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11/20/14

#Review for @Dollywood #SmokyMountainChristmas

 
I am so excited to tell you about our trip to Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas!!

You can create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime! Dollywood is a 150 acre family adventure park in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Its mountain themed attractions, world class rides and award winning festivals and shows make Dollywood one of the top themed entertainment destinations in the US. Dollywood was so beautifully decorated with lights and decorations.


Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer comes to life with an exclusive visit to Dollywood this holiday season. You can meet Rudolph and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph's Holly Jolly Junction, a magical area where festive fun awaits.

 After meeting Rudolph and his friends, families can head to Clarice's kitchen to decorate custom Christmas cookies or even take part in a few reindeer games! How cool is that!!

Feeling hungry? There are so many places to chose from. We chose the Backstage Restaurant and were seated right away!! Their buffet had so much to choose from but our family favorite was the make your own mac and cheese!


We even had a visit from Santa himself!! This was a truly magical moment for the little ones as they couldn't believe that Santa was standing right in front of them! They told him what they wanted for Christmas and he reminded them to help out around the house, play nicely with each other and listen to their parents! Thanks Santa!!


After we ate, we couldn't wait to go see the groundbreaking production of Dollywood's A Christmas Carol, which uses holographic technology to bring Dolly Parton to the stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past.



Following the show, we were given a special area that served us hot chocolate, cakes and cookies while we watched the parade!

 
 
 
 
 
 
And what's a parade without Santa!!!!!
 
 
After the parade, my daughter was so excited to meet Miss Lillian! She told Emily a quick little story and gave her a penny to make a wish!


Emily asked her if she could take a picture with her and Miss Lillian say yes, but only of Chicken Little could be in it, too!


There is so much to see and do down in Dollywood!

 
Do your children love to squash pennies? I know mine do!
 
 
If you are looking for somewhere fun to go this holiday season, we highly recommend Dollywood - Smoky Mountain Christmas!!! You're whole family will have a blast!

This just melts my heart!

 
Our trip to Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas was provided by US Family Guide, all the opinions expressed are my own. 
 
Have a destination, location, or product you would like to be reviewed? Contact me, I would love to hear from you!
 
 

11/19/14

@Ripleys #Aquarium of the Smokies #Review

 
During our stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee we were given tickets to all 8 of Ripley's attractions. We started with the one right across the street from where we were staying, Greystone Lodge at the Aquarium!
 
Right when we walked in, we were blown away! There was a HUGE round fish tank that attracted my children right away. They loved that they could walk around the fish tank to see everything!
 
What I immediately noticed was complete organization. As people were coming in, they flowed down the hall. No one was bouncing back and forth to see everything, they just followed the leader and took their time to see all the exhibits. Instead of an open floor plan where you walk around all over here and then back over there and then back to where you started because you forgot to see something, you followed the exhibits one by one because they automatically took you to the next one without missing anything!!! Best part is... we stayed together as a family (that's a plus!!!).
 
 
My daughter (who's 6) couldn't wait to show us the funny face this little guy was making!
 
 
My 9 year old son was mesmerized with the jellyfish! He was talking about SpongeBob and all the jellyfish under the sea while my daughter was telling him about the jellyfish that Dory and Marlin had to swim through to get to Nemo! They both knew that the tops of the jellyfish were safe to touch while the side and underneath were not safe. They would get stung.
 
There was also a tank there that allowed you to touch the tops of the jellyfish. One of the workers that worked the jellyfish table was very informative and shared her knowledge with the kids. Seeing their expression while touching a jellyfish was awesome!!
 
 
The seahorses had rather large crowd around their tank. It was interesting to see them hold on to plants and rocks while they took a nap while the others were swimming around.
 
 
Now these sea dragons were beautiful! They were up close for everyone to see!
 
 
Now my husbands favorite part was walking through the tunnel with the sharks! You had the choice to walk or stand on a slowly moving belt that took you through the exhibit. If you wanted to step off, you could. Then, when you wanted to get back on... yep you guessed it. You just step back on. There was SO much to see and my kids loved that the sharks (and fish) would swim directly over you!!!
 
 
How cool is this!!! You can see all 3 of my children absolutely amazed at how close this shark is!
 
 
I believe that this stingray is larger then both my children put together!
 
 
In the middle of all that fun, there was a play zone for the kids. They got to touch some fish and play with some of the displays! They kids had so much fun!
 
 
These were my favorite! I could just sit here for hours watching them swim and interact with each other.
 
 
Just amazing!!
 
 
Have your kids ever wondered what penguins look like up close and personal! I couldn't get my kids out of this exhibit! They were able to look them in the eyes and my daughter blew them a kiss!!
 
If you come to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee then Ripley's Aquarium is a MUST SEE with your family!
 
Disclosure: I was given tickets for my family for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this post are honest and solely mine.
 


Visit #Gatlinburg Stay at The #GreystoneLodge At The Aquarium

 
We recently took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with the family to visit Dollywood (in Pigeon Forge) and see some other adventures in the city. While we were there, we were given complimentary lodging accommodations and I would just love to tell you about our stay!
 
 
The lodge is in a great location where the shops and trolley are easily accessible. Parking is located right outside your door. Just drive into the garage, park, unload and walk right into your building on the same floor your room is on. There is no lugging your belongings up and down elevators! That's a HUGE #Score for us being a family of 5!
 
 
When we got to our door, the kids couldn't wait to see inside. It was amazing! We walked in and noticed the rooms were very spacious. It didn't feel cramped at all. The rooms were neat and tidy and very well kept. I had to check out the balcony and the view was breathtaking! My daughter even asked if we could climb to the top of one of those mountains!!
 
Breakfast is served everyday from 7am-10am. They have a wide variety to chose from; cold cereals, oatmeal, toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy (my favorite), donut holes, juices, coffee and tea!
 
Directly across the street is Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies!
 
 
Read my review of the Aquarium HERE!
 
Overall, we had such an amazing time and we loved our stay. We will definitely be coming back really soon!
 
 
 
 
 



11/13/14

Baking Up Some Fun

 
This week my daughter is "Student of the Week" and she gets to bring in her favorite snack. What I love most about this is that she didn't choose something that was store bought (not to say there is anything wrong with that). I love to bake and when she asked for Cake Balls I pulled out all the choices.
 
She had a million different flavors to choose from. She said she wanted to pick vanilla cake with pretty green chocolate. And those sprinkles.... let me just say there's a lot going on!
 
We had such a blast making these and we will have even more fun sharing them with all her friends!
 
 


11/12/14

Dollywood - Smoky Mountain Christmas

 
 
Since we've moved here almost a year ago, Dollywood has been a place I have always wanted to take my family. What better time to go then for the Holidays!
 
 
Create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime! Celebrate Christmas in a luxurious cabin and take advantage of our exclusive Christmas Memories Pass package. Dollywood is a 150 acre family adventure park in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Its mountain themed attractions, world class rides and award winning festivals and shows make Dollywood one of the top themed entertainment destinations in the US.

 
 


 RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER VISITS DOLLYWOOD
FOR SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS NOV. 8- JAN. 3
Crowd-Favorite Dollywood's A Christmas Carol Returns

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. - With four million dazzling lights, award-winning entertainment and delicious food options, Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 8- Jan. 3) certainly features something for every member of the family. This year, however, it may be the festival's special visitors which put smiles on guests' faces.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the beloved Christmas television special, comes to life with an exclusive visit to Dollywood this holiday season. Guests can meet Rudolph and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph's Holly Jolly Junction, a magical area where festive fun awaits.
After meeting Rudolph and his friends, families can head to Clarice's kitchen to decorate custom Christmas cookies or even take part in a few reindeer games! Guests even can make their picture in a giant snow globe featuring Sam the Snowman.
 

