In the weeks and months leading up to #BlogHer17 I participated in most if not all the twitter chats led by the lovely Melissa Wells. I laughed a lot and I learned more. The word that I used up and til that time in regards to my attending the conference was ‘exciting’, because I was just that EXCITED AF! There was no other word to describe it. Rewind to this weekend when 2000+ bloggers and influencers descended upon the Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando and that excitement turned to amazement. So I’ve moved on guys, I went from feeling excited to being amazed.

This was my first time attending #BlogHer17 or any blogging conference for that matter and the experience was…AMAZING (what did you expect me to say?) I have been blogging off and on for years but was never consistent though it was something I really wanted to do and thought I could excel at sharing my stories with a greater audience. Over the years I’ve paused, faltered and just plain quit. Last year I knew I wanted to really focus on my blog for the 1-7, and then the new year rolled around and apprehension set in. I spoke to my good friend Zahra of My Kawaii Life and she and I both agreed I needed something to motivate me and light a fire under my ass, that fire was #BlogHer17.

I’ve been a big fan of the BlogHer community for years and considered attending #BlogHer15 but you know…life got in the way. But this time around the stars aligned and the universe worked in my favor and provided me the opportunity to attend. The weeks leading up to the conference saw me in prep-mode, I ordered business cards, created a media kit, was more social on my social channels, I hit ‘publish’ more. Those seem like simple things but they helped me to get clear on what my blog was about, more importantly, what ‘I’ wanted it to be about and the direction that I wanted it to take. It made me set goals, think outside the box, figure out my USP and gave me the clarity to focus. Amazing right? Here are My Top 5 Highlights and the Top 4 things I Learned at #BlogHer17.

 

Highlights

1. #BlackGirlMagic meetup #1 in the hotel lobby Thursday night. Luvvie brought jollof rice y’all, and I didn’t have any foil! Can you imagine?!? An old co-worker once told me that I should always keep foil, saran wrap and a Tupperware container around because you never know what could happen and you want to be able to wrap up a to-go plate.

I also got to see Oneika of Oneika the Traveller who I haven’t seen since London 2012. It was great to reconnect, so proud of all that she’s doing right now. I finally met Danielle Faust of OK, Dani, Tyra of BarrisTourista and a few other ladies there during the jollof competition.

Oneika and I at the #BlackGirlMagic meetup Thursday night.

 

1a.) #BlackGirlMagic meetup #2 on Friday night, the lobby of the Hilton was packed with the best, brightest and fiercest black bloggers. The energy and the love there was off the charts and when we all got together and posed for a picture shouting ‘BLACK GIRL MAGIC’ everyone in the building turned around and took notice, because you know… #melanin, you can’t have all the ladies from the lands of Nubia in the same place and not expect us to shine.

 

#BlackGirlMagic Meetup #2 Friday night- The #Melanin Takeover photo credit: Danielle Faust

 

2. Listening to the G.O.A.T aka Serena Williams’ lunch keynote. She was amazing (we already know that she is though). She reminded us all that as women especially, we shouldn’t be afraid of winning, we want to be the best. And there’s nothing wrong with working hard to get where you want to be and enjoying the gifts of your hard work.

 

 

 

 

Serena reminding us all that we’ve got to play to win.

 

Luvvie at her keynote sharing her story and reminding us all to pursue our dreams.

3. Luvvie (again) who killed it at her Keynote and talked about her glow up. A lot of people think Luvvie is new to the blog game but she’s been around FOREVER in internet years and has a great following that she grew organically. Her keynote resonated with me for many reasons because she spoke about not fully committing to her blog and her business at first and still looking for a regular 9-5 but then once she had one she realized she couldn’t go back to that because she was built to work for herself. And working for yourself is hard work but the rewards are worth. When you work for yourself you have to promote yourself and she mentioned as women sometimes we shy away from that. She reminded us all that “If you don’t promote yourself no one else will.”, and she’s totally right. That lit a fire under my tail so my plan is to not only hit ‘publish’ more often, but to promote myself and the blog more as well. There’s room up here for everyone to shine y’all.

 

4. Meeting celebrity chef Carla Hall at the Best Buy booth in the expo hall. Carla’s nice, it’s not fake nice, you can tell that’s her genuine personality. She was very warm and friendly and we chatted about the Virgin Islands and our tallness. She’s awesome there’s nothing else to say than she is AMAZING! I got a copy of her new cookbook as well.

