Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review of Wilderness at the Smokies Adventure Forest

Right outside the doors of the indoor waterpark at Wilderness of the Smokies is Adventure Forest.  Adventure Forest is a dry play area that features arcade games and activities for your family to enjoy in addition to the waterpark.  As most other waterparks are also set up you must enter the waterpark through Adventure Forest so if you don't want to pay the additional cost of Adventure Forest or do not plan on visiting Adventure Forest you may want to prepare your kids for this in advance so you don't get hit with it when you arrive.

Adventure Forest has additional costs associated with it and you can purchase activities, individually, by the day, or by the stay.  On our visit we chose the All Stay Pass which was $24.99 for kids under age 11 and $29.99 for those 11 and older.  We purchased our passes before we arrived and were able to get a buy three get one free special which we felt like was a good deal since we were staying a week.  

My kids favorite part of Adventure Forest is the Tree Top Towers.  Tree Top Towers is a three story rope course that kids complete while wearing a harness.




Probably a second favorite to the Tree Top Towers is Mount Wild an indoor climbing wall.

And another favorite was Howlin Hound Dog Alley a miniature bowling alley.  While this was probably third on the list for the kids it was number one for mom and dad.  


In addition the All Stay Pass included Copperhead, which is a laser maze, Daredevils  Drop, which is a small thrill ride for the littler kids, and two miniature golf courses, and an indoor golf course.  

Adventure Forest also features Fury in the Forest which is a blacklight laser tag game.  This is not included in the cost of an All Stay Pass and is $7.00 per game.

The kids did use their All Stay passes on this trip and enjoyed the games.  However, while I believe this was a good value since our stay was a week long, I do not think it would be a good value for a shorter stay.  In fact we are planning a short weekend trip to Wilderness at the Smokies and we will not be visiting Adventure Forest on our upcoming stay due to this fact.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

AYL Flashlight 900 Lumens CREE XM-L2 LED Tactical Flashlight Review

My husband is hard to please when it comes to flashlights, they aren't bright enough, the batteries go dead quickly, replacement batteries cost too much....the list goes on and on.  So when my husband decided he liked this flashlight I knew we had a winner!

This AYL 900 Lumens CREE XM-L2 LED Tactical Flashlight is small in size.  So small in fact that when we received it I was disappointed because I was sure that it wasn't going to be what we thought it was.  

However this small flashlight surprised me by how powerful it actually is.


Yes, that light is coming from this flashlight.  So this means that you can have a small and lightweight flashlight that is powerful.


Another great thing about this flashlight is that it comes with a rechargeable battery or you can use disposable batteries if needed.  The rechargeable battery holds its charge and lasts for quite a long time.

I did receive this item free of charge in exchange for my unbiased review.  All opinions in this review are my own.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

InstaNatural Glycolic Facial Cleanser

I was extremely excited when I had the opportunity to test out InstaNaturals Glycolic Facial Cleanser.  I am trying to make the switch to a cleaner lifestyle and this cleanser features pure ingredients and natural extracts with no artificial fragrances.
The Glycolic acid in this cleanser is a gentle exfoliator.  So while my skin did tingle a little when using the cleanser it did not feel as if I was using a typical exfoliator.

I noticed when using this cleanser it takes very little cleanser to do the job, so the container will last quite a while.  Making it a decent price at $20 per bottle.  

InstaNaturals promises the cleanser will give you younger looking skin and I believe it delivers.  My skin looks and feels amazing.  I will say that the fine print states that you need to use sunscreen when using this cleanser because it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.  Please pay attention to this because on the day that I used it for the first time I sunburned my face and that is quite unusual for me.

I did receive this product for free so that I could give my unbiased review of it.  The opinions in this post are my own and are not affected by this.

What I Wore Wednesday - July 27, 2016

As I have said the last few weeks have been devastating for me and I am trying to find my new normal.  For me I am doing my best to get back into my routine.  This means getting up and getting dressed even when I don't feel like it.  I am still not feeling it, and I think it shows in my pictures.

I only have two outfits to show this week and they are both work outfits.



