Friday, August 30, 2013

The Wilderness at the Smokies -- Tennessee's Largest Year-Round Hotel and WaterPark Resort Family Fun Vacation Destination...

I am so excited to tell you about our recent visit to Tennessee's largest year-round Hotel and WaterPark Resort --the Wilderness at the Smokies located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. 

If you're going to be visiting the Smoky Mountain area or if you're looking for a family fun vacation destination in TN, then you MUST visit the Wilderness at the Smokies.

The Wilderness at the Smokies offers waterpark fun all year round. In the summer guests staying at the resort can enjoy two outdoor waterparks as well as Tennessee's largest Indoor Waterpark --the Wild WaterDome which is open all year long. The Wild WaterDome features a unique see-through roof that will weather-proof your vacation and give you some sun even on the coldest winter days! 

In addition to the waterparks there are several other fun activities at the resort. The first is the new Adventure Forest family adventure center that offers many dry activities. It has a 3 story ropes course, multi-level laser tag, black light mini-golf, a miniature bowling ally, 23 ft rocking climbing wall, a mega arcade and so much more. There is an 18 hole miniature golf course available outdoors and if you're a real golfer then you will appreciate that the Sevierville Golf Club is within a short walking distance of the resort.

The thing that I love most about the Wilderness at the Smokies is that once you arrive on the property you really don't need to leave for anything. There are lots of dining options available, a few retail shops to browse, a fitness center on site, a fun little paint your own pottery studio and so much more. The resort even offers free admission tickets to some of the area's hottest attractions if you find the time to go!

Whether you're coming with a large group or just your own family the Wilderness at the Smokies lodging options are sure to meet your needs! 


To learn more about the Wilderness at the Smokies please visit:

"Like" Wilderness at the Smokies on Facebook 

Follow Wilderness at the Smokies on Twitter @WildSmokies 


We had such a good time at the Wilderness at the Smokies. We spent two nights at the resort and could have easily spent several more! The boys absolutely loved the waterparks and we all had a blast. 

Today I'm so excited to share some of our photo's with you...

Here are a few photo's of some of the awesome waterslides the resort offers. If you're adventurous you will love the new Cyclone Racer By Numbers which feature 4 lanes and offers 1,200 gallons of water flow per minute offering a high-speed racing experience.


If you're even more adventurous then you must try the new Wild Vortex where you will begin by walking 100 steps to the top of the ride which is 66 ft up in the air! The ride takes only 7 seconds and you can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour!

Our room had an amazing balcony view of the Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark. The boys loved being able to see the Wilderness Rapids 12,000 square-foot wave pool and Cataloochee Creek lazy river from our room.

Our room was very spacious, very clean and provided us with everything we needed to enjoy our stay!

Salamander Springs Outdoor Waterpark was across the road from the building we stayed in and the resort provides a shuttle bus to take quests back and forth. The boys thought they were so cool taking a "taxi" from one park to the other!

Salamander Springs was perfect for their age. There were many waterslides the boys could go down by themselves. A 4 level play structure called Lunker's Landing that offeres 50 play and spray activities as well as their favorite 750-gallon tipping bucket that they would stand under and get drenched!

We loved the hot tub, the many lounge chairs provided for relaxing and just being able to spend quality time as a family playing in the sun and fun all day long. 

The weather was perfect when we were at the Wilderness so we spent most of our time enjoying the outdoor waterparks. We can't wait for out next vacation to the Wilderness at the Smokies and plan to return when the weather is cooler  so that we can enjoy the indoor waterpark and try out the dry activities too!


We loved the resort --It's the perfect place to vacation as a family. We made so many memories there! We loved that it's in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and so close to all of the attractions that Pigeon Forge has to offer. If you're considering a trip to Tennessee or looking for a family fun vacation destination we highly recommend the Wilderness at the Smokies! 


"Like" Wilderness at the Smokies on Facebook 

Follow Wilderness at the Smokies on Twitter @WildSmokies 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cans Get You Cooking with a Quick and Easy Taco Salad Recipe...

The Jackson Five Family Blog was compensated for this campaign in partnership with the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. However all opinions are my own!

I struggle with buying fresh fruit and veggies. One time I buy a bunch at the grocery and they all get used/ate, the next time I buy them they sit around and rot and go to waste which is so frustrating to me.  (73% of Americans throw away spoiled fruits and vegetables on average two times a week)

It's hard though when we are busy. A lot of times I buy fresh with good intentions on using everything purchased, but then we get busy and they end up going bad.  So instead of buying all fresh and having it go to waste, I've started purchasing more canned items. I am a Canbassador for a Cans Get You Cooking Cooking program and am excited to share some information with you about using canned goods more and a fun easy recipe that my family loves!

