Today on the blog, I’m sharing why I chose to end my relationship and how I’m moving forward.Read More
It’s not easy to say this, especially when I haven’t even spoken to my family about this. Before I can get into that, first I have to give you guys a little back story into what’s been happening lately. As with many families, there’s going to come a time when you don’t agree or even argue about things. No family is perfect, and over time family dynamics are bound to change. For years my family has consisted of my mum dad and brother, but I never got along with my brother; NEVER. It’s the most antagonising tit-for-tat relationship that is simply not healthy. Then my parents got divorced and I got a step dad. I wasn’t thrilled about this change (I’m not thrilled about any change) but it did bring something new: I now had pets. My step dad paid for me to adopt two cats. I still remember the day I picked them out at The Bahamas Humane Society. Their names are Ichigo and Rukia and they would go on to become very important members of my family.
For 11 years, I took care of them. Even when their fur began to irritate my eyes, I took Zyrtec and pushed through. They weren’t always the best behaved, but most house pets cause some level of trouble. But my mother desperately wanted to get rid of them. So when they thought my niece was allergic to the cats, I had no say in the fact that they had to go. The only thing I controlled was which home they went to. I was lucky enough to place them in a loving home. The week I spent searching for a home was rough. I cried at my desk on Monday and moped around the whole week. Luckily by Thursday, I found someone who wanted them. But after giving them up, I honestly broke down in the snottiest bought of crying. She had to console me, and I almost considered putting them back in my car and going back home.
This experience made me realise one very important thing: I need to move out. There have been many reasons I stayed in my mother’s house for so many years, but now my reasons to leave are beginning to outnumber the reasons to stay. Outside of the dynamics surrounding why I had to give up my cats, I knew this wouldn’t happen if I had my own place. I also genuinely need the space to create without having my materials and tools tossed around the house, constantly in someone’s way. I don’t plan on moving out before March because I plan on travelling next month, but I am hoping that by the summer or shortly afterwards, I can be in a place of my own. I have no idea how to live on my own or how to pay rent but I definitely need to learn wouldn’t you agree?
I want to start this post by acknowledging that admitting this could be misinterpreted and may even be damaging to my career. But I honestly found so much therapeutic power in documenting this breakdown. You should know that for over ten years I have struggled with generalized anxiety disorder. But this past Tuesday was just embarrassing. For the past month, I haven't been able to decide what to do with my hair and it's been starting to stress me out. You may have seen various photos of me in different wigs. While wigs can be so fun, what they really are sometimes is a sign that I have no idea what to do with my hair. But a part of my hair care regimen dictates regular hair treatments and I was overdue.
Feeling pressured I told my hair stylist to pick a style and went with the first thing she suggested, crochet. I've never had crochet braids before but I figured it shouldn't be too bad. Problem is, I couldn't decide what type of crochet hair I wanted, and I honestly don’t know much about weave. Eventually I decided I wanted a "Afro twist out" look. So I drove around for two days, going to five different stores. In the last store I picked up 5 packs. At the thought that it would cost me $50 I started to second guess if it was worth it. I held the hair up to my face, but I just couldn’t picture it. All I saw were faux locs, box braids or Havana or Sengalese twist (none of which I wanted). Without much options, I began to feel trapped, which led to, you guessed it, an anxiety attack.
I immediately called one of my best friends, crying in a beauty supply store wanting to just curl in a ball on the floor and hope no one saw me. My chest hurt and I became angry with myself for being so indecisive. I dropped my first choice and considered leaving the store and returning with someone else to help me make up my mind. I called my hairstylist to ask her a million questions about the cheaper Havana twists before deciding, it would work. I waited to cash out, breathing deeply as I hoped no one would notice that I had been crying. But when I got home and told my mum what happened, I started crying all over again. My chest got tight all over again and I just wanted the floor to swallow me. I couldn't make a simple decision and I felt stupid for it. It took me talking to two different people, crying, eating a cupcake, sipping red wine hot chocolate and writing an entire thread just to calm down. Worst I feel like I failed myself for not being more in control.
I SHARE THESE STORIES + PERSONAL BITS BECAUSE I KNOW HOW HELPFUL IT CAN BE.
