livingfamilytravelmediahome decor

Garage Sale Finds for Entertaining


Yesterday morning I awoke to the sound of cars pulling up outside and chatter. All of my bedroom windows were closed, but I could still hear that something was going on. I took a peek and it turned out that two houses on our street were having garage sales. I don't normally do garage sales. I lived in a very petite home that had virtually no storage space for a long time and grew accustomed to the notion of keeping "things" at a minimum. And … [Read more...]

I look different


I've been to two events recently and many people commented that they didn't recognize me. So I should explain that I look different. (And I'd also like to warmly welcome anyone who's new here from the Blog World Expo event in New York City as well as to my awesome local blogger community here in Ottawa from last night's Blog Out Loud Ottawa event!) The photo in my blog's "About" box in the right-hand column of the homepage was taken when I … [Read more...]

Are High School Graduates Special?

An English teacher by the name of David McCullough Jr. stood up and told a high school graduating class that they're not special. It was a commencement speech. And he told them nine times, "you're not special." Naturally, like most things these days, it was recorded and then uploaded to the internet. Yes, you guessed it -- it's gone completely viral. Everyone from traditional media to new media is weighing in. One the one hand, you have the … [Read more...]

Pillow Talk


source Okay, I want to talk pillows. (What, did you think I was talking about something else?? No, I really mean pillows! This is not a book review for Fifty Shades of Grey ... sorry to disappoint.) Like most things related to "home decor," I have never taken an interest until we moved into a new family home last June. Whereas before I was addicted to stalking the MLS Guide for my favourite neighbourhoods, now I am addicted to stalking home … [Read more...]

Beaches Boscobel, Jamaica: A Tween’s Perspective (Day 3)

Writing in her journal on our balcony at Beaches Boscobel

Stella, who is almost 10 years old, and I have just returned from Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica, where we were invited to experience the resort. This resort is all about providing a full family experience, so I am sharing Stella's journal -- spelling mistakes and all -- with you so that you can get an older child's perspective, not just an adult's.  On Day 3, we had a really special experience because we left the resort and had a visit to a … [Read more...]

Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy

Hello my lovely bloggy friends, Stella and I are now in Jamaica (my Jamaica 101 post)! We were invited to come and visit the Beaches Boscobel resort in Jamaica and it's actually our first "girls' trip" together. Beaches Resorts cater specifically to families, so we are here to experience the resort and its activities to the fullest. I will be telling you all about it ... but first, I want to tell you about the trip to get here. To fully … [Read more...]

I Used to Really Love Advertisements

This might sound strange, but I used to really love advertisements. Advertisements can provide an amazing creative outlet for "ideas people" -- it's rare to get so much creative freedom and budget combined. As a kid, I would watch all the ads during television shows and admire all the ads in my favourite magazines. Now, as an adult, I work (indirectly) with advertising. But I have to admit that, these days, I tend to skip over television ads … [Read more...]

The Looneyspoons Collection: A Giveaway!


A little while back, I wrote about David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns. (And did you hear the news that he's going to be one of the "dragons" in the next season of the Dragons' Den? I think he'll be fantastic!) In the most recent book, he details how he came to publish massively popular Looneyspoons cookbook with sisters Janet and Greta Podleski.   Published in 1996, Looneyspoons broke publishing … [Read more...]

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!


I have a colleague in my office who spoils us with special treats throughout the year. Yesterday, she brought in the cutest cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day. It's the small things that really make a difference sometimes, isn't it? Cupcake by Andrea Larose. Photo by Leslie Bayford. … [Read more...]

Love. Your. Body. Now.

When I turned 40, I had a celebration with my girlfriends. There were no gifts allowed, but a girlfriend gave me a gift in what she wrote in a birthday card. She wrote: "Remember when you were 30 and looked back on the photos of yourself when you were 20, and thought - wow, I looked great. You will be thinking the same thing when you're 50 looking back at yourself now." At first at thought ... "Gee, thanks for the reminder of how much I am … [Read more...]

