Holiday Staycation!

Holiday Staycation!!

With the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out.

You’re giving so much to others, how about you treat yourself to something fun for you?? It’s not being selfish, it’s taking care of your heart and soul so you can be there for others.

Now this idea will vary depending on where you live, but it works anywhere and everywhere! The basic idea is to escape from your daily grind for 12 to 24 hours; with all the time that you spend doing laborious tasks, you deserve some time to yourself this month.

It’s easy and doesn’t have to be too expensive.

Step 1 – Find a holiday activity and book it!

Every city, large or small have holiday things to do. Look it up and buy tickets for you and your mate, friend or mom; whoever you want to share your Staycation with, just be sure it’s someone you like, lol.

If you don’t like concerts, go see a movie or find a craft show, just make certain it’s an activity that you enjoy.

I staycationed last night in Las Vegas; and yes, this city has a lot of options, but I couldn’t help but notice all the concerts people back home in my little hometown of Moncton are posting on social media. So you don’t have to live in a big city.

Seeing Mariah Carey perform her Christmas concert has been on my  bucket list since I moved here three years ago. I missed her last year, her Christmas concerts were too close to Christmas, I was already back home for my Christmas vacation.

But not this year!! I asked two of my close friends if they were interested and they said yes!! We bought our tickets in August.

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The lady can sing!! Her show was so much fun!!

Step 2 – Get a room!

Now you maybe thinking, why would I get a room in the city that I live in? It’s a waste of money. First of all, no it isn’t a waste! It’s part of your “you need a break” staycation.

So get a room, have a romantic night with your partner or have a pajama party with your BFF.

Here’s a helpful hint, if your schedule is flexible, pick a night that the hotel isn’t busy. Sunday nights are usually the best nights to get the best rate. Also, ask if they have a locals rate? Or ask them what night in the next few nights could they offer you the best rate? Call the hotel directly and tell them you are planning a special night and that you live in the city, they will help you, I promise!

My friends and I have booked a hotel room on the strip, because if you live here going to the strip is sort of a pain in the ass. The traffic, the people, the parking, the people, the walking…

But, if you have a room on the strip, you can have a few drinks without having to drive home; instead of dreading all the crazy party people who invade the city, you become part of the party.

Step 3 – Make a night of it!

So you have your show tickets, you booked your hotel room; now get dressed up and go out to dinner. Think of it as your very own Christmas party and make it special.

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My friend Shondra never disappoints! Her silver sequins jumpsuit was on point! Woman kept walking up to her all night to rave about her jumpsuit!

For our night on the strip, we booked a fancy restaurant and got dressed up in our shiniest outfits; Shondra out shined, as she should, because she is fabulous!

If you are parents of small kids, maybe your staycation is getting a hotel room, ordering room service and watching Christmas movies in bed? Hey, do you! Whatever you need to recharge your batteries.

Step 4 – Gifts!!

This is a bonus step; ask your staycation partner or partners if they want to exchange gifts? I mean it is Christmas!!

My friends and I did a « our favorite things » gift exchange. Turns out all of our favorite things include fuzzy slippers, candles and luxurious face masks and lotions!

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What a treat to get back to our room, take our heels off and put on our new fuzzy slippers! 

As we packed up and left Caesar’s Palace this morning, Shondra mentioned that it felt like we had been there for the whole weekend; which was exactly the point. We spent a solid 12 hours away from our regular lives; we laughed and made great memories that we will treasure for years to come. Moving forward, Mariah Carey’s, All I Want For Christmas, will make me think of my awesome friends in Las Vegas.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you are planning or could use your own Holiday Staycation!

For more pictures, videos and holiday gift ideas, follow me on Instagram and Facebook at: @oui-liette

Muah!

Liette

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So full disclosure, I am not a big drinker. I only drink 4 or 5 times a year and this was one of the nights. I think I started a trend, because after my impromptu photo shoot in front of this random hotel wreath, there was a line up of people waiting for their turn, lol. 

 

 

Stuff Your Stockings!

Stuff Your Stockings! Great stocking stuffer ideas from Santa’s helper.

Growing up, one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning was diving into my stocking to see what Santa had left me. About ten years ago “Santa” asked if she…I mean he, still needed to fill my stocking? Duh! YES!!

