November in a Nutshell

Hello Lovely,

I hope each you had a fabulous Thanksgiving Day and holiday weekend. Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I’ve done a little gift shopping (and making) so far, but haven’t gotten anything yet for those extra special people in my life. Mechelle on the other hand is freaking out! Our countdown to Christmas is going to be a bit shorter this year due to travel plans. We’ll be with you until December 16, when we sign off until the New Year. Because we’ll be spending this time with family and friends, we hope you get to do the same!

With December upon us, today we thought we’d do a quick recap of November in case you missed something.

This month we began our hibernation process so to speak. We started off saying goodbye to a loved one before we both discussed our favourite TV shows to binge watch or watch reruns of. We brought in the holiday spirit when we shared our holiday wish list (two of which, I’ve already purchased for myself) my Christmas Jingles Spotify playlist and my winter mood board! We even shared our tips for how to get a head start on the holidays to avoid the last minute rush we always find ourselves in.

We took a little break after that because it was all about my new eBook, Sweets & Sips: Recipes to Impress while You Indulge. We’re giving away this book free to all subscribers so you’ve got to check that out below!

If you didn’t get your recipe book yet (seriously what are you waiting on), we shared two new pumpkin recipes with you this month. The Mini Pumpkin Spice Loaves is a great breakfast item, while the Pumpkin & Carrot Soup is meant to be a main star at the dinner table!

Of course, all of this indulging could lead to a new pound or two. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you should slack off on your workout routine. We showed you how to stay in shape with minimal effort with our No Squats Butt Lifting Workout and 6 Exercises to Make Your Booty Pop. So just in case St. Nick didn’t get the memo of what you wanted for Christmas, you can easily get it yourself! (Maybe Old St. Nick will leave an extra present or two once he’s seen your hard work pay off).

With the holidays in mind, we have already started working on a few projects for Christmas that you can expect to see soon on the blog. We’ve got DIY gifts for your family and friends, Christmas recipes that’ll make your home the place to be this holiday season as well as tips and tricks for beating the winter blues! There will even be a photo shoot post coming next week!

Tomorrow is the start of a very special day for us at Life by Olivia. We’ll be giving you 16 Days of Christmas with weekday posts on the blog and weekend posts on the Facebook page to keep you inspired!

Exciting, right? We’ll see you back here tomorrow morning for all things Christmas!

My Top 15 Posts of 2015

Hey Friends!

I'm so excited to close out this year! Not because this year sucked, no far from it! I had a great year! Of course there were some ups and downs, but the ups definitely exceeded the downs! I finally made it to one year in a relationship, I finally spent Christmas with him, things changed for the better on my job (notice I don't complain as much any more), I reunited with friends I thought I'd never speak to again, went kayaking, toured the seas on a pirate ship, tried The Cheesecake Factory for the first time, found out I'm expecting a goddaughter in February (my birth month), and so much more, but most importantly, I'm ending the year with a much stronger faith than what I started the year with.

I learned so much this year and I'm so happy that I was able to share it with you guys. You've become more than just my readers, you're also my friends. Over the course of the year I've met so many people who were like, "Hey I know you!" I had no idea my words reached so many of you and for that I am truly humbled. So to welcome the New Year and officially close out 2015, I have compiled (in chronological order from most recent to oldest) a list of my Top 15 Posts of 2015:

  1. Getting Vulnerable with Kamillah
I had the honour of meeting a great Bahamian artist while she was in town for a concert. Her name is Kamilah. She has such a gentle spirit but a powerhouse voice! I was completely blown away not only by her singing, but her playing. She has performed in the Apollo and now lives in New York as she chases her dreams. It's time to get vulnerable with Kamilah.

I had the honour of meeting a great Bahamian artist while she was in town for a concert. Her name is Kamilah. She has such a gentle spirit but a powerhouse voice! I was completely blown away not only by her singing, but her playing. She has performed in the Apollo and now lives in New York as she chases her dreams. It's time to get vulnerable with Kamilah.

 

2. 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 Catina, to shoot a wedding for a client. 

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 Catina, to shoot a wedding for a client. 

3. DIY Nautical Themed Wedding

I had the privilege of shooting Cameron & Tanishka Parker's wedding in Abaco on 7th November. I loved how they took charge of their own day and had fun with it. They came up with a lot of their poses in the spirit of the moment and brought a lot of energy. I saw genuine happiness in both of them, wish them nothing but the best going forward and thank them for allowing me to be a part of something so amazing! Out of respect for privacy this is not all of the photos but just a little bit of their love!

I had the privilege of shooting Cameron & Tanishka Parker's wedding in Abaco on 7th November. I loved how they took charge of their own day and had fun with it. They came up with a lot of their poses in the spirit of the moment and brought a lot of energy. I saw genuine happiness in both of them, wish them nothing but the best going forward and thank them for allowing me to be a part of something so amazing! Out of respect for privacy this is not all of the photos but just a little bit of their love!

4. 8 Irresistible Donuts to Kick Off Your Weekend

I'm positive that I'm about to be every girl on a diet's worst nightmare with this post, but I just couldn't help myself. I sincerely love doughnuts. Like LOOOOOOOOOOOVE doughnuts. My inner fat kid does a cartwheel anytime I see a doughnut or even hear the word doughnut. Well it tries but fails to complete the cartwheel, but even though my inner fat kid knows she can't do a cartwheel she still tries because that's how excited doughnuts make me!

I'm positive that I'm about to be every girl on a diet's worst nightmare with this post, but I just couldn't help myself. I sincerely love doughnuts. Like LOOOOOOOOOOOVE doughnuts. My inner fat kid does a cartwheel anytime I see a doughnut or even hear the word doughnut. Well it tries but fails to complete the cartwheel, but even though my inner fat kid knows she can't do a cartwheel she still tries because that's how excited doughnuts make me!

5. Seafood Margarita Alfredo

What I love about this meal is that not only is it a one-pot meal, but it was ready in less than 10 minutes and cost less than $10 to make! Now that's economical! Last week, I bought a bag of something called seafood combination for only $5.67 (yes I remember the price) and it did not disappoint! With real pieces of shrimp, octopus and mussels, this was worth every penny! Knorrs pasta sides are $1.89 here and tomatoes really aren't costly. While I didn't have any Basil, I did have the broad Thyme leaves that one of the teachers gave me. I toasted some bread, sprinkled it with garlic and had a delicious 5 star meal all to myself! 

What I love about this meal is that not only is it a one-pot meal, but it was ready in less than 10 minutes and cost less than $10 to make! Now that's economical! Last week, I bought a bag of something called seafood combination for only $5.67 (yes I remember the price) and it did not disappoint! With real pieces of shrimp, octopus and mussels, this was worth every penny! Knorrs pasta sides are $1.89 here and tomatoes really aren't costly. While I didn't have any Basil, I did have the broad Thyme leaves that one of the teachers gave me. I toasted some bread, sprinkled it with garlic and had a delicious 5 star meal all to myself! 

6. Summer-to-Fall Essentials that Looks Good on Everyone

Although summer fashion shows are now coming to an end, signaling the impending chill of fall, don't rush to ditch your summer duds just yet. I'm gonna show you how to transition some of your Summer Essentials into Fall Classics, while avoiding the seasonal mall rush!

Although summer fashion shows are now coming to an end, signaling the impending chill of fall, don't rush to ditch your summer duds just yet. I'm gonna show you how to transition some of your Summer Essentials into Fall Classics, while avoiding the seasonal mall rush!

7. DIY Catnip Toy

A really simple crap project that takes only 20 minutes and then you can spoil your cat rotten!  How do you treat your pets? 

A really simple crap project that takes only 20 minutes and then you can spoil your cat rotten! How do you treat your pets? 

8. Power Woman: Ria Georgina

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!  Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!

Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

9. 10 Things You Can Do When You're Having a Bad Day

I promise these aren't personal confessions (okay maybe they are) but I know what it's like to just be having a bad day. And as much as we may want to exact our revenge on that theif, or annoying co-worker or the person that didn't hire us, sometimes there really is nothing we can do about it. But even if we can't change our situation, we can change how we react to it. Here are some sweet suggestions for improving your mood a little.

I promise these aren't personal confessions (okay maybe they are) but I know what it's like to just be having a bad day. And as much as we may want to exact our revenge on that theif, or annoying co-worker or the person that didn't hire us, sometimes there really is nothing we can do about it. But even if we can't change our situation, we can change how we react to it. Here are some sweet suggestions for improving your mood a little.

10. The 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards

It was a night of Glitz & Glamour filled with celebrities and selfies, oh my!  f you missed the 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards on Saturday July 11, don't worry. I'm about to fill you in on everything you need to know about what went down!  

It was a night of Glitz & Glamour filled with celebrities and selfies, oh my!

f you missed the 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards on Saturday July 11, don't worry. I'm about to fill you in on everything you need to know about what went down!  

11. DIY Body Wash with Honey + Coconut Milk

It's about to be a new year, which means a new and clean start! And what better way to get a new and clean start than to make your own body wash? Made with Three Simple Ingredients...

It's about to be a new year, which means a new and clean start! And what better way to get a new and clean start than to make your own body wash? Made with Three Simple Ingredients...

12. How to Unplug & Let Go

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest person when it comes to letting go of grudges (when I'm angry at someone, it takes awhile for me to forgive and move on). But even I understand that this is not healthy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and everything that happens around us, we lose sight of what's really important. When that starts to happen, it's good to just unplug and let go.

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest person when it comes to letting go of grudges (when I'm angry at someone, it takes awhile for me to forgive and move on). But even I understand that this is not healthy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and everything that happens around us, we lose sight of what's really important. When that starts to happen, it's good to just unplug and let go.

13. Funfetti Waffles with Whipped Lemon Yoghurt Topping and Fresh Berries

I served this on a breakfast tray with Lemon Sweet Tea to my mum in bed while singing Happy Mother's Day to you in the Birthday Song tune. I even added, "Happy Mother's Day to the best mother in the world, but I'm sorry you're not better than bammy [my grandmother] but I love you anyway". She laughed because deep down she knows it's true. My grandmother is my favourite woman on the planet. She lives in Tampa so her present is in the mail. If someone you love lives nearby you, make these waffles for them to show them how much you care.

I served this on a breakfast tray with Lemon Sweet Tea to my mum in bed while singing Happy Mother's Day to you in the Birthday Song tune. I even added, "Happy Mother's Day to the best mother in the world, but I'm sorry you're not better than bammy [my grandmother] but I love you anyway". She laughed because deep down she knows it's true. My grandmother is my favourite woman on the planet. She lives in Tampa so her present is in the mail. If someone you love lives nearby you, make these waffles for them to show them how much you care.

14. Vegan Spinach + Mushroom Grilled Cheese

Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

Can you believe that grilled cheese is so awesome, it gets its own month?! But even better, than a traditional girlled cheese, I added a cool, filling twist. Trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!

15. DIY Black Crop Top Without a Pattern

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!

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!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

See you in 2016!