Shop Local This Christmas!!

Shop Local This Christmas!

With 7 days till Christmas, most of us are still looking for one or two….or seven gifts; hey no judgment here.

Why not skip the herds of people at the mall or Cosco and take a walk downtown? It doesn’t matter where you live, each city or town has locally owned shops that would love a share of your business.

I just moved back to Moncton two weeks ago and today I had lunch on Main Street with my friend, Stacey. After lunch, I braved the cold, apparently I am a weather wimp now, lol; and browsed the little shops that line Main Street.

There was certainly a buzz of life to the downtown area. As I walked down Main Street I noticed new restaurants and cafes that hadn’t been there before. I also noticed people, lots of people!!

I could feel my cheeks getting rosy and noticed that I was signing along with the Christmas music coming from Keating’s; even without snow it was starting to feel like Christmas.

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I popped into The Home Mercantile and was greeted with warm smiles from the staff. I am not certain what I was expecting? Maybe some tacky touristy tchotchkes?? But what I found made me feel like I was home.

Yes I realize, home is in the name, so obviously that’s the point. Maybe I am being a bit mushy and sentimental being back in my hometown? But it made me proud to be in a store filled with items that highlighted New Brunswick, Moncton and Canada.

This store is sassy and funny! Which reflects the people who live here. I bought one of these candles below; in addition to smelling really good, they made me laugh! The one I bought says: Calm the Fuck Down! Seriously, how could I not buy it???

I am a sucker for stationary and loved the mix of French and English cards with local regional  humor.

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I seriously laughed out loud when I saw this very Maritime take on Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll; Sex, Drugs and Lobster Rolls!

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I bought a NB Home T-shirt that I will wear with pride and I may need to go back to get a tuque or a baseball hat? I’m short a few stocking stuffers and these would be perfect.

As I left with my new purchases, in my material shopping bag, of course; I thought what a great shopping experience.

I hadn’t been annoyed by slow walkers at the mall. I hadn’t experiences cart rage; you know when you’re at Cosco and someone decides to park their huge cart in the middle of the aisle while they chit chat away; man I hate that! Pull over for goodness sakes!!!

I left feeling relaxed and pleased with my sassy, sentimental purchases.

Tomorrow is the last Saturday before Christmas, the malls will be crazy!!! Call your friend and have them meet you downtown. Grab a bite to eat, pick up a hot chocolate at Tim’s and brows the small boutiques in your area.

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My new t-shirt, my lipstick is extra bright to camouflage the scab on my nose, did it work?? lol, not sure? But it’s healing.

Merry Christmas & Happy Everything!

muah!

Liette

For more pics and quickies, follow me on Facebook @oui-Liette

Host a Holiday 5 à 7 Like a Pro!!

Host a Holiday Cinq à Sept Like a Pro!! Tips from a professional events boss.

My English friends are probably asking themselves what the hell is a cinq à sept? It’s basically a cocktail party/ happy hour from 5pm to 7pm. I think it sounds fancier if you say the numbers in French, lol.

Do you get kicked out at 7? No of course not…well maybe? It all depends who’s hosting, lol.

Why should you host your own 5 à 7? Well the holidays are so busy, a Happy Hour is a great way to get people together without having to commit to a full evening. It’s also a bit more casual and the best part of hosting a 5 à 7 is that you don’t have to go out! They will come to you!!

I hosted one this week in my mother’s apartment which isn’t super big, but I like small spaces, they’re cozy.

In this post I am going to share 5 party tips that I use in my corporate events that will help you pull off a flawless 5 à 7/party…you’re welcome!!

Tip #1 Good Vibes Only

When you’re thinking of hosting an event, you need to put some thought into what vibe you want to create?

Is it a dinner party? A big blow out drinking party? Or a chill cocktail party? It’s your party so you get to decide.

Think of it this way, if you jump in your car and start driving without knowing where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

Once you decide what vibe you want to create, stay consistent and focused; having a clear vibe vision will make your planning easier.

My vibe was a casual, yet fancy happy hour! You maybe thinking, aren’t casual and fancy polar opposites? Maybe to some people? But I am complicated, lol.

