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Dusk & Dinner in Gatineau Park #TheWinterResolution


In my ongoing quest to not become the most bitter woman on the planet because of winter, I said yes to going for a cross-country ski outing with my family last Sunday. The whole drive there I was plotting my immigration to Australia and what year would be best for the kids' schooling. (I kid you not.) And yet? It was a beautiful (dare I say magical) time with my family. The trails were so peaceful. The time with my son (he can't keep up with … [Read more...]

Small Business, Big Rewards #5by20


These days, it's quite hip to "shop local" for everything from groceries to large consumer items. And, call me a hipster if you will, but I do try to support a local business owner when deciding where to buy something. The first reason for doing so is entirely selfish -- the small business owner knows you and will give you better service. Don't believe me? Well, just chat with my daughter Stella then, who regularly calls into the local toy store … [Read more...]

Rush, rush, rush — *poof!*


Christmas feels like a funny sport sometimes. You try to prepare early, but as the big day gets near, there's nothing you can do but run, run, run ... rush, rush, rush ..  give it your all ... and then  -- *poof!* -- it's over. Done. Just like that. Until next year of course. When you hope to prepare a little more, and keep things simpler, and bite your tongue more, and be a little more merry. But, how was it, after all? It was … [Read more...]

My Tips for a No-hassle Selling Experience on #UsedHelps

dining table

Sure, we all love to sell things and put a few dollars back into our pocket. But time is money, right? And sometimes selling something takes a lot of time. But you might recall when I took the UsedEverywhere "BIG DEAL Personality" quiz, I was the "Savvy Spender."So how about I dish out some of this so-called savvy with you? After some trial and error, I have a pretty good system down and I haven't forgotten that I promised to share it with … [Read more...]

Where Oh Where Have I Been?


I'll give you one hint (and I promise to tell you all the fun bits real soon!) ... … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas 2013


Merry Christmas to you and yours! xo … [Read more...]

Easy Summer Salad: Orzo with Baby Spinach, Feta & Pinenuts

orzo pasta salad

So, listen, it's been almost a full year since I shared the Cold Quinoa Salad recipe with you. Since then, I have circulated this one salad in my repertoire so many times in the last year that even I'm sick of it! On Tuesday of this week, Hubby and I had my parents over for a belated Mother's Day and early Father's Day celebration and I decided to try out not one but two (!) new salad recipes. To everyone's mighty surprise, they both turned … [Read more...]

It’s Friday, Friends. Let’s Celebrate True Colors.

Today closes out an international anti-bullying campaign. In schools across our city, kids are shown videos, encouraged to act out skits, and generally work hard not to roll their eyes as they're told over and over again that bullying is bad -- don't be a bully. None of it, in my opinion, truly prepares the teachers or the students for how to effectively deal with kids who are bullying and kids who are being bullied. I wish I knew the answers; … [Read more...]

Ottawa Giveaway! The Seagull – A Modern Ballet at Canada’s NAC

Canada's National Arts Centre has generously offered two tickets for a giveaway to Coffee with Julie readers! Up for grabs are two orchestra-level tickets to The Seagull, by the National Ballet of Canada. It's been given brilliant reviews here, there, and just about everywhere. Canada's NAC, Ottawa Friday, April 13, 2012 Curtain time: 8 pm 2 tickets To enter: This ballet is based on a play authored by Anton Chekhov and first produced … [Read more...]

A muffin-making virgin no longer.


Last week, I got all inspired by my copy of The Looneyspoons Collection (TLC) and made muffins. For the first time. Ever. Please don't ask how I got this far in life without having made muffins because then I'd have to admit to you all the other things that I've never cooked or baked. It's a long list. I was actually going to make a cookie recipe because it had fewer ingredients (and therefore seemed less intimidating), but Stella, my … [Read more...]

Reader Review of Great Wolf Lodge (Part 2 of 2)

Photo credit: Sarah McCormack

This is post is a continuation of this one here if you'd like to catch up. Coffee with Julie reader Sarah McCormack of Photos with Sarah is sharing her recent experience at Great Wolf Lodge with us! ************************* The water park itself was incredible, lots of slides for all age groups. I would recommend it for children ages 3-13.   Although there are some big, thrilling slides, they may not be as thrilling for … [Read more...]

Spring Fever!


Spring fever is real. SO real for us Canucks! The weather was so gorgeous this past weekend that all the neighbours were out front of their houses washing cars, kids riding bikes, and big smiles all around. One big way that spring fever hits me is my wardrobe. I look at it and think -- it needs a complete overhaul! But, alas, I looked at my budget and thought -- nope, not gonna happen! However, I did pop over into our local Superstore and … [Read more...]

Happy Holiday Wishes to You!!!

May you be grateful. May you be merry. May you laugh so hard that you pee your pants just a wee bit. image credit … [Read more...]

A trip to Achray Campground in Algonquin Park, Ontario


I suspect that many camping families get themselves in a bit of a rut now and then. I think we find a magical campsite and then just keep going back and back. Sure, there's nothing wrong with returning to the tried and true. Let's a lot of advantages actually: kids often feel happy when they're in familiar surroundings and mothers often feel happy when they now how to navigate themselves through the forest to the toilets in the middle of the … [Read more...]

A Visit to The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto


For our family, a museum visit is often a highlight when we're travelling. In fact, I think Hubby and I have taken in at least one museum in every large city we've ever visited. And last weekend we were in Toronto to farewell our out-of-town guests before they hopped on a cross-Canada train trip. So before driving home on Sunday, we decided to squeeze in a tour of The Royal Ontario Museum, or "the ROM." We debated whether we should bother or … [Read more...]

Attention soon-to-be authors!

When I wrote a post about the new world of book publishing, a number of Coffee with Julie readers told me that they hoped to author their own books one day. I know some of these peeps in real life, and some only from my blog. But regardless of how I know them, I hope they all manage to make their dreams come true. And if I can help push them along -- heck, I will! So, here is what I want to share with you my dear soon-to-be author friends: a … [Read more...]

Winner of the Mark’s gift certificate!

I'm happy to announce the winner of my Spring-Pick-Me-Up Giveaway now! I just used and the winner is comment #5. And comment #5 is Finola. CONGRATS Finola! And how perfect since you were just chatting about needing spring clothes on twitter! I know you will enjoy shopping at Mark's! It's a no-pressure, easy shopping experience. As for the rest of you lovely commenters ... I'm sorry I couldn't give you ALL gift certificates so … [Read more...]

2011 National Home Show ticket winners!

And tells me the winners to the 2011 National Home Show are .... #8 - Melissa: who loves her character home but is keen for organizing and space-saving ideas  #10 - Beth: who moves A LOT, so really, a home show with some girlfriends is a must-do trip, right?  #12 - Vivian: who dreams of that magazine-worthy kitchen (I don't even cook and I would love that too!)  #13 - Niki: who, like me, would love to have an enormous … [Read more...]

Am I Fresh?

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How to keep little girls from growing up too fast

In this past weekend's Saturday issue of the Ottawa Citizen, an article's title caught my eye. It was in the Life section and titled "More sugar and spice and everything nice: How to keep little girls from growing up too fast." This is something I really want for my daughter -- a childhood. Not a frenetic rush into teens because of some extremely forceful marketing to her age group. I briefly scanned the article and then read the side-bar, … [Read more...]

Things that make you go “hmmm”

I have a new post up over at Life As A Human titled "Air travel and things that make you go hmmm." Why not click on over and be my BFF by leaving a comment? Either that or watch this video. Or both. It's a free world, I guess. … [Read more...]