what we’ve been up to lately…

Dog Birthday Party
Easter Finger Foods Brunch
Cruising: The Perfect, Affordable Family Vacation
Fried Chicken and Waffles

One Room Challenge Week One -Living Room and Eating Area

I had so much fun participating in the One Room Challenge (ORC) last fall, that i knew i wanted to participate again in the spring version.  This time around I’m making over the living room and the eating area of our kitchen.  I want to continue the Rustic Scandinavian design I used in the Dining Room make over.  You can read all about the Dining Room Makeover from last time here.

Before and After

Here’s what the room looks like now.  It was decorated by us when we moved into this house about 11 years ago now.  It’s pretty neutral and has served us well, but it’s time for an update.

Spring home tour 32

The room really has great bones -9ft ceilings, hardwood floors, and great light.

Spring home tour 30

It’s time for some new furniture.  We’ve had this couch and chair set since we got married, and we’re coming up on our 16 year anniversary next week. They’ve lasted pretty well.

Spring home tour 23

Spring home tour 31

Over on the other side of the room, is the fireplace.

Spring home tour 29

I always intended to give it a little makeover, but never got around to it, so now is the time.

And attached to the living room is the kitchen eating area.  With replacing the green furniture in the living room, it’s time to say goodbye to the matching green walls in the kitchen too.  This area will get an update with a new light, and new accessories too.  I’m thinking about refinishing the kitchen table too.  It’s a family antique I found in my Grandma’s barn long, long ago.  I love it, but it does sometimes look a little orange-ish, especially in photos on the blog.  I do a lot of photo’s here because the light is great, so I’m thinking about refinishing it.  I had quite the time refinishing my dining room table for the last one room challenge -you can read all about it here.  It was a steep learning curve, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now.  Hopefully I’ll have enough time during the six weeks to tackle this table.

Spring home tour 22

Here’s some of the inspiration for the rooms.

And here’s the mood board for the living room.  This should give you a sense of where I’m headed.

Rustic Scandinavian Living Room Mood Board

I’ve got big plans to replace the couch, chair and ottoman, and maybe the rug too. The living room and kitchen will be painted JoJo White Wash by Para, to match the dining room, and tie the whole main floor together.   I’m thinking about planking one wall in the living room to add a little texture for this very white colour scheme -but I haven’t totally decided yet.  I’m excited to add in lots of natural elements like sheep’s skin rugs, wood, antlers, and plants.  I’m also planing to add in lots of cozy texture with chunky knits, wood planks, a shag rug, and some macrame.  I’ll be stream lining things a little by getting rid of the shelf unit.  I’m also planning to finally give the fireplace a little makeover -by removing the wood decal from the front and painting out the brass.  I’m thinking about painting it white, but we’ll see how it looks when the walls are painted.  I’m thinking about painting the tv unit too.  I can’t wait for this space to become lighter and brighter.

I love the Rustic Scandinavian look for it’s neutral bright white and mix of modern with rustic pieces.  I think the design will be very easy to live with.  Having said that, I’m a little tiny bit nervous about white everything with two kids and a dog, but I’m thinking that just like the dining room, slip covers are the key to living with an all white scheme -I guess we’ll find out. 😉

And so the adventure begins.  In six weeks I’ll be revealing the final living room and eating area, along with all the other One Room Challenge guest participants.  And each week along the way, I’ll be checking in with an update on my progress, and joining in with all the participants -so be sure to check out all their rooms here.

With a Rustic Scandinavian Living Room and Eating Area make over, life really is a party!

Dog Birthday Party

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

This past weekend my little pet doggie Oscar turned one, and we celebrated with a Dog Birthday Party.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

Let me just say right off the top that I know some people might think this is a little crazy.  And it is.  I know my doggie didn’t actually need a birthday party, in fact he probably didn’t even realize that it was his birthday party, lol.  But if we’re in the business of making life a party, then why not take all the  reasons we can find to celebrate?  I want to create crazy memories for my kids, and god children that they’ll remember when they grow up.  I want them to have stories like “remember when Oscar turned one and we had a little birthday party for him?  And it was so silly and so much fun.”  Those are the kind of things I want to hear them remembering when they’re all grown up.  Any excuse to celebrate, any reason to bake a cake and sing, any time we can gather with people we love and share a meal, and any day we can truly make life into a party -I say let’s do it!

