Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Lost Sea Aventure

When we were planning a trip to Tennessee this summer, we thought it would be cool to do a little cave exploring. My father in law mentioned a place he took Jason many years ago (so many that Jason didn't even remember it) called The Lost Sea Adventure. I'm a sucker for tourist traps, so I made sure it was added to our itinerary.

The Lost Sea

The tour is 3/4 mile long, and lasts about an hour. We started our adventure by walking through a long tunnel to get into the caves.

Once inside, I was pretty happy to see that it was very open, and you don't feel like you are being sucked into small tunnels. We learned quite a bit about the cave stalagmites and stalactites, how the Indians used the caves as a place for meetings, and how later, the Confederate soldiers used it as shelter. It's definitely rich in history, and you'll learn about how people have used the caves for many different purposes over the years.

The Lost Sea Adventure
The Lost Sea Adventure

I'll admit, the novelty of walking through a cave kind of wears off quickly. To me, once you've seen a few stalagmites and stalactites, you're pretty much over the experience. However, this tour offered a few extra perks that kept us entertained. First, they shut off all the lights, pitching us into complete and total darkness. I believe our guide said caves are only one of two places in the world where you can experience this. The other perk is The Lost Sea is home to America's largest underground lake. It's located 140 feet below ground and spans 4 acres. You'll board a glass bottom boat, then float out for a trip around the lake.

The guide encouraged us to dip our hands into the crisp mineral water, which left our skin feeling really soft. We didn't leave our hands in too long since the lake houses massive rainbow trout that they feed on every tour. The fish do lose about 20% of their eyesight in the lake, and they cannot reproduce, so The Lost Sea does have to replenish the fish supply every so often.

When we wrapped up the tour, we did stop at their Old Sweetwater Village to have a look around. Here you can pick up some souvenirs in the glass blowing shop, stop for an old fashioned ice cream cone, or hike through the nature trail.

The Lost Sea Adventure is located in Sweetwater, TN, and offers tours daily, except for Christmas. We paid roughly $20 per adult and $10 per child. While it's not something we ever need to go through again, I thought it was fun and the experience was well worth the cost.

Have you ever been cave exploring? If so, where? If not, would you ever consider a cave tour?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Baked Tomatoes With My Homegrown Tomatoes

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.

I was looking around my yard this spring and thought, "Hey, I think I'll start a garden this year." If you know me, that's a pretty ambitious goal since I have a complete black thumb. I waste more money on buying house plants just to kill them within a few months time. It's rather pathetic, really. Imagine my surprise when not only did my tomato plants live, they thrived, producing tons of tomatoes! Even after giving some away, I still have more than I know what to do with. Of course, I turned to my trusty Golden Blossom Honey recipe page for inspiration, and zeroed in on these Baked Tomatoes.

Baked Tomatoes

This is such a flavorful and heart healthy side dish! The crispy breadcrumbs add a great contrast to the tender tomatoes. It's just an overall delicious recipe!

4 ripe medium sized tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, made from whole grain bread
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil


baked tomatoes

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.

If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!

Did you plant a vegetable garden this year? What's your favorite veggie to  grow?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Accessorizing Tastefully For Middle School

I've noticed Allison take quite a shift in her attitude towards appearances this school year. Last year, she didn't care if she went to school with wild hair. Jeans showing a little too much ankle? Whatever! Patterns on clothing don't match? So, what!? That was definitely her 5th grade attitude. It seems since starting 6th grade, a whole new girl has emerged. Last year she wanted to sleep in until it was almost time to walk out the door. This year, she has been insisting on getting up early so she can have her hair properly fixed. She's taking careful consideration to planning out her outfits days in advance. And now she has an obsession with watching beauty tutorials on YouTube.

She'll spend obscene amounts of times trying to perfect certain hairstyles, and she's swiped all of my excess makeup to practice different looks. Of course, it's fine to wear in the house, but at almost 12, she's not allowed to leave with any of it still on her face. She seems to be in such a hurry to grow up, but I'm forcing her to stay my baby just a little longer. We've had to do a little compromising so she feels that she has a little freedom over her own look, but at the same time, it's mom approved. Here's how we compromise:

She wanted to dye her hair white like Elsa's. I told her she could learn to use the flat iron instead.
She wants to wear makeup. I allow a lightly tinted lip balm.
She wanted wedge shoes. I directed her towards slouchy boots that would look good with skinny jeans.
She wanted her ears pierced, we shopped together for cute, age appropriate earrings and other jewelry to accessorize her outfits. Since she's still learning to take care of her pieces, it's important to find stylish, inexpensive jewelry and charms. I like to shop for these products on a wholesale jewelry site, so I don't have to worry too much if she loses or gets her jewelry stolen.

