Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Homemade Whipped Cocoa Butter and why I love it



The Story 

Making natural, simple and effective skincare and haircare in my kitchen predates my Grenada Soul Adventurer days. Who remembers the start of natural hair revolution circa 2008-2010 among women and men of African descent? Apart from putting me well on the path of self acceptance and love (gotta love that unruly free mane of kinks and curls) it also introduced me to home made natural ingredient products. I made everything from from hair treatments with aloe vera grown in my front yard to flax seed hair gel and whipped butters for my skin and hair.
Years went by and I had less time to spare. As you do- adulating is real! I found my holy grail hair product on a shelf and creamed my skin with pure shea butter, cocoa butter or coconut oil- less fuss and no worries. 

Last Christmas I decided to curate little "Me Time" gift sets for some of my friends. I was inspired to make a whipped cocoa butter and a mocha sugar scrub. I packaged them in mason jars and labeled them with cute Christmas themed tags which included the quirky names I had come up with for the products and an ingredient list. I was quite proud of my delicious smelling creations.  

On Christmas Eve I delivered my little packages...everyone loved the treatments- including Grenada  Chocolate Fest founder Magdalena Fielden who tried some that I gifted her daughter. 

Fast forward to this year's Grenada Chocolate Fest... I had the opportunity to demonstrate how to make my whipped cocoa butter at the Healthy Benefits of Chocolate Beauty Workshop.

Cheesy Smiles for the Photog
Photo cred: Grenada Chocolate Fest 
The day of the workshop arrived and I was excited yet nervous. Luckily I was in good company:  Chocolate expert and educator from Montreal Karine "Miss Choco" Guillemette clued us in about all the healthy benefits of cocoa, entrepreneur Zoe LeighSmith from Maida guided a hands on cacao body scrub workshop and Kisha from Blue Haven Spa taught us how to make a chocolate face mask.

We had three people to each table and everyone got involved- mixing, smelling, touching, oohing, aahing and tasting! 

Zoe from Maida
Photo cred: Grenada Chocolate Fest 
Participants getting hands on whipping up their chocolate potions
Photo cred: Grenada Chocolate Fest 
Kisha from Blue Haven Spa
Photo cred: Grenada Chocolate Fest 
Elle Coco having a cheeky taste of the Chocolate Face Mask
Photo cred: Grenada Chocolate Fest 
The energy and enthusiasm from all of our participants gave the afternoon a light atmosphere and everyone left in a cheerful mood- with new friends and  paper goodie bags containing their handmade beauty potions. 

 With my fellow #SpiceBloggers Divya and Terrieann and my trusty whipper (I swear my mother has owned this from before my birth)
Photo cred: Grenada Chocolate Fest 
Here are 4 Ways I love using Whipped Cocoa Butter



Daily Body Moisturizer 

This luxurious whipped butter melts right into your skin. It does its job and you won't look greasy or feel hot. Living on a tropical humid island you tend to want to keep it light. Who else has experienced feeling trapped in your own skin and sweaty after using store bought creams with long ingredient lists? Chances are there are some pour blocking ingredients. I had not used them in so long I almost forgot that feeling.

To lighten scars and stretch marks 

In case you did not know, I am a mama- infer into that what you like from the heading. My daughter started walking just shy of a year and falls down ever so often and get little scrapes. Every night after her shower- or shah-wah as she calls it we sit down in bed and cream---keem. Before making the whipped butter I used the solid block of cocoa butter. Without fail she would take a bite. I don't blame her- it smells soooooo good...but I digress. I have noticed that when I use the butter straight away, paying special attention to her scrapes, the skin hardly discolors and with consistent use marks fade away. It is amazing!  

Solid Cocoa Butter Blocks
Makeup Remover and Facial Cleanser

Once you scoop the butter out it does not take long for it to melt into a rich oily consistency. Both cocoa butter and coconut oil melt at body temperature. It makes an excellent oil cleaner and leaves your skin feeling buttery soft. Water proof mascara...no worries...it gently escorts it off your eye lashes leaving your lashes firmly attached to your eye lid.  We all know there are often casualties in the war between our makeup remover and our waterproof mascara.

Facial Moisturiser 

For the longest while I neglected moisturizing my face because I was afraid it would make my t -zone more oily than it already was. It is not a sexy glow. I have also had tiny bumps in that area since my early teens. Fellow spice blogger Divya had recommended I use an exfoliant and start moisturising. Again, what I love about the whipped cocoa butter is that my skin can breath and the butter absorbs without leaving me shining like honey glazed cake. I find I have best results when I apply it to an almost dry face (not dripping wet and not completely dry). 

How I made it? 

Ingredients 

Cocoa Butter
Coconut Oil 

Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler- mix it with coconut oil (2:1 ratio or equal parts)...the more coconut oil you use the softer the consistency of your cream - chill in the fridge or freezer until it begins to harden (but you don't let it to solidify)- whip into a luxurious fluffy cream. Voila!

You can actually store this outside of the fridge in our tropical climate...I just would not recommend leaving it in extremely hot places like your car. I learned that the hard way.

You can watch a recap of the Facebook live video from the workshop here. While you are there give them a like!

You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more day to day updates- I am loving instragram stories lately.

I would love to hear from you, have you made any beauty treatments and creams in your kitchen? What has been your experience? 

