You Know You’re Canadian When…

You Know You’re Canadian When…

I am so excited that I get to spend Canada Day in Canada this July 1st!!

Living in the US for the past three years, I have noticed a few things that make Canadians…well  Canadian, eh! Here are my top 20 Canadian things that make us awesome!!

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You know you’re Canadian when…

  •  Sorry, but we do say sorry a lot…actually, not sorry…sorry! Lol
  • A tuque is way, way cooler than a beanie!! Sorry.
  • We know what a chesterfield is…look it up.
  • We know what a keener is.
  • We can say Regina without giggling
  • We don’t get why Newfoundland is so hard for Americans to pronounce properly?
  • We drank Homo milk from a bag when we were kids. Did your grandmothers rinse and use them as sandwich bags too?…anyone??
  • Anytime anyone says New Orleans, we automatically sing in our heads: is sinking man and I Don’t Wanna Swim…Swim!! Ok, I sing it out loud and when I do my American friends wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Especially when I yell out the last …Swim!!
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No words needed.
  • When we get our drivers license our dads teach us how to use booster cables and every Canadian dad has a set in his trunk, don’t believe me? Go check!
  • When your buddy says he is going to pick up a two – four, you know exactly what that is.
  • The May two – four weekend is a big deal! It may actually be the most Canadian weekend of the year?
  • Car!! Every Canadian reading this has just had a flashback to their childhood, no need to explain what it means. Lol
  • No one in Canada says ice hockey or ice skating, the ice part is a given!!
  • We all know that the scariest creatures in the wild are, Canadian Geese, those mother’s are assholes!
  • It’s hard to buy into Drake’s hood image because we grew up watching him on Degrassi High.
  • Every Halloween you fought with your mom because she wanted you to wear your skidoo suit over your costume…she always won.
  • We know what a skidoo suit is.
  • We think Mr Dress Up was way cooler than Mr Rogers! And a giant who hung out with a chicken and giraffe seemed perfectly plausible. Look up…waayyy up.
  • The I Am Canadian commercial gave you chills the first time you saw it…ok it still does.
  • In the US, everyone has someone in their family who “served” their country. In Canada everyone has a Mountie in their family. It’s usually a cousin; I’ve had three!!
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My cousin Kelly!

Did I miss anything on my list? Can you relate to all of these?

I hope you have an awesome long weekend!! And happy July 4th to our neighbors to the south.

Who are we kidding most of my blog posts are super entertaining, so sign up! Like and follow!

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Muah!! Eh!

Liette

 

Kiss My Axe!

Kiss My Axe!

Axe throwing is the new hip thing to do and after the week I’ve had, there was nothing that sounded better than throwing a sharp object at something! I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile and I’m so glade I did, because we had such an axe-cellent time!

It’s sort of like bowling, except instead of throwing a ball you’re hurling a super sharp axe. We booked two lanes at the Timber Lounge on 19 Orange Lane in Moncton; which is located next to the Pump House Brew Pub. Check them out online at: http://www.timberlounge.ca , on Facebook under: Timber Lounge Axe Throwing – Moncton. Or on Instagram at: timberloungemoncton. (they didn’t pay for our night, but hey if they wanted to invite us out back, we would be down for that… just saying.)

I’d never swung an axe before, but full disclosure, I am pretty sure I am a direct descendant of some hunky Viking, lol, so I assumed, I’d be super good at it.

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We were greeted as soon as we walked in and after signing in, we got drinks while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. Because why not have a few drinks before playing with axes, right?

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The Timber Lounge has a really cool vibe. We got lucky and had the back lanes, which  gave us a bit of privacy, as it wasn’t always pretty.

Our guide, who’s name escapes me, sorry. So I’ll call him Hans, since that sounds very Vikingy; his name is probably Marc or Jean? Lol. Anyway, Hans, explained the safety rules and showed us how to throw properly; during our practice throws he gave us pointers. He coached us and encouraged us all the way through. Hans was awesome! Please tip Hans if you go and he is your guys.

We each managed to get a bullseye, some…Stacy, got a few more…ok, a lot more.

