You’re so vain!

You’re so vain! Actually, I am so vain!

(Hey if you’re super squeamish, skip this post; I’ll be sharing some pictures of stitches and stuff.)

I am aware that the word vain has a negative connotation; it means into yourself, self absorbed…self this and self that, just plain selfish!

I would say that I can be vain, in the sense that I care about my appearance, but I don’t think I am selfish? I post a lot of pictures of myself on social media and in my blogs. I am certain some would call that vain? But to be honest I don’t really care. I try not to judge others and anyone who feels the need to judge me can suck it!! So there! Lol, ouff I am feeling feisty!!

Recently my vanity led me to make an appointment to see a dermatologist for the first time. I had this little, super little, skin colored thing on the bridge of my nose that I wanted removed. I’m certain no one else noticed it, but I knew it was there and I wanted it gone!

Well it turns out that that little thing was cancerous! Did my vanity save my life? Well that maybe a bit dramatic? But did it save my nose? Maybe??

You can see it in this pic.

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I had been meaning to make an appointment for the past year to get checked, but I just kept forgetting about it. Then before I moved back to Canada from Las Vegas I finally made an appointment.

I called on a Thursday and had an appointment the following Friday! My fellow Canadians will be able to relate to my shock and excitement of getting in to see a dermatologist that quickly.

After a full body exam the doctor removed a few things; 5 things to be exact. And by removed, I mean he used what looked like a razor blade to cut them off. He froze the spots so it didn’t hurt.

I went home with my new wounds. They were annoying, but not painful. I would need to return in a few weeks for a follow up and  to get the results of my biopsies; they have to test anything that they cut off your body apparently.

By the following day the cut on my nose was red, but was starting to scab over. I felt a little self conscious, but I went about my normal daily routine.

Within a week I was all healed up and on the go; the following week I was back at the clinic  for my results.

The doctor told me that he had good news and not so good news, mmmm, this didn’t sound promising. Turns out 4 of my samples were fine, but one came back cancerous. This isn’t what I was expecting on this sunny Friday afternoon.

The next thing I knew, the doctor and I were looking at a picture of the different skin layers and he was explaining what the next step would include. To be honest, I could hear him talking, but I only have a vague recollection of what he said.

I do remember asking him if it was pre-cancerous? I must not have heard him correctly the first time? Turns out I had and it was not pre.

I left the clinic and called a friend who asked me a bunch of questions that I couldn’t answer. I remembered him saying it was the kind that moved very slowly  and that they would take skin off my nose, test it onsite and if they got it all, they would stitch me up. But if there were still cancerous cells, they would dig deeper.

I also remembered him saying that I would have stitches for a week to 10 days. The following day I called back and asked for the name of whatever it was that I had so I could google it.

It was nasal cell carcinoma, which is super common for caucasiens. I was happy that my caucasien ass and nose were getting ready to move from the desert back to the Arctic where I/they belonged. Yes, I’m fully aware that people in Canada get skin cancer, but at that moment, I felt like this place was inhospitable to my pasty white Canadian skin!!

The day of my procedure my friend Staci game with me for moral support, thank you Staci!!!

I waited maybe 15 min before my turn. I was on a table and the doctor was freezing my nose.  I thought it would be similar to going to the dentist, they prick you with a few needles and you wait for it to kick in? Nope, it wasn’t like that; whatever he used froze me instantly. It was so fast that it took me a minute to figure out that he had already started doing his thing and then it was over. I swear it took less than 3 min from start to finish.

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Oh I forgot something, when I arrived and was sitting there waiting for my turn, I noticed that everyone who walked out had huge bandages. I worried thinking, man why does everyone look like they’ve had large chunks of their faces chopped off?

I quickly found out why; once done phase one they sent you back to the waiting area while they tested your, well your flesh I guess, lol. If all was clear you would then go back in to get stitched up.

Within 20 min, I was back on the table getting stitched up. I was all clear! Yay!

Since everything had gone so fast and well, I imagined that I would have a small clean cut. He kept telling me everything looked good and it would heal well.

At one point I asked him how many stitches he was giving me, because it was taking a long time. He said there were a few underneath that would dissolve on their own and some on top that would need to be removed…ok..

I was relieved when he said he was finished and his assistant would clean me up and put a smaller bandage. As she was prepping, I snapped a quick selfie and OMG!!

It looked like I’d been hit between the eyes with a hockey stick. Ugh this had just taken a shitty turn, my poor nose!

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I sent this pic to my mom and she said I looked sad and a little high. I think a little high would have helped!! She then said you look like a hockey player…see, told you!!!

They sent me home with a small bandage that would come off the next day. As my face started to thaw and throb, I thought this would be a great time to start my very own pity party for one.

Yes, I realize that I am fortunate that it was caught early and that I will heal and hopefully not have a huge scar. And yes I realize that others have much worse life threatening health issues and I’m being a whiny baby, bla, bla, bla!! But at that moment I just wanted to be pitiful! I am vain, remember that part from the beginning of my story?

