Tag Archives: vacation

Project Life

11 Jul

This past weekend I ventured down to Tierra Verde, Florida, home of the wonderful Orobello family, for some fun and a little relaxation. I left with a those two things, but also with something to document the my time over the course of the year. With so many exciting things going on right now and a ton of life change moving into the real world, Mrs. Orobello thought this would be the perfect time to start.

As the owner of Whim So Doodle, Mrs. O knows all about the greatest of scrapbooking goodies, including a product kit called Project Life by Becky Higgins. I used to be an avid scrapbooker back in the day (of high school) but quickly got too busy (and too much of a perfectionist) for such undertakings.

When I first saw my friend, Ryan’s, book, I fell in love. Then, when I noticed that the “Top 5 Reasons People Love Project Life” included “Save time. Save stress.” I knew that Project Life and I were destined for each other. When better way to enjoy crafting than with a time-saver, stress-reducer and smile-provider?

The idea is to journal a bit and take a photo for each day of the year and document it in a book that looks a little something like this:

Photo courtesy of: http://www.beckyhiggins.com

Mine is currently quite a bit more empty, but will soon be full of daily morsels of my life. I don’t think that I have enough going on in my life to take a photo each day, but I am willing to use a couple photos from each event to fill up this daily journal/photo album. I am seriously looking forward to it. The set-up of my book is similar to the one above, but with these colors:

Photo courtesy of: http://www.beckyhiggins.com

Doesn’t that just warm your crafting heart? I will keep you updated on the progress of documenting my daily life. It may not be super exciting and thrilling, but it is the small stuff that counts, right? Here goes nothing…

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Royal Caribbean… really treated royally

22 Mar

Although I have been away from the keyboard for the week, I have a good reason. As you may remember in my post about saving money on vacation, I have been on a cruise to the Bahamas for my senior spring break with 15 of my closest friends.

The Cruise Girls

Not only did I successfully exceed the challenge of enjoying a relaxing week, but I also relished in being treated like a queen. Wow, does Royal Caribbean do it up right, or what?!

The service was absolutely incredible! From what I discovered, they have something called Gold Anchor Cruise Service where they choose to go above and beyond the call of duty while guests are on the ship (and at various ports).

For example, our room attendant, Ryan, left us this little guy on the bed at night when Ryan came to set up the ladders for the bunk beds while we were at dinner.

Woof, woof

However, the most impressive part of the week was theĀ  Food and Beverage Staff, including our hilarious waiter, Rodante. He always made sure that we had exactly what we needed and way more than enough of our “yum, yum” (aka dessert).

See…

Rodante & the "yummy, yummy por da tummy"

In fact, on the last night, we requested sprinkles, and although he couldn’t find any, he brought us a plate of chocolate and white chocolate shavings (which obviously are 10 thousand times better than regular sprinkles).

Not only did they serve well, but they could sing well, too! Jesus, another waiter, serenaded my roommate (and lovely cruise planner), Beth. Maybe the singing wasn’t quite up to par with the original, but we liked his version of the song better anyway.

Musical Stylings of Jesus (pronounced "Hey-soos" not like "Gee-zus")

Overall, the cruise was super memorable and those employees definitely deserve a hand for dealing with our messy rooms and hungry appetites all week. Way to go!

Have y’all ever experienced service like we did on a cruise or anywhere else? I’d love to see who else is really making guests feel special!

10 Ways to Save Money on Vacation

10 Mar

Challenge: Enjoy a week of vacation where I do absolutely nothing work related other than working on my tan.

Could be tough for me, but I’m up for it.

That means: no cell phone, no Internet, no homework, no work, nothing.

The reason I say this is because in approximately 2 days I will be on my way to Florida for a weekend in Cocoa Beach and then a week cruising the high seas with 15 of my best girl friends on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Can. Not. Wait.

This is the last time we will all really be together until who knows when, so I want to cherish every moment of it. However, that doesn’t mean I need to spend beaucoups of money just to have fun. There are plenty of ways to save money without being cheap on your Spring Break trip, or any trip.

Here is a list of some suggestions:

  1. Visit/stalk sites like www.kayak.com: Their slogan is “One and Done” because they literally scour the web for any and all flights, hotels, etc. and show you the prices. Then you choose the best one. Easy as that. Start early and you’ll find even better deals.
  2. Make your own meals: It sounds so simple, but people often forget that they can make a sandwich for lunch, instead of paying upwards of $15 for a bad burger on the beach. Plus, if you pack yourself a little picnic, you can stay in the sun for even longer. A win/win.
  3. Pack efficiently: If you can manage it, pack as little as possible and carry-on your luggage on flights. Checking bags can be unbearably expensive these days, and truthfully, not always worth it. You will probably only really need about one sixteenth of what you are packing anyway.
  4. Walk: Benefits of walking include – seeing sights you may not see otherwise, getting exercise, saving money by not paying for a taxi/bus/etc.
  5. Avoid over-priced drinks: On cruises especially, alcohol can be more expensive than anything else. Sure, you have to pay for soda now too, but those fun smoothies and fruity drinks by the pool can really rack up the credit card bill. Consider drinking water or finding other options, like waiting until you’re at a destination stop to drink.
  6. Limit yourself on shopping: Those cutesy, tourist-trap shops may have the perfect thimble for your great-aunt Susie, but realistically, you don’t need to buy it. Consider other options like taking pictures and framing them when you return from vacation for souvenirs. Let’s be honest – Susie wouldn’t even know what she was missing anyway.
  7. Use coupons… for everything: Oftentimes your hotel will have coupons in the lobby for different restaurants or attractions nearby. Also, you can search online before you go for coupon codes, group discounts or student discounts for most things you want to do.
  8. Budget for the week: Create one. That’s it.
  9. Bring snacks/drinks in the car or on the plane: This will save tons of money when you are tempted to hop out of the car and grab a bag of Doritos, some gummy worms and a Coke at the gas station. Plus, healthier snacks will actually keep you full for longer, so you will have to eat less, and ultimately spend less. Try peanut butter crackers and an apple, or if you’re like me, a jar of peanut butter and an apple.
  10. Have a “staycation” instead: Many people don’t even consider staying home an option for vacation. However, if you don’t have to money to travel somewhere, consider taking a weekend to veg-out with a good book, glass of wine and no cell phone. It will do a world of wonders. Or, you can check your local paper to see what awesome attractions are happening in your area. Try free concerts, museums or just a nice hike. It will be worth it in the end.

Overall, I’m looking forward to see how little money I can spend this week. Since my sweet roommate booked our cruise through a travel agent literally in October, we got a great deal. It’s going to be glorious.

In the meantime, feel free to add suggestions for what your best money-saving tips are while traveling.

Bon voyage!