8 Work Outfits to Copy Right Now

Hello Lovely,

I love playing dress up. I can’t get enough of mixing my style up with different pieces and putting together looks that no one thought would blend well, but adding a dose of style between 9 and 5 can be a challenge. Although I am on a mission to challenge the “office-appropriate” standard, I can abide by societal norms when necessary, while still adding my personal flair. So I’ve put together a list of combinations that I love. These looks will get you through every conceivable job challenge, stylishly. When you’re starting out and don’t have a lot to spend, invest in a few fantastic designer pieces you can mix and match. Feel free to pin your favourite looks for later!

8 Work Outfits to Copy Right Now


When in doubt, pair a sleek sweater with a pencil or full skirt.

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Don't be afraid to add standout accessories to your look.

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Add a belt to your sweater-and-skirt combo to pull it all together.

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When done right, jumpsuits can totally work for the office.

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Let a long, drapey black coat be the star of your look.

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A silky shirt will make even your most eclectic pieces look polished.

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Make a sheer top office-appropriate by sneaking it over a midi dress.

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A printed scarf gives any outfit a classic touch.

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PIN FOR LATER!

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3 Valentine’s Day Outfits That Aren’t a Red Dress

Hello Lovely,

February is upon us and apart from my birthday, there’s one big thing a lot of people look forward to. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to get out for an extra special night with your SO or a few of your besties. But if you’re like me, you don’t necessarily need your V-Day outfit to scream V-Day.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good red dress, but that doesn’t mean I only wear it come February 14th. So if you’re like me and want to look stylish, but will pass on the obvious choice, check out these alternate Valentine’s Day outfit options to celebrate in style.

Whether you’re headed out for a girls’ night, doing a super chill date night, or going big with a fancy dinner and a show, we’re sharing a few fun outfit options that work for Valentine’s Day that AREN’T a red dress.

This look is the perfect Valentine's Day outfit when it's cold outside but you still want to look your best. Cute and practical: Best of both worlds!

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No matter the ocassion, nothing says ready like a little black dress.

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In the third installment of outfits for Valentines Day that aren't red dresses, we have my favourite colour coral, paired with a black leather mini skirt for a flirty evening on the town.

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What I Wish I Had Done Differently in My Bathroom Reno

Hello Lovely,

About five years ago, I renovated my bathroom. My bathroom hadn't seen an upgrade in about a decade so I figured it was overdue.  The bathroom was in terrible condition. It had gotten so bad, the rug started sticking to the tile because of the heat. I couldn't stand it any more! I knew I couldn't do a complete renovation but I had to start somewhere. I had just started working. I designed and paid for the whole thing myself, while my step dad found the workers for me. I was excited. This is what it looked like before:

Pinterest was relatively new so I thought the ideas I found were the best designs ever. This was the design I originally aimed for.

And this is how it looks 5 years later. I changed the floor tiles, the vanity and the sink.

But after a few years, I'm not so in love with how it turned out. The vanity looks weird and wasn't at all what I expected. It's horrible for storage. The sink wasn't installed properly and now it leaks all the time to the point where it destroyed about five towels. We also can only get hot water out of the sink faucet, whether the heater is on or not. I never got anyone to take down the brackets that the shelves were on over the toilet, so that bothers me as well. The tiles on the floor are way too hard to clean and nothing actually matches. Now looking back, there's a lot of things I would have done differently.

Consider Tiling Options More Carefully

In a time crunch and overwhelmed with options, I picked a tile that was similar to the wall tile in the photo above. At first I thought it was great, until I realised how easily dirt settled on the tile and how difficult it was to clean. I have to get on my knees and scrub it with a Brillo pad. I honestly wish I had someone to help me pick out tiles properly and explain why some tiles would not be ideal. Now I'm considering something grey.

Add Some Kind of Storage Nook Into Shower

I've wanted a storage nook in my shower for some time now. My mum told me it would be too expensive to carve a hole in the wall, but shower caddies are unreliable as they have to be changed often and I hate knocking over shower gel bottles while getting in and out of the shower. A corner shelf would have been perfect for the shower.

Buy Higher-Quality Cabinetry

The vanity was custom-built. I thought it would look exactly like it did in the photo but it didn't. It didn't at all. I had no idea how to use it. It's being used to hold my towels and hair products but a faulty installation of the sink led to a horrible leak and us losing half of our towels.

Change the tiles on the wall

Our last bathroom reno (about 20 years ago) was simply adding tiles to the wall. My dad thought it would spruce it up for some family members we had coming in. But the tiles on the wall don't match the new floor tiles. I really wish I had changed the walls as well but I couldn't decide what to change it to.

Learn Carpentry

This is something I've been saying I'll do for years but i have yet to take a course. I have never really used a hammer and only recently learned how to use a power drill. Had I learned how to do things with my hands, I would not have been at the mercy of the people my step dad contracted. As you can see, the brackets for the shelving about the toilet are still in place. If I had any idea how to take them down, I could've done it myself. It's been 4 years since I renovated and those darn shelves are still there! So everything just looks junky.

Ideas for New Renovation

The next time I fix up the bathroom, I still plan on doing one thing at a time, but with a new, more cohesive design scheme in mind. I want new tiles for sure but that's not my priority. My priority is the hole in the ceiling and the leaking vessel sink and vanity that's simply not working. Here are some looks I'm considering.

