Lost in London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheerio, muah!

Liette

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Holiday Staycation!

Holiday Staycation!!

With the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out.

You’re giving so much to others, how about you treat yourself to something fun for you?? It’s not being selfish, it’s taking care of your heart and soul so you can be there for others.

Now this idea will vary depending on where you live, but it works anywhere and everywhere! The basic idea is to escape from your daily grind for 12 to 24 hours; with all the time that you spend doing laborious tasks, you deserve some time to yourself this month.

It’s easy and doesn’t have to be too expensive.

Step 1 – Find a holiday activity and book it!

Every city, large or small have holiday things to do. Look it up and buy tickets for you and your mate, friend or mom; whoever you want to share your Staycation with, just be sure it’s someone you like, lol.

If you don’t like concerts, go see a movie or find a craft show, just make certain it’s an activity that you enjoy.

I staycationed last night in Las Vegas; and yes, this city has a lot of options, but I couldn’t help but notice all the concerts people back home in my little hometown of Moncton are posting on social media. So you don’t have to live in a big city.

Seeing Mariah Carey perform her Christmas concert has been on my  bucket list since I moved here three years ago. I missed her last year, her Christmas concerts were too close to Christmas, I was already back home for my Christmas vacation.

But not this year!! I asked two of my close friends if they were interested and they said yes!! We bought our tickets in August.

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The lady can sing!! Her show was so much fun!!

Step 2 – Get a room!

Now you maybe thinking, why would I get a room in the city that I live in? It’s a waste of money. First of all, no it isn’t a waste! It’s part of your “you need a break” staycation.

So get a room, have a romantic night with your partner or have a pajama party with your BFF.

Here’s a helpful hint, if your schedule is flexible, pick a night that the hotel isn’t busy. Sunday nights are usually the best nights to get the best rate. Also, ask if they have a locals rate? Or ask them what night in the next few nights could they offer you the best rate? Call the hotel directly and tell them you are planning a special night and that you live in the city, they will help you, I promise!

My friends and I have booked a hotel room on the strip, because if you live here going to the strip is sort of a pain in the ass. The traffic, the people, the parking, the people, the walking…

But, if you have a room on the strip, you can have a few drinks without having to drive home; instead of dreading all the crazy party people who invade the city, you become part of the party.

Step 3 – Make a night of it!

So you have your show tickets, you booked your hotel room; now get dressed up and go out to dinner. Think of it as your very own Christmas party and make it special.

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My friend Shondra never disappoints! Her silver sequins jumpsuit was on point! Woman kept walking up to her all night to rave about her jumpsuit!

For our night on the strip, we booked a fancy restaurant and got dressed up in our shiniest outfits; Shondra out shined, as she should, because she is fabulous!

If you are parents of small kids, maybe your staycation is getting a hotel room, ordering room service and watching Christmas movies in bed? Hey, do you! Whatever you need to recharge your batteries.

Step 4 – Gifts!!

This is a bonus step; ask your staycation partner or partners if they want to exchange gifts? I mean it is Christmas!!

My friends and I did a « our favorite things » gift exchange. Turns out all of our favorite things include fuzzy slippers, candles and luxurious face masks and lotions!

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What a treat to get back to our room, take our heels off and put on our new fuzzy slippers! 

As we packed up and left Caesar’s Palace this morning, Shondra mentioned that it felt like we had been there for the whole weekend; which was exactly the point. We spent a solid 12 hours away from our regular lives; we laughed and made great memories that we will treasure for years to come. Moving forward, Mariah Carey’s, All I Want For Christmas, will make me think of my awesome friends in Las Vegas.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you are planning or could use your own Holiday Staycation!

For more pictures, videos and holiday gift ideas, follow me on Instagram and Facebook at: @oui-liette

Muah!

Liette

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So full disclosure, I am not a big drinker. I only drink 4 or 5 times a year and this was one of the nights. I think I started a trend, because after my impromptu photo shoot in front of this random hotel wreath, there was a line up of people waiting for their turn, lol. 

