Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche

Today we are tripping our way to Bouctouche, NB; a super quaint seaside village forty minutes from Moncton.

Day tripping with me are two of my fifty seven cousins, jk, there are only like fifty six of us, lol. Please meet Brigitte and Tania, both are cousins on my dad’s side. Fun fact, growing up I was called Brigitte a LOT during family gatherings. I actually still do, she and I are less than a year apart, I am guessing that’s why? To be fair there were so many of us it was hard to keep us all straight… apparently?

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Brigitte on the left and Tania on the right.

My summer goal is to tour my own province and I am embarrassed to admit that I have never been to the Irving Nature Park in Bouctouche, so today is the day. I’ve been to Bouctouche tones of times, but usually to go to the beach, they have the most amazing warm water beaches!!

So today, my cousins and I are on our way to Bouctouche to be tourists and explore a bit.

The first thing we did as soon as we arrived was eat, obviously!! There are a bunch of places to eat on Main Street. We were craving some Acadian comfort food, so we went to La Sagouine Restaurant, not to be confused with Le Pays de la Sagouine, which is kind of an Acadian theme park, without rides. Sadly it’s been closed due to Covid. If you haven’t been you need to go as soon as it re-opens, it’s an awesome way to soak in some local culture.

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Another great way to soak up some Acadian culture is to eat some authentic regional food, which is what we did. The menu above has a lot of Acadian dishes, I’ll translate for those who don’t read French: first is chicken fricot, which is a soup with a spice called summer savory, it’s used a lot in Acadian cuisine. The next item sounds really bad in English, lol, it’s grated potatoes and pork baked in the oven until the edges and top are crispy, it’s soooo good! The next item, crêpe râpée, uses the same potato mixture as the rapé; it’s basically a potato pancake. And the last item is a bar clam pie, which is also to die for!!

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My fav was the crêpe râpée!! Bottom left.

We ordered the crêpe râpée, potato pancake, their lobster roll and the seafood casserole. We made sure to save room for their homemade pies, Brigitte wanted to order her dessert first, we told her no. 😬

As you can see Acadian cuisine isn’t exactly light; we waddled to the Irving Nature Park to walk off our lunch.

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It was beautiful!! We walked for over an hour, it’s huge! There are areas with picnic tables, there’s a fountain, a play area for kids and beautiful rose gardens; there is something for everyone.

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We’ve decided that we are coming back in the fall when the leaves start changing and then back at Christmas time, they put Christmas lights in the huge trees that surround the chapel. Brigitte said that it’s absolutely magical, so we will need to come back.

After our walk we drove down the coast and saw fishing boats, oyster beds and people digging for clams, we call them piss clams, because they shoot out water when you pick them up. These are the type of clams used to make fried clams. We used to go digging clams a lot when we were kids, I haven’t been for decades; I may need to add that to my summer bucket list?

 

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Have you ever gone clam digging? It was low tide; there were lots of people digging for clams. Those black things in the background are oyster beds.

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Leaving the Nature Park, we took a left and stayed on the road that follows the water. Our plan was to stop and check out anything that looked interesting; this giant strawberry looked interesting, too bad the u-pick was closed.

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I was told to take a bite out of this strawberry, I think it looks more like I am yelling at it? Lol

Our next stop was at Wood Chuck’s Carvings and Antiques, it was certainly an interesting stop.

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They have the most awesome, random things; from old anchors, to antique glassware, vintage hats, to marbles and a giant box filled with old school metal keys.

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They also have an amazing view of Bouctouche Bay. I took pics outside while Brigitte tried on vintage hats, we each bought one; now I need to host a special event so we have a place to wear them.

One of the things that I love about living in the Maritimes is seeing fishing buoys strewn across lawns, you don’t see that living in Las Vegas! I am certain some of my desert friends have never even seen a real buoy, they are used by fisherman to mark and identify their traps. The buoys in our area are mostly for lobster traps, our lobster season starts in August.

I got Tania to run out and take a pic of these pink buoys; I’ve never seen pink ones before!!