The truth is you’re never too old for gifts in your stocking; and it turns out, that I enjoy buying stocking stuffers almost as much as I like getting them…almost.

So here are my top 5 stocking stuffing ideas for this Christmas.

Tag Your Bags!

I travel a lot for work, as do many of my friends. The other day I was waiting patiently…ok maybe not so patiently, for my hot pink Samsonite bag at the baggage carousel. I finally spotted it coming down towards me. I got into my best baggage pick up stance, just as another woman darted in front of me and grabbed it!  Turns out we had the exact same pink bag. This is exactly why I don’t have a generic black suitcase, but apparently I now need to add something unique to my hot pink bag so it stands out…more.

This was the inspiration for my first stocking stuffer idea, customized luggage tags.

I got these on Amazon, they are called: My Personal Memories and were $14.99 each.

 

I bought some for my staff, of course I had to get one for myself too! They come in a variety of colors. I got black, but now wishing I had gotten one of the bright colorful ones.

I went a bit rogue on customizing my tags. I did the first letter of the last names, as shown in the example, but then I wrote out the first name.

For a few of my closest friends I found these below, they are from a company called Airportag, http://www.airportag.com

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They are called Face Luggage Tags and were a bit more at $19.90. I think these are sooo cute.  I’m so tempted to show you all of the ones I ordered, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise, as a few of my friends are loyal blog readers; those who aren’t loyal readers aren’t getting anything for Christmas!! Kidding, sort of. So, sadly, I can only show you the one above, it’s my friends dog.

What’s nice about these is that you have the option of printing the names and address on the back side.

You can’t stuff a stocking without a stocking!

Ok, maybe I should have starting my post with this one? If your loved ones don’t have cool stockings with their names on them, well, not to be judgy, but I am secretly judging you, and so is Santa!! Lol

But seriously, I noticed one year that my stocking was getting raggedy, the red fur was shedding all over the place, so I upgraded. My cousin, Nicole, and I now have matching stockings that we stuff for each other.

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If you live in the Moncton area, check out: Made By Monique, on Facebook. She can create matching, monogrammed stockings for everyone on your list. Just hurry, Christmas is fast approaching!

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So a fancy, smancy new stocking can be part of your stocking stuffing gift; just don’t forget to stuff it. Do not give anyone an empty stocking!!

Staples Stuff!

My secret stocking stuffer location is Staples, yes the office supply store. When I am having a hard time thinking of what to get someone, I go to Staples and it never disappoints!

If you want to change the life of your Millennial or Gen Xer, get them a super long phone charging cord, like 10’ long. It will seriously improve their quality of life, lol.

Think about it, you’re laying in bed, watching something on YouTube or browsing on your phone and it’s charging at the same time! And you don’t have to be at the edge of your bed, because your cord is too short. You can be in the middle!!

Here are a few cord options, I would go for the pink one, obvs. These are 6’, but I highly recommend the 10 footers. They also have phone pad chargers and a bunch of other cool stuff that you need, but never think to buy for yourself. I think you will find tones of stocking stuffers for everyone on your list at Staples.

Make Christmas Memories!

This is a great ideas for everyone, but especially for men for their partner, mother or sister…

Start a new tradition of buying a new tree ornament every year and put it in their stocking. It’s thoughtful and sentimental. I try to find a funky Santa or snowman every year. This year I bought three of these jolly guys, one for me and two for gifts. If you find something you like, buy more than one. Omg he is so cute!!

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I got this guy at Crate and Barrel

Practical Stuff

My stocking stuffing strategy is to have one or two, substantial gifts, don’t fill it up with cheap crap! So one or two nice things and then, go ahead and load it up with cheap crap! Lol

If you’re giving socks and underwear, wrap it and sock it!! Socks in a sock, why not?

If you have a university student home for the holidays, get toothpaste, Mr. Noodle, deodorant…the key is to wrap each item.

For ladies…or men, pick up a few silicone gel eye patches, bath bombs and wrap em up!

Gift Packs

All my stuffing ideas are items that I would like to receive myself; this last idea, I love giving and receiving!

If you want to test the waters with your subject before buying ask them one question; do you shop at Sephora? If the answer is yes, you are cruising down easy street!

