Friday, December 22, 2023

Coping with Grief During the Festive Season: A Guide to Self-Care For The Holidays

Surviving the Holidays with Heart: A Chill Guide to Self-Care

Hey there, friends! The holidays are supposed to be all twinkly lights, good vibes, and cozy moments, right? Well, not for everyone. Sometimes, they're a stark reminder of what's missing, and grief hits a bit harder during this season. So, let's talk about it and share some self-care tips to make it through.

1. Reflecting on Loss:
First things first – it's totally cool not to feel the holiday cheer 24/7. Seriously, who made those rules anyway? If you're like me, missing loved ones for decades, guess what? You're not alone. Embrace your feelings, and forget about feeling guilty. I gave that up a long time ago. My parents are gone, and even though it's been over 20 years, it SUCKS. I think that's totally normal, and I no longer feel bad that my grief isn't on anyone else's "timeline". 

2. Set Those Boundaries:
Boundaries are your holiday BFFs. If you're not feeling that office party or your neighbor's festive soirée, it's okay to hit pause. Your well-being comes first. Advocate for yourself, and don't let anyone guilt-trip you. We all know that certain situations can be harder than others during the holidays, so don't be afraid to skip out on ones that you KNOW are going to be too much for you. 

3. Craft New Traditions:
I know, I know – "new traditions" sounds like a cliché, but trust me, it can really help. Start some rituals that honor your loved ones. Like a special ornament or revisiting a favorite book. In my world, reading "Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree" brings back sweet memories. It's like a warm hug from the past, and I even bought the 1963 version from Ebay just so it would be just like my childhood. We also made an ornament of a picture of my parents, and every year, I hang it up after all the other ornaments are hung. It's kind of a comforting end to the tree decorating now, and the kids even look forward to it. 

4. Get Your Squad:
No one should navigate the holiday blues alone. Round up your friends, family, or find solace in support groups. And hey, if online groups or a chat with a therapist feels right, go for it. Sometimes, strength comes from your people. Bottom line, don't be afraid to reach out or to talk to people about how you're feeling. 

5. Chillin' with Self-Care:
Holiday exhaustion is a real thing. Take a breather with some low-key self-care – reflect quietly, dive into cozy activities, catch those Zs, meditate a bit, or express yourself creatively. You gotta treat yourself – it's not a luxury; it's a must. I find that my grief is a million times worse in those moments when I am stressed out or exhausted, so I've learned to be extra easy on myself during the holidays. 

6. Remember & Celebrate:
Keep the memory of your loved ones alive during the holidays. Maybe support a cause they cared about, create a scrapbook, or binge-watch old home videos. Volunteering in their honor? It's a win-win. For me, I always try to do something during the holiday season that I just KNOW would make my parents proud, and it always makes me feel a little better. 

7. Flexibility is Key:
Grief doesn't follow a script, especially during the holidays. Some days are smooth; others, not so much. Cut yourself some slack. Be easy, and remember, you're doing your best. 

Closing Thoughts:
Here's the real deal – it's A-OK not to ride the holiday hype. Your grief is legit, and these tips are your toolkit for cruising through with a bit of flair. Need a chat or got extra tips? Drop a comment below because, hey, we're all in this together. Sending virtual hugs and good vibes your way! 🌟

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Surviving the Holidays as a Parentless Parent: Tips for Finding Comfort

Hey, lovely souls! 🌟 Let's get real about the holidays, shall we? While the world is busy wrapping gifts and decking the halls, some of us are wrestling with a different kind of jingle – the one that comes with the territory of being a parentless parent. It's not all cocoa and cozy vibes, but fear not! I've got some tips to help you find comfort and sail through this season with your sanity intact.

1. Roll with the Feels:

First things first – it's totally legit not to be the holiday cheer captain 24/7. If the nostalgia hits hard, embrace it. Cry, laugh, or do a bit of both. Your feelings are your feelings, no judgment here. You definitely don't have to be perfect all the time! 

