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Say Yes to the Weekend


After five mundane days of stress, I try my best to make the most of the weekend. More often than not, I choose to go deep in the shallow waters that surround this land – a natural stress reliever. This weekend, I mixed hot tea and made one of my favourite snacks, minced chicken patties then headed to the beach with my boyfriend. He ate all majority of the snacks and took majority of the photos that are in this post. 


We journyed through a short hike which took us to a large rock pool that was embedded in a landscape of solid rocks. It was beautiful and tranquil.

Showers of blessing fell heavily while we were there but it only added to the peace.


I’d rather not wait until the weekend to enjoy one day out of a seven day week but I can’t seem to think of ways to spice up my weekdays. Until I do, i'll continue to say yes to the weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

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A Lesson from Aging - People will Leave You


People will leave you and you won't always be prepared. The change hits me every time I glimpse at the film that my mother keeps on her dressing table. It’s an image of my sister, my cousins and I embracing each other and grinning as if we were trying to break our jaws. Back then, play dates with my cousins were a blast, playing with dolls and crying for the TV remote was the usual and family gathering were stacked with food. In school, one could never have too many best-friends and falling outs over pencil crayons only lasted a day. Now, things a very different. We've grown up and grown out of each other. We're consumed with our current affairs and are embarking on our own personal journeys. There’s nothing wrong with this.

People have left in more ways than one. The best-friends that I once had are much like strangers now and there are others that I wish I’d never met. A few years ago, I was taken aback after adding a old friend to my friends list on Facebook. I had met her in primary school and had completely forgotten that she exists! She looked completely different and had moved away long before.

One morning, I was made aware that a friend was involved in a fatal accident. More than often, I have had to remind myself that it was impossible for me to see that person again during the summer or send them a funny message in my down time. They were gone.

The most troubling experience was loosing someone to mental illness. Physically, they are here but mentally, something isn't quite right. The voices that they hear block the ones that are real. Their mind is confused so the real them is lost.

We are taught many things in school but many lessons are learnt outside of that facility. How do you teach someone to prepare to lose someone close? How do you teach yourself to do the same? How do you wake up one day knowing that someone who has been with you all your life is gone and then find peace.

You don’t prepare to lose people, you cherish them while they are with you as if they’ll never leave. Peace of mind comes with time.

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Dinner at Trappas Restaurant and Bar


I have been to Trappas a few times in the past for birthdays and group outings. It is located in the restaurant hotspot in English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies and is famed for its inexpensive meals. You can literally get a three course meal for a little over $100.00 EC. Should you choose to skip appetizer or dessert, you’ll barely make it to $100.00 EC. This weekend, I decided to go once again so that my date would be able to experience it for himself since, he had never been. 

The Location:
The restaurant is located in English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies, and is among many other restaurants, bars and clubs. Although it cannot be seen from the restaurant, there is a beautiful waterfront where many boats are docked and a large parking area is immediately in front of the dock. 

Reservations:
Preserving a reservation is only a phone call away. Walk-ins are accepted but customers are encouraged to make reservations before especially during their busiest times of the year. 


The Ambiance, Dress Code and Seating Areas:
Trappas is not the most attractive restaurant. The moment you step into the entrance you will see that it is rather casual in many aspects. There is no need for you to wear high heels or a long sequenced dress. Many customers arrive in slippers and shorts while others may go a little extra because they are in a celebratory mood. 

The building itself is not large but it isn't too small. The restaurant offers a few sitting areas outside and many more inside the establishment. A great utilization of space. Each time that I’ve been to the restaurant, I have witnessed the celebration of someone’s birthday. The staff would reserve areas arranged to seat a large group of people suitable for the joyous occasion and a Happy Birthday banner can be seen hanging above the tables. Yet, many other groups of customers are able to sit comfortably around their designated tables all over the restaurant. 

The building is a private enclosed space and there is no view from the inside out. However, the restaurant does not have an air conditioning unit. Instead, small revolving fans are placed close to the ceiling. Although I was not hot this time around, I was sweating during a previous visit. This was a major turn off for me. The lights on the inside are dimmed to offer a romantic vibe. 


The Menu:
The restaurant’s menu is very diverse. There are many things for you to choose for appetizer, entrees, dessert and from the bar. I usually get excited about their appetizers and would rather order as many as possible. My go to drinks are coconut crush and coconut smoothies. 

The Price:
As I mentioned earlier, Trappas is one of the most affordable restaurants on the island. If you want to dine on a budget, this is usually the go-to place that everyone recommends. You can order a three course meal containing appetizer, entrees with sides, dessert and a drink for just over $100.00 EC. Should you choose to skip a course or two, you will fall below the $100.00 EC mark. 

