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Vacationing or Living is Affordable at Carefree RV Resorts

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Disclosure  ~ This article is sponsored by Carefree RV Resorts.  All opinions expressed are that of Living Smart Girl’s.

Sometimes I sit and think, I can’t believe I never really had a vacation up until I was in my 30’s.  Yes, growing up we went camping, went to visit relatives, and had a few day outings, but my parents just never had the money to travel which meant us kids didn’t see much outside of Finland, MN.   We went to Wisconsin a couple times with our Grandma, and took a trip up into Canada and around Lake Superior, coming down thru Michigan, when I was about 12, but I don’t remember much of that.  I then went to North Dakota a couple times with my boyfriend when I was 16, but it was dead of winter so there was no sights to see.   Until I met my husband and our son was almost grown the word vacation just never came up much.   I think if I had taken a trip to Florida in my 20’s, I would never have come back.  That means I never would have met my husband or be doing what I am doing now, so that might be a good thing.  LOL!    I went to Florida the first time in 2007, after the loss of my Mom.   I fell in love!   I finally got hubby to go down 2 years ago, and he fell in love.  All we talk about now is Florida, and retirement.

I was so excited to learn about Carefree RV Resorts.   Hubby and I are going to check out staying at one of them for our next Florida vacation.   Hubby can retire in 6 years, and our goal is to live in Florida part time and Carefree RV Resorts would be a great place to call home for us.  Offering Affordable Florida Vacation Homes with 34 locations in Florida, makes it easy to find one that will fit our lifestyle.  I am not at retirement age, but we have talked about buying a home in one of the any age communities so we have a place to get away to before retirement.  Park Models for Sale are reasonable, and there are many to choose from.   I have my eye on a couple already!!

Carefree RV Resorts is a family of 101 RV parks and Manufactured Home Communities across the United States and Canada.
Carefree offers a wide selection of new and used Park Model homes for sale in their RV Resorts, and mobile homes in their Mobile Home Communities.
   With 34 RV Resorts in Florida, Carefree RV Resorts have something to suit any budget or need. They have homes ranging from under 20K for pre-owned to 50K for brand new, fully customized homes. There is an additional lot rent paid either seasonally or annually.

The park models for sale are all so cute, and would be perfect for anyone looking to vacation or live part time or even year round.  I know the older we get, the more time we would spend in Florida.  Even though we think 6 years is a long way off, we need to start planning now.  A Park Model is a smaller, single-wide home that is considered a recreational vehicle. Park Models are designed for placement in RV resorts, campgrounds, or locations where smaller trailers are an acceptable living environment.   A typical Park Model is a single structure and is shorter and narrower than a Manufactured Home. They typically have one bedroom, one bath, an eat-in kitchen and living room. Park Models are typically eight to thirteen feet wide and have one or two bedrooms. They are under 500 sq ft.  This is perfect for what we are looking for, how about you?  

Not into Florida?  Well no worries as Carefree RV Resorts has resorts in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Ontario Canada.  So, you have no excuses to not enjoy Carefree RV Resorts.  Check out some of these great pictures and tell me how you could pass up a life like this, the Carefree way! ;)    Such cute park model homes, all done up so nicely.

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Carefree is currently running a special called “Your Passport to Paradise – You stay we pay!”
With the help of a Carefree sales advisor, your visit will be planned at prime Florida destinations based on your interests and preferences. We’ll select properties that have everything you are looking for to preview during your personalized visit. Accommodations include up to 4 nights for 2 guests in a Carefree Resort Home.  Flexible dates. Subject to availability.  Arrive by car or RV and simply commit to a guided tour of the Carefree property of your choice.  Availability varies by property.  Plan your visit before April 30, 2015. Every home buyer will receive a $1,500 check within 15 days after close of their resort home.
For more information call Sheri at 855-999-9812
En français Nicole et 1-450-775-1760

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I can’t wait to start researching and finding the perfect home for us.   This has been a huge eye opener as to what is available for us, and for you.  So, maybe we can be friends if we all live by each other.  How fun!!   See you at the Carefree RV Resorts!

Busch Gardens is for Big Kids Too!

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Ever since I have been little I have loved going on rides at parks or fairs.   I used to love the spinning rides, now I am just a roller coaster freak!  I can’t do the spinning ones anymore, but will do any coaster, any day, at any time!  Just try me!!

