Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

I’ve been noticing that since this dumb pandemic started, there seems to be a lot of new side hustles popping up and a bigger focus on buying locally.

I was really curious about what these side hustlers were doing, why they were doing it and how they were doing, while doing it? Make sense?? Maybe? Lol. Let me introduce you to Bonnie, who makes cakes and treats, Emily who makes funky earrings, Craig who makes beautiful cheese boards and wood stuff and Monique, who will customize pretty much anything you need.

First up is Bonnie, who is Mrs Delicious!

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Liette: What made you decide to start your side business?

Bonnie: The idea to start Mrs Delicious as an online bakery definitely came from my close friends and family. They were tasting and seeing all of my creations that I was posting about on social media during the spring and they thought I should offer what I was doing to a wider audience. I guess they thought I had a bit of a gift and thought I should share it.

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L: Is this something you had been waiting to do for a while?

B: Haha! Nooooo not at all. I normally have an extremely full schedule and wouldn’t have any room for extras like this. A typical work week for me, pre-pandemic, would consist of anywhere from 50 to 60+ hours of work a week. After a week like that you don’t typically have a lot left to give. Anything I do have left is spent on friends and family. However, at this time, with events on hold, my daily life has changed drastically. I needed a creative outlet and so my friend gave me the extra push I needed, she created a logo for me and I set up a Facebook page and my husband got some stickers made up with my branding and I was off and running.

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L: So all the extra time on your hands, because of the pandemic, sparked you to try something new?

B: The pandemic was definitely the instigator for this. I have hardly baked in the past 10 years. I have been concentrating on climbing the corporate ladder and being a Mom to my kids and helping to support my Mom when she was sick. I had a full plate. During the pandemic I turned to the kitchen, it started with a birthday cake for my daughter, then one for my son, then an anniversary cake for my sister and brother in law and it just kept going. I started having a lot of fun with it and trying trickier recipes each time. I was getting so many positive comments on my photos and people started saying, you should do this and sell them. I was very unsure at first but my confidence started to build and the reviews were positive so here I am. Mrs Delicious has been accepting orders for less than a month and I have already had close to 50 orders!

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L: I love that story!! Your cakes look absolutely delicious, great name btw, I am waiting for someone’s birthday in order to order one from you. How can people see and order from you?

B: People can order through Facebook at facebook.com/mrsdeliciousdesserts

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Post and Studs

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Emily’s is an elementary school teacher, who on the side, makes beautiful earrings. She makes them because they let her be creative and they make her happy, she explains that if they make others happy, that is a major bonus! And BTW, I just got a pair and they do make me happy! Mine are hot pink, obvs; here is my chat with Emily.

Liette: What inspired you to start making earrings?

Emily: I’ve always loved creating, aka making a mess. My sister and I started making jewelry as children and it was always something that brought me happy memories. We grew up in an extremely creative household, both of our parents were being creating in some way or another. I’m very thankful to have grown up in an environment that fostered our creativity.

A few Christmases ago, I was making earrings as gifts for loved ones and everyone told me to start selling them. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I decided to dive in head first!

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business?

E: Having a business was always something that appealed to my creative side, but definitely not my organizational side. It was something I was always interested in, but I am thankful that I can do it at my own pace.

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L: Your earrings are beautiful. How long does it take to make one pair?

E: From start to finish, many of the dangles take about four days to fully cure and become ready for your ears! There are quite a few steps involved and this time period can be greatly extended if I make any mistakes. I’ve definitely had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.

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L: I bet that it’s been a learning process, not just making them, but marketing yourself?

E: Because it’s my side business, I don’t have the same type of pressure to market myself as many other businesses do. Post and Stud is my creative outlet, and I treat it as such. If it all becomes too stressful, I have the ability to step back and take a break for a few days. This is a privilege I’ve needed and am extremely thankful for. For the most part, I’m able to go with the flow and create relationships with like minded people.

L: How can people see and buy your earrings?

E: They can go to my website: http://www.postandstud.com, my Instagram & Facebook account is @postandstud. My earrings are also available for sale at Sequoia, the Trinity location, The Glow, in Sussex, and Luxe Salon and Spa in Riverview.

Borden Design

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I’ve known Craig for a long time, we used to work together many moons ago. I was surprised and impressed when I saw the beautiful charcuterie boards he was posting on Facebook. I knew he was, and still is, an awesome musician, but I had no idea he had mad woodworking skills? It was nice to catch up with him; here’s a bit of our chat.

Liette: I’ve seen the videos you’ve posted online, it’s cool to see a bit of how your boards are made. What motivated you to start your side hustle?

