Knoxville’s Largest Kids Party Today!

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Today from 3-8 p.m. Premier Athletics is playing host to the 2nd annual Knoxville’s Largest Kids Party. We went last year and we were amazed! The square was jam packed with things for kids to do! Premier Athletics even constructed a  giant gymnastics obstacle course. Plus there were bounce houses, magic shows, train rides, animal encounters from the Knoxville Zoo, face painting, balloon art, cheerleading, dance, tumbling, and kids fitness exhibitions, princess manicures, food and vendors. The kids were lucky enough to get a number of freebies (free doughnuts, sunglasses and more). Arm bands for kids are $5 – no charge for adults!

Children’s Reading Festival May 18



The Knox County library is once again hosting the biggest annual children’s event in Knoxville at Worlds’ Fair Park on May 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is totally free (with lots of free parking available). All of the favorites will be back again including writer and illustrator live talks and autograph signing, Experiments in Science Village, bargain books for sale, 50 community booths and  arts and crafts. It’s a super-affordable day!



And new this year, Junior League of Knoxville’s Kids in the Kitchen. Junior League’s Kids in the Kitchen brings all kinds of bouncing fun to the subject of childhood health and wellness. Good health for kids doesn’t have to be all carrots and no cake. Drop by Kids in the Kitchen for everything from gardening to dance parties, and cooking demonstrations to karate. Families can learn how to live a balanced, healthy, and tasty life. Sponsored by Publix.

There will be a live onsite broadcast of WDVX’s Kidstuff with Sean McCullough too.
Curious George will be wandering around the Festival, along with other storybook characters.
Here’s a little more about the author line-up this year:

This year’s line up continues the tradition of bringing in some of the most highly acclaimed talents in children’s literature including Sharon Draper, five-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Author Award and National Teacher of the Year. Jarrett Krosoczka is renowned for his “Lunch Lady” series of graphic novels and “Punk Farm” books. Bob Shea has pitted unsuspecting librarians and just about everyone else against dinosaurs in his popular “Dinosaur vs. …” series. Also joining the Festival is the First Class Maid Jaynee of the Titanic Museum and Allan Wolf whose book,The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic, explores the notorious shipwreck in verse. Emmy Award winner, Bobby Norfolk brings his spellbinding storytelling skills back to the stage of the Festival. Joining him is his very talented wife, Sherry Norfolk, who is a storyteller and educator in her own right. Jim Gill will have the crowd crooning with his latest musical book, Soup Opera. Keep a look out for Curious George who will be roaming the Festival along with other storybook characters. 

More details here, including a full schedule of events and activities.

Made in Tennessee: Gift Ideas for Mom


Looking for something different for your mom this year? Take a look at my Shopping story in today’s Knoxville News Sentinel, here. But don’t forget Mother’s Day is this Sunday May 12th, so if you’re after something custom you’ll want to order it ASAP. Plus, there will be many goodies available at the Farmer’s Market on Market Square this Saturday. I even got a new router table for next year, now I can build bigger, more meaningful gifts.

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(a Keiser M3 Spin bike)

motherlylovephoto10 motherlylovephoto11 motherlylovephoto12For details of where to get these items, click here or pick up a copy of Monday May 6th’s Knoxville News Sentinel.

Cute last minute teacher and Mother’s Day gift idea



Despite my best intentions I’m still madly scrambling to find Teacher Appreciation gifts and a Mother’s Day gift this week. Jennie from Purse and More, is a local Etsy vendor and has the cutest little wristlet and coin purses in her Etsy store right now. With cheap shipping and stock ready to send, her purses are a pretty and practical gift idea. I’ve stocked up on a couple of Birthday presents while I’m at it too!
She makes simple coin purses (great for stashing just the essentials), the zipper wristlets are great fro Farmers Market shopping or to keep everything corralled in your oversized tote, the Diaper clutch makes an adorable baby shower gift and she’s even thought of a first aid clutch (everyone knows that mom who has Bandaids to hand and makes the rest of us look ill-prepared. Jennie has just released a bunch of cute designs and colors for spring too!
Featured clockwise from top right:
The Wristlet functions as an ID holder, coin purse and cell phone holder and most designs are $16.
The Diaper clutch features a clear zipper pouch for baby’s odds n’ ends, and is big enough to stash baby wipes and a few diapers. At $28, it makes a cute alternative to a big bulky diaper bag.
The coin purses are perfect for spare change, ID, cell phone and even some Chapstick. And at $9 a pop, why not stock up on a couple.
See the whole range here and be sure to order soon to get your choice of pattern in time for Mother’s Day.

