Top Five Best Items I Packed for Our Cruise!

Hello lovelies!

In my prior post I discussed the things I would and would not do again on a cruise, but here I want to let you know about the items I’m so glad we had on board!  I highly recommend:

  1. Magnetized Hooks. One thing about staterooms is that’s handy is that the walls are magnetized and since there’s not a lot of counter space, having magnets will keep your room free of clutter. I opted for these magnet hooks so we could hang our hats, bags, as well as post notes and invites! These are the ones we bought (holds up to 18 lbs.):

2. Passport Holder. On a ship, you need to have your passenger card on you at all times and the last thing I wanted to do is bring my purse everywhere. So this holder solved these problems perfectly! I could hold not only my passenger card but also my passport, lip gloss, credit cards and tissues. I was surprised how much it could hold!

3. Dramamine. Yes, sea sickness is a thing. Now, I usually don’t get motion sickness but there were a couple of rocky days when my stomach was not so happy. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you!  I popped a non drowsy Dramamine and I was fine.

4. Pop Up Mesh Hamper. 13 days at sea will cause an accumulation of laundry, and having this foldable mesh hamper made it much easier to deal with dirty laundry! The hamper fits easily in the suitcase. Speaking of laundry – be sure to pack a stain pen, a few dryer sheets, and a couple of sample sized laundry soap. You don’t want to pay ship prices for those items.

5. Travel Adapter. Since we were on a ship out of Australia, we needed an adapter for our electronics. This small adapter not only had a way to charge phones and my hairdryer, but has a USB drive for charging tablets too! This particular one comes with a little case for easy packing and is very affordable ($15)!

This is based on my experience and not sponsored, so I’m not getting any kick back on these items:)

What are things you’re glad you had on your cruise? Things you wish you had? Also, where are places you cruised?

Until next time – love, laughter, and shoes-


xo, Melanie:)



What I Learned from My First Cruise!

Hello Lovelies!

It’s 2018 and I have not written here in months! It’s safe to say I got pretty busy with various projects- but I have missed blogging and since I’ve had an amazing experience travelling, what a better time to begin writing again? We went on our very first cruise and though I researched the “do’s and don’ts” of cruising, we learned what things we would and would not do again, so I’ll share it with you!

We thought that since we were north of Australia, we should see it while we are on this side of the world. You’d think that living in Guam it would be fairly easy to travel to Australia.  WRONG.

For one thing, there are no direct flights to Sydney or ANY Australian city. The quickest way would be to fly north to Tokyo and then down to Sydney – but ahem, at $2000 per ticket, that was not happening! We ended up booking a flight to Manila in the Philippines for considerably less, but we’d have a LONG layover – I’m talking 12 hours! I decided to rent a hotel room near the airport (for just $35 USD!) so we could at least be comfortable.

If you are active duty military, military family, or a vet, I HIGHLY recommend going through

Without their help, we would have never secured the deal we got for a 13 day cruise with Princess Cruises from Sydney to around New Zealand! Regardless of which travel agency you use, it is ideal to book at least six months ahead to pick the type (and location) of your room.


What I Would Do Again on a Cruise: 

  1. Stay in a hotel the night before sailing. Since we were flying in super early in the morning, there was no way I wanted us to be exhausted and trying to make our port in the same day. Having that night before allowed us to relax and begin “vacation mode.”
  2. Get a Balcony Room. The deal we got with Princess allowed us to afford a balcony room, and I have to say it was definitely worth it. Just being able to walk out and feel the breeze and see the waves while having breakfast is awesome. Booking early also allowed us to choose a room away from the elevators and not on the lower level (less rocky).
  3. Talk to Others! It sounds bizarre, sure – but don’t be afraid to do a couple of dinners at a shared table. People are on vacation and are relaxed, more likely to keep conversation light. This is especially fun if you are on a cruise with lots of people from other countries! The Aussies we met were incredibly nice. We also talked to people while playing trivia, at the bar, plus our servers -meeting Canadians, Brits, Phillipino, Serbs, Russians, and Chinese along with other Americans and Aussies!
  4. Do The Activities! You can only lie in the sun so long, so check out the activities going on. Every evening we would get a newsletter about the next day’s port stop and onboard activities. From trivia, to karaoke, to attending an art auction, to game shows – there is something for everyone!
  5. Dress Up for Formal Night. Don’t groan at the thought of this; it’s actually pretty fun to see everyone all dressed up for dinner, plus if you want special pictures taken the ship photographers will be doing portraits (for a fee of course). It’s like Prom for Adults; but you’re allowed to drink alcohol! On our cruise, servers passed out free champagne.:)


6. Explore Every Port. Princess’ reps were great with handing out maps and information on “where to go” at every stop. Plus, there were always shuttles to take us into a main area so it was simple to get around and make our way back. Don’t let a new area intimidate you from checking out the scene!