I wanted people to feel relaxed and comfortable, so that is the casual part, but it’s Christmas, so it also needed to be fancy, but not fussy.

I guess that’s not the only vibe I was going for. I’ve invited 15 woman who have helped my mother and I get through this past year; 2019 has been sucky! My father got sick and passed away and these woman were there for us so I wanted to do something nice to thank them. But, my goal was for it to be a celebration and not too sad.

I did have a few tricks up my sleeve to make it fun!! See tip 5, Expect the Unexpected.

2. Zone Out

The key to entertaining is to be organized and to create defined zones, especially if you are working with a small space.

So what do I mean by creating zones? When I am planning a corporate event, we have defined areas for each activity or stage of the party. There is always a welcome/reception area when you first walk in, there are food stations, bars, a seating/social area and sometime a dance floor.

When hosting my own parties, I go through the same process. What will happen when my guests arrive? If you’re hosting a larger event and will be running around a bit, designate someone to be the greeter. This person will greet guests at the door and take their coats. BTW, it’s more than ok to give your friends and family members jobs.

Once your guests arrive what do they do next? Create a flow so they don’t have to think about it, the goal is to make the flow instinctive.

I think it’s always good to get them drinking as soon as possible, not to get them drunk, but to get them jolly and maybe just a little merry?

My mother’s kitchen is tiny, so the bar was set up in the spare bedroom, which is just off of the living room. I cleaned the top of the dresser off and voilà, it’s a bar!!

The day before or a few days before set up your bar with everything you’ll need, but the ice. Walk through it, do you have everything you will need?? The more you can do leading up to the party, the more free time you’ll have during the party to have fun wit your guests.

For larger parties, have someone be the bar tender, at least for the first round.

I like having a signature drink, the hostess or host should be responsible for what is needed for the signature drink. You don’t have to stock a full bar, but it’s nice to offer your guest at least one drink upon their arrival.

I had a Christmas themed mimosa, which was champagne and cranberry juice, but since not everyone loves champagne, referring to myself; I’ll also be serving Caesar’s, which is a super popular Canadian drink.

I won’t have any beer or wine, those with their hearts set on beer or wine can bring their own. If you’re attending a party and have very specific taste, please bring your own drinks.

So your guests have arrived and were greeted at the front door; someone took their coats and they have their first drink in hand, now what? We call this process the run of show, walk through everything from start to finish.

Next is the main part of the party so feed them and let them mix and mingle. It’s during this stage that you bring out the special touches, keep reading for examples.

After my party, I noticed that I didn’t have many pictures, because I was so busy hostessing. I was pretty bummed until my friend Nadine sent me a bunch of pictures she had taken. Even though I am a pro, I did forgot to ask someone to be the paparazzi for the evening. For our corporate events we usually hire a photographer who roams and takes pics. Thank you Nadine!

3. Bust a Move

This tip has nothing to do with dancing, but feel free to dance if you want to! Do you boo!! Lol. Bust a Move here means move furniture out or in, re-purpose the function a room to fit your party needs.

As mentioned above I moved my bar into the spare bedroom and since I love to decorate this room has it’s own vibe.

I bought a huge wreath and had my brother hang it. I added some pink balls, because I love pink and the headboard in this room is a plush hot pink velvet. I think it looks fantastic and it makes the room smell festive! Seriously, are you really surprised that this event has some pink touches?? Lol

If you’re repurposing a bedroom make sure to clear off the bedside tables and put small personal stuff away.

Since it’s winter in Canada, my guests arrived wearing coats. The old, throw the coats on the bed always works, but since my mother has a closet in her entrance, we moved all her coats and stuff out so that we can use this closet as our cost check. Why did I move what was already in there? So we didn’t have to cram coats in. I put them back after.

The point is to look at all available spaces in different ways, don’t be afraid to move stuff around. My mom has a large recliner in her living room, yup, we moved it to her bedroom because it’s just too big.

Change things up! If you’ve been in your house for years and always have every tree and snowman in the exact same place year after year. Please Bust a Move and keep it fresh!

