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My Barbados Diary

October 25, 2017

To me, Barbados is like a love note. It starts out sweet, gets really passionate in the middle and ends on a high. When you think of a place with great local food, bars, amazing music vibes and probably the most friendliest people in the world- you have to think of Barbados. It’s a place for couples to honeymoon, single friends to explore everything the island has to offer and of course- is the island of Rihanna. You can’t go wrong here.

One of the reasons I loved being on the island was it’s so family orientated, with the beaches right next to anywhere you go, there’s so much to see and do.

  1. Oistins

Oistin’s at Bay Garden is a fishing town on the south coast with local live food stalls lining up the streets and street-dancing is a norm. Here you’ll find that the food is the main draw – fresh fish, (tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, flying fish), lobster, chicken served in an extremely informal setting. You can get your fish grilled or fried depending on which vendor you choose from. It’s all cooked on the spot in front of you so get instagram ready. Don’t forget to visit “Hot Legendary Fishcakes” for literally- LEGENDARY FISHCAKES.

A plate of fish (and there’s plenty fish on it) and a beer will cost you about Bds$30 – $35 (US$ 15 – 17.50). Ask for a side of Macaroni Pie, you won’t regret it.

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2. Harrison’s Crystal Caves

When I was a child, I recall my mom taking me through these caves and I remembering thinking it was the most wondrous place I ever visited. I went back 15 years later, and I am still sticking to my opinion! At the heart of Barbados, the magnificent Harrison’s Cave is located in the central uplands of the island. The crystallised limestone cave has a variety of waterfalls, deep pools of pure mineral water and towering columns of limestone crystals.

The tour guide takes you by a tram through the caves, and shows you the natural light of the cave before it was discovered which is PITCH BLACK. I couldn’t even see my hand right in front of my face.

 

3. Animal Flower Cave

The ANIMAL FLOWER CAVE in Barbados is located under the cliffs at the Northern tip of the island. These dramatic, adjoining caverns open on the Atlantic in the rugged sea cliffs off the north point where the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Seas meet. A stairway through a blow-hole in the bedrock provides safe access to them. The cave’s ‘natural swimming pool’ it is in a chamber all by itself. The totally transparent and absolutely still water does not reveal its depth but looks deceptively shallow. Make sure to wear shoes with a strong grip, my hubby was slipping everywhere and holding onto me for dear life! Luckily- I had good grip;) 

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TIP: take a look around above the Animal Flower Cave for amazing instagram-worthy scenic views.

4. St. Nicholas Abbey Rum Distillery

I think I overdosed on Rum by the time I got back to Hong Kong. ‘Rum and Ginger ‘as one of my friends got me addicted, I was officially on a sugar high post-holiday for at least a month. Rum is the island’s drink- can’t go anywhere without a Banks Beer or Rum. The old sugar plantation turned into a rum distillery while being handed down through generations. You can have a tour of the Jacobean Mansion, visit where the rum is being made, check out some talking parrots and taste fantastic rum!

Definitely try the Spicy Rum or (pepe rum).. it’s an experience!

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5. Places to Stay

If you are coming as a couple, I highly recommend The Crane. It’s the oldest resort set on a beautiful beach extending for miles. The resort is shaped to cater to those who enjoy fine dining, luxury suites and stunning views. I also highlight recommend dining at Zen.

For families, I recommend staying at Yellow Bird Hotel. Yellow Bird Hotel is set at St. Lawrence Gap which is full of food & beverage venues to check out during the day. It’s a quaint family-run hotel with cozy rooms, a pool and faces the beach!

For everyone, Accra Beach Hotel is one of the places to stay at! The Accra Beach has various water sports- just don’t forget to haggle. Tucked away amongst lush gardens, this 3.5 acre beachfront property offers breathtaking views of the island, pool or ocean, providing ultimate relaxation to ensure you have a once in a lifetime experience.

Stay tuned for the next blog on where to eat in Barbados & my photo diary of London!

 

Featured, Hong Kong, In Focus

My flavour of popcorn vs His

June 2, 2017

I was debating writing this blog post for a little while now, it was a personal conflict on whether I’d just be rambling or if I actually had something to offer that many of us barely talk about. Marriage. Choosing between your flavour of popcorn vs. his.

I’ve only been married for a year and a couple months now so I am no expert (can you actually be one?) but, I have been in a relationship with that same person for 10 years now. Many people ask, is it any different? It’s an interesting question I used to ponder wondering whether it would actually be different. Once the cake was cut, the I do’s were said and we started a home- could it be different? I can honestly say- yes. It’s completely different than just gorgeous dinner dates and days at the beach duh!