I was so excited that hubby and I got the chance to check out Busch Garden’s on our last trip to Florida.  We haven’t been there yet, and I have heard so much about the place and the rides I have wanted to go for a while now.  Huge thanks to Busch Gardens for sponsoring this post and letting us have some fun, because big kids like roller coasters too!

We had actually been staying on Pine Island for our week of vacation, and left there on Saturday and headed to Tampa to spend the night and recharge before hitting Busch Garden’s on Sunday.   We relaxed that evening and got up early to make sure we got there when the gates opened so we could enjoy as much time as possible.  We needed to leave the park by 6 to get back on the road.  Wanted to get miles behind us before crashing somewhere on Sunday night.  See, we drove from Minnesota to Florida so we try to time things to fit around what we want to do for fun.   Well, even though Tony (hubby) isn’t huge on coaster, mostly because he is scared of heights and, well of bad things happening. (LOL), I am a coaster freak!  So, I was super excited when we were driving to the gate and I seen coasters all over the park.  Yeah!!  Gonna get my coaster fix!!   Upon entering the gate we were greeted by a parking ticket guy who pretty much made my morning.  Super friendly, a huge smile, and funny!  That is so important in my book, to have friendly and attentive staff, anywhere, not just at a park.  We parked the car and headed to the train that brings people in and out of the park.   Upon entering the park we got our passes for the Quick Que.  I was a bit taken back because on the site they start at $19.99 each, but when you get there they charge you a lot more.  We paid $45 a piece for them as the girl at the window said it was a high traffic day.  I don’t feel that is right, and is really my only major complaint about Busch Garden’s.   See, on weekends they charge more.  I get that traffic is higher on weekends, but keeping something one price all the time is right, in my opinion.  Anyhow.. we got our passes and headed into the park.

The park is beautiful, and big.  I didn’t realize how big till we started looking at the map and walking around.  I will say, be prepared to walk, lots!  Everything is very spread out.  Sadly, we didn’t even see half the park, but I will explain why later on.

First thing we did was head for a coaster.   We decided to check out Gwazi, which is a wooden roller coaster.  Hubby and I headed straight to the front of the line, and climbed on.   This coaster was amazing!!  We were both smiling from ear to ear, he loved it and we got off and did it again!!  Since we were there early there was about a 5 min wait.  We didn’t even have to use our Quick Que for this one.   It was so much fun!!

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After that ride we decided to walk a bit, look and see what else there was.  Well, all of a sudden we came upon SheiKra.  OH MY… This is a diving roller coaster and it looked so cool!!  But, being that it is a tad more outrageous than Gwazi, Tony just held my purse and sunglasses and I ran right to the front of the line and climbed into the only extra front seat available.  Yes, I have to say I was a bit freaked out, but OH MY… I didn’t expect what a rush this ride would give me.   This ride climbs 200 Ft and has a 90 degree drop and 70mph speed.  Being in the front was for sure the only way to experience this ride.  (in my opinion).  At least for the first time.   What an adrenaline rush, and a heart stopping ride.  WOW!!

After that ride I needed to walk a bit. I can honestly say I have never been on a ride that actually freaked me out .. but this did it and I loved it!  I wanted to do it again, but wanted to walk some more first.

We headed over to Walkabout Way, and I got to feed a baby kangaroo.  A few years back I actually got to hold a baby kangaroo at farm in South Dakota, but never got to feed one, so I took my chance.   They are so cute, and such unique animals.  What fun that was.  Check out all the kangaroo’s.

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After feeding the kangaroo’s we headed over to Lory Landing.  Now, if you know me personally you will know that I love birds!  All kinds of birds and there have been times I actually owned a couple but had to choose my husband, or my birds ;)   The 2 cannot live in the same house.. so because my husband brings me on awesome trips like this, I choose him ;)  LOL!   Seriously, I love birds and some day, will have a feathered friend.  For now, I will just visit them when I can.  Lory Landing is neat!  You can buy nectar for them to eat.  You get your cup, walk in the door and in less than a second you are covered in beautiful Lory’s  They eat the nectar and then they are off to the next person with a cup of juice for them.  I would have spent all day in there, but hubby didn’t agree with me.