 Returning this year is the groundbreaking production of Dollywood's A Christmas Carol, which uses holographic technology to bring Dolly Parton to the stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Last season, guests marveled at the lifelike appearance of Parton and the other holograms featured in the production.

"I'm so glad we're able to add Rudolph and his friends to our Smoky Mountain Christmas," said Parton. "With all of the beautiful lights and decorations, it truly is the most special time of year at my Dollywood. Why they're even going to bring back that hologram of me! I'm still not sure this world is ready for two Dolly Partons, but I'm excited folks can see 'the other Dolly' help ole Scrooge understand what truly makes the holidays special."

Parton's Ghost of Christmas Past, Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Present and Future are life-sized holograms, marking the first time four actors appear via the cutting-edge technology in the same theatrical production. This heartwarming tale about the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge features a 16-member cast, fully orchestrated musical tracks and period costuming.

A seven-time winner for Best Christmas Event, Smoky Mountain Christmas continues through Jan. 3, 2015. Operating days and hours vary; visit Dollywood.com for details.
Several other beloved shows return, including Christmas in the Smokies, An Appalachian Christmas, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, O' Holy Night, Christmas with The Kingdom Heirs and Carol of the Trees. Guests also can experience the nightly Parade of Lights, a festive procession of larger-than-life toys and characters, as well as Santa's Workshop, where the smallest guests can share their wish list with Kris Kringle.
Dollywood's popular Smoky Mountain Miniature Railroad returns with a multi-level display featuring several model trains snaking through an elaborate and beautifully decorated miniature landscape. This kid-favorite attraction pulls in to the station at the Wings of America stage in Craftsman's Valley.

Families can finish their visit with a traditional Christmas meal as several of Dollywood's menus feature holiday-themed items. Among the favorites are roasted turkey breast, Cades Cove pit ham, sweet tea baked chicken, sweet potato casserole and cornbread dressing. Holiday desserts available throughout the park include pumpkin pie, red velvet cake, sweet potato pie, pumpkin rolls and homemade fruit cakes.

Smoky Mountain Christmas guests can upgrade a paid one-day admission ticket to a regular 2015 season pass for just $30 (plus tax). Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a one-day ticket ($59) toward the purchase of a 2015 season pass. A season pass purchased during Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year's Christmas festival along with Dollywood's entire 2015 season. (A one-day ticket is valid for upgrade on the day of visit only.) Also, guests who purchase a Dollywood one-day ticket after 6 p.m. receive free admission to the park's next operating day.

-dollywood2014-

About The Dollywood Company: A highly awarded and widely recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood's Splash Country; Dollywood Cabins; and Dollywood's DreamMore Resort, scheduled to open in 2015. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry's highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 22 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA Today. Open nine months a year (late March through early January), Dollywood offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood's Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country's most beautiful waterparks and named 2009's Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dollywood Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. Opening in 2015, the 307-room Dollywood's DreamMore Resort will provide guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood's Splash Country. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

11/11/14

Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates

 
 
Time was when Marie Cavanaugh spent hours in her South Dakota farmhouse each Christmas season making pecan rolls and homemade chocolates for holiday gifting.

"It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe," Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. "I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.'"

Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets.

...In 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch.

"It was a difficult decision, especially for George," Mrs. Cavanaugh said. "He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy - and could compete with - those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates."
 


 Millions of pounds of chocolates later, Mrs. Cavanaugh's candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence....

 Ask chocolate aficionados. They will direct those seeking the best chocolates to the popular Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies. My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates use promo code: usfamily2014




Banz - The Protection Experts

 
 
Created in Australia, BanZ has a complete protection collection of sun safety products for children ages 0-12. Sunglasses, hats, hearing protection and swimwear are available in multiples styles and sizes as well as sunscreen, swim goggles and more.
 
 
Free Case & Sunscreen Sample - Use coupon code FREE at checkout to receive a BanZ slip case as well as a sunscreen sample.
 