 

 

Haunted Garden Dinner Party – Update

 

Haunted Garden Dinner Party – Update

I wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween! And to share a few pics from my dinner party.

I challenged my friends to create a headpiece fit for a Haunted Garden Party and they did not disappoint!!

I love that my friends are so creative!! As mentioned in my previous post, I had a few backups for those who just didn’t have time to create something, because in the end, the most important thing was to spend time together.

We had a private room in a local restaurant for 20 of our Garden Goddesses!

I used some silk flowers, that my mom wanted to throw away, as place cards. I wrote each person’s name in the flower. We had a large group, so I wanted to seat people in groups for maximum party fun!! Lol

I also added a few bugs, birds, leaves and candles on the table to create my simple, yet cool Garden Party vibe.

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In my previous post, I mentioned that I worked on my pink feather headpiece in Vegas, but then I almost switched it up the night before. My second idea was to be a Queen Bee, so a Bee with a crown.

I wasn’t feeling my flamingo vibe until I added my pink wig, which I had brought for a friend to wear, but she changed her mind about wearing it the night before.

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This was my look leaving for the restaurant, which confirms my belief that I should have pink hair!! Lol. I added all my feather accessories onsite.

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Miss Dawn, who never disappoints, didn’t disappoint!! She was also the first to arrive, which was awesome, because we got to catch up a bit before the others arrived. Love, loved! Her flowers and butterflies headpiece!!

In addition to being super cool, kind and talented, my friends are also beautiful, strong and accomplished ladies!! #girlpower

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I loved seeing everyone’s creation; and then she arrived!! She is Jacqueline and she created a beautiful art piece, that made her look like a regal Garden Flower Fairy Queen! Needless to say she won the trophy for best dressed.

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I sat next to her during dinner and she did invade my personal space a few times, but I would expect nothing less of a Garden Flower Fairy Queen!!

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Ok, I may have convinced her to let me try it on at one point in the evening, lol.

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I am currently “holding” it for her till our next garden party. She asked me if I could use it for something. I am soooo going to do some cool photo shoot with it at some point.

It was such a nice evening!! We had time to mingle before dinner and my seating arrangement was perfect!!

We have plans to repeat this event next year. I will have to think of a new theme, obviously, lol. And we may add friends of friends, the more positive female energy, the better!!

These two ladies with me in the collage below, are two of my closest friends, these pics make me laugh. The red head was fall, which is fitting as she fell on her way to the party. The tall blonde is my amazon sister! We can be a funny looking trio!!

In the redheads defense, Stacey and I were both wearing heels and she was in flats; yes she can walk for miles in platform shoes, but falls wearing sneakers!! Lol

Our dinner was on Sunday night, from 6 to 8:30, 9ish; and since it was in a restaurant, there was no cleaning or cooking involved. It was a truly lovely evening! Our friend Margot from Halifax, made a special appearance, it was so nice to see her and to spend some quality time with everyone.

My whole blog philosophy is to just do things with friends and loved ones, this evening proves that it doesn’t have to be a lot of work for the hostess. I think we sometimes get caught up in the notion that we have to do it all and that everything needs to be perfect, I am hear to say that it does not!!

Thank you for reading! You don’t have to wait for next Halloween to have an evening out with your tribe! Just do it!!

Thank you for reading!!

muah!!!!

Liette

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My mom asked me, “well what are you?” I told her I wasn’t a thing, I was a vibe. I was channeling a vintage Las Vegas Showgirl dressed as a flamingo…nailed it!!! Lol

Hoppy Birthday!!

Hoppy Birthday! – How to throw  bunny themed party.

This post will show you how to throw a fun Bunny themed party, you’re welcome; for a young child or a late forty something grown woman…whatever.

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I understand that as we get older some may not want to make a big deal about their birthdays and some may not want a party; but I am not some people, lol.

(My last post generated a lot of new subscribers, thank you and welcome. Full disclosure, this a full on fluff piece, but it doesn’t have an underlying deeper meaning, so keep reading).

I throw parties and events for a living and for most of those events, sadly, I don’t have full and complete free reign; and it turns out that I love full and complete free reign! Lol. So when it’s my birthday I want a party and I want to plan it myself!!

