An Awesome Assistant at Hand with JOBY GorillaPods!

As a blogger, one area of this industry I felt I really needed to up my photography game. It was one of the goals I set for myself last year, and I think I have started to see the difference in my photos. I love putting together sets for my blog posts, but there are times I find it difficult to hit the shutter at certain angles or to take pics of myself by myself. This is why I decided to invest a “photography assistant” by buying a tripod. Since I need to take a variety of shots, my other half steered me in the direction of buying a JOBY GorillaPod!


Out of the wide range of GorillaPod models JOBY has available, I chose their SLR-Zoom. It is specially made for the DSLR camera I use to take many of the photos I shoot for blog posts.

Below are the features and the specs of this GorillaPod:

  • Height – 6 x 6 x 31.8 cm.
  • Flexible legs that are able to wrap around objects while being able to hold camera equipment up to 6.6 lbs (3 kg) on almost any surface.
  • Over 24 leg joints with rubberized ring and foot grips make it easy to bend and rotate it 360° to improve stability in difficult terrain.
  • Being created out of durable Japanese medical-grade ABS plastic and German TPE, it allows for secure joints to stay firm and to grip on objects for years of use.
  • Its lightweight and portable design make it easy to pack and take on-the-go!

I have to say that I LOVE my GorillaPod! Before I had this tripod, I would have to wait for my other half or my eldest to be at home and available to take certain shots. Now, I am able to set up the shot I want and get to work!

I have put this tripod in so many different positions when a third hand was needed. It was such a relief to not have to worry about my camera crashing onto the floor if I had it mounted and positioned in a certain way.




I have used my tripod for almost a year, and the leg joints are still as stiff as they were on the day I bought them. If I had to switch the position of my GorillaPod for a better shot, it was easy to change how I wanted the legs positioned and it stayed in place once it was in the right spot. My GorillaPod has also been bashed and dropped a few times, yet it is still intact.


When my shoot was over, it only took a few minutes to straighten the legs on my tripod and tuck it away for the day or to put in my equipment bag to take with me. It does not take up a lot of space in my bag, and I do not feel its weight when I tote it around.

I was really impressed with the ease the JOBY GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. It is lightweight, durable and stays in place where I need it. This tripod is also able to hold up my camera in various positions without tipping. Setting up photo shoots is more of a joy to do now that I have this tripod as my assistant at hand!

Until my next post, Readers,


Note: This is not a sponsored review post. I love sharing fabulous products with you, and this is one of them!

To Toronto and Back in 36 Hours

Hey Readers!

For those that haven’t read my bio, I have lived in Canada’s capital for quite a few years. Even though I have been here for a long time, I always say that Toronto is my home. Up until I was nineteen, it was my center of, well, everything. Since moving away, I don’t get to visit home that often, and it is a treat whenever I go back. The blogisphere gave me a rare opportunity to make a quick stop in my hometown this summer. By quick, I mean 36 hours. It was supposed to be only 24 hours, but I’ll explain more about that further on down in the post. It was action-packed, and a lot of fun!

Here is my entourage for this visit:


As you have probably noticed, the VP of Cuteness is not present for this adventure. She stayed behind with my other half and had a Dadu-Daughter Day filled with shopping, movies and relaxing.

Besides being excited about my “mission,” I was over the moon about this trip being the VP of Cuddles’ first trip to Toronto. We ventured to and from Toronto via train, my little guy’s new favourite method of travel, and he could not sit still in his seat. The Senior VP of the family was excited as well, but you would never guess it by the look on her face in this pic! I also love traveling by train. I love being able to use the train’s wifi to work or relax.

Since we took an earlier train form Ottawa to Toronto, the kids passed out in their seats about half way through our trip. I then took a break from what I was doing and took some pics of the scenery from my window seat. At this point in the trip, we were pretty close to the Lake Ontario shoreline. Despite the speed we were traveling at the time, some of my pics turned out alright.


After a few delays, we hit the Toronto city limits! Out of the three of us, I was the most excited. It was amazing to watch my son see my hometown for the first time. He loved seeing all of the cars, buses, and trains, as well as all of the buildings parks and green spaces (yes, there were a few) on our way to the station.


Once at Union Station, my big sis, Mandi, and my nephew, J, were on hand so my daughter could hang out with them while my little guy and I went to complete our “mission.” We had to cab through noon traffic (yes, that is a thing in downtown T.O.) to and from our destination. It was so good to see the sights and be a part of the energy that is Toronto once again.


