Falling For Fall!

Falling For Fall!

Happy Fall! Yes, I know that fall doesn’t officially start until September 21ish, but hey the pumpkins have been out in the stores since August, so I feel I have shown a lot of restraint.

I loooooovvvvveee fall!! It’s what I miss the most about living in Las Vegas. I have two back to back trade shows in September and October so it’s going to be super busy, BUT!! I get to fly back to Canada for some vacation time the week before Halloween and you better believe that I am going to pack in as much fun fall stuff as possible!!!

I love making bucket lists, some may think they are silly? Here’s why I make them and why I encourage you to as well. We are all so busy, I feel that if we don’t consciously make plans, the days, weeks and months can zoom bye in the blink of an eye, and bam!! It’s Christmas and you’ve missed fall altogether!

So here’s my fall bucket list! (FYI I am saving my Halloween activities for my Halloween list that I’ll post Oct 1ish. Hey, I wasn’t kidding about loving lists!!)

1. Fall foliage and fresh air!

Since moving to the desert, I’ve discovered that some of my friends, here on the West Coast, have never experienced a full on autumn fall foliage fest. Yes the leaves on the trees here do change colors, and while three trees with yellowish leaves are cute,  that’s not really fall.

You need to experience a full on fall, in all its glory, at least once in your lifetime! The most vivid colors are in the North East of the US and the South East of Canada; New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have the prettiest views, but I could be a little bias? lol

I encourage all my West Coast friends to add this to their bucket lists and to all my East Coast friends; get out there and enjoy!!! Go for a drive, go for a walk, take pictures and smell the fresh air! Not to be a Debbie Downer, but you do know what happens after fall right??

FE08BD0A-6CB2-4FBD-AB8A-0E1D7CA4D07C

The pictures above are all from the Moncton area, seriously guys, how freaking amazing are these color??!! It’s simply spectacular!!

2. Sunflower Selfie!

Local farmers don’t exactly have it easy these days; a new way to supplement their incomes is by creating corn mazes, u-pick pumpkin patches, apple picking and sunflower festivals; and do you know what? I am all for it!

Look up what’s happening in your area and then get out there and enjoy! My Facebook feed has been full of the most beautiful sunflower selfies this past week.

The Green Pig Country Market in Salisbury, NB is having a sunflower festival and I am so bummed that I am missing it. FYI, in October, they have a huge corn maze and a zombie paint ball shooting tractor ride. I will be in that area at that time, so I’ll be there!

Please get out there and support your local farmers it’s a win, win!

I am going to do my best to find a field of sunflowers in Nevada, wish me luck!

371EB3EC-A9AD-45A3-8C4D-2184979A0B33

Soooo it turns out sunflowers don’t grow in the desert…booo!! Since I am not one to give up that easily, I made my own sunflower fun!  It’s amazing what you can do with a hot glue gun.

You maybe wondering if I looked like a nut driving around Las Vegas looking like a sunflower? Maybe? But here’s the thing that I love most about living in Las Vegas; no one cared, everything and anything goes here. It’s pretty wild! It’s probably the perfect place for me and my weirdness?

Funny story, I asked my mom a month or so ago if she thought I was weird? She said of course you are, but that’s why people like you!! Good to know, lol. 🌻🌻

3. Apple of my eye!

Apple picking has always been one of my fall traditions. As soon as the apples are ready for picking, usually mid to late September, my Facebook news feed will be flooded with pictures of my Canadians in apple orchards. Not only is it a great way to get some fresh air, it also offers lots of Instagramable moments.

And what do you do with all those apples? Make a yummy apple crisp or apple pie! Picture it, it’s getting chilly outside, which of course makes you want to nest and bake. Can you smell the apple crisp coming out of the oven? Mmmm, add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream; oh wow, I am getting hungry! lol. Add that to your fall bucket list please…you’re welcome.

054B6185-EF57-4201-887E-9980444E711A

4. Fall fashion.

There is something about fall that makes me want to shop; you do that too, right? Once the air starts to get cooler; it’s time to pull out your sweaters, blazers and boots. In the fall I like to take inventory of what I have in my closet and what I need to replace.

My fashion strategy is to pay more for key pieces that will last me for a few seasons. I mix those pieces in with less expensive items that are a bit more trendy.