If I were a reader and were going through something like this, I know it would help to read that someone else had gone through it too and reading their words would help me to feel a little bit better and to know that I wasn’t going through it alone. I share the less shiny, unfiltered moments of my life with you here because I think it’s important to be real with you and talk about the lows just as much as the highs.
Anxiety is not easy because I never know when something will trigger it. Someways it's big things, some days it's little things like me thinking a little too long about what someone said to me. Yet I'm super calm in most crisis situations and never overreact at work.
SO WHAT NOW?
I got my hair done last night. My hairstylist was super encouraging during the process and I felt the weight lifted off me as she worked. Anxiety is something I deal with everyday. Luckily I know most of my triggers and I’m able to stay away from there, but it’s really hard when things you couldn’t plan for happen. I continue to reach out to various support groups and write in my self-care journal, which is so much fun to use!
If this post helped you or spoke to you in anyway, please feel free to drop a word of encouragement in the comment section below. If you need advice for dealing with your own anxiety, feel free to fill out the form above and I’ll be touch.
I love being busy. I usually tell people I thrive on busyness. I do my best work when there’s a little pressure on me to get everything done, and I’ve always been the person who puts a lot on her plate.
But lately, my balance has been off and I probably bit off more than I could chew. I knew something was wrong two weeks ago, when I found myself getting annoyed at every little thing. I even exploded on my boyfriend (more than once).
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I love my blog and I love having a full agenda. But… I’m exhausted and could use some much needed time away from the stress. So, I embarked on a week full of stress relief, self-reflection, and serious me-time.
SUNDAY - FRIENDSGIVING
I began my week with a friendsgiving dinner by my best friend Richard’s house. It’s our second year doing this, and even with the usual delays we had a blast. It was great catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in over a month. Our group of friends love and fight like family, but the best part about this family is that I chose these people, so I’m happiest when I’m around them!
MONDAY - THE SIMS 4 AND QUALITY TIME
I’m really loving the new Sims 4 expansion pack: Get Famous. It’s probably the best expansion pack we’ve had since University Life in Sims 2. So I feel really relaxed and happy, when I can zone out for an hour or two and just enjoy it. I also got to spend some much needed quality time with my boyfriend. I finally got to watch the Patriot Act by Hasan Minhaj and everyone needs to watch that show!
TUESDAY - TIANA AND A NAP
On Tuesday Tiana surprised me at work. It’s always great to see my bestie, and Tuesday was a really slow day for me mentally so it was a much needed break. We walked around the campus, talking to students and teachers as we passed them. It was a much needed distraction. When I went home, I took a nap without setting an alarm. I felt really refreshed after that nap and was still able to get much needed work done.
WEDNESDAY - HALF=EARLY WORKOUT
Working in a school comes with it’s perks, like half days. We had an early dismissal on Wednesday because the high school’s Carol Service was that evening. So with this extra time, I was really excited to squeeze in an early workout. No one was on the park (not even my trainer who got there when I finished my last set of squats). It was so peaceful and exactly what I needed.
THURSDAY - NAILS AND A PARTY
I normally get my nails done every two weeks, but my last nail design lasted three weeks. This time I was super excited to get a winter design because I’m counting down the days to Christmas! I ended the day at the Elevation Awards Nominee Announcement Party where I was nominated for Blog of The Year for a 2nd consecutive year. I’m really feeling confident this year as a contender!
FRIDAY - A NAP AND GAME NIGHT
Friday was particularly stressful. The day before, the principal of another school on the island died of a heart attack and was found slumped over his desk. This was probably the biggest eyeopener because today everything continued as normal. I’ve always read memes about not killing yourself for a job that will replace you when you die, but this was real. All of the guidance counsellors at my school vowed to never take our job home with us and enjoy time with family this weekend. At work, I’m one of the people responsible for our school’s Christmas play and child actors are probably the worst. If that wasn’t enough, before leaving there was drama that had to be investigated only to find out none of it was true. After work I was pretty exhausted. I wanted to get sushi but that didn’t work out because I totally fell asleep. While I was sad about the sushi, I have to admit, that nap left me feeling really rejuvenated. I ended the night playing the Sims again and all was right with the world.