Leave a comment below





Friday, June 9, 2017

Grenada for the Highly Sensitive Person

"...But highly sensitive people are far from being weak. On the contrary, they are strong, perceptive, intuitive, and exceptionally artistic individuals who have a wonderful gift of insight to offer."
- Madisyn Taylor , Daily OM



Earlier this year I watched a video on youtube by a creator  Shir Levi called Life as a Highly Sensitive Person. A lot of the things she spoke about  resonated with me and I started to wonder whether I could be considered a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). In the video she mentioned an online quiz . I took it and affirmed my suspicion- I am a highly sensitive person.

Reflecting on all the characteristic traits of HSPs (included at the end of the post) I can make more sense of the way I experience the world and navigate in a way which I can I thrive instead of feeling drained and disconnected. I am also a Gemini- which means I spend a lot of time overthinking things and living in my head. This can cause confusion and make it hard to tap into calm wisdom if I am overstimulated or overwhelmed.

If you identify as a HSP or consider yourself an introvert (not exactly the same- though there are some overlaps) then here is the Grenada Soul Adventurer Guide to you refueling and tending lovingly to your soul so you can feel great.

Hike Mout Qua Qua



I would rate this a 4 out of 10 on the challenging scale of hikes. There is a clear path but quite a bit of uphill. Not recommended for young toddlers. I love being in nature, incase you did not know this. It is a place where I feel completely at ease. I have space contemplate things with a clear head. The further away I get from the daily distractions that can leave me drained and the further I get to a place where only the present moment matters- I am at ease.

For me being in nature simplifies this complicated life. I am free to appreciate the lush verdant mountains without thinking about my giant to do list or what I am even doing with my life.  It will take you about an hour to get to the lookout if you take the leisurely approach to climbing mountains (lots of photo stops, lots of sighing in gratitude). This is a fun hike and all you need is some good company that is interested in more than small talk. I have found that I do better one on one or in a small intimate group than with a whole bunch of people- where I can feel overwhelmed and withdrawn.


Go to a Yoga Class or  Develop Your Personal Practice  

(Photo by Arthur Daniel from Grenada Chocolate Fest)


If you are a yogi or are curious about the practice Grenada is a great place to start. There are a few studios on the island and you can find their schedules and information in a Facebook group called Pure Yoga Grenada. My favourite classes are with Malaika from Spice Harmony Yoga and Dawnelle from Fountain of Youth Yoga (unfortunately Dawnelle is currently off island). These two teachers have a balanced approach to guiding a class- it is both physical and spiritual- which is a big deal for me personally. I always leave their classes feeling rejuvenated and centered. My Gemini mind is usually going a mile a minute and I need to take very intentional steps to quite it. I also enjoy practicing on my own at home or  a beautiful tree top ocean view space called Sankalpa Yoga Studio (pictured above) at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort. Last summer they offered free studio space- hopefully they will again this year.  (Check out the time lapses of my personal practice on my IG)

Visit Tropical Gardens  


Grenada has several beautiful gardens blossoming with a myriad of tropical plants. They are   a serene and glowing world of flowers and crops. Plants have such a magical and calming effect. Marveling at their beauty will give you energy.  I also enjoy going to plant nurseries, mainly for food seedlings for my own garden. Although I am not the best (consistent) gardener out there I do enjoy tending to my crop for a few months. Who remembers my kale and sorrel harvest on the IG stories last Christmas and Kwanaza.  It was very comforting to know where my food came from, and, that atleast I was not using harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides (whoops I wondered off a bit there).

Have a Sole Adventure Off the Beaten Track 



I give this advice to my fellow Grenadians and travelers alike. Move out of the routine and into a place where you feel like you can just reset away from superficial distractions, crowds and demands- and go alone!  Last October I took a 24 hour sanity break at Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate which runs two air BNB cottages. The cottages are tucked into the mountain sides of Non-Pariel in St. Mark and have a beautiful ocean view.  Estate owners Kim and Lylette will leave you up to your own devices and you can explore their grounds safely, marvel at beautiful cocoa pods and just chill out. This a great place unplug for social media to do reading, creating, uninterrupted thinking and contemplating the state of things. Life can be quite overwhelming, especially for the HSP. Taking time to yourself in a calming, safe and peaceful environment can help put things into perspective.

6 am at the Beach


I know the idea of strolling along a secluded beach sounds heavenly. However, you can have the same feeling on one of the more popular beaches in the early morning hours. I feel like most people who go to the beach in the early morning are cultivating a healthy self care practice.  While I was preggers with N I would go to the beach in the early morning hours and just sit in solitude, sometimes I would journal and sometimes I would just enjoy the negative ions charging up my feel good vibes. You will see a few people having their morning soak or walk and for the most part you know they are there just to do something good for their soul and it feels great to be in the company of others from a distance.

Do you identify as a highly sensitive person? (take the quiz if you are unsure)
How have you taken care of yourself and what are some of your favorite places in Grenada to explore?

What are some of the attributes of Highly Sensitive People
sensitiveperson.com describes HSPs (and I paraphrase) as follows: 

Emotionally- mainly seen as shy, introverted and socially inhibited (or can be socially extroverted). They are often acutely aware of other's emotions.

Physically- Low tolerance to noise, glaring lights, strong orders, clutter and/or chaos. They tend to have more body awareness of themselves and know instinctually when the environment they are in is not working for them.