This is the year that I need a new pair of boots, fancy boots, not winter boots. I bought a pair of high heeled black leather boots in Chicago; I am going to say 6 or 7 years ago? At the time, I felt that they were too expensive, but I loved them and I knew that would never go out of style. I got them re-heeled and shined up a few years ago, which extended their life.  They ended up being a great investment, I certainly got my money’s worth. But, sadly their time has come and I that makes me super sad; first world problems I know, so no need to point that out, lol.

My new boots are 1970’s inspired black suede. I sent my mom a picture. I remember she had a similar pair when I was young; hers were a deep dark red, they were beautiful. I am digging that 70’s vibe. My friend just got a pair of cool bell bottom jeans, oh, I am getting a bit off track…sorry.

I also “needed” a new black purse…ok, maybe need is pushing it? My new fav purse site is: Wanderers Travel Co. I got a tan/caramel purse a few months ago that I absolutly love, but it’s not black, hence the “need” for a new black purse.

I have always, always been a fan of a leopard print, so I am super happy to see all the leopard prints out this fall; not that it ever goes out of style, but this fall it’s bigger than ever. My boots and a new purse were a little pricier, but my skirt was a steal of a deal. I got it at GAP,  it was 40% off, yay me!

FBCB767D-1EC9-46E9-B37C-41AAE413BC5D

I am loving my new fall fashion items! I will pair my skirt with a nice black turtleneck instead of a white t-shirt as shown above. My wardrobe inventory uncovered 10 black turtleneck sweaters!! Sadly, I am not even kidding. I think I have a bit of a black turtleneck addiction. I can’t even rule out buying a new one this fall/winter, it’s a definite possibility, lol.

Oh and not that anyone asked, but here is my older, new purse from that same site. I think it’s just going to look better as it ages and gets a little banged up.

Thanks for reading! I am not really sure what happened? This post started with leaves, sunflowers and apples and finished with shopping. It’s pretty obvious that I just let my posts go where they want to go; I don’t always have full control, lol. I may have gotten too excited and a bit off track? Shit happens, lol.

I would like to give a shout out and thank you to my fall photographer, Barney! He also shot my spring pics; I guess that makes him the official oui-liette photographer? I’am not sure if he is fully aware yet? I will let him know after he takes my winter pics, lol.

Fun side note, we shot the sunflower pics in August on a cool 107 degree evening. My skin looks all fresh and dewy, ya, that’s sweat! Lol

3E7FAACD-0597-4BF3-BB85-FAEF6BD65EAC

Please get out there and make memories with your friends and families!!

3154FB85-4963-4692-9251-8E5D9DC72C81

muah!

Liette

1F84C8C3-BDB0-4373-856D-EA061C485316

 

 

Santa’s Ho,Ho,Ho’s! Taking cookie baking to the next level!

Santa’s Ho, Ho, Ho’s!

At first glance this post looks like it’s  about baking cookies; and it sort of is. But as you read you will discovered that it’s more about spending time with loved ones. That being said, these two recipes kick ass!!

 

E9544C50-9EBB-4B23-BEA5-31CB92185497
Our 2017 cookie crew.

In this post I will share our grandmother DesRoches’ super simple and yummy Scotch Cookie recipe. Full disclosure, there is no Scotch in them; nor was she Scottish, lol.

We also always make peanut butter balls, they aren’t always pretty, but they are always super delish! I guarantee that you will love our balls. Scroll all the way down for both recipes.

1DA3F178-45EA-4CCB-9B6C-51DFFEFA68C8
Our two best ballers!!

This family cookie baking tradition started a few years ago. I invited all the ladies on my moms side of the family over on a Sunday afternoon to bake Christmas cookies; because baking cookies alone is depressing, so the more the merrier!

Now lots of people bake cookies during the holiday, which is awesome, but we had to take it to the next level. Because that’s what we do…ok, that’s what I do, but they always follow me willingly!

How do you take it to the next level? Matching aprons, that’s how. I had custom aprons made for all of us; and you can too! I think this was the key to making this an annual event; because now that we have aprons, like it or not, we are kinda committed.

