At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; not together, in their separate respective kitchens.

At Home With…Gilles and Kenda; kitchens made for entertaining.

Here in Atlantic Canada we’re kind of famous for our kitchen parties, so for this post, I am calling in the big guns. We will be taking a quick peek into two kitchens that are perfect for entertaining.

At Home With Gilles

My friend Gilles loves entertaining, and I hate to give him too many compliments, but he’s really good at it. (Oh for my American English friends, Gilles is pronounced more like Jill)

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First of all, he has one of the biggest island’s that I’ve ever seen; he loves cooking for his friends and family and, ugh, he’s a good cook too.

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His living, dining and kitchen area are one completely open space; all three areas are shades of brown and cream, which helps to create a seamless flow.
I’ve been over several times where he’s behind the counter cooking, usually lobster, while his guests are seated at the island watching the show; and by watching the show, I mean drinking.

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At the end of his huge island is his huge dining table, which was custom made by L’artisan Christophe from Tracadie, NB and it’s gorgeous!

The photo below is the view from his front door; let’s focus on the lighting over the island. It’s important that the lighting fixtures over your island be in proportion to the size of your island. Since Gilles has an over sized island, his lighting fixtures needed to be large and impactful without looking too heavy or bulky.

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These fixtures are perfection! First of all, they look like some sort of fishing net, which is perfect for a guy “du nord”. They are very large, but they don’t block the view; they’re basically see through, which works!

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He also has a big pantry, which I wasn’t allowed to photograph; it’s big enough to hid his blender and other small appliances that can clutter your counter top. When your kitchen is visible as soon as you walk through your front door, it helps to have a place to store all your messy stuff.

I pulled the yellow bowls out of his pantry because they matched the lemons. I think it adds a really nice small pop of color. I am going to recommend he get a bright yellow pot with a big green plant for his counter top.

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The glass of wine wasn’t part of my vignette, but I let him keep it in the shot, since it is his house and all, lol.

I asked Gilles what his favorite part of his house is; he said that nothing beats cooking on a Sunday afternoon with his TV muted on the golf channel while his music blares in the background. I’m assuming there maybe a big glass of red wine on the counter in this scenario too??

This is his view while standing behind his island; perfect for golf viewing.

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At Home With Kenda

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Kenda and I have been friends since we were babies; she was at my first birthday and my second…and my 50th. I was with her when she first visited her current lakeside condo; it was all kinds of shades of dusty rose. The kitchen and living room were separated by a wall with a cut out window, which I assumed was used to pass things from the kitchen to the dining area? It was very 70’s.

The first thing she did was to knock down that wall, which created one big open living space. The next thing she did was to paint over the rose walls…oh and the carpet and light fixtures were also dusty rose; let’s just say that the transformation was very dramatic.

Her open space is perfect for entertaining; one of the things that she does that I think is really clever is that she can extend the size of her island if needed.

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Above is her kitchen, her island is perfectly portioned for the size of her space. But when she has people over, she has the option of doubling the size of her island by moving her dining table.

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I don’t care how nice your living room is, during a party your guests will end up gathering around your kitchen island before the end of the night. When entertaining don’t be afraid to move things around and put things away in order to give you more room to parrrtay! Figure out how things are going to flow in order to avoid traffic jam areas. 
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Even with the length of her island doubled, she still has ample space to move around; and this temporary reconfig gives her the ability to have a sit down meal for 10 to 12 people. Or she can use this layout to display food and to set up her bar so that things flow properly. In my last post, I mentioned that my friend Guylaine was a fanatic on proper lighting; I am an expert on having things laid out in a way that creates the right flow.

I am not going to lie, I am a bit envious of Kenda’s space; it’s not a huge space, but the layout was so well thought out that it’s the perfect place to gather for a proper Maritime Kitchen Party.

Thank you for reading, I can’t wait for us to be able to gather with friends and family again. If there is one positive thing that comes out of this whole pandemic, it’s that I think we have come to appreciate how much we love and need each other.

