5 Boutiques You Must Visit For the Perfect Gifts

Hello Lovely,

Mother's Day is approaching VERY quickly! And now that we're all adults, it's time to get a GOOD gift! No more macaroni art, bring in actual jewellery bought in a store. But not just any store. You want something unique, yet cost effective. Sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect gift for the perfect price. So today I'm sharing for all of my local readers and anyone planning on vacationing here soon, the 5 best boutiques that I visiting when searching for the perfect gift.

The Billie Shop

$$$

The Billie Shop is not where you go for a basic gift. This boutique is located in Old Fort Bay Clubhouse just before you get to their little beach. It's in a tiny hut that has the best island life feeling. The items are not original Bahamian pieces, but they're very nice; the kind of things you would find on Instagram. I instantly fell in love with all of the colours. The bright clothing and Beachwood furniture really draw you in It's mostly swimwear, cover-ups, floaties and candles but I did manage to find some alcohol infused candy as the perfect gift for my bestie Krista.

Bottom Line: Don't go to this store unless you're willing to spend at least $100. The candy was $31 for three 2 oz. boxes of candy ($11 each: literally the cheapest thing in the store). The gift box was lovely, so I think most of the cost went into packaging.

Bahama Hand Prints

$$$

I love the idea of Bahama Hand Prints! I say the idea because while everything is absolutely gorgeous the price tag is rather high. I haven't reached the point in my life where I feel like I can spend over $200 on a sundress but there's a reason they're so costly. Bahama Hand Prints makes their own fabric on site! That's right, there's a backroom off from the fabric room (yes you can by the fabrics and make your own dress or whatever you fancy) where they make the fabric. Some would argue it should be cheaper if they're cutting out the middle man and producing their own fabric but that can be a rather costly task.

Bottom Line: This store is perfect for gifts for the fashionista or home maker in your life. There's wonderful napkins and other linens, handbags, napkin rings and more. The best part, it's 100% Bahamian.

The Craft Cottage

$$

Another 100% Bahamian craft store perfect for gifts is The Craft Cottage. I LOVE the Craft Cottage. It's an eclectic mix of items made by Bahamians. I once bought a conch shell bowl with a spoon for only $25. I have yet to use mine but I hope the person I gave it to really enjoyed it. I also absolutely love my pink Army Men earrings I got for only $6. That was years ago so you're not going to find that any more. That's what I love about this store, everything is essentially one of a kind and once it's gone, that's it! There's a constant flow of new items to choose from so it never gets dull.

Bottom Line: When you want an authentic Bahamian souvenir that does more than just sit on a fridge, this is the place to go! The owners are SUPER SWEET making this the BEST shopping experience on this list. If they don't have something you want they'll call around and find a store that does have it.

Dake's Shoppe

$$$$

Dake’s Shoppe opened in November of 2015 on Harbour Island, Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Dake’s Shoppe is a very personally-curated department store operating in a restored historic home on Crowne Street in the heart of Dunmore Town. They are located between Piggly Wiggly and Arthur's Bakery in a white building with red trim. I've never personally been there, but they have been recommended. 

Bottom Line: This is a high end store. The kind that sells camisoles for $66. If this is your style, this is the store for you.

Shop It Sparkles

$$

2018-04-26.png

I recently discovered Shop It Sparkles from my friend Nikki Jae when she was looking to buy the hat in the bottom right photo. I'm really impressed with their options and they're prices are great! This is where you go if you're looking for a gift for the trendy person in your life. Fashion, mugs, water bottles, these are the things you will find at Shop It Sparkles.

Bottom Line: I can't wait to buy that mug to replace my travel mug that broke. And I've got my eye on a few other things as well. I'll keep you guys updated through my Instagram on how that goes.

HOLD UP! DON'T GO YET!

2018-04-26 (1).png

While you're shopping don't forget to check out this new online store I just discovered called Old English. They have really cool enamel pins and a competition going on right now for you win some! I can't wait to share my favourite picks from this website with you guys!

How to Make Mindful Purchases

How to Make Mindful Purchases

Living a life with intention means being more thoughtful when it comes to making decisions. Making mindful purchases can mean less buyers remorse. I can't tell you how many things I bought on a whim that I really didn't need but in my impulsive moment, thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. So recently, I made a more conscious effort to make more mindful purchases. I’m going to do this by following these 3 steps:

Read More

How to Wear a Sleeveless Duster

Hello Lovely,

I love the duster trend! I love it so much I could help but continue it into the Spring! It's really hot now so it's not practically to wear the long flowy dusters. I need to be cool and comfortable. Introducing: The Sleeveless Duster! Today I'm sharing how I paired a sleeveless duster with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual, yet chic outfit perfect for running errands or catching up with friends.

