Monday, August 3, 2020

Looking Your Best Each and Every Day

Your appearance isn’t the most important thing in the world, but neither is entirely unimportant. We don’t
look our best for the benefit of others; we do so for the benefit of ourselves. It influences how we see
ourselves, our confidence levels, and all-around benefits our day. Of course, wanting to look at our best
and actually being so are two different things. There are, however, things you can do that’ll push things in
the right direction. In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few useful tips that’ll have you look your best each
and every day. 




Well-Refreshed


Everything is more difficult when we’re tired. Even if you did look great, you’d find it more difficult to
enjoy the benefits if you were exhausted! But we all know that a poor night of rest has a negative
impact on our looks. We have bags under our eyes, our skin looks flat, and we’re less likely to put the
required effort into making sure our hair and makeup are on point. If you find that you’re not getting as
much sleep as you need to wake up feeling your best, then look at making some changes. This could
involve modifying your pre-sleep routine, improving your bedroom, or cutting down on the things that can
keep you awake at night, such as caffeine and alcohol.


Bright Skin


If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought, ‘wow, I look great’ but couldn’t quite put your finger on
why, then it was probably your skin. This has a huge -- yet often underrated -- impact on our looks.
There’s a big difference between someone with clear, bright, healthy-looking skin, and someone that has
tired and lifeless skin. While some people are just born with good skin, if you’re not one of them, then
there are things you can do. Working up a sweat, limiting your intake of toxins, and showering using
cold (or at least not hot) water can all have a big impact. 


Presentable Clothes


You can say a lot with your clothes. Indeed, if you’re trying to improve your appearance, then this is
probably the best way to do it. There are a few simple, easy to enact style rules that you should
incorporate into your dressing style. The most important two rules are to wear clothes that go well
together, and also wear high-quality clothing. A lot of us hold on to those old pieces of clothes for too
long, purely because we have an emotional attachment to them. But if they’re old and past their best,
then they’ll only be bringing your appearance down. 


Complimentary Accessories


It’s not just your clothes, either: your accessories and essentials play a role in how good you look too. In
the winter, you’ll be wearing a scarf and gloves set; in the summer, you’ll have hats and sunglasses.
Are these accessories currently boosting or holding your style back? If you were glasses, remember that
these can be stylish as well as functional. If you’re currently wearing basic glasses, then check out this
website, and invest in glasses that’ll nudge your style credentials in the right direction. Your glasses can
have a huge impact on your overall appearance, so it’s important that you’re wearing a high-quality pair
that suits your face. 


Looking Your Best 


It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are; we’re all different. But if you’re going to look at your best,
then it’s important that you’re staying at a healthy size. A good indicator of that is your BMI; if it’s too high,
then you’ll want to consider picking an activity that has you working up a sweat. This won’t just keep you
looking trim, but it’ll also improve your skin and your mood, too. What you do isn’t important, so long as
it’s keeping you active. If you don’t like going to the gym, then you don’t have to! If it’s been a little while
since you’ve been active, then it might be a bit of a struggle at first, but you’ll soon move past that
uncomfortable stage and learn to love it.




Easy Hair and Makeup Routines


As well as your clothes, it’ll be your hair and makeup that have the biggest influence on your appearance.
While you might have an excellent routine that you use when you have all the time in the world to get
yourself ready, you probably can’t dedicate the same amount of time each morning. But that doesn’t
mean that you can’t still look great! There are plenty of YouTube tutorials that you can follow along with
that take no time at all.


Eating Healthy Foods


You are what you eat! Yup, it’s a cliche, but it’s also true. If you’re eating unhealthy foods, then you’ll pay
the price in some way. If, on the other hand, you’re eating healthy meals using fresh ingredients, then
you’ll find it easier to look at your best. Some people avoid preparing fresh meals because they think it
takes time, but this isn’t the case -- there are plenty of healthy meals that you can make in around
20 minutes. 


Smile With the World


Finally, remember the number one thing you can do to improve your appearance: smile with the world!
It sounds a bit cliche, but it’s also true. You’ll be radiating positivity if you’re stepping out into the world
with a happy and confident attitude, and it’ll make people pay attention. If you find happiness and
confidence difficult to come by, then remember that there are things you can do to
improve both of these aspects. It’s a journey, but a worthwhile one. 


