June 11, 2016

#HorsemansTNVacay Pt 1

Tim and I just went on our first full week vacation since our Honeymoon. We picked Tennessee because Tim loves the mountains and I've been dying to go to music city a.k.a. Nashville!

I'm going to break it up into 2 parts since there are so many pictures. Here is Part 1: Gatlinburg. Enjoy!

We arrived to our cabin in Gatlinburg about midday. We got lucky and were able to snag this cabin that was only about 5 minutes from downtown at a great price on Homeaway.

Here's our cabin view:

The building in the center of the picture is right in the heart of downtown. You could see it all lit up at night.

After getting settled in, we headed downtown for some shopping and dinner! Had to take a pic in front of the mint fountain :) We went to Bubba Gumps for dinner (OMG... get the Shrimp Mac and cheese #nottiuapproved) and then tried out one of the moonshine tastings just for fun! Sugarlands Distilling was a great time and had a lot of yummy flavors!

The fountain is in the Village Shops part of downtown. It is my favorite little district for shopping. I got a pair of Sanuk sandals (from The Hayloft Comfort Footwear) that I wore every day on our trip. They've got something for everyone!

Day 2
We packed in A LOT of fun on this day.

After breakfast (donuts #alsonottiuapproved) we headed out to go horseback riding. Its an hour long ride through the mountains. It was a perfect, relaxing way to start the day. Tim was hoping to see a bear but I'm pretty glad we didn't. We went to Sugarland Stables (the name was a coincidence) and my horse was Blossom. She was so well trained I hardly had to do anything. We went to the lunch at Hungry Bear BBQ and then did the Alpine Coaster. We probably should've done it the other way around but there are no flips so it wasn't too bad. It was a cool experience but not really a thrill for this coaster-loving girl! I wrote review on these places on Trip Advisor if you want more info about them.

 I promise he's having fun, he just hates pictures!!
We needed a little break so we went back to the cabin and picked up Artie. We took him for a walk on the only pet-friendly trail in the Smokies.
We rested for a bit, cleaned up and then drove to Pigeon Forge for some shopping and dinner. We went to The Old Mill restaurant (highly recommend) which also had a great view and the cutest little general store.

Now it was time for the highly anticipated event of our vacation...the helicopter ride. This was a splurge for us but it was 100% worth it!!!  I called earlier that day because reviews said you should make an appointment if possible. I was able to get us the Sunset tour (which is no extra cost). Neither of us had ever been in a helicopter ride before but were told it was very smooth (similar to a car ride). Our tour guide was so kind and very knowledgeable. Its something I will NEVER forget!

Day 3. HIKING DAY! Although we didn't actually hike in Tennessee. The hike we had planned to go on (Alum Cave trail) was closed for maintenance so we opted to keep driving to Clingman's Dome in North Carolina. I am so glad we did. It was breathtaking. There are 360 degree views in the viewing tower.

 driving along the parkway
 this is the view at the BOTTOM of the trail!!
The dead Hemlock trees are because of an insect called hemlock woolly adelgid. I think the park ranger said it had already killed over 75% of this tree and will most likely become extinct.
the elevation is 6,643 feet so you definitely start feeling shortness of breath up there.

 Because this a short steep hike, we also hiked Andrew's Bald which is connected to the trail. Its kind of a backwards trail. You hike mostly downhill on the way and uphill on the way back.
After this we took a long break and then went back downtown for dinner at No Way Jose's and then enjoyed the hottub under the stars.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Nashville

Here's a video of the helicopter ride if you didn't get enough mountain views already! (ps its a phone video so it will be a little blurry if you make it full screen, also it was not loud for us because we were wearing headsets)


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May 30, 2016

Golden Birthday Wish List

The countdown to my 26th Birthday is in on- JUNE 26th!! It's my GOLDEN birthday!!!! I've put together a little birthday wish list for fun :)

Ok so I've actually already gotten the Kate Spade Bag...Tim got it for me while we were on vacation but I told him to save it until my bday :)

New Bikini!! This is probably tops on my list and Target and Victoria's Secret are having major sales right now!! How is a girl to choose?