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My cousin Nicole had perfect form and the most graceful swing, but still managed to finish last. Sorry, Nicole; she’s naturally good at everything, so she can handle a little ribbing.

 

My brother, Serge, showing us how it’s done. He started strong, if I’m part Viking, then I guess he is too? But he got beat in a tie breaking axe-off by me!!

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Our axemen and axewomen, top left, Kenda the small but mighty, Bullseye Stacey, Liette la Viking. Bottom left, Mary Helen aka Mrs. Brady, Serge, the silent one and Gina the beautiful beast; if there was a prize for best biceps she would win!

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Mr. Bullseye or Stacey, won in a hard fought final round, beating his opponent, me, by one point. It was a nail biting finish…ok probably just nail bitting for me, because I really wanted to win, lol.

What I liked about this activity is that at the end of each round, you start fresh, so if you sucked, you can theoretically redeem yourself.

We started with a round of round robin and then, the top 4 axed it off, before the final axetravaganza; where the top two battle for the win.

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Fun fact, Mary Helen had the most “unique” swing, and by unique, I really mean wonky, lol, but ranked #2 in bullseyes.

If you are looking for something fun to do, this is it!! We had so much fun! It exceeded our axepectations, (most fun axe puns provided by Stacey and Gina).

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I really think we all would have played better had we been wearing plaid. Our next tournament, I think plaid, tuques or Viking Hornes will be mandatory!

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I highly recommend the Timber Lounge Moncton; Lord tundering Jesus it was fun! (Ok, not sure why I am closing this post off with a Newfie accent? It just felt right, lol.

All the hipster cities now have axe throwing bars, look it up and try it!

muah!

Liette

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Funny Things a Maritimer Misses When They Leave.

Funny things a Maritimer misses when they move away.

There are lots of things that you miss when you leave the Maritimes; most are normal things, like your friends and your favorite restaurant… But then there are weird things that you never think twice about when you live here, but as soon as you move away and come back, you feel all nostalgic about them.

(For my American friends, the Maritimes are the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, also know as the island).

Things You Miss

Here are my top 5 weird things

#1: Accents

None of us think we have an accent, but it turns out we all do! And guess what? There are lots of different accents in the Maritimes…who knew??

The first time I noticed this was when I was in Vegas watching the Golden Knights play hockey, they were robbed by the way, but that’s another story. At the end of the game, they interviewed the head coach, Gerald Gallant, who is from PEI. As soon as I heard him speak, I thought, OMG! He sounds like home!! There it was a Maritime accent and I love it!!

There are a bunch of Maritimers who work for my company who live in Reno. One of them, I’ll call him  Pete Post…ok that’s his name, lol. Anyway Pete was in Vegas on a day that I was feeling a bit homesick. I told him that I missed people who talk English with thick, or like my dad would say, tick, French accents. He then proceeded to talk to me in English, but with a variety of Acadian regional accents. He did Moncton, Shediac and Bouctouche. He had me laughing so hard I was crying. Now when I see him, I ask him to talk fake French English to me. I am pretty sure the people we work with think we are weirdos; they don’t get the joke. But whatever la, we think c’est right funny, pis ont rie. Ok that was Chiac, but you get the drift, if you are a Maritimer.

#2. Canadian Content Music

Growing up radio stations needed to play a certain percentage of Canadian Artists on the radio; not sure if they still do? This meant that even though we listened to all the popular music from the US, we also listened to Canadian  bands that my American friends have probably never heard of? Bands like Platinum Blonde, Haywire, Toronto, Headpines…

During university I worked as a banquet waitress, so I worked a lot of weddings. I swear to god that every DJ in the 90’s played the same 40 songs from the 80’s! Tom Cochran’s Life is a Highway, and similar songs, were enough to send me over the edge.

A few days ago, as I was driving and dodging potholes, I found myself signing at the top of my lungs to Patio Lanterns. Yes, Patio Lanterns, from Kim Mitchell; and if you are in my age bracket and Canadian, I know that you know it; and I know that you know every word! I never would have guessed that one of these old songs would make me crank the radio up and sing along, but there I was, patio lanterning my way down Main Street Moncton.