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After having some fun with the Lory’s, we checked out some of the fun and beautiful Christmas displays.   They really go all out for Christmas.  I love these huge red trees!!  I want them in my yard at home for the holiday seasons.

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One of my friends had told me that her favorite ride is the Cheetah Hunt.  So, we headed that way to check it out.  Hubby was a bit hesitant as it looks pretty scary (to him) but he wanted to try it.  So, we took the gondola over to check out Cheetah Hunt.   Wow.. let me just say I can see why my friend loves this ride.  It is amazing, awesome, thrilling, fast, and a rush!!  Cheetah Hunt is the longest ride at the park, at 4400 ft long.  That makes it even better cuz when you are having fun you want it to last!  This ride was so awesome!!   Even though I loved SheiKra, I have to say this one was more awesome, mostly because I got to share it with my hubby and he loved it too!  We actually rode this 2 times back to back, and one time before leaving the park.

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Close by was another one that looked fun, so we headed that way.   Using our Quick Que we got onto Montu.  We watched it from the ground a bit, and both decided it looked cool.  Well, sad to say this ride is what cut our day short.  We both got so disoriented, upset tummy’s, instant headaches.  That is really strange for Tony because he is the one who can take twisting/turning rides.  But, regardless, we both just were not happy.  We decided to try and eat something and could hardly eat.   So, we walked around a bit more to try and shake that funky feeling that ride gave us.  We wanted to do more rides, but I knew if I tried to quick I would be in pain all day.  We were right by Cheetah Hunt and hubby really wanted to ride that one again, so we gave it a try.   Got to the front of the line with our Quick Que passes and climbed on.   The ride rocked, again but because I was already not feeling too good from Montu, I got even more shook up and just had to call it a day.   That made us both so sad, but yet we had fun for the time we were able to spend there.   Note to self, no more coasters that have twists and turns like Montu.

After we had done the Cheetah Hunt ride again,  hubby said.. we should give our Quick Que passes to 2 people… so.. this young guy and girl walked by and I said.. Hey.. you going on this ride ?  They stopped, looked at me kinda strange.. and said.. we were going to .. is if fun.  I said.. It Rocks!   Then I said.. did you get any Quick Que passes today?  The girl said.. no, we didn’t have money for those.   I said.. how would you like ours, we are leaving and there is front of the line for 5 more rides today.   The girl said.. “they are worth $40 each” and they guy was like.. Really ?   We said.. YUP.. Merry Christmas and enjoy.   Shook their hands and they kept saying thank you, thank you.  Boy..  that put a huge smile on our faces, on their faces and warmed our hearts to do a good deed.

The park is packed with so many awesome looking rides, and so next time I visit I will hit them all, except Montu.   If you haven’t been to Busch Garden’s I urge you to add it to your bucket list.  If you are a coaster lover, animal lover, like beautiful scenery, or whatever your pleasure, Busch Garden’s is one of those parks that has something for everyone.   Fun for families, girls weekends, honeymoons, romantic getaways, etc.

Hubby and I had fun ~  See ~ This is our Busch Garden’s Photo Booth fun.

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Check out our other post about Busch Gardens on our sister site That Traveling Chick, as well as lots of other travel posts, deals, and tips.

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

 

Technology helps keep you close to home even when you’re far away

Remember when you used to go on vacation to get away from it all? These days are over now that we have a battery of high-tech tools which keep us connected with our daily lives even when we’re miles away from home.

Here’s a quick guide to getting the best out of technology so you can keep in touch with the wider world, share good times with friends and family or get the skinny on the best local attractions.

Tablets and smartphones

With free wi-fi available almost everywhere, a tablet or smartphone could become your favourite travelling companion.

Sure, you can book your accommodation ahead, arrange airport pickups and check out currency exchange rates. But if you put the practical advantages to one side, your tablet or cell phone is also your one-stop entertainment system.

Download podcasts or movies, listen to music or catch up on the latest news. You can even play your favourite casino games on the move by using a mobile-friendly online casino like Mzanzi Casino. You can enjoy free play or real-money casino games like slots, blackjack or roulette while you hang out in the hotel lobby or endure the long journey home.

Facebook

Whether you’re on a two-week family break in the sunshine or a year-long adventure of self-discovery, your loved ones will be thrilled to hear about it all.

