The Four Seasons Nevis

Hello Loves!

You guys all know that I am such a massive fan of The Four Seasons brand. So much so that I totally fan girled over Isadore Sharp at a FS event in Toronto last year. He was humble and kind and it made me fall in love with the luxury hotel chain even more. So when I had the opportunity to visit their location in Nevis I shrieked!

Now you have to forgive my ignorance and lack of geography here (I never really did well in school), but I didn’t even know that Nevis even existed! Ugh so shameful I know. But after one google search I was already in love. Nevis is just a hop skip and a boat ride away from St.Kitts (phew I know that one), and is home to a small 11,000 … seriously there are more monkeys on this Island than people.

Location:

Anyway, lets get to the cake of the matter (is that even a saying haha), the fabulous property of The Four Seasons Nevis. We arrived in St.Kitts and were greeted by a driver at the airport who took us to a seaport… yes darling it’s only the best as soon as you step off the plane. At the port we boarded a cute little boat that would take us to The Four Seasons property. On the boat we listened to some tunes, drank cold and refreshing beers, all while taking in the incredible landscape. Such an amazing start to our trip.

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Arrival:

Just when I thought it couldn’t get more ballin, after our boat ride into Nevis, we hopped off and were greeted by a golf cart and driver… which we would shortly find out was ours for the duration of our trip! The golf cart not the driver haha. Anyway, we pulled up to our home away from home which if you haven’t seen it already, you probably should PAUSE here and go check out my highlights of the most EPIC ROOM TOUR EVER!! It’s under the header Nevis. But I can’t even begin to explain how FREAKING INCREDIBLE this place was… actually let me try.

Villa:

Yep you read that right, not room, but VILLA! I don’t think in all my 28 years I have ever stayed in a more beautiful place. This was an experience fit for a King and Queen… ha I guess they got the memo about our recent crowning *winky face. You walk into the most beautiful courtyard, basically this was enough for me… leave me by the cute little water feature and I would be content. To the right of the courtyard you have a massive family space, with huge cathedral ceilings and perfectly white interior (instagram friendly). This space houses a tv area, dining room, and humongous kitchen (my whole house could fit in this room). Oh and outside… a bbq with a massive dining table and the most immaculate private pool with an INSANE view of Nevis peak… it was even more magical than I’m describing it… there are literally NO WORDS!

Anyway back to the villa tour, we have a lot to cover. Now to the left of the courtyard is where the magic happens… 3 times!! Ok maybe I should explain this lol. There is not 1 not 2 but 3 freaking bedrooms!! All with their own humongous bathrooms… 2 of which have beautiful outdoor showers too! Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the walk in closet of my dreams. I knew dreams do come true.

The villas are such a great way to do a family trip, housing 6 people if not more. I actually really want to go back with my entire family, I think it would be the most epic trip… and we would have plenty of room to avoid each other if need be (you know how families are).

But if you are planning to go with a smaller group, The Four Seasons Nevis has 179 guest rooms that are all beautifully decorated.

BOOK YOUR FOUR SEASONS NEVIS STAY HERE

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Grounds:

Although, we spent a majority of our time lounging around our villa and doing the keke dance with the golf cart (hope you saw my instastories), we were able to take a peek around the grounds… and they are gorgeous. Boasting three pools, four restaurants, business centre, three lounges, and spa… which I will get back to later, there is definitely plenty to do. I also want to note that The Four Seasons Nevis is super family friendly, with lots of activities for the kids to do, like… a playground, sandcastle building, cooking classes, games and most incredibly sea turtle education!! What?! Yes… how amazing is that!

Golf Course:

Leading off of the whole grounds tour, I should mention that The Four Seasons Nevis has their very own 18 hole par-71 (whatever that means lol), golf course nestled in the lush and dramatic tropical landscape. I spoke to a couple of guys that said it was the best golfing experience they have ever had… so I guess it’s good.

Spa:

I told you I was getting back to this. The spa is surrounded by incredible views of the Nevis Peak and offer everything from waxing to what we did… ‘Spa Under The Stars’. We enjoyed a private spa experience (we had the spa to ourselves! No one else was there). It all started with a the most amazing 60 min Nevisian couples massage, after that we were given a bottle of wine of our choice and were left to enjoy the thermal experience of hot and cold pools all under the twinkling light of the stars. This package also includes a dinner however we had kitchen stocked with food that we had to get through. Once our fingers were wrinkly from the pools we heading back to the changing rooms only to be greeted by a path of beautiful rose petals and flickering candles. Again this is another experience that is too wonderful to even explain properly.