According to a University of California, Davis study, many canned fruits and veggies have the same nutrients as their fresh or frozen counterparts. The canning process locks in foods' freshness, flavor and nutrients at the peak of ripeness, just hours after picking --taking it from 'field to sealed' which means you can serve your family canned foods with confidence!

One of our favorite quick and easy meals using canned kidney beans is my mama's Taco Salad...

What you'll need:

1 Medium Head of Lettuce
1 LB Ground Beef Browned
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Can of Kuner's Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 bag Tortilla Chips
1 Package Taco Seasoning


8 oz 1000 Island Dressing
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 TBS Taco Seasoning


Dressing: Mix the 1000 island dressing, sugar and 1tbs taco seasoning in a small bowl. Next brown the hamburger and add the rest of the taco seasoning to it. In a large bowl cut up the lettuce. Add the cooked hamburger, kidney beans and cheese, then pour the dressing in mixing it all together. Last crumble tortilla chips on top of the salad and enjoy!

There are so many recipes that you could used can goods in. Take a look in your cantry "cans + pantry" and see what you have available. We have so many cans just sitting on a shelf waiting to be used and I bet you do too! Challenge yourself to get cooking with some cans. It's easy, they are always available and really do pack in more freshness than you would think!


Cans Get You Cooking is a program dedicated to letting people know that the technology of canning seals in freshness, flavor and nutrition.

To learn more about Cans Get You Cooking please visit:

Cans Get You Cooking on Facebook

Cans Get You Cooking on Pinterest

Cans Get You Cooking on YouTube

Monday, August 26, 2013

Enter to win a VTech Cordless Answering System with CallerID/Call Waiting AND a $100 Walmart Gift Card!!

VTech Phones
The Jackson Five Family blog received a complimentary product sample to help facilitate this reader review and giveaway. However all opinions are honest and our own! 

Having a landline phone is important to have in addition to cell phones. Many of you might disagree, but honestly with children in our home I want them to be able to grab a phone no matter what room they are in for safety issues if the need arises.
So today I'm excited to share a very dependable phone that offers loads of functionality at an economical price for all of you cost-conscious shoppers out there.
This phone retails for just under $25 and is exclusively sold at Wal-Mart. It offers so much functionality at an incredibly low price. You will love the Quiet Mode option, the ECO Mode for power-conserving technology and DECT 6.0 for the best audio quality.


  • Expandable up to 5 handsets with only one phone jack

  • DECT 6.0 Digital technology

  • Voicemail Waiting Indicator

  • Remote access

  • Message retrieval from handset

  • Mute

  • 50 name and number phonebook directory

  • Any key answer

  • Volume control

  • Call intercept

  • Call screening

  • Message time and date stamp

  • Single Line 14 Minute Record Time

  • Trilingual prompts—choose between English, Spanish or French

  • Wall-mount bracket included

  • Last 10 number redial

  • We absolutely love this cordless phone and answering system. It has a Backlit Keypad and Display that is bright enough to see even in dim light. When we are not home the answering machine records our important messages and we can retrieve caller information with the Caller ID feature that records the callers name, number and the date and time so we never miss a call.
    If you're looking for a great phone at an affordable price then you should definitely check out the VTech Cordless Answering System with Caller ID and Call Waiting --item #CS6829 that is available Exclusively at Walmart.
    To learn more about the VTech Cordless Answering System with Caller ID/Call Waiting and to view all of the products available from VTech please visit:
    To view the VTech CS6829 on please click HERE!


    - GIVE-A-WAY -

    Enter to win the VTech Cordless Answering System with Caller ID and Call Waiting item #CS6829 AND a $100 Walmart Gift Card!!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The Jackson Five Family blog received a complimentary product sample to help facilitate this reader review and giveaway. However all opinions are honest and our own!

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    Introducing the Motorola MBP26 Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor...

    MBP26 Digital Wireless

    Video Baby Monitor

    (The Jackson Five Family blog received a complimentary product sample to help facilitate this reader review. However all opinions are honest and our own!)

    I'm excited to be bringing you another great Baby Monitor. The one being featured today is the Motorola MBP26 2.4 GHz Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor with 2.4" Color LCD and Infrared Night Vision.

    When we got our first baby monitor 7 years ago when Jace was born we were so excited that it had a video unit to watch him on. Back then the video monitor looked like a small tv. Boy has time changed. 

    Check out the size of this Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor. It's about the size of a cell phone which makes it so handy to take with you where ever you go in your home and it offers a range up to 520 ft so you can keep an eye on your baby at all times!

    Not only is the size perfect and the range huge on this one, but there are several other features that I love about the MBP26.

    One feature that I love is that it offers Wireless Technology with a Rechargeable Battery Pack and optional power adapters. I love that you don't have to keep purchasing new batteries for the unit which is such a pain. The rechargeable battery pack definitely makes it a winner in my opinion! 

    This baby monitor also features a colored screen with Infrared Night Vision so your baby is easily visible at all times, day or night. It offers a High Sensitivity Microphone, an Out-Of-Range Alert, Volume Control, LED Sound Level Indicator and a Low Battery Alert as well.

    The monitor allows you to pair up to 4 Baby Units and has a unique Digital Pan and Tilt option which allows you to actually move the camera from the parent unit even when not in the base unit room. 

    Lastly I love, love, love that this monitor allows two-way communication. What this means is that with a touch of a button you can actually talk to your baby from where ever you are. You can always hear them, but now they are able to hear you even when you are not right there in the room with them. 

    This monitor is great for parents with babies, but also great for monitoring older children that might be on a different floor in the home or people with newer floor plans that offer split bedrooms. One of our boys' is still kind of scared to stay alone in his bedroom and this monitor reassures him that we are right there with him even when we are in our bedroom. They boys love being able to communicate with us any time throughout the night and I love that I can see and hear them at all times and I know that they are sleeping safe and sound without having to be right beside them!


    If you're looking for a great baby monitor the Motorola Wireless Digital Video Baby Monitor --Model: MBP26 is a great option! It's exclusively available at 

    To learn more about the Motorola MBP26, please visit:


    (The Jackson Five Family blog received a complimentary product sample to help facilitate this reader review. However all opinions are honest and our own!)

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Find the perfect bra with the new JOCKEY Bra Fit Kit...

    (Disclaimer: The Jackson Five Family Blog received a complimentary product sample to facilitate this reader review.
    However all opinions are honest and our own!)

    A few weeks ago in a blog post I introduced you all to the new JOCKEY Bra Fit Kit (read about that here!) It's so hard finding a bra that fits perfectly and it's especially hard figuring out your size. That's why Jockey created their new "fit kit" which is their new 'Volumetric Fit System' that allows you to more accurately measure your breast size in the comfort of your own home and leads you to finding the perfect fitting bra. 

    I recently received one of these kits and I will tell you it's nothing that you've seen before. Included is 10 volumetric fit cups, a color-coded measuring tape and directions.

    To use the kit you simply lay all 10 cups sizes out and pick the one that you think looks the closest to your breast size. You then simply lean forward and "spill" your breast into the cup that looks closest. Once your breast is in the cup you then want to make sure that the entire area is covered with no gaping and no spillage. Once you find the one that is the closet fit you simply mark down which cup number it is. 
    After you've done this then you simply take the measuring tape and measure right underneath your breast all the way around from front to back and mark that number down as well. Once both of these steps are completed, you now have your size and are ready to pick which of the 5 bra's is best for you --Jockey Classic Contour Bra, Tailored Contour, Double Lined Contour, Classic Soft Cup, or the Double Lined soft cup. I love that the website provides detailed information on each one and includes videos that feature a model wearing each bra and talks about the benefits of the particular one being demonstrated.

    After measuring everything my my custom number was 3/32. That means the cup that fit the best was cup number 3 and when taking my measurement from the front of me to the back it was a 32, thus my bra size was 3/32. 

    I chose the Jockey Tailored Contour Bra and couldn't wait until it arrived to see if it really did fit great with me measuring myself at home. Upon it's arrival I couldn't wait to try it on as it looked like a wonderful bra and felt unbelievably soft to the touch. I chose the tailored contour because the video mentioned that it was a great t-shirt bra which I love and featured a U-shaped back design that is made to reduce your bra straps slipping off of your shoulder which drives me crazy! I also wanted to try it because it features a new revolutionary 3D contoured resin that replaces uncomfortable underwires and was supposed to be more comfortable with great support.

    So what did I think about this new system and bra? The bra is very comfortable and fits great for the most part. Measuring was easy and I loved that I could do it in the privacy of my own home. The only complaint that I have is that the top of the bra seems to be higher than what I'm used to. It does tend to hang out if I'm wearing a certain tank top, but is perfect under most other t-shirts and blouses. The straps really do stay put which is a huge plus for me and I love how great the bra feels! I am anxious to try another style now that I know my size and know how well it fits compared to other bras that I have!

    If you're interested in trying the new Jockey Fit Kit it can be purchased for just under $20 and once you receive it you will have the opportunity to purchase a bra for $20 off, essentially making the kit free!

    To learn more please visit the Jockey website and social media sites...

