This post is all about how to throw a Weirdly Wicked Halloween Dinner Party for your coven of best bitches…I mean witches!
For those who don’t know me I looooooovvvve Halloween! I love everything about it!
I polled a few of my anti-Halloween friends to see what specifically they didn’t like about Halloween; while secretly wondering, why I was still friends with them? lol. They all said the same thing, that they don’t like dressing up because they don’t know what to be or have the time to put a costume together; to that I say: “Booooooo!!!”
I am going to make this super simple, ready? Invite your best girlfriends or boyfriends, over for dinner, or appetizers, or desert or just drinks. Whatever you are comfortable with. The point is to spend the evening with your friends. The point is not to stress about the meal, if you don’t want to cook, order in.
In the past few years, I have hosted dinner parties for my friends where I tell them to come over dressed in black with red lipstick. I usually come up with a catchy name for our dinner. They don’t have to think of a costume, they just need to show up in black. And for those who have a fear or red lipstick, I have all kinds that I will and have shared. Side note, there is something about red lips that makes me feel powerful, is it just me??
Buy masks or wigs for your friends and have them put them on when they arrive. Give them a drink or two, if they feel silly. My friends have been conditioned to just go with all of my hair brained ideas. And voila! Everyone is dressed up!
Last year I bought a variety of glittery masks and fancy cat ears. But this year everyone got the same mask.
I set up a table and chairs in my friends backyard; We had dinner outside in the woods. Which ended up going really well with our bunny mask theme. It wasn’t planned, but it worked out perfectly.
Everyone having the same mask was really fun, it made us feel like a cool group of…..well bunnies I guess? But not just regular bunnies, Bad Ass Bunnies! My friends come to my events knowing that there will be lots of pictures taken; they are always really great sports.
Here are two things I have discovered: First, we have a lot of fun goofing around for the camera; even those who say that they don’t like getting their pictures taken. A perfect example is the picture above, our ears kept banging together, which made us laugh… a lot! The second thing I’ve discovered is that there are a lot of moms out there who are invisible. And I am not talking about a cool party magic trick. They are actually invisible!! They are always the ones taking the pictures, they are never in them. One of my friends discovered that she was invisible in most of their Christmas morning pictures, it’s like she wasn’t even there. Moms, please don’t be invisible!! Be present, be in the picture!
The goal of all my parties is to make memories with friends; and I think being goofy and getting people out of their comfort zone a little is a great way to bond.
I like to print out the drink instructions and have all the ingredients on the counter top. I have my guests take turns making the drinks; everyone gets a chance to be the bartender. It’s great to get your guests involved, don’t be afraid to give them jobs; you gotta work! And it’s fun.
Here is my fancy red velvet cake table; we had Chinese food for dinner. I bought the cake and ordered the Chinese food, see, super easy! No one judged me for not making everything or anything myself. I made the money that bought the food, lol, that was good enough! I was having fun with my guests instead of stressing in the kitchen. The cake was to die for!!!
I hope this has inspired you to host your very own Halloween Dinner Party. If you do, please share your pics and ideas on Facebook or Instagram at: oui-liette
Once again thanks for reading, please click like at the bottom of this story.
Here is a fun family tradition that my family started a few years ago that I would like to share with all of you. It’s basically a family pumpkin carving party, but let me share how it started.
When my parents sold their house, my mom decided that their apartment was too small to host Thanksgiving; and that it was time for me to take over our family feast.
Our first Thanksgiving at my place was fine, but I discovered that it was a lot of work!!! Some families sit around the dinner table and talk for hours about world events, their feelings and that sort of crap. Well that’s not my family! Lol.
My dad was done eating and was asking what was for desert before I even sat down. I cooked all day and we were done and in a turkey coma within 20 minutes. They came, they ate and they left!!!
Being a professional party/events planner, I did a bit of soul searching to figure out how I could improve our family time. I came up with a brilliant idea! I realized that my family seem to bond more when we are doing an activity; instead of just sitting around the dinner table.
The following Thanksgiving, I had a plan! After dinner, there would be an obligatory pumpkin carving contest. No one gets a pass; everyone has to carve a damn pumpkin!!
Let me share with my American friends that Canadian Thanksgiving is on the same day as your Columbus Day. So it’s always in October, before Halloween.
I cooked the turkey, my mom, brother and sister in law brought sides. We sat down and were done eating within 20 minutes…again!!
After we cleared the table and cleaned up, we prepared for our pumpkin carving throw down. What I wasn’t expecting was how into it everyone would be!! It was so fun; we actually sat around talked and laughed for hours!
Over the years we have invited cousins and other family members to join us after their respective turkey dinners. The first year we posted our finished pumpkins on Facebook and asked our friends to vote for which one they liked best. I noticed a week later that friends were posting their pumpkins and asking friends to vote for their best pumpkin. How fun!!
Other years we vote internally, the rule is you can’t vote for yourself. Who knew pumpkin carving could be so competitive? And who knew my brother was such a great carver? He has only lost one year; he did a VW van pumpkin and people didn’t get it, lol.
I am challenging all of you to have your own pumpkin carving night with your kids, your parents or your friends! Do it!! And try posting on social media and asking your friends to vote; you will be surprised by how much participation you get. I am also available to judge, I am pretty sure I would be an awesome judge. Just tag me on Facebook!
Make memories!! That is what my blog is about!!! I missed our pumpkin carving last year, but I will be in Canada this year and it’s on!! My brother is going down!!!!!
Hit the like button below if you are a cool person 🙂
It does’t matter if you live in Las Vegas or Miramichi, yes it’s a real place, look it up! You can find something spooky to do in October. I challenge you to find some scary fun in your own hometown before Halloween.
