2020 is a big year for my friends and I. We’re all having big birthdays, like big, big! As a result, I’ll be hosting a few fun dinner parties, with cool themes of course.
Pick a theme
I love this party animal theme, it’s perfect for a child’s party or baby shower, but I am using it for an adult party. I think the party animal adult twist is clever.
My advice to picking a theme is to find something that inspires you and theme the shit around it!!
Your invitations will set the tone for your party, so be as creative and corny as possible. I was so excited to find these animals, I think they’re super adorable.
If you’ve read any of my other party posts, you may have noticed that I love puns, I think they’re punny! The cornier the better as far as I am concerned. The text for my invitations are always a bit ridiculous.
One of the apps that I use for my invitations and blog posts is called Snapseed.
Back – these two are my favs!!
These little guys were the inspiration for my party theme.
I bought a bag of plastic animals at the dollar store then painted and glued on pompoms and party hats. I’m not going to lie, I had a lot of fun crafting them.
I made them at my moms house; she brought out a TV tray for me to set up all my paints and my hot glue gun. I love that she still uses TV trays!!
I am obsessed with these little guys, they’re so freaking cute!
I bought a plastic green platter and glued my party animals on it. I think that some of my animals were already drunk, because a few of them could barely stand up!
I threw some confetti on the tray and voilà!! A party animal centerpiece.
I just moved into my new downtown place; my furniture from Las Vegas finally arrived and my white cabinet fits in perfectly! It’s a great place to set up a bar or a food station.
It’s also easy to decorate and theme. The green feathers are not just for the party, it’s a permanent fixture, but it does add an extra punch of color to my theme.
If you follow my oui-liette Facebook page, you may have seen the video of my crazy cousins helping me decorate. They suggested that I not center my green feathers above my cabinet, they thought that it would be more interesting hung to the side; they were right.
I bought a giant brass giraffe head to fill the blank space. I bought him before I decided on my animal theme, but he fits in perfectly! Sometimes things just all come together.
I think I need to name him, any suggestions? For the party I added a Wild One party hat on him. He may become my party mascot?
My new fav decorating things are tissue paper flowers. They are easy to make, inexpensive and great space fillers.
I added a bunch to the top of my cabinet, love them! To make them take tissue paper sheets, the bigger the sheets, the bigger the flower. Stack them, five or six high. Fold them accordion style then tie the middle. Then gently pull the sheets apart. If you didn’t make these in school, YouTube them.
Some party themes require elegance and restraint, this isn’t one of those. Your table needs to look like an out of control party, so more is more.
I dug out my most colorful dinner wear; these plates have blue polka dots and the napkins are all kinds of pink.
This was my first dinner party in my new place, so out came my new crystal glasses!! They’re from Nova Scotia Crystal, the Luna pattern; they have polka dots. I ❤️ polka dots!
Since more is more, I cut ribbon and threw them all over the place and I had some pompoms left from my crafting night, so I dumped them on the table too.
This was probably one of my easiest themes and one of the cutest. What do you think?? Yay? Or nay?
Thanks for reading!! Check out my Facebook page for more party pics and new downtown decor updates! @oui-liette
When you start a weight loss or a health journey, I think you just want to fast forward to month 4; I know I did because it takes awhile to see results and who are we kidding, patience is not one of my most shining virtues. But if you stick with it, each week’s small loss do start to add up.
I have one week left before we start setting up for our biggest show of the year. I don’t think people really know what I do exactly, that includes my family; most think I fly around and do fancy things.
I do trade shows for a large gaming company. The biggest gaming show in the world happens every fall in Las Vegas. On Thursday, I will be moving to the strip for 10 days.
Our booth is 25,000sq ft, we set up close to 400 slot machines. It will take a staff of 30 of our employees and an additional 20 support staff, five days to get it all done.
Our booth will have a bar, a lounge and a second level VIP area. We have 11 meeting rooms, in our booth and 7 other various, demo, storage and server rooms.
We send 600+ people to this show; we host a big reception in our booth and sales training the day before the show opens. We rent out the Omnia Nightclub in Caesar’s for our customer party on day 1 of the show. My team and I coordinate all of that, along with registering all our staff and coordinating hotel rooms.
So it’s a lot and it’s a bit stressful. For set up, our first few days will be 10 hours days easily. The guys bring in donuts for breakfast, lunch is pizza, chips and candy. And when the show starts, we are in the booth all day and then go out to eat dinner, usually late at night.