B54C1302-9D09-46BB-A64C-507BDBE16AE2
Just a bunch of Ho! Ho! Ho’s!

Having matching aprons or hats will make you feel like team; I promise, you will have more fun if you match!

Our sassy aprons have our names on them, but you could also just do matching aprons. Or get blank ones at a craft store and bedazzle them. You have lots of apron options. I am used to ordering in bulk because of my job, but I also do it for my personal parties. I always use Kadopromo, if you are buying in bulk, go with a company who does this for a living, the prices are better!! They often have a minimum number of items you need to order in order to get the best price. Here is who I use, but the internet is full of suppliers, there is no excuse not to match! lol: https://kadopromo.net/

2940F28D-7193-4DBA-A742-EE6BBF46B129

We must have been really good this year because Santa gave us an early Christmas gift, that will help us mix it up!! See below.

What you could do, is have a group fund, where everyone gives $20 and the head elf buys the group gift; either an apron or spatula? We have had our aprons for years now, we just order more as our family expands. It’s a one time expense, so it isn’t so bad at all.

4678E1ED-9960-441C-BB2D-B958850E6639
We ordered monogrammed spatules from Kadopromo!! Full disclosure, Kadopromo are not paying me to promote them. I really do use them because they rock!!
F4F93FEC-5714-4CD8-8FF3-F229B2819739
Ok now I am just showing off, look how pretty they are with their tiny bows!

For our cookie baking, each ma tante and cousine (aunts & cousin) bring an ingredient; it’s not fair to expect the hostess to provide all the ingredients. And don’t forget your empty container to bring some back home.

 

A3C4DFFA-5EBE-4376-AA60-5DEE95AFA26D
This is our official invitation for this year’s party. This may actually be our 4th event, not our 3rd? Oops!! Lol

We take lots of pictures, it’s fun to look back over the years. Because we are such a big family, some of us are scattered all over the place; it’s nice to have memories of those who can’t be with us this year.

03E7EFD4-11B6-4138-A6FC-0CA9427B5902
We miss you Evangeline! We hope you are back for a Canadian Christmas next year!

Mémère DesRoches’ Scotch Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2bls of  Butter
  • 1 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 4 cups of Flour. Yup only 3 ingredients!!
  • Well 5 if you add the frosting and cherry for the tops.

Directions

  • Combine brown sugar and butter, mix till smooth and creamy.
  • Add flour
  • Once the mixture is creamy, make into small balls, a little bigger than a quarter. Take a fork and gently press them down (don’t smush, just lightly press so the fork leaves horizontal marks).
  • Bake 350F for 18 minutes
  • Add pre-made frosting, I like cream cheese, but you can do vanila.
  • Cut up bottled red cherries and place on top
  • EAT!
A72AE4D6-3661-49DA-86E0-B6AB51628267
This is how they should look!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 cups or rice krispies
  • 2 ounces of paraffin wax
  • 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Melt butter and while it’s hot stir in the peanut butter
  • Mix well and add vanilla, powdered sugar and rice krispies
  • Melt chocolate chips and paraffin wax
  • Dip balls into melted chocolate
  • Cool on wax paper or parchment paper
DB94B4A9-1CF9-4776-BB75-3711F085FE3F
Don’t forget the parchment paper!!
CC8E0EE2-6030-4DD3-B48D-215987FE9442
Our 2018 crew of Ho! Ho! Ho’s! lol

Giving Thanks

I am thankful to you for reading and I am also so thankful for my family! There is something about belonging to a tribe that tightens around you in hard times and makes you laugh, but also let’s you cry if you need to! They say you can’t pick your family; if I could, I wouldn’t swap a single one!!!

So what is your ultimate Christmas cookie?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you from me and the fam!!!

muah!!

Liette

 

 

Christmas Bucket List

15 Things to do before Christmas!

Here is my personal bucket list; I will do my best to complete each item on this list! I will do a post holiday wrap up, or should I call it an unwrapping, lol? I will report back on which items I completed and which, if any, I missed.

I encourage you to use my list as inspiration or to create your own. It’s good to set goals, even if they are silly; especially if they are silly!

Before we get started, I realize that the holidays can be hard for some people. I get that, I really do. This year will be a trying time for my family. But instead of curling up into a ball and wishing it away; we have decided to go for it, full on! I have advised my mom that her house is going to look like Christmas threw up in it!! She laughed and is completely on board.

