New Orleans, It’s Too Much!

New Orleans, It’s Too Much!

If asked to describe what New Orleans is like, I would describe it as an assault on your senses; it’s all too much.

It’s too much food, it’s too much music, the smells are too much, the people are too much, there is too much culture; it’s just fabulously too much!

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Be prepared to have crazy hair, it will either be too fuzzy or too flat, or a combo of both.

Here are my to 5 things to do in New Orleans that are too much!

#1 Too much history and culture!

New Orleans oozes culture; it’s impossible not to soak in the culture and history of the city. I don’t think there is any other city in the US with such a distinctive vibe and energy.

If you are a first time visitor you need to take a guided tour because there is just too much to see and do. I have done a few walking tours and a bus tour. Both types were excellent, if you do a walking tour in the summer make sure you are dressed properly and stay hydrated, because the summer heat and humidity is way too much!

There are also several night time walking tours that are fun and will be cooler and to say that the city comes alive at night is a huge understatement. I recommend you visit one of the cemeteries and the Garden District; and of course the French Quarter, which is so full of history, that you almost need a guide to fill you in on all the fabulous and tawdry history.

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This was our cemetery tour.

#2 Way too much music!

New Orleans is the birth place of jazz; if you love jazz, you have to visit!! You will want to go to French Street, but music floods pretty much all of the French Quarter, it doesn’t matter where you go.

While shopping on Royal street a few years ago, I made my way outside to find that the street had been closed and a band was playing. They played three songs, packed up and the street was open again. Spontaneous concerts seem to be the norm.

Each bar on Bourbon Street has music blairing; most have live bands, country, R&B, Cajun… there is something for everyone. The music spills out into the streets with musicians on every corner.

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A spontaneous concert on Bourbon Street.

Everytime I’ve been to Jackson Square I have heard students busking, the talent is amazing!

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Students at Jackson Square.

#3 Bourbon Street is waaaayyyy too much!

Bourbon Street is over the top too much. I have been to New Orleans 6 or 7 times now and I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with Bourbon Street virgins a bunch of times. I have noticed that most react to Bourbon Street in the same way; they are flat out freaked out! Lol

And here’s why; it’s an insane place! It does assault the senses, it smells, it’s dirty and it’s home to a few ligit scary people.

People who think that Vegas is a wild place have never been to Bourbon Street. I think it puts a spell on people and makes them lose their minds…or that could also be the alcohol?? Lol, no one knows for sure?

Each person who I’ve taken there for the first time come away thinking, omg, this is too much! But then something happens, once the shock of it all fades a bit, intrigue and fascination take over. This usually takes 24 hours, then they are hooked.

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I was walking behind these ladies on Bourbon Street and just needed to snap this pic. They were on a mission.

The French Quarter is a contrast in extremes. You can dine in the most fabulous restaurant and then cross the street and walk past the most raunchy strip club.

On this past trip we left Bourbon Street at 6:30pm on a Friday night to make our way to the airport to catch our flight out; as we left, the crowds of people were already starting to file in; things were starting to get crazy…and it was 6:30!!! Lol

You need to experience this for yourself, it’s better to travel in a pack, go with the “no one left behind” rule and just be smart about things. And the number one rule, do not walk in puddles on Bourbon Street, it’s not water!!!!

#4 People watching, so much to see!

You will see and hear the most amazing things in the French Quarter; on this past trip, as I was walking down a side street when I happened upon a wedding procession. It was unlike anything I had ever seen; I was honored to be part of it in some small way. It started with a police escort, followed by the bride and groom literally dancing in the street accompanied by a band and their friends and family following behind waving handkerchiefs. It was so beautiful it looked staged! We saw two wedding processions during our walk, I think it’s a very common thing in these parts. The video and pictures below really captured the moment.

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Everyone who encountered the procession stopped, clapped and danced; there was just no way not to smile and be happy. This to me embodies the spirit of New Orleans. After all their motto is “laissez les bons temps rouler »; Let the good times roll.

