It's super exciting taking trips as a couple, living out our dreams and exploring the world together.
We strategically route some of our business travel to include stops to some of our favorite destinations. Whether traveling for business, pleasure, alone, with friends or family trips can go much better when properly planned.
Here are a few useful tips and tricks when planning your trips.
1. Make travel More affordable.
a. Shop around third-party sellers. Don't limit yourself to just going directly to the airlines.
Here are a few great options for travel sites we've used:
1. kayak.com 2. cheapoair.com 3. expedia.com 4. google.com/flights
b. Shop long in advance for plane tickets. The closer you get to the date your travel date, the more expensive tickets become.
c. Consider alternative routes. You can save time and money when you do!
d. Search for flights strategically. If you've been searching for flights for a few days or you return to specific pages, clear your browsing history. Close the browser and relaunch the page because sometimes when the cookies track your previous activity, you won't get the best prices, you actually won't see the most competitive rates, and in some cases, you're actually offered higher prices!
2. Accommodations. Explore options.
You don't have to limit your options to hotels rooms, you can try travel sites such as airbnb.com and flipkey.com.
In countries that are safe, these are great options worth exploring. Read lots of reviews, pay close attention to pictures, ensure you see the units and the compound (beware of close up shots, too many shots about activities but not the venue itself)
Choose hotels wisely. When in doubt stick with the more prominent Hotel brands. Look closely for hidden fees. Enquire about parking facility and cost if you plan on renting a vehicle.
3. Ensuring your Safety is a must. Before heading off to an unknown country consult travel advisory. Research the country or island you are traveling to intensely.
Locate your nearest embassy. Secure all the contact information including the embassy's address. If your country doesn't have an embassy in the destination you're traveling to, locate one that is friendly to your country or island. (especially if you're going to nations with high conflict zones)
Get insurance. It's useful to have international medical insurance (ask your bank for credit cards that provide insurance coverage)
Get your immunization shots. Outside of being a health precaution, being immunized is a requirement of some countries.
Don't travel with large amounts of cash. Consider credit and debit cards as a viable option. Bare in mind, sometimes cards may not work at certain hotels or merchants, so having multiple cards can be useful. When changing currencies most times I've gotten more value for my money at merchants rather than the airport Cambio (currency exchange).
4. Secure important documents. Always check your boarding pass before leaving the ticketing counter. Ensure personal and destination information is correct.
Take a picture of your travel and identification documents as a security backup. Lock your Passport and travel documents in the safe in your hotel room when going shopping.
5. Don't make assumptions about in transit requirements when you have connecting flights. Think ahead, about the countries you'll be stopping in, not just your final destination. Depending on the passport you hold, you may require an additional visa or immunization requirements to be allowed to move on t your final destination. Not having these requirements can result in you being held back for additional screening or even turned back. Now that would totally suck!
Make travel creative, strategic and fun while securing your safety with these few tips.
Cheers to exploring a world of wonderful experiences!
What are some of your travel tips! I'd love hearing from you. You can share your experiences and recommendations in the comments below.
Follow me on instagram @simplyshellytnt where I share my travel adventures and lifestyle tips!
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Let's chat about getting comfy at home, creating spaces you can escape to, in and around your house! A huge component of my self-care strategy is, being in comfortable, stress-free spaces that inspire and relax me.
I started intentionally creating clean, comfortable spaces that brought me joy in my early twenties as a coping tactic to manage chronic stress and depression. I fell in love, and I was good at it. It worked, and I never stopped!
Any healthy activity that supports your well being is worth exploring!
Do you feel stressed when you get home because your home is a mess, and all you can think about is not having the energy to clean up?
Maybe, you would like a spot to escape and relax, but you don't want to leave your home.
Do you feel frustrated with feeling stuck in spaces that don't inspire you?
As an introvert, alone time is cherished, and I love spending time in spaces, I feel comfortable and calm. As a mom, wife, and coach after caring for everyone, I need that escape time, and I don't like the feeling of urgently needing a vacation or retreat to achieve this.
