Real Poutines! An Acadian Tradition.

Real Poutines! An Acadian Tradition.

(The original idea for this post was to have a fake beef with Quebec, then the direction looked like it was moving to show my American friends one of my family traditions. I think it turned into a sneak peek into what it’s like to be part of a huge Acadian family? Like most of my posts, I just let them be what they want to be. And like all of my posts, I hope it inspires you to make an effort to do things with your family; may it be the family you’re born into or the one you create for yourself).

When I was growing up no one but Acadians knew what a poutine was. Fast forward a few decades and poutines are now a global thing, but those aren’t real poutines.

Sure french fries, gravy and cheese curds are delicious, but they aren’t what we call poutines.

I am not going to accuse Quebecers of high jacking the name poutine from the Acadians; oh wait, yes I am!! Do Acadians have a beef with Quebec for stealing our poutine name? We do!! Have we ever made a fuss over this theft?? No, no we have not! It’s just not in our nature.

Could our Acadians poutines  compete with Quebec poutines in the global market? In a word…no! Our poutines, the real poutines aren’t…how do I say this diplomatically? Let’s just say they aren’t pretty!

What is an Acadian poutine? It’s basically a slimy boiled potato ball with pork in the middle. Am I tempting you yet?

Poutine or poutine acadienne are a staple for French speaking Maritimers (from the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). Although you can now buy them throughout the year, they have traditionally been made for the Christmas holidays.

Before we dive into things, I do need to share a few key words, so my none-Acadians can follow.

râpures  – grated potatoes

poutine – a slimy grayish boiled potato ball

poutine râpé – Acadian poutine, we have had to add the Acadian part since we were ripped off by Québec, lol

râper – verb to grate potatoes

râpe – a home made machine used to grate potatoes. Pronounced rawwwp. This word has an unfortunate pronunciation in English

Épurer – verb to squeeze the water out of grated potatoes

My family has made poutines for generations, there is no recipe per say; you have to “intern” for decades before you can become the top baller. Ok top baller isn’t really a thing to anyone but me, I am hoping it catches on.

I have an un-scientific theory why Acadians originally made poutines and English speaking Maritimers didn’t. I think they just didn’t have the proper manpower needed. Historically, French Catholics had large families while English Protestants had smaller families. I suspect the real reason may have been that the Acadians were poorer and potatoes were cheap and readily available?

My theory is based on the fact that it takes a village to make a batch of poutines. I think the rule is that you need a minimum of 3 aunts, 2 uncles and a combo of 2 nieces/nephew or 2 cousins. One doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide; hey, I think I am going to make poutines today, it takes planning and a team.

In this post I am going to share with you how one Acadian family, mine, keeps the tradition alive.

Most large extended families would have had one or two râpes in the family; yes this word sounds horrible in English, so please refer to my keywords above.

So here’s how it worked in my family growing up. It gets complicated, so please try to follow.

My mother’s father was the top baller because he owned the râpe. He decided when he would make his poutines and the others would plan accordingly. The râpe, again it’s a machine that grates potatoes, would go from house to house to house.

Example: pépère DesRoches, my moms father, would make his on the 21. My mom would make hers on the 23, in the morning. As soon as she was done, she would call my fathers mother and tell her to send someone to pick up the râpe. Once they were done, they would passe it down to my dad’s sister, who would then drop it back off at our house.

I should note that not only were Acadian families large, once you married into another Acadian family the two families often merged to create a super family.

Eventually my moms sister, tante Irène, and my mom got their own râpes, which made our family super fortunate to have 3 in rotation!!

Example of the Acadian super family; my moms sister, tante Irène, who lived across the street from us, wasn’t actually related to my cousins from my dad’s side, who lived next door to us, but she was automatically called ma tante Irène by everyone, related by blood or not. Side note, Acadian families also tended to cluster together. I had 7 cousins living on my street; my brother and I made 9 of us (kids). Needless to say, no one picked on us. The older cousins would look out for the younger cousins; sure the older cousins would beat the shit out of us from time to time, but no one else was allowed to.

Getting back to poutines; you couldn’t just go to the store and buy a râpe, you had to know someone who would make one for you. It was a small motor with a circular thingy that was pierced and would spin quickly and grate the potatoes. It was usually made by someone who worked at the CNR, Canadian National Railway. Ok don’t ask why someone who worked with trains would be making these on the side; it’s too complicated for this post.

