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

Royal Fun at Versailles.

People rave about Paris in Spring; well let me tell you Fall doesn’t suck either!!

When traveling through Europe it’s easy to get museum and church overload. Each one is more spectacular than the next, you want to see them all. And then it happens, they all start meshing together until you can’t remember one from the other.

 

Royal Fun at Versailles

 

Versailles is a must see when in Paris. On my first visit when I was 17, I did the guided tour; which was great, but years later, ok a lot of years later, my memories have faded. This time I wanted to do something a bit different that I wouldn’t forget.

You can book tours that include your transportation and entry, but the most economical and fastest way to get there is by train. It cost us 7€ and took us approximately 25 minutes.

Upon arrival we decided to skip the long line of tourists waiting to get into the chateau…damn tourists!! Instead we headed for the gardens. I had run out of time on my first visit to see them; so on this visit we decided we would start there.

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I promise you this is not fake. This is the view from behind Versailles; basically, this is the backyard.

Our plan was to rent bicycles…yes you can bike through the grounds of Versailles! How fun is that??

Turns out the bike rentals were at the very opposite gate to where we entered, but that was perfectly fine because we wandered through beautifully manicured arches and hedges. The weather was perfect, they had music playing in the gardens; it was magical!

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See, manicured arches and hedges, lol.

While walking through the gardens, we tried to imagine what it would have looked like with Marie Antoinette and her ladies in waiting prancing around. That is until the sudden smell of pizza washed over us, lol. It was the strangest thing. We got closer to investigate, mostly because we were getting hungry, and  behind a tall green hedge was an outdoor canteen. We passed on the pizza, but did get a baguette with ham & cheese and waters; it seemed more French.

We made our way to the bicycle rental area. You can also rent golf carts, but that just seemed super lazy. We places our baguette and waters in our baskets and ring, ring, we tested our bells a few times, and we were off!!

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Basket…check, bell…check, matching black turtlenecks…check!

This is by far my favorite thing I have done in Paris. The grounds are beautiful and so big!! This I will remember!

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We found a picnic table underneath a tree and had our ham and cheese baguette. Side note, when in France you need to eat a ham and cheese baguette; it sounds boring and plain, but it’s delish! Everything seems to taste better here.

On our way back, we rode past a field of grazing sheep, it was all just so picturesque!

After returning our bicycles and making our way back to the entrance of the château, it was already 4pm. It closes at 6pm; this meant that the long lines were gone as most tourists were gone or leaving. October is also considered offseason and it was a Thursday. If at all possible try to avoid weekends, it’s less busy.

By the time we finished touring the main part and made our way to Marie Antoinette’s wing; most everyone had left. It sort of felt like we had the place to ourselves, which was awesome! And I suspect very rare.

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Claudia holding court. We pretty much had the courtyard to ourselves at this point.

I highly recommend taking Versailles by bicycle! It made it much more than just looking at pretty things, it was fully immersive.

We made it back to Paris where we had yet another amazing meal!!! I recommend trying baked Camembert with honey, it’s to die for!!

 

To walk off the cheese and bread of the day; we headed to the Eiffel Tower to watch it shimmer. It sparkles & shimmers for 5 minutes on the hour every evening. I don’t imagine this sight ever get old.

Merci for taking the time to read about my Paris adventure!

Bisou!!

Liette

 

 

The Perfect Paris Day!

Paris is a city for lovers, but it’s also a great place to travel with one or your very best friends as well!

A Perfect Paris Day!

My friend Claudia and I booked our trip to Paris months and months ago on a whim. I had a few other trips and huge work projects right up to our departure date; so this chronic planner didn’t have much planned for Paris.

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We got matching carry on cases because we are nerds. I usually check my bag, she shamed me into a carry on! Lol

Claudia is a great travel partner, she enjoys looking things up and finding fun things to do. It’s a treat for me to not be “in charge” from time to time.

We kicked off our first full day in Paris sleeping in; this wasn’t planned, we were awake for a little over 24 hours the day we arrived. Side note, Las Vegas to Paris is far!!!

After being well rested we decided that we would spend our day  browsing, shopping and eating; pretty much in that order. This turned out to be the Perfect day in Paris!

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The view from our hotel room. You can see the Eiffel Tower, I circled it in case you missed it!

