M*RKventures: So we went to Portland (Jamaica)
It has been awhile since my last post. I’ve had an eventful set of weeks to say the least. I left my 9-5 and began to chart my own path as a whatever I decide to do from here. It was scary and freeing at the same time. None of it was really planned but there comes a time when something just clicks and you know exactly what to do. I’ve spent the past few weeks getting my thoughts and ideas together, planning my next move, and finding a replacement for my beloved laptop Ronnie, who finally gave her last breath. During my absence I celebrated another birthday, this is probably as good a time as any to stop sharing my age with the world. Hint: I’m older than I look.
After failing to arrive in Portland on my last road trip adventure I decided to give it one more go and headed back with two of my friends.
I can’t remember the last time I passed through Portland and I was awake for the entire journey. Driving there myself made me truly appreciate it’s beauty.
We took a detour into what can only be described as a coconut forest. Took pictures in the bush (of course..lol) and got to see horses up close, it was like our own private safari.
If you look closely maybe you can see the mama goat and her kids we came across while exploring.
We shimmied under some barbed wire one by one and found a ‘secret’ black sand beach. The sand practically melted under my feet. It seemed like the perfect place to nap if we weren’t so hungry.
We headed to the newly reopened Trident Hotel for lunch, the property is breathtaking. I’ll be writing more about that in a post later this week. After lunch we were offered a tour of the property and near the end we saw a Jazz Band practicing for an event later in the night. I mustered up the courage to play ‘Happy Birthday’ for me. Now I can confidently say I have been serenaded by a live Jazz Band.
Before we left, the hotel arranged for us to get a tour of the Trident Castle which we could see from a distance. Before we knew it, it was 4pm and time for this inexperienced driver to head back to Kingston.
Portland is probably the most beautiful place I’ve been to in awhile. I hope the next time I venture there I’ll be a passenger instead, so I truly take it in. Butt cramps and achy legs are no fun when all you want to do is jump into the glistening ocean.
I’ve actually been there quite a few times. The best time to go is during lunch times as they have lunch specials everyday. Also, Tuesdays and Saturdays you can get tacos for a little over a $100 each. Regular prices are a bit pricey but I’m always satisfied and filled when I finish a meal.
M*RK Eats: Girls Night Out @ CRU
It’s been awhile since I met up with my girlfriends for some laughs and a good time. I really felt the need to get out of the house and get all dolled up for something fun. CRU at Lady Musgrave Road has been on my list for awhile and this time seemed as good as any to try it out.
The night started off pretty slow. I told my friends to meet me at eight and there I was 8:15, 8:20, 8:30 and they were nowhere in sight. I must have looked pretty lonely because a couple came to sit beside me and then invited me for a drink. After my accidental road trip to St.Mary, I was in the mood to meet new people, so I joined them at the bar.
I had the most delicious drink I have had in awhile in my life it was like a great mix of dessert and a cocktail. I wish I had taken down the name because at JMD$650 it was worth every drop. Usually, I don’t like the taste of alcohol and that’s what I like about this drink is that the taste of alcohol isn’t over powering.
I was halfway through my drink and well into a conversation with my new friends before the girls arrived. I bid the couple goodbye and made my way to our table. My first impression of CRU was that I loved the decor. It was modern, featuring clean lines and stainless steel. The contrast of the wooden furniture carefully placed around the venue adds a certain warmth. My favourite feature would have to be the “candles” which make it intimate and inviting.
I ordered some chicken thing that I can’t remember the name of, which was good but the portions were extremely small for JMD$800. Both my friends had chilli, and by the looks of their portion sizes that was a better value for money. I don’t mind paying extra for quality, however in my opinion the size coupled with the overall taste just didn’t do it for me. My bill at the end of the night came up to $1,300 which included a Schweppes Grapefruit, which was listed on the menu as Grapefruit juice so you can imagine my disappointment.
Overall, I would give CRU:
10/10 for ambiance. It’s a great place to have drinks with friends.
5/10 for value for money. I left hungrier than when I went and with my pocket in pain.
7/10 for service. The servers were attentive but at times a little too attentive.
I would go back for a night like this but I’d invest my money in the drinks rather than the food.
M*RKworks: Carnival Animal photo shoot
Sometimes my job as a creative takes me from behind my computer and on location for things like photo shoots.This week we ended up at Hope Zoo to get shots for the wkndr ezine, Carnival Animal issue. The wkndr is a weekly lifestyle publication that features things to do on the weekend.