One of the good things is that we don’t stop; one year we all had Fitbits and if you hadn’t hit 11,000 steps before noon, you were a slacker! We don’t do the Fitbits anymore because “someone” was too “competitive”…whatever! Lol
I have a full week before we start so I need to load up on fruits, vegetables and vitamines. I usually get sick after this show, because it’s so easy to get run down. But not this year!!!
What a week!!! I was on the strip all week for our big show. And, just as I suspected, there were lots of sugary snacks!!!
I managed to navigate without gaining a single pound this week! I also walked my butt off and, truth, be told; I was hoping to lose weight this week, but I am more than happy with staying flat.
I have to say, traveling when you feel good and comfortable in your skin is so much easier! I hate that feeling of not liking anything in your suitcase! We had a group dinner on Wednesday night and I must say, I felt sassy and confident!!
I am so close to my goal!! Just to recap, my goal is 30 pounds. I started my weight loss journey at the end of June; it’s currently, Oct 19, so it may seem like the pounds are just flying off, but it’s been almost 4 months!!
This coming week, I will be on vacation in Moncton. Ahhh Moncton, you have so many of my favorite yummy comfort foods! My goal is going to be to maintain and not gain any weight!! That being said, life is short! So if I indulge a bit too much one day, the plan is to adjust the following days! Sounds easy enough right?
In case you’re curious to what’s on my Moncton menu: lobster, mussels, fish and chips, a râpé (Acadian dish of potatoes and pork fried in lard)…oh and I may need a turkey dinner since I missed Canadian Thanksgiving? Ok, that sounds like a lot…ok, I may be in trouble???
I survived my “vacation” to Moncton without gaining weight!! I actually lost a pound.
It’s funny how most of our social interactions are centered around food. When dining out I stayed away from the bread they put on your table and I drank lots and lots of water. I also, pretty much only ate half or a bit less than half of everything on my plate. I made sure I was satisfied without being stuffed.
I felt that I needed a change, so I decided to go pink! See below. Just kidding, it was Halloween, but doesn’t this look like my real hair??? I do feel like I am changing and it feels good.
My skinny jeans are starting to sag in the butt, I may need to pick up a new pair soon? 😁
I flew back from the East Coast to Las Vegas for a few days before I had to fly to Calgary for a small work event. This has been a really busy few months. I rarely complain about my travel schedule, but I am pretty much exhausted.
I am looking forward to this upcoming long weekend, the weather is finally cooler in Vegas so I hope to get some hiking in.
I am in Calgary for a short conference, we just had our group dinner. I had a petite filet mignon that was dripping in butter and I feel gross! It’s 10:40pm and I am just laying on my bed feeling full! It’s really the first time since June that I feel this full and yucky!!
We have another customer dinner tomorrow night, my goal will be to fill up on vegetables and maybe skip meat? I am learning that it’s all about balance. I think I need a new rule though, no more big meals after 7:30 at night, it’s not worth feeling this yucky!!
Sooo I stayed flat this week which is fine. What I’ve learned from weight watchers and have been doing often is that if I splurge one day, the following day I try to eat free point meals.
Their program considers all fruits and vegetables as zero points, because who are we kidding, bananas aren’t to blame for our fat asses. The exception is corn, potatoes and avocados. Also chicken and eggs are now zero points. So the day after I have treated myself, I make myself a big fluffy veggie omelette, so zero points.
I have one month before I pack up my life and move back to Canada, so month 5 should be busy!
Week 8 was a bit of a struggle mentally, but I am starting week 9 with more mental calmness.
Reaching out to my little brother for encouragement and support may not have been the best idea? Here is the pic I sent him and our text exchange.
Note to self, don’t look to others for comfort and support…oh and brothers are annoying!! Lol. We like to tease each other. He is tall and lanky, I am not!! I will plot my revenge!!
Not that his comments got to me, but I’ve decided to smile in my monthly selfies moving forward.
I haven’t shared anything to date about what I have been eating. My first month or so I was diligently counting my points. As the weeks went bye, I felt like I knew what I could eat without being so obsessed with tracking.
For the last three weeks, I’ve tried to listen to my body and the pounds seem to be falling off nicely. I am not obsessing over food and I am trying to really be mindful of my emotions and not using food to sooth me.
Last night I ate out with a friend, I ordered pasta and it was delish!! I ate maybe 1/4 of what was on my plate. I put my fork down and asked myself if I was satisfied? Not out loud, that would be weird! Turns out I was satisfied and I wasn’t hungry anymore, so I boxed it up and brought it home.
I am realizing that I don’t have to end each meal or snack feeling super full…who knew?!
Will I go back to counting my points? Maybe? But this is working for me now.
This is the snack that I have pretty much every night. Two graham crackers, some chocolate chipits and a few marshmallows. I pop them in the toaster over and voilà!! Just enough sweetness; I don’t deprive myself of anything.
Week 9’s weigh in is an impressive 0.6 pounds! But, that’s ok, because I figured out why I was so cranky and off last week; oh the joys of being a woman! I am pretty sure I am retaining a good 7 pounds of water!! Lol, ok, maybe 2??
I am a bit worried about next week, I’ll be out of town for work, eating in restaurants, for a full week. I will do my best to make good choice, let’s see how I make out.
I left Vegas on Friday, it’s now Sunday night and not being able to follow my new eating routine is getting me down. Plus I am feeling super stressed about my upcoming event, I am fighting really hard to not stress eat.
Oh, I should add that our first night here we ended up at a pub for dinner where everything on the menu was super fatty. My coworkers devoured warm pretzels with cheese sauce. I resisted, I had 3 wings, a small slice of pizza and like 10 glasses of water!!
It’s 9:30pm, Monday night, and I just finished dinner, ugh!!! Being on the road is hard!! I don’t like eating dinner that late.
It’s Friday and I just got back from Arkansas, I’ll get weighed tomorrow morning and to be honest, I have no clue what the hell the scale will read? I could be up 5 pounds or down 5?
Week 10 weigh in and I am down 1.2!! For a grand total of 17.8 pounds!! This week was so busy that I didn’t eat properly; one day, I had a cookie for lunch, not cool. But I am back home and my fridge is full of healthy stuff.
I am starting the week psyched! I just tried on my inspiration outfit, which is a sequin pencil skirt and a black top; both I bought because I loved, but they were both too small, and now they fit!!
Ok can we talk about that last statement for a minute? Why do woman buy things that don’t fit us?? We buy with the goal that we will lose weight, but we usually don’t! And those articles hang in our closet silently judging us and making us feel bad!! I bought that skirt 3 years ago!!! Although I am proud that it finally fits, I bought it 3 years ago!!! I am making a vow to myself that I will stop buying things that don’t make me feel fabulous and fit.
Back to my inspirational outfit; I am going to see Mariah Carey’s Christmas concert in November. My friends and I bought tickets in June and knowing I was ready to start my weight loss journey, I told my friend that my goal was to fit into this outfit by November.
Ok, so, this doesn’t look fabulous laying on my bed, lol, but trust me both pieces are really nice! The top is off the shoulder, but with long sleeves.
I woke up the day before my weekly weigh in and instead of losing, I am proud to say that I found something; I found my waistline!!! I was losing hope that I would ever see her again, lol. I am excited for tomorrow’s weigh in. I am feeling really good this week, so I will be fine whatever the scale has to say. (Like the scale just randomly spits out numbers and I have no accountability on the numbers, lol)
I am happy with week 11th weigh in, but I’ve decided that I am not going to share my weekly numbers until I reach my goal of 30 pounds. I am going to hold back to create a bit of surprise and anticipation!! I will share if I’ve had a good week or a bad week and my struggles and victories.
First of all, let me say that I am really proud of myself for making it to week 12!!! I feel really good, I feel lighter, spiritually, not just physically.
Work is super busy, my biggest event of the year starts next week, but I am feeling like “I got this!”. I also attended my third and final grief counseling and I think it really helped.
That being said, the only things I felt like eating this week were chocolate or sweet things! I do have one sweet treat a day, but this week, I seriously wanted to eat cookies at every meal. Not just at every meal, for the meal!!
I did resist and I am looking forward to my weigh in tomorrow morning. If all goes well, I may need a celebratory cookie!! Lol
My weigh in went well, slow and steady wins the race. I am down a size and a half-ish!!
I can’t wait to go back to Moncton and see my family and show them how I am doing. Two more weeks!!!
With the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out.
You’re giving so much to others, how about you treat yourself to something fun for you?? It’s not being selfish, it’s taking care of your heart and soul so you can be there for others.