Carla Hall is Chef Bae and she’s a #tallgirl too!

5. I had the opportunity to attend the preview screening of Girls Trip movie starring, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina King and Tiffany Haddish. I have an unspoken rule that any movie that Queen Latifah is in that I HAVE to see, so I planned to see it upon release but was stoked to see it earlier. There was popcorn and cocktails in the screening room and we had a blast, everyone was singing, dancing and having a great time watching the film. I KNEW since The Queen was in it that it would be good but it turned out to be… (you guessed it) AMAZING! I’ll definitely be headed out to see it when it’s released on July 21st.

It made me miss hanging out with my girlfriends like we did in college, but you know life gets in the way and distance grows but no worries. I’m planning to get together with them all again soon. It’s part of my #Summer17 tour!

 

 

1. YOUR VOICE MATTERS
The days leading up to the conference I felt super prepared and then anxious and a little fearful. What could this island girl from a gem in the Caribbean Sea provide to the blogging/social influencer world that wasn’t already there? #BlogHer17 helped me realize that it was…MY VOICE. Throughout the weekend I got to connect with tons of gorgeous, smart, brave, incredible women. I learned a lot from them and the sessions I attended as well. It was like the first week at a new school with very, very cool kids, you don’t know anyone and you kinda hate that you’re alone and you’re a little scared then someone gives walks over while you’re sitting alone at the lunch table and a super cool kid comes over and sits with you. That what happened all weekend, super cool ladies and guys randomly came over to me or I to them at breakfast, lunch, in line at the bathroom, at the hotel bar, in the lobby, in the elevator, at the pool, in line at the snack bar. The immense feeling of support and community I felt all weekend was overwhelming.

 

 

 2. STRANGERS DON’T ALWAYS POSE DANGER
For little kids and seedy people in back alleys…maybe. But at a conference not so much. I met the coolest, wildest, smartest, laid back, honest, fashionable, happiest and bravest women all weekend because we just happened upon each other and sat down and said ‘Oh…hey…What do you do?”

 

Our lunch was sponsored by Walt Disney World’s World of Pandora. I met some fabulous ladies during lunch at my table.

3. SUMMER  IS THE SEASON OF FLORALS

If you know me personally or thru these internet streets you know that my love affair with floral prints is deep and true. I LOVED seeing so many beautiful floral pieces this weekend. I will say everyone came out in their best. Also, shout out to the love lady in the gold sequined gown that I shouted ‘GIRRRRRRRRRRL’ at as she strutted across the conference space. I didn’t get a pic with her but she is now and forever my style inspiration to show up and show out!

4. COMMUNITY & TRIBE ARE IMPORTANT

I met tons of people this weekend that all had their toe in the world of blogging in some way, shape or form. Bloggers, content creators, brands, sponsors, etc.. they all brought something different to the table and as a part of the BlogHer community, we’re all able to exchange ideas and get feedback as well as support from the newly formed tribe we met over the conference. We are all different but that’s what makes us all awesome, the stories and perspective we share with each other to weave a story not only for other just like us but others who don’t know anyone just like us is beyond comparable. Shout out to Hannah Elizabeth, who I didn’t actually meet until after conference but we shared an Uber to the airport after #BlogHer17 was over.

 

My new blogger babes! From top left: Rebecca of An Ernest Living, Kay of  Traveling Kay. Bottom left: Trinity of Fitness All Ways and J.Enovy of  Tall District.

 

 

 

5. EACH ONE. TEACH ONE.

I didn’t get to attend all the sessions that I planned to but the ones that I DID attend were very informative and have me ready and roaring to implement new changes to the blog, which once I get my thoughts organized you’ll be seeing a few before the end of the summer. I reviewed all the sessions that would be available prior to the conference so I picked the ones that I felt would be more beneficial to me. I want to take the time to thank the panelists of sessions I attended for being so in-depth, thorough and opening to us all. After my last session, I stayed behind to speak with the panelists Kat Kinsman, author of Life with a Bad Case of Nerves & Senior Editor of Extra Crispy,  Johanna Cook, of Momma Cooks, Jane Ko of A Taste of KoKo , Beth Lee of OMG Yummy and Yvette Marquez author of Muy Bueno Cookbooks who led the#BrandSwitchUp workshop. The session they led was great but being able to stay after and having the opportunity to speak with them one and one and bounce ideas around with them was priceless. I know I’ve made lifelong connections not only with them but with other bloggers at the conference as well.

