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Unboxing: April’s BoxyCharm Box

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My April BoxyCharm is here and full of goodness! 

Here’s what I received:

  • Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette. Full size. $39.95.  Gorgeous eyeshadow palette with 20 shades.   Lots of pretty neutrals in matte and shimmer finishes.
  • OFRA Derma Mineral Powder in Pink Sapphire. Full size. $35. This powder is so beautiful!  I can’t wait to use it!  It’s got natural sunscreen in it and can be used on face and body.  It’s a pale pink shimmer! https://flic.kr/p/s7AarW
  • Vincent Longo Duo Lip Pencil in Lavender Lite and Grape. Full size $26. Lovely colors that will go great with my skin tone! 
  • Coolway Smoothing Lotion. Full size. $24.95.  This is a hair smoothing lotion to prevent frizz and flyaways.  Smells so nice! 
  • Harvey Prince Mini Roller Fragrance. Mini. $21. This roller perfume smells so good and is the perfect size for my purse and travel! 

Want to join in and get your own amazing BoxyCharm box??  Click here!

Unboxing: Boxycharm March 2015

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My Boxycharm box arrived and I’m so excited about it! Here’s what I received:  

-Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo.  $11. Travel Size.  I’m very excited to try this.  I’ve heard so much about how amazing Oscar Blandi products are and I love a good dry shampoo!  

-OFRA Eyeliner in Coffee Bean.  $13.  Full Size.  This is a water resistant pencil in a pretty dark brown. 

-LVX Nail Lacquer in Lemondrop. $16. Full Size.  I am in LOVE with this sunny yellow polish!  

-tarte LipSurgence lip tint in Charmed. $24. Full Size.  This is a really pretty pale pink. It’s a creamy balm. Perfect for Spring!  

-Previse Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic. $48. Full Size.  This is a skin oil that you apply after cleaning your face.  It hydrates your skin and fights free radicals.  I’m really excited to try this as my skin tends to be really dry.  

If you’d like to start receiving Boxycharm boxes each month click here: https://www.boxycharm.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/25996/

Unboxing! February BoxyCharm

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My February BoxyCharm box is here and full of goodies!!! IMG_6475

Here’s what I received:

-Modern Minerals Duo Fiber Mini Round Brush.  Full Size. $15  So soft!  And I can always use a new eyeshadow brush. IMG_6470

-Mullein & Sparrow Mini Facial Mask.  Deluxe. $15  LOVE the packaging so much!  And I really like that it’s a mix per use so I won’t have to worry about it drying out before I can use it all. IMG_6472

– NCLA Nail Lacquer in Heart Attack. Full Size $16  Super cute giant heart glitter.  Will definitely use next Valentine’s Day! IMG_6473

-Jing Ai Velvet Shine Lip Jewel.  Full Size $22  Gorgeous color and goes on super smooth. IMG_6474

-Mistura Beauty Solutions C-2-P Complexion Corrector.  Full Size $36  Concealer.  I haven’t used a cream concealer in years since I use Bare Minerals but I love that the ingredients include coconut oil and shea butter so I’ll be giving this a try! IMG_6471

If you would like to start receiving BoxyCharm then click here!!!

Cruising Tips and Tricks Vol. 2

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I’m fresh off my 4th Disney cruise and my 13th cruise overall.  My Cruising Tips and Tricks blog post has gotten quite a few reads so I thought I’d update my tips list with a few more tricks I’ve learned.

– Drive or fly to the port the day before your cruise.  You don’t want a wreck or construction on the interstate or delayed flights to make you miss your cruise.  This gives you time to decompress and run to the store if you realized you forgot something.  Plus, if your port city is interesting you can explore it a little.

-Board the ship as soon as you can.  You’ve paid for this cruise, you might as well be on board every minute possible!  Use this time to explore the ship before the crowds and activities set in.