#3. Potholes

I think it’s safe to say that no one, I mean no one has potholes like the ones in these parts. Seriously, WTF?? Lol. Living in Vegas, where things don’t freeze and thaw, and freeze and thaw, then freeze and thaw some more has spoiled me. So I am shocked by the state of the roads when I come home for a visit.

While I don’t miss potholes, there is a weird sense of accomplishment that comes from driving to work and navigating the roads like a freaking gold metal Olympic solemn skier, that is more than a little satisfying. It’s like, damn, I am awesome! It’s 8:30am and I’ve made it to work without scraping the bottom of my car! I’ve never pulled off the 215 in Vegas on my way to work and felt like a rock star for just surviving my commute.

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I am adding this picture, above, so my Vegas friends can see what I am talking about. This is typical and by no means, is I t the worst road. When they have a sign that says bump ahead, that’s when you worry, you brace yourself for dear life! This small section, didn’t merit a sign lol.

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Just a Canada Goose in its natural Canadian habitat!

#4. Snacks

There are lots of food that you miss when you move away from home. My number one thing I miss is lobster, fresh lobster. I usually have one waiting for me at my parents when I land. Fun Fact, Maritimers eat their lobster cold 99% of the time; my American friends are always surprised by that.

So missing yummy lobster is not weird, but missing Roasted Chicken Chips is a bit weird…right?? First of all, they aren’t that good, lol. I thought these were a Canadian thing, but in all my travels across Canada, I have never found them anywhere else but in the Maritimes; and I have looked.

The weird thing is that when I lived here, I maybe ate them once or twice a year, but now when I visit, they make me happy, lol.

Another snack that I took for granted is Cherry Blossoms! These are good, but when was the last time you bought a Cherry Blossom?? I am bringing a bunch back to Vegas with me for my friends to try. (Ok, full disclosure, I landed back in Vegas yesterday and sadly no Cherry Blossoms survived the almost 7 hour flight time…sorry. I did save the boxes though, lol).

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#5 Cousins

The thing that I miss the most is my family, nothing abnormal there right? But on this trip home, I am realizing how much I miss and appreciate my cousins.

Now if you are of Acadian decent and in your forties or older, chances are that you have lots of cousins; I have 24 first cousins.

Growing up I couldn’t escape them, they were everywhere! I had 3 cousins living next door, 3 cousins living across the street, one cousin living in the apartment below us and my brother and I. That is 9 cousins on the same street! We all went to the same school and we all took the same bus. I always thought we were sort of like the Kennedy’s, but poorer, lol.

Cousins tease you, they boss you around, they bite, they kick you, give you black eyes and they tattletale on you; so they aren’t always your favorite people growing up. But as you mature you come to realize that apart from being pain in the ass they also looked out for you and stood up for you; they were allowed to bully you, but no one else was, lol.

Now that we are all grown, there is something comforting about having such a crazy extended family with lots of cousins. You don’t see all of them that often, but you know they are there, ready to back you up or hold you up when you need them. I love you all!!…ok most of you…jk, all!

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Just a few of my « cousines », Brigitte, Maneau, me, Tania & Katelyn. Growing up people mixed Brigitte and I up all the time. One of the pit falls of being one of so many, lol.

This picture above is just a few of my cousins on my dad’s side, all grown up.

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We are a family! I am top row, last one on the right.

Flash back to the 70’s!! Here is the cousin crew on my dad’s side. We have 3 cousins who weren’t born yet, Julien, Katelyn and Curtis.

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Here’s a more candid shot, notice my huge smile, even though I am missing teeth, lol. Also, fun fact, my mom had to put makeup on me to hide a black eye given to me by my cousin Sonya, she’s the one right behind me. It was an accident, but I am totally over it…ish, lol.

Ok, I needed to blow this one up to show my missing teeth. I have to admire the fact that teeth or no teeth, I am giving the camera my biggest smile! I am also happy that I grew into my big mouth, lol.

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Les filles à Neri; my cousins Nicole and Genevieve.