2. Create Your Own Cheer:

Who says traditions are set in stone? Craft your own rituals that bring warmth to your heart. Maybe it's a solo dance party to your favorite tunes, a movie marathon in cozy PJs, or even an impromptu karaoke session with the cat. Make it yours. There literally are no rules. At our house, we do pizza and movie nights with a little bourbon drinking after the kids go to bed. Is it traditional? No, but it's our own tradition, and I love that! 

3. Lean on Your Crew:

Holidays are meant for connections. Reach out to your tribe – friends, family, or even that neighbor who bakes killer cookies. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts; you might be surprised how many can relate or offer a virtual shoulder squeeze. You might actually be surprised to see how many people are not fans of the holiday season for the same reasons as you! 

4. Make Time for You:

Parentless or not, the holiday hustle can be draining. Sneak in moments of self-care like it's a secret mission. Whether it's a bubble bath, a good book, or just zoning out with your favorite podcast, remember: you-time is non-negotiable. This self care time really helps me to recharge and put things into perspective so I feel like I can better handle myself during the crazy season. 

5. Honoring Memories:

Take a beat to reminisce. Share stories about your loved ones, look through old photo albums, or maybe even whip up a dish that screams nostalgia. It's a beautiful way to keep their memory alive in your holiday celebrations. My kids love to hear stories from my childhood now that they are teens, and I feel like it's a way to help them to know who their grandparents were as people, even though they never got to meet. 

6. Be a Holiday Rebel:

Permission to rebel granted! If the standard holiday playbook doesn't resonate with you, toss it out the window. Create a holiday playlist with your favorite rock anthems, ditch the traditional feast for a foodie adventure, or declare a day of Netflix and chill – holiday edition. You get to be the boss of your own holiday. For me, as a mom raising kids without my own parents, that has actually been pretty healing - the fact that I can create my own traditions (however crazy they may be!) for my own family. 

7. Reach Out for Support:

Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Seek support from groups, friends, or even professionals. Online communities can be a game-changer, offering understanding and a sprinkle of virtual cheer.

Closing Thoughts:

So, my brave friend, you've got this holiday thing on lock. Be gentle with yourself, savor the small joys, and know that finding comfort is your superpower. Drop a comment below with your go-to holiday comfort tips or just to share a virtual high-five. Wishing you all the cozy vibes and a sprinkle of holiday magic! 🌈✨

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Dive into Delight: Our Unforgettable Day at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Our trip to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg was already packed with excitement, but Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies turned out to be the unexpected star! I confess, I doubted the aquarium's appeal initially – being more of a "zoo" person – but boy, was I in for a delightful surprise.

The Spectacular Start: A Building Beyond Expectations
First things first, the aquarium's building itself is a marvel, even in the daytime. It's not just about the glow; it's a genuinely cool place that sets the stage for an extraordinary experience. It's an amazing place all around, and perfect for getting some pictures outside!

Friendly Faces and Hassle-Free Entry
Picking up our media tickets at the friendly ticket desk was a refreshing start. The warm customer service was a welcome change, setting a positive tone for the entire visit. Make sure to check out the multi attraction discount if you are planning on visiting any of the other great Ripley's attractions in town! (We highly recommend that you do!)

Aquatic Extravaganza: A Surprisingly Extended Stay
Expecting a quick visit, we ended up spending an incredible four and a half hours exploring the spacious, well-lit exhibits. I NEVER intended to spend this much time here, but we made our rounds at a slow pace, letting our boys take the lead. The late January visit offered the rare luxury of almost having the entire place to ourselves! I am sure that this place gets crazy busy during the summer months and beyond, but visiting in the off season was a huge plus!

Jellyfish Joy: A Family Favorite
The jellyfish stole the show, especially for my boys, who were beyond amazed. Imagine their delight, having only known jellyfish from SpongeBob! It was a laughter-filled, mesmerizing experience. I couldn't believe that they stood at the jellyfish exhibit for over fifteen minutes, but I was totally entranced too!

Beyond Expectations: Aquarium Accolades and Diversity
Doubting TripAdvisor's rave reviews, I was proven utterly wrong. With over 10,000 sea creatures and 350+ species, the aquarium lived up to every award and word of praise. This aquarium truly does deserve all of the awards and great reviews that it has received!

