Why I'm Afraid To Get Too Personal On My Blog

Hello Lovely,

In an age of oversharing, it's easy to become that person who snaps a photo of every single meal, document every part of your vacation and broadcast relationship troubles. We're encouraged to be open and speak our minds. We've learning keeping secrets can be dangerous and we've reframed many hurtful labels. All of which I'm sure has been to help society become more open-minded, uninhibited and explorative creatures. But is there a price to being so open? What are the real risks? I originally started this blog as something to do while I looked for work, but over time it's become very therapeutic for me; giving me a reason to get up, get out and try new things. And when the feedback started coming in, the positivity encouraged me to do more, share more. But lately, I haven't wanted to share as much. It wasn't until I started reading, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis that I realised how much I was really holding back and how superficial a lot of my content had become. If you want to check out the book for yourself, it's available on Amazon - I totally recommend it.

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What are my insecurities? This isn't one of those posts where I can simply list the reasons. A lot of my reasons are intertwined. When I really think about what stops me from getting too personal it's one thing: fear of backlash. I wish I could share about my weight struggles without people complaining that I'm delusional because I'm skinny and there are people with real weight problems. But what people don't know is I often receive unnecessary comments on my weight with people asking if I'm pregnant. I wish I could share about my mental health struggles without fear that a future employer would see this and think I'm too unstable for the job. I wish I could share about my relationship issues without my exes feeling vindicated somehow. Or the fact that sometimes, even after undergoing surgery at 19, I still have bladder accidents and wet myself. And as much as I wanted to share that a few weeks ago I went to the police because I feared someone I only went on two dates with might have been stalking me, I just couldn't find the strength.

What makes it worse, is for the past five years, I've worked with really vindictive people. The kind who go out of their way to get you fired by setting you up to fail or outright lying on you. And if they had access to my deepest personal problems, I just knew they would find a way to use it against me. None of this has been easy to deal with. I mean what's the point of owning a personal blog if you can't truly be yourself on it, right?

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So how have I been dealing with it? I recently started sharing more Instagram stories. I realised a good way to get personal is to get more real on social media. One thing I'm secretly insecure about is the sound of my voice. I can't explain it, I just don't like the sound of my own voice. So years ago I assumed others don't either and haven't been much for speaking. (Hence why blogging is so appealing and I never tried vlogging). But by sharing videos of the various stages of recipes I try or videos of myself getting ready or hanging out with friends, I'm getting more comfortable with speaking in front of people. I always thought people would look at me strangely if I'm recording a video in public, like I would look vain or something. To challenge myself, I went to a wine tasting (where I wrote a small portion of this post) and took selfies and a boomerang while at a table with other people. Was I self-concious? Of course I was. But I knew the fear of what others think about me was crippling my growth so I had to do something about it.

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The same with working out. When I was in Houston staying with a friend, we went to the gym in his community and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't work out in front of those people, even though they didn't know me. I went back to the apartment and worked out there, but deep down I knew I was cheating myself. I started sharing more about my workouts on my IG stories as a motivation to myself to continue. But the truth is I'm so inconsistent with working out lately, my diet isn't what it was before I travelled for the summer and I actually put back on some of the weight I lost, so I feel like a failure and I hate sharing failures. (Who doesn't, right?)

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Well, those were some of the biggest and the baddest in no particular order . I genuinely feel a weight being lifted off as I close out this post. I really appreciate all of the love I've been receiving as I open up. I want you to know it really is a reminder to think positively and be grateful for how far I've come, instead of how much further I think I need to go. The truth is, everyone doesn't need to know everything about your life, but you also shouldn't be so ashamed of the truth that you create a completely false life just to please others who are probably struggling with the same shit as you.  To quote Rachel Hollis, "More than anything, I hope you’ll rest in the knowledge that you can become whomever and whatever you want to be, my sweet friend . And on the days that seem the hardest, you’ll remember that— by an inch or a mile— forward momentum is the only requirement."

