What I'm Reading & Why I Chose An Anti Self-Help Book

Hello lovely,

I’m so guilty of ignoring reading. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading, but my life is drastically different now from the days when I was able to finish thick books in three days or less. I used to read long after my parents sent me to bed, and often travelled with a book everywhere I went in case it was boring. Now worry that I have so much going on that I just don’t make the time. And even when I do have the time, I find myself thinking about other things and unable to concentrate. But when I saw this book in my best friend’s house on Christmas, I just had to have it! After she lent it to me, I couldn’t wait to dive in, but of course I made excuses. It wasn’t until j forced myself to sit down and read it, did I realise why this was the book I NEEDED in my life. The book is called F*ck Feelings by Dr. Michael and Sarah Bennett.

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I genuinely only read books that contain profanity because it feels real. I’m not perfect, so I don’t need a book that pretends to be perfect. And that’s why I chose an “anti-self help” book. I know I don’t have my life together, but I just can’t relate to the yoga moms, who drink smoothies instead of eating real food and take a bunch of styled photos for Instagram. The book offered answers to common issues we face in adulthood. Even the description tells you:

Need to stop screwing up? Want to become a more positive person?
Do you work with an ass? Think you can rescue an addicted person?
Looking for closure after abuse? Have you realized that your parent is an asshole?
Feel compelled to clear your name? Hope to salvage a lost love?
Want to get a lover to commit? Plagued by a bully?
Afraid of ruining your kid? Ready to vent your anger?

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What are you reading now? If anyone picks up the F*ck Feelings book, I’d love to chat with you about it!

Pisces Swim Official Launch Party

Hello lovely,

Last night, Pisces Swim officially launched their new line of swimsuits with a blowout party (not to be confused with the Pisces Swim Event). The event was hosted at Incudesk in Palmdale. If you didn't know, Incudesk is a hot spot for private office rentals and meeting spaces. This is the same location that hosted The Paint Me Couture event I attended in October. I was really curious to see how the space would be converted to accommodate a fashion show. It’s really not ideally suited for such an event and the set up reflected that; with people and chairs being rearranged the closer we got to show time (at times too close for comfort). Despite this, the room was alive and buzzing. The DJ played great hits for the cocktail party as the drinks flowed. I was able to catch up with people I haven't seen in years, while we waited for the show to start.

The show started a little late but it certainly did not disappoint. There were 29 looks shown on the runway all priced between $55-65. I was pretty peeved that I couldn’t capture any images without them being blurry so I did video instead. And I HATE doing videos. They’re so much work to edit and take much longer than editing photos.. Below are just a few stills from the video I captured to give you guys a peak inside the new line.

Although I wished the models would walk a little slower, the looks were amazing. The clothes deserved to be shown a little longer. Fashions show take forever to start, just to end after 20-30 minutes, so you might as well take your time on the runway. I was anxious to see the looks because I kinda hoard swimsuits. I’ve even got my eye on a particular one (the third photo above). The CEO of Pisces Swim, Jamaal Ferguson shared how the international brand is looking to expand this year to host 4 branches. In addition to the the swimwear line, there will be an athletics line and a luxury baggage line.

I definitely want to see more from this line, but so far they get my stamp of approval. As you all know, I don’t wear high-end anything. However, as a Bahamian brand, I am obligated to throw my support behind it. How do you feel about the looks for last night’s show? Share your favourites in the comment section below!

Books in Progress: What I'm Reading Right Now

Hello Lovely,

I used to looooooove reading! I was the kid that walked while reading and never bumped into anything. I always had a book in my hand so I was never bored. Whether it was an errand, a hurricane or punishment, I was content as long as I had a book. I only came up for food and then I would go right back to reading. So what happened to my love for books? I was getting mediocre grades because I would rather read a fiction book than my textbooks. In 10th grade, a light bulb went off and I suddenly realised if I wanted to do well in school, it was my school books I needed to read. Needless to say, I’ve been reading school books ever since. So either I didn’t have the time to read for fun, or I just couldn’t bring myself to read one more thing.

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Even though I’m about to go back to school again (teaching certificate) I’m trying to make more time for reading. I’m only currently reading 2 books right now. I’m extra picky with my books so it’s hard to find something I want to read. Every time I get the Kindle first email, I know immediately I won’t find something I like. I’m not one for spiritual, self help, non-fiction, YA, or romance books. I love a good story about a character who somehow manages to mess up their life, and no matter how much they try to fix it, they keep making it worse (art imitates real life I suppose). So when I found these books, I was drawn to them immediately!