Tunnel Thrills: Sharks, Turtles, and Moving Floors
A personal favorite – the tunnel with its glass top and moving floor. Watching sharks and turtles swim overhead was genuinely amazing. You could stroll or step off for a closer look – flexibility at its finest.

Shark Shenanigans and Giant Crab Fun
The giant crabs and a shark with a questionable agenda provided unexpected excitement. Picture a shark following us back and forth – a hilarious, slightly unnerving encounter, but one we will not ever forget!

Penguin Paradise: An Hour of Pure Joy
Who can resist penguins? An hour spent exploring the penguin exhibit was sheer joy. And don't forget to grab some treasures from the gift shop on your way out! The penguins were definitely a highlight of the visit, and the exhibits are so interactive and fun!

I must admit, I underestimated this aquarium. If you haven't been, trust me, you need to go NOW! January's odd weather meant no crowds, making our visit even more special. Make sure to ask for a homeschool discount if you are a homeschooling family. The discounts for homeschoolers are super great at not only this, but other Ripley's attractions as well!

Full transparency – I received complimentary tickets for this attraction in exchange for an honest review. But as always, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own!

Friday, December 15, 2023

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS 2024 WORLD TOUR Tickets are now on sale!

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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Notes From The Parking Lot

I'm sitting in my car, in the parking lot across from the arena. I think the cost to park here was $27.00. Outrageous, but I paid it anyway. I want him to know where I am when the show is over, and this was the closest place I could find to park that has a direct sidewalk from the exit door. Technically, he has my Life360, so he could track me down even if I parked a mile away, but why risk it?

There's half of a personal pizza in a greasy box on the dash. I'm gonna be here a couple more hours, so I'll finish it off before I get to head back home. There's a spiral notebook beside me- I'm trying to make a grocery list, but I can't focus. My Kindle is on the seat next to me. I was going to use this time to catch up on a great book since I always complain about never having time, but I'm not doing that either. I can hear the music seeping out from the walls of the arena across the street. My baby is in there, him and 25,000 other people. I wonder, is anyone else's mom doing the same thing as me tonight?

We're in such a weird place, this boy and me. Right on the edge of adulthood, but not quite there just yet. His after-school job, which works him like a 40-year-old father of three, supplies him with more than enough money to buy these concert tickets to see his favorite rapper. But, I was the one who bought these tickets. All the way up in the nosebleed section, and still, way more than I would ever pay for concert tickets for myself. He didn't even ask to go to the concert, and if he didn't waste all his money on stupid 17-year-old crap, he could have easily gotten floor seats if he wanted to come.

But no, I got the tickets for him, and gave them to him out of nowhere. Christmas is in 23 days; they would have made a great gift. But, no, I just wanted him to get to come here. He's always stressed, always mad, always quiet. Around me, anyway. Not to his friends or his coworkers, who I guess are one and the same these days. I just wanted to make him happy. Like the old days, when he would get a toy from the cheap toy aisle after his doctor's appointment, or a 50 cent McDonald's ice cream cone when he got a shot.

He doesn't have a license yet, so I had to drive him here. Even if he did have a license, and a car, I wouldn't let him drive in this stupid downtown traffic anyway. We live an hour away, so it's pointless for me to go home and come back. I guess I could go shopping, but I don't want to be that far away from him. Just in case. So I sit.

Motherhood used to be so much about doing. Now it seems to be just about sitting. Sitting here, now. Sitting in the parking lot at his job. Sitting in the driveways of friends' houses, or the parking lot of the movies. Sitting in the kitchen, waiting for him to get home. It's almost like my active participation in this raising a boy task is over. I never dreamed there would be so much sitting.

I thought this part of parenting would be when it got easy. They don't need you so much anymore, and your presence most of the time is just a technicality. You have to be there to do the driving, sign the paper, or pay the fee. But other than that, you aren't really needed. And a lot of the time, it doesn't feel like you're really wanted either. It's a whole different struggle, one that I don't have any flowery words of wisdom to write down here about, nothing to pass on to you to guide you through it.

For now, I'm just going to continue to sit. Wherever and whenever I can, I will be here, sitting and waiting for my boy.

Flip Out Mama: The Evolution of The Blog, and The Blogger- Where We Go In 2024.