The whole point of my blog is to encourage people to get out and do things, even if you think it’s dumb or lame; do it anyway. You may just have a great time?
In this post we will explore scary things in downtown Las Vegas; downtown Vegas is basically Fremont St and the surrounding areas.
Fear the Walking Dead
Our first stop is Fear the Walking Dead Survival on Fremont Street. We mustered up our courage to battle the undead; I decided two lemon drop pre-zombie martinis would help.
This was advertised as part escape room and part ride. Although I enjoy getting scared, I am not that brave, but was game to give it a try.
I must say, I did feel a bit better having one of Las Vegas’ finest, Aaron, with us! He was aware that his sole purpose was to protect us if we got swarmed by zombies; and he seemed cool with that.
Right off the bat, they told us that the zombies weren’t allowed to touch us. I instantly felt braver. No cameras were allowed during our experience. I respected the rules. I didn’t want to risk pissing off our handlers and being fed to the zombies.
We were paired with a group from California, who appeared to have also had a few drinks, for extra courage, I am sure. I bounded quickly with Tracy, she was in front of me and told me I could hold onto her if I felt scared. It’s funny how quickly you bound with people when you are in a stressful situation. I totally used her as my shield…shhhh! Don’t tell her. lol
We entered and were scanned to make certain we weren’t already infected by the zombie virus. Once cleared, Aaron and I were separated from Staci. When we rejoined her, she was already best friends with Fireball and the other ladies in their group.
We went through several rooms before sheltering in an elevator that led us to a truck or a helicopter, I was running for my life, I can’t remember what they said we were getting into. We were handed 3D glasses and guns. We shot like hell to make it out alive! This was the “ride” part of the experience; Staci and I yelled our heads off. It was a great stress reliever.
I am happy to report that no one got bitten; we all survived! It was a lot of fun, it lasted about 20 minutes ish.
It was very well done, but I do think that the people you are with are what makes this ride fun. I only saw a few zombies, but I was at the front of the pack. Aaron who was holding up the rear, said he saw more of them.
I would recommend this event to friends. It wasn’t crazy scary, which I liked, but there could have been a few more zombies. But all and all; I give The Walking Dead Survival, 3 black scardy cats out of 5.
Not ready to go home just yet; we went for a drink at the Artisan Boutique Hotel, located on West Sahara. It’s know for their after hours parties. During the week, it’s a quiet boutique hotel, and a crazy hot spot on weekends.
This place is 100% haunted! We didn’t see any ghosts while there, but there is no way it isn’t haunted. It’s old, funky and fabulous.
We didn’t stay long enough for the after hours craziness, because we are old, but we did enjoy the cool vibe.
The Haunted Museum
Next up on our downtown haunted tour is The Haunted Museum; it’s located on East Charleston Blvd. Because this is more of a museum, I wouldn’t recommend too many drinks prior. They tell stories, so you need to be quiet and listen.
You may be wondering if I believe in ghosts? Well I don’t not, not believe in ghosts, lol. I am a little afraid to say that I don’t believe; I don’t want to piss any off…just in case they are real and watching me. Better safe than sorry, right?
The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, was created by Zak Bagan from the TV show, Ghost Adventures. He has collected “haunted” and super creepy items and placed them in a supposedly haunted house.
My friend Sean’s daughter and her friend were visiting from Canada, they were game for a creepy night, so off we went!
I find it’s always a good idea to do something scary with someone younger or slower than you; someone you can use a shield or “sacrifice” if shit gets too real, lol. With that in mind, my dates for the Haunted Museum were two 19 year olds and a late forty something year old male. Full disclosure, I am a late forty something female, but I am fairly sure, I could have out run him had things gone bad…sorry Sean; I would have absolutely called for help, once I was at a safe distance away though… you’re welcome!
As soon as we walked in this is what greeted us; nothing creepy about clowns and dolls. In the picture below, check out the first clown on the top left, tell me he isn’t the creepiest thing ever!! He is staring at you right now.
Pictures and videos are not allowed inside the museum, but we were able to take a few pics in the lobby.
This place was 100% creepy; a tour guide led us through a series of scary rooms. I did make certain that I was never the first or the last person to enter or leave any of the rooms; that’s another helpful hint for you…you’re welcome.
I am not going to lie, in the second room, I did feel strange and a bit lightheaded, was it a spirit? I am not sure? But I powered through and only screamed once; it was more of a yelp than a real scream. I had warned our group, that I was a screamer.
We made it out alive and I so far nothing has followed me home! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get a bit creeped out. It’s open all year round, but it’s a perfect October activity.
I am giving The Haunted Museum a 3.5 black scardy cat out of 5.
I would love to hear about your spooky activity, so please leave me a comment below. And as always, click on like, if you were at all mildly entertained.
(I am also mildly entertaining on Facebook and Instagram too: oui-liette)
People often talk about the Canadian provinces as the “have” and the “have not’s”. The Maritimes; New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island are often classified in the “have not” column.
We have long been the butt of a lot of Canadian jokes; and that is fine, with the exception of Newfies (people from Newfoundland), we are the funniest and nicest people in Canada. We can take the jokes because we know who we are and we know how lucky we are to call ourselves Maritimers.
What makes us Maritime AF and right awesome? Here is a short list!
Oh Canada! It all started here boy!
We are the birth place of Canada in more ways than one. The first Europeans to settle in the Americas did so in the Maritimes; first came the French and then the English (First Nations were already here).
Then on July 1, 1867 the Canadian Colonies united to become a Dominion; Canada was born. And where was the Confederation signed?? In Toronto? Ottawa? Nope, in the Maritimes; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to be precise. Mmm I think that makes us Canadian leaders!
