Deck Your Halls

I think it’s safe to say that we are spending more time in our homes than we would have thought humanly possible a mere year ago; making this the year to deck the shit out of our halls and to start said decking as early as possible!!!

We have also never needed holiday cheer, like we need it this year. I hope that this post inspires you to do some major hall decking and guess what? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make your home feel freaking festive.

Every Christmas I have a different theme, but I don’t go out and buy all new stuff, I craft it up. Last year my theme was A Winter Wonderland.

I had just moved back from Las Vegas to Moncton, but all my belongings, including my Christmas decorations would only be arriving in January. So my friend, Alie, and I sat in my new empty apartment and cut over a hundred paper snowflakes. See the link for last years post at the end of this post; my snowflake chandelier was absolutely beautiful!! Oh and if you are wondering why I bothered decorating an empty apartment, I was hosting our family Christmas Eve Dinner. I rented a huge table and chairs from Bob Lee, here in Moncton; it was my first party in my new place and it was fabulous! lol

Last year’s chandelier, so simple, but so pretty.



My theme this year is a Holly Jolly Christmas!!

Someone asked me what’s with all the flower headbands in a lot of my posts? Honestly I really don’t know? I have a glue gun and they just happen; chances of them stopping are probably pretty slim, Jim! Lol


This tree below was my colour inspiration, lime green and pink. I bought this three years ago and this is the first year that I get to put it up.


I bought it on sale at Pier 1 in Las Vegas after Christmas, it was 75% off the sale price; now did I need a lime green tree??? Well of course I did!! Lol. Fun fact, I thought the lights on it were pink, but turns out they are red when lit. Do I think that they would be way prettier if they were pink? Yes, but I am just going to roll with it… ok I did try painting one light pink, but it still looked red, boo! So now I am rolling with it.

My special project focal point this year is my TV/fireplace area. My TV is too small, it’s crooked and not perfectly centered, so hey, why not draw more attention to it?? Lol

I drafted two of my cousins to help cut some paper holly leaves with me, by drafted, I mean, I invited them over for dinner and didn’t feed them until I had enough leaves, lol. Then I partnered with another cousin, Katelyn, for the finishing touches.

Katelyn made me some super special pink pompom berries. She makes the coolest stuff, check her out on Instagram at: the_pom_co, she also made me a few colourful, funky trees, they are available for sale on her site.


These are her trees, they are a perfect addition with my mini snow-people collection.



Meet Katelyn, another one of my 107 first cousins, jk, she’s one of 101, lol, ok not sure how many we are, just know it’s a lot!

My living and dinning area are one open space so I have hits of green and pink all over the place, to help the flow.


I have two big, real wreaths that smell amazing. My ceilings are crazy high so it was a challenge to make the space feel full and lush and Christmas should always feel full and lush. My tree looked so tiny when I set it up, I had to use my round coffee table as a tree stand. It looked so small and sad sitting on the floor, it needed a bit of a boost.


I added some Holly details to my dining area. My table expands, I suspect I will
pump it up a few notches for our Christmas Eve dinner; you can follow me on Instagram for my Christmas Eve set up, it will probably be a bit over the top since I am working from home and we are on semi lockdown. I will have lots of extra time on my hands…and my glue gun is fully loaded.


I love this white cabinet, I just added a bit of greenery to my mirror and some pink balls. I bought the cabinet in Vegas and spruced it up, here is the transformation. It was very banged up, so I decided to paint it.


For Christmas Eve, if we are allowed to gather, I plan on doing these for each place setting, cute right!


My yearly themes aren’t very costly, last year it was just white paper snowflakes, this year, I picked up a bunch of green construction paper from the dollar store and a few wreaths from my local florist. The pink balls in my wreaths I already had.

Thanks for reading, I think it’s natural to sometimes wonder, what am I doing with my life, in general, and is anyone reading my blog ramblings?? Every time those thoughts run through my head, I will have someone reach out to me randomly and tell me they are using one of my ideas or that they read all my posts. I got a video from one of my readers on Friday that her and her family were making their own snowflake chandelier, it made my weekend! Her husband was ironing the snowflakes that she and her kids, her young adult kids, were cutting, while Christmas music played in the background…it was cute!!!

Since we are all spending more time at home and running out of things to do with our families, buy some craft paper and go crazy!!

Thank you again for reading! I am working on a new blog website that will be easier to navigate, I’ve outgrown this one, so stay tuned!

And finally, be extra kind to each other and throw in a random compliment out there, it’s free. If you think of it, say it out loud. I am going to try to be more mindful of that too.

muah!

Liette

If you liked this post, here is my easy Mad for Plan Christmas and re-posting my Winter Wonderland Christmas again.

https://oui-liette.org/2018/12/20/a-mad-for-plaid-christmas-easy-tips-on-how-to-pull-off-a-plaid-theme/

https://oui-liette.org/2019/11/10/winter-wonderland-dinner-the-perfect-holiday-theme/

You’ll need the sound on for this and watch till the very end…muah! That’s my fav part. This will be the intro for my YouTube Channel.