Follow me on Facebook and Insta at: Oui-Liette for additional photos and videos and if you missed my last two posts peeking into peoples homes, here are the links:

https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/16/at-home-with-guylaine-and-claudia-the-bathroom-reno-edition/ and https://oui-liette.org/2020/05/12/at-home-with-nancy-take-a-peek-inside-her-150-year-old-country-house/

stay safe, muah!!

Liette

Behind the scenes

If you’re new to my blogs, I sometimes post some behind the scenes extras or fun facts. Here are two fun extras!

Kenda at my first birthday party.

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And again at my 4th. I think we were the same height in 1974?? Even though she’s a few months older; I am now a full head taller. 😁

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Best Birthday Ever? Could Social Distancing Actually Bring Us Closer Together?

Best Birthday Ever?

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Could this social distancing actually bring us closer together? This post will include a few ideas on how to celebrate with friends and family during these crazy times; but more than that, I think it demonstrates how we are changing the way we interact with each other and our rediscovery of the importance of being kind to each other and to ourselves.

I’m not going to lie, the prospect of spending my 50th birthday by myself in my apartment, by myself, seemed a bit dismal and depressing. But what I hadn’t considered is how creative and thoughtful my friends and family would be. Could all this extra time apart help bring us closer?

The pace of our daily lives has slowed to a, sometimes painful, crawl; our routines and our interactions with each other have been completely flipped upside down. One of the side effects is that we are having to connect with each other in different ways; maybe even better ways?

Here are some great ideas if any of your people have birthdays or celebrations during this social distancing time. But you really don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make someone feel special and loved…just saying.

Card Campaign

The week before my birthday I started getting birthday cards in the mail, a lot of cards! I had forgotten how nice it is to open your mailbox and see brightly colored  envelopes; some even took the time to make me a card, seriously, how freaking thoughtful is that?

The keyword here is thoughtful; I feel like we are all being more mindful of the effects that our small gestures of kindness are having on others.
The thought of my friends taking the time and effort to go out of their homes to buy me  a birthday card; or getting their glue sticks out to make me a card; or digging through their storage to find a Halloween Card in order to customize it for me, because they know that I love Halloween, tugs at my heartstrings and has made me feel so special.

This card campaign as also helped to spread out this warm and fuzzy feeling; they are still coming in. I think we should bring snail mail back!! Are you thinking about someone? Instead of shooting them a quick text, send them a note or card.

Parking Lot Parade Party

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The morning of my birthday, I was puttering around my apartment, thankfully I was dressed with my lipstick on, ready to take on the day when I heard some honking coming from outside my window; when I looked out I saw 15ish cars with hot pink balloons parading down my street. 

I was so touched, and yes, I cried, just a little. The theme of this post is love; my friends and family took the time to do something nice for someone else; I was so fortunate to be the recipient of all of their love.  Had I had a party, my friends would have showed up to help me celebrate; but the thought that they coordinated meeting in a parking lot close to my place; where they decorated their cars with pink balloons and signs was extra special. As they made their way to my place, cars they passed pulled over and let them pass. This was so much more memorable than any regular party; the only shitty part is that I couldn’t hug anyone. Lots of hugs for everyone when this is over!

Feeling la Love!

When challenged with strict social restrictions, we are having to find new ways to stay connected and to show our love for one another.

I was invited to a super cozy lunch for two in a friend’s garage that included a 12 foot long table, perfect for social distancing. We sat there without any distractions, no checking our phones, we didn’t have anywhere else to be. We ate leftovers, laughed and listened to Van Morrison.

If you are feeling disconnected, put your best face covering on and go sit in your friends driveway! Thinking of someone? Send them a card or drop off a plate of cookies; simple, inexpensive acts of kindness are appreciated more than ever.

A few friends and I have started weekly zoom calls, my friend Kenda made the observation that she couldn’t remember the last time we were all in town at the same time and able to celebrate a birthday all together. Four out of the six of us travel for work and planning events has always been a scheduling nightmare.