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Then a few kilometres down the road we saw these decorative buoys, I love all the colours.

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Had it been super sunny we would have gone to the Dunes for a dip, this cloudy day was perfect for exploring and spending time together.

So that was our day tip, you really should get out there and explore your own area, I am sure there are lots of things that you’ve never gotten around to seeing yet? I am seeing lots of your pictures on social media of you visiting local sights, yay!!

Thank you for reading!!!!! Check out my Instagram and Facebook sites: Oui-Liette. I get thousands of views per blog posts, yay!! But my Instagram page needs some more followers, please?? Lol. I am revamping the look of it a bit.

muah!

Liette

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If you liked this post, you’ll probably love these ones too!

This one was so much fun, glaming: https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/05/girls-who-glamp/

This is another Day Tripping in NB post: https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/11/day-tripling-in-nb-cornhill-nursery/

 

Girls Who Glamp!

Girls Who Glamp!

Although I love being outdoors, I’ve never been a big camper. I really don’t see the point of sleeping on the ground in a damp tent, lol. But it turns out that I love  glamping!

If you aren’t aware of what glamping is, it’s camping without roughing it, which I’ve discovered I’m really good at.

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I just got back from my first glamping weekend. We stayed at  a place called Glamcamp; they’re located a little over an hour outside of Moncton, in Waterborough, New Brunswick.

They currently have ten domes plopped in the forest across the street from a spectacular lake. We had the most amazing and relaxing weekend; there’s something to be said about exploring what your own province has to offer and finding amazing spots.

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Let me take you on a quick tour of our dome; we rented the Hashtag Millennial. Each dome has a unique decor, but they all have the same features. To see what’s included in the domes check them out on Instagram at: glamcampnb.

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This was our dome, I didn’t ask for the pink dome, it was the only one left, it was obviously meant to be mine!

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Behind the wallpapered wall is the kitchen to the right and the bathroom on the left. Our dome was so cleaned when we arrived and smelled fresh! Clean is important, especially these days, so wanted to add that fact.

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We arrived around 5pm on Friday; my bff Stacey was in charge of keeping the cedar hot tub heated. She’s pictures below with one of the owners giving her tips, while social distancing. The bottom right is her stoking the fire before a late night dip. Each dome comes with 2 comfy white robes, which she is modeling for us over her bathing suit.

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When you’re soaking in the tub, you can smell the cedar. 

While the water was heating up, we prepared for our first glamping meal, which was lobster!
We had the most amazing Bay of Fundy lobsters from the Moncton Fish Market. It’s funny how things taste better while “roughing” it.

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Yes those are cloth lobster napkins, this is glamping after all!

Since this is our Annual Canadian Girls Summer Trip, OK it’s technically our first, but you have to start somewhere, our desert needed to be Canadian and what’s more Canadian than Inukshuks?

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Turns out they didn’t know we were here for long as this chocolate one got eaten pretty quick. If you don’t get that reference, look up Inukshuk. 

While checking in we were told not to miss the sunsets on the lake; with our bellies full of lobster, we headed across the street to watch the sunset.

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It was so peaceful with multiple shades of pinks, oranges and purples reflecting off the lake. Omg so pretty! It’s a must, the photos don’t even do it justice.

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The hot tub was ready for us when we got back from the beach; Stacey’s fire abilities were on point! It was so relaxing.

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When the sun goes down, the domes take on a magical appearance.

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Each dome sleeps three people, there is a queen bed and a pull out single bed. I would recommend bringing a sleeping mask if you want to sleep in a bit.

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When you turn the lights of the dome off and your eyes adjust to the darkness, you can see fireflies outside. It sort of feels like you’re underwater and the fireflies are fish swimming by. There is also a skylight above the bed for star gazing.

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I didn’t plan this either, but my pajamas matched the decor perfectly!!

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After our morning coffee, bacon and eggs, our friend Jacqueline joined our Canadian Girls Glamping Weekend; our main goal for the day was lots of quality beach time.

