Toronto Strong

Last week cast a dark cloud over Toronto when the devastating news was released about the deadly van attack in the north part of our beautiful city.

I saw an old friend on Facebook post, “This happened on my street, please don’t worry, we are all okay.”  My phone went off several times the next morning with messages from (more…)

Maybe Mother Nature Really Does Know Best

My friends and family always say to me, “Don’t be so hard on yourself, you have no control over this.”

The truth is I am hard on myself.  I blame myself if a show has a low turnout, if a sale isn’t a huge success, if a new design does not appeal to everyone.  Yup it’s a self-deprecating terrible habit.  It’s also the way I get trapped into thinking small.  Thinking big is (more…)

We’ll always have Paris!

Whenever I drive into Toronto the “An American in Paris” billboards call to me!

I finally did something about it and asked my Mom if she would like to join me.  In typical Mom fashion her response was, “Yes!  My treat!”  Geeeez am I ever a lucky kid!

Our evening began with a windy walk up John Street discussing what we would like to eat for dinner before the show.  Seafood was high on the list of possibilities.  In all the excitement we walked right on King instead of left to where all the restaurants are.  I find when I’m with my Mom we always end up in the right place at the right time when we veer from the path.  We stumbled upon a lovely little cozy Mexican restaurant called Los Colibris where we scored the last two seats for dinner.  We indulged in Salmon, Yellow Tail and Shrimp Ceviche.  All separate dishes, delicious in their own way!

When the first dish arrived and our Sauvignon Blanc was poured my Mom asked, (more…)

Stepping Into Our True Selves

Do you ever feel like you know yourself so well that no one could possibly ever tell you something about yourself that you didn’t already know?

Have you ever asked yourself what makes you loveable?  What is the magic that you give to others?  What is it about you that makes people want to be in your company?

These are not easy questions to answer, well not for me anyway.  To be honest, I’ve never (more…)

My Royal Lineage . . .

You know how much I love to write about my family and the strength that they give me.

Today I wanted to share a story with you about the powerful woman who I was named after in our family.

Her name was Monika Eydis Normann.

But wait – rewind for one second . . .

For those of you who are unaware, my maiden name is Normann.  The oldest northern European family name in existence dating back to the 1400’s.  The name originated in Norway, meaning man from the north.

Because the name is the oldest of all northern European names our family is fortunate to have the most incredible family tree.  If you feel like reading a 50 page blog I can tell you all about our family and how they originated in Norway and ended up in Germany.

Sigh, perhaps another time, for now let’s focus on Monika . . .

Monika was born in 1769, she was born in the Norwegian town of Luksuriøs in a beautiful castle.  Yes, Monika was the Duchess of this enchanting region.  She was given her first name Monika, meaning advisor and her second name Eydis after the ancient goddess of good luck.  These names were given to her for a very specific reason.

During this time in 1769 the town of Luksuriøs was not as thriving as it had been the decade before.  This town employed 500 people to run their lucrative diamond cutting industry.  Every month ships would arrive from Nizhne- Lenskoye in Russia to the shores of Luksuriøs where thousands of diamonds would be delivered.  The people of the village were talented artisans who learned from generations before to cut and set diamonds in jewels and armour for wealthy and royal families all over Europe.

In 1765 the Russian Tzar and the King of Norway got into a disagreement over tariffs imposed on the imported diamonds and trade came to a halt.  This news was of great shock to the village.

The village of Luksuriøs had enough of a cash reserve to keep them afloat for a few years.  By the time Monika was born there was only enough reserve to last another 5 years.  Meeting after meeting was spent discussing how to open communication again with Russia but nothing progressed.  The village people were depressed and could not find a solution to preserve their livelihood.

One sunny day on August 20, 1774 little Monika celebrated her 5th birthday.  Her mother scolded her as she came to the dinner table that evening with black stains all over her pretty pink dress.  Monika smiled at her mother and took her hand. “Come with me Mama, I have something to show you.”  Monika lead her Mother through their garden filled with Lilies of the Valley.  The smell of these flowers was intoxicating and Monika always believed they grew along a path of fairies and magic.

On this special day when Monika took her Mother’s hand there was magic at the end of the path.  The path went on and on for several feet past the outer wall of the castle.  The magical Lilies of the Valley had formed a fairy ring around a black hole in the earth.  Monika was leaning over the hole earlier that day hoping to catch a glimpse of the fairies.

Monika’s mother shrieked with joy!  Her darling little girl, the advisor and goddess of good luck had found a coal mine only steps away from their property.

The next day the village people began mining coal, the day after the village reserve had run out.  They sang and danced for the blessings of their good fortune!

The miracle of this discovery did not stop there!  That evening Monika’s father lifted her high on his shoulders and she ceremoniously threw a piece of coal into the fire!  Another fairy ring appeared and this time it was real fairies, catching perfect diamonds as they exploded from the coal.

Too good to be true?

April Fool’s everyone!  Did you fool anyone today?  Tell me all about it in the comments below!

I would like to thank Tara MacIntosh my creative writing teacher who has taught me how to stretch my imagination and have so much more fun with writing, and also our very own Maggie here at glamjulz.  Maggie is a history buff and was able to keep me somewhat on track with my historical facts!  ha ha!

Monica XO



It’s Time to Celebrate being a Woman!

Somehow we just get it done, don’t we?

Is it because we are women?  It very well could be.  My husband is obsessed with buying me every Wonder Woman toy on the market.  He associates me with this powerful character and adores the woman I am.   I feel very fortunate to be with a man who sees strength not only in me but in the women in our lives.

This year I designed my Spring Collection feeling inspired by (more…)

Girls just Wanna have FUN!

In the beginning . . .

Did I really pick up my first bead 26 years ago?  Noooooo… I could have sworn that was like two weeks ago.  Since I started this exciting ride of jewelry making I’ve always loved to bring my customers together in one room to celebrate and show them my latest collections.

Let’s do a quick rewind to the mid 80’s shall we?

In high school I was the queen of (more…)

All My Children

Well, these are not ALL of my children, 5 of them are missing! Are you shocked?  Perhaps something you didn’t know about me.

As a young teen I was already quite enterprising.  I loved children and we happened to have 3 families on our street who needed a responsible baby sitter.  I was it!  Not only would I rotate between (more…)

Absolutely Fabulous Women over 40!

Last night I was honoured to receive an award for Community Support at the Fabulous Women over 40 awards ceremony at the beautiful Grand Victorian Convention Centre in Mississauga.

I was one of 40 women in the GTA being recognized for their accomplishments and contributions.

All guests received a program for the evening profiling each of the 40 women receiving awards.  When I opened the program the first thing I saw was a special greeting from our Prime Minister.  His words moved me, especially these (more…)

2018 is the Year of the Dog!

Growing up in Oakville in the 70’s and 80’s, we had a restaurant called Mei Foo Gardens.  They had these paper place mats with pictures of different animals on them.  There was a rat, an ox, a tiger, a rabbit, a dragon, a snake a horse a goat, a monkey, a rooster, a dog and a pig.

I was so intrigued by the place mats as a kid!  I loved to read them, they showed how (more…)