24hrs in Montréal…in February!

24hrs in Montréal…in February!

Montréal in February isn’t for the faint of heart; but it is a beautiful and vibrant city no matter what time of the year…but maybe just a bit more vibrant in the spring, summer and fall?? Lol

If you do decide to come here in February, you will need a few essential items; like a tuque (it’s a beanie for my American friends), mittens, they will keep your hands warmer than gloves; and winter boots. And by winter boots, I mean boots with grips, a fur lining is a plus too.

In this post, I tried a new hotel, visited a Nordic spa, did a bit of shopping and ate on the run; oh and I ducked into a historic church.

I was here for a quick work trip and tried to squeeze as much as I could in the short time I was here. Here are my suggestions if you find yourself in Montréal and are wondering what to do…in February.

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Hotel

I love trying new hotels and one of the advantages of traveling off season, February is off season, is that you can get really great rates. This trip we decided to try Le Saint Sulpice Hôtel Montréal, it’s a chic hotel in the heart of old Montréal.

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The main doors are under the flags. That’s Mary walking ahead of me, hurrying to get out of the cold, she is such a wimp now that she lives in Nevada, lol.

The hotel is located on rue Saint Sulpice, which is located right behind Notre Dame Basilica; now I am not a huge church person, but this one is impressive.

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Above is what it looks like during the day; below is a night view, if you are in the area, you may as well peek inside, it’s really pretty.

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When checking into the hotel, we lucked out and got upgraded to suites, which is another perk of traveling off season. Always be nice and chatty with the front desk people…always!!

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My room had a large seating area with a stone wall.

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It overlooked rue Saint Sulpice with a great view of the cobblestone roads, there are cobblestones under the snow, I promise, lol.

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But my favorite part of my room and the hotel was the bathroom! More specifically the tub!

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This is my dream bathroom; not only did it have a big shower, it also had a big tub! I love baths!!!

They also had L’Occidane bath products, which are super fancy!! I brought all my leftover bottles home.

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There is nothing like a hot bath on a cold night!

Spa

We flew in on Sunday and by the time we checked into the hotel it was early evening. The temperature was -12 Celsius, which for some of my readers doesn’t sound that cold, but because Montréal is on the water, it’s a damp cold, so it feels colder. What could be more fabulous than a Nordic Spa on a wintry Sunday night?? Nothing!

Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal is located just down the street from our hotel. We asked the concierge at the hotel for the address, he said take a right, you’ll see and smell the eucalyptus steam.

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Follow the steam. The spa is on the corner of rue Sulpice and Commune; the entrance is at: 71 rue de la Commune Street W.

If you haven’t been to a Nordic Spa, they have hot baths and saunas with cold dipping pools and cold showers. So you go from the hot sauna to the cold shower to the hot pool, followed by the cold dipping pool; and then you repeat.

I did the hot bath and the cold dipping pool. It’s so cold it picks your skin; the trick is to dip quickly and go back to the hot pool. It’s supposed to be good for you; it was surprisingly invigorating. I don’t like saunas and the cold shower just seemed like a dumb idea, lol, so I skipped those. They also have relaxation areas where people go to to relax and nap.

I get bored “relaxing” for too long, I did sit there and people watched before moving on. The one thing that I don’t love about Nordic spas is that you aren’t allowed to talk. I guess that may be the reason why some people go? But I am chatty.

After I soaked, dipped, relaxed while silent; I went for a massage. And wow! It was one of the best massages I have ever had!! My masseuse’s name was Nicholas, he was from France; if you go, you should ask for him.  He was awesome and his Parisian accent was dreamy, ok, I actually don’t know if he was from Paris, but his French accent was very different than the accent Québécois and Acadiens. Not that it was better…ok, it may have been a little better? But just because it sounded more exotic to me. No offense to the Quebecers or my fellow Acadians…ok, enough about accents, moving on, lol.

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I walked back to the hotel so relaxed I didn’t even feel the cold, I realized that this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday night in Montréal…in February.

Next time I am in town I am going to try Bota Bota Spa-sure-l’eau; it’s a spa on a boat, it looks really cool! Let me know if any of you have been there, if so what did you think??

