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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!!
Ok, I may have convinced her to let me try it on at one point in the evening, lol.
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!!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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??
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!
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.
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!
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
Please get out there and make memories with your friends and families!!
Axe throwing is the new hip thing to do and after the week I’ve had, there was nothing that sounded better than throwing a sharp object at something! I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile and I’m so glade I did, because we had such an axe-cellent time!
It’s sort of like bowling, except instead of throwing a ball you’re hurling a super sharp axe. We booked two lanes at the Timber Lounge on 19 Orange Lane in Moncton; which is located next to the Pump House Brew Pub. Check them out online at: http://www.timberlounge.ca , on Facebook under: Timber Lounge Axe Throwing – Moncton. Or on Instagram at: timberloungemoncton. (they didn’t pay for our night, but hey if they wanted to invite us out back, we would be down for that… just saying.)
I’d never swung an axe before, but full disclosure, I am pretty sure I am a direct descendant of some hunky Viking, lol, so I assumed, I’d be super good at it.
We were greeted as soon as we walked in and after signing in, we got drinks while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. Because why not have a few drinks before playing with axes, right?
The Timber Lounge has a really cool vibe. We got lucky and had the back lanes, which gave us a bit of privacy, as it wasn’t always pretty.
Our guide, who’s name escapes me, sorry. So I’ll call him Hans, since that sounds very Vikingy; his name is probably Marc or Jean? Lol. Anyway, Hans, explained the safety rules and showed us how to throw properly; during our practice throws he gave us pointers. He coached us and encouraged us all the way through. Hans was awesome! Please tip Hans if you go and he is your guys.
We each managed to get a bullseye, some…Stacy, got a few more…ok, a lot more.
My cousin Nicole had perfect form and the most graceful swing, but still managed to finish last. Sorry, Nicole; she’s naturally good at everything, so she can handle a little ribbing.
My brother, Serge, showing us how it’s done. He started strong, if I’m part Viking, then I guess he is too? But he got beat in a tie breaking axe-off by me!!
Mr. Bullseye or Stacey, won in a hard fought final round, beating his opponent, me, by one point. It was a nail biting finish…ok probably just nail bitting for me, because I really wanted to win, lol.
What I liked about this activity is that at the end of each round, you start fresh, so if you sucked, you can theoretically redeem yourself.
We started with a round of round robin and then, the top 4 axed it off, before the final axetravaganza; where the top two battle for the win.
Fun fact, Mary Helen had the most “unique” swing, and by unique, I really mean wonky, lol, but ranked #2 in bullseyes.
If you are looking for something fun to do, this is it!! We had so much fun! It exceeded our axepectations, (most fun axe puns provided by Stacey and Gina).
I really think we all would have played better had we been wearing plaid. Our next tournament, I think plaid, tuques or Viking Hornes will be mandatory!
I highly recommend the Timber Lounge Moncton; Lord tundering Jesus it was fun! (Ok, not sure why I am closing this post off with a Newfie accent? It just felt right, lol.
All the hipster cities now have axe throwing bars, look it up and try it!
Funny things a Maritimer misses when they move away.
There are lots of things that you miss when you leave the Maritimes; most are normal things, like your friends and your favorite restaurant… But then there are weird things that you never think twice about when you live here, but as soon as you move away and come back, you feel all nostalgic about them.
(For my American friends, the Maritimes are the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, also know as the island).
Here are my top 5 weird things
None of us think we have an accent, but it turns out we all do! And guess what? There are lots of different accents in the Maritimes…who knew??
The first time I noticed this was when I was in Vegas watching the Golden Knights play hockey, they were robbed by the way, but that’s another story. At the end of the game, they interviewed the head coach, Gerald Gallant, who is from PEI. As soon as I heard him speak, I thought, OMG! He sounds like home!! There it was a Maritime accent and I love it!!
There are a bunch of Maritimers who work for my company who live in Reno. One of them, I’ll call him Pete Post…ok that’s his name, lol. Anyway Pete was in Vegas on a day that I was feeling a bit homesick. I told him that I missed people who talk English with thick, or like my dad would say, tick, French accents. He then proceeded to talk to me in English, but with a variety of Acadian regional accents. He did Moncton, Shediac and Bouctouche. He had me laughing so hard I was crying. Now when I see him, I ask him to talk fake French English to me. I am pretty sure the people we work with think we are weirdos; they don’t get the joke. But whatever la, we think c’est right funny, pis ont rie. Ok that was Chiac, but you get the drift, if you are a Maritimer.
