A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme.

A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!!

74AC62BB-B4C8-4389-A892-AF0CDC50921B

This year I decided that it would be fun if our Christmas Eve Dinner had a theme; and since plaid seems to be the latest new hip trend, why not make it a plaid theme? If you are Canadian, it’s been hip forever, lol; plaid and Christmas are a natural fit so I thought it would be easy to pull off.

I did find that finding the perfect plaid item to wear was, well hard to find, lol. What I envisioned wearing wasn’t available at the local mall and I waited too long to order something online. But I am no quitter! Plus all but my guests are pumped and on board; so full steam ahead with my Mad for Plaid theme!

What to wear?

8C24127E-645B-48B7-AF66-8B31F5C6D746
This was my initial vision…yeah, I didn’t find anything this chic!! 😳

Can you have a plaid theme dinner without asking your guest to dress up? Probably, will it be as fun? No! No, it won’t. (teasing, feel free to skip to my pictures of plaid dinner table ideas if you don’t want to deal with my plaid shenanigans)

My Christmas Eve guests have been asked to wear some sort of plaid. I left it open to interpretation; I am looking forward to seeing everyone plaided up! (yes I know plaided isn’t a real word, but it should be!).

I finally found something I like, it’s a beautiful red and black plaid shawl that I will for sure wear again; it’s basically a huge blanket. My mom has a funky pair of red plaid pants that I am sort of lusting after. She’s the most stylish woman I know! My dad will wear a red and black buffalo  pattern shirt so he and I will match.

 

AE574E04-4F3A-4BE7-8AE2-03DFD82E3710
This would have also worked; there is nothing more Canadian than plaid and jean on jean, right?!

4bfb0857-b602-4136-a9e2-72c7b8971502

Decor

When it comes to decor, concentrate on your dinner table. I always make that my focal point. I think most people associate plaid with rustic and homey comfort; I personally think of a tall rugged Canadian lumberjack named Alex or Jean-Guy…..lol, ok moving on; the point I was trying to make before I got distracted by visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head is that it’s so easy to pull off a plaid themed dinner table. All you need is a plaid tablecloth or piece of fabric, mason jars, pine cones and a pop of something green and red.

71824BBD-0D7A-402A-AF28-D6849CB87C14
This was not a staged photo. This is a real live Canadian male wearing plaid, holding an axe, while standing in the snow, lol. Is he an actual lumberjack? Sure, why not? (No he isn’t).

Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so pretty!!

84E1BB06-9B8C-4DCF-889A-A1F7286F0385
We picked the pine cones ourselves; combined with the greenery my table smelled like Christmas!!
EF414865-FF91-490C-8518-0CF90BD69B3A
I added a few shiny red balls.
3F03EFB8-5B79-49BA-9B91-EF6E90B24175
A few mason jars with cranberries and floating candles, instant cool mood lighting.
72229020-B1AE-4A3F-B5BA-B235B0087CAB
This is my pallet for this year’s tables, i will add some greenery, floating candles and some mini lights. I think it’s going to look soooo pretty!

This year I will have gray and black table clothes with red napkins. I will repeat the other same items from last year; hey, if it isn’t broken, no need to fix it!

a63950ca-247e-4615-9c7d-0cb59536adbd

Pro Planner Tip

Here is a super helpful tip for any and all parties, big or small; the key to creating a cool vibe for your guests is lighting! So please dim the damn lights!!!

Light some candles or load up on fairy lights, nothing ruins the mood like bright overhead lights…you’re welcome!!

165963BA-EE54-44D4-9A12-0CDD6D5F9982
This is my cozy plaid wrap. Apparently this red and black pattern is called Buffalo… who knew? Photo creds to my nephew Jack!!

I wanted to post this before Christmas in case someone is looking for ideas on how to dress up their dinner table. I will share pictures of my Christmas Eve Dinner on my Facebook page, oui-liette.

Enjoy these last few days before the big day. I know they can be stressful; it may seem that everything I do has to be perfect. That’s actually not the case. I pre plan as much as I can and then the day of any of my personal parties or huge corporate events, I am pretty chill and roll with the punches. Don’t let the idea of perfection ruin the moment. Life is messy not perfect! Lol, enjoyez-vous!

de6b3b3f-c380-4af3-ace9-0a1a8633bcd6
Merry Christmas!