Who needs postcards when you can upload photos of your experiences as and when they happen, as well as reassuring everyone that you’re safe and well…?

 

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Twitter

There are 284 million Twitter users across the world. Dip into that massive social pool and you’ll be throwing away your guide book in favour of some real-world recommendations.

You’ll be able to find out about local festivals and events, get tips on where to find the best restaurants and get clued up on undiscovered hideaways that haven’t yet made it on to the tourist trail.

E-readers

Weighing down your luggage with a library of bestsellers is a thing of the past. With the rise of e-readers, we can stuff as many books as we like inside one light, compact appliance and take it with us just about anywhere.

E-readers have excellent battery life and come with screens that are viewable in direct sunlight or total darkness, making them an ideal companion on the beach or on an overnight flight.

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A word of warning

Don’t get caught out with a budget-busting data bill at the end of your vacation.

Check with your local carrier before you travel and find out about roaming charges. If you want to use your cell phone to make calls, consider buying a local SIM card when you arrive at your destination.

 

 

Take the Nature Valley No Barrier Pledge

Take the Nature Valley No Barrier Pledge
#MyAdventure #GetOUTThere

Have you ever been sitting there staring at the TV, computer, smart phone or just at nothing and all of a sudden it hits you!  Life is so short and you are just letting it pass by.   Well, it hits me all the time!  To much actually.   There is so much a person has to do and take care of on a daily basis that sometimes life just feels as though it is slipping away and there are so many places to go and things to see and do that I start to panic and feel I will never be able too.   See, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth so I have to work for those things.  I have to earn a living and plan ahead if I want to enjoy life’s adventures.  I know this is the case for many and also for many they will never get to see what all awaits us in this beautiful world.    Well, even though I wasn’t born rich, and have to plan my trips and save for them, at least when I do them I can actually see the beauty that awaits me.  How would you like to experience life but not be able to see it.  That is how Erik Weihenmayer is experiencing his journey down the Grand Canyon in a kayak for 21 days.  Now, that is what I call an amazing journey and one inspirational man!  277 miles in a kayak down raging rivers… Yikes!     Check out Erik telling you about it in his video ~

 

Follow Erik’s journey on the Nature Valley TUmblr page.

 

Who is Erik ?   Erik is the only blind adventurer to ever climb to the seven highest summits in the world.  This amazing man is now taking on the adventure of kayaking the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River along with his fellow blind adventurer Lonnie Bedwell.

This expedition serves to inspire people to not limit themselves, eliminate barriers in their lives and live life to its fullest.  Nature Valley is joining Erik Weihenmayer in inviting people to pledge to get out there and live a No Barriers Life.

The Expedition

  •      The “No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition” is a 21-day, 277 mile journey through some of the world’s most challenging whitewater terrain in the Colorado River.
  •      Erik Weihenmayer will be supported by an experienced paddling team, and joined by accomplished kayaker and Navy veteran Lonnie Bedwell.  Together, Erik and Lonnie will demonstrate the power of harnessing inner strength to overcome challenging barriers.
  •      Preparation for the Expedition has been extensive, with both Weihenmayer and Bedwell spending the last several years training and developing innovative systems for kayaking rapids with support from high-tech radios and verbal commands from river guides.
  •      The trip will begin on September 7 at Lees Ferry, nine miles south of the Arizona-Utah border. Erik and his team expect to complete the expedition on or around September 28 at Pearce Ferry, which marks the boundary between Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon.

Follow along on Nature Valley’s Tumblr:  http://naturevalley.tumblr.com/tagged/nobarriers  

If you are a Tumblr user, please repost and follow!

Weihenmayer Featured in Nature Valley Advertising

Weihenmayer is featured in a series of new television and digital advertisements “Feel Nature’s Energy” for Nature Valley, highlighting the unique ways in which Erik experiences nature. Links to videos above!

Want to go above and beyond? Take the No Barriers Pledge

  •      As a founding member of No Barriers USA, Weihenmayer advocates for the organization’s mission to empower people with the message, “what’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.”
  •      You can join Nature Valley and Weihenmayer in the goal of encouraging one million people to live a No Barriers Life by visiting http://www.nobarriersusa.org/take-the-pledge/ today.

About Nature Valley

  •      Nature Valley has a long history of commitment to nature, outdoor activities and the national parks.

  •      The brand finds inspiration from the beauty of nature and the way people connect with nature – whether that’s from a fearless adventure like those undertaken by Weihenmayer or an everyday hike.

  •      It’s Nature Valley’s belief that experiencing nature enables people to feel most alive and Weihenmayer is a great demonstration of our belief.

 

I might not be as adventurous or brave as Erik but I do like to do some milder stuff like some mountain/rock climbing.  We love to travel and have seen some amazing things and had a lot of fun in our journeys.   A few years ago we went to South Dakota and drove thru Needles Highway where we stopped and climbed up some big rocks to get a good view.  Here I am sitting there in the sun..  ;)

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Since today is my 43rd Birthday, maybe it’s time to plan another trip with some adventure in it to make sure I am living my life to it’s fullest and not letting things pass me by.     Tell me, where should I go and what should I do?  I need ideas and maybe a “dare” or two.

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl received compensation for cooperation with Nature Valley and Sverve on this campaign.  All opinions expressed are solely that of Living Smart Girl’s. 

Easy Ways to Exercise While You Travel

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Do you like to travel, or just have to travel for work or other reasons?  Sticking to your exercise routines while you are traveling is not always easy because you are not near your local gym, don’t have any of your favorite workout gear with you and are not familiar with established routes. All of this should not stop you from getting in the exercise that you crave, and still be able to see everything you want to in your new destination. There are several easy ways to add exercise while you travel, and most of them are fun or give you a new way to see a city, countryside or beach town.

 

No matter what type of travel you are doing, or where you end up, here are a few easy ways to add exercise into your travels.

 

As You Go Rentals

More and more destinations are investing in citywide, pay as you go rentals for everything from bikes to fitness centers. These options are perfect for travelers that want to be able to access great facilities and equipment, without having to make a big commitment. Look for private or public bike share programs and use a bike to get around instead of taking the bus. Find hotels or fitness centers that offer day passes, or pay as you go passes that you can use during the duration of your trip.

 

Add a Walking Tour

Instead of booking a trolley tour that will drive you up to every landmark in the city, find a walking tour that forces you to get active. These tours let you see the city in a new light and have more of an insider feel than any of the larger tours that will drive you past a lot of places you might be interested in.

 

Create a YouTube Playlist

There are several fitness instructors, workouts and exercise ideas on YouTube, so before your flight, take the time to create a playlist. Use this playlist when you don’t have the time to get in a full workout, want a quick morning routine or have a rainy afternoon to fill. Its also the best way to make sure that you are working out and toning all parts of your body equally while you are away.

 

Try New Forms of Cardio

To get your cardio in and create some vacation memories, try out a new form of cardio like the locals would. Anything from rock climbing to kayaking to paddleboarding are fun ways to get out and get in a nice workout. Think about the destination and find an activity that pairs well with the locale. Anywhere near water is a new way to discover a fun water sport. Country destinations can include activities like hiking, climbing, cross country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter and even horseback riding.

 

Getting in your workout while traveling is all about including more physical activity into what you already have planned or need to get done while at your destination. Turn that activity into fun things to do while out of town and your exercise is as easy as having fun.

Whether you travel for enjoyment, or for other reasons, make sure you check out our partner site (owned by us) at That Traveling Chick, because we offer low prices on all sorts of travel as well as lots of great reviews on places we have traveled and travel tips.

 

Our Travel Bucket List

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This is a sponsored giveaway with Mums the Word Network and RCI.com. All opinions are my own.  @RCI_Timeshare  #ad

Hubby and I so love to travel!  We could travel every week, but with life and jobs and the cost of travel that just isn’t something that will ever happen. So, we have sat down and made a list of places we want to for sure hit, before we can’t travel anymore.  We call it “Our Travel Bucket List”.  I know most people have a bucket list for other things they want to do that might include a bit of travel here or there, but ours is all travel.

Our travel bucket list includes places like – Hawaii, Las Vegas, Colorado, Yellowstone, Niagara Fall, Florida Keys, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Carlsbad Caverns, Coty Wyoming, Branson Missouri, California, Disney World and Disney Land, Alaska, Texas, Maine, New York, Route 66, … Oh the list goes on and on!   We want to do and see so many things and places and add a new thing to our list weekly.  Hubby is always looking at the map.  We spend a lot of time, and money when we travel so we soak it all up.  And, I blog all my travel which is great because it’s like having an online diary to look back and see what we have done.

