Salvation Army Girlfriends’ Getaway: Funky Bow Cheat Sheet

Hi Everyone! I hope this little post finds you all doing well! Guess what y’all? Last summer, I was approached by the “Divisional Secretary of Women’s Ministries” for the Salvation Army of the National Capital and Virginia Division. She asked me if I’d be willing to come to the Salvation Army “Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend” here in Virginia this October 2018 and teach and share how to make and decorate with my Funky Bow. I was blown away and honored to be asked and I jumped at the chance to help! I will be teaching two different classes.  In the the morning session, I will be demonstrating and teaching how to make the Funky Bow and I’ve also been asked to teach how to do my Tiered Bow as well. In the afternoon session, I will be teaching and demonstrating how to create a Funky Bow Lantern Topper/Swag…I’m also going to throw in how to make said lantern with bow topper/swag into a lantern centerpiece. 🙂 I have written up a “Funky Bow Cheat Sheet” to provide as a hand-out. I thought y’all might be interested in having these instructions as well. 🙂 I do many Funky Bow demonstrations on my YouTube Channel, and I will provide a few links below, but, this little cheat sheet might be of a help and should go hand in hand nicely with my tutorials. 🙂

Here are a few pictures of some of my Funky Bow Lantern Toppers/Swags/Centerpieces:

IMG_2886IMG_2895IMG_2903IMG_4167Version 2IMG_4243IMG_4249

And here is a link for a “Funky Bow Extravaganza” Playlist that I’ve created for my YouTube Channel”; I make tons of bows in each of the videos in that linked Playlist. And here are a few links for some of my Funky Bow Lantern Bow Toppers/Swags/Centerpieces:

 

And, here is the “Funky Bow Cheat Sheet” that I will be printing off and taking with me as a helpmate for those ladies who attend. 🙂

This is in PDF form, so if you click on this link, you will be able to print this out if you’d like to do so:

Funky Bow Cheat Sheet

I hope that this little cheat sheet will be of a help to those of you who’d like to try to make a Funky Bow.

I am super excited to go to this “Girlfriends’ Getaway” and help some sweet ladies learn how to make and then utilize a funky bow! I am honored and blown away that I have been asked to help out in this way. This is the perfect thing for me and it is yet another way for me to share what little bit of knowledge I have collected over my many years of crafting and decorating. No, I am not formally educated in such things, but, maybe just maybe, He saw fit to provide me a conduit so that I could help folks in some way. I am humbled and blessed. ❤

***In crafting there are no mistakes, only unique creations***

~Until next time, y’all take good, good, care!

~Arlynn ❤️

2018 Happy Fall Y’all!

Hi Everyone! I have been busily about in the last month and have now finished decorating our home for Fall. In this post, I will show you many pictures of each space that I have decorated. At the end of the post, I will give you a link to my YouTube “2018 It’s Fall Y’all” Playlist in which I share many tutorials of me literally creating many of the crafts, cozy corners, not to mention nooks and crannies abounding that you will see in the following pictures. The very last video in the Playlist is my 2018 Fall Home Tour in which I walk you through our home and explain every little thing and then set it all to music as I travel around the house in the evening hours while all of the soft lights glimmer and glow. 🙂  Here we go!

 

IMG_2873IMG_2875Version 2IMG_2884IMG_2913IMG_2917IMG_2920IMG_2921IMG_3010IMG_3016IMG_3021IMG_3022IMG_3024IMG_3027IMG_3033IMG_3039IMG_3044IMG_3045IMG_3046IMG_3047IMG_3049IMG_4988IMG_5008IMG_5014IMG_5023IMG_5041IMG_5043IMG_5044IMG_5045IMG_5066IMG_5160IMG_5166IMG_5170IMG_5179IMG_5180IMG_5182IMG_5230IMG_5240IMG_5244IMG_5245IMG_5246IMG_5247IMG_5248IMG_5265IMG_5363IMG_5374IMG_5512IMG_5515IMG_5516IMG_5522IMG_5533

All of those pictures covered the rooms that span the back of our home…Now let me show you how I lightened up the pallet and give a little nod (with a pop of color) to the Farmhouse. 🙂

IMG_2945IMG_2947IMG_2950IMG_2951IMG_2991IMG_2994IMG_2995IMG_2996IMG_3000IMG_3053IMG_3058IMG_5403IMG_5404IMG_5408IMG_5552IMG_5558IMG_5560IMG_5562

IMG_4164IMG_4167IMG_4172

And now lets move outside. 🙂

IMG_2961IMG_2970IMG_2971IMG_2972IMG_2975IMG_2976IMG_2977IMG_5438IMG_5461IMG_5470IMG_5473IMG_5474IMG_5477IMG_5478IMG_5565IMG_5501IMG_5495

And that my friends is my 2018 Fall Decor! As promised I will give you a link to my YouTube Playlist on my Arlynn’s Country Craft Corner Channel:

 

***In crafting, there are no mistakes, only unique creations!***

~Until next time, y’all take good, good, care!!

