AN EVENT YOU SHOULD BE ATTENDING: SWEET SASSY MOLASSY + A GIVEAWAY

Sweet Sassy Molassy is happening on the Market Square Boardwalk this coming weekend – July 10 & 11.

The five boardwalk restaurants (Lemongrass, Grannan’s, Saint John Ale House, Ryan Duffy’s and Cougars) will all feature a menu item made with molasses as well as a drink.

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Crosby’s Molasses is a staple in my kitchen – in my baking, my energy ball preparation and (sometimes!) in my smoothies!

Do you think you’d like to attend? (you should)

Crosby’s is making it easier! Enter below for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to any restaurant on the boardwalk!

This is a quick giveaway – you have until Friday morning (first thing!) to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Awesome!

Saint John Love, Part 6

Saint John Love, Part 6. I could easily do a hundred of these and I’m positive the responses would be different (just wait until you read mine!). We’re lucky to have the selection that we do in our City for dining, entertaining, shopping… and laughing!

James Mullinger is still a relatively new resident of Saint John. I’m always so pleased to see how he has seamlessly fit in to our City.

James continues to be my favourite pal to meet for a coffee and catch up on the latest television crime drama.

Enjoy!

Part 6: James Mullinger

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Your go-to coffee shop (and ​your ​order):

Magnolia Café. I always go in for a latte. Then once I’m in there (normally meeting you Barb!) I remember how good their breakfast wraps are and I order one of those even though I’ve already had breakfast.  They are simply divine. And you can often catch world-class musicians performing there thanks to the work of music promoter and local legend Jeff Liberty. I am also in Java Moose in the Valley most days too. It’s my second office. I meet good friends like Cathy Coyle, Mark Leger, Lindsay Vautour and Alan England there at least once a week for a chat and a Speedball. The coffee Speedball, obviously.

The place in Saint John where you feel ​calm, cool and collected:

Well, compared to London – everywhere. But I am at my most happy shopping at Backstreet Records, SecondSpin or trawling for VHS tapes in Value Village or at yard sales. HMV Saint John is awesome thanks to the super cool staff in there and the fact that you can occasionally find Troma movies or Chuck Norris flicks. I also love working out with Jason Crouse at his awesome fitness studio and catching up with Keith and Nela in Nela’s Kitchen: Simply For Life in the valley. Believe it or not, I also feel very relaxed when catching up with the magnificent police offers at KV Police Station. I work with them occasionally on KV Outreach fundraisers and I always leave with a smile on my face because Steve Palmer and his team are such a lovely, hard working group of people. It is very calming to know that we have such decent and fun people looking after us. Everyone at that station does remarkable things.

The one-stop gift shop.:

Amazon UK. But for my wife, always Suite Serendipity on Water Street or Judith Mackin’s Tuck Studio.

The place you celebrate special occasions:

Shadow Lawn Inn. Not just one of the best places to eat, drink, stay or watch live comedy but also one of my favourite hotels in the world. Utterly unique, supremely special and the owners Jamie and Mary Ann are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

The place that is a solid date-night spot:

The Robertson at Shadow Lawn. East Coast Bistro. Port City Royal. En Sushi. World class establishments all of them. Csaba Domokos who runs Bell Aliant’s Community One channel introduced me to Splash, which is truly marvellous. As is Csaba himself. And of course at the date night shows I do at Dunham’s Run vineyard on the Kingston Peninsula are the perfect night out! You can catch awesome comedians like Geoff Hendry, Glen K Amo, Neal Mundle and Jimmy MacKinley there.

Favorite place to order take-out:

I don’t really do much take out because my wife and I love cooking every night. But when we do have takeout it is always courtesy of her lovely parents who bring us House Of Chan. The restaurant looks beautiful, the food tastes beautiful and after I’ve consumed a lot of, it makes me feel beautiful!

