My Caribbean Adventure: 2 Weeks in Jamaica

Jamaica seems like a very distant memory right now, and all I keep thinking about is how much I was enjoying life 😒💚❤️️💛.

My two week adventure in Kingston was definitely one to remember. Split into two parts, I was able to see the real Jamaica and experience its unforgettable people and culture, as well the perfectly-packaged tourist ready version of the island.

Week 1

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Soaking up the sun, and drinking WATA!

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As mentioned in my previous blog, this was my first trip to Jamaica. Kingston is where my grandma grew up, where my dad visited when he was younger, so I was more than excited to experience what they had always talked about.

‘Uppa country’ as locals like to say, is where I called home for the first seven days. (Funnily enough when I got back to the UK I learned that my grandma actually grew up on the same road as where I was staying. Coincedence much?!) Beautiful views, windy country roads, fresh food, is all what consumed my time.

No internet, no TV, just living simply. To some this may sound like hell, but in all honesty it was a relief. Detoxifying even. This is what going away is all about (for me anyway) and it was lovely not to have any distractions and to simply chat, listen, learn and enjoy life.

The week now seems like a blur, I guess the saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ is true. The cool late nights playing dominoes or dancing merged into the days where I sat in the sun drinking bag juice. I felt like this is what life is meant to be like 100% of the time – no time keeping, just taking the time to have fun and be.

Week 2

After enjoying a week with family, it was time to move to our airbnb.

Now, can I just take a moment to praise how convenient and affordable airbnb is in Jamaica. We found some beautiful gems to rent, but, settled for an apartment opposite the Bob Marley museum. Super convenient, modern and it even had a pool which we never actually used, but it was nice to have the option, especially as we were hours away from any natural beach.

Being in Jamaica was a gave me nothing short of a whirlwind of emotions, but ultimately it taught me to be confident… unapologetically, inside and out. It’s a mantra that many of us talk about and try to omit, but honestly speaking I didn’t feel conscious about myself, about my weight, about my race and it was lovely to just live life. Maybe this was down I to me being in my natural habitat, being comfortable in my surroundings, and in my skin, it was a feeling that I surely will never forget.

 

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Frenchman cove
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Frenchman Cove
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Frenchman Cove
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Frenchman Cove

We most definitely caught the beach bug and headed even further to Ocho Rios – Turtle Tower beach the day after too.

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Turtle Tower Beach
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Watching Dolphins
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Turtle Tower Beach
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What does this look like to you? #PumPum Rock
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Views from Portland

 

 

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Hope you enjoyed… I know I did!

Are you off anywhere special in the coming months?

Why Kingston, Jamaica Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination

Hey all,

I’ve been back in the UK for just over a week and I am wanderlusting HARD!

From the title of this blog, you’ve probably guessed where I’ve just come back from.

Yes… I’ve been living carefree, soaking up all the vitamin D the caribbean has to offer, sipping on Red Stripe Lemon, and exploring the bustling capital city of Jamaica, Kingston.

The Caribbean is somewhere that I’ve always gravitated towards when looking for my next holiday destination. It’s hot, it’s instagrammable, and there’s so much culture to explore.

Having travelled to Barbados on multiple occasions, I thought it was about time I explored my Jamaican heritage. And seeing as both mine and my boyfriends families are from Kingston, it was only right that this would be our home for 2 weeks.

My heart fell for Kingston instantly. The vibrancy of the city set against the mountain views were absolutely superb, so, if you’re planning a trip to the caribbean or more specifically Jamaica, it’s only right I put Kingston on your radar.

1. The Food

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Locals use wood oven like these to cook jerk chicken and pork
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Pictured: Lobster, Bammi, Plantain, Fried Dumplings

Jamaicans know how to throw down… anywhere! Whether you’re strolling through Kingston passing local food businesses with home made wood ovens, or sat down in a nice restaurant you’re always seconds aways from tasty, fresh food. There’s something for everyone. If you’re after something traditional like ackee & saltfish, lobster and bammi, callaloo and breadfruit or even something more western, like a burger, Kingston has got an array of eateries. Plus, Vegan options are standard!