 You guys. I started this blog thirteen, almost fourteen years ago. I cannot even believe that it has been that long. When I first started blogging, my oldest son was only four, and I was pregnant with my baby boy. If I'm being completely honest, my blog started during a time of immense turmoil in my life. My mom had been dead for right about ten years, and my dad for about six years. I was in a horrible place in my life, relationship-wise, financially, even the home we physically lived in was falling apart, just like my heart. 

I was yearning for something, some sort of outreach, some connection with the outside world, to help me realize that I wasn't actually alone. When I think about that time in my life, it breaks my heart for the girl that I was back then. I was really incredibly lost and I really just needed someone to save me. It would take me almost a decade to come to the realization that no one was coming, and that I would have to find a way to save myself. 

Now, here I am, many years later. My oldest son is a senior in high school, getting ready to graduate and turn 18 in just a few months. My baby boy, the one that was in my belly when I started this blog, is turning 14 this year, and is taller than me. I cannot believe how far the three of us have come in this life. 

This blog, which started out as a way for me to share my life and connect with people and brands all over the world, has also changed a lot over the years. Gone are my days of blogging about toddlers who wouldn't sleep, and sharing the latest and greatest Christmas toys with you guys.

I thought for a long time about the possibility of shutting down my blog, but I just can't do it. I honestly feel like it is another one of my kids.. I have carried it around with me just like those two little boys, through health issues, divorce, moves, failures and triumphs. Even if there have been times where this blog hasn't been at the top of my list of things to do, I always come back to it. Writing has always been my true passion, and hopefully now that my boys are older, and my life is in a more stable place, I can get back to what I love. 

Parenting teenagers, obviously, is going to be an ongoing topic for this blog. My boys will always be at the top of any priority list, and I'll continue to share with you guys going forward, about parenting teens, who are getting ready to fly the nest and go out into the world. As my boys become adults, I'll continue to blog about what it is like to parent adult children, which makes me shiver to think about- what a scary fucking thought! 

Also, I'm going to continue to blog about a topic that is important to me, but that I have been so hesitant to write about in the past. Parenting without parents, growing up without parents, loss, grief, all of the very big and deep and horrible feelings that come along with losing my parents before the age of 18. I know I am not the only person in the world who is dealing with this, even people whose parents are alive but not in their lives, I'm sure the feelings there are similar as well. I know how much it would have been to me to be able to find similar content when I was going through such a rough time in my younger years. 

So, my dear friends who have been along for this very long and rough ride, I appreciate you. New friends, I'm so glad you're here. Brands, I'm still happy to hear from you and work with you- reach out anytime! I am excited to see what the future holds for us! Happy holidays to all of you and wishing you a wonderful New Year! 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Best Heating and Air Repair In Stanford Kentucky? I got you!


Hey guys! Today I am excited to share something with you guys that I have kind of been keeping a secret for the last little bit! My husband and I have FINALLY made the jump and started our own HVAC company here in Stanford Kentucky. My hubby has been in HVAC since he was a kid, so heating and air conditioning repair is in his blood. I always knew he would want to take the jump into owning his own business, but it was really hard to take the leap and make that happen. However, here we are! 

If you are in the Central Kentucky area and you need HVAC repair, HVAC maintenance, HVAC installation or even just standard HVAC maintenance, you can get in touch with us anytime! You can find our website here: I would love it if you guys could check our website out and give me some feedback. I am not great at techy stuff, so I have been watching lots of Youtubes to learn how to do this. I would love to hear thoughts from you guys if you don't mind. 

We are currently going to service most of Central Kentucky for HVAC service, including Lexington, Versailles, Nicholasville, Lancaster, Stanford, Danville, Richmond and more.. If any of my followers live in this area, be sure to reach out and I'd love to talk to you about what we have going on! We also are working on building up our Google reviews, so if we have done HVAC work for you in the past (talking to you, family and friends!!!) I'd love if you could give us a review by clicking here: As always, thanks again to you guys for always being so supportive! 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Family Fun With The Harlem Globetrotters! #globies


One of the things I really struggle with now that my kids are getting older is the fact that it's just plain HARD to find stuff for us all to do together. They used to be happy and satisfied with whatever weird or wacky family activity that I had planned for us, but not so much anymore. If I pick a movie to go see, one of them doesn't like that movie. If I want to go for a hike, someone automatically has some kind of injury and they will have to stay home and play video games instead. If I pick a restaurant, mysteriously, one of my kids now hates that restaurant, even if it is a place we have frequented for years and years... Teens!!! 