The best under-the-radar bar:

The Saint John Ale House, The Barrel’s Head and Happinez are awesome but obviously are not a secret because everyone knows how bloody brilliant they are. I love taking the Gondola Point Ferry to go for a pint at Reed’s Point Pub. And I do a lot of comedy shows for Shane Ogden at the 3 Mile, which is highly underrated. I think a lot of people haven’t been for a while so they don’t realize how nice it is in there. I love sitting on their porch sipping a pint with my director John Borbely before a show.

My father in law Barry and I have a great friendship and we love going to Pete’s Pub in Brunswick Square. Pete has been there 35 years, the sign of a true local legend. When I used to visit here from England, Barry and I would always go to Pete’s for a pint and it’s a tradition we have kept up since moving here. Pete always has a story for you, a clientele of raconteurs, delicious Moosehead on tap and jumbo hot dogs. Like I say, legend.

In England there are very few local independent businesses like this left. And I doubt there is a single pub left in the whole of the UK that has been run by the same person who pulls the pints themselves for that length of time. They have all been bought up by big breweries. Same goes for record shops yet Gordy has been running Backstreet Records like a master for three decades. This to me is a sign of a thriving community. People like to complain in Saint John and I do understand that there are problems here but the fact is this: England seems to have a good economy on paper because of the 1% at the top having so much wealth and squeezing normal people like us out. The wealth poverty divide is far greater in London than it is here and there is a far higher proportion of people living in abject poverty in London than there are in Saint John. Nothing is perfect anywhere but things are a damn sight better in Saint John than they are in London.

The place you go for a little bit of culture:

So many places. Sarah Jones’ stunning art gallery. Peter Buckland’s Gallery. Obviously we are incredibly blessed to have a world-class theatre like the Imperial in our city bringing us the best in international culture. The fact that I can go see both Jim Jefferies and the Bubble Guppies there is proof alone that it is one of the best theatres in the world. It is also the most beautiful theatre I have ever played in. It is traditional and historical but unlike the crumbling London West End theatres, it is extremely well maintained. Impeccable, even. My show there last year was one of the most enjoyable gigs of my life and I can’t wait to return in October.

The great thing about the Imperial is that you can trust their booking policy. You might not think that you are in to ballet or opera but go book tickets for a ballet or opera show at the Imperial and you will be seeing the very best there is of that particular art form. You can trust their decision making implicitly. I cannot think of many venues you can say that about.

Obviously Saint John Theatre Company bring us incredible productions all the time and really I think the fact that we have such a thriving arts scene here is down to their hard work. I don’t think I would be able to do what I do here if they – along with people like Scott Thomas – hadn’t created this huge interest in performing arts over the past two decades. I salute Stephen Tobias and his awesome team.

The place you always take your out-of-town guests that wows:

Always the Alehouse first. Then Happinez, Thandi’s, East Coast Bistro, Port City Royal. I could go on. The list is endless in a great city like this.

There are so many beauty spots that impress my guests because this is the most beautiful place in the world. Reed’s Point Pub is a gorgeous spot for a pint and there is nowhere like it in England so that always wows. I took an award-winning British film director named Mark Murphy there a few weeks ago and he was amazed by the view. Take anyone to Tuck Studio and they will be blown away that we have one of the best interior design stores in the world in our city.

Where you shop for everyday basics:

Well, the liquor store obviously for Moose Light. Best beer in the world bar none. For chicken and banana bread – Cochran’s. The Irving gas station near my house where the staff are lovely and I consider them all good friends. Mostly though: probably Sobey’s.

James added these ones….​

Favourite vineyard:

Dunham’s Run on the Kingston Peninsula where I am doing a series of shows over the summer. They are just the most perfect shows – outdoors in the most beautiful part of Canada, in a gorgeous vineyard with sun, laughter and fine wine. We shot the very first episode of my TV show for Bell Aliant Blimey! An Englishman In Atlantic Canada there. Take a look then book tickets!

Favourite place to feel special:

When I moved here I didn’t think I would be able to get my favourite Hermes aftershave or Chanel face cream in Saint John but thanks to Laura in Perfumes Plus at Brunswick Square I don’t need to go back to London to get them. And Chris at Rothesay Hair Studio always makes my dreams come true!

