Friday, October 30, 2015

Why you should work hard

There has been times in my life when everything felt just right, almost perfect and it was because I could do my own thing. I had so much going on at one point that I felt true happiness. My world felt like a canvas, and I was filling in the parts as I went along, and in those moments I felt strong, I felt powerful, the feeling of genuine accomplishment should be everyone’s most desired feeling. Why is that so?

No one will be able to manipulate and control your choices: My mother always said that she would feel most sad if she was not able to live as how she wanted. She could go on her vacations without worrying about someone else taking that from her because they gave her the opportunity. It gave me inspiration to own my life and control the movement of my feet.

You will be marketable: Like a product you will be in demand. People will call you and will be able to negotiate the conditions of whatever is being offered, because you are Queen B or King Shawn Carter   

Life wont be made up of only dreams, but realities: It is okay to dream, it is often necessary  not to end up going   crazy sometimes. But imagine having a list and all your dreams are being ticked off, and you are finally walking in the direction you wanted.

You will live, and not merely exist:"Happiness is not a station you arrive, it is a manner of travelling." Unknown. A life worth living is one that is made up of hard work, dedication and persistence, then you will feel whole and live in abundance. You were maybe thinking of just referring to money. But I was just telling you to work hard at whatever you do, its not only about degrees, but talent, humility, risks and chances. You will reap success from hard work, and you can define that word however you wish.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jamaica Kincaid: Literary Genius

(Taken from Google Images)

 “I was afraid of the dead, as was everyone I knew. We were afraid of the dead because we never could tell when they might show up again.” (Annie John)  These words made me salivate and I was filled with hunger to learn more of such a strange, yet intriguing character. It was summer time, school didn’t even begin as yet, but I could mouth the quotes as my teacher spoke in her high pitched voice when we resumed lessons. My love affair began with Annie John, and I would carefully read the novel while taking care not to let the tell-tale of curry stain the white, clean pages.  But I was filled with desire to know who was the master mind and literary genius behind Annie John.

Her name is Jamaica Kincaid, she bears my Island’s name and indeed her writing reflects the colorfulness, vibrancy and rich diversity found only in the Caribbean. She was born Elaine Richardson in 1949 in Antigua, the same setting in the novel Annie John. Like her character Annie John, she was said to have a rude attitude and a trouble maker. In Annie John, the character wanted to move somewhere where no one knew her and could not contact, which Jamaica did, she moved to New York at 17, and like Annie John, she cut off her family for 20 years.

She had no aspiration to become a writer, which is surprising as she holds you with powerful descriptions and language as rich as the greenery of the mountain side and powerful as the heat from the penetration of the Caribbean sun. She changed her name to Jamaica because she feared her family would disapprove her writing, but who could really mock work so detailed that you feel the caress of the breeze she described or the unhappiness the character felt could send you spiraling into depression, waiting for the rain to end and set Annie John free.

Jamaica got her first piece, a short story published in the New Yorker, and while working there she met Ted Shawn and they were joined in holy matrimony in 1979.  After that she published ‘At the bottom of the river,” and my favorite, Annie John in 1985. Annie John was well received for its rhythmic language, and a theme centered on the mother-daughter relationship. Kincaid mentions that her writing is “auto-biographical,” which is obvious after reading her autobiography, her own mother is even named Annie, and her father is a carpenter, like Annie John And as Earnest Hemmingway states “No subject is terrible , if the prose is clean and honest and if it affirms grace and courage under pressure.”

In a turn of events, Kincaid became an enemy in the literary world for her novel “A small place,” a novel about oppression by colonizers. The New Yorker did not want to publish her work, because of its less than inviting tone. Even though her pieces became controversial, the power she held for writing was still being applauded. According to Brad Goldfarb in Interview, her work is "an almost ruthless desire to get at the truth" she came back with a tone that matched the gentle gurgling of a river, the songs of birds in the morning with a collection of essays called “my garden.” Although, nearly all her works are short, they never lack luster and displays an active voice that can’t be ignored. 

Kincaid still writes at her home in Bennington and teaches creative writing at Bennington College and Harvard University. Her current life reflects her rebirth like that of the conclusion of Annie John “I went back to my cabin and lay down on my berth. Everything trembled as if it had a spring at its very center. I could hear the small waves lap-lapping around the ship. They made an unexpected sound, as if a vessel filled with liquid had been placed on its side and now was slowly emptying out.” 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The mother's cry

A mother painfully watches as her daughter is  executed

The pain I was feeling was worse than labour, it was worse than the bitter cold. I felt her screams rip through me in one fluid movement that I fell to the ground and sobbed. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head and I screamed. I reached for her, I panted until I was hoarse and weak. She reached for me and I couldn’t help, if I could take my life in exchange for hers, there was no doubt that I would, but I was unable to do and I felt like it was my fault, I created her, I should be able to help her.