However, one family activity that I KNOW all of my kids will go to without complaint is a Harlem Globetrotters show!! It's so weird, of all the things that we can all do together with no complaints, this is definitely at the top of our list! We have been attending Harlem Globetrotters shows for years and years, and when we had the chance to visit one a few weeks ago, we were all thrilled! 

It really is a fun activity for the whole family. There's the amazing show of athleticism, the comedy, the music, the lights, the audience interaction, and so much more. Even if sports are not really your thing (guilty, sue me!), there is MORE than enough to keep you entertained at a Harlem Globetrotters show, no matter how old you are! 

Of course, one of the best parts of a Harlem Globetrotters show is after the show, where fans can come down onto the court and take pictures and get autographs from all your favorite Globetrotters stars! The Trotters are out on a WORLD Tour right now, so make sure to check and see when they will be in your city so you and your family can get in on the action!! 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Unlocking The Island's Charm: A Budget-Friendly Guide to Pigeon Forge's Entertainment Oasis

Hey Y'all! Ready to dive into one of our all-time favorite spots in Pigeon Forge? Let me spill the beans on The Island – a colossal entertainment and retail complex that's a must-visit for family fun in the Smoky Mountains!

Locating The Island: A Gem Behind the Laughter
Centrally positioned in Pigeon Forge, right behind the Comedy Barn theater, The Island is hard to miss. Just look for the iconic Ferris wheel, aptly named The Wheel. Whether you stroll, trolley, or drive, getting there is a breeze, with a convenient shuttle service from the parking lot to the heart of the action. Also, the parking lot is HUGE, and there is plenty of room to park! (Pro tip: Enter the parking lot from "the back way" off of Teaster Lane to avoid most of the traffic!) 

Exploring The Island: An Odyssey of Fun
The Island is a treasure trove of entertainment, and you'll need more than a few hours to uncover all its delights. Let's dive into some of the best things it has to offer!

Dining Delights: Beyond Chains and Into Local Flavor
Feast your eyes and your taste buds at renowned spots like Paula Deen's Family Kitchen, Margaritaville, Timberwood Grill, and Mellow Mushroom. My recommendation? Explore beyond the chains for a more immersive experience. Timberwood Grill, with its fantastic deals on certain days, is a personal favorite. And don't miss the rave-worthy Poynor's Pomme Frites, a hidden gem of German delights. The Island has you covered for bars, ice cream stands, and, of course, fudge shops!

Playtime Extravaganza: From Arcades to Aerial Adventures
For family-friendly fun, The Island offers everything from arcades to the towering Wheel that provides breathtaking mountain views. Brace yourself for a ropes course suspended high above, an old-time carousel, gem mining, and a host of other activities. It's a playground for all ages, ensuring a day filled with excitement.

Retail Therapy: Small Shops, Big Charm
With over 60 retail shops, The Island provides a unique shopping experience. Unlike vast outlet malls, these small, charming shops give off a Main Street vibe, making your shopping spree feel like a stroll through a quaint town.

Budgeting Tips: A "Will It Budget" Challenge
Shoutout to Rhett and Link for inspiring our "Will It" challenge! Now, tackling The Island on a budget is no small feat. It's a tourist haven, and your wallet might feel the pinch if you're not strategic. Focus on the experience rather than accumulating things, and consider packing snacks and drinks to avoid wallet-draining snacking incidents.

Maximizing the Experience: Nighttime Wonders and Moonshine Magic
For a magical experience, consider visiting The Island at night. The dazzling lights and attractions create a picturesque setting. Enjoy the fountains and light shows, kick back in rocking chairs, and savor the ambiance. A moonshine tasting at Ole Smoky Moonshine is a budget-friendly yet delightful adventure.

