unwind

Time to UnWine’d!

I know it’s only Wednesday but its been a long, difficult week for both of us. Right?
So how about a glass of the good stuff, you know what I’m talking about- WINE!ūüć∑

Island Vine Wines
IVW boasts “finely crafted Trinidadian wines using a Polish method handed down by the Osika Family”, meaning every glass you pour was nurtured for that very moment.
With flavours like Sugarcane, PawPaw, Pineapple and even Sparkling Mango (yes you read that correctly), they ensure that every bottle is a unique experience that immediately takes you seaside lounging.

Island Vine ain’t no joke when it comes to doing wine the right way either! These bona-fide winemakers¬†uses only the best equipment, on their Facebook page I quickly learned about an antique authentic French carboy or “demijohn” as commonly called in France which is used in the fermentation process to ensure quality control.
That’s super cool right?

Tucuché Country Wines
Getting its name from the mountain peak sacred to the Amerindians,¬†El Tucuche, for this brand is a symbol of Home. El Tucuche also towers over the winery that crafts what we know as Tucuch√© Country Wines , so as to say ‘I’m looking over you always,’ and, it gives the purest base, straight from the spring for their wines. Using seasonal and exotic fruits found right here in Trinidad & Tobago, Tucuch√© is churning out Guava, Pommecythere, Banana, Noni and even Banoni ( I had to google to find out what this was and apparently its is an apple -TCW you can call me out on this if I’m wrong), but you name it and they’re turning it into wine!

Pairing fruits and spices to create the most inviting blend is definitely their forte and asking for another glass is sure to follow. Using warm colours and rich flavours in every bottle,¬†¬†each “enticing bouquet evoke memories and dreams of ancestral times and the vibrant plumage of the hummingbirds” as stated by their story in Facebook!

V Toria Rhonda Winery
Years before it was a winery, this estate was an Orchard with a sprinkling of cocoa and coffee. Today, this 2nd generation wine maker produces some of the finest wines made from our local fruits all her own vineyard and winery. Wine, in her opinion is what brings people together to create new experiences and memories to last a lifetime. These semi-sweet wines are made in Rio- Claro, Trinidad from a variety of tropical fruits and dried grapes (raisins) to create the bold flavours .

Apart from the impressive packaging and flavours the website¬† introduces you to Victoria Wine Club where you can get a 10% discount on your purchases and other exclusive benefits. There’s also a listing¬†here making the bottles even easier to find to entertain at your next lime.

L’eau Pont Winery- Tropical Fruit Wines¬†
Once in a while, I meet wine that makes me go WOW! So imagine, the tangy, tartness of sorrel marrying the rich taste of Port, did you imagine it?
Yeah sounds amazing right?!? Now what if I told you I like neither sorrel, nor Port ( at this point you might be judging me, its okay though) but TFW had me seriously questioning my taste.
This family affair produces flavours like Pommerac, Mango, Banana, Sorrel and Pineapple all from their micro-winery!

Light, refreshing, mellow, elegant all can be used to describe a pour from an L’eau Pont Wine, so how about some wine?

 

Be sure to click to see more on these wineries!
Cheers!

 

Self Careis NOT Selfish!

The M Word……

Oh the M word….

The word people are apparently terrified of saying…
The word that so many people pretend doesn’t exist…
Mental Illness.

I can only talk on my experience with this as not everyone’s is the same. But, you may still resonate with the feelings and thoughts that I’m constantly plagued with.
Over the past 6 years I have developed both depression and anxiety,due to a really traumatic experience in my life.
I have gone weeks where I cried day after day, not wanting to be here, wondering what it would be like to end my life. I have taped my bedroom curtains to the wall so that they don’t blow up and allow anyone from outside to see me, I fear someone might be staring at me. 6 years later and my curtains are still taped to a wall. I have wondered my these things happen at all, not just to me, but to anyone. Why do I, or anyone at all have to feel like each day is a burden, draining the life out of me.

I have panic attacks where I sometimes end up throwing up because my body is reeling from whatever triggered it, and lots of things trigger it, dogs barking, having to mash brakes suddenly while driving, getting a phone call, hearing an unfamiliar sound while trying to fall asleep…and the list goes on and on. I’ve had panic attack last mere minutes, I’ve had panic attacks that lasted hours, but I can say that they all feel terrible. It always feels as though I am trapped, screaming to be let out, but still I’m stuck and I’ll never get out, that this is where I meet the end.

