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Librarian in Residence: New year, new skills

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DIY Library

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. Ottawa is a very crafty place and only seems to be getting more so the longer I live here. If you have ever wanted to pick up anything from tatting to making pickles, there are books available here at the library covering a vast amount of creative endeavour. This is one of my favourite... | Continue reading article

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Venus Envy wants you to come… to their 15th anniversary party!

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Shelley Taylor, photo courtesy of Venus Envy.Shelley Taylor, photo courtesy of Venus Envy.

Find Sheri Levine on Twitter at @sherlevine. Venus Envy, Ottawa’s education-oriented sex shop, is celebrating the Big One on January 30th, marking 15 successful years in O-town. It’s easy to escape Ottawa’s bitter winter chill by hibernating your weekends away, but attending Venus Envy’s big bash is the perfect way to add some much needed heat to your Saturday night. It’s a perfect excuse to get out from under your warm blankets, off of the couch and out of those cozy pajamas. Don’t be shy to come decked out in something sexy... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Motivational mugs from a hidden gem in Kanata

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All photos courtesy of Cookery Bistro.All photos courtesy of Cookery Bistro.

After years of working in busy kitchens for large restaurants, Cookery Bistro owners Cat and Darren decided to open up a place that kept things simple, healthy and delicious. Their gourmet menu contain sandwiches, salads and soups made from scratch, and a selection of fresh raw juices. While the staples of his business are sandwiches, Darren ventures into some more complex dishes very week which are the Bistro’s specials. They also offer soups, salads and some baked goods for take out or catering. The Bistro is only 125 sq.ft and... | Continue reading article

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Masters ‘n Dogs gives back to the community (human and canine)

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All photos by Kelly Hotte.All photos by Kelly Hotte.

On a crisp, bright January morning, Lucie Meloche is not in her Westboro pet shop. The owner of Masters ’N Dogs instead is trundling along Murray Street, arms full. Her destination is Shepherds of Good Hope, and her bounty is handmade fleece blankets. “It’s so satisfying to give back. I’m so thankful that in partnership with dog coat designers Chilly Dogs, we have been able to help Shepherds.” This donation is the latest charitable activity of the business. “We’ve raised over $8,000 with our recent events, and hope to double... | Continue reading article

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West End Comings and Goings – Hintonburg edition

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Back in Black. Photo by 
Justin Van Leeuwen from the Apt613 Flickr Pool.Back in Black. Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen from the Apt613 Flickr Pool.

A lot has happened since I last updated this column, a column that’s been traveling with me as I’ve moved from neighborhood to neighborhood. This update narrows in on what’s happened in Hintonburg’s burgeoning business scene over the last few months. For ease of reading and navigating, this updates goes from east to west. First and probably the most recent opening!  SuzyQ has finally decided that it has grown out of its little shack and moved to the old West End Well, which unfortunately closed its doors in the fall.... | Continue reading article

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Black Squirrel Books celebrates Bookmas

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All photos by Kelly Hotte.All photos by Kelly Hotte.

Amidst yummy treats, friendly chatter, and the smell of freshly ground coffee,  the first annual Bookmas was held this past Saturday (December 19th) at Black Squirrel Books & Cafe. More than 110 bookworms participated in the community Secret Santa event that organizers Vaughan MacDonald and Alexandra Ekstrom referred to as “literature and giverature” – books and giving. Participants had been supplied with the first name and reading preferences of the person they were buying for. They then had to head into Black Squirrel, purchase a gift book, take it home, wrap it,... | Continue reading article

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Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ce weekend?

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Stefan Thompson to the Idle Hands Facebook eventPhoto posted by Stefan Thompson to the Idle Hands Facebook event

Another weekend has arrived, here in Ottawa and we at Apt613 have you covered. Here is this week’s edition of the Weekend Roundup – full of tons of great ideas on how to spend your weekend! For all those a fan of a good craft fair, this weekend has plenty. The Ottawa Maker’s Market: Holiday Night Market is happening tonight, at Orange Gallery. Come meet 14 different artists and makers from Ottawa, up close and personal. Entry is pay what you can and 50% of the door proceeds help support... | Continue reading article

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Tour de Blogosphere: Chantal Sarkisian on Mode XLusive’s success

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Photos from Chantal Sarkisian's Instagram account, @chantsy.Photos from Chantal Sarkisian's Instagram account, @chantsy.

Local fashion stylist, body positive advocate, mother, and all-round cool girl, Chantal Sarkisian, is no novice in the blogging world. Throughout the past five years she has used blogging as an outlet to share her interests and inspire others. Her journey so far has found her exploring a number of avenues, from reporting on Ottawa culture to chronicling her maternity leave experience, determined by her hobbies and life at the time. Currently, Sarkisian is the founder of the popular blog, Mode XLusive, Ottawa’s voice on plus-size fashion and style. You... | Continue reading article

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Indie toy store roundup: Shopping outside the (big) box

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Photo fromPhoto from

With Christmas just around the corner, a trip or two to a toy store is likely in your future. In the National Capital Region, we’re fortunate to have a number of independent toy stores that deserve some serious shopping consideration. Advantages of shopping outside the big-box stores include: attentive service, unique offerings to cater to all of your gift giving whims, plus the satisfaction of supporting local businesses. Here’s a list of some of my favorite independent toy stores in the Ottawa area. You can also download & print our... | Continue reading article

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Fellowship of the Blog: Ottawa’s C & C Dept. featuring Molly

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Photos: Sanita FejzicPhotos: Sanita Fejzic

Ottawa’s Compliments & Complaints Department is a featured column supported by the Apt613 Fellowship Program. The aim is to spotlight locals from different hoods of the capital, letting them celebrate this city and share their constructive criticisms. Name: Molly About: Molly is the second owner of the Village Quire. She lives, works and plays in Westboro. Her daily routine consists of taking her kids to school, biking down to her favourite coffee shop and chatting with other locals before opening her store; it reminds her of the small town she... | Continue reading article

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