I can’t ignore my cousins on my moms side, here are two of them. If you were an older cousin, you actually made money off the younger cousins by babysitting. My brother and I were Nicole’s cash cows for years! And I made a small fortune babysitting Genevieve and her brother during my high school years.

I hope you enjoyed this fun post. If you live away, what weird thing do you miss most?

Follow me on Insta or Facebook @ oui-liette.

Thanks for reading!! Working on a super fun project, can’t wait to share.

muah!

Liette

 

 

 

 

Fun Things to do in NB – Sugar Shacking!

Fun Things to do in New Brunswick – The Sugar Shacking Edition!

So technically it’s called visiting a maple syrup camp or shack, but I think Sugar Shacking is way jazzier.

Being a native New Brunswicker, I have to admit that I have taken this activity for granted in the past, but I have come to realize that a lot of people have never visited a sugar shack; to my American West coast friends, you really need to add this activity to your bucket list, because it’s awesome…and yummy!!

I hadn’t really put much thought into it before, but maple syrup can only be gathered in a few select places in the world; and New Brunswick is one of those places!

Did you know that Quebec produces 70% of the global maple syrup supply? I think this makes maple syrup super Canadian; Vermont is the State that produces the most in the US.

Sugar Shack Profile

Since I am back in New Brunswick for a bit, I decided to go Sugar Shacking last weekend; it was the perfect way to spend a sunny spring day outside, while loading up on pure sugar.

We visited Trites Maples, I highly recommend them if you are in and around the Moncton area; here’s how to find them.

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It was a beautiful, balmy +12 degrees Celsius, which is almost shorts weather in these parts, lol. It’s a nice walk from the parking lot through the woods to the sugar camps.

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As you walk through the woods you see the maple trees that are being tapped. There are blue lines that run from tree to tree sucking out the sap from the trees.

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We walked around saying; “I would tap that”, just because we thought it was funny.

We ran into a lot of super cute locals and a bus load of foreign exchange students. There is nothing like a beautiful sunny day to get Canadians out and about.

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The mom gave this little guy a stick and was trying to make him use it as a walking stick. He wasn’t having it, he held it like a hockey stick 🇨🇦.

There are two other camps before Trites Maples.

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Leading up to Trites Maples, the trees were tapped with buckets attached to gather the dripping sap; it was so pretty!!

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Some trees were dripping a little faster than others. We were told that it hadn’t been cold enough the night before; ideally it should be -6 to -8 at night and +6 to +8 during the day for optimal sap dripping.

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It takes 40 silver buckets of sap to make one bucket of maple syrup! That’s a lot of drips!!

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The main camp at Trites Maples serve a mean pancake breakfast. The inside of the camp or lodge is beautiful wood, the servers were dressed in black and red plaid aprons…of course! And the pancakes were being flipped by actual Trites men! See the three handsome men bottom right, below. The young one in the middle is obviously still in training, lol, his name is Chris and because we are in the Maritimes, he’s a friend of a friend. Actually, he’s a cousin of a friend, everyone around here is a cousin of a friend; we tend to have big extended families.

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We skipped the pancakes, this time, and made are way to the next cabin; where they sell pure sugar goodness!

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We watched them pour maple butter in maple leaf shaped molds. The difference between maple butter and maple syrup is 3 degrees. If the sap doesn’t hit the right temperature when it’s being boiled, it becomes creamy and butter like instead of golden syrupy.

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You may be thinking; wow Liette, you sure know a lot about maple syrup. I do, because I took the Sap to Syrup tour! Our guide explain how the syrup is made and the tour was free!

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Just chilling, waiting for our tour.

Guess who was our tour guide? Maple butter mold guy! And, yup, he was a Trites too!

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Meet Lindsey Trites, he brought us to where they boils the sap and turn it into syrup, it was very interesting to learn what it takes…and it takes a lot of hard work!!

After our tour, we got down to serious business…eating!! This is why people come Sugar Shaking; for the taffy, or « tire », as we say in French.

