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Monday, March 21, 2016

Watercolor Easter egg Tutorial

Easter is this Sunday. Most people will be dying their Easter eggs in the next few days so they are ready for the Easter bunny to hide them on Sunday morning. This little video tutorial will get you in the mood to decorate. We went with sea-themed watercolor eggs for our basket.

Sea-themed, watercolor Easter egg tutorial

What you will need:

  • Med flat paintbrush (soft)
  • Small round paintbrush (soft)
  • Gouache (opaque water colors) or Watercolors (in a tube) I like Holbein
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Palette
  • Hard-boiled eggs (cooled and dried)

Step One

Water coloring the Easter eggs 

(hint: leave a few white for a contrasting design to come later.)
For a fun, soft and different look create a watercolor wash effect on your Easter eggs. The soft variation in color and uneven painting makes for an interesting background for sea themed paintings and a cohesive collection of subtle, quirky, egg art.

Using a flat brush select a color (I chose blue to keep with our beach theme, but any color would work great, and color combos are encouraged!)

Use water to thin out the color (straight from the tube will be very thick, and would not allow white to shine through.) Holding the egg, brush color across the top, adding water and color as you go. Allow the paint to drip and create edges and patterns. Make some eggs darker and some lighter. Let the eggs dry before moving on to the next step.

(Hint: the refrigerator will cause condensation and make painting difficult. If you can, let the eggs dry completely and then move to the next step…it will be easier, I promise.)

Step Two

Paint details on your eggs

You can decide to paint anything on the eggs — we’ve seen Minions, emojis, and more. We went with seashells and ocean themed designs. Paint a fish scale pattern in white over the watercolor, then paint a fish scale pattern in blue on a white egg, paint an anchor, paint seashells…paint anything you like. Use white to add highlights and shine. Use navy blue to create outlines and shadows. If you are less artistically inclined, silhouettes make easy graphic details. Try a starfish shape or a seahorse. We stayed in the blue color palette to keep a consistent look. When you’re finished, let the eggs dry thoroughly.

Step Three

Display your Eggs

We displayed them in a large seashell (be careful if you choose to use these eggs for hiding. If they get wet the paint will come off and possibly stain clothing).

Step Four

Eat your Eggs

Hardboiled eggs are delicious on their own, but we found some fun recipes you may want to try.

Avocado Egg Salad
Deviled Eggs
Sriracha Egg Salad
Scotch Eggs

Do you have any Easter egg traditions you’d like to share? Write in the comments below. Also check out our Seasonal Fun Pinterest board for other fun Easter ideas.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Travel Trends in 2016 — Our airbnb favorites

It is 2016 and the newest travel trends are on the horizon. As growth in the travel industry is inevitable, so is change. Many people view travel as an important part of their lives. Whether it is the young millennial looking to find new cultural experiences and become more relevant in a global work force, or baby boomers wanting to escape day-to-day life and spend quality time with their families — there are definitely changes and trends to be aware of if you travel, plan to travel or work in the travel industry.

Multigenerational and experiential travel is on the rise. Families want to vacation together with grandma and grandpa. These travelers are generally looking for experiences that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Experiential travel is a more immersive experience, where the goal of a trip is not necessarily a theme park, and sightseeing, but immersion into a culture – experiencing the local people, engaging with them and trying something new.

One of the hottest tools in travel, and a great way to have a “locals” experience, is Airbnb is a website and mobile app that connects travelers with people who have spaces to rent. Instead of cookie cutter hotels and condos, airbnb allows entrepreneurs to offer their own spaces for rent. For example someone in Mexico has a beautiful vacation home that is sitting empty. If they want to make some additional income off of that space they can sign-up for airbnb, and market the space with information about its location and beautiful pictures of the interior and/or views of the space. There are a lot of people offering rentals on airbnb so the market is competitive. Quirky, artistic and novelty spaces are very popular, as well as ones that reflect the local culture and offer great central locations.

This new tool addresses both multigenerational and experiential travel needs. Not only can you rent an entire home that will accommodate your extended family— you will also have contact with the owners (called hosts) of the location. These people show you around the home, explain the amenities and share information about the local culture — from music festivals to restaurants and beaches, these hosts know the area and the people. This year when you plan to travel look on airbnb and find something you may not have experienced in a hotel.

We have looked around for some of the coolest, most interesting and exquisite rentals available near locations where we offer Sea TREK. Check out our favorites, and when you plan your trip be sure to book a Sea TREK tour (our guides are fun and knowledgeable, and can offer information about local culture and food!)

Playa Del Carmen & Cozumel 

Check out SeaTREK at Jeanie’s and try Clear Lounge Cozumel — the World's 1st Underwater Oxygen Bar

Oceanview, pool, 30 secs from beach

This cute little home boasts wooden ceiling beams, colorful tiles, and gauzy curtains. A hammock on the patio, beautiful views, and subtle Mexican charm make this little place perfect for a couple’s retreat.

Waimanalo, Hawaii USA

Make sure to check out Sea Life Park in Hawaii and Sea TREK with sharks.

Beachside Bungalow

This beachy place has Hawaiian charm. From mermaids and seashells to ponds and foliage the little details make this quirky little place fun, and don’t forget… on the beach in Hawaii! I wonder what the host could tell about the local culture and food?

Luxury Ocean Home

This home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Hawaiian photography, wood, wicker and rattan bring in Hawaii’s natural charms. An outdoor seating area leads to a natural designed pool surrounded by lush tropical plants. An upstairs balcony offers beautiful views of the ocean. Multi-generations will love this place.

Manchester, United Kingdom

Visit Sea Life Manchester and Sea TREK with Ernie the sea turtle!

City Centre Artistic Studio

Modern furniture, compact layout, beautiful artwork and thoughtful interior design make this charming little apartment perfect for the artistic soul. The beautiful views, architecture and convenient location give this rental an edge over a hotel any day of the week.

Catalina Island

Take a TREK in the natural kelp forest off the coast of California!

The Big Blue

This two bedroom one bathroom overlooking the ocean with a long balcony, breezy sets of glass doors and plenty of luxurious seating provides a home base for anyone traveling to sunny California to experience all Catalina has to offer.

Orlando Florida

Visit Discovery Cove Orlando and Sea TREK in the Grand Reef!

Private backyard cottage

Simple clean design, open patio with fun lighting, 2 beds and the charm and convenience of this location (not to mention the price) make any stay in Orlando feel more like a home away from home.

Cancun Mexico

Visit Xcaret Park and Sea TREK with Stingrays!

Beautiful Home in Cancun

2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with Mexican folk art, modern appliances, outdoor hot tub and lush patio with seating provides atmosphere and convenience for a very affordable price. Stay in the real Cancun.

Georgetown Grand Cayman

Sea TREK in the crystal clear waters of Grand Cayman, then grab a beer at Hammerheads!

Beach Condo with a Sunset view

Up-to-date, modern, elegant design with whimsical touches. Full modern kitchen and laundry, beautiful balcony overlooking the ocean, and up to 6 guests. Access to pool, Jacuzzi and more.

St. Maarten

Explore the treasures off the coast of this beautiful island with Sea TREK St. Maarten and then catch some rays at the Tiki Hut.

La Charmé a LittleBay

Quaint, organic architecture in white washed adobe, with arched doorways, large outdoor areas and tropical landscaping offers ocean views and easy charm. Come home to St. Maarten.

Mogán, Canarias, Spain

Visit SeaTREK Spain at Anfi del Mar and walk underwater with the tropical fish of the Canary Islands.

Alzado Amadores fantastic view

3 bedrooms, stunning sunset views, open airy spaces with tiled floors, beautiful photography and ample seating complete with a very large open sun room — this is luxury and refined taste combined. Visit Gran Canaria and Anfi del Mar and come home to your airbnb.

These beautiful places have just been a small taste of what is available worldwide. With new hosts adding exotic rentals every day, you never know what you might find. This is the future of travel – sharing a home with your family in an incredible destination and experiencing life as a “local.” You will never forget the host/hostess who teaches you where to find the best coffee and where to attend an outdoor festival. You and your family will always remember a trip that brings you together. Wherever you are going… Experience life at its fullest.

Have you stayed somewhere at an airbnb? Share it in the comments below.

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