This Momma’s Meandering Mondays 97!

Monday is again just around the corner and I want to welcome one and all to This Momma’s Meandering Mondays 97 and a great, big thank you in advance to all of you who link up with us! We are so thankful to have you with us!

Welcoming you to pull up a chair and enjoy a cup of joe, for amazing fun, fabulous crafts, new recipes to tempt your tastebuds, cool DIY how to’s, and awesome advice with good friends! There is no better way to start the busy week ahead than hanging out with great friends!

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Come on in and join the fun by linking up your favorite posts! We had an absolutely awesome week last week! Share the fun and make some new friends, find a new yummy treat, or find a wonderful new craft idea to make. This is a great way to grow in your friendships! But before we start this party…Grab a badge!

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Now stop in and say howdy to my linky party partner in fun…

Epic Mommy Adventures

Grab a badge and join the party!

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Now it is time to introduce our favorite This Momma’s Meanderer’s from last week, and boy oh boy it was a difficult choice! Don’t forget to grab your “I Was Featured” badge of honor! Congratulations to you all!

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Natasha’s favorite post came from Velvet Rose with the post “Mommy Wars Need to Stop! Make a #Mommitement“!
Saying, “Great post!!! I agree wholeheartedly that the mommy wars should come to an end…we should be supportive of each other, not bringing each other down. I’m happy to see that Mommitment exists, and I’m excited to be a part of it!”

Mommy Wars Need to Stop! Make a #Mommitement from Velvet Rose

Mommy Wars Need to Stop! Make a #Mommitement from Velvet Rose

My favorite post came from Confessions of a Ninja Mom with the post “The Importance of Having a Will“!
“An absolutely amazing post and so true. I have really been remiss in updating mine, especially now, since my oldest has moved out of the house. He will be the one who will care for the younger ones. Thank you so much for sharing!”

The Importance of Having a Will from Confessions of a Ninja Mom!

The Importance of Having a Will from Confessions of a Ninja Mom!

Congratulations!

Don’t forget to grab and display our “Featured” badge!

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Thank you to all of you who joined us last week!

Now let’s get this party started!

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Remember everyone enjoys a little comment love!

Feel free to “meander” by some fellow bloggers and find a new recipe to make for the family, a helpful blogging tip, a funny story to read, and best of all a new friend to make! There are really no rules to follow, only some suggestions to keep in mind…because we are all to enjoy the friendships that come along by doing these few simple and wonderful things…

1. Link up your favorite post…a story, a recipe, a photo, or a helpful tip…As many as you want, that’s right as many as you want!!!!

2. Please follow our Host’s

3. Find some new friends to follow, friendships are what it’s all about!

4. Be sure to leave some comment love, to get it in return.

5. Grab our badge and display on your blog, sharing the love is what it’s all about.

Meander through the links and make some new friends, find some amazing and useful tips, and maybe even a new treat to try!

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Page Turners The Martian – April Book Selection!

Welcome, once again, to Page Turners an online book club that has been put together by two amazing bloggers, Shelly from DIY Mama and Lisa from ExpandNG with April’s book selection was The Martian by Andy Weir.

Page Turners

Page Turners

The Martian by Andy Weir - Photo Courtesy of http://www.andyweirauthor.com/

The Martian by Andy Weir – Photo Courtesy of http://www.andyweirauthor.com/

A brief synopsis…

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Now for questions asked by Shelly…

1. There’s a lot of science in how Mark fights to survive – did you find that fascinating or challenging?

I hate to say it, but I really didn’t pay a great deal of attention to it. Some of it I got, but most not even close! LOL!

2. Who knew potatoes, duct tape, and seventies reruns were the key to space survival? How does each of these items represent aspects of Mark’s character that help him survive?

Well duct tape is the fix all to fix all and I would be able to handle taters and 70’s reruns…though 80’s reruns would be better! LOL! He is a man’s man, at least in my opinion, and a survivor making the best out of what he has.

3. How is Mark’s sense of humor as much a survival skill as his knowledge of botany? Do you have a favorite funny line of his?

I think that without his sense of humor, he would have not been able to maintain his sanity.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines…

“I’m calling it the Watney Triangle because after what I’ve been through, shit on Mars should be named after me.”

“My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.”

Now for questions asked by Lisa…

1. What did you think about the level of sarcasm in the book?

That was the absolute best part! I have a bit of “trucker” sense of humor and I don’t offend easily. I loved the sarcasm and dry witt throughout the book.