Comfort & And Joy! (Entertaining & gift ideas)

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I can’t help but wonder how different this season will be from last year, or the year before, or the year before that? Will we find comfort in cozy clothing and joy in fuzzy slippers? Will our gift giving be more practical and homey? Will there be any big Christmas parties or just small intimate gatherings? How has this past year changed us and how will we celebrate the holidays?

The other day I wore one of my pre-Covid go to outfits and felt like I was highly overdressed; I was wearing, jeans, a blazer and suede boots, so not exactly super fancy. Which made me realize how much our habits have changed in just a few months, a few loooonnnngg ass months!!

Working from home in yoga pants and, if we’re being honest, pajama bottoms, has become the norm, at least a few days a week. Where am I going with this and how does this have anything to do with the upcoming holiday season??

Patience!! I am getting to my point, lol. My point is that I think the trend this season will be comfort over everything else. Can you imagine a scenario that would make you want try to get into any item of clothing that requires squeezing into any form of tight shape wear and uncomfortably high heel shoes? I think those days are gone, maybe forever??

Host a different kind of party

I am embracing this trend by hosting a fake pajama party! Which is a party where you wear your pajamas, but no one sleeps over, lol. No need for sparkly tops or cute dresses, it’s all about comfort…oh and joy.


Here’s why this is a fabulous idea, aside from getting to spend time with my friends, we were wearing pajamas!! Drawstring waistbands, stretchy fabric and slippers, it was so stress free and comfortable.

Great gift ideas!

Here’s a gift idea that I mention every year, buy all your friends/fam the same thing, like our comfy pajama bottoms from the Super Store, omg they are so soft. Keep things simple and double or triple up on the same item.


Last year I gifted a few friends with slippers, they loved them and it was super easy for me. Again, the holidays are stressful, simplify your life by choosing one signature gift!! Try it, you can thank me later.


Time for play!

Another big trend are old school board games. It’s funny how we are so attached to our devices and technology and then, Bam! A global pandemic comes along and all of a sudden we’re playing old school board games and puzzles.

In 2019 had you told me that I would be asking to swap puzzles with others via social media, I would have thought you were insane. And yes that happened, thanks to Debbie and her mom for sharing their puzzles with my mom and aunt.


One more awesome party idea

In lieu of a big Christmas party why not host a small games night? Turns out, unplugging and spending time with friends and family is good for your soul. Here’s why I think this is a great idea for kids, seniors and everyone in between. I started noticing that having to scale back from regular social activities was starting to take a toll on my mother, who loves playing games. So we’ve started a monthly game night.

Here’s how ours works, the first Monday of every month my brother, my fake son, who is my cousin’s son, and I go to my moms for dinner; we do the cooking and play a game. Their spouses are more than welcome to join, but the three of us need to attend. I told them that they are going to need a note from their doctor in order to miss without repercussions, yes, I run a tight ship!!

Our first game night we played scrabble and had such a fun evening. My mom was thrilled to spend time with Serge and Christopher; I am well aware that I am not her favorite, but it’s fine, I am fine…it’s all fine, lol. And I probably should clarify, so they don’t get mad at me, they do visit her, but they aren’t great at small talk so playing a game helps all of us spend quality time together. Side note, Christopher won our first game night…ok he beat the crap out of us, it wasn’t even close.

Please steal this idea and all need to be mindful that all these changes we are going through are perhaps a bit extra hard on our seniors and kids. Add in the holiday season and, ouff, it’s a lot.

Comfort & Joy Gift Guide Highlight

  • Cozy matching pajamas, like the ones shown above
  • Slippers, the freaking fuzzier the better
  • Shop Local, not going to lie, I am really into alpaca wool these days, like these super comfy hats below. I also bought mittens that I can’t wait to wear and other stuff that I can’t mention because I’m gifting them.
  • Board Games – there are so many new games to chose from, but go retro. If you have kids, I think it’s super fun to share games you grew up playing, with them. Board games also make great hostess gifts and less calories than a bottle of wine, lol.
  • Practical Gift – now I am usually not a big fan of practical Christmas gifts, but this isn’t exactly a normal year. And since we are all spending so much time at home, a kitchen gift is perfectly acceptable this year, but I reserve the right to change my view on this for next year, lol.
    • But, and this is an important but, if you are going to do a practical gift you need to put some thought into it and make it extra.
    • I would love to get fancy mixer like this one, but add a cake mix and nice fancy bowls or measuring cups in order to make it extra.


I think that the perfect, home run, practical gift needs to be something you wouldn’t buy yourself or even think to buy yourself. And since we seem to be cooking and baking more these days, try getting something that you and your mate or your fam can use together.

I love this pasta maker idea, add all the ingredients you’ll need and wrap them up. Have them open the flour first; I am sure they will be thinking WTF is going on here, lol.


This year more than any previous holidays, it’s going to be important to share experiences with our loved ones. And sadly some of us won’t be able to physically be with all of our loved ones, so why not plan a virtual cooking date where you are all making the same thing at the same time?

