May 14, 2019

Jamaican Travel Blog | Adventures in St. Elizabeth

Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, mini van with Bob Marley painting and weed
“Travel far enough; you meet yourself” - David Mitchell 
It is through traveling that we learn of new cultures, traditions and lifestyles. We meet new people, eat new foods and see what makes us different yet the same. It is also through this process that we gain a greater appreciation of our own culture, our roots and what we have at home. 

I’ve lived in Jamaica for 22 years and I still haven’t seen all that my little island has to offer. Are you in the same boat? And I find it ironic that I’m studying Tourism but I basically haven’t been anywhere. But even though I don’t travel much, I make sure that the few times I do are epic. 
Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth, girl peeking out from inside a little shack
My latest trip was a two day adventure in St. Elizabeth and I realized 3 things while on this trip: 

  1. I don’t like sitting in one place for too long - I kinda have a bony butt and it was a three hour journey from Kingston to St. Elizabeth. 
  2. Road trips are better with a group of friends because you never know what will happen next. 
  3. Coconut water tastes different when you buy them in different places. Weird right? 
I visited St. Elizabeth on two separate occasions and I can confidently say that both experiences were completely different even though I was traveling with the same group of friends. Anyways, I had so much fun on the trips so I decided to write a post about it just in case you’re interested in visiting. I also wanted to persuade you to visit *wink wink*. 

St. Elizabeth Jamaica 

St Elizabeth is one of Jamaica’s largest parishes, it’s capital is Black River and it is located in the South Coast Resort Area. St. Elizabeth along with the other areas on the south coast are classified as being “Off The Beaten Track” as they consist of rustic communities, plantations, safaris, flatlands and the hills of the cockpit country. It is also an area visited for adventure and the experience of living like a local. As an ideal description, The Jamaica Tourist Board said it best “ We are a land of unique experiences, engaging activities, breathtaking landscapes and a warm welcoming people.” It’s a place that will have you falling in love with it again and again and I am proud to call it my home. So if you’re looking to visit somewhere that isn’t reflective of the typical all-inclusive hotel scene, St. Elizabeth is the place for you. 

Things to Do (St. Elizabeth Jamaica)

St. Elizabeth has a lot to offer in terms of things to do; whether it’s touring a rum estate, climbing up a waterfall, taking a boat ride on a river or just relaxing at the beach. There is something for everyone regardless of your preferences. 

To start off the adventure we took a trip to Nassau Valley where we participated in the Joy Spence Appleton Rum Experience. We got to tour the entire estate while getting a mini lesson on the history of the brand. 

appleton estate entrance sign, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
appleton estate jamaica rum sign, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
The Joy Spence Appleton Rum Experience 

appleton estate jamaica rum sign with peacock in front of it, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth

There was also a mini alcohol class that we attended and we got to sample three of the popular rums at the property. 

appleton estate joy spence rum experience alcohol class, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
appleton estate quote by Joy Spence on a wall inside the lobby, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth

But the experience wasn’t complete without actually indulging in the “spirits” of the estate. 


three signature drink mixes by appleton estate bartenders, cranberry and rum, stormy valley, ginger beer,  Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
And taking a piece of it home with me.
appleton estate 2oz souvenir bottle of signature blend rum, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth

Jamaica Black River Safari was up next on our itinerary and this time we were taking a trip up the Black River. 
Jamaica black river safari sign on boat, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
We had a guided boat tour up the river and we got to “interact” with some of the crocodiles that lived in the river. I say “interact” because there was not much that took place between some scared college students and the crocodiles. 
ladies on a boat ride up black river at Jamaica black river safari, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
Any sudden movements triggered a choir of screams and exclamation from everyone on board. 
ladies on a boat ride up black river at Jamaica black river safari, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

It was a peaceful and informative experience nonetheless and definitely something out of the usual. 
panoramic view of the black river safari in St Elizabeth Jamaica, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Last up on our to-do list was visiting YS Falls. Getting to the location was an adventure in itself because we were a bunch of dry-land tourists from the other side of the island and a local that wasn’t from “that” part of the parish. We eventually got there and after purchasing our tickets we took a tractor ride up to the falls. 
three girls, swimming in the river at ys falls, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

The property is extremely big and is complete with two large pools, a series of waterfalls and a zip lining experience. On both visits we didn’t get to test out the pools because we were more interesting in climbing the falls. The sizes and heights of the waterfalls increased the higher up you got and the zip line started at the highest point on the property. 
three girls sitting on top of a rock in the river at ys falls, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
We definitely did the zip line because we aren’t a bunch of scaredy cats and it’s an experience we’ll talk about every time it comes up. If you do end up visiting, have your phones ready for line #3 - trust me. You can thank me later. 

Places to Eat

Eating is completely up to you - you can choose to either buy food from the attractions you visit or you can buy street food whenever you see a vendor. Some popular spots to buy food are:

Lover’s Leap

Lover’s Leap is literally a restaurant on top of a seaside cliff. The journey there was were interesting and there was breathtaking view when we arrived. 
lover's leap sign, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
The restaurant is a mix between a sports bar and a restaurant complete with a bar and a stage for life performances. 


three girls sitting at the bar at lovers leap, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica


There are also gazeboes on the property for picnics and they have a deck for outside seating that overlooks the sea. 
girl overlooking the view on the deck at lovers leap, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
Their menu is extensive with a variety of affordable meals and drinks on offer. Be sure to take a jacket or scarf with you because the temperature is completely different from the flatland areas.


menu at lovers leap, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Middle Quarters 

This was once a vibrant area for local vendors but times have changed and it is now a popular spot to get Jamaican Pepper Shrimp a.k.a Swimz. 

Holland Bamboo/Bamboo Avenue 

If you’re looking for an ice cold jelly coconut just take a stop is Holland Bamboo when you’re passing through. 


girl drinking from a coconut at holland bamboo, bamboo avenue, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
It’s also an excellent spot to get some Jamaican snacks and that Insta-worthy pic. 


girl standing in the middle of the road at holland bamboo, bamboo avenue, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Santa Cruz Town 

This is a popular town in St. Elizabeth so there are multiple food franchises located there along with local vendors dispersed along the sidewalks. You can literally find KFC, jerk chicken, stewed beef, jerked pork and fried fish within walking distance of each other. There are also multiple sports bars along the stretch. 

Places to Stay 

We ended up staying at a small beach/sea themed local hotel but it had the feel of a family owned guesthouse - Idlers Rest. 
bicycle at the entrance of Idlers rest hotel, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

It wasn’t your typical hotel but it is located on the beach and embodied the meaning of relaxation. 
room one at idlers rest hotel, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
We woke up early one morning, took a short walk along the beach, had a complimentary Jamaican breakfast on the deck and then relaxed in their hammocks until it was time to checkout. 
girl sitting on a bench in front of rooms twelve and thirteen at idlers rest hotel, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Their rooms have single, double, triple and quad occupancy so they can literally cater to groups of any size.

This trip was an adventure to remember and we have pictures to guarantee that we do. 
five girls standing in the middle of the road at holland bamboo, bamboo avenue, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Comments Discussion 

Have you ever visited Jamaica? 
Are you interested in visiting? 
What are some things that you want to do when you visit? 

Well that’s the end of this post! If you liked it please leave a comment below - I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading! Click here to check out my previous post.
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May 5, 2019

I Gave Up Junk Food for Lent Pt. 2 | I'm Not as Strong as I Thought

What did you give up for Lent? Was it hard giving up junk food? What are my results?

As promised, here is the follow up post to the original I Gave Up Junk Food For Lent. If you haven’t read that post go ahead and click here to check it out. It’ll give you some background to this post. 

So to start it off, I failed guys. I succumbed to the temptation and the amazing smells of food and I could not give up junk food completely. But...let me explain because it’s not as bad as you think. 

Zach Galifianakis saying I'm sorry I fudged up guys, man shaking his head, What did you give up for Lent? Was it hard giving up junk food? What are my results?

I Gave Up Junk Food for Lent Pt. 2

My original challenge for lent was to give up junk food at my school and substitute them for green smoothies. This included foods like: 
  • KFC
  • Burger King
  • Chinese food
  • Patties
  • Pizza
  • and any other food that wasn't cooked in my house.
I thought this would be somewhat easy since my mother already cooks healthy food - my stepfather has high blood pressure and my little brother has hyperthyroidism so they can’t eat just anything. Giving up these foods at school would just equate to me eating more home cooked meals and saving my daily lunch money. And saving money meant I could spend it on other things I want. So the motivation to get it done was definitely there. 

Nonetheless I took on the challenge with maximum motivation however, after two days I started thinking that I bit off more than I could chew. Normally I can finish a regular fruit smoothie (papaya, banana, pineapple and berries) in five minutes or less but this vegetable smoothie took me about 15 mins. It wasn’t even a smoothie anymore but the time I drank everything - it transformed into warm-ish green juice *barfs*.

I never had any issues eating these same vegetables but this blend had me feeling some time a way. But I had to drink it for the greater good of my body - was trying to get fit for summer (didn't work as planned though). I eventually found ways to get around the weird taste like adding more blue agave (sweetener) or making sure that the straw was as close as possible to the back of my mouth so the juice didn't touch my tongue when I swallowed. 

Picture of a green vegetable smoothie and a pink fruit smoothie, What did you give up for Lent? Was it hard giving up junk food? What are my results?


BUT about a week after Ash Wednesday the smoothie shop at my school closed down (indefinitely) and my replacement meals basically disappeared. At first I tried to work around it by eating larger potions at home before I went to school. Then I moved on to bringing lunch with me daily but I got tired of that really quickly. My only other option was to remove patties from the list of banned foods and use them as a substitute for smoothies. 

So I basically ended up needing a substitute for my substitution. Sad right?! 

Anyways, this worked for the remaining days of Lent and the more time passed the less guilty I felt. When Lent finally ended I actually was surprised that I didn’t go crazy and eat a bunch of junk food so that's an improvement. But I definitely didn’t turn it down when my mom offered me some Wendy's. So you guys should be a little proud of me.


picture of vegetable wraps, watermelon, cantaloupe and pinemelon, What did you give up for Lent? Was it hard giving up junk food? What are my results?

Apart from the technical difficulties that arose, I completed my mission and I find myself having little interest in eating burgers and fries nowadays. Surprisingly I miss the memory of drinking smoothies with my friends everyday and I even miss the weird taste of the green smoothie. 

I don’t know if I’ll be drinking it any time soon (since I’m on summer break) but if the option pops up I’ll seriously consider it. I’m also thinking about purchasing a mini blender so I can make my own smoothies when the cravings arise. 

Comments Discussion 

On a scale of 1 to 5, how do you rate my performance? 
Would you consider giving up junk food? 
Have you done it before? 
Do you have any recommendations for substitutes I could use for junk food? 


If you liked this post go ahead and Pin It 📌

What did you give up for Lent? Was it hard giving up junk food? What are my results?

Well that’s the end of this post! If you liked it please leave a comment below - I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading! Click here to check out my previous post.

Apr 25, 2019

6 Affordable Gift Ideas You’ll Love for Mother’s Day

6 Budget Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, Spa Day/ Treatment, Chevy Takes The Mic, chevytakesthemic, Self Care Basket, face masks, sheet masks, masks, face scrubs, peel off masks, peel off, foot mask, bath bomb, bathbombs, body oil, essential oils, lavender, peppermint, target, target beauty, target beauty box, target beauty box subscription, Walmart, Walmart beauty box, ipsy, ipsy beauty, glam bags, ipsy glam bags, make up, make up brushes, makeup products, diy, key chains, keychain, picture frames, candles, scented oils, incense, Hair Product Bundle, An Outfit, Household Items, Something Handmade, self care, selfcare, products, natural hair, hair, natural, beauty, beauty products, birchbox, subscriptions, bonus, samples, monthly, natural hair styles, natural hair bundles,


Mother’s Day is coming up and I’m pretty sure everyone’s bustling with excitement. Kids are trying to figure out what gift is worthy enough for their mom and mother’s are trying to subtly leave hints of gifts they’d like to receive. 

Well I’m in the same boat because to this day I don’t think I’ve gotten my mom a gift that I was content with. I think my best work might’ve been a card I made with wax crayons and colored paper. The only problem is that was in basic school/preschool and I was 5 so any gift was special. 

Times have changed and I’m really not trying to break the bank for one holiday (even though she deserves it) so I created a list of affordable gift ideas and I’ll be sharing them with you. These gifts are all under $30 with the exception of two that may vary in price.


*** Disclaimer***
This post contains affiliate links; meaning if you click on any link I will receive a portion of the sales. This is at no additional cost to you. Although I will receive a small portion of the sales all opinions are my own and I will be honest at all times. I will also only endorse products of high quality that I believe will be beneficial to you the reader. All figured are quoted in USD.
***


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Spa Day

Just thinking about having a day of relaxation with people pampering me - massages, facials and a mani-pedi - has me (and I’m pretty sure you too) tingling with excitement. So imagine how our mothers would feel about being gifted one?  I’ve been considering a 60 minute Swedish massage with a charcoal facial and a mani-pedi to complete the package but sadly I haven’t been able to find a salon that has this on offer. I really recommend this as a gift because this will have your Mom’s body buzzing for days and trust me, she’ll love you. Plus it could work as a last minute Mother's Day gift  diynyr those of you who genuinely forgot or didn't have time to get something extravagant.


Self Care Basket

Now this is where affordability drops in - you can literally buy a bunch of "cheap" gifts for your mom and make one big gift. This gift might need some creativity but it’s nothing a YouTube video can't fix. You’ll need  collection of skin care/self care items and a straw basket but if you prefer a box then that works too. The idea behind this basket or box is to compile different types of skin care products that you believe your mom will like. I’m talking:
  • Sheet masks
  • Peel off masks
  • Face scrubs 
  • Body scrubs 
  • Hand masks
  • Foot masks 
  • A body massager 
  • Exfoliating sponges 
  • Body oils 
Basically anything you can think of that will help her relax and act like an at-home spa treatment. You can even throw in a book or two because reading is a subtle form of self care. Go crazy if you have to - she's your mom and I know you want to spoil her.

Related: Reading - Loved by Some yet Loathed by Many

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Hair Product Bundle 

This bundle is on the simpler side but it still can be special if it’s a bundle of products from a brand your mom likes. So if you noticed that her hair Mousse is running low just surprise her with the full product line #gobigorDONTgohome. My mom is almost always trying to sneak some of my hair products for her hair and my little sister’s so I know she’d appreciate this as a gift. Plus buying the full line works out better than buying the products individually and if you’re lucky (and dependent on the brand) there might be extra goodies in the box. All that’s left is for you to write a sweet message and wrap the bundle. 

An Outfit 

By an outfit I mean a top, bottom, shoes and accessories. Try to get her a complete look that works well together and will make her feel like a foxy mama. It doesn’t have to be anything too expensive but something that she’ll feel comfortable wearing and feel confident in. To make it extra special you can take her out (on a mini date or something), hype her up and have a mini photo shoot. That way she’ll have a physical memory of the night. This would also be great because it’ll let her know that she’s still got it even though she had you 20+ years ago. 

Related: Missguided Valentines Lookbook

Household Items 

My mother is the type of person that would pass on spending money on herself just so that she can buy something for her house. She’ll literally buy a wall ornament that's on sale instead of a new pair of jeans. If your mom is anything like mine then buying her household items would work just as good as these other gifts or even have a stronger effect. Like I said earlier, you can keep it simple and buy things like picture frames, potted plants, candles, or trinket boxes. OR you can go crazy and buy her a new fridge, washing machine or a tv. You know her best so it’s up to you!

Something Handmade 

There’s nothing a mother loves more than a handmade gift from their child - it'll be like your very own diy project. The kind that shows that you don’t have any money to buy something nice but you still care enough to try. In our childhood days a card would do but since we’re older we can step it up a notch. Things like a decorative picture frame, a photo collage, or an album, earrings, bath-bombs and customized jewelry can work. If you’re not too artistic you can stick to something simple but meaningful like a keychain for her car/house keys - something she’ll take with her whenever she goes out. Try to make it something meaningful because the more mushy it is the more she’ll love it. 

So there you have it! 6 Budget Mother’s Day Gift Ideas but we’re not done yet - I’ve added a bonus gift idea below. 



**BONUS: A Subscription Box


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As of late, subscription boxes have been my new obsession and every time I watch an unboxing video I find myself thinking that they would make great gifts. This gift was somewhat my brother’s idea because he’s super lazy and preferred something that took minimal effort on his part i.e. a gift that was already packaged, affordable and offered variety. Basically all the nice stuff so he doesn’t have to do it. This would also be ideal because your mom would end up with a new gift every month (and she wouldn’t even expect it) and you could have the duplicate products or anything that she doesn’t want. So it’s a win-win situation.

Related post: I Think I'm Obsessed with Affordable Subscription Boxes

Yesterday I went a bit crazy and signed of for a bunch of them (Target, Walmart, Birchbox and Ipsy) but the one that I’m most excited for is Birchbox. It’s a monthly subscription that costs $15 per month and you receive 4-6 sample products in your box. If you’re lucky you might get some full-size products every now and then. At first I thought that $15 was a bit much for some beauty products (that I probably wouldn’t use) but they sucked me in with their BOGO coupon. Yup! I got caught in the trap but for my first month I’ll get TWO boxes instead of one. 

If you’re interested in getting this subscription for your Mom or even yourself just click the link below and enter the coupon code. The coupon does expire so you have to act quickly. 

Coupon code: DOUBLEFUN 



Well that’s the end of this post! If you liked it please leave a comment below - I’d love to hear from you. 
And if you have any suggestions for other gifts comment that below too! 

If you liked this post go ahead and Pin It 📌

6 Budget Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, Spa Day/ Treatment, Chevy Takes The Mic, chevytakesthemic, Self Care Basket, face masks, sheet masks, masks, face scrubs, peel off masks, peel off, foot mask, bath bomb, bathbombs, body oil, essential oils, lavender, peppermint, target, target beauty, target beauty box, target beauty box subscription, Walmart, Walmart beauty box, ipsy, ipsy beauty, glam bags, ipsy glam bags, make up, make up brushes, makeup products, diy, key chains, keychain, picture frames, candles, scented oils, incense, Hair Product Bundle, An Outfit, Household Items, Something Handmade, self care, selfcare, products, natural hair, hair, natural, beauty, beauty products, birchbox, subscriptions, bonus, samples, monthly, natural hair styles, natural hair bundles,


Thanks for reading! Click here to check out my previous post.