Shopping

Montréal is probably one of the chicest cities in North America; top three for sure! So it goes without saying that the shopping here is amazing!

Here are my fav stores.

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Included Banana Republic because it’s a beautiful store! Love the historic building.

You should start in and around rue St Catherine; there you will find the Hudson Bay and the Eaton’s Center.

For my American friends, The Bay is a huge high end department store. It was a fur trading company founded in 1670 and is the oldest incorporated  joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. All that to say, it’s a big part of the history of Canada and a great place to shop; it’s similar to Sasks Fith Avenue Department Store.

The Eaton’s Center is a huge mall, located in the middle of downtown. Montréal has an extensive underground walkway, you can get in and around The Bay to the Eaton’s Center without having to go outside; which comes in handy on cold winter days. I braved the cold and walked outside, living in Las Vegas for a few years now, I felt that walking in the cold may help me get my Canadian street cred back?

Rudsak

Rudsak is a Canadian company; it’s described as a luxury fashion company. It’s on the pricey side, but their items will last forever!! Almost every item in their store was black or gray, so my kind of place. It’s my bff’s, Guylaine’s, fav store.

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They had everything you need to survive a Montréal winter in style! They also had beautiful purses. I felt butterflies in my stomach as soon as I saw them, but walked away before I fell in love; as I walked away I repeated in my head: you do not need another purse…you do not need another purse!!! Ouff, that was a close call.

They have a few locations, I went to the one inside Eaton’s Center.

Artizia

Aritzia is another Canadian company; it was founded in  Vancouver. They focus on individual style and quality garments. They also have a store in the Eaton’s Center; if you haven’t shopped there, check them out. Their clothes are more affordable than Rudsak. They remind me a bit of Zara.

COS

COS is my current fav store; it’s a Swedish company with locations scattered in key chic cities around the world. I’ve been to the store in Toronto and Paris; they also have a store on rue St. Catherine here in Montréal. I didn’t make it there on this trip, partly because I didn’t know they had a store when I was downtown and partly because I didn’t want to know for fear of buying something. My bag is already over weight, I’ve been gone three weeks, so I needed a lot of stuff and winter stuff is heavier; but I will visit on my next trip for sure.

One thing that I will say about COS, is that if you check them out online, you may think they are very boring, the clothes on their site look boring, but their stores are super chic in person. They offer classic pieces that will never go out of style. They also have cool hip pieces that are sure to become classics. They have great quality stuff, so I don’t mind paying a little bit more; but prices aren’t super crazy. My friend Aline first introduced me to this store…thank you!

Banana Republic

I am giving a shout out to the Banana Republic on St Catherine just because it’s one of the bigger Banana stores that I have been in and the building is historic and funky. I bought a blouse!! It’s light weight so shouldn’t add any weight to my suitcase, in case you are worried about me, lol.

Food

Montréal is a foodies dream, so many amazingly yummy places. It’s fun to discover hidden gems as you walk through the city. Montréal is know for their smoke meat sandwiches and their bagels, personally I prefer Montreal bagels to New York’s.

I would recommend making friends with your hotels concierge; they will know all the best places to eat.

Because this trip was super short, we didn’t have time for a fancy meal. We did grab a pizza before our spa night. Pizzeria Bros is almost across the street from Notre Dame; you can create your own pizza, each pizza is cooked in its own red pizza oven, super cute and yummy, easy on the budget too.

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They are located on Notre-Dame St W. Funny story, there was a family sitting beside us, the father looked exactly like Kramer from Seinfeld. I couldn’t stop staring. I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t want to be rude, lol. It was uncanny!!

Montréal has a definite Euro vibes, there is literally a coffee and/or pastry shop on every corner, especially in old Montréal. While walking back from my meetings, I stopped into Olive and Gourmando; I had heard so many good things about this place, I needed to see what all the talk was about.

It was packed!!! I didn’t have the patience to wait in line in the cold doorway, so I got a few things to go. My fave was the blueberry tart. It’s obviously the “it” place to meet with friends, but if you are looking for a quiet place to catch up, this isn’t the place, lol. It’s more of a see and be seen place.

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They are located at: 351 rue Saint-Paul St. W. ;Rue Saint-Paul is the main cobble stone street in old Montréal?, you will think you are in Europe.

Even though my time in this beautiful city was short, and cold, I tried to soak in as much as I could. There is so much to do and see, 24hrs is a joke, but it’s better than nothing. There was a winter festival happening the week after I left, the locals are not afraid of a little cold; so there is lots to do in the winter; but there is something magical about the city in the summer.

My next trip back is planned for July, I will do a follow up post at that time that showcases the summer vibe.  So what’s your favorite thing to do in Montréal?

Thanks for reading! Merci!

Muah!

Liette

How to have a super SASSY Valentine

How to have a super SASSY Valentine.

(If you are easily scandalized, please don’t read, 😳)

Roses and chocolates are fine…I guess? If you like that sort of thing? Here are 5 other options to help SASS up your Valentine’s Day…or night? Whatever, lol.

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Scissor Sisters Booty Bucks

Not ready to put a ring on it? The Scissor Sisters have a few hilarious ways to say…mm, I love you??

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They have created super funny Booty Bucks for that special someone in your life. If interested, please DM Melissa on Insta: lil_gingersnap, they are 50% sass, 50% kick ass and 100% fun!

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My two favs are: “I’am so glad we got drunk and had sex”and “You repulse me the least”, lol. Share which you like best??

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What’s Wax Got to Do With It??

Nothing!! Just say no to wax; body sugaring is the way to go! If you are so fortunate to live in the Moncton area, then you are fortunate enough to visit our local goddess, Kimberly, at Kimberly the Studio. I’ve been to lots of fancy places with fancy spas and Kimberly is by far the best at what she does!!

What does she do you ask? She does it all! Lol, she’s been called a Vulva Artist, she will make your vagina look and feel it’s very best! Not for anyone else, but for yourself. She’s an artist and a poet and embodies female empowerment. I make a beeline to her studio whenever I am in town.

Guys, a gift certificates for your ladies will help spice up your love lives. Another way to spice it up, would be to get your backs sugared, lol, just saying.

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I think this pic captures Kimberly’s cool vibe.

Her studio, Kimberly the Studio, is located at 139 Archibald St, in Moncton. If you are too far to visit Kimberly, aw so sorry, I feel really bad for you. Make an appointment with your local ladyscaping artist; you just won’t get the Kimberly experience.

She also wanted me to mention that that The Aberdeen Cultural Center will be hosting their annual fundraiser, l’art en boîte. Valentine’s Day in Moncton is not just heart day, its art day!! For $50, you get to go home with an original piece of art. Check them out, buy your ticket, support local artists.

Get A Heart On!

One of Moncton’s best Restaurant’s, if not the best, is Gusto Italian Bar & Grill. It’s located on 130 Westmorland St. If you haven’t been, I can guarantee you will looove it!

It’s the perfect place to take your sweetheart on your next date night; all their food is amazing, but their freshly made cheesecakes are on another level!

They also have a super cool vibe with lots of dark corners on the main level; perfect for a romantic night out.

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How cute is this Chicken Florentin Pizza? .

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Meet Gusto’s hostess with the mostess, Guylaine, flaunting their gluten free, pecan caramel cheesecake. It’s beyond delicious! I have no idea what’s in the crust, but I could have just eaten the crust alone and been super satisfied; and did I mention it’s gluten free? It’s their feature cake until March.

Netflix & Chill, Solo

There’s no shame if you find yourself in between lovers this VD Day…oh I mean, VDay 😬

Plan the perfect night in; order yourself a heart shaped pizza and a few slices of cheesecake to go; wash it all down with a box of wine and binge watch the first season of  You and Dirty John. You will be counting  your lucky stars that you’re  single after watching, trust me!! Man that is some scary shit!!

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(Also if you don’t know what Netflix & Chill means, look it up 😳)

Custom Condoms!