What I Do to Get My Blogging Mojo Back

Hello Lovely,

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When I first started blogging I didn't have a schedule or a plan. Now I know what I want to accomplish by blogging and I share something every day! Or at least I'm supposed to. Every now and then I miss a day or a week, and a reader recently asked me about it. Sometimes I really am too busy to create content but most of the time, I just don't know what I want to talk about, and not knowing what I should talk about leads to panic, which of course leaves me crippled by anxiety. And just like that, I've lost it. My motivation and my will to blog. I guess you can call it my mojo. That feeling of, "I've got this. I know what I'm doing and it's going to be great!"

But it's been really hard to want to blog when I know that I can't provide top quality  imagery of top blogs such as A Beautiful Mess or Color Me Courtney, or I don't have a degree in journalism. If I'm going to do something, I want to do it well or not do it at all, which is what most people want to do when they set out to do something. The issue here, though, is that I act like I absolutely must have editorial shoot level photography and content written better than J. K. Rowling. You so don't, and I know that, but I don't always act like I know that.

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I've been holding back from making posts that I feel are mediocre or irrelevant in comparison to most blogs. But the whole point of blogging is to share what you love and enjoy and to be yourself entirely. To lighten the load, I often give myself permission to take a week off every now and then, because I know there won't always be something worth talking about, so I have to give myself time to find something worth sharing.

I often read other blogs and if I enjoy reading it, it's probably something I'd enjoy making or a topic I'd enjoy writing about my own experience. I don't want to be posting half arsed content just to make sure I have a post up on a specific day, so I post about whatever I like even if it's not conventional because that is the whole point of blogging and occasionally, I need to remind myself of that.

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5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

5 Times I Felt Incompetent and How I Dealt With It

I hope this post shows my human side. We all make mistakes and we all fall short. Whether it's that relationship that ended after 2 years or only 2 days (yes I have lost a guy after only 2 days) there is always going to be something in life that makes you feel incompetent.  Today I want to share, in no particular order, about five times I felt incompetent, which is going to involve me "putting a few people on blast".

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How to Know When to Move On

How to Know When to Move On

Whatever the situation, we’ve all been faced with this decision...Maybe you’ve just fought with your significant other about the same shit for the thousandth time and you’re genuinely concerned that you may end up on a real-life Orange is the New Black. Whatever the situation, a decision needs to be made and it’s probably to move on, but how? Your metaphorical suitcase may already be packed. But where are you going? What’s your plan? Maybe you’re still deciding. Well then, this, is for you.

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Motivational Mondays: Know Your Worth

Motivational Mondays: Know Your Worth

Today I get personal on how events in the past have now come full circle and made me realise that I am a better person because of it. If you're in a difficult relationship and can't decide whether or not it's time to leave, this post is for you.

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My Top 15 Posts of 2015

Hey Friends!

I'm so excited to close out this year! Not because this year sucked, no far from it! I had a great year! Of course there were some ups and downs, but the ups definitely exceeded the downs! I finally made it to one year in a relationship, I finally spent Christmas with him, things changed for the better on my job (notice I don't complain as much any more), I reunited with friends I thought I'd never speak to again, went kayaking, toured the seas on a pirate ship, tried The Cheesecake Factory for the first time, found out I'm expecting a goddaughter in February (my birth month), and so much more, but most importantly, I'm ending the year with a much stronger faith than what I started the year with.

I learned so much this year and I'm so happy that I was able to share it with you guys. You've become more than just my readers, you're also my friends. Over the course of the year I've met so many people who were like, "Hey I know you!" I had no idea my words reached so many of you and for that I am truly humbled. So to welcome the New Year and officially close out 2015, I have compiled (in chronological order from most recent to oldest) a list of my Top 15 Posts of 2015:

  1. Getting Vulnerable with Kamillah
I had the honour of meeting a great Bahamian artist while she was in town for a concert. Her name is Kamilah. She has such a gentle spirit but a powerhouse voice! I was completely blown away not only by her singing, but her playing. She has performed in the Apollo and now lives in New York as she chases her dreams. It's time to get vulnerable with Kamilah.