Now this idea will vary depending on where you live, but it works anywhere and everywhere! The basic idea is to escape from your daily grind for 12 to 24 hours; with all the time that you spend doing laborious tasks, you deserve some time to yourself this month.
It’s easy and doesn’t have to be too expensive.
Step 1 – Find a holiday activity and book it!
Every city, large or small have holiday things to do. Look it up and buy tickets for you and your mate, friend or mom; whoever you want to share your Staycation with, just be sure it’s someone you like, lol.
If you don’t like concerts, go see a movie or find a craft show, just make certain it’s an activity that you enjoy.
I staycationed last night in Las Vegas; and yes, this city has a lot of options, but I couldn’t help but notice all the concerts people back home in my little hometown of Moncton are posting on social media. So you don’t have to live in a big city.
Seeing Mariah Carey perform her Christmas concert has been on my bucket list since I moved here three years ago. I missed her last year, her Christmas concerts were too close to Christmas, I was already back home for my Christmas vacation.
But not this year!! I asked two of my close friends if they were interested and they said yes!! We bought our tickets in August.
Step 2 – Get a room!
Now you maybe thinking, why would I get a room in the city that I live in? It’s a waste of money. First of all, no it isn’t a waste! It’s part of your “you need a break” staycation.
So get a room, have a romantic night with your partner or have a pajama party with your BFF.
Here’s a helpful hint, if your schedule is flexible, pick a night that the hotel isn’t busy. Sunday nights are usually the best nights to get the best rate. Also, ask if they have a locals rate? Or ask them what night in the next few nights could they offer you the best rate? Call the hotel directly and tell them you are planning a special night and that you live in the city, they will help you, I promise!
My friends and I have booked a hotel room on the strip, because if you live here going to the strip is sort of a pain in the ass. The traffic, the people, the parking, the people, the walking…
But, if you have a room on the strip, you can have a few drinks without having to drive home; instead of dreading all the crazy party people who invade the city, you become part of the party.
Step 3 – Make a night of it!
So you have your show tickets, you booked your hotel room; now get dressed up and go out to dinner. Think of it as your very own Christmas party and make it special.
For our night on the strip, we booked a fancy restaurant and got dressed up in our shiniest outfits; Shondra out shined, as she should, because she is fabulous!
If you are parents of small kids, maybe your staycation is getting a hotel room, ordering room service and watching Christmas movies in bed? Hey, do you! Whatever you need to recharge your batteries.
Step 4 – Gifts!!
This is a bonus step; ask your staycation partner or partners if they want to exchange gifts? I mean it is Christmas!!
My friends and I did a « our favorite things » gift exchange. Turns out all of our favorite things include fuzzy slippers, candles and luxurious face masks and lotions!
As we packed up and left Caesar’s Palace this morning, Shondra mentioned that it felt like we had been there for the whole weekend; which was exactly the point. We spent a solid 12 hours away from our regular lives; we laughed and made great memories that we will treasure for years to come. Moving forward, Mariah Carey’s, All I Want For Christmas, will make me think of my awesome friends in Las Vegas.
Thanks for reading, let me know if you are planning or could use your own Holiday Staycation!
For more pictures, videos and holiday gift ideas, follow me on Instagram and Facebook at: @oui-liette
Full disclosure and this may be shocking to some, but I am not Mexican…I know, it’s hard to believe, lol. But I have uncovered similarities between Mexican Americans and Acadians (first Canadian French settlers); both groups are all about family… big families. And we tend to travel in packs, aunts, uncles, cousins…so many cousins, lol.
I love travelling and learning about different cultures so here are a few ways that we can all celebrate our neighbors to the south.
But before we get started can we acknowledge the fact that Mexico is part of North America? It’s a pet peeve of mine when people forget that tidbit and think it’s just Canada and the US.
Before we get to the food and tequila we should also do a quickie history recap. Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexico’s independence day, which is September 16. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the May 5th, 1862 battle of Puebla; where Mexico fought France and was victorious! The victory was short lived as France did occupy Mexico for a few years after that.
May 5th is still celebrated in Puebla, Mexico, but Cinco de Mayo is actually more celebrated in the US by Mexican Americans than it is in Mexico.
When I think of Mexico, I think of awesome food. Growing up in Atlantic Canada, there were no Mexican restaurants; now Moncton has one…I guess that’s progress???
The first time I had real Mexican food was in New Mexico and I loved it. The tortillas were freshly made and warm, mmmm, it was so good; it all seemed so exotic to me.