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

I had some fun setting up a pretty dessert table and a few decorations -but I promise it was all pretty easy.  And I think you could honestly show up at home with a store bought birthday cake, a new dog bone and a balloon and declare it a party at your house and everyone would be just as delighted.  It doesn’t have to be too fancy, it’s really just about seizing the opportunely to celebrate, to play, to party with the people you love.  Because let’s face it, life is hard sometimes, and it’s good to sprinkle life with parties between the hard bits.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

We invited our friends and the grandparents over for a long walk in the forest, which we knew the birthday boy would love.  After the walk we had some hot dogs -because dog party = hot dogs.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

I kept the menu really easy with hotdogs and sausage, veggies and dip, hummus, and chips.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

For drinks we had easy lemonade in pretty re-usable bottles.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

My colour scheme was blue, for my boy.  I kept things simple with a few honeycomb party decorations and a pretty succulent planter on the table.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

I found some dog paw ribbon and used it to dress up the napkins.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

My favourite was our little dessert table.  I made an easy backdrop with some scrapbook paper.  I just free hand drew some doggie words -Bow Wow, woof, and ruff and added in some bones too.  I used my sewing machine to stitch them into garland.  We hung them up with some “woof” washi tape.  This was so simple and inexpensive to make.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

There were two birthday cakes -one for the doggie and one for his two-legged friends.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

We used this recipe for Peanut Butter and Apple Doggie Cake, and Oscar loved it.  It was full of all his favourite foods -apple, peanut butter and egg.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

And for the humans, I made a simple cake from a cake mix and decorated with some ribbon flags and toy dogs.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

I just love how the cake turned out and it was so simple to make.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

I also made some rice krispie cookie “bones” for the humans, with a bone cookie cutter.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

My husband and kids LOVE rice krispies so this was a fun and easy addition.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

If you had told me even a year and half ago that I’d have a pet dog now, I really probably won’t have believed you.  We always said we weren’t pet people.  But somehow last spring on a family walk I started feeling like the picture would be more complete with a puppy in it.  When I fist mentioned it I was almost joking.  But the funny thing was I couldn’t shake the idea, and the more I thought about it the more I thought it just might be a good idea.  My husband was the hardest to crack.  The kids were on board from the get go, in fact they’d always wanted a dog but had literally given up dreaming about it because we’d said so many times “we’re not pet people”.  But something in us changed.  I kind of think God wanted to teach us some more about unconditional love.  There’s nothing like a dog’s greeting when you get home.  He’s just so darn happy to see you.  He makes you feel very loved.  And he doesn’t care how your day was, if you were particularly successful or not, if you made a lot of money or not, his opinion of you never seems to change.  He just loves you.  He doesn’t want anything from you, just you.  And there’s really nothing quite like that feeling.  I’d still say we’re not really pet people.  But we’ve become Oscar people.  I don’t particularly like dogs…maybe a little more than before.  But I like my dog and he likes me, and that’s pretty nice.

 

Here’s to many more doggie birthday parties in the future.

Puppy Dog Birthday Party: easy ideas for a dog cake for humans, and a real dog, along with inexpensive dog themed decorations, and dessert table.

With a puppy dog birthday, life really is a party!

Easter Finger Foods Brunch

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

Breakfast Finger Foods make the perfect Easter Brunch.  Excited kids who just want to eat chocolate can have a little of what they like,  and grown-ups have an excuse to try everything and come back for more of what they love.  Today I’m excited to share this Easter Finger Foods Brunch as the first post in our Year of Feasting!

Last year I got intentional about connecting with friends and family and hosted a party a month –read all about how my year went here.  It was truly a great experience, so this year I invited my blogging friends to join in with me.  I’m joined by 11 other Canadian Bloggers who all wanted to focus on inviting others into our hearts and homes this year for a whole year of feasting.  We’ll all be hosting special feasts for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  We invite you to join in too and be intentional this year about hosting friends and family, and connecting and reconnecting with those you love.  Be sure to check out all the other parties at the end of the post.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

For this party, I chose a Friday morning and invited over some of my blogging friends.  We had the best time!  It was a morning of making some really great connections, and so much encouragement and celebrating each others success.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