In all of this, I’ve taken the decision to not take any medication, I don’t want to feel like my life is dependent on it. For me, becoming self-aware was the biggest breakthrough I’ve had in identifying situations that made me behave in certain ways. For a long time I was angry all the time, I would lash out, I would scream and throw things, today I’m not angry, but I do feel often feel burdened by life itself.
I’ve tried desperately to implement self care, which for me is reading a book, talking to someone when I feel like giving up, going to the beach or anywhere outdoors where I can get fresh air, finding new hobbies (blogging is something I started when life had me at my worst), occasionally treating myself to a food I love, taking a nap when I really it, asking for help when I really need it and a few other things.

I know I didn’t share much, but for me its a start to being more open about my traumas and dealing with mental illness. And if you need to talk, if you need someone to listen, I’m always around because sometimes what we need most is each other. Maybe I’ll continue this post later, maybe I’ll stop here.. but I’m on the journey to getting better, to becoming myself again.

There is no shame in your story.
You are not alone.
You are loved.
You are strong.

 

(Featured Image is from equalityinstitute.org)

A Picture-Perfect-Picnic!

Describe your idea of a perfect date. 

Honestly, that’s a tough one. But, I’d have to say November 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, the days are overcast, maybe light rain, but it’s cool all round!

I’m kidding!

But… I’ve always considered having a picnic to be a fun, romantic and relaxing experience. And, thanks to Picnic-Perfect Ltd. my picnic dreams were realized (on Valentine’s Day, of all days‚Ě£).

Waterville Estate, described on its website as “Nestled in the lush, tropical verdant Santa Cruz Valley, undisturbed by the bustle of modern day living, ” made it seem as though we had been whisked away to another island, surrounded only by the other couples, our hosts and the bugs singing their night songs.

Image may contain: people sitting

Though meant to be under the magnificence of the night sky, rain was like nah, not today and Picnic-Perfect didn’t skip a beat in setting up under tents . The cushy blankets, fluffy throw pillows and basket at my side didn’t make me miss the grass at all as I kicked my shoes off and got comfy with my¬† SO.¬†ūüėŹ

And peep the cute welcome note we got.¬†ūüĎáūüŹĹ

 

 

 

Also, if you look to the far bottom left of the above pic, you’ll catch a glimpse of the cheese that paired with a most scrumptious Olive Loaf (which I meant to take pictures of but I was hungry, I’m sorry‚ėĻÔłŹ). I followed up my Olive Loaf with dinner of wild rice, Parmesan crusted salmon and veggies, accompanied by our non-alcoholic mimosa (because everyone has to get home safely afterward ofc!) and a very attractive Red Velvet Cheesecake. Dinner led to conversation (and some minor cuddling) which led to MINI-GOLF!ūüŹĆ

 

Because I’ve never played Mini-Golf before (or real golf at that) I was excited to try it out because I’m just playful by nature, so games are my thing. After about 10 misses the ball finally made it to the hole and victory was mine! My bf didn’t do pretty bad either (actually he did better than I did, but, this is my blogūüėāūüėā). But as people that really enjoy new experiences the Mini-Golf for us was one of the most enjoyable events of the night, because well not long after this a bug flew into his eye and then it got swollen and we ended up leaving.ūü§¶ūüŹĹ‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ…. But

    

But not before we had a mini photoshoot, set up for us to immortalize this Valentine’s Day experience! It included props, a professional photographer and lots of laughs.

The picture below is the selfie result from the picture above!

 

Earlier that day I was a bit worried as the rain had fallen, and well naturally the place would be wet. So my brain was running wild with how it was going to turn out. Needless to say, it was PICNIC-PERFECT!

As a person who doesn’t particularly celebrate Valentine’s Day, I could think of no better way to have spent this one. A super special thanks to Picnic- Perfect Ltd for inviting me to indulge in an evening filled with love, laughter & happiness! And I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to have an intimate,simple but fun time!

Take Me Back- St.Lucia!

Have you ever been to a place where everyone you walk past is the most pleasant person in the world? That’s St.Lucia.

Known for it’s twin volcanic peaks, the Pitons, rising straight from the sea to over 2500ft skirted by the fishing port of Soufriere, St.Lucia is plastered with¬†rich, mesmerizing vegetation from coast to coast.¬†Between the journey ¬†from George F.L Charles Airport,me trying not to puke my guts out ( I have the worst motion sickness) and the¬†Coconut Bay Beach Resort, St.Lucia reminds you of the Caribbean island you dream about when you’re from the outside looking in.

