Disney+ Lady and the Tramp 2019 Review

Disney+ has launched, and my social life has plummeted in direct correlation! But seriously, there's just so much great content, from beloved favorites to new material. When Disney+ was first discussed, way before launch dates, I heard rumor of a live action Lady and the Tramp. I was ecstatic about this for so many reasons: dogs! dogs! [...]

What to Watch First on Disney+

Disney+ launched yesterday and oh my garland, was it spectacular. I was initially heartbroken, because so many fellow Disney fans were trying to access it at once that it was having some trouble. Did anyone else get greeted by Ralph and Vanellope saying there was an issue? My first stop was to personalize my profile, [...]

Disney+ Noelle Review

Never fear, there are no spoilers here! Oh my garland. Disney+'s Noelle may just be my new favorite Christmas movie. I'd been looking forward to it since I saw the first preview last month, and it did not disappoint. With classic Anna Kendrick humor and a velvet bag full of great messages, this adorable confection of a [...]

Book Review: The Secrets We Kept

Whoa, this is one unputdownable page turner of a novel. The plot just pulls you in, the characters keep you there, and the setting is so flawlessly described you can practically smell the cigarette smoke and hear the clacking typewriters. I had no clue there was such a history regarding literature and the CIA. I’m [...]

The Dandelion Ripple Effect

We were, of course, running late. Aren't we always? But this day we were running late to church. We had to park far away, because we were so late that all of the late-leavers parking spots from the prior service had already been taken. So I'm speed walking up the sidewalk, pulling my four year [...]

Room to Breathe Book Review

Fellow book addicts, I have such a great thing to share. An author posted about it and now I'm so excited. Have you heard of Amazon First Reads? You can get a Kindle ebook for free before it comes out with your Prime membership! I'm over the moon about this. I love books, clearly, and [...]

Why You Should Watch Netflix’s “No Good Nick”

I'm a member of the OG TGIF generation. Call us Gen X or Millenial or whatever you want, but when it comes down to it we are what we watched, and we watched TGIF. Family Matters, Boy Meets World, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch shaped our weekend plans. Mr. Feeny taught us how to [...]

What I’m Most Excited to Watch on Disney+

Disney+ officially launches less than a month from now! I am so beyond excited. They've been offering little tidbits about what's coming. Thank goodness I signed up for the next 3 years- it'll take me that long to watch all this great content! Here's a sampling of what I'm most excited about. The Disney and [...]

Review: Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights

Dollywood's Great Pumpkin LumiNights is back this year and is somehow even better than last year! With new character meet and greets, plenty of photo opportunities, and clever decorations, this event is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Character Meet and Greets My youngest, at 4, is not super outgoing with characters. [...]

Never Have I Ever Book Review

I discovered Southern lit author Joshilyn Jackson several years ago, and have since read everything she's written (with the exception of a short story on my Amazon wish list, hint hint, family!). I love her writing style and how each character and world is so intricately developed. The plots and characters stay with you long [...]

What to Pack for a Fall Day at Dollywood

Last week, we visited Dollywood for the first time this season to take in the Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights. While gathering all of our must haves for a great Dollywood day, my husband joked we should keep a Dollywood bug out bag so we can just grab and go next time. Ha. Little [...]

Top Dog: The Best Disney Dogs

It's no secret that I'm crazy for canines and serious about Disney. So why not combine my two loves in one post?! Disney has given us some amazing dogs, so this is going to be no small task! Top 5 Disney Dogs, Live Action CategoryI know a lot of this category is from live action [...]

Book Review: Shark Club

Shark Club is a delightful and informative read! With an up close look at sharks and a peek into the world of those who care for them, this book reveals a community (and it’s rival) that I knew little about. All of this information is woven into the plot seamlessly. The plot has great flow [...]

Everything I Love About the Frozen 2 Trailer

You know it's 2019 when you excitedly open an email from Disney to watch the new Frozen II trailer as it airs live on TV. Thank you, technology and YouTube, for bringing us this blessing. It is magnificent. I also shared this trailer this morning on the blog's Facebook page. Make sure you're following there [...]

