Traveling halfway across the world!

It’s currently 9:37am and I’m here in LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) waiting with my parents to board in an hour for our 11am flight to Seoul, Korea! Although that’s not our final destination because…we’re going to the Philippines!!! Excitement is an understatement. The last time I visited was during summer of my Freshmen year in high school. It’s been long overdue and I can’t wait to see all my family and friends!

A little insight of my background, I was born in the Philippines and moved to America with my parents and my younger brother when I was 5 years old. I grew up in Southern California but I’ve kept in touch with my family and my childhood friends through social media! It’s always an amazing time going back home and spending quality time with everyone even if it’s just for a couple weeks. Roman was supposed to travel with us but the timing did not work out since he is busy with work, but in the future we’re definitely planning another trip to visit together!

I spent most of last night doing some last minute packing and even went to the mall during the day to buy some more gifts for my friends and family. I packed every single person a “gift bag” with personalized items!

Roman’s mom, Doni, gave me some Daily Bread to give to my family back home. It was so sweet of her and I already know everyone will love it and will be excited to read it and incorporate it to their daily routine! I added a book in each gift bag 🙂

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Daily Bread + Ghirardelli Chocolate + iPhone 6s for my younger cousin


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Make up bundle for my aunt! Colourpop + Mac + Caudelie + Lorac + Daily Bread


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Daily Bread + G-shock watch + Colourpop for another aunt


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And some more of the personalized gifts! Ranging from a pink polaroid Instax camera, to a MacBook, to a Nikon D5000 camera!

I packed light clothing wise and for my personal stuff but I had a whole luggage just filled with their gifts so I still ended up with two luggages. My goal really was to only bring one luggage though! Lol

My parents also bought gifts for everyone so despite the 3 of us packing light, we ended up with 9 luggages!

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All packed and ready to go!

In between packing and getting everything ready last night, my grandmother cooked up some grilled chicken and prepared us a DIY lettuce wrap dinner! It was so goooood!

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Lettuce + grilled chicken breast + tomatoes + avocado + mini jalapeños + cilantro + blue cheese dressing & blueberries and raspberries for dessert!


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It was so good! Definitely making some for the fam back home in PA when I get back!

Fast forward to 5am today, our ride picked us up (we did the Airport Van Service since all of our luggages weren’t going to fit in a regular van) and it took us two hours to get to the airport with all the LA rush hour traffic. Without traffic it usually only takes 45 minutes!

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SO. MUCH. TRAFFIC.

After two hours of being in dreadful traffic… we arrived!

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My dad getting our luggages on the cart


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Entering the Tom Bradley International

We checked in and since it’s not a full flight, Asiana Airlines offered us different seat arrangements where my parents and I would each get our own aisle so we can have extra space. It’s perfect because the flight will be more enjoyable and relaxing!

We had time to spare so I stopped by this cute little bakery and got some croissants!

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Almond & chocolate croissant


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My dad got me a strawberry & banana smoothie from Pinkberry! Yum

My dad wanted me to share this picture since he’s excited to read this book that Mark, Roman’s father, gave him to read during the flight!

Thank you again Mark for the other books as well! We’ll definitely be reading them!

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My mom & dad showing off “How to Make Money in Stocks” from Mark!

It’s almost time to board so I’ll be off in a bit!

The time difference is 13 hours ahead from Manila to the East Coast. I miss Roman already and will miss him even more especially the different time zones we’ll be in for the next 3 weeks. But thank goodness that my cellphone provider T-mobile provides unlimited text and data so I’ll still be able to text him and everyone else back in America and of course post some pictures as well as write in the blog!

Thanks for reading and hope you all have a great weekend!

To Roman,

I’ll see you soon!! I’ll send you lots and lots of pictures! Mahal kita sobra!! 

Love,

Jesci

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A Birthday Celebration For A Very Special Woman

Dear Nan, 

Happy Birthday! Roman and I’s prayer for you is to find more peace, wisdom, guidance, and pure joy. May God continue to have His hand on your life and be your refuge. You deserve nothing but the best! We love you!

You are special, loved, unique in every single way and is a big blessing to countless people. 

You are an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend.

We are all truly blessed to have you in our lives and we are forever grateful to the Lord for placing you in all of our lives! 

