Disney · Travel

My favourite things to do on a Disney Cruise

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So seen as I am on a Disney cruise when this is being posted I decided to schedule a post about my favourite things to do when on a Disney cruise. Be warned that the most of this post will revolve around food. I’m ok with it too!

  • One of my most favourite things to do is watch the sunrise and sunsets at sea. I like to sit on a lounger on deck 10 to watch the sunrise with some breakfast. Then I like to watch the sunset on deck 4 with ice cream. So basically relaxing and food pretty much sums up this portion. It is so pretty too.image
  • Mixology classes. This is an extra that you have to pay for and costs $25 currently but it is so worth it. You learn how to make certain cocktails and a shot. You learn to muddle and layer and it is great fun. You can sign up once you get on board or if you join your Facebook group before the cruise usually somebody organises one for the whole group. Also if like me you are a lightweight then you will be a bit tipsy when you’re leaving.image
  • While on the cruise they will have a towel animal class and as boring as it sounds it is so much fun. When you come back to your room after dinner your stateroom host will have turned down your beds and left you a towel animal. You learn how to make them in this class and it is a good way to spend some time and believe me when I tell you folding the towels is a lot harder than it looks.image
  • Pirate night is a party night that has special menu in the dining rooms, a stage show deck party and fireworks at sea. Lots of people dress up in full pirate gear and the atmosphere is fantastic. Total Disney experience. There is also a late night buffet and you have to try the crepes and turkey legs!image
  • Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. It is a little piece of paradise and seriously you can’t help but be happy on the island. There is a family beach and an adult only beach as well as Pelican Plunge which is a floating platform that you swim out to that has two water slides. The water is so clear and the snorkeling in the lagoon is fun. There are so many other things to do as well. The restaurant on the island also has Mahi Mahi and Corn on the Cob that is delicious.image

Well that is it for today, also if you ever get the chance try a Disney Cruise. You will not regret it!

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

Disney · Travel

Impromptu Post

So I hadn’t planned on blogging whilst I was away as the wifi is just ridiculously expensive. But seen as I found a McDonald’s with free wifi I’m just posting a little impromptu post.

The cruise is amazing so far. Just so relaxing and the food is amazing. I will write a full post when I’m home but basically I am so relaxed I even went for a nap yesterday lol

Today we are docked in Madeira, an island off the coast of Portugal. We were here last year so didn’t book any excursions and instead said we’d take a wander and see what we wanted to do. We ended up taking the cable car up to the top of a mountain and it was awesome. The views and scenery are amazing. Here’s some pictures….

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The island has lots of lovely sculptures along the waterfront and the weather is so nice. Now we’ve stopped to use the free wifi and are heading back to the ship. I’m going to hit up the pool and water slides while most people are ashore! Woot.

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

Lifestyle · Workout

Eat, Sleep, Workout, Repeat.

So today is officially 5 months post op from my Gastric Bypass so I’m going to share a little bit about my life since then. I am about to declare a statement I never thought I would be able to make but here goes: I am officially up to 25 minutes jogging without puking or stopping. I know it doesn’t sound like much but considering this time 8 months ago I couldn’t run anywhere and I do mean anywhere (if the zombie apocalypse was coming I had accepted my fate that I was being eaten) its an achievement. Wii fit, jogging and swimming are my main sources of working out at the moment. I was hoping to start Gymnastics this autumn but unfortunately college is eating up all my money so I can’t afford it. I shall resign myself to looking wistfully at the TV when the gymnastic competitions are on.

Since my gastric bypass there are certain foods that I just can not eat anymore. I know I have to keep trying them and eventually I will be able to eat them but at the moment they just cause a bad reaction so I steer clear. These foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mushrooms (considering they were my favourite food that I put in everything I’m a bit upset about this one)
  • Pasta (when warm, but I can eat cold pasta salads)
  • Broccoli (my 2nd favourite food again I’m a bit upset)
  • Yoghurt
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Gravy
  • Most red meat apart from steak
  • Anything fried
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Peas
  • Chicken

I am somebody that LOVES food. I mean I really love it. I also love to cook and one of my most favourite things to do is cook a meal and have people over to sit around and eat and have a good time. I’m good at it too even if I do say so myself. Eating a plain diet has been a bit of a shock to my system. But I know eventually I’ll get back to being able to eat sauces etc its just a matter of waiting. I am also thankful that my close family and friends have gotten over the “Oh I can’t eat or talk about food in front of her” thing that they had going on cause that was so annoying. I understand where they were coming from but what they seemed to fail to understand was that I had chosen to have the surgery. I knew what it entailed and I knew what my life would be like afterwards. I know I’m probably never going to eat KFC or burger king or fast food in general again but I knew that when I decided and honestly the thoughts of putting that into my body puts me off. Ice cream however is another story and I will eat that until the cows come home no matter how bad it is for me.