Before anyone starts to get all  ”judgy” about how Paris is a city of great culture with museums and churches…let me share that both Claudia and I have been here before and have visited a lot of museums and churches!! And for the record; I think that roaming around a city is the perfect way to soak in the local culture. And shopping helps the local economy…you’re welcome Paris!! lol

Le Bon Marché

Moving on; in her research, Claudia found this place at Le Bon Marché that has a kiosk that welds gold bracelets to your wrist. That was our first stop of the day…well second actually, we stopped for chocolate croissants first. A girl got to eat and when in Paris, a girl got to eat chocolate croissants!

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Le Bon Marché, what a beautiful place!

Le Bon Marché is a beautiful department store, full of high-end shops, some too high for my budget, but well worth visiting regardless.

We found l’Atelier VM on the first floor. It’s a small jewelry counter where you select your charm and chain; we chose matching dainty gold bracelet and a charm, I had an “l” engraved and she a “c”. We decided to splurge;  a special gift from us to us to celebrate our matching new promotions at work…we are sort of a big deal…now, lol.

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L’Atelier VM

Once our jeweler engraved my charm, he placed my arms in a machine; I asked if anyone had ever lost a hand in it? I thought I was funny, I am not certain if he did or not?

Inside this machine, the ends of the chain were welded together. Which means there are no clasps and it can’t be taken off. I think this is the perfect way to celebrate a milestone with a great friend in a magical city!!

Le Marais

Our next stop we wanted to go to Le Marais, which is un cartier or hood with a lot of beautiful shops and restaurants; it is located in the Jewish district. Instead of taking the metro we took a taxi and I am glad we did because we were able to see more of the city.

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Le Marais is in the Jewish district, this little man was adorable!

We had the taxi driver drop us off at Place des Vosges, as it looked to be in the heart of things. It’s the oldest planned square in Paris.

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Did I mention there was a gelato place right near the square??? No? Sorry, my bad.

We happened upon Traiteur Boulangerie, the smell was intoxicating, we decided we needed to stop and share a latke.

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Every cafe and boulangerie is picture perfect!

This is such an amazing area, I recommend getting lost in it. Don’t look for places, just happen upon them. We stumbled upon an old vintage clothing store, then a papeterie, where I bought lovely cards.

We spent 7 hours, exploring. We saw churches, where we admired the architecture. It was just a truly perfect day!!!

It was almost 9pm when we made it back to the hotel. Quick change for dinner and gone again. Every meal here so far has been amazing!!

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Did I mention we did some shopping? The secret to not looking like a tourist is to wear all black. Some of our purchases…all black!!

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring. Sometimes the best plan is no plan!!

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À plus tard!!

Bisou,

Liette

 

 

 

 

All Dressed Up!

I have planned a lot of Halloween Parties, too many to count; and I have figured out that there are two kinds of Halloween people. Those who love thinking of costumes and who really put a lot of thought into what they are going to be; and those who can’t think of anything to be.

It’s so easy now; all you have to do is go to a Halloween Store and pick something up! Or…you can just make something up! Be creative; it doesn’t have to make perfect sense, there are no Halloween Costume Police.

Funky Flower Fairy

Funky Flower Fairy Halloween

This Funky Flower Fairy is a perfect example, because it’s not a real thing, lol. But that’s what makes it so cool! You don’t need to be an expert makeup artist, there are lots of tutorials out there. I recruited my friends daughter to help me. I had no clue what I was going to be. I had bought a flower garland at Michaels and decided to make a crown. I cut a piece of the garland and used wire to join both ends together and voila! A flower crown.

Megan added some green leaves to my cheeks and painted my eyebrows pink to match my crown and Ta Da!! I was a Funky, Flower Fairy!

Halloween Makeup
This makeup doesn’t really make sense, but it doesn’t have to. It just needs to be fun.
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It took me literally 2 minutes to make my flower crown. I really like the way it turned out; and I am pretty sure, I will be the only Funky Flower Fairy at the party!

Next up, Madam Butterfly!

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Her are the supplies I picked up at Michaels, which is pretty much my fav store. I bought a variety of butterflies, a headband, silk flowers and some wire. Turns out I didn’t need the wire, because the butterflies already had wires on them.

I twisted the butterfly wires around the headband and then hot glued some flowers on the headband to hide the wires; again super easy, I did it while watching tv.

Butterfly Queen

Halloween Butterfly Fairy
Meet Madame Butterfly! You could add a pair of butterfly wings from your local Halloween Store. I just wore all black.

I cut the wires off a few butterflies and glued them on my skin using eye lash glue. You could also hot glue a few on a hair clip and clip a few extra in your hair.

For this look, wild hair is a must. I crimped mine, because I am trying to bring the 80’s back, lol. But you can curl or braid your hair to make it fluffy.

