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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Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

I’ve been noticing that since this dumb pandemic started, there seems to be a lot of new side hustles popping up and a bigger focus on buying locally.

I was really curious about what these side hustlers were doing, why they were doing it and how they were doing, while doing it? Make sense?? Maybe? Lol. Let me introduce you to Bonnie, who makes cakes and treats, Emily who makes funky earrings, Craig who makes beautiful cheese boards and wood stuff and Monique, who will customize pretty much anything you need.

First up is Bonnie, who is Mrs Delicious!

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Liette: What made you decide to start your side business?

Bonnie: The idea to start Mrs Delicious as an online bakery definitely came from my close friends and family. They were tasting and seeing all of my creations that I was posting about on social media during the spring and they thought I should offer what I was doing to a wider audience. I guess they thought I had a bit of a gift and thought I should share it.

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L: Is this something you had been waiting to do for a while?

B: Haha! Nooooo not at all. I normally have an extremely full schedule and wouldn’t have any room for extras like this. A typical work week for me, pre-pandemic, would consist of anywhere from 50 to 60+ hours of work a week. After a week like that you don’t typically have a lot left to give. Anything I do have left is spent on friends and family. However, at this time, with events on hold, my daily life has changed drastically. I needed a creative outlet and so my friend gave me the extra push I needed, she created a logo for me and I set up a Facebook page and my husband got some stickers made up with my branding and I was off and running.

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L: So all the extra time on your hands, because of the pandemic, sparked you to try something new?

B: The pandemic was definitely the instigator for this. I have hardly baked in the past 10 years. I have been concentrating on climbing the corporate ladder and being a Mom to my kids and helping to support my Mom when she was sick. I had a full plate. During the pandemic I turned to the kitchen, it started with a birthday cake for my daughter, then one for my son, then an anniversary cake for my sister and brother in law and it just kept going. I started having a lot of fun with it and trying trickier recipes each time. I was getting so many positive comments on my photos and people started saying, you should do this and sell them. I was very unsure at first but my confidence started to build and the reviews were positive so here I am. Mrs Delicious has been accepting orders for less than a month and I have already had close to 50 orders!

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L: I love that story!! Your cakes look absolutely delicious, great name btw, I am waiting for someone’s birthday in order to order one from you. How can people see and order from you?

B: People can order through Facebook at facebook.com/mrsdeliciousdesserts

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Post and Studs

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Emily’s is an elementary school teacher, who on the side, makes beautiful earrings. She makes them because they let her be creative and they make her happy, she explains that if they make others happy, that is a major bonus! And BTW, I just got a pair and they do make me happy! Mine are hot pink, obvs; here is my chat with Emily.

Liette: What inspired you to start making earrings?

Emily: I’ve always loved creating, aka making a mess. My sister and I started making jewelry as children and it was always something that brought me happy memories. We grew up in an extremely creative household, both of our parents were being creating in some way or another. I’m very thankful to have grown up in an environment that fostered our creativity.

A few Christmases ago, I was making earrings as gifts for loved ones and everyone told me to start selling them. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I decided to dive in head first!

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business?

E: Having a business was always something that appealed to my creative side, but definitely not my organizational side. It was something I was always interested in, but I am thankful that I can do it at my own pace.

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L: Your earrings are beautiful. How long does it take to make one pair?

E: From start to finish, many of the dangles take about four days to fully cure and become ready for your ears! There are quite a few steps involved and this time period can be greatly extended if I make any mistakes. I’ve definitely had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.

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L: I bet that it’s been a learning process, not just making them, but marketing yourself?

E: Because it’s my side business, I don’t have the same type of pressure to market myself as many other businesses do. Post and Stud is my creative outlet, and I treat it as such. If it all becomes too stressful, I have the ability to step back and take a break for a few days. This is a privilege I’ve needed and am extremely thankful for. For the most part, I’m able to go with the flow and create relationships with like minded people.

L: How can people see and buy your earrings?

