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My Mom and I went to National “We Day”!

hannah

Hi everybody! It's me, Stella! I know that I have no published anything on the blog for a while ... umm ... because I have homework to be done, books to be read, dragons to be drawn, legos to build, trees to be climbed, and other important business. I promise that I will try and write for the blog more often. Anyways, the real post is about We Day. We Day is an event created by Free the Children to celebrate youth who are working for … [Read more...]

The Winter Resolution: A Weekend Away in Ontario’s Highlands

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In my last "Winter Resolution" post, I shared that I had bought myself ski gear for the first time. Yep, at age 42, I am now the newbie owner of downhill ski gear! It's my way of committing to this "love like the winter" kick I've been on since I first posted about my struggles with winter back in December of 2009. Downhill ski gear is the most recent in a list of commitments I've made since 2009. The others include: A warm down-filled … [Read more...]

The Winter Resolution: Blah, Blah, Skiing, Blah, Blah …

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Thanks to all of you for reading my last post "The Winter Resolution: Fighting the Winter Blahs" and sharing your own tips for how to survive this never-ending season. It helped me feel a little less like this woman in this video. (But just a little. In fact, I wonder if this is a secret filming of me in my driveway?) Winter Blah-Blahs! Shortly after I published it, my son spiked a fever. Then a sore throat. Then a rash. My neighbour … [Read more...]

Celebrating the Chinese New Year: Beef, Broccoli & Shiitake Mushroom Stirfry

beef and broccoli stirfry

I went shopping to create a meal to celebrate Chinese New Year as part of my membership with the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. And yes, I was paid to do this. I hope you like the post I wrote as a result! #CollectiveBias #shop #cbias As you could probably plainly tell from my post on the Christmas Holidays, I am missing the holiday season. So I thought that celebrating the Chinese New Year would be a perfect excuse to help our … [Read more...]

The Holidays were Happy

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Hard to believe the holidays were only a couple of weeks ago! They seem like forever ago now, don't they? We had a really nice holiday and I feel like re-living it a bit by sharing some photos. So I hope you don't mind indulging me a bit here ... We often do a "cut your own" option for a Christmas tree and this year we went a little crazy and ended up with a seriously HUGE tree. Yes, we had to pull out a ladder to decorate it. I was … [Read more...]

Taking the Kids to NYC: Our Top 5 Highlights

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NYC with kids? Yes, it's do-able and we did it! We are fortunate enough to have friends in NYC, so it makes taking a last minute trip a whole lot easier. Usually, however, it is either Hubby or I taking a solo trip. This time, we took the kids. With Max now 5 years old and Stella now 11, travel is also a whole lot easier. So we felt that the Christmas school holiday break was a window we couldn't resist. We left on December 30th and drove … [Read more...]

10 Reasons Why I Love My Beats Studio Headphones by Dr. Dre

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I was at the mall today. So I can personally vouch that if you have yet to pick out a perfect gift for someone special, you are definitely not alone! It is a busy world out there. But thanks to Staples, I can recommend the ideal gift for that person who seems to have everything: Beat Studio headphones by Dr. Dre. Whether they're a music lover, business traveller, or public transport devotee, these headphones will make life just that much more … [Read more...]

Handmade Christmas Cards

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Do you still send out Christmas cards? I lapsed on this a few years back (okay, so maybe it was more than a "few" years back ... more like almost a decade ago!) and never got back on the wagon. But I still really enjoy the act of crafting with paper. My friend Kerry and I recently got together and spent a Sunday afternoon making handmade Christmas cards. There is something seriously calming about crafting. I had a great time and came home with … [Read more...]

Gift Guide for Young Boys (Age 4-7)

Toys for Boys

Are you reading this post because you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet? Eep -- I haven't either! But, hey, there are still SIX WHOLE DAYS before Christmas Eve. And you know what that means? Yep, anyone who has all their shopping done before Christmas Eve is a super-organized super-star! So if you have a young boy on your list, like I do (my son Max is 5 years old), I have some great gift ideas for you! Playmobil Puzzle For … [Read more...]

Remember how you used to scrapbook? Yeah, me too …

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This time last week, I was madly searching throughout my basement for my scrapbooking supplies. My poor scrapbooks have been terribly neglected and ignored for years. But somehow I had gotten myself signed up for a weekend scrapbooking retreat with my long-lost scrapbooking buddies and now I needed to resurrect the stuff. … [Read more...]

I Will Remember.

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I will remember World War I. It began in central Europe in 1914 and in my home city of Ottawa, this is how many families experienced the loss of a loved one: CBC: click here to view this map online, with interactive links. I will remember World War II. My grandparents lived through this time. It is impossible for me to imagine the turmoil, fear, and grief that they must have all experienced. But I will remember. … [Read more...]

We are Thankful for Thanksgiving

Our oven needs replacing

It is starting to become a tradition for us to host Thanksgiving dinner at our home. When it comes to prep: Hubby handles the cooking, while I handle the decor. He doesn't get stressed out at all by having people over or cooking a big meal. In fact, he loves it! So we are especially enjoying this element of having moved into a house three years ago that can handle a large dinner gathering. One thing we didn't count on was our oven dying. … [Read more...]

10 Things that I Know for Sure at Age 42

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I share the same birth date as Candace and was so inspired by the piece she wrote in honour of turning one year older, that I asked her if she would mind if I did the same. Some days I feel like I know everything now that I'm 42, while other days I feel like I still know nothing. In between those extremes are the things that I now know for sure. Here they are ... … [Read more...]

It’s Friday, Friends! Let’s Get to the Bottom of This.

Last night my mother and I went out for Thai and then saw two fabulous bands perform live. Our birthdays are very close together and instead of gifts, we now do an evening together. It started with a bit of random luck. Now, it's a bit of a tradition. One of the bands we saw last night was Chic Gamine. They're an a capeella group (ha! just kidding Sacha!) interesting collection of Winnipeggers and Montrealers. Hard to nail down what their … [Read more...]

On Trying Something New

kerry and i

I'm always trying to encourage my children to try something new. Whether it's a new food or an activity, I want them to have these opportunities. I don't expect them to like everything they try, but I believe that the simple act of trying has value in and of itself. I don't think I'm unique here. I think most parents feel the same way. And yet, as parents, are we modelling this kind of behaviour to our children? Are we trying new foods? Or we … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: A Walk in the Woods

@coffeewithjulie

P.S. I had originally titled this post "My Family, My Heart," but it seemed too cheesy. But the truth is, that's how this photo makes me feel. Big huge hug and thank you to Sarah for capturing this moment. P.P. S. Want to hear more about me and my family? I'm sharing some tidbits over on Canadian Family. … [Read more...]

Don’t Catch & Release! Catch & KEEP Your Summer Memories! (Blurb Book Giveaway. $50 CAN. Closes 09/16)

Enter the Blurb book giveaway

It's Monday. Let's do a giveaway shall we? Now that we've all survived the first week back to school, it's really starting to dawn on me that summer is over. Don't get me wrong, I love the autumn weather more than any other season, but I don't want to let all those special summer memories just fade away. My poor paper scrapbooking supplies are buried in dust these days. And I can't remember the last time I actually printed off even one of … [Read more...]

A Different Kind of Birthday Party

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Apparently, when you are turning 11, you might not be interested in having a birthday party like you used to have. You might just want something more low-key. Just a few friends over to hang out. Or maybe go for a hike. A hike? Okay, I'd never heard of kids going for a hike for a birthday party, but I thought, "why not?" I had been a little concerned that maybe the guests might not enjoy a hike as much as our birthday girl Stella. But I … [Read more...]

A Visit to See “The Hidden Life of Ants” @ Canadian Museum of Nature

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We make regular visits to the Canadian Museum of Nature here in our home town of Ottawa. It's a fantastic place for both adults and kids (although I admit to being sick to death of the dinosaur section after the millionth visit!). So when I heard about "The Hidden Life of Ants" exhibit (remember this giveaway?), it was just one more good reason to head back to this museum. I went with my two children and brought along my sister Meaghan for extra … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Box of Cuteness Arrives!

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Who needs cute kitten pics when you can have cute baby chicks, right? My girlfriend is going to be caring for these 50 babies for the next little while. Needless to say, the kids were thrilled to see and touch them (and so was I!). … [Read more...]

Downtown New York City with Kids (Part 2 of 2 of NYC with Kids)

Chelsea Highline park in NYC.

In Part 1, Sarah shared so many awesome things to do with kids in Midtown New York City with kids that I'm not sure I'd ever even make it out to Downtown! But all that means is that I would need to schedule another trip to NYC ... darn, I would hate that. ;) Here, she share her favourite spots for kids in the Downtown region of New York City.  DIGGING DOWNTOWN NYC WITH THE KIDS (by guest poster: Sarah McCormack) Depending on what part of … [Read more...]

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