Most weeks I am the designer for the wkndr eZine but for the past couple weeks we’ve been alternating design duties. My main role this week was assisting with the photo shoot. I enjoy branching out into different creative areas, because as an artist it’s important to find new and interesting ways to express yourself.
Since I didn’t design this week’s issue I wanted to play around a little with photo manipulation because design is also about having fun.Look out for more updates on the projects I am working on.
Photographer: Warren Buckle
Make-Up: The Face Place
© eMedia Interactive Ltd.
M*RKventures: I wanna be a..surfer girl
Surfing is that one thing that I always wanted to learn but I always found an excuse. I have this insane fear of being terrible the first time I try something. It’s an unrealistic fear seeing as when learning something new it’s understandable that you’ll suck at first. I’m not sure what finally pushed me to take the leap, but I decided it was time to book my first lesson at Jamnesia Surf Club in Bull Bay.
I have been at it for about three weeks and of course like most fears, I realised I had nothing to fear at all. The waves gave me a serious beating, getting out far enough was only half the battle the other half being staying balanced. I’ve left each session bruised, sore, burnt and flat out exhausted.
My lesson started off with the basics, the parts of the board, how to turn, how to stand up, etc. Most of it seemed pretty simple until I had to put it to practice in the sea. One thing I learned from lesson one, was that I need to put in an order for “wave proof” bikini ASAP.
All it really took was that first time to get me hooked. I’m not surprised since I have been drooling over surfer girl videos for the longest while imaging what it would be like. I spent more time paddling out than actually catching waves but the rush of being able to stand up those few times made it worth it.
After my last session I tried my hand at skating, with a little coaching. After a few tries, I did ride the board sled style (which was super fun). I have a long way to go before I can call myself a surfer girl, but I’m excited about learning something new. Being out there has even sparked some of my creativity and I’m working on a new personal project!
What new things have you been trying lately? Check out my M*RKspiration Surf pin board here.
Find details about the lessons here.
M*RK Eats: Fromage Gourmet Market
I’ve been frequenting a new lunch spot lately on Hillcrest Avenue, right below Tea Tree Creperie. I’ve been there enough times to be the mayor on Foursquare (woot the mayor is in the house!). I found myself craving something yummy for lunch on Saturday and I knew exactly what I wanted, a guava jerk pork panini from Fromage Gourmet Market. You have to understand I have been dreaming about this panini for about two-weeks, salivating at the very thought of devouring it.
If you haven’t been to Fromage it is a great little place to relax and indulge in some great food. It’s pricey but I don’t mind paying a little extra for deliciousness. They have free wifi and the staff is attentive and friendly. The small intimate setting makes it very inviting.
The panini was well worth the wait. I enjoyed the balance of the spiciness of the jerk and the sweetness of the guava jelly. I am a big fan of sweet and savoury pairings and this one was definitely a hit. Another first for me was the Sparkling Blood Orange juice which was refreshing but I’m not sure I’d have it again, but I would definitely recommend it. My only problem with this panini was that there wasn’t more of it.
If you plan to pay a visit to Fromage they have a great range of food and snackables to choose from, from Baklava to bread bowls filled with warm chowder. You’re sure to find something new and delicious to try.
What cool places have you been to that you think I should try? Leave your comments below.
Like Fromage Gourmet Market on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter @FromageGourmet
A ReM*RKable Journey: Live a ReM*RKable Life
This was the beginning of a post I wrote on Friday. I was frustrated with how complacent I had become with everything that was happening in my life. As I was creating the artwork to go along with the post I stopped. I put my pens down, packed my bag with a few essentials, downloaded a gps app to my iPhone and headed to Portland at 3:30 in the afternoon.
It is said that you hold the power to live the life you choose, it sounds so easy doesn’t it? Take a moment to think of the things you always wanted to do and the places you always wanted to go. Maybe it is to backpack across Europe or to learn a foreign language or even to write your own book. If you’re like me somehow reality always seems to get in the way, and the excuses come easier than the solutions.
Since I got my licence about two years ago and I have been terrified to drive. I would only drive short distances and hardly at night. On that day my fear of driving didn’t matter. I didn’t care that I had never driven that far. Every other time I’ve made this trip I was a sleeping passenger and I had no clue where I was going.
It was nightfall before I realised I made the wrong turn and ended up in St.Mary instead of Portland. The rumblings in my tummy assured me it was time to find a place to eat and charge my now dead cellphone. I pulled into Buccaneer’s Jerk & Juice, which surprisingly looked a lot like Scotchies. I met a Junior Lawyer, danced to oldies with a red stripe in my hand and took photos of a loving couple.