I eventually fell asleep and woke up to find my bandage hanging off the side of my nose. I must say that I did wake up with a better attitude. I decided that instead of hiding myself away, I would go out there and own this big gash on my nose. And by go out there, I meant that I would be working from home for the next three days until I’d be forced into the public to fly back to Canada, lol.

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Trying to be positive, I  focused on how well the rest of my skin looked, sans makeup.

I mustered up the energy to put on some lip gloss before heading out to the grocery store. My next stop was to the pharmacy so that the pharmacist could look at me and tell me it looked the way it was supposed to look. That night I went out to eat with one of my friends; ok I did pick a restaurant that I knew wouldn’t be busy, but I was still out.

Here is some advice for anyone dealing with face stitches; stay away from large magnifying mirrors the day after your procedure? Trust me you don’t need to see all of that magnified!! It’s not good for your spirit, sadly, I only realized this after it was too late.

Before I continue to whine, can we take a quick  look at the two pics below?

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The photo on the right is Sunday night and the one on the left is Tuesday afternoon. Please feel free to stop reading at any point if you think I am making a big deal out of nothing. Side note, it must be nice to be perfect without a tinge of vanity, good for you!! Lol, sorry, moving on.

Recovery Day 2

I was expecting my movers first thing that morning, so I brushed my teeth, washed my wound and put my baseball cap on because my hair was dirty. I realize that my vanity seems to be wayning, because I couldn’t care less what the hell I look like. I dig through my purse to find my lipgloss and then think, fu&$ it!!

The movers start boxing up and loading all my shoes on the truck, including the sneakers that I had set aside to wear for the next two days.  I suddenly have two options, pink fuzzy slippers or winter boots; fuzzy slippers it is!

As I am walking through Whole Foods in my slippers looking like I’ve been beat up, I feel that I’ve hit an all time  personal low; and I don’t even care. I fear that I’m one step away from Walmart in my pajamas? Slippers in Whole Foods is certainly the gateway to Walmart in pajamas??

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At least my nose has stopped bleeding and leaking gross stuff. I see people that I know and they tell me it’s not as bad as they thought it would be; they are obviously big fat liars!! My pity party had been replaced by annoyance and anger.

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I am getting my hair done tomorrow, clean hair should help camouflage what looks like a bloody caterpillar on my face.

Recovery Day 3

I woke up this morning to an extra special treat, my eyes are starting to bruise, yay me!!

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Trying real hard to stay positive the only thing I can come up with is that the yellow ish coloring does make my blue eyes pop; so there’s that. I did make an effort and put on a bit of eyeliner and gloss. I am on my way to get my hair done.

My hairdresser always makes me feel awesome! I needed this little pick me up. Hey never underestimate the power of a fresh color and blow out!

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My wound is very red today, I am hoping that’s a good sign?? It’s my last day in Las Vegas, I fly out in the morning.

Recovery Day 4

No hiding today I will be flying all day. Before leaving for the airport I consider extra red lipstick, but that may just draw more attention?

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I ham it up a bit afted being dropped off at the airport. I almost forgot what I looked like, until I see the picture, but it’s fine. Canada here I come! Side note for all the men out there, if a woman says fine, it’s sooooo not fine.

Recovery Day 5

Someone asked me if I got a nose job? I tell them that I’m pretty sure that when you get a nose job they don’t cut the top of your nose! Some people are dumb!! The angry stage has apparently arrived.

Recovery Day 6 & 7

Blah! Over it!!

Recovery Day 8

Recovery Day 9

The doctor originally told me the stitches would need to stay on for 7 to 10 days, it’s 9 days, they need to come off!!

I feel like the stitches are pulling my skin. I can’t wash my face or put face cream on without that pulling feeling. It’s becoming really uncomfortable.

I have a cocktail party tonight and things planned for the weekend. If these stitches don’t come off I may hurt someone…I am not kidding, things could get ugly.

I was able to get in to see my doctor who tells me I need an appointment to get into the clinic at the hospital where they take out stitches. I’m on the verge of crying when she says, let me call and see if they can take you?

She comes back and says, go now!!! She said tomorrow they have 165 appointments; it’s almost 2pm and it closes at 3, so off I go!!

Thank you Sherrie at Clinic C and nurse Heather who took my stitches out!! They took me right away; I was in and out within 15 min.

I instantly feel better!!

Recovery Day 10

Everything seems to be flattening out, still red, but getting better. Because everything was swollen, my skin seems to be peeling a bit.

Recovery Day 11

I’m finally feeling like people aren’t just staring at my nose; and I’m thankful that I seem to be healing well. I figure that in another week I’ll be pretty well all healed up!

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The drama seems to be over! Again, I am aware that in the grand scheme of things, this was a very minor health scare. And I am super fortunate that it was taken care of early and quickly.