E: They can go to my website: http://www.postandstud.com, my Instagram & Facebook account is @postandstud. My earrings are also available for sale at Sequoia, the Trinity location, The Glow, in Sussex, and Luxe Salon and Spa in Riverview.

Borden Design

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I’ve known Craig for a long time, we used to work together many moons ago. I was surprised and impressed when I saw the beautiful charcuterie boards he was posting on Facebook. I knew he was, and still is, an awesome musician, but I had no idea he had mad woodworking skills? It was nice to catch up with him; here’s a bit of our chat.

Liette: I’ve seen the videos you’ve posted online, it’s cool to see a bit of how your boards are made. What motivated you to start your side hustle?

Craig: I had been planning a little side hustle for quite some time. With the lock down and having some extra time it seemed like the perfect time to get started.

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L: Did being home during COVID push you to get started?

C: Typically my free time would be focused on making music with my band “Big Bang”, but COVID not allowing for rehearsing I had some spare time to really focus on coming up with some products I wanted to make.

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L: What is it about working with wood that you most enjoy?

C: The charcuterie boards I’ve been making came from an apple tree that was in our backyard. I love the three having a completely new life in a completely new form. The cutting boards are made from wood I get from another local business, London Lumber. It’s really like being a kid in a candy store every time I go there. In addition to wood we’ve been prepping to make some concrete products as well, they should be available in the coming months.

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Craig’s number one helper, Stephen, who just turned 7!!

L: How can people find and buy your products?

C: Currently my presence is focused on Facebook, bordendesignnb, but I ‘m on Instagram, borden_design, and Twitter, Twitter.com/borden_design, as well. Products and prices can be found on Facebook @bordendesignnb,

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Made by Monique

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Monique works in early childhood development and is super crafty and creative. She’s started a side company that focuses on custom printing; here’s our chat.

Liette: What inspired you to start your little side hustle?

Monique: I love being crafty and creating things, so after receiving my Cricut (fancy adhesive cutter and printer) as a Christmas gift, I started experimenting with it and watching YouTube videos, A LOT of videos! After trying a couple of different things, I realized I was more interested in designing shirts, onesies, hoodies, etc…

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business? What made you say, I am going to do it?

M: I’ve always loved the idea of having my own little side business that I would fully run myself, so that would be a yes! Once I had mastered designing and applying heat transfer vinyl on a wide variety of fabrics, I decided to invest in a few other important accessories and advertise on social media.

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She also sells custom pet stuff. Here are her two fav models, Pedro and Mika. Pedro giving us his sexy look, Mike giving us full on smiles. 

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L: What’s been one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to deal with so far?

M: A challenge I’ve had to deal with would definitely be the Christmas rush! It’s generally a busy time of the year in general, but with the added to-do list of getting all the custom orders ready before Christmas, it was a little extra busy for me. Even though it was a big stressful, I am SO thankful that I received so many orders!

L: So maybe we can put it out there now, in the summer, that people should start thinking of their custom Christmas Stockings, Tree Skirts and baby onesies now? lol?

M: That would be great to get orders as early as possible!

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These are the custom printed hats that she made for me.

 

L: How can people see your work and order from you?

M: I have photos of almost all my work posted on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/customizedbymonique and also my Instagram account: customizedbymonique. For order simply send me a message via my FB page and I will get back to you!

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I am so impressed with all these side hustlers their stories are inspiring and have a few common threads. One is that they are all doing something that they love and that fulfills their creative side, that’s so important, we all need creative outlets. And they are all using social media to promote and sell their goods. I think that social media gets a bad wrap; and rightfully so at times. My advice to those finding social media toxic is to do some major cleaning up!

You’re allowed to unfollow and unfriend anyone who is causing you anxiety. Replace them with local small businesses and services. I recently started following the hashtags #moncton, #newbrunswick and a few others and I have discovered so many neat things about my region.

Social media is the most valuable tool for small/local businesses…oh and for bloggers too, lol.

Thank you for reading!! Start following these awesome side hustlers on FB and Insta!!

muah!

Liette

As a bonus adding links to my last two links, they highlight local businesses. One is a nursery and the other a glamping site…you’re welcome!!

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

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/05/girls-who-glamp/

 

 

 

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

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Last weekend I was driving down Mountain Rd in Moncton, minding my own business, when something caught my eye; I saw the most colourful and unique birdhouses strewn across a parking lot.

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After picking up my friend Mary Helen, we went back to the parking lot to meet the birdhouse lady.

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Two funny things; the first is that the birdhouse lady’s name is Blanche, which in French means white; her birdhouses are pretty much every colour but white (except for her Acadian houses). The second thing is that I had just shared a blog post about colourful Maritime houses and then, bam! More colourful houses!

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Mary Helen made the observation that they looked like houses from Whoville in the Grinch.

 

I posted a few pics on Facebook and got inundated with questions of where people could buy them. Someone introduced me to her daughter who shared where her mom would be this weekend.

Weather permitting, on Saturdays Blanche is usually in Moncton on Mountain Rd, across the street from Rosario’s Restaurant. And on Sundays in Shediac, on the corner of Main St and Pointe du chêne Rd, in the parking lot across the Irving.

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Blanche is a true folk artist with a warm and welcoming personality who creates beautifully colourful houses; they just making you smile when you see them. I went back to see her this morning to buy a few houses for one of my cousin’s and had the opportunity to chat with her for a bit.

Blanche was kind enough to share a bit of her background with me. Her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring; at 13 she found herself homeless and sleeping in a car. She experienced many traumatic events and hardships in her young life. Unable to read or write she turned to carpentry and has been working in construction all of her life.

First of all; how bad ass is it to be a woman who makes her living in construction? It’s super bad ass!! Lol. She shared that she is able to do pretty much everything except for brick layering. She owns a small house in Moncton and updated her plumbing on her own; once done she had a licensed plumber come check her work. He confirmed everything was up to code and done perfectly. She said that she made him turn the water back on and there were no leaks!

She started making and painting these little houses and sells them on weekends. After knowing more about Blanche, I believe that the reason that so many people are drawn to her houses is because it’s a reflection of her spirit and joie de vivre. It may sound corny, but I believe that when something is created with love people are unconsciously drawn to them.

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Dawn also drawn to these colourful houses!!

To contact Blanche you can leave her a message on Facebook (Blanche Young) and I encourage you to post pictures of your birdhouses once you get them home and tag her. Her daughter helps her with her Facebook page and will be posting updates on where she will be selling her works of art.

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Thank you for reading! Like Blanche’s Facebook page: Blanche Young. Let’s support our local artists and let’s be thankful for all the bad ass woman out there, they are an example for us all!

muah!

Liette

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

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

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

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

At Home With Guylaine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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At a home with Claudia

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

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

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Before

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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After!

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

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Kidding Around

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo by Mia
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Photo by Madeleine

 

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

un gros merci, muah!!

Liette

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

Best Birthday Ever? Could Social Distancing Actually Bring Us Closer Together?

Best Birthday Ever?

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Could this social distancing actually bring us closer together? This post will include a few ideas on how to celebrate with friends and family during these crazy times; but more than that, I think it demonstrates how we are changing the way we interact with each other and our rediscovery of the importance of being kind to each other and to ourselves.

I’m not going to lie, the prospect of spending my 50th birthday by myself in my apartment, by myself, seemed a bit dismal and depressing. But what I hadn’t considered is how creative and thoughtful my friends and family would be. Could all this extra time apart help bring us closer?

The pace of our daily lives has slowed to a, sometimes painful, crawl; our routines and our interactions with each other have been completely flipped upside down. One of the side effects is that we are having to connect with each other in different ways; maybe even better ways?

Here are some great ideas if any of your people have birthdays or celebrations during this social distancing time. But you really don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make someone feel special and loved…just saying.

Card Campaign

The week before my birthday I started getting birthday cards in the mail, a lot of cards! I had forgotten how nice it is to open your mailbox and see brightly colored  envelopes; some even took the time to make me a card, seriously, how freaking thoughtful is that?