The Heart of The Island: Personal Touches and Hidden Gems
Beyond the bustling attractions, take time to explore the magic shops, engage with friendly employees, and enjoy impromptu magic tricks. It's these personal touches that make The Island an extraordinary place to hang out, relax, and create lasting memories.

Whether you make it a thrifty adventure or indulge a bit, The Island is a must-visit in Pigeon Forge. Tailor the experience to your budget, and don't forget to snag coupons from [this page] to stretch your dollars even further! And hey, check out our other posts on the Great Smoky Mountains for more tips on places like the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, Ripley's Aquarium, Music Road Inn, Wilderness at The Smokies, and advice on choosing cabins or hotels!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Budget Friendly Baby Shower Menu Tips On A Budget

Hey, party planners! Ever feel the baby shower pressure and immediately think, "How much is this going to cost me?" Trust me, you're not alone. Let's keep it real - Dave Ramsey would probably disapprove if we splurged $1K+ on a baby shower feast. And honestly, who needs that kind of stress?

If you're nodding along, you've come to the right place. I'm not your Pinterest-worthy food blogger; I'm here to share some down-to-earth, cost-effective baby shower food ideas that won't break the bank or your sanity.

Idea #1: Sub Sandwiches - Affordable Elegance

Forget the $100 Subway giant; Walmart's $1 french bread loaves are your new best friend. Layer ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, and a hint of microwave bacon for a Club sandwich delight. Cut into slices, and voila! Classy and budget-friendly, with leftovers for the week.

Idea #2: Finger Sandwiches - Fancy on a Budget

Finger sandwiches don't have to be super fancy. Grab cheap loaves of bread, whip up some pimento cheese and chicken salad, and cut them into fourths. Stack these little delights on a plate, and watch them disappear.

Idea #3: Dips and Such - Cheap, Cheerful, and Crowd-Pleasing

Dips and cheese balls are lifesavers. Chips with dip or salsa, a cream cheese, green onions, and chopped ham cheese ball, or a cream cheese, cocktail sauce, shrimp, and green onion dip are all crowd-pleasers. Easy to make, easy to love.

Idea #4: Punch - Simple, Cheap, and Adorable

Punch is a classic, and "duck punch" takes it to the next level. Hawaiian Punch, Sprite, vanilla ice cream, and rubber ducks make for an adorable and tasty drink. Affordable punch bowl sets are available at Walmart or Dollar Tree.

Idea #5: Cupcakes - Cute, Cheap, and Convenient

Who says every party needs a fancy cake? Cupcakes are affordable, easy to obtain, and a breeze to customize. Order them from your local grocery store bakery and add themed cupcake picks or print your own from Etsy. They're not just tasty; they also make a great centerpiece.

Idea #6: Healthy Options - Good for the Body and the Wallet

For a healthy touch, create your own fruit and veggie trays. Skip the expensive pre-made ones and buy fruits and veggies in bulk from Aldi. Enlist the help of friends or kids to wash, cut, peel, and arrange. Use Dollar Tree trays or ask your local grocery store deli for empty trays at a low cost.

Stuff to Remember:

This guide can be your party food bible, all under $100 if you shop smart. Customize it based on your preferences, and remember, it's not a four-course meal. Prioritize enjoying time with your guests over perfection. Hosting a party is about creating memories, not stress!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Mastering the Art of an Unforgettable Baby Shower On A Budget!

Embarking on the journey of planning a baby shower? Strap in for a delightful ride! Here's your go-to guide for crafting a memorable celebration. Note: Your results may vary, but guaranteed joy for all!

1. Setting the Scene: Choose Your Location Wisely
 Now, onto the essential: Location. Begin your planning early to snag the perfect spot. While we had a last-minute scramble for my baby shower, hosting it at my sister's townhouse turned out to be a cozy and cost-free solution. Pro tip: Start early, explore local parks, friend's backyards, churches, or consult your Chamber of Commerce for budget-friendly options.

2. Decor Delights: Creating a Theme without Breaking the Bank

Decorations can easily devour your budget, but fear not! We scoured the internet for key theme elements and complemented them with dollar store finds. For instance, hang baby clothes on a clothesline for a cute, cost-free decoration. Another tip: fill old baby bottles with water for adorable balloon weights (tint the water for extra charm).

