The last time I wrote about food was in February 2017, when I had to chastise an individual who attempted to besmirch the good, good name of Jamaican cuisine with some awful travesty of a…dish. Today, I happily report from the other side, where I get the chance to big up one of my St Hilda’s High School classmates Jerene McKenzie, whose first cookbook, Jerene’s Eats: Caribbean Flavour – 14 Easy and Delicious Recipes That are Sure to Please, will be published tomorrow! The ebook is already the number one release in the ‘One-Hour Cookbook, Food & Wine Short Reads’ category, so don’t be shy—hit the link and pre-order to help keep it there!
If you’ve checked out her popular blog, Jerene’s Eats, and tried any of the recipes, you already know she is for real. I caught up with the busy wife, mom, blogger, chef-in-the-making, and now author to find out how she became a foodie, her writing and self-publishing journey, the foodies and chef who inspire her, and so much more. Have a taste! 🍲
If you’re in the market for a new fragrance, or looking to find your signature scent, then you need to know Lucet Montgomery, aka Perfume Boss. I met Lucet in sixth form at St Jago High. She has always been all things glamorous and fashionable, so it’s no surprise to me that she’s ventured into the business of selling fragrances. In addition to her business, she also juggles motherhood and a full-time job, so she is one busy lady! I added yet one more item to her plate this week, but she came through for ya girl. Check out our chat below to find out some of her favourite scents and why she doesn’t like one of the all-time greats, get fragrance recommendations for spring and summer (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming soon!), learn some dos and don’ts, and much more.
If you were here last year for the series about my experiences in the University of Iowa’s online writing workshop, then you know how stressful fiction writing can for me, even though (or probably because) I actually want to pursue it as a full-time vocation someday (whenever I work up the courage to just go for it, already!) In addition to the typical “insecure writer” problems relating to whether anyone will like my work or want to spend their money on it, I’ve also worried about whether this dream is “Christian” enough. Like any good Child of God, I want whatever I do to please Him and point people to Him. I don’t want to just write because I can put words together nicely. I want them to matter. And since I don’t want to write only Christian fiction, how does that even work?
Whenever I’m struggling with something, I always try to turn to the Bible for some answers. Actually, more accurately, I turn to the YouVersion app to look for reading plans related to my issue, which leads me back to the Bible, so same thing. 😊 In June, I found a plan entitled C.S. Lewis and the Call to Create, and it gave me some things to think about. It also led me to the organisation that provided the plan, Called to Create. I signed up for the weekly devotionals, pre-ordered the forthcoming book of the same name, and I’ve just been consuming pretty much everything they post on social media since then.
There are many great quotes out there about the importance of having a vision, but perhaps the most powerful one is from the Good Book: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18a) It’s vital to have vision for our lives, or we find ourselves stumbling around, trying to figure out just what we’re supposed to do and where we’re supposed to go, and being miserable and unfulfilled in the process. Speaking from experience, I can tell you plainly: it stinks.
It’s still early days yet in the new year, so we have time to sit and ponder or pray and seek a vision for our lives. I reached out to my friend Yanique Griffiths, the heart and mind behind The Vision Project Company, which aims to help adults, children, couples, groups and even business teams learn how to set the right vision for their lives and projects. She shares how she approaches vision setting, the importance of faith, and how she helps others pursue their purpose.
Jodi Westcarr is a woman of many talents, in diverse fields. A registered dietitian, she specialises in the nutritional management of diseases affecting the respiratory and pulmonary systems, as well as nutrition care in oncology. She currently works in the Liguanea Region of Medical Institutions, which incorporates the Sir John Golding Rehab Centre, Hope Institute Hospital and National Chest Hospital, and also does private consultations in weight and chronic disease management and nutrition in pregnancy. She also recently became interested in soapmaking, and has turned that hobby into a fledgling business, Purely Scentimental. On top of that, she has a beautiful voice, and can occasionally be found singing about love at weddings.
If you’re a local social media addict, you might have seen the Youtube video ‘American Learns To Speak Jamaican Patois‘ making the rounds on social media about a year ago, featuring my girl Donalee Curtis teaching her friend, makeup artist JKissa, some current patwa (that’s how I like to spell it) phrases. Their hilarious patwa experiment even made its way to Smile Jamaica, It’s Morning Time on TVJ. “My family and friends were calling me and sending me videos of themselves watching it. That was such an amazing feeling. All I want to do is make my country proud, even if it’s just through a fun video. As for JKissa, I think she is just as shocked as I am,” she said.
If you’ve read my first post, you will remember that I credited three sources of inspiration for my return to the blogosphere – Luvvie, my favourite blogger; Amelia, a fictional character in a romance novel; and my friend Janeth Benjamin, who took the bull by the horns and self-published a book. I also promised that she’d be the first person I featured in what I hope to be monthly interviews or profiles with some of the cool, interesting and enterprising people I know. So, here goes: