Llama-zing Day!

Llama-zing Day!

I’m always on the lookout for fun and different things to do, so when my friend Sue told me about Llama-zing Adventures, I knew that I needed to book a llama-zing walking tour!!

Llama-zing Adventures are located on Aboujagan Rd in Haute Aboujagane, NB and have been in business for a whole three weeks! The owner, Josée, posted a few pics on social media and her little business exploded…well, not literally, but she did get so many hits that it blew up her website, a few times.

Her original goal was to book a few tours that would help pay for some of her animal expenses; but what is happening is that her llama/alpaca gang are raising money that will give them a few more acres to roam free!

Llama-zing Adventures currently offer beach and river walks, with plans to do some fun things during the fall and winter too. I booked the river walk as a thank you to my blog helpers, Monique and Jack; my cousin Nicole rounded up our foursome, yup another cousin, I wasn’t lying, I have lots!!

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We got to choose our walking partners; Jack got Linda, Nicole got Luna, I got Brenda and Monique got Pearl.

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Once we were paired with our walking partners we were off! They were easy to walk and loved getting their long necks rubbed. They each have their own unique personality.

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Nicole’s alpaca, Luna, was very vocal and talked to us almost the entire time, man did she have lots of stories to share! She also had the cutest, little, dainty face.

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Monique’s Pearl had crazy bangs and a rad gator Mohawk. Josée told us that both the llamas and alpacas act a lot like cats; they want attention, but can also be aloof. Luna and Pearl are house trained and spend time in Josee’s house. Luna acts more like a dog than a cat…or an alpaca, she loves cuddles and watching TV. We laughed and asked Josée what her favorite TV show was, turns out she loves Blacklist, which is hilarious!!

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And then there was Linda, she’s the boss and always needs to be the lead llama on the trail. Jack said that she was a sweetheart.

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I waked with Brenda, who’s smart as a whip, we were told not to let them snack during the walk as it would slow us down and take us hours to make it back. I swear she knew that, due to Corona, we needed to stay a llama’s distance apart. She would walk fast to catch up to Luna, knowing that we would then have to wait for Luna to walk a bit in order to keep our distance, which meant that she could snack while we waited. Please note the animals are very well fed and get special treats after each tour. I think Brenda just loves to eat, which is fine, she’s blessed with a great metabolism. Josée did share with us that there was a bit of a wild party a few nights ago and, long story short, Brenda may actually be eating for two?

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Our walk lasted about an hour with a few stops  to take pics and to enjoy the scenery.

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It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon! I am not a llama or alpaca experts, but they were so well behaved, you can tell that they are well taken care of and enjoy their walks; the max that they walk during one day is 4 km.

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If you do the river walk, I suggest you wear your sneakers, Nicole had walking sandals and it was a bit muddy as it had rained earlier that morning. You should also come prepared to smile and forget your worries for at least an hour.

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To book a walking tour go to the Llama-zing Adventures website: llamazingadventures.ca and follow them on Facebook & Instagram!! We all need more cute llama faces on our feeds!

Thank you for reading!!!

muah!

Liette & Brenda

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If you liked this post check this one of Jack and I riding camels in the Mojave Desert!

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/29/sober-in-vegas-or-not/

 

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche

Today we are tripping our way to Bouctouche, NB; a super quaint seaside village forty minutes from Moncton.

Day tripping with me are two of my fifty seven cousins, jk, there are only like fifty six of us, lol. Please meet Brigitte and Tania, both are cousins on my dad’s side. Fun fact, growing up I was called Brigitte a LOT during family gatherings. I actually still do, she and I are less than a year apart, I am guessing that’s why? To be fair there were so many of us it was hard to keep us all straight… apparently?

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Brigitte on the left and Tania on the right.

My summer goal is to tour my own province and I am embarrassed to admit that I have never been to the Irving Nature Park in Bouctouche, so today is the day. I’ve been to Bouctouche tones of times, but usually to go to the beach, they have the most amazing warm water beaches!!

So today, my cousins and I are on our way to Bouctouche to be tourists and explore a bit.

The first thing we did as soon as we arrived was eat, obviously!! There are a bunch of places to eat on Main Street. We were craving some Acadian comfort food, so we went to La Sagouine Restaurant, not to be confused with Le Pays de la Sagouine, which is kind of an Acadian theme park, without rides. Sadly it’s been closed due to Covid. If you haven’t been you need to go as soon as it re-opens, it’s an awesome way to soak in some local culture.

