Blogging

Blogging, a Blog About a Blog.

I am working on a really fun blog post, but it’s not ready to be posted yet. So in the meantime, I thought I would share a bit of what goes on behind the scenes and what my blogging process is.

Not that anyone has ever asked me to share my process, but hey if I waited for invitations before doing stuff, I’d be pretty bored.

Blog

Everything I’ve read about blogging says that you should have a content calendar and follow it. I don’t really do that. I do list things out when I have lots of ideas, like leading up to Halloween and Christmas.

But some months, when I am not traveling, I just free ball it and wait for ideas to pop up. I try to post every Sunday. This week, I had nothing until Wednesday night. And then I came up with a really fun idea, that will be ready to share in a few weeks. But that didn’t help me for this weeks post. I had nothing, until I had the brilliant idea to blog about blogging, so here we are…you’re welcome, lol.

Inspiration

I am a visual person, so I often get blog ideas from photos. I also tend to come up with my best ideas late at night when I can’t sleep. For a morning person, I actually do my best writing late at night in bed.

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I may start posting mini posts on Wednesday’s?  And I would like to share more videos; and there is no time like the present. Someone asked me to post more pictures of my place here in Vegas, so here you go.

 

 

For those who don’t know me personally, I’ll share that the past 6 months have been rough for my family and I. My father is dying, there, I said it, it’s out there. It’s something that we are preparing ourselves for. It’s unbelievable how something that seems unimaginable, becomes something that you learn to accept.

Wow! That took a dark turn! Lol, I am sorry, I wanted to share that because but I wanted you all to know that my little blog has been a life saver for me these past few months. It has given me something creative to do and it has kept my mind busy.

Sharing can be scary

My two most popular posts were also the two posts that I was the most nervous to publish.

My second oui-liette blog post ever, “New Brunswick, You’re Going to Hate It”, got close to 50,000 views; I am pretty sure that was my 15 minutes of fame and now I am a has been, lol.  But I think it’s better to be a has been than a never have been…right?

Before posting, I was worried that people wouldn’t get the tongue and cheekiness of it. But they did! And I was shocked by how people connected with it!

Fun Fact the feature image of this post was taking while tubing down the Miramichi River, but my blurb about how much people would hate tubing while watching bald eagles flying overhead, was cut out, because the post was getting too long.

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/15/new-brunswick-canada-youre-going-to-hate-it/

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The other post that I was afraid that no one would read was Senior Living. It was supposed to be funny, but it didn’t turn out that way. I considered deleting it because it wasn’t sassy or fun, but I guess life isn’t always sassy and fun. It’s harder to share real feelings than hints on how to throw a fabulous party.

Thanks for reading both the light and fluffy posts and the more serious ones. I love and appreciate all your comments, please keep them coming.

https://oui-liette.org/2019/04/12/senior-living/

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Ok changing the tone a bit, but this also falls in the scary category. Guess what happens when thousands of people read your posts? You get lots of creepy messages from men! All the comments I’ve gotten directly on my blog have been great and respectful, both from men and woman, thank you! But man I have gotten some creepy messages on Facebook messager,ugh! Thankfully I know how to use the block button.

Fun Facts

99.9% of the photos in my blogs are photos that I’ve taken;  I am pretty proud of that. A lot of bloggers use stock photographs; not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Fun Fact, here’s where the blogging magic happens, in my bed!

 

 

I took photography in University for two years. I have a fancy camera that I never use; most of my pics are taken on my phone. I am not a great technician, but I think I have an eye for styling and knowing what will look cool.

My fancy photo shoot pics are taken by my friends Barney or Sean; a few were taken by my nephew Jack. If I use someone else’s photo, I will give them a shout out.

Some people have made comments like; “oh you take a lot of pictures of yourself”. To that I say, yes, yes I do. I really enjoy the process of coming up with a creative idea and then making it happen. It’s not as easy as it looks, if it was, their profile pictures would be much better…oh snap!!

This one below is for those people, I was going for an old Hollywood feel. Not sure if I like the black and white or the color better? What do you think?

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The stronger or interesting the feature image, the more views the post will get. I think my marketing background has certainly helped me  make my little blog look fancy.

I don’t consider myself a great writer. I just try to write the way I speak. I am fairly certain, I have way too many “lol’s”, in my posts, but what are you gonna do?

I also make words up, on purpose. Example, in last week’s post, I wrote that I was “patio lantering my way down Main St”. I know that lantering is not a real word, but I don’t really care, “lol”.

Thank You Next!

So what’s next? As mentioned above, I have an interesting post coming up. The post is pretty much written, I just need a few cool pictures so I have a fun photo shoot planned for this week. It could be really cool or an awesome disaster; I will share either way.

I am also working on another fun project. My part is done, but others are working on finishing it. I hope to have it back in my hands to share around the end of June ish.

On the travel front, I have a huge work event here in Las Vegas soon. Then in June and July I will be going to Edmonton, Moncton then back to Vegas; then Tulsa Oklahoma, Moncton and back to  Vegas for a bit.

I am also going to start submitting some of my blog posts to different publications and sites to see if they get picked up; hey the worst thing they can say is no right? I am also learning how to better partner with companies.

So this was a different kind of post, did you like it? lol

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there and thinking of all the people who have lost their moms. If anyone runs into my mom tomorrow, please give her a hug for me!

Muah!

Liette

New Orleans, It’s Too Much!

New Orleans, It’s Too Much!

If asked to describe what New Orleans is like, I would describe it as an assault on your senses; it’s all too much.

It’s too much food, it’s too much music, the smells are too much, the people are too much, there is too much culture; it’s just fabulously too much!

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Be prepared to have crazy hair, it will either be too fuzzy or too flat, or a combo of both.

Here are my to 5 things to do in New Orleans that are too much!

#1 Too much history and culture!

New Orleans oozes culture; it’s impossible not to soak in the culture and history of the city. I don’t think there is any other city in the US with such a distinctive vibe and energy.

If you are a first time visitor you need to take a guided tour because there is just too much to see and do. I have done a few walking tours and a bus tour. Both types were excellent, if you do a walking tour in the summer make sure you are dressed properly and stay hydrated, because the summer heat and humidity is way too much!

There are also several night time walking tours that are fun and will be cooler and to say that the city comes alive at night is a huge understatement. I recommend you visit one of the cemeteries and the Garden District; and of course the French Quarter, which is so full of history, that you almost need a guide to fill you in on all the fabulous and tawdry history.

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This was our cemetery tour.

#2 Way too much music!

New Orleans is the birth place of jazz; if you love jazz, you have to visit!! You will want to go to French Street, but music floods pretty much all of the French Quarter, it doesn’t matter where you go.

While shopping on Royal street a few years ago, I made my way outside to find that the street had been closed and a band was playing. They played three songs, packed up and the street was open again. Spontaneous concerts seem to be the norm.

Each bar on Bourbon Street has music blairing; most have live bands, country, R&B, Cajun… there is something for everyone. The music spills out into the streets with musicians on every corner.

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A spontaneous concert on Bourbon Street.

Everytime I’ve been to Jackson Square I have heard students busking, the talent is amazing!

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Students at Jackson Square.

#3 Bourbon Street is waaaayyyy too much!

Bourbon Street is over the top too much. I have been to New Orleans 6 or 7 times now and I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with Bourbon Street virgins a bunch of times. I have noticed that most react to Bourbon Street in the same way; they are flat out freaked out! Lol

And here’s why; it’s an insane place! It does assault the senses, it smells, it’s dirty and it’s home to a few ligit scary people.

People who think that Vegas is a wild place have never been to Bourbon Street. I think it puts a spell on people and makes them lose their minds…or that could also be the alcohol?? Lol, no one knows for sure?

Each person who I’ve taken there for the first time come away thinking, omg, this is too much! But then something happens, once the shock of it all fades a bit, intrigue and fascination take over. This usually takes 24 hours, then they are hooked.

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I was walking behind these ladies on Bourbon Street and just needed to snap this pic. They were on a mission.

The French Quarter is a contrast in extremes. You can dine in the most fabulous restaurant and then cross the street and walk past the most raunchy strip club.

