Pimp My Deck – After

Pimp My Deck – After

Soooo my deck is done. My original design plan was to do something monochromatic with whites and off whites. Well that lasted for 1.0 seconds; I got distracted and yadda, yadda, yadda, it looks like Malibu Barbie’s deck.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before.

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Was I going for A Malibu Barbie look? No, but is that a bad thing? Meh, not really? My first curveball was that my big wicker chair with a big cream cushion from Waifare was backlogged until the end of August, so canceled my order; and really where was I going to store that during the 10 months of winter? Kidding, the 9 months of winter.

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Then I saw this pink chair from Terra Verde and it blew my whole shabby chic plan to shit! Lol. It’s made of plastic, by a company called Twist from Quebec, and it very much looks like a Barbie chair; it’s fairly comfy. The faux grass helps complete my Barbie look.

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This love seat reminded me of retro Palms Springs, I got it at Homesense. I found two 80’s style outdoor cushions that go with my, none neutral, pink and blue colours. They fall through the openings in the back of both the love seat and the pink chair; but hey, they match!

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I bought two big blue planters at Walmart and I’ve been told to add miracle grow when I water them, so that they will eventually overflow my pots; they’ve already grown a lot since getting them. After I blew my white and off white colour scheme, I decided to go with the blue, green and pink colours of my planters. I’m making it work.

I also have my pretty birdhouses, that are locally made here in Moncton, on display and I love my pink and lime green flower pots that I got in Sackville at Blooms.

I also bought a lavender tree, just because, and it smells soooo good! It’s to the right of my loveseat below.

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One of the perks of being downtown is that there are no bugs!! And there’s always a really nice breeze up here on the third floor; it’s  really cozy at night.

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How do you like my balls? They’re metal and have a Moroccan vibe. I’ve used them outside and inside, they are really unique and pretty lit; I’ve already been asked where I got them? They are from Home Depot.

I keep moving my white and pink chairs back and forth, but I think this is the best spots for each?

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Even without Miracle Grow, my planters are thriving! I need to share one last pic, just to show off a bit; I’m also pretty proud that I haven’t killed them. Looking forward to have the lime green plant drape over the edge of the pot.  And today the big top plant sprouted a yellow flower, which is not part of my colour scheme! lol, I’ve had this kind of plant before and never had them flower.

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Thank you for reading! I post extra pics on my Facebook page so go like it if you haven’t already; oui-liette. Also, fun fact, my deck gets the sun in the afternoon and evening, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over our little city and the lighting is perfect for selfies!!!

muah!

Liette

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The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

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Last weekend I was driving down Mountain Rd in Moncton, minding my own business, when something caught my eye; I saw the most colourful and unique birdhouses strewn across a parking lot.

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After picking up my friend Mary Helen, we went back to the parking lot to meet the birdhouse lady.

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Two funny things; the first is that the birdhouse lady’s name is Blanche, which in French means white; her birdhouses are pretty much every colour but white (except for her Acadian houses). The second thing is that I had just shared a blog post about colourful Maritime houses and then, bam! More colourful houses!

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Mary Helen made the observation that they looked like houses from Whoville in the Grinch.

 

I posted a few pics on Facebook and got inundated with questions of where people could buy them. Someone introduced me to her daughter who shared where her mom would be this weekend.

Weather permitting, on Saturdays Blanche is usually in Moncton on Mountain Rd, across the street from Rosario’s Restaurant. And on Sundays in Shediac, on the corner of Main St and Pointe du chêne Rd, in the parking lot across the Irving.

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Blanche is a true folk artist with a warm and welcoming personality who creates beautifully colourful houses; they just making you smile when you see them. I went back to see her this morning to buy a few houses for one of my cousin’s and had the opportunity to chat with her for a bit.

Blanche was kind enough to share a bit of her background with me. Her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring; at 13 she found herself homeless and sleeping in a car. She experienced many traumatic events and hardships in her young life. Unable to read or write she turned to carpentry and has been working in construction all of her life.

First of all; how bad ass is it to be a woman who makes her living in construction? It’s super bad ass!! Lol. She shared that she is able to do pretty much everything except for brick layering. She owns a small house in Moncton and updated her plumbing on her own; once done she had a licensed plumber come check her work. He confirmed everything was up to code and done perfectly. She said that she made him turn the water back on and there were no leaks!

She started making and painting these little houses and sells them on weekends. After knowing more about Blanche, I believe that the reason that so many people are drawn to her houses is because it’s a reflection of her spirit and joie de vivre. It may sound corny, but I believe that when something is created with love people are unconsciously drawn to them.

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Dawn also drawn to these colourful houses!!

To contact Blanche you can leave her a message on Facebook (Blanche Young) and I encourage you to post pictures of your birdhouses once you get them home and tag her. Her daughter helps her with her Facebook page and will be posting updates on where she will be selling her works of art.