 

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Another example of New Orleans contrasts is that a few blocks away from Bourbon Street and it’s hedonistic revelers is Jackson Square. It was Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle, learned that fun fact on my walking tour!! You almost expect to see a princess in a horse drawn carriage to pull up at any moment.

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This is Cathédrale Saint-Louis, apparently Walt Disney was a huge fan of New Orleans and could be seen in and around Jackson Square sketching and soaking in the sites and sounds; he was also very inspired by the jazz music that floods the streets.

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As I was coming out of one of the little boutiques that surround Jackson Square, I saw another wedding party making their way to the front of the Cathédral; I decided to follow them…ok so I may have some stalker tendencies? Lol, I am attracted to pretty dresses, what can I say??

Voilà! A horse drawn carriage and a princess…ok, it was a bride, but she was obviously fulfilling her princess dream.

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The bride was ok, but this little flower girl was adorable!! The dress, the flower crown, the hair…the dress.

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#5 Too many unique boutiques and shops!

Even though Bourbon Street feels very frantic, the surrounding cobblestone streets remind you that you are in the South where there doesn’t seem to be a big rush. You need to embrace this laid back vibe when boutique hopping.

There are so many little shops; I even love the real trashy touristy shops that seem to all sell the same things. But there are also unique shops where you will be able to find treasures to take home.

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Bourbon and Canal Street are lined with shops selling beads, masks and feather boas. I love the colors.

I love, love, love roaming around going from shop to shop. I always discover new places. On this trip we stopped in a shop that looked like just another mask shop until we went inside. It’s called Masquerade and is located on St-Anne Street. All the masks are hand made out of leather, they are mini works of art. I am kicking myself for not buying one for next Halloween. I hate having reverse buyers remorse, when you regret not buying something.

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We found one shop that looked like several others that sell spices and rubs, but it turns out they also give Cajun and Creole cooking classes, how fun would that be?? I am adding this on my to do list for my next trip.

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New Orleans School of Cooking, definitely going to try a class!!

There are voodoo shops, we found a super cute milliner shop (hat maker) on Royal Street; I found a funky lamp shop and lots of antique places. One place that I would recommend going to is the Local Artist Co-op, it’s located on Dutch Alley. It’s behind Cafe du Monde, which is the super popular places for beignets.

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I always buy something here and love supporting local artists.

And if you want a few touristy things go to the French Market, you can hit Cafe du Monde, the Local Artist Co-op, then just keep walking and you will hit the French Market.

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Ok, I may have taken too many pics of cute shops? I couldn’t help it!

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Modern Mid-Century lamp shop on Royal Street.
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Who doesn’t need candy and crazy scary animal masks?? Decater Street has lots of funky shops.

Here are my finds for this trip; a Kelly green leather clutch, it comes with a wrist strap and body strap, in case you are wondering lol. A small framed hand painted skull from the Local Artist Co-op. I buy a lot of art when I travel, they don’t need to be big or expensive. I love having reminders of my trips in my house. And I couldn’t resist a feather mask, pink of course!

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I came, I shopped, I ate, I left! I left really, really full! lol

Too much amazing food!!

My most favorite thing to do in the South, not just in New Orleans, is eat! They have the best food on earth!! There is just too much good stuff to add to this post, I will dedicate a full post to all the yummy things to eat!

Bonus Thing To Do!

Because a visit to New Orleans means that you will be walking for hours, I always stop for a quick and cheap massage. There are a few places almost on the corner of Canal and Bourbon Street, you will see an Asian man sitting outside trying to entice customers to come inside.

We made our way inside for a 30 minute foot massage, then we let ourselves get talked into a 30 minute neck massage, prices are great and it feels soooo good!

Here’s a funny story, as soon as we sat down for our massages, we could hear a ruckus outside. It just got louder and louder until it turned into a full on fight. The top picture is Staci and I nervously discussing how super relaxing it was to have a fight during our massage. The funny part is that the little man on his bench outside didn’t even flinch. It eventually quieted down, so we did get to relax and enjoy. New Orleans is full of surprises, you really never know what you are going to see or hear.

