A Daily lifestyle website. Sharing the latest products on the market, Parenting stories, travel guides, and destination information you can use! Along my travels, I became a Certified Food judge so you can also enjoy Food related posts!

April 29, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Idea from Canvas Discount & Free Canvas Print Code

This is a sponsored post with Canvas Discount and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.) and in your social media shares (#ad).
We are just getting back from a whirlwind Spring Break vacation. I love to get away from the everyday grind and explore the world with my family. We end up bonding, sharing new experiences and taking LOTS of photos. Now that reality (AKA back to work) is hitting me hard, I can look back on our trip. So....here I sit, sifting through hundreds of photos to edit, then start writing my personal experiences, tips and reviews. I am missing my family already. We have been together for the past almost two weeks, kind of feels weird they are not around. To fight the loneliness I decided to meet my Mom for coffee at our favorite little Cafe` spot.
Would you believe that May is right around the corner? Mom and I realized this morning that Mother's Day is a few short weeks away. YIKES!! What can I get her?? We both have had a rough few weeks. Luckily for me, she is a photo fanatic!! Insert hundreds of photos I am currently editing seems only fitting I get her a personalized print of some kind. Today, I thought I would help you all out while I order my Mother's Day gift. Plus, share a FREE 8 x 8 (just pay shipping) Photo Canvas Prints!! Go thank the lovely people at CanvasDiscount.com who were kind enough to not only extend this offer but sponsor my collaboration with them!
My son had try-outs for our local Hockey team right before we left on Spring Break. During our vacation we learned he made the team (Goodbye Winter weekends)! What better way to commemorate this milestone by capturing it on a canvas for my mother and gifting it to her on Mother's Day! They have several different sizes to choose from on their website. Just head over and upload a photo you want personalized.
Fun Fact: You can even customize it with a message!! Right now they also have 89% off Mother's Day deals, all pints are ready to ship within 24 hours and they come with a 100% Money-back guarantee!! They also have great Home decor, photo books, coffee mugs, even personalized pillows to choose from if you aren't a Canvas photo fan. 
Want a FREE 8 x 8 (just pay shipping) canvas? 
Just use code: THEWESTERNCANVA here CanvasDiscount.com

April 23, 2019

Mallary Hope’s debut album Out Of My Hands Review

Excited to be working with Mallary Hope to spread the word about her new debut album "Out Of My Hands". She has been making music since I was nine years old!! Her passion, faith and positive outlook on life resonates through her songs. Everything about these songs have me feeling connected and upbeat in one manner or another. Sometimes it is just the ideal that " you are not alone" in this world that make you feel good! 
I grew up on Christian music from artists like Rebecca St. James, Sonicflood and DJ Talk. As I have gotten older I have passed my love of the genre to my son. Finding great artists is vital to fuel this passion. I hope you enjoy her album as much as we have, it comes out April 26th, 2019!!
This is a collaboration post, I was not required to write a positive review. 
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Mallary Hope’s debut album “Out Of My Hands” Track list:
1. You Will Make A Way 
2. Looking Back At Me 
3. 3:16 (No Greater Love) 
4. Pray With You 
5. Walking With The Light 
6. Me 
7. Out Of My Hands 
8. Lay It Down 
9. Love More 
10. Home To The Water 
11. Now 
12. My Love 
13. My God 
14. Yours 
15. Saving Me 
16. Lay It Down (Acoustic) 
17. My God (Radio Version)

My personal favorites are "Me" and "Lay it down".
Have you ever felt labels people have put on you or you’ve been judged for being who you truly are? Maybe you are fighting to not let your past define your future or you are just struggling to love yourself?? The song "Me" has the message of “It’s Ok To Be Me” and I love that!! We all struggle but with grace, faith and forgiveness we can move forward. Listening to this type of inspirational music is not only calming but puts you in the right frame of mind!
The other song that really resonates with me is "Lay it down". I carry so much of my past and present in my every day life. I worry, house regrets and just overall feel so alone at times. This song remind me "you are not alone" and to cast our troubles to Jesus for strength and guidance. 
"'Me' is a special reminder, even for myself, that I don’t have to change who I am or conform to the world to fit in. I am loved and am enough just the way I am. It’s easy to forget the beauty God created us for. I want this song to remind people of that beauty and to feel encouraged that ‘it’s okay to be me.’" - Mallary Hope 
What songs are you excited to listen to??
REMEMBER her album comes out April 26th, 2019!! 
Check it out here.

April 17, 2019

Hiking the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN

The Smoky Mountains have such a special place in our hearts. We found this little gem before it became the big touristy town it is today. While the area has so much to offer guests, I will say the Mountains are by far still our favorite part when traveling to Tennessee. The National Park surrounds three side of the Gateway city Gatlinburg so finding it is pretty easy. 
What is so fascinating about this particular National park? You can explore fantastic scenic views, historic homesteads, natural creations and splendid waterfalls that are simply breathtaking. 
There are over 50 marked trails, that you can find new things to explore each time you visit. 
Each trail is marked and you can bike, hike or some you can even drive through! Just stop at the Visitor's Center and they can help you plan your itinerary for that particular day/visit.
A few we have been luck enough to explore: Abrams Fall Trail, Rainbow Falls, Chimney Tops Trail and Cove Mountain Trail.
When we first visited the Smoky Mountains you could "Cliff dive". After returning last Spring (2018)  the area has been closed off due to drownings. This is a good time for me to suggest you do your research about the trails, swimming areas and pack accordingly. 
Wildlife lives here and they are not used to people. Whitetail deer, turkeys ,black bear and coyotes are frequently spotted here.  Keep alert and remember to keep your distance.
You’ll want to bring a camera, walking stick and a pair of binoculars, to see all the wildlife here at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you visit the Sugarlands Visitor Center they offer a free 20-minute orientation motion picture that provides an in-depth look at the Smokies. Natural history exhibits include mounted specimens of park animals in recreations of their habitats. 
You can also visit the Laurel Falls, a beautiful waterfall located off Little River Road. While I have pictures of this particular waterfalls I am not sharing it in this post because I really want you to experience it for yourself!
Ranger talks are provided daily they even do the Junior Ranger program. Which is a free and educational adventure programs that encourages animal explorations, scientific investigations and more. These programs are usually led by park rangers but geared toward kids ages 5-12. 
No matter how many times you visit this area each time will be different. If you are entering from Galinburg might I suggest leaving in the morning to beat the rush of tourists and stopping for breakfast at Crocketts Breakfast Camp!! This place is always packed so making a reservation is highly recommended. Bring with you lots of water, comfortable clothing, walking shoes, sunscreen, bug spray and a hat or sunglasses. 
Have you ever hiked the Smoky Mountains??
What trail is your favorite??

April 15, 2019

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

 I have been really trying new recipes these past few weeks. My dinner ideas have been overused since we stopped eating out as much. I take no credit for this tasty dish because I stole it after a dinner at my Mother-in law's house! You can make these bland or spicy whatever you or family enjoys.
 What you will need:
I found cooking my meat in the crock-pot saved time but you can brown/cook in a pan instead.
Enchilada Sauce 
dash of Salt & pepper (to taste)
2-3 Chicken breasts
Tortilla wraps
I found this Enchilada Sauce at Aldi. She uses Oretega and I honestly prefer that kind. This sauce was "ok" but more on the bland side. These are my opinions so please do what fits your family!
 Place chicken breasts and one can of sauce to your slow cooker. 
Place on Low for 4-6 hours.
Pour the other can of Enchilada can in your oven pan. Once the chicken is cooked place in your tortilla wraps. Roll them up and place on the sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes at 365 degrees.
Have you ever tried Chicken Enchiladas before??
Let me know in the comments how you make it or what sauce YOU use!!

April 5, 2019

Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA

Eastern State Penitentiary
Today I am rather excited to write my thoughts on a place we have wanted to visit for years, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA! My son has been a very timid boy ever since he was real little. This changed while in Pigeon Forge after we visited a Prison themed Museum, the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN. He was completely upset with the idea and had a pretty good meltdown before we even went in. With A LOT of convincing he finally decided to give it a go. It ended up being the BEST attraction we visited on that particular trip! As we were walking around he spotted a picture of the Eastern State Penitentiary. He literally drug me over to the photo of the prison cell and made me promise to visit if we ever had the chance.
Eastern State Penitentiary entrance
 Secretly we have wanted to visit for some time so that was an easy "compromise". The Eastern State Penitentiary is located in downtown Philadelphia. If you are visiting the area enjoy my Helpful Guide To Philly here. We arrived via a bus tour because it was a rather long walk from our hotel.
They will offer you headsets to narrate your walking tour before you enter. These allow you to walk around at your leisure and giving you all sorts of history. If you have little one's I would suggest picking up a "Scavenger Hunt" pamphlet, pictured above. Since it was EXTREMELY hot the day we visited we ditched lugging around three sets of headsets, took only one and participated in the "Hunt" with our little guy instead.
Eastern State Pen
This particular prison was made to "straighten" even the most villainous inhabitants out. With their concentrations on therapy of pure isolation. Each cell mate was given a bible. Unfortunately, most of them lacked the ability to read and basically went mad from no social contact. In some parts you can almost feel the eerie isolation that haunts these depressed walls. 
 If you are planning to visit I need to stop and suggest a few things. This is a POPULAR destination. Crowds of people come here. Coming in non-peak hours would be your best bet on beating the LARGE crowds. We selected the very opening of the prison and had the place pretty much to ourselves. If you are not a morning person try picking times when people usually eat. Although if it is a humid day plan to go early. It was 100 degrees the day we went. While they have 2 air conditioning rooms the prison itself is STUFFY, STICKY & HOT!! 
Bringing water to stay hydrated isn't such a bad idea either.
I suppose you could argue it gives you the authentic feeling of what is was like for the inmates but if you are like me and would rather skip the heat waves just plan accordingly!
Eastern State Penitentiary cell
 The cells are pretty small. Some areas allow you to walk in them while others are to deteriorated and would be a safety issue.
 We enjoyed the different displays around the different wings of the prison along with all the decay. 
 You really could spend hours just walking around this place.
 Getting lost in all the rubble....
While in the A/C controlled rooms we planned out where we would find our next challenge piece from our pamphlets. It was so much fun because they are not as easy to find as you might think!
 What hit home a few times was talk of the young prisoners. Having a son myself, it was very hard to see the places where they were kept. Luckily the employees tried to lighten the mood by allowing him to open different cell door locks with old keys that were once used.
Eastern State Penitentiary hall view
 I am extremely glad we went as a family. 
We learned a lot about the area, the prison life and consumed so much history!
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA
If you like creepy, prisons full of rich history this is a MUST see!! It will NOT disappoint you in my opinion. Worth a visit if you are in the area. 
Have you ever been to the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA??
Let us know about your visit in the comments below!!

April 3, 2019

25 Historical Shows on Netflix

Anyone else enjoy learning about our history? Before we visit an area I enjoy brushing up on the area. Since my son is school age we make it a family affair. Together we learn all sorts of things. So enjoy some of the Wondrous History Shows on Netflix.

1. The Crown
2. Untold History of the United States
3. Empire Games
4. World War 11 in Color
5. Roman Empire
6. Civilizations
7.  The Pyramid Code
8. Lincoln
9.  Vikings Unearthed
10. History's Greatest Hoaxes
11. Secrets of Great Britain Castles
12. The Civil War by Ken Burns
13. Auschwitz The Nazi and The final solution 
14. The Royal House of Winsor
15.  Weird Wonders of the World
16. Inside the Freemason
17. Hiroshima The Real history
18. Hitler a Career
19. The Truth behind Atlantis
20. Secrets of the Tower of London
21. The World's worse Disasters
22. Bobby Kennedy for President
23. Treasures from the Wreak of the unbelievable
24. Secrets of Westminister
25. D Day
Do you have a favorite History Show or Movie?
Let us know in the Comments!
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