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that the most important thing we can give each other is our time and attention. And guess what? That’s free!!

Thank you for reading, I hope this has given you a few ideas that you can incorporate into this holiday season, be kind and stay safe!

muah!

Liette

If you want a bit more Christmas content, here’s a silly one from last year. A bit of context, I had just moved back to Canada from Las Vegas and my nose was still healing from a little skin cancer scare. Enjoy!

https://oui-liette.org/2019/12/24/merry-christmas-happy-everything/

A Covid Halloween – kid friendly ideas.

2020, or the year that all our plans died, has been a challenge to say the least, but we’ve made it to October! With Halloween a few weeks away, I think we should plan on having a really weird Halloween, but let’s make weird work for us!

Here are a few ideas to make Halloween 2020 the best, weirdest, global pandemic Halloween ever!

If you’re a regular reader you know that I can be a bit sassy, but these ideas are legit aimed at making great Halloween memories for you and your kids…of all ages…ok there maybe a few sassy variations, so if you don’t have kids, keep reading and just add booze to every idea.

A New Way to Trick n’ Treat

Omg I love this ideas!!! Ok, let’s say that something really scary happens right before Halloween and old school, regular, trick or treating gets canceled. How can we salvage some sort of fun?

Here’s a great way to trick or treat, while socially distancing, Covid style.

How excited would your kids be if someone rang your doorbell and when they answered, there was a special treat waiting for them?

So I have a few ideas for this one. This is a great way for grandparents, aunts and uncles to surprise their little munchkins. Go to the dollar store and buy a plastic pumpkin or use some sort of small bucket. Fill it with treats, attach a helium balloon, get a white one and draw on eyes and a mouth and add a little note; then drop and go!

Another option is to make plans with the moms and dads from your hood to exchange treats with. You can get the kids involved, let them pick the treats for their friend’s buckets and then bring them along for the sneaky drop off. Coordinate times so each child is home at the time of their drop off.

Or…make them for your own kids and leave them at your own door. Ok, one last variation, drop them off to your adult friends and family too, add a few mickies and chips, whatever. I’d love to get a special treat like this myself!

Here’s the adult drop and go option.


Host a Spooky Night

Plan a spooky meal, invite a few friends if it’s safe to do so, if not, make it a family thing or whoever is in your bubble. Get the kids involved in the meal prep, remember your ultimate goal is to make memories.

Step 1 – make your table fancy, so it’s not just a normal dinner. Add some bats or pumpkins, use cloth napkins; let the kids drink out of fancy wine glasses, you can get them their own plastic ones from the dollar store, if you’re afraid of using your crystal, lol. Then during the meal, take turns making toasts to each other, ching, ching or cling, cling.

Step 2 – A spooky menu

Plan a spooky menu, like these mini pizzas, just make it fun, let them make their own, finally one night that they are encouraged to play with their food!


These mummies below are super fun, they just need a bit or bloody ketchup!


And if your kids are a bit older, gross them out with this creepy meatloaf. Have them help you make it, or even better have each person make their own, mini meatloaf.


Don’t forget about dessert, if they can’t go out to trick or treat, bring the treats to them; and make it fun!

Love these bug cookies.


Finish up your night with a spooky movie.

Play Dress Up

It’s been my experience that getting ready to go out can be more fun than actually going out. Even if things get canceled you still need to dress up!!

So why don’t you plan some sort of group or family costume? Get everyone ready then snap some family pics, let them be silly and make faces, I promise they will look back on these pictures with fond memories.

Or pack everyone in the car and go stand on the front lawn of their grandparents/family/friends and have them take a pic of your zombie crew. You get to show off your costumes and it gets the kids out of the house.


If you have teenagers, force them to participate!! Have everyone dress up in black and have a contest who can draw the coolest or strangest looking skull face. And for your family pic, if they don’t smile, you can tell yourself they were just in character.

*pics from Pintrest, the greatest Halloween helper!

Bark at the moon! (Ozzy Osborn reference for my bro, plus it sounds better than Howl at the moon.)

Hey! Did you know that Halloween falls on a full moon this year? Get your people outside and have them howl at the moon! No, seriously, go outside and start howling, it’s dumb, silly and I promise you’ll feel like a dork, but you’ll end up laughing and making your kids laugh. Then, when they’re older they’ll remember that Halloween when there was a full moon and their parents took them outside to howl at the moon.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you just have to roll with things and make the best of shitty situations; this is even more important if you’re a parent. It’s basically your job to make certain your kids don’t feel like they’re being cheated out of the “normal” fun things in life, like Halloween. Make abnormal fun and exciting! Good luck, be safe and stay healthy!

Boo!

Liette

Why you should take advantage of our Atlantic travel bubble.

These are weird and hard times for the tourism and service industries. It’s more important than ever to get out there and support our local businesses.
Go for a drive, shop and eat at little mom and pop shops; who would have thought that eating and shopping in 2020 would be considered an act of love and support? But that is currently the case.

