Monday, October 27, 2014

Birthday Donation Results

I was supposed to post this a while back, but things kept happening that prevented me from posting it.

Here they are.

Facebook/Twitter messages = 143
Amount donated per wish    = $1.00
Total for Socal Media wishes = $143.00

I wasn't able to get Majic 100 to play Lee DeWyze...but I'm not giving up.  :)

However, I did get a birthday tweet from my favourite Ottawa Senators Player...Chris Phillips.   Because of that tweet, I'm adding $50.00 to the donation.

New Total =  $193.00

That number just looks odd so I'll add $7.00 to the donation.

Grand Total = $200.00

This money is going to the Alzheimer's Society of Canada.

Thank you everyone for making my Birthday special again this year.

Have a fantastic day!!

Julie / @Flip_4

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Birthday Donation 2014

As I've done for the past 4 years, I'm going to be making a birthday donation again this year.  For every birthday tweet or facebook post I receive - I will be donating a certain amount of money to charity. 
What is the charity this year you might ask?  Good question!!
I've done SimpLEE4Kids (bringing music to Children in Hospitals during the Christmas season), Pancreatic Cancer, ProstateCancer and last year was Candlelighters
This year I will be donating to the AlzheimerSociety of Canada for very personal reasons.
If you want to help me make this a really special birthday, all you have to do is tweet or facebook me a Happy Birthday on October 6th. 
You could also make a donation yourself to this society or any charity that means something to you on October 6th,  You can let me know ( and I’ll mention a total of donations made in a future post.
As a bonus this year - if I can get Majic 100 in Ottawa to play some Lee DeWyze between now and October 6th...and I hear it, I will be boosting the donation by $50.  I've attempted to have them play his music for 4 years so I'm not sure it will actually happen - but I hope it does!!
Thank you all in advance for helping make my Annual Birthday Donation a success.
Til next time!

Julie / @Flip_4`

Friday, September 12, 2014

Nascar - Championship "Chase / Playoffs / Elimination"!!

I've been watching NASCAR racing since February 2006.  Until the Daytona 500 that year, I pretty much refused to watch "a bunch of cars going around in circles".  Since that time, I grew to love the sport and all the Characters within it. 

What I don't love though is the new "Chase" or "Elimination" or "Playoffs" or whatever it is they want to call it this year. 

It used to be that the drivers would run 36 points races - accumulate points throughout the entire season and the team / driver who accumulated the most points at the end of the season would win the Championship.  Yes, sometimes you knew who the Champion was a few weeks before the end of the season because he would have built up a huge lead.

Maybe not always exciting, but it was a fair way to do my opinion...and my fave driver won 4 Championships with that format.

Then, a few years ago they decided to change it to a "Chase format" where only the top 10 - 12 - 13 (Always seemed to be a different number) drivers raced for the Championship during the final 10 races of the season.  There were still 43 cars in the field for each race - but the driver who was the most consistent during those final 10 races would ultimately win the Championship.   This was a way to manufacture Excitement. 

It did work and the Championship race was always closer.  If you happened to have bad luck in a couple of races though, your chances might be up in smoke because instead of 36 races to make up the difference, you only had 10 races. 

I didn't like this format at first, but I grew to at least tolerate it.

Now, they've changed the format yet again, and I have to say I am not happy with it at all.  It WILL be more exciting and the final race of the season will be the most meaningful race of all thus making this a "must-see", but I'm still not a fan.

The Championship will work something like this:

16 drivers have qualified for the "Playoffs".  AFter 3 races, only the top 12 point getting teams of these 16 will move on the the next phase.  After another 3 races,  the top 8 teams move on.  Another 3 races later, only 4 teams are left.  That means that there are 4 teams racing for the Championship in the FINAL race of the season at Homestead Miami Speedway.  The team that finishes ahead of the other 3 teams during that race will be crowned Champion. 

The field for all those races will still always be 43 cars.  Which means the Champion can still finish the final race 36th as long as the other 3 teams are behind him.

Yes - excitement and nervousness for the fans and teams.  Yes, it will be entertaining and it will probably take until the last lap of the race before you're sure who will be the Champion, but I selfishly preferred the original way.

I do have to be honest though that the more of speak and think about this new format, I'm growing to tolerate if not like it.  My main problem is as a fan of certain drivers and having a full on "Maple Leafs type dislike" of other teams, seeing one of those teams win the championship at the end over my driver would drive me nuts. Even more nuts than watching the Sens lose in a 'best of 7' series against those dreaded Maple Leafs (as I've seen more times than I care to remember).

Oh well, I don't have a choice in the matter and no amount of disliking this new format is going to change it. 
I just want my driver or any of his teammates to win the Championship this year.  :)

My driver is Jeff Gordon and his teammates are Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne.  Any of them win and I'm a happy camper.  If either of the Busch brothers wins though...UGH!!!

On to the first race of the "Playoffs".  Let's get this thing started.

Gentlemen...uhhh...Drivers - Start Your Engines!!!

Julie / @Flip_4

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Darren Rumble - My first Fave Senators Player

Lately, for some unknown reason, I've been thinking a lot about the Ottawa Senators.

I think the fact that they've been in the news a great deal with player signings and Community Announcements (100 Million, wow!!) has contributed to this.