Here’s an idea, skip the homemade card and go for custom condoms; yes you can have a custom message printed on the package. Full disclosure, I haven’t tried these…yet, but OMG what a fabulous idea!! FYI, all my friends are getting      oui-Liette condoms next Christmas! Lol

I found them online at: http://www.sayitwithacondom.com, because saying it with flowers is so passer.

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I hope this post helps to get you in the mood. Please note, I am not being paid or getting freebies to promote the companies  & services listed above; my shout outs are ligit. Ok…I may get a free slice of cheesecake from Gusto’s every once in awhile?? But just the ones that flop over and aren’t pretty enough to serve to customers, lol.

And I just noticed an unintentional theme, all my featured companies in this post are from female boss ladies!! Except for the condoms, not sure if that is a female led business or not? But it’s a great ideas so probably thought of by a woman?? Kidding…sort of.

Thanks for reading, share the love by liking or sharing!!

Shout out to my nephew Jack for being a great little photographer and all round supporter!

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Trying to keep my balloons in check, the struggle is real! Oh and the theme song for this post is 99 Red Balloons, obvs!

Muah!!

Liette

 

 

Tips & Tricks for Packing Light!

Tips & Tricks for Packing Light

Is it possible to pack for ten days with just a carry on suitcase? Yes! Do I do it often? No! Lol, but I can, I just chose not to most of the time.

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Proof that I practice all my tips included in this post. Me in Paris, getting ready to go out; dressed in black! 

I recently went to Paris with one carry on; here’s how and what I packed.

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Love my new suitcase! My friend Claudia and I got matching ones…just because. 
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Claudia proving that we did carry on. The guy behind her looks super impressed. Chivalry may be dead?? Please note that Claudia follows the same packing rules, she’s wearing her black turtleneck.  Keep reading, it will all make sense ish. lol

The key to having a chic wardrobe is to stick with one main color; my uniform is black, but my frequent flyer and anti-bag checker friend Cindy, prefers navy to black. Do you boo!

The trick is that everything needs to go with everything; when traveling light you need to be focused and plan things out.

My number one item of clothing that I couldn’t live or travel without is a black turtleneck, not in summer, obviously.

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I bought this black turtleneck in Toronto in August. #1. I wore it in Moncton, Canada, in November. #2. Paris in October, #3. Christmas Eve, again in Canada; I wore with faux leather leggings and boots, in case you were wondering; and finally #4. January in Las Vegas, yes it does get cool enough.

My point here is that I have been wearing it for months and I don’t think anyone has really noticed how often I have been repeating it…I guess until now, lol. I paid close to $200, which seemed pricey at the time, but some things are worth paying more for. Go for quality over quantity.

What’s in my suitcase

  • 1 black turtleneck
  • 2 pairs of black jeans, 1 pair of blue jeans, 1 pair of black faux leather leggings and one black pair of yoga pants. If sharing a room, it’s good to lounge in your yoga pants.
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Blazer, 3 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of faux leather leggings.
  • 2 black t-shirts, 1 black and white blouse.
  • 1 black blazer, I worn mine to dinner, it made me feel dressed up and polished.
  • 1 large scarf, mine is leopard. 1 hat and 1 pair of sunglasses, don’t forget your sunglasses!
  • I do all black underwear, my rule is if I am gone 7 days, I pack 9 pairs of panties. 1 black bra, 1 one piece bodysuit, 2 black tank tops and black socks.
  • 1 travel tote bag for the plane, in my previous post, I shared my tips on what to carry in your tote bag, if you haven’t read that post, go read it now…we will wait for you to finish.
  • I travel with a black leather cross body, it’s a men’s Coach bag, I love it!! A cross body bag is a must for travel; make sure it crosses in front of you when in pickpocket areas. I also pack a second smaller leather cross body; I use it for nights out when I just need my wallet and lipstick. I pack makeup in it in my carry on so it is serving a purpose and not just taking up space.
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Invest in good leather bags and they will last for years!! 
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All my bags, for the plane, I put my bigger purse inside the tote bag. 
  • 1 black light weight puffy jacket, depending on where I am going. I didn’t pack for Paris, but did for Canada. The beauty of this jacket is that it balls up into a small pouch that can be used as a travel pillow. The scarf goes in my red tote bag and can be used as a blanket on the plane; planes get cold!!
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Scarf, hat, jacket…check!
  • Black leather ankle booties, black sneakers, mine are Nike and I brought a pair of black knee high suede boots that took up a lot of space; did I need them? No, did I only wear them once? Yes.

