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. 

26169950_1729045253807561_5178753819025738865_n.jpg

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.

DSC_0531.JPG

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!

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.

DSC_0007.jpg

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.

DSC_0013.jpg

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.

DSC_0051.jpg

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,

Bahamian Icon Awards 2016 Recap

Hello Lovely,

I'm back with my second annual recap of the most fabulous night in The Bahamas. The Bahamian Icon Awards (which was celebrated on Saturday, July 2) is the place for anybody who's anybody to be! Local and international celebrities all come together to celebrate the brilliant work of the ordinary hard-working and dedicated Bahamians who do extraordinary things with their talents!

For anyone who is still unsure on what exactly The Bahamian Icon Awards is: The Bahamian Icon Awards celebrates greatness. The award recognizes Bahamian Citizens who have exemplified the best intentions of the Bahamian Spirit; that of excellence and achievement.

Not only that, it is the defining standard by which these attributes are measured in The Bahamas and is an opportunity to create visible heroes and role models in the community while at the same time saluting those among us who have taken up the challenge to achieve greatness.

The Bahamian Icon Awards acknowledges the exemplary achievements of men and women who have excelled in various industries thus contributing to the overall development of the Bahamian community.

The red carpet began at 6:30 pm and jam-packed with excitement! There were so many colours but definitely some trends. Sequins, red and blue were seen everywhere last Saturday! Men showed up in style this year, opting more for blue and burgundy tuxedos, with a few even opting for floral prints! It was definitely a surprise to see men step up their game from the traditional black tux!

Certain looks of course stood out to me, like these:

The show itself was great! With live performances from local artist, such as Mdeez, Tebby Burrows and the National Dance Company, giveaways during commercial breaks and impromptu serenades, it was a night to behold! Congratulations to all the winners (not all photographed below) and to all the nominees who cheered for their competition in grace and gratitude!

And I must give credit to the best dressed couple on the red carpet, Entertainment Nominee for The Vagina Monologues, Anastarcia Palacious and her beau: 

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

  • COMMERCE: BARRY RASSIN - DOCTOR'S HOSPITAL
  • EDUCATION: GILLIAN WILSON - SUMMIT ACADEMY
  • ENTERTAINMENT: PATRICE JOHNSON - PERFECT IN WEAKNESS
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP: PAUL ARAHNA - TRANS ISLAND AIRWAYS
  • FINE ART: JAMAAL ROLLE - THE CELEBRITY ARTIST
  • HEALTH: DR. DARIUS UNWALA - PRINCESS MARGARET HOSPITAL
  • HUMANITARIANISM: ANDREA SWEETING - SISTER SISTER BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP
  • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ENSEMBLE: GEA PIERRE - CRAZY LOVE
  • MEDIA: CLINT WATSON - YOUTH ZONE
  • MUSIC:SAMMIE STARR POITIER - EVERYBODY JUMP IN THE LINE
  • PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: HARRISON THOMPSON
  • RISING STAR: TE'JA MUNNINGS - RIBBONS FOR LIFE
  • SPORTS: SHAUNAE MILLER - TRACK AND FIELD
  • TOURISM: 
  • YOUTH DEVLEOPMENT: YONELL JUSTILLIEN - BAHAMAS ALL-STAR BAND

But all in all, it was a good night for fashion! There weren't many major risks taken, which was slightly disappointing because I feel that last year the guests were a little more risky with their looks, while this year a lot of them were, how you say, risque. But I'm not mad, hunny! Except for this look here:

This is my most hated look of the night because everything about it confused me (girl on the left). How do you wear a dress that has all of your tatas out, but wear a fur vest in 91 degree temperatures? It was inappropriate for the event and the weather. It would be better suited for a movie premiere....in a different country....with 50 degree or less weather maybe....Even the shoes just did not work for me. Well, there's always next year!

I had so much fun catching up with friends and I can't wait for next years show!

Who's your icon?

 

Taste the Islands: Lukka Kairi Restaurant Review

It’s no secret that The Bahamas has great cuisine, with amazing staff. And I don't doubt that for a bit. I have been dining in some of Nassau’s best eateries for many years now, and I must say it's quite an experience. Many of these restaurants have been around for years, while some come and go. And for those of you searching for a culinary experience like no other, look no further than Lukka Kairi.

Nestled amid the nightclubs and busy shops on the main street of Nassau, the interior will remind visitors of an authentic historical tropical paradise. I fell in love with the painted steps leading up to the restaurant that reveals of dramatic portrait of an Arawak. At the landing is an impressive tank filled with live conch and lobsters. The seating is spacious with all wooden furniture and flooring and a beautiful view overlooking the wharf. The decor allows the simplistic beauty of the food to really shine, though beauty isn’t the only thing bringing folks to Lukka Kairi. The restaurant buzzed with excited energy despite pretty empty until we were ready to leave when it began to fill with seemingly satisfied patrons.


I went with a friend of mine, looking for a Sunday brunch. We were disappointed to find that they do not serve brunch but decided to stay for the lunch menu, even after the waiter explained to us that portion sizes were meant more as appetizers than full meals. He explained that Lukka Kairi means "People of the Islands". Well sir, people of this island like food and lots of it for a reasonable price. This is something I would suggest they work on. Pretty food shouldn’t only come in small quantities, especially for the price. But I can appreciate that local farmers and fisherman supply fresh seafood and dining items for the restaurant. I originally wanted the spiny lobster roll, but when they told me the goat pepper was a part of the mix, I had to rethink my options. We started with a fruit cocktail drink (whose name I cannot remember) because everything else was essentially straight rum and it was only 11:30 in the morning. I settled on the ‘New Nassau Conch Chowder’ while my friend ordered a traditional conch salad. The waiter was correct, there was no way we could have shared orders, so we ordered the freshly baked bread with whipped honey butter. I was absolutely blown away by the presentation of these dishes and that alone is what I will come back for. Then I tasted it! Both of these meals were so delicious I wanted to lick the Mason jar my soup was served in. The whipped honey butter was so light, I felt like I was actually eating healthy and even the plantain chips that came with my friends’ conch salad was the best I ever had! The servings were bit pricey for the portion size, but it was well worth it.

 

Though I would love to be selfish and keep Lukka Kairi all to myself, the work of Executive Chefs Alpheus Ramsey and Monica Hutchinson is so good everyone already knows about it. There’s no doubt a table at Lukka Kairi will quickly become the hottest reservation in town. You could book a reservation for large crowds, but walk ins are always welcome and preferred.

*I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review. This is purely my opinion*

 

6 Bahamian Co-workers You Never Want to Work with and How to Deal with Them

I have worked in an office for the past three years, and many days I've wondered why I thought this was the loftier of my choices. It's hard to imagine there being problems when you're cushioned by blasting AC and swivel arm chairs that go up and down, but trust me, it's rough. And unfortunately, it's not always the customers/clients who are giving me a hard time. When you work in an office, you'll have to work with all types of people and not all of them have the same goal in mind as you. Some have unrealistic expectations of climbing a non-existent corporate ladder, and your young and fresh presence is only going to get in the way of that dream. Somehow these people still have a job even though your employer swears up and down that they're making budget cuts. So how do you cope young Bahamian who just entered the real world? Or maybe you've been doing this for years and still can't make sense of the unnecessary drama that saturates a Bahamian office. So whether you find yourself working with a Trump or Kim Kardashian, here are 6 Bahamian stereotypical employees you never want to work with and how to deal with them.

1.      The "I'll be right back" co-worker

This co-worker is always trying to get out of work. They always have somewhere to be (that usually isn't work-related) and take forever to come back (if they ever do) yet somehow they still have a job. There's only one hour for lunch yet somehow they magically get away with taking two hours and never have a real excuse for why it took so long. This co-worker typically leaves their desk without saying anything to anyone.

How to Deal: Beware, you may be held accountable for this person's whereabouts. Kindly remind them that it is not your job to keep track of grown adults. As long as you know where you are, and your work gets done, their physical location is none of your concern.

2. The "I'm too busy" co-worker

This co-worker is always busy (but never really says with what). They're easy to spot because they’re too busy tuning everyone and everything out for their loud and long personal phone calls or unnecessarily loud music. Therefore they can't help to answer the phones, they can't get up to let anyone in, and they're probably asking other people to get their things off of the copier for them. Yet if you were to glance at their computer screen, they're probably so busy scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest that they almost actually look like they're doing work.

How to Deal: Don't be fooled by this co-worker. Press on them when you need something done. And when something doesn’t get done, just let a superior know that this co-worker was informed that work needed to be done. Officially not your problem anymore!

3. The "I've given my whole life to this company and for what" AKA The Drama Queen

If you have ever walked into any government office, you have seen this worker. This co-worker is easy to spot. They move slowly, don’t even bother to look for them on payday, and after all of the years of service they have given [insert random name of company here] you would think they would be treated better by now. They have stood on their soapboxes on countless occasions to protest and complain about how work takes up so much of their time, leaving them with no time for themselves. Nothing is ever good enough for this person.

How to Deal: These drama queens draw energy from the drama they create because it makes them the centre of attention (attention they never get). Unfortunately, giving them attention only increases their appetite, so your best bet is to ignore the histrionics until they run out of steam.

4. The "Why are you here" co-worker

We probably shouldn't call any of God’s creatures useless, but sometimes you find yourself staring at a co-worker and wanting so badly to ask them, “Why are you here?” This is the co-worker that just isn't good for anything. Every time you ask them for something they don’t know about it, don’t know how to do it, or just plain don’t want to do it. They make you wonder why you ever bothered going to college if you knew that your future employer would have such low standards. And yet, you probably find yourself calling this person boss, manager or supervisor.

How to Deal: These people need to look good regardless. If they’re constantly pestering you to show them how to do something, you have two options. Either you can play just as dumb as them, and pass the buck onto someone else, or just stand up for yourself. Put your foot down. Tell them to take a class. Tell them to take a hike. Tell them to take a bath with a toaster. No scratch that. Bad idea. Either way, this is the worst of them all. The person tends to outlast many co-workers in a Bahamian office.

5. The "Genius" co-worker

This is the Donald Trump of the workplace: Speaks really loudly about how smart they are and how they're going to have to do everything by themselves but have no real plan of action on how to get anything done, flip flops on issues that matter and produce little to nothing. But everything was ALWAYS their idea and would never have happened without their hard efforts. The “genius” co-worker is basically a parasite co-worker, who jumps in front to receive the accolades.

How to DealDon't you just hate the co-worker who is always trying to take the credit? It doesn't matter if you or the team came up with a great idea. To thwart them, always keep an “audit trail” of your contributions to a project in the form of regular status reports.

6. The "Frenemy" co-worker

The frenemy is much worse than simply being annoying -- they can hurt your career. This type of co-worker pretends to be your biggest cheerleader but subtly sabotages everything you do. They’re the ones toting gossip about everyone else in the office to you, just to see what you will say about that person and then tote it to that person, more than likely twisting your words. They’re the Kermit the Frog of the office: Creates drama, then sits back to watch and sips tea nonchalantly. You can’t rely on having this person in your corner when shit is going down. They’re only there for the story, they never pick sides. And it’s all part of their plan. In order for them to win, someone has to lose. If you have one in your midst, good luck.

How to Deal: Befriend the frenemy. That’s right. Smile with them, stay in their good graces. Even though you know they could turn on you in an instant, having other people see that you have been nothing but nice to this person will likely discredit any rumour they try to spread about you. And when they bring gossip to you, just nod or shrug, with a barely audible grunt from time-to-time that indicates you’re participating in the conversation when really you’re not. You don’t have an opinion on anything or anyone that happens around that office. Let them tote that!

 

Power Woman of the Week: 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!

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! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

 

Her full, government name, according to her passport, is Kenria Geoginia Smith (side eye to the government worker who butchered her intended middle name of 'Georgina' so perfectly). At the young age of 29 she has been operating under the brand name Ria Georgina, since 2012. Kenria’s (Ria for short) grandmother used to sew and passed it on to her mother, whom she mostly learned the basics from. As she got older and started to gain more interest in fashion, she started to experiment with different techniques, purchase textbooks and everything else she pretty much learned from trial and error and, of course Youtube. I sat down with this Power Woman this week to talk about her Red Carpet debut and gain insight on who she is and what’s next for her brand.

How did it feel to design for 3 Bahamian Icon Nominees?   

It really didn't hit me until I started working on Leanne's dress (I had less than 24 hours to pull that together lol). I knew Leah and Leanne from Facebook, and Wendy is one of my newer clients, but I love all of their energy, so it felt pretty easy breezy as opposed to 'Holy crap, these are ICONS'.   It was my first red carpet as well, so watching the red carpet and the show was kind of surreal, especially when Leanne was asked who she was wearing and she said 'Ria Georgina'. I legitimately almost jumped out of my skin.

What is your personal development plan?  

I'm not a big planner, especially when it comes to things like running a business. I literally have no idea what I'm doing, but I know that I would be miserable if I were doing anything else.  For now, I just want to build my clientele and continue doing what I love and see where it takes me.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Hmmm, probably the combination of the Love and Hip Hop series (all of them lol) and Twitter. It's so ratchet but I can't stop watching/tweeting. It's hilarious.

Who was your favourite person to design/style for and why? 

 And NOW you're trying to get me into trouble.   Generally speaking, I love designing for women who know what they want, come with reference photos, but are open to trying something different. I love when I can get to that sweet spot where the client trusts me completely, it's really quite the compliment.

What are the top three life lessons you've learned that have been the most helpful in your career?  

The main lesson I've learned is that not everyone is as honest as you may be. Just because I would never commission someone to make a dress and drop off the face of the earth without paying for it, doesn't mean that someone else won't. I had that happen to me more times than I'd like to admit.   I've also learned that if you don't love what you do, it won't matter how much money you make. I worked for a handful of people before finally deciding to try it on my own, and the same thing usually happened; I'd be happy the first few weeks because I could finally save up for something I may have wanted, but once I got it, I kind of felt unfulfilled, like I was missing something important. Money is nice to have in abundance, but to be honest, if the world never ran on currency, I would still be doing what I do now.   The third thing is that your client should NEVER see you panic. There are times when something is a bit too snug, or too short, and I can visibly see the panic in my clients' eyes. I always keep a cool head and reassure them that it's not the end of the world, and that it can be fixed. Because in most cases, it can. Things go wrong all the time, but it's the way that we handle it that people usually remember.

Name someone you would really like to work with. Why?  

I have a designer bucket list that I constantly add to, but if I had to pick one person right now, it would be Emma Stone. She's one of my favorite redheads and I love that she likes to stand out on the Red Carpet. Plus she would be so much fun to hang out with.

What are the top three life lessons you would pass on to someone else?   

First, I would advise them not to take failures and the word 'no' as the end of the road. None of these things are permanent unless we let it be.  Also, I'd tell them to not let the way the world treats you change you for the worse. If you are a positive person, hold on to that. If you're a video game enthusiast way into your 30's, own it. The world needs diversity.   Finally, I would encourage them to travel and learn as much as you can about as many places as you can, while you can.

You run into a potential client in the elevator/coffee shop and you only have 60 seconds to sell yourself. Go!

Hmmm. Well at least 20 of that 60 seconds would be wasted on me just going back and forth in my head about whether or not I should even approach them. If it's someone who's in the public eye, I'd ask them if they were so-and-so and then I'd say something like 'Awesome, I really appreciate what you do for (insert charity here). My name is Kenria Smith, I'm a local designer and stylist, and I'd love to work with you for your next event.' Then I'd give them my card and let the rest sort itself out. I'm not an aggressive human.

 What's next for Ria Georgina?  

I'm currently working on some pieces for an upcoming music video (I won't say who yet), and after that, I will be winging it. I'm open to whatever opportunities this profession has waiting for me.