Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan Canopy Tour and Tabyana Beach Excursion


We just got back from our 20 year Anniversary cruise. Sad for it to be over and even sadder that I have Mal de Debarquement Syndrome again! I had never heard of this until I started researching it after my cruise last year. It is a specific type of vertigo that occurs after departing a cruise. Upon returning to land, a person with MDD develops a swaying sensation and dizziness that can last for many days to many years. Luckily last time mine only lasted 3 weeks. Today mine hit when we were halfway home in the Dairy Queen bathroom. Everything started swaying and it hasn’t stopped since. As they say on the Carnival ship…fun, fun, fun!!

The cruise and the ship were both wonderful. We were on the Carnival Magic. First stop…Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan…. The port was really nice. Lots of shopping spots and the usual port bar.

We did the Canopy Tour and Tabyana Beach excursion. It was $89.99 a person. This excursion had a 4.8 star rating. I would totally agree with that. The zip-lining at Gumbalimba Park was awesome! The people were very friendly and helpful. There were a total of 10 zip lines that we got to zip down. There was a photographer there that took 10 pictures of you coming down the final zip line. You were able to purchase them on a disc for just $10. Not a bad deal. Although zip-lining isn’t the most flattering position and the helmet doesn’t help either….

Afterwards, they drove us to Tabyana Beach. The beach was beautiful. There was a gift shop, restaurant, bar, showers, beach chairs and lots and lots of vendors. They had security guards there to help keep the vendors away. The only complaint I have about the excursion is that the vendors wouldn’t leave you alone. The security did the best they could but they were outnumbered. Some of them even came out into the ocean to offer you a massage or braid your hair. They also like to tell you that they don’t have change for anything so come prepared with ones and fives. They did have good deals on jewelry, dresses, shells, hammocks, etc…

The people at the bar took great care of everyone. They would even come out to the water to deliver your drinks. The food was great too. We got a huge plate of beans and rice for $3. It was delicious. I need to work on recreating that one soon.

My favorite vendor….Cookie the Monkey. Only $5 for unlimited pictures. I could have played with him all day. Taylor and Megan aren’t real happy with me though. They didn’t want us to do any excursions that involved animals since they weren’t with us. But since Cookie wasn’t really part of the excursion he doesn’t count.

Coming soon….Belize and Cozumel.
Today’s Leopard Find: Toiletry Travel Bag

The Perfect Boiled Egg

Due to book fair taking up all my time for the last 2 weeks, there hasn’t been a lot of time for actual cooking. That’s why there will be a few more smoothies coming in the next few days. Last nights fancy dinner was egg salad sandwiches. It took me a few years to figure out that there was a secret to boiling eggs.

Place eggs in a pot with cold water that completely covers the egg by about an inch. Add one teaspoon of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once it is to a strong boil, let it boil for a minute. Remove the pot from the heat and cover it with a lid. Let it sit for 12 minutes. Remove the egg from the hot water with a slotted spoon. Let the eggs cool for about 10 minutes. Place in pot with cold ice water. Crack the egg and then peel in the water.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Wastebasket …

Water with Lemon

I read that awhile back that Lauren Conrad starts each day with a glass of water and fresh squeezed lemon. So I decided to do some research on the benefits.

It’s good for your stomach – it aids in digestion, heartburn and nausea.

It helps to flush toxins out of the body.

It’s good for your health – it helps to fight colds, helps with weight loss, helps curb cravings, acts as a natural diuretic and boosts your immune system.

Makes you more attractive! – Clears skin and freshens breath.

Some other claims…helps to control high blood pressure, helps with respiratory disorders and arthritis.

So I figure it’s worth a try! Twice a day….

