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What I’ve Learned from Saying “Yes” to Winter

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If you've been hanging about these parts for some time, you might recall that in 2009, I pronounced a "Winter Resolution." (Side bar: Is it just me, or does 2009 seem like last year, not SIX YEARS AGO. Where are the years disappearing to?) This resolution wasn't ground-breaking. I was not going to become a world-class ice-climbing or move south every winter, but rather I would try to find a way to enjoy the season. Note, I did not say "love" … [Read more...]

Small Business, Big Rewards #5by20

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These days, it's quite hip to "shop local" for everything from groceries to large consumer items. And, call me a hipster if you will, but I do try to support a local business owner when deciding where to buy something. The first reason for doing so is entirely selfish -- the small business owner knows you and will give you better service. Don't believe me? Well, just chat with my daughter Stella then, who regularly calls into the local toy store … [Read more...]

We Are So Tired

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Every woman I know is tired. There are reams of articles on this that provide a cultural mix for why: many women now work full-time out of the house; a work day that does not end now that we are tied to smart phones; a marathon of extra-curricular activities for our children; and an outdated division of household tasks where the woman carries a heavier load than the man. I can see how all these could and might apply to the women I know, but … [Read more...]

2014 Blog Traffic Report: Blogger Referrals

A big shout-out to my fellow bloggers who have provided support and sent visitors my way over the past year! Top 10 Bloggers Who Sent Me Visitors 1. Finola.ca 2. Knitnut.net 3. 8footsix.com 4. quietfish.com 5. unmarketing.com 6. viewfromtheglen.blogspot.ca 7. curtainsareopen.com 8. ottawastart.com 9. contestgirl.com 10. bibliomama2.blogspot.ca … [Read more...]

2014 Traffic Report: Most Popular Posts

Bloggers dig this stuff. So bear with me as I dig around in my blog's Google Anaytics for 2014 ... Top 5 Most Popular Posts of 2014 1. Hot Cars Kill: 5 Low-Tech Ways of Remembering Your Child in the Backseat of Your Car This post brought, by far, the greatest number of visitors to the blog this year (25,500+). It's intended to be an educational post. At its core, though, it comes from a place of sadness. I wrote it thinking of the grief … [Read more...]

Rush, rush, rush — *poof!*

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Christmas feels like a funny sport sometimes. You try to prepare early, but as the big day gets near, there's nothing you can do but run, run, run ... rush, rush, rush ..  give it your all ... and then  -- *poof!* -- it's over. Done. Just like that. Until next year of course. When you hope to prepare a little more, and keep things simpler, and bite your tongue more, and be a little more merry. But, how was it, after all? It was … [Read more...]

Inside Her Brain

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We have a new piece of art for our home! Actually, it's not really new. It's been waiting for framing for almost four years now. Since it is so large, the estimate we received to frame it ranged from $800 to $900. So Hubby recently got inspired to try some framing on his own. The matting can be purchased at a local art store (approximately $10-20 for one large coloured sheet), and the glass is ordered custom to fit the wood frame. All up, … [Read more...]

Cauliflower (without cream and cheesy goodness). It’s a Thing. A Yummy Thing.

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Winter makes us crave comfort food, doesn't it? For me, I think about mac & cheese, warm bread and butter, and yes, cauliflower. You know what kind of cauliflower I mean, right? The kind with all sorts of cream and cheese and 10,000 calories. Mmmm ... So, with a craving desperate enough (it's gotta be desperate if I'm going to cook!), I sought out a recipe for cauliflower. And yes, all sorts of yummy, delicious ones popped up. But also … [Read more...]

Bloggers on Daytime Ottawa

Derick Fage, host of Daytime Ottawa, and I in the green room.

Just in case you weren't aware, I wanted to let you know that I'm almost famous now. Yeah, that's right. You see, I had my first TV appearance yesterday and I'm certain Hollywood will be calling tomorrow. But seriously ... for a gal who has never been on a TV set, it was a really fun opportunity and I was excited to see how it would all work. Let me back up. Marilou from Twenty York Street, a fashion blog based in the heart of Ottawa's … [Read more...]

Birthday Party Ideas for Your Future Pilot

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A special little guy in my life is madly (fiercely!) in love with everything airplanes. With his birthday coming up at the end of the month, I couldn't resist sharing these great party-planning ideas with you from my blogging buddy Stephanie, from Spaceships and Laserbeams. In fact, if you're looking for ANY kind of party theme ideas for boys, Stephanie is your gal! ********** Taking off on the planning for a high flying plane party doesn’t … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Time for a giveaway! Family passes to see #Ottawa movie premiere of The Penguins of Madagascar

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Monday's are always such a good day to give something back to my friends who come by and spend time here at Coffee with Julie! Especially when Ottawa is so grey and gloomy right now. Today, I have -- thanks to Sara at Allied Integrated Marketing -- two family passes (each pass admits two adults and two children) to the upcoming Ottawa premier of The Penguins of Madagascar movie. Here's the movie synopsis:  “Super spy teams aren't … [Read more...]