“She didn’t do it!” I shouted to the executioner, but he grinned, the man with the mask over his face, exposing only his bright green eyes.  I wanted to read them, but they were so still that I couldn’t even guess what expression those eyes held, they were still and glossy. He held his fixed gaze on me and I wanted him to feel the tiniest bit of pain that I was feeling, but he only walked on, taking big steps, as though he wanted to get over with the job, to make me experience everlasting torture, to carry this burden on my back until my death, which I guess won’t be long from now.

She screamed as he got closer. I could feel the tear-drops cling to me, the symbol of her pain and fear embraced me that once more I feel into a heap of hands that tried to help me up. The sky wasn’t even dark, the sun was shining, and the light breeze was too calming. I needed dark skies to match my gloom, thunder to match my anger and raindrops, to show that God was crying with me, but I felt mocked on this beautiful day.

She briefly held up her head and looked at me with bloodshot eyes. She was tired, her lips were bruised, and her head was a tangled mess. I tried to remember my dark eyed, strong daughter, who didn’t play with dolls, but used wood as swords. 

She was crying with her arms stretched across with a rope that marked her skin and made them torn and dark.

The women looked on me as I carried on, as I shouted. The easy target because she has no husband. She doesn’t have a beautiful house and her daughter was a rebel. Some were satisfied; some pitied me, while others blankly stared. I tried to reach out to them, to make them side with me, to just make me feel as though I wouldn’t go crazy, but they only looked at me and soon, their blank stares turned to cold steel that made a chill run down my spine.

He lifted the axe, it glinted in the sun. He closed his eyes briefly when her desperate scream tore through the air and I had lost my voice. He held his hand in the air and turned to me. I clasped my hands as though I was praying. I pleaded, but he only shook his head, in such a way that confused me, but I knew that he couldn’t help me. 

I sank lower in the crowd when his hand went down and I could feel my daughter’s fear on my back, covering me like a blanket, that couldn’t shield me from a harsh winter day. I heard her grunt when his arm went down a little more. I whispered the Lord’s Prayer, my fingers trembling, my eyes unable to produce the fluid that would make God pity me, then it was done, I heard the thud.

They walked away slowly and I was rocking back and forth, hoping that I would soon awake from my dream. The rain came, but the sky was still blue, the red fluid that flowed through her for seventeen years trickled towards me then disappeared, but it wouldn’t stop pouring from her. She was a rebel to them, she left her mark on their hearts, and killing her wouldn’t erase her words from their minds. She would be forever remembered as the girl who spoke against the king.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Netflix and Chill?

Welcome back to my Blog! I agree, it has been collecting dust, and cobwebs are growing in strange places. Truth is, it has been on my mind everyday but work got the best of me and lets just say I lost the fight. But I am back.
 Happy October everyone! I know Americans usually get excited when Fall arrives, but it is still scorching in the old J A.

Lets get to the important matter, I love social Media. I am young and excited and I love to learn. I saw the Netflix and chill joke roaming around Instagram, and surely it made me laugh. Its a little rude joke so maybe the young ones won't get it, but I agree its funny.

Although I enjoyed laughing at the different versions of the joke, it made me really think, when was the last time you really Nextflixed and Chilled (yup, it has become a verb.) I am in fact enjoying movies on Netflix right now, but there is no one to watch with me. We are so busy trying to catch up with the rest of the world that we hardly ever chill. I am a low key, homebody type of girl so I love watching movies and lounging with family and friends. But recently, my favourite youtube videos have been running in the background, while my sister and I scroll through our phones without even talking to each other.

And I know its a joke, but if you and your boyfriend plan "netflix and chill," does it always satisfy you not to chill? Call me old school, but i love the traditional catching up and laughing at a good movie. So next time you decide to "Netflix and chill," try to actually have quality talk time with your company.

Talking with my friends and family every day helps keep me grounded and connected to home. They are the most important things to me.

Friday, June 26, 2015

By The Sea

Ocean City, New Jersey

The sea's rough, the dark water rises, and its angry grasp threatens to pull in the naive walkers, the giggly couples, and the pressured teenagers who dare  themselves and others to jump in, to skinny dip or to jeer its angry roars. The sea is a place I go to relax. I am in a new place, so close to the sea that you can actually walk there. I like it by night, but I am never alone. I stand with strangers who are soon to be friends. Persons I barely know, but feel a sense of closeness, so much so that I wish to tell them everything that bothers or makes me happy.

The sea can hold your secrets, never spilling them to anyone, yet it doesn't apologize for those who it takes and never returns. It pulls them under, get into their minds, until they stop kicking, stop hoping. But a few days after, joggers, girls in skimpy bikinis and chiseled boys run along the shore, dodging the freezing, yet inviting liquid, dark as night and tempting as the Devil.

