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Holiday Gifts for Her 2020

It's that time of year again! 

For many the stress of finding the perfect holiday gift for her can be stressful. No need to stress, here are approved, stylish and trendy ideas for the women in your life. 

Holiday Gift List for Her


A Stylish, Insta Worthy Hat 


Even if our gatherings look different this year, it’s still so refreshing to step out looking and feeling our best. One of the easiest ways to create a finished look is through accessories - like hats. 

Tenth Street Hats have hundreds of designer hats, "made the old way, sold the new way." 

Besides being stylish, hats are also becoming a decor must. We've all seen that insta chick with hats hanging up on her walls and in her closet like it's a work of art. 


Not sure which hat to select? They have a handy style quiz that you can use to pick a hat that matches her vibe. Don't worry, there’s really no way to go wrong with 375+ styles to choose as a gift. I went with the hat named Mystery in black, but am loving all of their Fall Hats options. 


Gift Cozy with the PediPocket 


It's time to up her blanket game. This plush blanket is extra long, super soft and has a brilliantly designed foot pocket to keep her toes toasty. Genius! 

With all of us spending more time at home this is the perfect gift...especially to Netflix and Chill, lol. Available in 21 colors/patterns, I went with the dark red, but now am now eyeing the leopard print. It's lightweight and plush too. PediPocket can be purchased online, as well as on Amazon and select stores nationwide.


A Tiny Succulent Garden


Meet Lula’s Garden, a succulent gifting company. Their eco-friendly succulent gardens arrive potted in a self-sustaining gift box that is uniquely designed to serve as a planter. Perfect for an office or home, plus improves overall wellness and air quality. Pricing starts at only $27 and works for anyone on your list. 




An Ornament to Match Her Passions

 



Pizza, Red Wine, Coffee, Books, Sushi, Travel, Avocado's you name it, there is a Old World Christmas ornament for it. With over 1,5000 unique glass ornaments, you can find ones related to a profession, destination, animals, etc. 

These beautiful glass ornaments are carefully mouth-blown into a finely crafted mold. Then a hot solution of liquid silver is poured inside. Finally, the ornaments are delicately hand-painted with glitter added. They are a gorgeous addition to any tree or collection. $12.99-$21.99 each. 

Recycled Plastic Turned Into a Luxurious Kimono


Nuno is a luxurious brand of wearable art that she can feel good about. Nuno collaborates with up-and-coming artists ensuring each earth-loving piece is one-of-a-kind wearable art.

My mind was blown to discover their silky fabric is made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles. Plastic bottles are washed, shredded and turned into small pellets. These pellets are then melted and spun into yarn. The yarn is then woven into this fabric with a luxurious feel. Unlike the silk robes that are dry clean only, Nuno’s NeoSilk fabric is machine washable and will still stay as soft as silk. 

I particularly loved the bright fun colors of their "Luscious" design. It also has pockets and their one size fits about 0-16, making it a fashionable gift for all women. $95


A Romantic Holiday Novel  


If she likes Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, she'll love Mine to Five! This award-winning, feel-good holiday office romance has a dash of humor and spice to put her in the holiday spirit and to deliver all the feels.



Dry Nail Polish Strips
  



This has been a game-changer! Blow her mind with dry nail polish strips for at-home manicures in minutes, no smudges, no chipping, no tools needed.

There are holiday colors perfect for stocking stuffers, solids, glitters and trendy designs great for all year round too. Also, it's buy 3 get 1 free, just add 4 sets to your cart and the price will automatically be deducted. $11-13 each set of 16 strips. 



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How to Stay Productive While Working From Home

Remote working has been appealing to many of us even before the pandemic forced us all to work in a home environment. It seems though working from home has been a blessing for some and hell for others. It is undeniable that being able to work from home has its advantages and disadvantages. The greatest benefit probably is the unlimited options to make serious income and become a successful freelancer in one or more of today’s lucrative fields. From digital marketing, working on the most popular webcam sites to direct sales, there certainly is no shortage of extremely profitable job options and side hustles even in times of pandemic.

Staying productive and motivating yourself to work, whether as your own boss or an employee, is not at all easy in a home environment. 

