February 22, 2013

Island Snapshots


Eek it's been busy these past couple of weeks. 
I'm wayy behind on my posts and I don't even know where to begin! I have oodles and oodle of photos, videos and other content to upload and it's stressing me out man. On a positive note, I met with a graphic designer the other day to discuss the new layout of this blog and I'm super excited to get the ball rolling. Until then, here are some of my Instagram snaps showing what I've been up to on the rock:



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February 15, 2013

Overhaul

This blog header seems to state that it's under construction more often than not and it's thanks to my love/hate relationship with HTML. I just feel like it's never good enough! I fiddle around with some code, add a new element to the site and then find something cooler and more complex on another blog. I tinker around a lot with new gadgets and gizmos and I think I need to stop worrying so much about how it all looks and focus more on my content again. This time, I promise it won't take as long for me to get it all together. Brand spankin' new blog layout coming soon :) Here are some colour palettes inspirin my shiznit:


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February 12, 2013

Twitter for Dummies




Recently I've found myself having to explain and justify Twitter to friends and family because it's not very popular here in Barbados. It's catching on slowly but the little birdie still has a long way to go. As a social media junkie I feel compelled to write this 'Twitter for Dummies' post and if we're going to talk geek, we may as well do it properly. 

 So, to break it down, let's start with the basics of Twitter:

Who: Twitter - why the name?
"...we came across the word 'twitter', and it was just perfect. The definition was 'a short burst of inconsequential information,' and 'chirps from birds'. And that's exactly what the product was." – Jack Dorsey (Chairmain & Creator)
What: Tweeting, to send a tweet (verb) or 'to follow' on Twitter
Twitter is considered microblogging. Tweets are 140 character messages sent through Twitter. It's a place where you can send quick little snippets of information about what you are doing, thinking or feeling.  You can also reply to what other people's 'tweets', create a conversation and share information that you find interesting.  It is a bit like Instant Messaging with the world or updating your status on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Some find it a lot more fun than blogging because you can have real time conversations with people.  Also, you get little glimpses into people’s lives, such as celebrities, that you might not see just from their blogs or other social media profiles. Because it's in real time, often tweets are more personal and informal than other sites because there's no delay in editing or formatting something before it goes live.
When: Anytime you want to share something with your 'followers'
Most people have a Twitter app on their phone, so that they can share photos, quotes & snippets throughout the day. Some people go cray with it though & post a ridiculous amount of tweets a day...but that's a different story.
Where: Everywhere. 
To date, Twitter has over 20o million users worldwide.  In case you've been living under a rock, Twitter has been used to organize everything from parties and meetings to protests, sometimes referred to as "Twitter Revolutions", such as the 2011 Arab Spring. It's really simple to use and a great way for people to connect and get messages out to an enormous audience.
Why: A lot of my non-geek friends have turned up their noses at the mention of Twitter.
"Ugh, seriously, what's the POINT of it?"
Well, for starters, it all depends on what your interests are and want to get out of it, just like other social media sites. 
For example, male friends often use it to follow football players, managers & other sports related celebrities. Twitter keeps them up to date on what's going on, when it's going on.
Blogger friends follow other bloggers, because many of them have twitter linked to their blog...same goes for fashionistas, artists, actors, politicians & everyone in between. The list goes on and on and on...It's a cool way for people to connect and contact certain people who would otherwise be out of their reach. You can tweet at politicians and companies directly and depending on the content, you're likely to get a response.
Twitter becomes a lot more fun and useful as you follow more people and they follow you.  The larger the number of people you follow and who follow you, the more likely you are to have questions answered and to learn interesting things.  The more people you are following the more opportunity you have for conversations and to develop relationships. 
How: Here's how you can make the most out of Twitter

1.Set up an interesting profile - include a photo and a mini bio of 160 characters. Use key words (including hastags) which sound interesting and will grab the attention of people with similar interests.
2.Embrace the hashtag! - Hashtags, simply put, are key words which help define certain topics on Twitter. By 'hastagging' key words within your tweet, you'll enable others who are looking for tweets relating to that topic to find your tweet and interact if they want to. For example, if I tweet about Barbados, it will look like this: 'Beautiful sunset in #Barbados today!' Anyone who's interested to find out about Barbados can search within Twitter for the #Barbados and a whole stream will pop up. The same applies to following certain debates or discussions which may be going on pertaining to a certain topic or event. 

