CURRENTLY: SHE DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE

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Hello Lovely,

This is not a post I ever wanted to write. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. For the past two weeks I have been very silent on my blog and various social media channels because I’ve been in total shock. I went from depressed, to anxious, to angry. And the worst part is the pain is only truly beginning. For those who don’t know, on May 15, my cousin, Kameela Russell went missing. An official missing person’s report was filed on May 17, which is when I was notified. I immediately had a bad feeling about it; I knew something bad happened. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance were beyond suspicious and nothing made any sense. She’s not the type to run away or commit suicide so I knew it wasn’t that. By Saturday morning, when there was no update or anything of value to go on, I knew she wouldn’t be found alive. People thought I was being cynical and needed to be more positive, but there was no denying the reality of the situation and I wanted to be prepared for it.

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So two weeks later, when a body was discovered, I cannot describe the relief I felt. Here’s the thing, not knowing where someone is, is the worst feeling. There is always some level of hope that they’re okay and can possibly come back. It’s impossible to fully move on. I was glued to my phone, waiting for updates, constantly watching the news. I was on edge because every time my mum or dad called, I thought that would be the call, but it wasn’t. Finding her body provided a level of closure, because it helped me to accept that she was truly never coming back. But that doesn’t mean I’m okay with any part of this.

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Co-workers are shocked at how strong I am right now, and to be honest so am I. There were moments when I sobbed, and I do mean heavily, dramatically sobbed in my best friend’s arms, and coworkers arms. What I learned is although there are some people I can grieve with, for the most part, I prefer to grieve alone. I also learned that I’ve become the person that spends so much time enjoying the moment, that I don’t always remember to photograph the moment (which is weird as a photographer and blogger). I realised this when I could only find a handful of pictures of Kameela and I. I can’t begin to count the moments we spent together.

Halloween 2010.in Aunt Donna’s house: I was a cyber-punk and Kameela was a gangster

Halloween 2010.in Aunt Donna’s house: I was a cyber-punk and Kameela was a gangster

This woman formed so much of who I am today. She taught me how to dance and a lot of truth. She helped me to move out of my college dorm, picked me up from the airport countless times, trusted me of all people with her kids, picked me up after my first tattoo and taught me how to care for it. She taught me so much but I will never be able to repay her for. She was the life of the party, a source of wisdom and the big sister I never had. We somehow both ended up in education and always bonded over it. We traded stories and watched the TV Land show, Teachers. We laughed over memes and she educated me on who’s who, on Love and Hip Hop. I laughed at you trying to act gangster when you needed your glasses just to see. Your honesty was always appreciated and I will never forget when she took over my cousin’s Christmas party and actually made it fun. You even got my grandmother to twerk! I will always miss you. Thank you for teaching me so much.

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On June 22, I will say my final good bye, but I cannot accept that this is how your story ends. No one deserves this. I’m still going back and forth between acceptance and “did this really happen?” I want answers. I want more time. I want to comfort my aunt who just lost her only child. There is nothing anyone can do to prepare for this kind of pain. But every day, I will try a little harder to get by. When I was little, all I wanted was to be just like you, now all I want is justice for you.

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Ask Olivia: My Mother is The Reason I Have a Food Addiction

Hello lovley,

I haven’t done an Ask Olivia session in forever and I’m so sorry about that. I love when you guys send in your questions and seek advice. Lately I’ve responded on a one-on-one basis, but when I got this request, I had to share:

Hey Olivia,

My mum and I have never gotten along. She would get mad at me for nothing and always told me she hates me. She never says thank you, doesn't appreciate anything I do and won’t even give me keys to the house. She breathes down my neck all day and says hurtful things like I'm stupid and fat. She insists I’ve gained 20 lbs. when I’ve actually lost 20 lbs. and still continue to exercise. The worst part is, she now has dementia. Despite all of this, I still have respect for her, and do everything she asks of me. But when she gets on me about my weight, I start to stress eat and pick up unhealthy food to eat. Food has become a source of comfort, but I can’t let it or her destroy me. What should I do?