~Arlynn ❤

2018 Alaska Roundtrip Seattle Cruise: Episode #1, Packing, Traveling, Westin Seattle, & Transfer to Terminal 91

Hi Everyone! I hope that this blog post finds you all doing well. Wow, it is now October and Chris and I returned from our Alaska Seattle Roundtrip cruise way back in August. It has taken me that long to be able to sit down and to begin writing my blog for this wonderful trip! I’ve been decorating for Fall and as a lot of you know, I have a pretty busy life with my Arlynn’s Country Craft Corner YouTube Channel where I share many hours of my time crafting, decorating, and chit-chatting with some of the most lovely people on the planet. 🙂 But, my first social media love is right here, my blog, this is where I started sharing my life…yes, all of my crafts and decorating, but, also another love of mine, our travels. So, I’m excited to be able to sit down and start sharing about our latest cruise. As some of you know, I am one of the Administrators on a Facebook Cruising group called ALASKA CRUISES ON PRINCESS (yes, its name is presented all in capital letters on FB).  My co-admin Pam who is an awesome friend and also a great Travel Agent and I sponsored a “Group Cruise” to Alaska. Pam is a lovely lady who I have become very close to in the years that we’ve admin’d together…trust me, we’ve had some harrowing moments and we definitely run a tight ships (pun intended). NO negativity or rudeness is allowed in our group and we have upwards of 8000 member nowadays. WOW!! ANYway, we decided to do a one of the roundtrip cruises that Princess Cruise Lines offers in Alaska. I was excited about this as Chris and I had never done one of the roundtrip itineraries. One other thing that I was so very excited about was that my dear friend Barbara and her hubby Don would also be on this cruise with us…Chris and I just adore these two and have become very close to them. 🙂

IMG_1962.jpg

 

ANYway, I will not yammer on here…even though this is my blog and I tend to yammer a lot in here, let me get started sharing first how I prepared myself (packed) for this cruise, then about our travels to get over to Seattle (seamless travel day), & then we’ll transfer over to Terminal 91 at the Seattle Cruise Port where we’ll be ready to embark onto the Ruby Princess for yet another wonderful adventure in Alaska–my very, very happy place.

First, let me share what our Itinerary would be for this cruise (excuse the month of May dates, I just went onto Princess.com and found our same itinerary):

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 8.11.31 PM.png

When I was preparing for this cruise, I of course took some time to choose my Alaska Cruise Wardrobe. I created a video highlighting said wardrobe for my Arlynn’s Travels YouTube Channel. Here is a link:

Alaska Cruise Wardrobe #3 (w/Packing Cubes & Garment Folder Demo):

 

I also shared my new “What’s in my Carry-On & “My” Must Haves video:

 

Pam and I had a plan for Embarkation Day, we were planning to have a little get-together that day where we’d have a drawing for some door prizes (she and I both donated items that we had received on past cruises), and I created these magnets as a gift for everyone to take back to their Stateroom Door (which as we all know by now are metal as are the walls and ceilings in a cruise ship’s stateroom). More about the get-together in an upcoming blog post:

Alaska FB Group Cruise.001.jpeg

It was finally time to pack up for our next adventure, so I’ll share a video of me literally packing for our cruise. I utilize my packing cubes and garment folder in this video:

As usual Chris handled his own packing which for an Alaska cruise includes all of his camera equipment. I was pretty excited about one of those pieces of equipment btw, Chris chose a brand new *big* camera lens for his Birthday present (a Sigma 150/600), and wait until you see some of the pictures he captured with that lens. ANYhoot, it was finally the morning that we were to embark on our journey. As is usually the case, I just didn’t even bother going to bed the night before because we had to be at the airport at an unGodly hour…haha…we left out house at 2:45am on August 10th, 2018. Here I am standing at our kitchen island ready to go, adrenaline pumping and a bit sleep deprived. 🙂

IMG_4298.jpg

Christin our daughter had arrived and was going to be staying as, bless her, she always does to house and doggie sit for us. I knew that we didn’t have one worry in the world about how our home and pups would be treated while we were gone. So off we zipped, we got on I-95 and headed South as we were going to be flying out of Richmond International this time around (thank goodness y’all…I cannot stand Dulles airport). So we parked our car in the garage where I clicked off a picture to help us remember where exactly we parked and headed into the terminal and before we knew it we were taking off and heading to Seattle. Honest to goodness, our flights were all on time and smooth as could be…I was very grateful.