Socially-Introverted HSP may feel like misfits. They actually enjoy their own company and are totally comfortable being alone. Bother introverted and socially extroverted HSP often find they need alone time to recover after social interactions.

Psychologically- HSPs compensate for their sensitivity by either protecting themselves by being alone too much, or, by trying to be "normal" or sociable which then over-stimulates them into stress.

Relationships- can be difficult. In relationships they may be confronted with their unresolved personal issues.  They can however, offer their partner the gifts of their intuitive insights.
 Childhood Wounds have a more devastating effect on HSPs. It is important for them to heal their past hurts because they cannot just forget them and go on in denial.

Spiritually- sensitive people have a greater capacity for inner searching. This is one of their greatest blessings

Nutritionally- HSPs may need more more simplicity in their diet. They may be vitally aware of the effects of food on the health of their body and their emotional stability.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How to Live your Dream Life in 5 Steps:Vision Board Workshop

(Photographer: Arthur Daniel) 

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting"-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist 

The fact that I am even writing this blog post is the result of believing in the power of manifestation , and, the audacity that I deserve to live a fulfilled and happy life in an authentic way...breaking the rules and finding my own path. 

About a month ago local artist and illustrator Stacey Byer invited me to an introductory vision board making workshop at the Connection*  on Lagoon Road. I was excited to attend the workshop since she sent me the invitation (about 3 weeks out)! I remember sending her the glitter throwing GIF on Facebook messenger and saying I felt like I won a prize. I do love me some intentional crafting! I have been making vision boards since I was pregnant with Baby N (now Toddler N). It is a wonderful way to articulate your hopes and dreams in a very tangible and visual way.  


Upon arriving at the workshop I was greeted by familiar faces- old school friends, Stacey and the mastermind behind The Connection, a shared workspace. Stacey started the workshop by explaining the philosophy behind making vision boards. I loved the perspective of the sceptic as she she explained what vision boards are and how they work. Almost like...I didn't think this ish could work...but it does and now I am sharing the good news!



Vision Boards are a visual representation of your hopes, dream and desires. They comprise images, words and diagrams cut from magazines that visually express all that you want for yourself in a very tangible (or sometimes not so tangible) way. Here is how it works:

Step 1 

Write a list of your hopes and dreams...how your life would look if you could have whatever you wanted and needed to feel great. A simple guide...what does a happy healthy and whole life look like to you? I like listing by theme or catergory for example: family, home, career, spirituality/ wellness and travel. 

Step 2 

Sort through copious amounts of magazines and pick the images, phrases or words that correspond with the list you made in step 1.  

Step 3

Stick your cuttings onto the board (mine was yellow I have been feeling very attracted to this colour recently) in a way that feels best to you. Personally, I like to fill the centre of my board with what is most important to mine and my families sense of wellbeing.  I take this from the 
Feng Shui  philosophy- where the centre of your space must be tended to most lovingly. It is from this place that you feel healthy and fulfilled enough to enjoy all other aspects of your life. Then, I stick the rest of my cuttings in a way that can tell a story with images and words that compliment each other and make sense near each other. 

Step 4 

Look at your board and see whether you need anything else to complete your good vibes life vision. For me...I needed some glitter and stickers to just make that bad boy shine and sparkle like the piece of magic it is. 

Step 5 

Hang or place your vision board in a space where you can look at it often. Some people feel like even if it is rolled up in a closet it will still work (and have supported this with evidence). However, I enjoy looking at it often to remind myself of my priorities, hopes and dreams. The magic is in the reminder, the reminder that now what is left is to remain positive, centered, trusting and to take action to achieve what you desire.  


I thoroughly enjoyed doing this is the company of a positive and fun group of people. We drank wine,  ate cheese and pineapple screwers and helped each other find the images that best suited our vision. Some people wanted pictures of happy families, others a statement door, gardens and dream travel destinations. We worked together to make rock star vision boards and left happy and excited....much like how I arrived. 

I think vision board making would can be a  great group activity. I could imagine it working well if several people contributed to one vision board -for example a partners in a start up, a couple, family or team members. Discussing their interpretation of success and/or happiness, reconciling inconsistencies and searching for the ideal visual representations.  It is something that can be done periodically. I made one in January on a cork board with the idea that I wanted to be able to add or takeaway as I evolved mentally and spiritually. 

How has vision board making affected my life? I have taken action to move my life from where it was to where it is today...a positive direction if I do say so myself. My dreams were (and still are) at the forefront of my mind because I constantly looked at them. One example is a phrase from my first ever vision board being "Artist in Residence". At the time I was a full time practicing attorney just over a year out of law school. That has very little to do with art and I could not have began to figure out how I would get from there to being an "Artist in residence". I was blogging and taking photographs on the side for Grenada Soul Adventurer but the bulk of my energy was invested in a legal practice. 

Today I am an artist in residence...sort of...I work full time as part of a creative team, honing my craft in graphic design, writing and social media marketing. I have seen my creative and artistic work make strides much like an artist in residence would through concentrated work. This in turn has improved my content on my personal blog and has affirmed that a creative career is viable and fulfilling. For example, I spent the last 9 days attending, organising, documenting and promoting the Grenada Chocolate Fest with fellow team members and fellow the Spice Bloggers That is right...a CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL! 

(Photographer Arthur Daniel) 
This was work

Through my work I have attracted more opportunities and the right people who share my passions, curiosities and aspirations. The tribe that just gets me! We have inspired each other and have worked as a group for the empowerment of each of us. 

How does your happy, healthy and whole life look? Have you ever made a vision board before? How has it worked out for you? I would love to hear from you in the comments below and on social media.  

For more Grenada Soul Adventurer goodness subscribe to receive notifications of all my new content or follow me over on Instagram and Facebook. I am loving IG stories lately.  



*The Connection is a shared workspace comprising: a work room with desks and all the things you need at an office that can be shared by several people at once and a private meeting room. I have seen other bloggers, vloggers and independent creatives in the US and UK speak and show these kind of collective work spaces and hoped something like this would soon be available to us- especially since more and more people are putting their time into their passions and business ideas and often need a space where they can have the office experience without renting a space on their own.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sea Lungs: An Installation by Asher Mains

(Photographer Kenroy George

I love art. I love what art does. I love that art takes you from an unsuspecting cursory glance to a space of full engagement with some thought about our existence here on this earth. If you entertain these thoughts long enough art has the power to send you on an exploration of one of life's truths, as transient and beautiful as it gets- one could call it a Soul Adventure.  

Earlier this month I was invited to the preview of Grenadian artist Asher Main's installation entitled Sea Lungs at Susan Mains Art Gallery. As I type the pieces are likely on their way to the official Grenada National Pavilion themed "The Bridge" at the La Biennale de Venezia- 57th International Art Exhibition, one of the most esteemed international art exhibits. This is the second  consecutive year that Grenada has had an official pavilion and also the second time Asher has exhibited at said pavilion- the first time with his Cocoa Farmers in 2015 (La Biennale de Venezia occurs every other year) . 

This year his contemporaries at Grenada's pavilion include: Jason de Caires Taylor (creator of the world's first underwater sea sculpture park which can be found just off Grenada's west coast, Milton Williams, Alexandre Murucci, Zena Assi, Rashid al Kahlifa, Khaled Hafez and Mahmoud Obaidi

As I approached the gallery's entrance an estimated three times larger than life stencil portrait on sail cloth greeted me. A light illuminated it from behind revealing the shadow of a dangling sea fan, an object that through its appearance and movement resembled a breathing lung (as I would imagine them). 

Before the preview I had the privilege of exploring with Asher  what he intended to communicate with his pieces and the process that went into creating them. Each portrait has more dimensions and layers than those apparent at first blush. 

The Message                                        



For those who are oblivious to the state of our oceans and reefs in the Caribbean and worldwide- there is a bit of a crisis happening. Reefs are dying rapidly due to overfishing, pollution and people literally taking bits of the reef away as souvenirs .  All many of us have ever known of the reef- the only interaction we have had has been with the evidence of its demise washed up on our shores. It is accepted as normal, it is all we expect- without realizing what the ocean is telling us. We cherish these sea gift, we use the brain coral to exfoliate feet or create jewelry with smaller more delicate pieces. We use sea fans as decoration. In my home they make excellent earring holders. 



But what if these beautiful other worldly gifts are like pieces of ourselves, dying and detaching from our whole. How would we feel then? Asher endeavours to personify the reef's emotional reaction it's own demise.  The faces of the subjects appear somber, contemplative, accepting, anguished and sometimes frustrated. The faces were were of people I knew: my colleague, his cousin, my friend, my friend's little sister. I allowed their faces to render me vulnerable, completely relaxing into the current of empathy for their grief- grieving with the ocean-grieving with the reef. I was pushed and pulled the way the sea has often pushed and pulled me when I sit where the waves meet the shore. Grief can be all consuming- it textures our existence--we are completely immersed. 

This installation, which you enter and are then surrounded by, has the ability to put it's audience in a simulated state of grieving. It allows it's audience to reconsider the privilege of it's ignorance to this ongoing tragedy. It is genius (in my humble opinion). Have you ever felt that gravitational sensation of emotional pain just considering a close family member of friend dying.  

Poet Khalil Gibran tells us "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding". Through the vulnerable state this installation has the power to evoke- one can start to understand the severity of the state of our reefs- and that it does matter to each of our lives-no matter how little we think it does.

The Process 

I thoroughly enjoyed observing how Asher created one of these pieces. I typically envision an artist painting portraits standing at their canvas glancing forward at a person or picture creating stroke after stroke until the portrait is complete. I fully acknowledge that this is a very reductionist and stereotypical view. Materials (in my imagination) usually used include oil paint or any other traditional media of choice, stretched canvas, paint brushes and a pallet.

The reality of how these pieces were created is less like the scene from Titanic. It could be perceived as quite technical if each process is observed in isolation. However, if strung together in a time lapse, I imagine, it is all quite magical.


Asher asked friends to do a photoshoot at the beach. The creative emotional direction: imagine the stages of grief- denial, anger, bargaining, depressing and acceptance. He then reduced these digital images into threshold (into the shadows and light), projected them into bristol board stuck onto the wall of his studio and carved out each shade variation with an exacto knife (I hope I articulated this clear enough) to create stencils. 

