I am so, so excited to welcome East Side to the roster of #30in30 shops as one my favourite local businesses.

East Side Shop started in Fredericton and over the past 10 years has expanded to Saint John and to Moncton.


I love the skateboarding culture in Saint John. I spent a long time this week hanging out with Dan Boyer, Assistant Manager of the Saint John location, learning all about skating in SJ. I loved hearing about the plans for the new indoor skate park, too!


There are so many great gift ideas at East Side.

They have a huge selection of shoes for men, women and children. Their clothing is definitely catered to guys – t-shirts, hoodies, winter jackets and jeans for both youths and adults. They have a healthy collection of clothing for girls as well.

Take a look at the photos and albums below for some gift ideas!

(And of course, check out the giveaway!)


Their selection of backpacks is great – loads of Herschel and Fox brand to choose from.

Their shoe collection is crazy. I especially love the vintage looking New Balance and Adidas! I’ve also never seen a collection of TOMS quite so large.




NIXON watches are so, so stylish. The collection at East Side is huge, well priced and for both men and women.

No board supply shop would be complete without a collection of decks.
*Hint, Hint see below!*



A few weeks ago Adam bought a Coal hat from East Side and it’s awesome – It’s corduroy and features a RAM and it RULES.

I seriously cannot get enough of these socks. Yes, that is absolutely Larry Bird.


Check out the Snowboarding gear – Snowboards, Boots and Accessories – plus jackets! (for adults and youths)



And to top it off – some custom Saint John East Side tees

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Thanks to East Side for being a part of #30in30 this year. Enter below for your chance to win an East Side deck.

Interesting fact: avid skateboarders can replace their decks MONTHLY. This prize might come in handy to your skateboarding brothers or sisters.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See you tomorrow!


Sean was one of the first people I interviewed way back in 2011. One of my classic “Hey can I interview you on my blog?” ploys to actually become friends with Saint John celebrities. It worked! I’m so happy that we’ve become friends over the past 4 years.

Sean is an insanely talented photographer. In addition to being a popular wedding photographer, he’s also in demand all over the Province for events, corporate projects and (just recently) family portrait sessions.

This year Sean opened up a Print Shop online where some of his favourite landscape, destination and vacation shots are available to purchase.

Some of my favourite shots from his shop are below and are clickable to his shop where you can order them.

There are great gift ideas for the Saint John lover in your life.


DSC_0103.NEF. Image by Sean McGrath (http://www.seanmcgrath.ca).

DSC_0038.NEF. Image by Sean McGrath (http://www.seanmcgrath.ca).

DSC_1055.NEF. Image by Sean McGrath (http://www.seanmcgrath.ca).

DSC_0905.NEF. Image by Sean McGrath (http://www.seanmcgrath.ca).


DSC_0201.NEF. Image by Sean McGrath (http://www.seanmcgrath.ca).


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Sean is offering an 8″ x 12″ (Fine Art) print, printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper, of any of the photographs in his Print Shop. These prints are the best of the best. Photo Rag is the most popular paper chosen by photographers to create high quality fine art prints. It has a fine, smooth surface and the feel of Photo Rag makes the paper very versatile and ideal for printing both black and white and colour photographs and art reproductions with impressive pictorial depth.

The regular price of an 8″ x 12″ (Fine Art) print is $105.

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See you tomorrow!

#30IN30 VERSION 2014 POST #1 – LOCAL 107.3 FM

30In30 2014 copy 4

thanks to Sean McGrath for the killer photo and to Jud Crandall at Pulp and Paper for the poster design

Hello and welcome to #30in30 Version 2014!

Year after year, I never lose my enthusiasm for this EVENT. Supporting local is something near and dear to my heart, and what better way for me to show that than to post about what my favourite city has to offer?

The giveaways this year are insane! Local businesses, services, artists and shops have got some great gift ideas (and of course, giveaways!) to share with you.

The details are the same as every year – enter at the bottom of each post using the Rafflecopter widget. If, for some reason, it isn’t loading, please click the link that will be there in place of the widget.

Although not required, you’ll find that you get the most entries to the giveaways by following each participant on Twitter, Facebook and maybe Instagram. You’ll get bonus entires if you share the giveaway on social media and sign up for newsletters. You’ll get EVEN MORE bonus entires if you snap a photo of yourself at a location or with an item and tag it with #30in30. Just make sure you click the appropriate button on the widget to make your entries count!

And with that – I will introduce the first giveaway!

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Local 107.3 FM are one of my favourite supporters of the arts & culture community in Saint John.

