Jade Priscilla

A lifestyle and parenting blog

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Santa Baby

Dear Santa,

In less than a month you will collect your red suit from the dry cleaners, give your beard a trim, nothing too drastic  just a little tidy up-of course whilst you wait for your elves to dust off your sleigh and load the boot( do sleighs have boots?)  With all the brand new toys and books and gizmo's and gadgets for all the children who still believe in your magic.

I am excited for your arrival, I always have been, I could have sworn that I heard the faint jingle of bells as your sleigh flew over my house when I was younger and I was amazed that you knew the exact doll I wanted having just seen it in the shop the week before.  Your apologetic letter when you ran out of wrapping paper has never been forgotten especially as you have the best handwriting ever! And even now, as the official countdown begins my little Lei can’t wait for her stocking to be filled, especially as you never miss out the rice cakes that she loves so much!

Now,  when you visit the houses and you drink your belly full in milk or something a little bit stronger  and you leave your cookie crumbs on the table and let your reindeer nibble at the carrots before you leave in your obvious tell-tale trail of snowy footprints, can you tell me why I didn’t make your Christmas list?

Oh, I know I’m too old to believe, but I do and if I squeeze my eyes really tight and say I do believe a few more times, I’m positive a couple of fairies will regain their long lost wings. But this isn’t about fairies, it’s about you and me Santa....baby.

I’m not asking for much, and I have been an awful good girl this year, mostly...okay I haven’t folded the laundry straight away and have left it to resemble a clothes store sale rack and I’ve let Lei watch way too many episodes of Dora and Friends oh and if we wanna count that one time after a night-shift I overslept and missed the school run but I’m sure when you check your list twice, you will see that I’m not too much of a rotten egg.
So here's my list, I'll keep it short

  • Ban Musical Instruments :Two years ago Lei got a drum set for Christmas. Oh she had such fun, oh she made a racket oh I hated those drums!!  But what took the piss was the generous giver of such present gave it in the knowledge that it would do my head in! So please, no toys that can create a constant musical noise with no off switch!
  • No Cooking disasters : I love baking at Christmas, you should know as I've left you a slice of my Christmas cake last year. However, I can't quite master cookies. They either all merge into one giant biscuit that has to be scraped off the bottom of the tray or taste off- Not cool!
  • 10 more minutes sleep: On Christmas morning I will be bleary eyed and giddy with excitement and exhaustion  as I watch Lei open her presents, so a lie in on Boxing day will be perfect, please.
  • Hold off on the Brussel sprout farts: I don't fart, no I  really don't...not when I'm aware anyway and definitely not by force! So you should know Santa darling, that those induced by little cabbages and done by my dinner guests make me just that bit queasy.
  • Thou shall not procrastinate:  Honestly...if you have a solution I will leave you an extra mince pie
  • Christmas and Chill: When all the food and drink has been drunk and everyone is slumped on the sofa full of gammon and merriment it would be perfect for us to all stay awake to watch Christmas television or  movies without falling asleep...perhaps you should take special note of my request for more sleep!

I think Santa, this must be your easiest list to date, but if it's too much then honestly don't stress. I'll just do your job for ya, because seriously...how hard is it to nibble a carrot, drink some milk( or something stronger) leave a trail of crumbs from a mince pie and fill a stocking with pressies or grant a mum a lie in on Boxing day?

With lots of Christmas cheer and extra tinsel on top

Jade Priscilla


Thursday, 19 November 2015

Teens in Crisis: Join the debate

Train delayed

The sign above us gave no indication of when the train might be coming leaving us with no sense of time, just one word: Delayed

Usually any pre-warning of delays is met with groans of annoyance and angry mutterings below breaths but instead we laughed, happy to not have missed the last train home and pulled our coats in tighter against the wind and waited.....

Minutes turned into an hour then an hour and a half before a security guard told us that our delayed train was a long gone train and that we'd have to get a replacement bus service back to Luton. Nonetheless we continued to be in good spirits as we listened to music,laughed and bonded just as though we were camping but without the crackling fire and toasted marshmallows.

We were not the only campers at the station, there was two friends +me that's three, the security guard makes four and someone else; A young man keeping warm beneath the stairs, only venturing out to ask us if we knew when the  train was coming. He didn't wince when we said it was another hour and a a half until the bus replacement, nor did he complain about the delay because unlike my friends and I who had warm beds, food in our fridge and friends and family who care about us, he had nothing. In fact the only reason *Roy was at the station was so that he could get a good nights sleep, after all a train carriage with it's dark seats that hide many a sin but let free the musty stench of damp, urine and all things stale is warmer that the cold nooks and crannies of  London.

Roy expressed how he felt let down, unloved and how his days were spent smoking illegal substances and his nights playing sofa roulette with friends who could share their space for a day or two.

Roy is 27

Ten years ago he would have been a teenager, a teenager already on the wrong side of the law, facing homelessness and poverty and as I watched him rub his hands in genuine excitement as our replacement bus stopped in front of us,it made me feel sad, sad that someone else could be sleeping rough, another adult or perhaps even more concerning a teenager.

 A teenager just turned seventeen having to fend for themselves and act like a grown-up in a situation that not even an adult can understand or a younger teen exposed to not only the cold of the night but exploitation and abuse.  This is why I strongly support the Children's Society #SeriouslyAwkward campaign; the law needs to change to protect our teenagers and offer them the protection and support they need . If a change is made now, by the time our teenagers are adults they can live a life full of confidence and  security.

 On Thursday 19th November I am honoured to be attending The Children's Society Annual Rudolph Debate 2015: Teens in crisis?  The debate will be taking place at 6 pm and not only will you be able to watch live but you can join in by submitting questions via twitter using #SeriouslyAwkward and putting your questions to the panel.

You can find out more and watch the debate here :http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/debate

What questions would you place before the panel? #SeriouslyAwkward


Monday, 16 November 2015

Ruby's and Cottons

We didn't have much of a plan, but we did know that we wanted the evening to have lots of food, plenty of belly laughs and a cocktail or two to set the pace for the evening.

We decided to visit a new restaurant in Luton called Ruby's, a family run caribbean restaurant which has now taken pride of place in an old nightclub I used to visit when I was a younger. It is always amazing how buildings can transform and evolve, I was impressed with how Ruby's was able to shave all traces of the club away and instead replace it with a warm and inviting restaurant of black and red tones, colourful bar and friendly staff.

The music played was soulful and a true mixture of different genres and despite us sitting next to the speakers it was not too loud or irritating. One of my pet hates when at a restaurant is not being able to hear each other speak or having to shout so much that you leave the restaurant with a full stomach and a sore throat- not good.

My dinner dates: Maria, Saran and Liane

Our drinks order was placed and we gossiped and put the world to rights whilst we waited to place our food orders.  The menu offers a wide selection of foods sure to take your taste buds to the caribbean isles. We ordered three different rices: jollof rice, plain white rice and fried rice and two meat dishes( curry mutton & jerk chicken) and a fish dish.
Jollof rice, fried dumplings, curry mutton & plaintain

Now, one thing about hunger is that it can make you impatient, restless and prone to being slightly snappy which is what happened when we had to wait quite a long time for our meals to arrive, it didn't help that we could see meals for other tables, who had come after us, getting food- we were getting  serious food envy! haha. The staff told us that the reason for this is because it is not a fast food service so the meals take a little while to prepare, they did thank us for our patience.

Thankfully, our patience paid off as the food WAS delicious and came with complimentary sides of coleslaw and plantain- yum! Oh and the portion sizes were amazing, sooo much food that we could have easily shared instead of ordering separately.
Source: Cottons

Full we headed towards the train station to get the train to Camden; Cottons is a restaurant and bar with a real caribbean vibe, the d├ęcor transports you to an island bar with its wooden shack walls, slogans and caribbean flags waving proud to salute. There was a dj and although the space left to dance was incredibly small, he managed to get everyone dancing and having a really good time.

Sorrel is my favourite Christmas drink and so when I saw it on the cocktail menu where it is described as a Sorrel Sling  which is made with a large measure of beefeater gin mixed with fresh lemon juice, sorrel squash, cheery brandy and topped with soda, it was always going to be my first choice and oooh was it good! Cocktails are made right in front of your eyes by bartenders with Hawaiian shirts and feet that tap along to the music.

It's not a good night without a blurry selfie

We had a brilliant evening and not even the disappointment of missing the train home and having to get a replacement bus service could dampen our moods. Ruby's and Cottons until next time.....

Tell me all about your favourite local or London hangout...;-)


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Secret Santa: Shhhh it's a gift guide

The annual Christmas party
Every year a group of collegues um and ah over where to go for an early Christmas dinner and a dance at a restaurant that closes just as the going gets good.
It is usually a weekday, but noone will be judging for drinking too much red wine or fizzy pop on a school night, after all it is Christmas. 
Deposits secured and sparkly attire sorted there is just one last task left to complete....Secret Santa.
Everyone's name goes into a hat, give it a quick shake but shhh, don't tell it is a secret after all.
The excitement over who's got who will be a buzz for a few days until it's time to go shopping and the hushed whispers of " I don't know what to get so and so" will make the rounds and before you know it, it's know longer a secret but just an opportunity to have a laugh with friends, whilst you exchange gifts, pull crackers and spread some Christmas cheer!

At work we are doing a Secret Santa ( It's not much of a secret, I know who most of them have got haha) we have set a limit of a minimum £5 spend with the option to spend more if they so wish. I am really excited and looking forward to the Christmas Stocking brought especially for the gifts to start filling up. 

Are you taking part in a Secret Santa?


Monday, 9 November 2015

#SeriouslyAwkward: Protect older teenagers

On the day we are born we are vulnerable,defenceless and unable to walk, talk or feed ourselves.
We seek the embrace of loving arms and cry for milk to quench our thirst and fill our stomachs.
As days go by we get older and as the months turn into years we are suddenly stronger ,wiser and suddenly we can talk and laugh that before you know it we are no longer babies but neither are we adults because at sixteen or seventeen are you really old enough to know better? Not really, it is an age where we think we know it all , but we don't, not really and like the day of our birth we are vulnerable, we are vulnerable and need protecting from abuse and harm just like if we were younger.

We are teenagers and it can be a seriously awkward time but just because you can hear our music through the headphones or don't like the funky pattern on our trousers it doesn't mean we shouldn't be listened to, we might not need bedtime stories or quite believe in the tooth fairy but we still need protecting, we still need to know that if we are scared or in danger someone is going to protect us.

The latest phase of the Seriously Awkward campaign is calling on just that, for the government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from abuse, neglect and harm as it is found that those who are most vulnerable are at risk of being exposed to hidden harm.

Here is some research that was found from the Children's Society  research report ' Old enough to know better, why sexually exploited teenagers are being overlooked'

 ●   Teenage girls aged 16 and 17 are more likely to be a victim of a sexual offence than other age groups, with almost 1 in 10 saying they experienced a sexual offence in the last year.

●   People who sexually exploit children frequently target the most vulnerable in this age group. They use power, coercion and control; grooming them with drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or false affection to make them submit to sex.
16 and 17 year olds can consent to sex in healthy relationships. But it’s seriously awkward that because of legal inconsistencies there is a dangerous lack of understanding about how situations where they are being coerced or groomed into sex constitutes child exploitation, meaning older teenagers are not seen as victims and don’t get protection or help.
● Huge numbers of sexual offences against older teenagers in England and Wales in the last year went unreported and unpunished because victims were gripped by the fear of not being believed, being scared of the process or thought the offence wasn’t worth reporting.
●     More than three quarters of cases of reported sexual crimes against 16 and 17 year olds result in no police action against the perpetrator. Only a tiny proportion result in a successful prosecution.