 

How so?

 

Marriage is a whole other ballgame. Many hall of famers would agree.

 

Why? Because, everything you knew about each other starts to change once the honeymoon period is over, the 12-month itch, the routine, the danger of becoming a couch potato and packing on a few. The balance between selflessness and selfishness. You’ve been living for yourself and suddenly there’s this whole other person and extended family that you have to link yourself to whilst keeping time to pick up a book on your own.

 

You can blame Cinderella all you want ladies, even I grew up with the idealised version of what marriage is going to be like. The reality is it’s like the wave of the sea, we swell with intimacy, passion, and energy and then naturally wane through periodic episodes of separateness, quietness and space. As much as I may want to scream into a pillow, it’s never lasts forever. There are times when you want to love them and times where you want to be anywhere but here.

 

That’s just the one side of the coin.

 

Flipside. You constantly learn new things about each other. It’s quite fun. Even knowing the same person for 10 years, people change. Are you the same as you were 10 years ago? The answer will possibly be no.

 

I sure as hell have changed. My likes, dislikes, experiences, movies, interests it’s all changed. I can’t party like I am 19. That’s the exciting part. You have a whole new family that brings out different sides to you, it’s an experience I would never trade EVEN with the bumps and the bruises comes the adventure and the closeness.

 

The journey ahead is such a whole new slate, that you are writing a whole new book with experiences you can decide together with the person you love. I am not saying my instagram is filled with me & K declaring we have a perfect life but why live by society’s norms when you have the freedom to do what you want? Being imperfect by your own rules.

 

One of my friends asked me,

‘What do normal married couples do on the weekend?’

I replied saying,

‘What is normal? We only know, what we feel that’s normal. That may require sitting on the couch, it may feel trekking over to Kennedy Town park or doing a puzzle together.’

 

I read somewhere that people should take the first year off in marriage. Does that mean leaving your spouse in the lurch? No. It means take the first year off of your LIFE. ‘Focus on the happiness of your other half, so it makes sense to cut out the things that would draw you away from intentionally seeking your spouse’s happiness.’

 

Me and K didn’t implement this theory until 2-3 months after our wedding. We kept butting heads in so many areas of being partners that we forgot, it takes an effort to actually spend time and bond more. With work, my mnew job, late hours and stress I forgot what it meant to actually have a work/life balance. I had to make a lifestyle choice and take a job change which I did.

 

One of my best friend’s gave me the best advice ever, it happened after mine & K’s first big disagreement. We argued over ‘groceries’ and that we kept running out of things, and one of us would go pick it up which was frustrating and wouldn’t get what the other person needed. It sounds so silly now but at the time I felt so much pressure because I had a full time job, a part time helper and plus worrying about what’s in the fridge, what to put together for dinner and it just wasn’t a priority since I never had to worry about it before. I had to take a breather.

 

I spoke to my best friend who said, ‘sit down, communicate, explain what you’re dealing with and find a routine so that the responsibilities are split 50/50 since you both work long hours and full time.’ It sounds simple now, but at the time to put into action was such an effort although it made such a difference in our communication. We began to sort out grocery days, days to cook, breakfast schedules and gym routines. Things got smoother after that, now we share a joint calendar that reminds us of commitments, date nights and late night work events. It’s about prioritising and being organised – some days it means ordering in a pizza with messy hair and somedays my breath depends on my calendar. It’s how it just works for me and K.

 

This is my no-nonsense advice, go to bed angry! Everything is better after a good night’s sleep and a cup of caffeine. Not everything needs to be resolved every night before bed. Sometimes you need to reset, recharge and get some z’s to think clearly. You can’t be afraid of not liking each other. Then there are days where he’s making me a cup of joe in the morning and I just look at him to think how blessed I truly am.

 

The first year of marriage and the years to come is a constant effort to understand each other and make sure no-one says ‘I quit.’ There are days I wanted to just sit on a beach or hide under my bed till the next day, but he’s empowered me and made me stronger and I try to do the same for him.
It’s not always pretty but hey, sometimes you just have to give in even if you wanted sweet popcorn and he wants butter because the next time around he’ll do the same for you. That’s my two cents.

When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie.. Thats amore ❤️

Featured, Hong Kong, In Focus

Flawless, Central

February 8, 2017

Flawless has been around the block for a while on Wyndham Street, specialising in bespoke facials, nail pampering and make-up services. I have avoided it several times, mainly because I felt the pricing of Flawless was on the higher spectrum, and I could probably get the same service at my local spa in K-town.

