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, 2021

Kid Friendly Nature Activities | Discover the Arboretum in North Carolina

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” – Gertrude Jekyll
While visiting the Asheville, North Carolina area we had a free day. We slept in a bit and just slowly got up to get ready for our day. I saw the Blue Ridge Parkway welcome center was open so we ventured there to see what fun activities we could do locally. While there I spotted a sign advertising the Arboretum. We didn't expecting anything, just quickly googled it and headed that way. I was very pleasantly surprised by this place. So much so, we spent the entire day here! 
I also realized we are drawn to Nature activities with our son as he gets older. This is a transition from the kiddy activities we used to do. Not saying Nature Activities are not for littler kids. I want to give some great ways to encourage Nature Activities while discussing our visit to the Arboretum! 
One of the most important things to me is spending quality time with my family. 
After parking ( there is no, you just pay for parking your vehicle), we made a quick stop in the office of the Arboretum. They had great kid activities (pictured above) laid out which included: a scavenger hunt and a fun nature hide & seek!
Kid friendly nature activities you can do:
● Have them experience art. Whether it is backyard art or art hung in your local museums. We found a wonderful area at the Arboretum for example, that housed artists work from the gardens. Some were photos, paintings and or sketches. This was such a great way to enter the Arboretum because it gave us some different view points. We also learned what the Gardens look like when the Seasons change.
 Let them grab a pamphlet to explore and navigate with. My son LOVES maps so he always picks one of these up. I encourage him to navigate our walks and to see what they offer to help facilitate what he wants to explore.  

● One of the best things to encourage Nature Activities in kids is to simply observe what nature has to offer. Let them pick out different twigs and leaves. We have a rule he can't pick up anything living though.
● Go hiking. It is simple, often free, and fun. The Arboretum had several great hiking trails around their property. We found it was a great way to spend our day. I have even found hiking tails in our area. Just bringing your children with you to walk can be so beneficial, I am sure I've mentioned this several times before! 
● Bring things for a picnic. I am sure every parent out there brings snacks when they travel anywhere! When we hike, we always pack a lunch as well. This particular day we did not have any real plans so we took advantage of the caf√© at the Arboretum. They have a nice seated area to sit, relax and eat some lunch. I will say this particular spot had a little wait time but you can order online to help with anyone getting HANGRY.
● Anytime you are able to extend your time outdoors with kids, by having a snack or meal for example helps tremendously. Use this opportunity to bird watch or talk with your kids about what they have seen or learned. We often play the "what was your favorite part" game and take turns all answering.
When I started noticing just how glued we are to electronics, I decided to do something about it (especially over the lock down this past year). Technology is great and it offers plenty of advantages, but I want my son to get outdoors and explore. That is exactly what we did! The Arboretum offers so many great things for all different ages. Some of the best takeaways we had as a family were:
ūüĆ≤ We all loved the Art
ūüĆ≤ The hiking trails were a great Nature Activity
ūüĆ≤ We loved the pace, rocking chairs and Mountain views
ūüĆ≤ ūüĆ≤ I do want to say I would recommend arriving early if you want to skip out on larger crowd gatherings. As well as plan because the area gets warm and if you have smaller kids they might not want to hike in high heats. Arriving early in the day helps eliminate high temps as well.
Getting out and enjoying nature is important. If you’re looking forward to getting out with the kids, try some of these activities. How do you enjoy Nature? 
What Nature activities do you do with kids (if you have them)?
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April 28, 2021

Low- Carb Chicken Wrap Recipe

I won't even lie, I saw this in a Facebook video! I love making "on the fly". It's a popular recipe I posted WAYYYYYY back when I first started this website. It is very similar to that but you fold the Wrap differently. WAHT?! I decided to give it a try and low and behold it makes cooking this so much easier!! Who knew? Have fun trip down memory lane and check out my OLD recipe here.
What you will need:
Low Carb tortilla shells
Baby Spring Mix
Chunky Salsa ( you can use any kind you enjoy)
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Cooked, shredded Chicken
Let me give you advice on how to construct these without anything falling out. You need to cut your Tortilla from the middle. You just need one slice and that's it. Next, make sure to place your spread (salsa or cream cheese) to the right of your slice. Next the lettuce, chicken and cheese. You can really add any toppings or filler you want just be sure to have the sticky or liquid to the right of your slice.
Simply fold up, fold to the left and then fold down. 
When you are done you will get a wrap similar to the one pictured above.
Spray your frying pan and place them in. 
I like to cook them until the cheese is melted and or golden brown.
Have you ever tried making wraps this way??
I get our Low-card tortilla wraps at our local Aldi.

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April 27, 2021

Big Dot of Happiness launched a new Heartiversary Product Line

"A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others".
 - Frank Morgan
I am so happy to live in a world where we can truly celebrate life's miracles. If you know someone who has needed heart surgery or any major surgery really; you know what a journey it is! The time they spent in doctor offices, seeing specialists, surgeries and their recovery. Always fighting for another day, these Heart Warriors look forward to their Heartiversary, which is the anniversary of a heart surgery  and can start your second chance at life. Big Dot of Happiness has just launched their new Heartiversary product line! I am all about spreading awareness and inviting you to do the same.
 
This post is sponsored in collaboration with Big Dot of Happiness. All comments and opinions are my own.
We got our Big Dot of Happiness care package the other day to help showcase celebrating these special victories. “Real People, Real Parties, with a Real Purpose”.
Little celebrations, like this, can truly make a difference in your life and in the lives of your family members. The journey of being in the hospital usually takes a toll both on the individual and family. Why not have a stress-free party by grabbing some of these already made products? They carry: Photo Booth Props, CHD Awareness Hanging Decor, Bunting Banners. Wine Labels, Coasters you name it!
● Explore & create your very own Heartiversary. We would love to hear your journey!
● Big Dot of Happiness donates 10% of every Heartiversary sale to the Children’s Heart Foundation. 
Big Dot of Happiness’ passion is creating Goose Bump Moments and memories that will last a lifetime! The designer party collections make it easier for everyone to be a Party-Throwing Hero. Life is one big celebration why not join in all the fun!
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April 26, 2021

A full review of the Nintendo Switch Pokémon Shield Game

“Even if you lose in battle, if you surpass what you’ve done before, you have bested yourself.” 
— Marshall
When I was young, we collected Pok√©mon cards and played video games on our Nintendo. We have come full circle since now my son is into the same things. Of course the technology has improved, which has upped the gaming worlds! As a Mom it is hard to keep up with all the new products on the market but my son helps with that!
“We were sent a copy of Pok√©mon Shield to help facilitate a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations."
He may have gotten a TAD excited when he opened this box and the new 
Pok√©mon Shield game was in it for his Nintendo Switch. He immediately opened it and put it to good use! 
Since he is the one playing Pok√©mon Shield, I felt he should review it for you. From my 11 year old's perspective:
Pok√©mon Shield is  both fun and exciting to play. Featuring new dynamax Pok√©mon and new Galar region Pok√©mon. Try to find out the mystery of the Legendary Pok√©mon Zamazenta. Unlike Pok√©mon Sword you try to find out the mystery of Zacian. Choose from the new Galar Pok√©mon starters, Scorebunny, Sobble and Grooky. Once you become a Pok√©mon trainer with help of your friend Hop, you can try and beat the Pok√©mon champion Leon. 
Have you or your kids played the Pok√©mon Shield game??
What are your thoughts of Pok√©mon games on the Nintendo Switch??
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April 25, 2021

Amanda Jo, Organic Bunny

If you didn’t already know, Amanda Jo, Organic Bunny is a beauty and skin care guru/enthusiast known for Organic Bunny. The goal is to provide eco-friendly products for those who love all things beauty, but don’t want to use harsh, harmful products that are bad for the environment. If you’re looking for a way to continue taking care of your skin while using high-quality products, it’s a great idea to check out what Organic Bunny can offer you.

Let me start by saying my skin is SUPER sensitive. Because of this, I need to cleanse it or I will break out. Luckily, with these products I don't have any sort of reactions. I also have combination skin which means it sometimes is oily and other times it is super dry.
This is a sponsored post with Amanda Jo, Organic BunnyThe opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Reasons to use products from Amanda Jo, Organic Bunny:

● Some beauty products contain harmful carcinogens that aren’t good for the skin. While they may look good, they can take a toll on your skin and overall health. Making a switch to green products is naturally better for you in the long run.

● There are products available for all skin types. You’ll find an extensive variety of products you can use to treat different concerns, such as signs of aging or acne.

● Organic Bunny has a huge line of products. Besides skin care products, you’ll find all kinds of makeup and products you can use on your hair.

● Being glamorous doesn’t have to cause you your health. If you’d like to make an eco-friendly change while continuing to look and feel your best, you can use the Organic Bunny products to your advantage.
If you love skin care products, hair care products, and even makeup, but you have concerns about the toxic ingredients in them, you might want to make the switch to Organic Bunny. If you’re going to give it a try, which product do you plan on using first?
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April 22, 2021

