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!

 

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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!!

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

Happy Halloween!!

Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween!!!

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I hope you have had some spooky fun this month. If you haven’t, it’s not too late!! You still have a few days, so get cracking! Carve some pumpkins, make some scary cookies, dress up for a party, you really only live once…I think?

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I didn’t exactly carve a pumpkin this year, but this works. We had our annual work pumpkin throw down.

My October has been very busy, but I got my spook on. I visited a Haunted Museum and survived zombies in Vegas. In Paris, I visited the Catacombs and saw lots of real skulls & bones…it was freaky. And today I went to see a ballet at the Smith Center in downtown Vegas. You’re probably wondering, what makes a ballet an acceptable Halloween themed activity? Well it was a Gothic ballet based on Dracula. Nothing screams Halloween more than skulls, zombies and Dracula!!

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I am not a big ballet person, but when I saw this one was a Dracula theme, I knew I had to attend. It was beautiful! I loved it! 

I am finishing off the month back in Canada; where I have a girls dinner party planned on the 30th. It’s a Trick or Treat theme, each person has been instructed to bring one gift and we will swap. I thought it would be fun, plus I love gifts, lol, giving and getting.

Then Trick or Treating on the 31st! Ok I may be too old for that? But I am certain I will find something to do.

For those who have read my October posts, I hope you were inspired to enjoy some fall fun.

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The scariest thing is how quickly the month has flown by!!!

What’s next? Christmas!!!!! The only holiday that I love more than Halloween is Christmas; I have some fun posts coming up in November and December.

Thanks for reading friends!!!

Let me know if there is something you would like to see me write a post on or if you have any questions? I love hearing what you think.

Muah!!

Liette

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Real Scary Shit in Paris!

Disclaimer: This post is about the Paris Catacombs; it contains pictures of real skeletons, readers beware!

Last week while in Paris, we visited the Catacombs museum. With Halloween a week away, I though this would be a perfect creepy post to share.

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I chose this for my cover pic because I thought that the blurryness fit the spooky mood of the location. I was thinking, please don’t freak out, please don’t freak out!! Lol

It is said that there are more dead Parisians under the city than there are living in Paris. The Catacombs run for hundreds of kilometers under the city. A very small section is open to the public; this “museum” is unlike any other.

Helpful hint #1, buy your tickets online before you get there. The lines are long!! There are two lines, one for those buying tickets onsite and one for those who pre-bought online. The line for those who have tickets is much, much shorter.

As soon as you walk in, it was clear that this is going to be a freaky experience. You start by going down a metal spiraling staircase with 180 stairs that quickly bring you 20 meters under the city. This is probably not a great activity for anyone who is claustrophobic!! Or anyone who is super tall, lol.

This video shows the walk towards the galleries where the bones are displayed. Creepy right?

 

 

 

Once you get to the bottom, things get real, real fast!! I am not claustrophobic; or I didn’t think I was, but as we walked towards the entrance I did get a bit freaked out. Helpful hint #2; don’t overthink the fact that you are 20 meters underground, lol.

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I took this selfie at the base of the staircase. You can see a slight WTF am I doing here look on my face. I was able to calm my mind and power through.

I told my friend Claudia that I was feeling a bit anxious; she did the right thing by ignoring what I had just said and started talking about unrelated stuff. I think I just needed a moment to climatize; it gets real dark, real fast too!

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To change my focus from the fact that we were 20m underground, I started taking pics and videos, it helped.

Full disclosure, you are allowed to take pictures and videos, they just ask that you not touch anything…mmm no worries there! At first I wondered if it was disrespectful to take photos? Millions of people a year visit the catacombs and do take pics; and the museum itself has photos of the remains on posters, flyers…I was mindful to remember that these walls of bones were once people. Some families were taking pictures of their kids in front of the remains…yeah, too creepy for me!!

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View as walking towards the chambers or galleries to the remains. I found parts strangely beautiful…did I mention this is 20 meters underground??? Lol

These are limestone quarries that originated in the 15th century.

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This sign was a clear indication that this was going to be unlike any other museum I had ever visited before.

This sign is a warning of what lies beyond this point. It says: Stop! This is the empire of death. Mmm nothing creepy about that!! Lol

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You were warned, these are real bones!

So here is a super brief overview as per the guide.

One of the largest Parisian cemeteries was  closed in 1780, due to safety concerns. Little by little the quarries began to House bones from all the cemeteries of central Paris.  Basically because they wanted to expand the city, so cemeteries were closed and the remains moved.

At some point a dude called Hericart de Thury, created a theatrical display with the remains, similar to how a museum would display objects. The overall impression he wanted to create was one of respect, mediation and fear.

The catacombs have been open to the public since the early 19th century.

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My impression was a combination of awe for the sheer size and the intricacy of the displays and creeped outness, new word, just made it up (meaning to be super creeped out).

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There are different patterns of displays. One thing I did wonder, what did they do with the pelvic bones??? Just a thought.

During our time in the catacombs I found myself getting caught up in the stories, we paid extra for the audio tour, it’s a must. It’s beautiful in a morbid and  surreal way. It’s easy to forget that each bone belonged to a person.

I am not a super religious person, seeing all these skulls and bones really brought home that we leave our bodies. What’s left are just bones. And that we each have a short time here.

Being surrounded by so many who have passed reminded me to live life as best I can. My final hint for this post is more a hope; let’s try to not be shitty people!! Lol

If you have time, I would recommend visiting the catacombs.

I will close on a lighter note, they had a pretty decent boutique, I bought a cool skeleton umbrella. And FYI, those 180 steps are much easier going down than they are coming back up! And 20 meters is approximately 63 feet.

I would like to know if you would visit the catacombs if given the opportunity? Yes? Or is it too creepy for you?? Share!

Happy Halloween!!

Boo!

Liette

Paris Catacombs