Why we choose Cruising…and you should, too!

Our vacation of choice is cruising.  We absolutely love it.

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In college, I took a cruise with girlfriends.  Four girls 20-21 in an inside stateroom.  It was cramped, but who spends time in their room anyways?  We partied and had a great time.  At that time, we were some of the youngest on our cruise ship and that was great!  We closed the bar each night and our final night some of us stayed up to watch the boat come into port.  The memories from that spring break have stuck with me for a long time.

In 2011 I *finally* convinced my hubby to go somewhere other than Maine.  We took our first cruise as a couple.  And for us, it really was a delayed honeymoon.  We’d been married nearly 3 years and hadn’t had that dream honeymoon so many take after getting married.  We’d been trying to get pregnant for nearly two years with no success and it was time for a break. So we went on a cruise.  Well then the hubs fell in love!  After military deployments, he hadn’t been keen on leaving the country, but what better way than to be on a moving hotel??

That cruise was also my first time in an oceanside balcony room as well as a much larger ship than 2002.  We had the *best* time!  We visited (almost) all new places for me and enjoyed every minute of our time together.  We came home re-energized and re-vitalized and excited to plan our next one.

Our next cruise didn’t happen until 2016.  But it was worth the wait!  With a nearly two year old, time just the two of us was far and few between, so this vacation was exactly the rejuvenation we needed!  We visited some old and new places.  We slept in, we napped, we laid on the adults only deck in the sun, we took evening walks.  Every minute was everything I could ask for and more.

And now, we’re sharing cruising with our son and our friends and their daughter.  In a few weeks we will go on my fourth, hubby’s third, and B’s first cruise.  I can’t wait!  I’m excited for our first *real* family vacation.  Albeit a little stressed about having an almost three year old on a big moving ship…and a plan…and an airport…and cities (remember, we live in the middle of nowhere).  It should be interesting!

So why cruising?  How could you not love having everything you need in walking distance? And when you open your door, the ocean view is right there.  And in the meantime, you’re docking in beautiful tropical islands! And if you don’t like the island, wait 8 hours, you’ll be on the ocean again, and in a day or two in another beautiful tropical port.  It’s been a great way for our family to experience new places while still feeling “safe” on a ship.  Not to mention, the food!  OMG!  The FOOD!!  Delicious and almost all of it is included.  And that that isn’t, you don’t *have* to eat at those places.  And now, most cruise lines have drink packages that either are included when you book certain trips or you can purchase.  So all your alcohol is included, too!

Most people we know love all inclusive resorts.  For us, laying on the beach all day really isn’t our cup of tea.  And we want to see more than one place.  We want to visit different islands and see new things.  Enter your moving hotel!  And most of the big ships nowadays have amazing entertainment, too!  One of our cruises had a Cirque du Soleil show on board!  I mean, how awesome is that?  A circus at sea!  And dinner while you watch!  I can’t say enough about how awesome cruising is.  I don’t know that any vacation can live up to it for us.

Add in the fact that there are so many ships to choose from!  You can choose if you want to be on a big city of a ship, have more entertainment, have a themed cruise, or have an awesome water park.  The possibilities are endless.  We choose mid-sized ships that are big enough to have plenty to do but small enough to not feel like you’ll never see the same person twice.  We choose destinations that usually include 1-2 new stops that we have not visited before.

So far we have been to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Nassau, and Tortola (and I have been to San Juan and Great Stirrup Cay).  We have gone snorkeling, on a glass bottom boat, to a rum factory, to beaches, and zip lining.  We have toured some of the most beautiful places in the world without having to put more thought in than to pick a cruise ship.

The price tag also isn’t bad at all!  Our average cruise for a standard ocean view balcony has run around $3000-3500.  Not bad when you plan a year in advance and make monthly payments on it either.  There are some other added expenses such as your flight, any car services, extra restaurants, and shore excursions, but some are avoidable (other than getting *to* the port obviously) and unnecessary.

If you haven’t checked out cruising, I highly recommend it.  If you want more information, feel free to contact me or post questions here!

