Now is the time to grab you debit card and buy both of the Target Beauty Boxes! They’re up live for back to college and are GREAT deals. I purchased both and an extra one for my sister-in-law who starts back at college in the Fall.
The Target Beauty Boxes are basically Target’s response to the beauty box fad. They highlight different beauty products and release boxes at different times of the year. I’m not sure if there’s a schedule but I saw a link on a forum (BeautyBoxes) I follow on Reddit. Here is what is included in each individual box:
Back To College Honor Roll Box (pictured above)
This box is my favorite of the two. It includes a lot of products I’ll use on a regular basis. It’s also the one I bought my sister-in-law. Here’s what’s included:
That’s a total of $23.99 worth of products for only $5! I personally would spend $5 alone on an NYX butter gloss. I think that’s what caught my eye first. I like that there’s the perfect mix of makeup items and skincare/hair items. You can never have enough bath poufs, body wash, or elastics! This is an excellent deal and comes with free shipping. You can order it here. Act quick though, these sell out quick!
Back To College: Head of the Class Box (pictured above)
Even though I won’t use a few of the items like the fashion tape and the pumice stone, I think this kit is still a steal. The mascara and Covergirl lip color are what sold me. Here’s what it includes:
This box has a total of $26.94 worth of products! Even though the value is higher, I still liked the other better because I’ll use more of the products. I’m not sure what the hair oil will be like. I use a lot of other brands like Beauty Protector and Bumble and Bumble so I may end up giving it away. I do, however, like the Covergirl lipgloss. I’m curious what color will come. Again, you can purchase this box here but order quickly! They may sell out by tonight! Each comes with FREE SHIPPING.
Which box sounds the best to you? Are you going back to college? Would you like one of these in your mailbox?
When we went off on our own, we headed to The Yellow House On Plott Creek Road. This little bed and breakfast is located in the charming town of Waynesville, North Carolina. I had heard of it through Groupon. For $299, you received a two-night stay in a suite, checking in on Friday. As usual, I read reviews before purchasing the deal and saw plenty of high ratings. The pictures looked fantastic. We left Starbucks and drove straight to the bed and breakfast in the rain. I hadn’t realized we were running a little late for check-in, so I called ahead and let the inn-keeper know. Shawn was extremely accommodating welcomed us at the door.
Friday, May 29th: First Night at The Yellow House & Dinner at The Sweet Onion
As soon as we drove up, the air seemed to get lighter. There was a magical feeling about this place. It felt as if we had gone back in time. The yellow house overlooked a lot of greenery and you could see it from the road. The mountains in the background looked like someone had painted them. We heard a bunch of folks talking on the front porch and saw some plates and glasses of wine.
When we walked in, a man introduced himself as Shawn. He began whisking us around the old home, pointing out port wine, a pantry full of snacks, a cheese plate, and board games. It felt like we were coming back home to place we’d never been. There were about ten different people eating appetizers and visiting in the parlor and front porch. Shawn explained that it was their cheese and wine reception.
The floor creaked below our feet and the china in the cabinets softly clinked as we walked into the butler pantry. Shawn told us to help ourselves to snack bars, cereal, fresh fruit, and cookies (he baked fresh every day). He showed us the hot water for tea and where we could leave our plates. There was also a room with books and lots of board games. Before taking us to our suite, which was located in another building, Shawn explained that the inn had plenty of material on the town and all the menus from local restaurants.
I noticed the inn was clean and well appointed. It was cozy and worn but not stuffy. A large clock stood to the right and there was a buffet with port wine and small glasses. On the coffee table there were lots of different photo books dedicated to the bed and breakfast. My favorite was a day in the life of the inn’s cat. Shawn had made the book, telling the story of the inn from the resident cat’s perspective. Another book was filled with pictures of the inn during different seasons.
We followed Shawn up a small road to another building that housed our suite.
We booked the Kinsale Suite. It’s located in a small house overlooking the upper pond. Along with a front area with rocking chairs, the suite had a small porch in the back. I loved hearing the creek as we got out of our car and Shawn climbed out of his golf cart .