 

So all in all, did I enjoy myself? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Did you connect with anyone? HELL YES! I can’t wait for next year. Tell me, have you ever been to a blogging conference? What did like/dislike about it and why? Let’s conversate in the comments.

 

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If you’ve been following me on social media you’ll know that I’ve mentioned how excited I was to be attending #BlogHer17 this year. I’ve been blogging in some way or another since I’ve been in undergrad. I love blogging but it was mostly random rambling and observations. I watched as others started, grew and developed their blogs and left me in the dust.

I had no organization and blogged from the seat of my pants, when and where I wanted as soon as inspiration hit. And for some, that works. It worked for me for the longest time but personally for me I knew if I was going to become serious about blogging and content creation I needed to take the steps to get there and find direction.

I started posting on this blog late Fall 2015, however, I really didn’t get ‘serious’ about it til earlier this year. I’ve been eyeing the BlogHer Conference for the past few years and felt it was just what I needed to propel me to where I wanted to be in regards to my blog and also help me find my tribe. The last two years life got in the way and I wasn’t able to attend but at the beginning of 2017, I told myself that I would attend #BlogHer17 and just like that all the stars aligned to make it possible!

So I’ll be headed to Orlando this week to connect and learn from some of the best ladies (and men) in the game. I’m crazy excited! If you follow me on twitter you’ll know I’ve overused the word ‘excited’ but I don’t care Y’all! I’m in my feelings!

I’ve never attended a blog conference before especially one as massive as #BlogHer17. I thought all I had to do was register, make hotel reservations, book a flight and show up. Technically I could do just that, but that would be selling myself short on gaining the most from a conference of this size. So I’ve been chatting with fellow attendees and deciding what needs to be done prior to the conference to ensure I have my best experience. These are my top 5 ways to prepare for a conference.

1. Business Cards
One of the most important things you’ll do at a conference is network with other bloggers as well as sponsors. You’re THIS close to some of your favorite bloggers, content creators, influencers, brands, and celebrities. What better time to rub shoulders, smize, introduce yourself and let them know about your awesome blog and/or business? Business cards are a great way to share your information and show a bit of your personality. I get all my business cards for my business from Moo. So I went right back to them when it came time to print cards for the blog. I design my cards myself and then upload the design and have Moo print then for me. Super easy. I love the quality, feel and weight of their cards.

2. Dress for success

This one had me for a loop because when I think conference. I think networking and that I should be business casual. But BlogHer is a different kind of conference and I wanted to stand out, look good and be comfortable. From my understanding, BlogHer is very much come as you are, but growing up West Indian with brought-upsey that means dress decent. And ‘decent’ is up for interpretation. I went back and forth for weeks about what I would wear. I figured dresses would be the easiest thing, I still agree that they probably are. So after being back and forth and pulling my friends into my ‘what am I gonna wear’ saga I decided to settle on a dress for Friday and a blouse and slacks for Saturday. For all the parties I’ve heard I’ll be invited to I’ve got a selection of maxi dresses and rompers to choose from.

This doesn’t have to be an arduous process. You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe. I just wanted to be extra and take that plunge. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram to see my OOTD posts.

3. Make Friends Beforehand

I’ve made it my mission to befriend other attendees prior to the conference via our private Facebook group and weekly Twitter chats. This way I know someone at the conference or at least can spot a familiar face in the crowd. I did the same exact thing prior to moving to London for grad school a few years ago. And the women I befriended in my uni and flat’s private Facebook group became the core of my support system when I lived in London as well as when I moved back to the U.S and we are still great friends to this day. I’ve been chatting with a few fellow bloggers and can’t wait to meet up with them in person at the conference.

4. Be Prepared

By this I mean think about what you’re really attending the conference for and what you expect to get out of it. Connections? Lessons? Swag? All of the above? Whatever it is, you need to develop a plan to get whatever it is you came for. I also suggest leaving wiggle room for plans to change and be open to other opportunities that may present itself.