I have learned a lot about myself since the surgery. I never realised just how much my weight contained me into this little box of preconceived ideas I had about myself. I’m not going to get into the sob story today because my new positive attitude isn’t allowing me to go there but maybe someday I will. I have learned that things I thought impossible and limits I imposed upon myself were just in my head.

I’m still me inside that hasn’t changed but I’m jogging, I’m wearing shorts, I’m seriously thinking about maybe joining a dating site. The world is my oyster and I have a brand new outlook on life. Even if my life currently consists of bland food and jogging.

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

Disney · Travel

Disney Cruise Fish Extender

So as this is being posted (ah the joy of scheduling posts!) I am currently somewhere off the coast of Spain on the Disney Magic cruise ship. So today’s post is about one of my favourite little magical extras about cruising on Disney Cruise Line (DCL for short) which is the Fish Extender GIft Exchange (FE for short).

So outside your door there is a little fish that is used for the stateroom hosts to leave notes in etc and it looks like this (not my picture):

From this you hang a Fish Extender like this with a pocket for every member of you cabin (also not my picture):

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Then throughout your cruise people leave little gifts for you and you generally spread the magic. You find your cruise Facebook page and sign up there. Every group will run their exchange differently so I am speaking from the experience of how the three I’ve participated in were handled. You sign up on your Facebook group and let the organiser know how many people in your cabin are participating, their ages (adult or child), how many staterooms would be your max (I always say 20 but there are ones with more and ones with less) and if you have any allergies. Then about 6 weeks before you cruise the lists close and you get sent a list of who is in your group and you get started on buying or making gifts for those people. It is totally voluntary and you don’t have to take part.

What gits you give are up to you. You can give an individual gift to each person or a cabin gift for the whole stateroom. If you look on Pinterest you will see the amazing gift ideas out there. The possibilities are endless. My favourite gifts I have received were:

  1. Laundry basket that came in so handy on the cruise and now just stays in the suitcase and comes everywhere because it folds down so small.
  2. Mini bottles of alcohol (unfortunately after September you won’t be able to give these anymore)
  3. An Ellie badge.

I have given out gifts like hair bows, chocolates, Disney Pins, torches, glow sticks, I made Disney key fobs which I was quite proud of pictured below:

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Some people do fantastic homemade gifts like scrapbooks and pillows etc but as I am usually worried about luggage space I tend to give small gifts. So once I got my list of my group for this cruise in preparation for this FE I took out things I had stockpiled in anticipation. I had way more than I realised. I then decided that my goal would be to match what I had to my list and the hopefully not have to buy much. Usually I do the same gift for all of the women, same for all the men etc but this cruise I mixed it up a bit and I am happy with the gifts that I am giving out. A lot of people see the FE as an added pressure on top of getting ready for the holiday but I absolutely love it. I love planning the gifts and delivering them and all of it! To each their own. This was a lot of what I had and I am happy to say most of this stuff is being given out on this cruise.

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So now that the cruise has started and most people won’t have internet (because it costs A LOT) here are what I am giving as my FE gifts on this cruise.

Adult Gifts:

I hand etched shot glasses with the DCL logo to give out to the men and some of the ladies on my lists. The ladies who got the shot glass also got some cute mickey mouse earbuds. The ladies that didn’t get a shot glass got a floating locket like the one pictured below. I had planned on these being given to every lady but unfortunately only 10 arrived even though I ordered 25. All men got a bottle opener key chain that I added their name to.

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Teen Girls and Teen Boys:

Teen girls got a floating locket and earphones like above. Teen boys got a deck of cards that I put the DCL logo on and a Columbia backpack torch.

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Girls and Boys:

They boys got a drawstring bag, badges, finger lights, a torch and a chocolate bar. The girls got a drawstring bag, Frozen stickers, badges and either a torch, earbuds or tinkerbell necklace. There were also three 2 year olds on our list and they got a pair Minnie sunglasses that I forgot to photograph.

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Cabin Gift:

Each cabin also got a little card with a pin for each member of the family to trade on the ship. Disney Pin Trading is a really fun activity and there is officer trading one night on board and there are some really great pins to be found. I am hoping that if the families don’t pin trade that they will pixie dust them on to another family. I also made personalised magnets for each members stateroom door.

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Well that’s it for now. I will update once I’m home with what we received in this FE exchange.

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

Anxiety · Disney · Travel

Disney Cruise Apprehension…

I love cruising. If I had money I would do every itinerary available every year. Disney cruises are my favourite because it’s all the atmosphere of Walt Disney World but you don’t need a vacation afterwards to recover. On this cruise are several friends I’ve cruised with before. We met through the Facebook group for previous cruises and those are my Disney people. The ones who when I say there is a free dining offer at Walt Disney World get why I am excited about that. The ones that will understand why I stress over my FE gifts. The ones who if I need anything from the Disney store and can’t get it here they will go look for it and if they get it bring it in their suitcase for me, I do this for them too. They’re just all around good eggs. I am looking forward to making some more friends on this cruise too. It was while I was thinking about this that something dawned on me. Every friend I made on the previous cruises were because A) I met them at a drinks tasting/champagne girls/bar event or B) I met them beside the adult pool in the smoking area. I know you don’t see my problem with this but here goes: I am now a non smoker and on this cruise I can’t drink much so am not doing any of the tastings.

So I’m worried about meeting new people. Smoking was my crutch because its easy make small conversation while there is a smoke hanging out of your mouth. You know that you are sharing that table or standing with the fellow smoker for however long it takes for you to finish that cigarette. Its a relatively small time commitment that you will be talking. The weather, where they are from and how many cruises have you been on generally cover the whole time and then you know a little bit and you build up from there the next time you run into them. That’s how I met most of my cruise friends. The drinks tastings are the same generally everybody is in a good mood and the people you meet at the open bar event are then at mixology and so on. So basically I’m worried that I’m going to be a loner on this cruise. Which is ridiculous because I have friends already going.15c

I’m also worried about eating. On a cruise you share a table at dinner with other cruisers. Since the gastric bypass if something does not agree with me then it leads to me getting sick and I will have to excuse myself from the table pretty sharpish to make it to the bathroom. I can only eat minuscule amounts and I will be trying some new things and basically I’m probably going to have to run to the bathroom more than once and well its not really the most appetizing sight. So I’m worried about how I’m going to be perceived by the tablemates and also that they’ll think I have some sort of communicable disease and sit as far away from me as possible.

I think its just generally my anxiety levels are high. I have been stressing out this week about many things. Packing, FE gifts, flying (not apprehension about flying because I love it but what if they are cancelled), did I leave everything ready for Cubs, did I text all the parents and give out all the notes and leave the plans and well honestly I am being Anxiety Girl and just generally freaking out.

See I make lists months in advance and then work through them. I am on top of things. I am woman hear me roar. Then something small changes one of my plans and the doubt starts. This is the inner monologue in my head when the doubt starts: “Well if that has gone wrong what else has? Lets double check everything you have checked off. Oh look theres a small change on that too. What else have you gotten wrong. Ok you can recover from this. Just change that… no screw it damn it all I am starting over I’ll just start again!” Which usually involves more lists. 3N5MZ7p

I ended up freaking out, contemplated going to woman island but resisted the urge and separated the things into two lists. List 1 was things that I could not possible even think about not doing like cub meeting planning, printing travel documents, FE gifts, packing underwear etc and list 2 was things I had hoped to get around to washing the dogs, getting my hair done etc.

So I may have grey hair, I may have dogs that could do with a wash, I may not have gotten my new bare minerals makeup I wanted to bring but generally I have everything that is essential done. I am going to have to be ok with that too. I have scheduled a few posts for when I’m away so you will be seeing a lot of cruise related posts just fair warning.

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

Travel

Travel tips you probably already know….

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So I have spent a lot of time travelling in my life and these tips are not going to be a ground breaking discoveries for you but they certainly make my travelling easier. As I usually fly with my travel buddy Miss M some of these are specific to travelling with children.

  1. A few weeks before you travel check your passport and make sure it is in date.
  2. Before you leave the house print of 2 copies of your travel documents. Boarding cards/ESTA’s/Hotel accommodation/photocopy of your passport. Put them in two folders and give one to another member of your travel party (the most responsible one) or if you are travelling alone put one copy in your suitcase and keep the other one on you. Also keep a copy on your phone.
  3. Aim to arrive earlier than you need to. I have officially never missed a flight (yet) but have had to run for a few flights (one time I ran with Miss M and the experience just was awful. Security took longer than I have ever experienced. They were calling our names over the speaker, we were running, both of us were crying and then a really nice flight attendant gave us chocolate and it got better).
  4. Don’t be that person at the airport. You know who I mean, “I didn’t know liquids had to be separate” or “I am balancing on one foot trying to take my shoes off” or “What do you mean I can’t bring scissors in my hand luggage?” Make sure you’re devices are charged, make sure you’ve taken out your liquids, make sure you’ve taken off your shoes and you will fly through security.
  5. Wear comfy clothes. Its a flight not a fashion show. If you absolutely must dress up because that’s who you are then you do you boo but that is so not me. The more comfy the clothes the happier I tend to be.
  6. For long haul flights I carry my personal flight survival kit which includes: Eye drops (my eyes dry out so much on flights) toothbrush & toothpaste (self explanatory) hair brush, bobbins (I have the need to have my hair tied back to sleep or relax and also for freshening up before landing) deodorant (self explanatory) wipes (for my face) Moisturiser (my skin dries out too) and tampons (because you should always be prepared).
  7. Airplane food. When we fly long haul I always order a special request of a child’s meal for Miss M and a low fat or low calorie option for myself. The child’s meal is usually chicken nuggets or sausages and some type of potato. The low fat meal usually has a salad, some type of plain meat and a veg as well as the usual water etc. An added bonus is when you request a special meal usually it gets delivered to you first before they go around with the meal service. Since my gastric bypass I know that new foods can wreak havoc with my body so a small salad and portion of meat is going to sit well and not have me sick.
  8. When travelling on a long flight drinking water is so important. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol will dehydrate you. I bring an empty water bottle and ask the flight attendant to fill it up just before I am going to try and sleep. That way when I wake up with a mouth like the Sahara I don’t have to move everybody in the row to get to water and also I have anxiety about walking around the plane for fear that we will hit turbulence and I’ll fall on top of a stranger, so imagine that scenario with a cup of water.
  9. Hand luggage. I almost always check a bag so I usually bring a small suitcase as hand luggage that is pretty much empty. So for super fantastic packing tips on how to get by with just hand luggage you are in the wrong place. Hand luggage usually contains my iPad, travel docs, water bottle, hoodie, flight survival kit and gum. I also bring cookies and haribo (my bargaining chips with Miss M when she gets cranky and won’t listen to reason).
  10. Toys. So I know that long flights have a great entertainment system on board with movies, tv shows galore however I don’t like Miss M watching that much screen time on a flight. So she can pick one movie to watch and after that she plays with toys. The toys that are a winner for us are Play Dough with tools, colouring books, maths activity cards (I know it’s a holiday but she enjoys them) and a deck of cards. If I’m really lucky she falls asleep and then I can take a nap too.
  11. I seem to be in the minority with this point but I never ever queue to get on or off a plane. I arrive at the gate in time but really I have a seat number assigned, I know there is room for me so I wait for all the queuing crazies to get on board and then get on the plane. Same with landing I usually have to wait for my luggage anyway so I sit in my seat until the plane is empty and then walk off.
  12.  Finally you must take the compulsory over the wing photo, upload it to instagram with something like #authenticlife #thetravelgrinddoe or #blessed otherwise you just aren’t living an authentic life on that travel grind and feeling blessed.

Ok 12 is a joke but seriously I love a good #blessed post. So as I said not ground breaking stuff but just a little insight as to what make my travelling easier. What are your favourite travel tips?

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander!

Uncategorized

Back to school

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So its official I am headed back to college. “Finally she knows what she wants to do with her life!” I hear you say and the answer is no I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Did I honestly think that when I got to this age I would still be looking for a career? No I thought I’d have my life figured out! but the way I look at it is, considering that I don’t know what I want to do why not do an arts degree while I’m waiting and then I can do a post grad when (or should I say if) I ever figure out what my calling in life is. I have done numerous courses but never anything that left me with a Bachelors degree. I have FETAC qualifications and part of a degree but nothing that is an actual proper can do a post grad degree.

So I spent a lot of time thinking about this and went through a lot of options. The one thing I knew for sure was that I couldn’t quit my job and go back full time. So I looked at doing a degree at night school but I didn’t find any options that would suit me. I decided then to go to Penn State World Campus. But the longer I thought about it the more I realised that even with as good as the support and as fantastic as their program is I needed something on my time zone that if I needed the extra support I could avail of it. I had geared myself up so much and decided that Penn State was the way I was going that when I started to have doubts I didn’t listen and just ploughed ahead. But the niggling thought of “its so much money and what if you don’t understand and need to actually speak to somebody, you don’t do well talking to new people, never mind skyping them and what if you fail, basically its a stupid idea just give up, get into bed, go to woman island” just wouldn’t go away. So I made a deal, if I could find something closer that fitted my needs and eased my concerns then I’d go for it, if not then Penn State it was.

This is when on YouTube one day I came across Open University. I was on one of those binge watch all the YouTube videos runs (you know where you start out watching Rhett and Link and end up watching solider coming home videos and have no idea how you got there) and a video came up from their channel of their Dublin graduation ceremony. So I watched all their videos and then took a little look around their website. They had exactly what I was looking for! I also loved that you could work towards your degree at your own pace. So I signed up, applied for my student loan and crossed my fingers. Today they emailed that I had been accepted! So it’s back to school for me.

So I am going to be poor for the foreseeable future but I will be working towards getting my degree. Yay for education!

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.