Once inside, I was surprised at how clean and cozy the space felt. Shawn showed us around, offering instructions on the double-sided fireplace and showing us how to close the built-in blinds. He also explained that the fridge was stocked with complimentary drinks and told us how the air-jetted tub worked. He told us he’d leave some cheese and crackers out a little bit longer and told us to hurry back to the house and eat. I sat some bags down and headed over.
The wine and cheese reception was great. Shawn had two different types of wine, china laid out, hummus, crackers, different cheeses, and snacks. We both grabbed some plates and a glass of wine. Sitting on the front porch, we took a deep breath and looked over the property. You could hear the birds chirping and glasses clinking. Some people were sitting inside, others at the outside sitting area. Afterwards, we looked around at the menus collected in a basket near the reception area. Shawn told us that there would be a wait since we didn’t have reservations. I laughed. We were in the middle of nowhere, how could there be a wait for dinner? After deciding on a place called The Sweet Onion, we went back to the suite to freshen up.
The Kinsale was ideal. The bed was extra comfy and I loved the unique art and furniture.
We adjusted the individual thermostat and turned up the air conditioning. I looked around, inspecting the room. I loved the double-sided fireplace that could be enjoyed from the bed and bathtub.
The space was large, with two separate rooms and a bathroom with a walk-in shower. The tub was sparkling and had Yellow House branded bath salts beside it and soaps. I also noticed handmade mugs with the bed and breakfast’s logo on them by the coffee maker.
There was an ice box, microwave, coffee maker, and fridge. Inside the fridge were bottled juices, sodas, and Perrier Sparkling Bottled Water. Coffee and tea was placed in a basket near a roll of paper towels. There were also extra cozy robes with the bed and breakfast’s logo on them hanging up. They smelled like fresh linen and were really soft to the touch.
Another unique touch was a dark hand towel with the words “Make Up” embroidered onto it. The rest of the towels were white, so this was a good place to take off my red lipstick.
After freshening up, we drove to The Sweet Onion. Sure enough, Shawn had been right. There was a thirty minute wait for the Southern farm fresh restaurant. Downtown Waynesville, The Sweet Onion made me think of a New Age hippie that grew up in the South. There were waiters with cool tattoos serving up fresh fritters and fried chicken. Water was poured into mason jars and the place felt like a modern southern diner…only more pricey.
The food was phenomenal. I ordered chicken fingers with macaroni and cheese. Dustin had a chicken parmesan sandwich. We talked and talked and laughed. It was a wonderful meal. When we left, we decided to walk around the little town.
Waynesville is quaint. It reminds me of the town in the book/movie The Notebook. There are cute little shops with mountains as the backdrop. Even though it’s a country area, there are nice art shops and galleries. Everything was closed but the May air was hot. We walked and walked. There were a few bars and pizza joints open. I was surprised to see an old theater. The Strand is a boutique theater that offers free viewings of movies. It was late and we wanted to enjoy our room. If we weren’t tired we would have watched a movie and ordered some homemade sodas. There were lots of people walking dogs and we even looked in the window of a dog bakery. Sleepy, we headed back to the Yellow House amidst the mountains.
We walked to the Yellow House (a four minute walk) from our suite. Shawn had showed us the code to get in. Lights were low and people were talking upstairs. We sat in the parlor and drank small glasses of port wine. We talked about our dinner and moving to the mountains. After grabbing a board game, we headed back to our room. There were matches and small aromatic candles near the bath. I took a relaxing bath and we went to sleep early.
The next morning, we walked to the front porch for breakfast. Shawn asked us if we wanted to eat inside or outside. Of course we said outside. The weather and view was perfect! A few welcoming women waited on us and offered us juice and coffee. Shawn was walking around in an apron, visiting casually with other guests. I could smell the food.
The first morning we had the following: fruit cups with yogurt, bacon, peach french toast, and more fruit for dessert with powdered sugar. The peach french toast was delicious. Shawn handed out recipe cards. The next morning we had fruit, asparagus, tator tots, and ham spinach quiche.