IMG_4304IMG_4306IMG_4308

 

And there is a shot Seattle from my window on the jet, notice the cruise ships in the picture…yep, that is Pier 91 and where our cruise ship the Ruby Princess would be sailing into and then out of with us on board the next day. 🙂 IMG_4314.jpg

We landed at the Seattle Tacoma airport on time and headed to baggage claim to collect our luggage and to meet the Princess Representative as we had arranged for a Princess transfer to our hotel. We did have a bit of a hiccup with said transfer, we ended up waiting for about an hour and were finally put in a “limo” (a large town car) because they deemed we had waited way too long. I don’t think it was Princess’ fault, instead I think that the shuttle folks at the airport were the ones that dropped the proverbial transfer ball. 😉 Regardless, we were transferred to the lovely Westin Seattle Hotel (arranged through Princess).

IMG_4319 2.jpg

IMG_4332IMG_4333IMG_4334

Our room was not ready when we arrived, so Chris asked them what they did have available and they said that they had a room that would cost us an extra $50, Chris jumped on that, we were both pretty tired by this point. So up we went to our room on the 44th floor (pretty high…haha):

IMG_4337IMG_4336

Here are some pictures of our room and then after that, I’ll share a video tour narrated by me:

IMG_4353IMG_4348IMG_4349IMG_4350IMG_4351IMG_4352IMG_4347IMG_4345IMG_4354IMG_4344IMG_4343

 

Here is a close up look at that piece of paper that I read to you during that video:

IMG_4339.jpg

BTW…It looks like TSA searched one of our suitcases. I had all of those magnets packed in this bag and I’m betting that is why, of course I don’t know for sure, but, I found this note when I opened this bag while at the hotel:

IMG_4338.jpg

And here is the menu and a couple pictures of that sweet restaurant the Blueacre Seafood:

IMG_4321IMG_4326IMG_4327

My head did not even hit the pillow that night before I was snoozing away! I never got to take a picture of how things looked out of our hotel room window at night because, well I was asleep before the sun went down. <go me> 😉 But, we did catch some pretty neat shots the next morning. First of all, we looked out right after sunrise and low and behold there came our lovely cruise ship the Ruby Princess into port.

IMG_2574IMG_2579

Then unbeknownst to me, Chris took this lovely little video of how things looked that morning. You’ll see the Space Needle at the end of this little ditty, I was so tired the day before that I didn’t even realize that it was right over there. 🙂

Shortly after the Ruby arrive, here came Holland America’s Eurodam:

IMG_7743

~~~Side Note here about the room at the Westin, one thing that I wasn’t thrilled about was that they did *not* offer free wifi. I was pretty appalled about that honesty, for all of the money we spent for that hotel (and it was quite a chunk of change), you’d think that they’d offer free wifi in the rooms. That said, they did have plenty of USB ports in the room, here are a couple of shots of them, these were located on the bedside table:

IMG_4363IMG_4362

I was up and dressed very early on embarkation morning, this is the outfit that I chose to wear that day…it was going to be warm, so I chose to wear capris, but, I paired it with a jacket because I knew it would get cooler once we sailed away. 🙂 BTW, I’ve been on a weight-loss journey, in this picture, I had lost close to 30 pounds since our Caribbean cruise in March (I’ve lost close to 40 now).

IMG_4364

Quick comparison picture for y’all… 😉 Picture on the left was while we were on our Caribbean cruise, picture on the right was taken last week here at our house.

collage.jpg

Back to our regularly scheduled programing now…

Chris and I didn’t do too, too much that morning other than have a cup of coffee (Chris) and tea (me) and relax till it was time to go to the lobby and meet up for our transport. At 10:45am we headed down, our luggage had already been collected and whisked away to be loaded and transported separately to the port…OH and yes, we did tip the bellman a few dollars. As we were standing in the lobby with our group, we were all chit-chatting and exchanging stories and such. As I was standing there chatting with a sweet lady, our conversation finally brought us around to know that she was in our Alaska cruising group and was part of our Group Cruise..haha. Small world! Once on our motorcoach, I was able to capture a picture of Beate!! Here she is, to say that she and I were excited is a bit of an understatement. 😉

IMG_4369

It did not take us long at all to get from the Westin to the Seattle Cruise Port and to Terminal 91. As always, everything ran like a well-oiled machine with Princess, they truly have this stuff down to a science.

IMG_4385IMG_4388IMG_4393

Beate and I stopped and posed for one more shot as we were heading in to the terminal:

IMG_4395

Check-in, as always, went off without a hitch, I didn’t take one picture of that process though, but, one thing that had changed was that we didn’t have to fill out one of the health questionnaires; they’ve done away with that. Chris and I agreed that that was a good thing, it was always a pain to stop in mid-stream and fill out that form…and we also agreed that plenty of folks probably were not truthful when filling it out anyway, so really, what was the point…they were there to cruise they weren’t going to let a little cold or stomach ache stop that <sigh>.

Regardless, I did catch this picture of what I saw as soon as I entered the Cruise Terminal:

IMG_4396

Before we knew it, we were walking down the Promenade deck after stepping aboard the Ruby Princess, and our adventure had begun in earnest:

AND we were finally on board the Ruby Princess…YaY!!! I was so excited because I knew the day was going to be a good one, not only were we going to be setting sail for Alaska, I was also going to be meeting Pam and her hubby and so many others that I’d come to know so well through our Facebook Group. 🙂 OH yes, this was going to be a good day indeed!!

I’ll close this one out for now, next up, I’ll tell you about our first day on board the Ruby Princess, share pictures and videos of Pam and I meeting for the first time, and much more! Stay tuned!

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

Until next time, y’all take good, good care!

~Arlynn

 

 

10-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise with Princess Cruises: Episode #4, The First 2 Days

Hi Everyone!! This is “Mrs. Procrastinator” (which I truly *never* am) here coming to you to with my 4th installment of my Southern Caribbean blog series. We went on this cruise with friends, and I completely enjoyed their company and the sweet time that we spent together at meals and beyond, and that is what I will be focusing on mostly in this Series. Of course, I have pictures of the Ports and will definitely share those, along with the Port Guides, thoughts about each Port, the Patters from every day of the cruise, etc…  But, the majority of this blog will be focused on the wonderful friendships that we have formed online and now beyond while cruising with Princess. Princess has a way of making any occasion special, and of course on this cruise, they did not disappoint. So here we go for 2 Sea Days, one unexpected and one planned for.

 

Unexpected Sea Day 

The first full day of our cruise was supposed be a day that we’d be stopping and enjoying Princess’ Private Island, “Princess Cays”, unfortunately, the weather did not want to cooperate with us, so we couldn’t  anchor and therefore our private island day turned into a sea day…which was absolutely fine and dandy with us. I’m so glad that the Captain erred on the side of caution…you will never hear me complain about a change in itinerary or any such thing.  Natural disasters happen, weather happens, and that sometimes impedes plans…just refocus, regroup, and move on along. Here is the Princess Patter for that day, I will also include all of the paperwork that we received about Princess Cays and what excursions are usually available on said island. I’ll also show you the revised Patter:

IMG_3332IMG_3333IMG_3334IMG_3335IMG_3336IMG_3337IMG_3338IMG_3339IMG_3340IMG_3341

So, we regrouped, and started to peruse around the beautiful Royal Princess, here are a few shots that I took around the ship that morning, it was a very relaxing, laid back time. 🙂

IMG_1973IMG_1974IMG_1975IMG_1979IMG_1987

IMG_1963IMG_1964IMG_1966IMG_2033IMG_2034IMG_2035IMG_2036IMG_2037