8 oz Water (hot or cold)1/2 Fresh Lemon Juice

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Cabinet Knobs …

The Port at Cozumel, Mexico

Our Carnival Conquest excursions, Part III – Cozumel, Mexico For our day in Cozumel we did the Xcaret excursion. It was awesome!!! By far my favorite. We were a little worried when we went to the excursion room on the ship and we were the only ones going to Xcaret. It turned out perfect. We had our own personal tour guide. He offered to stay with us all day and we took him up on it. He made sure we saw the most important things and he was knowledgable about everything. We learned so much. They had replicas of Mayan Ruins, Mexican Folk Art, tons of history, places to shop. I can’t even begin to list everything on here. First we had to take a ferry ride over to Playa del Carmen. If you don’t handle boats well, you may want to skip this excursion. That was one fast and bumpy ferry. It didn’t bother me at all, but some looked a little green. This was our wonderful tour guide. Sure wish I could remember his name!!! He was awesome! Here he was teaching the girls about butterflies. You could watch them coming out of their cocoons.The underground river was my favorite. It was freezing for the first 5 seconds but after that it was just fine. You just floated through. There were several places for you to get out if you didn’t want to go all the way around.Of course I loved holding the parrots. They liked to be held like babies. How cute are they?? Wish our birds here were that sweet. Tomorrow I’m going to go try to hold a mockingbird like a baby and see what happens.The lagoon was beautiful. It was connected to the ocean so there were even fish in there with you. I’m guessing some of you might not take that as a positive…There were animals everywhere. Tons of birds, ranch animals, zoo animals, marine animals, reptiles…. We didn’t make it over to the sea life section since we had done dolphins and turtles the day before, but they had tons of things to do over there. There’s no way you could see everything in a day.A baby parrot. So ugly it’s cute! We got to see quail hatching. The girls could have stayed at that part all day and been happy.There is something here for everyone. I’d give it 5 stars.In case you missed it….Part I – JamaicaPart II – Grand CaymanToday’s Leopard Find: Bathroom accessories set …

The Port at George Town, Grand Cayman

Carnival Conquest Port Reviews – Part II – Grand Cayman This was by far the most entertaining port of the cruise. You could entertain yourself right there for hours (if you like to shop, eat and drink). This is a tender port (which means you dock out in the ocean and take a cute little boat over to land). They had us a little stressed out thinking we were going to miss the boat. I think they just like to scare you to give you a sense of urgency. Once we got on the boat we had to sit there until it filled up. We had plenty of time. Don’t let them stress you out when you are supposed to be on a relaxing vacation. Our excursion at this port was the Dolphin Encounter and Turtle Farm. This was so much fun!! We took a short bus ride to the Turtle Farm. (They are right across the street from each other.) If you like animals you will love this!!! The turtles were gorgeous. The highlight was getting to hold the baby turtles. Precious!!!! Taylor would have paid thousands to take one home with her. The bigger ones were cool too, but not quite as cuddly. This one smacked me across the mouth with his flipper. I have to say they are very strong. That hurt like heck. Next we walked across the street to swim with the dolphins. We got to do several activities with them. You do have to do a little bit of swimming but other than that it’s just standing there by them. The one thing I wish I would have known…they tell you that you have to leave your camera in the locker and buy the pictures that they take for you. There were 2 people in our group that had cameras. :/ We had to pay for our pictures. They were really expensive so we just bought one of each of us. They put them on a cd for you. They have Margaritaville, tons of shops and it looked like you could easily spend hours there. We only had a little bit of time after the excursion so we just went to the shop at Margaritaville and window shopped in a few of the jewelry stores. Next up will be my absolute favorite…Xcaret.In case you missed our 1st stop…JamaicaAnd our last stop…Cozumel Today’s Leopard Find: Pet Furniture …

The Port at Montego Bay, Jamaica


As I was trying to prepare our itinerary for our next cruise (and after the overwhelming success of my Disney World Dining Tips) I thought it might help some of you to recap the ports and excursions of my last cruise. We took the Carnival Conquest out of Galveston to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

First up…Montego Bay, Jamaica…

The picture above was our view from the ship. It was definitely the prettiest port to look at from afar. After researching every possible excursion on the list we decided to skip Jamaica. I was so disappointed because I’d never been, but every excursion sounded absolutely miserable. Since we were going into Montego Bay instead of Ocho Rios, all of the excursions that we wanted to do involved long bus rides. So instead we decided to just shop at the port.

