My sixth cruise is officially booked and the countdown has already begun! It's been almost a year since my last cruise, so I decided to take a look at Royal Caribbean's website to see if I could find any upcoming cruises that I might want to book. Originally, I was thinking I'd do a cruise later in the year, but I quickly realized that cruising in the summer is a lot more expensive because so many families take their family vacation when the kids are out of school.
It ended up making more sense to book a cruise for the end of April, which is when I've sailed on 3 out of 5 cruises so far. Thanks to a very helpful customer service rep at Royal Caribbean, Chris, I was able to find a great deal on a 6-night Western Caribbean cruise. I'll be sailing on Freedom of the Seas, which is a sister ship of the first ship I ever cruised on, Liberty of the Seas. If you'd like to go check out my trip report from that cruise, you can start here. Or, if you'd like to see all cruise related posts, you can click the Cruise category on the right side of this page.
Also, I made a YouTube video from my first cruise, so you can check that out here:
Quick side note: I do plan on writing an updated tips & tricks blog post now that I've been on a few more cruises. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if there's anything specific you'd like me to cover.
And now, let's get into the details for this next cruise! Like I said, it's a 6-night cruise and it's going to the Western Caribbean. I have been in this area before, but we're actually going to 2 ports I've never visited, so I'm really excited to see some new places!
Here's a map of where we'll be going:
This is my itinerary:
I originally debated flying in the day of the cruise and saving myself the cost of a hotel room the night before, but I've heard too many horror stories of people missing their cruises because of flight delays, so I decided to be safe and come in the night before.
The 2 ports I've never been to are Grand Cayman and Costa Maya. I've been wanting to go to Grand Cayman for a long time, so I'm extra excited about that stop. At first I was determined to go on the stingray excursion where you are in waist-high water and the stingrays are swimming all around you. But, now I'm thinking I'd rather do an excursion where I can go see turtles. I've only seen one turtle in all my cruises and it wasn't even up close, so I think that's what I'll plan on doing. Who knows, maybe I'll find an excursion where I can see both turtles and stingrays!
So far, I haven't made up my mind on excursions for Costa Maya, but I'm almost positive that I'll stay on the ship when we're in Cozumel. I was just there last April and don't see any excursion options online that look too exciting. Most likely I'll be ready for a quiet day after 2 busy port days, so I might just take advantage of a nearly empty ship and relax by the pool.
In terms of rooms, I am currently booked in a balcony room. I made the mistake of cruising with a balcony for my very first cruise and I just don't think I'd ever want to go on a cruise without one. Like I've said in previous posts, one of my favorite things is waking up in the morning and having room service breakfast on the balcony.
As usual, I'll keep an eye on the prices and see if the Junior Suite price drops significantly. Generally, there are quite a few cancellations once the final payment date comes around, so depending on what opens up there might be a good deal on an even nicer room. For the meanwhile I'll stick to the balcony room I've got booked, so here's a quick YouTube tour of a similar room to the one I'll have on this cruise:
I think those are all the main details of this next cruise. There are just over 14 weeks left as of today, so I'm already counting down the days and looking forward to the trip.
Like I said earlier, I'll be doing a tips & tricks blog post sometime soon, so leave a comment if there are any questions you'd like me to answer. I'm definitely not an expert, but I have learned a thing or two over the past 4 years, so hopefully I can be helpful!
Stay tuned for the trip report once I get back!!
It's hard to believe how quickly this year is going! It hardly seems possible that it's already October and winter is around the corner. In order to prepare myself for the cold temperatures that are quickly approaching, I ordered a couple of items online.
I heard about the first item on a YouTube video from Zoella and immediately went to the website for Marks & Spencer (a company in the UK) to see if I could get shipping to the US for a reasonable price. They actually offer free shipping on orders over £35, so I went ahead and placed my order.
Here's what I got:
This is the Luxury Hooded Shimmer Dressing Gown. Zoella put this on during her YouTube video for her September favorites and I knew I had to have it. I especially loved the hood. It doesn't hurt that she said it's the softest thing she's ever felt!
The other item I bought is a pair of the Cable Knit Toggle Slipper Boots. These were too cute to pass up and I figured as a bonus they will look cute with the dressing gown.
Here is the YouTube video on Zoella's channel in case you want to see what else she was loving last month:
Now I feel like I'm prepared for the weather to get colder, but am hoping fall will last as long as possible because it's my favorite time of year!
Hopefully I'll be writing another Something For Yourself post sometime soon, so please stay tuned for more!