Example, my mother always puts her Christmas tree in the alcôve of her big picture window. I took down her curtains and added green garlands around her window.

If I am being honest, she didn’t look impressed when I told her I was taking down her curtains. She said, can’t you put the garlands around the curtains?…no! I just couldn’t, lol. Once the garlands were up she loved them and it makes her living room look bigger. She had never thought of doing this, but loves it!!

4. Light It Up!

I’ve mentioned this before, but lighting can make or break your soirée. Don’t ruin your vibe by having harsh lighting, dim the lights, light your candles and tree!!!

So it turns out that my mother doesn’t have dimers on her lights, maybe Santa will get her some for Christmas? So getting the lighting just right was challenging, but we managed.

5. Expect the Unexpected

I think each party should include something special or unexpected. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. A small touch or an activity will help to help make your event memorable.

Years ago at one of my Halloween parties I had a fortune teller; ok it was one of my cousins, but she seriously has mad psychic abilities!! It was just for fun, people were lined up to sit with her.

For my Holiday 5 à 7, I had a few special things planned. When I chose the date, one of my cousins (not the psychic, another one, I have lots!), told me that Dec 12 was her birthday. So of course, we had a birthday cake for her, but that wasn’t our only extra thing.

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The whole reason for this soirée was to thank our female tribe, fyi 80% are family members; aunts, sisters and cousins…we are a force!! Lol

I wanted to send them home with a small meaningful gift that would remind them of my father. I found none tacky angel wings tree ornaments at Pier 1 Imports and they are lovely. The fact that they were 40% off when I was shopping was certainly divine intervention!!

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The only male at this party was my nephew Jack. When I told him about the gifts, he said, that’s sort of depressing! He was sort of, kind of, half right. I suspect that this would be a touching moment, but my intention was never to send people home depressed; so I came up with a brilliantly funny way to give them out.

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I bought a Santa Suit on Amazon for $30 and Jack showed up as Santa and handed them out. It was funny and entertaining.

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Our Christmas Eve dinner them this year will be Winter Wonderland, we have a different theme each year. Our after dinner game will be giant jenga! Try to add something fun or unexpected to your events.

Another easy idea is to buy a Polaroid camera and snap away during the party or create a selfie photo background with props; people will dig it, trust me.

Tip 6. Stay Cool

This is a bonus tip, do as much pre-planning as you can so that you can enjoy your guests, because in the end that’s the whole point.

Remember that nothing is perfect! Do as much pre-planning, but the day of and during let shit go!! Roll with the punches and laugh off any mishaps.

I get my love for entertaining from my mother who is the most chill hostess ever! Be mindful that if the host or hostess isn’t having fun, your guests probably aren’t either.

I hope you can incorporate one or more of my tips for your next party! Let me know which one resonates with you the most?

Go forth and entertainment!! 🎅🏻💋

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This post is dedicated to my dad and my aunt Janet, who have both just passed away. Please be kind especially during this time of year. The holidays can be a very hard time of year for a lot of us, so don’t be an asshole. It’s also ok to acknowledge that you are thinking of someone who you know is doing their best to make it through the holidays for various reasons. Pretending everything is normal or perfect can make them feel more alone; just my two cents.

muah!

Liette

 

 

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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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

 

 

 

Hoppy Birthday!!

Hoppy Birthday! – How to throw  bunny themed party.

This post will show you how to throw a fun Bunny themed party, you’re welcome; for a young child or a late forty something grown woman…whatever.

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I understand that as we get older some may not want to make a big deal about their birthdays and some may not want a party; but I am not some people, lol.

(My last post generated a lot of new subscribers, thank you and welcome. Full disclosure, this a full on fluff piece, but it doesn’t have an underlying deeper meaning, so keep reading).

I throw parties and events for a living and for most of those events, sadly, I don’t have full and complete free reign; and it turns out that I love full and complete free reign! Lol. So when it’s my birthday I want a party and I want to plan it myself!!

I am not talking about a huge party, I prefer small intimate gatherings, but there needs to be a theme, formal invitations, some sort of decorations, a cake and swag bags for my guests to take home, like when we were kids.

