Wednesday, December 3

{Fab Inspiration} The Season and what it means to me!

Hi Friends,

The Christmas Season is well upon us and there is so much to do, and time is flying by so quickly. I am just getting over a nasty bout of the flu but ready to get everything done that needs to be done this month!  Between a planned shopping trip in Florida (which was postponed as I was sick), decorating the house, parties to attend and everything else in between - I feel we can get super caught up in the "things that don't really matter." And by that I mean, it can all get so crazy...looking at TV while sick really made it all resonate so much more with me this year.  I want to concentrate on slowly making it all happen, without the craziness of this time, I want to slow down and focus on what really matters. My husband, my family, close friends, and the real reason we celebrate Christmas, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus! It seems to have been forgotten along the way. For me, I realise that I need to catch myself.

In the meantime, I think it is fun to be part of a season of fun, and spending time not only with family - but people less fortunate than us who may not be having such a great time. There are so many suffering right now and I am talking about here in my home country of Jamaica. We need to open up our eyes and take it all in, and not become participants of a season gone awry!  For me, it is about the balance of it all.  It takes time to see it, but I am seeing it more and more as each year comes and goes and we enter into crazy time.

My balance is about the fun and hustle as well as sharing. It is also about reporting to you what is happening that is festive and lovely around and about. Some of lovely and unique places and happening's that I am recommending to dine out at, go to the Spa (to chill and take some time for yourself), and to check out...so here is 'part one' of my festive and fun things to do for the season while here in Jamaica this month.  Part two will be published later on this week, and stay tuned for my pick of where to be this New Year's Eve.

Lunch or Dinner at the Exquisite Toscanini in Ocho Rios!
 The beautiful home of Toscanini, an authentic Italian Restaurant just minutes out of Ocho Rios. There is also a fabulous Art Gallery with works of well known Artists from Jamaica and the Caribbean.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily except Monday's - but offers a fantastic menu with home-made pastas, fresh seafood served up daily and wonderful salads and desserts - not to mention a premium bar and wine list. (Photo credit to Raquel Parke)
Alex, Lella (one of the Owners of Toscanini) and I - we caught up and had a lovely girlfriend's lunch recently - the perfect place to get together with friends!

Treat yourself to a Spa Day & More at Goldeneye

It is a well known fact that I am a HUGE Fan of Island Outpost hotels (having managed one for four years), including the fabulous and chic Goldeneye and have written about these amazing hotels over and over on this Blog.  Just check out my sidebar and you can click on the hotels to see more under the "Find it Fast" tab. As for the Spa at Goldeneye, it is the perfect location for pampering and chilling out in the height of the hustle and bustle of the Season upon us. There are also many amazing Spa Treatments that you can look into for gifts and I have attached that here:


The serene and amazing Field Spa at Goldeneye is my go to place to unwind and chill in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Season upon us - make your reservations for some of these decadent treatments above!

Attend a Fundraiser this Season

And of course it goes without saying that giving back is so important at this time of year. My fundraiser choice to attend this Season is The Falmouth Heritage Renewal and the Falmouth/Trelawny Chapter of the Georgian Society of Jamaica's second annual Fundraiser to take place right at The Port of Historic Falmouth.  There will be a complimentary trolley tour of Falmouth,and then a cocktail party together with a silent auction and even an Arts and Craft Sale. All for a such a wonderful cause - to preserve, restore and maintain the exquisite Georgian Historic Buildings, monuments and artifacts of the Georgian period (1720-1850) in Jamaica. If you have never taken the Trolley or walking Tour of Falmouth, I highly recommend it -- it is so educational and eye opening.

The Trolley Tour of Historic Falmouth, with the beautifully preserved Anglican Church in the background. You will glean many Georgian buildings on this Tour as well as the Walking Tour of Falmouth.

The Fundraiser will take place this week Saturday, December 6th - hope to see you there, tickets are only $25.00 per person.

Have you ever been to Market on the Lawn?

The dates are now the 7th, 14th and 21st of December - make sure you attend one of the days if you are in Town, I highly recommend it!

If you are looking for a unique and beautiful gift and cannot find anything then make sure you attend one of the Market on the Lawn Fairs at the beautiful Devon House this month.  There are usually three days that the Craft Show is held, and features some of Jamaica's best known craft vendors as well as entertainment, wine tastings and food stalls. Last year I picked up some really lovely purses and sandals that were very popular Christmas gifts, and ended up having lunch at the sweet Bin 26 Wine and Tapas Bar located in Devon House.

I have more to report coming up especially what is happening in Jamaica this New Year, but in the meantime I do hope you all have a more slowed down, happy Season - not overdoing, over-thinking or getting too stressed out. I have to admit that the sight of the all the Christmas trees all over Facebook - so beautiful but so overdone almost.  Just my opinion, but at some point I feel we are missing the true meaning, it is up to us to ensure that our children do not get too caught up in the "Santa" madness, teaching them about the true meaning of Christmas if they are old enough is just so important - let us focus back on that!

Enjoy the Season!

Thursday, November 13

Brunch again at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios

Hi Friends,

Just wanted to share with you the news that the chic and award winning Jamaica Inn will be having a fabulous  Champagne Brunch on Sunday, the 16th of November.

I have included some wonderful pictures from past Brunches...this Brunch will have the champagne flowing and the rate includes a Kir Royale or traditional Jamaica Inn Bull Shot. 