I recently purchased the Entertainer app to save on all buy 1-get 1 around HK. You can save on retail, getaways, food, drinks & beauty/fitness. Behold, Flawless had buy 1-get 1 bespoke facial so I decided to go ahead and try it out.

On a Saturday afternoon, it’s quiet as I arrive and decorated in a vintage furniture with a very friendly receptionist. I wait for my therapist for about 3 minutes before I get ushered towards the treatment rooms with a hot pink door. The therapist explains to me that the spa uses three main product lines which are the Medik8, Refinery & Aromatherapy Associated.

The treatment rooms are simple, comfortable, warm and the bed came with a cosy white duvet instead of the usual rough towels. Played with soft spa music to relax me and keep me away from the hustle/bustle outside. The therapist addresses my facial concerns and begins on the treatment. The pros were, she moisturised my face to perfection, tended to my needs and extracted incredibly ‘flawlessly’.

However, the strange thing is I had to pay extra for a facial mask. I usually have a facial mask included in every facial I have, and considering the extravagant price of $1080HKD for the facial… I was a bit taken aback that she said it was $220HKD extra for a facial mask.

Oh wells, I am definitely going back but with the entertainer app for my second FREE facial!

This is one of the few facials that would be great to have before going out that doesn’t leave your face red or puffy. I felt extremely fresh, and I enjoyed the extra massage time she gave me!

Flawless, 4/F, Sea Bird House, 22-28 Wyndham Street, Central, flawless.hk.com

In Focus

Movember with Beef & Liberty 2016

November 17, 2016
This year is the first time I have taken part in Movember. Following 142 Avenue’s success in Ladies Who Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, I am so excited to take part in the Movember project with Beef & Liberty.

So, what is Movember? It’s not all about growing a Mo’. A very nice lady named Charlene who is part of the global Movember Foundation explained to me what it’s all about, I thought i’d share it with you. When we think of cancer, we think of women’s cancer or breast cancer sometimes even a tumour. It sort of just snaps to your mind, but we tend to forget our fathers, brothers or male friends face a health crisis that is hardly talked about.

Movember addresses some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. By 2030 they aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% (YES THEY CAN!) In the meantime, to take part with Beef & Liberty we started a team called Mo Beef’ Mo Liberty’ which has the Scottish HK Rugby team, myself and Beef & Liberty colleagues to raise funds for Movember.

You can click here to donate. http://moteam.co/mo-beef-mo-liberty Also, we are hosting an event called the End of Mo’ party in collaboration with Milk Shirts, Nice Pops, Brooklyn Brewery, Americraft Imports & Fox & Barber to bring together 3 hours of free flow drinks + food as well as fun times to raise awareness and funds for the Movember Foundation.

Tickets are $250 for Nov 30th 7pm-10pm and proceeds go towards the Movember Foundation.

 Click here to purchase your ticket & come say hi!
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Featured, In Focus

Happy World Chocolate Day!

July 7, 2016

This would be a pathetic F&B blog if we didn’t celebrate World Chocolate Day! So in the spirit, here’s a few crackers to make it count to all my chocolate-loving readers!

 

  1. When you know Nutella is an obsession, you have to sing about it with Drake.

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2. Your idea of a relationship

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3. Sitting at home with the girls on a Saturday night

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4. When the skinny girls order dessert at your table & it isn’t cheat day…

6OCsPPc

 

5. But you know you love it..

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Featured, In Focus

Will HK’s glory continue? Or are we at its mercy?

April 13, 2016

When you think of homeless people, you think of those who are mentally unstable, have a disability or on drugs. What about those who just can’t afford rent in the ever rising skyrocketing bubble that just won’t burst in Hong Kong?

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This year, we’re starting to feel the chill. I don’t mean weather, I mean the ghostly streets & shops where our infamous Elgin Street and SoHo surroundings used to be filled with small diners and eccentric bars whose entrances are now boarded covered with flyers and junk mail.

 

Shops, stores & local businesses are now being shunned away on the island and taken over by big corporate chains and no nonsense landlords that are happy to continue to fill their pockets. When will the government intervene?

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On a night where we have a cozy bed to sleep in, and stumble into Mcdonalds at 4am for our late night munchies we all must have seen the ‘Mcsleepers’. Skyrocketing rents and unlivable conditions in shoebox apartments have pushed more people onto the streets as the number of homeless in the city hit an all-time high last year 2015.

The figure almost tripled over the past decade from 600 in 2004 to 1,614 last October 2015.

