Sunday, December 21, 2014

Coping With Being Single For The Holidays

It's once again that time of year when family, friends and all that you love gather together to celebrate the holidays. Except the one that you really really did love. That's right...lé ex. Now you're stuck in a room full of relatives or friends all firing that one question at you, "where's so & so"? I know, you're just one "For Christ's Sake, Leave Me The Hell Alone" and a fake smile away from either snapping or bawling your eyes out. Being recently single, in a few days I'm about to face the firing squad that is my family who are widely known for their facial expressions, mainly the (fake) sympathy head tilt with furrowed eyebrows. Cue in the hand over the chest and a random "oh". Unfortunately, this isn't the only part of the holiday season that's going to be quite shitty. There's the reminder of everything you did with your partner, so here is how I plan to deal.

Gift Giving: You no longer have to pick your partner's brain about what he wants or enlist the help of his friends or pay special attention to what he's paying special attention to. You won't have to worry about whether your gift sucks or if he'll even like it or use it. Instead, purchase a gift for yourself. Have that gift wrapped and open that bugga on Christmas morn with a smile and a cup of hot chocolate and wish yourself a holly jolly Christmas!

Here's another way to make you feel good; put a smile on someone else's face this holiday season. I didn't plan to mention this because I'm a big believer of doing good in secret. My church recently completed something called The Wise Men Operation, where if we chose to, took a shoe box and filled it with items on the list they gave us as well as whatever else we wanted to give. I didn't even think twice about it. I didn't think ooo charity work. I thought, this is going to make someone's Christmas so much better and for a while, it occupied my time and to this day, I still smile when the thought of the woman opening that box on Christmas morn crosses my mind.

Cuddling: Unfortunately Christmas happens during the winter and for everyone else, there's that significant other to snuggle up with. But what about us single gals? We joke in The Bahamas that we don't have all four seasons because we don't have winter but it has been ridiculously cold this year. My solution: Bailey. Dogs are the most lovable creatures on planet earth (and I'm not saying that just because I'm not a cat person). They desire to be loved, held, petted, cuddled. They have the warmth of another person and the plus, they don't talk during movies or a good book or when you don't want them to. They just lie/sit there with you and love you. If you don't have a pet, there's always a big cushiony the one I'm wrapped up in while writing this post.

Family Gatherings: Here we go. That's my initial thought when entering beyond the threshold of the door to a family gathering. First question, "Hey Eesh, where's that dude?" Erm... Well hello to you too, compliments of the season. It was nice seeing you again Aunt Blah. *side eyes* Can we just talk about the weather for once?

Anywho, you can spin this two ways. "Heyyyy Aunt Blah, compliments of the season. Oh, he's spending time with his family. Is that a new sweater? I absolutely adore!" Technically, you aren't lying. He/she is indeed with family. You just decided to leave out the "and never again coming to any of your family shindigs." Here's the other way. Be completely honest. "Hey Aunt Blah, compliments of the season. We separated a few weeks/months ago but aren't you happy you don't have to share my attention? By the way, that is a lovely sweater you're wearing! I absolutely adore!" Voilà, mission accomplished. Aunt Blah is (hopefully) now focused on that compliment you gave her.

New Years Eve: UGH! Even when I wasn't single, NYE was somewhat a pain in the old derriere. I felt so pressured to find something epic for us to do but many nights we ended up in bed, cuddling and talking about our goals for the upcoming year. We are basically simple people. This year, I'm still uncertain about what's going to happen. I know I want to have fun but I'm also more of a homebody so it really doesnt matter especially now that I only have myself to worry about.

I can either dance the night away with friends because I love to dance and my two closest friends are single so why not end the night in a group hug that actually means something? I can also just stay home, bake cookies, wrap up and watch some of my favorite movies with Bailey by my side. Or, I can force my brothers to stay home, hook up the Wii and deliver some major butt kicking in Mario Kart and Smash Bros.

Whatever you do, make sure it feels right to you and makes YOU happy. It's hard sometimes, I know. Especially when the memories creep up on you out of nowhere but remember, this is your time to work on creating the life you want. It's ok to be alone. It's ok to set goals/make decisions for yourself and not worry about how they will affect the other person. I hope this post helps.

Have a beautiful Christmas and an amazing New Year dolls! *muah*

Saturday, December 13, 2014

This Week...

Our family celebrated my grandmother's birthday.

My amazing cousin Lakwan and I had dinner at one of my favorite canal side restaurants, Spritz.

I went to the annual Christmas Lights Drive Thru at the Adventure Learning Center.

We buried Mercedes.

I photographed a fabulous event and scored a gorgeous necklace.

I enjoyed me time.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Three Years & A Giveaway

On the 17th, The Other Side of Paradise celebrated its third birthday. Now that the terrible twos have passed, I can say that I'm looking forward to my third year as a blogger/writer. Lord knows there were days when I was just like eff it but for me, writing is how I best express how I feel. It's a form of therapy. Possibly quite the best next to nature. It's one of my favorite things...

With that being said, to commemorate this auspicious occasion (yes I just went there), I'm giving away a few of my favorite accessories to one lucky winner. To enter, follow the guidelines on the Rafflecopter form below.

Good luck dolls!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Content. I'm trusting God in this journey and no longer question him. I trust his wisdom and I know that I am on the path that He has set out for my life...even though sometimes I wish He would work a little faster...but everything in His time.

