Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween!!!
I hope you have had some spooky fun this month. If you haven’t, it’s not too late!! You still have a few days, so get cracking! Carve some pumpkins, make some scary cookies, dress up for a party, you really only live once…I think?
My October has been very busy, but I got my spook on. I visited a Haunted Museum and survived zombies in Vegas. In Paris, I visited the Catacombs and saw lots of real skulls & bones…it was freaky. And today I went to see a ballet at the Smith Center in downtown Vegas. You’re probably wondering, what makes a ballet an acceptable Halloween themed activity? Well it was a Gothic ballet based on Dracula. Nothing screams Halloween more than skulls, zombies and Dracula!!
I am finishing off the month back in Canada; where I have a girls dinner party planned on the 30th. It’s a Trick or Treat theme, each person has been instructed to bring one gift and we will swap. I thought it would be fun, plus I love gifts, lol, giving and getting.
Then Trick or Treating on the 31st! Ok I may be too old for that? But I am certain I will find something to do.
For those who have read my October posts, I hope you were inspired to enjoy some fall fun.
What’s next? Christmas!!!!! The only holiday that I love more than Halloween is Christmas; I have some fun posts coming up in November and December.
Thanks for reading friends!!!
Let me know if there is something you would like to see me write a post on or if you have any questions? I love hearing what you think.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
These are limestone quarries that originated in the 15th century.
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
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!!
This is by far my favorite thing I have done in Paris. The grounds are beautiful and so big!! This I will remember!
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.
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!
Paris is a city for lovers, but it’s also a great place to travel with one or your very best friends as well!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
We happened upon Traiteur Boulangerie, the smell was intoxicating, we decided we needed to stop and share a latke.
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!!
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring. Sometimes the best plan is no plan!!
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
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!
Next up, Madam Butterfly!
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.
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.
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.
If you think these two ideas are still too “hard”? Ugh! What am I going to do with you guys?? lol, kidding. 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!
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!
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!! 🙂
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!!!”
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!
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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 are 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!
Over the years we have 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!!
Other years we vote 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.
I am 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 will be surprised by how much participation you get. I am also available to judge, I am pretty sure I would be an awesome judge. Just tag me on Facebook!
Make memories!! That is 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!!!!!
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