I'll keep you guys updated on how this works out. Have you guys ever done a bathroom renovation? How did it go? Is it the bathroom of your dreams or did it become a nightmare? Share your renovating experience in the comment section below. Maybe you have some advice for how I can improve. I'd love to hear from you!

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

 

VIVA 2016 Women's Conference

Hello lovely,

I’m back from my mini vacation. I know you didn’t even have a chance to miss me! You’re probably wondering where I’m coming back from. If you haven’t kept up with us last week, you may have missed my announcement that I went to Miami for the Viva Women’s Conference. This year’s theme was She Rises. I was all over this theme especially because it came with a floral-tea-party-garden-vibe! It’s Fall, but I still got to wear a floral headband; I had fun incorporating muted floral prints with my Fall wardrobe. But even more, I had a blast at the conference!

This year, a group of at least 20 women from The Bahamas travelled for the conference. We had Diamond Lounge tickets, which are pricey, but totally worth it. We were served gourmet food (in small portions so I am not ashamed to say I made a midnight McDonald’s run with my boyfriend) massages, makeup and hair braiding. The singing was concert-worthy, the décor was breath-taking and we even had a photo booth with instant printouts. The commute from South Miami to Cooper City was killer but I made it.

Our guest speakers were on fire! We heard from Charlotte Gambill, Hosanna Poetry, Pat Smith and lead pastor Steph Gramling. On the first night Charlotte spoke to us about setting up our women to win. It was a powerful speech about how she was actually booed at her first Bible Study, and from that moment on, decided to build up women every chance she got. Her speech taught me that standing up can make other people stand up to shut you up, but if every single person in your world was committed to cheering you on, how big would your dreams be? I was reminded that when you have nothing to offer, that’s when you find out who your true friends are. And when you set one another up to win, her win is your win. You can read the story of Ruth and Naomi for more on this topic. During Charlotte’s speech, I was reminded of a friendship I had, that ended terribly. We went months without speaking. I stopped holding onto my feelings towards it months ago, but also did not want anything to do with her because the trust was broken. After the alter call, she actually came up to me and apologised. I’m glad to put it all behind me. I don’t think that we can ever be friends again, but I see no reason we can’t be cordial as Christian women. It was a great healing moment.

My favourite speaker from the conference was Hosanna Poetry. She started with her poem Tsunami. It was a very touching piece that brought many people around me to tears. I loved her use of metaphors and the way she brought everyone together at the end for prayer was truly moving. I left feeling inspired about my own goals in life, learned to accept my deeds as contributions to the bigger picture and that without these, the bigger picture simply isn’t possible. As Hosanna said, “Someone had to preach to Billy Graham, before he could preach to others.” But don’t just take my word for it, check out this video below of all of the amazing must-see action from this years’ VIVA Women’s Conference.

Hope to see you next year!

XOX,

Ten Kid-Friendly Recipes to Spookify your Halloween

Hello Lovely,

One thing Halloween pushes us to be is creative. Whether it’s to win Best dressed in Primary School,. Coolest outfit in high school or the creepiest/most eye catching one in college.  And it’s not just about the costumes! There’s the candy, the house decorations, the spook-tacular props and themes.  Kids not only love the aspects of Halloween like trick or treating, dressing up and having fun with friends but they also love ‘getting their hands dirty.’  They want to be a part of making the Halloween moment come to life.

Here are 10 fun and interactive recipe ideas for kids during the Halloween season:

  1. Don’t forget the vegans!  This pecan pumpkin cupcake recipe offers all the moisture and tastiness of a cupcake without the fat of dairy (eggs, butter, milk)

  2. What’s easier than a mug, hot chocolate and an extra fluffy topping of whipped cream? Not much! While most drink recipes may call for an average of 6 ingredients, this Ghost Whip recipe is perfect for a pair looking to cozy up or for the kids during a sleepover or movie night.

  3. Jack of Lanterns now come in bite sized! Using ready-made pie crust and pumpkin puree, the kids will enjoy shaping the faces of these miniature pop tarts using toothpicks.  You can create faces from silly to scary in seconds!

  4. The Wormy Weenie has the creepy factor of slim, squirmy worms with the tastiness of the beef hotdog.  With one bite, these worms go from scary to yummy.  Kids will definitely like playing with the worms before they eat them.

  5. They’ll scream and bite on these Cheesy fingers , made with white cheddar and almonds

  6. Get twisted with this spider web pizza.  In three easy steps, you’ll have a tangled web of cheese and an edible spider.

  7. Get wrapped up with these meatball mummies that have a burst of flavor and googley eyes.  There’s also a vegan version.

  8. Choco-peanut butter Bat Bites, with Oreo wings.

  9. Ooey gooesy monster cookies

  10. A healthier option are monster mouths made with sliced apples and peanut butter.

XoX,

Mechelle

WEDNESDATE: Now is Good

WEDNESDATE: Now is Good

Every last Wednesday of the month, we will feature a short & sweet long distance relationship date kit. Each “WednesDate” will include a free full length video and or other online or printable activities to accompany it.

If you’d like to be notified about our “WednesDates” each week, Subscribe to our newsletter & you’ll get them delivered straight to your inbox!

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