5 Things I Need To Do Before Summer Ends

Hello Lovely,

Can you believe summer is almost over? I went back to work on Monday and next Monday, school officially starts for us. I am SUPER excited about this. I know a lot of people love summer, but I'm just not one of them. Sure, I love the beach, vacations and festivals, but one thing I don't love is the heat. Summers get hotter and hotter every year. And in The Bahamas we have summer 98% of the year. Some people envy that, but weather that almost never changes can get depressing after awhile; leaving me longing for sweater weather and steaming mugs of cocoa. If you've been living it up this summer, that's awesome. But if you're like me and mostly stayed in to avoid the heat, then you may feel like you missed out. So here's 5 things I want to do before summer officially ends.

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1. Go To The Beach

Can you believe that I didn't go to the beach even once this summer? How crazy is that? I live on an island and visited 4 other islands this summer and still never went to the beach! I'm ashamed!

2. Go To The Movies

I am not in any way a movie person! I have a pretty short attention span but if I go to the movie theatre and it's a blockbuster movie, I'm all in. The movies I have my eyes on are The BlackkKlansman, which is already out and The Hate U Give and Operation Finale. If I'm going to watch a movie I like Marvel comics, Star Wars, psychological or racially drive/historical movies. I finally got to go to see The BlackkKlansman this weekend but I won't go on about how horrible that movie was.

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3. Grab Ice Cream with a Friend

I love Froyo but the last time I had it was November of last year because the next day I was terribly sick. I was afraid to go near it again because that nightmare was not worth repeating, but I think I've learned my lesson and I'm ready to have a small amount of it (as long as it's dairy free). I also got some this past weekend after the movie. I stuck to Red Velvet, which a teaspoon of graham crackers and granola, you know, to make it healthy.

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4. Try a new lemonade recipe

I think the last lemonade I made was Martha's Spiced Lemonade and that was two years ago! So I can't wait to try my hand at a new lemonade recipe like this Sparkling Mint Peach Lemonade, Mango Ginger Lemonade, or these Coconut Peach Lemonade Slushies

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5. Go to a Summer festival

I have not been to a single party this summer season. Between travelling and my anxiety from changing jobs, I just haven't been on the social scene much this summer and I know, that's terrible. I've been to small gatherings at friend's homes for drinks but I haven't actually been to a PARTY and that definitely needs to change before summer ends.

What's on your summer bucket list? Did you complete everything or are you missing a few things like I am? Let's chat about it in the comment section below!

5 Mother's Day Activities So That You And Mom Can Bond As Adults

Hello Lovely,

Now that you're a real life grownup, you can forego the "family-friendly" plans and treat Mom to more Mother's Day activities for adults this year. And that doesn't necessarily mean taking Mom out for bottomless brunch mimosas. (But if you do decide to go down that road, please know that you have my unwavering support.) I'm talking about treating Mom like an equal this Mother's Day — treating her like a friend. So why not give Mom a 24-hour break from responsibility, and treat her to a Mother's Day activity you can enjoy together, as grown adults?

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1. Go Wine Tasting

My mum can't drink wine because she really can't handle her liquor, but if that's not an issue for your mum you should find a wine tasting to take her two. We have two free wine tastings every month on Thursdays, one at Young's Fine Wine in Sandyport and the other at Mahogany House, Lyford Cay. And best of all they're free!

2. Attend A Food Festival

We don't have a food festival happening this weekend, but how nice would it be to go to a cultural event together? If anyone wants to start this tradition, just know that I came up with the idea first, thanks 😜

3. Take That Vacation She Always Wanted

If it weren't such a bad time in the school year, I would totally take my mum away on holiday. I actually wanted to take her to Cuba for Mother's Day but it never worked out. My mum really wants to go to Missouri after seeing how much fun I had, so we may do that for Christmas. If you have the time, I'd suggest taking your mum away for the weekend somewhere real nice. And if the destination is too far, why not a staycation at a local hotel?

4. Take a Class Together

In 2008 my mum and I took a card-making class together. It was amazing! My parents had recently divorced so I loved that bonding time between us. The class isn't around any more, but whether it's Sip and Paint, Paint Your Own Pottery or even an exercise class, this time together is perfect for you and mum to learn more about each other and get better at a particular craft.