Now, let’s fast forward to the present and get to making poutines.

After my moms father passed away, my mom became the top baller. You need a top baller to test the texture and taste the potatoes. The top baller title will make sense, just keep reading.

Today we went to my uncles,  my moms brother, with our râpe in hand to help him make his poutines. Because her little brother and his wife, who are both in their sixties have not yet achieved top baller status. She was needed to oversee everything. I guess it’s a bit like the mafia, there can only be one top baller and once top baller status is achieved, he or she rules for life.

The ingredients are very simple, you need potatoes, porc and porc fat. Peeling the potatoes is a pain in the ass.  I think that 50 pounds of potatoes will make 47 ish poutines. I am not a top baller, nor do I aspire to be, so I don’t need to know the correct potato ratio.

You also have to cut the meet and fat into small cubes. So far I have avoided having to help peel and cut. When the knives come out, I volunteer to run errands, no one has caught on as of yet!!

The next step is to start passing the potatoes into the potato grating machine, la râpe. Now you maybe wondering if you could use a food processor? You can’t.

Here’s were it starts to get weird, once all the potatoes are grated, we call that la râpure. You have to go through la râpure and remove any chunks of potatoes that weren’t liquefied; does it look yummy yet??

That isn’t the weird part, the Râpure is very liquidity, we use a large measuring cup to scoop some of the râpure into fabric square and we squeeze out the liquid, that is the weird part. And it’s at this stage that the top baller comes into play. The raw squeeze potatoes are mixed in with mashed potatoes. This mixture can’t be too dry or too wet. You need to adjust how much liquid you are squeezing out. The top baller also needs to taste the mixture to make sure it’s salted enough. It looks gross, but remember these are just cooked and raw potatoes.

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This next step of making balls is where the baller and top baller names come from. I’ve been calling my aunts and mom the ballers for years, I think it’s funny.

The photo below shows my ballers, my aunt Claudine and my mother, she’s in the red apron. She let me wear my grandfathers white apron this year, which is an honor, she is so happy I am back home. She may also be grooming me to someday be the top baller, but I don’t think I can handle the pressure!

The potato mixture is flattened and the porc is added in the middle. If you put too much meat or your ball walls are too thin, they will bust once dropped into boiling water; please note, ball walls isn’t an official poutine term. Poutines are made in French or Chiac, I am doing my best to translate in English.

As a child, this is the part that you begged to get in on because it’s basically like making snowballs.

The balls are gently dropped into a pots of boiling water. The pots need a constant slow boil. The poutine balls will float to the top and then sink to the bottom of the pot as they cook.

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It takes 3 ish hours for them to cook, all the while you need to keep checking to make certain they aren’t boiling too much or too little.

And voila!! They are ready to eat!! The photos above are why our poutines will probably never go global, but trust me they are delicious!

Once my uncle and aunt’s poutines were ready to eat. That evening there were 11 of us for dinner, you don’t have to be invited, you can just show up. It’s also acceptable to show up with an empty pot, because as soon as we make them, we start giving them away. An Acadian will share their poutines freely, but they won’t share their pots, so you have to bring your own!!

As mentioned above, they look slimy, but keep in mind that they are just potatoes and porc, so not so exotic. We eat them with salt and pepper, others add brown sugar, which seems odd to me, but who am I to judge what others put on their slimy potato balls.

We made my uncles poutines on Dec 21, we made my moms poutines on Dec 23. My mother’s sister, came over to help. My brother and I now have more responsibilities since my father has passed. My mother’s brother joins in for the squeezing part.

This process will go on in several of my families homes around town. Once done and the families come together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the first thing you are asked is: combien de poutines avez-vous fait? Which means how many poutines did you make? The bigger then number the bigger the bragging rights. They will also ask if any have busted, this makes a mess in the pot and is a sign of bad ballers.

Fun fact, the pots are so big that if weather permitting, if it’s cold enough, they are usually stored outside. From the 23 to the 26, there is always a warm pot of poutines on the stove ready to eat. Anyone who enters is offered a poutine. And anyone who is leaving is asked if they want to bring some home.

And this maybe hard for some to wrap their minds around, but we eat these on Christmas morning. Even now my brother, nephew and 3 cousins show up at my moms house Christmas morning for a poutine or two!

