About Me

Living in the Caribbean is probably like living anywhere else, with the same ups and downs. But it does have its own vibe and flavour and gives me a unique perspective on most things. I'm often sarcastic, mostly funny, always looking for a new adventure. I have not boxed myself into any one category of life. I love a lot of things and dislike a lot more. I write about them all.

2014 - Year of the Golden Booty!

The year of the Golden Booty.

This was my response to a Facebook comment for what was one of the most iconic photos from my year - me, booty boasting in gold hot pants. Clearly I am not going to share this image here but it was a memorable shot in time.

The year 2014 was not quite as golden but it was still precious - precious in the sense that there were more ups than downs, and somehow I made it to the end (knock wood).

It was a year of fun, revelations, trials - like any other year. Life is unpredictable and life is fragile. Today you can be on top of the mountain and tomorrow you are slipping down the slope, caught up in an avalanche. Or you can be gone forever. Not trying to be morbid but this is a reality. Too many persons lost loved ones this year - whether it was expected or unexpected. At the top of my year, I lost the second most important woman in my life after my mother - my grandmother. Even though she was in her 90s, the loss was still a hard one for the entire family as she was the anchor that kept us all grounded - the glue that kept us all together. Our lives are beautiful because she was beautiful. She was the best grandmother in the world.

The year was hectic at work and often I felt overwhelmed. Maintaining a blog is a job in itself and each year I look at my total number of blog posts for the year. Gone are the days of 2011 when I had a total of 171 posts for that year, to just 40 for all of 2014. That is not even a blog post a week!

As demanding as my job is, my mantra is to play as hard (and as well) as I work. So my vacation this year - my annual treat to myself - took me and my pink suitcase to Amsterdam, Netherlands; Bruges, Belgium; Lausanne, Switzerland; London, England; and Cardiff, Wales - complete with a side trip to Stratford-on-Avon and a silly ghost walk.

And what a lot of fun was had over the course of that trip. My very first cheese fondue in Lausanne. Chocolate penises in Bruges (yes...you can make anything with chocolate). Friendly reunions in the UK. And a lovely rendez-vous in Amsterdam. Life is unpredictable and fragile - so enjoy it. That is my motto in life.

There were other memorable moments, like seeing John Legend again for the umpteenth time (still yet to see Alicia Keys and Muse in concert - scribbling it down for 2015), staycations, friends, birthdays, Carnival, the World Cup, time with the munchkins of my life - my niece and nephew and so on. Never any regrets - just pushing forward.

I have decided to write down 5 big goals for 2015 - document them somewhere - either here or offline, and try my best to achieve them.

Cheers to 2014 and hello to 2015. I am so looking forward to it already.

These are a few of my favourite Christmas things

Sunday night - baking and singing
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens 
Brown paper packages tied up with strings 
These are a few of my favorite things.  

On Sunday night, we watched The Sound of Music.

The Sound of Music is my favourite musical of all time so I did not need the lyrics onscreen, but it was fun nonetheless. Singing along to My Favourite Things while whirring away with the hand mixer as we got the Christmas cakes going made me reflect on my favourite Christmas things.

Favourite Christmas movie
If you want the snarky version of this, as I am a snarky kind of girl, then I will say Bad Santa. But if you want warm and fuzzy, then it is hands down Love Actually. They need to show that on tv every Christmas Eve, or people need to just own it on DVD for the same purpose.

Favourite Christmas memory 
I would have to go back to childhood for this, but I loved Christmas as a child. Waking up on Christmas morning to a house that was filled with the smell of fresh bread and ham and cakes, and eager to open the presents under the tree was always my favourite part of the day. Helping mummy make the cakes was always a highlight as well and to this day, I am still the designated baker for the holidays, with my skills honed over the years in the warm kitchen.

Favourite Christmas food
Christmas is anti-diet. From the Christmas breakfast, to the huge family gatherings defined by mounds of food, to the desserts and treats, food is at the centre of it all. My one Christmas away from home was a disaster, because besides being at death’s door (okay – a slight exaggeration), the lunch of brussel sprouts and beef did not win me over.

Pastelles - a Christmas staple in Trinidad and Tobago
Photo credit: Caribbeanpot
Typically, at home, our Christmas lunch consists of veggie rice, with fresh salad, potato salad, some type of casserole – usually a Shepherd’s pie, pastelles, baked pork, stewed pork, turkey, ham and stewed pigeon peas. Not to mention, the drinks and the sweets. Good God! Just typing that made me unfasten my pants. Sharing it all with family makes the weight gain acceptable.

Favourite Christmas song
Being a shower/car pop star, I love singing Christmas songs, and it is hard to choose just one so I will choose two. O Holy Night is my favourite carol, while Lennox Gray's Around my Christmas Tree/Laughing Children - a local classic - was always my favourite Christmas song as a child. It came on in a store this weekend and I sang the entire thing without a care for who was listening, reliving my girlhood Christmases, practising that song in school for Christmas parties and class concerts. Hearing actual Christmas music during a season that is beaten down by the immense anticipation for Carnival warmed my icy heart.

What am I most looking forward to this Christmas as a cynical adult?

  • Spending time with the family, particularly the littlest members - my niece and nephew
  • Getting rest - lots of sleep ahead
  • Seeing The Hobbit on Boxing Day
  • Finish reading my latest book
  • Visiting friends
  • Eating (in moderation??)

Merry Christmas everyone. Be safe. Be well. Be blessed.

Birthday Staycation Fun

So my birthday has come and gone and so has my second annual birthday staycation.Yep - for the second year running, I have spent my birthday close to home, where I could get much needed rest but without the stress of airports, trying to pack my life into my pink suitcase and without a massive post-vacation bill.

Well, maybe that's a bit ambitious. I did manage to have my 15 minute flight to Tobago delayed by about an hour or so, the pink suitcase was still pretty heavy because packing light is not one of my many talents, and I still have a bit of post-vacation financial angst. But it was great.

With a birthday staycation buddy, from Trinidad to Tobago and back, we had such a great time. Whether we explored beaches, bars, nature parks or cultural haunts, we enjoyed the break from reality. Going back to work this week was a bit of a buzzkill after a much needed break. Happy birthday to me!

The view from the balcony of our holiday apartment near Stonehaven Tobago.
We had breakfast and dinner here every day.
Interested? Check out Hibiscus Heights.

Made local goodies for the overseas travel buddy, and that balcony...that balcony

A day out at Englishman's Bay, Tobago

Some of the brightly coloured wrap skirts on sale at Englishman's Bay

The interior of the restaurant at Englishman's Bay. We just had beers.

Flip flops and toes at Turtle Beach, Tobago

Beers for him and her at Blue Waters Inn, Speyside, Tobago

The amazing Batteaux Shrimp Salad from Blue Waters Inn - the blue cheese, pecans,
strawberries, mandarins and the shrimp gave the salad a great kick. It was amazing.

Back in Trinidad, we explored La Vega Estate by foot. It was hot, but it was worth it.

He spread the plumes but would not pose for a photo until the end when the plumes were gone again!

Ended the last day with a sunset. Sunset over the Temple in the Sea, Waterloo, Trinidad

I have been naughty, but Santa can kick rocks

If you have read this blog long enough, you would already know I love December only because it is my birthday month. Christmas is not my most fave time of the year. It has gotten better in recent times with the fun of being an aunt - Christmas is now about making the little ones happy, hearing their giggles and creating memories for them to cherish. I don't get gifts. I cannot tell you the last time I have gotten a present. And that's okay. The independent streak in me is not worried about that because I usually treat myself, not just at Christmas but all year-round.

Santa has forsaken me and so I have stopped aiming to be nice during the year. I am a permanent fixture on Fatso's Naughty List it seems.

But if I had to ask for a present, it would be...

The Nespresso Citiz for the frothy hot drink lover in me

The ever sexy Keurig.

You had to have seen this coming, right? And make sure you add a year's supply of the capsules as well.I cannot just drink hot water.

Also, I have found that a fitness tracker is really good motivation. I hate getting up at 5 in the morning on a Saturday and Sunday to workout but some days, I take my phone with me, set a target and I really am a bit more amped to get it over with. Since I love all things Samsung, and already use S-Health during my outdoor workouts, you can get me this...

And the slimmer, caffeinated me would love to walk the streets with something new from Mr Kors, like this...

Hamilton Saffiano Leather Tote from Michael Michael Kors
That's about it really. I need new clothes as well but who has that kinda time for a blog about the stuff I want?

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