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bottom left is me relaxing after the street fight outside was over.

I hope this post has given you the urge to visit this beautiful city; there is just too much not to love!!

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Les bons temps ont roulé, so now it’s time to go.

I already can’t wait to go back!!! Stay tuned for all the yummy food we ate in New Orleans ans Mississippi! That will be coming up in the next few weeks. Next Sunday I will share my day in a maple syrup sugar shack! I should be down from my sugar high by then? lol

Muah!

Liette

Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade.

Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade of Lipstick.

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

Red Lipstick

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

Bite

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

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Can anyone guess which lips are mine?? Lol

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

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

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My newest red, Gaspacho from Bite.

M.A.C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kat Von D

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

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Kat Von D’s Outlaw

What Shade is Right for You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dim Sum Yum! Chinatown, Las Vegas.

Dim Sum Yum! Chinatown, Las Vegas.

(for my subscribers, if you are reading from your email, click on the title, it will make everything look fancier).

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Lots of cities have Chinatown’s; New York, San Diego, Vancouver are just a few that come to mind, but did you know that Las Vegas has it’s very own Chinatown? Neither did I until I moved here. It’s just two miles from the strip, along Spring Mountain Road.

Anyone who has been to Las Vegas in the past few years is painfully aware that it has become a very expensive city; especially if you are staying and eating on the strip. I encourage you to take a super short Uber ride over to Chinatown. It’s by far the best bang for your buck! And what a yummy bang it is, lol.

Dim Sum

I am not a Dim Sum expert by any means…like really not. I am just a French Canadian girl trying new things and sharing my experiences. So let’s get started; and by started, I mean let’s eat!

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The first advice I was given about Dim Sum, was not to fill up on rice or noodles; so what were the first two items we got? Yup, rice and noodles, lol. The second advice was don’t order coffee, because they serve tea. So what was the second thing we did? You guessed it, my friend ordered coffee; we were off to a great start!

Dim Sum is traditionally served for breakfast, but in the US and Canada, it’s more of a brunch thing.

If you have never been to a Dim Sum, here’s how it works; they roll out carts of food and you select which small plates you want, no menus needed. It’s perfect for sharing, so bring a few friends.

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The carts come out in random order and they keep coming, so take your time. You can let a cart go, it will come back; I promise!

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Chinatown has an abundance of restaurants; we went to Honk Kong Garden, there are two of them, this one serves Dim Sum, see above.

There are so many hidden gems in Chinatown, we have visited a few so far. We used Yelp for a bit of guidance; all have been fantastic and cheap!!!

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The top left dish was shrimp and top right was pork, sorry I didn’t get the official names, the carts were just coming at me so fast I couldn’t keep up, lol.

We ate a lot!! You will leave full, but please save some room for desert.

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Hong Kong Garden is my friend, Michael’s fav restaurant, even though you can eat desert first, he advised against it. So I did wait to eat one of these custard filled rolls until after I was done dim suming (yes, I know it’s not a real word); and omg, it was so good! It was still warm, crusty sugar on top and a gooey custard in the center.

So here is my hard hitting question for you; how adventurous are you? Would you have tried the chicken feet? I passed, but I did try a few new things and like them.

Chinese New Year is quickly approaching, it’s Feb 5th; so Happy Year! This year is year of the Pig, in case you were wondering…you’re welcome.

Thanks for reading!

Muah!

Liette

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Tips & Tricks for Packing Light!

Tips & Tricks for Packing Light

Is it possible to pack for ten days with just a carry on suitcase? Yes! Do I do it often? No! Lol, but I can, I just chose not to most of the time.

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Proof that I practice all my tips included in this post. Me in Paris, getting ready to go out; dressed in black! 

I recently went to Paris with one carry on; here’s how and what I packed.

