Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beach Tree Wedding Arch

Image via brilliant

On February 2nd TC Millwork was contracted to set this beautiful beach tree arch for Sandra and Jon's wedding.  This is a stylish and affordable option for couples that desire an organic, beachy look, more unique than your typical beach ceremony set-up.  It can be set as a two post, or a four post, and decorated with small conch shells (as shown here), flowers, vines, ribbon, lanterns, or whatever you wish!  This is a picture perfect place to use your imagination!  Please contact me for pricing.  To see more of Sandra and Jons gorgeous day, please see brilliant's blog.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I  am joyously overwhelmed to report that the TCI will not be implementing a Value Added Tax here in the Turks and Caicos Islands come April 1, 2013.  Please read the full article, no-vat-for-turks-and-caicos-islands, in this mornings SUN.  Much gratitude to the Turks and Caicos Independent Business Council, to Rufus Ewing and entire PNP party, to the Opposition leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson and the PDM party, and to everyone in this community who joined together to oppose this undemocratic tax that would have crippled our country.  I can not express our relief on behalf of TC Millwork.  As a local manufacturer; a company that imports raw materials to handcraft and manufacture custom products right here on our local shores, the VAT tax would have been a death sentence for our business which we have worked so hard to build since 2006. 

Image via

Also headline news announced today, Planning has categorically denied permission to Dolphin Cove!  We have so much to be thankful for this fine Tuesday morning!  I urge everyone to put all their joy, all their relief, all their positive thoughts back into building this community and this Beautiful by Nature country for a brighter future! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

TC Millwork featured in Coastal Living

While rummaging through some magazine stacks I came across this January-February 2009 issue of Coastal Living.  This original Blue Mountain Villa featured just so happened to be a client of TC Millworks.

Several custom pieces were built including a beautiful table made of rare zebrawood, and the entertainment center pictured below with woven fiber inserts within the paneling.

I'm terribly late with sharing this spread but better late than never!

Field Guide Friday - Golden and Yellow Poinciana

 Above and below image of the Golden Poinciana via B. Naqqi Manco

Many of us living in Turks and Caicos would recognize the Flamboyant or Royal Poinciana, Delonix Regia.  Locally known as the Flame Tree for good reason; with it's fiery crimson colored masses of flowers in full bloom, this stop in your tracks striking tree is highly conspicuous.  But it's yellow flowering sisters, the Golden Poinciana, Delonix Regia var. Golden, and Yellow Poinciana, Delonix Regia var. Flavida are far more rare.

Delonix Regia originated in Madagascar's dry deciduous forests but it's great beauty soon had it spreading to any tropical or subtropical region that could sustain it.  In the Caribbean one should begin to see blooms in May, lasting through to September.  The rest of the year the tree is a far cry from it's former glory, looking rather gaunt but easily recognizable with it's grey smooth branches forming a natural umbrella canopy, feathery fern or mimosa looking leaves, and relatively large, long dark seedpods.

I caught sight of a Yellow Poinciana while doing a site visit at a clients in 2010, the first and last I have ever seen locally.   Above you can see a comparison between the Royal on the right to the Yellow on the left.  Incredible how overpowering the blooms are on the Royal, and how sparse they are on the Yellow, despite the two trees being approximately the same height and likely planted at the same time and maintained in the same fashion.

So what's your favorite?

13th Annual Valentine's Day Cup

Image via brilliant

We missed attending this years 13th annual Valentine's Day Cup in Middle Caicos but luckily Brilliant didn't!  Anita and Chanelle captured all the fun and festivity with flying colors, please see their blog posts Part I and Part  II for a picture perfect recap.  To see more of North and Middle Caicos and the Cup festivities, check out last years post here.  To view the race results click here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Guest post on My Sea Story

I am guest posting on My Sea Story today so please head on over there to read a little about what I love about Turks and Caicos.  Joana's blog is lovely, if you have yet to be introduced, here is a little splash.  Joana (isn't she adorable!) writes a wealth of information on travel, for example this charming post on Valladolid, Mexico.

