2020 Bring It!

2020 Bring It!

(if you are looking for my poutine post, scroll down; well read this one first since you are here. Then scroll, lol)

I am not going to lie or sugar coat things, 2019 sucked! And for an optimist that’s a little hard to say out loud, but there it is!!

Needless to say I am so ready for 2020! New year, new decade, let’s do this!!!

I was born in 1970 so I follow the years, which means that 2020 will be a big year for me with a big birthday coming up and I am ready ish?? Lol, no I am!

Here are my blogging resolutions for 2020

– Share my weight loss journey with you! I have been on this journey since the end of June and I’ve been journaling as I go and am ready to share. I wrote my entries in real time, but will be sharing all in one week. Each post is one month of my weekly results and struggles. I’ve discovered that I am funnier when things are not going according to plan.

– Moncton Stuff! Now that I’m back in Moncton, I feel like I need to rediscover my growing city; so I will be highlighting local restaurants and shops as I discover cool new places.

– Show Off! I feel that the Maritimes are underrated and underestimated! I want to highlight and show off all the cool things that we have to offer. I think these show off posts will be my favorite posts of 2020! Please feel free to let me know of any fun things I should visit and blog about.

– Collaboration, I want to partner with people and businesses this year and maybe be a correspondent of some sort? I have a few ideas that I am exploring. A lot of people were asking me why I wasn’t trying to make money off my blog. First of all, I certainly don’t want to sell my soul. I would only ever promote things that I believe in, but I am open to plugging none-soul stealing stuff, lol.

Also because I was working in the US on a visa I wasn’t allowed to make any additional money in the US and if I made money in Canada while in the US, I would have complicated my tax situation.

Grow my brand! I would like to hit 10,000 views a month. Those numbers pale in comparison to big blogs, but I don’t care. I just want to be creative and entertaining. My father always told me not to compare myself to others, so I am just going to do me.

BUT! If I were to compare myself to others for just a quick second. There was this lady in the Vegas office who started a blog and it did very well, so well that she and her husband both quit their jobs and are now professional bloggers. I am inspired by her success, but, here’s the thing; I read her posts and they are super boring, in my opinion, lol. Ok that is catty, but I applaud her success, my point is that if she can do it, why can’t I? Especially since I think that my posts are better. 🤭

My father also taught me to believe in myself, he would say, someone needs to do it, so why not you??

That will be my motto for 2020; why not me? Feel free to make that your motto as well. Instead of doubting ourselves let’s flip it and say, why not me?

Thank you for your support this past year and I hope you continue to follow me in 2020. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great one!

For more pictures and videos follow me on Facebook at: oui-Liette; I am currently decorating my new downtown apartment, so if you want to see what I am up to, that’s the place.  And if you normally read my posts via Facebook, sign up and be a oui-liette subscriber!!

Muah!

Liette

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Happy New Year!!

Oh and when you can’t sleep, play with Instagram filters. It won’t help you sleep, but it’s entertaining.

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Real Poutines! An Acadian Tradition.

Real Poutines! An Acadian Tradition.

(The original idea for this post was to have a fake beef with Quebec, then the direction looked like it was moving to show my American friends one of my family traditions. I think it turned into a sneak peek into what it’s like to be part of a huge Acadian family? Like most of my posts, I just let them be what they want to be. And like all of my posts, I hope it inspires you to make an effort to do things with your family; may it be the family you’re born into or the one you create for yourself).

When I was growing up no one but Acadians knew what a poutine was. Fast forward a few decades and poutines are now a global thing, but those aren’t real poutines.

Sure french fries, gravy and cheese curds are delicious, but they aren’t what we call poutines.

I am not going to accuse Quebecers of high jacking the name poutine from the Acadians; oh wait, yes I am!! Do Acadians have a beef with Quebec for stealing our poutine name? We do!! Have we ever made a fuss over this theft?? No, no we have not! It’s just not in our nature.

Could our Acadians poutines  compete with Quebec poutines in the global market? In a word…no! Our poutines, the real poutines aren’t…how do I say this diplomatically? Let’s just say they aren’t pretty!

What is an Acadian poutine? It’s basically a slimy boiled potato ball with pork in the middle. Am I tempting you yet?

Poutine or poutine acadienne are a staple for French speaking Maritimers (from the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). Although you can now buy them throughout the year, they have traditionally been made for the Christmas holidays.

Before we dive into things, I do need to share a few key words, so my none-Acadians can follow.

râpures  – grated potatoes

poutine – a slimy grayish boiled potato ball

poutine râpé – Acadian poutine, we have had to add the Acadian part since we were ripped off by Québec, lol

râper – verb to grate potatoes

râpe – a home made machine used to grate potatoes. Pronounced rawwwp. This word has an unfortunate pronunciation in English

Épurer – verb to squeeze the water out of grated potatoes

My family has made poutines for generations, there is no recipe per say; you have to “intern” for decades before you can become the top baller. Ok top baller isn’t really a thing to anyone but me, I am hoping it catches on.

