Hot Air Balloon Tips

Hot Air Balloon Tips

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If you wonder why some of you see my feature picture twice,  I post it twice so that those who subscribe and read from their emails can see it too. 

In this post I will share a few tips on how to prepare for your first hot air balloon ride. I consider myself an expert now that I have been up in one exactly one time! Lol

Ok so I am not an expert, but I can share a few tips, here we go!

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We were driven to the desert where we watched the balloons being set up and filled with air, they were way bigger than I thought they would be.
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This photo was taken by my friend Sean Miller, he brought his big camera, I just use my iPhone.
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Photo by Sean Miller.

Hot Air Balloon Fashion

The perfect way to ruin your ballooning experience is to show up dresses improperly. Chances are you’ll have to be onsite before dawn; make certain you’re warm enough to get you through till sunrise. We had a few in our group who were cold and cranky before we even got off the ground. I was happy we didn’t end up in their balloon.

The trick is to dress in layers, I had a t-shirt, my trusty black turtle neck and a light fleece like zip jacket. I threw a pair of light gloves in my cross body purse before leaving the house and I actually wore them before lift off. It gets cold in the desert before sunrise.

You also need sneakers; sandals and flip flops are a no, no. And make sure you are wearing socks. When you are in the air, your bottom half can get cold, while your top half gets hot; the big burners that heat the balloon air give off a lot of heat.

You also have to climb into the balloon basket, like literally climb, straddle the side and get yourself inside, so make sure your pants will accommodate this movement. I wore jeans with stretch.

If you have long hair tie it up or wear a hat, you don’t want your hair getting caught up in the burners.

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What Should You Bring With You?

The views are absolutely spectacular, so make certain your phone is charged, you’ll want to take a lot of pics. My friend brought his camera and small case; I had a cross body purse that I use when I travel. There isn’t much room in the balloon basket so just bring a small bag.

The air is cool the higher you go, so I packed tissues and my sunglasses in my bag. They provided us with a bottle of water.

Safety First

You will have to sign a waiver, we had to sign two. The captain will go over the safety rules and will make you practice a rough landing position, aka a crash landing. I obviously knew there isn’t landing gear on these things, but I never really put much thought into how they landed. They can hit pretty hard, bounce and drag before they come to a full stop…oh and the basket can tip over…with you in it.

We had a smooth landing, but I was ready! My knees were slightly bent and I was facing in the direction that the captain had instructed us to face. I took these rules very seriously; I may or may not have “bossed” other passengers to turn around and face the other way??? I can’t really recall for sure in all the excitement, but that could have happened?? Lol

What I found a bit surprising is that the balloon basket is sub divided into sections. So there isn’t a lot of room to move around. This is so you don’t bounce around in the event of a rough landing.

I am not really scared of heights, but I am scared of falling to my death. The basket sides are high, I am 5’7, the side of the basket was mid boob height on me, lol. This made me feel secure; you aren’t dangling over the edge, you are pretty contained.

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You can see the basket dividers in this pic. There is another divider between me and the lady beside me. You can fit 2 people per section.

Enjoy the Ride!

It was such a cool feeling to float, we reached a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour. It was very peaceful and serene. I would highly recommend a balloon ride to anyone visiting, who is feeling adventurous; and to locals who want to see Vegas from above. It was $140, tax included, so not crazy expensive.

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This pic was taken by moi, not too shabby!

The colorful balloons against the blue sky were so pretty it almost looked fake.

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Vegas Hot Air, Sin City Balloon Rides, is the company we went with; they had three balloons in the air that morning. There were a few other balloons from different companies in the air when we ventured out. They look deceivingly small in the air.

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We flew over this balloon, the view and colors were awesome!

We got a great view of the strip in the distance, but the view of the mountains that surround Vegas was spectacular. I am fairly certain most tourist that stay on the strip aren’t even aware that Las Vegas is in a valley. You don’t see the mountains when on the strip.

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Photo by Sean Miller

What Goes Up, Must Come Down.

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I think we were in the air for over an hour ish? Time flew bye, pun intended.

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It’s a balloon tradition to have champagne after each ride. Captain Mike was awesome, all the staff were friendly and made it fun. Side note, captain Mike had the nicest teeth, lol. I felt, I needed to add that completely irrelevant detail… you are welcome!! 😜

I highly recommend Vegas Hot Air Sin City Balloon Rides, tell them Liette sent you. They will have absolutely no idea who the heck I am, lol.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any ballooning questions!

