July 24, 2014

7 Tips for a Successful Cruise Ship Experience

So as I have recently been bragging here and here, I went on an Alaskan Cruise. This was my second cruise. my first one was my honeymoon. The first time was just Kevin and I, and the second time was a group. Now that I have some cruise experience. (Although side note, there are people who have seriously cruised a whole year plus of their life! That is crazy!) I thought I would put my own two cents in for some of you first time cruisers.

Explore the ship--  Cruise ships are huge. If you take the time to tour it, you will be able to see all there is to offer and be able to plan your days better.

Walk the Deck--  Not the plank ;-) Cruise ships have a ton of food, so you pretty much do need to get some sort of workout in each day. There is a gym and I took some of the classes, but I skipped the machines. Go out and walk the deck that goes the whole way around the cruise ship. (usually a mid deck 6-8) Because really how often do you get to walk a mile or two in the middle of the ocean. It is beautiful!

Take the Stairs--  See previous. Don't get huge. 

Save Money--  Personally I have done the cover charge to get into the "Specialty Restaurants." Not worth it in my humble opinion. Cruises can be an amazing bang for your buck in going on a vacation. Keep it that way! I promise you will still have so much fun! (Oh and if you don't get lured into the soda and alcohol packages, you can save money and calories that way too!)
Can you tell I really like my wine?!

You may not Need a Balcony--  See the above on saving money. I was very glad that I saved the money for no balcony on my first cruise with no scenic cruising. Sitting out on top decks suited me just fine! Who wants to be in their room the whole time anyway?! But for the Alaska cruise with scenic cruising days, a balcony was a necessity in my opinion. So bottom line, if there is scenic cruising, get a balcony, if not, save your money!

Give them your Luggage--  They will take good care of it. 75% of the time, your luggage is waiting for you outside of your room when you get there. Just keep the essentials on your person and leave the rest to them.
In many cases your luggage will await you on board your cruise ship!

Save on Excursions--  They can be far cheaper if you seek them yourself and really cheaper if you get them from the dealers themselves. A lot of the companies contract with the cruise liners anyway so you know they will get you back when you need to be or you can plan for some extra time. Heck you can even buy them as cheap as they come when you get off the boat that day. Be adventurous and flexible and you never know what fun there could be had!

Enjoy yourself! Cruises are fun!

July 23, 2014

Sonoran Hot Dogs

Since moving to Arizona I have been exposed to a whole new type of Mexican cuisine. Here Sonoran inspired pretty much has an icon. The Sonoran Hot Dog. Food Wars and Man vs Food have both done episode here in Tucson on the two OGs of the dog.

It isn't really Mexican food to me. #MyStomachIsInNM but it is good all the same.

Here is how to make one yourself and enjoy a nice, dressed up dog this summer!

Take your hot dogs and wrap them in a piece of bacon. Then fry or grill them until they are nice and crisp!

Warm up a nice bun with that as well...
You can use a regular hot dog bun. Traditionally they use a bun called a bolillo.

Put some beans into the bottom of the bun. I used Pork Beans for a nice twist, but that veers from traditional (pinto beans).

Then add the fixings. Traditionally this is how you do your Sonoran Dog:

Traditionally the fixings go on like this:

Jalapeno sauce is literally just pureed jalapeno. To make your mayo drizzle you can add a little milk. I however just like to make it look ugly so I won't be showing you a picture of mine today.

I put my mayo slathered on the bottom of the bun.
Then add the beans.
Then the dog covered in bacon (I wonder what it would be like stuffed with cheese...yum!)
Then diced tomatoes.
Then diced avocados or just slather on some guacamole.

I generally skip the onions, jalapeno sauce, and mustard at home.
I like to put a little cilantro in there, but Kevin prefers it without.

Do you still want that hot dog with just some ketchup on it?
Didn't think so!

July 21, 2014

How to Make Your Internet Pretty

The other day I had to reformat my phone. I was in the process of trying to figure out how to configure all my settings back to connect with all of my Google Chrome tabs from my computer and my Nexus and I stumbled upon a startling discovery....

There are THEMES for your Chrome page!

As I looked, I realized there was a Lilly theme so naturally I chose that.
You can choose anything you want and here is how:

First you have to have Google Chrome. If you don't...well download it because I am afraid to ask what you are using..
Internet Explorer? Are you stuck in 2006?
Firefox? Are you stuck in 2008?
Opera? Are you stuck in 2009?
Safari? Why stay stuck in Apple?!?
You Apple people can even get themes for it to LOOK like an Apple. 

