Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Yukon Suspension Bridge, BC, Canada

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about the Yukon Suspension Bridge in Canada.

(If you would rather watch a video instead of read this posting, take a look at this video here.)

It might seem strange to get off a cruise ship in Skagway, Alaska and wind up in Canada just a short time later.
Why come all the way to Alaska to just go into Canada? To conquer a fear of heights.

The population of Skagway runs around 1,000. During the summer season it doubles, but back during the height of the gold rush the population of Skagway was as high as 30,000. (I love the days when there is only one ship in town.)
A lot of passengers take the train trip when in port. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad – built during the Klondike Gold Rush – is an “International Civil Engineering Landmark” and shares honors with the Eiffel Tower, the Panama Canal, and the Statue of Liberty. 
Since we’ve ridden the railroad more than once we now skip it and do other things.

On this particular day the other thing involved a passport to get into Canada. A Klondike, suspension bridge, and salmon bake tour. As our bus headed into the Yukon Territory we had beautiful views.
Our close up glimpse of a bear was so close I couldn't even get the whole thing in the picture!
While I did enjoy the scenery and wildlife, I really was taking this excursion to the Yukon Suspension Bridge to conquer my fear of heights. It certainly was the best place to do it.

See that bridge over the canyon? That's where I'm headed.

As I got closer, my heart started beating harder. I was scared.
 Once on the bridge you can look down and see the water through the bridge. Even scarier.
After making it across the bridge you'd think my fear would have abated. But I have to walk back across it.
I talked to myself all the way. What did I say? Oh God. Take a step. Oh God. Take a step. Oh God. Take a step.

This afternoon was the time to overcome my fear of heights. I walked all the way to one side of the suspension bridge and all the way back across the same bridge. No one to hold my hand, no one to cheer me on. Just me and my fears. (Did you know suspension bridges move when people walk on them? Yikes.)

The trip was worth it. Fear conquered and just look the view from the middle of the bridge. Spectacular! Would I do it again? Absolutely!
Ready to try out a Princess cruise for yourself? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world, and an official Princess Alaska expert. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - DIY Fabric Carrots

My eyes have always been bad. Since fifth grade when I got my first pair of glasses, my prescription keeps changing for the worst. I can't see a darn thing without glasses. You'd think that at some point in my life I would have started eating carrots to help with the eyesight but I don't do carrots.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

Eat carrot are a no-no for me, but sewing carrots is a yes. A nice and easy springtime project.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Sew-In: Scrap Fabric Potholder

“She replaced her phone, closed her eyes, and forced herself to begin measuring flour, sugar, and butter. For some reason mental baking usually sent her right to sleep.” 
― Roisin Meaney, Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes

I love to bake. Cookies and cakes and fancy desserts. But I can't eat any of those things anymore so no baking here. Heck, I don't even cook. Breakfast? Yogurt. Lunch? Pepperoni stick, string cheese, and three crackers. Dinner? Usually a TV dinner or pizza delivery. We've gotten very, very, very lazy. It's cold, it's windy, and there is snow on the road. These are the days we go nowhere and do nothing.

Being today was a Sew-In Sunday, and being that hubby burns potholders on the heating element of our oven, I decided it was time for a new one. A potholder, that is. (Although a new stove is going to have to be not far behind.)

For this project you will need:
Fabric strips, 1” to 3” wide in varying lengths
9” x 9” muslin fabric for the foundation
9” x 9” cotton batting*, cut 2
11” x 11” backing fabric
Glue stick (optional)
*There is a product called Insul-Bright for high-heat uses. You can use it instead of cotton batting if you prefer.
I also made a zippered pouch, watched NASCAR on TV, and fed the baby kitties every three hours. A busy, not-lazy Sunday.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Beds on a Cruise Ship - Presto Chango

It's Cruise Ship Saturday! Today we're talking about bed configuration.

“It was truly an abomination of nature that one always found the most comfortable spot in the bed five minutes before one had to leave it.” 
― Mia Ryan, The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown

When was the last time you slept on the upper bunk of a bunk bed? Have you ever? If you've traveled in an Amtrak sleeper car like we did a few years back, the answer might be yes. If you've traveled on a cruise ship with more than two people in a cabin, it'll be another yes.

If you haven't cruised before you'd be surprised to find that bunk beds are standard. Traveling with another couple? You won't be booking a cabin with two queens but one with four twin beds. Adults or kids, it doesn't matter. Someone is going to have to take the top bunk.

Take a look.