Last year I had a co-party with my friend Claudia who’s birthday is the day after mine. We went to a fancy hotel’s tea room and had a tea party with tiny  yummy sandwiches and sweets with 20 of our friends. It was so much fun even though I don’t actually like tea! Lol

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For our swag bags last year, we had antique china cups filled with colorful macaroons with a thank you note. The thank you note matched the invitation, naturally.

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BTW a tea party theme is great for wedding showers  and baby showers too. Feel free to steal any of these ideas. If you want more tea party ideas, here is my tea party post. It was called Girls Gone Wild, but no girls actually went wild in the post, lol: https://oui-liette.org/2018/08/02/girls-gone-wild/

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That was last year; this year my birthday falls on Easter Sunday. I took this as a sign that it should be a bunny theme.

Full disclosure, I am a corny person; dorky puns are my jam, as you will see below.

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I usually find a cool image that speaks to me and build my theme around it. Last year I found the picture of the three ladies pouring tea with fabulous flowers in their hair.

This year I fell in love with this bunny; his face and his butt!

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My best friend, who is an amazing hostess, offered to host my birthday dinner. Not wanting to impose too much, I offered to buy my own cake. She loves baking and quickly turned my offer down. She asked if I had any requests, I told her it needed to be chocolate and have eggs or bunnies on it. And to be bratty, I sent her elaborate cake pictures leading up to the big night for “inspiration”. We have been friends for over 30 years, so she knows my bratty ways and didn’t reply to any of my texts, which made me send her more, just because I thought it was funny. I was trying to break her and make her reply with a, knock it off, but her will and resolve are strong, lol.

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She is a designer and has a beautiful home, I am very fortunate to have her as my bff!! For anyone in the Moncton area looking for a designer with impeccable taste, contact me and I will hook you up with her.

 

Her table setting is a perfect example that a little goes a long way. She had all white dinnerware with pale blue linen napkins and a white tulip centerpiece. I love her vintage water glasses, they added a bit of sparkle. And in keeping with my Easter theme, I sprinkled colorful chocolate eggs.

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Our hostess and bff Guylaine (pronounced guy as in gee…oh never mind, lol)

No birthday of mine would be complete without a headband, lol. I brought bunny ears for my party guests, why? Why not!

I celebrated my birthday last year in Las Vegas with my beautiful and amazing new friends. This year I was lucky enough to celebrate with my childhood friends in Canada.

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I feel that the red head on the right would want me to explain her wearing a hat at a party. She was having some eye issues and couldn’t wear any makeup, she thought a hat would be a good camouflage, lol. We stuck a set of big ears on her and called her Elmer Fudd, lol. She is normally the glamest one at the party.

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For dinner we had gourmet pizzas, ordered in from our fav restaurant. Ordering in is a great way to free up the hostess so she can have fun and not be stuck in the kitchen all night.

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Turns out a few drinks helps with your creativity. Stacey and I thought our mirror image pic was brilliant last night. Mmm… I still think it’s cute this morning, lol.

I am happy to report that my cake did not disappoint! It was chocolaty and delicious!! And it had mini eggs on it.

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Only 4 candles to avoid a fire hazard, lol. The cake was made from scratch with love, it was soooo good!

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I want to thank all my bunnies for helping me celebrate in style! People say, you only turn 40, 30, 50… once; we’ll guess what? You only turn, 41, 37, 49…once too! My point is every year is a milestone and for those who are freaked out by getting older, the alternative is even more freaky.

Each year we are blessed to celebrate another notch in our belts, some people don’t get the chance to grow old. We need to be mindful of that and embrace the opportunities that another year will bring.

I hope this post inspires you to celebrate your birthday and your friends. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be fun.

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I had a basket full of colorful eggs at the front door for guests as they left; full disclosure the two first bunnies to leave the party didn’t get their eggs, because I was a little too busy having fun and temporarily forget about them.

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In my eggs were two small chicks, a lip balm, who doesn’t need another lip balm and a thank  you note. I think it’s a nice small gesture, I am going to follow up with a thank you text as they chipped in to buy me a fabulous gift, which wasn’t necessary, but greatly appreciated!!

