Monday, March 30, 2009

Carnival Funday Sunday!

What an excuse to have a party! And party we did!

Our guests came in costume and were ready to have some fun.

The girls decided to set each room up as one of the sections of the ship. We still had the 51' of Palm trees, beach and ocean covering our walls although after two weeks it was starting to sag a bit. However no one really noticed.

Now that's a difficult challenge to change rooms into a beautiful experience that you find on a cruise ship but with a lot of imagination from our guests, "My Precious", and of course all the pictures everyone took on our previous two cruises, I think we pulled it off!

My Precious

To finish off the decorations I went through and sifted out images that represented various areas of the ship. As you came in the door, the wall was lined with the tropical covering and a poster sized image of the deck of the ship.

The Lido Deck

The Stateroom

Making Your Way to the Fun

The Galley

The Bathroom

The Stateroom was the livingroom, the powder room was the bathroom, the dining room of course the dining room, the kitchen was like the multiple eating areas found on the ship while of course our deck was the sun deck. Yesterday's weather was just that, sunny and hot!

The Dining Area and the Desserts

Notice that the poster here has beautiful images of the many desserts offered. Oh, and the ice sculpture too. Carnival provided some favors so we thought it would be a good idea to set them up and give them out at the end of the party.

The only thing we didn't do was the towel art but at least everyone could see what always awaited us at the end of the day.

The girls prepared the drinks of the day, Island Delight and Caribbean Breeze which everyone enjoyed.

While the cook was battling the sea wind while trying to cook the hamburgers and hot dogs.

Everyone was enjoying their appetizers and drink of the day while the poor guy suffered smoke inhalation.

Usually Chrysie gets left behind but not yesterday!

I think she wanted more to drink.

We've learned on the cruises that there is no end to imagination and creating your own fun. I elected myself to be the cruise director on this Carnival Funday Sunday. Selecting three games we proceeded to make fools of ourselves, laughing the whole time. And, oh yes, there were prizes. Carnival provided metals while our hostesses provided their own prizes.

The first game activity was the Tiki Hat Ring Toss. As you can see it doesn't take much to amuse us.

Our Winner, Diane, showing off her Carnival medal and sun hat prize.

The second game provided a lot of fun too. It was the Fish Spearing Toss Game.

This game became very competitive. Everyone had three chances to throw the spear through the fish. It came down to a tie between Danny above and my husband. There were three overtimes with my husband winning. And what a happy winner he was!

Here he is displaying his Carnival medal and his prize, a bucket and shovel.

Our last game was a bit calmer, Aloha Bingo! Every cruise is known for it's Bingo games so we had ours too. My mother really enjoyed it as did the rest of us. As the caller I have to say I was harassed. There were a lot of laughs but since I was the caller and overall photographer I couldn't do both at once. However we do have our winner.

Claire showing off her Carnival medal and her battery operated fan prize. It was such a tense and heated game that we felt the fan was an appropriate prize.

Needless to say there was some controversy over the announcement of who won. Husband and wife had Aloha at the same time. However the rules were announced prior to playing, Aloha had to be shouted out not Bingo. Danny yelled Bingo while our winner, Claire yelled Aloha. Poor Danny. He was beaten by my husband in the Spear throwing and now by his wife at Aloha!

All in all we had a great time and I'd like to thank all who supported the girl's party. Here they are.

Our Hostesses, Melissa and Lynn

Dan and Claire

Our Cook, Greg

Lynn and Ann Marie

Melissa and her mother Diane

Christine and Scott

Denise and Shawn

Missing welcoming pictures are Leigh, Bill, Nancy and Helen.

Now I know what a Cruise Party is - a great excuse to have fun!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cruise Party

Well, we're getting ready to party again! Fortunately my son's 30th birthday party had a cruise theme because within days prior to that my daughter had received word that she won the privilege of giving a Cruise Party for Carnival. The decorations are still up.

I've been trying to figure out just exactly what is a cruise party. Ok, I know we are decorating and providing food. She's invited I don't know how many cruisers and I think most are coming. Carnival sent a package with some cool things in it and my daughter and her friend are searching through Mexican cookbooks for recipes. Everyone is to bring a towel to do some towel art - guess I better run to Target and get one. I don't think our tattered and thinning towels would look very good as some type of animal.

So all in all, it looks like it's just a good reason to have a party and that's all right with me. My sole responsibility right now is cleaning the house and I can do that. If you read my earlier Blog,
The Party's Over, you'll see why that is my sole job. My legs have just this week starting feeling better.

I wish I had been a bit quicker but I've been so busy at work, recuperating from the last party and making list upon list of things that need to be done that I never ordered anything to really get into the spirit of the party. I could have been in costume.

I've left the shirts such that the consumer can eliminate the text and add their own, select the type and size of their tee and select whether it's for men, women, toddlers or, yes, babies!