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Thank you for reading! Like Blanche’s Facebook page: Blanche Young. Let’s support our local artists and let’s be thankful for all the bad ass woman out there, they are an example for us all!

muah!

Liette

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The Special Class of 2020

The Special Class of 2020

Who are the kids of the class of 2020? I assumed they were millennials, but they are the generation that precedes the millennials. The class of 2020 are Generation Z, born in the mid to late 1990’s to 2010, most are the children of Generation X.

Generation X turned out to be helicopter parents; which is the polar opposite of the way they were raised. Gen Xers grew up without bike helmets or seat belts, by parents who smoked in the car…while the kids were in the car without seat belts!

The perception of Generation Z is that they are all snowflakes and maybe ill prepared to take on the world? But I think the truth is that this generation is the one that will change the world…finally!

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They are perceived as having a sense of entitlement. I think they do feel entitled; they feel entitled to have clean water; they feel entitled to be free to love who they want to love. They feel entitled to have justice and equality for all. They feel that they should be entitled to go to school without the fear of being shot. Let that last one sit with you for a moment; we had fire drills, they had active shooter drills. Oh and just for fun, let’s throw in a plague that will screw up their graduation and their lives in general.

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Are they withering away? No, they are proving to be the most resilient generation since the Second World War and the most socially conscious since the 1960’s.

With all that they have had to deal with, they appear to have a very simplistic view of the world. The planet is on fire, so let’s fix it! It’s all very black and white for gen Z, which is so refreshing. They seem sick and tired of our complaisant culture of thoughts and prayers; this generation are ready for action!

They have a very clear view of what is right and what is unjust, with very little patience for those who tell them that the status quo is working. As they reach that magic age of being able to vote, they have the numbers to change things and to change them quickly.
This generation has inherited a mess, a freaking huge mess! But I have a feeling that we are in good hands and that they are up for the challenge.

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In these crazy times it makes sense that this special class, the class of 2020, would have a special graduation. A graduation unlike any other graduation in the history of all graduations. It’s not what you had planned and it’s not what we wanted for you; it is what it is and like everything else, you are making the best of it.

Know that you are the special generation; the generation that the world needs right now. And not that it makes it easier, but think of all the stories you will be able to share with your grandchildren someday.

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On behalf of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we want you know that we are so proud of you! You’ve showed such grace under pressure. Get out there and change the world, we’ll do our best to keep up with you.

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Oh and not to put any extra pressure on you, but the fate of humanity and the planet are basically in your hands…but no pressure!! Happy special graduation to you.❤️

Thanks to all the parents who shared pictures of their very special grads with me for this post.

muah!!

Liette

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Défi Best Lobster Roll in le sud-est du NB

Défi Best Lobster Roll in le Sud-Est/South East NB

Lobster is serious business in these parts of Atlantic Canada; the Bay of Fundy has the best lobster in the world! It’s a fact, look it up.

I grew up eating lobster, my grandfather’s family were lobster fisherman, as was my father’s favorite uncle on my grandmother’s side. His name was Livain and he used to take us out on his fishing boat and let my brother and I help him pull up his “special” lobster trap. Looking back, it now seems a bit fishy that there were always a few lobsters waiting for us.

I am sharing these details of my childhood to demonstrate that I am more than qualified for this special challenge; to find the best lobster rolls dans le sud-est du Nouveau Brunswick! We also mix our French and English in these parts, so try to keep up! Lol

**I obviously didn’t try every place in le sud-est, but I did my best. Feel free to leave a comment if there is a place that I need to try.

Shediac

For our first lobster roll we went to Shediac, pronounced: shed-dee-ack, for my none Maritime friends. Why was Shediac our first stop? Because it’s the lobster capital of the world, that’s why.

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Here’s the proof in case you didn’t believe me.

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Golden Fry, Shediac

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Golden Fry is located on Main St in Shediac

I’m not going to lie, when I opened my bag and saw that the mayonnaise wasn’t mixed in with my lobster, I was a bit worried; I like it all mixed together, but it was really yummy!! The lettuce, which I don’t love in a lobster roll, I prefer celery, was fresh and crisp, so I didn’t mind it. There was enough mayonnaise and most importantly the lobster didn’t taste frozen!!! I am giving Golden Fry a solid 8 claws out of 10.
🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Chez Léo, Shediac Bridge

Chez Léo has been open since 1961 and reminds me a lot of my dad; he used take me there for fried clams. Here’s another fun fact, it’s on the other side of a bridge that only has one lane. It has no lights or stop sign, yet people instinctively take turns going across; three cars will go and then the fourth car will let a few cars from the other side cross. That may not sound abnormal for my fellow Maritimers, but in Toronto or the US that would cause anarchy, lol.

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Back to lobster rolls; the lobster was fresh, they asked me if I wanted with or without mayo, which I appreciated. It was tasty, giving it a solid 8 claws out of 10. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Moncton

It’s funny that Moncton, even though it’s exactly 15 minutes from the ocean, isn’t considered a coastal town by the locals and not the place to go for a great lobster roll; like Monctonians are way too far inland to know anything about lobster, lol.

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Hynes Restaurant, Moncton

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Hynes restaurants is probably Moncton’s oldest dinner; it’s been around longer than I have.
Their lobster was lightly mixed with the mayonnaise, which I like and they didn’t have lettuce, which I appreciated. Some places add lettuce as a filler, I am not down with that trick! Lol. The lobster was most likely from a lobster pack, which is frozen, but that’s fine, most places do use lobster packs for their lobster rolls.
Giving Hynes a respectable 7 claws out of 10.
🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Skipper Jacks, Moncton

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Skipper Jacks apparently has a new menu, according to my mom, who had lunch there recently; she had the lobster chowder and raved about it. I got a lobster roll to go and it was delish!! The bun was toasted extra crispy the way I like; they didn’t have their lobster mixed with the mayo, but I am starting to change my point of view regarding this important aspect of lobster rolling.
The lobster tasted fresh and not frozen and it’s one of the few rolls so far that had pieces of tail and not just claws and knuckles. I am giving Skipper Jacks 9 claws out of 10!! 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Euston Park, Moncton

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This was my first time at Euston Park, which is an outdoor eating/bar area. It’s so cute!!! But how was their lobster roll??

It looked really pretty, the bread was fresh and crunchy, the lobster was overflowing out of the bun and it was tasty. The curveball is that it included Tarragon; it wasn’t a traditional lobster roll, it was a fancy lobster roll. My first bite was like oh!! I wasn’t 100% sure about it, but my second bite was like, ok, I could be down with this?

I am going to give it 8 claws out of 10, but if you aren’t a fan of Tarragon then this isn’t the roll for you; roll on. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Alma

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You can’t be on the hunt for the best lobster roll without rolling into the Bay of Fundy.

Fundy Take-Out, Alma

Our first stop is the little shop on the right of the entrance of Fundy National Park, it’s appropriately called Fundy Take-Out.

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This lobster roll was ok, I can imagine how good it would taste after a long hike in the park. There could have been a little more mayonnaise, but the bun was the best to date; it was nice and crispy. I found it a bit bland and had to add a bit of salt, which is fine. I think the more lobster rolls I eat the pickier I am getting? I am going to give Fundy Take-Out 7 claws out of 10; which is still a solid score. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Cape Pelé

Our next two stops are in Cape Pelé; Fred’s and L’aboiteau.

Fred’s Restaurant, Cape Pelé

I had options at Fred’s, with or without mayo and with or without lettuce. I’m not going to lie, having the mayo just drizzled like this looked weird and plain, but it was yummy, the lobster was fresh and the bun was crispy. Giving Fred’s 8 claws out of 10. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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L’aboiteau Wharf

L’aboiteau has a restaurant in the beach area and a small place right on the wharf; we ate at the wharf location.

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This lobster roll had pieces of tail; it was fresh, crispy and super tasty! I am giving this roll a 9 of 10 claws!!!! 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Doing my best to show the lobster roll and my earrings.

I obviously didn’t get a chance to eat at all the lobster places, sadly. A few places in Alma were closed when we went, due to COVID. We didn’t make it to Bouctouche, where in the past, I’ve had the best lobster rolls ever. That’s why none of the lobster rolls on my list got a 10 out of 10; I was saving some room for Bouctouche. So please when doing your own taste test, do not forget to go to Bouctouche!

Of the 8 places I visit, two places got 9 claws out of 10; Skipper Jacks in Moncton and L’aboiteau Wharf in Cape Pelé. They both had juicy pieces of tail, oh that sounds odd and mildly inappropriate, Lol. What I meant is that most places only had pieces of lobster claws and knuckles; that’s what made the difference for me and why they scored higher.
Let’s be real, it’s really hard to make a bad lobster roll in these parts, but these two stood out from the crowd.

Thank you for reading, I hope you get to try a few of these places on your own this summer. It’s a tough job, but I am willing to keep eating local lobster rolls until I’ve tried them all…you’re welcome!! Please shop local and tip your server a bit extra! Especially the seasonal places.

Feel free to recommend a place I should to try, here in the comment section below, or on my Facebook page.

muah!

Liette

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Hey check mes pen d’oreilles de homard!!! 🤣

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Behind the Scenes Extras

Fun fact, I thought that others added celery to their lobster rolls, but turns out they don’t, but they clearly should! Try it.

I created a fun side list; here are the winners!!

Best View – Alma!! To be eating your lobster roll on a wharf or beside an actual fishing boat is pretty awesome. The boat, pictured here, will be completely submerged at high tide; FYI for my readers that aren’t aware of our crazy tides.

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Best view runner up was L’aboiteau. This view is not too shabby either.

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Most Impressive Lobster – Shediac, it wasn’t even a competition, it’s ginormous. I invite locals to climb up on it and take tacky tourist pics; live a little. I hadn’t climbed up in….mmm a decade or two?

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Cutest Lobster Accessory

Torn between my Sex, Drugs & Lobster Roll t-shirt and my giant lobster earrings. I chose not to wear them together as that would be too much; yes, I guess that’s the line! Lol

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I bought this at the My Home Mercantile

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Cutest Lobster Shack – It’s a beautiful shade of purple, so it wins! Sadly it wasn’t open yet for the season, but it still wins as cutest and I will be back!

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Colours of the Maritimes

Colours of the Maritimes


One of the things that struct me when I first moved, to the west coast of the US, was that all the houses were the same colour, a light beige ish, they also all looked the same. They were all Spanish looking, at least they looked Spanish ish to a girl from the east coast.

I would go to my friends homes and have to look up the house number because once on the proper street, I couldn’t remember which house was theirs, even though I had been there before.

I moved to the desert in the summer when everything was brown and dried up. I remember how green everything looked on my first visit back to Canada. I had never noticed how freaking green New Brunswick was; I was seriously amazed.

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I’d love to live in a green house with a lilac coloured door.

The same was true with the houses; who knew that Maritime houses were so exotic? Growing up here exotic was the last word I would have used to describe anything about us.

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Since I’ve moved back, I’ve been unconsciously  taking pictures of colourful houses. I am always taking pictures of random things. I notice my new obsession with brightly coloured houses when I happened upon this pink house, below, during a Covid sanity drive; as I drove past it I had an uncontrollable need to turn around and take a picture of it. I physically had to stop, turn around, and take a picture.

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I want to live in a pink house.
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This is a house in NS, don’t let the US flag fool you.

My hope for this post is that my fellow Maritimers will look at the pretty pictures and be like; she’s right, these are pretty funky. And that my American desert friends will enjoy looking at exotic homes from where I grew up.

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One of the ladies who lives in this house is from les îles de la Madeleine, they are famous for colourful houses.

These houses just make me happy! These are anything but mellow yellow!

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Yellow seems to be the most popular colourful house colour around here.

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I know that colourful houses are not unique to Atlantic Canada. I did a bit of research and the most common explanation is that it ties back to fishing villages. Fishermen would paint their homes vibrant colours in order to see them as they sailed into the harbour. I’ve always loved colour, as a Maritimer, I guess it’s in my DNA.

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I love the purple houses the best…I think? Which is your fav?

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Once we are allowed to roam between province, I am going to add to my colourful house pictures to my collection; ouff I can’t wait to roam!

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This post could have been called Colours of Atlantic Canada in order to include Newfoundland and it’s beautiful row houses, I’ll do a dedicated post to them on my next trip to the rock.

Thank you for reading this cheery post, I felt something light, fluffy and pretty was called for.

muah!

Liette

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At Home With Stacey and Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

At Home With Stacey And Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

This is the last post of my, At Home With, series for a bit. They’ve gotten a lot of readers so I will do more; maybe we can peek into people’s homes at Christmas time??

For our finale, let’s peek into some fancy pantries. First up is my friend Stacey’s pantry; she and I love to do fancy things together, it usually involves shopping, but today we’ll be touring our pantries.

Stacey and her family have a gorgeous home, but her pantry is a real hidden gem. If you’re in her kitchen and the doors are closed you would never suspect that there’s an amazing pantry there.

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Beautiful kitchen right? Wait for it.

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Voilà!! Oh and this is Finn, he’s the sweetest dog ever; I’m pretty sure his dog treats are in the pantry, so he’s on guard duty.

Her walk in pantry has floor to ceiling storage, the layout was very well thought out.

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Stacey and I agree that one of the best parts of having a big pantry is that you can hide your small appliances in them.

In addition to all the regular pantry stuff, Stacey keeps her pottery mugs that she has collected from her travels, they are just above her fancy coffee machine. She has pottery from the Maritime all the way to Iceland, from her most recent trip. When traveling, why buy tacky touristy stuff, when you can support local artists? That was rhetorical, there is no reason not to, lol.

Her pantry is filled with beautiful wooden bowls, family pieces and pottery, each item has a story; I absolutely love that about her home.

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And during the peak of the pandemic lock down, she joked that the most valuable thing in her pantry was her husband’s jar of yeast.

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At Home With Liette

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Covid Hair alert!! 

Stacey’s home is on the outskirts of town, it overlooks the city. My home is downtown in the heart of the city; OK it’s a small city, but still, I’m in the heart of it!

I am not going to lie that my pantry is what sealed the deal for my new place. The owner kept telling me it’s perfect for entertaining….I finally had to speak up and let him know who he was dealing with; events and party planner extraordinaire! Sooo he didn’t seem impressed, but I am sure he was blown away on the inside, he was just playing it cool, lol.

