Wednesday, October 22

A Vegan and Easy Recipe to share!

Hi Friends,

I wanted to share a fab and simple dish that I had the joy of devouring recently! Simple and delish - it is so easy to make. We recently served it up at our Inner Peace in Paradise Yoga Retreat written about here, here and here.

Chef Maurice and his very able team over at Jamaica Inn sat down with us and we came up with a lovely menu to offer our guests that would be super healthy but delicious.  For our lunch items, we kept it at a choice of five items, with a soup of salad.  One of the dishes Chef came up with was a chick pea wrap, but made with cashew paste to take it to the vegan level (as we had a few vegans in the group, including the Yoga Instructor, Sienna...) - so here it is!


Chick pea wrap made with cashew paste: (makes one wrap)

Ingredients:

1/4 - 1/3 cup of raw cashews
1 tablespoon maple syrup, or golden syrup (or agave syrup)
chick peas (tinned) rinsed, 1/4 - 1/2 cup (depending on the desire of the thickness of wrap)
 half of one small white onion chopped finely
1 small sweet pepper (red/green or yellow) chopped in small quarters
1/4 of a small zucchini chopped in small quarters 
1/2 teaspoon garlic - minced 
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro to taste 
salt and pepper to taste

Cashew paste: soak the cashews in a bowl of water overnight
dice the cashews in a vita-mix or blender with maple/golden or agave syrup, a little water and a dash of salt until it becomes the consistency of a paste
(cover in a container in fridge until ready to use)

Cut the chick peas in half
saute the onion, garlic and all the veggies and chick peas for about seven minutes until tender
Add the chick peas at the end
Toss and allow to stand for about two minutes with stove turned off
Mix together the ingredients with the cashew paste

Prepare your tortilla (don't over-cook tortilla, usually needs about 1 minute in grill or on stove-top with some olive oil, (30) seconds on either side)

Fill tortilla with chick pea mix and cut in half!


This is so filling, I can tell you, you will be able to share it with your hubby, partner, best friend, or for your kids.

Enjoy eating healthy.

Tuesday, October 21

Fun and Fab Ideas for Fall and a Holiday Shop!

Hi Friends!

I have some fun and lovely links and posts to share with you, what with the fabulous Season coming up. I am sharing a fantastic Holiday Shop already open that you can commence shopping and fun tips for Halloween upcoming. All the posts are from the Blog of One Kings Lane  - one of my Affiliates here on the Blog and they are a fabulously decadent online shopping marketplace that brings shoppers exceptional value on a spectacular collection of top brand, designer and vintage items for the home.  If you have never visited the site, I def encourage you to do so, it is insanely amazing!

Here is a post from One King's Lane on how to dress up your pumpkins with copper, I love it - so unique and beautiful:

Dressing up your pumpkins with copper!



Here are six scary-good Halloween decorating ideas!

Also, and not to be missed, their beautiful Holiday Shop is now open, have a peek...
All pictures courtesy of One King's Lane 

Love these ideas for entertaining in the Fall - so amazing - especially the pictures. 

We may not have "Seasons" here in Jamaica, but we certainly notice the subtle changes in the weather from Summer to the cooler months, happening now. My fave time to be here are during the months of November to April. When I lived in Bermuda I always looked forward to October as that is when you really felt the temperatures starting to drop, albeit not enormously but enough to encourage the change of colors in the sunsets and leaves. 

All of this reading has now inspired me to have a Jamaican "Fall" gathering and I will be sure to share those pictures and recipes with you soon!

Sharing the the Blog that is making me go back to each and everyday is Shiva Rose's Blog - she is so inspirational and her blog is all about her holistic approach to life and living. The recipes she creates from her organic herbs and vegetable garden and the farmer's market are nothing short of exquisite, but simple. As you all perhaps know, she is also an actress. 

All of the posts above (Fall//Halloween//Recipe//Holiday Shop) are in coordination with my affiliation with One Kings Lane - love this online shopping website and I must say, you can certainly find great deals here....

Happy Fall, Happy Entertaining and here's to the joyous and blessed time ahead.

Friday, October 17

Current Obsessions for October!

Hi Friends,

I am picking back up with a current obsessions post, this one everything I am 'oohing and aahing' about this month (and some things I already have and use that people have been asking about)...I have also mentioned a current fave "haunt" of mine which you should definitely check out while here in Jamaica.


Obsessions for October


Pacifica fragrance / Juice Beauty face care / Tech accessory / Vera Bradley crossbody handbag / Puma shoes / Archipelago scented candle / Handmade home decor / Lilly Pulitzer Hot Spot 17-Month 2014-2015 Large Agenda


I have been using a roll on perfume all Summer that many peeps have been asking about, and at first I was hesitant to say (as sometimes it is great when you stumble across a fab perfume, you want to keep it to yourself :-) however, in the spirit of sharing and caring - I would love to let you in on the secret that the perfume everyone thinks is some over the top expensive eau de parfum, it is a very "cost effective" roll on by Pacifica for $14.99!  Pacifica is a wonderful 100% vegan and cruelty free Beauty Company you should check out more of the products, but the current stock can be found in Fresh Market and Whole Foods as well as online.  My current faves are vanilla coconut and fig. Of course I love a good, exquisite perfume just as much as the next person (especially for the evening's out) - however this one just works perfectly well for day wear and is not heavy at all.  

