible!!!

We have also never needed holiday cheer, like we need it this year. I hope that this post inspires you to do some major hall decking and guess what? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make your home feel freaking festive.

Every Christmas I have a different theme, but I don’t go out and buy all new stuff, I craft it up. Last year my theme was A Winter Wonderland.

I had just moved back from Las Vegas to Moncton, but all my belongings, including my Christmas decorations would only be arriving in January. So my friend, Alie, and I sat in my new empty apartment and cut over a hundred paper snowflakes. See the link for last years post at the end of this post; my snowflake chandelier was absolutely beautiful!! Oh and if you are wondering why I bothered decorating an empty apartment, I was hosting our family Christmas Eve Dinner. I rented a huge table and chairs from Bob Lee, here in Moncton; it was my first party in my new place and it was fabulous! lol

Last year’s chandelier, so simple, but so pretty.



My theme this year is a Holly Jolly Christmas!!

Someone asked me what’s with all the flower headbands in a lot of my posts? Honestly I really don’t know? I have a glue gun and they just happen; chances of them stopping are probably pretty slim, Jim! Lol


This tree below was my colour inspiration, lime green and pink. I bought this three years ago and this is the first year that I get to put it up.


I bought it on sale at Pier 1 in Las Vegas after Christmas, it was 75% off the sale price; now did I need a lime green tree??? Well of course I did!! Lol. Fun fact, I thought the lights on it were pink, but turns out they are red when lit. Do I think that they would be way prettier if they were pink? Yes, but I am just going to roll with it… ok I did try painting one light pink, but it still looked red, boo! So now I am rolling with it.

My special project focal point this year is my TV/fireplace area. My TV is too small, it’s crooked and not perfectly centered, so hey, why not draw more attention to it?? Lol

I drafted two of my cousins to help cut some paper holly leaves with me, by drafted, I mean, I invited them over for dinner and didn’t feed them until I had enough leaves, lol. Then I partnered with another cousin, Katelyn, for the finishing touches.

Katelyn made me some super special pink pompom berries. She makes the coolest stuff, check her out on Instagram at: the_pom_co, she also made me a few colourful, funky trees, they are available for sale on her site.


These are her trees, they are a perfect addition with my mini snow-people collection.



Meet Katelyn, another one of my 107 first cousins, jk, she’s one of 101, lol, ok not sure how many we are, just know it’s a lot!

My living and dinning area are one open space so I have hits of green and pink all over the place, to help the flow.


I have two big, real wreaths that smell amazing. My ceilings are crazy high so it was a challenge to make the space feel full and lush and Christmas should always feel full and lush. My tree looked so tiny when I set it up, I had to use my round coffee table as a tree stand. It looked so small and sad sitting on the floor, it needed a bit of a boost.


I added some Holly details to my dining area. My table expands, I suspect I will
pump it up a few notches for our Christmas Eve dinner; you can follow me on Instagram for my Christmas Eve set up, it will probably be a bit over the top since I am working from home and we are on semi lockdown. I will have lots of extra time on my hands…and my glue gun is fully loaded.


I love this white cabinet, I just added a bit of greenery to my mirror and some pink balls. I bought the cabinet in Vegas and spruced it up, here is the transformation. It was very banged up, so I decided to paint it.


For Christmas Eve, if we are allowed to gather, I plan on doing these for each place setting, cute right!


My yearly themes aren’t very costly, last year it was just white paper snowflakes, this year, I picked up a bunch of green construction paper from the dollar store and a few wreaths from my local florist. The pink balls in my wreaths I already had.

Thanks for reading, I think it’s natural to sometimes wonder, what am I doing with my life, in general, and is anyone reading my blog ramblings?? Every time those thoughts run through my head, I will have someone reach out to me randomly and tell me they are using one of my ideas or that they read all my posts. I got a video from one of my readers on Friday that her and her family were making their own snowflake chandelier, it made my weekend! Her husband was ironing the snowflakes that she and her kids, her young adult kids, were cutting, while Christmas music played in the background…it was cute!!!

Since we are all spending more time at home and running out of things to do with our families, buy some craft paper and go crazy!!

Thank you again for reading! I am working on a new blog website that will be easier to navigate, I’ve outgrown this one, so stay tuned!

And finally, be extra kind to each other and throw in a random compliment out there, it’s free. If you think of it, say it out loud. I am going to try to be more mindful of that too.

muah!

Liette

If you liked this post, here is my easy Mad for Plan Christmas and re-posting my Winter Wonderland Christmas again.

https://oui-liette.org/2018/12/20/a-mad-for-plaid-christmas-easy-tips-on-how-to-pull-off-a-plaid-theme/

https://oui-liette.org/2019/11/10/winter-wonderland-dinner-the-perfect-holiday-theme/

You’ll need the sound on for this and watch till the very end…muah! That’s my fav part. This will be the intro for my YouTube Channel.

Comfort & And Joy! (Entertaining & gift ideas)

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I can’t help but wonder how different this season will be from last year, or the year before, or the year before that? Will we find comfort in cozy clothing and joy in fuzzy slippers? Will our gift giving be more practical and homey? Will there be any big Christmas parties or just small intimate gatherings? How has this past year changed us and how will we celebrate the holidays?

The other day I wore one of my pre-Covid go to outfits and felt like I was highly overdressed; I was wearing, jeans, a blazer and suede boots, so not exactly super fancy. Which made me realize how much our habits have changed in just a few months, a few loooonnnngg ass months!!