Muah!

Liette

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24hrs in Montréal…in February!

24hrs in Montréal…in February!

Montréal in February isn’t for the faint of heart; but it is a beautiful and vibrant city no matter what time of the year…but maybe just a bit more vibrant in the spring, summer and fall?? Lol

If you do decide to come here in February, you will need a few essential items; like a tuque (it’s a beanie for my American friends), mittens, they will keep your hands warmer than gloves; and winter boots. And by winter boots, I mean boots with grips, a fur lining is a plus too.

In this post, I tried a new hotel, visited a Nordic spa, did a bit of shopping and ate on the run; oh and I ducked into a historic church.

I was here for a quick work trip and tried to squeeze as much as I could in the short time I was here. Here are my suggestions if you find yourself in Montréal and are wondering what to do…in February.

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Hotel

I love trying new hotels and one of the advantages of traveling off season, February is off season, is that you can get really great rates. This trip we decided to try Le Saint Sulpice Hôtel Montréal, it’s a chic hotel in the heart of old Montréal.

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The main doors are under the flags. That’s Mary walking ahead of me, hurrying to get out of the cold, she is such a wimp now that she lives in Nevada, lol.

The hotel is located on rue Saint Sulpice, which is located right behind Notre Dame Basilica; now I am not a huge church person, but this one is impressive.

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Above is what it looks like during the day; below is a night view, if you are in the area, you may as well peek inside, it’s really pretty.

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When checking into the hotel, we lucked out and got upgraded to suites, which is another perk of traveling off season. Always be nice and chatty with the front desk people…always!!

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My room had a large seating area with a stone wall.

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It overlooked rue Saint Sulpice with a great view of the cobblestone roads, there are cobblestones under the snow, I promise, lol.

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But my favorite part of my room and the hotel was the bathroom! More specifically the tub!

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This is my dream bathroom; not only did it have a big shower, it also had a big tub! I love baths!!!

They also had L’Occidane bath products, which are super fancy!! I brought all my leftover bottles home.

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There is nothing like a hot bath on a cold night!

Spa

We flew in on Sunday and by the time we checked into the hotel it was early evening. The temperature was -12 Celsius, which for some of my readers doesn’t sound that cold, but because Montréal is on the water, it’s a damp cold, so it feels colder. What could be more fabulous than a Nordic Spa on a wintry Sunday night?? Nothing!

Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal is located just down the street from our hotel. We asked the concierge at the hotel for the address, he said take a right, you’ll see and smell the eucalyptus steam.

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Follow the steam. The spa is on the corner of rue Sulpice and Commune; the entrance is at: 71 rue de la Commune Street W.

If you haven’t been to a Nordic Spa, they have hot baths and saunas with cold dipping pools and cold showers. So you go from the hot sauna to the cold shower to the hot pool, followed by the cold dipping pool; and then you repeat.

I did the hot bath and the cold dipping pool. It’s so cold it picks your skin; the trick is to dip quickly and go back to the hot pool. It’s supposed to be good for you; it was surprisingly invigorating. I don’t like saunas and the cold shower just seemed like a dumb idea, lol, so I skipped those. They also have relaxation areas where people go to to relax and nap.

I get bored “relaxing” for too long, I did sit there and people watched before moving on. The one thing that I don’t love about Nordic spas is that you aren’t allowed to talk. I guess that may be the reason why some people go? But I am chatty.

After I soaked, dipped, relaxed while silent; I went for a massage. And wow! It was one of the best massages I have ever had!! My masseuse’s name was Nicholas, he was from France; if you go, you should ask for him.  He was awesome and his Parisian accent was dreamy, ok, I actually don’t know if he was from Paris, but his French accent was very different than the accent Québécois and Acadiens. Not that it was better…ok, it may have been a little better? But just because it sounded more exotic to me. No offense to the Quebecers or my fellow Acadians…ok, enough about accents, moving on, lol.

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I walked back to the hotel so relaxed I didn’t even feel the cold, I realized that this was the perfect way to spend a Sunday night in Montréal…in February.

Next time I am in town I am going to try Bota Bota Spa-sure-l’eau; it’s a spa on a boat, it looks really cool! Let me know if any of you have been there, if so what did you think??

