And I’m Back!

It’s been a long time. I’m back because I can’t put certain things on hold in life when I’m called to let my creativity flow in writing and connecting with others in a meaningful way, through the mutual love of trekking and traveling, eating good eats, and obsessing over beauty products. So, I’m back!

Anything you want to hear about, talk about, let me know!


Happy Thanksgiving! Gratitude Cards

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Thankful Thursday!

What have you been doing to show your gratitude on Thursdays? It can be done in so many ways from writing in a journal, to conveying it to others around you, and to making gratitude cards.

This Thanksgiving, I am making Gratitude Cards and sending them to my family and friends since I won’t be home to spend this precious time with them. The three cards are: “My favorite thing about you”, “I love you because”, and “My Thanksgiving wish for you”.

Click on the card you want, fill these out, print them or copy them and send them to your loved ones.



Fitness Slump

My fitness routine hit a slump last week. It’s been bad. This week I’m on vacation, so I’m walking EVERYWHERE. I have found a few things help me stay motivated: 1) change it up; 2) reach deep down inside to figure out WHY and write it down; and 3) keep a friend accountable and ask your friend to keep you accountable.

What has worked for you?

Change It Up
There are headache days, sick days, i-don’t-wanna days, it’s-cold-outside days, etc. I found changing it up helps on these days. I like my kettle bell workouts, but I found I don’t always feel like it. When I don’t, instead of taking the bus or train, I walk it out. I haven’t started yoga, yet, but my go-to exercises are working the kettle bell or walking it out and I never go without either too long.

Your Deep-down WHY and Write It Down
Hypertension runs in my family and I can’t dodge it, so this is my deep-down reason to keeping active. I have also put down the shallow goal of, “to look good in a bikini”. I think keeping deep-down goals and shallow goals are equally important.  When you write down your goals, it helps you commit to them because they become ingrained in your brain. Having a goal that is deep seeded helps to keep a meaningful reason as to why you’ve committed to your fitness routine. Have you tried this? Has it worked?

My girlfriend on the West Coast and I like to keep each other accountable on our workouts and when we finish, we like to check in with each other on WhatsApp. It’s nice to know she cares and likewise, I try to keep her motivated and positively reinforce her activities by throwing her a thumbs up or happy face emoticon. It’s nice to know I have her support and she has mine.

What do you do to keep up and running on your weekly fitness?


Istanbul, Turkey Series

This Tuesday interrupts the Turks and Caicos Series to update you there will be a new Istanbul, Turkey Series. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I thought I’d introduce to you, the Turkish jjimjilbang (Go Google that…) because my Hubs and I will be indulging in good eats and HAMAM, the Turkish Bath. Scrub a dub dub. Hamams and the bathing methods are 600 years old. Hamams are an ancient place of  family deals, where Moms scoped out their future daughter-in-laws. That’s close and personal too fast so soon, no?

Here’s a few know-hows so you walk into a hammam like a pro:

1)  Choose a hamam that suits you. Most of them are gender specific.
2) Bring your toiletries, including a comb or hair brush, and what you usually use after showering or bathing. Hair dryers are available.
3) After you arrive, you’ll be directed to a locker, and be given a scrubbing glove, and towel.
4) Under your towel, be comfy in your own skin and wear what makes you comfortable, as well: swimsuit, underwear, or nothing is acceptable.
5) When you enter the hamam,  wrap thyself in a towel, and wear slippers that they give you. No slip and fall accidents, please. After all, “slippery when wet” applies here.
6) Get hydrated because the  the hamam is warm. Before lying on the dais, drink water and don’t be shy,  pour water on yourself.
7) Lie down, relax and let time go by on the dais for about 15 minutes. When an attendant gestures you for your scrub, you’ll be ready.
8) You’ll indulge in a  10-minute scrub with wash splashed on you, when you’ll get a lathering of soap and massage for about 10 minutes, and finally a wash-down.



Favorite Nail Treatments

I’ve been doing my own manis and pedis since my days in college. I find when I pay for a mani or pedi, I’m left unsatisfied because I’m so used to DIYing my nails. Through some experience, I’ve come to love some products I wanted to share with you. These products can really make or break my mani or pedi, so I have stayed true to these products: 1) CND’s Stickey Base Coat, 2) Julep’s Oxygen Nail Treatment (Sheer Pink),  3) INM’s Out the Door Top Coat, 4) Julep’s Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops, and 5) Burt Bee’s Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.

I am still deciding on my favorite hand cream. I have used the Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector, but I really want to try the Rose Hand Protector, so cannot say I’ve exactly committed to a hand cream, just yet. Do you have a favorite hand cream you’d recommend? Which one would it be?

1) CND’s Stickey Base Coat

I have decided the longevity of a good manicure is as good as the base coat you use. CND’s Stickey Base Coat is so good, I would cry over spilling it. Oh, and I have! I have coupled this long-lasting base coat with CND, Julep, OPI, and Zoya polishes and have consistently found a mani that lasts for two weeks. I strongly recommend this base coat and the INM’s Out the Door and Northern Lights Holographic Top Coats. That’s a triple threat and ensures a lasting mani and pedi.

2) Julep’s Take a Breather – Oxygen Nail Treatment (Sheer Pink), $18.00 $14.40 Maven*

Come December, I’ll be studying for the Bar and I decided, I’m keeping my nails short and committed to this great nail treatment. I just bought two bottles during Julep’s JETSET promo and I am really excited to get these in the mail because I am literally down to two polish changes worth of the Oxygen Nail Treatment. I like the way a sheer pink is never wrong and how the treatment has its own shine to it. I feel like this treatment is a definite go-to when you want a polish to hold you through mid-week, in time for your weekend mani. This nail treatment has helped my nails grow strong and my nails usually peel and chip easily. See the Julep Maven link below if you want to become a Maven, which is a monthly subscription of nail polishes, and receive your first trio of polishes for free. You may skip your monthly subscription, but must do so manually.

3) INM’s Out the Door Top Coat

I have been using Out the Door and Northern Lights Top Coats for over three years. I have gone astray and have come back to this top coat because it doesn’t shrink my polish, it goes on and dries super fast, and gives a nice shiny finish.

4) Julep’s Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops, $14.00 $11.20 Maven*

I never go without my Ta Da! I will wait a minute after my last coat of polish and use Ta Da! to ensure a quick dry. I like how my cuticles are also moisturized. I love the smell of Ta Da!, also. See the Julep Maven link below if you want to become a Maven, which is a monthly subscription of nail polishes, and receive your first trio of polishes for free. You may skip your monthly subscription, but must do so manually.

5) Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.

This stuff is awesome and goes a really long way. I see the benefit of the Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream especially during the winter and when traveling in an airplane. I usually slather this on before bedtime because the formulation is thick.

If you aren’t already a Julep Maven, check it out, HERE. Being a Maven, you’ll get monthly polishes in the mail. You can get the limited edition beauty box, which features a polish trio full of holiday sparkle. The 4-piece Welcome Box is ON JULEP. ($50+ Value) and shipping is on you ($2.99). As a Maven, you’ll be privy to free shipping and Maven discounts. Feel free to skip any month. I’ll send out personal reminders on my Charmnomgo Facebook Page!

*This blog post has affiliate links that keep Charmnomgo running. Thank you for your support!

In Memory of Mary Rose Mercieca

This week, a small community I belong to lost a loving person. This blog post is in her memory.

Have you heard of the quote that explains people come into your life for a reason,  a season, or a lifetime? I felt Mary Rose came into my life for a reason and a season. She was bright, cheery, and called my name with a cadence.

When I had a law school exam, was in a rush to get coffee, or get to class because I was late, she said, “Hi, Gee-nah!” She taught me to be thankful for the present. She taught me to be thankful in perseverance. She taught me to continue to be selfless and continue to give because others will appreciate this when it means so much to them.

Mary Rose left and I owed her something. I previously loaded LSAT study materials onto a thumb drive for her. She ended up losing part of the file. She gave me a thumb drive to place LSAT study materials on them for her and I still feel like I owe her. The Nerf Gun thumb drive sits on my desk in its package, unopened, with the intent that she was determined to go to law school one day. I learned from her also how important it is to live with intent and up to your dying day, live with purpose and strength. I will miss her tremendously. I am thankful she was in my life for a reason, even if, for a season.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or
a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you
will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is
usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have
come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you
with guidance and support, to aid you physically,
emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a
godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason
you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an
inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .
Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount
of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

Kick-Start Your Mornings with Lemon Water and Not Your Ordinary Oatmeal


I’ll be posting this for Well-being Wednesday and Foodie Friday. There’s a two-part to today’s blog article: 1) wellness  and 2) smart breakfasting to cover two blog categories.


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast will ensure you have proper energy stores until mid-morning, depending on how early you ate breakfast. However, what you put into your body may create an acidic environment. What exactly does this mean? According to a 1995 American Dietetic  Association Study, this means consuming acidic foods contribute to reduced kidney function, which can lead to muscle and bone breakdown.

Today is my second day out of 6 days, taking my pH three times in the morning in order to minimize an acidic environment in my body. I have also started being more conscious about the type of foods I put into my body.

I have started to kick my caffeine and sugar habit for two weeks and take on a more whole foods and alkaline diet. Refined grains and animal protein sources contribute to an acidic environment. I have also replaced my white sugar with coconut crystals.

Smart Breakfasting

My Ordinary Oatmeal used to be instant oatmeal, with 2% fat milk, organic cinnamon,  raw almonds, and honey.

Not Your Ordinary Oatmeal cuts out the 2% milk for whole milk and instead of the raw almonds, chia seeds and peanut butter. The almonds are fine, however, I added chia seeds and peanut butter for a kick of protein in the morning. If you’re vegetarian, you can substitute coconut milk or almond milk for the bovine milk.

Here is the Foodie Friday Recipe:

Place into a microwavable bowl the following contents:
1/2 packet of plain instant Oatmeal – steel-cut oatmeal is ideal
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp of honey
Sprinkle on cinnamon
1/2 cup of whole milk, or coconut milk or almond milk

Microwave for 2 minutes, stir it up, and serve warm.




Cold Breakfast: Cottage Cheese, Green Apples, Almonds, Cinnamon, and Honey

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Mornings are rough for me because I like to stay up reading books on my Kindle. I’ll head to bed at 10 PM and stay up until 12 AM reading. The problem with this is that I end up getting up a little later than I want. I enjoy making breakfast for my Hubs because it makes me feel like he’ll have a good day. This is ever so important to me.

Last night I thought I’d try to make breakfast at night and set the delay brew option on my coffee maker. This morning was really nice. It took me no more than a minute to bring breakfast to the table. It took me about 5 minutes making breakfast last night. Put the following in your choice of bowl or shallow cup. I like putting them in ramekins* or a shallow double-walled glass cup*.

2 cups of cottage cheese
1 Green Apple – chopped
2 handful of Almonds
1 tsp of Cinnamon
Honey – drizzle on top

Chill overnight. Serve in the morning.

*This blog post contains affiliate links.

Snorkel Gear

Snorkel gear is important to cover as a part of the Turks and Caicos series, because it’s an item you can rent at the many resorts, but also crucial to own if you want to snorkel when your heart desires.

The typical snorkel set includes:

  • mask
  • snorkel
  • fins

Mask, Snorkel, and Fins Set
You have the option of buying the mask, snorkel, and fins as a set, or buying them separately. Personally, I especially like Aqua Lung gear because of the quality and price range.  It is a important to have a mask that gives a wide view, which most masks offer. While some masks give a wide panoramic view, where the side of the mask has an extra panel so the diver can have peripheral vision, this is not a “must-have”.

A purge valve and splash on the snorkel is important to have because both prevent sea water from getting into the snorkel and when the water gets into the snorkel, allows the water to easily be eliminated.

If you are a beginning swimmer, a life vest is great to have on hand. Most of the resorts have this available.

The Aqua Lung size chart:

Small : Men (4-7) / Women (5.5-8.5)
Medium : Men (7-10) / Women (8.5-11.5)
Large : Men (10-13) / Women (11.5-14.5)

Other swim gear includes:

The neoprene mask strap covers keeps from hair becoming entangled in the mask strap, which is annoying and painful. The rash guard protects the skin from the sun and accidental brush ups against coral. Board shorts serve the same purpose as the rash guard. If the waters are colder, consider using a wet suit.

Please click on the link to view a series of snorkeling YouTube videos.

Princess Alexandra National Park

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Princess Alexandra National Park protects three beaches and two reefs in Provo: Grace Bay, Leeward and Bight beaches, and Bight Feef and Smith’s Reef. Within the natural reserve are areas of interest: the iguana sanctuary (Little Water Cay), and the wetlands islands (Mangrove Cay and Donna Cay). Cay is pronounced as “key.” The waters are home to bottlenose dolphins, fishes, turtles, and other marine life. The National Park is easily accessed through many of the resorts on Grace Bay and Turtle Cove, in the northern part of Provo.

Environmental changes to the reef include external changes over twenty years of time. The coral in the area has been damaged by motor boarts, a failed  artificial island development near Mangrove Cay, which has relocated sediment to areas corals normally inhabited. Additionally, the conch population (pronounced “konk”) has greatly declined over the years due to poaching. Introduced to the local water, invasive Lionfish has also increased. Lionfish originate from the Indo-Pacific and their predatory nature has minimized a large number of the smaller reef fish and reefs in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

A few favorite activities along the water and in the water include:

  • Snorkeing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Swimming
  • Sun bathing
  • Watching the sunrise or sunset
  • Reading on the beach

Here are a few websites to help: