Positive Vibes

Happy New Year everyone!

Just like every New Year I think it’s important to settle on some goals and resolutions for the following year. And yes maybe I forget these things after the first week but it’s still important to set them ahead of time to figure out the kind of year that you are going to have.

Now the usual type of resolutions people always have are “go to the gym” and “drink less” and “work hard”. I have been told that these shouldn’t be resolutions; they should be a normal task that you do every year!

Due to my busy schedule last year – of working and watching TV shows till I passed out of course – I couldn’t go to the gym as often as I wished. And despite hearing it should be part of my normal routine, I still make it my New Years Resolution.

What a lot of people don’t seem to be able to do is empathize with others, especially nowadays. When I told my friend that I couldn’t find the time to go to the gym every week, I was laughed at and asked what was so important that I couldn’t give a couple of hours to working out. Sure! I could’ve have taken the time I spent watching shows and reading books and spent at the gym. However, a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that not everyone is the same. A job that others might find easy and not tiring, can be seen as exhausting for others where all they feel like doing is shutting down once they reach home.

I am one of those people.

Now your personal goals or resolutions for the year shouldn’t be made in haste. You shouldn’t define your year based on the choices of others. Just because you see other people posting their gym selfies and their vacations doesn’t mean you have to do the same.

Don’t feel pressured into taking a new hobby or throwing your life savings away to have an amazing holiday.

Your goals should be your own.

What you wish to complete this New Year should be completely up to you and you alone.

What you should definitely do though, is make sure you continue living your best life. Be the best you can be and the happiest with whatever you choose!

 

Wrapping Up The Year

Shopping at the last minute for Christmas is the most stressful activity concerning this holiday month that I can think of. The only thing that makes it easier is that I more or less know what I am going to buy for each of my friends and family.

The best thing that you can do if you know you will be late on shopping, whether you get paid late or you don’t have enough time, is to go around town and window shop. If you see something that sticks out or you know someone will enjoy, pop by and put it on hold. Another thing that helps with this dilemma is that town will be opening till late the closer we get to Christmas Day.

Now if you want to be super organized like me, I suggest getting a wrapping paper from Cosmorama that you can use for only the gifts you are giving. This helps to eliminate any confusion between who bought what when it comes to gift giving.

This year between my friends however is that we are going to try and do a Secret Santa gift giving; not only is it more affordable but also less stressful. When you only have one friend to focus on, you won’t end up messing up and buying the wrong gift for the wrong person.

My only problem is that I enjoy buying gifts for people. It is one of my favorite things. I know my friends so well that when I see something I know one will like, i get the impulse to just buy it, despite not knowing whether they reciprocate. I don’t mind not getting anything in turn, it’s the happiness that is enough for me.

Bake Off

Creativity and craft is something that comes naturally in my life. My maternal side of the family is composed of mainly women; all of which are talented in many ways. We have artists and jewelers, bakers and chefs and I wouldn’t change it for a thing.

Because of my family, I also have seemed to inherit this skill. Mine is art but I do dabble in baking.

This year, my baking skills have been put to the test for Christmas. My mom, whom I am still convinced is a event dictator, has put me in charge of all the cookies and cakes that will be given as gifts, tokens and charity for the month of December.

No pressure.

Every day after work, I spend my time elbow deep in flour and sugar, whipping up cream and frosting and burning my fingers on the oven. I think it’s worth the outcome though.

So far I have completed my batch of Chocolate Crinkles (recipe below.)


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar or cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (optional: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, for coating the cookies

DIRECTIONS:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the oil and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs one at a time, beating on medium-low speed until combined.  Add in vanilla, beating on medium-low speed until combined.  Then gradually fold in the flour mixture, and beat on medium-low speed until combined.

Form the dough into a large ball, and place it on a large sheet of plastic wrap.  Wrap the plastic around it so that it is sealed tightly.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours) until the dough is chilled completely through.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop the sugar into a small bowl.

Remove and unwrap the dough.  Then roll the dough into 1-inch balls, dip each ball in the powdered sugar until it is completely covered on all sides, and then place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack, and let them cool until they reach room temperature.

Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.  These cookies (either in dough form, or baked) can also freeze for up to 3 months in a sealed container.


It took me a while to perfect this recipe but I think I have the hang of it. Next on my baking list is Sugar Cookies and Russian Tea Cakes.

Wish me luck!

If you don’t feel like getting dirty and would rather have a pre-made cake, then check out Chatterbox and their Christmas Cakes.

Eat Up

With December finally making its way onto our calendars, it’s time for me to share with you my not so busy schedule for this month of madness.

This week is definitely going to be the busiest of all my weeks. Since Christmas is right around the corner, I’m reminded that my friends are not as available to hang out as they usually are. That’s why in the spirit of Christmas, and also a really late Thanksgiving, I have decided to throw a Friends-giving party at my house.