How to Make it Feel Like Fall

Or maybe a better title would be, "How to Make it Feel Like Fall, Even When You Live in the South and it's Still Insanely Hot"...hmm, might be a bit long for a title! But really, when you live in the South in the fall, the month of September is basically torture. It still feels [...]

Best Podcasts for Kids and their Grownups

I've long been a fan of podcasts. From the original Serial craze to harkening back to the days of new episodes of Car Talk (which, from a modern standpoint, should count as a podcast since I accessed it by streaming), a good audio story delivered well is hard to beat for long car rides and boring chores. Recently [...]

Book Review: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Abbi Waxman may just be my favorite new-to-me author this year. Each of her novels, including this latest release, has a thoroughly developed cast of likable characters. I love delving into their world, and this one is just as exceptional as the last two. In fact, it’s the same world with new characters. It’s so [...]

Keeping Cool at Dollywood

While we're all in fall mode, Mother Nature has not taken the hint here in the South! My latest Dollywood Insiders post has all my top tips and strategies for keeping cool at Dollywood. What's your favorite way to cool off during the hot season?

Book Review: Dandelion Summer

As an avid reader and lifelong book nerd, I was overjoyed to discover one way to acquire new books prior to their release via the site LibraryThing. You can receive free books to review, and it's basically a bibliophile's best friend (in a lottery system sort of way, at least!). So far I've received two [...]

Ratatouille Themed Family Movie Night

Tis the season for squash and zucchini! When I stumbled upon a multipack at Costco I just couldn't resist, and when the children lacked the palette to enjoy my simple prep method, I began brainstorming a way to trick them into eating it (I know, mom of the year, right?!) Up until a few days [...]

How to Contact Your Representatives to Enact Change

This morning I walked though the shady streets of our beautiful downtown, felt the breeze in my hair, and walked through a beautiful courtyard and into an imposing government building. Today I sat in a senator's office and used my voice to ask for change. I overcame my deep fear of confrontation to stand before [...]

Book Review: The Power

The Power is an insightful journey into an alternate reality, a dystopian adventure full of suspense and intrigue. Each character is carefully and artfully crafted, so throughly developed they feel frighteningly real. Each viewpoint offers a fresh perspective, providing an insight into that character and how they fit against a new world order. The plot [...]

Book Review: The Dream Daughter

Diane Chamberlain’s Dream Daughter is a gripping novel that examines family and sacrifice. I’d seen it recommended by another author I adore, and added it to my list without even reading the summary! The first half of this novel is so fun to read. Witty characters, an intriguing plot, and well written to boot equals [...]

Beat the Back to School Blues with Dollywood!

My latest Dollywood Insiders post is up, and it's all about how to beat those back to school blues by planning a gorgeous fall vacation at Dollywood! You can read it here. I share my favorite Fall Break planning tips. When planning your fall Dollywood fun, remember to use this Dollywood Insiders code to save [...]

Book Review: This is How it Always is

Wow. Just wow. I finished this book days ago and I’m still thinking about it. This fictional family is engaging and hilarious, and their ordinary moments are so beautiful. They remind me of when I wanted a super big family (you know, until I had kids and learned how difficult this parenting gig can be). [...]

Organize Your Life with Baby Wipes Containers

If you buy baby wipes, you undoubtedly end up with a dozen reusable wipes containers haphazardly stacked and frequently knocked over by mischievous little hands. They seem like they'd be super useful, but you only keep wipes in so many places. So what purpose can you give these wipes containers? Here are a few ideas [...]

Book Review: The Alice Network

Every now and then an exceptionally special book comes along, and it sweeps me off my feet in a whirlwind of perfectly described settings, enchanting dialogue, and a plot that keeps me on my toes. The Alice Network is a gorgeous treat of a novel, filled with historical accuracy and the well developed characters to [...]

If Dads Summarized Disney Movies

The Little Mermaid falls under the topic of 'heated discussions' in our household. My husband (I would hope jokingly but I'm honestly not sure) is against the kids watching it, because Ariel deliberately disobeys her father. Then I provide the counterpoint of her father being anti-human, and how she opened his eyes to a new world. [...]

