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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.

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...]

10 Things that I Know for Sure at Age 42

what i know for sure at age 42

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

a birthday hike

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!

chicks in a box

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...]

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...]

Top 5 Strange Facts about Ants (+ Ottawa Giveaway to see “The Hidden Life of Ants” at the Canadian Museum of Nature)

Weaver ants

Most of us have heard of some strange facts about ants. They are a curious species, with their queens and workers. But you can learn some of the lesser known facts about ants at an exhibit opening in Ottawa TODAY, July 26th, at the Canadian Museum of Nature. For the first-ever stop in Canada, an exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian that features 39 captivating large-format images from Mark W. Moffet's body of work. So, if at this point in the … [Read more...]

Cirque du Soleil’s Totem Show in Ottawa: This Local’s Review

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Totem was my introduction into the world of the Cirque, and circuses in general really, since they've gone out of fashion with the greater awareness around humane treatment of animals. I felt like I knew what to expect, having following this Canadian success story with interest over the years. But really, as we all know, a video clip simply cannot compare to an in-person experience. And like the true origins of the circus experience, I feel like … [Read more...]

No, I’m Not Ready for My Canoe Trek.

Groovy Moves course, Pure Life Adventures

These days, the most common question I've been getting from colleagues and friends and a few strangers is: So, are you ready for your big trip up to Northwest Territories? Well, it's on my list. And to be fair a lot important things don't get done on my list. I run out of time. Or energy. Or a combination of both. Plus, I've been really busy getting work done so that I can actually take a holiday. Oh, and there were the birthday parties, … [Read more...]

Hot Cars Kill: 5 Low-Tech Ways to Remember a Child in the Backseat

Baby in back seat car seat

  Hot cars kill. Today, a Canadian child died in a parked car in Edmonton's heat. Last week, it was a Toronto-area boy. Stress, scheduling changes, sleep deprivation ... these all affect our ability to function at full capacity and this includes our memory. Parents with young children know that these can be a dangerous combination. But most of us escape through our children's young years without disaster striking. Unfortunately for … [Read more...]

Canadian Pride for Pride Week! #TGCBB

canpride

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Late last night, I pulled together a last minute giveaway to join in with The Great Canadian Blog Bash's celebration of Canadian companies, products, and services. Today, I'm just sharing my Canadian pride. I don't think it's any coincidence that Toronto, Canada is host to one of the world's largest Pride Week festivals during the same week that we also celebrate Canada Day. I'm proud of Canada's diversity. I'm … [Read more...]

A Pokemon Birthday Party Was Had

pikachu pokemon cupcakes

Pokemons infiltrated our household in 2008. A very cute, and slightly older boy introduced them to Stella when she was five years old and she was hooked. Line and sinker, people! From Pokemon pinatas to complete Pokemon bedroom decor, apparently some people just do not tire of these creatures. And now, just when we thought they were slowing fading away, they have returned back into the house -- all over the house! -- in full force. It seems … [Read more...]

Birthday Anticipation

Birthday Anticipation

  Birthday anticipation ... can you remember that feeling? That the days could not come fast enough until you'd wake up and it would be your birthday. YOUR birthday. A special day all for you. You would be one year older on that important ladder of years. 3, 4, 5 ... oh, and then to hit the double digit of 10! Or even more exciting perhaps was to hit 13 and be, officially, a teenager. Now, another year is just another year. They are … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella: Tales from the Tail

Gah! I was away in the woods with no cellphone access this weekend and this post was scheduled to publish on Saturday am. No idea what I did wrong but here it is now ... Stella and I have decided we should rename "Saturdays with Stella" to "Highly Sporadic Saturdays with Stella." It does not surprise or disappoint me that she no longer wants to write something each week. It had been her idea in the first place. But she's busy. She's got … [Read more...]

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