This small event will host around fifteen people and the food must be a plenty because these people can eat! I’ve decided to go in a more traditional American direction when it comes to the menu; from turkeys and glazed ham, to collared greens and corn on the cob, and all the way to pumpkin pie. This whole week will be spent shopping and preparing for the meal.

Whilst I’ve been organizing this, I have also spent time thinking about what my table is going to look like for my actual Christmas meal. The 25th is usually spent with my family, the eve being with my friends. This year the menu will contain seafood; a nice match to our sea themed decorations of course.

Crab will be curried and prawns will be grilled. Fish will be fried and mussels will be sauteed and the table will be set with a large serving platter, perfect to pick from like a small buffet. Having only three people in total to celebrate with means more food!

What will you be eating this Christmas? Are you spending it with family or friends or both?

 

Travel Essentials

When you are making your way to the beautiful islands of Seychelles, make sure you have fully researched all necessary items and papers you may need as well as other essentials when arriving.

Visas

Visas are not a requirement for tourists to come visit however you will need a valid passport from date of entry to exit from Seychelles, a return or onward ticket, contact details for your stay as well as sufficient funds for your duration of your stay. Once you have presented this information, a Visitor’s Permit will be issued to you upon arrival by the Department of Immigration. This Permit is free and valid for up to a month and can be extended to three months. After the three month duration, renewal of the Permit will cost SCR 5,000.

duty free

Now that you’ve made it through customs, you should head over to the Duty Free, but not before being aware of what you can buy and how much. Each person is allowed the following.

  • 2 liters of spirits
  • 2 liters of wine
  • 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco
  • 200ml of Parfume or Eau de Toilette
currency

Once you’ve left the Duty Free you probably want to change currency. The Seychelles Rupee is the local currency; coins come in 5, 10, 25 cents and 1, 5, 10 Rupees. The notes are available in 25, 50, 100 and 500 Rupees. When exchanging foreign currency, it is highly advised to do so at banks, authorized money changers or other licensed operators. Do no exchange money with random individuals as it is a criminal offense!
If you prefer to handle your money in card form then you should know that Visa and MasterCard are accepted anywhere with a card machine. ATM’s can be found in a variety of places around Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and dole out cash in Rupees only.

public holidays

Another thing that might be important to note is Public Holidays due to the fact that a majorty of businesses in town are closed for business on those special days.

Official:
New Year – 1st & 2nd January
Labour Day – 1st May
Constitutional Day – 18th June
National Day – 29th June

Religious:
Good Friday – 14th April
Easter Sunday – 16th April
Corpus Christi – 15th June
Assumption Day – 15th August
All Saints’ Day – 1st November
Immaculate Conception – 8th December
Christmas Day – 25th December

Find various medical practices here, information here, and transport here.

 

La Digue Lounging

Get your luggage ready for some great activities to keep you busy while vacationing in the Seychelles Islands, specifically La Digue.

In this post I will be splitting up itineraries between three different holiday lengths on La Digue as well as appealing to people of all tastes.

4 DAYS LONG

Take it easy for your short holiday with these small suggestions.

  1. Beaches: Like every itinerary before, beaches are at the forefront of every trip to the islands. The pride of La Digue is Anse Source D’Argent and it’s not difficult to see why. This beach is an ideal spot for weddings and honeymooners. The clear turquoise water is relatively calm and perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
  2. Hiking: Get your hiking shoes on and head on over to the highest point on La Digue called Nid d’Aigle. You’ll be spending an average time of 3 hours on this trail, to and from, depending on how fast or slow you walk. Capture the most spectacular views of La Digue and neighboring islands from this point.
  3. Art: A definite must see on La Digue is the art gallery of George Camille, a famous artist here in the Seychelles Islands.

1 week vacation

One weeks seems like enough time to do some more activities and delve into the deep rich history of the island.

  1. Beaches: Go and relax on one of La Digue’s many secluded beaches for prime tanning and privacy.
  2. L’Union Estate: This piece of land covers over a third of La Digue and is a big tourist attraction. Here you can find an accumulation of local life activities and places of interest. The coconut farm which is found here shows demonstrations of extracting oil which is a staple in most Seychellois homes. Another tourist favorite is the tortoise park where you can take pictures with the giant land tortoises.
  3. La Digue Cemetery: Another small tourist attraction is the cemetery. This plot of land isn’t relatively spooky but it is home to many of the first settlers on the island.
  4. Ox Ride: Ride in style on carts pulled by large oxen, something that was very common for newly weds leaving the church back in the day. It may be a slow mode of transport but it is an experience, once you reach your destination you can carry on by foot or the preferred transport: bicycles.
  5. Eustache Sarde’s House: This beautiful house is one of the last remaining homes made out of timber in the whole of Seychelles.