I have an un-scientific theory why Acadians originally made poutines and English speaking Maritimers didn’t. I think they just didn’t have the proper manpower needed. Historically, French Catholics had large families while English Protestants had smaller families. I suspect the real reason may have been that the Acadians were poorer and potatoes were cheap and readily available?

My theory is based on the fact that it takes a village to make a batch of poutines. I think the rule is that you need a minimum of 3 aunts, 2 uncles and a combo of 2 nieces/nephew or 2 cousins. One doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide; hey, I think I am going to make poutines today, it takes planning and a team.

In this post I am going to share with you how one Acadian family, mine, keeps the tradition alive.

Most large extended families would have had one or two râpes in the family; yes this word sounds horrible in English, so please refer to my keywords above.

So here’s how it worked in my family growing up. It gets complicated, so please try to follow.

My mother’s father was the top baller because he owned the râpe. He decided when he would make his poutines and the others would plan accordingly. The râpe, again it’s a machine that grates potatoes, would go from house to house to house.

Example: pépère DesRoches, my moms father, would make his on the 21. My mom would make hers on the 23, in the morning. As soon as she was done, she would call my fathers mother and tell her to send someone to pick up the râpe. Once they were done, they would passe it down to my dad’s sister, who would then drop it back off at our house.

I should note that not only were Acadian families large, once you married into another Acadian family the two families often merged to create a super family.

Eventually my moms sister, tante Irène, and my mom got their own râpes, which made our family super fortunate to have 3 in rotation!!

Example of the Acadian super family; my moms sister, tante Irène, who lived across the street from us, wasn’t actually related to my cousins from my dad’s side, who lived next door to us, but she was automatically called ma tante Irène by everyone, related by blood or not. Side note, Acadian families also tended to cluster together. I had 7 cousins living on my street; my brother and I made 9 of us (kids). Needless to say, no one picked on us. The older cousins would look out for the younger cousins; sure the older cousins would beat the shit out of us from time to time, but no one else was allowed to.

Getting back to poutines; you couldn’t just go to the store and buy a râpe, you had to know someone who would make one for you. It was a small motor with a circular thingy that was pierced and would spin quickly and grate the potatoes. It was usually made by someone who worked at the CNR, Canadian National Railway. Ok don’t ask why someone who worked with trains would be making these on the side; it’s too complicated for this post.

Now, let’s fast forward to the present and get to making poutines.

After my moms father passed away, my mom became the top baller. You need a top baller to test the texture and taste the potatoes. The top baller title will make sense, just keep reading.

Today we went to my uncles,  my moms brother, with our râpe in hand to help him make his poutines. Because her little brother and his wife, who are both in their sixties have not yet achieved top baller status. She was needed to oversee everything. I guess it’s a bit like the mafia, there can only be one top baller and once top baller status is achieved, he or she rules for life.

The ingredients are very simple, you need potatoes, porc and porc fat. Peeling the potatoes is a pain in the ass.  I think that 50 pounds of potatoes will make 47 ish poutines. I am not a top baller, nor do I aspire to be, so I don’t need to know the correct potato ratio.

You also have to cut the meet and fat into small cubes. So far I have avoided having to help peel and cut. When the knives come out, I volunteer to run errands, no one has caught on as of yet!!

The next step is to start passing the potatoes into the potato grating machine, la râpe. Now you maybe wondering if you could use a food processor? You can’t.

Here’s were it starts to get weird, once all the potatoes are grated, we call that la râpure. You have to go through la râpure and remove any chunks of potatoes that weren’t liquefied; does it look yummy yet??

That isn’t the weird part, the Râpure is very liquidity, we use a large measuring cup to scoop some of the râpure into fabric square and we squeeze out the liquid, that is the weird part. And it’s at this stage that the top baller comes into play. The raw squeeze potatoes are mixed in with mashed potatoes. This mixture can’t be too dry or too wet. You need to adjust how much liquid you are squeezing out. The top baller also needs to taste the mixture to make sure it’s salted enough. It looks gross, but remember these are just cooked and raw potatoes.

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This next step of making balls is where the baller and top baller names come from. I’ve been calling my aunts and mom the ballers for years, I think it’s funny.

The photo below shows my ballers, my aunt Claudine and my mother, she’s in the red apron. She let me wear my grandfathers white apron this year, which is an honor, she is so happy I am back home. She may also be grooming me to someday be the top baller, but I don’t think I can handle the pressure!

The potato mixture is flattened and the porc is added in the middle. If you put too much meat or your ball walls are too thin, they will bust once dropped into boiling water; please note, ball walls isn’t an official poutine term. Poutines are made in French or Chiac, I am doing my best to translate in English.

As a child, this is the part that you begged to get in on because it’s basically like making snowballs.

The balls are gently dropped into a pots of boiling water. The pots need a constant slow boil. The poutine balls will float to the top and then sink to the bottom of the pot as they cook.

