Musings. December thoughts and reflections.

Dear Friends,

I do hope you are keeping well. And by well I mean “safe.” It pains my heart to read that so many hospitals in the USA are full, and that the medical professionals are tired and depressed for so many reasons.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to re-hash what we should all know by now. It is to look back at this year.

For me, it started with such a hopeful note, although I had read about the virus in China that was causing a lot of concern. In January I woke up on the 1st thinking this would be the year I would be able to do things I had on my wish list. Travel more. Buy a home. Start up a small business on the side. I was ecstatic about my future.

January was like a dream to me as in my professional career, it was highlighted with a trip to the Bahamas to collect three World Travel Awards for our Company.

In my room before I left for the Award Ceremony at Sandals Royal Bahamian. I had my hair and make up done by a makeup artist at the Grand Hyatt next door. I had two dresses to choose from, a jewelled green beautiful formal dress and this one that Polka Dots designed for me, a black very lovely but not as formal. I decided to wear the black one as I love a dress that shows off my shoulders, and I had a very formal belt that went hand in hand with the dress and so the “look” was pulled off!
I was so happy to be on stage accepting the award for GoldenEye, Strawberry Hill and The Fleming Villa! Such a surreal experience.
Words cannot explain how I felt on this night. I have two awards here, but we ended up with three! What a night. Always, always will remember this magical evening!

We also hosted the Cayman Cookout at GoldenEye, at The Ian Fleming Villa in January with well renowned Chefs who flew in on private jet from Cayman for the day.

At the Cayman Cookout at The Fleming Villa, what an experience! With renowned Chefs & Restauranteurs Daniel Boulud, and Dominique Crenn as special guests!

In the beginning of March, it became clear to me that things were changing and changing fast. We kept hearing about the spread of the virus to the UK, and USA. We knew things were going to get SO much worse, and yes, they did.

I was asked to be be a part of the Jamaica Government Covid-19 Prototols team for the Company which back then, it was still called “Corona virus.” Myself and a work colleague spent 12 hours putting the hotel protocols together, we did not realise then, that the hotels would have to be closed down for a good six months due to the lockdown and the borders closing!

That’s when it hit me that the year was literally not going to turn out the way I wanted it or for that matter the way anyone wanted it! I have been fortunate enough to work from home and decided to “up the ante” on my fitness journey by setting up my veranda for daily workouts to post for my friends and followers who were asking for home workout tips. This was due to the gyms closing.

At the very time I could have cried the year away and become depressed I decided to fight through it with alot of balance and meditation. Balance via my workouts, dogs and supportive hubby.

I set my “veranda gym” up with dumbbells, an exercise ball, resistance bands and a huge basket of things to use during my workouts like the thick resistance band I use for glute work. I used my wooden benches for “bench work” and even a chair for some seated dumbbell exercises. As mentioned in my post what a year, most of these workouts are posted on my Instagram account under the highlights. Many people ask how I recorded myself. Simple a tripod that bends to be placed anywhere!

An example of warming up the glutes for a glutes and lower body workout. Using the “booty band.” Note this is just a snippet of the workout itself. More on my Instagram page (see Instagram link on my sidebar!)

I took the time to add music and edit the videos so they could be shared to my social media and I received great feedback and questions. It has given me some insight as to where I think I am headed in the future post pandemic in terms of fitness. More to come in that as I still have a very busy job that keeps me on my toes.

What this year brought to me has been a new perspective of how to live my life based in how I chose to live it this next year. It’s been alot more lonely that is for sure. For everyone. However my realization that I was not getting the full balance of work versus my own time fully dawned on me this year. I love having flexible hours. It doesn’t mean I work less it means I found a way to “make my flexible hours work for me” to give me that time to do a workout, walk the dogs…cook. Meditate. Talk to my hubby. I don’t have a 9-5 office job and never will. I don’t need to be physically somewhere at a desk to work. I have a creative job that I work on whenever it is needed. That could be a 12 hour day on a weekend or a six hour day during the week. This is how I prefer it. I realize I don’t want the standard rules of work anymore as once you love what you do it really doesn’t matter if you end up working all day on a Sunday….or to midnight during the week. As long as the balance is there; and you love what you do – then all is good!

I would love to know how you intend to change the way you are going forward after this pandemic is behind us. How will your life change for the better? What have you realized this year that has made you think that your life has to change in some way?

Keep well. Keep safe.

Love,

Neenie xo


What a year.

My friends,

It has been awhile, and I thought I would start this Blog up again. As….why not?

This Blog has been mainly about fitness, but this post will be more about this past year and how I kept the balance.

I am in the process also of getting my YouTube channel live and running, and again – will be mainly about Fitness. I hope to have the first Vlog posted there soon, will keep you updated here. Please note I have not uploaded a video yet, so give me a little time, once I do – I will announce it here!

2020 has been a challenging, sad, trying year for SO MANY people all over the globe – and it seems it will continue on this path for now. On a more positive note we know we have been advised that there are two Companies about to rollout the vaccine in a week to the medical front line workers, and to the aged Homes…and then to the older, immune compromised and the general population after. I have been praying all year for this.

Since March, when the Company I work for closed for six months (hotels in Jamaica) I have been on a fitness quest even more than usual, and in my next post I will share some of my “at home” workouts – which by the way, I have posted on my Instagram landing page under “Highlights” – since then, I have been back to the gym, which is a small neighbourhood gym — using it at times when NO ONE in there.

The balance throughout hard times is so important. I also started a journal (finally) and meditation. It has helped me to stay positive each day no matter what.

I will have links below to the Journal I use, the diffuser for meditation, and a few other things that helped me during this time.

The Things that helped me “Balance” this year

Each morning, I take about 30 minutes to write my list of things to do each day (personal and work) yes – I love writing lists even as a content creator….there is something lovely and old fashioned about it, and I will never stop. I also meditate for ten minutes during that 30 minutes “time for me…”

I have been looking at these beautiful leather planners for years, they are a bit pricey but back in March I decided, what the heck, I need this — for balance! If you have never heard of Planner Perfect by Jenny Penton, then please go discover her! She is an Artist and teaches about how to have things you want manifested in your life. Let me tell you a little secret – it works! Jenny is a Life Coach as well as a mom to eight. She teaches about the scripting method – which means writing something like you already believe it has happened.

This is the leather planner I am using now, called the Anastasia, which I love. There are SO MANY choices however!

I would also use my Journal, and record my thoughts each day with this beautiful Journal from Amazon:

This Journal helps me with my daily gratitude and keeping the positivity despite a negative year

My At Home “Veranda” Workouts got me through this year!

I found that when I posted an “At Home Veranda Workout” on my social media, I immediately received great engagement. Everyone wanted to know about the Bands I use, the Resistance Bands, and the workouts. I have it all linked below. Some days I never felt motivated, but I let the better side of my brain click in and after the workout felt 100% better. All you need to make these workouts “work” would be a band, or dumbbells or resistance bands. If you do not have any, then just use your bodyweight. 30 minutes is the key to these workouts, not one minute longer. I still do them when I go to the Gym and there is someone there, I simply retreat back to my veranda….

Getting ready for one of Pandemic LOCKDOWN veranda workouts! With resistance bands and dumbbells

Soon my workouts will be posted on my YouTube Channel, in the meantime as stated above, they are mostly on my Instagram landing page, under HIGHLIGHTS.

The resistance bands I linked above, are not the exact type I use, but those ones sold out….but they are very similar.

My At Home Workouts are a split of upper body (2-3 per week), glutes aka “Booty” (twice per week) and a mix (once) with a rest day. For cardio, I would walk 30 minutes before or after around my neighbourhood. On leg day, as you burn a ton of calories, there is no need for cardio.

I have found that during the lockdown, I loved walking and just being able to glean the beauty of the trees, other people’s gardens etc, it really lifted my mood.

My go to Instagram Accounts that helped and continue to help cheer me up!

At the end of day, I relied upon these amazing people to put that smile on my face. A combo of celebs (who were also on lockdown and decided to cook more, share cocktail recipes etc…), as well as sheer Influencers etc. Here is rundown!

Stanley Tucci

SO FAB all throughout Lockdown and continues to be with his superb cocktail mixing! And just his amazing style.

Kate Hudson

I love that she now has a vodka Company called King St. and the King St. Instagram account is beautiful. Kate also grams about cooking, her fitness line and family.

Katie Couric

I do not need to explain why she is just a GEM. Her IGTV vids are lovely.

Trader Joe’s List

Lord have mercy, how did I miss this lady all along, she is FAB FAB FAB. And you learn FIRST about the new items in Trader Joe’s – a win win.

The Home Edit

If you are not subscribed, then please do. These two ladies have done so well in the last few years! They now have TWO books out, (I have them both) and a TV Show on Netflix. They are also SUPER hysterical, especially when on a plane and anxious.

Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic

Have loved this lady since her FIRST book. Love Shabby Chic, ask anyone! All throughout lockdown in the UK, Rachel recorded a journey and her pathway to shabby chic success, what an inspiration.

Oprah

Love her, and love her wisdom and outlook on life, don’t we all?

I hope you have enjoyed reading this latest post, and promise to be much more active here especially as my blogging will go hand in hand with my vlogging on YouTube soon.

Promised to mention about the diffuser from Amazon which I have in my bedroom and really helps me to relax. I use the lavender oils mixed with rose. Very cost effective amazing little diffuser!

It is light, and cost effective, I have a few in my house and it is very effective.

I do hope you all will continue to get the balance, and here is to better times in 2021 peeps.

One love,

Neenie