Jan 31, 2012

Maltese pups make me melt

I made it to sunny Arizona where I am currently house sitting and
watching over this little guy for my aunt and uncle:
He makes me the happiest girl in the world and I love his
puppy ways. He can't let me out of his site and he always
has to be nestled up next to me when I work and when I sleep.
It is the most adorable thing ever.

Most of you know that I've wanted a Doxie for a really long time.
I still do and in fact I have pictures that I need to share with you
from my time spent with BK in Orange County.
We went to visit a sweet Doxie and he was just the cutest!

But anyway, this post is not about my obsession with Doxies.
This post is about my love for the sweet Maltese pups!
How can you not love that sweet face?!
Will you be my Valentine?!

Is that enough cuteness overload for ya?

Some things I love about Tikko...
(the adorable pup I'm dog sitting,)
He makes this little "Rrr" growl sound when he yawns.
To get my attention he crawls behind a couch and comes
out with cobwebs and dust all over his face.
He's obsessed with giving me doggy kisses, 
especially if I'm wearing lip gloss or anything
that smells good. 
He sleeps right next to me nestled up to my side
and keeps me warm all night long.
The word "WALK" makes him go nuts!!
He looks so adorable when I tell him to "sit Tikko"
before handing him his daily doggie treat.

I could go on and on but I'll save that for another post...

Do any of you have a Maltese?
Oh how I yearn to get a Doxie or a Maltese 
(or maybe both?!)
in the near future!!


Jan 25, 2012

discover new vacation hot spots - guest post by Christina


Hi Ocean Dreamers,

I hope you are having a wonderful week!
I made it back to Southern CA where it's nice and warm,
but now it's time to leave my love and head to AZ for a week!
{I know I'm traveling like crazy, but hey, I love it!}

Remember Tikko the pup?
I'll be dog sitting my relative's sweet puppy there.
Can't wait and I'll be catching you up on my CA
adventures when I'm there!

While I'm gearing up to head to Arizona please
enjoy a guest post by the lovely Christina!

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Discover New Vacation Hot Spots

Article submitted by Christina Johnson

With Spring Break just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about where to take your family during the kid’s school break.  Whether your kids enjoy camping, amusement parks or spending time at the beach, you can find a family-friendly destination for the entire family to enjoy.

El Capitan Canyon, Santa Barbara, California

If you love to go camping, but hate all the packing and work involved, you may just love the concept and experience of El Capitan Canyon.  Located in the Los Padres National Forest just outside of Santa Barbara, you can enjoy camping without all the hassle that comes along with it.  For the kids, there is horseback riding, hiking, swimming in the pool or ocean and all the things we think of that go along with camping.  For the adults, enjoy an afternoon massage under a secluded sycamore tree or a delicious morning latte.  Safari tents are available.  Additionally, you can rent cabins with kitchens and full bathrooms.  Contact El Capitan Canyon at 866.352.2729 or www.elcapitancanyon.com.

One and Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico

For a family holiday south of the border, visit the one and only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico.  This family-friendly resort, has loads of activities for the kids and lots of staff available for help.  As the kids enter the resort, they are given a gift bag that has a tee -shirt, Mexican toy and a hat.  In the room, there are furnishings for children, including a crib, toiletries for both children and adults and bedtime treats.  The children’s program is free and is for ages four to 12.  It includes fun activities such as learning Spanish, yoga, and making piƱatas.  Adults can enjoy the adults-only pool or spa.  Contact One and Only Palmilla at 866.552.0001.

Fort Lewis Plantation and Lodge, Virginia

Located in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, the Fort Lewis Plantation and Lodge is a 200 year old cattle farm with 3,200 acres.  Enjoy relaxing activities like floating on an inner tube down Cow Pasture River or tossing horseshoes and fishing.  At night, relax on the viewing platform and gaze at the starry sky.  Sleeping accommodations include log cabins, rooms in the farmhouse and silo.  Meals are served family style in the renovated grist mill and created with local farm and forest ingredients.  Contact Fort Lewis Plantation and Farm at 540.925.2314 or www.fortlewislodge.com.

Sistership Sailing School, Tortola

Sistership Sailing School is a wonderful way for your entire family to learn to sail.  Navigate the British Virgin Islands with trips that are tailored to your family’s level of experience, from novice to expert.  Enjoy jumping overboard into warm waters to snorkel or going to shore for an island excursion.  Children must be over the age of 12.  Contact Sistership Sailing School at 284.495.1002 or www.sailsistership.com.

No matter what kind of holiday your family enjoys, you can find family-friendly vacation spots around the world.  The best family holidays are ones that have activities for both the kids and adults and where you can create memories for a lifetime.

Christina Johnson who works remotely for Elliman Prudential in the NYC Apartments and Rentals market.  She is using her journalism major to combine what she loves most, writing and her career. Her specialties include home decor design and DIY home improvement projects.

Thanks Christina! 

Jan 22, 2012

top Ideas on how to plan a wedding party for your friend - guest post by Rosette

Hi Ocean Dreamers, 

I'm currently making my way back to Southern CA
after being in Northern CA for a week!
Though it's been nice for the most part
being on the road and enjoying the sites near Napa,
(we also rented out one of BK's homes,)
at the end of the week it was wet, rainy and cold!
Which made me want to be somewhere warm.

So I'm anxious to be heading back where it's warm...
Soon I'll be back to a regular schedule where I can post.
But until then enjoy another guest post!

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Top Ideas on How to Plan a Wedding Party for Your Friend

Planning a wedding party for your friend can be challenging, particularly if you have never done it before. But with little more research, planning and budget management you can make it look like you have been doing it for years. Decide on the kind of wedding party you would like to throw – traditional, contemporary or a small and intimate gathering. An authentic and beautiful wedding party should never lose the soul in it – the idea is to celebrate the togetherness more than the flaunting off!

Wedding Party Plans: Things to keep in mind
  • First, get clear on what you want. Keep alternatives in mind
  • Select a venue/ location that you know is going to set the tone of your friend’s wedding
  • Make a list of the guests you want to be present at the party. If it’s a small party, you may not like to invite everyone
  • Set the budget and that will avoid you from getting into a messy wedding party arrangement. Follow the budget strictly.
Top Ideas for Wedding Party Gifts
Glowing smile on faces of the couple makes you feel that you could not have asked for more. A good choice for gifts can look like an icing on the cake. Wedding party gifts are a great way to show that it’s a significant day for you too. Go for silly gifts that will give a humorous picture of your playful relationship with the couple. 

You can also select something “practical” such as a nice appliance or a dining set that the couple can use more often than not. You can offer gifts that are symbolical of how much you appreciate being with the couple and wish them to make the best out of their marital life. 

Top Ideas for Wedding Party Music
Classic, contemporary, country songs, special duets, sweet cake-cutting songs, special wedding tunes, dance beats, romantic pop singles, no play list actually, churches and music, rocking, Celtic and there are many more choices to select from. 

You can also prepare a set of music that has been a favorite with the couple or is symbolical of their first meeting, first proposal or first dance together. Narrating those special moments with every music selection playing in the background should make a good idea. 

Top Ideas for Wedding Party Food
Wedding feasts have been enjoyed and celebrated as long as people have been getting married. Expense and convenience are two factors you should ponder on before planning the food. Professional caterers can ensure that your food will not only taste good but it will be also be preserved at the right temperature and will be prepared well enough for the expected number of guests arriving at the party. 

For smaller wedding parties, homemade wedding food will make the best option. Food can include fresh fruits, salads, egg dishes, rolls, meats, stuffed mushroom caps, peanut sauce, appetizers, crab cakes and drinks. Your choices may vary depending on the way your food is to be served. 

An inexpensive wedding arrangement can also lead to an exceptional event – all it requires is the art of working on a budget and implementing it with patience and sense. Keep the focus on the celebration of love and future and by the end of the day, guests will walk away with sweet memories. Wedding party arrangement should express your love for the couple in a bright party that consummates best relationships. 

About the Author:

The above article is composed and edited by Rosette Summers. She is associated with many fashion and holidays communities as their freelance writer and adviser. In her free time she writes articles related to stag weekends, party weekends abroad, fashion accessories, etc.



Jan 21, 2012

bling on a budget - guest post by Ash


Enjoy another fun & fashionable post from my friend Ash

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Bling on a Budget

If you'd like to add a little flair to your wardrobe, but don't have much money to work with, don't worry -- you're not alone.

Buying jewelry can be expensive. You want something that looks great and lasts a long time, but you don't want to break the bank in the process. Is there any happy medium?

Happily, there is! Check out these few style tips for ideas on how to jazz up your everyday look without having to open a credit card.

·         Set Your Price: First things first, know how much you want to spend. Set a budget and stick to it. Know if you want to get one quality piece, or five or six more budget friendly pieces. Browsing online jewelry sites like Blue Nile gives you the option to set your price and look only within your range, meaning that you won't be tempted by something you can't afford!


·         Cocktail Rings: A huge statement piece is a great way to incorporate a lot of pizzazz into your style with one key item. A large cocktail ring is one of the best ways to jazz up a standard night-out-on-the-town outfit. Choose a good quality cocktail ring with neutral tones and plenty of shine to ensure that it will match all of your favorite dresses, heels and blazers. If you wear a cocktail ring, keep the rest of your jewelry minimal to allow the ring to stand out!


·         Long Necklaces: Necklaces are a great way to transform an outfit in a single stroke. Go for something longer and choose a necklace that's layered, has a vintage style pendant or a subdued color palette. Necklaces are a fairly affordable piece and are cheap enough that you can stock up several to mix and match with different outfits. 

·         Boyfriend Watch: Boyfriend watches are a quirky, trendy way to spice up even your most basic everyday outfit. These big slouchy watches look great with jeans and a cardigan, or even with a casual skirt, tights and blazer. You can easily dress these watches up or down depending on your mood, destination or outfit availability. Though they can be a little pricier, you only need one good watch in your wardrobe, and a boyfriend watch can go with just about everything!

·          
      Glitter Nail Polish: If you're willing to think outside of the box a little, you might consider adding some sparkle to your wardrobe through glitter nail polish. Sure, you may have tried this at a sleepover when you were 12, but the new wave of glitter polish is totally different. Be sure to choose a sophisticated jewel tone, like gold or silver and test out the polish in store, if possible, to be sure you like it. 

All in all, adding more sparkle and shine to your wardrobe doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Get creative, trade pieces with friends, save up for a piece you really want and use jewel-toned make-up to compliment the jewelry you already have. Use larger statement pieces to your advantage and be prepared to shine!

Thanks Ash!

Jan 19, 2012

hiking the blue moutains in Australia, flip flop style - guest post by Matt



Please enjoy this guest post by Matt and gosh I want 
to go hiking in Australia in flip flops!
Except I don't plan on wearing flip flops the entire way! ;)

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Hiking the Blue Mountains in Australia, Flip Flop Style:

Okay, it’s probably best to establish first off that my hike (or stroll) of the Blue Mountains in Flip Flops lasted a grand total of about 4 minutes. Taking the Easy grading, and not being from an area remotely rural or descended from a notable hill tribe, I thought this would be a great morning’s stroll and an admirable booster to my jealousy-inducing travel photo album for everyone back home. However it didn’t even take the first descent to put a halt to proceedings, rather an impressively elongated muddy and puddle-strewn stretch of path to reveal my blatant flaw in footwear. So back at the camper-van puzzling over when in the 5 days I’d been in Australia had it rained, I quickly dug out my trainers.  Heading back with a renewed vigor I was now definitely much more determined and focused than originally, as a quick snap and peek had been the day’s original target.
Caption - The Blue Mountains, taken from near Wentworth Falls

Flip Flop Hiking

I have left Flip Flops in the title of the post to make clear just how easy and accessible the Blue Mountains are. The grading system isn’t anything revolutionary, it does the simple job of differentiating between Easy, Medium and Hard, but care should be taking between Easy and Medium paths. The difficulty really can shoot up, particularly in only mildly wet conditions, as many steps are roughly hewn out of the mountain rock. The phrase in the medium classification ‘for those who walk occasionally’ should not be interpreted as ‘I walk to the shops and am pre-retirement age so I’ll be fine,’ but rather that you’ve walked Australian bush walks in the past and know what to expect. Whichever difficulty you go for, it’s an excellent way to stretch to stretch your legs after the usual long and arduous Flights to Australia.

Medium is / isn’t Difficult

I don’t want to create the impression that Medium is difficult and not for the amateur on a spur of the moment trip to the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains are a destination that, like me, you can dip into for a couple of hours in your journey away from Sydney, spend the night there and then promptly move on in the morning. The thing to bear in mind with the Medium trails is that you really should be prepared for turning back and not completing the trail if it’s a long one, and that grabbing rocks, foliage and leaping over puddles is likely going to be needed. Aside from that, if you have no real physical difficulties then it is more than doable, especially around the ‘Three Sisters Location’ that I visited. 
 The Three Sisters, a popular and unique attraction
 
The Blue Mountains

Australia is known for offering more than people would expect. Red dirt, surfing and the Sydney Opera house are only a few of must see destinations that make Australia a country to come back to time and again. The Blue Mountains are one of these destinations living somewhat in the shadow of the normal tourist hotspots. The first fact you learn upon visiting them is that the name comes from the blue hue coming from the chemicals released by the eucalyptus trees. The sheer number of eucalyptus trees and the distances involved create this blue tinge, and some of the views are simply stunning. My visit took in the famous Three Sisters rock formation, with the view of Jamison valley. This is one of the most popular sites to visit, and is easily accessed by road as the town of Katoomba is virtually built on top of this.  Shuttle buses are cheap and there are trains that go up the mountain if you don’t want to walk back up. 

A short drive away is Wentworth falls, which has a brilliant lookout point but feels more isolated than Katoomba so creates a different experience. This is less touristy and aside from the picturesque waterfall there are several short, rocky paths that aren’t too challenging.
 Wentworth Falls offers a stunning scene as 
the water tumbles over the cliff edge

This ability to drive between various tourist spots coupled with the isolation created by immersing yourself under the forest canopy is what makes the Blue Mountains great. On a trip that was aimed at surfing up the Australian east coast all the way to Cairns, the Blue Mountains were a welcome and convenient addition!  The challenge is there for the determined, as is the isolation and rich beauty that the best national parks in the world can offer. For the rest of us, hiring a car can enable you to ping around the different locations, and the easy and medium tracks offer a quick and enjoyable immersion into the Mountains and Valleys.

Bio – Matthew has seen some amazing places on his RTW trip in 2011, with Australia being a highlight. He is now planning and looking forward to his Sardinia holidays in Italy. 

Thanks Matt!