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6 Statement Pieces You Need to Transition to Winter

When it comes to winter outfits, organizing your closet can be a bit tricky, especially when you live in Florida, but still travel up North. Between cute sweaters, puffy coats and big boots, it doesn’t take long for things to feel cluttered. Especially when fall weather lingers long enough to keep you from having to break out your warmest coat and thickest scarf for a little longer.

Transitioning from a fall to winter closet is (thankfully) easier than you might think! In fact, there are a few pieces you can incorporate into your pre-winter wardrobe to make the change even more seamless. These pieces are versatile, customizable and add a touch of boldness when worn with multiple different cold-weather looks. 


Here are six statement pieces you need to transition to winter

1. Leather Leggings: A pair of stretchy leather leggings has the power to take your outfit from athleisure to an elevated and trendy fall look. Leather (or vegan leather) leggings make a statement simply because they are made of a different fabric than regular workout or fashion leggings. If it’s starting to get colder, it’s easy to stay warm in regular or fleece-lined leather leggings. Many of these will even have a slimming effect on the body as well. These shiny statement leggings look great with an oversized sweater, chunky boots and edgy jewelry! 

Seriously, leather and faux-leather leggings are becoming the must-have for Fall 2021.

2. Bold Coat: While it might not be your most practical piece of outerwear, a great-fitting coat in a bold color or print will help you transition to the winter months with ease. This is especially great for those of you who are looking to add some color variation into your winter regimen. As fall leaves change color and autumn foliage thrives, take some inspiration from your surroundings and go for a coat that includes your favorite bright fall color. This might be a rich orange, jewel-toned plum or even a plaid print that includes both neutral and statement colors. Wear this to liven up a skinny jeans and turtleneck combo or over your favorite little black dress.

3. Big Winter Bag: While summer is all about beach bags and bright-colored clutches that complement white outfits, fall and winter fully embrace the inclusion of a big statement bag that carries everything you need. Even if you’re still wearing summer closet leftovers into fall, just add a big, dark-colored purse or tote into the mix for instant fall vibes. The result is a weather-appropriate look that doesn’t have to be all black. As the weather continues to get colder, you might think about pairing your wintry bag with a trendy jacket in a dark fall color and some over-the-knee boots.

4. Black Booties: Speaking of those over-the-knee boots, sometimes it’s best to ease into the winter season with a pair of shorter boots. Black ankle boots are a great way to make a fall statement that will stay in your closet all winter long. With an array of different shapes and styles, there’s a short black boot out there for just about everyone. For a casual, everyday look, pair your short boots with a blazer and a baseball cap (which might become your winter errand-running wardrobe). To elevate things a bit, throw on your short boots with a long slip-inspired dress.

Bold, patterned cardigan sweater 

5. Investment Sweater: What’s any fall wardrobe without a good sweater or two? On the other hand, however, too many sweaters in your wardrobe can take up a lot of space. Instead of spending your hard-earned dollars on a bunch of “meh” quality sweaters, think about investing in fewer of them with better quality. Having a handful of well-made cute sweaters is not only noticeable to you when you wear them, but you can also count on them to last through more seasons than those made from cheaper material.

Black, grey and other staple colors are great to have as basics in your wardrobe, but a sweater in a bold statement color or versatile print will take you from fall to winter effortlessly. Make sure to choose a comfy, high-quality fabric that won’t pill or lose its shape after a few wears. Wear it on its own as the weather starts to cool down and through the winter as a colorful layering piece as well. If you live in warmer climates, a long cardigan with a bold print will work well over just a fall t-shirt or a long sleeve shirt. 

Fall statement hat paired with brown leopard print sweater

6. Bold Hat: Make a statement with a simple yet fun accessory by adding a hat to your fall and winter wardrobe. If you’re new to the hat game, you can try playing around with different hat styles like knit beanies, wool berets or even a structured wide-brimmed fedora. Hats are a great way to spice up your fall-to-winter outfits, plus they can work wonders at hiding a bad hair day. Add a colored hat to a monochromatic outfit or as a way to elevate your jeans and sweater look.

