Monday, November 3, 2014

The #BeforeIam30Ja Challenge

A little off our regular programming, but being a momma is preceded by being a person. The adventurous bit in me prompted this post and the affiliated challenge. Do note, this challenge in no way erases the need for more solid and serious life plans, but this is my very fun on the way  to 30 challenge-S. Coombs

Ages and ages and ages ago, I believed I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve by the time I was 30. I scribbled constantly in my notepad and did 5 year revisions ever so often and yet 30 seemed like a lonnnng way off. Fast forward and now I'm almost there!! Yayy or Nayy? Definately Yayy

Most persons when doing the "By the time I am 30 plan" seem to focus on some common 'things': House, kid (s), car, dream job, financial security, educational goals etc.  Mostly smart I'd say, but for us mamas, if the kids dare arrive before many of the other 'things' were in place, that #BeforeIam30 plan may very well boil down to 2 things: 1. Keep my child emotionally, physically and financially secure and 2. survive life after all the child related expenses :-). Can I get an amen?

Being the adventurer I think I am, I started looking at lots of things to do before you are 30.  The internet brought up several searches but I was particularly intrigued by the AllWomen'sTalk listing as it shared some more fabulous ideas. It spoke to me as a woman and I could in fact check off a few of the things (Paris remains on my Things to do List)

Now, with just a few days to go my mamacitas and my many 19-mid-80's babies who are rounding off 28, 29 and 30, I give to thee a challenge. If you are 28, you still have some time. If you are rounding out at 29, you can get it done ahead of time and if you have just a few more days or until the end of the year to get to 30, enjoy the adrenaline rush and just do it!!

So let's go on mission #BeforeIam30Ja 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Protecting your family against the Chikungunya Virus

Many moons ago, in late August I believe, I started this blog post on protecting your family against the Chikungunya Virus.  This coincided with a time when I also became an anti-mosquito ninja.  I knew from the newscasts and word on every street that the disease was supposedly transmitted via mosquito bites and I went on a mission to clear my home of the dreaded terror.  Every door boasted a snap shut door mesh; windows remained closed (and JPS enjoyed the light bill increase); our house was sprayed with aerosol anti insect spray in the morning before heading to work and again in the evenings.  I stacked up on lemon grass based mosquito body sprays and felt all was in order to safeguard my family from the dreaded Chik V. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's World Food Day: Let's celebrate our Jamaican farmers

Last year we blogged about World Food Day and because Food is so important to all our lives, well we just had to do it again!!

This year World Food Day is being celebrated under the theme: Family Farmers: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth and so appropriate too right? as this theme plays up the dual role of farmers as providers and protectors of the Earth's Natural Resources. The theme also ties in with the United Nations' declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farmers (IYFF) as the Organization especially through its Food and Agriculture arm aims to raise awareness around the challenges that are faced by family farmers, even as they contribute so much to feeding several nations.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#IheartBoobs Jamaican Male celebs show support for Breast Cancer Awareness

Over here, we love our boobs!!! After all, who knows better how functional and well ahmmm ever other al boobies can be than mommies who have had to bless the earth with their boobily functions and then in a snap we revert to boobies as solace, home and fort for our partners? :-) So believe us when we say We love boobs and we believe our men when they say #IHeartBoobs.

Indeed, Jamaican Mommies so loves and support all efforts to drive Breast cancer awareness that we have done several previous posts on same, including: Mommies Need their boobies in tact and the Save Lids to Save Lives campaign

and so we were more than happy to add this video that is quirky as it is funny yet with decidedly serious message.

Friends in the fight against breast cancer: Dr. Michael Abrahams and friends - Ity & Fancy Cat, Bambino, Dr Shane Alexis, Michael Anthony Cuffe Jr, Yohan Blake and Ron Burke - unite with the Jamaica Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Jamaica - October, 2014.


Do remember to share and use the hashtag #IHeartBoobs

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A little cultural Infusion: Confucius Institute Day Celebrations in Jamaica

As far as cultures go, the Chinese culture is colourful as it is interesting. Admittedly, much of this culture has been experienced through my toddler's eyes via the many episodes of Nai Hao Kai-Lan that she often pulls me on the couch to view with her. But even from those, I have learnt a lot about very many Chinese customs and celebrations.

I am muy excited then to discover that the Confucius Institute at the UWI Mona Campus will be staging Confucius Institute Day 2014 on September 27. Confucius Institute Day  being a day to celebrate the birth of Confucius;  the 10 year anniversary of Confucius Institutes globally and to encourage cultural exchange while highlighting the services of the Confucius Institute that teaches mandarin, calligraphy, tai chi and offers translating services.

