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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!!!
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.
After picking up my friend Mary Helen, we went back to the parking lot to meet the birdhouse lady.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s the proof in case you didn’t believe me.
Golden Fry, 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.
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.
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. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞
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.
Hynes Restaurant, Moncton
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
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
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. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞
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.
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. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞
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. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞
L’aboiteau has a restaurant in the beach area and a small place right on the wharf; we ate at the wharf location.
This lobster roll had pieces of tail; it was fresh, crispy and super tasty! I am giving this roll a 9 of 10 claws!!!! 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞
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.
Hey check mes pen d’oreilles de homard!!! 🤣
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.
Best view runner up was L’aboiteau. This view is not too shabby either.
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?
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
These houses just make me happy! These are anything but mellow yellow!
Yellow seems to be the most popular colourful house colour around here.
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.
I love the purple houses the best…I think? Which is your fav?
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!
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.
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.
Beautiful kitchen right? Wait for it.
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.
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.
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.
At Home With Liette
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
At Home With Kenda
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
At a home with Claudia
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
She replaced the flooring with these wood plank ceramic tiles, they look like real wood.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!!
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
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.
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.
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.
Bee jumping in a clean bed with her dirty paws!! It’s a good thing she’s super cute!
In this post I would like to highlight a few local businesses who are trying to make the best out of a really difficult situation; they’re trying to make lemonade out of a bunch of lemons…or lemon drop martinis; yes some are making really, really strong lemons drop martinis!!
For the last 6 weeks, I’ve been socially distancing in my downtown Moncton apartment feeling a bit lost and helpless. I’ve tried my best to create positive, entertaining and who are we kidding, sometimes super silly, blog posts to share with my readers.
And as everyone else, I’ve probably been spending too much time on social media? And although there are lots of Debbie Downers out there; I’ve felt a lot of pride being back home in my native province watching my fellow New Brunswickers being so compassionate, resilient and downright scrappy!
Please note that these are just a handful of local businesses. My goal for this summer is to visit every inch of our beautiful province; if you have recommendations of things I need to experience, please let me know. I will also be making trips to PEI and NS once we are allowed to cross borders.
And lastly, I am not getting any freebies from anyone mentioned in this post; the last thing any of our local businesses need right now are people hitting them up for free stuff. OK, let’s get started!
Blue Roof Distillers
When you’re able to make vodka out of potatoes, making lemonade out of lemons seems like it would be fairly easy right? That’s exactly what Blue Roof Distillers are currently doing.
Like so many local businesses they were looking for creative ways to stay busy and keep their staff employed,during this pandemic; while also helping the local community. The solution was to convert part of their distillery to make sanitizer, which has been in short supply lately; their nimbleness is helping to keep our front line workers safe and germ free.
The Strang family started farming in in New Brunswick in 1855; six generations later they are one of Atlantic Canada’s premier potato suppliers.
Devon Strang, Founder/CEO of Blue Roof Distillers, explains the uniqueness of their production; “Our process is unique in every way, Blue Roof Handcrafted Spirits are made from scratch using whole potatoes. Recipes are tailored to the raw materials available lowering the ecological footprint of the farm. Potatoes that are too small to market are now destined for the distillery. The mash, after being distilled, is then gifted to local farmers for livestock feed. The Strang family is proud to be able to offer value-added spirits that are distinguishable different than others on the market. The distillery produces all of its own alcohol and does not blend any commercial ethanol into its process.”
I love the history and the story of the Strang Family Farm and their evolution over 6 generations. I think we really need to be mindful of where our food, and vodka, comes from and we need to support our local farms!
You can purchase their spirits at NB Liquor; please refer to their website for more information on their products and also on how to order their sanitizer.
Blue Roof Distillers are located on the South-East edge of NB, directly off the Trans Canada Hwy, 4144 Route 16, in Malden.
They offer Tours and Tastings at their distillery. I will be booking a tour as soon as we are free to roam and will blog about it, of course.
I couldn’t help but notice that they have a Gin Soda Citrus Blast mixed drink, which goes perfectly with my lemon/citrus theme. So I needed to buy one and have a little taste test; I mean it would probably be irresponsible not to? It was really yummy and refreshing!
Some restaurants are doing their best to keep as many of their staff employed by offering curbside or delivery meals. One such business is Gusto Italian Grill & Bar, located at 130 Westmorland Street, here in Moncton. As they scrambled to get their takeout only operation up and running; they realized that they had fridges full of homemade cheesecakes, just begging to be eaten.
As a small gesture of gratitude to the local hospital staff, owner Brett Judson, decided to make special deliveries to both Moncton hospitals. Keeping it in the family, he recruited his teenage children to cut and package hundreds of pieces of cheesecake.
Gusto is now open for business from 4pm to 8pm daily; orders can be placed by calling the restaurant directly and picking up your order curbside; or you can also order via Skip the Dish and have it delivered.
Check their Facebook and Instagram for their daily curb side specials. My current fav so far is Pasta Mondays! They’ve also just started weekly food boxes, they are an amazing value! All of their specials are listed on their Facebook and Instagram sites.
In case you didn’t know, Gusto’s make the best cheesecakes, like ever!! The one below is their Lemon Cheesecake and it’s to die for! They also have an amazing gluten free Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake; it’s actually my favorite and I don’t even have gluten issues.
The Zesty Lemon
The Zesty Lemon is a cheerful gem, located at 535 Somerset St, in Saint John; who’s lunchtime rush disappeared overnight once the social distancing rules were put in place. They had to take a serious look at their business model and adapt quickly; their solution was to focus on delicious & nutritious meals, ready for pick up.