Local 107.3 FM is Saint John’s only listener-supported campus and community radio station with over 60 different radio programs broadcast by volunteers in the area, along with nationally syndicated shows like the Nardwuar Show and Democracy Now!.

This time last year I posted an interview with their Station Manager, Brian Cleveland. Read it here.

When Brian and I chatted about the giveaway this year, it was clear. What better way to support local than to introduce you to local bands? Most of these artists can be heard by tuning in to Local 107.3 FM on any of the many radio shows. A full schedule is available here.

We’ve put together an amazing prize pack with the help of many local artists (detailed below) as well as Stuart Buckley of Sharktooth Records and Chuck Teed of BBQ Records.


In this amazing prize pack, you’ll win:

  • A Local 107.3 fm T-Shirt designed by Joe Chamandy and Ilse Kramer
  • Jessica Rhaye Far Gone Lullabies on vinyl
  • CDs from Penny Blacks (the Silver Screen EP and Harbour), Adam Washburn (Beautiful Things), Tomato Tomato (So it Goes), Brent Mason (All the Pretty Horses), Reagan’s Rayguns (Excellent Party @ Reagan’s Rayguns), Bad People (Selftitled), Earthbound Trio (lettuce turnip the beet) and DFO (MCMLXXXVII)
  • Tapes from Learning (Culkin) and Break Your Legs (Ghostcore) + a download code for even more from Sharktooth Records
  • + oldies courtesy of BBQ Records including gems from Ermine, Hilary Branch, Hospital Grade, Clinton Charlton and the Butterfly Effect PLUS 3 compilations of Saint John bands from 1998, 2000 and 2007

It’s a ready made collection of new and classic Saint John albums!

Thanks Local 107.3 FM!

Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See you tomorrow!

An Event you could be attending: Trades & Tech Trade Show

A few years ago I was invited to a high school in St. Stephen for a Trades & Tech Gala for Girls. I was able to chat with Grade 12 students about potential careers and even got to pitch my own career to them!

In case I don’t make it obvious – I’m a Civil Engineer. I work for a consulting firm in Saint John. I spend my days with developers – getting plans approved, preparing drawings, costs estimates and specifications. From time to time I get to visit job sites where I confirm the vision I had on paper is translating to real life just as I had imagined.

Events like the Trades & Tech Trade Show make me realize how lucky I am to be in a role where I go to work everyday, get to use my brain, my developed skills and the knowledge gained from Post Secondary Education. I take for granted quite often that I work in a male dominated field (only more obvious as I type this at a Water & Wastewater Conference).


On November 6th, The New Brunswick Women’s Equality Branch invites you to join them at NBCC Saint John another Trades & Tech show. It’s your opportunity to explore “non-traditional” careers, career changes or opportunities.

Here’s a link to join the event on facebook:

See you soon,


Interview with James Boyle – ED of Halifax Pop Explosion

I first met James when I moved to Fredericton in 2004. He put on all of the shows I wanted to go to. He (along with Zach Atkinson) booked all of my favourite bands and I loved him for it.

Over the years we’ve become good friends. I was so excited to hear earlier this year that he had been named Executive Director of the Halifax Pop Explosion. Again, just the coolest guy booking all of my favourite bands at one of the coolest events on the East Coast.

The Pop Explosion is a little over a week away.

Take a read through this interview with James. Enjoy, and share with your pals!

Tickets are available here. Don’t delay!


Hi James, tell me about yourself and what you do.

My names is James Edward Boyle and I am the new Executive Director of the Halifax Pop Explosion Association.

Tell me about your involvement with the Halifax Pop Explosion.

I took over the position of Executive Director in April of this year (2014). It has been an incredible experience so far! The staff are amazing and it is so exciting to be working on a music festival again. As Executive Director I help lead the organization but honestly it’s a group effort. We make as many decisions as possible together. Executing a music festival is more complicated than many people realize and it is definitely a full time job.

poster 1

The Pop Explosion lineup has been released.

Who should I be looking forward to?

I am very enthusiastic about this year’s line up! I personally can’t wait for Danny Brown, Against Me! and Ghostface Killah and Raekwon playing with Bad Bad Not Good. It is very important to me that we program as many all ages shows as possible and presenting Lights and Zeds Dead at the MPC will be a great opportunity for HPX this year.

If you have never experienced Cold Specks live I highly recommend it. She is incredible and brings a great dynamic to the fest.

Operators played their first shows at CMW this year… And I am positive HPX fans are going be blown away by their live show.

