Tag Archives: Ottawa

Flashback: Falling for Fall

This post was originally published on my personal blog – three years ago! We still love the Orleans Fruit Farm, and yes, I still love that kale salad :)


Although we officially have five more days to go, I’m going to jump the gun and call it: Autumn is Here. The nights are cold, the mornings are chilly (and in many parts of this world, frosty!), and the days are clear and bright. As Stuart McLean said on the Vinyl Cafe, the sky is a different kind of blue now than it is in July and August.

What better way to kick off our first fall weekend than with a visit to the local apple orchard:

The sunflowers welcomed us as though we were royalty

Her Highness was all too willing to oblige

The bees were busy this weekend – they know the end is near

A curious little elf hid amongst the towering flowers…

But emerged to bite into every apple she could find – whether they be on the ground or in the trees

“How do you like them apples!?”


 A warm dinner of curried carrot soup – thanks to the sweet roots we had growing in our garden this year

And freshly baked whole wheat bread, with flour from Castor River Farm

To finish off, a salad with garden tomatoes and local purple kale

Tonight I’m hoping for dreams as vivid as the fall colours….

Cat’s Fish and Chips: Restaurant Review

The other day one of my Facebook friends posted a lovely picture of her fish and chips dinner. The caption read “it’s hard to find good fish ‘n chips in Ottawa” – as a Brit, she should know. Britain is the land where fish and chips was born!

Yesterday was my husband’s 32nd birthday, and my friend’s photo gave me a great idea. I decided to take my hubby out to the best fish and chips place in Ottawa. My husband is the guy who must try fish and chips at every restaurant/pub we visit – a lot of these meals have been pretty gross. It’s easy to screw up fish and chips!

I did some googling, and found Cat’s Fish and Chips at Hemlock and St. Laurent. The ambiance takes me right back to Casey Key, Florida, where my family loves to vacation every winter. If I closed my eyes, I could almost hear the ocean waves.


We sat on the patio, and ordered a beer – Beau’s Festivale for my hubby (you get to take home the glass, but I believe this brew will be done soon!). The server was extremely welcoming and helpful, and the food arrived in record time. We tried the Crow’s Nest (seasoned and fried onions) with chipotle and dill dipping sauces, and then opted for the halibut. Portions are GIANT, so think about it before you consider ordering 2 pieces of fish :)

We were too full for desert, but I can’t wait to go back and try their homemade doughnut topped with a scoop of ice cream. There was a kids menu, which would offer smaller portions for the wee ones.

And speaking of kids, I was delighted to see that Cat’s was very kid-friendly. The bathroom even had a wooden change table and pad – much nicer than those plastic monstrosities. And any child would be delighted with the decor, which makes you feel as though you’re inside an old ship!

Price-wise, Cat’s is very reasonable. Our bill was on the higher end, given that we paid extra for the halibut and indulged in an appetizer and some drinks. Most meals are between $10 – $15 (I found the kids menu a bit pricey, but given that my girls don’t eat very much when we go out, I would probably have them share something)

And for those of you gluten free – Cat’s has a whole menu dedicated to gluten free fare!

It was a lovely meal, and we ended the evening by walking through the National Cemetery of Canada. We definitely needed that walk after a healthy dose of fried fats :) I think Cat’s may become one of our family’s favourite restaurants in Ottawa!

Are you ready for back to school?

Some of us have already gone through back to school and the rest are coming up to it quickly.  I’m on my fifth year of back to school and I thought I’d share a few thoughts.  Please add any other ideas and tips to the comments below!


  • What still fits?  We go through a fashion show and get all the kids to try on all their clothing and depending on the kid, clothing gets moved to their younger sibling, or it gets put into donation or consignment piles (the older the kids get, the smaller the consignment pile gets ;)  It’s a great time to purge all the stuff that doesn’t fit any more or that has been destroyed.
  • When possible, I try to get my kids’ clothing used.  There are lots of great ways to do that in Ottawa, including great consignment sales (the Hot Tots is September 6 and the MBFA sale is on September 13) and there are all kinds of Facebook groups where people sell clothing, toys, etc, not to mention sites like Used Ottawa.  Leave a comment telling us what your favourite place to get used clothing is!
  • Another great option is to have a clothing swap with your friends.  Kids go through clothing so quickly as kids and they play so hard in them, I’m all for keeping it as affordable as possible!

Making memories

I’m not always a super organized mom but the one thing I’ve always done is take first day of school photos.  I love seeing how the kids change over the years!  Make a point to take a shot on the first day of school.  We take ours in the same spot every year outside our front door.  The bricks really show how much they’ve grown from year to year.  Unfortunately this means we can’t move until they’re all done school now ;)  If you’re worried your skills aren’t going to capture the moment as well as you’d like, there are lots of photographers now offering back to school sessions too :)


Being mentally prepared

A lot of the hardest part of back to school is being mentally prepared.  Just remember:

  • Breathe.  :)
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.   (For all the planning I tried to do with clothing my daughter wore one of the most ridiculous outfits ever on the 3rd day of school.  If it isn’t inappropriate weather wise, I just go with the flow )

Extra stuff

I asked people to share their back to school tips with us on Facebook.  Come add yours (or put them in the comments here!)

Want to share your back to school photos with us?  Do that on this Facebook post!

Bit of Momsense shares so great tips on back to school shopping and lunch ideas.

Happy back to school everyone!!