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Dear Reader,

I'm really sorry your mother treats you like this, but I’m also very proud of the way you manage to maintain respect for her. That is not an easy thing to do and says a lot about your character. I know its hard to be polite in the face of such disrespect, but given that she is your mother, whom you live with, limiting your interactions with her doesn’t sound like much of an option. However, I would suggest if moving out isn’t an option right now, arrange your daily schedule in such a way that you create boundaries between the two of you (ex: Getting up at a time you wouldn’t have to talk to her, finding activities that keep you away from the house etc.)If your interactions with her are the reason, you’re overeating, then your interactions with her and food have to change. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that eating too much in one sitting or taking in too many calories throughout the day are common habits that can be hard to break. There may even be moments you enjoy being around her, that draw you into communication, but it turns south and then you’re turning to food.

From a psychological point of view, the reason food feels like a source of comfort is because many highly processed foods trigger the reward centres in the brain. People begin eating these foods because they release endorphins and “feel good” neurotransmitters, which can temporarily relieve emotional distress. But no amount of temporary relief can compensate for the life long damage you're causing.

Meal planning is optimal to help you gain control of your overall food intake. Meal planning also involves keeping healthy snacks around for those binge moments. Too much of even a good thing is bad, but it’s still better to keep healthy options around that won't set you back too far.

Lastly try emphasising stress management techniques such as meditation, walking, or talking to a friend or therapist to help you deal with the underlying issues promoting stress. As 'long as you allow your mother's words to hurt you, that will constantly play in the back of your mind (subconscious) and drive you to seek comfort in the unhealthy behavior. You can’t change the person, only how you react to them. This is where its important to build new healthy habits, or strengthen those you already do.

I hope this advice has been helpful. If you or anyone else you know is struggling with an addiction , do not hesitate to get help. Check out some resources below:

Food Addiction | Signs, Symptoms, Depression & Statistics

Do I Have A Food Addiction? | Psychology Today

11 Grown-Ass Strategies For Handling Your Mom If She's Toxic - Bustle

Surviving the Toxic Parent | Psychology Today

If you would like to ask a question, shoot me a message in the form below. Just put Ask Olivia in the subject:

Name *
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THE DAWKINS FAMILY PHOTO SESSION AT HOBBY HORSE

Hello Lovely,

Last week Sunday I was sitting at home, after a long day of cleaning, when I got a call from my hairstylist. Her family planned to have a photoshoot, but the photographer was no longer available so she called me. I was honoured that she chose me to photograph her family. Over the past two years, Jamell has told me numerous stories about her family, but I never met them until the shoot. Can you believe she has THREE sisters? Imagine, raising FOUR girls, all with larger than life personalities! I wonder if her parents were trying for a boy, but I’m sure they wouldn’t trade any of their daughters for anything in the world!

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I haven’t done a photoshoot in forever, so I was worried I might’ve been a little rusty, but once I met everyone, I had nothing to worry about. I just love this family! I laughed the entire session! Everyone brought so much energy, I hardly had to direct at all, which is my favourite kind of client. We moved through this session really quickly and I’m really happy with how many shots we got in only one hour of shooting. Thank you guys for inviting me to capture this moment for you; I feel like an honorary member of the family now!

 
 
 

Christmas 2018: A Season of Gratitude

Hello Lovely,

The Christmas season isn`t over yet but what an amazing time I`ve been having so far! I had many reasons to be grateful this year. Apart from the many successes I have experienced this yesr, I`ve never felt more loved by my friends. We did a lot together during the holiday. The holiday gatherings officially started when I took Telia to “The Anti-Office Christmas Party”. We met up with Krista and two of my other friends who were helping Krista`s boyfriend Freddy to bartend. Freddy was super excited about his “Egg-less Eggnog” with Bacon Whiskey. It tasted great but the bacon flavour wasn`t quite there. But when I realised the eggnog was made with whole milk, I had to pass it on to Telia and switch to a Mojito, which is my favourite drink next to a Moscow Mule (blame it on the mint).