2. What did you think about the level of technical details, math, etc. in the book?

Same as with the science, didn’t pay much attention to it. LOL!

3. What did you think about the ending? It didn’t end with Hermes landing on Earth. How about Mark’s “speech” about humanity?

In some ways, I do wish that he had added an epilogue of sorts. Just a brief mission completed successfully, the whole crew made it back to earth safely, and a wonderful reunion.

His speech to me, signifies the most fascinatinig part of society…no matter our struggles the bonds of humanity are what keeps us together.
We should always strive to be kind and treat others with the same care that we would want shown to us.

Now for my thoughts…

I have to say that I was very nervous about this book, because with the exception of Doctor Who, Sci-Fi is generally not my thing. Honestly, I figured it would take me forever to get through it. I was a bit glad that I could not find a print book to borrow and had to get an audio version, thinking that might make it easier. I am thrilled to report that with each chapter that I finished, I could not wait to start the next one. With each catastrophe that occured and success was completed, I absolutely found myself rooting for Mark’s survival.

The Martian was a really awesome read, full of strong characters, laughs, and edge of your seat adventure. So many times during Mark’s stay on Mars, the thoughts and ideas that he shared through the log entries, had me cracking up at his thought process. The banter happening between Mark, NASA, the crew, and even the minor characters was off color and sarcastic at times, but focused on the goal to successfully rescue Mark.

I would have to say that I would definitely give this one 5 stars and I am happy that I got to read it…or well listen to it. If they make a movie, I will see it for sure, maybe on Netflix or something.

May’s book selection is Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. Be sure to look for a review around May 30th or so!

Have you read “The Martian” by Andy Weir? Do you think that this would be one that you would be willing to give a chance?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


#AskAwayFriday Fun Summer Dreams with Echo and April!

As I anxiously await slightly warmer weather and open windows, this week’s #AskAwayFriday is full of fun summer dreams with two amazing ladies, Echo and April!

Welcome to another amazing week of Friday fun…#AskAwayFriday fun that is, the most amazing link up ever!
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What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…

#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from Bold Fit Mom, as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers, between two bloggers! This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world!

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Now welcoming our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts…

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
and
Echo from The Mad Mommy

So…grab our new button, follow our amazing hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!

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Come and be a Co-host for this amazing party! Click on the image below to fill out the form to take part! Be sure to please add Tiffany’s email at MrsTee@TheMrsTee.com to your contacts to ensure you are able to receive information about co-hosting dates.
AAF Co-host

This week, I am super thrilled to bring you a triple threat of fun summer dreams, with both Echo from The Mad Mommy and April from April Noelle! In our search for buddies this week, we decided to have a bit of fun with a summer theme! Read through the questions that Echo, April, and I asked of each other and be sure to head over and see their answers as well!

AAF Summer Dreams

Echo Asked…

1. Do you have any big things planned for the summer?

Since we just got home from vacation, we won’t do much over the summer. We might, cash flow permitting, hit a few local festivals or maybe do some nature walking, but that will likely be the extent of it.

2. What was your favorite summer time activity when you were a kid?

Probably for me it would be the teen years, when we would hang out and cruise our local strip. Then sometimes we would go to a hotel or back to my house and have all night parties.

3. What are your kids’ favorite things to do in the summer?

Same thing as winter…play their computers or video games! LOL! Although they do enjoy weenie roast nights in our back yard, doing nature walks, and what kid doesn’t love fair and festival food!

4. Do you have a favorite summer dessert or beverage?

Favorite summer dessert is hands down my roasted, marshmallow, glazed, donut!

roasted mallow donut

5. What song reminds you of summer?

Alice Cooper’s School’s Out


Music video by Alice Cooper performing School’s Out. (C) 1990 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

or…

Bryan Hyland’s Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini


Video courtesy of YouTube

April Asked…

1. What was your best summer ever?

My best summer ever, at least one of the best, was the summer after my divorce from my first hubby. D-man and I would go and hang out with my bestie and her hubbs, going to the beach and out for picnics. I also got to experience going out clubbing for the first time…and even did a few things that I probably shouldn’t have! LOL! Noting illegal! I actually learned a lot about myself during that summer.

2. Would you rather go to the pool or the beach during the summer?

Oh beach for sure! I just wish that I lived near one!

3. What was your worst summer?

I can’t remember exactly what year it was, but it was somewhere around 1984…the year that my mom went on a bowling trip to Southern California, and would not take me with her. This would have been the only opportunity that I would have had to meet my grandma on my dad’s side of the family, and the uncle that I could have shared a few more years getting to know. Unfortunately, my grandma died a year or two later and it would be many more years before I would be able to get to know the uncle that was such an amazing force in my life.