Spring Blooms at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

“Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.” – Luther Burbank
When researching the Asheville, North Carolina, every website and person suggested visiting the Biltmore. Built in 1895, this majestic American Home Estate is as beautiful in person as it is in all the photos on the inter-webs! We were lucky to hit the Spring bloom peak season just as things were warming up. Might I suggest booking your tour of the Biltmore Home in the morning. 
For so many reasons but manly to have the place practically to yourself!
When I booked our reservations online I did not realize I was signing up for the tour of the home. I fingered it was a slotted time to get within the 8,000 acres. That being said we arrived 30 minutes prior to our reservation and headed to Will Call. Because our time slot was 9:30am, we managed to get in, grab our tickets and find parking in LOT A. Even though we planned a head and arrived early we still didn't manage to get to the Biltmore Home by 9:30 ( closer to 9:45am). The tickets are good for thirty minutes around your time slot thankfully but its worth mentioning GO EARLY. Give yourself time to park and get through traffic! This place fills up so quickly. 
I took so many pictures while in the Biltmore but have decided to hold off on posting them. You pay a pretty good sum of money to visit, with that being said I think it's worth it if you see the rooms for yourself! 
When I say rooms, I mean ROOMS! George Vanderbilt's has a whooping 250 room home to take in. Including a indoor pool, bowling alley, several food pantries, statues and an elegant library I wish I could take home with me!
Since we were running a bit behind when heading to the Biltmore, I was unable to grab a ton of pictures before crowds entered. I did manage to grab this panoramic shot. It is so stunning words just escape me.
Spring Blooms at the Biltmore. I know many people flock to the Biltmore at Christmas time but I have to say the gardens are where it's at! 
Call me crazy but the tulip walls, Orchid collection and luscious designs by Fredrick Law Olmstead are were I spent the most time! 
Our son enjoyed the greenhouses. Not because of the flowers or plants but rather the railroads that are woven throughout. 
You will find the buildings constructed by the railroads made with materials found on the Biltmore grounds. A mix of creativity, artistry and garden symmetry. Just outside the Conservatory they have a food area. Their lemonade is AMAZING, get yourself some!!
We spent a full day exploring, walking, touring and taking pictures. Ate lunch in the open courtyard by the Biltmore entrance. This is were you will find restrooms, gift shops and some nice shaded areas if you need to escape the hot temperatures. 
I should also state while they have it posted EVERYWHERE you can't bring food, drinks or bags within the Biltmore. They only allow clear bags! So many people did not heed the large sign warnings so I wanted to mention this again. They do stop and check you and make you place your items in a clear bag. I simply carried my camera around my neck and left my wallet in my car. Once we were done touring I went to the car and grabbed my bags again. They do have some lockers you can use but those also fill up pretty quickly. I guess this goes hand in hand with be early, be prepared and plan ahead! 
Spring Blooms at the Biltmore
Have you ever visited the Biltmore Estate?
When do you prefer to Visit the Biltmore??
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April 20, 2021

Gain Confidence in High-Quality Clothing

Feeling confident in what you wear is important. Not only do you need to make sure your clothes are comfortable, but you’ll also need to make sure you feel good while wearing them. I am excited to see events start to open safely back up. Time to shop the Festival Outfits department! 
If you thought that dressing in high-quality clothing was expensive, it doesn’t have to be.
Take measurements, try different outfits on, and get a feel for which colors suit you best. Like slapping on a Femme Luxe Co. Bodycon
Midi Dress for example. Everyone should own one for the Summer time! Don’t hesitate to step out of the box and try new garments that you wouldn’t normally wear. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to fall in love with fashion while becoming more confident in your outfit choices. I never thought a Milkmaid Top would be flatter for instance and I was completely wrong.
How to feel more confident when wearing new clothes:

● Pair an Femme Luxe Co oversized button-up pocket shacket with a cropped tank top and high-waisted pants. The casual outfit looks great on women of all sizes. I worse this particular number (pictured above) to our local "Nailed it" competition and WON!! Just a group of the girls getting together to decorate cakes while spilling the latest tea!
● Try a Femme Luxe Co cropped denim jacket with a cropped t-shirt and high-waisted joggers for a relaxed and comfortable look and feel.

● Wear a Femme Luxe Co ribbed v-front top in a light color, such as pink, with just about any bottoms. Such a classic top can get paired with joggers, leggings, and even denim. You might even want to wear the ribbed t-shirt with the cropped denim jacket to complete the look.
● Keep it cozy and simple in a black Femme Luxe Co Grey Loungewear or the CoOrd Sets. The matching top and bottoms will keep you warm on a chilly morning while you go out for a jog or brisk walk. I like to wear this when we go out hiking. The weather here goes from 60 degrees just yesterday to 2-4 inches of snow today.

Believe it or not, it’s possible to find high-quality clothes at decent prices that are trendy and comfortable. Which clothes do you think you’d like most?

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April 18, 2021

7 Ways to Clean out your Clutter

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” 
― Joshua Becker
This time of year you will find us busy working on house projects. Nothing says bring on the nice weather then some music and de-cluttering the house. After months of looking at the clutter that has accumulated it is time to start organizing. I like to do this NOW so we can spend the rest of the Summer enjoying the great outdoors. Like any house chore, it is better to have a method to your madness so as not to feel completely overwhelmed!

