The Track was hot over the weekend for Jamaica AND US Trials!


The JAAA National Senior Trials were not the same without Usain Bolt, but he better be getting his act together. Suga has no doubt he will be ready for the Olympics in Rio, Brazil, 2016 but he is in trouble with regards to his current form heading into the World Championships in Beijing this August. Now Usain faced injuries earlier in the season, so that may be a partial reason for his set back. However, he is not getting younger either. The body is very ungrateful and this is Usain’s last chance to dominate the 100m and 200m at the Olympics before he retires. With Bolt being beaten at the Jamaica trials before London Olympics 2012 by Yohan Blake, he should have taken that as a lesson that even though he has a natural ability to win, as he gets older he still has to train diligently. So kudos to him for pulling off London 2012 but now we have Justin Gatlin as a threat in the World Championships with his World leading times and the best form of his life, supposedly undoped. Usain should not have gone to Trinidad carnival and kept up other various activities. It was way too close to the season. Give it a break for 2 years. Now he has to pull off a great feat to be ready for Worlds after a horrible 200m time about 2 weeks ago. There is no way he can allow USA’s Justin Gatlin to beat him at Worlds. For pride and ego alone. Gatlin is not only Usain’s main rival but Jamaica’s rival and enemy as well. So get it together Usain!

I was going to talk about what occurred at trials right? Yes. A lot occurred. Unfortunately Yohan Blake has not broken 10 seconds in all six of his 100m races since the first season of two that ended in hamstring injuries in 2013. Last Friday night was no different when Blake failed to even qualify for the final, clocking a slow 10.36s. He was entered in the 200m as well for another chance but did not compete. ASAFA POWELL on the other hand is back in his prime form! He has been running extremely well, speeding up instead of slowing down in the last 30m, now being trained by a new coach, his brother. He won the 100m Men’s final in 9.84s. Can he go sub 9.8s though? He needs to do so. Nickel Ashmeade finished 2nd and Kemar Bailey Cole finished 3rd. Nesta Carter had a brilliant start but fell short toward the end finishing 4th, so he will miss out on a chance to compete in the event. It is likely that he will still be carried for the relays. But look out everyone! Young, shorty, Trayvon Bromell (19 yrs) ran 9.84s in the heats of the US trials then 9.76s in the semis! He has been running well on the circuit and is definitely one to watch. He ran 9.96s in the final, finishing 2nd to Tyson Gay who ran 9.87s.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was not her usual pleasant self and certainly meant business, shutting up all who doubted her and quieted the current controversy of having her run the 100m and not Elaine Thompson. Elaine Thompson, trained by Steven Francis as well, has been put to compete in the 200m only, after running some excellent times in the 100m at previous events. Steven Francis was praised last night for making the right decision and for knowing what he is doing, but if someone is doing well, all politics should be put aside and Elaine should be allowed to go for both and realise her dreams. But we shall see. Their coach may know best after all. With that said, both were winners this weekend. Shelly aka Pocket Rocket blew away the field Friday night, winning the 100m Women in an impressive 10.79s! Natasha Morrison finished 2nd and Veronica Campbell-Brown (VCB) 3rd. Hold up tho! Torie Bowie ran 10.81s at the US trials while Carmelita Jeter failed to make the US team finishing 7th in the final. She seemed to be injured as she fell to the ground after the race. We have not even factoried in Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare or Ivory Coast’s Murelle Ahoure as yet!

Yesterday, Birthday girl, Elaine Thompson treated herself to a convincing win in the Women’s 200m finishing in 22.51s. Word from the US is that Allyson Felix may not be competing in the 200m at Worlds because the 200m semis and 400m final are 70m apart at Worlds. Sherone Simpson finished second and VCB 3rd. Simone Facey finished 4th and an old favourite of ours, Kerron Stewart could only manage to finish 5th. Note that there were windy conditions and so the headwind was recorded as -2.4s for the Women’s 200m final.

For the Men’s 200m, Nickel Ashmeade won in 20.36s followed by Warren Weir in 20.40s and Julian Forte in 3rd with 20.51s. The headwind was recorded as -2.6s. News came in that Justin Gatlin recorded a PB of 19.57s at the US trials. Suga has not seen Gatlin run the 200m recently to judge what time he could go to but for the 100m he seems to go all out for at least the first 80 or 90m then slow down. Since for the 100m he has been running consistently at about 9.75s,  it is likely that he can run sub 9.7s but not much below. So probably 9.67/9.68s, the least. So with a Usain Bolt on top of his form plus his natural talent, Gatlin should not be able to beat him no matter how fast his start is. How fast can young Trayvon Bromell go though?

