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The year that was

Don't ask me how another year has flown by. It's downright spooky how time seems to be speeding up with each year that I get older. One minute, my children are pudgy little babes, and in the next, I can barely carry them they are such big kids. I've decided to look back through my blog posts as a reminder of all the things that we've shared this year. (It makes the time not seem so fast to do this, somehow.) And I picked one highlight from … [Read more...]

Teenage idols


Putting up a poster in your bedroom as a kid is like putting up a stamp of your own personality. Sure, your mother may have painted your room a colour you didn't like or put up flowered wallpaper everywhere, but with a few posters, it was all good. It's kind of a right of passage, isn't it? When I was my daughter's age, I had my bedroom plastered with ballet posters. And likely a (young) John Stamos in there too. But after spending most of my … [Read more...]

Five resolutions for 2011

I certainly don't need any new resolutions to keep for the year ahead because I am finding it hard to keep the ones I've already made! They are: 1. Make time for girlfriend time This is a resolution I made back in a post on November 9, 2010. At that time, I called it a "small change" but it is remarkably difficult to maintain since my girlfriends and I have all generally have young families and jobs. But I will keep at it! For example, … [Read more...]

Christmas and the Marshmellow Test

I was driving into work a little later than I normally do a few days ago and the CBC radio show "The Current" was discussing reader feedback to a piece they had aired. In the piece, a "famous marshmallow test" was discussed. I had never heard of this test, but it is really interesting and directly related to my post on giving my kids the gift of anticipation. It was an experiment conducted by Stanford University in the 1960s with children on … [Read more...]

Why do kids love Christmas so darn much?


The excitement in our house is really building ...  My 8-year-old daughter is a believer and my 2.5-year-old son doesn't really know who Santa is but he sure likes all the sparkling lights and chocolate! Is it the same at your house too? I've been thinking about why kids love Christmas so darn much and I've decided it's really not the gifts. It's the anticipation of the gifts. This and a few other thoughts are being shared over at Life … [Read more...]

My friends are making me fat.

Or at least that's my story -- and I'm sticking to it -- over as a guest blogger on Losing it in Ottawa today. If you'd like to deflect my blame, head on over to this great (and supportive) site and tell me it's actually my inability to get off the couch that is keeping me chubby! … [Read more...]

What does it mean to innovate?

I thought I knew the answer to this one. Easy. In my sleep. But actually, I had the pleasure of getting into a really engaging discussion on this last night. One of those rare adult conversations where your brain is thinking and excited (as opposed to the usual mundane ones of car repairs, car-pools and what to eat for dinner). Okay, let me back up .... I got in late last night. I put in my full-day at the office, then drove to meet my husband … [Read more...]

Boot Camp Experience, Part 5: Just the facts, ma’am

My four-week boot camp experience with Booty Camp Fitness has now come to a close. It involved two weekly sessions of an hour each. We were also "supposed" to follow diet guidelines and use exercise videos in between sessions. But I really can't say I held up that side of the bargain, besides doing my best to limit white starches as well as to not eat any junk food. So, here's the facts, just the facts .... Inches Lost Upper Arm: … [Read more...]

My Christmas list is short and sweet

As a member of a new blogger network called the UrbanMoms, I was asked to blog what I would like for Christmas ... not what I was buying and ticking off my list for everyone else. Me, moi! What did I want. Here's what I came up with. I hope you enjoy! Just the other night, My sweetheart turned to me and said, Please dear, do write A little something before bed.   What is this about, I asked him. To which he shared his doubts, Going on a … [Read more...]

If it’s silly, is it still poetry?

Kids and poetry -- do they go together? Or is poetry something that can only first be properly absorbed during the emotional highs and lows that start in the teenage years? I know that as a teenager, I sure wrote my own share of poems on unrequited love for the older boy next door! It was also that time that I was able to start to appreciate how a few words strung together could evoke so much.  But I'm also starting to realize that at the … [Read more...]

Did you nominate me for a Canadian Weblog Award?