My Agenda on the go, for the months of August to December 2015 is a large Lilly Pultizer Agenda which I just love and use constantly.  I am a huge agenda buff and collect them sometimes more than I should (for one year) but this one is beautiful and keeps me super organised (it's in a weekly format.) I have two of them as one is for my Public Relations and Social Media roles, and one for everything else which is mostly personal. 

  The links are above for all products - I love the Vera Bradley Attache in Boysenberry for transporting my laptop and files in style, they stand out and are very resistant to wear and tear, highly recommended!

Juice Beauty is another fave organic beauty Company that carries a great line of products for the skin, I love right now the Nutrient Moisturizer   which is decadent but not in a heavy, greasy way on the skin.  In fact I use it day and night.

If you love to exercise or are into fitness and are tired of looking/hunting to find that perfect tank top, sports bra or just anything to workout in (like I was doing) - then try Fabletics. You can become a member and fill out all the details of what you like in workout clothes, and each month they send you recommendations based on what you like - so cool.  Now you can opt out at anytime if you do not want an outfit they have chosen for you from month to month. While we are on the workout outfits, a good pair of running or workout shoes are absolutely vital.  My current obsessions is anything Puma and I love their running shoes (link above.)

I have always been in love with candles, and this scent from Archipelago is amazing - the black forest scent is one that is very fitting of the Season upcoming and cooler temperatures, and so long lasting. It is one of my faves and has been for the past year.

The ladies over at A Beautiful Mess have done it again...they now have a beautiful book "Happy, Hand-made Home" which is full of all their amazing DIY projects that they so successfully do over at their popular blog.

Loving this sweet Starbucks phone cover from Etsy! (link above under the collage.)


Ackee and vegetable wrap by Chef Conroy at Christopher's at Hermosa Cove. Chef is always ready to whip up something not on the menu and he caters to vegans and vegetarians.

Pan seared Lobster with penne

Right now I am hanging out more and more at Christopher's at Hermosa Cove Resort in Ocho Rios.  My good friend is the Executive Chef there and comes up with the most mouth-watering but simple dishes...I also love to see what he is working on when he is not in peak busy time and I wander off to the kitchen to check out the home-made pizza and sauces he is sometimes working on, or the home-made coconut ice-cream...need I say more, make reservations when you are here!

Wednesday, October 15

New Blog Design and Other Stuff!

Hi Friends,

You may have noticed that the Blog has a new "look"  - which is more simple and scaled down - and I love it.  It has been two years since I started this Blog and want to continue on with posts about this beautiful island that I have the privilege of living, to recipes, events, fashion, people....fun stories, and even health and fitness posts.  Since I started the Blog in 2012, things have changed and I have found myself wondering sometimes where to take this Blog in the next few years.  As I never want to get bored of writing (writing is a passion) but also in the respect that I have also taken on more work outside of the Blog and at times it has been hard to keep up here.

This Summer I traveled out of Jamaica alot and therefore lost some of the time I had to sit down and write my regular features...but I intend to get back to it, with new features, fresh story telling and just anything that I think you; the reader might be interested in.  Do leave a comment or drop me a line if you are wanting to read a specific post or feature here.


I also spent alot of time at the beach and "falling in love with my life" again as well as gazing at beautiful sunsets and taking more and more pictures of them. Taking a little time out of the busy days to reflect, have a swim, write or read a book has certainly helped to keep me stress free. The Summer went by super quickly and now it is mid-October and many of you are now feeling the much cooler temperatures...well remember to check up on my fave boutique hotels listed and posted about on this Blog and see what specials are running until December, which is the start of the Winter Season. 


One of the beautiful late Summer sunsets in Ocho Rios...I intend to take more pictures of the sunsets we have in the Fall as the color changes (subtle but more brilliant) and then when we get to the months of December to April, the colors are hugely different with the brightest, crispest clearest oranges I have ever seen.

Fitness and clean eating are still  growing priorities and I have been trying to make more and more "clean" recipes for Chris and I. Would love to share a few of what I call my "Farmer's Market Brunches" and breakfasts soon on this Blog. My fitness journey continues and I find more goals to aspire to each week and month.  If you live in Jamaica, I encourage you to visit Stush in the Bush (which I have linked to here and is on my sidebar) to have a tour of the sweet organic farm, taste some divine vegan dishes and meet the fabulous duo of Chris and Lisa.  Keep in mind that they have a delivery service on the North Coast of the fab salad dressings, marinades, vegan products, organic greens and herbs, and much more.


Delish balsamic onion (vegan) pizza at Stush in the Bush.