Is Lena Dunham a child molester?

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Like most of us interested in film and feminism, we've heard of Lena Dunham. Her film Tiny Furniture, followed by the HBO series Girls has made waves. Waves large enough for critics to refer to Dunham as "the voice of a generation." Well, my "baby" sister is of this generation. So when Dunham's memoir started getting some buzz, I picked up a copy. Recently, though, the memoir has been getting far more than buzz. She's been accused of being a … [Read more...]

The Halloween Re-Cap 2014

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This year, in contrast to last year (where the jack-o-lantern was left as "untitled"), Hubby and I felt remarkably prepared for Halloween. Three jack-o-lanterns had been carved a whole night in advance, while costumes had been sorted out almost a whole week in advance. I took Stella to Target, where we happily bumped into one of my brothers and his two kids, and we hunted around for a costume that appealed to her. In the end, she found a wig … [Read more...]

Does your child need an eye exam?

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This is a sponsored post. Thank you so much for supporting Coffee with Julie! Before my eldest started school, I remember that my doctor recommended an eye exam. Not because she thought there was any problem with Stella's vision, but because it was a standard health test that she recommended. Well, Stella is 12 years old now. I still haven't taken her for that eye exam. I assumed that if there was a problem with one of my kids' sight, I'd be … [Read more...]

Coffee, Cards, and Inside Jokes

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I am waiting for my second carafe of coffee to be ready, and thinking wistfully about how different birthdays are as a adult from when you are a child. Do you remember cutting photos out of the Sears catalogue to create a visual birthday gift wish list for your parents? As superficial as it might sound, let's face it ... gifts were really the highlight of a kid's birthday. I can still remember some that particularly pleased me. There was a … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do a Giveaway, Shall We? Today’s Theme: Little Luxuries!

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I don't think it will come as any surprise to hear that our family has been on a tight budget for a long time. Why? Well, that's the only way we could manage to take the family to Australia for six weeks this past summer. Like most people, I find the constant monitoring of pennies to be tedious. Enough to make you want to buy a lotto ticket, even. Sometimes, even though you know it not to be true, it feels like you are being deprived. I mean, … [Read more...]

Autumn is the best. And the worst.

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Fall has always been my favourite season. I love Fall colours. I love Fall fashion. I love the fresh Fall air. And as a kid, I looked forward to going back to school and to my upcoming October birthday. But Fall is also other things. It is reminders that I don't want to hear. Like the Canada geese constantly honking their departure, reminding me that it was in a September many years ago that a baby brother was born still. Or the fresh air … [Read more...]

Three Books. Three Measly Books.

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I really expected to read a book a week this summer -- at least. Most summers, I work and then maybe take a week or two off for a vacation with my family. But, as you might know, this summer was 6 weeks of no work. Almost 7 weeks actually. With a lot of wait time in airports and sit time on planes. So, I figured I'd be packing in one or two books a week with all that time. But, no. Three books. Three measly books. Okay, perhaps there might … [Read more...]

My Tips for a No-hassle Selling Experience on UsedEverywhere.com #UsedHelps

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Sure, we all love to sell things and put a few dollars back into our pocket. But time is money, right? And sometimes selling something takes a lot of time. But you might recall when I took the UsedEverywhere "BIG DEAL Personality" quiz, I was the "Savvy Spender."So how about I dish out some of this so-called savvy with you? After some trial and error, I have a pretty good system down and I haven't forgotten that I promised to share it with … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do a Giveaway, Shall We? How about a Back-to-School Gift Certificate for Sears! #RockTheHalls

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As a kid, I loved back-to-school shopping sooo much. (Okay, I loved shopping with my Mom in general, but back-to-school meant I was guaranteed to get some goodies!) Picking out new outfits, cute shoes, and getting excited for the year ahead. Yep, I loved it all! I tried to indoctrinate Stella into this consumerism blitz, but to no avail. She really can't stand shopping and has zero interest in fashion. But, alas, fear not ... this mother … [Read more...]

Mungo National Park (aka that big sand dune place), NSW, Australia

A sample of some of the interesting sand formations along the drive tour.

In the late 1960s, a young geologist was studying the Australian landscape and climate when he happened upon one of the world's most remarkable discoveries: human remains that date back more than 40,000 years. The area where these remains and many other artefacts have been found is now designated as Mungo National Park. Outside of Africa, Mungo remains highly unique and it tells of the very long history of the Australian Aboriginal … [Read more...]

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