SATURDAY - VOLUNTEER WORK, CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AND CHRISTMAS MOVIES
This was probably the best day out of the week, although the way it started, it didn’t look like it would end well. I stopped for gas on my way to a community service event and ended up in a fender bender at the pump. Luckily it wasn’t severe. After the community service event, my mum and I ran some errands. We went looking for ornaments and found six that we really liked, but the options here really aren’t diverse enough. After checking out two lots we settled on THE tree for $125. My beau lifted the tree like it weighed nothing and got it in the stand for us like a pro. We watched a Lifetime Christmas movie together (A Very Nutty Christmas) and then I watched a A Twist of Christmas by myself. It was such a relaxing end to what could’ve been a stressful day and the perfect end to a week of self-care.
My week of self-care is officially over as I write this, and I’ve never felt so at ease and ready for the next week to begin. I feel an overall sense of calm, through mind and body. I also feel more confident in myself. I have a deeper sense of self-awareness, and my beau and I are communicating better than ever now that I’m coping better with stress as it arises.
If there’s anything this week taught me, it’s that self-care is the most critical thing anyone can do for themselves. Each act will look different for everyone but it has to be done intentionally. Now it’s your turn. I challenge you to take a week of self-care. You don’t have to start on Sunday, just indulge in self-care activities for 7 days. Pay attention to what makes you happy and what stress you out. Adjust and make time for yourself.
After six years of blogging (while getting a Master's degree and working a full time job), working several fashion shows, reviewing international products and services, photo shoots, partnerships, and two blue ribbon awards for original recipes, I've been nominated for the second consecutive year for the Elevation Awards Blog of the Year!
It's been an amazing journey and I never get tired of it. I share this honour with last year's winner, Ianthia Ferguson, Rogan Smith- This Bahamian Gyal, Nik Barnes- Stylezine Magazine, Gail Hanna- Hard Work, Bad Employee and Renaldo Dorsett- 10th year services like senior.
The night was hosted on LiveUp TV by the incomparable Rabs and Jerchovia with DJ Epic Forealz. The opening act was a hot new single called That's Why I'm Single by Leo. Then two nominee categories were revealed. The night had many hilarious moments including a new hashtag #LittyToTitty.
Sacha the Duchess brought the house down with an emotional performance of her second single, Waiting to Exhale before sharing the epic music video for her first single, Mr. Lover. Then we had a performance from the dynamic duo of Johnny B and Eman.
My high school scholar, Stephan Brown premiered his brand new app, Cameo Tunes. The app combines filters that highlight many aspects of Bahamian culture with Bahamian music hits from fan favourites like Wendi, Jonathan Farrington and Bodine. The app debuts on Android and iOS next Friday!
I loved Kenique Marie's performance and I can't wait to hear more music from her!Of course I had a fan girl moment when Patrice Murrell took the stage to perform Feeling Good. From I first saw her perform I couldn't believe such a powerful voice came from such a tiny person and I honestly admire her and try to follow her music career.
Sanjardo B closed out the show with a performance of his hit single, Hola. Last night was amazing. I finally got to meet Patrice Murrell, the room was full of positive energy and I'm nominated AGAIN! This year there are even more categories so there will be even more winners!
For a complete list of all nominees, check out the list below:
2019 Elevation Awards Nominees
This past weekend I went to Miami for a girl’s trip. I wanted to take a few photos for my Instagram, so we went out really early Sunday morning. When my friend Tiana snapped this pic of me, I was outside of a home decor store in The Shops at Pembroke Gardens. Thinking it's a Sunday and I'm not bothering anyone I looked at the items through the window. When I turned around, I noticed a white woman in her car on the phone looking at me. I figured that she was the store owner or at least a manager. Not thinking anything of it, I kept walking and we kept taking pictures. We went for a cup of coffee then came back to the strip. When we were about to leave all of a sudden the police was there asking if she was okay. I was trying to ignore them because I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, but when the police officer saw us with my camera, I couldn't help but notice that he rolled his eyes in annoyance like he was saying, "Seriously this is what you called me for?" Thankfully the officer never approached us and we were free to go.
