Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo 2020 - free printables

For years our family has done BINGO on Thanksgiving morning.  We watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade mark our BINGO squares, sip mimosas (not the kids of course), yell BINGO and win FUN prizes.  I used to the boards myself like a million yrs ago (ok, six yrs ago not a million).  Then I found a blog I NEED A PLAYDATE that did them and she did them way better than mine.  Not sure if she is doing them this year since the parade is a bit different this year.  From Macy's website-




Since we aren’t marching down the streets of NYC this year, the only place to see all the performances, gigantic balloons & fabulous floats is from the comfort & safety of your home.

With the parade and EVERYTHING looking different this year.  The things I can keep the same seem important right now.  So, if silly parade bingo is one of those things then making my boards again it is. 

There are 14 boards (if you need more just print more than one of a couple boards.  It's ok to have multiple winners.  Lord knows we can use a few wins these days.). You can print them at home (I like to do mine on cardstock), pick up some fun little prizes at the dollar store or on Amazon, buy scratch off lotto tickets or even just put up some cold hard cash in the pot per head.  We have used candy corn as markers in the past, turkey stickers, pennies or just pens to mark our squares. The GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE square is your free space!  You must call out the square as you see them on TV and then mark your square. First one with five in a row WINS!  We play many more winners after that though. 

Side note - you may not know who some of the Stars are??  I didn't! You can check out Who's Who? on the line-up for the parade at - Parade Performances Line-up.  Also the NYPD logo square you get when the New York Police Department Band plays and the same goes for the FDNY Pipe and Drums.

***REMEMBER YOU CAN NOT USE THE PREVIEWS TO START YOUR BOARDS*** - they show a whole lot of the parade in the introduction before the parade even starts!  You have to wait for the official ribbon cutting to start your game- hopefully there is one this year.  This Thanksgiving I am grateful for so many things.  One of those things is that my kids (two of which are now in college) still want to play!  



Images are not mine and this is not a sponsored post



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TWITTER - @karasgetaways


Monday, November 04, 2019

On becoming the Real Deal - You can book your Girls Getaway Weekends through me now!

Back in May I had a lovely lady from Philadelphia -hey terry!- contact me to help her plan her GOLDEN JUBILEE BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA (she was turning 50!).  At the time I had kid #2 graduating within days and we were leaving for Hawaii that week.  Oh and I also wasn't truly doing this yet as my business.  I told her I could help her find a great place to stay in Puerto Rico where she and her girls wanted to celebrate this milestone at no charge.  After peeking around many sites we found an amazing beachfront mini-mansion with a big beautiful pool!  It was perfect.  I was so excited for them I followed their paaaarrrrrtttttyyyy on instagram {yes I stalked them a little}.  It made me so happy to see these women I have never met truly enjoy every second of this incredible trip (and all I did was find the rental home for them).  Then after that a friend of mine who is in the Travel Biz -hey wendy!- recently asked me to layout a trip to Savannah for a group of ladies she was assisting.  I got so fired up about this Ultimate Savannah Girls Getaway I was mocking up for them, I knew it was time - My Time!  To offer my services for real to people who reach out to me looking for help in planning their Girls Getaway Weekends.  Through the years as you know I have planned many many trips - for many many women!  I think it will be 18 yrs this November since my first one I did for my girlfriends.  In all those years I have run approximately 40 trips for 100s if not 1,000 plus ladies.  My smallest trips being about 6 women and my largest being about 60!  Several yrs ago we were on a teacher trip to Hilton Head Island we were having a good ole time, a few ladies posting pictures here and there on social media.  When I realized there were tons of women responding "I need a trip like that!".   I used to think if I did this for a business (like my job) that I would lose many of the blessings that come my way during these trips.  But then I realized if I didn't do these trips for other people - if I kept them just to myself, my family, my friends, my church and co-workers then I was being selfish by not allowing other women to experience one of these incredible weekends that leaves them both refreshed and satisfied at the same time as wanting more!  Hopefully, then booking again for another year!  So, in the upcoming weeks you will be hearing more from me.  Including a new website (nothing to see here yet) featuring info on how to book your own one of a kind personalized to you and your squad weekends!  This blog will still exist not to fret... (hopefully I will get a chance to write in it more often!) and maybe I can even figure out how to link them??

Some more super exciting news is with this new endeavor I will have access to and will be researching just for you some new exciting locations and resorts!  I can't wait to share with you all some terrific spots that I will hand choose just for you and your tribe (maybe a squad isn't your thang).  So be thinking about who you have been missing??  Or even who you see but you just want more quality time with?  Maybe it's your sisters?  Or your sorority sisters?  Old college friends? Maybe you or a friend have a BIG b-day coming up you want to gather a group and celebrate?  Maybe you go on trips all the time with your gal pals but you are always the one planning them and you want to just come enjoy and let someone else do the legwork for you?  Maybe you have heard about our trips before but never had an opportunity to attend one - the timing just wasn't right?  There are SO many maybes...

I get so excited just thinking about all the possibilities,  I CAN NOT wait to work with you on your next GIRLS GETAWAY WEEKEND!

(peeps is peeps your thing?)

In the meantime be sure to follow my instagram account so many great memories from all our trips through the years - @girlsgetawayweekends

Friday, February 01, 2019

Saint Simons Island - Back to Villa de Suenos but this time with the GIRLS!

Seven years ago we went to Saint Simons Island and stayed at an AWESOME mansion on the water - Villa de Suenos.  That was to celebrate our FORTIETH with a few other couples. That was SEVEN years ago (actually a little more than seven yrs ago).  I can remember at the time I would daydream about the house before we even went.  I would dream about the house literally in my dreams when we returned.    I also remember my boss saying "can we ever go there??"  She meant with my teacher friends.  We go on a trip every year.  Usually about 15 of us find somewhere special to be together and HAVE FUN!  I have written before about one of the magical things about a Girls Getaway trips is that since so many women are "pitching in" for the cost of a property be it a hotel, bed and breakfast or a rental property, you can get an amazing spot for really not that much per head.  Especially, if you are willing to visit in their off-peak season.  And so we are going to spend FOUR nights at a mansion at the beach in February!

Villa de Suenos here we come!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Saying Goodbye is the Hardest Part - hugs

No, I am not going anywhere...

It's just out of ALL the fun and frivolity on our weekends there is something else that happens...

Connections, sharing, feeling each other's stories, really being there for one another - like REALLY being there because we CAN because we have TIME!  Something that is in such short supply these days.  When we are away together there is no - doing laundry or changing diapers (old or young), no wiping butts (except your own), no walking n feeding the dog or the kids for that matter (feeding not walking) or vacuuming or a boss telling you what needs to be done or or or or...  The list goes on and on.  When we are in our regular daily lives even just a simple conversation can be a challenge sometimes.  Someone ALWAYS NEEDS SOMETHING! (don't get me wrong I love my family but we all know what I am talking about)

In the midst of this true quality time that we are together - we laugh, we cry, sometimes we cry because we are laughing.  Because of this genuine time we get to connect on a deeper level when it is time to go it makes it all the harder.  The hugs I witness at the end of our weekends are some of the tightest, longest, most love filled hugs I have ever seen.  Some of these girls may not see each other until the next Girl's Weekend but some will see each other at church, school, in the neighborhood or work the NEXT day.  Yet the hugs are ALL the same.  We hold on tight!  We breathe in each other's strength and we give away a little of ourselves to each other to sustain us through the following week.  Maybe we hug so tight because we know Monday is going to hit us hard!  After being pampered for a few days it is tough to go back to being the one who is doing the pampering, that is for sure!  But I suspect the hugs are mostly because of the love and respect we have for each other - for whatever it is in your life that you are navigating through, it isn't easy.  Being a woman is HARD and being a GREAT woman is even harder.  So hug HARDER and hold on LONGER because that hug will carry you at least through your Monday.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Spring Break - for our college freshman

So, our daughter who is a college freshman calls the other day and tells us that she has made her plans for Spring Break in March.  Good for her I think!   Part of the plan is to take three of her sorority sisters down to stay at my parent's for two nights in florida.  They will have a blast - going to the beach and pool, enjoying my dad's awesome culinary skills etc.  (so far so good)
Then she tells me they are going to book an Airbnb in St Augustine for a few nights.  I am thinking oh can you even do that if you are under 21?  You can indeed...  Airbnb requires that you be only 18 to either have a place to list or to stay at a place.  As a side note some homes may have their own rules of their age minimum so double check as you search if you are under 21.

from airbnb's site -
You must be 18 or older to create an account  In order to use the Airbnb site and services, you must be 18 years or older. It's against our Terms of Service to create an account to travel or host unless you're at least 18 years old.

Again I say "great!".  I text her later to say please send me a link to the property since we know the area well and I have done my fair share of rentals I want to make sure it is on the up and up.

this is the text I get back in return -

IT'S A FREAKING SAILBOAT!!!!!!!!  A SAILBOAT - moored in not the best part of town.  Let's just say "it's on the wrong side of the river".  It was SUPER cheap she tells me - to which I reply, "yeah, because it looks like homeless people pee in it".  I ask her if it is ok if I take a peek through Airbnb since I kind of know what I am looking at and know the area a bit better than they do.  Some might say I am micro-managing this but I say I am just keep them safe (and bug free).  The whole purpose for writing this post is to share with you this gem I found in St Augustine.  The idea of staying on a docked boat seemed to intrigue her so I started there.   Hoping to find a docked boat on the "right" side of the river where the girls would not need to walk as far to town etc.  I found this AWESOME houseboat that I am bookmarking because I want to stay there myself in the future.  It is docked in a marina right near the St Augustine Distillery and a restaurant Chris and I just visited over winter break The Ice Plant.  The finest crafted cocktails and delicious farm to table dishes (the most incredible pretzel bread I have ever had). 

 Look how lovely this boat is - 

In the parking lot of the marina there is a food truck that gets great Yelp reviews and clean shower and bathroom facilities along with little picnic tables to sit at.
Crave - the food truck in the marina parking lot
In the end the girls chose to stay in a quaint upstairs apartment of a sweet little house they found on Airbnb.  It's super close to town.  Not a boat after all.  I think this will work out just fine for them.  I am sort of jealous I have to be honest they are going to have a great time! 

 (Chris and I will be renting the houseboat somewhere down the line I can tell you that for sure😃)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Sometimes Adding a Few Extra Touches Add A Lot - Mini Girls Weekend Extras

For all our weekends even little impromptu ones we have a similar format.  A welcome gift of some sort - whether it be a full bag o' goodies or a fun beach cup filled with lip sunblock, earplugs, Emergen-C, cute socks, chocolates, a little hand lotion, ibuprofen, an itty bitty bottle of nail polish, a beach scented car air freshener and a little can of wine.

Games, games, games - throw a question pack in your beach bag, get some REALLY FUN - adult games to play at night that are sure to make you pee your pj's.

Have a plan for meals - takes so much of the guesswork (and disagreements) out of the weekend.  Whether you are catering ALL your meals or have meal teams definitely make some sort of plan.  Also, make reservations!  If you are going out to dinner research a good local restaurant that accepts reservations - this way the girls know what time to be ready and the restaurant is READY for you.
The Perfect Pig
On this little mini quick getaway I hid some cute little hunks in banana hammocks around the house.  When you found one you WON a PRIZE!

Hire a massage therapist for a day.  All I do is find out who wants a rubbin' and how long they want to be rubbed.  The girls bring a their cash with them and voila' a spa day!  On this trip I used the same INCREDIBLE masseuse that I use every time I head down to the 30a area.  SHE IS AWESOME!  These are some of my secrets to making a weekend away into a WEEKEND GETAWAY!


A Glimpse of Our Girls Getaway Weekends - Milford CT (2013)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Charleston Charms Our Hearts

As I look to plan our next FAMILY Girls Getaway Weekend - I look to Charleston, South Carolina.  A great southern city with tons to do, GREAT food, rooftop bars, church steeples, carriage rides and SWEET TEA!  The best Sweet Tea in all the world.  Not kidding.  We have stayed twice with our little family of six.  Both visits were memorable and special.  I thought I would share a few pics from our visits in the past hoping it will inspire me to get this trip booked and inspire you to want to visit if you haven't or visit again if you have!