Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Last night we attended a spooktacular dinner party at a friends haunt. Our purple velvet draped witch and headless hosts with the mostest outdid themselves once again.  Thank you for a wonderfully wicked evening!

Island Art and Awareness Crusader

all Images by Lynn Robinson via facebook

Lynn Robinson is a very active member of the Turks and Caicos Islands community.  She is a employed as a divemaster for Big Blue, but her photographs tell of her talent behind the lens as well as her love for island life both above and below the sea.  Lynn is classic "do-gooder"; a frequent puppy fosterer, an environmentalist, a charity and good cause advocate, and a tireless educator of noteworthy causes.  This week was no exception.  After her sister's successful battle with breast cancer, and now her mother's best friends current struggle, she decided to shave her head to fund raise for TCI's National Cancer Society.  Last Wednesday evening she lost her locks in front of a large crowd at Somewhere.  Check out a few of her amazing photographs as well as before and after photos of the brave new baldie.  Though today may mark the end of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month should be remembered all year long.

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Amazing Grace

Here are a few more images from Amazing Grace that Andy posted on the Tropical Imaging blog.  Styling a home with such an abundance of white and this much natural light is a dream.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Town and Country Weddings

In July I received a phone call from Stephanie Wu at Town and Country Weddings asking permission to feature one of our wedding photos in an article for the fall issue.   We are so lucky to have our little soiree appearing in such a beautiful magazine.  Look at this incredible bamboo canopy covered tablescape, fab idea for a Turks and Caicos wedding!

When I think of Town and Country publications, "classic" and "elegant" descriptors immediately come to mind.  Who knew that my idea for a "football run" would end up on these pages!  Great job to brilliant for making the moment into a great photo.

Images (clockwise from top left) Karen Wise, John and Joseph Photography, our brilliant image!, Suzy Clement, John and Joseph, and Suzy Clement

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amazing Grace Photo Shoot

    I was pleased as pie when I was asked in September to style for a shoot at the gorgeous Amazing Grace.  I had met the lovely owners many years ago and had fallen in love with the house when I scouted the property for Turks and Caicos Productions.  It had been over a year since I had last visited so it was a great pleasure to spend some time on site.  The architecture references traditional Caribbean style, which I'm known to fancy. I adore that many of the details; the louvered shutters, the door and window hardware, the powder room nestled between beach and pool, and all the infinite repetition of whitewashed wood, reflect that great tradition.  To see more photos or inquire about booking, visit Turks Villas

All images by Tropical Imaging

Ocean Club Photo Shoot

  It's been a summer full of photo styling for Tropical Imaging.  One of our first projects was a photo and video shoot for Ocean Club.  Many of the images on their website and posted on trip advisor were outdated and did not reflect both their original, and west locations, remodeling efforts.  It was time for out with the old . . .

before image from their website

and in with the new . . . . 

Much improved wouldn't you say!  As you can see it was an extensive shoot that covered both properties inside and out.  Spending as much time as I did there, I was very impressed with the staff, especially Ron and managing director Tom Lewis.  The team went out of their way to assist us in our needs, even treating us to some fantastic meals at the Seaside Cafe and Cabana Bar and Grille.  This is someplace I would highly recommend for travelers. Check out their Do Nothing List posted under activities.  Check out the video here

Monday, October 25, 2010

Indian Kitchen

  We managed to have a proper Saturday this weekend, a nearly work free Saturday, which is rare in our household.  We took the dog to Leeward beach and enjoyed a bright, glassy turquoise ocean for a snorkel and swim.  I took a few travel books to help us plan our next trip over lunch.  We decided to stop at a little place we pass often that had a new sign hanging over the front entrance.  Indian Kitchen has only been open two weeks and I highly suggest everyone give it a try before it gets crowded.  Two Corona's and two delicious vegetarian roti's set us back only $28.  The open air cafe sits just beside Alverna's Market, perfect for tourists to take a browse at the local craft, seashell, and Haitian art selections.  For those of us that live here, it's one of those places that remind us we live in the Caribbean; simple white painted wood structure with splashes of color here and there, lattice and shutters to catch the breeze, and a small grassy courtyard area nestled between the market shops.  We asked the friendly owner if we could move our table and chairs under the shade of a coconut tree and she eagerly obliged us.  A nearby native lantana and a red hibiscus were visited by a hummingbird while we polished every last morsel off our plates.