Direct Sales Consultants: Why You Should Re-evaluate Your Company

So I’m laying it all out.  For five years I had worked for a direct sales company that I loved.  But recently I realized that my love for it wasn’t the product…it was the people.  And why was I still there?  Because somehow I was afraid leaving that company would mean that I would lose those people.  WAKE UP CALL: It doesn’t!  True friends will still be there.  If they were just there because you sold a product, they aren’t FRIENDS.

Instead, I recently decided to leave that company that I joined five years ago.  I still like the product and I still use it.  BUT, I don’t *love* it anymore.  And if you read ANYTHING about direct sales, you KNOW that in order to be successful you need to LOVE the product and have it with you all the time, using it all the time.

Besides that, what made me re-evaluate?  I was spending more money than I was making. Ding, ding, ding!  That’s a warning sign!!  I shouldn’t be spending more money than I’m making.  At the very least, my direct sales should help me feed the habit of the product I love.

The other reason?  My goals changed.  Take a serious look at your goals for 2017.  It’s still only February!  I told you about my 2017 Goals in a previous post.  A lot of that is about getting HEALTHY in 2017…once and for all.  One of the BIG issues with PCOS is that it is an endocrine disorder.  So much of what we handle, clean with, and eat is loaded with endocrine disrupters.  AUGH!!  You know when you go on a diet, you’re told if you’re going to eat something with a label, make sure you read it??  Do the same for all the cleaners, body washes, face washes, soaps, toothpastes, deodorant, etc.  Did you know that it only takes 27 seconds for your skin to absorb what it comes into contact with??  That doesn’t just count for germs!!  It counts when it comes to what you treat your skin with and what you wipe your counters down with.  EW!  Think about everything you touch every day.  Now think about the ingredients.  Do you KNOW what is in them??  If you don’t, I am telling you, go look!  Then go to The Environmental Working Group and see what that ingredient does to your body.  Scary, eh?

I digress…but anyways, it all comes back to one thing DO WHAT YOU LOVE, LOVE WHAT YOU DO!  If your direct sales company doesn’t align with what you love or your goals, it may be time to say goodbye and know that it was a great time learning and meeting people and the people that are meant to stay will!

If you’d like to know some of the direct sales companies I back as well as what company I sell for, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Book Review: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

In an effort to keep track of all the books I read and have some new ideas for blog posts, I’m going to start trying to write book reviews!  Especially now that I have the Book of the Month membership, I figure why not!!

In January, I selected two books and was more excited about the other one (to be reviewed soon!) but liked this book so much more!

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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney – This was a slightly early release (I received on Jan 6 and it was released for everyone else Jan 16).  I was kind of excited about this fact.  There’s something about reading a book before it is released.  A little special feeling. Haha!

The premise of the book is an 84-year-old woman who is reminiscing about her past while celebrating New Year’s.  Her son is living in another state while she is in New York City.  She walks everywhere even though mass transit is an option.  She literally takes a walk down memory lane throughout the book.  At 84 in 1984-85, she lived through some of the exciting times in US history.

As a woman, reading about Lillian Boxfish’s career during a time when women did not play a large part in the workforce was extremely interesting.  I mean, she left the workforce when she had a baby because that was the “standard” of the time.  Can you imagine?  Living in 2017, that’s almost 100% unheard of.  Who knew!

She’s an ad executive with a quirky and entertaining sense of humor and the author’s ability to make you fall in love with and want to know more and more and more about Lillian is absolutely amazing.  I couldn’t resist continuing to read this book and it only took me about a week!  I would have rather been reading than watching tv or playing on Facebook.  It’s been a long time since a book has done that for me.

In general the one thing that I really didn’t like about the book is that it didn’t follow your normal “introduction, climax, resolution, lesson” type format.  I almost felt like when I finished the book I didn’t have any resolution or true ending.  I felt very unresolved!  I wasn’t sure what to think or feel.  It just ended.  I guess with Lillian getting home and having survived a night of walking in NYC and reminiscing her entire life?  Is it bad if I almost feel like her dying in her sleep when she got home would have felt like there was a final resolution?  But all-in-all, it was entertaining and well worth the read!