Hello October! Fun and Frightful Bucket List.

Hello October! Fun and Frightful Bucket List.

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

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

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

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

Pumpkins!

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

– Pick a Pumpkin

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

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

– Carve Your Pumpkin

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

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

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

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

 

Haunted, Frightful Fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ghoulish Friends Gathering

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

muah!

Liette

Surviving Death

Surviving Death

One of the harshest things about death is that you are forced to go on with your life. It doesn’t seem fair that something so utterly devastating can happen and the next day you have to wake up and go on with your life.

I have lost my grandparents and an amazing aunt, so I thought I knew what it was like to lose someone I loved, but it turns out, I had no clue.

I want to apologize to all those close to me who have lost a parent, mate or a child. I am sorry I couldn’t grasp the depths of your loss and to be honest, it’s such an uncomfortable place to be that unless you are forced to be there, you gloss over it. The truth is that unless it happens to you, you have no clue what it really feels like.

Everyone’s journey is very different; it’s weird the things that you think of; I remember wondering what would be better, watching someone slowly die or getting a phone call that your loved one had been hit by a truck and was gone, just like that. I actually though about that for a long time and weighing the pros and cons of each.

I was and am still a very lucky girl, I was blessed with a father that others wished they had. He was the absolute best with a personality that was beyond charming. He had a killer smile that lit up the room. Have you ever talked to someone who made you feel like you were the only one in the room? Some people have that gift to make you feel important and special. My dad had that quality, people were just drawn to him; and I was his favorite person; of all the people, I was the one.

I am just realizing now that not everyone has someone in their life who loves them like that; who loves them unconditionally. He was my greatest cheerleader, he encouraged all my hair brained ideas and adventures. So I know how fortunate I have been and I am truly thankful. Someone told me the bigger the love the bigger the loss, I believe that to be true.

He was the most positive person and had the best outlook on everything even death. He wasn’t afraid to die, which made it easier for us to let him go. He told me he had the best life and did everything he wanted to do. He had no regrets; how many of us will be able to say that when are time comes? I aspire to live a life with no regrets, but man, I am not certain I will be able to rise to that challenge?

When someone is sick you morn them while they are still alive so that by the time they pass, you are relieved that they don’t have to suffer anymore. I remember being angry near the end; I just figured that there would be more dignity in death. You live a great honorable life and then it ends so horribly; it didn’t and still doesn’t seem fair. But it is what it is and you have to accept and keep going.

Something really strange happened right before my dad passed, while I was making funeral plans, I was able to talk to him about what he wanted and that in of itself was a gift. That’s not the strange part, the strange part is that I told my mom, that I wanted to speak at his funeral.

That’s so strange because I am a huge crier and never would have imagined that I would have the strength to do that.  Buy something came over me that made me think I could get up in front of hundreds of people and eulogize my father, like wtf?? My mom, also super supportive and positive, told me to see how I felt the morning of the funeral; she gave me permission to change my mind at any point. But I told her I had things to say. I actually felt like he was giving me strength, and I think that is exactly what happened.

I had 5 bullet points written down on an old envelope, they were 5 examples of lessons he taught me. I felt I needed to speak and I wanted to make him proud. I know he would have been proud. Fast forward 5 weeks later, I can’t picture his face without bursting into tears, that’s why this post has no pictures of his handsome face. I know he was with me that day, giving me strength.

Because I am my fathers daughter, I am able to find positive things even in the face of such great loss. I feel that even though this is the most horrible thing that will ever happen to me, it has shown me how strong I am. That if I can survive this, I can survive anything. It also puts everything into perspective, things that I used to stress about now I could care less. It’s like, is anyone going to die if this doesn’t get done this very minute? No, ok then let’s chill out and move on.

This has also reminded me that I have the most amazing extended family, we were always close but this made us much closer and way more huggier and affectionate. I love them so much and can’t imagine how we would have gotten through this year without them.

I also have great friends, it’s funny how in the daze of death you remember every face that shows up to pay their respects. I was so touched by those who took the time to come pay their respects. You expect your close friends to show up, but there were a few people that I was so surprised to see and was so touched that they took the time to visit.

And if I am being honest; I was disappointed by some who didn’t come. Here’s a tip, if for some reason or another you are unable to show up for a friend, make that call or send that text saying thinking of you, but I will be working, I am out of town or just I am not a funeral person; trust me it will be so appreciated.