You can have a queen bed ...
That can be converted into two twins...
That becomes a cabin with bunkbeds. 
I call bottom bunk. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Friday 15 - Oops, I Mean 95

“Having too much of anything results in chaos, confusion and clutter.” 
― Geralin Thomas, Decluttering Your Home: Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets

Have you ever looked at your things and wondered why you had so much of a certain item? I just did.

When I first started the Friday 15 it was easy. Getting rid of 15 things every Friday? No problem. We had a significant downsizing happening a couple years back but I knew there were still things needing to head out the door. As the weeks have progressed I've had to get creative in where I looked.

  • Ebay has been very helpful in getting things gone. 38 items sold in the last two months. Yay.
  • Even though we don't pay for magazine subscriptions we still have things coming in the mail. AAA sends VIA, AARP sends their magazine, Princess Cruises sends theirs, and thanks to TMobile Tuesday Women's Day is now heading in the door. Read them quickly and then away they go.
  • Tutorial project samples. I've been filming tutorials but usually have no need for the things I've created. Usually it's because I had already made the item long ago but needed a new one to show the step-by-step process.
  • Sewing room and office junk. We technically no longer have an office but we do have a corner where we keep some things. Too many things. Like page protectors.  

Thanks to all of those places where I usually find extra stuff, today's Friday 15 is actually a Friday 95.

  • Two items on eBay. (It was a slow week.)
  • Five magazines.
  • A cord holder. (I kept the new one made in the tutorial so the old one is going away.)
  • A clipboard. Didn't need it for the other tutorial.
  • And a grand total of 86 never used page protectors. (Seriously, I counted. What the heck???)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

I have a list of things I've either done or want to do at different places around the world. It's broken down by country and/or island. Some places have five things I want to do. Some only have one.

Dominica is one of the places that I can pretty much check off as finished. I've snorkeled over the Champagne Reef, a place where very warm water from underground volcanic activity seeps through the floor of the ocean. The result is a warm and bubbly snorkeling experience.

I've sat on a ship docked at the container port and watched a rainbow form over the rainforest.
I sat long enough to see a double rainbow form.
But probably the most favorite thing was sitting on deck and watching local kids play soccer near the water's edge.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - Pothandle Cover

One last project for today. A quick and easy pothandle cover.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 
Click here to see all my tutorials!

Tutorial Tuesday - Pocket Tissue Holder with Antibacterial Hand Cleaner

I'm pretty much at the point in my life where I can say I will never work in a public school again. But it doesn't mean I've given up teaching. My tutorials are a way I can share with others while learning myself. This week has been a busy one for my learning.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

A pocket tissue holder with a pocket for antibacterial hand cleaner and lip balm.

In addition to the standard sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
  • 5 ½” x 6 ½” main fabric
  • 5 ½” x 7 ½” lining fabric
  • 4 1/2” x 7” pocket fabric
  • pocket tissues
  • antibacterial hand cleaner

Disclosure: Deb's Days is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you new cruising and crafting content.

Tutorial Tuesday - How to Sew a Fabric Eyeglass Case

In addition to the standard sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
  • 7” x 7” main fabric
  • 7” x 7” lining fabric
  • 6 ½” x 6 ½” fusible fleece 
  • Something to make a rounded end, like a cup or glass
Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 
Click here to see all my tutorials!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Sew-In

“How did it get so late so soon?” 
― Dr. Seuss

My Sunday Sew-In became a
project organizing
Daytona 500 watching
newborn kitty feeding and snuggling
kind of day.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Preventing Seasickness

Yep, seasickness happens.

If you get carsick, airsick, or are sensitive to movement you might just get queasy on a ship. The best way of managing seasickness is to prevent it before it starts. There is nothing worse than stepping aboard a ship on your first ever cruise thinking you’ll be okay and waking up in the morning miserably sick. Once in the throes of seasickness recovery is not easy. A few thoughts will enter your mind.

Why did I get on this ship? 
This was a huge mistake. 
I want off and never want to come back.

On my first cruise those were my thoughts exactly. I really wanted to go home. It took me a few days to get enough medication in me to make it through the rest of the week. And now? Occasionally the seas will be quite rough and I might feel a bit icky. Pop a couple motion sickness pills and I'm good.

There is much truth to the saying “getting your sea legs”. The same amount of movement that makes you queasy at the beginning of the cruise may not be noticed by you at end of the cruise. Until the sea legs kick in there are a variety of methods for preventing seasickness.