Apparently the “new thing” in pantries are sinks; it’s called a wet pantry, who knew? It maybe the most practical thing ever?

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So this is my pantry/laundry room/craft closet. What I love most about having a pantry with a sink and a door is that when entertaining, you can store all the messy stuff in there and bring it out when needed. It’s also great to have a place for my toaster and other stuff, so it’s not cluttering my kitchen counter space.

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The right side of the pantry is my laundry area; and all the way from Las Vegas is Lucille the cow; she helps me with my laundry. She’s great at folding, but horrible at putting clothes away.

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I have so much storage in here that some of my kitchen cupboards are empty. The cabinet to the left of my toaster oven is where I keep all my craft and party stuff…and my skates.

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Someone asked me what I kept in the orange boxes above my spice jars and where I got them? They are the boxes that my Nova Scotia Crystal glasses came in; they were too pretty and sturdy to throw away. I keep can goods and food stuff in them. Most of my glass jars are from IKEA.

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Can you tell I bought myself a label maker?? To say that I went label crazy when I first got it would be a gross understatement. When I moved I assumed that my pantry would turn into a catch all, but it stays really neat. That saying; a place for everything and everything in its place, rings true.

Thank you for reading, if you missed any of my other; At Home With…, scroll down to read them.

Coming up – I am working on a few fun projects; more decorating, some day trips and believe it or not, I am working on some content for fall. I’m taking advantage of this time off; and if I was working I would be planning all my fall shows, so it seems normal for me to work that far ahead, lol.

Thank you Stacey and Finn for letting us peek into your pantry.

Leave a comment or follow me on Facebook or Insta: Oui-Liette

muah!!

Liette

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Finn kind of stole the spotlight from Stacey, for this shot, I decided to just crop her out completely. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pimp My Deck – The Before

Pimp My Deck

I moved into my new place in January and I have nothing left to decorate, so I thought! Turns out my deck is fairly big and very bare; Project Pimp My Deck is on.

It’s currently being used as a bicycle parking spot.

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First up is to wash it!! Then I need some comfy seating and some plants. I want to create a cool chill zone to hang.

Since patio furniture can get pricey, I am going to need to shop around and find some good deals. I’ll mix some more expensive pieces with some super great deals.

I got these giant pots at Walmart and they were a super deal! I bought the last two, so not sure if they just wanted to get rid of them?

My deck is bigger than it looks; I think people gravitate towards small things for small spaces, but I think the space will look bigger if you have a few big pieces.

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I think these plants will look great once planted; that tall plant is a lavender; I love the smell of lavender and I think it’s a mosquito repellent?

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I ordered this chair below, which is super comfy, from Terra Verde; it’s manufactured in Quebec and it should be here within the next three weeks, I can’t wait! Can you guess what colour I ordered?

Remember I said that patio furniture can be expensive? In comparison this chair wasn’t super expensive and it’s made right here in Canada, so yay! I will share more on the company who makes them in my big reveal post.

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I’ll be posting my progress pics on my Oui-Liette Facebook page and will share the Big Reveal on my blog; stay tuned!

Thanks for reading.

Liette… muah!! I thought I could get away without the muah at the end this one time, but I can’t, lol. It’s bad enough we can hug people in real life, I am not giving up my fake air kiss.

At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; not together, in their separate respective kitchens.

At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; kitchens made for entertaining.

Here in Atlantic Canada we’re kind of famous for our kitchen parties, so for this post, I am calling in the big guns. We will be taking a quick peek into two kitchens that are perfect for entertaining.

At Home With Gilles

My friend Gilles loves entertaining, and I hate to give him too many compliments, but he’s really good at it. (Oh for my American English friends, Gilles is pronounced more like Jill)

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First of all, he has one of the biggest island’s that I’ve ever seen; he loves cooking for his friends and family and, ugh, he’s a good cook too.

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His living, dining and kitchen area are one completely open space; all three areas are shades of brown and cream, which helps to create a seamless flow.
I’ve been over several times where he’s behind the counter cooking, usually lobster, while his guests are seated at the island watching the show; and by watching the show, I mean drinking.

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At the end of his huge island is his huge dining table, which was custom made by L’artisan Christophe from Tracadie, NB and it’s gorgeous!

The photo below is the view from his front door; let’s focus on the lighting over the island. It’s important that the lighting fixtures over your island be in proportion to the size of your island. Since Gilles has an over sized island, his lighting fixtures needed to be large and impactful without looking too heavy or bulky.

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These fixtures are perfection! First of all, they look like some sort of fishing net, which is perfect for a guy “du nord”. They are very large, but they don’t block the view; they’re basically see through, which works!

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He also has a big pantry, which I wasn’t allowed to photograph; it’s big enough to hid his blender and other small appliances that can clutter your counter top. When your kitchen is visible as soon as you walk through your front door, it helps to have a place to store all your messy stuff.

