December 21, 2016

Barbados Independent Film Festival



I'm super excited to share Barbados Film Festival​ with you all! 

SHARE:

December 16, 2016

Barbados Local Gift Guide 2016


Since moving back to Barbados a few years ago and starting my own businesses, I've become more aware of local products and supporting local businesses.

Supporting Local is not only very practical in a small island where Amazon Prime seems like a distant dream but it has quite a profound ripple effect. In Barbados we tend to have this perception that something from 'overseas' is better than something local, but these brands below are proving that that is definitely not the case. 



SHARE:

December 8, 2016

Donating Blood in Barbados


I'm embarrassed to say that I donated blood for the first two weeks ago. 

I've had blood work done before and though I felt pretty nauseous when I watched the blood being extracted, but I can't really use a fear of needles or the sight of blood as an excuse for not donating.

Donating blood is always something I've felt that I 'should' do, but never really got around to it.

It was only recently when someone near and dear to me needed blood that I finally looked into donating blood. This seems to be a trend in Barbados, and it's just not good enough. I'm writing this blog post in a bid to encourage more people to donate blood on a consistent basis. 

SHARE:

November 18, 2016

WINC Acceleration Programme


At the beginning of this year, I entered into WINC Acceleration Program - new peer mentorship-based initiative to support high-potential women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean.

The goal of the eight-month intensive Acceleration Program was to provide participants with a wide range of support services aimed at improving competitiveness and boosting our growth. This included peer-learning, personal development, one-to-one mentoring/coaching, technical workshops, and motivational sessions by entrepreneur role models.

SHARE:

November 17, 2016

Dive with my Dad | Barbados


A few weeks ago my Dad and I went diving together off of the South coast of Barbados.
My Dad recently moved back to Barbados from Brazil and he was itching to get in the water as often as possible to make up for lost time. We checked out a bar between 60 - 80ft.
We were both there to shoot - my Dad was hunting lionfish with his speargun, while I was having fun shooting with my GoPro...

SHARE:

November 16, 2016

10 Best Coffee & WiFi Spots in Barbados


Barbados is relatively new to the coffee/cafe scene, and has only been serving specialty coffees for a few very short years. Fortunately though, thanks to a constant flow of expats and visitors from around the world and the perseverance of some avid coffee enthusiasts, Barbados is now well on it’s way to providing stellar coffee to the island masses. This list will give you an insight into the islands’ expanding coffee scene and provide with some of the best spots to get your caffeine & WiFi fix (because the two tend to go hand in hand...) in Barbados. This list is also quite useful for groups and individuals who need free meeting locations.

SHARE:

November 3, 2016

IDB Barbados Civil Society Forum



I had the privilege of attending a really cool, FREE Forum yesterday, hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank. The IDB Barbados Civil Society Forum was a workshop for NGO leaders to network and gain knowledge to strengthen their institutional capacity. The Forum focused on innovative strategies to raise funds for the sustainable management of nonprofit organizations.
Unfortunately I could only make it to the second half of the Forum, but I made it in time for Shaun Ingrahams' presentation on the amazing work of the One Eleuthera Foundation in The Bahamas (Be sure to check them out!).
Some of the key points highlighted in the discussion following his presentation included:
  • The importance of Charity PR & Communications in raising funds and telling the story of your organisation
  • Understanding millennials and developing fundraising strategies that suit their needs and interests
  • Focussing on international fundraising
  • The more independence civil society can have, the more we can hold government accountable




My only concern about this event was that out of approximately 80 attendees, FOUR were under the age of 40 years old. If we're talking about the future of the charity/non-profit/Third Sector/Civil Society in Barbados, shouldn't more young people be a part of that conversation?
Here are some suggestions:
  • The IDB needs to make a point to target more young civil society leaders
  • Young people need to share this information amongst their networks when it's made available to them, and stress the importance of them attending a FREE event!

It was a really great event and I hope to be able to attend more in the future, with more of my peers by my side.

SHARE:

November 1, 2016

Global Entrepreneurship Week Barbados

Global Entrepreneurship Week is an annual, global event, celebrated from November 14th – 20th, 2016. This year, the theme is “Building Sustainable Businesses; Strengthening the S.P.I.N.E.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.Thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 15,000 partner organizations. 
Here in Barbados, GEW has grown substantially over the last few years.  You can find a list of 2016 events taking place in Barbados here.

On November 14th, I'll be attending the Entrepreneurs' Roundtable Discussion - Barriers to Moving Forward, hosted by the Barbados Youth Business Trust, which will be a discussion focussed on addressing challenges that entrepreneurs face in Barbados. Should make for a lively discussion!

