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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...]

Books for Tweens: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

wonder-by-r.j.-palacio

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

Barnum_&_Bailey_clowns_and_geese2

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

canpride

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

shellstar logo

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*)

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...]

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

book stack

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...]

Old School and New Skool: Two New Blogging Tools for Moi!

@coffeewithjulie business cards by MOO

It feels strange to put the words "blogging" and "business" together. But that's what it has turned out to be in many ways. It's a labour of love since I put far more effort and energy in than I get out in dollars and cents. But there are dollars and cents involved now (you can read details here, I try to keep things as open and transparent as possible) and that means, by definition, that it's a business. Like all businesses, there are some … [Read more...]

It’s Friday, Friends. It’s About Time!

This week, France legalized gay marriage. Last week, it was New Zealand. The week before that, it was Uruguay. Marriage equality. It's Time. Julie xo … [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...]

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...]

What Should Schools Do About Bullying? A Q&A with Lissa Albert

Lissa Albert, M.A., Educational Technology

In the first part of my discussion with researcher and cyberbullying expert Lissa Albert, we discussed what a parent should do if they suspect their child is being bullied. Today, we’ll look at what schools can do. Q1.  What do you believe is the most effective approach for tackling bullying in schools? As an educator, I believe that we must always begin with as much as we can learn about any topic before we make a plan to tackle the … [Read more...]

What Can We Do About Bullying? A Q&A with Lissa Albert

School Climate 2.0 book cover

My last post on bullying sent the traffic to Coffee with Julie soaring. Clearly, I’d hit a nerve. I think that’s because the adults in our communities genuinely want to do something about bullying, but are just not sure what that is. One reader, Chantal, suggested that having access to a social worker or other experienced worker in the realm of bullying would be very helpful. So I reached out to my online community and received a number of … [Read more...]

My Ill-Informed Oscars Predictions

oscar

Tonight is the night! It's pajamas and tiaras, accompanied by yummy food and great gals. I did do my best to cram in as many of the nine films that were nominated for best picture this year. In the end, I saw: Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook. I also really wanted to catch Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, but that didn't happen. But just because I haven't seen most of the films and just because I haven't read … [Read more...]

Saturdays with Stella*: Eggs and Hamadeus at Canada’s NAC

greeneggs__large

I'm really sorry about there not being a post yesterday  The reason why is that I was going to an NAC concert with my best friend! So I had to postpone the blog post to see it, because who wants to hear about my predictions! You want the actual event!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (excessive use of exclamation marks!) So yesterday afternoon I set out with my friend and her family to go to the NAC to see Green Eggs And Hamadeus. The traffic was … [Read more...]

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