Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sometimes, when I don’t see the culmination of a project, I presume that it was never finished…It’s hard to explain, but when I start a task I beat myself up because in my mind I feel that I didn’t accomplish or achieve anything – does that make any sense?

I was sitting down the other day, and I had to write out a list of all the things I already accomplished.  It blew me away! I have done more than I give myself credit for – I’m so focused on the end result that I don’t celebrate the checkpoints I have completed to get me there.  Bummer.

So, recently, I have decided to celebrate EVERY little thing (I’m ready to pop open a bottle of cider right now because I’m awesome – and that’s something to celebrate!)

I don’t know if it’s a female thing (I would venture out on a limb and say that it is…) but I noticed that we don’t compliment ourselves or accept compliments without adding something that retracts from the compliment.

Let’s test this theory:

1) Stand in front of the mirror and compliment yourself on something out loud.  

Give yourself 5 points – now subtract 1 point for that negative comment that you thought, 2 points if you said that negative comment out loud, 3 points if you compared yourself to someone,  4 points if you felt better about the negative comment than the positive one, or 5 points if you stared and couldn’t think of anything positive to say to yourself.

2) Someone just complimented you on your outfit / an accessory.  Do you:
                a) Smile politely and say “Thank you.”
                b) Say “Thank you” and add where you purchased said item.
                c) Say “Thank you” quickly followed by: “This old thing!”, or “I’ve had this forever.” etc.

Right about now you are probably smiling to yourself, because honestly, we degrade ourselves in little ways every day because we don’t allow ourselves to savor the compliments that are gifted to us.  We actually don’t think we deserve them. This blog entry would turn into a research paper if I even begin to disseminate the thought process and teachings that have made us feel inadequate.

So today, I want you to reflect on something positive about yourself (if you are like me and find it hard to accept compliments) and then I want you to bask in your awesomeness.  It gets better when you treat yourself better!

Hands up in acceptance, heart full of self-love

xoxo Jenna

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

In the Pursuit of Balance

It’s amazing how we can become so busy being busy, not realizing how busy we have become.
I’ve been doing so much…life over the past few months has been a blur.  Now that everything is slowing down I realize that much of what I have done in those months really was unnecessary.  What a blow!

I understand NOW that the balance that I have been crying for was unachievable because I thought it was supposed to drop in my lap JUST because I decided that I wanted balance. All the while, I was living an unbalanced life expecting balanced results…

Things I have learnt on the pursuit of balance:

1.        “No.” is a sentence and it’s okay to use it.  Yes, it’s okay to say no. This is number one on my list because I was always a “Yes person” (you know those people that you can depend on to do ANYTHING for you at ANY TIME because they are ALWAYS ready to assist with WHATEVER you want done, need fixed, or have to have…) I always wanted to be liked and needed and saying yes to everybody made me the ‘IN girl’…in actually it leaves you tired OUT!!! You are so busy doing everything for everyone else that you neglect what you want and need to do.  You find yourself either rushing your list to help someone else complete theirs or you scratch your list altogether – no bueno. 

2.       Set aside “Me time”.  In order to balance you have to ensure that you have time for yourself…this can be tricky because you may find yourself thinking that in this time slotted for yourself you should be getting work done. NO. (Yes, it’s a sentence remember?)  “Me time” is time set aside to relax.  In actuality, the average busy person will tell you that they have no time for “Me time”. My response: Make time. We make time for everyone else. You can set time aside in your calendar all for yourself, just as you would for someone else if they called you . So if it’s a 30 minute breathing session or an hour at the spa – schedule it.  Do what must be done to ensure that you get that required time in.  Book it and lock it down – if someone calls and asks you to do something, pretend as if you are actually going to have to cancel on someone else if you are tempted to do so - think about how disappointed you would be if you had to call yourself and cancel on yourself…


3.       Get back to basics. Remember when you used to write lists back in high school to sort out your priorities and pending assignments for the upcoming days and weeks for school? Well those balancing skills should be reapplied – but instead of homework and projects, you are going to create a list that shows everything you do or need to do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Beside that list, you are going to write a list of your hobbies, activities you enjoy, and people you like to spend time with etc.  This list is going to show you that there are a few things that REALLY aren’t necessary but you do them anyway – you can remove them.  If they don’t benefit you, why keep them there? You are then going to pick items  from your ‘leisure list’  and substitute those things with who really matters to you and what you would REALLY like to be doing…

4.       Learn how to shut down.  Here is how a typical day started in my life (Yes, I’m embarrassed…but I will use myself as an example) Wake up. Check my phone.  Kiss my husband awake (If I haven’t already awakened him with the loud sigh I make in defiance that it’s morning already.) Check my phone. Brush my teeth (Check my phone while doing so.) Get ready for work (which is an amazing feat because I’m checking my phone with one hand), probably didn’t eat breakfast because I was checking my phone…and it goes on and on and on UNTIL one night I was on my phone, soothed by the glow of the light, catching up with the world, not realizing that my ‘5 minute check’ turned into, well, close to five hours. 

There have been countless studies and articles on the hazards of hand held devices and their detriment to our health, and it’s understandable why.  We as humans, have to constantly know what’s going on in the world.  It may not be your phone that is keeping you booted up, but whatever it is, learn how to shut down for meals, family time, personal time, etc.  Designate ‘offline times’ for yourself, ESPECIALLY at bedtime.

 If I’m not at work, my phone is shut off by 9pm, and my husband gives me an hour grace period which varies depending on our schedules for the week.  I use that time to wind down, complete/ respond to emails, and prepare/edit my schedule for the following day.   My phone turns on bright and early at 5:15am…and I’m working on it…

As I continue to enforce these rules in my life with hopes of making them positive habits, I constantly remind myself that this is for the best. Of course I would like to accept that last minute call from a friend who just realized that the initial plan to tie one thousand miniature bows in an evening is actually an accomplishment that cannot be encountered alone, or become the impromptu MC, or photographer, or face painter, or artist (pick an area…any area) for an event, or be dubbed ‘last resort baby sitter’ (all true stories, by the way) but sometimes you have to let people down so that you don’t let yourself down.

I learned that in totality, it is about respecting your time and your boundaries – if you don’t, no one else will. Seriously.

Oh..Almost forgot. You have to do this these days:

 DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and does not reflect those of your doctor, or whoever you take advice from that is certified to give you that advice.  I’m just personally speaking from life experience and what is working for me…

Hands up in surrender, heart full of expectation,

xoxo Jenna

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Coming Home...

I feel like a prodigal child…. :-(

There were so many distractions these past few months that I was either unable to blog, couldn’t find the time to blog, or didn’t have the strength to blog…

Today, I just wanted to pop in and say that I am ALIVE!!! (No seriously, I have had two near death experience that have truly refocused and realigned my perspective).

There is so much that I want to blog about, and I came to the conclusion that I would not write ANYTHING until I made up in my mind that I would dedicate myself to my blog.  It is not fair to you (or myself) that I abandon the blog for such long periods of time…so I’m going to work on that...

This year has been an interesting one so far.  A VERY interesting year full of surprises…I will find a way to chronicle them at some point, so please bear with me.

This is just ANOTHER post to say that YES, I was M.I.A but I am back and I plan on keeping it that way.

So here is to new beginnings, transparency, and a continuation of a journey…

Hands up in expectancy, heart full of anticipation,

xoxo  Jenna

Thursday, 17 July 2014

What is Chikungunya?

Late last month, The Bahamas was officially added to the list of Caribbean islands with reported cases of the Chikungunya virus. I had just heard about it during orientation in May, and was intrigued to know that  a virus, similar to Dengue (transmitted by the same mosquitoes especially) had travelled through Europe and Asia and is now in the Caribbean.

What bothers me most about the situation, was that in my research, (and in trying to inform as many family and friends as I could) it seemed that we simply couldn’t get around the name…

What IS Chikungunya, and why is it that we haven’t heard about it?  My main concern was the fact that it seemed as if NO one knew what was going on…well, unless you were in the medical field…and then I realized that if you were not informed, then you would not be informed until someone was infected here in the country – which is the worse case scenario…and that happened on June 30th, when a tourist who had previously vacationed in the Dominican Republic, visited our shores.