The keyword here is thoughtful; I feel like we are all being more mindful of the effects that our small gestures of kindness are having on others.
The thought of my friends taking the time and effort to go out of their homes to buy me  a birthday card; or getting their glue sticks out to make me a card; or digging through their storage to find a Halloween Card in order to customize it for me, because they know that I love Halloween, tugs at my heartstrings and has made me feel so special.

This card campaign as also helped to spread out this warm and fuzzy feeling; they are still coming in. I think we should bring snail mail back!! Are you thinking about someone? Instead of shooting them a quick text, send them a note or card.

Parking Lot Parade Party

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The morning of my birthday, I was puttering around my apartment, thankfully I was dressed with my lipstick on, ready to take on the day when I heard some honking coming from outside my window; when I looked out I saw 15ish cars with hot pink balloons parading down my street. 

I was so touched, and yes, I cried, just a little. The theme of this post is love; my friends and family took the time to do something nice for someone else; I was so fortunate to be the recipient of all of their love.  Had I had a party, my friends would have showed up to help me celebrate; but the thought that they coordinated meeting in a parking lot close to my place; where they decorated their cars with pink balloons and signs was extra special. As they made their way to my place, cars they passed pulled over and let them pass. This was so much more memorable than any regular party; the only shitty part is that I couldn’t hug anyone. Lots of hugs for everyone when this is over!

Feeling la Love!

When challenged with strict social restrictions, we are having to find new ways to stay connected and to show our love for one another.

I was invited to a super cozy lunch for two in a friend’s garage that included a 12 foot long table, perfect for social distancing. We sat there without any distractions, no checking our phones, we didn’t have anywhere else to be. We ate leftovers, laughed and listened to Van Morrison.

If you are feeling disconnected, put your best face covering on and go sit in your friends driveway! Thinking of someone? Send them a card or drop off a plate of cookies; simple, inexpensive acts of kindness are appreciated more than ever.

A few friends and I have started weekly zoom calls, my friend Kenda made the observation that she couldn’t remember the last time we were all in town at the same time and able to celebrate a birthday all together. Four out of the six of us travel for work and planning events has always been a scheduling nightmare.

I am noticing that we all seem more present when we spend time together now, even if just via video. Josette mentioned that when things get back to “normal” she is going to try to let go of a lot of the things that stressed her out and all the things she thought she “needed” to do. Our lives are much simpler now and it’s kind of nice?

We then decided that we should all make side ponytails as an homage to our 80’s roots; speaking of roots, some of us are starting to sport some pretty gray roots!! lol

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Feeling the love at a distance with Dawn! ❤️

Thank you for reading! In these crazy times be generous with your kindness and attention; if you love someone, tell them! If you see that someone is struggling a bit, reach out and be kind; it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.

And finally if you have any extra love to share, subscribe to my blog below, just scroll down a bit. Or you can follow me on Facebook or Insta at oui-liette

Stay safe and be kind!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

For any new readers, behind he scenes are just extra fun facts and bonus pics.

I brought up the banners and balloons from my birthday parade and set them up in my dining room, see the pic below. Notice the frames picture on the right; that’s my cousin Brigitte. She added her picture in with the group gift that she and my two other cousins gave me. She also edited their birthday messages in the group card. Her behavior perfectly demonstrates our families sense of humor; and explains a bit of my unique weirdness. ❤️

I am blessed to come from a family and friends who love to laugh and have fun!

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I didn’t have a big 50th birthday party planned, I know it’s shocking! But I did have a girls trip to Palms Spring planned for the weekend after my birthday. I had planned a theme for our après party, party; the theme was/will be: Let them eat cake!! One may think that a Marie Antoinette theme would be difficult to pull off? One would be wrong, lol

This tulle skirt and rock n roll t-shirt was/will be my party outfit. I was feeling a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to wear it anytime soon; so I decided to put it on and wear it around my apartment last week; it made me feel fancy and festive, so here it is, someone needs to see it!

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My awesome photographer Jack!

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I also wanted to share this painting that my sister in-law made for me; I absolutely love it! The picture doesn’t do the colors justice.