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I am an ocean girl, but Grand Lake has me re-thinking my preferences. And since this was our Canadian themed weekend, Bernice the Beaver, was out and about with us. We floated, had a picnic and floated some more.

Our Saturday night dinner was from a caboose that has been turned into a takeout. We had the fish and chips and we need to know the secret to their batter; it was light and crispy with a sweet taste. If anyone knows what makes it sweet, please let me know.

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As we waited for your food, we watched a storm make its way towards us. Luckily it had passed by the time we finished eating and were ready for our nightly hot tubbing.

No glamping weekend would be complete without a group shot, with matching hats; hey I don’t make the rules.

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Stacey and I obviously don’t share Jacqueline’s Spanish heritage. I filtered this photo a bit to make us less glow in the dark white.

Our cool hats are from: Made by Monique, check her out on Facebook. I bought the hats and she printed them, but she can order hats, shirts, hoodies…for you and design and print for you. She’s great for smaller orders, she has no minimum quantity requirements. For corporate larger amounts, I’ve got a guy for you. (Gilles from Kadopromo)

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Jacqueline was our glamping mixologist, our signature weekend drink was a fresh raspberry mint mojito.

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Here are the ingredients that you will need. 

Go to my Instagram account: Oui-Liette, for a short video on how to make this yummy berry drink. The mint was fresh from her garden, but you can use store bought.

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This drink smelled as good as it tasted.

It doesn’t matter what your summer vacation plans are or where you decide to go, your experience will only be enhanced by getting out there and exploring your surroundings. Find out where the locals go and where they eat. I have two approaches, the first is I ask an actual local and the second is that if I see a busy spot, chances are it’s good.

We stopped at this local strawberry place on the main drag and brought home strawberries that were picked from the fields behind the store. They also had fresh snap peas, jams and a bunch of other things. I asked an older lady in the shop if their jams were good? She said yes, that she made them herself. Can you imagine going to a large grocery store and running into the person who made the jams on the shelves? Of course not, lol.

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She was so cute, explaining that they had just put the labels on the tops of the jars, but should have put them on the fronts. Her daughter was trying to convince her to switch the social distancing enter and exit doors to enhance the flow, while her granddaughter, who may have been 7ish, was asking customers to sanitize their hands before entering.

Get out there support the small local businesses that you stumble upon; if you see something cool and interesting stop, shop and be polite!!! Ask questions and learn about the places you are visiting. It’s actually an excellent idea when traveling this summer with your kids. Get them to do a bit of research before your road trip, they will be more interested and invested while there and it will keep their brains from turning into mush. Oh and BTW, that ladies jam was amazing!! We went back on our way out of town so that Stacey could stock up.

Thank you for reading! Stay safe and healthy, explore, support local…that should cover it for now, lol.

Here is how to find a video tour of our Glamcamp dome and Jack’s Raspberry Mojito tutorial. And while you’re on my Instagram page, you may as well follow me.

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muah!!

Liette

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New Brunswick is such a beautiful province, here is a past NB post of mine that got tens of thousands of views. Technically it’s my only post to get tens of thousands of views, lol, so it must be good, you may as well read it!

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/15/new-brunswick-canada-youre-going-to-hate-it/

 

 

 

 

 

Pimp My Deck – After

Pimp My Deck – After

Soooo my deck is done. My original design plan was to do something monochromatic with whites and off whites. Well that lasted for 1.0 seconds; I got distracted and yadda, yadda, yadda, it looks like Malibu Barbie’s deck.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before.

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Was I going for A Malibu Barbie look? No, but is that a bad thing? Meh, not really? My first curveball was that my big wicker chair with a big cream cushion from Waifare was backlogged until the end of August, so canceled my order; and really where was I going to store that during the 10 months of winter? Kidding, the 9 months of winter.

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Then I saw this pink chair from Terra Verde and it blew my whole shabby chic plan to shit! Lol. It’s made of plastic, by a company called Twist from Quebec, and it very much looks like a Barbie chair; it’s fairly comfy. The faux grass helps complete my Barbie look.