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Fun was had by all, thanks to my Crazy, Sexy, Cool Chicks!! Omg, that would be a cool theme for a party!! Maybe next year?

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I wish you all a Hoppy, corny, meaningful Easter!!

muah!

Liette

(for more pics of my adventures, check up my Instagram page: oui-liette)

 

How to Throw a Galentine Party!

How to Throw a Galentine Party!

What is Galentine you ask? Well it’s a Valentine celebration with your gals. Yes, it’s a thing and to be honest, I am all for it! I know people love to bash Valentine’s Day, as a made up holiday, yadda, yadda, yadda; but I love Valentine’s Day because I love, love. It’s corny, it’s commercial and it has a great color palette! I ❤️ it!!

Galentine Party

Here are 6 steps to help you throw your very own Galentine soirée.

1. Theme

One of my friends just gave me a red rhinestone retro lip telephone; it’s sooo pretty! He said it reminded him of me; how sweet right?? It has inspired My Galentine Party theme; my official theme will be: Hot Lips! This would also be a fun theme for a bachelorette or a birthday party.

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2. Invitations

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I bought these cards in Paris last October, they say bizous which is French for kisses. When traveling, I love browsing stationary and card shops. I often buy cute cards and frame them as souvenirs of my trip. I didn’t know what I would use these cards for, but once I decided on my Hot Lips theme, I remembered I had them. They are perfect!

3. Decor

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A great cheap way to decorate is to blow up a bunch of balloons…a really big bunch! Helium can be expensive, these above, were blown up with a cheap hand pump. It’s a great way to reinforce your colors palette as well. Once your guests arrive, they will get kicked and thrown around.

For a Galentine party, I think  more is more; once you think you are on the brink of going over board with your decor, add a few more, lol.

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4. Snacks

As I have mentioned in previous party posts, don’t stress out over food; order in, cook or go out, it’s all good!

I am having my gals over for drinks and appetizers, then we are going out to dinner. But I couldn’t help but buy these hot lips cookies; how perfect are they??!! I got them at Tony’s here in Moncton.

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Oh and I also got these, look down, because they were soooo pretty, so we may do drinks and desert at my place?? These were also from Tony’s, I had to taste test one, to make sure they were good enough for my guests. Happy to report, they passed the test!

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If I was going to cook, a heart shaped pizza would be my choice. It looks super easy…says the girl going out to dinner, lol. If you are ordering in or taking out this Valentines, ask them to make it heart shaped. You really need to embrace the corniness of this holiday.

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We sprinkled some hearts on the table at the restaurant, and voila! Instant Galentine decor. The waitress thought it was pretty, I think she wanted to join us? You can add flowers or balloons; we kept it simple, yet festive.

5. Have Fun!

I always buy something funny or silly for my guests. I have found that props loosen people up. For Halloween, I had black bunny masks, for Christmas, I had reindeer glasses; and for my Galentine’s party, I have these cute glasses.

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I also bought lip suckers, they were funny and yummy!! They helped my friends pucker up!! Make sure to take lots of pictures!!

6. Party Favors

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No one leaves empty handed. I was surprised at how easy it was to find items that fit my theme so perfectly.

Included in my goody bags are: a hot pink lip balm, a Kiss Me heart shaped sucker and a lip smacking sucker, because one sucker wasn’t enough, lol. And a moisturizing lip mask, it’s a silicon lip shape that you put on your lips for 10 to 15 minutes, because your hot lips need to be kissable at all times!

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I hope this post inspires you to get a few of your best gals together for drinks, dinner or brunch. Life can be hard and messy, it’s so important to have a tribe of strong women surrounding you!

I wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Tell the people around you that you love them! They will be happy to hear it!

Muah!

Liette

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Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade.

Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade of Lipstick.

It won’t be a shock to anyone to hear that I have a thing for red lipsticks. Ok, it may be a minor obsession? I am always on the hunt for that perfect shade of red. When I am stressed or feeling blah, a new lipstick perks me up and makes me feel fancy!

Red Lipstick

Here are a few of my personal favs that are versatile and will probably look good on you too. I also recruited my BFF and her daughter for their favorite brands and shades.

Bite

If you are looking for a creamy, full coverage lipstick that stays on, try the line Bite. I asked my best friend and her 18 year old daughter to show me their top two red lipsticks. All three of us had a Bite shade listed as our favorite.

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Can anyone guess which lips are mine?? Lol

Guylaine, my bff, recommends Tannin, it’s a deep red with blue undertone; I may need to add it to my collection? Gaspacho is my newest red, it’s a nice bright cheery red. Sour Cherry was Emma’s pick, it’s a pinkish red; I also love Sour Cherry; it’s the color I am wearing it in my feature image above.

Oh and this brand smells and tastes yummy, it’s very “citrusssy”! Guylaine is forever licking hers off, lol.

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My newest red, Gaspacho from Bite.

M.A.C.

Emma’s other fav is M.A.C.’s Russian Red, which made me laugh because her mother and I were wearing this shade when she was a baby. I’d like to think that I’ve been a positive lipstick role model for her growing up?

Guylaine and I have been friends since we were 14; we grew up with moms who would give us the once over before we left the house: “tu sort pas de la maison sans rouge à lèvres? » Translation, you aren’t leaving the house without lipstick are you?

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*Images above are from M.A.C.’s website.

Russian Red is an “I am not messing around shade”; it’s definitely Acadian mother approved! It’s also super versatile, it’s flattering on fair skin tones like me and also super flattering on darker complexions like the photo above.

I also love and always have the shade Moxie in my purse, also by M.A.C. If you want a beginner red, please try this one; it goes on a pretty sheer, so don’t be intimidated when you see the tube. Try it!

Also if you are trying red for the first time, put it on and then dab it off. So it won’t be so “BAM”! A lot of people tell me, I can’t wear red; which is bullshit, lol. You just need to find your shade and get used to the power that comes with red. Baby steps…

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Moxie is the second stripe from the bottom in the arm picture. This  shade is a bit on the pinker side, but it’s red enough for this post!

I gave my friend Mary a lip makeover and got her turned on to reds. We were in Montreal when she said she wanted to get away from the brown shades she had been wearing. I am not even joking, we were in a M.A.C. within 10 minutes and were out the door with matching Moxie shades not long after. I loved this color so much, I have bought it three times without realizing I already had it.

Kat Von D

I have a few Kat Von D lipsticks in my makeup bag. I recently wanted to buy a new Bachelorette, which was also universally pretty on everyone; fair, medium and dark skin tones. I think it’s been discontinued, which is a bummer; I was told that Outlaw is their new best red seller. I haven’t tried it yet; we’ll see if it’s as versatile as Bachelorette?

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Kat Von D’s Outlaw

What Shade is Right for You?

If you are fair, look for reds with blue undertones, if you aren’t sure what colors have a blue undertone? Just ask the makeup artists onsite. Lighter skin tones can also wear a red with coral or pink undertones. I am fair, but I stay away from corals because they don’t work on me; pinks are all good though!

If your skin tone is more on the olive side, then stick with reds that have  corals or orange undertones.

If you have a dark complexion, a deep red with blue undertones will be the most flattering on you!

I recommend going to Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, or wherever it is you shop and ask for help. Ask them for recommendations on a few red options for you. BTW it may take you a few wears to get used to seeing red on you, just don’t give up! No one likes a quitter, lol.

I hope you enjoyed this post; with Valentines Day right around the corner, I think you should treat yourself to a new lipstick!! And then find someone to kiss and mess it all up!!

Click on like below if you like it, share it on Facebook if you loved it!! As for comments; do you wear red lipstick? If not? What’s holding you back??

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How to have a super SASSY Valentine

How to have a super SASSY Valentine.

(If you are easily scandalized, please don’t read, 😳)

Roses and chocolates are fine…I guess? If you like that sort of thing? Here are 5 other options to help SASS up your Valentine’s Day…or night? Whatever, lol.

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Scissor Sisters Booty Bucks

Not ready to put a ring on it? The Scissor Sisters have a few hilarious ways to say…mm, I love you??

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They have created super funny Booty Bucks for that special someone in your life. If interested, please DM Melissa on Insta: lil_gingersnap, they are 50% sass, 50% kick ass and 100% fun!

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My two favs are: “I’am so glad we got drunk and had sex”and “You repulse me the least”, lol. Share which you like best??

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What’s Wax Got to Do With It??

Nothing!! Just say no to wax; body sugaring is the way to go! If you are so fortunate to live in the Moncton area, then you are fortunate enough to visit our local goddess, Kimberly, at Kimberly the Studio. I’ve been to lots of fancy places with fancy spas and Kimberly is by far the best at what she does!!

What does she do you ask? She does it all! Lol, she’s been called a Vulva Artist, she will make your vagina look and feel it’s very best! Not for anyone else, but for yourself. She’s an artist and a poet and embodies female empowerment. I make a beeline to her studio whenever I am in town.

Guys, a gift certificates for your ladies will help spice up your love lives. Another way to spice it up, would be to get your backs sugared, lol, just saying.

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I think this pic captures Kimberly’s cool vibe.

Her studio, Kimberly the Studio, is located at 139 Archibald St, in Moncton. If you are too far to visit Kimberly, aw so sorry, I feel really bad for you. Make an appointment with your local ladyscaping artist; you just won’t get the Kimberly experience.

She also wanted me to mention that that The Aberdeen Cultural Center will be hosting their annual fundraiser, l’art en boîte. Valentine’s Day in Moncton is not just heart day, its art day!! For $50, you get to go home with an original piece of art. Check them out, buy your ticket, support local artists.

Get A Heart On!

One of Moncton’s best Restaurant’s, if not the best, is Gusto Italian Bar & Grill. It’s located on 130 Westmorland St. If you haven’t been, I can guarantee you will looove it!

It’s the perfect place to take your sweetheart on your next date night; all their food is amazing, but their freshly made cheesecakes are on another level!

They also have a super cool vibe with lots of dark corners on the main level; perfect for a romantic night out.

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How cute is this Chicken Florentin Pizza? .

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Meet Gusto’s hostess with the mostess, Guylaine, flaunting their gluten free, pecan caramel cheesecake. It’s beyond delicious! I have no idea what’s in the crust, but I could have just eaten the crust alone and been super satisfied; and did I mention it’s gluten free? It’s their feature cake until March.

Netflix & Chill, Solo

There’s no shame if you find yourself in between lovers this VD Day…oh I mean, VDay 😬

Plan the perfect night in; order yourself a heart shaped pizza and a few slices of cheesecake to go; wash it all down with a box of wine and binge watch the first season of  You and Dirty John. You will be counting  your lucky stars that you’re  single after watching, trust me!! Man that is some scary shit!!

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(Also if you don’t know what Netflix & Chill means, look it up 😳)

Custom Condoms!

Here’s an idea, skip the homemade card and go for custom condoms; yes you can have a custom message printed on the package. Full disclosure, I haven’t tried these…yet, but OMG what a fabulous idea!! FYI, all my friends are getting      oui-Liette condoms next Christmas! Lol

I found them online at: http://www.sayitwithacondom.com, because saying it with flowers is so passer.

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I hope this post helps to get you in the mood. Please note, I am not being paid or getting freebies to promote the companies  & services listed above; my shout outs are ligit. Ok…I may get a free slice of cheesecake from Gusto’s every once in awhile?? But just the ones that flop over and aren’t pretty enough to serve to customers, lol.

And I just noticed an unintentional theme, all my featured companies in this post are from female boss ladies!! Except for the condoms, not sure if that is a female led business or not? But it’s a great ideas so probably thought of by a woman?? Kidding…sort of.

Thanks for reading, share the love by liking or sharing!!

Shout out to my nephew Jack for being a great little photographer and all round supporter!

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Trying to keep my balloons in check, the struggle is real! Oh and the theme song for this post is 99 Red Balloons, obvs!

Muah!!

Liette