 …….

Catch James’ brand new stand up show brought to you by Lexus Of Saint John being filmed for TV and recorded for a live concert album at the Imperial Theatre on October 8th

Saint John Love, Part 5

Katie is the Executive Director of ArtsLink NB, former Telegraph Journal journalist, current friend.

Katie loves Saint John and can be found taking in the arts & culture community through studio tours, gallery openings, shoe sales and wine of the month selections.

Enjoy!

Part 5 – Katie Wallace

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Photo: Kelly Lawson

Your go-to coffee shop (and ​your ​order):

Second Cup, medium medium roast with milk.

The place in ​Saint John where you feel ​calm, cool and collected:

My office in the Creative Soup Building

The one-stop gift shop:

Feel good store.

The place you celebrate special occasions​:

Port City Royal (planning my 40th birthday there in the spring!)

The place that is a solid date night spot:

happinez (canoodling in the dark back corners)

Favorite place to order take-out:

Pomodori

The best under-the-radar bar:

Big Tide is making some really good beers.

The place you go for a little bit of culture:

Peter Buckland Gallery.

The place you always take your out-of-town guests that wows:

Irving Nature Park.

Where you shop for everyday basics:

City Market

———

Thanks Katie!

Saint John Love, Part 4

Here is Part 4!

I can’t believe the positive response I’m getting with this series. Wait – YES I CAN! Saint John-ers love Saint John.

Aaron McFarlane is a relatively new resident of the City. He moved to Saint John and started the Sistema program for Elementary Youths in our area. You’ve probably seen him at an event or two with his back to the crowd, grinning ear to ear conducting the kids.

I met Aaron when he just moved here. Typical Barb – I messaged him out of the blue on Facebook (oh yeah, I creeped him) and invited him out for coffee. He’s become a great friend :)

Enjoy!

Part 4 – Aaron McFarlane

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*Note: This is not in Saint John ;)

Your go-to coffee shop (and ​your ​order):

Java Moose in City Market.  Decaf Coffee, black.

The place in ​Saint John where you feel ​calm, cool and collected:

Any of the nearby beaches.  Black Beach near Musquash is my favourite, but not technically “in Saint John.” Closer to home is the beach near Irving Nature Park.

The One-stop gift shop:

Handworks

The place you celebrate special occasions​:

East Coast Bistro.  Hands down my favourite restaurant in the city.

The place that is a solid date night spot:

A picnic with wine on any of the beautiful lookouts on Rockwood Park’s MacKay Skyway trail.  I love these views of the city that blend the skyline with industry.

Favorite place to order take-out:

Asia’s Best Cuisine!  Cheap, tasty, and an easy walk.

The best under-the-radar bar​

None that aren’t pretty well-known, I think.

The place you go for a little bit of culture:

The Imperial Theatre is a gem.  Saint John is so lucky to have it in the city.  Acoustically it’s a terrific place to hear an orchestra.  I also really appreciate the little theatre Saint John Theatre Company has on Princess – the shows I’ve gone to there are so intimate.  For live music I don’t think you can beat Interaction Theatre – I’ve seen a few really terrific shows there.

The place you always take your out-of-town guests that wows:

Partridge Island.  Everyone is astonished that it isn’t a developed heritage site.  People also really like the Kingston Peninsula market – it’s fun to take the ferry and the atmosphere is really welcoming.

Where you shop for everyday basics:

City Market on Saturdays, Superstore on weekdays.

Saint John Love, Part 3

You guys… here is Part 3 in my favourite series that I’ve ever done.

Mark Leger is a Saint John lover, like me! I’ve known Mark for years, but really just “met” him while working on a Placemaking Committee through the True Growth project.

Enjoy!