The portion sizes were abundant. We were seated with another couple. After visiting, we realized we had a lot in common. This was their second time there using a Groupon and they had driven from Atlanta, Georgia. They were both Christians and we found that out from where the wife had gone to college (another conservative-Christian school). It was really nice to get to visit with other Christians. What a blessing! I wish I would’ve gotten their information. The husband was from Ecuador and had a strong accent. The wife had also lived in Chicago near Lincoln Square. We knew a lot of the same areas and subway stops. (We also had matching blue nail polish!)
That day, Saturday, May 30th, we explored Asheville, North Carolina. Among the things we did was work at a coffee shop, visit the Biltmore, and eat at a local taco place. We left The Yellow House on Sunday, May 31st.
A few times we saw a black and white kitty lazying around the property. We walked around and enjoyed the outdoors. It was kept beautifully. There were lots of butterflies and other birds.
Dustin managed to find a hammock. He laid back and took a deep breath in. We were relaxed and wanted to stay a few more nights. While checking out, Shawn told us more about the area and also told us the brand of the port wine we sipped (Taylor Tawny Port). Before heading out, we played cards on the front porch.
It was such a lovely experience. The Groupon deal is gone but I’ve heard they have them occasionally. Even if you don’t have a Groupon it’s well worth it for the stay. You can read lots of reviews on Tripadvisior. Here’s a link to my contribution. This bed and breakfast way by far one of the nicest we’ve visited. If you stay, tell Shawn we said hello!
Thursday, May 28th: Downtown Gatlinburg & Dinner at The Old Mill Restaurant
On this day of our journey, we were still with the rest of the family. We spent the day downtown Gatlinburg. We visited the Ripley’s Aquarium and also did the lift at Ober Gatlinburg. I had been to Ripley’s. It’s an awesome aquarium and you get to go “under” the shark tank. It felt like we had a personal tour guide since my sister-in-law is studying marine biology. She told us all about the different fish and sharks. Of course, my favorite part was the penguins. There’s a newer exhibit with penguins. They’re adorable.
Another stop was The Donut Friar (located in The Village Shops). I swear this little bakery has the very best donuts in all of the Smokeys. I had a long john, in case you were wondering. We also tried lots of beef jerky and enjoyed tasting moonshine at The Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine.
My favorite place, though was a newer shop called Bootleggers Homemade Wine. This little shop sells wines that are extra sweet and have unique flavors. After tasting a few, we picked up a bottle of Homegrown Blackberry Wine to enjoy at our bed and breakfast. My in-laws picked up some Homegrown Strawberry Wine for a friend. Cute country t-shirts and glass mason jars are sold in the store. I really liked the packaging of the wines. The winery began with two sisters and they make all of their wines by hand. You can’t order online, you have to visit the location in the Smokeys to enjoy it.
Now, I’ve heard lots about Ober Gatlinburg but I’d never been there. It’s basically an attraction park at the top of a mountain overlooking downtown Gatlinburg. In the winter you can ski or tube up there. Along with kiddie rides, there are animals on display and restaurants. We took the ariel tram too late in the evening and didn’t spend time up there. The view was wonderful. I’ll admit, being on the tram was a little bit scary, but it was fun to walk around and look into the mountains. Per person it was $12. It takes you 2.1 miles up into the mountains and can take 120 passengers. The Aerial Tramway at Ober Gatlinburg is also one of the largest in all of America.
Last, but definitely not least, we ate at The Old Mill Restaurant for dinner. This is one of my favorite restaurants on the planet and we make a point to eat there every time we are in town. Located in Pigeon Forge, this restaurant is one of the oldest attractions in the area. The food is ah-mazing. We’re talking Southern fritters, homemade chicken and dumplings, and lots of sweet tea.