Shopping

Montréal is probably one of the chicest cities in North America; top three for sure! So it goes without saying that the shopping here is amazing!

Here are my fav stores.

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Included Banana Republic because it’s a beautiful store! Love the historic building.

You should start in and around rue St Catherine; there you will find the Hudson Bay and the Eaton’s Center.

For my American friends, The Bay is a huge high end department store. It was a fur trading company founded in 1670 and is the oldest incorporated  joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. All that to say, it’s a big part of the history of Canada and a great place to shop; it’s similar to Sasks Fith Avenue Department Store.

The Eaton’s Center is a huge mall, located in the middle of downtown. Montréal has an extensive underground walkway, you can get in and around The Bay to the Eaton’s Center without having to go outside; which comes in handy on cold winter days. I braved the cold and walked outside, living in Las Vegas for a few years now, I felt that walking in the cold may help me get my Canadian street cred back?

Rudsak

Rudsak is a Canadian company; it’s described as a luxury fashion company. It’s on the pricey side, but their items will last forever!! Almost every item in their store was black or gray, so my kind of place. It’s my bff’s, Guylaine’s, fav store.

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They had everything you need to survive a Montréal winter in style! They also had beautiful purses. I felt butterflies in my stomach as soon as I saw them, but walked away before I fell in love; as I walked away I repeated in my head: you do not need another purse…you do not need another purse!!! Ouff, that was a close call.

They have a few locations, I went to the one inside Eaton’s Center.

Artizia

Aritzia is another Canadian company; it was founded in  Vancouver. They focus on individual style and quality garments. They also have a store in the Eaton’s Center; if you haven’t shopped there, check them out. Their clothes are more affordable than Rudsak. They remind me a bit of Zara.

COS

COS is my current fav store; it’s a Swedish company with locations scattered in key chic cities around the world. I’ve been to the store in Toronto and Paris; they also have a store on rue St. Catherine here in Montréal. I didn’t make it there on this trip, partly because I didn’t know they had a store when I was downtown and partly because I didn’t want to know for fear of buying something. My bag is already over weight, I’ve been gone three weeks, so I needed a lot of stuff and winter stuff is heavier; but I will visit on my next trip for sure.

One thing that I will say about COS, is that if you check them out online, you may think they are very boring, the clothes on their site look boring, but their stores are super chic in person. They offer classic pieces that will never go out of style. They also have cool hip pieces that are sure to become classics. They have great quality stuff, so I don’t mind paying a little bit more; but prices aren’t super crazy. My friend Aline first introduced me to this store…thank you!

Banana Republic

I am giving a shout out to the Banana Republic on St Catherine just because it’s one of the bigger Banana stores that I have been in and the building is historic and funky. I bought a blouse!! It’s light weight so shouldn’t add any weight to my suitcase, in case you are worried about me, lol.

Food

Montréal is a foodies dream, so many amazingly yummy places. It’s fun to discover hidden gems as you walk through the city. Montréal is know for their smoke meat sandwiches and their bagels, personally I prefer Montreal bagels to New York’s.

I would recommend making friends with your hotels concierge; they will know all the best places to eat.

Because this trip was super short, we didn’t have time for a fancy meal. We did grab a pizza before our spa night. Pizzeria Bros is almost across the street from Notre Dame; you can create your own pizza, each pizza is cooked in its own red pizza oven, super cute and yummy, easy on the budget too.

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They are located on Notre-Dame St W. Funny story, there was a family sitting beside us, the father looked exactly like Kramer from Seinfeld. I couldn’t stop staring. I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t want to be rude, lol. It was uncanny!!

Montréal has a definite Euro vibes, there is literally a coffee and/or pastry shop on every corner, especially in old Montréal. While walking back from my meetings, I stopped into Olive and Gourmando; I had heard so many good things about this place, I needed to see what all the talk was about.

It was packed!!! I didn’t have the patience to wait in line in the cold doorway, so I got a few things to go. My fave was the blueberry tart. It’s obviously the “it” place to meet with friends, but if you are looking for a quiet place to catch up, this isn’t the place, lol. It’s more of a see and be seen place.

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They are located at: 351 rue Saint-Paul St. W. ;Rue Saint-Paul is the main cobble stone street in old Montréal?, you will think you are in Europe.