We know how to winter! (sorry for posting winter pics in the summer, I know it’s a no-no)
You know you are Maritime AF if you have survived a real Maritime winter. First of all let’s get one thing clear, anything under 30 cm (1 foot) of snow is considered a light dusting in these parts. And we don’t call the army to help dig us out when we get hit with a little snow, sorry Toronto, you’re never ever going to live that one down.
No, when we get hit with a NorEaster, we put our very best skidoo pants on and we dig ourselves out! (for my US friends: Skidoo is a snowmobile brand, it doesn’t matter what brand of snowmobile you have, we call it a skidoo. It is also used to describe things; skiddo pants are snow pants. And it can also be used as a verb, example: skidooing, meaning going for a ride on your snowmobile.)
Have you ever had to shovel the snow off your roof? If so, you are Maritime AF! Then after you are done with your roof, Maritimers help their neighbors; and yes we know our neighbors. Why are we so friendly? Because the next time it snows and we can’t open our screen door because the snow is too high and it opens outward; we know that they’ll come shovel us out. You don’t survive in these parts alone; are communities are strong.
Have you skied, snowsheoed, gone slidding, skidooed & skated all in the same week? If so, you Maritime AF.
Winters here are long; too long to sit in the house and wait for spring, because sometimes spring doesn’t come, it goes right from winter to summer, lol. Maritimers make the best of winter!
Have you ever used snow to cool your adult beverages? If so you are Maritime AF!
Have you ever been in the forest and said to yourself either out loud or in your head, “I live in a freaking winter wonderland?” If so, you are Maritime AF!
Have you ever spray painted a snow bank? Yup Maritime AF!
The Best Summers Ever!
Just when you can’t take one more minute of winter, summer shows up! She is fickle, so we don’t take her for granted. As soon as she warms up, we are out in our shorts and flip flops.
We also tend to call a lot of things “she”; like summer, weather in general, boats, cars and a multitude of other things.
Have you ever heard someone say: “How’s she making her?” When said correctly, it sounds like: hoows shemakinger, it means how is your day going? Also very popular and Maritime AF is: “How’s she going?”, meaning how are you? And for a few extra points you can throw in a “boy” at the end: “How’s she making her boy?”, How’s She going boy?” The boy translates to friend and it sounds more like booy.
The Maritimes are so beautiful in the summer that it makes the 3 months of winter worth it…ok 4 months…fine 6; it makes the 6 months of winter worth it!
We have salt water in our blood; when the sun is shining we flock to the ocean.
If you have gone swimming in the ocean on the May two/four weekend, you are Maritime AF!
Only in the Maritimes!
If you are in the Maritimes and say you are going on the island, you don’t have to specify what island you are talking about, “the island” is P.E.I. Anyone who has to ask what island you are referring to are obviously “from away”; which is how we describe people who are not from here. Used in a sentence: Where is he from? Meh, from away.
If this patched and re-patched road looks perfectly normal to you, you are Maritime AF.
Do you eat your lobster cold? If so, you are Maritime AF. Warm lobster is for sissies, a.k.a. anyone from Ontario.
Have you ever had Roast Chicken Chips? No? Then you are definitely not Maritime AF. Another clear sign that you are not from the Maritimes, is that you have never heard of #stormchips. That is when they call for a big snowstorm and you go to the store to stock up on chips, it’s a thing, google it.
Speaking of weather, if you haven’t heard from Cindy Day, you aren’t Maritime AF! Who is Cindy? She was CTV’s meteorologist for over a decade. We liked to blame her when she got the weather wrong. Someone needed to be held accountable..right?
We also use the word “right”, right a lot, lol. Example: It was raining right hard last night. It can also be used at the end of a sentence to replace “eh”.
And finally the very best part of the Maritimes are Maritimers! Whether it’s an Acadian tintramar for le 15 aout, or an Irish or Scottish Ceilidh with Gaelic music; where you can get your jig on (jig means dancing or get your grove on). You haven’t lived until you have been to a Maritime Kitchen Party, they are by far the most Maritime AF thing on this list!
I hope you enjoyed this post, if not, you are certainly not Maritime AF!! And we probably can’t be friends lol.
I want to hear what you think makes us Maritime AF, there are too many for me to list alone! Leave a comment below.
Feel free to click on like, it’s below my last pic, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram: oui-liette
And finally, sharing this post with your friends will give you instant Maritime AF street cred…just saying.
Back in Canada for work, I found myself with a few hours of free time to explore the city; what to do, what to do? To say that this city has an infinite list of things to do is a huge understatement!
My favorite thing to do in a big city, any city really, is to walk the streets, people watch and to get the feel of the unique vibe of the city.
We walked our way to Graffiti Alley, which is in a really neat part of town. It is in the Fashion District and runs south of Queen Street West from Spadina Ave to Portland Ave.
Never heard of it? If you are Canadian, I bet you have seen it without knowing what it was. It’s the alley that Rick Mercer, a fellow Maritimer, walked through during his awesome rants on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
I discovered Graffiti Alley a few years ago, if you read my very first blog post on the hard hitting subject: How to Take the Perfect Selfie, you will have seen this pic, taken there.
You often see photo shoots being shot when touring the alleys, which I love to witness.
If you find yourself with free time in this beautiful city, I urge you to get out and explore!!
We have had two awesome meals here, here are my recommendations:
Si Lom Thai Bistro – 534 Church St
My second recommendation Is Donatello: 37 Elm Street
Tomorrow I am off to my hometown of Moncton, N.B. I have already put my parents on notice that I will be expecting lobster rolls for lunch. They are more than happy to comply. But tonight, I am eating smarties in bed; resting up for some vacation adventures.