That’s my sneak peek at our Acadian tradition of making poutines. I hope you are enlightened and if you are brave enough to want to try one, hit me up next year and I will hook you up!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you and your families a Happy New Year! May your hearts be happy and your bellies be full!

muah!

Liette

 

 

 

A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

This Christmas Eve in honor of my big move back to The Great White North, I decided to throw a Winter Wonderland themed soirée. I’ve done a Plaid Christmas for the last two years in a row, so it was time to move on. This theme would also be perfect for New Year’s Eve, birthdays, anytime really. It’s also very inexpensive all you really need is paper and scissors.

In this post we’ll plow through helpful tips on how to turn your dining party into a freaking blizzard. ❄️

A Frosty Table Setting

I always focus most of my energy on my dining table; it would be great to have the budget to transform your whole house, but my budget is frozen this year. (Sorry, if you keep reading you’ll have to put up with my wintery puns…not sorry!!)

Before we talk about what will be on the table, let’s discuss the actual table. When I had my little house, I used to have a large sheet of plywood that I would place on my table to turn my small table for 6 into a big table for 12.

If you’re going to try this idea make sure to place something in between your table and the plywood so you don’t scratch your table top. I had a piece of carpet padding, which worked perfectly.

Also! Did you know that you can rent tables and chairs?? I will be hosting in my new fancy downtown apartment, but my furniture is still making its way here from Las Vegas.

No table? No problem! I am renting one from Clowns Around/Bob Lee Productions, they are located in Dieppe. It’s perfect, they will drop off the table, chairs and white tablecloth and pick them back up afterwards. It’s really not that expensive, you can save a few bucks if you pick it up yourself, but for an extra $35 ish, it’s easier to have them drop off and pick up.

I rented a white table clothe and silver napkins and then then layered white and silver things. In the center is the table I had a big white bowl filled with silver tree balls that I bought at the dollar store, snowballs and a set of mini lights that turned out to have a blue tint which was perfect. I scattered plastic snowflakes on the table that I also got at the dollar store.

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Snow Globes

I like having assigned seating for my dinner parties. Something fun is instead of having regular name place cards are personalized snow globes. I bought snow globes online, there is a slot to put in a picture and to add water. Your guests can take them home with them.

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Social media is a great place to download pictures of your guests if you don’t have any good ones in your phone.

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Here is how my table looked with everything put together.

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Let It Snow!

And you can’t have a Winter Wonderland theme without snow. If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, you can make your own.

I invited my friend over to help me make it snow. I have no idea how many snowflakes we cut? We cranked the Christmas music and chatted away. This is a super inexpensive way to create a bit of drama.

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I tapped these on my light fixture and omg!!! It came out beautifully!! It was the focal point of the room; I named it my blizzard chandelier.

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I may keep these up all winter?? Lol

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I couldn’t host without a Christmas Tree, I bought this tall skinny one. Since I only have a couch and a chair in my living rooms, I added a bunch of white balloons to fill the space. It was another inexpensive way to add a bit of drama to my theme.

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I shot a quick video before my guests arrive, I will be trying to add more videos to my posts in 2020.

Even though I plan events for a living and I am always fairly calm, cool and collected; I had a moment a few hours before my party that I started to feel a bit frazzled. The lead up to the holidays is a lot! We tend to be overtired and can get overwhelmed.

I had to check myself and remind myself that this was meant to be fun and that my guests, in this case 9 of my family and friends, wouldn’t care if things weren’t perfect.

So an hour and a half before they arrived I took a hot bath in my super big bathtub! I love my new place and it was exactly what I needed to chill out!

If you feel yourself getting stressed instead of rushing to get everything perfect, walk away! It sounds counterproductive, but we don’t need added stress. It’s perfectly fine to have your guests help you finish off a few last minute things when they arrive.

I ended up hosting my fancy dinner party in my pink slippers and nobody judged me!!

One last party tip, find an activity or game to play after dinner, we played Jenga and it was hilariously funny!

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Happy New Year!!

muah!

Liette

For additional pictures and videos, follow me on Facebook @ oui-liette

 

 

Merry Christmas & Happy Everything!

Merry Christmas & Happy Everything!

I wanted to take a few minutes to wish you the very best Christmas! I hope you get the opportunity to chill and enjoy these next few days with your loved ones.