2. The People

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Locals you’ll find in Kingston

No Problem is Jamaica’s national slogan, and it’s perfectly fitting. The people are loud, confident, outgoing, funny, charismatic and will help you out with no problem. Oh, and somehow, everyone seems to be able to sing.

3. The Culture

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Beautiful paintings inside the Bob Marley museum grounds

With Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley and Usain Bolt national heroes, there is plenty to be explored when it comes to the history and culture of Jamaica.

A Jamaican folktale I came across was that the first Jamaican Bobsledding team actually got the idea to compete as bobsledders in the Olympics after racing around on carts used to transport food in downtown Kingston fresh food market. True or not, it’s quite interesting.

4. The Music (…and the parties!)

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Amazing artist: IndieMeName

As I said before, everyone on the island seems to have a record label worthy voice. Is it any wonder, Jamaica was home to the musical legend that was Bob Marley. The island thrives off of good music and good vibes. From the parties, to concerts, it’s evident that Jamaicans have music flowing through their veins.

At one point during our stay we were at a street party that started at about 5pm and ended at 7am the next morning. Music blasted all night with No Problem. can you imagine the ruckus from neighbours if that happened in the UK?!

5. The Views

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Compared to Barbados, Jamaica is a very mountainous island, so much so, that anywhere  you find yourself in Kingston, there’ll be a beautiful backdrop of a mountains and palm trees to admire. I mean do you need anything else?

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I have so many unforgettable memories from Jamaica that there are so many more beautiful reasons on why you should visit Kingston. Keep your eyes peeled on my next post all about the places you should visit (beaches included)!

Have you/ would you ever visit Kingston?

Primark False Nails: Achieve the perfect at-home manicure

Hey dolls,

I’m just going to shimmy past the fact that I haven’t posted in ages and tell you how much I’m loving Primark’s false nails.

I never really go into Primark, but, after a failed attempt to swipe up their infamous Chip mug #chipgate – if you managed to get one – I hate you, I found myself looking around and ended up in their beauty section.

As of recent I’ve been having a little bit of a style crisis. I find myself liking things but second guessing if I could ‘pull it off’, but when I found their false nails I thought – efff it!

The funny thing is I’m not a fan of fake nails but, after looking through Primark’s vast array of options I just couldn’t help myself.

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After whittling my choices down to two sets of falsies (it was a hard decision especially as each pack was only £2!) I ended up with a chromatic pair which I’m currently wearing and a pretty gold metallic pair which I love.

To be completely honest I never really have much faith in anything Primark, as even if I find an amazing product, I find their quality just isn’t as great as it could be, but of course it’s expected considering how affordable everything is.

Since the end of last year I stopped treating myself to getting shellac so, in a bid to pamper myself, I took my time and prepped my nails as well as the falsies and applied them and they’ve lasted a whole 4 days without any retouches – which I’m sure we can all agree is amazing for any do it yourself false nails and especially as they’re from Primark!

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But, let me tell you how I’ve managed to make them last so long.

  1. Prep nails. Take off any nail varnish and remove any oil from the nail beds by using nail varnish remover. Wipe clean and don’t wash hands.
  2. Cut, file & buff. I think this is the most important step. Cut your nails down short, file them into a nice shape then, with the extra rough side of your nail file, buff all over the nail bed. This will leave some debris on the nail bed but leave it on as this debris will help the nail stick with the glue.
  3. Assign false nails to each finger. I found that there wasn’t a great deal of sizes in Primark’s packet. They were either too big or too small, which meant I had to spend a bit more time filing the larger nail options down to fit on my nail bed.
  4. Glue time! Let me tell you that this glue is actually really strong, I thought I may have to buy stronger name brand glue, but Primark’s has sufficed. I made sure to cover my whole nail bed with glue as well as on the backside of the nail I had assigned to each of my nails, paying particular attention to the edges so that they stuck down properly.
  5. Once each nail is was stuck down, I held down with pressure for about 30 seconds and moved on to the next.

