Haunted Garden Dinner Party

Haunted Garden Dinner Party

 

It’s not exactly a secret that I love Halloween, I also love entertaining and spending time with my friends. I used to host a big Halloween Party every year, but for the last few years I’ve hosted smaller dinner parties.

Last year I hosted a Haunted Dinner Party in my best friends backyard. I bought cheap black rabbit masks for my bunny friends; we hung out, ate cake and laughed our bunny tails off!

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This year I am hosting a Haunted Garden Party! Full disclosure, it won’t take place in a garden. New Brunswick in late October isn’t exactly garden party weather, but that’s my theme and I am sticking with it!!

The idea for this years party was inspired from a few of my past costumes. My friends will be asked to create a nature inspired headpiece. I know I am weird, but this is what happens when I get bored. I like being creative; a trip to Michaels can be dangerous for me.

 

For this years fête, I created a Facebook Event, I like that I can share pictures and we can chat as a group on there.

Not wanting to compete with Halloween parties the weekend before Halloween, I decided that our soirée will take place on a Sunday evening. And who are we kidding, we’ll be done and back home before midnight…ok, probably by 10!! Lol

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I sent a few guideline to help my friends get their ideas flowing. It’s funny, I know my friends well enough to know who is going to go all out and who is going to struggle.

A lot of people get stressed out trying to come up with costume ideas, blah!!!! You know your friends, if they aren’t Halloween people, then buy a bunch of masks or matching wigs and have them dress up onsite.

I’ve already told one of my friends, who will remain nameless, that I will have something for her; she just needs to show up. The point of any party is to have fun and spend quality time together and not to be stressed.

I’ll also bring a few bunny masks from last year for anyone who needs last minute help.

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This is what I posted on our private party page.

My original Haunted Garden Party costume idea was a dark, moody, crow inspired vibe, but turns out one of my friends had a similar idea.

After a little bit of Pinteresting for inspiration, I have a new direction!

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I will now be a funky Vegas showgirl flamingo!!  Which I think will be way cooler than my original crow vibe…and it’s pink, so there’s that.

Some of you maybe thinking what the hell does a flamingo have to do with a garden party? Well, in my imaginary garden, there are lots of flamingos! My sympathies if you don’t have any flamingos in your imaginary garden, lol.

It doesn’t have to be a real thing, I want people to use their imagination. It’s just supposed to be fun!!

 

For my headpiece, I hot glue gunned pink feathers on a headband; I think it’s going to look pretty cool!!

I was supposed to be packing for a 10 day work trip, but instead I was playing with makeup tonight and testing things out.

My eye makeup was cool, but then I added a pair of pink feather eyelashes, and they pretty much hide my eyeshadow; they were also super uncomfortable. They aren’t going to make the final cut. I may end up with a dark black smokey eye?? I mean it is Halloween, I need to look a bit scarier or at least bitchier! We’ll see, lol.

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I just discovered a new app called Momento, hence the giff. It’s free, you just need to make certain to take your pics are taken in Live mode.

This is my table setting inspiration, I am thinking white or black pumpkins with maybe some creepy crawling bugs or snakes? It’s a haunted garden party after all.

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I am going to share a super helpful hint from a professional events expert with you, so listen up! Lighting can make or break your event!! Nothing ruins a party vibe like bad lighting.

Add candles and/or fairy lights and turn off any harsh or bright lighting. This is especially important for Halloween parties.

I also believe that, you don’t have to spend the day in the kitchen to be a great hostess. A great hostess or host, is relaxed and present. We are ordering in for our event, so easy, peasy.

I hope this post inspires you to invite some of your favorite people over; make memories, be silly and have fun!!! Halloween gives you the perfect excuse to break out of your normal routine. Some of us don’t need an excuse to be weird, lol, but whatever.

Enjoy Halloween!!! I will post some pics from our party shortly!!

Boo! Muah!

Liette

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This pic is definitely more Vegas Showgirl than flamingo, I’ll need to work it out.

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Viva Vintage Vegas!

Viva Vintage Vegas!

On our agenda today is a Viva Vintage Vegas tour. We’ll shop, get a makeover, eat then visit an outdoor museum for old neon signs.