How to Madame Butterfly Makeup
I took a small butterfly and cut the wings off and used eyelash glue to glue them on my eye lids, it didn’t hurt, lol. I also glued one on my neck. You could go crazy and add more. More is more!

I am not a professional makeup artist by any means. I looked up some makeup ideas on Pintrest for inspiration. But then winged it…get it? Winged it…Madame Butterfly?? lol, sorry, moving on. I lined my outer eyes with black liner and then used white liner to highlight the black. I used highlighting glitter on my cheeks, colored my eyebrows black and of course my signature red lip; and I was done.

Madam Butterfly Easy Costume Ideas
This would be a fun as a group costume as well. Each friend or family member could have a different color of butterflies. You could be a Kaleidoscope, that is a group of butterflies btw, I looked it up! You could also take it up a few notches and be killer butterflies! Why not?

If you think these two ideas are still too “hard”? Ugh! What am I going to do with you guys?? Please refer to my Haunted Dinner Party Blog Post; go buy a bunch of masks for you and your posse and bam! You’re done!

Halloween Bunnies
My colony of bunnies, a group of bunnies is a colony, looked that up too! Wow, my blog is so educational!!

I wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween!! Have fun and make some great memories!!

So which idea is your fav? I wanna know! I have my favorite, but curious to know which you guys like best? Funky Flower Fairy, Madame Butterfly or Haunted Bitchy Bunny? Please vote by commenting below!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

I will be posting more costume ideas on my oui-liette Facebook and Instagram pages closer to Halloween!

Thanks again for reading! Like, share and comment, or I will haunt you!! 🙂

Boo!

Liette

Wickedly Haunted Dinner Party

This post is all about how to throw a Weirdly Wicked Halloween Dinner Party for your coven of best bitches…I mean witches!

For those who don’t know me I looooooovvvve Halloween! I love everything about it!

I polled a few of my anti-Halloween friends to see what specifically they didn’t like about Halloween; while secretly wondering, why I was still friends with them? lol. They all said the same thing, that they don’t like dressing up because they don’t know what to be or have the time to put a costume together; to that I say: “Booooooo!!!”

Haunted Dinner Party

I am going to make this super simple, ready? Invite your best girlfriends or boyfriends, over for dinner, or appetizers, or desert or just drinks. Whatever you are comfortable with. The point is to spend the evening with your friends. The point is not to stress about the meal, if you don’t want to cook, order in.

In the past few years, I have hosted dinner parties for my friends where I tell them to come over dressed in black with red lipstick. I usually come up with a catchy name for our dinner. They don’t have to think of a costume, they just need to show up in black. And for those who have a fear or red lipstick, I have all kinds that I will and have shared. Side note, there is something about red lips that makes me feel powerful, is it just me??

Buy masks or wigs for your friends and have them put them on when they arrive. Give them a drink or two, if they feel silly. My friends have been conditioned to just go with all of my hair brained ideas. And voila! Everyone is dressed up!

Halloween Masks
Here are the masks that I bought this year. I got them on Amazon, they were under $5 each.

 

Last year I bought a variety of glittery masks and fancy cat ears. But this year everyone got the same mask.

I set up a table and chairs in my friends backyard; We had dinner outside in the woods. Which ended up going really well with our bunny mask theme. It wasn’t planned, but it worked out perfectly.

Everyone having the same mask was really fun, it made us feel like a cool group of…..well bunnies I guess? But not just regular bunnies, Bad Ass Bunnies! My friends come to my events knowing that there will be lots of pictures taken; they are always really great sports.

Here are two things I have discovered: First, we have a lot of fun goofing around for the camera; even those who say that they don’t like getting their pictures taken. A perfect example is the picture above, our ears kept banging together, which made us laugh… a lot! The second thing I’ve discovered is that there are a lot of moms out there who are invisible. And I am not talking about a cool party magic trick. They are actually invisible!! They are always the ones taking the pictures, they are never in them. One of my friends discovered that she was invisible in most of their Christmas morning pictures, it’s like she wasn’t even there. Moms, please don’t be invisible!! Be present, be in the picture!

The goal of all my parties is to make memories with friends; and I think being goofy and getting people out of their comfort zone a little is a great way to bond.

 

Haunted Dinner Party Pink Logo
It’s fun to have a signature drink for your party; last year we made Purple Haze Martinis, this year we drank Red Zombies. I use Pintrest for all my drink ideas.

I like to print out the drink instructions and have all the ingredients on the counter top. I have my guests take turns making the drinks; everyone gets a chance to be the bartender. It’s great to get your guests involved, don’t be afraid to give them jobs; you gotta work! And it’s fun.