Once back at Union Station, my little guy and I waited for remainder of my entourage at the “big clock”. This was to be a familiar sight on this visit home as we kept landing here throughout this visit.


After a LONG day, this girl needed to relax. We headed for the closest Second Cup for my favourite warm beverage: A Vanilla Bean Hot Chocolate! Oh, whipped cream was a must to mellow me out.


I booked an early train for my return back to Ottawa the next morning, so we made a mad dash back to Union Station. This race against the clock was made more challenging as the first five subway stations were closed for the weekend due to maintenance. We had to take shuttle buses to the next open subway station along with several thousand other people. Needless to say, we missed our train. After re-booking ourselves on a later train that afternoon, we decided to become tourists in our hometown! We revisited the same Second Cup at the corner of University and Front Streets to figure out what we were going to do for the next few hours. It was good to be able to take a moment to breath and let the stress of the morning go.


After our break, we decided to venture close to Union Station by strolling over to one of my favourite areas of Toronto: The St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood. We stayed along Front Street, and it was so full of life! My little guy decided to take this time to patrol the streets while protecting his aunt from danger. We also took in Berczy Park for a bit of a rest, and then some of the many hot spots along the way. It was so good to be back in this part of town. I really didn’t want to leave.




Since time waits for no one, our time in Toronto had come to a close. We were all sad to say our goodbyes and go on the train, but we knew we would be together with our family soon. I’m not sure who enjoyed this trip the most as we watched the Toronto skyline fade away into the distance. Now that my son has had a taste of Toronto, he cannot wait to go back, and my daughter is already suggesting for us to return soon. As for me, I am always up for a trip back home! I can’t wait to visit my hometown again.


Happy 3rd Anniversary, Reese Speaks!

Happy Anniversary!

Hey Readers!

Three years have gone by quickly for this blogger! It honestly seems as though I am still in my first year of starting this blog and sharing my world with you! So many things have happened, and the adventures and opportunities I have had in this year have been fabulous and priceless!

One of the biggest opportunities I have had this year was becoming the Editor for the Ottawa Mommy Club. Lyne Proulx has been wonderful to allow me to do what I do for her blog, and she has taught me so much more about the ins and outs of the blogging world.  She has also given me so many experiences to write about and share on her blog. It has and continues to be such an adventure. I cannot thank her enough!

I also did a lot of fun things on my blog this past year. As I mentioned in my ”Year-End Wrap” post, I met a soap opera star, I got engaged, and I have had spent some great times with friends and family, sharing experiences and reviews on my blog. I have a lot of fun, and there are better thing to come with this coming year!

Being a part of the blogging community has just been wonderful for me! I have met some of the nicest people who are so helpful and giving! They are always there for each other for support or to answer questions others may have. I got to know a core group of them while blogging for Ottawa Mommy Club and being the Community Coordinator for BConnected Conference for the past two years. This year, there were so many more bloggers involved with putting this conference together, so I go t to know them better. It is sort of like being a newbie getting to work alongside some of the best people in their field. I do get a bit star-struck by them, and it also pushes me harder to want to be a better blogger.

Being a parent, I think the learning never ends! My kids can be at different ends of the spectrum in the same moment, so I have to learn how to figuratively sit on my hands a bit more and let situations ride. I am also amazed by my kids day after day with the achievements they have experienced, and the adventures they have no matter where they are.

The ''Bosses'' during a VERY important business meeting.

The ”Bosses” during a VERY important business meeting.

Another person who has been a great part of my blog has been my fiancé. He does so much for our family, and has been such a supporter of me and allowing me to do what makes me happy. He is also a wiz at just about everything he does, and I have showcased some of his amazing dishes on the blog and my other social media channels.

Finally, you, Readers, have been so awesome to Reese Speaks since I started blogging. I have more readers than I did last year, and have been commenting and sharing my experiences as well. It is such a rush to see you reading and engaging here. I really cannot thank you enough.

My Encounters of The Young and the Restless Kind!

Hello Readers!

For those of you who don’t know this about me, I am a HUGE soap fan!  I’ve been watching them since I was young.  Back then, it was either watch what she was watching, or read a book, which I had already done a few times that day!  Now, it is my kids who look at me funny when the “Mommy Shows” are on.  They either make themselves scarce, or they fall asleep.