After a bit of carousing, it`s safe to say we kind of took over the party. We changed the music and led a raunchy game of What Do You Meme before bringing the house down with some really awkward Celine Dion and Boys II Men karaoke.

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On Christmas Eve, I made Christmas themed pancakes for everyone. I borrowed this pan from my cousin because it was just so cute. They were gingerbread flavoured and everyone loved it! If you want the recipe, check it out below:

Gingerbread Pancakes

 PREP: 7 MINUTES

 COOK: 15 MINUTES

 8 - 10 SERVINGS

Warm spiced gingerbread mini pancakes make an amazing holiday breakfast with the family. Even better, gingerbread pancakes made with our Holiday Pancake Pan, for a festive meal to make with the kids.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon molasses

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 1 cup milk

Directions

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, molasses and melted butter. Pour this mixture into dry ingredients and blend. The batter will be lumpy. Set aside.

Preheat pan on medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Brush pan with shortening or baking spray. Fill cavities with batter, leaving one design cavity open. Cook until the pancakes slowly stop bubbling and edges are done. Using a small spatula or other non-metal utensil, flip each pancake into an open cavity on the pan. Finish cooking until golden brown and remove pancakes. Repeat cooking steps with remaining batter. Makes 20- 24 pancakes.

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Later that evening, I went with Krista, her boyfriend and her sister to see Aquaman at the new Fusion Superplex. I gave it a 6.8/10 because there was just way too much CGI and explosions and I just could not forgive them for using jet skis; you’re mer-people, why do you need jet skis? I went into knowing that it’s DC and not Marvel so my expectations were pretty low.

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On Christmas Day, I had a blast! I slept in until 10 (which totally threw me off schedule), made pancakes again (this time banana, red and green) before opening presents. Christmas really isn’t about presents but I must admit it felt good to get a lot of gifts this year. I got my mum a Tile because she’s always losing her keys and cellphone. I got my best friend Krista an Amazon Echo and she loved it because she said she can set reminders every 30 minutes to tell herself she’s awesome (that’s Krista). I got Telia my favourite Moscato in a really nice wooden crate, a bar of chocolate and a pizza pan. I got the same gift for my boyfriend and dad: An Invicta Watch. I just fell in love with it and it was a great price! Krista’s mum and my grandmother received beautiful blouses and I gifted my grandaunt and her daughter with bottles of wine.

My mum also got my niece the cutest Minnie Mouse ride-on airplane with glowing lights, sounds and a battery operated propeller. Watching my niece open the gift was hilarious. We had to teach her how to open the present and then she was more fascinated with the paper that she ripped off. Once we finally got it opened, she was so excited she couldn’t stop laughing. She pushed it around, pressed the buttons and turned the steering wheel. It was great seeing her so happy.

Then it was time for me to open my presents! I already knew what two of my gifts were but the others were a surprise. I gave myself a new pair of Kate Spade coffee tumblers. I really needed new mugs so I was super happy for this little present to myself. I also got a pair of candles from my step mother. Telia got me a beautiful clutch and a gorgeous pen that I can wait to use! Then it was time for my secret Santa gifts. I knew one was a bottle of wine nut I didn’t know what kind of wine and I knew I got a slow cooker because I asked for it. I was so excited because i’ve wanted a slow cooker for years but my mum refused to let me buy one. She claimed it would raise the light bill too much but there's nothing she can do about it now 😂

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My last gift, I'm actually using right now. It's a gift from my boyfriend. I just happened to mention that I wanted the Microsoft Surface Go and he decided to buy it for me. The feminist in me wanted to say no I will buy it myself but the inner sucker for romance thought it was such a sweet gesture. He was also there for me when the keyboard wouldn’t let me be great. I’m not entirely sure what he did, but everything sorted itself out and it’s become far less painless to use (with autocorrect and predictive text), although I can’t wait for my keyboard cover (a whopping $129) that appears to be lost in transit.