I had the honour of meeting a great Bahamian artist while she was in town for a concert. Her name is Kamilah. She has such a gentle spirit but a powerhouse voice! I was completely blown away not only by her singing, but her playing. She has performed in the Apollo and now lives in New York as she chases her dreams. It's time to get vulnerable with Kamilah.

 

2. Travel Diaries: Abaco

On Friday November 6, I travelled to Treasure Cay Abaco for the first time, with the expectancy to return on Monday November 9, but I actually returned on Sunday, one day earlier. It was actually my first time taking a domestic flight. I've been to other family islands before like Harbour Island and Andros, but I always took the boat to get there. I went with one of my good friends Catina, to shoot a wedding for a client. 

On Friday November 6, I travelled to Treasure Cay Abaco for the first time, with the expectancy to return on Monday November 9, but I actually returned on Sunday, one day earlier. It was actually my first time taking a domestic flight. I've been to other family islands before like Harbour Island and Andros, but I always took the boat to get there. I went with one of my good friends Catina, to shoot a wedding for a client. 

3. DIY Nautical Themed Wedding

I had the privilege of shooting Cameron & Tanishka Parker's wedding in Abaco on 7th November. I loved how they took charge of their own day and had fun with it. They came up with a lot of their poses in the spirit of the moment and brought a lot of energy. I saw genuine happiness in both of them, wish them nothing but the best going forward and thank them for allowing me to be a part of something so amazing! Out of respect for privacy this is not all of the photos but just a little bit of their love!

I had the privilege of shooting Cameron & Tanishka Parker's wedding in Abaco on 7th November. I loved how they took charge of their own day and had fun with it. They came up with a lot of their poses in the spirit of the moment and brought a lot of energy. I saw genuine happiness in both of them, wish them nothing but the best going forward and thank them for allowing me to be a part of something so amazing! Out of respect for privacy this is not all of the photos but just a little bit of their love!

4. 8 Irresistible Donuts to Kick Off Your Weekend

I'm positive that I'm about to be every girl on a diet's worst nightmare with this post, but I just couldn't help myself. I sincerely love doughnuts. Like LOOOOOOOOOOOVE doughnuts. My inner fat kid does a cartwheel anytime I see a doughnut or even hear the word doughnut. Well it tries but fails to complete the cartwheel, but even though my inner fat kid knows she can't do a cartwheel she still tries because that's how excited doughnuts make me!

I'm positive that I'm about to be every girl on a diet's worst nightmare with this post, but I just couldn't help myself. I sincerely love doughnuts. Like LOOOOOOOOOOOVE doughnuts. My inner fat kid does a cartwheel anytime I see a doughnut or even hear the word doughnut. Well it tries but fails to complete the cartwheel, but even though my inner fat kid knows she can't do a cartwheel she still tries because that's how excited doughnuts make me!

5. Seafood Margarita Alfredo

What I love about this meal is that not only is it a one-pot meal, but it was ready in less than 10 minutes and cost less than $10 to make! Now that's economical! Last week, I bought a bag of something called seafood combination for only $5.67 (yes I remember the price) and it did not disappoint! With real pieces of shrimp, octopus and mussels, this was worth every penny! Knorrs pasta sides are $1.89 here and tomatoes really aren't costly. While I didn't have any Basil, I did have the broad Thyme leaves that one of the teachers gave me. I toasted some bread, sprinkled it with garlic and had a delicious 5 star meal all to myself! 

What I love about this meal is that not only is it a one-pot meal, but it was ready in less than 10 minutes and cost less than $10 to make! Now that's economical! Last week, I bought a bag of something called seafood combination for only $5.67 (yes I remember the price) and it did not disappoint! With real pieces of shrimp, octopus and mussels, this was worth every penny! Knorrs pasta sides are $1.89 here and tomatoes really aren't costly. While I didn't have any Basil, I did have the broad Thyme leaves that one of the teachers gave me. I toasted some bread, sprinkled it with garlic and had a delicious 5 star meal all to myself! 