Other highlights were great runs by Christine Day winning the 400m in 50.16s. She has been running well but needs to push below 50s. At least she has done better than US trial winner, Allyson Felix who ran 50.19s to upset Natasha Hastings. Sanya Richards-Ross failed to qualify for the final! Javon ‘Donkey Man’ Francis has won his first National meet  in the 400m Men with 44.70s. Former Manchester High and Kingston College Old boy, Omar McLeod (21 yrs) now representing the University of Arkansas beat favourite and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Hansle Parchment (13.08s SB) in the 110m hurdles in a world leading, 12.97s!

Well done Athletes! Looking forward to an extremely competitive World Championship in Beijing this August!


Everything Trendy 21 telling a customer to ‘go to hell’ is pretty tacky


What is ‘Everything Trendy 21’ anyway? I am still not quite sure. My friend saw them set up a booth at a Staff Welfare Appreciation event some time last year at an ATL branch and said, ‘Hey, they sell ladies clothing etc. so you can follow them on Instagram.’ Clothes? Of course I will! I also love to support and promote young entrepreneurship ventures in Jamaica, but worthy ones. To date, their items have been pretty average. Some cute things, but none of the pictures posted have urged me to call them. The few things that struck an interest seemed to be overpriced. On one occasion, this was the case with TOMS. I commented along the lines of, ‘What a mark up’ and got a sassy response that was easy to ignore and forget because I cannot even remember it now. I surely wish that was the case with last Wednesday night!

A picture was posted advertising a pair of Charlotte Russe ‘sandals’, available in 2 colours, size 8 only. I immediately recognized them because I had bought the same style sandal from Charlotte Russe in a different colour just Easter gone. I scrolled down the comments to see that it was priced at $2500JMD. What?! I got those sandals for $5USD though. Now I am quite a thrifty shopper. I window shop, browse a lot, certainly remember my purchases and of course, save my receipts. Who knows what other deal may be in fine print or if they need me to fill out a survey for a discount on my next purchase.


As seen above, the slippers, that’s right, SLIPPERS not sandals, were actually on sale from a mere $7.99USD. So when you work it out, Everything Trendy 21 has marked them up by almost 200%! It is likely they also caught the sale price of $5USD. Now clearly they have a following that will buy them with no hesitation for that price. Great. But what about those that may not be aware of the market because most things seem so expensive everywhere and they buy it because it seems like easy access and is marketed as a ‘special offer’? But then they buck up the same thing in a store for far less than half the price they bought it for and get extremely annoyed, spread the word or just never shop with them again. What happens then? How will that support or enhance the longevity of ‘Everything Trendy 21’?

So I decided to think some more. Their instagram name just has telephone numbers for contact information and no location stated, so they don’t seem to sell wholesale or even have a store opened. That could very well mean that they have no overheads and may not have to pay customs with their small volume of items. We are all thriving Jamaicans for a good living, so we know there are ways around this. These are light, small sandals that a friend could have even carried down for them from foreign in their handbag. Are they factoring in airfare? If so, perhaps they could allocate that large percentage profit to another item that is worthy of it. The hashtags that irritated me were, ‘#special offer’ and ‘#BrandName’. That clearly was not a special offer and when did Charlotte Russe become a ‘Brand Name’? Oh please. Hilarious. Do they see J-Lo on the red carpet or Kendall Jenner on the runway in Charlotte Russe or Ross?! Charlotte Russe is a chain store that always has bargains! It is like saying you are fine dining at Burger King. So, I really could not help myself from commenting that I got them for $5US and that Charlotte Russe is not considered a ‘Brand name’. I thought that was actually a nice way of expressing my thoughts. Everything Trendy 21 responded by saying, ‘don’t u have anything to do…?’ Cue the ‘real tears laughter’ emoticon please. Is the owner 21 years old? I don’t have anything to do? Pardon me while I put up my feet after 10 in the night to relax and look through my instagram feed since I have been working ON my feet from after 8 in the morning to 7:45pm. I think I deserved a little ‘R and R’ before hitting the sheets. Just saying. I calmly responded saying something to the effect of, ‘Wow, well I like to browse and felt that they are misleading people. Furthermore, they are slippers/flip flops, not sandals (stated on the receipt) and Charlotte Russe is not even ‘Brand Name’ though. However with that kind of reaction I am going to quickly #unfollow. Thanks for the ‘Customer Service’.’ Everything Trendy 21 instantly deleted my comment saying, ‘u always just lurk & talk crap’; ‘y my page tho’; ‘go to hell’ as seen below.