(Yes I am from Trinidad and Tobago but my life is overrun with highways, freshly constructed buildings and the only greenery I see is the weeds my dogs decide to uproot and drag around my yard). Not long after leaving the airport we headed uphill to get this amazing view of the cruise ship port which I must admit I can’t remember the name(maybe because I was so mesmerized) but you get the point from the pic right?

 

So after spending an hour in the taxi trying to contain anything I may have eaten for that morning, we got to Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa which is located in Vieux Fort along St.Lucia’s south coast and thankfully just 5 mins from the Hewanorra International Airport (for when it was time to go home). For this really short vacation¬†the intention was to¬†do some exploring especially at the much talked¬†about Sulphur Springs, however my body thoroughly convinced me that what it needed was¬†to just chill the eff out¬†and with 5 pools and 7 bars it was the easiest task I’ve ever had to undertake. Somehow my SO and I ended up in a room with two beds (we still can’t recall if we intentionally did that lol) but the view of pathways and coconut trees we weren’t bothered in the least.

If you’re not too enthused by kids running and screaming there’s an entire wing I believe its the Harmony wing, with¬†a pool, bar and suntrackers (my favourite thing about CBay) dedicated to adults only. If you’re looking for a boozy vacay with great cocktails and even greater bartenders then CBay holds your best interest at heart. Called Coconut Bay Beach Resort AND SPA I had a super relaxing evening at Kai Mer- indulging in a Botanical Mini Facial and Kai Mer Tranquility ( I fell asleep for both and if you know me personally you know I don’t just fall asleep any and anywhere). Me falling asleep should indicate just how relaxing both were so I’d absolutely recommend Kai Mer!

Here’s the bar!(this one is by the adult pool, there’s a bunch more)

Here’s the Sun Trackers! (they’re able to spin around so you can face where you want)

On the side where noise makers( kids lol) are allowed there’s a lazy river and two fun as a mofo water slides if you’re looking for some excitement. This side also houses a swim up bar with a Kid’s Mocktail menu for the kiddies, but lemme tell you the cocktails are so fruity and delicious you get caught up really easily.

Apart from the fun, food is a priority. So, in addition to the buffet restaurant available for breakfast, lunch and dinner there’s three other specialty restaurants at the resort that you can make dinner reservations for, and the Jerk Treehouse (see pic for menu). ‘Calabash’ offering Creole and Caribbean cuisine was the pick for one of these very short nights (see pic on left below) and the steak was divine.

 

Though my lazy behind never left the hotel I don’t regret it one bit. because of the pure relaxation, friendly staff and soothing environment C-Bay offers I’d recommend it to anyone!

Say Hi to my Mango Mojito!

 

 

 

 

The Glow-Up Has Arrived!

My dear friends, we are gathered here today to shine the light on my absolute favourite makeup product: Highlighters‚ú®

My closest friends know I wear makeup about 1.5 times a month, but that doesn’t stop me from buying all the highlighters from golden tones to peachy shades simply because I have a problem (one I’ve come to terms with). Local cosmetics brand- Amerie Beautie is giving us all the highlight we need to successfully achieve the ultimate glow , I could already hear the makeup addicts in the distance shouting ‘ Yaaaaaas’. Handmade in pressed and liquid for every skintone and a million percent WOC friendly, totally coruscanting is unavoidable.

 

Be sure to check out @ameriebeautie on IG!

Stay Shinin’¬†‚ú®

 

Swim Good!

Living in the Caribbean really does have its perks. I could to go beach any day at any time and have a beastly cold Stag (my beer of choice), and the weather (even if its pouring rain) is just right.¬†For most the mantra is ‘Sun’s out, buns out’ and I don’t¬†blame them one¬†bit! If you’re obsessed with the beach like me, swimwear and beach accessories always catch¬†your¬†eye, even when you have a drawer full of bathing suits that still have tags ( Please tell me I’m not the only one). But seriously, if you’re looking to get your Baywatch on, you’ve come to the right place.

 

  • Miakalani Swim (Jamaica)- Everyone has a swimsuit body and with just¬†a few¬†days¬†until the official website launch(www.miakalaniswim.com) Miakalani has the one for you! Daring or more conservative? Its okay Miakalani is mastering the balance of comfort and sexy whatever your style may be.

