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Adventure, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

Drowning?!

September 10, 2015

As promised, here are a few snaps from over the weekend. (Click through to see them all!)

Often, life becomes so overwhelming that we lose ourselves in the momentary struggles of each day. Ever felt like you were drowning in your problems? Sheesh! It’s so easy to feel overcome and defeated by our circumstances.

I, for one often feel like I have too many brain tabs open… But thankfully I’ve been developing ways of closing them off one by one and learning how to isolate myself in a way that healthily provides me with the grace to carry on.

Tobago is one of those little antidotes for me. I absolutely love it. We Trinidadians are so lucky to have such a beautiful sister isle just a stone’s throw away!

It is SO important to take a step back every now and then, and take a moment to literally listen to the sound of waves crashing and allow your problems to be drowned out. It’s important to set your phone aside, or switch off all your devices and change perspectives every now and then.

When you step away from whatever is challenging you, you immediately lessen its grip on you. Try it! It works. 

 Remember: all the water in the ocean could never sink a ship unless the water gets inside. Likewise, you need to learn how to survive without letting what you feel consume you from the inside out.

If you can’t physically remove yourself from an atmosphere or situations where you’re inclined to feel overwhelmed, at least take a mental break and switch gears every now and then to focusing on things that make you happy or inspired.

I can attest to the fact that this method has been like glue in holding me together.

For my mom’s 50th birthday we hopped across to Tobago for what seemed like 5 minutes. As always, the ever so laid back pace there provided a much needed break and a chance to catch our breaths while celebrating her day in a most gorgeous setting.

How do you escape? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments!

(Click the last social icon below to the right to leave a comment!)

Food, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation, Photography

You survived!

September 3, 2015

Birthdays have ALWAYS been something I look forward to, year after year. Whether it’s my own or someone else’s- there’s a familiar excitement that surges through my veins. It’s similar to that ‘Christmas’ feeling you get when the trees are lit and the stockings are hung and there’s unhealthy amounts of over-sweetened sorrel in your fridge.

I know that for many, it’s ‘just another day’. For me though, I believe in making the most of every single day you’re given.. and birthdays just seem like a scheduled time to have a little extra fun. Why not take advantage of a designated day to make someone feel special, or to treat yourself?

Growing up, my mom made all my birthdays special. It was never about the presents or the cake, in fact I’m not a fan of cake at all, nor do I like ice-cream… but it was always about feeling like you were important. It was a day set aside to allow yourself to feel like anything was possible. To this day, there’s still a bit of birthday ‘magic’ that I always look forward to.

Birthdays remind me of where I’ve been and how much yet there is to accomplish. They’re a bit of a reality slap, and I suppose for the older folk, that’s why they’re probably a bit more daunting. It’s probably a chilling reality for some to not have accomplished what they wanted to by a certain age… like getting married or having their dream job by a certain time.

BUT. HOLD IT RIGHT THERE.

Continue Reading…

Food, Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Falling in love with…

August 26, 2015

Food, glorious food! Is there really anything better?

My earliest impressions of food were formed during my childhood. I’ve always had the most positive associations with eating since I came from a family that loved to cook, and equally loved to eat.

Mealtimes were always a family affair; a time to share and laugh. We had many home cooked meals, but moreso we tended to eat out. I vividly remember trying foods from different countries and cultures, and absolutely falling in love with many dishes that are still my favourites today.

Sunday afternoons in the 90’s for example, were spent eating at Joe’s Pizza in St. James, most of the time, our whole family occupying the entire restaurant! The dining and entertainment scene wasn’t as vibrant as it is today, but the ambiance created in that little nook by the company kept transformed the atmosphere.

I loved it. I loved sitting with my family, hearing the constant chatter of buzzing conversation. The smell and taste of piping hot cheesy pizzas, strombolis, lasagnes and bread sticks. I loved the feeling of security that came from being with a huge family. The honest simplicity was perfect.

Fast forward, nearly 20 years later… things have changed, as they tend to. Not that change hasn’t presented it’s own beauty, but the time for these family gatherings and the unadulterated attention given to sharing a meal together just isn’t available anymore.

However, one thing has remained constant. My love of food. I still love experiencing new flavors. I still love eating and the nostalgia the smell, taste or even sound in some cases can bring.  Food, and dining, often take me back to that place when life seemed perfect. Perhaps it’s an emotional connection. There’s something familiar in certain simple flavours that deliver an inexplicable feeling of contentment by association.

I suppose that’s why food will never get old for me. Eating has always been, and will always be more of an experience for me than it is an element of basic survival. Anyways, I thought I’d begin photo-journalizing some of my favourite dining experiences in light of this love, starting with a dinner centered around one of  my favourite ingredients of all – cheese.

What are some of your earliest food memories? What dishes did you love growing up? Comment below!

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Gorgonzola crusted steak medallions, glazed with a balsamic reduction, paired with a side of classic parmesan and cauliflower risotto.

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Balsamic glazed steak medallions, crusted in sharp cheddar, paired with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and a seasoned steamed vegetable medley.

*Featured image: Creamy garlic, spinach and artichoke dip, loaded with freshly shaved parmesan and baked to perfection. Served with home made Tuscan bread spears. 

 

Lifestyle, Photography

What was your first?

August 19, 2015

Pink, plastic, “Barbie” labeled, carrying 110 Kodak film.

That was my first camera. I loved taking photos of anything and everything with it, and my sentiments remain unchanged. Example? The random photo chosen as the featured image for this post. (Although it’s simple, it takes me right back to the day I took it, the feelings, and the people).

Growing up, I rarely remember seeing my dad or my favourite uncle without a camera in tow on our family trips and gatherings. The big bulky kinds that made strange sounds and carried cassettes and film inside. In fact my mom also carried around her little point and shoot too on all our travels, snapping away at all the little things I did and places we went together. That’s where most of my embarassing photos probably came from. Thanks mom. I remember almost everyone around me constantly taking pictures of everything, so I was always pretty comfortable around a camera.

Through them, I learned to place value on my experiences, big and small alike, whether it was building a mini fort out of our couch cushions in the living room (Trinis, you know the kind I mean), or exploring the Hawaiian islands.

I consider my family to have been pretty tech savvy, with their giant cameras and motorola flip phones that were bigger than my head. I actually still have boxes of old VHS tapes and Mini DV cassettes loaded with home movies and I can’t tell you how many times I flip through them or the old photo albums we have. The nostalgia is always overwhelming, in the best ways. I love seeing other people’s family albums too. They tell such stories.

I place great sentimental value on old photos, which is perhaps the reason for my constantly filled camera rolls on my phone. I’m always trying to preserve a glimpse into my present, because I can’t wait to look back on it! (Ok, maybe not the 30 selfies… )

Anyway, in light of it being World Photo Day I thought it fitting to share a little insight into my love of photos and photography. I’m not by any means a real ‘photographer’, but I do qualify as a genuine lover of the art form that it is.

I once read that “We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone” which about sums things up. I can’t ever see myself not taking tons of photos of anything and everything, and I know for sure that I’ll continue the tradition of giving cameras to kids. Mine gave me one of my favourite escapes today, and I know my future kids will one day feel the same. You have to start somewhere right? Even if it’s on a pink, plastic, “Barbie” labeled camera.

 

What was your first camera? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments below!

 

Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation

Limited Edition

August 17, 2015

“That’s a stupid decision.”

“Why?!”

“Are you sure?” 

Haven’t we all heard statements and been asked sarcastic questions that force us to question our decisions, our character or our morale?

I know I have. I’ve been subjected to my fair share of judgement, misunderstanding and often doubted my decisions as a result of not getting the approval I thought I needed.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all felt at some point as though we were wrong for not getting approval from someone who mattered. I’m pretty sure we’ve entrusted our ambitions, our feelings, our validity and self worth to people who shouldn’t have jurisdiction to even decide such. If that’s you, like it was me, then you probably know what it feels like to be down-trodden and discouraged.

If that’s you now… STOP!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

Continue Reading…

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Love

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed

August 10, 2015

 

“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”   ― Kahlil Gibran

and… the depth of love I’ve felt from you has only grown deeper as time has passed.

