8 Must Haves For a 7 Day Cruise

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Photo Credit: Phil Kelsch

Recently my family took a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean. Of course, I did my research and wanted to be 110% prepared before we debarked. I started planning and packing about one month prior. The following 8 items are my absolute must haves…

Digital Waterproof Watch

watchgWoman’s Timex Watch

There is no need to pack your fancy Rolex watch. While some people may think having a watch on vacation is not a good idea, I disagree. I purchased inexpensive watches for everyone in my family. When you first arrive on your ship, I recommend setting your watch to the ships time. Therefore, when you arrive to the different ports, you will know exactly what time the ship is leaving. Many people have missed their ship because they returned to the port on the port’s local time and not the time of the ship. When searching for a watch, I recommend a waterproof watch with an alarm. It will serve multiple purposes and you don’t have to worry about it being damaged in the pool or at the beach.

Favorite Lanyard 

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Black and White Damask Lanyard

Your ship’s cabin key card (sail and sign card for Carnival cruisers) is basically your life line while on the ship. In addition to being your cabin (room) key card, it also contains your account information, used to make purchases on the ship, and used for identification for boarding. On some ships, it is also used to turn the light on in your cabin. You need to keep your card with you at all times. I recommend putting your card on a lanyard. The customer service desk will punch a hole in your lanyard for you. I also recommend taking your own lanyard so you don’t have to settle for the over priced laynards at the ship’s gift store. I absolutely love this damask laynard I found on Amazon.

Nylon Drawstring Bag

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Liberty Bag

I also purchased everyone in my family a drawstring bag. Each person’s bag was a different color. These bags made by Liberty and sold on Amazon came in 16 different colors. Drawstring bags are excellent for taking your books, ipad, or sunglasses to the pool. You can also use the bag off the ship in lieu of a purse or backpack.

Cruise Ship Luggage Tags

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Cruisetags

I never felt comfortable printing my luggage tags from home and simply stapling them together. I found these luggage tags and they were perfect. They are designed specifically to hold and display cruise ships e-documents. You don’t have to worry about the risk of your tags being torn apart and having your luggage lost. The tags come in a pack of 8 and can be used multiple times.

Power Strip or Extension Cord

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Belkin 6 Outlet Surge Protector

Cabins have very limited outlets. On my first cruise, I was unable to charge my ipad, fitbit, and mini lapotp at the same time. I was prepared for my last cruise. For under $15.00, I purchased the set of two Belkin Surge protectors.

** Verify your ships requirements for power strips and extension cords. They may only allow power strips or cords without the surge protector option. **

Over the Door Shoe Organizer

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Whitmore 24 Pocket Shoe Bag

Counter space in the bathrooms of the cabin are very limited. I purchased this over the door shoe organizer for $9.99. It was perfect for holding my toiletries in the bathroom. Initially I was concerned that I would hear the organizer move constantly when the ship is moving or when opening and closing the door. To my surprise, I never heard it.

Small Bills

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Make sure you take plenty of small bills. Small denotations can be used for tips while at port. Also if you plan to do shopping and negotiating, you don’t want to have large bills.

Over the Counter and Prescription Medicine

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Photo Credit: Clip Art Sheep

Don’t forget to basically pack a full medicine cabinet. In addition to your regularly scheduled meds, pack things such as motion sickness pills, band aids, sun block, insect repellent, upset stomach meds, anti-bacterial creams, etc.. I would rather pack an item and not need it than to have to purchase it for three times the price in the gift store.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Please comment below with some of your must haves. Please subscribe to this blog for other home decor tips, organization ideas, and planning  & productivity strategies. You may also visit our full site at http://www.divineelementsofdesign.net and follow us on other social media sites. Thank you and have a Divine Day!!!

11 Strategies for Keeping Your Home Clean!!

home-interiors-2-1234950Picture by FreePik

The struggle is indeed real when it comes to maintaining a clean home. Even with the assistance of occasional help, keeping a home clean takes effort. These 11 strategies have been proven to help. Trust me!! Take the challenge for yourself and let me know how it worked.