Life After Coffee
By Virginia Franken

First of all, coffee is in the title, so that was a no-brainer for me. The summary below really drew me in and the fact that it was free on Kindle Unlimited was the deal closer. I’m halfway through it and honestly, I’m nothing like the main character so I find myself getting frustrated with her holier-than-though judgements on other people when her own life is a crumbling mess. In the words of the great Kendrick Lamar, “Sit down, be humble”. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

When globe-trotting coffee buyer, Amy O'Hara, assures her husband--who stays at home to watch the kids--that it is He Who Has it Harder... she doesn't really believe it. That is, until the day she gets laid off, her husband locks himself in the garage to write the Great American Screenplay and she discovers she's actually the world's most incompetent mother.

Overnight Amy's world is no longer one of farmer negations and upscale coffee tastings. Instead she's spending her days attempting to discover where exactly she went wrong with her two resentful Children and trying to carve out a place within her local tribe of put-together neighborhood moms. However as their family dynamic begins to change in both fun and frustrating ways, she's starting to ask herself the big questions: Can her marriage survive this kind of role reversal? How do you clean puke out from in between the seams of a car seat? And what does she really amount to when the job she thought defined her is removed from the equation?

One thing is certain: whatever happens, she's going to need a lot more caffeine.

I know that I said I’m not one for self-help books, but something about the title really caught my eye. When I started reading it, I fell in love with how brutally honest Rachel is.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.

As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.

With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle--and how to give yourself grace without giving up.

The Invisible Boy
By Trudy Ludwig

Because I’m a guidance counsellor, I love finding books that I can use with the kids. While I’m not very fond of the rushed ending, I’ve actually already read this book and think it would be great for 3rd and 2nd graders. Well maybe read isn’t the correct word. I found a read aloud of it on YouTube. Don’t you just love the internet?

A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend...

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource. 

Includes backmatter with discussion questions and resources for further reading. 

And that free bookmark I promised? I love this bookmark from It’s Always Autumn. It’s so cute! I’m currently using the box, owl and racoon as they’re my favourite woodland creatures. Which ones will you use?

What are you currently reading? Share your reading list and any recommendations you may have in the comment section below. Happy reading!

The Sweets & Sips eBook is Here!

Hello Lovely,

Today I am so happy to release my new eBook! It's taken months of preparation. I had so much fun putting this together, and thinking of fun and new recipes to share with you guys! All of the sweets are brand new and never before seen, with two new drink recipes and four oldies but goodies.

This book is meant to inspire you to take ordinary desserts and make something worthy of sharing with others for bakers of all levels. You are free to substitute for all dietary needs and of course double or even triple the recipe depending on your audience size. Don’t be afraid to add your own flair too. With 12 recipes (6 sweets and 6 sips), I hope this book lights that creative spark within you. Let Life By Olivia be your VIP Pass to the latest beauty and fashion trends with quick and easy recipes that shine and satisfy. Because life could use a personal touch.

If you want your free copy, you only have three days to get it free before it goes on sale on Amazon for $2.99! So all you have to do to get your free copy is enter your email address below and we'll send it right over! That's it! But you've only got three days to do so! So as of Thursday (Thanksgiving) you'll have to get it from Amazon. Act fast! You don't want to miss out on this deal. Unless you want to buy it, I won't discourage you from doing that!

 

 

 

Wild Whispers Book Launch and Giveaway

Wild Whispers - A Tender Novella

~ A Flirty & Feisty Romance Novel ~

Scarred but not broken, beautiful Adaora Dike made a tough choice early in life and she had no regret until she lost everyone and everything without warning. She finds comfort in a quiet home in the woods, deep in Dagor Village. Out there, Adaora discovers nature and animals do not condemn, only people do. One rainy night, a male shadow dashes across her yard, her heart flips over and she faces emotional chaos.

While on a field trip in Africa, handsome photographer, Gary Mason gets stranded in the woods. He finds an abandoned shelter occupied by a lonely but lovely woman he cannot not get out of his head. This is one photography shoot he wants to forget, but Adaora has a firm grip on his heart and might change his life forever.