Staff and Serving Time:
The staff are usually very polite, friendly and willing and ready to assist. They are quick to take your order and return with your freshly prepared meals but they offer just enough time for customers to hold a meaningful conversations among themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask a member of staff to take your photo with your phones and cameras. 

Food:
Their food is tasty and consistent, another reason why many people choose to go there for dinner parties and dinner dates.




My Personal Experiences with their Food:

I have had their Trappas wings with blue cheese dip, breaded calamari with garlic dip, salmon cakes with tangy orange, sourcream and cilantro, 8lb Sirloin with meat gravy, mashed potato, steamed mixed vegetables, jasmin rice, onion rings and grilled chicken breast with tomato pesto sauce. 

This weekend, I ordered salmon cakes with tangy orange, sourcream and cilantro and my appetizer, then carried on with grilled chicken breast with tomato pesto sauce and had the option of eating it with two sides. I chose, jasmin rice, onion rings and also ordered two servings of coconut smoothies (one to start the date and one to end the date). The plate containing two salmon cakes topped with tangy orange, sourcream and cilantro was gorgeous. I enjoyed every bite of these fluffy cakes and went as far as dipping them in my date’s blue cheese dip. I also nibbled on the slices of garlic bread what was placed between us. When the main course arrived, I immediately smelled the jasmin rice. It tasted as heavenly as it smelled. The onion rings were okay but I was not a fan of the grilled chicken breast with tomato pesto sauce. I wish it was more tender and moist. 

My date ate Trappas wings with blue cheese, creamy seafood pasta and two servings of Daiquiri. He enjoyed his meal and said that the creamy seafood pasta was well seasoned. For his second serving of Daiquiri, he requested that the bartender add more rum to the mix. He said that the additional rum made the drink perfect. 

My previous orders included Trappas wings with blue cheese dip, breaded calamari with garlic dip mashed potato, steamed mixed vegetables and 8lb Sirloin with meat gravy, mashed potato. I absolutely loved the appetizers. They were beautifully plated and were well seasoned and spiced. Even the dips were delicious. The entrĂ©e also looked stunning but I did not go “gaga” over the steak. It was not as tasty and moist as I would have liked but I did eat it with the two sides of steamed veg and mashed potato. 


To Conclude:
We both enjoyed our evening at Trappas Restaurant and Bar and would return. I encourage anyone who reads this review or who has ever heard of the restaurant to try their food at least once.

There weren’t much images in this post because I was on a date and wanted to enjoy more of the moment. 

Image Source for Menu 

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Denim on Date Night – Tips for Planning Special Dates on a Budget


During a relationship, it may seem as though the list of things to do is limited. The basics usually involve going to dinner, a movie or on a picnic. However, just about any day or night out with someone you cherish classifies as a date and they should be the most enjoyable part of being in a relationship. Different experiences allow you to understand each other’s temperaments and ability to adapt in an environment that may be outside of your comfort zone. This change of surroundings is usually the reason why different dates are more awkward for some than others. In the end, the memories…whether it be good or bad…will make riveting stories.

We are all comfortable in a particular environment and aspire to try a change in scenery every now and then. The problem is, one person may prefer to go ice skating while the other would rather have a dinner date at a five-star restaurant. Other issues may arise when cost and time are factored into the equation. These issues make it easy for many couples to stick with the usual $10.00 movie night or a KFC run. Although fast food runs and watching reruns on TV tend to be the most comfortable and enjoyable moments in a relationship, you probably won’t regret putting in a little effort every now and then to do something out of the norm.


How to Plan Creative Dates on a Budget

1. Make a list

The both of you should make a list of all the things that you have always wanted to do and places that you’ve wanted to go to. It should consist of all the things each of you have dreamed of doing, no matter the cost.

2. Create a Budget and Save

You must have an idea of the total cost of each time out. For example, if you intend to go to a five-star restaurant, try to get a hold of their menu -with prices- so that you will know exactly how much you will have to spend. Once you are aware of the amount that you will have to spend, put some money aside each pay day for that purpose.

3. Set Dates

Check your calendars and put dates next to each of the things on your list. When will be the most convenient time for you to do each thing that was listed? The dates that you choose should go according to your budget. If you estimate that it will take approximately two months for you to save enough money to go to a particular restaurant, then set your schedule to reflect that. One “special date” a month should be easy on the pocket. If you can afford more then, kudos to you!

4. Organize

Put your list in date order and follow through with your plans!


These tips were made so that you will be able to save up and plan special trips with a special someone. Your relationship should not be surrounded by extravagant/planned dates. Spontaneous trips to the beach with just a blanket and a bottle of water or Netflix night should never be eliminated.