Pack it up!

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I rolled up my blue jeans, black jeans, leather leggings and yoga pants. Rolling your stuff does save on space. I do a combo roll and fold; I folded one of my black t-shirts and my blouse. My go to travel outfit lately is a pair of black jeans, black t-shirt and my turtleneck. I always layer up! I also like wearing my Nike sneakers, just in case I need to run to make my connection.

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My toiletries bag looks huge, it’s really not. 

In the picture above, I added my freezer Ziploc with my underwear and socks; and my bag with my toiletries, no liquids!!! Keep your baggie of creams and liquids in your tote bag. You don’t want to have to open your suitcase while going through security, that would be a rookie mistake!! Lol

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I folded my blazer on top and locked and loaded everything in…ok I clicked them in, locked and loaded sounded cooler, lol.

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I have my booties and knee high boots in the other side. I stuffed my hair straightener and other stuff in the boots. Side note, if traveling internationally, make sure you have the proper outlet converter.

My suitcase expands, but make sure you can fit everything in it without expanding, so that if you buy things on your trip…ok, when you buy things, you have some room to…well to expand lol.

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The picture above is what I carry in my tote, again, for more details check out my Flying High post.

In addition to what is pictured above, when I am flying with a carry on suitcase, I add more stuff in my tote bag.

In the bottom of the tote is my jacket, yup it fits!! I also add my larger leather cross body purse. I zip my passport and my iPad in my purse, so this purse in a bag serves as extra compartments. And the very last thing I add is my small baggie with my creams and liquids so that I can take it out quickly when going through security. Please don’t be that person who acts all stunned when it’s your turn to put your stuff in the binds in security….PLEASE!!!

You need to focus or others will hate you!! Joking, a little; put your suitcase on the belt, put your tote bag in a bin, take your liquids baggie out of the tote, lay it beside the tote and take your iPad or computer out too. Take your shoes off and move along!

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Everything has it’s own place and there is nothing rolling around. This tote is great, there is still lots of room for more stuff!  Once through security, I always buy a big bottle of water and shove it in. 

511CE729-062E-41B4-BDF2-FABBAD834D33.jpegYes, I realize my tote bag is almost as big as my suitcase, but you are allowed two bags. The suitcase goes in the overhead compartment and the tote bag with everything you will need during your flight goes under the seat in front of you. It all works!!!

Do you have any packing tips? If so, please share!

Thank you for reading, like and share if you are feeling generous.

Bon voyage!

Muah!

Liette

A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme.

A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!!

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This year I decided that it would be fun if our Christmas Eve Dinner had a theme; and since plaid seems to be the latest new hip trend, why not make it a plaid theme? If you are Canadian, it’s been hip forever, lol; plaid and Christmas are a natural fit so I thought it would be easy to pull off.

I did find that finding the perfect plaid item to wear was, well hard to find, lol. What I envisioned wearing wasn’t available at the local mall and I waited too long to order something online. But I am no quitter! Plus all but my guests are pumped and on board; so full steam ahead with my Mad for Plaid theme!

What to wear?

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This was my initial vision…yeah, I didn’t find anything this chic!! 😳

Can you have a plaid theme dinner without asking your guest to dress up? Probably, will it be as fun? No! No, it won’t. (teasing, feel free to skip to my pictures of plaid dinner table ideas if you don’t want to deal with my plaid shenanigans)

My Christmas Eve guests have been asked to wear some sort of plaid. I left it open to interpretation; I am looking forward to seeing everyone plaided up! (yes I know plaided isn’t a real word, but it should be!).