Thinking there will be so many people there that no one will notice your absence is apparently not how it works. Even now, I will be  talking to my mom and she will, out of the blue say, I was surprised that so and so wasn’t there. It’s like you have some sort of weird laser focused memory of every face that you saw. And at the most random time you will realize, gee that person wasn’t there. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can remember who showed at the funeral parlor and church. Ok enough of that, moving on.

I feel like I am now part of some twisted club, the loss club. There is something comforting about being around others who without saying anything know exactly what you have been through.

So 5 weeks in, it all still feels like a bad dream, like he’s just gone on a trip and will be back soon. The other day I picked up the phone to call him and for a full second I forgot he was gone. I am told that is very normal by my new club members.

I wish I had some magical formula for getting through the grieving process that I could share with you, but I don’t. I wake up, put a smile on my face and go about my day, I still cry a lot, mostly at night and usually only for a minute or so; I think that’s “normal” and it relieves stress.

My way of surviving death is to live my life in a way that honors my fathers spirit and joi de vivre. I know he would want me to live my happiest, best life and I am trying really hard to do that, it’s not always easy, but it is a choice I have to make everyday.

I want to thank everyone who has been so kind to my mom, Serge, Ginette and I! And if you know someone who has lost someone, check up on them every once in awhile, especially after the dust settles. And if you are part of the club, I hope you are able to find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Sadly everyone reading this will have their turn at some point.

 

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I love this pic of my dad and my nephew holding hands. I remember that day so well. Go out there and make memories with your people and take lots of pics!

muah!

Liette

 

 

 

 

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday is the newest thing; why? Because we are so busy taking care of our kids, our jobs, our parents; that we have zero time to take care of ourselves. But guess what? If you burn out everyone around you will be screwed!!

Self Care Sunday is finding a bit of time every week to do something to help re-charge your body, mind and soul.

Here are 5 easy ways to chill the f@$# out!

Get Out!

When I am not sitting at my desk in the office; I am in an airport or scrunched in an airplane seat; It can be stifling. My remedy is to go out and get some fresh air.

There is something about being outside that calms me; wether it’s going for a walk in the desert or snowshoeing in the forest, being outside centers me and quiets the voices in my head…you guys have those little voices too right??

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Work It Out!

To prep for this post, I did an informal poll and a lot of you mentioned that working out helps keep you sane…I don’t get it, but whatever, lol, kidding ish.

Nicole, one is my very best cousins, she says that her workouts keep her present and in control; and that feeling of accomplishment afterwards is a big win!

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My Nicole inspiring me to practice my hand stand.

Feel the Rhythm of the Beat!

One of my friends is living a modern version of The Brady Bunch, between her and her boyfriend, they have 6 kids!!! One of her passions is dancing. On Sunday’s she cranks the tunes and dances in her kitchen while she does her meal prep for the week.

I have another friend who got so tired of seeing her kids playing video games, that she turns the games off and makes them dance with her. At first they rolled their eyes, but now they look forward to it. They learn the newest dance moves together, she’s now an expert flosser.

Learn Something New

Another friend in a house with three teenagers has decided to learn how to play guitar; it’s something she has wanted to do for years. She has paid for guitar, piano and drum lessons for her kids; now she is finally taking the time and focusing on learning how to play.

Shhhh!!

In my informal poll, many have said that they just need a bit of quiet time by themselves. With the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, I can relate to this one.

Find some time and a quiet corner to read. Fill up your tub and take a warm bath or get in your car and go for a little drive…alone; being alone with your thoughts can help keep you grounded.

How do you chill and re-charge? Maybe by reading my Sunday blog posts??? Lol

Thanks for reading! Have a great week! Be kind to yourselves.

Muah!

Liette

 

 

Funny Things a Maritimer Misses When They Leave.

Funny things a Maritimer misses when they move away.

There are lots of things that you miss when you leave the Maritimes; most are normal things, like your friends and your favorite restaurant… But then there are weird things that you never think twice about when you live here, but as soon as you move away and come back, you feel all nostalgic about them.

(For my American friends, the Maritimes are the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, also know as the island).

Things You Miss

Here are my top 5 weird things

#1: Accents

None of us think we have an accent, but it turns out we all do! And guess what? There are lots of different accents in the Maritimes…who knew??

The first time I noticed this was when I was in Vegas watching the Golden Knights play hockey, they were robbed by the way, but that’s another story. At the end of the game, they interviewed the head coach, Gerald Gallant, who is from PEI. As soon as I heard him speak, I thought, OMG! He sounds like home!! There it was a Maritime accent and I love it!!