PART 3 – Mark Leger

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Your go-to coffee shop (and ​your ​order):

I’m a stay-at-home dad so I spend most of my time with the kids, their grandparents, and other parents with kids. As a result, I don’t have nearly enough “grownup” conversations. When I go out for coffee, I pick places that have a lot of pedestrian traffic and people I know who go there. I can catch up on their lives and talk about “grownup” stuff like city affairs, local gossip (often one in the same). Though I like Java Moose in the City Market and on Prince William, and Second Cup on King, my favourite place to go is Starbucks in Brunswick Square. I can sit there on my own to read or do some work, and several people will wander by and stop for a quick chat. I also spend a lot of time in Rothesay visiting family or taking Ella to her pre-school. I’ll often spend an hour or two at the Java Moose out there, and bump into my “Valley” friends I don’t see very often. My coffee tastes are simple. At each place, I order a small-size dark roast.

The place in ​Saint John where you feel ​calm, cool and collected:

I’m a marathon runner, so I’d have to say the open road. I run through all parts of the city, but favourite route these days is the Red Head Road toward Canaport and Mispec. The views are spectacular and the traffic is light on weekends. One of things I love about Saint John is that the more rural parts of the city aren’t far from the urban core. They’re within running distance!

The one-stop gift shop:

I don’t shop at one place in particular. When I buy gifts, I try to support local potters, painters, and jewellers. I also buy tickets to Imperial Theatre shows or Uptown restaurants.

The place you celebrate special occasions​:

Well…as I’ve already pointed out, I’m the father of two young children, so I hate to admit this but special occasions seem to revolve around children’s birthday parties these days. Bowlarama seems to top the list! When my wife and I celebrate a birthday or anniversary, our favourite spot seems to be Sense of Tokyo on Waterloo Street.

The place that is a solid date night spot:

Again, Sense of Tokyo on Waterloo Street.

Favorite place to order take-out:

Shwarma Hut in the City Market. I order the falafel almost every time. Special ingredient: French Fries! The regular sized one is so large it takes me an hour to eat it!

The best under-the-radar bar​:

Another question you’re asking a father of two young children. I’m lucky to have a favourite bar, let alone a “a best kept secret” one. I’ll have one of those when they’re teenagers. I have to say “happinez” even though I know this is one of the most popular places in the city. And I’ll actually drink wine there now. I used to joke with the owner, Peter Smit, that I was the guy that went to the wine bar to drink beer.

The place you go for a little bit of culture:

I’d highlight the Saint John Theatre Company, especially with the sheer volume of great shows they’ve started doing, and events they’re hosting, at their own space on Princess Street and at Imperial Theatre. In March, I attended a sold-out, hilarious comedy show featuring James Mullinger and other comics at the Princess Street space. That month, I also went to the theatre company production, “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour”, at the Imperial Theatre. Last year, I started attending – and sometimes participating in – some of the Improv shows staged by Scott Thomas and crew at the Princess Street space. They’re incredibly entertaining and creative events that include local musicians, artists and storytellers. They’ve got another one of their monthly shows coming up in May. There’s just a lot going on there, be they theatre company productions or other arts and culture groups taking advantage of a great space to host shows and events. I’m part of a group hosting an event there May 7th called Ignite SJ, an evening of inspiring five-minute talks on a range of subjects by local people, including James Mullinger. Your readers can learn more about that event on our web site: http://www.ignitesj.ca

The place you always take your out-of-town guests that wows:

Happinez, Sense of Tokyo, Suwanna restaurant on the West Side.

Where you shop for everyday basics:

I shop mostly at the small grocers around the city. I like to support local businesses with a friendly small-store atmosphere, but I also find their prices generally better for fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meats. My favourites? Dean’s Meats and Balemans in the City Market. Olsen’s on the West Side. Cochrane’s in Rothesay.

…..

There are more <3

See you tomorrow!

Saint John Love, Part 2

You guys… here is Part 2 in my favourite series that I’ve ever done.

If you haven’t read this story, do it. Saint John is full of people that love it as much as I do.

Part 2 - Trent Seely

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Your go-to coffee shop (and ​your order)

Java Moose, Prince William Street (gotta support local). Moose-size Authentic, black.