Thanks for reading, more pictures on Insta & Facebook: oui-liette, check me out! And click like below if you liked. If you didn’t like this post, sorry, but you just read all the way to the end, so it couldn’t have been that bad, lol.
Feel free to share your fav thing to do in this Mega City! I will be back here in two weeks, would love some recommendations.
The title for this post was going to be: Girls Just Wanna Have Tea, but decided that Girls Gone Wild would get more attention, lol.
Helpful hints on how to throw the perfect tea party!
As we age, our birthdays become less important, it’s just another day really, right? If you are a mom, this feeling may be exasperated? You spend hundreds of dollars on your kid’s birthdays, when yours comes around, it’s easy to give into that feeling that it’s just another day…right?
Well this year, I decided that it isn’t just another day; I wanted to celebrate my birthday in style. I plan events for a living, I put so much time and energy into planning beautiful events for others; am I not worth the time and effort of a nice party? I decided that am absolutely worth it!
Here are a few tips on how to throw yourself the easiest and best birthday party ever!
I am not going to lie, I love a themed party. While I was attending an event at a hotel, I noticed that they had a fancy tea room. Mmm… fancy little finger foods and feather fascinators; I decided then and there that a tea part with my best girlfriends would be the perfect theme!
Your invitation sets the mood of your party, it’s the first glimpse that your guests will get to what kind of party to expect. There are so many different templates out there online. Feel free to send e-vites; I prefer printed invitations with colorful envelops and a customized message to each guest.
I found this image and fell in love with it. It was exactly what I wanted my party to represent!!
Here is a helpful hint from a party planner; you don’t always have to host your party, or our children’s party, at your house! It adds so much stress and work, the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking…it’s a lot! And since this was my party, I wanted something easy. I wanted to just show up and then leave and have someone else clean up.
I reserved two tables at the Mandarin Orient Hotel Tea Room on Las Vegas Blvd. My friend Claudia’s birthday is the day after mine, so we decided to celebrate together. She would host her friends at her table and I would host mine at my table. I am pretty sure my table was more fun! 🙂
I think sending guests home with a thoughtful party favor is a very nice touch. And if you attach a thank you note, you won’t have to send a thank you card afterwards. And yes, I do think if people come to your party and give you a gift, you need to formally thank them.
Select something that goes with your theme, since I was having a tea party, I decided that I would give out tea cups. I went to a thrift store and found old china cups, they were $0.99 each! I loved that they were all different shapes and colors.
I bought these colorful macaroons from the same bakery that did our cake, oh wait till you see the cake! Pink, yellow and orange were a perfect color scheme for our favors! I placed them in the tea cups, wrapped them in cellophane with the thank you card and voila! The perfect tea party favor!!
The hardest part of putting these party favors together was resisting the urge to “test” the Macaroons. I would suggest getting a few extras, just in case you accidentally “crack” any… and then have to eat them.
My thank you tags matched the invitations; I perforated them and attached them with a ribbon. I think, they turned out beautifully and were super easy!
My co-hostess and I, ready to greet our guests with our fancy fascinators. Not that it was a competition, but my fascinator was clearly bigger than hers, bigger is better right? If you can’t wear a big bouquet of beautiful feathers on your head on your birthday in Las Vegas, I am not sure where else you could! Life is short, go for it!
I was responsible for the party favors, Claudia was responsible for the flowers. Find a friend and split the work, you don’t have to do everything yourself. She picked up a few bouquets from Trader Joe’s.
She arranged the flowers in mason jars, they added a special touch to our garden tea party. Most restaurants will let you bring in your own flowers and decorations, just let them know ahead of time.
The dishware and food at the Mandarin were beautiful and delicious! This was my very first tea party, turns out I don’t actually like tea, but loved all the trimmings! This theme would also be perfect for a baby shower, any reason to get together with your girlfriends. Most cities have tea rooms, google it. If you do want to host a tea party at your house, it’s easy to make bite size sandwiches, go to your favorite bakery and have them create an assortment of sweats for you!
The best part of the party, was spending the afternoon with friends! I must say, I have an amazing group of ladies!
No party would be complete without a birthday cake. We brought in our own, yes, most restaurants will let you do that as well. Our custom cake was from Drago Sisters Bakery on Rainbow St in Las Vegas. It had a lemon and strawberry layer with with a butter cream frosting and it was divine!
As we pondered on what to wish for before blowing out our candles, I was thankful for my fancy tea party with great food and even better friends!
What I hope that you take from this post is that you don’t have to make everything from scratch, you don’t have to host at your house and you can ask a friend to help! The goal of every party is to enjoy the time spent with your loved ones. Please make certain you are present and in the moment!
Thanks for reading, hit like if you like, share and subscribe if you are so inclined!
More fun things to do in and around Las Vegas, while sober…or tipsy! Lol
This next activity, is my second fav thing after kayaking. You probably shouldn’t do it while drinking though, lol.
When you think of coming to Vegas, I bet a Camel Safari isn’t exactly top of mind? I am a list girl, those who know me will be shocked by this statement I am sure…not! I often make mini bucket lists, just to keep things interesting. I try to pick 4 or 5 new things a quarter. New on my list was going on a Camel Safari.
Since Las Vegas is in the desert, I thought it would be plausible that there would be camel safaris available somewhere…right? I mean, come on, anything is possible, it’s Las Vegas!
I was right! I did a quick Pinterest search and there it was! The company is called: Camel Safari…ok, they may not get points for originality, but hey, they do Camel Safaris, so it fits. My nephew Jack was coming to visit, so I booked us a Camel Safari! I really need to give my nephew a shout out, like camels, teenagers can be, at times difficult, but he is and has always been game and receptive to all my cockamamie ideas…and there have been many!! You rock Jack!
Camel Safari, the company, is located in Bunkerville, which is a little over one hour’s drive from Las Vegas. So not that far.
There are different tours available; you can feed the animals, they have more than just camels; they do bachelor and bachelorette parties, where you can party under the stars. Side note, the night before we went on our safari, they filmed an episode of the Bachelor there! And of course they do Camel Safaris, please check them out online: http://www.camelsafari.com
Now I am no camel expert, but everyone that I spoke to about my upcoming adventure warned me that camels are basically assholes. My experience was the exact opposite, these camels were very well behaved. Mine had a funny, quirky personality, we bounded over the fact that he seemed to love getting his picture taken, just like me.
Again, I am no animal expert, but I attribute their well-mannered behavior to the fact that they are so well cared for by their keepers. They are not locked in cages, they get to roam on the estate; where they hang out with their camel friends and a rescued zebra, who the camels have accepted as one of their own.
The staff seem to be there because of a genuine love of animals, it was great to see! And a fun experience, I highly recommend!
Camel Safari…checked of my list!!
NEXT! Let’s do a speed round of my go to places; this is where I take my visitors who come to visit me.
Seven Magic Mountains
Seven Magic Mountains is 15 minutes off the strip (all of these places, I found on Pinterest, it’s my fav search engine.)
Seven Magic Mountains is a temporary art exhibit in the desert, I guess you can drink there, as long as you are not the driver. You can take great pics and it’s free!
Liberty Bell Arch
Liberty Bell Arch is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, it’s on the Arizona side. It’s a geological masterpiece! The arches were formed over 300 million years. It is less than an hours drive from the strip. It is a moderate hike, bring lots of water! Sorry, this is a non-alcoholic activity, but it is free!
You can’t see the Arch from the highway, so when it finally does come into view it’s amazing! Please be careful, the rocks at the base of the Arch are lose and sharp. I didn’t venture all the way up to the base; but my friend Sean did, he did a lot of slipping and sliding on the rocks while I was safe a distance away taking pictures.
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire is approx 50min from the strip, you really, really need to go! It is breathtaking and there is a spiritual zen vibe to it. The hikes are amazing, the park is over 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops, as per their site, please go to: http://www.parks.nv.gov for more info…oh and they have cool petroglyphs.
Save your drinking for when you get back to the strip, you need to be on your A game for this one. There is a fee to get into the park, but well worth it.
Nevada has lots of Ghost Towns, if you have a bit more time or are touring the state and see them from the highway, you should stop! As long as you aren’t driving, I don’t see any issues with an adult beverage or two, hey you may even see more ghosts after a few?
Welcome to Vegas Sign
What people may not realize is that Las Vegas has a very sophisticate side, we have world class entertainment, top chefs and the worlds most impressive NHL hockey team…GO KNIGHTS!
But there is also a fun and cheesy side; everyone who visits me needs to get their picture taken at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. I think it’s the most fabulous touristy thing you can do!
Although this is a free activity, there is always a guy there who offers to take your picture, I recommend you let him. He is a pro! He will help you find your inner cheese! Don’t forget to slide him a $5 afterwards! $10 if you are a larger group.
My brother wins for best jump, the worst jumper is Gilles, bottom left. Gilles you really let us down, you should be embarrassed, lol. My dad and uncle were living their best thug life, trust me you would not have wanted to be on the ice, with these two hockey guys in their hay day!
What is your best Vegas hot spot? Have you tried any of the activities listed here? Please share!
As always, thank you for reading, this one was long, but I needed to jam pack lots of content. If you enjoyed please click on like, feel free to share on social media and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Yes you read that correctly, it is possible to be sober in Las Vegas; and news flash, it can actually be really fun. I want to share a few fun things that I have discovered off strip, that don’t involve drinking or gambling.
Not to brag but in my first year here, I now live in Las Vegas, my friend Lynn and I have done almost every day trip activity within a two hour drive from the strip.
What kind of things you ask? How about kayaking, camels and hiking for starters? There are so many fun things to do off strip, it’s going to take more than one post to share them all.
One of my first day adventures with Lynn was kayaking and it is probably my most favorite activity to date. And yes, I said kayaking…in the desert! I am from Atlantic Canada, so I am naturally drawn to the beach and to any and all water activities.
I was amazed to find a place that is just a 50 minute drive from my house; it’s called Willow Beach. The water is crystal clear, there is also an area called Emerald Cove where the water is, well it’s emerald green, hence the name.
I am in love with this place!!! I should warn you that this post will be heavy on pictures! Oh and filled with lots of exclamation points!! Deal with it!!! lol, sorry, will try to restrain!
For exact driving instructions, punch it in your phone, Willow Beach. But in brief, from Vegas drive towards Boulder City, then hang left; super helpful right?
On our first kayaking adventure, Lynn and I booked a guided tour, which is more expensive, but was well worth it for our first time out. On our next trips, we ventured out on our own. You can rent a single or double kayak onsite, you will need to book in advance, rentals are $47ish a day.
From the marina, we kayaked for about 50 minutes to get to a small rocky beach area, it’s the perfect place to rest, picnic and swim. There are a few spots along the way where you can pull over and hang.
I will warn you the water is on the cold side, I was impressed with Lynn, this California girl got in and swam on our second outing. I am Canadian, I have not yet found water too cold to swim in.
Please note this activity is more of a spring and fall thing. It is just too hot in July and August to be outside for any long periods of time. Regardless of when you go, you will need to pack lots of water, snacks and sunscreen.
