Sunday, May 29, 2016

beautybox five - May 2016

My May beautybox five arrived this week.

Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling service that delivers 5 deluxe samples and full-sized products right to your door every month.

Subscriptions are $12US a month or $99US for a year.  Shipping is free.

Here's what I received ...

Value = $61.82US

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Luxury Bahia Principe, Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Sister Sarah and I spent the last week at the Luxury Bahia Principe, an adults only all-inclusive resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica (Saturday until today).

It is about an hour's bus ride from the Montego Bay airport and a half hour drive from Ocho Rios (you can catch a shuttle there and back from the hotel for $15US).  It is attached to the Grand Bahia Principe, which is not adults only.

The reception area
The lobby

It is a huge complex ... the Grand Bahia has 850 rooms and the Luxury Bahia has 525 rooms.  We could use all the facilities at both resorts.  At first it was a bit overwhelming but by the second day it was fine.

The Luxury Bahia is on the right

I was very happy with my room.

As a head's up, there are only five single two prong plugs in the room (one for the TV, lamp by the desk, alarm clock, coffee maker and one in the bathroom for the blow dryer).  My laptop needed a three prong plug and there was only one in the room, which is what the TV was plugged into.  So I had to unplug the kettle, pull the dresser away from the wall to access the three prong plug, move the TV across the dresser and plug it into the kettle plug, and then plug in my laptop.  So bring a power bar as they don't have them or adapters at the hotel (I asked).

There was WIFI throughout the resort and you can connect two of your devices for free.  It was fairly speedy.

The mini fridge was stocked daily with two big bottles of water, two cans of beer, four pop and a bag of chocolate covered peanuts.

The towels were inconsistent.  On my first day, I had three big bath towels, three face cloths, a bath mat and two hand towels.  On the second day, I had three big bath towels and three hand towels.  On the third day ... well, everyday it was a surprise.  I never did get face cloths again.

I asked for a wake-up call three days (as a back-up).  Two days it was five minutes early and the third day it was ten minutes late.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Jamaica - Friday

I woke up this morning to sun and 27C (but felt like 28C).  It was supposed to be 29C (but feel like 34C) this afternoon with an 80% chance of rain and a risk of thunderstorms ... but the rain and thunder never came.  Yay!  Looking at the clouds, though, I was concerned.

The dark clouds disappeared and the sun stayed out.  I managed to find a chaise and umbrella by the pool and that's where I parked myself ... not a bad way to spend the morning.

Book ~ "The Girl He Left Behind" (2016) Patricia Kay

From Goodreads ~ It should be a dream come true for divorcée Eve Kelly. After a dozen years, her high school sweetheart Adam Crenshaw is back - and sexier than ever. But Eve has a problem. Two problems, to be exact. Her eleven-year-old twins. Twins their secret daddy can never know about.

Home to care for his ailing mother, the big-time country music star didn't expect to fall so hard for the small-town single mom… again. But Eve isn't the same woman he left. It's as if she's hiding something. Adam is used to getting what he wants - and he wants Eve. This time, though, instead of a fling, he just may get a family - a family he didn't know he had. 

Twelve years ago Eve and Adam were dating.  Her parents wouldn't have approved so she kept it a secret from them.  He wanted them to leave town when they graduated from high school.  He waited for her at the bus station but she never arrived so he left without her.

Twelve years later, Adam is a famous singer and is back in town because his mother is sick.  Eve is divorced with twins ... twins who everyone thinks are fathered by Eve's ex-husband, Bill.  Adam and Eve are still attracted but Eve made a deal with Bill twelve years ago that he would marry her if she promised to never see Adam again and didn't tell anyone that he's not the father of her children.  Things get messy when Adam and Eve run into each other and the attraction is still there.

I don't usually read this kind of book but it was in my April Boomerluxe box so I brought it on vacation with me figuring it would be a good book to read by the pool. ... and it was.  As a head's up, there is some adult activity.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jamaica - Thursday

After I got back from Ocho Rios, I hung out with Sister Sarah by the pool.

We headed to our rooms to chill before meeting for supper.  I watched the sunset from my balcony just after 6pm ... it's gorgeous but it happens very quickly.

We went to the large buffet restaurant for supper ... the theme was seafood.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios is about a half hour away from my resort and I caught the shuttle ($15US return) in.  Newton, our driver, would take us back in two hours.

I checked out the large flea market.  It was quite intense with vendors constantly trying to lure me into their narrow dark stalls for teeshirts, wooden ornaments, bags, etc.  Or ladies wanting to braid my hair.  I walked around for a bit, politely declining their invitations.

Book ~ "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do" (2015) Sarah Knight

From Goodreads ~ Are you stressed out, overbooked and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? It's time to stop giving a f*ck.

This brilliant, hilarious and practical parody of Marie Kondo's bestseller "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame and guilt - and give your f*cks instead to people and things that make you happy.

The easy-to-use, two-step NotSorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f*ck about:
  • Family drama 
  • Having a "bikini body" 
  • Iceland 
  • Co-workers' opinions, pets, and children 
  • And other bullsh*t!

And it will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter. So what are you waiting for? Stop giving a f*ck and start living your best life today!

The title attracted me and that's why I wanted to read this book.  Then I read that it is a parody of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō, which I haven't read.

The book starts out why discussing giving a f*ck and not giving a f*uck ... that is, why should you give a care and why you shouldn't, who doesn't give a care, not caring what people think (you can't control their feelings ... only they can), etc. and ends with a visualization where you list all the things you give a care about and those you don't.

You then categorize your f*cks into (1) things, (2) work, (3) friends, acquaintances and strangers and (4) family and the author tells you how to deal with each category.  You discover what you gain (time, energy and/or money) by not giving a care.

I enjoyed the writing style.  I found it amusing and sarcastic.  Yes, there is a lot of swearing but you figured that out by the title, right?

It's part time management and part cutting out things that annoy you to add things that bring joy.  I already practice a lot of what the author advised (my time is very precious to me) but it was a good reminder.  Though it seems to be written in fun, I found there was a helpful message.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jamaica - Wednesday

I slept in this morning and headed to the pool to spend the day (Sister Sarah felt like spending the day at the beach).  It was sunny and 27C (but felt like 29C) when I got up and was supposed to be 29C (but feel like 34C) this afternoon with a 40% chance of rain and a risk of thunderstorms.

My plan for the day was to relax.  Not a bad place to spend the day!

There are lots of Canadians here

I had lunch in the small buffet restaurant by our pool.

The jerk chicken was hot off the BBQ ... yum!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bob Marley excursion, Nine Mile, St. Ann, Jamaica

Sister Sarah and I did the  Bob Marley excursion to Nine Mile today, which is where he was born and is buried.  Nine Mile is owned and operated by the Marley family. We did it with Island Routes on the Zion bus.

The drive was up into the mountains.  The roads were really narrow and windy.  At one point, a truck came barreling down the road and smashed into the driver's side rear view mirror.  Glass went everywhere.  Barry, our driver, stopped ... the other driver didn't.

We stopped along the way for a snack at Bumpers Lawn Bar & Rest Stop.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Jamaica - Monday

I woke up this morning to sun and 29C (but it felt like 34C). This afternoon it was supposed to be 31C (but feel like 38C) with the risk of a thunderstorm.

Sister Sarah and I started our day at the pool about 10am.  There was water aerobics and Sister Sarah did it.

There's Sister Sarah in the red

We hung out by the pool until lunchtime.  While we were eating lunch, the rain and thunder arrived.  When we went back to the pool, the entertainment crew didn't let it get them down and were dancing in the rain.

As the rain got stronger, they jumped into the pool and started games of volleyball.

Book ~ "Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time" (2016) Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane

From Goodreads ~ In just two short years, Steve and Derek have cemented a place for themselves among the worlds most well-known and successful animal activists, accumulating hundreds of thousands of followers from all over the world. 

In 2014, Steve and Derek founded the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary in Campbellville, Ontario, where they continue to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned and abused farmed animals. 

Steve received a call from an old friend ... she had a mini pig that she was trying to find a home for because she couldn't keep her.  Steve said he'd take the pig and his partner, Derek, named her Esther.  Then they discovered that she wasn't a six month old "mini" pig at all ... she was, in fact, a six week old commercial pig, which means she should have been destined to be raised and butchered.

Esther grew from being the size of a sneaker to over 650 pounds!  They tried to raise her as long as they could in their house in Georgetown, just outside of Toronto.  They eventually bought a farm about 45km west of Toronto and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary and take in animals that need homes.

I enjoy reading books about animals and that's why this one caught my eye.  I remember reading about Esther in the Toronto Star a couple years ago.

I enjoyed this book.  I didn't know a lot about pigs and Esther sounds adorable.  It is written in first person perspective in Steve's voice.  I liked the writing style ... it was funny and interesting.  Because of their relationship with Esther, Steve and Derek have become vegan (and have included some recipes at the end of the book) but they aren't judgmental if you aren't.   As a head's up, there is some swearing.

I'd like to visit Esther and the sanctuary some day soon.