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Love my new suitcase! My friend Claudia and I got matching ones…just because. 
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Claudia proving that we did carry on. The guy behind her looks super impressed. Chivalry may be dead?? Please note that Claudia follows the same packing rules, she’s wearing her black turtleneck.  Keep reading, it will all make sense ish. lol

The key to having a chic wardrobe is to stick with one main color; my uniform is black, but my frequent flyer and anti-bag checker friend Cindy, prefers navy to black. Do you boo!

The trick is that everything needs to go with everything; when traveling light you need to be focused and plan things out.

My number one item of clothing that I couldn’t live or travel without is a black turtleneck, not in summer, obviously.

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I bought this black turtleneck in Toronto in August. #1. I wore it in Moncton, Canada, in November. #2. Paris in October, #3. Christmas Eve, again in Canada; I wore with faux leather leggings and boots, in case you were wondering; and finally #4. January in Las Vegas, yes it does get cool enough.

My point here is that I have been wearing it for months and I don’t think anyone has really noticed how often I have been repeating it…I guess until now, lol. I paid close to $200, which seemed pricey at the time, but some things are worth paying more for. Go for quality over quantity.

What’s in my suitcase

  • 1 black turtleneck
  • 2 pairs of black jeans, 1 pair of blue jeans, 1 pair of black faux leather leggings and one black pair of yoga pants. If sharing a room, it’s good to lounge in your yoga pants.
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Blazer, 3 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of faux leather leggings.
  • 2 black t-shirts, 1 black and white blouse.
  • 1 black blazer, I worn mine to dinner, it made me feel dressed up and polished.
  • 1 large scarf, mine is leopard. 1 hat and 1 pair of sunglasses, don’t forget your sunglasses!
  • I do all black underwear, my rule is if I am gone 7 days, I pack 9 pairs of panties. 1 black bra, 1 one piece bodysuit, 2 black tank tops and black socks.
  • 1 travel tote bag for the plane, in my previous post, I shared my tips on what to carry in your tote bag, if you haven’t read that post, go read it now…we will wait for you to finish.
  • I travel with a black leather cross body, it’s a men’s Coach bag, I love it!! A cross body bag is a must for travel; make sure it crosses in front of you when in pickpocket areas. I also pack a second smaller leather cross body; I use it for nights out when I just need my wallet and lipstick. I pack makeup in it in my carry on so it is serving a purpose and not just taking up space.
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Invest in good leather bags and they will last for years!! 
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All my bags, for the plane, I put my bigger purse inside the tote bag. 
  • 1 black light weight puffy jacket, depending on where I am going. I didn’t pack for Paris, but did for Canada. The beauty of this jacket is that it balls up into a small pouch that can be used as a travel pillow. The scarf goes in my red tote bag and can be used as a blanket on the plane; planes get cold!!
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Scarf, hat, jacket…check!
  • Black leather ankle booties, black sneakers, mine are Nike and I brought a pair of black knee high suede boots that took up a lot of space; did I need them? No, did I only wear them once? Yes.

Pack it up!

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I rolled up my blue jeans, black jeans, leather leggings and yoga pants. Rolling your stuff does save on space. I do a combo roll and fold; I folded one of my black t-shirts and my blouse. My go to travel outfit lately is a pair of black jeans, black t-shirt and my turtleneck. I always layer up! I also like wearing my Nike sneakers, just in case I need to run to make my connection.

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My toiletries bag looks huge, it’s really not. 

In the picture above, I added my freezer Ziploc with my underwear and socks; and my bag with my toiletries, no liquids!!! Keep your baggie of creams and liquids in your tote bag. You don’t want to have to open your suitcase while going through security, that would be a rookie mistake!! Lol

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I folded my blazer on top and locked and loaded everything in…ok I clicked them in, locked and loaded sounded cooler, lol.

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I have my booties and knee high boots in the other side. I stuffed my hair straightener and other stuff in the boots. Side note, if traveling internationally, make sure you have the proper outlet converter.

