Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Stylishly Entertaining: The weekend getaway done just right http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Stylishly-Entertaining--The-weekend-getaway--done-just-right_86972 by Kamal Bankay There&rsquo;s the lightbulb moment - the brilliant idea comes to you in-between rifling through your top 10 Instagram stories and WhatsApp messages from your inner circle of besties hollering &ldquo;What are we gonna do this weekend?&rdquo; You immediately create a WhatsApp group with about 9.5 of your closest friends and explain that you are going to rent a villa for the ultimate weekend getaway.<br /> <br /> Gone are the days when the ultimate weekend getaway is a trip to Miami &mdash; long airport security lines; lost baggage; the possibility of a random interrogation by a steely US customs and immigration officer. You leave the airport a haggard soul. If you catch the afternoon flight out on a Friday afternoon, after absconding from the office a wee bit before you are supposed to, your flight gets you in to South Florida right in time for primetime rush hour traffic on the I-95 &mdash; all of this resulting in a definitive spoiler of this 62-hour trip, code-named &lsquo;Operation R&R&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> When we do travel to North America, UK and Europe, everyone we come into contact with is quick to say, &ldquo;Oh, you are from Jamaica? Wow, that&rsquo;s paradise!&rdquo; And looking at the weather advisories of 164 inches of snowfall daily on all fronts, it is easy to see why that is said. Truthfully, it is only when we travel to other islands in the Caribbean that are similarly lapped by the Caribbean Sea, kissed by the same never-ending sunshine and possessing picturesque beaches themselves, that hearing those similar statements from our Caricom neighbours surprise you. &ldquo;Yeah bai, you from Jamaica, eh? Dat dere is paradise, bai!&rdquo; Yeah, we kinda know we are onto something special here in Jamaica. <br /> <br /> #Ilivewhereyouvacay is a hashtag used quite often when posting an idyllic scenic picture on the &lsquo;gram. It is sent &lsquo;pokingly&rsquo; (semi-mockingly) to the diaspora who have gone to the Promised Land for reasons that they have to justify possibly weekly. Nevertheless, we welcome them with open arms and a strong drink when they decide to swoop in and return to yaaad!<br /> <br /> So we&rsquo;ve made the decision to get out of town for 62 hours. Next question is: where are we going? The 1% in Jamaica know that the best-kept secret is to rent a million-dollar villa and commence Operation R&R.<br /> <br /> Here&rsquo;s the inside scoop of what makes the #villalife the best life in paradise.<br /> <br /> From pristine beaches to jaw-dropping scenic views of the hills, these villas have the most magnificent aesthetics to inspire the ultimate getaway. With lavish bedrooms, sprawling bathrooms and amenities fit for royalty (yes, royalty would have frequented a few of these locations), you see where every dollar of the rental fee is being spent. Tip: If you book in summer or fall the rates are much lower, thus you can get an amazing deal.<br /> <br /> Exceptional cuisine&hellip;<br /> <br /> Each villa comes equipped with a complement of staff, including a cook, or sometimes a highly trained chef, who can go shopping for you and prepare anything you can imagine from the best local dishes to international gourmet cuisine on-demand. Since you would be doing your own grocery shopping you would be eliminating any margins/mark-ups from catered or restaurant food. Best value for money. hands down! <br /> <br /> BYOB<br /> <br /> Bring your own booze. Nothing further, your Honour. The defence rests its case. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The crew...<br /> <br /> So you round up the crew. Make sure they are fun-loving (assuming you are!) and they have no problems with each other. Choose wisely, till death you may part! But seriously, bring people along who have similar interests as each other or you may end up living out an episode of<br /> <br /> Road Rules circa 1997, aka the ultimate live-in disastrous personality clashes.<br /> <br /> The Recent Adventure...<br /> <br /> Recently, we went to the most luxurious log cabin I&rsquo;ve ever seen, to celebrate my cousin&rsquo;s birthday. We ventured high up into the Blue Mountain range to a fairytale-looking community called Greenwich (pronounced Greenich). You get the vibe that Keebler mass produced fudge-stripe cookies from that very location. Up so high that the clouds (not fog) seem to be wafting through your bedroom in the afternoon. Very cool in the day and f*&^ing freezing in the night, a fireplace burns logs for warmth constantly. Attire, you might ask? Wool sweaters, fuzzy PJs and thick socks were the trendy fashions that Ralph Lauren prescribed for this weekend. Nevertheless, we all spent an enjoyable weekend relaxing, eating, drinking and laughing our way to rejuvenation. Precisely what the doctor ordered! Before we departed we invited even more friends and family up to the cabin to share the final meal of the weekend prepared by yours truly and the great staff. Comfort food was the order of the day and so the menu read as follows:<br /> <br /> Southern Fried Chicken with sweet corn and Scotch bonnet waffles<br /> <br /> BBQ Spare Ribs<br /> <br /> Garlic Butter Broccoli <br /> <br /> Mashed Potatoes<br /> <br /> Cornbread<br /> <br /> After a mini food coma, we all cruised back down the hill to Kingston just in time to catch DJ Audley at Big People Sundays at Ribbiz.<br /> <br /> Until the next weekend!<br /> <br /> The best villa collections in Jamaica, in my opinion, are:<br /> <br /> The Tryall Club, and Round Hill Hotel & Villas, in Hanover<br /> <br /> Half Moon Resort, in Montego Bay Silver Sands in Trelawny<br /> <br /> Millionaire&rsquo;s Mile, Discovery Bay, St Ann<br /> <br /> Prospect Villas, and GoldenEye, St Mary<br /> <br /> San San Villas on the Blue Lagoon in Port Antonio http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587098/253365_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587100/253360_80288_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587108/253231_80282_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587101/253229_80281_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587099/253233_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587103/253232_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587104/253228_80280_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587105/253234_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587106/253235_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587107/253236_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM The Business Traveller by Dwayney Paul http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/The-Business-Traveller--by-Dwayney-Paul_86977 A look into business travel experiences by global banker and UWI lecturer Dwayney Paul. <br /> <br /> International business travel has reshaped how many of us live and operate in today&rsquo;s ever-demanding workplace. Spending time in a foreign country can expand your network, boost creativity, build confidence and, believe it or not, enhance your capacity to handle unexpected and potentially uncomfortable situations. I&rsquo;ve been doing this for over six years, working across 27 countries, and every time I think about how different each travel experience was, I refuse to let the inherent fatigue and the surface appearance of clich&Atilde;&copy; and monotony take away from the new perspectives I have learned. So it does look better from the outside when you hear about the wonderful life of the business traveller! However, if I were to disclose the many times I missed a flight, was trapped in a snowstorm or, better yet, was simultaneously booked into a hotel room where a couple was enjoying what seemed to be their &lsquo;honeymoon,&rsquo; then I am sure you would agree - well, to some extent. Let me share with you some of the experiences that have worked well and the ones that surely made it a little bit hard to handle. <br /> <br /> Preparing for short-term assignments that require international travel <br /> <br /> I learned the hard way: never pack a few hours before the flight, as you might wake up at 7:00 am for a 9:00 am flight. Nevertheless, the night before is fine and organising not just your personal items but also your business accessories is equally important. Try to ensure that you:<br /> <br /> Work with your company to understand business policy as it relates to per diem, travel advisory, visa and work permit requirements and general expectations. Never leave your country without a detailed agenda and a clear expectation of what is to be accomplished!<br /> <br /> Take care of home so as to have peace of mind when away. Discuss your plans with family, partners and close friends. Ensure that security of your properties is intact and there is always an emergency contact with access to your place!<br /> <br /> Get your medical record up-to-date. Sometimes, shots are needed when moving from one country to the next. Always travel with your prescribed medications, neck pillow and any over-the-counter drug that you may need. <br /> <br /> Have one go-to piece of luggage that will do the job. Only check luggage if you have to and always pack less than what your mind tells you that you need. <br /> <br /> Invest in versatile pieces of clothing that can adapt to your hectic schedules and do practise checking the weather for appropriate dress requirements. This could mean carrying dark colours to hide mishaps, wrinkle-free material and definitely a lint and stain remover. <br /> <br /> Accumulate your travel points when booking airfares, accommodation and rentals. It would be more convenient to make use of airport VIP lounges as it expedites the process and ensure that you get a meal before take-off. <br /> <br /> Charge all your electronics the night before and always have a grooming kit with you.<br /> <br /> What to expect and how to function away from home<br /> <br /> I always embrace the fact that travelling anywhere, especially across cultures, is the perfect opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone; many times this might mean adapting to and behaving in a way that is unfamiliar, or even awkward, to my own personality. For instance, when Chile won the COPA America football title in June last year, I was en route to Santiago de Chile from Dallas for a corporate banking project, and word of the victory came in-flight. Everyone started to stomp and chant the national anthem in Spanish, with flight attendants serving free wine to all. This might sound exciting to you, but if you knew what my initial reactions were, then you would understand how I overcame my astonishment and nervousness to partake in the celebrations too.<br /> <br /> Needless to say, there are a few best practices I would like to share with you:<br /> <br /> You&rsquo;re not a robot; try as best to sleep in-flight so as to make up for the long days you will have. Many times my days start at 7:00 am and finish with a client/business dinner at 10:30 pm. Jet lag when travelling across different time zones is common and you have to build a routine to recover. For me, nothing beats exercise, particularly cardio, which works well as you get settled at the hotel. Change the time on your watches, watch your alcohol intake and try hard to get in sync with the time zone of the country you are in. <br /> <br /> Cultures are different, and what works in your home country does not necessarily work in places you may travel for work. Try to research some of the best practices, as well as ask your company travel arranger for details on cultural expectations. These things matter, eg in many countries in Latin America; hierarchy in the corporate ladder is very important and using the correct salutations to address others in business is a must. Likewise, when closing a business deal which involves significant sums of money, the preference is to deal with someone across the C-suite or a leader of a business line. Stay away from negative criticisms of one&rsquo;s way of life on a business trip unless it interferes with expected company operational guidelines which you should address appropriately. <br /> <br /> Try to be vigilant about everything and make it a habit to respond and not react to what happens to you while away. Once, I was stuck in Lima, Peru, when my flight was cancelled with a 24-hour delay, but had to get to New Jersey for another engagement. Here is a tip: when a flight is cancelled or seriously delayed, to rebook you will need to be faster than the other passengers! As there were no other direct flights to New Jersey, I worked with the complicated option of being delayed for another three hours, but travelled to Texas from where I then explored the airline options to get to my other engagement on time. All in all, you should always leave extra time for connections, meetings and other work engagements. <br /> <br /> There are a few items that I group into what I call a sundry list which has helped me:<br /> <br /> Always track your expenses and never spend over the approved per diem.<br /> <br /> Download a scanner app and, in real time, scan, and save all your receipts for reimbursement purposes. <br /> <br /> Make use of Wi-Fi and roaming plans to stay in touch. <br /> <br /> Use the business centres at the hotel; make sure you have a contact for the concierge as many times they can help, especially if you are in a country that you don&rsquo;t speak their language<br /> <br /> Never forget ground transport options such as Uber or hotel taxi. Once I was in Toronto and Uber drivers had a strike for an entire afternoon and out the window went my option to the airport!<br /> <br /> Work-life integration can make you a happier person<br /> <br /> Who says you cannot enjoy time away when travelling for business? What if you can schedule additional days, at your own expense, of course? How about visiting a museum, partaking in a festival or simply hiking Machu Picchu? Too many people are of the notion that to achieve great things we must make brutal sacrifices. As I read once from Professor Stew Friedman at the Wharton School of Business, &ldquo;The idea that &lsquo;work&rsquo; competes with &lsquo;life&rsquo; ignores that &lsquo;life&rsquo; is actually the intersection and interaction of four major domains: work, home, community and the private self.&rdquo; If possible, take some time at the end of a business trip, at least once a year, to do something that is important to you. I am a big James Bond fan and a part of<br /> <br /> Spectre had the opening sequence in Mexico City, around the Z&Atilde;&sup3;calo and the Centro. Of course, I took some time to explore the beauty of architecture and culture of the Mexican people and cities, simply because I am a fan of the movie. Probably you love to explore with food, like me, and this means researching what good options or events are in the city of your travel plans, and simply go for it. One of the best ceviche meals I ever had was in Lima and some of the best seafood dishes I have encountered while travelling was at La Rosa Nautica Restaurante in Miraflores, Peru. <br /> <br /> My recommendation to you<br /> <br /> For the future, simply focus on the potential benefits of business travel and I assure you, you will get more time from being abroad. This mindset alone will transform your experience into a more meaningful one, you can become more confident and work on personal resilience and at the same time cultivate yourself to become more creative while using your newfound awareness of how people live and operate in other countries. Until then, start planning!