Oh my goodness the weeks leading up to the holidays are insane! I feel like we put so much pressure on ourselves, why???

I decided that the weeks leading up to Christmas would be the perfect time to move from the US back to Canada; here I am! Eh!

Like many this time of year, I may have underestimated the time it would take or the energy needed to get everything on my list done. One casualty was my annual Christmas card.

I put a lot of thought into my Christmas Card theme each year. I try to make them as ridiculous and funny as possible. Last year’s was just so so, so I needed to nail this year’s.

I had an awesome idea, but it was a total funny fail! We did laugh our butts off trying to pull it off, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

My idea was to show that living in Las Vegas hadn’t changed me a bit. I would of course be dressed up as a show girl, but instead of feathers I would have pine branches. These costumes were my inspiration.

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The plan was to have a headpiece and tail made of greenery that looked like these lovely ladies above.

I recruited my brother and my nephew Jack to help me. My brother builds and fixes things so I thought he would be up for the task.

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Well…let’s just say that I overestimated our costume abilities. I also discovered that duct tape can’t fix everything…oh and that it can easily cut off your circulation if too tight!

Instead of looking like a NB showgirl, I looked like a green angel who got punched in the nose in a bar fight.

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Not one to give up that easily, I decided to change locations. So I gracefully climbed to the other side of the wall.

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Ok, maybe gracefully is a bit of a stretch?? Lol.

After ditching my wings, we did manage to get some cool shots. The life lesson here is to always have a plan b and to laugh your way through your fails when possible.

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I was going to get my friend to photoshop the  cut on my nose, but I decided to keep it as is, because it shows that nothing is perfect. Shit happens, life is messy, you can roll with it or hide away. I choose to roll with it, 99% of the time anyway.

Thank you again for reading! And Happy Holidays!

muah!

Liette

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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

Haunted Garden Dinner Party – Update

 

Haunted Garden Dinner Party – Update

I wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween! And to share a few pics from my dinner party.

I challenged my friends to create a headpiece fit for a Haunted Garden Party and they did not disappoint!!

I love that my friends are so creative!! As mentioned in my previous post, I had a few backups for those who just didn’t have time to create something, because in the end, the most important thing was to spend time together.

We had a private room in a local restaurant for 20 of our Garden Goddesses!

I used some silk flowers, that my mom wanted to throw away, as place cards. I wrote each person’s name in the flower. We had a large group, so I wanted to seat people in groups for maximum party fun!! Lol

I also added a few bugs, birds, leaves and candles on the table to create my simple, yet cool Garden Party vibe.

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In my previous post, I mentioned that I worked on my pink feather headpiece in Vegas, but then I almost switched it up the night before. My second idea was to be a Queen Bee, so a Bee with a crown.

I wasn’t feeling my flamingo vibe until I added my pink wig, which I had brought for a friend to wear, but she changed her mind about wearing it the night before.

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This was my look leaving for the restaurant, which confirms my belief that I should have pink hair!! Lol. I added all my feather accessories onsite.

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Miss Dawn, who never disappoints, didn’t disappoint!! She was also the first to arrive, which was awesome, because we got to catch up a bit before the others arrived. Love, loved! Her flowers and butterflies headpiece!!

In addition to being super cool, kind and talented, my friends are also beautiful, strong and accomplished ladies!! #girlpower

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I loved seeing everyone’s creation; and then she arrived!! She is Jacqueline and she created a beautiful art piece, that made her look like a regal Garden Flower Fairy Queen! Needless to say she won the trophy for best dressed.

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I sat next to her during dinner and she did invade my personal space a few times, but I would expect nothing less of a Garden Flower Fairy Queen!!

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Ok, I may have convinced her to let me try it on at one point in the evening, lol.

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I am currently “holding” it for her till our next garden party. She asked me if I could use it for something. I am soooo going to do some cool photo shoot with it at some point.

It was such a nice evening!! We had time to mingle before dinner and my seating arrangement was perfect!!

We have plans to repeat this event next year. I will have to think of a new theme, obviously, lol. And we may add friends of friends, the more positive female energy, the better!!

These two ladies with me in the collage below, are two of my closest friends, these pics make me laugh. The red head was fall, which is fitting as she fell on her way to the party. The tall blonde is my amazon sister! We can be a funny looking trio!!