During a pep talk from one of my friends, which I appreciated her effort. I felt the need to reminded her that whenever she has a pimple on her face it ruins her day and sometimes her week. So maybe I’m not the only one who is vain? I think we all are? Maybe vain isn’t the right word? Maybe it’s proud?

Whatever it is, I think it’s human nature to want to look your best and that even if you think you’re a relatively confident person, you aren’t immune to bouts of self doubt.

I hope that this post motivates you to make an appointment for your yearly check up! Especially if it’s been a few years! My little spot could have been a lot worse had I put off getting it checked. Who knows what my nose would have looked like had I waited a few years??

Thanks for reading!!

muah!

Liette (your sassy, vain and at times drama queen blogger!)

 

 

 

 

Host a Holiday 5 à 7 Like a Pro!!

Host a Holiday Cinq à Sept Like a Pro!! Tips from a professional events boss.

My English friends are probably asking themselves what the hell is a cinq à sept? It’s basically a cocktail party/ happy hour from 5pm to 7pm. I think it sounds fancier if you say the numbers in French, lol.

Do you get kicked out at 7? No of course not…well maybe? It all depends who’s hosting, lol.

Why should you host your own 5 à 7? Well the holidays are so busy, a Happy Hour is a great way to get people together without having to commit to a full evening. It’s also a bit more casual and the best part of hosting a 5 à 7 is that you don’t have to go out! They will come to you!!

I hosted one this week in my mother’s apartment which isn’t super big, but I like small spaces, they’re cozy.

In this post I am going to share 5 party tips that I use in my corporate events that will help you pull off a flawless 5 à 7/party…you’re welcome!!

Tip #1 Good Vibes Only

When you’re thinking of hosting an event, you need to put some thought into what vibe you want to create?

Is it a dinner party? A big blow out drinking party? Or a chill cocktail party? It’s your party so you get to decide.

Think of it this way, if you jump in your car and start driving without knowing where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

Once you decide what vibe you want to create, stay consistent and focused; having a clear vibe vision will make your planning easier.

My vibe was a casual, yet fancy happy hour! You maybe thinking, aren’t casual and fancy polar opposites? Maybe to some people? But I am complicated, lol.

I wanted people to feel relaxed and comfortable, so that is the casual part, but it’s Christmas, so it also needed to be fancy, but not fussy.

I guess that’s not the only vibe I was going for. I’ve invited 15 woman who have helped my mother and I get through this past year; 2019 has been sucky! My father got sick and passed away and these woman were there for us so I wanted to do something nice to thank them. But, my goal was for it to be a celebration and not too sad.

I did have a few tricks up my sleeve to make it fun!! See tip 5, Expect the Unexpected.

2. Zone Out

The key to entertaining is to be organized and to create defined zones, especially if you are working with a small space.

So what do I mean by creating zones? When I am planning a corporate event, we have defined areas for each activity or stage of the party. There is always a welcome/reception area when you first walk in, there are food stations, bars, a seating/social area and sometime a dance floor.

When hosting my own parties, I go through the same process. What will happen when my guests arrive? If you’re hosting a larger event and will be running around a bit, designate someone to be the greeter. This person will greet guests at the door and take their coats. BTW, it’s more than ok to give your friends and family members jobs.

Once your guests arrive what do they do next? Create a flow so they don’t have to think about it, the goal is to make the flow instinctive.

I think it’s always good to get them drinking as soon as possible, not to get them drunk, but to get them jolly and maybe just a little merry?

My mother’s kitchen is tiny, so the bar was set up in the spare bedroom, which is just off of the living room. I cleaned the top of the dresser off and voilà, it’s a bar!!

The day before or a few days before set up your bar with everything you’ll need, but the ice. Walk through it, do you have everything you will need?? The more you can do leading up to the party, the more free time you’ll have during the party to have fun wit your guests.

For larger parties, have someone be the bar tender, at least for the first round.

I like having a signature drink, the hostess or host should be responsible for what is needed for the signature drink. You don’t have to stock a full bar, but it’s nice to offer your guest at least one drink upon their arrival.

I had a Christmas themed mimosa, which was champagne and cranberry juice, but since not everyone loves champagne, referring to myself; I’ll also be serving Caesar’s, which is a super popular Canadian drink.

I won’t have any beer or wine, those with their hearts set on beer or wine can bring their own. If you’re attending a party and have very specific taste, please bring your own drinks.

So your guests have arrived and were greeted at the front door; someone took their coats and they have their first drink in hand, now what? We call this process the run of show, walk through everything from start to finish.

Next is the main part of the party so feed them and let them mix and mingle. It’s during this stage that you bring out the special touches, keep reading for examples.

After my party, I noticed that I didn’t have many pictures, because I was so busy hostessing. I was pretty bummed until my friend Nadine sent me a bunch of pictures she had taken. Even though I am a pro, I did forgot to ask someone to be the paparazzi for the evening. For our corporate events we usually hire a photographer who roams and takes pics. Thank you Nadine!

