These are a few of my favorite things, the Christmas, buy local, edition.
So it may not exactly feel like the most wonderful time of the year, but at this point, does anything feel the way it’s supposed to feel? So let’s get past that and make this, 2020 holiday season, wonderful in its own, unique, messed up way.
My 2020 favorite holiday things list is very diverse, it’s got gift ideas, but it also includes a few things that have helped lift my spirits; I hope you find one or two things that will help bring you a bit of joy? I’m focusing on supporting local businesses, you can do the same, regardless of where your local is. Oh and they are in random order. I was going to do my 5 favorite things, but I ended up with 7, so two bonus ones, since it’s Christmas, why the hell not?
#1 Have a sweet day!
When I need a little pick me up this time of year, I head to Tony’s for their hot chocolate! It’s my favorite Moncton hot chocolate; it’s thick and creamy and topped with a mini gingerbread person, doing my best to be non-binary.
It’s perfect to kick off a busy Christmas shopping day or decorating day, I highly recommend! Feel free to recommend any hot chocolate places that you think can out do Tony’s, just going to warn you, it’s a tall cup to fill, lol, good luck!!
#2 Alpaca Wool Stuff
I wasn’t really aware of the difference between sheep wool and alpaca wool until, my cousins and I visited Janet and her adorable alpacas at Petitmore Alpacas. And now I am a bit obsessed with warm and cozy alpaca wool stuff!
Check out Janet’s stuff on her Petitmore Alpacas new and improved website, or even better take a drive to her newly designed shop in Harcourt. Call ahead and follow the Covid rules, obvs.
I have three of her tuques and mittens and I may ask Santa for a pair of socks?
So what makes alpaca wool better than sheep’s wool? It’s something about the fibers being hallow… and I am not really sure why that’s important, but it is, lol, you may want to Google it? I do know that it’s warmer, stays dryer and is softer.
What I love, love, love is that you can see where your hat or other comes from, we literally met and fed the alpacas on her farm and are wearing hats made from their wool that were knitted by Janet. It’s a bit sad that we have become so removed from the things we buy, and by we, I mean me. Not judging the rest of you, I am trying to be a better consumer.
This is my newest alpaca purchase, I got this blanket in St Andrews at Mermaids Tail boutique and it’s sooooo soft and warm! This would make a really, really nice Christmas gift…just saying.
If you can’t make it to Saint Andrews, call Kim, from Mermaids Tail, she can help you shop and ship to you, it’s just like ordering something from Amazon, except you are supporting a local business, which should make you feel even better about your purchase!
#3 Watch or listen to something Christmassy.
My new fav Christmas special is the The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show. Kacey Musgraves is a cool country singer, but not mainstream pop cool, more like alternative retro cool. During the initial Covid lockdown, after I had finished watching everything on Netflix and was working my way through Amazon Prime Video, I happened upon her Christmas special and it’s so awesome!!! It was June, but it was still awesome, lol. I just watched it again and it’s still awesome.
I am adding it to my yearly Christmas movie/show list, it’s right up there with The Holiday and Love Actually.
Her special has a 70’s retro vibe, she almost looks like Cher in a few of the performances. She’s an amazing singer, she has lots of talented guests. Dan Levy, from Schitt’s Creek, is one of her guests, he plays a sassy elf…oh and I love her outfits and set design.
Watch it, it will for sure help you get into the Christmas mood.
#4 Give the gift of self care
Who knew that just staying home would be so stressful? Not having our normal routine and waiting for the daily news briefs to see if our status is changing (in NB we have colours, green to red, we are currently back in the orange zone, booo!) is making a lot of us anxious and it’s making some of us cranky, not naming names.
Self care is more important than ever, so my #4 fav thing is treating yourself or someone you love to a spa treatment.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been to most of the spas in my region; I love NAKAI on Mountain Rd and the Usva Spa Nordik on Magnetic Hill is fab! But the one I am calling out as one of my current favs is Namaste Spa in downtown Moncton, they have an Indian Head massage that will make you feel like all warm and mushy when done. Like super mushy, get up slowly or you may fall over.
A friend asked me if it hurt, she had a scalp massage somewhere else and felt like they were pulling her hair. The answer is a big fat NO! It felt amazing.
