I have a beach problem, to me it’s not really a problem, but here’s the real problem: for the beach you need swimsuits, I always want new ones. As a girl after my mom, I like getting new clothes, so I’d followed a lot of Jamaican designers over my years of being on Instagram. Today, I want to introduce you to D’HAVIA Designs, her XO Swimsuit is the newest addition to my Coco Basket.
I saw this swimsuit on the D’HAVIA Instagram page months ago, in the colour red, and it looked so good I just had to have it. Seeing that I’m on a budget, I took my time and saved for it; then the day came when I ordered it, in one of my favourite colours, Turquoise.
It was months after I purchased it that I got a chance to wear it, but eventually I got to the beach, and I was pleased. It came in a clear bag that was super useful; at the beach I placed the wet bikini back into the bag for convenient carrying.
Can you tell this is my favourite colour? I’ve had my beach cover-up for over a year, it is by Momo Penelli, and I had to get that colour. This swimsuit is a little sexy one and I like it, I didn’t expect the tube top to be that small but I don’t really mind. What drew me to it was the eyelets with the lace on the tube top and the sides of the bikini. Another point that drew me to it was that the bottom was high-waist and I had no bikinis like that.
I really like this swimsuit, I felt great in it, and it looked great on me. The piece was sewn very well, and I liked the D’HAVIA emblem attached to it, that showed me her work is well branded. A point to note: When putting it on for the first time, you may need help lacing up the sides of the bikini bottom. I’ll have to rate it a 3.5/5, because there is an inconvenience, after the beach I’d left my swimsuit to dry and I saw that rust began to form around all the eyelets and stain the fabric in that area. I didn’t expect that to happen, and I was upset because I love the swimsuit. It’s still tarnished right now but I will try a white vinegar trick. Check out her social media pages nonetheless because she has a plethora of designs to chose from.
With my love of Reggae music came my introduction to Rastafari and by extension, Ital food. It’s nothing new that a plant based diet is the healthier way to go; I’m not yet a vegetarian but I try their meals whenever the opportunity arises. So, I found myself having a lunch date at Natural Touch Vegetarian Restaurant one day.
My friend and I went for lunch on a sweet Gustazo deal. If you don’t know about Gustazos and Brawta Living coupons, google them right now, and thank me later. For lunch, the Gustazo options were Tofu Special, Curry Chickpea Wrap or Lentil Burger with a smoothie or natural juice. Unfortunately some of the options weren’t available when we went, both of us had the lentil burger.
The lentil burger came with a side of sweet potato fries. I enjoyed my meal, the lentil burger was moist and nicely seasoned, it had a nice sauce to it. I couldn’t figure out the sauce but it was yummy. It had the usual lettuce and tomatoes as condiments; and the whole wheat burger buns were appreciated. The meal was healthy to the core, and still tasted good. Just a heads up, the sweet potato fries were ital, i.e. no salt; they seemed to be baked as well. I didn’t mind but my date was hurt that they were salt-less. For my drink, I had a glass of sorrel; which was nice and refreshing, it wasn’t very sweet.
If you want a healthy vegan or vegetarian meal, I would recommend Natural Touch Vegetarian Restaurant. They had much more options on the regular menu, reasonable prices, plenty of seating, and most importantly, great food. I will definitely be back.
You can find Natural Touch Vegetarian Restaurant at Shop #22 in Orchid Village Plaza, 18 Barbican Road.
On this Expression Wednesdays I have the second solo single from Notis Heavyweight Rockaz, “No Bad Dayz”. This single follows “Raggy Road”, this time lifting our moods even more to say no bad dayz. No Bad Dayz is a lighthearted reggae song, the Rockaz sing about being optimistic and persevering. I liked their first single and I’m pleased with the second one as well. Take a listen to No Bad Dayz by the Notis Heavyweight Rockaz.
“No bad days, everyday’s a good day
Give Jah the praise, no need to worry”
The Featured Image is by Dennis Fyffe, @The_Denni or @UniversalReggae on Instagram. Follow @HeavyweightRockaz on Instagram and @NotisJa on Twitter, you can also visit their website, Notismusic.com.
Today I have another addition to the Coco Basket, it is a white Royal Dawta Crossbody Bag from Quaint by GSC. I’m not going around this, I love this brand, you’re gonna keep seeing it on my site. Quaint by GSC is an Afrocentric brand; the goods include bags, clothes, swimsuits, and hats, with a touch of African print. Gabrielle Clarke keeps coming up with beautiful innovative designs, and they just take up a little space in my heart. When she had just released the crossbody bags, I knew I had to have one. For this Coco, I asked my mom for it as a birthday gift, and my wish was granted.
It wasn’t a surprise because I wanted to choose the design but when I got it on my birthday I was elated. I was getting ready to head out to my birthday dinner when mom came home and delivered it to me. I have moods, and when I picked my colour scheme I was feeling white, and what better to go with white than gold? I must admit, white is one of my favourite colours, especially for accent pieces. To me, it gives an air of fanciness; from time to time I’ll polish my fingernails and toenails white, it makes me feel “boujee”.