Its large home is where I sit and watch seagulls roam, and accept food from those willing to give. The salty air is fresh and one inhale can make you drunk with satisfaction of a life that is not exactly the best. I sit and observe, bottle all the stress, release the laughter,as it rushes and attempts to grab you, and invites you to a place where it doesn't guarantee you will return. Yet we long for summer days to go by the sea.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A woman should?

When I was younger I thought it unfair that my mother pinned herself to the kitchen, went to school and took care of her family. I remember questioning her, in my small voice I asked "why do you bring daddy food? Can't her get it himself?" She simply laughed, and I was angered by the  roles that were attached to woman and the labels that continue to be plastered on her forehead.

1. A woman should take care of the home: Yeah gender roles! but its the 21st century and women have climbed their way to the top, gaining roles that were once deemed  "male jobs." Many possibly stifled their potential because of social norms and culture. But I believe the roles in the home should be equal between both males and females.

2. A woman should be able to cook: Well I'm not the best and I don't really like doing it. Many guys tell me with piercing eyes that I should be able to cook for my man, but I guess we're going to both starve. Cooking is a passion for many and becomes necessary in the home, as a home cooked meal can be one of  the best greeting after a long and weary day. I would love to learn to cook like a boss, but it should be that I WANT to and not HAVE to for the sake of a man.

3. A woman should stay sexy for her man: Yeah while he sits on a couch and eat potato chips and drink soda. His stomach pops out and it is not addressed. But a woman gains a few pounds, doesn't feel like wearing sexy clothes, is quickly criticized by both sexes that she is letting herself go.

4. A woman should be seen and not heard: I don't want to sit with my legs crossed all the time, it makes my inner thigh sweat (TMI, I know), I don't want to squeak like a mouse in a corner. I don't want to accompany my husband on trips for the sole purpose of smiling and being beautiful. I want to stand on the podium and voice my opinions, not like a woman, but simply as a person.

**I know many won't agree, but this is how I have felt for a while.

I think God made a woman to be strong and not to be trampled under the feet of men. I've always felt this way because my mother was a very strong woman, without a husband.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Road Less Travelled

It is HARD to keep up sometimes in the social media/digital age. I am only 20, but I am an old soul who forgets to scroll through my Instagram or Facebook feed and have to write it down sometimes. Its great to have the newspaper on your phone and to be aware of the latest happenings and trends. It keeps you current, hip and up to date, and you possible won't look like a fool when trying to have a conversation with others.

But I love the mountains. I like to think and be at peace. I am constantly conversing with myself and blank out too often when others are talking to me. This contradicts with the life I hope to start in New York city, as the location would be good for business. But there is always the need to be somewhere rural, to hide behind the green curtains and feel the rhythmic sway of cool country breeze pressing against your skin and then caressing lightly, leaving its breath stains. oh sweet nostalgia!

All this only sounds like a resort visit, but it is the road less travelled. The world has become a noisy place. People have isolated friends and family for their computers, I do it sometimes, ashamed?  yes. But It seems as though to be a different person is a criminal offence. Unique personalities, tastes and attributes are frowned on, cast away while the ideal looks and common tastes are embraced. 

I go through HELL sometimes because I don't like what everyone else indulge in.Sometimes I want to cave and please others just to get their approval, but it would not be my life, and instead of living, I would be merely breathing. 

I love how odd people think I am. Its a hard road to travel on and no one may want to walk with you. But how would you feel, what would you be if you lived only for the world and the flash, which I believe has no substance or very little.

To me, if you love it, live it. If your're the only one dancing, dance harder. If you are the only christian or whatever religion, praise harder. If your clothes are different, wear it even more. The road less travelled often yields the greatest fruits.

I believe that every person has uniqueness - something that nobody else has.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Vegetarian Business



Holy Crap Cereal
a mango
a glass of water


Pasta (whole grain)
Try for low sodium or organic pasta sauce
**I don't eat dairy products, so no cheese


Any fruit of choice or salt free crackers
a glass of water


Steamed Green vegetables
Brown/White Rice
a glass of water

**I drink about 8-10 glasses of water per day. I drink a glass every hour or 2


I transitioned to a vegetarian diet in October 2013. I did my research and was pumped to begin this new lifestyle. It was rocky at first and it still isn't smooth sailing, but I would not give it up for anything.

I experienced headaches when I first started and often felt exhausted and sometimes nauseous. My body was new to this new diet and the smaller portions.It took about a week to master the diet and know exactly what to do. I must tell you that the scent of chicken and other meats had me salivating for awhile, but I kicked that away and have gotten use to the smell of beans and vegetable goodness.

Knowing what to eat and how much to eat really confused me at first, but with a little research I was able to understand how and what to eat.

Most people think they will be restricted if they transition to a vegetarian diet, but I often ask my friends: what do you eat on a daily? Turns out its only chicken and rice. I had more variety in my diet, but most persons believe that chicken is enough because of the different ways it can be cooked, but the same goes for tofu and vegetables.