1) Wash a small load of clothes each day. Do not let your clothes pile up. A large stack of laundry can be intimidating. Wash only as many clothes as you can comfortably put away at one time.
2) Don’t let your dirty dishes stack up. Wash dishes immediately or place them in the dishwasher after use. If necessary, use paper or plastic disposal dishes.
3) Clean your refrigerator often. Do not let left overs or to go containers take over your refrigerator.
4) Vacuum after you dust.
5) Use a swifter sheet or microfiber cloth to wipe down baseboards, window seals, and other surfaces.
6) Remove clutter, not create more storage space. Please refrain from constantly buying items to hid things.
7) Keep flat surfaces clean. Its easy to drop paper or other items on your coffee table, dresser, kitchen counter, etc..
8) Keep coupons in a clear poly folder in your car. We often have great coupons but accidentally leave them at home.
9) Use your calendar and create a realistic daily routine. Do small projects each day.
10) Return borrowed items immediately. Assign a home for everything.
11) Politely decline unwanted items of friends and family. Limit the amount of items that you bring into your home.

Please share some of the strategies you use to keep your home clean? If you haven’t subscribed to the Decorator’s Voice, please do so to stay updated on interior decorating tips, organizational ideas, and planning & productivity strategies.

How to Organize those Tacky Cords on Your Desk!!


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I recently transformed a small 7 x 8 closet into my home office. It’s equipped with everything I need from my desk to my files to a decorative light fixture. Of course, it has to be divinely decorated!! One thing that was not divine was those tacky cords on my desk. I basically had two options… Pull the cords towards the middle of the desk when they are not plugged into anything or take the risk of allowing them to fall behind the desk. Since my desk is against the wall, I would have to crawl under the desk to awkwardly try to pull them up and ask someone to grab them from the front. I did not like the look of those cords on my desk. Not Divine.

Cordbefore

You can imagine how excited I was to be asked by Adhesive Cable Clips to review their clips. I couldn’t wait to test the product for them and report my findings. Being able to receive the product for free was a win/win for me. When I received the package, I was pleasantly surprised to see it contained a total of 6 channel clips. Three were single clips and three were double clips. I loved the double clip option for managing multiple cords using one clip. As a person with multiple devices, having different options is great. I decided to use three clips in my office and use the remaining three clips on the nightstand in my bedroom for my cell phones and iPad.

You can watch the instructional video on how I actually installed the cable clips on YouTube here.

Initially, I was a little nervous that the clips would not stay in place. However, the strong 3M adhesive assures it will stay in place. I am very satisfied with this product and give it two thumbs up.

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As you can see (or not see), the cords are out of sight…. How Divine!! I was surprised to see these cords are only $8.95 and can be purchased on Amazon.com.  Free shipping with Amazon Prime…

I would love to hear what you are using to organize the cords on your desk, bedroom, or office. If you aren’t following this blog or our other social media, please do so. We would love to share our decorating tips, organizational ideas, and planning & productivity strategies with you. Thanks and have a Divine Day!!!

Decorating With Trays Can Be Divine!!

Trays are great as anchors for your home’s decor. Trays help define an area and also deters clutter on flat surfaces. Trays can be utilized for multiple uses in many rooms. You can be as creative as your hearts desire. Below are a few examples of how you can decorate with trays in different rooms.

1) Living Room

Use a decorative tray on an ottoman in your living room. Many people are opting against coffee tables but still need a place to rest a cup or remote control. A tray can be a very stylist alternative to a traditional coffee table. You can also accent the tray with accessories or flowers to tie in the room’s decor.

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2) Makeup Table / Bathroom Counter

This clear acrylic tray is simply divine. You can keep all of your makeup and beauty items in an equally beautiful tray. Its beautiful enough to be placed on your vanity table or bathroom counter.

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3. Coffee / Tea Station

Keep all of your coffee and hot tea items together on a tray. Its large enough to hold your coffee maker, cup, sugar, and other items needed for that perfect cup of Joe or Earl Grey.

