El Dorado Casitas Royale – Adults Only Resort

My husband and I have been married 10 years this year. We have 3 kids. They just turned 5, 7 & 9. We have not been away for more than an overnight together since our honeymoon.

We went away for our anniversary, just the two of us for 5 days to the El Dorado Casitas Royale. It was pure loveliness.

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We needed this. The word deserve gets thrown around a lot, but dare I say after the winter we’ve been through with said 3 kids, we might just deserve this.

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It took a lot of planning, negotiating, compromising, prepping the puppy for a doggie hotel, and 2 sets of grandparents. Basically just sheer will to get this done. Probably the reason we’ve haven’t done it in 10 years. Because holy hell I need a vacay from planning my vacay. And the guilt too. OMG the mom guilt. I got over it as soon as my toes touched the sand however. YES I did. In the end we were rewarded with 5 glorious days to ourselves.

We decided early on in the planning that we would give all inclusive a try. Even on our honeymoon we didn’t stay at a super fancy resort. We backpacked, finding hotels on the fly in Greece. It was amazing and we loved it. But this time around we’re a bit older, slower and well, in need of a bit of a rest.  I planned the whole thing with my husbands only two requirements in mind: A swim up bar and NO KIDS.

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I zoomed in on Cancun because the travel time was reasonable, the weather is awesome, and rave reviews from others. We narrowed it again to the Riveria Maya. A little less spring break-esque. I looked at a lot of all inclusives in the area and there are many. Wittled it down to the adults only. I kept coming back to one over and over again – the Casitas. In particular, I kept coming back to this picture imaging myself there…

I looked at this picture every day as we prepared to go and I worked out the details. I couldn’t wait to get there! I mean LOOK AT IT!

We arrived in Cancun at 3 in the afternoon. We found our car that was taking us to our resort no problem. It’s best to set up the car before you even leave the country. When time and relaxation is of the essence you don’t want to wait on a taxi. Hire a service. It’s well worth it. As we got our belts on the driver offered my husband a beer. An effing roadie man, are you kidding me?

His face lit up. Seriously. He was on vacation and I could see him settle in. I declined because Corona Light smells and tastes like a frat party to me and um, no thank you. I do not need to be reminded of frat parties on my romantic weekend with my husband. When we got to our resort I was offered something a bit more my speed… a chilled glass of champagne. Thankyouverymuch.

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Everything about the Casitas Resort didn’t scream luxury, but rather mentioned it in a quiet attentive voice. There’s no need for screaming, the kids are at home. Did I mention that already? There are no kids. My kids aren’t here. YOUR kids aren’t here.

I just adored this resort. From the room to the pool to the restaurants. Everything. A special mention needs to go here about the people that run the resort. And I mean the men and women on the ground. Sweeping the beach, bussing the tables, serving the deliciousness, cleaning, organizing, working. WORKING. The resort staff are so service oriented, it’s staggering. We wanted for nothing. Ask and it appears, with a smile. A warm genuine smile, not an ‘I’m just getting through my day here’ smile. As someone who is not accustomed to this type of service, I was just in awe of it. Lovely people, all of them.

But you want to know about our stay right? :-)

Our suite was just gorgeous. We had breakfast delivered to our room every morning because I couldn’t be bothered to leave. Really, could you…

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But when we did leave the room our pool with swim up bar was only steps away. And a few steps after that… the beach.

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During the day, I sat by the pool, laid down on the Bali bed, or took a walk on the beach to the salt water pool. (This would be the ONLY con to this whole resort. Beach erosion has taken it’s toll and the surf is sometimes unswimmable. They have also put large unsightly barriers in the water to help with this problem. Not one person ever mentioned this the whole time we were there as being a problem. After the first day I was okay with it too.)

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I read a whole book cover to cover. I even read a magazine.

But mostly, I just had lovely daydreams. I dreamt about my kids, my life, what my husband and I would do later ;-) I had time to day dream people. I was lying around doing nothing. A highly under rated activity IMHO.

At night we had the most gorgeous meals with crazy exceptional service. This Karisma Resort is a Gourmet Inclusive. I had uninterrupted meal time conversations with my husband. No one asked me for anything except what I wanted to eat and drink :-)

We went to shows at night. Beach bars. And wine by moonlight on the beach beds. We held hands and went for walks. Had some sexy time. No “OMG what’s that noise? Is it one of the kids.” Nope just the ocean or someone bringing us room service!