3.Connect & collaborate - See something you like and want to share? You can do one or all of the following commands: 

ReTweet it so that it shows up on your profile for your followers to see
'Quote' a Tweet and add your own text to it
If you see something that you think a Twitter friend will like, you can tweet it AT them by entering '@+ their name' into the tweet and they'll get a notification letting them know that you've shared a tweet with them (Similar to tagging in Facebook)
Sidenote: Twitter is about connecting with others, nobody likes a narcissistic Tweeter who just posts about themselves all of the time

4.Learn Basic Twitter Etiquette: I'm no expert by any means but I think there are some basic things that everyone should know once they start Tweeting, such as following those who follow you (Unless they're spam or really, really boring!) try not to post TOO often (Such as saying 'Good Morning Twitter!' every day) and generally sharing TMBI (Too Much Boring Info) Think before you tweet: If no one else can relate, laugh, reflect, learn or appreciate your tweet, what's the point?
Hope this helps! There is A LOT more that can be said about Twitter but I've really tried to focus on the main points that can help you get started. If you think I've left something out or am just plain wrong, please let me know in the comments below! Once you get the basics, you need to spend some time looking around and feeling it out for yourself. It's not for everyone but there's good reason why the Twitter bug has caused such a stir : it's fun, easy and another great tool in connecting people around the world.
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February 11, 2013

Manic Monday: Spearfishing in Barbados

 


Footage taken by my brothers using a GroPro Hero 2 + my dinky old Olympus Tough. I just edited it and threw in some music :)
Shot in Barbados during Dec 2012- Jan 2013
No one was harmed during the filming of this video. Lots of fish were though.
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February 10, 2013

Puppies by the pool - part 2 of our chilled Sunday



Part 2 of our amazing Sunday spent in the water, chilling at Arel's house with Kahlua & J'ouvert
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February 7, 2013

10 ways to be less awkward

2. Always keep your phone on you.
An awkward person with a cell phone in a social environment is the equivalent of MacGyver having a Swiss Army knife in a bind. You’re instantly resourceful. It allows us the ability to occupy ourselves using various apps and games or pretending to be texting. This serves as a brilliant coping mechanism to deal with being in an uncomfortable setting. 

3. Be early. 
If you’ve ever shown up to an event late, you’re aware of how difficult it can be to ingratiate yourself into the festivities. Everyone seems to already be acquainted with each other and you struggle to take part in conversations. If you arrive early, there’s nobody there who you haven’t met — thus, you’re in a position to be the most popular person in the joint.

4. Ask questions.
Some aren’t great at conversing; others become particularly nervous speaking to certain individuals. A helpful way to avoid babbling, stumbling over your words, and coming off as a tense person is to put the pressure on others. Let them talk. All you do is listen, and generate a response — in the form of a question. They describe their nostalgic stories of fishing with their father as a child for 10 minutes, then you ask “How large was the biggest fish you ever caught?” Boom — another 10 minutes of conversation generated. Eventually you’ll grow more comfortable and feel compelled to discuss yourself as well.

5. If you can’t recognize the temperature, avoid playing the role of weatherman. 
 If you’re uncertain about the type of sense of humor those you’re interacting with have, don’t tell jokes. Oftentimes attempts at wittiness around the wrong people come off as uncalled for or inappropriate. Know or have a good idea of the mood and feel of your surroundings before practicing your standup routine.

6. Don’t think about screw-ups. 
 Emphasize your attention on the positive aspects of your experience. While it can be difficult to make it through a social event when certain things have gone wrong, or you’ve embarrassed yourself — focus on what’s gone right. Be progressive. Encouraging yourself and recognizing that you’ve done well in some areas will go a long way.