I shudder to think that it has almost been two years since my grandma passed away. Two days before it happened, I remember sitting at her bedside. I thought to myself that she would be home in a few days, and life would go on. I never stopped think about the screeching hault that would soon come. I never knew that two years later I’d weep so heartily that my insides would feel bruised.

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Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation, Photography

Cathartic Bombs and Minefields

August 2, 2015

 

Ever tried sleeping in to avoid life? I have. It probably sounds immature, and not very conclusive, but it’s an avoidance tactic that I remember using as a teenager to diffuse ‘stress’. Shame on me for thinking that life was tough back then! Little did teenage me know, reality would only sting harder as time went on.

Thankfully, although now I’m plagued with new, more grown up realities… call it stress 2.0... I’ve found a few little anecdotes that I thought to be share-worthy..

Call it my ‘I wish someone carefully explained this to me before I had my awkward teenage stage’ revelations if you will.

Back then, I thought that everything was some cathartic bomb and life was a minefield. Now, I pretty much recognize that that’s actually true… Except… I actually posess the power to deal with every hand that I’ve been dealt.

There’s a simple solution to my problems that always existed, but I was probably too self absorbed to take notice.

Continue Reading…

Adventure, Friendship, Lifestyle, Love, Travel

Meant to be!

July 23, 2015

If you’ve known me well enough, at some point or the other you’d hear me give credit to my childhood best friend for tons of my most cherished memories through the years. My adventuring, sense of quirkiness and mischievous side today are surely a tribute to the days spent with her. Pretending and believing that we could telepathically communicate with neighbouring dogs through passionate barking (yes, we barked)… or riding our bikes, imagining that we were world explorers or olympic cyclists was how we spent our days. I often pretended to be the ‘crocodile hunter’ whenever we were in a pool, (complete with awful Australian accent and baggy ensemble) and Hannah was no stranger to being my back up and helping me wrestle my plastic and rubber croc to ‘safety’.

In fact, she’s always been my back up, helping me wrestle whatever insane dream I have to safety, never once enabling self doubt in me or offsetting my confidence in the
most incongruous of circumstances. No matter how insane or ridiculous my ideas made us look, she was always one to convince me that it was okay to be me. In fact, I’d say that through her, I’ve learned the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. The ones who love you, give you confidence, comfort, support and stay by your side when you’re least worthy are the key to staying afloat in a world eagerly trying to strip you of your individuality.  I could go on and on about the friendship we have, but I’ll save some details for another post.

For now, let me just conclude by saying that FINALLY, we’ve been able to see eachother after a few years apart, and the feeling of ‘meant to be’ couldn’t ring truer. I’m so thrilled that after more than 15 years, she still has my back.

 

Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation, Photography

Start Somewhere.

July 16, 2015

If only there was some sort of blogging mirror that I could use to practice my introduction to the potential readers here in internet-land, I’d be much more at ease. Since there isn’t, forgive my simplicity and timidity in creating this first post…

Hi, I’m Aimee in case my newly re-created logo failed to make that clear. (I hope you like it!)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a deep passion for expression. I’ve always had a healthy imagination and an innate love for creativity in all forms.

A few days ago, while doing some thinking on purpose, specifically my purpose, I had an aha! moment of courage.

Perhaps these passions placed in me have a purpose. Perhaps I’m meant to use them to a greater extent than I do now. Perhaps I’ve wasted too much time waiting on the ‘perfect moment’ to come along to chase after what I want most. What a waste it would be to look back on my life and realize that I never did anything with the multitude of things I’m passionate about. What a waste it would be if I never tried to use whatever talents I may have to do something greater. What inspiring stories will I tell my future kids?!(woops that’s probably too personal!)

This is my attempt to ensure that I’ve at least tried. In the many hills and valleys of these twenty three years that I’ve been around, if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life. is. short. We either make the most of what we have NOW, or look back and wish we did.

A simple pin on Pinterest, (my procrastination tool of choice) humbled and inspired me last week after having my aha! moment. It started an internal revolution that can’t be muted. We often have hopes, desires and dreams that are silenced by our circumstances, peers or emotions… but the truth is, an escape or solution is always around the corner as long as we start somewhere. This simple truth was my new beginning, I hope it might be the same for someone else out there.

 

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