Conclusion


As we said at the beginning of the blog: looks aren’t everything. There are more important things in life.
But it is true that they have some bearing on our confidence levels and all-around enjoyment of life.
Take the tips above, none of which are especially difficult to incorporate into your lifestyle,
and you’ll find that you’re looking at your best in no time at all. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Best Hotel In The Smokies: Econo Lodge Riverside: Pigeon Forge! #Smokies #SmokyMountains #Vacay

this post is originally from 2018, so Covid police, don't come at me 

Well, everybody. We're now a few weeks into our first year of homeschooling, and I am a few weeks into college life. So, how's it going? Let's just say... I am SO ready for our vacation,and I am counting down the days until we hit the road for the Smoky Mountains! We had so much planned for our trip this past January, and with all of the snow, tornadoes, and vomiting inside random stores (Yes, all of this happened. I swear.), we didn't really get to cover everything as much as we would have liked. So, we're heading back at the end of September and I can not wait! Its my favorite place, from the shopping to the sights, to the outdoors and the mountains, it's the best place on Earth! 


This time, we are going to be staying at the Econo Lodge Riverside in Pigeon Forge! Now, most of you guys know me pretty well, and you know that when it comes to a hotel, I need to have affordability. I just do. It's in my nature, and I think even if we were millionaires, I would check out hotel rates and compare them to make sure I found the very best deal. Well, I am happy to report that the Econo Lodge Riverside has some of the very best rates in all of Pigeon Forge. But, if you know me, you know that affordability is not the only thing that I need from a hotel. 

I also need info. Lots and lots of info. Months before any trip we take, I scour the internet, reading reviews of every single place we plan on going, and making all of my decisions before we even arrive. I am a planner. So, sue me. Anyway, I was thrilled to see that the Econo Lodge Riverside is rated #10 of 94 hotels in Pigeon Forge! To me, that is a huge deal. I really trust my fellow Trip Advisors, and they have never steered me wrong on hotel reviews in the past, so we are really looking forward to staying at the Econo Lodge and seeing if things there are just as great as my Trip Advisor Friends say they are! 
What else do I need from a hotel? I need a pool. A good pool. Actually, this is not my rule, but my sweet three year old Bean's rule. You see, of all the vacations we have been on, all of the trips we have taken, even the overnight trips where the hotel was just a place to crash and drive home the next day, Bean's favorite part is always "the pools". No. Matter. What. So, for him, a good pool is a must. I mean, the rest of us do enjoy the pool, but nowhere near as much as he does. I swear, when we take this kid to Disney World, we're gonna come home, and ask what his favorite part was, and he's going to say "the pool". It's just his thing, so I have to pick a hotel with a good pool! 



What do you think, friends? Will my little fish be impressed with this big pool? I think so! 

What else do I need from a hotel? A free breakfast. I know, it might sound like a silly "must have", but it's true. When traveling with two kids as ahem, moody, and ahem, spirited as these two, waking up, getting dressed, and going out to breakfast every morning IS. NOT. HAPPENING. I found that out real quickly when I would drop $6.99 a piece on a kid's breakfast at some sit down restaurant. Somebody would take a bite of a banana. Someone would take a bite of a donut. Someone would spill their chocolate milk. And there you have it, breakfast is over. SO....  a hotel with a free breakfast is a must when it comes to my kids. I can either sneak them a quick little snack back up to the room, or if they are acting decent and presentable, they can come down and eat their one bite of food. Either way, no stress for me! Yay! 


Those biscuits and gravy are already calling my name!! What about you!? There's nothing like a no stress, no mess hotel breakfast! 

What else do I need from a hotel? Well, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, let's just say that I am a bit "directionally challenged." When we go on vacation, I drive. I just do. And, I get us lost a lot. So, a hotel that is easy to find, right on the main road? Yes, please! Especially in a place like Pigeon Forge, being right on the main road and in the middle of the action is important to me! I need to be able to walk to things, and I want to be able to have easy access to a trolley in Pigeon Forge so I can get where I need to go with no worries! So, yes, being easy to find is a must for hotels for my family! 



Can you tell that we are really excited to stay with Econo Lodge on this trip? The boys are also really excited that the hotel is on the banks of the Little Pigeon river, so we can hang out there and feed the ducks, how much fun will that be!?! Love it! I know, we haven't stayed there YET, so I can't give you guys the personal pictures and the in depth review that I want to do, but it is coming, so stay tuned! I really do have a good feeling about this one ( I have that hotel sixth sense you know, haha!!) and I can not wait to relax and get away here! But, you want to know the best part of all? I can not wait to wake up to a view like this!! 
Isn't it easy to see why this is my favorite place on the entire planet? Ahhh...... Get ready for us, Pigeon Forge, we'll be there soon! 