The Buffet itself will be decadent with Chef's mouth watering dishes, which include an extensive array of hold and cold delicacies from around the world, a carving station with lamb, an omelette and waffle station (yum!), local faves like ackee and saltfish, roasted breadfruit and salads as well as an assortment of finest deserts from the pastry kitchen.


Live entertainment and an ocean-view complete the magical picture.

Rupert's Classic Jamaica Inn Kir Royal (so amazing for the Holiday Season)

Use a good quality champagne or Prosecco, with crème de cassis.  Start with a quarter glass of the liquor - and then fill the champagne flute almost to the top, and top with another dash of crème de cassis. Cheers!


Thursday, November 6

Popular Recipes (A re-cap)

Hello there friends,

I have decided to give you a synopsis on the popular recipes on this blog that you can click above the picture to take you directly to the recipe - enjoy!


This cream of pumpkin soup recipe is divine, I love this time of year when it is back on the menu at Jamaica Inn.



The jerk chicken pasta posted from Chef Stefan over at Couples has been one of the most popular recipes on the blog with people emailing me for the recipe.


Chef Conroy gave us his yummy poached egg on callaloo recipe, which is also absolutely delightful and if you want to order a plate just like this, be sure to make breakfast reservations over at Hermosa Cove in Ocho Rios.


This yummy escovitch fish and bammy also got raves, recipe here from Chef Maurice.  It is actually so easy to make too!


For the vegetarians, this delectable but simple dish - which can be used for a side or main, of callaloo and veggies is easy to make and yummy.


Not leaving out the vegans, so this delicious chick pea wrap will cover it! Recently shared on the blog.

Stay tuned for the popular cocktails that have been shared on this Blog! 


Wednesday, November 5

{Recipe} A Classic Mojito!

Hi Friends,

Rajay over at the chic Jamaica Inn is sharing his classic "Jamaica Inn Mojito" recipe for you.  There is one subtle change that makes it different to the usual classic mojito, and that is the sugar.  He has used brown sugar in this cocktail.

Ingredients: A light white rum, soda water, fresh mint, sugar (brown used here) and lime juice/ lime for a wedge.  For one drink you will need: 2 ounces of light white rum // a handful of fresh mint // 1/4 cup of soda water // 1/2 ounce of lime juice // 1 tablespoon of brown sugar // lime for a garnish// ice.
Here Rajay muddles the mint with the sugar and lime juice at the bottom of the glass to allow the mint fragrant oils to be released. You can also use simple syrup for a good combo also. Rajay's tip: Pack the ice over the mint leaves after muddling so as not to have the mint leaves floating around the glass. 
Add the soda water to the top half of the glass as Rajay has shown here...mix together -  and you are ready to go, cheers!

For more drink recipes like these check out the Blog at Jamaica Inn, or email me at me here for the ingredients.

Monday, October 27

Change...

Hi Friends,

I have been thinking about change recently. It is such a bad word to some. However "change" has never been a bad word to me. Why?  Ever since I was a teenager, I craved change.  Whether it was a new hairstyle, a new home, a new way of life, a new school, a new outlook...new friends to add to the fun collection at the time even....a new country to live in, I have accepted change and settled into it each and every time.

Sometimes, I ponder about change in my life and where it has taken me. The last major change I had was in 2001- November to be exact.  I decided to return to "home" to Jamaica after living in Bermuda for 17 years with my husband and we have been living here ever since. Change has hit me many times since, albeit not as major - sometimes very quickly too.  We have moved from one parish (like States in the USA) to another, and we have gone full circle and ended up back in Ocho Rios.  I can say that it has ALWAYS been a fantastic experience for me. Change represents a shedding of something, and a starting  fresh of something else -- no matter how scary at the time, it can only propel us to a place that we end up learning more, growing or becoming better people.

Some people believe just writing down and "putting it out there" will guaranty change. Well that is good...I am sure it does. For me change is that feeling or itch to move on, and for me, I pray about it. I meditate and then I leave it to be.  To manifest itself in the way it should. 

I must say, after twelve years, I just crave change again -- and not the small change.  Friends think I am crazy for even muttering these words...but you see, I am used to it - that word many do not want to say or are even scared to face "CHANGE."  Perhaps as my experiences with it, has only ever been positive.  I want to keep moving forward, I want to keep expecting more, I want to see where these "changes" take me!  I never want to feel stale, de-motivated or not challenged.  If I see where I can be better at something, and I am not operating on that motive, then it is time to change!


As over time, I have found that change moves me forward, it takes me to a place that I need to be at the time, albeit sometimes it takes a retrospect thought to understand that it had to be that way at the time. It may have even seemed at the time of the past changes in my life would have been upsetting, intimidating or simply horrible.  That has never happened.  It has always given me pure joy, happiness and new experiences - what we would do without the simple chance of new beginnings?

Change keeps us fresh, change gives us new opportunities, change brings new perspectives - what is so negative about that?  As I sip my wine and ponder on those thoughts, I realise that for me, change has always, always represented a positive move to a new realm, a new direction, a happy place!

Change to some can mean moving in leaps and bounds (and that is okay for me) - whereas change to some means simply changing a diet, an exercise routine, a home, a career, a city, a job....but it all is the same "a move to a new and sometimes scary place, but always in retrospect to something better or to a new experience that will enable us to grow."

And so...I come to this.  Change and new beginning's on my mind again.  After twelve years.  Oh yes, it was bound to happen, wasn't it?  

I will keep you all posted through this Blog on my changes - whether big, or small - what is on your change radar? 

Always,

Jeanine

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