The “old” downtown area is in the process of a fabulous transformation. The Art District or 18b, because it encompasses 18 blocks, is a very cool and hip place with art galleries, vintage shops and funky restaurants. It’s way more authentic than than the strip and if you visit you may run into some real live Las Vegas locals! Don’t worry, they won’t bite, they are super nice people.

First things first, let’s shop! All the shops below are found on Main Street. (If you don’t get the opportunity to visit Vegas, then please venture out to your local vintage and antique shops! Also, I always check out how shop owners show off their stuff. It can inspire you to consider different color pallets.)

Patina

Patina offers vintage furniture, home decor and a huge collection of unique vintage clothing.

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I was served by Katie, who is one of the owners of Patina. She explained that the boutique started off more focused on vintage furniture, but the clothing section has taken on a life of its own; with regulars coming to Vegas expressly to shop in her store.

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She and her partner hand pick each item, they were getting ready to head out on a buying spree in a few weeks. How fun would that be?

 

Their vintage clothing is mostly from the 60’s, lets just say the colors were so vibrant I didn’t need to use a filter. I bought three things.

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They also have beautiful glassware, vintage luggage,  furniture and much more, check them out!

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I tried to convince myself that I had room for this hot pink chair in my bedroom, but I don’t…booo! I love how they are showing pink with yellow accents, it’s not a combo that I would have thought that I would like. It’s brave, beautiful and inspiring.

Antique Alley Market

I love this store!! It’s huge so it’s almost impossible to see everything and they seem to have everything.

I must admit that I past by it several times without going in, because the facade doesn’t have a lot of flash. But I’m happy I finally did because it’s got some great stuff and prices are reasonable.

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I collect vintage Murano glass candy dishes, ok I only have 4, so it’s not a huge collection, lol. It reminds me of my grandmother. She had this beautiful big green dish on her coffee table that we used to spin around, we were kind of bratty. I don’t think we ever broke it, which is a miracle. I have no idea where it went, but I would love to find it.

I have a pink dish from my mother’s cousin, I found another in the same color, so had to have it. And now I think I am starting a pink collection, but the other colors are all so pretty…sorry, all this talk about vintage candy dishes may not be as interesting to others as it is to me, lol.

Ok, just take a look at this picture of my budding collection and I will stop talking about candy dishes, lol.

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Ok, I so I lied, but look how pretty they are. My new one is the one on the left…ok done, moving on.

Vintage Vegas

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Main Street is littered with cool funky places. Vintage Vegas is a smaller boutique, but jam packed full of cool stuff. The signage: Dead People’s Junk ans Cool Crap, caught my eye; I had to go in!

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I love these vintage Pyrex bowls!! My bff and I, back in Canada, are always on the lookout for vintage Pyrex. Yup, we’re nerds, but stylish ones!!

Retro Vegas

When I moved to Vegas this was the first vintage shop I visited, the pink caught my attention, naturally. They have beautifully painted flamingos on the side of their building  perfect for photos!

They have tones of modern mid-century furniture, which is my all time favorite; along with stuff from the 60’s and 70’s. I am really starting to feel the 70’s vibe these days too.

The price point here is a bit more expensive, but they have high quality pieces.

I love this kitchen vignette! And look, they are pairing pink and yellow. Mmm, could this be a new trend? This is giving me some cool ideas.

And as I am writing, I just noticed that my pink candy dishes have yellow in the center! I guess I am already on trend.

Atomic Lounge

After you’ve shopped stop in at Atomic Lounge for a retro makeover. I went for the Va Va Voom hair and makeup  package; they also have a package where they pick you up in a pink Cadillac, it doesn’t get more fab than that!

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This was so fun! It would be the perfect activity for a girls trip. They do lots of weddings as well.

This was a lot of makeup!! Definitely meant for nighttime. I have to admit I felt like my grandmother with my hair in pin curls, but it all came together. This look called for a lot of hairspray!! I am not a big hair product person so it felt really funny and stiff. She told me to leave it for an hour and then I could brush it out for a softer look. It looked more modern with just a hint of retro vibe once I brushed it out.

My stylist was awesome! Ask for Becki. The lounge decor was funky and cool, just like you’d expect it to be.  And look, more yellow! I love these chairs.

 

Let’s Eat!

There are a bunch of cool hip restaurants nearby and this is where you will meet actual Las Vegas locals. These restaurants are also a lot less expensive than on the strip.