I finally found something I like, it’s a beautiful red and black plaid shawl that I will for sure wear again; it’s basically a huge blanket. My mom has a funky pair of red plaid pants that I am sort of lusting after. She’s the most stylish woman I know! My dad will wear a red and black buffalo  pattern shirt so he and I will match.

 

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This would have also worked; there is nothing more Canadian than plaid and jean on jean, right?!

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Decor

When it comes to decor, concentrate on your dinner table. I always make that my focal point. I think most people associate plaid with rustic and homey comfort; I personally think of a tall rugged Canadian lumberjack named Alex or Jean-Guy…..lol, ok moving on; the point I was trying to make before I got distracted by visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head is that it’s so easy to pull off a plaid themed dinner table. All you need is a plaid tablecloth or piece of fabric, mason jars, pine cones and a pop of something green and red.

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This was not a staged photo. This is a real live Canadian male wearing plaid, holding an axe, while standing in the snow, lol. Is he an actual lumberjack? Sure, why not? (No he isn’t).

Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so pretty!!

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We picked the pine cones ourselves; combined with the greenery my table smelled like Christmas!!
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I added a few shiny red balls.
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A few mason jars with cranberries and floating candles, instant cool mood lighting.
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This is my pallet for this year’s tables, i will add some greenery, floating candles and some mini lights. I think it’s going to look soooo pretty!

This year I will have gray and black table clothes with red napkins. I will repeat the other same items from last year; hey, if it isn’t broken, no need to fix it!

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Pro Planner Tip

Here is a super helpful tip for any and all parties, big or small; the key to creating a cool vibe for your guests is lighting! So please dim the damn lights!!!

Light some candles or load up on fairy lights, nothing ruins the mood like bright overhead lights…you’re welcome!!

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This is my cozy plaid wrap. Apparently this red and black pattern is called Buffalo… who knew? Photo creds to my nephew Jack!!

I wanted to post this before Christmas in case someone is looking for ideas on how to dress up their dinner table. I will share pictures of my Christmas Eve Dinner on my Facebook page, oui-liette.

Enjoy these last few days before the big day. I know they can be stressful; it may seem that everything I do has to be perfect. That’s actually not the case. I pre plan as much as I can and then the day of any of my personal parties or huge corporate events, I am pretty chill and roll with the punches. Don’t let the idea of perfection ruin the moment. Life is messy not perfect! Lol, enjoyez-vous!

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Merry Christmas!

Muah!!!

Liette

 

Pumpkin Fall Family Fun

Pumpkin Fall Family Fun

Pumpkin Carving

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!

Meow
Even the cat had fun, this is his happy face!

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!!

Family Pumpkin Carving
My whole family really gets into it. My brother now brings his own carving tools.

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.

VW Pumpkin
The infamous VW pumpkin that ruined my brother’s perfect winning record.
Family
We sometimes get VIP guests, like my Christopher. The more the merrier!

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!

 

Elvis Pumpkin
We aren’t very good,, but we have lots of fun family time together. This is a great idea even if you don’t like your family, everyone is too busy to fight…just saying.

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!!!!!

Kiss Pumpkins
We line them up, post on Facebook and let the voting begin.
Witchy Pumpkin
My bro, the carving champ…I even tried cheating one year, he’s hard to beat!

Hit the like button below if you are a cool person 🙂

Boo!

Liette

 

 

Canadian AF

Reflections from a Canadian Living in the US

Canadian AF

A strange thing happened to me when I moved to the US; I have never felt more Canadian. Having traveled throughout the United States for the past 15 years, I didn’t think moving to the U.S. would be all that different; and in many ways it wasn’t, but there are a few key things that make Canadians…well Canadian. Here are just a few.

But first, I want to kick off by saying that this is, in no way, an anti-American post. You don’t have to put something down in order to lift something else up. And that may be the most Canadian thing in this post?

After much reflection, here are my four categories that, I believe, all Canadians have in common and make us Canadian AF.

Sorry, but we really are that polite!

It’s a stereotype that all Canadians are polite; I am sure there are a few Canadian assholes out there roaming around, but most of us are uber polite. And yes, we do say sorry a lot…sorry about that.

If we bump into someone, we say sorry, but if someone bumps into us we still say sorry. It’s just automatic, we really can’t help it, it’s in our DNA. I once tried to stop saying sorry so much, to be a bit more “hard core” or “cool”; just something I thought I would try on for size. But it didn’t work, it kept slipping out…sorry!

Why do we do this? Here is my theory; if we are in the wrong, we say sorry because it’s the right thing to do. Now when someone bumps into us, we still say sorry; are we really sorry? No, we aren’t, but by saying sorry first it gives the other person the opportunity to say sorry back. It gives them the opportunity to redeem themselves as a decent human being, lol. Saying sorry is Canadian AF.

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Nothing more Canadian than a large double, double!

The Good Ol’ Hockey Game!

It’s true Canadians are crazy for hockey, it unifies and defines us. How much as it creeped into our national identity? Well I suspect that at this very moment every Canadian reading this, now has Stompin’ Tom Connors Hockey Song in their head…you’re welcome!

Stomping Tom is a great example of a true Canadian Icon; did he have movie star looks? Nope! Did he rule the pop charts? No, not even close. He was a scrawny cowboy born in Saint John New Brunswick and raised in Skinner Pond P.E.I, who sang songs about Canada in a nasally voice. Songs like Sudbury Saturday Night and Bud the Spud, trust me, teen girls didn’t have posters of Tom hung up on their bedroom walls.

But his song about our national sport is played in rinks across Canada. You are Canadian AF if you can’t help but sing the chorus when it comes on: “Oh! The good ol’ Hockey game, is the best game you can name. And the best game you can name, is the good ol’ Hoceky game.”

When we hear that song we know what night it is? Americans have Friday Night Lights. Canadians prefer Saturday nights, why? Because it’s Hockey Night in Canada! That’s why!

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My dad’s team playing in Holland in the 70′, that’s him on the right. 🙂

It doesn’t matter what part of the country you are from; millions of us share the same childhood memory of getting dressed in our skidoo suits, putting our skates on and going outside to play. There was always that one dad who would flood his backyard and make a skating rink for the neighborhood kids. I was lucky enough to have “that dad”.

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We start em young in Canada.

We played for the cup every day; we pretended we were Gretzky, Lemieux or Maurice the Rocket Richard. We would stay outside till our toes and cheeks were numb or till we got hurt, whichever came first.

Proud of the Maple Leaf

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My friend Robin and I being Canadian AF in Europe.

Canadians are a bit more reserved when it comes to showing our nationalism. Unlike the U.S., we are a bit more chill and reserved. Maybe that’s why we love hockey so much? It gives us the opportunity to wave our flags without feeling like we are showing off.

Our pride comes out in funny and unique ways. When with Americans, we often feel the need to point out fellow Canadians.  Example: A Shawn Medes song comes on the radio:” hey he’s Canadian”. A rerun of Star Trek comes on: “did you now William Shatner is from Canada?” We see a picture of Michael J. Fox: “he’s Canadian too, did you know that?” Howey Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Alex Trebek, Lorne Michael, Canadian, Canadian, Canadian, Canadian!

Feeling the need to point out each and every Canadian that we see or hear while with non-Canadians is Canadian AF.

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If you have ever graffitied a snow bank, you are Canadian AF!

Although we aren’t known as an “army nation”, we are very proud of those who have served. Canadians, although very polite, are scrappy as hell! We have served alongside the U.S. in every major war since World War I, except for the War on Iraq.

We have a reputation around the world as Peace Keepers, of that we are very proud.

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If you have ever skated on the Rideau Canal on a -37 degree day, you are Canadian AF!

Not to brag, because that can be seen as un-Canadian, but I think we have more heart than anyone else out there. Yup, I said it!

When the Tragically Hip announced their farewell tour and the CBC aired their final concert, the whole country watched…I am serious, the whole country watched. And those who were away, watched online. And when Gord passed away, the entire nation mourned. That makes me very proud to be Canadian!

The Great White North

No we don’t live in igloos, no we don’t have polar bears in our backyards; we have moose and deer…geeze!  And yes we do have summers here too.