 




New Games From The Haywire Group

 
 
Hey, it doesn't have to be that bad. Spending time with your family can be fun, especially if you have the right game to shake things up, get people laughing and enjoying themselves - and not talking about Grandpa's foot fungus! The Haywire Group has just the games for you, this award-winning game company has a great collection of fun family games including DICEcapades! 2nd Edition and Bodydoodles The Tatoo Guessing Game.
 
 
 
 


 
 
Now this looks like a cool game! I just know my kids would love this!
 
 

The Amazing Dream Team Pets #Review

 
 
Sleep is something that comes and goes here in our house. Some nights are better then others. I was given the opportunity to review the Dream Team Pets Magical Cat Bedtime Routine and it couldn't have come at a better time.
 


When the package arrived and we opened it up, my daughter's eyes quickly lit up with excitement when she say the pink kitty. She picked it up and told me how soft it was. This already sounds like the perfect pet to snuggle with in bed at night!!!

Next, we noticed that the cat came with a book and a sheet of star stickers. The key thing about this pet is the book that comes with it called, How to Train Your Pet. This title sparked curiosity with my daughter. The book is beautifully illustrated in a way that can help children relate to their bedtime struggles. The pet then earns a gold star throughout the training as does your child.

There was also a place in the back of the book that gives you an area to fill out with your new pets name, when they started their training, when their training was complete...

Each of these pets comes with a certificate of training so when my daughter has successfully completed her training and is sleeping well with Kitty, they will have both earned their certificate.
 
 
 
DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the product/s mentioned above to try however, all opinions are honest and my own and are not influenced in any way. No other form of compensation was received. I only recommend products I think are worth sharing. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255.


11/7/14

Banz - The Protection Experts




Created in Australia, BanZ has a complete protection collection of sun safety products for children ages 0-12. Sunglasses, hats, hearing protection and swimwear are available in multiples styles and sizes as well as sunscreen, swim goggles and more.
 
 Free Case & Sunscreen Sample - Use coupon code FREE at checkout to receive a BanZ slip case as well as a sunscreen sample.
 

100 Glow Stick Bracelets Review






My children were super excited when they heard that I was going to review Super Bright Glow Sticks! I told them we have to think of a million different uses for them so we can share the fun with all of our friends. They came up with some amazing ideas and I can't wait to share them with you so you can try them, too.

Amazon Description:

  • The best quality - Long lasting - Super Bright - Durable
  • Create super bright glowing bracelets, necklaces, glasses and more!
  • Includes 100 units - 8" long premium quality glow bracelets
  • Fresh from the factory- Ultra bright and long lasting!
  • Non-toxic and CPSIA Compliant - Premium Quality
Here are some of the idea my family came up with to use these Glow Sticks!!
  1. My oldest son suggested that we toss some in the bathtub and turn the lights out!
  2. My youngest son suggested that we blow up balloons and stick these glow sticks inside!
  3. My daughter always wanted a "firefly" jar. What we did was cut a few glow sticks and emptied them into a Mason jar filled with water. Once filled, we screwed on the lid and shook the jar up and turned off the lights. We loved how the water now glowed!!
  4. I suggested that we play a game of ring toss when the sun goes down. After dinner, we made rings out of the glow sticks and turned some cups upside down and tried to "ring" them around the cups!
  5. My daughter also suggested that we form a glow stick chain and use them to light up her bed at night! She had a lot of fun with this idea!

You can find this set of Super Bright Glow Sticks for $8.99 + $4.49 shipping!
 
 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

All Things Christmas and More Store

 
 
All Things Christmas And More is a family business for over 5 years now. They pride themselves on offering the best Christmas products around at an affordable price.
 
 
 
 They stock over 2,500 items year round and expand their catalog every year. This year new Was Halloween next year they are looking to expand and a carry a Spring and Summer Catalog.
 
This Holiday Season All Things Christmas and More is proud to offer FREE shipping on all order placed November 1st thru December 11th using code UFG