Women's Entrepreneurship Day falls during this week and I will be attending a breakfast event at the Hilton Hotel called "WE matter: Supporting Each Other" on November 16th. Tickets are Bds$30 (US$15) and I would like to encourage any female entrepreneurs to attend! It will be a great opportunity to network with some very interesting and inspiring business women.

Interestingly, anyone can host an event during GEW and register it on the GEW website (once it fits certain criteria) but this also makes things a bit confusing as not everyone registers their event on the website, so unfortunately the list I shared above does not include all of the events taking place during that time.

Are there any other events taking place during this week that we should know about?Please let me know in the comments below!

SHARE:

October 28, 2016

Jazz


Happy Halloween!
Did you know that October was #PitBullAwarenessMonth?
6 months ago that wouldn't have mattered to me at all, since I had no affiliation with the breed and didn't really give them much thought. Since adopting Jazz however, that's changed considerably and I'm now much more aware of how this breed is misjudged.
Today I'm sharing the story of our fur baby, Jazz, who's a pitbull/jack russel mix to help raise awareness about this lovable and loyal breed. I never saw myself as the "pitbull type", but the moment I met Jazz I fell in love.



J and I were house hunting and this little ball of love was at one of the houses we viewed. As soon as we walked in, she greeted us with kisses and rolled over on to her back for belly rubs. The house wasn't great, but I (jokingly) asked whether she came as part of the package, to which the landlord responded "Actually, the tenants want to get rid of her...they're down sizing and can't take her." 

I told him I would be in touch, as we were looking for a companion for our labrador, but we couldn't take Jazz until we found a new place. I couldn't get my mind off of this sweet girl and kept thinking about her after that first meeting. She seemed like the perfect, docile companion for our Alpha female labrador, J'ouvert.

A week later we finally found our current home, and I excitedly called the landlord to ask about adopting the pitbull, only to be told that they had already "gotten rid of her" and the landlord had no idea where she was.

Not only that, but he refused to give me the contact information of the tenants so that I could get in touch with them!

I frantically started calling every shelter and vet in Barbados and almost pulling my hair out. 

After 2 days, I finally found her.

She had been given back to the shelter where her previous owners had originally adopted her from, and she was still looking for a home.

I called the shelter and spoke with a volunteer to find out a little bit about her before coming to see her. 

This was our conversation:

"Hi there! I'm calling about a cute pit bull mix who recently came to your shelter. I'd like to hear a little bit about her story and if there is anything I need to know about her before adopting her."

"Oh you mean Princess! Let me tell you a little bit about Princess..." He said.

I spent the next 20 minutes learning of her history of killing two small dogs, and hatred of other dogs. I couldn't believe what this person was telling me over the phone....the dog I met was so gentle and affectionate! but then again, she was a pitbull mix and that was to be expected, right? People had warned me when I told them about this lovely pit mix I had fallen in love with. Shit.

My heart sank as I listened to him explain the circumstances:

"Poor girl is not to be blamed for these killings, as the little dogs had literally been thrown into her territory and she was merely defending herself in both cases. She's a lovely dog. It was poor ownership! She can't be with other dogs right now though. As a 60lb American pit...."

My ears perked up.

"Wait a second. I don't think that this dog is 60lbs. I don't know what kind of pit she is, but she seemed smaller and was super friendly! Are you sure that we're talking about the same dog who lived in a blue house in Fort George?"

The phone went silent.

"oh! You mean Jazz! Sorry about that. Jazz is lovely, such an amazing dog. She hasn't killed anything, she wouldn't hurt a fly. Her owners got rid of her because they were downsizing and couldn't take her to their new house."

I knew it!

With that, I went straight to the shelter to pick her up, and when I saw her it was as though we were old friends being reunited. She immediately hopped on my lap for cuddles.

(I did go and see Princess as well, and she was indeed a beautiful, friendly American Pit Bull who just needed the right home)


My landlord came by recently and saw the dogs in our yard. She pointed at Jazz and said "You gotta be careful with those aggressive ones..." As if on cue, Jazz rolled over on her back for a belly rub, while J'ouvert started barking furiously at my landlord (who she had met before).

I corrected my landlord and told her that the lab was the one to watch out for.

Jazz is (we think) a mix between a pitbull and jack russell and she has the most loving temperament. She's a complete sop, loves cuddling, walks and attention. 



As I said before, I never saw myself as the 'pitbull type', I always assumed they were aggressive and untrustworthy, but I know realise how silly it is to make broad statements about a particular breed. 

In Barbados, animal welfare is an ongoing issue (especially when it comes to how people perceive dogs as 'property' and not as 'pets' - but that's another issue) and as a proud new pit mom, I feel responsible for correcting false information and changing the perception of these incredible dogs. 

