How to Be There For A Friend During a Life Changing Event

How to Be There For A Friend During a Life Changing Event

When a friend is grieving or fallen on hard times, it’s easy to feel helpless. Sometimes we think we’re doing the right thing by trying to cheer them up, pointing out the positives or letting them know that they should try to move on. Well-intentioned as we may be, those efforts tend to put pressure on them and leave them feeling invalidated. So here are 5 ways to help you support your friend in times of need

Read More

Galentine's Day Brunch

Galentine's Day Brunch

Many people have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. For some, the day creates an excuse to go on a romantic date with a significant other, exchange gifts and eat a lot of chocolate. For others, it’s a dreaded commercial holiday that highlights their single status. Whether you plan to celebrate Valentine's Day or not, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate the less controversial Galentine’s Day with your girls!

Read More

Holiday Painting Party

Hello Lovely,

Yesterday was a much needed holiday. I know school just re-opened last week, but after threatening to call a child's mother just to get him to stop talking back to me, I think I needed a quick recharge. The holiday we celebrated was Majority Rule Day. Majority Rule Day became a public holiday in 2014. It commemorates The Bahamas gaining majority rule for the first time on January 10, 1967, symbolising the promise of equality, a level playing field, and fair play for all Bahamians. 

DSC_0099.jpg
DSC_0146.jpg

To celebrate the holiday I got three of my girlfriends together for a painting party. I started things off by serving brunch (my now famous Banana Nut Pancakes and coffee with a custom made Coffee Creamer).

DSC_0098-2.jpg

We didn't get to paint half the stuff I had planned for us but we still had fun regardless. None of my friends are really "artistic" so we had a little competition to see whose own would look the most like our inspiration. While three of us really tried, Krista gave up very early and did her own design.

Cut-Paper-Grid-Mobile-_-thinkmakeshareblog.jpg

This is the inspiration photo. We all agreed Meghan's own looked the nicest.

We had so much fun figuring the patterns out. I tried to make mine look exactly like the original but throughout the process realised that I was putting way too much pressure on myself and I should just enjoy whatever I create. It definitely wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to copy this design, and with more practise I think I can get really good at it. I found and online class for painting patterns and designs so I can't wait to get started on that and show you what I create.

DSC_0115.jpg

After my friends left I made another picture, this time with markers instead of paint. This was the inspiration photo and beneath that is what I created. 

Do-Your-Thing-Mobile-_-thinkmakeshareblog.jpg
DSC_0149.jpg

I really like this painting, drawing thing. I used to draw a lot in high school but that skill got put on the back burner as I had to prioritise studying and writing papers. Now I'm getting back into doodling and it is so therapeutic!

How did you spend the holiday? Did you do anything with family or friends? Do you like to doodle and create artwork? Share your reactions and thoughts in the comment section below.

Weekend Recap: Self-Care + Fall Bucket List

Hello Lovely,

It’s October! Can you believe we’re already in October? So you know what that means. It’s officially appropriate to start preparing for Christmas! You guys know how much I LOOOOOOOOVE Christmas, and even though it doesn’t snow in The Bahamas, in my mind, I always imagine a white Christmas, with hot chocolate, marshmallows and a fireplace with twinkling lights and a 7 foot Christmas tree wider than Santa Claus himself! But before we get to Christmas, let’s get through Fall.

So far Fall is off to a rough start for me with another late salary payment and travel plans to arrange. My internship has me wanting to just runaway and hide and life in general is just through more challenges than I anticipated at this point in the year. I’m always being told to engage in self-care to avoid burnout so this weekend that is exactly what I did.

It started off with a dinner at my friend’s house. His wife is out of town so he’s a little lonely with just the kids. So a bunch of us got together, cooked and drank about 6 bottles of wine in four hours. (Who says church people can’t drink?) We had so much fun catching up with each other and laughed until we cried. I was especially proud of the turkey meatballs with a lemon garlic yoghurt sauce I made for the evening. Along with my friends’ wings and salsa, we had a nice little menu set up. It was just what I needed to forget about my problems.

On Saturday I woke up excited (and slightly hungover) to go on a Photo Walk. I picked up my friend Rayne who agreed to tag along with me and we headed downtown to the meeting spot. But my excitement did not last long we couldn’t find a parking spot. We circled around and around, parked twice, and were told to move twice before I gave up and left the area completely. I was really upset that we weren’t going to get to do the Photo Walk all because we couldn’t find parking so Rayne suggested that we get something to eat from The Tea Room. She’s been trying to get me to go here with her for months, so I obliged. When we got there I was really blown away by the décor.

It’s a tiny shop but it’s filled with class. There’s three tables you can sit at and shelves from ceiling to floor, filled with various teas. I had been looking for loose teas for months so that I could make my own tea bags (now that I see the price I’m not sure if it’s worth it) but I was still intrigued by the variety of tea and the recipe books.

I had never been to a tea room before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m also not much of a tea drinker, (I think I’ve shared once or twice about my coffee addiction) so the proprietor suggested a black tea for me. We were seated and served our own tea pots and the tea cups came with strainers. It was so adorable I couldn’t help but be impressed.

Rayne ordered the lasagne and I got the turkey and cheese sandwich. It was amazing how something so simple could look and taste so gourmet! I definitely felt inspired to switch up the quality of my ingredients the next time I go grocery shopping. They were super courteous and everything about the experience was just wonderful!

Afterwards, I had a photo shoot that I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow. The lighting was almost perfect and the location was breath-taking, but you’ll have to wait to see who I shot and where.

I ended my weekend by finally washing and deep conditioning my hair. I used my avocado deep conditioning treatment and styled my hair in twists because I just do not have the time to fix my hair every day. I also purchased my tickets to go to the VIVA conference at the end of this month, which means I’ll get to see my boyfriend again! At this point we’ve been seeing each other every 2 months since May and sometimes even that feels too far apart. Things are just different once we’re physically together, there’s so much more we can do and it’s just better when we do new things together. So I’m, looking forward to that.

Here are some other things I’m looking forward to this Fall:

 

I really don’t know how I’m going to get 100 hours by winter break but I’m walking in faith on this one. Just remember, if you need or would like counselling (specifically couples or family counselling, and you don’t have to be married) don’t be afraid to fill out the form below and get in contact with me. It’s completely free and confidential and you would really help me to get one step closer to graduating. So fill it out! Get help with stress, relationships, career issues, self-esteem, and many other life challenges. 

Name *
Name

 

What are your plans for this Fall? Share with us in the comment section below.

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

It's officially office Christmas party season! Last night, my tech group friends from church held our Christmas dinner social at Denise's house and it was so much fun! There were bottles of wine and egg nog to go around! Dinner was great and my team won in Partini again! (I am now a 3-time winner, thank you very much! Never lost a game!) The best part? My cheesecake was a huge hit!

I made a cranberry swirl cheesecake and I was so worried! I forgot to take the cranberries out before swirling the sauce and the top of the cheesecake cracked so I was freaking out! Everyone told me that I had outdone myself and the cheesecake did not last very long! I was so relieved everyone loved it. So below is the recipe for my holiday cheesecake with some adjustments that you can use to brighten up your holiday meal!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Make room for dessert! I've got a cranberry swirl cheesecake that's easy to prepare and looks fabulous. It adds a pretty festive colour to a holiday dessert table.

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Filling

  •  2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

Sauce

  1. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat for one minute.
  2. Stir in berries; cover and reduce heat. Cook until most of the berries have popped. Add lemon juice.
  3. Press mixture through a sieve and set aside.

Filling

  1. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating just until blended. Add lemon juice. Pour into crust.

Topping off & baking

  1. Spoon cranberry sauce over filling; cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
  2. Put a pan on the bottom rack of the oven and fill with water.
  3. Bake cheesecake on middle rack at 350° for 45 minutes. Turn oven off; let cheesecake stand in oven for 1 hour (with oven door open).
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around sides of pan to loosen and remove side of pan. Refrigerate overnight.

