Burlington Rocks!

I just love living in Burlington.  There is so much going on in this city and I’ve noticed that people really get out and support their local talent.

A  few weeks ago Joelle invited me to come to a fashion show that she was hosting at the Burlington Art Centre.  Joelle was launching a new line that she’s carrying in here store called “Desigual” ….she described it as a beautiful colourful line from Barcelona that would be perfect with glamjulz…..WOW!  Joelle was not kidding! The julz really rocked with this bold and eclectic clothing line.  Each piece was so different, all one of a kind pieces, much like our julz!  I felt so proud!

The entertainment for the evening was a live performance by Ginger St.James.  A local talent from Hamilton, Ontario.  Voted the best female artist and sexiest Hamiltonian by View Magazine last year the girl’s voice is heavenly!  It’s unbelievable what she can belt out of that tiny little frame.  Her performance was amazing and I couldn’t resist running over to Ginger and throwing some glamjulz on her.  She graciously accepted my gift and handed me her latest CD.

There are so many powerful people out there and I always feel so inspired when I see strong women pushing forward with what they believe in and expressing their true selves.  I think it takes so long sometimes to discover how unique we are and what a gift it is to everyone around us when we express our individual talents and ideas.  No one should ever be afraid to express their ideas and explore how to make them a reality in life.  You never know where it might take you!  Just be you!

Glorious Northern Ontario!

A couple of weeks ago I ventured off on another road trip to seek out more fantastic boutiques to carry glamjulz!

I packed my rockin outfits, my comfy clothes, my runners, my healthy snacks and my Mom!  That’s right, my favourite travel buddy!  We had a fantastic time.  We left our cottage in the Muskoka’s on Monday morning at 7am  and made it as far as Hearst, Ontario on the first day.  I picked up a couple of new stores along the way as well!  Wooo Hooo!  The northern gals were digging the julz!  We arrived at our Motel in Hearst after dark and asked if it was safe to go for a walk.  We were told to stay away from the nature trail because it’s mating season and the bears were out.  Ha Ha!  Not exactly what I was thinking of when I asked if it was safe…..aaaah crime I asked?  The nice girl behind the desk laughed and said, “No need to worry, there’s tons of cops here and they cruise up and down the highway and eat donuts all night, you’ll be fine.”

The trip was such an amazing experience.  I always thought the Muskokas were a real Northern experience but there is so much more to see of this beautiful province.  Deer casually walking down the street, Egli’s Sheep farm in Dryden ( We got the warmest slippers there!), Kenora Recreation Centre (saltwater pool, hot tub and a sauna…aaaaahhh heaven), Terry Fox Memorial in Thunderbay and you must see the Sleeping Giant there too!  I have to say my favourite part of the whole trip was driving back along Lake Superior.  That lake will take your breath away.  I have never seen anything like it.  The look outs along the way make you stop every half an hour to take a picture.  The big hills and cliffs look like mini mountains, it’s truly unbelievable.  We really lucked out with the weather too.  We were not sure what to expect.  Could have been snow as far north as Kenora but apparently we had the warmest weather in all of Ontario that week.  The last Wednesday we were 200 km’s outside of Winnipeg and the Friday we were back in Muskoka for Thanksgiving weekend!

If any of you are planning a big northern road trip in the near future I have a couple of reccommendations:

1) Go to your public library and get some great books on CD!  We listed to 5!  It was amazing and really kept us alert for all that driving.

2) Bring a big cooler and eat 5 or 6 small meals a day if you can – cost effective and good to keep the energy level up

3) If you ever find yourself in Wawa, Ontario you must stay at the High Falls Motel and Cabins.  Gorgeous log cabins…$69 a night….I could have stayed there and read books and relaxed for a month!  It’s so perfect!

4) Stop at Agawa Indian Crafts on Highway 17 just north of Sault Ste Marie

5) We also stopped at an amazing store south of Sault Ste Marie that sold a huge variety of smoked fish, all caught in Lake Superior……Clarence’s Fish Market in Algoma Mills ON, the fish was delicious and they also had fresh frozen melt in your mouth Pickerel.  Keep an eye open when you are south of The Sault…It’s on the west side of Hwy 17.