– The night before, if you’re cruising out of Port Canaveral, consider staying at Disney instead of a port hotel.  We stayed at Art of Animation, a Disney value resort, for the same price as a standard hotel in Port Canaveral.  Staying on Disney property meant we were able to extend the magic a little bit and also eat dinner at ‘Ohana in Walt Disney World.

– If you’re a soda or alcohol drinker, consider buying a soda or adult beverage package. Some cruise lines charge for soda and they can really add up.  And all cruise lines charge for alcohol.  There are wine, beer, soda, and cocktail packages available at multiple price points.  They can really save you money!

– Try the premium restaurants on your cruise ship at least once.  They often have a surcharge, but it’s nice to get away for a fine dining experience.  If you can’t get a reservation before your cruise, check as soon as you board as they may have cancellations and can get you in.

-Unpack on day 1. No, it’s no fun but if you unpack now and stow those big, bulky suitcases under your bed your stateroom will feel so much larger.  Speaking of making your room feel larger, spend 5 minutes each day and just tidy it up a bit.  You’ll be able to find everything more easily in addition to maximizing your space.

-Pack a small container of baby powder.  Sprinkle it on your sandy skin and the sand will release like magic!

-If you’re a social person and are on Facebook, join your cruise’s Facebook group.  Most sailings have a Facebook group.  Just go to the search bar and type in your ship’s name and sail date and your group will come up.  These groups are great places to learn insider tips and get to know fellow cruisers.  My cruise group for this cruise had a cocktail party meet up, a Mixology class and we organized a Fish Extender exchange. Plus it’s just fun to share in the excitement and anticipation of your upcoming cruise with other people who are literally in the same boat.

-Book your excursions through your cruise ship company.  You can trust the companies they work with and most importantly, your ship won’t leave without you.  Sure, it may cost a few dollars more, but peace of mind is worth it.

– If you decide to go it on your own for your excursion- do your homework.  Research everything you can online, compare prices, and you’ll come out ahead. When we rented an electric car for the day in Key West I had taken a screen shot of the company’s website deal on my phone.  They used it as a coupon and gave us our 3rd hour free.  The people next in line renting the same car at the same time paid the same price for only 2 hours.  And always, always ask for a discount.  They may say no, but you may save some money!

-If you don’t mind eating breakfast on the road or in town and not on the ship, then choose Express Walk Off/ Debarkation on the last morning of your cruise.  The lines will be MUCH shorter and you’ll be at your car/shuttle/airport much more quickly.  You have to carry your own luggage but these days with spinner suitcases that’s a much easier feat.

– Be sure to carry lots of small bills with you on your trip.  You’ll need them for many things: tipping room service waitstaff, tipping porters/ luggage handlers, tipping drivers/tour conductors, etc.  You might just make someone’s day with a nice tip, and they might just make your cruise even more magical!
Disney Fantasy

Hope you find these tips helpful!  Happy cruising!

Disney Magic Western Caribbean Day 8- Heading home

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We woke up at 6 to be in the main lobby at 7.  We carried our own luggage off the ship and if you do that you can walk right off at 7am!  No waiting in line at customs!  We breezed right through and were in the packed car by 7:20!!!  That means we skipped breakfast on the ship but  we just grabbed a bagel a little ways down the road.

Before I wrap up this trip report I have to tell you about Disney’s new cruise line app.  It’s awesome! I think CSP loved it even more than I did!  I took some screen shots on the last day so you could see what it covers.  It works via Disney’s wi-fi so it doesn’t cost you anything and you can have your phone in airplane mode while using it.  We used it every single day, multiple times a day.

The welcome page: IMG_6428

Page 2: IMG_6429  You can see all activities based on age group.  Then touch the activity and it gives you a detailed description, plus the location and times. And when you find something you want to remember to attend, just press the heart and a reminder will pop up on your phone 15 minutes before the activity starts!

Page 3: IMG_6430  Every day would be a different article.

Page 4: IMG_6431  You can find out when your favorite character would be appearing.

Page 5: IMG_6432 The menus.  This was CSP’s favorite part.  He liked being able to plan his meals ahead of time.  You could see what they were eating in Palo and all the other restaurants.

Page 6: IMG_6433

Page 7: IMG_6434

Page 8: IMG_6435

Main Menu: IMG_6436 LOVED the deck plans.  Really cuts down on getting lost. This app really has everything you need in it!

We made good time going home and arrived just before 5 pm.  CSP’s parents took us out to dinner and we gave them their cruise surprises.  But first we loaded up on pug kisses!  This was an amazing cruise and we had the best time!!!  Can’t wait for the next one!

Disney Magic Western Caribbean Day 7- Castaway Cay!

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Today was Castaway Cay day! DSC_0199 We were docked from 9:30am – 4:45pm.  Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island.  It’s amazing! IMG_6416 We got up early and had breakfast at Cabanas then headed down to the gangway.  Just outside the ship we bought Kyle, CSP’s new cooler.  He named it.  Kyle. IMG_6415 That boy cracks me up!  Kyle came with a 6 pack of water.  After we picked up Kyle we hopped on the tram to Serenity Bay, the adults only beach.  We found some chairs in the shade of an umbrella and had a wonderful morning! IMG_6419 We read and swam and CSP was even able to snag a hammock!  He promptly fell asleep in said hammock and I’d have to wake him up periodically when the snores got too loud!   It was a perfect, beautiful day.  Sunny but not too hot.  The water was pretty cold and a little choppy but you got used to it.  There were all these little birds running around between our chairs.  So teeny! IMG_6420  Our morning view:   IMG_6417 NOT TOO SHABBY for February!

At about 1:30 we had lunch on the island at the barbecue hut they have set up.  They have all sorts of salads to choose from as well as mahi mahi, brats, burgers, etc.  Even ice cream!  After lunch we took the tram to Pelican Point at the family beach. Our friends the McC’s had a cabana and invited us to come visit.  They dropped our wristbands off at dinner last night. I checked in at the Cabana station and told them we were looking for cabana #7.  They called us a golf cart taxi and drove us to the cabana!  Nice!
We spent the rest of the day with the McC’s hanging on the beach and in their cabana. IMG_6422 Man, that’s the way to live! IMG_6423 The cabana was SO niceIMG_6427 and came with so many amenities! IMG_6424 Drinks, fruit, sunscreen, towels, a safe, lounge furniture, a hammock (CSP jumped right in),IMG_6426 a changing room, outdoor shower, foot wash, use of floats and inner tubes, the works! IMG_6425 A & I took chairs down to the water, stuck our feet in the ocean and chatted while CSP waded out in the ocean with the McC kids.  Those kids took to him like fish to water and he was so good with them.  We stayed until the last possible moment then it was time to pack up and head back to the ship.  We didn’t have dinner until 8:15 though so when we got on the ship CSP & I went to the hot tub again.  That CSP loves a hot tub!  Eventually it was time to get dressed for our last dinner of the cruise.
DSC_0218 Tonight we dined in Animator’s Palate. DSC_0219 DSC_0200 DSC_0207 The menu was more limited tonight I suppose because it’s the last night and because of the animation show.  DSC_0206 When we sat down at our seats were 2 big place matt looking things with green markers.DSC_0202 We followed the instructions on the paper which said to draw a character in the spaces provided.DSC_0204  Then our server took our papers away.
We both had the appetizer sampler (duck confit, mozzarella, and shrimp). DSC_0208 CSP had my duck. DSC_0205 There was just one soup- a macaroni and cheese soup, so we both had that.  It was surprisingly good!  For our entrees CSP chose the seafood pasta DSC_0209 and I went with the Beef Wellington. DSC_0210 I’d always seen it on Hell’s Kitchen so I thought I’d try it.  Really tasty!  Dessert was a trio of celebration cake, chocolate decadence & cappuccino mousse tartlet for me DSC_0211 and one last Mickey Bar for CSP.   He also took my mousse tartlet.
During dinner they took our drawings and animated them on the screens by the table and set them to music. DSC_0216 It was too cute!  DSC_0217 Our little guys were dancing across the screen!  DSC_0214 After dinner we hugged our servers (mad I didn’t get a picture of them) and went back to our room.  We packed up all our stuff and got ready for bed. DSC_0222 Debarkation comes early so we needed to get some sleep!