In the redheads defense, Stacey and I were both wearing heels and she was in flats; yes she can walk for miles in platform shoes, but falls wearing sneakers!! Lol

Our dinner was on Sunday night, from 6 to 8:30, 9ish; and since it was in a restaurant, there was no cleaning or cooking involved. It was a truly lovely evening! Our friend Margot from Halifax, made a special appearance, it was so nice to see her and to spend some quality time with everyone.

My whole blog philosophy is to just do things with friends and loved ones, this evening proves that it doesn’t have to be a lot of work for the hostess. I think we sometimes get caught up in the notion that we have to do it all and that everything needs to be perfect, I am hear to say that it does not!!

Thank you for reading! You don’t have to wait for next Halloween to have an evening out with your tribe! Just do it!!

Thank you for reading!!

muah!!!!

Liette

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My mom asked me, “well what are you?” I told her I wasn’t a thing, I was a vibe. I was channeling a vintage Las Vegas Showgirl dressed as a flamingo…nailed it!!! Lol

Hello October! Fun and Frightful Bucket List.

Hello October! Fun and Frightful Bucket List.

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I love October!!! I will be spending most of it in the desert and even though you can’t really tell it’s fall here, I will be doing fun fall things. I will be in Eastern Canada the last week of October; I hope that I can catch the tail end of the fall foliage.

The goal of this post is to coax you into getting out there to do a few fun fall things with your loved ones. Please just do it while you can; make silly memories, you’ll never regret the time you spend with friends and family.

Not to put a damper on things, but it’s been 4 months since my dad passed and I get great comfort remembering all the things that we did together. I like to think that I have inherited his zest for life! I share a few family Halloween stories at the end of this post.

I am challenging all of you to do a version of each of these October activities!! There are only 3 things on this list so completely doable!

Pumpkins!

This one is super easy, get your pumpkin grove on!! That’s a thing right?? No? Well it should be. Lol

– Pick a Pumpkin

If you don’t have access to a pumpkin patch, then pick one up at the grocery store, there’s no excuse, they are literally everywhere. And not to put any pressure on you, but I found a pumpkin patch in the middle of the desert, so don’t be lame, lol.

So I have a confession to make…actually, I have two confessions; the first is that this was my first pumpkin picking experience. I’ve been apple picking, but never pumpkin picking, it was so fun and pretty. My second confession is that I got a bit ahead of my list and picked my pumpkins the last weekend of September. But crossing off my October list…check!!

– Carve Your Pumpkin

For all you busy parents out there, this is one activity that your children will remember from their childhood, so make a night or afternoon out of it. Growing up, my dad was the pumpkin carver; and apparently, my mom just took pictures of us while we carved, lol. Note to the moms, get in at least one of the pictures.

Pumpkin carving isn’t just for kids; my family and I started a new tradition a few years ago, we have a pumpkin carving night. When done we vote on who has the best one. Everyone gets really into it, we get pretty competitive.

We have our date picked out for this years Great Pumpkin Carve Off, ok, that’s not what we call it…yet!! My brother is hosting this year and he is the one to beat, so I need to take him down! Wish me luck.

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One of out past Great Pumpkin Carve Offs! This is my brother, he carved his pumpkin to look like a VW Van…really??? Mine was a cat with uneven eyes, lol.

 

Haunted, Frightful Fun!

I am going to give you a few options for this one, so again no excuse! Google haunted things to do in your area or scary things to do; even if you live in a smaller community, something will pop up.

It’s so easy to get stuck in your routine and not explore what’s happening in your community, pretend you are a tourist and look things up.

For those in the Moncton area, I googled for you, here’s what came up…you’re welcome!

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I am certain there are haunted corn mazes all over the US and Canada. This is a great activity for smaller kids, make sure to check the scardy cat level; traumatizing your kids isn’t exactly the kind of memories I was talking about.

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For older brats…I mean teenagers, a haunted house tour is super fun. The Keillor House Museum in Dorchester, NB is ligit crazy scary!

It’s located down the road from an old castle looking maximum security prison. On a scary cat scale, it starts off at a 9.9 level. This is also one of their major fund raising activities, so scaring the shit out of yourself and your kids will be for a great cause.

I volunteered to help decorate a few years ago and I am pretty sure I captured a ghost in one of my pictures. See my pic below, that’s totally a ghost or something right? Look in the middle left of the pic. There’s a white blur, see it? Do you think it’s a ghost?? Let me know, I think it’s something.