Enjoy this Province!  We are so lucky!

This Fall needs some Colour!

There is something about fall that makes us all get serious.  Back to school, back to work, flip flops are no longer a part of the wardrobe, sensible shoes or boots are a must and for some reason we are all dying to wear sweaters and great looking coats even though we’re kinda still sweating!  Why is it that we always forget that we loathe having to put these things on by the time March rolls around?  I still remember my 19th Birthday, in August, sweltering hot and my Mom and Dad got me the COOLEST black cowboy boots!  My outfit that night, as I celebrated with my friends was, a black sweater, cut off jean shorts, the cowboy boots, and of course lots of bangles up both sides of my arms and BIG HUGE hoop earrings!  Wow!  Did I ever think I was cool…..as a side my hair was also crazy long and permed! aaaaahhh the 80’s LOL!

I am loving this fall and especially the glamjulz if I may say so myself!  Guess what we are all wearing this season? Grey, grey grey another shade of grey oooooh look more grey and yes, you said it GREY!!!!!  You know what Grey needs oh so desperately?  COLOUR!!!! That’s right!  I LOVE colour.  In case you never noticed, LOL!  Our fall collection is all about colour, any colour, anything goes with Grey so have FUN!!! We are also loving all of the inspiration and ideas that you have all shared with us over the years……comments like, “Hey, this is my favourite necklace….do you think you could add an extra clip so I can wear it as a bracelet too?”  or “I love wearing this necklace as a belt over my favourite black dress!”  You fans are amazing!  Sometimes when I am designing I am so in it that I don’t always see these opportunities for multi-purpose fashion statements.

We have just updated our website with all of the fall julz and we  have also included instructions on how to wear the pieces that can be worn more than one way…..if we’ve missed anything be sure to let us know or send us a pic of the way you like to wear your glamjulz!

Don’t forget as we get through the colder weather and we have to face those cold rainy/snowy days….you can add some sunshine to your grey with COLOUR! It’s perfectly acceptable!

October is Pink Month! I hope this story inspires all you wonderful fans!

Well here we are it’s already October the 1st which means it’s Pink Month.  Time for everyone to consciously pull together and support the fight to end Breast Cancer in our lifetime.

I have been so pre-occupied, thinking about what I could say to promote our beautiful Hummingbird Bracelets to raise money for the CIBC Breast Assessment Centre.  How can I convince every boutique that carries glamjulz to carry these in their stores? How can I sell tons of them from the website? What can I do to make people realize that they all must have one!   Hmmmmmmm…..all sounds quite pushy doesn’t it? I suppose that’s my “Leo” personality coming out again.

Last night I was given a gift from a dear friend of mine who is a Breast Cancer Survivor.  We enjoyed a wonderful evening out together and then had one of those magical conversations in the car when I dropped her off.

We talked about the “C” word and discussed all of the pain and anxiety that came along with it.  Then my friend helped me to see the bigger picture.

I have always sort of taken for granted that I come from a healthy family, I have never even considered that I would ever get sick or anyone else in my family for that matter.  I am embarrassed to say that when I hear about someone having cancer I immediately look for reasons why they have it. Is it in the family? Did they smoke? Drink too much? Eat too many packaged foods? Not enough fruits and vegetables? Don’t they exercise? My list of judgements goes on and on.  My rationalization seems to be that if any of the above are true then I have found a reason and I can go back to standing behind my big shield and carry on my merry healthy way.  Ummmmmm okay?

A couple of months ago I was approached by Hamilton Health Sciences to design a pink and crystal hummingbird bracelet to help raise money for their CIBC Breast Assessment Centre. Wow! Yeah! Hey sure of course! Why wouldn’t we want to help and oooooooh all the recognition, sounds fantastic!

But what is really happening here? Am I qualified to create something like this and try to raise money? I come from the family of healthy horses….do I have enough sympathy? Empathy? Do I really understand the big picture, do I even want to know? I feel too chicken…..how can I even begin to understand what people with Breast Cancer feel like.  Why am I making this all about me???

My friend the survivor made it all clear.  Even though I was there for her when she was going through her treatment and I listened to all of her experiences it somehow still seemed so unbelievable to me.  I would visit with her and then kind of let it leave my brain.  It all just sounded so foreign. This can’t really be happening to my sweet friend.
Last night my friend openly shared with me what it felt like to look at herself and only see one breast, self-conscious in a bathing suit now, the party girl that would skinny dip at the drop of a hat.  How she was afraid she would never wake up when she was going through chemo treatments and how she had to keep a hand on her husband to help her fall asleep at night.  How she was afraid of dying before her child would remember who she was or if she had even had enough years together with her little one to truly make an impact.  She bravely went to the doctor and told him that she didn’t want to know anything! She just wanted him to fix it and she would ask questions when she was ready.  Then she says to me “You know what Monica, this life we live is just a test, there are greater things out there and we are only just scratching the surface of this life we have here on earth.  You know what a present is? It’s the present because that’s all we have and I am grateful everyday that I have it.”

Wow! My heart leaped and sank all at the same time.  It was so beautiful to hear my friend share her feelings so candidly with me.  Now I know why I have created these bracelets and why I was joined together with Hamilton Health Sciences.  It’s To make sure that every woman has the opportunity to know what is happening with her body before it’s too late, so she can make decisions and do what is needed to get back to enjoying the present.

Toronto! A big city or a small town?

I celebrated my birthday with my husband a few weeks ago and what a fantastic day it was!  We checked out some great new shops on Queen Street, west of Bathurst, ate pizza, sat on the rooftop of the Drake Hotel where I drank an icy cold Mojito and just thoroughly enjoyed the day.

As we were walking into all of these beautiful boutiques and through quaint little neighbourhoods I couldn’t help but think about how cozy and intimate Toronto feels.  It’s so funny but the city has almost traded places with the suburbs.  I remember when I was a kid growing up in Oakville we went to certain stores for certain things.  The delicatessen for our meats, the market for fruits and veggies and then over to K-mart for socks and underwear!  Ha ha!  Do I ever miss those blue light specials!

Now it seems that wherever I go in Ontario I see the same super-centres filled with the same stores Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Loblaws and then of course there is always a Tim Horton’s close by and usually a Shell gas station on one side of the street and an Esso on the other.  I know these big players have their place in the market but walking up and down the streets in Toronto really made me think.  The people that live in the big city are really living in small towns that are all maybe 10×10 blocks apart.  They go and see their butcher for meat, they hit the market for fresh veggies and fruit and stop by their little hardware store to grab what they need for the house.  They also enjoy shopping from local designers and are exposed to eclectic pieces for their home that are more than likely one of a kind. Like this BIG WHITE CHAIR that I just had to get Wayne to photograph me in!  One day it will be mine!

It felt wonderful to see the local Torontonians enjoying their city and supporting their local shop keepers.  I think that is so important to remember that all of us can do the same in our own towns and cities.  We may all have big box stores that are only a 5 minute drive from our house but let’s not forget about our beautiful downtown’s and all of the people that have put their heart and souls into creating beautiful businesses.  Amazing restaurants with real ingredients and real chefs, beautiful clothing stores where the sales associates can actually dress you to look your best, gift stores that have something no one else does and of course local butchers and markets that have an abundance of healthy foods to enjoy.  So next time you want to rush over to Wal-Mart to grab a head of lettuce (somehow that just sounds wrong), drive that extra few minutes and go and find the little market that just had lettuce dropped off that morning from a local farm.

Life just tastes better in a small town!

glamjulz in beautiful BC!

At the end of July I spent 10 days in Kelowna BC!  What an amazing trip!

I went there to surprise my best friend for her 40th birthday and also incorporated some time to sell julz!!!  I rented a car and drove all over the Okanagan meeting new customers and taking orders.  Absolutely fantastic.  the scenery was intoxicating and the store owners were so appreciative for the visits.  Definitely somewhere I would like to visit more often.

My days were so perfect while I was there. 7am wake-up, one hour bike rides to greet the day and then off to sell julz by 9am with a cooler full of veggies, okanagan peaches, yummmmm and lots of water!   Home by 6pm, perfect dinners with Okanagan wine and in bed by 11pm to do it all again the next day!  I really am so grateful to be living this dream.  I have made my love my work and in turn I am rewarded each day by having the freedom to make this whatever I want it to be.  We all deserve that satisfaction!

Fall julz at Joelle’s!

Last week I had the pleasure of setting up the fall collection of julz at Joelle’s in Burlington!  I have already heard that the response has been fantastic! That’s in just one week!

I truly have to thank all of you glam girls out there that are making my dream a reality, everyday!  Joelle has been a customer for 10 years now.  Twice a year we have a nice long meeting where we discuss upcoming trends and colours for each season.  We have a great time, share ideas and come up with a perfect colour story for the store.  The magic of those meetings comes to life when the new julz are up on display.

I know there are so many of you that have been going in for new julz each season and enjoying them as you update your wardrobes.  I am truly thankful for this.  None of this would be possible without your on-going support!

Cameron’s Brewery!

Looking for something FUN and DIFFERENT to do on a Thursday night???? I think I have the answer!  I went with some old friends to Cameron’s Brewery in Oakville last week.  It was fantastic!  The last Thursday of every month they have a tasting night.  For $10 you get two beers, as sampling of whatever they are experimenting with AND a full catered dinner.  Our dinner was brought in from Whole Foods…..sausages, pulled pork, salads, corn on the cob….delicious!

We had such a great time!  It’s was so great to explore a new place for a great night and support a local brewery!  The beer is fantastic!

#1 Mom!

My Mom is the greatest!  She is 70 years old and has the playfulness of a teenager!  We have so much fun!  Last year we traveled all over the East Coast together.  I was on a mission to conquer the Maritimes with my julz and my Mom was the best travel partner I could have asked for.

I am so thankful to my Mom.  She is such a rock in our family.  She takes care of my nephew, organizes our cottage weekends, feeds us all while we’re there and still finds time to help me string beads when I am swamped.  She is so dedicated to our whole family and is always happy to spend time with us and hear all about what is happening in our lives.

What a great feeling to be loved and adored by such an amazing woman!

Healthy Breakfast!

Okay friends!  How’s our New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re still at it congratulations!  We are halfway through the year!  I would say you have officially made a lifestyle change!!

There are days however when we feel sluggish and it’s just hard to get moving!  Well I have this dear friend Catherine, she is an amazingly incredible real estate agent who used to sell my julz for me!  Wow was I lucky!  This girl is a fire-cracker!  Gorgeous and can definitely sell ice-cubes to Eskimos!  Anyway, back to feeling sluggish!  Whenever Catherine and I were on the road together selling  julz at about 4:00 in the afternoon Catherine would look at me and say, “I need to eat something ALIVE”…….then she would reach into her cooler and grab the crispiest apple or juiciest peach of tupperware full of strawberries and be instantly re-energized!

This statement of her wanting to eat something alive has always stuck with me!  I am not a morning person by nature.  I am a wanna be morning person!  And I am getting there( my other friend Katherine (with a K) gets my butt out the door at 6:30 am for a walk, run or bike ride every morning)…….I eat fruit from 7:00am to 12:00 pm to give me tons of great energy and then delicious veggies for lunch, followed by more fruit and back to veggies for dinner……lots of protein in there too of course but I never go a day without my 4 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit!  We do need these foods to keep us feeling super-fantastic!  80% of these fruits and veggies I eat are also raw which is even more alive!

Sometimes I think we over compensate for what we perceive to be lacking in our lives.  We do this by spending money on gym memberships, personal trainers, nutritionists, vitamins and supplements.  I am not saying that these things are not important or can not help, they can, I’ve done them all!

I’m just saying all I need are my two Katherine Catherine’s!