Make sure to check back regularly for our updates and reviews of our latest trip to the Smokies! If you are interested in booking a room at the Econo Lodge Riverside, click here!! You won't be sorry! Also, make sure to "like" their Facebook Fan Page for the latest news, deals, and promotions!! Click here to stay in the know! 


My family will be provided with a media rate discount and/or complimentary stay during our visit in exchange for our honest thoughts and reviews. No monetary compensation is provided, and all thoughts and opinions are always 100% our own. 

Should I Stay In A Cabin Or A Hotel? (Smoky Mountain Vacations) #Smokies #SmokyMountains #Vacay


When you are planning a trip to the Smokies, one of the hardest things to decide is where to stay. If you are unfortunately like me, it is one of the biggest and most important things to plan as well. I have to first figure out the WHEN of a vacation, followed by where we will stay. I don't feel like I can really start planning properly until I have those two things figured out. That means, none of the fun stuff can be done until I figure out the WHEN and WHERE. It can be a little bit overwhelming, especially if you have never been to the area before. Let's talk about what you need to know to help you decide! 

COST: 
If your family is like ours, it's important to make and stick to a budget before you ever leave for vacation. The good news is that when it comes to the cost, cabins and hotels are pretty comparable. Of course, you will find hotels that run at the very, very low end of the spectrum, and you can find some pretty pricey hotels and cabins as well. It all just depends on what you are looking for. I would say that on average, a cabin will run between $100-150 a night, and a hotel room is pretty close to the same. Of course, you can splurge and spend way more than this, or you can really scrimp and stay somewhere for cheap, but for the most part, the prices are close to the same. 

LOCATION: 
Where you want to stay is going to be a big part of where you stay. Generally speaking, cabins are located, well, in the mountains. Hotels are located in town, usually on the "strip" or very near it, and within walking distance of attractions, restaurants and shopping. If you stay in a cabin, you are most likely going to have to drive everywhere. (There are exceptions to this rule, as you can find a few cabins that are located near downtown Gatlinburg, within walking distance of the strip). Is it important to you to be near all of the excitement, or are you looking for peace and quiet? Do you want to be near the national park so you can go hiking at a moment's notice? This will help you decide which is right for you. I personally hate to drive in a busy place, and I especially hate to drive at night, so for our family, a hotel usually just works better. 

PRIVACY: What kind of vacation are you looking for? Is this a fun family adventure, or a romantic getaway? Is this a relax and recharge kind of thing, or a be in the middle of the action fun fest? Those answers will help you decide where to stay. If you are looking for peace, quiet, relaxation, and privacy, a cabin is definitely the choice for you. You can get a cabin where you are completely secluded, with no one anywhere around. If you choose a hotel, it's likely that you are going to have some "neighbors" through the duration of your stay, and there is no way to tell if they are going to be the quiet type or not. If you don't care about quiet or privacy, a hotel might be more your style. 

WEATHER: 
This might sound silly, but make sure you consider the weather before you decide where to stay. The snow on the mountains might sound beautiful, but sometimes, mountain roads can become impassable and cabins might not be accessible. Same for after a heavy rain, sometimes cabin roads can become flooded. Usually, your cabin rental company will be able to tell you if there are any issues with the roads to your cabin that you should be aware of. Also, if you are planning to stay in a hotel and use the trolley or plan on walking to your attractions, don't forget to have a back up plan in case of rain. It's no fun standing in the pouring rain waiting 20 minutes on a trolley! (ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS!!) 

AMENITIES
What, if any, amenities are important to you in your accomodations? Did you know that you can rent a cabin with it's own private indoor pool? Seriously! Hot tubs, pool tables, game rooms, exercise equipment, these are all options that you can get in your own private cabin. However, there are also some amazing amenities at the hotels in the Smokies! There are several hotels that offer complete spas, indoor or outdoor water parks, on site restaurants, and more. Decide what amenities you want/need beforehand, and your search will be much easier! 