For about $20 you receive
-a cup of corn chowder
-a side salad
-mashed potatoes and green beans
I was in food heaven. The chicken and dumplings were delicious. Made just like I like them. Dustin ordered the meatloaf. It was at least a pound in weight. Massive. We all had leftovers, including desserts. It’s safe to say we slept well that night on full bellies.
Friday, May 29th: Alpine Coaster, Working from Starbucks & Headed to The Yellow House Bed and Breakfast
The next morning, we said goodbye to our family and they headed back to Ohio. I had found tickets for an alpine coaster on Groupon for $17 for two. The attraction was located at Goats on the Roof. This center had games, rides, and a gift shop…it also had live goats living on the roof. I didn’t believe it at fist, thought it was just a sales gimmick, until we saw goats walking around on the roof. Above is the picture of where the goats live. There are connecting walkways to each building and the goats can walk around up and down the buildings and hide in the little barns. For a dollar you could buy food and use a mechanism to feed them on the roof. This was hilarious as the goats would anticipate the food and crane their necks to eat it. But, we weren’t there to feed the goats. We were there to ride the alpine coaster.
An alpine coaster is basically a small roller coaster, only you have a hand held break which helps you slow down. The little cart is attached to a track and once you go up the mountain, you are let go and roll around circles and hills until you slow to a stop at the bottom. Dustin and I thought this would be easy peasy. Not scary at all. We love roller coasters and have been to Cedar Points lots of times. Well, it wasn’t a walk in the park. As soon as we began gaining speed I was hollering and Dustin was pulling the break. Even though you were wearing seat belts, it felt like you could fly off the side of the mountain. It was really fun and the dips caught your stomach. Well worth the $17. I’d do it again!
Unfortunately, it was time to work. We both had stuff to get done. After finding a Starbucks, we ordered drinks and hunkered down. It would be a few hours before we could leave and drive to our first bed and breakfast.
Once we finished up, we looked up the directions to Waynesville. The drive was about an hour and a half. We passed some fun places, including the home of Bush’s Baked Beans.
Next up, the best bed and breakfast we’ve ever visited. The Yellow House!
As promised, I will be breaking down our southern road trip. We began our trip on Monday, May 25th with family. To see the whole trip overview click here.
Monday, May 25th: Cumberland Falls
While driving down to Pigeon Forge, we stopped at Cumberland Falls. Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest near Corbin, Kentucky, this falls is a popular destination for those wanting to see the moonbow (a rainbow seen under a full moon). We visited during the afternoon and hiked about two-three miles. It was really hot and humid, but it was a good hike and the falls were worth the trek. You can also just drive straight up to the falls.
Do you see the small raft in the corner of the picture? It helps you get an idea of how big the falls are. The rocks at the bottom are really large. I learned there was once a hotel overlooking the water but it burned down 1949.
After hiking, we drove to Knoxville, TN. We stayed the night at the Hampton Inn. I love Hampton Inns. This one had a salt water pool! The next morning, we woke up and drove into the Smoky Mountain National Park.
Tuesday, May 26th: Smoky Mountain National Park, Cherokee Village, the Cabin
On Tuesday we woke up and drove into the Smoky Mountain National Park. Together, it was me, my dad, Dustin’s mum and dad, his brother, his little sister, and Dustin. We stopped at an overlook and took the picture below of Gatlinburg. I’ve stayed at the hotel that’s higher up. It’s also where my little sister stayed on her honeymoon. It’s currently owned by Hilton and is called The Park Vista by Doubletree. It’s really cool and has a 15-story atrium.
Along with stopping a the park’s visitors center, we hiked to Laurel Falls. After that, we drove over the mountain to Cherokee in North Carolina. I remember visiting this little village when I was a small girl. It’s on an Indian reservation and has many different shops. It seemed a little run down and there weren’t many people there. Just going over the mountain was worth the trip, but I probably wouldn’t suggest going to Cherokee unfortunately. It just isn’t how it used to be.