There are too many bands to list off but I feel as though I also need to make sure I include Ryan Hemsworth and Tennyson, Single Mothers, Mo Kenny, Kim Harris, Glory Glory, Vogue Dots… My list could go on and on… I I mean it when I say I am thrilled with this year’s line up!


If someone is new to the Pop Explosion, What should they know going in?

Do you have any insider tips?

– Wear comfortable shoes! There are 20 venues and a lot of ground and music to cover.
– Buy a battery case for your phone. You will be on the move for long periods of time and your phone will die before you get a chance to charge it.
– Buy a bracelet. It’s an incredible deal and allows you to flow from venue to venue to see as many bands as possible
– Be open minded and prepare yourself to discover bands you have never heard of. Many bands play HPX before they hit the mainstream. FEIST, Arcade Fire, K’Naan have all played the festival. We have a 22 year history in Halifax and we are dedicated to supporting amazing new music.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Well, meetings and phone calls take up a lot of my days. Same old story I guess… In many ways, producing a music festival is the same as running any business We just get to have a lot fun at our jobs.

Dream day?

I am very lucky to have the job I have. I love working in the music industry and I look forward to going to work everyday. What do they say? If you like what your do, you will never work a day in your life. Something like that. You know what I am saying.

What’s next?

We are about two weeks out from this year’s festival. In the immediate future, we hope to see as many music fans as possible enjoy the event. In the not so distant future, I think you will see even more all ages concerts at the festival, an even more diverse line up, more comedy and a continued commitment to quality, engaging musical events! 

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Remember – Tickets are available here.

I am ecstatic for Twin Shadow, among others. Check out the full lineup.

See you there!!

Interview with Kyle & Kayley from Wear Your Label

When I heard about Wear Your Label, it was almost by accident. I was flipping through instagram, as one does, and noticed Allie Beckwith was shooting a lookbook for a new designer. New Designer?? Of course I was intrigued. It didn’t take me long to message Kyle and Kayley to set up a time to chat. Since meeting them, I’m in awe of their drive, passion and dedication to wearing their label – while trying to end the stigma associated with mental illness. I encourage you all to check out their website. Buy a shirt. Support their brand. Wear YOUR label . xo


Kyle & Kayley in their Fredericton studio

Hey Kyle, Kayley – tell me about yourselves and what you do.

Kayley: I just graduated from UNB, and have always loved fashion, so I’ve been involved in the industry for a while: I model, write for various fashion blogs & magazines, and have somehow turned into a designer through this journey! Kyle: I’m a beer-maker, and I work on green initiatives for Picaroons. But I’m also finishing studies at STU and now obviously working with this one on Wear Your Label. I have a background in social causes – I started the non-profit “Youth Matters” when I was a teen – so stuff like this is close to my heart. IMGP0606

Tell me about Wear Your Label:

Kyle: So it actually started over a dinner conversation. Kayley and I met in December 2013 while working for DOTS NB (a local mental health non-profit). We actually became really close through that, and I just said one night “What if we put mental health labels on clothes” to make a statement. From there, it spiralled into a side/school project, and then a full-time endeavour this past summer when we were accepted to the Foundry Summer Institute. That really pushed us to make our “idea” a real, viable social business. That’s when we actually started selling our first line of clothes (June)… and now here we are with our own studio in downtown Fredericton! Kayley: Yeah, so we actually only came up with the idea in January. It has evolved so much since that first conversation though! Long story short: Wear Your Label is a conscious clothing line, that uses fashion design as a means to create conversation about mental health. We make every decision – from textile, to graphic, right down to the tags – reflecting back on positive mental health. Then, we give back a portion of our sales to different mental health initiatives. Ultimately, we’re merging fashion and mental health, trying to make some big change in both industries, and bring awareness to the stigma that still surrounds mental illness.


Kayley packaging up some Bracelet Project Orders

Where did the idea come from?

Kayley: Kyle is the big ideas guy. He literally has new ideas everyday haha. This one just really stuck with me, and together we knew we had to make it happen. Kyle: Yeah, Kayley and I both live with mental illness: I have Anxiety and ADHD and Kayley is recovering from an Eating Disorder. We both opened up to each other early on in our relationship, but realized we couldn’t with other people in our lives. Kayley: At the time we were still basically strangers, but our personal mental health experiences were something we both connected on. Being in the midst of fighting our personal battles, and working with different mental health non-profits on a local and national scale, everything seemed to click into place. We knew we had to do something more to tell our stories, and help others connect and realize they’re not alone. And we just chose fashion as our medium to do that. IMGP0608

What does it mean to “Wear Your Label”?