7. “Pre-Booking” the Next Cruise. Now, this is something that Princess Cruises offers – I don’t know if other lines do this (check with them), but before our cruise ended we were given the option to place a small, totally refundable deposit on a future cruise in order to receive extra onboard credit. Since we could still use our travel agent and use it with any sales, we went for it. If we didn’t book a cruise within two years, we would be refunded the money, so it was a no-brainer!

What We Wouldn’t Do Again:

  1. Purchase a “Unlimited Soda and More” package. Neither of us drink that much soda (I don’t at all), and it was disappointing to realize that this “unlimited” did not include coffee, tea, and juices in all bars/restaurants. I think we could probably save money on it in the future.
  2. Go to the salon. We decided to renew our wedding vows on this cruise (which was totally worth it!) and thought getting ourselves pampered on the day of would be nice. Honestly, I didn’t get service that was any better than what I usually do (in fact; my stylist and nail tech are better) and the prices are too much for what’s offered.
  3. Book excursions with the cruise line. We quickly realized that we could have saved quite a bit of money booking excursions in the port. One thing that made me want to book the excursions with Princess is that they guarantee getting back to the boat in time. Frankly, the agencies are parked right by the port and it would be bad business to not guarantee the same. We’ll definitely do it differently next time!


Most of all, the biggest “DO” is go with a upbeat and “go with the flow” attitude. Little things might pop up, so don’t sweat those little annoyances.

In upcoming posts, I’ll profile various ports we visited plus the packing essentials for any cruise! Where have you cruised? Cruise lines you traveled with? What would you do differently? 

Until next time – love, laughter, and shoes:)

xo, Melanie.

2016: New Experiences, New Obsessions

Hello Lovelies!

How was your holidays? As soon as we’re winding down from all the shopping, wrapping, travelling, and eating (!), it’s time to usher in a new year!

I’m starting off 2016 with a new look! Behold my PURPLE hair! I decided it was time to do something bold and I LOVE this color!

Time to switch things up!

Time to switch things up!

But why am I wearing a scarf when I live in Guam? Well, the Hubby and I decided to take a week long vacay to Seoul, South Korea for Christmas! We got a taste of winter like temps (without the snow) and experienced true Asian culture for the first time.

Look at the size of that rock!

Look at the size of that rock!

Korea is well known for fashion, cosmetics, and yes – amethysts! One of the places we stopped at during a tour is a amethyst jewelry factory, and for a fraction of what we’d pay in USD (likely around $700), I had a custom made ring created for under $300! Merry Christmas to me!

Totally unique!

Totally unique!

One of the sites I enjoyed the most was going up in the Seoul Tower. Although the journey begins with a LONG line to get into a cable car to the site, it’s so worth the view once you get to the top. Our timing was perfect since the sun was beginning to set, creating a gorgeous view over the city.



I also loved the windows of the Tower. Cities of the world wound around us, and I was excited to find a window with cities we’ve visited!

Hello Berlin, Paris, and London!

Hello Berlin, Paris, and London!

Another attraction Korea has become known for is its cat cafes! As a “crazy cat lady,” of course I had to visit one. The place we visited, Hello Cat, served coffees and teas and lots of purring kitties for us to pet and spoil. This lovely gray striped tabby, Willie, made fast friends with me:)

Sweet Willie!

Sweet Willie!

What a cute coffee! Almost a shame to drink it!

What a cute coffee! Almost a shame to drink it!

Of course, I need to talk about the COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE! However, that is going to be in my next post because I went on a huge buying spree, and there’s LOTS to share!

What are YOU wearing for New Year’s Eve? I rocked a black jumpsuit, a sequined Calvin Klein jacket, and Dereon glittery booties for a Christmas party. This look would be fab for NYE as well!




Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.




Are We Thankful, or Shopaholics?

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you had a great weekend! Though Thanksgiving is a US holiday, I’ve noticed that many countries do some kind of “giving thanks” celebration around this time of year. Even if they don’t do the big dinner, SHOPPING has definitely become a big tradition!

Yes, I’m a shopper who loves a great deal, no doubt. However, I’m not crazy about the Black Friday frenzy. Getting up in the middle of the night to go stand in a long line to MAYBE get a discounted item is not my idea of a good time! In the States, the Black Friday mayhem has gotten so crazy that many stores open on Thanksgiving night! Sometimes fights break out, prompting extra security to patrol these crowds. Have we gone too far?

What happened to spending time with family and friends? Going to a movie? Passing out after gorging ourselves?

For me, I try to find balance between finding meaning in the holiday season while finding a good deal for gifts. Most of all, I think it’s fun to be creative when coming up with a gift for a friend or family member. Since I can’t go home for the holidays, I want people to know that I put some real thought behind what I chose.