For newbies, here is how it works; they pour hot stuff, ok, full disclosure, I am not sure if it’s just regular boiling syrup? Or special boiling syrup? Lindsey didn’t cover taffy on our tour, lol, but it’s poured on a fresh bed of snow. You let it harden a few seconds and then you take your popsicle stick and you roll the taffy around your stick and you eat it!!

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They charge $2 for a popsicle stick; it’s pretty much a maple syrup taffy all you can eat buffet; omg it’s good!

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Side note: I noticed that 80’s skidoo style tuques are hip again, I should have kept mine!

Kids, pictures above, were lined up with their popsicle sticks. I had three, my friend, who will remain nameless may have had 5!!! I won’t call her out, but she is pictured with Lindsey and I above, lol. She was high on sugar on the drive back.

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Liquid Gold

We made our way through the woods back to our car with our supply of maple syrup in hand; I am bringing some back to Vegas with me for my peeps. Maybe it’s because I now live in the desert? But I couldn’t help but notice how quaint, clean and beautifully cool this day of Sugar Shacking had been!!

I left feeling thankful that I get to pop in and do  fun New Brunswick things a few times a year; I see things differently now and appreciate this place more than I ever have.

I would like to encourage those who live here to get out and enjoy this beautiful province!!

Muah!

Liette

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Fashion note, spring Sugar Sacking is muddy, rubber boots are a must!

 

Let’s Be Real

Let’s Be Real

As you know a lot of social media is not real life and some of it, is flat out fake. I get messages or run into people who read my blog or follow me who say that they love seeing all the fun things that I am up to.

And although I don’t post anything fake, it only shows one small part of my life, it shows the fun parts; my highlight real. I would hate to think that my online life would make anyone feel bad about theirs.

What I don’t post are the hours alone in airports or the times that things don’t go according to my plan, I hate when that happens! Since my blog is about my life, I thought maybe I should get real and share that pretty pictures don’t always tell the whole story.

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Keeping it real, no filter, no makeup, pimples and all!

Two things that may surprise you about me; one is that I am a home body at heart. Yes I travel a lot, and love it, but I love being home too. And if I am being honest, I actually don’t know where my home is? Is it in Moncton, where my family is? Or is it in Vegas where my stuff is?? I really don’t know anymore.

The second thing is that I am a very private person. Yes, I have a blog and may appear to be an open book, but my close friends know that I find it hard to share all my stuff. So this post is me venturing out of my comfort zone.

Why am I venturing out of my zone? I just think that we all have our own struggles in life and I would hate for someone to think that they are alone in their struggle.

I try really hard not to compare myself to others, its a losing battle, so don’t do it either, lol. And I am a naturally positive person, but sometimes life kicks you in the balls. I am currently dealing with that now; and it sucks big time!!! If I have to look for a silver lining, I guess it’s teaching me what’s really important in life; don’t sweat the small stuff, yup, I get it.

As a woman, and probably men too?? We sometimes struggle with feelings that we are not enough; not pretty enough, not thin enough…not enough enough, lol. I know I do, and every once in awhile I need to have a chat with that little voice in my head. I have to slap that little bitch and tell her to shut up!!  I am pretty sure that these periods of self doubt are normal, so you aren’t a freak if you have similar thoughts.

All this to say that no one has it all figured out, nothing is perfect, life is messy! We are all just trying to do our best. My dad keeps telling me, that no one gets out of here alive… gulp!!! I always knew that was true, obviously, but once you are faced with the fact that you are losing someone, that saying takes on a much deeper meaning.  We all go through things that change us; wether it be sickness, divorce or death of a loved one. So let’s be nicer to each other, because you never know what the person next to you is dealing with.

Please keep reading my fun and positive posts about travel and how to throw amazing parties. Just know that I know, that sometimes it’s hard and know that you are not alone.

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This is my fav pic of me and my dad. ❤️

Thanks for reading and indulging me.

muah!

Liette

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This little cartoon spoke to me, so true!

 

 

24hrs in Montréal…in February!

24hrs in Montréal…in February!

Montréal in February isn’t for the faint of heart; but it is a beautiful and vibrant city no matter what time of the year…but maybe just a bit more vibrant in the spring, summer and fall?? Lol

If you do decide to come here in February, you will need a few essential items; like a tuque (it’s a beanie for my American friends), mittens, they will keep your hands warmer than gloves; and winter boots. And by winter boots, I mean boots with grips, a fur lining is a plus too.

In this post, I tried a new hotel, visited a Nordic spa, did a bit of shopping and ate on the run; oh and I ducked into a historic church.

I was here for a quick work trip and tried to squeeze as much as I could in the short time I was here. Here are my suggestions if you find yourself in Montréal and are wondering what to do…in February.

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Hotel

I love trying new hotels and one of the advantages of traveling off season, February is off season, is that you can get really great rates. This trip we decided to try Le Saint Sulpice Hôtel Montréal, it’s a chic hotel in the heart of old Montréal.

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The main doors are under the flags. That’s Mary walking ahead of me, hurrying to get out of the cold, she is such a wimp now that she lives in Nevada, lol.

The hotel is located on rue Saint Sulpice, which is located right behind Notre Dame Basilica; now I am not a huge church person, but this one is impressive.

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Above is what it looks like during the day; below is a night view, if you are in the area, you may as well peek inside, it’s really pretty.

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When checking into the hotel, we lucked out and got upgraded to suites, which is another perk of traveling off season. Always be nice and chatty with the front desk people…always!!

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My room had a large seating area with a stone wall.

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It overlooked rue Saint Sulpice with a great view of the cobblestone roads, there are cobblestones under the snow, I promise, lol.

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But my favorite part of my room and the hotel was the bathroom! More specifically the tub!

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This is my dream bathroom; not only did it have a big shower, it also had a big tub! I love baths!!!

They also had L’Occidane bath products, which are super fancy!! I brought all my leftover bottles home.

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There is nothing like a hot bath on a cold night!

Spa

We flew in on Sunday and by the time we checked into the hotel it was early evening. The temperature was -12 Celsius, which for some of my readers doesn’t sound that cold, but because Montréal is on the water, it’s a damp cold, so it feels colder. What could be more fabulous than a Nordic Spa on a wintry Sunday night?? Nothing!

Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal is located just down the street from our hotel. We asked the concierge at the hotel for the address, he said take a right, you’ll see and smell the eucalyptus steam.

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Follow the steam. The spa is on the corner of rue Sulpice and Commune; the entrance is at: 71 rue de la Commune Street W.

If you haven’t been to a Nordic Spa, they have hot baths and saunas with cold dipping pools and cold showers. So you go from the hot sauna to the cold shower to the hot pool, followed by the cold dipping pool; and then you repeat.

I did the hot bath and the cold dipping pool. It’s so cold it picks your skin; the trick is to dip quickly and go back to the hot pool. It’s supposed to be good for you; it was surprisingly invigorating. I don’t like saunas and the cold shower just seemed like a dumb idea, lol, so I skipped those. They also have relaxation areas where people go to to relax and nap.

I get bored “relaxing” for too long, I did sit there and people watched before moving on. The one thing that I don’t love about Nordic spas is that you aren’t allowed to talk. I guess that may be the reason why some people go? But I am chatty.

After I soaked, dipped, relaxed while silent; I went for a massage. And wow! It was one of the best massages I have ever had!! My masseuse’s name was Nicholas, he was from France; if you go, you should ask for him.  He was awesome and his Parisian accent was dreamy, ok, I actually don’t know if he was from Paris, but his French accent was very different than the accent Québécois and Acadiens. Not that it was better…ok, it may have been a little better? But just because it sounded more exotic to me. No offense to the Quebecers or my fellow Acadians…ok, enough about accents, moving on, lol.

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I walked back to the hotel so relaxed I didn’t even feel the cold, I realized that this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday night in Montréal…in February.

Next time I am in town I am going to try Bota Bota Spa-sure-l’eau; it’s a spa on a boat, it looks really cool! Let me know if any of you have been there, if so what did you think??

Shopping

Montréal is probably one of the chicest cities in North America; top three for sure! So it goes without saying that the shopping here is amazing!