Warning: Do research before you start a vegetarian diet and be careful of junk food. I've seen where newbie vegans and vegetarians live on french fries because they don't know what to eat. There are many fun and easy recipes to try. My favorite sources for meal plans and recipes are:

Essena Oneill on Youtube


Friday, May 29, 2015

My 12 year old self

I read my 7th grade diary and thought I might share and compare the findings to now. Boy have I changed.

Crush: Blake from Kid Nation (what?!)
Now: That's a secret I'll never tell:P

Favourite colour: Blue (like every other 12 year old)
Now: Maroon

BFF: Too many to list 
Now: 0

Favourite clothing brand: Baby Phat (seriously?!)
Now: I'm more into bohemian pieces these days.

Shoe brand: Apple Bottoms and Echo Red (Where are they now?)
Now: Dolce Vita, Yves Saint Laurent and Nike

Hobbies: Reading, Watching TV and writing (that hasn't changed)

Career goals: Family Lawyer (uhhh NAH)
Now: Author and Social Marketer

Favourite car: Honda (LUXURY lol)
Now: I really like the BMW X5

Favourite TV shows: Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place
Now: Pretty Little Liars and +itsJudysLife +AprilJustinTV and +Zoella vlogs.

Favourite singer: Alicia Keys (:D)
Now: Adele and Ed Sheeran

Favourite store: Claire's
Now: Brandy Melville and Free People

Where i want to visit: New York (check!)
Now: Paris, Africa and Italy

Favourite foods: Burger King, Curried Chicken (ohhhh Helll nahhh)
Now: Tofu and Veggie pasta

Make your comparison in the comments below or on my PROFILE. I would love to read them.

Friday, May 22, 2015

What If.....

Hello Everyone,

We often ask what if  and ponder if things have turned out differently. How would you react you woke up and your life was different. If you are poor, then you might fantasize being rich, and in your mind you would be happy. That's because it is not your life, and as humans we want the best for ourselves in this jungle of a world.

Look at it this way:

What if your life stays the same, what would you you do? would you be happy? Instead of thinking how I want my life to be sometimes, I think of how I would NOT want it to be, which motivates me to do better instead of daydreaming all the time.

Most times we want success to live a flashy life:

I am not the flashy sort of girl, not only because I can't afford the lifestyle but how some people with the life act, especially if they didnt have it before. Many say they are humble and justify the reasons by talking about quality and quantity or how hard they worked for it. But helping others always seem secondary.

I can't lie, I think of myself before I think of others majority of the time, but always feel guilty afterwards. We work to better ourselves, but seem to forget others in the process and just throw the extra change in the donation bucket. We also feel as though we must let the world know that we've helped someone,sometimes  for likeability, especially as a public figure.

Be level headed

Its great to have dreams, ambition, drive and determination. But what if your life never changes, and your dreams get washed down the drain. Would you feel good? content? and try to live with it? or would you sink in a deep, dark hole feeling hopeless and desperate for change. While you work on your dreams remember to always be thoughtful of others and to be content. Personally, I believe it keeps your grounded. How you react to small things can be a test to guide you when the bigger disappointments surface. Its those who persevere and  don't get too caught up in the whims and fancy have the wealth: economically and in mind and body.

Don't worry, be happy. Live in the moment, work hard and stop concerning yourself about what if this  happens or nothing changes. Live in the now, not way up in the clouds where you might get lost.

I think if you just look at life in a positive way, positive things will happen.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Never say these things

1. I'm ugly

Too often we look in the mirror and judge ourselves harshly. I remember when I started getting acne and thought I would die. When I look back I laugh. I still have acne, and moaning and hating myself did not make them go away. Its time to start holding your head high and smile! How would you have lived? crying? Don't weep as those who have no hope.

2. I am a failure

I was taught that whatever we say to ourselves, we will become just that. I understand when you try sooo hard and it does not work at first, but it is always at the point of giving up that it works out. Instead of saying its not going to work, think of where you want to be, not where you are. Think of what you don't want. Works for me!

3. Why her/him and not me

We see results and judge others based on their success which is natural especially if we don't know the person. We get jealous to see others with material luxuries and awards and drown ourselves in sorrow. What we don't think about is the sleepless nights, rejections and the pain a person sometimes endure to gain achievements.

4. You're not good enough

I remember when Selena Gomez was told that she would never make it, and look at her now. Power is an interesting thing. Those above think they are doing others a favour by stifling their dreams, but we ought to be careful as we don't know if that might be the last thing we say to the persons, some are sensitive than others and need the extra push.

5.Why do you like that?!
Why would they use/possess if they didn't like it?  We say it about people's clothes, car and their lifestyle. It is not okay, ask a different way or keep it to yourself.

6. Are you stupid?!

well teach!