SIZE OF YOUR PARTY
How many people are tagging along on your vacation? If you have more than will fit in a standard hotel room, your costs can quickly add up if you need to upgrade to a suite or add on additional rooms. The great thing about renting a cabin is that you can find one that sleeps anywhere from 2 people up to 22 people,and everything in between! If you are having a big group event like a family reunion or wedding, it might be more sensible for you to go with a cabin. You can also cook all of your meals at a cabin, since you will have access to a full kitchen, and that can save some serious cash! 

CONVENIENCE
For me, one of my favorite things about vacation is the "ease" of everything. I like to leave our hotel room, and walk straight to the restaurant or show that I want to attend. I like to hop right on a trolley from my hotel parking lot. I don't want to drive, I don't want to navigate, I don't want to cook. In other words, when I am on vacation, I want to do as LITTLE "Thinking" as possible. For me, a hotel is best for this, since I am in a central location that is convenient to everything. Ideally, I don't get back in my car until it's time to drive home! If driving doesn't bother you,however, a cabin might be the best choice. Keep in mind that unless you get a cabin close to downtown, you will have to drive to the grocery store, shopping, shows, restaurants and anything else that you want to do. 

Hopefully, this post will help you to decide whether a cabin or a hotel is right for you. We like to switch it up and stay at different places when we visit, so we always get a different experience! We wholeheartedly recommend the Econo Lodge Riverside in Pigeon Forge -we had a great experience there when we stayed for a week last Fall, it felt like home! The Music Road Inn has also been a favorite of ours in the past, they have a great atmosphere and a very family friendly atmosphere. If you are in the mood for some REAL family adventure, you can't beat Wilderness At The Smokies. Their THREE water parks and family adventure center will keep you busy and make sure that you sleep good at night! As for cabins, I would recommend Arrowhead Cabin Rentals! Do you have any favorite hotels or Smoky Mountain Cabins? Let us know in the comments below!! 

Review: Wilderness At The Smokies Resort - Sevierville, TN #Review #Wilderness #PigeonForge #Gatlinburg #Smokies #TravelBlogger

Disclosure: Our family was given a two nights complimentary stay at Wilderness at the Smokies in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are 100% our own. This post is originally from 2018, long before COVID19 regulations were in place

Our family recently concluded our Smoky Mountain vacation with two wonderful nights at Wilderness at the Smokies Resort in Sevierville,TN, which is just north of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Tater, our oldest, has been eyeing this place for years, since we drive past it every time we head to the Smokies. We actually didn't tell the boys that we were headed to Wilderness, we told them we were headed home, and then we surprised them when we got there by telling them we were really spending two extra nights on vacation. Needless to say, they were pumped! 

Our room was an awesome bunk suite located in River Lodge. (River Lodge is the hotel connected to the Wild Waterdome Indoor Waterpark, as well as Lake Wilderness Outdoor Water Park. Salamander Springs Outdoor Waterpark is located across the street at Stone Hill Lodge.) This was a perfect room for us! Our room included a queen bed, and a twin/queen bunk bed, separated by a wall. It also contained a pull out twin sleeper sofa as well. There was plenty of room for the four of us in this room, which was great! It was wonderful to be able to spread out a little bit! Tater took the top bunk without hesitation, and it was so cute to see our sweet little Bean in the queen bed all by himself! The room also featured a microwave and fridge, and a small table and chairs. The best part for us was the private balcony which featured not only views of the awesome Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark but also a few beautiful mountain views as well. The rooms at Wilderness at the Smokies are decorated really beautifully, sort of like a rustic cabin, but still very modern as well. I also loved that there were two flat screen tv's in the room so that we could watch our own thing while the boys watch their own thing! We did have an issue with one of the tv's in our room, but maintenance  was able to switch it out for us and get us another one fast! We loved the room, I could have stayed there forever! 



However, we had MUCH more to do than just hang out in the room the entire time! Our first stop was, where else? The indoor waterpark! It really is an amazing place, there isn't another way to describe it! If you've never been somewhere like this before, you're in for a real treat, and maybe a bit of a shock. The entire indoor waterpark is just incredibly huge and a bit overwhelming, but in a good way! 
Photo Credit: Wilderness at the Smokies
 This place is awesome! We had so much fun, I honestly could have stayed a few more days! There is just so much to do in the Wild Waterdome section, not to mention anywhere else! The big boys (Dad and Tater) had a great time in the wave pool, they stayed there the majority of the time! I love the wave pool better than anything else, but my little guy was a bit intimidated by it, so we hung out in the kiddie area most of the time. The water there is only around a foot deep, and it has a seesaw, sprinklers, swings, and slides. It's perfect for little ones! My big boys had more fun than everyone else, though, no question about it! They rode the Storm Chaser, which is the huge funnel ride that you can see from out on the highway! I would have had a heart attack on that thing! My hubby said that Tater LOOKED like he was going to have a heart attack, but by the time he climbed off the raft, he was begging to go back again! 