7. Worry less about others’ opinions. 
Obviously that’s easier said than done, but you’ve got to. Even if that means having a drink or two to loosen up, you must force yourself to refrain from caring. If we’re worried in advance about what he or she will think of us, we’ll try to live up to their expectations (which are probably incredibly high, if they were created by our self-conscious minds). It’ll be straining and that rarely ever works out well. Keep it natural and authentic. Although there is one thing you can force…

8. Be extraordinarily friendly. 
Smile. Smile some more. Then follow that up with a little more smiling. Seriously, people thoroughly enjoy being around a flat out nice, happy person. That’s why Will Smith and Ellen DeGeneres are so appealing. Even if you start out imitating happiness, eventually it can turn into the real thing. Sometimes pretending like you know what you’re doing leads to somehow, actually knowing what you’re doing. It’s the same with emulating joy. Fake it ‘til it’s real.

9. Don’t try to ease the awkward silences. 
When something uncomfortable or rude is said — whether it’s by yourself or another person — silence may occur. When nobody is laughing at a punch line, or has no response to a slightly offensive comment, don’t even attempt to fill that void. Doing so can, and probably will result in some excruciating discomfort. There truly are some instances where silence is golden — especially if it’s somebody else who’s responsible for the awkward quietness. However, if you initiated the anxiousness, just wait a few seconds and a new topic will arise.

10. Get out of the house! 
It’s a lot easier to say something bold over Facebook chat than it is in person. As a result, our generation has spawned a massive amount of awkwardness. Many don’t feel comfortable functioning in public, or holding a conversation that’s not behind a keyboard. The only way to get used to social environments is repetition. The more you talk to people face-to-face, the easier it’ll get. As an occasionally anxious person, I assure you that this can be done if you have confidence… or shots of tequila. That always helps.

By Christopher Hudspeth 
Reblogged from Thought Catalog
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February 6, 2013

Tropical Sunset at Ju Ju's

I was playing around with different cameras & settings at Ju Ju's and ended up with a a little snippet of something beautiful which we witness every day and often take for granted in paradise :)



Song - 'Brother' by Matt Corby.
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February 1, 2013

On becoming a veggie


Today marks my first month as a pescetarian.
I'm wary about flippantly declaring myself a vegetarian because I still eat seafood and shellfish. 
"I'm vegetarian, but I still eat fish" does not go down well with those who actually cut out everything.
Gotta get it right and I just tell people that I don't eat meat anymore.
I decided to give up meat for various reasons, the most obvious being that I don't get excited about a juicy, red steak on my plate. I don't get cravings and I started feeling guilty about what I was eating. I pictured little chickens in my head as I chowed down on a curry and felt disgusted by the meat industry. Sounds silly, but I just felt like I needed to give it up to feel better about the food I was eating and the choices I was making.
It seemed simple enough to decide that this year was going to be meat-free. My family and friends have reacted as I expected; they don't think it will last, they think I'm a bit crazy and a lot of eye rolling ensues when I tell them I've stopped eating meat.  My annoying brothers are also taking the piss on a daily basis, blaming daily mishaps on being a veggie. 
"You lost your keys again? You memory is failing you, you need a steak."
Josh and I went to our local fast-food joint 'Chefette' the other day and as I bit into my first veggie burger, I squealed with delight.
"This is so good!"
"Yea, that's cus you took my burger by accident. It's beef."
Oops.


My only issue with this change in diet is the fact that I'm now 'one of those picky eaters' to a certain degree. I get really annoyed by people who are finicky with food and I pride myself on being able (and willing) to eat any and everything. The solution to this is to simply take the meat out of my meal; picking pepperoni off of a slice of pizza, digging through my stepdad's pasta dish to take out bacon bits and settling for the veggie option squished between meat on a shish kebab. Everyone around me eats meat and I don't want to make this a big deal. 
I imagine the real challenges will come once I start travelling and have to look for vegetarian options though. If anything, it will just force me to be more creative with my meals :) Thankfully there's Pinterest and a gazillion veggie blogs out there to keep me inspired.




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