Therefore, here is some seriously helpful advice on how to achieve great productivity and stay on track when working from home.

5 Ways to Stay Productive Working From Home

Keep Regular Working Hours 

Not having to leave home for work sometimes makes us feel as if we have all the time of the day to start and finish the daily tasks. In most cases, this leads to procrastination until it’s too late to be productive enough. To help yourself with that, it’s important to have regular working hours, as if you would if you were working in the office. This way you will be more disciplined when it comes to sticking to a working schedule and strive to finish the daily tasks until the end of the working hours. Having a designated working time is very important if you wish to maintain a good work-life balance and still have the time to socialize, spend time with family, and finish other chores around or outside the house.

Organize Your Time and Tasks 

Having a to-do list with the task planned for the day and hours assigned for each task helps you stay organized and finish working on time. When you are at home, there is always a possibility of taking longer breaks, or stop working when you get overwhelmed and stuck with a problem. To avoid problems, keep your daily schedule on your desk and try to keep up with the hours assigned for certain tasks. This will keep you motivated and focused, as taking satisfaction from getting it all done on time will keep you on the right track. 

Maintain a Morning Routine

To achieve what was mentioned above, work only in the designated working hours of the day, it’s advisable to have a strict morning routine. Getting up at the same time each morning, finishing your daily workout, and starting the work after you’ve had your morning coffee will help you have a productive workday. On the contrary, if you do not have an established morning routine you might sleep until late or feel less motivated to start working, which will affect your productivity and limit your free time. Most successful people credit their success to strict routines for the working day. So, if you are working from home and you have a family, start the day early, spend one quality hour with the kids, have a coffee and breakfast and you will feel motivated to start working. Moreover, it’s possible that you would be very productive, looking forward to a lot more spent with your loved ones later in the day, once you have finished off all of your work.

Home office & morning coffee


Have a Designated Work Space 

Not all people can enjoy the luxury of having a separate room as a home office. However, this shouldn’t stop you from creating a special workspace for yourself. It is proven that our psyche is affected by the environment we are in and it can help or harm our productivity. So, make the best of the space you have available and designate a corner of the house where you “go to work”. This will help you achieve a deeper focus and eliminate distractions. Working in the same space where you sleep or leisure does not help your mind focus. Contrary to that, it will wander off thinking of relaxing and slack time.

Work on Your Concentration - Practice is Everything 

Although we’ve mentioned that the best way to stay productive is to have a specific place to call it your office, you should aim for immense concentration despite the environment. Especially if you have children around, if they are not too young of course, you can still be in the same room with them and work while they play around. It might be hard at the beginning but as with everything in life - practice makes it perfect.

Not all tasks can be completed in a noisy room or with people around, but start with something that is easier and does not require too much attention. Once you get used to multitasking, meaning doing some work while watching the kids, doing some work then finishing the meal in the kitchen, you have mastered working from home. Although this is not something you can do all the time, it certainly is a great skill that can help you achieve maximum productivity, and stay on track even when you have a lot on your plate regarding family, kids, or house chores.

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Host Your Own Mulan Family Movie Night

Disney’s live-action MULAN is now available on all major digital retailers and Disney+ with premier access.  

The perfect option for a family movie night, MULAN celebrates embracing your inner strength and being loyal, brave, and true even when uncertainties arise. 

I've always been a fan of the animated version and LOVED this new take on the fairy tale. Unlike previous live-action Disney films though, this is not a musical, but an epic adventure adaptation. While I missed the fun songs and humor, the scenery, costumes and sets are quite beautiful and the battle scenes were so enthralling that I'm glad they didn't break out into song. I did like hearing "Reflections" play though at the end. 

I also appreciated the feminist angle, and my boys were equally mesmerized by the battles and Chinese culture shared. They have just been studying Asia in school too, so the timing was perfect. 

Make it a Movie Night with Disney's Mulan - Now on Digital



If you are hosting your very own MULAN family movie night, here are some fun extra activities that you can do to along with watching the film. 




Host Your Own Mulan Family Movie Night - Free Printable & Activities

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7 Days on the Mexican Riviera: What to do, see, and eat


The Mexican Riviera stretches down the Pacific coast and offers a stunning array and variety of sights and experiences for the adventurous traveler. From Ensenada in Baja California all the way to the beaches of Oaxaca, there is an astonishing amount of wonderful vacation destinations on this side of Mexico.