Muah!!!

Liette

 

Happy Halloween!!

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

CEF39947-A8B3-41F8-A6A2-31CC16E94004

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?

3FBAEBF6-E592-485D-AC2A-3277707E3A1A
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!!

41FC96FB-EEA8-4799-A310-10A202EA469A
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.

FC40809F-F622-478A-8E8B-2A99DBB6C26D
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

2BF6CDE8-EB8F-4CA1-BE47-156EC3CCC386

 

 

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.

2239E44B-46D0-4212-A9D6-B68952283388
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.

A791438B-20C6-4189-B553-710AE1172329
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!

ADC3F049-B33C-4F70-95A7-951D2250E276
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!!

BF11123E-F911-4010-B2BE-D3F3396DB3BC.jpeg
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.

8BD4959C-E2E6-4CA9-B579-CA511B519FA9
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

5BC7787E-29BD-4598-8C79-3F89433A0658.jpeg
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.

4522AA03-39E5-4EB6-9032-7A6D0B475584

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).

D20A6659-2920-4288-AFC9-0CB2F071040C
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

Day Tripping in Toronto

Back in Canada for work, I found myself with a few hours of free time to explore the city; what to do, what to do? To say that this city has an infinite list of things to do is a huge understatement!

My favorite thing to do in a big city, any city really, is to walk the streets, people watch and to get the feel of the unique vibe of the city.

IMG_9597
Hello Toronto!

We walked our way to Graffiti Alley, which is in a really neat part of town. It is in the Fashion District and runs south of Queen Street West from Spadina Ave to Portland Ave.

IMG_9614
Graffiti Alley is a true alley, there was a large truck backing up when where there, it’s beautiful and real. You can just imagine how it got started, mural after mural until it turned into this amazing space.
IMG_9601
The colors are so vibrant! There is approx 1 km of art.

Never heard of it? If you are Canadian, I bet you have seen it without knowing what it was. It’s the alley that Rick Mercer, a fellow Maritimer, walked through during his awesome rants on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

IMG_9611

IMG_9606
My beautiful cousin Nicole, who lives in Toronto (Oakville), was our tour guide. Yes she is my first cousin…really, she is super petite with an Italian or Spanish look, while I have more of a blonde viking vibe, but we are a family!

I discovered Graffiti Alley a few years ago, if you read my very first blog post on the hard hitting subject: How to Take the Perfect Selfie, you will have seen this pic, taken there.

IMG_7520
This pic taken a few Novembers ago.  On a much cooler day.

You often see photo shoots being shot when touring the alleys, which I love to witness.

selfie
Feeling a bit faint here, oufff hot and humid. I seriously thought I was going to pass out! My face looks a bit funny here…funny looking, not funny ha! ha!

If you find yourself with free time in this beautiful city, I urge you to get out and explore!!

IMG_9600
I see you there CN Tower!
IMG_9624
There she is, I’ve decided, the CN Tower is a she! Toronto also has a working trolley system. No texting and walking here! Watch where you are going!!

We have had two awesome meals here, here are my recommendations:

Si Lom Thai Bistro – 534 Church St

IMG_9586
Best Pad Thai ever!! Prices were super reasonable.

My second recommendation Is Donatello: 37 Elm Street

IMG_9638
Another gem, freshly made pasta, was soooo good!
IMG_9636
The restaurant is huge, with a rooftop terrace, they have a small eating space right on the side walk; which is where Mary and I decided to eat.  It is surrounded by flowers. It was so quaint!

 

Tomorrow I am off to my hometown of Moncton, N.B. I have already put my parents on notice that I will be expecting lobster rolls for lunch. They are more than happy to comply. But tonight, I am eating smarties in bed; resting up for some vacation adventures.

Thanks for reading, more pictures on Insta & Facebook: oui-liette, check me out! And click like below if you liked. If you didn’t like this post, sorry, but you just read all the way to the end, so it couldn’t have been that bad, lol.

Feel free to share your fav thing to do in this Mega City! I will be back here in two weeks, would love some recommendations.

Muah!

Liette