Through many Wild Whispers, will Adaora and Gary change each other or will fate intervene to keep them apart?

  ~ From the Author of Red Velvet Rose ~

 Release Day is Tuesday April 26th 2016.

 Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Interracial
No of Pages: 106
ISBN: 978-1530511259

 SALES LINKS:

GIVEAWAY

 Wild Whispers Blog Tour begins on Mon, April 25th - Thurs May 26th 2016

(The Blog Tour schedule is below - scroll down).

 Star Prize: One Wild Whispers Bracelet

 Other Prizes: Flirty & Feisty Romance eBooks of your choice (excluding Wild Whispers)

 

HOW TO WIN

 To win the star prize

Follow Wild Whispers on its exciting Blog Tour and leave comments on every blog. One lucky winner will be drawn from a hat.

 To win your choice of Flirty & Feisty Romance eBook: Leave a comment on any participating blog and one commenter on every blog wins an eBook.

 

WHO IS STELLA?

Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku is a fun loving mother of two teenagers, married to her gorgeous husband and best friend who indulges her romantic habits. Writing contemporary and historical romance novels is an exciting adventure for her. Out of curiosity and belief that love conquers all, she has written several Interracial & Multicultural Romance Novels.

In 2010, Stella created Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels, a collection of toe-curling, intriguing, and skin-tingling romance with compelling characters who have heart and soul and jump off the pages of the book. All her stories are dotted with twists and turns and are set in fascinating Africa, enticing Europe & enchanting America.

To experience and enjoy an intense emotional ride, pick up a copy of any of her novels: Loitering Shadows, Beyond the Lady, The Gardener's Ice Maiden, Sparkling Dawn, Husband to Rent, Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series #1), Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series #2), Forbidden Dance, Stolen Valentine Kiss & Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series 2~ Books ~ in ~ 1), Tempting Desire, Seduced Hearts, Red Velvet Rose and Wild Whispers. Stella's first historical/suspense/mystery romance, Royal Cowries (Cowries Series #1) will give you an insight into a different Africa.

A luxury home by the seaside is on Stella's wish list. In her spare time, she loves to swim on her back like a starfish, watch TV, go to the movies with her family and read romance novels.

10 Random Facts about Stella

1. I knit colourful woollen mufflers/scarves. They are warm and perfect for winter.

2. I played handball for my secondary school.

3. Love to bite my son's cheeks.

4. I drink water throughout the night.

5. I'm originally from a Kingdom that is over 6000 years old called Benin Kingdom. We have a monarchy.

6. Back in my University days, my face was on countless calendars, some magazines, a handful of TV commercials and one home video because I was a model.

7. I love birds especially parrots.

8. I'm spooked by dogs.

9. Love, love contemporary decor.

10. As a daddy's girl my pet name was handbag.

 For more reading check out these posts:

Motivational Monday: Telling Your Own Story

Mother's Day Free Printable Coupon Book

5 Simple Steps to Create a New Habit that Sticks

After You: Book Club Begins Monday January 18!

After You Book Club for January

Hosted by Life By Olivia

Click on photo to download your free copy of this novel!

Click on photo to download your free copy of this novel!

Last night I finished reading the prequel to this book, Me Before You and I was in tears! I picked it up because it was on a list of books to read before you die. It is so well written and really made me feel connected with each of the characters. If you would like to read the first book before we start the second, download your free copy here and STOP READING THIS POST because I'm about to share the synopsis from Goodreads and it contains MAJOR SPOILERS!


How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

After You is quintessential Jojo Moyes—a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice at being back in the world she creates. Here she does what few novelists can do—revisits beloved characters and takes them to places neither they nor we ever expected.
 

If you would like to join in, you’re welcome to do so!  It will be great to share our ideas and reactions every week. On Sunday's we'll gather on my Facebook page to discuss the assigned readings and our predictions for what we think will happen the following week. If reading more was on your list of resolutions, now is the perfect time to start! Here’s the schedule of what we’re reading and when, but if you can’t stick to that, no problem, you can always catch up later or move on if we're going too slow. It's a short book so we should be able to finish in four weeks or less.

Week 1: Chapters 1 - 7

Week 2: Chapters 8 - 15

Week 3: Chapters 16 - 22

Week 4: Chapters 23- 30

Very excited to start reading soon!  Are you joining us?

Thanks for reading,

Olivia