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4. Guest Room

I love to welcome my overnight guests with a box of chocolate and bottle water in the guest room. Often, out of towners may get thirsty in the middle of the night, but don’t want to raid your kitchen or wake you up. In addition to a “welcome packet,” I make sure to leave a new bottle of water on a bedroom themed tray.


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 5) Bedroom Dresser Tray

A bedroom’s dresser is often cluttered with keys, mail, money, receipts, and items from a person’s pocket and/or purse. We tend to use flat surfaces such as dressers and night stands as a quick spot to “temporarily” place items. Often, these flat surfaces are easy to become over cluttered. Try placing a tray on your dresser or nightstand to collect items. The tray will keep all items together and limit the amount of items placed on it.

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For more decorating and organization tips, please subscribe to this blog. Also visit our main website for information concerning our many products, services, and to visit our online boutique.

Please comment and share other ideas on how you decorate with trays.

http://www.divineelementsofdesign.net

Erin Condren Collection and Erin Condren Life Planner Giveaway

Banner

As a Certified Interior Decorator and Professional Organizer, I searched long and hard to find a planner that would work great for my busy and hectic schedule. Last year I discovered Erin Condren and it was love at first sight. (Cue the Butterflies)… Now, I currently own a small collection of Erin Condren items.

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I use my personal Life Planner to plan all aspects of my life. From doctors appointments to shopping trips to household chores… Everything is written down. There is something about paper and ink that is totally reliable to me. I don’t have to worry about hitting ignore on a cell phone reminder and forgetting about it. I carry my Life Planner with me EVERYWHERE….

My son is a senior in high school. I have an Erin Condren Notebook specifically for him. I use it to track all activities and events for his senior year. It stays on my desk but we do take it to the monthly senior meetings at his school. Inside of his notebook I keep information concerning senior activities, college information, college trips, scholarship info, etc…

I absolutely love my fitness life planner. I use it to record my fitness, nutrition, monitor my steps and calories lost, and meal plan. If I achieve my daily goal, I award myself with a happy sticker for the day!!!

I’m going to use a separate notebook for my budget and finances… This is still a work in progress.

Planner

I absolutely love the Erin Condren Teacher Planner. I completely customized it to use for my small business. I can completely plan and outline my social media, appointments, customer contacts, etc… I also keep many of my important business documents in the planner.

Since I keep my Teacher Planner in my home office, I carry a designated Erin Condren Deluxe notebook with me when I’m at appointments or meetings. I love being able to customize the cover.

I am truly enjoying my Erin Condren experience. If you have an Erin Condren, I would love to hear how you use it.. Please comment below.

classicplannerVIP CARD TO POST

We are giving away a 2015 Erin Condren Life Planner to one lucky winner. In addition to the planner, we are also giving away a VIP Client Membership into our VIP Club. VIP members receive additional discounts and products in our Online Boutique. We carry a variety of planner/scrapbook items and organizational supplies.

Enter the giveaway at a Rafflecopter giveaway

To view our YouTube video of the tour, visit us at http://youtu.be/Sq62-14-CAA

“Tidy Tip Tuesday” Stress Free Purging…

donation box

With our busy schedules, no one has time to purge their closets. Adapt this stress free option for purging. Place an empty box in a designated area in your home. If you have room in your closet or bedroom that is ideal, but if it has to be someplace separate that’s completely fine. Remember, this is “stress free.” Don’t concentrate on filling up the box or scheduling a pick up. As you gather your clothes for the day, look through your closet, do weekly laundry, etc.. and come across items you no longer wear, doesn’t fit, or is damaged, simply toss them in the donation box. Don’t worry about designating a time to purge your closet or worry about how long it will take to fill. After several days or weeks, you will notice your donation box has magically filled up. When the box is full, simply close it and make it available for pickup or drop it off at your local donation site. The stress free donation box can also be used for home appliances, toys, and other wanted items…

PenGems Review and Giveaway

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We have recently discovered PenGems and are in love. Why should we be forced to carry dull writing tools? Our pens and stylus should be as Divine as ourselves… PenGems are just that. As a paper person, I take pride in the pens I write with. PenGems crystal pens and stylus pens are not only stylish, they are very functional. The 1/2 ounce  pen writes smoothly and its easy to hold. It has a 0.7 mm point and pocket clip. Each pen contains at least 120 crystals. With each pen purchase, you will receive a free ink refill. What an eco-friendly option!! Instead of tossing a pen when the ink runs out, simply replace the ink!!! PenGems come in 24 different colors and a rainbow option.