As pit family owners, we are their voice, and they are depending on us to educate the public: not only about the breed in general, but with respect to responsible ownership practices, to dispel the false information out there, and to restore their reputation as a great pet and companion. 

SHARE:

August 17, 2016

Falling for Saint Lucia



I've fallen hard for the beautiful island of St.Lucia.
I've never been to this neighbouring island that is just over 100 miles away from Barbados (yet worlds apart!)
We spent the day driving from North (Gros Islet) to South (Vieux Fort) and back again - circling the mountains on precariously windy roads, through valleys and fishing villages. Our road trip was constantly interrupted by gasps, wrong turns and quick stops on the side of the road to snap a photo of the views - each one was more amazing than the one before.
The fact that I'm sharing a post on here after months of radio silence is testament to the level of excitement after today!
Today was pure magic and I can't wait to see what else this place has in store for us.
Here are a few snaps of our road trip:





SHARE:

May 18, 2016

Wednesday's Window to the World: Celebrating 5 years!



Five years ago, I started a series called "Wednesday's Window to the World" on this blog. 

This idea was inspired by a blog I follow dedicated to creating a collection of individual views from individuals around the world. View from Your Window asked followers to email them a snapshot of the view from their windows with a small blurb to accompany it. Sadly, this blog is no longer active.

I decided to try something similar but with people I know personally - I'm so lucky to have interesting friends and family scattered all over the world, from L.A to Hong Kong, Dubai to Argentina. Some are 1000's of feet in the air whilst a couple of them are below the surface. Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with them and follow their adventures. Over the years, Blackberry Messenger (Remember the days?) and WhatsApp have allowed this to be taken even further by allowing us to share photos and snapshots of our lives instantaneously. I love it when I get a photo showing me where someone is at that very second.

Photo credit: Krystal Boyea 

We all get that feeling sometimes when we look out of our window at a grey sky or are just stressed out with work. Or, perhaps it's the opposite, where you are somewhere amazing and would love nothing more than for some of your friends to be there with you. I've had that numerous times during my travels; when everything was ALMOST perfect but the only thing missing was close friends and family to share in the experience with us. A snapshot is that 'wish you were here' gesture. 

Since starting this series on my blog, it got to be a bit too much to manage and I started a Facebook group instead. Friends of mine invited their friends to participate, and it has since blossomed in to active photography group, with people posting photos from across the world. 

Photo credit: Maria Farrelly
Members are to take a photo of their view from a window - be it home, office or even car/public transportation at any point during their day - or somewhere they don't usually go.  TRAVEL photos are encouraged! It can be ANYWHERE in the world, somewhere they're visiting on holiday or for work.

With today's culture of 'oversharing' I quite like the idea that this group sets certain limitations/guidelines on the types of photos you can share. We encourage members to share views from an actual window/opening/door, rather than just a view from where they're standing and this forces some to be a bit more creative with their shots and framing.

I may try to shake things up a bit and start a 'themed' approach to posting, and I'm open to suggestions...black & white, an ocean or mountain view, view on your commute? Please share any ideas that you may have! 

We're celebrating 5 years of sharing experiences, and I hope you can join us!

Photo credit: Angie Rodrigues

SHARE:

April 25, 2016

Barbados Beyond Boundaries


They say you can find a Bajan or someone with a Bajan connection anywhere in the world, so let's test that theory!
The Barbados Museum & Historical Society has launched "Barbados Beyond Boundaries" (BBB) - a community-constructed digital space, mapping contributions of the vast ways people from Barbados and the diaspora commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Barbados’ Independence.
Individuals can submit an artefact in the digital medium of their choice (text, movie, photo, soundbite) via the Museum portal for review. After approval, your artefact will be linked with the geographical location you specified on the BBB digital map. This then can be accessed by anyone who would like to hear about your experience!
Not only is this project archiving the way you are experiencing Barbados’ 50th Independence wherever you are, the digital map can also act as a connection device, facilitating interaction between different community groups across the world.
Contact Natalie McGuire at guestcurator@barbmuse.org.bb for enquiries into the Barbados Beyond Boundaries digital map, or to book a virtual consultation on how your community project could be integrated.

You can check out the website here and follow the Barbados Museum & Historical Society on Facebook.
SHARE:

April 11, 2016

Fleas on Fleek: a pop up fashion event




A couple of months ago, I started working on an idea to get rid of unwanted, unworn clothing that was still nice enough to be enjoyed by someone else.


I'm not a fashionista by any means, and as I get older I realise how little I care about current trends. I know what works for my personal style and what I feel comfortable in, so I don't know who I'm fooling by buying 'fashionable' things that don't work for me - I just end up with too much stuff in my closet. I decided to try to do a bit of Spring cleaning by combining a 'flea market' style event with a 'clothes swap' and inviting my [trendier] friends to participate.