Some of our friends went to Alfredos for lunch, I stopped in and sat with them while they ate, here are some pictures of the menu:

IMG_1980IMG_1981IMG_1982IMG_1983IMG_1984

The rest of this day was spent relaxing and hanging out talking and enjoying some of the entertainment in the Piazza–I truly don’t remember what we did for dinner that evening…but, I do know that Chris and I spent the evening in our stateroom watching a movie and just spending time with one another. 🙂

 

Sea Day

The next morning arrived before I knew it and this was going to be a true and scheduled Sea Day. 🙂 We ladies had a fun little time planned on this day, we would be attending the “Ladies Spa Day” talk and demo. But, first let me show you the Princess Patter for this day:

IMG_3343IMG_3344IMG_3345IMG_3346

Before I met up with the ladies, Chris and I scooted off to Sabatini’s for breakfast; as Suite dwellers, that is one of the perks, a quiet breakfast every morning in Sabatini’s. Here is the menu:

IMG_2038IMG_2040IMG_2041

Everything that I ordered was wonderful…always nice and fresh and delicious!! Next up, the ladies and I would be meeting up for our Ladies Pamper Party (facials), but before we did that, we wanted to grab some pictures of us in our “Cruising With My Peeps” shirts. We had a blast doing this (even though I didn’t have a lick of make-up on–they wanted us to come bare-faced to the pamper party). Here are some fun pictures that Chris clicked off of us that morning. 🙂

1V4A31191V4A3122

↓↓↓↓BLOOPER lol ↓↓↓↓1V4A31241V4A31341V4A31421V4A3144

IMG_2051IMG_1981

SIDE NOTE:  After I got home from this trip, I started on a new eating regimen…I have lost over 26lbs. to date since this cruise…these pictures were what convinced me that enough was enough and that I was larger than I had ever been in my life…whew…I was a size!!  That said, it didn’t stop the size of the smile on my face…I was having a BLAST with these sweet, sweet lady friends!!! ❤

After our picture taking fun, we hustled on over to Sabatini’s and that is where the Lady’s Pamper Party took place…I unfortunately was busily about enjoying being pampered that I did not take one picture except for this one…haha…go me eh?! 😉

IMG_2052

IMG_4026 2

We had a lovely time there, trust me on that one. 🙂 We separated for the rest of the afternoon because we knew that we’d be coming back together for a lovely dinner at the Crown Grill later that evening. 🙂

Chris and I grabbed a selfie on our balcony right before we left to go to dinner–BOTH of us have been on a new eating regimen since this date…wait till you see my next Blog (Alaska again…coming up in the summer of ’18), he looks like a different person now-a-days!

IMG_1986 2

And here is the entire group of us sitting amongst all of the wine bottles in the Crown Grill, we had made reservations for the 8 of us on our first day on board, and they really treated us like kings and queens that evening and sat us all by ourselves in this little wine out-cove in the restaurant, it was very nice, and very private. Amazing, amazing service and food.

IMG_2057

Here is the menu:

IMG_2064 2IMG_2065IMG_2066IMG_2067IMG_2069

Here are some snapshots of us and the food from that evening…and a video snippet too. 🙂

IMG_4028IMG_2058IMG_2059IMG_2060IMG_2062IMG_2071IMG_2073IMG_2076IMG_2077IMG_2084IMG_2082IMG_2079IMG_2080IMG_2081

We also celebrated our wedding anniversary that evening, Princess provided us this wonderful dessert:

IMG_4027-1 2IMG_2083

And here is a little video snippet from that evening. Our waiter Miguel was amazing and quite funny. He kept us in stitches for the entire dinner service. We had a lovely, lovely time:

We stayed in the Crown Grill till pretty late in the evening, after that a couple of the ladies when to play some trivia and Chris and I headed back to our stateroom. It had been an awesome first 2 full days of our cruise, and we still had many more days ahead of us. Next up, I’ll tell you about a couple of the Ports that we stopped at, share some videos and pictures with you, and I’m sure provide more tid-bits of information. 🙂

So, for now, I’ll just say, until next time, y’all take good, good, care!

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

~Arlynn

Sneak Peak at our first Port of Call, St. Thomas:

1V4A3165.jpg

 

 

 

 

10-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise, Princess Cruises, Episode #3: Embarkation Day!

Our eyes popped open after having a delightful night’s sleep at the Marriott and the realization quickly hit that it was embarkation day! First though, we needed some sustenance, so off to the morning buffet we trekked, we happened to meet Barbara and her significant other at breakfast and we all had a lovely time together. I neglected to take any pictures of what I ate, but, if I remember correctly, I had a bagel and cream cheese, a little spoonful of eggs and a couple of links of sausage. Everything was hot, fresh, and very tasty. Of course I had a couple of cups of tea as well, I was ready to go after that meal and conversation time with my lovely friend.

The Marriott offered a shuttle service over to the cruise port when we checked in. We signed up for the early shuttle time of 9:30am and committed to pay $10 each which we felt was a reasonable cost.  I’m glad that we did the early shuttle (there was also one offered at 11am) as it took us a long time to get the short distance from the hotel to the cruise port, I’ll explain. The bus was extremely crowded, well let me back up for a second, the bus became very crowded because our bus driver stopped at various locations, 5 not including our stop, to pick up more and more passengers so as to fill the bus I would imagine, and that took some time. Regardless, once the bus was good and full, we headed on over to Port Everglades.  We had chosen to sit right in the front seat, so I was able to get a few little pictures of our trip over to meet our beautiful cruise ship the Royal Princess.IMG_1898IMG_1913IMG_1917

