ARIANA IS THREE YEARS OLD

Hello lovely,

I have had so much fun documenting the growth of my friend’s kids. Not only has it been a fun challenge for me to grow in my photography, but it allows us to bond and quality time is always a good thing. It started when I captured Natasha’s maternity shoot. Once she was born, we couldn’t wait to capture her as a newborn, and then before we knew it she was one! From then she was a rambunctious scamp going everywhere big brother Liam went. In fact that’s the only way I got her to light up for her second birthday!

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Now she’s three and just as playful and adventurous as ever! She’s curious about the world around her and loves taking pictures. As soon as she sees as a camera, you’ll hear her little voice say, “Cheese”. Over the years I’ve been drawn more to lifestyle photography to capture moments just as they are, not staged. So I found myself saying many times, “Pretend I’m not here, keep playing”, only for the kids to say back to me, “But you are here. I can see you”. So I had to become a ninja to snap some of the photos whenever she was occupied with something.

I picked the Umbrella Sky Project by Graycliff Restaurant as the perfect location for the photos. It was bright, colourful and the perfect backdrop to bring out Riri’s playful side. Afterwards we moved over to the National Art Gallery just up the street for a few family shots. Of course my little diva got tired after an hour of photos, and soon that “cheese” was less enthusiastic and came without a smile.

But we all had fun and I hope to do this for every one of her birthdays!

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Pisces Swim Event

Hello Lovely,

On Saturday, Jamaal Ferguson, the brains behind Pisces Swim hosted a fantastic fashion show at Mario's Bowling & Entertainment Palace. The line is said to pay homage to its culture, narrating the lifestyle of the people and unveils the beauty behind the 700 islands and cays of The Bahamas. Pisces Swim radiates its essence with vivid colors and prints. At an average cost of $60 per swimsuit, Pisces Swim sets out to be an affordable luxury line.

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Due to extenuating circumstances, the show got a late start, but once it started, it flowed exceptionally well. The show began with a performance from Thin Ice. She got the crowd pumped and excited after that long wait, with her colourful Junkanoo headpiece and sparkling costume. Her back up dancers almost stole the show with their moves, but overall it was a fun performance. Then it was time for the first set of looks (each model had three looks).

Following the first fashion set, was a simple yet stellar performance of smooth reggae vibes by the talented artist Judah da Lion. He hit the stage with his latest hit “Outlaw (Ride On)”(I almost know all of the words now). Then the second fashion set was underway.

There was no musical performance in between the second and third set but the third set did not disappoint. 

The show was closed with an exhilarating performance by Patrice Murrell who is quickly becoming my favourite Bahamian artist! I'm amazed at how such a powerful voice comes out of someone so timing.

I think the event was a success. Some of my photos weren't usable because I didn't capture the lighting as well as I would've liked to, but trust me, the swimwear is gorgeous! The models were spunky, which brought a lot of energy to both the fashion and the audience. If managed well, this company should be making some big splashes soon.

The Miasma Art and Fashion Exhibition

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend, I attended The Miasma Art and Fashion Exhibition at the Dundas Centre. The event featured designs from designers Anthinique Black, Reneil Ingraham, Del Simone , Alex Turnquest, Rebel, Racquel, Jarressa Johnson , Ryan Dean and Delano Marc. The Miasma Art and Fashion Exhibition was meant to tell the story of "an Afro/European inspired civilization called the Cicada. The story begins one day preceding an outbreak of the Miasma Plague, a Plague that was a weapon used against the tribe's enemies but now it will bring them DOOM..."

The coordinators of the event never mentioned that it would be outside so that was the first surprise. While waiting for the event to begin, I was able to chat with a few retailers pictured above, and a local artist who was disappointed that there was no art exhibit at 6 as advertised. I don't personally know the host of the event but I must admit, although the idea behind what he was doing was great, the execution left much to be desired.

There was no designated announcer so the DJ had to try his best to announce when the models were approaching the runway. The runway was far too long (about 30- 50 yards) and not very well light, so when nighttime fell, the photographers could not see a thing. At the next event, the runway should be MUCH shorter and INDOORS. You do not want your guests to be attacked by random bugs in the dark while trying to enjoy your show.

