Travel

Cruise Confessions 2017… Part 2: What I Learned…

In my previous post about cruises I gave a short summary on what I liked and disliked.  Now here let me tell you what I would do differently. This could get a bit lengthy so I just will post what I found most important.  Let’s start with something I find very important , electronic devices and Internet connectivity…

Internet on these ships is usually paid and it’s not cheap.  So download any apps, movies, music or things you may want on board to your devices before the trip.  This way, if you don’t feel like being by the pool or doing any of the on board events you can lounge around and watch a movie or read and listen to music while sailing to the next destination.  There were a many times I wish I would have saved a movie or some songs to my laptop or phone.  It was difficult sometimes even to just download a book or load a website.

I don’t know about you but I can’t live disconnected, I have cameras set up in my home to keep an eye on my house and pets while i’m away so I like to check in once in a while.  I also have a job that could require my help if anything goes horribly wrong, in short I need internet!

If you do decide to pay for internet, it is VERY slow and not reliable (thankfully there were no work emergencies in my absence!).  There were 3 service tiers available for purchase, the most basic tier is good enough to use social apps such as FB, SnapChat or WhatsApp but you can’t access websites or streaming video and VPN to a remote machine is out of the question.  Even at the highest service tier you still may not be able to VPN or to stream video well. I alternated between the middle tier and basic one, it was ok enough to stay connected on whatsApp with my family and looks up my workouts and some info online.   Also it is usually paid per device, never fear though, there is a way to share… Just set up a mobile hot spot or tethering if your device supports it and you should be set.

Next let’s talk about the add on packages they offer you.  The cruise I took was all inclusive but this was only in terms of food, anything to drink besides tap water was extra.  A separate drink package is offered that will cover whatever you may want to drink on ship, for me this included specialty coffee drinks, juices and bottled water which is the main reason I was convinces to purchase it.

This is what I learned; If you aren’t the type of person who consumes that much alcohol, do not get the drink package, no matter how much people say it’s worth it!  Even though it includes bottled water and coffee drinks such as cappuccinos and wine for dinner; in my opinion it still didn’t make it worth the 400 dollars for the package.  Also this way if you don’t have it, you don’t feel pressure to keep ordering cappuccinos, wine, or cocktails everyday to make it worth what you paid.  I probably had an average of 35 or 40 dollars a day on drinks and that is just because I consciously tried to make the “spending quota” for what I paid.  If I had not bought the drink package, I just would have stuck with regular coffee, I can survive without lattes for a week.  I would have spent on bottled water anyway, but it’s still less than buying the package.

That’s all for this post, If you would like to hear anything else about my experience during my cruise or have any questions about the ship or islands I visited please let me know in the comments. Ciao!

Travel

Confessions of Cruise 2017… Part 1

I recently went on a cruise with Carnival cruise line.   It was a 7 day eastern Caribbean trip. I’ve always heard about people getting sick on cruises so I prepared myself.  I brought along activated charcoal capsules, digestive bitters and granola bars.  I also was careful with what I ate and I took care not to overeat; since it was all inclusive, food was always available.  Also practicing good hygiene and hand washing is so important.  If possible bringing a small  travel sized Lysol spray or wipes are a great idea and of course I never leave home with out my hand sanitizer!

This being my first time I was not sure  what to expect.  I probably should have done a bit more research on what I should bring, especially to entertain myself on the days at sea. Days at sea mean  you are on the ship for more than 24 hours, no stops.  I’m not a big drinker or eater and this seems to be what people mostly do on cruises.  Eat, drink, lay by the pool and/or play in the casino on board.   Even though I was on a ship and on vacation, I still did my daily workout. There was a nice sized gym on board so I was able to work out properly and use their sauna as well.

This was the first long cruise I have ever done, and honestly I felt it was too long.  I doubt I will ever cruise again, I feel it’s just not my thing.   I am not the type of person who would ever consume alcohol all day everyday for 7 days!  Add in the pizza, burgers and ice cream that are always available and you have one of the most unhealthy lifestyles you can get.  No wonder I’ve heard people say you can gain a lot of weight on a cruise… but if you are careful, it is easily avoidable.  Check my next post where I’ll explain how I would have prepared myself better…..

 

food

Tea of The Moment…

I have always enjoyed making myself a warm cup of tea in the cold winter.  There are so many varieties and combinations of teas.  They are not only delicious but have many different health benefits as well.  While I was visiting my family last month we tried a new tea my brother purchased from Teavanna.  It’s the limited peppermint white chocolate tea, it’s a rooibos tea with peppermint raw cacao and white cacao.  This tea doesn’t need any sugar or sweetener into it, it’s naturally slightly sweet and so satisfying.  I loved it so much I purchased my own when I got back home.

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Rooibos tea is supposed to be very low in caffeine so this tea shouldn’t keep you up at night but even so, I prefer to drink it in the morning.  I feel it gives me more energy for the day.  I make a cup of this in my travel tea tumbler and have it on my drive to work. Peppermint is said to be soothing for the tummy, it’s good for digestion or if you have an upset tummy.  I also find it very invigorating but relaxing at the same time, if that makes any sense.  Raw cacao also has it’s own slew of benefits.  So this tea is not only delicious but it is good for you.

I haven’t purchased too many teas from Teavanna but the ones I have tried are always so yummy and unique tasting.  I’ll have to start shopping for teas there more often.  Do any of you shop at Teavanna? What are some of your favorite teas you have tried?

Recipes

The Gift of Homemade Cookies…

Fresh homemade cookies are great at anytime of the year, but they are especially delicious in the winter months.   I love sitting down on the couch with blanket a cup of tea or hot chocolate and having some fresh warm cookies (doesn’t everyone?).

This is a simple cute gift you can make for any occasion and for anyone.  You can also use any cookie recipe you like.  I used a low carb healthy chocolate cookie recipe for this one. So let’s get into the making of this cookie jar!

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For the cookies

1 Cup & 2 Tbsp Almond Flour (make sure it’s blanched Almond flour not almond meal flour).

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp Finely ground espresso roasted coffee

1/4 Tsp Baking Soda

Pinch of Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

6 Tbsp Erythritol (I use Swerve or Zero brand)

Nuts, Dried fruit or chocolate chips.

Ingredients to Add when making the dough:

6 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

For the Packaging:

A 16 Oz Mason jar, or clear Mug (I used a  Mason Jar Mug!)

Gift Tissue Paper

Rubber Band, Twine, string or ribbon.

Small Card or Index Card

Jar Sticker (Optional)

Assemble the jar!

  1. Layer the dry ingredients in the mason jar to make it look pretty
  2. If your jar has no lid, you can just cover it with saran wrap , then the tissue paper and tie it with a twine or ribbon.  Otherwise cover the top with the tissue paper and screw on the lid.
  3. Fold the index card in half and rite the instructions in there.  The punch a hole and tie it with the ribbon on the lid

To Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until you have dough.
  3. Drop the dough by tablespoon onto a non stick baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  4.  Bake for 8 minutes until done. Let cool , they will be a bit crumbley, so remove them from the sheet carefully.

 

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Enjoy!

Uncategorized

So Here We Are….

So this is it, the ending of another year (2016) and the beginning of a blog!  I also just sort of organized my YouTube channel.  My channel and my blog are still in their baby stages, so follow me and help them grow into the big strong site and channel they are meant to become =].  I frequently post on Instagram (mostly food, but sometimes other things), you can find the link on this site.

I used to blog constantly, and even write stories… give it up for a few years and here I am, struggling to find some words!  One of the reasons I have gone ahead and created this blog and YouTube channel is to help boost some creativity!  I feel like YouTube, blogging and interacting with many people can help boost your creativity; am I right?  Well I hope to see you around (if there’s anyone out there yet!)!  I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year! Ciao!