Tater even somehow got me on the Runaway Canyon waterslide raft ride, I don't even know how that happened, but I thought I was going to die! I did have fun though, but I spent a few minutes in complete terror! (Mom does NOT like roller coasters, scary rides, waterslides, or anything like that!) I did survive though, and I actually rode the thing twice! It was pretty fun, once I faced my fears! There is also a huge indoor pool which is three feet deep all the way around, and it has basketball goals inside it. The boys had a great time in there, and I had to drag them out of there when it was time to leave! However, I have to say that the biggest hit of our entire time at the Wild Waterdome was the Smokies Surf Rider! This body surfing ride was their highlight of the trip! My hubs only rode the Surf Rider once, and he really took a tumble! He didn't do it again, I think he was a little bit embarrassed! However, Mr. Tater LOVED the Surf Rider and he just kept on, probably ten or fifteen times! We have a hilarious video of one of his attempts, I will upload it in a little bit! 
We had a great dinner at the Thirsty Miner restaurant, located on the second floor of the River Lodge. How convenient is it that you can eat a real, sit down meal without even leaving your hotel! Love it! The Thirsty Miner has a great deal too, Kids Eat Free with a paying adult meal purchase. We stayed during the week, so our kiddos got a free kid's meal, but if you stay on the weekend, you can get the buffet, and kids get a free buffet too. The food at the Thirsty Miner was really good, and with the kids eat free deal it was cheaper for us than going out to dinner. Plus, we didn't have to leave the hotel, which is definitely worth it! The Thirsty Miner is just one of tons of restaurants or snack bars on site, so you can always get something to eat or drink no matter where you are! 

It would be hard for me to say whether we spent most of our time at the Wild Waterdome or in the all new Adventure Forest dry play area. I think it's probably pretty close to even! My boys (all three of them!) are arcade lovers, so we spent a ton of time there! The arcade is not my favorite thing, but I still had a great time there, and Bean was absolutely thrilled that his daddy won a giant Adventure Forest ball for him from one of the machines! There are so many things to do in the Adventure Forest area, not just the arcade! There's a bowling alley, a snack bar, black light mini golf, a laser maze, laser tag, a rock climbing wall, a huge ropes course, and more! Seriously, enough to keep you and your kids busy for days! I'd say our favorite part was Cubs Climbing Den, which is like a McDonald's Play Land on steroids! It was absolutely huge, and even though Bean took a tumble and ended up with a bloody nose, he was begging to go back in as soon as we patched him up! We had a ton of fun at the Adventure Forest! You can buy credits for each attraction separate, but I would highly recommend buying an "all day" pass or an "all stay" pass, so you can play as much as you want! It's really a great deal! 

See this beautiful view? This is exactly what we saw from our hotel room! Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark looks like SO much fun! I didn't get the chance to go over to Salamander Springs and check out that Waterpark, but the pictures we saw look amazing! That's one thing I can say for certain about Wilderness at the Smokies- what you see is what you get. The pictures on the website really do truly represent the hotel, which is not always the case. It's nice to know that with this resort, you can trust the website to be a guide for you in planning your trip.
My boys and I are already planning a trip back to Wilderness when the outdoor waterparks are open. We have a LOT more adventures planned for this resort already! The boys want to bring their nanny with us next time, so we will have to plan on getting a bigger room, or a suite to fit all of us. I know that Wilderness will have plenty of options for us, no matter what we choose! (Also, if you are trying to plan what to pack for your stay at Wilderness, I would highly recommend going comfy with yoga pants, tee shirts and tennis shoes. If you want some ideas of the perfect clothes to pack, check out this post from GearWare!) 

 Some important things to remember about Wilderness At The Smokies: 

  • Don't forget KIDS EAT FREE at the Thirsty Miner restaurant! It's a great deal! 
  • Make sure to check out the "All Stay" pass for Adventure Forest, another great deal! 
  • Towel cards are also provided for your towels at the waterpark. Simply exchange your card for a towel, then when you're done, exchange your towel for a card.. Easy as that! 
  • Lifejackets and tubes are provided in the waterpark, so don't worry about those.
  • Arrive before check in? No worries! You can preregister for your room and start playing in the waterpark right away!
  • Same goes for check out: you can check out of your room and spend the rest of the day in the waterpark. This is a great way to get extra time to play! 
  • Don't forget all the extra amenities on site: the gift shop, candy shop, paint your own pottery studio, fitness center, laundry room and more! Spend some time just exploring the hotel, there really is so much to see! 
  • You can rent Redbox movies in the lobby of both Stone Hill Lodge and River Lodge if you want something special to watch on your stay! 
  • Make sure to follow Wilderness at the Smokies on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with news, deals and promotions before you book your stay! 

Thank you to the great folks at Wilderness at the Smokies for hosting us and helping us to make some great memories! We'll definitely be back! 

Family Fun and Travel: Christmas At The Island: Pigeon Forge, TN!! #Travel #FamilyFun #PigeonForge #TravelBlogger #Gatlinburg #Smokies #SmokyMountainTravel





Disclaimer- This post was originally written in 2018, before COVID-19. 

Hey Y'all! I wanted to spend a few minutes today to tell you guys about one of our very favorite places in Pigeon Forge! The Island is a HUGE entertainment/shopping/retail/hotel type complex in Pigeon Forge. It's a relatively new place, and has been around for the last few years, but they are still adding to it and getting things in order. It really has come a long way in the past few years, and it is a really great place to hang out. When it comes to family fun in Pigeon Forge, this is a really great pick! 







Where is The Island? The Island is located centrally in Pigeon Forge, right behind the Comedy Barn theater. You really can't miss it, as there is a GIANT Ferris wheel, known as The Wheel! It's super easy to get to The Island, and usually you can walk from just about anywhere in Pigeon Forge. If you are too far away to walk, you can definitely take the trolley from just about anywhere, and if you do decide to drive, keep in mind that they have a shuttle service to get you from the parking lot over to the main shopping and entertainment area. 

So, what will you find when you get there? Oh, just a little bit of everything! There is so much to do at The Island, really, I think you could spend hours there and still not get to see or do everything! There is a ton to do, so let's go over some of the best things! 
EAT: Of course, this is one of the best parts of any vacation, and The Island does not disappoint when it comes to restaurants. You will find Paula Deen's Family Kitchen, Margaritaville, Timberwood Grill and Mellow Mushroom, just to name a few. If you know me, you know I am going to recommend steering clear of the chain restaurants, not only for the financial aspect but for the atmosphere as well. It's not that I am a hater when it comes to big chains, but I would definitely recommend trying out a more local or even regional chain to get more of a feel for the area and really get the full experience. If I was going to recommend a place to eat at The Island, I would go with Timberwood Grill, who has some really great deals on certain days. I would check their Facebook page for more on that. I have also heard great things about Poynor's Pomme Frites, which is a small German food shop. Of course, if you are looking for a bar or an ice cream stand, or of course, a fudge shop, The Island has you covered on those as well! 

PLAY: When it comes to things to do and play at The Island, there is so much you can check out and experience. There are some great fun family things like arcades, as well as the giant Wheel that you can ride and get a great view of the mountains. There really is so much to do, no matter what it is that you have your heart set on, from a ropes course that hangs high above everyone, to an old time carousel, gem mining, and more. Really, there is so much that you can do here, and you can spend a whole day exploring! 

SHOP:  There is also tons of shopping at The Island, and I believe they advertise more than 60 retail shops! There really is something for everyone here, and the great part is that the shops at The Island are small little retail shops, sort of like mall shops, so it doesn't feel like shopping at a huge outlet mall. It really does feel more like walking down Main Street in a small town, and that is the feeling that I love about it! 

THE ISLAND: WILL IT BUDGET!?!  
First of all, shout out to Rhett and Link, who I blatantly stole "Will It" from, please guys, don't sue me, you are already bajillionaires. Next, let's get to my tips for doing The Island on a budget. If you are going to try to attempt this, first of all, let me say, this is going to be a challenge. This place IS, by all definitions of the word, a tourist trap and a money pit. That doesn't make it any less fun, but, really, let's not sugarcoat it. It is what it is, and if you were to just open your wallet at every retail shop, food stand, and fun "thing to do" at The Island, you are going to be walking out of there at least $1000 poorer than when you walked in. 

There are things you can do to lighten the load on your wallet,so listen up. First of all, you are going to want to focus on the EXPERIENCE of this, not the GETTING OF THINGS. (That's a good life lesson by the way folks, so remember that!) If you have kids, I am going to go ahead and recommend that you pack a snack and some drinks when you head over, or else you are going to be "snacked" and "drinked" to death by your kiddos. Now, once you get there, whether you trolley, shuttle, walk over, or drive over, make it all about the experience. Night time is a great time to go, because there are so many lights and beautiful attractions, and just walking around is a gift! 

I cannot overstate how great it is to just walk around, window shop and especially visit the fountains and the light show. This is SO much fun, and you can just sit in the rocking chairs, relax, people watch and enjoy the fountains. Honestly, this is my favorite part of the entire thing! Also great is a visit to Ole Smoky Moonshine, where for the small cost of $5.00, you can do a moonshine tasting that is guaranteed to leave you more than a little tipsy! I also love going in the little shops and looking around, talking to people, and just hanging out. We had a great time, for example, in one of the magic shops, and spent about 45 minutes in there, chatting with the employees and teaching the boys' magic tricks! So much fun! 

All in all, The Island is a great and amazing place, and if you are in town, you will not want to miss visiting it, at least once. This is one of those experiences you can make as cheap or as expensive as you want! Definitely don't forget to check out THIS PAGE for coupons to any of the millions and millions of shops that you can visit on your trip! 

PS: Don't forget to check out all of our other posts about our FAVORITE place in the world, the Great Smoky Mountains! You can read all about things like the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, The Ripley's Aquarium, The Music Road Inn, Wilderness at The Smokies, and Tips On Choosing A Cabin Or Hotel!! 

Hatfield And McCoy Dinner Feud Pigeon Forge TN!! #Smokies #TravelBlogger #PF #PigeonForge #Gatlinburg #Vacay #TravelBlogger

*Disclaimer: this post was originally written in 2018, obviously before the COVID-19 Pandemic. 


Are you looking for something fun to do with your family in the Smoky Mountains? I'm getting ready to tell y'all about something to do for the WHOLE family that everyone is going to enjoy. I'm serious, so you better pay attention! 

We just got back from our Spring Break trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. As most of you know, the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee are about 3 hours away from our house, and are also the most beautiful and wonderful and amazing place on the face of the Earth (look it up, it's true!). It might also just happen to be my favorite place in the whole entire world. So, you can trust me when I tell you I am pretty well versed in things to do in the area. I'm telling you guys, this is my favorite place on Earth, and I have even looked at rentals and checked out long distance moving companies when we are on vacation just to indulge my dream of moving to the area!  

I'm also going to be the first to tell you that I love a dinner show. There's something about getting all dressed up and going out with the whole family at night. The kids love dinner shows too, we have been to several on our various trips to the area. I really like dinner shows because, as the mom, it takes care of both the entertainment, and the dinner. And come on, especially when you are on vacation, the last thing you want to do is worry about dinner! 

Anyways, the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud is located in Seiverville, just north of Pigeon Forge. If you are coming into town, it's right between the "upside down house" (Wonderworks!) and the "giant boat" (Titanic Museum). It is SUCH a fun atmosphere, just look at the outside of the building! The whole thing is fun, it starts right when you pull up! I mean, there is a petting zoo outside for crying out loud! 

I'm going to tell you right now, this show is over the top. Everything, the food, the performers, the music, all of it! That's the fun of it, and there really is nothing better! This is the one dinner show in the area that has been able to hold the attention of my ENTIRE family, small kids to teenagers to husbands! My whole family agreed that this show was definitely the highlight of our trip! 

It's so much fun! You get your pictures taken, you get to hang out and browse around the gift shop, which is full of cool, unique "redneck" items, and then you go in and are seated at your table, where you are served an AMAZING, family style, all you can eat meal! It's sooo good! 

Look At This Food!!
This is the most fun our whole family has had in a long time, especially all of us hanging out and doing things together! Like I mentioned earlier, when I asked the whole family after our trip, this was all agreed to be the most fun part of our trip!




We really did have an amazing time! This was by far the highlight of our trip! I highly highly recommend this show, and I'd love to check out the Christmas show the next time that we are in town! It's such a fun, family friendly atmosphere that's hard to find anywhere else, and it was something that we will all remember forever! Loved it! If you want to find out more about the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, check out their website here! 

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