Also, have your gear ready. I know most people use their laptop/tablet to take notes or a good old fashion notebook. Personally, I’m not gonna lug my MacBook Pro around a conference hall all day. I REFUSE TO. But I plan to have my iPad, my notebook, a couple pens (I picked up some new ones from MUJI), and my vlogging camera on hand. I also plan to have extra batteries, a mobile charger, a cardigan for ice cold conference rooms, extra batteries, mints, hand lotion (my hands are always dry) and Advil on hand. I got a new tote bag (FINALLY!) and I’ll just throw everything in there. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of headaches so I rather be prepared instead of having to leave in the middle of a session to tend to it.

5. Be Flexible

Kinda weird right? But I’ve done tons of research on this conference as well as others and I decided I want to go with a super open mind. My goal is to meet as many bloggers as I can. Learn as much as possible in breakout sessions and just absorb as much of this experience as I can. Understand that things can and more than likely will change but that’s okay! Just roll with it.

And that’s it! Those are my top five tips on how I plan to survive #BlogHer17. I’ll make sure to update you guys next week on the total experience. Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat to catch a peek of conference life.

Have you ever been to a blogging conference or any other conference related to your professional field? Share your tips in the comments!

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Given recent events in my local community and our nation as a whole many of us are filled fear and uncertainty. As women many of us live with an undercurrent of fear, we exist, we work, we laugh, we love and we worry. Worry about our safety, worry about our children, worry about our families. As girls and young ladies, we are given instructions to dress appropriately, not call attention to ourselves. Be quiet. That’s the instructions the patriarchy gives. Those are the rules given to us ‘girls’ they are usually vague, unclear and without remorse or understanding. They don’t take into the account who and what we have to protect ourselves from. The enemy who lie amongst us. The men and women who physically our attack and violate our temples the bodies that we call home. The enemy who lays in wait to object fear and heartbreak into our spirits by attacking everything we hold sacred: they come into our homes and rob us blind. They creep their way into our beds as children, as friends as our mates, our cars after a great night out with friends, our offices when their misogyny and fragile male ego cannot handle our command and prowess of our professional self and they feel threatened so they ravage our femininity.

 

There are too many stories amongst us time and time again that I hear. Too many that I’ve seen, lived and experienced myself. Too many stories of pain, aggression, and war committed against us just simply because we are women. Because we are considered the ‘weaker’ sex because we didn’t ‘listen’ and adhere to the instructions given to us as girls. Do you remember them? Don’t dress inappropriately. Don’t drink too much. Don’t talk back. Listen to your husband/boyfriend/partner/lover even if he beats your ass every day when he comes home drunk from a night out in front of your children. He is the king of the castle he is the breadwinner. Listen to that man even when you try to fight off his sexual advances and scream no as he rapes you, impregnates you with a baby that you did not want and are unsure of how to protect. Shut up and do the work for your misogynistic boss who uses every chance he gets to remind you to ‘know your place’. Have your ideas and vision diluted and dumb downed because your male counterparts cannot accept that you may, in fact, be smarter than them and should not only have a seat at the table but be at the head of the table leading the discussion and the charge. Accept the unwanted male gaze when strangers cat call and size you up against your will. Tell you how broad your back is, how fat your ass is and all the things they want and would do to you if given the chance. How dare you speak up and say ‘No thank you. I’m not interested.’ How dare you use your voice to defend your own honor?

Not anymore. We cannot continue to feel weak, we cannot continue to live in fear of living a life and existence we have all worked so hard to forge. It’s is our birthright not only as women but as human beings to live and express ourselves freely, love deeply and to exist in a world that provides a safe harbor for us all no matter who we may be and regardless of the choices we make.

I say all of this to say we can no longer remain weak, afraid and to live in fear. Someone once said ‘on the other side of fear is freedom’ and I agree. We have to figure out how to set ourselves free and protect ourselves. One way is thru self-care and self-defence.

I’ve always wanted to learn to shoot a gun. I was always afraid. Not quite sure why. Was it the noise? Was it knowing that with a live round in a loaded weapon I could possibly change the course of fate for myself of someone else? Was I afraid to protect myself? My family? Would it come to that? Having to defend myself and everything I love against foreign and domestic enemies? Thinking back now I believe it was a bit of everything. And that’s totally fine. I’ve been afraid of many things before and I’m sure there are many things that I’ll still be afraid of after I finish writing this post but it’s all good. Me being afraid does not stop me from stepping out of my comfort zone. Me being afraid just makes me approach things cautiously but approach nonetheless.

