Monday, 9 March 2015

We're Moving!!!

It has been forever since I posted I know! But I promise I have not abandoned you!
I have been working on a new website and brand name! I am so excited to announce that VanzBlogz is moving!!!

What you have formally known as "VanzBlogz" well now be Pieces of V!! I have a beautiful new website and "Vlog" coming very soon for you all to enjoy.

So please be patient with me I have many fun things in store, see you soon on Pieces of V.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Bahamas at Miss Universe

Miss Colombia Vega is crowned by last year's Miss Universe Venezuela's Gabriela Isler at the 63rd Annual Miss Universe Pageant in Miami

If you watched the 63rd Annual Miss Universe Pageant then you may still have a confused look on your face or a migraine like myself. While Miss Universe was full of questionable results this blog is mostly to focus on why our Bahamian Beauties continue to fall short.


Before you read on please know that I support and wish the best for EVERY young lady that travels and represents the Bahamas internationally not only at Miss Universe but in every international pageant. This blog is in no way intended to discredit the Miss Bahamas Organization or its members who are all very knowledgeable in what they do. These are simply my thoughts on what I see happening over and over again. Please leave the drama at the door or click the (x) at the top right hand corner of your screen.

Now that we've gotten that out the way ......

I will break this down into 3 parts.

1. Public Appearances after crowning
2. Training
3. Bahamas at Miss Universe

It seems as though every year the Bahamas falls short of the top 15 placement, and being the pageant enthusiast that I am and having watched and followed every Miss Universe pageant probably from birth, I scratch my head every time and wonder what in the world has to happen for us to make the top 15. Whether it be a "curse" as I have often heard it referred to, our "weak sash"  or just the fact that we are never truly prepared; I have come up with some possible suspects as to why we can't seem to cross over this line of complete waste of time.

Public Appearances after Crowning
After all of the excitement of our newest representative for the Miss Universe crown is all said and done she literally disappears. She does a few ribbon cuttings and goes to a ball or two and we see her no more.

The minute our queen is crowned is when her quest to capture the Miss Universe crown begins. When the photos of our new queen is out, she is automatically sized up and its decided if she has a chance or not. In my opinion once a queen is crowned her whole social media life should be transformed. What can I say this is serious business!!

If you search through some of the Miss Universe delegates social media pages you will see numerous photos of charity work engagements, hospital visits, college speeches and fundraisers. All of these things draw attention to the delegate even before we know who the other 87 contestants are.

Training I believe is our number one downfall. Unfortunately most the young ladies although FIERCE have had beginners luck and Miss Bahamas is the first pageant they have entered. This alone takes us 20 steps back when vying for the Miss Universe crown. While many of the young ladies we recruit are models which is the look Miss Universe goes for, we have to remember that most of the power countries the always place in Miss Universe train for this pageant for years! Fine I will accept that pageantry isn't really our thing as a country and we don't have many young women seriously training for pageants from birth (darn). BUT we shoot ourselves in the foot when we host our national pageant 4 months before its time to leave for Miss Universe. How do we take a young lady who has been in one pageant to Miss Universe the super bowl of pageants after 4 months?!?!?!? Its insane to me. I think our National pageant should be in February or March giving at least 10 months for our Queen to do extensive training.

Bahamas at Miss Universe
Lets face it, we have to work 10 times as hard as everyone else because we have yet to prove ourselves on the Miss Universe circuit. After we have the first two steps together we now have to bring it!! First things first....

Hair and Make-up
Its sad to say but Tommi looked her best at the airport leaving for Miami. From head to toe she was impeccable. I just wish this was kept up during her entire MU experience. Tommi's hair and make-up for both professional photos and appearances left much to be desired. Now I will be fair, MU team does hair and make-up for professional photos but can it be that you are not allowed to ask for certain things to be changed or fixed? I mean at the end of the day its you that's vying for the crown, do you simply just go with it? I don't know the particulars but I can't imagine that the MU hair and makeup team are allowed to do whatever they want.