6 Statement Pieces to Transition Wardrobe to Winter


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How to Decorate Your Party With Balloons: Top 7 Ideas

Are you planning a fun and memorable holiday or event? Nothing is easier than using balloons to decorate your venue for a great celebration for all ages. They are ideal for adorning any type of room, entrance, creating a festive atmosphere, and giving joy. Here are the best ideas on how to decorate a party location with balloons.

Floor Decor 


Balloons scattered on the floor look aesthetically pleasing and dream-like. They can be used to embellish a dance floor, stage, or photo area. You don't need to inflate the festive items with helium. Such floor adornment can be an excellent solution for a prom or dance. Air-inflated latex products look festive as arches and columns, give a sense of lightness, and don't constrain guests' movements.

But if you don't like the look of scattered, loose balloons, you can try air bouquets from mylar and latex items. Just don't forget to use balloon weights to hold these bunches in place. They also come in many pretty colors and designs too. 

Making an Entrance 


If you want your guests to know right away that they're in for some unforgettable fun, add a cascading garland of inflatables consisting of several elements. Consider mixing at least three different materials to increase the complexity. Extra details such as ribbons or a beaded fishing line will add depth and texture to the composition, making a standout component even more special. Use a variety of air products of different colors.



Emphasize a Festive Table 


Hanging balloons over the holiday table is popular as the main decoration of the event. The low-established helium items help create the illusion of a cozier and more intimate setting, perfect decor for an outdoor wedding ceremony, as well as a small apartment because they don't take up a lot of space.


Balloon Signage 


Transparent helium balloons with personalized inscriptions are great for birthday parties and custom events, while black foil balloons and gold lettering on them give a more formal atmosphere to an adult party and can point the way to the bar too. Consider getting ones that say "Drinks" by the cocktail bar,  paired with a champagne-shaped balloon, or martini, beer stein, etc. On Etsy I found ones that say Candy Bar and Photo Booth too.  



Photo Walls 


If you are trying to fill a large empty space or make a fantastic photo zone, use hundreds of balloons placed on a blank wall. Flower walls can increase the costs significantly, so this is a more affordable option for a backdrop. In that case, it's better to order air party items because they can easily match any color scheme, and a combination of different sizes and colors can compliment any part of your decor. 


Hanging Adornment


You can't help but notice that adding inflatables and fresh flowers to any event turns it into a party. If you fill the ceiling with helium goods, you create a dome effect. Here you can make individual strands or a bunch of strands on each balloon or mix and match different materials, such as velvet ribbons.

Masking Venue Problem Areas 


Imagine you've booked a great party spot, but there's tattered wallpaper or a soot-covered fireplace. A giant balloon construction will help cover up any flaws in the event. So-called concealer, but for interior design. It's very convenient and doesn't require much time and expense. Balloons can solve any problems in decorating the site for any celebration.


Don't Forget To Choose a Color Scheme   


There is an incredible number of options for decorating a venue or party. The main thing, before you decorate a room or banquet hall with balloons, don't forget about harmony. Especially choosing a color scheme. If the room itself is bright, you should not add a lot of multicolored stuff, as it will make your eyes tired. And on the contrary, a dull and grayish apartment will be enlivened with cheerful balls of all colors of the rainbow. Metallics and neons are quite popular right now too. 


7 Ideas to Decorate Your Party With Balloons


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Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Less than an hour from Knoxville airport, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville in Tennessee provide the perfect family vacation destination. 

Families will have plenty to do from scenic views of the Smoky Mountains to the many outdoorsy activities and popular tourist attractions. Not to mention amazing Southern food and moonshine. We've been back twice and still have so much more to explore and try. 