After resting, snacking and swimming on the beach, we continued onward to Emerald Cove. It is about 20 minute from our resting spot. If you keep going down the river, you will eventually hit some hot springs; we haven’t made it that far down, as of yet.
To the left of my kayak you can see what looks like a cave, it looks a bit scary from this viewpoint, but it really isn’t. It’s more of an archway, on the other side is a small opening.
I am told that the water is green because of the algae on the bottom.
See! Emerald Green, the water here is a bit more shallow, so when the sun shines, it glows green. The water is crystal clear, the green is on the bottom.
Fun fact, Canadians outside of Canada wear Blue Jays hats to meet other Canadians. If you are in the US and you see someone with a Blue Jays hat, you are obligated to say hi and ask what part of Canada they are from. It’s how we find each other.
From the marina to the cove, you are paddling against the current, but on the way back you can coast and enjoy the ride.
When there is no wind, the water is like a mirror, it’s truly breathtaking! We have seen eagles flying overhead and mountain goats grazing on the cliffs.
If you only have time for one off strip activity, this is the one you have to try!
I was amaze to find out that some of my friends and coworkers, who have lived in Vegas for a long time, had never been to this area. Sometimes you need to be a tourist in your hometown.
To prove how much I like Willow Beach; I bought a kayak…yes a maritime girl moves to the desert and buys a kayak, it does seem a bit crazy.
I hope you enjoyed this post, two more on fun things to do off strip will follow shortly; next will be my camel safari!!
I also want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, this is just my third post and I have had over 36,000 views so far! I don’t expect all my posts to go viral, like my previous post did. I am fine with a slow build moving forward.
If you can find my like button, you need to scroll down, trying to fix that; please click on it. And if you really like me, you can subscribe.
This is a true account of what happens when you put something out there and it goes viral. No names in this post have been changed to hide any ones identities, lol, that’s how I roll!
For my second blog post, I am torn between which story to go with? Girls Just Wanna Have Tea, a hard hitting story on how to throw a tea party; or New Brunswick, Canada, You’re Going to Hate It! A fun tongue and cheek story about my home.
Late Sunday afternoon, I decide to go with the N.B. story, I read it one last time, hoping that people will get the humor, but if they don’t, how many people will actually see it?? Probably not many. I hit send and go on with my day.
By Monday morning I have gotten a few comments, I am excited, the first few are from friends, but sprinkled in there are a few from people I don’t know. I am reaching people I don’t know, how cool is that?
During the day, I periodically check my emails, each time I have a few more views and comments. By the time I get home that evening, I am very pleased with myself. My second post is getting much more attention than my first post; where I explored the controversial topic of how to take the perfect selfie.
My post gets its first share on Facebook from Paul, a fellow Monctonian. I am so touched, that he thought my post was interesting enough to share with his friends. By the afternoon, I have a few more shares. This is turning out to be a good Monday!
After dinner, while looking at my blog analytics, I notice, if I scroll down…all the way down, I can see more numbers; how many people have visited my site and where they are from… those sorts of things. It takes me a few minutes to figure things out, but when I do, I noticed that 2,100 have viewed my post in the last 24hrs!!!
Holy Shit!! 2,100 people viewed my post!!! How awesome! I call my mom, I am so excited, I need to share. After 5 minutes of explaining what a blog is, I am still not convinced she got it, I ask her to guess how many people have viewed my post so far?
Her first guess is 100K…really?? My 2,100 views suddenly feel tiny compared to 100K. When I bark back “mom!” she just laughs. I should note that she doesn’t have a computer, she knows how to text and that’s pretty much it, so I decide to cut her a bit of slack.
By the time we hang up, I have instructed her that the next time we speak, if asked to guess my number she would pick a realistic number, pretty much any number under 100K! She asks how many I want, I tell her that hitting 3K or even 4K would be super cool.
A few hours later I pass 3K, then 4K! I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the following people: Barney, Lynn, Staci, Claudia, Aline, Kenda, Cindy and Guylaine; because for the rest of that evening, they get regular text updates on how many people have viewed me; and by regular I mean every 20 minutes…ok maybe every 15 minutes.
When I surpass 5K and am almost at 6K, the texts are all the same, brief and to the point: WTF??? I start wondering if I am reading my stats correctly? One last text to Barney, who is away with his family, sorry, Barney’s family; he confirmed the stats are correct. Barney has become my unpaid technician and blog expert.
I decide to go to bed, I wondered if I could possibly hit 8K by the morning? I think that it maybe possible? But then reality sets in, nah, it will die down by the morning.
I wake up early Tuesday morning and the first thing I do is reach for my phone to check my stats. Over 8K views!! And lots of new comments. I make certain to reply to each one of them before I get out of bed. Most are recommendations for places I should visit or things I should try. All are polite and make me feel warm and fuzzy.
By the time I am ready to leave for work, I hit 9K views!! I am not sure why, but I instantly start to feel anxious and actually start breaking out in hives. I don’t know why? It’s such an honor to have people take the time to read something you have written. But on the other hand, 9,000 people have just read something that I have written! I think I am feeling a bit vulnerable, which is strange, since I started this blog and I posted of my own free will.
By the time I get to work, the anxiety is now mixed with excitement, after updating my coworkers with my unbelievable stats. I decide to stop looking, plus I know that the numbers will start to slow down shortly.
At lunch with my friend Staci, I pulled out my cell and see that I’ve just hit 13K!!! OMG!!
At this point, I am questioning what is going on here? Why is my little post about my little province so popular? One more text to Barney to ask: when do you know if you have gone viral? To which he replies, “Liette, you are viral!” Yikes!