Three Halloween Bunnies
You’re never too old to be silly and have fun! I have been friends with these two bunnies for 34 years now!! Yes we are older than 34, I know it’s shocking, lol

 

Haunted Dinner Party Girls
We started feeling like Super Bunny Heroes! If we were, this would be our poster; we would hop around solving crimes and stuff.

Red Velvet Cake Top

Here is my fancy red velvet cake table; we had Chinese food for dinner. I bought the cake and ordered the Chinese food, see, super easy! No one judged me for not making everything or anything myself. I made the money that bought the food, lol, that was good enough! I was having fun with my guests instead of stressing in the kitchen. The cake was to die for!!!

 

BITCHiNBuys
Super special shout out to BITCHiNbuy for lending me some really cool modern mid-century serving trays and bowls. Check them out on Etsy!
Haunted Dinner Party Duo
Making memories; every time I see these pics, I will think of our fun night.
Bad Ass Bunny
Side note, these masks made our blue eyes pop!
Halloween Bunny Selfie
Fun fact, I usually wear cheap fake lashes to parties. They look good in pictures. Also if you know you are going to be taking pictures go a bit heavier on eyeliner and lips.

I hope this has inspired you to host your very own Halloween Dinner Party. If you do, please share your pics and ideas on Facebook or Instagram at: oui-liette

Once again thanks for reading, please click like at the bottom of this story.

Boo!

Liette

 

Pumpkin Fall Family Fun

Pumpkin Fall Family Fun

Pumpkin Carving

Here is a fun family tradition that my family started a few years ago that I would like to share with all of you. It’s basically a family pumpkin carving party, but let me share how it started.

When my parents sold their house, my mom decided that their apartment was too small to host Thanksgiving and that it was time for me to take over our family feast.

Our first Thanksgiving at my place was fine, but I discovered that it was a lot of work!!! Some families sit around the dinner table and talk for hours about world events, their feelings and that sort of crap. Well that’s not my family! Lol.

My dad was done eating and was asking what was for desert before I even sat down. I cooked all day and we were done and in a turkey coma within 20 minutes. They came, they ate and they left!!!

Being a professional party/events planner, I did a bit of soul searching to figure out how I could improve our family time. I came up with a brilliant idea! I realized that my family seem to bond more when we’re doing an activity; instead of just sitting around the dinner table.

The following Thanksgiving, I had a plan! After dinner, there would be an obligatory pumpkin carving contest. No one gets a pass; everyone has to carve a damn pumpkin!!

Let me share with my American friends that Canadian Thanksgiving is on the same day as your Columbus Day. So it’s always in October, before Halloween.

I cooked the turkey, my mom, brother and sister in law brought sides. We sat down and were done eating within 20 minutes…again!!

After we cleared the table and cleaned up, we prepared for our pumpkin carving throw down. What I wasn’t expecting was how into it everyone would be!! It was so fun; we actually sat around talked and laughed for hours!

Meow
Even the cat had fun, this is his happy face!

Over the years we’ve invited cousins and other family members to join us after their respective turkey dinners. The first year we posted our finished pumpkins on Facebook and asked our friends to vote for which one they liked best. I noticed a week later that friends were posting their pumpkins and asking friends to vote for their best pumpkin. How fun!!

Family Pumpkin Carving
My whole family really gets into it. My brother now brings his own carving tools.

Other years we voted internally, the rule is you can’t vote for yourself. Who knew pumpkin carving could be so competitive? And who knew my brother was such a great carver? He has only lost one year; he did a VW van pumpkin and people didn’t get it, lol.

VW Pumpkin
The infamous VW pumpkin that ruined my brother’s perfect winning record.
Family
We sometimes get VIP guests, like my Christopher. The more the merrier! He’s my fake kid.

I’m challenging all of you to have your own pumpkin carving night with your kids, your parents or your friends! Do it!! And try posting on social media and asking your friends to vote; you’ll be surprised by how much participation you get. I am also available to judge, I’m pretty sure I would be an awesome judge, lol. Just tag me on Facebook!

Elvis Pumpkin
We aren’t very good,, but we have lots of fun family time together. This is a great idea even if you don’t like your family, everyone is too busy to fight…just saying.

Make memories!! That’s what my blog is about!!! I missed our pumpkin carving last year, but I will be in Canada this year and it’s on!! My brother is going down!!!!!

Kiss Pumpkins
We line them up, post on Facebook and let the voting begin.
Witchy Pumpkin
My bro, the carving champ…I even tried cheating one year, he’s hard to beat!