I got my first Erin Condren planner at the end of April and wrote about it in this blog post. I have been using my planner every day since then and decided to show you what this week's spread looked like now that it's done. I'm also going to show you some storage ideas and talk about the Etsy shops I use for my stickers.
First, let's look at the pages for this week:
And next, here are my storage ideas for your planner supplies:
At first I was just writing in my planner but soon decided that I wanted to make things more colorful by using stickers. My inspiration was one of the "Plan With Me" videos that Elle Fowler does on YouTube. You should check out her videos for ideas and for coupon codes to the Etsy stores I'll mention below.
Here are the Etsy stores I have purchased stickers from so far:
All of the stickers I've gotten from these shops have been a really good quality. Just be aware that most of these stores have a 1-2 week shipment window (and sometimes as much as 3 weeks), so don't get frustrated if your stickers don't come as quickly as you might hope.
I've also learned to make my own stickers that are full boxes, like the two you can see on Wednesday. I'll write up the instructions and post them in my next planner update post. It's really easy and very affordable! I'll also talk about stamping in my next post.
I hope you enjoyed getting a look at this week's pages and seeing my storage ideas. If there is anything else planner related that you would like to see, please let me know in the comments below!
Last week I talked about creating a relaxing morning ritual for yourself to get your day started off on a nice note. Today I will talk about ending your day with a "me" night that will let you relax before bedtime. Here are some ideas for your "me" night:
Here are some YouTube videos that have other ideas on how to have your "me" night:
These are just some of the ideas you can add into your night routine for a "me" night. You can mix and match whichever ones you like and keep switching up your choices until you've created a routine that works for you. Let me know in the comments if there is anything else you like to do on your "me" nights.
This week I'm going to talk about starting your day off right by establishing a morning routine for yourself. Each person is different, so there's not one perfect morning that will work for everyone.
What I would suggest doing is writing down two or three things you can do each morning so that you can start your day on the right foot and set the tone for the rest of the day.
Here are some ideas on things you can do:
And here are a few YouTube videos that have some other ideas for you:
Hopefully after a week or two of following your routine you will feel like mornings are a time to get centered for the day instead of feeling like you're starting off the day by being frazzled. Let me know in the comments below which of the ideas you have incorporated into your morning routine.
Today I uploaded my first ever video onto YouTube! I have been meaning to do something with the clips I've taken during my vacations. So I finally figured out how to use iMovie on my Mac in order to piece them all together into one video.
Here's the link to see the video from my Western Caribbean cruise this past spring. Please take a minute (or to be exact, 4 minutes) to watch it and leave a comment or give it a thumbs up!
I just watched a fun video on YouTube called the "I ❤️ Tea Tag". I decided to do a blog version of the tag because of how much I love tea! So let's get started…
1. What is your all-time favorite tea?
I recently tried Tazo's Chai tea in Chocolate and fell in love!
2. What is the worst tea you've ever tried?
I bought the Roasted Dandelion Root tea from Traditional Medicinals in order to do a detox drink and it tasted awful!
3. What is your favorite tea cup/mug? Show us!
I got this London mug at Target at around this time last year and use it every time I drink tea.
4. Are you drinking tea now? If so, what kind?
Yes, I'm drinking the Hot Cinnamon Spice tea from Harney & Sons.
5. What was your most recent tea purchase?
I was at Sprouts the other day and the new Celestial Seasonings flavor of Caramel Apple Dream caught my eye, so I knew I needed to try it! I also grabbed Candy Cane Lane because it felt like a good time of year to check it out.
6. Do you prefer loose-leaf or tea bags?
Most of the tea I own is in tea bags, but I don't mind loose-leaf tea.
7. Do you prefer caffeinated or decaf?
I don't really have a preference, I usually go by the flavor. Although, I do try to stay away from caffeine in the evening.
8. Do you normally add anything to your tea?
I used to always need honey in my tea, but now I drink it plain.
9. Where is your favorite place to order a tea and what do you get?
If I am at Starbucks in the evening I will usually order a peppermint tea.
10. Show us 3 teas we should try!!!
I would definitely recommend the seasonal teas by Celestial Seasonings, including Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, Caramel Apple Dream, and Sweet Harvest Pumpkin.
And that's the end of the I ❤️ Tea Tag!
Up next will be a tour of my closet, which I promised a while ago and never got a chance to post.
Almost exactly one year ago I wrote this blog post to show how I organized my makeup. Since then, my makeup collection has changed and grown, so I decide to write a new post about my current makeup collection and organization. I personally love watching these kind of videos on YouTube and wanted to share my own version on this blog. Just like those YouTube videos, I should probably write a disclaimer that I am not trying to brag about how much makeup I have. I simply love makeup and organizing, so this is my way of bringing those two things together. So let's get started!