**This is a sponsored post with Scott’s Liquid Gold. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
7 Ways to Clean out your Clutter:
1. Stay focused- if you are committing to clean out the fridge don't get distracted by the over piling of dirty dishes starring at you. Often times I get so distracted that I honestly forget why I go in rooms. By taking one task at a time I focus on the job at hand and can do it in more depth without distraction!

2. Use Cleaning Supplies- If you have any wood in your home I couldn't recommend Scott’s Liquid Gold Wood Cleaners more! Scott’s Liquid Gold Wood Cleaner and Preservative restores, preserves and protects all types of natural wood. Their new product One Clean Home, is a multi-surface foaming cleaner for wood and more.

3. Commit to house projects. While I won't lie to you this year I found out that we really slacked on house projects the past few years. Keeping up on daily maintenance would have saved us so much time, money, you name it!!

4. Start in one room and work your way to others. We have a toss basket, Sale box and what we will keep. As I clean, I also organize and sort items. By taking it one room at a time I don't feel overwhelmed.

5. Keep only what you use. While I know many of you collect things, try to limit what you keep. A few collectibles are great but if you keep EVERYTHING the clutter can really start to dampen your spirits. Personally, clutter upsets me and I get really frustrated when my house is very cluttered. A good clean always helps fix that. Plus, if you are not use it chances are someone else can!

6. Sell you stuff! There are so many ways to sell things you are not using. Try having a sale like we did this past weekend. We made $700+ after having a $5 everything you can fit in a bag on the third day. Not only does it get rid of all the stuff you are not using but it also makes you some profit for items that were literally collecting dust! If a sale is not your thing try places like Thredup, Ebay, LetGo App, Amazon or Facebook Garage Sale groups.

7. Be a more focused buyer. After clearing out our house this past month I realized I am not a very focused buyer. We have several duplicate DVDs because we had forgotten what we had when we were out at stores. From now on I will be a bit better at this because I don't want to have the as crammed as it had been before my massive clear out!

Do you Spring Clean??
How many of you have used Scott Liquid Gold products??
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April 15, 2021

Tips to have success when hiking with Kids | Chimney Rocks, North Carolina

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

My family and I have quickly fallen in love with hiking. Where we once booked vacations centered around beaches, we now search for places located by hiking trails and mountains. One of the reasons we choose the Asheville, North Carolina area to visit was due to their Hiking trials! Today, I will be sharing our adventures at the Chimney Rocks State park along with some tips for hiking with kids!
Chimney Rocks is basically a mammoth sized rock featuring panoramic views of the Hickory Nut Gorge. There are a few ways in which you can reach this 26-story attraction. Either by the convenient elevator provided or by hiking up the 500 steps to reach it. Let me just STOP right HERE and say we opted to hike up the stairs...
Would I recommend walking up the stairs with kids? Not particularly. In all honestly, I am not in the best shape after Covid-19. We hike sure but it's 500 Steps straight up. We had to stop, take water breaks, a snack break and I pretty much sweated out my weight. Afterwards, I truly felt I didn't need to hike it. I personally would have much preferred we rode the elevator up and walked the stairs down. We planned a full day at the State Park, so I think conserving your energy in the beginning is worth it! 
Hind sight is 20/20 so do what you feel works best for you.
As my son get older he seems to truly reap so many benefits from hiking. It’s therapeutic, calming, and a fantastic way to burn off both calories and excess energy! He and I felt such an accomplishment after hiking both the Chimney Rock and Hickory Falls trails on this day. It's something we still talk about so in the end it was a bonding experience. If you’re looking forward to doing the same, I have some helpful tips to consider.
Tips to have success when hiking with kids: 
● Make it fun. Sure, you’re walking around and taking a look at everything around you, but you want to make it even more enjoyable for the kids. Talk to them about the things you’re all seeing outside, engage in good conversation, and even play games, such as “I Spy.” 
● Choose an area that is beginner-friendly. You don’t want to take the kids on complicated hiking trails that will wear them out before they even get started. It’s better to start off with simple, easy trails. 
● Bring the essentials. It’s best to have each kid wear a small hiking backpack that would contain bottles of water and some snacks, such as a protein bar and trail mix. Be sure to have sunscreen for everyone to use to avoid sunburn while being out in the sun. 
● Make it a habit. Try to get into the routine of hiking a few times per week with the kids. Even if they’re skeptical about doing it at first, they’ll grow to love it just as much as you will.
● Hiking can lead to stress relief but also build a great future copying activity. If you children have strong feelings or are bottled up gosh get them out in nature on a trail. After we walk for a bit my son starts telling me all of the things going on with him. It's almost therapeutic and helps him with any strong emotions he might be experiencing.
You can have a great time hiking with your children. 
You’ll get to explore new areas while spending quality time outdoors. Which places would you like to visit most when hiking with the kids?
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