This should be on point from she walks off of the Miss Bahamas stage. I really am longing to see our queen flaunting our talented Bahamian designers. She should be wearing Theodore Elyett Designs, Designs from House of Raphelita by David Rolle, Phylicia Ellis of PE Designs and so much more. Our queen surely can have a wardrobe to last her four weeks at Miss Universe.

Swimsuit - No arguments here her body is amazing!! She just lacked stage presence. I feel there was not much personality when she walked on stage. This goes back to training. I also wish she lost the belly chain.

Bahamas 2014

Evening Gown - This was just a big disappointment. Tommi has such a awesome body and she was put in a dress that not only did not accentuate her figure but was too big and looked like a 90s bridal dress. This gave me an instant headache and you could tell that she was not confident and comfortable in it by watching her performance.

Bahamas 2014

Costume - Unfortunately her costume looked more like she was from Trinidad or Jamaica than the Bahamas. Even other caribbean countries did not go with their traditional carnival costumes for the costume competition. What are we doing? I would have even been ok if maybe the colors were reflective of our country. I still dont understand why a country with something as unique as Junkanoo never truly showcases it. The costume competition carries no points toward winning the crown however these are things that bring attention to you and get people talking! (This is what you want)

Bahamas 2014

Tommi is beautiful and stunned in most of her photos. We just need to work on the pre arrival details and I think we would be in better shape. OOORRRR we just need to send a girl with the look the Donald Trump is looking for. We all know there is some type of politics behind this pageant.

All in all I say congratulations Tommi on a job well done you did well with the tools that were given to you.

Don't get me wrong I do not think MBO has failed ... I think they should try something new. Maybe outsourcing everything isn't the answer. There are many capable stylists, designers, and pageant coaches right here at home who I am certain can have our girls ready for the "Superbowl".

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!

                  Bahamas 2014Bahamas 2014                                                                            Bahamas 2014 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Foodie Friday: Win the Ultimate Date Night!

This week for foodie Friday we are introducing you to a competition that one of our Foodie Friday contributors Chef Simeon Hall has 'Cooked up". The Ultimate date night as he is calling it is sure to bring romance back into your relationship! Not only to you win a superb private dinner for two, but they are getting you styled to perfection by "Kedar In Style" and ladies... your makeup will be flawless when "Ooh La Lepeche" is done with you.
Food, Fashion and the one you love? SIGN ME UP!
 I caught up with Chef Simeon and found out more about the competition.
What influenced you to host the "The Ultimate Date Night" competition?
Chef Hall:
Truthfully I look at so many busy young and older couples and I feel sorry for the working class family. We concentrate more on building our careers and taking care of our children and sometimes forget to strengthen our relationships. But it warms my heart every time I see a couple nestled in the small of a restaurant locked in a gazey eye stare. That is why I want to do this event and maybe I will be fortunate enough to have them name their child after me! LOL  
Where will the date be held?
Chef Hall:
It will most likely be held at the residence of the winners, However we are looking for a hosting venue that will blow the contestants socks off! 
What can the lucky couple anticipate for dinner?
Chef Hall:
That I can not say. What I can say is I will personally interview the couple and find out their likes and dislikes and tailor the menu to their liking. I will how ever be treating them to a few surprise courses.
Will you do this again, or is this just a one time thing?
Chef Hall:
In this format no. This is it. But we are already cooking up something else, pun intended! I do want to invite people to a celebrity chef event that I am cooking in on November 17th at the Flying fish in Freeport and to the 13th Annual Jerk Festival where I am participating in the Celebrity chef cook off and doing a chefs demo- On Sunday November 8th. Bahamasair is actually a partner in this event and is giving discounted fairs and hotel discount from a hotel partner as well! 
Can people book you to cook for their own special events?
Chef Hall:
Certainly. I do have some limits and guidelines but they certainly can. As long as it is for an experience and not just feeding crowds of people then I am definitely interested. 

My husband and I will definitely be entering this competition! We will post our video to this blog later on today! Information on how to enter is listed below.



Thursday, 16 October 2014

Making it to minus 50: "The Struggle"

Todays struggle is staying focused on eating healthy. Trust me I am all about eating healthy and clean but when you see that moist piece of cake in the window of your favorite bakery that all goes out the window and you just want to indulge. 

I love food and its difficult for me to just cut carbs or not eat that french fry in front of me. What do you mean a pumpkin spice latte is over 300 calories?! Unfortunately our favorite foods are the ones that have the calories you should consume for the entire day in them.

This sacrificing my favorite foods never sits well with me and a rabbit diet is never fun.... Right?

So how in the world do you stay motivated in a world filled with delicious Starbucks coffee and extra cheesy pizza?

The answer is simple!

Remember what you are doing this for in the first place. Think on what your goals are and when you want to reach them. My husband/ personal trainer always tells me there is no such thing as a "Cheat Day". Diets will never work you have to change your lifestyle.

When I am giving in I always think to the future and dwell on what I want for myself ... then I pick up a piece of watermelon to satisfy my sweet tooth!

Staying motivated can be really tough, especially when you get up on the scale and see no changes or not the progress you had hoped to have. Be strong!! If all else fails look at a swimsuit photo of Beyoncé or a Victoria Secret model. That should get you motivated.

As I struggle through another week I would love to know where you are with your fitness journey and how you are staying motivated! Leave your comments below!

If you are needing a push to get started contact Keith Hinsey at Physique Total Fitness he offers private sessions, group training, and boot camps. He is a NASM Certified Personal trainer, TRX certified, and a weight loss specialist!

You can email for more info and pricing!


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Traveling with Baby

I recently traveled as a mother for the first time a few weeks back and while I am super late with this post I figure better late than never.

So we traveled to Orlando with our sweet 8 month old baby boy this August and I will a admit going in I was terrified!

The idea of leaving something for the baby and being stuck on a plane (even if just for an hour) with no way to get what I needed made me check my baby's bag 9 times.

When traveling I am all about less is more. Less hassle, less money, less bags. I like to check in to my flight drop my bags off and go the rest of the way with just my purse. I dispise unnecessary costs and extra baggage. I learned very quickly that this is no longer possible being a mom. However I have learned a few tricks to staying as light as possible and making your travel experience with your baby enjoyable and more affordable.

1. Your purse is now your baby bag
I traveled with my baby bag and my purse and this was quite the hassle. Lugging my huge purse (I decided to bring my largest one) and my baby bag just became annoying. Take my advice if you can; put all of your purse goodies in the same bag as your babies goodies.

2. Get your travel in while your baby is free!
You only pay taxes for infants up to two years old. Take advantage while you can!

3. Take your own car seat
Taking your own car seat is one way you will avoid exorbitant fees for car seat rental at the car rental companies. Car rentals charge anywhere from $40-$100 A DAY to rent a car seat. (Bonus tip: cover your car seat with a plastic cover or garbage bag before checking it in ours came back filthy. Most airlines will check your car seat in for free!)

4. Travel around nap time
We traveled early in the morning. Kaiden normally wakes up around 5 - 5:30am and falls back to sleep around 8am perfect timing he slept through the entire flight from take off to landing.

5. Take your formula for the entire trip with you
We spent literally twice as much on formula than we do at home ... Who wudda thunk?!

6. Be patient
Just relax ... You are on vacation and your baby is just as excited as you are. It can become trying when you just want to sit down but baby doesnt .

7. Take crib sheets with you
Hotels may provide you with a sheet for the crib that you request ours didn't so we bought our own. (Check with your hotel prior to arrival to make sure cots are free of charge. If it isn't I would suggest traveling with your pack and play)

8. Sit in the back with baby and let daddy or whoever you are traveling with drive
The last thing you want is to be on a 30 minute drive and you can't reach your baby to console him or her. I was chauffeured for 9 days and loved it.

9. Sanitizing wipes are your best friend
When you are visiting restaurants and doing your shopping don't just plop baby down in the high chair or shopping cart. Wipe it down. We wiped down everything we wiped down almost the entire shopping cart and high chairs especially because Kaiden is putting any and everything in his mouth.