Here is a look at all of the makeup I had stored in my first Muji 5-Drawer Acrylic Case.
And this is a look at all of the makeup I had crammed in my makeup bag that I use whenever I put on makeup.
And lastly, here is some of the newer makeup that I have recently purchased, which pushed me to buy another Muji case so that I could store everything all together.
And here it is, all put together in one big pile, along with both Muji cases. It wasn't until I had it all laid out that I realized just how much I had!
In order to organize everything, my first step was to pull out everything that I use on a daily basis and put that into my makeup bag so that I can grab it whenever I'm ready to put on makeup.
Next, I started filling up drawers by category. So my large eyeshadow palettes went together, my lip products went together, and so on.
And this is the final product. It looks much better, doesn't it?
Next I will show you a picture of each drawer so you can see how they turned out. I won't go over every product in the drawers, but the pictures are clear enough that you can see pretty much everything in them.
So those are all of the drawers, one by one. Here is a picture of how I have them set up in my bathroom along with my makeup mirror, brushes, and other beauty items.
While I'm on the topic of beauty and makeup, I figured it only made sense to include a picture of my nail polish collection as well, which are stored on the bottom shelf of my linen closet outside of my bathroom.
You'll see that I have a jar of mini polishes on the left along with various methods of polish remover. In the center is a really handy organizer that I found at Target a few years ago. It works perfectly for keeping all of my polishes lined up and organized. On the right-hand side you can see a glimpse of Bath & Body Works lotions and shower gels along with a few other brands.
And that's the end! I hope you enjoyed this tour through my makeup collection and hopefully you either spotted some products you'd like to add to your own collection or possibly you got an idea or two on how to store your makeup.
My next post will be a tour of my closet for more organizational ideas!
Today was the first day of Sephora's VIB 20% off sale, so I headed to the mall during my lunch break and did some major damage. I'll show pictures below of everything I bought along with descriptions and links in case you would like to buy any of it yourself.
My first stop at the mall was Sephora. Here's a list of everything I purchased:
When Sephora sent their holiday catalog in the mail it included some perfume testers. I really liked how the Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana smelled, so I knew I wanted to get a rollerball of it. I was really surprised when I opened the box and realized that it wasn't actually a rollerball at all. Instead, it's got a spray at the top, which is even better! Here's a link to the perfume on the Sephora website.
Having never tried any Buxom lip gloss, I wasn't sure if it made sense to invest in 15 mini glosses. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and tried one out. I really like the texture and feel of the glosses and am happy with the variety of colors that came in the gift set. Here's a link to the set.
The GinZing line by Origins has intrigued me for a long time now, but the steep price has prevented me from trying the full-size products. So when I saw this gift set of minis I knew I had to try it out. I haven't had a chance to try them yet, but I'll try to remember to give my first impression later. This set isn't on the Sephora website, so here are the links to the Refreshing Scrub Cleanser, Energy Boosting Moisturizer, and the Refreshing Eye Cream.
I am a huge fan of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light and have had my eye on the palette for awhile. Unfortunately it's been sold out every time I've looked for it, so I was really excited when they had it in the store today and even more excited to get it for 20% off! Here's a link to find the palette on the website.
A lot of YouTube beauty bloggers I watch have talked about the French perfume and candle company called Diptyque lately. I couldn't find them on Sephora's website, so I checked them out on Amazon and was shocked to see that a candle from the company is $60! I personally don't even buy the Bath & Body Works candles for their full price of $22.50 and always wait for them to go on sale, so I knew that Diptyque wasn't an option. However, the Nest brand also came up on Amazon and I knew I had seen it before at Sephora, so I checked it out and really liked the scent called Midnight Fleur. I didn't want to invest in a $60 bottle of perfume, so I opted for the rollerball version so I can take it with me on trips or throw it in my purse for on the go. Here's a link to get the rollerball version from Sephora.
This is probably the third Brow Wiz I have bought from Anastasa Beverly Hills. I also bought the #7 brush so that I have a spooley brush on hand all the time. The one that comes on the Brow Wiz always seems to break off in my makeup bag, so I have learned my lesson and bought one that will last. Here are links to both the Brow Wiz and the brush.
First Aid Beauty is a brand I have never tried, so I was excited when I saw a travel-size version of the Facial Radiance Pads near the checkout line. It says that they Exfoliate, Tone & Brighten so I'm curious to see if I notice any difference in my skin after using them for a few weeks. Here's a link to the travel-size version on the Sephora site.