Even though my time in this beautiful city was short, and cold, I tried to soak in as much as I could. There is so much to do and see, 24hrs is a joke, but it’s better than nothing. There was a winter festival happening the week after I left, the locals are not afraid of a little cold; so there is lots to do in the winter; but there is something magical about the city in the summer.

My next trip back is planned for July, I will do a follow up post at that time that showcases the summer vibe.  So what’s your favorite thing to do in Montréal?

Thanks for reading! Merci!

Muah!

Liette

Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade.

Seeing Red! Finding the Perfect Shade of Lipstick.

It won’t be a shock to anyone to hear that I have a thing for red lipsticks. Ok, it may be a minor obsession? I am always on the hunt for that perfect shade of red. When I am stressed or feeling blah, a new lipstick perks me up and makes me feel fancy!

Red Lipstick

Here are a few of my personal favs that are versatile and will probably look good on you too. I also recruited my BFF and her daughter for their favorite brands and shades.

Bite

If you are looking for a creamy, full coverage lipstick that stays on, try the line Bite. I asked my best friend and her 18 year old daughter to show me their top two red lipsticks. All three of us had a Bite shade listed as our favorite.

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Can anyone guess which lips are mine?? Lol

Guylaine, my bff, recommends Tannin, it’s a deep red with blue undertone; I may need to add it to my collection? Gaspacho is my newest red, it’s a nice bright cheery red. Sour Cherry was Emma’s pick, it’s a pinkish red; I also love Sour Cherry; it’s the color I am wearing it in my feature image above.

Oh and this brand smells and tastes yummy, it’s very “citrusssy”! Guylaine is forever licking hers off, lol.

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My newest red, Gaspacho from Bite.

M.A.C.

Emma’s other fav is M.A.C.’s Russian Red, which made me laugh because her mother and I were wearing this shade when she was a baby. I’d like to think that I’ve been a positive lipstick role model for her growing up?

Guylaine and I have been friends since we were 14; we grew up with moms who would give us the once over before we left the house: “tu sort pas de la maison sans rouge à lèvres? » Translation, you aren’t leaving the house without lipstick are you?

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*Images above are from M.A.C.’s website.

Russian Red is an “I am not messing around shade”; it’s definitely Acadian mother approved! It’s also super versatile, it’s flattering on fair skin tones like me and also super flattering on darker complexions like the photo above.

I also love and always have the shade Moxie in my purse, also by M.A.C. If you want a beginner red, please try this one; it goes on a pretty sheer, so don’t be intimidated when you see the tube. Try it!

Also if you are trying red for the first time, put it on and then dab it off. So it won’t be so “BAM”! A lot of people tell me, I can’t wear red; which is bullshit, lol. You just need to find your shade and get used to the power that comes with red. Baby steps…

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Moxie is the second stripe from the bottom in the arm picture. This  shade is a bit on the pinker side, but it’s red enough for this post!

I gave my friend Mary a lip makeover and got her turned on to reds. We were in Montreal when she said she wanted to get away from the brown shades she had been wearing. I am not even joking, we were in a M.A.C. within 10 minutes and were out the door with matching Moxie shades not long after. I loved this color so much, I have bought it three times without realizing I already had it.

Kat Von D

I have a few Kat Von D lipsticks in my makeup bag. I recently wanted to buy a new Bachelorette, which was also universally pretty on everyone; fair, medium and dark skin tones. I think it’s been discontinued, which is a bummer; I was told that Outlaw is their new best red seller. I haven’t tried it yet; we’ll see if it’s as versatile as Bachelorette?

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Kat Von D’s Outlaw

What Shade is Right for You?

If you are fair, look for reds with blue undertones, if you aren’t sure what colors have a blue undertone? Just ask the makeup artists onsite. Lighter skin tones can also wear a red with coral or pink undertones. I am fair, but I stay away from corals because they don’t work on me; pinks are all good though!

If your skin tone is more on the olive side, then stick with reds that have  corals or orange undertones.

If you have a dark complexion, a deep red with blue undertones will be the most flattering on you!

I recommend going to Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, or wherever it is you shop and ask for help. Ask them for recommendations on a few red options for you. BTW it may take you a few wears to get used to seeing red on you, just don’t give up! No one likes a quitter, lol.

I hope you enjoyed this post; with Valentines Day right around the corner, I think you should treat yourself to a new lipstick!! And then find someone to kiss and mess it all up!!

