Wednesday, 3 May 2017

IBEROSTAR Playa Pilar - Cuba




The resort is large, clean and easy to navigate.  The landscaping is beautiful and well maintained. Shuttles/golf carts are offered to transport you around if you get tired of walking.

The resort beach has white sand and shallow clear waters for almost 100 feet out.  There are lots of star fish and crabs so watch where you step but luckily the water is so clear you can spot them easily. 



The food is what everyone wants to know about.  This was my first time in Cuba and I can say the resort food was decent for the most part.  The best meals were in the a la carte restaurants which were amazing.  I’ve heard many horror stories from people who have visited Cuba and could not stomach any of the food or got sick and luckily I did not have that experience.  My opinion is that you have to go higher end to get decent food in Cuba unlike other destinations such as Jamaica where you can go low end but the food is always good.

There is a buffet that is open 3 times a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There is a lunch grill that offers hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries and other snack foods.  There is a beach shack that opens a few times a week for late lunch and offers fried fish or chicken wings.  There are also 5 a la carte restaurants scattered across the resort that offer Italian, Mediterranean, Japanese, Gourmet and Cuban cuisine.  I was able to try the Japanese and Mediterranean and they were both excellent.  There is no room service which was a major con imo.

The drinks were all very good and top shelf alcohol was readily available. 
The staff was friendly, most spoke English although not very well.  Maid service was regular and very efficient.


There is one large pool and two smaller ones attached.  One of the smaller ones is used as a kids pool and the other for water volleyball.  The large/center pool has a swim up bar and lots of seating.  


There is a nightly show on each evening prior to the disco opening and the Lobby bar stays open 24 hours which was great because we arrived at 5am and started drinking immediately, lol.


Overall I really enjoyed my time at this resort.  The beach and view were by far the best features of the resort.  The downside was lack of room service and lack of daytime entertainment.  If you’re considering it I’d suggest trying to catch it on sale.
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Thursday, 27 April 2017

New Pantene Gold Series



We’ve all seen it. Artists reinvent themselves all the time. The biggest and most notable artist in the past decade would have to be Lady Gaga. Every album is a new opportunity to introduce one of her many personas. Same Gaga just a different outfit. I guess it should come as no surprise when we see product lines doing a little bit of the same.

Pantene is a well-known hair care company. They have a large quantity of products available. The idea is that they have something for everyone. The recent addition to their arsenal is the Pantene Gold Series. I noticed the promotion of these new items on social media. When I initially saw the advertisements, I was like, “here we go, another one”. Yes, I felt like this was another large hair care brand that was targeting the natural hair community for profits only. I decided to dig a little to see if this was much of the same. 

* Pantene and Natural Hair… Sounds Familiar 





This is not the first-time Pantene has thrown their hat into the natural hair arena. If you remember a few years ago Pantene introduced their Truly Natural products. You can still find these products on the shelves of the larger chain department stores. I’m not sure why Pantene made the decision to create a new line instead of improving on the one they already had that was targeted towards natural hair. I can’t help but feel a little déjà vu with these new items. Some of the most notable products they now have are a leave-in detangling milk, a repairing hair mask and a hydrating butter cream.


* Worthy of a Second Chance? 


I’ll admit I have yet to try the new products from the Pantene Gold Series, but from my experience trying the Truly Natural product line years ago I am not in a hurry to buy these new additions. The Truly Natural products did little to care for my 4c kinks and curls. But there is always a chance that the team at Pantene got it right this time. So, I am slightly optimistic that they have made a more educated effort to formulate products that will truly work for natural hair and meet the needs of various natural hair types.


Have you tried any of the Gold Series? Comment below and let us know.
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Monday, 16 January 2017

BREATHLESS RIVIERA CANCUN RESORT & SPA



BREATHLESS RIVIERA CANCUN RESORT & SPA

My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting the new Breathless Riviera this January.  It is a fairly new upscale resort that tries to appeal to a younger trendy crowd.  The average patron age seemed to be about 30-45.  

If your more of a visual person please check out our YouTube channel for our video review:


Let’s start with the pro’s...