Craig: I had been planning a little side hustle for quite some time. With the lock down and having some extra time it seemed like the perfect time to get started.

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L: Did being home during COVID push you to get started?

C: Typically my free time would be focused on making music with my band “Big Bang”, but COVID not allowing for rehearsing I had some spare time to really focus on coming up with some products I wanted to make.

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L: What is it about working with wood that you most enjoy?

C: The charcuterie boards I’ve been making came from an apple tree that was in our backyard. I love the three having a completely new life in a completely new form. The cutting boards are made from wood I get from another local business, London Lumber. It’s really like being a kid in a candy store every time I go there. In addition to wood we’ve been prepping to make some concrete products as well, they should be available in the coming months.

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Craig’s number one helper, Stephen, who just turned 7!!

L: How can people find and buy your products?

C: Currently my presence is focused on Facebook, bordendesignnb, but I ‘m on Instagram, borden_design, and Twitter, Twitter.com/borden_design, as well. Products and prices can be found on Facebook @bordendesignnb,

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Made by Monique

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Monique works in early childhood development and is super crafty and creative. She’s started a side company that focuses on custom printing; here’s our chat.

Liette: What inspired you to start your little side hustle?

Monique: I love being crafty and creating things, so after receiving my Cricut (fancy adhesive cutter and printer) as a Christmas gift, I started experimenting with it and watching YouTube videos, A LOT of videos! After trying a couple of different things, I realized I was more interested in designing shirts, onesies, hoodies, etc…

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business? What made you say, I am going to do it?

M: I’ve always loved the idea of having my own little side business that I would fully run myself, so that would be a yes! Once I had mastered designing and applying heat transfer vinyl on a wide variety of fabrics, I decided to invest in a few other important accessories and advertise on social media.

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She also sells custom pet stuff. Here are her two fav models, Pedro and Mika. Pedro giving us his sexy look, Mike giving us full on smiles. 

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L: What’s been one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to deal with so far?

M: A challenge I’ve had to deal with would definitely be the Christmas rush! It’s generally a busy time of the year in general, but with the added to-do list of getting all the custom orders ready before Christmas, it was a little extra busy for me. Even though it was a big stressful, I am SO thankful that I received so many orders!

L: So maybe we can put it out there now, in the summer, that people should start thinking of their custom Christmas Stockings, Tree Skirts and baby onesies now? lol?

M: That would be great to get orders as early as possible!

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These are the custom printed hats that she made for me.

 

L: How can people see your work and order from you?

M: I have photos of almost all my work posted on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/customizedbymonique and also my Instagram account: customizedbymonique. For order simply send me a message via my FB page and I will get back to you!

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I am so impressed with all these side hustlers their stories are inspiring and have a few common threads. One is that they are all doing something that they love and that fulfills their creative side, that’s so important, we all need creative outlets. And they are all using social media to promote and sell their goods. I think that social media gets a bad wrap; and rightfully so at times. My advice to those finding social media toxic is to do some major cleaning up!

You’re allowed to unfollow and unfriend anyone who is causing you anxiety. Replace them with local small businesses and services. I recently started following the hashtags #moncton, #newbrunswick and a few others and I have discovered so many neat things about my region.

Social media is the most valuable tool for small/local businesses…oh and for bloggers too, lol.

Thank you for reading!! Start following these awesome side hustlers on FB and Insta!!

muah!

Liette

As a bonus adding links to my last two links, they highlight local businesses. One is a nursery and the other a glamping site…you’re welcome!!

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/11/day-tripling-in-nb-cornhill-nursery/

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/05/girls-who-glamp/

 

 

 

Summer in Bloom – Bucket List

Summer in Bloom! Bucket List

If you live in Canada, you know how precious and short our summers can be. Before you know it the leaves will be changing and fall will be upon us. In order to make the most out of summer, let’s make a list of all the summer things we want to do and then let’s get out there and do them!

Here’s my list, let me know what’s on yours.

1. Camping or Glamping

So camping hasn’t historically been my thing, but I just went on my first glamping trip and I loved it! There is some sort of camping for everyone, some like roughing it, some meh…not so much, lol. Whatever your preference, get out there and do it!! Even better, do it locally so that you can help support your respective communities that have been hit hard by the shut downs. Also all the cool places that are usually booked a year in advance may now have some openings, as less people are able to travel?

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2. Beaching or Laking (yes, I make up words, deal with it).

I’ve discovered that my soul needs to be immersed in large bodies of water; it’s my happy place. True story, when I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be a mermaid.

I’ve been to the beach several times and I hope to be many more before the summer is over. I’ve expanded my horizons a bit lately and have been to a river and a lake.

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We are so fortunate to live so close to amazing beaches, rivers and lakes, yet some don’t make time to enjoy them. Get out there! Live a little.

3. Picnic

Here is my recommendation, I am going to call a friend and make a date to do it too, since weekends can be so busy, let’s make a date to meet a friend for lunch in a local park. You bring the sandwiches and have your friend bring the dessert or drinks, so it’s easier. It’s a great way to catch up, reconnect and get some fresh air. It’s also a great stress reliever and break in during a busy week.

Another option is lunch at a Food Truck, this can technically count as a picnic! And it’s supporting a local business.

4. Drive in

Drive ins are just plain fun and they’re the perfect way to socially distance. We have two drive ins in my area, one of them have been showing retro scary movies on Thursday nights. My friend Dawn and I are scary movie friends, we both like watching them, usually through our fingers that our covering our eyes, lol. We have just made plans to go this week, the are showing the original Amityville Horror movie…yikes! I’ll post some pics on my oui-liette Facebook page of our movie night.

5. Day Tripping

For this goal, get in your car and drive. Drive to the city or town closest to where you live, go for lunch, walk around, browse local shops and markets; take pictures and just explore.

The four Atlantic provinces have just opened up to each other, which is perfect for day tripping. I have a few day trips planned for the next few weekends, I love road trips! Go out there and make some family memories.

6. Farmers Marketing (the act of visiting a farmer’s market)

This one is so important; I feel like our collective goal should be to visit farmers markets at least a few times a month. This could be a traditional farmers market with a bunch of local vendors or go to the an actual real farm!

We just spent the weekend in Waterborough, NB and shopped at a local strawberry farm market, I got the yummiest jams. I’ve also recently been to The Green Pig and bought a bunch of fresh stuff there.

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Go to local u-picks, buy direct from farms! I am already planning my apple picking trip to Verger Belliveau Orchards… ok my mini shop local rant is over, moving on.

7. I Scream for Ice Cream!

This is an easy summer goal that doesn’t have to be super complicated or cost a lot of money. I’ve been doing maybe a bit too much screaming for ice cream lately?

On the next hot day, find an ice cream partner and go to your neighborhood pop up ice cream hut. You may as well splurge for an extra scoop. Or go buy a tub of locally made ice cream and make a fancy Sunday at home; either option will be good enough to check this one off your list.

8. Bonfire

There is a theme to all my bucket list goals, it’s to slow down and take some time to relax and spend time with your loved ones or just alone time. This is a perfect excuse to do that.

Put your phone down, but keep it close tough, because you’re going to want to take a pic of your bonfire, obviously, lol. Take time to sit and look at your roaring fire, sing some cheesy campfire songs and roast some marshmallows!

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Before you bonfire, make sure that your area is green enough to safely do so. We’ve been under a strict fire band for most of the summer, but we just had some rain, so we able to fire it up!!

9. BBQ but make it fancy!

This one is super easy, so I am adding a level of difficulty to it; make your next BBQ a bit fancy by dressing up your table.

Here’s an easy and inexpensive idea, use fruits and greenery as a centerpiece. I am going to try this at my next BBQ. I’ll post my photos on my oui-liette Facebook page, like my page for updates.

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Another easy way to fancy it up is to add a big bouquet of wildflowers to your patio table, send me your pics!!

10. Be a tourist in your hometown

I try to be a tourist in my own region at least once a summer. I try to visit all the touristy places that people come here from away to see, but locals rarely go.

It’s fun to explore your local region and pretend that you’re a tourist, you can even buy a tacky t-shirt, live a little!!

I recently climbed up the giant lobster in Shediac, NB. I hadn’t done that in probably 20 years or more, it made me laugh, which is the whole point. What giant thing is your town or area know for? Whatever it is, go take a touristy pic in front of it; I dare you!

 

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Thanks for reading! I am currently working on revamping my Instagram page, go check it out! And I’ll add additional pics on my Oui-Liette Facebook page once I check off more items off this list; so go like my page and gram page if you haven’t already!!

Thank you! Muah!

Liette

If you want to read more, here is a link of a funny one; Funny Things A Maritimer Misses When They Leave, I wrote this one when I was living in Las Vegas.

https://oui-liette.org/2019/04/28/funny-things-a-maritimer-misses-when-they-leave/

 

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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At Home With Stacey and Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

At Home With Stacey And Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

This is the last post of my, At Home With, series for a bit. They’ve gotten a lot of readers so I will do more; maybe we can peek into people’s homes at Christmas time??

For our finale, let’s peek into some fancy pantries. First up is my friend Stacey’s pantry; she and I love to do fancy things together, it usually involves shopping, but today we’ll be touring our pantries.

