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Oprah in Ottawa: A Re-Cap

Jacqueline and Julie

When I heard that Oprah was coming to Ottawa, I just knew I had to get a ticket. Like people who still buy tickets to the Rollings Stones playing live, for me, Oprah is more about nostalgia and a deep respect for what she has accomplished in her life more than any kind of present-day fandom. She kicked off The Oprah Show in 1986, the same year I started high school. Despite it being a daytime show, I managed to see many episodes during my five … [Read more...]

You’re Not the Boss of Me! (+ a fun book giveaway)

I am so the boss of you, by Kathy Buckworth

Thankfully, I have not heard this uttered from the mouths of either of my children (yet?) but I can vouch for having spat them at my parents once or twice. To prepare myself for hearing these words one day, I picked up Kathy Buckworth's newly launched book I Am So The Boss of You. Okay, let me back up. I actually picked up the book so that I could have it in hand for when she arrived into Ottawa for her book launch celebration. You know ... … [Read more...]

Spectacular Northwest Territories: Seeing Stars and Lucky Stars

aurora

Seeing the Aurora Borealis up in Canada's Great North has always been a dream of mine. (And Hubby's ... but his also includes winter camping, whitewater canoeing, and a whole bunch of other adventurous deeds.) So when I received an invitation from MJW Communications to a kick-off event for the Spectacular Northwest Territories Days at Ottawa's Winterlude in February, I immediately accepted. Normally, I go to these travel-writing/blogging events … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella: My Three Favourite Ottawa Museums

Exhibit at Museum of Nature

Stella is my 10-year-old daughter and on Saturdays, I let her rent this space from me. For the intro to Saturdays with Stella, click here.  Ottawa is the capital of Canada so it is only natural that we have all the national museums right here. These museums are the best ones in the country and are the big cheeses of all the rest. In this post, I will tell you about my three favourites. The Canadian Museum of Nature is quite the impressive … [Read more...]

Ottawa Staycation: Coffee at the Shopify Offices

Entrance to Shopify Offices

Back in 2010, I received an email that started like this: My name is Brennan and I am a fourth year student at the University of Ottawa and co-founder of a local start-up called Avitu.  In a nutshell, Avitu is social and community driven online advertising platform and ad management tool. For the past 4 months myself and my two classmates (both software engineering students at UofO) have been incubating out of Shopify in the Byward Market trying … [Read more...]

Ottawa Staycation: Cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park

Fluffy snow!

For a second outing during our Ottawa staycation (you can read about our first outing here), we decided to head up to the Gatineau Hills for a cross-country ski. It would have actually been a sin not to go cross-country skiing with all of the snow we had over the Christmas season here in Ottawa! Everywhere around us, as far as one could see, the world had a bit of a magical gleam to it with mounds of fluffy snow hanging upon the tree … [Read more...]

Terra20 Gift Certificate Winners!

terra20 gift cards

Last Monday, I announced a giveaway for Ottawa's new eco-store Terra20. And today, I'm happy to share the names of the lucky winners! The winner of the $50 gift certificate is Jacquie Baillie who that she was most surprised to read about the parabens in tumors. The winner of the $100 gift certificate is Sarah McCormack who wasn't surprised by the article but "i have just had my head in the sand on this topic.  i have made big changes in the … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. Let’s Do a Giveaway, Shall We? Enjoy a Visit to Ottawa’s Terra20!

Daniel Thompson Beauty at Terra20

So, yesterday, I started to tell you about my visit to the Ottawa store Terra20. My goal was to go in to the store and learn a bit more about commonly used chemicals in cosmetics, try out some of Terra20's safer cosmetic brands, and then share it all with you. At the Terra20 store, like most other large department stores, you are welcome to come in and receive a complimentary makeover. I've done this before at other makeup counters ... … [Read more...]

Terra20, Gillian Deacon, and My Cosmetics Quest

Gillian Deacon and Julie Harrison

In my quest to learn more about what chemicals are in my cosmetics, I took a second visit to Ottawa's new eco-store Terra20 this past weekend. Gillian Deacon, who wrote Green for Life and There's Lead in Your Lipstick, was scheduled to be in the store to autograph books and to chat with store visitors. As soon as I walked in, I thought: Where have I seen her before? Take a look at this photo and see if you have the same reaction: So, it … [Read more...]

A Rainy Day at Saunders Farm

@coffeewithjulie Saunders Farm

Saunders Farm is a bit of an "must do" experience in these parts. While our family almost always makes a visit during the Christmas season to pick a tree, the Fall Festival is actually the Farm's most popular time of year. This festival has been running for 21 years and during this season Saunders Farms has up to 165 employees on board to help make it happen. Despite the rainy day, we made the drive out to Saunders Farm yesterday and met up … [Read more...]

What Guidance Would You Give to An Algonquin College Student on Online Identity and Career Advancement?

algonquin-XSmall

The last time I had the pleasure of being a guest speaker at Algonquin College, I asked you what advice you would give to a student soon to be graduating from the Advertising program. I thought that the comments that came in were really valuable, so I'd like to do a repeat performance. Today, I'll be speaking to a class that is in a business stream (as opposed to a creative stream) in the Advertising and Marketing Communications Management … [Read more...]

The Terra20 Store: My Personal Assistant for Avoiding Greenwashing

@ecoholicnation and @coffeewithjulie

On Friday night, I watched a very interesting episode of CBC's Marketplace. In this season premiere, the show examined products that purported to be "green." You know the kind ... you see them everywhere nowadays -- the label includes something green or has been re-branded with a beige colour and includes words such as "natural," "non-toxic," and "biodegradable." I'm sure I've been duped countless times by these products because I want to do my … [Read more...]

50 Pounds of Poutine (A Guest Post by The Maven of Mayhem)

Poutine - so good!

Okay, friends, to cap off this "50 Shades" theme, I'm bringing out the big guns today. Like any good finale, I've saved the best for last. I've called upon one of my favourite bloggers to write a guest post just for us! Amanda is The Maven of Mayhem and it did not go unnoticed by me that she recently penned an erotic tale about bacon. (Yes, yes she did!) But since I don't actually like bacon, I have put in a special request for .... POUTINE! … [Read more...]

Impractical Purchasing: The Bicycle Edition (Part 2 of 2)

"Julie's Bicycle," by Andrew King

Okay, so where were we? Ah, yes, I had rudely let the season three finale of Glee interrupt my story about my (lack of) bicycle. And since then I also let two children with fevers, a work project, and countless other errands get in the way too. Geez - where are my priorities?? Let's get back at this, shall we? I had walked away from the oh-so-cute retro bike with custom painting so that I could choose something more practical that fit … [Read more...]

Pillow Talk

IMG01248-20120513-1627

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...]

Help! I’ve Got a Kid

If I'd actually had enough spark left in me at the time, that's precisely what I would have cried out to the world almost ten years ago. But I didn't. Because it was too hard just to get out of bed, let alone care for my new born baby. I'd been smacked hard with a postpartum depression stick and was completely and utterly overwhelmed. I knew other mothers didn't feel like I did. And that made things feel worse. I distinctly recall observing … [Read more...]

Last Night at Von’s

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It's been a while since I went out for a dinner that wasn't work-related. Where you can just sit, and let your mind wander between conversations and whatever thoughts are poking around inside it. A girlfriend was turning 40, and so eight of us gathered to enjoy a meal and drink some wine. I sat down in Von's restaurant in the Glebe, and then I noticed the wall in front of me. The entire wall was covered with portraits. Each face, … [Read more...]

The Wealthy Barber Returns: 5 Takeaway Tips

Yes, my eyes are closed. What of it?

Have you ever read The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton? The year before I graduated from high school, this book on personal finance hit the bookstands with a storm! Over two million copies have been sold in North America, and I think that’s because of its unique fictional format. Here’s how Wikipedia describes the book: The book is structured around a story of three people in their late 20s visiting Roy, the title character, for lessons in … [Read more...]

Ottawa’s New Ikea: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

People go on and on about how much they hate Walmart and how evil it is. But you rarely hear the same people talk about Ikea with the same vehemence. I even checked: Google results for "I hate Ikea" are 13 million, where as "I hate Walmart" delivers more than 58 million results. And we all know that Google knows everything. After making my first visit to the largest Ikea in Canada, I find this rather perplexing since I would much rather shop … [Read more...]

Taking a Stand (thoughts for Remembrance Day)

This poem, Taking a Stand, was penned by John Bailey, who is a former regular and now serving Territorial Army soldier who served in Afghanistan in 2008. In 2009, a member of his unit, Corporal Steven Boote, was killed along with four others by a rogue Afghan policeman. He spent the day in Wootton Bassett the day their bodies were repatriated and that night he wrote this poem as a comment on TA service in general but more importantly as a tribute … [Read more...]

“Month of Me” post #10: Splatter Paint Party at 4 Cats Art Studio!

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The Invite: I'm turning 40 in October, but I sure didn't get here alone ... each of you gorgeous women has played a special part in my life and as a little thank-you, I hope you can join me for a fun get-together! We'll be literally be partying like it's 1984 ;) since we'll be acting like big kids as we do a SPLATTER PAINT PARTY!   Details: You need to wear old clothes AND shoes! There is a refreshment room so if anyone is up for bring … [Read more...]

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