What to do in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

This is the most visited national park in the country for a reason. There are forest trails and waterfalls and it's all free to visitors, no entrance fee required. Just please be respectful with litter so this can stay a natural treasure. Do check out the Grist Mill and Visitor Center. 


Hiking Trails 

There are too many to mention, but Laurel Falls Trail or Roaring Fork are very scenic and include waterfalls. 


Anakeesta 

Soar up to Gatlinburg’s highest point at Anakeesta, a unique treetop theme park and observation tower with 360 views of the Smokies and Downtown, plus zip-lines, canopy walks, yummy BBQ, a play area for kids and mountain coasters. 

If you have young ones too small to stay on the open-air ski lift safely or if you are afraid of heights, they also have closed-in gondolas available or a Ridge Rambler truck ride to the top option. If the lines for the lift and gondolas are long, which they were for us, you can save yourself a lot of waiting around by going on the Rambler, which had a very short wait and then take the ski lift back down after. 

Also, you may want to consider going in the morning before it gets too hot and then come back again in the evening for a drink as your ticket is good for the entire day with unlimited rides up. 

TIP: Prepay for your ticket online and you can skip the ticket booth line at the bottom. You can also purchase Express Lane tickets and bypass the lines up. 


The Titanic Museum 

I know, what does Pigeon Forge, Tennesse have to do with the tragic ocean liner? Nothing, except the world's largest Titanic Museum with hundreds of collected items, photographs, audio recordings and facts on display. The building itself is shaped like the bow of the ship. Upon entering, you're given a passenger name, which class they were in, and a little background on them, and at the end of the self-guided audio tour, you can check the listings of survivors to see if your person lived. 

My boys are really interested in the Titanic so they loved being able to discover more and put their hands in a touch-tank to experience the 23-degree water that the poor passengers had to plunge in. We learned new things like that the Captain's dog was named Ben (my son's name), that they had a kosher menu available, and that there was only one Black man on board. We also saw pictures and documents never seen elsewhere. 

TIP: In order to board, make your reservation ahead of time online. 


The Island at Pigeon Forge


This is the perfect spot to spend your evening! Simply look for the large Ferris Wheel in the distance and you'll find this touristy "island," which is very much like its own theme park, but with no entrance fee. Parking is free too and they have trolley stops to bring you to the main center where you'll find restaurants, bars, rides for the kids and much more. 

Try and snag one of the many wooden rocking chairs around the Island Fountain and catch the water shows programmed to light and music, which happens every 30 minutes beginning at the top of each hour and on the half-hour. 

We always go to Old Smoky Moonshine store here for a $5 moonshine tasting and eat at Paula Deen's Family Kitchen. While we waited for our table to be called the kids played on The Island Ropes Course. Last time, they went on The Great Smokey Mountain Wheel. 

Moonshine Distilleries and Tastings


Tennessee has long been a leader in producing distilled spirits like moonshine, which is corn whiskey and it comes in many flavors. Throughout the county, there are moonshine distilleries and storefronts that offer free tastings or for a nominal fee. Although this is for the grown-ups, my kids came along each time and played with their iPads or looked around the gift shops while we partook in this adult-time tradition. It's usually only around a half-hour or so and perfect before dinner.  

In downtown Gatlinburg near Anakeesta, you'll find the Tennessee Shine Company, by the Old Mill there is Old Forge Distillery and the very popular Old Smoky Moonshine at The Island in Pigeon Forge. We tried them all during our 5-day trip and still have others to visit next time. 

Dollywood


You can't come to this area and not go to what put the place on the map, Dollywood! Nestled into the Smokies, this theme park is so unique and not to be missed. I absolutely adore it and my boys had a blast too. 

This time, we also spent a day at Dollywood Splash Country Waterpark too. 

Oh, for fellow Dolly fans a statue of country singer Dolly Parton, a Sevierville native, can be found in downtown Sevierville by the 1896 beaux-arts–style courthouse.