Over the weekend, I watched Firebird, a play by Phil Davies  and directed by Edward Hall at the Hampstead theatre. I have never felt so emotional at any visual be it film, or theatre but this play made me want to make a change, it made me want to play an active role in the seriously awkward campaign which is why I am so proud to be an ambassador for the Children's society. This thought provoking play brings to light  just how much a change HAS to happen to protect our teenagers.

Until midnight on the 10th of November you can watch Firebird 

If you are as moved as I was you can make a change too by joining the campaign and donating

You can also join in the discussion by using the hashtags #SeriouslyAwkward #Firebird on twitter and facebook.

You can read my last post on the campaign here: Seriously awkward: Happy birthday sweet sixteen


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Winter Warmer: Caribbean pumpkin and chicken soup

Halloween with its witches and broomsticks have flown off to yesteryear leaving winter behind....

The nights are darker and the thicker blankets now have pride of place on the sofa and it is tradition that as the theme tune of the x factor cradles the living room, that as a family we sit, feet in warm slippers and a comforting bowl of my mummy's home-made caribbean soup on our laps.

This year, we have the added ingredient of home- grown pumpkin which is delicious and  welcomes the caribbean tradition of  Saturday soup  to chilly ol' blighty.

The caribbean soup is wholesome and packed with dumplings, potatoes, provisions and  meat with every chef adding their own secret spice or adding a staple of their choosing, every bowl will be different but I can guarantee it will be packed with flavour and leave you with a comforting feeling or just a food baby!

Nothing beats home grown produce

Bowls at the ready
Tasty in a pot

Bon apetit

What are your winter warming comforts?


Friday, 30 October 2015

Pan 2015: Film Review

                                                                          Pan trailer

It is not half term without a visit to the cinema with it's foyer of adults and children eager to watch the latest blockbuster whilst the sweet and salted aroma of popcorn tickles noses and tempts hands to reach into pockets to buy fizzy drinks and pick n mix.

On one of our last visits Lei and I saw the trailer for Pan  which had us hooked (ha!) and we both just turned to each other when it was finished and I knew that on its release I would be booking tickets for us to watch it.

The Movie: Pan

Initial release: October 9, 2015
Running time: 1h 51m
Music composed by: John Powell
Distributor: Warner Bros.

A young orphan called Peter has hopes of being reunited with his mother not once did he imagine he would be whisked away to Never Land where he would brush shoulders with fairies, pirates and chiefs who all believe he is the chosen one, a hero who has arrived to save them from Blackbeard.

The review-  

The musical theatre enthusiast in me went a bit giddy when they broke out in song, it was incredible especially as it was a Nirvana song and not one I would have associated with Peter Pan but then that was it, no more songs in the form of a chant,no dance number or a chance to shout Encore! It was strange and it's not like there wasn't any space for some more. For me, either have it all song and dance or nothing at all.

 Visually Pan is captivating, every scene came alive with colour and spellbinding special effects that make me kick myself that we weren't watching it in 3D. My only disappointment is that it would have been nice to have seen the fairies, small detail but I have a little girl who is enchanted by fairies and princesses and sat up just that little bit more when Peter declared a little flying light thingy was called Tinkerbell but that was it, as short an appearance as Cara Delevingne's mermaid.

Whenever I've watched Peter Pan I have never really wondered about his mother and although it was good to know where he comes from and how he got to have his abilities, I feel that plot in the story just got dragged out abit not leaving much room for when it started to get good, which was towards the end.

Levi Miller and Hugh Jackman were fantastic to watch and both played their roles believably well. I didn't even realise that  Rooney Mara was  supposed to be Tiger Lily until Hook shouted out her name, of course she doesn't represent a native indian or the Tiger Lily we grew up watching on the Disney version but she put up a good fight, literally, throughout the movie. Hook is kinda a good guy in this film and I wanted him to be bad! but it just didn't happen, I don't know what it is with making the Hook  character nice nowadays


I would recommend watching Pan as it's a good family movie, if you are seeing it in cinema, watch it in 3D as the production really is great.

  • 3.5/5

Have you seen Pan? Do you like fairytale remakes?

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