Here are a few activities that will be a win/win, for you and local businesses…you’re welcome!

Cool places are less peoply

Here’s what’s in it for you, besides feeling good about helping to support local businesses, our region has amazing things to do and see!! And since our region is less populated than other regions of Canada and their are no outside tourists, this is a great opportunity, and hopefully the only time, that we’ll have our beautiful region all to ourselves.

This became crystal clear to me last weekend when I visited Peggy’s Cove, just outside of Halifax. We basically had it all to ourselves. Ok, there were other people there, but there were no buses with loads of tourists; full disclosure it’s after Labor Day, so not prime time, but it was still oddly eerily void of crowds.

We got to explore the tiny village peacefully and look, no people in our shots. Hopefully this will be the last season without outside tourists, so go! This may be a once in a lifetime chance?


Ok all you instagramers out there, look at how amazing these pics are!! And while you’re out there getting the perfect shot, have lunch at the restaurant beside the lighthouse and spend some money; we had the fish n chips and they were delish!

We also visited Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, what a beautiful region!!!! Get in your car and drive!! Drive to Saint Andrews, Saint John, Moncton, the Acadian Cost, Charlottetown, Cavendish, Souris, Cape Breton, Halifax…. and if you had a European trip planned that got canceled, go to Newfoundland and pretend you’re in Ireland or Scotland, they accent will be a little different, but just go with it.

Love, love, love all the colourful houses of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg!

Hotels need heads in beds

The fall is typically conference season, hotels are usually fully booked with business travelers attending trade shows and meetings. Sadly corporate travel has been halted, this means that a lot of hotels are empty.
The lack of business travelers means that some local hotels are offering great deals!

We stayed at a brand new hotel in Halifax, Sutton Place, and in addition to getting a great rate, we were upgraded to a room with a view. When checking in tell them where you are from and be nice and you may get upgraded?

I’ve come to terms that being in fancy hotels is my natural habitat. This hotel had the BEST pillows!


The Sutton Place is attached to the convention center in downtown Halifax, this is the typical kind of hotel that I would book for my company during trade show season (I plan events for a large company); the rate we got was certainly not the a regular fall rate. Once life gets back to normal, the rate for this hotel in September/October will be double. So look up that fancy hotel that you’ve always wanted to try, call the front desk directly and tell that you are booking a mini staycation.

Do fun weird stuff!

Go on Pinterest and search fun things to do in your region, then do them! People always ask me how I find things to do, my big secret is I look up fun things to do, lol, it’s just that simple. Lately though, people have started to send me suggestions, which I love!

Here’s a fun thing, go visit some llamas!! This past summer I walked llamas and alpacas at Llamazing Adventures in Shediac; it was cool, but my cousins and I have made friends with Janet from Petitmore Alpacas and her gang of alpacas. Look them up on Facebook, you’ll need to make an appointment to visit. They’ll be open for a bit until the weather gets too wintery.

We were greeted by these crazy teenagers!!

What we love about visiting Janet is that after we are done feeding apples to the alpacas, which is awesome, we get to shop!! She makes beautiful hats, mittens, scarves….

Two of my cousins, Brigitte & Tania, we’d like to visit with our other cousins; Jen, Sasha, Sonya, Maneau and Katelyn, but they would freak out the llamas and Janet may never let us come back!! (They’re kinda loud and by kinda, I mean they are freaking loud!)

I bought a few things, some will be Christmas gifts! Speaking of Christmas, because of Covid a lot of Christmas markets and craft shows will be canceled. So please get out there and find then buy products from local artisans.

Want to find llamas in your area? Google, llamas in my area!! Lol

Here’s another fun thing to do, find a local potter, get a few friends together and visit their studio, I’m certain that they would love to have you visit!

Tania on the right, Brigitte on the left, I think the llamas could sense that B wanted to kidnap them so they were a bit afraid of her, lol.

Thank you for reading, take advantage of this lull in tourists to explore our bubble, book a hotel night, eat out, shop, just be a tourist in your own area; whether you’re lucky enough to be in the Atlantic bubble or not.

muah!
Liette

If you liked this post, you’ll probably like this one as well: https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/08/is-new-brunswick-weird-4-super-oddball-cool-things-to-do-in-nb/

Moncton, what’s there to love?

Moncton what’s there to love?

I’ve always been proud to be from Moncton and after living in the US, Las Vegas to be specific, for the past three years; I worked my magic to get transferred back to my hometown.

The most common questions asked about my big move news were: really??? And: are you happy about that?? My reply to both were yes and YESSS!!

So, why was I so keen to move back to this, who are we kidding, small city? What is there to love about Moncton?

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The little city that could.

If I had to describe the people of Moncton, known as Monctonians, in one word, it would be: resilient…and industrious. OK, that’s two words, but whatever.

Our little city has been sucker punched a few times in its history. Each hit should have knocked us out and made us throw in the towel and fade away quietly.