There are a bunch of Maritimers who work for my company who live in Reno. One of them, I’ll call him  Pete Post…ok that’s his name, lol. Anyway Pete was in Vegas on a day that I was feeling a bit homesick. I told him that I missed people who talk English with thick, or like my dad would say, tick, French accents. He then proceeded to talk to me in English, but with a variety of Acadian regional accents. He did Moncton, Shediac and Bouctouche. He had me laughing so hard I was crying. Now when I see him, I ask him to talk fake French English to me. I am pretty sure the people we work with think we are weirdos; they don’t get the joke. But whatever la, we think c’est right funny, pis ont rie. Ok that was Chiac, but you get the drift, if you are a Maritimer.

#2. Canadian Content Music

Growing up radio stations needed to play a certain percentage of Canadian Artists on the radio; not sure if they still do? This meant that even though we listened to all the popular music from the US, we also listened to Canadian  bands that my American friends have probably never heard of? Bands like Platinum Blonde, Haywire, Toronto, Headpines…

During university I worked as a banquet waitress, so I worked a lot of weddings. I swear to god that every DJ in the 90’s played the same 40 songs from the 80’s! Tom Cochran’s Life is a Highway, and similar songs, were enough to send me over the edge.

A few days ago, as I was driving and dodging potholes, I found myself signing at the top of my lungs to Patio Lanterns. Yes, Patio Lanterns, from Kim Mitchell; and if you are in my age bracket and Canadian, I know that you know it; and I know that you know every word! I never would have guessed that one of these old songs would make me crank the radio up and sing along, but there I was, patio lanterning my way down Main Street Moncton.

#3. Potholes

I think it’s safe to say that no one, I mean no one has potholes like the ones in these parts. Seriously, WTF?? Lol. Living in Vegas, where things don’t freeze and thaw, and freeze and thaw, then freeze and thaw some more has spoiled me. So I am shocked by the state of the roads when I come home for a visit.

While I don’t miss potholes, there is a weird sense of accomplishment that comes from driving to work and navigating the roads like a freaking gold metal Olympic solemn skier, that is more than a little satisfying. It’s like, damn, I am awesome! It’s 8:30am and I’ve made it to work without scraping the bottom of my car! I’ve never pulled off the 215 in Vegas on my way to work and felt like a rock star for just surviving my commute.

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I am adding this picture, above, so my Vegas friends can see what I am talking about. This is typical and by no means, is I t the worst road. When they have a sign that says bump ahead, that’s when you worry, you brace yourself for dear life! This small section, didn’t merit a sign lol.

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Just a Canada Goose in its natural Canadian habitat!

#4. Snacks

There are lots of food that you miss when you move away from home. My number one thing I miss is lobster, fresh lobster. I usually have one waiting for me at my parents when I land. Fun Fact, Maritimers eat their lobster cold 99% of the time; my American friends are always surprised by that.

So missing yummy lobster is not weird, but missing Roasted Chicken Chips is a bit weird…right?? First of all, they aren’t that good, lol. I thought these were a Canadian thing, but in all my travels across Canada, I have never found them anywhere else but in the Maritimes; and I have looked.

The weird thing is that when I lived here, I maybe ate them once or twice a year, but now when I visit, they make me happy, lol.

Another snack that I took for granted is Cherry Blossoms! These are good, but when was the last time you bought a Cherry Blossom?? I am bringing a bunch back to Vegas with me for my friends to try. (Ok, full disclosure, I landed back in Vegas yesterday and sadly no Cherry Blossoms survived the almost 7 hour flight time…sorry. I did save the boxes though, lol).

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#5 Cousins

The thing that I miss the most is my family, nothing abnormal there right? But on this trip home, I am realizing how much I miss and appreciate my cousins.

Now if you are of Acadian decent and in your forties or older, chances are that you have lots of cousins; I have 24 first cousins.

Growing up I couldn’t escape them, they were everywhere! I had 3 cousins living next door, 3 cousins living across the street, one cousin living in the apartment below us and my brother and I. That is 9 cousins on the same street! We all went to the same school and we all took the same bus. I always thought we were sort of like the Kennedy’s, but poorer, lol.

Cousins tease you, they boss you around, they bite, they kick you, give you black eyes and they tattletale on you; so they aren’t always your favorite people growing up. But as you mature you come to realize that apart from being pain in the ass they also looked out for you and stood up for you; they were allowed to bully you, but no one else was, lol.