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to emphasize our love for you and we hope you enjoyed the special celebration of your birthday. 

We love you (Nan) Audrey Page! 

On to the celebration post!

Roman and I, along with his parents Mark and Doni took a day trip out to New Jersey to celebrate his Nan’s birthday! It was not too bad of a drive; only took us about 2 & 1/2 hours without traffic!

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Entering New Jersey!

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Fun fact: George Washington crossed this same exact river on December 25, 1776, during the Revolutionary War. 

We went to Vidalia’s Italian Restaurant to meet with Nan and Papa Ken. It was a beautiful place and the interior as well as the exterior designs caught my eye.

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The outside patio area had a nice ambience!

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Roman with the birthday girl!!!

It was so nice seeing Nan and Papa Ken again since the last time we saw them was early December. We were excited to catch up and enjoy a nice meal with them!

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Doni enjoying her citrus salad!

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Every single one was DELICIOUS! The chef is amazing. The chef is actually the owner and if you’re ever in Lawrenceville, NJ, we HIGHLY recommend Vidalia’s if you’re craving some Italian food!

After lunch, we headed down to Princeton and had a nice time strolling around. The weather was great so it was perfect to walk around and see the little shops.

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We went to a place called the Greene Street Consignment and oh my gosh, I could stay there for hours! They had the cutest clothes, shoes, bags– everything! Mark recommended the place since he’s been there before and the deals are great. It’s high end products for a steal price. I saw many designer stuff for less than $20 in almost perfect condition!

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The famous Green Street

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Doni and I trying on some shoes! Roman found these beautiful, sparkly heels but unfortunately they were a size too big for me! I tried them on anyway. Lol

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If only they weren’t so big, I totally would’ve gotten them! 

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You can’t really see in this picture, but Mark found an AMAZING deal on this spiffy blazer– only $18 for this designer and it retails for $300+ how awesome is that?! And actually, Roman was the one to spot it also. He has such a good eye. Lol 

Once we were done shopping around, we did some more walking around and came across this one bookstore. We had to stop and purchase some books!

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We ended the day by going back to Nan’s house. We gave her birthday gifts and she cooked for us her famous lentil soup and hummus!!! THE BEST LENTIL SOUP AND HUMMUS I HAVE EVER TASTED. It was delicious! I’m craving some now just as I write about it.

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Gift from Doni!!

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Stylish lightweight pants!

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Gift from Roman and I! 

Roman and I bought her an essential oil humidifier. For Christmas, I gave one to Roman and he absolutely loved it and can’t sleep at night without it so we figured she’d love it just as much! We gave her some essential oils as well and we set it up for her right there and then and she was thrilled with it!!

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BEST. COOK. EVER! Thank you for all the yummy food!

Nan showed me some of her painting that she’s done in the past and look at this painting!!! She is beyond talented. I wish I got a picture of the other ones she did. She’s a true artist!

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Baby Roman with his pretty grandma!

Isn’t that baby picture the cutest?! I just want to pinch Roman’s cheeks!! Lol we went through some of Roman’s baby albums and my heart was melting the entire time. So cute!!

We ended up leaving around 8pm and got back to Pennsylvania around 10:30.

We had such a wonderful time! Loved every single moment celebrating Nan’s birthday with her in Jersey with the family.

Happy Birthday once again, Audrey Page!

Lots of love,

Roman & Jesci

 

 

 

The hidden gem of the Caribbean: St. Lucia

I want to start off by saying I apologize for not being active and not posting this sooner! The past two months have been quite ludicrous! And that is an UNDERSTATEMENT! I ended up getting the flu and I mean the REAL DEAL FLU! I was away on a business trip, only to soon find myself in a hospital. Not to mention, I ended up losing over 10 pounds. It is one thing being sick, but being away from home and having the real flu; it was the worst experience of my life.

I just wanted to share a quick update about me, but enough about that…

We are on to St. Lucia!

Have you ever heard the saying?

“If you’ve been to one island, you’ve been to them all”

It is one of the most bogus statements that I’ve heard and the worst part about it is that I hear it all the time. How can one make a statement like that without experiencing it? Just like no person is the same; no island is the same. From the food, to the scenery, to the people, and etc. Each island is unique in its own way and the island of St. Lucia stands out like no other.

