How To Use My New Planners To Kick Off 2019 The Right Way

Hello Lovely,

Do you have goals for 2019? The holiday season is over now and it’s almost time to return to work. So after a couple of weeks of excess, it’s time to get back to it, bring that self-discipline and determination back and get it done. Staying on track after the initial high of motivation can be tough, though. This is why people often opt out of making New Year’s resolutions. But the fresh start that a new year brings should never be overlooked; it’s an opportunity to go after what truly makes you happy from a fresh perspective. That’s where these planners can really help you.

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As a thank you to everyone who has been such an amazing support over the past year, I am giving away two free printables to help you prioritise self-care and plan self-care activities for every day of the month. These sheets are actually a part of a bundle deal that I’m releasing today, called “How To Own Your Sh*t”. The bundle sells for only $10. The bundle includes a fitness planner, ($6 if bought separately) and a self-care workbook with 30 activities ($6 if bought separately). The fitness planner comes with 5 healthy recipes to get you started, easy workouts and it allows you to easily record your meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; keep track of your daily activity and exercises; and has space for reflection to allow you to improve every week. There’s even links for three of my favourite at-home workouts. While the self-care workbook has 30 different activities ranging from silly confidence boosters to deep introspective creative writing.

All planners are easy to print and put together, and if you live in Nassau, I’ll print the planner for you if you want. A small delivery fee of $2 will be charged. Purchase the Self Care Planner here and the Fitness Planner here. Or buy them both here.


10 (Almost) Free Ways to Have a Social Life On a Budget

Hello Lovely,

Can you believe we're already in April? Are you sticking to your New Year's Resolutions and commitments so far? I know one of my resolutions is to have more of a social life. Now that I've finished paying for school and I now drive a car I'm not ashamed to be seen in, I feel like the world is my oyster! I started doing more things last year for my birthday, and since then I've been slowly filling up my social calendar with a variety of events; but I had to get really creative with it, because some days I just couldn't. I'm sure you've been there before: “Can’t hang this weekend, I’m broke,” is probably one of the most tragic texts that you’ve probably sent before. You stay home on a Friday night, covered in Dorito crumbs scrolling through Instagram stories with hard-core FOMO; reminiscing on the days when you could afford to do things like ‘socialising’, or ‘leaving the house’.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some photos of me sipping champagne and jet-setting. Would you believe me if I told you I almost never paid for most of those nights? You probably think having a social life can be really expensive, right? Well, it doesn't have to be. Remember when I told you how I saved for my European trip? Well now I'm back with 10 (almost) free ways to get creative with your social life so you too can be "balling on a budget".

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1. Eat Cheap at Restaurants

People were surprised when I took my BFF on a bestie date to Baha Mar for only $30 (both of us). How? When eating out, choose appetisers or desserts. Or you can even fill up on sides. They're the cheapest things on the menu that can leave you feeling just as full as a main entree.


2. Happy Hour

I was so happy when Senor Frogs offered a Ladies Night, where ladies can drink 3 house drinks FOR FREE! If you choose to do this, try to go early as the bar fills up pretty quickly with women who all demand the bartenders attention. Find happy hours and hop between them. The good thing about happy hour is BOGO or discounted drinks and foods. Once you've had the cheaper drinks, you're fuelled for a night of partying or at least liquored up enough to feel like you did something fun, without the late night struggles. Besides, 6 PM is totally the new 11 PM.

3. Movie Night

Do you and your friends like to watch movies? Whether it's Wonder Woman, Black Panther or Star Wars, there's been a lot of blockbusters hitting the big screen recently; so of course you're going to want to watch them in a comfy environment with your favourite snacks. So what's the best way to so this? Throw a movie night at home, complete with “stadium seating” (bar chairs behind a couch behind a layer of pillow seats) and popcorn. You can serve frozen pizzas, hot dogs or your other favourite appetiser. Save money by screening movies you already own, or use an Android Box, Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick.


4. Get Your Kicks as a Volunteer

Instead of paying full price to attend major events and festivals, look into group volunteer activities such as Hands for Hunger or the Rotary Club. No matter how expensive the face value of the ticket, it’s very likely that the event management team is looking for volunteers to help with the day-of celebration. So if you volunteer with an organisation for an event, you're able to attend it for free and still enjoy it as if you paid for a ticket.


5. Dinner Parties are my Best Friend

I love when my friend's have a "potluck" because it's the easiest way to get fed with minimal effort. Dinner parties are one of the best ways to see mates without spending too much money. If you encourage everyone to bring a plate or some wine, you’ll have a whole table of food without that awkward “are we splitting it or just paying for what we had?” conversation at the end.