THE GROUNDS

You will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful resort!  The resort has a modern, sleek, clean, trendy and upscale feel.  Clean white lines and glass, infinite pools with views of the ocean. One of which has a literal unobstructed view with a clear acrylic ledge.
The waves are calm but the beach (sand) area is long, narrow and rocky so we didn’t spend much time there.  The 3 large pools and 2 Jacuzzi pools made up for it.  They are all large beautiful and well staffed.  


THE FOOD

There are several a la carte restaurants with their own specialty (Italian, French, Pan-Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean, and Japanese)  None of which require a reservation unless you want the hibachi experience at the Japanese restaurant.  FYI, men you will need to bring a pair of pants as most of the restaurants have a dress code and do not allow shorts.  There is also a 24 buffet which we frequented most often for obvious reasons.  The quality of food really impressed me as most buffets usually seem to be the worst of the worst.  The bartenders can make any drink and top shelf alcohol flows freely which is a nice bonus.
THE SERVICE
The staff here is very friendly and always willing to help regardless of whether it is their job or not...they will work to find you the answer and/or the help you need. 
Maid service comes around 3 times a day so no matter what time you leave your room it will be cleaned at some point.

ENTERTAINMENT

There is always some sort of entertainment going on during the day in the “party pool”: Foam parties, dance lessons, soccer, beach volleyball and pool games.  If you want some quiet time the farthest of the pools is the “quiet area”  It has a lot of water mattresses and gazebos where you can lounge and catch some zzz’s.  There are also a few fire pits, a Jacuzzi and bar to grab drinks. 
The best part is that there are so many options available for nightlife.  The purple roof top lounge is absolutely gorgeous with a view of the entire resort, a hookah bar with swings and an open air bar.  There are nightly shows in the theatre as well as a nightclub open until 3 am.


So let’s move on to the cons...

FIRST IMPRESSION

To get to the resort you have to drive down a treacherous 2 mile stretch in your shuttle bus.  We’re talking 4 foot potholes, craters and hills surrounded by swamp.  If they offer an ATV excursion they may as well do it there.  It was a definite deterrent as to why we chose not to venture off the resort and explore the local area around it.  

ROOM SERVICE

We ordered room service for one meal every day and EVERY. DAY. THEY. GOT. IT. WRONG.


MUSIC

The slogan of the resort is “welcome to the party” and I think their idea of party means dance music.  All day, every day.  I have nothing against dance music but it would be nice to hear a variety.  You will get some relief if you go to the nightclub which will throw in some top 40 but if your partying at the pool during the day it’s Jersey Shore fist bump 24/7.


Overall we both had an amazing time.  The quality of resort is great for the price and yes...I would consider visiting again :)



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Sunday, 8 January 2017

STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF IN 2017

This post for the new year feels by no means obligatory to me. I think that there is no better time than the beginning of the year to offer a key to making this a successful year for you. There are obvious resolutions that I’m sure you’ve heard of many times before. Maybe you want to lose weight, maybe travel more and of course save more money. Let me offer another, often overlooked, resolution. How about standing up for yourself this year? Now I know you’re envisioning standing in the schoolyard facing off against the school bully. However, I’m not talking about standing up for yourself physically. I’m referring to being the commander and chief of your time and energy in 2017.



Finding Value in Yourself 

“Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ― M. Scott Peck 


There are a lot of things in today’s world that crave our attention. There is a distraction waiting for you at every hour of every day. That television show, that social media feed and what’s trending on YouTube. Let’s be honest, it’s not hard to spend hours doing absolutely nothing besides consuming media. And speaking from my own experience I remember times when I had something much more important to accomplish but I wasted valuable time “unwinding”. I wasn’t prioritizing my time and energy. I traded working on goals today for putting them off until tomorrow because I didn’t believe in the value of my time. I needed a reality check. If I didn’t work on my goals who would? If I didn’t stand up to my own love of idleness than I was going to be stuck in neutral. My advice to you…Check Yourself!

No Falsehood in Being Genuine 

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ― Frederick Douglass
Some people may be great at self-discipline, but not so great at standing ground against others. Think of all the times you had to rearrange your day or week to accommodate someone else’s request. I’m not referring to your kids or spouses’ everyday needs. I’m talking about those things that you know are a waste of your time but you do them anyway because you want to be nice to someone or you want to be accepted into a group or community. You weren’t born with a cape. You can’t do everything. If you know it’s not going to better your life than don’t feel obligated to drop everything and do it. Like the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”.

Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you have to become a rigid and selfish person. I think it means you make yourself a priority in order to be successful in your endeavors and to use your time to do the things you enjoy.

Have a wonderful 2017!

Keshia Pavey
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

BATTLE OF THE BEARDS


Ladies unless you have been living under a rock than by now you have noticed that beards are the new “it” look for men. Some might say beards are part of the hipster look and some might say beards are more of a rugged outdoorsman look. My husband has rocked facial hair since we met, so I have to say I am a little partial to it. There are aisles and aisles with shelves filled top to bottom with products made with women in mind. This is not to say that men can’t use these products but let’s be honest here, very few Tresemme hair product commercials have men as the object of attention. Several companies have decided to give men the spotlight by adding products that cater to their grooming needs. My husband has tried a few products for his beard so I thought I would review them for you today.

Uncle Jimmy Beard Softener Conditioning Balm $10.99 



My husband had been looking for a product to keep his beard moisturized. He received from a friend a few sample packets of the Uncle Jimmy Beard Softener Conditioning Balm. Black seed, honey and a blend of essential oils and extracts make up the ingredients list for this product. My husband enjoyed how creamy and light weight the product felt. Once it was applied he said it absorbed quickly and made his beard feel velvety soft. He felt his beard was a lot easier to comb through once the beard softener was applied. The scent was very subtle and masculine. In my husband’s opinion the product lived up to its claim. The Uncle Jimmy product line includes Hair, Beard & Body Wash, Beard Oil, Body Lotion, Curl Kicker and Molding Putty.



Koils by Nature Men’s Beard Butter $15

 
Koils by Nature has been around for quite some time. The company has a reputation for providing products to promote healthy hair in the natural hair community. Their men’s line includes Beard Oil, Beard & Face Cleanser & Shaving Foam, Beard & Face Moisturizer, Nourishing Hair & Body Butter Tranquil Virility and Beard Butter. I purchased the Beard Butter as a gift for my bearded man. I was impressed by the list of ingredients for this product which include shea butter, coconut oil, avocado butter and Jamaican black castor oil, just to name a few. The first few times my husband used the Koils by Nature Men’s Beard Butter he was a little disappointed. Unlike the Uncle Jimmy’s product, Koils by Nature Men’s Beard Butter has shea butter and coconut oil as its main ingredients. Which means the product is in more of a creamy solid state. For the natural hair ladies reading, I’m basically saying the product has less slip. Therefore, it helps to warm a small amount in your hands first and then apply. Once my husband had a better idea of how the product worked best he began to like it. The scent reminds me of baby powder. Which could be a good or bad thing depending on your own preferences.


Who knows how long the beard trend will continue. With the cooler months on the way, I can bet that the trend will not be going anywhere soon. These two companies are placing great quality items on the shelves. So the next time you are wondering what to get the man in your life, whether it be a boyfriend, husband, father or brother, consider buying some men’s only products like the two I mentioned. Hey, the fellas want to look good too.



Keshia Pavey
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Sunday, 17 July 2016

PROTECTING NATURAL HAIR WHEN SWIMMING


Warm weather is upon us. With the sun beaming down and the heat index increasing, the natural desire for most people is to gravitate towards water. Some of us want to take our kids out to play at the beach or show off our new bikini while splashing around in the pool. Here are some tips to protect natural hair while enjoying the water this summer.


Pre Aquatic Hair Protection 

* Apply conditioner. Conditioners can be a moisturizing barrier between hair follicles and the drying elements of either salt water or pool water (which typically contains chlorine). Don’t hold back. Layer on your conditioner of choice. I would suggest putting your hair in sections and apply the conditioner to each section to be sure that all your strands get coated.

* Plan your style. Some would probably prefer to place their hair in twist or braids, while others might want to rock a bun. Whichever style you choose is entirely up to you. If you know that your hair tangles easily when wet then wearing it down probably isn’t a good choice. If you choose to wear your hair down then bringing a hair tie or scarf might come in handy just in case your free hair becomes cumbersome.