Dress - Ralph Lauren, Somewhat similar dress



I love how red shoes can give a boring outfit a bit of pop.  And I had to wear my glasses thanks to my allergies.  I was not a happy camper.

Sweater - Target
Pants - New York and Company Similar
Necklace - Altar'd State


Sorry for the bad selfie but I wanted to show you my cute headband.  It was only $2 at Wal-Mart and I received all kinds of compliments on it.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: July 25-31, 2016

Menu Plan Monday is typically hosted by I'm An Organizing Junkie but she is taking a break for two weeks so there is no link up for this week. 

It's been a busy summer for us, and the last few weeks have been devastating for me (I will be writing about this soon but I am not there yet).  I need to get back to an organized plan and quit relying on my fly by the seat of my pants menu plan.

So here's what I have planned for this week:

Tuesday:  Red Beans and Rice

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Bolgonese Sauce with Dreamfield's Pasta

Friday:  Eating Out For My Birthday Dinner!!!

Saturday:  Going to a Friends House for a Seafood Night I am taking my Crab Cakes but will be making them with real crab meat instead of Imitation Crab

Sunday:  Your On Your Own

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Eight Girls of Instagram with Vintage Pinup Girl Style That You Should Be Following

I totally love the vintage pinup girl style and would love to incorporate more vintage style clothing into my own wardrobe.  For now I get my vintage pinup girl style fix through Instagram.  Here are four of my favorite people to follow on Instagram because of their amazing vintage pinup girl style!

1.  Miss Victory Violet - She has the most beautiful photos with her makeup and outfits always on point.

2.  Miss Hero Holiday - I love her classic style and her love of bright colors.  Her outfits are always of a classic vintage style.

3.  Sarah M. Palmer (pinuppalmer) - Sarah is one of my favorite Instagrammers for vintage pinup style!  She often tries to recreate the looks of actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but my favorite photos are those where there is a Disney theme (we all know how much I love Disney).

 4.  KirstieMyDear - One of the things I like best about Kirstie is that she fully embraces her body type.  She has no problem going against what the beauty standards of today are in order to love her healthy body.

5.  Emmy DeLight - I love how all of Emmy's pictures have a very vintage appeal and seem to transport you back to a different era.

6.  Diablo Rose -Diablo Rose is a stylist at a vintage hair salon and her photos are always full of fun.

7.  Amy (miss_amy_may) - I love Amy's style and her personality always seems to shine through in her photos.

A photo posted by Amy (@miss_amy_may) on

Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: Big Frame Competition Swim Goggles by Eve Shine

My son is an avid swimmer, I guess having a pool in your backyard will do that to you, and is a goggle snob.  He is constantly buying new goggles and the cheap ones just won't do.  So when we had a chance to review these Big Frame Competition Swim Goggles from Eve Shine we were excited.  I did receive these goggles for free in exchange for my honest unbiased review but this did not affect my opinion of them at all.  All opinions in this blog post are my own.

One of the first things he noticed about these googles is that they have a great clasp on the back and they are easy to adjust.  That is a big issue for him as he often has a problem getting his goggles adjusted correctly.  The clasp also made for an extremely snug fit, again a big plus for him.

He also liked how darkly mirrored they were and the UV protection that they offered because of how well they blocked the sun.   

Another big complaint for him with typical goggles?  Fogging up.  These goggles do not fog up with use so that was another huge plus in their favor.

And did I mention that they come with a hard shell protective case to store them in?

So if you are also a goggle snob or are looking for a great pair of goggles these might just be perfect for you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: New York Biology Retinol Moisturizer with Hyaluronic

Yesterday I reviewed New York Biology's Eye Gel and today I am reviewing their Retinol Moisturizer with Hyaluronic.

Like the Eye Gel this moisturizer is amazing.  I have been using it for a week and can already see the difference in smoothness.

New York Biology's Retinol Moisturizer uses all natural antioxidants like green tea and wheat germ oil and is made in the United States.

To use this moisturizer you simply apply it twice a day.  It's easy to apply and has the same pump top that the Eye Gel does.  Which makes for easy application and it dispenses just the right amount.  


And like the Eye Gel the container is huge so it will last a while, which makes it a great value.  

I did receive this product for free in exchange for my honest review, and this did not change my opinion of the product.  All opinions contained in this blog post are my own unbiased opinions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review: New York Biology Eye Gel

I love trying new products, especially beauty products.  I was given this New York Biology Eye Gel for free for my honest review.  All opinions in this post are my own, and are not at all influenced by the company.


I used the eye gel for seven days.  Here's what my eyes looked like at the beginning of the week


And here is what they looked like at the end of the week (please excuse the freshly showered hair)


I feel like the eye gel did make a difference in just the one week that I have used it and feel that with longer use it would make a big difference.  I noticed a smoothness along my forehead as well.  


One of my favorite features of the eye gel is the pump top which makes for easy use and it dispenses the perfect amount.

And just in case you are curious here is what the eye gel looks like.

One of the things I was most surprised at was the size of this container.  It was much larger than what I had expected.

You can order your own New York Biology Eye Gel on Amazon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Visiting the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial


This past weekend we visited the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City, Indiana.  The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is part of the National Park system and is built on the area where Abraham Lincoln's family lived during their time in Indiana.

The cost for admission to the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is $5 per person or $10 per family and is good for seven days.


We started our visit in the memorial building which features a museum with exhibits focusing on Abraham Lincoln's time in Indiana, a movie theater that shows a movie about his time in Indiana, and a gift shop.

A short walk from the memorial building is the Pioneer Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried.

From the Pioneer Cemetery you can take a short hike, about a half mile, to the 1820's homestead which is a living historical farm.  If you want to avoid the hike there is a road to drive up the homestead.


At the homestead you can view a bronze outline of the foundation of the cabin Abraham Lincoln lived in as a young boy.  


There are several buildings on the homestead for you to visit.  This is the cabin that is at the homestead and those pegs on the wall are the "stairs" leading to the loft of the cabin.


One of the favorite buildings for my boys was the woodworking shop.


Not only did the shop feature woodworking tools from the time period it also featured the pelts of several wild animals that would have lived in the area at the time Lincoln lived here.

From the homestead we took the Trail of Twelve Stones back to the memorial center.  The trail features stones from important buildings and places in Abraham Lincoln's life.  Which included this stone from the White House.


We found the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial to be a very educational trip and enjoyed our time there.  I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tipsaw Lake Recreation Area Campground Review

This weekend we decided to try a new campground and visited the Tipsaw Recreation Area Campground in Tell City, Indiana.  We based our decision on the website and mostly positive reviews.

The campground is divided into three loops.

We decided to choose site 3 in the Catbrier loop, as Catbrier was the RV loop and was supposed to be the nicest of the three loops.  It also offered electric and water hookups for $30 per night.


As you can see the site description looks amazing.  And most specifically it showed the site was paved.  

However when we arrived we were quite disappointed in our site.

This is our paved site.

I guess you can say technically it is paved, as there are pavers under the overgrown grass.  

The next big disappointment?  The fire pits.

Yes that is our fire pit and picnic table right next to our neighbor's fire pit and picnic table.  The way the sites are designed it is as if you are sharing the same site.  We could hear 100% of their conversations and they could hear 100% of our conversations.  There was no privacy at all.

Our neighbor's felt the same way and actually ended up leaving a day early because of it.

I don't like leaving negative reviews.  I almost always try to highlight the positives, but I also feel it is important to be honest and let people know what to expect.

I will say that the campground hosts were friendly and very personable.  They did their best to make your experience as good as possible.  The restrooms and the campground itself were very clean.  

The rest of the cons.  The campground is across the highway from the Branchville Prison.  We had no idea about this until after we arrived.

The other con.  The dump station.  The dump station is not located within the campground.  It is actually out of the campground, across the main highway, and located in front of the prison.  So if you need to make a quick trip to the dump station or have a portable dump tank you must leave the campground and cross the main highway to do so.  This is incredibly inconvenient.

So my opinion on the campground?  Unless you just absolutely need a campground to stay at in the area I would skip it.  I know a lot of people enjoy it but it just wasn't for us.