After Cherokee, we drove back over the mountain and found our cabin! The cabin was rented through Cabins of the Smoky Mountains. Since we were staying in May, we received a great discount. I believe it was less than $300 per night and we stayed three nights. Dad and Dustin’s dad and mum shared the cost of the cabin. Dustin and I later contributed by paying for everyone’s aerial tram ride, which was about $85. The actual cabin name was Love View More.
The cabin was massive. It’s probably one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed. Five balconies, four massive bedrooms, five bathrooms, a theater room, a game room, and more.
We spent a lot of time on the front porch, which was attached to the living room and dining room. The view was spectacular. I can’t even describe it.
Above is a picture of the view from the front porch. We all got a private bedroom except Dustin’s siblings who shared. Each bedroom had it’s own bathroom, some with double sinks. The master suite was Dustin’s parents room. It had it’s own private balcony, a garden tub, vaulted ceilings, and a master bathroom.
Dustin and I picked the bedroom in the basement. There were glass doors that led to the hot tub on the bottom level. There was also a private bathroom attached. I loved the king sized bed and the decorations were really fun. We had plenty of room!
Below is a picture of one of the other bedrooms. When we arrived the towels were folded. I loved the exposed beams and wood. Each bedroom also had a flat screen tv.
Two of the four bedrooms had their own private decks. Our bedroom had a door that opened to a communal deck. Below is a picture of the dual sinks in one of the bathrooms.
We didn’t spend that much time in the family room. Instead, we found ourselves at the dining room table, out on the porches, or playing in the game room. Although this room was wonderful. The TV (not pictured) was massive and the couches were comfy. The kitchen was well equipped and even had an ice maker appliance built under one of the cabinets. I loved the granite countertops and the space. One morning our dads combined forces and made us a yummy breakfast. Other than that, we just snacked. We dined out more.
The game room and movie room were decorated with fun art, including a Gone with the Wind movie poster.
A lot of time was spent playing pool and arcade games. The arcade machine had lots of different vintage games and use was unlimited. The boys (and everyone else) couldn’t stay away from it! We turned on the fireplace a few times. It was really cozy.
Believe it or not, we didn’t really use the theater room. It had it’s own bathroom and was such a cool thing to have in the cabin. We all love movies, but we were pretty busy seeing the sights. One night we just watched TV down there before bed. The sound system was good and the picture clear. (Love that Grease poster).
Wednesday, May 27th: Poison Ivy Scare & Dixie Stampede
Every morning Dustin and I would wake up and try to get some work in. On Wednesday, Dustin was breaking out in poison ivy. We were unsure of how bad it was until his eyes began to swell. After a trip to Urgent Care and $200+ in medical bills, we were glad we paid attention. I guess Dustin is extremely allergic to poison ivy and it had gotten into his bloodstream. The doctor at Urgent Care gave him a shot and watched him until his swelling went down. His tongue was tingling and his lips were swollen. The doctor told us if it got any worse he needed to get to the ER. She gave us directions, but with steroids he got a little better.
That evening we got to go to The Dixie Stampede. Was it corny? A little. Was it fun? YES! I’ve been three times now and I love it. Headed up by Dolly Parton, this attraction is fun for all ages and includes a full meal. You eat with your hands “country style” and watch a show. There are live animals like horses, pigs, mini ponies, bison, and more. The tricks are cool and they’ve added a woman who flies around attached to invisible cords, representing a Native American bird. The service was great and our waiter took good care of us, making sure we had lots of sweet tea.
I was so full at the end. The amount of food is so big. You get a cheesy roll, a bowl of creamy vegetable soup, half a baked potato, a whole chicken, BBQ pork loin, corn-on-the-cob, and an apple turnover. The chicken is really strange (because it’s an entire chicken) when they lay it on your plate, but it’s delicious. There are wet wipes for your hands too.
For $60, it’s a bit of a splurge, but it was fun for the whole family and the horse tricks were worth seeing. Look around for coupons!
Dustin working in the morning with his coffee.
I already miss this porch swing 🙂
I think that’s enough of our trip for this post. (And that’s only three days!) Next, we had a few more days with the family and then headed off on our own.