The Casitas are a part of the larger El Dorado Royale by Karisma. It is a private enclave dedicated to providing an even higher level of luxury and personal attention. You can enjoy all of the amenities, restaurants and activities of the neighboring El Dorado Royale and Generations Riviera Maya. But as guests of Casitas Royale we had exclusive access to our own private pools and swim-up bars, and concierge services just steps from our room. They even have aromatherapy and pillow menus! There is just so much goodness.

As an all inclusive we never had to worry about what to eat or drink. We just ordered and it arrived. Price was not a factor or a deterrent in any of our decisions. We ate and drank as we pleased. That was a true luxury. I think the food and drink alone need a post!


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IF you can get away. DO IT! I would go back in a hot minute!

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Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day, and do or make something good today wouldya?!

Thank you for reading and for supporting the brands and companies I partner with, which allows me to create more content for you. As always, all opinions are my own, yo.  

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Disclosure: This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a program by Karisma Hotels. I have been given a discounted room for this post. 

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Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – A review


Yesterday I posted to my Facebook page that we were headed “Off to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- The Musical! “She thinks I’m cute. She thinks I’m cute!” The TV show on stage.”

To which someone replied “How do you all do this on weeknights? I won tickets but had to turn them down because I fear my kids would be dysfunctionally tired the next day.”

Perhaps my kids ARE dysfunctionally tired the next day. But they’re at school. I have no idea :-) I keed, I keed!

My oldest frequently stays up MUCH later than we were out last night. My middle is a trooper, like all the time. She is a classic no drama middle child. My youngest rests on me during the whole show and promptly falls asleep as soon as he gets home.

Are they tired the next day? Yes. Dysfunctionally? No. They all got up and did everything they were supposed to do and off they went to school. Will it effect their school day? Perhaps. But I think it’s worth it. I do ticket giveaways and reviews specifically so my kids have the opportunity to go to these events. And they LOVE it. I love that I’m am instilling in them an appreciation of theater and cultural events. They’re learning to be entertained by live performances and not just over the top special effects 3D ninja movies (although we love those too).

I will admit I did not have high hopes for this production. I don’t know why, call me a cynic, a pessimist. Whatever. I just did not think it was going to be good. I grew up watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It’s a classic! I had no idea how that would translate to the stage as a musical. I was….skeptical.

It was SO cute and SO much fun! My kids loved loved it and I thought it did the original TV show much justice. They didn’t try to change it, which I think was my biggest fear. That the producers would try to re- interpret the show. It’s stayed true to the much loved 50 year old classic TV Christmas special. The story, sets, characters, and songs were all familiar. Even the voices were spot on! The crowd of parents delighted when Rudolph squealed “I’m cuuuuuute!” and broke out in applause when the Prospector first bounded on stage! Because it was familiar. We were connecting to it on a memory level. And it ended with a bouncing snow flake sing a long!

After it was over and we got in the car and noticed we’d be home before 9:00 I was even more pleased. Then I thought of Julia, the woman that commented on my status. I was sad that she didn’t get to go. They would have been home much earlier than she imagined!

To that point I think that it’s a great starter musical theater show. For kids who have never been to the theater or for moms afraid of keeping littles out too late – it’s perfect. The show starts at 7 and is over at 8:30. The theater is full of kids being kids. It’s a great place to teach your littles about how to behave in the theater without the fear that they will ruin the experience for others. Try taking a 4 year old to the Nutcracker and you’ll know what I mean :-)


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical plays at the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre
Tuesday, December 9 – Sunday, December 14, 2014
Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:00 pm; morning matinees on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 am; and afternoon matinees at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are priced at $28.00 – $68.00 at www.citicenter.org or by calling (866) 348-9738. For more information, visit www.citicenter.org.

Disclosure – I was provided with complimentary tickets to the performance. All opinions are my own.

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Stinky stuff? DIY Vodka Deodorizer

Last winter I packed up all of our hats and mittens put them in plastic bags and put them in the cellar.

Mistake number one, I put them in the cellar.
Mistake number two, the bags did not have a tight seal.

Unfortunate circumstance number one, we have a fieldstone basement.
Unfortunate circumstance number two, we got some pretty serious rain over the summer.

This brings me to October and the very weird New England weather. It was hot then cold then hot then cold, you get it. So off I went to the basement to get the hats and mittens.

And here’s the problem. The mistakes combined with the circumstances made them as stinky as all get out. Basement mildew moldy STANK.