My suitcase expands, but make sure you can fit everything in it without expanding, so that if you buy things on your trip…ok, when you buy things, you have some room to…well to expand lol.

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The picture above is what I carry in my tote, again, for more details check out my Flying High post.

In addition to what is pictured above, when I am flying with a carry on suitcase, I add more stuff in my tote bag.

In the bottom of the tote is my jacket, yup it fits!! I also add my larger leather cross body purse. I zip my passport and my iPad in my purse, so this purse in a bag serves as extra compartments. And the very last thing I add is my small baggie with my creams and liquids so that I can take it out quickly when going through security. Please don’t be that person who acts all stunned when it’s your turn to put your stuff in the binds in security….PLEASE!!!

You need to focus or others will hate you!! Joking, a little; put your suitcase on the belt, put your tote bag in a bin, take your liquids baggie out of the tote, lay it beside the tote and take your iPad or computer out too. Take your shoes off and move along!

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Everything has it’s own place and there is nothing rolling around. This tote is great, there is still lots of room for more stuff!  Once through security, I always buy a big bottle of water and shove it in. 

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Do you have any packing tips? If so, please share!

Thank you for reading, like and share if you are feeling generous.

Bon voyage!

Muah!

Liette

Flying High – What to Carry in Your Carry On.

Flying High – What to Carry in Your Carry On Bag.

 

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I picked this as my main image because I think it gives off a cool Flight Attendant vibe. lol

Since I fly the “friendly” skies…a lot; I thought I would share some of the things I have discovered over the years that make flying a bit more enjoyable. I am also friends with a lot of frequent flyers and have added some of their helpful hints in this post too.

Full disclosure, I usually check my suitcase because I hate lugging too many things around. And my #1 traveling pet peeve are those people who try to shove their too big carry on suitcases in the overhead compartment….you know who you are!! But I did recently go to Paris for a week with just a carry on. I will share my carry on suitcase packing tips in a future post.

Here’s what I pack in my bag.

The Bag

I have spent a small fortune so far in search of the perfect carry on bag. Some come close, but none are perfect; I feel that I could probably design the perfect carry on bag at this point.

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The most important thing I look for are enough pockets and dividers…oh and it needs to have a zipper! You don’t want to lose your stuff under the seat in front of you, trust me.

This is my latest bag, it’s stylish and pretty functional. One thing that is missing is a slit on the back that you can slide over the handle of your suitcase. I have found bags with such a slit, but they didn’t have all the compartments and zippers I like. So it’s not perfect, but it comes pretty close…for now.

Oh fun fact, I bought a super duper expensive red designer leather tote bag that I thought would be so chic for flying; it turned out to be the worst!! This red canvas bag above was $49; so the cost of the bag doesn’t always reflect its level of functionality.

My secret weapon

It’s super important that your bag is organized. Unless you fly first class, you will find that there is zero room for error in the limited leg room space available to you. My secret to keeping my bag organized is Ziploc bags!!

I use the bigger freezer bags and sandwich sized bags; you can buy fancy bags, but really why would you? Lol

Baby It’s Cold On Board!

I dress in layers, because I guarantee that you will be hot and then cold at some point during your flight.

I keep a pair of fuzzy socks and a wrap in my bag.

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Added a cute sleep mask for red eye flights.

Here is a helpful hint; don’t wear flip flops on a plane, even in the summer! Your feet will freeze once you get in the air, especially if you have the window seat. Having cold feet is the worst, that’s why I keep a pair of comfy socks in my bag.

For really long flights, I take my shoes off and put my extra pair of socks on. The floors in airplanes are filthy BTW, so if you do put your socks on during the flight. Zip them back up in your baggie and wash them when you get home.

And if you go to the washroom, put your shoes back on!! One of my flight attendant friends shared, that if the floor is wet it isn’t water!!!!

Here is another helpful hint from another flight attendant friend; if you would wear an outfit to a club, then it’s not a good flying outfit!! I now live in Las Vegas and I see so many people boarding flights to Vegas in shorts and tank tops. It gets cold at 42,000 feet in the air, put some clothes on!!

