Anakeesta is a must!
If traveling to the Great Smokey Mountains, you will quickly approach the gleaming, new wood structure that catches your eye on the left hand side of Gatlinburg!
Anakeesta outdoor Family theme park was named the BEST attraction of the year in Tennessee!Your journey begins with a scenic ride from Downtown Gatlinburg to the summit of Anakeesta on the Chondola’s open-air 4-person chair or enclosed 6-person gondola cabin. From there, guests can enjoy the Treetop Skybridge on 16 hanging bridges more than 50 feet in the air, soar through the trees on Gatlinburg’s fastest dual-racing zip lines with heart-pounding rappel drops, ride the Rail Runner, the first single rail gravity fed mountain coaster in the United States! Climb through the Treehouse Village Adventure with the kids then discover treasures while mining for gems. Ready for a more relaxed pace? Stroll through the Memorial Forest Walk then explore Anakeesta’s beautifully landscaped Vista Gardens with interpretive signs or find a spot by the fire pit and enjoy the panoramic views of Mt. LeConte. Ready to eat? Enjoy a craft beer or specialty drink with friends at the Cliff Top Grill & Bar then order dinner, sit back, relax, and watch a glorious sunset while waiting for the sparkling lights of Downtown Gatlinburg to come alive.
We are celebrating our 10 year anniversary ALL year long by taking each month to do something just for US. This month, my amazing hubs surprised me with tickets to see my ALL TIME favorite band...Dave Matthews Band !! We only got through the first 6 songs before we were evacuated due to lightning but we had a blast together and that is all that matters :)
By now (unless you live under a rock), all you boy mommas have at least heard of..or in my situation, have a son that is OBSESSED with the game Fortnite. Yes, I must admit that this game has completely take over our household !! I must also admit that I sometimes get sucked into watching him play it because it is VERY nerve racking. Anywhos, when I asked him what theme he wanted for his birthday party (thinking he would say Legos) he immediately said "Fortnite Party". I thought to myself "YES...that will be really cute" so I start getting online to order all of the supplies. Well, Fortnite has not licensed the game so there are ZERO items you can buy online to "theme" your party...so I got creative...with some help from ETSY ;)
Check out these cute little things I threw together !!
CHUG JUG (Mini Gatorades)
"DROP" Gift Bags with dog tags that say THANK YOU with each guests name
FORTNITE candy bars
Edible personalized cake sheet
Let me start by saying, If you are an oak wood lover than I encourage you to proceed with caution ! Last year we finally found our dream house after 9 years of searching and as we pulled down the tree lined driveway up to the columned front porch, I knew this was the house before we even walked in the front door. Unfortunately, our dream home was built in the 90's and has oak EVERYTHING, but I was able to look over this knowing that I could make some quick improvements ! Well, between work, kids, side jobs, and traveling...quick did not happen BUT 1 year later we have conquered our UGLY oak banister and I could not be happier !
Some quick tips !
Use this stain..it will be your best friend, I promise ! It comes in MANY different stain colors but after looking at swatches on Pinterest, I decided on their most popular color..Java !
USE LATEX GLOVES ! I started this project thinking that I wouldn't need them...I was wrong.
No matter what you have read on Pinterest, DO NOT use the rub off method..I made this mistake and it made our wood look like dirt. Simply take a $1 foam brush and paint on the gel stain (going with the grain) and let dry 24 hours in between coats. I like the "distressed" look because it gives the wood some dimension, so I only used one coat. Top with your favorite polyurethane and you ARE DONE !! I have a friend that paid a "professional" $2,000 to achieve this same look !
There is something about these chilly evenings and the glow of the Christmas tree coming from the living room. It evokes a special "something" that is un-explainable and it makes me want to cook, bake and try new recipes. Your children will ALWAYS be your biggest critics, so when you get a thumbs up (and clean plates) across the table...you know you have a winner !
CREAMY CHEESY STUFFED CHICKEN PARMESAN
4-6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (halved & pounded down).
4 oz softened cream cheese ( I used fat free).
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach (thawed & drained).
1 cup mozzarella shredded cheese.
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs.
1 cup spaghetti sauce.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, and spinach. Spread mix evenly onto thin chicken breasts and roll up chicken tightly, secure with a toothpick. Prepare 13x9 baking dish by spreading spaghetti sauce on bottom,
Beat egg in a small bowl. Mix together Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Dip each chicken breast in egg and then roll in breadcrumb mixture. Remove toothpicks.
Place chicken breasts seam-side down into prepared baking dish.
Bake 30 mins and VOILA !!
I topped my chicken with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and served with french-style green beans, sweet corn, and crescents....your children will be singing your praises...Spinach and all !!
Do you ever look around you..at your children, your comfortable home, the presents under your "perfect" Christmas tree and just think "Wow, we are so blessed". My husband and I talk about this often, especially this time of the year when so many parents do not have the money to pay their next electric bill..let alone presents for their children. We have always tried to teach our children that giving is always better than receiving, so this year we are going to try something new. In the past, we have done the traditional "Angel tree" at the mall, helped out a family at church but this year we are going to try something different. I saw an interview on a morning talk show where "secret santas" are paying off layaways at local Walmarts and I thought this would be a great idea ! I would encourage everybody to give back this season in one way or another, even if it is not monetary. There is a wonderful foundation called payawaythelayaway.org where you can donate any amount to help a family with Christmas. Spread the love this holiday season ! XOXO
A blast for all ages !
Let me start by saying that as a family, we have been to Orlando more than 30 times in just 9 years ! But in those MANY times that we have been down to "Theme Park Capitol of The World", we have never visited Legoland ! Our son was beyond excited when we told him that we were going to visit and he even packed all of his little lego figurines in his suitcase.
A huge tip ! If you are visiting Legoland in the off season...check their days and times that they are open ! I made this mistake unfortunately and it felt a lot like the scene from National Lampoon's Vacation when the Griswolds show up to Walley World.....
After I kicked myself for not checking their schedule, we decided to visit the next that they were open. Boy am I glad that we decided to try it again because this park is so much fun ! Earlier in the week we had visited Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventures, so we were beyond tired of standing in lines in the Florida heat. Legoland is a much needed breathe of fresh air when it comes to crowds, we did not have to wait more than 5 minutes for a ride. I feel like because this park is located about 45 minutes south of Orlando, the crowds are more thin (especially in the off season).
This park spans over 145 acres and offers over 50 rides and attractions, so make sure that you arrive early because you will want to experience all they have to offer. My 2 teenage daughters loved the shows and enjoyed riding the roller coasters with our 5 year old. My husband even made the statement that he would come back to Legoland a hundred times before he ever goes back to Disney ! Do yourself a favor and visit this park with your kids...you can even stay at the Legoland Hotel right next door !
Fall Break 2017 is almost here !! This year we are will be stopping at 5 different locations is 5 days and I could not be more pumped about it !! We have taken the girls to Disney more times that I can count but our son has never been and seeing it through his eyes will be so magical. We will be visiting 4 other very exciting places as well (not Disney related) and I can't wait to reveal those :)
I have gone back and forth for the past few years about buying a new dining room set. I have googled, browsed and Pinterest everything to find "the perfect" hutch. Everything was either too farmhouse-y, mid-evil, or just plain ugly. After seeing some transformations on Pinterest..I decided to grab some spray paint and jump on the band wagon. This is my china hutch before..not horrible but just too dark for my taste.
After a coat of primer, one quart of bright white and some freshly sprayed knobs....I ended up with a beautiful, bright focal piece for my wedding china !
This is what I used to complete this project :
We are trying to get our Fall Break plans together and looking to do something new in Florida ! We have been to Universal Studios and Disney more times than I can count, so after doing some research I found LegoLand. My 5 year old son is obsessed with ALL things Lego, so this might have to be a theme park to try but Trip Advisor has mixed reviews. I'm thinking this will be a GREAT travel review for the blog....
" You only live once but if you do it right..once is enough" ~ Cecil Beaton