Here are my fav stores.

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Included Banana Republic because it’s a beautiful store! Love the historic building.

You should start in and around rue St Catherine; there you will find the Hudson Bay and the Eaton’s Center.

For my American friends, The Bay is a huge high end department store. It was a fur trading company founded in 1670 and is the oldest incorporated  joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. All that to say, it’s a big part of the history of Canada and a great place to shop; it’s similar to Sasks Fith Avenue Department Store.

The Eaton’s Center is a huge mall, located in the middle of downtown. Montréal has an extensive underground walkway, you can get in and around The Bay to the Eaton’s Center without having to go outside; which comes in handy on cold winter days. I braved the cold and walked outside, living in Las Vegas for a few years now, I felt that walking in the cold may help me get my Canadian street cred back?

Rudsak

Rudsak is a Canadian company; it’s described as a luxury fashion company. It’s on the pricey side, but their items will last forever!! Almost every item in their store was black or gray, so my kind of place. It’s my bff’s, Guylaine’s, fav store.

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They had everything you need to survive a Montréal winter in style! They also had beautiful purses. I felt butterflies in my stomach as soon as I saw them, but walked away before I fell in love; as I walked away I repeated in my head: you do not need another purse…you do not need another purse!!! Ouff, that was a close call.

They have a few locations, I went to the one inside Eaton’s Center.

Artizia

Aritzia is another Canadian company; it was founded in  Vancouver. They focus on individual style and quality garments. They also have a store in the Eaton’s Center; if you haven’t shopped there, check them out. Their clothes are more affordable than Rudsak. They remind me a bit of Zara.

COS

COS is my current fav store; it’s a Swedish company with locations scattered in key chic cities around the world. I’ve been to the store in Toronto and Paris; they also have a store on rue St. Catherine here in Montréal. I didn’t make it there on this trip, partly because I didn’t know they had a store when I was downtown and partly because I didn’t want to know for fear of buying something. My bag is already over weight, I’ve been gone three weeks, so I needed a lot of stuff and winter stuff is heavier; but I will visit on my next trip for sure.

One thing that I will say about COS, is that if you check them out online, you may think they are very boring, the clothes on their site look boring, but their stores are super chic in person. They offer classic pieces that will never go out of style. They also have cool hip pieces that are sure to become classics. They have great quality stuff, so I don’t mind paying a little bit more; but prices aren’t super crazy. My friend Aline first introduced me to this store…thank you!

Banana Republic

I am giving a shout out to the Banana Republic on St Catherine just because it’s one of the bigger Banana stores that I have been in and the building is historic and funky. I bought a blouse!! It’s light weight so shouldn’t add any weight to my suitcase, in case you are worried about me, lol.

Food

Montréal is a foodies dream, so many amazingly yummy places. It’s fun to discover hidden gems as you walk through the city. Montréal is know for their smoke meat sandwiches and their bagels, personally I prefer Montreal bagels to New York’s.

I would recommend making friends with your hotels concierge; they will know all the best places to eat.

Because this trip was super short, we didn’t have time for a fancy meal. We did grab a pizza before our spa night. Pizzeria Bros is almost across the street from Notre Dame; you can create your own pizza, each pizza is cooked in its own red pizza oven, super cute and yummy, easy on the budget too.

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They are located on Notre-Dame St W. Funny story, there was a family sitting beside us, the father looked exactly like Kramer from Seinfeld. I couldn’t stop staring. I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t want to be rude, lol. It was uncanny!!

Montréal has a definite Euro vibes, there is literally a coffee and/or pastry shop on every corner, especially in old Montréal. While walking back from my meetings, I stopped into Olive and Gourmando; I had heard so many good things about this place, I needed to see what all the talk was about.

It was packed!!! I didn’t have the patience to wait in line in the cold doorway, so I got a few things to go. My fave was the blueberry tart. It’s obviously the “it” place to meet with friends, but if you are looking for a quiet place to catch up, this isn’t the place, lol. It’s more of a see and be seen place.

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They are located at: 351 rue Saint-Paul St. W. ;Rue Saint-Paul is the main cobble stone street in old Montréal?, you will think you are in Europe.