The first designer, Jarressa Johnson debuted African inspired looks that were gorgeous and practical, but the music of Fall Out Boy did not match the designs at all. As a tip an afro-beat would've paired significantly better with her African designs. Also, spread out the models more; you should never have one model directly behind another as it makes it harder to focus on one look at a time.

Next up was Justin Moultrie (the art segment) who even walked with the other models holding his paintings. The paintings told an interesting story of power and love in the African culture.

Racquel Barr was up next with her resort swimwear designs. I've never been a fan of the plastic raincoat look, which some of her models sported, but I can always appreciate when designers create plus size wear.

The BTVI designers were the last looks I saw before leaving because it was too dark to take any more photos. Mckaila Lett, Reneil Ingraham, Del Simone and Anthinique Black blew everyone away with their designs! They were hot and definitely something that should be sold in boutiques all over the island.

The biggest problem of the show was the incredibly long pauses in between each designer, on average 10-15 minutes between each set. Luckily we have the musical stylings of Shon P and Ophine from the Savage 100 music label to fill in two of the gaps. The full lineup was both admirable and enjoyable. Just work on a faster turn around with the models, host the show indoors so that time of day or weather won't be a factor, and your next show could be a huge success!

 

Boss Beauties Who Brunch Brand Building Mixer

Hello Lovely,

This past Wednesday, The Boss Beauties Who Brunch, comprised of local media moguls, TAP and Lavonne Alexis held their second mixer dedicated to Brand Building. The event was held at Halcyon Restaurant on Charlotte Street and it was jam packed with female entrepreneurs. Although I knew some of the women in the room, it was great to see so many new faces in the industry.

We learned amazing tips from Lamysha Cox, a local attorney on how to protect yourself in business. Here’s a quick recap of the tips:

  1. Secure Your Identity
  2. Get It In Writing
  3. Read Everything
  4. Get Help When You Need It
  5. Zip It (Be careful who you reveal your plans to)
  6. Mind Your Behavior
  7. Do Due Diligence

Then we heard from Jazzie Belle on the theme, "Create Don't Wait". Jazzie Belle Is the host of the Women In Hip-Hop Podcast, and an emerging media personality. She started Jazzie Belle TV by interviewing celebrities in the hallway of the radio station she interned at. Jazzie Belle dished on the lack of respect shown to women in the industry, dressing appropriately, dating within the industry, collaboration over competition,  and racism.

A fun aspect that I think should be added next time is a dance break. I love the professional mixer theme but we're still so young for such a stiff environment. Nothing wrong with mixing and dancing, right? The only thing I did not like about the event was the lighting! It was horrible! Most of my photos had the ugly yellow tint or were completely unusable because the slightest movement meant a blurry photo. I wish more Bahamian restaurants and bars would understand the importance of good lighting. In a digital age where everyone wants to be able to say they attended an event at your spot, it's really important to have a good quality photo. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to events but I never shared any photos because the lighting meant a horrible photo.

I can't wait until their next mixer event, which is planned to be a brunch next month! Stay tuned!

Sail Away Fashion Show Recap

Hello Lovely,

This past Sunday, the remarkable designers, Cardell McClam and Christopher John of Cardellicious collaborated with R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas. R.E.A.C.H to bring The Sailor Boy 2018/2019 Collections. Bahamas is a non-profit organization that aims to provide parents with comprehensive knowledge and tools in all areas of the Autism disorder and other related challenges in the Bahamas. 

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The show opened with a sizzling performance by Patrice Murrell, singing her original hit song, "Your Ting." Patrice's confidence translated superbly as she sauntered around the catwalk, getting everyone excited for the show that was about to come. She was followed by the incredible Chase Fernander who rocked everyone with her smooth Hip Hop song entitled, "Repeat". The last musical artist was Rapp Quelle. I've heard of him for years but never had the opportunity to meet him so I loved hearing him live.

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The show consisted of over 20 dazzling looks! Just like the Cardallicious showcase at Bahamas Fashion Week, the apparel was ready to wear! I loved almost every single piece that graced the runway.

This one was particularly my favourite look. I'm completely obsessed with the duster look right now so I immediately gravitated towards this look! I genuinely would wear this look belted around the waist with a "Cinderella" heel.

I love how this model and the others walked the runway so confidently. I felt compelled to buy the clothes right away! (Not like I need an excuse to shop any way).

Here are some more of my favourite looks.

