Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Hi Friends,

Hope you're doing well! As you may know, I was recently in Jamaica for some much-needed vacation.  Matt and I spent 7 days in paradise with beautiful scenery, amazing hospitality and most of all delicious food and drinks!  There were a few overcast and rainy moments but overall, the weather was so warm and sunny.  We couldn't have asked for a better trip.

We stayed at the Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa in Runaway Bay.  The resort was absolutely stunning with sparkly blue beaches, manicured lawns and beautiful gardens and pools.  The food and drinks were non-stop! From the International Buffet, pool bars/grills and four À la carte restaurants, there was always something to satisfy your cravings.  Some of our favourite spots were the Irie Cafe, Court Jesters, Moonstone by Sophia and the Coral Cafe.  Some other restaurants on the resort were the Platinum, Jade Samurai and Golden Sabre Sushi.

The Irie Cafe was perfectly located right outside our building! With coffee, espressos, cappuccinos and so much was surely our favourite spot for our caffeine fix.  We even made our own affogatos with double espressos and soft serve vanilla ice cream from the Coral Cafe. 

The Coral Cafe (International Buffet) was a staple for us, which we frequented for the majority of our breakfasts.  They had a variety of cultural foods, healthy options and classic Jamaican dishes.  During breakfast, they had fresh juices and a smoothie bar.  Despite being a buffet, the food was so tasty and all the meat dishes were cooked perfectly.

Moonstone by Sophia was an Italian Restaurant right on the water.  The food and sunset view were phenomenal. Matt ordered Rosemary Lamb Chops with a Parmesan cheese crust and herb roasted potatoes. While I had the Seafood Cioppino, a mix of seafood with a citrus rosé sauce. We both really enjoyed our meals. Matt raved about the lamb...said it's the best he ever had. We even ended up visiting for another dinner.

Our favourite lunch spot was the Court Jesters with their tasty home made woodfire pizzas! Matt's favourite was the Jamaica Jamaica with smoked jerk pork, shredded coconut, sweet potato slices and jerk sauce.  My favourite was the Hawaiian Calypso: chicken, pineapple, scallions and a spicy mango chutney. So good...I wish I could eat one right now!

We definitely had our share of yummy Jamaican dishes like ackee and saltfish, festivals, breadfruit, fried dumplings, brown stew beef and plantains. Not to mention, tons of jerk chicken and Red Stripe beer by the Aquamarine pool bar.

A lovely breakfast at Platinum with mimosas and of course, coffee! 
Jerk Chicken & Fries - Aquamarine Bar & Grill

Some of our other favourite dishes on the resort:

Duck Salad - Jade Samurai
Spicy Jerk Tuna Roll  - Golden Sabre Sushi

Aside from the fabulous drinks and food, we had a great time enjoying all that Jamaica has to offer.  As part of our resort package, we did snorkelling just off of our resort.  The water was warm and as blue as could be. We saw lots of fish and coral, it was awesome for a free excursion.  In addition, we also went to Konoko Falls (similar to Dunn' River Falls but less commercial) where we climbed up the falls and dipped in the natural springs.  The falls were gorgeous and lush with tropical trees, vines and flowers. It was a sight to see. As part of the excursion, you are guided through the River Gardens and visit the zoo, museum and bar. We had such a fun time!

We also went on the Blue Hole excursion in Ocho was definitely not what we expected.  The excursion consisted of climbing up the 20-foot waterfall and jumping from various points into the water.  Due to rain from the day prior, the water was not it's normal blue colour but instead a merky brown. The excursion was quite adventurous which was not expected based on the description but we did have a great time.  We finished off the tour by visiting Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records restaurant for some jerk chicken/jerk pork.

We had such an amazing trip to Jamaica and we will definitely be going back some day. The island was beautiful with amazing food, gorgeous scenery and friendly hospitality.

What is your favourite island in the Carribean?


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Hi My Friends,

I'm very excited for my upcoming trip to Jamaica at the end of April!  Today, I wanted to share a few travel essentials outside your regular packing list like clothes, swimsuits and toiletries.  Some of these items are fresh finds that I'm excited to try out on my trip and others are returning favourites.

Airport travel can always be a hassle, especially when going through security checks.  I always opt for sandals that are easy to slip on and off.  Since the weather is still chilly here in Toronto, we are not quite in sandal season just yet.  I just picked up these new Converse Shoreline's, they have an elastic backing which will make it easy when going through security. I love Converse since they are light, comfortable and cute! This will help with one less headache.