Knoxville Fashion Week kicks off this Wednesday



From left, Ella Grace Gozdieski models a gray-pocketed maxi dress and ivory canvas bow; Lexi French wears a chevron-bibbed tank top with two-toned canvas riding pants, an upcycled denim vest and floral hair extension; Camilla Morrow wears a brown canvas skirt with polka dotted-leggings and sheer blouse and hair bow; Chase Gozdieski wears a gray hooded graphic patch tee shirt and two-toned canvas pant with red cuffs. All designs are by Nastershum. (Saul Young/News Sentinel)

I had the opportunity to speak with three creative local women for the Knoxville News Sentinel, in the run up to Knoxville’s very own Fashion Week. Read more about their gorgeous designs here. Nasterhum’s one of a kind Flower Girl dress have even been featured in International mag Babiekins Magazine.

Mobile Cooking classes for parties and summer camp



Emma Andya and Izzy Wilson press the Super Power Bar mixture into a pan before baking it during a cooking class at Thackston School. Photo: Ali James/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel

At long last, you can find cooking classes for kids in Knoxville again. Teacher, Laura Broun, is offering classes for children in schools, during the summer and she’ll even bring her portable kitchen to you for children’s parties. Read more about the Artichoke Heart premier culinary kitchen in today’s issue of the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Green is in this Spring



After years of obsessing over every shade of blue, I’ve fallen in love with the color green. How could I resist, it’s everywhere this year… since the Pantone color of the year is Emerald green. Curious to see if the color has made as much of an impact in Knoxville I spoke to some local designers and boutique owners to get their take on this year’s trend. And yep, pretty shades of green are everywhere.



To hear what they have in store and how they suggest you incorporate shades of green into your wardrobe and home, check out my story in today’s Knoxville News Sentinel here.
Will you be buying some minty or emerald green accessories for your home or wardrobe this year?




2013 Summer Camp Guide – Get it this Sunday!

Canoes and Chairs on the Shore of a Lake

It’s that time again, pick up your copy of the Knoxville News Sentinel Summer Camp guide for 2013, put together by yours truly! Be sure to to tell other local parents and caregivers too, it’s amazing how many people forget to look for it!And, you can also search online here  thanks to a new database. Search by category, age group, etc. And in some cases you’ll find additional details. If you missed it, I also highlighted some downright inexpensive and free options in  an article here. Be sure to register soon as good spaces fill fast!

Hello! Spring

On Sunday we had to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Knoxville Zoo had sent us a little teaser postcard inviting members for a sneak peak at their brand new Lego Lodge and Budgie Landing. How could we resist?


Budgie Landing at Knoxville Zoo

I won’t lie, we were initially drawn by the idea of the Lego Lodge in the Cove, but what really thrilled us was Budgie Landing. Just look at the sweet, soft colored feathers. Budgerigars are native to Australia, so I felt completely at home. Purchase a little seed stick for a $1 as you enter the enclosure and the birds will nibble on it.


Branches are filled with pretty Budgies.


Look at this pretty little one.

Then of course we had to hop on the Carousel, after digging in the sand pit, climbing up and slipping down the slide countless times and brushing the goats (Lachie, kind of tapped one with a brush). Kids Cove was the place to be on such a gorgeous day!



Here’s a sneak peek at the Lego Lodge, which is also in Kids Cove. There are two big tables filled with Lego construction space. Plus, there are shelves of ‘cookie jars’ of Legos just waiting for kids to grab a scoopful. You can even purchase your own creation. Just take it to the scales, price is calculated by weight. We were considering not renewing our Zoo membership this year, we figured we had already seen it all. And then they go and add something else! A Zoo membership is unbeatable value, every visit is a unique experience.


5 Quick and Easy Crafts before Easter… no problem…

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I was inspired to put together some super simple Easter crafts for my Talk is Cheap column in the Knoxville  News Sentinel. I couldn’t resist making these bunny masks and instead of Easter eggs, I like the idea of giving the toddlers these little Easter Bunny cups so they can grow their own ‘bunny fur’. Read the full story here…