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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Vegetable garden

This will be our third summer in our new home, and each year we (er, correction: the "royal we") put in a small veggie and herb garden into a  bed that's on the side of the house. The kids love the entire process -- planting, watering, watching the growth, and then picking their own food from their own garden. Here's how ours is looking so far.   We've got red peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, beans and all sorts of herbs … [Read more...]

The Running Bug

The 2K Family Run, Ottawa

Last Saturday, Stella and I ran in the 2K Family Run at Ottawa Race Weekend. It's an inclusive race where strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, and toddlers are all welcome.    Have you heard of "chickenpox parties"? It's when a group of parents hold a party and intentionally invite a child with chickenpox to hang out with their children in the hope that their kids will catch it. Well, this is sort of how I imagine I might be able to catch … [Read more...]

Can Gadgets Help Kids Be More Active Or Are They Just Gimmicks?

Front and Side View of a Pokewalker

There's a whole lot of talk lately about kids and their low fitness levels in Canada. This week, as example, Healthy Active Kids Canada just released their annual report and gave Canadian kids a grade of "D minus" (yikes!) for overall fitness activity levels. I've been working with a client who focuses on this, so I've had the opportunity to read into some of the research investigating the roots of this issue and, needless to say, it's a complex, … [Read more...]

I Can’t Handle It. I Need Deodorant! (Lady Speed Stick Review)

Lady Speed Stick Power 65g Gel

As I mentioned in my post on henna hair colouring, one of the most difficult things (for me, at least) has been trying to transition from mainstream deodorant to more "green" options. Over the past few months, I've tried quite a number of different alternatives and none of them worked for me. It was during this period when I was feeling a tad, er, concerned about body odor that I was offered samples of Lady Speed Stick to review (as well as … [Read more...]

It’s Friday, Friends. Let’s Shoot for the Stars!

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is just so darn cool that he has my kids shooting for the stars. I love it because it gives me an excuse to remind them to study hard in their maths and sciences if they want to be an astronaut. p.s. Is it just me or are you secretly developing a crush on him too? … [Read more...]

My Cosmetics Quest, Hair Colouring, and Henna

Box of henna by colora

So far, my "cosmetics quest" (an effort to minimize the number of toxins I willingly apply onto my hair and skin each morning) has been a combination of hits and misses. The two most challenging items I've been trying to source to date are deodorant and hair dye. As you can see in my blog photo, I like to keep my hair red. But not long ago, I liked to keep my hair blonde. And before that ... well, you get the picture. I've liked changing up my … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Play-by-Play (Or alternatively titled: Read, Nap, Repeat.)


1. Wake up, but pretend to keep sleeping so I don't ruin the breakfast-in-bed "surprise." 2. Start to develop caffeine headache while pretending to be asleep, consider ruining the "surprise." 3. Surprise breakfast-in-bed arrives! With pancakes made by Stella herself. 4. With it, a sweet little face handing me a handmade card and a flower he has been growing at school. 5. Also, a sweet little face handing me a diamond ring. Oh, … [Read more...]

Old School and New Skool: Two New Blogging Tools for Moi!

@coffeewithjulie business cards by MOO

It feels strange to put the words "blogging" and "business" together. But that's what it has turned out to be in many ways. It's a labour of love since I put far more effort and energy in than I get out in dollars and cents. But there are dollars and cents involved now (you can read details here, I try to keep things as open and transparent as possible) and that means, by definition, that it's a business. Like all businesses, there are some … [Read more...]

Three Fun Games for Pre-Schoolers (and their Parents!)

Go Fish! Card game by Imperial Kids

First things first, I don't enjoy games. I think it's because I'm too impatient ... I don't like the time involved in reading through all the rules, nor do I like it when a game drags on and never ends (I've been known to lose on purpose just so a game would end!). My daughter, who is almost 11 years old now, has a mild interest in games. And since this interest is mild, I only feel mildly like a bad mother for not engaging her more in … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella: The Dragon’s Story, St. George and the Dragon


Okay. I’m the dragon that you all know from St. George and the dragon. Or you think you know. First things first, my name is not “the dragon”, its Clive Harmonia. My life’s ambition is to save the wandering albatross, and to find out if knights taste best deep fried or microwaved on “popcorn”. As for the princess, her name is Mud Ash-Felt. I don’t eat princesses because they are gross and high in cholesterol. Anyways, a while ago, a … [Read more...]

I Never Thought I Would Say This: Britney Spears and I Have Something in Common

Britney Spears making a funny face

This is crazy. But apparently Britney Spears and I have something in common. Unfortunately, it's not her insane wealth, nor her bikini-worthy body. (Although fortunately it's not her bad taste in men or suppliers of hair extensions.) What I've noticed lately is that when it comes to Britney, what people are talking about is this: That she makes funny faces. I never thought that much of them. But if you google "Britney Spears + … [Read more...]