Beauty: How I Survive Bathing With Strangers

6am.

Wakeup.

Throw clothes on.

Grab spa bag.

Grab yogurt, granola and fruit.

Brew tea... to-go.

Grab mala beads.

Drive to the Korean Spa.

This is my "me time" routine. It typically falls on a Sunday when everyone is still sleeping. I discovered the Korean Spa while chatting with a friend who is a regular. She told me how awesome and relaxing it was, so I said I had to try it out!  She said "you should... but if you are not comfortable being around a bunch of women in your birthday suite, you will be after!"

I'm not too modest about nudity. I mean, we have the same parts just on different bodies... no biggie! I was just nervous about the bath part. I mean, what is that like? Am I getting sud-sy and close with a random stranger? Is this random person going to ask me to wash her back, or some other craziness? No! None of that! Let me paint the picture:

- As soon as you walk into most Korean Spas, you pre-pay for your stay. You can stay up to 24 hrs with your admission. They give you a locker key with a water-proof scan-able tag to scan when purchasing services, products, food etc.

- You then walk to the gender separated locker room where they provide you a uniform of t-shirt and shorts to put on when you are ready to head to the common areas.

- After getting into your birthday suite, you head to the wet spa. Here, you take a shower upon entering. They provide shower gel, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste.

- Once you have showered, you can enter one of 4 temperature whirlpools. There is also a wet Sauna for you to experience as well.

- If you choose, you can opt to jump right into your uniform to relax in the mixed gender dry Saunas and shower after.

Needless to say, I feel so relaxed when I leave that I am convinced my body is made of jello! If this sounds like something you would like to try, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Go early

- For some of my besties that are “germaphobes”, I always tell them to get there by 6am. Though they are open 24hrs/day, they clean all tubs between 2am and 6am. Getting there at 6am will ensure you are the 1st (and possibly the only) booty in the bath! It is also less crowded, so if you are really trying to relax, there will likely be no distractions.

2. Bring your own products

- I love a good mask, and since I practically live on airplanes, I can never have enough hydration. With that said, I have my hydrating body wash, 3 different hydrating masks and my body creams.  Between saunas, I rinse and reapply my different masks. And after my sauna time, I make sure I use my full skin care/body care regimen to keep my skin hydrated, soft and youthful looking.

3. Get a body scrub

- G... homey... dude! When I tell you this is a must! O...M...G! The sweetest lady will scrub your WHOLE body down! Like errrrrrrrry-thang! You will thank me later!

4. Relax

- This is the most important of all of the tips! I make sure I bring my mala beads to meditate and clear my mind.

The Korean Spa is the place I love to go to have a little me time and clear my mind. Where do you go and what do you do for your me time? Let me know in the comments below :)

Lessons from a Toddler

Lessons from Toddler.jpg

By Veronica

It has been a while since I’ve written about my little boo, Bailey.  Life comes at you fast, especially as it relates to raising a little person.  The biggest misconception I’ve experience about having a baby is that they aren’t a baby for long!  And by not long, I mean, literally seconds!  Y’all could of told me that my tiny 5-pound 7-ounces newborn baby would morph into a strong willed little person in what feels like the blink of an eye.  Already, she is running around our home and making decisions for herself. 

All in all, however, it has been such a privilege to watch her transition from knowing nothing to mastering various motor skills.  Truly, one of the greatest thrills has been seeing her learn how to walk!  When I tell you, Ms. Bailey has truly been dropping some gems in my adult life!  Gems!  I didn’t know a baby could deliver a sermon (with no words), but she has.  So, as your Bestie, I thought I’d share some of these lessons with you.  

1.     Start where you are.  While I do consider my Bailey Boo a genius, she was not born a walker.  She wasn’t even born a crawler, or roller for that matter.  She came into the world not having any of the skills needed to reach her ultimate goal.  But, she set her sights on achieving it one step at a time.  As I watched her go through each milestone, I could see her determination.  Now, the goal probably wasn’t to walk (as walking is just a means to an end), but she used what she knew to propel her to the next steps. 

2.     Get comfortable with falling.  Talk about getting back up again!?!?!  If a cat has 9 lives, Bailey has 97,000.  While this has wrecked my nerves, she never lets her current ability stop her.  Now that’s a word!  Even when there were tears, and sometimes bruises, she would take a moment, collect her thoughts, and just like the fall never happened, she would try again.  Even as a walker now, she still falls.  And with each fall, fearlessly, she never quits. 

IMG_9253.jpg

3.     Don’t let folks rush you…even your mommy.  So, Bailey started pulling up to walk at 6 months.  We would go on play dates with her baby bestie, and Bailey was mobile!  Moving!!  I was sure she would be an early walker.  She had a walker and several other contraptions to aid her in winning the walking race (the one I had in my competitive mind), and she used them often and effectively.   So, when her bestie started walking before she did, I was a bit shock. Bailey taught me that the journey is hers.  She would walk (or not walk) when she was good and ready, and that’s exactly what she did!