Each stencil was then held to a large sail cloth and spray paint was sprayed against sea fans creating a somewhat scaly texture. Even the way he referred some element of a subjects hair as "island of hair" was very indigenous and ocean like. Once each layer was completed it was attached by its top edge to a piece of wood so as to eventually install it. At the chest of each subject Asher dangled a lung like sea fan and used light from behind the sail cloth to create the shadow and illusion of  Sea Lungs

He was deliberate, for this installation in particular, to use things that are easily and affordably sourced locally- sail cloth from marine stores or old used sails, sea fans washed up on our beaches, spray paint from the hardware, bristol board from Brydens ( everyone in Grenada knows Brydens is synonymous with stationary). Asher does this so as to debunk the idea that creating art is only for the few who can afford the expensive supplies- if one had a concept in mind, he believes, this particular style of creating is accessible. 

If you would like to see more of Asher follow his amazing instagram account: @ashermains 
Visit his Facebook page  or his website or watch out for him in Venice! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Toddler Friendly Adventures in Grenada: Palm Tree Gardens


Dear Soul Adventurers,

I am back with another mama blog post: A Toddler Friendly Adventure in Grenada. As promised, content will be uploaded twice a month on the 7th and the 21st. Last month I posted about the meaning of the phrase "I love you". This was written by a secret guest blogger. If you are interested check it out.

#BabyN is now an undeniable toddler ( she will always be my baby). I love this stage of her life. She is starting to talk and it is so stinking cute! I am in love with her personality. She is an independent minded, wild, loud, loving, sassy and innocent force of nature. She is at the stage where  she needs time to run around and release her energy in a natural environment regularly (a girl after my own heart). She loves the ocean and approaches the crashing waves without even a shred of hesitation. I love it and it also makes me nervous. 😰

Last weekend I decided to take her to Palm Tree Gardens in Laura, St. David (about 25 minute drive from Grand Anse or St. George's town). It came highly recommended by a mama from my Mama Tribe (a tribe of 3 is still a tribe...shout out to Marie and Amber). We called Laurence Lambert, the owner, ahead of time to let him know we were on our way. He gives the guided tour himself so I don't recommend just showing up unannounced. We were the only ones there and had the privilege of a private tour free of charge.

The gardens are exactly what I had hoped for. At the entrance there is a grassy area perfect for running around barefoot. The parameter - blossoming with tropical fragrant flowers, ferns, shrubs and of course...you guessed it, palms. Laurence took his time explaining each plant. Luckily Omi (German for Granny) Soul Adventurer was there to be a good guest because I spent a fair amount of time making sure #ToddlerN was not ingesting anything that she discovered on the ground (the joys of motherhood) and taking pictures.


What I loved most was the way we explored the garden- down stairs, small hills, narrow passage ways -all fringed with brightly coulored tropical plants. My favorite was a spot just at the end of the tour- after walking past what used to be pig pens, now filled with plants, there was a lone bench in a small grassy area. As I sat on the bench I became absolutely present, nature has a way of doing that. There was an enchanting view of different colorful orchids, palms, magenta bourganvillia and cocoa trees with their sunset coloured pods in the distance.

If you are ever looking for a toddler friendly adventure in Grenada, or,  if you are just a lover of nature I would definitely recommend this spot.

Palm Tree Gardens gets a Grenada Soul Adventurer...and Mama Bear stamp of approval!  


Follow we along on Instagram and Facebook for regular updates or subscribe so you don't ever miss a post. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Guest Blogger: Meaning of Love

 

Hello my Dear Soul Adventurers, 
An anonymous guest blogger has allowed me to share this intimate piece in our community- our safe space. What it means to love is a pretty tricky concept. How do we know what someone means when they say " I love you"? What do you mean when you say "I love you"? Love as a noun and how we communicate it as a verb can often get lost in translation. 
What I mean by "I love you" 
 by Anonymous 
People don’t explore and define what it means to say, “I love you” to someone enough. For most people it is a sequence of language that follows, “I like you”. For others it’s a way of getting what you want. Some people don’t think about it at all and say it all their lives. Not defining our terms is almost as bad as the tendency people have to categorize all of their relationships.
When I say I love you, it means that I am interested and invested in you becoming the best version of yourself. I want you to have a full life, to be happy and healthy (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc), I want to help you do what you say you want to do, and I am willing to give you parts of me, time and energy so that you can have those things. When I say I love you it means I am going to be thinking about how I can give and contribute to your life more than what I can get from you. I think one of the things that people gloss over is to take the time to understand how someone needs to be loved. There are some people that need to be loved in a certain way as far as their journey to a fuller life. Some people may have some needs met but not others and so the best way I can love them is to contribute what I can give or what they are missing if I am able to give that. There are a lot of things that I think people really don’t need when it comes to love. For the most part, people don’t need/want to be controlled. People don’t need/want to be dominated (unless you’re into that sort of thing). For me, part of love is to affirm the individuality of the other person, that they are on their own track and going through their own things and again, they don’t fit into a box or a category. There have been times where I realise that loving someone just means listening and accepting them and that’s what they need to feel loved. I can’t think of a situation where my being jealous helps contribute to someone’s life. I guess the one exception would be if I felt jealousy because I didn’t think that the other person had the person’s best interests at heart and then it’s an issue of wanting the person I love to be healthy and have healthy relationships. Cultivate love in yourself and recognise it in others. Surround yourself with people who understand what it means to love.
............................