I have since been to Mexico a few times and now live in Vegas where there are Mexican restaurants pretty much everywhere.
When my work peeps and I go out for lunch, we usually alternate between Thai and Mexican. One of the places we like to go is Frijoles. My big life lesson has been that authentic Mexican places serve corn tortillas, not flour…got it and I am down with that.
This was our Cinco de Mayo lunch; fresh fish tacos, street tacos and ceviche.
Ceviche is a seafood dish typically made with fresh raw seafood cured in citrus juices, such as limes and lemons, and spices.
I’ve had ceviche before, but I had never seen anything like what the man next to us was eating! It was a huge beer mug of ceviche. I had to ask if I could take a picture of his lunch, he seemed proud to show it off. And btw he ate the whole thing!!
They also have juices that I had never had before, like watermelon; I mean it makes total sense, watermelon is naturally watery, I mean it has water right in the name, lol. It’s very refreshing on a hot day.
Can you have Mexican food without tequila? Probably? But will you have more fun with tequila? Yes! Tequila makes everything way more fun. Ok, more fun to a point, then tequila can get you in a bit of trouble; it’s a fine line.
One of my friends is a super tequila lover, I’ll call him Pete Post, because that’s his name, lol. I asked him if he could recommend 3 tequilas for this post; here are his recommendations.
His first suggestion is Don Julio, Resposado (rested) or Anejo (aged longer). Don Julio is a good tequila and easily found. It’s a great tequila starter.
The next is Cabo Wabo, it’s one is his favs, it’s really smooth and reasonably priced. It was originally owned by Sammy Hagar, but has since been sold.
Cabo Wabo sounds like it would be fun to say after a few tequila shots; Cabo Wabo, Cabo Wabo…lol.
Rounding up the top 3 is Avion. The goal of its creator was to make a tequila that his wife could drink without making that “tequila face”. I can attest that it is pretty smoooth.
Now I am not a big tequila “connaisseur” and what I am about to suggest may be a sacrilege to die hard tequila drinkers? But I like a shot of tequila with an orange slice instead of a lime, try it!!
So how cute are these small Patron bottles below! What a great idea and guaranteed, to make your party great!
The party planner in me can’t not share a few decorations ideas. Whether you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or Taco Tuesday, I love the idea and simplicity of decorating with lemons and limes. It’s easy, classy and inexpensive.
I think a Mexican theme has so many options, the colors are so vibrant, so you can go wild or a bit more restraint. You don’t need to decorate with sombreros and pinatas to pull off a Mexican theme. I think this look below gives you that Mexican vibe.
I am thinking of hosting a brunch soon and I am totally going to use the citrus table above as my inspiration. I also love the ideas of slicing lemons and limes and adding them in a glass vase with candles or flowers.
Pink, orange, green and yellow make a beautiful color pallet. Used together it may seem like it’s going to be too much, but it’s super chic and pretty!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! I hope you try one of the tequilas in this post, if you do, let me know what you think? Also, next time you have Taco Tuesday, pick up a bag of lemons and limes from Cosco and make your dining table fancy.
Life is short, so please make each day count; use your fine crystal, buy yourself fresh flowers, enjoy good, fresh food without feeling guilty! And as always, be kind to others, no one wants to hang out with an asshole.
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.
One of my favorite things to do when I am in the south is eat! The food is so amazing, that you almost need a plan or a checklist, lol. Here are a few southern staples that you need to try; and a few helpful hints to help you find the best places to eat.
We we’re lucky enough to be in Mississippi during crawfish season, which is in the spring. Although I have been traveling to Biloxi for many years, I had never tried crawfish…till now!
First of all, let me say that they look exactly like tiny lobsters…exactly! They kind of have a bit of a lobstery ish taste too.
There is a trick to eating them that I picked up right away; my land locked friend from Arizona, wasn’t such a quick learner, Staci, I am talking to you!
You twist the tail from the body and you pinch and suck the tail in your mouth. The local guys we were with sucked on the heads too, but I kept my focus on the tails…mmm ok, that may have taken an unintentional inappropriate turn, but let’s stay focused here, lol.
They are cooked in spices with potatoes and corn. These weren’t too spicy, I thought they had a bit of a kick to them, but keep in mind that I am Acadian, so the spiciest spice growing up was pepper, lol. The Cajuns didn’t get their love of spices from their Northern cousins.
