Category Archives: Ottawa Fun

And the winner of NAC tickets is …

I used to have one of the names be virtually pulled out of a hat and the winner is …


Congrats Pam! You now have two tickets to the NAC’s production of Mozart’s Final Piano Concerto — Beyond the Score. (I’ll email you directly with details.)

So, as my “date” Andrea said her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl: LET’S HERE IT FOR A CLASSY NIGHT OUT! (To further whet your appetite, you can also read what Andrea wrote about the event here.)

If you didn’t win and you’d still like to attend, tickets are available here on Ticketmaster Canada. Regular ticket prices run from $16.50 to $85.00. And if you’re a student, definitely take advantage of the NAC’s LiveRush program and snag a ticket for $11 before the show.


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Filed under Living, Ottawa Fun

According to plan

I had a great day planned out for yesterday.

It’s been 7 months since I’ve returned to Canada from Australia and in all that time, I still haven’t had a playdate with just me, my 14-month-old son, my sister-in-law and her 17-month-old son. While we were in separate countries, we both gave birth to boys — cousins! — just a few months apart.

This kind of playdate is exactly what I pined for during moments of homesickness in Australia. Somehow though life just ran along at break-neck speed, and we had yet to get together. Until yesterday.

On Thursday morning, we would meet after the boys’ morning naps and let them visit with the baby animals at Valley View Farm.  

So, here is how I envisioned this day to go …

8:50 am:  Wave Stella off on the school bus.
9:00 am:  Put Max down for a morning nap.
9:10 am:  Enjoy peaceful, long hot shower.
9:30 am:  Blowdry, dress, make-up.
10:00 am: Check e-mail.
10:15 am: Replenish diaper bag, pack lunch.
10:30 am: Wake Max from nap.
10:45 am: Drive to Valley View Farm.
11:00 am:  Meet SIL and nephew for playdate! 
11:15 am:  Enjoy the farm and its animals.
11:45 am:  Picnic lunch.
12:15 pm: Chase the kids about the play yard.
12:30 pm: Take great scrapbook photos of the cousins.
12:45 pm: Say good-byes.

And this is how the day actually went …

8:50 am:  No one is at the bus stop. Apparently, the bus came early.
8:55 am:  Pack both kids into car and drive Stella to school.
9:00 am:  Unpack both kids from car and walk Stella to the school yard.
9:05 am:  Re-pack Max into his car seat.
9:10 am:  Arrive home and put Max down for nap.
9:15 am:  Max doesn’t want to settle. Make and give him a warm bottle.
9:30 am: Max settles into a nap.
9:35 am: Answer phone that has been ringing off the hook.
9:40 am: Check emails and feel panicked by rush request from client.
9:45 am:  Max is woken up from his nap by construction noise outside.
9:50 am: Find some toys and bring to bathroom to occupy Max so I can have a shower. Shower while trying to convince Max not to climb on toilet.
10:00 am: Get out of shower and dig through laundry basket for clean clothes.
10:10 am: Take another phone call. While on phone, ensure diaper bag has diapers and wipes. 
10:30: Realize Max has wet through two layers of fresh clothes. Change onesie and pants.
10:40 am: Put shoes on and leave the house with wet hair, no makeup.
10:45 am: Realize I forgot to bring drinks and lunch. Decide not to turn car around and instead hope there is food available to buy at Valley View.
10:50 am: Get distracted and take a wrong turn.
11:05 am: Arrive late to meet SIL and nephew. Greeted with happy smiles.
11:10 am: Enjoy seeing Max’s expression at first sight of animals.
11:15 am: Kick myself when I realize I didn’t bring my camera.
11:30 am: Feed Max scraps from nephew’s lunch. Feel like bad mother.
11:45 am: Let kids run around in the sand and play yard. 
12:00 pm: Realize it’s super sunny and I have not put sunscreen on Max. Plus, no water. Feel like bad mother again.
12:15 pm: Enjoy nice chat with SIL in between chasing after the boys.
12:30 pm: Max is visibly exhausted due to no morning nap.
12:45 pm: Say our goodbyes. Promise to do this again soon.

