Why you should take advantage of our Atlantic travel bubble.

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

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

Cool places are less peoply

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

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

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


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

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

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

Hotels need heads in beds

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

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

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


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

Do fun weird stuff!

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

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

We were greeted by these crazy teenagers!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

muah!
Liette

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

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

Side Hustle – Support Your Local Hustlers

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

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

First up is Bonnie, who is Mrs Delicious!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Post and Studs

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

Liette: What inspired you to start making earrings?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

L: How can people see and buy your earrings?

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

Borden Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

L: How can people find and buy your products?

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

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Made by Monique

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

muah!

Liette

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

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

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