Allison is at the age where there's a fine line on looking tasteful or tacky in middle school. I think we've made some good compromises so far. I've steered her towards looking like a respectable tween, and she feels she can put a creative spin on her look by dressing up her outfits with cute accessories and jewelry. #Winning!

What are some of the compromises you have made with your children lately?

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season & The Originals: The Complete Second Season Giveaway #TVD #TheOriginals

*Disclosure- This is not a sponsored post. I did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway.

Here's a fun little post and giveaway for you CW fans! First, we are showing you 4 blogger exclusive interviews with the creator of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, Julie Plec. These super fan videos feature Julie confessing her favorite moments & top 5 episodes from the recent seasons of both The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season and The Originals The Complete Second Season.


Also, here is a fun “Viewing Party Eats: Recipes to Satisfy Friends & Enemies” downloadable PDF that’s sure to impress your guests. With index card recipes and party-ready place cards included, we’ve made it easy to prep some snacks to satisfy during your marathon watch-party.


About The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season

The Vampire Diaries continues its sixth season with more delicious drama to sink your teeth into. In season five, after a passionate summer with Damon, Elena headed to Whitmore College with Caroline, not knowing Bonnie sacrificed her life for Jeremy’s. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline’s friendship deepened as they stood up to the Travelers, a nomadic witch tribe driven to strip Mystic Falls of magic and cast out its supernatural residents. In the shocking season finale, Damon, fearing he would lose his loved ones on the crumbling Other Side, made a huge sacrifice to bring them all back — with catastrophic and heartbreaking results. Season six follows the characters’ journey back to each other as they explore the duality of good versus evil inside themselves. Matt Davis reprises his role as Alaric Saltzman, recently returned from The Other Side. Plus, the season will make you misty-eyed as the departure of a major character will turn lives upside down and leave us asking what happened to Mystic Falls.

Own The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 1, 2015 .

Contains All 22 Episodes From The Sixth Season Plus Two Featurettes, An Audio Commentary, The 2014 Comic-Con Panel, Deleted Scenes, And A Gag Reel

The Vampire Diaries on Facebook:
The Vampire Diaries on Twitter:

About The Originals The Complete Second Season
As Original vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson returned to the vibrant, supernaturally charged city of New Orleans in season one, he was stunned to learn — along with his siblings Elijah and Rebekah — that Hayley, a werewolf, was pregnant with his child, and his vampire protégé, Marcel, whom the Original siblings had thought long dead, was ruling the French Quarter. Soon, a bloody war escalated between vampires and witches — the stakes raised by powerful teenage witch Davina and by Klaus’s bond with Cami, a student with a painful past — and a ruthless pack of wolves seized the opportunity to stage a violent coup. Now, in season two, a new status quo must be adjusted to, as the newly empowered werewolves control the city. Klaus struggles with weaknesses as Elijah desperately tries to save Hayley — now a hybrid — from a vicious spiral of self-destruction. Meanwhile, with the re-emergence of several Mikaelsons, “family is power” takes on new meaning.

Own The Originals The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 1, 2015Contains All 22 Episodes From The Second Season Plus Never-Before-Seen Featurettes And Much More!The Originals on Facebook:
Ask The Originals on Twitter:
This blog app has some fun features!
• Take the "Are you Fit for Vampire Life?" Quiz to find out if you have what it takes to be a creature of the night.
• On September 1st come back to take a new "Could You Be a Supernatural Being?" Quiz - the app will be automatically updated with a new quiz experience, so be sure to take both!
• Scroll through all the images from the shows and come back every week for new unlocked content. 


One lucky Theresa's Mixed Nuts reader is going to win either The Vampire Diaries The Complete Sixth Season OR The Originals The Complete Second Season (CHOSEN AT RANDOM from the sponsor).


*The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. & Canada, 13+. No PO Boxes will be accepted. The giveaway will run through 9/14/15. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected.
*All entries are verified, so please make sure you are properly entering for the entries you claim. 

Only one winner per household across all blog giveaways for (1) The Vampire Diaries Season 6 or The Originals Season 2 chosen at random. If you win this same giveaway on another blog, you will be ineligible to win again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Going On A SNACKATION #Snackation

*Disclosure: Thank you to J.M. Smucker Company for sponsoring today's post. 