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Another great way to soak up some Acadian culture is to eat some authentic regional food, which is what we did. The menu above has a lot of Acadian dishes, I’ll translate for those who don’t read French: first is chicken fricot, which is a soup with a spice called summer savory, it’s used a lot in Acadian cuisine. The next item sounds really bad in English, lol, it’s grated potatoes and pork baked in the oven until the edges and top are crispy, it’s soooo good! The next item, crêpe râpée, uses the same potato mixture as the rapé; it’s basically a potato pancake. And the last item is a bar clam pie, which is also to die for!!

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My fav was the crêpe râpée!! Bottom left.

We ordered the crêpe râpée, potato pancake, their lobster roll and the seafood casserole. We made sure to save room for their homemade pies, Brigitte wanted to order her dessert first, we told her no. 😬

As you can see Acadian cuisine isn’t exactly light; we waddled to the Irving Nature Park to walk off our lunch.

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It was beautiful!! We walked for over an hour, it’s huge! There are areas with picnic tables, there’s a fountain, a play area for kids and beautiful rose gardens; there is something for everyone.

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We’ve decided that we are coming back in the fall when the leaves start changing and then back at Christmas time, they put Christmas lights in the huge trees that surround the chapel. Brigitte said that it’s absolutely magical, so we will need to come back.

After our walk we drove down the coast and saw fishing boats, oyster beds and people digging for clams, we call them piss clams, because they shoot out water when you pick them up. These are the type of clams used to make fried clams. We used to go digging clams a lot when we were kids, I haven’t been for decades; I may need to add that to my summer bucket list?

 

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Have you ever gone clam digging? It was low tide; there were lots of people digging for clams. Those black things in the background are oyster beds.

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Leaving the Nature Park, we took a left and stayed on the road that follows the water. Our plan was to stop and check out anything that looked interesting; this giant strawberry looked interesting, too bad the u-pick was closed.

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I was told to take a bite out of this strawberry, I think it looks more like I am yelling at it? Lol

Our next stop was at Wood Chuck’s Carvings and Antiques, it was certainly an interesting stop.

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They have the most awesome, random things; from old anchors, to antique glassware, vintage hats, to marbles and a giant box filled with old school metal keys.

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They also have an amazing view of Bouctouche Bay. I took pics outside while Brigitte tried on vintage hats, we each bought one; now I need to host a special event so we have a place to wear them.

One of the things that I love about living in the Maritimes is seeing fishing buoys strewn across lawns, you don’t see that living in Las Vegas! I am certain some of my desert friends have never even seen a real buoy, they are used by fisherman to mark and identify their traps. The buoys in our area are mostly for lobster traps, our lobster season starts in August.

I got Tania to run out and take a pic of these pink buoys; I’ve never seen pink ones before!!

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Then a few kilometres down the road we saw these decorative buoys, I love all the colours.

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Had it been super sunny we would have gone to the Dunes for a dip, this cloudy day was perfect for exploring and spending time together.

So that was our day tip, you really should get out there and explore your own area, I am sure there are lots of things that you’ve never gotten around to seeing yet? I am seeing lots of your pictures on social media of you visiting local sights, yay!!

Thank you for reading!!!!! Check out my Instagram and Facebook sites: Oui-Liette. I get thousands of views per blog posts, yay!! But my Instagram page needs some more followers, please?? Lol. I am revamping the look of it a bit.

muah!

Liette

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If you liked this post, you’ll probably love these ones too!

This one was so much fun, glaming: https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/05/girls-who-glamp/

This is another Day Tripping in NB post: https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/11/day-tripling-in-nb-cornhill-nursery/

 

Day Tripping in NB – Cornhill Nursery

Day Tripping in NB – Cornhill Nursery

This summer we are going to be jumping in our car and day tripping around the province. Today’s Day Trip is Cornhill Nursery, in Cornhill, NB; it’s located 40 min outside of Moncton near Havelock.

It’s the perfect weekend drive if you like seeing lush rolling green hills, expansive corn fields and sprawling dairy farms? If you’re into those sorts of beautiful, freaky green landscapes, then this is the perfect day tripping excursion for you!

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I had never been here before, I saw my friend Chantille post a few pics from her recent visit and it looked really cool. Today, I didn’t have much going on so I decided take a drive and check it out and I am happy I did. Also, I think the fact that I didn’t know much about this place made it seem more exotic, lol.

