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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...]

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...]

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

down the aisle

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...]

School for Bloggers: Top 5 WordPress Plugins (#WCOttawa)

WordCamp Ottawa, #wcottawa

This week, my hometown of Ottawa will be hosting its very first WordCamp (#WCOttawa)! I've mentioned in previous "School for Bloggers" posts that these kinds of events are a life bread for bloggers because it's the best way to learn -- from each other. There's no school for this crazy thing called blogging, so this is what we do instead. Here's how WordCamp Central describes these gatherings, which have taken place all over the … [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...]

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

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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...]

School for Bloggers: Vlogging (#BlissdomCA)

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There's no formal training to become a blogger. You teach yourself what you can and you learn from other more experienced members of the blogging community. That's why blogging events are such a big deal in our world -- we get to connect with our community in a face-to-face way and we also get to learn more about this crazy craft called blogging. I just attended one of this "big deal" events -- Blissdom Canada -- over the past weekend (I … [Read more...]

Bullying and Rhetoric

Worried Young Woman Using Laptop At Home

Today, I'm a guest blogger over on Annie Urban's PhD in Parenting. Annie and I like each a lot despite butting heads on a number of issues. But that's precisely the point -- we both understand (and have a strong respect for) the importance of debate and discussion. Otherwise, we end up in rhetoric territory. … [Read more...]

Blog Housekeeping: New Comments System Installed (Livefyre)

There's a lot of work that goes into blogging beyond just typing and pressing publish. I learn on the fly (hello Google!), attend events like BlogWorld, and hire the very fine brains of a local developer that I've worked with since day one to try and keep up. There are also some hard costs like hosting fees and owning domains -- these are the "keep the lights on" costs of being a blogger. But when it comes to a lot of the tinkering and … [Read more...]

I look different

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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...]

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...]

And, now back to you! (Mark’s $50 Giveaway)

You've had just about enough "Month of Me" by now, I'm sure. So, let's turn it back to you! I have a treat for one of you: A $50 gift certificate from my BFF (aka Mark's, remember?) ... and just in time for the season change! (Yes, because I do still need to convince myself that I don't hate winter. Cozy, cute winter clothes will help, right?) I love online shopping (here's a list of my favourite spots for getting errands done) and clothes … [Read more...]

“Month of Me” post #07: Why yes, I am at another blogging conference

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"Month of Me" is a little ol' wild and crazy concept: In October, the month I celebrate my 40th birthday, I will do a whole slew of things that I love. Just because. You can read the kick-off post here.  Okay, so I'm back in Toronto. Again. For a blogging conference. Again. I know ... to most of you, this just sounds coo-coo! And I certainly don't blame you for thinking that. But hey, it's my month and I do love me some bloggers and some … [Read more...]

“Month of Me” post #004: Photo Recap of the Fun Stuff from Day One of the She’s Connected Conference

racing

Howdy everyone! So yesterday started off very bright and early (actually, why is it "bright" and early because, really, it's "dark" when you need to get up early, isn't it?)! Me and my bloggy buddy Andrea (otherwise known as @missfish and she is AWESOME  and she totally didn't lock the keys in her car) drove to Toronto to attend the first day of the She's So Connected Conference. We had planned to arrive just in time to hear the opening … [Read more...]

“Month of Me” post #03: Kicking it off a little early!

Officially, the #MonthofMe project is supposed to be the month of October but .... I've decided to kick off the #MonthofMe a little early. I was invited to a conference called ShesConnected, which takes place on September 29th and 30th.   I was curious about this invite-only conference that aims to connect Canada's "digital women" with brands, but the timing was terrible. For a number of reasons, not the least of which was the … [Read more...]

The Project Priceless Wedding: Was this social experiment a success?

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It's 6:30 am and the house is quiet, and I am fully dressed and ready to walk out the door. Normally, I would just head into the office and catch up on some things, but this morning I want to take some time to tell you about the Project Priceless wedding. I've already told you a little bit about why I was invited to this wedding, and the hoops I jumped through to get there. But there is more, so much more. ******** Here is how Jordan and … [Read more...]

Getting Myself to the Project Priceless Wedding

before outfit

So yes, I did get invited to a virtual stranger's wedding, as I shared in yesterday's post. (Although, theoretically, she's not a "virtual" stranger because we chit-chat virtually, I just don't know her in real life.) When Jordan sent me the details about the Project Priceless wedding, the only thing that registered in my head was the date: August 22nd. I couldn't recall anything already scheduled for that date, so I just replied "yes" right … [Read more...]

The Project Priceless Wedding (alternate title: I’m going to a stranger’s wedding tonight and will have my face in my BlackBerry the whole time)

calendar-pprwedding

Hubby is, how shall we say, an "analog" man. By choice, he does not use a cell phone, uses email only sparingly, and does not engage in any social media sites. So, needless to say, he finds my fascination with my BlackBerry, blog and twitter account somewhat baffling. But I think this latest development really takes the cake in his mind. Tonight, I'm attending a stranger's wedding and I'll be live-tweeting it the entire time. Here's how he … [Read more...]

#SoCapOtt: Ottawa’s first (annual!) Social Capital conference

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  I spent one of my only free days of the week at an all-day conference, paid for out of my own pocket. Insanity? My Hubby might agree. But I, for one, was certainly not going to miss Ottawa's first social media conference! Organized by a smart group of folks who I all consider to be my friends due to our connections on Twitter and via blogging, I was also there to support their efforts and help keep the attendance numbers high. Well, I … [Read more...]

School for Bloggers: QR Codes: Like a Bar Code, but Better! (#BWENY)

Have you noticed these black and white boxes showing up everywhere these days? From magazine advertisements, to business cards and even on massive outdoor signage, these boxes are called "QR Codes," which is short for Quick Response code. Like a bar code, but with the ability to hold up to double the number of alphanumeric characters, QR codes are rapidly becoming the latest marketing darling. I recently had a chance to learn more about these … [Read more...]

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