* Swim caps. Swim caps aren’t just for Olympic hopefuls. If you don’t trust simply applying conditioner, than completely tucking your hair away may be the option for you. Swim caps can be purchased from most department stores. If you think you have too much hair to fit under a swim cap there are options for you. The website www.dreadlocks.com/au/28-accessories has large sized swim caps to accommodate those with a lot of hair.


Post Aquatic Hair Protection 

* Dry responsibly. This might seem a little over the top BUT if you use a t-shirt to dry your hair at home, don’t feel bad about bringing a t-shirt to the beach or poolside for the same purpose. T-shirts fibers are less likely to snag our natural curls. So grab a t-shirt you wouldn’t mind being caught wrapping around you noggin when swim time is over. Or bring a cute, yet gentle and absorbent scarf that can be both fashionable and functional.

* Rinse your hair. If you choose not to wear a swim cap then don’t skip rinsing your hair after taking a dip in the pool. Just like it is suggested that you take a shower and cleanse your body
after swimming, you should cleanse your hair too. Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo and Aubrey Organics Swimmers Normalizing Shampoo are two clarifying shampoo examples available to aid with removing chemicals from your hair.








If you don’t know by now, natural hair loves water. However, the additional elements that can be found in the places we swim can make the water counter-productive to our strands. Make sure your pre-game and post-game tactics leave you with the least amount of worry about your natural hair strands.

Here are several websites for more information on protecting your hair and skin while swimming: http://www.livestrong.com/article/268100-how-to-remove-chlorine-from-the-hair-body/ http://stylecaster.com/beauty/protect-hair-from-chlorine/
http://www.curlynikki.com/2013/06/swimming-while-natural-hair-tips-for.html



Were these tips helpful to you? Do you have your own tips for protecting your hair while swimming?

Keshia Pavey
www.colormyfootsteps.com
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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

SCOTTS CUSTOM CLASSICS - BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!




My husband purchased a 75 Datsun 280Z for his birthday and decided to spruce it up a bit.  We love supporting local businesses so searched for a classic car shop in our area to take it to.
After locating Scott's Custom Classics we paid him a visit, met Jay Scott himself who was very friendly and advised he could do all the requested paint and body work for $4500 in 1.5 weeks.  We left a $2500 deposit and the car.


Unfortunately a week and a half later no work had been done to the car.  He said he would be giving it to his “paint guy” that day and it would be done in another week and a half.  So 3 weeks total we should have our car back.


3 weeks turned into 11 weeks.  We found out that he didn’t give it to his paint guy he actually handed the car off to a different shop for a “cut”.   He said the work was done but the car would not be released until a further $3000 was handed over.  We gave him the money and the car still was not done. 

A week later (now into the 12th week) and we finally get the car back.  The paint job was shitty, with runs on the lower half of the frame and over spray from another paint job!  


The rear tail light did not work. 
The temperature gauge did not work. 
The fan did not work. (All in perfect condition when the car was dropped off)   
The car had extensive water damage on the inside from being left outside in the rain with the windows down.  A “classic” car shop that leaves a classic car in the rain to rot is unacceptable!

We were done; we took the car home and did not want to deal with Jay Scott anymore.  We decided to take it elsewhere for a professional cleaning and repairs.  We thought that we were finally over the whole ordeal.

3 days later we received an invoice from Jay Scott for $450.  Remember we had already paid $1000 in excess of our initial quote!  So we asked what any customer would ask for, a receipt detailing what the costs were for as well as proof of the payment he had already received.  


He not only refused to give us a receipt or proof of payment but has threatened to send the “outstanding balance” to collections if payment is was not received within 1 hour.

So after giving him 12 weeks, he gives us 1 hour to make a payment on something that he refused to tell us what was for or what our $5500 had exactly covered.

If you are interested in getting a crappy paint job, mediocre body work, a lot of excuses, ripped off and your time and money wasted than this is the shop for you.

Scott's Custom Classics
http://scottscustomclassics.ca/
200 Fuller Rd 
Ajax, Ontario L1S7G9


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Hi, I'm Toni. A natural hair enthusiast, blogger and jewelry designer who enjoys experimenting with all things hair and beauty. I hope to share a bit along the way. :)

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