Now that we are all grown, there is something comforting about having such a crazy extended family with lots of cousins. You don’t see all of them that often, but you know they are there, ready to back you up or hold you up when you need them. I love you all!!…ok most of you…jk, all!

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Just a few of my « cousines », Brigitte, Maneau, me, Tania & Katelyn. Growing up people mixed Brigitte and I up all the time. One of the pit falls of being one of so many, lol.

This picture above is just a few of my cousins on my dad’s side, all grown up.

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We are a family! I am top row, last one on the right.

Flash back to the 70’s!! Here is the cousin crew on my dad’s side. We have 3 cousins who weren’t born yet, Julien, Katelyn and Curtis.

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Here’s a more candid shot, notice my huge smile, even though I am missing teeth, lol. Also, fun fact, my mom had to put makeup on me to hide a black eye given to me by my cousin Sonya, she’s the one right behind me. It was an accident, but I am totally over it…ish, lol.

Ok, I needed to blow this one up to show my missing teeth. I have to admire the fact that teeth or no teeth, I am giving the camera my biggest smile! I am also happy that I grew into my big mouth, lol.

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Les filles à Neri; my cousins Nicole and Genevieve.

I can’t ignore my cousins on my moms side, here are two of them. If you were an older cousin, you actually made money off the younger cousins by babysitting. My brother and I were Nicole’s cash cows for years! And I made a small fortune babysitting Genevieve and her brother during my high school years.

I hope you enjoyed this fun post. If you live away, what weird thing do you miss most?

Follow me on Insta or Facebook @ oui-liette.

Thanks for reading!! Working on a super fun project, can’t wait to share.

muah!

Liette

 

 

 

 

Senior Living

Senior Living

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a senior citizen? Neither had I. My parents have been in a seniors apartment building for the past five years or so. I would visit and say hi to the “old” people in the halls, but I always seemed to be in a rush; rushing in and rushing out.

Then something happened, my dad go sick; at first, when I would travel back, I would spend a few nights with my parents; they set up a bed for me in my dad’s TV room, but I would eventually end up in a hotel or at a friends house.

This last time I was home, I could tell they really wanted and needed me to be here with them. So instead of rushing in and rushing out, I stayed.

Here are my observations; I don’t think we give “older” people that much thought because it scares us. It’s scary to have aging parents, so we don’t think about it. We deal with issues as they arrive, but we try not to think about it too much, plus we are busy, rushing in and rushing out.

Newsflash! We are all aging and one day, if we take good care of ourselves, we are going to be in our 80’s and maybe even in our 90’s too. Have you ever given any thought to what that will be like? Neither had I, until now.

At some point we stop rushing and have lots of time on our hands. I suspect their will be a lot of time for reflecting and thinking about the “good old” days. But guess what? If you aren’t 94 at this very moment, then the “good old” days are now! So maybe we should stop rushing through our time? Maybe we should slow down from time to time to take in the scenery?

My parents apartment is not an assisted living place; their fellow residents are independent, active and vibrant people; some seem to have better social lives than I do?? Mmm, I may need to work on a better balance?

There are lots of “younger” residents, in their early 70’s to mid 70’s, but the people that I am noticing more, since I have stopped rushing, are those in their 80’s and 90’s. I’ve been watching them and talking to them.

It’s at once heartbreaking to hear them talk about dying, and they do talk openly about it. And inspiring to see a calmness and acceptance they have on the cycle of life. We are all born to die, but we don’t think of it, we push it away. I guess when you are in your 80’s and older, it feels a lot closer. It must get harder to ignore? It looms over you in a way that a 40 year old doesn’t have the time to notice.

Being here has made me slow down, instead of walking past the gang that make puzzles on the third floor, I stop and talk to them. I am thankful that when my dad is feeling up to it and wants to go for a walk they greet him with a smile and give him the best chair.

Instead of thinking puzzles are lamo, I think, how nice it is that if you are feeling lonely you can walk down the hall and join a group of people.

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I stop on the second floor in the common area to say hi to my mom and her friends who play cards every night from 7 to 9; except for on Wednesday nights, when they play bingo. I pick up treats for them to share.

Today I made a point to walk three cars passed my spot to thank the man who has been dusting the snow off my parents car for the past week. I asked if he was the snow angel who’s been clearing off all the cars; he gave me the biggest smile. Turns out, this not rushing in and out is proving to be good for my soul.