#2. Canadian Content Music
Growing up radio stations needed to play a certain percentage of Canadian Artists on the radio; not sure if they still do? This meant that even though we listened to all the popular music from the US, we also listened to Canadian bands that my American friends have probably never heard of? Bands like Platinum Blonde, Haywire, Toronto, Headpines…
During university I worked as a banquet waitress, so I worked a lot of weddings. I swear to god that every DJ in the 90’s played the same 40 songs from the 80’s! Tom Cochran’s Life is a Highway, and similar songs, were enough to send me over the edge.
A few days ago, as I was driving and dodging potholes, I found myself signing at the top of my lungs to Patio Lanterns. Yes, Patio Lanterns, from Kim Mitchell; and if you are in my age bracket and Canadian, I know that you know it; and I know that you know every word! I never would have guessed that one of these old songs would make me crank the radio up and sing along, but there I was, patio lanterning my way down Main Street Moncton.
I think it’s safe to say that no one, I mean no one has potholes like the ones in these parts. Seriously, WTF?? Lol. Living in Vegas, where things don’t freeze and thaw, and freeze and thaw, then freeze and thaw some more has spoiled me. So I am shocked by the state of the roads when I come home for a visit.
While I don’t miss potholes, there is a weird sense of accomplishment that comes from driving to work and navigating the roads like a freaking gold metal Olympic solemn skier, that is more than a little satisfying. It’s like, damn, I am awesome! It’s 8:30am and I’ve made it to work without scraping the bottom of my car! I’ve never pulled off the 215 in Vegas on my way to work and felt like a rock star for just surviving my commute.
I am adding this picture, above, so my Vegas friends can see what I am talking about. This is typical and by no means, is I t the worst road. When they have a sign that says bump ahead, that’s when you worry, you brace yourself for dear life! This small section, didn’t merit a sign lol.
There are lots of food that you miss when you move away from home. My number one thing I miss is lobster, fresh lobster. I usually have one waiting for me at my parents when I land. Fun Fact, Maritimers eat their lobster cold 99% of the time; my American friends are always surprised by that.
So missing yummy lobster is not weird, but missing Roasted Chicken Chips is a bit weird…right?? First of all, they aren’t that good, lol. I thought these were a Canadian thing, but in all my travels across Canada, I have never found them anywhere else but in the Maritimes; and I have looked.
The weird thing is that when I lived here, I maybe ate them once or twice a year, but now when I visit, they make me happy, lol.
Another snack that I took for granted is Cherry Blossoms! These are good, but when was the last time you bought a Cherry Blossom?? I am bringing a bunch back to Vegas with me for my friends to try. (Ok, full disclosure, I landed back in Vegas yesterday and sadly no Cherry Blossoms survived the almost 7 hour flight time…sorry. I did save the boxes though, lol).
The thing that I miss the most is my family, nothing abnormal there right? But on this trip home, I am realizing how much I miss and appreciate my cousins.
Now if you are of Acadian decent and in your forties or older, chances are that you have lots of cousins; I have 24 first cousins.
Growing up I couldn’t escape them, they were everywhere! I had 3 cousins living next door, 3 cousins living across the street, one cousin living in the apartment below us and my brother and I. That is 9 cousins on the same street! We all went to the same school and we all took the same bus. I always thought we were sort of like the Kennedy’s, but poorer, lol.
Cousins tease you, they boss you around, they bite, they kick you, give you black eyes and they tattletale on you; so they aren’t always your favorite people growing up. But as you mature you come to realize that apart from being pain in the ass they also looked out for you and stood up for you; they were allowed to bully you, but no one else was, lol.
Now that we are all grown, there is something comforting about having such a crazy extended family with lots of cousins. You don’t see all of them that often, but you know they are there, ready to back you up or hold you up when you need them. I love you all!!…ok most of you…jk, all!
This picture above is just a few of my cousins on my dad’s side, all grown up.
Flash back to the 70’s!! Here is the cousin crew on my dad’s side. We have 3 cousins who weren’t born yet, Julien, Katelyn and Curtis.
Here’s a more candid shot, notice my huge smile, even though I am missing teeth, lol. Also, fun fact, my mom had to put makeup on me to hide a black eye given to me by my cousin Sonya, she’s the one right behind me. It was an accident, but I am totally over it…ish, lol.
Ok, I needed to blow this one up to show my missing teeth. I have to admire the fact that teeth or no teeth, I am giving the camera my biggest smile! I am also happy that I grew into my big mouth, lol.
I can’t ignore my cousins on my moms side, here are two of them. If you were an older cousin, you actually made money off the younger cousins by babysitting. My brother and I were Nicole’s cash cows for years! And I made a small fortune babysitting Genevieve and her brother during my high school years.