The place in ​Saint John where you feel ​calm, cool and collected

The boardwalk deck near Market Square and the harbour slip. At all times of year, I enjoy looking out at the waves and glancing at port’s large cranes and tankers. Not sure why this place chills me out, but I like the way the harbour hugs the Saint John River.

The one-stop gift shop:

Feel Good Store. I love the Feel Good Store. It isn’t just that the location is charming and the staff is friendly, it is that the products available are so unique and diverse. There are natural remedies, teas and tea holders, spa treatment products, natural toiletries, yoga equipment, spiritual items, baby-friendly products, and more. Plus, Anne is a sweetheart.

The place you celebrate special occasions

The Saint John Ale House, usually. Saint John is lucky to have a number of excellent restaurants, but I tend to gravitate towards the Ale House for the celebration of most special occasions. The food is great, the bar selection is inexpensive, and I really appreciate the relaxed atmosphere. It’s a more adult vibe, and I think that’s what I’m looking for now.

The place that is a solid date night spot:

King Square during a warm summer night. Seriously. Just because you don’t have to pay to be there, doesn’t mean it is any less romantic. The bandstand is usually well-lit and the fountain is constantly running. In addition, strings of lights decorate the center of the square providing just enough mood lighting for a night-time coffee or picnic. Small tables now surround the bandstand in the summer, making the space better for conversations and dining. Try using this spot next summer for a low-key, but romantic outing.

Favorite place to order take-out:

Our taste in take-out food shifts based on what mood we’re in, but Ta-Ke Sushi on King Street is a regular haunt for us. Take-out items are usually well priced and Ta-Ke doesn’t skimp on food. If you’re in the mood for Sushi, but also want to watch Netflix I would advise calling ahead and dropping by.

The best under-the-radar bar

I can’t say that Big Tide is under-the-radar, but it certainly is underrated. Outside of having an extremely affordable food menu, Big Tide has delicious brews made in-house that you can even grab in a take-home 1.89L growler for $10. They also have a points program for every dollar you spend, larger beer mugs that you can lease for a year, a nice gluten-free menu, and regular trivia nights. Like I said, I can’t say they are the best kept secret, but I can say that not enough people check it out.

The place you go for a little bit of culture:

Trinity Royal. You know, because I’m one of those weird people who likes walking around the City and glancing at incredibly old buildings. One of the biggest strengths that Saint John boasts as Canada’s original city is its architectural design. Buildings in the uptown core have a unique vibe to them, and it isn’t uncommon to see somewhat unorthodox designs paired with beautifully intricate wood- and brick-work. Buildings also tend to sport incredibly old and faded product advertisements for tobacco or cola. That characteristic has turned a few of the buildings into living relics, and in some cases the innards have been completely refreshed and modernized to juxtapose the outward appearance. It’s a nice mesh of new and old, and I would argue that is representative of the city itself.

The place you always take your out-of-town guests that wows:

I like to take guests to the City Market. It can be argued that there are more important landmarks in the city, but market’s atmosphere is unique and comforting. It’s always a busy place, and I dig the variety of products. More than that though, this place has a history you can sink your teeth into. It’s the oldest farmer’s market in Canada, has a roof that resembles an inverted ship’s keel, and the floor sloops with the natural grade of the hill it stands on. They say it was built by unemployed ship builders, and even if that isn’t true I like that story and how it ties into Saint John’s ship building heritage.

Where you shop for everyday basics:

Giant Tiger. Say what you will about the shitty kitty, there are name-brand products available and prices that are usually half that of major grocery chains. The place was renovated not that long ago making the shopping experience much cleaner and more organized. I still buy all of my produce elsewhere, but when it comes to picking up basic toiletries or condiments I only go to the GT.

……

There are more <3

See you tomorrow!

Saint John Love, Part 1

You guys, it’s no secret that I love Saint John. What started as a “creative” outlet (barbbarbbarb.com), quickly morphed into a love story for my waterfront, blue collar City.

Similar to Kurt’s story from the weekend’s TJ, Saint John is full of people that love it as much as I do.