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

Friday, May 8, 2015

1 Day Juice Fast: My experience

I was feeling sluggish and didn't have much of an appetite for a few days, so I researched the possible reasons for my forehead acne and why I was feeling so clogged up. Most of the websites stated that it could be my digestive system. I decided to give my system a break for a day from pollutants, fatty tissues and tissues that build up the body.

It is recommend that you consult with a physician before you try a juice fast and to gradually ease into the diet. I did this by drinking light soups and consumed enough water/ fluids the days before. Also it would be best to do this while at home

8 oz (1 glass) Green juice: 

Upon rising: Drink a glass of warm/hot lemon water (I did not do this, but it is HIGHLY recommended)

6:00 am- workout

8:00- Breakfast
I felt energetic and my usual self after having my first glass of juice.

12:00 pm- Lunch

At about 11 am I felt tired and moody, and a bit weak, nothing alarming. After lunch I could only rest because I  had no motivation or energy to do anything.

2:00- Mid-Afternoon snack

Around this time I was full on weak. Its a good thing is that I had no headaches or stomach cramps, neither was I hungry, just that my energy was low.

6:00 pm- Dinner

About 4 pm I wanted to give up because my mother was cooking and the scent was driving me CRAZY. But I persevered since I love challenging myself and knew how beneficial this would be for my body.

7:00 - Ginger tea

It is recommended to have something warm to soothe the stomach before you retire. However, you can do this throughout the day in between the three square meals. Remember to drink water also, it prevents headaches.

I drank the same mixture throughout the day, simply because I did not want anything too thick, especially since it has been so hot at my home. I would recommend that you switch it up, especially if the variety is available in your local supermarkets.I also did my workout before starting the day because I knew that I would not feel strong during the fast, as I have done this type of detox before.

Update (Friday, May 8 2015)

I woke up feeling weak and hungry, but light on my feet. I didnt feel so clogged up any more. 

Don't go back to oil and salt or anything artificial for 2 days after the fast. You may be tempted to eat the house down, but continue the cleansing process by consuming vegetable salads and drink more green juice. By the third day after your cleanse, you can eat healthy nuts, grains, starch and protein. Below is a sample of what I had. (I broke the rules, don't copy me.)

Fruit Bowl

Brown Rice and Cabbage

Mid-Afternoon snack

Brown Rice with Green leafy vegetables

80z Glass Carrot Juice

 Benefits of a 1 day cleanse
Visit superfoods for superhealth for detailed information 

**I am not a physician, I have done this before and reaped the benefits so I decided to share it. Please don't do it if you have any serious illnesses like Diabetes, consult your doctor first.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Favourite Books (top 4)

TGIF! thought I might share books I have fallen in love with and have read over and over again.

 Annie John
Author: Jamaica Kincaid

(Image courtesy of 

I have mentioned this novel in more than one blog posts. My love affair with this novel began in 4th form (grade ten) and the interest has not died. It was a prescribed text for literature and as usual I read all my texts before school even resumed for the Autumn term. It tells the story of Annie John and her childhood in Antigua, her fall out with the mother, friendships and the trials and joys of being a teenager. Jamaica Kincaid explores the theme of growing up in such a relatable way that you can't help to stop reading  until you reach the last punctuation mark ( then start all over again.)

Crick Crack Monkey

Author: Merle Hodge

(Image courtesy of

Thanks to mama for loaning me this novel. Like Annie John it explores growing up. Readers experience a change of personality in the protagonist Cynthia. She goes from a bold, adventurous child to an isolated, sad teenager. This occurred when Cynthia was taken from her precious "Tantie" after receiving a scholarship to a prominent high school. She is taken by her Aunt Beatrice, an aspiring elite. Cynthia has a difficult time adjusting as she endures scorn and teasing from her cousins because of her poor and "uncultured" background.

The Humming Bird Tree

Author: Ian McDonald

(Image courtesy of
Now I might seem bias choosing West Indian novels, but what can I do? I live in the West Indies after all. Another prescribed literature that also explores adolescence and friendship. Alan is a white Trinidadian who often explores the village with his poor Indian friends Jaillin (whom he claims to be in love with) and Kaiser, who are in fact illiterate and work for his parents. He narrates his experience as a privileged white boy among dirt poor Indians in a time of racial segregation. However,  Alan grows and becomes knowledgeable about his status versus theirs, and begins questioning the friendship.