I pulled the yellow bowls out of his pantry because they matched the lemons. I think it adds a really nice small pop of color. I am going to recommend he get a bright yellow pot with a big green plant for his counter top.

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The glass of wine wasn’t part of my vignette, but I let him keep it in the shot, since it is his house and all, lol.

I asked Gilles what his favorite part of his house is; he said that nothing beats cooking on a Sunday afternoon with his TV muted on the golf channel while his music blares in the background. I’m assuming there maybe a big glass of red wine on the counter in this scenario too??

This is his view while standing behind his island; perfect for golf viewing.

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At Home With Kenda

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Kenda and I have been friends since we were babies; she was at my first birthday and my second…and my 50th. I was with her when she first visited her current lakeside condo; it was all kinds of shades of dusty rose. The kitchen and living room were separated by a wall with a cut out window, which I assumed was used to pass things from the kitchen to the dining area? It was very 70’s.

The first thing she did was to knock down that wall, which created one big open living space. The next thing she did was to paint over the rose walls…oh and the carpet and light fixtures were also dusty rose; let’s just say that the transformation was very dramatic.

Her open space is perfect for entertaining; one of the things that she does that I think is really clever is that she can extend the size of her island if needed.

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Above is her kitchen, her island is perfectly portioned for the size of her space. But when she has people over, she has the option of doubling the size of her island by moving her dining table.

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I don’t care how nice your living room is, during a party your guests will end up gathering around your kitchen island before the end of the night. When entertaining don’t be afraid to move things around and put things away in order to give you more room to parrrtay! Figure out how things are going to flow in order to avoid traffic jam areas. 
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Even with the length of her island doubled, she still has ample space to move around; and this temporary reconfig gives her the ability to have a sit down meal for 10 to 12 people. Or she can use this layout to display food and to set up her bar so that things flow properly. In my last post, I mentioned that my friend Guylaine was a fanatic on proper lighting; I am an expert on having things laid out in a way that creates the right flow.

I am not going to lie, I am a bit envious of Kenda’s space; it’s not a huge space, but the layout was so well thought out that it’s the perfect place to gather for a proper Maritime Kitchen Party.

Thank you for reading, I can’t wait for us to be able to gather with friends and family again. If there is one positive thing that comes out of this whole pandemic, it’s that I think we have come to appreciate how much we love and need each other.

Follow me on Facebook and Insta at: Oui-Liette for additional photos and videos and if you missed my last two posts peeking into peoples homes, here are the links:

https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/16/at-home-with-guylaine-and-claudia-the-bathroom-reno-edition/ and https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/12/at-home-with-nancy-take-a-peek-inside-her-150-year-old-country-house/

stay safe, muah!!

Liette

Behind the scenes

If you’re new to my blogs, I sometimes post some behind the scenes extras or fun facts. Here are two fun extras!

Kenda at my first birthday party.

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And again at my 4th. I think we were the same height in 1974?? Even though she’s a few months older; I am now a full head taller. 😁

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At Home With Guylaine and Claudia; the bathroom reno edition.

At Home With Guylaine in Moncton and Claudia in Las Vegas; the bathroom reno edition.

If you’re anything like me you enjoy checking out other people’s homes; not to be nosy, but to see how they have everything setup and to see what their personal style is. I find it inspiring to see beautiful and interesting spaces.

It’s funny that I am grouping my friends Guylaine and Claudia together, they have never met, but they are very similar in a lot of way; they both have impeccable style and classic taste in decor and best friends, lol.

At Home With Guylaine

Guylaine and I have been friends since we were 14; she’s a mother of three, helps run her family’s restaurant and is an interior decorator. She recently redid her on suite bathroom, in her classic ranch style home, on a budget.

Both Guylaine and Claudia are experts at finding great deals. Just because you’re working on a budget, doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on style; it just means that you need to be more creative and resourceful.

Guylaine’s bathroom vanity was a standard builders cabinet, which was fine; she had been wanting to update it for years and finally got around to it.

She found this vintage record player at a secondhand store; you know the huge cabinet kind that your grandparents used to have? She removed the top and replaced it with a piece of quartz; and voilà! A beautiful, one of a kind, vanity. This modern mid-century piece fits in perfectly with her decor vibe that she has throughout her home.

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The record player cost her $50 and was in great shape, she polished it up with cream varnish and it was good to go. She had the front part, in between the two speakers, cut and hinged, so she does have some storage. The quartz and faucet cost $1,200; for a grand total of $1,250, which is a steal of a deal for a bathroom vanity with faucet.

Saving money on the cabinet allowed her to splurge on the quartz; when working with a budget, you need to prioritize where to spend and where you can save. And most importantly you have to be on the hunt for great pieces and have imagination to see their full potential.

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She update the  faucet to match the gold on her shower doors; a complete shower redo wasn’t in her budget, in order to update it, she replaced the 80’s style sliding doors with the frosted stripes for clear class doors.

The painting above her toilet is a Guylaine original; she took all of the leftover cans of paint she had laying around from other projects and created this abstract landscape; it was one of her Covid projects.

She kept the same large mirror, but changed the light fixture. She’s an expert at lighting, her advice is that every light in your home should have a dimmer; EVERY one!!! When I’m entertaining she’s in charge of lighting and creating a super cozy mood.

She replaced the old flooring with extra large tiles; her one regret is that she didn’t have in-floor heating installed while the floor was ripped up.

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Her old bathroom layout included a large closet, she did something that sounds crazy; she reduced the size of her closet in order to gain a bit more space in her bathroom. She has a super big walk in cedar closet in her basement, so she could spare the space by streamlining her bedroom closet.

This freed up space for this cabinet that she found at Homesense; Homesense is the Canadian equivalent to Homegoods in the US. This cabinet and her old school record player originally didn’t have any legs, she added legs to both to give them more of that mid century look. This is a good trick to steal…you’re welcome!

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She painted this wall a light shade of blush/beige ish and is planning on adding a chalk paint stencil pattern to it; I’ll post pictures of this finished wall on my Oui-Liette Facebook page when done.

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I’ll post her wall after she has finished stenciling it, on my Facebook page. The pattern will match the pattern on the front of the cabinet. 

I don’t have written permission to show you the inside of this cabinet, but I’m sharing it anyway! She said it was too messy, but this is life, and life is messy.

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Look how much extra storage this cabinet provides. Mixing old pieces with new will make your space look more natural and evolved than going out and buying everything at the same place; I am not a big fan of things being too matchy, matchy.

While we’re on the topic of cabinets, I wanted to show you this cabinet that she has in her bedroom. It’s a great antique find that she cleaned up and had a piece of marble cut and placed on top. Tile and counter top places sell small remnant pieces, you can get them for cheap ish and have them cut to size. It’s a great way to elevate any piece.

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At a home with Claudia

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Claudia and I have been friends and work partners for almost 15 years now; we share a love for travel and spas! Claudia is a mother of two and an expert in her field of marketing.

She recently did a major renovation to her main floor bathroom, the before and after pics are very impressive.

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Before

A great way to save a bit of money is to do as much of the work on your own. Claudia’s hunky husband, Paul, helped out with a lot of the manual labor for both her main floor and kids bathrooms. Turns out he’s great at breaking things!

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I am going to ask Claudia if she can make certain Paul is wearing a tight t-shirt and a cool tool belt the next time she puts him to work. (Paul and I are friends as well, we like to tease each other so please don’t report me to the politically correct police).

She chose shades of grays and white for this bathroom, which remind me a lot of a spa, coincidence? I think not.

The tile trend in the last few years has been white subway tiles, but both Claudia and Guylaine opted for much larger tiles, which I think is great for smaller spaces.

She decided to tile three walls and the floor in gray slate, except for a section in the shower, which is a darker gray. She also upgraded her shower head to a rainfall head.

Side note – tiles are a lot less expensive in the US; I know some of my Canadians are probably wondering how the heck she was able to tile three full walls and the floor! Lol. Tile deals are available in Canada, you just need to be on the look out for sales and remnants.

Claudia’s big splurge was building this custom shower; it was absolutely worth it!

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After!

In order to make the bathroom appear larger, she added a glass wall in the shower and opted for a compact sink and hung it off the floor; floating the vanity makes the room look bigger and it also allows for a basket underneath for extra storage.

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Kidding Around

Both Guylaine and Claudia have a teenagers at home; let’s take a peek into their kid bathrooms.

Guylaine’s second full bath, is long and skinny. She jazzed it up with a bold colored accent wall; don’t underestimate the power of paint.

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She replaced the flooring with these wood plank ceramic tiles, they look like real wood.

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This long wall needed some big art, which can be expensive; she photographed her three children and zoomed in on their eyes; from left to right, meet William, Madeleine and Emma.

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In person you can really see the vibrant colors of blue and green of their eyes. 

I love this idea, it shows that you can create something really original, personal and cool without breaking the bank.

Claudia’s kids bathroom was completed on a tight budget, but you’d never guess by looking at it.

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This whole back splash wall is tiled, she lucked out with this tile gift! 

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The vanity for this bathroom and her main bathroom are both from Ikea and were very affordable.

The wall behind the vanity looks like wallpaper in the photo, but it’s actually tile. The tile was gifted to her from her good friend who had leftover sheets after her own home project.

I love Claudia’s attention to detail, like the cut out nook in the wall that she painted black, see above. This extra storage space means that she has less things cluttering on the counter top.

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I also love these his and her hooks, they’re super cute and keep her kids from fighting over towels.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this quick bathroom peek? And thanks to Claudia and Guylaine, who love decorating, but don’t love getting photographed. What I find cool is that both of their photos were taken by their daughters.