My nephew made a comment that the grounds of the nursery looked like the movie Narnia; I half expected some sort of magical fairy to fly past us. It felt like we were in a children’s fairy-tail storybook. I kept looking over my shoulder for some sort of wicked witch to jump out and offer me an apple or something? lol

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They have overgrown leafy arches that lead you from the parking lot to the nursery grounds. We could smell something delicious as soon as we got out of our car.

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It was an outdoor wood fire pizza oven; like of course it was? Having an outdoor pizza oven in the middle of a fairy forest is totally what you’d expect right? Lol

Since we were hungry, we’re pretty much always hungry, we decided to give their pizza a try.

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We were seated under this green canopy, see above; here’s our view from our picnic table, below.

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Each table had large stone vases with the sweetest smelling roses in them and the staff were super friendly and attentive.

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Here’s a close up of the rock vases.

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The pizza was delicious!! Even their water jugs were beautiful. It’s not fancy, they bring out your pizza in a white pizza box, which is perfect if you want to take your leftovers home.

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Even our picnic table neighbor was adorbs and very well mannered.

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There is also an indoor cafe, but if the weather is nice, eat outside. They sell those stone vases in the cafe, they are beautiful! A bit pricey, but certainly one of a kind and made right here in the Maritimes.

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It’s a full nursery, with beautiful plants and trees.

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Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? It was the strangest funky evergreen I’ve ever seen, maybe this place is magical after all?? There was a storm rolling in as we were leaving that just added to the other worldly feel of this place. The gray skies seemed to make everything look even greener, all of these pics were taken with my iPhone.

Even though the Atlantic provinces are open to each other, (for my none Canadian readers, Canadian travel within the country has been limited in order to get a grip on the spread of Covid, the four Atlantic Canadian provinces are now open to each other, because we are awesome: we listened to directions.) there are so many gems right here in New Brunswick that we need to explore and visit!

This day trip was spontaneous and awesome! Where should we go next and who wants to come with us?

muah!

Liette

Thanks for reading!!

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There is also a bunch of grape vines next door.

Summer in Bloom – Bucket List

Summer in Bloom! Bucket List

If you live in Canada, you know how precious and short our summers can be. Before you know it the leaves will be changing and fall will be upon us. In order to make the most out of summer, let’s make a list of all the summer things we want to do and then let’s get out there and do them!

Here’s my list, let me know what’s on yours.

1. Camping or Glamping

So camping hasn’t historically been my thing, but I just went on my first glamping trip and I loved it! There is some sort of camping for everyone, some like roughing it, some meh…not so much, lol. Whatever your preference, get out there and do it!! Even better, do it locally so that you can help support your respective communities that have been hit hard by the shut downs. Also all the cool places that are usually booked a year in advance may now have some openings, as less people are able to travel?

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2. Beaching or Laking (yes, I make up words, deal with it).

I’ve discovered that my soul needs to be immersed in large bodies of water; it’s my happy place. True story, when I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be a mermaid.

I’ve been to the beach several times and I hope to be many more before the summer is over. I’ve expanded my horizons a bit lately and have been to a river and a lake.

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We are so fortunate to live so close to amazing beaches, rivers and lakes, yet some don’t make time to enjoy them. Get out there! Live a little.

3. Picnic

Here is my recommendation, I am going to call a friend and make a date to do it too, since weekends can be so busy, let’s make a date to meet a friend for lunch in a local park. You bring the sandwiches and have your friend bring the dessert or drinks, so it’s easier. It’s a great way to catch up, reconnect and get some fresh air. It’s also a great stress reliever and break in during a busy week.

Another option is lunch at a Food Truck, this can technically count as a picnic! And it’s supporting a local business.

4. Drive in

Drive ins are just plain fun and they’re the perfect way to socially distance. We have two drive ins in my area, one of them have been showing retro scary movies on Thursday nights. My friend Dawn and I are scary movie friends, we both like watching them, usually through our fingers that our covering our eyes, lol. We have just made plans to go this week, the are showing the original Amityville Horror movie…yikes! I’ll post some pics on my oui-liette Facebook page of our movie night.

5. Day Tripping

For this goal, get in your car and drive. Drive to the city or town closest to where you live, go for lunch, walk around, browse local shops and markets; take pictures and just explore.