I recommend trying Carson Kitchen, it has super interesting small plates that you can share.  It’s urban neighborhood dining at it’s finest.

The Boneyard Museum

After dinner when the sun goes down, head to the Boneyard Neon Museum. It’s the perfect way to send your Viva Vintage Vegas Day!

Tours are $50, $35 for locals. You have to buy your tickets ahead of time, I have been on the day tour, but need to go on the night tour when the signs are on.

This isn’t your ordinary boring museum, first of all it’s outside and second of all, it’s full of neon. The museum is saving and honoring Vegas history for generations to come.

You will have lots and lots of picture opportunities, selfies are welcomed!

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Photo from Boneyard Neon Museum

Bonus Feature!

Since you sat through my candy dish fetish, I will let you know that The Arts District also has the most Instagramable graffiti walls in Vegas!

The streets between Main and Commerce have cool alleys. The best one is on the corner of W 50-70 Imperial Ave and Imperial Ave. Do be careful and travel in packs, don’t go down dark alleys; you will run into some colorful characters if you venture too far. You can also rent bikes and cycle around.

Just a few of the murals you will see. Try to venture off the strip next time you are in town and check out the Art District. Be nice! And have fun!

Muah!

Liette

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I do!

I do!

5 Steps to planning the perfect wedding.

So technically, I didn’t, I don’t…I mean I haven’t ever said I do; but what’s that expression? Those who can’t do teach?

Here’s why I am qualified to give wedding planning advice:

I’ve been a real live party/events planner for the past 15 years; and a wedding is basically a big event.

Before that, I was a hotel convention sales manager and dealt with many brides; but the job that most qualifies me to give wedding advice was my four year stint as a banquet waitress, while in University.

I seriously must have I worked hundreds and hundreds of weddings! And if I hear the song, “I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll”, one more time, I am going to lose my freaking mind!…oh and I was a bridesmaid twice; both friends are no longer married, but I hardly think I can be blamed for that?? (and they did result is some pretty amazing children!)

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Photo by CJ Hovey

Here are my top 5 expert tips

What’s your vibe?

You need to decide what vibe you’re going for? Here’s a hint, if your DJ plays, “ I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll”, you have failed in creating a cool vibe, lol.

But seriously, before you start planning you need to do a bit of soul searching on what you and your mate want your wedding to be?

You’ll be surprised by how many decisions you’ll need to make and you’ll be shocked at how quickly things can snowball out of control, so you need a plan.

In order to help you figure out what’s your vibe, you need to decide what kind of bride you want to be? Are you a Princess Bride, a Hippie Bride, a Shy Bride or a Party Bride? Ok, I just made those up, but they are brilliant!

The Princess Bride wants to be…well a princess, obviously. She wants a full ballgown with 8 to 10 bridesmaids. If you want a Princess wedding, then don’t look at beachfront locations.  Ballgowns and beach balls don’t mix.

Now if you’re a Hippie Bride a beach wedding with a flowy dress and flip flops are a perfect fit!

The photos below are of a Princess Bride in all her glory! The horse drawn carriage, the adorable flower girl and the castle.

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Photos taken by me in Jackson Square in New Orleans.

 

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Photo by me! Taken in New Orleans.

The bride in the picture above is definitely a Party Bride. The most important thing to a her is to have fun. Her dress is fun, her shoes are fun; she’s literally dancing in the streets.

One of my cousins is a Shy Bride, she knows her vibe and is owning it. She doesn’t want to be on display or be gawked at, which is the princess bride’s dream.

Knowing this she has planned a super small fall wedding in a rustic cabin. No head table and no fussiness, oh and she is bringing her dog and I am pretty sure she and her dog will have a matching dresses, lol.

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Elsa ready for her walk down the aisle!

Adding your own quirkiness to your big day is endearing. The trick is to know your vibe and keep it consistent.

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Photography by Daniel St-Louis, in Moncton.

I absolutely love this picture above of my friend Stacey on her wedding day getting her glam on. I love it because, this is Stacey’s vibe. She’s always calm cool and collected. There’s no need for a big entourage and no drama. FYI, she is still happily married; I wasn’t a bridesmaid.

Show me the money honey!

Weddings are expensive!! So before you start making plans and spending money, you need a plan. You need to list out what’s important to you and what’s not.

Here’s an idea, right off the bat. What if you could take an extra few thousand dollars from your wedding and spend it on your engagement ring?  Since it’s something that you will wear everyday and have forever; as opposed to something that will be over in a day?? Just a thought.

Now if you’re a Princess Bride, there is nothing I can say to you that will sway you away from all the bells and whistles; and if  that’s what you want, then go for it!

For those who are more budget conscious, you need to list out your priorities. If I was planning my own wedding, I would spend money on my dress and the photographer. I would skimp on other things in order to stay within my budget.

There are things that I would skip altogether, like wedding favors and the grooms cake; and here’s why. Now, full disclosure, when I throw parties, I always have a party favor, but, and this is a big but, I host small gathering so I buy nice favors. If yo can’t afford a nice favor, maybe just skip it? Also a lot of wedding parties make their own favors, which is very sweet, but depending on what it is, you may want to focus your energy on other things?

While working as a banquet waitress, I will tell you that more than 50% of your party favors end up being left behind and thrown out; same thing with the grooms cake?

Let’s just say that a grooms cake is out of fashion anyway and move on. If you have your heart set on having a wedding favor, go with a bottles of wine or home made jams or something like that. I am going to be harsh here, but the only people who want something with your face or your initials on it is your mother and your crazy aunt Carol.

You may also want to revisit your wedding cake. I would get an amazing looking cake, but it would be a small cake for you to cut in the photos and take home with you. If you are doing a full meal, your guests are going to be too full for cake by the time it’s served.

Or do cupcakes or donuts, something a bit different that people will remember. If you do want to serve cake, get a big slab and have the venue serve your guests.

Fun fact; did you know that some wedding cakes are fake?? Those big fancy cakes that you see couples cutting, some are just one layer of real cake and the others are foam covered with icing. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a fake cake?

Another great way to save money is to select an amazing looking venue so that you don’t have to spend lots of money on decorations. And here’s a question to ask yourself when deciding if you should spend the money or skip it? Will your aunt Carol remember it in a year?

If budget wasn’t a concern you could have huge overflowing flowery centerpieces on each table a la Kardashian. But just modest flowers on every table in a large wedding is going to cost you thousands of dollars without making a huge impact. Now let’s ask the question; will aunt Carol be able to remember what type of flowers were at her table in a year? The answer is no! So why not boost up and spend a bit more money on your bouquet and skip the table flowers? Candles are less expensive and create a cozy mood.

It’s also worth exploring a different kind of wedding. A former coworker of mine has opened an amazingly brilliant business. They do pop up weddings, elopements and engagements and they are spectacular!! You need to check out their website: https://www.thehytch.com/  and follow them on Facebook, (The Hytch) and Insta, (thehytch).

The locations are breathtaking, the pictures are soooooo pretty! They currently offer pop up weddings, renewals and engagements in Reno, Lake Tahoe and Denver.

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The beautiful Yeliz Berg from The Hytch. Photo by @journeeclarkphot

Be prepared to be blown away by crazy beautiful wedding photos, all provided by The Hytch. These are real couples and real weddings. I feel like I need to add that because they are so Instagrammable, they look staged.

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photo by @imashleymarie
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photo by @imashleighmarie
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Photo by @theboundys

 

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Photo by @sirberry

I am going to show the picture above to my cousin Brigitte, she is going to love this idea.

This is definitely the kind of wedding I would want. I would want a winter wedding…maybe I should book it for 2020? Yeah, that should give me enough time to find the perfect man right??!!

I think it’s possible to have an amazing chic wedding on a limited budget, you made need to think outside of the box? And maybe as you get older your priorities change? But a small intimate wedding seems like are a better choice then spending a down payment on a house on a wedding; but that’s just me, you do you!

Know your limitations

Do you get stressed out hosting a dinner party for 8? If so, you might not have what it takes to execute the perfect wedding by yourself? And that’s ok; know your strengths and be real about your limitations.

Get a wedding planner or recruit your friends and family. If you are asking friends and family members to help you, give them specific tasks and don’t overload one person, spread it out! If you aren’t paying them, you need to be nice and thankful!!

You can also lean on your venue manager to help with centerpieces and a few other tasks…within reason.