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Activities:

Where-ever we travel it’s important for Sameer and I that we leave our accommodations to explore and experience the country. One of the ways we did this was by going on a tour with the funniest and most informative lady I have ever met… Hillary my girl, who was coincidentally kinda from Leeds! Come on Leeds! We had the best afternoon exploring the gorgeous island of Nevis while learning all that there possibly is to learn. Like cursing in public is against the law! These people are polite y’all.

Another great way to get to know the people is to head to Sunshine’s Bar. Down the beach from The Four Seasons Nevis (it’s literally a 4 min walk) is the cutest and most colourful bar ever, enjoy a ‘Killer Bee’ (this drink is deadly… I found out the hard way) or two amongst locals and tourists alike. The food is delicious, the music is pumping, and the people are the most friendliest people I have EVER met… I even left making a couple more friends, that’s how nice everyone is.

But the best thing is that even after being open for 24 years, Sunshine is still there working his little heart out. Even after serving the likes of John Travolta, Oprah, Meryl Streep and Queen B herself (the list goes on and on), he is still humble… so humble that he even let me take a picture with him. This is a must for your Nevis adventures.

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The Four Seasons Nevis:

I beg you to go to Nevis, it is a untouched paradise. Like this is literally where celebrities go to escape the world… and escape they do. It’s a beautiful place to go to have a quiet time or have fun with family and friends. The Four Seasons Nevis welcomes anyone and everyone with open arms and smiling faces. You are destined to have the most magical memorable trip. Not only will The Four Seasons Nevis hold a big part of my heart, but it will also be my go to travel destination forever. I am counting down the seconds until I am back there.

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BOOK YOUR FOUR SEASONS NEVIS STAY HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

Being Sustainable With Biossance

Hello Loves!

We all get upset when we hear about a cosmetic/skincare company testing on animals. But why don’t we get mad when the skincare still hurts animals and our planet after they are used? Why?… because we are all blissfully unaware, or just don’t care. But what if I told you your fav skincare line, is not only poisoning your body but is also killing our planet? By washing the long list of harmful chemicals that exist in these products down the drain we are poisoning our land and our precious animals. Oh and don’t even get me started on the packaging!!

But skincare doesn’t have to be all bad. There is a way to get that flawless celebrity skin without being harmful. You guys all know how much I love Biossance. I have been using their line for a few months now and each day I fall more and more in love with their products and brand. Not only does Biossance offer an extremely intelligent line of 100% nontoxic products (many that are plant-based), that seriously guys are completely skin changing, they are revolutionizing the way we do sustainable. Did you know that Biossance sources their magical squalane ingredient from naturally renewable sugarcane, watered with natural rainfall. But they didn’t stop there, their outer packaging is also tree free!! It’s made from sugarcane paper, and of course their iconic bottles are made of recycled or recyclable glass or plastic.

The older I get the more beauty products I am consuming, gotta combat those wrinkles! My holy grail to avoid those dreaded age lines were products that contained retinol…. oh boy I loved my retinol. That was until my skin started reacting to it, becoming dry, itchy, and red! What I didn’t know was that the supposedly miracle ingredient was doing long term damage to my skin. So you could imagine how quickly eliminated that from my daily regimen.

Still worrying about my inevitable wrinkles, I was thrilled to learn that my bestie Biossance had come out with a retinol alternative, Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum. This truly miracle serum is packed with incredible ingredients that give you the positive results of retinol without the side effects.

Bakuchiol: A plant-derived retinol alternative. Reducing wrinkles and firming skin.

100% Squalane: You guys know I love this ingredient. Squalane moisturizes my skin, leaving me with a healthy glow.

Neroli: An natural essential oil, that calms your skin.

Yeast Extract: Used to improve the texture of your skin.

Niacinamide: A vitamin B3, which helps improve my skin tone (lord knows I need that) and restores my skin barrier.