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Had anyone told me six months ago, or even two months ago, that I’d be super excited to get face masks as gifts for my 50th birthday, I wouldn’t have believed them. This jazzy one was hand made by my cousin Nicole, it’s reversible and freakishly comfortable.

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Sassy Blog Merchandise For Sale!!

Sassy Blog Merchandise For Sale!

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I am so happy to share with you my new cute and sassy canvas travel/makeup bags! The idea came to me on my last trip to London in February. I had 5 plastic baggies and 3 super small makeup bags in my larger travel purse; I like to keep everything contained so nothing is rolling around at the bottom of my bag.

After some searching, I’ve found the perfect size! I have a big purse, so I have one in my everyday purse; and I have two in my travel bag for when I am on the road. One has some makeup items and the other has my ear buds, tissue packet, hand wipes, band-aids, Tylenol and Advil, mints…

I have four different designs that are available in black or white.

Dimensions

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Designs

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To Order

I am selling them for $13 each, and for now, they are only available in Canada; once we are back to normal ish, they will also be available in the US. I know that $12.99 looks better, but rounding it up, because we all know that’s bullshit! lol

You can place your order via email, liette@oui-liette.org or direct message me via Facebook or Instagram at oui-liette.

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Which one is your fav??

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I kind of like this one!

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muah!

Feel free to share this post, it is my bday tomorrow, so like, it’s the least you can do! lol, kidding!! ish!

Liette

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Hoppy Easter!

Hoppy Easter!

This past week was my first full week off work. I’ll be off until June 1; and I have to admit that I’m already bored to death!!!! I know some people are thriving in this social distancing/staying home shit, but I am not one of those people, lol.

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But, this Saturday morning, I woke up with purpose!!! I was inspired by a few of my friends; Gilles, Kenda, Richard and my sister in-law April, who have been dropping off special meals for me this week. I was thinking it was just because they like me; but it may actually be pity food, because I live alone??

In the spirit of giving back and paying it forward, I’ve decided to make up special Easter baskets and drop them off on the doorsteps of a few of my friends and family. Partly because it’s a super thoughtful thing to do and partly because it will give me something to do; but mostly the thoughtful part. And sorry, but I have a massive family so I couldn’t hop over and leave a basket for everyone.

My baskets are pretty special; instead of having chocolate eggs and bunnies in them. I’ve added something much more valuable; toilet paper!! And not the cheap kind, I splurged on the three ply!

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Here are a few of my special baskets. Kenda and Richard got cheesies in their basket with one roll of toilet paper; their kind of special, but not special enough for two rolls and cheesies. lol

So this Easter morning, I hopped across town delivering my Easter toilet paper baskets… you’re welcome friends and family!!

To make them even more special I hot glue gunned a chick to each basket and added a cheery Easter card, that’s actually a sticker; so my loved ones can stick me on their fridges and have my smiling face staring back at them forever!!! It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

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I love this little thing, it’s called a Sproket and it’s a Bluetooth printer. It prints business card size stickers off your cell phone!

Happy Easter to all of you; I know it’s a really weird time and we are missing being with our friends and families, but hey, you can still drop off chocolates, toilet paper or ham!

Please stay safe and be kind to each other! We will get through this!!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

OK full disclosure, I wanted my Hoppy Easter cards to look like this one below, but I censored myself; what with it being the resurrection of Jesus and all. I decided to curtail my sassyness just this once.

Also I may have dropped off baskets to my mom and brother and then asked for the baskets back? But they got to keep the toilet paper. I just needed the baskets for others; it’s called recycling.

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5 Bad Ideas to Avoid During Social Distancing

5 Bad Ideas to Avoid During Social Distancing

So it’s been 9 days of social distancing; here are 5 bad ideas that I am going to caution you against doing. But who are we kidding, you’re probably making your way through this list as we speak? Good luck you bad ass rebel!

