Sunday Stories for November 23, 2014

Sunday Stories for November 23, 2014Sunday Stories for November 23, 2014

The stress level has been high this past week, with an annual training class (always stress inducing), some family decisions needing to be made, and the holidays right around the corner. I’ve spend much of this weekend tuning out the real world, hunkering down in a good book (or two), and getting centered before jumping into Thanksgiving week.

Despite the turmoil this week brought with it, I’m thankful daily for the many joys in my life. I hope you find gratitude and joy in this week – every week – as well.

Now, on to some reading for the weekend.

macarons in Paris

10 French phrases that will save you money in Paris

I love Paris, and while I haven’t been there in a few years – running to make a connection at DeGaulle doesn’t count – lately it seems like the city has been calling me to return. A cafe au lait and some people watching, a hearty glass of wine and some heavenly cheese, perhaps a couple of those oh-so-delicious macarons, and these phrases to help me save on the purchases.

Save money at the markets and beyond with a few simple French phrases. So, you’re feeling like you’ve mastered the “bonjours” and “mercis”? Maybe it’s time to kick it up a notch. Sometimes in Paris, hand signals don’t always work when you are shopping or dining in a café.

As I Scrolled Through These 45 Photos, One Thing Became Very Clear. And Everyone Should See It.

In a week when we think about the myriad things we have to be thankful for, these random acts of kindness got me pretty choked up.

The world isn’t always fair. In fact, there are many, many times when it’s unfair and it feels like other people are out to get you. That’s why it’s important to remember the positive parts of life when you can. Take, for example, these random acts of kindness.

How to: Toasted Marshmallow Shot Glasses with Baileys

This is a creative idea, combining a bunch of favorite winter flavors. It seems like a good excuse to light up the fireplace and hunker in. What do you think – does this sound like a fun way to spend the evening in front of the fire?

Toasted marshmallow shot glasses filled with Bailey’s Irish Cream. The trick is to roast the bottom and the edges of a marshmallow, then let the center cool… thereby creating a perfect vessel for creamy delicious goodness!

LLoret de Mar

Call for Speakers Opens for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar

One of my others “gigs” is serving as the Conference Director for TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange). One of my responsibilities is to select speakers to create a diverse educational program. I’ve done a lot of speaking over the years – a lot – and I always thought selecting speakers was easy peasy. Not so much! Creating a balanced program is like a giant game of Tetris. It looks easy, but it’s not. If you have a topic of interest to share with digital content creators (writers, photographers, videographers, social media influencers, etc.), you should check out this call for speakers and see if it’s a good fit for you.

TBEX Europe 2015 will be held April 30-May 2, 2015 at the Evenia Olympic Resort in the beautiful seaside town of Lloret de Mar. The town is in the beautiful Costa Brava region of Catalyuna, about 47 miles from Barcelona.

How to Stay Stylish While Traveling

My friend Christy wrote this article on what she packs to save space and money, while still staying stylish in her travels. While I’m a bit older than Christy, I agree wholeheartedly with her advice. Her tips can help you pack smarter, not pack more, and are easily adaptable to any age and or fashion style.

Packing clothes for a trip can be an incredible hassle. With many airlines charging growing fees for checked baggage, packing light has become not just an issue of space but of economics, too.

How To Make Your Facebook News Feed More Relevant

I think complaining about Facebook has become a national pasttime, right up there with football and hot wings. We follow and friend people without giving it much thought. We like posts, videos, and quotes equally quickly. The result can be a clogged feed, full of marketing and sales posts that choke out the updates from your family and friends. Instead of complaining about Facebook, take back some control. Get you feed tamed with some of these recommendations.

As I sifted through Facebook friends this morning, I decided I would share my approach to culling your friends list. My hope is that you can use it to make  your Facebook news feed more relevant and that you’ll spot the fakes in the list:


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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