I hope this post helped you in some way.
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Friendships in the Workplace



Whenever I think of relationships in the workplace Bowling for Soups’ High School Never Ends begins to play in my head - “Nothing changes but the faces the names and the trends”… literally. Whether we want to admit it, we wish to find our comfort zone then break past it to reach to the top, excel at each task and be rewarded for our efforts and most of all we want to be accepted.  Even the biggest workplace bullies need someone to confide in. That person may serve as their personal assistant or the run-of-the-mill office snitch. However, we need to find a balance and know when to avoid crossing delicate lines.

A little while back, when I had bigger eyes than Bambi and a softer shell than jello, I found myself “leaning” on a fellow co-worker who had far more knowledge of the business. As she was close to me in proximity, we often worked together to complete numerous assignments. It wasn’t unusual that I gradually shed a few layers of protection and found comfort in her presence. However, the moment that I decided to firmly decline her demand for me to go beyond the scope of my designated task she did not hesitate to report my “defiance” to the Manager. She had a way with words so it didn’t come as a shock to me when the Manager approached me with rage. Later that day, I left the office for a bathroom break. Upon returning, “And I wasn’t going to stand for it!” was the last thing she said and the only thing I heard before everyone carried on as usual. No doubt, I had interrupted a workplace discussion among the manager and co-workers pertaining to the events which unravelled between the senior staff member and I. This and many incidents that soon followed caused the reincarnation of my shed layers and the further development of others. I learned something. Be friendly but be smart.

Honestly, work isn’t a social club, it’s a way to earn money by solving some sort of problem i.e. if someone needs food, your job might require you to sell it or if someone needs advice, you give it. It is the best place to find friendship as you spend more hours with your co-workers than anyone else but it is vital that you first seek those who are worthy of knowing you personally then understand that work is work and play is play because you will eventually butt heads within or outside the office.

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Define Your Style 1: Indigenous Bags

 

Besides Kipling stores, I have a soft spot for bags sold by vendors stationed at the docks and in the Craft Market. What’s better than finding a new treasure to add to my indigenous bag collection? Being offered a “student discount” though I graduated from high school eons ago.

These indigenous bags have no tags or designer emblems but in my mind, they’re worth far more than those sold by fashion moguls. To harvest a calabash plant (bashee), let it dry, carve it out and transform it into a bag covered with flowers, birds and insects that depict a story – that is something magical. It feels like my money and painkillers are being stored in an artist’s portable canvas.


 My latest embroidered bag is far smaller than its predecessor but is more suitable for an evening out. As I loathe carrying items in my hand for long periods, I often leap towards cross-the-body bags and backpacks. Then and therefore, I am always aware of where everything is…strapped around my chest.

What type of bags do you prefer?


Defining your personal style requires a lot of self-examination. One of the best ways to achieve this is by paying attention to your current wardrobe. What items do you wear/use the most? Once you have separated the used from the unused, you will waste less money buying products that remain untouched. 


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Going Overboard with a Fashion Trend


Dress: Similar


Kind of tired of seeing off-the-shoulder clothing. Kind of want to buy more off-the-shoulder clothing. 

A few years ago chiffon everything was everywhere. This lightweight fabric has great breathability thus making it perfect for countries with a warm climate, like my homeland, Antigua. However, I really wanted that trend to die down. Chiffon clothing are usually quite sheer and require an accompanying undershirt or vest if you wish to keep your undergarments hidden. In other words, I would have to purchase two tops per outfit because I would rather not have my hot pink braziers on display. A little later crop tops were ablaze. Crop tops are cute and I have quite a few but, I’d rather not have strictly crop tops in my wardrobe especially if I don’t have enough high waist-bottoms to pair with them. You know what I mean? Sometimes, the occasion requires a lengthy top. 

Now, off-the-shoulder tops and dresses are the scene. I was quite happy about it at first because I had bought an attractive off-the-shoulder top a few years earlier and the style was now in demand. But as I scroll through various websites and window shop in the town area, off-the-shoulders are all that I’m seeing and well…I’m tired of it. Whoops? The more I see them, the more I’m tempted to buy them, the more I’ll regret having bought so many when the weather gets cooler and it is no longer a hot topic. Though, current trends would not stop me from wearing what I bought 3 years ago. 

However, the fun thing about revolving trends is that they enables us to try different styles and switch up our looks ever so often. A new craze will start soon after one began so we won't have to stick in the same bubble forever. I’m, patiently waiting to see what is ahead in the world of trends. 

Can you count on one hand the number of off-the-shoulder clothing that you currently own?

Have you ever felt as if you've gone overboard with a trend?