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It takes 3 ish hours for them to cook, all the while you need to keep checking to make certain they aren’t boiling too much or too little.

And voila!! They are ready to eat!! The photos above are why our poutines will probably never go global, but trust me they are delicious!

Once my uncle and aunt’s poutines were ready to eat. That evening there were 11 of us for dinner, you don’t have to be invited, you can just show up. It’s also acceptable to show up with an empty pot, because as soon as we make them, we start giving them away. An Acadian will share their poutines freely, but they won’t share their pots, so you have to bring your own!!

As mentioned above, they look slimy, but keep in mind that they are just potatoes and porc, so not so exotic. We eat them with salt and pepper, others add brown sugar, which seems odd to me, but who am I to judge what others put on their slimy potato balls.

We made my uncles poutines on Dec 21, we made my moms poutines on Dec 23. My mother’s sister, came over to help. My brother and I now have more responsibilities since my father has passed. My mother’s brother joins in for the squeezing part.

This process will go on in several of my families homes around town. Once done and the families come together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the first thing you are asked is: combien de poutines avez-vous fait? Which means how many poutines did you make? The bigger then number the bigger the bragging rights. They will also ask if any have busted, this makes a mess in the pot and is a sign of bad ballers.

Fun fact, the pots are so big that if weather permitting, if it’s cold enough, they are usually stored outside. From the 23 to the 26, there is always a warm pot of poutines on the stove ready to eat. Anyone who enters is offered a poutine. And anyone who is leaving is asked if they want to bring some home.

And this maybe hard for some to wrap their minds around, but we eat these on Christmas morning. Even now my brother, nephew and 3 cousins show up at my moms house Christmas morning for a poutine or two!

That’s my sneak peek at our Acadian tradition of making poutines. I hope you are enlightened and if you are brave enough to want to try one, hit me up next year and I will hook you up!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you and your families a Happy New Year! May your hearts be happy and your bellies be full!

muah!

Liette

 

 

 

A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

This Christmas Eve in honor of my big move back to The Great White North, I decided to throw a Winter Wonderland themed soirée. I’ve done a Plaid Christmas for the last two years in a row, so it was time to move on. This theme would also be perfect for New Year’s Eve, birthdays, anytime really. It’s also very inexpensive all you really need is paper and scissors.

In this post we’ll plow through helpful tips on how to turn your dining party into a freaking blizzard. ❄️

A Frosty Table Setting

I always focus most of my energy on my dining table; it would be great to have the budget to transform your whole house, but my budget is frozen this year. (Sorry, if you keep reading you’ll have to put up with my wintery puns…not sorry!!)

Before we talk about what will be on the table, let’s discuss the actual table. When I had my little house, I used to have a large sheet of plywood that I would place on my table to turn my small table for 6 into a big table for 12.

If you’re going to try this idea make sure to place something in between your table and the plywood so you don’t scratch your table top. I had a piece of carpet padding, which worked perfectly.

Also! Did you know that you can rent tables and chairs?? I will be hosting in my new fancy downtown apartment, but my furniture is still making its way here from Las Vegas.

No table? No problem! I am renting one from Clowns Around/Bob Lee Productions, they are located in Dieppe. It’s perfect, they will drop off the table, chairs and white tablecloth and pick them back up afterwards. It’s really not that expensive, you can save a few bucks if you pick it up yourself, but for an extra $35 ish, it’s easier to have them drop off and pick up.

I rented a white table clothe and silver napkins and then then layered white and silver things. In the center is the table I had a big white bowl filled with silver tree balls that I bought at the dollar store, snowballs and a set of mini lights that turned out to have a blue tint which was perfect. I scattered plastic snowflakes on the table that I also got at the dollar store.

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Snow Globes

I like having assigned seating for my dinner parties. Something fun is instead of having regular name place cards are personalized snow globes. I bought snow globes online, there is a slot to put in a picture and to add water. Your guests can take them home with them.

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Social media is a great place to download pictures of your guests if you don’t have any good ones in your phone.

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Here is how my table looked with everything put together.

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Let It Snow!

And you can’t have a Winter Wonderland theme without snow. If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, you can make your own.

I invited my friend over to help me make it snow. I have no idea how many snowflakes we cut? We cranked the Christmas music and chatted away. This is a super inexpensive way to create a bit of drama.

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I tapped these on my light fixture and omg!!! It came out beautifully!! It was the focal point of the room; I named it my blizzard chandelier.

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I may keep these up all winter?? Lol

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I couldn’t host without a Christmas Tree, I bought this tall skinny one. Since I only have a couch and a chair in my living rooms, I added a bunch of white balloons to fill the space. It was another inexpensive way to add a bit of drama to my theme.

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I shot a quick video before my guests arrive, I will be trying to add more videos to my posts in 2020.

Even though I plan events for a living and I am always fairly calm, cool and collected; I had a moment a few hours before my party that I started to feel a bit frazzled. The lead up to the holidays is a lot! We tend to be overtired and can get overwhelmed.

