Jamaica: Top Spots in Montego Bay

Montego Bay has more than a few temptations. Here are 6 reasons (beyond spectacular beaches, lovely people and great food!) to visit now.

1. Pamper yourself with a leisurely massage at the Ferntree Spa, the ultimate relaxation experience at Half Moon RockResort.

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The Ferntree Spa at Half Moon RockResort.
Photography by Angela Auclair

2. Don’t miss the sunset at Doctor’s Cave Beach. The long pier seems never-ending, just like the legendary sunset.

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The pier at Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Photography by Angela Auclair

3. As far as haunted mansions go, Rose Hall Great Hall is the most notorious and the most beautiful one in Jamaica. Annie Palmer (aka White Witch) is the local spectre. It’s said she murdered all her husbands here, one-by-one. If you’re not afraid, you’ll enjoy a tour of the tastefully decorated interiors.

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Rose Hall Great Hall
Photography by Angela Auclair

4. Immerse yourself in Jamaican culture and art at the Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park. Meet artisans and crafters and find something unique to love and bring home.

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Handmade crafts at Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park
Photography by Angela Auclair

5. Located at the centre of Montego Bay and amongst the cobblestone streets of Sam Sharpe Square are heritage structures dedicated to Jamaica’s national hero, Samuel Sharpe. Samuel spoke out against slavery and was eventually tried and hung after the rebellion to abolish slavery failed. His bravery lives on.

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Heritage sculptures at Sam Sharpe Square
Photography by Angela Auclair

6. Take a walk through history when you visit this authentic sugar plantation at Greenwood Great House. The home features most of the original furniture and some rare musical instruments.

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Greenwood Great House
Photography by Angela Auclair

Bye-Bye Blackboard Blahs

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Finessing a finish that’s been in the line for several years, Benjamin Moore has introduced a new edition of its Chalkboard Paint that now is tintable in any colour.

The ChalkBoard Paint colour choices are endless and go far beyond the classic black and green chalkboard colours we are use to. Time for a DIY project!

Candy Coated

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Turns Jujubes into a sumptuous showpiece. This festive DIY is deliciously easy to make.

MATERIALS REQUIRED
Styrofoam cone:
* 24’H, 6′ diameter base
* 4 pounds of Jujubes (approx.)
* Toothpick for each Jujube
* 5′ cake pin
* Decorative bead or crystal
* 8′ candle base

OPTIONAL
* Hot glue gun /sticks (For a non-edible Jujube tree)
* Automotive spray paint

1. Dream a Little

When selecting Jujubes, choose the colours, shapes, and sizes that complement your style and decor. Candy canes, peppermints and rock candy are great alternatives to Jujubes. Remember to buy extra candy since you’re bound to eat a few while making your tree.

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2. Jube it Up

Starting from the top and working in rows, insert a toothpick into each Jujube and push them, one at a time, into place on the Styrofoam cone. For a decorative, non-edible Jujube tree, affix the candies to the cone with a drop of hot glue. Make sure the glue gun is set to low so the glue doesn’t melt the Styrofoam.

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3. Sleigh Bells Bling

Up the glam quotient with a crowning crystal bead (available at craft stores). Slide the jewel onto a cake pin (also available at craft stores) and insert the pin through a larger Jujube. Push the crystal adorned Jujube finial into the top of the Styrofoam cone.

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4. Sparkling Finale

In a well ventilated area, spray paint a candle base using automotive spray paint, which is durable and comes in a variety of glittering metallic finishes. Nicholas is using a shimmering green to complement his blue Jujube tree.

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5. Drum Roll

Finish the festive masterpiece with a feather boa wrapped around the bottom of the tree base. Tip: To give your Jujube tree as a gift, wrap the entire thing in clear cellophane and top with a ribbon.

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Thirsty For Light DIY

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Got Straws? Using 1,000 sublime drinking straws, DIY GUY Nicholas Rosaci creates a mind-blowing chandelier, sure to quench your thirst for something cool.

MATERIALS REQUIRED
* 1 roll (24′ x 5′) welded hardware mesh, 24 gauge
* Approx. 25, 4′ miniature plastic ties
* Approx. 1,500 plastic straws (colour of your choice; quantity varies according to shade size)
* Pendant Light Wiring Kit (swag lighting kit) with socket (available at IKEA, most hardware stores)
* Low voltage LED light to avoid heat build-up and fire risk
* Old or inexpensive drum-shaped lampshade of desired diameter
* Scissors
* Miniature wire cutting pliers (end-cutting)

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1. STRIP A SHADE

Remove the fabric from the drum shade to reveal the metal rings that create its top and bottom shape.

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2. IT’S A WRAP

Wrap the hardware mesh around the top of the lampshade’s ring to form a cylinder about the same diameter as the ring. With miniature plastic ties, attach the top and bottom rings of the shade to the edge of the top and bottom rows of the mesh. Space the ties about 6′ apart. Using wire cutters, trim the mesh to your desired shade height.

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3. GOT STRAWS?

Cut the plastic straws in half. Fold each half straw in the middle and insert from the inside of the lampshade. Push the straw through the square openings of the mesh. (Make sure the crease, where the straw was folded in half, is wrapped around the wire of the mesh.) Insert the other end of the straw into the adjacent square. Continue inserting the straws, row by row, into all of the squares until the shade is completely covered.

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4. STAND OUT

Assemble the socket/swag lighting kit into the center of the top ring of the lampshade. Attach a white or colourful party LED bulb into the socket. We used a cool touch LED light bulb which offers the equivalent light output of a normal 75-100 watt incandescent bulb but only consumes a mere 3-13 watts. Plug lamp into a receptacle, turn on the switch and enjoy the light show.

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Faux-Paneled Walls with Tape DIY

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True chicness is not about how much something costs, but what you made from something simple! Using masking tape, a craft knife, a pencil, a ruler, and some paint, this project is a quick DIY.

Here’s what I did in my dining room with a little TLC and some black masking tape. Just look at the selection:

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This simple and sophisticated DIY is sure to add architectural interest to boring, plain Jane walls. It is perfect for small spaces where you want to draw the eye in and upward, or to break up a long expanse of wall.

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I started with a simple box outline and added a Greek key inspired detail. Change it up with an ‘X’ detail using skinnier masking tapes stretched from corner to corner. Imagine it behind a headboard. Try doing faux-paneled walls in classic black and white for a fashion forward Coco Chanel look that never expires. You can even create a stunning Burberry inspired plaid wall, using a variety of tape sizes and paint. This is a non-permanent wall treatment, so get imaginative!