Hit the like button below if you are a cool person 🙂

Boo!

Liette

Falling for Fall

September 21 is here which means summer is officially over! I know some of you may be clinging to summer, but I am choosing to embrace fall. The funny thing is that I have moved to a place that seems to be falless! lol

The high today in Las Vegas is going to be 98F/37C; not exactly fall weather, but I am going to fake it baby! My local grocery store has their pumpkins on display; I think that means that fall has arrived? Flip flops and tank tops don’t exactly scream fall, but I am going with it.

Strange Gourds
Scary gourds at my local grocery store…something is wrong with this one!

I have some really cool content planned for fall and Halloween that I am excited to share with you. I have a wide variety of fall things, from entertaining tips; to easy  Halloween costumes ideas. And I am super excited to report that several of my friends and family members have agreed to join me on a variety of haunted tours this month…ok, some may not have volunteered exactly, but they will come!

Scary Cookies
Gingerbread cookies aren’t just for Christmas, I’ll show you  my monster cookies.

October is going to be jam packed with fun! I have a quick trip to Paris mid-month and  then a trip back to Canada at the end of the month. Halloween in Moncton; I have no doubt that it will feel like fall there! I am hoping it doesn’t feel like winter by then!

So please stay tuned for some frightful fun!! I will have extra fun fall pictures on Instagram and on Facebook @ oui-liette.

Funky Flower Fairy Halloween

Boo!

Liette

Going Viral, Holy Shit!

Going Viral…Holy Shit

This is a true account of what happens when you put something out there and it goes viral. No names in this post have been changed to hide any ones identities, lol, that’s how I roll!

Sunday

For my second blog post, I am torn between which story to go with? Girls Just Wanna Have Tea, a hard hitting story on how to throw a tea party; or New Brunswick, Canada, You’re Going to Hate It! A fun tongue and cheek story about my home.

Late Sunday afternoon, I decide to go with the N.B. story, I read it one last time, hoping that people will get the humor, but if they don’t, how many people will actually see it?? Probably not many. I hit send and go on with my day.

Monday

By Monday morning I have gotten a few comments, I am excited, the first few are from friends, but sprinkled in there are a few from people I don’t know. I am reaching people I don’t know, how cool is that?

During the day, I periodically check my emails, each time I have a few more views and comments. By the time I get home that evening, I am very pleased with myself. My second post is getting much more attention than my first post; where I explored the controversial topic of how to take the perfect selfie.

My post gets its first share on Facebook from Paul, a fellow Monctonian. I am so touched, that he thought my post was interesting enough to share with his friends. By the afternoon, I have a few more shares. This is turning out to be a good Monday!

After dinner, while looking at my blog analytics, I notice, if I scroll down…all the way down, I can see more numbers; how many people have visited my site and where they are from… those sorts of things. It takes me a few minutes to figure things out, but when I do, I noticed that 2,100 have viewed my post in the last 24hrs!!!

Holy Shit!! 2,100 people viewed my post!!! How awesome! I call my mom, I am so excited, I need to share. After 5 minutes of explaining what a blog is, I am still not convinced she got it, I ask her to guess how many people have viewed my post so far?

Her first guess is 100K…really?? My 2,100 views suddenly feel tiny compared to 100K. When I bark back “mom!” she just laughs. I should note that she doesn’t have a computer, she knows how to text and that’s pretty much it, so I decide to cut her a bit of slack.

By the time we hang up, I have instructed her that the next time we speak, if asked to guess my number she would pick a realistic number, pretty much any number under 100K! She asks how many I want, I tell her that hitting 3K or even 4K would be super cool.

A few hours later I pass 3K, then 4K! I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the following people: Barney, Lynn, Staci, Claudia, Aline, Kenda, Cindy and Guylaine; because for the rest of that evening, they get regular text updates on how many people have viewed me; and by regular I mean every 20 minutes…ok maybe every 15 minutes.

When I surpass 5K and am almost at 6K, the texts are all the same, brief and to the point: WTF???  I start wondering if I am reading my stats correctly? One last text to Barney, who is away with his family, sorry, Barney’s family; he confirmed the stats are correct. Barney has become my unpaid technician and blog expert.

Giong Viral Photographer, Blogger
This is Barney! He is also an amazing photographer!

I decide to go to bed, I wondered if I could possibly hit 8K by the morning? I think that it maybe possible? But then reality sets in, nah, it will die down by the morning.

