Blog

Healing Journey

Every human being is the author of their own health or decease. Budha

I have been suffering from Chronic High Blood Pressure for the last 15 years, a lifetime, RIGHT! All these years I just surrendered to what the Dr’s prescribed or suggested, never taking responsibility for my own health. I can’t change the past now but my future is mine now. My slogan ” I Am Taking Power Back” has been my motivation.

Anxieties and feelings of overwhelm cause by my high blood pressure has been my friends for so long. I finally have these under control through Meditation, Tapping, Reiki and being mindful. It’s a continued journey of learning and adapting. Some days are easier than others but I have taken power back. This in itself is a victory.

I am actively taking care of myself, balancing family, work, social and spiritual foundations in my life. Making sure I am happy, time alone and I try not to overthink. I am still struggling with this, my mind is alway busy. Never resting. Study shows that we have 50 000 – 70 000 thoughts a day. Crazy! I

t has been 4 months of diet change, salt intake management, rest, exercise, homeopathy and consultations with an alternative medicine Dr. It does feel great to be in control. Knowing the plan and my expectations helps me to stay focused.

My biggest supporter is my husband, Graham. Honestly without him I don’t think I would have gone this far. Words of encouragement, praise and my voice of reason when I try to over achieve. I love you babe, for always being there. Looking at my babies is all the motivation I need to preserve their mother till old age.

It is a journey, a lifestyle change to have healthy and long lasting effects. Just live!

Jacqui

Mind Games

Free as the sprayer in the pound.

Thoughts spread across my mind,

Notice them and let it pass,

Calm my mind from it’s chatter.

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Replace the negative with the positive.

You are blessed to be alive.

You are a beautiful soul.

It is possible when the mind believe.

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Reaching the tips of the palm trees;

Soaring high above the clouds!

Still against the chirping of the crickets.

At peace and healing.

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Immerse in the moment,

Appreciate the opportunity.

Let go and surrender

To the tranquility of the mind.

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Jacqui

Why Warriors

Navigating through parenthood and managing your own business is tough work. Fighting for what you believe in and making it a success give you the glorious title of a Warrior!

Not often do working moms appreciate themselves for the effort and determination it takes to balance it all and still keep sane! It’s a conscious decision to start your business while still keeping taps at home. It’s rewarding and demanding. Sometimes we are ridden with Mom guilt for being away from the kids and household.

If you have manage to create a business where you can be at home, well done Mama!!!

The salon keeps me hands-on and away from home. Finding my balance through meditation is my anchor. Practising mindfulness and being present is my survival kit!

Keep thriving!

Jacqui

My IVF Journey

We had our first consultation at the Queen Mary Hospital, Assisted Reproductive Center, Hong Kong on the 29 April 2015. This facility center  were recommended to us by the UK Fertility Department,  as it was accredited with the UK standards. In May Graham finally found his sperm stored in the Glasgow  Fertility Center and arranged shipment to Hong Kong.

I officially  started my treatment with the contraception pill  MICROGYNON, two days after my period started on the 11 September 2015. I took that  for 22 days. This allowed me to regulate any abnormal period and also give the Drs a specific date  to start my injections before my next ovulation.

DAY 1: Once I finished with the contraception pill on the 3rd October, we arrived at the clinic, and it was really unbelievable how many couples were sitting there already. I think we all had the same expressions, not really knowing what to expect and of hopes to become new parents.  I had the feeling that our “group” were all starting their own procedures that same day.

My name came up and both me and Graham went into the consultation room, where the Dr explained the to do list. I  had an trans-vaginal scan and blood to test my oestradiol (female hormone) which allow the Dr to decide which course of ovarian stimulation injections I should get. I will now receive daily injections to stimulate my ovaries to develop multiple follicles (each containing an egg).

After the scan, we went  to the next room where the nurse showed us how to administer the injections. I officially got my first injection ORGALUTRAN 0.25mg right there and then. The next one, we did at home. This was definitely one of the most exciting and anticipated days. I felt (or maybe imagined) an instant tingle inside me. I felt my hormones gearing up and getting ready for the ride of a lifetime!!  

DAY 2: Graham gave me my injection at home, as the nurse instructed. I pinched my lower abdominal fat and then he injected it into the sebaceous gland. Not painful at all.