Also if you are in the Moncton area and want to hire Guylaine, she will be launching her new site shortly, in the meantime, you can email her at: gdmalenfant@gmail.com, not to brag, but she did the Gusto decor and is uber talented…full disclosure, she is my bff, but she really does have great taste and vision.

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Photo by Mia
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Photo by Madeleine

 

My next “At Home With” will focus on kitchens that are perfect for entertaining.
I’ll be sharing a video of my own bathroom on my Oui-Liette Facebook page tomorrow; it has two super cool features that I love, like my Facebook page for updates and bonus pictures.

un gros merci, muah!!

Liette

Just in case you missed At How With Nancy, here’s the link: https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/12/at-home-with-nancy-take-a-peek-inside-her-150-year-old-country-house/

At Home With… Nancy. Take a peek inside her 150 year old country house.

At Home With…Nancy. Take a peek inside her 150 year old country house.

Have you ever been out for a walk or a drive and wanted to peek into someone’s window to see what their homes look like inside? OK, that’s creepy, lol, and probably slightly against the law? This series of posts will let you take a quick peek inside without being charged for stalking.

I’ve asked a few of my friends to share their favorite rooms and features of their homes with us; first up is my friend Nancy.

At Home With Nancy

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Nancy and her family live 30 minutes outside of Moncton in this beautiful 150 year old country house.

To be honest, I could have featured her whole house, it’s beautiful. Her home is a mix of old pieces with colorful art from all her travels; if I had to describe her style, I would call it eclectic farmhouse chic. Farmhouse chic is in no way country, if that makes sense? It makes perfect sense to me,

My favorite room in her home is her hexagon, screened in, addition.

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They spend a lot of time in this room; in the summer they eat most of their meals here and it looks like the perfect place for an afternoon nap. The natural wood and neutral colors makes this room feel like you’re outside, which I think was the point.

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In the center of the room is a teak wood table, surrounded by comfy wicker chairs. Once the trees outside bloom, the room takes on a tree house feel.

She has a beautiful pendant light hanging from the ceiling; it must be so cozy at night. Nancy says it’s the perfect place to see the moon and to gaze at the stars.

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The hammock hangs in front of the screened in windows, perfect for lazy naps, sans mosquitoes or black flies.

This old cabinet matched perfectly; the finish has been stripped down to its natural wood. It adds a bit of extra storage and it’s the only other piece of furniture in the room.

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This is Bee and she buzzes around the hive like she owns the place! She enjoys facecloths and socks almost as much as she loves jumping into the river.

Home Office/Craft Room

Nancy has been working from home during the pandemic, so I asked if we could take a peek at her home office too?

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Her second floor home office is a tranquil blue. She has colorful and whimsical pieces of art and pictures from her travels and local artists throughout her home. A lot of the wood pieces in her home, like her desk, have been stripped right to the wood; it creates a consistency throughout her home.
she has a lot of different boxes and containers for storage that are perfectly stacked, everything looks staged, but she had no clue she would be giving us a tour today and that I would be photographing her space. Who lives this organized in real life?? lol, I need to reflect on my cluttering habits on my drive back into town.

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She has a door in her office that leads to a small balcony which floods the room with natural light. I can see her taking coffee breaks from her balcony in the summer and fall.

Her office also doubles as her craft room; she’s very artistic.

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Her grandmother’s antic cabinet holds all of her crafting material. She works with a lot of feathers, which she keeps in clear plastic containers, they add fun pops of colors. My crafting area is not this neat!!

What does she do with the feathers you ask? She decided to pimp out the light fixture in her stairway; it’s now officially a piece of art. She says that her favorite part is when the feathers move in the breeze. I want her to make me one!! I need one!!

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She also creates feathery headpieces; she made some for a joint birthday tea party for Claudia and I a few years ago; not that it was a competition, but mine was way bigger than Claudia’s! Lol

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My mom raised me to go big or stay home!!

Nancy has an outdoor shower; her summer project is to install this vintage bathtub and make a spa like area outside in her backyard. She’s very “at one” with nature. She didn’t want to pose for the feature image so I jumped in her bathtub with my hot pink rubber boots…technically, they’re my cousin’s hot pink rubber boots.

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I can’t wait to see how she sets this up in her backyard. I may need to test it out? I’ll bring my own bubbles.

Thank you for reading, feel free to share and subscribe to my blog below. I’ll be sharing a few more; At Home With…posts, in the next few weeks. The next edition will be a bathroom renovation from my interior decorator friend.

muah!

Liette

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Behind the Scene

Nancy and I kept our distance, but I can’t say the same for Bee and I; she needed a few head rubs. I needed to share one more pic of Bee, she’s just a big bundle of love.

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Bee jumping in a clean bed with her dirty paws!! It’s a good thing she’s super cute!

And this is Nancy!

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