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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At Home With Stacey and Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

At Home With Stacey And Liette (me); Fancy Pantries.

This is the last post of my, At Home With, series for a bit. They’ve gotten a lot of readers so I will do more; maybe we can peek into people’s homes at Christmas time??

For our finale, let’s peek into some fancy pantries. First up is my friend Stacey’s pantry; she and I love to do fancy things together, it usually involves shopping, but today we’ll be touring our pantries.

Stacey and her family have a gorgeous home, but her pantry is a real hidden gem. If you’re in her kitchen and the doors are closed you would never suspect that there’s an amazing pantry there.

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Beautiful kitchen right? Wait for it.

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Voilà!! Oh and this is Finn, he’s the sweetest dog ever; I’m pretty sure his dog treats are in the pantry, so he’s on guard duty.

Her walk in pantry has floor to ceiling storage, the layout was very well thought out.

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Stacey and I agree that one of the best parts of having a big pantry is that you can hide your small appliances in them.

In addition to all the regular pantry stuff, Stacey keeps her pottery mugs that she has collected from her travels, they are just above her fancy coffee machine. She has pottery from the Maritime all the way to Iceland, from her most recent trip. When traveling, why buy tacky touristy stuff, when you can support local artists? That was rhetorical, there is no reason not to, lol.

Her pantry is filled with beautiful wooden bowls, family pieces and pottery, each item has a story; I absolutely love that about her home.

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And during the peak of the pandemic lock down, she joked that the most valuable thing in her pantry was her husband’s jar of yeast.

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At Home With Liette

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Covid Hair alert!! 

Stacey’s home is on the outskirts of town, it overlooks the city. My home is downtown in the heart of the city; OK it’s a small city, but still, I’m in the heart of it!

I am not going to lie that my pantry is what sealed the deal for my new place. The owner kept telling me it’s perfect for entertaining….I finally had to speak up and let him know who he was dealing with; events and party planner extraordinaire! Sooo he didn’t seem impressed, but I am sure he was blown away on the inside, he was just playing it cool, lol.

Apparently the “new thing” in pantries are sinks; it’s called a wet pantry, who knew? It maybe the most practical thing ever?

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So this is my pantry/laundry room/craft closet. What I love most about having a pantry with a sink and a door is that when entertaining, you can store all the messy stuff in there and bring it out when needed. It’s also great to have a place for my toaster and other stuff, so it’s not cluttering my kitchen counter space.

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The right side of the pantry is my laundry area; and all the way from Las Vegas is Lucille the cow; she helps me with my laundry. She’s great at folding, but horrible at putting clothes away.

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I have so much storage in here that some of my kitchen cupboards are empty. The cabinet to the left of my toaster oven is where I keep all my craft and party stuff…and my skates.

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Someone asked me what I kept in the orange boxes above my spice jars and where I got them? They are the boxes that my Nova Scotia Crystal glasses came in; they were too pretty and sturdy to throw away. I keep can goods and food stuff in them. Most of my glass jars are from IKEA.

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Can you tell I bought myself a label maker?? To say that I went label crazy when I first got it would be a gross understatement. When I moved I assumed that my pantry would turn into a catch all, but it stays really neat. That saying; a place for everything and everything in its place, rings true.

Thank you for reading, if you missed any of my other; At Home With…, scroll down to read them.

Coming up – I am working on a few fun projects; more decorating, some day trips and believe it or not, I am working on some content for fall. I’m taking advantage of this time off; and if I was working I would be planning all my fall shows, so it seems normal for me to work that far ahead, lol.

Thank you Stacey and Finn for letting us peek into your pantry.

Leave a comment or follow me on Facebook or Insta: Oui-Liette

muah!!

Liette

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Finn kind of stole the spotlight from Stacey, for this shot, I decided to just crop her out completely. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Brunswick Making Lemonade out of Lemons.

New Brunswick making lemonade out of lemons.

In this post I would like to highlight a few local businesses who are trying to make the best out of a really difficult situation; they’re trying to make lemonade out of a bunch of lemons…or lemon drop martinis; yes some are making really, really strong lemons drop martinis!!

For the last 6 weeks, I’ve been socially distancing in my downtown Moncton apartment feeling a bit lost and helpless. I’ve tried my best to create positive, entertaining and who are we kidding, sometimes super silly, blog posts to share with my readers.

And as everyone else, I’ve probably been spending too much time on social media? And although there are lots of Debbie Downers out there; I’ve felt a lot of pride being back home in my native province watching my fellow New Brunswickers being so compassionate, resilient and downright scrappy!

Please note that these are just a handful of local businesses. My goal for this summer is to visit every inch of our beautiful province; if you have recommendations of things I need to experience, please let me know. I will also be making trips to PEI and NS once we are allowed to cross borders.

And lastly, I am not getting any freebies from anyone mentioned in this post; the last thing any of our local businesses need right now are people hitting them up for free stuff. OK, let’s get started!

Blue Roof Distillers

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When you’re able to make vodka out of potatoes, making lemonade out of lemons seems like it would be fairly easy right? That’s exactly what Blue Roof Distillers are currently doing.

Like so many local businesses they were looking for creative ways to stay busy and keep their staff employed,during this pandemic; while also helping the local community. The solution was to convert part of their distillery to make sanitizer, which has been in short supply lately; their nimbleness is helping to keep our front line workers safe and germ free.

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That’s Devon Strang on the left and Blue Roof’s Head Distiller, Cameron Boyd, on the right.

The Strang family started farming in in New Brunswick in 1855; six generations later they are one of Atlantic Canada’s premier potato suppliers.

Devon Strang, Founder/CEO of Blue Roof Distillers, explains the uniqueness of their production; “Our process is unique in every way, Blue Roof Handcrafted Spirits are made from scratch using whole potatoes. Recipes are tailored to the raw materials available lowering the ecological footprint of the farm. Potatoes that are too small to market are now destined for the distillery. The mash, after being distilled, is then gifted to local farmers for livestock feed. The Strang family is proud to be able to offer value-added spirits that are distinguishable different than others on the market. The distillery produces all of its own alcohol and does not blend any commercial ethanol into its process.”

