Inspiration, mind, body & soul, Travel

I Didn’t Pass Out On My First Cruise

 

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My husband decided that he wanted to take me on a surprise trip. We have talked about taking many trips before but because of life we always pushed it back to the back-burner. Whenever he began to talk about us taking a cruise, I figured this would be pushed back to the back-burner too. Well, it was not and we did it! We cruised our way to the beautiful Bahamas.

We were scheduled to check in Sunday April 16, 2017 at 1pm at the Cape Canaveral Port. We decided to drive to Cape Canaveral a day early so that we wouldn’t have to face any delays on the road the day of the cruise.

We stayed in a beautiful suite at Homewood Suites. We checked in, relaxed a little and then headed out for dinner.

I had a taste for Italian so we googled Italian restaurants in the area. We headed out to find one that we decided on and ended up choosing a different one – what a great choice! The name of the restaurant is Zarella’s.  Our server’s name was Benjamin and he gave us the best service I have ever had in my life. He recommended some dishes for us to try and we went with a his recommendations. Now I am going to be honest and say that I did not eat the healthiest on this trip. I ate as much as I wanted and whatever I had a taste for. Zarella’s was only the beginning of my eating spree.

The drinks were also delish! I wanted to order something that I had never tried so my husband and I chose drinks that we had never had before. The drinks were very refreshing.

 

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When it was time to go, the server packaged our leftovers for us and we proceeded next door to do a little shopping (so we thought).

I needed to purchase a bathing suit and I figured it would be cheaper to purchase it off the cruise ship than on. The store we went into was a little pricey. I grabbed a two piece and noticed that just the top costs $45. There were some a little cheaper than that but I was not willing to pay $27-$45 just for a bikini top. We could’ve purchased from there because everything was nice but I am a budgetnista. I can’t help myself. I shop el cheapo.

This store had many things that were great for souvenirs. From hats, t-shirts, mugs, towels, shells, hermits and so much more-they had it all. The t-shirts and other clothing items were not as expensive as the bathing suits.

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We decided to head to Wally World (Wal-Mart). I found a couple of bathing suits there. Hey, I wear Wal-Mart clothing items! I know many are ashamed of that but not I. Walmart has beautiful clothing selections which I am sure that everyone knows that!

We wanted to swim or get in the Jacuzzi at the hotel but we decided to get rested up for the next day. Surprisingly, I was able to rest very well being I had butterflies about getting on the ship the next day.

Being surrounded in water (in the ocean) is something that I have also dodged all of my life just like flying in an airplane. I overcame the airplane fear for my birthday so I was able to be a little calmer facing this fear. Sometimes when you continue to do things out of your comfort zone, it becomes easier to tackle the next thing with lesser hesitation.

DSCN0120The next day we checked out from our suite and caught a cab to the port. Check in was easy breezy and we waited patiently in the waiting area until we were called to board ship.

As I sat there looking at the ship through the glass, I couldn’t believe that I was really about to do this. I wanted to smile, cry and kiss my husband all at the same time.

He was in the Navy and always shares his stories of when he was on the water. To see the look on his face just melted my heart. There was a difference this time though, he was going to relax, not work.

My husband and I have been together for six years. It will be seven years in November. We have never had a honeymoon. This trip was our time to enjoy each other away from home for more than a weekend. We have traveled since being married to places not too far away from home but we usually have someone with us or have to rush right back within two days or so. To be away for four days, just us, was something we both couldn’t believe. We were finally taking our honeymoon!

Our number was called after about an hour or so of waiting to board the ship. My stomach was in knots but I was so excited.

We were not allowed to go to our staterooms until they were ready so we browsed the ship with our luggage. We found the “common area” that had a big TV screen, a pool, two Jacuzzi’s, food and two bars.

 

We stood on the deck and overlooked the water. Shortly after talking ships and Navy day memories with my husband, we heard music and the dancing began by the pool. We were able to look down and watch the entertainment. This helped me to take my mind off everything for a moment, until I looked back at the water. We  watched on the deck for awhile and then walked down to grab a drink and join in on the fun.

After my drink, my nerves calmed down a bit and I began to enjoy the deck party. Shortly after I noticed the ship was moving. OMG! Get me off this ship asap! That is what I was thinking but based off my pictures and video, my face looks really chill. Was I really doing this?! I guess so. I just closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths and let go of the fear as I exhaled.

 

We decided to take a look at the buffet and ate until we couldn’t eat anymore. I do not know why but even after eating a full meal, an hour later we were eating again. Food was everywhere! Drinks, food, drinks, food, drinks, food. This is how our days went, literally.

I had to get use to the swaying of the ship. It made me nervous every-time I felt it. I tried not to look outside at the water but I love water so that was very difficult to do. My fear is sinking in a ship (Titanic style). There were so many activities, stores, people and food that it was easy to forget that you were actually on the ship but as soon as I felt rocking the nerves started all over.

My nervousness got better after the first day. I was more calmer and we began to attend the on board activities to keep ourselves busy. We attended a Michael Jackson dance-off and trivia and my  husband won it. He loves Michael Jackson so I knew he would. There were many Michael Jackson fans there for trivia but my husband won it hands down.

We arrived to Nassau Bahamas and it was absolutely beautiful. We were undecided on whether or not we wanted to do an excursion but we decided to get off the ship, walk around, do some shopping and find the beach.

There were stores galore and many of the locals were walking around asking tourists of we wanted to buy selective items from them. It was a bit overwhelming for me because I would be focused in on something that I see in a window and someone would come up and ask me to buy something. I eventually got use to it after a while.

We eventually found the beach. The water was so beautiful and blue. If I could lie in it all day without turning into a prune I would.

On the beach there were many things for sell like beer, cocktails, food ,souvenirs, paintings from a local artists and more.

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We relaxed on the beach, had a few drinks and embraced the moment. There were a lot of children running around so this made me sad a little because our children were not with us but I had to remind myself that this was mommy and daddy’s time that was so needed.

I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to fall asleep on the beach but I definitely paid for it. My skin is beautifully tanned BUT I began to turn red and experienced sun burn. No, I didn’t put on any sunscreen. I mean, I haven’t wore sunscreen since I was in my early teens. I guess I need to apply something next time- lesson learned, or not.

My husband also experienced sunburn. Even though we were going through this, we still decided to go to the beach again when we arrived to Freeport, Bahamas. How could you stay away from water so beautiful?

When we arrived to Freeport it looked completely different from Nassau. It was more industrial. We caught a cab to the beach and along the way I noticed a lot of damaged homes and buildings.

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I overheard two ladies talking about a hurricane that had hit the area recently. This saddened me. It was such a beautiful place to be the target of such terrible weather. Roofs were destroyed, trees were lying down and broken, cars passed us on the street that were dented and missing windshields.

Our cab took us to the beach and we had to pay three dollars to enter. We received a wrist band, walked around and embraced the beauty.

DSCN0597The waters in the Bahamas looked nothing like any waters I have ever seen in person. Usually I am afraid to get in the water (due to a previous experience many years ago). I was not afraid and jumped right on in. Well, I must confess…..I tried to walk in all seductively for my husband and a wave came and knocked me down. It was hilarious. My husband was laughing as well as other people. So much for that sexy strut.

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We enjoyed our time on the beach until it was time to board ship again. Once we were back on the ship we enjoyed the activities that were taking place. There is no reason anyone should be bored on this cruise ship. There was always something to do for everyone.

When we arrived back to Cape Canaveral I was so proud of myself. I couldn’t believe I had lived through a cruise that once terrified me. Another fear faced! I couldn’t wait to get back home to our children and love on them. I missed them so much.

Our next cruise will be a family cruise. We now just need to figure out when and where we would like to go. The kids were so excited when they saw the pictures.

I left this cruise feeling renewed and looking six months pregnant because of all the eating and drinking. My husband doesn’t agree that I had a pop belly but um….yea, I did.

There was so much fun and food! I can’t wait until our next one.

Food  & Drink Gallery

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OUR CRUISE GALLERY

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Inspiration, Lifestyle, mind, body & soul

My First Attempt At Making A Beeswax Candle with Herbs

I never considered myself to be a DIYer but I have been getting into it a lot more lately. My husband and I visited Statesboro GA and decided to browse the Hobby Lobby there. I was like whooooaaaa…..when I walked through the door. All of the home décor and project materials that were available was very overwhelming for me.

The way my mind is set up, I am always coming up with ideas. The only reason I am able to focus on one thing at a time is because I write everything down and then revert back to the idea I have yet to complete.

My husband stumbled upon a candle making material isle. I immediately got excited and began to look at the materials and books for candle making. I love candles and burn them very often but I recently read some things that have made me change my outlook on what candles I choose to buy. While browsing the internet seeking directions on candle making, I came across a few sites that talked about different waxes.

I learned that some candles release toxins into the air. Beeswax and soy are said to be the best choices due to their ability to purify the air.

I have a daughter who has allergies and it seems as if anything triggers it. Because of my love for candles, it was imperative that I find a healthier option for our home. I chose to start with beeswax first.

Beeswax candles are environmentally friendly and safe, non-toxic. They burn very clean with little smoke when trimmed properly as they are not oil-based. 100% beeswax candles are natural and undergoes no chemical processing and are biodegradable.

We purchased beeswax from Hobby Lobby and wicks. We also found an herbal store nearby and purchased some dried herbs to put inside the candles. We chose Mango Greens and Lavender.

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herb store

I took a trip to the grocery store last night and when I came back my husband had already made one candle. I was thinking….why wouldn’t he wait on me? He loves to dive right in and do things. He showed me how he went about doing his candle and I tweaked it a little bit when I made mine just to be a little different.

We didn’t have a pitcher that was suggested on different sites for candle making so we took a big pot, added water and placed a smaller pot with a handle inside it. This made our double boiler. We poured the wax into the small pot to melt it. It worked great!

We poured the wax and herbs into a jar and let it sit. This morning we decided to test it to see how it burns. We LOVE the candle! It burns great, looks great and smells great. I feel so much better now that I am able to have a candle that I love and it is so much healthier for our home.

We will make some changes the next time we make them, for example,  pouring it into the jar a little neater. We didn’t pour from a pitcher so some of the wax poured alongside the rim and not directly into the jar. We could scrape the wax off for a neater appearance but it isn’t really bothering us that much to do so. Of course if I make one for someone else, it will be neater. By the way….I already have people wanting me to make them one. How about that?

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I look forward to making more healthier candles!

I went live on Facebook at the herbal store.

 

mind, body & soul, Travel

My Retreat To Fearlessly Loving Your Yoni Presents Rose Quartz Yoni Egg On Tybee Island

April 1, 2017 I attended a retreat on Tybee Island. This retreat was life changing for me as I met some beautiful spirits. I didn’t know exactly what to expect so I went without any expectations. I must say it was so worth it.

In keeping it completely real with you’ll, I almost canceled. Things were not quite lining up for me the closer it got to time to leave for the retreat but my husband told me that I should go and stop trying to talk myself out of going. Talking myself out of doing things for myself is so easy to do but I am working on that. I have to stop feeling guilty about taking care of me. You can pour into others all day but you have to pour into yourself as well.

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One of my friends also attended the retreat so the weeks leading up to it was interesting. We were trying to figure out what we should or should not take. We where provided a list of what to bring but as women we must always be so extra. Ok, maybe not all but we did put a lot of thought into what we should wear and even did a little shopping.

I ended up just purchasing the yoga gear needed for the retreat and my friend bought me a dress in which I didn’t wear but will save for a later time. Surprisingly I packed light.

We arrived to our destination early so we decided to head to the beach and wait until it was time to meet up with the other sisters. We hung out on the beach for awhile, took pictures and watched the waves. We didn’t get into the water. My friend wanted to run in but decided not to as we did not want to meet up with the other ladies soak and wet. They probably wouldn’t have cared but we had no idea what was on the agenda for the day.

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Once it was time to meet with the other ladies, we proceeded to the gate of the area where we were staying. The gates opened and we were in! The first thing I noticed once inside the gate was all the nature and sand.

I am a true nature lover so that was enough to get me excited. We parked and met up with two ladies that were standing next to a common area building. They welcomed us and gave us some Florida Water to cleanse ourselves of negative energy. My friend and I conversed with the two ladies for awhile and eventually got our luggage and picked our beds.

After picking our beds, we waited in the common area/building for the other ladies to arrive.

During this time I was taking everything in. I could hear the birds and smell the water. I looked around and observed our surroundings and it was so peaceful.

We indulged in some delicious vegan cupcakes, fruit, zucchini bread and water. Who ever knew that eating healthy could be so delish! Our cuisine was vegetarian/vegan the whole retreat.

After getting our bellies full, my friend and I decided to go hang out by the water until everyone got there. We took a few selfies and conversed about life. Another lady joined us by the water and we conversed about food and the health benefits of certain foods or lack there of. She was so hilarious to me. The way she talked and her bubbly personality. This lady was the true definition of real. She says what is on her mind and I love it!

1491077603529 149107750291717622129_171005403418847_6010746822122041970_oMore ladies began to join us throughout the day. My friend had wondered off to connect with the other ladies as I was doing the same. I eventually found her sitting on a dock with two other ladies. I joined them and watched as the water flowed beneath our feet and the crabs crawled in and out of the sand.

We stayed on the dock for awhile. By the time we left the dock, my feet were feeling wrinkly. IMG_20170401_160959

We eventually all met in one place to enjoy dinner and converse.

1491094719719We had a very emotional night as we surrounded a campfire. We were told to write down on a piece of paper what we would like to release from ourselves so that we can move forward and we threw that paper in the fire. Afterwards, we talked about other things and it definitely brought tears to my eyes because I am personally working on some blockages.

 

My sisters embraced me. The love I received was amazing. These ladies did not even know me long yet they expressed so much love to me.

After eating smores and conversing by the campfire we turned in for the night.

 

We stayed in a dorm room setting which I thought was perfect for us. It wasn’t so big that we could drift off into our own little worlds. It was the perfect size for us to be close to each other. This allowed us to talk to one another and feel more connected due to the closeness.

We woke up early the next day and headed to the beach for sunrise yoga and followed up with Zumba. The instructor was awesome! I had a lot of fun working out. The yoga was very peaceful and I felt as though I had released something from me that was very heavy after doing yoga. I felt lighter.

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@zumbakatiee

After zumba we headed back to our common area and ate breakfast.

 

1491161172109Towards the end of the retreat, I purchased a green tea bath scrub from @fearlesslylovingyouryoni and I have used it already. My skin feels amazing!

I also received a rose quartz yoni egg. I actually wore it for yoga and zumba……

This retreat was so needed. There was healing, spending time with nature, bonding, support, healthy food, networking, building friendships and so much more. These ladies definitely have a special place in my heart.

I have always said that I needed more in my life. I needed change when it came to my social circle. I needed siSTARS who would support me when I am down and congratulate me when I am up.

My vision board is manifesting!

I am so glad that I took this retreat! I feel renewed. I returned back to my hometown ready to continue my journey with a different mindset. It is time to go beyond our circumstances. It is time……It all starts with YOU.

 

Music credits:  http://www.bensound.com

@fearlesslylovingyouryoni

Family, mind, body & soul

I Partially Know What I Am Doing

I decided that it was finally time that I start my own little garden so I gathered my crew and we headed to the dollar store. We browsed the aisles and came across the flower bulbs and vegetable seeds and I was overjoyed. I do not know anything about planting vegetables and herbs other than just putting the seeds in the ground but after reading the back of the seed packets, I quickly learned that it wasn’t that simple.

I love simplicity. I purchased peas, bean, squash, lettuce, carrots, spinach, sage and oregano. I also purchased a seed starter tray and a few other small seed starter pots.

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My six year old was very excited to help me plant the seeds as well as my oldest son but my other two children didn’t want to get their hands dirty. They just wanted to watch us work.

I followed the directions for the seed starter the best I could but I did something that was hilarious to my husband. I didn’t completely understand that you shouldn’t plant many seeds of lettuce at one time in the pot (as it is a small pot) and we planted all of them. Haha! My husband laughed at me and said we are going to have a big combination of lettuces. I must admit, it hurt my feelings a bit because I was so proud of myself. He really blew me for a moment but eventually I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Hey, what can I say. I am a beginner who is simply trying to find her way right?

So the next thing was where will we put them so that they will receive proper sunlight. We placed the sage and oregano in the kitchen window and the rest in the sun-room area. This morning I noticed that there wasn’t adequate sunlight in the sun-room area so I placed the plants in direct sunlight in our backyard.

The ultimate goal is to start the seeds inside the smaller pots and eventually plant them in the ground once we prepare a proper space.

I would love to build a greenhouse to grow herbs and even googled some easy ways to build it but I think I want to leave that project to my husband. I am not into building things. Of course I will assist my love but the project will ultimately be his.

I asked him would he build one for me and he just looked at me so I don’t know what the answer is yet but we will see. I surely hope so. Or…..I could just start building it and he naturally assists me in whatever I am doing. Yea, I think I will get him involved this way.

As for my veggies, I am excited to be making this healthier change. Our children are watching us so we want them to live very fulfilled lives due to us being great examples. They know how much I love plants and I talk to them, literally.

We have a lucky bamboo that I need to replant as soon as possible that is in the home and we have two plants that I have yet to figure out what they are that are on our porch. My mother in-law gave them to us when we moved into our home. I would love to know what they are.

She isn’t sure what they are either so it is a mystery! I am sure I will find out eventually, I mean it has only been two years that I haven’t known. Haha!

I am sure with more research and practice, I will get the gardening thing down pack. I am crawling before walking and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out so that we can eat our own home grown veggies!

Share your tips on growing veggies to make my life a little easier!

 

mind, body & soul

Can I Workout Please?!

I absolutely love the gym but there is one thing I do not like particularly about the gym-some men. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having someone who is interested in you watching you as you are working out. In particular I enjoy the machine that allows me to workout my glutes in which this requires that I bend over and lift a bar one leg at a time. Talk about uncomfortable with a set of eyeballs watching your bootay.

There are some gyms that are only for women and I think that is a brilliant idea!

Check out this article by Sabrina Sainthilaire.

What was I thinking

The Top 5 Thing I Would Like To Say To Men at The Gym

 

 

mind, body & soul

What Is The Hype With Yoni Steaming?

*Disclaimer: This post is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment.

As I have been on a journey of self awareness and taking care of my mind and body, I came across some yoni health articles. A yoni is the vulva (a sacred space).

Realistically, many women deal with issues that result in them taking many medications and still find no long term relief in what they are dealing with. I prefer to go the natural route in caring for my body as I believe the earth can provide many healing properties for our bodies.

I am not a doctor and do not pretend to be but in my home I choose to treat myself naturally and it works! Medications are my absolute last resort.

I began to look into yoni steaming as I read that it could relieve me of my terrible cramps that came along with my cycle. I began to read more on it and watched some reviews on YouTube.

What is yoni steaming?

Yoni steaming, also known as vaginal steaming, is a practice in which a woman allows the warmth of herbal steam to permeate the exterior of her vagina. Respected by healers around the globe, yoni steaming is an opportunity to reconnect with your body and utilize the wisdom of plant medicine to heal your cycle.

What are some of the benefits of yoni steaming?

It reduces pain, bloating and exhaustion associated with menstruation.

• Decrease menstrual flow as well as reduce dark purple or brown blood at the onset or end of menses.

• Regulate irregular or absent menstrual cycles.

• Increase fertility, especially when combined with Mayan abdominal massage.

• Speed healing and tone the reproductive system after birth.

• Treat uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, uterine weakness, uterine prolapse and endometriosis.

• Assist with the repair of a vaginal tear, episiotomy or C-section scar.

• Assist with the healing of hemorrhoids.

• Treat chronic vaginal/yeast infections, and works to maintain healthy odor.

• Relieve symptoms of menopause.

• Detoxify the womb and remove toxins from the body.

You can turn your toilet into a yoni steaming throne right at home!

I chose this option because it is easy and convenient. I hope to someday purchase a yoni steaming seat but for now, I am using the toilet throne.

The Toilet Throne

What you’ll need:

  • A toilet
  • A natural toilet bowl disinfectant and brush cleaner
  • A wide-rimmed stainless steel or glass mixing bowl
  • A large towel or blanket

To turn your toilet into a throne:

  1. Give your toilet bowl and seat a good scrub. You will feel yucky attempting to do this on a dirty toilet.
  2. Next, prepare your water and yoni steaming herbs. Carefully pour your herbs into the mixing bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Place the mixing bowl with the water and herbs into the basin of your toilet bowl. Close the seat (but not the lid). CAUTION: Make sure your bowl of herbs fits completely inside the toilet bowl basin before closing the lid and sitting down. Sitting down on a glass bowl that is too large for the toilet basin may result in broken glass.
  4. Sit down on your toilet as you normally would. If the steam feels too hot open your legs or stand up to allow the water to cool.
  5. Relax and enjoy!

I have only done the yoni steaming twice in the past year and will began to do it more often. I first had a problem with locating the herbs within my small community but I recently took a trip to Savannah, GA. and googled for stores that sold yoni eggs. I came across a lady by the name of Cherica who is CEO of Fearlessly Loving Your Yoni.

My husband and I met with her and talked about the yoni eggs and I ended up purchasing some yoni steaming herbs. I will purchase an egg later when I decide which one is best for me.

yoni steaming herbs

I followed the above steps to sanitize my toilet, lit some candles and played soothing music. I have had great results from my yoni steaming and will continue to do it. I no longer deal with PMS and I do not have excruciating cramps that shut me down during my cycle. I am able to be active and productive.

Check out Cherica herself as she explains her experience in yoni health.

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Inspiration, mind, body & soul

A Getaway For My Sanity

March 2nd was my birthday and with so much going on in my life, I needed a much needed getaway. I wanted to do something different.

Over the past few months I have been getting out of my own way to expand in different areas of my life. Sometimes our fears can limit us from walking in our purpose. I ask myself where do these fears come from? Are they my own or have I taken on the fears of others that are dear to me?

I was terrified of flying so for my birthday I wanted to face this fear. I decided to take a trip to Miami, Florida to celebrate and although I could have driven, I decided to cut the time short by facing my fear of flying. What an experience! I sat next to some wonderful people on the plane and ended up gulping down a gin and cranberry juice to calm my nerves.

Before I left for my trip my mother conversed with me about the chaos of the airport itself and this didn’t help me at all. I went there prepared for the absolute worse. I expected people to be running over me as I tried to navigate my way through to find my gate. My mother told me at the security checkpoint, people would be impatient with me if I took too long putting back on my shoes and packing my items (as I had a laptop with me.) Surprisingly, I didn’t experience any of that. She unfortunately had experienced it herself during one of her flights.

I appreciate her preparing me for the worse as I was looking forward to the absolute worse and nothing happened. This allowed me to relax a little bit. My mother was the first person to call me after I landed in Florida. She was so excited and wanted to to know about my experience at the airport and the flight itself.

I enjoyed my time on the beach, store hopping, eating and drinking alcoholic beverages mid-day into the night. Hey what can I say? It was my birthday after all. I indulged in a variety of cuisines from Mexican, Italian to Cuban and a variety of desserts.

I enjoyed a relaxing massage from the Bodies Kneaded Massage Spa. I also received the deep facial cleansing services and it hurt like hell! Omg! I got the blackhead extraction services and tears were rolling down my face. It was worth it because my face looked great afterwards. It was sore for a couple of days but I had a glow to me.

My favorite part of the trip was my visit to the Kampong, a botanical garden. I am a nature lover and it is a must that I spend time in nature for healing of my mind, body and soul.

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Sometimes you just have to take some time for yourself to get your mind right! I left my hometown full of aggravation and returned renewed and ready to take on whatever.