Areas that I thought could improve were the environmental and runway music, and lighting in the room. Someone kept dimming the lights making it near impossible to get a decent shot of the models. There was a point when the lights were fully up and it was the perfect lighting, however, once they were dimmed, it became a real struggle. Another area for improvement was the direction the models entered and exited the runway. With the media in the back of the room, the entrance of the runway for many models was at the back of the room. This also made it near impossible to get a decent shot of the models as they did not pause long enough in front of us.

But don't worry. I was able to capture the final walk, with Cardell's closing vote of thanks. See the full recap in this video below. 

I was so happy to purchase a R.E.A.C.H t-shirt as well as a pin and car decal. I look forward to volunteering with them in any way I can this year. Which look was your favourite of the night? What do you look for in a Fashion Show? Share your reactions in the comment section below!

Bahamas Fashion Week

Bahamas Fashion Week

Bahamas Fashion Week is focused on propelling Bahamian and international designers to the forefront of the global fashion market. It is the Nation’s Premier Fashion Showcase. a fusion of art, style, culture, fashion, entertainment and runway. This event captures the international sensibility of the country while providing a calendar of social and educational activities. For 3 strategically focused days, The Bahamas becomes the epicenter of fashion, art and entertainment, as all eyes on local and international stage witness collections unveiled for the first time. And I was there for everything! Here's my review of the first ever Bahamas Fashion Week.

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Brunch Chronicles: Biggity

Hello Lovely,

Last week, I had the company of my best friend, Doran and I was super excited. He had never been here before so I wanted to make sure he had fun and most importantly, ate well. With my work schedule, I couldn't exactly take him all over the place but we did enjoy a few sights and tastes. Last Saturday, I took him to Biggity, downtown. It was my first time ever going there. 

I immediately fell in love with the re-purporsed design scheme. Although this trend is everywhere, I love the idea of re-using an old item that normally would be thrown away because it's economical and great for the environment! We were able to choose a seat anywhere. There was only one setting for two people so we sat there. This is definitely a place to go with a small group of friends or family. Why the name Biggity you ask? Apparently the name comes from a bold scotch bonnet pepper sauce. Shortly after being seated, we were presented with a menu.

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I was disappointed to see so few choices for brunch, but I appreciated that each meal came with a cup of coffee, and the prices weren't bad. I couldn't decide between the Bacon Wrapped Omelette and the Conch n Waffles, so when Doran said he'd get the waffles, I knew I could get the omelette and we'd share. We also ordered a side of Johnny Cake to share. While we waited to order, I couldn't help but notice the restaurant seemed to own the entire collection of Boyz to Men greatest hits. At first I loved the nostalgic feel, but after the fourth song or so I wondered out loud, "How many more songs could they possibly have?" After awhile I heard other artists playing but it was still R&B. The slow R&B music really didn't fit the feel of the restaurant.

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The coffee took forever to come, which I couldn't understand because the machine looked like one of those Instant Nespresso type machines. Then the server forgot that I wanted white chocolate syrup in my coffee and had to bring it after the coffee was delivered. Everything came piece by piece. Doran's coffee came first, then a small carafe of milk (no choice in the milk, just plain milk). Then the sugar, then my coffee, then the syrup. And the coffee wasn't even hot, but actually room temperature. By the time we left, I had a mug of iced coffee.

Luckily the food did not take long after that. I loved the presentation of Doran's plate, but mine looked a little thrown together. I was dismayed to see they had used one of those frozen hash brown patties and not fresh handmade hash, so it stuck out on my plate like a sore thumb. The fruit was a bowl of caramelised apples way too sweet to eat. And my omelettes were in fact, mini frittata muffins. Despite my initial disappointment, I must admit, the food was delicious. The conch and waffles were absolute perfection so I must order this the next time I go.

I loved the creative presentation for the bill but $35 really is a bit much for two people for brunch (I'm frugal and still remembering the days breakfast was £15 for Doran and I in London).

FINAL VERDICT: Go for the atmosphere, that is, the decor, not the music. The food is great, but don't expect well trained excellent service. Come prepared to relax and spend about an hour with a good friend.