Will also be announcing some other fab news soon about lovely new places and offerings in Ocho Rios...if you plan to visit Jamaica soon, keep in touch on the Blog and keep reading!

Wishing you all a fab Fall, with lots of yummy treats, PSL's (pumpkin spice latte's!) delish and healthy home cooking, and more reading!

Friday, October 3

{Yoga Retreats in Jamaica} Inner Peace Yoga Retreat - More details!

Hi Friends,

Beautiful white candles and incense helped set the mood and tone of the evening Yoga Classes. (Pic courtesy of Sarah Gringich)

Continuing on with part two of the report from the amazing Inner Peace in Paradise Yoga Retreat which was held last week at the beautiful and chic Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios last week from the 23rd to the 28th of September and led by International Yoga Instructor, Sienna Creasy.

If you missed part one, read it here.

Yogi's climbing to the top of the majestic waterfalls with their Tour Guide, Tony.

The Yogi's not only had two decadent and wonderful Yoga Classes to partake in everyday (an early Am class looking out to the blue sea and a late afternoon, pre-sunset class which ended with the post sunset colors and many lit white candles placed all around the Yoga Pavilion) they also had the chance to leave the hotel a few times to check out some unique excursions nearby.  One was a picnic half day trip to the fabulous Coyaba River Garden and Waterfalls, which is presently getting a light overhaul and has been re-named, all new information will be updated on this Excursion soon, and how to book!

The top of the top of the waterfalls! (fit ladies!)

The group were guided by a very able Tour Guide up to the top of the waterfalls where they were able to dip into the falls, and try out some of the swimming "pools" on each tier as they climbed up. Yoga poses were optimal when at the top per Sienna!  After the energetic few hours - they were treated to an elegantly set up picnic catered by Chef Maurice and his team at the hotel...Chef's gazpacho soup, vegetarian pasta salad, veggie burgers, and organic green salads with green goddess dressing was a lovely ending to the day. The timing was perfect as everyone went back to the hotel to continue swimming, paddle-boarding, snorkeling...chilling on the beach or to make a spa treatment appointment at the award winning The Ocean Spa.

Gazpacho soup to start, together with roasted vegetable pasta salad, and an array of other healthy dishes was set up at the waterfalls site for the Yogi's to nibble on during the day.

A chick pea wrap made with cashew paste - absolutely divine.

The food during the week was a healthy and yummy combination of freshly prepared dishes. Salmon, healthy pastas, salads galore, ackee dishes, wraps, lentil dishes...and Chef is going to be sharing some of these recipes with us next week. This was the chick peas wrap he did up for one of the dishes at lunch one day, and he made it with cashew paste, to keep it more vegan.  It was delish!

Jamaican ackee and saltfish, green banana and "johnny cakes" our national dish, and a fave at breakfast with the Yogi's. (pic courtesy of Sarah Gringich)

A fave meal by everyone were the breakfasts, served up buffet style and the most popular dish, the Jamaican ackee and saltfish, green banana and "johnny cakes" - which I have written about on the Blog and you can find the recipe here.

Pineapple in abundance at the Farmer's Market // Yams on display and our Group of Yogi's checking out the fare while Chef Maurice narrated about our vegetables and fruits in Jamaica....

Not to be forgotten, was another special Tour that we offer at the hotel, and arranged especially for the group - the Shop and Cook with Chef Cooking Tour - which we did on Friday....Chef decided to do an Escovitch Fish with Bammy - which he prepared by soaking the bammy in almond milk instead of milk so that the vegans could enjoy (Lead Instructor, Sienna is a vegan - check out my interview with her right here to learn more about being a vegan!)

If you would like to have the recipe, see my post here with a full directional and picture guide:



And the week ended with a fabulous dinner party over the villa next door, a the beautiful Clearwater - where we let sky lanterns off at the end to send out innermost inner-peace thoughts out to the universe, and to thank Sienna and Jamaica Inn for a week that went well - with not only new friends meeting and bonding, but everyone talking about booking for next year!

 Sienna, Lead Yoga Instructor at the Retreat gets help with her sky lantern from Kyle Mais, General Manager of Jamaica Inn, and Ritchie.
Yogi's bonding and enjoying the "vibe" of the evening, sky lanterns let off from the terrace all in a row, and me with a glass of vino!

Keep in touch on this Blog as we set up new plans for our next Yoga Retreat, and write up from time to time on Sienna and her Yoga Retreats that she continues to plan around the island, with one coming up in November and December at Round Hill Hotel (if you missed this one!)

Follow Sienna on Facebook to keep up with her Yoga Retreats...(as she creates event pages for each retreat.)

Follow Jamaica Inn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all things Jamaica Inn!

Other Fab Resources:

Tending the Heart Fire by Shiva Rea (highly recommended by Sienna)




Caribbean Potluck (fab new Cookbook by two of our fave ladies here in Jamaica)





Spiritual Gangster - (for all the most cool and Bohemian yoga wear around... and what Sienna wears!)

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