Wa-lah! There you have it.

I’m really really pleased with the quality of these nails, as I have bought more expensive packets of false nails before and always been been a victim of one suddenly popping off in public or looking down at my hand to find a two missing #NotaGoodLook.

Have any of you tried Primark’s falsies? Or anything from their ever-growing beauty range? What did you think?

Also let me know if you try my way of applying falsies at home x

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11 thought-provoking quotes from Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Adichie

It feels that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and actually focus on anything blog related in a lifetime.

I’ve missed this feeling. And I only have my annoying iPhone to thank, there’s always a problem with it. Luckily I have my upgrade to look forward to next month, so I may move on to something else, but probably not as I’m a sucker for punishment.

Anyway, I digress. Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Southbank Centre for their annual Women of the World Festival (check it out) where one of my all time favourite authors – Chimamanda Adichie – hosted a talk all about feminism.

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First of all, I have to thank Stylist magazine, as I had no idea that this festival even existed until it was printed in their magazine. As soon as I saw that the talented and sometimes controversial Chimamanda was talking there, I booked my tickets immediately as I’ve literally dreamt of having the chance to sit down and quiz her about her books, since I finished Half of a Yellow Sun, and although this was hardly a one on one, the chance to see her in real life was good enough for me lol.

Ever since reading a few of her books, I have been a die-hard fan of Chimamanda, I mean she’s even featured on Beyonce’s tune – if you haven’t heard of her, what have you been doing?!

Two weeks ago she released a short essay called; Dear Ijeawele or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestionscheck my insta – in response to a friend who asked her how to raise a feminist daughter, which she also discussed in depth on stage and let me tell you the whole experience was life!

I’ve never really liked labelling myself as a feminist, as I feel it has soooo many negative connotations, and in my opinion, you either agree with the equality between men and women or you don’t, but Chimamanda discussed many great points, during her talk and in her book, that after listening and reading I proudly say ‘I’m a feminist’.

She shares so many suggestions, some of which really did have me chuckle, so I thought   I’d share my favourite quotes with you, although I do recommend that you read for yourself as it’s such a quick, humorous and thought-provoking read:

  • Be a full person
  • Never apologise for working. You love what you do, and loving what you do can be a great gift.
  • ‘Because you’re a girl’ is never a reason for anything. Ever.
  • The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.
  • Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not.
  • Reject likeability.
  • We have a world full of women who are unable to exhale fully because they have for so long been conditioned to fold themselves into shapes to make themselves likeable.
  • Never treat marriage as an achievement.
  • Kindness matters… but teach her that her kindness should never be taken for granted.
  • To love is not only to give but to take.
  • If you criticise X in women but do not criticise X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women

There are so many quick-fire quotes from this book, that I’ll always have in mind, especially in the fight of feminism. Have you pocketed any quotes from this book?

Do you label yourself a a feminist? Have you ever read any of Chimamanda’s other books, if so, which is your favourite?

 

5 Reasons Why I HATE Twitter Chats

After reaching my one year milestone on this blog a couple of weeks ago, I stupidly promised myself to join at least 2 twitter chats a week.

Let’s just all laugh together 😂

My advances to become a somewhat ‘better blogger’ wasn’t actually unachievable, but I’ve come to the realisation that I actually hate twitter chats (well, most of them anyway).

When I first started blogging Twitter chats were the bomb.com!

I would e-meet other bloggers, interact and find new blogs, as well as discover blogging events which definitely helped me network and ultimately turn my blog into what it is today, BUT, after being back on the twitter chats for just over a week, I’ve realised that my goal to join 2 twitter chats a week may have been a bit of a reach.