The four Atlantic provinces have just opened up to each other, which is perfect for day tripping. I have a few day trips planned for the next few weekends, I love road trips! Go out there and make some family memories.

6. Farmers Marketing (the act of visiting a farmer’s market)

This one is so important; I feel like our collective goal should be to visit farmers markets at least a few times a month. This could be a traditional farmers market with a bunch of local vendors or go to the an actual real farm!

We just spent the weekend in Waterborough, NB and shopped at a local strawberry farm market, I got the yummiest jams. I’ve also recently been to The Green Pig and bought a bunch of fresh stuff there.

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Go to local u-picks, buy direct from farms! I am already planning my apple picking trip to Verger Belliveau Orchards… ok my mini shop local rant is over, moving on.

7. I Scream for Ice Cream!

This is an easy summer goal that doesn’t have to be super complicated or cost a lot of money. I’ve been doing maybe a bit too much screaming for ice cream lately?

On the next hot day, find an ice cream partner and go to your neighborhood pop up ice cream hut. You may as well splurge for an extra scoop. Or go buy a tub of locally made ice cream and make a fancy Sunday at home; either option will be good enough to check this one off your list.

8. Bonfire

There is a theme to all my bucket list goals, it’s to slow down and take some time to relax and spend time with your loved ones or just alone time. This is a perfect excuse to do that.

Put your phone down, but keep it close tough, because you’re going to want to take a pic of your bonfire, obviously, lol. Take time to sit and look at your roaring fire, sing some cheesy campfire songs and roast some marshmallows!

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Before you bonfire, make sure that your area is green enough to safely do so. We’ve been under a strict fire band for most of the summer, but we just had some rain, so we able to fire it up!!

9. BBQ but make it fancy!

This one is super easy, so I am adding a level of difficulty to it; make your next BBQ a bit fancy by dressing up your table.

Here’s an easy and inexpensive idea, use fruits and greenery as a centerpiece. I am going to try this at my next BBQ. I’ll post my photos on my oui-liette Facebook page, like my page for updates.

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Another easy way to fancy it up is to add a big bouquet of wildflowers to your patio table, send me your pics!!

10. Be a tourist in your hometown

I try to be a tourist in my own region at least once a summer. I try to visit all the touristy places that people come here from away to see, but locals rarely go.

It’s fun to explore your local region and pretend that you’re a tourist, you can even buy a tacky t-shirt, live a little!!

I recently climbed up the giant lobster in Shediac, NB. I hadn’t done that in probably 20 years or more, it made me laugh, which is the whole point. What giant thing is your town or area know for? Whatever it is, go take a touristy pic in front of it; I dare you!

 

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Thanks for reading! I am currently working on revamping my Instagram page, go check it out! And I’ll add additional pics on my Oui-Liette Facebook page once I check off more items off this list; so go like my page and gram page if you haven’t already!!

Thank you! Muah!

Liette

If you want to read more, here is a link of a funny one; Funny Things A Maritimer Misses When They Leave, I wrote this one when I was living in Las Vegas.

https://oui-liette.org/2019/04/28/funny-things-a-maritimer-misses-when-they-leave/

 

At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; not together, in their separate respective kitchens.

At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; kitchens made for entertaining.

Here in Atlantic Canada we’re kind of famous for our kitchen parties, so for this post, I am calling in the big guns. We will be taking a quick peek into two kitchens that are perfect for entertaining.

At Home With Gilles

My friend Gilles loves entertaining, and I hate to give him too many compliments, but he’s really good at it. (Oh for my American English friends, Gilles is pronounced more like Jill)

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First of all, he has one of the biggest island’s that I’ve ever seen; he loves cooking for his friends and family and, ugh, he’s a good cook too.

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His living, dining and kitchen area are one completely open space; all three areas are shades of brown and cream, which helps to create a seamless flow.
I’ve been over several times where he’s behind the counter cooking, usually lobster, while his guests are seated at the island watching the show; and by watching the show, I mean drinking.

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At the end of his huge island is his huge dining table, which was custom made by L’artisan Christophe from Tracadie, NB and it’s gorgeous!

The photo below is the view from his front door; let’s focus on the lighting over the island. It’s important that the lighting fixtures over your island be in proportion to the size of your island. Since Gilles has an over sized island, his lighting fixtures needed to be large and impactful without looking too heavy or bulky.