    (Disclaimer: The Jackson Five Family Blog received a complimentary product sample to facilitate this reader review. However all opinions are honest and our own!)

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

    Pigeon Forge, Tennessee --The Center of Fun in the Smokies...

    Pigeon Forge, TN

    The Land of More and The Center of Fun in the Smokies...

    We recently traveled to Pigeon Forge, TN --"The Land of More" and "The Center of Fun in the Smokies" where there is so much to see and do! If you're looking for a family friendly destination then we believe that you will L-O-V-E what Pigeon Forge has to offer.

    Within one visit to the city Pigeon Forge will quickly become your favorite Smoky Mountain Escape. You will love all of the fun along the Parkway, the many shows and attractions the city has to offer and if you're like me then you will love the outlet malls and other neat stores available to shop at. 

    You'll never go hungry in Pigeon Forge as the restaurants and eateries are abundant. The hospitality is superb and most establishments offer more food than the belly can handle. 

    You will be happy to know that Pigeon Forge offers over 170 accommodations, so no matter your budget or family size you will definitely be able to find the perfect place to stay. There are cabins and condos to rent, so many hotels to choose from and if you're a little more adventurous then maybe you'll find a campground to stay at or a place to park your RV. 

    You'll love the short drive from the heart of the city to the Great Smoky Mountains. Make sure you take a drive through Cades Cove where you will you might see a wild bear (we did!!) or plan a visit to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Tennessee where I hear the views are phenomenal. 

    We spent a week in the Smoky Mountains area and our days were jammed packed with fun. There is still so much that we didn't see or do and we can't wait to plan our next visit. Stay tuned for more from our recent trip! 

    To order your FREE travel planner, find a variety of coupons and vacation packages available and to plan your visit to Pigeon Forge, TN please visit the My Pigeon Forge website and check out their social media pages...


    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Stay connected this school year with Boost Mobile and the new white Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 & a phone Give-a-way...

    (The Jackson Five Family Blog received a complimentary product sample to help facilitate this reader review and giveaway. However all opinions are honest and our own!) 

    I think it's so important for children to have cell phones these days. Whether they are going away to college this fall or becoming more independent in grade school this year, giving them a way to stay connected is easy with Boost Mobile

    Boost Mobile is one of Sprint's award-winning prepaid cell phone brands. Boost offers wireless phones and services with no long-term contract. Not only will you love their no Long-Term Contract Plans, but they also offer Monthly Unlimited Plans that feature "Shrinking Payments".

    Watch this video to see just how that works...



    I recently had the opportunity to try Boost Mobile. They sent me their newly released white Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 and allowed me to try their monthly unlimited plan and service in my area.

    This new phone retails for only $179.99 and offers Android 4.1.2, Jelly Bean which makes for a powerful, customized consumer experience. It features a large 4-inch screen with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera that allows face-to-face chatting and the easy sharing of pictures and videos. 

    The Galaxy Prevail 2 is a very affordable option for those of you who want a premium Android smartphone experience at a real value!



    4 - Inch WVGA Touchscreen
    1.4GHz Processor
    1750 mAh Battery
    Wi-Fi and GPS-Enabled
    Bluetooth 4.0

    The Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 can be paired with Boost Mobile's no annual contract $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan with Shrinking Payments. So for every 6 on-time payments that you make, the cost of Boost Mobile's Monthly Unlimited Plan shrinks by $5, eventually getting down to as low as $40 a month for unlimited nationwide talk, text and picture messaging, Web[1], e-mail and calls to 411. The best part is that payments do not have to be consecutive to qualify for the next savings milestone. 


    We've been using the Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 for a few weeks now and even took it on vacation with us. Service has been great and we absolutely love the phone.

    It's easy to use and offers all of the high-end features that an expensive phone would cost without the hefty price tag. The camera works great and the battery life is awesome! It's a very light-weight phone and easy to carry in your pocket or purse. 

    Our current cell phone provider doesn't offer no-contract plans or shrinking payments which we are really digging! If you're looking for an affordable choice for your student heading to college this year or want to give your school aged child a phone that will allow them access to be in contact with you whenever they choose, I really feel that Boost Mobile's service plans and the new white Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 may be a great option for you!

    The Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 is available now at Boost Mobile's exclusive retail store, select independent wireless dealer locations nationwide and at with free shipping! 


    To view all of Boost Mobile's no-contract plans and the latest phones available please visit:

    - GIVE-A-WAY -

    One lucky reader will win the new white Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 valued at $179.99! (service plan must be purchased separately!)


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    (The Jackson Five Family Blog received a complimentary product sample to help facilitate this reader review and giveaway. However all opinions are honest and our own!)