I hope you enjoyed this fun post. If you live away, what weird thing do you miss most?
Follow me on Insta or Facebook @ oui-liette.
Thanks for reading!! Working on a super fun project, can’t wait to share.
Fun Things to do in New Brunswick – The Sugar Shacking Edition!
So technically it’s called visiting a maple syrup camp or shack, but I think Sugar Shacking is way jazzier.
Being a native New Brunswicker, I have to admit that I have taken this activity for granted in the past, but I have come to realize that a lot of people have never visited a sugar shack; to my American West coast friends, you really need to add this activity to your bucket list, because it’s awesome…and yummy!!
I hadn’t really put much thought into it before, but maple syrup can only be gathered in a few select places in the world; and New Brunswick is one of those places!
Did you know that Quebec produces 70% of the global maple syrup supply? I think this makes maple syrup super Canadian; Vermont is the State that produces the most in the US.
Since I am back in New Brunswick for a bit, I decided to go Sugar Shacking last weekend; it was the perfect way to spend a sunny spring day outside, while loading up on pure sugar.
We visited Trites Maples, I highly recommend them if you are in and around the Moncton area; here’s how to find them.
It was a beautiful, balmy +12 degrees Celsius, which is almost shorts weather in these parts, lol. It’s a nice walk from the parking lot through the woods to the sugar camps.
As you walk through the woods you see the maple trees that are being tapped. There are blue lines that run from tree to tree sucking out the sap from the trees.
We ran into a lot of super cute locals and a bus load of foreign exchange students. There is nothing like a beautiful sunny day to get Canadians out and about.
There are two other camps before Trites Maples.
Leading up to Trites Maples, the trees were tapped with buckets attached to gather the dripping sap; it was so pretty!!
Some trees were dripping a little faster than others. We were told that it hadn’t been cold enough the night before; ideally it should be -6 to -8 at night and +6 to +8 during the day for optimal sap dripping.
It takes 40 silver buckets of sap to make one bucket of maple syrup! That’s a lot of drips!!
The main camp at Trites Maples serve a mean pancake breakfast. The inside of the camp or lodge is beautiful wood, the servers were dressed in black and red plaid aprons…of course! And the pancakes were being flipped by actual Trites men! See the three handsome men bottom right, below. The young one in the middle is obviously still in training, lol, his name is Chris and because we are in the Maritimes, he’s a friend of a friend. Actually, he’s a cousin of a friend, everyone around here is a cousin of a friend; we tend to have big extended families.
We skipped the pancakes, this time, and made are way to the next cabin; where they sell pure sugar goodness!
We watched them pour maple butter in maple leaf shaped molds. The difference between maple butter and maple syrup is 3 degrees. If the sap doesn’t hit the right temperature when it’s being boiled, it becomes creamy and butter like instead of golden syrupy.
You may be thinking; wow Liette, you sure know a lot about maple syrup. I do, because I took the Sap to Syrup tour! Our guide explain how the syrup is made and the tour was free!
Guess who was our tour guide? Maple butter mold guy! And, yup, he was a Trites too!
Meet Lindsey Trites, he brought us to where they boils the sap and turn it into syrup, it was very interesting to learn what it takes…and it takes a lot of hard work!!
After our tour, we got down to serious business…eating!! This is why people come Sugar Shaking; for the taffy, or « tire », as we say in French.
For newbies, here is how it works; they pour hot stuff, ok, full disclosure, I am not sure if it’s just regular boiling syrup? Or special boiling syrup? Lindsey didn’t cover taffy on our tour, lol, but it’s poured on a fresh bed of snow. You let it harden a few seconds and then you take your popsicle stick and you roll the taffy around your stick and you eat it!!
They charge $2 for a popsicle stick; it’s pretty much a maple syrup taffy all you can eat buffet; omg it’s good!
Kids, pictures above, were lined up with their popsicle sticks. I had three, my friend, who will remain nameless may have had 5!!! I won’t call her out, but she is pictured with Lindsey and I above, lol. She was high on sugar on the drive back.
We made our way through the woods back to our car with our supply of maple syrup in hand; I am bringing some back to Vegas with me for my peeps. Maybe it’s because I now live in the desert? But I couldn’t help but notice how quaint, clean and beautifully cool this day of Sugar Shacking had been!!
I left feeling thankful that I get to pop in and do fun New Brunswick things a few times a year; I see things differently now and appreciate this place more than I ever have.
I would like to encourage those who live here to get out and enjoy this beautiful province!!
(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.
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??
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!
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??
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.
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.
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!!
(Also if you don’t know what Netflix & Chill means, look it up 😳)
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 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!