I am noticing that we all seem more present when we spend time together now, even if just via video. Josette mentioned that when things get back to “normal” she is going to try to let go of a lot of the things that stressed her out and all the things she thought she “needed” to do. Our lives are much simpler now and it’s kind of nice?

We then decided that we should all make side ponytails as an homage to our 80’s roots; speaking of roots, some of us are starting to sport some pretty gray roots!! lol

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Feeling the love at a distance with Dawn! ❤️

Thank you for reading! In these crazy times be generous with your kindness and attention; if you love someone, tell them! If you see that someone is struggling a bit, reach out and be kind; it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.

And finally if you have any extra love to share, subscribe to my blog below, just scroll down a bit. Or you can follow me on Facebook or Insta at oui-liette

Stay safe and be kind!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

For any new readers, behind he scenes are just extra fun facts and bonus pics.

I brought up the banners and balloons from my birthday parade and set them up in my dining room, see the pic below. Notice the frames picture on the right; that’s my cousin Brigitte. She added her picture in with the group gift that she and my two other cousins gave me. She also edited their birthday messages in the group card. Her behavior perfectly demonstrates our families sense of humor; and explains a bit of my unique weirdness. ❤️

I am blessed to come from a family and friends who love to laugh and have fun!

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I didn’t have a big 50th birthday party planned, I know it’s shocking! But I did have a girls trip to Palms Spring planned for the weekend after my birthday. I had planned a theme for our après party, party; the theme was/will be: Let them eat cake!! One may think that a Marie Antoinette theme would be difficult to pull off? One would be wrong, lol

This tulle skirt and rock n roll t-shirt was/will be my party outfit. I was feeling a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to wear it anytime soon; so I decided to put it on and wear it around my apartment last week; it made me feel fancy and festive, so here it is, someone needs to see it!

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My awesome photographer Jack!

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I also wanted to share this painting that my sister in-law made for me; I absolutely love it! The picture doesn’t do the colors justice.

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Had anyone told me six months ago, or even two months ago, that I’d be super excited to get face masks as gifts for my 50th birthday, I wouldn’t have believed them. This jazzy one was hand made by my cousin Nicole, it’s reversible and freakishly comfortable.

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Hoppy Easter!

Hoppy Easter!

This past week was my first full week off work. I’ll be off until June 1; and I have to admit that I’m already bored to death!!!! I know some people are thriving in this social distancing/staying home shit, but I am not one of those people, lol.

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But, this Saturday morning, I woke up with purpose!!! I was inspired by a few of my friends; Gilles, Kenda, Richard and my sister in-law April, who have been dropping off special meals for me this week. I was thinking it was just because they like me; but it may actually be pity food, because I live alone??

In the spirit of giving back and paying it forward, I’ve decided to make up special Easter baskets and drop them off on the doorsteps of a few of my friends and family. Partly because it’s a super thoughtful thing to do and partly because it will give me something to do; but mostly the thoughtful part. And sorry, but I have a massive family so I couldn’t hop over and leave a basket for everyone.

My baskets are pretty special; instead of having chocolate eggs and bunnies in them. I’ve added something much more valuable; toilet paper!! And not the cheap kind, I splurged on the three ply!

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Here are a few of my special baskets. Kenda and Richard got cheesies in their basket with one roll of toilet paper; their kind of special, but not special enough for two rolls and cheesies. lol

So this Easter morning, I hopped across town delivering my Easter toilet paper baskets… you’re welcome friends and family!!

To make them even more special I hot glue gunned a chick to each basket and added a cheery Easter card, that’s actually a sticker; so my loved ones can stick me on their fridges and have my smiling face staring back at them forever!!! It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

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I love this little thing, it’s called a Sproket and it’s a Bluetooth printer. It prints business card size stickers off your cell phone!