All in all, the morning had such great moments. But according to plan? Ya, not quite.


Filed under Family, Living, Ottawa Fun, Tales

Awesome autumn daytrip

Pssst! Got kids? Then you won’t want to miss out on this awesome autumn roadtrip. It’s an easy daytrip — or an overnighter, if you please — so pack up some roadtrip snacks and get the kids ready!

Pick up a copy of this Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen (Travel section) to get the details.

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Filed under Activities, Family, Family, Living, Ottawa Fun, Travel

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 dear friends and family here. But there it is.

Life in Australia was exciting, busy and fun. I lived in, comparatively speaking, a mansion and had few responsibilities on my plate for the entire year. I also made some deep friendships that I miss terribly. Oh, and did I mention I also gave birth to the most darling little boy there too? I mean, really, poor ol’ Ottawa had no hope of living up to Australia. It sure didn’t help that I returned in the bitter cold of January, either.

But this “coffee with julie” blog has really made a difference to me. It’s a new and exciting project, and it provides a much-needed creative outlet. My family doesn’t quite get this “blogging thing,” but at BOLO, everyone did. We were a community of our own making. Ottawa bloggers. And I was so happy to have been welcomed into it.

BOLO feels like it was a turning point for me. A turn back to my Ottawa, my home, my community.

If you’d like to read the posts from BOLO, please do! They are a great mix of life stories that include first loves, true loves, mothering angst, depression, and some awesome bits of twisted humour. Thanks again Lynn!  


Filed under Blogs, Internet Love, Living, Media, Observations, Ottawa Fun

Out of the mouths of babes.

Me:  So … did you hear Mommy on the radio yesterday?

6-year-old Daughter: Well, yes I did. But I didn’t recognize your voice.

Me: Yes, people can sound different on the radio. I think it’s because of the microphones.

6-year-old Daughter: Oh, I see. It really didn’t sound like you at all. Because I heard the voice of a really calm lady.


Filed under Blogs, Family, Living, Media, Observations, Ottawa Fun, Radio, Tales

All In A Day

Okay, now it’s my turn to panic!

All In A Day called (you know, CBC’s afternoon radio show) and asked if I would come in to be interviewed on the show to talk about Blog Out Loud Ottawa. I love All In A Day, so I swooned and said ‘yes’ immediately. Here’s how the show is described on their site:

All In A Day is Ottawa’s number one afternoon drive program, not surprising considering that CBC Radio One 91.5 is Ottawa’s number one radio station. More people listen to CBC Radio than to any other station in town.

Yikes, WHAT WAS I THINKING — I’ve never been on radio before … I could stutter, and stammer and giggle like a fool. The last time I agreed to do something like this was in 2002 when Kim Brunhuber invited me to a televised book club chat. And YES, I did come off like an idiot then. But, hey, my family still gets a good laugh about it to this day, so I guess it was worth it.

Tune in! It’s scheduled for 4:50 pm this afternoon.


Filed under Blogs, Living, Media, Ottawa Fun, Radio

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 this very same Chinatown-cafe.

Shannon’s article is published in Dharma Arts, an online magazine devoted to showcasing Ottawa’s artistic talents. I hadn’t come across Dharma Arts before and after making its discovery, I quickly consumed all of its online archives in addition to the current edition. If you have any interest in the arts scene, I think you’ll be as smitten as I am.

The article itself really evokes a feel for this cafe — the prose and images overlapping — and has heightened my anticipation for this Thursday’s event.  The owner of Raw Sugar really seems to have successfully created something much more than a cafe … a destination, a lively gathering spot where one feels connected to a community. And it is undeniably a place where the artistic act is supported and embraced — art in all its broadest, most vivid and exciting forms.

raw sugar cafe

These two photos were sourced from: Watawa life

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Filed under Fitness & Food, Internet Love, Living, Ottawa Fun, Shopping