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The 2017 Elevation Awards

Hello Lovely,

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (or IG as the kids call it), you would have seen a few highlights from the first Elevation Awards Show at the Melia Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. On Saturday April 15th, 2017, the Life by Olivia team was there to capture and mingle with some of the young Bahamian artists who are making waves on the scene and changing the industry.   The Red Carpet activity started buzzing shortly after 5:30pm as scores of fashion looks graced the scene sporting various trends, cultural prints and bold coloured jackets. The talent was anything but shy! These game changers are making BIG statements with their accomplishments but still remain humble.

If you haven’t heard, the Elevation Awards is geared to be an annual award show created by The Elevation Media Group.  The Elevation Awards celebrates the accomplishments of Bahamians in music, acting, sports, community building and other fields of entertainment. We chatted with some of the big names that night, including musical artists Gary Francis, Dyson Knight, Keeya, and Jonathan Farrington. Each artist shared a word of wisdom with us. Gary advised any new artist trying to get on the scene that practice truly does make perfect. Dyson stated that his motivation for his career comes from seeing his music touch and inspire others. Keeya shared that the inspiration behind her #1 single Faded was about being a millennial girl trying to figure out the young guys on the dating scene. The video was created by an all Bahamian team with world-renowned director, Kareem Mortimer. While, Jonathan, who had to quickly jet back to Canada to perform at the Canadian Music Festival shared how placing second in the Canadian musical competition and being the only international competitor has helped his networking and boosted his determination to continue his career.

Hosted by the host of one of my favourite local TV Shows, “Chef it Up”, Ianthia Smith, kept the audience entertained with her quick wit, humour and engaging personality.   But the best part was the live performances. The Award Show provided nonstop entertainment with concert-like performances in all genres that brought the crowd to their feet and made inner karaoke superstars out of many! We were entertained by artists such as Keeya, Jive, Jonathan Farrington, DJ Counsellor, Sammi Star and Bantangy. My favourites were Jive for their performance of Rhythm, a  rap artist by the name of Eman who performed a raw piece that told us of his transformation from street life to Christian, and a spoken word piece entitled, “The Bahamian Dream”, which spoke to the realness of current events and politics that many choose to ignore; it was written by Michaela Munnings and performed by Zemi Holland.

The first of many to come, The Elevation Awards serves as inspiration to young artists to let them know that there is a place for them in society. I've heard the biggest complaint from young artist who submit their work to local competitions: "I was told it wasn't Bahamian enough." Artists should feel free to make whatever work makes them happy and sparks a change socially. The Elevation Awards is the right platform to do this and next year, they're coming back bigger and better than ever! And as always, Life By Olivia will be there to keep you covered. Because Life Could Use a Personal Touch!

XoX,

Wine & Arts Festival Review

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend, a Wine Lover’s treat was found at the 26th Annual Wine and Arts Festival held in the beautiful Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Retreat. Wine connoisseurs and newbies were greeted warmly by the Scotiabank Bahamas team into an adventurous Cultural journey of Wine and Art: glass and booklet in hand.

This year marked the first formal collaboration for the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) and BNT for the Festival which showcased a variety of sculptures, jewelry, paintings and photography.  These pieces captured glimpses of the Bahamian sun, sand, sea and culture in many forms.

Exciting Festival Features

  1. A selection of sips (including Sake, Chardonnay, Sparkling, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc) from around the world such as Japan, New Zealand and Spain were elegantly on display. The Birds& Bees Moscato was the talk of the town as attendees spoke of its sweet n' fruity flavor. It’s a highly recommended brand and is available by Bristol Wines (1er Cru). Buy yours today!

  2. Bewitching Wine & Food pairings – Whether dining at home or a night on the town, we all wonder how to match our food to our wine, as the best pairings can be pure magic to your palette! A few to keep in mind for your next meal are:-

  •  

  • Shiraz with Veal Parmigiana - Australia

  • Sauvignon Blanc with Fried calamari (with lemon) - Central Coast, California

  • Brut Sparkling with Shellfish - Chile

  • Ecusson Cabernet Sauvignon with Chicken (with Port and Figs) - France

  • Sancerre Les Baronnes with Seared Scallops topped (with Mango Salsa) – Louire Valley

  • Pinot Grigio with Seafood Toastado Bites - Delle Nevie, Italy

  • Pinot Noir with Rack of Lamb - Napa Valley

**Prices range from $7.25 - $63.95 . Visitors and locals can take advantage of purchasing what they've tasted at the 1er Cru locations from October 29 – November 5, 2016**

The eye-capturing Art & Artists highlights included:

 

    1. Natalia Nunez  is an acclaimed lover of dots and stripes, as clearly seen her in her photos.  Sharing her first drawing (the Dog art piece), she has a unique way of skillfully portraying clean and elegant art pieces.