Did you nominate me for a Canadian Weblog Award? Oh wait ... don't answer that! I think that must of been when I threatened not to buy birthday presents for anyone in my family if they didn't nominate me. Well, regardless, I am really, super, incredibly, honking, excited to share some news with you: Coffee with Julie is shortlisted for the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards! Shortlisted, my friends!! I just found out last night and as soon as I … [Read more...]

New Advertiser Welcome: Canada’s National Arts Centre!

  Photo credit: Orchestras in the Park 2010, NAC Flicker Stream As a former gleek, it gives me particular joy to welcome Canada's National Arts Centre as an advertiser with Coffee with Julie! My most recent visit to Canada's National Arts Centre was with my husband to take in The Massey Lecture Series with Douglas Coupland, and some of my very first visits to the National Arts Centre were with my mom when she took me to see The Nutcracker … [Read more...]

The word is malaise!

I get quite happy when I finally hit the exact right word I've been looking for after fumbling about using words that didn't quite fit. For instance, I was working on this presentation about OEM boards and their design implications. For weeks, we were using the word "flexible" in the presentation and then it dawned on me just as I was about to press "send" that the right word was "versatile." I got inordinately excited about … [Read more...]

Am I Fresh?

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Boot Camp Experience, Part 4: How I feel at the one-week mark

Strong woman

So, I managed to get myself signed up for Boot Camp AND I managed to show up to the first session. But how did the first full week go? Really well! After only one short week, I am already stronger. I can do more sit-ups, more push-ups and more squats. This image is an original untitled work by Krista Jenkins. And there really is nothing more gratifying than getting out of bed and feeling sore muscles. Yes, you heard me right! … [Read more...]

Brownies: Oh, the places you will go!

Dr_ Seuss oh the places you will go

This year is Stella's first year in Brownies. And so far, it's the only organized activity she's really shown an interest in. I have to say, I can't blame her! The programming for Brownies really is fantastic because every week is something new. So far, the girls have had an evening of sewing, of speaking with a Canadian Air Forces pilot, and most recently, a visit to a fully automated dairy farm. It was the last visit -- the farm -- that … [Read more...]

Bootcamp Experience, Part 3: Multi-tasking is good for you

As I mentioned in my “Itchy” post, I’m going to focus on making time for my friendships. The rationale for this completely selfish; I get a lot out of even just small bursts of girlfriend time. But it is hard to squeeze time out of already-overloaded days and exhausted bodies. So, I’m multi-tasking! There really is no other way to fit in both exercise and friend-time, so I managed to convince my good friend Mandy* to sign-up for Booty Boot … [Read more...]

How to keep little girls from growing up too fast

In this past weekend's Saturday issue of the Ottawa Citizen, an article's title caught my eye. It was in the Life section and titled "More sugar and spice and everything nice: How to keep little girls from growing up too fast." This is something I really want for my daughter -- a childhood. Not a frenetic rush into teens because of some extremely forceful marketing to her age group. I briefly scanned the article and then read the side-bar, … [Read more...]

Boot Camp Experience, Part 2: If it sounds too good to be true, it (of course!) is


I've been following the girls over at Losing It In Ottawa, and a couple of them mentioned that they were looking forward to their upcoming experience in a boot camp. It piqued my interest. I'd done a "boot camp" styled workout program once before and definitely saw results. And right now, I think I need to see some results to feel motivated to work out regularly and stay healthy. I already own a gym membership, have access to lots of nice … [Read more...]

Boot Camp Experience, Part 1: Be Careful What You Wish For

At the end of my Itchy post, I said I was running off to catch up with a friend. And indeed, that is what I did. Despite living in the same city, we have not seen each other for months. Many months! Such is the state of a parent's social life. But really, there is no good excuse for this. One needs to MAKE time for the important things in life, right?These important things should not only be paying bills on time and managing mountainfuls of … [Read more...]

Even brain surgeons must find children’s birthday party planning stressful

If you don’t have children, the title of this blog post may seem unreasonable. But, here, a true story courtesy of my friend J. J: Did I tell you about C’s birthday party?? Me: No, what? J: Well, it got really complicated because there are 20 children in his class and we didn’t want to leave anyone out, but 20 … well, we weren’t going to have 20 children at the party. Me: I hear you. I would never have 20 kids over to my house. J: … [Read more...]