But what can I say? Monctonians are scrappy by nature. What do you do when you are a one industry town and that industry picks up and walks away? You pick yourself up and shake it off…oh, and you take a look at what you have to offer, then hustle to get new industries to move to your city and completely reinvent yourself.

The city with a certain, je ne sais quoi?

Oui, c’est vrai, Moncton’s French speaking population, helps make the city pretty unique. Think about it; without them Moncton may as well be Saint John; not that there’s anything wrong with being Saint John.

Moncton’s vast bilingual population is one of the resources that helped to reinvent the city. When other New Brunswick cities struggled to modernize their economies, Moncton thrived; surpassing Saint John to become the largest city in New Brunswick; oh wow, I am really picking on SJ aren’t I? Sorry!

Moncton’s mix of French and English, who BTW live together in peace and harmony, also give the city a live & let live/laisser faire, vibe, which I love.

Big thinkers?

I’ve visited many small towns and cities in both Canada and the US, that have very small town ideas/thinking, which is perfectly fine, but Moncton is a small city with a big city vibe and outlook. Maybe we don’t realize that we are small? Or maybe thinking big just comes naturally to us?

Whatever the reason, this big, little city, has a very cosmopolitan vibe and is open to new ideas and new people. Maybe it’s because Monctonians are so well traveled? People here travel…a lot. I thought that this was normal until I went to smaller and bigger places and met people who had never been anywhere.

My grandparents, who were two old school Acadians, became globetrotters once they retired. They had a lust for life and wanted to see and experience as much as they could, this is a very Moncton way of thinking. They even visited China! Fun fact, I didn’t realize how insecure my grandmother was about talking in English until my dad and I took her to Florida and she kept asking me to ask the waitresses stuff, yet she visited Europe and beyond; my dad was also a globetrotter; I discovered that he had traveled to Africa twice when he was in his twenties. I guess that’s where I get my globetrotting genes?

I think that because so many Monctonians travel the world it makes us, well more worldly, lol.

It tastes good.

It’s easy to take local things for granted until you have something to compare them to. Growing up in the Maritimes, going to the wharf with your dad and waiting for the fishing boats to come in to buy lobster wasn’t a big deal.

With a little perspective, you realize that there aren’t many places that offer the world’s best seafood, literally, fresh off the boat…like literally!

World class lobster, crab, mussels and oysters can be found here, all available in this little city.

Growing up here, in the 70’s & 80’s, there weren’t a lot of different « exotic » foods available; by exotic, I mean stuff like avocados, lol. We did have a few Chinese food places, but that was pretty much it.

Moncton now has a great diverse foodie scene, with authentic Indian, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Syrian…options. I was just told about a super cute Korean BBQ place in Dieppe, which technically isn’t Moncton, but tomato, tomato. Lol, it’s on my list to try.

So let’s be proud of our city and if you live in Saint John, be proud of Saint John!!! No matter what city you live in, big or small, get out there and find new things to try, do, see and taste!!

Thanks for reading!

muah!

Liette

If you liked this post, you just may like this one as well? https://oui-liette.org/2020/06/10/colours-of-the-maritimes/

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Beach It In NB – Canada’s Best Beaches!

Beaching it in NB – Canada’s Best Beaches

If you‘re wondering where the best beaches in Canada are, let me, let you in on a little secret, they’re in New Brunswick!! Yes NB, that little, sometimes forgotten province that you need to drive through to get to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Yup that’s the one!

And although we have beautiful beaches up the entire Acadian Coast, the best of the best are in the south eastern part of the province. Why? Because this area has the warmest waters north of the Carolinas.

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Why is the water in this area warmer than Main which is just to the south of us? The area, between NB and PEI, is shallower because it’s in between two land masses, so it warms up quicker.

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I bet you didn’t think this was going to be geography lesson? Keep reading, the pretty beach pics are coming up, lol.

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This is my last map, I promise; now you may have noticed that PEI’s south side also faces the Northumberland Straight and you may be wondering if the beaches along that coast are just as sandy and warm as the ones on the NB side? Well probably, but those beaches are most likely full of potatoes and really who wants to lay on a beach full of potatoes?? I know that I don’t. (Please note that the amount of potatoes on the PEI beaches may be slightly exaggerated for comedic effect? But honestly, who really knows?)

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What isn’t in question are the beautiful, sandy and warm beaches from Murray Corner, Cap Pelé, Shediac to just past Bouctouche.

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How warm does the water get? In August the average temperature in Shediac can reach 24 degrees Celsius. That’s pretty much bath water for most Canadians, lol.

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Now the beaches in Nova Scotia aren’t littered with potatoes, but they are very rocky, unlike NB’s sandy beaches, so don’t bother going to those.

The dark colour of the sand gives the water the most beautiful shades of blue.

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We are also blessed with the highest and lowest tides…in the world!!! You’re probably a bit skeptical about my accuracy after my potato beach statement? But this is a fact, you can look it up if you don’t believe me. This freakish phenomenon means that at low tide you can walk on the sandbars looking for sand dollars or starfish.