However, if you’ve chosen to take in the Mexican Riviera from the water with a cruise (like we did!) then you’ve only got a week, so you might need some help fitting everything in! Here are the best things to do, see and eat in this gorgeous corner of Mexico, and prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime.


Mazatlan


Do 

Mazatlan has a vibrant, lively and esoteric art scene, and the town is awash with excellent little independent galleries and studios. If you are lucky enough to be in town on the first Friday of the month, experience the artistic vibe with a guided Art Walk walking tour.

See 

Mazatlan’s historic centro is a picturesque delight, and well worth spending an afternoon exploring. Wander around its gorgeous muddle of leafy plazas and 19th-century architecture, and grab some refreshment at one of the many quaint and charming bars and cafes.

A short taxi ride away there is also the Mazatlan Cliff Divers:



Eat 

Mazatlan’s food scene is cosmopolitan and adventurous, blending authentic Mexican cuisine with innovative international tastes. Nao Kitchen Bar showcases the talents of Andrea Lizarraga Osuna, one of Mexico’s youngest and most interesting chefs, while the Taqueria Playa Sur is the perfect place to gorge on classic Mexican fare.


Puerto Vallarta 


Do 

This was my favorite stop! 

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most beautiful coastal towns, and exploring the Pacific is the thing to do here. Depending on the year, head out on a whale-watching boat tour, and discover the majestic beauty of the gray whales and humpbacks that migrate here for the winter.

Playa del Amor on the Islas Marietas just off the coast of Puerto Vallarta is one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Tucked away below the surface of the island beneath a vast hole open to the sky, it is accessible only by swimming or kayaking through a long tunnel that connects the beach to the Pacific. A truly romantic, mysterious spot.

See 

In the Vallarta downtown area of Malecón, there are plenty of fun oceanfront statues to pose in front of, but be sure and stop and see The Papantla Flying Men or The Los Voladores (Indian Flyers)! Each day, these Pole Flyers perform a colorful ritual. Spectacular, dangerous, they perform a special dance while spinning around what is essentially a flag pole, flying in the air with the ocean behind them and stunned visitors below. This tradition is centuries old too. It happens several times throughout the day, every day of the week, definitely a must-see! 


Eat 

Puerto Vallarta’s dining scene is varied and interesting, with wonderful fusion spots like Cafe des Artistes and Icu leading the way. However, some of the best food in town can be found in the huge variety of taco stands that pop up in the Zona Romantica after dark.


Puerto Escondido 


Do 

Surf! The Oaxaca coastline is world-famous for its surfing, and the beaches of Cardisarillo, La Punta and Zicatela offer breaks for everyone from beginners to pros.

See 

Puerto Escondido is one of the few places in Mexico where you can see one of nature’s most magical wonders, glowing phosphorescent bioluminescence, in the lagoons and mangroves that line the coast. Head to Laguna de Manialtepec on a moonless night and be prepared for a breathtaking experience.

Eat 

Oaxacan cuisine is famous throughout Mexico, and Puerto Escondido is a great place to experience the rich foodie traditions of the state. Try Pascale or Almoraduz for gourmet takes on authentic Mexican favorites, or El Nene for something more down to earth.


7 Days Cruising the Mexican Riviera - What to do, see and eat

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Buying a Timeshare vs. Vacation Rentals

The most significant expense when planning your vacation will be the accommodations. Factoring in needs versus wants for the entire crew is possible but will take some finagling. So, let's dive into vacationing choices, buying a timeshare versus vacation rentals- which option is better?

While everyone can agree that a spacious retreat is important, nobody wants to be squished into tiny room; there are other things to consider. Do you want a condo in a private golf community? Is a sprawling beach home with a pool and view of the ocean essential? Even though you may get input from everyone, it really comes down to your budget.

The Connection Between Wellness and Vacations

Did you know that about 40% of American employees don't use all their vacation time? Some may think it's better to be paid out for accrued time at the end of the year. They do not realize that there are significant physical and mental health benefits that come from vacation. Traveling to somewhere new can help improve our wellbeing. 