Sadly, this experience isn’t anything new. I've encountered racism before and I've seen the news stories about white women calling the police on innocent black people. I even got sick of it and refused to give them any publicity. But at some point, there needs to be consequences for these actions. Elizabeth "Duffy" Johnson, Permit Patty, BBQ Becky, Golfcart Gail, the Georgia woman, and Cornerstone Caroline, these women shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind their despicable cowardly actions. Even if I waned to buy any of her overpriced, moderate designed items, I wouldn’t after that kind of treatment.
Many years ago, my father was surrounded by police officers and sheriffs when he went to the bank with some friends because people thought it was strange that 5 black men in a van would go to the bank in Ft. Lauderdale. It's disturbing to have the police called on you for simply taking pictures in a public space while being black. In America, I’m more than aware of how quickly these situations can escalate and go wrong. I wanted so badly to approach her about the it but I was going to church afterwards (Church By The Glades) and just wanted to be at peace. Living While Black is a serious problem and most encounters don’t end well.
I pray for everyone still struggling with racism, hatred or intolerance of any kind in their heart. There is no place for people like you in this world. ✌🏾
I’m always looking for ways to stay active creatively. I started a membership for only $5 a month with Creative Bug but never used it. I even suspended my account and considered terminating it, but I wanted to believe that if I kept it, someday I would actually use. When the autmatic bill pay notification came up, I decided to go back to the site. I really didn’t know where to begin. I just wanted to get back into creative things with a manageable project. So when I found this class on Creative Bug, I really wanted to try it. I’m sharing my experience with the first week and I encourage you guys to try it for yourself.
So many of us are on a quest to incorporate creativity into our lives, but short on time and resources, we’re not sure how to begin. For inspiration and sage advice, we turn to artist and explorer, Courtney Cerruti, who incorporates art into everything she does and finds beauty in even the most mundane moments. This series is perfect for aspiring artists, crafters who are in a rut, and anyone who suspects that a creative habit would be good for their soul - your eyes will be opened to new creative possibilities that are easy to practice every day. No matter your skill level, we hope you’ll show up, bring a playful attitude and a willingness to try new things.
Learn how to:
Be prepared when the creative urge strikes
Utilize your local libraries and museums
Find accountability partners
Curate collections from everyday objects
Explore colors and play with motifs
Create on-the-fly art
Look at the world around you in new ways
Start a creative ritual that will change your life
Day One: Blind Contour
For my blind contour, I chose to draw a picture of an awesome afro chick I found really inspiring online. I definitely want to get this imaged cleaned up by someone who actually knows how to draw well and incorporate it into a t-shirt design.
Day Two: Daily Observations
6 Things I Saw Today
I saw mt friend Gary in traffic this morning
I saw students from our school in Exuma visiting us
6 Things I Did Today
I wore my hair out today
I used pumpkin spice eggnog instead of coffee creamer
I ate cereal for breakfast
I finally went to the Teacher’s Credit Union to open an account
I got my hair done
I made Apple Pie “Egg Rolls”
Something I Overheard
“Did you say he had a knife?” I work in a school so there are a lot of random things I can possibly overhear in a day. This one is the oddest I’ve heard for the school year. When the principal asks this kind of question, I’m not sure I want to be there for the answer.
Day 3: Be Prepared for Creativity
This day was just about having the proper tools on you for when creativity strikes like drawing tools and a pad. For me, I draw on inspiration through Pinterest. Whenever I have a free moment and I’m feeling creative, I stroll through the site for a few minutes. Looking at all of the creative ideas makes me happy and recharges my brain.
Day 4: Changing Your Perspective
Of course, it's easy to look up and look down when you're in a brand new space, but the challenge is to be in a space that you already know and are familiar with and change your perspective about navigating that space. So, if it's your walk to work every day or maybe it's just going into your own backyard and just looking at it in a new way with fresh eyes.
Day 5: Urban Rubbings
Today’s challenge was about looking around for interesting surfaces to make impression art on. All I needed for this was a couple sheets of typing paper or copy paper and a crayon that has all of the paper peeled off of it. If you want to do this, take a look at the sidewalk and see if there are any interesting textures or impressions in the cement. Look at things like metal grates or building walls and see if there's any interesting bumps.