On Children, Travel, and Inclusion


In our North American society, children are often considered to be annoyances in air travel, restaurants, grocery stores, and even when they are quietly feeding. I think that as a parent, now used to life with young children, I have far more tolerance than I might have had when I was child-less. In fact, it barely even registers with me that a child is making loud crying noises unless it is the specific crying that I recognize as one of my … [Read more...]

Oh the Babies!

There is a huge influx of new babies arriving at our office. The first arrived last week. A beautiful little girl, who arrived early at just over six pounds. And I saw her. I touched her little toes. Oh my ... And there are more babies arriving! Three more on the way, to be precise. I can clearly remember being a young 20-something gal and rolling my eyes so hard it hurt when the women at my office would rush out to greet a colleague … [Read more...]

Dear Grammys: What message are you sending?


Dear Grammys, I'm not sure what message you're trying to send. But I can tell you what message I received from your show last night. For all the young and impressionable young people watching the Grammy's yesterday, one thing was made clear: If you can dance and sing, we're willing to turn a blind eye. Well, at least if you're a man. Dancing and singing trumps all, people. Chris Brown, who in 2009, was brought in on criminal charges (and … [Read more...]

When Men were Men

Yesterday, I did something unusual. I went to see a movie that was filled with frightening scenes and macho bravado. And I drank it up all. Liam Neeson in the film The Grey. Photo credit. It’s old fashioned and sexist to believe that men should all be strong and brave, just as it would be to believe that all women should be nurturing and gentle. But the news has been filled with stories of weak, dishonourable men as of late. And it is … [Read more...]

Sundays are just so lovely, aren’t they?


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What is the appropriate way to celebrate 15 years of marriage?


Last week, Hubby and I passed a pretty major milestone -- 15 years of marriage. When we celebrated our first anniversary, we went to a bed and breakfast in Kingston. Although it sounds peaceful and romantic, and that was certainly the intention, it really wasn't. A couple staying above us came in really late and made a whole lot of racket laughing and stumbling around drunk, which was followed by some other, ahem, "noises" that kept us up half … [Read more...]

The Homemade Gift


Us busy folks just love a homemade anything, don't we? Marketers, of course, know this and like to use the word to advertise their wares any chance they get. But the truly homemade gift is a special thing indeed. Some of the most cherished homemade gifts I've received include a quilt from my mother-in-law for each bed in the house, a quilt from my special Aussie girlfriend Nat, and a scrapbooked collage from my mom. As for gifts from Hubby, I … [Read more...]

2011: The Year That Was (Part 2 of 2)

In continuation from yesterday .... July 2011: By this time, our family had moved into a new home while simultaneously welcoming overseas family to Canada for the first time. It was busy, but we had fun! We shared as much of our area with them as possible, including Canada Day in downtown Ottawa and a visit to Toronto. A sense of relief was also felt by Hubby and I as we settled into our new neighbourhood and adjusted to the change. In total, … [Read more...]

2011: The Year That Was (Part 1 of 2)

I'm going to be self-indulgent here and look back at the year that was on Coffee with Julie ... perhaps I'll learn something or perhaps I will learn that I need to learn something in 2012! January 2011: The new year started on a very high note when I found out that Coffee with Julie had placed 2nd and 3rd in two Canadian Weblog Awards. Then I started a thread of posts on over-consumption (I had so many other posts I wanted to write about on … [Read more...]

Super Sweet Christmas Vignette


With my new found love for vignettes, I couldn't help but take notice of this gorgeous little vignette that my neighbour had created in her front hall. It's unfortunate for you that I only have the camera in my BlackBerry and zero photography skills. But trust me, this vignette is so super sweet. What you can't really see from the angle on this photograph is that the wooden frame is actually made specifically for hosting vignettes. I love … [Read more...]

It’s December. Christmas is now allowed.


This is how I feel about Christmas when I see all the gaudy decorations and hear those brain-screeching carols before December has even hit: Seriously. This ornament is just so perfect (with big props to Coffee with Julie reader Giulia for sharing this with me today!). I am a total Grinch about Christmas in October. And November. Only come December do I feel that Christmas is actually allowed. Thank you very much. But I am not a total … [Read more...]