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Located in the south eastern Caribbean Sea, most people probably have never heard of St. Lucia 

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The port of Castries

Our ship was docked in St. Lucia a bit longer than the other ports, but there was much to do in so little time! Being in port on Christmas Day, we wanted to make sure that we were able to attend a Christmas Day service in one of the churches. We were so blessed to have found this church!

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After the church service, we did not have any excursions planned, but we wanted to explore the island. We stumbled upon an amazing driver named, Eli, who gave us an AMAZING tour of the island. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Castries St. Lucia

We had to stop and take a picture!

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And a selfie!

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The gorgeous lush green countryside of St. Lucia

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More scenic view of the countryside

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Enjoyin’ the views

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My mother enjoying one of our many roadside stops! We ended getting some great homemade banana ketchup here that we brought back home!

Caribbean Sea St. Lucia

Beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea

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Small fishing village in St. Lucia

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Family shot

St. Lucia Fishing Village

View from the bridge in the fishing village

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Caribbean Sea view from the bridge

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Another small little fishing village

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We began our ascent further into the mountains

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The gorgeous mountains of St. Lucia

Pitons St. Lucia

We finally had a little glimpse of The Pitons in the distance!

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The breathtaking view of The Pitons

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Had to take a family shot

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Pitons Selfie of my mahal and I

Soufriere Volcano St. Lucia

We then went to see the active Soufriere volcano in the mountains of St. Lucia

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Selfie at Soufriere

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We then walked to the hot springs

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Jesci and I covered in volcanic mud and ash

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We all had to do it because it has so many therapeutic healing properties!

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My mom and I

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Game Face On

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The natural flowing hot spring water

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From there, we went to a nearby waterfall and it was FREEZING COLD!

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After the waterfall, we began to head back to the ship and we went to where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed!

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We came back to the ship to find this gorgeous sunset on our departure of St. Lucia

St. Lucia is drop-dead gorgeous. The Pitons are absolutely out of this world. They look like they have no place in the Caribbean. If you don’t have this place on your bucket list, you better put it right on. From The Pitons, to the hot springs, to the scenery; countless times I thought to myself, “is this place real?” The views are straight out from a movie. I have never seen views like this in my life and it is truly remarkable to have been able to experience it with Jesci and my parents, especially on Christmas Day. It was a Christmas that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

– Roman

Date night in the Poconos

Roman drove us up to the Poconos on Saturday and the weather was good to us! It was in the 50’s and usually in California, I’d be freezing and bundled up with layers of clothing but here in the East Coast, the 50’s are high and considered warm! Lol

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My tour guide

The drive takes about 45 minutes but time flies whenever I’m with Roman and it only felt like 20 minutes, not even kidding! I was surprised with how fast we got there. He gave me a tour around town and showed me all the places he used to go when he worked up there. It’s a nice, quiet area! Almost every car we saw was either from Jersey or New York– definitely out of state.

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East Stroudsburg

We drove around for a while and we were so close to Jersey! Only 5 minutes away from Jersey and about an hour from New York. One of the reasons why I love the location of where Roman lives is because of how close he is to everything! It’s a nice advantage when it comes to traveling or when we’re feeling spontaneous and up for an adventure!

For dinner, we decided to go for some Japanese food. We picked a Hibachi/sushi restaurant that was packed and when we were in the parking lot, we were already thinking that the wait time must be long. When we got inside, we realized the place was HUGE. It was two story and although it was full of people, we were still seated right away. We decided to just get the sushi table and not the hibachi but next time we come back, we are most definitely going for the hibachi.

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Loved the interior design and the vibrant color

 

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Bacon wrapped scallops

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Fried rice, calamari, seaweed salad

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Lobster roll + diced roll

We confess that we ordered a bit too much but we were hungry when we were ordering lol the rolls came out last and they were HUGE. The pictures does not show it but it’s about 2x bigger than the usual specialty rolls! We got overwhelmed and only ate the center and left out the rice haha but to say the least– everything was delicious. We were amazed with the quality of the food and we were talking about coming back in the near future!

It was a nice little date night and couldn’t thank Roman enough for planning a day for us to spend even more quality time together!