Click on like below if you like it, share it on Facebook if you loved it!! As for comments; do you wear red lipstick? If not? What’s holding you back??

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Dim Sum Yum! Chinatown, Las Vegas.

Dim Sum Yum! Chinatown, Las Vegas.

(for my subscribers, if you are reading from your email, click on the title, it will make everything look fancier).

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Lots of cities have Chinatown’s; New York, San Diego, Vancouver are just a few that come to mind, but did you know that Las Vegas has it’s very own Chinatown? Neither did I until I moved here. It’s just two miles from the strip, along Spring Mountain Road.

Anyone who has been to Las Vegas in the past few years is painfully aware that it has become a very expensive city; especially if you are staying and eating on the strip. I encourage you to take a super short Uber ride over to Chinatown. It’s by far the best bang for your buck! And what a yummy bang it is, lol.

Dim Sum

I am not a Dim Sum expert by any means…like really not. I am just a French Canadian girl trying new things and sharing my experiences. So let’s get started; and by started, I mean let’s eat!

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The first advice I was given about Dim Sum, was not to fill up on rice or noodles; so what were the first two items we got? Yup, rice and noodles, lol. The second advice was don’t order coffee, because they serve tea. So what was the second thing we did? You guessed it, my friend ordered coffee; we were off to a great start!

Dim Sum is traditionally served for breakfast, but in the US and Canada, it’s more of a brunch thing.

If you have never been to a Dim Sum, here’s how it works; they roll out carts of food and you select which small plates you want, no menus needed. It’s perfect for sharing, so bring a few friends.

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The carts come out in random order and they keep coming, so take your time. You can let a cart go, it will come back; I promise!

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Chinatown has an abundance of restaurants; we went to Honk Kong Garden, there are two of them, this one serves Dim Sum, see above.

There are so many hidden gems in Chinatown, we have visited a few so far. We used Yelp for a bit of guidance; all have been fantastic and cheap!!!

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The top left dish was shrimp and top right was pork, sorry I didn’t get the official names, the carts were just coming at me so fast I couldn’t keep up, lol.

We ate a lot!! You will leave full, but please save some room for desert.

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Hong Kong Garden is my friend, Michael’s fav restaurant, even though you can eat desert first, he advised against it. So I did wait to eat one of these custard filled rolls until after I was done dim suming (yes, I know it’s not a real word); and omg, it was so good! It was still warm, crusty sugar on top and a gooey custard in the center.

So here is my hard hitting question for you; how adventurous are you? Would you have tried the chicken feet? I passed, but I did try a few new things and like them.

Chinese New Year is quickly approaching, it’s Feb 5th; so Happy Year! This year is year of the Pig, in case you were wondering…you’re welcome.

Thanks for reading!

Muah!

Liette

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Flying High – What to Carry in Your Carry On.

Flying High – What to Carry in Your Carry On Bag.

 

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I picked this as my main image because I think it gives off a cool Flight Attendant vibe. lol

Since I fly the “friendly” skies…a lot; I thought I would share some of the things I have discovered over the years that make flying a bit more enjoyable. I am also friends with a lot of frequent flyers and have added some of their helpful hints in this post too.

Full disclosure, I usually check my suitcase because I hate lugging too many things around. And my #1 traveling pet peeve are those people who try to shove their too big carry on suitcases in the overhead compartment….you know who you are!! But I did recently go to Paris for a week with just a carry on. I will share my carry on suitcase packing tips in a future post.

Here’s what I pack in my bag.

The Bag

I have spent a small fortune so far in search of the perfect carry on bag. Some come close, but none are perfect; I feel that I could probably design the perfect carry on bag at this point.

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The most important thing I look for are enough pockets and dividers…oh and it needs to have a zipper! You don’t want to lose your stuff under the seat in front of you, trust me.

This is my latest bag, it’s stylish and pretty functional. One thing that is missing is a slit on the back that you can slide over the handle of your suitcase. I have found bags with such a slit, but they didn’t have all the compartments and zippers I like. So it’s not perfect, but it comes pretty close…for now.

Oh fun fact, I bought a super duper expensive red designer leather tote bag that I thought would be so chic for flying; it turned out to be the worst!! This red canvas bag above was $49; so the cost of the bag doesn’t always reflect its level of functionality.

My secret weapon

It’s super important that your bag is organized. Unless you fly first class, you will find that there is zero room for error in the limited leg room space available to you. My secret to keeping my bag organized is Ziploc bags!!