Where to Eat in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Local Goat- farm to table fresh.

Paula Deen's Family Kitchen - The food here is sooo good. Everything is served Family Style and my kids always eat so well here. 

Junction 35 Distillery in Pigeon Forge. Great food and on certain nights entertainment. 

Smoky Mountain Brewery - Good eats and local brews! 

Alamo Steak - Always a great steak and a great lunch menu. 

The Old Mill - Established in 1830 this is a historic spot with delicious southern food. However, wait times can be up to two hours. Do not let this deter you though, just arrive before you're hungry, get on the list and then explore the quaint village, which has stores, moonshine tastings at Old Forge Distillery, an ice cream parlor and a candy shop. Plus, you can get up and close to the mill for some wonderful photos. They offer tours regularly too, which you can sign-up for in the gift shop. 


Bennett's BBQ - Where the locals get their BBQ!  You can also purchase to go and take back to your cabin or lodging to eat on the porch, etc. 

Cielito Lindo - Genuine Mexican food, don't let the outside fool you. 

Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg.  Great breakfast, but arrive early or go at 11 a.m. to avoid crowds.  Their orange/walnut pancakes are amazing.


More Blog Posts for Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg





Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge - where to eat and see


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Dollywood Splash Country Water Park Guide

Dollywood's Splash Country is a 35-acre water park located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains and next to Dollywood theme park. Voted a Top 10 Outdoor Water Park by USA Today Readers, Dollywood's Splash Country has slides, pools and splashes for every age.

To enter, drive through the same parking entrance gate for both theme parks, but then after you pay at one of the toll booths, it forks to either Dollywood or Splash Country parking areas.  

Tips for Visiting Dollywood Splash Country Water Park

Pack Towels 


This might be obvious, but maybe not. Unlike a hotel where towels are supplied, you will need to bring your own beach towels. However, if you forget or don't have any beach towels with you on your trip, at the Ticket Office and several locations throughout the park they offer Dollywood Splash Country branded towels at a reasonable price. It’s two towels for $25. 

Claim a Locker Near the Mountain Waves Pool 


Rent a locker when you visit Dollywood's Splash Country and have the ease of mind while you are enjoying all the park has to offer. Stuff your shoes, towels, bags, sunscreen, etc. They offer three different sized options available all day for the same price and not by the hour: standard size lockers are $10, large size lockers are $15 and jumbo size lockers are $20. Lockers are located throughout the park and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Cash (exact change) and credit cards are accepted for payment at the machines in front of the locker banks and you will be assigned a number and you can set your own pin, so no need to worry about holding on to a key. We kept coming back and forth to our Medium locker throughout the day, it was so easy. 

For the best central location and availability go with the lockers by the wave pool, as the lockers at the very front of the water park are further from the main slides and pools and the one in the center near the food court is usually full and crowded.

Eat Beavertails®


The must-have dessert in Splash Country is a yummy Beaver Tail and it's delicious. It's hot, flattened fried dough with different topping choices such as chocolate hazelnut spread topped with Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter or a classic flavor like Cinnamon Sugar, or Smores. 


The hard part was deciding on a flavor/toppings combo. Also located by the Mountain Waves pool, the Beaver Tale stand opens during lunchtime and usually has a line, but it moves quick. 

Bring a Waterbottle


Save money and plastic, by bringing your own empty water bottle and fill it at the many water filling stations throughout the waterpark. Thank you Dollywood for having these! 

If Needed, Ask for a Rain Check


If park operations are interrupted because of severe weather and your stay is shortened, you can request a Rain Check—just ask. Rain Checks are distributed at any ticket window and are valid until the end of the season. They will not be distributed just because it rains though. 

Life Vests Are Provided & Life Guards Exceed Expectations



Life jackets are provided at no additional charge and will be required for non or weak swimmers and small children at the direction of the Lifeguards. But water wings, flotation seats or bubble packs may not be used. You can grab one of these life vests by the Mountain Waves pool and other areas throughout the park. 

