Category Archives: Internet Love

Design freebies @ The Small Object

So there is this girl named Sarah and she makes these great little small objects.

Sarah Neuburger

Sarah Neuburger

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.

sticker%20copy[1]

 She creates absolutely delightful things … like custom cake toppers for wedding cakes made from wooden clothes pegs…

weddingTopper5[1]

 … and rubber stamps featuring her own unique illustrations (my favourite is the Pet Shop Pals set!) …

stamps9[1]

 super-cute unique stationery, and even other odds and ends like this lunch bag …

banditBag1[1]

And here’s the really great bit: she also creates printable items for you to download and use for FREE. Really awesome items. I’m especially taken with the gift tags and notecards.

If you visit her steno pad, you’ll also find iPhone wallpaper and craft tutorials too.

Ah, such fun! Thanks Sarah!
wedding cake topper

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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!  

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

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

Moms have Power

online momMore breaking news to add to the “do not host a party where you intentionally hope your children catch an illness of pandemic proportions” that I reported on last night. This time … okay, are you ready? Here it is: moms have power.

Gee, moms rule the nest? Who knew.

Okay, in all seriousness, I do think the article is note-worthy even though I already know that I am all-powerful. Here’s why: it suggests that online marketers are not tapped into the “mom demographic” despite the fact that:

  • Moms control 85% of household spending
  • Are worth more than $2 trillion to U.S. brands, as reported by the Marketing to Moms Coalition
  • Over 78% of moms with children under 18 were employed in 2000 according to the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Working out of the home, telecommuting, or running a business from home, media technology and the Internet have become true enablers.

“Are Brands Ignoring Moms”: the full article.

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Clever Billboard Ads for your Coffee Break

revolution_strategy_logo[1]As you know, I love to chat-up Canadian businesses. This morning I came across an awfully cool ad agency via LinkedIn: Revolution Strategy. And no, they’re not located in Toronto! Nope, not even in Vancouver. They’re out East, in New Brunswick to be precise. How great is that?

In fact, they’re so cool that I’d even move back East (I was born there, did you know?) from my lovely little spot here in Manotick. [*hint*hint*wink*wink* Ms. Riedle*]

Okay, dear readers, here’s what I have for you this morning: An oh-so-clever list of billboard ads, courtesy of a link from Revolution Strategy’s blog Snoop. Check it out – it’s worth it: http://adbroad.blogspot.com/2009/07/billboards-that-work-without-ctr.html
My favourite is the bubble gum one. What’s yours?

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Filed under Blogs, Internet Love, Media

Solo vacation, anyone?

I have a girlfriend who takes an annual vacation by herself. Nothing fancy … she just picks a nearby city and books herself into a hotel room. Sometimes she meanders about the local sights and sometimes she just hangs out in her room, watching movies and ordering-in her favourite foods. She’s a big believer that this kind of break is not only good for her, but for her marriage and for her energy as a stay-at-home mother.

After exactly one day of summer break with my children, I’ve come to the conclusion that a solo vacation is highly desirable. Sure, I know, all the parenting blogs are giving you tips on family vacations, but I’m going to veer in an entirely different direction and give you a tip for travelling solo: visit the site www.exinthecity.com and click on “City Guides.”

I came to know about this site because its owner hires travel writers to develop its “City Guides.” These guides are designed specifically for the solo woman traveller. The Ex in The City site itself has been developed for a niche audience: the woman starting over after a divorce. But there’s no reason why these city guides aren’t perfect for us mothers (and fathers!) among us who just want a little breather.

If you’re game, here’s the guide I wrote for Toronto:
http://exinthecity.com/guides/toronto1.html

And if you’re one of my friends in Sydney, consider this Melbourne guide:
http://exinthecity.com/guides/melbourne1.html

And if you really can’t bring yourself to travel alone — take me!

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Filed under Internet Love, Living, Observations, Travel

The Wind Beneath my Wings

Dear Garry at SoHo Portal,

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

Gratefully yours,
Julie

(Note: see www.caffeinecommunications.ca — my corporate communications site is back up again! All thanks due to the SoHo Portal team.)

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