  • Duster: Primark £12
  • Blouse: Wal-Mart $1
  • Jeans: Body Beautiful (Under $20)
  • Shoes: Random shoe store in London £10

Friday Favourites: The Christmas Gift That Cost Me $400

Hello lovely,

This is the first Christmas in two years that I'll be home. I spent that past two years with my now ex-boyfriend in Miami (not so secretly wishing we could be somewhere colder). I had hopes of travelling somewhere snowy this year but when those plans didn't work out, I decided to find another way to treat myself this year. At first I thought I wanted a tablet for blogging on the go but when I looked at the cost, given the tech specs I would want, it just wasn't a worthy investment, because I really wouldn't use it that often. I already bought myself the Google home, which really works better in pairs and with connected devices, so that area was covered. And after lowering my credit card bill, I was only reasonably left with about $200 if I wanted to spend wisely.

DSC_0008.jpg

While putting together the Gift Guides, I was browsing the home & kitchen section of Amazon when it stood out to me and I knew instantly what I had to get myself for Christmas: The Ninja Coffee Bar System. Everyone knows how much I love coffee. So much so I bought about 7lbs of it when I went to Europe this summer. I had seen the commercials and always wanted it so I figured after the ups and downs 2017 has brought me, I deserved this doggonit! I spent $220 BSD on the initial purchase on Saturday 2nd December and picked it up from Xpress-it this past Wednesday, but of course it wasn't that easy. Like the post says, this gift costs me FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!

DSC_0010.jpg

The price tag to bring it in to The Bahamas after customs, VAT and freight was $185.03, bringing the grand total of this ONE ITEM to $405! I couldn't believe it. I expected the freight price but completely forgot about the customs tax. I was heart broken, but I was also already $220 in the hole, so I had to pay the price.

DSC_0012.jpg

So was it worth it?

I told an old friend last night that I spent $400 on a coffee maker and she was like, "You mean a person right? Like someone who will actually come to your house and make the coffee for you?" I joked that if my mum wanted tea, she'd better make it with this machine instead of the kettle and we would make soup in this if we had to, to make me feel better about the price tag. Because it's still new, I haven't had time to really play around with it yet, but I did brew iced coffee with it this morning. I made enough for my travel mug pictured above and it was great! There's definitely a different flavour with this machine as it really tastes like something I would've bought in a coffeehouse. I also used my frother for the first time today and had a lot of fun with it. Yesterday I used the Cafe Forte just to see what it would be like (it's really strong).

IMAG2842.jpg

So far I love using it! I can't wait to tackle all of the recipes in the recipe book that came with it! The best part of the machine is how easy it is to use. I skimmed the manual, but it really is a straight forward process. I love setting it to automatically brew in the morning and I love that I can brew directly into my mug. I even got a new mug from one of my alumni associations that I can't wait to start using. It's a gorgeous red, just in time for the holidays! I can't wait to start making frappes and sharing the recipes with you guys.

How are you treating yourself this Christmas season? Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Do you think I spent too much on just a coffee maker? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Merry Christmas! 

Gift Guide: Gifts That Give Back

Hello Lovely,

With the holiday season upon us, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and preparing for all of the festivities. We sort through malls and online stores for the perfect gift for that loved one, sometimes snagging something for ourselves in the process. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to shower your friends and family with a little love and appreciation this time of year, this year I want to challenge you to consider purchasing gifts that give back to amazing causes. It's the best kind of 2 for 1 deal. You were probably going to buy that body lotion anyway, so why not buy one that donates it's proceeds to grassroots charities? To help you out I’ve created a gift guide today that showcases stocking stuffers and gifts that give back to artisans, communities, and organisations around the globe. I’ve included some of my favourite brands that I’m sure you’ll love too. Keep scrolling to see how you can give back, one gift at a time…

Gifts That Give Back.png

31 Bits Sundance and Soma Bangles $32

Sales of 31 Bits handmade jewellery help Ugandan and Indonesian artisans by giving them fair wages and safe working conditions. 

B.A.R.E Soaps Deep Cleanse Face Mask $25

When you purchase an all natural mask or any handmade product from B.A.R.E soaps, you support the company's mission to "bring antiseptic resources to everyone". Proceeds go towards helping communities in Uganda and India by employing women and providing vitamins, soap and other immediate needs to children.