3. Bust a Move

This tip has nothing to do with dancing, but feel free to dance if you want to! Do you boo!! Lol. Bust a Move here means move furniture out or in, re-purpose the function a room to fit your party needs.

As mentioned above I moved my bar into the spare bedroom and since I love to decorate this room has it’s own vibe.

I bought a huge wreath and had my brother hang it. I added some pink balls, because I love pink and the headboard in this room is a plush hot pink velvet. I think it looks fantastic and it makes the room smell festive! Seriously, are you really surprised that this event has some pink touches?? Lol

If you’re repurposing a bedroom make sure to clear off the bedside tables and put small personal stuff away.

Since it’s winter in Canada, my guests arrived wearing coats. The old, throw the coats on the bed always works, but since my mother has a closet in her entrance, we moved all her coats and stuff out so that we can use this closet as our cost check. Why did I move what was already in there? So we didn’t have to cram coats in. I put them back after.

The point is to look at all available spaces in different ways, don’t be afraid to move stuff around. My mom has a large recliner in her living room, yup, we moved it to her bedroom because it’s just too big.

Change things up! If you’ve been in your house for years and always have every tree and snowman in the exact same place year after year. Please Bust a Move and keep it fresh!

Example, my mother always puts her Christmas tree in the alcôve of her big picture window. I took down her curtains and added green garlands around her window.

If I am being honest, she didn’t look impressed when I told her I was taking down her curtains. She said, can’t you put the garlands around the curtains?…no! I just couldn’t, lol. Once the garlands were up she loved them and it makes her living room look bigger. She had never thought of doing this, but loves it!!

4. Light It Up!

I’ve mentioned this before, but lighting can make or break your soirée. Don’t ruin your vibe by having harsh lighting, dim the lights, light your candles and tree!!!

So it turns out that my mother doesn’t have dimers on her lights, maybe Santa will get her some for Christmas? So getting the lighting just right was challenging, but we managed.

5. Expect the Unexpected

I think each party should include something special or unexpected. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. A small touch or an activity will help to help make your event memorable.

Years ago at one of my Halloween parties I had a fortune teller; ok it was one of my cousins, but she seriously has mad psychic abilities!! It was just for fun, people were lined up to sit with her.

For my Holiday 5 à 7, I had a few special things planned. When I chose the date, one of my cousins (not the psychic, another one, I have lots!), told me that Dec 12 was her birthday. So of course, we had a birthday cake for her, but that wasn’t our only extra thing.

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The whole reason for this soirée was to thank our female tribe, fyi 80% are family members; aunts, sisters and cousins…we are a force!! Lol

I wanted to send them home with a small meaningful gift that would remind them of my father. I found none tacky angel wings tree ornaments at Pier 1 Imports and they are lovely. The fact that they were 40% off when I was shopping was certainly divine intervention!!

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The only male at this party was my nephew Jack. When I told him about the gifts, he said, that’s sort of depressing! He was sort of, kind of, half right. I suspect that this would be a touching moment, but my intention was never to send people home depressed; so I came up with a brilliantly funny way to give them out.

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I bought a Santa Suit on Amazon for $30 and Jack showed up as Santa and handed them out. It was funny and entertaining.

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Our Christmas Eve dinner them this year will be Winter Wonderland, we have a different theme each year. Our after dinner game will be giant jenga! Try to add something fun or unexpected to your events.

Another easy idea is to buy a Polaroid camera and snap away during the party or create a selfie photo background with props; people will dig it, trust me.

Tip 6. Stay Cool

This is a bonus tip, do as much pre-planning as you can so that you can enjoy your guests, because in the end that’s the whole point.

Remember that nothing is perfect! Do as much pre-planning, but the day of and during let shit go!! Roll with the punches and laugh off any mishaps.

I get my love for entertaining from my mother who is the most chill hostess ever! Be mindful that if the host or hostess isn’t having fun, your guests probably aren’t either.

I hope you can incorporate one or more of my tips for your next party! Let me know which one resonates with you the most?

Go forth and entertainment!! 🎅🏻💋

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This post is dedicated to my dad and my aunt Janet, who have both just passed away. Please be kind especially during this time of year. The holidays can be a very hard time of year for a lot of us, so don’t be an asshole. It’s also ok to acknowledge that you are thinking of someone who you know is doing their best to make it through the holidays for various reasons. Pretending everything is normal or perfect can make them feel more alone; just my two cents.

muah!

Liette

 

 

Time for a quickie?

Time for a quickie?

This post is for my oui-liette subscribers, first of all THANK YOU!! I so appreciate that you took the time to sign up for my blog and that you are faithful readers.

In the next few weeks I will be sharing a post called, You’re So Vain. Which is really, I’m So Vain, but You’re sounds better, lol.

I’ve had a skin cancer scare, I am fine, but I do look like I’ve been in a bar fight; and in my fake bar fight, I won of course, lol.