Kayley: Wearing Your Label basically means to take ownership over your mental health. We are constantly bombarded by mental health campaigns that promote “breaking the stigma” by trying to get people to NOT use mental health labels, because of the notion that it will perpetuate the stigma. In reality, deterring people from calling themselves “depressed” or “anxious” just reinforces that these are negative things. But they’re not; they’re illnesses. Kyle: As soon as someone is “bipolar” or “schizophrenic” we try to cover it up by saying that we are NOT that, and that we are so much more. Which is true, we are so much more. But our labels are nothing to be ashamed of – they are part of us, but not all of us. So we encourage people to wear their labels by being open about their mental illness, talking about their mental health, and making it okay to not be okay. Kayley: Our apparel tries to reinforce this with little things like our tags, which tell you How to Take Care of Yourself. And we try to post informative, and positive posts on our social media. So it becomes a community of people learning about mental health, sharing their own personal stories, and not being ashamed of being “labeled” with an illness.


Jessica Lanigan of Project Roar

Tell us about your brand ambassador program:

Kyle: Yeah! So this is something we’re really excited about. Basically it’s a chance for others to share their stories, and let our followers get to know inspiring people in their communities. People who already wear their labels, regardless of our clothing. Kayley: We call them our Community Champions and they’re chosen through an online application. We have young individuals from Vancouver to Saint John, who we’ve chosen to represent our brand. They’re tasked to share their personal mental health journeys through our blog, to share our social media & create content, and to represent us across the country at different events like conferences. One of our Champions is even walking for us at Atlantic Fashion Week! screenprinting (1)

What is a typical day like for you?

Kyle: No such thing. Just kidding. A lot of brainstorming, design drafting, meetings and physically manufacturing – because we screenprint everything by hand, in house. Not to mention working for Picaroons and university homework! Kayley: I run communication, so I’m always answering e-mails, reaching out to new people, and social media-ing all the time. Kyle hates me for being on my phone and computer so much haha. I also make all the bracelets for our Bracelet Project, work on our website and manage processing orders.

Your dream day?

Kayley: I love speaking at events. Any time we get a chance to share our story, and meet others. But showing at Atlantic Fashion Week just might top that! Kyle: Waking up and forgetting the plot of the Avengers so I can watch it for the first time again. Kayley: He’s kidding. Kind of. IMGP0616

What’s next?

Kayley: I’ve hinted at it already: we’ve shown our newest collection at Atlantic Fashion Week! So that’s really amazing, especially after only being operating for a couple months.

Kyle: The Grand Opening of our new studio space, a Home Edition, and more collabs…


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xo! Thank you both <3


An Event you Should be Attending: Harvesting the Arts

Hey friends!

I look forward to this weekend every year – Harvesting the Arts is this Saturday at various locations all over Uptown Saint John.


I’m so pleased to be able to offer a walking tour to all of my favourite local shops as part of Harvesting the Arts. 

Join me this Saturday at 2:30pm at the King’s Square Bandstand. I’ll take you on a 1 hour walking tour from King’s Square to Market Square (and 8 places in between) to tell you about my favourite shops, my “best find” and some steals you may not know about.

I’ll give you a handy walking map to tell you about the special one-day-only deals available only on the walking tour from stores like Je Suis Prest, Machester Shoes and the Urban Shoe Myth.

AND – If you are one of the first 10 people to sign up for the tour in advance, I’ll hand you an envelope with GIFT CERTIFICATES from Brunswick Square and Market Square to spend on whatever you want.

(the first 10 people to sign up will be eligible to receive a $20 gift certificate from Market Square AND a $20 gift certificate from Brunswick Square. The next 10 people will receive a $10 GC from both Market Square and Brunswick Square)

Sign up below!

For your information, here is a map of some of the activities and open doors for this weekend:

Harvest Map

(click for a large version)

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See you there!

Review: Milktape

A few months back I was given the coolest item…. ever. A package arrived in the mail from Milktape that included three blank milktapes, or mixtapes.

Screen shot 2014-09-14 at 7.53.27 PM

It’s a mixtape for the year 2014, a 128 MB flash drive – just large enough for about 15 songs – hidden in a cassette tape.

