by Vanessa

DIY: Bahama Blue Napkins Pt.1

January 28, 2015 in EXPERIENCE DIY by Vanessa

Ombré, a wedding trend that belonged squarely to twenty-fourteen, but one I will strive to keep alive well in to twenty-fifteen. For no other reason than because blue, when graduated from light to dark, beautifully reflects the surrounding waters of the Bahamas and the varied depths that make the archipelago so easily recognizable from space. And let’s be honest, hues such as these will never go out of style – season even. That said, I wanted to show the hands-on DIY bride how easy it is to create ombré dip dye napkins. Unexpectedly, I wanted to weigh down such napkins with a unique design element that is complimentary in colour, but more on that in the next week’s post.

Step 1 – Begin by setting up your workspace. Set a drying rack over an old towel or plastic tarp, reserving two to three clothespins for each napkin you will dye. For each coloured dye you use you’ll need a separate bowl, bucket or if you’re following my lead, a 1 gallon paint can. I chose a paint can as the metal would insulate the heat and keep the water warm for longer. Also the dye wouldn’t stain the metal. I labeled each can according to the colour dyed used and to eliminate any guess-work. Additionally, you’ll need the following: a selection of two to three RIT liquid dyes that are in the same colour scheme, a set of plain white napkins, an empty bucket filled with cold water, salt, and gloves if you prefer to use them.

Step 2 – Fill each can with enough hot water to submerge the napkin. While the instructions specify water/dye ratios I did not follow these. Instead I experimented and poured the dye in to the heated water until I reached my desired colour. I used half the bottle of RIT’s Aquamarine dye, half the bottle of RIT’s Denim Blue dye and two-third the bottle of RIT’s Navy Blue. As is the rule of thumb for most DIY experiments, less is more in the beginning. You can always add. Finally, I put a cup of salt in to each bucket. Before moving on to the next step I recommend making a test strip using the same exact fabric you will use going forward. Doing so will help you land on your desired colour scheme and the appropriate time intervals. Also note when the fabric is wet the napkin is darker than it will be when it’s dry.

Step 3 – Taking an unfolded napkin (note: when dipping each napkin I always made sure the label was to the top) I dipped the whole napkin in the bucket of Aquamarine for 30 seconds, then wrung out the excess liquid and washed it in a separate bucket of cold water. Taking the same napkin I then dipped it half way in for 7 minutes, then repeating the above washing process. Finally, I dipped the napkin one-third of the way into the final colour, Navy Blue for 15 minutes. On each addition of a new colour I would recommend bobbing the napkin up and down, no more than half an inch, so the colours meld naturally. Allow the napkins to dry overnight and only then are they ready to dress your tablescape.

by Vanessa

BOGO: Free Travel To The Out-Islands

January 27, 2015 in Travel Tuesday by Vanessa

Picture this. Inside, protected from the harsh cold of the outdoors, and the chill that cuts right through you, over a casual dinner with your fellow love, after talks of ordinary things, the tone turns to one of excitement. For you have asked her to join you on a trip to an unexplored corner of the world, the Bahamas to be exact.

“Where in the islands do you want to celebrate Saint Valentine?” you ask – it falls on a weekend after all.

The options endless as the ocean they interrupt, the need for adventure at an all time high, you list: swimming with pigs in the Exumas, fearlessly jumping hand-in-hand in to the world’s deepest inland blue hole in Long Island, extended walks on pink sand beaches in Eleuthera and dotting in and out of the third largest barrier reef in the world if visiting Andros.

What you don’t tell her is while you’ll pay for her plane ticket, yours is in fact – free.

All that you’ll have to do is to book with one of these participating hotels.

(Oh, and P.S. you can thank me later.)

by Vanessa

Brie Wrapped Puff Pastry with Bahamian Jam

January 23, 2015 in RECIPES by Vanessa

Served alongside a generous dollop of Bahamian jam, this flaky cheese-filled puff pastry quickly became my favourite go-to appetizer over the holidays. In part because the creamy flavour of the brie compliments the robust flavour of Tamarind Spice Spread and strikes the perfect balance of sweet and savoury atop a water cracker. Plus, if unopened, the two major ingredients will last a few weeks. So should an evening call for an impromptu night of entertaining this dish will serve as the perfect starter and it’ll seem like you went to a lot more effort than you actually did.

Brie Wrapped in Puff Pastry2

Brie Wrapped in Puff Pastry With Bahamian Jam2

Plantation Hill’s Tamarind Spice Spread or Bahamian Pepper Jelly
2 Pound Wheel of Brie Cheese
Pillsbury Original Crescent Dough
Water Crackers

Preheat the oven as instructed. Begin by gently rolling out the dough on the middle of a baking sheet, being careful not to break the dough along the stenciled lines. Place the brie wheel at the center of the sheet and fold the corners of the dough so that it covers all visible surfaces of the cheese. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 15 – 17 minutes. Serve atop a cutting board alongside Bahamian made jam or pepper jelly.

P.S. I can’t take full credit for this recipe, that crown I’ll have to pass to my sister-in-law.