Happy Easter to all of you; I know it’s a really weird time and we are missing being with our friends and families, but hey, you can still drop off chocolates, toilet paper or ham!

Please stay safe and be kind to each other! We will get through this!!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

OK full disclosure, I wanted my Hoppy Easter cards to look like this one below, but I censored myself; what with it being the resurrection of Jesus and all. I decided to curtail my sassyness just this once.

Also I may have dropped off baskets to my mom and brother and then asked for the baskets back? But they got to keep the toilet paper. I just needed the baskets for others; it’s called recycling.

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Valentine Vibe

Valentine Vibe

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This Valentine’s I am feeling a darker, moodier vibe. It maybe because I am back in Eastern Canada where the days are shorter, darker and colder? But I love it! I love curling up on my couch watching the snow fall; that’s probably one of the only thing you can’t do in Las Vegas?

For this Valentine’s Day, my challenge and wish to all of you is to love your life! And to fall in love with yourself! Ok, that maybe easier said than done?

I am finding that the art of loving your life is to not compare yours to others. Everyone, no matter how rosy and happy they look, is struggling with something. Life is hard!! That’s a fact that we tend to forget. But nothing worth having is easy, so appreciate what you have when you have it!

One of my favorite “loving my life” tricks is to find people who make me laugh and to spend as much time with them as possible; bribery works for me, but hey, you do you, lol.
My other trick is to do ridiculously stupid and fun things; preferably with the same people who make you laugh.

As I get older, I really have zero fucks as to what others think of me or my shenanigans. If you think that wearing a crown when you visit Buckingham Palace is dumb; well that’s your prorogative, but we obviously can’t be friends, lol.

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It’s been my experience that my fondest  memories are the ones where I let lose and was a bit extra with the people I love.

I wish all of you a heartfelt, lovely, ridiculous Valentine’s Day! If it doesn’t fill your heart with joy, don’t do it…well unless it’s your job; and who are we kidding, you need to make money. Ok, new plan, is it doesn’t fill your heart with joy, come up with a new plan! Then stop doing it.

muah!!!

Liette

P.S. – some of my crazy cousins are coming over tomorrow; we’ll be decorating Valentine cupcakes, but with a twist! Check out my Facebook page: oui-liette, for pics of our cupcake night.

 

Loving London!💕

Loving London! 💕

I am kicking off February with some pics from my London trip.

This post is all about exploring a new city and loving every minute of it! And it features my favorite color, which is pink in case you were wondering, lol.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea in London is a must! We found a very pink place for our first London tea experience.

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We made reservations weeks ago at a place called  Sketch, it’s super trendy and very Instagrammable.

The Elan Cafes, there are a few different locations in London, also offer pretty places for afternoon tea.

The Sketch theme is Alice in Wonderland meets Marie Antoinette’s let them eat cake!

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It’s amazing how such tiny food can fill you up so quickly. We started with custard and caviar, then bite size sandwiches and sweets tray, then scones, they were my favorite; and finally cake!! Oh and there was tea of course.

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The Tea Room is pink, but they do have a few other rooms. You’ll need to specify if you want the pink room.

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It’s such a magical funky place and the staff were very friendly.

And just when you thought that you’d seen it all; Sketch has one last big surprise for you. Here’s a hint, make certain to take your phone with you when you visit the restrooms.

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These stairs lead to the most unique toilets I have ever seen.

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These egg shaped toilet pods are at the top of the stairs, and they are wild! You really feel like you’re in some funky fairytale storybook.

Everyone who walked in had the same reaction, “oh!”. And for the record, I wasn’t the only weirdo taking pics in the bathroom!

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After our bellies we were full of tiny finger food items, we made our way towards the Grandby Street area.

On our way, we happened upon the most fabulous store front!

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It’s called the Maddox Gallery and it’s all decked out for Valentines Day!!

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This is my favorite part of exploring a new city, finding flowery, pink, hidden gems.

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I think you love me? Yes, I do!!