I love the history and the story of the Strang Family Farm and their evolution over 6 generations. I think we really need to be mindful of where our food, and vodka, comes from and we need to support our local farms!

You can purchase their spirits at NB Liquor; please refer to their website for more information on their products and also on how to order their sanitizer.

Blue Roof Distillers are located on the South-East edge of NB, directly off the Trans Canada Hwy, 4144 Route 16, in Malden.

They offer Tours and Tastings at their distillery. I will be booking a tour as soon as we are free to roam and will blog about it, of course.

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If you live in NB and have driven to PEI, you have seen their giant potato; his name is Tater Nate.

I couldn’t help but notice that they have a Gin Soda Citrus Blast mixed drink, which goes perfectly with my lemon/citrus theme. So I needed to buy one and have a little taste test; I mean it would probably be irresponsible not to? It was really yummy and refreshing!

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To contact Blue Roof Distillers:

Tel: (506) 538 -7767. Cell: (506) 533 – 0780

Website: http://www.blueroofdistillers.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlueRoofDistillers/

 

Gusto Italian Grill & Bar

 

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Some restaurants are doing their best to keep as many of their staff employed by offering curbside or delivery meals. One such business is Gusto Italian Grill & Bar, located at 130 Westmorland Street, here in Moncton. As they scrambled to get their takeout only operation up and running; they realized that they had fridges full of homemade cheesecakes, just begging to be eaten.

As a small gesture of gratitude to the local hospital staff, owner Brett Judson, decided to make special deliveries to both Moncton hospitals. Keeping it in the family, he recruited his teenage children to cut and package hundreds of pieces of cheesecake.

Gusto is now open for business from 4pm to 8pm daily; orders can be placed by calling the restaurant directly and picking up your order curbside; or you can also order via Skip the Dish and have it delivered.

Check their Facebook and Instagram for their daily curb side specials. My current fav so far is Pasta Mondays! They’ve also just started weekly food boxes, they are an amazing value! All of their specials are listed on their Facebook and Instagram sites.

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To place your curbside orders: 506-204-7177

Website: https://gustoitaliangrill.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GustoMoncton

Instagram: gustomoncton

In case you didn’t know, Gusto’s make the best cheesecakes, like ever!! The one below is their Lemon Cheesecake and it’s to die for! They also have an amazing gluten free Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake; it’s actually my favorite and I don’t even have gluten issues.

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The Zesty Lemon

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The Zesty Lemon is a cheerful gem, located at 535 Somerset St, in Saint John; who’s lunchtime rush disappeared overnight once the social distancing rules were put in place. They had to take a serious look at their business model and adapt quickly; their solution was to focus on delicious & nutritious meals, ready for pick up.

To see their menu and to place your order visit their website at: http://www.thezestylemon.ca then picked up your order curbside.

What I love about their menu in particular are the family sized dinners. Their Roasted Chicken Dinner for 4 comes with a roasted chicken, roasted rosemary potatoes, carrots, gravy and 2 French baguettes. Oh, I also love their flatbread pizzas…and their soups…

With lots of us working from home and homeschooling, having someone else prepared a healthy, home cooked meal is a treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

If you’re in the Saint John area, please give them a try.

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Radiant Photography

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Ali is a mother of two, an early education educator and a photographer. I met Ali a few months ago; she photographed me before this whole pandemic thing started. She’s the perfect example of a scrappy New Brunswicker who’s resourceful enough to make the sweetest lemonade from a bunch of lemons.

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Ali from Radiant Photography

Sadly, in order to comply with the social distancing rules, Ali had to cancel her scheduled appointments. As she sat home, she wondered if perhaps her photographs could bring some joy to others and also help our community in some meaningful way? She found a perfect way to accomplish both! She was inspired by a photographer in Massachusetts who started photographing families on their front steps. She decided to do the same with her neighbors, at a super safe distance away of course.

When I saw her post her first few sessions online, I thought they were super cute family pics. But as time passed, I started seeing them differently; or perhaps, like so many things these days, I was seeing the deeper meaning? These family porch sessions are amazing time capsules that will forever serve to document this moment in time when the world briefly came to a standstill and we rediscovered the importance of family.

Each portrait is unique and shows the personality of the family being photographed. And in lieu of payment, Ali has been suggesting that her porch families make a donation to Crossroads for Woman.
In these times of struggle, we all suffer, but we don’t all suffer equally. If you are able, please donate to your favorite charity. I am certain it is needed more than you can imagine.

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Just a few of Ali’s Porch Families.

To view more Family Prortraits go to: https://radiantphotography45.pixieset.com/frontstepsprojectmonctonnorthend/?fbclid=IwAR0WXhUrvM-GSkjOe7MwQB_iI6ikRQkj6_oF6TlaOD-KDnN30YNz0hRtXro

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Ali’s daughter splashing around in her lemony boots!

Please visit Radian Photography’s Facebook and Instagram Sites and make sure to book a photo shoot with her when this is over; fingers crossed it will be soon.

To contact Radiant Photography and book a session go to her social media sites.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/radiant.photography2019

Instagram: radiant.potography_

B HOME

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B HOME is located at 333 St George Street in Moncton. I’ve been a customer of theirs for a long time. I support them because I feel that they are true artists and not just a framing place that frame art. You’ll get their artist vibe when you visit their store, once we are allowed back out. 

I was a little surprised when I heard that they would be offering curb side service, because I wasn’t really sure how that would work logically; but guess what? It works!

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Marc from B HOME

Here are the three easy steps:

Step 1 – Call them to make arrangements for drop off or to have your art piece picked up; I just dropped off a new piece to them last week.

Step 2 – Is a video consultation session. What I found very cool, was that I could show Marc a bit of my home; he got to see my style and aesthetic. I showed him where I hung the last piece he did for me; who knew that BHome would be in my home? Well virtually anyway.
The consultation consisted of him showing me a few options; as he would have done in his store. We successfully chose a mat and frame that I am absolutely in love with!!

Step 3 – Pick up your framed piece!

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This is the piece that they are currently framing for me. The mat options above look red, but they are hot pink; I ended up choosing the gold frame. The painting was a birthday gift from my super talented sister-in-law. I can’t wait to see the finished piece. I’ll post pics on my oui-liette Instagram and oui-liette Facebook accounts, if you want to see it when done.

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Another fun option, that many may not be aware of, is that if you can drop off an existing frame and your art and they can custom cut a mat for you. This is very economical without having to give up that professional customized look.

B HOME has the coolest Instagram account and stories, you need to follow them!

https://www.facebook.com/bhomemoncton

Instagram: bhomemoncton

web: http://www.bhomemoncton.com

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To close out this post I reached out to the Mayor of Moncton, Dawn Arnold, for her thoughts on how we are doing as a community in these challenging times; turns out she couldn’t be prouder of us!

“I’ve been so amazed by the ingenuity, creativity and innovation that Monctonians are showing right now. Everything from the non-profits that are coming together to ensure that all the kids who participated in the school lunch programs are receiving lunches daily to Co-Pain that has taken their amazing bakery on-line to Notre Dame de Parkton, who now have weekly “box” filled with local products. The City has responded so swiftly and responsibly to this pandemic and I think that will set up well in the post-COVID future.”

“This has given us all an interesting opportunity to slow things down a bit, to think through priorities and how we want to be when we get back to “normal”; and what we want that “normal” to look like. During a time when nothing seems certain, I prefer to think of this as a time when anything is possible…no one would have believed that oil producers would be paying people to take barrels off their hands! If this is possible, truly, anything is possible!”

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Mayor Arnold, when she isn’t at City Hall, she can be found on the Riverfront Trail, on her bicycle.

Thank you to the Mayor and to the businesses who are letting me share their stories. I do believe that New Brunswickers are resilient AF; we’ve had to learn how to pivot…pivot! More than a few times in our past and I have no doubt that we will get through this challenge as well.
We’re leading the country at kicking COVID’s butt after all. We will get through this by leaning on each other and by being kind to each other, which seems to come naturally to us.

I hope this post inspires you to seek out local businesses and service providers; let’s make supporting them a new habit. And maybe, once we are free to roam, let’s roam all over this beautiful province! We should also share the love with PEI and NS too, they’re pretty awesome as well.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, scroll all the way down and sign up!
Merci! muah!
Liette

Behind the scenes

I was inspired by my lemon them to ditch my signature pink color, temporarily, for this cheery yellow and I am kinda digging it!

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Here are a few pics from my photo shoot with Ali. We had planned to shoot while it was snowing, but Mother Nature in the Maritimes won’t be bossed around! It started to snow, those beautiful, big fluffy flakes, 20 min after we finished.

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photos by Ali @radiantphotography

I’m a visual person; before I start writing any of my posts I need a theme or a vibe to inspire me. I was looking for an angle for this, support local, post when I happened upon this cheerful house in Sunny Brae with bright yellow doors!

Thanks to Mylène and her family for letting us use their house as our backdrop! She and her wife have a really cool neighborhood Instagram page: wherethepheasantsroam. Which just happens to be my old hood; check them out, they seem to have a cool bicycle gang!! Lol

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Thanks to Monique for these lovely photos. Check her out on Facebook at: Made by Monique, she’s got some cool custom printing stuff.

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Is New Brunswick Weird? 4 super oddball cool things to do in NB.

Is New Brunswick Weird?

As a native New Brunswicker, I don’t think so, but I have to admit that there are some freaky things going on here.

We have a hill that pulls your car uphill; we have a river that changes direction every 8 hours. And we have tides so low that you can walk on the ocean’s floor; if those things aren’t weird, than I don’t know what is?

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Here are a few wonderfully weird things to do and see in New Brunswick! Because let’s face it, normal is boring!!

#1 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Sleep in a castle!

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Growing up I’ve always wanted to live in a castle; to be honest I still do.
How many Canadian cities can brag about having a giant castle in the center of their city? And how many of those can you spend the night in?? Soooo…I don’t know the answer to either of those questions; these are rhetorical questions, obviously! My point is, that there probably aren’t that many?!

I do know of a castle that you can sleep in and it’s right here in New Brunswick! Castle Manor, in Moncton, rents out rooms via Airbnb. Sleeping in a castle is our first awesomely weird thing to do in NB.

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Fun fact; when I was a little girl I believed that the Friendly Giant and Rusty lived in Castle Manor. I suspect one of my older cousins told me that fun fake fact and I whole heartily believed them…for a long time.

If you don’t know who the Friendly Giant is? I feel bad for you; it was just the best children’s television program ever! It ran in Canada from 1958 to 1985; think Mr Rogers, but as a giant with a giraffe and a rooster as his side kicks; oh and he played the recorder…oh and every episode ended with a cow jumping over the moon; why? Why not! Look up, waaaay up and google it! Ok, I digress…back to sleeping in castles.

I am not going to lie, after decades of driving past Castle Manor, I was soooo excited to have the opportunity to go in and check it out.

It’s been completely renovated and it’s beautiful!! They have 13 units that you can rent; each comes with a full kitchen, washer, dryer; everything you will need while traveling and more! Each unit has it’s own unique layout and they have done their best to incorporate and keep historic structural pieces.

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I wish I had realized that these were available to rent when I was traveling back from Las Vegas on a regular basis last year. These are perfect for business travelers or families on vacation.

The penthouse suite is gorgeous!!! I could see myself living here; with my crown of course!

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Many of the units have exposed stone walls; they have kept the original staircases and stain glass; no expense was spared!

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Please note that the rooms don’t come with crowns, so you’ll need to bring your own.