While life gets busy, and you can lose track of your home, your home should be a place of peace, but that requires some attention to create or maintain an emotionally nurturing environment. If you have disorder, chaos, and decor dislikes all around you, then it won't be an attractive or comfy spot to hang out!!
Once a month I walk through my entire house and yard with one purpose in mind. To check "Am I happy, comfortable and enjoying each space? “
Each time I do this I make small changes and additions to make it even more pleasing to me. I have created multiple nooks inside my home and around my yard that I use to support my self-care goal.
Create a spot for thinking, clearing your head, writing, relaxing, family time, quiet time...whatever your relaxation or creative needs are.
When I'm choosing my special spots I pay attention to simple things such as:
1. Location. How busy is the space? I never enjoy spending quiet or relaxing time in a high traffic area.
Location is a key component when i'm designing special spaces.
If it's an indoor space I factor in access and proximity to windows or doors to ensure I can benefit from fresh air, natural light, and enjoy the beauty of nature even though I'm indoors. I strategically place plants and yard ornaments so i can see them through windows and when my doors are open.
For outdoor spaces I try to create comfy spots that are in shaded areas, surrounded with colorful leaves and brightly colored flowers. I do have multiple seating areas but I ensure I always have one that gives me some measure of privacy.
2. Scents. I love spaces infused with my favorite scents, it’s absolutely stimulating to me. My mood and creativity is highly affected by scents. So I guess it wont come as a surprise when I say, I'm a huge lover of scented candles, wax warmers, diffusers, anything that infuses the air with a pleasant scent. My favorites are vanilla, cherry cinnamon, frankincense and lavender. I have scents going all day and night! LOL
3. Color. I’m a colorful Caribbean woman! Color is every where, I love bright colors. I'm not muted where color is concerned at all! I use colors that make me feel happy and alive but I suggest you use colors that stimulate you.
4. Fabric Textures. I enjoy soft fun textures. I spend lots of time in my special nooks so i use fabrics that are cool, soft , indoor/ outdoor appropriate and durable.
5. Yard Ornaments and furniture. Im very girly and I enjoy small yard ornaments ( birds, frogs, characters etc) around to add a little character and fun to the spaces. I prefer using wood yard furniture but I do have a variety of Wood, Granite, Glass, Plastic and Cast iron pieces located at special locations around the yard. It really depends on your lifestyle, personal preference and budget.
6. Soothing Sound. As a music lover, music is a staple! As a nature lover the sound of the birds is quite enjoyable as well as running water very peaceful and healing. I have small fountains and bluetooth speakers in my spaces.
Create boundaries so others respect your spaces and the purpose.
Now once my family understood what each space signified, most times while I'm there, I go undisturbed.
I travel often and while I stay at lovely hotels my home is where I want to unwind, relax and quiet the chaos of life!
Creating multiple spaces I love allows for me to do this. Keeps me calm, relaxed and productive!
My monthly home decor checks allow me the opportunity to re-assess spaces so I can decide how I'd want to upgrade or finetune the look and feel that's suitable to my personality or need.
So, are you ready to make your house an enticing place you always want to come to?
This doesn't happen by accident, it has to be deliberately planned. It doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be hard work.
Get your Lifestyle Journal out, find a quiet private space, grab your favorite highlighter colors, pens and begin to search yourself mind to see what you like and what type of areas you need. Give it much thought.
I write and create a lot so I needed a spot just to allow my thoughts to flow, so I needed a calm, relaxing, quiet, serene and visually stimulating place....for me, it's my garden! When I'm actually writing, however, I use my upstairs porch overlooking my garden, with my small foundation going so I can be soothed by the healing sound of running water guess by now you've realized I love the beauty of the outdoors.
1. I search through Pinterest for designs and decor pieces I like, to help me create a vision board.
2. I visit plant shops to see what seasonal plants or flowers they have that I would want to use. I choose plants that are easy to maintain with stimulating colors and pleasing scents. I love fun, pretty plant pots that add character to the decor and feel I desire.
3. I visit home and garden shops to window shop for yard furniture and ornaments.
4. Once my research is completed, the planning begins! I decide which area I am going to design, what elements I want to incorporate in the space, why I'm creating it and what I desire from being in that space.
5. I revisit monthly to assess how I feel about the space, and I decide if I need to add or take away from my special spot!
I look forward to hearing about your creative nook and how you feel after its done!
Leave me a comment, and you can also leave your tips for creating unique spaces in your home that you love.
Design a lifestyle that brings you joy!
Click here to grab your copy of my Lifestyle Journal & Bring the focus back
to the key player in your life; You!
It's Shelly your Vocal Coach and Life Success coach to singers at PRVM Performing Arts Academy!
Today it's all about you wonderful women!
Acknowledging the value, bravery, tenacity, ambition and focus that women bring to this world!
Now on March 8th, 1914 International Women's Day was held, simply because it was a Sunday, but the observation started before on various days!
Today we celebrate the strides and inroads we as women have made in society.
I'm absolutely grateful to the women gone before, who have fought for our space to speak, share our value and become all we can be. You see, a woman's natural ability to affect change in her circle of influence doesn't go unnoticed!
We are one of God's splendid creations, while not perfect and all-knowing as the world may think, (LOL) positive, spiritually grounded, ambitious women are quite influential and impacting! Your determination to achieve dreams, your amazing resilience to bounce back from a multitude of disappointments, heartaches or even hardships... Not to mention the negativity of naysayers and dream snatchers.. yet still demonstrating tenacity as you function, multitasking to manage your many roles and achieve your goals!
A woman is difficult to describe and her entire essence hard to verbalize or scribe in any one piece! Yes, there's this mind-blowing brilliance that emanates from your brain. Loads of love and compassion that lavishly flow from your heart. Your natural intuition that can guide your path and protects from harm.
Whether it's appreciated or not, never shrink back or alter your authentic essence!
I celebrate you today!
I want to leave you with one of my favorites quotes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
I wish you all things, good just prosperous and pure!
Authenticity has no competition... So strive to be the best version of yourself!
Happy international women's day!
Today I'm stopping by to urge you to cease being distracted by or consumed with thoughts of being with people who are not in your life whether by choice or circumstance and fully focus on the those that are!
Those who know me well, know I'm in introspection mode regularly. I often highlight the importance of consistently assessing where you are and what's the impact you're having on those around you, especially those who stand by you, support, love, and care for you.
As humans, we find ourselves at times being consumed with thoughts of people we wished would be more integrated and close knitted in our lives. We desire more intimate relationships and quality time with them.
Then there are those we wished would appreciate us, stop downplaying our growth and successes, bad mouthing us because of envy and covetousness; even those who are so engrossed and caught up in the business of their day-to-day lives it slips them to make an effort to connect.
While the desire for bonding with them may be real and I'm not downplaying the impact on you, focusing incessantly on the breakdown, infrequency or fragmentation of these relationships should not cause you to reject, abandon or neglect those who are active in your life.
Let them know you appreciate and love them! Simple acts of gratitude go a long way in letting them know you care.
Quick Self Assessment.
Have you checked in with those you love recently? Maybe you're guilty of neglecting members of your family, forgetting to give your friends a call to check in on them or maybe their's a relative you haven't seen or heard from in a long time..
Who are you neglecting or abandoning and what are you going to do about it TODAY?
Someone might be longing to hear from you of see you, you never know!
If staying close to family and friends is highly important to you, lets connect:
I will give you some fun tools, easy steps and a simple system to create opportunities to stay connected with minimal effort, low cost but high impact! Shop here!
Invest time and effort into those you love and appreciate.
"The magnitude of your attitude of gratitude can change your relationships altitude."