There are things that we do to make sure we can take vacations that fit into our yearly budget.   Using timeshares is one of the ways we save money and make our trips fun and easy to take.   Using RCI is a great way to make sure to fulfill our travel bucket list.

One way to make sure you don’t lose sight of fulfilling all of your dream trips is to commit to yearly vacations through vacation ownership, or timeshare. Timeshare ensures that you will take a vacation every year.  And I firmly believe that every family, person, couple, etc., needs to take a vacation yearly. And if you purchase a vacation exchange membership through a company like RCI, you can essentially swap your vacation ownership unit for accommodations all over the world.  Perfect because you don’t have to visit the same place, twice.

RCI has nearly 4,500 affiliated resorts in more than 100 countries in its network – making it the largest vacation exchange company in the world. This means that almost no matter where we want to go, we can find a place to stay.  Very important in travel, to have nice places to stay that are within our budget. If you’re not ready to make a long-term commitment, you can also try out timeshare units by booking them through sites like EndlessVacationRentals.com, which offers great deals on a variety of accommodation options including vacation ownership, and see if this type of vacationing fits your lifestyle.  I have many friends and family members who own timeshares and wouldn’t have it any other way.  And, when they vacation they invite us along.

Do you own a timeshare?  Have you ever looked into it?  Do you love to travel?   What 3 places do you plan to travel to next ?

On Our Way to Rock Fest #RockFestWi

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On Our Way to Rock Fest for our 10th year in a row.    As you read this, we are in our motorhome (redneck one too) and heading to the summer party to top all summer parties.   There is music, food, booze, fun, friends, laughing, screaming, games, jello shots, beer bongs, wet t-shirts, half dressed people and some not even with that much on…. and so much more.  But, the main reason we go is because we love music, and love being able to see this many bands in only 4 days.

This year Rock Fest did something new, they built a pit around the stage and sold pit passes.    So, aside from the already good seats we have we decided to buy some pit passes to be up close and personal with the bands we love ~ Aerosmith, Rob Zombie, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Sick Puppies and Live.    So Stoked!!

We always go VIP which means we get up close seating, and fed 2 times a day, and all the beer, wine, pop, water, coffee, and milk we can drink.    The food is good, the beer is cold and the people are all friendly because they want to be there.

Do you like music?  Do you go to any music festivals in your area?   Tell me about them, I might have to come check out your local festivals.

What bands here would you love to see?   What ones have you seen ?

ROCK – n – ROLL BABY!

 

Cupcake Decorating Aboard the #LibertyoftheSeas

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“This post is brought to you by me, all about my experience upon a Royal Caribbean cruise for a press trip.  While I received my cruise at a discount I received no other compensation for my review. “
#libertyoftheseas  #seastheday @royalcaribbean

 

Just when one thinks a cruise is all about laying on the top deck sunning themself, taking a dip in one of the pools,  or eating amazing foods at the many restaurants, or enjoying the night life with shows, casino fun, or dancing and drinks… then you find out that there is even more fun stuff to do.  Like what?  Well like decorating cupcakes in the cupcake shop.  Yes, I said decorating cupcakes.   Yummy ones at that.

All 40 of us bloggers got to take a class and learn the techniques of making cute cupcakes.  I have never done any cupcake decorating before, except with that icing from a can and a butter knife.  Maybe, I have even gone as far as putting a few sprinkles on them.  Usually, they are just left plain and gone before I have time to frost them.   So, this was something I never would have thought I would do, or enjoy.  But, I loved it and can’t wait to try my hand at my own batch here at home.

The instructor we had was so much fun, and very comical.  And the way he said “puppy dog” was just as adorable as all the puppy dog cupcakes we all decorated.

Decorating a “puppy dog” cupcake was a lot easier than one would think.   You start with 2 cupcakes.  On the first cupcake you put the frosting on the top, using an icing bag and making little stars all over the top.  Then, cut about 1/4″ off the other cupcake and place it on top of the frosted cupcake with the rounded top facing toward you.  cupcake5 cupcake6

Once the top cupcake is in place, then you put a row of stars all the way around it, where it is attached to the bottom cupcake.