4. As a child, were you excited that summer was over or did you want it to go on forever?

Oh no, I definitely wished that it would go on forever…I hated school!

5. Do you have any “end of the school year” activities for the kids?

No, not really, but lil man prepares for summer camp, and lil man gets to hang with mommy for that week!

I Asked…

1. What is something that you don’t like about summer?

Crickets! We are window people…we don’t use A/C…and they like to sit right outside the living room windows and drive me crazy!

2. What is your favorite summer movie?

I have always loved The Parent Trap…but only the original with Maureen O’Hara and Haley Mills.

3. What is your go to summer outfit?

Flip flops, capri’s or shorts, and a t-shirt or tank top. I would wear flip flops all year long, if I didn’t live in the Midwest!

4. What is your favorite summer fruit?

I love a good fresh watermelon! I have not gotten one yet this year…and now I want one!

5. What would be your dream summer vacation?

One that I don’t have to pay for! LOL! An all inclusive type, on a tropical island in the USVI, maybe St. John or St. Thomas!

Thank you so much to Echo and April for bringing out some fun summer dreams with this week’s #AskAwayFriday! Be sure to stop in and see what they answered to these questions and visit with the other amazing linkers.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page “AskAwayFriday” for a great place to meet up and send out a #BuddyRequest if you need a partner to swap with!

Would you like to join in on the #AskAwayFriday fun as a co-host? Click on the link below and fill out the form! Be sure to please add Tiffany’s email at MrsTee@TheMrsTee.com to your contacts to ensure you are able to receive information about co-hosting dates.

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By adding your email to this link up, you will be added to email correspondence that may be sent by one of our hosts, you may opt out at any time.

Host’s reserve the right to remove any links that do not pertain to the #AskAwayFriday theme.




Amazing Adventures Part One!

Our family vacation was full of amazing adventures, despite almost having to cancel at the last-minute. One of the hubby’s employees had a family emergency that left them short-handed, but the other employees managed to fill the spaces.

We managed to get packed in a day, all four of us, including food, electronics, and necessities. The car was loaded and we hit the road by 11:30 on Friday night, after stopping at the bank and gas station to top off the gas tank. Now my poor hubby had essentially been up since 2:30 on Friday morning and thank goodness for 5-hr energy drinks!

We drove the whole night, to arrive in Louisville, Kentucky at 5:30 Saturday morning for our first stop of the trip. Part of the reason for that stop was for gas, and the other part was to kill some time and grab donuts! I absolutely love donuts, and luckily enough there was one on the way. We ended up buying a dozen for the road and some to munch on then. I should have taken a pic of them!

After leaving Louisville, we were on the second brief leg of our journey to Paris, Kentucky and the Cane Ridge Meeting House. This jaunt in our journey was for lil miss, more than anything. When lil man was baptised, the kids all got to go on a Heritage Trip to Cane Ridge. The Great Cane Ridge Revival of 1801 was held in the Meeting House and hosted by young, Presbyterian minister Barton Warren Stone who would later become one of the founding father of the Disciples of Christ. It was something that we wanted lil miss to experience since her baptism the week before.

The stone building is actually built around the original log cabin structure that was the original meetinghouse. There is also a museum and gift shop that had tools and clothes from the period, and pictures that had survived from the years that it had been in use. With a small, private, cemetery off to the side, with memorials to the early settlers, Barton Stone and his first wife. Lil miss picked out a necklace and a wooden yo-yo and lil man grabbed a book with a historical account of the time.

We left Paris, Kentucky and started the drive on to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Hubby had been going for about 31 hours and I was not too far behind him at 28 hours, but on we trekked! We finally hit Sevierville by about 2:30 and then a traffic jam by Pigeon Forge! There was a car show along that whole strip of road and despite three lanes each way…the gawkers were in every lane! Don’t get me wrong, I like old muscle cars, but seriously keep it to one clogged up lane!

Our first stop, in Gatlinburg, was the cabin rental place so we could find where we would be sleeping for our vacation. We got our codes, sheets for the hide a bed, and directions and we were on our way to finding our secluded cabin in the mountains. And boy oh boy was it ever secluded!