The port looked kind of like a Greyhound bus stop (in a third world country). I didn’t take any pictures on the inside (apparently I didn’t find anything photo worthy) but it was a square of shops. There were dreadlock hats, t-shirts, artwork, carved wooden statues, etc…
The most exciting things we saw at the port were the musicians playing for us we arrived…
And the band playing for us before we left. People threw money at them from the balconies and decks and they had to run around picking it up.
Due to the fact that I’m struggling to keep my eyes open and my photos aren’t cooperating, I’m going to post Grand Cayman and Cozumel separately.
Today’s Leopard Print Find: Bearington Baby – Luxe Leopard Blanket

Earning My Keep

So since I’ve become unemployed I’ve been trying really hard to save money. I hardly ever used coupons before and never, ever shopped at Walgreens or CVS before. But now I’ve discovered just how much you can save if you have the time and you pay attention to the sale ads. Maybe I’m the only one that didn’t know about this but just in case, thought I’d share. Today at Walgreens I bought 2 Windex, 2 Gillette Shave Gels and 8 assorted razors. It only cost me $21.97. I saved $98.18 AND got a $10.00 register reward to use next time. So really everything pictured above only cost me $11.97! The deals at CVS are usually even better with the Extrabucks Rewards. But I’ve been saving so much I’m running out of room to put everything. Now who needs a shave?? Today’s Leopard Find: Floppy Sun Hat …

Scrapbooking Organization

This one is for my scrapbooking friends….I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. After trying to unpack from Disney World I had piles of stuff everywhere to use in the scrapbooks. Since I’m years behind on this, by the time I get to it I’ll have no idea where everything is. So the light bulb came on and I came up with the idea of putting everything in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Now when I get the pictures back they can just go in there too. Then everything is all in one place. Especially excited about having a place now to put all of the school stuff that accumulates every week.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Rubber Mounted Wood Stamp …

Character Dining at Walt Disney World

Back from a fun but totally exhausting week at Walt Disney World. It was a fabulous trip. We have now done almost all of the character meals. I thought I would share my rankings with y’all. Here they are from best to worst. I listed the characters we saw to give you an idea but they are all subject to change. The Disney dining plan is a must.

Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom - Breakfast with Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore. They do a parade every 45 minutes where the kids get to walk around the restaurant with the characters. Buffet style with an omelet station, Mickey waffles, cereals, freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit, breakfast pizza and cheddar cheese potatoes. My favorite time of the whole trip is the walk down Main St. before the park opens. It is so beautiful and peaceful.

Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at the 1900 Park Fare at The Grand Floridian - Breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Buffet style with an omelet station, Mickey waffles, mini pancakes, pecan rolls, strawberry soup and vanilla sauce. Easy to get to by the monorail.


Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club. Take the boat from Hollywood Studios. Breakfast with Minnie, Goofy and Donald. Fresh cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, and fresh berries, mixed fruit and yogurt selections. Scrambled eggs, omelets and eggs to order, biscuits and gravy, French toast, and Mickey waffles, bacon and sausage, seasoned potatoes, assorted hot & cold cereals, bread pudding with vanilla sauce, muffins, danish, and donuts. Bagels and breads toasted to order, coffee, tea and juice selections.

Tusker House at Animal Kingdom. Breakfast with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Daisy. Buffet style with a yogurt station, fresh fruit, waffle station, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, potato wedges, cereal, biscuits & gravy, veggie frittata, ham & cheese frittata, corned beef hash, cheese blintzes, beef Bobotie quiche, yam casserole, carved rotisserie honey ham, oatmeal, porridge, cinnamon rolls, assorted muffins and breads, turnovers, danish, and croissants and donuts. They do a parade for the kids here as well. Also great to get here before the park opens.