I always, always travel with a stylish wrap that I use as a blanket. And guess what, if you get cold in your short shorts, I’m not sharing my blanket!! Sorry…not sorry.

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These all fit in a freezer size bag.

Let me entertain you!

Don’t count on the airlines to keep you entertained, I have been on flights where the entertainment systems are down. Here are my go to items:

  • iPad or tablet and make certain to download your new fav Netflix shows or e-books
  • charger, for long flights you may need to juice up your phone or tablet.  Some flights don’t have charging plugs on board…Air Canada Rouge I am talking to you; so I bring my own charger (not to self, make sure your charger is charged!)
  • headphones, I keep a pair in my bag at all times. I once spent $38 at the airport for ear buds because I forgot mine.
  • Book or magazine, sometimes it’s good to kick it old school. You never know if you are going to be delayed or stuck on the runway for hours. Having a low tech options is a smart idea.

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I upgraded from my plastic bag to this mess bag for my charger and cords.

In case of emergencies

My emergency stash is kept in a surprise, surprise, plastic baggie, lol. Having things in clear bags helps when you need to find something.

You really don’t want to have to buy stuff at the airport, it’s so expensive. Customize your items accordingly. I keep my emergency baggie in my travel bag at all times, I don’t unpack it; just remember to re-stock after each trip if needed.

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It’s amazing what you can fit into a sandwich size bag. Take your pills out of the boxes, you will be able to fit more stuff.
  • band aids: I keep a variety of different sizes
  • lady things: tampons & pads
  • hand wipes
  • pills, pills, pills: Ibuprofen, something for cold and flu, a decongestant, Imodium and Benadryl are part of my stash.

Don’t get me hangry!

I always bring my own snacks, not that those buttery mini pretzels aren’t amazing! lol. Here is what I normally carry:

  • Water, I buy a bottle once through security. I don’t drink the water on the plane if I can help it. On bigger planes the water comes from a big holding tank. I actually don’t drink anything once on board except for my bottled water.
  • Something sweet and something salty is a must.
  • My new thing is brie, grapes and crackers, so yummy.

You’re So Vain

My vanity in a baggie includes a lip gloss, lipstick, hand cream and pressed powder. Keep in mind that the air on airplanes is very dry, so lotion up! Pack these in an easy access pocket so you can whip them out quickly when you go through security. Anything in a liquid form needs to fit in a small see through bag and be taken out of your carry on when you go through security…still.

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Added floss, nail files and hair ties just in case.

Your Papers

I saved the most important for last. Don’t forget your Passport/ID! You won’t get far without them. You need a cute holder that can hold your passport and your travel loyalty cards.  Keep your passport holder in it’s very own special zipper pocket!!

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I make certain to zip them back up as soon as I am done flashing them. You don’t want them free balling  around in your bag. And trust me, there is nothing that will make you freak out faster than not being able to find your passport in your bag.

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Having things bagged and not roaming lose in your bag will help keep you on schedule!!

My #1 Fav Thing!

This is my #1 favorite find that I don’t leave home without; it’s a 10’ charger cord. Why? Because when your phone is charging at night and you are in bed and want to be on your phone surfing, you can, even if the plug is like 8′ away! Hey small things make me happy, what can I say? Oh and it’s rose gold; functional and pretty.

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Next!

I am working on a funny post called Airport Chic or Airport Shock;  I will have pictures of cute airport outfits and not so cute get ups. Stay tuned for that one.

Thanks!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Is there anything that you always travel with that I didn’t mention? Do you have any personal pet traveling peeves? Please share!

Bon voyage! Muah!

Liette

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Fun fact this pic was taken in a bus not an airplane, lol. Did anyone notice before I pointed it out??

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A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme.

A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!!

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This year I decided that it would be fun if our Christmas Eve Dinner had a theme; and since plaid seems to be the latest new hip trend, why not make it a plaid theme? If you are Canadian, it’s been hip forever, lol; plaid and Christmas are a natural fit so I thought it would be easy to pull off.