4.     Take the risk, and WALK!  So leading up to the day Bailey took her first several steps in concession, she took tiny steps here and there at daycare and at home.  She would walk along objects, like the table, but never completely by herself.  But one day (December 1st to be exact), she just walked.  The starting, preparations, and focus were important, but it was making a decision that day that made it happen.  Watching her, I could see her mustarding up the courage, and with a huge smile on her little face, she toddled her way to the other side of my bedroom.  Just like that…wow! 

5.   Keep going!  As if learning to walk wasn’t amazing enough, Bailey is on to achieving other goals:  walking up stairs, coming down stairs, learning/speaking words, feeding herself, and countless other things.  If this precocious soul continues in this vain, she will continue to teach mommy to always be working, growing, accomplishing, and trying to be better.  Go Baby Girl!

 

keep going.jpg

What lessons have you learned?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Veronica Bestie Bio.png

Year of Wins

Copy of Valentineless Valentines Day Edit.png

By Veronica

new year.jpg

2019 is here, Besties!  Let me be the 100th person to say “Happy New Year” to you!  It’s something so special about the moment the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.  The new year is filled with such promise, such opportunity.  The beginning of a new chapter that is written, illustrated, and performed by you.  And I don’t know about you, but this fresh start is exactly what the doctor ordered. 

The past two years have been filled with challenges, growth, and transition.  I’ve lived through some of my darkest moments while experiencing miraculous blessings.  I’ve been strengthened in ways I didn’t even realize were weak.  Now, more than ever, I realize my potential to succeed.  This year, I am ready to win!

Now, I must be honest in saying that, in the past, I’ve often equated “wins” to luck.  I’d look at the successes of others and think, “dang, she always gets the good (man, job, body, trip, etc.)”.  I thought that maybe winning wasn’t something attainable for everyone.  Somebody’s got to lose, right? But, when I really thought about the people I consider to be in the winner’s circle, they all had some very similar characteristics.

  1. Winners have specific and measurable goals.  Winners are prepared for success.  They know where they are going, and how they will get there.  Winners study other winners.  Winners are always learning something new, and tweaking their craft.

  2. Winners expect to win. I am telling y’all!!  There is power in words.  You have the ability to envision and speak the things you wish to do/achieve, and those things will manifest. If I expect positive things to occur, I am motivated to persevere even when faced with challenges.  Perception is everything. 

  3. Winners work their ass off.  Winners try.  Winners do. Winners take risk.  In the end, your results come down to the amount of effort you are willing to put in.  When others are sleeping (figuratively and literally), winners are hard at hustle.

  4. Winners acknowledge EVERY win, big and small.  Small victories become big triumphs.  They are an important part of the journey. Winners build momentum by celebrating each step along the way.

  5. Winners looks for wins in moments of adversity.  Here’s the thing, the greenest grass comes with some hardship. Instead of seeing failure as a defeating loss, winners use the lesson as an opportunity to attain their goal on the next try. (Sidenote:  Winners stay in their own fucking yard.  Stop comparing your journey to those of others in 2019.  Seriously! You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.  Spend more time perfecting your own shit, and relishing in your growth.) 

winners focus.png

In thinking about these observations, I realized that winning is less about chance and more about intention.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Some people are in the right place at the right time.  But even if luck gets you in the door, preparation and hard work is what will keep you at the table.  So the real question I need to ask myself is:

How badly do I want it?

chooser.jpg

Wishing you a winning year, Besties!  What are some of your 2019 goals?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

File_Veronica (1).jpeg

In All Things Give Thanks

thanks.png

‘Tis the Season…for Gratitude!

We are so fortunate to be partnering with Upscale Magazine. In the December 2018 issue (on stands now), we are featuring a few reasons we are so very grateful. Read below for a snippet from the article and get your copy today!

Eboni

Eboni

Eboni

“I stepped into this year with high hopes and landed in several pitfalls. From life changes in family dynamics and experiencing financial challenge to even loss of friends-each hit me like a hurricane. But I am grateful for it all-the setbacks, the uncertainty of my next steps, the tears. Who would be thankful for tough times? Someone like me.”

Tahlee

Tahlee

Tahlee

“Thank goodness for “framily”! One of my customers has adopted me into her family when I can’t get back to Chicago, and for that reason, I never have to worry about where I will spend the holidays.”

Ryan

Ryan

Ryan

“He has shown me what it really means to love and so much more! He is a true man, a great dad to our girls and the most fun travel buddy one could ever imagine! Terrance, thank you for helping me put things into perspective. Thank you for supporting me in my dreams.”

Veronica

Veronica

Veronica

“This year has taught me that, even though I try, I can’t do it all. Countless persons have stepped in and stepped up so that I can continue to work, get mommy breaks, and live life a little. They have made the load lighter, and that has made all the difference. “

Nikki

Nikki

Nikki

“The one thing that I live by-and challenge you to do as well-is to take the bumps and bruises that life gives us. Never sit in your grief, sorrow, anger, disappointment or whatever too long. You deserve happiness! Find the gratitude in it all. It’s there.”

Photographed by: Chuck Olu-Alabi

Why are you grateful? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Happy Holidays!