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These fixtures are perfection! First of all, they look like some sort of fishing net, which is perfect for a guy “du nord”. They are very large, but they don’t block the view; they’re basically see through, which works!

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He also has a big pantry, which I wasn’t allowed to photograph; it’s big enough to hid his blender and other small appliances that can clutter your counter top. When your kitchen is visible as soon as you walk through your front door, it helps to have a place to store all your messy stuff.

I pulled the yellow bowls out of his pantry because they matched the lemons. I think it adds a really nice small pop of color. I am going to recommend he get a bright yellow pot with a big green plant for his counter top.

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The glass of wine wasn’t part of my vignette, but I let him keep it in the shot, since it is his house and all, lol.

I asked Gilles what his favorite part of his house is; he said that nothing beats cooking on a Sunday afternoon with his TV muted on the golf channel while his music blares in the background. I’m assuming there maybe a big glass of red wine on the counter in this scenario too??

This is his view while standing behind his island; perfect for golf viewing.

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At Home With Kenda

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Kenda and I have been friends since we were babies; she was at my first birthday and my second…and my 50th. I was with her when she first visited her current lakeside condo; it was all kinds of shades of dusty rose. The kitchen and living room were separated by a wall with a cut out window, which I assumed was used to pass things from the kitchen to the dining area? It was very 70’s.

The first thing she did was to knock down that wall, which created one big open living space. The next thing she did was to paint over the rose walls…oh and the carpet and light fixtures were also dusty rose; let’s just say that the transformation was very dramatic.

Her open space is perfect for entertaining; one of the things that she does that I think is really clever is that she can extend the size of her island if needed.

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Above is her kitchen, her island is perfectly portioned for the size of her space. But when she has people over, she has the option of doubling the size of her island by moving her dining table.

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I don’t care how nice your living room is, during a party your guests will end up gathering around your kitchen island before the end of the night. When entertaining don’t be afraid to move things around and put things away in order to give you more room to parrrtay! Figure out how things are going to flow in order to avoid traffic jam areas. 
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Even with the length of her island doubled, she still has ample space to move around; and this temporary reconfig gives her the ability to have a sit down meal for 10 to 12 people. Or she can use this layout to display food and to set up her bar so that things flow properly. In my last post, I mentioned that my friend Guylaine was a fanatic on proper lighting; I am an expert on having things laid out in a way that creates the right flow.

I am not going to lie, I am a bit envious of Kenda’s space; it’s not a huge space, but the layout was so well thought out that it’s the perfect place to gather for a proper Maritime Kitchen Party.

Thank you for reading, I can’t wait for us to be able to gather with friends and family again. If there is one positive thing that comes out of this whole pandemic, it’s that I think we have come to appreciate how much we love and need each other.

Follow me on Facebook and Insta at: Oui-Liette for additional photos and videos and if you missed my last two posts peeking into peoples homes, here are the links:

https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/16/at-home-with-guylaine-and-claudia-the-bathroom-reno-edition/ and https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/12/at-home-with-nancy-take-a-peek-inside-her-150-year-old-country-house/

stay safe, muah!!

Liette

Behind the scenes

If you’re new to my blogs, I sometimes post some behind the scenes extras or fun facts. Here are two fun extras!

Kenda at my first birthday party.

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And again at my 4th. I think we were the same height in 1974?? Even though she’s a few months older; I am now a full head taller. 😁

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Hoppy Easter!

Hoppy Easter!

This past week was my first full week off work. I’ll be off until June 1; and I have to admit that I’m already bored to death!!!! I know some people are thriving in this social distancing/staying home shit, but I am not one of those people, lol.

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But, this Saturday morning, I woke up with purpose!!! I was inspired by a few of my friends; Gilles, Kenda, Richard and my sister in-law April, who have been dropping off special meals for me this week. I was thinking it was just because they like me; but it may actually be pity food, because I live alone??

In the spirit of giving back and paying it forward, I’ve decided to make up special Easter baskets and drop them off on the doorsteps of a few of my friends and family. Partly because it’s a super thoughtful thing to do and partly because it will give me something to do; but mostly the thoughtful part. And sorry, but I have a massive family so I couldn’t hop over and leave a basket for everyone.

My baskets are pretty special; instead of having chocolate eggs and bunnies in them. I’ve added something much more valuable; toilet paper!! And not the cheap kind, I splurged on the three ply!