"Life may throw some hurdles our way
but you don't have to stop!
You learn how to become great at jumping hurdles!"
Don't put aside your goals because
you're faced with a set back!
"Set backs are not stop lights!"
You may have to slow down even find a detour but you need to keep moving.
You see, dreams do come through! No one is promising you smooth sailing, but the truth is Your Dream Is Possible!
This is the example my divinely appointed father has set not only for me but ALL his children.
He has become a beacon that reminds us that focus and consistency will produce the dream.
Sometimes we can talk ourselves out of accomplishing our goals. That's because we are not clear as to what we want to achieve and lack focus and direction.
Many times I listen to people trying to give reasons as to why they can't accomplish the very thing they want, without realizing they are really making excuses or that the reason they claim they can't is actually the reason they need to.
In my capacity of coach I've heard so many reasons for “I cant”
“No one left an inheritance for me”
Well that ’s why you have to achieve your goals; so that you leave an inheritance for your kids.
“I can't because of my kids”
Actually you should because of your kids.
“I don't know how”
So, go learn how. There's nothing wrong with having to Google it.
You need to put all excuses aside, face your fears, revalue and reframe them,
then just take one step at a time.
Growing up I looked at my parents live through a recession with five kids.
Then my father was retrenched unexpectedly! WOW! What an impact that must have had on him.
Just before dad was retrenched he bought a brand new car.
Now, I've always been a daddy's girl and I was always around him, he is not only my father: He is my mentor, teacher, spiritual covering and adviser. I remember being so excited and over joyed when he allowed me to drive the car it into the garage!
When he was retrenched, inspite of the stress of that, my father didn't crumble or give up.
Instead what he did was, he took the car he had recently bought and turned it into a taxi. My mother, a homemaker, took her love for sewing and turned it into a small business. And together they raised five kids; all successful today.
Did my father go down financially? YES!
Did he give up? NO WAY!
I never gave thought of how unsettling and worrisome that experience must have been until I was an adult!
What I saw as a child was resilience and resourcefulness!
He raised five kids, all educated and successful, built a beautiful house, travels and lives debt free.
“The Blame games and pity parties won't help you succeed.”
Even in his down times, my father taught us by EXAMPLE to pray without ceasing, be honest,
save, be generous, be respectful, stay focused and always be grateful.
By his actions, he taught me to take whatever skill or resource I had and use it to build the life I wanted.
It's from this example I built the PRVM Performing Arts Academy and my Life Coaching practice. I took my love for singing and my care and compassion for people and made it my business. I used my simple goal setting system to move me along and keep me focused now I successfully walk in my passion, natural nature and divine purpose!
Today, I pass these principles to my kids and everyone in my circle of influence.
I happily look on as both parents still use their gifts but now for different reasons.
The saying when life throws a lemon make lemonade makes so much sense to me now.
So, I say when life throws you a lemon make lemonade and build the best lemonade franchise!
Powerful life lessons learnt from my parents' misfortune and life successes!
You can achieve your dreams If you write down the goal, are the goal clear, be specific, meditate on it, speak it out loud , speak faith fill words over it and take consistent action.
Ready Set GOAL is a simple streamlined goal setting system that you can use to help you accomplish your dreams. https://www.prvmperformingarts.com/shop-1/
What positive life lessons have you learnt from your parents that you can use or pass along?
I look forward to hearing from you!
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Woman do you know just powerful and valuable you are?
Knowing your worth can influence your decisions and approach to situations.
Many women reject submission but as a Christian woman I go by the word of God, and I use many of the principles laid out, and I have gained much success, fulfillment in my marriage and life as a result.
I want to share with you, my point of view coupled with my experiences.
I'm a go-getter, outspoken, fruitful and blunt woman. I say it as I see it so in no way am I a walk over.
I, however, refused to be caught up in the vicious cycle of the "battle for position."