Stacey and her family have a gorgeous home, but her pantry is a real hidden gem. If you’re in her kitchen and the doors are closed you would never suspect that there’s an amazing pantry there.

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Beautiful kitchen right? Wait for it.

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Voilà!! Oh and this is Finn, he’s the sweetest dog ever; I’m pretty sure his dog treats are in the pantry, so he’s on guard duty.

Her walk in pantry has floor to ceiling storage, the layout was very well thought out.

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Stacey and I agree that one of the best parts of having a big pantry is that you can hide your small appliances in them.

In addition to all the regular pantry stuff, Stacey keeps her pottery mugs that she has collected from her travels, they are just above her fancy coffee machine. She has pottery from the Maritime all the way to Iceland, from her most recent trip. When traveling, why buy tacky touristy stuff, when you can support local artists? That was rhetorical, there is no reason not to, lol.

Her pantry is filled with beautiful wooden bowls, family pieces and pottery, each item has a story; I absolutely love that about her home.

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And during the peak of the pandemic lock down, she joked that the most valuable thing in her pantry was her husband’s jar of yeast.

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At Home With Liette

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Covid Hair alert!! 

Stacey’s home is on the outskirts of town, it overlooks the city. My home is downtown in the heart of the city; OK it’s a small city, but still, I’m in the heart of it!

I am not going to lie that my pantry is what sealed the deal for my new place. The owner kept telling me it’s perfect for entertaining….I finally had to speak up and let him know who he was dealing with; events and party planner extraordinaire! Sooo he didn’t seem impressed, but I am sure he was blown away on the inside, he was just playing it cool, lol.

Apparently the “new thing” in pantries are sinks; it’s called a wet pantry, who knew? It maybe the most practical thing ever?

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So this is my pantry/laundry room/craft closet. What I love most about having a pantry with a sink and a door is that when entertaining, you can store all the messy stuff in there and bring it out when needed. It’s also great to have a place for my toaster and other stuff, so it’s not cluttering my kitchen counter space.

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The right side of the pantry is my laundry area; and all the way from Las Vegas is Lucille the cow; she helps me with my laundry. She’s great at folding, but horrible at putting clothes away.

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I have so much storage in here that some of my kitchen cupboards are empty. The cabinet to the left of my toaster oven is where I keep all my craft and party stuff…and my skates.

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Someone asked me what I kept in the orange boxes above my spice jars and where I got them? They are the boxes that my Nova Scotia Crystal glasses came in; they were too pretty and sturdy to throw away. I keep can goods and food stuff in them. Most of my glass jars are from IKEA.

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Can you tell I bought myself a label maker?? To say that I went label crazy when I first got it would be a gross understatement. When I moved I assumed that my pantry would turn into a catch all, but it stays really neat. That saying; a place for everything and everything in its place, rings true.

Thank you for reading, if you missed any of my other; At Home With…, scroll down to read them.

Coming up – I am working on a few fun projects; more decorating, some day trips and believe it or not, I am working on some content for fall. I’m taking advantage of this time off; and if I was working I would be planning all my fall shows, so it seems normal for me to work that far ahead, lol.

Thank you Stacey and Finn for letting us peek into your pantry.

Leave a comment or follow me on Facebook or Insta: Oui-Liette

muah!!

Liette

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Finn kind of stole the spotlight from Stacey, for this shot, I decided to just crop her out completely. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Home With Guylaine and Claudia; the bathroom reno edition.

At Home With Guylaine in Moncton and Claudia in Las Vegas; the bathroom reno edition.

If you’re anything like me you enjoy checking out other people’s homes; not to be nosy, but to see how they have everything setup and to see what their personal style is. I find it inspiring to see beautiful and interesting spaces.

It’s funny that I am grouping my friends Guylaine and Claudia together, they have never met, but they are very similar in a lot of way; they both have impeccable style and classic taste in decor and best friends, lol.

At Home With Guylaine

Guylaine and I have been friends since we were 14; she’s a mother of three, helps run her family’s restaurant and is an interior decorator. She recently redid her on suite bathroom, in her classic ranch style home, on a budget.

Both Guylaine and Claudia are experts at finding great deals. Just because you’re working on a budget, doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on style; it just means that you need to be more creative and resourceful.

Guylaine’s bathroom vanity was a standard builders cabinet, which was fine; she had been wanting to update it for years and finally got around to it.

She found this vintage record player at a secondhand store; you know the huge cabinet kind that your grandparents used to have? She removed the top and replaced it with a piece of quartz; and voilà! A beautiful, one of a kind, vanity. This modern mid-century piece fits in perfectly with her decor vibe that she has throughout her home.