On this past trip we left Bourbon Street at 6:30pm on a Friday night to make our way to the airport to catch our flight out; as we left, the crowds of people were already starting to file in; things were starting to get crazy…and it was 6:30!!! Lol

You need to experience this for yourself, it’s better to travel in a pack, go with the “no one left behind” rule and just be smart about things. And the number one rule, do not walk in puddles on Bourbon Street, it’s not water!!!!

#4 People watching, so much to see!

You will see and hear the most amazing things in the French Quarter; on this past trip, as I was walking down a side street when I happened upon a wedding procession. It was unlike anything I had ever seen; I was honored to be part of it in some small way. It started with a police escort, followed by the bride and groom literally dancing in the street accompanied by a band and their friends and family following behind waving handkerchiefs. It was so beautiful it looked staged! We saw two wedding processions during our walk, I think it’s a very common thing in these parts. The video and pictures below really captured the moment.

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Everyone who encountered the procession stopped, clapped and danced; there was just no way not to smile and be happy. This to me embodies the spirit of New Orleans. After all their motto is “laissez les bons temps rouler »; Let the good times roll.

 

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Another example of New Orleans contrasts is that a few blocks away from Bourbon Street and it’s hedonistic revelers is Jackson Square. It was Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle, learned that fun fact on my walking tour!! You almost expect to see a princess in a horse drawn carriage to pull up at any moment.

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This is Cathédrale Saint-Louis, apparently Walt Disney was a huge fan of New Orleans and could be seen in and around Jackson Square sketching and soaking in the sites and sounds; he was also very inspired by the jazz music that floods the streets.

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As I was coming out of one of the little boutiques that surround Jackson Square, I saw another wedding party making their way to the front of the Cathédral; I decided to follow them…ok so I may have some stalker tendencies? Lol, I am attracted to pretty dresses, what can I say??

Voilà! A horse drawn carriage and a princess…ok, it was a bride, but she was obviously fulfilling her princess dream.

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The bride was ok, but this little flower girl was adorable!! The dress, the flower crown, the hair…the dress.

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#5 Too many unique boutiques and shops!

Even though Bourbon Street feels very frantic, the surrounding cobblestone streets remind you that you are in the South where there doesn’t seem to be a big rush. You need to embrace this laid back vibe when boutique hopping.

There are so many little shops; I even love the real trashy touristy shops that seem to all sell the same things. But there are also unique shops where you will be able to find treasures to take home.

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Bourbon and Canal Street are lined with shops selling beads, masks and feather boas. I love the colors.

I love, love, love roaming around going from shop to shop. I always discover new places. On this trip we stopped in a shop that looked like just another mask shop until we went inside. It’s called Masquerade and is located on St-Anne Street. All the masks are hand made out of leather, they are mini works of art. I am kicking myself for not buying one for next Halloween. I hate having reverse buyers remorse, when you regret not buying something.

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We found one shop that looked like several others that sell spices and rubs, but it turns out they also give Cajun and Creole cooking classes, how fun would that be?? I am adding this on my to do list for my next trip.

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New Orleans School of Cooking, definitely going to try a class!!

There are voodoo shops, we found a super cute milliner shop (hat maker) on Royal Street; I found a funky lamp shop and lots of antique places. One place that I would recommend going to is the Local Artist Co-op, it’s located on Dutch Alley. It’s behind Cafe du Monde, which is the super popular places for beignets.

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I always buy something here and love supporting local artists.

And if you want a few touristy things go to the French Market, you can hit Cafe du Monde, the Local Artist Co-op, then just keep walking and you will hit the French Market.

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Ok, I may have taken too many pics of cute shops? I couldn’t help it!

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Modern Mid-Century lamp shop on Royal Street.
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Who doesn’t need candy and crazy scary animal masks?? Decater Street has lots of funky shops.

Here are my finds for this trip; a Kelly green leather clutch, it comes with a wrist strap and body strap, in case you are wondering lol. A small framed hand painted skull from the Local Artist Co-op. I buy a lot of art when I travel, they don’t need to be big or expensive. I love having reminders of my trips in my house. And I couldn’t resist a feather mask, pink of course!