DAY 3:  We did the ultrasound examination again in the morning  – depending on how I reacted to the stimulation the injections can either be kept the same or changed accordingly. After this ultrasound we added another injection GONAL 150mg + ORGALUTRAN 0.12mg.

DAY 4: 7:30 administration of the GONAL 150mg + ORGALUTRAN 0.25mg at home. Now we kinda got the hang of our routine. It was easy but I did start to feel a little bit more irritable then usual and began munching a lot of snacks.

DAY 5: Ultrasound in the morning. The Dr was happy with my progress, he kept me on the same injection regime.

DAY 6: GONAL 150mg + ORGALUTRAN 0.25mg

DAY 7: Back at the hospital for the ultrasound in the morning. Most of these injections appointments I went to by myself, they were taking so much time away from work for Graham and it was unnecessary for him to attend. In any case I needed him to be there for all the more important appointments.

DAY 8: GONAL 150mg + ORGALUTRAN 0.25mg

DAY 9: I was basically back every two days at the hospital to check my hormone level.  GONAL 150mg + ORGALUTRAN 0.25mg.

DAY 10: This is the last day of injections and the Dr reduced my GONAL 75mg + ORGALUTRAN 0.25mg.

My Graham did all the injections for me, I just could not bring myself to do it, no matter what, but it definitely felt we were in it together. Even for that few seconds it took to do the injections we felt connected and supported.  Throughout the whole process I was not particularly emotional or “grumpy” , but everyone reacts differently to these situations. (I am sure hubby has a different opinion).

While I was going through all this we are still waiting for Graham sperm to arrive in Hong Kong from the UK. It needed to arrive before I have my egg collection so that it can be thawed and prepared. If its does not arrive in time my eggs will get frozen, but like the Dr explained that during the defrosting process for both the sperm and the eggs some  will  be damage. He had 11 straws on the way which apparently is a lot.

With the end of my injections now, I received a HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADOTROPHIN (This is an injection that produce a hormone in the human placenta that maintains the corpus leteum during pregnancy.) at exactly 22:15 on the 10 October.

We could finally relaxed our little swimmers has arrived safe, sound and intact the day before my procedure.

12 October I went in for my EGG COLLECTION;   before my procedure i received antibiotics, pain-killer and a local sedative. This whole procedure only took 30 minutes. It was a strange sensation, lying there feeling the Dr pushing the needle into my ovaries, not painful but a bit uncomfortable. I could feel the bubble giving way, for him to extract the eggs. I  thought WOW, this is  amazing, this is me lying here, not someone else!! We collected 21 eggs!!! My parcel immediately left the room after the nurses made 100% sure that my name was indeed on it and spelled correctly!

I went home after an hour in the recovery room, feeling lighter! With a skip in my step and a silly smile on my face for I was the only one out  in public with my little secret. My sweet little secret.

By than Graham sperm has been  thawed, washed and prepared and ready to do it’s job! We did the insemination through Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).   This procedure involves the direct injection of a single sperm into an ococyte to assist fertilization. This is usually performed in males with severe male factors, in Graham case, he had testicular cancer and the the sperm we have in the fridge, is the last source, no more where that came from! If fertilization is successful, the fertilized egg will start to divide ( become an embryo).

I had an appointment for two days later the 14th October for the transfer of the embryos. After fertilization we had 11 viable embryos left. I arrived at the clinics and saw the Dr. He gave me the option of transferring the eggs that day or i could wait for another 2 two days. This way the remaining embryos have better chance of survival inside. We opted to wait. On the 16 October 2015 we had a total of 7 good  embryos left. We replaced two embryos this day. Leaving the remaining five for freezing! Unfortunately Graham was not allowed in the small theater. It was just absolutely amazing seeing those little white dots entering their home. I was so emotional, wiping my tears of joy from my face as I welcomed Braedan and Lachlan to their home. Honestly I loved being pregnant.

Two weeks later we did a home pregnancy test, AND WE WERE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!

The results: Braedan and Lachlan now 3 years old! ❤️❤️

Love

Jacqui 💕

SOS…….Temporary Anxiety Relapse!!!

Last night my thoughts got the better of me. Feeling drained, stressed and probably somewhat overwhelmed I could not sleep last night. I have my act together most days but I think sometimes the body and mind just need give in. I suppose when that happens we re-evaluate our circumstances. The choices we made and their outcome impact everything in our daily lives.

Anxiety is like a drug, I can keep it at bay with mindfulness and meditation but it never wants to leave my completely alone. I am human after all.

I have been awake since 2am this morning, surviving on adrenaline just now. This morning I did feel it all crashing down crying in my husbands arms. His has always been my voice if reason when I make impulsive decisions or the support I need when I just need to let out.

I do hope when you feel like you can’t carry on anymore that you have someone that supports and love you. In the unfortunate case you don’t, you can pray to who you are connected to. We can’t do life alone.

My meditation this morning was conveniently about choices. 

My message for you today is:

Love 💕

Jacqui

Do Not Judge Her

She is clad in designer clothes, bags and heels

She got in her flashy sports car

Long legs, shaven and golden

Anxieties from sustaining this lifestyle

One last breath and she is off.

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Standing at the hotel door before she meets her client

She straightens her dress so it can cover herself with courage

As slay to pay her debts

She walks in and there he is

Fat, hairy and looking like a rich pig.

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When you see her, do not judge her

That Momma that is breastfeeding her new born in the mall

That stay at home mom that’s shoving chicken nuggets down her screaming toddlers throat

That Mom sitting next to her teenage son, with his face buried in his Iphone

Silently sighing as the stares from the passerby peer through their souls.

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When you see her, do not judge her

Sitting on the toilet after another failed IVF attempt

Tears streaming down her face

How can her body let her down like this?

A failure as a woman.

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When you see her, do not judge her

Preparing for her big speech in the conference room

Poise, confidant and beautiful

A room full of men with glazed over eyes

Instead of seeing her, they see her tits bouncing

And her thighs clenching around their hips.

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When you see her, do not judge her

You do not know what she is sacrificing

Be kind with your words

Uplift and support

You do not know what she is sacrificing.

We Survived Cancer, Our Story of Love

I met my husband in Botswana on the 7th of October 2008 at 1pm when he came into my salon for a haircut. It was definately love at first sight. After an hour long haircut that normally takes 25 minutes, he finally left with my card, knowing he will call me again soon. Later that day he sent me a text saying, “Thank your for the nice haircut, everyone in the office think I look HOT now!”. My reply, “So do I”. That day I went home and told my mom. “Mommy I have found my husband!”

 The next day on our first date, after we had both put our best foot forward, we went onto the nitty gritty stuff.  He had survived testicular cancer twice, first age 27 then again at age 32. He had an orchidectomy and radiotherapy, lethal treatments that would leave him infertile but thank God he was sensible enough at that time to safe his sperm and Me at the age of 26, weight at 45kg (7stones), I discovered that I have chronic high blood pressure with my first reading at 216/120! CRAZINESS, IMPOSSIBLE!!! A Drs race to basically safe my life from having a stroke, heart attack and the list goes on. I think we are a health insurance nightmare.

This date and its bittersweet memories would  be the beginning of our adventures of survival, unconditional love, hope, tears, laughter and ultimately our boys!

 We got married in Zanzibar, Tanzania on the 16 January 2010. The Island of romance, spice, sea and beautiful friendly people! It was a bliss-full day.  February 2010 threw us a curveball, Graham’s cancer returned for the third time and he needed to start chemotherapy immediately in Edinburgh. Scotland was cold, wet and I felt very lonely away from my family and support.

We called this cancer Reiner after a very unkind asshole! Naming it somehow gave us the power to tell it that; ” this is the last time that it will put us through this terrible way of life! This time you are getting F**KED!!!”  2010 was a very hard year, but we thrived through it, proof that we can overcome anything as long as we had each other and FAITH!! Nine years later and cancer free, we find ourselves here in Hong Kong!

Love

Jacqui 💕

How Weight Lifting is helping to combat my stress

How did I get here???!!! Omg, I love the feeling lifting weight. I instantly feel like a very sexy body building goddess!! With a potbelly. Don’t judge this belly has been through war carrying the twins but nonetheless, I can’t blame them anymore three years later. I love my wine and junk food days now and than, and I know this is what is keeping my future six pack undercover.

A very unexpected enjoyment and I look forward to that burn. I can see why people can become addicted to this adrenaline. I see baby muscles forming around my arms. I go to gym after work, it’s like a mini holiday after a long day standing in the salon and taking in energy from my clients.