So I just wanted to give you a heads up, if you are at all squeamish, you may want to skip it, as I will be sharing a few pics that show what I looked like right after my procedure. Which really isn’t that bad, but I have a friend who can’t even listen to someone talk about getting stitches or blood without almost passing out, lol. I want to be sensitive to “those” kind of people.

If I am being honest, my first instinct is to hide away and resurface when I am all healed up, but that’s not real life, blah!!! Ugh!!! Lol.

The next thing that I wanted to share is that if you read my posts directly from your emails, this is what you see:

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Which is perfectly fine, but if you click on the title of the post, it will bring you to my site, which has a few extra pics.

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You will see my header, which changes by the season and my feature image.

And finally, this week I am moving my life back to Canada! I’ve been in Las Vegas for the past three and a half years and it’s time to go back. I will be sharing more posts about my little corner of the world, which is so lovely.

My little blog started off with a bang!! I had great momentum and then my father got sick and passed away. During that time, my blog kept me sane and kept my mind busy; I was pumping out content regularly.

For the past few months I’ve been less consistent; I guess I’ve been mourning and will be for a long time to come. But! The passing of my dad has only reinforced the theme of my blog which is, life is short, live it!!

That’s how my father lived his life and that’s how he would want me to live mine. So everyday, I get my butt out of bed and tell myself, today will be a good day damn it!

Full disclosure, it doesn’t always work, but that’s ok, at least I am trying.

My last, last thing, is that I’ve been on a weight loss journey and will be posting my results in the new year. You may have noticed my cheeks getting a bit slimmer, lol?

I decided that food had been helping me cope with what was happening in my life. Like millions of people out there I was/am an emotional eater. Which was obviously what I needed to do I guess, because I survived without taking a nervous breakdown, so yay me! In June, I decided that I was ready to start using other copping mechanisms, so stay tuned for that.

There you have it, you’re all caught up on my stuff! With the holidays creeping up on us, make certain to get your butt out of bed every morning and tell yourselves that it’s going to be a good day damn it!!! 😬

Merci, talk soon, muah!

Liette

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Holiday Staycation!

Holiday Staycation!!

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

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

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

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

Step 1 – Find a holiday activity and book it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2 – Get a room!

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

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

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

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

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

Step 3 – Make a night of it!

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

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

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

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

Step 4 – Gifts!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muah!

Liette

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

 

 

Stuff Your Stockings!

Stuff Your Stockings! Great stocking stuffer ideas from Santa’s helper.

Growing up, one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning was diving into my stocking to see what Santa had left me. About ten years ago “Santa” asked if she…I mean he, still needed to fill my stocking? Duh! YES!!

The truth is you’re never too old for gifts in your stocking; and it turns out, that I enjoy buying stocking stuffers almost as much as I like getting them…almost.

So here are my top 5 stocking stuffing ideas for this Christmas.

Tag Your Bags!

I travel a lot for work, as do many of my friends. The other day I was waiting patiently…ok maybe not so patiently, for my hot pink Samsonite bag at the baggage carousel. I finally spotted it coming down towards me. I got into my best baggage pick up stance, just as another woman darted in front of me and grabbed it!  Turns out we had the exact same pink bag. This is exactly why I don’t have a generic black suitcase, but apparently I now need to add something unique to my hot pink bag so it stands out…more.

This was the inspiration for my first stocking stuffer idea, customized luggage tags.

I got these on Amazon, they are called: My Personal Memories and were $14.99 each.

 

I bought some for my staff, of course I had to get one for myself too! They come in a variety of colors. I got black, but now wishing I had gotten one of the bright colorful ones.

I went a bit rogue on customizing my tags. I did the first letter of the last names, as shown in the example, but then I wrote out the first name.

For a few of my closest friends I found these below, they are from a company called Airportag, http://www.airportag.com

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They are called Face Luggage Tags and were a bit more at $19.90. I think these are sooo cute.  I’m so tempted to show you all of the ones I ordered, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise, as a few of my friends are loyal blog readers; those who aren’t loyal readers aren’t getting anything for Christmas!! Kidding, sort of. So, sadly, I can only show you the one above, it’s my friends dog.

What’s nice about these is that you have the option of printing the names and address on the back side.

You can’t stuff a stocking without a stocking!

Ok, maybe I should have starting my post with this one? If your loved ones don’t have cool stockings with their names on them, well, not to be judgy, but I am secretly judging you, and so is Santa!! Lol

But seriously, I noticed one year that my stocking was getting raggedy, the red fur was shedding all over the place, so I upgraded. My cousin, Nicole, and I now have matching stockings that we stuff for each other.

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If you live in the Moncton area, check out: Made By Monique, on Facebook. She can create matching, monogrammed stockings for everyone on your list. Just hurry, Christmas is fast approaching!

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So a fancy, smancy new stocking can be part of your stocking stuffing gift; just don’t forget to stuff it. Do not give anyone an empty stocking!!