•Book a midship cabin. The lower decks and the middle of the ship are where the least amount of movement is felt. If unable to book a midship cabin hang out in the midship public areas during the rougher times. It could be a library, an atrium area, or a bar on a lower deck. You may still feel some movement on the lower decks but the view can be nice.
•Seasickness bands. These wrist bands use acupressure to help alleviate motion sickness.
•Eating green apples or using ginger products - tea, gum, candy, and capsules - can be helpful. If already experiencing a strong case of seasickness it might be best to use an alternative remedy.
•Over the counter motion sickness medications. Some folks take these in the evening before bedtime since both regular and less drowsy formulas can cause sleepiness. The medication can last for 24 hours.
•Prescription anti-nausea patches. The circular, beige-colored patches are worn behind the ear and give continuous medication for up to three days.

If an excursion takes you on a smaller boat like a ferry, catamaran, sailboat, snorkel boat, or zodiac raft take additional precautions. Smaller boats do not have the additional stabilization systems so the ride can be rougher. I’ve watched crew members handing out dozens of plastic bags for sick passengers on these smaller boats.

Don't let the fear of seasickness prevent you from taking a cruise!

If you're ready to try out a Princess cruise yourself, contact me. I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you!

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Friday 15

“A kitten is, in the animal world, what a rosebud is in the garden.” 
― Robert Sowthey

Sold four items on eBay.
Gave away one item to another quilter.
Donating five projects left over from tutorials and five Christmas things.
That makes 15! But today's Friday 15 includes an additional two items. Two that came into the house.

When the Simply Cats organization contacts you asking for a foster home for some newborn kitties you just have to say yes. I usually foster kittens that are several weeks old. Not this time.

Two kitties, four ounces each, four days old. Sweet bottle babies.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Red Snapper Restaurant in Limon, Costa Rica

We've visited Costa Rica more than once and have done the coffee plantation tour, the banana railway tour through the jungle, and the canal wildlife-watching tour. So when we needed to choose a port to take a crew member friend to lunch, we chose Limon, Costa Rica.

Week after week the ship's crew go to the same ports so they are the best at knowing where to go to eat. After talking to one of the ship's officers about Puerto Limon choices, we decided on the Red Snapper restaurant. A menu in Spanish, an ugly fish, a beautiful view, and a great day with a crew member.
We are blessed to be able spend time with people from around the world.

Ready to try out a Princess cruise for yourself? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - DIY Coupon Organizer

As much as I practiced and rewrote and erased and scratched out and muted and refolded and restitched and restated things, my product should be perfect. Alas, it is not.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

It is what it is. A coupon organizer sewn by a regular person (me) on YouTube. Link to the template for the dividers can be found here.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Sew-In: Coupon Organizer Part II

“I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.” 
― Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

Except when your project is stuck in Groundhog Day mode.

My chicken scratch started last Sunday as I tried to figure out how I made a coupon organizer from years ago. The chicken scratch continued today. I got it figured out and was ready to tape a tutorial.

And I did tape one. I left the camera running through the entire thing, knowing I could cut out all the extra parts.

But a problem arose during the editing process. The whole video - every single moment - turned out blurry. Whether I forgot to focus or forgot how to work the camera, it doesn't matter much. What does matter is that several hours of work have been wasted and my pretty fabric has been used up. Guess I'll be trying again another day with another batch of fabric. Ugh!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas

It's Cruise Ship Saturday! Today we're talking about the Allure of the Seas.

“When there is noise and crowds, there is trouble; 
When everything is silent and perfect, 
There is just perfection and nothing 
To fill the air.” 
― Dejan Stojanovic

The first time we sailed on the 7,000 passenger Allure of the Seas we didn't enjoy it much. Our local casino gave me the trip for free and being I never say no to a cruise, we decided to take it. We didn't know much about Royal Caribbean and even less about the Allure of the Seas. A zipline and Flowrider and water park and climbing wall and carousel should have been the tip off that we would be on a ship full of children. Between the screaming kids and the full pools and the crowded buffet and not knowing our way around the ship, our old quiet selves felt a bit out of place. We found ourselves comparing criticizing the way things were done on the Allure of the Seas with the way things were done on our preferred cruise line.

But that was the first time. I didn't think there would be, but there was a second time. For some reason the local casino decided to give me another free cruise even thought I hadn't visited the casino since the last free cruise giveaway.  Of course we took it. Same ship. Same crowds. Different experience. We did continue to compare the Allure with our favorite cruise line. but we found more things on the Allure that we liked.