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Now can you spend the night in a Castle without a crown? Yes, of course you can; don’t be silly. But should you? My answer is no; my mother always told me to go big or stay home. And if wearing a crown isn’t appropriate in a castle then where can one wear a crown?? And honestly if you’re going to do oddball fabulous things, then be a fabulous oddball while doing them, for goodness sake.

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Now did I go a bit too far with my crown pics? Yes, of course I did; that’s just how I roll! 👸

#2 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Chill out with a gang of alpacas

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Have you tried goat yoga? FYI don’t wear your best Lululemons, the goats will poop all over them! Goats are so 2019; Alpacas are way cooler!

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Seriously alpacas are having a moment at the moment, which is great timing because hanging with a gang of alpacas is our second awesomely fabulous thing to do in NB.

I recruited two of my cousins to help me with this visit. They are crazy…I mean they are crazy animal lovers; so I thought they would love being up close and personal with a gang of alpacas and I was right!

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We visited Petitmore Alpacas in Harcourt, NB and you really need to visit them too! I must say that the hour we spent with the owners, Janet, Bart and their family of alpacas filled our hearts with joy; and I am not even being dramatic!! We had smiles on our faces the whole time.

We fell in love with Charlie and Ruthy, two of their females with big personalities. We got to feed them lots of apples and it turns out alpacas love taking selfies! Who knew??

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Above, Charlie and I discovering that we go to the same hairdresser for our highlights, lol!!

As if spending the afternoon with a farm full of alpacas wasn’t fun enough; guess what else you can do there? Shop!!!
They have the softest and the most amazing, hand made, hats, socks and more! This is your opportunity to shop local!!! 

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Here we are showing off our new tuques! We also placed an order for matching ones; you can buy off the rack or place a custom order. To be honest, it was an excuse to go back in the spring! Crazy cousins, from left to right; Brigitte, Liette and Tantan, aka Tania.

Please follow Petitmore Alpacas on Facebook @Petitmorealpacas and check out their hours of operation. During the winter months they are only open by appointment; but will be opening with all the bells and whistles in late spring ish. And if the rumors are true, there maybe as many of 6 new baby alpacas come this spring!
#3 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Ice Caves

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Do you struggle to find fun activities to do with your kids or your posse during the winter? You could go for a regular walk in the woods; or you could explore Midland’s ice caves.

The caves are actual waterfalls that have completely frozen up. Someone breaks two holes in the ice to make an entrance and and exit and voilà, ice caves! You can walk behind the frozen falls, making it feel like a cave.

This outing includes:

– A bit of cardio: That first 30 min or so are uphill; I liked that the uphill part was right at the beginning. It’s mostly a slow incline so it’s not so bad. I was feeling the burn by the time I made it to the top though.

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– A relaxing, breathtaking and beautiful walk in the woods: The walk through the woods was so relaxing and the smell of fresh air was so invigorating! Man I love NB!!
Here’s a tip; dress in layers. The uphill portion was a bit windy and cold, but once you get in the woods you’re sheltered from the wind so it gets hot!!

– An adrenaline rush for all the adrenaline junkies out there: Depending on the weather, the hill leading down to the caves can be slick and icy?
Remember that once you get down, you need to eventually get back up! There are ropes that you can use to pull yourself back up.

As soon as I got down, I started contemplating how the hell I was going to get back up; and by contemplating, I mean worrying. I ended up going with the bear technique; which is climbing on your hands and knees. I followed a family; the mother kept saying; stay low and crawl like a bear. I figured if those directives were good enough for her kids, they were good enough for me!! I just feel in line with them; ok, I butted in the line between her kids and the dad. Making it back up the hill was enough adrenaline for me.

Metal spikes on your boots wouldn’t be a horrible ideas… just saying.

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In order to get into the caves, you need to crawl up to the entrance; most ended up sliding in on their bellies or getting pulled in; neither were graceful in case you were wondering.
And to get out you needed to slide down a solid ice slide. A fresh layer of snow would have made the conditions less icy and less dangerous.

The odd look on my face in the pic below is me making the decision that I wasn’t crawling in there!! This is my; “yeah, no!” face.

The line to get into the cave was a bit long; it was very entertaining to watch people figure out what their cave entrance strategy was going to be? Everyone waiting in line were very supportive and encouraging of each other. What I love about Canadians is that we can respectfully make fun of perfect strangers in such a way that no one gets offended; so waiting in line was my favorite part…well it was fun once I decided I wouldn’t be going in. I just pictured myself falling on my face in front of everyone; but it turns out my brother didn’t get the scardy cat gene, so he was ready and psyched to check it out.

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While I was people watching the only two people who made it in and out with a bit of dignity and grace were some 5 or 6 year old boy, who was obviously high on sugar or hyper active? And my brother, who turns out is very graceful and gazelle like.

– The perfect backdrop for next year’s family Christmas cards: It didn’t matter where you stood, the backdrop was beautiful! And the lighting in the woods in the afternoon is magical, no filters in the pic below.

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– It’s also a dog lover’s paradise; which is similar to a Gangsters Paradise. Not sure how many of my readers will get that reference? Lol.
Our journey back was a bit longer than it needed to be due to the fact that we needed to stop and pet every dog we encountered on our way down the hill.

#4 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in NB – Learn a new language!

As if being the only officially bilingual province in Canada wasn’t cool enough; we’ve invented a third; it’s called Chiac.

It’s a combo of English words mixed in with a French base. It’s pretty easy to master once you get the hang of it; example: chu right fatigué. Translation; I am so tired. You can pretty much replace the French word, tellement, which means very, with the English word, right and you’re half way there. You can also replace “I”, which is “je” in French with “ej” or “chu”; and congratulations! You’re speaking Chiac!

Now I’ll get you to the intermediated level; ready? OMG y’était right tannant au party hier soir! Le party était right lame, anyways, on la ditché. Translation; he was such a pain in the ass at the party last night that we ditched him.