Right now, I am thankful for the good health the Hubby and I have, a safe and lovely place to live, careers which challenge and make us happy, and for the love we share. I am especially proud of him today, as he just got promoted! Of course, I had to look fierce for the ceremony!

Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Heels, GX by Gwen Stefani, Shoe Dazzle.

Heels, GX by Gwen Stefani, Shoe Dazzle.

F21 blue 2

I mentioned in my last post that I got a Fit Bit. Not wanting to take it off today, I decided to create an arm party and dress it up! Not bad, huh?

Just add sparkle!

Just add sparkle!

Lovelies, I am thankful for YOU! I am still running my “My Beauty Faves” giveaway until Dec 12, so scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Rafflecopter icon on the RIGHT! 

Good luck!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.





No Tricks Here, Just Treats!

Hello lovelies and Happy Halloween!

Did you overindulge? For me, it wasn’t candy but I’ve been DROOLING over the shoe collection by Gwen Stefani! I stumbled across it at, and I AM OBSESSED!

GX Gwen Stefani

I am a big Gwen fan. I would describe her style as “Rebel Chic,” as she takes risks with her look, and yet it always looks refined. Admittedly, I have a huge girl crush on her, as her music, style, and ability to GET EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL AS SHE AGES! How does she do it?!!

Anyway….the shoes are absolutely fabulous. Totally unique, as Gwen is!


This one has my name all over it!

It will be mine. Oh yes....

It will be mine. Oh yes….

Gwen, tell me how you stay so freaking gorgeous? Three kids, a busy career, and now you’re single again. I bow to you.


Always true to who she is!

Always true to who she is!

On another note…yes, I still dress up for Halloween because I am a big kid at heart. This year, the Hubby and I decided to channel Batman villains. He rocked it as Harvey “Two Face” Dent, and I got into the new Harley Quinn look (from the upcoming Suicide Squad). No booty shorts for me, but I did a fun tutu instead!

Harley and Harvey

Harley CU

Harley full

Guess what, lovelies! The next post will be The Divine Mz M’s THIRD Anniversary! I’ve got giveaways galore coming your way, so stay tuned!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.



And Now For Somewhere Completely Different…GUAM!

Outside hotel


Yes, I am LITERALLY on the other side of the world since I last posted! The hubby and I got into Guam two days ago, and whoa, the jet lag is kicking my behind, but I’m very excited for the new adventure:)

Leaving our friends and family in Michigan was very emotional for us.  We had so much fun hanging out and enjoying each others’ company, and when it was time to go, my heart sunk. We don’t get to see our family except for once every couple of years, and that is the toughest part of being in a military family.

However, I find some comfort in being in the sun and being able to rock my newest looks from Charlotte Russe and H&M! Curvy gals, did you know Charlotte Russe just debuted their plus line? Check out this adorable romper!

Char Russe romper 1

And…CR is doing a 30% off sale right now! Ohhhh yeahhhh!

I also got adventurous and decided to mix prints. Here’s a cute lipstick kiss tee from H&M paired with this skater skirt from Charlotte Russe! Forgive the mirror selfies; hubby is busy getting our stuff processed!

Lipstick shirt 2

Lipstick print shirt

Lipstick print CU


Kiss, kiss!

Kiss, kiss!

Lots of pics to come soon of this lovely island – but here is a view from our hotel balcony!

Hotel view

Until next time – love, laughter, and shoes!



2015 – Celebrating Who YOU Are!



Did you have a fun filled crazy celebration, or did you keep things more low key? Are you waking up with the “holy God, why did I drink all that Long Island tea and champagne” feeling?

No? Oh, well yes- that is me! HA!

Anyway, here’s to a brand new year. As we close out 2014, I’d like to offer a wish for all of us to begin 2015. Let’s enjoy ourselves more!

Oh the tasty gluhwein!

Oh the tasty gluhwein!

Every year, there is a big push to “fix ourselves.” On just about every advertisement or magazine this month, we will be promised that “this is the year to get fit,” or “get a bikini body,” so we sign up for gym memberships and hope that THIS time we’ll make it happen.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting healthier. However, shouldn’t we enjoy who and what we are NOW, versus waiting to be happy?

New Victoria's Secret sweatshirt! So cozy!

New Victoria’s Secret sweatshirt! So cozy!

So, yes – start a new fitness program. Stop smoking. Be kinder. Save money. Chase a new interest. Whatever it is you want to do this year, DO IT. And have FUN while doing it!

VS top 2

VS Top 5

On another note…

Thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog this past year! I really appreciate all the likes, follows, shares, and comments. I’m excited about what’s to come this year, and you lovelies can expect many more giveaways!!


Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.