Working from home in yoga pants and, if we’re being honest, pajama bottoms, has become the norm, at least a few days a week. Where am I going with this and how does this have anything to do with the upcoming holiday season??

Patience!! I am getting to my point, lol. My point is that I think the trend this season will be comfort over everything else. Can you imagine a scenario that would make you want try to get into any item of clothing that requires squeezing into any form of tight shape wear and uncomfortably high heel shoes? I think those days are gone, maybe forever??

Host a different kind of party

I am embracing this trend by hosting a fake pajama party! Which is a party where you wear your pajamas, but no one sleeps over, lol. No need for sparkly tops or cute dresses, it’s all about comfort…oh and joy.


Here’s why this is a fabulous idea, aside from getting to spend time with my friends, we were wearing pajamas!! Drawstring waistbands, stretchy fabric and slippers, it was so stress free and comfortable.

Great gift ideas!

Here’s a gift idea that I mention every year, buy all your friends/fam the same thing, like our comfy pajama bottoms from the Super Store, omg they are so soft. Keep things simple and double or triple up on the same item.


Last year I gifted a few friends with slippers, they loved them and it was super easy for me. Again, the holidays are stressful, simplify your life by choosing one signature gift!! Try it, you can thank me later.


Time for play!

Another big trend are old school board games. It’s funny how we are so attached to our devices and technology and then, Bam! A global pandemic comes along and all of a sudden we’re playing old school board games and puzzles.

In 2019 had you told me that I would be asking to swap puzzles with others via social media, I would have thought you were insane. And yes that happened, thanks to Debbie and her mom for sharing their puzzles with my mom and aunt.


One more awesome party idea

In lieu of a big Christmas party why not host a small games night? Turns out, unplugging and spending time with friends and family is good for your soul. Here’s why I think this is a great idea for kids, seniors and everyone in between. I started noticing that having to scale back from regular social activities was starting to take a toll on my mother, who loves playing games. So we’ve started a monthly game night.

Here’s how ours works, the first Monday of every month my brother, my fake son, who is my cousin’s son, and I go to my moms for dinner; we do the cooking and play a game. Their spouses are more than welcome to join, but the three of us need to attend. I told them that they are going to need a note from their doctor in order to miss without repercussions, yes, I run a tight ship!!

Our first game night we played scrabble and had such a fun evening. My mom was thrilled to spend time with Serge and Christopher; I am well aware that I am not her favorite, but it’s fine, I am fine…it’s all fine, lol. And I probably should clarify, so they don’t get mad at me, they do visit her, but they aren’t great at small talk so playing a game helps all of us spend quality time together. Side note, Christopher won our first game night…ok he beat the crap out of us, it wasn’t even close.

Please steal this idea and all need to be mindful that all these changes we are going through are perhaps a bit extra hard on our seniors and kids. Add in the holiday season and, ouff, it’s a lot.

Comfort & Joy Gift Guide Highlight

  • Cozy matching pajamas, like the ones shown above
  • Slippers, the freaking fuzzier the better
  • Shop Local, not going to lie, I am really into alpaca wool these days, like these super comfy hats below. I also bought mittens that I can’t wait to wear and other stuff that I can’t mention because I’m gifting them.
  • Board Games – there are so many new games to chose from, but go retro. If you have kids, I think it’s super fun to share games you grew up playing, with them. Board games also make great hostess gifts and less calories than a bottle of wine, lol.
  • Practical Gift – now I am usually not a big fan of practical Christmas gifts, but this isn’t exactly a normal year. And since we are all spending so much time at home, a kitchen gift is perfectly acceptable this year, but I reserve the right to change my view on this for next year, lol.
    • But, and this is an important but, if you are going to do a practical gift you need to put some thought into it and make it extra.
    • I would love to get fancy mixer like this one, but add a cake mix and nice fancy bowls or measuring cups in order to make it extra.


I think that the perfect, home run, practical gift needs to be something you wouldn’t buy yourself or even think to buy yourself. And since we seem to be cooking and baking more these days, try getting something that you and your mate or your fam can use together.

I love this pasta maker idea, add all the ingredients you’ll need and wrap them up. Have them open the flour first; I am sure they will be thinking WTF is going on here, lol.


This year more than any previous holidays, it’s going to be important to share experiences with our loved ones. And sadly some of us won’t be able to physically be with all of our loved ones, so why not plan a virtual cooking date where you are all making the same thing at the same time?

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that the most important thing we can give each other is our time and attention. And guess what? That’s free!!

Thank you for reading, I hope this has given you a few ideas that you can incorporate into this holiday season, be kind and stay safe!

muah!

Liette

If you want a bit more Christmas content, here’s a silly one from last year. A bit of context, I had just moved back to Canada from Las Vegas and my nose was still healing from a little skin cancer scare. Enjoy!

https://oui-liette.org/2019/12/24/merry-christmas-happy-everything/

Things that, it turns out, I no longer need, in 2020 and annoying or odd things that I really miss!

Things that, it turns out, I no longer need in 2020 and annoying or odd things that I really miss!

As I mentioned in one my previous post, 2020 will go down as the year that all our plans, some hopes and dreams, died a lonely death!! Yes, I’m feeling a bit dramatic at the moment, I’m hoping this post will help get it out of my system, wish me luck.

I noticed the other day that there are things that were part of my daily life that have now become useless and just, meh, plain pointless. And on the flip side, there are things that used to annoy me that I now really miss. Here are my lists, let me know if you have any good ones to add.