What do you mean by "I love you" leave your thoughts in the comment section below
Grenada Soul Adventurer Note
1. Call for contributions
It is your turn! If you want Grenada Soul Adventurer to feature your writings about your personal Soul Adventures send your contributions to souladventurergnd@gmail.com.

2. Follow me on Instagram 

Follow Grenada Soul Adventurer on Instagram for a look into my world. I post regularly  
3. Blogging Schedule 

Oh this is a scary one. An actual schedule! I will post Blogs twice monthly- 7th of every month and 21st of every month (I know, this one is early). See you back here on the 7th!  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Finding Your Tribe: Spice Bloggers Meetup





I have to be honest about something that has occupied my thoughts recently- my growth as a blogger and writer. I started the year feeling very excited and enthusiastic about Grenada Soul Adventurer and my personal growth in 2017. I made plans to have 24 blog posts (2 per month). I knew my blog posts needed to be more consistent and frequent. I psyched myself up with big ideas and the task began to feel impossible. I made it too complicated and grand...too far beyond my mortal-mama-of-a-one-year-old-and-working-a-full-time-job reach. Thus far the number of blogs upload right here have been 2 in 2017. Half of what I set out to do! All big dreams and no big action.

Just before Christmas last year I met with Intuitive Health and Happiness Coach Adele from the amazing youtube channel Adele Smith to interview her for you guys. She does weekly card readings and motivational videos on her channel. After our first in person meet up...which was a two hour conversation (more on that to come soon) I felt strongly that I should have a personal card reading done by her. That card reading revealed positive career shifts and an exciting spiritual journey was in my future. I was given somewhat of a prescription. Part of the prescription, which was revealed on the angel board, was to find a support group-aka-my tribe.
As you may have known from one of my previous blog post (16 Amazing Things that Happened in 2016) I was featured as one of the Grenadian Blogs to follow in 2017 on Istra Bell's Blog  Islepreneur. After its publication there was a bit of buzz about blogging in Grenada (there are quite a few of us). Kindred spirit and fellow Grenadian  blogger and youtuber  Divya from amarnanixo.com was inspired to start a private Facebook group called "Spice Bloggers" in late January. She invited everyone she knew to blog and be Grenadian to join, including yours truly.

This group has given me life as a blogger! We share our posts, check in on each other, discuss things like consistency in uploading content and just about anything under the bright and warm Caribbean sun. It has become a safe and supportive sounding board to share those blog posts we percieved to be on less popular topics. These blog posts have stimulated meaningful, open and enlightening discussions. This is more than just a group to promote our work, it feels like a close knit tribe.

" I was excited for the meet up...to be honest I was giddy"

On Saturday 4th March we finally met up at The Edge Bar and  Restaurant on Grand Anse Beach just in time witness the beautiful sunset . I was excited for the meet up...to be honest I was giddy. By the time I was dressed and ready to head out of the door I almost did one of those comical skips where you jump into the air and touch your heals (you know what I am talking about).

Yuh gyul was scared to even be late (inevitably I was) just incase I missed out on introductions and exciting conversations. I arrived 20 minutes late and met almost everyone there. Many of us knew each other from school or through common friends (we live on a tiny island). We talked about all things from religion (in the most sincere and open of ways), spirituality, life philosophy, growing up as young women in Grenada, building websites, e-commerce, blogging as a business, skincare, healthy diet, self love...the list goes on.
 "I have a feeling that the bright future of blogging as people from small islands  is no longer a hazy distant dream"
Now that we have consolidated and mobilized I have a feeling that the bright future of blogging as people from small islands  is no longer a hazy distant dream. Already we have joined accountability support groups and starting to do the work to take our individual platforms to the next level. Meeting these wonderful souls  has not been an accident, the universe aligned it in this way to give us all the affirmation that we are not in it alone and that we are celebrated by our peers.

Have you found your tribe?

Tribes are important! You need positive people in your circle. Have you found your tribe? People who support your growth in a meaningful way?

If you are a Blogger in Grenada and have not yet been inducted into our group send me a message either here or on Facebook. If you would like to reach out to us as Grenadian Bloggers to spread the word about exciting things happening here on the island we are completely open to that too. We have been doing it for years. Each blogger has a unique voice and combined the topics we cover are almost limitless.

Follow me on Instagram for regular updates. I am also a big fan of instagram story and sometimes share healthy recipes and my daily thoughts over there. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Practice Self Love: 24 Hours at Crayfish Bay Organic Estate


Self love and Self care have been huge buzz words recently.  Valentines Day is just around the corner and so I thought this post would be relevant at this time of year.  With so many things happening in our personal lives and in the world we often feel drained. It is important to take time to refill ourselves. For me it is very important to spend time alone with nature.

Sometime last year Baby N had a horrible week of teething which took a tole on both of us. I decided that when she was alright again that I would take a 24 hour mom-cation, our first 24 hours apart. As a mom, you rarely get time to yourself. You do a lot of taking care of others and often come up short. 

During the internet age pockets of time where you are not necessarily doing mom and family things are swallowed up with mindless internet browsing in an attempt to unwind (not effective in my experience). This is true for a lot of people, not just parents. There is constantly something that takes your attention and not enough moments to be.

To unplug from it all I spent a night at Crayfish Bay Organic Estate all by myself. I had visited this place during the Grenada Chocolate Fest and with friends before. I always knew that one day I would  return to spend a night. The energy there is soul soothing. 