Let me share the details of the pretty and easy tablescape with you.  I wanted to keep things a little more casual so I set everything up in the kitchen, rather than the dining room.  It made the get together feel more laid back and put my guests at ease as soon as they arrived.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

The table is a pretty combination of spring pastels.  I started out with the pretty water colour floral pillows from Giant Tiger -it’s a great one stop shop for decor and food.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

They have a few different colour combinations -I went with the white and soft greeny-blue.  The pillows set the tone for the rest of the tablescape.  Giant Tiger has a great selection of Easter candy, so I thought it would be fun to use as decor in pretty mason jars on the table -and for my guests to nibble on throughout the party.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I used a simple runner on the table and layered on a piece of linen.  I didn’t want the table to be too sweet, so I felt like the more rustic linens, and un-ironed napkins kept it a bit more rustic.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

The primroses are also from Giant Tiger, and so spring like.  I thought they looked pretty wrapped in some moss and in these lanterns.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I also used these pretty vintage little bowls, perfect for our Granola Cereal Buffet.  I love incorporating some vintage treasures.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

To make things causal and easy I set up the food in a little buffet, so guests could help themselves.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I wanted to do breakfast foods, but all finger food size for ease.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

So I set up a everything on my little side cabinet.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

Since it was breakfast, sausage and eggs seemed essential.  So, I picked up some frozen mini quiche and ordered some mini sausage rolls from my local bakery.  They were so good.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

Since it’s Easter, I also ordered some hot cross buns.  I offered guests butter, jam, and cheese to go with them.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I also picked up a some mini cinnamon rolls and made some easy turnovers.  I just cut the turnovers in half as I made them so they’d me mini size too.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

And then, just for fun, I made some of my little Chocolate Mousse Easter Eggs -find the recipe here.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

They’re really the perfect sweet little treat for Easter.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

It was great having all these breakfast finger foods off to the side so that guests could help themselves as we chatted away.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I also set up a fun little granola bar.  I used my bar cart to hold lots of yummy toppings.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I made some of my famous homemade granola -find the recipe here.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

Along with the granola, there was some fresh fruit, greek yogurt, honey, and some special toppings.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I used some little mason jars to serve some coconut, raisins, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

I think my guests loved the granola bar the most.

Easter Finger Foods Brunch: the perfect, no fuss Easter brunch menu and decor.

It truly was so much fun having a blogger meet up, and I think my guests had a good time too since my brunch lasted most of the day.  A sure sign of a good party is lingering guests.

With an Easter Finger Food Brunch for a Spring Feast, life really is a party!

Disclosure:  Giant Tiger provided some of the products in this post.  The opinions are, as always, my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that make Life is a Party possible.

Now be sure to check out all these amazing Spring Feasts and get inspired to have your own #yearoffeasting

THE DIY MOMMY  –  LIFE IS A PARTY  –  VINYETE ETC.

PERSONALLY ANDREA  –  KIM POWER STYLE   –   THE LEARNER OBSERVER

WOMAN IN REAL LIFE  –  FLOURISH AND KNOT   –  LOVE CREATE CELEBRATE

AMIDST THE CHAOS  –  PMQ FOR TWO  –  THE DREAM HOUSE PROJECT

 

Cruising: The Perfect, Affordable Family Vacation

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Cruising really is the perfect, affordable vacation.  You might think cruising is only for the rich, but I promise it’s not any more.  In fact it’s very comparable to any all inclusive holiday.  If you follow me on social media, you’ll know my family and I just returned from a 12 Night Royal Caribbean Cruise.  We had a wonderful time and I have a few tips to share with you about how we make cruising an affordable option for our family.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Go On A Smaller Ship

One of the great secrets to cruising at a great price is to book aboard a smaller cruise ship.  When I say smaller, let me put it into perspective for you, it’s still like a floating city.  Even the smaller ships are huge and all have swimming pools, hot tubs, dining rooms, theatres, gyms, spas, libraries, coffee shops, speciality restaurants and bars, shops, climbing walls, kids areas, teen areas, and even baby areas.  It’s amazing how big cruise ships are, and I promise even the smaller ones have all you need to keep you and family entertained for a week or even two.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Book An Inside Cabin