Escalator to get to the lower decks when disembarking in a port instead of having to use the stairs? Yes, thank you.

Mamma Mia! the musical. Yes, please. (And so much better than the movie.)

Central Park? Yes!

An empty spot that not many people know about. Yes, yes, yes!

When we were at sea you could find us in one of two places.
Central Park during the day
Central Park at night

Our favorite secret spot on the ship. Shh...don't tell anyone. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Friday 15

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” 
― Edward Everett Hale

My 15 for the week:
8 items sold on eBay
2 packages of things I gave away
3 bigger donations - a chair, monitor, and shelf
1 bag of glass beads for donation
+ 1 new tutorial (finally) posted to YouTube

How to use Comic Book Boards to Organize Fabric

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Almaplena Eco Beach Resort in Costa Maya, Mexico

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about Almaplena Eco Beach Resort in Costa Maya, Mexico.

“Sand lines my soul which is filled with the breath of the ocean.” 
― A.D. Posey

Almaplena Beach Resort knows how to draw cruisers in. Words and phrases on their Beach Break website make it difficult to resist.

*Powdery white sand and turquoise-blue water
*Secluded area away from the crowds
*Beautiful pristine beaches
*Sipping refreshing tropical drinks lying on the beach
*All you can eat
*All you can drink
*Free transportation to and from the port
*Reserved umbrellas and lounge chairs

We booked the day for the two of us. The resort sent detailed directions on how to catch the free transportation (local taxi). Exit the port area, walk a few minutes, and let the taxi stand know that Almaplena is your destination.

After an adventurous taxi ride from the cruise port we arrived at Almaplena. We were handed off to the owner and had some quick decisions to make.
*What time do you want to return to the ship? The taxi driver needed to know, as he would be the same one taking us back to the ship.
*What time do you want lunch? There are only a limited number of tables outside.
*Do you want something to drink? Open bar here. Alcoholic, nonalcoholic, soda, bottled water.

We soon came to realize the descriptions were spot on.

Food. (I can't find my food pics. Boo hoo.)
Loungers and palapas and beach and sand and water.
And a friendly dog, Bella to boot.

Ready to try out a Princess cruise for yourself? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - How to Store Fabric on Comic Book Boards

It's Tutorial Tuesday and today we're talking about comic book boards. And fabric.

I used to read some comic books when I was a kid (mostly Richy Rich - boy, what I would have given to live that life!), but had no idea what a comic book board was. Now I know it's a piece of thick cardstock-like acid free paper that collectors use to help maintain the shape of the comic book. Like these here on Amazon.

Looking for sewing and crafting projects? 

Every single yard of my fabrics is wrapped on the boards. I wouldn't keep my fabrics organized any other way.

The Almost Tutorial Tuesday

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” 
― T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence"

It was the Tutorial Tuesday that wasn't. After filming a tutorial and editing and doing a voiceover for it and exporting it and getting it ready to upload to didn't happen. The "free" video editing software I was using put a big old watermark across the screen. Ugh. That led me to finding another free editing software download. That wouldn't work. So onto the third free download. We'll see where I end up by the end of the night. So frustrating!

Otherwise the day was pretty darn good. Other than those two broken front windows. One broke last month and now this morning another one? How does a double-pane window crack on the inside pane - on two different windows - on the same side of the house - in two consecutive months? I so DO NOT get it. Yesterday's new packaging tape came in handy. It might look cheap but we now have clear packaging tape holding both of the windows together.

Not cheap? The tires I bought today. They look so pretty!

But the best part of the day happened before 8 a.m. I got a message from a crew member friend from India which inspired me to get my YouTube channel cleaned up - and motivated me to get back to the tutorials. And then within a few minutes of those messages going back and forth I got a call from a crew member friend who is living in Kuwait. We are so blessed to have dear friends from around the world.

And blessed that I was up early to get the message from India and the phone call from Kuwait and see the sunrise out my window in Idaho.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Motivated Monday

“When you start to do the things that you truly love, it wouldn't matter whether it is Monday or Friday; you would be so excited to wake up each morning to work on your passions.” 
― Edmond Mbiaka

Thus I was up at 4 a.m. on a Monday. There was too much to do and I needed to get an early start. I needed to:

  • get some writing done.
  • box up some eBay items.
  • take those packages to the post office.
  • buy some sewing supplies.
  • buy packaging tape.
  • price tires.
  • take hubby for a haircut.
  • take hubby to the doctor.
  • go to the bank.
All those to-do thoughts lasted for only a couple hours. The cold 55 degree house had me heading back to bed before 6 a.m. Once I got warmed up in bed it was no surprise that I fell back asleep.