Things I apparently no longer need

#1. High Heels of any kind (if you’re a straight man reading, feel free to skip this section and go directly to #2, lol)

I just bought a new pair of bootleg/bell bottom ish jeans. They’re really long on me, which is odd, because my legs are pretty long. I’ve never had to get any of my jeans hemmed…like ever; but these are loooong.
They’re obviously meant to be worn with a high heel shoe or boot. Lucky for me, I have a closet full of both.
The first day I wore my sassy new jeans, it was a cool fall day, paired with a black suede bootie with a nice chunky high heel. Oh and I wore them with my new black sweater, in case you were wondering, but the sweater has nothing to do with the point I’m trying to make, so I’ll just move on… but I did want you to have an accurate overview of my whole outfit, lol.
So these booties, or my go to, perfect boot of 2019, used to be super comfortable, but something’s gone really wrong. I think all this social distancing may have affected my feet, because they now hurt my feet; they even gave me a blister after wearing them for a short while. WTF??!!

The second time I wore my new jeans I paired them with an orange and nude, high heel, shoe with an ankle strap; they’re super funky! 2019 me would have worn these shoes on a trade show day, when I would have been standing in our booth for 6 to 8 hours on a cement floor with a thin layer of carpet. 2019 me, would have rocked those orange shoes and my feet would have cooperated and looked cute. But 2020 me ended up taking them off after a short trip to Sobey’s for groceries. 2020 me was seriously wondering why the hell I was wearing fancy jeans, let alone funky shoes, to do groceries?
This was the moment I realized that things have changed and these changes may last forever? I feel like once you go flat you may never be able to go back??

#2. Suitcases

My high heel revelation got me wondering if there are other items that used to be super important in my life, that Covid has ruined for me? Turns out, there are, like suitcases.

2019 me always had one suitcase on the go at all times and sometimes I even had two. I’ve packed for two different consecutive trips at the same time more than once. I’ve already gotten home from one trip, drop off one suitcase and left the next day for another trip with my second pre-packed suitcase.

I have two medium/large pink suitcases, one small white carry on, a bright purple carry on and a huge black suitcase that could fit a small human being in it. 2019 me always had an open suitcase on my floor, that was either getting emptied or filled up. 2020 me has zero use for any of them!
They’re just lined up in my walk in closet looking sad and pitiful. One of my hot pink ones is being used to store extra toilet paper, which is so 2020.
Every once in awhile I open my closet and stare at them and remember the hustle and bustle of my 2019 life.

My big move from Vegas back to Canada required all my suitcases.

#3. Lipstick

This one I am not ready to say good bye to, but really what’s the point when wearing a mask?

I was raised by an Acadian mother who would say to me before I left the house almost daily: “ben Liette, n’oublie pas ton rouge a lèvres». Which translates to; don’t embarrass and shame the family by leaving the house without lipstick. Sooo that may not be the exact translation, but it’s def the underlying sentiment, lol. It does explain a lot about my obsession with lipstick.
Covid has not changed my love of lipstick, but it has led to everyone of my new face masks being permanently stained on the inside with the prettiest shades of reds and pinks. Yes I always have freshly painted lips under my mask, which is useless, I know, but I can’t kick the habit.
Is lipstick in 2020 just a waste of time?? I am starting to question the meaning of life! Too dramatic?? Too far? Ok, I can dial it back a tiny bit.

My current, Covid fall season fav. FYI this colour stains, all my masks have this shade in them.

These next things used to annoy me, pre-Covid, but now I really, really miss!

#1. Airports

Anyone who travels a lot gets to a point where they hate airports; they’re too busy and crowded with cranky people, the food sucks, the seats are uncomfortable, flights are often delayed…

I’ve realized that I did a lot of thinking and problem solving while in the friendly skies. I also liked to take pics of the clouds…ah the good old days!

You’d think that one of the perks of being grounded at home would be a welcomed break from the hustle and bustle that comes with flying and spending hours in airports? You would think, but apparently not.
The other day I found myself daydreaming about being at a gate waiting for a flight. I realized that I have, or should I say had, an airport routine. And I guess I’m missing my regular routines, even the ones that I used to complaint about, like waiting at my gate to board my flight.

I found this pic on my phone, I think it captures my, I’m ready for adventure vibe!

Turns out I liked knowing my way around all the big and smaller airports, it made me feel worldly; I had my favorite snack spots, I would browse the shops then, if time permitted, I’d go to the Maple Leaf lounge to get a few freebies, like the newest edition of House and Home mag, before making my way to my gate where I would organize what I would need on the flight in my big ass travel purse and what wasn’t needed would go in my bag that would go in the overhead compartment. I didn’t even realize that I had an airport/gate routine, but I did and I had it down to a science and now I miss it!

#2. Sampling cosmetics

So there is nothing annoying about shopping for cosmetics, I love it! But I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until I was told I couldn’t do it anymore. Sure I can still shop for stuff, but it’s not like it was before.
This may sound silly, but I’ve noticed that when I was bored or feeling blue, I’d make my way to Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart and just wander the aisles testing new products. Mental health wise, I think it was a mini escape from whatever was weighing me down. I could spend 45 min to an hour trying to find the perfect shade of lipstick or the sharpest liquid eyeliner tip.
But gone are the samples, no more using your inner wrist to compare different lipstick shades. It probably sounds dumb, it sounds kinda dumb to me as I write this, but not being able to play with the samples has taken all the fun out of the cosmetic counter for me and gone is my go to stress reliever and that is annoying to me!!