Your hair gets coated in warm oil so you will look like a grease ball when you leave, so you may want to bring a hat with you? And, I would suggest booking late day or early evening so you can leave the oil in for a bit. I tied my hair up and didn’t wash it till the next day and it felt like silk.
I recommend taking a look at all the treatments available at your favorite place and try something new; switch it up!! And just book it, we always seem to have great intentions, but it’s my experience that if you don’t just do it, you won’t do it at all. Also, if you get any spa gift cards for Christmas, book your treatment as soon as they re-open, make a date, put it in your calendar and go!! None of this having gift cards in your drawer for years bullshit. If someone gave it to you, then you probably look stressed and they want you to chill the f out!! lol, they would never tell this to your face, but I am…you’re welcome! Side note, if anyone asks if I am stressed and would benefit from a spa treatment, tell them hell yes!! lol
#5 Winging It
I am currently going through a wing phase and I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried every wing place in town, so I am not going to pretend to be a wing expert, but I do know that the Igloo, on Elmwood Dr, has super delicious wings. My fav are their honey garlic, you can get the sauce on the side, but I recommend getting the sauce on the wings. If you’re afraid that the sauce will make them mushy, it doesn’t, they’re still crunchy.
Their official wing night is on Wednesdays, but every night can and should be wing night in my mind.
The Igloo will always have a special place in my heart, it was my dads fav place, he knew and teased all the wait staff, they loved him and he loved them. They are just plain good people and they, and all restaurants and pubs, need our support now more than ever! So eat in or take out.
Also, one mini rant that I will be repeating in my next post. Guess who supports local sports teams and local raffles and auctions for Billy and Mary’s school trip or whatever it is? Small, locally owned businesses like pubs and restaurants!!!! The community is always hitting them up for this or that and they have always been super supportive, they now need us to support them, so check them out on social media, share their specials and tag them when you eat there or take out.
#6 Shop Small
By Shop Small, I mean shop local markets and shops. They really do have the coolest stuff. My favs are those that help support and promote Canadian companies.
I follow The Green Pig on Instagram and they do a great job of posting cool new items. They posted this candle, it’s perfect for gift giving. I bought one as a gift…and one for me, lol. This also proves that social media can help sell your products, it’s an invaluable tool for small businesses.
Other great shops here in Moncton are the Painted Pineapple, Gifts Galore, during the holidays Gifts Galore usually have warm cider for their shoppers. My Home Mercantile and Starving Artist Cafe are also on my regular rotation; side note, I have bought more than one thing from My Home Mercantile after seeing it on their Instagram.
Make a Saturday of it and visit all the cute gift shops in your town. It will for sure get you in a happy festive mood. Oh and if you are boutique/shop hopping in downtown Moncton, stop in at BHome, they have awesome original art and some really cool, unique stuff too, they do all my framing.
These are trying times, I know, I personally love shopping in person and discovering new cool finds, but if you don’t feel safe venturing out, follow local places on social media, order online or order and pick it up.
#7 Cozy Right Picasse Sweatshirts
My lucky number 7 fav things are Chiac and sassy apparel from Dowd Street Studio. I first discovered this company on Instagram, one of my friends in Montreal, Lisa G, posted a few shirts and being from Moncton, home of chiac (a mix of French & English), I knew I needed one.
My Dowd Street collection now includes a t-shirt and two sweatshirts; the sweatshirts are my fav, they feel like they’ve been washed a bunch of times, you know that super soft feeling, that’s how they feel! I also love supporting local woman in business, Dowd Street is one such business. I also love how Moncton women love supporting other women; c’est right cool! 😉
Those are just a few of my favorite things, I think that I am going to start sharing cool items that I am digging on a monthly basis on my FB and Insta pages, so follow me if you are interested in seeing what I am into, @ oui-liette
So go pick up creamy hot chocolate at Tony’s and drink while you shop at My Home Mercantile, BHome and other local shops. Stop in at the Igloo for lunch or take out for supper. Curl up on your couch in your soft Dowd Street sweatshirt, draped in your alpaca blanket from The Mermaids Tale while you watch Kasey Musgrave’s Christmas Special.
Thank you for reading!! Go out there and support local businesses and don’t be a shitty person.
If you liked this one, you may also like this post from last year, it asks the very important question: is naughty so bad?? It’s very deep! lol