TRAVEL DIARIES: Abaco

TRAVEL DIARIES: Abaco

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

Read More

Ask Olivia: Be the Bigger Person

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

-M


Hi M,

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

XoX,

Olivia

Swimming With Natural Hair: What You Need to Know Before Hitting the Beach

I have never been one of those girls that refused to get my hair wet whenever I was going to the pool or the beach. I never had difficulty washing my hair. In fact, my only problem was drying. I always ended up with a huge frizz ball for hair. Even now that I’m natural, I still don’t have problems washing my hair. Maybe because it’s not as long as when it was permed, it’s not a hassle. Detangling takes a while yes, but once we’ve got a rhythm going, things tend to move rather smoothly. I think at this point, my only concern is protecting it from damage. So because I was going to the beach today with some friends, and considering that my hair is now purple, I decided to look up some tips on how to protect my hair from damage from the salt water. It’s actually so simple, and doesn’t take much time at all. Some people were saying I would have to soak my hair in a bunch of different oils, and wrap my hair… I wanted to scream! I can’t imagine putting too much oils or products into the ocean. These tips helped me today, so hopefully, they can help you too:

 

  • Saturate your hair - sounds silly right? Why do I need to wet my hair BEFORE I get in the water? Quick answer – wet hair will soak up less chlorine (or sea salt) than dry hair will. Think of it like a sponge. A dry sponge will absorb as much liquid as it can. But a wet sponge is so full, it can’t absorb any more.

  • Apply coconut oil (unrefined is best) prior to getting in the water (preferably the night before). Hair will absorb the coconut oil strengthening the hair shaft thus providing extra protection against the chlorine. I used organic extra virgin olive oil.

  • Coat hair with conditioner - this will seal the cuticle and help create a barrier between your strands and the chlorine. *some choose to forego this tip because fellow swimmers may end up wearing it and tasting it! I didn’t do this step. I figured the coconut oil would be enough.

  • Do not leave your hair out - one big braid or a bun will keep hair from becoming matted or tangled. My hair is currently in a twists up-do.

  • Wear a swim cap – it may not be sexy and you can certainly skip it, however, the more barrier between your hair and the chlorine the better.

 

Post Swim:

  • Rinse with water then shampoo – there are several swimmers shampoos out there. Try Ions Swimmer Shampoo (100% vegan and sulfate free) or Triswim Shampoo (paraben free). I used Garnier Fructis Color Shield Fortifying Shampoo.

  • Condition as normal (deep condition if you feel it’s necessary). I used Cantu Leave in Conditioner.

How do you prep your hair prior to taking a dip?

DIY Black Crop Top Without a Pattern

Woohoo! This is my first sewing project of the year! Actually, it's my first sewing project in months. I'd count the stockings I did for our Christmas place settings but you guys never got the tutorial for that. (I'll share it next Christmas. Only 348 days to go!)

Last week, I was feeling a little down, so I did a little binge shopping. And that binge shopping reminded me that I don't have a decent black crop top. The one that I do have is spaghetti strap and fits more like a bra than a blouse. So last week Friday when I got home, I got out some leftover linen-like black fabric that I had in storage and my favourite crop top.

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

Notes:

Choose a shirt that is loose fitting. If not, remember to add a few extra inches when cutting so you won't need to add a zipper or buttons. Once you lay your shirt over the fabric, all you have to do is cut around it. Place the fold of the blouse on the fold of the fabric. Remember to cut the front (the two folds together will be the front of the blouse) lower the back)

Cut on the dotted line. When you're done, literally flip the blouse horizontally to the other side of fabric (with the fold of the blouse facing the open edges of the fabric). You'll end up with this:


This time sew on the dotted lines. Make sure the right sides are facing each other. When it comes to sewing the back, pinch the seams together and sew that.

Hem the bottom and the neckline and armholes and you're done! I wore it last night when I went for sushi with my best friend! 

Can you believe we've best friends for the past 12 years?


Hopefully this is the start of more sewing projects. I'll keep you guys updated.


XoX,

Olivia