Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Post-Lent Challenge (#2)

Well, my first 40 days (Lent) challenge was partially successful.  I have given up Pepsi and I've decided to keep this up for at least the next 6 months.  I'll reevatuate at that time, but I suspect I will not be having any more Pepsi.

The part I wasn't successful at was the chocolate, but as I've explained earlier, that was the "backup" plan in case pepsi didn't work and it did...

Now, for the next 40 days, I'm taking care of ME!!

I've started going to see a Physiotherapist for my back.   I've been to my doctor and have some vitamins I should be taking which I will do this time as I'm usually bad at things like that.  I'm also making an appointment to the dentist this week as it's been a little while.  Also I'm looking for a good massage therapist in Orleans.

If you know me - you know that I'm allergic to exercising so for the next 40 days, I will be doing some light exercising every day.  I will be starting Yoga with a couple great friends and also walking more. 

The best way for things to work for me is to start slowly and build from there.  If I exercise a little every day and form that habit, I can then add more exercises to the workout.  I'll likely start adding during the next 40 days, but if not, this challenge will still be successful. 

Finally, I am not going to be buying / eating potato chips / Doritos for the next 40 days.  This does not include pretzels or Nacho chips or fries for that matter.  Potato Chips and Doritos have been my downfall for years and I can go through a family size bag in no time whatsoever.  I have to stop!!! 

Once the 40 days is over, I will evaluate whether or not this will be a permanent thing or if I can let myself have some occasionally.

This challenge will end June 3rd.   Let's see how I do with this part.  Wish me luck!!!

Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, April 7, 2014


Originally posted on KickassOttawa April 7th, 2014 
Who doesn’t sometimes dream of winning the lottery? What would you do with all that money? I have so many plans of things I’d love to do…one of them being setting up a charity of my own.
Unfortunately, winning the lottery, especially since I don’t buy tickets very often, is not likely…AT ALL!!!
Reality instead isn’t as fun.
I’ve been in drowning in debt in the past. I was able to get myself out of it and buy myself a condo. You have no idea how proud I was to be able to buy my condo, furniture, appliances and everything else that comes with a new house, and not have any credit card debt.
I haven’t carried a credit card balance in years, but that doesn’t mean that I’m anywhere near stable in the financial department. So much so that I’ve been seriously contemplating getting a part time job to supplement my income and help me with the bills.
I am able to pay all my bills, but I am not saving anything. Sure, I’ll get a pretty good pension, but that’s not enough. Should I need to replace appliances or hot water tank etc…there would be no money to pay for that. I have a car but it’s 7 years old. It won’t last forever, and I have no money to buy a new one or pay for any major repairs. Have you noticed that all the costs seem to be going up by a lot these days too?
Being honest with myself, I’ve been spending a lot more than I should lately. I’ve bought things for myself thatg I don’t need, and I’ve bought things for others that I truly have no money for. I love giving to others, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of myself. I’ve gone out to the restaurants MUCH MORE OFTEN than I ever should have…I almost have my own table at Big Rig. (note: oh how I miss my fried pickles)
With that said, I am going to be using Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Budget to set everything up…again, and start saving the money that I do need for that rainy day. If you haven’t done that yourself, you really should. It’s an amazing budget and was able to get me out of the insane mountain of debt I needed to climb over.
I really don’t want to stop my season tickets to the Sens, but unless I do find that second job to help out, I’m afraid next year might be my last.
Let’s get started with the Budget. Let’s get control of my financial life again!!
Julie / @Flip_4

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The day I turned into a 12 year old - Martin Gélinas

Not a picture taken that day.
Earlier today, I mentioned an older post on Twitter and Facebook about Martin Gélinas and how he was my favourite hockey player for a long time until Chris Phillips at least.

The day I turned into a 12 year old is mentioned in that earlier blog post and I never did explain how that happened.  People who know me, have probably heard this story many many times.

It was a Sens vs Panthers game at the Palladium/Corel Centre/ScotiaBank Place/Canadian Tire Centre.  I couldn't tell you the date and it would be sometime betweent Oct 2005 and April 2007.  I honestly don't remember the time of year or anything.  I probably still have the ticket to that game somewhere though.

I brought my old style Vancouver Canucks 'Gelinas' jersey to that game.  My Bestie and I had bought tickets close to the Florida bench...for me of course...and we gave our season seats  to my parents.

