in the kitchen| LEMON BARS

With 4 children spending the weekend at our house and in a desperate attempt to hold on to summer, I
found myself in the kitchen making lemon bars. I've been wanting to try this recipe for some time, but
since we had all the kids and I've been fighting the flu, I opted for a quicker solution which I found
in a Betty Crocker box. I hate to not bake from scratch but 4 hungry kids are motivation enough
 to get in and out the kitchen - especially after they've been in the pool.
Nonetheless, I was excited to try something new...

I forgot the name of this thing, but my mom bought it for me a few months ago and this was my first
time using it. It's supposed to make it easy to cut even slices of cake and since I didn't want
to hear anyone saying they got a bigger piece than the other, I figured I'd try it out.
The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever!

...the whole thing dissappered in about 2 minutes...I only got one piece...

Now that I don't have to go to the hell hole everyday (my former job), I get to
immurse myself in baking again + I'm so excited about it...

my old house in jamaica.

So my mom ditched me again and went home to Jamaica for a couple of days. With my cousin as her unofficial chauffer, he's been all over the place with her, including to one of the houses that we used to live in. I almost died when he BBM'd this picture to me. I was very young when I lived in this house but I remember it very clearly. Big sis and I shared a room - we had twin beds on each side of the room. I celebrated my 4th birthday here with a huge birthday bash. I had a bounce house on the front lawn which was a huge deal because no one at the party had even seen a bounce house in Jamaica before, or as we Jamaican's call it "Bounce About", lol. My mom use to go crazy for my birthdays, which is why even as an adult I still consider my birthday to be a national holiday, lol. My cousins and I would play on the hills, going all the way to the top and racing each other down to the bottom. This was also where I saw my great grandmother alive for the last time before her passing. The main thing I remember about this house was all the parties that my mom use to have. She was so much into entertaining. Seeing this photo just reminded me of a carefree time of my problems. I think I lived here until I was about 6 because I lived here when I visited America for the first time - which was a big deal. I think I'll share that story another time. I'll also share some photos from my last trip home.

What are some of your
fond childhood memories?

another bite @ the apple.

photo credit| Punam Bean

Just as fast as we moved back to New York last year, we came back to Florida...and just as fast as we've found a place and I started working this job that I hate, it's time to go again. This time around it feels right, as opposed to last year when it seemed that life was happening to me and someone was dragging me along. I'm very excited to go back to what I know, and the fact that I have this to look forward to makes my work days somewhat bearable. I'm looking forward to having all my family in the same place, being able to be apart of nieces everyday lives and spending more time with my daddy. Plus when I have kids, I don't want them to only see their aunts, cousins or granpa only every couple months or so. I'm also over the moon about possibly being able to put my fashion degree to use and further immersing myself into a career that I'm passionate about. Through freelancing (which I do on the side due to my full time work schedule) I've made contact with some people in both fashion and beauty, so I'm hoping that something great will manifest from that. There's so much I want to do and I know that moving back home will only benefit me. I know what I want and I'm going to get it.

what have you done so far this week to move closer to your dream?

the great escape.

Over and over I kept looking at my computer praying for the time to read 5:00pm. By 4pm I was completely burned out, had a headache and couldn't stomach the thought of making one more phone call. "There has to be more to life than making phone calls, setting appointments and convincing people why they need to enroll at my school...I'm not supposed to be doing this". I keep saying that I'm ready to leave, yet my surrounding didn't give off that impression - my personal photos were still hanging, magazine clippings from photo shoots that I'd worked on - I was at home. How am I supposed to attract moving on to better things when I'm making myself comfortable here? I got up and took down all my personal belongings - photos, certifications, everything to make room for the next soul that would inhibit this space. The thought of coming back on Monday made my head hurt even more...I can't go back there. By 4:50, I shut off my computer after printing out my daily progress report that needed to be reviewed by my supervisor before leaving. Great. I had virtually 0 productivity for the day because all I kept thinking about was how much I didn't want to be there and how I need to work harder to achieve my personal and professional goals. The choice is simple - either follow my own dreams or work for someone else who did.