Author: Lan Samantha Chang
(Image courtesy of

A mother narrates the tale of two Asian immigrants who met and fell in love while living in New York. She speaks extensively of the tragic marriage, one daughter's rebellion, while the other keeps her loyalty to the home and her mother even after her mother's death. The novella reveals how the the father's love for the violin and his desperate attempts to live his dreams through his daughters cost them their happiness.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bucket List (top ten)

If you don't know the term, a Bucket List includes all the goals you want to achieve before you die.We have dreams of visiting majestic places, to do something spontaneous or even try a new dish. I enjoy reading bucket lists, so here's a sneak peak of the great (and simple) things I hope to do someday :D

1. Write a novel

I posted in the Writer's Discussion Group on +Google+   that I am 16,300 words in my novel. My aim is 50,000 or 70,000. But the main concern is the content of the novel, and not how many words I can write. Congrats to those who are at 1.45 million. It's exhausting sometimes, but I love writing. I am not thinking about editing and the publication process just now. I have to write first!

2. Visit Paris

This might seem like a cliche wish, but I have read and heard that Paris is THE place for writers. I remember watching Midnight in Paris and felt a need to visit some of the historic sites and just get lost in the city, and write!

3. Get a closet Makeover and fill it with bohemian pieces

I am such a casual person, and I am always drawn to lightweight, effortless pieces. I love skinny jeans, loose pants and patterned tops. I would not call myself a bohemian/hippie. But I have always been interested in the culture and the fashion. Its so frustrating to be wearing clothes that I don't really like, but I don't have a wide range of choices in my country. Everything is so sheer or tight.

4. Live in an apartment in New York

This has always been a dream of mine, especially when I started writing. The atmosphere is full of driven people who are always on the go. I feel inspired when I observe people and  would love to lose myself in the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

5. Learn to bake

Now this may seem easy for some, but no matter how often or hard I try, I can never capture the art of baking. My products are either too hard, well they are always hard. My cookies are another story -_-

6. Go on a road trip

I live in the beautiful country of Jamaica, and as small as the country is, I have not even been around it once. I want to especially visit Negril and Portland. It would be great if I could take a trip with my family.

7. Meet a Caribbean Author

(Merle Hodge)

My favourite West Indian novels are Crick Crack Monkey and Annie John. You can read a review I wrote for Annie John HERE . I would love to sit with Jamaica Kincaid or Merle Hodge in a setting like that of the novel and talk endlessly about the writing process, their lives and anything about writing.

8. Go Vegan
( Essena Oneill)

I am currently a pescetarian, which  means my diet is primarily plant based, but I consume fish. I admire +Ela Gale ♡  and Essena Oneill on Youtube for their persistence and healthy lifestyle. I would love to go all natural and organic, but it can be a bit pricey.

9.  Do Yoga in Thailand

After doing the 90 minute Absolute yoga, I wanted badly to visit the Yoga camp in Thailand. Yoga has so many benefits for the mind and body. It helps to ease stress and gives you overall peace and stability. I do yoga for fitness and stress reasons, not the religious aspect.

10. And the big 1-0 is to  go on a mission. I used to present  the mission story at church and always felt a deep inclination to visit a country like Africa or Indonesia. It would be a joy to sit with children to read and play with them. How enriching would it be to immerse myself in a foreign culture.

**I would love to read some of your bucket lists, so please share them with me on my profile  +Renee J  or in the comments below :)

Most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tone it down!



If you visit my Instagram explore page, you might find your mouth hanging. Maybe you would think I am a pervert to follow people who post only sexual content. But no, most of these are based on popular pages. We are sexual beings so either we engage in sex or think about it. Or maybe not, if you are strong Christians who don't yield to temptation. But I feel as though its getting a bit overwhelming. From the sexy women on posters, billboards and Kendall Jenner who can't seem to stop playing peek-a-boo with her breasts in photo shoots. I find western culture a bit hilarious, because contrary to my West Indian upbringing, growing up seems to be who can dress the raunchiest and curse the most.

Some love their bodies, and justify their naked poses as appreciating themselves just the way they are. But if you are advertising a pair of jeans, where is the jeans? and why are you naked? If you are in a commercial for a burger, WHY are you naked? But lets go back  to my Instagram, I get a glimpse of the preferred sex toys, favourite positions and how freaky people can get, and I think TMI! I was a bit too nosey one Friday after I saw #eggplantfriday circulating on my twitter feed, and did my eyes widen. I'm not telling you to go look, but if ya nosey, have your way!

Celebrate your body, show your weight-loss progress. But I personally don't believe my body is for the world and I never want to be seen as a pornographic figure. But since you want likes, then cut your slit higher, put your ass up and your face down or post your va-jay-jay and penis and your notifications will blow up -_-

Love yourself and show off a little. But if you are only seeking attention, I am sure you have a talent or skill, so please stop exposing every inch of your body. I don't care about your sexual preferences, keep it in the bedroom or wherever your prefer. Follow Humans of NY and learn something different, be unique and post something that's worth attention. Women and Men are worth more than  their bodies. Enjoy this viral commercial (worth watching) on diversity and Inclusion ( sorry to disappoint, but it has no half naked men and women)

Show your naked face, not your naked body

Friday, April 10, 2015

This too shall pass

This post is inspired by President +Barack Obama  visit to my country. As I watched and listened to my country make preparations, I thought "How does one man feel about his success?" It was impressive to see the world's most powerful man speak with such comfort and ease. I marvelled at how he was looked at with such awe and started wondering about my own life and achievements.