    2. Christopher D'albenas is a Bahamian artist & photographer whose works feature acrylic art on driftwood and marine life floating eloquently through the Bahamian Shores.  

    3. French Artist Leo Devilles has always created art but after attending her first Paint Party in 2015, she became a painter. A native of Bordeaux and a horse lover, she specializes in soft pastel as well as acrylic and has. Her upcoming exhibition called 'Bliss' will be held on Friday November 11, 2016 at the John Watling's Distillery: 5-9pm. Here, her originals and prints will be on sale.

    4. Hennergy began in 2014 by Illeana Harvey and offers a selection of Henna tattoos, which use a mix of two plant based inks. All tattoos last two weeks and display a reddish hue.

    5. Bahamian Painter Dion Lewis shows determination throughout all of his artwork; as he had just added the final touches to his stunning original piece 'Spanish Wells' that morning.  The colorful and soulful piece entitled ‘Sunday Morning Market’ was also shown. You can view more of his pieces off Shirley St. next to Wildflowers.

    6. Kim Deveaux began her custom engraving journey two years ago and has stayed focused ever since.  Her engraving techniques were featured at her booth and also in the art case at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in connection with Doongalik Studios. You can also email any requests to kimdeveaux@gmail.com.

    7. Guilden Gilbert specializes in acrylic photography throughout the Bahamas. At the festival he exhibited a powerful photo of a white tailed tropic soaring through the air in the Exuma Cays.  He is  also available for photo shoots throughout the islands.

    8. Local artists Jamaal Rolle and Stephen of Airbrush Junkies were also on site, creating grand artistic designs throughout the day.

    How can we forget the best art of all? FOOD! We can eat pretty much anything, but food styling has definitely become our favorite form of art, and a glamour styled plate makes eating twice the fun! Here's what the festival had on display:-

    1. Chef Owen of Cassava Grille conducted the Culinary Food Demo which featured one of our native food staples: conch. He created Curry Conch Rollups which were fried and given to eager audience members. The dish was in connection with BNT's Conchservation initiative which began in 2010 and is a national campaign to assist with creating sustainability in the Queen Conch fishery in the Bahamas. This will assist in lowering the threat of conch extinction, prevent illegal harvesting through laws and creating a closed conch fishing season. Restaurants and individuals can also make their pledge to be 'Conch-scious!'.  This pledge means to take a responsibility against fishing and/or eating juvenile conch. Please contact BNT for more information.

    2. There were a few vendors who were also at the Int'l Food Festival such as: Vell Monkey Foot with scrumptious Crab sliders.

    3. I was FINALLY able to grab a bite from The Batter Girls who often have long and crowded lines.  The Cajun Fried Lobster did not miss, with its chunky texture and spicy flavor!  There was also Seafood fritters and a Lobster & Shrimp basket on sale.

    4. Handcrafted gourmet popsicles such as the Marley Pop, Sky Juice, Soursop and Summer Sangria were the main attractions at Pop Stop. In local pride style, I tasted the Junkanoo Pop (a medley of fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, mango and passion fruit juice). The freshness of the fruits was front and center with each bite and the pop delivered a tantalizing mix of sweet and tangy.

    5. There was also Dino's Gourmet Conch Stand who offered a mélange of fruits, vegetables and citrus juices to create tasty conch salad, in Original and Tropical flavors.

    The Members Only Wine & Art Festival held on October 28th,  offered a very intimate experience for attendees.  However, this isn't BNT's last event of the year as Jollification is coming up in November so you don't want to miss it! P.S. Members pay less at these events and enjoy other exclusive membership perks.  To join this ritzy listing, click here. For a ridiculously low price, you too can be a part of this eco-friendly movement.

    Because we're such winos,  we're always looking for ways to sneak wine into our food. If you’re looking for a creative way to include wine with your meals, try these Wine Butters!

    Did you enjoy this event? What were your favorite wine pairings? Do you prefer Moscato, Merlot, Sauvignon or Sparkling?

    XoX,

    Mechelle