Last weekend, we loaded up the kids and their friends and took a little trip to Michigan. The beaches here in Indiana are less than desirable, but thankfully, we are no more than 45 minutes away from 5 amazing beaches right on Lake Michigan. This time, we opted to stop at Warren Dunes. Not only does it offer a lot of beach and water play, they have massive sand dunes to run up and down, as well as a stream where you can pluck up some natural clay mud to smear all over your body. It's a spa right there in nature!

Our beach outing ALWAYS include snacks, so we go on what you would call a SNACKATION. Just unloading the car is a production. We have to drag 2 kayaks, a stand up paddle board, chairs and the rest of our beach gear down to the water. By the time we are set up, we need to refuel!


Bringing along easy to serve and single serve products are a must at the beach. Sand gets everywhere, and the last thing you want is a whole bag of your favorite foods ruined if sand gets in it. So, our first stop is always Walmart to pick up Smucker's products for our SNACKATION. Allison is a big fan of the Jif To Go Cups and the Smucker's Uncrustables. I like the Smucker's Squeeze fruit spread because it's easy to distribute onto crackers without worrying about sand getting into the jar.

Smuckers Fruit Spread

Both girls are really into the stand up paddle board lately, and it's a real upper body workout! Allison will take a Smuckers Fruit-Fulls out on the water with her, then stop for a little snack break between sessions.


Jason and I like the kayaks best. We row out on the water until we can't hear the sounds of the beach anymore, and have a SNACKATION all of our own.

Even though summer is winding down, we still plan on taking as many summer snackations as possible before the cooler temps set in. I'm not ready to give up on summer just yet, and I plan to include Walmart and Smucker's in the rest of my SNACKATION destinations this season!

Where is your ideal SNACKATION destination?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Keep Hydrated With Glasstic #GlassticBottle

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.

Being sedentary is not in my family's vocabulary. We find every excuse we can to get out and get active together. Right now, we are spending a lot of time outdoors while the weather is warm, but even on rainy or cold days, we still find things to keep us active. Mariah has been my workout partner for the past few years, joining me in Zumba and Hip Hop Fitness several days a week. Since the weather has been so beautiful lately, we've been doing some fitness routines out in the yard when our gym classes aren't in session. 

Glass Water Bottle

Since we are always on the move, we know how important it is to keep hydrated. We all know that plastic water bottles aren't good for the environment, and I've noticed that reusable water bottles are really growing in popularity. I am big on recycling, but have been wanting to reduce my carbon footprint even more and make the switch to reusable bottles, so I recently got myself and Mariah a few Glasstic Shatterproof Glass Water Bottles.


Glasstic offers the purity of glass with the portability of plastic. Glass water bottles can be dangerous if dropped, but every Glasstic Shatterproof Glass Water Bottle is durable, double walled, leak proof, sweat proof and shatterproof, so you can use them worry-free. Just insert the inner glass tube into the outer plastic tube, screw on the bottom and top caps and you are good to go.

Each Glasstic bottle is 16 ounces, and you can get them in solid lid and bottom colors or in fun print. The flip-top lid makes it easy to access your liquids, and I really liked seeing the locking feature at the top of the lid. I don't worry about it spilling into my gym bag, soaking my clothes or ruining my electronics. There's even a loop hand-grip that makes carrying your bottle around a snap!

Allison has been eyeing my Glasstic bottle, and decided that when track rolls back around, it will be her water bottle for the season. It really will be perfect for track practice, but I'll be getting her one of her own before spring though, since the teachers are letting the students bring in water bottles to class now.

Jason's even gotten into the reusable water bottles, opting to take them on his Saturday morning kayak trips with Allison.

Glasstic Shatterproof Glass Water Bottles are BPA-free and Toxin-free. They are perfect for:

• Office
• School
• Gym
• Sports
• School
• Picnics
• Hiking
• Park
• Car
• Pool
• Beach

They are also great for fruit infusion, essential oils, alkaline water, water enhancers, fruit, juice and tea.

If you would like to learn more about Glassic Shatterproof Glass Water Bottles,  be sure to visit them on their website. Additionally, stay up to date on new products and promotions by following along on Facebook and Twitter.


TWO (2) lucky Theresa's Mixed Nuts readers are going to win (1) Glasstic Shatterproof Water Bottle of their choice.

*The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S., 13+. No PO Boxes will be accepted. The giveaway will run through 9/7/15. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected.
*All entries are verified, so please make sure you are properly entering for the entries you claim.

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