<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587069/253393_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587078/253250_80256_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587077/253249_80255_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587073/253245_80251_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587075/253240_80247_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587076/253241_80248_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587070/253243_80249_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587071/253244_80250_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587074/253247_80253_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587072/253248_80254_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587080/253246_80252_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM Cocktails With... Judette Coward Puglisi http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Cocktails-With----Judette-Coward-Puglisi_87061 To introduce their latest financial package solution, notably JMMB Her Wealth, last Wednesday at the Spanish Court Worthington securities broker and dealer Jamaica Money Market Brokers tapped Mango Media Caribbean Managing Director Judette Coward Puglisi to deliver the keynote address. Wearing her country&rsquo;s most celebrated designer, Meiling, the Trinbagonian media, communications & public relations specialist encouraged prospective JMMB Her Wealth investors at the launch event to secure their futures, while sharing gems from her own life reserves. <br /> <br /> What is your favourite beverage? <br /> <br /> Hot chocolate. How else to discover why I am the way I am except at the bottom of a cup? When I&rsquo;m done, it&rsquo;s usually time for deep thinking. <br /> <br /> Is the election of hotel & real-estate tycoon Donald Trump a triumph for social media fame or a cautionary tale? <br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s a reality circus mixed with large doses of a global horror story thrown in for bad measure.<br /> <br /> Is the boosting of a country&rsquo;s economy the right get-out-jail-free card? <br /> <br /> Only if it is accompanied by the increased productivity of its people.<br /> <br /> What personality archetypes must make up a team that can best support what you do? <br /> <br /> The Loyalist: will work with you without question over a weekend. <br /> <br /> The Thinker: is solution-oriented will make any entrepreneur feel less alone. <br /> <br /> The Connector: will open doors, so crucial to success. <br /> <br /> The Clone: because you always need someone who is just like you. <br /> <br /> The Debater: because challenge is a good thing; it prevents group think.<br /> <br /> Are tough life lessons crucial to growth? <br /> <br /> This presupposes that lessons must be tough in order to learn or grow; if that was true, prisons would not have repeat offenders. A tough or easy lesson is often irrelevant; growth is about an individual&rsquo;s willingness to do so.<br /> <br /> What&rsquo;s the one book you&rsquo;ve always wanted to read but have never gotten around to? <br /> <br /> We Should All Be Feminists by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a book-length essay. If you have ever watched her<br /> <br /> TED Talk you would know why this is at the top of my list. Plus, I am a lipstick-wearing feminist. <br /> <br /> Do long hours guarantee success? <br /> <br /> No, they don&rsquo;t, and believe me, I learned that lesson late in the game! I think focused work without interruption makes for a better, more meaningful type of success with limited opportunities for burnout. <br /> <br /> How can an entrepreneur identify when he or she has outgrown hustlin&rsquo;? <br /> <br /> When your quotation is accepted without question or negotiation. The hustlin&rsquo; stops and the innovation can begin.<br /> <br /> What is the one office process you continue to enjoy, no matter your hierarchical rank? <br /> <br /> Don&rsquo;t laugh, but mopping the front entrance. I think because it&rsquo;s the first point of entry to our building and for me it means &ldquo;you are welcome&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Are emotions and figures the only ingredients necessary for a successful communications exchange? <br /> <br /> Shared stories and conversation are the common coins of communion. <br /> <br /> If you had to choose: speed at the expense of details or vice-versa?<br /> <br /> Details. Because speed does not mean a thing if inaccuracy is allowed to run around like a Pokemon<br /> <br /> gamer.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587151/253471_80372_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM Honey Bun Finds Her Voice in Print http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Honey-Bun-Finds-Her-Voice-in-Print_87114 Ever been driving down an all-too-familiar road, passing the right sign posts and familiar sights and then suddenly realise that you are heading in the wrong direction? Such was the life-changing moment of Honey Bun heiress Krystal Chong who, in her mid-twenties, after belt-notching all the right degrees and all the right career moves that made Mummy, Daddy, bestie and society proud had her come-to-Puppa-Jesus moment, &ldquo;OMG, whose life is this?&rdquo; <br /> <br /> She was head of marketing at Honey Bun, having an impact, driving the sexy woman&rsquo;s car, contoured in all the best local and international designers, dating the right boyfriends and going to all the right places that made her a<br /> <br /> Page 2 favourite. Admired by her co-workers, desired by all the eligible bachelors and envied by her peerage, yet she felt hollow. The aha moment came when she was whisking out of the office one day and the security guard, said &ldquo;all hail the Honey Bun queen, you are doing a great job&rdquo;. She said thanks, but rather than take it as a compliment, it landed as a kind of indictment. An indictment that she had allowed other people, those who loved her and those who didn&rsquo;t, to define the path of her life. Hit the brakes, draw gear, and wheel and come again. New direction. A direction that culminated last Tuesday, January 17, 2017, in a book launch of her first of many self-help guides called What the Hell am I supposed to do with my life?<br /> <br /> About 100 friends and family gathered en plein air at the Grogge Shop to celebrate this important milestone in Chong&rsquo;s spiritual and professional journey. It was a lovely, breezy evening with a cash bar and hors d&rsquo;oeuvres, including the divine thin-crusted pizza from the newly minted La Pizzeria. <br /> <br /> Chong, as always, brung it in a form-fitting jumpsuit complete with d&Atilde;&copy;colletage that directed the eyes to the beaded necklace hung ever so flawlessly between her femme fatale femininities. But her bodacious curves were not the focus of the evening as we were gathered to speak on less fleshy and more spiritual matters. <br /> <br /> The evening started with a meditation by Hado, a young, handsome nomadic Rastafarian who shows up as a major spiritual guru in Chong&rsquo;s transformation. We learned later in the evening that he had seen her in a juice bar looking stressed and simply asked if she wished to do a meditation to calm her fears. And so it was that her inner spiritual journey gained a foothold in her life. <br /> <br /> Hado led the crowd through a centring and breathing exercise that took us on a magical experience of listening to the night sounds around us &mdash; from the cars, the birds, to the wind in the trees... breathe in and breathe out. He acknowledged Chong&rsquo;s transformation from wounded soul to a more conscious and fully manifest being. He spoke of her mission charge to help others break through the same blockages that she had. Hado told us that we all needed to stop thinking we had to be improved upon but to understand that we are &mdash; each of us &mdash; already enough but we just don&rsquo;t realise it because of the messages that we are always getting about the 1,001 ways to be better, do better. Focus on your heart and it will always land you in the right place at the right time as it is the superb internal guide. The heart&rsquo;s voice is God&rsquo;s voice and God&rsquo;s voice will always lead you to the right alignment of yourself. The book, Hado said, was full of examples and exercises that would help the reader gain some self- perspective and he was proud of how well Chong had recorded her journey to self-alignment. <br /> <br /> The conversation then moved to Chong&rsquo;s mother, Michelle Chong, the CEO of Honey Bun, who was beaming with pride at how her creative daughter had birthed such an amazing manuscript of life. she shared that she was a mother of four, with Krystal being the only girl, but she recognised early on in their development that each child was unique and needed to be supported in different ways. Chong sees herself as first and foremost a teacher to her children, to her employees and to all who cross her path. This &ldquo;mompreneur&rdquo; has always been about living her passion and being a great storyteller. She has kept a journal on each child since they were born, as if raising them was not enough, through their journey she clearly also found different versions of herself. Michelle Chong shared with delight how she watched her daughter bloom from an already exceptional businesswoman into a creatively magnificent writer. She adores the fact that her daughter wants to nurture the lives of others and help other people find and build out their talents. <br /> <br /> Michelle Chong spoke of the abundance of creative talent in Jamaica which is too often suppressed and extinguished in a school system that recognises only one way of flourishing. There is far too much social pressure and fear, Michelle Chong admonishes, which cuts off the creative juices of the best among us. She describes Krystal as that piece of paper that always got in the way with her incessant questioning, but by being so stubborn she acts as a reminder to keep asking yourself who you are, why you do the things you do and how you should be living your life. <br /> <br /> The mic was then handed over to the belle du jour Krystal Chong herself, who (while she unfortunately did not read from the book), told us in essence the story of her awakening and the decision to write the book to guide others still trapped in someone else&rsquo;s dream. She dispensed pithy and useful advice: Find a more spiritual relationship to your own life. Transform your negative thoughts and energies into positives by seeing all as lessons that make you stronger. Just start. Stop dilly-dallying and giving in to excuses. Deliberating too long is also a trap. Do it for the right reasons. The right reasons are the reasons that make you happy. We are all capable of more than we realise and it is only our minds that trap us. Hope, not fear, should dictate the story of our lives. Amen!<br /> <br /> In the lively question and answer session, Chong engaged the fans with that open, honest, chatty style that she writes with in the book. She shares that she is not done. She will never be done. She even regresses often as that too is part of the journey but what she seeks is simply to find what the universe has planned for her. And she wishes the same for all of us. Proud of her can&rsquo;t done!<br /> <br /> &mdash; T Nevada Powe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587164/253530_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587154/253531_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587165/253532_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587155/253533_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587159/253534_80399_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587160/253536_80401_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587152/253538_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587169/253535_80400_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587170/253537_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM London Beckons For 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/London-Beckons-For-2017_87157 As holiday destinations go, London is definitely on the &lsquo;A&rsquo; list and, according to Diane Corrie, commercial manager, Caribbean, for British Airways&ldquo; It&rsquo;s not too early to start thinking about the 2017 vacation.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In fact, according to Corrie, early planning can bring extra benefits like taking advantage of British Airways&rsquo; instalment payment options.<br /> <br /> She explained that British Airways allows passengers to &ldquo;secure their vacation by paying a deposit on booking and the balance at one time or in increments five weeks before departure&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> London is a city which caters to a range of interests &mdash; the nature lover, the sports enthusiast, music lovers, the connoisseur of food and art &mdash; you name it.<br /> <br /> Of course, there are those who seek to enjoy London on a variety of levels with itineraries that may combine major events and activities with business commitments, family gatherings and rendezvous with friends.<br /> <br /> For nature lovers, the Chelsea Flower Show, May 23-27, offers a dazzling array of colourful flowers, innovative garden designs and amazing horticultural exhibits at one of the world&rsquo;s greatest and most prestigious flower shows. It holds particular appeal to Jamaicans (Caribbean) visitors, too, as annually teams from the region compete and win ribbons at the show.<br /> <br /> The &ldquo;foodies&rdquo; will no doubt have their eyes set on &ldquo;Taste of London&rdquo;, June 14-18, 2017, four days of exposure to the leading UK food companies showing off their wares and offering products for tasting and purchase.<br /> <br /> No doubt, the sports enthusiasts have August 4-13 earmarked for travel to the IAAF World Championships &mdash; a premier athletics domain for Caribbean sprinters. 2017 is particularly special as Jamaican track star Usain Bolt &mdash; the world&rsquo;s fastest man &mdash; has signalled his intention to retire after this meet.<br /> <br /> Another major sporting event, August 17 to 29 September will see the West Indies Cricket team playing England in the first Test match of the year. A special feature will be a day-night match to be played with a pink ball &mdash; the first of its kind in the country.<br /> <br /> Of course, no visit to London in the summer could be complete without participation in Notting hill Carnival, August 27-28, 2017. Europe&rsquo;s biggest street party features elaborate floats and colourful costumes reminiscent of indigenous Caribbean carnivals. It&rsquo;s a big Caribbean party on the streets of London featuring thousands of masqueraders, over a million spectators and more than 30 sound systems.<br /> <br /> In addition to all the special events, London offers a vibrant theatre sector, restaurants and night life and extensive shopping options. <br /> <br /> Whatever your interest, London definitely beckons!