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The record player cost her $50 and was in great shape, she polished it up with cream varnish and it was good to go. She had the front part, in between the two speakers, cut and hinged, so she does have some storage. The quartz and faucet cost $1,200; for a grand total of $1,250, which is a steal of a deal for a bathroom vanity with faucet.

Saving money on the cabinet allowed her to splurge on the quartz; when working with a budget, you need to prioritize where to spend and where you can save. And most importantly you have to be on the hunt for great pieces and have imagination to see their full potential.

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She update the  faucet to match the gold on her shower doors; a complete shower redo wasn’t in her budget, in order to update it, she replaced the 80’s style sliding doors with the frosted stripes for clear class doors.

The painting above her toilet is a Guylaine original; she took all of the leftover cans of paint she had laying around from other projects and created this abstract landscape; it was one of her Covid projects.

She kept the same large mirror, but changed the light fixture. She’s an expert at lighting, her advice is that every light in your home should have a dimmer; EVERY one!!! When I’m entertaining she’s in charge of lighting and creating a super cozy mood.

She replaced the old flooring with extra large tiles; her one regret is that she didn’t have in-floor heating installed while the floor was ripped up.

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Her old bathroom layout included a large closet, she did something that sounds crazy; she reduced the size of her closet in order to gain a bit more space in her bathroom. She has a super big walk in cedar closet in her basement, so she could spare the space by streamlining her bedroom closet.

This freed up space for this cabinet that she found at Homesense; Homesense is the Canadian equivalent to Homegoods in the US. This cabinet and her old school record player originally didn’t have any legs, she added legs to both to give them more of that mid century look. This is a good trick to steal…you’re welcome!

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She painted this wall a light shade of blush/beige ish and is planning on adding a chalk paint stencil pattern to it; I’ll post pictures of this finished wall on my Oui-Liette Facebook page when done.

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I’ll post her wall after she has finished stenciling it, on my Facebook page. The pattern will match the pattern on the front of the cabinet. 

I don’t have written permission to show you the inside of this cabinet, but I’m sharing it anyway! She said it was too messy, but this is life, and life is messy.

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Look how much extra storage this cabinet provides. Mixing old pieces with new will make your space look more natural and evolved than going out and buying everything at the same place; I am not a big fan of things being too matchy, matchy.

While we’re on the topic of cabinets, I wanted to show you this cabinet that she has in her bedroom. It’s a great antique find that she cleaned up and had a piece of marble cut and placed on top. Tile and counter top places sell small remnant pieces, you can get them for cheap ish and have them cut to size. It’s a great way to elevate any piece.

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At a home with Claudia

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Claudia and I have been friends and work partners for almost 15 years now; we share a love for travel and spas! Claudia is a mother of two and an expert in her field of marketing.

She recently did a major renovation to her main floor bathroom, the before and after pics are very impressive.

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Before

A great way to save a bit of money is to do as much of the work on your own. Claudia’s hunky husband, Paul, helped out with a lot of the manual labor for both her main floor and kids bathrooms. Turns out he’s great at breaking things!

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I am going to ask Claudia if she can make certain Paul is wearing a tight t-shirt and a cool tool belt the next time she puts him to work. (Paul and I are friends as well, we like to tease each other so please don’t report me to the politically correct police).

She chose shades of grays and white for this bathroom, which remind me a lot of a spa, coincidence? I think not.

The tile trend in the last few years has been white subway tiles, but both Claudia and Guylaine opted for much larger tiles, which I think is great for smaller spaces.

She decided to tile three walls and the floor in gray slate, except for a section in the shower, which is a darker gray. She also upgraded her shower head to a rainfall head.

Side note – tiles are a lot less expensive in the US; I know some of my Canadians are probably wondering how the heck she was able to tile three full walls and the floor! Lol. Tile deals are available in Canada, you just need to be on the look out for sales and remnants.

Claudia’s big splurge was building this custom shower; it was absolutely worth it!

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After!

In order to make the bathroom appear larger, she added a glass wall in the shower and opted for a compact sink and hung it off the floor; floating the vanity makes the room look bigger and it also allows for a basket underneath for extra storage.

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Kidding Around

Both Guylaine and Claudia have a teenagers at home; let’s take a peek into their kid bathrooms.

Guylaine’s second full bath, is long and skinny. She jazzed it up with a bold colored accent wall; don’t underestimate the power of paint.

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She replaced the flooring with these wood plank ceramic tiles, they look like real wood.

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This long wall needed some big art, which can be expensive; she photographed her three children and zoomed in on their eyes; from left to right, meet William, Madeleine and Emma.