It is easy to get down when you fail to achieve certain goals or you receive a terrible grade. I have been to the place where I start doubting my abilities. It gets intense when persons start making expectations, and you try to live up to them, to the point where you simply crash.

I try to read widely and expose myself to the world and all that it has to offer. I see dreams becoming reality and watch as mine seem to be going down the drain,  swallowed in a deep black hole filled with grime and my spiralling hope. There are many that I have read about who did not believe that they would overcome their trials, but they did! I watch +AprilJustinTV  on a daily, and her success story is an inspiration to never give up, even when others put you down.

My dream is to be an Author, to do something I love every single day of my life. But there are many potholes, burning tires and clown faces in the way, and you move pass those, and have good days.But once you turn the corner, more appear and sometimes they stay for awhile. But that too shall pass

I want you to close your eyes and remember a bad day, it could be yesterday, last month or a few years ago, then open your eyes and realize that it is the past. Those days are gone, those trials are over and everyday we wake up is a blessing for new possibilities. It is the time to re-invent yourself. I want to remind you that we live in a fractured creation and most of us will never see our names in bright lights, but even appreciation by one can change your outlook. You might never know if you have saved or will save someone's life with your positivity and hope in their abilities. But it may never happen if you stop trying.

This too shall pass: The sadness, pain, the rejections. You will wake up one day and be in a different place. You might even get to share your story with the world someday. As long as you keep going, even if your achievements seem snail-like, you will reach. Success does not occur overnight, so keep your dreams alive.

Buzzfeed shares a list of 20 brilliant Authors who did not give up, check it out!

I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.

Meatless Monday Campaign Critique (Johnson_R_ IMCC2701 Final Blog)

Campaign: Meatless Monday 
The Monday Campaigns created a social marketing effort to address the need for Americans to make healthier lifestyle choicesThe campaign speaks to what a lot of Americans wish to avoid: a meat free diet. The campaign goes beyond special seasons such as Lent to advocate for behaviour change. Instead, the campaign is ongoing and tries to relay a positive attitude for the rest of the Human life. Social Marketing strives “to promote the adoptions of behaviours that improve health or well being of the target audience or of society at whole.” (Kotler & Lee, 2011, p.30) This is a clear identification of a campaign that is determined to change behaviour without a time limit, and to communicate a beneficial message worthy of recognition. 

Background Information: 
Americans are said to consume about 270 pounds of meat a year. The meatless Monday campaign was created to address this issue. It all started in 2003 and the social marketing effort was implemented by The Monday Campaigns Incorporated in association with The John Hopkins School of Health and the Centre for a Livable Future. The organizers wanted to raise awareness about the effects of consuming too much meat and to lower the incidence of preventable diseases such as obesityMonday was the day selected because studies show that persons who decide to quit unhealthy behaviour do so on a Monday, since Mondays represent a new start to the week and new possibilities. (see Appendix A for graph showing why people make changes on Mondays) 

  • Get persons to cut out meat once per week to improve health and the environment by introducing the public to a plant based diet. 
  • The Campaign seeks to reduce the consumption of dietary saturated fat by 15% and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. 
  • Attract individuals, organizations and institutions such as schools and restaurants and encourage them to make changes to menus on Mondays. 
Target Audiences: 
  •  Downstream audience includes American individuals, particularly those who consume meat on a daily basis. Students at all levels are being targeted. Included are individuals at risk such as those diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, as research shows that too much meat consumption can aggravate these health conditions. 
  •  Midstream audience consists of vegetarians, food bloggers, health workers and celebrities. Bloggers are useful to provide healthy vegan and vegetarian recipes to their frequent readers. The media has also been targeted, especially online, print (health magazines) and news outlets. A-List celebrities such as Paul McCartney have joined the movement to spread the Meatless Monday message. 
  • Health workers were targeted to provide information about the benefits of engaging in a meatless diet.  
  • Upstream audience consists mostly of influential groups and organizations; these include learning institutions ranging from pre-school to universities, hospitals and government organizations. The San Francisco school region has been heavily participating in the campaign. 

Communication Strategy: 
Chris Elam, the program director at Meatless Monday states that their strategy was smart by relaying the right message and good timing. He awards the success of the campaign to building an online presence, gaining influencers such as Oprah Winfrey, allowing others to use their agenda( for example, People for the ethical treatment of Animals {PETA}) and having a simple, accessible, empowering message “once a week-cut out meat. (Meatless Monday reaches 50awareness, 2011)  The directors mostly utilized the marketing principles product and place to strengthen the campaign.  
Much attention was given to identifying the core product by placing emphasis on health and environmental benefits. Place identifies specifically the distribution channels, celebrities used to add impact and the various institutions and organizations that were targeted for Meatless Monday, such as Ohio State University and food distributor, Sodexo. Monday Campaigns Incorporated positioned themselves as the brand for healthy choices, so participants most attributed their meat free diets “Meatless Monday.” 