What I love about their menu in particular are the family sized dinners. Their Roasted Chicken Dinner for 4 comes with a roasted chicken, roasted rosemary potatoes, carrots, gravy and 2 French baguettes. Oh, I also love their flatbread pizzas…and their soups…
With lots of us working from home and homeschooling, having someone else prepared a healthy, home cooked meal is a treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about.
If you’re in the Saint John area, please give them a try.
Ali is a mother of two, an early education educator and a photographer. I met Ali a few months ago; she photographed me before this whole pandemic thing started. She’s the perfect example of a scrappy New Brunswicker who’s resourceful enough to make the sweetest lemonade from a bunch of lemons.
Sadly, in order to comply with the social distancing rules, Ali had to cancel her scheduled appointments. As she sat home, she wondered if perhaps her photographs could bring some joy to others and also help our community in some meaningful way? She found a perfect way to accomplish both! She was inspired by a photographer in Massachusetts who started photographing families on their front steps. She decided to do the same with her neighbors, at a super safe distance away of course.
When I saw her post her first few sessions online, I thought they were super cute family pics. But as time passed, I started seeing them differently; or perhaps, like so many things these days, I was seeing the deeper meaning? These family porch sessions are amazing time capsules that will forever serve to document this moment in time when the world briefly came to a standstill and we rediscovered the importance of family.
Each portrait is unique and shows the personality of the family being photographed. And in lieu of payment, Ali has been suggesting that her porch families make a donation to Crossroads for Woman.
In these times of struggle, we all suffer, but we don’t all suffer equally. If you are able, please donate to your favorite charity. I am certain it is needed more than you can imagine.
B HOME is located at 333 St George Street in Moncton. I’ve been a customer of theirs for a long time. I support them because I feel that they are true artists and not just a framing place that frame art. You’ll get their artist vibe when you visit their store, once we are allowed back out.
I was a little surprised when I heard that they would be offering curb side service, because I wasn’t really sure how that would work logically; but guess what? It works!
Here are the three easy steps:
Step 1 – Call them to make arrangements for drop off or to have your art piece picked up; I just dropped off a new piece to them last week.
Step 2 – Is a video consultation session. What I found very cool, was that I could show Marc a bit of my home; he got to see my style and aesthetic. I showed him where I hung the last piece he did for me; who knew that BHome would be in my home? Well virtually anyway.
The consultation consisted of him showing me a few options; as he would have done in his store. We successfully chose a mat and frame that I am absolutely in love with!!
Step 3 – Pick up your framed piece!
This is the piece that they are currently framing for me. The mat options above look red, but they are hot pink; I ended up choosing the gold frame. The painting was a birthday gift from my super talented sister-in-law. I can’t wait to see the finished piece. I’ll post pics on my oui-liette Instagram and oui-liette Facebook accounts, if you want to see it when done.
Another fun option, that many may not be aware of, is that if you can drop off an existing frame and your art and they can custom cut a mat for you. This is very economical without having to give up that professional customized look.
B HOME has the coolest Instagram account and stories, you need to follow them!
To close out this post I reached out to the Mayor of Moncton, Dawn Arnold, for her thoughts on how we are doing as a community in these challenging times; turns out she couldn’t be prouder of us!
“I’ve been so amazed by the ingenuity, creativity and innovation that Monctonians are showing right now. Everything from the non-profits that are coming together to ensure that all the kids who participated in the school lunch programs are receiving lunches daily to Co-Pain that has taken their amazing bakery on-line to Notre Dame de Parkton, who now have weekly “box” filled with local products. The City has responded so swiftly and responsibly to this pandemic and I think that will set up well in the post-COVID future.”
“This has given us all an interesting opportunity to slow things down a bit, to think through priorities and how we want to be when we get back to “normal”; and what we want that “normal” to look like. During a time when nothing seems certain, I prefer to think of this as a time when anything is possible…no one would have believed that oil producers would be paying people to take barrels off their hands! If this is possible, truly, anything is possible!”
Thank you to the Mayor and to the businesses who are letting me share their stories. I do believe that New Brunswickers are resilient AF; we’ve had to learn how to pivot…pivot! More than a few times in our past and I have no doubt that we will get through this challenge as well.
We’re leading the country at kicking COVID’s butt after all. We will get through this by leaning on each other and by being kind to each other, which seems to come naturally to us.
I hope this post inspires you to seek out local businesses and service providers; let’s make supporting them a new habit. And maybe, once we are free to roam, let’s roam all over this beautiful province! We should also share the love with PEI and NS too, they’re pretty awesome as well.
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Behind the scenes
I was inspired by my lemon them to ditch my signature pink color, temporarily, for this cheery yellow and I am kinda digging it!
Here are a few pics from my photo shoot with Ali. We had planned to shoot while it was snowing, but Mother Nature in the Maritimes won’t be bossed around! It started to snow, those beautiful, big fluffy flakes, 20 min after we finished.
I’m a visual person; before I start writing any of my posts I need a theme or a vibe to inspire me. I was looking for an angle for this, support local, post when I happened upon this cheerful house in Sunny Brae with bright yellow doors!
Thanks to Mylène and her family for letting us use their house as our backdrop! She and her wife have a really cool neighborhood Instagram page: wherethepheasantsroam. Which just happens to be my old hood; check them out, they seem to have a cool bicycle gang!! Lol