Every theme you could possibly want and more is on there!
I excitedly showed Kevin who thought I knew how to do this already.

No tech savvy husband, I did not. Thanks for letting me live un-colorfully for SO long!

Anyway the steps to getting your theme after you have Google Chrome...
1) Go to the three little bars in the very top right of the browser.
2) Click Settings
3) Click Get Themes and pick your favorite!!!

That easy folks.
What theme are you going with?

July 18, 2014

Packing Tips

So I have the opposite problem most women do...I am a chronic under-packer (I think I just came up with a new word!). Ladies you cannot deny that my problem is so much worse! Getting on my vacation and needing something to wear and having nothing is not good! And crazy enough, I even under pack on road trips where I have all the room in the world to bring anything and everything I want!!
Packing tips: they're in Spanish but hey, google translate was invented for a reason ;)
This trip I decided I was not going to under pack. I was not going to over pack. (checking bags is expensive yo!) I was going to pack just right! I think I succeeded and thought I would share what I did that helped me out. I think these tips will help under and over packers alike!

1. Make a list. I know this sounds obvious, but I always made my list in my head and putting it on paper helped me from forgetting any necessities.

2. Mix and Match. This one can save you over packers too! Pack outfits that can be mixed and matched with other things. Especially with your jeans and shoes. Pack your classic ones that go with everything because they are heavy. They way this helped me as an under packer pertains to the next tip.

3. Plan your outfits. I think a lot of the reason I would under pack would be I couldn't decide what to wear or may have not known exactly what I would be doing so therefore what would be appropriate attire. Put all our outfits on, lay them out, whatever you need to do to ensure you have everything you need. 
Closet Illustrated
4. On that note though, look at the weather. Trust me, you won't need those cute boots in 80 degree whether. This will also help you determine some appropriate outfits even if you may not know what will be happening everyday on your itinerary. 

5. Use up your beauty samples! All those tester perfumes, creams, etc...use those! It is a great way to pack because it leaves me more room and I have always been super scared to break my whole full-sized bottle of Juicy Couture. 

6. Don't bring a lap top. Unless you absolutely have to. It takes up a lot of space. Most of us have smartphones and tablets and those should suffice. 

7. Proper Placement. Stuff your undies into your bra cups. Some of you have more room than others ;-) but it worked for me! I also stuff my socks into my shoes. That is where they will be one day anyway! I also use the fold method with what clothes I can and put them in airtight ziplock bags.

8. Be conservative with shoes. This is probably the hardest one to abide by, but shoes take up a lot of space and weigh you down.

9. Remember what you are wearing. My mistake would also be fitting everything I need into a suitcase and wearing my biggest shoes or thickest clothing or combo of the both to go. But remember if that is not what you plan to wear back, there has to be space for it! (Did that make sense? It made a lot more sense in my head and while I was packing...)

wasting a good outfit...
10. Used Dryer Sheets. I know this doesn't help you pack the right amount of things, but putting them in your suitcase can ensure your clothes stay smelling fresh but don't leave a residue.

What are some of your tried and true packing tips?

July 17, 2014

I'm not in to you

Going to the gym after work...or before work really.
I'm sorry but after I've been working for 8+ hours, I am NOT going to the gym. Just count me out. Too many people. I would much prefer to work out before work but then I end up over sleeping. Which means I rarely work out. You are more apt to convince me to go on a run after I have rested a little bit at home after work and run around the block.

Blow drying my hair.
My arms get tired, my hair gets caught in the brush, my hair is thick and it takes forever. So I just skip it. 
I take a shower at night...every day. 

Gift Wrapping.
Mine is atrocious. Bags are my friend. And if something needs to be wrapped at least that is one of my husband's strengths and he does it.

The Beatles, Songwriters turned Singers, My Fair Lady, and Jurassic Park.
Sorry. I think that The Beatles were way over-rated. Here Comes the Sun is their only good song. They turned the simplest of melodies into gold because they were easy to sing along to it. So easy a caveman could do it. I prefer listening to intricacies and harmonies.
Songwriters turned singers have proven one thing to me. They are good at writing...not singing. PLEASE stay that way. 
My Fair Lady and Jurassic Park are two of my husband's fave movies that I just cannot get into!

Target and Apple Products.

I know, I know #antiblogger. Whatev.

Random Bonus:

Churches that don't Sing Christmas Music at Christmas Mass.
The new church I was going to didn't sing any of the songs this last Christmas...Guess it may be time to look for a new one. I am very particular about this as you can tell... #christmasinjuly

What are some things that you don't like that it seems everyone else does?

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