livingfamilytravelmediahome decor

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Plate (+ a Giveaway with Canadian Cheeses!)

Loblaws - Cheese Awards Giveaway

Anyone who knows my home life, knows that I really can't cook anything worth bragging about. In fact, for my recent mother's day card, Max said that his mother was "26 years old" and the thing that his mother cooks best is "macaroni and cheese." (I love this kid. He also noted my love for napping and books. He totally "gets" me.) And when you can't cook, you get sneaky around other women who can totally cook beautiful things. Like, when you're … [Read more...]

A Weekend in Ottawa: Hand-Lettering Workshop with Joanne Lauzon

1

Have you ever seen a chalkboard at a restaurant with the most exquisite lettering on it? It's something I notice. I've always loved doing "fancy" letters. So, I guess I tend to notice them elsewhere too. Artist is Lauren Hom So, I was definitely intrigued to find that there were local workshops where I could try my hand at this. Here is a cool little video example of hand-lettering, by Joanne Lauzon, the workshop instructor, whose company … [Read more...]

Could it Be Love? #TheWinterResolution

could it be love

A bit of a strange feeling has started to creep into my heart these days. Really strange. While I still think the smell and sight of a warm ocean beachfront is the most beautiful thing in the world, I have also started to notice a different kind of beauty. A deep contentment that encircles me when I'm breathing in crisp, fresh air. A satisfying sensation when all is silent but the crunch of snow underfoot. And, dare I admit, a … [Read more...]

Dear Parks Canada: I Don’t Get It

IMG_20150816_135859

Dear Parks Canada, Yesterday, I saw a news article circulating on social media that caught my attention. It claimed that to help celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, a free annual Parks Canada admission pass would be made available. I thought this sounded rather nice. It would certainly help spur our family on to see a few more of them. (We regularly visit Provincial Parks, as my camping/roadtrip posts can attest to, but rarely make the … [Read more...]

Winter is Coming (2015 edition)

banner

  Winter is coming. And, yes, I'm bracing myself. Six years ago, I vowed "not to hate" winter. I wasn't as optimistic to vow to love it or anything crazy like that. Just not hate it. Or hate it as much. Basically, it was like vowing to lose 1 lb when you need to lose 100. But, for me, this 1lb weight loss has really been an effort. It's involved an investment in proper winter clothing (no, it's not flattering and cute, thank you … [Read more...]

PlanetBox Lunch Ideas

rainbow

Back in August, I had taken a little trip out to Terra20 with my girlfriend and our kids and we checked out a TON of litterless lunch options. She and her grade-two daughter simply could not resist the PlanetBox lunch kit with the rainbows and unicorns. I can't really blame them, can you? But both mom and daughter are still very happy with how the PlanetBox is working out for them. So much so, that I thought I'd share some of the pics … [Read more...]

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule Wardrobe Header Image

Have you heard of a "capsule wardrobe"? My friend Trish shared that she'd jumped into the capsule world and never planned to return. So, I needed to know more. I'm thrilled she agreed to write here so we can all take a peek! Take one capsule and call me in the morning I blame Pinterest. “Easy and stylish, it said. “A few key pieces”, it promised. A “capsule” wardrobe. Style left my wardrobe around the time the Bee Gees had their … [Read more...]

Six Recipes for Peanut-Free, Make-Ahead School Snacks

6 Recipes for Make-Ahead Lunch Snacks

Okay, now that I've shared my picks for litterless lunch containers and kits, I think I need to share some recipes for what to put in them! So I've rounded-up recipes from my blogging friends for items that are peanut-free and freezable for school lunches. Enjoy! (And come back and let me know which ones you tried!) Granola Bars We all know granola bars are one of the handiest and easiest things to grab for a lunch ... but what about the … [Read more...]

Litterless Lunches: Top Picks for Teens

teen-1

It's no surprise that teens are going to have different lunch needs than a younger child. For one, they need a lot more food! But interestingly enough, I am finding that my own teen, despite a voracious appetite, tends to graze throughout the day when she's at school. When I asked her why, she explained that they weren't given a lot of time to eat and that snacks must be grabbed quickly from a locker in between classes (where they have only 3 … [Read more...]

Litterless Lunches: Top Picks for Elementary School Kids

Bento Lunch Box

Our family is finding that my son's litterless lunch needs as a elementary school kid are vastly different than what my daughter, in grade 8, prefers. In my introductory post, I listed a slew of factors that play into what works or doesn't work for any particular family's litterless lunch needs. For elementary school kids, my experience with both my son and daughter has been that: Kids love "kits" with fun images, shapes, sizes, and bright … [Read more...]

Litterless Lunches: What Works Best?

Options for litterless lunches

Since most elementary schools are moving to "boomerang" lunches (where any remaining garbage from a lunch is "boomeranged" back home for disposal) or "litterless" lunches (where the focus is on environmental care), it's no surprise that parents are in need of solutions that work. But what is a solution that works? Well, I've found that there are a number of factors to consider, depending on your family's particular needs. These … [Read more...]

Minecraft Lootbags (for less than $8 each!)

Minecraft Lootbags

As per usual around here, it was the night before the birthday party and I needed to get lootbags ready for 8 boys. I have a major love/hate thing with lootbags. On the one hand: kids love them and it's so fun to see how excited they get at the end of the party when they receive one. On the other hand: they can get really expensive (and time consuming!) and seem to be an unnecessary distraction away from celebrating the birthday boy … [Read more...]

A Weekend in Ottawa: Prose in the Park

Photo of table at Ottawa's Prose in the Park

I was flipping through an old newspaper before throwing it into the recycle bin when I came across an article about an upcoming event called "Prose in the Park." Since the paper happened to be old, the event happened to be taking place on that very day. Well, Stella and I were certainly going to need to visit this inaugural event! We drove down from our quiet suburb into the hustle and bustle of Ottawa's Westboro area, where the Parkdale … [Read more...]

A Weekend in Ottawa: The Governor General’s Arts Awards 2015

Ottawa Fashion Blogger Marilou Moles Never Fails to Impress

Last weekend, the Hubby and I dusted off some fancy-pants clothes and headed out to Canada's National Arts Centre to attend the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards. I had been invited as a member of the media last year, and was thrilled to be invited again this year because this event is just spec-tac-u-lar. In addition to the actual show, there are some pre- and post-show activities to book-end the experience. Before the show … [Read more...]

Nordik Spa-Nature: Walk in, Float out

Kalla treatment, Nordik Spa-Nature

I wasn't hot. I wasn't cold. I couldn't feel the tension in my shoulders. Nor the nagging, ever-present weight of my head on a weak neck. The room was dim, with candles lit. But I had my eyes closed, blocking out yet another sensory distraction. Only one sense was in action -- under the water, there was sound. A music without words. So primal, it almost felt like it was simply coming from my mind, not entering through my ears. My body … [Read more...]

It’s Monday after a long weekend. You’re overdue for a night with your bestie! #Ottawa #Giveaway

The Age of Adaline - giveaway

  Yes, it's been a long hard winter. You may even feel that it's aged you a bit along the way. But did winter actually feel any easier when you were 29? Well, duh. Everything's easier when you're 29, right?!! A new movie hitting the screens soon is taking that concept to a whole new -- and thought-provoking -- level. (Granted, I think it could make a great comedy too.) Despite joking with our girlfriends that we're 29 years … [Read more...]

Cutting the Cable Brought Us Closer Together

#UnwindTogether

So, I don't think I've told you yet that we cut our cable. Yep, we did it. It actually felt a bit uncomfortable to do it since the last time I didn't have cable television was when I was a broke student. But the monthly bill for cable adds up, and we weren't really watching that much. A few people we know had already taken the plunge and assured us we wouldn't regret it. And we certainly haven't. We cancelled our cable service in June (it made … [Read more...]

Have you ever spent more than you planned to at the grocery store?

Capture2

Did you answer “Yes”? Me too; especially in the winter, when we’re forking out for fresh fruits and vegetables that certainly aren’t local to Ottawa when we’re knee-deep in snow! Parenting in Ottawa: New info resources from Ottawa Public Health This question was just one of many relevant discussions that I found taking place on a Facebook page called Parenting in Ottawa. Ottawa Public Health and its community partners are running the page … [Read more...]

Enough Already!

hate-winter-quotes-5

So, remember how lovely and positive I was in my last post about winter? Well, it's like the universe heard me and decided to slap me around a bit! It's been cold here. Real cold. "Peter Kimbell, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Monday that Ottawa’s current mean temperature for February is -16.3 C. That’s 8 degrees colder than the normal mean temperature for the month in Ottawa, which is -8.1 C." -- CTV … [Read more...]

What I’ve Learned from Saying “Yes” to Winter

IMG_20150124_122115

If you've been hanging about these parts for some time, you might recall that in 2009, I pronounced a "Winter Resolution." (Side bar: Is it just me, or does 2009 seem like last year, not SIX YEARS AGO. Where are the years disappearing to?) This resolution wasn't ground-breaking. I was not going to become a world-class ice-climbing or move south every winter, but rather I would try to find a way to enjoy the season. Note, I did not say "love" … [Read more...]

We Are So Tired

tired-lady

Every woman I know is tired. There are reams of articles on this that provide a cultural mix for why: many women now work full-time out of the house; a work day that does not end now that we are tied to smart phones; a marathon of extra-curricular activities for our children; and an outdated division of household tasks where the woman carries a heavier load than the man. I can see how all these could and might apply to the women I know, but … [Read more...]

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