Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I’ve been up to…

Can you believe that it’s been five whole months since I ended the happygrrls blog? Crazy, eh? 

Since it’s been forever since you’ve heard anything from me, I thought it was time to update you on what I have been doing.

Well……..I finally launched my new blog – WordsWithMichelle in early March.  Woo hoo!  The new blog focuses on my interviews with people in the city that both inspire and fascinate me.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Best Female R&B nominee (Black Canadian Awards) Shi Wisdom (her voice….damn amazing), DJ Reddy Fox (he lets me know what it’s like DJing in the digital era) and Ricardo McRae (he talks about social media, networking and his website- whoswhoinblackcanada.com).  I will also be posting interviews with badass graffiti artist EGR and a college grad turned budding hip hop artist among others.

I’m totally grateful that I am able to have great conversations and establish connections with positive people in the city. So happy I decided to start this new endeavor.

I just wanted to thank you for your support over the past 5 years.  It honestly encouraged me to try something different.  I would love for you to join me on my new venture.  Feel free to visit my new blog www.wordswithmichelle.com.



Friday, November 15, 2013

It’s the end of an era

I know you’ve been wondering why  I haven't been updating The Happygrrls blog as much as I used to.  Well...... I hate to say this but it’s the end of an era y’all. 

Yes, after much contemplation, I have decided to end the Happygrrls blog.  Yes, I know....it hasn’t been an easy decision for me, as I’ve poured by heart and soul into the blog, but I feel like I need a change.  I really feel like it’s time to start something new.  I’ve published the blog for the past 5 years and I felt that I really wanted to grow and evolve as a writer.

So when one door closes another one opens. 

I decided months ago that I wanted to start a new blog – a blog that solely focuses on my 2 loves- writing and meeting new people.  One of the things that I loved so much about doing Happygrrls was going out, meeting new people and writing their story.  I have been sooooooooo lucky to have met and written about people that I have admired, looked up to and people I just wanted to chat with.  Now I will be doing it full time for my new blog WordsWithMichelle

I REALLY, REALLY want to thank my loyal audience, family and friends as well as all the people that I have interviewed. You’ve been a part of my journey and helped me realize what my passion truly is.

I promise to post the link to my new blog once it is up and running. Psst..........my Twitter account - @happygrrls will remain active for the time being.

I want to say thanks again for everything and I hope you will be a part of my new adventure.   

Update: the @happygrrls Twitter handle is now @wordswmichelle

Love you all,


Monday, November 11, 2013

At The Social taping

I love my work schedule. It's incredibly flexible and allows me to do super fun things during the week like.....meet up with friends for lunch, engage in some retail therapy, or do something even more fabulous….like catch a taping of CTV's The Social.


Last Friday, my sis and I sat in an elegantly decorated studio to watch the taping of The Social (psst.... think a younger, hipper, more social media interactive version of the talkshow The View).


The show is hosted by media pros: Traci Melchor, Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst and Lainey Lui and features stories on pop culture, news, and lifestyle topics with a Canadian perspective.


The Social Set
I must mention that these women are such professionals. The show is live, which means that they must be able to talk about a story, engage the studio audience as well as the viewers at home, and still be very entertaining. They did it effortlessly.


On Friday’s show, the hosts spoke about Rob Ford (surprise surprise!), Kate Middleton and interviewed Elle Magazine Creative Director, Joe Zee. Chris Tucker even stopped by briefly to promote his comedy show and to share some of his dance moves with the girls.

Chris Tucker having
fun with the hosts

I was incredibly happy that they encouraged the audience to go on our phones throughout the show to tweet, or log onto Facebook and Instagram to talk about the show. Suffice it to say, I have tons of pics and tweeted to my heart’s content! Yay!


The whole experience was phenomenal. We got a behind the scenes look on what’s involved in a live show taping, plus we were able to talk to and take pics with the hosts after the show. I love how all the hosts are super talkative. Too cool!


I couldn’t end this post without giving a shout out to the Floor Manager. She kept the audience hyped and energized throughout the entire show. You’re amazing!


Can’t wait to go to another show taping!



