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Nordik Spa-Nature: Walk in, Float out

Kalla treatment, Nordik Spa-Nature

I wasn't hot. I wasn't cold. I couldn't feel the tension in my shoulders. Nor the nagging, ever-present weight of my head on a weak neck. The room was dim, with candles lit. But I had my eyes closed, blocking out yet another sensory distraction. Only one sense was in action -- under the water, there was sound. A music without words. So primal, it almost felt like it was simply coming from my mind, not entering through my ears. My body … [Read more...]

First Camping Trip of the 2015 Season!

Arriving and setting up.

It will come as no surprise to some of you that we chose Achray campground in Algonquin Park for the location of this season's first outing with the pop-up tent trailer. (If you've never heard of Achray and want to learn more, click here and here for details.) Nature was so kind to us! We had beautiful weather, with beautiful people and left with beautiful memories. So, I'd thought I'd share some of this beautiful with you ... … [Read more...]

School for Bloggers: Being Connected Matters #BConnectedConf

Speaking at the BConnected Conference in Ottawa-Gatineau

Attending blogging conferences has been one of the smartest things I've done as a blogger. They allow me to feel connected with people who "get" this crazy need to blog, to learn about a craft that is anything but traditional, and to keep up with technology that moves at break-neck speed. The very first blogging conference I attended was a biggie: BlogHer in 2010. When I'd heard about it, I emailed a local Ottawa blogger I didn't really know … [Read more...]

Mothering & Milestones

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It's been a while since a new milestone was hit around here. Or, at least, it sort of seemed that way with kids that are almost seven and thirteen. No new words, no first steps, no bedtime rituals to master ... . But I realized this past Mother's Day though that Stella is pushing forward into new milestones. She often stays up past her mom's bedtime (lame as it might be), she now listens to the news, and she makes her own lunches and does her … [Read more...]

Sharing the Magic

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Someone's big sister taught him the magic of climbing trees. On Saturday morning, he was confident enough to climb on his own. Once reaching a top branch, he looked out and proclaimed, "I think it would be amazing to read a book in this tree." We couldn't help but shrug and nod in agreement. Later that same day, his two special friends came out to play. One had a Minecraft book with him. Next thing I know, Max is tearing through the house … [Read more...]

It’s Monday after a long weekend. You’re overdue for a night with your bestie! #Ottawa #Giveaway

The Age of Adaline - giveaway

  Yes, it's been a long hard winter. You may even feel that it's aged you a bit along the way. But did winter actually feel any easier when you were 29? Well, duh. Everything's easier when you're 29, right?!! A new movie hitting the screens soon is taking that concept to a whole new -- and thought-provoking -- level. (Granted, I think it could make a great comedy too.) Despite joking with our girlfriends that we're 29 years … [Read more...]

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Fairies

Stella is grade 7 now. I remember those years as being confusing and rather overwhelming. She's handling it quite well and still managing to maintain her own sense of self despite the ever increasing social pressures that come with high school. In thinking about this, I re-read a post from September 2009. Stella was in grade 2 then. I thought you might enjoy the memories too. ************ My daughter’s tastes are what many refer to as “tomboy.” … [Read more...]

Cutting the Cable Brought Us Closer Together

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So, I don't think I've told you yet that we cut our cable. Yep, we did it. It actually felt a bit uncomfortable to do it since the last time I didn't have cable television was when I was a broke student. But the monthly bill for cable adds up, and we weren't really watching that much. A few people we know had already taken the plunge and assured us we wouldn't regret it. And we certainly haven't. We cancelled our cable service in June (it made … [Read more...]

Dusk & Dinner in Gatineau Park #TheWinterResolution

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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...]

Have you ever spent more than you planned to at the grocery store?

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Did you answer “Yes”? Me too; especially in the winter, when we’re forking out for fresh fruits and vegetables that certainly aren’t local to Ottawa when we’re knee-deep in snow! Parenting in Ottawa: New info resources from Ottawa Public Health This question was just one of many relevant discussions that I found taking place on a Facebook page called Parenting in Ottawa. Ottawa Public Health and its community partners are running the page … [Read more...]