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The Stylus PenGems are an absolute must for your touch screen devices. Its time to eliminate those finger marks and smudges on your cell phones and tablets. I recommend purchasing multiple colors to match your cell phone, tablet, and/or planner cases.

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For the stylish student, PenGems make excellent graduation gifts. Purchase a set in school colors to show school spirit. PenGems can be also used to match your diva’s purse, nail polish, or wardrobe.

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We are so excited to be able to giveaway a set of beautiful PenGems. In addition to the PenGems, we are also giving away a pen holder and a Divine Elements of Design VIP membership. This giveaway is open to US and International residents… The giveaway ends February 11, 2015. There are multiple ways to enter the giveaway. Good Luck.

Enter Giveaway Here

PenGems will be available in our Online Boutique in mid February 2015. Connect with us on social media to stay updated on our release date.

View Our YouTube Review Here

Your Makeup and Jewelry Should Have a Divine Home

7 drawer jewelry chest

The era of musical jewelry boxes are over. I loved my musical jewelry box as a young girl. Later, I owed a tall stand up wooden jewelry box. It spoke elegance to me and I loved it as well. In a never ending attempt to declutter my home and upgrade, I purchased a modern clear acrylic jewelry organizer to save room. I must admit, I was a little nervous at first about purchasing the acrylic jewelry organizer. I didn’t know if my jewelry would fit and I was concerned about laying my necklaces down. To my surprise, its been several months and I am absolutely in love with it. I began to see woman with acrylic jewelry/makeup organizers everywhere from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” to family and friends. I absolutely love the quality of the US Acrylic jewelry organizer. When shopping for a jewelry organizer, make sure that you are getting grade A acrylic and not generic plastic. Plastic will dull and scratch. For more information, you may view the product review I did on the 7 drawer clear acrylic organizer. I loved it so much, Divine Elements of Design now carries the US Acrylic line of jewelry organizers in our  online boutique. You may also view our online product review of this product on our YouTube Channel.

10 Steps to Keeping Your Bedroom Clean

bedroom with artwork

1) Take the extra few minutes to make up your bed every morning. Nothing says a messy room like an unmade bed.
2) Remove all excess papers from on top of your nightstand(s), chest, and drawers.
3) Keep all shoes, belts, purses, and accessories in their assigned space.
4) Spend a few minutes each day maintaining your room. Before you go to bed, pick up and put away all items. It will feel great to wake up in a clean room!!
5) Put your clothes away immediately after taking them off. Put dirty clothes in the hamper and hang up clothes that will be worn again.
6) If you read in your bed, only keep a limited amount of reading material in your room. Multiple books and magazines may appear as clutter.
7) Clean your pillow as often as needed. See the tag for instructions.
8) Instead of having a designated “washing” day, wash more often. Smaller loads are easier to put away. Try to avoid the laundry mound of clothes in your room.
9) If you have to eat or drink in your room (hopefully not), throw away the wrappers, bottled drinks and other items as soon as you are done with them.
10) Only bring items in your room that belong there. Your room is not a resting spot for items.

What is the Decorator’s Voice?

rssThe Decorator’s Voice is a blog for the decorators of Divine Elements of Design. Its more personal then our other social media outlets. The Decorator’s Voice is designed to be a forum for thoughts, decorating tips, organizational ideas, product reviews, and giveaways. Follower interaction is encouraged. Our target followers include home owners, renters, dwellers with parents, married couples, singles, students, professionals, small business owners, unemployed, stay at home moms, women, men, teens, etc… There is something here for everyone. Come on in and have a nice cup of coco. We want to help make decorating and organizing enjoyable!!!

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