I washed them and washed them and washed them. Hypoallergenic detergent, full on perfume detergent, special cloth diaper detergent, oxyclean, white vinegar. Everything.

So I took the internet, as you do. I find a couple of posts about vodka. Really? Vodka? Apparently the vodka kills the bacteria, but is basically odorless. Sure, why not.

Let’s do this!

So there you have it!

1 1/2 cup water
1 cup vodka

Saturate the stinky item
Let it dry
Wash as usual

I read it’s also really great for dry clean only clothes or stinky armpits on an otherwise clean shirt. Meaning if your clothes are actually dirty the vodka won’t help. Unless you drink it then they won’t look so dirty after a while.

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Great Wolf Lodge New England for the Holidays

Last weekend my family and I were asked to attend a Howliday sneak peek at Great Wolf Lodge New England!   We got to experience Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one sitting!

First we started with Howl-o-ween. The kids decorated treat bags and got some candy from the witch. During the month of October kids will get in their costumes and participate in Spooktacular family activities such as the Trick-or-Treat Trail or Monster Bash Dance Party. It’ll be a howling good time! (Get it? Wolf. Howl?)

We had a Thanksgiving feast fit for KINGS I tell you. Every bit of it was delicious (between my husband and I we tried most of it ;-). And as a bonus it was all nut free!

Then they made it SNOW! Inside. The kids thought it was so cool. It was part of what will be called  Snowland – From snow showers and twinkling lights in the Grand Lobby to gingerbread houses and enormous snowflakes. We had hot chocolate with handmade marshmallows, and the kids decorated Holiday cookies and basically got all hopped up on sugar. There was also a storytime and then a dance party. I suppose to account for the different levels of sugar intake ;-)


Dollops of Diane’s kids. Mine would not stand still for a second here.

That was all just our blogger preview of the holidays! Everything else at Great Wolf Lodge was equally as awesome.

The Dunkin Donuts and a bar for adults -that’s the way to begin and end the day ;-) The buffet breakfast for everyone. And of course, of course the WATER PARK and everything in between our room and the water!

There are shops, a salon, arcades, indoor mini golf, a ropes course and so much more. Be sure to look them up on Facebook for deals!


We had so much fun and would definitely go back! Among the water parks around these parts it’s most certainly the leader of the pack (sorry I couldn’t help myself.)


This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a program by Great WOlf Lodge. I have been given aComplimentary stay at the resort. Image used with permission. All opinions are my own.

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I think you’re a VIP – Whole Food Detox Giveaway & Discount!

Do you feel not quite right? Do you have a nagging suspicion you could be eating better and living better? Do you think that kind of life is just for VIPs and celebrities?


I’m here to tell you it’s not. But if you don’t believe me I’m also here to tell you that I that YOU are a VIP!

To show you I’m giving away a 14 day Whole Food Detox from Team J+A. The value of the course is $247!

The 14-day Whole Food Detox, created by two holistic nutrition coaches, goes beyond generic programs and generic results.

Unlike other cleanses and detoxes, this program is designed to help you reach your goalsandsatisfy your taste buds.

With an emphasis on pleasure and nourishment rather than deprivation and restriction, this is a detox meant to permanently shift your experience.

I’ve done this detox. Twice! My mom has done this detox and it has completely changed her life. I love it and I believe in it. I may even do it again with you guys. I may or may not have indulged a bit too much on our awesome summer vacation ;-)

AND because I love you guys so much I also have a discount code for you! So if you don’t win you can use the code VIP when you check out here to get 15% off your Detox. The next detox starts on September 14th and registration closes on the 10th! So start thinking hard about how you want to change your life and how it could start with this!

Want to join me?

  • Do you feel bloated and uncomfortable?
  • Are you obsessed with calorie counting?
  • Consumed by food stress?
  • Moody?

Go on now start feeling good…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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My messy house.



My messy house happened fast and it’s going to take a long time to pick up this I know for sure.

School starts on Tuesday that that stuff needs to be done before the picking up of the mess.

OR maybe I need to pick up first so I’m more organized. I don’t know.

All I know is I need help and I’m clearly not going to get any!

I recorded this on Wednesday which in my post vacation stupor I thought was Monday. So now it’s Friday and the house is not clean “by the end of the week” like I said it would be because DUH my brain thinks it’s now Wednesday.

Follow? No?

It’s okay I’ll have it clean soon :-) Just keepin’ it real for the internet y’all.


If you haven’t already, please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/ViolaCay


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