Here are a few little surveys (over the next few days) on what, specifically, people love about this place.

Maybe you’ll get a few ideas!

Part 1 – Heather Desserud

Heather just moved to SJ a little over a year ago. She has embraced the City, and we have embraced her!

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Your go-to coffee shop (and ​your ​ order)

Starbucks, a grande English breakfast with room for milk

The place in ​Saint John where you feel ​calm, cool and collected:

Definitely Good Fibrations— whether I want to buy some yarn, admire the amazing work in the shop or chat with Liz.

The one-stop gift shop where you can shop for dad, mom, siblings, baby showers, etc.:

Feel Good Store. They’ve got everything!

The place you celebrate special occasions:

Britt’s— what better way to celebrate than surrounded by friends, beer and good food

The place that is a solid date night spot:

Port City Royal or Happinez

Favorite place to order take-out:

Thai Pho

The best under-the-radar bar:

Pete’s Pub — the best little pub in Saint John

The place you go for a little bit of culture:

Imperial Theatre. Love the visiting dance performances!

The place you always take your out-of-town guests that wows:

Billy’s Seafood, City Market, and King Square

Where you shop for everyday basics:

Lawton’s and Sam’s Convenience

 

…..

There are more. Stay tuned <3

Interview with: Nick Pereira

I met Nick in the Spring of 2014 when I started helping with a committee at Gentle Path for their Theo Fleury event last September. I didn’t know him at all, but was immediately impressed with his professionalism toward volunteering and the event.

I was happy that he agreed to meet me for a coffee to tell me about Saint John and his love for the community here since moving from Toronto a few years ago.

On April 2nd he’s hosting at event at Bayside Middle School called – TRANSFORM SAINT JOHN 2015.

Enjoy this interview with Nick!

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Hi Nick – tell me about who you are and what you do.

Who am I? This is a question I believe we human beings have been asking ourselves for ages. What I can say about this is I have figured out that we are ultimately what we say we are. I AM that I AM, while I play many roles in my life, boyfriend, Life Coach, Speaker, Cat Lover, friend, son and how many other labels and titles that I may carry, I truly am none of these things. I am simply a human being like every other person on this planet and, like every other person on this planet I am exploring myself to answer the ultimate question, who I am?

As far as what do I do, I do many things, however I have broken my life down to three main focus that all intertwine. My mission statement in life is to Strengthen Communities by strengthening individuals. How I do this is what I think is important, The first thing I do is work on my relationship to the divine, I tend not to use the word God as this word has so much history to it, God to me could mean something completely different to what you may see as God or no God. As best as I can, I do not put things I truly do not understand into a box or one definition, this keeps me open and always exploring. One thing I learned a long time ago was that to truly master life, we must never define life and therefor truly never define ourselves as we are part of life and not separate to it.

The second thing I do is put importance to those who are closest to me. The reason I do this is because I believe it starts at home, when we are placing importance on our closest family and friends we are automatically strengthening our communities, when we have strong individuals, we will have strong families and we have strong families we will have strong community. To be clear, I use the word strong not in a physical sense, however that is also part of it, but rather a broad sense of people who are empowered to live life pleasantly in all experiences.

Lastly, I work on service to others; this is my business and my title of a Life Coach. We are all servants to each other in our own expressions; some of us transform buildings, some of us fix cars, make music or work in restaurants creating and serving dishes. It’s all a form of service from my point of view, for me I build people up to such a level where they can reach their goals and dreams. While this may sound like lofty “positive” thinking, it is so much more. I encompass process and systems that are proven to work time and time again. Nothing about me or what I do is accidental; everything about me is intentional and has been trained. I am the way I am and do what I do because I have been taught by great mentors, teachers and through studies.

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Tell me about what you used to do?