Tuesday

I wake up early Tuesday morning and the first thing I do is reach for my phone to check my stats. Over 8K views!! And lots of new comments. I make certain to reply to each one of them before I get out of bed. Most are recommendations for places I should visit or things I should try. All are polite and make me feel warm and fuzzy.

By the time I am ready to leave for work, I hit 9K views!! I am not sure why, but I instantly start to feel anxious and actually start breaking out in hives. I don’t know why? It’s such an honor to have people take the time to read something you have written. But on the other hand, 9,000 people have just read something that I have written! I think I am feeling a bit vulnerable, which is strange, since I started this blog and I posted of my own free will.

By the time I get to work, the anxiety is now mixed with excitement, after updating my coworkers with my unbelievable stats. I decide to stop looking, plus I know that the numbers will start to slow down shortly.

At lunch with my friend Staci, I pulled out my cell and see that I’ve just hit 13K!!! OMG!!

At this point, I am questioning what is going on here? Why is my little post about my little province so popular? One more text to Barney to ask: when do you know if you have gone viral? To which he replies, “Liette, you are viral!” Yikes!

Our next stop is Party City, I had joked earlier that if I reached 500 followers, I would do what celebrities do and take my photo with giant numbered balloons. It would be cheesy, dorky and awesome!! I decided that 13K is reason enough to celebrate!

I asked Staci if I should be so bold as to as to assume that I will hit 14K before the next morning? I decide to go for it, what the hell. I pay for a number one, a number four and a letter K; I’ll pick them up after work.

Going Viral Shark Week
Staci and I goofing off at Party City. Side note, Shark Week on Discovery Channel Kicks Off tonight!

Later that afternoon, my friend Michael, asks again if I have started getting any creepy emails yet? “No, just yours” I reply. He had sent me a cranky message as a joke, he says, the creeps will come, just wait. He is more of a glass half empty kind of guy, lol. All comments so far have been super supportive, nothing negative to report.

A few hours later, I get my first angry comment, instead of being upset, I think, wow! I have really made it now! It was someone who didn’t think that N.B. being bilingual is an asset, blah, blah, blah. It ended with “this F#@$ing Sucks”, not my blog post, but the fact that French people have equal rights I guess?? I have to approve all comments before they appear on my page. I considered approving knowing that the general public would come to my defense. I think about it for a moment, then decide that I want my blog to be a positive space, so not approving his rant. I am open to some controversial topics, if you want to debate which is better a sticky bun or a “pet de soeur”, bring it on!

For the rest of the afternoon the views and comments keep coming in. Bloggers are sharing and re-posting, local N.B. businesses are sharing. My friend Cindy sends me a note that her friends, who don’t know me, are sharing my post. I can’t tell if she is annoyed or happy about that? Lol, teasing, I think she is at the holy shit stage. She was the first to read my post, I sent it to her for feedback. She offered up some helpful suggestions, thank you Cindy!

By now, the anxiety is gone, I realize that this has taken on a life of its own and that I am just along for the ride.

When I leave work to pick up my balloons, I am already past 15K. What the hell am I going to do with my number 4 balloon now? I decided to skip 5 and get a number 6 balloon. I figure that by the time I get home, I will be at 16K, which I was; now I was just getting cocky.

Next is the reflective stage; what is it about this post that people connected with? I think that I have tapped into a feeling of pride? By highlighted a few things that make N.B. awesome, maybe it have reminded others how great it is? Or maybe it have given others the opportunity or the permission to boast a bit too? I think there is a feeling that N.B. is ignored by those who have never been there. We have been the drive through province, but those who have taken the time to stop, love it. Maybe instead of being Canada’s overlooked province, we are Canada’s best kept secret?

I make plans to have my picture taken with my balloons in front of the Welcome to Vegas sign the next day. Even after being here for two years, I still pinch myself and think, you live in Las Vegas! So the visual of a girl from Moncton, standing in front of the Las Vegas Sign with balloons that say 16K for a blog post about her home province, seemed like something I wanted to do! So doing it!

Going Viral Balloon Selfie
Trying to wrangle my giant gold balloons!

 Wednesday

I wake up to discover that I am at 22K views, so my 16K balloons now seemed silly, there goes $30…US!!

Going Viral Balloons
I flip my 6 to make a 9 and take a picture, but I am already at 22K! #balloonfail

By the time I leave for work I am at 23K & 25K after lunch!

My friends back home are telling me that they are seeing my story all over their Facebook feeds. It feels strange that I am getting my 15 minutes of fame for a story I wrote about my home province, while I am living in Vegas.