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Burberry, Gucci, TAG Heuer (who closed their doors in CWB) have all complained about the skyrocketing rent, so what chance do the little guys have?  “It’s unfair how the law and rental system tend to protect only the landlords here,” says Hong Kong-based designer Marco Vedovato, of start-up men’s tailoring label Iter Itineris.

Another one bites the dust, we said goodbye to Press Room, Dan Ryan’s and soon to be Grappas are you ready for your goodbye to your favorite local spot- probably not! With a city full of sky high buildings, big brands & the fat cats continuously feeding their pockets, where do the little guys fit in to keep Hong Kong’s character?

Tell us what you think- comment below!

In Focus

Wedding Diaries 4: What’s my concept?

February 11, 2016

What’s my concept? This was definitely a really big challenge for me, what was my wedding designs, cards, concept & events going to be like? The key… RESEARCH! 

I watched loads of wedding videos on youtube of friends of friends, people I didn’t know and started screenshotting the things I liked. Then, I simply went through all of them and chatted to my graphic designer about how I saw all our signage, cards, accessories playing a role in one singular concept!

I am a social media marketer so for me, everything had to be online. The save the date, the website, the e-cards and our wedding reminders. If your like me, I would suggest using greenenvelope.com, it’s absolutely a life-saver! It gives you a way to distribute your card in a fun animated way, and you can track who opened your email and who’s emails aren’t working (either mispelled, or server issues) so you can chase up! You can also get a little RSVP function if you wanted!

When coming up with a concept here’s my tips:

  1. Research different videos & screenshot the decor/concepts you like
  2. See how the concept is relatable to your story with your partner as well as reflecting your personality
  3. Pinterest is a GURU look up “Wedding decor” “Wedding cards” “Wedding invites”
  4. Come up with a slogan to define your wedding
  5. Make sure you incorporate yours & your partner’s love story into the concept
  6. Track and timeline how your cards, notifications and save the dates are going to go out then you will have a consistent theme!
  7. I would suggest doing a mini-photoshoot before any designs so you have photos to choose from to put in your concept signages, e-cards/cards, save the dates!
  8. Find a graphic designer that you can work with!

Good Luck! xoxo

 

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In Focus

Wedding Diaries 3: What not to expect

February 9, 2016

Well, it’s a month out! So much has happened it’s actually quite crazy since I last updated I thought this post would only be fitting.

As a little girl you dream of your fairytale wedding, as an adult in an relationship obviously that picture changes and you may concoct up other scenarios such as your bridesmaids that you would choose or your honeymoon destination! As a BRIDE you start to think of every little detail and how it MUST work out…my advice- DON’T!

Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not to take this piece of advice in a negative way but with expectations so high, not everything can go your way. Some things are out of your control, there are certain wedding elements that may change from when you start planning them to the end result & if you are like me where every little detail has to be perfect, well I suggest taking up yoga! (LOL)

Planning your wedding is suppose to be fun, it’s something you have to do with your partner and the families involved so enjoy the time to do it together. Not everything will go your way, for example the caterers you want may be booked that day, or the decoration concepts you want don’t fit into your budget and even (GASP!) you argue with your fiance about your first song! This is all apart of the process, just try to unwind a little and KNOW a 100% guaranteed that not everything will go your way, somethings may be out of your control & that’s when your find the perfections in the imperfections!

 

XOXO

Soon-to-be BRIDE x

 

In Focus

Catch up Sesh

February 9, 2016

 

 

With absolutely nowhere to really go during the CNY holiday here in Taipei, I never thought i’d end up at TGIF having such a fabulous time with my childhood friends! <3 HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR xx

 

In Focus

Hello 2016!

January 20, 2016

Okay firstly, to all my readers I have to start with a massive apology as well as an apology to my blog for I have been incredibly neglectful due to life getting in the way!

So i’ll try to stay on top of things as best I can, and hopefully become a little more caring and nurturing to my blog I really do miss it!

Well, 2016 is going to be a real big rollercoaster which has made me even more excited. I usually do my new years posts by looking back and reflecting but not this time- this time it’s forward! Things I am looking forward to the most:

  • Marrying my prince
  • Going back to the motherland for some chaat & roadside frankies
  • Seeing all my favorite people in Bali
  • Starting my first home in KTOWN
  • Traveling to Thailand for weddings!
  • Starting my new career path along with keeping 142 Avenue alive and well!
  • Whole new project with TEACHMEHOWTOCURRY! (Sakshi!)
  • Beginning a new chapter in my life as a MRS!

It’s so exciting, and honestly life will continuously add more fun things to my list above! But for now- HELLO 2016!!!

 

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