Caranby Street has the coolest store fronts!! Lots of shopping and people watching.

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On our way back to the hotel we spotted this pink taxi, sadly it was taken.

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I promise that I am not making this up, but later that evening as we walked back to our hotel from dinner, we spotted these pink garbage bags. My friends thought I was strange for taking a picture of garbage, but I thought it was  the perfect end to our perfect pink day in London.

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Tomorrow evening we will be taking a haunted  walking tour. I’ll let you know if it was cool or not.

Happy February! 💕💖

muah!

Liette

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You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram: oui-liette

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I bought a few postcards on Carnaby St. I loved this young, pink, punk queen! #boss

 

 

 

Party Animals – Tips On How To Throw A Wild Party

Party Animals – Tips On How To Throw A Wild Party

2020 is a big year for my friends and I. We’re all having big birthdays, like big, big! As a result, I’ll be hosting a few fun dinner parties, with cool themes of course.

Pick a theme

I love this party animal theme, it’s perfect for a child’s party or baby shower, but I am using it for an adult party. I think the party animal adult twist is clever.

My advice to picking a theme is to find something that inspires you and theme the shit around it!!

Invitations

Your invitations will set the tone for your party, so be as creative and corny as possible.  I was so excited to find these animals, I think they’re super adorable.

If you’ve read any of my other party posts, you may have noticed that I love puns, I think they’re punny! The cornier the better as far as I am concerned. The text for my invitations are always a bit ridiculous.

One of the apps that I use for my invitations and blog posts is called Snapseed.

Front

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Back – these two are my favs!!

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Decor

These little guys were the inspiration for my party theme.

I bought a bag of plastic animals at the dollar store then painted and glued on pompoms and party hats. I’m not going to lie, I had a lot of fun crafting them.

I made them at my moms house; she brought out a TV tray for me to set up all my paints and my hot glue gun. I love that she still uses TV trays!!

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I am obsessed with these little guys, they’re so freaking cute!

I bought a plastic green platter and glued my party animals on it. I think that some of my animals were already drunk, because a few of them could barely stand up!

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I threw some confetti on the tray and voilà!! A party animal centerpiece.

I just moved into my new downtown place; my furniture from Las Vegas finally arrived and my white cabinet fits in perfectly! It’s a great place to set up a bar or a food station.

It’s also easy to decorate and theme. The green feathers are not just for the party, it’s a permanent fixture, but it does add an extra punch of color to my theme.

If you follow my oui-liette Facebook page, you may have seen the video of my crazy cousins helping me decorate. They suggested that I not center my green feathers above my cabinet, they thought that it would be more interesting hung to the side; they were right.

I bought a giant brass giraffe head to fill the blank space. I bought him before I decided on my animal theme, but he fits in perfectly! Sometimes things just all come together.

I think I need to name him, any suggestions? For the party I added a Wild One party hat on him. He may become my party mascot?

My new fav decorating things are tissue paper flowers. They are easy to make, inexpensive and great space fillers.

I added a bunch to the top of my cabinet, love them! To make them take tissue paper sheets, the bigger the sheets, the bigger the flower. Stack them, five or six high. Fold them accordion style then tie the middle. Then gently pull the sheets apart. If you didn’t make these in school, YouTube them.

Table Setting

Some party themes require elegance and restraint, this isn’t one of those. Your table needs to look like an out of control party, so more is more.

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I dug out my most colorful dinner wear; these plates have blue polka dots and the napkins are all kinds of pink.

This was my first dinner party in my new place, so out came my new crystal glasses!! They’re from Nova Scotia Crystal, the Luna pattern; they have polka dots. I ❤️ polka dots!

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Since more is more, I cut ribbon and threw them all over the place and I had some pompoms left from my crafting night, so I dumped them on the table too.

This was probably one of my easiest themes and one of the cutest. What do you think?? Yay? Or nay?

Thanks for reading!! Check out my Facebook page for more party pics and new downtown decor updates! @oui-liette

muah!!