The bag was bigger than I thought it was gonna be, and for that I was happy; I’m a woman that carries her life in her handbag, so to have a big casual bag is great. The stitching and seams are very neat. I had one problem with the bag, the lining inside is green…I was very confused when I opened it, and when it’s closed you see a hint of the green at the sides. I assumed it was to be unique, for a pop of colour but personally I would have preferred it to be white, it would have a neater look to me. Plus, I don’t like green, that shade specifically. So, I’ll be rating this a 4.5/5, would buy again… in all the colours.
Inside has a zipper pocket.
I put a lot of things inside to show you how big it is.
The lovely Quaint by GSC logo.
A photo of me with the bag.
Follow @QuaintbyGSCJa & @QuaintAfrowear on Instagram.
I sat down thinking what angle to take for this introduction, so much happened in the space of one week. Getting to the concert was such an emotional roller coaster for me, thanks to procrastination. I had been waiting on my friend to secure a ticket for me and that fell through, I found out that it didn’t work out the day before then concert. When all the pre-sold VIP tickets had already been sold out. By the time I started searching social media I’d learnt that the general admission tickets were sold out as well. By the grace of God and good spirits, my best friend, Gabby, got a ticket for me.
We planned to be early to get a good spot in the crowd, I have no clue why but Jamaican time pulled through and made me late. (Spoiler: That didn’t mar the good time I had.) There was so much traffic to get to the venue I had to hop out my cab from Mountain View Avenue and walk to the entrance. On my way down the road, I could hear the voice of the opening act in the air. By the time I braved the line and entered, Eesah had finished performing.
I heard I’d missed a great performance but I’m sure I’ll get to see Eesah perform sometime soon. So, we entered right at the band change, where Zj Sparks entertained the audience. People used the time wisely to secure food and drinks at the bars provided; my friends and I used the time to secure a spot to stand.
I’d never seen Mas Camp this packed in my life; the crowd was thick like a nice bowl of oatmeal porridge. You couldn’t walk or even stand too comfortably without someone grazing you as they passed. Soon enough, it was time for Protoje and the Indiggnation to shell the place.
Protoje came out with a blast of energy, backed by the Indiggnation. He went through songs from all of the projects he’s released; starting from “The 8 Year Affair” with “Kingston Be Wise”, he jumped to “Ancient Future” with “Criminal” then to “The Seven Year Itch” with “Roll”, “Come My Way” and “Rasta Love”. The audience was getting their fill of songs we hadn’t heard live in a while.
He sang “Stylin'” and remixed it too, then gave the mic to an upcoming act under his record label, Lila Ike. We got to croon along to “Protection” with Mortimer followed by his newest single, “Truths & Rights”. We also got a piece of the songbird, Sevana in “Sudden Flight”, are you sad you missed the concert yet? It gets even better. He ended his set by giving thanks with “Hail Rastafari”, and finally, “Blood Money”.
The Zincfence Redemption started with a soulful Binghi intro which turned into “Alpha and Omega” then “Roots and Chalice”. The Zincfence Redemption was so smooth and cohesive, with Chronixx’s voice in the lead, it was chilling. I must give praise to whoever controlled the sound system because the music was turnt up perfectly, the system was well balanced. “This is amazing” and those were my thoughts at the second song.
Chronixx gave us a mix of songs from his initiation on the music scene to his latest project; “Ain’t No Giving In”, “They Don’t Know”, “Majesty”, “Black is Beautiful”, “I Can”, “Skankin’ Sweet”, “Smile Jamaica”, “Capture Land”, “Ghetto Paradise”, “Spanish Town Rockin'” and “Who Knows” with Protoje.
“This show is yours…”
He sang “Somewhere” and the song took me to a memory, right in the concert. It took me back to my first Chronixx CD, my boyfriend at the time had gifted it to me. A CD burnt and sold on the road side, that I had rinsed! (played on repeat). This made me wonder how many original Chronixx fans were in the house as I was covered in nostalgia.
Chronixx was out to make up for the long period of time since he’d performed in Jamaica, to continuing the list of songs, he sang “Loneliness”, “Warrior”, “Nah Follow Nobody” – the first ever Chronixx song I heard. “Spirulina”, “Sell My Gun”, “Behind Curtain”, “Likes” with the Ravaz doing the Fling! “Blaze Up The Fire”, and “Legend”. He ended the show with “Like a Whistle”, leaving us with happy spirits and hoping hearts .
The show was amazing. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Protoje, he and the Indiggnation did so well. But this was definitely a Chronixx concert, he and the band took the awe, the wow, my voice, my edges, everything. I didn’t expect to hear songs he’d released so long ago, and that made me happy. From this concert I could see and feel the growth of Chronixx, and I’m proud that he’s representing Jamaica on the world stage. Y’all know I’ll be at the next Chronixx concert that comes to town.
Photos from Warren McKane, @EmceeKane on Instagram.
Last year I had the pleasure of having dinner at AnneX East Japanese, and lunch at SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine. The dinner at East Jap. is what lead me to try food from Sora, I had a hunger for sushi; both times were with my best friend, Gabby. Before dinner at East Jap. I’ve had cooked rolls once in my life, years ago, and I’m actually glad to have aroused that craving. The experiences left a great taste in my mouth, but I wanted to compare them for you.