Let me tell you why…

  1. No shade, but there’s only so many times a year, never mind a week, where I can discuss my favourite disney movie. I get it, we all love disney and it’s a great past-time to re-live our awesome 90’s childhood, but I’m a grown ass 20 something year old woman who’s got shit going on. Let’s get real.
  2. The choice of topics is an issue. Blogging is so diverse – from the people to the subjects. I mean people blog about any and everything, so why do we always end up discussing the same topics and throwing around the same answers and buzz words? It’s like we know what others want to hear, what makes us sound good and what sounds a the right level of controversial. Let’s get real.
  3. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been an active part of the twitter chat community for ages, but is it me or is everyone besties? Everyone has something witty to say, a sure-fire comeback. I can’t lie, it makes the chats fun and very interactive, but it just makes me wonder is it all real? Are you really as animated as that sassy GIF you just tweeted or are you sitting in bed with a straight face, going back and forth, just like me? Plus, we have the whole follow/unfollow debacle which just grinds my gears. Let’s get real.
  4. Everything moves so bloody quickly. I know, I know. I feel as though my inner-granny is taking over. Even as I type this I’m imagining an older version of myself walking across the TL with my zimmerframe, but I would love if Twitter slowed down, even by a milli-second. Like, I’m sure I’m the only person who answers a question forgetting to use the chat hashtag? 😪
  5. I never have enough time to dedicate a whole blessed hour to a twitter chat.

Don’t get me wrong guys, I do enjoy a few chats and I get that Twitter chats take a lot to run and host every week, but for me a lot of it is cliche, so… I’m revoking my earlier promise and will only be joining chats when I’m genuinely interested in, and not just because I said I would 😝.

We’re probably all as guilty as each other when it comes to these points (or nah), but maybe it’s time for a change?!

What chats do you enjoy joining and why, do you have any pet peeves when it comes to Twitter chats?

 

OOTD: Confidence

Hey ya’ll,

Today I’m switching it up.

After recently retweeting a thread that really struck a chord with me, I’ve been dwelling on whether to write more posts on subjects that affect me.

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-21-39-42I was so scared of sharing this thread (pictured above) on my twitter timeline. In fact, I toyed back and forth about whether I should retweet for my followers to see. I didn’t want any of my followers who I actively interact with to feel uncomfortable, but at the same time I just couldn’t stay silent. Twitter is my platform to share whatever I like, and although, I didn’t like this post, I could relate with subject matter.

Most of my posts are about what I do on the weekend, the places I travel and what-not which is great because I genuinely enjoy sharing those aspects of my life, but most of the time my head is swirling with a gazillion things that affect me on a daily basis, and one of those ‘things’ is how I choose wear my confidence as a black woman.

And I use the word ‘choose’ because every way in which I am confident is not always accepted in the society I live in.

Being a black woman living in London is something that I treasure and love about myself. In my home, in front of my friends and family I am Rianne without any limitations, however, in society being black acts as anchor that doesn’t allow me to fully be myself without stereotypes and tags being attached to me and everything I do.

Angry, loud, passive aggressive, ratchet instead of their positive alternatives like passionate, confident, intelligent and honest are labels that get thrown around at black women on a daily basis. A few of these words have even been hurled at me and used to put me down which  of course, over the years have had a detrimental affect on my confidence and means I have to always be socially and consciously aware in situations I’m in.

So, here’s a few ways I choose to wear my confidence, when the world tells me I can’t…

Posture
It’s proven that posture has a direct reflection of how you feel and are perceived. Standing with a straight back and head held high makes all the difference to how I feel. For me it’s totally natural for me to recoil into my posture if I’m not feeling great, or if there’s something society deems as not being something I should be proud or confident about. Whenever I catch myself doing this, I remember to readjust my position to show –  I have a purpose and I am meant to be here.

Hair
If you didn’t know I have dreadlocks, take a look at my posts about it here & here. Although this hair journey is becoming a lot more mainstream as a natural, protective hairstyle for black women, it’s not always understood and still very much not an ‘approved’ hairstyle in many workplaces, but I love how I wear my hair as a way to display my heritage and culture. My hair is very versatile, sometimes, I have it in styles, sometimes I have it out, but I love that it can be a conversation starter, where I can educate anyone who wants to know more.

