CABO San Lucas

Hello beautiful people….

About 6 months ago, I created a list of goals I would achieve this yr. I am still 110% (Yes, I am using that cliche line) committed to finishing the list by my 30th Birthday or the end of the year .

My last post was at the beginning of March-let’s just say-this crazy and very eventful roller coaster that is life didn’t take a pause. A lot has happened, a ton that I am grateful for, and a ton of lessons learned. Thanks for taking the time to read this interlude.

Now back to your scheduled program.!

  1. Visit another Country ✓

This month, I was able to complete my first bullet point on my “30 things to do before you turn 30 List.” With a group of 12 (3 of which are my cousins) we experienced an amazing trip full off activities. We rented a huge Villa with amazing views into the beach and downtown Cabo.

The Villas in Pedregal 6.14.19

Day 1- We got to learn about our surrounding area (restaurants and bars). We also learned it’s difficult to fit 12 ppl into a mini van and caused the car to struggle up Pedregal’s rocky hills. Even so, this all adds to our trips memories.

Day 2- We spent it together. We worked together to make breakfast (all 12 of us). The better part of the day the ladies sun bathed, the fellas played Frisbee. By Noon, the house chef came and threw down the house. He gave us “THE TACO PARTY” anyone that considers themselves a food lover could ever hope for. By the end of it we were all in full comfort food mode. People couldn’t reach benches or the couches fast enough. We ended the evening partying it up in the Night Life of Cabo. (IT WAS LIT!) PS. We absolutely ended the night with more Taco’s from a mom and pop shop on the way.

Day 3- Was spent leisurely since all 12 of us signed up for a Sunset Boat Ride where we traveled through the famous Rocks of the Coast. We were picked up a tad bit late from the company Cabo San Lucas Tours but they did not let us down. We started the trip with a Free Tequila tasting, ending with Mezcal (which was strong!) They later took us towards the boat and they gave us the Sunset they promised. The Boat had an Open Bar and aside for the wind chill it was fun.

The famous rock formations in Cabo San Lucas on the Sunset Boat Tour.

Day 4- Our last real day was truly eventful. Starting off with a 8 am pick up to our ATV adventure in the desert of Mexico.

Riding Dirty

Our guides from Wild Canyon Adventures really helped us acclimate to the shifting. It was my first time shifting an ATV, I’m used to my automatic Jeep. The tour took us through the desert, by the beach 20 mins away and had us cross the long bridge you see above. 4 Hours after our 9:40 am start we were on our way back to the downtown area. Four of us that took the tour were so hungry we asked the driver to drop us off anywhere to catch a bite. With our luck we met up with some of the group and made our way back to the Villa.

4 Hours later, we all got ready for a luxury meal in the Michelin Star- Sunset MonaLisa .

Sunset Mona Lisa- Cabo San Lucas, Mx

That’s all of us (all 12). We enjoyed 3 amazing courses with intermittent palette cleansers . And as Yusuf our gracious planner says…

“Only the Finest” lol.

As the meal carried on, we noticed fireworks shooting into the sky. We didn’t expect it but in 3 separate areas of the city Fireworks shot up, giving us a night to truly remember. Since seating was on the rooftop we were able to enjoy both the show and the amazing sunset. We ended the night with a show of our own at the foot of our table as if we planned it all. It was truly the finest and the least expected surprise.

CHEERS CABO!

Thanks for being part of my check list.

Think and Grow Rich

This book has changed my life.

I’m sure you hear this all the time. Well on my journey to make this my most successful year to date I stumbled across this book.

Since reading this book I have implemented several rituals daily such as reading myself goals daily, making assertions and visualizing my success. This may sound cheesy but I feel my confidence growing daily. I can close my eyes right now and transport my mind to the next chapter.

I’m currently lazor focused on building a brand and a business. I have used all my resources from money, to the network of people I know, to my immediate family. My brother tells me all the time “Somehow you make the impossible happen.” I choose to avoid limiting beliefs. We are our own worst enemies sometimes.

This book has reassured, restructured and molded my current ideals. I am very excited for this next year.

I recommend if you can get a chance READ it ASAP.

2/21/19 Update

Where have I been the last month?

This is the question of the month because my life has done a 180 Degree turn. I told you guys when I first opened the blog, I am very determined in achieving all my goals this year. By the way “this project” is definitely not a “new year, new me” kind of thing. In reality it’s more like “almost 30 wake the f*ck up kind of thing.” Back on track I made the initiative to get healthier by focusing on my mental, emotional & physical well-being.

Jan 21st, 2019

On January 21st, 2019 we celebrate Martin Luther King the man and the vision he had for our nation.

Yesterday, was one of the coldest days this winter. The temperature dropped to about 1°F. However, that did not stop my community from getting together and discussing development in the City of Newark.

“I Have A Dream”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Before our meeting they showed a clip of Rev. King’s “I have a dream” speech. It was incredibly poetic, the room was full of a variety of enthusiastic individuals from different races listening to his speech. My only thought was “look at the effects of his speech, he made this moment happen.”


Life has a funny way of making things come full circle. When I was a little girl, I would hear the story of his life and I would cry. I would think about my mom her struggles and how much harder it would have been for us. He put his life on the line to make a statement and disturb the status quo. The Civil Rights movement gave minorities like myself the opportunity to be counted as an equal.

We still have a long way to go but just thinking about the impact he still has on my community, on my family and myself is truly amazing. I hope one day I too can give back and “Pay it Forward” like Dr. King.

Thank you for everything . Steph.

Treat Yo’self !

Happy Monday Everyone!

Today’s post is about treating yourself or yo’self (as I like to say). But by the means you can afford. I don’t want you to break the bank either.

This weekend my brother and I took my mom to a day spa in Ramsey, NJ called The Fountain Spa. We bought her a spa package for Christmas.

https://www.thefountainspa.com/spa-services/

Let me give you a little history about my Momma Dukes.
She is a single mother of two. She worked about 102 hours a week between our youth till our teenage years. She had no help raising us in this big city called Newark. I took care of my brother and he took care of me. In many ways the city also raised us but that is a topic I will touch on another day.

Back on topic! Once we became young adults and could make our own money, we promised to try to make it up to my mom as much as possible. She spent her own youth basically trying to provide for us. This thought crosses our mind every time we buy something for her or our home.

Referencing my previous post “Awareness” be mindful of your yourself. Take care of yourself and sometimes treat yo’self. We can’t always send mom to spa days. We sometimes find ways to pamper her in a low budget way so if you can’t book that fancy spa (link above)

Here are some ways to pamper yourself home:

Buy a bathbomb from lush, make yourself a nice bath, light a candle & put soothing music to just take it easy for about 45 mins.

https://www.lushusa.com/bath/bath-bombs/

Don’t have a bath, no problem! Buy some scents at any store put them behind your ears, put some soothing music on and take a slight nap.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/floras-fragrances-flora-peterson/1116345783

Don’t have money? Again no problem make your own natural exfoliant or moisturizer: Some great natural ingredients are Aloe Vera, Tea trea, cucumber, & mint.

You’ll thank me later, now go ahead and….

Awareness

First let's start off by defining the word. 
awareness:
/əˈwernəs/ knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

About a week ago, I found out my boyfriend’s mother was very ill and she was admitted to the hospital. Little did we know, what looked like a minor infection turned out to be a very serious situation. I won’t get into any personal details because that is not my place nor would I like to disclose that information.

However, the purpose of mentioning the situation is to bring light to a problem I constantly see; we aren’t self-aware. People forget to take care of their bodies and unfortunately, we are not Wolverine (from the X-men) who can by mutation regenerate his immune system.

If you live in the Tri-State Area of NY, you are constantly on the go. Here, we all want to make money, and eventually retire. However, should that mean we sacrifice our health/sanity? If we’re not taking care of ourselves, will we even make it to retirement? These are real questions we have to ask ourselves.

Take this narrative and apply it in your life. Whether you are male/female/trans make sure you are taking the necessary measures to look after your health.

Speak to your physician & schedule your check up today.

My Practice ☮

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Zura Yoga – Montclair

2 years ago I was going through an emotional roller-coaster. My personal life encountered hardships I did not expect. I started neglecting my family, I didn’t take care of myself and I was sinking into depression. Mentally, I would constantly batter myself. 

Then, I made a decision to focus on my well-being. Over the years, I met and overheard so much about Yoga. The stories about how revolutionary the activity is, never sold me. If you told me 5 years ago I would be practicing Yoga today I would probably laugh in your face. But the joke was mostly on me.

The biggest mistake people make on a daily is limiting themselves.

Why do I say this? I say this because I thought my body was not capable. How could I for-see myself holding my foot on the back of my head, flexibility was an issue. I also always pictured very thin woman posing. Since I can remember I have had a big butt and a little extra meat on my bones. So I created this wrong notion that I could not do it.

My first class, I literally teared up ( I wasn’t being corny I promise). As I mentioned before I was really going through an emotional crisis.

The class was Beginner, which means it was very slow paced. Given it was my first time, every pose felt tough. All I could remember was my teacher telling us, “Just keep breathing and focus.” I did just that. 70 mins later we were in SHAVASANA (aka Corpse Pose). The instructor proceeded to read us the Rumi Poem to your right.

Now, I am not sure if it was the relief of completing the class and not fainting, this poem or both of them combined but I slightly wept in silence.

Long story short, it has become part of my life. Once you practice the lessons you take aren’t just physical but in some sense spiritual as well. Patience, forgiveness, gratitude, and not judging yourself or anyone. These are the morals of every class. I invite you to partake and stop limiting yourself.

PS: That is my favorite mat. If you are interested in my mat, please go to: https://jadeyoga.com

Noodle Shop & Bar – Newark, NJ

Atmosphere:

Funky take on a Ramen Shop. This place has pretty cool chalk board sketches on top of each table. It also must get a ton of people during events at “The Rock aka Prudential Center” because there is a pretty big downstairs area.

Continuing on the atmosphere, it definitely rings true to name at least with the Bar portion. This is first Ramen Spot outside of NYC that I have gone to with a full bar.

I mean really… Who doesn’t like ramen and beer ?

Score: 4/5

Food:

Not sure if I just got lucky but I got the chunkiest pork belly ever! It was THE BOMB ! If I ever come back that’s what I’m getting.

Well let’s talk about the main theme aka the Noodles. The noodles are pretty good, and I liked the broth. However, my meats were subpar. Some parts of the beef were over cooked. I ordered extra chasu and immediately regretted it because it was also over cooked and had no flavor.

And finally, don’t claim you’re adding a Ramen egg if it’s just a regular egg that clearly hasn’t been soaked in the soy broth chefs use to make real Ramen eggs.

Score: 2.75 out of 5

Customer Service:

I have nothing bad to say I think the bartender was very attentive.

Score: 4 out of 5

Cleanliness:

I think the place can work on that. It wasn’t super crowded when I went and it looked like it needed a good mopping. The bartender floor as well.

Score: 2.5 out of 5

Overall score : 3.3

I’ll probably go back for the pork buns and beer 🙂

http://www.noodleshopandbar.com/

Shades of Skin.

Impactful!

YellowKorner, Millburn

During my lunch break I saw this amazing piece. At first glance, I thought this was hand painted. Much to my surprise, the artist is a foreign photographer and this is one of his photographs. Nonetheless, the portrait struck me immediately and halted my course.

I see a Powerful Indigenous Woman breaking through the barriers of color. She is shedding the colors to show you the empowered woman.

There is a sad reality, not only in this country but in many others around the world. Women of color experience a multitude of prejudice and hardship. They have to work ten times harder than a man to overcome the disadvantages they are predisposed to because of their background.

This is why I see this portrait in a different light than just a woman covered in paint. I understand the struggle and the fight to get recognized. The picture drew me in because of the message that popped out at me. Though, I am a woman of fair complexion, my heritage is part of my nucleus. I have indigenous ancestry from South America and I am proud of my culture .

Humanity should look far beyond colors or gender and recognize the humanity staring back.

Below is the picture without the window glare.

“Kameleon” – DAMIEN DUFRESNE
See link below https://www.damiendufresne.com/