Crayfish Bay Organic Estate mainly grows cocoa. It is owned by couple Kim and Lylette. Kim is a feisty man who loves making things and figuring out how it can be done on a budget . Lylette is a calm soul. They balance each other. Together they make Organic 75% Tree-to-Bar Chocolate. 

The estate is located towards the north of the island in a village called Non Pariel, St. Mark. It Is tucked into the lush verdant mountainside and has a stunning ocean view. My two bedroom cabin had an outdoor kitchen on a huge verandah. The luxury of the cabin lies in its simplicity and the good vibes is provides. 

Here is how I chose to spend my 24 Hour Self Love Momcation.

6 pm 

Depart from home - first stop: IGA Supermarket to purchase some food provisions for the next 24 hours. 

8 pm 

Arrival at Crayfish Bay Organic Estate 

When I arrived it was already dark. In my bag I packed my read at the time "The Celestine Prophesy", a change of clothes and a swimsuit (just incase), my Canon, Bullet Journal, toiletries and a little craft project I had been working on. 

I did not want to do much and I did not want to talk much. I just wanted to sleep for a full night and operate on my own time (I also really wanted to paint my nails and wash my hair without feeling nervous). 

The Next Morning 
After a full nights rest (oh it was glorious) I awoke at dawn to this view from my bedroom window.  
I took a walk through the estate meeting farmers and their friendly dogs returning home from their morning's work 
The Cabin has a generously sized verandah. Whichever way you look you feel at ease- from the calm Caribbean Sea to lush green mountainsides. 

When I returned to my cabin I had some delicious lemon grass tea and ate breakfast 

For lunch I took my time decorating my breakfast bowl with fruits, nuts and raisins. I topped it with cinnamon and local honey. It was important for me to infuse each meal with  love and care and not to feel rushed in the least.


I made my way down the west coast just in time to catch golden hour over the fishing capital of Grenada- Gouyave St. John


It had been almost one year since I spent 24 hours on my own. I am a woman who needs these moment to just exist without any demands and without the influence other people's energy. It is how I recharge. That is what self love/self care means to me. Unapologetically spending time exclusively tending to my needs and wants. How can we care for others if you don't take care of ourselves first? 

 What do you do to show love to yourself? How do you recalibrate? Is it a daily practice or something that does not happen enough?  I would love to hear from you.

Peace and Bliss 
Grenada Soul Adventurer 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

16 Amazing Things that Happened in 2016


Early on new years day I posted my feelings about 2016 on Instagram. It was a  tough year for me in many ways but it was also very good to me in many more ways. Instead of dwelling on the disappointments I am celebrating all the amazing things accomplished or that happened in 2016.




Some things may not feel like news to some of you because I have been actively posting on Instagram. So here are the stories behind some of the pictures.  

1. I visited Hamburg, the city of my birth and where I lived until I was 7

Baby N and I took trains and planes in early January to get to our freezing destination. It was our first mama daughter trip. That trip allowed me to reconnect with some amazing people with whom I share so much love. I had been gone for so long that I almost forgot the love that resided in Hamburg. 

Traveling alone with a 2 month old also showed me how willing strangers are to help and connect in public spaces. For some moments they let their guard down and they smile at a baby...and then chatted for hours on a train with her mom. Those encounters reminded me to trust the goodness of people. 

2. I plucked up the courage to leave my legal career behind. 

I have consciously worked towards being a lawyer since I was just 17 and actually practiced law for two years. I left because wanted to give my creativity a serious chance to blossom. The law gave me a lot of what I needed to get to where I am at today and I thank it and release it with gratitude. It was scary at first and I kept looking back wondering whether I had made the right decision. Wondering how long it would take before I felt competent and confident in my new field. Almost 9 months later I stand knowing that I made the right choice, proud that I took and chance and excited for creative growth in the new year. Check out some of my handy work on the True Blue Bay Boutique Resort Blog

3.  Alicia Keys dropped her album Here and it gave me LIFE! 

I rediscovered why I fell in love with her music and her essence back in 2001(as I do with all of her albums). In this new album she dropped any facade that may have been there and just blew my mind. Favorite song on the album remains: Girl can't be herself. 



4. I discovered my love for interviewing people
I always enjoyed hearing people's stories . I had a chance to interview fellow creative Christina Cornier (that was a really long interview). I got to hear about how she found her way back to a creative lifestyle after many years of struggling against her nature. 

5. I began experimenting with art writing

This is fairly new but I know its going to be exciting. I found a way to weave art, and what it does to its audience into my personal reflections. 



6. I was one of the organizers of the Grenada Chocolate Fest

That was an exciting and intense time.  I tasted a lot of chocolate (real chocolate...), wrote a lot of tweets, blogged, instagrammed and met some pretty interesting people. My favorite part was probably the people and the organic dark chocolate. In  just under 2 weeks an international chocolate enthusiast gang was formed and it was glorious. I am excited  and slightly intimated (by the workload) for Chocolate Fest 2017 (Starting May 12th). 

7. I met new soul sisters

I don't know if I would describe myself as a woman's woman ,but, the emotional struggles that 2016 brought with it connected  me with other women who were on the journey to healing. I met soul traveler Carly from Cherish the Day Blog. We have an amazing bond and I will miss her a lot this year. This woman does not believe in small talk and we had many heavy heart to heart conversations. She is a soul traveler and I am a soul adventurer....and we are both soul warriors.  