Those familiar butterflies started to flutter in my belly when the beautiful Royal Princess came into view…my goodness she is quite a site to behold. The bus driver pulled right up to a line of Princess baggage handlers standing beside large rolling carts. We did not have to touch our suitcases, instead, the baggage handlers took possession of them and placed them in one of those large carts and the next time we saw them was when they were sitting at our Stateroom door once we boarded. I did not take a load of pictures of the cruise port building, they don’t like you taking pictures in there…and being that I am a rule follower, I didn’t take many pics…haha. Regardless, the check-in process went super smoothly as it always does. You are directed by Princess representatives every step along the way. Because we are Platinum members of the “Captain’s Circle” club, we get priority boarding, so we were directed to our seats and that is where we stayed until it was time to board. Princess Cruises has recently refurbished the cruise port building in Ft. Lauderdale, so when I sat down, I looked up and this is what I saw. Now, forgive me for not taking a longer video, but, I didn’t realize I had my video on, I thought I was taking a picture…hahaha…go me…But, you’ll see the movement of those pretty turtles and such as you look into what looks like an aquarium.

 

Wow, that was one of my very best videos huh? LOL <Slapping Self On Forehead> I did take a still shot of it though:

IMG_1920

It wasn’t long before it was time to climb aboard the Royal…Here I am taking my first step onboard…yippee skippee!!

IMG_1925

One of the first sights I saw as I walked on board was the beautiful Piazza, check it out!!

1V4A3226.jpg

As I’ve mentioned, we were cruising with 3 of my lady friends and their significant others, and our plan once aboard was to meet in the Piazza and then figure out what to do first from there. But before I go further, let me show you the Princess Patter for Embarkation Day:

IMG_3328IMG_3329IMG_3330IMG_3331

Our Staterooms wouldn’t be ready till 1pm (a first for us truthfully). We were aboard around 11-11:30am, so of course, we were famished by this point. There was one Main Dining Room (MDR) open for lunch on Embarkation day, the “Concerto” dining room, so we headed right on over there and were seated immediately at a lovely oval table for 8. Here are some of the wonderful things we chose to eat for lunch…(Bless their hearts, everyone was so patient with me knowing that I am a blogger and knowing that I’d want pictures of their food…haha…they took turns placing it right under my camera view).

IMG_1926IMG_1927IMG_1930IMG_1931IMG_1932

IMG_1933IMG_1935IMG_1936

Well *that* was delicious!! YUM!!

After lunch, the girls and I headed over to the Crown Grill which is one of the Specialty Restaurants (meaning that one needs to pay an extra $29 per person over and above what is covered in the cost of the cruise), we wanted to make reservations for the first formal night evening. And the fellas headed to our Staterooms. So we made our reservations and then we separated and each went to our Staterooms to unpack and get settled in. We made a plan to meet at our Stateroom after the Muster Drill took place for our own little sail-away get-together.

Our Stateroom:

Chris and I got lucky with our Suite, yes, yes, I said Suite this time around. We did this cruise in March, and had booked a mid-ship Mini-Suite and were quite satisfied with that, honestly. BUT, when we got an email in January offering us an “up-sell” to a Suite, we jumped at the chance. We did have to give Princess a little bit more money, but, it wasn’t an exorbitant amount, and wait till you see the tour that I’ll post below. So, that said, in our Suite we were going to have a separate bedroom and sitting area and we were going to have a bath tub *&* separate shower, BUT, wait till you see our balcony. Chris and I were given the choice to upgrade to any available “Penthouse Suite” onboard the Royal.  We chose an aft facing Penthouse Suite.  That means we were sitting right on the back of the ship looking at the ship’s wake…glorious I tell you, just glorious. So first, let me show you some pictures of our very lovely Stateroom, and then I’ll give you a link to my YouTube Video tour.

Also, here are some of the special perks that Suite passengers enjoy:

Full Suite Amenities

IMG_1991IMG_1992IMG_1993IMG_1994IMG_1995IMG_1996IMG_1997IMG_1999IMG_2000IMG_2001IMG_2002IMG_2003IMG_2004IMG_2008IMG_2010IMG_2011IMG_2012IMG_2013IMG_2014IMG_2015IMG_2016IMG_2018IMG_2020IMG_2021IMG_2023IMG_2024IMG_2027IMG_2028IMG_2029IMG_2030IMG_2031IMG_2032IMG_2136

And here is a link to my YouTube video tour of D727, The Hilo Suite aboard the Royal Princess:

The Hilo Penthouse Suite D727

All right, we were getting settled into our room for the week, we’d met our Steward Kalim, who was awesome from the first moment that we met him until we said goodbye to him 10 days later. I’d also managed to unpack *some* of our clothes. It was then time to head off to the “Guest Safety Assembly” (the Muster Drill). One major thing had changed since we’d cruised, we didn’t have to take our big, bulky, cumbersome life jackets with us!! Woohoo, this girl was doing the happy dance about that. That meant that after the drill we could walk around the ship and be more relaxed instead of being stuck in a hoard of people trying to make their way back to their Stateroom to put their life jackets back away. What a pleasure!

Here is a little snippet that I barely caught of the “Love Boat” song with the words changed to safely assembly speak…hahaha. 😉

 

 

After our Assembly Drill was over, we headed back to our Stateroom and everyone came on over to just relax for a little while. Here are some pictures and a snippet of a video of our time on our aft balcony. 🙂

 

 

