The ULTIMATE Tropical Vacation Pack List

Travel Tip #1 – Pack as light as you can.  With that being said, be sure to take all that you need.  I understand this can be a fine line.  You will see that I have an extremely long and comprehensive list – you will probably not need (or want) to take everything on this list.  Depending on who you are, what activities you have planned once you get to your destination, how well you want to dress and several other factors – your list will be shorter than this.  I have listed everything you could possibly need.  Adjust and take items off if you don’t need them.  But you certainly shouldn’t need to add anything.  If it isn’t on this list – chances are you don’t need it!

Travel Tip #2 – If you are flying, visit the website of the airline you will be traveling on to verify important luggage information such as luggage weight limits, carry-on size and weight limits, prohibited items (such as spillable batteries and aerosol cans) and allowed liquid amounts.



  • Luggage/suitcase
  • Luggage name tags
  • Luggage locks
  • Beach bag (fold this up and put it at the bottom of your suitcase – you will want a bag to tote to and around the beach)


  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Soap/ body wash
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair Styling Products (Mousse, Gel, Hairspray, Bobby Pins, Hair ties etc.)
  • Hair Styling Tools (Straightener, Curling Wand etc.)
  • Lotion
  • Face wash
  • Razor & Shaving Cream
  • Q-Tips
  • Aloe Vera
  • Sunscreen with SPF 40 or more
  • Chapstick with SPF
  • Tampons
  • Nail polish
  • Makeup bag
  • Makeup (for tropical locations its best to keep makeup minimal and stick to mainly eye makeup – face makeup such as foundation, bronzer and concealer will smear and sweat off)
  • Tweezer
  • Baby Powder (keeps you dry and stink-free in the heat!)
  • Perfume


  • Visa
  • International driver’s license
  • Medical insurance card
  • Travel insurance
  • Maps and guides
  • Membership cards (auto club, frequent flyer)
  • Business cards
  • Copies of important documents
  • Emergency phone numbers


  • Laptop & charger
  • Video Camera & charger
  • Power adapter / converter


  • Underwear (Boxers/Briefs/Panties)
  • Bras
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Swim suits
  • Coverup
  • Flip-flops
  • Tennis Shoes
  • High Heels/ Dress Shoes
  • Hat
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Tank-tops
  • Jeans / pants
  • Sweatshirt (just in case – it can get cool at night)
  • Sundresses
  • Accessories & Jewelry
  • Nightlife Apparel (High heels, dress shoes, party dresses, jewelry)


  • Glasses
  • Spare pair of sunglasses
  • Contact case & solution
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Watch


  • Beach towel
  • Goggles
  • Waterproof disposable camera


  • Lint roller
  • Garbage bags for dirty clothes
  • Umbrella
  • Safety pins



  • Passport
  • Photo ID (Driver’s License, Student ID)
  • Cash / Credit Cards
  • Copy of reservation confirmation
  • Tickets


  • Bottled Water
  • Gum / Mints
  • Snacks


  • Prescription Medications
  • Motion Sickness Medication
  • Ibruprofen / Tylenol
  • Vitamins / Supplements


  • Cell Phone
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Headphones


  • Sunglasses
  • Contact case & solution
  • Eye drops
  • Book / magazine
  • Travel Pillow

Product Review:: It Works! Ultimate Thermofit


Smell:  Herbal and spicy fragrance.  I actually enjoy the smell! 
Taste:  Herbal-like taste.  If you let the pills sit too long in your mouth you will start to taste the peppery formula.
Does it work?:  Yes, I have lost 5 pounds so far – even while eating junk food during the holidays.
LV’s Rank on a 10-scale:  
9!  I definitely recommend.