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Here are a few of my special baskets. Kenda and Richard got cheesies in their basket with one roll of toilet paper; their kind of special, but not special enough for two rolls and cheesies. lol

So this Easter morning, I hopped across town delivering my Easter toilet paper baskets… you’re welcome friends and family!!

To make them even more special I hot glue gunned a chick to each basket and added a cheery Easter card, that’s actually a sticker; so my loved ones can stick me on their fridges and have my smiling face staring back at them forever!!! It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

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I love this little thing, it’s called a Sproket and it’s a Bluetooth printer. It prints business card size stickers off your cell phone!

Happy Easter to all of you; I know it’s a really weird time and we are missing being with our friends and families, but hey, you can still drop off chocolates, toilet paper or ham!

Please stay safe and be kind to each other! We will get through this!!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

OK full disclosure, I wanted my Hoppy Easter cards to look like this one below, but I censored myself; what with it being the resurrection of Jesus and all. I decided to curtail my sassyness just this once.

Also I may have dropped off baskets to my mom and brother and then asked for the baskets back? But they got to keep the toilet paper. I just needed the baskets for others; it’s called recycling.

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Coronavirus – Is it OK to not be OK?

Coronavirus – Is it ok to not be ok?

I consider myself to be a pragmatic optimist; I try to see the positive in every situation, but I am also able to adjust to pretty much any situation once I’ve had a moment to digest and recalibrate.

But this isolation situation is kicking my ass!! Have you ever realized how fortunate you are and then felt a bit of guilt for throwing yourself a pity party? That’s normally where my mind goes when I start thinking, poor me. I realize that a lot of other people have harder struggles than I do; so I tell myself to buckle up buttercup. In the past this way of thinking has served me well. It’s made me power on, and I have full intentions of powering on this time too, because I know that this too shall pass.

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But is it ok to not be ok for a moment? This week I’ll find out if I get laid off or not? Last week three of my friends and 3 of my family members lost their jobs. It looks like I will celebrate my 50th birthday alone, by myself in my apartment…in Moncton; not in Palm Springs with my friends as planned!!! The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing is creeping up on me stirring up crazy flashbacks. And I feel that things are just going to get crazier before they get better; that’s a tough thing to process for an optimist. So I think I am going to need a freaking moment!!!

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I was chatting with a friend on the phone today  and at one point in the conversation I asked her if she was having an anxiety attack? She was; we talked about nothing and anything until it subsided a bit. She suggested that I write a post about feeling anxious, worried and depressed.  

My posts usually have a funny or optimistic vibe; but I think there maybe some comfort in hearing that others are also struggling? So I am diving in here; this whole thing is just plain and simply fucked up! The world has come to a complete stop! And I’m sorry, but at this very moment, I am having a hard time finding the bright side or an immediate silver lining!

Ouff! There, I said it! It’s out there and to be honest, it feels good to blurt that out and release it. And for your mental health, I think that you should give yourself permission to lose it as well; but then, please find it again.

Maybe we should schedule our losing it outbursts so we don’t all lose it at the same time? Yes, that’s a good idea; we’ll need to take turns losing our shit. Let’s try to be extra kind to ourselves in these next few months; yes, I said months.

As a rule I try, and think I do a pretty good job, to not compare myself to others; but lately, with all this free time spent on social media, I’ve caught myself being a bit envious and I think others may be as well??

So if you’re not preparing gourmet meals for yourself/mate/family every night; it’s ok. If you aren’t creating daily super adorable Tik Tok videos with your children; it’s ok! If you want to punch your significant other in the throat because you can hear them chewing or breathing; it’s ok! If you live alone and have been wearing the same yoga pants for over a week; it’s ok!! It’s all ok!!

Anything that is helping you survive in isolation, that doesn’t hurt anyone else, is ok!! Ok?

That being said, if your not ok moments lasts for more than a moment; please call your folks, FaceTime your friends or set up a patio or driveway date with someone you love. And if that doesn’t help, please call your doctor and have a chat with them. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel like you’re going to be ok.

I was on the phone with my mom today; she must have sensed that I was having an off day because she told me that I need a project. She said that I don’t do well when I have nothing to look forward to. And of course she is right! She’s always right. So in order for me to be ok, I am going to need a fun project. So watchez-vous! My creative juices will be flowing, which can get scary?? Lol. Try to find something that you can do for yourself to help you be ok.