So unlike most of my posts, that have a positive vibe or twist to them, this one is more of a pity party and for that I apologize. But if I am feeling like this, I assume that others are feeling a bit off and annoyed too? Have you ever gotten annoyed with yourself for being annoying?? Anyone? Lol

Tomorrow is a new day, I may put my fancy jeans back on with another pair of heels and make my way to Shoppers, where I’ll try to get lost in all the pretty colours and packaging, hopefully sans new blisters!

Stay safe and stay sane friends!!!
muah!

Liette

Get used to seeing me in a hat, with the salons closed again, they’ll serve to keep me warm and hide my roots!!

A Covid Halloween – kid friendly ideas.

2020, or the year that all our plans died, has been a challenge to say the least, but we’ve made it to October! With Halloween a few weeks away, I think we should plan on having a really weird Halloween, but let’s make weird work for us!

Here are a few ideas to make Halloween 2020 the best, weirdest, global pandemic Halloween ever!

If you’re a regular reader you know that I can be a bit sassy, but these ideas are legit aimed at making great Halloween memories for you and your kids…of all ages…ok there maybe a few sassy variations, so if you don’t have kids, keep reading and just add booze to every idea.

A New Way to Trick n’ Treat

Omg I love this ideas!!! Ok, let’s say that something really scary happens right before Halloween and old school, regular, trick or treating gets canceled. How can we salvage some sort of fun?

Here’s a great way to trick or treat, while socially distancing, Covid style.

How excited would your kids be if someone rang your doorbell and when they answered, there was a special treat waiting for them?

So I have a few ideas for this one. This is a great way for grandparents, aunts and uncles to surprise their little munchkins. Go to the dollar store and buy a plastic pumpkin or use some sort of small bucket. Fill it with treats, attach a helium balloon, get a white one and draw on eyes and a mouth and add a little note; then drop and go!

Another option is to make plans with the moms and dads from your hood to exchange treats with. You can get the kids involved, let them pick the treats for their friend’s buckets and then bring them along for the sneaky drop off. Coordinate times so each child is home at the time of their drop off.

Or…make them for your own kids and leave them at your own door. Ok, one last variation, drop them off to your adult friends and family too, add a few mickies and chips, whatever. I’d love to get a special treat like this myself!

Here’s the adult drop and go option.


Host a Spooky Night

Plan a spooky meal, invite a few friends if it’s safe to do so, if not, make it a family thing or whoever is in your bubble. Get the kids involved in the meal prep, remember your ultimate goal is to make memories.

Step 1 – make your table fancy, so it’s not just a normal dinner. Add some bats or pumpkins, use cloth napkins; let the kids drink out of fancy wine glasses, you can get them their own plastic ones from the dollar store, if you’re afraid of using your crystal, lol. Then during the meal, take turns making toasts to each other, ching, ching or cling, cling.

Step 2 – A spooky menu

Plan a spooky menu, like these mini pizzas, just make it fun, let them make their own, finally one night that they are encouraged to play with their food!


These mummies below are super fun, they just need a bit or bloody ketchup!


And if your kids are a bit older, gross them out with this creepy meatloaf. Have them help you make it, or even better have each person make their own, mini meatloaf.


Don’t forget about dessert, if they can’t go out to trick or treat, bring the treats to them; and make it fun!

Love these bug cookies.


Finish up your night with a spooky movie.

Play Dress Up

It’s been my experience that getting ready to go out can be more fun than actually going out. Even if things get canceled you still need to dress up!!

So why don’t you plan some sort of group or family costume? Get everyone ready then snap some family pics, let them be silly and make faces, I promise they will look back on these pictures with fond memories.

Or pack everyone in the car and go stand on the front lawn of their grandparents/family/friends and have them take a pic of your zombie crew. You get to show off your costumes and it gets the kids out of the house.


If you have teenagers, force them to participate!! Have everyone dress up in black and have a contest who can draw the coolest or strangest looking skull face. And for your family pic, if they don’t smile, you can tell yourself they were just in character.

*pics from Pintrest, the greatest Halloween helper!

Bark at the moon! (Ozzy Osborn reference for my bro, plus it sounds better than Howl at the moon.)

Hey! Did you know that Halloween falls on a full moon this year? Get your people outside and have them howl at the moon! No, seriously, go outside and start howling, it’s dumb, silly and I promise you’ll feel like a dork, but you’ll end up laughing and making your kids laugh. Then, when they’re older they’ll remember that Halloween when there was a full moon and their parents took them outside to howl at the moon.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you just have to roll with things and make the best of shitty situations; this is even more important if you’re a parent. It’s basically your job to make certain your kids don’t feel like they’re being cheated out of the “normal” fun things in life, like Halloween. Make abnormal fun and exciting! Good luck, be safe and stay healthy!

Boo!

Liette

Why you should take advantage of our Atlantic travel bubble.

These are weird and hard times for the tourism and service industries. It’s more important than ever to get out there and support our local businesses.
Go for a drive, shop and eat at little mom and pop shops; who would have thought that eating and shopping in 2020 would be considered an act of love and support? But that is currently the case.

Here are a few activities that will be a win/win, for you and local businesses…you’re welcome!

Cool places are less peoply

Here’s what’s in it for you, besides feeling good about helping to support local businesses, our region has amazing things to do and see!! And since our region is less populated than other regions of Canada and their are no outside tourists, this is a great opportunity, and hopefully the only time, that we’ll have our beautiful region all to ourselves.

This became crystal clear to me last weekend when I visited Peggy’s Cove, just outside of Halifax. We basically had it all to ourselves. Ok, there were other people there, but there were no buses with loads of tourists; full disclosure it’s after Labor Day, so not prime time, but it was still oddly eerily void of crowds.

We got to explore the tiny village peacefully and look, no people in our shots. Hopefully this will be the last season without outside tourists, so go! This may be a once in a lifetime chance?


Ok all you instagramers out there, look at how amazing these pics are!! And while you’re out there getting the perfect shot, have lunch at the restaurant beside the lighthouse and spend some money; we had the fish n chips and they were delish!

We also visited Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, what a beautiful region!!!! Get in your car and drive!! Drive to Saint Andrews, Saint John, Moncton, the Acadian Cost, Charlottetown, Cavendish, Souris, Cape Breton, Halifax…. and if you had a European trip planned that got canceled, go to Newfoundland and pretend you’re in Ireland or Scotland, they accent will be a little different, but just go with it.

Love, love, love all the colourful houses of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg!

Hotels need heads in beds

The fall is typically conference season, hotels are usually fully booked with business travelers attending trade shows and meetings. Sadly corporate travel has been halted, this means that a lot of hotels are empty.
The lack of business travelers means that some local hotels are offering great deals!

We stayed at a brand new hotel in Halifax, Sutton Place, and in addition to getting a great rate, we were upgraded to a room with a view. When checking in tell them where you are from and be nice and you may get upgraded?

I’ve come to terms that being in fancy hotels is my natural habitat. This hotel had the BEST pillows!


The Sutton Place is attached to the convention center in downtown Halifax, this is the typical kind of hotel that I would book for my company during trade show season (I plan events for a large company); the rate we got was certainly not the a regular fall rate. Once life gets back to normal, the rate for this hotel in September/October will be double. So look up that fancy hotel that you’ve always wanted to try, call the front desk directly and tell that you are booking a mini staycation.

Do fun weird stuff!

Go on Pinterest and search fun things to do in your region, then do them! People always ask me how I find things to do, my big secret is I look up fun things to do, lol, it’s just that simple. Lately though, people have started to send me suggestions, which I love!

Here’s a fun thing, go visit some llamas!! This past summer I walked llamas and alpacas at Llamazing Adventures in Shediac; it was cool, but my cousins and I have made friends with Janet from Petitmore Alpacas and her gang of alpacas. Look them up on Facebook, you’ll need to make an appointment to visit. They’ll be open for a bit until the weather gets too wintery.

We were greeted by these crazy teenagers!!

What we love about visiting Janet is that after we are done feeding apples to the alpacas, which is awesome, we get to shop!! She makes beautiful hats, mittens, scarves….

Two of my cousins, Brigitte & Tania, we’d like to visit with our other cousins; Jen, Sasha, Sonya, Maneau and Katelyn, but they would freak out the llamas and Janet may never let us come back!! (They’re kinda loud and by kinda, I mean they are freaking loud!)

I bought a few things, some will be Christmas gifts! Speaking of Christmas, because of Covid a lot of Christmas markets and craft shows will be canceled. So please get out there and find then buy products from local artisans.

Want to find llamas in your area? Google, llamas in my area!! Lol

Here’s another fun thing to do, find a local potter, get a few friends together and visit their studio, I’m certain that they would love to have you visit!

Tania on the right, Brigitte on the left, I think the llamas could sense that B wanted to kidnap them so they were a bit afraid of her, lol.

Thank you for reading, take advantage of this lull in tourists to explore our bubble, book a hotel night, eat out, shop, just be a tourist in your own area; whether you’re lucky enough to be in the Atlantic bubble or not.

muah!
Liette

If you liked this post, you’ll probably like this one as well: https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/08/is-new-brunswick-weird-4-super-oddball-cool-things-to-do-in-nb/

Moncton, what’s there to love?

Moncton what’s there to love?

I’ve always been proud to be from Moncton and after living in the US, Las Vegas to be specific, for the past three years; I worked my magic to get transferred back to my hometown.

The most common questions asked about my big move news were: really??? And: are you happy about that?? My reply to both were yes and YESSS!!

So, why was I so keen to move back to this, who are we kidding, small city? What is there to love about Moncton?

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The little city that could.

If I had to describe the people of Moncton, known as Monctonians, in one word, it would be: resilient…and industrious. OK, that’s two words, but whatever.

Our little city has been sucker punched a few times in its history. Each hit should have knocked us out and made us throw in the towel and fade away quietly.

But what can I say? Monctonians are scrappy by nature. What do you do when you are a one industry town and that industry picks up and walks away? You pick yourself up and shake it off…oh, and you take a look at what you have to offer, then hustle to get new industries to move to your city and completely reinvent yourself.

The city with a certain, je ne sais quoi?

Oui, c’est vrai, Moncton’s French speaking population, helps make the city pretty unique. Think about it; without them Moncton may as well be Saint John; not that there’s anything wrong with being Saint John.

Moncton’s vast bilingual population is one of the resources that helped to reinvent the city. When other New Brunswick cities struggled to modernize their economies, Moncton thrived; surpassing Saint John to become the largest city in New Brunswick; oh wow, I am really picking on SJ aren’t I? Sorry!

Moncton’s mix of French and English, who BTW live together in peace and harmony, also give the city a live & let live/laisser faire, vibe, which I love.

Big thinkers?

I’ve visited many small towns and cities in both Canada and the US, that have very small town ideas/thinking, which is perfectly fine, but Moncton is a small city with a big city vibe and outlook. Maybe we don’t realize that we are small? Or maybe thinking big just comes naturally to us?

Whatever the reason, this big, little city, has a very cosmopolitan vibe and is open to new ideas and new people. Maybe it’s because Monctonians are so well traveled? People here travel…a lot. I thought that this was normal until I went to smaller and bigger places and met people who had never been anywhere.

My grandparents, who were two old school Acadians, became globetrotters once they retired. They had a lust for life and wanted to see and experience as much as they could, this is a very Moncton way of thinking. They even visited China! Fun fact, I didn’t realize how insecure my grandmother was about talking in English until my dad and I took her to Florida and she kept asking me to ask the waitresses stuff, yet she visited Europe and beyond; my dad was also a globetrotter; I discovered that he had traveled to Africa twice when he was in his twenties. I guess that’s where I get my globetrotting genes?

I think that because so many Monctonians travel the world it makes us, well more worldly, lol.

It tastes good.

It’s easy to take local things for granted until you have something to compare them to. Growing up in the Maritimes, going to the wharf with your dad and waiting for the fishing boats to come in to buy lobster wasn’t a big deal.

With a little perspective, you realize that there aren’t many places that offer the world’s best seafood, literally, fresh off the boat…like literally!

World class lobster, crab, mussels and oysters can be found here, all available in this little city.

Growing up here, in the 70’s & 80’s, there weren’t a lot of different « exotic » foods available; by exotic, I mean stuff like avocados, lol. We did have a few Chinese food places, but that was pretty much it.

Moncton now has a great diverse foodie scene, with authentic Indian, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Syrian…options. I was just told about a super cute Korean BBQ place in Dieppe, which technically isn’t Moncton, but tomato, tomato. Lol, it’s on my list to try.

So let’s be proud of our city and if you live in Saint John, be proud of Saint John!!! No matter what city you live in, big or small, get out there and find new things to try, do, see and taste!!

Thanks for reading!

muah!

Liette

If you liked this post, you just may like this one as well? https://oui-liette.org/2020/06/10/colours-of-the-maritimes/

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Floating Sound Meditation with Singing Bowls…say what??

Floating Sound Meditation with Singing Bowls…say what??

For this post I am back in the Bouctouche area; let me start by saying that I had no idea there were so many things to do in and around Bouctouche. I did a Day Tripping in Bouctouche post, then I was told to check out the lavender farm, Lavender by Ocean Breeze Farm; visited it, loved it!! Then I was told by Line, one my readers, that I needed to go back for a third time and visit Thaly Holistic- Boutik.

I love getting recommendations from you guys, so keep them coming. I just booked a hammock or a swing, not sure what the proper name is?
I am going with long time family friend and avid blog supporter and sharer, Michelle. She messaged me to say she had been meaning to try this and would be game to join me. So we are going!

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My blog and life philosophy is to try new things and I hope that my adventures inspire you to say oui, to new experiences too.

I usually research things before I do them, but going into this a bit uninformed on purpose. This is way out of my normal thing. I don’t meditate, but I am looking forward to seeing  what this is all about.

My first challenge is figuring out what one wears to float with singing bowls?? Lol. I am thinking yoga gear will be appropriate, who would have guessed  that yoga gear would be  our 2020 outfit of choice??

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So I just got back from my visit and it was amazing! I don’t really know how to explain the feelings and experience, but I’ll try.

As soon as we arrived we could  smell the scent of lavender, their boutik and studio are beautiful with natural wood throughout.

We were greeted by the owner, Nathalie, and since both Michelle and I had never been before, she walked us to the studio and got us settled and comfy in our hammocks, they are hammocks, not swings.

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Since we were a bit early we were able to pick our hammocks, I gravitated to the green one right away and Michelle crawled into the red. Afterwards Michelle thought our choices were very fitting, since green symbolizes healing and red energy. She’s aware that I am still healing from my dad death and she had been running around a lot and needed to replenish her energy.

My first impression was that my hammock was amazingly comfortable! You bend your knees and touch your feet together, like a frog pose, which was super comfortable.

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It truly felt like I was floating, my hammock keep swinging and I could feel myself relax and sink into my little green cocoon.

Nathalie’s son Marc led our session, before we started he asked if I wanted a spritz of essential oil; I said, yes please and held out my hands.

After a few minutes of deep belly breathing he started the sound therapy. I closed my eyes and let the sound of rain, I thought it sounded like rain, wash over me. I started to visualize being in the rain forest.

As I mentioned I don’t meditate; I do know that you’re supposed to silence your mind. I did my best to silence all outside thoughts and worries. Out of nowhere I started repeating a self loving phrase that I think I needed a reminder of?

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As the rain sounds faded and the metal bowls started, it felt like I could visualize and feel waves of sound. I could feel the waves and each wave was a different colour. I have never felt colour before and it sounds weird, but that’s the best way I can think to describe it.

At one point I could really hear and feel my heart pounding, which was a bit startling for a minute, but then I re-focused on the sounds of the waves. My hammock was still gently moving. I started to feel a little cold so I covered myself with my blanket, you bring your own blanket and a small neck pillow, if you have one.

To be completely honesty, when we started I wondered if I was going to get bored at some point, since the session is a full hour. But that didn’t happen, I don’t think I feel asleep, but I for sure zoned out. Because all of a sudden the metal bowl noises started to slow down with moments of silence in between. That sort of brought me back to reality and as the rainfall sounds began again, I opened my eyes and my hammock was completely still. The hour flew by and was over.

Marc told us to stretch out and to start moving our bodies a bit, a few moments later we were ready to leave our colourful cocoons.

During the session we were told to turn off our phones, I had asked Nathalie for permission to take a few photos afterwards for this blog post.

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This is my zen selfie, I just felt relaxed and at peace, I look a little funny.

We got to chat with Nathalie a bit afterwards, I asked her how long she had been in business; she told us it’s been four years. She shared that this had always been her dream of hers and that when she turned fifty, she left her job at Canada Post, where she had worked for twenty years plus years.

She had a five year planned mapped out and achieved those goals after just five months! They built the boutik and studio and had plans to for a sleeping area, as a sort of holistic hostel, before Covid hit. Those plans are now on hold, but they are back open for business. They’ve adjusted the number of hammocks per class in order to have everyone properly distanced.

I love that this was her dream and that at fifty she decided to go for it! It’s inspiring and I think it speaks to the power of women and the people and families that help support them…us.

I highly recommend you try this! Even if you think it’s not really your thing, I thought the same thing and now I want to return with a few of my friends, who just between you and I need to chill out! Lol

Follow Thaly Holistic-Boutik on Facebook, they have a list of upcoming classes. You need to confirm your attendance in order to reserve your hammock. I just confirmed interested, so I was lucky that there was one hammock left for me. They are located on 5220 Route 115, in the Bouctouche area, not certain if they are withing the limits or just outside?

Tell them you heard about them from my little blog! And let me know about your experience.

If you aren’t in and around this region, look up something similar or even try something that is out of comfort zone, you just may like it??

Thanks for reading! Check me out on Insta at: oui-liette.

muah!

Liette

Behind the Scenes

I wasn’t kidding when I said that Michelle was an old family friend. Our parents have been friends forever, here she is at my first birthday. Man, I am happy I grew into my cheeks!!!

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Beach It In NB – Canada’s Best Beaches!

Beaching it in NB – Canada’s Best Beaches

If you‘re wondering where the best beaches in Canada are, let me, let you in on a little secret, they’re in New Brunswick!! Yes NB, that little, sometimes forgotten province that you need to drive through to get to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Yup that’s the one!

And although we have beautiful beaches up the entire Acadian Coast, the best of the best are in the south eastern part of the province. Why? Because this area has the warmest waters north of the Carolinas.

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Why is the water in this area warmer than Main which is just to the south of us? The area, between NB and PEI, is shallower because it’s in between two land masses, so it warms up quicker.

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I bet you didn’t think this was going to be geography lesson? Keep reading, the pretty beach pics are coming up, lol.

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This is my last map, I promise; now you may have noticed that PEI’s south side also faces the Northumberland Straight and you may be wondering if the beaches along that coast are just as sandy and warm as the ones on the NB side? Well probably, but those beaches are most likely full of potatoes and really who wants to lay on a beach full of potatoes?? I know that I don’t. (Please note that the amount of potatoes on the PEI beaches may be slightly exaggerated for comedic effect? But honestly, who really knows?)

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What isn’t in question are the beautiful, sandy and warm beaches from Murray Corner, Cap Pelé, Shediac to just past Bouctouche.

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How warm does the water get? In August the average temperature in Shediac can reach 24 degrees Celsius. That’s pretty much bath water for most Canadians, lol.

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Now the beaches in Nova Scotia aren’t littered with potatoes, but they are very rocky, unlike NB’s sandy beaches, so don’t bother going to those.

The dark colour of the sand gives the water the most beautiful shades of blue.

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We are also blessed with the highest and lowest tides…in the world!!! You’re probably a bit skeptical about my accuracy after my potato beach statement? But this is a fact, you can look it up if you don’t believe me. This freakish phenomenon means that at low tide you can walk on the sandbars looking for sand dollars or starfish.

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The three most popular beaches are Parlee Beach in Shediac, l’Aboiteau in Cap Pelé and les Dunes in Bouctouche. But there are many more that are just as lovely, like Grande Digue, Caissie Cape and Cape Bimet. Soooo many amazing warm beaches!!!

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Living away from the Maritimes for the last few years, I now have a new appreciation for fishing boats, lighthouses and colourful buoys. They are post card perfect and very Instagramable.

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For my Ontario and Prairie readers, these are buoys, see below. They get attached to lobster traps and fishing nets. Each fisherman will have his or her own colour or their specific number on them. You don’t touch another’s buoys! Unless you want to sleep with the fishes.

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The blue water and sky are made even more beautiful with pops of the bright green shades of beach grass. If you can’t see the beauty in this, then we can’t be friends, you can stop reading at anytime now, I am breaking up with you.

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Our pristine NB beaches are littered with oyster, mussel and clam shells with the prettiest shades of blues and purples.

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Having grown up swimming in the ocean this is my happy place, I love floating about.

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The smell of the salty air is intoxicating, I think anyone who has grown up near the ocean feels the same way, even those from the PEI potato beaches.

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Another bonus is that there really aren’t things in the water here that can kill you, even our jellyfish are pretty tame and they are all but gone by July.