** I am not affiliated with It Works! in any capacity.  This is a true product review.

Ah yes – the ever popular diet pill.  Who doesn’t want to lose weight and increase their attractiveness?  It seems like we all know someone who is an It Works! independent distributor.  I had heard a little about It Works! through social media – mostly about the wraps that everyone raves about with the seemingly absurd before & after photos.  It wasn’t until my best friend began selling It Works! that I decided to finally give the products a chance.  I attended her first wrap party and was blown away.  I was impressed with how well the company is structured as well as their variety of products.

The company is much more than just wraps – they also sell essential oils, dietary supplements, “Skinny Packs” and skin care products to name a few.  I personally was immediately drawn to the Ultimate Thermofit pills that claim to “fire up your metabolism” with a “naturally based, thermogenic weight loss formula.”  So I became a loyal customer.  I committed to purchasing a product from the company for three straight months in order to obtain the discounted price.  Four months later, I am still a loyal customer and I take my Ultimate Thermofit pills religiously.

I started out taking one pill in the morning with breakfast and one in the afternoon with lunch.  I weighed in at 177 pounds and didn’t see results for about two and a half weeks.  When I was about to hit my three-week mark, that is when I started noticing weight loss.  I first noticed it in the way my clothes fit around my waist.  I jumped on the scale three weeks after first popping the pills into my mouth – 175 pounds!  Two pounds in three weeks.  I should note that I did not diet or exercise during that time – I was simply testing the product’s ability to increase my metabolism on it’s own without any aid from healthy lifestyle habits.  So, a direct answer as to if this product works – It Works!  (No pun intended)

My favorite thing about the product?  I began taking the pills at the end of October so I went through the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, lots of birthdays and Valentine’s Day – and I ate to my heart’s content.  I also took my Ultimate Thermogenic pills.  And, much to my delight, I did not gain a single pound!  I survived the holidays and weighed in right at 175, the weight I was at before the holidays began.  I really should have gained anywhere from 3-5 pounds during those three months and I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary except swallow a pill twice a day.  So, I feel as though I must chalk up my success at not gaining holiday weight to the pills.

** ONE HUGE TIP!:  Take the two pills together.  Don’t spread them out.  About a month ago, my distributor recommended taking the two pills together.  So, I began taking the two pills right after I ate breakfast.  About two hours after I take my pills, I am very hungry again.  Normally it takes me a little while to work up an appetite – but not when I take my Ultimate Thermofit!  My metabolism has really kicked up this past month.  And still, without diet or exercise, I have lost three more pounds.  I am sitting steady at 172 pounds.  In two weeks I will be adding in a low-calorie diet and a moderate exercise plan.  I’m excited to see how quickly I can reach my goal of 145 pounds!

Stay tuned 😉




A letter to my 16-year-old self.

Dear 16-year-old Kala,

Hello.  It’s you.  Your future 27-year-old self is putting fingers to keyboard to reach out to you.  I know you desperately wanted to know me just 11 short years ago.  I know you wish you had the answers and you wish you could just take a glimpse into the future.  You probably want to see what you look like at 27, if you are successful and if your life has turned out the way you had always imagined it would.  I know you want the reassurance that each and every decision you are making right now pays off in a big way.

Well… I can tell you this… Your life didn’t turn out the way you planned it.

At all.

Like, not even remotely close.

Those 5-year, 10-year, 20-year plans you had for yourself?  Yeah.  It’s admirable that you  set expectations for yourself, your future and everyone in it – but you forgot to factor in one thing – life.  It’s adorable that you think as long as you check the boxes (graduate high school – check!  go to college – check!  meet future husband in college – check!) that everything will go according to plan.  But it doesn’t.  At least not for you.

Let’s have a quick recap shall we?  Because it wasn’t too long ago that I was you and we made this beautiful life plan.  It goes like this – graduate high school, go to Purdue University, graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, find your future husband at Purdue and fall in love, get married shortly after graduating high school, enjoy a fulfilling nursing career, pop out three beautiful kids (preferably in the order of boy, girl, boy) and then live happily ever after.  Happily ever after entails remaining married until death, having very low financial stress, taking vacations to exotic locations once every two years and enjoying watching your children grow into adults and having children themselves.  Oh, yes, and retiring at 65 to spend every morning thereafter sipping coffee and reading the newspaper on your wrap around porch swing with your husband next to you.

Alright.  What did we learn here?  Lots of detail.  Lots of chance.  Lots of rolling the dice and just hoping everything works out.

Now, let me recap for you what your life has looked like so far.

You graduate high school – that is one box you checked.  You went to Purdue but you only went for a year.  You succumbed to the pressures of drinking and partying.  Your grades were embarrassing.  So, you moved back home.  You went to a local community college and you were very dedicated to your academics from that point on.  You traveled – A LOT!  You went to NYC three times, Connecticut, New Jersey (the Jersey Shore to be exact – AND you were on the show – you were blurry and in the background but you were on the screen for three seconds behind Snooki and JWoww), Florida, Oklahoma, Missouri, Chicago, Tennessee and Myrtle Beach just to name a few.  Not bad for a Hoosier girl, right?   


Posing in Times Square.  This is your second trip to NYC.  You discovered that Manhattan is one of your happy places.


On the Boardwalk at Seaside Heights, NJ.

Lets see – you graduated college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services Administration, started a great career serving the mentally disabled population and made pretty decent money.  You dated several men that you thought would turn into husbands but they didn’t.  You were left heartbroken at the end of every relationship.  You have been cheated on by every single man you dated in your life except for one but he wasn’t that great to you either.

You are still unmarried at the age of 27. 

But you did have a child – you have the most beautiful daughter.  She is almost 2 now.  One of those men that cheated on you?  Yeah, he is the father.  You got pregnant about two years into the relationship and when she was only eight months old, you left the emotionally abusive relationship and became a single mother.

So yeah, your life has turned out NOTHING like you planned.  At all.

And I’m so glad it didn’t.

Yes.  Obviously there are some things that I wish had turned out differently – but you should see the woman you are at 27!

You are bold. 
You are daring. 
You are brave.
You are confident.
You are free-spirited and loving.

You are still slightly overweight from your pregnancy but you LOVE yourself.

You are all of these things because of how your life turned out.  You are everything you have always wanted to be because you didn’t get what you thought you wanted.  You went through a lot of hard times and were pushed up against the ropes more than you would have liked but you came through every single time.  And you surprised yourself at how strong you were.  You never knew it.  You were privileged when you were young – you never had to be strong when you were 16.  But since then, you have survived a lot of disappointments, dropped balls and missed opportunities and you are now stronger because of it.  I absolutely adore myself and I don’t think that would have happened if I would have been granted everything on your life plan. 

You ran two half-marathons.  I don’t think I told you that yet.  You pushed yourself, you created yourself and you are so incredibly happy.  You found people that love you, support you and fill your life – you are lucky enough to call them friends.  And you have been blessed with the best.  You aren’t lazily going through the motions and checking the boxes just because that is what your 16-year-old self decided you wanted.  You genuinely appreciate everything you have because you have had to work so hard to have it. 

And your daughter?  Please.  She is literally everything.  She is sassy, intelligent and loving.  And she is beautiful.  I won’t go into too much detail here because I wouldn’t want to spoil what is easily the best thing that ever happened to you.  All you need to know is that you now know what it feels like to unconditionally love someone.  And you wouldn’t trade that beautiful baby in for anything – not even for the perfect life void of all struggle.

So go ahead, young me.  Make your intricate life plans – there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  At least it gives you somewhere to set your sights – you must always have goals.  But please do not panic when things don’t go your way.  You will always make the best of it and find happiness in the imperfections.  You are on a journey of discovery – if everything goes perfectly the way you plan it, you fail. 

So take a deep breath, young 16-year-old me.  Nothing turns out the way you want it to.  But you wouldn’t want it to anyways.  These next 11 years are going to fly by.  You are about to love this ride. 

Love always,

27-year-old Kala