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The three most popular beaches are Parlee Beach in Shediac, l’Aboiteau in Cap Pelé and les Dunes in Bouctouche. But there are many more that are just as lovely, like Grande Digue, Caissie Cape and Cape Bimet. Soooo many amazing warm beaches!!!

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Living away from the Maritimes for the last few years, I now have a new appreciation for fishing boats, lighthouses and colourful buoys. They are post card perfect and very Instagramable.

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For my Ontario and Prairie readers, these are buoys, see below. They get attached to lobster traps and fishing nets. Each fisherman will have his or her own colour or their specific number on them. You don’t touch another’s buoys! Unless you want to sleep with the fishes.

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The blue water and sky are made even more beautiful with pops of the bright green shades of beach grass. If you can’t see the beauty in this, then we can’t be friends, you can stop reading at anytime now, I am breaking up with you.

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Our pristine NB beaches are littered with oyster, mussel and clam shells with the prettiest shades of blues and purples.

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Having grown up swimming in the ocean this is my happy place, I love floating about.

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The smell of the salty air is intoxicating, I think anyone who has grown up near the ocean feels the same way, even those from the PEI potato beaches.

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Another bonus is that there really aren’t things in the water here that can kill you, even our jellyfish are pretty tame and they are all but gone by July.

Sooooo, this just in! Apparently there are great white sharks a little too close to the Northumberland Straight for my comfort. They’ve been spotted and tracked to the north and south of us, but there have been no sightings or attacks in our area. I am hoping the tides will keep them at bay? I’ve also been told that they have always been this far north, but we didn’t know until they started tagging and tracking them. I am choosing to not dwell on this so that I am able to enjoy my swims without hearing the Jaws theme song in my head, over and over again.

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In August one of my favorite things to do is to meet a friend or two at the beach for an early evening swim. Watching the sunset from the water is truly magical.

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And there is nothing better after a hard day of beaching than a fresh seafood feast!! Like, fresh, fresh!!

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I do have to warn you that all day beaching, sun-ing and swimming is exhausting!!! Oh and I have one other cautionary advice for you, when snorkeling, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your butt, speaking from experience…ouch.

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I think this picture above tells the tail of how exhausting all that sun and sand is; I could barely keep my eyes open while we waited for our fried claims and scallops at Pirate de la mer.

My plan is to get in as much beach time in the next few weeks until the air turns and gets cooler, announcing the arrival of fall.

Thank you so much for reading! Please check out my Instagram and Facebook accounts at: oui-liette. And feel free to comment, like and share.

muah!

Liette

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Sorry to PEI and NS for the shade in this post, I still love you! But NB beaches are just better 😬

Llama-zing Day!

Llama-zing Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading!!!

muah!

Liette & Brenda

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

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

 

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche…again

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche…again.

After posting my Bouctouche edition of Day Tripping in NB, my friend Lisa, who now lives in Montreal, told me about a lavender farm in Bouctouche that I needed to visit.

It just so happens that the following day I had a beach day planned at the Dunes in Bouctouche with my friend Alie. I asked her if we could make a stop before heading to the beach and she was onboard.

She had never heard of Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm and she’s originally from Bouctouche, so we looked them up and we were off!

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As we approached the parking area, we could see rows and rows of beautiful purple lavender fields. As we got out of the car, I could feel myself getting more and more excited; if you don’t feel happy walking in fields of lavender, there is something seriously wrong with you..like seriously, you need to get that checked, lol.

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These fields are an Instagramers dream and we did see a few photo shoots while we were there; the owners, Carly and her husband Paul, welcome anyone who want to visit and walk their fields, sniff their lavender and take a few pics.

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I asked Carly what inspired her and her husband to start a lavender farm here in Bouctouche of all places? Carly has a British accent so it was very apparent that she isn’t from the region, she’s from Whales, but Paul is from the region.

They met 26 years ago when they were both working on a cruise ship, Carly still works on ships as a Cruise Director. She explained that they had all of this land and decided to plant an acre of lavender and see how it would grow? Well it grew so they planted another acre and then another; they now have 4 acres in total; and having traveled the world they wanted to bring a bit of the French countryside to New Brunswick.

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Meet Carly

They are in the process of restoring their barn, it’s already beautiful, I can’t wait to see it when it’s fully completed. They’ve already booked two weddings!!

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Look at all of this natural wood!! It’s so impressive when you walk in and look up.

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They also have a shop in the barn where you can buy their lavender products. I bought their facial scrub and body lotion and I need to go back for some lavender oil.

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They sell these beautiful lavender soaps, they are perfect for wedding favors.

I also bought a bunch of fresh lavender and should have bought more, it’s the prettiest darkest shade of purple that I’ve ever seen, it’s my new fav colour.

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Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm is the first agrotourism lavender farm in the province; Carly explained that because of our winter’s their fields will never be perfect or look exactly like the ones in Europe, but being able to visit a lavender farm, then cross the street to a beautiful beach, Les Dunes, followed by a fresh lobster roll, at Pirate des mers, on your way home seems pretty close to perfect to me!