I decide to call my dad, I am almost positive my mom hasn’t told him about my budding fame. He is a fairly popular guy in the area. He’s sort of like Madonna and Cher, he only needs one name…Tilly. I didn’t want people to tell him that they saw his daughter on the internet, without knowing what I was doing on the internet, lol. So I explain to him what a blog is and tell him how many views I have gotten, his response is “ya ok”. I hang up telling myself that I am sure he is really excited…on the inside.

By the time I go to bed, things are starting to slow down a bit. My daily total for Tuesday was 13,268K, today my daily total is only 9,645. As soon as I say it, I see how crazy of a statement it is; only 9K today, oh no, am I becoming jaded…already? This week has been crazy and it’s only Wednesday.

Thursday

My morning total is 27,899, I am confident that I will hit 28K in the next few hours. I am a starting to feel a bit detached; it’s difficult to wrap my brain around the reality of this number.

It’s hard to believe that 27,899 people have taken the time to click on my link and read all of, or part of, my little story about N.B. To be honest, I would have been thrilled with 500 views and blown away by 1000 views, the higher the numbers get, the more surreal all of this feels.

By the time I get home from work I have hit 30K! Feeling so thankful and blown away, my brain hurts!

I call my parents and speak to my dad, he is starting to take interest; he asked and I quote: “how is your thing with the people going?” I feel like I am making progress on the parent front!

Going Viral Las Vegas Selfies
Cindy and I make a quick stop at the Welcome to Vegas Sign, sans balloons, lol.

Friday

I think I am suffering from a blog hangover, lol, it’s too much!

I feel that I inadvertently accomplished something that I suspect most bloggers never get to experience. When you start a blog, you want people to like your content and you want to build your followers; I was expecting a slow build. I didn’t expect this and to be honest, I wasn’t ready for it, I was still working out the kinks for gosh sakes!

On my drive home from work, I catch myself making a mental list of all the people who have reached out and sent me a quick email or text and those who have shared my link. And for the first time this week, I get a bit of a negative vibe as I take stock of those who are close to me, who haven’t said boo. In the grand scheme of life, this isn’t such a big deal, I know that, but it does make me think, maybe a bit too much??

I check my stats one more time before bed; my daily numbers are slowing down, it has been a hell of a great ride! But this train is approaching the gate and to be honest, that is fine with me.

Saturday

 I am up early to catch a flight to Oklahoma City for my real, paying, job. Wow, what a week! I have stopped checking my stats every 20 minutes. It was fun, but a bit exhausting.

My daily total on Friday was a little over 2K, my grand total by Saturday night is 33,740. I am going to put it out there, that I will hit 35K!

If someone had told me last Sunday, when I hit send, that I would be sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma City writing that I want to hit 35 THOUSAND views on my second blog post, I would have laughed my head off. But here I am!

Here is what I am going to take away from this experience. Ready or not, shit happens, you may as well enjoy the ride! That sometimes failure is easier to wrap your head around than being successful. And that one should not underestimate the power of their community, correction, my community! New Brunswick, maybe small in size and in population, it may have its economic struggles, but the people kick ass! Although I have had views from around the world, the majority are from Canada and of those, I suspect a large part of fellow New Brunswickers.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to read my posts, if you like my style and my swagger, please subscribe; if you do, you will receive an email each time I post something. Which will be once a week. I am pretty sure you won’t want to miss my next post, which will most likely be how to throw a tea party! I bet you can hardly wait, lol.

Thank you! Merci!!

Muah!

Liette

 

Putting your best face forward!

5 Tips to perfecting your selfie!

For my first blog post I am going to tackle a very important topic; how to take the perfect selfie!!

You may be asking yourself; what makes this girl qualified to give advice on such an important topic? Well, I was signed by an actual modeling agency in Toronto in the early nineties….ok full disclosure, my modeling career didn’t exactly take off; but I am freakishly photogenic and my mother tells me I am a super model all the time; so let’s get started.

Tip 1 – Do you have the right tools?

  Can you take a great selfie without these tools? Yes, but can they help you? Absolutely!