5. Mother's Day Brunch

There are a lot of brunches this weekend for Mother's Day with a lot of specials. My mum is going to Regatta at Baha Mar with her cousins on Sunday for brunch for a little girl's getaway. Treat mum to a nice meal for mother's day and give her the day off from cooking.

 

Friday Favourites: DIY Crafts to Celebrate Earth Day

Hello Lovely,

Earth Day is just 2 days away, and I'm so excited! Why? Because it's an excellent reason to share with you my favorite crafts: Upcycled Crafts! There are many different household items you can recycle or repurpose to give your space an eco-friendly flair! Today we're looking at crafts using easy to find items such as cardboard boxes and tin cans. Cardboard is one of my favorite items to upcycle, and it's a great way to feel a little less guilty about all of those Amazon boxes that arrive at your front door. Looking to get organised? Well there is no need to buy more organizing or craft supplies, when all you need to do is look to your kitchen. Put those empty tin cans to use with a beautiful upcycling project.

How To Make 3D Faux Metal Letters – From Cardboard!

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Are you a sucker for all things industrial? Well that's what drew me into this project! I think if I try to make this my mother would officially kick me out, but if you have space for something like this on your wall, I would 100% recommend it! I mean think about how much money you would save! Thanks to Chip and Joanne, EVERYONE is on the farmhouse/galvanized/industrial home décor trend so these are not cheap! But if you make it yourself, that's something you can brag about!

DIY FABRIC-COVERED UPCYCLE CARDBOARD BOXES

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With a few supplies, you can easily upcycle cardboard boxes and make beautiful custom storage and organizing boxes for your home. I already know which room I want to put these in!

Cardboard box shelves

An easy step-by-step DIY project for cardboard box shelves from homes+ magazine - make it yourself and transform everyday objects into something special for your home. I'm thinking of making one of these to hold my shoes in.

DIY Paint Can Herb Garden

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If you’re a serial DIY-er like myself, I’m sure you’ve been stumped when it comes to dealing with old empty paint cans.  Try a hanging garden!

Make Your Own Reusable Dryer Sheets

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Making your own reusable dryer sheets is a no-brainer way to save money AND the environment! This method is so simple you'll never BUY dryer sheets again!

Winter Skin Fixes

Winter Skin Fixes

Harsh outdoor temperatures combined with dry indoor air can cause flare-ups in some skin conditions. Beat the winter beauty blues with these simple fixes. Mechelle shares her secrets for fighting dry skin, dull complexions and lifeless hair, even when she has no time to spare. Learn how small changes can go a long way toward getting glowing and gorgeous, whatever the weather.

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Friday Favourites: 5 Places to Visit in St. Croix

After going to St. Croix at the beginning of the month, I have a renewed love for travelling! I don't know where my next trip will be, but if you're planning a vacation, I would definitely recommend going to St. Croix. And if you do go there, here are 5 must-see spots to visit!

ARMSTONG'S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM

When we first went to Armstrong's (we went a total of three times) it was just for my boyfriend to visit his family members (the proprietors of the store). But when we went back I was really excited to try their ice cream. It was super-hot, and we had just come from the beach, so it was perfect! As you can see on the sign atop their shop in Frederiksted (which the first two days of the trip I kept saying Frankensted), Armstrong’s has been producing homemade ice cream in St. Croix for 112 years. Anyone and everyone on the island loves ice cream from them. Why? The big reason why is also right on the sign – Armstrong’s serves real homemade ice cream here, the kind with big chunks of good stuff conspicuously wedged into the cold and creamy treasures, the better to let the natural flavours shine in your cone or cup. Normally you’re able to get almond, banana, butter pecan, cherry vanilla and rum raisin ice cream just about anywhere. But here at Armstrong’s, you can probably find guava, mango, passion fruit, or soursop, too. Just remember that a lot of the flavours are seasonal so don’t expect to get mango or pumpkin in May. I fell in love with the banana, and even liked the guava and gooseberry, even though I don’t like guava or gooseberry. Despite my lactose intolerance, I was able to eat these ice creams with no discomfort at all! So if you’re looking to cool off, make sure you stop in to this family-owned store during your trip!

POINT UDALL

If only to say that you have been to the Eastern-most point of the United States of America you should go here. The view is absolutely breath-taking and really makes you appreciative for natural wonders.

CHRISTIANSTED NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

What I love about Christiansted is the streets are filled with historic colonial buildings and churches. I’m a huge history geek and a sucker for historical sites. To the locals, I’m sure they just saw dilapidated buildings. To me, all I could think was how many great photoshoots I could host there. If you find yourself visiting the USVI be sure to visit the Christiansted National Historic Site to see the Old Danish Customs House, Fort Christiansted, the Government House, local bars and restaurants and a great shopping district.

BIG DOCK

You know things are serious when your boyfriend tells you that no one jumps off big dock unless someone else is doing it too. Big Dock is right next to the Frederiksted Clock Tower (another great photoshoot location). We went there twice to jump and I jumped a total of 6 times. Here’s a video if just one of my jumps. I think you’ll have fun laughing at me.

SALT RIVER BAY NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK AND ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE

This one we didn’t actually get a chance to go to, but I really wish we did. At this point, everyone was a little cranky from the long car rides so we ended up driving right past it. It’s supposedly a great tourist spot though. Coral reefs, a submarine canyon, mangroves, wildlife, pre-colonial ruins and Columbus’ landing spot make this a top attraction. Photos came from their website.

In addition to these places to visit, there are many events you've got to try as well, such as stand up paddle party and beach fire every full moon at sunset, Disco Bingo at Deep End Bar & Restuarant, Caribbean night on Mondays and Crab Races on Wednesdays at The Palms at Pelican Cove, and After Hours on First Fridays at Cafe Christine.

So what are you waiting on? Book your next vacation in St. Croix today! And tell me what your must-see favourite spots were!

XoX,

Friday Favourites: Where to Go This Weekend

Hello Lovely,

I know I just got back from a much needed vacation, but I am totally looking forward to cutting loose and meeting up with my friends that I haven't seen in weeks! So if you're in the Nassau area, here are two events that are happening this weekend that I'm totally looking forward to!

 

One of my best friend's invited me to this so I'm excited. Free Wine? Count me in!

One of my best friend's invited me to this so I'm excited. Free Wine? Count me in!

Come out to ShopTheCC's S/S 16 Pop-Up Shop. Where you will find the trendiest collectibles, haircare products, style tutorials & sweet treats.

Come out to ShopTheCC's S/S 16 Pop-Up Shop. Where you will find the trendiest collectibles, haircare products, style tutorials & sweet treats.

Hope to see you all there!

XoX,

Tuesday Ten: Get Your Summer Reading List Ready!

Spring signals so many things: The start of new relationships, as well as the end of many, especially due to graduation ceremonies. Once all of the cramming is over and done with, some of us find ourselves lacking, and good book perfectly fills that void. With travel plans and beach weather on the horizon, now is the best time to pick out your summer reading list and to get a head start (it’s okay to cheat sometimes. It was really hard trying to find only ten books, but I think I did it (Yay me!). All of the books I listed below, I've either rated at least 4 stars on ‘Goodreads’ or have received a lot of good reviews from others. I've read books that ranged from sunshine-and-daffodils, to the skies-opening-up-and-blood-raining-down, and OMG – have-to-read-that-again. But no matter the content, I'm always entranced.  The books I listed contain at least some sort of romance, action, adventure, paranormal, adult content and language, humour, and just good stuff amongst them. The last two books I included aren't a romance book, nor is it fiction, but I felt it best to throw in two last good reads. I hope that you guys can choose at least one of these books and fall into another reality and live there happily between the pages as I did (plus did I mention some of the characters are hilarious and just hot).

-Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am a happy victim of books. Are you?

1.      Birdie – Carr, M.C.

What's on your book list to read this year? Did any of my picks make your cut? Let me know in the comment section below!

XoX,

Amanda

THE TRUTH ABOUT 9 LOVE RULES

Hello Lovely,

Dating rules have changed. Again. But even though the playing field has become a bit of uncharted territory, some traditional dating do's and don’ts still apply. Some people have rules for when you should call, how often or if at all. But don’t get swept up in trends and fads that leave you heartbroken. Learn the truth about 9 common (and some new) rules when it comes to dating!