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I love these Chiac t-shirts, they are from @dowdstreetstudio, check them out on Insta.

Two words that Acadians love to use are; tannant, which means pain in the ass and picasse, which means cranky. So if you are in the region and someone calls you tannant or face picasse, it’s not a compliment.

Your last lesson will get you through the most important part of your day; ordering your coffee at Tim’s. Here we go; ej prendra un large double double svp.

So is New Brunswick weird?? Maybe so? But only in the most amazingly fabulous way!! Find yourself a few like minded weirdos and get out there and explore!!

Hey, do you know of any fun, weird things to do in NB?? If so, please let me know.

Thank you for reading and please share!!!

muah!

Liette (your favorite NB weirdo)

Bonus funny facts and outtakes

The picture below looked like a lovely shot of the frozen falls and the people waiting for their turns. Until I noticed something a bit disturbing; check out the arrow; it looks like the legs of a dead woman. She was actually not dead, but being pulled into the cave, lol. See I wasn’t lying when I said that there was no graceful way in!!

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Brigitte and I considered getting these at Petitmore Alpaca Farm, but decided on something a little less….extra.

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Another, behind the scenes secret; turns out alpacas can be a bit skittish, so it’s good to use your inside, quiet, voice. I kept having to remind Brigitte of this, but the alpacas were just too cute and she had a hard time controlling her excitement. She also wanted to take one home with her; and by one, I mean like 5!

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Shop Local This Christmas!!

Shop Local This Christmas!

With 7 days till Christmas, most of us are still looking for one or two….or seven gifts; hey no judgment here.

Why not skip the herds of people at the mall or Cosco and take a walk downtown? It doesn’t matter where you live, each city or town has locally owned shops that would love a share of your business.

I just moved back to Moncton two weeks ago and today I had lunch on Main Street with my friend, Stacey. After lunch, I braved the cold, apparently I am a weather wimp now, lol; and browsed the little shops that line Main Street.

There was certainly a buzz of life to the downtown area. As I walked down Main Street I noticed new restaurants and cafes that hadn’t been there before. I also noticed people, lots of people!!

I could feel my cheeks getting rosy and noticed that I was signing along with the Christmas music coming from Keating’s; even without snow it was starting to feel like Christmas.

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I popped into The Home Mercantile and was greeted with warm smiles from the staff. I am not certain what I was expecting? Maybe some tacky touristy tchotchkes?? But what I found made me feel like I was home.

Yes I realize, home is in the name, so obviously that’s the point. Maybe I am being a bit mushy and sentimental being back in my hometown? But it made me proud to be in a store filled with items that highlighted New Brunswick, Moncton and Canada.

This store is sassy and funny! Which reflects the people who live here. I bought one of these candles below; in addition to smelling really good, they made me laugh! The one I bought says: Calm the Fuck Down! Seriously, how could I not buy it???

I am a sucker for stationary and loved the mix of French and English cards with local regional  humor.

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I seriously laughed out loud when I saw this very Maritime take on Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll; Sex, Drugs and Lobster Rolls!

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I bought a NB Home T-shirt that I will wear with pride and I may need to go back to get a tuque or a baseball hat? I’m short a few stocking stuffers and these would be perfect.

As I left with my new purchases, in my material shopping bag, of course; I thought what a great shopping experience.

I hadn’t been annoyed by slow walkers at the mall. I hadn’t experiences cart rage; you know when you’re at Cosco and someone decides to park their huge cart in the middle of the aisle while they chit chat away; man I hate that! Pull over for goodness sakes!!!

I left feeling relaxed and pleased with my sassy, sentimental purchases.

Tomorrow is the last Saturday before Christmas, the malls will be crazy!!! Call your friend and have them meet you downtown. Grab a bite to eat, pick up a hot chocolate at Tim’s and brows the small boutiques in your area.

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My new t-shirt, my lipstick is extra bright to camouflage the scab on my nose, did it work?? lol, not sure? But it’s healing.

Merry Christmas & Happy Everything!

muah!

Liette

For more pics and quickies, follow me on Facebook @oui-Liette

Falling For Fall!

Falling For Fall!

Happy Fall! Yes, I know that fall doesn’t officially start until September 21ish, but hey the pumpkins have been out in the stores since August, so I feel I have shown a lot of restraint.

I loooooovvvvveee fall!! It’s what I miss the most about living in Las Vegas. I have two back to back trade shows in September and October so it’s going to be super busy, BUT!! I get to fly back to Canada for some vacation time the week before Halloween and you better believe that I am going to pack in as much fun fall stuff as possible!!!

I love making bucket lists, some may think they are silly? Here’s why I make them and why I encourage you to as well. We are all so busy, I feel that if we don’t consciously make plans, the days, weeks and months can zoom bye in the blink of an eye, and bam!! It’s Christmas and you’ve missed fall altogether!

So here’s my fall bucket list! (FYI I am saving my Halloween activities for my Halloween list that I’ll post Oct 1ish. Hey, I wasn’t kidding about loving lists!!)

1. Fall foliage and fresh air!

Since moving to the desert, I’ve discovered that some of my friends, here on the West Coast, have never experienced a full on autumn fall foliage fest. Yes the leaves on the trees here do change colors, and while three trees with yellowish leaves are cute,  that’s not really fall.

You need to experience a full on fall, in all its glory, at least once in your lifetime! The most vivid colors are in the North East of the US and the South East of Canada; New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have the prettiest views, but I could be a little bias? lol

I encourage all my West Coast friends to add this to their bucket lists and to all my East Coast friends; get out there and enjoy!!! Go for a drive, go for a walk, take pictures and smell the fresh air! Not to be a Debbie Downer, but you do know what happens after fall right??

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The pictures above are all from the Moncton area, seriously guys, how freaking amazing are these color??!! It’s simply spectacular!!

