Top 10 Things We Love This Month – January 2018

1. Livewell

Having a tough time sticking to those New Year’s resolutions? The LiveWell event at the ARC, Camana Bay on Jan. 20 could be just the motivation you need to find a new lease on life. With partners holding informative sessions, offering free guidance and even introductory classes in the Fitness Pavilion, attendees have the chance to walk away feeling invigorated and reenegerized. You could also win one of many prizes up for grabs. Now THAT’S motivation you could use!

2. Bandidos

This latest Mexican restaurant to join the landscape opened in November last year and is already becoming revered for its chicken flautas and El Jefe’s Nachos. Described by owner Jason Moir as “a taco truck without the truck” it nails the flavors of Mexican street food at its finest. Of course, it has tacos, quesadillas, burritos and everything else you’d expect to find on the menu, plus some surprises. The colorful interior is welcoming and encourages you to set a spell. Great place for happy hour. Located in Seven Mile Shops.

3. Margaritaville blender

We’ve had one of these things for years, and honestly don’t know what our kitchen would be without it. Yes, it is manufactured by the Jimmy Buffett-related company. Considering that M’sieur Buffett is revered in the Keys where frozen drinks are consumed from morning until night, it’s not surprising that this is an awesome blender for such beverages. There are many models from which to choose. You’ve got your entry-level one-pitcher deal right up to the big daddy with three pitchers for some serious entertaining. They have been available on the island in the past; if you can find one, buy it with no regrets.

4. Awards shows

January is lousy with award shows, from the Grammys to the Golden Globes. If you like your television, films or both, this is a month that should be circled in red on your schedule. In the past few years, offerings from Netflix and Amazon have really made a showing – will that balance of power continue? We can’t wait to see. Beyond the awards and who wins them, there are the endless red carpets presenting stunning gowns and jewels. It’s also always interesting to see how the host handles the job. Will they flop or fly?

5. Look to the sky!

There is a fantastic app out there – the ISS Spotter – which will tell you when the International Space Station is flying overhead and how clear the view will be. Yes, the space station is indeed many miles up (approximately 220), but to see that clear, white light make its way across the night sky is a definite thrill. Check your app each day, and if there is a high chance of seeing it clearly, get to a spot at night with little light pollution. You’ll probably have a couple of false starts, but when you see it, you’ll know.

6. National Heroes Day

On Jan. 22, the Cayman Islands celebrates its local heroes – those who have made a significant impact on the community over the years. It is also the first public holiday of the year, allowing workers an extra day off in the week; always welcome. Should you be interested in viewing some of the pomp and circumstance that accompanies the awards ceremony, you can make your way to George Town on Monday morning to see it all. Otherwise, spend the day relaxing and thank the heroes for the nice break.

7. Cayman Pepper Patch Pepper Jelly

Many years ago, a local woman, Carol Hay, decided to take her secret pepper jelly recipe and jar it. Now, it’s a surprise she can keep it on the shelves. The award-winning condiment has lifted many a cracker and slice of cheese in its time. It is simply delicious. What began as a little cottage industry has become a growing concern – customers can’t get enough of the stuff. We at What’s Hot did a taste test, for purely scientific purposes, of course, and can happily say it deserves its sterling reputation. Available in local supermarkets and local markets.

8. Cut back on bottled water

Isn’t it about time we all became a bit responsible about the thousands of plastic bottles we throw away each year? It is sheer laziness to just keep buying and disposing without taking advantage of all the reusable solutions there are out there. Why not make 2018 the year you take a stand against constantly purchasing bottled water? Get yourself a container; we recommend Corkcicle bottles, to be found in Atlantic Department Store, which will keep your cold water cool for hours. Invest in a filter on your tap or a water cooler and just refill.

9. Vertu boutique

This is the time of year when you may well be looking to update your wardrobe, but after a heavy month of spending in December, the coffers could be a bit low. Vertu boutique in Caribbean Plaza on West Bay Road is a shopper’s dream. With a large selection of fashionable dresses and separates, not to mention stylish footwear, you might be concerned that the prices match the quality of the designs. Never fear! This surprisingly affordable boutique is a well-kept secret that we’re about to share with our readers. Well worth a look!

10. Late Night Menus

God bless the restaurants that offer late night menus on this island. There is a goodly percentage of the social crowd, particularly the service industry folks, who want to have options after 10 p.m. We’re here to tell you that there is more out there beyond fast food. For example, Bàcaro in the Yacht Club is now offering a late-night menu from 10:30 p.m.-midnight from Tuesday-Sunday. Eats and Legendz are another choice, along with countless others. If you fancy a place that allows you to linger a little, know there are choices available.