I quickly went into the kitchen to bake my Apple Cranberry Pie because I was having dinner by my best friend Sheena! It has been so great catching up with her and trust me, we both have major plans for 2019! She is one of the most supportive, positive and bubbly people I know and I love having these kind of people in my life. I spent a little time with my dad and step-mom before heading back home.

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Boxing Day (the day after Christmas for my American readers) was also great. I spent time with my boyfriend (after totally sleeping in) before picking up my cousin Kameela who is visiting from Florida. I took her to my family function and we had a great time getting drunk, dancing and even teaching my grandmother how to twerk. I know that sounds so weird, but my grandmother was such a good sport about it, we all just laughed. That’s why this post (that was supposed to go out yesterday) only just got written. I’ve been having so much fun, and spending so much time with friends and family that I just didn’t have the time.

Apart from having my Grandmother home for Christmas, my favourite part was the cool weather. Christmas day is consistently hot for us, like over 80 degrees! So this year, when we had low 70s, no one complained! Then it poured rain all day yesterday. I can’t complain about the rain. God has given me so much this year, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next year. How was your Christmas? Share your favourite (or least favourite) moments of the season in the comment section below!











My Dad Got Married & Other Highlights From Grand Turk

Hello Lovely,

It's still a little weird being back to real life after vacationing for three weeks! I've never travelled for so long but I must admit: as much as I love to travel, three weeks might be a little too long to travel at one time. Earlier this week I shared some tips for any first time cruisers. Cruises can be fun because you get to visit so many different countries, with 24 hour food and hospitality services. So I'm going to be breaking down the different stops from my summer cruise, starting with the first stop: Grand Turk.

Only July 9, we arrived in Grand Turk and left the ship for a very special reason. My dad remarried! My parents divorced 11 years ago and during that time my mum remarried and widowed. My dad's new wife has two teenage daughters and we were all a part of the wedding. They got married on Governor's Beach in Grand Turk. It was kind of funny seeing other tourists come to the beach and "attend" the wedding. Some even took photos. I couldn't understand why anyone would want photos of random people getting married on the beach, but it was a little nice to be commemorated in another family's vacation memories.

At one point, I began to cry almost hysterically when I thought about my step dad. It's weird how grief sneaks into random moments that have nothing to do with what you're grieving, but I had to pull it together because I knew my dad's side of the family wouldn't understand (they're not the best at handling emotions). I had to give a toast at the wedding and even though I already wrote it out, I HATE public speaking (mostly speaking in front of people I don't like) so this was really anxiety provoking for me. I just had to remind myself that the toast was to my dad and no one else, so it only mattered that he liked it.

After the wedding we took a tour of the island seeing most of it. I loved the wild donkeys and horses. A lot of people may not know that Grand Turk is still under British rule and independence is a huge debate in the country. So don't be surprised if you happen to see a few red telephone booths. The island is very small and still recovering from the hurricanes, so don't expect a lot of places to be open. The simple lifestyle is very nice and peaceful. We also found out you could buy a 1/4 acre of land for only $35,000. Can anyone say vacation home/investment property?

Grand Turk was a nice but it wasn't my favourite stop. Which one was? Well you'll just have to wait and see. But until then, I'd love to hear from you guys! How was your summer? Did you travel anywhere interesting? Have you ever been to Grand Turk before? Would you want to go? Contact me for more details on how you can vacation in Grand Turk if you're interested and I can give you the low down on where to go and all the must see sites.

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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Currently: How We Spent The Holidays

Hello 2017!

Welcome back! Did you all have an amazing Christmas?

Christmas in Miami is definitely not the same as Christmas back home in The Bahamas. But every year I spend with my boyfriend, is a different experience. If I were home, I would’ve spent Christmas in church, so to spend it doing anything else just feels weird.  I didn’t get to go to church this Christmas season at all. To be honest, I spent most of the season sitting around the apartment either watching various crime dramas or the Mythbusters marathon. When I wasn’t home, I was exploring wherever Uber could take me.

I surprised my boyfriend by coming in a day earlier than I had promised, and whisked him off to watch Star Wars on opening day. We even went shopping in Lush afterwards on a whim. It's been five years since I shopped there so I've missed that store. I treated myself to a new camera this Christmas (it’s been four years since I upgraded) and my boyfriend got me the perfect zoom lens for it! I was also able to get my closest friends and family presents that they loved, so that was a great feeling. I spent Christmas and New Year’s Day with my boyfriend’s family. On Christmas Eve we went to a block party together and we spent New Year’s Eve dancing to J-Lo (don’t tell him I told you that).

My Christmas holiday was full of good cheer, traditional fixings and family visits.  After church, my husband and I, house hopped to family and close friends, visiting the entire spectrum of relatives from grandparents to siblings and god-kids.  The famous pound cake from Freeport was super moist and flavourful as always and our end of day count of fruit cake slices was nothing short of 6! We had just about every cake imaginable, with no shortage of walnuts in sight.  The traditional meal of ham, turkey and vegetables also had an English flair with extras such as balsamic glazed Brussel sprouts, oven baked potatoes and English sausage.  

After a competitive game of Dominos, we teamed up to play Cranium and emerged as the winners of the night after many Charades, Sketching and Brain teaser inspired rounds (Go team Sweeting!).  I must say, I truly loved how I felt the joy of Christmas through sharing time with my loved ones.  It was one of my best Christmases.

How was your Christmas break? Did you do anything or go anywhere exciting? Share with us your Christmas moments in the comment section below.

 

An Ode to Grandpa - How to Embrace the Middle

Hello Lovely,

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“Ahhh!” As I breathed in the clean, cool Grand Bahama air on a Sunday afternoon in September, I instantly began to feel more at ease.  During the days leading up to the funeral, we mourned the loss of my grandfather: a great man of joy, harsh truths and hard work.  Grandpa will have you welding in the rain, protective gear and all; anything to get the job done!

As I stared out of the rain-stained window, betwixt the coconut trees, I took a long, deep breath and exhaled.  Eyes closed, chest lifted and mind cleared in seconds.  Memories of my grandfather flashed in my mind; fading in and out.  When we laid him to rest the day before it was indeed a heartfelt loss.  His funeral was short and fitting, with a harmonious music and fond memories.

I found myself lost in thought; reflecting, rethinking and analyzing the steps that led me to this point in my life. Was I following my passion? Have I made my mark on the world? Am I presenting my best self? Will I be remembered for the kindness of my heart and the thoughtfulness of my actions?

A loss often puts life in perspective. When a family member has passed, we lose a piece of ourselves and no matter how minute that may be, sadness and possible detachment are felt.  At times this may cause people to feel gratitude, inspiration, the reality of life's shortness  or its fragility.

Although I felt the heaviness of his absence, it did encourage me to make my life momentous and to be remembered as my true self; to share myself in all facets, with the world.  It was a reminder that we are all on a journey in life, one that ultimately comes to an end. We may not be able to choose that ending or even our beginning, but we do have power over the middle. Unlike the other stages, the middle doesn’t offer the excitement of new beginnings or the joy we sometimes find in endings. The middle is full of reality checkpoints where we realise the journey we had envisioned is unlike the journey we’ve actually experienced. As I reflected, I learnt a few life lessons. Here's how to better understand the middle stage of your journey:

  • Be passionate NOW! - No matter how old or experienced you are, passion is instinctive in us and shines through when we act on what is natural to us.  If it's public speaking, carpentry, singing, writing, art, photography, cooking: just do it. Your life will thank you.