The risk of heart disease decreases as stress and anxiety are released from the body. Feeling more connected to nature isn't just something we say. In fact, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, standing barefoot in the grass or sand grounds us to the Earth. Allowing our planet's negative electrons to flow through us, likely neutralizing free radicals in our body and thereby reducing acute and chronic inflammation.

Taking even a short trip away from the daily grind improves mental clarity, brain function, and plays a part in finding the motivation to achieve goals. Having something positive to look forward to in life is a happiness factor. The act of planning out your vacation increases happiness.

The myth of a work-life balance is fading as new generations of digital creators are finding their work more satisfying. Does this mean you should vacation less? On the contrary, digital jobs are made to work abroad, combing the best of both worlds. The good vibes you bring back from a vacation will rub off on the people around you, improving your relationships.

Timeshare Ownership

Buying into a timeshare is a way for several people to share the usage of a particular type of unit during their assigned week(s) of the year. But, if you're hoping to own an investment property that will appreciate in value, then step away from the timeshare.

People are led to believe when they hand over their down payment to 'own' a timeshare; they're buying a tangible piece of the resort's property. Untrue. Instead, they are signing a contract for the usage of time at the property or exchange properties. Because of this reason, timeshares depreciate the moment you sign the contract. Selling your timeshare at a profit is not going to happen.

Where's the proof? Check sites like RedWeek and Ebay, and you'll find the market flooded with over a million units, some selling for $1 by owners desperate to get out of their contract. Increasing yearly maintenance fees and unexpected special assessment fees pop up all the time and frustrate owners. And these fees are due whether the owner uses the property or not. Paying for the upkeep of the resort is part of the deal.

Renting is the Best Option- Here's Why

When you buy a timeshare, you are glued to the same vacation experience over and over until death do you part. The good news is that you can now rent those same condos whenever you'd like with zero restrictions by renting them.

Timeshare owners often put up their units for rent to recoup some of the ever-increasing expenses incurred with timeshare ownership. This means you'll have access to all the same resort amenities as the owners in the next room but for a fraction of the cost of ownership.

Privacy 

There's something to be said about the solitude of having an entire vacation home to yourself. Booking on sites like VRBO gives you a plethora of rental home choices. Try new things!

Variety 

There is a great big world out there full of possibilities. Would you like to vacation at a Lakefront cabin and watch the sunrise while sitting on the porch? How about renting a mansion for a week in Tuscany. Timeshare ownership cannot offer you the freedom to choose.  

The Best Vacation Rental Sites

RedWeek is the largest timeshare rental site. Not only do owners post their units for rent, but so do the resorts, such as Hilton Grand Vacations and Marriot Vacation Club.

Honestly, the Armed Forces Vacation Club might be the last vacation rental site you ever use. The prices are incredible. Rent any timeshare, house, or resort condo for pennies on the dollar.

Yes, the same rental's others are paying tens of thousands of dollars to own. Read the AFVC Resources page to find out if you're eligible for their free membership.


What Disney Vacation Club Does Differently

If there is an exception to the typical timeshare company, it's Disney Vacation Club, which we own! 

  • DVC Members can vacation any time of year, even multiple times, as there are no assigned weeks. 
  • Members enjoy a 20% savings at ShopDisney
  • Disney Members can use their points to book stays at non-DVC properties. 
  • Memberships include access to vacation-planning advisors, Disney annual passes, and recreation, such as golf clinics.
  • Rooms geared toward younger children and families.

Note: If you purchase a Disney Vacation Club Membership from a third party after January 19, 2019, you would not be able to make Vacation Point reservations at some or all non-Home Resorts.

Did you know that Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort is now an official Walt Disney World® Hotel? We stayed there twice. But why own at Wyndham's one official Disney location when you can have access to the entire Disney line? 

Linx Legal Cares 

If you'd like to know how to get out of your Wyndham timeshare (or any timeshare) contact Linx Legal. Then you can buy into a Disney Vacation Membership or take back the freedom to choose how you vacation. Linx Legal is rated A+ for customer success with the Better Busines Bureau. Over 98% of their clients have successfully got rid of their timeshare safely and legally.

The bottom line is that self-care is especially important for your wellbeing. Take time off from the stressors of life and get back to living. The perspective you get from time away helps us return rejuvenated to be the best version of yourself.


Buying a Timeshare vs. Vacation Rentals



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Luxury Staycation at Inn on Fifth in Naples Florida

Whether you are visiting from the West coast of Florida or venturing from out-of-state, or only 32 miles away like me, the Inn on Fifth in Naples has everything you could look for in a luxury staycation and more in Southwest Florida. 

Experience the Lux Life at the Newly Renovated Inn on Fifth & Club Level Suites


For our 12-year wedding anniversary, my husband and I had the pleasure of staying two nights at the iconic AAA Four-Diamond Inn on Fifth in their Club Level Suites. 

Newly renovated rooftop oasis pool

Sophisticated yet unpretentious, the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Inn on Fifth in Naples Florida is intimate in scale and rich in amenities like the Inn’s newly renovated rooftop oasis pool (located in the main building), soothing Spa on Fifth. 

Valet check-in at Inn on Fifth

Why Club Level?

The Inn on Fifth Club Level Suites provides an enhanced guest experience, with a personal concierge, secluded rooftop retreat, daily culinary delights and so much more. The Inn is home to 119 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, including 32 luxurious Club Level Suites in a separate private building adjacent to the main building. Each spacious room features chic furnishings, contemporary design, and luxurious bedding, with access to Juliet balconies or terraces for taking in the warm breezes or vibrant streets-cape below. 

The spacious Club Level Suites are approximately 550 sq. Ft. with a king-sized bed, connected to a spacious living room with a balcony. The living room is also equipped with a queen-sized pullout bed/couch lounger. Suites can accommodate up to four people, but we did not bring our twins with us for this adult getaway. 

Continental Breakfast in Bed

Amenities include a refrigerator, a glass shower and separate bathtub, the simply luxurious signature Inn on Fifth pillow-top mattresses covered with triple sheeting, flatscreen TVs with DirectTV including one in the bathroom, and two waffle weave robes. Also, toiletries were just as lush including bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, bath bomb, lotion and moist toilettes from L'Occitane Provence

Best of all, Club Level guests have exclusive access to the Club Lounge, which offers daily food and beverage presentations such as daily deluxe continental breakfast, afternoon snacks and tea, and a full top-shelf liquor bar with hors d'oeuvres in the evening. During COVID, with a quick call to the concierge, we were able to have our breakfast and evening cocktails and apps delivered right to our room for us to enjoy on our balcony overlooking the beautiful 5th Avenue in downtown Naples, Florida. 

The apps were quite filling too, but if you were still hungry there are many restaurants within walking distance or you can order from the hotel in-room dining menu that offers a limited menu from the delicious Ocean Prime restaurant, always a favorite of mine. We did this on the second night and had a Prime Burger and Tuna Tar Tar delivered and charged to our room. 

Although I had packed a bottle of Champagne for us to crack open, we never needed to since we received welcome glasses of sparkling wine at check-in and again each evening including Moet Chandon Rose - I was in heaven! You could also select from domestic beers, liquor, whiskey, and many more alcohol options to choose from. Upon hearing this, my mother and her boyfriend are now looking to book a staycation there soon as well, lol.

Club Level also provides access to a private rooftop deck with a hot tub. When we went up it was empty so had it all to ourselves. Meanwhile, all hotel guests have access to the larger rooftop pool deck across the street, which we went to as well. 

Club Level guests receive complimentary evening cocktails on the pool deck too 

Overall: This is a destination resort, not to be missed. We felt truly pampered and hope to make this a new annual tradition! 

Why Naples, Florida?


It's paradise! Perched on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida, Naples is famous for its high-end shopping, world-class culture and sophisticated dining. But Naples is also a multi-generational family destination that appeals to nature lovers and beach aficionados.

Located in Downtown, Naples ("Old Naples"), The Inn on Fifth is within a walking distance of the white sandy beaches, famed Naples Pier, upscale 5th Avenue South shopping and dining, and the kitchy Tin City. 

Luxury Staycation at Inn on Fifth in Naples, Florida
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