And when I am feeling grief stricken with what is looming over me and my family; I find comfort in the faces of people who know how that loss feels, because they have lost husbands, wives and other loved ones.

So being here, living amongst a bunch of senior citizens has proven to be a gift. I will try to never be too busy to give someone a heartfelt smile as I rushed past them.

Full disclosure, the goal of this post was going to be funny and light hearted, because these old people are pretty sassy and funny as hell. But it quickly took a turn and I just went with it, lol. I hope that it makes you think a bit, even if it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, that’s ok too. Let’s be nicer humans!

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

 

Christmas Bucket List

15 Things to do before Christmas!

Here is my personal bucket list; I will do my best to complete each item on this list! I will do a post holiday wrap up, or should I call it an unwrapping, lol? I will report back on which items I completed and which, if any, I missed.

I encourage you to use my list as inspiration or to create your own. It’s good to set goals, even if they are silly; especially if they are silly!

Before we get started, I realize that the holidays can be hard for some people. I get that, I really do. This year will be a trying time for my family. But instead of curling up into a ball and wishing it away; we have decided to go for it, full on! I have advised my mom that her house is going to look like Christmas threw up in it!! She laughed and is completely on board.

If you don’t love this time of year, try to do one or two holiday things and see how you feel. Sound like a plan? Let’s do this!!

1. Buy a new winter hat!

Starting off with an easy one!! I love shopping and I love hats so this one is easy peasy and already done!! I actually bought two new hats…moving on to the next item.

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This hot pink beauty is new. How much do I like hats? Just noticed that almost all pictures in this post have me sporting a different hat! Lol

2. Make a snowman or snow angel.

I realize these are  weather permitting. Here’s the thing friends, life is short, life gets busy and adulting is hard. Soooo if you are fortunate enough to find yourself in front of the perfect fluffy, yet sticky snow, jump in!!

I am hoping for snow so I can check this one off my list. If you complete this one, please send me pics!!

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I don’t have real kids, but I have a few fake ones. Get them out of the house and play in the snow with them!!

3. Go skating or snowshoeing.

Snowshoeing is weather permitting; it’s actually my favorite winter activity. You may think it sounds lame and boring, but there is nothing like snowshoeing in the forest on a sunny day! Fingers crossed that we will get enough snow here before I have to go back to Vegas. Skating can be done inside or outside, so no excuses for this one!

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The top picture is my pairs partner and I training for the Canadian Figure Skating Team, we just missed qualifying. Bottom right is a skating party that my bff Stacey hosted in her backyard a few years ago.
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My fav winter activity! When I am done with Las Vegas, I think I want to work for Tourism NB. There are sooo many amazing trails and fun things to do in the winter here!!

4. Make Christmas Cookies!!!

Invite friends or family over to bake some Christmas cookies. I know from Facebook that a lot of you already have this tradition with your families. My family and I have started our own cookie baking tradition. This year is our Third Annual Cookie Baking Party; this year’s event is already scheduled. I will be sharing details of how we cookie it up!!

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A few pics from last year’s family cookie baking party. We specialize in chocolate peanut butter balls, technically not a cookie, but delish!

5. Kissing under the mistletoe!

I figure if i get some mistletoe the kissing will naturally follow. Going with the: “build it and they will come” theory. Will keep you posted! 💋

6. Glitter it up!!

In my opinion glitter is never a bad idea! ‘Tis the season for parties, go for a bit of glitter!! Sequins if you are feeling bold; glitter gloss at the least!!

I was supposed to go back to the US before coming back to Canada for Christmas. But plans changed. This means that all my glittery stuff is back in Vegas; so I will need to shop for more…challenge accepted!

7. Be Nice

We should always try to be nice, but let’s try to be extra nice this time of year. I usually try to donate blood right before the holidays; give the gift of life if you are able, it’s free! Doing something nice for others in need doesn’t just help them, but it will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

As mentioned in my opening, the holidays can be a lonely time for some. You never know what others are going through, so let’s try not to be assholes, lol. And if someone is rude to you, shake it off, they are obviously struggling with their own issues.

And remember the more the merrier; especially this time of year. My fam adopted two strays a few years ago and now we can’t get rid of them!! They are now part of our Christmas Eve tradition and have become part of our family. I now can’t imagine Christmas without them!! xox

8. Be Naughty!!

Be naughty, but in the very nicest way!! I will let you use your imagination for this one, lol, have fun!!