In the last month or so, the idea has developed quite a bit and my friends agreed to go along with my plan - a 'Fleas on Fleek' event was born! :) 

In a nutshell, the concept is quite simple: We're combining an all female clothing swap with a pop up flea market in Barbados. 



Swap, Sell and Donate.

First, we swap amongst ourselves and then people are invited to come and buy our clothing from us after we have swapped.


All surplus clothing, shoes and accessories are then being donated to Jabez House
an organisation that provides vocational training and entrepreneurial opportunities to female sex workers in Barbados. They do amazing work and professional clothing and accessories are very useful to the ladies who are entering the corporate workforce.

Those who are invited to participate this time are encouraged to invite a few friends to sign up for the next event - so that we have a new group of people, with different items moving forward. 


Natasha, a local fashion blogger of InMyWardrobe, was invited to the event on Facebook and she since contacted me and asked me some questions, such as where the name came from and whether this is going to be a regular event. You can check out her post here. Thank you Natasha!

The event is taking place this Saturday, April 16th from 4 -6 pm - Check out our Facebook event for further details and invite a friend :)


SHARE:

April 4, 2016

Island Diaries: Diving right in

Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro

I had the pleasure of escaping the world and diving with my brother and a friend on Saturday morning in Carlisle Bay.

I did my PADI Open Water about 6 years ago in Thailand and I've been diving twice since then. 

TWICE! 

I'm kicking myself for waiting this long to get back in to the water, especially since moving back to Barbados, and I'm so happy that my brother took the time to coach me back into it.

As soon as I touched the seabed I was freaking out with excitement - diving is the ultimate water baby experience. About half way through the dive, I got ahead of myself and had to take a breather - quite literally - reminding myself to calm down and not get overexcited. As we played around the wrecks, even taking a peek inside one of the larger ones, I realised that I was instinctively holding my breath as though I was free diving into the ship's crevice. It took a little while before my body and brain really connected with the fact that I could relax and breath underwater, while exploring wherever I wanted. It was such a liberating feeling.

The conditions weren't perfect by Barbados dive standards; it was a slightly overcast day and the water was not the clearest, but we stayed under for 70 glorious minutes and took our time exploring the shipwrecks in the bay. We were pleasantly surprised at the lack of garbage in the water and the absence of lion fish. Lion fish are an invasive species in the Caribbean and have been wreaking havoc on our marine life, but it seems as though the dive shops are keeping them under control in Carlisle Bay (or perhaps we just got lucky on that day!)

We reached a maximum depth of 55 ft. and the combination of low lighting and murky water made it pretty tricky to capture the experience. I shot these with my GoPro, which isn't the best with low light. I'm a sucker for underwater photography, and since the conditions weren't ideal, I edited these in black and white to add some more depth and mood to these images. Once I get a better handle on the diving, I'd like to figure out how to take better photos underwater. Any suggestions on the best cameras or accessories for shooting underwater?

I also took some video footage which I will be editing in the coming week.

Along with diving, I'm slowly easing myself back in to blogging and this little adventure was the perfect way to kick start some blogging goals for April.

Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoProDiving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro
Diving, Underwater Photography, Barbados, Black and White Photography, GoPro

SHARE:

February 4, 2016

#CarnivalChronicles Throwback: Trinidad Carnival 2014 [Video]


I guess it comes as no surprise that I would share this video 2 years late....Thank god for throwbacks!
We're in Trinidad again this year and I can't wait to do this all over again, but with a few tweaks here and there, which I'll be sharing later on.


I won't be blogging while I'm gone but I will be tweeting'Gramming using #CarnivalChronicles, so feel free to 'maco' and follow along.

Happy Carnival!

SHARE:

February 1, 2016

Carnival Checklist



We're going to Trinidad Carnival in T-3 days and I'm so super, duper pumped!

I've been fortunate enough to experience my fair share of Carnivals over the years, from Trinidad, to Notting Hill in London and Crop Over in Barbados. Through a process of trial and error, my friends and I have learned that planning and foresight can make or break your Carnival experience. These experiences, coupled with my planning and list-making obsession, prompted me to put together a Carnival Checklist for a few of my friends who will be joining me this year. It's helped me prepare and it will continue to evolve over the years to reflect the trends and demands of Carnival! Is there anything you think I should add to this list?

Ps: It's available here as an open source Google Doc, feel free to share it and edit it as you see fit.

I'll be Tweeting & 'Gramming from Trinidad from here and here. #CarnivalChronicles 


SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig