…a place of peace and natural splendor…sacred holy grounds is what I call it…
One day back in late Spring or early Summer of this crazy and chaotic year of 2020, I decided to take a drive through the Santa Cruz mountains. I needed to just think, feel free to be me and connect in nature, and you know..commune with God <3
As I was driving, I passed a part of the perimeter of this magical holy place! As not to take my eye off the winding road, I took a quick glance for about 2 seconds then eyes back on the road! I kept driving; As I already had a set destination in mind (which will be another cool blog post), so I didn’t stop, but the glance always stuck with me.
A month or so later the destructive wildfires of Northern California would ravage those same mountains. Among all the beloved places I prayed would be protected, this place was one of them. I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I stop and visit when I had the chance?!?” and “I hope this place does not get consumed by the raging forest fires!”
In Fall this year, once the wildfires were contained, I decided to google and check on the condition of this sacred place. By God’s grace and to my relief, it was sparred from the fires! One weekend soon after, on a whim, I decided to visit here with my family for a day outing and off we went; to embark on a light hike at Fasting Prayer Mountain of the World!
A small dream of mine came true that day, but I was not prepared for just how special and beautiful of a place this would be! This place is truly all I imagined and more! I feel so blessed to be able to share my divine experience here and so I’m sharing it with you all. This amazing place is located in Scotts Valley, California. Visit the website for hours, location, and events, as it encourages you to call the visitor office before a visiting. This is also a wise thing to do because it is located deep in the Santa Cruz mountains and you surely want to take the weather and road conditions into account. This place is also loved and used by church congregations whose members visit for spiritual retreats from all around the world!
The native plants here were so whimsically and seemingly placed with intention, either by God himself, a talented landscape artist, or mother nature. Well I guess many can agree God is the most talented landscape artist to exist in the entire universe!
All is forgiven for hearts that choose to open, eyes that wish to see, ears that choose to hear, and minds that pray and meditate for peace.
Isn’t this the most beautiful place to sip some green tea and just be grateful to be alive? To have made it this far… through all the adversity of 2020 and maybe even before too? The way the sun beams through the tree canopies is breathtaking! This cute seating area made from a hollowed out tree reminds me of something out of Alice in Wonderland or a Skittles commercial! Enchantingly holy grounds is what I would call it!
This place is used for spiritual retreats by various churches probably from all over the world. There are small cabins used for meditation and prayer. You must speak to the staff before using these, I think. It can surely be arranged by contacting them through the website. Seeing these reminded me of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I would definitely be up to participating in a spiritual retreat here!
Our spirits are even more resilient to the craziest chaotic times like this year, 2020; Even more resilient than these ancient redwoods bark is to the wildfires.
I truly believe this. Some leaves need to fall away to enable us to grow stronger and maximize our life the way God intends for us. We only get one life on earth. Make the most of it! So peace forever be with you.
Aromatic like fresh cut roses but is not overpowering.
It is totally flavorless. No weird taste of fragrances or unhealthy artificial sweeteners.
It doesn’t slide around like a cheap grease and it doesn’t bleed outside the lip area.
It absorbs so well yet keeps your lips smooth, sleek, and hydrated.
This is the only lip balm I don’t have to constantly reapply, but I do anyway because of how beautiful I feel when I do.
Perfect to wear alone or under lipstick and matte lip paints, if you’re into that.
It’s organic! Take a look at the ingredients. You’ll fall in love.
Easy to purchase; sold at Target for about $4; also available on Amazon.
2. Rose-Geranium Balancing Ritual, by evanhealy
This is a beautiful skin-care starter set that says is compatible with all skin types. I’m in my early 30’s and I have combination skin and I absolutely in love with this set and the results it gives, even from the first use. I’ve been using it for about 2, almost 3 weeks. It balances and soothes the skin and the rose geranium essential oils are divine to the senses. Now this is self-care!!
This set includes 5 items:
Rose Cleansing Milk
Organic Rose-Geranium Facial Tonic HydroSoul
Organic Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum
Rosehip Vetiver Day Moisturizer
French Rose Clay
Rose Cleansing Milk
Why I’m obsessed:
The cleansing milk leaves face feeling so soft and nourished.
The skin on my face feels clam and balanced.
Skin feels soft and supple; minimized pore size.
The facial serum is so luxurious. It absorbs so well without a greasy feel and leaves behind a beautiful glow.
Applied alone it can be very concentrated so that would be great for those with mature skin.