 Of all these amazing places she has visited, she has clearly fallen head over heals for Turks and Caicos; the food, the beaches, the diving, the ins and outs of island life.   I am so not a foodie and often visit her blog for great restaurant tips like a few new food spots in provo, and

So go get your feet wet over at myseastory, you are sure to find something you fancy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Field Guide Friday - Passionflower Vine

 Image above via passionflow, all images below via B Naqqi Manco

I had planned a few weeks ago, in honor of yesterday, that the Field Guide Friday post for today would be the Passionflower Vine, a member of the Passiflora family.   I thought surely the name must come from it's exotic shape, accompanied by some dashing romantic narrative.  Would you have guessed that in actuality it is handed down from Christianity?
"Early explorers and missionaries to this hemisphere, specifically to South America, named these dramatic vines Passiflora or passion flower to help in their conversion of native Americans to Christianity. They saw and used the beautiful intricate flower parts to tell the story of the death of Jesus, making the story more memorable to listeners. The legend they told is that the passion flower's ten petals and sepals represent the ten apostles present at the crucifixion. The filaments portrayed the crown of thorns, or the halo about Jesus' head. The stamens, of which there are five, suggest the five wounds to Christ's hands, feet and torso. Other parts of the flower and leaves are also used to represent aspects of Christ's passion."
 Quotation from virtualherbarium

This ruby colored lovely is the Passiflora cuprea, or red passionflower vine. Many species of passionflowers are often known to need a large bee (perhaps our big black carpenter bee here in the TCI), hummingbird, bat, or wasp to effectively pollinate due to their unique structure. These vines can reach 30-40 feet in length, making them useful for colorful arbor climbers and dappled shade makers.  They appear to be undemanding, liking well drained soil with sun to partial shade, and as they bloom nearly all year producing a pleasant fragrance, a gardener would receive an abundant return for their care.

The below beauty is the White passionflower vine, Passiflora pectinata, the most common of passion vines in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  They are an unforgettable flower, only fitting that they have such a significant namesake!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's, hearts and all

 Images via desdemventana

I must admit, I have an aversion to heart shapes, and to red (that flower above bothers me and I am resisting cropping it out as I think the photo would be highly improved without it).  So as one may see from yesterday's post I am trying to challenge my inner heart scrooge.  I do find it interesting that the symbol, generally though of as the human center of emotional, moral, and spiritual being, comes to us from ancient times with varying opinion on what it references.  Some believe the human heart (although it only resembles it when from this angle), others the medicinal seed of the now extinct silphium plant, and yet others a direct reference to certain female anatomy.  The last theory "intertwined with the true-to-life idea that the heart emerged as a symbol for love in the now lava-covered city of Pompeii. It holds for true that brothels conveyed their business via heart-shaped symbols depicting female breasts and sexual organ. This symbol reached high popularity as a motif for tattoos during late antiquity and spread quickly with the heavy seafaring of the time. Since few wanted to declare the true meaning of the tattoo it was usually explained as a symbol of love."
Quote via wikipedia.

One place I could certainly handle seeing the shape repeatedly would be at the Prieure Notre Dame d' Orsan, an early 12th century monastery in Central France.  Wander on over to the website where you may take a virtual gaze at the gardens, enjoy a leisurely lunch of fresh ingredients from the orchards, organic gardens, and neighboring wine and cheese makers, followed by a restful sleep at the architectural beauty of a hotel, free of televisions and telephones.  Talk about a February 14th dream date!  What might you be doing for your dear?  I best get busy making banana pancakes for my love!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Something for your Sweetheart?

 Image via pinterest

Have you planned something for your sweetheart?  If not, there's still time!  Here's a fun list of 10 valentines day ideas that arent cheesy

Image via  creaturecomforts

Here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, we don't have all ten of those options so we may need to get a little more crafty!  Here are some local promotions that might catch you or your love's fancy:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fieldguide Friday - Wild Sea Island Cotton

I am ashamed to admit just how long it has been since I have featured a Field Guide Friday post.  That is all going to change now that I have a file folder full of local species identified (thank you Naqqi)!  First up, locally known as Wild Cotton or Sea Island Cotton, Gossypium hirsutum.  The photos above were taken in January of 2012 on the way to Southwest Bluff, an area where there were a great concentration, but if you are driving around Providenciales this time of year you are likely to see these fluffy white poofs by the side of the road in many areas.  Contrary to popular belief, it was not the British Loyalists who introduced this species to the Turks and Caicos.  It came long before, but by whom?  For a couple of hints, reference the wikipedia link above; "native to Central America" and "cultivated for over 5,000 years."  A people who were weaving the cotton, not into clothing, but very cleverly into sleeping hammocks and mosquito netting. Have you figured it out?  Whether your certain or stumped, you must read this fascinating article to discover this and so much more: Back In Time Sea Island Cotton.

 Image above and images below via the brilliant botanist, B Naqqi Manco, who captured this thriving wild cotton in Lorimers, Middle Caicos in 2012.  Remarkable the white and pink colored blossoms stemming from the same plant!  This lovely looker seems to be spared entirely from the Cotton Seed Bug, Oxycarenus hyalinipennis.  Referencing this CAPS Survey Report; "In the
Western Hemisphere, it was first documented in the North Caicos Islands in 1991 (Slater
and Baranowski 1994); and by 2005, it had been observed throughout the Turks and
Caicos, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Hispaniola (Baranowski and Slater 2005)." 

The cotton industry in the Turks and Caicos was sadly quite short lived due to the invention of the Cotton Gin, the quality of the soil, and another unfortunate pest, the Boll Weevil.  I have often thought about creative uses for the cotton we still have growing on this island, someday I will hopefully have the opportunity to style with the fluffy stuff like this rustic-wedding-decor-creative-with-cotton!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Night Island Fish Fry

Image by Brilliant via turksandcaicostourism

Thursday nights from 5:30-9:30pm enjoy a little local food, fun, and entertainment!  The Bight Park located on Lower Bight Road will be hosting this weekly event sponsored by LIME, the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, and the Cultural Department.  Please check out a fabulous review and photos from the opening night here and see enews for the participating restaurants and more details.

 It's a family affair so bring everyone to enjoy this exciting new tradition at this fantastic public park!

Monday, February 4, 2013

8 Rainy Day Remedies

Today's weather, literally out the window

Days like today when the skies are stormy, the temperature is chilled, and the rainclouds just won't wander away, are a rare occurrence here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  But what does one do when paradise looks pale?  Here are a few suggestions you hopefully won't have the time to tackle entirely before the sun resumes shining:

 Image via pinterest

1. Sleep in!  Without bright rays flooding your windows your more likely to catch some extra zzzzz's.  If your like me and your body just can't comprehend that command, try reading a while.  Could be a great time to get to that book you brought or informed by local magazines about the people, the places, or just about anything your inquiring mind may want to know about the islands.  Not inspired by any literature at your hotel or villa?  Stop by the Unicorn Bookstore for something you fancy.

Image via pinterest

2.  Go for a leisurely breakfast, brunch, or lunch.  There is awesome eating to be had everywhere on this island but finding great food under cover can be a bit more challenging.  Bay Bistro, Fairways, and Pelican Bay are local favorites for breakfast where you can still enjoy the view even through a damp day.  For lunch try the exotic; Yoshis for sensational sushi or Garam Masala for out of this world Indian cuisine (conveniently located in the Regent Village near plenty of shopping), or Lemon Cafe for mouthwatering Mediterranean.  Each of these restaurants serves up cozy indoor ambiance as well as amazing food.

Anani Spa image via Vanity Fair

3. Spend some time at the spa.  You don't need sunshine to induce some serious rest and relaxation.  Treat yourself at the Anani Spa at the Grace Bay Club, Exhale Spa at the Gansevoort, or if you prefer to stay exactly where you are call Spa Tropique and they will send someone to you!

Image via pinterest

4.  If active is more your vacation style, lace up your sneakers and make your way to the Graceway Sports Centre where you can play some hoops, lift weights, or try spinning or a Tae-Bo class.  The Athletic Club at the Saltmills Plaza offers a wide range of activities to elevate your heart rate; Zumba, Core, Step, Bootcamp, Body Sculpt, and Yoga by local legend David Bowen.  Studio 90 degrees motto "retrain, restore, refine" offers pilates private or group sessions.

Image via pinterest

5. Pamper a potcake!  Potcake Place is the place to go for a quick cuddle with an adorable potcake pup.  Learn about these incredible dogs and find out why they have over 4,000 fans, including Lenny Kravitz!

Image via collegecandy

6. Catch a movie at the Digicel Cinema.  Check out enews for the current features and time schedules.

Seven Restaurant image via oyster

7. Wine and Dine!  Great places for dinner and/or drinks that won't leave you drenched; Parallel 23 at the Regent Palms, Seven at the Seven Stars, Opus, Coyaba, Bella Luna, Vino Tiempo Wine Bar, or any of the lunch recommendations above. 

8. Late Night Party Places; Danny Buoys Irish Pub, Jimmys Dive Bar, or Casablanca

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Calling all Chocolate Lovers!

Image via wherewhenhow

Tonight at the Regent Palms Resort the 3rd-annual-chocolate-lovers-showcase will be in full effect from 8-10pm.  Tickets are $50 each and if that weren't reason enough, all proceeds benefit the The Salvation Army hot lunch program.  Come enjoy the sweet and savory showcase selections by the fine restaurants listed below, wine in hand and under the stars.  Just imagine how additionally gorgeous this courtyard will look decked out with chocolate temptations in every direction!