Even though my time in this beautiful city was short, and cold, I tried to soak in as much as I could. There is so much to do and see, 24hrs is a joke, but it’s better than nothing. There was a winter festival happening the week after I left, the locals are not afraid of a little cold; so there is lots to do in the winter; but there is something magical about the city in the summer.

My next trip back is planned for July, I will do a follow up post at that time that showcases the summer vibe.  So what’s your favorite thing to do in Montréal?

Thanks for reading! Merci!

Muah!

Liette

A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme.

A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!!

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This year I decided that it would be fun if our Christmas Eve Dinner had a theme; and since plaid seems to be the latest new hip trend, why not make it a plaid theme? If you are Canadian, it’s been hip forever, lol; plaid and Christmas are a natural fit so I thought it would be easy to pull off.

I did find that finding the perfect plaid item to wear was, well hard to find, lol. What I envisioned wearing wasn’t available at the local mall and I waited too long to order something online. But I am no quitter! Plus all but my guests are pumped and on board; so full steam ahead with my Mad for Plaid theme!

What to wear?

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This was my initial vision…yeah, I didn’t find anything this chic!! 😳

Can you have a plaid theme dinner without asking your guest to dress up? Probably, will it be as fun? No! No, it won’t. (teasing, feel free to skip to my pictures of plaid dinner table ideas if you don’t want to deal with my plaid shenanigans)

My Christmas Eve guests have been asked to wear some sort of plaid. I left it open to interpretation; I am looking forward to seeing everyone plaided up! (yes I know plaided isn’t a real word, but it should be!).

I finally found something I like, it’s a beautiful red and black plaid shawl that I will for sure wear again; it’s basically a huge blanket. My mom has a funky pair of red plaid pants that I am sort of lusting after. She’s the most stylish woman I know! My dad will wear a red and black buffalo  pattern shirt so he and I will match.

 

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This would have also worked; there is nothing more Canadian than plaid and jean on jean, right?!

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Decor

When it comes to decor, concentrate on your dinner table. I always make that my focal point. I think most people associate plaid with rustic and homey comfort; I personally think of a tall rugged Canadian lumberjack named Alex or Jean-Guy…..lol, ok moving on; the point I was trying to make before I got distracted by visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head is that it’s so easy to pull off a plaid themed dinner table. All you need is a plaid tablecloth or piece of fabric, mason jars, pine cones and a pop of something green and red.

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This was not a staged photo. This is a real live Canadian male wearing plaid, holding an axe, while standing in the snow, lol. Is he an actual lumberjack? Sure, why not? (No he isn’t).

Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so pretty!!

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We picked the pine cones ourselves; combined with the greenery my table smelled like Christmas!!
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I added a few shiny red balls.
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A few mason jars with cranberries and floating candles, instant cool mood lighting.
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This is my pallet for this year’s tables, i will add some greenery, floating candles and some mini lights. I think it’s going to look soooo pretty!

This year I will have gray and black table clothes with red napkins. I will repeat the other same items from last year; hey, if it isn’t broken, no need to fix it!

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Pro Planner Tip

Here is a super helpful tip for any and all parties, big or small; the key to creating a cool vibe for your guests is lighting! So please dim the damn lights!!!

Light some candles or load up on fairy lights, nothing ruins the mood like bright overhead lights…you’re welcome!!

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This is my cozy plaid wrap. Apparently this red and black pattern is called Buffalo… who knew? Photo creds to my nephew Jack!!

I wanted to post this before Christmas in case someone is looking for ideas on how to dress up their dinner table. I will share pictures of my Christmas Eve Dinner on my Facebook page, oui-liette.

Enjoy these last few days before the big day. I know they can be stressful; it may seem that everything I do has to be perfect. That’s actually not the case. I pre plan as much as I can and then the day of any of my personal parties or huge corporate events, I am pretty chill and roll with the punches. Don’t let the idea of perfection ruin the moment. Life is messy not perfect! Lol, enjoyez-vous!

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Merry Christmas!

Muah!!!

Liette