livingfamilytravelmediahome decor

A Long Weekend at Long Point Eco-Adventures

Look at me, mom! I'm flying at Long Point Eco-Adventures!

We've been hosting Thanksgiving dinners at our home since we moved in, but this year, my parents were travelling and we will be fortunate enough to have an aunt from overseas visiting next weekend. So, we pushed out our big family gathering until next weekend and instead decided to take advantage of the additional day off of work to squeeze in a roadtrip. With an invite in hand from Attractions Ontario, we jumped in our car as soon as we could … [Read more...]

Manitoulin Island: Highlights from our Roadtrip

IMG_20150811_211431

If you live in Ontario, there's a good chance that you've heard of Manitoulin Island and said to yourself: "Oh, I must visit there one day!" That's exactly how our family felt, so we were sure to include it in our list of places to stop for our family's summer roadtrip 2015. To say we enjoyed our stay on the Island is an understatement. We only had three nights on the island, but could have easily spent far more time exploring, hiking, and … [Read more...]

Summer Road Trip 2015: Northwest Ontario

road trip 2015

After last year's epic adventure to Australia, this year's summer holiday needed to be a bit more subdued. My husband suggested a road trip across Canada -- from Ottawa to Vancouver. Um, how is that scaling back exactly? He then countered with a camping road trip in Northern Ontario. I was not excited: is there anything but mosquitoes in Northern Ontario? I was wrong. So very, very wrong. For our 10-day trip, here is the route we took: 1. … [Read more...]

Driftwood Provincial Park: A First Trip

driftwood-banner

Upon the invite from friends of the family, we strayed from our usual mainstay camping fave of Achray in Algonquin Park over to Driftwood Provincial Park for a weekend stay. The pros of this camping spot: short drive from Ottawa (just over 2 hours) waterfront camp sites are available all sites are well-treed and offer space and privacy the vibe was friendly and there were a lot of families the waterfront is sandy and shallow -- … [Read more...]

First Camping Trip of the 2015 Season!

Arriving and setting up.

It will come as no surprise to some of you that we chose Achray campground in Algonquin Park for the location of this season's first outing with the pop-up tent trailer. (If you've never heard of Achray and want to learn more, click here and here for details.) Nature was so kind to us! We had beautiful weather, with beautiful people and left with beautiful memories. So, I'd thought I'd share some of this beautiful with you ... … [Read more...]

Why is it still Monday? This calls for a giveaway! How about LEGOLAND Discovery Centre passes?

legoland

We are likely some of the only people I know who have yet to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, just outside of Toronto. It's really quite inexcusable considering how cray-cray my whole family (including the Hubby) is about Lego. In fact, you might recall that we took the kids to New York City and the Empire State Building and Central Park didn't make their list of Top 5 NYC Highlights -- but the LEGO store sure did! But perhaps we'll … [Read more...]

The Halloween Re-Cap 2014

steve

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...]

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...]

And … We’re Back!

A pic from the University of Melbourne campus.

It's been six weeks, more than 32,000 kms in the air, and another 6,000 kms by car since I announced that we had landed in Australia. I had great plans for blogging as we travelled, since I prefer to write while it's all fresh and exciting. But alas, I ran into troubles accessing WiFi and paid outrageous amounts of $$ to my cell phone provider for service and then finally just had to give up and accept that I would not be "connected" with all … [Read more...]

Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Australia

Despite the winter weather, there were some beautiful buds.

It's hard to believe that these amazing grounds in the Victoria state of Australia were once unusable swamp land outside of the city of Melbourne. Now, these beautiful and calming gardens, which are the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne, are the perfect place to raise the spirit of the groggy, jet-lagged traveller. While the locals will tell you there's not much to see in winter (June to August in this hemisphere of the world), we … [Read more...]

Our Epic Adventure: 6 Weeks in Australia

aus intro

Wondering what's up with the radio silence around here? I've been itching to write and share .... but just haven't had a spare moment to do so between end-of-school events with the kids, packing, and then actually doing the travelling bit! And, now -- yes! -- we are here in Australia for our epic adventure. It's something we've been wanting to do for some time now. But as you can imagine, it takes a lot of planning and saving to actually pull … [Read more...]

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

Print

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...]

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

IMG_00000288

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...]

Handmade Christmas Cards

IMG_00000388

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...]

I Will Remember.

cbc map

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...]

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...]

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...]

Midtown New York City with Kids (Part 1 of 2 on NYC with Kids)

Herckscher park in NYC

I really admire people who not only manage to travel with their kids but to do it on a reasonable budget (because let's be real, it's easy to do amazing vacations if money is no option!). Sarah is just such a person. She just amazes me with how she is able to plan fabulous trips for her family. This year, she went to New York City with her husband and her two boys. But it wasn't the first time she'd done this -- it was the 5th time she and her … [Read more...]

Copyright © 2009-2015 Coffee with Julie - All Rights Reserved - Designed by A&N Design Communications - Code Development by RL Web Designs