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Profile: Neddy Nyce – 2Nyce Photography

Ain’t it funny how the world of social media works?  Neddy Nyce and I have been
Facebook friends forever and we follow each other on Twitter, but we never actually met.  Well actually, we met in passing many years ago at an event, but I never had the pleasure of sitting down with him and having an actual conversation.

I’ve received his status updates and emails showing his latest photos from his company- 2Nyce Photography, but still we lacked face to face interaction.

Since I’m a girl who thrives on meeting new people and making new connections, I thought it was the best time for us to reintroduce ourselves.  So I contacted him.

A few weeks after my initial email, Neddy and I met at Yorkdale for the interview. I was very happy to see that he was a friendly, jovial dude—but more importantly, that he recognized me since my Facebook profile pic is not of me, but a cartoon picture. Lol. 

We found a seat in the middle of the mall and Neddy shared with me his start in photography, his inspirations, and his thoughts on Instagram.   Here’s what he had to say.

How did you get your start in photography?

I’ve always loved photography.  In 1999 I bought my first professional camera. I went around to different events and took photos.  In 2001 a friend asked me to come to his wedding..... I went and took a whole bunch of photos.  At the time I was just randomly snapping, because I like snapping. I developed them and sent them to him. They liked my photos better than their photographer’s photos. From there they referred other people to me. At the time I wasn’t doing it as a business, but then they told me that I should and I got other weddings from there.  It just started to snowball after that.

How do you come up with concepts for your pictures?

I’ll see something in the world and it will inspire me.  Like, I was downtown and I passed by a Nutcracker display and I saw a doll hanging by strings and I said “let me see if I can recreate that with an actual person.” I got the shot done, so it looks like the person has puppet arms.

I see that you have many “fitness” photos on your website. How did you get into “fitness” photography?

In 2004 I went to my first fitness show.  From there people started to ask me for photos backstage.  I started taking photos of people and I developed a liking for it.  The fitness clients make up a lot of my business because they are always changing their bodies.  If they take photos now, they would need photos by December because they follow a strict workout routine and diet—their bodies change so fast in such a short period of time.  In 2 months they can be 40 lbs lighter. 

Who are some of your favourite photographers?

One of my favourite photographers was one of my students – his name is Yao (his company - eDZIN). He started with me a long time ago, and I saw him start from the beginning and develop and now he’s pretty much up there as a photographer. We still do shoots together.  

What do you think about Instagram?

In all honestly, I understand the social aspect of it, and I understand why people are taking photos and editing them and putting them up – it’s more the  connecting with other people and being creative and showing people what you can do with your photos. But as a professional, I’m not too interested in it. In terms of butchering and doctoring of the photos, not too much of a fan.  Taking a pic and warping the colours.... it’s showing you shortcuts, to me it looks kinda butchered.   There are a lot of people that think they are “big time photographers” because of their Instagram edits! 

But it’s open up the door to a lot of different people – I like that part of it.  People who never did photography before can get into it and start to do stuff to their photos.

Do you do photography fulltime?

It was my fulltime business for the past 6 years and I decided to slow it down a bit. I am still doing it, but I am teaching as well. I teach photography at the City of Vaughan. I have my own teaching business as well. People will contact me if they want lessons and I take them on as students.

Although the interview was brief, I can now say that I’ve had an actual sit down conversation with Neddy Nyce. 

My favourite part of this interview was that Neddy is a perfect example of turning your  passion into a career.  He had an interest in photography a long time ago, and now he’s not just a successful photographer, he’s a businessman.

It was great meeting you, Neddy. I especially liked that you giggled as much as I do!

If you’re interested in having Neddy snap some pics of you, please contact him at:

 Email: neddynyce@gmail.com

Twitter: @2Nycephoto

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Join the Joy & Love Movement with John Robinson Jr.

Some may know him as John Robinson Jr., but to me he’s J.J.

I met J.J. for the first time over 10 years ago when we were paired together for the radio talk show, The Cutting Edge on York University’s CHRY 105.5 fm.  I think we were both overly thrilled to be on radio. That’s probably one of the reasons why we acted like two kids with a microphone!  But between giggling and joking around, we did manage to speak about music, hip hop videos, and on occasion, politics.

But all good things come to an end. He was gone from the show and I was given a new host.

Fast forward 12 years. 

As you know, I attended Trey Anthony’s Millionaire Artist workshop earlier this year and guess who I saw sitting just two chairs away from me.........? Yep, it was my ex co-host J.J. from back in the day!  We hugged and quickly caught up.  He told me that he was in real estate now, and also had a life coaching blog called Joy and Love.  I told him it sounded exciting and that I would love to write about it.

That was early on this year and we finally made it happen on October 3, 2013.  Even though it seems like it took ages for us to reconnect, as J.J (I mean John) said, “it was the perfect day.”

We met at 1:00 pm at a cafe (my usual spot) but I found it too cramped to conduct the interview.  I wanted John to be free with his answers and I also didn’t want to bother the other patrons.  We opted to leave and find another comfy spot.  We strolled up and down Yonge Street peeking in random restaurants and cafes trying to find the best setting, but then agreed that it would be even more fun to do the interview outdoors.  We walked around looking for a quiet place, and finally located a secluded area behind a high school.  We both sat down, I pushed REC on my voice recorder and so began the interview.

Were you always interested in radio?

Straight out of high school I wanted to be a Broadcast Journalist.  The idea was to host RapCity.  I went to the National Institute of Broadcasting and I put together a demo reel.  I thought it was pretty good....so I stepped to the host at the time—Master T, and I had a one-on-one lunch with him.  And he was like, “I like your style, I like your swag, but it’s not up to me.”  Time went by and I got lost in the shuffle. So I said, let’s not just focus on this one demographic. Let me check out CBC and others.

What did you do after our show?

After university I got my Real Estate license and I’ve been doing real estate for 10 years now. Eight years local residential real estate, and for the past two years I do international real estate where I do beachfront property in Costa Rica as well the Caribbean coast of Honduras.

What was the journey like becoming a life coach?

As I was touring around buyers showing them 10-15 homes, the conversation would go further than real estate.  They would ask questions about my spirituality, my health, even relationships and wealth.  During those house tours in the car, I would actually give pointers to people that wanted to hear it. I had more than one client tell me that I should really write some of these things down.  Life coaching always came natural to me.

How important is it to have a life coach?

Every successful person has had a mentor or a coach.  There’s no Michael Jordan without Phil Jackson.  It’s not necessarily someone to pat you on the back and say way to go, good job! It’s more than that. It’s about you holding yourself accountable to your targets.  It helps you stay on track.  Besides that, it’s always good having good energy around you.

What is the Joy and Love movement?

It’s a lifestyle.  I wrote a book titled Joy and Love. The idea is to maximize the joy in your life and love in the world.  I broke it down on how to achieve these goals using one formula. 

The formula is love energy. The way I describe love energy is like breathing. When you inhale, inhale faith, confidence, gratitude, and when you exhale, exhale empowerment, compassion and a guiding hand for others.  As this flows that’s when answers, clues and rewards really start opening up in your life on how you can achieve your desired end result. This love energy can be applied to different elements of your life.

What do you think is your life’s purpose?

To continue to empower others. There are two ways inspiration works– 1. To inspire someone to be the best that they can be, 2. You can also inspire someone by showing them that YOU lived your life to be the best that you can be. And when they see that they feel like it’s possible for them.

How would you describe yourself?

Spiritual, deep thinker, I try not to take life too seriously.

Who are some of your favourite thinkers/speakers?

By far, Barack Obama. When he speaks he speaks with passion and dignity.  He’s honest. I look at how he speaks and what he is saying.

What’s next for you?

I am releasing the e-book on October 15, 2013. I’m doing an e-book launch party at Blow Fish on the same night between 7-10pm.  I am launching a video this evening...it’s like a documentary about me speaking about my philosophy.  The video is not just me though; I have 4 guest speakers speaking on how love energy has worked in their lives and how it has garnered them success.

Looks like John has a lot going on.  Although the interview only lasted a mere 25 minutes, I was happy to find out more about his Joy and Love movement and what his future plans are for the movement. 

So proud of you J.J.  I definitely love your passion and drive and I had a blast reminiscing about our radio days.  CHRY105.5fm 4 life! Lol!

For more info on John Robinson Jr. and the joy and love movement, visit www.joyandlove.ca