Wednesday, 18 January 2017

10 Things you probably don't know about me

I am new to the blogging world and this month makes it 2 months since I officially started blogging. I said officially because that was the time when I actually started Writing. Before I started posting on topics, I had already started building an Instagram following since late 2015 where I shared mainly my travel pictures. Eventually, I added beauty, fashion and lifestyle photos which are some of the things that I am passionate about. Writing about my passion makes blogging easier in the sense that it is a hobby and not a job and it is more interesting talking about something that I like or can relate to.

A year later, I said to myself I had enough photographs stored up on my computer and phone combined to start the ball rolling. I wanted to have a lot to choose from when I decided to start writing.

The blogging world has become so saturated that I think it is important to stand out from the crowd. Yes as bloggers we all blog about the same or similar topics but my stance is having my own sense of style (not copying other bloggers), providing as much information as possible on various topics and experiences, being interactive and connecting with my readers and followers. 

Some people lose sight of their Blog Goals and focus mainly on consumerism. Yes, I know a lot of people are paid to review and promote products and I have nothing against them. 

All I am saying is, for me, being a Beauty Blogger doesn't mean being rich, having the fanciest clothes, shoes, houses and other material things that can be named here. It also doesn't mean spending money on makeup every week or looking for the most expensive stuff to buy. I do understand that we all have different goals in life and what may be a priority for me may not be for others. You don't need to go buy all the stuff you see on my blog that I would have bought or received as gifts. 

My aim is to show you how you can create your own personal style and learn how to use the things you already have to make it work for you. For instance, I can choose to invest in an expensive handbag and mix and match it with different outfits for the next three years. Similarly, with makeup, one product can be used in many different ways. So before buying new stuff be sure you answer this question: "How many uses can I get out of this?". Once you have the answer then a better purchasing decision can be made. So here goes: 

10 Things you may not already know about me:

1. I have a full-time job. Yes! Blogging is just for fun.
2. I work and live in Panama City, Panama but I am from Trinidad and Tobago.
3. Action and Comedy movies are my favourites. I also look at a lot of Series.
4. I don't like to read much but I enjoy Thriller Suspense and Romance Novels.
5. I love cats. I have a pet Cat named Snuggles. She lives back at home with my mom and sister. 
6. I love chocolate everything!
7. I am a football fan and I support Football Club Barcelona. Spain is also on my travel bucket list
8. I am an Aquarius. My birthday is the 6th of February.
9. "Shevy" is my name in short because it is easier for people to pronounce. My name is Shiboyn (uniquely spelled) and it is pronounced like: "Shiv-onne".
10. My love for taking pictures inspired me to start blogging but moving to Panama really pushed me to get it started. (Read this post: 10 Tips for living alone in a new country)

Did you enjoy this post? If so, let me know down below.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Top 5 things to do in Trinidad and Tobago

Maracas Bay Lookout, Trinidad
I recently returned to Panama from my Christmas vacation trip back home in Trinidad. I wanted to share some of the cool photos that I took and also use this opportunity to tell you a little more about my beautiful country.
Maracas Bay, Trinidad
Some of you may have never heard about this place especially if you have never travelled to this side of the world. Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island country with a population of just over 1.3 million. It is located in the Caribbean, off the northern edge of the South American mainland. Trinidad and Tobago was under the British Colony until it gained Independence in 1962 and became a Republic in 1976.

Although it comprises of two islands, they both make up one country which is governed by one Government body headed by a Head of State or President followed by a Prime Minister.
I took this picture at the Maracas Lookout which is on the way to Maracas beach. It is the perfect place to stop to captivate the beautiful view of the ocean and mountainous area which makes an ideal scenery for taking photographs. It is usual to stop off there, not only to take pictures but also to catch a break from the long journey. You can indulge in the many sweets on sale from the Vendors. 
Sweets Vendor, Maracas Lookout
Trinidad and Tobago is known for its Carnival and is the birthplace of steelpan, limbo, and the music styles of calypso, soca, parang, chutney, chutney soca, soca parang, rapso etc. Source: wikipedia

Typically, the best time to visit is for carnival which is either late February or early March every year. It is the busiest time of the year when foreigners trek in to get a taste of our culture. Trinidad and Tobago is a popular tourist destination (ranking #6 in the top 10 travel destinations in 2017 according to Vogue). Read article here.

Trinidad and Tobago boast of one of the best Carnival in the world. If you have not experienced it yet I promise you a time of your life!
Maracas, Beach
COPA Airlines offer direct flights if you are travelling from Panama City. I also believe there are connecting flights from some US destinations including Miami. You're welcome!
Bake & Shark Vendors at Maracas Bay

Bake & Shark
Trinidad is also known for its popular foods like Bake & Shark, Doubles, Roti, Callaloo, Souse, KFC jus to name a few. As you can see from the picture above, the Bake & Shark sandwich can be dressed in lettuce, cucumber, shadon beni (eryngium) sauce, mustard, ketchup, cabbage, tomatoes, pepper sauce or whatever your heart desires. There are at least 10 different condiments to choose from.
Doubles Vendor in Curepe

Doubles
Doubles is also another popular food (mentioned above). It is normal to see persons standing near the Vendors and eating them on the spot. Others may choose to buy to take away. For me, it tastes best when eaten hot! I personally do not like doubles after it has gotten cold and has to be reheated. It takes away from the taste! For others who really enjoy and cannot do without it, and this has become a common trend amongst especially Trinidadians also called "Trinis" living abroad, to have them frozen to take back when they travel.
Trincity Mall, Trincity