We get a bit defensive when we are asked those questions. But truth be told, winter is a big part of being Canadian. It’s the one thing that we all have in common; it gets cold and it snows.

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If this looks like a normal Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday, you are Canadian AF!

I believe that Canadians talk about the weather more than anyone else in the world. We do so, so much, that it has turned into a greeting. Instead of saying hello, we will say: “nice day eh?” or “some cold out there eh?” And yes we do really say “eh”, but Americans say “huh”…a lot!

I read somewhere that the highest rated Canadian channel on television is the weather channel. It’s because we have weather, lots and lots of weather. I now live in the desert and I must say, I miss real weather, lol. Full disclosure, I don’t miss it in February when I am in flip flops! lol

Baby it's cold outside
If you have ever left the house dressed like this, you are Canadian AF!

If you think 0 degrees Celsius in February is a warm day; you are Canadian AF!

If as a child, you fought with your mom, because she made you wear your Halloween costume under your skidoo suit; you are Canadian AF!

If you have sworn at a plow driver at some point in your life; you are Canadian AF!

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If you have ever rung in the New Year at a skating party, you are Canadian AF!

If you are from Saskatoon, Yarmouth, Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Rivière-du-loup or any other Canadian AF city and have secretly made fun of Toronto for over reacting after a snow fall; then you are Canadian AF!

And finally, if you have ever heard of Saskatoon, Yarmouth, Red Deer, Fort McMurray or Rivière-du-loup; you are definitely Canadian AF. 🙂

Thanks again for reading all the way to the end! To my Canadian AF country men and woman and to my American friends. Let’s not forget or let anyone try to convince us that we aren’t friends and partners!!

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Canadians and Americans different, but the same in many ways.

Please feel free to share this post with your friends, that would be mighty Canadian of you, lol. Like and comment below; what is your most Canadian AF thing?

Muah!!! Eh!

Liette

(I am also on Instagram and Facebook: oui-liette)

Maritime AF!

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!

 

Maritime AF

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.

Canadian Winter
A light dusting of snow in Moncton, N.B.

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!

Winter Fun
Maritimers, not afraid of a little snow or cold!

Have you ever used snow to cool your adult beverages? If so you are Maritime AF!

Wine Not
No ice? No problem here!

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!

Let It Snow
There is nothing better than going for a walk after a heavy snowfall when the temperature is hovering on or around 0 degrees Celsius.That’s  just hot enough to unzip your jacket and take off your toque; it’s magical.

Have you ever spray painted a snow bank? Yup Maritime AF!

Oh Canada
My coworker Paul Dupuis and I painted a big maple leaf on the snowbank during the Vancouver Olympics to support Team Canada. Crosby, a true Maritimer, scored the winning goal…coincidence? Nope, Maritime AF! lol

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!

Canadian Beach Day
Just a regular Maritime beach day in May.

 

Beach Bunny
Catching a few rays on a sunny beach day in June! See, we are funny!!
Parlee Beach
Summer! Which usually falls on the last week of July and first week of August. The best two weeks of the year!! Lol

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.

Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge or the Fixed Link connects New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. It spans 13km/8miles. It is def Maritime AF!

If this patched and re-patched road looks perfectly normal to you, you are Maritime AF.

On the road again
If you don’t like the weather here, wait 15 minutes and it will change. The continuous frost and thaw does this to our roads. This road was most likely paved a year ago, lol.

Do you eat your lobster cold? If so, you are Maritime AF. Warm lobster is for sissies, a.k.a. anyone from Ontario.

Lobster
Helpful lobster hint, if you buy cooked lobster and it isn’t on it’s back, you are buying it from amateurs. Keeping them on their backs keeps the juice from leaking out. You don’t want a dry lobster.

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”.

Chips
They are calling for a big storm, you have enough storm chips right?

Kitchen Party

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!

Acadians
photo credit to grob1993 from Instagram

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.

Muah!

Liette

Lighthouse Selfie
Thanks to Kadopromo for my fancy hats! Need corporate branded swag? Check them out at: http://www.kadopromo.net