Parents will be relieved to know that Dollywood’s Splash Country lifeguards are among the best in the industry and are certified through Jeff Ellis & Associates, a company that specializes in international aquatic safety and risk management consultation across the globe. E&A not only teaches lifeguards the skills needed to keep guests safe at a water park, but they also audit the guards at these facilities through unannounced observations three times a season! That will keep anyone on their toes. 

Baby Care Centers Are Available & Swim Diapers


Dollywood’s Splash Country offers two Baby Care Centers for those with little children. One is in the Cascades and the other is in the Big Bear Plunge areas. Each facility offers a climate-controlled environment with: one glider and footstool, baby changing station and sink. Swim diapers are available at the Riverside Trading Post for purchase too. 

Save Time with a Fast Pass


Like Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash County offers TimeSaver H2O line passes to avoid long lines at select rides. Highly recommended on the weekends or holidays. 

On Saturday's Enjoy Splash Bash Live


Enjoy a live band that plays at the wave pool on Saturdays for Splash Bash Live.


Reserve a Retreat 


Dollywood Splash Country Riverside Retreat

If staying all day, which you should, you may want to consider renting a retreat, canopy of lounger for ultimate comfort for families. With covered seating, satellite television, storage, ceiling fans, and food delivery service, the private and spacious Waterside or Riverside Retreats are the envy of most guests. Each unit offers 200 square feet of shaded space, or you can soak up the sun on the additional 100-square-foot sun deck. Accommodates 8 guests for the day for $190 (additional guests are $10 each, max occupancy: 10). 


Retreats or canopies are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Make reservations as far in advance as possible—especially for busy weekends and popular summer holidays—to enjoy this incredibly popular amenity! For a lounger, you can simply check the window inside the waterpark to reserve. 

Young Kids Will Love Bear Mountain Fire


If you have children too young or tiny for the bigger rides and pools, Little Creek Falls and Bear Mountain Fire Tower are the perfect splash pad areas for them with lots to offer. 


Bear Mountain Fire Tower is a multi-level interactive attraction with seven slides and water cannons and a gigantic bucket above that unleashes 1,000 gallons of water! It's really buckets of fun for the entire family ;) 

Ride RiverRush


It was my favorite and perfect for my family of four to all ride and enjoy together. Tucked away in the back of the park RiverRush® is Tennessee's first and only water coaster! Get ready for the next generation of water coasters as RiverRush races through the trees four stories in the air as you experience four drops along 1,175 feet of track that thrills with multiple hairpin turns and dark tunnels—all combined with rushing water. It's everything you love about a traditional land coaster—powerful climbs, twists, turns—with more than a splash of water. Plus, it looks like you're riding a banana, lol. 


Dollywood Splash Country Water Park Tips

More Dollywood Theme Park Tips:


5 Ways to Save at Dollywood


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Minimalist Tips for an Amazing Baby Shower Event


Baby showers can be expensive if you don’t know some minimalist tips and tricks. Without spending lavishly, you can also make your event wonderful with a cheery environment. See tips below for affordable ideas to set the scene. But remember, your guests are the only ones who can make your event more spectacular and memorable. So keeping this in mind, this digital blog has been crafted to show you some cool and authentic tips.

Essentially, the theme is what can make your event memorable and classic. Find one that resonates with you and then carry it over to the decorations, food, favors and games. 


5 Minimalist Tips That Can Impress Your Baby Shower Guests

  1. Pick a theme: A theme can help a baby shower memorable in years to come. It's what I recall most from the ones that I attended and what guests are eager to see and be delighted with. It doesn't have to be child-like either. 

    Since I was having twins and love tea, I went with a Tea for Two theme.

    One friend of mine kept it nautical from the tables to the cake.

    My cousin recently had a lemon theme and it was bright and colorful and was carried throughout the decor from the napkins to lemon-scented soap to even the mom-to-be's dress.