Then you put a couple stripes from the bottom of the cupcake, up over the top of it and toward the back.

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Next, place your lime gummy wedge on it at the base of the top cupcake where it touches the bottom cupcake.

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Now it’s time to fill the whole cupcake with icing.  Using the icing bag draw lines on the sides, toward the back of the cupcakes.

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Then you take your icing bag and draw 3 lines, in the form of an S, to make it look like a mustache over the gummy wedge.  Now place a jelly bean where the nose would be, and 2 gumdrops on top where the ears would be.  Then you ice the ears so they look like puppy dog ears that stand up.   Next take 2 candy buttons and place for the eyes.  Those are the candy buttons that come on a long strip.. like we used to eat when we were kids.

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Then, using chocolate sprinkles you take a toothpick and dip in a bit of icing so the sprinkles stick.  Pick out long and straight ones to use for the line under the nose, and to make a W for the mouth.  Then, put a red gumdrop cut in half for a tongue.   Now turn the puppy dog so the back is facing you and using your icing bag make the hair on the back on it.  You can do lines, swirls, stars or however you wish, to give your puppy dog the kind of fur you think he/she should have.

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Now it’s time to give your puppy dog some legs.   Draw 2 lines down from the body to the plate for each leg, and then make 3 stars at the bottom of each leg to look like paws.   Then you can take chocolate sprinkles and put on each paw.

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Now, isn’t that a cute puppy dog?    I might not explain it as good as our instructor did, but hopefully I gave you a good idea of how easy and fun it can be to make a cupcake puppy dog.

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See how excited and happy I was that I actually made something, that did sorta look like a puppy dog.
This class was so much fun.  It was on deck 5 of the ship, where the shopping and a few other restaurants are.  There were people walking by the whole time and checking out what we were doing.  I even had a few people take pictures of my puppy dog.

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This was such a cute shop, and of course filled with yummy cupcakes.  Aren’t they all delicious looking?

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Have you ever decorated cupcakes?   Share your tips and tricks with me.   If you ever take a cruise (highly recommended) I suggest your check out and see if the ship offers something like this.  It is so much fun, and relaxing at the same time.

I had so much fun on my cruise aboard one of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships the Liberty of the Seas.  This is the 3rd largest cruise ship in the world, and it is not only huge, beautiful, amazing, but full of adventure and fun for everyone.

Want to read more about my adventure on the Liberty of the Seas?  Check out my other post, click here.

Keep any eye on my posts and I have more to come about my great adventure.

#libertyoftheseas  #seastheday @royalcaribbean

My Adventure Upon Royal Caribbean’s #LibertyoftheSeas

Going on a cruise is more than just taking a vacation.  A cruise is an adventure. An adventure that I highly recommend everyone try at least one time in their life.  If you read my pre cruise post you remember me telling you how I was scared to go on a cruise due to my fear of water.  Well, I got over that fear pretty quick on my way to the ship, due to the size of it.  OH MY… this is a HUGE ship.  It is the 3rd largest ship in the world.  Just take a look at his girl!

libertyoftheseasship “This post is brought to you by me, all about my experience upon a Royal Caribbean cruise for a press trip.  While I received my cruise at a discount I received no other compensation for my review. “

That was taken as we were approaching so it really isn’t even the whole ship.  Since I had never been on a cruise before I didn’t know what to expect and this ship just blew my mind.  So big, fancy, intriguing, pretty, well put together and full of adventure.

My adventure began when we got in line to go through all the steps to board the ship.  Well, being a newbie and never traveling out of the country I don’t have a passport.  Not a big deal as we were told we could use our birth certificate and marriage license.  Well, I didn’t think I needed it until we docked in Mexico… so, I left it in my bag that was loaded onto a cart with other bags, and brought to a room with all the other 6000 passengers bags to be scanned and then delivered to our rooms.    NOT GOOD!!  I got up to the counter and when they asked me for my passport or other documents I explained what happened and they said I couldn’t board the ship.   Right there, all I wanted to do was cry and go home.  I was so mad at myself, and so sad that I couldn’t board the ship with all the other gals from my group.  But, the PR Gal (Julianna) was amazing.  She talked to a few people and then the search began for my bag that had my documents in it.  It was about an hour or so and a guy came walking by with my bag.  Oh, I could have hugged him.  How they found my tiny red bag in the mass jumble of thousands of bags I will never know, but at that point didn’t care as I was so excited to be able to board finally.  And, I did get to board with a few others who were late comers so I was excited about that.