During the pre-game warmup, I wore the Canucks jersey (although I had brought along a Chris Phillips jersey too).  I went to sit along the glass to take pictures as there weren't many people around.  Yes...I was taking mostly pics of Marty - but I did take others too. ;)

At one point, Steve Montador (I believe), banged on the glass in front of me, pointed to my jersey and his and gave me a thumbs up.  Why do I remember that?  I don't really know.  It was just cool I guess.  Then I saw him talking to Gelinas and he looked over.  I of course pretended I was taking pics of other players. 

When the warm-up ended, Marty went to the bench to talk to the trainer.  The trainer gave him another one of his hockey sticks and Marty came over to where I was.  He looked at me, smiled and passed the stick through the camera hole in the glass.

OMG!!!!  I must have had a grin from ear to ear...just writing about it is making me smile wide!!!  I turned to my Bestie who was shocked herself.  The usher came down to tell me I needed to bring the stick up to guest services to pick up after the game.

I RAN up those stairs faster than I ever have.  Gave Guest Services the hcokey stick and then RAN up the stairs to where my parents were sitting.  Now, if you know where we sit for the games...there are A LOT of stairs and I always feel like my heart will beat out of my chest when I get to my seats.  Not that day though - I could have run a marathon on the adrenaline alone.

I got up to my parents and first thing my mom says is..."We saw it"  They saw everything...they weren't sure it was me at first - but they recognized the jersey and knew that it HAD to be me.

The entire game, I was giddy.  Yes the giddiness happens to me often...see any Chris Phillips posts I have on here. :)

Anyway - I still have the hockey stick alone with a few ex-Ottawa 67's broken hockey sticks.  I really should put it up on the wall as a reminder of that day...although I'll NEVER forget it. 

Unfortunatly, after an incident with my computer, I don't have any of those pictures anymore.

I hope one day I get to actually meet him and speak to him.  I know in the other post, I wrote about meeting him - but that was just in a throng of people while trying to get something signed.  I'd love to be able to actually TALK to him.

Again...see any of my Chris Phillips posts to see how LIKELY my actually talking  is.

It doesn't matter - it's a memory I will cherish forever.

Thank you for all the great hockey memories Marty...maybe one day you'll come coach in Ottawa :)

Julie / @Flip_4

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Who am I?

Yes, my name is Julie and I was born in Ottawa.  I work at the government, am a big Sens fan and love my family and friends.

That’s not what I meant by the question though.

What I did mean is that…I don’t know WHO I am.  For many, many years, I've been hiding.  Hiding behind excuses, behind fear, behind shyness, behind my weight.  

I haven’t known how to act around people or how to be comfortable in new situations.  I'm shy and awkward and it makes things difficult.

I know that who I see in the mirror, is not who I am.  The real me is somewhere inside, but I’m not sure how to find her.   My weight issues are only a small part of it, I am sure of that.  I won’t magically be happy if I lose the extra lbs.

I want to be able to see myself and be satisfied that I’m the best me I can be…inside and out.

Yes, I love helping friends and family, volunteering and giving as much as possible to charities.  If I had a lot of money – most of it would be given away to deserving people…but that’s only PART of me.

Self confidence?  Self-esteem?  What’s that?  I’m not sure if I’ve ever had it, but I know that whatever I did have was buried down really deep after a certain abusive relationship.  For the better part of 20 years, I’ve let that relationship and what I went through define me.

I was driving in the car today and decided that I need to find the “Real” Julie.  The one that has energy, loves to have a ton of fun, will stop being so picky and start going on dates for fun.  The one who can have a conversation without letting the shyness get in the way.  The one who won’t be saying “I can’t” all the damn time!!!

Not sure how I’ll find her.  I don’t know what I have to do…but I know I NEED to find her.  I’m sure it will be hard but I also know I have a ton of FABULOUS friends who will be helping me along the way.
I hope that once I do find the real Julie, I will finally be satisfied and happy.    J

Til next time


Monday, March 24, 2014

Old Habits Are Hard to Break - March 23rd Update

On March 23rd I posted an update to my "Old Habits are Hard to Break" blog post about Lent and giving up Pepsi / Coke and Chocolate.

Here's the update on

Old Habits Are Hard To Break Update

Til Next time

Julie / @Flip_4

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Mom - Happy Birthday :)

Well, today's my Mom's birthday and I thought I'd let you know just what kind of Mom I have.

Before I begin - this post only scratches the surface of what my Mom means to me and my sisters.  It's only a very small part of it, and there are so many more memories and great things to say.

I'm her oldest of three of course I'm the best right??  RIGHT??  Come on - someone agree with me!!  Ok FINE then...where was I??

For my entire life she's been there for me through EVERYTHING I've been through - good and bad.  I know she worried about me and my sisters - and boy did we give her reason to, but she never gave up on us.

