Saturday, October 14, 2017

Spooctacular Haunted House Display

Instead of helping with homework or catching up on housework yesterday, I felt like I needed to start the $3 wooden haunted house project from Target. So. Much. Fun!

I nixed the box design and opted for a true haunted house feel. Blinky (who should have been doing homework) and I spray painted the base, house, and pumpkins. Then I hand painted the tree and tombstones.

I LOVE the finished product!  And if I store it properly, I'll be able to use it for years to come.

While I had the orange spray paint out, I gave the pumpkin door hangar a first coat. At some point I had to go back to adulting but I am looking forward to finishing it this weekend.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Inexpensive Halloween Fun for Kids {and Kids at Heart}

One of the benefits of hitting Target's Dollar Spot, Dollar Tree, and Michael's when they're just putting out the next season's goodies, is that you get first pick of the best items. I purchased these back in July for $1-$3 a piece and stashed them in my garage until we were ready for them. Since it was a lazy, rainy weekend, we tackled a few of these and had tons of family fun.

These Melty Beads  kits from Michael's were really neat! You line the beads up on a grid, according to the template, then iron them in place. There were so many beads left over, Stinky made a robot/man goblin with his spares. All for $1 each!

 We even have two more packs to tackle this weekend!

These wooden projects from Target are slightly more involved. The haunted house and jack-o-lantern are mine for $3 each. Can't wait to tackle them and place them on display.

Also from Target are these $1 pretties, which are in the process of being painted. I'm told masterpieces take time.

I'm in love with these skeleton hands from Dollar Tree! They're actually salad tongs but I'm using them as plant accessories. Doesn't it look like someone's being raised from the mum?

Finally, who doesn't love a hearty serving of brain jello? The brain, jello mold is a Dollar Tree score. Clearly I am not a jello mold expert but digging it out was half the fun so we're looking forward to making this one again soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Halloween / Fall 2017

So its been a crazy few weeks! Anyone else feel my pain? I had these grand plans of decorating the house for Halloween / Fall 2017. I even bought seasonal decor items on sale last year that are still sitting in a box in my garage. I know. I momentarily thought about not decorating at all, but ultimately decided to keep it simple...mantle and porch.

On the porch, I hung a homemade wreath and a trio of jack-o-lanterns. Fun!

And of course I included a coordinating garden flag.

I purchased a few Halloween crafts from Target's Dollar Spot and Michael's. The plan is to invite a few of Stinky and Blinky's friends over and have a little crafting party. Not sure who's more excited, me or them. LOL!

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Delta Vacations University

A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of attending Delta Vacations University. It is an annual weekend conference for travel agents to familiarize them with vacation packages Delta offers around the world. This year, it was held in Atlanta at the Georgia International Conference Center.

I choose my courses based on market interest in my area. They were:
  • Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel
  • Bahamas Out Islands
  • Hawaii - Maui, Island of Hawaii and Lanai
  • London and Paris
  • Dive
  • St. Lucia
  • Avalon Waterways River Cruises
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
Even though I'm from the Bahamas and have visited several of the out islands (and spent summers in Abaco as a child) I've never been versed in the many boutique hotels and eco-tourism packages the Bahamian Out Islands offer. It was absolutely fascinating! I even won a bottle of coconut rum for knowing the national beer of The Bahamas - Kalik of course!(I may have had insider knowledge but I won't tell if you won't.)

The London and Paris session boosted my confidence for sure. Having lived in London for a year and a half and visiting Paris numerous times (including this summer - read all about it here and here), confirmed that I can sell these cities with confidence.

My favorite session was Hawaii. From the hula dancers, tear-jerking commercials, leis, and kukui beads, I was transported. Hawaii is on my bucket list for sure!

Perhaps the most beneficial breakout session was a social media class with tips for building an audience and closing a booking. The week I got back, I utilized some of his social media tips and received a fair amount of feedback on my posts about Scotland. I'll keep you updated as to whether these leads translate into actual bookings. Fingers crossed!

On the Saturday evening, halfway through the conference, the agents were treated to a private event at Skyline Park on top of Ponce City Market. The location is to die for with breathtaking views of Atlanta. Add carnival-style food (think walking tacos, hot dogs, and cotton candy), and carnival-style amusement (shoot the ducks, ring toss, and giant slides), it was a fantastic opportunity to network in a fun, stress-free environment. The pictures are awful I know, but you'll get the picture.

The Delta Vacations University Trade Show was super fun. I literally left with a large insulated cooler bag full of literature, but most importantly goodies! I brought home t-shirts, a fedora, multiple insulated bags, jewelry, stuffed toys, snacks, stationery, and that's just what I remember. But back to business, there were a few vendors I plan to follow-up with.

The last thing I want to cover is a touching moment between my fellow agents on the last day. Our friend's daughter has a rare form of brain cancer and has been cancer-free for a year. She honors that achievement with a special Bible verse which we all wrote on our palms.

While she will never truly be in remission, she is strong and courageous every day. To help find a cure, her Mom founded the charity Open Hands Overflowing Hearts. I invite you to read more about it.

And so ends an exciting weekend in the life of a travel agent. If you have any questions or interest in any of the locations mentioned, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Build Your Disney Family

I was super excited to open my work e-mail yesterday and see that Disney is giving away free, customized decals. All you have to do is complete the steps at Build Your Disney Family and your decal will be mailed to you in 4-6 weeks. How cool is that?

Aspects you can customize include hair, outfits, accessories, background, and you can even include your pets. I created several versions but I think I like this one best. :)

Share your creations and remember I would LOVE to plan your next Disney vacation!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Quote of the Week

Blinky, in trouble and armed with a new spelling word..."I'm in turmoil!"

Yeah, that makes two of us sweetie.

Monday, September 11, 2017

{Lost Files} New York City August 2010

As I watched the 9/11 coverage on the news yesterday, it reminded me of a weekend trip the DH and I took to New York City in 2010; our first couple's trip since the kids were born.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon. After checking in to our hotel, we walked around for a bit and had a lovely dinner.

On Saturday we took a city tour and saw everything on our list including:
  • Wall Street and the NYSE
  • Times Square
  • John Lenon's NYC Apartment and Strawberry Fields in Central Park
  • The Apple Store
  • Trinity Church
  • Rockerfeller Plaza
  • The Flat Iron Building
  • The Empire State Building
  • Broadway



Our tour also included a cruise which took us around:

  • The BMW Bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg)
  • New Skyline
  • Ellis Island
  • Liberty Island


Once we were back on land, the tour concluded with a visit to the One Trade Center site, which was still under construction. We went to an upper level of a nearby building to get the best view. It was quite an emotional moment. Not sure why I don't have any pictures of this. Now that the site is complete the DH and I would like to visit again, this time with the kids in tow.

Saturday night we hit the town in our Sunday best for a lovely dinner followed by a Broadway show. The DH thinks we saw Beauty and the Beast, I think we saw Phantom of the Opera. One day I will search our souvenir box for the playbill and settle this argument once and for all. LOL!

On Sunday morning, we strolled over to visit the New York Public Library. It was a thrill to finally meet Patience and Fortitude at the front steps. And yes, I am wearing the same clothes although I forget the reason why.

I see why Carrie Bradshaw wanted to hold her wedding here. The architecture is absolutely stunning!!!

We were beginning to run out of time. We raced over to Grand Central Station, taking in the majesty of the Chrysler Building along the way.



Our final stop before a mad dash to the airport was to have our picture taken in front of Robert Indiana's LOVE icon. Sadly, the person who was nice enough to take our photo, completely cut off the top portion of the sculpture. Ugh! Yet another reason to go back!

I've been to New York city several times and always enjoy the spirit and diversity there. If there's any one city that is truly representative of the world at large, I think it would be New York City. While watching the somber news reports yesterday, it was uplifting seeing how resilient New Yorkers are and how they come together in times of need. May we all be more like them.