6. Summer-to-Fall Essentials that Looks Good on Everyone

Although summer fashion shows are now coming to an end, signaling the impending chill of fall, don't rush to ditch your summer duds just yet. I'm gonna show you how to transition some of your Summer Essentials into Fall Classics, while avoiding the seasonal mall rush!

Although summer fashion shows are now coming to an end, signaling the impending chill of fall, don't rush to ditch your summer duds just yet. I'm gonna show you how to transition some of your Summer Essentials into Fall Classics, while avoiding the seasonal mall rush!

7. DIY Catnip Toy

A really simple crap project that takes only 20 minutes and then you can spoil your cat rotten!  How do you treat your pets? 

A really simple crap project that takes only 20 minutes and then you can spoil your cat rotten! How do you treat your pets? 

8. Power Woman: Ria Georgina

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!  Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!

Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

9. 10 Things You Can Do When You're Having a Bad Day

I promise these aren't personal confessions (okay maybe they are) but I know what it's like to just be having a bad day. And as much as we may want to exact our revenge on that theif, or annoying co-worker or the person that didn't hire us, sometimes there really is nothing we can do about it. But even if we can't change our situation, we can change how we react to it. Here are some sweet suggestions for improving your mood a little.

I promise these aren't personal confessions (okay maybe they are) but I know what it's like to just be having a bad day. And as much as we may want to exact our revenge on that theif, or annoying co-worker or the person that didn't hire us, sometimes there really is nothing we can do about it. But even if we can't change our situation, we can change how we react to it. Here are some sweet suggestions for improving your mood a little.

10. The 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards

It was a night of Glitz & Glamour filled with celebrities and selfies, oh my!  f you missed the 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards on Saturday July 11, don't worry. I'm about to fill you in on everything you need to know about what went down!  

It was a night of Glitz & Glamour filled with celebrities and selfies, oh my!

f you missed the 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards on Saturday July 11, don't worry. I'm about to fill you in on everything you need to know about what went down!  

11. DIY Body Wash with Honey + Coconut Milk

It's about to be a new year, which means a new and clean start! And what better way to get a new and clean start than to make your own body wash? Made with Three Simple Ingredients...

It's about to be a new year, which means a new and clean start! And what better way to get a new and clean start than to make your own body wash? Made with Three Simple Ingredients...

12. How to Unplug & Let Go

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest person when it comes to letting go of grudges (when I'm angry at someone, it takes awhile for me to forgive and move on). But even I understand that this is not healthy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and everything that happens around us, we lose sight of what's really important. When that starts to happen, it's good to just unplug and let go.

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest person when it comes to letting go of grudges (when I'm angry at someone, it takes awhile for me to forgive and move on). But even I understand that this is not healthy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and everything that happens around us, we lose sight of what's really important. When that starts to happen, it's good to just unplug and let go.

13. Funfetti Waffles with Whipped Lemon Yoghurt Topping and Fresh Berries

I served this on a breakfast tray with Lemon Sweet Tea to my mum in bed while singing Happy Mother's Day to you in the Birthday Song tune. I even added, "Happy Mother's Day to the best mother in the world, but I'm sorry you're not better than bammy [my grandmother] but I love you anyway". She laughed because deep down she knows it's true. My grandmother is my favourite woman on the planet. She lives in Tampa so her present is in the mail. If someone you love lives nearby you, make these waffles for them to show them how much you care.

I served this on a breakfast tray with Lemon Sweet Tea to my mum in bed while singing Happy Mother's Day to you in the Birthday Song tune. I even added, "Happy Mother's Day to the best mother in the world, but I'm sorry you're not better than bammy [my grandmother] but I love you anyway". She laughed because deep down she knows it's true. My grandmother is my favourite woman on the planet. She lives in Tampa so her present is in the mail. If someone you love lives nearby you, make these waffles for them to show them how much you care.

14. Vegan Spinach + Mushroom Grilled Cheese

Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

15. DIY Black Crop Top Without a Pattern

I can't stress out easy this tutorial is. This is roughly a 30 minute project. So turn off your phones and TV and buckle down with this quick and easy project to create your own trendy piece of fashion!