One thing you should never do is be setting up your own reception in your wedding dress! If you can’t get in your venue the day before, delegate, delegate, delegate! I have seen brides blowing up balloons for an arch while all made up and in their dresses. Don’t do it!!!

Show Up!

By show up, I mean, be present. It’s a big day with lots going on. You will be running on excitement, nerves and adrenaline. You have been working on this day for months and have spent a lot of money; you need to make a conscious effort to stop and enjoy your day.

You also need to eat and stay hydrated, plan ahead and have healthy snacks, or chocolate…either or, on hand when getting ready.

And when at the reception, pace yourself with the champagne, a puky bride is never cute!!

Let It Go!

So it’s your big day and you are present; now let it go!

I have witnessed so many bridezillas, in the early nineties, before that was a thing, we just called them crazy brides.

Here is the best advice that anyone will ever give you on your wedding day; let things go!! I have witnessed so many crazy brides sabotage their own wedding receptions, it was hard to pick just one crazy bride story.

But here’s a good one; this one bride poked her head into the ballroom before we opened the doors to see how the room looked. It looked beautiful, btw, but she proceeded to freak out because the salmon colored napkins, looked more peach than salmon. Freaked out may be an understatement, because she had a full blown, stage 5 meltdown over salmon napkins, minutes before her guests arrived. May I add that the lights were dimmed and candles lit, the napkins were perfectly salmony.

To make my point, I googled the color salmon and the color peach, can you tell which is which??? No, no you can’t, because there isn’t a difference. Lol

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Needless to say, she never really recovered and looked pissy all night. I have seen so many brides look absolutely miserable during their wedding receptions; don’t be that bride!

The only way to enjoy yourself the day of your wedding is to roll with the punches and go with whatever happens. If anything goes wrong on the day of, and something will, let it go! First of all, chances are you will be the only one who notices that something is off; so don’t point it out or make a big deal, just let it go!

I have one great example of a bride who rolled with it. The MC was speaking and said that he had a game that would determine who wore the pants in the family. He explained that the bride had to hug each male at the reception and the groom each female and that whoever did so and got back to their seat first would be the one who wore the pants in the marriage.

The groom looked horrified and after an awkward moment of silence, you could tell this was not planned; the bride stood up, hiked up her dress and stared running to the first table to start the hug fest. The groom quickly followed and the crowd went wild!

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At the time I posted this my mom was out playing cards so I couldn’t ask her the name of the photographer, lol.

I love, love, love this picture of my parents. Tell me they are not adorable!! My dad looks like a movie star. There is something really glamorous about old wedding pictures. Their 53rd wedding anniversary was this past May.

At the end of the day, your wedding is one day in hopefully many, many days together. It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding that you lose perspective and focus more on the wedding than the marriage…said the single girl. But think about it, you know I am right.

I am pretty sure I will be a fun bride…just saying, lol.

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Showing off my something blue, a vintage dinner ring that was my moms. Apparently dinner rings were a thing in the seventies.

My dad recently passed away, a few weeks before his death, one of my cousins asked him for relationship advice. He told her to be herself and that she needs to find someone who makes her happy, if he doesn’t make you happy, don’t marry him. Treat him like you would want to be treated and you will be ok, because you are a good person. It seemed like simple advice, but if you stop and think about it, it really is that simple!

I hope you enjoyed this post even if you aren’t planning a wedding at this very moment or are already married. If you are happily married and want to share your words of wisdom, please do!!

And if you are happily divorced, you probably have words of wisdom too! Sharing is caring, lol.

muah!!

Liette

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Downtown Vegas, I had to stop and snap a quick pic.

Blogging

Blogging, a Blog About a Blog.

I am working on a really fun blog post, but it’s not ready to be posted yet. So in the meantime, I thought I would share a bit of what goes on behind the scenes and what my blogging process is.

Not that anyone has ever asked me to share my process, but hey if I waited for invitations before doing stuff, I’d be pretty bored.

Blog

Everything I’ve read about blogging says that you should have a content calendar and follow it. I don’t really do that. I do list things out when I have lots of ideas, like leading up to Halloween and Christmas.