I use the bigger freezer bags and sandwich sized bags; you can buy fancy bags, but really why would you? Lol

Baby It’s Cold On Board!

I dress in layers, because I guarantee that you will be hot and then cold at some point during your flight.

I keep a pair of fuzzy socks and a wrap in my bag.

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Added a cute sleep mask for red eye flights.

Here is a helpful hint; don’t wear flip flops on a plane, even in the summer! Your feet will freeze once you get in the air, especially if you have the window seat. Having cold feet is the worst, that’s why I keep a pair of comfy socks in my bag.

For really long flights, I take my shoes off and put my extra pair of socks on. The floors in airplanes are filthy BTW, so if you do put your socks on during the flight. Zip them back up in your baggie and wash them when you get home.

And if you go to the washroom, put your shoes back on!! One of my flight attendant friends shared, that if the floor is wet it isn’t water!!!!

Here is another helpful hint from another flight attendant friend; if you would wear an outfit to a club, then it’s not a good flying outfit!! I now live in Las Vegas and I see so many people boarding flights to Vegas in shorts and tank tops. It gets cold at 42,000 feet in the air, put some clothes on!!

I always, always travel with a stylish wrap that I use as a blanket. And guess what, if you get cold in your short shorts, I’m not sharing my blanket!! Sorry…not sorry.

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These all fit in a freezer size bag.

Let me entertain you!

Don’t count on the airlines to keep you entertained, I have been on flights where the entertainment systems are down. Here are my go to items:

  • iPad or tablet and make certain to download your new fav Netflix shows or e-books
  • charger, for long flights you may need to juice up your phone or tablet.  Some flights don’t have charging plugs on board…Air Canada Rouge I am talking to you; so I bring my own charger (not to self, make sure your charger is charged!)
  • headphones, I keep a pair in my bag at all times. I once spent $38 at the airport for ear buds because I forgot mine.
  • Book or magazine, sometimes it’s good to kick it old school. You never know if you are going to be delayed or stuck on the runway for hours. Having a low tech options is a smart idea.

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I upgraded from my plastic bag to this mess bag for my charger and cords.

In case of emergencies

My emergency stash is kept in a surprise, surprise, plastic baggie, lol. Having things in clear bags helps when you need to find something.

You really don’t want to have to buy stuff at the airport, it’s so expensive. Customize your items accordingly. I keep my emergency baggie in my travel bag at all times, I don’t unpack it; just remember to re-stock after each trip if needed.

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It’s amazing what you can fit into a sandwich size bag. Take your pills out of the boxes, you will be able to fit more stuff.
  • band aids: I keep a variety of different sizes
  • lady things: tampons & pads
  • hand wipes
  • pills, pills, pills: Ibuprofen, something for cold and flu, a decongestant, Imodium and Benadryl are part of my stash.

Don’t get me hangry!

I always bring my own snacks, not that those buttery mini pretzels aren’t amazing! lol. Here is what I normally carry:

  • Water, I buy a bottle once through security. I don’t drink the water on the plane if I can help it. On bigger planes the water comes from a big holding tank. I actually don’t drink anything once on board except for my bottled water.
  • Something sweet and something salty is a must.
  • My new thing is brie, grapes and crackers, so yummy.

You’re So Vain

My vanity in a baggie includes a lip gloss, lipstick, hand cream and pressed powder. Keep in mind that the air on airplanes is very dry, so lotion up! Pack these in an easy access pocket so you can whip them out quickly when you go through security. Anything in a liquid form needs to fit in a small see through bag and be taken out of your carry on when you go through security…still.

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Added floss, nail files and hair ties just in case.

Your Papers

I saved the most important for last. Don’t forget your Passport/ID! You won’t get far without them. You need a cute holder that can hold your passport and your travel loyalty cards.  Keep your passport holder in it’s very own special zipper pocket!!

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I make certain to zip them back up as soon as I am done flashing them. You don’t want them free balling  around in your bag. And trust me, there is nothing that will make you freak out faster than not being able to find your passport in your bag.

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Having things bagged and not roaming lose in your bag will help keep you on schedule!!

My #1 Fav Thing!

This is my #1 favorite find that I don’t leave home without; it’s a 10’ charger cord. Why? Because when your phone is charging at night and you are in bed and want to be on your phone surfing, you can, even if the plug is like 8′ away! Hey small things make me happy, what can I say? Oh and it’s rose gold; functional and pretty.