10. Get a travel sized stroller
I think this is self explainitory when you are having to open and close your stroller every 10 minutes you are going to want something that's light and Hassel free.

I am no veteran at this and I am sure as I travel more and more I will unlock more tips to share with you.

What are your tips and tricks to traveling with an infant?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Foodie Friday: Interview with Chef Angel Betancourt

For this weeks Foodie Friday I wanted to get into the brain of a Chef!! I had a brief interview with the awesome Chef Betancourt and also got some of his must visit restaurants for us all to try!! 

VanzBlogz: When did you first recognize your love for food?

Chef Betancourt: Since I was young cooking with my Grand Mother as well as my Mother
used to bake very simple Granolas, quick breads and cookies. 

VanzBlogz: What is the best dish you have ever eaten?

Chef BetancourtToo Many to tell you only one! but i could give you my top 3:
  1. Foie Grass Cromequis / Pied de Cochon / Montreal.
  2. Foie Grass+Truffles Eclair / Fouchon / Paris.
  3. Conch Salad / Nassau.

VanzBlogz: What is the best dish you have ever created?

Chef Betancourt: I let my guest to choose for me! I am my worts critic!!!!!

VanzBlogz: If you could only make and eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chef Betancourt: Got to be Ice Cream!!!!!!!

VanzBlogz: What restaurant would you say every "foodie" needs to experience both local and international?

Chef Betancourt: I feel like i have to extend and list you the best ones I have been honored to experienced such as:

  • Pubbely / Miami.
  • Bazaar / Miami.
  • Alinea / Chicago.
  • Perse / New York.
  • ABC Kitchen / New York.
  • The French Laundry / Napa Valley.
  • The Restaurant at Meadowood Rest / Napa Valley.
  • Momofuko / Toronto.
  • Au Pied de Cochon / Montreal.
  • CopperBox / Miami.
  • August / New Orleans.
  • L` Atelier / Las Vegas.
  • Flying Fish / Free Port.
  • Nobu / Paradise Island.
  • Olive / Paradise Island.

Food is the new Love = Angel R. Betancourt.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

'Paint Da Streets Pink' - Fun Run Walk!

My mother passed away from breast cancer when I was 10 years old. I remember her struggle with this stupid disease like it was yesterday. With that being said whenever I get the chance to assist with beating this disease that continues to plague  so many families I jump to it!
I was approached by a good friend of mine who is apart of the Rotaract Club of South East Nassau Centennial to help promote a Fun, Run, Walk they are hosting in Aid of the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative Foundation. Read below for all the information!
The Rotaract Club of South East Nassau Centennial (RSENC) is hosting their second annual 'Paint Da Streets Pink' Fun, Run, Walk. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative Foundation (BBCIF) to support the work they are doing to help the fight against Breast Cancer in the Bahamas. Last year the event attracted over 200 participants who came out in all their pink wonder!
The walk will be held on Saturday October 18 starting at Arawak Cay. The walkers/runners will leave at 6am and travel west on West Bay Street to Goodman's Bay, then travel back to Arawak Cay via travelling east on west bay st. There are no wardrobe rules for this walk, just pink it up!
Pre-Registration can be done at the BBCIF office at the Cancer Society of the Bahamas, all Kelso Medical Laboratory location (Collins Avenue, Village Road, Carmichael Road), and Solomon's Fresh Market locations each Saturday leading up to the race. Registration will also be done on the day of the event beginning at 5:30am. For a small donation of $10 you can help RSENC and BBCIF fight Breast Cancer in the Bahamas.
Rotaract is a Rotary sponsored Non- Profit Service Club for young professionals aged 18-30. We focus on organizing, carrying out, and participating in meaningful community service initiatives throughout Nassau. We also encourage and promote the professional and personal development of our Members and friends. Contact us through Facebook or via email
More information about the 'Paint Da Streets Pink' and the Club can be found on their Facebook Page. (!/pages/Rotaract-Club-of-South-East-Nassau-Centennial/155835717843067  )


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