The cabin was about a 5 to 6 minute drive up the mountain…well it was 5 to 6 minutes once we figured out the direction, the first few days it was more like 20 to 30 minute drive! The Garmin that we had, was of absolutely no use, because the roads wound around so closely together, it would constantly re-calculate and had us going in big circles! LOL! My darling hubby was about to lose his mind, especially after the traffic jam on the way in!

Once we finally arrived at our cabin, we unloaded our little Nessie, of all of our crap. My first order of business was of course hitting the potty and checking out the premises. We had a lovely, little kitchen, followed by a living room with the hide a bed, and fireplace. There was also a master bedroom with a jacuzzi and a bathroom just before the bedroom. Downstairs we had an amazing game room with a pool table, Foosball table, dart board, and Ms. Pac-man arcade game, along with a bathroom and another bedroom with a jacuzzi. We also had an amazing deck off of the back of the living room with a lovely wrought iron table and chairs and a hot tub!

I had made up my mind, before we even left, that we would definitely be going out to eat that night. We decided to go to the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill, besides hubby and I ate there on our first trip down, but there were a few different little shops in the same parking lot to wander through. The Apple Barn store that sold any kind of apple type of product and decor, was the largest part of shopping, but there was also candy, ice cream, and pie stores as well.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

The dining experience was amazing and so was the food! You are started off with fresh apple fritters and apple butter and an apple julep, which is apple juice, pineapple juice, and orange juice. The fritters were amazing and the kids were in heaven! Lil man and I both order the Chicken Cordon Bleu, and it was huge and so very tasty. Hubs got the meatloaf and lil miss chose a steak for her dinner. Once we had stuffed ourselves to the gills, we wandered around the little shops before heading back to the cabin for the night.

Funny thing is, once we got back to the cabin the normalcy returned…lil man on his pc game account, and lil miss drawing on her laptop. So hubs and I decided that after that car ride, it was time for the hot tub! So we chilled in the hot tub and on the deck for a while before heading in to the jacuzzi. LOL! What can I say, we were on vacation! Then back to the deck for a little while, before getting everyone to bed.

Once everyone got up and ready, the next morning, we headed down to the trolley pick up so that we could ride the Trolley in to Gatlinburg for the day. Anytime we go anywhere, if there is an aquarium of any sort, we go, so our first stop was Ripley’s Aquarium. Lil man’s favorite animal is the penguin, and the Ripley’s Aquarium has a great penguin habitat. The kids could even crawl through a tunnel and stick their heads into an enclosed hole into the habitat. Lil man was in heaven! He even got a t-shirt that was “painted” by a penguin. Lil miss loved all of the brightly colored fish and sea animals.

By the time we finished in the aquarium, temps outside had warmed a bit and the threat of rain was gone, so we decided to walk around the downtown area before we went back to catch trolley. We stopped in to the Old Tyme Photo shop, that hubs and I went to before, so that we could get an old photo with the kids. That was a lot of fun! We hit fudge shops, souvenir shops, and taffy places. The kids and I picked out our own walking sticks, for hiking, hubby got one when we came down on our honeymoon. Lil man found a kilt and a tam that he has been dreaming of! After we had finished our window shopping, we headed back to the trolley and our car.

Old Tyme Photo Gatlinburg 0415

Since we still had not gone to get any food provisions, we decided to head out to eat again, and went to the most amazing little diner in Pigeon Forge, called The Diner. It was decorated like a 50’s diner, with all of the memorabilia and a jukebox! The kids loved it. We had a lovely waitress named Sue, and we kept her hopping, she was true southern hospitality. We left her a nice tip and she came up and gave me a hug before we left in thanks, I had just found out from the cashier that Sue was the owner of the place. I kind of wished we had gone back before we left! Believe it or not, we each had a burger that was huge, fries, and we also ordered a diner dog basket. Lil miss and I split one and lil man and hubbs split one, it consisted of 2 hot dogs and fries…plus we had gotten cheese sticks to start with! LOL! But again it was vacation! The food was amazing.

The Diner Pigeon Forge 1

The Diner Pigeon Forge 2

Now that we were again stuffed, we decided to go to the store for our provisions. That was a nightmare! We went to Walmart and stood at the deli counter for at least a half hour, before even getting waited on. Then it was another 20 minutes to get 2 pounds of roast beef and 2 pounds of ham! Hubby is not a patient man, and he was not a happy camper. LOL! Once the shopping was done it was time to get him to a hot tub!

We spent another amazing evening going from the deck, to the hot tub, to play pool, or Ms. Pac-man. The kids generally did their own things, but once in a while would come hang with the old folks! Lil miss played pool with hubbs and so did lil man. Once in a while we might stop in front of the television, but it was more for background noise than anything. Lil miss even had her own jacuzzi tub, but the jets didn’t work, but she did not seem to care in the least. She would get in and just play in chin deep water.