Staples Stuff!

My secret stocking stuffer location is Staples, yes the office supply store. When I am having a hard time thinking of what to get someone, I go to Staples and it never disappoints!

If you want to change the life of your Millennial or Gen Xer, get them a super long phone charging cord, like 10’ long. It will seriously improve their quality of life, lol.

Think about it, you’re laying in bed, watching something on YouTube or browsing on your phone and it’s charging at the same time! And you don’t have to be at the edge of your bed, because your cord is too short. You can be in the middle!!

Here are a few cord options, I would go for the pink one, obvs. These are 6’, but I highly recommend the 10 footers. They also have phone pad chargers and a bunch of other cool stuff that you need, but never think to buy for yourself. I think you will find tones of stocking stuffers for everyone on your list at Staples.

Make Christmas Memories!

This is a great ideas for everyone, but especially for men for their partner, mother or sister…

Start a new tradition of buying a new tree ornament every year and put it in their stocking. It’s thoughtful and sentimental. I try to find a funky Santa or snowman every year. This year I bought three of these jolly guys, one for me and two for gifts. If you find something you like, buy more than one. Omg he is so cute!!

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I got this guy at Crate and Barrel

Practical Stuff

My stocking stuffing strategy is to have one or two, substantial gifts, don’t fill it up with cheap crap! So one or two nice things and then, go ahead and load it up with cheap crap! Lol

If you’re giving socks and underwear, wrap it and sock it!! Socks in a sock, why not?

If you have a university student home for the holidays, get toothpaste, Mr. Noodle, deodorant…the key is to wrap each item.

For ladies…or men, pick up a few silicone gel eye patches, bath bombs and wrap em up!

Gift Packs

All my stuffing ideas are items that I would like to receive myself; this last idea, I love giving and receiving!

If you want to test the waters with your subject before buying ask them one question; do you shop at Sephora? If the answer is yes, you are cruising down easy street!

During the holidays they offer a variety of gift packs; this one below is a Lashstach. It’s a package of a bunch of different brand together, these are a bunch of different mascaras. Sometimes they are a little smaller than regular size, but bigger than sample size.

Why is this so cool?? Because you get to try a bunch of different brands to see which you like best. Usually when you run out of mascara or other, you don’t want to gamble on another brand, just in case it’s not as good as your current fav. This gift pack let’s you try them all.

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Here is another great one! This brand sells lipsticks, they go on very glossy so don’t worry if you aren’t sure if these shades will be flattering. They are glossy with a hint of color, so will be flattering on everyone. Again, it’s a great way to try a bunch of different shades.

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A few years ago I gifted my bff with a black liquid liner gift set and she loved it!!! This year I bought a Benefits gift set for a coworker, we do a gift exchange; it includes a bronzer, a full size mascara and an eyebrow shadow.

If you are unsure find a sales person and tell them the coloring of the person you are buying for; fair, blonde hair, blue eyes, or olive skin with brown hair and brown eyes.

I hope one of these ideas will be helpful to you! My two key take aways are: make sure you have at least one nice gift, the others can be useful fillers. And two, wrap everything that goes in the stocking, half the fun is unwrapping and it will make the morning gifting last longer.

My next Christmas post will focus on Santa’s naughty list! Hey, sometimes being naughty is just way more fun!!

Thank you for reading!

muah! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Liette

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Haunted Garden Dinner Party

Haunted Garden Dinner Party

 

It’s not exactly a secret that I love Halloween, I also love entertaining and spending time with my friends. I used to host a big Halloween Party every year, but for the last few years I’ve hosted smaller dinner parties.

Last year I hosted a Haunted Dinner Party in my best friends backyard. I bought cheap black rabbit masks for my bunny friends; we hung out, ate cake and laughed our bunny tails off!

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This year I am hosting a Haunted Garden Party! Full disclosure, it won’t take place in a garden. New Brunswick in late October isn’t exactly garden party weather, but that’s my theme and I am sticking with it!!

The idea for this years party was inspired from a few of my past costumes. My friends will be asked to create a nature inspired headpiece. I know I am weird, but this is what happens when I get bored. I like being creative; a trip to Michaels can be dangerous for me.

 

For this years fête, I created a Facebook Event, I like that I can share pictures and we can chat as a group on there.

Not wanting to compete with Halloween parties the weekend before Halloween, I decided that our soirée will take place on a Sunday evening. And who are we kidding, we’ll be done and back home before midnight…ok, probably by 10!! Lol

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I sent a few guideline to help my friends get their ideas flowing. It’s funny, I know my friends well enough to know who is going to go all out and who is going to struggle.

A lot of people get stressed out trying to come up with costume ideas, blah!!!! You know your friends, if they aren’t Halloween people, then buy a bunch of masks or matching wigs and have them dress up onsite.

I’ve already told one of my friends, who will remain nameless, that I will have something for her; she just needs to show up. The point of any party is to have fun and spend quality time together and not to be stressed.