And here are some pictures of the group. 🙂

IMG_1947IMG_1951IMG_1957IMG_1960

IMG_1967

IMG_1962

IMG_1941IMG_19441V4A3109IMG_1975

And we were off and sailing away from Fort Lauderdale on our way to Princess Cays (Princess’ private island). We were having a blast already, I know without a shadow of a doubt that spending time on this cruise with these wonderful ladies and gents was going to be just awesome! ❤

All 8 of us met for dinner that night in the Anytime MDR, “Symphony”, I didn’t take one picture of that time though, but, trust me, everything was fabulous; the food, the friends, and the fellowship!!

WAIT:  I did take two pictures of dinner that evening, well, o-k-a-y, it’s just dessert, but, trust me, it tasted wonderful!!

IMG_0603IMG_0604

When my head hit that pillow on that night that I was out like a light and was rocked asleep by the gentle swaying of the big, beautiful, Royal Princess.

Next up, a couple of “Sea Days”, one planned and one not. 🙂

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

~Until next time, y’all take good, good, care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

 

Pioneer Woman Inspired Decor

Late last summer I had ventured into Walmart and was tootling around just looking to see what was what. I knew that the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) had her entire line of loveliness available for sale, so I tripped on over to where all of her bright and beautiful items were displayed. The colors that she highlights in her items and the way she mixes up said colors really excited and inspired me so I picked up several items to bring home try and figure out how to incorporate into my decor. When I got my goodies home where at that time my “Cozy Country” decor (soft and subtle burgundies and khakis) were abounding, I just couldn’t figure out how to incorporate all of the brightness that the Pioneer woman line offered. Right then, I promised myself that in my next “Spring Decor Series” I would try my best to give a nod to the Pioneer Woman. Below I will show you a smattering of pictures of what I came up with this Spring to recreate the wheel and transform our home into my “Pioneer Woman *Inspired* decor. I walked *way* outside of my comfort zone with this decor, BUT, I completely enjoyed the challenge and I do feel as if I succeeded in transforming my home into a bright and fun place to dwell all the while giving that not to the Pioneer Woman.

Here we go with some pictures and below I will put a link to my entire “Pioneer Woman Inspired Decor Series” playlist that I’ve posted on my “Arlynn’s Country Craft Corner” YouTube Channel so you can go and check out exactly how I brought this new decor series to fruition.

 

31514559_10215716759742438_3224673218342158336_oIMG_2692IMG_2693IMG_2694IMG_2697IMG_2717IMG_2727Version 2IMG_2729IMG_2740IMG_2754IMG_2758IMG_2761Version 2

IMG_2759IMG_2767IMG_2770IMG_2772IMG_2776IMG_2798Version 2IMG_2800IMG_2801IMG_2803IMG_2808IMG_2812IMG_2813IMG_2933IMG_2938IMG_2941IMG_2947IMG_2958IMG_2968IMG_2976

And here is a link to my “Pioneer Woman Inspired Playlist” that shows you how I created all of these spaces and includes tutorials for my lantern centerpieces, funky bows, that wreath, and much more. 🙂

Thank you all for stopping in to see what I’ve been up to lately!

***In Crafting, there are no mistakes, only unique creations!***

Until next time, y’all take good care!

~Arlynn

10-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise w/Princess, Episode #2: Traveling, Meeting Friends, & Water Taxi Excursion

Sleep.  Do you think that I could have slept on the night before we were to leave on our 10-Day Southern Caribbean adventure? Noooooooooooooo, not this girlie–My mind was a whirlwind of activity and I could not find my “off switch” to save my life that night. So I watched tv until around 2am in the morning and then I tripped on off to the shower to ready myself for the day’s travel. 🙂 Chris and I left our house at around 3am, we were on the first Jet Blue flight of the day out of the Richmond International airport. We live about 1-1/2 hours away from the airport, so of course we needed to back our time up from our flight’s departure time, add in even more time to check in and get through security (although we now have TSA Pre✓, so that helps immensely…I highly recommend that btw–or even better Global Entry which we’ll be obtaining once our 5 years are expired with our Pre✓). So when calculated out, we had to leave *really* early in the morning! Here I am all ready to depart, the butterflies in my belly were fluttering away at this moment in time:

IMG_1847

Thankfully, we had no issues getting to the airport in plenty of time. We even found a fantastic parking spot in the North Garage at the airport. 🙂

IMG_1852IMG_1854 2.jpg

We zipped on through the check-in process and then through security…y’all know that saying “Hurry up and wait”…Yep, that was us that morning…

IMG_1855 2

We finally boarded the jet…which was very nice btw, I love Jet Blue! The seats are just a smidge larger and so are the seatbelts which makes this fluffy girl happy. 😉

And off we go:

***Let me pause here and say that Chris and I *always* travel the day before we are to climb aboard the cruise ship. Long story short, we learned that we needed to do this after our our first try…yes, I said *try* to go on our first cruise, an Alaska cruise in 2007. On that fateful day, we didn’t know better, and we had decided to travel on the same day as our cruise was to begin. We were flying out of Dulles airport in Northern Virginia, and once on our jet and taxied out onto the tarmac, an “innocuous” light came on in the cockpit. The captain told us that an engineer was on the way and that we’d be on our way very soon. THREE hours later, they pulled that plane back up to the terminal and proceeded to cancel our flight!!! So, in turn, we had no choice but to cancel our cruise (what?!!!!) because there were no other flights out of ANY of the surrounding airports (and there were several to choose from) that could get us to Alaska in time to catch our ship. Princess was actually wonderful with us and we did manage to go back to Alaska later that same cruising season…but, can you imagine the ugly tears that were falling while on our way home on that day that we had to cancel that first cruise? Yeah, I never want to feel that again, so we ***always*** go a day early no matter how far we live away from the embarkation port.***

Soooo, we landed in Ft. Lauderdale 2-1/2 hours later on this, the day *before* we were to climb aboard our cruise ship. 🙂  We had reservations at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott and we had been instructed to give them a call upon landing and they’d send a free shuttle on over to pick us up. Ft. Lauderdale is not a very large airport, so it didn’t take us long to collect our luggage and head on out to our waiting area.

1E2D64C9-9151-4D85-BC8F-A38E35C061D7

I’m kind of mad at myself that I didn’t get any pictures of the Uber drivers trying to hone in on the regular taxi drivers and the scheduled buses and van transports that dotted the semi-circle pick-up area. I thought we might see a fight break out honestly! Let’s put it this way, the Uber drivers weren’t being respectful *at all* and the other drivers who were scheduled to be there to pick folks up were more than frustrated with their rude ways…it was not a pretty site and one from which I was completely happy to escape once our shuttle driver showed up. Whew…*that* was an experience!

ANYhoot, we were whisked off to our hotel the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Ft Lauderdale . I highly recommend this hotel, it was lovely and the staff was extra lovely. We had pre-arranged for early check in and low and behold our room was ready when we checked in (around 9:30am), not to mention, they allowed us to partake at their buffet breakfast. We were happy campers for sure because neither of us had had anything much to eat or drink up to that moment in time. We took our luggage on up to our room and zipped right on back down, I needed a cup of tea and Chris needed a cup of coffee, and we each had a bagel w/cream cheese and some other little breakfast items. 🙂

I did manage to take a little video of our room that day, so here we go with that:

And here are some pictures:

IMG_1865IMG_1866IMG_1867IMG_1868IMG_1869IMG_1870IMG_1863IMG_1864IMG_1862

Alrighty then, it was finally time for us to head down to the lobby and wait for the arrival  of my friend Barbara and her significant other Kirk who drove to the hotel from their home not too far away –They’d be staying the night at the hotel too…I was brimming with excitement and so looking forward to that first sweet hug!  And it didn’t disappoint, wow, was it ever good to have that dear lady in my arms and yep, I was crying and squeezing her really tight. 😉

IMG_0599

Barbara and Kirk got themselves all settled in at the hotel and then Barb and I whisked off in her car, we were heading to our other friends, (who are sisters), hotel to pick them up. We’d be heading to the Inner-coastal Waterway and catching a Water Taxi tour. I was too busy hugging and blubbering over those two ladies that I unfortunately do not have one picture of our first meeting. <sigh>

Here are the 4 of us on that sweet day. Front row left to right, sisters, Barbara & Pat.  Back row, left to right, Barbara and me. 🙂

IMG_1872

Quick, funny story as to how we procured this picture.  This poor, innocent, older gentleman was walking toward us at a quick pace, I eyed him and thought that maybe I could stop him and ask him if he wouldn’t mind taking our picture. So as he was approaching, I said “Are you out for a walk to exercise?  Well, he kind of started to take a wide berth around me…LOL…and then I explained that I didn’t want to interrupt his walk if he was indeed exercising, but, we’d sure appreciate it if he would stop for a moment and capture a picture of us. Once he figured out that I wasn’t trying to rob him or something, he gladly and very kindly stopped and took this picture. lol Oy vey…My mouth can get me in trouble sometimes, I have got to remember that not everyone is as talkative and approachable as I feel that I am…hahaha. 😉

ANYhoot, we had a lovely time on the Water Taxi and I did manage to take a few pictures and a small video:

IMG_1875IMG_1877IMG_1880IMG_1882IMG_1883IMG_1884IMG_1885IMG_1887IMG_1890

 

As you can see, it was a lovely day filled with beautiful sites and lovely friends!! I was in Heaven. This was the perfect start to our vacation!  Once we finished our Water Taxi ride, we headed back to our hotels to freshen up for dinner; we’d be meeting at Dave and Buster’s.  We had a wonderful dinner that I caught not one picture of…go me! 😉 Dave and Buster’s does have an arcade section that looked to be super fun, but, we decided not to venture into that portion of the restaurant, we were all bushed from traveling and decided to go on back to our hotels and try to get some rest. We knew the next day would be a very busy and fun day, that’d be the day that we’d be boarding the gorgeous Royal Princess and embarking on our 10-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise!  Trust me when I say that I literally did not feel my head hit the pillow that night–by that point I’d been up over 36 hours straight…me and my excitement for travel…huh…what’s a girl to do. 😉  I really need to work on finding my “off switch” on the night before we depart for a new adventure. 😉

All that said, I can’t wait to bring you along for the rest of our journey, but, for now, I’ll just say…Until next time, y’all take good, good care!

~Arlynn

**If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

Sneak Peek:

IMG_1917 2.jpg