Campaign Activities and Materials: 
Events:  Places across America and the world stage their own events at different time periods. An example of such event is the 10th Anniversary symposium which was held at the John Hopkins School in October 2013.  
Tool Kits: Useful guides are available for persons and Institutions that are interested in participating; these include campus and general kits. There is no cost to gain access to the posters and tool kits, and they can be used anywhere and by any organizations who wish to get involved. (See Appendix B) 
Posters and Logos: Posters and logos are available for download from the Meatless Monday website for those who wish to be formally affiliated with the campaign. (see Appendix C) 
Other activities: Cooking classes, cooking demos and community activities. 

  • Major research is done every two years. The campaign mostly made use of descriptive research and at the collection stage; the commonly used methods included polls and surveys. 
  • Nationwide polls were conducted by the National Public Radio (NPR) in 2008 and American Meat Institute in 2010 to find out the frequency of meat consumption in adults and if the campaign influenced any lifestyle changes. Surveys were also done to gain responses from cafeteria customers regarding the change of the Monday Menu. A major survey was done by the FGI Research Firm in 2012 to test the effectiveness of the campaign. (Appendix D shows the findings of FGI’s research.)  
  • The campaign coordinators thought of all possible avenues to relay the message and to engage individuals. It was obvious that much research was done to provide participants with the benefits of being involved in the campaign. Data from the FGI research shows that in just 6 months, awareness went up from 30% to 50% The campaign is impacting the American Nation as half the country is now aware of Meatless Monday. 
  • The campaign has been consistent from the time of its existence to present day and the Media plays a significant role in spreading the message. Various influential bloggers and personalities were targeted to strengthen the campaign and highlight its purpose and focus which is to make meat eaters aware of the flexitarian diet Top chefs and celebrities became involved in the campaign without endorsement. Due to major influencers, the campaign is now recognized in 36 countries. 
  • The campaign was specific in audience segmentation. Groups are categorized based on diet (mostly meat eaters) age and occupation (e.g. Bloggers). Research Firm, FGI’s Survey Report (2012) shows that 62% percent of respondents have started a weekly Meatless Monday routine 

  • The posters and flyers lack diversity. There has not been much change since the start of the campaign, and the images lack luster and appeal. The colours are dull and somewhat plain. The campaign seeks to attract even three year olds, but the kit provided is not attractive enough and may need the work of teachers/parents to make it more appealing. 
  • Even though, many are enthusiastic to cut down meat consumptionlifestyle change remains a barrier to the campaign; individuals were upset about the change to the menus especially at colleges and work cafeterias. A sorority house at Stanford University is currently experiencing setbacks, as students voiced that they want only meat in their diets. If some are still not willing to make a commitment even for a day, these groups showcase a need to be more informed and involved in the campaign. 
  • It has been observed that much pretesting has not been done. Based on findings, the campaign provides benefits and simply asks persons what they think, but thorough pretesting was not conducted to gain valuable responses. Student critics state that the menus were just changed almost forced on them. 

  • The campaign utilized almost every type of medium to attract its various audiences. This is an aspect of the campaign that should be maintained. There is a strong online presence, especially with the rising popularity of blogging. Persons of various ages are attracted to blogs with its colourful and welcoming displays. 
  • The posters and logo could use a bit more attractiveness, especially for the younger audience. There is a consistent use of pigs and cows on almost all the posters, logos and kits. Use of different images, especially the foods, people happily eating and brighter colours to grab attention at first glance. 
  • The Campaign is global; a useful idea would be to ask representatives from different countries to make a video to show the world the impact of Meatless Monday in different culturesas it would be good to showcase a visual aspect instead of just statistics. 
  • Operators could add more meatless options on the day instead of an entire menu change. Many persons have not warmed up to the concept as yet, and feel as though the change has been forced on them. Promote a flexible diet and include the benefits of consuming less meat by making the diet exciting and maybe start with samples. 

About us: Meatless Monday (2015, March 30) Retrieved from 
Elam.,C (2011,May 31)  Meatless Monday reaches 50% awareness. Huffington Post. Retrieved from 
FGI Survey Report: Meatless Monday Online panel. (2012) Retrieved from 
Kotler.,p Lee.,N.(2011) Social Marketing: Influencing behaviours for good. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication Inc. 
Meatless Monday movement gets more veggies on the menu (2013 October 22) Retrieved from 
Palmer.,S. (2013). Meatless Monday:  Today’s Dietitian, 15. Retrieved from 


Appendix A 

Appendix B 

Appendix C 

Appendix D