Beginning Creative Drama for Children





Learning performance skills can fire imagination, increase creativity, and support self-confidence in young children.  Experienced drama instructor and coach, Sara Venable, will introduce basic performance skills through drama exercises and games that can be played at home with the family.  Participants will perform a simple play based on a favorite storybook with props and costumes.  The play will be performed at the end of the workshop.  Sara is a drama teacher and theater director at Knoxville Catholic High School.  She has worked with children in creative drama from pre-school through high-school ages for over 15 years.

Wednesday, August 1st, 10:30am and 11:30am, $8.00, Reservations required in advance, Ages 3 to 6. Smart Toys and Books at 9700 Kingston Pike, #12 Knoxville TN, Call (865) 691-1154 for more info!

Did somebody say “Chicken”?









We have a little boy at our house who has an equal obsession with chicken and BBQ sauce so, how could I refuse an invitation to a small event promoting Kroger ‘s new Savory Roasted Chicken last Saturday? We already buy the roasted chicken for quick easy meals (it’s delish with the Hawaiian Rolls) and they’re about to launch a new Savory Roasted Chicken on July 21, which promises to be juicier, more tender and always freshly-roasted. An hour to myself and possibly a free chicken, how could I resist?

Camp Mom: Surviving those long summer days












I must admit I never understood what people meant about too much of a good thing until I had my three babies home with me day in, day out over this summer. Read my latest update on Camp Mom in today’s issue of the News Sentinel here. I’ve included some of my favorite things to do with the kids and revealed my best resource of all… In case you’re curious, the London Bus is made from an old Coca Cola box and the boys drew pictures of themselves to ‘ride’ on the bus.

Safari Splash Pad Now Open








We finally had the opportunity to hit the brand new Safari Splash pad at Knoxville Zoo last Saturday and it was a hit with all of my kids. We packed swim gear and plotted our route through the Zoo so that the last thing we did that day was let the kids splash around before we headed back to the car. We saw the Komodo Dragon, waved at the turtles, passed Chimp Ridge and saw the new Tiger habitat before the Safari Splash Pad. It’s located just behind the Safari Grill.

A Pinterest-ing we will go: Memorial Day

I may be a foreigner but I love the Patriotic holidays here. Memorial Day weekend is exciting because it means that summer really is here. The kids are out of school and the options of things to do are endless. Of course I just had to browse Pinterest for some inspiration. Does anyone else host a party or decorate for this holiday? What do you do?











A long weekend is the perfect excuse to decorate your home and tackle some quick and easy craft projects with the kids!

Clockwise from top left:
I could reuse the items in this tablescape for summer backyard parties again and again. Love the ice cream cones and Ice cream tub as well as the red, white and blue pennant banner. More details at All You.
Scraps of fabric and spray starch are all you need for these easy star medallions from Martha Stewart.
Kids love to collect rocks and paint things so this activity does double duty as a craft and tablecloth weights. Find the instructions at Amazing Moms.
Have the kids make these inexpensive holiday decorations from Easy Preschool Crafts for you.











Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s about the food too!

Clockwise from top left:

These delish looking popsicles are easy to make thanks to a ‘how to’ video on  The Idea Room.
Hand out bags of chips for parade watching or print out free printable tags from Sweet Metel Moments and decorate other snack items/table decorations.
These custom hot dog wrappers from Magnolia Creative are from a collection of Free Patriotic printable templates.
These sweet treats from Giggles Galore are just too tempting! See her other beautiful ideas here, she reuses items each year and adds a new touch here and there each holiday.

Update: Sign up for a Summer Reading Program and Win Prizes







A couple of weeks ago, when I was visiting my friends at Knox County Public Library they gave me the scoop on this year’s program and the super cute rewards the kids can earn.

We have a bunch of books ready to read and my boys can’t wait to get started. Signing up is easy. Register as a Reader or a Listener online or at any library location. Readers read for 15 hours. Listeners (for those not quite reading yet) listen to 30 books being read to them. You can pick up a reading log at any Library location, or download one (for Readers or for Listeners). Then get started reading. Once you’ve completed your log (s) return them to the library and pick up your prize.(The program runs through the end of July).


The youngest readers (4 and under) win a great age-appropriate prize pack -a Dream Big watercolor painting kit provided by the Children’s Reading Foundation and the Rewards Book!

Older readers (5 and up) win a super spectacular finger-light beam ring, and the awesome Rewards Book full of free stuff to do and tasty summer snacks. The Rewards book is worth over $100 and rewards include admission to: Knoxville Zoo, East Tennessee Discovery Center, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Tennessee Valley Fair, East Tennessee History Center, UT Lady Vols Soccer Game, UT Lady Vols Softball Game, YMCA Swimming Pool, Blount Mansion. Food and goodies from: Rita’s Italian Ice, Bruster’s, Denton’s, Magpies Bakery, Ijams Nature Center, Adventure and Activities, Lessons at South Knoxville TaeKwonDo, Bowling at Strike & Spare Family Fun Center.

ALSO: You may win an eReader!
Everyone who completes either a listener or reader log will automatically be entered to win eReader!