9. Santa Selfie!

Last year I volunteered for our staff kids party, mostly so I could hang with the big man in red, lol. Here’s a challenge for you; if you are taking your kids for their annual picture with Santa, get in on the action. They will probably think it’s funny and who doesn’t want to be the fun mom, dad, aunt, uncle….

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It’s so easy to take ourselves too seriously!! If you don’t have kids, get a few friends together and go sit on Santa’s lap!! I double dare you!! Send me your pic if you do!

I plan on taking my 16 year old nephew for a picture with Santa. Part of my duties as the world’s best aunt is to embarrass him right??

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If you can’t find Santa, Santa hats are the next best thing. My work peeps and I do Christmas photos every year. One serious and a few that are super silly. I didn’t have permission to share the silly ones, sorry! lol

 

10. Christmas Cards

I am all about technology, but there is something awesome about getting a Christmas card in the mail.

I haven’t always sent cards, but I do now, and I try to make them funny. Some years I succeed, some…not so much. I’ll admit that last year’s card may have been a bit ridiculous and some didn’t get the joke, but I am fine with that, lol.

I encourage you guys to send cards, send pics of your families, your kids… I love them all!! So thank you.

Also, I will be doing a separate  Christmas card blog post shortly, where I will share my card designs for the last few years.

11. Christmas Movie Marathon.

Baby it’s cold outside! Why not stay in and watch Christmas movies? The holidays are fun, but can be exhausting! Everyone needs a day or evening to do nothing, but watch Christmas movies.

The Hallmark Channel becomes my favorite channel this time of year. The story lines are basically all the same, but I don’t care, I love, love, love!

My top three Christmas movies of all time are:

  • The Holiday
  • Love Actually (I made my friend watch it a few years ago and she thought it was horribly depressing, lol)
  • Elf
  • What are your favs??

12. Rock Your Winter Jammies!

Growing up my parents used to let us open one gift on Christmas Eve. It didn’t take my brother and I long to figure out the pattern; a new pair of pajamas. This seemed like a cruel joke as a child, but I think it’s an awesome idea now that I am an adult.

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Last year we had a red and white pj party after our big Christmas Eve dinner. I want to take this opportunity to thank my family and friends for letting me boss them around year after year! FYI our theme for this Christmas Eve is: Mad for Plaid 🙂

 

13. Deck Your Halls!

Some people don’t decorate for Christmas and I just don’t get it? This is a great family or friend activity; if you don’t want to put up a big tree, get a tiny tree or a few balls in a bowl. I once had a Christmas Tree decorating party; where each person was told to bring an ornament. It’s a fun way to decorate my tree.

I won’t be able to decorate my own place this year in Vegas, so I am going to help decorate my moms. We will crank the Christmas tunes and go wild.

I love decorating and I think I am pretty good at it, but when it comes to Christmas decorating, my aunts and cousins on my dad’s side take it to the next level. I plan on doing a post on them. I haven’t asked them yet, but I am pretty sure I can convince them to let me interview them and take pics of their work. I’ll get helpful hints and share!

14. Winter Hot Tubbing  

This is a new tradition that I am starting this year. I am currently working on creating a list of all friends with hot tubs!! Lol. If you haven’t been in a hot tub in the winter while it snows big fluffy flakes, then you are missing out. Who wants to hot tub with me?? lol

When making your own Christmas List, be sure to add original, fun things to do!!

15. Count Your Blessings.

I saved the best for last. It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, that we forget to be in the moment and reflect on what is most important. For me it’s friends and family, I feel blessed and I try to be thankful and appreciate what’s in front of me at that very moment.

I will say that with social media, it can be a challenge to focus on what we have and not what we see others have. I will tell you that no one’s life is perfect, we are all just doing the best we can. Just because someone can take pretty pictures, it doesn’t mean that they have everything figured out.

Personally, for a long time, I secretly wished for the type of family that sits around the dinning table for hours discussing important issues; you know like they do in the movies. But that’s not us! I had to get over that fantasy and go with what I have. And what I have is an amazing family that love me no matter what? That encourage and support me even when they don’t really know what the hell I am doing.

So our dinners last 18 minutes start to finish; instead of getting frustrated, I have learned to adjust. We now play games after dinner, we laugh, I make them change into their pajamas, it’s all good!

So as always, I hope you enjoyed this post and come away with an idea or two from my list. Let me know what you like to do every year for the holidays? I am always open to trying new things. And would love to hear about what your holiday traditions or activities are!

Muah!

Liette