<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587162/253642_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587161/253641_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587157/253644_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587163/253645_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587156/253646_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587158/253647_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587153/253650_80432_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587171/253640_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM Jamaica Nice! by Maurice Sloley http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Jamaica-Nice-_86967 Having lived in Miami, Florida for 13 years, I became a fanatic of the quickly evolving cocktail bar culture that the city had to offer. I had my regular spots across downtown Miami and South Beach, but nothing would thrill me more than finding new spots that offered cocktails and a genuine care for preserving the art of mixology. Whether it be a local dive bar or a chic lounge, I wanted to experience them all. In December of 2012, I relocated to Jamaica and, much to my dismay, this cocktail bar culture did not exist. Mostly due to the fact that within a few months, it is easy to say that you&rsquo;ve been there and done that. Gone were days of excitement when I &ldquo;discovered&rdquo; somewhere new that offered delicious concoctions accompanied by great vibes. Six months into my move back, options were exhausted. I unwillingly became content with going to a handful of bars with a group of friends, over and over again. Every four months or so we would change locations to keep things fresh; however, it was still every Friday, at 5:00 pm, with the same people, enjoying the same beverages, experiencing the same vibe.<br /> <br /> Uncorked in Sovereign Village became our new watering hole over the summer of 2016, and one Friday evening I expressed my wish to experience something new. The idea was met with swift opposition. In a fit of rage and stubbornness, a trait common to those born Taurus, I stormed off to the bar next door. No one followed. Neither the Luca Malbec nor the marlin dip appetiser was available at this spot, so I went with the Red Label wine and pick-up saltfish. An hour later I paid my bill and made my way home, quite satisfied that I managed to experience somewhere new and surely different; I&rsquo;d been to one of Jamaica&rsquo;s many rum bars. Eureka! The thrill of finding new and exciting cocktail bars did not die as I&rsquo;d originally thought; I was simply looking for the wrong type of experience. The rum bar culture and experience we have in Jamaica rivals that of any high-end lounge I&rsquo;ve found in the US, and it became my goal to seek out the best of the best across all parishes. Four months into my journey, and quite a few bars across the island later, I hit the jackpot! <br /> <br /> The rum bar/watering hole that has captured my heart is located right here in Kingston and the ambiance is simply unreal. To welcome you, a flashing LED &ldquo;open&rdquo; sign sits atop a curtain made from recycled plastic bottles. The clever use of foliage and multi-coloured lighting around the property masks any outside worry and you immediately become relaxed once you walk inside. Every piece of furniture is beautifully repurposed to create an environment that is truly unique. Lover&rsquo;s rock blares through the 350w Aiwa stereo system, and if you close your eyes tightly enough, you begin to hear the music so much clearer. Cocktails: (read rum and chaser) are straightforward, but somehow taste so much better once you appreciate the surroundings. My mind was blown with the overall presentation, as consistency in repurposing things was obvious, with the 1980s thermos used to hold the ice. Freddie Chambers is the owner of this bar. His stories will captivate you, and his genuine desire to ensure you are a happy customer is pleasantly unexpected. In recent months I have become a regular at Freddie&rsquo;s bar (not the actual name of the establishment), and I appreciate every moment spent there. My cocktail of choice is a Short and Sweet (recipe below) and it is absolute perfection!<br /> <br /> The exquisite d&Atilde;&copy;cor and ambiance of this place begs for it to remain a secret, and I will respect that by not disclosing the location. But I do, however, urge you to explore and find it on your own. Our rum bar culture is truly an experience in itself and simply requires you to open your eyes and look around; we have gems all over the island waiting to be &ldquo;discovered&rdquo;. I promise you an experience there similar to finding treasure on a beach, hand in hand with a Short and Sweet. <br /> <br /> Clues to finding Freddie&rsquo;s spot:<br /> <br /> 1)Pictures attached<br /> <br /> 2)The flower shop marks the spot<br /> <br /> 3)Patriotism is an understatement. Jamaica Nice!<br /> <br /> Tips once you get there:<br /> <br /> 1 Unless you want to hear Freddie&rsquo;s stories, don&rsquo;t sit at the bar. Explore the property.<br /> <br /> 2 Request the Stone Love oldies CD.<br /> <br /> 3 Order a Short and Sweet.<br /> <br /> 4 Try the banana chips.<br /> <br /> The Short and Sweet Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 9 oz Sweet brand plastic cup<br /> <br /> 1 chip of ice<br /> <br /> Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum<br /> <br /> Schweppes grapefruit soda<br /> <br /> NB These ingredients are not interchangeable<br /> <br /> with any other product.<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> 1) In the 9 oz sweet plastic cup, pour Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum to exactly 1/5 of the cup.<br /> <br /> 2)Place chip of ice into cup.<br /> <br /> 3)Tenderly pour Schweppes grapefruit soda over ice and rum.<br /> <br /> 4)Place index finger in mixed drink and gently swirl.<br /> <br /> 5)Steps 1-4 are to be repeated immediately under the following conditions:<br /> <br /> a)The drink is finished.<br /> <br /> b)The ice chip has melted.<br /> <br /> c)Freddie says so.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587131/253212_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587132/253213_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587122/253215_80326_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587130/253214_80325_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587136/253211_80322_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM Your Bearded Best by Imru James http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Your-Bearded-Best-by-Imru-James-_86963 by Imru James The beard is back, baby! It&rsquo;s back with a bang, transforming boys into men and men into Greek gods. We&rsquo;ve all seen the ad campaigns &mdash; the bearded man feels no fear and is in complete control. A night out is like an epic sequence from an action movie. However, before he arrives in the final frame with the leading lady he has to ensure that his beard is in tip-top shape.<br /> <br /> It would be remiss of me not to point out that the most important variable, the truly inestimable value of the beard, is that the ladies are now looking. And with the interest of the women comes the growth of this resurging trend. No surprise, therefore, that a lot of men have started the journey to their bearded best. However, the main pitfall on the road to roguishly handsome is a simple but important knowledge gap. <br /> <br /> Let&rsquo;s face it, most of us do not know how to properly groom and care for it. We find ourselves listening to that one guy who has a quick fix for making it all come together. But there are no shortcuts to bearded perfection. As the saying goes&hellip;bad beard, bad life. Well, maybe not, but you get the gist.<br /> <br /> Here are my top eight tips to develop that Greek beard you&rsquo;ve always wanted,<br /> <br /> Visit your barber regularly &mdash; Just like a fitness trainer who helps to whip you into shape, a barber is crucial for the development of your beard. The trick is to make regular visits, ensuring that he does subtle clips and tweaks to fit the shape of your face. <br /> <br /> Comb your beard &mdash; This may sound simple but, like the hair on your head, your beard needs to be combed to be kept groomed and clean. Never forget that your beard can trap almost anything, and combing removes unwanted elements. So comb your beard, gentlemen; you just may be surprised as to what you might find. <br /> <br /> Use the right soap &mdash; Your beard and face need a different soap from the one you use on the rest of your body. This is especially important to properly care for that burgeoning Greek beard. So spend those few extra bucks and get a soap that is less abrasive than your bath soap. Trust me, your beard will thank you for it.<br /> <br /> Invest in a beard tonic &mdash; Not quite as heavy as an oil, but with the same benefits, tonic is ideal for gents who are looking for something unscented. I use the tonic because it has a neutral or natural smell, is lighter than oil and helps prevent flakes in warmer climates. Tonic will make everything nice and soft, so if you&rsquo;ve got a beard, invest in a good one.<br /> <br /> Try beard balm &mdash; While it functions in the same way as beard oil or tonic, beard balm is meant for gents with more length, or dudes with kinky, curly, bushy, or bristly hair. Balm has a more waxy and gummy texture, more suitable for men with a really long, thick beard. As a styling agent, it will also give you a more uniformed shape.<br /> <br /> Use beard oil &mdash; It acts as a conditioner and is helpful for younger beards that are still in the stubble phase (not mine). I like using the oil because it helps soften the hair, moisturises the skin and helps to prevent itching. So when things get a little dry (or dandruffy), splash some oil on there. Your oil can also double as a cologne, so you get more bang for your buck.<br /> <br /> Seek a beard-loving lady &mdash; Who wouldn&rsquo;t want a lady to massage that beard after a long day, gently combing it and taking pride in its development and growth? Gentlemen, if you want to be a bearded man, you need a beard-loving lady. <br /> <br /> My final word is commitment. If you are not prepared to go all the way, don&rsquo;t start the journey. The beard is a pact you make with yourself, but make no mistake, the world will be the judge. So do yourself a favour: invest in your beard, turn up your game and show up like a boss!<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587109/253431_80321_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587121/253192_80310_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587112/253199_80316_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587114/253202_80319_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587115/253193_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587117/253194_80312_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587118/253196_80313_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587116/253197_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587110/253198_80315_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587111/253200_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587113/253201_80318_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587120/253332_80320_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM The Sapeurs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/The-Sapeurs_86969 by Rory Burchenson SO introduces an all-male cast of contributing editors...<br /> <br /> ...There are few who would dispute that statement. But I dare to go further to say that style makes the world a better place.<br /> <br /> Brazzaville Congo: the average income is less than US$35 a month, but in the most impoverished of these communities you will find a group of men in the midst of extreme poverty keeping fashion and elegance alive with style.<br /> <br /> These men are the Sapeurs, which stands for: Soci&eacute;t&eacute; des Ambianceurs et des Personnes &Eacute;l&eacute;gantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People). Also called the Dandy Men of the Ghetto, it started as a rebellious movement of African houseboys taking the style of their masters and making it into something of their own to combat the shackles of inferiority placed on them by the French and Belgians. Imagine saving for two years just to buy one pair of shoes or a plot of land (they choose shoes, by the way), and you will understand how serious these men are about their craft.<br /> <br /> I must admit when I first came across this movement I was judgmental. How could they relegate themselves to poverty for a lifestyle of showing off clothes? But I was wrong. It&rsquo;s not about the price of the clothes, or the clothes for that matter, but rather the elegance of their character. They strive to show these impoverished and depressed communities that fashion and style are ways of rising above the struggles of their everyday life. This is seen by the fanfare and excitement Sapeurs create whenever they step out into the street, and stand out so much that even Guinness had to recognise them with their own ad. They bring joy, laughter and smiles to people everywhere they go, and to them that is priceless. <br /> <br /> Now you may still be sceptical that style has a positive social effect, so let&rsquo;s look at Jamaica. The people who often exhibit eccentric personalities and style are invariably the most loved individuals in a community because of the positive energy that follows them. I can remember a Rastafarian in my community of East Rural St Andrew who was always impeccably dressed in various khaki suits adorned with red green and gold. Wherever he went he was always greeted with smiles and kids running to touch his new pieces. But it wasn&rsquo;t just his clothes, it was also his strut, his sometimes eccentric skank and his charm. His style made a community come alive. <br /> <br /> Go to any dancehall event and you are guaranteed to get a lesson in style and confidence that could inspire a best-seller. This is also one of the reasons Jamaicans are so well-loved worldwide. It&rsquo;s because &ldquo;wi &lsquo;ave STYLE.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Still not convinced? Let&rsquo;s look at the halo effect: Psychologists have found that people more easily warm up to others who display attractive qualities. So, in effect, by dressing well and looking your best you increase your chances of positive responses from people. <br /> <br /> The next time you look in the mirror and think, &ldquo;Wow, I look good!&rdquo; just realise you are about to make people smile (or lust). <br /> <br /> Isn&rsquo;t that making the world a better place? <br /> <br /> If you would like to learn more about Sapes and their fascinating subculture do a google search for: The Congo Dandies or visit https://<br /> <br /> www.youtube.com/watch?v=W27PnUuXR_A<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587066/253217_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587061/253218_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587059/253216_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587060/253220_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587058/253222_in_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587062/253224_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587057/253403_80245_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587064/253221_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587065/253223_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587067/253225_80244_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587068/253219_80238_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM Gardening - Jan 22 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Gardening---Jan-22_86760 With Betty Ashley Dear Orchid Doc:<br /> <br /> I live in Greater Portmore and the heat has been giving my Phalaenopsis orchids a warm time. Do you have any suggestions?<br /> <br /> Lorna<br /> <br /> Dear Lorna:<br /> <br /> The temperature in your area is really too high for Phalaenopsis orchids. Maybe you could try to increase the percentage of shade and the movement of air by using a fan. Heat helps the growth of the leaves and the length of the stem, but does not increase the number of buds. Too much heat also shortens the life of the blooms. Frankly, as I said before, your area is just too hot for Phalaenopsis orchids to bloom as they should.<br /> <br /> Dear Orchid Doc:<br /> <br /> Your pictures last week were absolutely gorgeous. Could you suggest how to deal with the leaf rot/bud rot/root rot which the rainy weather has brought on?<br /> <br /> Thank you.<br /> <br /> Jane <br /> <br /> Dear Jane:<br /> <br /> You seem to have two different problems:<br /> <br /> 1. Leaf and root rot seem to have been caused by the rain and lack of fungicide.<br /> <br /> 2. The bud rot could indicate that you have thrips/mites.<br /> <br /> To treat the leaf and root rot you should use the fungicide Python 2.7 &mdash; 1 tsp/gallon of water.<br /> <br /> For the buds, use Newmectin at a ratio of 1/4 to 1/2 tsp to one gallon of water.<br /> <br /> Spray the plants once per week for 4 weeks, after which you can switch to a general insecticide and fungicide, maybe Caprid &mdash; 1 - 2 tsp / gallon of water, and Ridomil &mdash; 1 to 2tbsp to one gallon of water.<br /> <br /> When there is a lot of rain, use the fungicide ALONE about twice per week.<br /> <br /> Betty Stephenson Ashley,<br /> <br /> Betty&rsquo;s Farm Garden Supplies,<br /> <br /> 161 Constant Spring Road,<br /> <br /> Kingston 8, Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Cell # 876-3224585, 8700191<br /> <br /> 876-931-8804, 876-755-2204<br /> <br /> Fax 876-931-8805<br /> <br /> bettystephensonashley@gmail.com http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13588288/214265_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13460847/237975_80217_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13262634/225377_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13038989/206948_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13476439/237968_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM My Mobay &mdash; Mario Gonzalez Acedo http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/My-Mobay---Mario-Gonzalez-Acedo_86044 What is your most recent memory of Montego Bay?<br /> <br /> I have to travel very often, so I would say that last week, going downtown and enjoying a great meal at Mystic Thai, would be it. <br /> <br /> What&rsquo;s the most memorable meal that you have enjoyed in Montego Bay?<br /> <br /> I can still remember the first time I tasted jerk chicken in a local restaurant, downtown. <br /> <br /> What would you do if you were mayor of Montego Bay for a day?<br /> <br /> I would launch a gastronomy fair with all the restaurants from Montego Bay, so that guests could enjoy all different kinds of recipes and cuisines, all at the same time. The restaurants would also make good money!<br /> <br /> What would be your recommendations to a first-time visitor to Montego Bay?<br /> <br /> Enjoy Jamaican food and listen to a local band; Jamaican music is great.<br /> <br /> Does cooking without a recipe lead to more artistic or sentimental results?<br /> <br /> Cooking is about feelings and personality, so it will depend on what type of chef you are. In my case, both things can give you an artistic and sentimental result.<br /> <br /> Which excites you more: recipe-creation, being stove-side, or plating?<br /> <br /> I think each part plays an important role. When you design the recipe it&rsquo;s the beginning, when you are cooking it&rsquo;s like you start to paint, and when you plate it&rsquo;s the final part of your artwork.<br /> <br /> What&rsquo;s the anatomy of the tasting experience?<br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s like wine tasting. First comes the visual. You see different elements through the dish &ndash; colours, decoration, brightness. Second is the smell. You will feel what is coming, sometimes aromatherapeutic, where you can recall memories from somewhere or from your childhood. Then the third part, the taste. It can be creamy, crispy, tender, sweet or salty or a combination of all. And with the right proportions, the result could be a great dish. <br /> <br /> Can a meal ever be too pretty to eat?<br /> <br /> I don&rsquo;t think so. the first thing is the presentation, yes, but flavours and textures both play an integral part.<br /> <br /> What&rsquo;s your favourite or signature spice?<br /> <br /> We could say that parsley is the most versatile spice; you can use it for salads, eggs, pasta, meat or seafood. Apart from that, I like to use combinations like fennel with green apple, mustard seed with honey or ginger. Trendy spices right now are cardamom or tamarind.<br /> <br /> What practical advice do you have for career chefs in managing their weight?<br /> <br /> Stay healthy. To be a chef doesn&rsquo;t mean eating everything in sight. You can feel or taste what you need and eat five small meals per day. Also, practise a sport like running or going to the gym.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587150/251688_80230_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM SPOTTED!! Meiling Esau http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/SPOTTED----Meiling-Esau_87109 The third staging of the Trinidad & Tobago Table Talk Food Awards called for a sojourn to the twin-island republic, a visit which would have been rendered incomplete without a customary atelier pop-in to see minimalist Fashion doyenne Meiling Esau, in Woodbrook. The self-proclaimed queen of black charms offers a thoughtful sartorial forecast and an instructive reinforcement of timeless chic. <br /> <br /> 1 My last show was called &lsquo;Back to Back&rsquo;. So I&rsquo;m thinking that the back of the garment is as is important as the front. Let the back be a bit of a surprise. <br /> <br /> 2 Pink is the colour of the moment. Everyone&rsquo;s doing flesh- and pastel-pink for handbags and shoes.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> 3 I&rsquo;m surprised that the shoulder is back as the place to highlight... the off-the-shoulder trend is still going strong. <br /> <br /> 4 As people continue to cut back on how much they spend, investment shopping will concentrate on sandals and bags. Bags will get smaller and brighter-hued in cross-body and clutch styles. <br /> <br /> 5 With regard to make-up, I always like a pale lip, perhaps with a little bit of shine.<br /> <br /> 6 Trousers have become very slouchy and long. Also, I showed culottes about two years ago, but I think they&rsquo;ve crept back in the collections. <br /> <br /> 7 The shirt returns time and time again, but always with a twist. A woman must always have a white shirt in her wardrobe. Dress it down or dress it up, with an evening skirt. <br /> <br /> 8 I love how activewear shoes and sneakers came into the mix and are still around. You see them with dresses and I think it&rsquo;s so modern. <br /> <br /> 9 Let&rsquo;s talk about jewellery: they are very delicate. You know what&rsquo;s coming back? Cuffs. I like bijoux in pewter or a fabulous enamel, something like what Peretti would do. <br /> <br /> 10 Don&rsquo;t forget your smile at home. A woman walks in with a fabulous smile and lots of spirit... that&rsquo;s the best accessory in the world! <br /> <br /> BONUS The success of your overall look relies heavily on your undergarments. Invest in good undergarments.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587137/253507_80381_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587133/253513_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587125/253523_80388_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587124/253527_80392_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587134/253508_80382_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587126/253525_80390_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587123/253529_80394_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587128/253522_80387_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587135/253524_80389_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587138/253526_80391_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587139/253512_80384_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587140/253521_80386_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587141/253528_80393_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587142/253510_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:00 AM Pamper You! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Pamper-You-_86785 Last week&rsquo;s spa edition of Under The Dryer helped us ring in the new year and left us relishing the signature treatments offered at spas ranging from the FieldSpa at GoldenEye Resort in St Mary to the Round Hill Spa at Welcome Wharf, located in the lush environs of Montego Bay. This week we invite you to make reservations ahead of Valentine&rsquo;s Day as we enter the season of love! Relax in Negril on miles of white sand beaches at The Royal Spa&rsquo;s luxurious and newly constructed Royalton Resort location, or at The Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel, perched on the West-end cliffs. <br /> <br /> The spa is an age-old luxury that has been known to truly transform and revitalise the human mind and body. For a day of relaxation and bliss, a taste of this luxury might be just what you need. What better way to unwind with your partner than at one of our Valentine&rsquo;s Day picks? <br /> <br /> The Royal Spa<br /> <br /> Royalton, Negril<br /> <br /> The Royal Spa <br /> <br /> 2017 brings the launch of The Royal Spa at Royalton, Negril. This new and exclusive resort and spa will offer all you need and more for you and yours. Premier services are accompanied by a peaceful ambience and stunning facilities truly befitting royalty. From an extensive list of massages to healing and facial treatments topped off by an array of exclusive packages, this spa has it all. The Royal Spa offers signature treatments for everyone, and you get the first peek. <br /> <br /> Couple&rsquo;s Massage <br /> <br /> Imagine enjoying a massage for two coupled with royal treatment fit for a king and queen. The Royal Spa will leave you feeling fully rejuvenated alongside your Significant Other. <br /> <br /> Swedish Massage <br /> <br /> The Swedish Massage is a world-renowned full-body massage best known in the Western Hemisphere and also happens to be the basis for many other techniques. As the name suggests, this type of massage originated in Sweden; however, it has spread across the globe and is now right at your doorstep. The Swedish Massage targets the entire body while alleviating stress and tension and promoting relaxation. The Royal Spa offers this experience in sessions of 25, 50 and 80 minutes. A Swedish Massage would make the perfect gift for your companion. <br /> <br /> Body-Cleaning Massage <br /> <br /> This aroma-therapeutic procedure is nothing short of an overnight miracle. It aids in the elimination of swelling and the release of toxins from the body, in addition to a reduction in the appearance of cellulite! This is achieved through the natural detoxification of your body via the lymphatic system. The service is available for sessions of 50 and 80 minutes and will leave you feeling nothing short of fully renewed. Who says you can&rsquo;t treat yourself on Valentine&rsquo;s Day? <br /> <br /> Thermal Energy Massage <br /> <br /> This massage is easily distinguished by the use of warm stones to ease muscle tension and promote circulation. The service is offered for sessions of 50 minutes and 80 minutes, respectively. They are accompanied by an array of options including regenerative, athletic, aromatic, revitalising and beach massages. In addition to the host of massages offered, there are signature treatments such as the royal lotus wrap, which entails being enveloped in a full-body mask after being thoroughly exfoliated. The services at The Royal Spa are extensive and reveal a bevy of techniques both ancient and modern. <br /> <br /> Facials & Body Treatments <br /> <br /> The spa offers facials galore for all of your skin needs. Whether sensitive from the sun, in need of a natural lift or interested in a purification treatment, you and your partner&rsquo;s skin will be left looking polished and refined. This also applies to body treatments to repair delicate skin, bring the glow back, and/or return moisture to the body. <br /> <br /> The Extras <br /> <br /> The experience goes far beyond the enclosures of the spa with three completely different sections of the resort designed to meet your individual needs. This, in addition to entertainment and multiple reservationfree restaurants offering exquisite cuisine, is all a part of the Royalton package and a perfect Valentine&rsquo;s Day excursion. The Royal Spa presents a world of luxury, from secluded solo expeditions to couple getaways and bridal bliss. From your basic manicure and pedicure to bridal make-up and hairstyling, you can have it all. The Royal Spa is your &ldquo;one-stop shop&rdquo; to an exquisite experience.<br /> <br /> To receive further information on the treatments highlighted or to inquire about additional services offered: e-mail infonegril@royaltonresorts.com or call 1-855-744-8371.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587083/252977_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587084/252979_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587085/252982_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587082/252983_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12519688/177024_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587081/253506_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587087/252991_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587088/253505_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587089/252981_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587090/252992_80302_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587091/252990_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587092/253504_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587093/252994_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587094/252978_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13587095/252993_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Saturday, January 21, 2017 3:00 AM Paulwell Sails On To 55 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Paulwell-Sails-On-To-55_86983 We&rsquo;re still aboard the party express at Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal Phillip Paulwell&rsquo;s birthday celebration last Saturday. The annual bash &mdash; a January staple on the social calendar &mdash; drew a mass of weekend partygoers to Fort Charles to help Paulwell usher in his 55th in the historic seaside town of Port Royal. Friday Social c0ntinues where Page 2 left off.<br /> <br /> PHOTOS: KENYON HEMANS<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584586/253259_80042_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584582/253257_80040_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584583/253261__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584581/253263__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584585/253255__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584587/253256__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584588/253258__w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 12:00 AM &lsquo;JMMB Her Wealth&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/-JMMB-Her-Wealth-_87084 The JMMB Group presented an evening of Theatre, Inspiration & Revelation to a full house at the Spanish Court Hotel&rsquo;s M extension, Wednesday last.<br /> <br /> The exclusive all-female event left those fortunate enough to receive an invite motivated to make declarations for change, prosperity and empowerment. Highlights of the event included a riveting performance by the Ashe Company and a thought-provoking presentation by JMMB&rsquo;s guest speaker, Trinidadian motivational speaker and blogger Judette Coward-Puglisi, who spoke of her own journey as a woman, public relations guru and entrepreneur. With a captive audience of successful entrepreneurs, the financial institution also used the opportunity to unveil its new financial offering, JMMB Her Wealth a financial empowerment solution for women.<br /> <br /> Friday Social brings you highlights. <br /> <br /> (PHOTOS: MICHAEL GORDON)<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584575/253483_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584566/253477_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584567/253475_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584562/253465_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584569/253466_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584570/253481_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584571/253468_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584572/253474_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584573/253469_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13584574/253484_w300.jpg Local News Friday, January 20, 2017 12:00 AM Hot-N-Ready meets Mardi Gras http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Hot-N-Ready-meets-Mardi-Gras_86809 The spirit of Hot-N-Ready Meets Mardi Gras was alive on Monday afternoon when Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Little Caesars Pizza celebrated the grand opening of a new location in Manor Centre.<br /> <br /> Though the doors may have opened for business in December 2016, Restaurant Associates Limited decided on a grand opening on January 16, 2017, to commemorate the occasion with its customers, stakeholders and partners. <br /> <br /> The festivities kicked off with a performance from the Ashe Company performing a medley of songs while incorporating the Popeye&rsquo;s/Little Caesars Pizza brand.<br /> <br /> Brand Manager, Little Caesars and Popeyes Richard Dunn spoke on the theme &lsquo;Little Ceasars Pizza meets Mardi Gras&rsquo;. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s Hot-N-Ready; that means no wait, no call, no line. You come in and get it.&rdquo; The experience was described as unique and efficient in every way. <br /> <br /> He also spoke to Popeyes&rsquo; bold and unique flavour that resonates with customers. <br /> <br /> Restaurant Associates Limited Group CEO Richard Lake, who addressed the gathering on behalf of his company, spoke on the expansion of the brand. &ldquo; We have great plans to open at least 10 stores for the combined brand; not together, but individually. The brand will create employment for almost 300 people and we are very proud of that,&rdquo; he noted. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581636/253008_79884_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581634/253009_79885_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581633/253011_79887_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581635/253012_79888_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581630/253014_79890_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581637/253016_79892_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581632/253019_79895_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581629/253022_79898_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581639/253015_79891_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581640/253020_79896_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581641/253017_79893_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581642/253018_79894_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581643/253013_79889_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581644/253021_79897_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581645/253010_79886_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Chefs to watch 2017 - A Taste of Couples http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Chefs-to-watch-2017---A-Taste-of-Couples_86323 Thursday Food spotlights five more chefs who are charged with introducing visitors and locals alike to the best culinary offerings. <br /> <br /> Errol Sewell, pastry chef, Couples Negril<br /> <br /> A young, inspiring 32-year-old pastry chef who hails from Lime Hall, St Ann, Sewell&rsquo;s passion for pastry comes from his mother, who always baked Christmas and wedding cakes and would reward him with his own cake after helping with the preparations. Upon leaving the Marcus Garvey Technical High School where he majored in home economics, Sewell worked at the Franklyn D Resort for about three years as the baker and then ventured to Runaway Bay HEART Culinary College for one year where he received medals for various pastry competitions.<br /> <br /> Desirous of learning more, he got an opportunity to work with the JW Marriott & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona for six years as a pastry team leader, where he learned the art of pastillage and French pastries. In 2011, he joined Couples Resorts as a pastry team leader and was recently promoted to the position of pastry chef of Couples Negril, where he continues to train younger chefs in the field. <br /> <br /> Cleona Richards Campbell, pastry chef, Couples Swept Away<br /> <br /> Cleona Richards Campbell was born in Kingston, but would travel to Westmoreland with her sister Nicole (now deceased) to spend holidays with their grandmother who had a passion for baking. Campbell credits her grandmother for her foray into baking.<br /> <br /> Her foot through the door at Couples Negril landed her in the housekeeping department. Campbell began cross-training in the pastry department, where she displayed such passion, willingness and determination that she was transferred permanently, and has never looked back. In 2007, she was transferred to Couples Swept Away, where she was promoted to the position of pastry chef in 2012.<br /> <br /> Over the years, Richards-Campbell has entered several competitions, winning many awards. She received additional training in Canada at the George Brown College. She credits her success to her own hard work and motivation, her hard-working staff, and the mentorship she received from Corporate Executive Chef, Stefan Spath, who she says believed in her from the start. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Valentine McKenzie, executive chef Couples Tower Isle<br /> <br /> McKenzie&rsquo;s culinary journey started at the age of 10; there wasn&rsquo;t much of a choice. His father was working abroad while his mother worked six days a week. Sundays would find him in the kitchen making meals for the family. He soon realised that he had found his calling.<br /> <br /> Born in 1973, McKenzie was raised in Ocho Rios and started his career at the Shaw Park Beach Hotel, moving on to the Boscobel Beach Hotel and then the Sans Souci Hotel, where he was once again promoted. He reached the position of acting executive chef/executive sous-chef when the hotel was rebranded Couples Sans Souci. <br /> <br /> As a result of his strong management skills and his incredible passion for food, he was promoted to the position of executive chef at Couples Tower Isle in 2012. &ldquo;What really sets McKenzie apart from his peers is his excellent understanding of flavour combinations, which makes every dish superlative,&rdquo; states corporate executive chef at Couples Resorts, Stefan Spath, who added: &ldquo;His food is constantly changing, as he is always exploring new territories in the world of cuisine and is never afraid to take a risk as he keeps up with new trends.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Tyrone Jackson, executive sous chef, Couples Negril<br /> <br /> Tyrone Jackson was born in Cold Spring, Hanover, but moved to Negril to live with his spiritual grandmother at a young age. There, he spent much of his time in the kitchen, helping her to prepare meals. Her son, Daniel Grizzle, noticed Jackson&rsquo;s enthusiasm for cooking and encouraged his passion by having him work with the chefs at his hotel, Charela Inn, in Negril, during the holidays. Sylvia Grizzle, an expert in French cuisine, once told him that the most important thing about cooking is the taste; her early advice has never left him. <br /> <br /> Jackson joined the Couples Swept Away family in 1998 as a temporary cook in the staff canteen. He was transferred within months to the gourmet restaurant, where he learned the fundamentals of food preparation. <br /> <br /> His culinary skills were further honed in the USA. <br /> <br /> Upon returning to the Group he was made team leader in the Feathers Restaurant, where he excelled.<br /> <br /> Stints followed at Couples Negril, where he was promoted to the position of sous-chef and, after four years, executive sous-chef. He works closely with the executive chef in menu planning and training of team members.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of my passions is giving personalised service to our guests, especially those with special dietary needs. I like utilising fresh ingredients straight from the farm,&rdquo; states Jackson.<br /> <br /> Chef Morice Lewis, executive chef Couples Sans Souci<br /> <br /> Lewis has been working with Couples Resorts since 2002 after gaining culinary experience in several Caribbean islands. He returned to Couples in 2007 as executive sous-chef at Couples Negril and was then transferred to Couples Swept Away and eventually promoted to executive chef at Couples Sans Souci in 2012.<br /> <br /> Born and raised in Grange Hill, Westmoreland, Lewis is a passionate and driven chef who takes great pride in training and mentoring younger professionals in the field. He recently became a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs and has hosted several of its events. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is my goal to make my guests happy,&rdquo; states Lewis. &ldquo;As a perfectionist, I strive to achieve this at all times.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582078/252222_79910_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582077/252225_79913_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582082/252228_79916_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582084/252232_79920_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582080/252233_79921_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582076/252236_79924_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582075/252237_79925_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582083/252241_79929_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582081/252242_79930_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582079/252243_79931_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582074/252246_79934_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582086/252223_79911_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582087/252289_79935_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582088/252235_79923_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582089/252245_79933_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582090/252231_79919_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582091/252227_79915_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582092/252230_79918_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582093/252238_79926_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582094/252244_79932_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582095/252226_79914_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582096/252234_79922_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582097/252229_79917_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582098/252239_79927_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582099/252240_79928_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Coming Soon&hellip; Whitebones Seafood Express http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Coming-Soon--Whitebones-Seafood-Express_86395 Whitebones Seafood Restaurant, which is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Richard and Jacqueline Elliott and located at 1 Mannings Hill Road, Mary Brown&rsquo;s Corner, opened on February 6, 2006.<br /> <br /> A decade later the couple has, as a result of customer demand, sought a second location. Thursday Food shares more&hellip;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are,&rdquo; shared Jacqueline Elliott, &ldquo; opening an additional outlet at 10 Altamont Crescent. This, to meet the seafood demands for lunch of our loyal corporate and New Kingston customers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will open as Whitebones Seafood Express and offer takeout or delivery service.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Plans are in place for a soft launch on Monday, January 30, 2017.<br /> <br /> Opening hours thereafter will be Mondays - Fridays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.<br /> <br /> And what can patrons look forward to?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Existing patrons and new ones,&rdquo; said Elliott, &ldquo;can enjoy our delectable lunch menu offerings at our new and central location. On the menu will be soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, lasagne, fish, shrimp, pastas, vegetarian, and much more&hellip; which will be available for takeout and/or delivery.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> With their best seller &mdash; you guessed it, fish &mdash; prepared a myriad ways, like in a curry coconut sauce, steamed and/ or roasted, pastas and shrimp dishes are also in high demand.<br /> <br /> Reckon on an average lunch spend of between $500.00 to $1,200.00.<br /> <br /> Editor&rsquo;s Note: Whitebones Seafood Restaurant also offers vegetarian plates, surf and turf and chicken and lamb. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581607/252340_79845_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Recipe Corner... with Jessica Hylton http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Recipe-Corner-----Jessica-Hylton_85600 Our award-winning food blogger and attorney-at-law Jessica Hylton shares a few tasty options for 2017<br /> <br /> FLOURLESS APPLE PIE PANCAKES<br /> <br /> These Flourless Apple Pie Pancakes are only 100 calories, made with ground oats, filled with delicious caramelised apples and are so healthy and easy to make!<br /> <br /> Makes 7-8 <br /> <br /> Prep Time: 8 min<br /> <br /> Cook Time: 10 min<br /> <br /> Total Time: 18 min<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1&Acirc;&frac14; cups oat &ldquo;flour&rdquo; (or oats ground in a food processor or in a coffee grinder)<br /> <br /> 1 large egg<br /> <br /> 1 teaspoon baking powder<br /> <br /> &Acirc;&frac12; teaspoon baking soda<br /> <br /> &Acirc;&frac12; teaspoon salt<br /> <br /> 1 tablespoon raw honey<br /> <br /> 1 cup almond milk<br /> <br /> 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt <br /> <br /> 1 teaspoon cinnamon<br /> <br /> 1 apple, sliced<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> In a large bowl, add the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.<br /> <br /> Add the remaining pancake ingredients, except the apple, and whisk until just combined.<br /> <br /> Heat a griddle pan or a cast iron skillet over medium heat and grease with oil or cooking spray.<br /> <br /> Pour the batter into a liquid measuring cup, then pour about &Acirc;&frac14; cup&rsquo;s worth for one pancake. Wait until some bubbles start to form and then add a few apple slices on top. Allow to cook for 2 more minutes and then flip the pancakes over. Cook for about 3 more minutes until batter is cooked through.<br /> <br /> Serve pancakes hot and drizzle honey on top and some caramelised apples.<br /> <br /> Chef&rsquo;s Note: This recipe is gluten free.<br /> <br /> TO MAKE IT VEGAN: <br /> <br /> You can use a flax egg or a banana to replace the egg, maple syrup instead of honey, and coconut cream or vegan yogurt instead of the Greek yogurt.<br /> <br /> HOW TO STORE &ndash; FRIDGE & FREEZER: <br /> <br /> Store these pancakes stacked with wax or parchment paper in- between each one in an airtight Tupperware container in the fridge. If freezing, store them in a freezer-safe zipped bag with wax or parchment paper in-between each other. Store them flat to freeze. They last very long in the freezer! <br /> <br /> VARIATIONS: <br /> <br /> You can use pears or even plums in place of the apples.<br /> <br /> CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY BAKED OATMEAL CUPS<br /> <br /> These Chocolate Raspberry Baked Oatmeal Cups are perfect for busy mornings! They taste like chewy, delicious oatmeal cookies and are gluten free!<br /> <br /> Makes 12<br /> <br /> Prep Time: 10<br /> <br /> Cook Time: 20<br /> <br /> Total Time: 30<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 3 cups old fashioned oats (GF certified oats)<br /> <br /> 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder<br /> <br /> 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon<br /> <br /> 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg<br /> <br /> 1/2 teaspoon salt<br /> <br /> 1 1/2 cups Silk &Acirc;&reg; Original Almondmilk<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup natural peanut butter<br /> <br /> 1/3 cup maple syrup<br /> <br /> 1/2 tsp vanilla extract<br /> <br /> 1 flax egg<br /> <br /> 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup chopped walnuts<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> 1 Preheat the oven to 350&Acirc;&deg;F.<br /> <br /> 2 Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.<br /> <br /> 3 Combine the oats, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl, Using a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together.<br /> <br /> 4 Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and the flax egg. Stir together to combine, pouring in the Silk &Acirc;&reg; Original Almondmilk as you stir. Fold in the raspberries and the walnuts.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> 5 Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the mixture into each muffin cup until all 12 are equally filled.<br /> <br /> 6 Bake for 30 minutes. They should slightly spring back to the touch.<br /> <br /> 7 Allow to cool for 5 minutes then, running a knife around the edges of each cup, remove and place each on a cooling rack to cool completely.<br /> <br /> 8 Enjoy!<br /> <br /> Chef&rsquo;s Notes:<br /> <br /> 1 flax egg is 1 tablespoon flax meal plus 3 tablespoons water. Mix it together and place in the freezer to set up for 5 to 10 minutes.<br /> <br /> If using frozen raspberries, do not thaw them.<br /> <br /> These taste great fresh out of the oven after cooling. To warm them up from being stored in the fridge, you can microwave them for about 30-45 seconds (err on the lower side and increase to your taste).<br /> <br /> You can top these with coconut whipped cream, fresh fruits, desiccated coconut, dairy-free chocolate chips or my vegan raspberry compote.<br /> <br /> Store muffins in an airtight container in the fridge.<br /> <br /> No Bake BROWNIE ENERGY BITES<br /> <br /> These No Bake Brownie Energy Bites are made with only 5 ingredients, vegan and gluten-free and are a perfect quick, healthy breakfast or snack!<br /> <br /> Serves 16-20<br /> <br /> Prep Time: 10 min<br /> <br /> Total Time: 10 min<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup walnuts<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup almonds<br /> <br /> 1 cup dates (Medjool or regular), chopped<br /> <br /> 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes<br /> <br /> Pinch salt<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> 1 Grind the walnuts and almonds in a food processor, until a dough starts to form. Add the dates, cocoa powder, 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes and salt and process until incorporated and the mixture begins to turn into a dough.<br /> <br /> 2 Roll the mixture into round balls using the help of saran wrap (wrap it around the bites to form a circle), until all the mixture is finished.<br /> <br /> 3 Roll the balls in the last _ cup shredded coconut flakes.<br /> <br /> 4 Place in the fridge for at least an hour, then enjoy!<br /> <br /> Notes<br /> <br /> This recipe is raw, gluten free and vegan.<br /> <br /> HOW TO STORE <br /> <br /> You can store these brownie bites in the fridge in a zipped bag or air tight Tupperware container for at least three weeks if the dates are fresh.<br /> <br /> NO BAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER ENERGY BITES<br /> <br /> Serves 16-20<br /> <br /> Prep Time: 10 <br /> <br /> Total Time: 10<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup old fashioned oats<br /> <br /> 1 cup dates, chopped<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup peanut butter<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes<br /> <br /> 1/3 cup cocoa/cacao powder<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> 1 Grind the oats and dates in a food processor, until a paste starts to form. Add the peanut butter, coconut flakes and cocoa powder, and mix until incorporated and the mixture begins to turn into a dough. It should be slightly sticky and very thick.<br /> <br /> 2 Roll the mixture into round balls using the help of saran wrap (wrap it around the bites to form a circle), until all the mixture is finished. I use a tablespoon cookie scoop to help also.<br /> <br /> 3 Place in the fridge for at least an hour to set, then enjoy!<br /> <br /> Notes<br /> <br /> This recipe is raw, gluten free and vegan.<br /> <br /> HOW TO STORE <br /> <br /> You can store these brownie bites in the fridge in a zipped bag or airtight Tupperware container for at least three weeks if the dates are fresh.<br /> <br /> HOW TO FREEZE <br /> <br /> These bites are great for breakfast, snacks in lunch kits and freeze very well. Just place them in a freezer-safe Ziplock bag until ready to use. Thaw on the counter for 30 minutes or in the fridge until ready to use.<br /> <br /> CREAMY COCONUT SPINACH AND MUSHROOM QUINOA<br /> <br /> This Creamy Coconut Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa is a delicious 30-minute dish that is incredibly nutritious with 7 servings of vegetables!<br /> <br /> Makes 6<br /> <br /> Prep Time: 15 min<br /> <br /> Cook Time: 15<br /> <br /> Total Time: 30 min<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 3 cups cooked quinoa<br /> <br /> 1 clove garlic, minced<br /> <br /> 1 tablespoon olive oil<br /> <br /> 2 cups chopped raw mushrooms<br /> <br /> Salt & pepper to taste<br /> <br /> 3 cloves garlic, minced<br /> <br /> 3 cups raw spinach<br /> <br /> 2 tablespoons coconut milk<br /> <br /> Lime, to squeeze over dish<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> 1 Cook quinoa, adding one clove of the garlic to the mixture.<br /> <br /> 2 While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Remember to remove quinoa from heat after cooking for 15 minutes.<br /> <br /> 3 Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan and stir together, coating. Season with fresh sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.<br /> <br /> 4 Allow the mushrooms to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and softer.<br /> <br /> 5 Lower the heat to medium and add in the garlic and stir with the mushrooms, for about 5 minutes.<br /> <br /> 6 Add the spinach and the coconut milk to the mushroom mixture and stir. Cover with the lid and allow to cook for another 3 minutes until spinach becomes wilted. Remove lid and stir to combine everything. Season with more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.<br /> <br /> 7 Add the quinoa to the pan and stir everything together until combined.<br /> <br /> 8 Serve immediately with a wedge of lime to squeeze over the top. Enjoy!<br /> <br /> Notes<br /> <br /> 1 This recipe is vegan and gluten free. <br /> <br /> 2 You can add even more spinach and mushroom if you so desire to the dish. I used baby bella mushrooms, but you can use any variation that you want, bearing in mind a possible change in cook time.<br /> <br /> HOW TO STORE QUINOA<br /> <br /> After the dish has cooled completely, transfer to an air-tight tupperware container. Place in the fridge and store for 3-4 days.<br /> <br /> HOW TO FREEZE QUINOA<br /> <br /> If freezing, store as above, and then place in the freezer, or in a freezer friendly-zipper plastic bag. Remove from the freezer when needed and reheat in a pan until thawed.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582974/229604.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582973/229608.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13548036/229601_77590_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582976/229598.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582975/229597.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13582972/229599.jpg Local Food Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:00 AM To Drink or to Learn about the Drink, that is the question! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/To-Drink-or-to-Learn-about-the-Drink--that-is-the-question-_86806 with Christopher Reckord Wine is art; wine is a drink. Some try to make wine simple, but wine is really very complicated. Wine is ever-changing, wine is fun, wine is ever-expanding with hundreds of new products released weekly around the globe. Wine is history, wine is geography, wine is culture, wine is travel, wine is tradition, but there is a renewal of sorts annually with every new vintage. It is against this backdrop that understanding just a bit more about wine can exponentially increase your enjoyment of this elixir of the gods.<br /> <br /> Three more reasons <br /> <br /> Better Networking &mdash; While there is nothing wrong with a lone contemplative sip every now and then, wine is a social drink best enjoyed with friends and family. The ability to hold an informative wine-centred conversation can open doors in ways most folks will not understand. When my wife and I migrated to the USA some 17 years ago, I noticed that many of my Jamaican friends only socialised with other Jamaicans. My network expanded very quickly and widely as my wine education progressed; we quickly developed a wide international group of wine lovers with whom we would attend most of the wine events in South Florida. I have travelled extensively in the wine world as a result of these relationships built around wine. <br /> <br /> Expansion of your palate &mdash; This past week I struck up a conversation at a small dinner party where I was asked about the selections at the bar. After making some recommendations, I had to explain that over the past 15 years I have just about tried every wine that is imported here. As a result, I am now able to speak with some confidence about the style and taste of a wine by simply glancing at the bottle. Passion for the topic and a desire to learn will lead to an ever-expanding palate. <br /> <br /> Increased wine &ndash; buying confidence &mdash; <br /> <br /> Most people have no idea what wine to order at a restaurant or what wine to buy at the supermarket. Learning the essentials of wine will greatly reduce the doubts and will increase your confidence in either of these situations. Wine education will help you to understand that not all wines are created equal. Have you ever heard someone say that they only drink Merlot or that they don&rsquo;t drink Chardonnay? You will also have some appreciation of the vast difference in prices of wines in the market. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t like whiny and cheesy people, but I do like wine and cheese people!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &mdash; Anonymous<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13581669/253003_79844_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 AM Vows: #TheMajesticUnion http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Vows---TheMajesticUnion_83766 When visa analyst at the Canadian Visa Application Centre Matthew Gayle met Danielle Forbes, media personnel at the Worship and Faith International Fellowship, they knew it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Indeed the friendship blossomed into something more beautiful &mdash; love &mdash; and on December 10, 2016 at Alterry Beach, St Ann, the two sealed the union. Vows meets them at the altar. <br /> <br /> Their love story, as told by Danielle<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We grew up in the same church, Members in Christ Assemblies. There was no form of interaction for several years, until one day Matthew came up to me and asked me why I didn&rsquo;t like him. That question started a prolonged conversation and we eventually became good friends. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We were friends for several years, then he asked me to be his girlfriend in 2013. Our relationship went through many trials but we also had a lot of great moments. We both knew we wanted to get married; we just didn&rsquo;t know when was the right time. Matthew asked my father for my hand in marriage in February 2016, and he approved. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;There were two events that rocked our families later that year. My father died on February 27 and Matthew&rsquo;s mother died on June 11. These tragedies made our relationship so much stronger and made us closer to God.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We thought about postponing our wedding after Matthew had proposed, but our families urged us to continue with our plans. We set an official date for December 10, 2016.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The proposal<br /> <br /> The proposal was a complete surprise for Danielle. Under the ruse of a celebratory dinner for Matthew&rsquo;s best friend, Pier, whose birthday was on August 28, 2016, the three travelled to Strawberry Hill Hotel. After a lovely dinner, Matthew popped the question. A shocked bride-to-be burst into tears before finally replying &ldquo;Yes&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> The Ceremony<br /> <br /> The ceremony was the icing on the cake for Danielle, who had just graduated from the University of Technology (UTech) in November with a BA in Communication Arts and Technology. The couple, along with friends and family, gathered at Alterry Beach in Priory, St Ann for their majestic union. The opulent beach theme featured unique d&Atilde;&copy;cor colours of marine blue, yellow and white handled by Simone Muirhead and Marva Hylton.<br /> <br /> The bridesmaids made their way up the aisle to KC & Jojo&rsquo;s This Very Moment, dressed in long, marine blue A-line dresses, all made by Lois Forbes, finished with royal blue gems around the waist, gold hair accessories and jewellery and custom gold sandals by Cici Sandals. The maid of honour wore a long chiffon dress. The groomsmen all wore marine blue suits with marine blue bow ties with the best man in a yellow bow tie. The groom dressed in an off-white jacket and shirt with marine blue pants and bow tie courtesy of Enigma in Mall Plaza, Kingston awaited his bride.<br /> <br /> Danielle, stunning in a white, strapless, layered, ruffled mermaid dress with sweetheart neckline and lace bodice puchased online at Lightinthebox.com and escorted by her mother, made her way up the aisle to the strains of Christina Perri&rsquo;s A Thousand Years. She was the epitome of sophistication clutching a bouquet of yellow and white roses with baby&rsquo;s breath. The ceremony was officiated by the groom&rsquo;s father, Pastor Derrick Gayle. Throughout the ceremony, guests shared photos on social media using the hashtag #THEMAJESTICUNION. <br /> <br /> The Reception<br /> <br /> One of the buildings at the Alterry Beach was decorated with gold centrepieces, white water beads and blue LED lights for the couple&rsquo;s reception. The bridal party entered to Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars&rsquo;s Uptown Funk where the fun began with a &ldquo;kissing rally&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Dinner, a sumptious spread by Raymond Richards followed.<br /> <br /> Formalities included toasts, the cutting of the wedding cake, a three-tiered blue, yellow and white fruit and carrot cake by Evette McIntosh-Dillon. The couple ended the night by releasing blue and yellow floating lanterns that were signed by the bridal party, and partying with their guests on the beach.<br /> <br /> The honeymoon<br /> <br /> The newly-weds spent their honeymoon at Paradise L&rsquo;Horizon located at the Mammee Bay Estate. The couple also went to Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios and participated in all the activities. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570237/247581_79121_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570236/247579_79114_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570235/247589_79128_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570239/247574_79115_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570240/247584_79124_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570241/247577_79118_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570242/247593_79127_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570243/247583_79123_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570244/247588_79126_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570245/247575_79117_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570246/247587_79125_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570247/247580_79120_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570248/247586_79116_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570249/247582_79122_repro_w300.jpg All Woman Monday, January 16, 2017 12:00 AM Through Our Eyes... Nasha-Monique Douglas, senior brand manager (The Great Jamaican Beer) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Through-Our-Eyes----Nasha-Monique-Douglas--senior-brand-manager--The-Great-Jamaican-Beer--_86233 If you are Pretty, Hot and Tempting (PHAT), you would have heard one or all of the following statements before: &ldquo;You would be so pretty if you lost 20 pounds,&rdquo; or &ldquo;You cute for a fat girl,&rdquo; and, my favourite, &ldquo;You look so good in your clothes.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Let me put these to bed once and for all. &ldquo;You would be just as pretty if you gain 20 pounds,&rdquo; &ldquo;I am fabulous, period,&rdquo; and &ldquo;I look good in my clothes because I have good taste.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> I can&rsquo;t tell you the countless conversations I&rsquo;ve had with plus-size women daily on how to survive Jamaican retail, which local designers to explore and, not to mention, the several coping mechanisms around black-tie season.<br /> <br /> Here are my eight tips for maintaining your fabulousness for 2017:<br /> <br /> 1. Contribute to the GDP by supporting our local designers and have them on speed dial (especially for award season)&hellip; Designers such as Tamia Carey & CALA, to name a few, who focus on size 10 and above and do it well.<br /> <br /> 2. On that next shopping trip, or if you order online, check out designers who have stepped into the 21st century, as it relates to plus-size femmes: DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Rachel Roy for cocktail, work and casual.<br /> <br /> 3. Also, for the fiscally conservative diva, check out ASOS, Ashley Stewart, Forever 21 Plus and Old Navy (for slim-fit pants and jeans). If it&rsquo;s your first time ordering from one of these retailers, do one piece to check the fit.<br /> <br /> 4. I declare 2017 the year of colour, prints and textures. Go forth and wear what you damn well please! Gone are the days when we were forced to wear black because it&rsquo;s &ldquo;slimming&rdquo;. Step out in your leather, lace and African prints!<br /> <br /> 5. As Karl Lagerfeld said: &ldquo;Trendy is the last stage before tacky.&rdquo; My Fluffy Divas, fashion was NOT created equally and everything does not work for us. So say no to crop tops, anything with cut-outs, large shoulders; large florals and sheer should be handled with care.<br /> <br /> 6. A make-up artist is a girl&rsquo;s best friend. For special events, why not have someone beat that face like a super model (average price range $4,000-$7,000 depending on the make-up artist)<br /> <br /> 7. Accessorising&hellip; tread lightly. A great rule of thumb is to choose two parts of your body to accessorise, and leave the others bare. For example, wear a bracelet and necklace, or a pair of statement earrings and a ring, but don&rsquo;t wear all four pieces at the same time. Based on my shape and general style, I like wearing statement earrings and bracelets. My designer of choice PeaceisofBianca, for pieces which are bold and unique. Check her out on IG @peaceisofbianca.<br /> <br /> 8. You cannot go through life without a great tailor/seamstress. If you are buying off the rack these guys are a MUST. Clothes are to accentuate what God has already blessed you with, not the other way around.<br /> <br /> 9. Complete the package. You feel good when you look good, so always ensure everything else is on point, ie hair and nails. It&rsquo;s a new year; be bold and get a funky new haircut. You will be surprised how a new haircut can give you a whole new lease on life.<br /> <br /> Don&rsquo;t let fashion intimidate you. This is your year to own the skin you are in. Be fierce and conquer the world. <br /> <br /> I could not end this piece without including two of my inspirations; Stacy-Ann Smith, Brand PR Manager and Melanie Miller, Wedding Planner who takes fabulousness to another level. <br /> <br /> EDITOR&rsquo;S NOTE: Happy Birthday Nasha-Monique<br /> <br /> If you are Pretty, Hot and Tempting (PHAT), you would have heard one or all of the following statements before: &ldquo;You would be so pretty if you lost 20 pounds,&rdquo; or &ldquo;You cute for a fat girl,&rdquo; and, my favourite, &ldquo;You look so good in your clothes.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Let me put these to bed once and for all. &ldquo;You would be just as pretty if you gain 20 pounds,&rdquo; &ldquo;I am fabulous, period,&rdquo; and &ldquo;I look good in my clothes because I have good taste.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> I can&rsquo;t tell you the countless conversations I&rsquo;ve had with plus-size women daily on how to survive Jamaican retail, which local designers to explore and, not to mention, the several coping mechanisms around black-tie season.<br /> <br /> Here are my eight tips for maintaining your fabulousness for 2017:<br /> <br /> 1. Contribute to the GDP by supporting our local designers and have them on speed dial (especially for awards season)&hellip; Designers such as Tamia Carey & CALA, to name a few, who focus on size 10 and above and do it well.<br /> <br /> 2. On that next shopping trip, or if you order online, check out designers who have stepped into the 21st century, as it relates to plus-size femmes: DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Rachel Roy, for cocktail, work and casual.<br /> <br /> 3. Also, for the fiscally conservative diva, check out ASOS, Ashley Stewart, Forever 21 Plus and Old Navy (for slim-fit pants and jeans). If it&rsquo;s your first time ordering from one of these retailers, do one piece to check the fit.<br /> <br /> 4. I declare 2017 the year of colour, prints and textures. Go forth and wear what you damn well please! Gone are the days when we were forced to wear black because it&rsquo;s &ldquo;slimming&rdquo;. Step out in your leather, lace and African prints!<br /> <br /> 5. As Karl Lagerfeld said: &ldquo;Trendy is the last stage before tacky.&rdquo; My Fluffy Divas, fashion was NOT created equally and everything does not work for us. So say no to crop tops, anything with cut-outs, large shoulders; large florals and sheer should be handled with care.<br /> <br /> 6. A make-up artist is a girl&rsquo;s best friend. For special events, why not have someone beat that face like a super model (average price range: $4,000-$7,000 depending on the make-up artist)?<br /> <br /> 7. Accessorising&hellip; tread lightly. A great rule of thumb is to choose two parts of your body to accessorise, and leave the others bare. For example, wear a bracelet and necklace, or a pair of statement earrings and a ring, but don&rsquo;t wear all four pieces at the same time. Based on my shape and general style, I like wearing statement earrings and bracelets. My designer of choice: PeaceisofBianca, for pieces which are bold and unique. Check her out on IG @peaceisofbianca.<br /> <br /> 8. You cannot go through life without a great tailor/seamstress. If you are buying off the rack these guys are a MUST. Clothes are to accentuate what God has already blessed you with, not the other way around.<br /> <br /> 9. Complete the package. <br /> <br /> You feel good when you look good, so always ensure everything else is on point, ie hair and nails. It&rsquo;s a new year; be bold and get a funky new haircut. You will be surprised how a new haircut can give you a whole new lease on life.<br /> <br /> Don&rsquo;t let fashion intimidate you. This is your year to own the skin you are in. Be fierce and conquer the world. <br /> <br /> I could not end this piece without including two of my inspirations; Stacy-Ann Smith, brand PR manager and Melanie Miller, wedding planner, who takes fabulousness to another level. <br /> <br /> EDITOR&rsquo;S NOTE: Happy Birthday, Nasha-Monique!<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570682/251993_79151_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570686/251998_79153_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570688/251999_79154_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570675/252008_79161_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570676/251994_79152_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570671/252007_79160_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570678/252000_79155_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570679/252509_79162_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570680/252006_79159_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570684/252004_79157_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570685/252005_79158_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570687/252002_79156_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 15, 2017 1:00 AM Through Our Eyes... Carla Gail-Ann Hollingsworth - Pepsi Jamaica, Export Marketing Manager http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Through-Our-Eyes----Carla-Gail-Ann-Hollingsworth---Pepsi-Jamaica--Export-Marketing-Manager_86227 Voted # 24 in The New York Times&rsquo; 52 places to visit, Kingston, Jamaica is seen as a cultural destination and the heartbeat of the Caribbean. The publication praised our new lodgings, local eateries and, of course, our music. Attending a local party is the best way to experience our music, whether dancehall or reggae, and our fashion. It is a unique type of social experience. <br /> <br /> Now don&rsquo;t think of the Love Boat or a scenic cruise around the Kingston Harbour, but rather a boat that never leaves the docks. These boat rides are held on the dock of the Caribbean Queen by B&D Trawling in downtown Kingston and, according to Sean Francis of B&D Trawling, &ldquo;our boat is booked solid every night during Christmas to the first week in January&rdquo;. On January 8, 2017, I attended one of the more popular boat rides by seasoned promoter Scottie British called &ldquo;Goodaz Girls&rdquo;. This event was sponsored by leading brand Hennessy. I arrived at 4:30 am during the early juggling of one of the selectors to a packed event. It was then that I understood why the Caribbean Queen does not leave the dock. While going through the crowd I couldn&rsquo;t help but gaze on how beautifully dressed our people were; from gowns, risqu&Atilde;&copy; outfits to well-tailored suits, people were &ldquo;dressed to puss foot&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> One also has to give compliments to the music for, as the saying goes, &ldquo;if music be the food of love, play on.&rdquo; Patrons rocked from side to side enjoying the musical stylings of the selectors; kudos to the team which played primarily dancehall and reggae with bursts of hip-hop and lover&rsquo;s rock. Patrons could be seen enjoying themselves, dancing up a storm, posing for pictures and consuming whatever high-end beverages were available. In dialogue with several patrons, I found out they were either Jamaicans living in Jamaica or Jamaicans visiting from overseas, primarily London, New York and Toronto. Their outfits were locally made (Samantha Steer of Seaview Gardens) or purchased from designer stores overseas (Gucci, Prada, Fendi) or high-end boutiques (Celebrity Boutique in London, etc). I was just amazed; these patrons were effortlessly fashionable and fierce. I was told that I missed most of the boat rides where I could have seen more fashion ie Julius&rsquo;s Fusion, Sandra Bimma&rsquo;s Fashion Code and Young Blood Chekkaz Clean to Mi Step; however, there is always next Christmas! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570781/252040_79310_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570782/251969_79297_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570787/251970_79298_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570785/251960_79288_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570796/251961_79289_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570788/251962_79290_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570791/251963_79291_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570783/251964_79292_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570793/251965_79293_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570790/251966_79294_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570789/251971_79299_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570784/251973_79301_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570797/251976_79304_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570792/251977_79305_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570795/251978_79306_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570786/251980_79308_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570794/251981_79309_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570799/251972_79300_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570800/251967_79295_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570801/251968_79296_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570802/251979_79307_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570803/251975_79303_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570804/251974_79302_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 15, 2017 2:00 AM Through Our Eyes... Lyndsey McDonnough - Managing Director, Market Me Consulting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Through-Our-Eyes----Lyndsey-McDonnough--Managing-Director--Market-Me-Consulting_86239 The start of a new year is often a time when we do some much-needed introspection and evaluate the current state of our lives against where we want to be and what we want to achieve. Though our lists of goals may differ, one similarity we tend to share is achieving a healthier mind, body and soul. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something that, as different as we are, tends to bring us all together.<br /> <br /> For some individuals, exercising might seem like a tedious task, but over the years I have found it to be a rewarding experience. Here are five ways that committing to a healthy lifestyle has impacted my personal and professional life.<br /> <br /> Camaraderie<br /> <br /> An exercise group is more than a group of people who wake up at 5:00 am to run a few miles or to take on endurance training &mdash; it&rsquo;s more like a bond. I have been fortunate enough to find groups that are more than just about exercise; they are more like family. Active Runners, We Got The Runs (WGTR) and the Breakfast Club are three groups that I am a part of. Through shared goals, we have developed a level of camaraderie that has bound us together, and together we have acted as a support system for each member of the team. A morning jog for us serves as a hangout spot; it&rsquo;s a safe space for clearing our thoughts; it&rsquo;s a current affairs session, a business meeting where we bounce ideas off each other, and a forum for speaking positive thoughts over the lives of each other. We continuously push each other to excel in various aspects of our lives and that&rsquo;s something that has helped me to commit to not only my personal but also my professional goals through support.<br /> <br /> Goals Can Be Accomplished<br /> <br /> In 2015, I learnt the greatest lesson in a forum I least expected to learn from; I learnt that all goals can be accomplished once you consistently put in hard work. Everyone who knows me knows that I have a high admiration for my brother-in-law, Nicholas Scott, not only because of his work ethic, but also because of the way he seems to balance life with a demanding job. Nicholas is a two-time marathon runner. I&rsquo;ve watched him train and the many sacrifices he&rsquo;s made to accomplish his goals. I also remember tracking him in 2014 as he ran, and how proud I felt of him for doing this again, but also for shaving off over an hour from his time. I decided, that year, that I was going to give it a try and so I signed up and got in. <br /> <br /> Throughout my months of training, there were numerous occasions of self-doubt in which I began to question myself and why I was doing this, but I continued to work hard, and pushed on. In November 2015, as I crossed the finish line, I wasn&rsquo;t proud of myself because I completed 26.2 miles; I was proud because I stuck to something, no matter how hard it was, and I accomplished something that I didn&rsquo;t think was remotely possible. This has helped me in my personal life to understand that no matter how daunting or big a goal may seem, everything is within reach once you work hard and are consistent.<br /> <br /> Even Exercise Isn&rsquo;t Cookie-Cutter<br /> <br /> What deters many people from actually engaging in exercise or physical activity is how they view themselves or the idea that they&rsquo;ll never be able to match up to the well-toned females they see in the gym or to the person posting their 13-mile run on Instagram. But what I&rsquo;ve learnt over the years is that exercise is not cookie-cutter; one size doesn&rsquo;t fit all when it comes to losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. What was important for me was to get rid of the idea that I would have to do what everyone else was doing to lose weight, get fit or just maintain a healthy life. I wasn&rsquo;t a science student in school; that just wasn&rsquo;t my fit, and the same thing applied to how I approached my fitness regime. Like life, individuality is key and exercising forced me to find my individuality and to use experiences to shape who I am and what I enjoyed.<br /> <br /> Charity<br /> <br /> Running on the streets of Kingston opens up your eyes to things you see but never really stop to notice. Through my morning runs, I realised not only how fortunate I was, but how many people were homeless, wrapped under cardboard and old sheets just to keep warmth. It led me deeper to find ways to give back to those people who, unlike me, weren&rsquo;t afforded an opportunity or who squandered it without any help to build back. I am grateful to Andrew Walcott from WGTR who, just like me, values giving back, and has allowed my crazy ideas to permeate into his club to raise money for charity. Through WGTR we have collected gently-used shoes and donated it to a school in St Elizabeth, used runs to collect clothes for the Wortley Home, recently raised money towards the Jubilee Hospital, and we have also brainstormed several other initiatives in which we can give back to the people.<br /> <br /> When You Hit Rock Bottom, You Can Only Go Up From There<br /> <br /> Anyone who tells you that you will always feel inspired to get up, get out and get active would be lying, or is someone I really want to meet! Through exercise, I have learnt that there will be times that you don&rsquo;t feel motivated, but all it takes to get back into the swing is to put one foot in front of the other; a simple action, but it all begins with that first step. Nothing is absolute in life, and though getting up is hard and you will feel it, there is always room for growth as long as you continue.<br /> <br /> In Conclusion <br /> <br /> Everyone&rsquo;s fitness journey looks different. What worked for me might not necessarily work for someone else, and the lessons learnt may also differ. The beauty of it, however, is that health never goes out of style. It is something that, if practised routinely, can improve your life. I encourage you to stick to the goals you&rsquo;ve set for the new year. Take it one day at a time. Live and enjoy every moment and watch it unfold as it teaches you your own lessons &mdash; the number one lesson being consistency. Happy unfolding!<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570745/252028_79213_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570746/252029_79214_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570743/252036_79217_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570744/252030_79215_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570747/252035_79216_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570742/252037_79218_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570751/252038_79219_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570738/252039_79220_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 15, 2017 3:00 AM Through Our Eyes... Catherine Goodall - LASCO, Marketing Manager-Beverages http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Through-Our-Eyes----Catherine-Goodall---LASCO--Marketing-Manager-Beverages_86232 Proverbs 31:22 &ldquo;She is clothed in fine linen and purple.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> From the days of the Bible, what you wore was a representation of who you are. The virtuous woman did not dress in a shabby manner. She was industrious and enterprising. She did not consider it a mark of spirituality to go around looking impoverished, dilapidated, and threadbare. Rather, she wanted to carry herself in a manner that depicted a sign of God&rsquo;s blessing. She wore royal clothing, to match her regal and godly character. Her outer garments of beauty and splendour matched her inner beauty. She was not vain or arrogant and she well understood that external beauty fades. She was not snobbish in the way she dressed. She understood that the most important clothing was the adorning of the inner woman: &ldquo;strength and honour are her clothing&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Many of us tend to forget that we each represent a brand&hellip; Ourselves. Everything we do is a representation of who we are as individuals.<br /> <br /> The first thing people see is an outward appearance. What we wear and how we carry ourselves, our posture, our demeanour, our hair &hellip; our swag.<br /> <br /> Let me be clear, it&rsquo;s not about wearing designer clothes. It is about choosing what you wear and wearing it well. Our clothing is often a reflection of who we are, how we value ourselves, what we are thinking, or how we are feeling.<br /> <br /> I once had a student relay a story to me about getting dressed like a teacher for Career Day. <br /> <br /> She decided to put on a skirt which she said &ldquo;rides up when she walks&rdquo;. On her way to school, a taxi man tried to get her attention with some unflattering words. Her purpose for telling me this story was to say she was proud of herself for not responding to the taxi man with some choice words as she would have liked to. I don&rsquo;t think my response was what she expected or wanted to hear. <br /> <br /> If she could identify before she left her house that the skirt &ldquo;rides up when she walks&rdquo; and still chose to wear it, in my mind she had made a conscious decision to gain attention, and it must have been attention that she welcomed. She wasn&rsquo;t in a position to be upset if the response she got was not favourable. Could it be that she got the right response but from the wrong person? <br /> <br /> My question to her then was simply: what made you decide to wear it and how do you think others would have reacted to you wearing it? Was it appropriate for school?<br /> <br /> Many of us are taught that &ldquo;there is a time and a place for everything&rdquo;. The same is true with how we dress and the way we carry ourselves. But one thing is constant no matter what we have on or where we are &mdash; what we wear and how we carry ourselves is a reflection of who we are. What do I want people to see when they look at me? What does my brand represent? Whatever we want to represent is what we should portray.<br /> <br /> I should be able to be proud of what I do, what I wear and how I carry myself at all times. One good way to gauge would be by asking, &ldquo;Am I OK with capturing this moment?&rdquo; Or &ldquo;Is my attire or my behaviour something that I am comfortable with everyone seeing, whether or not it can be taken out of context, and is it OK for it to be memorialised? If the answer is &ldquo;YES!&rdquo;, and you can fully own it, you&rsquo;re in a good place. <br /> <br /> We are all different; the world is functional because we all have different personalities, dreams and styles, and this is a good thing. We are each individuals, I am not suggesting you be a prude, conservative or boring. I am simply reminding you that YOU are a brand and YOU are to ensure that whatever you portray is exactly how you want to be seen today, tomorrow and in days to come. Very rarely do we get a second chance to make a first impression and most think that perception is reality. I encourage you to think twice before allowing someone the opportunity to perceive you in a manner in which you didn&rsquo;t intend.<br /> <br /> Be the best representation you can of your brand! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570740/251984_79205_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570739/251985_79206_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570741/251986_79207_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570749/251987_79208_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570748/251988_79209_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570737/251990_79210_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 15, 2017 1:00 AM Through Our Eyes.. Jaime Bicknell, Brand Manager Wines &mdash; Select Brands http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Through-Our-Eyes---Jaime-Bicknell--Brand-Manager-Wines---Select-Brands_86235 Wine is a drink best enjoyed with a meal. Pairing the right wine with the right foods can make all the difference, turning an ordinary meal into an experience. Whether it is enjoyed with something sweet or savoury, wine can really bring a meal to life!<br /> <br /> Pairing wine with food is as much an art as it is a science. Having a glass of wine with a meal is like travelling across the world. Whether it be visiting the Burgundy region of France or experiencing the Tuscan wineries of Italy, the wine and food complements are always a fun and exciting adventure for your taste buds. <br /> <br /> The wine culture is growing worldwide, and Jamaica is no exception. Over the past nine years, there has been a significant increase in interest about wine in Jamaica. The sweet wines in particular have become quite popular across the island. Brands such as Sperone Moscato Ros&eacute;, Lamothe Parrot, Verdi Sparkling wines and all Moscatos are just a few of the sweet wines that are appealing to the Jamaican people. <br /> <br /> With the uptake in interest, it is only natural that wine-food pairing be integrated into Jamaican food culture.<br /> <br /> Jamaica, famous for her reputation in food, has now welcomed the wine lifestyle to help polish our national food palates. Just because the staple Jamaican foods are not necessarily known to be &lsquo;fancy&rsquo;, doesn&rsquo;t mean they can&rsquo;t be enjoyed with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a heavy-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Not only will they pair amazingly, but there are many premium-quality, affordable wines sold in all retail stores in Jamaica. As a new wine educator and longtime wine drinker, here are a few tips for pairing your favourite Jamaican staples with wine:<br /> <br /> Stew Peas with Pig&rsquo;s Tail: A chardonnay would be the best option to pair with a rich serving of stew peas, and I think the Santa Rita Chardonnay would be a great option, with its complex flavours and heavy-bodied style.<br /> <br /> Curry Goat: Curried goat will pair well with a ripe and fruity red wine. You don&rsquo;t want to unbalance the spice in the curry, so a Merlot would pair well. Montes Classic Merlot would complement the flavours of a hearty curry goat meal.<br /> <br /> Oxtail: Oxtail is a heavy red meat, with a rich sauce, so I would pair this with a heavy-bodied red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Malbec. The Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon or the Alamos Malbec would be perfect!<br /> <br /> Jerk Chicken: The spice in jerk chicken would pair well with a sweet white wine, as it is a white meat. I would pair classic jerk chicken with a Moscato. Try the Hardy&rsquo;s White Moscato.<br /> <br /> Beef Patty: Beef patties can have a bit of spice to them, and spicy foods pair well with sweet wines, like the popular sweet red wine, Lamothe Parrot from France.<br /> <br /> Brown-Stew Chicken: A chilled, lightly oaked Chardonnay, like Dancing Flame Chardonnay, is perfect and affordable for a classic brown-stew chicken dinner.<br /> <br /> Steam Fish: A crisp Pinot Grigio would pair perfectly with steam fish, one like Fiordaliso Pinot Grigio, or Nottage Hill Pinot Grigio, both affordable and premium wines. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570734/252011_79232_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570714/252009_79230_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570723/252010_79231_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570730/252013_79234_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570715/252015_79236_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570713/252016_79237_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13570716/252012_79233_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, January 15, 2017 2:00 AM