Giggle The Pig Snuggle Pal $20

Everything Happy is a one-stop shop for baby blankets, bags, and bibs. This site matches each product sold by donating a second product to a child in hospitals and orphanages around the world, so one purchase makes two kids happy. 

Canvas + Leather Tote $58

Shop bags, wallets, pillows, scarves, and gloves made by at-risk women living in Nepal at Mulxiply. Sales go help to support the women and their families. 

Zebra Wood Fillmore Wireless Headphones $130

LSTN, a speaker and headphone company, uses its profits to provide hearing aids to people in need. So far, it's helped over 20,000 people hear in the U.S., Peru, Kenya, Uganda, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. 

LUSH Charity Pot Lotion $8

Made from sustainable ingredients, LUSH donates 100% of the profits of this purchase to organisations supporting environmental conservation, human rights, and animal welfare. I bought one in London and I absolutely love it! It smells great and I keep it cool in the fridge. It's self-preserving so one container can last as long as you need it to, and withstand any travel. Just know that the label does not define the charity the proceeds go towards, rather the profits are collectively split amongst the various charities.

Madécasse Dark Chocolate $45

This delectable set includes the entire current collection of  Madécasse dark chocolate bars plus an extra Sea Salt & Nibs bar for good luck. The bars come neatly packaged in our keepsake recipe box that can be used over again as a nice home for your Madécasse chocolate or for 4 x 6 recipe cards. No-GMOs, Vegan, Gluten Free, Kosher, Soy Free, USDA Organic. Direct trade chocolate means that this company purchases chocolate directly from the growers and farmers, creating more transparency and less middlemen. The company was started by former Peace Corps Volunteers in Madagascar, and the company has made three trips back to the area to refurbish schools and build a water system. 

(S’WELL)RED 17oz. Bottle $35

These stylish, sleek steel bottles are perfect for travel or hauling to the gym, and the (RED) brand means the proceeds go to fight AIDS. A purchase of this bottle can provide 23 days of life-saving medicine to someone in need. You can even personalise it with a monogram for an additional $10.

TOMS Women's Natural Burlap Alpargata Flat $79 

No charitable list would be complete without TOMS! Take a step in the right direction with these black and white minimalist TOMS sneakers. The shoe brand is renowned for their charitable efforts working working with over 100 philanthropic partners. Not only does TOMS match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need, but they've expanded to eye wear, clean water and safe birth.

Fire Dept. Coffee $12

This coffee is seriously lit! Made by actual firefighters and sourced from environmentally-friendly farms in Central and South America. Fire Dept. Coffee is made with both our people and our planet in mind. Get buzzed off of caffeine and feel-good vibes knowing that a portion of every sale is donated to firefighter veterans or military assistance programmes

How are you giving back this holiday season?

Let me know in the comments!

Gift Guide: For The Hostess With The Mostess

Hello Lovely,

Today I'm continuing the Gift Guide with 10 items for your foodie friend: The Hostess with The Mostess. Maybe you have a family member who is a fabulous home cook—someone who always whips up a delectable four-course meal whenever you come for a “casual” dinner. Or perhaps you have a bestie who you always turn to for restaurant recommendations—a friend who loves fine dining and worships celebrity chefs like they were pop stars. Or maybe it's that friend that likes odd items with personality and character. Either way, this gift guide will have you covered. Every good guest knows the golden rule: never show up empty-handed. But finding just the right thing for your gracious host can feel like an insurmountable task—particularly if you’re travelling or trying to complete a lengthy to-do list before leaving for your trip. And although a bottle of wine is always a nice gesture, you need not resort to the old standby just because you’re short on time. There are plenty of creative options out there. From gourmet ingredients to the chicest kitchen tools and serving pieces, check out these gourmand gift ideas below…

For The Hostess.png

These Sweary Oven Mitts Are Perfect For Friends Who Are Out Of F*cks $13 BUY NOW

Is there anything better than a sweary gift?  I mean, come on. That’s why these amazing sweary oven mitts from Always Fits are the perfect addition to your holiday shopping list. Oh, who are we kidding. Once you see all of these, you’re going to want to buy them for yourself.

Mouth.com Pantry in a Bag, $105.50 BUY NOW

Not sure what artisanal fixings to get for your favourite home chef? Why not contribute to dinner with Mouth.com’s curated foodie gifts like this Pantry in a Bag.