Themed nights (Mexican night, breakfast foods, a meal starting with the first letter of your name), or as cheesy as it sounds, playing some dinner party games can be ridiculously fun. And if there's leftovers, don't be ashamed to tote (I've recently upped my toting game by bringing my own lunch container).


6. Let's Go to The Beach!

One of the best perks of living in The Bahamas is the fact that we don't have to pay a dime to go to the beach. A lot of cities charge parking for beaches or entrance and I think that's ridiculous. So if you didn't know that, I suggest you grab a friend, a towel and a beer and head on down to the beach to catch some FREE sun, sand and waves!

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7. Wine Tasting Events

I LOVE wine tasting events. Even if I don't like the wine served, it's still FREE wine! Are you kidding me? Of course I'm going! Every month Young's Fine Wine and Mahogany House each host a wine tasting event where you can sample at least 6 different wines for FREE. And the wines offered are always discounted for that night only. Young's Fine Wine is always themed so all the wines will be from a particular region or similar in other areas; whereas Mahogany House usually has 6 white wines and 6 red wines. Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date so that you can know when the next wine tasting is.


8. Sip and Shop

Here's the thing, most stores know that at least 90% of the people at their sip and shop event are only there to sip. Don't worry about offending them. Sip and shop's are great ways to sip expensive champagne while marvelling over who in their right mind would actually buy those expensive items.

9. Salsa and Latin Dancing

If you don't know, now you know. You can learn how to dance Salsa, Meringue and Bachata for FREE if you go to VIA Cafe on Thursdays and Melia Hotel Lobby on Saturdays. It's SOOOOO much fun! Everyone there has been dancing for quite some time but don't let that intimidate you. There's often a few choreographed group dances (similar to Zumba) that you can easily join. So put on your flats or kitten heels and get ready to sweat!

10. Start a Fitness Group

Speaking of sweating, why not get together with your girlfriends and start a fitness group. Not only is it easier to work out in front of your peers because there's less judgement, but you'll have a support system that will keep you motivated and excited about meeting your goal. In fact that's how I got closer to the ladies in my church. We didn't really know what we were doing but we had a good time laughing and helping each other. So work hard or hardly work; as long as you're together. you're bound to have some fun with it!

*This post originally appeared on Life By Olivia*

Going out with your friends to enjoy fine dining, drinking and entertainment doesn’t have to traumatise your budget. Just plan it out in advance and get creative with your choices and your wallet and reputation will both thank you! What's your favourite way to "Ball on a Budget"? Share your tips and reactions to this post in the comment section below!

Cinco de Mayo Dinner Party Cards

Hello Lovely,

It's Cinco de Mayo!!!!!! I'm not sure if I've ever been so happy for an excuse to cut loose, drink and party with friends. This weekend is going to be hectic but totally a blast! Tonight is night 2 of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival concerts and my favourite Soca artist (AKA my Trinidadian baby daddy) is performing: Machel Montano! Can you believe that I have never seen him live in concert? It saddens me to admit that. That's why I HAVE to fix it! I will be sorely disappointed if I miss my chance again.

So because the concert is tonight, which clearly takes priority, my Cinco de mayo party with friends is this Sunday. We're so excited! Even though we just had a party two nights ago, we're really going to get down this Sunday. To make this more interesting, I came up with these dinner party cards. It's a set of 20 cards: 12 are for charades and 8 are conversation questions. Charades and dinner conversation starter cards are simple to print, cut and have handy for any meal! 

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party with friends or finally sitting down to a family meal after a less-than-sober Cinco de Mayo, these free printable charades and conversations starters are perfect! Download your free printable here. 

The Sweets & Sips eBook is Here!

Hello Lovely,

Today I am so happy to release my new eBook! It's taken months of preparation. I had so much fun putting this together, and thinking of fun and new recipes to share with you guys! All of the sweets are brand new and never before seen, with two new drink recipes and four oldies but goodies.

This book is meant to inspire you to take ordinary desserts and make something worthy of sharing with others for bakers of all levels. You are free to substitute for all dietary needs and of course double or even triple the recipe depending on your audience size. Don’t be afraid to add your own flair too. With 12 recipes (6 sweets and 6 sips), I hope this book lights that creative spark within you. Let Life By Olivia be your VIP Pass to the latest beauty and fashion trends with quick and easy recipes that shine and satisfy. Because life could use a personal touch.