During the holidays they offer a variety of gift packs; this one below is a Lashstach. It’s a package of a bunch of different brand together, these are a bunch of different mascaras. Sometimes they are a little smaller than regular size, but bigger than sample size.

Why is this so cool?? Because you get to try a bunch of different brands to see which you like best. Usually when you run out of mascara or other, you don’t want to gamble on another brand, just in case it’s not as good as your current fav. This gift pack let’s you try them all.

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Here is another great one! This brand sells lipsticks, they go on very glossy so don’t worry if you aren’t sure if these shades will be flattering. They are glossy with a hint of color, so will be flattering on everyone. Again, it’s a great way to try a bunch of different shades.

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A few years ago I gifted my bff with a black liquid liner gift set and she loved it!!! This year I bought a Benefits gift set for a coworker, we do a gift exchange; it includes a bronzer, a full size mascara and an eyebrow shadow.

If you are unsure find a sales person and tell them the coloring of the person you are buying for; fair, blonde hair, blue eyes, or olive skin with brown hair and brown eyes.

I hope one of these ideas will be helpful to you! My two key take aways are: make sure you have at least one nice gift, the others can be useful fillers. And two, wrap everything that goes in the stocking, half the fun is unwrapping and it will make the morning gifting last longer.

My next Christmas post will focus on Santa’s naughty list! Hey, sometimes being naughty is just way more fun!!

Thank you for reading!

muah! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Liette

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Airport Shopping Tips

Airport Shopping Tips

One of my many talents is shopping, lol. I can seriously shop anywhere; it’s hereditary, I come from a long line of great shoppers!

I’ve never admitted this publicly before, but I love airport shopping. And not the cute designer boutiques, no, I like the touristy shops. Hudson News and similar stores are my jam!

Is my love for tacky touristy shops due to the fact that I spend far too much time in airports? Perhaps? But I’ve found some seriously cool things over the years.

Las Vegas, Terminal 3’s Hudson News rocks!! Where else can you find Elton John’s new book, alien t-shirts that are so tacky they’re actually cool; super cute keychains, vinyl records, yes you heard me, records! Gummy bears, funky artsy greeting cards, water for your flight and a cheese & crackers??? Where??? Nowhere!

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Some may be thinking, who needs a glow in the dark Area 51 alien t-shirt? It’s silly and frivolous; yup, that’s true? But I am going to buy it for my 17 year old nephew on my return trip. I’ll add it to a new pair of jeans and new Converse sneakers and bam!! I can cross him off my Christmas list!! Nerdy, quirky t-shirts are in at the moment, BTW.

You see, I think my airport shopping is really a great demonstration of my ability to multi-task and it also shows off my awesome time management skills!

The average person sees something interesting and thinks, oh cute, and walks away. But an expert shopper thinks, oh that would be a cool stocking stuffer or that would be perfect for so and so’s birthday…. in 11 months.

Now do I usually end up buying myself one of everything that I buy for others? Like last Easter when I bought my mother and cousin the softest pajamas ever made? Well yes, I do, but in my defense, I think it would have been unfair for them to have cute new matching PJs and for me to be forced to wear older, none matching, ones.

What I love about buying fun, odd things, throughout the year is that my Christmas shopping gets done early and the cost is spread out over several months. So far, I’ve avoided being that person; you know that person who ends up racking their brain trying to think of what to buy everyone on their list.

If you’re thinking of adopting my airport/touristy shopping gift strategy, here’s some advice on how to avoid a big rookie mistake. In your excitement, you will be tempted to hand out gifts to loved ones upon your arrival back home. But resist and put them away, save them for Christmas!

Think about it, what if a few weeks before Christmas, you take inventory of what you have hidden away and you realize that all your kids stocking stuffers are bought. Hmm, my love for airport shopping might not seem so silly then??

My great find today were super hero keychains. Are they silly? Yes, but they are fun, unique and are actually great quality; don’t buy anything that looks cheap or flimsy.

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I bought them for a few of my girlfriends. Any girl who grew up watching Linda Carter wanted to be Wonder Women (Linda Carter played Wonder Woman on TV in the 70’s and she was fabulous!!). I’ll add them to their Christmas gifts. (Update, on my way back home, my carry on was searched and the Calgary security lady freaked out when she saw these! She wanted to know where I got them, I think she wanted me to give her one.)

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I picked this moon night light up in the San Francisco airport; I think it’s super pretty! I had a two hour layover there on my way back from this last trip, just enough time to explore the shops!

Here are a few Airport Shopping Tips…from a professional.

– as mentioned above, don’t buy anything that looks cheaply made. And skip the snow globes and magnets, unless you know someone who collects them.

– airport shops have great greeting cards and honestly, when in your busy life do you have time to pleasantly browse through greeting cards? It’s amazing how easy it is to find that perfect one when you aren’t pressed for time. Like when you’re at the card store rushing through the racks for a nice engagement card, because you’re already 30 min late for the party. I buy in bulk, I think of who’s birthday coming up.

– look for items that have that “strange” factor; either it’s a strange item, in general, or it’s strange that, said item, is being sold in an airport, next to the chips. Lol, Maybe unique would be a better word? Life can be hard and at times depressing; if you find something that no one actually needs, but is fun and makes you smile, buy it!

– don’t limit yourself to airport gift shops, check out hotel and casino gift shops too, you will find the most uniquely quirky items. I was recently on a road trip and we stopped at the biggest touristy shop I’ve ever seen. It was on an Indian reservation and they had everything! My friends and I browsed around, they didn’t buy anything, but I bought the oddest thing ever. It’s a large bullet casing that’s been turned into a bottle opener. It was $6 and no tax (reservations don’t charge tax). My brother will think it’s cool! It’s a perfect stocking stuffer. This is also the sort of quirky gift that makes an awesome and memorable host or hostess gift. Buy a six pack of beer or anything that requires a bottle opener, add the bullet bottle opener and I guarantee that your host will be super excited he invited you to his party!!!

– don’t forget about your sports fan! Airports have so many team branded items to choose from; socks, hats and underwear are perfect stocking stuffers!

– To Duty Free or not Duty Free? Sooo, I have to say that besides booze, I haven’t seen any great deals at duty free. Yes, you’re saving on the tax, but items are usually at full price. I am not a fan.

Thanks for reading!! My next posts will be all about that holidays!!! Then in January, I will be sharing the results of my weight loss challenge. I started the last week in June, my goal was to lose 30 pounds by Christmas! I am soooo close to my goal and it’s only first week of November!!

muah!!

Liette

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Falling For Fall!

Falling For Fall!

Happy Fall! Yes, I know that fall doesn’t officially start until September 21ish, but hey the pumpkins have been out in the stores since August, so I feel I have shown a lot of restraint.

I loooooovvvvveee fall!! It’s what I miss the most about living in Las Vegas. I have two back to back trade shows in September and October so it’s going to be super busy, BUT!! I get to fly back to Canada for some vacation time the week before Halloween and you better believe that I am going to pack in as much fun fall stuff as possible!!!

I love making bucket lists, some may think they are silly? Here’s why I make them and why I encourage you to as well. We are all so busy, I feel that if we don’t consciously make plans, the days, weeks and months can zoom bye in the blink of an eye, and bam!! It’s Christmas and you’ve missed fall altogether!

So here’s my fall bucket list! (FYI I am saving my Halloween activities for my Halloween list that I’ll post Oct 1ish. Hey, I wasn’t kidding about loving lists!!)

1. Fall foliage and fresh air!

Since moving to the desert, I’ve discovered that some of my friends, here on the West Coast, have never experienced a full on autumn fall foliage fest. Yes the leaves on the trees here do change colors, and while three trees with yellowish leaves are cute,  that’s not really fall.

You need to experience a full on fall, in all its glory, at least once in your lifetime! The most vivid colors are in the North East of the US and the South East of Canada; New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have the prettiest views, but I could be a little bias? lol

I encourage all my West Coast friends to add this to their bucket lists and to all my East Coast friends; get out there and enjoy!!! Go for a drive, go for a walk, take pictures and smell the fresh air! Not to be a Debbie Downer, but you do know what happens after fall right??

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The pictures above are all from the Moncton area, seriously guys, how freaking amazing are these color??!! It’s simply spectacular!!

2. Sunflower Selfie!

Local farmers don’t exactly have it easy these days; a new way to supplement their incomes is by creating corn mazes, u-pick pumpkin patches, apple picking and sunflower festivals; and do you know what? I am all for it!

Look up what’s happening in your area and then get out there and enjoy! My Facebook feed has been full of the most beautiful sunflower selfies this past week.

The Green Pig Country Market in Salisbury, NB is having a sunflower festival and I am so bummed that I am missing it. FYI, in October, they have a huge corn maze and a zombie paint ball shooting tractor ride. I will be in that area at that time, so I’ll be there!

Please get out there and support your local farmers it’s a win, win!

I am going to do my best to find a field of sunflowers in Nevada, wish me luck!

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Soooo it turns out sunflowers don’t grow in the desert…booo!! Since I am not one to give up that easily, I made my own sunflower fun!  It’s amazing what you can do with a hot glue gun.

You maybe wondering if I looked like a nut driving around Las Vegas looking like a sunflower? Maybe? But here’s the thing that I love most about living in Las Vegas; no one cared, everything and anything goes here. It’s pretty wild! It’s probably the perfect place for me and my weirdness?

Funny story, I asked my mom a month or so ago if she thought I was weird? She said of course you are, but that’s why people like you!! Good to know, lol. 🌻🌻

3. Apple of my eye!

Apple picking has always been one of my fall traditions. As soon as the apples are ready for picking, usually mid to late September, my Facebook news feed will be flooded with pictures of my Canadians in apple orchards. Not only is it a great way to get some fresh air, it also offers lots of Instagramable moments.

And what do you do with all those apples? Make a yummy apple crisp or apple pie! Picture it, it’s getting chilly outside, which of course makes you want to nest and bake. Can you smell the apple crisp coming out of the oven? Mmmm, add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream; oh wow, I am getting hungry! lol. Add that to your fall bucket list please…you’re welcome.

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4. Fall fashion.

There is something about fall that makes me want to shop; you do that too, right? Once the air starts to get cooler; it’s time to pull out your sweaters, blazers and boots. In the fall I like to take inventory of what I have in my closet and what I need to replace.

My fashion strategy is to pay more for key pieces that will last me for a few seasons. I mix those pieces in with less expensive items that are a bit more trendy.

This is the year that I need a new pair of boots, fancy boots, not winter boots. I bought a pair of high heeled black leather boots in Chicago; I am going to say 6 or 7 years ago? At the time, I felt that they were too expensive, but I loved them and I knew that would never go out of style. I got them re-heeled and shined up a few years ago, which extended their life.  They ended up being a great investment, I certainly got my money’s worth. But, sadly their time has come and I that makes me super sad; first world problems I know, so no need to point that out, lol.

My new boots are 1970’s inspired black suede. I sent my mom a picture. I remember she had a similar pair when I was young; hers were a deep dark red, they were beautiful. I am digging that 70’s vibe. My friend just got a pair of cool bell bottom jeans, oh, I am getting a bit off track…sorry.

I also “needed” a new black purse…ok, maybe need is pushing it? My new fav purse site is: Wanderers Travel Co. I got a tan/caramel purse a few months ago that I absolutly love, but it’s not black, hence the “need” for a new black purse.

I have always, always been a fan of a leopard print, so I am super happy to see all the leopard prints out this fall; not that it ever goes out of style, but this fall it’s bigger than ever. My boots and a new purse were a little pricier, but my skirt was a steal of a deal. I got it at GAP,  it was 40% off, yay me!

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I am loving my new fall fashion items! I will pair my skirt with a nice black turtleneck instead of a white t-shirt as shown above. My wardrobe inventory uncovered 10 black turtleneck sweaters!! Sadly, I am not even kidding. I think I have a bit of a black turtleneck addiction. I can’t even rule out buying a new one this fall/winter, it’s a definite possibility, lol.

Oh and not that anyone asked, but here is my older, new purse from that same site. I think it’s just going to look better as it ages and gets a little banged up.

Thanks for reading! I am not really sure what happened? This post started with leaves, sunflowers and apples and finished with shopping. It’s pretty obvious that I just let my posts go where they want to go; I don’t always have full control, lol. I may have gotten too excited and a bit off track? Shit happens, lol.

I would like to give a shout out and thank you to my fall photographer, Barney! He also shot my spring pics; I guess that makes him the official oui-liette photographer? I’am not sure if he is fully aware yet? I will let him know after he takes my winter pics, lol.

Fun side note, we shot the sunflower pics in August on a cool 107 degree evening. My skin looks all fresh and dewy, ya, that’s sweat! Lol

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Please get out there and make memories with your friends and families!!

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muah!

Liette

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Friday Favs! Summer Edition

Friday Faves! Summer Edition

Here are a few of my favorite things that I am digging this summer; yes, I said digging, it’s cool again right?…no?? Please note, I am not getting paid by these companies, I bought these with my own hard earned money. But if anyone wants to give me free stuff, I am open to that!! Lol

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1. TKEES flip flops

Living in the desert, I live in flip flops. I found these online and thought they were pretty. They come in a multitude of nude shades, which I love; I didn’t get a nude pair though, nope, I stuck with black, because that’s how I roll. But I did get a nude pair for my friend Staci for her birthday and I may get a second pair in nude for myself, because hers are so cute.

What makes these different is that you can get your initials printed on them. They print on one of the straps; it’s small, subtle, but super cute!

You can find them at http://www.tkees.com

 

2. Nova Scotia Crystal Glasses

My mother and my grandmother collected crystal glasses and I have to admit, that I considered crystal to be old fashion. But then I went to a dinner party and my hostess had the nicest, none granny, crystal stemware. I went on a quest to find a modern, yet classic, crystal pattern that I would have forever.

Ok, the rest of the story is that she got hers when she got married and a lot of the ladies were like, oh I got some when I got married too, but never use mine; I need to take it out, bla, bla, bla. The voice inside my head while all this was going on was like; I don’t need to get married to have crystal, I can buy my own damn crystal!!! Something like that. Lol

I was referred to Nova Scotia Crystal, their crystal is hand blown and are works of art, and the fact they are a Maritime company is a bonus! For my American friends Canada has 3 provinces known as The Maritimes: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

I fell in love with their Luna pattern, because I love polka dots!

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Since they are pricy, I have been getting two at a time every few months. I now have 6 of the Double Barrel Tumbler and they are soooo pretty. They are super heavy and even though they are hand blown crystal, they are not fragile, so I won’t be afraid to use them.

Pick your fav pattern and add them to your Christmas list and ask Santa to buy you a few! Next on my list will be 6 of these old school martini glasses.

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Seriously, how pretty are these!!! Check them out at http://www.novascotiacrystal.com, they ship to the US too!

3. Beach Book

I am not a huge self help book person. I actually bought this book for a friend, but started reading it and I am now keeping it. I may let her read it when I am done?…maybe? Lol.

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The title caught my eye, but once I started reading, I really bought into his theory that we all have the power to change or make our lives different, we hold the power. And that the messages we tell ourselves daily help to create our reality.

I am almost done and I am really digging it! 😬. It’s an easy ready, bring it to the beach or to the lake.

4. Anything cacti!

These plates and paper straws from Target  make me want to throw a BBQ. Anything cactus themed is all the rage this summer. And these were super inexpensive!

True story, I bought a cactus water color in Moncton, NB, Canada; got it framed, in Moncton, and lugged it cross continent to the desert in Las Vegas. I felt like they needed to be in the desert, lol. But I didn’t think it through completely,  it would have been much easier had I brought the print with me and gotten it framed in Vegas. Oh well, live and learn! Check out the artist on insta: birch.house.lettering, she is super talented. Oh and it’s always cool to support local artists!

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My cacti are similar to these, but way bigger!

5. Summer Robe

So this is what I do when I can’t sleep late at night? I shop for odd things. One night I convinced myself  that I needed a fancy Asian vibe robe; I was actually looking at Asian silk pajamas, but settled on this. My white fluffy robe is just way to hot for the summer.

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It’s really pretty and will last for a long time so it’s an investment…right?? Lol, actually it wasn’t that expensive. Google it on Amazon if interested.

My weekend plans are to slip into my new robe, read my book, while sipping lemonade through my paper cactus straw from my Luna pattern crystal glass that I paid for with my own damn money, because I am worth it!!!

What will you he doing? Whatever it is, have a fabulous time!!! I hope you enjoyed my fav things of the summer! Be sure to sign up so you don’t miss a post, because that would suck!

muah!

Liette