I was more specifically thinking back to the early days and my first ever favourite Ottawa Senators player.

It was October 1992 and the current incarnation of the Ottawa Senators were on the verge of beginning their first ever season in the National Hockey League.

I was 19 years old and there was no doubt that I had found a new team to root for.  The Montreal Canadians remained my very close second favourite team for a year or two after this, but it didn't take too long for them to fall off significantly.

The Senators were holding their first ever Skills Competition and Fan Meet and Greet on October 19th birthday.  I worked for Canadian Tire at the time and they were event sponsors, so I was able to get free tickets.  I brought my dad or he brought me since he drove.

I was excited to be there and was looking forward to lots of fun.  To be absolutely honest, I don't remember too much...but I DO remember how I came to choose my first favourite Ottawa Senators player.

Individual team members were being introduced one by one.  Depending on the day I either hear them in Dean Brown's voice or Gord Wilson's voice.  I couldn't even tell you if they were the ones there, but that's how I hear it..

At one point #34 came out and he tripped and fell.   Dean or Gord said "Rumble Takes a Tumble".  There you have it, I'd found my fave player.  #34, Darren Rumble.

I didn't know what he looked like or if he was even a good player, but I didn't care.  He won me over when he fell.  We later went down in the bowels of the Ottawa Civic Centre for the Meet and Greet event and I got Darren's autograph.  Now, if you know me, you know exactly what I told him...nothing.

He was a defenseman with the Senators for two seasons and I was probably his biggest fan during that time.

I had the opportunity to meet him on Labour Day in September 1993.  I was volunteering at the Muscular Dystrophy telethon and as I was minding my own business, who walks in?  Yep, Darren Rumble.  He went and sat at the front of the phone banks to take some calls.  The person who was supervising was told by my friend that Darren was my fave player.  Well, this awesome supervisor went and got me a Senators pennant and took me over to Darren to meet him and get the pennant signed.

I went, I got the signature, I was introduced to him, I'm not sure if I really said anything as I don't remember that part.

About an hour later, as he was leaving, he stopped at my phone and told me "I hope to see you at a game this season Julie" and then he left.

Yep - the rest of the day, I was on cloud nine.  OMG...he hoped to see me at a game.  Wow!!!

At some point, I wrote him a letter (back when we still wrote letters), to thank him for being so great to a fan.  I wish I had a copy of that letter because all I remember is that it was a LONG one.   A Novel really.  I have absolutely no clue what I wrote in it...but there were lots of words there.

I never got an answer but...

Maybe 2-3 months later, my friend and I went to a Sens game.  As we almost always did with the 67's at the time, we stayed after the game for autographs.  I think I was probably waiting for some of the other team's players because they were NHL players, therefore very important ;)  For me, it was never about the autograph or the picture, I just wanted to see them up close.

Darren came up the stairs.  I debated whether or not to get him to sign my program and decided to bite the bullet and do it.

I approached him very quietly and shy.  He looked up, smiled and said "Hi Julie, nice to see you again".  What?!?!?  Did he actually remember my name months later??  Yep, he did.  Not only that, he proceeded to tell me that he really appreciated the letter that I sent. impressed do you think I was that day?

I later went out to wait for my ride and someone drives by and honks the horn.  I looked over...and there's Darren with his wife and he waves at me as he leaves.

Honestly, I just couldn't believe the entire episode.  Unreal.

I was a fan of his from day one until he left the Senators.  I followed his career as best I could after that.  He played mostly in the AHL with a few stints with the Flyers, Blues and Lightning. 

I never did get a Rumble jersey, but I do have a Sens hat with his name on it and a game-used hockey stick that was given to me for my birthday.

I sometimes see a fan at Sens games wearing a #34 Rumble jersey.  I always smile when I see him as I reminisce about those two years.

These are definitely memories I'm not likely to ever forget. 

Til next time

Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, August 18, 2014

My love affair with books and a lost Kobo

I read...a lot.  I'm not exaggerating...I absolutely LOVE reading.

There was a time when I didn't want an e-reader.  I loved having actual books so much that e-readers felt like I was cheating on the books.  it just didn't seem right to me.  I certainly don't have a fear of technology so that's not the issue at all, I've just always loved  actual books.

Walking into Chapters or any other book store just puts me in my happy place.  So many books, so many stories, so many possibilities.  I've spent a pretty penny on books in my lifetime.

There's really nothing like reading a book.  Some people like the new car smell - I like the new book smell.  I love feeling the pages of the book, I like being able to SEE how far into the book I am.  It's satisfying to get to the end of the book and turn the last page.

I've read a ton ever since I was able to read.  I've always loved books and I couldn't even estimate how many books I've read in my life.  I used to borrow 10 books a week at the school library.  My grandparents also worked at the school so when everyone was gone, I'd sometimes stay in the library waiting for them and read.   I think I went through most of the books in that place.

I have a love affair with books.

A few years ago, my bestie bought me a Kobo e-reader.  I wasn't going to buy myself one but I was curious about them.

It took some getting used to - but I learned to love my e-reader.  The Kobo is...was amazing.    Don't get me wrong - I still love reading an actual physical book, but the Kobo is so convenient.  I had many books on it and it fit easily in my small purse.  I could bring it anywhere without it weighing me down.   