(Images from Instagram @miakalaniswim)

  • Jae Jolly (Jamaica)- If you get mistaken for a celebrity on vacation I could honestly see why. Jae-Jolly is serving up that one-of-a-kind, private island luxury kind of resort/ swimwear.¬†Each piece allows you a unique experience you¬†ABSOLUTELY¬†CANNOT¬†find with swimwear from anywhere else.¬†Does anyone else look at clothing and could¬†tell wearing it gonna end up a¬†WHOLE scene?

   

(Images from Instagram @jaejolly)

  • Dominic Hutch (Trinidad)- Guys, I’m so sorry I often leave you all out, but not this time ūüėĬ†This is your version of the itsy bitsy teenie weenie bikini. Que the slow mo beach run. There’s prints to match your personality to¬†a T from subtle to BOLD and anything that could quite possibly be in between.

(Images from Instagram @dominichutch)

  • Suga Apple Swim (Barbados)- Suga Suga how you get so fly? Nah, for real, I think that song was written with this brand in mind because MY GOODNESS! So many shapes for so many body types¬†Suga Apple¬†will have you lookin the flyest!

(Images from Instagram @sugaappleswim)

  • Vivre By Chelsea (Trinidad)- When Chelsea said ‘Only for the DOPE’ she wasn’t playin. Vivre is dripping in Caribbean sex appeal that really fascinates and excites and aren’t for the faint of heart. Want that head turning, jaw-dropping, have them drooling type swimwear? The you’ve come to the right place.

(Images from Instagram @vivrebychelsea)

  • Tobago Bag¬†(Trinidad & Tobago) – The quintessential beach/travel bag is made right here! Big enough for these beach towels but not too big that you get carried away (like I usually do). The simple elegance of these bags make them easy to carry in so many situations that can come up in your vacation travels. Honestly, it’s the ‘IT Travel Bag’.

 

(Images from Instagram @tobagobag)

  • Drevait (Trinidad)-¬†Drevait could proudly say that they’ve designed every Tropical Traveler’s dream tote. Put these bags to your ear and I’m sure you could hear the ocean.¬†The latest collection so rightfully called ‘Wanderer’¬†fits all your¬†vacay¬†must-haves¬†while you look like the chicest travel blogger around.

(Images from Instagram @drevaitofficial)

  • Timberwear Inc¬†(Jamaica)- (Guys you’re included in this one too) When last have you seen HANDMADE sunglasses right here in the Caribbean? And don’t lie…. Made with 1 part brilliance, 1 part fresh to deathness, 2 parts Caribbean Excellence and probably the most important thing… Teak! Timberwear is sure to make you the belle(or beau) of the beach!

(Images from Instagram @timberwearinc)

  • Kitanilly Basics (Trinidad) – Sometimes we like to keep em guessin, so we prefer coverups (this is me when I don’t shave¬†my legs). Kitanilly came through with the Kaftan, Kimono, Throwover- if you can cover up with it she’s made it. My fave thing is these transition to so many occasions. Its the all purpose vacation piece you need in that travel bag.

(Images from Instagram @kitanillybasics)

Vacation time is slowly creeping up and my wish for you is that your toughest decision will be bikini or monokini ūüĎô

Feeling Shady? Visit ‘The Shade Shop’!

For these past few weeks the sun is taking no prisoners with its scorching heat‚ėÄÔłŹūüĒ•. Luckily, The Shade Shop is serving us¬†with slaying sunnies for the blinding inferno that is the sun.

The Shade Shop is stylishly curated by a New-York based, Trinidadian CEO to bring you the latest trends and out-of-box shades to make it through these sun-shiny days! TSS began as a NY based venture that found its way back home (literally NY-> Trinidad)¬† because, well, who needs sunglasses more than people in the Caribbean?¬†A lot of us really have trouble finding the pair that looks great on us. That ‘someone might stop you in the street and ask you for your autograph’ kinda pair. The first step is really identifying the face shape you have to find what suits you!

There’s 4 basic shapes to know:

  • Square- you have that¬†strong¬† movie star jawline with a wide jaw and forehead. So¬†what’s for¬†you?¬†The key is finding balance in contrasting shapes, try curvier frames like round or those with rimless edges to create softer features and balance a striking jaw. Your head is already square, you don’t need square shaped sunglasses too. Round, oval, cateye and semi-rimless are great options!

  • Oval-¬†so your face is longer than it is wide. Not a problem, you can get away with¬†both¬†round AND square frames. Oversized frames are an absolute no as they blur out most of the face features. Proportion in this case is really what you have to keep in mind to find that perfect pair.

  • Round-¬† with lovely full cheeks and a narrower forehead/ jawline emphasized by soft features your best options are angular and geometric shapes, round shapes should be totally avoided. ¬†These angular shapes will give your face a longer, leaner look as the angles offset¬†the fullness/ roundness¬†. Wayfarers and those alike should be your buddies.

  • Heart – you’re wider in the forehead and narrower at the chin. So, with the right proportions you can even it all¬† out. What does that mean? Well shades with a wider top or that are upswept (like cateye sunglasses) help to elongate the face. Round shapes do the same so they should be your go to! Round, cateye aviator and rimless shapes are you friends!

By now you probably have an idea of what your shape might be and also want to¬†get a pair that you’ve seen on this post. No worries just keep on reading!

To purchase any of the sunglasses above: Visit the shade shop on IG @TheShadeShopNYC or email theshadeshop57@gmail.com

‚ú®Here are some amazing ( local) brands where you can also find those stylish sunglasses:

  • Sanianitos (Trinidad) – IG @sanianitos
  • Timber Wear Inc (Jamaica)- IG @timberwearinc/ timberwearinc.com

Wear Green!

Sustainable/ Eco Friendly/ Green, call it what you want, it has a HUGE impact! This type of fashion calls on an environmental consciousness that’s new to the industry, but allows brands to rethink how and what they produce, and us the customer to rethink what ¬†and how we consume (fashion).

Wastage and energy consumption is apparently a trend (one that I don’t approve of) and we as the consumer ultimately have the power to change that. The obsession with fast fashion has made us a wasteful bunch, but, the (re)discovery of low tech pursuits is making its way back into our lives and I Love It!

Knitting, Crocheting, Upcycling and other endeavors are allowing us to produce as little or less wastage as we can. Even the pursuit of green fabrics such as leather from pineapples and mushrooms are making headway in the industry! Some cosmetic producers are reducing wastage by implementing programmes to recycle the product containers and usage of every piece of raw material to help our planet breath some sigh of relief.

Though an emerging trend, brands both in the Caribbean (and internationally)are making it their business to bring you green products.

Aisling Camps¬† modernizes knitwear in a sultry and wearable style for the Caribbean woman and nothing like your grandma’s sweater. Each piece is knit to shape, allowing no excess¬†fabric usage. They are also made to order made to order so there’s not too many garments on hand at once that may go unsold or unused further reducing excess amounts. Machinery? Meh, sometimes, but¬†its more¬†a magical process involving lots of¬†skill and hand-eye-knit-fabric coordination¬†so there’s low energy consumption. And, not to worry about those scrap pieces,¬†they’re¬†re-purposed and finds home in a new garment

(Images from ‘Aisling Camps Knitwear’ Facebook page)

One Memoir does its take on ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ by giving jackets a new sense of purpose through upcycling. What exactly is upcycling you ask? Essentially it’s breathing new life into a piece that one may longer see as wearable . You can cut, embellish, rearrange, colour and so much ,for clothing that looks completely new. One Memoir has found its niche in jackets with the motto, “Where opportunity meets creativity” to bring to you sustainable fashion choices that reduces wastage and helps our planet smile a little brighter.

(Images from Instagram @onememoir)

MakeupDoll Cosmetics¬†a cruelty free, vegan cosmetics brand contributes to this movement by fighting the urge to hand you that printed receipt after your purchase, reducing your carbon footprint and as cliche as it sounds, saving the trees. ¬†They’ve also implemented a program for¬†us makeup junkies to¬†return eyeshadow containers for refills at a cheaper cost as well as being advocates for package recycling. With every purchase you don’t only look like a Goddess, you’re also helping earth to GLOW too.

(Images from Instagram @makeupdollcosmetics)

Fashion can take a lot from the planet we live on, thankfully these brands have found a way to give back! These are only 3 brands Going Green in the Caribbean but there’s lots more that we already know and love or will come to know and love in the (near) future!

Share some of your fave sustainable fashion and beauty¬†brands, or practices in the comments!ūüėė