For myself, I like to rub about 5-6 drops and a 3-5 sprays of the HydroSoul between my palms and then massage onto my face, neck and décolletage.
Organic Rose Geranium Facial Tonic HydroSoul
Why I’m obsessed:
The HydroSoul is in a spray bottle and is nice to spray on after cleansing or any time your face needs nourishing a drink of moisturizer.
Tones the skin very well
It’s like a rose petals kissed your face and left a heavenly botanical scent.
Can be used to custom dilute the concentration of the facial serum to fit individual and changing skin needs
Can be used to mix with the french rose clay mask powder and to soften the clay mask right before removing
Organic Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum
Why I’m obsessed:
The facial serum is so luxurious.
Smells like fresh cut roses of course
Absorbs so well without a greasy feeling and yet skin has a beautiful ethereal glow.
I could apply make-up on after this and it did slip around my face (I wait for it to fully absorb for a few minutes before applying any make-up).
It works very well on the face, neck and the décolletage/chest area. I like to rub about 5-6 drops of the serum and a 3-5 sprays of the HydroSoul between my palms and then massage into skin….Amazing!
Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer
Why I’m obsessed:
The texture of the formula is like a firm cream/jello pudding. Maybe that sounds weird but I love it on my skin. (not actual pudding…)
A feeling of cool/chill, even when applied at room temp.
Skin feels supple and appears slightly matte after applying.
Like a big drink of rose infused water for the skin.
French Rose Clay
Why I’m obsessed:
After rinsing, skin feels super soft, and lifted.
My pores appear much smaller and skin glows from within!
It’s in a dry powder form so shelf life is longer than if it was premixed with a liquid. (Just be careful, as the powder is super fine and easy blows away, once cap is off as with any powder product).
3. Thayers Natural Remedies, Facial Toner – Rose Petal
Why I’m obsessed:
Generous bottle size but also available in a cute mini misting bottle (Target)
Alcohol-Free, natural, gentle, and effective! Uses witch hazel (a botanical), instead of harsh alcohol.
No Parabens or Phthalates
Made with rose hydrosol, not fake fragrance.
I love using this daily and especially for monthly hormonal skin breakouts.
Minimizes my pores
4. All Things Lavender Seattle – Lavender Rose Deeply Moisturizing Lotion
Why I’m obsessed:
Gentle on all skin types
Organic locally sourced ingredients that are mostly botanicals
Smells very “Rosey” but with captivating and calming lavender notes
Absorbs so nicely; non-greasy formula
Note: Once the pandemic hit, they packed up their stand in Pike Place Market (Seattle, WA) and moved to the east coast. The store now operates exclusively online at allthingslavenderseattle.com
These are my absolute favorite ‘Rose’ self-care/beauty products that bring beauty and nourishment during these crazy pandemic times that I love and I think you will love them too!
If you enjoyed my photos of roses on this post, then stay tuned for my next post about where I visited to capture these shots and how you can visit too!
I had a strong, nearly complete post that sat in my drafts for a few months. I was nearing the completion of it, at the end of February. As the virus gained more attention, my inner voice/common sense/discernment/intuition, whatever we call it now, told me, “Shhh, be still now. Time to go inward, prayer, family, time to rest and go within. Stay centered.”, and just very deep root and heart chakra stuff. Then I saw the American freedoms and all over the world quickly change as we have come together as human beings for a greater cause. Now we are called to adjust and take care of each other. <3
The news that would follow in the coming weeks and over these past 2 months would get most everybody on the same page.
As you can imagine the situations surrounding the virus unfolded, life changed, and the draft of this post needed more thought.
I always have that energy to head out for adventure, visit a cool places and spaces, try new things! Just travel to get out and see something awesome. Maybe go somewhere cool that wasn’t too far, but just enough to feel newish and well.. you get it, I hope. Also Southwest airlines had the best deals advertised, the “$59 Wanna-Get-Away?” deals were just incredible, in terms of average airfare prices?! Since I enjoyed Seattle so much a few years ago on a girls trip, naturally I had to see just how fun it would be to visit Seattle in a day; Like a 12-hour travel/eat/take pictures/fun-filled day! What the heck you only turn 33 once and my mom wants to come with me?! It was honestly one of the best birthdays ever so special to my soul! Mom-Daughter day trips rock!
No. I am not sponsored by Southwest Airlines ….yet? I wish I was!
So in my spontaneous birthday seasoned mind, I’m thinking, “$120ish to travel to and from Seattle? Short 2-hour flight?” What fun could be had in 8-9 hours on foot and using LYFT to get around in this beautiful city? Hmmm….”
