The best vegetable broth made from kitchen scraps

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It’s soup making weather, the chill is on with record breaking temperatures, making me want to hunker down in my over-sized flannel men’s shirt and my slippers and find a craft project or two, to occupy my time. I mean, who wants to go outside?  I intentionally moved to Sacramento because there’s no snow, but the winter time makes me realize why I spend so much time making each room a place that I love to spend time in. Every corner in my home warms my soul.And I am hoping that you will find this broth will also warm your soul.                                                                                                                                                                     So I’ve  peeled my Organic carrots, celery, onions ( to make my “mirepoix “which is the soup base and I will feature in another blog) or you can find it on Wikipedia.     In a quart sized jar I place the ends and peelings (even the onion peelings) that I can use right away or keep them in the fridge for up to one week.     It is not a good idea to use gassy vegetable scraps like cauliflower or broccoli or cabbage, but you can always add those to your soup later.  The only other ingredients you will need are fresh filtered water, salt and pepper are optional. You can use yellow or red onions. I like the red as the skins add a rich color to the broth. You can also add mushroom stems that you’ve saved and this will add even more flavor.  The only other thing to remember is to wash your peelings and stems to remove any dirt and always use only organic vegetables in your broth in order to avoid heavy pesticide residue that can be found in non- organic peelings.

Fill a large pot with at least two quarts of fresh water and add the vegetable scraps.

Bring to a boil, then leave covered on the stove to simmer for at least one hour, checking periodically. You can add more water if needed. Add Celtic sea salt (has the most minerals and great flavor)and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Once you’ve achieved a rich flavorful broth, you can strain out the vegetables and decant your broth into quart sized mason jars or use right away. This broth will keep up to two weeks in the fridge.

It also makes a great broth to drink on a juice fast.  To add more potassium you can include potato peelings .

This broth will bring a hearty flavor to all of your home-made soups. All you need to add would be a combination of your favorite cut up vegetables, meats, beans, and pastas, and spices.

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Some of my favorite ingredients would be diced tomatoes, potatoes, carrots ,celery, onions, mushrooms, spinach, green beans, and beans.

I always add bay leaf, basil, fresh garlic, and sometimes cumin and chili pepper. Thyme and oregano also make a nice compliment .  Season to taste.  What good cook doesn’t taste the flavor a as they cook?

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Black Bean vegetable soup. Photo by Denise Blevins. 

I hope you try this broth and experiment with some new spices, enjoy home-made by you , and save money,too!   Disclosure:  I learned this method from my sister, Gloria, who has cooked in various kitchens across the globe in meditation centers for large groups of people.She’s also the “hand model”.   Thank you Gogi!

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You’ve decluttered your home…now let’s create a “Zone of Tranquility”

imageJanuary…after the holiday decorations come down , we start to consider the whole house “purge”.   Over the course of one year,  I can accumulate so much extra stuff that I just don’t have storage for ,that it can seem like overload. That’s when I know it’s time for the “big clean out”.  Last year, I read Marie Condo’s book about the Magic of tidying up and was inspired to clean the whole house!  This year I stumbled upon “the nester’s” blog and fell in love with her concept of quieting each room by removing everything but the main pieces, cleaning, then putting back into the room only what you truly want in there, or can I say it? What brings you Joy!      I even blogged about my kitchen and cleaning “mindfully” and discovered that I really didn’t need things that I had once thought were important.  So, let’s get on with a topic that I’ve been wanting to write about for quite a while. So whether you have already mindfully purged to your hearts content, or are just in the beginning phases because there are so many great sales going on, please take this to heart and try it.  It could just change your life.    And please forgive the fact that I am blogging from my phone.                                                      I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “no rest for the wicked”.                                                                        Book of Isaiah. V48:22.                                                      “There is no peace,saith the Lord , unto the wicked.    But the wicked are like the troubled sea,  when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.  There is no peace saith my God to the wicked. ”                Think of a glass of water with mud in it.        When you stir it up,the water is cloudy,like an agitated mind,that doesn’t make good decisions, and is impatient, and unkind to others, and oneself.       Life doesn’t go so well for the cloudy mind.       The clear water when the mud has settled,can only be achieved by stillness.   When the mind is clear of agitation, our life starts to flow. We recognize the signs, and make clear-headed decisions.  We are more patient, kinder to others, and are more in tune with ourselves.         Give yourself permission to carve out a corner in your home that is just for you.    Carving out a place in the home,a zone of tranquility,is a Cottage Necessity.  It is necessary to our well being to have a place where you can reflect upon your day, read, craft, pray , and meditate, write your goals, and just BE.            When we don’t give ourselves the time for rest and reflection,  it’s easy to get information overload, and have too many thoughts, conversations, and shoulds running across our brain.  I’m not sure what Isaiah meant by wicked, except that the restless,or agitated mind is disconnected from Source, and we forget our true essence of our oneness with Source , or God.   Once you’ve carved out your zone of tranquility, or sacred space, make a point to spend at least 15 minutes per day just sitting with yourself, in the silence, listening to soft music, or just the sounds outside your window.         You deserve it!                  Let’s start a movement where we make our homes a haven, a retreat from the world, where we take time to connect with Source , and send out our prayers of love and peace to everyone!     Practice Ho’oponopono….  I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, Thankyou.