It’s Monday. You’re not in Florida for March Break. Would a giveaway help? Tickets to the Ottawa premiere of Dreamworks HOME!

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My kids tell me that *everyone* in their class is going on a trip to Florida for the March Break. Naturally, since I am typing this up while looking out at a ton of snow still on the ground, it goes without saying that we are not in this *everyone* crowd. But we're not crying in our hot chocolate (okay, maybe just a little ;)) ... we've got some fun things planned for the kids, including a night ski on Gatineau's cross-country ski trails. And … [Read more...]

Why is it still Monday? This calls for a giveaway! How about LEGOLAND Discovery Centre passes?

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We are likely some of the only people I know who have yet to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, just outside of Toronto. It's really quite inexcusable considering how cray-cray my whole family (including the Hubby) is about Lego. In fact, you might recall that we took the kids to New York City and the Empire State Building and Central Park didn't make their list of Top 5 NYC Highlights -- but the LEGO store sure did! But perhaps we'll … [Read more...]

The Tranquil Side of Mont Tremblant

Tremblant Lake

Have you ever visited Mont Tremblant in Quebec? It's a spectacular ski mountain, with a beautifully developed village at its base. See this professional photo from the Tremblant website? It's accurate. It really is that picturesque. We've rented a condo there on several occasions for weekend getaways. It always feels special there ... like there is vibration in the air ... like the ground is almost thrumming with the ski vibes. And for the … [Read more...]

Enough Already!

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So, remember how lovely and positive I was in my last post about winter? Well, it's like the universe heard me and decided to slap me around a bit! It's been cold here. Real cold. "Peter Kimbell, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Monday that Ottawa’s current mean temperature for February is -16.3 C. That’s 8 degrees colder than the normal mean temperature for the month in Ottawa, which is -8.1 C." -- CTV … [Read more...]

What I’ve Learned from Saying “Yes” to Winter

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If you've been hanging about these parts for some time, you might recall that in 2009, I pronounced a "Winter Resolution." (Side bar: Is it just me, or does 2009 seem like last year, not SIX YEARS AGO. Where are the years disappearing to?) This resolution wasn't ground-breaking. I was not going to become a world-class ice-climbing or move south every winter, but rather I would try to find a way to enjoy the season. Note, I did not say "love" … [Read more...]

Small Business, Big Rewards #5by20

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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...]

We Are So Tired

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Every woman I know is tired. There are reams of articles on this that provide a cultural mix for why: many women now work full-time out of the house; a work day that does not end now that we are tied to smart phones; a marathon of extra-curricular activities for our children; and an outdated division of household tasks where the woman carries a heavier load than the man. I can see how all these could and might apply to the women I know, but … [Read more...]

2014 Blog Traffic Report: Blogger Referrals

A big shout-out to my fellow bloggers who have provided support and sent visitors my way over the past year! Top 10 Bloggers Who Sent Me Visitors 1. Finola.ca 2. Knitnut.net 3. 8footsix.com 4. quietfish.com 5. unmarketing.com 6. viewfromtheglen.blogspot.ca 7. curtainsareopen.com 8. ottawastart.com 9. contestgirl.com 10. bibliomama2.blogspot.ca … [Read more...]

2014 Traffic Report: Most Popular Posts

Bloggers dig this stuff. So bear with me as I dig around in my blog's Google Anaytics for 2014 ... Top 5 Most Popular Posts of 2014 1. Hot Cars Kill: 5 Low-Tech Ways of Remembering Your Child in the Backseat of Your Car This post brought, by far, the greatest number of visitors to the blog this year (25,500+). It's intended to be an educational post. At its core, though, it comes from a place of sadness. I wrote it thinking of the grief … [Read more...]

Rush, rush, rush — *poof!*

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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...]

Inside Her Brain

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We have a new piece of art for our home! Actually, it's not really new. It's been waiting for framing for almost four years now. Since it is so large, the estimate we received to frame it ranged from $800 to $900. So Hubby recently got inspired to try some framing on his own. The matting can be purchased at a local art store (approximately $10-20 for one large coloured sheet), and the glass is ordered custom to fit the wood frame. All up, … [Read more...]

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