Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm In Love With The Cocoa Jouvert

"Carnival is defined as an event where many people gather to celebrate something."

Jamaica's Carnival season runs from January to April.

My love affair with  Carnival started when I was younger. I last played mas in Kiddies Carnival when I was in first form in 1997. At that time, there were two bands "Jamaica Carnival" & "Bacchanal Jamaica". When Jamaica Carnival ended I took a sort of hiatus from soca but as faith would have it almost 10 years later I rekindled my love affair.

I love playing pretty mas but my heart is devoted to the "dutty" ways of Jouvert! I love the colours & the vibes of Jouvert, so it is no surprise that it is my favourite part of the whole Carnival festivities.

This season, I got of to a late start but I know I picked the right event to start with...Sunset Cocoa Jouvert.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

#DearME: In Honour of International Women's Day

In honour of International Women's Day, I decided to join the YouTube Global #DearMe Initiative.

A letter to young Shanny


I know you are at a stage where you are really confused and trying to find yourself. You will choose the unconventional path because you are too scared to disappoint yourself & your family...this decision will lead to you discovering who you really are.

You have a goal and you are going to stick to it. You are strong & proud & even though you long to be the pretty girl.... you will realize the value of being the smart girl.

You will have crushes on the most ridiculous boys but you won't dare to act on it. Which at the end of the day wasn't such a bad idea.

You will learn that you are a natural born leader with many bright ideas. Embrace them & take that spirit of service with you. It will define you as a person.

Opposition will come but you will take the high road.

You learn to love EVERYONE despite their colour, class, sexual orientation or religion. You will realize that you are a world citizen who in your mid-20's will suffer a bit of Wanderlust which you plan to spend your 30's curing.

Your biggest flaw will always be your will simmer but even as you embark on your 30's it will still linger ESPECIALLY when you take public

You will lose 3 of the most important people in your life & this will force you to grow up fast!

You will be lucky to still have your family & it will grow at a time when you least expected it.

You will fall in love with the most amazing boy ever, who unfortunately, will not know how much you love him because of your own self centred ways. You will also still love him many years after your relationship has ended & he will become a dear friend.

You will ALWAYS be a strong lioness who even without a lion, still has the strength to survive the concrete jungle of life.

You will be blessed beyond your own understanding & even though you won't figure it all out by 30 or have the Husband & Family you wanted at 25... you will still be happy & continue to trust God to provide your perfect match.

Finally & most importantly, you will learn that once you love yourself & others the way you love yourself, you will find that life's challenges won't seem so bad.

Keep Your Head up young lioness...

An older & hopefully wiser

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My First Private Screening: 50 Shades of Grey

Last Friday night I had the pleasure of attending Rough Rider condom's private viewing of Fifty Shades of Grey at Palace Cineplex.

Back in 2012, the phenomena, like most other fads, totally missed me here in my little corner..... Fast forward to 2015 & everybody & their grandmother has an opinion on the books & the movie...most of which are bad. I am not one to who takes reviews as gospel (as we Jamaicans would say) instead I like to read books or watchr movies & form my own opinion... so I went into the viewing with an open mind.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The $150 Challenge

Last week was a very enlightening week for me. I had a well needed talk with my boss' Insurance Advisor which got me thinking hard about my current financial status. Let us just say that financial literacy has never been something I had an excellent grasp on until recently & I still have more to learn.

Back to my conversation with the Insurance Advisor..... she reminded me of something I learned a long time ago but had not put into action for awhile.... paying yourself first! She stressed that I should have been saving at least 10% of my monthly earning since the day I started working there in 2012.

Like I said before, this concept was not new to me by any means but for some reason I have constantly used bills & unnecessary wants as an excuse to not save a [substantial] dime.

Fast forward to bestie Shauna & I were talking & she mentioned to me that she was going to start the $150 Challenge!

At first I thought, the $150 USD Challenge? which made me not even consider attempting that challenge. Luckily for me she meant the $150 JMD!

My Jamaicans are probably saying, "That is not money!" & on a normal day the most it can give you is one-way ride on a JUTC bus. It may seem small but it can make a difference after a period of time.

Back to the challenge...

The challenge is to save at least $150 JMD a day & at the end of the month whatever is saved, I would match that total & then lodge it in the bank.

Therefore, I can save at least $66,000 JMD (at least $600 USD) at the end of the year.

The money saved can go towards "My Retirement" saving plan or  help me finance a trip somewhere.

Of course I will also continue my current saving pattern & ensure that my 10% "self payment" goes to my saving account where it will remain untouched until I am ready to make a "big purchase" or invest it wisely.

Wish me luck & share with me any other saving strategies you may utilize.