Walking/Running - being alone with my thoughts.
The weather - I may be storm born (hehe) but I live for winter although most of you wouldn't call 68 - 79 degrees, winter.
My family - moving back home has allowed me to see how much they really mean to me. Even though I knew how much before. It was reassurance. Snuggle time with my pooka, Bailey.

Reading The Fault in Our Stars - Yeah I'm pretty late but whatevs, this book is awesome sauce!

Watching...well binge watching Revenge. I'm obsessed I tell ya! The Walking Dead - can anyone really get enough? The Other Woman - I've seen this movie at least twenty times since the end of September. It's hilarious.

Wishing: For continued peace within and renewal of self.

Doing: Me. Taking on life as it comes.

What have y'all been up to?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dear Hair: One Year As A Natural

Dear hair,

Even though we celebrated this milestone in October, I'd like to say how proud of you I am for putting up with me on  daily basis.

You know, those days when I couldn't decide if I wanted to braid you, weave you, throw a wig on or wear you freely. Those days when I forgot to tie you down with a silk scarf before bed and keep you moisturized so that you wouldn't be dry and brittle. The days when I forgot to deep condition you but thanked the Almighty for leave in condition which I totally understand is NOT the same. When i bleached you because I wanted to add some color to my life, you understood and took it like a woman!
But even when we had our misunderstandings like the times I wanted you to go left and you'd go right or when I wanted you to lie down but you refused to because like your owner, you have a huge personality and you see every right to stand up and have a life of your own, but, that's ok because we had some really good days. Like the one time you let me have that perfect Bantu knot out because you knew date night meant a lot to me. Oh! And the countless amount of times I'd wash you with poo and no poo...yeah that's really our thing.

But hair, with all your kinks and your curls and all your twists and swirls you showed me how beautiful you were, how beautiful you are and I wouldn't take that away from you because the world has to know, no...the world NEEDS to know that you're beautiful no matter which direction you choose, no matter if you stand tall or lie down for a moment to just catch your breath. You're beautiful. Thank you for being beautiful.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I know everyone's jumping on this bandwagon being this is the season and all, but I wanted to get it out of the way before the actual T- Day so here goes.

I'm thankful for:

My sanity. 
Home. More specifically my mother's.
Simple but oh so good recipes.
The few true friends that I have.
Nature. It's free therapy.
Heartbreak, because it's teaching me how to be strong.
The cutie that mom got in the house deal aka Mercy.

So tell me, what are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

One Day At A Time

I think when it comes to being MIA, I pretty much have that down packed. It's not that I want to take time off from blogging but life happens and sometimes it happens in the most suckiest of ways. I'm not here to make excuses but I think in order to move forward, there's a few things that I should share. There has been huge changes and I am still adjusting to most, and some, I just can't wrap my head around. Since being unemployed, I have been taking care of my sister. If you've followed this blog for a while, you'd already know that she is autistic. It's no easy feat in doing this. She has specific needs that sometimes gets a bit much to bear. Honestly, it's a huge burden but until we can find someway around it, it's one that I have to deal with. So excuse me if one day I come off as quite a bish.

I'm not sure if you've noticed how I've been ducking posts about my outings. Well folks, that's because I have not been anywhere in like...forever. I'm still unemployed. So there is literally no income. The funds that I do manage to gather by some miracle of God goes towards bills and that's it.

I've had a blog post sitting in drafts forever but now I don't know if it's such a good idea. It's about my date with R to the chocolate factory. Unfortunately, there is no longer an R and I, it's just me and I'm pretty sure it's going to remain that way for a long, LONG time. Heartbreak's a bitch, by the way.

I've started therapy. I had/have all this pent up frustration and anger and I began to take them out on the people that I love and care for deeply. Not a good look.

So there, I think I pretty much covered the most important ones here. Now, I just have to get creative with my blog posts and hope y'all still find me a tad bit interesting.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Art Speaks

Thailand from Carlos Baena on Vimeo.

“Sometimes simply giving someone the chance to explore for themselves what they have inside, is worth far more than hours of instruction.” ~ John Cope, Director of Stratton ABC Foundation.  

When Shade' and I decided on traveling to Thailand, our first initial thought was "Where are we going to volunteer?" We wanted to be sure that wherever we went, we did something that mattered to us and that would put smiles on the faces of the people we meet. We are both newly found artists so naturally when we came across ArtSpeak, we thought it to be the perfect organization to render our help. For us, it has always been a joy to work with children but to combine that and art made our hearts gallop.   
Imagine being able to help underprivileged kids, teach something you are passionate about and immersing yourself in an unknown culture; I bet you would jump at the opportunity too!   So we ask with humble hearts for your help as we try to make this little dream of ours a reality. Please note that a percentage of the funds will go to the organization as it is in need of supplies.

What we offer:  
For donations $1-4, we will send you a shout out via our Facebook page.
For donations $5-$49, we will mail a postcard directly from Thailand that will include a Polaroid picture of Chiang Mai, Thailand.   
For donations $50 and above, we will mail a postcard, a Polaroid picture and a souvenir directly from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
We will also be documenting our Thai adventure via our blogs and Youtube. To learn more about ArtSpeak, please visit their website.

We would like to thank you in advance for any donation that you make whether small or large - every one counts and to make it easier, you can donate right from the sidebar of this blog --------->

Once again, thank you for your generosity! We can't possibly achieve this dream of ours without you!