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


  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...]

Getting your feet wet with LinkedIn

Despite the constant use of the words “social media” in every second conversation these days, a very large proportion of people have not yet taken the plunge. I don’t blame them, frankly, because even just the term “social media” is starting to grate on me too and I’m a big fan! But if you think you might like to get your feet wet, I think that LinkedIn is a good place to start. It takes very little time and the "unwritten rules" of engagement … [Read more...]

School for Bloggers: The new world of book publishing levels the playing field. Kinda. Mostly. (#BWENY)

So, I'm in New York City. But unlike my last post, I have been inside all day attending Blog World & New Media Expo 2011 (hashtag #BWENY). Like many other conferences, there are "tracks" so that you can follow a specific theme that you might be interested in. I'm in attendance for my "day job" as a corporate communications manager for a high-tech company, so the track I've been following is the Social Media for Business Summit. But at the … [Read more...]


Yes, Charlie, you sure are winning with those two hookers goddesses and your crack-fested tiger blood. But, hey, us Canadian bloggers aren't doing so bad ourselves, actually! I'm really honoured to have received nominations for two categories (Family & Parenting and Life) in this year's Canadian Weblog Awards. The 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards are a juried competition with nominations open in 36 categories between January 1st and October … [Read more...]

The lady sitting alone in the movie theatre

When I was younger, there was no way I'd walk into a movie theatre alone. Because ... What if someone saw me? What would they think? And I would wonder to myself about that lady sitting alone in the movie theatre ... Is she lonely? Does she not have a partner or friend to come with her? And despite having a house full of love and a pocket full of wonderful friends, I am often that lady sitting alone in the movie theatre. When I have a night to … [Read more...]

Consumption to the point of destruction

Okay, so I've spent two posts complaining (first that the "obesity epidemic" in Canada was not really an epidemic, and second, that if it is really an epidemic, it's downright embarrassing when you put it in perspective to other epidemics around the world) and now I think it is probably time to do something helpful. Your comments on my post have been particularly insightful and have given me lots of food for thought (pardon the pun!). Many of … [Read more...]

Starting the year on a high note!

I am utterly thrilled and gobsmacked to share some exciting news with you! Coffee with Julie has come through the juried process at the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards with the following honours:   Thank you, universe. And thank you Schmutzie for being the brains and the brawn behind this national effort. It means a lot to us mad keen bloggers. … [Read more...]

Why do kids love Christmas so darn much?


The excitement in our house is really building ...  My 8-year-old daughter is a believer and my 2.5-year-old son doesn't really know who Santa is but he sure likes all the sparkling lights and chocolate! Is it the same at your house too? I've been thinking about why kids love Christmas so darn much and I've decided it's really not the gifts. It's the anticipation of the gifts. This and a few other thoughts are being shared over at Life … [Read more...]

Suicide prevention and the “It gets better” campaign

*** Important: If you are thinking about suicide or experiencing a crisis right now, don't wait: Call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. There are professionals available who can give you immediate help. *** I've been deeply moved by the recent movement "It gets better." In response to some recent high-profile teen suicides, Dan Savage, a well-known writer and openly gay man, sparked a tremendous viral video campaign in … [Read more...]

School for Bloggers: The mandatory BlogHer recap post that never happened. And won’t. (#BlogHer10)

Here is Andrea in one of a number of fun art installations that took place on the Voices of the Year Gala evening. She doesn't like being in photos, which is silly since she has supermodel cheekbones but I don't think she'll mind this one because it's blurry -- and cute too!

So. BlogHer. I know, I know. I'm supposed to do a recap of my experience -- what was great, what was not so great, which blogger idols I met and what swag I lugged back. But I'm not going to. I just didn't have time this week and now I don't feel like it. Plus, it's totally unnecessary, since some fabulous writers have already done great recaps. So I'll share a few of those with you instead. First, I'll point you towards the recaps written … [Read more...]

Who wears short-shorts?


                                                                                                                                          Do you dare wear short-shorts? If you’re my age and can pull off short-shorts, all the power to you. If you’re a young woman with long tanned legs you want to show off, all the power to you. But please — let’s not dress our young girls in short-shorts. {click here to see why I'm such a prude about … [Read more...]

This makes me happy …

... so I thought I'd share it with you! What can I say, a group of university, baseball-wearing guys singing Lady Gaga's Bad Romance really makes my day! Check it out. On the Rocks is the University of Oregon's all male a cappella ensemble. … [Read more...]

I’m still thinking about hyper-parenting

Hyper-parenting. You might remember that a little while back, I wrote a post sparked by the CBC documentary Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids. And I'm still thinking about it. The whole concept of hyper-parenting is never really far from my mind, actually. It's something that I consciously, actively want to avoid doing to my children. And yet, it seems we live in a world where hyper-parenting is almost becoming the norm. Or at least that's how I … [Read more...]

Life As A Human has launched!


So, today is the big day! Life As A Human, the Canadian-based e-zine I was telling you about in my last post has now launched. I really had no idea how it was all going to come together or who the other writers were -- it was a bit of a leap of faith to sign-on as a contributor. As you can imagine then, I was super keen to check it out first thing this morning. The result? I'm thrilled! And honoured. Because the editorial team selected … [Read more...]

I’m a twit

I've been curious about Twitter for a while now. Although I'm completely captivated by social media,  I've been holding off on joining because it just seemed like one more way for me to suck time out of my day. But this week I joined. My brother's response was "It was inevitable." My husband's response was "Just be careful what you 'put out there'." My response? I'm still undecided. On the one hand, it is really fun to exchange quick little … [Read more...]

Gift ideas for Mom/Grandma

Sometimes getting gifts for my parents can be challenging. For instance, if there is something out there that my mother wants, at this point in her life she has likely already gone out and gotten it. So, in the spirit of my last post about getting ready for Christmas early (let's hear it for avoiding stress, the zoo in the stores and the over-spending that can happen when you're feeling frantic!), here are a few ideas I thought I'd throw out … [Read more...]

Wordstock rocked

In 1969, hippies travelled from far and wide to attend Woodstock. They came to appreciate the vibe and the amazing music. They drank lots, they drugged lots. It was a good time. It's 40 years later, in 2009. Writers travelled from far and wide to attend Wordstock, at Ryerson University. They came to appreciate the wisdom and experience of amazing traditional and new media journalists. They drank lots of coffee. It was a good time. So that's … [Read more...]

Design freebies @ The Small Object


So there is this girl named Sarah and she makes these great little small objects. No, I don't know her. But you know how the internet is like that -- I just stumbled upon her -- and what a treasure of talent she is! Her company is called The Small Object.  She creates absolutely delightful things ... like custom cake toppers for wedding cakes made from wooden clothes pegs...  ... and rubber stamps featuring her own unique illustrations (my … [Read more...]

My own personal BOLO

As I drove home from Blog Out Loud Ottawa, I had the summer wind whipping through the car and the music on high. And something strange happened; I started to cry. But it wasn't a bad cry. It was a good cry, if you know what I mean. I think it was a release of sorts. Because, truth be told, I've had a tough time adapting to life back in Ottawa after a year away in Australia. It's something I don't dare to say out loud, for fear of offending my … [Read more...]

Sweet Spot

raw sugar button

Looking for a sweet spot to just hang out and have a coffee? Or perhaps you'd like a coffee but your partner for the afternoon would rather a cold beer?  Well, hello Raw Sugar cafe! In the way that Ottawa is always such a funny, small-world-sort-of-place, I told my neighbour Kim that I'd be reading at BOLO (Blog Out Loud Ottawa), being hosted at the new(ish) Raw Sugar. She then pointed me to an article written by her sister, Shannon Beahen, on … [Read more...]