The cooked roll sushi war!
Miso Soup – AnneX East Japanese
Shrimp Tempura Roll – AnneX East Japanese
We went to AnneX East Japanese for a special occasion, it was Gabby’s birthday celebration. We had a group of 10 by the end of the night but Gabby and I arrived early together; so, while we waited for the rest of the group we ordered Miso Soup as an appetizer. I didn’t like the soup, when I got it, it was barely warm and by the time I was halfway through it was cold. I was really upset about that because I was hungry and wanted the hot soup to soothe my tummy. Other than it being cold, it tasted alright but it wasn’t my kind of flavour.
Now, I’m new to sushi… and a picky eater, so, I ordered a Shrimp Tempura Roll. It’s a simple roll, can’t go wrong with fried shrimp; the roll was cut into 8 pieces and stacked in the center of the plate with nicely placed garnish around the perimeter. The roll was delicious! The shrimp in the crispy tempura was cooked perfectly. My fave dipping sauce was the spicy mayo, it gave a slight pop of flavour to the roll; the soy sauce didn’t enhance the flavour of the roll in my opinion. My only issue with my roll was that it seemed to finish too quickly.
Other points to note, I had to taste what Gabby had as well; I sampled the California Roll, which was good. I liked the combination of crab, cream cheese and avocado, though the avocado was barely noticeable. I also had a piece of her Crab Stick, which is crab meat and cream cheese enclosed in a fried tempura shell. This was really good but sometimes I’m not able to handle too much cheese at once and it was a bit overbearing. Which is great news for cheese lovers.
Dragon Roll – SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine
Salmon Tempura Roll – SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine
We went to SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine for another special occasion, it was my post-birthday lunch. This restaurant is rightly named, you have to climb too many flights of stairs to get there. I wanted to eat at one of their outdoor tables but they were all reserved, inside had a nice ambiance nonetheless. We were seated, and brought our menus promptly. I ordered the Dragon Roll, and Gabby had the Salmon Tempura Roll, and later ordered a Char Shu Roll. (I didn’t get to take a photo of the Char Shu.)
The Dragon Roll had 8 pieces with fried shrimp topped with avocado, and served with spicy mayo and eel sauce. As you may or may not have noticed, the small difference with my Dragon Roll and Shrimp Tempura Roll were the lack of tempura in one, and avocado in the other. This roll tasted great, the contrasting texture of the avocado against the fried shrimp was delightful. I’m not sure of the specific taste of the eel sauce because the spicy mayo overpowered it, which I didn’t mind (I love spicy mayo).
Out of the rolls Gabby ordered, I only tasted the Char Shu, which I really enjoyed. The Salmon Tempura had salmon, cream cheese and deep fried crab; while the Char Shu had lettuce, tempura crunch, scallion, and roast pork inside and on top. The pork was cooked so well, and I’m not a big fan of pork but it was really good.
Cue the drum roll… But first, let’s see the pros and the cons. On the pros list: both rolls I had were delicious and the service was quick for both restaurants. The only con I have is for AnneX East Japanese, whose waiter seemed to want to go home, the energy he gave off wasn’t very pleasant… maybe that was an off day. Another downside for them is that they are a bit more expensive than SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine. You know I’m on that university student budget, so on that basis, I’ll pick SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine as my cooked roll champion. I’ll be back there soon.
Shrimp Tempura Roll – AnneX East Japanese
Me at AnneX East Japanese
Gabby at SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine
A selfie before lunch.
AnneX East Japanese is located at 71 Lady Musgrave Road, and SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine is located at 9-11 Phoenix Avenue.
On this Expression Wednesdays, we have a brand new single by Yanah, “Doe Try Me”. This refreshing twist to a “bad man” song was produced by JLL. In this song Yanah guards her heart, warning her suitor with the simple words, “doe come try me”. I just love how sweet her voice is, it falls on the rhythm so nicely, if you weren’t paying attention you’d think it’s a love song. Let me explain why I said bad man song, she speaks no nonsense in the song, shooing the boy that clearly isn’t serious about the romantic pursuit. The amazing featured art is by @PaigeZxmbie on Twitter. Take a listen to “Doe Try Me” by Yanah, enjoy! And comment your thoughts below!
“How am I supposed to trust you and you deven drink tea?
Ngozi Sweet Blessings isn’t new to my blog but her products have grown dear to my heart. This purchase was a Christmas gift for my little sister, a scented candle was on her wish list, and I got her this one. I’m waving the buy Jamaican build Jamaica banner into 2018.
Ngozi was an independent vendor at the New Wave Celebrity Closet; this was a thrift-shop event that sold clothes previously owned by celebrity and media personalities. I actually bought 3 articles of clothing, for barely anything, it was a good time. I bought the candle in the scent Tangerine Peach because my sis had a liking to fruity scented things.
I believe this is the smallest size candle they sell. I’m not gonna rate this product because it’s not mine but my sister likes it, she burns it all the time.
Check out Ngozi on Instagram and Facebook @NgoziSweetBlessings to see more of what they have to offer, and to purchase.