Day 6: Become a Collector
Day 6 advocates for us to start collecting something, big or small. They could be things that you already might have in your home, but the concept of creating a collection or establishing collection allows you to become a curator and have an editing eye. Let’s say you collect pencils. You don't have to collect all the pencils in the world. So what are the pencils you are gonna collect? Do they have interesting type on them, have people chewed off the erasers, do they have brightly colored erasers? These are the things that you're gonna bring with intention to your collection. I already collect glass bottles and that photo is only a sample of all of the glass bottles I own (there were a good much that didn’t make the photo).
Day 7: Check Out Your Local Library
I am definitely not one to go to the library. I think my early years of college, using a microfiche really scarred me. Now I use Net Galley to find books to borrow. And having an Amazon Prime account also helps me to discover a free new book each month.
I thought I would be doing something like drawing or painting every day but it’s not like that, which is good. The class wasn’t too demanding in the early stages so it requires no financial investment in pricey art tools that you may never use again. The first 7 days were rather easy. While I didn’t find the class particularly inspiring, I will continue with it and see where it leads me. I’ll be sure to share anything interesting that I create. How are you guys getting creative? Share what inspires you in the comment section below!
This is going to sound weird, but within the past three months I have become obsesses with wigs! I made three wigs earlier this year (not the best job but also not bad for a rookie). I really enjoyed the process but I just couldn't figure out how to attach the closure. After everything, there's really only one wig that came out pretty good and I wear it fairly often. So what do I see in wigs you ask?
I do not have the time to constantly fix my hair. Even with protective styles, I get tired of it after only one week. I'm really non-commital with hairstyles, so wigs seemed like the perfect answer! I think it's really cool to completely transform your look by simply throwing on a wig. The best part is there's no commitment. At the end of the day, I can take it off and go about my business. And underneath my wigs, my hair is usually in a braided/twisted style so that if anyone were to snatch my wig (I've watched waaaaaaay too much reality TV), at least my hair would still be cute underneath. I know there are so many rules and regulations to wear a wig properly, but when have I ever been the kind of gal to follow rules?
I know that I'm never going to be the one to always have my nails done, or my face, "beat".
March was an amazing month! Coming off a really sentimental birthday celebration with some of my closest friends, I finally accomplished one of my longtime dreams! Early March, I travelled to Springfield Missouri, connecting through Atlanta (I've never been to either before) for a two day AutPlay Certification Workshop. I stayed in the Arbor Suites at the Mall and it was heavenly! I had my own suite, WITH a fireplace and heater (I totally used to heater because I woke up to 30°F)! It really felt like a home away from home (despite the frigid cold temperatures). The staff was extremely nice and housekeeping did a great job every day. In fact, everyone in Springfield is uber nice; like you find yourself telling them your whole life story during checkout for no reason just because they're so nice.
Another thing I loved about my hotel was that it was directly across the street from Hobby Lobby, The Battlefield Mall and a McDonald's. It was also behind a Panera Bread (I'm not a fan of the coffee though). It was my first time going to Hobby Lobby. It truly is a spiritual experience. I heard the Christian music playing but it was probably 20 minutes before I realised it was a Christian craft store. I was so enamored by the farmhouse style trend throughout the store and couldn't resist picking up a few pieces that I could use as props in my photography. I was really upset that I didn't live in Missouri because the home accents were 50% off!!!! 50%!!!!!! I had never seen such affordable home décor! And of course while I was there, I had to participate in the Hobby Lobby challenge that I had just found about that same day while waiting on my flight in Atlanta.
After Hobby Lobby, I dropped my stuff off at the hotel, then went back for Battlefield Mall. I was only able to catch the last hour of the mall before they closed so I hit up my favourite stores: Forever 21, Windsor, Charlotte Russe, and I finally found my shade in Fenty at Sephora! I didn't get to check out the food court so I just got dinner off the dollar menu (best invention ever) at McDonald's where I met a lovely couple who had just gotten engaged and were celebrating at McDonald's. I met their 2 year old daughter who's a ball of energy and delight and the grandparents. It was a nice evening.
I met a lot of nice people in Missouri and that made the experience even better, because I was missing my uncle's funeral to be there. But at the end of the day, I couldn't contain my joy as I became the first and only AutPlay Therapy certified provider. I had wanted to do Play Therapy since undergrad but I never thought I would be drawn to working with autistic children. It just felt right and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.