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System $199 BUY NOW

This tops my Christmas wish list! For all the coffee addicts out there, this is the gift to buy! The next-generation Ninja Coffee Bar® is more than a coffee maker. It's a coffee system—complete with a variety of brew types and sizes, a built-in frother, and tons of delicious coffee recipes you can create and enjoy at home.

Erasable Wine Glass Markers $13 BUY NOW

Made for marking on (and washing off!) glass and ceramic, these markers help your host and all her guests avoid the perennial party question: "Is this my glass?"

Echo Show $229 BUY NOW

Got a hostess friend who loves to set the mood and maybe even show off a little? The Echo Show is the perfect gift! Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings, Amazon Video content, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. Call anyone hands-free, or make video calls to family and friends with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby's room with compatible cameras from Amazon and others. Turn on lights or the TV, set thermostats, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.

Infused Pinot Noir Salt $12 BUY NOW

Sprinkle your wine-loving friend with love (and salt) this year.

Wine Advent Box $129 BUY NOW

World class wines from renowned regions across Italy, France, Spain and more. Naughty or nice, you deserve a glass (or 12) this season! Countdown with a new glass of wine every night because we're adults and chocolate just doesn't cut it anymore...

12 Days Of Christmas Appetizer Plates $120 BUY NOW

For the hostess who's obsessed with Christmas, this winsome Christmas Countdown will amuse them every time they sit down to their table. 12 assorted square scalloped plates in a gift box takes care of the packaging for you. All you have to do is add the bow on top!

Vena's Gin Infusion Jars $13 BUY NOW

Packed with spices and dried fruit, these DIY drink jars are an amateur mixologist's dream. (The company also offers tons of options for vodka, bourbon and tequila!) You can even DIY this gift for a personal touch!

Gingerbread Cookie Mix $16 BUY NOW

When all else fails, you can't beat a mason jar cookie mix. These jars of pre-measured ingredients makes the whole cookie-baking thing tres easy. Pair with any of these homemade food gifts and you're set for your entrance. This gift can also be a DIY with your own personal recipe!

Which gifts will you be getting your favourite foodie friend?

Let me know below!

Gift Guide: For The New Mom

Gift Guide: For The New Mom

Between feedings, changing diapers, and getting used to their happy but sleepless life, new moms need extra special attention when it comes to gift-giving this time of year. The new moms in your life have enough onesies and wipes. Whether you’re popping in for a visit or sending love across the country, treat her to a gift that’s just for her – from cosy sweats to luxe skincare – to help her feel amazing while she’s embarking on this next adventure. Read on for 5 no-fail gifts for new moms that are guaranteed to please. With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start mulling over the perfect present. To make the process a cinch, we did the legwork for you with these 5 great new-mom picks.

Read More

3 Ways to Wear a Pencil Skirt This Fall

Hello Lovely,

Lately I've been having fun challenging myself to commit to certain colours or themes for the week. Last week we enjoyed cooler weather with a cold front so I was happy to wear longer sleeves and sweaters. I love cold weather because for me it's easier to get warm than it is for me to cool off in hot weather. But let's be honest, Fall and Winter fashion can quickly become frumpy and unappealing. While we hardly get a chance to wear sweaters because it's always so hot, I was determined to prove that Fall fashion can be both functional and fun. So here's 3 ways to wear a pencil skirt this fall:

With a printed top

DSC_0347.jpg

Because it's Fall I didn't want to go too wild and crazy with the print. I kept it neutral by pairing a blush midi pencil skirt with a black and white striped top. By keeping my heels and sweater neutral as well, nothing was too fussy, leaving everything clean and streamlined.

A printed pencil skirt

DSC_0190.jpg

Then again, there's nothing wrong brightening things up a bit. Using a tribal print pencil skirt as my base, I was able to pair it with a pumpkin coloured blouse and my new favourite coat (only $9 by the way). I accessorised with a colourful piece of African jewellery for fun.

With a cool pair of flats

DSC_0348.jpg

When my kids asked me, "What are those?" I had to explain to them that they are called Oxfords and I bought them in London where a lot of people wear them. I was going for a relaxed look with this one, pairing it with my new striped blouse (a steal at only $5). Seriously guys, fashion does not have to be expensive!

So what do you think about my pairings? I can't wait to share more ways to wear every day items to provide inspiration if you're ever stuck. Has this post motivated you to switch up your look? Share your reactions in the comment section below.