I asked Carly about their future plans for their lavender farm, their venue lends itself perfectly to weddings and events, so they will be hosting more events in the future, as the word gets out. Their lavender product lines will grow, as will the size of their fields, but her ultimate goal is for people to come visit the farm and to just breathe, she wants us to relax and to “take a breathe”.

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I love that sentiment and you really feel that vibe when you’re on the farm. Some will never get the opportunity to walk the lavender fields in the countryside of France or England, but you can walk the lavender fields of Bouctouche!! Ok technically they are in Saint Edouard, but tomato, tomato…did you just read that with two different pronunciations?? Ah!! Of course you did! Lol

Thank you so much for reading!! I am going to share a few more amazingly pretty pics and here is a link for my two last Day Tripping in NB posts. And finally, I have a cool give away coming up so go like my Instagram page: oui-liette for details on how to enter to win my Sassy Summer Basket!! Launching my contest this Friday.

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche (the orginal): https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/19/day-tripping-in-nb-bouctouche/

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

muah!!

Liette

Oh and be sure to like and follow Lavender at Ocean Breeze Farm on Facebook and Instagram, they are currently only open for visits on weekends, see their sites for details and updates.

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They grow two different kinds of lavender.

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Harvest, drying time

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Fun fact, Carly told Paul she wanted a pony and he bought her this, technically it is a pony, check the name on the tractor, lol.

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Here are Carly and Paul, clearly not in the French countryside.

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Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche

Day Tripping in NB – Bouctouche

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

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

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Brigitte on the left and Tania on the right.

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

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

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

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

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My fav was the crêpe râpée!! Bottom left.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

muah!

Liette

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

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

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

 

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

I’ve been noticing that since this dumb pandemic started, there seems to be a lot of new side hustles popping up and a bigger focus on buying locally.

I was really curious about what these side hustlers were doing, why they were doing it and how they were doing, while doing it? Make sense?? Maybe? Lol. Let me introduce you to Bonnie, who makes cakes and treats, Emily who makes funky earrings, Craig who makes beautiful cheese boards and wood stuff and Monique, who will customize pretty much anything you need.

First up is Bonnie, who is Mrs Delicious!

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Liette: What made you decide to start your side business?

Bonnie: The idea to start Mrs Delicious as an online bakery definitely came from my close friends and family. They were tasting and seeing all of my creations that I was posting about on social media during the spring and they thought I should offer what I was doing to a wider audience. I guess they thought I had a bit of a gift and thought I should share it.

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L: Is this something you had been waiting to do for a while?

B: Haha! Nooooo not at all. I normally have an extremely full schedule and wouldn’t have any room for extras like this. A typical work week for me, pre-pandemic, would consist of anywhere from 50 to 60+ hours of work a week. After a week like that you don’t typically have a lot left to give. Anything I do have left is spent on friends and family. However, at this time, with events on hold, my daily life has changed drastically. I needed a creative outlet and so my friend gave me the extra push I needed, she created a logo for me and I set up a Facebook page and my husband got some stickers made up with my branding and I was off and running.

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L: So all the extra time on your hands, because of the pandemic, sparked you to try something new?

B: The pandemic was definitely the instigator for this. I have hardly baked in the past 10 years. I have been concentrating on climbing the corporate ladder and being a Mom to my kids and helping to support my Mom when she was sick. I had a full plate. During the pandemic I turned to the kitchen, it started with a birthday cake for my daughter, then one for my son, then an anniversary cake for my sister and brother in law and it just kept going. I started having a lot of fun with it and trying trickier recipes each time. I was getting so many positive comments on my photos and people started saying, you should do this and sell them. I was very unsure at first but my confidence started to build and the reviews were positive so here I am. Mrs Delicious has been accepting orders for less than a month and I have already had close to 50 orders!

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L: I love that story!! Your cakes look absolutely delicious, great name btw, I am waiting for someone’s birthday in order to order one from you. How can people see and order from you?

B: People can order through Facebook at facebook.com/mrsdeliciousdesserts

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Post and Studs

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Emily’s is an elementary school teacher, who on the side, makes beautiful earrings. She makes them because they let her be creative and they make her happy, she explains that if they make others happy, that is a major bonus! And BTW, I just got a pair and they do make me happy! Mine are hot pink, obvs; here is my chat with Emily.

Liette: What inspired you to start making earrings?

Emily: I’ve always loved creating, aka making a mess. My sister and I started making jewelry as children and it was always something that brought me happy memories. We grew up in an extremely creative household, both of our parents were being creating in some way or another. I’m very thankful to have grown up in an environment that fostered our creativity.

A few Christmases ago, I was making earrings as gifts for loved ones and everyone told me to start selling them. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I decided to dive in head first!

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business?

E: Having a business was always something that appealed to my creative side, but definitely not my organizational side. It was something I was always interested in, but I am thankful that I can do it at my own pace.

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L: Your earrings are beautiful. How long does it take to make one pair?