That feeling that I can just let go of all my worries when I concentrate on the workout. My head clears and I do feel so light with legs like jelly afterwords. I get to be just Jacqui getting assisted by a handsome personal trainer. Honestly the eye-candy does help motivate in small quantities.

We are working with a personalised schedule to target each and every muscle I never knew existed but my favourite is doing legs. I do feel like Jeniffer Lopez in that forest green dress after a session. A girl can dream, right!!!

I am a work in progress with an aim to look fit and fabulous when I turn 40 next year in March.

I’ll keep you posted!

Jacqui

Drowning

Reeking of alcohol from the night before

Memories flooding back

The screaming and words of hurt

Mascara stained eyes.

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How did she get here?

The dream of happily ever after

A distant life once lived

Head in her hands, sobbing.

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Her son the only reminder of love

Getting him ready for school

Does he feel her fear?

Fear of her loosing herself.

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Under appreciated

Resentment

How can she breath in this current?

Threading water.

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Topping up her glass

Just to take the edge off

So that for a moment

Reality leaves.

Aphrodite’s photo shoot

I have always love to use original before and after photos from hair that I have done when I advertise the salon. My clients came to appreciate that Aphrodite Hair & Makeup Facebook and Instagram photos are real images on real woman and not over exposed photoshopped photos from google.

So when Aphrodite celebrated her 1st birthday I felt it the perfect opportunity to have a professional photoshoot as a birthday present. Bright and early my staff, models, organiser and photographer arrived ready for a fun action packed morning on the 3 September.

I could not be more pleased with the results that Katie produced. With a tight schedule and an itinerary to follow we were blessed with beautiful clear skies and lots natural light flowing into the salon.

I am internally grateful for Judith my graphic designer for organising/planning the day and sourcing the photographer.

Jacqui Salon Owner and hairstylist.

The Aphrodite Team

Suffina is a client’s favourite part of her hair appointment. She has build up a loyal clientele for her sought after hair wash and head massages. Bliss!!

Noemi our very talented beautician.

Louise create magic with her nail art. She is popular for her hard and soft gel services.

Website launch to follow soon. I can’t wait to start using all these and more beautiful photo.

Jacqui

Calm

As the Fisherman cleans his boat

After a long hard day.

Silently at his duty,

Proud and tired but relishing in the calm.

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The sun lingering on the mountain top

Waiting for it’s slow decent.

To rest after a hot day passed,

Slowly drowned to calm at nightfall.

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My boys pleasure squeals playing in the sea;

Delighted in the breeze.

Slow waves of the ocean coming in.

Ready to settle down.

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Thoughts of gratitude.

Heart rate slow and steady.

Beauty imprinted in this moment.

Calm, peaceful and truly blessed.

Aphrodite’s 1st Year Anniversary

Honestly I can not believe a whole year has passed and my little salon is celebrating it’s 1 year anniversary on the 10th of September. So much has happened and we both have grown so much from feeling overwhelmed to strong and independent business and boss lady.

This shop and her energy completes me and my energy towards this salon makes her a success. It makes me so happy and I feel deep gratitude when my clients come to the salon and immerse themselves into the calm and joy this place offer.

It’s hard work, oh yes it is but it is one of the best decisions I have made to set up Aphrodite. I started with one chair, mirror and a basin. The salon grew from tiny beginnings. At this moment we are a full service salon with services from hair, body and nails. Complete one stop shop. My dream and vision a reality.

Well deserved award for “Best New Business” in Sai Kung District

Aphrodite Hair and Makeup I do wish you many years success and great fortune. May you continue to pamper and create a safe place where clients can come to unwind, relax and feel like a goddess!

Happy birthday my darling

We love you!

Jacqui

Butterfly of forgiveness

I forgive you

For everything know or unknown.

I release you from the guild and pain;

I accept you as you are.

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I forgive you

So that you can find peace.

So that, that tightness in your chest can ease.

So that light can lift you!

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I forgive you your shortcomings,

For all, that is what makes you whole.

I embrace your tears,

For strength needs you to be vulnerable.

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I forgive those who caused pain and resentment!

I free them so, I can be free!

I follow the wings of the butterfly,

Free of emotional trauma!

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