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To recap; it’s ok to not be ok for a moment. It’s ok to lose your shit, but then, please find said shit and keep on keeping on. No one’s life is perfect so avoid comparing yourself to others. Use any and all tools that are currently helping you survive. Find something to do that is going to help make you feel ok; and finally if you’re not ok moment is lasting more than a moment, please reach out for help.

Stay safe and let me know how you’re doing.

muah!

Liette

PS – looks like we all have extra time on our hands, sign up to receive my posts sent to you via email. They’re super amusing!! 🤣

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Physical Distancing While Socially Connecting

Physically Distancing While Socially Connecting.

5 ideas to help us feel good while we do good.

My previous post; 5 Bad Ideas to Avoid While Socially Distancing, was a funny attempt to lighten the mood a bit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the heaviness of our current situation; this post isn’t as funny, but I think it will help make us feel good.

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Let’s get started! Here are my 5 ideas that will help us feel good while we do  good!!

Feed a Friend

And by friend I mean a support worker!! This is my second week of working from home; and like so many of you, I’ve been working in my pajamas and eating chocolate chip cookies for lunch.
To be honest, I’ve struggled a bit being isolated, but do you know who is struggling more? All the healthcare workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, pharmacy workers, flight attendants, pilots, ticket agents, airport security people, cleaners, corner store and gas station people, 911 operators, police, ambulance employees and so many more!!!
They are working extra long hours so that our society doesn’t completely fall apart.

Those of us who are stuck home seem to be cooking up a storm in order to stay busy; why don’t “we” make a bit extra and drop off some food to someone we know who is working their butts off for the rest of us?

Is your cousin a nurse or a Cosco cashier? Call them up and tell them that you are dropping off a lasagna or homemade soup on their front step, so that they can relax with a home cooked meal after their shift.

On Sunday, my mom and I made a bunch of pâtée chinois; which in English translates to Chinese paste??? It’s meat and potatoes, so not sure what funky French person came up with that name? Lol, it’s Sheppard’s Pie; sorry I digress.

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Single servings of Sheppard’s Pie. My mom put cheese on hers, I went without.

We made a bunch and dropped some off to my brother and his wife. He works in a manufacturing plant, they make air exchangers for hospitals and big buildings. My sister in-law works for an airline; she’s been working crazy hours helping Canadians get back home; knowing that she’s getting laid off soon. 😕

They were so happy to get our goodies; we also gave a few to my mom’s senior neighbors who are scared to leave their apartments.

It warms my heart that others are « feeding a friend » too. My bff’s family own and work at Gustos, an amazing restaurant here in Moncton. Sadly they have had to close until this craziness passes (but will be opening for limited hours daily for Skip the Dishes orders soon). They happen to make the world’s best cheesecake! What did they do with all the cheesecakes they had left after closing??

I’ll tell you what they did; they, as a family, cut up mounts of cheesecake pieces and packed them up and delivered them to hospital workers!!

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Team Judson/Malenfant, my bff with her teenagers doing good for others!

Random acts of kindness

This is probably the easiest to do, be open to being kind and helping others when the opportunities present itself. I dropped off magazines that I was done with and left them in front of my neighbors door with a note the other day; she was thrilled. My across the hall neighbor, who is in his seventies, was outside the other day cleaning off all the cars in our parking lot after a dusting of snow. Canadian Blood Services is in need of blood, book an appointment and save a life.

Is your neighbor or family member one of those still working? Offer to walk their dog? Offer to pick up groceries for them. It doesn’t have to be super complicated.

Be thankful

This one is similar to being kind, but a little different; be thankful and say thank you. I was at the grocery store the other day and I thanked the cashier for showing up for her shift. She was a bit caught off guard and smiled and thanked me for thanking her; man I love Canada! She said that she stays 2 hours after her shift everyday to help sanitize the store as they are short staffed.

I have an office job, I sit at a desk, when not travelling, if my boss told me after my 8 hours that I needed to stay an extra 2 hours to help clean the office, I don’t think I would be very happy? But she has been doing it for over a week! So thank him or her!!

When you go to your corner store, thank the clerk, the grocery store staff, the pharmacy staff…If you are somewhere getting necessities and you see someone who is working,  thank them.

Let’s all just be thankful that when push comes to shove; and when some of us are called to take one for the team, that they do so without hesitation. They show up! So thank them!

