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Don Draper is My Personal Trainer, and Other Secrets to Meeting My New Year’s Resolution


When I told you about my New Year's Resolution, I also said I'd tell you how I planned to achieve it. I have three steps in my success plan. #1: The FitBit My goal is to hit 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. So, naturally, I needed a way to track how many steps I'm doing. For this task, I chose a handy dandy gadget called a FitBit (I bought the "Ultra" now replaced by the "The One"). I had been eyeing this fancy version of pedometer for a while … [Read more...]

Pronouns Seem Kinda Antiquated, Don’t They?

This 48-year-old Australian, who identifies as neuter and uses only a first name, is the first person in the state to be neither man nor woman in the eyes of the NSW government. (Read more:

It's a touch dusty around here. I know ... I know ... my stupid New Year's Resolution is totally interfering with my "me time" (i.e. blog time). I need to put in an extra hour of walking in at night to be able to hit those 8,000 to 10,000 steps. And then afterwards, I have a spurt of adrenaline that is nice but not nice enough to provide me with any creative writing juice that will keep me up past my bed time. Yet once I get into bed, I end up … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella: Fredrick Banting and the Great Idea

A painting of Frederick Banting found in the National Portrait Gallery of Canada.

Stella is my 10-year-old daughter and on Saturdays, I let her rent this space from me because she thinks blogs are cool. It is her hope that her writing will appeal to kids her age as well as to the adults who read here too. For the intro to Saturdays with Stella, click here.  source Fredrick Banting and the Great Idea: A Life Story You may have heard of Fredrick Banting, but not necessarily know what he did. You may not have even heard … [Read more...]

Arriving into Chicago

Reception - Hotel Sax Chicago

On Saturday, I flew to Chicago. I am attending a trade show on Tuesday for work, so I thought I'd arrive early and see some sights. I've never been to Chicago, and I always feel like it's a real shame when one travels for business and never gets to see anything but the hotel and the meeting rooms. So whenever possible, I try to book a vacation day before or after and take in a little bit of the atmosphere. Before arrival, my knowledge of … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella: My Three Favourite Ottawa Museums

Exhibit at Museum of Nature

Stella is my 10-year-old daughter and on Saturdays, I let her rent this space from me. For the intro to Saturdays with Stella, click here.  Ottawa is the capital of Canada so it is only natural that we have all the national museums right here. These museums are the best ones in the country and are the big cheeses of all the rest. In this post, I will tell you about my three favourites. The Canadian Museum of Nature is quite the impressive … [Read more...]

How to Talk to Your Child about Murder (Guest Post)

Dear readers, I am sharing this post because there has been a tragedy in my home town of Ottawa. The community has been hit hard and like most parents, I've been struggling with how to talk to my children about these three deaths. Krista Gray-Donald, a friend of mine who works with victims of violent crime, offered to put together some tips and resources for me. In speaking with her, she also offered to share this information here on Coffee … [Read more...]

My Cosmetics Quest: Favourite Shampoo & Conditioner Brands

Green Beaver Mint Shampoo

My quest to use safer cosmetics is progressing slowly (but surely). In contrast, changing over the family's shampoos and conditioners can be done in one quick and easy swoop. Since day one, I've been more careful to read ingredients on the products I used with the kids, so I've had some years to try quite a few brands. … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella: Dogs or Cats?

dog or cat person?

Wondering what Saturdays with Stella is all about? It is a column written by my 10-year-old daughter, which was first introduced here.  Now have you ever had an argument with a friend about whether dogs or cats were better? You're not alone. I used to be a dog person because we had a big black dog with a white stripe down his chest. I was only a dog person because I had never really interacted with a cat before. Then one of our … [Read more...]

Ottawa Staycation: Coffee at the Shopify Offices

Entrance to Shopify Offices

Back in 2010, I received an email that started like this: My name is Brennan and I am a fourth year student at the University of Ottawa and co-founder of a local start-up called Avitu.  In a nutshell, Avitu is social and community driven online advertising platform and ad management tool. For the past 4 months myself and my two classmates (both software engineering students at UofO) have been incubating out of Shopify in the Byward Market trying … [Read more...]

Ottawa Staycation: Cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park

Fluffy snow!

For a second outing during our Ottawa staycation (you can read about our first outing here), we decided to head up to the Gatineau Hills for a cross-country ski. It would have actually been a sin not to go cross-country skiing with all of the snow we had over the Christmas season here in Ottawa! Everywhere around us, as far as one could see, the world had a bit of a magical gleam to it with mounds of fluffy snow hanging upon the tree … [Read more...]

Ottawa Staycation: Canadian Museum of Nature

Dinos at Canadian Museum of Nature

We rarely do a "staycation," but last week our whole family stayed home in Ottawa on holiday. It did involve chores around the house (like mountains of laundry) and items on the to-do list that never seem to get tackled (like organizing the kitchen cupboards), but we also did some really nice outings to break things up. Plus, lots of hanging out in jammies all day too, of course. One of these outings was to the Canadian Museum of Nature. We've … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella: Winter Wonderland

Dragon Dining

Hello! I’m back again! I can not express how happy I was to see how enthusiastic you all were about my new column! (My mom and I have agreed that we will post by noon every Saturday.) I have a topic I hope you will find interesting! I’ll tell you what, if you live anywhere that has a handful of kids (it’s an expression, because it’s pretty hard to carry kids in your hand) and a few yards full of snow, I can guarantee there will be a ton of … [Read more...]

Table Lamps for the Bedside Tables – Take 2

two lamp options

Okay, so my niggling feeling that the lamps, no matter how much I liked them, were not "right" for the space was confirmed LOUDLY by all of you yesterday! haha ... I love getting your opinions -- you guys rock! One thing was communicated clearly -- I need bigger lamps! In particular, Giulia recommended the sizing to be as follows: "If going for a shade you need something bigger, the top of the lampshade should hit where the the top of your … [Read more...]

Table Lamps for the Bedside Tables

Industrial style bedside table lamp

Like most folks, our home decor projects are moving right along at a snail's pace. But I do have (perhaps) one small piece of progress: Table Lamps for the Bedside Tables. If you didn't catch the original post, Hubby crafted bedside tables for us that are a combination of sleek and rustic. The room has nothing else in it yet except for the master bed, which is constructed entirely from the dark wenge wood you can see above, and a … [Read more...]

2013 New Year’s Resolutions (or the Compulsion to Make New Year’s Resolutions)

new years resolution postcard

What is it about the turning of the clock that makes us want to change ourselves? Well, perhaps not "change," but improve or enhance. I think it must be the feeling of "starting fresh." Like all dieters tend to do by starting their diet on a Monday rather than, say, a Wednesday. I am a failure at resolutions. I'm not being self-deprecating. This is a fact. I know this because I recorded my 2011 New Year's Resolutions here on the blog. These … [Read more...]