Attitude
Stereotypically black women can be seen as intimidating and unapproachable. Confidence isn’t just about the exterior and how you appear to seem, but it starts from within. At first glance people may have a pre conceived idea about me I’ve been told I have RBF (resting bitch face), but I actively agree in quote: If you have good thoughts (and a positive attitude) they will shine out of your face…

Inner Thoughts
Occasionally, I recite quotes in my head that reaffirm and boost positivity.

Public Speaking
When I refer to this point I don’t necessarily mean in front of a big crowd. Speaking up in certain situations takes courage and therefore confidence, and the older I get I find myself doing this more and more. There are many examples where I feel I have to do this to set the record straight or give the black perspective and to even break stereotypes by someone who is reinforcing them. (the thing about stereotypes is that  they’re not necessarily untrue, but they don’t tell the full story).

One instance where I had to speak out was when someone voiced that they think Blue Ivy is an ugly baby, that she looks nothing like Beyonce and that North West is much prettier. This may seem like a minor issue but to say a child is ugly is quite pathetic tbh, but then again everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, I had to question why they thought this.

When quizzed they simply said her hair wasn’t nice because it was too ‘frizzy’ and because her features resembled Jay Z. This is true but I had to highlight the fact those qualities are qualities of her blackness and for that to be used against her is not cool.

Ultimately, it shows that from a young age, confidence is something that can be snatched away, but it is our job to reclaim it and make the ways in which we are confident a force to be reckoned with.

The subject of confidence is so much bigger than this one blog post, and there are many other ways in which confidence can be radiated.  Although I am talking about my experience as a black woman, I want to know how you wear your confidence, no matter where you’re from or your background?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Begins with a Bottomless Brunch

Living Hygge is something we’ve all become obsessed with.

Enjoying life’s simple pleasures may take on different forms to different people, but since taking on the responsibilities of being a proper adult, enjoying going out and exploring has become one of life’s pleasures for me. After all, life shouldn’t begin and end with work.

Bottomless brunch has been on my cards for a while, which is why I sought to find the best bottomless brunch in the city… well one of the best according to Time Out.

Villandry ticked all the boxes for me and after looking at the menu £35 a pop seemed like a great deal, especially as this bottomless brunch features never-ending prosecco!

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Sitting right in the middle of Great Portland Street, Villandry stood out in all it’s glory, it was so pretty.

I was greeted by very welcoming staff and sat my pretty table for two waiting for my Mr to arrive.

Considering they seemed to have very strict booking rules, the staff were very understanding as we were about an hour late (the booking supposedly lasts 2 hours, but I think they don’t mind how long you stay depending on how busy it is), but they assured me that time only starts from when the first prosecco is poured – result!

Once bae and I were both seated, we scanned the menu and ordered food pronto – by this point it was about 12:30 and we were both starving.

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I opted for poached eggs and avocado on rye bread he and a Full English!

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My boyfriend is not a big drinker but as he didn’t drive and we both caught the tube into central London, he let loose and had like 5 glasses one after the other –  literally never seen him like that.

The staff were really friendly, and kept topping up our glasses, it was a bit insane, especially as it was so early. The only time I’ve ever had ay alcoholic beverage at that time is on holiday.

About 30 minutes after we had eaten we decided it was time to go. Too much prosecco had been downed and we were actually acting like a couple of fools. Plus, we wanted to have a walk around Oxford Street. To be honest I think they were surprised we were leaving so early.

All in all I would rate Villandry an 8/10. The mood and atmosphere was spot on, the waiter ensured neither of our glasses were even half empty, but I have to say the food let the experience down – as it looked lovely but it was just OK – I would say The Breakfast Club is better quality. I also noticed that a few groups who came in after us, were served before us, which I feel is plain rude.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a nice picturesque spot in London to hang and have a good time with the girls this is the place, but if you’re looking to chow down on a nice brunch with prosecco being very much an after-thought, this place isn’t for you.

I would love to try another Bottomless Brunch just to have something to compare Villandry to…Have you been to any nice spots for brunch?