Disney Magic Western Caribbean Day 6- At Sea

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We woke up early today (at 7) because on sea days it’s much harder to snag a good chair by the pool.  I’m super fair so I need one in the shade.   We went up to breakfast at Cabana’s then scored 2 good chairs at Quiet Cove.  We read and I may have dozed off for a little while.  It was really cool and windy.  The ship was rocking and so was the pool!  It was cool enough out that they passed out blankets again to those of us silly enough to be up on deck.

At lunch time we dressed for lunch and went to Lumiere’s.  Appetizers:  I got the Tangerine Soup (like a smoothie) and shrimp cocktail.  IMG_6403 CSP got the salmon and a mixed green salad.

IMG_6402.  For our entrees I ordered the Cobb Salad and CSP got the burger.

IMG_6407  The server gave CSP a ketchup Mickey. IMG_6408 For dessert CSP had the apple strudel IMG_6410 and I had an almond tartlet. IMG_6409 After lunch it was nap time back in our room!

We woke up and got back into swim suits and went back to Quiet Cove.  We read some more, did the hot tub, and we were going to swim but the wind was really kicking so I backed out.  CSP was up for it though! IMG_6411  Poor guy was out there all alone!  But it was freezing!  I was fine in the hot tub but as soon as my dripping wet self hit that cold wind I was done with the water sports for the day! 

 But CSP was loving it!  So I wrapped up in towels and blankets and read while he went back and forth from the pool to the hot tub.  We stayed out there until almost 7pm!  Then it was time for showers and getting dressed for dinner.

Dinner tonight was at Lumiere’s. DSC_0177 DSC_0176 For his appetizer CSP chose the oysters Rockefeller DSC_0179 and I chose the shrimp.DSC_0180  We both had the Wild Mushroom Soup.  Tonight was Lobster night so CSP was all kinds of excited to get his lobster tail. DSC_0181 I ordered the pork tenderloin with polenta and mushrooms. DSC_0182 CSP got another Mickey bar for dessert DSC_0184and I went with the Trio of creme brulee, apple pie, and cheesecake.DSC_0183

Back to our room and we were locked out again! This time we were let in to our room within 10 minutes and by the time we woke up the next day our lock was fixed again.  We got to bed early tonight because tomorrow is Castaway Cay!  There’s lots to do so we have to be up early!  But before we go…a tour of our room: Stateroom 7556. DSC_0186 Note we have a red Cruising with Mickey bag as our temporary Fish Extender.  That’s all thanks to the McC’s!  DSC_0185  We started with zero door magnets and ended up with a TON because of our fabulous FE friends!  DSC_0188  DSC_0192 DSC_0193  There’s tons of storage!  We didn’t even use all the drawers and shelves! DSC_0191 DSC_0190 Pay no attention to all of our bags and CSP’s stuff.  I told you he didn’t unpack!  Drove me crazy!  But note the full size sofa (which converts to a bed) and above it is a bunk bed. DSC_0194  Across from the sofa and coffee table is the fabulous vanity and stool.  DSC_0189  The TV is on a swivel so you can view it from anywhere in the room.  There’s a safe in every room.  It’s big enough to hold my big camera and our wallets and CSP’s headphones.  The bathroom is split.  This one has a sink, a bunch of shelves, and the toilet. DSC_0196 This one has a sink and the tub/shower.  DSC_0195 We had a stateroom with verandah. DSC_0197DSC_0198 DSC_0175 I love all the hidden Mickeys!

Ok, Good night!  Castaway Cay awaits!  DSC_0187

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