I use to be a rapper, I laugh when I say that as it seems like I am speaking of someone else. I also should note how life come’s full circle as I still rap today, just in a different context. I use hip hop now as way to connect with youth and gain “credibility” with our younger populations. My story as a hip hop artist allows me to have a point of connection where I can use it to now spread a different message. Hip hop, just like anything else, should not be labelled or defined, it is consistently changing and reflects the state on mind the rapper is in, when we as a human population are so consciously aware that our words carry tremendous power, we will also see a shift in all music forms. I already hear it today happening, the radio is full of songs that uplift, tell inspiring stories and create a feeling of euphoria, this is all a reflecting of the rise of consciousness on our planet.

What happened to you that made your career path take a 180?

What happens to us all when we don’t learn to be our own best friend and our own cheerleader? The “little voice” inside our head knocks us out the game. The more attention, the more I got booked and the more it looked like I was actually going to make it in the music industry the louder and louder the little voice got in my head. It said things to me like “you will never make it.” “You are not good enough” “You know what the chances are of you making it as a rapper, you have a better chance winning the lottery.” When your little voice speaks doubt you naturally begin to start to believe that little voice.

It was around this time I got heavy into drugs and alcohol. I smoked more pot than I could ever describe, I did cocaine, ecstasy, mushrooms and was mixing it with alcohol. It wasn’t long before the abuse on my body became too much and I lost all motivation, concentration and focus. After a car crash that woke me up to the path I was going down, I decided that I needed to do something different. I quit music for a while and began a journey of self-discovery that would lead me to my true calling, what I do today.

How did you end up in Saint John?

I was fortunate enough that during a seminar in Toronto to cross paths with another young man who was on a similar journey. While we have different styles and different approaches we saw that it would be mutually beneficial at the beginning stages of our missions that we work together. He brought me out to Saint John and so we began. After only 3 months it was clear that we both still had lots of growing to do and decided to go our own ways. What was interesting was during one of the departing conversations, he said, feel free to go back home.

My immediate answer was no, “I see opportunity here and what I see is a city that could use an empowering message” I instantly fell in love with the beauty of our city, our ocean and water ways and most importantly the people. I have made some of the best friends I have ever made in my life here and myself and Sarah (my girlfriend who also moved from Toronto) feel blessed to be part of this community and now call it home.

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What has happened in the last two years that keep you in Saint John?

I have been in Saint John for 4 years at the time of this interview. I would be a liar to say that it’s been all roses and sunshine. Some of the toughest challenges I have faced have been here, I arrived in Saint John with whatever I could fit in my jeep and a dream to empower people and be a speaker/coach for a living. I worked hard, mainly on myself and pursued my dream with passion and determination and what I began to see was that not only was I here to serve Saint John, Saint John was here to serve me. For me, Saint John became my ground for personal and spiritual growth.

Saint John for me is a place where I have grown so much and therefore feel a great appreciation for the city and its people. I feel a huge calling to pitch in and do whatever I can to help us as a community prosper. From my perspective, that begins with us understanding that we are part of a community and we will be stronger together. That the health of each of us determines the health of the whole, let’s invest in our youth, our neighborhoods and teach the life skills that drive health, wealth and happiness. When people are empowered we will see the Renaissance that we are looking for. Always remember that the greatest investment you can make is the investment in yourself. We all benefit when you are your best.

Would you say that you are a spiritual person?

How does (your spirituality) inform your public speaking?

We are all “spiritual” however that means different things to us all. I’m just a person like anyone else; I get called spiritual because of the language I use. Inspiring people to be better and teaching life lessons seems to have put me into the spiritual category, however let’s always remember, there truly is no spiritual life, there is just life, we call it spiritual, if we gave it another name would it make a difference?

My own growth spills into everything I do, especially my speaking. You can hear it when I speak that I have learned to become a fulfilled person through spiritual exploration. I do not hold any labels, I am not Christian, I am not Buddhist, I am not Hindu… I am a human being that allows me to explore all philosophies. I believe all belief systems should be respected and treated as sacred knowledge, if one path is not getting you the results, do not be scared to explore different paths, find what works for you and go with that, there are no rules to the game.

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Tell me about “Transform Saint John 2015″.