All images by pepperkeystacie

Friday, October 22, 2010

Human Rights Day

  Human Rights Day is celebrated in October here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  With the suspension of the constitution among many other issues, the topic of human rights is surfacing often.  Whatever your views may be, please remember to get out there this weekend and support human issues!  Tomorrow evening there is the Turks and Caicos Aids Awareness Foundation Oldies Night

And for the athletically inclined there is also the chrysalis fitness 2nd annual fun run, where all proceeds will go to the The-Salvation-Army-Turks-and-Caicos-Islands

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend wedding posted of Brilliant's Blog

 Proof that the pro's make all the difference  If you are in the midst of debating your photography budget, check out my point and shoot images below in comparison to the perfection above.  As Teresa from tropicaldmc always reminds couples, food is savored at the moment but soon forgotten.  Your photos will be treasured forever.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Maria and Roland

All images by pepperkeystacie

Roland and Maria are a vibrant, fun loving couple and their nuptials reflected that in every way.  Each member of the wedding party met massive applause upon entering the aisle from the primarily Californian crowd.  The flower man and the ring man in their adorable white shorts and bow ties especially got lots of noise. Maria chose their fashionable attire (her groom apparently said no way to the outfit).  Roland is a graphic designer and hence the amazing seating chart and awesome name tags with personalised buttons on the macaroon boxed favors.  These two had loads of personality, not just anyone could pull off a plum and crimson wedding!  Congrats!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


All images by pepperkeystacie
Planning by Teresa Brunner of TropicalDMC
Flowers by Environmental Arts

It may have been the most popular wedding date for the year, but this Tropical DMC wedding at the gansevoort had to be the prettiest on Providenciales.  Sarah and David exchanged vows on the beach, had their cocktail hour poolside with live island music, then hosted their reception in a tent that left the gorgeous Turks and Caicos starry sky visible. 

The First Landing of Christopher Columbus

Image from wikipedia

  There has been much debate over which island Columbus first landed in the Bahamian archipelago.   Although the strongest support is in favor of Samana Cay, Plana Cay, or San Salvador Island, there are those that believe it may have been on Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  As a child I remember learning about the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria, and the man who "discovered" the America's.  When your in the first grade they don't bother mentioning that as a result of his expeditions he wiped out the entire native population of Taino "indians" with European diseases, spread syphilis across Europe, and was arrested for the documented fact that he "regularly used barbaric acts of torture to govern Hispaniola."  To this day he is revered as the explorer who brought awareness of the America's to Europe, nevermind that he believed until the day he died that he had discovered India.

Click here to watch a recent WIV4 news broadcast about the debate on the first landing location.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cultivating Healthy Minds, Building Strong Bodies

All images by pepperkeystacie
From the Enews :
Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture
The Department of Education has designated the month of October as ‘Health and Family Life’ month guided by the theme“Cultivating Healthy Minds, Building Strong Bodies.”

We invite all educators, parents, students, stakeholders and the wider community to partner with us as we seek to raise the awareness of the people of our citizenry to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to good mental health and our general well being.

-One mile walk daily

-No fried foods during the month of October

-Health Check-ups (Hypertension/ Diabetes)

-Reading a book not related to your field.

  What will you accomplish for the month of October?  Start an exercise regime, or upgrade your current one? Eliminate a certain weakness from your diet?  Read a book?  Study an interest?  Finally stick a schedule to that which you have been procrastinating (French Rosetta Stone in my case)?  Good luck with your goals!

“Through the power of self-education you can be anything you want to be or do anything you want to do. Self-education power does not require money, fixed time or fixed life style. Options are extremely flexible. Rewards are unlimited. You can control your destiny.”  ~ Bob Webb