I am not talking about a huge party, I prefer small intimate gatherings, but there needs to be a theme, formal invitations, some sort of decorations, a cake and swag bags for my guests to take home, like when we were kids.

Last year I had a co-party with my friend Claudia who’s birthday is the day after mine. We went to a fancy hotel’s tea room and had a tea party with tiny  yummy sandwiches and sweets with 20 of our friends. It was so much fun even though I don’t actually like tea! Lol

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For our swag bags last year, we had antique china cups filled with colorful macaroons with a thank you note. The thank you note matched the invitation, naturally.

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BTW a tea party theme is great for wedding showers  and baby showers too. Feel free to steal any of these ideas. If you want more tea party ideas, here is my tea party post. It was called Girls Gone Wild, but no girls actually went wild in the post, lol: https://oui-liette.org/2018/08/02/girls-gone-wild/

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That was last year; this year my birthday falls on Easter Sunday. I took this as a sign that it should be a bunny theme.

Full disclosure, I am a corny person; dorky puns are my jam, as you will see below.

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I usually find a cool image that speaks to me and build my theme around it. Last year I found the picture of the three ladies pouring tea with fabulous flowers in their hair.

This year I fell in love with this bunny; his face and his butt!

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My best friend, who is an amazing hostess, offered to host my birthday dinner. Not wanting to impose too much, I offered to buy my own cake. She loves baking and quickly turned my offer down. She asked if I had any requests, I told her it needed to be chocolate and have eggs or bunnies on it. And to be bratty, I sent her elaborate cake pictures leading up to the big night for “inspiration”. We have been friends for over 30 years, so she knows my bratty ways and didn’t reply to any of my texts, which made me send her more, just because I thought it was funny. I was trying to break her and make her reply with a, knock it off, but her will and resolve are strong, lol.

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She is a designer and has a beautiful home, I am very fortunate to have her as my bff!! For anyone in the Moncton area looking for a designer with impeccable taste, contact me and I will hook you up with her.

 

Her table setting is a perfect example that a little goes a long way. She had all white dinnerware with pale blue linen napkins and a white tulip centerpiece. I love her vintage water glasses, they added a bit of sparkle. And in keeping with my Easter theme, I sprinkled colorful chocolate eggs.

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Our hostess and bff Guylaine (pronounced guy as in gee…oh never mind, lol)

No birthday of mine would be complete without a headband, lol. I brought bunny ears for my party guests, why? Why not!

I celebrated my birthday last year in Las Vegas with my beautiful and amazing new friends. This year I was lucky enough to celebrate with my childhood friends in Canada.

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I feel that the red head on the right would want me to explain her wearing a hat at a party. She was having some eye issues and couldn’t wear any makeup, she thought a hat would be a good camouflage, lol. We stuck a set of big ears on her and called her Elmer Fudd, lol. She is normally the glamest one at the party.

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For dinner we had gourmet pizzas, ordered in from our fav restaurant. Ordering in is a great way to free up the hostess so she can have fun and not be stuck in the kitchen all night.

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Turns out a few drinks helps with your creativity. Stacey and I thought our mirror image pic was brilliant last night. Mmm… I still think it’s cute this morning, lol.

I am happy to report that my cake did not disappoint! It was chocolaty and delicious!! And it had mini eggs on it.

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Only 4 candles to avoid a fire hazard, lol. The cake was made from scratch with love, it was soooo good!

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I want to thank all my bunnies for helping me celebrate in style! People say, you only turn 40, 30, 50… once; we’ll guess what? You only turn, 41, 37, 49…once too! My point is every year is a milestone and for those who are freaked out by getting older, the alternative is even more freaky.

Each year we are blessed to celebrate another notch in our belts, some people don’t get the chance to grow old. We need to be mindful of that and embrace the opportunities that another year will bring.

I hope this post inspires you to celebrate your birthday and your friends. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be fun.

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I had a basket full of colorful eggs at the front door for guests as they left; full disclosure the two first bunnies to leave the party didn’t get their eggs, because I was a little too busy having fun and temporarily forget about them.

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In my eggs were two small chicks, a lip balm, who doesn’t need another lip balm and a thank  you note. I think it’s a nice small gesture, I am going to follow up with a thank you text as they chipped in to buy me a fabulous gift, which wasn’t necessary, but greatly appreciated!!

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Fun was had by all, thanks to my Crazy, Sexy, Cool Chicks!! Omg, that would be a cool theme for a party!! Maybe next year?

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I wish you all a Hoppy, corny, meaningful Easter!!

muah!

Liette

(for more pics of my adventures, check up my Instagram page: oui-liette)

 

How to Throw a Galentine Party!

How to Throw a Galentine Party!

What is Galentine you ask? Well it’s a Valentine celebration with your gals. Yes, it’s a thing and to be honest, I am all for it! I know people love to bash Valentine’s Day, as a made up holiday, yadda, yadda, yadda; but I love Valentine’s Day because I love, love. It’s corny, it’s commercial and it has a great color palette! I ❤️ it!!

Galentine Party

Here are 6 steps to help you throw your very own Galentine soirée.

1. Theme

One of my friends just gave me a red rhinestone retro lip telephone; it’s sooo pretty! He said it reminded him of me; how sweet right?? It has inspired My Galentine Party theme; my official theme will be: Hot Lips! This would also be a fun theme for a bachelorette or a birthday party.

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2. Invitations

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I bought these cards in Paris last October, they say bizous which is French for kisses. When traveling, I love browsing stationary and card shops. I often buy cute cards and frame them as souvenirs of my trip. I didn’t know what I would use these cards for, but once I decided on my Hot Lips theme, I remembered I had them. They are perfect!

3. Decor

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A great cheap way to decorate is to blow up a bunch of balloons…a really big bunch! Helium can be expensive, these above, were blown up with a cheap hand pump. It’s a great way to reinforce your colors palette as well. Once your guests arrive, they will get kicked and thrown around.

For a Galentine party, I think  more is more; once you think you are on the brink of going over board with your decor, add a few more, lol.

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4. Snacks

As I have mentioned in previous party posts, don’t stress out over food; order in, cook or go out, it’s all good!

I am having my gals over for drinks and appetizers, then we are going out to dinner. But I couldn’t help but buy these hot lips cookies; how perfect are they??!! I got them at Tony’s here in Moncton.

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Oh and I also got these, look down, because they were soooo pretty, so we may do drinks and desert at my place?? These were also from Tony’s, I had to taste test one, to make sure they were good enough for my guests. Happy to report, they passed the test!

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If I was going to cook, a heart shaped pizza would be my choice. It looks super easy…says the girl going out to dinner, lol. If you are ordering in or taking out this Valentines, ask them to make it heart shaped. You really need to embrace the corniness of this holiday.

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We sprinkled some hearts on the table at the restaurant, and voila! Instant Galentine decor. The waitress thought it was pretty, I think she wanted to join us? You can add flowers or balloons; we kept it simple, yet festive.

5. Have Fun!

I always buy something funny or silly for my guests. I have found that props loosen people up. For Halloween, I had black bunny masks, for Christmas, I had reindeer glasses; and for my Galentine’s party, I have these cute glasses.

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I also bought lip suckers, they were funny and yummy!! They helped my friends pucker up!! Make sure to take lots of pictures!!

6. Party Favors

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No one leaves empty handed. I was surprised at how easy it was to find items that fit my theme so perfectly.

Included in my goody bags are: a hot pink lip balm, a Kiss Me heart shaped sucker and a lip smacking sucker, because one sucker wasn’t enough, lol. And a moisturizing lip mask, it’s a silicon lip shape that you put on your lips for 10 to 15 minutes, because your hot lips need to be kissable at all times!

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I hope this post inspires you to get a few of your best gals together for drinks, dinner or brunch. Life can be hard and messy, it’s so important to have a tribe of strong women surrounding you!

I wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Tell the people around you that you love them! They will be happy to hear it!

Muah!

Liette

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