I recently got this travel wallet off Amazon! Previously, I used a much smaller passport holder but I've had a travel wallet on my radar for a while now.  I love how you can keep all your documents together in one place, especially when travelling as a couple. This travel wallet has a place for your passport, ID and bank cards, tickets, cash and a zippered pocket. I couldn't ask for such a reasonable price. 

I always bring along a notebook to journal each day of my trip.  It's always nice to re-live your experiences and memories in detail, instead of trying to put all the puzzle pieces back together.  I love these fun and bright notebooks from Indigo...they are the perfect travel journals! Of course, I always bring along one or two books. I haven't completely decided what reading material to bring, but I have a good amount of books on my "to read" list including "The Heart Goes Last" by Margaret Atwood. 

Next up is this Waikiki 25 oz. S'well water bottle from their Resort Collection.  S'well bottles keep water cold for 24 hours' so it's the perfect water bottle for excursions or even just carrying water down to the beach for the day. Staying hydrated never looked so cute.


This is a new find on my list that I'm looking forward to trying out in Jamaica.  This Sunland Microfiber Towel is fast drying and ultra compact. The towel folds up and fits into this carry bag. I think this will be perfect for water excursions instead of carrying bulky hotel towels. It's easy to throw in your carry-on, luggage or a beach they dry super quickly!

Last but not least, this Tory Burch zip pouch is one of my favourites! It's so practical and durable with a coated canvas exterior and waterproof lining. I've had this for a few years now and it's great for electronics (like phones/cameras), small items like lip balm or sunglasses or even a wet bikini. This is definitely a staple in my beach bag. 

I'm excited to try out some of these new finds and start getting ready for my trip to paradise. I know one thing for sure....I'll be all set with these essentials! 

What are your favourite travel essentials?


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Hi Foodies,

This past weekend, I decided to head over to two local health food stores!  I visited Goodness Me and my local Whole Foods.

Is it just me, or do you always come back with so much more than you planned for?  I always tend to find new and exciting healthy products that I can't wait to try plus, I always find my go-to favourites to restock on.

Let's start with Whole Foods...I was long overdue for a visit to pick up some speciality goods you can't find at your average grocery store.

I hit up the refrigerated section and went a little komucha crazy!
Whole Foods has such a variety of brands and flavours, so I had to pick up a few that I haven't tried.

I ended up getting:

Pyramid Ferments - Purple Rain Kombucha
Kevita - Mojita Lemon Mint Coconut Kombucha
Tonica - Mango Kombucha (delicious!)
Rise - Blueberry & Maple Kombucha

For those of you who may not know, Kombucha is a variety of fermented tea infused with natural flavours (often fruit), lightly sweetened and usually carbonated.  It may not sound too appealing but it's tangy and fizzy, healthy and oh so yummy!

Next up are these Naked Chickpea Gluten Free Falafel by My Little Chickpea. These falafel are healthy, flavourful and not to mention, they're easy and so versatile. I love to use these in wraps, salads, buddha bowls or even as a snack with hummus!

Of course I stocked up on my ever so favourite Lärabar! I love Lärabar's, they are healthy with all natural ingredients and tasty.  These guilt-free energy bars are my perfect go-to snack between meals.  I picked up a few different flavours to enjoy: Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Coconut Cream, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Brownie.

Last but not least on my Whole Foods haul, I picked up some Sambazon unsweetened Açaí berry superfruit pouches. I've been on an Açaí bowl kick and I can't wait to make these from home.

Now, onto Goodness Me!  Goodness Me is a Canadian company that started in Hamilton in 1981.  They had one simple vision: to discover, educate and offer healthy living products.  Read the full story on their website.

I found these Raw Paleo Friendly Wraps in the freezer section from Wrap It Up Raw.  The wraps are made locally in Niagara region and are made with organic ingredients and have 6 grams of fibre.  Easy, delicious and healthy...they are my favourite clean eating essential!  

I also picked up these Paleo Protein Bite Cookies/Biscuits by Marci's. I've had my eye on Marci's products for a while and I was so happy to find them in store. Guilt Free and delicious!

Matt came across these little nut butter packets, they had a variety of different flavours available. They're the perfect size for trying out new flavours or even for on the go or individual smoothie packs.

I also bought some JK Gourmet Gluten Free and Paleo Friendly granola and stocked up on some raw organic honey and cacao powder.

Overall, we had quite the eventful trip to Whole Foods & Goodness Me. I'll definitely be going back soon to pick up some more healthy goodies.

What are your healthy food staples?

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