  • Losing a loved one doesn't mean letting go - It means you've suffered a loss and now have the memories to hold dear. This doesn’t signify your end nor does it mean your life should be on indefinite hold. It isn't easy, it takes time, you may feel detached from the world and it will be emotional; but remember that these are normal.  Healing is normal.

  • Be remembered for the true you and not who you're expected to be  - My grandfather was jovial, selective and made nor took any excuses when it came to working and providing. He was small in stature but strong and wise in character. He will be remembered for these things, but mostly for his heart.  He was kind and mentored those whom he saw potential in.  Through welding, he taught others and changed lives.

  • Life is Fragile - My grandfather was preparing for recovery and family members were preparing to provide as much comfort and assistance as possible.  We were hopeful.  As with life, no one knows tomorrow and we did not have a chance to spend more time with him.  Knowing this: be wise, live in today, make the decisions that leave your minds at ease.  Time moves silently and quickly, ensure that it doesn't leave you.

My grandfather had a strong character and was remembered quite fondly by his church family and those whose lives he had changed and inspired.  He left big footprints to follow and truly no one can walk in his shadow.  The best part is he wouldn't want any of his relatives in his shadow, but more so paving their own path and adding value to their lives and the lives of others along the way.

Mark 13:32-33New Living Translation (NLT)

32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!”

What life moment has had you rethink your perspective on life? What life lessons have you learnt lately? How will you take charge of your middle stage to find your happy ending?

XoX,
Mechelle

 

Currently: Hurricane Matthew Aftermath

Hello Lovely,

Today is a bittersweet day for us at Life By Olivia. It’s a holiday in The Bahamas but no one feels like celebrating. We managed to survive the hurricane but some people weren’t so fortunate. Along with excessive flooding, there are some people on the island who lost their roof, their cars and their entire home. We saw mass panic as persons flooded and swarmed the gas stations buying sometimes $10 at a time into their fuel containers in fear of there being no fuel or not being able to make it safely to home or work.  Gas stations actually ran out of gas and the average wait time was anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Reports of even greater damage are still coming in from the other islands. Many homes are still without power (we went three days) and some don’t have running water either. The damage was even worse in the other Caribbean countries that Hurricane Matthew hit. Haiti has a death toll of at least 800, which they expect to rise more. We are praying for solutions to everyone affected by this storm.

This photo is as of October 6, 2016

This photo is as of October 6, 2016

On a brighter note, we saw sparks of hope with persons providing relief items and clean up during the aftermath, and even brotherly love during the hurricane itself. 

Mechelle: Although my home suffered damages that have to be addressed and an assessment of lost items and electronics were done , I am happy to say that I have experienced the pleasant, hopefully and bonding aspect of the natural disaster.  After evacuating our home, my husband and I spent Matthew’s duration with relatives who were nothing less than hospitable and nurturing. In a house of 13, it’s easy to lose your way or grow weary during the long hours of no power, small kids vying for attention or lacking your own ‘space’.  But this paled in comparison to the home cooked meals on a gas stove/oven that was whipped up without complaint and was more than enough to feed us all, at least twice per day.  I loved snacking on roasted vegetables like pumpkin and sweet potatoes, coconut water and V8. There were old island stories shared, moments outside by the pool, impromptu group games (Name game anyone?) and Guitar lessons.  There were certainly more smiles than frowns and at the end of it all, we exuded gratefulness. Grateful for life, food, family, shelter, hope and receiving the all clear.  I too am grateful for my second family: my friends, who shared no negativity and always highlighted the silver lining throughout this experience.  It may have seemed like the longest most uncertain moment of our lives at that time but we made it through wholly.

Olivia: One of the best ways that we prepared for the storm was by getting snacks. I was happy to snack on Cheetos, ramen noodles and Crystal Bay. Our water stayed frozen for two whole days in the freezer so we were really grateful for that. For me, our roof was damaged by a neighbours aluminium shutters that came loose at the beginning of the storm flew over two houses, hit our roof and then landed in our next door neighbours’ yard. It was a scary moment especially when my mum’s bedroom and bathroom ceiling began leaking. Even scarier was realising that my neighbours’ three year old daughter with Down Syndrome is still on a feeding tube, and with no power for three days, the machine now needed to recharge. I was complaining about not having a fan blowing on me, while they were literally in a life or death situation. So we were really grateful when the power was restore at 3:04 the following morning. For four days I slept on the couch because I just couldn’t bear the heat in my room. During the day we either sat outside in the garage or took a drive just to see something other than our four walls. Some trips were made at two in the morning just so we could cool down enough to sleep. My most exciting excursion was going to Home Fabrics, the local craft store and looking at the Halloween decorations and costumes. I got a lot of inspiration and I can’t wait to start some new projects. I went to church yesterday and there were less than 25 people (not counting the volunteers). I was so grateful to be unharmed that I had to give thanks and see if there was anything I could do to help anyone else.

Now that the worst of Hurricane Matthew is behind us (at least impact wise), it's time for us to assess and share our current situations.

 

CURRENTLY – MECHELLE

Reading: The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais.  An engaging crime thriller lent by a good friend. Thanks Hun!

Loving: I am lovin’ this bar of Kerrygold Garlic and Herb butter.  I’ve always seen it in the dairy aisle but never purchased it.  Constantly thinking: ‘I can make that, so why buy it?’   ‘It probably won’t taste fresh or earthy.’  Boy was I mistaken.   Found in a slender 3.5 ounce size and wrapped in the signature gold paper, my husband picked it up and thought it would provide more flavour to our dishes without the hassle of dicing and prepping ingredients.  I tried it out on a roasted pumpkin that I had quartered and deskinned after cooking.  It.was.DIVINE. I was pleasantly surprised at the burst of flavour and even more so at the list of green herbs including Dill, Thyme, Chives, Parsley.  I also used it on the top layer of the turkey and cheese panini and it accented it nicely with a golden brown effect.  If you normally cook with butter or even use it as an accent (toast, bagels, crostini, etc.), I would recommend you try it!

Planning: I’m planning to create a life size Vision Board.  I was reminded of the depth of it during a seminar last week and want to take my mini paper version and make it life size

Anticipating: I’m anticipating trying numerous lipstick swatches at the local MAC store.  I saw some nice shades on YouTube and would like to see if they’re just as fun and functional in person ;).  I’m thinking shades like Heroine, Viva La Glam and MAC Red.

CURRENTLY – OLIVIA

Reading: I downloaded a series just before the Hurricane hit called The Girl in The Box. I’m not head over heels in love with it, but so far I’ve finished the first book so I might as well finish the series. I’m also reading a book called Best Supporting Role by Sue Margolis. Another book I’m not head over heels in love with it, but I’ll finish it eventually. I’m really picky with my books.

Loving: I’m loving the support I’ve seen since the storm hit. After our roof was hit, a random neighbour didn’t even wait for the all clear, he grabbed his ladder, a tarp and some nails and started patching our roof. A friend at church offered to give people ice if anyone needed them. Seeing that kind of support really made me feel better about the current state of things.

Planning: I’m super excited to plan new Fall-themed recipes for you guys and already have a few lined up to try out. Including Halloween Bark that I plan on giving out at Trunk or Treat!

Anticipating: I can’t wait for two things this month! Trunk-or-Treat at the end of the month at church and the VIVA women’s conference the week before that. I can’t wait to share my experience with those!

The aftermath continues and recovery will honestly take more than a few days but I am taking it day by day, with positivity in my corner. 

Share your story with us. What impact has this experience had on you?  Did you receive support from family and friends?  Were you able to help others?