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In person you can really see the vibrant colors of blue and green of their eyes. 

I love this idea, it shows that you can create something really original, personal and cool without breaking the bank.

Claudia’s kids bathroom was completed on a tight budget, but you’d never guess by looking at it.

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This whole back splash wall is tiled, she lucked out with this tile gift! 

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The vanity for this bathroom and her main bathroom are both from Ikea and were very affordable.

The wall behind the vanity looks like wallpaper in the photo, but it’s actually tile. The tile was gifted to her from her good friend who had leftover sheets after her own home project.

I love Claudia’s attention to detail, like the cut out nook in the wall that she painted black, see above. This extra storage space means that she has less things cluttering on the counter top.

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I also love these his and her hooks, they’re super cute and keep her kids from fighting over towels.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this quick bathroom peek? And thanks to Claudia and Guylaine, who love decorating, but don’t love getting photographed. What I find cool is that both of their photos were taken by their daughters.

Also if you are in the Moncton area and want to hire Guylaine, she will be launching her new site shortly, in the meantime, you can email her at: gdmalenfant@gmail.com, not to brag, but she did the Gusto decor and is uber talented…full disclosure, she is my bff, but she really does have great taste and vision.

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Photo by Mia
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Photo by Madeleine

 

My next “At Home With” will focus on kitchens that are perfect for entertaining.
I’ll be sharing a video of my own bathroom on my Oui-Liette Facebook page tomorrow; it has two super cool features that I love, like my Facebook page for updates and bonus pictures.

un gros merci, muah!!

Liette

Just in case you missed At How With Nancy, here’s the link: https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/12/at-home-with-nancy-take-a-peek-inside-her-150-year-old-country-house/

Corona Hair PSA

Corona Hair PSA – Public Service Announcement

Warning – for those of you who don’t think that we should be focusing and/or worrying about our hair during these crazy times, stop reading now!! Seriously, go away!!!! The rest of us know the power of a good hair day!! And the psychological impact of a bad hair situation on our self esteem.

Corona Hair

Yesterday should have been my regular scheduled hair appointment. I get my roots done every 4 weeks because my hair grows crazy fast and I hate having roots.
But Instead of freaking out, I’m going to wait this out and plan my big hair return strategy! OK, full disclosure, I did get bored a few weeks ago and put a temporary pink color in my hair. It turned out to be less temporary than expected, but it’s fine, I am fine; no one got hurt.

FYI pink hair looks good for exactly one day, the day you do it; it’s downhill after your first wash until it completely fades; but it’s fine, lol.

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Don’t do it!

I know that some of you are planning to take matters into your own hands; my first reaction is don’t do it!!!

My reasoning is that we are already mentally and emotionally fragile; and I know that you’re  thinking that doing your own hair will make you feel better; and it may? But it could just as easily go horribly wrong; it’s really a crap shoot.

I know that some of you aren’t going to listen to my sage advice, so I reached out to two of my fav professionals; my current hairstylist Tiffany and my former Las Vegas stylist, Colleen… you’re freaking welcome btw!

Color It?

Tiffany is pleading that you not attempt to color your own hair! Box dyes can be very messy and if you don’t get the color you were looking for it’s going to end up costing you more money to get it fixed, than had you just waited. “Everyone is in the same boat, we all have roots! Wait it out.”

If you absolutely can’t wait, Colleen, recommends that you reach out to your stylist and ask for his/her opinion on what you should use and how to use it? Some may even mix it for you? They may also be able to talk you off the ledge and convince you to wait?

Now if you’re thinking of doing your own highlights, don’t!! Colleen is one of the best stylists in Las Vegas and she says she wouldn’t even attempt to do her own foils at home.
That’s coming from a trained professional and not just me; and let me remind you that you are not a trained professional!!
Highlights use bleach and it can go real bad, real fast! It can fry your hair and make it brittle and break off. It can also turn copper orange or green; both of which won’t be cute on you!

To trim or not to trim?

Tiffany warns against major trimming unless you want to look like Joe Exotic from Tiger King. Lol

I am actually pretty good at trimming my own bangs, the trick is not to cut straight across. I would save any major style changes for your stylist!

The new you!

Here’s my plan; I am giving my hair a break and using this opportunity to grow out my bangs. Which we all know is a pain! I’m giving it such a break that washing it seems like a huge task these days; but apparently it’s good for your scalp to wash your hair less often, so going with that.

I’ve already picked out my new future hairstyle. I think this summer, or whenever we can get back to our new normal, will be a great time to make a big symbolic hair change; and I think you should consider it too. It will give you something to look forward to and it will be a super big pick me up at the end of all of this. The before and after pics should be pretty dramatic.

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So this is the style I am going to get; it’s basically just blonder and shorter; and I’ve had this style before, bottom right pic is me with this exact same do.

Tough love visualization

Close your eyes; it’s June something or other and we’re free to roam!! You’ve decided to put your favorite jeans on. They are a little tight, ok that’s being kind, they are really tight! But you’re owning your muffin top! Mostly because all your yoga pants have holes and stains on them; that was a lot of usage and stress on such thin spandex fabric! You’re doing your best to rock your copper highlights with green undertones; and in hindsight, your kitchen scissors probably weren’t sharp enough to properly trim your own bangs?

I am sorry that I had to take you there, but that is basically your future, lol. But seriously, be careful and repeat after me; “I did not go to hairdresser school!! I am not a qualified professional stylist!”

Thank you for reading this tongue and cheek post. But really don’t do your own hair!!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

I got my roots done the day before they closed all the salons, so my hair is actually still looking pretty cute. I felt this post needed someone who was already struggling with theirs, so I recruited a famous hair model, who may or may not be one of my dozens of first cousins?? She’s hilarious and a great sport; she did give me permission to use her photo.

She has also decided to wait out the pandemic and not attempt to do her own hair, but unlike me, she has more than 4 weeks of roots; which means she isn’t as good of a pandemic planner as I am. And here’s the proof! Lol, her hair is always, always perfectly coiffed so this is my one and only time to have nicer hair; and I am sure she will get back at me for this side by side comparison, love you B!! ❤️❤️

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The look on my face is; she is going to get me for this pic!! lol. Our family are the greatest teasers! We love each other and we laugh a lot!

My blog is pretty much keeping me sane these days; I need to have things to do, so thank you so much for reading and sharing!!

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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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Coronavirus – Is it OK to not be OK?

Coronavirus – Is it ok to not be ok?

I consider myself to be a pragmatic optimist; I try to see the positive in every situation, but I am also able to adjust to pretty much any situation once I’ve had a moment to digest and recalibrate.

But this isolation situation is kicking my ass!! Have you ever realized how fortunate you are and then felt a bit of guilt for throwing yourself a pity party? That’s normally where my mind goes when I start thinking, poor me. I realize that a lot of other people have harder struggles than I do; so I tell myself to buckle up buttercup. In the past this way of thinking has served me well. It’s made me power on, and I have full intentions of powering on this time too, because I know that this too shall pass.

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But is it ok to not be ok for a moment? This week I’ll find out if I get laid off or not? Last week three of my friends and 3 of my family members lost their jobs. It looks like I will celebrate my 50th birthday alone, by myself in my apartment…in Moncton; not in Palm Springs with my friends as planned!!! The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing is creeping up on me stirring up crazy flashbacks. And I feel that things are just going to get crazier before they get better; that’s a tough thing to process for an optimist. So I think I am going to need a freaking moment!!!

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I was chatting with a friend on the phone today  and at one point in the conversation I asked her if she was having an anxiety attack? She was; we talked about nothing and anything until it subsided a bit. She suggested that I write a post about feeling anxious, worried and depressed.  

My posts usually have a funny or optimistic vibe; but I think there maybe some comfort in hearing that others are also struggling? So I am diving in here; this whole thing is just plain and simply fucked up! The world has come to a complete stop! And I’m sorry, but at this very moment, I am having a hard time finding the bright side or an immediate silver lining!

Ouff! There, I said it! It’s out there and to be honest, it feels good to blurt that out and release it. And for your mental health, I think that you should give yourself permission to lose it as well; but then, please find it again.

Maybe we should schedule our losing it outbursts so we don’t all lose it at the same time? Yes, that’s a good idea; we’ll need to take turns losing our shit. Let’s try to be extra kind to ourselves in these next few months; yes, I said months.

As a rule I try, and think I do a pretty good job, to not compare myself to others; but lately, with all this free time spent on social media, I’ve caught myself being a bit envious and I think others may be as well??

So if you’re not preparing gourmet meals for yourself/mate/family every night; it’s ok. If you aren’t creating daily super adorable Tik Tok videos with your children; it’s ok! If you want to punch your significant other in the throat because you can hear them chewing or breathing; it’s ok! If you live alone and have been wearing the same yoga pants for over a week; it’s ok!! It’s all ok!!

Anything that is helping you survive in isolation, that doesn’t hurt anyone else, is ok!! Ok?

That being said, if your not ok moments lasts for more than a moment; please call your folks, FaceTime your friends or set up a patio or driveway date with someone you love. And if that doesn’t help, please call your doctor and have a chat with them. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel like you’re going to be ok.