Our next stop is Party City, I had joked earlier that if I reached 500 followers, I would do what celebrities do and take my photo with giant numbered balloons. It would be cheesy, dorky and awesome!! I decided that 13K is reason enough to celebrate!
I asked Staci if I should be so bold as to as to assume that I will hit 14K before the next morning? I decide to go for it, what the hell. I pay for a number one, a number four and a letter K; I’ll pick them up after work.
Later that afternoon, my friend Michael, asks again if I have started getting any creepy emails yet? “No, just yours” I reply. He had sent me a cranky message as a joke, he says, the creeps will come, just wait. He is more of a glass half empty kind of guy, lol. All comments so far have been super supportive, nothing negative to report.
A few hours later, I get my first angry comment, instead of being upset, I think, wow! I have really made it now! It was someone who didn’t think that N.B. being bilingual is an asset, blah, blah, blah. It ended with “this F#@$ing Sucks”, not my blog post, but the fact that French people have equal rights I guess?? I have to approve all comments before they appear on my page. I considered approving knowing that the general public would come to my defense. I think about it for a moment, then decide that I want my blog to be a positive space, so not approving his rant. I am open to some controversial topics, if you want to debate which is better a sticky bun or a “pet de soeur”, bring it on!
For the rest of the afternoon the views and comments keep coming in. Bloggers are sharing and re-posting, local N.B. businesses are sharing. My friend Cindy sends me a note that her friends, who don’t know me, are sharing my post. I can’t tell if she is annoyed or happy about that? Lol, teasing, I think she is at the holy shit stage. She was the first to read my post, I sent it to her for feedback. She offered up some helpful suggestions, thank you Cindy!
By now, the anxiety is gone, I realize that this has taken on a life of its own and that I am just along for the ride.
When I leave work to pick up my balloons, I am already past 15K. What the hell am I going to do with my number 4 balloon now? I decided to skip 5 and get a number 6 balloon. I figure that by the time I get home, I will be at 16K, which I was; now I was just getting cocky.
Next is the reflective stage; what is it about this post that people connected with? I think that I have tapped into a feeling of pride? By highlighted a few things that make N.B. awesome, maybe it have reminded others how great it is? Or maybe it have given others the opportunity or the permission to boast a bit too? I think there is a feeling that N.B. is ignored by those who have never been there. We have been the drive through province, but those who have taken the time to stop, love it. Maybe instead of being Canada’s overlooked province, we are Canada’s best kept secret?
I make plans to have my picture taken with my balloons in front of the Welcome to Vegas sign the next day. Even after being here for two years, I still pinch myself and think, you live in Las Vegas! So the visual of a girl from Moncton, standing in front of the Las Vegas Sign with balloons that say 16K for a blog post about her home province, seemed like something I wanted to do! So doing it!
I wake up to discover that I am at 22K views, so my 16K balloons now seemed silly, there goes $30…US!!
By the time I leave for work I am at 23K & 25K after lunch!
My friends back home are telling me that they are seeing my story all over their Facebook feeds. It feels strange that I am getting my 15 minutes of fame for a story I wrote about my home province, while I am living in Vegas.
I decide to call my dad, I am almost positive my mom hasn’t told him about my budding fame. He is a fairly popular guy in the area. He’s sort of like Madonna and Cher, he only needs one name…Tilly. I didn’t want people to tell him that they saw his daughter on the internet, without knowing what I was doing on the internet, lol. So I explain to him what a blog is and tell him how many views I have gotten, his response is “ya ok”. I hang up telling myself that I am sure he is really excited…on the inside.
By the time I go to bed, things are starting to slow down a bit. My daily total for Tuesday was 13,268K, today my daily total is only 9,645. As soon as I say it, I see how crazy of a statement it is; only 9K today, oh no, am I becoming jaded…already? This week has been crazy and it’s only Wednesday.
My morning total is 27,899, I am confident that I will hit 28K in the next few hours. I am a starting to feel a bit detached; it’s difficult to wrap my brain around the reality of this number.
It’s hard to believe that 27,899 people have taken the time to click on my link and read all of, or part of, my little story about N.B. To be honest, I would have been thrilled with 500 views and blown away by 1000 views, the higher the numbers get, the more surreal all of this feels.
By the time I get home from work I have hit 30K! Feeling so thankful and blown away, my brain hurts!
I call my parents and speak to my dad, he is starting to take interest; he asked and I quote: “how is your thing with the people going?” I feel like I am making progress on the parent front!
I think I am suffering from a blog hangover, lol, it’s too much!
I feel that I inadvertently accomplished something that I suspect most bloggers never get to experience. When you start a blog, you want people to like your content and you want to build your followers; I was expecting a slow build. I didn’t expect this and to be honest, I wasn’t ready for it, I was still working out the kinks for gosh sakes!
On my drive home from work, I catch myself making a mental list of all the people who have reached out and sent me a quick email or text and those who have shared my link. And for the first time this week, I get a bit of a negative vibe as I take stock of those who are close to me, who haven’t said boo. In the grand scheme of life, this isn’t such a big deal, I know that, but it does make me think, maybe a bit too much??
I check my stats one more time before bed; my daily numbers are slowing down, it has been a hell of a great ride! But this train is approaching the gate and to be honest, that is fine with me.
I am up early to catch a flight to Oklahoma City for my real, paying, job. Wow, what a week! I have stopped checking my stats every 20 minutes. It was fun, but a bit exhausting.
My daily total on Friday was a little over 2K, my grand total by Saturday night is 33,740. I am going to put it out there, that I will hit 35K!
If someone had told me last Sunday, when I hit send, that I would be sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma City writing that I want to hit 35 THOUSAND views on my second blog post, I would have laughed my head off. But here I am!
Here is what I am going to take away from this experience. Ready or not, shit happens, you may as well enjoy the ride! That sometimes failure is easier to wrap your head around than being successful. And that one should not underestimate the power of their community, correction, my community! New Brunswick, maybe small in size and in population, it may have its economic struggles, but the people kick ass! Although I have had views from around the world, the majority are from Canada and of those, I suspect a large part of fellow New Brunswickers.
Thanks to all who have taken the time to read my posts, if you like my style and my swagger, please subscribe; if you do, you will receive an email each time I post something. Which will be once a week. I am pretty sure you won’t want to miss my next post, which will most likely be how to throw a tea party! I bet you can hardly wait, lol.
For my first blog post I am going to tackle a very important topic; how to take the perfect selfie!!
You may be asking yourself; what makes this girl qualified to give advice on such an important topic? Well, I was signed by an actual modeling agency in Toronto in the early nineties….ok full disclosure, my modeling career didn’t exactly take off; but I am freakishly photogenic and my mother tells me I am a super model all the time; so let’s get started.
Tip 1 – Do you have the right tools?
Can you take a great selfie without these tools? Yes, but can they help you? Absolutely!
Selfie Sticks are perfect for group shots or if you are traveling and want to show the background with you in it. Please note that people will be silently judging you while you strike a pose with your selfie stick, but don’t let that stop you in your quest for an amazing shot!
Do you own a Blue Tooth Remote Clicker? If not, I suggest getting one! You can pick one up on Amazon for a good price. I use my remote all the time. I keep it in my purse, it’s my secret selfie weapon. What I love about it is that it is more discreet than a selfie stick. You can hold the camera phone without having to balance it and hit the picture button. Just hold your hand up and click! Even better get someone else to hold it while you click away, my rule is whoever has the longest arms gets to hold the camera.
A winning combination is a Mini Tripod and the aforementioned remote. I am really not a fan of taking pictures in the mirror, unless you want to show your outfit or look of the day; but if that is the case, I would use a selfie stick and/or tripod instead. I just don’t think that seeing the camera while posing in a mirror is flattering.
Have you ever heard of a Selfie Ring Light? I just got one of these and I am half embarrassed to use it in public, but OMG I love it! It is a ring that fits on the back of your phone that emits the perfect diffused light, mine even has three settings. They are fairly inexpensive on Amazon, if you get one, let me know what you think and if you found a way to discretely use it in public.
The most important tool is your cellphone; please know where your camera lens is on your phone. You would be surprised at how many people don’t and don’t know where to look. It makes you look a bit lost or confused if you are looking in the wrong place, lol.
Tip 2 – Know your Angles!
Known your face & know your angles! This is probably the most important tip. Take a look at my selfie collage below, do you notice any similarities? In seven of the nine photos my face is slightly angled, this is more flattering for me than being straight on. I tend to gravitate to my left side, that’s my best angle. You need to figure out what’s yours.
Another thing that I do, is that I angle my shoulders, take a closer look at my selfie collage again and you will notice that I never pose with my shoulders straight on. I pop one shoulder towards the camera and tuck the other way back. This may feel odd, but most times contorting your body a bit results in the best shots. Angling your body also makes you look slimmer! Practice this trick in the privacy of your own home, you may feel a bit silly but let me know if you see a difference.
Lastly play with the angle of your cell or camera, you should raise your arm so that it is shooting downward. My weight tends to fluctuate a bit. The rounder I feel, the higher the camera, lol.
Tip 3 – Practice, practice, practice!
The only way to figure out what your best angle is, is to practice!!
Set yourself up and take a bunch of selfies, don’t worry, you can delete the bad ones. Take lots and then take a few more.
I told one of my friends to go home and to take 50 selfies and then we would look at them together and see what her best angle was. She completed the task, but came back with 50 of the exact same photo!
You need to move! If only slightly. When I am in front of a camera, I am always moving, but unless you are paying attention, you may not even notice.
This is how to figure out what your best angle is. Start clicking, move your chin down, then up, angle your face a bit to the left, then to the right, big smile, show teeth, then no teeth, then a bit more serious. Once done, look through your shots and see which ones are the most flattering. This will be your “go to pose” when out with your friends.
Remember, when it comes to photography, more is more. Take lots of shots in hopes that you get one or two really good ones.
Tip 4 – Lighting
Master tip #3 and #4 and you will be well on your way to unleashing your inner super model. I prefer natural lighting, although my new selfie light ring is improving my indoor selfie game. The best lighting is in the morning and early evening. Full on sunlight is bad for shadows and squinting, diffused lighting is much more flattering.
You should also face the light instead of having it to your back. The pictures above are perfect examples. In the image on the left I was trying to take a few pictures of me in front of the frozen lake, but the sun was behind me, making dark shadows on my face, not flattering at all.
Then, a few moments later, as we were deeper in the woods, the lighting was perfect. I took out my camera and clicked a few more pictures. The lighting was magical, I am out of the direct, bright sunlight. The picture on the right is 100% filter free.
Also in the picture on the left I am facing the camera straight on. I have a round face, so staring directly into the camera like this emphasizes the roundness of my face. At first glance, the picture on the right looks like I am straight on as well, but I am actually slightly angled, slimming my face; see angles matter!
Tip 5 – Have fun!
Tip 5 is just have fun! I believe that I am able to take great pics because I love photography and getting my picture taken. If you hate getting your picture taken, it will show, so have some fun. I have a theory, that those who criticize people for taking selfies are just horrible at taking selfies. I challenge you to follow my 5 tips and send me your best selfie; or if you still aren’t feeling it, send me your picture and I may be able to suggest how to improve your shots.