2. Sunflower Selfie!

Local farmers don’t exactly have it easy these days; a new way to supplement their incomes is by creating corn mazes, u-pick pumpkin patches, apple picking and sunflower festivals; and do you know what? I am all for it!

Look up what’s happening in your area and then get out there and enjoy! My Facebook feed has been full of the most beautiful sunflower selfies this past week.

The Green Pig Country Market in Salisbury, NB is having a sunflower festival and I am so bummed that I am missing it. FYI, in October, they have a huge corn maze and a zombie paint ball shooting tractor ride. I will be in that area at that time, so I’ll be there!

Please get out there and support your local farmers it’s a win, win!

I am going to do my best to find a field of sunflowers in Nevada, wish me luck!

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Soooo it turns out sunflowers don’t grow in the desert…booo!! Since I am not one to give up that easily, I made my own sunflower fun!  It’s amazing what you can do with a hot glue gun.

You maybe wondering if I looked like a nut driving around Las Vegas looking like a sunflower? Maybe? But here’s the thing that I love most about living in Las Vegas; no one cared, everything and anything goes here. It’s pretty wild! It’s probably the perfect place for me and my weirdness?

Funny story, I asked my mom a month or so ago if she thought I was weird? She said of course you are, but that’s why people like you!! Good to know, lol. 🌻🌻

3. Apple of my eye!

Apple picking has always been one of my fall traditions. As soon as the apples are ready for picking, usually mid to late September, my Facebook news feed will be flooded with pictures of my Canadians in apple orchards. Not only is it a great way to get some fresh air, it also offers lots of Instagramable moments.

And what do you do with all those apples? Make a yummy apple crisp or apple pie! Picture it, it’s getting chilly outside, which of course makes you want to nest and bake. Can you smell the apple crisp coming out of the oven? Mmmm, add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream; oh wow, I am getting hungry! lol. Add that to your fall bucket list please…you’re welcome.

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4. Fall fashion.

There is something about fall that makes me want to shop; you do that too, right? Once the air starts to get cooler; it’s time to pull out your sweaters, blazers and boots. In the fall I like to take inventory of what I have in my closet and what I need to replace.

My fashion strategy is to pay more for key pieces that will last me for a few seasons. I mix those pieces in with less expensive items that are a bit more trendy.

This is the year that I need a new pair of boots, fancy boots, not winter boots. I bought a pair of high heeled black leather boots in Chicago; I am going to say 6 or 7 years ago? At the time, I felt that they were too expensive, but I loved them and I knew that would never go out of style. I got them re-heeled and shined up a few years ago, which extended their life.  They ended up being a great investment, I certainly got my money’s worth. But, sadly their time has come and I that makes me super sad; first world problems I know, so no need to point that out, lol.

My new boots are 1970’s inspired black suede. I sent my mom a picture. I remember she had a similar pair when I was young; hers were a deep dark red, they were beautiful. I am digging that 70’s vibe. My friend just got a pair of cool bell bottom jeans, oh, I am getting a bit off track…sorry.

I also “needed” a new black purse…ok, maybe need is pushing it? My new fav purse site is: Wanderers Travel Co. I got a tan/caramel purse a few months ago that I absolutly love, but it’s not black, hence the “need” for a new black purse.

I have always, always been a fan of a leopard print, so I am super happy to see all the leopard prints out this fall; not that it ever goes out of style, but this fall it’s bigger than ever. My boots and a new purse were a little pricier, but my skirt was a steal of a deal. I got it at GAP,  it was 40% off, yay me!

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I am loving my new fall fashion items! I will pair my skirt with a nice black turtleneck instead of a white t-shirt as shown above. My wardrobe inventory uncovered 10 black turtleneck sweaters!! Sadly, I am not even kidding. I think I have a bit of a black turtleneck addiction. I can’t even rule out buying a new one this fall/winter, it’s a definite possibility, lol.

Oh and not that anyone asked, but here is my older, new purse from that same site. I think it’s just going to look better as it ages and gets a little banged up.

Thanks for reading! I am not really sure what happened? This post started with leaves, sunflowers and apples and finished with shopping. It’s pretty obvious that I just let my posts go where they want to go; I don’t always have full control, lol. I may have gotten too excited and a bit off track? Shit happens, lol.

I would like to give a shout out and thank you to my fall photographer, Barney! He also shot my spring pics; I guess that makes him the official oui-liette photographer? I’am not sure if he is fully aware yet? I will let him know after he takes my winter pics, lol.

Fun side note, we shot the sunflower pics in August on a cool 107 degree evening. My skin looks all fresh and dewy, ya, that’s sweat! Lol

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Please get out there and make memories with your friends and families!!

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muah!

Liette

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Kiss My Axe!

Kiss My Axe!

Axe throwing is the new hip thing to do and after the week I’ve had, there was nothing that sounded better than throwing a sharp object at something! I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile and I’m so glade I did, because we had such an axe-cellent time!

It’s sort of like bowling, except instead of throwing a ball you’re hurling a super sharp axe. We booked two lanes at the Timber Lounge on 19 Orange Lane in Moncton; which is located next to the Pump House Brew Pub. Check them out online at: http://www.timberlounge.ca , on Facebook under: Timber Lounge Axe Throwing – Moncton. Or on Instagram at: timberloungemoncton. (they didn’t pay for our night, but hey if they wanted to invite us out back, we would be down for that… just saying.)

I’d never swung an axe before, but full disclosure, I am pretty sure I am a direct descendant of some hunky Viking, lol, so I assumed, I’d be super good at it.

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We were greeted as soon as we walked in and after signing in, we got drinks while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. Because why not have a few drinks before playing with axes, right?

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The Timber Lounge has a really cool vibe. We got lucky and had the back lanes, which  gave us a bit of privacy, as it wasn’t always pretty.

Our guide, who’s name escapes me, sorry. So I’ll call him Hans, since that sounds very Vikingy; his name is probably Marc or Jean? Lol. Anyway, Hans, explained the safety rules and showed us how to throw properly; during our practice throws he gave us pointers. He coached us and encouraged us all the way through. Hans was awesome! Please tip Hans if you go and he is your guys.