The next day, since the temps looked great, we decided to drive through the Smoky Mountains, maybe take a hike, and have a picnic. I was so happy to see and feel my first waterfall. We had to take a 1.3 mile hike up to the Laurel Falls Waterfall, and while it is not really difficult, I learned very quickly that I am seriously out of shape! LOL! It was truly worth every pant and cramp, the waterfall was gorgeous. On the 1.3 mile trek back down the hill, I stepped on a broken part of the walkway, lost my footing, and dropped on my knees. I scraped up my shin on my left leg, and it definitely hurt for the rest of the day.

When we got back to the car, we drove a little further into the mountains, before stopping in the Metcalf Bottoms area to have our picnic by the river. I had packed sandwiches and chips, and we chose a picnic table with a good view of the water. That one on one family time is absolutely priceless. Our next little stop was at the Little Greenbrier School, and you can still go in and see the old one room school-house. We finished our Smoky Mountains trip in the Cades Cove area, which is a very lovely scenic drive. There are old churches and homesteads in various places.

Towards the end of the Cades Cove drive, we came to a point were the traffic going through just stopped. As we got a little closer we realized that several cars had lined up on both sides of a single lane road, and we noticed that there were people out of their cars, milling about in the road. We looked to our left, and less than 50 feet away, was a black bear! We could not understand all of those people out gawking, because if that bear had wanted one of them for lunch, there would have been little that could have stopped it. Needless to say, we all stayed in our car, and hubby could not get out of there fast enough. We both agreed that we did not want to stick around and watch someone get eaten! We finally headed back to the cabin and spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

The bear is the black dot, to the right of the center tree...

The bear is the black dot, to the right of the center tree…

The next day we decided to head to Pigeon Forge and do some wandering and take the kids to the gem mine. We hit a few shops along the way, lil miss got a pocket knife and key chain with her name on it, lil man got a coffee cup and a survival bracelet both with his name and spelled correctly for them both! At the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine, lil man got a fossil and gem bucket, lil miss a gem bucket and the hubbs and I split a gem bucket. It was a lot of fun watching them find their gemstones, and they both even got a couple of arrowheads. We wandered through little shops along the strip, and stopped in to the Old Mill area. We grabbed some homemade jams and candies, too.

Pigeon Forge Gem Mine 2

In the Old Mill area, there was a store called, The Old Forge Distillery, and they sold moonshine! Oh my, they make and sell a Chocolate Moonshine! Yummy! Okay, now first let me say that I am not a huge drinker…but, I had three shots, back at the cabin that night and was lovin’ it! Seriously, it is absolutely yummy! I even went back the next day to get another jar! LOL!

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Dinner for that night was from Five Guys Burgers and Fries. It was good, a little pricey, but good. We were trying to only eat at places that we had never been to before, or we had enjoyed during our first trip. We spent another great evening, just hanging out. Sometimes were together, other times we did our own things. The hubbs and I loved watching nature interact with its surroundings…squirrels going from tree to tree and branch to branch, birds chirping their songs back and forth, and the tranquility of the wind or rain or nearby creek noises in the background.

I will call this a pausing point for now, and will bring you the rest of our amazing adventures in a few days!


Turn It Up Tuesdays 84!

Come on in and join the party…and let’s turn up the fun for Turn It Up Tuesdays 84!

Welcome to the 84th week here at Turn It Up Tuesday! This is the last week of April…and the last week for our Just to Say Thank You Giveaway!!!!

Last week, we had an awesome time on Turn It Up Tuesday with 315 links – another amazing week! We’d like to thank each and every one of you for making every week so amazing! Keep sharing your amazing posts with us here on Turn It Up Tuesday!

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Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Our sponsor for April is Great Escapes Travel Agency.

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Great Escapes Travel is a full service travel agency specializing in Leisure and Group Travel.
We plan land based vacations, cruises, destination weddings, and honeymoons to U.S. destinations, as well as the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico.

At Great Escapes Travel, we are not mere order takers who book your trip and then leave you on your own. We are “Escape Artists”. As Escape Artists, we act as an adviser and a resource for our clients. We take the time to talk with our clients to really get to know them. Then we are able to create the perfect vacation experience created just for them. We provide personalized service that is tailored to meet each of our client’s needs. We work with our clients every step of the way – before, during and after the trip. We make ourselves available to our clients by phone, text, email, and Facebook. And we guarantee that someone will respond to you within 24 hours.