Hyaluronic Acid: Plumps and smooths the skin by instantly binding 1000x its weight in water. See I wasn’t lying when I said that it’s a miracle serum. Combined with my beloved 100% Squalane Oil, which adds that extra moisture… it really is a beautiful dynamic duo, like Thelma & Louise (without the driving off a cliff part).

But swinging back to the point of this post, sorry I got a little distracted, Biossance got me thinking about my own sustainability and how I can improve my footprint beyond my skincare. Sameer and I are already very conscious about lowering our energy usage.

We do this by…

* Running our laundry and dishwasher once a week and always after 7pm

* Using all natural cleaning products

* Changed all our bulbs to energy efficient ones

* Invested in a Nest thermostat that allows us to control our usage and even set it to an energy efficient mode

There are so many other ways that we can keep ourselves sustainable, in fact we plan to take on the challenge a little bit more by attempting to grow our own GMO free produce. Although I don’t have green thumb whatsoever, it will be fun to watch what we created grow… Sameer has also made the switch to Biossance, and so far he is LOVING it!

SHOP THE PHYTO-RETINOL SERUM

SHOP BIOSSANCE HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

 

Angostura x Swizzle What…?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ANGOSTURA® bitters. All opinions are my own!

Hello Loves,

So, as many of you know, I tend to stick to a few simple but beloved mixed drinks when I’m out and about. My go-to bar drink is the ever-chic screwdriver, or for us normal folk, a vodka orange juice. Yes, I know, super basic, but I like what I like.

My one exception is when Sameer gets creative and starts playing around with his cocktail concoctions (HAHA get your mind out of the gutter)… I just can’t resist my man in his bar tending outfit! I lie, there is no outfit.

Anyway, with the warmer weather, comes colder cocktails and our personal favourites this summer are tiki drinks dashed with ANGOSTURA bitters. For those of you unfamiliar with ANGOSTURA bitters, it is a plant-derived tincture designed to add a little sumpin sumpin to your cocktail, mocktail or culinary recipe. It is also known for its medicinal qualities and can aid digestion #winwin. While most of you probably already use ANGOSTURA bitters in your classic cocktails (think Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Mai Tai), they bring equally delicious layers of flavour to our latest cocktail obsession – the swizzle. This summer we decided to add a swizzle stick to our bar cart. What’s a swizzle stick you may ask? Well, simply put, it’s a stick crafted from wood used to stir still drinks and circulate crushed ice for a perfectly cold, refreshing cocktail. Pretty big job, if I may add. Summertime is definitely the perfect time to enjoy a swizzled drink, as this bartending technique takes tiki drinks to new heights and keeps them icy cold in high temps. You can certainly feel the island vibe wherever you are, especially when you combine ANGOSTURA bitters with your swizzled beverage.

While there are a ton of swizzled cocktails out there, the drink most closely intertwined with ANGOSTURA bitters is the delicious Queen’s Park Swizzle. This elegant, rum based drink is named for the hotel where it was first invented in Trinidad in the 1920s (flashback!). It features rum, lime juice, simple syrup, mint and a few healthy dashes of Trinidad’s most famous export, ANGOSTURA bitters. Scrum-diddly-umptious!

OK, folks, now follow me:

STEP 1

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ADD 1 OZ. OF LIME JUICE AND 1 OZ. OF SIMPLE SYRUP TO A HIGHBALL GLASS ALONG WITH 8-10 MINT LEAVES. THEN GENTLY MUDDLE.

STEP 2

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FILL GLASS WITH CRUSHED ICE AND POUR IN 2 OZ. OF YOUR FAVOURITE RUM.

STEP 3

SWIZZLE. SWIZZLE WELL. BASICALLY UNTIL THE GLASS IS FROSTY COLD

STEP 4

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PACK IN SOME MORE CRUSHED ICE AND ADD 6-8 DASHES OF ANGOSTURA BITTERS. GARNISH WITH A MINT SPRIG

STEP 5

Enjoy poolside or anywhere because this drink is just so delicious.

Be sure to add ANGOSTURA bitters to your bar cart this summer so that all your favourite beverages – from swizzles to contemporary cocktails to the classics – are only a few dashes away. It can be purchased at any of your local liquor stores and most supermarkets.

This summer ANGOSTURA bitters is also hosting Swizzle Royale, a bartender competition in the U.S. and Canada that invites professional mixologists to showcase their swizzle skills! Whether you’d like to participate or just come to watch and have fun, check out the site to find a competition near you!