2 weeks stay

Try different things while you extend your stay.

  1. Beaches: Lengthen your summer tan on the various beaches La Digue has to offer.
  2. Veuve Reserve: Find out more about La Digue’s endemic animals and plants at this small but beautiful nature reserve in the forest.
  3. Island Hopping: Find yourself a boat charter and check out the other islands that surround La Digue. Find out about their specific history and facts!
  4. Restaurants and Bars: Entice your taste buds with delicious creole cooking from a large variety of restaurants and bars.
  5. Helicopter Rides: See the island from a birds eye view with a lovely helicopter ride that takes off from La Digue.
  6. Lafet La Digue: This event more commonly known as the Feast of Assumption in English, is a major event that is marked in every Seychellois’ calendar from every island. On the 15th of August everyone comes down to celebrate the Virgin Mary and partake in the open-air mass and procession. The festivities continue with street parties, live music shows and food-stalls for both locals and visitors alike.

Find a full list of beaches here.

Find the Mahé itinerary here and the Praslin itinerary here.

Praslin Packing

Start packing your bags for some great activities to keep you busy while vacationing in the Seychelles Islands, specifically Praslin.

In this post I will be splitting up itineraries between three different holiday lengths on Praslin to keep you thoroughly busy.

4 days long

If you find yourself on Praslin for only a couple of days, then you needn’t worry; I’ve got your schedule covered.

  1. Beaches: The first and most important beach Praslin has to offer is the beautiful Anse Lazio. This beach is considered one of the top ten most picturesque beaches in the world and it does not disappoint. Be sure to pop over and snap a couple of pictures of the crystal blue waters to show the family back home what they are missing out on!
  2. Snorkeling and Diving: Jump in the ocean and check out the beautiful sea life the Praslin calls its own. Become one with the friendly fish and spend the day cooling off and splashing around. There is a main diving facility on Praslin that can be found here.
  3. Vallee De Mai: This Nature Reserve is the Pride of Praslin and it is not hard to see why. The Vallee De Mai is home to the endemic Coco de Mer and is protected from harm by the reserve. Tourists are always welcome here to learn more about our various flora and if you’re lucky you may even be able to taste some delicious coconut meat! A tour guide is highly recommended for those who wish to get more interesting information about the are. Find a tour guide here.

1 week vacation

Lengthen your vacation and your leisure time with the following fun activities

  1. Boat Charters: When it comes to boat charters, Praslin is not lacking. Choose from a wide array of boat charters to whisk you away to different smaller islands for a day in the sun, sea and even barbecues.
  2. Island Hopping: Hop on over to different islands close by to Praslin and soak up some interesting information and history they have to offer. You can even feed giant tortoises that are probably older than you!
  3. Water Activities: Clear kayaks are now being introduced to the second largest island in the Seychelles archipelago. With these nifty canoes you can look down into the water without diving in. Be sure to bring some snacks with you in case you bump into any hungry fish!
  4. Bars/Restaurants: Find an array of bars and restaurants on Praslin to help you unwind from a busy, fun filled day. Taste local and international cuisine and delicious drinks while listening to live music in various locations.
  5. Black Pearl Farm: This farm is known for the beautiful Black Pearls which can be found in beautiful jewelry. Check out the way the pearls are created, collected and used here and even pop into the store in front to grab some souvenirs.

2 weeks stay

The longer the stay, the longer you have to accomplish more things

  1. Fishing: Flex those muscles with the help of fishing for big game. A fun activity in Seychelles is definitely fishing and it is an amazing experience when you are able to catch some various species that you may even be able to eat.
  2. Boat Charters: A fun past time would be to lounge about on a nice boat all day. You can get that done and more with all the boat charters Praslin has to offer. On certain boats you can fish for your own food to barbecue on another island where you can also feed giant tortoises. Snorkeling is also a featured option with charters and you can find yourself feeding the hungry fish that come up to say hello.
  3. Helicopter Rides: Book yourself a fun and fantastic helicopter ride where you can find yourself flying high above the islands. Feel like a bird and capture the beauty of Seychelles from above.
  4. Island Hopping: This activity is a fan favorite; why stick to one island when you can visit multiple? Each island has its own interesting history and facts that make it unique. Enjoy a sun filled day on one or more!
  5. Beaches: Spread yourself out on various beautiful beaches on Praslin. Find secluded quiet areas and even some big touristy ones to tan it up on.
  6. Local Food: Find local cuisine at various restaurants and feel just like a local when tasting spicy or unique dishes.

Find the Mahé itinerary here and the La Digue itinerary here.

Mahé Living

Get your planners ready for some great activities to keep you busy while vacationing in the Seychelles Islands, specifically Mahé.