I’ll also bring a few bunny masks from last year for anyone who needs last minute help.

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This is what I posted on our private party page.

My original Haunted Garden Party costume idea was a dark, moody, crow inspired vibe, but turns out one of my friends had a similar idea.

After a little bit of Pinteresting for inspiration, I have a new direction!

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I will now be a funky Vegas showgirl flamingo!!  Which I think will be way cooler than my original crow vibe…and it’s pink, so there’s that.

Some of you maybe thinking what the hell does a flamingo have to do with a garden party? Well, in my imaginary garden, there are lots of flamingos! My sympathies if you don’t have any flamingos in your imaginary garden, lol.

It doesn’t have to be a real thing, I want people to use their imagination. It’s just supposed to be fun!!

 

For my headpiece, I hot glue gunned pink feathers on a headband; I think it’s going to look pretty cool!!

I was supposed to be packing for a 10 day work trip, but instead I was playing with makeup tonight and testing things out.

My eye makeup was cool, but then I added a pair of pink feather eyelashes, and they pretty much hide my eyeshadow; they were also super uncomfortable. They aren’t going to make the final cut. I may end up with a dark black smokey eye?? I mean it is Halloween, I need to look a bit scarier or at least bitchier! We’ll see, lol.

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I just discovered a new app called Momento, hence the giff. It’s free, you just need to make certain to take your pics are taken in Live mode.

This is my table setting inspiration, I am thinking white or black pumpkins with maybe some creepy crawling bugs or snakes? It’s a haunted garden party after all.

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I am going to share a super helpful hint from a professional events expert with you, so listen up! Lighting can make or break your event!! Nothing ruins a party vibe like bad lighting.

Add candles and/or fairy lights and turn off any harsh or bright lighting. This is especially important for Halloween parties.

I also believe that, you don’t have to spend the day in the kitchen to be a great hostess. A great hostess or host, is relaxed and present. We are ordering in for our event, so easy, peasy.

I hope this post inspires you to invite some of your favorite people over; make memories, be silly and have fun!!! Halloween gives you the perfect excuse to break out of your normal routine. Some of us don’t need an excuse to be weird, lol, but whatever.

Enjoy Halloween!!! I will post some pics from our party shortly!!

Boo! Muah!

Liette

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This pic is definitely more Vegas Showgirl than flamingo, I’ll need to work it out.

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Hello October! Fun and Frightful Bucket List.

Hello October! Fun and Frightful Bucket List.

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I love October!!! I will be spending most of it in the desert and even though you can’t really tell it’s fall here, I will be doing fun fall things. I will be in Eastern Canada the last week of October; I hope that I can catch the tail end of the fall foliage.

The goal of this post is to coax you into getting out there to do a few fun fall things with your loved ones. Please just do it while you can; make silly memories, you’ll never regret the time you spend with friends and family.

Not to put a damper on things, but it’s been 4 months since my dad passed and I get great comfort remembering all the things that we did together. I like to think that I have inherited his zest for life! I share a few family Halloween stories at the end of this post.

I am challenging all of you to do a version of each of these October activities!! There are only 3 things on this list so completely doable!

Pumpkins!

This one is super easy, get your pumpkin grove on!! That’s a thing right?? No? Well it should be. Lol

– Pick a Pumpkin

If you don’t have access to a pumpkin patch, then pick one up at the grocery store, there’s no excuse, they are literally everywhere. And not to put any pressure on you, but I found a pumpkin patch in the middle of the desert, so don’t be lame, lol.

So I have a confession to make…actually, I have two confessions; the first is that this was my first pumpkin picking experience. I’ve been apple picking, but never pumpkin picking, it was so fun and pretty. My second confession is that I got a bit ahead of my list and picked my pumpkins the last weekend of September. But crossing off my October list…check!!

– Carve Your Pumpkin

For all you busy parents out there, this is one activity that your children will remember from their childhood, so make a night or afternoon out of it. Growing up, my dad was the pumpkin carver; and apparently, my mom just took pictures of us while we carved, lol. Note to the moms, get in at least one of the pictures.

Pumpkin carving isn’t just for kids; my family and I started a new tradition a few years ago, we have a pumpkin carving night. When done we vote on who has the best one. Everyone gets really into it, we get pretty competitive.

We have our date picked out for this years Great Pumpkin Carve Off, ok, that’s not what we call it…yet!! My brother is hosting this year and he is the one to beat, so I need to take him down! Wish me luck.

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One of out past Great Pumpkin Carve Offs! This is my brother, he carved his pumpkin to look like a VW Van…really??? Mine was a cat with uneven eyes, lol.

 

Haunted, Frightful Fun!

I am going to give you a few options for this one, so again no excuse! Google haunted things to do in your area or scary things to do; even if you live in a smaller community, something will pop up.

It’s so easy to get stuck in your routine and not explore what’s happening in your community, pretend you are a tourist and look things up.