I choose to step into the purpose and utilize my unique greatness! I often say to newlyweds, or engaged couples marriage is not for the weak or the faint of heart, and you should understand what you're getting involved in before getting all wrapped up in feeling and jumping into marriage!
Marriages are failing all around us! It's sad because so much hurt and pain is attached.
People treat marriage as a disposable towel.
I asked many couples who split/divorce, why they separated many spoke of selfishness, self-centeredness, control, abuse. But the one that tickled me is when I'm told they did not know what they were getting into and no one told them… in my mind did you pay attention to the vows?
I sometimes wonder if we only hear one side of the vows, because your vows tell you exactly what you can expect, and you said yes enthusiastically! Many hear the "good, health, riches, to have and to hold but for some strange reason in sick, bad, poor, forsake all others till death do part " goes unheard or ignored?
You never know what side of their personality a person may be hiding but do your part!
"Before stepping into marriage ladies know your worth and investigate his as well and pay attention to sign even subtle ones! "
Women know your greatness you have much value!
Women are an amazing creation and asset to this world!
We have the power to shape homes communities and nations!
Amazing because we have a crucial function to walk in!
One of the most powerful strengths of a woman in my humble opinion is that God created her to be a helpmate. That's a huge task!
You have to operate in wisdom, work smart, be an incredible negotiator, be able to bounce back quickly, multi-task, be a good communicator, manager, be a quick thinker, strategist, intuitive, discerning, wear multiple hats, be a nurturing mother, loving wife among other things!!
Now, ladies and gentlemen, submission does not equate being less than, abused, used, controlled, mishandled, taken for granted or walked upon.
Get it clear, A Proverbs 31: 10-31 woman shouldn't settle for anything less than an Ephesians 5:25-27 man!
Why give anyone your greatness, brilliance, and strength if it's not seen, respected or valued?
Happy relationships cultivate happy families!
Happy families cultivate productive children who bring value to the communities!
Remember before marriage look for the traits of a Proverbs 31 woman and women pay to look for the characteristics of an Ephesians 5 man. The traits of these two characters compliment each other!
Love unconditionally, forgive daily!
Wishing you much marital bliss and success.
~ Coach Shelly.
I grew up with gratitude being very much a part of daily conversations in my home.
I didn’t however, discover the many awesome benefits of gratitude until I was an adult.
As a young girl my grandmother always had a story about why she was grateful and why I should be as well. She would get very disturbed at any sign of ingratitude.
I remember her asking me "Did you thank God for this day? Tomorrow is not promised.”
My father was also aware of the need for Gratitude and taught us to pray before each meal. I'd hear him praying every morning, thanking God for keeping his family safe and for providing for us. That left a huge, positive impact on me. Alongside these lessons on Gratitude always came the mentions of being content. Gratitude is a huge part of my life, I’m more considerate, mindful of my self-care, creative and spiritual connected. I now share this trait with my daughters as well as anyone within my circle of influence.
Grateful people are very aware of kindness and are generally in better moods, they possess better attitudes because they are more optimistic, creative, hopeful, caring, forgiving, kind, generous, and compassionate therefore developing better relationships.
"GRATITUDE IS REFERRED TO AS THE MORAL MEMORY OF MANKIND.”
- ROBERT EMMONS
Find a quiet comfortable spot and reflect on positive things occurring in your life, supportive friends, family members, health etc. Practice gratitude daily and you too will benefit!
Emotionally, inner peace, awareness, spiritual alertness which enhances health and increase your ability to feel joy and happiness.
~ Coach Shelly.
From Poverty to Prosperity!
The past can only create unhappiness when you give it your attention.
Let go of your past and consider the possibilities of the future.
A much better idea is to envision where you want to be in the future. Resolve to focus on your progress.
Small steps add up to HUGE accomplishment
Your past does not have to influence your future.
Think about what your future could hold for you if you make a few wise decisions and concentrate your efforts!