I had to check myself and remind myself that this was meant to be fun and that my guests, in this case 9 of my family and friends, wouldn’t care if things weren’t perfect.

So an hour and a half before they arrived I took a hot bath in my super big bathtub! I love my new place and it was exactly what I needed to chill out!

If you feel yourself getting stressed instead of rushing to get everything perfect, walk away! It sounds counterproductive, but we don’t need added stress. It’s perfectly fine to have your guests help you finish off a few last minute things when they arrive.

I ended up hosting my fancy dinner party in my pink slippers and nobody judged me!!

One last party tip, find an activity or game to play after dinner, we played Jenga and it was hilariously funny!

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Happy New Year!!

muah!

Liette

For additional pictures and videos, follow me on Facebook @ oui-liette

 

 

Merry Christmas & Happy Everything!

Merry Christmas & Happy Everything!

I wanted to take a few minutes to wish you the very best Christmas! I hope you get the opportunity to chill and enjoy these next few days with your loved ones.

Oh my goodness the weeks leading up to the holidays are insane! I feel like we put so much pressure on ourselves, why???

I decided that the weeks leading up to Christmas would be the perfect time to move from the US back to Canada; here I am! Eh!

Like many this time of year, I may have underestimated the time it would take or the energy needed to get everything on my list done. One casualty was my annual Christmas card.

I put a lot of thought into my Christmas Card theme each year. I try to make them as ridiculous and funny as possible. Last year’s was just so so, so I needed to nail this year’s.

I had an awesome idea, but it was a total funny fail! We did laugh our butts off trying to pull it off, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

My idea was to show that living in Las Vegas hadn’t changed me a bit. I would of course be dressed up as a show girl, but instead of feathers I would have pine branches. These costumes were my inspiration.

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The plan was to have a headpiece and tail made of greenery that looked like these lovely ladies above.

I recruited my brother and my nephew Jack to help me. My brother builds and fixes things so I thought he would be up for the task.

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Well…let’s just say that I overestimated our costume abilities. I also discovered that duct tape can’t fix everything…oh and that it can easily cut off your circulation if too tight!

Instead of looking like a NB showgirl, I looked like a green angel who got punched in the nose in a bar fight.

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Not one to give up that easily, I decided to change locations. So I gracefully climbed to the other side of the wall.

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Ok, maybe gracefully is a bit of a stretch?? Lol.

After ditching my wings, we did manage to get some cool shots. The life lesson here is to always have a plan b and to laugh your way through your fails when possible.

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I was going to get my friend to photoshop the  cut on my nose, but I decided to keep it as is, because it shows that nothing is perfect. Shit happens, life is messy, you can roll with it or hide away. I choose to roll with it, 99% of the time anyway.

Thank you again for reading! And Happy Holidays!

muah!

Liette

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Shop Local This Christmas!!

Shop Local This Christmas!

With 7 days till Christmas, most of us are still looking for one or two….or seven gifts; hey no judgment here.

Why not skip the herds of people at the mall or Cosco and take a walk downtown? It doesn’t matter where you live, each city or town has locally owned shops that would love a share of your business.

I just moved back to Moncton two weeks ago and today I had lunch on Main Street with my friend, Stacey. After lunch, I braved the cold, apparently I am a weather wimp now, lol; and browsed the little shops that line Main Street.

There was certainly a buzz of life to the downtown area. As I walked down Main Street I noticed new restaurants and cafes that hadn’t been there before. I also noticed people, lots of people!!

I could feel my cheeks getting rosy and noticed that I was signing along with the Christmas music coming from Keating’s; even without snow it was starting to feel like Christmas.

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I popped into The Home Mercantile and was greeted with warm smiles from the staff. I am not certain what I was expecting? Maybe some tacky touristy tchotchkes?? But what I found made me feel like I was home.

Yes I realize, home is in the name, so obviously that’s the point. Maybe I am being a bit mushy and sentimental being back in my hometown? But it made me proud to be in a store filled with items that highlighted New Brunswick, Moncton and Canada.

This store is sassy and funny! Which reflects the people who live here. I bought one of these candles below; in addition to smelling really good, they made me laugh! The one I bought says: Calm the Fuck Down! Seriously, how could I not buy it???

I am a sucker for stationary and loved the mix of French and English cards with local regional  humor.

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I seriously laughed out loud when I saw this very Maritime take on Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll; Sex, Drugs and Lobster Rolls!

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I bought a NB Home T-shirt that I will wear with pride and I may need to go back to get a tuque or a baseball hat? I’m short a few stocking stuffers and these would be perfect.

As I left with my new purchases, in my material shopping bag, of course; I thought what a great shopping experience.

I hadn’t been annoyed by slow walkers at the mall. I hadn’t experiences cart rage; you know when you’re at Cosco and someone decides to park their huge cart in the middle of the aisle while they chit chat away; man I hate that! Pull over for goodness sakes!!!