We each managed to get a bullseye, some…Stacy, got a few more…ok, a lot more.

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My cousin Nicole had perfect form and the most graceful swing, but still managed to finish last. Sorry, Nicole; she’s naturally good at everything, so she can handle a little ribbing.

 

My brother, Serge, showing us how it’s done. He started strong, if I’m part Viking, then I guess he is too? But he got beat in a tie breaking axe-off by me!!

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Our axemen and axewomen, top left, Kenda the small but mighty, Bullseye Stacey, Liette la Viking. Bottom left, Mary Helen aka Mrs. Brady, Serge, the silent one and Gina the beautiful beast; if there was a prize for best biceps she would win!

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Mr. Bullseye or Stacey, won in a hard fought final round, beating his opponent, me, by one point. It was a nail biting finish…ok probably just nail bitting for me, because I really wanted to win, lol.

What I liked about this activity is that at the end of each round, you start fresh, so if you sucked, you can theoretically redeem yourself.

We started with a round of round robin and then, the top 4 axed it off, before the final axetravaganza; where the top two battle for the win.

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Fun fact, Mary Helen had the most “unique” swing, and by unique, I really mean wonky, lol, but ranked #2 in bullseyes.

If you are looking for something fun to do, this is it!! We had so much fun! It exceeded our axepectations, (most fun axe puns provided by Stacey and Gina).

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I really think we all would have played better had we been wearing plaid. Our next tournament, I think plaid, tuques or Viking Hornes will be mandatory!

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I highly recommend the Timber Lounge Moncton; Lord tundering Jesus it was fun! (Ok, not sure why I am closing this post off with a Newfie accent? It just felt right, lol.

All the hipster cities now have axe throwing bars, look it up and try it!

muah!

Liette

Like, share, comment please!

 

Funny Things a Maritimer Misses When They Leave.

Funny things a Maritimer misses when they move away.

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

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

Things You Miss

Here are my top 5 weird things

#1: Accents

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

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

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

#2. Canadian Content Music

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

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

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

#3. Potholes

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

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

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

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Just a Canada Goose in its natural Canadian habitat!

#4. Snacks

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

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

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

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

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#5 Cousins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Les filles à Neri; my cousins Nicole and Genevieve.

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

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

Follow me on Insta or Facebook @ oui-liette.

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

muah!

Liette

 

 

 

 

Fun Things to do in NB – Sugar Shacking!

Fun Things to do in New Brunswick – The Sugar Shacking Edition!

So technically it’s called visiting a maple syrup camp or shack, but I think Sugar Shacking is way jazzier.

Being a native New Brunswicker, I have to admit that I have taken this activity for granted in the past, but I have come to realize that a lot of people have never visited a sugar shack; to my American West coast friends, you really need to add this activity to your bucket list, because it’s awesome…and yummy!!

I hadn’t really put much thought into it before, but maple syrup can only be gathered in a few select places in the world; and New Brunswick is one of those places!

Did you know that Quebec produces 70% of the global maple syrup supply? I think this makes maple syrup super Canadian; Vermont is the State that produces the most in the US.

Sugar Shack Profile

Since I am back in New Brunswick for a bit, I decided to go Sugar Shacking last weekend; it was the perfect way to spend a sunny spring day outside, while loading up on pure sugar.

We visited Trites Maples, I highly recommend them if you are in and around the Moncton area; here’s how to find them.

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It was a beautiful, balmy +12 degrees Celsius, which is almost shorts weather in these parts, lol. It’s a nice walk from the parking lot through the woods to the sugar camps.

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As you walk through the woods you see the maple trees that are being tapped. There are blue lines that run from tree to tree sucking out the sap from the trees.

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We walked around saying; “I would tap that”, just because we thought it was funny.

We ran into a lot of super cute locals and a bus load of foreign exchange students. There is nothing like a beautiful sunny day to get Canadians out and about.

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The mom gave this little guy a stick and was trying to make him use it as a walking stick. He wasn’t having it, he held it like a hockey stick 🇨🇦.

There are two other camps before Trites Maples.

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Leading up to Trites Maples, the trees were tapped with buckets attached to gather the dripping sap; it was so pretty!!

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Some trees were dripping a little faster than others. We were told that it hadn’t been cold enough the night before; ideally it should be -6 to -8 at night and +6 to +8 during the day for optimal sap dripping.

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It takes 40 silver buckets of sap to make one bucket of maple syrup! That’s a lot of drips!!

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The main camp at Trites Maples serve a mean pancake breakfast. The inside of the camp or lodge is beautiful wood, the servers were dressed in black and red plaid aprons…of course! And the pancakes were being flipped by actual Trites men! See the three handsome men bottom right, below. The young one in the middle is obviously still in training, lol, his name is Chris and because we are in the Maritimes, he’s a friend of a friend. Actually, he’s a cousin of a friend, everyone around here is a cousin of a friend; we tend to have big extended families.

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We skipped the pancakes, this time, and made are way to the next cabin; where they sell pure sugar goodness!

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We watched them pour maple butter in maple leaf shaped molds. The difference between maple butter and maple syrup is 3 degrees. If the sap doesn’t hit the right temperature when it’s being boiled, it becomes creamy and butter like instead of golden syrupy.

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You may be thinking; wow Liette, you sure know a lot about maple syrup. I do, because I took the Sap to Syrup tour! Our guide explain how the syrup is made and the tour was free!

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Just chilling, waiting for our tour.

Guess who was our tour guide? Maple butter mold guy! And, yup, he was a Trites too!

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Meet Lindsey Trites, he brought us to where they boils the sap and turn it into syrup, it was very interesting to learn what it takes…and it takes a lot of hard work!!

After our tour, we got down to serious business…eating!! This is why people come Sugar Shaking; for the taffy, or « tire », as we say in French.