In this post I will be splitting up itineraries between three different holiday lengths on Mahé as well as appealing to people of all tastes.

4 Days long

If you’ll be spending a short time in Mahé then don’t stress; you can do just enough to get a Creole experience.

  1. Beaches: The beaches of Mahé are a must see and should always be a focal point of a visit here. Depending on the time of year, you can enjoy a variety of beaches that range from small, quiet coves, to large, touristy areas. Check out our tips for safe swimming here.
  2. Market: Another place to visit is the local market; here you can delve deep into some Seychellois culture by watching the locals interact over fresh produce and get some spices and souvenirs to bring back home. Check out the location here.
  3. Bazar Labrin: Depending on the days that you are here, you can visit the Bazar Labrin that is every Wednesday evening along the Beau Vallon Beach promenade. Here you can find local handicrafts and food to keep you busy and intrigued. It would be wise to stay late to watch the Moutya show that surrounds the Bonfire for an extra cultural experience.

1 week vacation

For a seven day trip to the Mahé, your week can be spent lounging in the sun or going on adventurous escapades.

  1. Nature Trails: On Mahé, there is a variety of nature trails for tourists and locals alike and every single hike can vary between easy and strenuous. It is very important to pay attention to your surroundings and always have the essentials for outdoor activities.
  2. Water Sports: Some other things to do on Mahé can be water sports or boat excursions, where you can enjoy the clear blue oceans in a multitude of ways.
  3. Art and History: The art studios, museums and monuments would also appreciate a visit from those who want to learn more about Seychellois culture through history and art. These various places can show true hidden beauty and depths.
  4. Island Hopping: By finding a boat excursion or boat tour company, you can find yourself visiting several small islands in one or two days. Hop on over to these quaint outer islands for a tasty barbecue and interesting history lessons.

2 weeks stay

The longer you stay, the more time you have to enjoy yourself. For the fourteen day trip you can visit a variety of things and maybe even be around for some local events.

  1. Beaches and Water Sports: The beach is always open and more than often, you can find water sport activities to entertain you. Such as jet skiing, parasailing, windsurfing and banana boating to name a few.
  2. Another Island: Something that is always recommended is visiting Praslin and La Digue which you can do by taking the usual ferry or by organizing a boat charter activity through hotels or locals.
  3. Diving and Snorkeling: Diving and snorkeling is also heavily recommended for a whole day activity and can be achieved through diving companies or glass bottom boats.
  4. Events: Events that may take place on Mahé could be local concerts or mini culture festivals that are held in various areas around the island. You can also find live music playing at select restaurants and hotels in the evenings.
  5. Tours: If you want to traipse around the island but are afraid to get lost, then find yourself a tour guide and head on out. Depending on the guide you can end up in different nooks and crannies of Mahé. You can find out little facts and small business that help Seychelles flourish.
  6. Fishing: If big game is what you are looking for, then fishing is your must do activity. With various fishing agencies you can be taken anywhere in Seychelles to find as much fish as you can under the guidance of your boat guides. You may also be able to eat your catch of the day depending on your charter.
  7. Spa Day: Relax your weary head with a pampered day at any spa. You can find full body massages, facials and mud baths at various locations. Check out our full list here.

Find a small list of essential items here and the Top Three Relaxing Beaches on Mahé here.

Full lists:
Art Galleries
Boat Charters
Dive Operators
Events
Excursions

Leisure
Places of Interest
Tour Guides

Stay The Night

Praslin is the island of plenty. Plenty accommodations that is. The island may be smaller than Mahé but it packs a punch when it comes to lodgings.

The self-catering places are ideal for those who wish to be alone and go by their own schedule. In these establishments you can find a personal kitchen that can give you the liberty of eating whenever you want. What might be seen as a downside is that you may have to clean up after yourself, depending on the business.

Tourists looking for a homier vibe can stay at guest houses. Depending on the place, you may enjoy breakfast and dinner or just one of each. Most guest houses are heavily inspired by creole furnishings that makes the place feel closer to the island. The guest house might also have an eating schedule that you may or may not want to stick to.

If you want to kick your feet up and let go then a hotel is where you need to be. With luxury of spa service and the constant availability of food, you will always be taken care of. You won’t have to worry about cleaning up and you can have perks that guest houses and self-caterings may not have.

Villas are also a hit when it comes to seclusiveness and tranquility. Some villas may only hold a couple but others can be ideal when you have a family group or wedding party by keeping everyone close. These villas are almost a combination of the comfort of hotels and the closeness of guest houses and might have a self-catering option.

Depending on the establishment, you can also find a car hire to rent from.

Wherever you choose to stay, the lovely people of Praslin will definitely make sure you have a pleasant stay.

A full list of different accommodations can be found here on the Seychelles Promo website.