Kendra Scott- I really want Rose Gold earrings and necklace to go with the watch Tim got me for Christmas

Stacked Heels-I've had my eye on this trend all season but haven't snagged a pair yet. The pair above is from Sole Society

Young House Love coloring book!! no other explanation needed

Stitch Fix credit...would love to order a 2nd fix!!

Rifle Paper print- really want this one for my laundry room!

Swell Bottle- Another item I've been wanting for quite a while and haven't bitten the bullet. It is a very expensive bottle but I have a feeling its worth it!

Tone it Up Perfect Fit Limited Edition Coconut Protein Powder!!! One of my fave flavors! I am dying to try it :)

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May 27, 2016

Malibu Tans RVA

3210 Skipwith Road Richmond, Virginia 23294

Anyone else have a hard to keeping a tan while working an office job all summer?  I sit outside at lunch most days and take morning and afternoon walks with Artie but I only get some color on my arms and lower legs and end up with dumb tan lines.

So I leaped at the opportunity to try out my first ever spray tan through #BloggersGetTan! I admit I've used a tanning beds before to get that summer glow for prom in high school. Of course back then, spray tans were still guaranteed to make you look fake and orange and were full of chemicals so it was a lose-lose situation to get tan quick. BUT things have changed!!

The coolest part of getting this tan was talking to Alison at Malibu Tans and hearing how important it was to her to use organic ingredients (and paraben-free) and get only the best for her clients.

Here's my pasty white before. I forgot to take an "official" before but this was less than a week before my session so not much changed.
You can see my arms had a bit of color but legs...very white! 

The experience: Alison's little tanning boutique is SO cute and welcoming. Of course this matters to me probably more than others but it definitely made me feel comfortable. She also pays attention to detail which is very important! Her products are displayed beautifully and she offers you refreshments while you wait (although it was a very short wait).


(Her decor is all teal and gold so that's a win in my book!! I wanted to take this ombre rug with me :)

First day after getting my spray tan!

Day 3

Day 6

The results...GREAT! The color was gorgeous. I asked Alison which shade she would recommend for me and it was perfect. She went with a medium shade AND she keeps this info on file so when you go back and you want to be lighter or darker than before she knows exactly what to do!! Also, you are supposed to wear the solution for 8-24 hours before rinsing. I left mine on for about 14 hours.

One tip is definitely to wear loose clothing. I wore a swimsuit cover up and a sports bra. Definitely should not have worn the sports bra. It was a little tricky because I had planned to run errands that afternoon so I would recommend going with the express tan if you aren't very patient.

What I learned

-exfoliate more!!
-moisturize more!!
-get the right products.

Do you guys know how many products have sulfates, alcohol and mineral oil in them? Oh my...I had to go out and buy shampoo, deodorant, body wash and lotion because I had basically nothing that would work. I picked up E Booth body wash, Jergens lotion, gradual tan and sunscreen, and Not your Mothers shampoo. They all worked out great!! I do wish I had a few extra products to help the life of my tan though.

It happened to work out that I was able to get my tan right before my vacation! YAY for not being pasty white in my pictures! But there were some downfalls to this. I wasn't able to take care of my tan as well as I might've been if I were at home. I did get in the hot tub at our cabin and I did get pretty sweaty from hiking which I do believe caused my tan to fade a bit quicker and streak some but it still lasted the duration of my vacation and I would absolutely go back to #MalibuTansRVA!!

Ok, now it's your turn!! Are you ready to get your summer glow on??  Alison is currently running a promotion for buy two tans get one free.

This is a "sponsored post." I was compensated for this post however all opinions are my own. 

Be sure to tell Alison that Samantha "Designer in Teal" sent you!!

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