Laundry Therapy

IMG_0102do you ever feel overwhelmed?

Maybe it’s the laundry piling up, the bills that need to be paid, or the kids are out of school and bored out of their minds?

Being a single mom almost the entire duration of my kids growing up, wearing many different hats;  breadwinner, homemaker , housekeeper, I sometimes wonder how I kept it all together.

There are so many things that stand out in my mind as I look back on it now.

There are some that are so obvious, especiałly with children, like the importance of teaching them independence ,learning to pick up after themselves at a young age and making it FUN!

ATTITUDE towards the work makes the difference no matter who it is.

I was looking at a large pile of laundry for a couple of days-avoiding it. So finally, deciding to get it done, I first had to “visualize” the best way to do it!

In my minds eye, I saw the kitchen table cleared off, creating a folding table, making it easier to get the job done. So, that’s what I did first, I organized my workspace!

next, while folding the clothes , at first, the rebellious child reared its stubborn head, thinking “why do I have to do all the housework?”

Then, I started to notice how easy my folding was going and how fast I could get it done, and before I knew it, I was finished!  10 Minutes!

so, during that short session, (Let’s call it “Laundry Therapy”) my attitude changed from negative to positive and I was able to “self-correct”.

All human beings have the innate ability to self correct.

the other big obstacle that creates overwhelm is the tendency to blame others.

This creates so much negative energy and causes us to become “stuck” in blame-mode.

if things arent getting done, are we blaming others?

i went through a period with my son, where one day we both realized that all of our disagreements were based on one of us blaming the other for something-it was as though we both saw how futile it was, and mutually agreed to stop the blaming pattern.

Blame comes from anger and resentment towards someone who we think should be doing something our way.

Blame is ego based.  Ego is ” Edging God Out”.

When we stopped the blame, and began to take responsibility for our own egos, our relationship improved from then on.

There may be times when it all just becomes too intense, and anger boils to the surface.

Its important to pay attention to those times, and observe yourself.  It might be a good idea to do some self-reflection.

Is it that time of month?

Did something that happened recently trigger this emotion?

Am I keeping my body in balance?  Eating nutritious foods, everything in moderation, including alcohol, coffee, and other stimulants.

Set some time aside, and learn to meditate, or just take a time-out for yourself-your body is telling you that it needs some nurturing.

Mommy needs Time-out!

Sleep and exercise play a key role in self-nurturing.

I often carry rose quart or amethyst stones in my pocket, and the energies of these stones create a very calming affect. You can also put them on the bedside table or under your pillow at night.

Salt lamps in the home can also contribute to a Calming atmosphere .

Yes, life can seem overwhelming at times, but we are never given more than we can handle.

Here are the key points to help you maintain your equilibrium and a sense of ease.

Attitude- work on keeping it positive , see the bright side of things.

Visualize – a task or project before you begin-you may discover a unique solution that you had been over looking.

Organize-your daily areas and make sure that everything that you need to make your life easier is available and in its place.

Listen- to your thoughts as you go about your daily routine.  Is there something you need to deal with?  Take care of it.  Write it down.  Make a plan of action.

Self-Correct

Blame- are you blaming others?  Take action instead!

Keep your body balanced.  Eat nutritious meals, exercise, get plenty of sleep, everything in moderation, meditate .

Here’s to the good life – a life filled with Cottage Necessities!

Walking My Talk Part III

I had wanted to do this for a long time.  But I just didn’t have the nerve ….

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So on March 3rd, when my daughter  came home all excited because a male colleague of hers  had come in to see her, and told her how he had been having a series of hydro-therapy colonics, and how his stomach went from a bloated beer-belly to completely flat, we knew that we needed to go.

March 3rd,2016 was the day that she and I had committed to doing the “Purium Cleanse”for 10 days to start our weight loss journey.  She wanted to lose 10 lbs. and I…well, I …wanted to lose about 60!