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This love seat reminded me of retro Palms Springs, I got it at Homesense. I found two 80’s style outdoor cushions that go with my, none neutral, pink and blue colours. They fall through the openings in the back of both the love seat and the pink chair; but hey, they match!

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I bought two big blue planters at Walmart and I’ve been told to add miracle grow when I water them, so that they will eventually overflow my pots; they’ve already grown a lot since getting them. After I blew my white and off white colour scheme, I decided to go with the blue, green and pink colours of my planters. I’m making it work.

I also have my pretty birdhouses, that are locally made here in Moncton, on display and I love my pink and lime green flower pots that I got in Sackville at Blooms.

I also bought a lavender tree, just because, and it smells soooo good! It’s to the right of my loveseat below.

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One of the perks of being downtown is that there are no bugs!! And there’s always a really nice breeze up here on the third floor; it’s  really cozy at night.

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How do you like my balls? They’re metal and have a Moroccan vibe. I’ve used them outside and inside, they are really unique and pretty lit; I’ve already been asked where I got them? They are from Home Depot.

I keep moving my white and pink chairs back and forth, but I think this is the best spots for each?

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Even without Miracle Grow, my planters are thriving! I need to share one last pic, just to show off a bit; I’m also pretty proud that I haven’t killed them. Looking forward to have the lime green plant drape over the edge of the pot.  And today the big top plant sprouted a yellow flower, which is not part of my colour scheme! lol, I’ve had this kind of plant before and never had them flower.

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Thank you for reading! I post extra pics on my Facebook page so go like it if you haven’t already; oui-liette. Also, fun fact, my deck gets the sun in the afternoon and evening, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over our little city and the lighting is perfect for selfies!!!

muah!

Liette

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The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dawn also drawn to these colourful houses!!

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

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

muah!

Liette

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Colours of the Maritimes

Colours of the Maritimes


One of the things that struct me when I first moved, to the west coast of the US, was that all the houses were the same colour, a light beige ish, they also all looked the same. They were all Spanish looking, at least they looked Spanish ish to a girl from the east coast.

I would go to my friends homes and have to look up the house number because once on the proper street, I couldn’t remember which house was theirs, even though I had been there before.

I moved to the desert in the summer when everything was brown and dried up. I remember how green everything looked on my first visit back to Canada. I had never noticed how freaking green New Brunswick was; I was seriously amazed.

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I’d love to live in a green house with a lilac coloured door.

The same was true with the houses; who knew that Maritime houses were so exotic? Growing up here exotic was the last word I would have used to describe anything about us.

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Since I’ve moved back, I’ve been unconsciously  taking pictures of colourful houses. I am always taking pictures of random things. I notice my new obsession with brightly coloured houses when I happened upon this pink house, below, during a Covid sanity drive; as I drove past it I had an uncontrollable need to turn around and take a picture of it. I physically had to stop, turn around, and take a picture.

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I want to live in a pink house.
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This is a house in NS, don’t let the US flag fool you.

My hope for this post is that my fellow Maritimers will look at the pretty pictures and be like; she’s right, these are pretty funky. And that my American desert friends will enjoy looking at exotic homes from where I grew up.

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One of the ladies who lives in this house is from les îles de la Madeleine, they are famous for colourful houses.

These houses just make me happy! These are anything but mellow yellow!

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Yellow seems to be the most popular colourful house colour around here.

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I know that colourful houses are not unique to Atlantic Canada. I did a bit of research and the most common explanation is that it ties back to fishing villages. Fishermen would paint their homes vibrant colours in order to see them as they sailed into the harbour. I’ve always loved colour, as a Maritimer, I guess it’s in my DNA.

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I love the purple houses the best…I think? Which is your fav?

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Once we are allowed to roam between province, I am going to add to my colourful house pictures to my collection; ouff I can’t wait to roam!

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This post could have been called Colours of Atlantic Canada in order to include Newfoundland and it’s beautiful row houses, I’ll do a dedicated post to them on my next trip to the rock.

Thank you for reading this cheery post, I felt something light, fluffy and pretty was called for.

muah!

Liette

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Pimp My Deck – The Before

Pimp My Deck

I moved into my new place in January and I have nothing left to decorate, so I thought! Turns out my deck is fairly big and very bare; Project Pimp My Deck is on.

It’s currently being used as a bicycle parking spot.

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First up is to wash it!! Then I need some comfy seating and some plants. I want to create a cool chill zone to hang.

Since patio furniture can get pricey, I am going to need to shop around and find some good deals. I’ll mix some more expensive pieces with some super great deals.

I got these giant pots at Walmart and they were a super deal! I bought the last two, so not sure if they just wanted to get rid of them?

My deck is bigger than it looks; I think people gravitate towards small things for small spaces, but I think the space will look bigger if you have a few big pieces.

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I think these plants will look great once planted; that tall plant is a lavender; I love the smell of lavender and I think it’s a mosquito repellent?

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I ordered this chair below, which is super comfy, from Terra Verde; it’s manufactured in Quebec and it should be here within the next three weeks, I can’t wait! Can you guess what colour I ordered?

Remember I said that patio furniture can be expensive? In comparison this chair wasn’t super expensive and it’s made right here in Canada, so yay! I will share more on the company who makes them in my big reveal post.

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I’ll be posting my progress pics on my Oui-Liette Facebook page and will share the Big Reveal on my blog; stay tuned!

Thanks for reading.

Liette… muah!! I thought I could get away without the muah at the end this one time, but I can’t, lol. It’s bad enough we can hug people in real life, I am not giving up my fake air kiss.

At Home With… Nancy. Take a peek inside her 150 year old country house.

At Home With…Nancy. Take a peek inside her 150 year old country house.

Have you ever been out for a walk or a drive and wanted to peek into someone’s window to see what their homes look like inside? OK, that’s creepy, lol, and probably slightly against the law? This series of posts will let you take a quick peek inside without being charged for stalking.

I’ve asked a few of my friends to share their favorite rooms and features of their homes with us; first up is my friend Nancy.

At Home With Nancy

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Nancy and her family live 30 minutes outside of Moncton in this beautiful 150 year old country house.

To be honest, I could have featured her whole house, it’s beautiful. Her home is a mix of old pieces with colorful art from all her travels; if I had to describe her style, I would call it eclectic farmhouse chic. Farmhouse chic is in no way country, if that makes sense? It makes perfect sense to me,

My favorite room in her home is her hexagon, screened in, addition.

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They spend a lot of time in this room; in the summer they eat most of their meals here and it looks like the perfect place for an afternoon nap. The natural wood and neutral colors makes this room feel like you’re outside, which I think was the point.

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In the center of the room is a teak wood table, surrounded by comfy wicker chairs. Once the trees outside bloom, the room takes on a tree house feel.

She has a beautiful pendant light hanging from the ceiling; it must be so cozy at night. Nancy says it’s the perfect place to see the moon and to gaze at the stars.

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The hammock hangs in front of the screened in windows, perfect for lazy naps, sans mosquitoes or black flies.

This old cabinet matched perfectly; the finish has been stripped down to its natural wood. It adds a bit of extra storage and it’s the only other piece of furniture in the room.

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This is Bee and she buzzes around the hive like she owns the place! She enjoys facecloths and socks almost as much as she loves jumping into the river.

Home Office/Craft Room

Nancy has been working from home during the pandemic, so I asked if we could take a peek at her home office too?

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Her second floor home office is a tranquil blue. She has colorful and whimsical pieces of art and pictures from her travels and local artists throughout her home. A lot of the wood pieces in her home, like her desk, have been stripped right to the wood; it creates a consistency throughout her home.
she has a lot of different boxes and containers for storage that are perfectly stacked, everything looks staged, but she had no clue she would be giving us a tour today and that I would be photographing her space. Who lives this organized in real life?? lol, I need to reflect on my cluttering habits on my drive back into town.

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She has a door in her office that leads to a small balcony which floods the room with natural light. I can see her taking coffee breaks from her balcony in the summer and fall.

Her office also doubles as her craft room; she’s very artistic.

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Her grandmother’s antic cabinet holds all of her crafting material. She works with a lot of feathers, which she keeps in clear plastic containers, they add fun pops of colors. My crafting area is not this neat!!

What does she do with the feathers you ask? She decided to pimp out the light fixture in her stairway; it’s now officially a piece of art. She says that her favorite part is when the feathers move in the breeze. I want her to make me one!! I need one!!

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She also creates feathery headpieces; she made some for a joint birthday tea party for Claudia and I a few years ago; not that it was a competition, but mine was way bigger than Claudia’s! Lol

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My mom raised me to go big or stay home!!

Nancy has an outdoor shower; her summer project is to install this vintage bathtub and make a spa like area outside in her backyard. She’s very “at one” with nature. She didn’t want to pose for the feature image so I jumped in her bathtub with my hot pink rubber boots…technically, they’re my cousin’s hot pink rubber boots.

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I can’t wait to see how she sets this up in her backyard. I may need to test it out? I’ll bring my own bubbles.

Thank you for reading, feel free to share and subscribe to my blog below. I’ll be sharing a few more; At Home With…posts, in the next few weeks. The next edition will be a bathroom renovation from my interior decorator friend.

muah!

Liette

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Behind the Scene

Nancy and I kept our distance, but I can’t say the same for Bee and I; she needed a few head rubs. I needed to share one more pic of Bee, she’s just a big bundle of love.

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Bee jumping in a clean bed with her dirty paws!! It’s a good thing she’s super cute!

And this is Nancy!

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Springing Into Summer! (once we’re allowed out)

Springing Into Summer!

Let’s face it, spring has pretty much been canceled this year! So let’s focus on early summer shall we?

I think it’s going to be epic! And I really, really, really need to believe that this week in order to not lose my mind. So let’s start planning all the fun things we’re going to do and wear once we’re allowed to leave our homes.

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I’m far from a fashionista; I pretty much always dressed in black, but I‘m going to fake it for this post and declare that I think the trend this Springummer, (just made that up, hoping it will catch on, lol), will be lots of bright colors.

It makes sense if you think about it; we’ve just survived a global pandemic for goodness sakes. We’ve gone days and days…and days without bathing. We’re sporting inches of gray roots and have had to Google; how to remove gel or acrylic nails.

The very second the social distancing order is lifted, we’re all running to see our hair stylists and manicurists. It only makes sense that we will also be gravitating towards bright and happy colors.

I’ve prepared a Pinterest Springummer mood board for us; you’re welcome! Now do I expect us to walk out of our houses looking like delish funsicles? No, this is just for inspiration, I wanted to show how layering bright colors together can be so pretty and cheery; who would have guessed that acid green, mauve and light blue would go together??

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Pinterest Springummer Mood Board

Now I am going to need you to go check out your closets and take inventory of all the bright colored things you currently have, don’t roll your eyes at me, I know for a fact that you have nothing better to do! So go! I’ll wait.

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More Pinterest ideas on how to use bright colors in moderation.

Once you’ve finished taking stock of what you have, we can start planning our big Springummer kick off; ok, admit it, Springummer is starting to grow on you!

I searched my closet and I really wasn’t lying when I said that I wear a lot of black; everything I own is either black or gray!! Ugh this is seriously sad. I did find a few colorful accessories, but I’ll obviously need a few new bright key pieces.

Here are my colorful things; the shoes are two toned, pink and red, they are the most comfortable slide ons ever; the purse is a raspberry pink, it looks red in the pic. My little clutch is a Kelly Green and my shoes are acid yellow.

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Not much color in my closet!

On the top of my list of things to buy, while stuck in my house, is a nice pair of hot pink dress pants!
Will I be brave enough to wear a red blouse with it, à la Sarah Jessica Parker, as seen below? Maybe? But if not, my future pink pants would look super cute with a light black blouse and red shoes!! I could definitely pull that off!!

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Pinterest Springummer Mood Board

OK, I’ll be brave and I’ll add a red blouse to my future pink pants, because I am loving this look! I am also loving the the green and blue combo, so will give that vibe a try as well.