Check out their socials below:

Facebook: @HouseofAngostura

Instagram: @AngosturaHouse

Twitter: @AngosturaHouse

Pinterest: @HouseofAngostura

 

 

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

 

How Smart is your Home?

Hello Heroes,

I mean hello home! No answer! Well you’re in the same boat as me. I long for my home to speak back to me, like umm in Iron Man, Tony Stark has such a cool house. Jarvis has got it all covered.

Now I know making my home a little smarter probably won’t make it have any more square footage or the view of LA, but it sure will make me feel cooler.

The problem with today’s smart technology is that some products only work with some assistants and some assistants are better than others.

Here is my quick run down of the who, what, where of smart tech.

First, you’ve got to pick an assistant. No, you don’t have to hire someone to live in your house, but more like a virtual assistant to manage your home. There are many virtual assistants out their, but the main three are Apple’s SIRI, Google’s Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa.

Apple’s SIRI Google’s Assistant Amazon’s Alexa
Pros:

 

Super Secure – Apple has worked directly with hardware manufacturers, so they can ensure a secure line of communication.

HomeKit – this app is pretty awesome, it merges all your hardware into one easy remote controller.

Pros:

 

Smarter – in terms of artificial intelligence Assistant is far superior to Alexa and SIRI.

Cost – it is a lot cheaper to get into the smart home game. (Google Home Mini, starts at $79.99)

Pros:

 

Cost – also cheap to get into the game, the smallest speaker is only $50

Setup – so easy to setup, plug in and go!

Skills – it has over 12,000 skills, making it the most versatile assistant

App – works with Apple and Android devices

Cons:

 

SIRI – SIRI is only exclusive to Apple Products and sometimes she has a hard time understanding what you’re saying.

Fewer Options – because Apple has its nose in manufacturer guidelines, there are fewer hardware options.

Cons:

 

OK Google – is the way you have to call your assistant, kind of weird.

Audio – if you’re an audiophile, this may not be the best route

Privacy Policy – their policy isn’t so clear, what information are they collecting???

Cons:

 

Apps – they are large in size, may take up a lot of space on your device.

Privacy – they leave it up to the hardware manufacturers, taking no responsibility.

Quality – speaker quality is fair

 

Now that you’ve chosen who you want to live with, the next step is to figure out what hardware you want to incorporate into your home.

There are so many hardware options to choose from. You name it and some thing can control it. Some of my favourites are the Philips Hue Bulbs, Nest Thermostat, Lutron Smart Switch, and the Sonos One.

The Philips Hue bulbs are so fun. Basically screw the bulbs into any of your lamps or ceiling lights and you can control when they switch on and what colour they are. Having a dance party, then Philips Hue has got you covered.

My personal favourite and something I live by is the Nest Thermostat. This guy replaces your current thermostat and makes it SMART. With some of the smartest features around this thing can monitor motion within your home so it can control when to turn on your AC or heat. The Nest app is even smart enough to know when you are roughly 3 km from your home so it can get your house to your desired temperature.

The Lutron Smart Switch is similar to the smart bulbs but this is more of a hard wired option. This switch replaces your flick on/off switch. If you forget your lights on and you have left your house, simply open the app and flick them off. When you arrive at home simply ask your assistant to turn on the lights and voila!

I’m a sucker for speakers. I’ve got one in every room. Gone are the days when you need to have in wall mounted speakers installed, the Sonos One replaces all the heartache. This guy is the first of the Sonos line to incorporate Alexa into the hardware itself. I can simply ask Alexa to play my favourite playlist or a specific song. Even better, since Alexa is built into this smart speaker, you can ask her to control any of your other pieces of smart hardware.

All in all there is definitely something to suit your needs. Remember all these items can be controlled by your voice through your specific assistant. My favourite thing is to set up routines. Through my Alexa, I simply say “Alexa I’m home”, and she turns my lights on and starts to play my favourite playlist. How cool is that? Now only if I could get it to make my dinner too!!!

Ok so now that your home is a little smarter then it was, it’s time to sit back and control your throne. “Alexa turn on Samsung TV and play Netflix” See ya later.

Remember, I am always here to help. Shoot me a DM or comment below with any of your questions or concerns.

Instahusband out,

Sameer @playingwithapparelmen