For those in the Moncton area, I googled for you, here’s what came up…you’re welcome!

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I am certain there are haunted corn mazes all over the US and Canada. This is a great activity for smaller kids, make sure to check the scardy cat level; traumatizing your kids isn’t exactly the kind of memories I was talking about.

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For older brats…I mean teenagers, a haunted house tour is super fun. The Keillor House Museum in Dorchester, NB is ligit crazy scary!

It’s located down the road from an old castle looking maximum security prison. On a scary cat scale, it starts off at a 9.9 level. This is also one of their major fund raising activities, so scaring the shit out of yourself and your kids will be for a great cause.

I volunteered to help decorate a few years ago and I am pretty sure I captured a ghost in one of my pictures. See my pic below, that’s totally a ghost or something right? Look in the middle left of the pic. There’s a white blur, see it? Do you think it’s a ghost?? Let me know, I think it’s something.

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Most cities also have haunted walking tours. Grab a pumpkin spice latte and soak in a bit of creepy history. Or…pick up a hot chocolate and add a shot of fireball, the chocolate and cinnamon is a yummy combo.

Those are three things to do in and around Moncton; I am sure there are more.

There are lots of options in Las Vegas! I have tickets for Scare Vegas this week, see below, I am liking the third activity, selfies and cocktails, I am in!!

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Last year, I visited the Zac Bagan’s Haunted Museum, he’s on Discovery Channel’s Ghost Adventure, it was eerie. I would give it 4 scardy cats; it’s more creepy than screaming scary.

I considered this Blackout At The Asylum this year, for all of three seconds, lol. It’s a real old mental asylum! Ya…no! I will stick with the Wicked Selfies and cocktails, lol.

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From big to small cities, you can find something frightful to do!

Ghoulish Friends Gathering

October is the perfect time to have fun with your Freaky Friends!

If you’re looking for a shortcut and want to “kill two birds with one stone”, you could invite your friends over to watch a scary movie with you; you really shouldn’t be watching a scary movie alone anyway. A scary movie gathering will cross off the Ghoulish Friends Gathering and the Haunted, Frightful Fun off your list; check and check!!

I love Halloween parties, if you are invited to one, you should go! While in Moncton, the week before Halloween, I am going to host a Haunted Garden Dinner Party. Last year, I hosted a Wickedly Haunted Dinner Party. Dinner parties are less work than a full on party and smaller gatherings allow me to catch up with my fellow witches. Please note that any dinner party held in October automatically becomes a haunted dinner party; I am fairly certain it’s a rule.

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Here are a few of my friends who love Halloween and dressing up as much as I do!

See that wasn’t too bad right? Feel free to share your October activity plans and seriously, do you think that’s a ghost or spirit in my Keillor House pic???

I am going to share a few Halloween family stories before I sign off, just because. My father’s side of the family are real tricksters; they are game for anything, I aspire to keep this tradition alive.

My grandmother was a fan of dressing up for Halloween, she was an amazing seamstress. One year, she and one of her sisters dressed up and entered their village parade and won best costume! First of all, yay, Nanny!! Apparently no one recognized them and even though people tried to guess who they were, they never revealed their identities; they went home, took off their costumes and never let on it was them. I should add that at the time she was a mother of 9 and a grandmother of a few.

In my second story, I am probably 8ish, I just finished trick or treating and was answering the door and handing out candy. The doorbell rings so I go down to answer. There are two small teenagers at the door, their faces are covered, so I can’t see if they are boys or girls. I give them candy and instead of taking the candy and leaving, they just stand there, staring at me. Before I go any further, this story  takes place around 1978, keep in mind that the ’70’s were a different time, apparently freaking out young children was still socially acceptable.

So they stand there for a very awkward period of time, so much so that I yell out DAD!! He peeks down and starts to laugh, he knew immediately who the two teenagers were. It was my my grandmother and one of my aunts! So I grew up seeing that you are never too old to have fun.

My last story is from last Halloween. I was home for a visit because my dad wasn’t well. But that day was a good day so I asked him if he wanted to dress up and go visit his sisters to try and trick them, he laughed and said, let’s do it! My mother though we were crazy, she’s not like us, lol. I had bought these big black crow heads, just because I thought they were funny.

We pull up to one of my aunts house. My father wanted me to park down the street, but I knew it would be too much for him if I made him walk too far. We quietly got out of the car and put our crows heads on. As we walk to the house, we were laughing thinking that we were so clever, that she was never going to know who we are. Man were we wrong; she saw us get out of the car and put our heads on. She was laughing before we even got to her door.

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Seriously, how fabulous are these crow heads?? The beaks opened when you opened your mouth. This was a really good day!!❤️

The reason for sharing these stories is that, in my opinion, the sillier or dumber the activity, the better the memories are. Life is short, you are never too old or too important to put a big black furry crow head on and go trick or treating!

Thanks for reading!

muah!

Liette