Are you looking to get your blog or website in front of numerous people per week? Do you enjoy Turn It Up Tuesdays? Interested in having your blog or website featured for an entire month?
Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month by clicking here!

 

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

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(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Jillian from Baby Doodah | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Cindy from Mom Maven | Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter | Kelly from Making-More | Yolanda from That’s Mashed Up | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Rose from What Rose Knows | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Nancy from Afro-Chic Mompreneur | Kelly from Mum-bo-Jumbo | Zografia from Bisozozo | Elaine from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess | Lisa from Blogghetti | Latisha from Ask Latisha | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for April!

TUT Apr 2015

(from the top – left to right)

Mionna from Just Mi! | Kori from Just Another Mom | Cathy from Brand New Mom Blog | Rachel from Rae Loves | Free from Couponin Diva

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Minnie from The Country Cooking Queen’s Weight loss and healthy eathing blog | Christina from Super Mommy-n-Me

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Kori chose 7 Powerful Pinterest Tips from Tabler Party of Two. “I chose this one because I’m trying to learn more about Pinterest and this post was very practical as far as the advice that she gave.”

Jillian also chose this post. “I am always looking for more tips to master Pinterest and this post is seriously full of them!!”

Kimberly (Being a Wordsmith) also chose this post. “Andrea’s post has some great tips about using Pinterest to attract traffic to your blog. I am always looking for new ways to improve this method of social media.”

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Kori chose Bite Size Beignets from Lou Lou Girls. “I was born in New Orleans, famous for it’s beignets so when I saw this post, I was drawn to it instantly. I can’t believe how easy that recipe is!”

Cream Puffs with Strawberry Cream Poster

Lisa chose Cream Puffs with Strawberry Cream from A Sprinkle of This and That. “Cream puffs with Strawberry Cream inside. Enough said! I can’t wait to make these!!”

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Lisa chose Kids, Social Media and Bullying – What Should A Parent Teach? from Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom. “I love this post! Informative and every parent needs to read it and share with their children. Social Media bullying is now the new old bullying and it needs to be stopped and we need to better educate our children about it. Great post.”

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Mari chose Ways to Enjoy a Simpler Lifestyle from Little House Living. “I love things that will allow me to stay present and enjoy each moment. When I began to practice Yoga and Meditation a few years ago focusing on breathing, just breathing was an awesome freedom. We take our breaths for granted, so her tips really made me smile and enjoy the read.”

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Mari chose Succulent cuttings from Sum of their Stories. “I couldn’t pass on Julie’s share because if you visit my blog you will see I am obsessed with Succulent Plants!!!! They are easy to maintain and multiply and a lovely addition to brighten any room in your home. This post made me get up and work on some more cuttings! Thanks Julie!”

Workplace outside in the sun with a break memo

Workplace outside in the sun with a break memo

Free chose Why You Need to Take a Break from Just Another Mom. “As a mom to two toddlers my life is always on go mode. I always want to relax but never take the time to do so. I know I need a break.”

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Free chose How to Customize Jetpack Related Posts from The Lady Errant. “I love learning how to do something new for my blog and making the most of the things that matter most to me and my blog.”

Jillian also chose this post. “Personalizing my blog as much as possible, will help me build a brand. This post has taught me how to personalize my Jetpack “related posts,” which is something I had no idea could be done!”

Ginger also chose this post. “I have jetpack but I rally had no idea how to use it. This post was very informative and I will definitely be referring back to it.”

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Zografia chose The Kitchen – Back to the Future Style from Family and the Lake House. “I wish our kitchen was as beautiful as this one! I love the backsplash!”

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Zografia chose 5 Fun Cleaning Games to Play with Your Kids from Cornerstone Confessions. “Our 18 month old loves cleaning and helping when i cook. These games will come in handy!”

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Stacey chose Rocky Road Cookie Bars from Lou Lou Girls. “These look absolutely wonderful! For me there is nothing better than chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts! Thank you so much for sharing!”

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Ginger chose DIY Movie Theater Sign from Lou Lou Girls. “I have a movie themed party coming up and this would make a great decorative touch.”

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Kimberly (Being a Wordsmith) chose Titles I Would Have So Owned, If I Wasn’t “Mom” from Laugh Out Loud Mommy. “Brittany gave me a good laugh at her numerous character roles before she was a mom. I found myself wondering which ones I would “so own”!”