But some months, when I am not traveling, I just free ball it and wait for ideas to pop up. I try to post every Sunday. This week, I had nothing until Wednesday night. And then I came up with a really fun idea, that will be ready to share in a few weeks. But that didn’t help me for this weeks post. I had nothing, until I had the brilliant idea to blog about blogging, so here we are…you’re welcome, lol.

Inspiration

I am a visual person, so I often get blog ideas from photos. I also tend to come up with my best ideas late at night when I can’t sleep. For a morning person, I actually do my best writing late at night in bed.

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I may start posting mini posts on Wednesday’s?  And I would like to share more videos; and there is no time like the present. Someone asked me to post more pictures of my place here in Vegas, so here you go.

For those who don’t know me personally, I’ll share that the past 6 months have been rough for my family and I. My father is dying, there, I said it, it’s out there. It’s something that we are preparing ourselves for. It’s unbelievable how something that seems unimaginable, becomes something that you learn to accept.

Wow! That took a dark turn! Lol, I am sorry, I wanted to share that because but I wanted you all to know that my little blog has been a life saver for me these past few months. It has given me something creative to do and it has kept my mind busy.

Sharing can be scary

My two most popular posts were also the two posts that I was the most nervous to publish.

My second oui-liette blog post ever, “New Brunswick, You’re Going to Hate It”, got close to 50,000 views; I am pretty sure that was my 15 minutes of fame and now I am a has been, lol.  But I think it’s better to be a has been than a never have been…right?

Before posting, I was worried that people wouldn’t get the tongue and cheekiness of it. But they did! And I was shocked by how people connected with it!

Fun Fact the feature image of this post was taking while tubing down the Miramichi River, but my blurb about how much people would hate tubing while watching bald eagles flying overhead, was cut out, because the post was getting too long.

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/15/new-brunswick-canada-youre-going-to-hate-it/

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The other post that I was afraid that no one would read was Senior Living. It was supposed to be funny, but it didn’t turn out that way. I considered deleting it because it wasn’t sassy or fun, but I guess life isn’t always sassy and fun. It’s harder to share real feelings than hints on how to throw a fabulous party.

Thanks for reading both the light and fluffy posts and the more serious ones. I love and appreciate all your comments, please keep them coming.

https://oui-liette.org/2019/04/12/senior-living/

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Ok changing the tone a bit, but this also falls in the scary category. Guess what happens when thousands of people read your posts? You get lots of creepy messages from men! All the comments I’ve gotten directly on my blog have been great and respectful, both from men and woman, thank you! But man I have gotten some creepy messages on Facebook messager,ugh! Thankfully I know how to use the block button.

Fun Facts

99.9% of the photos in my blogs are photos that I’ve taken;  I am pretty proud of that. A lot of bloggers use stock photographs; not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Fun Fact, here’s where the blogging magic happens, in my bed!

I took photography in University for two years. I have a fancy camera that I never use; most of my pics are taken on my phone. I am not a great technician, but I think I have an eye for styling and knowing what will look cool.

My fancy photo shoot pics are taken by my friends Barney or Sean; a few were taken by my nephew Jack. If I use someone else’s photo, I will give them a shout out.

Some people have made comments like; “oh you take a lot of pictures of yourself”. To that I say, yes, yes I do. I really enjoy the process of coming up with a creative idea and then making it happen. It’s not as easy as it looks, if it was, their profile pictures would be much better…oh snap!!

This one below is for those people, I was going for an old Hollywood feel. Not sure if I like the black and white or the color better? What do you think?

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The stronger or interesting the feature image, the more views the post will get. I think my marketing background has certainly helped me  make my little blog look fancy.

I don’t consider myself a great writer. I just try to write the way I speak. I am fairly certain, I have way too many “lol’s”, in my posts, but what are you gonna do?

I also make words up, on purpose. Example, in last week’s post, I wrote that I was “patio lantering my way down Main St”. I know that lantering is not a real word, but I don’t really care, “lol”.

Thank You Next!

So what’s next? As mentioned above, I have an interesting post coming up. The post is pretty much written, I just need a few cool pictures so I have a fun photo shoot planned for this week. It could be really cool or an awesome disaster; I will share either way.

I am also working on another fun project. My part is done, but others are working on finishing it. I hope to have it back in my hands to share around the end of June ish.