If you want your free copy, you only have three days to get it free before it goes on sale on Amazon for $2.99! So all you have to do to get your free copy is enter your email address below and we'll send it right over! That's it! But you've only got three days to do so! So as of Thursday (Thanksgiving) you'll have to get it from Amazon. Act fast! You don't want to miss out on this deal. Unless you want to buy it, I won't discourage you from doing that!




Letter From Olivia: Give Thanks November

Hello Lovely,

Can you believe that Fall is almost over? It seems like only yesterday I was swapping out flip flops for boots. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful chill front these past two weeks (wasn’t quite a cold front, but at least we weren’t subjected to 85 degree and up weather). I love cold weather and often joke that I was probably born in the wrong country because I cannot tolerate heat. But no matter what, I will always be grateful for my home.

Isn’t that what November is for? Taking time out to remember and give thanks for the little things in life we often take for granted? Well that’s what you can expect from us at Life By Olivia this month. All month long, we are going to share things we are grateful for, big and small. You can expect more quick tips on the Facebook Page from Mechelle.  We’re also going to share ways you can show your gratitude with free recipes, crafts and printables to help you celebrate the holidays in style. Afraid you’ll indulge too much at Thanksgiving dinner? Don’t worry, we’re also sharing fitness tips that you can do anytime, anywhere all month long, starting next week.

Last but not least, this month we are sharing our gratitude for you the readers. I’ve been putting together an eBook of my favourite recipes, some of which you’ve never seen before, called Sweets & Sips to be released on Friday November 18, 2016. These recipes are sure to impress while you indulge. AND if you sign up right now to pre-request our FREE eBook, we are going to send you a FREE copy of our Thanksgiving Wine Bottle Labels for you to jazz up your bottle at your next dinner. Don’t be scared if you start to see Christmas stuff towards the end of month. We’re really excited for Christmas! I can’t wait to show you all of the festive things that are in store for the rest of the month.

What would you love to see on in November?

Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments!



Friday Favourites: Get in the Mood for Summer with these Free Phone Wallpapers

Hello Lovely,

Spring is in full bloom, but the weather is screaming summer! So I don’t know about you, but I think it’s about time for a couple of fun new summery wallpapers, don’t you think?!

Today is Labour Day so I have the day off. It’s so nice to relax, and these wallpapers with their pastel colours and bold prints are really inspiring me to get out and do something or make something colourful. I hope when you see these backgrounds, you get inspired as well. While these images are not mine, I had so much fun collecting them, and hope you enjoy using them!

You can download all ten of these gorgeous wallpapers here or right-click on each one you want to download. But let’s be honest, you know you want ‘em all!


Mother's Day Free Printable Coupon Book

As Mother's Day approaches (May 8 — you're welcome for the reminder), it's a good time to go over some do’s and don’ts for gift giving. Let’s face it, as adults uncooked macaroni glued to cardboard doesn't cut it any more when you have a full-time job. Remember your tween years, when you'd forget it was Mother's Day until the actual day and frantically throw together a "coupon book?" Basically gifting your mother — the woman who birthed you, nurtured you and raised you— a collection of IOU's. Things like "One free lawn mowing," or "Will walk the dogs without being asked." They were chores we were going to do anyway, but we were desperate and young, and we could get away with it. Not so much any more.

As an adult, buying a Mother's Day gift is still a struggle, but it doesn't have to be. Why not go back to the classic "coupon book" that worked so well for us in the past? The only difference being this time you'll make some coupons mom will actually want.

Here, we've compiled some for you already. We’ve even left some blank for you to fill out yourself. You can print as many as you’d like to make your coupon book as thick as you want.

All you have to do, to put this gift together, is print and cut out each coupon. Then stack them on top of each other, punch a hole on the side, and tie it together with a ribbon, like so! Feel free to go crazy with the decorations, or keep it simple!

Which ones do you think you’re going to use? Stay tuned this week as we’re going to be giving you great ideas for DIY Mother’s Day gifts that your mom actually wants!




Free Wine Tasting

Tuscany Wine and Olive Oil Tasting!

 March 17th

      6pm - 8pm     

At Young's Fine Wine Boutique!
Make it a date night and be the first to take advantage of these beautiful olive oils from 5 different regions, paired with delectable wines from Tuscany, Italy! See you there!

All wines, champagne and liquors will be 10% off the night of the event!
Tel: 601-0021
Store hours
Monday 11am - 5pm
Tuesday - Friday 11am - 6pm
Saturday 12pm - 5pm
Olde Town Sandyport(across from Twisted Lime & Post Office)
The Young's Fine Wine Team
Will, Laura, Kyle, Stefon, Niko, Marco