I would read 1 or two books on my e-reader, and then I would swich to actual books for a bit.  I'd go back and forth.  During the hockey season, it's easier to just have the e-reader with me to bring to hockey games (I get there early and spend some time reading). 

Unfortunately, this past weekend, it looks like I've lost my e-reader.  I couldn't find it when I arrived home from work.  I had read while at work so I naturally thought that's where my Kobo was...unfortunately, as I sit at work now, it's nowhere to be found.

This makes me sad and annoyed.  I was in the middle of reading a great book by Cynthia Wright and now I can't finish it.  How will I find out about the rest of the book??? ;)

You might say to go buy myself another one, but in my current financial situation, that's not a possibility.

I hope I'll be lucky enough to find it again - but after looking everywhere in the house and here, I'm not feeling too optimistic.

I do have a TON of books at home that I haven't yet read, so that's not the issue.  I'm just feeling al tiny bit lost without my e-reader.  Isn't it sad...just a little bit??

I've managed to read an entire book this weekend (V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton)  and I've started a french one my mom lent me.  The loss certainly wont' make me stop reading...not even close.  I just want my e-reader back!!!

Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, July 28, 2014


Image: Kids Play Safe Facebook
I met Spencer and Lisa Warren through Twitter and Facebook a few years ago.  When I found out they organized several events over the course of the year for the "Plan-it-Safe" - Childhood Injury Prevention Program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), I decided it would be a good use of my time to help them out. I've been lucky enough to help out at the last 5 events held.

Their events are:
1) An annual CHEO Family BBQ at a local park with many activities for chiildren.
2) An annual Golf Tournament / Dinner / Auction
3) An annual Children's Gala / Dinner / Auction.  What makes the Gala really special though is the fact that it is FOR children.  Kids get dressed up like princes and princesses for the night.  There is entertainment and great food and CANDY!!! ;)

Over the past 1.5 years, I've volunteered at 2 BBQs, 2 Golf Tournaments and 1 Gala.  I plan on helping out at the next Gala on February 21st too.

The reason I'm writing this post is to say just how fun it is to volunteer for these events.  I've had a great time at each one and plan on helping out as long as they'll have me.

My first experience was at the BBQ in 2013.  The number of children that come to this event is insane.  There are lineups for all the activities and the kids all seem to have a fantastic time.  I was posted at the "Fish pond" the first year.  There's really not much to this game, but is it ever popular.  There were no breaks from the moment the event starts until the end.  It's so fun to watch children of all ages come by and try to catch a fish so they can get a prize.  So many of the little ones fall in the pool and there are lots of smiles all around.

My second time at the BBQ (this summer), I was stationed at the Fish Pond again and it was even more popular if that's even possible.  The day goes by so quickly.  I saw many of the same children and some friends as well come by and support the event.  How can you not have fun when surrounded by happy children?

The second event I helped out with was the Golf Tournament.  I am usually there from the beginning (set up) to the end (putting everything away). The first year was insanely hot and there was a Tornado warning during the day as well as thunder storms, but that didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm for the event.    Everyone came in from the storm dripping wet, but it was still a fantastic time.  Great food, great atmosphere, great fun all around. I was taking care of the silent auction items throughout the day so while the golfers were out, I was on my own.  Watching the storm watches on my phone and seeing the big dark clouds head our way, I was happy to be able to stay indoors.  Everyone was so generous despite probably being uncomfortable in their wet clothes.  Fun was had by all!!

This year was a little different...ok a LOT different.  I arrived to help set up and helped put things away at the end again, but everything in the middle was different.  The weather was least for the volunteers out in the sun.  It was sunny, there was a nice breeze/wind at different times and it wasn't too hot.  It was perfect.  I was stationed at the "Beat the Pro" hole and got to see all the golfers throughout the day.  Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time.  The supper and auctions were also a great success.  So much generosity in this city.  I got home exhausted, but satisfied that I was able to help out.

The final event is the Children's Gala.  Now, there's a fun event to volunteer at and it's the only one in my end of the city!! ;)  I arrived early again to help set up (see a pattern here?) and was glad to stay late to help pick everything up too.

I was stationed at one of the silent auction tables (One of the Sports themed ones of course).  Other than foot pain from standing in one place all night, it was FANTASTIC!!.  As soon as the doors open and you start seeing the children file in all dressed up, it is AMAZING.  They are all so happy to be there.  There are a lot of activities in the two rooms reserved for the event.  There's also a CANDY BAR!!!  What do you think was the most popular area?  Yep, the Candy.  So many kids running around and having a blast.  It's so wonderful that they get to experience a real Gala just for them.   I'm not sure the parents are as ecstatic to have their children on a sugar high for the next few days - but it's all worth it :)

I have to say, volunteering is helping me too.  Other than the obvious fact that it makes me feel wonderful to be able to help out, it's also helped me come out of my shell a little bit.  I'm extremely shy and this is forcing me to maybe get over it a little.

If ever you're looking for something fun and great to do, volunteering a few hours of your time is extremely fulfilling.

I'm really looking forward to the February Gala - even though I will be missing a Senators Home Game (Possibly Chris Phillips' 1200th game :( )...but it's definitely worth it!! :)

'Til next time


30 Day Ab Challenge temporarily derailed

For a little over a week now, I've suffered from almost daily headaches which were made worse when I was doing the Ab Challenge exercises.