If you don’t love this time of year, try to do one or two holiday things and see how you feel. Sound like a plan? Let’s do this!!

1. Buy a new winter hat!

Starting off with an easy one!! I love shopping and I love hats so this one is easy peasy and already done!! I actually bought two new hats…moving on to the next item.

423141B0-E328-4F91-8E3A-2163064811A3
This hot pink beauty is new. How much do I like hats? Just noticed that almost all pictures in this post have me sporting a different hat! Lol

2. Make a snowman or snow angel.

I realize these are  weather permitting. Here’s the thing friends, life is short, life gets busy and adulting is hard. Soooo if you are fortunate enough to find yourself in front of the perfect fluffy, yet sticky snow, jump in!!

I am hoping for snow so I can check this one off my list. If you complete this one, please send me pics!!

346B8628-2D96-4E38-91B9-FFCAB27E19A2
I don’t have real kids, but I have a few fake ones. Get them out of the house and play in the snow with them!!

3. Go skating or snowshoeing.

Snowshoeing is weather permitting; it’s actually my favorite winter activity. You may think it sounds lame and boring, but there is nothing like snowshoeing in the forest on a sunny day! Fingers crossed that we will get enough snow here before I have to go back to Vegas. Skating can be done inside or outside, so no excuses for this one!

E5D0F0BC-8145-4EA6-8BAD-F2EDBD4F3CE2
The top picture is my pairs partner and I training for the Canadian Figure Skating Team, we just missed qualifying. Bottom right is a skating party that my bff Stacey hosted in her backyard a few years ago.
E108F23C-8E52-4584-945D-3B2B5EB14B15
My fav winter activity! When I am done with Las Vegas, I think I want to work for Tourism NB. There are sooo many amazing trails and fun things to do in the winter here!!

4. Make Christmas Cookies!!!

Invite friends or family over to bake some Christmas cookies. I know from Facebook that a lot of you already have this tradition with your families. My family and I have started our own cookie baking tradition. This year is our Third Annual Cookie Baking Party; this year’s event is already scheduled. I will be sharing details of how we cookie it up!!

8BFF8426-48D3-4175-82C6-67D6ED94DDB4
A few pics from last year’s family cookie baking party. We specialize in chocolate peanut butter balls, technically not a cookie, but delish!

5. Kissing under the mistletoe!

I figure if i get some mistletoe the kissing will naturally follow. Going with the: “build it and they will come” theory. Will keep you posted! 💋

6. Glitter it up!!

In my opinion glitter is never a bad idea! ‘Tis the season for parties, go for a bit of glitter!! Sequins if you are feeling bold; glitter gloss at the least!!

I was supposed to go back to the US before coming back to Canada for Christmas. But plans changed. This means that all my glittery stuff is back in Vegas; so I will need to shop for more…challenge accepted!

7. Be Nice

We should always try to be nice, but let’s try to be extra nice this time of year. I usually try to donate blood right before the holidays; give the gift of life if you are able, it’s free! Doing something nice for others in need doesn’t just help them, but it will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

As mentioned in my opening, the holidays can be a lonely time for some. You never know what others are going through, so let’s try not to be assholes, lol. And if someone is rude to you, shake it off, they are obviously struggling with their own issues.

And remember the more the merrier; especially this time of year. My fam adopted two strays a few years ago and now we can’t get rid of them!! They are now part of our Christmas Eve tradition and have become part of our family. I now can’t imagine Christmas without them!! xox

8. Be Naughty!!

Be naughty, but in the very nicest way!! I will let you use your imagination for this one, lol, have fun!!

9. Santa Selfie!

Last year I volunteered for our staff kids party, mostly so I could hang with the big man in red, lol. Here’s a challenge for you; if you are taking your kids for their annual picture with Santa, get in on the action. They will probably think it’s funny and who doesn’t want to be the fun mom, dad, aunt, uncle….

B617E2BC-FCE2-4AC2-A3BA-0DB5E84BA7B4

It’s so easy to take ourselves too seriously!! If you don’t have kids, get a few friends together and go sit on Santa’s lap!! I double dare you!! Send me your pic if you do!

