Guaranteed to get everyone off of their electronic devices – at least for a couple of hours…
(the view from the Ferris Wheel – can you spot me and Sophie?)
I’m always looking for fun things to do as a family, but with Sophia only eight months old – our choices are a little bit limited to keep everyone entertained. So when the opportunity to partner with Spirit Cruises came around, I thought – let’s do it!
We went on a family friendly Halloween themed cruise. It was a ‘costumes encouraged’ party but since we had just hosted a Halloween party the night before, no one was really in the mood to dress up again, but I did get Sophia in to her Wednesday Addams costume one more time since she didn’t have a say in the matter.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect sunny day – I felt especially lucky because the week following was absolutely dreary and rainy every single day. The brunch was served buffet style and the DJ played a mix of party favorites and spooky tunes like ‘monster mash’ and ‘thriller’. Adam majorly cut a rug, confirming the fact that he got his daddy’s dancing skills, haha. Sophia had fun just watching all the kids in costumes dancing on the dance floor. We went upstairs and played a few rounds of checkers and headed outside to lounge and take in the beauty of Lake Michigan. If you caught my instastory that day, you definitely saw more Lake Michigan views than you probably needed to 🙂
Overall we loved the experience, there was a ton of stuff to keep the kiddos busy, and Tom and I just loved getting outside for a change and enjoying the gorgeous lake view. The cruise staff was wonderful, and the warm baked chocolate chip cookies they passed out on the way out was a really nice touch. Since they dock at Navy Pier we went for a walk afterwards, and Tom and Adam took a ride on the Ferris Wheel. Two and a half hours without a phone or iPad turned out to be some of the most fun this family had together in a while!
I teamed up with Visit Knoxville to tour the HGTV Urban Oasis Sweepstakes home, and also to get a feel for all that Knoxville has to offer. Check out the video for a quick tour of the home and a little more of our trip, and see below for lots more pictures and details below! You can enter twice daily for a chance to win this home on HGTV.com, with a total value over $600,000, from now until November 22nd!
The HGTV Urban Oasis Sweepstakes home is a beautiful fully renovated Crafstman style home.
But first, to give you a full appreciation of the transformation of this home – let’s take a look at the before, shall we?
There is now some major curb appeal with the bold pink door, which contrasts so well with the dark blue and white paint colors, a color palette that is continued throughout the home.Oh yeah…I could see us living here! Just putting those vibes out into the universe!The home has an open and airy feel to it, and I love the use of cozy chairs instead of bigger and bulkier sofas.
The hallway is extra-wide, a special design touch that makes a big difference.
This home used to have a mish mash of kitchen spaces, three total kitchens to be exact. The layout was redesigned to create one spacious kitchen and a dining area that can now seat up to eight.
The kitchen has stunning blue custom cabinetry (paint color Sherwin Williams Salty Dog blue), marble counters, and a Black Walnut island. There are high-end fixtures by Kohler, and top of the line Samsung appliances, including a smart fridge where you can keep track of food you have inside, as well as play music.
French doors lead into this beautiful bedroom, which has a calm color palette, with some stand out pieces like a bold four post bed, unique side and console tables and oversized art.
That bathroom paint color though…
The master bedroom is unique with dark parkay flooring that is from reclaimed oak barrels, and the black trim makes the white and soft pink colors really pop.
One word I have for this Master bath: LUXURY. Complete luxury with wall to wall tile, brushed bronze fixtures, a stand alone tub, gorgeous wall paper, and even a remote controlled toilet.
Another room perfect for kids or guests include a shiplap built-in bunk bed.
Laundry room/Mud room takes you right out to the beautiful screened in porch.
A perfect place to relax which also adds to the spacious feel of this home.
The rec room has such a statement gallery wall, staying with the bright and bold color palette of the home.
Sophia coordinated perfectly with the outdoor entertaining space – don’t you think?
An extra room can be used for an artists loft, if I had this, I might have to take up painting, just saying…
The total value of this home is more than $600k – you can enter twice a day until Nov 22nd for your chance to win – click HERE to enter!
For you design junkies out there, get a little insight into Interior Designer Brian Patrick Flynn’s inspiration for designing this home:
This home is fully furnished by Overstock.com, with fixtures from Kohler, and Samsung Appliances. Flooring is from Authentic Reclaimed.
KNOXVILLE TRAVEL SHORTLIST:
WHERE TO STAY:
The Oliver Hotel – cute boutique hotel right in the heart of Market Square. Great hospitality, they even let me change Sophia’s diaper in the lobby when the hotel lobby bathroom was too crowded, aaand I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I let the attendant throw away the diaper for me. He got some major mom points from me right there!
WHERE TO EAT:
Olibea’s in the old city. I had the grilled cheese and highly recommend it!
Tupelo Honey – Must try: Avocado Toast and the Sweet Potato Pancakes.
Stroll through Market Square – They have a farmer’s Market on Saturday, and different outdoor events like movies at night. Probably some of the best people watching and all around fun.
Stop by the Sunsphere – it is a Knoxville icon created for the 1982 World’s Fair that attracted 11 million visitors. There is an observatory where you can view the city and learn a little more about Knoxville’s history.
View the Smoky Mountains from the Knoxville Botanical Gardens – and if possible, arrange for a Private yoga session with Kim from The Glowing Body.
While at the Botanical Gardens, check out and take a few pictures at the ‘Secret Garden’ themed area.
Vintage shopping at Mid Mod Collective – there are several vintage shops in the same area, but I only had enough time to visit this one.
Stroll through alleyways around Market Square for Instagram worthy street art.
Visit the Old City – stop in to Pretentious Glass which is only a few doors down from Olibea’sto check out some hand blown glass art, and maybe meet artist Matthew Cummings, who has been at it for over 15 years.
A few things I didn’t get a chance to do:
Take a Smoky Mountain or a Dolly Parton tour (yes! its a thing)
New video alert!! Four easy Fall looks for every occasion, filmed by Jorelle Gates. Scroll down for links and alternative options to everything I’m wearing. If you like this video, hit that thumbs up button will ya? Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you never miss a video xx