Costco’s Biggest Fan

Any given weekend, you can nearly guarantee we'll be visiting Costco. It's the one grocery store our kids always want to go to (thank you, samples!), and on special days we even spring for the $1.35 frozen yogurt in the food court. You're welcome, children. On a recent visit, we discovered our youngest child, who [...]

10 Movies Your Teenage Self is Begging You to Rewatch

Remember those iconic movies from our teenage years? I'm talking 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, Save the Last Dance material. These movies gave us celebrity crushes, taught us new catch phrases (fetch is just not going to happen, Gretchen!), and populated our Friday nights. So which of these movies deserve a re-watch and which should stay [...]

Where Should I Eat at Dollywood Today Quiz

Deciding which delicious eatery to enjoy on any given Dollywood day can be a serious conundrum- luckily, I've solved this dilemma with a fun quiz! You'll find it here, on the Dollywood Insiders blog! Remember, you can save with this coupon code *online only*

Behind the Scenes at Phoenix Pharmacy

Sometimes the stars align perfectly. For example, in 2017 we were in the totality path for the solar eclipse during the time period my eldest son wanted to be an astronaut and was truly and completely obsessed with all things space. The eclipse itself was magical, but seeing my son experience it during his space [...]

Hulu’s Veronica Mars Revival Review

Did you know I'm a total #MARShmallow?! If you're wondering where this is going, it's not a weird cult. Well, only a little. Marshmallows are fans of the hit and cult-classic show Veronica Mars. Originally airing back in 2004, the first there seasons captivated audiences. When the show was axed in 2007, after surviving one [...]

The Lion King 2019 Movie Review

I try to avoid spoilers as best as I can- but be aware that I reference well known plot points from the 1994 animated version. The Summer of Disney has its final release day today, July 19, with The Lion King premiering in theaters. Since I'm a total obsessive Disney super fan, and especially for Lion King, [...]

Knoxville’s Hidden Treasure: Beach Bums Shaved Ice Review

This post appeared on our original site a little over a year ago, but has since been updated. If you're longing to feel the sand in your toes but are bummed we're quite a few hours from any beach, just head down Oak Ridge Highway and you'll find a lovely compromise. Beach Bums serves flavored shaved [...]

Be Prepared: The Lion King 2019

I'm seeing Disney's new version of The Lion King in just a few short hours, and I'm trying terribly hard to not let my expectations get out of hand. So if you're in the same boat, or just planning on seeing it soon, here are some guidelines I've given myself to help keep myself in line. [...]

Movie Review: Always Be My Maybe

Never fear, there are no spoilers here! Netflix has been hitting it out of the park with their original movies and TV shows, and I was hesitantly intrigued by Ali Wong's new movie based on the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHBcWHY9lN4 Based on the trailer, I thought it looked funny and the premise intrigued me, but some of [...]

I Walk the Line: Finding Balance as a Work From Home Mom

My latest Knoxville Moms post is up, and is all about the balance of life as a work from home mom. Being a mom is hard work, whether you're staying at home full time, or working part time or full time inside or out of the home. My particular niche has its own ups and [...]

Costco Street Tacos Kit Review

My deep love for tacos runs deep and fierce. Since I also love Costco, when I heard the rumors they were selling street taco kits I knew I had to try it. Confession: I've never officially had street tacos. I come from a Tex-Mex background, and those preferences will flavor my review. We checked if [...]

Family Movie Night: Fourth of July Edition

America's birthday is just around the corner, and with it comes delicious treats, the scent of hot dogs on the grill, and the excited shouts of little children as they rediscover smoke bombs and sparklers. But with all the rain we've been getting here in East Tennessee, it's good to have a back up plan [...]

Behind the Scenes of the Kid Reviewed Dollywood Commercial

We had the exciting opportunity to participate in the making of the Kid Reviewed Dollywood commercial! Filming took place at Dollywood with the amazing Dolly Parton herself. We arrived, got a name tag for our kiddo, and then the producers asked him to say a line. After he said it, he got in line with [...]