I plan on taking my 16 year old nephew for a picture with Santa. Part of my duties as the world’s best aunt is to embarrass him right??

8B8CFE09-8A9F-4174-95CA-94A5E6FDAE5A
If you can’t find Santa, Santa hats are the next best thing. My work peeps and I do Christmas photos every year. One serious and a few that are super silly. I didn’t have permission to share the silly ones, sorry! lol

 

10. Christmas Cards

I am all about technology, but there is something awesome about getting a Christmas card in the mail.

I haven’t always sent cards, but I do now, and I try to make them funny. Some years I succeed, some…not so much. I’ll admit that last year’s card may have been a bit ridiculous and some didn’t get the joke, but I am fine with that, lol.

I encourage you guys to send cards, send pics of your families, your kids… I love them all!! So thank you.

Also, I will be doing a separate  Christmas card blog post shortly, where I will share my card designs for the last few years.

11. Christmas Movie Marathon.

Baby it’s cold outside! Why not stay in and watch Christmas movies? The holidays are fun, but can be exhausting! Everyone needs a day or evening to do nothing, but watch Christmas movies.

The Hallmark Channel becomes my favorite channel this time of year. The story lines are basically all the same, but I don’t care, I love, love, love!

My top three Christmas movies of all time are:

  • The Holiday
  • Love Actually (I made my friend watch it a few years ago and she thought it was horribly depressing, lol)
  • Elf
  • What are your favs??

12. Rock Your Winter Jammies!

Growing up my parents used to let us open one gift on Christmas Eve. It didn’t take my brother and I long to figure out the pattern; a new pair of pajamas. This seemed like a cruel joke as a child, but I think it’s an awesome idea now that I am an adult.

FAF6B73C-2460-42F5-B6A3-0F84789E956F
Last year we had a red and white pj party after our big Christmas Eve dinner. I want to take this opportunity to thank my family and friends for letting me boss them around year after year! FYI our theme for this Christmas Eve is: Mad for Plaid 🙂

 

13. Deck Your Halls!

Some people don’t decorate for Christmas and I just don’t get it? This is a great family or friend activity; if you don’t want to put up a big tree, get a tiny tree or a few balls in a bowl. I once had a Christmas Tree decorating party; where each person was told to bring an ornament. It’s a fun way to decorate my tree.

I won’t be able to decorate my own place this year in Vegas, so I am going to help decorate my moms. We will crank the Christmas tunes and go wild.

I love decorating and I think I am pretty good at it, but when it comes to Christmas decorating, my aunts and cousins on my dad’s side take it to the next level. I plan on doing a post on them. I haven’t asked them yet, but I am pretty sure I can convince them to let me interview them and take pics of their work. I’ll get helpful hints and share!

14. Winter Hot Tubbing  

This is a new tradition that I am starting this year. I am currently working on creating a list of all friends with hot tubs!! Lol. If you haven’t been in a hot tub in the winter while it snows big fluffy flakes, then you are missing out. Who wants to hot tub with me?? lol

When making your own Christmas List, be sure to add original, fun things to do!!

15. Count Your Blessings.

I saved the best for last. It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, that we forget to be in the moment and reflect on what is most important. For me it’s friends and family, I feel blessed and I try to be thankful and appreciate what’s in front of me at that very moment.

I will say that with social media, it can be a challenge to focus on what we have and not what we see others have. I will tell you that no one’s life is perfect, we are all just doing the best we can. Just because someone can take pretty pictures, it doesn’t mean that they have everything figured out.

Personally, for a long time, I secretly wished for the type of family that sits around the dinning table for hours discussing important issues; you know like they do in the movies. But that’s not us! I had to get over that fantasy and go with what I have. And what I have is an amazing family that love me no matter what? That encourage and support me even when they don’t really know what the hell I am doing.

So our dinners last 18 minutes start to finish; instead of getting frustrated, I have learned to adjust. We now play games after dinner, we laugh, I make them change into their pajamas, it’s all good!

So as always, I hope you enjoyed this post and come away with an idea or two from my list. Let me know what you like to do every year for the holidays? I am always open to trying new things. And would love to hear about what your holiday traditions or activities are!

Muah!

Liette