Tory Burch is one of my favorite brands, although the only item I own is a pair of sunglasses so far. I thought I'd add to my collection by cashing in 250 Sephora points and getting this baby-size of her perfume for free.
And that's everything I got at Sephora! Mini rant…is it just me or do they always give you the smallest bag possible for your purchases? I swear I've spent a ton of money on other trips and wondered how so much money could fit in one little bag! This time they had to give me a big bag because of how huge the Buxom lip gloss set was, so I finally felt like my bag actually represented how much I spent. Am I the only one who feels like that?
My next stop at the mall was Lush. I've been seeing all kinds of Lush hauls on YouTube and decided I would finally give their bath bombs a try. I haven't had a chance to actually use any of them yet, so I don't have any first impressions other than how good they smelled in the store! Here's a list of everything I bought at Lush:
The Butterball bath bomb was one that I really wanted to try. It's much smaller than the other ones, but it smells really good and will hopefully be a nice addition to a relaxing bath. Here's a link to see the Butterball on the Lush website.
I think Twilight might be the first bath bomb I try. It includes lavender which will make it a great option for a bath right before bedtime. Here's a link to this bath bomb.
The Lord of Misrule bath bomb wasn't even on my list, but I smelled it in the store and knew I had to try it! Here's a link to this product on the Lush site.
The Lush website says Golden Wonder is a "luxurious champagne soak", so I'm excited to try it out and see if it's as luxurious as they say. Here's a link to this festive bath bomb on the Lush website.
Northern Lights is supposed to be like a firework show in your bathtub! Here's a link so you can check it out yourself.
Isn't the Melting Snowman bath melt so cute?! He lost his nose somewhere, but I still think he's adorable. Here's a link to the Lush site where you can buy your very own Melting Snowman.
The Wizard bubble bar smelled great and was also too cute to pass up! Here's a link so you can read all about him.
Candy Mountain smells just as sweet as you would expect. Here's a link so you can check it out online.
During my trip I also re-purchased another small container of Ocean Salt. I just ran out and didn't have another facial scrub on hand, but I knew that I liked this one and decided to buy it again. I also heard good things about the Shine So Bright Split End Treatment. One of the YouTube videos I watched talked about how you can use this to tame all the little frizzies along the part in your hair in addition to using it for its intended purpose of soothing split ends. Here are links to Ocean Salt and Shine So Bright.
That's the end of my huge haul from Sephora and Lush! I hope you enjoyed reading about the products I picked up. Please let me know what your favorites are or if there are other items I didn't get that I should grab during my next trip!
As soon as I finished my first cruise this past spring, I knew going on cruises was going to be my vacation of choice. Not only is it an affordable way to visit new places, but the level of care you are given on a cruise ship is hard to match anywhere else. Everywhere you look there is someone to take care of your every need. From a room steward who makes fun towel animals for you each night to a waiter who remembers your name and your drink of choice every evening, you are well taken care of.
I booked my second cruise less than a week after getting off my first cruise. I'll be leaving in less than two weeks and can't wait to share my pictures and experiences with you on this blog when I get back!
I just got an email today that had an article called, "How to Cure Post-Cruise Depression". I didn't even have to read the article because I have already figured out my own personal cure, which is to have another cruise booked before I get back from my next one!
Originally I booked a 5-night cruise for February 2015 on the Liberty of the Seas, which is the first ship I sailed on. But then I kept reading reviews on Cruise Critic that got me thinking about how I might want to check out a bigger class of ship, specifically either Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas or the Oasis of the Seas.
Today I took the plunge and changed my reservation on the 5-night cruise to a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Oasis of the Seas (pictured above). Ever since changing my reservation I have been looking at Google images of the ship and there were so many amazing pictures that I knew I had to share them. I also found a great YouTube video that you can check out if you are interested.
So here are some of the incredible pictures I found of Oasis of the Seas:
Doesn't this ship look amazing? I am so excited that I will have 7 days to explore all she has to offer! I would like to say that this will be my room...
…but seeing as how the Sky Loft Suite with Balcony runs $13k for this cruise, I'll have to settle for an interior instead! I could honestly be sleeping in a broom closet for all I care, I'm just excited to be on this amazing ship!
I am sure that a ship this size can be overwhelming and I probably won't be able to see every single thing there is to see. If you've been on Oasis or Allure and you have some must-see or must-do ideas, please let me know!
My name is Beth and I live in Denver. I am a single lady in my 30's and wanted to start sharing my awesome and amazing life through a blog.