The whatsapp conversation I had with a friend as I waited for my phone to charge went something like this:
Me: I drove to St.Mary
Me: Now (sends location)
(Or something like that.)
At this point I had no clue where I was sleeping but somehow it all worked out. I found a hotel and met an 18 year old college Freshman from Philadelphia who tried to convince me to go skinny dipping, get drunk and high all within the first 30 minutes of meeting him, “YOLO” he said. He was amazed at my story of my impromptu road trip to
Portland St.Mary, I’m pretty sure he thought I was badass, I couldn’t help feeling like a fraud. ” They lied to me!” I told him. “I thought being an adult meant freedom, but its a trap!” we laughed together, while looking onto the dark ocean. I ventured back to my room and by 3:30am I was heading back into Kingston.
Living a ReM*RKable life often means doing the thing you are most afraid to do. The thing you never thought you could. It is all in the journey and embracing that life is beautiful but also messy. The power to live a great life always belongs to you.
M*RK Looks: Find your Style Personality, The Creative
Your Style Personality is how you express yourself through clothing and what the clothes that you wear says about you. There are five Style Personalitiesand this week I will share some pointers and show you some looks for The Creative Style Personality.
Knowing your Style Personality is important if you want to rebuild your wardrobe because it can serve as a great shopping guide when you are picking out new pieces. Have you ever gone shopping and brought home items that simply weren’t your style? knowing your style personality will help to manage those impulse buys.
Here are the key characteristics of The Creative Style Personality:
- You like to have fun with your wardrobe choices.
- You add your own twist to existing trends.
- Bold, modern costume jewelry is your friend.
- You enjoy statement pieces.
- You like strong contrasting colours.
- You may have an ethnic or theatrical look.
- You aren’t afraid to add some sparkle to your wardrobe.
- Your style is unique and unpredictable.
- You express yourself through the clothing you wear.
- You enjoy mixing and matching decades.
- You enjoy unusual silhouettes.
Here’s my take on The Creative. I purchased this funky peplum romper from local brand Yahdie Conscious. I love the bold pattern and how feminine it is. The the detail in the back gives a modern look and feel. I have long legs and though I opt to show them off most times, I thought the introduction of the black opaque tights added some elegance to this look. You can of course, get even more creative by adding bold statement jewelry.
The most important thing when finding your Style Personality is to have fun and not take it too seriously. Fashion is a great way to express who you are. What is your Style Personality? Post photos of your best Creative
on my Facebook
page or Tweet me @mrkologie.
Photography: Syldan Thompson
M*RKventures: I design too!
For those who aren’t on my Facebook, you may not have known that my laptop breathed it’s last technological breath about two weeks ago. I am pretty sure getting into my zen place helped me not to freak out about it as I should have, after all it is my lifeline. For now I’m using a replacement, so everything sort of worked out (sort of). The designing didn’t stop however, because the show must go on!
I’m a Graphic Designer at a digital media company and two of my babies are Your Money eZine and the wkndr eZine. I’m especially happy about the latest two issues. This week I got to be Editor-in-Chief for the wkndr, which meant I planned it from start to finish, I love seeing my vision come to life. The March issue is about the rise of the creative, so naturally since I’m a creative I was happy that we were getting some spotlight.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did designing them.
A ReM*RKable Journey: MRK meets HK
I have been itching to travel again. One of my first posts on this blog was a compilation of photos from my time in Hong Kong. I always tell people that my heart is my home. I see myself as a wanderer who took a mini break from wandering for awhile. I don’t think I was ever meant to stay one place, I find small adventures invigorating so I hope this post is the beginning of many more small adventures to come.
I lived in Hong Kong for 10 weeks and my only regret was that I didn’t see more while I was there. Being a tourist as well as a full-time student will do that to you. I hopped on a plane to SCAD Hong Kong for a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with American Greetings on a collaboration project. Three years later I still think about drinking milk tea with my classmates and rushing to get parathas (I even had one with condensed milk once) before our next class started. You would think living in a country where you didn’t know the language would be hard but for this introvert it made no difference to me, I wanted to soak every detail in before it was over.
This video was long overdue and it was my very first interest in videography, video tells a story that photography can’t. I wish I could capture every moment but each memory I have of those 10 weeks are treasured keepsakes.
As a little girl I used to dream about all the places I would travel to and the people I would meet. I took out my little school atlas and planned which countries I would visit and when. I’m a little less travel than I thought I would be by now but it’s never too late to start. But maybe there are equally as great adventures I can have here in my own backyard. I’d love to hear about some exciting things I can explore on our little island. Leave your comments below.