I left feeling relaxed and pleased with my sassy, sentimental purchases.

Tomorrow is the last Saturday before Christmas, the malls will be crazy!!! Call your friend and have them meet you downtown. Grab a bite to eat, pick up a hot chocolate at Tim’s and brows the small boutiques in your area.

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My new t-shirt, my lipstick is extra bright to camouflage the scab on my nose, did it work?? lol, not sure? But it’s healing.

Merry Christmas & Happy Everything!

muah!

Liette

For more pics and quickies, follow me on Facebook @oui-Liette

You’re so vain!

You’re so vain! Actually, I am so vain!

(Hey if you’re super squeamish, skip this post; I’ll be sharing some pictures of stitches and stuff.)

I am aware that the word vain has a negative connotation; it means into yourself, self absorbed…self this and self that, just plain selfish!

I would say that I can be vain, in the sense that I care about my appearance, but I don’t think I am selfish? I post a lot of pictures of myself on social media and in my blogs. I am certain some would call that vain? But to be honest I don’t really care. I try not to judge others and anyone who feels the need to judge me can suck it!! So there! Lol, ouff I am feeling feisty!!

Recently my vanity led me to make an appointment to see a dermatologist for the first time. I had this little, super little, skin colored thing on the bridge of my nose that I wanted removed. I’m certain no one else noticed it, but I knew it was there and I wanted it gone!

Well it turns out that that little thing was cancerous! Did my vanity save my life? Well that maybe a bit dramatic? But did it save my nose? Maybe??

You can see it in this pic.

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I had been meaning to make an appointment for the past year to get checked, but I just kept forgetting about it. Then before I moved back to Canada from Las Vegas I finally made an appointment.

I called on a Thursday and had an appointment the following Friday! My fellow Canadians will be able to relate to my shock and excitement of getting in to see a dermatologist that quickly.

After a full body exam the doctor removed a few things; 5 things to be exact. And by removed, I mean he used what looked like a razor blade to cut them off. He froze the spots so it didn’t hurt.

I went home with my new wounds. They were annoying, but not painful. I would need to return in a few weeks for a follow up and  to get the results of my biopsies; they have to test anything that they cut off your body apparently.

By the following day the cut on my nose was red, but was starting to scab over. I felt a little self conscious, but I went about my normal daily routine.

Within a week I was all healed up and on the go; the following week I was back at the clinic  for my results.

The doctor told me that he had good news and not so good news, mmmm, this didn’t sound promising. Turns out 4 of my samples were fine, but one came back cancerous. This isn’t what I was expecting on this sunny Friday afternoon.

The next thing I knew, the doctor and I were looking at a picture of the different skin layers and he was explaining what the next step would include. To be honest, I could hear him talking, but I only have a vague recollection of what he said.

I do remember asking him if it was pre-cancerous? I must not have heard him correctly the first time? Turns out I had and it was not pre.

I left the clinic and called a friend who asked me a bunch of questions that I couldn’t answer. I remembered him saying it was the kind that moved very slowly  and that they would take skin off my nose, test it onsite and if they got it all, they would stitch me up. But if there were still cancerous cells, they would dig deeper.

I also remembered him saying that I would have stitches for a week to 10 days. The following day I called back and asked for the name of whatever it was that I had so I could google it.

It was nasal cell carcinoma, which is super common for caucasiens. I was happy that my caucasien ass and nose were getting ready to move from the desert back to the Arctic where I/they belonged. Yes, I’m fully aware that people in Canada get skin cancer, but at that moment, I felt like this place was inhospitable to my pasty white Canadian skin!!

The day of my procedure my friend Staci game with me for moral support, thank you Staci!!!

I waited maybe 15 min before my turn. I was on a table and the doctor was freezing my nose.  I thought it would be similar to going to the dentist, they prick you with a few needles and you wait for it to kick in? Nope, it wasn’t like that; whatever he used froze me instantly. It was so fast that it took me a minute to figure out that he had already started doing his thing and then it was over. I swear it took less than 3 min from start to finish.

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Oh I forgot something, when I arrived and was sitting there waiting for my turn, I noticed that everyone who walked out had huge bandages. I worried thinking, man why does everyone look like they’ve had large chunks of their faces chopped off?

I quickly found out why; once done phase one they sent you back to the waiting area while they tested your, well your flesh I guess, lol. If all was clear you would then go back in to get stitched up.

Within 20 min, I was back on the table getting stitched up. I was all clear! Yay!

Since everything had gone so fast and well, I imagined that I would have a small clean cut. He kept telling me everything looked good and it would heal well.

At one point I asked him how many stitches he was giving me, because it was taking a long time. He said there were a few underneath that would dissolve on their own and some on top that would need to be removed…ok..

I was relieved when he said he was finished and his assistant would clean me up and put a smaller bandage. As she was prepping, I snapped a quick selfie and OMG!!

It looked like I’d been hit between the eyes with a hockey stick. Ugh this had just taken a shitty turn, my poor nose!