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend! Thanks for reading!

Love,

Jess

 

 

Spontaneous date to Books A Million

It’s currently 2:36 p.m and Roman and I just got back from our lunch break. We went to Chipotle for lunch which was much needed because we have not gone in what feels like forever! Afterwards, we spontaneously decided to go to Books A Million since it was just down the street and we were so glad we went! It was my first time going and the last time Roman went was when I was still back in California and he shipped me some of the books he got which included cook books, daily devotionals and a bunch of inspirational journals!

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Peanut Butter & Banana Frappe!

I’m not sure if Books A Million is only in the East Coast because I don’t think I’ve seen any in California. My go-to bookstore back in SoCal is usually Barnes & Noble so I was thrilled to go here!

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Book heaven!

I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Roman was happy seeing me happy, because he knew he did a great thing bringing us here today! Lol there were so many selections, I just wanted to stay for hours and browse around.

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Christian/ Religion section

The first and main section we looked at was the Christian Living Section. There was an abundance of books that stood out to me and I was just way too excited. Roman felt the same exact way and he actually picked up more books than I did. One book in particular stood out to me and that’s the Daniel Fast! The first time I heard about the fast was from Mack‘s post about a month ago about how her church was doing the fasting based on the Book of Daniel and I was intrigued! I never got the chance to look more into it but when I saw the book– I did not hesitate on getting it!

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Excited to read this!!!

What is a Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast referenced in the Bible, particularly in two sections of the Book of Daniel:

  • Daniel 1:12, which states, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink.”
  • Daniel 10: 1-2, which says, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”

Daniel Fast: Food List

With a quick google search (pre-reading the book), here’s a list of food you can eat while on the fast:

BEVERAGES

  • Water only-must be purified/filtered and spring or distilled water is best.
  • Homemade Almond milk, coconut water, coconut kefir and vegetable juice

VEGETABLES (should form the basis of the diet)

  • Fresh or cooked
  • May be frozen and cooked but not canned

FRUITS (consume in moderation 1-3 servings daily)

  • Fresh and cooked
  • May be dried like raisins or apricots (no sulfites or added oils or sweeteners)
  • May be frozen but not canned

WHOLE GRAINS (consume in moderation and ideally sprouted)

  • Brown Rice, Quinoa, Millet, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Barley cooked in water
  • No Wheat, ezekiel bread, others bread, flours, or pasta

BEANS & LEGUMES (consume in moderation)

  • Dried and cooked in water
  • May be consumed from can as long as no salt or other additives are contained and the only ingredients are beans and water

NUTS & SEEDS (sprouted are best)

  • Raw, sprouted or dry roasted (no salt added)

The reason I want to learn more about the Daniel Fast is for spiritual reasons. I want to strengthen my faith even more and to detox and be cleansed.

The following paragraph is found on draxe.com

When you fast and pray—two words that go hand-in-hand in scripture—you pursue God in your life and open yourself up to experiencing a renewed dependence on God, but it isn’t easy.

It is a spiritual discipline that requires denying your physical and mental self because your stomach and your brain will most likely work overtime to remind you when and what they want to eat!

I know this fast will help me to focus more on Christ and I am ecstatic to begin on in this journey and hope to document it all with you!

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More books! Roman got Moving Mountains, The Call, and Man of God

I only got one book and Roman got three, so I’m excited for him to start reading and finish them so he can tell me all about it and that maybe I’ll even read it for myself too!

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My forever date! Thank you for getting us the books my love!

Overall, this was a nice unexpected trip to Books A Million! I love how Roman and I were able to squeeze a little date in between our lunch break and just spend more time together.

I hope you all have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Love,

Jess

Love, love, love!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! ❤️

I hope you all had a wonderful day with your loved ones whether you spent it with your significant other or family and friends!

This years Valentine is extra special for Roman and I because even though it’s our 2nd year celebrating, it’s only our first time actually being together! This time last year we were still doing long distance, so to be able to be with each other and celebrate the day together is an amazing feeling and we are grateful!
My sweet Valentine has been surprising me all day. I told him he didn’t have to get me gifts this year because all that I cared about was the fact that we were together and his presence is more than enough but of course, Roman and his romantic and thoughtful self truly outdid himself by surprising me with these diamond earrings!