Since I really don't like having intense headaches, I've decided to put off the completion of the Ab Challenge for a little while.  At least until I can do stuff like pick up a heavy bag without the shooting pain in my has gotten much better over the past few days.

Rest assured, I will pick this Challenge back up soon.  I don't want to give up on it.  :)

'Til next time.

Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, July 14, 2014

Short update on the 30 Day Ab Challenge

We are 14 days in to the 30 Day Ab Challenge and I have to say, it's been very hard...harder than I thought it would be, but I've persevered through it.

I've actually had conversations, arguments even, with myself about getting up off the couch and getting the challenge over with for the day.  These arguments get pretty heated, but I've won them all...or have I??

I'm happy to say that I haven't yet missed a day and I plan on keeping it up.

Wish me luck!

'Til next time

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Next challenge :) last challenge worked out well.  I stopped biting my nails.  I never thought I would be able to since I did try many times in the past...but here we are weeks later and I've stopped.  When I got back from DIsney, I had some Disney Jamberry Wraps waiting for me and I decided to try them...see result below :)

The two previous challenges have also been pretty successful.  I haven't had Pepsi/Coke (dark colas) since early March.  I haven't had any Potato Chips in a couple months either.  I sometimes miss them, but the horrible cravings have all but disappeared!!

I think those challenges combined with the insane number of steps we were walking at Disney have helped me lose 10 lbs in the last 4 months.  I'm not doing these things to lose weight...but it's a nice side effect :)

Now for my next challenge.  This one will be a tough one.  Last month, a few friends of mine were doing the "30 Day Ab Challenge".  I decided to push it a month because of my Disney Trip and there was no way I'd be doing an Ab workout every day of my trip.

So here it is.  On July 1st, I will be starting the 30 Day Ab Challenge.  It looks EXTREMELY difficult, but I'll be trying anyway.  I'm sure I'll be needing some encouragement during this one...I'm good at convincing myself OUT of things...but I have to do this one.

*Fingers crossed* that this goes well.  I'll be taking measurements to see if there's any difference at the end of the challenge.  Granted - if I eat horribly during that time, it won't be helping me much, so I'll be starting the "My Fitness Pal" app again to try to keep my calories to a normal level.

I'll probably keep updates going on this more regularly.

Have a fabulous Canada Day Weekend y'all :)

'Til next time
Julie / @Flip_4

Friday, June 27, 2014

NHL Draft day

The day many hockey fans wait for to see who their favourite NHL team will choose to build their future on is here.

Yes, it is DRAFT DAY!!! 

The first round will be tonight on TV and the rest of the rounds will happen tomorrow.

I've watched many drafts over the years...MANY drafts.  There were two reasons for this.

1. I wanted to see who my favourite team at the time would pick.  Those teams were the Habs from 1986 to 1992 and the Sens ever since.

2. I was always interested to see where Ottawa 67's players would be picked.

There are many draft days that I remember.

1992: The Otttawa Senators' FIRST draft year where they picked Alexei Yashin at number 2.  It was also the year three Ottawa 67's players were picked in the first 2 rounds. Curtis Bowen (22), Grant Marshall (23) and Mike Peca (40).

1987: The year Ottawa 67s player Andrew Cassels (my fave 67's at the time) was drafted by the Habs (fave team at the time).  That was an exciting year

2008: Attending my first live draft and watching the Ottawa Senators pick Erik Karlsson.

2003 - 2009 - 2011: Three years the Senators went and drafted from their own backyard - from the Ottawa 67's. Will Colbert (228),  Corey Cowick (160) and Shane Prince (61)  I know I missed one...there's a reason - hold on to your horses.

There are others as well for various infamous reasons...but on to my favourite draft years....


The year I watched Martin Gélinas get drafted by the Los Angeles Kings 7th overall.  For those who haven't read previous blog posts, Martin was my fave NHLer for a very long time.  He was billeted by my aunt Fleurette when he played for the Hull Olympiques, and that's how I found out about him.  I saw a picture of him with my aunt in the newspaper and that was it - I started following his career instantly and didn't stop until he retired.  He was part of the famous Wayne Gretzky trade to Los Angeles back in August 1988.

I always hoped he'd get traded to Ottawa, but that unfortunately never happened. :(  My only Gelinas jersey is a Vancouver Canucks one.

For previous blog posts I've written...see:

      Martin Gélinas - My favourite Hockey player.
      The day I turned into a 12 year old girl!!


The year my all-time fave Ottawa Senators player and all-time fave NHLer, Chris Phillips was drafted first overall.  I absolutely do remember watching that draft and thinking the Sens had made a great choice.  I didn't know that much about Chris at the time, but there was something that I liked about that 18 year old kid.   He quickly became my fave Ottawa Sens player.  I now have 4 jerseys with his name on the back (one of them is game-worn).  I can say that he and his wife Erin are truly amazing people.  Always so nice to talk to.  I've met Chris multiple times and he's always been great - even though I was probably making a fool of myself once or twice - or EVERY time :).

For more see: 

     Roller Coaster of Life
     One year ago today - meeting Chris Phillips
     Birthday weekend - Did that really happen?
     NHL Trade deadline day 2014

And finally...


The year the Ottawa Senators drafted Cody Ceci from the Ottawa 67's 15th overall..  I knew Cody was getting drafted that year and was hoping the Sens would take him.  I kept seeing pictures of him on the ice with Mike Fisher when he was a child.  The picture was taken during the Sens Skills Competition day.   It really was something exciting to watch happen when he was drafted.  It's an amazing thing to watch, really it is. may be wondering why this was one of my absolute favourite draft years along with the above-mentioned two. Well, I know that Chris Phillips will be retiring sometime.  The guy can't play til he's 50 after for years I've been trying to see who would be my next fave Ottawa Senators / NHL player.  I love all my Sens players...but there was no one that I felt could follow after Chris retires.

This past season, when Cody was called up for a game, I was lucky enough to have been given tickets to the 100 level in the Sens end.  As soon as Cody came on the ice, I just knew that I had found my next fave.  I can't tell you why or exactly how I knew, I just did.  My bestie commented on it during the game as I was paying attention to Cody every time he was on the ice and almost ignoring Chris (they were on the same pairing).  Ever since that day, Cody's been my second fave Sens player. :)

I already bought a jersey with his name on the back, the Heritage Classic one.  He autographed it that same night and I got to get my picture taken with him as well. (Thank you to his mom Karen for setting that up)  Looking forward to watching hm for many years to come.

Now, tonight I'll be watching the draft, not only to see who drafts who, but to see if the Senators will be trading away their captain Jason Spezza for a first round pick (and more I hope).  I don't want it to happen, but it's extremely possible that it does.

In any case, it's always fun to watch these 18 year olds get drafted and seeing the joy on their faces as they pull on the jersey of the team they're possibly going to be playing for in the future.

Til next time
Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, June 2, 2014

No nail biting - Week 1's been 1 whole entire week since I decided to stop biting my nails.

Here are the results so far...Been told that's not too bad considering just how bad it was before.

I hope I'm able to keep it up, since it obviously isn't the first time I tried this.  It hasn't been too hard...yet.  We'll see if that's the case the rest of the way.  Maybe eventually it won't even be an issue anymore. :)

Have a great day!!

Julie / @Flip_4

I'm going to Disney World!!!

A lot of you already know that soon, I leave Ottawa and head to Orlando and Walt Disney World.  I am a HUGE fan of anything and everything Disney!!

My Bestie and I are going to be celebrating our turning a certain age over the past year.

We've both been there multiple times, but I have to say that for me, it's the first time I go without any kids with me.  It's going to be a whole different experience, that's for sure.  No standing in line for autographs...unless we want to ;).  No going on the "kiddie rides"...although...really, even the kiddie rides are good ;)

It's going to be a relaxing 10 days.  Can't wait to visit all the parks, eat at some great all the rides - except for a few I refuse to go on...and just have a grand ol' time.

You can't see me - but I'm jumping up and down with excitement over the thought of going to Disney LOL

More to come after my trip :)

Julie / @Flip_4

Saturday, May 31, 2014

What would you do...

...if you won the lottery?  Let's say you're one of those lucky people who wins the Lotto Max Jackpot of 50 Million dollars.

What would you do with it?

Well, the other day I was invited to the United Way Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala.  I was very excited to go to this event as a guest because the only way I usually get to go to any of these types of events is to volunteer.

Don't get me wrong - volunteering is FANTASTIC, but getting to experience the event is something else.

Now back to the topic at hand, when I was sitting there watching all these amazing people in Ottawa receive various awards for the work they do in the community, it was extremely inspiring.  I do what I can currently by donating time and $$ as much as I can.  That's such a small drop in the bucket compared to the award recipients, but every little bit help.

Now, who hasn't thought of what they'd do with a lottery win?  Over the years, I've had many different ideas, but more recently, I thought that if I was lucky enough to win such a big prize,  Of course I'd want to give money to my family and friends and also do some travelling, but the main thing that's been occupying my thoughts over the past couple years is that I'd love to set up some kind of foundation/charity to help out in the community.

I don't have a clue how I'd do it, but I'd love to help the less fortunate than me.  I'd love to help families with children get their kids in sports, activities or musical programs they would otherwise not be able to afford.  I'd love to help people find jobs.  I'd love to make sure that no one goes hungry or is homeless ever again.  I'd love to help people learn the tools to get themselves out of debt.  I'd love to help teenagers who can't afford post-secondary school to go to University or College.  I'd love to set up a free tutoring program so that everyone can get the tools to learn and succeed in their lives.  I'd love to ensure that everyone who needs expensive medical treatments will not have to turn these down because they can't afford them.  I'd love...I'd love...I'd love.

I'd love for there to be ONE MAIN charity that houses ALL others under one umbrella so that they can help each other and cut down on costs and make it so that instead of 100s of different places, there is one main place that anyone in need would have to go.  No running around applying for help here and there, just one place and the right program is found for them.

For example, the different charities can help each other in this way - the need for music teachers or coaches could be met by some of the people who are looking for work, therefore helping them get out of debt.

How about a "Dreams Come True" group that finds deserving people in the community and makes one of their dreams come true.  There are so many people who work hard for others and can never seem to be able to find the money to do anything other than the "responsible" thing.

There are so many other ideas just floating around in my head,

Going to events like the United Way Gala really reminds me about how lucky I am.  Helping doesn't have to cost money, it can be a little bit of your time, a smile, doing something nice for a stranger.  Making the world  better place starts with one kind action.