I love giving (and receiving) a good mix. I remember making mix tapes at every point of my life. Sitting in my bedroom as a teen waiting patiently for the radio announcer to play my current favourite song and pressing record as soon as the first note played. Trying to figure out iTunes as a 20 something to hopefully impress a boy with my sweet indie music taste. Keeping a CD player I received in 1998 that can record on tape directly from a CD, just in case I ever need to make an emergency mix (those days are gone, though, as my tape playing Corolla is no more).

I kept one of the tapes for myself and immediately filled it up with top 40 jams to sing along to alone in my car while driving around the City.

I gave the second one to Chris Small, a friend with remarkably different music taste from me. Most of my favourite music is in 4/4 time and could probably be considered on the mainstream side of indie. I tried my hardest to make Chris a mix that was full of minor chords, bands he probably had never heard of and sad, sad lyrics. Don’t ask me why, I think I was writing a lot of reports at the time and these songs were fresh on my mind.


My sweet, sweet album art.

The hardest part of making this mix was choosing the songs. As soon as I made the playlist in iTunes, transferring the tracks to the Milktape was as easy as dragging and dropping. I only did three iterations of the mix (which is pretty good for me) and the Milktape made it really easy to delete, rearrange and add songs.

Track list from the mix I gave @hallwayorchard in case you ever feel like being sad.

The third Milktape I received is for you, provided you win the giveaway below.

These tapes are very cool and would make an amazing gift for a friend (especially considering the $15 price tag – easy) or a sweet party favour for a reunion, birthday or wedding (maybe with your favourite songs or photos).

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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P.S. If you’re interested, I can give you a link to DL the tracks. Leave me a comment below and we can chat about it. 

Harvest Jazz & Blues Special: Interview with Tomato/Tomato

What have you taken in at Harvest so far this week?

Things are just getting started – ALVVAYS and the Arkells tonight, Gord Downie and the Sadies tomorrow as well as the Galaxie Rising Star contest performance Friday afternoon plus SO much more!

Tomato/tomato – Saint John sweethearts – are one of four bands up for the Galaxie Rising Star title. They’ve already won the first portion of the contest – competing in the online voting competition to secure 50% of their final score (congratulations!)

Enjoy this quick Q & A with John McLaggan:

TT 5 large

Photo: Jessica Rhaye

Hello! Tell me about yourselves and what you do!

We’re a quirky couple who like to play and write old timey music. John plays guitar and sings and Lisa plays washboard, tambourine and kick drum all at the same time. Oh, and she sings too!

Congrats on being a Galaxie Rising Star! What does this mean to you guys?

It’s a real honour to be nominated for Galaxie Rising Star competition. We’re hoping that it will help to bring our music to a wider audience and result in some fun performance opportunities.

TT 4

Tell me about your new album!

We’re very exited about our album! We normally work just as a duo so it was really fun hear our music with banjo, fiddle, mandolin, etc…

TT 3

What records are on rotation in the tour van (all the way from SJ!)?

Lately we’ve been listening a lot to Levon Helms “Dirt Farmer” , Bruce Springsteens “the Seeger Sessions” and of course the ubiquitous (at least for anyone with a little girl) “Frozen Soundtrack”

How pumped are you to be playing the sweetest fall festival, Harvest Jazz & Blues?

We are so pumped to be playing the festival! We have wanted to for years so it feels great to have the opportunity.

What’s next?

Next up for us is show in the Miramichi at Whalen’s Barn and a showcase spot at MNB week.

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Thanks, John!

Follow Tomato/tomato on Facebook & Twitter and check them out at 2pm on Friday at the Galaxie Tent!

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An event you should be attending: Harvest Jazz & Blues


There are certain things I look forward to once September rolls around, aside from crisp air and apples everywhere…

The Harvest Jazz and Blues festival is happening this week in Fredericton. Starting tonight in Downtown Fredericton, vendors will be lined up, music will be turned up and there will be multiple shows to take in.

Huge acts like Bahamas (Wednesday at the Bell Aliant tent), Gord Downie and the Sadies (Friday at the Moose Light Tent), David Myles (Saturday at the Playhouse) and Joel Plaskett (Saturday at the Galixie Stage) will be taking the stage during the  5 day festival. Our favourite local band Tomato/Tomato is participating in the Galaxie rising star contest (Friday afternoon at the Galaxie Tent).

Tickets for some shows have sold out (you snooze, you lose!), but there are still passes left to the entire festival. Tickets are available here.


There may still be an opportunity to volunteer – click the banner above or here for the volunteer form.


Follow along during harvest by following and searching #MyHarvest on Twitter or “liking” them on Facebook.

See you there!

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