Last night I had the opportunity to join a great group of women from my community at a local shooting range, D & J Shooting Gallery. This gathering was organized my one of my favorite bloggers and foodies, the Tanisha Bailey-Roka aka The Crucian Contessa. Due to recent events occurring in our community, we do not feel safe.

Crucian Contessa and I

Tanisha, the Crucian Contessa and I.

 

But expressing that concern is only half the battle. We need to put our fear in front of us, form a plan to conquer it. Using her contacts Tanisha organized a Facebook group for Women’s Self Defense. It hasn’t even been a week and its numbers are steadily growing day by day, which to me shows many other women feel just like us, afraid. It also shows that those same women are ready and willing to conquer their fears and defend themselves if and when necessary. There’s power in that. Last night I met Tanisha and Dynel of Island Moms Rock along with 5 other women at the range.

 

 

 

John of D & J Shooting Gallery

John of D & J Shooting Gallery helping us get our kit sorted.

 

 

We had to pick our targets and guns. We were also giving headphones and ear plugs.

 

I went in saying I never shot a gun in my life. I went in cautious, afraid of the noise, the recoil, the fear of red hot shell casings falling down my shirt (which happened more than I care to share). I was afraid of the pain and the lack of control in my wrist brought on my bouts with both chikungunya and tenosynovitis both of which the aftermath still linger in my body. I thought that it would hinder me from learning, from shooting, from doing it right. The noise startled me. It made me hesitant. My instructor told me to disregard the noise, relax, take my stance, line up my target and squeeze my trigger…slowly. Control my thoughts. Do not give in to distractions. So I stood there, sweat beading up on my forehead, earplugs in, headphones doing their best to drown out the communion of chaotic gunfire around me, nervous. A voice in my head saying ‘You are NOT ready for this. You CAN NOT do this.’ Then I took a deep breath, stared down at my target and told myself “You are afraid, and that’s okay. You’ve been afraid before.” And then I released the trigger. I felt the power. I smelled the smoke. I felt the pain in my fingers, the burn of the shell casing on my chest. I peered at my target with one eye closed, imagining it to be something standing in the way of my safety or that of my family or friends, I shot again and again. Then I paused and walked away, switching with my partner. I had to mentally gather myself. Then I came back and did it again, and again until there were no more rounds left to shoot. That’s when I knew I had crossed over to the other side. The side where fear does not control me. I was afraid when I walked into that shooting range last night, fearing the unknown, fear of how I would do it. If I could do it at all. But I did, and I am no longer afraid, I am capable. And in that capability is where my power lies and no one can take that from me.

 

Looking my target in the eye.

 

Have you ever shot a gun or take any self-defense classes? How did it make you feel? Let me know in the comments!

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Hi, all, short post today. If you follow me on social media (which you should 🙂 or read my last post, I think I mentioned briefly about all the things I’ve been getting into these past few months. One of them was Remote Year. So without further adieu, I am proud to announce that I have become a Remote Year Ambassador! Remote Year is an amazing program that enables just about anyone to embrace the digital nomad life. It’s the 21st century and working remotely is the new norm. Many start-ups, as well as small businesses, operate with completely remote teams, and many traditional companies and even government agencies offer to telework in some capacity. You guys know that I run my own business and work remotely. Before I opened my business I worked from home for major tech brands including, Apple and Uber. Add to that, I have been fortunate enough to live, work and study all around the world and know how important cultural immersion is. Traveling and working abroad can broaden your perspective as well as boost your productivity and creativity. It’s 2017 and you don’t have to be chained to a desk to produce high-quality work and suffer from burnout. I for one can attest to that. I love having the ability to work from wherever I want and travel when I can, as opposed to a set number of vacation days be allotted to be. I’m Springborn so 2 weeks vacation doesn’t work for me nor my spirit.

I know there’s so many of you guys who are looking for a new adventure that can help you grow both personally and professionally. I’m happy to be able to extend the same opportunity to all of you. If you or someone you know is interested in leaving the monotony of cubicle life behind, tired of the mundane 9-5 and ready to step out on faith and embrace the digital nomad life, or if you just have questions. I’d love to tell you all about the program and get your feedback.  I’d be happy to hear from you all, so just drop me a line with and let’s have a cyber cuppa and a good long chat.

