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!
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??
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!
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.
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.
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).
Here are my top 5 weird things
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
This picture above is just a few of my cousins on my dad’s side, all grown up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!!
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?
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.
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.
Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so 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!
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!!
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!
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.
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!!
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!
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!!
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….
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??
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:
Love Actually (I made my friend watch it a few years ago and she thought it was horribly depressing, lol)
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.
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!
Here is a fun family tradition that my family started a few years ago that I would like to share with all of you. It’s basically a family pumpkin carving party, but let me share how it started.
When my parents sold their house, my mom decided that their apartment was too small to host Thanksgiving; and that it was time for me to take over our family feast.
Our first Thanksgiving at my place was fine, but I discovered that it was a lot of work!!! Some families sit around the dinner table and talk for hours about world events, their feelings and that sort of crap. Well that’s not my family! Lol.
My dad was done eating and was asking what was for desert before I even sat down. I cooked all day and we were done and in a turkey coma within 20 minutes. They came, they ate and they left!!!
Being a professional party/events planner, I did a bit of soul searching to figure out how I could improve our family time. I came up with a brilliant idea! I realized that my family seem to bond more when we are doing an activity; instead of just sitting around the dinner table.
The following Thanksgiving, I had a plan! After dinner, there would be an obligatory pumpkin carving contest. No one gets a pass; everyone has to carve a damn pumpkin!!
Let me share with my American friends that Canadian Thanksgiving is on the same day as your Columbus Day. So it’s always in October, before Halloween.
I cooked the turkey, my mom, brother and sister in law brought sides. We sat down and were done eating within 20 minutes…again!!
After we cleared the table and cleaned up, we prepared for our pumpkin carving throw down. What I wasn’t expecting was how into it everyone would be!! It was so fun; we actually sat around talked and laughed for hours!
Over the years we have invited cousins and other family members to join us after their respective turkey dinners. The first year we posted our finished pumpkins on Facebook and asked our friends to vote for which one they liked best. I noticed a week later that friends were posting their pumpkins and asking friends to vote for their best pumpkin. How fun!!
Other years we vote internally, the rule is you can’t vote for yourself. Who knew pumpkin carving could be so competitive? And who knew my brother was such a great carver? He has only lost one year; he did a VW van pumpkin and people didn’t get it, lol.
I am challenging all of you to have your own pumpkin carving night with your kids, your parents or your friends! Do it!! And try posting on social media and asking your friends to vote; you will be surprised by how much participation you get. I am also available to judge, I am pretty sure I would be an awesome judge. Just tag me on Facebook!
Make memories!! That is what my blog is about!!! I missed our pumpkin carving last year, but I will be in Canada this year and it’s on!! My brother is going down!!!!!
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