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Jackie Sweets – Desserts

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I have always had a bit of a sweet tooth from as far back as I could remember.  In high school I would buy the case of butter tarts and keep them in my locker.  Over the years, I have developed a bit of an attitude about my desserts.  It can’t be just any cake, or cheese cake, or muffin.   It must be perfect in texture, taste and it’s taste must surprise me when I first try it. Oh yes, I am not an easy guy to please when it comes to dessert.  Now don’t get me wrong, I will eat most any dessert.  I am no dessert snob. Then the unimaginable happened.  A couple of months ago, my neighbor joined us for one of our Sunday men’s cooking days and his wife made small desserts including peanut butter balls and her own ridiculously good recipe for Nanaimo bars.  You would not believe how happy I was when at the end of the night there were several desserts left when all the guests went home.  Yup, all I needed was  a cup of apple cinnamon tea and the rest of the tray of Jackie’s desserts and a good TV show. Then every 2nd week when the group met, Jackie would bring a new dessert for us to try.   What was the most surprising is that each dish was more excellent than the last.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  “Jackie, do you do this for a living”, I asked her. “It is my part-time but ...

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William’s Brantford Photos

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Click the image above for gallery. William Vincent Brantford, ON

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Happiness

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Happiness Factor What brings happiness?  I am sure there are many answers to this question.  Happiness.  Is it based on the person, or based on where you are in life?  Does a new mother have a different view of what makes her truly happy than a mother of teenagers, or a single late teen girl? Could there be a factors that bring happiness to everyone, at all times if they had that thing, whatever it is?  If so, what is it? Over the past few weeks, I have spoken to people about the factors necessary for true happiness.  I am speaking to people live in addition to my part in the Happiness project conducted by Metro Interactive Agency Inc.  here in Brantford.  Although the project will continue through to August 31st, 2015, I will intrigued by some of the answers I received. It seems so far at least that what makes people truly happy can range from their pets, their job, children, their partner, health, God, to money, vacations, sports cars, and bigger homes. I invite you to also take the Happiness survey.  Visit http://metrointeractiveagency.com/happiness-factor-2015/

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Makeup with Cassie Ferguson in Brantford

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I had been prepping for the Christmas Shootout for a bit over a month.  This was going to be the last assembly of the best photographers in Brantford for 2014, and some of our favorite models while also having a chance to work with some new ones and The Habit who was providing wardrobe.  The dilemma I was facing was not having a makeup artist for this important shoot.  In the past, like at the Bodega shoot, Theresa Lutes did a great job at makeup, however she was the Jill-of-all-trades, helping dress models, helping set up shots, in some cases helping to PA, being the set photographer… AND makeup.  So this time it was important to have a makeup artist, and just days before the shoot, which happened yesterday, the 7th of December, I had everyone in place except a makeup artist. Not that I hadn’t tried.  I asked for referrals from photographers, I looked on Model Mayhem, and still, nothing. To highlight the importance, I was privileged to be able to work with The Habit again.  Lilian, hearing of the plan, was enthusiastic at providing wardrobe for the shoot.  If you have not visited her store at 13 Queen Street in downtown Brantford, and you are female looking for unique items from clothing, accessories, or wigs (and so much more), then I recommend you visit The Habit before Christmas.  You will be pleasantly surprised..  Because of the involvement of the Habit, I felt the pressure to attract a makeup person..  a ...

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Love Came Down – Christmas Program

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The entire community is invited to a Christmas Program Celebrating God’s Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Brantford Seventh Day Adventist Church710 Colborne Street E. 519-752-7208

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Downtown Brantford – Vibrant City

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On my second adventure to talk with business owners in downtown Brantford, I decided to go to the other side of the tracks, from Clarence to Murray. Although ‘downtown’ only extends as far as Alfred street, the next few blocks certainly feel welcome in the neighbourhood and the downtown community. Many businesses in this area chose their location because they seen a community that they wanted to be a part of and wanted to help this area flourish within the city of Brantford. This area sits close to all the amenities of downtown but it isalso a growing neighbourhood within itself and has much to offer. You could easily spend an afternoon strolling the area with a coffee and treat from Three Blind Mice perusing the shops, with 2 hour parking along the street! So what does a florist, coffee & specialty goods, thrift store, heath shop and bridal shop all have in common? They are all working on strengthening the image of these few blocks between Clarence and Murray on Colborne. Why here? Emelines Cashe has only been open a month but the owner, Lesley, had wanted to open a store in the downtown area for some time. Lesley enjoys this area a lot and pointed out the food, art and churches as some of her favorite aspects. Lesley was sitting at Maria’s Pizza, when she looked across the street and decided she wanted to see something beautiful there too. Like the other business owners I spoke with, she ...

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Downtown Brantford – Opportunity Flourishes

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Brantford Downtown: The place to be for Opportunity Born, raised and schooled here, I have developed a special relationship with Brantford. I was excited when my boss asked me to go into the heart of Brantford, the downtown core, and ask some of the local business owners a couple questions. With so many changes, especially in the last decade, there is no doubt an array of opinions. Some positive and, yes, a couple negative too! Overall though, one thing stood out; Brantford downtown is a place of opportunity. After brief discussions with three of the local business owners, I gained some insights about the past and future of this great city and I would like to share it with you. Bob Warmington, of Warmington’s Bistro, offered some of his opinions; Bob being the owner of the established and respected Bistro for 11 years now. Cobby’s owner, Trevor, also spent a quick few moments detailing his views on Brantford while juggling a handful of hungry customers. Lastly, I was off to Sophia’s Bakery to have a heartfelt discussion with owner Laure Duguid while her Husband “Mr, Downtown” dished out coffees and delicious treats for all. So what did I get the chance to talk about with these three local business owners?   What made you choose this spot? Why downtown Brantford? There are many reasons a business might choose a particular location over another. Warmington’s Bistro, having been established for 11 years, started their business before the upswing began in the ...

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Men’s Breakfast

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Join us for Faith, Food and Fellowship on Sunday, September 21st.  All men are invited to our Men’s Breakfast. 714 Colborne Street E. (just east of Wayne Gretzky Pkwy)  9:00AM to 11:30AM Brantford Seventh-Day Adventist Church We look forward to seeing you there.

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Bodega Shootout

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Downtown Brantford is a surprising place and for years I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  Is it poor planning?  Is it a city that is dying a slow and painful death? When I had an opportunity to rent my house, I needed a small place to rent and the Bodega caught y eye.  It is an extended stay hotel style accommodation that comes furnished.  “Just bring your clothes, toothbrush and your laptop,” said the very pleasant woman that showed me the apartment. Before I get into the shootout, i will comment on the things that have started to change my opinion of Brantford’s downtown.  Thew Bodega is located right next to Harmony Square, and I drive by it almost every week and never knew what it was.  In the winter most years I have brought my kids to skate at the rink they create in the square and have even bought coffee at Coffee Culture on the retail level of the building.  Now remember, I still thought little of downtown Brantford.   To me it seemed like old buildings boarded up and a strange mix of vagrants and college kids and not much else. On the day we signed the rental agreement we decided to check out the new Wind Mobile store almost directly across the street conveniently next to the Sanderson Centre, I was a bit shocked at what was happening. Harmony Square was full with families with kids, and couples; there was a stage area with a ...

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The Brantford Photographer

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My Shoot With Patrick Wisdom From A Brantford Pro Photographer I recently started shooting for the my marketing company, Metro Interactive Agency. Now, I have always loved taking pictures of scenery, my kids, family functions. But this was different. It demanded an attention to detail, in fact, a recognition of the detail. Things became complicated because photography life was no longer point and shoot. For those that have just started to take photography seriously, you may understand when I say that my favorite setting on my D90 was Auto. The safest bet was to find that green setting that they purposely also put a white dot to make it easier for me to find. But now there were all these other settings to use. Once I stepped off the safe, green setting with the white dot, my photos looked strange, dark, bright, yellow, or blue. But most of the time they were fuzzy, especially when shooting indoors in low light. Not to totally discredit my abilities, I have grown since I started and shoot quite a bit for client ad campaigns. I can always be better and I strive to learn more with every shoot. There are some shooters that I have met who are superstars within the field of photography. You know the type, the shooter who not only has technical skill, but also superb creative post skills. Patrick McEachern is one of these shooters, to me he is like a Brantford Brian Ingram or Dean Bradshaw. “Photography is about ...

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Brantford Shootout

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When Ciara Antoski invited me to a Brantford Shootout, I had no idea what she was talking about.  “Brantford Shootout?” I asked.  She then went on to explain that she had organized a few models that did not get a lot of exposure to meet at Harmony Square in the Brantford city centre and made them available to photographers to shoot.  Well, I jumped at the opportunity.  I mean I had shot with Ciara before and was happy to have a chance to shoot with other photographers… how often does that happen? It was great, the weather was perfect and the photographer turnout was just as good  I learned a lot!  Four photographers, two models!  Lillian Noel from The Habit was also there among others. The Habit:  I had hear of this store.  It seemed that every other model that I would shoot would have an outfit that stood out from the others and I would ask “Where did you get that top?” and they would tell me it was bought at The Habit.   So it seemed that I was bound to meet Lillian at some point. The shootout was excellent, I made new friends and have worked since with The Habit, Patrick McEachern (Photographer) and this Sunday I am working with Randy Scott (Photographer) on a shoot.  I will say, when I think of getting good models or talent, or finding a good or great photographer, or finding unique items to build out a wardrobe, Brantford may not be ...

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Community Fun Fair

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It is always nice to be able to shoot community events and this event was no different. It was the Community Fun Fair put on by the Brantford Seventh Day Adventist Church at 714 Colborne Street East. When I arrived, the bouncy castle was already up and ready, the bar-b-q was fired up, face painters were standing by, it seemed that in spite of the threat of rain, this event and its team were optimistic.  And sure enough, a surprising number of community folk brought their children to enjoy the fun and the vegetarian bar-b-q complete with veggy hotdogs and burgers. Although it did start to rain at about 1pm, the event was quickly and efficiently taken inside where children were encouraged to participate in several games. This was truly a great community event and look forward to next years event. Well done!

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