Finally aboard the ship I was just in awe of all.  This ship is way bigger than one realizes from any picture or standing by it.  Yeah… I was on a cruise ship.  :)I headed right for my room to put down the heavy bags I was carrying and to check out my room.   HOLY COW.. what an amazing room my roommate and I had.  All of us on Brandcation were given Balcony rooms with are very nice rooms.  If you cruise a lot and are used to the lower prices rooms you really need to splurge and try one of these rooms.   So much bigger, and the balcony was to die for.  Sitting out there was so peaceful.  Check out a few of my room pics.

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And this is a view off my balcony before the ship sailed.

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I was worried about my motion sickness so I had taken Dramamine when I left the hotel room.  So far so good upon this big ol ship, but we weren’t moving yet.

Once the ship started to move I have to admit, I barely knew it.   Yes, during the cruise there were times where I knew for sure it was moving as it got a bit rough, but not bad enough to scare me.   I did keep up on my motion sickness meds though as I didn’t want to take a chance with spending my whole cruise in the bathroom.

There is so much to do and see aboard the Liberty of the Seas that there is no reason anyone should be bored or not enjoy their cruise.  You can go swimming, lounge by the pool, play shuffle board, visit the game room, go shopping, go rock climbing, try surfboarding, chill out in a bar, dine at the many restaurants, go ice skating, check out a show, take an excursion when you dock, and so much more.  Never a shortage of things to do or see.   Myself, I loved the few shows we saw, enjoyed the dining as we all got to gather and learn more about each other, loved my time in the sun up on the ship deck and also touring the ship to learn about how the galley is run.  I could have spent so much more time on this ship just so I could experience everything.  Guess that just means I have to take another cruise soon.  Now that I know what they are all about, my hubby can join me on the next one.

Well, if you want an adventure make sure you check out any of the Royal Caribbean cruises, especially Liberty of the Seas.   Keep an eye on my site for more posts about my adventure.  I will let you know all about the foods and the fun I had aboard the cruise.

 

 

First Leg of Brandcation for #SeastheDay

Here I sit in an airport in Minneapolis, Mn., catching up on some work and overdue email replies while I wait for my connecting flight to take me to warmer climate. It is cold here in Minnesota! Yikes, it was 1 degrees this morning when we pulled out of my driveway at 4am. After a busy day of packing yesterday (April 1st), and a busy evening of making sure everything at home was done and ready for my hubby to be left alone for 2 weeks I was so tired but so excited for my trip that I maybe slept 4 hours. Went to bed at 9pm to have some snuggle time (wink wink) and then I watched the minutes slowly pass as I lay there and tried to fall asleep. My alarm went off at 2:20 am and I hit snooze several times and finally drag my butt out of bed at 2:50 am. Tired as all get out!

Well, since I was running late, of course I arrived at the airport late, and the people in front of me to check in were having issues so I was starting to stress I might miss my flight. Well, a nice guy informed me I could check my baggage using the Kiosk, which I didn’t know as I had never done that before. So, I quickly did that, rushed up to security and then to my gate and still had about 10 minutes to spare. Whew!!

The flight from Duluth, Mn to Minneapolis, Mn is only about a 20 minute flight in total. It takes 3 ½ hours to drive from my house to the Minneapolis airport so that is why I choose to fly. The ticket is always more money for the convenience of not having to drive, park my car, pay to park, find my car when I return and drive home all tired after a long flight. So, I don’t mind paying a bit more.

Where a I going you ask? Well I am heading to Ft Lauderdale, Florida to join 39 other bloggers on a 4 day Royal Caribbean cruise upon the Liberty of the Seas ship. This is going to be so much fun and I can’t wait to tell you all about my cruise (first time on a cruise). This is a huge ship and there is so much on it. They have pools, rock climbing, ice skating, zip lining, dining, dancing, shopping, and so much more.

Keep tuned to Living Smart Girl for lots of updates. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss any of my updates.

#RoyalCaribbean  @RoyalCaribbean #SeastheDay