I used to live in a tiny old board house,
I used to have low self-esteem,
I used to have low confidence,
I used to be broke,
I used to think I was ugly,
I used to be crippled by fear,
I used to be depressed, sad and broken,
I used to be mishandled and mistreated.
All of that is over now.
Now? Now, I’m barely recognizable! That person I described, is a story I stand on today.
Because of a shift in my MINDSET!
Yep, something as seemingly simple as a Mindset Shift transformed me into a WHOLE new person.
My choice to think differently, act differently, and see my challenges and obstacles as stepping stones is what got me where I am today.
“You mean just thinking differently can change my whole life?”
Yes, exactly. Follow me here; a shift in my mindset required a conscious effort to think *and act* differently.
What was meant to block me, hinder me & destroy me made me stronger, more skilled, wiser, BETTER!
I paid attention, I looked for lessons, and I didn't allow the intent of negativity to incapacitate me.
I refused to sink into the dark abyss of sadness but rather drew from my inner strength and stood on those sad stories. It’s a matter of perspective and a decision to see the message in the mess!
When the wolves came in sheep clothing with evil intentions, I took it as a lesson to be vigilant and wise.
The hurdles I had to get over made me an experienced jumper, agile & proactive becoming able to quickly recover, move around, even find another route to get where I needed to be faster.
Those cynical, sarcastic characters that crawled into my space trying to break my stride and demotivate my spirit helped me to disregard negativity & dig deeper for inner motivation.
The distractions that could have derailed me taught me to keep my guard up, be more focused, & fix my gaze on my goals like flint.
Falling into those low emotional spaces helped me to get deeper and get stronger with my relationship with God.
Disappointments and betrayal helped me to understand that the only person I have control over is myself and what a friend I have in Jesus as he was and still is my constant friend in times of need!
Trust the navigator, as a Christian woman I place my faith and confidence in God, and I follow his voice of instruction. I surrender to his guidance, understanding fully that when he gives good counsel and advice, it's up to me to move and act!
My "used to" shaped me into a confident, bold, outspoken, purposeful, productive, life changer, go-getter, game changer!
A woman who speaks faith-filled sentences that slay all defeating internal conversations!
I trusted my mustard seed faith to move those mountains before me and it did.
It made me the successful, prayerful gladiator of a woman that I show up as today!
It molded me into a representation of the possibility of transformation.
So, stand on your story! Learn from your ex-peril, move forward with the wisdom gained from the lessons of the past. Don't sink into it and be swallowed!
I’ve met some people who remain stuck in their "used to," crippled by it, never liberating themselves to accomplish all that God created and called them to be.
Moving through life creating havoc; as the saying goes “hurt people hurt people."
They seek out pity parties where people will entertain their “poor me, the past is at fault” mentality.
Don’t be one of those people who as grown adults never move beyond their past.
The ones who walk through life crying “My mother, my father, my uncle, the government” pointing a finger at every possible person they can blame for not achieving the life they desires except themselves.
Failure to take up responsibility for self is one of the main reasons many people never progress, never move forward, never grow.
I know this sounds harsh, but after consistently lying to yourself for years, and using others as scapegoats for your failures, there comes the day when you have those moments of “to thine own self-be true, " and the blaming grows weak!
It is in those quiet moments you will know that if you had made different choices, if you had taken responsibility for self, your life would have been better.
Choose, to be honest with yourself from now on. Promise yourself that you will make decisions that are in your best interest and take steps that lead you to your dreams. Then watch your happiness and self-esteem skyrocket!
I used to be the girl who had nothing
I used to be the girl treated like nothing
I used to be the girl who felt like nothing.
What’s your "Used to"?
How are you using it for good to turn the tide in your life?
It’s up to you.
Here are a few steps I've used for years that got me to a better place in life!
Accepting that you are responsible for creating the life you desire and deserve is crucial to if and how you move forward today! You can be more than you think. Unleash faith-filled thoughts, and your mind will get to work to attract all things you need to accomplish them!
Radical Success awaits you.
~Coach Shelly .