There were so many other cool things that happened this month like the Viva La Bella community outreach pop up event in Elizabeth Estates. I had the pleasure of organising and distributing care packages to women and young girls in the neighbourhood. I've missed doing community service so this was totally refreshing for me.
Sadly this month I got the flu and it really was the worst flu in the years. I spent one day throwing up and i had all but given up on life (I can be so dramatic). What really helped was having my grandmother here with me so I was never alone. I always tell people that I love my grandmother more than my mother but that doesn't mean there's any problems with my mum. In the Caribbean we're really connected to our grandmothers because they help raise us. My grandmother has been there for every major event in my life so I honour, respect and love her so much for that.
Lastly, my month was great because I appeared on The Koneksyon with Levyn Miller. It was the first time I had ever been on a talk show before and I was so nervous. But it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life! I talked about my blog, my work as a psychologist and even sported my new wig. It's not a high end wig, just a little something so I could change up my look. I bought the dress from Forever 21 in Missouri. See how this post came full circle?
I love sharing these great moments with you guys. What were some of your favourite moments this month? Share your favourite moments in the comment section below and let's chat!
This past weekend was filled with holiday festivities. I had the joy of attending not one but two wine tastings this past weekend! The first one was on Thursday at Young's Fine Wine in Sandyport. I went with an old friend. I love going t wine tastings at Young's Fine Wine because even if I don't like the wines I sample, the staff makes me feel like family so the environment is always comfortable and inviting.
I was super excited about my favourite wine being served, but it really didn't last long because it was everyone's favourite of the night. I had to buy a bottle of the Cocchi Asti. I shared the last bottle with a date over a home cooked meal back in September and couldn't wait to get another bottle. It didn't hurt that it was 10% off. I'm not a fan of Reds so I stuck with my white wine. The Henriot Brut Suvergin Champagne was delicious as well.
The second one was on Friday at Mahogany House in Lyford Cay. I went with my best friend Krista who's the perfect sidekick. Every time we taste wine she always says it just tastes like alcohol, because she doesn't have time for all that fancy lingo. We had fun laughing at how much we hated all of the wines they had. The only ones we really found tolerable were the Scarpetta Prosecco Brut (Prosecco, like Chardonnay, is always a hit and miss with me) and the Joseph Leitz QbA Feinherb Riesling. Naturally our taste buds found the cheapest Riesling. Truthfully, I never made it through all of these wines. I gave up after the 7th white wine and the 2nd red wine. I also tried the Juice Asylum because of the interesting name but quickly regretted it. Red wine is just not my thing people, sorry.
Afterwards, we felt like going for a drive and taking pictures with Christmas lights. I completely forgot about the Christmas Extravaganza at Old Fort Bay. At first we took a few funny photos in front of some lighted trees in a parking lot.
Then we decided to head over to Baha Mar. I hadn't been since they opened earlier this year because I had some serious reservations about the shady back door deals just to get it opened. But once I got there, I had to admit, it's absolutely gorgeous! The designers clearly did their research and have a keen eye for details. Every little detail is deliberate and cohesive. The staff is super courteous and not in a fake I'm-only-this-nice-because-they're-paying-me way either; it was genuine.
After walking around we got hungry and settled on dinner at Stix. I loved that dinner for 2 was only $30 with tax and we were genuinely full. We shared a bowl of steamed Jasmine rice, pork dumplings and triple treasure rangoons. The meal was delicious and can easily become my favourite order! Next time I go, I'll definitely try one of the noodle soups.
But that was just FRIDAY! On Saturday I visited Bahama Hand Prints for their Sip & Shop event. I had never been to the store before but I had passed it and heard a lot about it.
I loved the stock! It's VERY pricey because they print the fabric themselves on site but at least you know that you will have a one of a kind piece. There's apparel, kitchen towels, aprons, fabric quarters and handbags in all sizes. I ended up spending $60 that I had no intention of spending. I plan on making a dress out of the fabric I bought which features a historic drawing of the original Bay Street layout on it so it was totally worth the price. I can't wait to get started.
I rounded out my weekend by making a fireplace out of cardboard boxes at church and posing for Christmas photos (some of which are already on the Facebook page).