I did find that finding the perfect plaid item to wear was, well hard to find, lol. What I envisioned wearing wasn’t available at the local mall and I waited too long to order something online. But I am no quitter! Plus all but my guests are pumped and on board; so full steam ahead with my Mad for Plaid theme!

What to wear?

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This was my initial vision…yeah, I didn’t find anything this chic!! 😳

Can you have a plaid theme dinner without asking your guest to dress up? Probably, will it be as fun? No! No, it won’t. (teasing, feel free to skip to my pictures of plaid dinner table ideas if you don’t want to deal with my plaid shenanigans)

My Christmas Eve guests have been asked to wear some sort of plaid. I left it open to interpretation; I am looking forward to seeing everyone plaided up! (yes I know plaided isn’t a real word, but it should be!).

I finally found something I like, it’s a beautiful red and black plaid shawl that I will for sure wear again; it’s basically a huge blanket. My mom has a funky pair of red plaid pants that I am sort of lusting after. She’s the most stylish woman I know! My dad will wear a red and black buffalo  pattern shirt so he and I will match.

 

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This would have also worked; there is nothing more Canadian than plaid and jean on jean, right?!

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Decor

When it comes to decor, concentrate on your dinner table. I always make that my focal point. I think most people associate plaid with rustic and homey comfort; I personally think of a tall rugged Canadian lumberjack named Alex or Jean-Guy…..lol, ok moving on; the point I was trying to make before I got distracted by visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head is that it’s so easy to pull off a plaid themed dinner table. All you need is a plaid tablecloth or piece of fabric, mason jars, pine cones and a pop of something green and red.

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This was not a staged photo. This is a real live Canadian male wearing plaid, holding an axe, while standing in the snow, lol. Is he an actual lumberjack? Sure, why not? (No he isn’t).

Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so pretty!!

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We picked the pine cones ourselves; combined with the greenery my table smelled like Christmas!!
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I added a few shiny red balls.
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A few mason jars with cranberries and floating candles, instant cool mood lighting.
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This is my pallet for this year’s tables, i will add some greenery, floating candles and some mini lights. I think it’s going to look soooo pretty!

This year I will have gray and black table clothes with red napkins. I will repeat the other same items from last year; hey, if it isn’t broken, no need to fix it!

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Pro Planner Tip

Here is a super helpful tip for any and all parties, big or small; the key to creating a cool vibe for your guests is lighting! So please dim the damn lights!!!

Light some candles or load up on fairy lights, nothing ruins the mood like bright overhead lights…you’re welcome!!

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This is my cozy plaid wrap. Apparently this red and black pattern is called Buffalo… who knew? Photo creds to my nephew Jack!!

I wanted to post this before Christmas in case someone is looking for ideas on how to dress up their dinner table. I will share pictures of my Christmas Eve Dinner on my Facebook page, oui-liette.

Enjoy these last few days before the big day. I know they can be stressful; it may seem that everything I do has to be perfect. That’s actually not the case. I pre plan as much as I can and then the day of any of my personal parties or huge corporate events, I am pretty chill and roll with the punches. Don’t let the idea of perfection ruin the moment. Life is messy not perfect! Lol, enjoyez-vous!

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Merry Christmas!

Muah!!!

Liette

 

I ❤️ you Moncton, you snowy little Bit@&!

I love you Moncton, you snowy little bit@&!

This post is a love letter to my snowy hometown of Moncton, NB. It was originally posted in November, but re-posting in honor of the big snowstorm that just hit.

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Monctonians have long had a love hate relationship with snow and winter in general. We complain about how much snow we get, but then brag about how much snow we have gotten. And if Fredericton gets 25cm of snow, we are quick to pipe up that we got 35! Take that Fredericton!!!

It’s sort of like wanting to break up with your boyfriend, but then wanting him back if someone else shows interest in him. It’s twisted, yes we know, but that’s just how it is. We wear our snow storms like a badges of honor.