Is that baby not cute?

I have my Firecrackinmama's Tropics Store that I haven't promoted as much as my Firecrackinmama's Zazzle. I've sold quite a few things from my Tropics store but really need to concentrate on adding more items. One of my favorite things to design are of course are the beach bags.

This year I sold some of my poster calendars. I love them as they are decorative as well as functional. I bought an inexpensive frame and hung it on the wall.

The above image was taken by my sister-in-law while on vacation. The original image exposure was not the greatest. I just tweaked it a little and this is the beautiful scene she said they saw.

I sold a lot of my 12 month tropics calendar.

I'm looking forward to next year as we are headed out on another cruise this summer. This time we're headed to the Mexican Riviera. I'm gearing up my cameras now.

Another favorite item of mine are the magnets. I've always had softness for purchasing them on any of the vacations we took. Our refrigerator was like an MRI machine and sucked all the metal off you as you passed by it.

These are just some of the ways in which I've used my photos of memories I don't want to forget. It's amazing how anyone can do the same with their photos. Just head on over to Firecrackinmama's Create Your Own! Or on most items just click the blue bar that says "Add your text or image free". Easily remove the image and text and make your own.

Better yet if you like the image personalize or customize the item by simply adding text. Once you decide to add text, type it in the box and select ok. From there you can easily choose a font, color and size! Go have some Firecrackin Fun!!

It sounds easy to create your own but many people find it a bit overwhelming so they contact me through the Zazzle messaging on my home page of Firecrackinmama's Zazzle.

Oh, I don't know if I mentioned this above but I do wide format printing right here at home and for our Cruise Party we have a banner of our next ship to build the excitement even more.

It looks rather small here but it's 2' x 6' and looks pretty good hanging up. Now for those smarties out there that have already sailed on the Carnival Splendor, you'll recognize right away that this isn't the actual ship. We haven't even seen it yet but all Carnival ships look similar. Actually this is the Valor that was Photoshipped :).

Well, it's Thursday and I still have to do a birthday banner, work and make some more lists. Today's lists will consist of references to previous lists that things on them that haven't been done. I'm tired just typing this.

Have a Firecrackin Great Day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy First Day of Spring!!

Oh, what a lift the first day of Spring gives me. I'm not a seasonal person anymore. Maybe it just took all these years for me to recognize that I can't stand the winter gray. I need the sun!! I am so looking forward to opening the windows and letting the warm spring air in.

This would be my contribution to helping the stock market. After all we'll need plenty of tissues, nose spray and over the counter allergy medicine. I used to always hang my clothes outside to dry but the pollen penetrated them and the allergies were awful. Swollen eyes, runny noses and belly deep sneezes are worth the airing out of the house. So an inside trader advice, buy, buy, buy allergy related stock! :)

I rushed Spring a bit when I went on another road trip a couple of days ago. Those of us who live in New Jersey sometimes wonder if there are any rural areas left. When I was little farms surrounded Woodbury and there was open land in places that are now filled with strip malls, housing developments and four lane highways.

So when I get to go on a road trip that takes me through rural areas I'm sure to have my camera. Actually I carry my camera with me all the time. However the day I went was a beautiful sunny day with the temperatures reaching 60 plus degrees. I'd also made this trip once before with my team members but they wouldn't stop to let me take pictures. This day I was by myself!

Just look at this farm.

It was a pretty long ride to my destination but I sure was enjoying it. As I kept going I spotted on the right hand side of the road a herd of cattle soaking up the sun. Wow, all I could imagine was lying in my hammock on a beautiful day soaking up the sun.

A bit farther down the road I came upon a horse farm.

I finally reached my destination but before I pulled in I saw this view that was right across the road from the school I was visiting.

Can you imagine riding the school bus every day and having these views on your way?

Well, I finished evaluating my Autistic young man and headed back to my office. However I had some more fun with my camera.

I was going the speed limit but everyone knows no one does the speed limit. Since I was I had the chance to see this.

I sat on the side of the road just looking at this bull. He continued to stare at me for quite some time. So I finally climbed out of my car, crossed the road and took his picture.

He never moved even when I got back in my car and started off.

I'm unfortunately going to end my beautiful road trip on a rather sad note. When I had traveled this route the last time with my team members, they had told me about how the farmers raise calves to sell as veal. Being a somewhat city slicker, I didn't know that they took the calves and kept them in little huts until they sold them. The huts are not big enough for the calves to do anything by lie in them.

Veal used to be one of my favorite meats to order when we went out to dinner. Not any more. Those are the tiny structures that the calves are kept in until sold.

So hooray for the vegetable farmers! I can't wait for Jersey tomatoes, corn and strawberries. I'm also looking forward to seeing our two farmers down the road manning their produce stand. Here's to their return!

Happy Firecrackin First Day of Spring!!!

Boom! Boom!! Boom!!!