Rose gold to match my ring and necklace!

1k white gold stud

When I first opened the box, my heart dropped because I was like “what the heck did you get me!! Why is it in a jewelry box!!!” And when he opened it and showed me what was inside, I was speechless. Just the thought of him taking time finding the perfect ones and picking out these beautiful earrings gives me premature ventricular contractions lol he’s always making my heart skip a beat!

After his lovely surprise, we went out to dinner with his parents and had a wonderful evening just catching up with everything that’s been going on and it’s always nice spending time with them. We had reservations at The Cafe and the food were all delicious!

The lovely parents!

Shrimp cocktail for appetizer

Roman’s entree! Eggplant with angel hair pasta

Flourless chocolate cake for dessert

After arriving home for dinner, I came home to another sweet surprise!

Edible Arrangements!

Selfie with the balloon 🎈

Roman, when you read this… THANK YOU! Thank you for everything. Words cannot express how grateful I am for you and EVERY LITTLE THING YOU DO FOR US. Last year, we were on opposite ends of the country and you still went out of your way to make sure our first Valentine’s was special. You never fail to put a smile on my face. You never fail to make me happy! I love you! Forever thanking God for you! 

Handwritten card, Gucci cologne set, chocolate and a bear!


And these were my little Valentine gifts for Roman! He loved it so much he wants to hang the card up on his wall ASAP haha! I’m happy he’s happy. Made with nothing but love! ❤️

Thank you for reading!!

Xo,

Jess

A day in paradise: Antigua 

Hello Antigua!

We arrived at the beautiful island of Antigua on December 24, 2016. This was our pretty view from the balcony! The sun was beaming and radiated positive vibes right when we stepped out on the balcony for some fresh air. Roman and I knew we were going to have an amazing day on this beautiful island!

Roman with his yummy breakfast

My breakfast plate

Before we got off the ship and ventured off the island, we had a scrumptious breakfast that fueled us for the day! The food definitely did not disappoint on this cruise ship– every single thing was delicious and fulfilling.


When we got off the ship, we walked around and explored some local shops. They had music playing and everything was lively!


We were on our way to the beach via taxi and we were excited!



When we arrived at the beach, we were truly amazed with the color and clearness of the water. It was quiet, peaceful and very relaxing. We felt so much at peace and enjoyed every single moment. We loved the whole island feel especially when this kind gentleman offered us a fresh coconut and opened it up right in front of us! It reminded me of being in the island in the Philippines because fresh coconuts are a must when you’re by the water! 


It was so fresh and yummy!


In addition to fresh coconut, he also cut open some Aloe Vera and put it all over our skin! In this photo, he was putting some on Doni, Roman’s mom, and she loved it. Being pampered in Antigua– absolute best!

It was a blessing meeting this man. He was singing Christmas Carols and his heart was just so pure and genuine which radiated nothing but love! I wish I had a better picture but I snapped a quick photo and was completely mesmerized by his beautiful voice and enjoyed being serenaded to!

After we got done relaxing and having a blast at the beach, we headed back towards the ship and Roman wanted to stop by a few jewelry stores before boarding. I’ve mentioned countless times how much of a romantic man my boyfriend is but let me just emphasize once again because he is just the sweetest thing ever! For his Christmas present, he bought me a diamond cross necklace as a reminder of what the true meaning of Christmas is all about; the birth of Jesus! He wanted me to have the necklace because it symbolizes many things such as how we met through Christ and that as I wear it everyday, it’s a reminder that Jesus is always with me!Thank you again Roman Marcus for this beautiful, thoughtful, and heartwarming cross necklace. My very first one! Having you in my life is one of my biggest blessings but having you as my ultimate partner in Christ is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Thank you for leading us closer to God every single day and being the man of Christ that you are! You inspire me everyday, I love you!


And we boarded the ship afterwards! Our experience in Antigua was truly one for the books! We’ll never forget this memorable experience; God is so good for making this trip possible!

Thank you for reading! Roman and I are hoping to be fully caught up on our cruise posts– life has been crazy busy but praise Jesus for all the blessings!! ❤️

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Love,

Jesci