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Climate Change Meeting

Image from here

The Turks and Caicos Islands solidified a Climate Change Committee earlier this summer with a goal to publish a Green Paper in the coming months.   As a member of the TCI Environmental Club, I had invitation to attend a meeting with some of the members of this committee on climate change on September 29th held at the Gansevoort.  The meeting was opened with remarks from DECR director Wesley Clerveaux highlighting that small, low lying coastal nations such as the TCI are regarded as the most vulnerable to global climate change and accompanying sea level rises.  He went on to explain that though we may not be the cause of much of the climate change occurring by large industrialized nations, we must be the most resilient, with firm policies in place to cope with these changes.  Jewel Batchasingh, deputy director of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) followed with a presentation outlining the areas of the TCI that may be affected by climate change; rising temperatures, sea temperatures, and sea levels.  So first we begin with the bad news . . . . Fisheries were the first area noted with powerful data showing that a one degree Celcius rise had lead to dramatic drops in fish populations in similar regions in 2007-2008.  This temperature rise caused a migration of stocks and a habitat change, an accompanying map clearly showing dolphin fish and parrot fish migrations out of the areas experiencing the temperature rise.  Tourism would be affected most notably by a higher frequency and intensity of major storms and hurricanes leading to more coral bleaching, reduction in vegetated areas, damages and overall decrease in marketability.  Then came the area of settlements and infrastructure whose effects, mostly from increasing hurricane and major storms, would see rising insurance costs, reconstructions and refitting expenses, as well as decrease in water quality and water availability.  Human health would be jeopardised by heat stress, less potable water, rising cost of health care, and a potential increase in vector borne disease.  Affects on coral reefs were discussed in length, with data showing TCI as borderline in the 1998 and 2005 bleaching events.  The Seychelles Islands saw a 95% death of their coral reefs and two years after the devastation virtually no recovery.  Marlon Hibbert, scientific officer of the DECR, explained that we have been at the threshold of coral bleaching but due to unprecedented temperature rises we are beginning to experience it here.  Fortunately we have had greater resistance than most countries in the Caribbean thanks to the buffer of the Atlantic Ocean, but it's moderation is waning.   Coral mortality (physical damage due to storms), and ocean acidification among other factors are leading to slower coral growth.  Coral bleaching may lead to an increase in invasive species and a massive reduction in diving and snorkeling availability (hence decrease in marketability, decrease in tourism).  Hand in hand with all of the above, the biodiversity of the islands would shrink and we would see a loss of species, native vegetation reduction, erosion of mangroves, loss of medicinal species, and many uncharted changes in both land and ocean species diversity.  The final area of impact discussed was agriculture where mentioned increase in fire, draught, pests, salinization, and inundation would most assuredly lead to compromised food security. 
  The goal of the meeting was to get feedback on ways to constructively cope and combat all of the above mentioned.  One large step theTurks and Caicos Islands are taking is securing an Environmental Management Bill and an Endangered Species and Wildlife Protection Bill.  These bills are being drafted as we speak and the DECR would like to hear your opinions, views, and ideas.  What are your thoughts on suggestions such as:
Enforcement of sustainable fishing practices and laws, review of marine protection areas, exploration of aquaculture, encouragement of green practices within the hotel and tourism sectors, review and enforcement of building codes and setback limits, distribution and communication of guidelines for residents and visitors, adoption of green key or green globe certifications, review and enforcement of EIA's that would be mandatory for commercial construction, revision of existing EIA restrictions with current data and findings, conduction of scientific research on more resiliant species of corals, creation of "NO GO" protected areas, increased management of pollution and waste, creation of penalties for pollution and littering, revision of irrigation and drainage design criteria, introduction of tarifs, promotion of locally grown crops, improvement of water collection and storage, adoption of drip only irrigation practices, implementation of beach nourishment projects, adoption and distribution of a construction development manual, stabilisation of shorelines,  . . . . may this list grow with your advice and suggestions. 
  The good news is there are several small nations that are making great strides which we can learn from.  In Fiji a popular resort established a private coral conservancy area.  Their efforts not only protected the area from further damage but raised funds to rejuvenate the existing degradation.  To read more about community based conservation in Fiji click here. In the Caribbean we import 85% of our food yet three neighboring countries, Guyana, Belize, and Dominica, could produce the food supply  for our entire region.  In Anguilla, Cuisinart Resort and Spa have created the regions only pesticide free hydroponic farm, in operation since the hotel opened in 1999 and a perfect thriving example of how ecofriendly practices have created a unique experience for their guests and given them a competitive edge in their market.  The other good news is that new technology is hitting the market daily.  For example Ecotech's roofing material that minimizes a 30,000 pound roof to 3,500 pounds, reducing production and energy costs, shipping and transportation costs, and above and beyond that is 100% recyclable with 0% waste.  There are solutions out there.  We are a small community and do have the power to make changes for the betterment of this country.  Please make your voice heard.