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.


Neenie xo


Some of my fave choices for sisters and friends above (all links below.)

Hi Friends,

I have to admit, writing this post seems a little ironic. I am not sure it is even appropriate with what is happening in the world right now with the spike in Covid-19 cases. However someone said to me today that I have been overly obsessed with every little detail this year re the virus, overly paranoid (I think we should be) and I have not taken my eyes off the news. However, here we are – it is now December 4th and I still have a few gifts left to get.

This year our family have decided to “go easy” with each other in terms of “gifting” – as our tradition has always been, to give, give give, even the dogs give gifts….my family end up with gifts from myself and hubby, Santa, (a little joke for us), and each dog. I have three dogs. So there is that. However this year, we decided let’s just focus on the social distancing small family lunch on a huge veranda, and small, fun gifts. Totally in agreement. The family house is quite large enough, and the verandas are HUGE, so I think we will be okay as we have promised to isolate and “hunker down” between now and then giving us enough time to ensure we will be okay.

It is no secret either that I am also obsessed with Amazon. Here is another little secret: I was one of the first customers on Amazon way back when it was still in test mode! Ha. That was when I lived in Bermuda….no one, I mean NO ONE knew what the heck was, I had to explain. So it is a very natural step for me to just purchase gifts from Amazon. By the by, have you seen the new Gift Bags? They are gorge….really cute.

Here is my go-to no fail list for all my family members and friends…I have even included pantry items that I order from month to month! Please note also that I am not an Amazon Affiliate, I used to be when I had my last Blog, but this is all just straightforward recommendations, there is no making “a cent “from this post.

Gift Ideas from Amazon for Moms/ Mums: (included the American and English versions!)

Loving these cool pajamas (great prices too!)

The new Echo Show (very easy to understand!) (also on SALE!!)

Loving this Fall Scarf (my mother lives in Mandeville and it is cool, cool temperatures there…)

Gift Ideas for Sister:

If she has been the most awesome sister ever, and loves coffee, then hey, why not treat her to this beautiful, beautiful Smeg Coffee maker… I have to admit, this is divine. It is pricey, but like I said maybe your sister went above and beyond this year to help you, be there for you etc. Maybe she has struggled with something and you want to cheer her up, it could be anything.

Also, loving this Keurig one too, very affordable. I love a pop of colour on the kitchen counter, so lovely.

All linked within the post… Fila Sneakers / Burt’s Bees gift set, Smeg Coffee Maker and Coach sneakers.

These Coach sneakers are fab, so cool to wear with jeans or shorts. pictured above

Loving these lip colours, which I found out about via Cecile Levee, thanks Cecile!

Fun ideas for Friends:

Loving this Burt’s Bees’ set, very sweet (pictured above. ) Also this Lorac eyeshadow palette is the bomb!

If she is into Fitness, loving this water gallon bottle with motivational quotes, I tell you – it is so important to keep drinking water when you are a fitness buff! And it is so easy for us to forget. This weight training journal is amazing, I would love this. Keeps you on your “toes…” to record your workouts. These are the cutest sneakers, ever. Pictured above.

This water gallon bottle is great as a reminder to drink your water during the day and a workout!

Love these coffee table books which are my fave this year: Magnolia Table versions one and two (LOVE)….Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic’s new book – My Floral Affair, and Sharon Feanny’s LiveFit Cookbook, one I love… love… love.

Two of my fave books this year – LIVE FIT Kitchen by Sharon Feanny and The Floral Affair by Rachel Ashwell

Gifts for Men:

Loving this messenger bag for the laptop et al, so cool and not the usual boring looking men’s work bag.

Treat him to really nice electric razor, such a fab gift.

For those men who are obsessed with their Grills – this is perfect.

BBQ rubs for that man who loves to grill, and a fabulous electric razor

Love giving hubby anything like this, as that means alot can be done around the house!

I love when a man is organised with his tech stuff, just makes life so easier to find things, and have them all together charging. That is always my “pet peeve” in my house 🙂

These are the pantry items I order each month, did you know Amazon also has monthly subscriptions so you do not have to keep ordering things? So convenient…

Some of my pantry items that I have an on-going monthly subscription for – Nutiva organic hazelnut spread, Nespresso capsules, Sweetleaf sugar free drops that I use for my coffee

I could not survive without these sweet leaf sugar free drops, that I use mainly in my coffee! I order the English toffee and vanilla creme flavours.

This set of Nespresso coffee capsules come in every other month as a treat. As we usually use the coffee press for our Blue Mountain Coffee.

This Nutiva Organic Hazelnut spread is awesome on toast, in smoothies and oatmeal. I actually got this recommendation from a fabulous Fitness Inspo….the Fit.Vegan.Chef. By the way, she is SO amazing and inspirational, check out her gram I linked.

I hope you have enjoyed my rundown for Holiday gifts all from Amazon, so convenient, especially in these times when we are not going out there as much to shop….for obvious reasons.

The biggest gift I think we have to look forward to is the gift of hope, with the new vaccines out — let us keep positive and focus on that.

There are so many people who cannot afford to shop much less eat this year. Let us remember this Season, that as much as we can try to be positive for ourselves, there is so much else we need to be aware of – if you know of a neighbour who is struggling financially maybe a cooked meal or items from the market / supermarket would help to cheer them up….I have been reading about SO MANY good Samaritans doing wonderful gestures in all ways. Let’s be our brother’s keeper this Season.

Much love,

Neenie xo