Progress report in hand, I walked over to my boss and handed it in knowing that I wasn't going to leave without hearing some sort of speech. Shaking his head, he reviews my report:

Boss: Are you with us?

Me: I don't know.

Boss: What's been going on with you?

Me: I'm having a bad week.

Boss: (notices what's in my hand) Did you clean out your office?

Me: Yes.

We go on to discuss the fact that I have other things that I'd like to pursue. While researching cosmetology schools, I asked if my schedule could be altered so that I can attend class and I was told that wasn't going to happen. He told me he knows he knows the job is stressful - I explained to him that the job wasn't a problem because I typically make my numbers, I just needed to decide if I was going to continue to show up to this place everyday. I'm never one to cause a scene or be disrespectful, but I have a bad poker face and it's obvious when I don't like something. We had a 10 minute conversation which culminated in me telling him that if I show up Monday that means I'm willing to stick out for a bit, but if I don't I will give him a phone call and let him know that I'm not coming back.

Truthfully, I have only a couple weeks left as I've yet to plan my great escape. However the anticipation proves too much at times. It's tough going to place that you have no interest in and to top if off you have people talking down to you, forgetting that you're both humans. They are no better than me in the eyes of the Lord - but some people tend to forget that when they're in positions of authority. People tend to forget that someone is signing their paycheck as well...therefore making them as disposable as me.

In any event, I have a clear vision of what I plan on doing with my life - nothing and no one will stand in the way of that...definitely not these people. Life is about choice - either deal with something or don't.

So I will either stick it out for a couple weeks before making my way back to the Big Apple or immediately eliminate the position in my life and chill before it's time to go...

hubby's birthday.

Yesterday was my beautiful husbands birthday! He wanted me to take the day off, and since that was impossible, I made it up to him by taking him out to a local restaurant on the beach. It's a casual place with an island atmosphere and live music. Despite it being a laid back atmosphere, I decided to step out my comfort zone and where something "sexy". I pulled out this dress that I had once worn once, a couple years ago and some heels that had been collecting dust in my closet since last summer. I was totally overdressed at the restaurant, but hey - I wasn't dressing for them, I was dressing for my husband.
Black Lace Dress| Forever 21
Shoes| Payless

I'm not gonna lie, I was feeling like a stuffed turkey in that dress but my legs looked amazing, lol!

This was his first time at this restaurant. For the entire day he would ask me where we were going and I wouldn't tell him. Thankfully he was pleased with my choice, I'm sure we'll visit together again.

These wings were good but they need to drop the "Jamaican" off the title - they were not Jamaican jerk at all. Very misleading for two Jamaican's who thought they were going to get an authentic dish... but they were yummy though!

My husband surprised me with his meal selection. I guess he decided to go out of the box for his birthday, lol. Normally he gets seafood when we dine out - so this was very much to the left for him. He thoroughly enjoy his meal, that's all that matters.

My order was out the box for me as well since I'm not a big fish person. I actually didn't start eating seafood until the hubby got me into it a few years ago. But since we ordered chicken for appetizer, I didn't want to get a chicken entree. I ordered salmon, and it was seriously the best salmon I've ever had in my entire life. It was Teriakki style - incredible! I didn't finish the whole thing (since I'm watching my portions), so I will have the other half for lunch or dinner today. I've never tasted anything like this in my life, I can't get over it.
...and of course, my drink of choice.

My husband is not a big fan of cake (unless I bake it) so I wasn't even able to have a little cake brought out for him. He's such a party pooper. Who doesn't have cake on their birthday? We did have a great time, and it was fun to actually go out after work. Hopefully I can get the family together this weekend to celebrate some more. I'm hoping to bake some red velvet cupcakes this weekend (that's his favorite) and spend some time with him before we spend some time apart in the upcoming weeks (more on that later). 

Have a beautiful + safe weekend everyone!

What are your plans? 


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