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Ottawa Giveaway: Tickets to Advance Screening of Earth to Echo Movie!

et collage

It's Monday. Let's do a giveaway, shall we? Remember how excited and captivated you were as a kid to see the movie ET for the first time? I can remember clearly that my neighbours had seen ET at drive-in show (oh, those were sooo cool!)  and I was just bursting out of my skin for my parents to take me too. When we did go, I certainly wasn't disappointed! Now, in 2014, we'll be able to re-live that fun again ... and introduce it to our kids! … [Read more...]

School for Bloggers: WordCamp Ottawa 2014 (#WCOttawa)

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Oops, they did it again! The WordCamp Ottawa organizers pulled off an amazing conference this past weekend. For the price of $30, attendees drank in a full day and a half of informative sessions AND were fed lunch and snacks as well. It's by far the best value for dollar of any conference I've ever been to. All up, 320 people registered for the 2014 edition of WordCamp Ottawa. As mentioned in my earlier post, I was going to be speaking. My … [Read more...]

A New Blogging Conference is Coming to Ottawa! #BConnectedConf

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And we know how much I love to go to blogging conferences (aka "School for Bloggers")!!! Some good friends of mine kicked off a great social media conference in Ottawa in 2011 called Social Capital Conference. Naturally, I attended it and I'm happy to see it still running and growing in numbers each year. This new conference is called BConnected and its focus is specifically on parent bloggers. As far as I'm aware, these are the only two … [Read more...]

Taking the Kids to NYC: Our Top 5 Highlights

museum

NYC with kids? Yes, it's do-able and we did it! We are fortunate enough to have friends in NYC, so it makes taking a last minute trip a whole lot easier. Usually, however, it is either Hubby or I taking a solo trip. This time, we took the kids. With Max now 5 years old and Stella now 11, travel is also a whole lot easier. So we felt that the Christmas school holiday break was a window we couldn't resist. We left on December 30th and drove … [Read more...]

Your Most Popular Posts in 2013

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In 2013, I published 122 new posts. And that brings the number of posts I've published in total here on Coffee with Julie to 14,477. But what did you actually like on Coffee with Julie in 2013? In 2013, these were the 5 posts that had the most views: 1. Hot Cars Kill (published in July 2013) 2. Arbonne Makeup Primer (published in November 2012) 3. Favourite "Eco" Shampoos (published in January 2013) 4. Achray Campground (published … [Read more...]

10 Reasons Why I Love My Beats Studio Headphones by Dr. Dre

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I was at the mall today. So I can personally vouch that if you have yet to pick out a perfect gift for someone special, you are definitely not alone! It is a busy world out there. But thanks to Staples, I can recommend the ideal gift for that person who seems to have everything: Beat Studio headphones by Dr. Dre. Whether they're a music lover, business traveller, or public transport devotee, these headphones will make life just that much more … [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...]

Amanda Lindhout and the Power of the Human Spirit

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Thanks to the Ottawa International Writers Festival, I had the tremendous opportunity to meet Amanda Lindhout and hear her story in her own words. If Amanda's name does not ring familiar, let me explain who she is. She is a young Canadian woman who has published a memoir (A House in the Sky) of her experience as a hostage in Somalia for 460 days. Let that sink in for a moment: Four-hundred and sixty days. These were not 460 days in a … [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...]

School for Bloggers: Finding a Signature Look (#LINK2013)

@coffeewithjulie's conference boots

Two Christmases ago, my husband gifted me with a new pair of boots. Knowing my love of the Fluevog, we visited a local store that carried some and happened upon a pair that were on sale. Tall. Bright. Yellow. Not the kind of boots that you could wear everyday, but Hubby encouraged me to get them. … [Read more...]

Books for Tweens: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Have you ever been with your children and cringed at how they reacted to someone on the street? I have. The other day my 5-year-old son and I were walking down the sidewalk and a man walked by. I didn't even notice him. But immediately afterwards, and far louder than I would have wished, he said in a matter-of-fact tone: "He looked weird." I'm not sure what "weird" means to my son, or where he might have conceived his definition of what "weird" … [Read more...]

How to Keep Your Cool When an Adult Bullies Your Child

Bullying, Losing your cool

Today's post is a topic that's been broached here on Coffee with Julie before: Bullying. I'm really happy to share this post right now, because I think it's really important to discuss  bullying not just for the two weeks following a tragedy, as is the tendency with media cycles. Today, Nicole from Our Family World shares some tips on how to keep your cool. I don't think I can agree with her more that despite our initial desires to go "mama bear … [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...]

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

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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...]

Proudly Canadian Giveaway! ($485 total value *now closed*) #TGCBB

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Over the past couple of months, I've really been enjoying the opportunity to meet more and more Canadian bloggers. In doing so, I was introduced to a tradition that started three years ago called The Great Canadian Blog Bash. Started up by three Canadian bloggers, the idea is to showcase Canadian pride via a blog post (which I will do shortly) as well as to showcase Canadian products and services via an all-Canadian giveaway (this post!). The … [Read more...]

Summer Weddings, Past & Present (+ Giveaway for a Samsung Galaxy Note 8! *now closed*)

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Hubby and I promised our lives to each other under a couple of century-old gum trees on one of the hottest of summer days in Australia. It was a day and a night that I will never forget, and will always be grateful for because we simply could not have done it without all of the help of our parents on both sides of the family. We were young and broke, and short on time. But so many family and friends pitched in with the planning and it somehow … [Read more...]

38 “Must Read” Books, as suggested by @coffeewithjulie Readers

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In response to my post "3 Books that Changed My Life," I received so many fantastic suggestions for "must read" books that I don't want to forget them. They came in via Facebook, Twitter, and in the Comments section of the blog. In no particular order, I am listing them here for handy reference. 1.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Path - suggested by @ReadyDressedGo 2. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol - suggested by @ReadyDressedGo 3. … [Read more...]

3 Books that Changed My Life

real simple magazine, June 2013

Last week, I treated myself to two magazines (oh, how I still love my printed magazines!). One of these was Real Simple. In it, there was an article "50 books that will change your life." It had been mentioned on the cover, and was one of the reasons I chose this magazine over the many other beckoning covers. Once I got home, I flipped right to that article. I felt oddly disappointed. As an avid reader, I had expected that many of my favourite … [Read more...]

Can Gadgets Help Kids Be More Active Or Are They Just Gimmicks?

Front and Side View of a Pokewalker

There's a whole lot of talk lately about kids and their low fitness levels in Canada. This week, as example, Healthy Active Kids Canada just released their annual report and gave Canadian kids a grade of "D minus" (yikes!) for overall fitness activity levels. I've been working with a client who focuses on this, so I've had the opportunity to read into some of the research investigating the roots of this issue and, needless to say, it's a complex, … [Read more...]

It’s Friday, Friends. Let’s Shoot for the Stars!

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is just so darn cool that he has my kids shooting for the stars. I love it because it gives me an excuse to remind them to study hard in their maths and sciences if they want to be an astronaut. p.s. Is it just me or are you secretly developing a crush on him too? … [Read more...]

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