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I sent this pic to my mom and she said I looked sad and a little high. I think a little high would have helped!! She then said you look like a hockey player…see, told you!!!

They sent me home with a small bandage that would come off the next day. As my face started to thaw and throb, I thought this would be a great time to start my very own pity party for one.

Yes, I realize that I am fortunate that it was caught early and that I will heal and hopefully not have a huge scar. And yes I realize that others have much worse life threatening health issues and I’m being a whiny baby, bla, bla, bla!! But at that moment I just wanted to be pitiful! I am vain, remember that part from the beginning of my story?

I eventually fell asleep and woke up to find my bandage hanging off the side of my nose. I must say that I did wake up with a better attitude. I decided that instead of hiding myself away, I would go out there and own this big gash on my nose. And by go out there, I meant that I would be working from home for the next three days until I’d be forced into the public to fly back to Canada, lol.

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Trying to be positive, I  focused on how well the rest of my skin looked, sans makeup.

I mustered up the energy to put on some lip gloss before heading out to the grocery store. My next stop was to the pharmacy so that the pharmacist could look at me and tell me it looked the way it was supposed to look. That night I went out to eat with one of my friends; ok I did pick a restaurant that I knew wouldn’t be busy, but I was still out.

Here is some advice for anyone dealing with face stitches; stay away from large magnifying mirrors the day after your procedure? Trust me you don’t need to see all of that magnified!! It’s not good for your spirit, sadly, I only realized this after it was too late.

Before I continue to whine, can we take a quick  look at the two pics below?

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The photo on the right is Sunday night and the one on the left is Tuesday afternoon. Please feel free to stop reading at any point if you think I am making a big deal out of nothing. Side note, it must be nice to be perfect without a tinge of vanity, good for you!! Lol, sorry, moving on.

Recovery Day 2

I was expecting my movers first thing that morning, so I brushed my teeth, washed my wound and put my baseball cap on because my hair was dirty. I realize that my vanity seems to be wayning, because I couldn’t care less what the hell I look like. I dig through my purse to find my lipgloss and then think, fu&$ it!!

The movers start boxing up and loading all my shoes on the truck, including the sneakers that I had set aside to wear for the next two days.  I suddenly have two options, pink fuzzy slippers or winter boots; fuzzy slippers it is!

As I am walking through Whole Foods in my slippers looking like I’ve been beat up, I feel that I’ve hit an all time  personal low; and I don’t even care. I fear that I’m one step away from Walmart in my pajamas? Slippers in Whole Foods is certainly the gateway to Walmart in pajamas??

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At least my nose has stopped bleeding and leaking gross stuff. I see people that I know and they tell me it’s not as bad as they thought it would be; they are obviously big fat liars!! My pity party had been replaced by annoyance and anger.

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I am getting my hair done tomorrow, clean hair should help camouflage what looks like a bloody caterpillar on my face.

Recovery Day 3

I woke up this morning to an extra special treat, my eyes are starting to bruise, yay me!!

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Trying real hard to stay positive the only thing I can come up with is that the yellow ish coloring does make my blue eyes pop; so there’s that. I did make an effort and put on a bit of eyeliner and gloss. I am on my way to get my hair done.

My hairdresser always makes me feel awesome! I needed this little pick me up. Hey never underestimate the power of a fresh color and blow out!

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My wound is very red today, I am hoping that’s a good sign?? It’s my last day in Las Vegas, I fly out in the morning.

Recovery Day 4

No hiding today I will be flying all day. Before leaving for the airport I consider extra red lipstick, but that may just draw more attention?

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I ham it up a bit afted being dropped off at the airport. I almost forgot what I looked like, until I see the picture, but it’s fine. Canada here I come! Side note for all the men out there, if a woman says fine, it’s sooooo not fine.

Recovery Day 5

Someone asked me if I got a nose job? I tell them that I’m pretty sure that when you get a nose job they don’t cut the top of your nose! Some people are dumb!! The angry stage has apparently arrived.

Recovery Day 6 & 7

Blah! Over it!!

Recovery Day 8

Recovery Day 9

The doctor originally told me the stitches would need to stay on for 7 to 10 days, it’s 9 days, they need to come off!!

I feel like the stitches are pulling my skin. I can’t wash my face or put face cream on without that pulling feeling. It’s becoming really uncomfortable.

I have a cocktail party tonight and things planned for the weekend. If these stitches don’t come off I may hurt someone…I am not kidding, things could get ugly.

I was able to get in to see my doctor who tells me I need an appointment to get into the clinic at the hospital where they take out stitches. I’m on the verge of crying when she says, let me call and see if they can take you?

She comes back and says, go now!!! She said tomorrow they have 165 appointments; it’s almost 2pm and it closes at 3, so off I go!!

Thank you Sherrie at Clinic C and nurse Heather who took my stitches out!! They took me right away; I was in and out within 15 min.

I instantly feel better!!

Recovery Day 10

Everything seems to be flattening out, still red, but getting better. Because everything was swollen, my skin seems to be peeling a bit.

Recovery Day 11

I’m finally feeling like people aren’t just staring at my nose; and I’m thankful that I seem to be healing well. I figure that in another week I’ll be pretty well all healed up!

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The drama seems to be over! Again, I am aware that in the grand scheme of things, this was a very minor health scare. And I am super fortunate that it was taken care of early and quickly.

During a pep talk from one of my friends, which I appreciated her effort. I felt the need to reminded her that whenever she has a pimple on her face it ruins her day and sometimes her week. So maybe I’m not the only one who is vain? I think we all are? Maybe vain isn’t the right word? Maybe it’s proud?

Whatever it is, I think it’s human nature to want to look your best and that even if you think you’re a relatively confident person, you aren’t immune to bouts of self doubt.

I hope that this post motivates you to make an appointment for your yearly check up! Especially if it’s been a few years! My little spot could have been a lot worse had I put off getting it checked. Who knows what my nose would have looked like had I waited a few years??

Thanks for reading!!

muah!

Liette (your sassy, vain and at times drama queen blogger!)

 

 

 

 

Host a Holiday 5 à 7 Like a Pro!!

Host a Holiday Cinq à Sept Like a Pro!! Tips from a professional events boss.

My English friends are probably asking themselves what the hell is a cinq à sept? It’s basically a cocktail party/ happy hour from 5pm to 7pm. I think it sounds fancier if you say the numbers in French, lol.

Do you get kicked out at 7? No of course not…well maybe? It all depends who’s hosting, lol.

Why should you host your own 5 à 7? Well the holidays are so busy, a Happy Hour is a great way to get people together without having to commit to a full evening. It’s also a bit more casual and the best part of hosting a 5 à 7 is that you don’t have to go out! They will come to you!!

I hosted one this week in my mother’s apartment which isn’t super big, but I like small spaces, they’re cozy.

In this post I am going to share 5 party tips that I use in my corporate events that will help you pull off a flawless 5 à 7/party…you’re welcome!!

Tip #1 Good Vibes Only

When you’re thinking of hosting an event, you need to put some thought into what vibe you want to create?

Is it a dinner party? A big blow out drinking party? Or a chill cocktail party? It’s your party so you get to decide.

Think of it this way, if you jump in your car and start driving without knowing where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

Once you decide what vibe you want to create, stay consistent and focused; having a clear vibe vision will make your planning easier.

My vibe was a casual, yet fancy happy hour! You maybe thinking, aren’t casual and fancy polar opposites? Maybe to some people? But I am complicated, lol.

I wanted people to feel relaxed and comfortable, so that is the casual part, but it’s Christmas, so it also needed to be fancy, but not fussy.

I guess that’s not the only vibe I was going for. I’ve invited 15 woman who have helped my mother and I get through this past year; 2019 has been sucky! My father got sick and passed away and these woman were there for us so I wanted to do something nice to thank them. But, my goal was for it to be a celebration and not too sad.

I did have a few tricks up my sleeve to make it fun!! See tip 5, Expect the Unexpected.

2. Zone Out

The key to entertaining is to be organized and to create defined zones, especially if you are working with a small space.

So what do I mean by creating zones? When I am planning a corporate event, we have defined areas for each activity or stage of the party. There is always a welcome/reception area when you first walk in, there are food stations, bars, a seating/social area and sometime a dance floor.

When hosting my own parties, I go through the same process. What will happen when my guests arrive? If you’re hosting a larger event and will be running around a bit, designate someone to be the greeter. This person will greet guests at the door and take their coats. BTW, it’s more than ok to give your friends and family members jobs.

Once your guests arrive what do they do next? Create a flow so they don’t have to think about it, the goal is to make the flow instinctive.

I think it’s always good to get them drinking as soon as possible, not to get them drunk, but to get them jolly and maybe just a little merry?

My mother’s kitchen is tiny, so the bar was set up in the spare bedroom, which is just off of the living room. I cleaned the top of the dresser off and voilà, it’s a bar!!

The day before or a few days before set up your bar with everything you’ll need, but the ice. Walk through it, do you have everything you will need?? The more you can do leading up to the party, the more free time you’ll have during the party to have fun wit your guests.

For larger parties, have someone be the bar tender, at least for the first round.

I like having a signature drink, the hostess or host should be responsible for what is needed for the signature drink. You don’t have to stock a full bar, but it’s nice to offer your guest at least one drink upon their arrival.

I had a Christmas themed mimosa, which was champagne and cranberry juice, but since not everyone loves champagne, referring to myself; I’ll also be serving Caesar’s, which is a super popular Canadian drink.

I won’t have any beer or wine, those with their hearts set on beer or wine can bring their own. If you’re attending a party and have very specific taste, please bring your own drinks.

So your guests have arrived and were greeted at the front door; someone took their coats and they have their first drink in hand, now what? We call this process the run of show, walk through everything from start to finish.

Next is the main part of the party so feed them and let them mix and mingle. It’s during this stage that you bring out the special touches, keep reading for examples.

After my party, I noticed that I didn’t have many pictures, because I was so busy hostessing. I was pretty bummed until my friend Nadine sent me a bunch of pictures she had taken. Even though I am a pro, I did forgot to ask someone to be the paparazzi for the evening. For our corporate events we usually hire a photographer who roams and takes pics. Thank you Nadine!

3. Bust a Move

This tip has nothing to do with dancing, but feel free to dance if you want to! Do you boo!! Lol. Bust a Move here means move furniture out or in, re-purpose the function a room to fit your party needs.

As mentioned above I moved my bar into the spare bedroom and since I love to decorate this room has it’s own vibe.

I bought a huge wreath and had my brother hang it. I added some pink balls, because I love pink and the headboard in this room is a plush hot pink velvet. I think it looks fantastic and it makes the room smell festive! Seriously, are you really surprised that this event has some pink touches?? Lol

If you’re repurposing a bedroom make sure to clear off the bedside tables and put small personal stuff away.

Since it’s winter in Canada, my guests arrived wearing coats. The old, throw the coats on the bed always works, but since my mother has a closet in her entrance, we moved all her coats and stuff out so that we can use this closet as our cost check. Why did I move what was already in there? So we didn’t have to cram coats in. I put them back after.

The point is to look at all available spaces in different ways, don’t be afraid to move stuff around. My mom has a large recliner in her living room, yup, we moved it to her bedroom because it’s just too big.

Change things up! If you’ve been in your house for years and always have every tree and snowman in the exact same place year after year. Please Bust a Move and keep it fresh!

Example, my mother always puts her Christmas tree in the alcôve of her big picture window. I took down her curtains and added green garlands around her window.

If I am being honest, she didn’t look impressed when I told her I was taking down her curtains. She said, can’t you put the garlands around the curtains?…no! I just couldn’t, lol. Once the garlands were up she loved them and it makes her living room look bigger. She had never thought of doing this, but loves it!!

4. Light It Up!

I’ve mentioned this before, but lighting can make or break your soirée. Don’t ruin your vibe by having harsh lighting, dim the lights, light your candles and tree!!!

So it turns out that my mother doesn’t have dimers on her lights, maybe Santa will get her some for Christmas? So getting the lighting just right was challenging, but we managed.

5. Expect the Unexpected

I think each party should include something special or unexpected. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. A small touch or an activity will help to help make your event memorable.

Years ago at one of my Halloween parties I had a fortune teller; ok it was one of my cousins, but she seriously has mad psychic abilities!! It was just for fun, people were lined up to sit with her.

For my Holiday 5 à 7, I had a few special things planned. When I chose the date, one of my cousins (not the psychic, another one, I have lots!), told me that Dec 12 was her birthday. So of course, we had a birthday cake for her, but that wasn’t our only extra thing.

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The whole reason for this soirée was to thank our female tribe, fyi 80% are family members; aunts, sisters and cousins…we are a force!! Lol

I wanted to send them home with a small meaningful gift that would remind them of my father. I found none tacky angel wings tree ornaments at Pier 1 Imports and they are lovely. The fact that they were 40% off when I was shopping was certainly divine intervention!!

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The only male at this party was my nephew Jack. When I told him about the gifts, he said, that’s sort of depressing! He was sort of, kind of, half right. I suspect that this would be a touching moment, but my intention was never to send people home depressed; so I came up with a brilliantly funny way to give them out.

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I bought a Santa Suit on Amazon for $30 and Jack showed up as Santa and handed them out. It was funny and entertaining.

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Our Christmas Eve dinner them this year will be Winter Wonderland, we have a different theme each year. Our after dinner game will be giant jenga! Try to add something fun or unexpected to your events.

Another easy idea is to buy a Polaroid camera and snap away during the party or create a selfie photo background with props; people will dig it, trust me.

Tip 6. Stay Cool

This is a bonus tip, do as much pre-planning as you can so that you can enjoy your guests, because in the end that’s the whole point.

Remember that nothing is perfect! Do as much pre-planning, but the day of and during let shit go!! Roll with the punches and laugh off any mishaps.

I get my love for entertaining from my mother who is the most chill hostess ever! Be mindful that if the host or hostess isn’t having fun, your guests probably aren’t either.

I hope you can incorporate one or more of my tips for your next party! Let me know which one resonates with you the most?

Go forth and entertainment!! 🎅🏻💋

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This post is dedicated to my dad and my aunt Janet, who have both just passed away. Please be kind especially during this time of year. The holidays can be a very hard time of year for a lot of us, so don’t be an asshole. It’s also ok to acknowledge that you are thinking of someone who you know is doing their best to make it through the holidays for various reasons. Pretending everything is normal or perfect can make them feel more alone; just my two cents.

muah!

Liette