On the travel front, I have a huge work event here in Las Vegas soon. Then in June and July I will be going to Edmonton, Moncton then back to Vegas; then Tulsa Oklahoma, Moncton and back to  Vegas for a bit.

I am also going to start submitting some of my blog posts to different publications and sites to see if they get picked up; hey the worst thing they can say is no right? I am also learning how to better partner with companies.

So this was a different kind of post, did you like it? lol

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there and thinking of all the people who have lost their moms. If anyone runs into my mom tomorrow, please give her a hug for me!

Muah!

Liette

Christmas Photo Shoot in the Desert.

Christmas Photo Shoot in the Desert.

On an early…really early morning in October, my friend Sean and I ventured into the Las Vegas desert to take a few Christmas photos. Sean is a great landscape photographer and wanted to practice portraits. I needed a few shots for my upcoming Christmas card, so off we went. Here are some of the pics.

Cover Shot

It’s always best to take pictures at dawn, dusk or when it’s overcast. Sean and I are both from the East Coast of Canada; we didn’t realize how quickly the sun rises in Vegas. Because Las Vegas is in a valley surrounded by mountains, the sun doesn’t slowly rise, it just pops up.

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Sean wanted to try a few shots with the sunlight behind me. I clicked away with my iPhone while he set up.

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The sun peaking out from behind me, makes me look like I am glowing…like an angel! lol. That’s not what he was looking for though.

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This is the shot he was looking for. It looks like it was taken at sunset, but it was taken just a few minutes after the previous pictures above. I think it looks really cool! My head is blocking the sun, making the rest look dark. Well done Sean…well done, lol.

Desert View

This is a classic Sean landscape shot. Different photographers have different ways of working. I am used to moving and the photographer taking shot after shot in quick succession. For most of these, I needed to stand still for longer periods of time…without talking, lol.

My prop for the day was a large Christmas wreath. I still think it’s odd that Christmas happens in places without snow…that seems very unnatural to me.

& magic mountains

These shots in front of the Seven Magic Mountain sculptures were the first shots we took, before the sun popped up, hence no squinting and shadows. These sculptures are 15 minutes off the strip. There were two other photographers taking pictures while we were there. It’s a popular spot!

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I have discovered that it’s hard to maintain a natural smile when standing still.

Wreath

The picture below is of a Joshua trees; there are lots in and around Las Vegas.

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Trying to be artistic with my wreath. 

Here is Sean and his big lens! He now thinks he needs a new camera to go with his big zoom lens. I took all of these with my iPhone; not to brag, but I am a fairly good photographer as well, lol.

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And that’s a wrap!! Thanks Sean!

I will use some of these pictures for future blog stuff. Just wanted to share.

Muah!!

Liette

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Thanks for reading!! 

Happy Halloween!!

Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween!!!

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I hope you have had some spooky fun this month. If you haven’t, it’s not too late!! You still have a few days, so get cracking! Carve some pumpkins, make some scary cookies, dress up for a party, you really only live once…I think?

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I didn’t exactly carve a pumpkin this year, but this works. We had our annual work pumpkin throw down.

My October has been very busy, but I got my spook on. I visited a Haunted Museum and survived zombies in Vegas. In Paris, I visited the Catacombs and saw lots of real skulls & bones…it was freaky. And today I went to see a ballet at the Smith Center in downtown Vegas. You’re probably wondering, what makes a ballet an acceptable Halloween themed activity? Well it was a Gothic ballet based on Dracula. Nothing screams Halloween more than skulls, zombies and Dracula!!

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I am not a big ballet person, but when I saw this one was a Dracula theme, I knew I had to attend. It was beautiful! I loved it! 

I am finishing off the month back in Canada; where I have a girls dinner party planned on the 30th. It’s a Trick or Treat theme, each person has been instructed to bring one gift and we will swap. I thought it would be fun, plus I love gifts, lol, giving and getting.

Then Trick or Treating on the 31st! Ok I may be too old for that? But I am certain I will find something to do.

For those who have read my October posts, I hope you were inspired to enjoy some fall fun.

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The scariest thing is how quickly the month has flown by!!!

What’s next? Christmas!!!!! The only holiday that I love more than Halloween is Christmas; I have some fun posts coming up in November and December.

Thanks for reading friends!!!