On a cruise there are different rooms available.  You can choose anything from a suite with sitting areas and separate bedrooms for your whole families, a regular room with a balcony, right down to the smallest inside cabin, with up to four in one room.  We almost always get an inside cabin.  It’s cheaper to get an inside room, and although they’re smaller, and certainly cosy for four people they’re very workable.  The way it works is that there are bunk beds over the main bed for the kids to sleep on.  The room has no windows, but believe it or not, it’s kind of nice when you’ve all been up late and you want to sleep in, because the room stays nice and dark.  The truth is, at least for us, and probably anyone traveling with kids, you don’t spend that much time in your room.  The ships have so many fun activities, and things to do, not to mention the ports, that the rooms end up being for sleeping and getting dressed and that’s about it.  Would a larger room be nicer?  Perhaps, but I’d rather get to take a two week cruise and be a little cozier, it’s a lot like camping, and your kids will probably love it.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Wait For A Sale

Royal Caribbean have amazing sales.  The last cruise we went on was purchased during their “Kids Sail Free” sale.  We’ve also purchased before during buy one get one half price.  There’s sales on all the time, so be patient and find one that really works for you.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Drive To The Port

Our last few cruises we’ve saved a lot of money by driving to the port where we get onto the cruise ship, rather than flying.  We live in Toronto, Canada, so there’s no cruise ships leaving from here, but you don’t always have to fly to Florida.  We’ve sailed out of New York and Baltimore, and there’s other ships out of Texas and New Orleans.  It’s always cheaper to drive a family than to fly a family (unless you have some points to fly for free).  We usually find a hotel deal where we can drive in the day before and park our car at the hotel while we’re on the cruise.  They offer a shuttle to and from the hotel and it’s quite quick and easy.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Bring Your Own Wine

We aren’t big drinkers, but I do love a glass of wine before dinner.  Royal Caribbean lets each stateroom bring tw0 bottles of wine on the ship.  Your cabin steward can bring you a wine opener and glasses.  This helps cut down the bar bill a little.  And, if you’re travelling with Grandparents who aren’t drinkers, have them bring on a couple for you too.  It’s really easy to get carried away ordering drinks on the ship, since you use your room card instead of money.  Just think about your budget before you go.  It’s often cheaper to drink in port, since the local beers are always really affordable -and the bars often offer free wi-fi too.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Explore the Ports On Your Own

A great way to save a little money on a cruise is to explore the ports on your own.  These days with the Internet, you can totally plan out your ports of call before you even leave home.  Take some time to research each port and what family friendly activities are there.  You can plan your attractions or what beach is family friendly, even research how much the cab fare will be.  Some places even let you pre-book tickets on-line before you go, and sometimes at a discount.  In the port you’ll easily find a cab driver and know exactly what you’re doing, and it will be at a fraction of the cost of an excursion booked through the ship.  Some people worry about not getting back to the ship on time, but the islands are quite small and there are tons of taxis, so I would say just head back to the ship early and you don’t have to worry at all.  The biggest tip I have for this though, is to make sure to agree on the cost of the taxi with the driver before you leave -they certainly love to negotiate, and haggle, so be prepared for that.  You might get a cheaper price if you go with others too, so don’t be afraid to ask other cruisers if they’d like to share a taxi with you.  Also, don’t pay in advance for the return trip.  Be sure to only pay for one way at a time, just in case they don’t return for you.  If that should ever happen to you, there’s aways someone around -at the attraction, or at the beach’s little bar to call another taxi driver for you.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Take Advantage Of The Children’s Programs

Royal Caribbean has kids programs for babies all the way up to teens, and from 3 years old and up they don’t require the parents to be there.  The regular children’s program is all free, included in the price of your cruise. (There is a charge for after hours night care, and in room babysitting.)  My kids have loved the children’s program.  They make friends, play games, do crafts, and even science experiments.  It’s all run by trained professions, and they even have a pager system you can use if your child wants to reach you after you drop them off.  What’s really nice about these programs is it lets you have a little grown up time without the kids some days too.  A true holiday for everyone.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Keep An Eye On The Extras