So what is Chikungunya? How is it spread? How is it treated? And how can it be prevented?

The word ‘chikungunya’ has been derived from an African word that means ‘to become contorted’ , which perfectly describes a tell tale symptom of a painful stooped posture that is characterized by joint pain (athralgia).   The virus is transmitted by infected Aedes egypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.  These are the same mosquitoes that have transmitted many other viral infections, including Dengue fever.   Illness can occur between four to 8 days, but can range in average of two to 12 days.  

Surprisingly enough, the symptoms of Chikungunya closely resemble a few of the Dengue symptoms, among them are headaches, nausea, fever and tiredness with the addition of muscle / joint pain, rashes, vomiting. Although the symptoms normally last from a few days to weeks, persons have complained of feeling fatigued for several weeks.

There is no vaccination for Chikungunya, therefore you have to be very careful to prevent mosquito bites. Enclosed are websites and fact sheets that can assist with further information …because quite honestly, there is so much information that is available, and I don’t want you to depend solely on my blog….(maybe I’m just lazy…but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

Center for Disease Control and Prevention -
World Health Organization -

Center for Disease Control Clinical Fact Sheet -

Hands up in hope, heart full of understanding,
xoxo Jenna

Monday, 14 July 2014

Say What Now?!?!?!

Okay, so I have reiterated countless times that I have been really busy.   We FINALLY moved a few weeks ago, and are settling into our transition space…preparing for another move in a few months….did I tell you guys how demanding the moving process is?!?! The decisions that must be made to decide what stays and what goes left me stressed!!! (Hi. My name is Jenna, and I’m a hoarder.)

Some aspects of moving were therapeutic, though…and the end result has been well worth it (even though we are still living out of boxes to an extent…lol…but that may just be another blog post).

So, with moving out of the way, I was able to rule out stress as a cause for a few problems that I was physically feeling. I went on to speak with a nutritionist ( I don’t know how I got to share my symptoms, but I’m glad I did) and found out that, among other things, I’m gluten intolerant (did you envision the end of the world too when you heard that?!?!) Wow. 

It’s amazing, because I felt I was eating healthy, but I could not understand why I was feeling the way I was, or why the scale wasn't budging in a positive direction for me!  I never, in my wildest dreams thought that I would have to give up so many of my favorite foods!!!

The initial week was rough, but I’m learning now how to create palatable meals that I can enjoy, as well as how to create spin-offs of my old favorites…from time to time I may carry you guys on my gluten-free journey…I may catalogue the ups and downs etc. from time to time so that I can look back on the process, as well as help you understand what a task it is to NOT have wheat bread!!! Or birthday cake! Or *sniff* GUAVA DUFF!!!

I think the most frustrating part of the whole thing is the fact that GLUTEN IS EVERYWHERE!!! When I was blissfully unaware, I enjoyed whatever I wanted when I I am finding it so hard to make emergency food choices (when I say emergency, I mean junk, of course…lol) without the looooong pause of either reading the label or guessing what’s on the label (in the case of vending machine purchases).

On a side note, my meals are getting interestingly creative :-)  And I wish to thank Davena Ellis (Certified Holistic Health Counselor) for that! She is an awesome nutritionist who takes me through the process step by step.  I felt the difference in ONE meal! I didn’t even think that was possible!

Well! It's official!!! I'm going to be a gluten-free kinda girl!

Hands up in acceptance, heart full of gratitude,
xoxo Jenna

Friday, 20 June 2014


Hey you guys! I just got back on my blog!!!! I am so excited!

We were so busy transitioning, and were plagued with malfunctioning electronics INCLUDING my phone...but I FINALLY got the opportunity to log in to the blog!

There is so much that I want to share, but not enough time in this first blog back...know that I've missed you guys, and it feels so good to be back!!!!! :-)

We are gearing up for our Independence Day celebrations (July 10th) and I want to do something a little special for this, our 41st anniversary.