Most Monctonians live for those 8 weeks in the summer where the weather is absolutely perfect! But there is something to be said about living in a real live freaking snow globe!

Maybe I just appreciate it more now that I live in the desert? Last December I did my Christmas shopping in flip flops; that just felt wrong!

Some of you may be feeling a bit of hostility  towards me right about now; knowing that I am back in sunny Las Vegas and will be missing January, February, March and April…oh and May…lol.

But you have to admit that there is something pretty magical about the first few big snowfalls of the winter…right??

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Are we missing something uniquely Monctonian?

Each great city has it’s own distinctive building or tower. Paris has the Eiffel, Toronto has the CN Tower, the big Apple has the Empire State Building; well Moncton has the Bell Alliant Tower. I think we take it for granted because it’s …well it’s just there; we see it every day without giving it much thought. And who are we kidding, our skyline is pretty sparse and our tower isn’t super fancy. But I think we need to embrace it as a symbol of our city. And come on, you have to admit that it looks extra special surrounded by a fresh coat of snow. So look up next time you are in the downtown area and take it in.

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See how pretty it looks with all this new snow!! It really is picturesque.

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I thought this was a cool view of the tower.

Moncton Comfort Food.

Do you know what else is awesome about Moncton in the winter? Lobster!! Lobster in the winter? Yes!!

Do you think people in Toronto or Paris eat lobster on a random Wednesday in November, for no particular reason? No, no they don’t. But we do (if you don’t, you really should). We don’t need a birthday or a special occasion; we eat it because we can. And it’s only $15 per pound this time of year. Ok some Maritimers reading this, like my dad, are thinking, wow that’s a bit pricey! But trust me, it’s not. It’s basically the price of a pizza.

In addition to lobster, when I come back home to Moncton, I try to make it to Pizza Delight for garlic fingers, Greco’s for a donair and Deluxe for a fish and chip. Yes there are lots of finer dining places, but I seem to crave these Moncton staples the most.

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Lobster, not just a summer food. The colder the water, the better the lobster so Nov/Dec is the best!! And yes, I realize I have a lobster addiction.

Let it Snow!

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So pretty it looks fake!

Yes winter in Moncton is long…really, really long, but that’s just all the more reason to get out there and enjoy it!!

It’s easy to take for granted that we can go snowshoeing or skating in our local parks and trails…heck, a lot of Monctonians can skate and snowshoe in their own backyards. Lol

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So many snowy things to do.

So let’s enjoy this pre-Christmas, now post Christmas snow, in our quirky little city where people are polite and friendly; unless you are a snow plow driver pushing snow into a freshly shoveled driveway!

There will be enough time after Christmas, like now, to complain about the cold and snow when you are looking for parking at the Avenir Center; or meeting friends at Gusto’s, St James Gate or the Pump House.  When the pretty snow is all dirty and frozen solid. Yes, there will be lots of time to complain then. Full disclosure, I won’t be here. I will be back in sunny Las Vegas listening to the locals complain about how “cold” it is. Please know that on behalf of all Monctonians; I will be silently judging them…pfff, they have no idea what cold is! But I do, we do, because I/we are, and will always be  Monctonians.

Please note that no disrespect was intended towards Fredericton, just a bit of NB teasing.

Sorry if you were offended by the word bitch…oh wait, not sorry. Lol

Oh and feel free to give me a hard time when I start posting hiking or kayaking pictures on social media of all the outdoor things I am doing in February; while your tears are freezing on your cheeks because it’s day 7 into the -30 something cold snap that will inevitably falls upon, not only Moncton, but all of New Brunswick. I will deserve your snarky comments, lol.

Until then, you can find me outside snowshoeing with friends or drinking hot chocolate at Clémentine or Café Archibald. Because I really love this little city,  it’s people and this early pre-Christmas snow!!

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Muah!

I will be back in Moncton in February, please save some snow for me! Sorry, I am not being very nice, lol.

Liette