Maybe one day I WILL win the lottery and be able to help a few more people in the wonderful city of Ottawa, until then, I will strive to help someone every day.

Be kind!!

Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, May 26, 2014

Post-Lent Challenge #2 - Update / What's next? looks like this challenge wasn't anywhere near as successful as the last one and I still have a little over a week left.

I did give up the chips / Doritos though which is a big success.  Didn't think I'd be able to do that one.  I also haven't had any Pepsi/Coke since my first challenge began.  I'm so proud of myself when it comes to that.  It was all harder than I thought it would be.

I am moving a little more...but I haven't made the effort I should have made EVERY DAY!.  I have started Yoga with a friend of mine and I'm starting to enjoy it more.  I just have to start doing some at home as well to help out.  I've done a little more walking...but not regularly.

Wow - this exercise thing is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.

To help me out, I've now got my "Fitbit" and the app installed on my phone and it works great when I actually remember to wear it.  I've also downloaded "My Fitness Pal" on my phone and synched it to the "Fitbit" app.  I enter the food I eat in "My Fitness Pal" and everything links.  It's great...again, when I remember to do it.  I'm making a greater effort starting today.

I've decided to start on my Third challenge already but it won't have anything to do with food.  Hey - I'm going to Disney World from the 15th to the 24th and I'm not going to give anything up that I may want to eat there ;)

This challenge is going to be harder though...but for most of you out there, you won't understand why.

I've bitten my nails since I was a child.  I've tried repeatedly to stop - but I find it so difficult.  It's such a habit that I don't even notice I do it until it's too late.  I'm hoping I'll be able to do this now.  I don't want super long nails, I just want to stop biting my nails.  Really, it's gross...and I don't understand why I do it.

Anyone out there have any tips / tricks to help me out?  I've tried this before and the nails are so brittle that it fails...can I do anything to help out with that??

I'd appreciate any kind of help you can provide....please????

In addition, I don't plan on buying the dark colas again and I'll try to not buy the potato chips / doritos anymore either.  That's not to say I'll NEVER have any of those things again - just that I won't make them readily available to me in my house or buy them at a restaurant.  It's going to be hard, but I think I've gone through the hardest part of both of these.

I've also started walking a little more the past couple of days and want to actively take part in making positive changes in my thing at a time :)  I'm sure I'll be doing a TON of walking at Disney World and I'm looking forward to that.

Til next time

Julie / @Flip_4

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

Originally posted on March 23rd, 2014 on

Old Habits Are Hard To Break Update
No more junk food
A few weeks ago I wrote about giving up Pepsi/Coke AND chocolate for lent.  Well…the chocolate bit has fallen by the wayside a little due to the birthdays and frankly forgetting.  I’ve been so caught up on the pop bit that I’ve slipped.
After a few days of horribly insane caffeine withdrawal headaches – I was able to feel relatively normal again – well, as normal as I ever am that is ;)
Of course – I don’t have the caffeine to keep me awake at work, but it hasn’t been that bad…most of the time.
Some good things have happened linked to my giving up the caffeine.  I weighed myself a couple days ago and I’d lost a total of 6 lbs since Lent started.  That’s insane!!!
I’m sure giving up pop has been a big part of this, but because I don’t drink Pepsi anymore, I’m not craving the food that I would normally eat along with Pepsi.  No more Chinese Food, no more Boston Pizza.  I’m not saying I’ll never have those things again, but it’s not a regular occurrence anymore.
Bonus, I get to save some money at the same time!!!!
Now I’m looking forward to the next few weeks and seeing if the losing weight trend continues.
On Easter Monday, the next ’40 days Project’ will begin and have to do with moving more – walking – exercising.
Until next time.
Image courtesy of Iamnee /

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.


Old Habits are Hard to Break

Originally posted at KickAssOttawa on March 6, 2014

"Old Habits are Hard to Break" all about how Lent can help me get a head start in my health goals.


Taking better care of myself / losing weight / exercising / eating better.
These are all things I’ve said I would do at different times over the years without much success.  This is mostly due to a lack of motivation.  Do I think I have more motivation now?  Not really, but what I do have is a built in excuse to start.
Lent.  I have not given anything up for Lent for years but decided to use it this year to “better” myself.
This gives me 40 days to try to “Push” myself in the right direction…give myself that kick in the a$$ I may be needing.
That’s not to say that I’m changing my whole life for Lent, but if I can make some small changes and stick to it for 40 days – maybe I can do something else in the following 40 days.  Take things in 40 day segments.
What have I given up for the first 40 days?  Pepsi/Coke and Chocolate.  If you know me – this will be sooooo difficult.  When it comes to Pepsi, the reason I chose this isn’t just because I enjoy it, but also because I believe I have an addiction.  I have replaced most of my liquid intake with Pepsi…how is that good for me?
I’m an intelligent woman so I know this is detrimental to my health, but I’ve been unable to stop and it just seems to get worse.  I can’t only have one glass of Pepsi, I NEED a bottle and then another and another…in one day.   I crave it like nothing else.  I will go out in the worse weather to go get Pepsi because I may run out that day.
Originally I gave up chocolate as the backup in case Pepsi didn’t work…but I’ve decided that I’ll do both.  Rest assured though that as soon as Lent is over – chocolate WILL be back on the menu.  No Big Rig cookie for 40 days is not going to be fun – especially since it’s been a while since the last time I had one.
Chocolate isn’t a crutch for me so I know that once the 40 days is over, I won’t be going on a chocolate binge.  Pepsi on the other hand is a much different story…
I’ve given it up before and it went well, but as soon as I started drinking it again – it was back to bottles a day.  I wasn’t able to just have it occasionally or in small doses.  I may have to stay away forever.  *Sob*
I’m now on day two of no Pepsi/chocolate diet and I’m suffering from one of the worse caffeine – or lack thereof – headaches I’ve ever had.  I’m NOT giving up though.  Gotta keep going.
Will keep everyone posted on my progress / success.
Now to figure out what to do for the 40 days after Easter…Mandatory daily exercising?   Takes 6 weeks to create a good habit I hear…
Have a wonderful day
Julie / @Flip_4
 Image courtesy of scottchan /

Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28th - Fantastic Morning

Well - got up this morning to a horrible headache and a windchill of -3000  or something close to that.  Not exactly a stellar morning.

On top of that - the Sens were badly beat 6 - 1 by the Red Wings. 

I was not the happiest of girls.  Walked into the office at 6am looking forward to the day ending and going back home to bed.

I was listening to Majic 100 and started getting MAD because of the most recent "French Language Police" situation.  Social Media is NOT based in Quebec, leave it ALONE!! 

Really - is anything else going to make this morning unbearable???

To the Majic Mornings hosts credit though - they were able to get my day going a little better with the fun that they always have in the mornings. 

But they weren't done!!!

I got up from my desk to talk to a co-worker about the Sens game for a few minutes.
I guess I lost track of time...

Before I continue, Majic 100 currently have a contest that you need to enter where, if they call your name during the day and you call back within 15 minutes - you win $500.  It's THAT easy.  I entered the contest when it was announced.

You see, these types of contests are the only ones I'll enter at any radio station.  If I need to do anything else like answer trivia or anything else really - I don't call.  I only try the - "Be the 25th caller through" or things like that.  All I ever hear during those contests is the busy signal though.

Anyway - back to this morning.  After I finished talking to my co-worker, I got to my desk and my cell phone was flashing.  There were 2 missed calls, multiple tweets and text messages from family and friends on it.  I looked at the time and realized it was passed 8:50.  Saw the first text that told me to call Majic and I knew...

I called and Stuntman Stu answered the phone.  I told him who it was and I heard who I assume were the other Majic Morning hosts Angie, Trish and Procucer Dean in the background cheering. :)

I WON $500. 

I was so excited that when they said Congrats to me the first time - I didn't answer right away because I was reading my texts and tweets and listening to Majic at the same time :).  Guess I'm bad at multitasking!!

I was actually, I'm not sure if this is due to winning the money or just having to call in to the radio station.  Probably a bit / lot of both :)

I've been on a high ever since.

Thank you Majic 100 - this has been a huge relief for me!!!

WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY!!!   Thank you Majic 100!!!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thank you Sens

If you’ve ever been to a Sens game, you know that they usually have a video montage that they show before the players jump onto the ice at every game.

This montage has been different from one year to the next ever since I’ve been going to Sens games.  One of my first seasons as a season ticket holder, they had one set to the song “For the love of the game” by Semisonic.  I immediately fell in love with the imagery of the video and how it fit in so well with the song.  I believe this was either in 1999 or 2000.

I’ve watched every season since to see if another video would come close in my eyes but none really measured up.

I tried in vain to obtain a copy of this video from different people within the Sens organization, but no one was able to find it.  Or they thought I meant another video.

A few weeks ago, Paul Beirne, Executive Vice President of ticketing for the Ottawa Senators, posted in a forum I read regularly.  He was asking for Sens fans opinions on ways to improve the whole Senators experience.

Well, I had quite a few ideas and sent Paul a fairly wordy email (honestly, it was more of a book).  Somewhere buried  within that email, I mentioned the video just as an example of what the Sens did that once worked. 

Paul emailed me back almost immediately and liked some of the comments I had made.  I emailed him back and forth a few times, but never mentioned the video other than that first email.

One day, I get home and check my email.  What do I see in there?  An email from Paul saying: “We found your vid” with a link to the video.

OMG, you have ablsolutely NO IDEA how happy that made me.  I clicked on the link right away and watched my video over and over...and over again..  All the players from that season – so many memories.  I might have been on a high for a bit after that.  It made me happier than something like that really should, but I don’t care.

The fact that Paul took the time to ask someone to track down the video for me went above and beyond anything I ever expected from him.  

The person that did the searching and uploading of the video for me is Stan Kertesz.  I'm not sure how long it took Stan to find the video and convert it to an MP4 format, but I absolutely appreciate the time and work it took.  He'll probably never really know how happy he made this Sens fan, but if I ever see him - I'll be sure to tell him. 

I now have the video on my phone and can watch it whenever I want to :)

To see the video that made me so happy - click ===> Video

That kind of customer service, along with a few other stories I’ve heard about, show me just how great the Sens organization is.  

Thank you Paul, Stan and the Sens.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Big Rig Review - Best Fried Pickles Anywhere

Originally posted at Kickass Ottawa on February 23rd, 2014,

In a surprising twist - I talk about Big Rig and how great they all are. :)  Originally posted at:


As you may or may not know, Big Rig is one of my favorite places to hang out.  There are many reasons for this, but here are a few of the best ones.
First off, they have FANTASTIC food.  My favorites include their fabulous deep friend pickles.  They’re the only fried pickles I’ve ever liked…and I am now addicted.  They also have some great wings with spicy maple sauce.  Mmmmmm.  Their taco salad comes in a Mason jar and is oh so delectable.  Perfect combination of ingredients.   A more recent favourite tasty dish are the ribs and ravioli.  Or Ribs and Rav as we’ve been told they call them.  The ribs are fall off the bone succulent and perfectly marinated and cooked.  The sauce used on them is oh so tasty and I believe might actually be made with the same spicy maple sauce they use on the wings.  Their ravioli pieces are huge and tossed in Big Rig’s homemade meat sauce.  I’m also told their pizza is AMAZING!!! (Editor note: the pizza is fantastic!)
For dessert, my absolutely favourite is their “birthday cookie”, but you can get it even if it isn’t your birthday.  The cookie is the size of a dinner plate and comes warm with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce.  Easily feeds 6 people, but I’ve been known to order for two of us and bring some home.
cookie photo
That’s one thing about their food portions, many times, you’ll be able to take the leftover home to enjoy the next day.
Another reason I love going there is that they really make you feel comfortable.  As an extremely shy single woman in Ottawa, it’s not easy to walk into a bar/restaurant and feel at ease.  In the almost two years the place has been open, I’ve only ever felt welcome.
It starts at the door when you’re greeted by the hostess.  She’ll seat you where you want and will make sure you have everything you need before your server comes to look after you.  The servers are friendly and extremely helpful.  I’m usually very early whenever I meet my friends, but they’ve never made me feel like I was in the way or taking up valuable space.  I’ve never felt this way anywhere before.
I’ve been to a few events here, including my 40th birthday party, and it’s always so very well organized.   They make sure everyone leaves happy.
Having been to many bars/restaurants in the past, you often see the token slobbering drunk patron who’s always hitting on the women. I’ve never noticed anything like that here.  It really helps with making the atmosphere more inviting.
All in all, I’d be hard pressed to find somewhere I’m more at ease than at Big Rig.
Next time you go – be sure to have the cookie.
Julie / @Flip_4

Vision Uncertainties

On September 17, 2013 I contributed a post to the Ottawa Valley Moms Website.

Vision Uncertainties about my eye condition - Corneal Dystrophy.

Julie / @Flip_4

Sight One Day - Gone Tomorrow

August 19, 2013 I contributed a post to the Ottawa Valley Moms Website.

The post was about my eye condition - Corneal Dystrophy.

Julie / @Flip_4

50 Book Pledge

I LOVE to read.  For anyone who knows me, they know this statement is true.

From the time I learned how to read, I’ve had this love affair with books.  I can’t explain it, I just love to read.

I remember in grade school, each student was allowed to borrow a certain number of books a week from the library.   The librarian made an exception for me and I could bring as many books as I wanted every week.  This is because I returned them all on time and I did read all of them.  Sometimes I would borrow up to 10 books.

My grandparents worked at my grade school and sometimes, after school, I would sit in the library and read while they were cleaning and finishing up what they had to do. 

At home, my parents would buy me books for birthdays and Christmas and to be honest, those gifts made me as happy as any other gifts they could get me.

In HS, we’d get a book to read as an assignment for class and I would bring it home that night and likely finish it before the next class. 

There was no stopping me. 

Then I became and adult and although I still read quite a bit, it seems that I have replaced reading with the computer or television.  Last year, I believe I MAY have  read a total of 15 books and I’m probably being a little generous with the total.

In order to get back into reading, I’ve decided to take the 50 book pledge.  I will attempt to read 50 books this year.   So far so good - I've read 10 books.

I read during my lunch hour at work.  I read before going to bed at night.  I read on the weekends when I first get up in the morning.   I have always brought my books or e-reader with me everywhere I go – but now I will actually read whenever I find the time. 

Really, is there anything more relaxing?

Let me know if you like to read.  What are your favourite books?  How many books do you plan on reading this year?

Join me in the 50 book pledge.

Have a great day!!

Julie / @Flip_4

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Getting back on track

Wow - the past few months - I've really fallen off the "Saving" wagon.

I was doing so well - sticking to a budget so that I could get myself out of debt and then buy my house a couple of years ago.

Now, between multiple car issues and just plain not being careful on what I spent money on, I've depleted the accounts.  I took a look the other day and was actually shocked.

The one good thing is that I am NOT in debt other than the house.  That's a positive as I don't have to start from getting rid of debt, I just have to start a savings plan again.

Back to Gail Vaz-Oxlade's website I go for her budget worksheet and to get myself back on the savings track.

With a trip, my Sens season tickets and some expensive car repairs coming up - it's going to be tight for a bit.  

Guess I'll have to re-evaluate where my money goes.  Cut down on movies, books, clothes and constant take-outs or restaurant meals.  I'll keep Big Rig outings though ;)

Back to "No fun Julie" it is ;)

Who's got the winning lottery numbers for me???

Til next time
Julie / @Flip_4