  • Selfie Sticks are perfect for group shots or if you are traveling and want to show the background with you in it. Please note that people will be silently judging you while you strike a pose with your selfie stick, but don’t let that stop you in your quest for an amazing shot!
  • Do you own a Blue Tooth Remote Clicker? If not, I suggest getting one! You can pick one up on Amazon for a good price. I use my remote all the time. I keep it in my purse, it’s my secret selfie weapon. What I love about it is that it is more discreet than a selfie stick. You can hold the camera phone without having to balance it and hit the picture button. Just hold your hand up and click! Even better get someone else to hold it while you click away, my rule is whoever has the longest arms gets to hold the camera.
  • A winning combination is a Mini Tripod and the aforementioned remote.  I am really not a fan of taking pictures in the mirror, unless you want to show your outfit or look of the day; but if that is the case, I would use a selfie stick and/or tripod instead. I just don’t think that seeing the camera while posing in a mirror is flattering.
  • Have you ever heard of a Selfie Ring Light? I just got one of these and I am half embarrassed to use it in public, but OMG I love it! It is a ring that fits on the back of your phone that emits the perfect diffused light, mine even has three settings. They are fairly inexpensive on Amazon, if you get one, let me know what you think and if you found a way to discretely use it in public.
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  • The most important tool is your cellphone; please know where your camera lens is on your phone. You would be surprised at how many people don’t and don’t know where to look. It makes you look a bit lost or confused if you are looking in the wrong place, lol.

Tip 2 – Know your Angles!

Known your face & know your angles! This is probably the most important tip. Take a look at my selfie collage below, do you notice any similarities? In seven of the nine photos my face is slightly angled, this is more flattering for me than being straight on. I tend to gravitate to my left side, that’s my best angle. You need to figure out what’s yours.

Image-1

Another thing that I do, is that I angle my shoulders, take a closer look at my selfie collage again and you will notice that I never pose with my shoulders straight on. I pop one shoulder towards the camera and tuck the other way back. This may feel odd, but most times contorting your body a bit results in the best shots. Angling your body also makes you look slimmer! Practice this trick in the privacy of your own home, you may feel a bit silly but let me know if you see a difference.

Lastly play with the angle of your cell or camera, you should raise your arm so that it is shooting downward. My weight tends to fluctuate a bit. The rounder I feel, the higher the camera, lol.

Tip 3 – Practice, practice, practice!

The only way to figure out what your best angle is, is to practice!!

Set yourself up and take a bunch of selfies, don’t worry, you can delete the bad ones. Take lots and then take a few more.

I told one of my friends to go home and to take 50 selfies and then we would look at them together and see what her best angle was. She completed the task, but came back with 50 of the exact same photo!

You need to move! If only slightly. When I am in front of a camera, I am always moving, but unless you are paying attention, you may not even notice.

This is how to figure out what your best angle is. Start clicking, move your chin down, then up, angle your face a bit to the left, then to the right, big smile, show teeth, then no teeth, then a bit more serious. Once done, look through your shots and see which ones are the most flattering. This will be your “go to pose” when out with your friends.

Remember, when it comes to photography, more is more. Take lots of shots in hopes that you get one or two really good ones.

Tip 4 – Lighting

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Master tip #3 and #4 and you will be well on your way to unleashing your inner super model. I prefer natural lighting, although my new selfie light ring is improving my indoor selfie game. The best lighting is in the morning and early evening. Full on sunlight is bad for shadows and squinting, diffused lighting is much more flattering.

You should also face the light instead of having it to your back. The pictures above are perfect examples. In the image on the left I was trying to take a few pictures of me in front of the frozen lake, but the sun was behind me, making dark shadows on my face, not flattering at all.

Then, a few moments later, as we were deeper in the woods, the lighting was perfect. I took out my camera and clicked a few more pictures. The lighting was magical, I am out of the direct, bright sunlight. The picture on the right is 100% filter free.

Also in the picture on the left I am facing the camera straight on. I have a round face, so staring directly into the camera like this emphasizes the roundness of my face. At first glance, the picture on the right looks like I am straight on as well, but I am actually slightly angled, slimming my face; see angles matter!

Tip 5 – Have fun!

Tip 5 is just have fun! I believe that I am able to take great pics because I love photography and getting my picture taken. If you hate getting your picture taken, it will show, so have some fun. I have a theory, that those who criticize people for taking selfies are just horrible at taking selfies. I challenge you to follow my 5 tips and send me your best selfie; or if you still aren’t feeling it, send me your picture and I may be able to suggest how to improve your shots.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

Muah!

Liette

Oui, oui!

The name of my blog is oui-liette, oui is French for yes; this blog is me saying yes to new adventures, travels and sometimes trying things that scare the shit out of me!

Growing up, my parents would often ask me: “what’s the worst that could happen?” If the answer was, I may fail or look like a fool; chances are I would try it anyway.

It’s challenging to keep that “joie de vivre” alive as we get older, but it’s something that I am very mindful of. This blog is me sharing my adventures, the good, the funny and the fails!

“Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterwards” Tina Fey

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