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I came, I shopped, I ate, I left! I left really, really full! lol

Too much amazing food!!

My most favorite thing to do in the South, not just in New Orleans, is eat! They have the best food on earth!! There is just too much good stuff to add to this post, I will dedicate a full post to all the yummy things to eat!

Bonus Thing To Do!

Because a visit to New Orleans means that you will be walking for hours, I always stop for a quick and cheap massage. There are a few places almost on the corner of Canal and Bourbon Street, you will see an Asian man sitting outside trying to entice customers to come inside.

We made our way inside for a 30 minute foot massage, then we let ourselves get talked into a 30 minute neck massage, prices are great and it feels soooo good!

Here’s a funny story, as soon as we sat down for our massages, we could hear a ruckus outside. It just got louder and louder until it turned into a full on fight. The top picture is Staci and I nervously discussing how super relaxing it was to have a fight during our massage. The funny part is that the little man on his bench outside didn’t even flinch. It eventually quieted down, so we did get to relax and enjoy. New Orleans is full of surprises, you really never know what you are going to see or hear.

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bottom left is me relaxing after the street fight outside was over.

I hope this post has given you the urge to visit this beautiful city; there is just too much not to love!!

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Les bons temps ont roulé, so now it’s time to go.

I already can’t wait to go back!!! Stay tuned for all the yummy food we ate in New Orleans ans Mississippi! That will be coming up in the next few weeks. Next Sunday I will share my day in a maple syrup sugar shack! I should be down from my sugar high by then? lol

Muah!

Liette

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!!

 

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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.

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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.

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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/

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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.

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We ordered monogrammed spatules from Kadopromo!! Full disclosure, Kadopromo are not paying me to promote them. I really do use them because they rock!!
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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.

 

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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.

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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!
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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
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Don’t forget the parchment paper!!
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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

 

 

I’m Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

I’m Dreaming of a Pink Christmas!

If you haven’t noticed yet I’m kind of into the color pink at the moment; it’s my second fav color, after black. If you think Christmas needs to be all about green and red, think again. Here are a few ways to go rogue and introduce another color to the holidays. I chose pink, but you can chose any color you like!!

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Christmas Tree

You can go all the way or just some of the way, lol. Christmas trees are now available in lots of different colors. Here’s a small pink tree; I would put it in my bedroom…just because.

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If an all pink three is a bit too much pinkyness; you could just do pink balls or  a pink ribbon to your traditional green tree.

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The tree above isn’t my tree…yet! But it will be, maybe next year? I am going to load up on pink balls after Christmas when everything is on sale.

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I also love this wreath, again super simple; really love, love, love the pink and green!

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Gifts Galore have this stunning pink and silver garland in their entrance. The metallic bells make it very rustic chic!!

BTW, Gifts Galore on Main St in Moncton, is the best pink store in town…ok, it may be the only pink store? Either way, you should check them out.

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So this tree isn’t pink, but look how pretty it is against the pink window!!

I couldn’t resist taking a picture in front of Gift Galore’s pink door!!

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Wrap It Up…in Pink!

I always try to pick a color or theme for my gift wrapping. Last year, everything had cute moose on them. This year I am using a touch of pink.

Pink can be cheesy, which isn’t necessarily bad, lol; but I think it can also be sophisticated. Here is my attempt at a bit of sophistication, lol.

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I was inspired by the green tree in front of the pink door in the picture above.

For my wrapping paper, I went with brown craft paper from the Dollar Store. Instead of a store bought bows, I added some green Holley leaves and pink sparkly berries. I think these look cuter in person than in the pic.

I am also using hot pink tissue paper in my gift boxes and bags.

This is my way of keeping things fresh. I tend to change my Christmas color pallet every few years; but I always find a special place for my sentimental family favorites. Thanks for reading!! I hope your getting to enjoy the hustle and bustle of this time of year!!

I would like to know if you are you more of a Christmas traditionalist or do you like none-traditional colors?

Pink not your thing? What are your Christmas colors??

Muah! Merry Christmas!!! And Happy Holidays to all!

Liette

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Taking a break from making snow angels