One of the best perks of being a BlogJammer is the amazing opportunities that often come our way when working with brands. A few months ago we attended a bloggers event in Toronto. It was there when we were first introduced to James Antonio Coffee.
Not Your Average Bean
Both Krista and I (Renée) consider ourselves to be coffee connoisseurs, which is why – with zero hesitation – we said yes to tasting some the finest coffee in the world. Hand-picked from award-winning plantations, high atop the mountains of Tarrazú’s Costa Rica, James Antonio Coffee is not your average grocery store bean.
Five Star Meal
Imagine dining out at your favourite steak house, enjoying a Wagyu Kobe Rib Eye; one would not be satisfied with just any cup of coffee as the epilog to their five-star meal. That is where James Antonio Coffee comes in.
Brewed with Love
“James Antonio Coffee is 100% red cherries only and organically grown, from the fertile slopes of this Volcanic region. There, coffee plants find Nirvana in the combination of climate, ideal rich soil and the perfect attitude for achieving its evolution. Nurtured and handpicked by a plantation family who has been practicing sustainability and perfecting the process for over 170 years.”
August, James Antonio Coffee
“James Antonio’s beans are then carefully identified and selected from the entire harvest. Then they are naturally sun-dried, only roasted when an order is received. Thus leaving you with much desired, balanced and distinctively smooth “Black Gold” James Antonio flavor.”
The Finer Details
Harvested 16-17 /03/17
Location North Valley, Los Santos de San Cristóbal Tarrazu Costa Rica
Altitude 6000 ft +
Variety SHB. 100% organically grown Caturra Honey
Yes, we were asked to write about this gourmet coffee but again, it was an easy sell. The flavour was unlike any cup of java either of us had tried in the past. We each could easily taste the different flavours of citrus; the aroma invited us back, sip after sip. And the best part? No bitter “after taste.” Imagining the breathtaking scenery of Costa Rica while you indulge in the complexity of this one of a kind brew is also encouraged.
Although this coffee is not our normal “cup of tea”; our BlogJam budget could not cover it, we sure did enjoy the experience. Normally, we drink our coffee with milk but none was required for this cup, it was that good.
In the music world, a “jam” is an informal gathering of musicians to improvise songs together. In the blogging world, BlogJam operates much to the same tune.
At BlogJam we welcome all voices from the blogging community because we know you all have unique and interesting ideas to contribute.
We are writing this melody together!
In previous years, our “top tracks” included so many fun perspectives. Heather from Laptops to Lullabies had everyone tapping their toes and laughing at her description of a one woman office party.
Dan Murray of Your Restoration Coach brought the sweet tunes on video production.
Following Vicki Murphy of Motherfumbler’s keynote in 2015, we’ll all be forever humming her not-so-dulcet tones when we ask ourselves about anything weird and wonderful in the world of mothering and blogging.
Want to jam with us?
Have you been toying with the idea of presenting at BlogJam 2017? Well, we’re here to give you a few reasons to tip the scales in favour of taking the stage at Atlantic Canada’s best blogger’s conference.
Small but Mighty
BlogJam has the incredible benefit of engaging the brilliant blogging minds from across Atlantic Canada, and beyond. This intimate community boasts not only talent for the written word, but also expertise in in the many technicalities related to the world of blogging. If you have knowledge to share, this audience is eager to learn.
Leap with a Safety Net
It may be cliché but it still rings true; Maritimers are the friendliest people. If you’ve got cold feet about taking the stage, BlogJam is the best place to conquer that fear. BlogJam attendees are supportive, kind, and just as excited as you are to be engaging in this event. BlogJam is a safe space to share ideas and participate in lively discussion about all things bloggy.
Make a Mark
In its first 2 years BlogJam featured an incredible line-up of talented speakers. (click here to see last year’s schedule) From Canadian icons like Vicki Murphy of Motherfumbler and Erica Ehm of the Yummy Mummy Club to local talent from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, every voice has left a positive and lasting impression on attendees.
Your Session, Your Way
BlogJam welcomes presenters of every style. If you’re keen to speak with a microphone, use visual tools, have a round-table discussion, or do a hands-on workshop, we are open to working with you to make your presentation vision a reality. BlogJam recognizes the importance of incorporating many learning styles to ensure that the event is accessible and enjoyable to all its participants.
That’s right, folks. In our time-honoured tradition, all BlogJam presenters receive the most delicious thank you jam. If that’s not incentive, we don’t know what is.
From Cringe to Courage
There was a time when the thought of working with a professional photographer made me cringe. The fear of having someone reveal my insecurities was never something I wanted to participate in. Growing older has helped me face this daunting task with a lot more courage. I give fewer fu..dgsicles than I used to; keeping it clean for the kid’s folks! But you know what I mean. Another easy way to face a photophobia is to find yourself a great photographer.
Enter the lovely Michelle Doucette. When the BlogJam Atlantic team invited this fearless female to be our official photographer we couldn’t believe she said yes. Not only did she cover our 2016 event she also participated in our food blogger panel session. Michelle’s blog, East Coast Food Stories is where she “documents food culture in celebration of the traditions and innovations of people who are passionate about food.”
Making me Hungry
Besides making me hungry, Michelle’s work covers portrait, lifestyle, wedding and event photography. You may have seen her work while covering Open City Halifax, City Harvest, just to name a couple. She has been featured in The Chronicle Herald and Eat This Town. Most recently she invited us along to her Bedford studio to snap a few photos for our BlogJam Atlantic website reboot.
Us three ladies were tickled pink when Michelle offered up her valuable time to capture our mugs. Ba-dum ching! But seriously… Michelle made us feel comfortable and took her time to make sure we felt at ease. There was no cringing involved. We all felt like we were in good hands.
Krista’s Creative Side
First up, Krista Montelpare our creative director. It would be heard to find a shot of Krista where she isn’t grinning from ear to ear. Her smile speaks volumes and is quite contagious when you are in her presence.
“Michelle is an amazingly talented photographer! She is easy and fun to work with but her attention to detail will make sure that the staging and poses will produce the best possible images. The headshots she did of my team were excellent. Highly recommend!”
You can read more about Krista’s beautiful smile on her blog www.halitrax.com.
Kerra the Social Butterfly
Ms. Kerra, our social butterfly, is not one to stay still for too long. Michelle was able to hone in our busy social media gal and bring out her soulful side.
“Working with Michelle was a dream. Not only did she come on board to work with BlogJam, but I had previously hired her to shoot a portfolio for my own business, KA Social Media.”
Check out Kerra’s blog Eat, Drink and Be You to find out what has been keeping her busy these days.
Renée the Writer
That would be me, the writer of this post, I am also the program director for BlogJam Atlantic. Working with Michelle was a pleasure indeed; blogging about it came quite naturally. I had been a fan of her work long before I had the pleasure of being caught in front of her lens. When I first met Michelle she generously shared her Rousseau chocolates with me. If you have ever tried their exquisite wares you will know just how difficult it can be to give away such decadent treats. I was but a stranger and she made me feel like a friend. That is the magic that Michelle brings to work with her; she exudes kindness.
On the day of our shoot, Michelle brought out my fun side despite feeling hot and itchy. You can read more about my hot mess by visiting my blog at www.rhdowns.com.
Michelle Doucette Photography
Now enough about me and back to the lady that inspired this post. As you can see, Michelle has one of those smiles that can light up a dark room. (I had to get at least one more pun in.) But she also has the unique ability to quietly blend in with the crowd while capturing the essence of a busy event. Her professionalism is unmatched.
Michelle is busier than a bee these days with many wonderful dishes, weddings, and events already on her calendar to shoot. Please do not let that stop you from contacting her though. Working with this fabulous photographer will surely make your day. Please follow this link for Michelle’s contact details.
The BlogJam team would like to thank Michelle for making us look good. Personally, I would like to thank her for this shot below. It is my absolute favourite from the session. It no doubt tells the story of a working relationship that has become a treasured friendship. BlogJam works because we all work well together. Michelle caught that synergy perfectly, don’t ya think?