Chef Mickey Breakfast at the Contemporary Resort. Breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Chip ‘n Dale and Goofy. Premium Fruit Bar: Seasonal melon and fresh fruit display, assorted flavored yogurts and more. Cereal Selections: Almond granola, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Cocoa Krispies, hot oatmeal and grits. Breakfast Specialties: scrambled eggs, Pluto’s cheese blintz, 3 cheese omelet, Chef’s daily omelet, Corned Beef hash with cornbread, Goofy’s veggie lasagna, Mickey waffles, cheese potatoes with bacon, Breakfast potatoes, bacon & sausage links, Minnie’s breakfast pizza, Challah French toast, pancakes with a variety of toppings, and buttermilk biscuits with country gravy. Pastry Chef’s Creations: bagels, chocolate croissants, muffins, cinnamon rolls, Rice Krispie treats, peach cobbler, warm bread pudding, assorted danishes and more. The kids get to twirl their napkins over their heads whenever they start their music. Easy to get to by the Monorail.

Cinderella’s Royal Table at the castle at Magic Kingdom. Breakfast with Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Belle. Family style with a traditional breakfast consisting of Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Cheese Danish, Fresh Fruit, Breakfast Breads, Potato Casserole and Blueberry French Toast. Books up fast! It’s all about the experience of dining in the castle, not the food.

Ohana at the Polynesian. Breakfast with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto. Family style with scrambled eggs, Island-style fried potatoes, Hawaiian pork sausages, smoked bacon and a variety of fresh fruits and breads. Parade for the kids.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Dinner with Mickey, Goofy, Chip ‘n Dale. Dinner includes BBQ smoked ribs, smoked chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs with all the trimmings, corn on the cob, watermelon and more. Lots of entertainment. Where else do you get a chance to dance with your favorite characters?

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Princess breakfast in Norway at Epcot. Breakfast with Belle, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Jasmine. Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Potato Casserole, Fresh Breakfast Breads and Fresh Seasonal Fruit.
Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios. Breakfast with June, Jake, Agent Oso and Handy Manny. They played songs every 15 minutes. The girls wanted to kill me for this one. The food was good but no need to put yourself through all those Playhouse Disney tunes unless you have little ones that will appreciate it. Breakfast buffet featuring favorites like Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles, frittatas and fresh fruit.
The Garden Grill at Epcot. Dinner with Chip ‘n Dale, Mickey and Pluto. Family style grilled steak, roast turkey and fish of the day. Last time was soooo much better. When the food was brought to our table Taylor even said “Seriously, this is our dinner???” The rotating restaurant overlooks the Living on the Land ride.
Cinderella’s Royal Table at the castle at Magic Kingdom.  Lunch with Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, Belle, Jasmine and Snow White. What a disappointment this was. Definitely not for the picky eaters.
Lunch menu:
Braised Cobia – Braised in Pomodorro sauce served with vegetables over angel hair pasta
Nicoise Salad – Pan seared tuna with mixed greens, eggs, Haricot verts, tomatoes and olives drizzled with house vinaigrette
Pork three ways – pulled pork with a bacon and andoulle etouffee sauce served with spoon bread topped with swiss chard
Vegetarian Cassoulet – Baked French style casserole of cannelini and garbonzo beans topped with wild mushrooms, zucchini, shallots, tomatoes and herbs
Almond cheesecake – With Lingonberry jam
Rasberry No sugar added Sorget – With berries
Valrhona Chocolate Mousse – A light chocolate mousse presented with berries and raspberry sauce
Kids Menu:
Choice of Garden salad or Bite size cheddar cheese and grapes. Choice of Chicken Breast Nuggets or Beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and corn Cheese pizza with veggies and sliced apples or grilled fish of the day with whole grain pilaf, veggies and yogurt parfait.
Today’s Leopard Print Find: Mouse Pad