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… 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… 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!

Friends for Life!

Check out these two hot girls that just turned 40 within 5 months of eachother?  That’s right, me and Dawn!  Getting ready for a night on the town in Burlington!  That evening began with all you can eat sushi!  Mmmmmm!!!!

Dawn and I have been friends since before we were even born!  Our Mom’s and Dad’s were friends and then I came along and patiently waited 5 more months for Dawn to come along.  We grew up together like cousins.  I lived with my family in Oakville and Dawn with her’s in Markham.  We had cottage weekends together, family birthday’s and when we got older Dawn would come to Oakville for my highschool dances and to check out the all-ages bars and CFNY video dances.

Markham was kind of rock-on at the time and Dawn liked the new wave scene that me and all my friends were into.  We would listen to Roxy Music, New Order, Depeche Mode, and then crazy dance music from bands like, Nucleus, Willisden Dodgers and Torch Song….that’s what the cool kids listened to!  Less mainstream, more treasures that were mysterious and hard to find.   We loved to dress differently and had crushes on guys that wore eyeliner and rocked Duran Duran haircuts!

Our teenage years were so much fun when we got to spend it together!  I always knew I wanted Dawn to be closer and to have her as a bigger part of my everyday life!  I am so thankful to Dawn for joining “glamjulz” and being such a huge part in making my dream a reality!  Dawn has been working with me for almost 10 years now!  We laugh everday, we respect each other and we always get the work done!  We are a super-dynamic team and our unconditional love and admiration for one another is the magic of glamjulz!

Family Time up North!

This picture makes me feel so peaceful inside.  This is the front of my Mom and Dad’s Cottage.  We are so lucky to have this place.  My Dad bought it in the late 50’s and it feels like the set of “Little House on the Prarie”, we even have an old school house down the road from us.

This house to me is magical.  My Mom and Dad have always loved having lots of people up and each guest is guaranteed to gain anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds for a long weekend stay.  Big breakfasts, cold cuts and cheese for lunch and a big barbecue for dinner with my Dad’s home made wine flowing into each glass.

The part that makes all of this so magical is the feeling that we  have when we are all up there spending time together.  It’s like we all regress to our childhood, laughing hysterically (well honestly I do that most days!  Have you met my husband?) , eating whatever we want, going for 10 walks a day, jumping in the lake, telling old stories a million times like it’s the first time we’ve told them and just enjoying each other and all knowing how blessed we are to all be together in a little piece of paradise.

I love my husband, my family and all of my friends dearly.  I am surrounded by incredible people that make me want to get up and be the best I can be each day.  Life is supposed to be fun and I think I have mastered that!  Woooo Hoooo!!  I think there’s a car leaving for the cottage!  Wait up!!!!!!