Out of the three soaps I watch, the one I love the most has to be The Young and the Restless (or Y & R).  It has the best patriarch in Victor Newman (played by Eric Braeden), the story lines, for the most part, have been fairly steady for the past few decades, and watching each episode makes me feel as though I am at home with my mom, yelling at the TV for something a character said or did that we were not happy about.

I thought I had posted about my first encounter with Y & R.  Let me give you some back story to this, as most of you will have no clue as to what I’m talking about.  I adore Eric Braeden.  As I previously stated, he is one of the reasons why I watch this show.  He is brash, witty, and ruthless as Victor Newman.  When I started tweeting, he was one of the first accounts I started following, and he was one of my first followers.

Eric Braeden ran a contest for his followers on his account, and it was about something we both have a love for: The NCAA Basketball Championships! It was Sweet 16 time, and he said that he would be giving away a script with the autographs of various cast members, including his own, to the followers that were able to guess which four teams he had picked to move forward in the tournament.  I guessed right, and a few weeks later, my script came in the mail.

It's here! It's finally here! I was so happy to see this, almost kissed the mail carrier!  :)

It’s here! It’s finally here! I was so happy to see this, almost kissed the mail carrier! 🙂



EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! I can't wait to see it! Schoolgirl mode is in full effect!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! I can’t wait to see it! Schoolgirl mode is in full effect!



Can you guess which autograph belongs to which actors on Y&R? Guess which one belongs to Eric Braeden? Trust me, it's not a hard one to find! :P

Can you guess which autograph belongs to which actors on Y&R? Guess which one belongs to Eric Braeden? Trust me, it’s not a hard one to find! 😛



I felt like a teenage girl getting to meet her pop star crush!  Sadly, at this point, I thought I would never be this close to another soap star again…that was the case, until a few weeks ago.

A rep for Mishael Morgan, who plays Hilary Curtis Winters on Y & R contacted me, asking me if I was interested in writing an post for about her character on the show as well as her new projects coming out this summer.  I was floored! I had to read the email a few times to make sure it was real!  I quickly replied yes, of course!

After the details were ironed out, I got the call.  I went from being cool and collected to a bundle of excited nerves.  Mishael Morgan was very sweet about my “enthusiasm” over her interview, and it was a lot of fun ! I told her how I felt about Hilary, and where I wanted her character’s story line to go.  It seemed as though the interview went on forever, but it was only about 15 minutes long, and I didn’t want to seem unprofessional and start asking all of the questions I had in my head! Once the interview was over, I listened to our conversation (which I, unfortunately, will not add to this post, mainly because I sound like a nerdy fan!), but it was such an amazing opportunity to have been given.

Blogging had to be one of the most amazing hobbies/activities/jobs I have ever had! I have had the opportunity to go and do so many amazing things, including interacting with characters from my favourite soap opera! I’m curious as to what my next encounter of the Y & R kind will be! I hope I will gwt the chance to write another blog post, or even meet an actor! When it happens, I will certainly share this latest experience with you!

Hey Readers! Have you had a starry-eyed encounter with someone you admired? If you have, who was it, and what was it like? If not, who would you want to meet?

Until my next post, Readers!


I’m Back!

Hey Readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post here on Reese Speaks. The past few months have been filled with fun campaigns, assignments and guest posts for blogs I contribute to, as well as helping to plan events, learning so much along the way from some fantabulous people (you know who you are)!

It was the first time in a long time that I had experienced being “burn-out” in this crazy world of blogging.  It’s not that I didn’t want to write, but I was blanking. I felt as though I didn’t gave anything to write. I then decided I couldn’t stress out about not writing something on my blog just to “keep up with the Jones'” of the blogisphere, and to stay away from writing for a while.

My mini sabbatical really recharged me! I got to relax during my down time instead of trying to crunch work on posts whenever I could. I got to catch up on other events I was involved with.  I was even able to learn how to become a better blogger by hearing from some of the best in the biz at the BConnected Conference in Ottawa, ON.

Now that I’m back, it’s time for me to roll up my sleeves and do right by my blog. I have to get this blog ship-shape, so you, Readers, can enjoy popping into  Reese Speaks even know than you do. I’ll let know what I have in store for my blog as soon as everything is ready!

Ah, it feels so good to be back, Readers!

Until my next post, Readers!