All of those comments were left for other customers to see. Real professional there. I may not be up to date with all apps but doesn’t instagram have Direct Messaging aka DM? Like if they really wanted stoop to that low level?

Crap though? More like Facts. The proof is there. Even local store, Collectibles is selling similar slippers for $1200JMD plus tax. I got a pair of COACH flip flops from an outlet store on sale for $20.67USD when the dollar was $1USD to $101.50JMD! So please, wheel and come again. If you cannot justify your price, block or delete the person depending on whatever medium you are using, but do not go on an immature rampage and give them a story to tell. Until then, stock up some Christian Louboutins and thanks for the likes! I know I keep it trendy but always get my value for money 🙂


The Chocolate Man from Mount Pleasant Farm has competition with UMIUM Coconut Chocolate Spread!


Remember Coffee and Cocoa farmer, Averell French? His Chocolate Spread, Dark and Milk chocolate bars won Best New Food Item at the Table Talk Observer Food Awards last year as Mr. French wowed the judges, including yours truly, with Dark chocolate, White chocolate and paired the Chocolate spread with bread and fruits such as grapes, paw paw and melon. The products including the spread have a long shelf life, so they were a nominee for Best Producer as well. Suga still thinks the Chocolate spread puts Nutella to shame and is absolutely addictive!

However, there is a new product on the market, UMIUM Coconut Chocolate Spread! June Gottgens, Mogul in the Making Nominee for the Table Talk Observer Food Awards this year, has been striving to boost Jamaica’s economy, in particular, our coconut and cocoa industries. Under the brand UMIUM, Gottgens’ Coconut Chocolate Spread is available in about 30 supermarkets across the island. Just last weekend, samples were being given out in Sovereign supermarket. The taste? It ain’t no Nutella or Mount Pleasant Farm Chocolatiers Chocolate spread, but it is good. It is tasty AND nutritious. Great nutrition facts compared to Nutella that is filled with refined sugar. Can’t speak too much to the nutrition facts of Mount Pleasant Farm Chocolatiers Chocolate spread because I don’t know of any advertised nutrition label, but they market their product as being made with 100% dark chocolate using whole beans full of antioxidants, nutrients and flavour. So it seems to be more nutritious than Nutella as well. However, UMIUM is low in Saturated fat, has 0 Cholesterol and most importantly, is low in sugar. It even has a bit of fiber.

So, check it out! UMIUM can be found in the Hi-Lo Supermarket chain and most of the Progressive Grocers and may go international in 2016! Support Brand Jamaica.


Chef Gibney’s Vegan Cooking Trial was a success!


So after Beyonce told the world she had a HUGE announcement with persons taking time off from work to hear this announcement, it was only ‘I am turning Vegan’. A friend of mine, Rachel decided to try this with her husband, James, which turned into a 30-day challenge. Because, really, that’s her big announcement? Hilarious. Of course it is never easy to back down from a challenge from James, with it being posted all over Facebook and all. So Rachel started her 30-day Vegan challenge and quite an entertaining blog to follow her experience, ‘canrachelbeflawless’.

Having her husband James, who is a Chef, has made things even easier. Last Saturday night, after he got out of the ‘dog house’ for a certain Spiderman stunt, he pulled off a wholesome, delicious, All-Vegan dinner. Friends, bubbly and all-healthy food! After such a feast, it was real satisfying to think that all I ate was completely healthy, leaving room for all the liquor consumed I suppose.

The highlight of the menu was the Chickpea patty starter served on a bed of guacamole made with fresh avocado, served with fresh greens and sweet and spicy salsa including a touch of mango. The spicy Chilli Mixed Bean stew including cilantro was also a winner served for the main course along with roasted veggies, roasted sweet potatoes and brown vegetable rice.

To top it all off, a vegan Chocolate cake was served and Rachel actually got her hands dirty in the kitchen, making decadent Macaroons served with her freshly made banana-raspberry (more raspberry :)) sorbet.

Be sure to follow the last few days of Rachel’s Vegan journey on wordpress, ‘canrachelbeflawless’ which I will reblog for some information and laughs at the same time. Also visit Wholesome Cafe (Past Table Talk Observer Food Awards Nominee) in the Digicel building in Downtown, Kingston for delicious and reasonable lunches prepared by Chef James Gibney. Suga admires that he loves to prepare dishes with fresh and local produce and his food is totally Suga approved.