Top 5 Bad Ideas

Bad Idea #1

There is something about being held up in your home that makes you want to cook; which is great right? You’ll make those homemade energy balls/bars that Buffy from the gym’s been bragging about; yes you’ve been meaning to make those for weeks, but you just didn’t have the time.
You now have all kinds of time, but who are we kidding; you aren’t going to be rolling oats and gluten free flour to make protein balls. No, you’re making a double batch of chocolate chip cookies! And some of you are eating the dough straight out of the bowl….am I right?

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I got creative and made spring time chocolate chip cookies; they are just like regular cookies, but fancier! Obviously.

Bad Idea #2

Do not Dye or cut your own hair during a global pandemic!! The urge for a makeover is just going to get stronger as the weeks go bye; you must resist!! Your brain will start messing with you; sending you false messages like; you got this!! And how hard could it be?? Repeat after me; you don’t got this and it’s really, really hard!!

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Also try to avoid dying your own hair pink on a Friday night; it’s not as cute on Saturday morning…so I’ve heard.
Hats will be our best friends in the weeks to come! I have lots, message me if you need to borrow one.
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Bad Idea #3

Cleaning and organizing is bad idea #3; now this sounds like the perfect activity while stuck home right? In theory it’s a great idea depending on your approach. Do not take everything out of your closet all at once, because half way through your spring cleaning you’re going to need a nap and when you wake up, you aren’t going to be as motivated as you were just a few hours earlier.
What will happen next can go two ways; the first will be to leave mounds of clothing on your bed and walk away. For the next three days you will move the clothes from your bed to the floor at bedtime and then from the floor back onto the bed in the morning. Or you will just take the mounds of clothes and shove them back into your closet and close the door quickly; pouff! Problem solved.

Bad Idea #4

We all know that we shouldn’t  drunk text; well the same is true with online shopping while bored. Yes, online shopping will give you an instant surge of endorphins, that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. But that buzz will quickly fade once you start doing the math.
And honestly who’s going to see those four pairs of cute new shoes..OK, six cute new pairs while you are socially distancing?

Do you know what? I am changing my mind, this may not be such a bad idea? Those 8 pairs of new shoes will bring you joy while stuck in your house for the next few weeks. Keep them and wear them with pride!! I am taking #4 off the bad list; this is an awesome idea! Do it!!

Bad Idea #5

So you maxed out your credit cards on day 6; you’ve just finished your box of wine and you’re thinking that now would be a great time to drunk texted your ex!! Just to say hi or hey, if you’re a guy. Don’t do it!! Abort!!!
Yes, there’s something about a global pandemic that makes you yearn for connection with others; and really how bad was he/she??
Repeat after me; they aren’t your friend, they broke up with you via messenger and only reach out to you when they need something from you!! Go bake a double fudge chocolate cake or go trim your bangs; you got this!! Or hey! I think you need another half dozen new pairs of shoes!! Look how empty your closet is!

Good luck on avoiding these bad ideas; a great idea is to stay in touch with friends and family. We are all going to need each other as the weeks go bye. Stay safe and try to see the funny side of things when at all possible.

muah!!! Big virtual hug to all of you!!

Liette

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Facebook @oui-liette

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Oui! I can be your personal shopper for hire!

Oui! I can be your personal shopper for hire!

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I was looking for a side hustle that I could tie into my blog and that would highlight my natural talent; but first I needed to figure out what my natural talent was?

After a bit of soul searching I found it; it’s shopping!! One of my friends once said; “chu une femme à cadeaux”; which translates to; I am a woman who loves gifts. I too love gifts; getting and giving.

I’ve discovered over the years that a lot of people dread the act of gift buying, because they feel pressure to find that “perfect” gift; and it ruins the whole gifting experience for them. That’s so sad.

Well I am here to help…you’re welcome! Here’s how it works; you email me at: liette@oui-liette.org and tell me who the lucky lady or man is that will be getting a gift. I’ll send you a very none scientific quiz to fill out; don’t worry it’s short, funny and easy. It will give me an insight into who I am buying for, so that we can get them a thoughtful and personal gift. I can also make it the prettiest looking package ever!!

The more lead time the better. The more time will allow me to find the best deals and bang for your bucks.

I’ll be shopping locally, globally and online!

I am officially open for business! The next big event coming our way will be Mother’s Day; I’ll have a few pre-set gift ideas as starting points.

In addition to individual gifts, I can also help with party favors; parties are sort of my jam.

Thanks for reading!! Email me for any shopping questions; liette@oui-liette.org

muah!

Liette

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Lost in London

Lost in London – The fine art of finding more while lost.

My day job consists of organizing and planning  things; so one might assume that when I travel everything needs to be all planned out?

That’s actually not the case at all. I don’t like trips that are too structured; I do enjoy an organized tour or two, but I also love exploring freestyle. Getting lost in side streets is the best way to experience a new city.

On my recent trip to London; I was reminded, more than a few times, that I have a horrible sense of direction, lol.

In my defense, I’m lazy; when roaming with others I like to let them take the lead. Always being “the boss” can be exhausting! During my off time, I like to give up control and let others figure out where the hell we are and how the hell we’re going to get to where we’re going.

When I am alone I do make a point to pay more attention to my surroundings and I google map stuff. But there’s a freedom to not knowing exactly where you are. Instead of going from point A to point B; look around and pop into anyplace that look interesting.

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Vintage Louis Vuitton cases, chocolats in Harrod’s and and fancy white swans; so much to see!

My favorite travel days are when I have a general idea of what I want to do and see, but I’m free to roam and explore. I love just happening upon things.

I also love when you tell your travel companions; hey let’s buy crowns and wear them to Buckingham Palace and their first reaction is yes!! Let’s!

Who you’re traveling with can make or break your trip. Just because you’re great friends with someone doesn’t automatically mean you will be great travel buddies…just saying.

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After our palace visit, my fellow royals and I made our way to towards SoHo. There are so many different areas with cool shopping and dining options; it’s impossible to see them all. So pick one or two areas to get lost in.

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My exploring partner and I. We eventually took off our crowns. 👸👸🏼

I can be difficult to roam freely in a large group; hey, not everyone has the same interests, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Once in SoHo we quickly discovered that finding a lunch place that appealed to all six of us would be almost impossible.

One of us, probably me, decided we should split up. And instead of being offended, the rest of the group seemed relived. It’s perfectly fine to break up into smaller groups or to venture out alone and meet up later.

I partnered up with Alex and I’m pretty certain that our four other colleagues thought that we would get lost the moment we split; Alex is also directionally challenged.

We spent the afternoon popping in and out of funky places. Some of our colleagues prefer to read the full menu posted on the door before deciding if a restaurant is suitable or not, which is perfectly fine.

Alex and I took a different approach; our lunch venue was selected because they had funky green couches and shiny chandeliers. Once seated we knew we had made the right choice when we saw that they had a section on their menu dedicated to boozy hot chocolates.

After lunch we shopped in super cute boutiques; it was a fabulous afternoon. And guess what? We made it back to the hotel all by ourselves, crowns and shopping bags in hand!

I hope you enjoyed my London adventures; my next trip is San Diego. I will try to pencil in a day or afternoon to get lost there too.

I challenge you to get lost somewhere; and guess what? You don’t even need to leave your hometown. I am certain that there are places that you drive by all the time that you’ve been meaning check out. Take an hour and be a tourist in your own town!! Get lost!!

Cheerio, muah!

Liette

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I know a lot of my readers like to see my oddball purchases. I do love all those tacky touristy shops! Here are my finds from my Lost in London afternoon.

I got a few postcards for my blog board, tacky red double decker salt and pepper shakers; I had bought a pair of these a few years ago for my then bf, now have my own. And some colorful macaroons from Harrod’s.

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On every trip I get a print or post cards that I frame. I love having reminders of where I have been hanging on my walls. I bought this print, see above, it spoke to me! 💋

The two pics below were cards that I bought in a stationary shop on my last trip to London. The frames were cheap, but the finished look is fancy! I love them.

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To see what my latest London prints and cards will look like framed, follow me on Facebook at @oui-liette. I am going to do a mix of store bought frames and custom framing.