So, she made an appointment and we went together (which I found out later that it’s pretty common for friends, relatives, even whole families to go together).

She went first, and I stayed in the room,which was decorated “early Hippie Bohemian”, with a Navaho rug  in earth-tones hanging on the wall, watercolor paintings of a beach scene, and one of a lush garden scene, as well as medical posters of colons, showing what a healthy colon should look like.  It was clinical but casual, and the therapist put us at ease right away with a friendly, comical banter. He invited me to sit in a massage chair that had no more skin covering the back beaters, but a blanket thrown over the back. The three of us carried on with a lively conversation as he went about his work.  He informed us that he had been doing this for 30 years ( which later, it was 35, and then 39).  I am not sure if it was modesty or not wanting to disclose his age, as he looked much younger than his 68 years .

My turn…the colon therapist took one look at me and said that I needed 20 colonics!

At that point, I am sure that most people would have turned on their heels and bolted for the door!

He also told me that he wanted me to really think if this was something I wanted because he thought that I was going to have some kind of “blowout!” LMAO!

I assured him that I wanted to do this, that we had just started a cleanse to lose weight, and that we wanted to relieve our bodies of toxic build-up.

Before starting the Purium cleanse, I had already stopped dairy, gluten, sugar, and caffeine , so I didn’t have too much trouble with detox symptoms,  just some tiredness.

My daughter experienced a couple of down days and we both rested and napped a lot during the 10 days- each of us lost 5lbs.

She went with me for the second colonic and the hydro therapist told her that she was done.

My situation, however, was a different story.

I was determined to see this through and decided that if I needed 20 colonics, then so-be-it!  I was game, and I trusted what he was telling me.

I remembered a woman who used to come into  the store where I worked to shop, while her husband was at a nearby clinic having his monthly colonic.  He had had heart trouble, and swore that the colonics had saved his life.

Next Tuesday will be my 10th colonic and here is what I’ve experienced so far…

It has helped my weight loss efforts—I’m down 20 lbs.

It has re sculpted my waist-line…I’m getting my figure back.

I have more energy, feel more like excercising, and it has increased my libido.

My eyes sparkle .

My jaw-line is tightening, and my skin looks more toned and vibrant.

After the second one, I released deep seated grief ( this is common to block grief from trauma in the colon).

Water is Spirit and brings Light into the colon.

I felt my aura (energy field) expanding.

I feel lighter, like when I was a child.

Im eating less and don’t have cravings.

My skin recently started itching and breaking out, which tells me more toxins are coming to the surface.

I take salt baths to help my skin detox along with dry brushing the skin.

I have found these books helpful in my understanding of colon Hydro-Therapy:

Outwitting The Devil by Napolean Hill (a must read!).

Colon Health and Become Younger by Norman Walker

Edgar Cayce’s Guide to Colon Care by Sandra Duggan RN

Did I mention that I look and feel younger?

My skinny jeans are now my baggy jeans!

When the Universe plopped me down in Hawaii, I had no idea what to expect!

If you’ve read my previous posts, I packed my workout clothes, which consisted of one pair of yoga pants,two new shirts, (one that says “never give up” and one that says”run now wine later”) and a pair of tennis shoes for walking.

So, that must have been my half -hearted “intention” .

Never give up! Has become my mantra.

With the barrage of massages,(read previous post) I was needing a way to eliminate the toxins that were finding their way to the colon.

80 to 90 percent of disease starts in the colon.

After age 50, the weight seems to just pile on. I used to say that I could just look at food and I would gain weight.

I asked my colon therapist if when he sees someone who is overweight, does he think they’re just full of old, unprocessed poop?  He said “Yes.!”

But he also said that some of the most put-together people have blockages.  So, it’s not just for overweight people.  It’s for everyone and is the most important thing we can do for ourselves to maintain vibrant health, a sound mind, and well-being.

So, my friends, I will add Colon Hydro-Therapy to my list of Cottage Necessities!

Disclosure:  this article is not meant to give medical advice.  Please consult with your physician before going on a weight loss journey..

Please leave a comment.  Mahalo

 

 

 

In Search of “Hawaiiana”

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I had mentioned before how I appreciated the design elements that the previous designer had applied to the Beach Cottage…..

The owners of the Beach “Cottage” own hotels, and the decor looks as though it had been decorated with the same sensibility…

imageThe family who are renting it, did not like the pictures, and wanted a more “homey” touch.

They prefer more authentic vintage Hawaiian art work…imageLike this Produce sign…

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Hawaiian Night by John Kelly

Prints that showed the Hawaiian Lifestyle….

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Hawaii by L MacDonald

The new occupants had collected these classic prints that were on the face of vintage menus from the cruise ship, abourd the S.S. Lurline, circa 1950’s.

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Festival of the Sea by Eugene Savage

The vivid colors, and the Aloha attitude is easy to see the Spirit of the inhabitants….

 

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The couple wanted a Modern aesthetic, so we had the prints custom framed in black frames with cream white matting.

The framer added xeroxed copies of the inside menu to the back of the prints and put it in a clear envelope enclosure.

I suggest spending a little extra to get your cherished pictures and artwork professionally framed.  You may love them so much that they will be hanging on your walls for the next twenty years!

This is what I would call Hawaiiana with a Modern twist!

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Do you think it looks more homey?  Do you have some artwork that you want framed?

I have more to show of the Beach Cottage, that I will post next time.  Thanks for visiting my blog.  Please sign up with your email so you don’t miss a post.

Waldorf Salad Wraps

As I am discovering new ways of eating, focusing on whole foods that are easily processed by the body, I was wondering what to do with that big bag of walnuts that was in the freezer.

I just love the taste of fresh apples with walnuts, and thought I might try a Waldorf Salad.  Would you believe it, that I could not find one recipe in the ten different cookbooks on the shelf?

I should have started looking on the internet, duh!?

I found a little about the history of the Waldorf Salad and a great, simple recipe at simplyrecipes.com.

And you know, I like just a few ingredients, and little prep time, and easy clean-up.

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Waldorf Salad Wraps

3 Tblsps Real Mayonnaise

1/2 squeezed lemon

1-3 red apples – cored and diced

3 stalks celery – diced

1 cup walnuts – toasted in 350degree oven for 15 minutes, then chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Romaine Lettuce

Mix all ingredients, except for lettuce, together.

Clean and pat dry several lettuce leaves to prepare for stuffing

Cut other half of lemon into wedges

You can also add golden raisins, or sliced seedless grapes, or a touch of cinnamon.

 

imageEnjoy!  What would you add to this to give it your own twist?

These would be great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Walking My Talk Part Two

or……When God pours you out a blessing, be ready to receive it!

Sometimes, when you put your requests out to the Universe, and you have a catalyst, like Braco (see Part One), helping you broadcast your intentions, you never know what to expect.

I did not have any specific ideas about how I wanted to take the excess weight off, but the very next day, it’s as if I was picked up off my duff, and was put on the very road that I needed to be on.  And I was facing in the right way! Here is my before shot…..

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That’s me directing my 9 year old grandson on the shot.

In the last Walking My Talk post, I had just found out that my daughter’s flight was delayed and that I would have to fill in for her for the 2 hour Lomi Lomi, Hot Rock Massage!  Whoo Hooo!

Here is a bird’s eye view of how the next few weeks unfolded:

Feb. 24.25 Braco live streaming ( Braco.me)

Feb. 25 Hot Rock Massage with Jennifer – 2 hours of aromatherapy, hot rock, and deep tissue massage to release the toxins and reset my intentions

3/3 Colonic  – This was the first time I had ever had this done.  My daughter and I went together.  It is basically, Hydro-therapy to clean the colon and help it expell old toxic waste. Later, I will tell you more about the beneficial side-effects that come after.

3/4 Aura Healing and Cleansing with Jackie – one hour long, Jackie works on the ethereal realms to restore your aura, and call back parts of your soul that may have left due to trauma, etc.  For me, she called back of part of me to come home to my Heart center.  She said that many people have shattered auras that are in need of healing.

3/4 Haircuts at the DADA Salon in Honolulu.  My daugher gets these perks through her business.  This included a head, neck, and shoulder massage.

3/5 Mani-Pedis at the Creative Nails Salon.  This included a leg and foot massage, as well as hand and arm massage.

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Then it was off to the Women’s Korean Day Spa for a two hour full body massage and salt scrub.  First you get into a hot tub for a good soak to soften the dead skin, then you go into a common room, and lay on a vinyl covered table, where you receive a full body scrub to remove all of the dead skin from head to toe, a fresh cucumber facial, and a hot oil massage.  They even wash your hair.  In between, you get dowsed with buckets of warm water to rinse off.  My modus of operandi is to just let my body go limp like a rag doll, and let the masseuse do her magic.  I never saw so much dead skin roll off my body, and my skin was silky smooth for days.

3/6 Unity Church in Honolulu for an uplifting message which included Hawaiian music and Hula dancing.

3/12 Facial with Mara.  A beautiful, relaxing experience to clean the pores and soften the skin.