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Most cities also have haunted walking tours. Grab a pumpkin spice latte and soak in a bit of creepy history. Or…pick up a hot chocolate and add a shot of fireball, the chocolate and cinnamon is a yummy combo.

Those are three things to do in and around Moncton; I am sure there are more.

There are lots of options in Las Vegas! I have tickets for Scare Vegas this week, see below, I am liking the third activity, selfies and cocktails, I am in!!

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Last year, I visited the Zac Bagan’s Haunted Museum, he’s on Discovery Channel’s Ghost Adventure, it was eerie. I would give it 4 scardy cats; it’s more creepy than screaming scary.

I considered this Blackout At The Asylum this year, for all of three seconds, lol. It’s a real old mental asylum! Ya…no! I will stick with the Wicked Selfies and cocktails, lol.

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From big to small cities, you can find something frightful to do!

Ghoulish Friends Gathering

October is the perfect time to have fun with your Freaky Friends!

If you’re looking for a shortcut and want to “kill two birds with one stone”, you could invite your friends over to watch a scary movie with you; you really shouldn’t be watching a scary movie alone anyway. A scary movie gathering will cross off the Ghoulish Friends Gathering and the Haunted, Frightful Fun off your list; check and check!!

I love Halloween parties, if you are invited to one, you should go! While in Moncton, the week before Halloween, I am going to host a Haunted Garden Dinner Party. Last year, I hosted a Wickedly Haunted Dinner Party. Dinner parties are less work than a full on party and smaller gatherings allow me to catch up with my fellow witches. Please note that any dinner party held in October automatically becomes a haunted dinner party; I am fairly certain it’s a rule.

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Here are a few of my friends who love Halloween and dressing up as much as I do!

See that wasn’t too bad right? Feel free to share your October activity plans and seriously, do you think that’s a ghost or spirit in my Keillor House pic???

I am going to share a few Halloween family stories before I sign off, just because. My father’s side of the family are real tricksters; they are game for anything, I aspire to keep this tradition alive.

My grandmother was a fan of dressing up for Halloween, she was an amazing seamstress. One year, she and one of her sisters dressed up and entered their village parade and won best costume! First of all, yay, Nanny!! Apparently no one recognized them and even though people tried to guess who they were, they never revealed their identities; they went home, took off their costumes and never let on it was them. I should add that at the time she was a mother of 9 and a grandmother of a few.

In my second story, I am probably 8ish, I just finished trick or treating and was answering the door and handing out candy. The doorbell rings so I go down to answer. There are two small teenagers at the door, their faces are covered, so I can’t see if they are boys or girls. I give them candy and instead of taking the candy and leaving, they just stand there, staring at me. Before I go any further, this story  takes place around 1978, keep in mind that the ’70’s were a different time, apparently freaking out young children was still socially acceptable.

So they stand there for a very awkward period of time, so much so that I yell out DAD!! He peeks down and starts to laugh, he knew immediately who the two teenagers were. It was my my grandmother and one of my aunts! So I grew up seeing that you are never too old to have fun.

My last story is from last Halloween. I was home for a visit because my dad wasn’t well. But that day was a good day so I asked him if he wanted to dress up and go visit his sisters to try and trick them, he laughed and said, let’s do it! My mother though we were crazy, she’s not like us, lol. I had bought these big black crow heads, just because I thought they were funny.

We pull up to one of my aunts house. My father wanted me to park down the street, but I knew it would be too much for him if I made him walk too far. We quietly got out of the car and put our crows heads on. As we walk to the house, we were laughing thinking that we were so clever, that she was never going to know who we are. Man were we wrong; she saw us get out of the car and put our heads on. She was laughing before we even got to her door.

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Seriously, how fabulous are these crow heads?? The beaks opened when you opened your mouth. This was a really good day!!❤️

The reason for sharing these stories is that, in my opinion, the sillier or dumber the activity, the better the memories are. Life is short, you are never too old or too important to put a big black furry crow head on and go trick or treating!

Thanks for reading!

muah!

Liette

Falling For Fall!

Falling For Fall!

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

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

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

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

1. Fall foliage and fresh air!

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

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

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

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

2. Sunflower Selfie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Apple of my eye!

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

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

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4. Fall fashion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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muah!

Liette

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