Transform Saint John 2015 is an event designed to empower and instill new perspective as well as give real life skills that can be used immediately in anyone’s life. We have musicians, speakers and even a young magician from our city that is sure to leave everyone amazed. This will be an event like no other Saint John has seen before. Inspirational, without it being religious allows us to speak on a level on humanity and not have any secular nonsense thrown into the message. We will be highlighting local success stories to show everyone, that opportunity is abundant here in Saint John, it just takes the right mindset to see it and act on it.

This is the first time we are doing this event and hope to make it an annual event that gets bigger and bigger each year. Currently we have registered 150 tickets for the event with some tickets still left, we have kept it at the lowest price point we could, $10 per ticket which allows anyone and everyone to have access to the event. Here is a link to register if this sounds like something you want to be a part of. http://tinyurl.com/m2r3hye

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What’s a typical day like for you? What about your dream day?

Every day starts with gratitude’s, I make no distinction between week days and weekends, when you live a life of passion and you have created a business where your passion pays you it is truly different than the usual lifestyle. I believe it to be more natural, rather than the 9-5 deal. We are not meant to work like this and to be slaves to our jobs. Everyday consists of me working on me, reading and exercise, spending time with my family and of course, coaching, training and spreading the message of who we truly are, powerful people with the ability to create lifestyles that we love. It is different for us all however dispelling belief systems that have been instilled that no longer serve us is a powerful way to create a life you love. This is how I spend my day. Helping those who want more from life understand how to achieve that, as I have done and still continue to do.

What’s next?

I am just getting warmed, I feel like I have just found my voice. From the point of view of what’s next for the mission, we are creating programs, events and messaging that will blow away anything I have done so far. Myself and team are getting better each day and as we get better so will the message and our ability to help more people in a truly meaningful way. Other than that, I plan on living my life to the fullest experience I can and having boat loads of fun while I do it… What is life if you are not having fun? :)

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Thanks, Nick!

Purchase tickets for Transform Saint John 2015, here.

Check it out – the Gold Collection from Derek Cardigan (ClearlyContacts.ca giveaway!)

I was so excited to be approached by ClearlyContacts.ca to try out a pair of New York Fashion Week – retro inspired glasses.

Adam and I are big fans of ClearlyContacts.ca and tend to order our prescription glasses through their site.

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Burgundy, emerald and amethyst jewel tones with metallic gold accents are symbolic of the new Gold Collection. Paired with this season’s 1970’s inspired collections from NYFW – any pair of frames from the Derek Cardigan collection could complete a vintage look.

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I am far from fashion forward, and my outfit could not be any less “retro inspired” – that didn’t stop me from loving these glasses with my normal day-to-day looks.

I loved the large grey plastic frames from the Derek Cardigan collection. I especially enjoyed them for writing reports and looking at my dual computer screens for extended periods.

The frames are a little larger than I would typically pick out for myself – but I think they work. Especially with my hair down.

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ClearlyContacts.ca would love to give you a chance to try out a pair from this collection!

All you need to do is enter below through the rafflecopter widget. I’ll contact the winner and put them in touch with a rep that will place your order.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The fine print: This contest is open to Canadian Residents only.

See you soon!

An Event You Should be Attending: The Silver Daisy Tea Party

… I’m trying to decide what I would give to check the weather forecast and see sun, 15 degrees and not a sign of precipitation for a week. Sigh. 5 more weeks or winter, give or take. They can’t go by fast enough!

Take a moment this weekend and join Silver Daisy for a tea party – Sunday afternoon from 3-6pm.

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David’s Tea will be on hand serving up a cup a tea. Perfumes Plus will be offering express manicures. There will be prizes and giveaways. PLUS – enjoy 15% off your purchase.

Kate posting this photo on Friday – that’s when my lust for spring was in full force!

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If you want to find out about these events a little earlier (as I know Facebook is frustrating when it comes to following stores you love), become a Silver Daisy insider! Click on the photograph below to head to their Facebook page.

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Rumour has it that every once and awhile a surprise coupon or an event invitation will land in your inbox!

See you there!

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