I also connected with powerhouse writer,  blogger, artist, lawyer, PHD candidate and new mom Roopa. Oh my, when I read Roopa's bio before signing up for new parenthood yoga I knew I had to meet this lady. We talked...deep down real talk about becoming first time moms, balancing that with who we were before and trying to keep that transition healthy. We practiced Yoga, we cooked delicious Indian food until 10 pm (sorry for everyone who was waiting on that spread). Baby N and her son also bonded a bit, it was magical. 

Photocred: Arthur Daniel


8.  I watched  Cowspiracy and Food Matters

Thanks to those documentaries I am now super paranoid about food. Super paranoid but also super aware. It has made me feel an urgent push towards taking more responsibility for the food my family consumes. I always knew that we need more veggies and less sugar ( we all know that). But, what about pesticide and GMO free foods. Foods that are real and not slowly poisoning us. I am not even close to where I want my food game to be at but I am aware and working towards it. 

9. I grew my own kale and sorrel! 

This is connected to my new food safety awareness. I always considered myself to have a brown thumb. I once killed a cactus! This time around our makeshift compost (i.e the place where I dumped the produce waste) and lots of rain was on my side. From my kale I was able to make two salads so far and two yummy pasta dishes (if you follow my IG story and snapchat you would see how much I go on about my kale and sorrel) 


10. I joined the Green Team at work.  

Thanks to the Green Team I woke up a lot about environmental issues. We joke that our meetings are generally depressing because of the state of the environment. Global warming threatens our very existence on small islands, the food industry in large part only cares about the bottom line, our reefs are dieing and creatures are going extinct. Fortunately, being on the green team also made me more aware. I use less plastic, less disposable diapers, grew my own food,  and sometimes even talk to restaurants about the dangers of styrofoam and the fact that cardboard food boxes are just as cheap.

11. One full year of breast feeding! 

Yay! We made it to one year and are still going strong. There is all sort of politics about breast feeding in public and they are coming up again now that Baby N is officially Toddler N. However, I am determined to keep it up for a while still wherever we may be. It is the perfect food and a sacred bonding experience between mother and child! She has been on solids since about 4 months but mannn that girl still loves her boobie. 

12. Baby N walks! 

Just shy of one year she started taking her first steps. It is amazing how many changes happen in just one year and walking is a huge milestone. I have been warned that now the work really starts. 

13. Baby N Talks! 

She is not stringing sentences together just yet but she can communicate in her own way. I can't wait to be able to have  little conversations with her. Although I have heard from many moms that I can wait...and not to tell her my private business! 

14.  I had a personal card reading done and believe in magic a little bit more.

I met Adele: an amazing Grenadian woman. She is a Card Reader and  Intuitive Health and Happiness Coach who lived in Australia for many years and recently moved to Dubai. Adele and I have been crossing paths on IG for a good while. Maybe even years. 

In the middle of this year out of the blue a friend of mine mentioned her account. In November or December our paths crossed in real time. I felt a pull to connect with her. A few IG messages...then an exchange of numbers and finally the universe aligned for us to meet and talk over tea and coffee.  I interviewed her for a blog post (which is coming to you soon). Our conversation was intense and amazing.  Meeting with women like Adele, Roopa and Carly was inspiring on many levels 

After watching her weekly  F.A.B Card readings on youtube and connecting with her in real time I had the urge to have a personal card reading done. I was slightly worried, slightly sceptic but also very excited to find out what it would reveal. 



I am now a believer. It was a  very positive and very specific experience. It left me energized and excited to step further into my truth. Thanks Adele 


15. Grenada Soul Adventurer made it into two blogs

I was interviewed for women's history month by fellow Blogger Danielle. It felt really good to be picked as one of the interviewees for her #BlackGirlMagic series and to be on the other end of an interview



Grenada Soul Adventurer was also names one of the Grenadian blogs to follow by Islepreneur

16. Books and Audio Books! 2016 was a year of great reads. Not many books but books that have changed me. I read Veronica Decides to die by Paulho Coehlo, Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman,  and The Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield (in that order) . I also started Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. 



πŸ’•πŸ’–πŸ’—Bonus! Because I have more than 16 things to be grateful for in 2016

😁I celebrated Kwanzaa for the first time and documented it on snapchat and instagram
πŸ‘»I joined snapchat and sort of kind of understand it now (follow gndadventurer)
πŸ‘I am a volunteer at the Grenada Community Library (PR Team)
πŸ‘The Grenada Community Library found a permanent home
πŸ‘The Grenada Community Library published its first book; "The Grenada Chocolate Family" the narrative of which was dreamed up by the children of the creative writing program.
πŸ™My friend Carly Introduced me to Spray Bay in Westerhall and I screamed at the ocean


πŸ’ƒI wore turbans and felt fabulous

Writing this blog affirmed that 2016 was not as rough as I made it out to be. There were dark moments, but they only served to bring out the light.

In 2017 I have one rule : "Find what feels good and everything else will take care of itself."

I would love to hear from you in the comments

What are you grateful for 2016?
What are your intentions/resolutions/ rules for 2017?

Follow me on IG @GrenadaSoulAdventurer , Facebook: Grenada Soul Adventurer and Snapchat: gndadventurer for more behind the scenes daily content.