Sooooo, this just in! Apparently there are great white sharks a little too close to the Northumberland Straight for my comfort. They’ve been spotted and tracked to the north and south of us, but there have been no sightings or attacks in our area. I am hoping the tides will keep them at bay? I’ve also been told that they have always been this far north, but we didn’t know until they started tagging and tracking them. I am choosing to not dwell on this so that I am able to enjoy my swims without hearing the Jaws theme song in my head, over and over again.

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In August one of my favorite things to do is to meet a friend or two at the beach for an early evening swim. Watching the sunset from the water is truly magical.

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And there is nothing better after a hard day of beaching than a fresh seafood feast!! Like, fresh, fresh!!

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I do have to warn you that all day beaching, sun-ing and swimming is exhausting!!! Oh and I have one other cautionary advice for you, when snorkeling, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your butt, speaking from experience…ouch.

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I think this picture above tells the tail of how exhausting all that sun and sand is; I could barely keep my eyes open while we waited for our fried claims and scallops at Pirate de la mer.

My plan is to get in as much beach time in the next few weeks until the air turns and gets cooler, announcing the arrival of fall.

Thank you so much for reading! Please check out my Instagram and Facebook accounts at: oui-liette. And feel free to comment, like and share.

muah!

Liette

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Sorry to PEI and NS for the shade in this post, I still love you! But NB beaches are just better 😬

Llama-zing Day!

Llama-zing Day!

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!!

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We got to choose our walking partners; Jack got Linda, Nicole got Luna, I got Brenda and Monique got Pearl.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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?

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Our walk lasted about an hour with a few stops  to take pics and to enjoy the scenery.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

muah!

Liette & Brenda

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If you liked this post check this one of Jack and I riding camels in the Mojave Desert!

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/29/sober-in-vegas-or-not/

 

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche…again

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche…again.

After posting my Bouctouche edition of Day Tripping in NB, my friend Lisa, who now lives in Montreal, told me about a lavender farm in Bouctouche that I needed to visit.

It just so happens that the following day I had a beach day planned at the Dunes in Bouctouche with my friend Alie. I asked her if we could make a stop before heading to the beach and she was onboard.

She had never heard of Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm and she’s originally from Bouctouche, so we looked them up and we were off!

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As we approached the parking area, we could see rows and rows of beautiful purple lavender fields. As we got out of the car, I could feel myself getting more and more excited; if you don’t feel happy walking in fields of lavender, there is something seriously wrong with you..like seriously, you need to get that checked, lol.

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These fields are an Instagramers dream and we did see a few photo shoots while we were there; the owners, Carly and her husband Paul, welcome anyone who want to visit and walk their fields, sniff their lavender and take a few pics.

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I asked Carly what inspired her and her husband to start a lavender farm here in Bouctouche of all places? Carly has a British accent so it was very apparent that she isn’t from the region, she’s from Whales, but Paul is from the region.

They met 26 years ago when they were both working on a cruise ship, Carly still works on ships as a Cruise Director. She explained that they had all of this land and decided to plant an acre of lavender and see how it would grow? Well it grew so they planted another acre and then another; they now have 4 acres in total; and having traveled the world they wanted to bring a bit of the French countryside to New Brunswick.

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Meet Carly

They are in the process of restoring their barn, it’s already beautiful, I can’t wait to see it when it’s fully completed. They’ve already booked two weddings!!

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Look at all of this natural wood!! It’s so impressive when you walk in and look up.

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They also have a shop in the barn where you can buy their lavender products. I bought their facial scrub and body lotion and I need to go back for some lavender oil.

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They sell these beautiful lavender soaps, they are perfect for wedding favors.

I also bought a bunch of fresh lavender and should have bought more, it’s the prettiest darkest shade of purple that I’ve ever seen, it’s my new fav colour.

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Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm is the first agrotourism lavender farm in the province; Carly explained that because of our winter’s their fields will never be perfect or look exactly like the ones in Europe, but being able to visit a lavender farm, then cross the street to a beautiful beach, Les Dunes, followed by a fresh lobster roll, at Pirate des mers, on your way home seems pretty close to perfect to me!

I asked Carly about their future plans for their lavender farm, their venue lends itself perfectly to weddings and events, so they will be hosting more events in the future, as the word gets out. Their lavender product lines will grow, as will the size of their fields, but her ultimate goal is for people to come visit the farm and to just breathe, she wants us to relax and to “take a breathe”.

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I love that sentiment and you really feel that vibe when you’re on the farm. Some will never get the opportunity to walk the lavender fields in the countryside of France or England, but you can walk the lavender fields of Bouctouche!! Ok technically they are in Saint Edouard, but tomato, tomato…did you just read that with two different pronunciations?? Ah!! Of course you did! Lol

Thank you so much for reading!! I am going to share a few more amazingly pretty pics and here is a link for my two last Day Tripping in NB posts. And finally, I have a cool give away coming up so go like my Instagram page: oui-liette for details on how to enter to win my Sassy Summer Basket!! Launching my contest this Friday.

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche (the orginal): https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/19/day-tripping-in-nb-bouctouche/

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

muah!!

Liette

Oh and be sure to like and follow Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm on Facebook and Instagram, they are currently only open for visits on weekends, see their sites for details and updates.

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They grow two different kinds of lavender.

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Harvest, drying time

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Fun fact, Carly told Paul she wanted a pony and he bought her this, technically it is a pony, check the name on the tractor, lol.

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Here are Carly and Paul, clearly not in the French countryside.

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