Let me know if there is something you would like to see me write a post on or if you have any questions? I love hearing what you think.

Muah!!

Liette

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Real Scary Shit in Paris!

Disclaimer: This post is about the Paris Catacombs; it contains pictures of real skeletons, readers beware!

Last week while in Paris, we visited the Catacombs museum. With Halloween a week away, I though this would be a perfect creepy post to share.

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I chose this for my cover pic because I thought that the blurryness fit the spooky mood of the location. I was thinking, please don’t freak out, please don’t freak out!! Lol

It is said that there are more dead Parisians under the city than there are living in Paris. The Catacombs run for hundreds of kilometers under the city. A very small section is open to the public; this “museum” is unlike any other.

Helpful hint #1, buy your tickets online before you get there. The lines are long!! There are two lines, one for those buying tickets onsite and one for those who pre-bought online. The line for those who have tickets is much, much shorter.

As soon as you walk in, it was clear that this is going to be a freaky experience. You start by going down a metal spiraling staircase with 180 stairs that quickly bring you 20 meters under the city. This is probably not a great activity for anyone who is claustrophobic!! Or anyone who is super tall, lol.

This video shows the walk towards the galleries where the bones are displayed. Creepy right?

 

 

 

Once you get to the bottom, things get real, real fast!! I am not claustrophobic; or I didn’t think I was, but as we walked towards the entrance I did get a bit freaked out. Helpful hint #2; don’t overthink the fact that you are 20 meters underground, lol.

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I took this selfie at the base of the staircase. You can see a slight WTF am I doing here look on my face. I was able to calm my mind and power through.

I told my friend Claudia that I was feeling a bit anxious; she did the right thing by ignoring what I had just said and started talking about unrelated stuff. I think I just needed a moment to climatize; it gets real dark, real fast too!

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To change my focus from the fact that we were 20m underground, I started taking pics and videos, it helped.

Full disclosure, you are allowed to take pictures and videos, they just ask that you not touch anything…mmm no worries there! At first I wondered if it was disrespectful to take photos? Millions of people a year visit the catacombs and do take pics; and the museum itself has photos of the remains on posters, flyers…I was mindful to remember that these walls of bones were once people. Some families were taking pictures of their kids in front of the remains…yeah, too creepy for me!!

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View as walking towards the chambers or galleries to the remains. I found parts strangely beautiful…did I mention this is 20 meters underground??? Lol

These are limestone quarries that originated in the 15th century.

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This sign was a clear indication that this was going to be unlike any other museum I had ever visited before.

This sign is a warning of what lies beyond this point. It says: Stop! This is the empire of death. Mmm nothing creepy about that!! Lol

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You were warned, these are real bones!

So here is a super brief overview as per the guide.

One of the largest Parisian cemeteries was  closed in 1780, due to safety concerns. Little by little the quarries began to House bones from all the cemeteries of central Paris.  Basically because they wanted to expand the city, so cemeteries were closed and the remains moved.

At some point a dude called Hericart de Thury, created a theatrical display with the remains, similar to how a museum would display objects. The overall impression he wanted to create was one of respect, mediation and fear.

The catacombs have been open to the public since the early 19th century.

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My impression was a combination of awe for the sheer size and the intricacy of the displays and creeped outness, new word, just made it up (meaning to be super creeped out).

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There are different patterns of displays. One thing I did wonder, what did they do with the pelvic bones??? Just a thought.

During our time in the catacombs I found myself getting caught up in the stories, we paid extra for the audio tour, it’s a must. It’s beautiful in a morbid and  surreal way. It’s easy to forget that each bone belonged to a person.

I am not a super religious person, seeing all these skulls and bones really brought home that we leave our bodies. What’s left are just bones. And that we each have a short time here.

Being surrounded by so many who have passed reminded me to live life as best I can. My final hint for this post is more a hope; let’s try to not be shitty people!! Lol

If you have time, I would recommend visiting the catacombs.

I will close on a lighter note, they had a pretty decent boutique, I bought a cool skeleton umbrella. And FYI, those 180 steps are much easier going down than they are coming back up! And 20 meters is approximately 63 feet.

I would like to know if you would visit the catacombs if given the opportunity? Yes? Or is it too creepy for you?? Share!

Happy Halloween!!

Boo!

Liette

Paris Catacombs