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Next!

I am working on a funny post called Airport Chic or Airport Shock;  I will have pictures of cute airport outfits and not so cute get ups. Stay tuned for that one.

Thanks!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Is there anything that you always travel with that I didn’t mention? Do you have any personal pet traveling peeves? Please share!

Bon voyage! Muah!

Liette

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Fun fact this pic was taken in a bus not an airplane, lol. Did anyone notice before I pointed it out??

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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!

7 Magic mountains 2

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!! 

All Dressed Up!

I have planned a lot of Halloween Parties, too many to count; and I have figured out that there are two kinds of Halloween people. Those who love thinking of costumes and who really put a lot of thought into what they are going to be; and those who can’t think of anything to be.

It’s so easy now; all you have to do is go to a Halloween Store and pick something up! Or…you can just make something up! Be creative; it doesn’t have to make perfect sense, there are no Halloween Costume Police.

Funky Flower Fairy

Funky Flower Fairy Halloween

This Funky Flower Fairy is a perfect example, because it’s not a real thing, lol. But that’s what makes it so cool! You don’t need to be an expert makeup artist, there are lots of tutorials out there. I recruited my friends daughter to help me. I had no clue what I was going to be. I had bought a flower garland at Michaels and decided to make a crown. I cut a piece of the garland and used wire to join both ends together and voila! A flower crown.

Megan added some green leaves to my cheeks and painted my eyebrows pink to match my crown and Ta Da!! I was a Funky, Flower Fairy!

Halloween Makeup
This makeup doesn’t really make sense, but it doesn’t have to. It just needs to be fun.
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It took me literally 2 minutes to make my flower crown. I really like the way it turned out; and I am pretty sure, I will be the only Funky Flower Fairy at the party!

 

Next up, Madam Butterfly!

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Her are the supplies I picked up at Michaels, which is pretty much my fav store. I bought a variety of butterflies, a headband, silk flowers and some wire. Turns out I didn’t need the wire, because the butterflies already had wires on them.

I twisted the butterfly wires around the headband and then hot glued some flowers on the headband to hide the wires; again super easy, I did it while watching tv.

Butterfly Queen

 

Halloween Butterfly Fairy
Meet Madame Butterfly! You could add a pair of butterfly wings from your local Halloween Store. I just wore all black.

I cut the wires off a few butterflies and glued them on my skin using eye lash glue. You could also hot glue a few on a hair clip and clip a few extra in your hair.

For this look, wild hair is a must. I crimped mine, because I am trying to bring the 80’s back, lol. But you can curl or braid your hair to make it fluffy.

How to Madame Butterfly Makeup
I took a small butterfly and cut the wings off and used eyelash glue to glue them on my eye lids, it didn’t hurt, lol. I also glued one on my neck. You could go crazy and add more. More is more!

I am not a professional makeup artist by any means. I looked up some makeup ideas on Pintrest for inspiration. But then winged it…get it? Winged it…Madame Butterfly?? lol, sorry, moving on. I lined my outer eyes with black liner and then used white liner to highlight the black. I used highlighting glitter on my cheeks, colored my eyebrows black and of course my signature red lip; and I was done.

Madam Butterfly Easy Costume Ideas
This would be a fun as a group costume as well. Each friend or family member could have a different color of butterflies. You could be a Kaleidoscope, that is a group of butterflies btw, I looked it up! You could also take it up a few notches and be killer butterflies! Why not?

If you think these two ideas are still too “hard”? Ugh! What am I going to do with you guys?? lol, kidding. Please refer to my Haunted Dinner Party Blog Post; go buy a bunch of masks for you and your posse and bam! You’re done!

Halloween Bunnies
My colony of bunnies, a group of bunnies is a colony, looked that up too! Wow, my blog is so educational!!

I wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween!! Have fun and make some great memories!!

So which idea is your fav? I wanna know! I have my favorite, but curious to know which you guys like best? Funky Flower Fairy, Madame Butterfly or Haunted Bitchy Bunny? Please vote by commenting below!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

I will be posting more costume ideas on my oui-liette Facebook and Instagram pages closer to Halloween!

Thanks again for reading! Like, share and comment, or I will haunt you!! 🙂

Boo!

Liette