E: From start to finish, many of the dangles take about four days to fully cure and become ready for your ears! There are quite a few steps involved and this time period can be greatly extended if I make any mistakes. I’ve definitely had to start from scratch on more than one occasion.

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L: I bet that it’s been a learning process, not just making them, but marketing yourself?

E: Because it’s my side business, I don’t have the same type of pressure to market myself as many other businesses do. Post and Stud is my creative outlet, and I treat it as such. If it all becomes too stressful, I have the ability to step back and take a break for a few days. This is a privilege I’ve needed and am extremely thankful for. For the most part, I’m able to go with the flow and create relationships with like minded people.

L: How can people see and buy your earrings?

E: They can go to my website: http://www.postandstud.com, my Instagram & Facebook account is @postandstud. My earrings are also available for sale at Sequoia, the Trinity location, The Glow, in Sussex, and Luxe Salon and Spa in Riverview.

Borden Design

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I’ve known Craig for a long time, we used to work together many moons ago. I was surprised and impressed when I saw the beautiful charcuterie boards he was posting on Facebook. I knew he was, and still is, an awesome musician, but I had no idea he had mad woodworking skills? It was nice to catch up with him; here’s a bit of our chat.

Liette: I’ve seen the videos you’ve posted online, it’s cool to see a bit of how your boards are made. What motivated you to start your side hustle?

Craig: I had been planning a little side hustle for quite some time. With the lock down and having some extra time it seemed like the perfect time to get started.

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L: Did being home during COVID push you to get started?

C: Typically my free time would be focused on making music with my band “Big Bang”, but COVID not allowing for rehearsing I had some spare time to really focus on coming up with some products I wanted to make.

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L: What is it about working with wood that you most enjoy?

C: The charcuterie boards I’ve been making came from an apple tree that was in our backyard. I love the three having a completely new life in a completely new form. The cutting boards are made from wood I get from another local business, London Lumber. It’s really like being a kid in a candy store every time I go there. In addition to wood we’ve been prepping to make some concrete products as well, they should be available in the coming months.

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Craig’s number one helper, Stephen, who just turned 7!!

L: How can people find and buy your products?

C: Currently my presence is focused on Facebook, bordendesignnb, but I ‘m on Instagram, borden_design, and Twitter, Twitter.com/borden_design, as well. Products and prices can be found on Facebook @bordendesignnb,

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Made by Monique

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Monique works in early childhood development and is super crafty and creative. She’s started a side company that focuses on custom printing; here’s our chat.

Liette: What inspired you to start your little side hustle?

Monique: I love being crafty and creating things, so after receiving my Cricut (fancy adhesive cutter and printer) as a Christmas gift, I started experimenting with it and watching YouTube videos, A LOT of videos! After trying a couple of different things, I realized I was more interested in designing shirts, onesies, hoodies, etc…

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L: Have you always wanted to have your own business? What made you say, I am going to do it?

M: I’ve always loved the idea of having my own little side business that I would fully run myself, so that would be a yes! Once I had mastered designing and applying heat transfer vinyl on a wide variety of fabrics, I decided to invest in a few other important accessories and advertise on social media.

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She also sells custom pet stuff. Here are her two fav models, Pedro and Mika. Pedro giving us his sexy look, Mike giving us full on smiles. 

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L: What’s been one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to deal with so far?

M: A challenge I’ve had to deal with would definitely be the Christmas rush! It’s generally a busy time of the year in general, but with the added to-do list of getting all the custom orders ready before Christmas, it was a little extra busy for me. Even though it was a big stressful, I am SO thankful that I received so many orders!

L: So maybe we can put it out there now, in the summer, that people should start thinking of their custom Christmas Stockings, Tree Skirts and baby onesies now? lol?

M: That would be great to get orders as early as possible!

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These are the custom printed hats that she made for me.

 

L: How can people see your work and order from you?

M: I have photos of almost all my work posted on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/customizedbymonique and also my Instagram account: customizedbymonique. For order simply send me a message via my FB page and I will get back to you!

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I am so impressed with all these side hustlers their stories are inspiring and have a few common threads. One is that they are all doing something that they love and that fulfills their creative side, that’s so important, we all need creative outlets. And they are all using social media to promote and sell their goods. I think that social media gets a bad wrap; and rightfully so at times. My advice to those finding social media toxic is to do some major cleaning up!

You’re allowed to unfollow and unfriend anyone who is causing you anxiety. Replace them with local small businesses and services. I recently started following the hashtags #moncton, #newbrunswick and a few others and I have discovered so many neat things about my region.

Social media is the most valuable tool for small/local businesses…oh and for bloggers too, lol.

Thank you for reading!! Start following these awesome side hustlers on FB and Insta!!

muah!

Liette

As a bonus adding links to my last two links, they highlight local businesses. One is a nursery and the other a glamping site…you’re welcome!!

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/11/day-tripling-in-nb-cornhill-nursery/

https://oui-liette.org/2020/07/05/girls-who-glamp/