Phone a friend

Everyone is saying that we need to be Social Distancing; I heard someone online mention that this is not what we need. We need to be physically distancing from each other, but we need to find a way to socially come together so that we are not alone. I thought that was a great point.

Check in on your friends, family and coworkers. Use technology to stay connected; I have a zoom video date with 3 of my bffs later tonight. And one of my friends in Las Vegas has set up a social mixer video call for this weekend.

I have been FaceTiming with friends all week and my boss has asked that our conference calls be video calls. I can’t imagine being home alone for weeks at a time without seeing the smiling faces of loved ones.

And if you are having a really bad hair day, then skip the video chats and talk on the telephone, old school.

Be kind to yourself

My first week inside I started feeling bad because I wasn’t motivated to work out in my living room or run up and down my stairs. I was comparing myself to all those people who are posting their workouts online. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that people are doing all of that. But I was feeling bad about myself because I had zero motivation to join in. And do you know what? That is ok; we all deal with stress and anxiety differently and we need to give ourselves permission to deal with things in our own way.

Want to have cookies for lunch, go for it! Don’t feel like getting dressed on a random Wednesday? That’s fine!! Do you and do what you need to do to comfort yourself and make yourself feel safe and whole.

I do think we need to be on the lookout for signs of depression in ourselves and our loved ones. But needing to retreat for a moment to re-calibrate ourselves is fine.

For the record, today is a random Wednesday and I am dressed and I just got back from an one hour long walk in the woods! Oh wait, it’s only Tuesday…or is it Thursday?? Oh shit I don’t know what day it is?? But I have real pants on! lol

My last helpful, be kind to yourself, hint is to turn off the news for a bit! At this point, I think we are all aware of the gravity of the situation, but hearing it over and over and over again isn’t helpful; for my mental sanity anyway.

I’ve been seeking out funny and ridiculously silly videos to balance things out a bit.

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Ok the hat, the hair and the face are all the same shade…not good! lol

If you have any other suggestions on how we can do good, please share!!

And if you haven’t read my 5 Bad Ideas to Avoid During Social Distancing, here is the link; it was super amusing, lol.

https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/22/5-bad-ideas-to-avoid-during-social-distancing/

Thank you for reading, sign up to receive my blogs via email if you haven’t subscribed yet; seriously, you’ve got lots of time on your hands!! Lol

muah! stay safe and sane!

Liette

 

Valentine Vibe

Valentine Vibe

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This Valentine’s I am feeling a darker, moodier vibe. It maybe because I am back in Eastern Canada where the days are shorter, darker and colder? But I love it! I love curling up on my couch watching the snow fall; that’s probably one of the only thing you can’t do in Las Vegas?

For this Valentine’s Day, my challenge and wish to all of you is to love your life! And to fall in love with yourself! Ok, that maybe easier said than done?

I am finding that the art of loving your life is to not compare yours to others. Everyone, no matter how rosy and happy they look, is struggling with something. Life is hard!! That’s a fact that we tend to forget. But nothing worth having is easy, so appreciate what you have when you have it!

One of my favorite “loving my life” tricks is to find people who make me laugh and to spend as much time with them as possible; bribery works for me, but hey, you do you, lol.
My other trick is to do ridiculously stupid and fun things; preferably with the same people who make you laugh.

As I get older, I really have zero fucks as to what others think of me or my shenanigans. If you think that wearing a crown when you visit Buckingham Palace is dumb; well that’s your prorogative, but we obviously can’t be friends, lol.

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It’s been my experience that my fondest  memories are the ones where I let lose and was a bit extra with the people I love.

I wish all of you a heartfelt, lovely, ridiculous Valentine’s Day! If it doesn’t fill your heart with joy, don’t do it…well unless it’s your job; and who are we kidding, you need to make money. Ok, new plan, is it doesn’t fill your heart with joy, come up with a new plan! Then stop doing it.

muah!!!

Liette

P.S. – some of my crazy cousins are coming over tomorrow; we’ll be decorating Valentine cupcakes, but with a twist! Check out my Facebook page: oui-liette, for pics of our cupcake night.

 

Host a Holiday 5 à 7 Like a Pro!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #1 Good Vibes Only

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Zone Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Bust a Move

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Light It Up!

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

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

5. Expect the Unexpected

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 6. Stay Cool

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

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

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

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

Go forth and entertainment!! 🎅🏻💋

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

muah!

Liette