3/12 Foot Reflexology with Auntie Angel.  This was supposed to last 2 hours, but Auntie and I had so much in common, and got to talking, that it went for over 3 hours!  After that, I took her to dinner at Zippy’s for some chili and hot coffee.  I stayed with the cleanse and had a salad.  After our meal, we went to the house to pick up my daughter, and then off to Kapiolani Park, in the evening, for more healing using the ancient Hawaiian Ha technique.

So, my friends, the Universe had set me on my course of healing and losing the weight by starting me off with a series of detoxification of the body, getting in touch with the body, and letting go!

I had no idea that this was probably a step that a lot of people miss when they decide to lose weight.  With years of stress, poor choices in food, and lack of exercise, the body can store and block all kinds of toxins, traumas, and grief that if stored for too long under the wrong circumstances can lead to poor health, illness, and early death.

Before embarking on a program, ask your self these questions:

Have I been eating processed, or genetically modified foods?

Have I suffered from trauma, like illness, divorce, death of a loved one, personal issues?

Am I living my best self every day, and living from a place of love, for myself and others?

If not, make a list of what you can do this week, to help your body do some detoxification.  You are worth it!

It’s like decluttering the room, before you can bring in the new furniture, and put up the new window treatments.

It’s Feng Shui for the Body, Mind, and Soul. To Be Continued…

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Hawaiian Cottage series

Do you ever just take a drive to look at all of the  old houses?  The ones that were built before the Baby Boom?  You can definitly feel the charm of a slower time, when the builders took their time to really create something special.

 

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What is it that makes these  homes feel so special that they make us want to stop what we are doing and take it all in? The heart starts racing and we feel a longing deep in our soul.

 

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These cottages have a dreamy like quality.  I want to know who has lived there?  Who built that fence out of lava rock?

imageWhat makes these special to the land where they sit?  The craftsmen have used Nature’s elements.

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Check out the eyebrow over the entrance porch.  How many days were spent there in quiet contemplation?

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Arched windows were the norm.

imageTrees were respected as part of the landscape.

imageHawaiian cottages in Manoa.  What do you like about a cottage?

Easy Pleasy Butternut Squash Soup

This is probably the easiest and one of the tastiest soups I have ever made.  Even a bachelor could pull this one off with aplomb! ( is that sexist?)

 

This is basically all you need besides water and salt.

1 Organic Butternut Squash

1 can of organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk ( use one cup if squash is small)

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Line your pan with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit

Do not cut squash ( I gave up trying to cut a raw squash a long time ago), just wash the outside and remove the label.

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Bake for 40 – 60 minutes, or until knife is easily inserted and it feels soft inside.

imageRemove from oven, and cut it open.  I let mine cool a little before I removed the seeds.

Scoop out the squash.  Bundle the skin and the seeds into your foil for ease of carrying to the compost or the trash.

Put squash into blender

Add Coconut milk and 1-2 cups of filtered water ( no more than 3 cups of liquid Total) to the blender.

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Start the blender on slow

imageThen increase to high speed.  Be sure to have the lid on.

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Pour into bowls and enjoy!  The tempurature should be just right!

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Salt and Pepper to taste.  I like the Pink Hamalyan Sea Salt.

Serve with your favorite crackers.

imageIt’s light and tasty, sooo good for you, and very satisfying.

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Beach Cottage Tour Part 1

Sometimes I have to pinch myself, when I think that I have the opportunity to stay in this place for a couple of months.

I did not decorate this, but it has been decorated with much thought and intelligence for a house that practically sits on the beach.

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It has the million dollar views of the Pacific Ocean.

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The living room is made for enjoying the views, entertaining, or just relaxing.

The curtains are stationary panels made with a Sun resistant fabric.  The flooring is Bamboo.  The carpet is made up of individual carpet tiles, that are very practical for a room that gets lived in or has pets and children.  If one area gets stained, it is easy to remove and replace.

imageimageThe pattern that the carpet tiles make reminds me of the seafoam that forms on the incoming surf.  The round natural rattan coffee table with the glass top is easy to clean.

imageThe woods used in the casegoods, like this buffet, are made from reclaimed wood.

imageThe house has been decorated with a “feel” of the beach, using natural elements, colors of the ocean, and practical accessories that remind us of where we are.

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Beach treasure surround the candle.

The dining room is ready for friends and family to gather.

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The influence of the Tropical Oasis and Asian influence is present, as well as the love of the water.

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The colors of sea and sand and shells…..

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Clear glass lamps let the light through, and orchid prints line the walls.

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