Liette

 

 

A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

A Winter Wonderland Dinner Party

This Christmas Eve in honor of my big move back to The Great White North, I decided to throw a Winter Wonderland themed soirée. I’ve done a Plaid Christmas for the last two years in a row, so it was time to move on. This theme would also be perfect for New Year’s Eve, birthdays, anytime really. It’s also very inexpensive all you really need is paper and scissors.

In this post we’ll plow through helpful tips on how to turn your dining party into a freaking blizzard. ❄️

A Frosty Table Setting

I always focus most of my energy on my dining table; it would be great to have the budget to transform your whole house, but my budget is frozen this year. (Sorry, if you keep reading you’ll have to put up with my wintery puns…not sorry!!)

Before we talk about what will be on the table, let’s discuss the actual table. When I had my little house, I used to have a large sheet of plywood that I would place on my table to turn my small table for 6 into a big table for 12.

If you’re going to try this idea make sure to place something in between your table and the plywood so you don’t scratch your table top. I had a piece of carpet padding, which worked perfectly.

Also! Did you know that you can rent tables and chairs?? I will be hosting in my new fancy downtown apartment, but my furniture is still making its way here from Las Vegas.

No table? No problem! I am renting one from Clowns Around/Bob Lee Productions, they are located in Dieppe. It’s perfect, they will drop off the table, chairs and white tablecloth and pick them back up afterwards. It’s really not that expensive, you can save a few bucks if you pick it up yourself, but for an extra $35 ish, it’s easier to have them drop off and pick up.

I rented a white table clothe and silver napkins and then then layered white and silver things. In the center is the table I had a big white bowl filled with silver tree balls that I bought at the dollar store, snowballs and a set of mini lights that turned out to have a blue tint which was perfect. I scattered plastic snowflakes on the table that I also got at the dollar store.

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Snow Globes

I like having assigned seating for my dinner parties. Something fun is instead of having regular name place cards are personalized snow globes. I bought snow globes online, there is a slot to put in a picture and to add water. Your guests can take them home with them.

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Social media is a great place to download pictures of your guests if you don’t have any good ones in your phone.

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Here is how my table looked with everything put together.

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Let It Snow!

And you can’t have a Winter Wonderland theme without snow. If Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, you can make your own.

I invited my friend over to help me make it snow. I have no idea how many snowflakes we cut? We cranked the Christmas music and chatted away. This is a super inexpensive way to create a bit of drama.

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I tapped these on my light fixture and omg!!! It came out beautifully!! It was the focal point of the room; I named it my blizzard chandelier.

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I may keep these up all winter?? Lol

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I couldn’t host without a Christmas Tree, I bought this tall skinny one. Since I only have a couch and a chair in my living rooms, I added a bunch of white balloons to fill the space. It was another inexpensive way to add a bit of drama to my theme.

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I shot a quick video before my guests arrive, I will be trying to add more videos to my posts in 2020.

Even though I plan events for a living and I am always fairly calm, cool and collected; I had a moment a few hours before my party that I started to feel a bit frazzled. The lead up to the holidays is a lot! We tend to be overtired and can get overwhelmed.

I had to check myself and remind myself that this was meant to be fun and that my guests, in this case 9 of my family and friends, wouldn’t care if things weren’t perfect.

So an hour and a half before they arrived I took a hot bath in my super big bathtub! I love my new place and it was exactly what I needed to chill out!

If you feel yourself getting stressed instead of rushing to get everything perfect, walk away! It sounds counterproductive, but we don’t need added stress. It’s perfectly fine to have your guests help you finish off a few last minute things when they arrive.

I ended up hosting my fancy dinner party in my pink slippers and nobody judged me!!

One last party tip, find an activity or game to play after dinner, we played Jenga and it was hilariously funny!

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Happy New Year!!

muah!

Liette

For additional pictures and videos, follow me on Facebook @ oui-liette