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Tina chose DIY Stenciled Hot Pad Holder from View from the Fridge. “What a wonderful idea, I love this tutorial,nice and easy,thanks for sharing.”

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Tina chose Easy Popsicle Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Popsicles from Gym. Craft. Laundry. “I love these protein popsicles. A great way to treat yourself!Thanks for sharing.”

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Natasha chose Teaching Kids About Money from Three Kids and a Fish. “What a great idea to take your child to the bank to build a relationship with money! I’m definitely going to have to do that with my son. Thanks for sharing!”

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Natasha chose 14 Different Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Pinterest Traffic from MBA SAHM. “I’ve been looking for ways to increase my Pinterest traffic, and these are definitely some great tips to help me on my way. Great post!”

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The post with the most clicks is The Absolute, Best Thing About Blogging! from Earning & Saving with Sarah Fuller.

Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I’m sure they’d all appreciate it!

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures
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And the Best of the Best is…

We have a tie for 1st place…

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7 Powerful Pinterest Tips from Tabler Party of Two

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How to Customize Jetpack Related Posts from The Lady Errant

And a tie for second place…

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Rocky Road Cookie Bars from Lou Lou Girls

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5 Fun Cleaning Games to Play with Your Kids from Cornerstone Confessions

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

Best of the Best Bloggers – make sure to showcase the button below on your blog!

Epic Mommy Adventures
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Giveaways!

This month, we did something a bit different with our giveaway! Each week this month, we selected one entrant to win $50 Paypal cash! You increase your chances of winning by stopping by each week and entering to win!

$50 Paypal Cash Giveaway

The winners from the 1st 3 weeks of the Just to Say Thank You Giveaway have been announced!

Week 1 Winner: Kelly L.

Week 2 Winner: Carrie from The Frugal Foodie Mama

Week 3 Winner: Stephanie K.

There is still 1 more chance to win this week before our Just to Say Thank You Giveaway officially ends…make sure to enter to win!

This week is our Instagram week – so be sure to follow the host, co-hosts, and guest hosts below for your chance to win $50 Paypal cash!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
So now that you’ve met our Sponsor for the month, our hosts and guest hosts, our Featured, the Best of the Best, and checked out our Thank You $50 Paypal Cash Giveaway,

let’s get started!

– Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

– Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!

– Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

– Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

 

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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week! **Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**


Interested in reading all of our favorite posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays – past or present? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.


Cover Reveal…Shadows of Whitestone Manor by Brittany Jo James!

The wait is over for the cover reveal of the second book in Brittany Jo James’ Winters Family series, “Shadows of Whitestone Manor!

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SHADOWS OF WHITESTONE MANOR
Author: Brittany Jo James
Series: The Winters Family Series, Book Two 
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
~ SYNOPSIS ~
Some shadows are as dark as night.
At least mine are.
My name is Grayson Winters and you’ve already been introduced to my family’s story.
Four months have passed since Lilith moved into Whitestone Manor to be with my brother, Orson. Now they’re getting married and it’s all I can do not to gag when they giggle at each other. Whitestone Manor represents nothing but secrets and darkness to me. Then, light begins to pour into my bleak world.
Prater Hahn has disappeared without a trace. Not that I blamed him or his brethren. I still wasn’t entirely sure Whitestone Manor was where I belonged either. All I knew for certain was that sweet, precious Ava Prescott seduced me with every bat of her eyelashes. Too bad for me, dating her was against the rules.
When a new danger arises to test the residents of Whitestone Manor, it falls on me to eliminate the problem. I thought I didn’t need my family’s help. I thought I could protect the ones I loved. Until I realized, not all who seem harmless truly are.
Loving the seemingly angelic girl I was forbidden to date certainly isn’t innocent.
But perhaps, neither is she?
If you aren’t afraid of what lurks in the shadows, I’ll tell you my story.
ADD TO GOODREADS


~ COVER DESIGNER ~
Kari Ayasha from Cover to Cover Designs
https://www.facebook.com/CoverToCoverDesigns