But I still got most of the day done. Even got a couple things done at the same time - writing in the car while hubby was in the doctor's office. I must be nuts.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Sew-In: Coupon Organizer

“Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them.” 
~ Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Every year I don't spend Superbowl Sunday watching the game or the pregame or the halftime show or the commercials. I use the time to sit down at the computer and do taxes. Every single year.

I have always done our taxes. And it's always a pain. I long for the simpler days of being able to use the EZ forms! But I am also ever-so-thankful for tax preparation software. So while I'll be using that software during today's game I have other business to attend to first.

My Sew-In Sunday.

Several years ago I made a coupon organizer.
Now that I'm working on my next book (the upcoming one is a craft one) I'm needing to put together step-by-step directions for many of my creations. Except there is a bit of a problem. I didn't take good notes last time around.

So today's Sew-In Sunday is me trying to figure out what the heck I did and how the heck I'm going to do it again.

And just like last Sunday I came away with a page (and pile) of mess.

But I think I finally figured it out. I'll be using these fabrics for the instructions. But that's for another day. Since the Superbowl just now started I need to switch to tax time.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Packing for a Cruise

It's Cruise Ship Saturday! Today we're talking about packing for a cruise.

When other passengers ask us about what we pack for a cruise they don't understand how it's possible we use just one suitcase. Then when we tell them hubby and I share the one suitcase they think it's impossible.

One of the biggest misconceptions a first-time cruiser has is that everyone wears dressy clothing all the time. Remember, these perfect photos are an advertisement. The ideal. They don’t represent the majority of passengers on today’s cruise ships. Go to your local movie theater, mall, or restaurant to see who you will find on a ship. Average people. Some are smaller, some are larger. Some wear sharply pressed clothing and some wear wrinkled clothing. Some look like they are heading to a wedding and some look like they are ready to mow the lawn. Even packing lists promote a mentality of it all having to be perfect. Do an internet search for cruise packing list and what you find will be overwhelming.

And not necessary.

Packing for a cruise isn’t much different than packing for a land-based vacation. There is no need to pack something just in case. With only paperwork, a passport, medications, a clean pair of undies, and some deodorant anyone could survive on a cruise. (But you’ll probably be more comfortable with more.) Bring a couple pairs of shoes with one dressier to wear into the dining room, a couple pairs of slacks, and a few tops. Reduce the amount of clothes by sticking with the same color scheme. Don’t forget to wear what you’re comfortable in! Wear the bulkiest of the clothes on the plane.

Whether going on a cruise or land vacation we subscribe to the belief of packing half as many clothes and twice as much money as we think we’ll need. Since we frequently take our trips last minute we keep a basket of our must-haves ready to go.  After all these years of traveling our list is about right. For us.

Our list:

  • Medications - Prescriptions, vitamins, pain relievers, antihistamines, cold medicine, anti-nausea, antacids.
  • Toiletries - Toothbrush and toothpaste (ask dentist for extras), deodorant, hair gel, powder, sunscreen, disposable razor, shaving cream, lip balm.
  • Adhesive bandages, travel size sewing kit, nail clippers, small scissors. We keep all of these in a glasses case.
  • Fabric freshener that can double as an air freshener. Remember the bathroom is small.
  • Reclosable bags in a variety of sizes. Keeps money dry and sand out of electronics while at the beach. Larger size bags can be used for sandy/muddy sandals and shoes.
  • Windbreaker, hat, cheap rain poncho.
  • Electronics, headphones, charger. We rotate electronics for charging.
  • Slippers. Comfy for a quick trip to the buffet.
  • Undergarments and socks. Bring old ratty ones and toss them out as the trip goes along. Leaves more room in the suitcase for trip purchases. We don't buy souvenirs but we sure like coming home with a lighter suitcase!
  • Cross body bag or drawstring backpack to use when going ashore. Holds ID and money, camera, on-shore purchases, sunscreen, beach towels. If not a beach day I use a waist wallet under my clothes. 
  • Magnetic clip to keep paperwork organized on the cabin wall.
  • Pocket sized hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray.
  • For warm weather trips - snorkeling equipment and underwater camera, swimsuits and cover-up, sandals. 
  • We don’t own binoculars but if we did we would take them on voyages to Alaska.
Bald eagles and calving glaciers will be easier to see with binoculars.

If you're ready to try out a Princess cruise yourself, contact me. I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you!