I will see you guys soon!

Hands up in excitement, heart full of happiness,

xoxo Jenna

P.S. I'm back!!!!!! :-D

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The 'Backup Bubbla'

Was anyone trying to reach me? Well, my phone was down for quite some time (You don't realize how important your cell phone is until you don't have it!)

It started out with me being unable to hear and converse with others - They could hear me, but I couldn't hear them...I resolved that situation by using the speaker phone option and turning the volume to a level that I was personally comfortable with and it moved into me adding volume with a 'hard of hearing' app that came with the phone.

 THEN, I had difficulty texting and dialing out...which carried me back to creating voice notes and using emoticons etc instead of typing...sigh.  THEN, (yes, there is more!) my screen started to fall apart (it had dropped and cracked months ago) and I started losing the sensor capabilities on my touch screen - I solved this solution by either applying pressure to the top right hand corner while simultaneously pressing what I needed to, or (when it got worse) squeezing the bottom left corner, OR (when NOTHING else would work) removing the phone from it's shell (not a case, THE ACTUAL HOUSING) and  slightly lifting the screen whilst squeezing the top right hand section of the phone...LOL!

And began to have some difficulties charging....My husband would laugh at me as he watched me wrap the charger cord around my phone repeatedly, praying to see the sensor light up to indicate charge. At this point I knew I needed a new phone but I simply couldn't afford it.

I went in for a job interview a few days ago, and I was worried about the fact that I would not have a phone to keep in contact with him.  (I like to notify him of when I have arrived to a location and when I'm leaving, so that he can have an idea of where I am and what I'm doing) Before I left for the interview, my husband came into the room grinning - he had resurrected on of the very first phones I had : A Nokia 5110!
I could not believe it!!!! There were a few reasons I had put it down - the battery slid out of place (Remember that the whole back was the battery) and my antennae was broken, so it was rare to receive calls or texts if I wasn't in the right location.

You better believe that in the end, it was a 'Franken-phone" - he said that he 'upgraded' it, but we all know the truth - I really needed the laugh! The best part about it was the fact that I could play 'Snake' again :-)

 Do you remember how fun and frustrating it was to use the 2,4,6, and 8 keys to maneuver that ever growing snake around?  My score pales in comparison to my husbands, but it was so much fun to apply strategy :-D  I remember at one point, there was a Nokia model that allowed you to sync with another Nokia and play (was that the first attempt at Bluetooth?)

Okay, so all fun and jokes aside, the phone was resurrected and was OFFICIALLY a 'bubbla'.   In The Bahamas, a bubbla is an old phone model that can only do the basic tasks: call and text.  In most cases, a bubbla is the phone that you probably put away when you got your new phone.  In my case, I had a bubbla that fell into a few categories: 1) It was a classic. 2) I had to retire it due to the fact that I badly needed a replacement (so into the drawer it went). 3) It had to be modified to be used again.

See, the thing with bubbla modifications, is the fact that it really is not worth modifying.  You WILL NOT carry it into the shop because the repairers will laugh at you...and if you ARE brave enough to do so they probably don't have the outdated parts to fix it anyway.  You're best bet is to use what you have around the house because it will be your transition phone : tape, krazy glue, rubber bands, thread or string etc (You will have to be very creative because your communication with the rest of the country or world depends on it.)

So here is the picture of my bubbla that I have been too ashamed to be caught in public with (but surprisingly
enough, not ashamed to share here on my blog for millions to see...go figure.)

Let's start with the tape (which is actually my double-sided craft tape) He calls it the "racing stripe" which is not just for aesthetic purpose, but it also holds the battery in place (remember, that was the main reason I had to replace the phone.)

The second adjustment was the hair pin (no you DID see it right...he used my hairpin for boosted reception.) LOL! He said that it boosts signal...I wouldn't really know because when I DID carry it, I texted with the phone deep in my bag, and when it rang I turned it off.  Seriously.  (people were looking around trying to figure out where that old ringtone was coming from...sigh)

Hands up in laughter, heart full of amusement,

xoxo Jenna (Official Bubbla Owner)