For newbies, here is how it works; they pour hot stuff, ok, full disclosure, I am not sure if it’s just regular boiling syrup? Or special boiling syrup? Lindsey didn’t cover taffy on our tour, lol, but it’s poured on a fresh bed of snow. You let it harden a few seconds and then you take your popsicle stick and you roll the taffy around your stick and you eat it!!

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They charge $2 for a popsicle stick; it’s pretty much a maple syrup taffy all you can eat buffet; omg it’s good!

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Side note: I noticed that 80’s skidoo style tuques are hip again, I should have kept mine!

Kids, pictures above, were lined up with their popsicle sticks. I had three, my friend, who will remain nameless may have had 5!!! I won’t call her out, but she is pictured with Lindsey and I above, lol. She was high on sugar on the drive back.

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Liquid Gold

We made our way through the woods back to our car with our supply of maple syrup in hand; I am bringing some back to Vegas with me for my peeps. Maybe it’s because I now live in the desert? But I couldn’t help but notice how quaint, clean and beautifully cool this day of Sugar Shacking had been!!

I left feeling thankful that I get to pop in and do  fun New Brunswick things a few times a year; I see things differently now and appreciate this place more than I ever have.

I would like to encourage those who live here to get out and enjoy this beautiful province!!

Muah!

Liette

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Fashion note, spring Sugar Sacking is muddy, rubber boots are a must!

 

I ❤️ you Moncton, you snowy little Bit@&!

I love you Moncton, you snowy little bit@&!

This post is a love letter to my snowy hometown of Moncton, NB. It was originally posted in November, but re-posting in honor of the big snowstorm that just hit.

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Monctonians have long had a love hate relationship with snow and winter in general. We complain about how much snow we get, but then brag about how much snow we have gotten. And if Fredericton gets 25cm of snow, we are quick to pipe up that we got 35! Take that Fredericton!!!

It’s sort of like wanting to break up with your boyfriend, but then wanting him back if someone else shows interest in him. It’s twisted, yes we know, but that’s just how it is. We wear our snow storms like a badges of honor.

Most Monctonians live for those 8 weeks in the summer where the weather is absolutely perfect! But there is something to be said about living in a real live freaking snow globe!

Maybe I just appreciate it more now that I live in the desert? Last December I did my Christmas shopping in flip flops; that just felt wrong!

Some of you may be feeling a bit of hostility  towards me right about now; knowing that I am back in sunny Las Vegas and will be missing January, February, March and April…oh and May…lol.

But you have to admit that there is something pretty magical about the first few big snowfalls of the winter…right??

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Are we missing something uniquely Monctonian?

Each great city has it’s own distinctive building or tower. Paris has the Eiffel, Toronto has the CN Tower, the big Apple has the Empire State Building; well Moncton has the Bell Alliant Tower. I think we take it for granted because it’s …well it’s just there; we see it every day without giving it much thought. And who are we kidding, our skyline is pretty sparse and our tower isn’t super fancy. But I think we need to embrace it as a symbol of our city. And come on, you have to admit that it looks extra special surrounded by a fresh coat of snow. So look up next time you are in the downtown area and take it in.

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See how pretty it looks with all this new snow!! It really is picturesque.

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I thought this was a cool view of the tower.

Moncton Comfort Food.

Do you know what else is awesome about Moncton in the winter? Lobster!! Lobster in the winter? Yes!!

Do you think people in Toronto or Paris eat lobster on a random Wednesday in November, for no particular reason? No, no they don’t. But we do (if you don’t, you really should). We don’t need a birthday or a special occasion; we eat it because we can. And it’s only $15 per pound this time of year. Ok some Maritimers reading this, like my dad, are thinking, wow that’s a bit pricey! But trust me, it’s not. It’s basically the price of a pizza.

In addition to lobster, when I come back home to Moncton, I try to make it to Pizza Delight for garlic fingers, Greco’s for a donair and Deluxe for a fish and chip. Yes there are lots of finer dining places, but I seem to crave these Moncton staples the most.

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Lobster, not just a summer food. The colder the water, the better the lobster so Nov/Dec is the best!! And yes, I realize I have a lobster addiction.

Let it Snow!

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So pretty it looks fake!

Yes winter in Moncton is long…really, really long, but that’s just all the more reason to get out there and enjoy it!!

It’s easy to take for granted that we can go snowshoeing or skating in our local parks and trails…heck, a lot of Monctonians can skate and snowshoe in their own backyards. Lol

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So many snowy things to do.

So let’s enjoy this pre-Christmas, now post Christmas snow, in our quirky little city where people are polite and friendly; unless you are a snow plow driver pushing snow into a freshly shoveled driveway!

There will be enough time after Christmas, like now, to complain about the cold and snow when you are looking for parking at the Avenir Center; or meeting friends at Gusto’s, St James Gate or the Pump House.  When the pretty snow is all dirty and frozen solid. Yes, there will be lots of time to complain then. Full disclosure, I won’t be here. I will be back in sunny Las Vegas listening to the locals complain about how “cold” it is. Please know that on behalf of all Monctonians; I will be silently judging them…pfff, they have no idea what cold is! But I do, we do, because I/we are, and will always be  Monctonians.

Please note that no disrespect was intended towards Fredericton, just a bit of NB teasing.

Sorry if you were offended by the word bitch…oh wait, not sorry. Lol

Oh and feel free to give me a hard time when I start posting hiking or kayaking pictures on social media of all the outdoor things I am doing in February; while your tears are freezing on your cheeks because it’s day 7 into the -30 something cold snap that will inevitably falls upon, not only Moncton, but all of New Brunswick. I will deserve your snarky comments, lol.

Until then, you can find me outside snowshoeing with friends or drinking hot chocolate at Clémentine or Café Archibald. Because I really love this little city,  it’s people and this early pre-Christmas snow!!

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Muah!

I will be back in Moncton in February, please save some snow for me! Sorry, I am not being very nice, lol.

Liette