If you are on the West Coast and you have an entire day to spend, it is possible and so worth it, to have an amazing day in Seattle and be back in time to iron out your clothes for the next work day! Of course, you could just take off some vacation time and have a 2-3 day or extended visit. For me, I was just very busy in every area of life, but for some reason, this year I had this need to go somewhere. It was also the thought and experience of getting to travel inexpensively to a cool coastal city, all in 1 day (11-12 hour day total). We departed San Jose at 8:45 AM, landed in Seattle at 10:30 AM. When it was time to head back home, we departed from Seattle that evening around 8:30 PM, landing back in San Jose at about 10:20 PM. I live about 10-15 minutes away from the airport. I went home, got ready for bed with my family, and then we all had the next weekday routine ready and carried on with the week.
Check out the Southwest Airlines Wanna Get Away airfare low price calendar. Also, there is a new travel app called Hopper with great airfare and hotel deals.
Aim for a departing flight early in the morning and the latest possible return flight back home to really get the maximum use of time.
Use LYFT to get around the city. Don’t rent a car if you’re only there for the day. It’s just one day [about 8 -10 hours of feet on the ground free time]. I hear the public transportation in the city is actually very good and inexpensive, but in respects to time, especially if you are unfamiliar, I wouldn’t want to waste precious free time possibly getting lost or detoured. We used LYFT and we loved it! I do hear the monorail can be taken from the shopping mall to the Space Needle and museums very quickly and it’s a lovely train ride. I think we just wanted to do things easy and without any possible hassles.
Now, here are some pictures of freedoms enjoyed before many of our ways of life changed, to protect ourselves and the vulnerable populations now.
The beauty of this is the easy-going way about it. No intense packing/unpacking. Just your phone, a cute bag, and a light but windproof jacket. When you think Seattle, you think rain, but I would totally wait on buying an umbrella or rain boots. That could be better spent once you are there and you see all the cool and unique things at Pike Place Market.
2 legit reasons not to buy an umbrella or rain boots before arriving in Seattle:
I would want to buy these in Seattle for that genuine and unique attachment to your trip, like a souvenir.
Would if it doesn’t rain? Don’t go and buy rain boots and an umbrella before your trip there, unless they are really that cute, I guess.
Pssst…. It didn’t rain when we went, but I think we were just very very lucky and blessed. Chances are you own these items already, anyway.
My mom is so much fun to travel with. She has a fun spontaneous heart! Seattle is a great city that is not as far as some might think. Being from Northern California, it is a very enjoyable day trip that you can fit 2-3 activities in. We spent a good 9 hours just taking in the city, walking, shopping, and dining. We used LYFT to get around to places that were too far or to save some time. We departed San Jose Mineta airport at 8:45 AM, landed in SEA-TAC airport at 10:30 AM. We caught a LYFT and began ourY
Our LYFT dropped us off in front of Pike Place around 11:00 AM the place came alive and bustling with action. The fish were in full toss! The musicians were jamming. All this on a Tuesday morning!
Pictured above were some lively fisherman singing and offering us samples of delicious smoked salmon. I bought the cup of fresh crab salad for about $10.00. Let me tell you… it was super delicious and freshest seafood I’ve ever had. The crab salad was served with with their market-made spicy cocktail sauce. I think the portion size was very good for the price, given the high quality. The Ocean-to-Table freshness was a real treat. You can get great sea food in SF but I think the water quality is just a lot better in Seattle? That is just a guess. It just tasted so good.just amazing, This is served in a clear disposable cup you can walk around with. Onward!!
Further down our walk through this wondrous market, there were all these fresh fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, pastries, cool souvenirs, dumb souvenirs, and live musicians playing their heart out!
So my mom and I LOVE LAVENDER anything. We stopped at this beautiful lavender stand that sells self-care and cooking products. All of their products are infused with Washington grown lavender essential oil. The company is called All Things Lavender – Pike Place Market. The owner was super sweet. My mom picked up some a couple bottles of the Chocolate Lavender Hand and Body Lotion. It smells so good and yummy at once. I chose the Lavender Rose scent. I’m on the rose everything obsession right now. I keep it at my dresser and use it all the time.
Another treasure I picked up: Lavender infused honey (pictured below). I love a good local honey, even if not local to me. Whatever, its just so good! Honey for toast, teas, dip your french fries in it, use it in place of syrup!
We walked all the way through the Market, where all the hand crafters and artisans sold their eclectic arts and unique goods. This is my favorite part of the market because it is so charming and inviting. There are so many treasures and so much great food to try. It would probably take me 2 entire weeks to try all the culinary treats that this city has to offer!
We must have spent a good 1.5 hours browsing, taking pictures, and picking up cool finds. Next, just across the the street, we visited Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Beecher’s has two locations – Seattle and New York City. You can see the cheese cream being made and stirred right from outside the store front window! It’s like the Ghirardelli Square of Cheese in Seattle. While we were here I tried Beecher’s World’s Best Mac & Cheese. It is hands down the best Mac & Cheese I have ever tasted as of yet! Seriously good and seriously creamy and sharp mac and cheese. I bought the regular size at $6.00. The portion was generous. It was the perfect snack size fro 2 people or maybe a very fulfilling portion for 1 person. My mom and I shared it. We knew we were saving our appetite for the other treats and lattes along the way. Everyone, this is a must when you visit Pike Place Market. I promise I’m not trying to overhype this.
Truth be told, Beecher’s makes some bitchin’ mac & cheese!!
I also took home some a modest block of Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar. It fit right in my purse and since it was a solid good, it’s was OK to take back with me as a carry-on back home…lol yes I carried a block of cheese in my purse. LMBO!! So worth it, who cares.
Also, there was absolutely no lines anywhere. II credit this to visiting the city on a Tuesday. A Tuesday morning. at that. I highly this. Who cares if it’s not Saturday or Sunday, especially for a day trip. Saturdays and Sundays really only matter if you are interested in the night life or a specific event.
Next, we headed just a short few steps up to the alley way to Pike Place Market Chowder Company. Here we had the flights tasting of the award winning chowders they offered, pictured below.
We sat at the bar stools and enjoyed some award winning chowders. It was served with fresh sour dough already which is very soft and fresh. I skipped the bread bowl to just be one with the chowder. Some posts will say oh my gosh don’t get caught in the hype of Pike Place Market chowder. Supposedly there are so many other places for chowder; which I am sure there are. Being someone who has favorite places for chowder in the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz, I think I know some good chowder. You have got to try Pike Place Market Chowder. It will not disappoint you, I guess unless you’re a super bougie food snob. I think even a someone with a snobby taste palate would not be able to resist this chowder.
Of course you can’t go wrong with the classic New England Clam Chowder. It boasts bacon and it is super delicious! Still I recommend trying the flight of 4 chowders, your choice on which ones you choose from the menu (there are 7 different ones to choose from). They also ship chowder back home in case this is something you may be interested in. They’ve got it covered when it comes to making sure you try their world famous chowder, so order the chowder flight/tasting!
There was Just a sprinkling of tourists such as ourselves and the rest really gave off the local vibes. Speaking to this, the people in Seattle are very nice and friendly from what I experienced. It was so open and free because of how relaxed and uncrowded it was. It felt a lot less touristy. It made feel like a local because of how light we packed and without all the crazy stressful packing that a typical tourist would probably do. I think we were the cool kids that day!
Next, we caught our visit to the Space Needle. The Space needle is 605 feet tall. It was built in 1962 for the World’s Faire Expo. The grounds where the Space Needle is located, is where the World’s Faire Expos were formerly held, since the early 20th century.
…a beautiful coastal metropolis…
If you enjoy those famous bustling foggy coastal cities with vibrant culture (2nd best to SF in terms of culture), and a culinary scene that’ll make you wanna stay a while, put this on your West Coast bucket list. I’m from Northern California and I love San Francisco naturally, despite the recent observations and opinions. After visiting Seattle twice now, i terms of travel love – I can say all of the SF bay area has 1/3 of my heart, Kauai, Hawaii has another 1/3 of my <3, and now Seattle has the last 1/3 of my heart!
More pictures =)
The Pink Door
The culinary fare is …”built around the Italian classics: simple, fresh and seasonal.” – Jackie Roberts, owner.
What I love about The Pink Door, besides the insanely delicious Italian food is the “old-world” retro ambiance and combined with modern presentation!
At about 7:00 pm we headed back to Seattle airport. We landed back home in San Jose, CA a little after 10:00 pm. Little did we know how much life would soon change… So I am thankful for this last travel, for now. <3
God bless the city Seattle, the people who live there, and all people everywhere as we overcome these challenging times.
Be well and stay healthy! Looking forward to visiting again after our cities have healed.