Until next time…let me know if you’ve ever worked remotely, considered it or if you’re a digital nomad. What made you take the leap?

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After a brief hiatus and a few hectic weeks. I’m back! bright eyed, bushy tailed, happy, hopeful and ready for change.

Spring has sprung and I’m here for it! It’s my birthday month as well so I’m super excited for no reason in particular…just that…it’s my birfday y’all! I plan to keep it low key that way there’s a less likely chance for disappointments. And trust I know what disappointing birthdays look like.

But that aside let’s get back to what I’ve been up to. I’ve been keeping busy with client work which is great! Being a small business owner is hard work but I love helping others, offering services that benefit them and their business as well. Happy clients make for a profitable business. I have a few projects winding down, a couple starting up and a few in the pipeline. If all goes well I’ll be accepting new clients in the late Spring/early Summer.

I’ve also registered for the #BlogHer17 conference which will be in Orlando this year. Crazy excited about that trip and looking forward to connecting and learning with tons of amazing women! I’ll also get to reconnect with an old friend while in town so yay for me! It’s Orlando so I plan to check out Disney World’s newest attraction, Pandora. It should make for an epic start of the summer.

If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram you’ll know that I’ve been back in St.Croix for the past few months. We had our annual Agriculture Fair during President’s Day weekend. The AgFair is very much like the county fair stateside. Lots of livestock, farmers, planters, and cooks showcasing their best and brightest. It draws a big crowd, especially from our sister island of St.Thomas, our cousins in the British Virgin Islands and our down island neighbors from Dominica, St.Vincent, and St.Lucia to name a few.

 

If there’s a line, you know its guaranteed to be good!

 

Corinne has some of the BEST pates on island.

Here on our sleepy, super chill island things have been shaken up the past few weeks. March 31st marked the 100th anniversary of the transfer of the Danish West Indies to the United States. This transfer was made for 25 million in gold coin. You can check out the official VI Transfer Centennial website here.

There has been much controversy surrounding this centennial anniversary as well as the celebration of transfer day in general. Many locals feeling that we left one oppressor for the next and that it should not be a day to celebrate. The relationship between Denmark and its former colony is not a romantic one. But a tumultuous one filled with strife, resistance, sorrow, heartache, and anger. The exploitation of people and theft of their resources to build the economy of another is a familiar story to many with a connection to the African diaspora. And truth be told it’s a tangled web. Though I understand and agree to some extent with the anti-centennial group in that this centennial event should not be looked upon as a cause to celebrate. I do however think this is major cause to start a conversation for Denmark to recognize and acknowledge their hand in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and how it affected to citizens and descendants of its former colony. For the United States to discuss the second-hand citizenship the territory has. Hundreds of thousands of talented tax paying individuals who have contributed to the fabric of the America we know and love. Thousands who have served their country proudly in battle, defending her honor and shores but still not allowed the right to vote. For the citizens of the Virgin Islands to be allowed full participation in the political processes that govern our country and for both Denmark and the United States to finally open their eyes and LISTEN and UNDERSTAND what’s going on here in the local community and providing the support and resources to build and sustain a harmonious and profitable economy. That’s the conversation I want and pray to see happen. We are making steps towards that but the outcome of this remains to be seen.

I did attend a few centennial activities (really and truly to see where our taxpayer dollars went). I attended a lecture at St.Croix Landmarks Society called Breaking the Silence: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and saw the related exhibited which was created and curated by local students. They did an amazing job and led a very spirited and heated discussion between locals and students who were visiting from Denmark. Hot topics included: reparations, a public apology from Denmark, plus the after effects of slavery and colonialism and Where so we go from here. Most importantly how do we heal? Executive Director Sonia Jacobs-Dow also shed light on two children who were taken from the St.Croix under Danish rule to be displayed as exhibits at the Tivoli Gardens. I plan to do a separate post on that so stay tuned for more on that story.

The next day I attended the Centennial Ceremony in Christiansted. There was a parade (which I missed) and a program (which I didn’t get one because I was late). But you can find a digital copy of the centennial program here. The ceremony was a dual program celebrating the 100th anniversary itself as well as a citizenship ceremony welcoming 20+ newly minted American citizens. It featured remarks from Delegate to Congress Stacy Plaskett, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke as well as many others.