Fishing Boats at Pigeon Point Bay, Tobago
Pigeon Point Bay, Tobago

KFC Restaurant, Trincity Mall, Trincity
Having a coconut water
There are a lot of places of interest in Trinidad & Tobago that I can brag about but in this post, I particularly wanted to share some of my vacation pictures with you and to give you some travelling tips if you ever decide to go to Trinidad and Tobago. If in fact you do and are visiting for a short time, you can still have fun if you follow my post.
Coco Reef, Tobago
Glass bottom boat at Nyloon Pool, Tobago
Photo source: google.com

5 THINGS TO DO WHILE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO:

1. Go to Maracas Bay which is situated on the north coast of Trinidad.

2. Take part in Carnival. The ideal thing to do is register upfront and pay to play mas on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. A recognized Band such as Tribe is a good option and they also offer bookings online. If you are unable to sign up with a Band you can head to downtown Port of Spain to witness the display of costumes at the Tuesday Parade. Go early, look for a comfortable spot where the bands will be parading (there is usually a route they follow) or you can head up to the Queens Park Savannah. At any direction you should be able to see masqueraders passing by. Take your friends with you, sunblock and umbrellas if necessary; sufficient water, food items and your cooler packed with drinks of your choice. This fits the description of what we call "a lime" or "liming" in Trinidad and Tobago. The costumes may appear to be the same from a distance, but each Band is different and are divided into Sections so that you can differentiate the costumes by the various colour schemes and styles. While having fun, you can dance and "chip" to the sweet sound of Soca music blaring on the passing music trucks. 

3. Visit the sister isle Tobago. You need at least 1 night stay there. Catch an early flight, spend the day at the beach. Be sure to taste a meal of Curry Crab and Dumplings! A favourite dish from Tobago. Go to Club Shade, the most popular Club in Tobago. The best time to go is on a Friday or Saturday night.

You may also take a Ferry from Port of Spain to get to Tobago which is more economical but this takes roughly about 3.5 hours one-way unlike a plane ride which only takes about 35 minutes. Hotel accommodation would also have to be made prior to your arrival. Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort is a popular one amongst locals and foreigners. Before leaving the airport be sure to purchase sweets such as Bene Ball, Fudge and Preserved Mango and Plum.

4. While in Tobago take a boat ride to Buccoo Reef - Coral Reefs. You can catch a glass bottom boat at Pigeon Point Bay then arrange with one of the boat operators there to be taken to the Reef. They will let you know what times are available, cost and the time you should be returning to shore. There is usually a tour guide on each boat who would inform you of things along the journey. There is a shallow area in the middle of the ocean called Nylon Pool where you would have the opportunity to come off the boat to snorkel or take a swim.

5. Sample some of our popular foods: Bake & Shark, Doubles, Callaloo, Roti, Souse and KFC. (In a separate post I will link the recipes for some of these foods).

Hope you enjoyed this post.

Have you ever been to Trinidad and Tobago?

If you are planning to visit and have questions, comment below and I shall be glad to assist.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Birthday Wishlist 2017

I wanted to take a trip to New York for my birthday weekend but since I am unable to, I have decided to put off all travels for later in the year. My birthday is literally less than a month away and I have a list of things that I would like to get myself. At least if I don't get it all for my birthday I have the next 11 months to do so.
So here goes:

1. A new Camera. Guess who wants to cop their first DSLR Camera? You guessed right! Me! It is time to move away from the basic point and shoot and as a new blogger and photo enthusiast, it is important to have a camera that the quality of my work reflect in my photos as well. 

I have eyes set on the Canon Brand but if you have any suggestions about some beginner DSLR Cameras and where I can purchase them. it would be appreciated if you could leave them in the comments section down below.
2. Juicy Couture Perfume! I am not ashamed to admit that this perfume has been on my wishlist for a few years now. I have had other perfumes I wanted to try that I ended up getting instead. But I need to see what all the buzz is about on this Juicy. The majority of reviewers had good stuff to say about it and it seems to be a favourite. I can't wait to try it!
Photo source: www.beautiful-solutions.co.uk

3. Kate Spade 17-month 2017 Agenda. Ideal for planning and keeping track of my blog posts and jotting down new ideas. I hope to get it sooner than later! I really need to get a planner so that I can be more organized when it comes to my blog. However I am still in search of something cute but if I don't see find any that tickles my fancy, I may just go with one of Kate Spade's. I think all bloggers are obsessed with stationery! The gold colour gives it an executive but girly touch and I am obsessed with polka dots. 
4. Coffee Table Books 
There aren't that many book stores in Panama City and the ones that exist do not have a wide range of English books. I haven't decided on exactly which ones I would get but I need to start building a collection of fashion, beauty, design and travel books for my coffee table. Reading more books is one of my goals / "resolutions" for 2017. Not only it is a great source of inspiration  for my blog but also in my personal life. 
Photo source: google.com

5. Morphe Dreams Brush Set
These brushes from Morphe are budget friendly and I love the gold/rose gold finish. It makes them look edgy, stylish and expensive. I have not used any of their products before but this seems to be the new buzz in the makeup brushes world lately. It won't hurt to try. After all I am in dire need of some new brushes.
Photo source: google.com

6. Beats Solo 3 Headset 
I am torn between getting a Beats Pill or Solo Headset. I already have a portable Bluetooth speaker (not from Apple) that mainly use around the house. But I desire something with sound proof and mobility for when I am working out at the gym. This is not a must have but would come in so handy!
These are just some of the things I would like to get this year. I can't think about anything else that I may want at this point in time. This list is to remind me that in order to obtain the things I need and want, I have to work hard towards achieving it.
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