1.      Say “I love you” every day.

Perhaps the most important love rule is to just say it. Say “I love you”. We often get so caught up in daily activities that we don’t always remind our loved ones how we feel. Some may say that if their partner needs to hear it every day, then they have a self-esteem issue. That could be true, but why risk letting your loved ones think you’ve taken them for granted. Life is short and unpredictable, love anyway; and let the people you love, know that you love them.

2.      Play hard to get.

This is the biggest destroyer of intimacy. If you’re looking for a true relationship, you can’t start it off by playing games. Deception has no place in romance. It’s one thing if you play hard to get and another if you really are hard to get. Sometimes we’re just so busy we need to be chased a little, yes. Or maybe we need to show our partner that we have standards and won’t fall for just anything. In those cases, these are fine. But intentionally misleading your partner to make them work harder than they should just because it amuses you or your friends will only lead to broken hearts, including your own.

3.      Your spouse shouldn’t be your best friend.

Whoever said this has no idea how to have a happy relationship. I tell my best friends everything (but not everything at the same time). When I’m in a relationship there are some things I’ll tell my partner and some things I won’t, but I’ll tell another best friend. Not because I don’t trust my partner with the information, but it just may not pertain to him. I expect to have full(ish) confidentiality, truthfulness and disclosure with my partner. This is how I view relationships: When you’re my best friend, I expect to talk to you every day or every other day. If I can go weeks without talking to you, then I don’t need you in my life. I’m fine without you, but I chose you to be in my life, so act like it. If your partner isn’t your best friend, then what are they and why are they in your life?

4.      Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

As I am in a long distance relationship, I can vouch for this. We can count on one hand how many times we will get to physically see each other per year so it definitely makes us value that time together. However, it doesn’t come without stress because texting, phone calls and Skype can only do so much (sorry technology). It’s not the real thing and for some people can lead to rifts in emotional connections, making people stray.

5.      You can learn to love someone.

Have you ever seen the Zoosk commercial with the slogan, “First comes like”? It’s a modern play on the old adage, “First comes love then comes marriage.” But if you know anything about dating, love does not come first. I’ll admit, when I saw my boyfriend’s online dating profile, it was love at first sight for me, quickly followed by a, “I don’t know about this” once I kept reading. But when we spoke, I learned to look past things that turned out not be such a big issue. Don’t think of it as settling. But also, don’t force yourself to love someone just for the sake of being with someone or because you’re afraid to hurt them. Love takes time, and you should learn to love everyone individually, as you build trust and friendship.

6.      Never go to bed angry.

I’m a firm believer in this one. I’ve learned with my boyfriend that just because I need to discuss something doesn’t mean that he is willing to discuss something and he has learned the same. But one thing we value is never going to bed angry. We always try our best to hash it out before saying goodbye, and ending things with “I love you”. There have been times when we just couldn’t reach a solution and I woke up the next day feeling angrier because I lost sleep over the issue. There have also been times when I woke up the next day over it and just ready to move on. So while you shouldn’t go to bed angry, don’t think that you have to solve every problem before hitting the hay. Sometimes letting the issue air out is best before you say something you’ll regret.

7.      Having kids will bring you closer.

This one is a lie from the pits of hell! Children are wonderful gifts from above, yeah, yeah, yeah. Children are huge energy and financial strains that you’re stuck with for life, not just 18 years. I’m 25 and still living at home with my mother! Any couple will tell you that you lose time, privacy, and intimacy. And don’t think that having kids will make him stay. If you’re not married, he has no reason to stay with you. He made no commitment to you, let alone this human being that you decided to bring into the world. I know girls whose boyfriend’s left them while they were pregnant. Work on your problems before the baby comes, because it’ll be a lot harder afterwards.

8.      You can never be too close.

SO FALSE! You guys are going to need your own space! I know you don’t want to take one another for granted but don’t smother them!

9.      Love conquers all.

Love does not conquer poverty, addiction, abuse or imprisonment. I know as Christians we are called to love unconditionally in our marriages, but we are not God and therefore do not have to put up with any form of abuse whether it be physical or emotional. We are worth more than that, and if our partner cannot see that, we do not have to stay miserable. I don’t care what anyone says; things like domestic and sexual abuse cannot be “prayed away”. Love is a big part of a lasting relationship, but shared values and commitment are still required.