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Pinterest Springummer Mood Board

Sooooo who’s going to try to be a bit more colorful this Springummer?? Anyone? I hope this post has got you thinking ahead and planning what you’ll wear when we can go out in public again.

Thanks for reading, I needed something light and fluffy this week. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook at Oui-Liette; just in case you miss me in between posts, lol.

Oh and I’ve been told that I should have a link to other posts at the end of each new post. This one is proving to be my most popular post of 2020; it’s funny, you should read it!! It’s called: Bad Ideas to Avoid During Socially Distancing: https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/22/5-bad-ideas-to-avoid-during-social-distancing/

muah!!! Stay Safe!!
Liette

Oh and thanks to all my Australia readers!! I think Australians and Canadians share similar values and sense of humor? So maybe that’s why I am getting so many Aussie readers?? I love it!! Thank you!!

Behind the scenes

I’ve been adding a few behind the scenes to my posts lately, let me know if you like them or not?

Since we are housebound, I didn’t have my regular photographer to take my pics, but that didn’t stop me!

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Photo by moi! My roots are starting to show, my next posts will probably feature hats!

Do these look like they were taken in a professional studio?? I think they kind of do. I took them myself in my living room. I tapped a white cardboard to the back of my couch; I faced my window so I had tones of natural lighting.

Ideally I should have worn a colorful top, but this gray top was…well it wasn’t black. I did add an extra pop of color with my lipstick and I had the prettiest pink eyeshadow, but you can’t really see it in the photos.

Here’s my high tech backdrop! It kept falling off; duct tape doesn’t stick on velvet very well.

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Loving London!💕

Loving London! 💕

I am kicking off February with some pics from my London trip.

This post is all about exploring a new city and loving every minute of it! And it features my favorite color, which is pink in case you were wondering, lol.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea in London is a must! We found a very pink place for our first London tea experience.

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We made reservations weeks ago at a place called  Sketch, it’s super trendy and very Instagrammable.

The Elan Cafes, there are a few different locations in London, also offer pretty places for afternoon tea.

The Sketch theme is Alice in Wonderland meets Marie Antoinette’s let them eat cake!

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It’s amazing how such tiny food can fill you up so quickly. We started with custard and caviar, then bite size sandwiches and sweets tray, then scones, they were my favorite; and finally cake!! Oh and there was tea of course.

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The Tea Room is pink, but they do have a few other rooms. You’ll need to specify if you want the pink room.

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It’s such a magical funky place and the staff were very friendly.

And just when you thought that you’d seen it all; Sketch has one last big surprise for you. Here’s a hint, make certain to take your phone with you when you visit the restrooms.

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These stairs lead to the most unique toilets I have ever seen.

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These egg shaped toilet pods are at the top of the stairs, and they are wild! You really feel like you’re in some funky fairytale storybook.

Everyone who walked in had the same reaction, “oh!”. And for the record, I wasn’t the only weirdo taking pics in the bathroom!

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After our bellies we were full of tiny finger food items, we made our way towards the Grandby Street area.

On our way, we happened upon the most fabulous store front!

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It’s called the Maddox Gallery and it’s all decked out for Valentines Day!!

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This is my favorite part of exploring a new city, finding flowery, pink, hidden gems.

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I think you love me? Yes, I do!!

Caranby Street has the coolest store fronts!! Lots of shopping and people watching.

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On our way back to the hotel we spotted this pink taxi, sadly it was taken.

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I promise that I am not making this up, but later that evening as we walked back to our hotel from dinner, we spotted these pink garbage bags. My friends thought I was strange for taking a picture of garbage, but I thought it was  the perfect end to our perfect pink day in London.

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Tomorrow evening we will be taking a haunted  walking tour. I’ll let you know if it was cool or not.

Happy February! 💕💖

muah!

Liette

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You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram: oui-liette

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I bought a few postcards on Carnaby St. I loved this young, pink, punk queen! #boss

 

 

 

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