Coupon Katie has a fantastic roundup of more reading programs here and I’m waiting to hear if Barnes and Noble are running their regular program again this year. Has anyone else heard?

The lovely people from Barnes & Noble got back to me today and they said that they will be running their Summer Reading program again this year. It kicks off 5/22 and runs until 9/4. They’re still offering students the chance to receive a free book once they read 8 titles and tell B&N about it in their Summer Reading journal. More information about this year’s program can be found on their website,, on 5/22, the day the program launches.

Mother’s Day Fun with the Kids


Believe it or not, the gifts my kids make for me at school have been by far the best I’ve ever recieved. I still display the beautiful paper flowers, paper bowls and watch the Kindergarten DVD I have been spoiled with in recent years (thanks to their wonderful teachers of course). Anyway, if you would like to drop some hints to Dad, here are some fun activities they can take the kids to do while you take a moment for yourself this weekend or you can enjoy together as a family…

Make a Mother’s Day Card at Smart Toys and Books on Saturday May 12 between  10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ribbons, glitter, stickers, glue and all the materials needed to make a wonderful card for Mom, Grandma, or a special person will be provided to use free of charge. 10am-3pm.

Michael’s hosts a week of free and low cost Mother’s Day events they conclude this weekend with the following: Friday May 11: 6 to 8 p.m., Mother’s Day flower clip; Saturday May 12: 10 a.m. to noon, Mother’s Day apron and T-shirt; noon to 2 p.m., Mother’s Day button.

Book your seats for the Three Rivers Rambler Mother’s Day Train Ride on Saturday May 12. Trains depart at 10 a.m., 1 & 4 p.m. Book your seat at or call 865-524-9411.

Celebrate Mother’s Day at UT Gardens’ Blooms Days Festival and Marketplace on Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, 2012, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
This two day event will feature specialty plants, unique garden goods, live musical performances, garden workshops, children’s activities and more. Plus, in honor of Mother’s Day, moms will receive a ‘Tender Love’ daylily on Sunday, May 13, while supplies last. Oakes Daylillies of Corryton, Tenn., is one of the 2012 Blooms Days sponsors. More than 20 workshops (included in the cost of admission), led by regional gardening experts, will be offered for everyone from novice to advanced gardeners.

Kids of all ages can visit the Kids Corner to create make-and-take projects and make a special gift for mom.
The festival will also include a garden marketplace in which visitors can shop for plants, arts, crafts, garden goods and specialty plants from more than 20 vendors. Snacks will be available on site for purchase.

Tickets at the gate will be $6 for one day and $10 for two days. Friends of the UT Gardens receive discount tickets of $5 for one day and $8 for two days. Children 12 and under are free.
All proceeds will benefit the UT Gardens.  For more information and a complete schedule of the weekend’s activities, please visit: .

Bring mom the Mother’s Day Tea at Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm on Saturday May 12 between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to sample tea and treats made with fresh herbs from the gardens! Make a real outing of it and explore the greenhouses, tour the herb gardens, and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of herbs… together! Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm, 132 England Lane, Clinton, TN 37716

Make a cupcake for Mom on Saturday May 12 between 10 a.m. and noon at William Sonoma. Kids and dads are welcome to this hands-on cupcake decorating event just for mom! Present mom with a delicious cupcake decorated by her very own children for Mother’s day tomorrow; while dad shops for the perfect gift! Reservations recommended, contact the West Town Mall store, 7600 Kingston Pike, Knoxville tel: 865-539-1070

Decorate a Mother’s Day Apron and T-shirt at Michael’s on Saturday May 12 between 10 a.m. and noon. Materials are free to use with the purchase of a t-shirt or apron. While Supplies last. And between noon and 2 p.m. craft a fun keepsake for mom with a Mother’s Day Button. This event is free of charge.

Build a picture frame planter at Lowes Free Build & Grow Workshop this Saturday May 12  between 10-11 a.m. Be sure to sign up to avoid disappointment here.

Make Mom a Free Cupcake Magnet out of Crayola Model Magic at Jo-Ann this Saturday morning between 11 a.m.-noon.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Super Why Coming to Knoxville







Big news, Super Why is coming to Knoxville in July! Just a day before my son turns 5! What great timing. Tickets go on sale this Friday May 4th, so be sure to book early to get your preferred seats.  Here’s a little bit more about the show and how to get your tickets:

“This awesome new live show, from the director and producers of Yo Gabba Gabba! Live, will feature all-new, dance-inducing songs alongside our Super Why favorites, some magical special effects, and a story that will make us all smile. The message in Super WHY Live: You’ve Got the Power! for our children and the child in each of us is that we can do anything we want to do and be anyone we want to be. Audiences will join Super Why, Wonder Red, Princess Presto, Alpha Pig, and Woofster, as they realize their dreams while searching for the answer to the question, “Who has the greatest super power in the world?”
When? 21 Jul 2012 at 3:30 PM
Where? Tennessee Theater, 3. 30 p.m. on Saturday July 21st. Tickets are $39 and $29 with applicable service fees. From time to time I receive discount codes, so if I hear of anything I’ll be sure to pass on the word! More info…