They’re are lots of little extras you can purchase, but they can really add up.  Enjoy a few cocktails, or a speciality coffee, but keep an eye on it.  You might be tempted by Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream, but there is an upcharge for it.  You can have all the free ice cream you want up at the self-serve ice cream machine, or in the dining room.  It’s tempting to order a soda, but there’s an up charge.  Remember you can get water, lemonade, orange juice, apple juice, chocolate milk, ice tea all for free in the dining room.  The speciality restaurants are amazing!  But they do come at an extra cost.  When the dining room is so, so good and included in your cruise cost, why not enjoy it instead?  The Internet service has really improved on the ships, and it’s a pretty reasonable cost now too.  I kind of like the unplugged feeling of being on the ship, but if you’re on a long cruise you can definitely connect.  On our last cruise we were tempted to buy a package for the whole cruise, but in the end it was much cheaper to buy it twice for 24 hours, and use free wi-fi where we could in the ports.  We ended up buying wi-fi for one day on the way down while we were at sea, and one day on the return trip home for a sea day.   I’d say the big up charge areas to watch are the spa, drinks, shopping, and the casino.  By all means enjoy, but think about your budget and how much you’ll be comfortable spending before you over indulge.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Enjoy Your Food

There are so many great dining options, which makes cruising truly family friendly.  Royal Caribbean offers free room service (until very late at night), a buffet, the main dining room, a coffee shop, a cafe, as well as speciality restaurants -and on larger ships there’s even more options.  If your group isn’t keen on formal night, don’t worry just go to the buffet that night, or order room service.  Did you have a nap and miss lunch in the dining room, no problem just go to the buffet or cafe.  Want a special dinner for just mom and dad, bring your kids to the buffet for dinner, then drop them at the kid’s program, and enjoy a late adult only dinner.  Are your kids fussy eaters?  They should be able to always find something at the buffet.  And in the dining room, you’ll have the same wait staff every evening, and they will bend over backwards to meet your needs.  Once your waiters learn what your kids like, they’ll really cater to them.  Ours even cut up their meat for them so that I didn’t have to.  The service is amazing!   I had the pleasure of chatting with the exectutive chef on our last cruise about how they accommodate families, and one of the sweetest things he said was, we always have peanut butter and jam sandwiches available!  Of course he’s a father of three so he gets it.  There’s also a kids menu in the dining room, or they can adjust the adult menu -leave off sauces, add a side of fries, that kind of thing.  I promise no one will go hungry, in fact it’s probuably the oposite.  If you or your kids suffer from allergies be sure to inform the cruise line.  They’ll work with you to find options that work for you on the buffet or in the dining room and if necessary they’ll individually prepare your food for you ensuring it’s suitable.  Our family have become real foodies over the years, and even our kids look forward to the gourmet dining.  It’s a great chance to try new things and indulge, since everything is all included.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

Enjoy the Family Activities -There’s Something for Everyone

One of the great parts of cruising with your kids is getting to spend time with them.  We love swimming with them -or at least watching them swim, haha.  There’s also hot tubs to enjoy together.  My girls and husband love doing the rock climbing wall together.  There’s always pingpong tables, and shuffle board too.  On past cruises we’ve had a lot of fun having mini golf competitions as a family.  The ships usually have some board games you can borrow and play together, and cards.  There’s also scheduled activities.  My youngest daughter just loves the napkin folding class, and this year our girls loved competing in daily trivia competitions and even won the Disney theme songs one!  They’ve also had a blast at family karaoke night, and the family scaventure hunt.  We all enjoyed the movies on the pool deck. Every night there’s a different movie played up on the pool deck and you can watch it under the stars in the pool lounge chairs.  A few of the movies were family movies.   It was so cool watching Disney’s Moana on the big screen as she sailed through the sea and looked up at the stars while we were doing it too!

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

One of the things we love about cruising is there’s something for everyone -and it’s all included in the cost of your cruise, making it really great value.  The foodies can enjoy the gourmet food, the athletes can go to the gym, the music lovers can listen to live music everyday, the relaxers can lounge beside the pool with a good book, the kids can enjoy an age appropriate kids program -everyone’s happy, the kids, the parents, the grandparents.  And happy is the name of the game when your vacationing!  That’s why we keep coming back year after year, after year.

Cruising: The Perfect Affordable Family Vacation -Lots of tips for making cruising cheap and affordable for families.

With a family cruise, life really is a party!

I received a few perks on my last cruise, but I can assure you all opinions are my own, as always.  I just love cruising with Royal Caribbean!

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