I can't stress out easy this tutorial is. This is roughly a 30 minute project. So turn off your phones and TV and buckle down with this quick and easy project to create your own trendy piece of fashion!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

See you in 2016!

Ask Olivia: Be the Bigger Person

My roomate is currently upset with me because while her boyfriend was in town, I only interacted with him once. Knowing they are in a long distance relationship, I wanted to give them their space and not feel like a third wheel. But this offended her. She knows that I am the kind of person that usually keeps to myself regardless, and I didn't want to feel like I was intruding on any private time they may have wanted. Where I'm from, it's not okay to chat up another woman's man. What bothers me is that she couldn't outright tell me that I offended her. I only knew because I overheard her telling our roomate. So now we're not speaking and I'm angry at her. What should I do?

-M


Hi M,

I understand when there is a clash of cultures in what is acceptable and what isn't. You thought you were being respectful to her and her boyfriend, while she thought you weren't taking an interest in her life. This seems like a really simple misunderstanding that will either blow over with time or can be easily hashed out with a, "I'm sorry you misunderstood my intentions" conversation. You don't have to go out of your way to apologise, and if she's not a very close friend, fighting over it, just isn't worth it. So I would suggest waiting for it too cool down and if she's still upset, apologise. On the bright side, now you know for next time!

XoX,

Olivia

10 Things You Can Do When You're Having a Bad Day

As the queen of bad days and temper tantrums, I think it's fair to say that we all have bad days that make us say and do crazy things. Like following that guy that yelled something obscene at you for at least 2 miles just so you can stare at him in a slow, evil glare while he turns off, after realising you're now following him with hate in your eyes. Or a broken camera lens that's gonna cost over $100 to either fix or repair. Or even a stolen electronic or failed job interview. I promise these aren't personal confessions (okay maybe they are) so I know what it's like to just be having a bad day. And as much as we may want to exact our revenge on that theif, or annoying co-worker or the person that didn't hire us, sometimes there really is nothing we can do about it. But even if we can't change our situation, we can change how we react to it. Here are some sweet suggestions for improving your mood a little.

  1. One of my personal favourites: Hang out with a pet. Cuddling, playing, or just chillin’ with your pet can help us feel happier and less stressed. I love to play with my cat. He always seems to know when I'm feeling down and comes to lay with me. Pets are awesome like that.

  2. My second favourite: Turn off your phone. Being constantly available stresses you out. So turn off your phone or put it in airplane mood and do something fun, like play video games.

  3. Watch your favourite tv series. I know I jump for joy (sometimes literally) whenever there's a marathon of Law and Order SVU or Castle on TV. Find something that makes you happy and or laugh.

  4. Take a long relaxing bath or shower. Taking a little extra time in the bathroom to zone out can help you relax and reduce stress. I do it all the time!

  5. Eat your favourite food even if it's not so good for you. Let me guess, it's chocolate? No wait, pizza! Ice cream? No matter what it is, you've got a snack that instantly cheers you up as soon as you see it. Treat yourself. This is an emotional crisis after all! (It's doughnuts, I knew it!)

  6. Call someone you love. We all have someone who can always cheer us up.

  7. Go outside! We all know the benefits of outdoor activites like going to the beach. So if life is getting tough, take a time out and try going for a walk or to the beach!

  8. Actually go see someone you love. Silly huh? How the only thing better than calling that person that cheers us up and actually seeing that person!

  9. Write about what’s bothering you and then write something you are grateful for. This is a great way to release stress and anxiety since it helps you get things off your chest in a safe way.

  10. Smile. It has biological effects on your brain, helping you feel better. Smile with your whole face. Even if you don’t feel like it.

I've been having a lot of bad days lately so I thought I'd share with you some of the ways I was able to get over them. I know I drove my boyfriend nuts with all of my sulking, so thanks babe for putting up with me during those times! Don't forget to try these methods if you're ever feeling down! Which one(s) is your favourite?

XoX,

Olivia