I was on the phone with my mom today; she must have sensed that I was having an off day because she told me that I need a project. She said that I don’t do well when I have nothing to look forward to. And of course she is right! She’s always right. So in order for me to be ok, I am going to need a fun project. So watchez-vous! My creative juices will be flowing, which can get scary?? Lol. Try to find something that you can do for yourself to help you be ok.

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To recap; it’s ok to not be ok for a moment. It’s ok to lose your shit, but then, please find said shit and keep on keeping on. No one’s life is perfect so avoid comparing yourself to others. Use any and all tools that are currently helping you survive. Find something to do that is going to help make you feel ok; and finally if you’re not ok moment is lasting more than a moment, please reach out for help.

Stay safe and let me know how you’re doing.

muah!

Liette

PS – looks like we all have extra time on our hands, sign up to receive my posts sent to you via email. They’re super amusing!! 🤣

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Lost in London

Lost in London – The fine art of finding more while lost.

My day job consists of organizing and planning  things; so one might assume that when I travel everything needs to be all planned out?

That’s actually not the case at all. I don’t like trips that are too structured; I do enjoy an organized tour or two, but I also love exploring freestyle. Getting lost in side streets is the best way to experience a new city.

On my recent trip to London; I was reminded, more than a few times, that I have a horrible sense of direction, lol.

In my defense, I’m lazy; when roaming with others I like to let them take the lead. Always being “the boss” can be exhausting! During my off time, I like to give up control and let others figure out where the hell we are and how the hell we’re going to get to where we’re going.

When I am alone I do make a point to pay more attention to my surroundings and I google map stuff. But there’s a freedom to not knowing exactly where you are. Instead of going from point A to point B; look around and pop into anyplace that look interesting.

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Vintage Louis Vuitton cases, chocolats in Harrod’s and and fancy white swans; so much to see!

My favorite travel days are when I have a general idea of what I want to do and see, but I’m free to roam and explore. I love just happening upon things.

I also love when you tell your travel companions; hey let’s buy crowns and wear them to Buckingham Palace and their first reaction is yes!! Let’s!

Who you’re traveling with can make or break your trip. Just because you’re great friends with someone doesn’t automatically mean you will be great travel buddies…just saying.

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After our palace visit, my fellow royals and I made our way to towards SoHo. There are so many different areas with cool shopping and dining options; it’s impossible to see them all. So pick one or two areas to get lost in.

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My exploring partner and I. We eventually took off our crowns. 👸👸🏼

I can be difficult to roam freely in a large group; hey, not everyone has the same interests, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Once in SoHo we quickly discovered that finding a lunch place that appealed to all six of us would be almost impossible.

One of us, probably me, decided we should split up. And instead of being offended, the rest of the group seemed relived. It’s perfectly fine to break up into smaller groups or to venture out alone and meet up later.

I partnered up with Alex and I’m pretty certain that our four other colleagues thought that we would get lost the moment we split; Alex is also directionally challenged.

We spent the afternoon popping in and out of funky places. Some of our colleagues prefer to read the full menu posted on the door before deciding if a restaurant is suitable or not, which is perfectly fine.

Alex and I took a different approach; our lunch venue was selected because they had funky green couches and shiny chandeliers. Once seated we knew we had made the right choice when we saw that they had a section on their menu dedicated to boozy hot chocolates.

After lunch we shopped in super cute boutiques; it was a fabulous afternoon. And guess what? We made it back to the hotel all by ourselves, crowns and shopping bags in hand!

I hope you enjoyed my London adventures; my next trip is San Diego. I will try to pencil in a day or afternoon to get lost there too.

I challenge you to get lost somewhere; and guess what? You don’t even need to leave your hometown. I am certain that there are places that you drive by all the time that you’ve been meaning check out. Take an hour and be a tourist in your own town!! Get lost!!

Cheerio, muah!

Liette

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I know a lot of my readers like to see my oddball purchases. I do love all those tacky touristy shops! Here are my finds from my Lost in London afternoon.

I got a few postcards for my blog board, tacky red double decker salt and pepper shakers; I had bought a pair of these a few years ago for my then bf, now have my own. And some colorful macaroons from Harrod’s.

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On every trip I get a print or post cards that I frame. I love having reminders of where I have been hanging on my walls. I bought this print, see above, it spoke to me! 💋

The two pics below were cards that I bought in a stationary shop on my last trip to London. The frames were cheap, but the finished look is fancy! I love them.

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To see what my latest London prints and cards will look like framed, follow me on Facebook at @oui-liette. I am going to do a mix of store bought frames and custom framing.