 

Transfer Day Ceremony in Christiansted

The following week I had the opportunity to tour the Tall Ship Danmark, which is a training vessel from Denmark that sailed to the territory to commemorate the Transfer Day celebration. The ship is manned by a crew of 60 students and 11 full-time staff members. Built in 1933 it has been used as a training vessel. The crew invited the local community to come aboard and tour the ship. Some joked that the last time locals were invited on a ship they were kidnapped and stolen from the Motherland. I don’t see the humor but the comment once again shows that as a community on a whole we have a lot of healing to do.

 


The ship was impressive albeit a bit tight in my opinion to house such a big crew. It was nice to chat with the students who are training to sail on the ship, many are in high school. I think that it’s an awesome opportunity to get such hands-on experience and sail the world. It’s not for everyone but I still think it’s awesome. The ship departed Tuesday afternoon and it’s currently on its way to Bermuda. You can view the ship’s current location here.

 

With the Centennial activities behind me and March coming to a close it was time to get ready for the St.Croix Food and Wine Experience (#STXFWE). I try my best to go whenever I’m on island, there are tons of events during the week but my favorite is Taste of St.Croix, where local restaurants, chefs, mixologists, and farmers come together to highlight the best of both worlds: locally grown and sourced food as well as some of the best culinary creations in the region.

 

Taste of St.Croix is held at Divi Carina Bay Resort and is the place to be and be seen. I literally have little no pictures of this event because I spend most of my time eating and drinking to my heart’s delight. I did manage to sneak in a pic with St.Croix’s own Crucian Contessa.  She has an amazing food blog that you guys should be sure to check out.

One of my favorite foodie friends, The Crucian Contessa.

 

The eats at Taste of STX here are always delicious and innovative and as mentioned early they highlight local livestock and produce. Add to that being in rum country the cocktails were a standout as well, BES Craft Lounge and Zion Modern Kitchen had libations that left me more than a little bit happy and joyous, to say the least.

Ms.Sweets and I at #STXFWE, partners in crime and wine…always!

Friday evening saw me enjoying more eats right in my backyard at Sunset BBQ on the Frederiksted Pier. Once again local restaurants showcasing some of their best-grilled dishes, lamb ribs, black bean burgers, yucca fries and shrimp kebabs, to name a few. Listen when I say we get down and burn when it comes to cooking I mean WE.GET.DOWN!!! St.Croix is an absolute food lovers paradise and the preparation of food is always down with so much love and respect.

Ran into a good friend, Ms.X at Sunset BBQ.

 

Saturday night saw me at the Bohlke Airways private hangar for Wine in the Warehouse. This time I managed to get a few shots in between stuffing my face! This was my first time attending this event and it was truly a treat.

 

 

 

 

Beet Hummus Arepas with local microgreens

 

Chocolate Mousse with Candied Mangoes

 

 

St.Croix Finest, DJ Swain

And then like that St.Croix Food and Wine week was over! Until next year that is….

My birthday rolled around last week and I was back in celebration mode again. This year I kept it pretty low key, celebrating with my close circle instead of planning some big to do. I spent my pre-birthday eve, with the lovely Ms.Sweets at Zion Modern Kitchen. I had a great birthday dinner with family and close friends who I consider family at the Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort. I had an amazing time am grateful for another year of continued blessings and success. With the state of the world right now and the continued exploits and frustrations caused by #45 and his administration. I realize although it stays weighs heavily on me (y’all I was having NIGHTMARES) I can’t let it take over my well-being. So I’m back on track and ready to blog it out with ya.

Happy Birthday to Me #TeamTaurus

This post has gone on forever so it’s time to wrap it up but not before letting everyone know that I will be attending the BlogHer 2017 Conference in Orlando in June. This is my first year and I’m excited! I’ve been to Orlando a few times as well as to Disney World and Universal Studios but it’s been about 10+ years since my last visit so I’m stoked to not only attend the conference, but I’ll also have an opportunity to connect with a few close friends and if I play my cards right, get to check out Disney’s World of Avatar attraction at the Animal Kingdom park. That will be epic for sure!

Well, guys that about wraps it up for now and should bring everyone up to speed. Has anyone else been to Taste of St.Croix or visited my home island of St.Croix? What about BlogHer? Ever attended? Any tips and advice? Disney World? Any attractions you suggest I see? Orlando? Where to go? I’ll be in town for a week so I’m open to suggestions. Til next time loves.

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