~ TEASERS ~



~ THE WINTERS FAMILY SERIES ~

SECRETS OF WHITESTONE MANOR
Author: Brittany Jo James
Series: The Winters Family Series, Book #1
Genre: Young Adult Romance | Paranormal Romance
~ SYNOPSIS ~
Some secrets are too dark to ever be brought into the light. 
At least mine are.
My name is Orson Winters, and you already know too much for me to let you walk away.
A decade has passed since my parents were killed, forcing my younger siblings and me to move in with our estranged uncle. Whitestone Manor in all its grandeur was overwhelming enough. Then, we learned the family secret. 
There’s darkness in the world no one, besides a handful of fighting families, even knows exists. The Winters family is the most acclaimed of them all. However, power isn’t always pleasurable, especially considering that it’s my responsibility to keep my reckless brothers and sister from jeopardizing us all.
When an old enemy emerges from the shadows, Uncle Sebastian calls in another fighting family to assist. I didn’t need their help. I could independently protect my siblings and the rest of the world from danger. That was, until I met Lilith Shaw. Now I’m not even sure that I can protect myself.
I can’t focus on that, though. 
I’m the last one standing between you and those who wait in the darkness.
If you can keep a secret, I’ll tell you my story.

~ PURCHASE ~ 
AMAZON



~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~
Brittany Jo James
Brittany Jo James was born and raised in the small town of Idabel, Oklahoma. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Conlee, who is currently serving as an airman in the United States Air Force. They share two rowdy sons, Jagger and Jett. Her life revolves around living for God, caring for her family and writing, writing, writing. The James family is currently residing near Anchorage, Alaska until the USAF decides otherwise.
Social media links:
Facebook | Website | Twitter | Goodreads



T-Tapp Workout: Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes! A Review

This is a sponsored post brought to you in cooperation with the T-Tapp Workout: Fit and Fabulous in 15 minutes! I was offered the Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes book and DVD to review. All opinions throughout this post remain my own.

T-Tapp Workout: Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes!

T-Tapp Workout: Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes!

For the past few months, I have known that I needed to make some changes to put myself on a healthier life path. I am 42, severely out of shape, and with about 40 pounds to lose, to make me happy. While I have struggled with my weight for most of my life, now I am noticing those issues that come with it…being out of breath and joints that are not happy with the extra pounds. But it is so hard for me to get on and stick with an exercise program, for so many reasons and most of them are my own idiosyncrasies.

One of my biggest excuses is that I don’t like anyone to watch me workout, mostly because I feel like a big, old goofball! Every exercise video that I have ever watched and attempted to do, it is plainly obvious, to me anyway, that I am about as gracefull as a bull in a china shop! I never could figure out how for dancing, I actually have some rythym, but for exercising, rythym goes right out the window.

Time is another big factor, for me. While I should get into a routine of first thing in the morning, sometimes that is easier said than done. With homeschooling, feeding, laundry, and all of the other things that add to my daily routine, fitting in a workout, gets kind of tough. So when I saw the opportunity to review the T-Tapp Workout: Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes, I jumped at the chance, I thought that I might be able to squeeze that in.

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So, what is the T-Tapp workout, you ask?
Teresa Tapp

Teresa Tapp

Well, it is a no-impact and no equipment required type of workout that was created by Teresa Tapp, an exercise physiologist/rehabilitative trainer. Designed to benefit not only the outside body, but the inside as well, by using a sequence of compound muscle movements to work the muscles, one layer at a time. This workout can be done anywhere and in a limited amount of space, making it an ideal choice for anyone. Fit and Fabulous in 15 offers illustrated photos and step by step instructions making it easy to follow, and offering up possible common mistakes, to allow for the most effective results..

One of the things that I did notice as different from other workout programs, is the inclusion of some type of diet meal plan. Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes simply offers food choices based on a formula of Man Made, versus God Made. Of course, we all know that the more natural a product is, then the better it is for us. There are also cheat days that are an acceptable part of your whole body fitness.

Now, for my thoughts!

Before the book arrived, I decided to try out some of the short videos on T-Tap’s website as well as Teresa’s You Tube channel. Very quickly, did I realize, just how out of shape I was. For the first few days, there were muscles being used, that had not been for sometime. The exercises were very easy to accomplish, without any strain of any type, but they were definitely effective.

I am rather happy to say that I have managed to take an inch off of my waist and a couple of pounds from the scale. So I am looking forward to delving more thoroughly into this program, and getting my mind and body, where I would like them to be…a few pounds lighter and a whole lot healthier!

But of course, don’t just take my word for it, check out some of the amazing success stories by clicking here!

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For more information of this great workout, be sure to stop by T-Tap.com, or Teresa’s You Tube channel to see if this is the right workout program for you! Take a chance with the videos, which give the option of trying it out before you buy.

This is a sponsored post brought to you in cooperation with the T-Tapp Workout: Fit and Fabulous in 15 minutes! I was offered the Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes book and DVD to review. All opinions throughout this post remain my own.



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