I remember her getting up in the middle of the night to take care of us when we were sick.  I remember her coming in to my room when I had bad dreams and making me feel better.

There was this one time, after I had moved down to the basement - she woke me up to give me medicine because she could hear me coughing throughout the night.  I don't think she ever slept!...especially when we were teenagers going out with friends :)

She was a grade school teacher so my sisters and I were extremely lucky to be able to spend our entire summers with her.  I won't forget the walks we'd take to my grandparents' house.  We'd play outside the entire day and she'd bring us our lunches and welcome all of our friends with open arms.

I wanted to be just like her.  There was a 2 car garage.  One side was for the car...and other miscellaneous things.  The other side was a little schoolhouse.  We had school desks, a large chalkboard and some school books.  I would attempt to teach my little sisters how to read and do math.  My friends and I would also spend a good amount of time there.

I liked school, I really did, so when the end of the summer came near and it was time to go to my Mom's school to help her set up everything...I was always excited.  As far as I can remember, she was always in the same classroom and I can still picture it.  We'd set up the furniture, the toys and decorate the entire room.  We'd also have lunch with other teachers and that was always one of my favourite days.

See above when I said I wanted to be just like her.  I did a co-op placement in High School in a Junior Kindergarden class.  I very quickly realized that my Mom was EXTREMELY special to be able to do what she did for as many years as she did.  The patience and energy it takes is insane and until you do it, you can't even imagine.

When I was older, she always encouraged me through everything.  She could have thrown up her arms and given up when I dropped out of post-secondary school...TWICE...but she never did.  I always knew she supported me.

Oh - and then there's the boyfriends.  I've made insanely BAD decisions in that department, and I KNOW my parents wanted to shake me until I came to my senses.  I don't blame them either...but all they did was go way above and beyond everything you can imagine to support me.  My Mom was there, talking to me whenever I needed it...then there were the heartbreaks.

She was there every single minute to help me...there to talk if I needed it.  I've already written about my Dad and how I usually talked to him about things, but through it all - my Mom was always there willing to listen and talk.  She did really help me through some insanely tough times.

I know I hurt her at times over the years and I will never be sorry enough for those things.  We gave her grief, many sleepless nights and I'm sure she shed quite a few tears for and about us, but her love for us has never waned.

She showed us how to love and be loved.  She showed us that family is probably the most important thing in your life - no matter what the word "Family" means to you.  She showed us how to give of ourselves to others - how to be there for friends and family - how to care of people.  She gave us so much and never asked for anything in return but our love and respect.

If I had been given the joy of having kids of my own, I can only HOPE I would have been as great a Mom as she was.  I'm not sure I could have lived up to it all.  My little sister has 3 kids of her own, and she's a fantastic Mom and I know she learned from ours.

Je sais que je ne te le dis pas assez souvent - mais je t'aime plus que tu peux le savoir!!

Bonne Fête Mom!!  XOXOX

Julie / @Flip_4

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The NHL Trade Deadline Day 2014

For non-hockey fans, this is just any ordinary day.  For NHL fans, it's a day most have been waiting for to see if their teams will make some AMAZING trades and where it will lead them in the hunt for the playoffs and the Stanley Cup.

For me, it meant something different this year.

The possibility that my favourite Ottawa Senators player, Chris Phillips, could get traded to another team.
Chris has been one of my favourites since the day he was drafted and quickly made it to the top of that list. 

Ever since the day Ottawa found out that a group of business men would be going after an NHL franchise, I KNEW they would become my favourite team if we were lucky enough to be awarded the franchise. 

As a fan, I've been through some tough years and some awesome years.  I wouldn't have it any other way.
For a good number of those years, Chris Phillips has been part of the team.  Now all of a sudden, there was a chance that would change yesterday.

I was hoping the team would re-sign him as I can't imagine the Sens without him on the blueline...nor can I imagine him wearing another jersey.

I was nervous during the days leading up to the trade deadline.  I had a bad feeling the Sens were going to be trading my favourite player away.
You can imagine my relief when the news came down that he would be a Senator for another 2 years.  I was so happy.  It seems a lot of people know me well as I started getting emails, tweets, text messages and visits to my office to see if I was happy.

Well of course I was.  I even went to Big Rig, his restaurant, to celebrate and watch part of the Sens / Flames game.  Unfortunately, the game didn't go as well as I had hoped, but I can be happy knowing that I'll be able to wear one of my Phillips jerseys to the games for another two years.

Congrats on the extension Chris and happy you're staying.