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.

From Tanzania to Trinidad - Hand Crafted Jewellery from URU

They say 'less is more' and for me, in everyday life, this is true. Simple works. But simple does not have to be boring. Your 'less is more' can still be a  bold, personal statement.

That's why I absolutely love the URU concept and URU has come to Trinidad and Tobago. On a visit to Tanzania, Al Murray discovered these one-of-a-kind accessories and was immediately sold on the URU brand.

They are beautiful and I felt that there was a shortage of quality, non-garish jewellery in this country. I’ve always liked seeing women with simple yet classy pieces and this fits the bill. I’ve always lived by the mantra of less is more.

The pieces are absolutely gorgeous. but yet so effortless. For someone like me who sticks to simple pieces on a regular day running around town, hitting up Massy Stores or meeting the girls for drinks, URU is perfect.

This was made for me in mind - clearly!!

They aren't just for women though, as URU's simple elegance works on men as well. I for one, love simplicity when it comes to jewellry on a man. This is effortless, clean and yet, still trendy. Love.

So simple but yet so sexy

URU comes from an ancient Swahili word which can be best summed up as "an essence" - the mythological status of a diamond; the mystical attribute which fuels the age-old belief that these stones bring the wearer strength, prosperity and respect.

And when one thinks of diamonds, one immediately thinks such pieces would be way out of one's reach. But URU started actually as a hobby for a fisherman in Tanzania who made hand bands from fishing line and sold them on the highway. Fast forward to today and these handmade bands have been refined and the precious metal and stones added to create fashion accessories that are both simple and high quality.

There are pieces fitted with real diamonds. The beauty in the pieces comes from the uncut nature of the gems that the bands are fitted with. These gems are sourced in Tanzania and are bought from small scale miners there. It is important to note that all the gems are conflict free, and the bracelets are handmade by skilled artisans and tradesmen. The gems range from tanzanite, tsavorite, red spinel, emerald, and as mentioned earlier diamond. All the gems are bought and fitted into the pieces in their ‘rough’ state, which makes them more affordable than pieces featuring cut stones. The distinctive bracelet combines the URU stones in their moulded metal mounts with a handmade bangle, created using a wrapping and knotting method employed for centuries on the dhows of east Africa. The fisherman’s technique was refined to produce the bright, contemporary designs you see today including the elegant sliding clasp.

Every URU bracelet has 40-60 metres of thread, which is knotted by hand. It takes up to 5 hours for just one piece and no two bracelets are the same.

The URU bracelets are all made by hand - woven carefully by skilled artisans in Tanzania

They come in a variety of colours allowing you to match your bracelet to your mood or your outfit. Also because they are unisex,  if you have a significant other you can swap bands when your mood or outfit changes.I like that! There are also leather pieces, like this one.

For the girls (or guys) who love pink - Ostrich  leather/tanzanite

In fact you can do just about anything with your URU bracelets. You can wear them on a piece by piece basis, or in multi-coloured stacks. URU is about you really - your personal style.

URU under the bright Caribbean sun! Love.

Prices for the bracelets depend on the style of the bracelet as well as the type/size of the gem.

URU TT is currently based in Mount Hope, Trinidad but for enquiries or showings you can reach them via any of the following:

Mobile: 1-868-791-0525
Instagram: URUTrinidad 
Facebook: URUTT

Brunchin' and Munchin' Sundays at Krave Restaurant, Marabella

When there are no mimosas,
have a peach bellini
As a true and proud South girl, I am always happy to visit new places and try new experiences in my own backyard, so to speak. 

Krave, located in Tarouba Plaza, Marabella, has been open for a while now and I finally made it for a Sunday brunch.

Sundays are very sacred to me - but if there is something to do in South, you have a much better chance of getting me out of the house and out of my bunny slippers.

And so I ended up at Krave Restaurant for what, it seems, is now a very popular Sunday brunch. Lots of families made it to Krave that day for birthday celebrations or just for a Sunday away from the norm. And so we joined them.

Brunch - 
Contraction of breakfast and lunch, usually occurring around the hour of 11 a.m. Typically reserved for snobs and biddies who like tea and jam. - Urban Dictionary
I am neither a snob nor am I a biddy, and who says brunch is for either. Brunch is great for catching up, for winding down, whether you are a hot and swanky 20-something or sophisticated 50-something. I much prefer this:

A meal eaten when you wake up too late for breakfast, but do not want to go until lunch without having eaten. Instead you have a single meal called brunch. -Urban Dictionary 
An excuse to have alcohol before noon. - Me

Feel free to have a Sunday lay-in, without starving your way to lunchtime. There are various breakfast options - waffles, rolls, made-to-order omelettes; and then there is a lunch buffet, which on the day included pasta, rice, pepperpot chicken, chunky vegetables and more. There is also sushi, if you are so inclined.

I love me an omelette and this was nicely done. Made with love.

My waffle superstar made me a quarter-waffle, and you can "dress" it as you like.
My quarter waffle is sexy.

Sampled a bit of everything (almost) from the lunch buffet, but had to leave some space for dessert.

The dessert menu was pretty sexy, and you could also pig out on fruit if you so desired.

Cute brownies

Strawberry tartlets

I did not have these but they look cute

Fresh fruit was on the menu as well

And yes, as the saying goes a brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast. And so we had cocktails, and with us being at the time in the throes of Carnival, the Carnival themed drinks were very special.

Cocktails, anyone? Here you have a Pineomenal and a No Apology.

The special Dame Lorraine - another looker that I did not try but it was a hit around the table

Krave is pleasant, the service is to be commended (no...really. kudos) and for those living South of the lighthouse, and for whom Sundays are not so sacred, it is a nice alternative to facing the stove or facing the highway on a Sunday morning.

Brunch at Krave Restaurant starts at 10.30am and goes until 3 pm. 
What will it cost you? Brunch goes for TT$295 plus Vat and Service charge per person, but children under 12 "pay" half price and under 5s are free.
You can call the guys at Krave at 658-5728 for more information.

Live at the Hyatt - Children of the Drum (T&T Carnival 2015)

Kees Dieffenthaller -
high energy and superb as always
Live at the Hyatt - Children of the Drum. 

It's a different Carnival experience. A little bit calypso tent. A little bit Best Village and Party Time (showing my age there). A sit-down affair that with the right vibe could become a stand-up affair. A great option for those who are not inclined to partake in the crush of fetes - all-inclusive or otherwise - but still want to enjoy the music of some of the hottest soca acts in a comfortable and non-threatening type of setting (non-threatening in the sense of no threat of beer being splashed on your kit or your weave, or of your lovely toes being stomped on etc).

This is Live at the Hyatt - Children of the Drum. Touted as a Las Vegas styled production, I would not go as far as that,  as I feel we could tighten up the production a bit more, but I appreciated the effort made to make it a show, and to include a bit of theatre  and drama to the musical performances . The show was well produced and the performances were all spot on.

This is the second year of this show, but my first time as last year I just could not make it. But I was not disappointed. Each night at the show, patrons are treated to six (6) great artistes, and last night we were treated to David Rudder, Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons, Blaxx, Destra Garcia, K.I. and Kees Dieffenthaller. The show themed "Children of the Drum" highlights the wonderful diversity that is Trinidad through song and dance, from Africa to India to China, with Nigel Rojas acting as the musical storyteller/narrator.

It also provides the right setting for our artistes to show their true talents. Fetes and competitions, in particular, can really boil down to this overwhelming desire to move the crowd by any means necessary, which can often compromise vocal delivery. I know my friends know how much this is a peeve of mine and that Soca Monarch debacle in particular. Every artiste last evening gave the packed out house solid performances with solid vocals. Bravo! Special kudos to Blaxx who hit us with some Luther Vandross which underscored my point that the competition really kills the talent - cause Blaxx can sing!

I think we need more shows like this to keep the level of our music high. I fear that competition and this compulsion to "raise the dust" has contributed (along with other factors) to the lack of creativity in our music. Loved this experience. It was smart, it was well-oiled, it was creative, it was comfortable, it was all-encompassing. I saw young people, old people, blind people, physically disabled people. It was beautiful. If like me, you get bored after one fete, with the "wave" "take it low", "anybody from Sando?" nonsense, but you want to enjoy the season, try this show.

If I had to give one suggestion above all else - maybe less performers in one night so we get a richer offering from each of them. Destra felt rushed for example. I would prefer quality over quantity, but that is just me. They were all so fantastic but all too short.

David Rudder is timeless. No other description necessary.

Destra Garcia - I am not a fan really but there is no denying the woman can SING.

It was a great middle ground for my mum and I to enjoy the season together, and I would say it is a great option for families and friends, minus the noise and everything else that comes with large fetes. There are different packages available whereby one can either take in just the show at TT$500 a ticket or opt for one of the other packages, which can include dinner, a room or both. The Dinner/Show/Room package is pretty good - saved me from facing the stove, from facing the highway after the show and gave us time to just relax together.

Welcome drink in our room before the show. Can never tire of this view at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad

The Dinner Menu last night for those who took the dinner package for the Live at the Hyatt show

I chose the soup as the starter. Very yum.

Creole Chicken with red beans and sauteed plantains.
Thanks to Keisha for sorting out my main. I don't eat fish
and I don't eat coo-coo so I had to mix and match. I could not eat it all, but it was so good.

Choco Shock Brownie with Belgian Chocolate ice cream.
The sweet was too sweet for me. If you love love love sweets, you would love this.

Mummy chose the Rustic Apple Tart, which was delish.
I am always wary of apple anything. I always get a tart apple dessert, but this was nice.
Perfect actually.

Kudos. I hope they don't give up and only aim to make it better next year. It is much needed and was much appreciated.

A HOME away from Home - HOME Cafe, St Clair

HOME Cafe, St Clair, Trinidad
Well I'll never be a stranger
And I'll never be alone
Wherever we're together
That's my home. 
Billy Joel – You’re My Home 

 Home is not just the physical structure or place. Home is a feeling – a sanctuary, comfort, happiness, belonging. It is a place you yearn to be, and as I type this, I truly yearn for my home and everything that comes with it and which brings so much comfort at the end of a long day, a long week.

I luckily also had the chance to experience HOME – the HOME conceptualised by fashion goddess and Project Runway winner, Anya Ayoung Chee. On the gastronomy side of HOME, is HOME Café – a warm, open space where friends meet and catch up, wind down and rock from side to side with laughter together.

That is exactly what my circle of sistren (Kerwin duBois does not have a monopoly on the circle) did last weekend at HOME Café where not only did we enjoy amazing food, but where we truly felt that feeling that is HOME courtesy Anya and her mum, Michelle, and the excellent care and service from the HOME team, who made our Saturday lunch/ girls’ meet-up so special.

Menu – great price point and a nice variety of options. I am looking forward to experiencing a HOME breakfast now that I am embracing this 2015 Saturday morning breakfast concept more often. Baby steps.

Ambiance – very homey, pun intended. Clean, clutter-free open space, naturally lit and quiet. Very much a café vibe and very laid back.

The food – but of course, the food. I was impressed with my main, the Thai Red Curry w/ shrimp because I love me some Thai curry. Missed the coconut rice/jasmine rice, but it was delicious all the same. The dessert, though at first I thought it would be too much at first, was gorgeous. Not usually a fan of mousse but the triple chocolate mousse was amazeballs. I ate it all. My pants are tight this week.

HOME's House Salad - fresh and flavourful

Cream of Broccoli Soup at HOME

My girlfriend substituted fresh salmon for smoked salmon in this Pasta Carbonara

Thai Shrimp Curry - loved this!

At HOME with this Triple Chocolate Mousse. Hard to resist this one.

Loved it. Would do it again.

HOME Café, Scott Street, St Clair | Email cafe@home.co.tt for reservations or drop by 8-10:30am for breakfast and 11:30am-3:00pm for lunch

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