  2. Personalized Photo Frames: These are one of the most trending baby shower favors that you can purchase to woo event guests. They are cheap and are available with customization i.e. you can add text like your name, event date, or other special instructions to make it a memorable favor for the guests. You can also attach photographs of the event or venue before giving them to the guests and later they can add your baby's photo. 


  3. Rent your Maternity Dress: I didn't want to buy a fancy maternity dress, just to wear it one time or spend all that money and not feel elegant enough. I took a chance and rented a non-maternity dress from designer Jay Godfrey ($395 retail) at Rent The Runway and luckily it paid off. I looked for a style that was free-flowing and this cape-like draped dress worked perfectly. I chose a vibrant blue in honor of my future boys and I felt super chic and received tons of compliments. Le Tote has a maternity-specific service too. 


  4. DIY Favors: Are you crafty, handy, then consider making a personal favor for a truly unique favor.  Even if you're not crafty you can order lots of handmade items on Etsy or stickers and kits to make your own gifts. The favor can be food too, cookies you've made, specialty candy or popcorn, etc. 



    25 DIY Baby Shower Favors



  5. Metallic Bottle Openers: If you are looking to buy something special and handy, then you must check these fun baby shower favors. With sensible metallic finishing, these bottle openers are available in baby bottle shape that you can customize to include the event name and date. Your guests will love to carry them home and use them to pop open different kind of bottles ;) 

Conclusion: While these 5 tips are truly magnificent to add smiles to your guests' faces, at the end of the day, if it's something you're proud of that is the most important factor as it's your big day. 


5 Minimalist Tips for a Baby Shower

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Top Tips For A Thrifty And Safe Online Shopping Spree


Add to cart, click!, sound familiar? Online shopping is a growing trend and has become especially prevalent during these times. A survey from Jungle Scout even reports how 43 percent of consumers would prefer sticking with online shopping than stepping into a physical store ever again (me included!), with 73 percent believing that most shopping would be done online in the future. 

What makes online shopping so popular is the convenience it provides allowing people to make all their transactions with just a click of a mouse or a swipe of a finger. Aside from letting you buy from the comfort of your own home, you can easily browse through a wide variety of products. The buying process is also faster, which helps when you’re in need of any last-minute gifts. To add to your online shopping experience, here are some tips and tricks to make shopping easier and safer.

Save money with discounts 

A popular method of getting some decent discounts for your online shopping is through coupons. Some online stores like to give out coupon codes for customers to avail, but another possible alternative is to search up the website’s name in coupon sites online. You can keep a lookout for any available promos from websites like wadav coupons are also worth considering. Websites or apps also like to give a reward system where you can redeem rewards based on certain actions or how many points you’ve gotten so far.

Always check the shipping info 

Before you hit the checkout button, it’s also important to check the shipping costs first. Sometimes the total amount for your purchase can end up being more costly than buying from a physical store because of the shipping fees involved. Use the site's shipping calculator to see what kind of charges and fees they may have that can let you understand their services better. Some online sites like to offer free or discounted shipping during the holidays on selected items, and they also sometimes offer discounts if you’ve bought items over a certain amount. You can take advantage of those deals to avoid making a huge dent in your wallet.

Watch out for scammers 

Not all online stores on the web are perfectly safe, so it’s also important to be watchful for any potential scammers. Make sure the website and connection you’re making transactions in are secured and be suspicious of any products with prices that seem too good to be true. Don’t give out any other necessary information, like your personal or private information. A website or seller’s reputation is also a huge thing to consider, so check out reviews to see if they’re reliable. Big websites like Amazon are known for their secure services, which is why a lot of people like to make their orders there.

Online shopping is a convenient way to buy stuff, but remember to look for deals and promos, and exercise caution when using unfamiliar online stores so you can be safe online and have an enjoyable shopping experience.

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