3. Culinary Charms: A Feast for Every Palate

For this food enthusiast, the highlight of any event is the menu! Keep it simple with a variety of snacks like sub sandwiches, dips, veggie trays, and fruit kabobs. Pinterest is a goldmine for exciting ideas. Don't miss our blue ducky punch recipe - a cheap and cheerful hit!

Baby Shower Duck Punch Recipe:

1 bottle Blue Hawaiian Punch
1 Two-Liter Sprite or Seven Up
Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
Ducks, because why not!
Pour the Sprite and Hawaiian Punch, float ice cream scoops, and add ducks for a whimsical touch. You can switch the punch color for a girl baby shower.

4. Game On: Making Games Actually Enjoyable

Traditionally disliked baby shower games? We've got you covered. We opted for engaging yet non-embarrassing games like the Candy Game, PlayDough Babies, and the Paper Sack Game. Everyone participated enthusiastically without cringing!

5. Etcetera: Diaper Drawing and Beyond

Encourage guests to bring a pack of diapers for a chance to win a prize. It's a win-win – the winner receives a gift card, and you get a diaper stash. No need for additional favors; your guests will appreciate the simplicity.

Final Advice: Embrace the Fun!

The golden rule for your baby shower: Have fun! The people attending are there for you, not to critique your budget choices. Capture moments with photos, cherish the day, and remember: Your joy sets the tone. For information on health during pregnancy or general well-being, explore [here](insert link).

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Escape the Winter Blues: A Dollywood Adventure Revisited!

The never-ending winter has us daydreaming about vacations, and our ultimate happy place – the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee! So, let's take a trip down memory lane with one of our cherished old posts – the unforgettable review of our Dollywood experience. Enjoy the ride!

Dollywood: Where Thrills Meet Southern Charm

Our visit to Dollywood stands out as a highlight of our trip. As a theme park-loving family, we've explored our fair share, but Dollywood claimed the top spot. The park's charming "country fair" theme creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it an instant favorite for us.

We arrived at the crack of dawn and left as the sun set, realizing we could have easily spent two days exploring everything Dollywood has to offer. It's not just about the rides; it's a complete package with shopping, delicious food, and a delightful country fair ambiance.

Gastronomic Delights and Irresistible Shopping

A visit to Dollywood isn't complete without indulging in the culinary delights and exploring the unique shops. Aunt Granny's All You Care To Eat Buffet is a must-try – just be prepared to leave with a satisfied belly. We also savored a bite at Red's Drive In, a 50's style diner, and made a quick stop at Miss Lillian's Chicken House to meet the iconic Miss Lillian.

Thrills for Every Taste

Dollywood caters to all types of thrill-seekers. While my husband and eldest son tackled the big coasters, my youngest and I enjoyed the more laid-back rides, scenic walks, and tasty snacks. The park's diversity allowed us to create lasting family memories.

Although some unexpected bee-related issues prevented us from trying Wild Eagle, my boys secured the coveted first seat on the wooden roller coaster, Thunderhead. The highlight of the trip, however, was the Dollywood Express, a steam locomotive ride that left us all in awe.

Unparalleled Hospitality and Comfort

The friendly and professional staff contributed to the homey and comfortable vibe at Dollywood. We never felt rushed or bothered, making our experience truly enjoyable. We left with a deep appreciation for the genuine kindness of everyone we encountered.

As we plan our return to Dollywood next year, eager to explore what we missed the first time, we reflect on the incredible family memories we created.

Tips for Your Dollywood Adventure:

  • Communicate any food allergies to the staff for seamless accommodation.
  • Take advantage of the Centralized Measuring Area for kids to know ride eligibility.
  • Parent Swap is a fantastic option for parents with kids of different age groups.
  • Arrive after 3 pm, and enjoy the next day at Dollywood for free – an excellent deal!
  • Utilize the Package Pickup service to shop without carrying items all day.
In Conclusion:
If you're planning a trip to the Smokies, extend your stay and immerse yourself in the magic of Dollywood. Missing it would be a regret you don't want – trust us! For more information and trip planning, visit this page! 


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