We finished off our crawfish lunch with some bread pudding. To be honest I’ve never been interested in bread pudding, because it doesn’t contain chocolate, lol, but the locals we were with insisted we have some. And I have to report that it was one the most delicious things I have ever tasted! And it turns out, as per my mom, that bread pudding is an Acadian thing, so that may be something the Cajuns brought with them when they migrated south?
One of my best travel trips for finding great places to eat is to ask the locals. On this trip our service techs invited us to lunch, as we walked out, the receptionist whispered, it’s a dive, but they have good food. I love dives, so off we went! And now I can check off crawfish and bread pudding off my list.
This place wasn’t fancy, but it was full, which is always a great sign. I can say it’s my favorite crawfish place!!! (and my first and only, lol)
No one does BBQ like the south, obvs. We’ve been going to this next place for years. It’s called The Shed and it is literally a series of sheds.
This is another, not fancy place; but it has become one of our favorite places to go.
If you ever find yourself in the south, ask a local where their favorite bbq place is, they will most likely tell you they make the best and they are probably not lying, but they will point you in the right direction. Southerners are a lot like Maritimers, they are super friendly and hospitable.
In New Orleans we asked the concierge at our hotel for “a good” breakfast place; he said, I know a good place, but it isn’t fancy. It sounded like we were in for another dive. Another helpful travel tip, is be best buddies with your hotel’s concierge and don’t forget to give him a tip!! No one likes a cheapskates lol.
This place was called Hobnobbers; you have to walk through a grungy bar to get to it. The only people there when we arrived were, a lady of the evening and what looked like her John, see the man above and the lady in white fishnets, you can see her legs.
As soon as we sat down, the place quickly filled up. Staci ordered some grits, so we could check them off our list. I have tasted them before and I am not a super fan. They look like mashed potatoes, these were served with butter. If you haven’t tried them, you need to because it’s such a southern staple. Side note, our breakfast was really good and cheap!
Crab, Shrimp and Oysters
Another way that the Canadian Maritimers are similar to the Southerners is their love and abundance of fresh seafood!
On this trip, we literally had crab cakes every night. We were on the hunt for the best ones, it seemed like a fun and tasty challenge!
Ah…so many crab cakes, so little time. You can even have crab cakes, topped with crab! You can actually get anything topped with crab; if given the option, go for it!! Most are served with a remoulade sauce, which is mayonnaise based.
The French Quarter has so many amazing restaurants, I always try to go to Bourbon House on Bourbon St when I am in New Orleans. Get the crab cakes! Lol and save room for desert; get the pecan chocolate crunch, it’s to die for!
One of the fun things about the French Quarter is happening upon amazing restaurants. Before we left New Orleans we realized we hadn’t had any oysters yet; we looked up and saw the sign for Royal House Oyster Bar; it seemed like destiny, lol, so we went in.
Another cool thing about restaurants in New Orleans is that they can look small from the street, but then open up to a large outdoor courtyard. This places looked ordinary, until we were seated on the second level.
Our table overlooked Royal St, even though you are close to Bourbon St, the vibe here was super chill and quaint. We even saw another wedding procession, which is a parade, while we were there; there is always something interesting to see!
I don’t love raw oysters, but I do love charbroiled oysters! These were amazing!! Garlic, butter, breadcrumbs and a bit of cheese, what’s not to love? Even if you don’t think you like oysters, you need to try these. Most restaurants serve them, try them!!
Beignets are basically donut dough drenched with icing sugar and they are sinfully delish!!! Note to self, don’t wear black, you will get icing sugar all over yourself.
The most famous place to eat beignets in New Orleans is Cafe du Monde. You order then try to find a table; actually, you wait in line, then order and then try to find a table.
We didn’t get any on this trip because the lines were insane; we walked by a few times and each time the line was longer than the previous. Although Cafe du Monde makes amazing beignets, I know that they are not the only beignets in town; on my next visit, I am going to find a new spot and give them a try.
If you have the patience, or if you are up early, go to Cafe Du Monde, they will melt in your mouth. I will let you know if I discover a place just as good, with less people.
I don’t know about you, but this post has made me hungry!! Lol. I should probably have mentioned a bit of history, in case you aren’t aware. Cajuns that our found in Louisiana and Mississippi originate from Acadians from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada.
I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for reading all the way to the end! My next post maybe about bunnies?? Stay tuned!