Why we Love Flair's Mommy Corner & a familiar face

Accesseed via the web
A few months ago, The Gleaner's Flair Magazine started a series called "Mommy Corner". The mommy corner instead of doing a personality feature on mums took a very welcomed approach and zoomed in on parental advice on a wide variety of topics. In fact its introduction reads: Unlike buying a new car or an appliance, motherhood does not come with a manual. It is a journey travelled by trial and error and words from the wise - those who have been there before. So let's take the journey together in the 'Flair Magazine's' new feature - Mommy Corner. Each week, mothers share the 'tricks' of the trade - what works for them and what doesn't.

I found myself smiling and nodding as I read some of the entries and even making a mental note to try some of the strategies outlined by the featured moms. Admittedly, some were downright hilarious, others more serious and still others offering the opportunity to reflect on the strategy highlighted.

In the end, we are happy the Flair team took this approach and we look forward to other "In their own words" mommying tips.

Have a look at some of the featured moms and the topics they spoke about.

P.S. Look a little closer in, you will find your Jmommies editor speaking about the important topic of pulling the Balancing Act and Bonding Time for the Busy Mom

1. The Naughty Corner

2. Socializing Your Toddler

3. The Homework Drama

4. Making the Mommy and Me time

We love the variety of topics thus far and look forward to more! After all, we always love hearing from other moms about tips and tricks that can complement our own.


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Monday, September 1, 2014

The Homeschooling alternative in Jamaica & Why we chose that route

Many moons ago when I sat down for a chat with Jamilah Blythe of High Flyer Tutoring Service, little did I know I'd be doing a post that delved into Homeschooling as a viable educational alternative in Jamaica. Moreso, never would I have imagined that I would be taking such a big leap of faith to make this an educational alternative for my own child, having enrolled her into a Homeschooling summer programme to test the waters and now retaining the services of a homeschool tutor to tend to her educational needs...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Education Minister and Jamaica's Water woes

Just today, Education Minister the Hon. Ronald Thwaites announced that given the current water crisis, parents may be called upon to provide their children with sufficient water for drinking and for sanitary purposes when schools reopen in September.

He goes on to state that "We have to put some responsibility on parents and students to bring drinking water, and, on occasions, to bring water enough to wash hands and to flush the toilet," while indicating that it takes approximately five gallons of water to flush old-style toilets and two gallons for newer models.

With all due regards for the goodly minister and his presumed well to do intentions, there are several reasons why this proposal is not only unrealistic but highly impractical and some daresay ludicrous.

One wonders about the last time the Minister assessed HOW the majority of Jamaica's students travel to and from school (There seems to be a presumption that they all go with parents in tow and via private vehicles?) to transport this 'new September' burden.

Without being baseless, let us deconstruct some of the Minister's many suggestions and see why they are not feasible while suggesting some alternatives.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Jamaican Mommies contributed to Flair's Mommy Corner recently and a modified  version of this post appeared in the Gleaner's Flair Magazine Mommy corner with the title 10 things parents should know.  We've posted the extended version here for your benefit. 

In this information age, it’s easy to be bombarded by countless tips and tricks everywhere about what you should or shouldn't know as a parent. Have any doubts? Do a random web search and you will discover way more than you will ever need. But before you start feeling overwhelmed or driven to insanity, rest assured many other parents share these feelings too.

As a new mom I was often bombarded with way too much information, way too many voices, too varied opinions on what to do and what not to do. More so, years later even as I try to balance career and family, parenting continues to be daunting as I strive to be what so many of the parenting advice outlets say one should be. On this quest, I am continuously left with endless questions about whether I have been doing it right, but in the end, having researched several parenting topics over the past five years for and interacting with several moms about their parenting highlights, I have discovered several tips and will share the ones most likely to help you keep your sanity. 

1. There is no universal perfection: You've probably heard before that every child is different and so is every parent-child relationship. In aiming to be the best you can be, go with your guts, trust your motherly instincts and use your child’s well-being and happiness as your guide. The only near perfection then are a satisfied mommy and a truly happy child. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun Summer Food for Kids

It's summer!! and in the midst of the scorching sun, the saving grace of the sea and the serenity of being on sand, many mums who have not gone the summer school route have a bit more time on hand to spend with our often too picky, too complain-ey and too melodramatic children. As with all things parenting where we have to pull on the creative caps (such as outdoor fun), meal preparations this summer demands that it not only LOOKS like fun but tastes great too.

This realization hit as I was about to prepare yet another Peanut Butter sandwich, another boiled egg, another macaroni and cheese salad, another pink, white or brown bowl of porridge and another same old slices of cucumber as someone has suddenly developed very specific, very non-meat eating dietary patterns, so it got me  web searching for fun foods for kids.

As a DIY Mama, I was thrilled with what I saw and was even more thrilled that many of the recipes allowed for use of local produce.  With way too many options, I am choosing some basics that require ingredients moms in Jamaica and the diaspora are likely to have:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jamaican Mommies Summer Activities for Kids in Jamaica 2014: From tots to teens

Whew this has been long in coming mamacitas, But in addition to a recent family tragedy we just had to give you the most comprehensive list we could come by. For Weeks on end we have been asking via varied networks for a listing of Summer programmes for Kids in Jamaica and referencing previous programmes in our 2013 list After that almost mind numbing process, voila.. Here goes. Please note some programmes have extended their registration deadlines so be sure to call and confirm.

As a mama who has actively been searching for summer programmes for my own toddler, I was often annoyed that the lists were not categorised by age groups and so we tried as best as possible to highlight the age groups for ease of reference.

As we continue to build lists that are useful to you mamas, do remember to share all the activities you know in varied parishes across Jamaica. Please send all information to

Please note you can also download the list via Jamaican Mommies Summer Activities Register 2014

Special Thanks as well to the many organizations, other parenting networks, friends and all of you in the webosphere who shared activities with us for inclusion in our listing.

Edit: Also sharing the Ace Tennis Academy Summer Camp.  See details on flier below and make contact via the numbers noted for more information

Also sharing the Irie Times camp (updated July 9)

July 11 edit: Adding the Fundamentals Camp.  All information on Flyer below:

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Things we lost in the fire: Coping with home loss

Things we lost to the flames
Things we'll never see again
All that we've amassed
Sits before us, shattered into ash

These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire

-Bastille, Things we lost in the fire

Admittedly this may be my most painful blog post yet, only because it is the kind of thing that you hear of everyday but never foresee happening to your own family and even when there is a fleeting thought, you allow it to sprint away quickly because you don't intend to deal with the possibilities or the reality...Now that it has happened, I deal with it the only way I can right now-I blog.

My family's home was destroyed by a fire on Monday, June 9, 2014 at approximately 2:30 p.m and so the memory and scars are still very raw. I therefore write not to publicize but to find some outlet to keep the memory alive about all that was lost in the fire, while sharing some information at the end about coping with home loss due to fire.

 As you can imagine, a family home is the house that has held memories for all of us as children and my parents. It is the place where for the past 24 years I have had endless fun with my siblings and neighbours, seen my younger sister enter the world, created a world of imaginary adventure; learnt to read, learnt to ride a bicycle, to play an instrument; It is also there that I learnt to laugh, to dream, to hope and today to cry.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Go Bananas with Monkey Bizniz: Family theatre Fun! Do. Go. See!!

It sounds like Boom shakka lacka "Tikka laka, macka jukka, banana peel.......Say what?

Or you may find yourself wondering, do they mean lotion like a play on potion or lution which goes with Evolution?

In any case, before you're likely to figure it out, you may just get distracted enough to hear a very long winded and drawn out voice utter "By the time me lef one meeting and reach home, is time fi lef go to another" and when you see who the voice is coming from, you will totally understand why the statement was followed by peals of laughter from the excited tots and tweens.

such was the case as Jamaican Mommies journeyed with the family in tow (our 5 year old included for research purposes) to the second night of Damion Radcliffe's Anancy Chaptaz: Monkey Bizniz on Saturday, June 1. Monkey Bizniz being the fourth episode in Radcliffe's Anancy Chaptaz children's theatre series.

It was no monkeying around though as the 24 member cast drew you into their forest home where the monkey tribe must learn some very valuable lessons- chief among them the need for unity and loving oneself, all while pointing to Jamaican Culture and current affairs in its subtext.

Multi Year, Multi Media Parenting Jamaica effort Launched:

Screen shot of Launch day report via the
Jamaica Gleaner
At a time when society's children are faced with a myriad of atrocities, often based on improper parenting practices, it is certainly welcomed that Jamaica's Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen has launched Parenting Jamaica as an extension of the I believe Initiaitive. The I believe Initiative rests on the principle of "Using what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica"

Parenting Jamaica, A multi-year multiple-media communication programme designed to animate the lessons in the parenting guide“Answers To Questions Parents Ask” written by Dr. Barry Davidson and Dr. Faith Linton was launched earlier this year in March following extensive stakeholder consultations.  Since then it has made several steps towards its goals as a behaviour change effort from which a national parenting manual and standardised training of parents will emerge.

Parenting Jamaica also recognizes and endorses the efforts of several other Parenting oriented organizations that are actively pursuing efforts to improve Parenting in Jamaica.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Jamaica Epicurean Escape- Food, Frolic and Family Fun!!!

The Plan
This Labour Day weekend, while we wondered what family activity to do, we decided: 

1. We wanted to be away from home
2. We wanted the sun, sand, sea 
3. With some no gym days we could also spare a little more than the average tummy space for some good food!! 
4. More importantly, we wanted activities that allowed us as parents to have fun with our toddler 

The Considerations
Enter the Jamaica Epicurean Escape, In addition to the promise of mouthwatering, tantalizing fare from Jamaica, the Caribbean and International chefs,  it also promised Wine and Music (we were already sold)

In fact, the website's description 
The Jamaica Epicurean Escape is an international food wine and music festival that creates a melting pot of international and Caribbean food, with popular and traditional Jamaican cuisine taking pride of place, all complemented by a variety of wine, beer and spirits, and featuring top class local and international musical performers.
sounded awesomely delightful, but then we wondered if it was more like a Mommy and Daddy only  kind of event UNTIL.. tada the Sagicor FunYard which promised 2 days of Fun, Frolic and Food FOR KIDS in a Secure environment managed by a professional team of caregivers.  Can anyone say win?! We just have to show you the flier so you can understand why we got so excited. 

With 2 days of family frolic on the horizon, we could scarcely wait. Bags packed, hotel booked, checklist in, we were doing pretty great on getting what we wanted for the weekend and so the adventure began. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Successful Jamaican Mommies Picnic encouraged family Play: Patrons eager for a repeat

This Mother and Daughter duo had a blast at the Jamaican Mommies
Mothers' Day Picnic at Hope Gardens in Kingston

Remember when we made much ado about the Mothers' Day staging of our Jamaican Mommies Picnic? two weeks later and the positive comments are still reeling in and just this weekend when a vendor asked: "So When again?" and a patron exclaimed "The picnic was such a novel idea, my family had a blast" we knew we just had to do the post event honours and also say special thanks to our sponsors, partners and support team.
Jamaican Mommies Editor in Chief, Shanoy Coombs (left) presents
a prize pack to this family for participating in an activity
at the Jamaican Mommies Mothers' Day Picnic

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Most fun you'll ever have at a 5k: Dress for Success hosts charitable female empowerment run!!

 Dress for Success Power Walk to bring fitness and empowerment to Jamaican Women

Dress for Success Worldwide, an international non-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women, announces The Power Walk for Dress for Success (DFS) , which will take place in 40 international cities, including Jamaica on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Emancipation Park in Kingston. 

Unlike many other 5ks, while there is the charitable component, the DFS Power Walk promises to offer the most fun you'll ever have at a 5k.

How so, you make ask? Not being your typical 5k, persons are encouraged to dress creatively for a chance to win one of many prizes including: best Dressed Walker, Best themed group among others. 

Want some inspiration? Check this out....

About the Dress for Success Power Walk

The 5K Power Walk for Dress for Success promotes active, healthy lifestyle choices for women and families and serves as a “walking testament” to the inextricable link between personal health and professional success.

This international fundraising 5K walk is dedicated to the promotion of an active, healthy lifestyle for women and families, especially towards wellness, empowerment, and self-defined success.

Saturday, May 17, 2014
·         6:00 AM (registration)
·         6.30 AM Opening Ceremony, Warm Up
·         7.00 AM (walk starts)

By participating in The Power Walk for Dress for Success, walkers will help support programs that empower disadvantaged women and their families to achieve financial independence and self-defined success.

Monday, May 12, 2014

What mothers will really love this Mothers' Day: Smile Jamaica TV feature and more....

Mama Mia!!! Mothers' Day is always such a warm fuzzy, cotton cushiony time of the year, the time you may also be tempted to give mommy that sweater that looks just like her cat, the books that tell her way more than she needs to know about the subject at hand, tons of household appliances or other gifts that even with the best of intentions may come across as depressing. Indeed, many mums are way too modest to showcase their disapproval, instead you get the obligatory smile and wave and the general pretence that you gave the best gift ever!! but how about offering mum something that connects on an emotional level? or better yet something that she truly would love.

Last year, Jamaican Mommies joined Smile Jamaica to discuss the business of blogging and On Monday, May 5th, once again hit the Smile Jamaica stage- this time to share tips on what mums are thinking or would really want this mothers' Day.

On set with fellow momma Simone Clarke-Cooper
Jamaican Mommies Founder and Editor in Chief, Shanoy Coombs (left) on set of 'Smile Jamaica, its Morning Time" with host Simone Clarke-Cooper

Now have a peek...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Free Jamaican Mommies Picnic set to delight on Mothers’ Day

  • Pays Special Tribute to Moms on Mother’s Day while encouraging  family fun

On Sunday May 11, 2014 the Hope Gardens Band Stand and lawns in Kingston, Jamaica will teem with life and excitement as Jamaican Mommies in association with the Write House and family station Love 101 stages the inaugural Jamaican Mommies Mothers’ Day Picnic.

An initiative of the Jamaican Mommies blog,, the Jamaican Mommies Mothers’ Day picnic is free to members of the public and will showcase fun family activities while paying a special tribute to moms on Mothers’ Day.

Speaking to the need for more family building entertainment Founder and Editor in Chief at JamaicanMommies, Shanoy Coombs noted

Thursday, April 24, 2014

One on One with Nataliah Oh- Jamaican Celeb Mommy Stylist

It's Celeb Momma moments :-)  and for this feature we get all fashionable and have a one on one with Jamaican Image Consultant, Fashion Blogger, Style tips host on Smile Jamaica and Style Contributor in the Flair Magazine- Natalia Oh. Natalia joins our Jamaican Mommies Celeb alum including previous featured moms Kerie 'Kiki' Thombs, Maia Chung and Raine Seville- quite a diverse featured list if you may. 

I first 'met' Natalia when I stumbled on her blog-Natalia Oh and later saw her decked in a trendy black and white ensemble at the Jamaican Blog Awards.  She later copped the award as the best beauty blogger and her name continuously kept popping up in the local media around all things fashionable, on other fashion blogs I followed and general social media.

She was even a Judge for Miss Jamaica Universe.  These days, Natalia has honed her craft and provides fashionable advice to her clients on a one on one basis and more nationally via a Style tips segment on the Smile Jamaica Morning Programme, Style tips features in the Flair Magazine and more recently a Beyond Beauty series with the Jamaica Gleaner which plays up empowering stories from some of Jamaica's most celebrated women with a fashionable spin. 

It was also a more endearing treat when I discovered she is mom to not one, but two boys (By just looking you're saying Lies right?!). I was also particularly fascinated to discover how she manages to always look fashionably on point being a mother to 2 boys when the cry is always "You don't know the struggles until you have been a mother to boys".  So we just had to find out, how does she do it?! What strategies does she use to carve out family time, alone time and pretty much hold it all together? Let's find out... presenting our One on One with Natalia Oh!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Breaking the Social Media Curse for better Parenting

                                                                                   "Mommy, can we go paint now?"
"Sure honey, right after I finish...ummm something"
*scrolls along Facebook timeline, then checks in on Instagram Pics*

"Mommy, can we paint now"?
"Coming honey" but let me get in that tweet first 'Going to paint a beautiful picture with my boobsie' * but continues social Media-ing

Many hours later, the picture doesn't get painted and you have thoroughly destroyed a little heart. LET. THAT. SINK. IN.

Does the above scenario sound even remotely familiar? It kinda makes you terribly sad right? Like what horrible parent gives up super precious and super awesome seconds with their kid to go check out Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest  and countless others? HAS. THAT. SUNK. IN?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DIY Mama: Homemade Ice cream, Birthday Princess and then some

Happy Ash Wednesday mamas!! This blog post is as 'spur of the moment' as it gets. I have truly missed my blog and with a wee bit of ME time, it got me thinking #BlogMode and since my little missy celebrated her 5th this February, I've been itching to share some DIY projects I activated for her birthday. This coupled with a friend's Facebook post on homemade Ice Cream, countless Pinterest links (Follow us) and Mother's day on the horizon, a DIY post is perfect (I think).

So let's start off with today's little project #HomemadeIceCream (Cherry Vanilla to boot). Thanks to my dear Samantha on Facebook who shared the ziplock method from surprise surprise her son's Science book, I went digging and found These 3 Recipes (Visuals below) also these 5 with very clear steps and made myself a test batch and boy am I happy!!! It tasted just like cherry vanilla Ice cream, was super yummy and I tried to cut calories by using no sugar or added syrup. 

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