Thoughts on food: The importance of cooking with purpose

When I think about cooking, I immediately think of my mother. For those who know me, know that my mother is the essence of my very being. Her meals are charged with high frequencies that pull me out of the deepest funk. Today, I will journal about the typical Seychellois dish that brings the family together. Even when we are far apart, this dish never fails to bring us joy. 

When I think about my family and Seychelles, I think about the Fresh Grilled Red Snapper with Spicy Creole Sauce, Fresh Rice and Green Pawpaw Satini Papay. The colours glazed on the dining table, evoking a feeling of security, love, joy and compassion. As I enjoy eating the meal, I have to include that watching (because sometimes it’s better to let the professionals get on with it) or helping my mother cook her exceptional dishes is also a magical experience. She chops her ingredients as though they were just picked from the garden, washes the fish with care and infuses positive intentions as she folds the seasoning in the Satini. This is an alchemy that my elder brother also uses and never fails to impress and envelope the devourers who usually ask for a second serving. And you know the food is really delicious when we sit in silence or get stuck in with our (clean) fingers. This is one way we show love for one another and the community. There’s plenty to extend a bowl of nourishment for our extended family. 

For the sweet-toothed, the traditional Ladob is usually a favourite after a Sunday lunch. The plantain and sweet potato, coconut milk, sugar and nutmeg is the foundation that brings warmth and a smile on my face reminiscent of the holiday cheer that compels me to top up my plate until bedtime. However, it’s not the type of dishes that make or break meal times, it’s the person’s energy that fulfils the purpose they want to convey. I find that it’s imperative to churn and actively add positive intention within every meal I cook as I want nothing but the best for my family and guests. 

I dedicate Today’s post to my mother, my big brother and my Seychellois ancestors.

Until next time. xo

Thoughts on finance: J.P. Mooney’s guide to holiday gift-giving

It’s that time of the year…again and although it feels like it was only yesterday that we bid farewell to Christmas, with our body clock stuck in the limbo of lockdowns, that supposedly thrilling part of the year is leering around the corner. Today’s post is dedicated to the art of gifting. I love gifts, and I think everyone around me loves to receive gifts too. Even if you hate surprises, the idea that you could potentially receive something you really want or an item that could change your life for the better (and for free) is thrilling! Below are a few suggestions I have tried and loved that I think are worth a browse.

Anything and everything Rituals

When I recently discovered Rituals, I absolutely fell in love with their products. My home was fragranced like a spa, and my skin felt like I just walked out of a spa, whilst, Rituals products remained affordable. There’s a wide variety of gift ideas to choose from such as divine relaxing candles, bath and shower foams, hair and travel sets, makeup, perfumes and refills! If you’re stuck for choice, you can try a gift set from their exciting collections or The Rituals of Advent Calendar. This is perfect for distributing as stocking fillers or gifting to an exceptional loved one to indulge. 

Check out Not On The High Street

This site contains various original gift ideas suitable for anyone on your list. Not On The High Street is suitable for quirky presents catered for baby showers, birthdays, weddings, Christmas and so much more. I guarantee you’ll be able to find something suitable for even the most challenging recipient in your life.

The ever so trusted Amazon

Where would we be without Amazon prime? Last-minute gifts are no longer a thing because with amazon delivery you can pretty much order anything you want direct to the recipient’s address, gift-wrapped and without a price receipt for peace of mind. This means your recipient won’t need to know how much you actually spent on their gift. 

Find your unique treasure on Etsy

Etsy is a beautiful marketplace that caters to all your gifting needs. The magic of Etsy is that the majority of their products are handmade and original from local artists and boutiques around the globe. Etsy has a variety of sections to choose from, e.g. Jewellery and accessories, clothes and shoes, home and living, wedding and party, vintage and collectables etc. Whatever you decide to gift your loved ones, you are very likely to find a unique version of it on Etsy. Even if you are undecided, the site provides a seamless browsing experience as they consistently promote on a high standard. The only issue is that the products are so creative and beautiful, you may become obsessed!

Browse the trail of luxury on Net-A-Porter

NET-A-PORTER is a game changer when it comes to making luxury fashion accessible. If you love fashion and high-end designers, then this site is for you. The site sections are as follows:

What’s New– This shows you all the new pieces and trends that have just launched.

Designers- Here, you can search the collections by designers. This is easier if you have a favourite designer and know what you’re looking for.

Clothing, Shoes, Bags, Accessories and Jewelry and Beauty- The most popular section on the site.

Editorial and What To Wear– Let the articles and edits inspire you. Even if you opt to not make a purchase, they are still an enjoyable read.

Buy my books

It would not be a J.P. Mooney blog if I didn’t take an opportunity to promote my own work. If you’ve searched all over the internet for the perfect thoughtful present and still couldn’t find anything, then perhaps have a look at my books. I have a collection of contemporary poetry and an expanding catalogue of romantic thrillers that I am soon distributing wide for you to choose from. If you have book lovers in your life or you just want something pretty to gift your loved ones, have a browse here

Do you have the wealth yet, still stuck for ideas? Perhaps the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine may inspire you. Whatever you decide to do during the holidays, it’s also important to remember that while materialism is fun, there is no greater gift you can give someone than your time.

Best Wishes.

Thoughts on productivity: It’s time to get organised

The leaves are falling, the air drifts into stillness, and our desire to go outside begins to decline into a need to stay indoors in our favourite silks watching Netflix, sipping our beverages of choice. Autumn. The perfect season to slow down and gather ourselves. As we do so, we begin to feel the need to get our lives in order the best we can. Below are my typical list of things worth revisiting and up-keeping.

Wardrobe

This is the time to have some fun putting together some autumn/winter appropriate outfits. Find ways to liven up your wardrobe by adding new pieces or removing the cringe-worthy items you purchased out of boredom during lockdown amnesia. You can donate some of these items to the local charity shop, sell them on eBay, or swap them with your friend. If you’re someone who loathes ironing clothes, this is the time to ensure all of your key pieces are washed, dried, and ironed so that it’s ready for the festive season.

Finances

You must go through your bank statements, direct debits, and standing orders to reevaluate your income, savings, or any outgoings you anticipate during the winter months. This is not the time to bury your head under the sand, hoping that your financial affairs will fall in line. Emergencies are most likely to arise during the cold months, such as boiler breakdowns, car breakdowns, services, etc. It’s also important to factor in all of your festive activities and luxuries as early as possible. The more time you give yourself, the more money you will be able to save. Perhaps you’re anxious about the lack of income. Nonetheless, this is the time to think about creating a side hustle or perhaps research on affordable investments. The opportunities are endless once you summon the drive and discipline to flourish in the age of technology. Check out the Break Platform for some ideas.

Necessary Maintenance

As much as you need to be financially prepared to deal with the necessary maintenance, you also need to be prepared by anticipating what may need fixing during the cold months. Don’t leave your car servicing or fuel level until the last minute, because it won’t be a fun experience to be stranded on the motorway or on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. If you’re a homeowner, make sure your boiler is sufficient, and your house isn’t susceptible to flooding or anything that could make your autumn and winter a living nightmare. Prevention is better than a cure.

Health

This is an obvious point, but I think it’s worth reinforcing. Your health is the foundation of your quality of life. If you’re run down from overworking or from being a permanent sofa resident, you will be unable to enjoy the pleasures of this life. It goes without saying that in the current climate, your health is of utmost importance. As tempting as it is to slouch on the sofa, wrapped in your blanket with a tipple in one hand, and a thick slice of cheesy pizza in the other, it is also good to ensure you’re well-hydrated, your body is moving, and your diet is as clean possible. I’m not a doctor, so if something doesn’t feel quite right with your mind or body, then it’s a good idea to catch up with your GP.

Check on your loved ones

Perhaps you’re responsible for looking after a loved one or you live quite far, and you are unable to visit frequently. Whatever the situation, it is crucial that you schedule consistent means of communication to ensure that your family and friends are okay, be organised with their care, and promote a micro-community to help those in need.

The most important thing to remember here is that everything seems to take twice as long in the cold months; therefore, always be prepared for the unexpected. Ensure that you look after yourself and your loved ones and stay safe.