Knoxville Children’s Theatre presents Thumbelina through July 27

Knoxville Children’s Theatre will present a clever new re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale Thumbelina. The play will be performed July 11 through 27, Thursdays and Fridays at 7 PM; Saturdays at 1 PM and 5 PM; Sundays at 3 PM.

The show is KCT’s 59th full-scale production and features 12 young actors in the cast.

Tiny Thumbelina was supposed to be married to Navarre, prince of the Pixies, but a mysterious sorceress has cursed her to lose her memory in order to have the prince for herself. Thumbelina has many adventures on her way home, escaping from an amorous toad, surviving a fall off a flying hummingbird, and getting assistance from a tarantula and a courageous fortune teller.. Meanwhile, the Prince is under pressure to choose a new Princess, and Thumbelina’s return may be too late to claim her crown.

KCT’s Thumbelina is a modern re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, using elements of Homer’s The Odyssey, and the plots of many other familiar fairy tales, such as “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Princess and The Pea.” Famous characters from the worlds of The Odyssey (such as the soothsayer Cassandra) and Fairy Tales (such as Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood) combine into an unforgettably humorous and adventuresome tale.
Go here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Add comment July 16, 2014

Big Lots: 20% off everything July 12 & 13 (Saturday with Buzz Club card and Sunday with coupon)

July 12 & 13 Big Lots is having one of its occasional 20% off weekends, making it a great time to stock up on basic groceries! This is when I buy Nutella (it’s priced at $3, so after the discount it’s $2.40) as well as other grocery items I use a lot. I’ve seen 18 packs of K-cups before for $9, so $7.20 after the discount. It’s also a great time to make big purchases like furniture.

To get 20% off everything Saturday night after 2 p.m. you just have to have a frequent shopper card. They’re free and you can get one at checkout. Sunday you’ll need a printable coupon found here.

There’s also a $1/$10 coupon in the Blount County Schools coupon book you can use.

Add comment July 11, 2014

Review and Kindle sale: Captured on the High Seas, by Marianne Hering (Imagination Station book #14)

I recently had the chance to read Captured on the High Seas, by Marianne Hering (Imagination Station book #14). This fiction book was published on April 18, by Tyndale House.

About this book (from the back cover):

British warships battle with American privateers in this high sea adventure. Cousins Patrick and Beth have landed on the Royal Louis in the middle of the Revolutionary War. Cannonballs fly and swords slash. They’re captured! Now they face even more dangers. Will their new friend James Forten be sold by the British into the West Indies slave trade? Or will they all be sentenced to the overcrowded prison ship floating near shore where scores of prisoners die from filth and disease? Patrick and Beth help plan a daring escape as they witness firsthand the deeds of brave heroes who fought to make America the land of the free.

Final Verdict:

My family was recently introduced to the Imagination Station series, and we’re big fans now! My daughters are 5 and 7, and since this series is recommended for ages 6 – 9 we’re right in the target demographic. We’re fans of the Magic Treehouse series, and this series is much like that one, with two children traveling through time to complete quests and learn about history. This series presents everything through the lens of a Christian worldview, and we appreciate that. This isn’t a book adults are going to sit down and read without a 6-9-year-old involved, rather, the sentence structure is just right for kids to read alone. In my family I alternate reading pages with my 7-year-old. Captured on the High Seas is the second book in a three-book grouping about the American Revolution. I would recommend reading book #13, The Redcoats Are Coming, before this book, so you won’t be lost. Also, book 1, Voyage with the Vikings, is free for Kindle right now, so you may want to begin with that book so you’re familiar with the characters and the concept of the Imagination Station. Highly recommended for 6-9-year-olds!

If you’d like to check out Captured on the High Seas it is currently on sale for $3.82 for the Kindle version. (Regularly $4.99.) If you prefer a paperback copy, it’s currently on sale for $4.49. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

The featured product for this review was provided to me at no cost by Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are my own. If you’d like to sign up to receive review copies from Tyndale House, visit the Tyndale Blog Network site.

Add comment July 11, 2014

Highly recommended: get Peter and the Starcatchers on audiobook for FREE through 7/10

I’ve written previously about how absolutely fantastic the SYNC free audiobook program is and how you all need to be getting your free audiobooks this summer, but I wanted to highlight this week’s selection, because I LOVE THIS BOOK. This is my favorite audiobook they’re offering this summer, and I want every single one of you to get it for free.

Peter and the Starcatchers is a great retelling of the Peter Pan story – sort of a prequel – and it’s narrated by Jim Dale, who has the most magical voice. He’s the one who won awards for narrating the Harry Potter audiobooks. I kind of want him to narrate my life.

Through July 10, you can get the audiobook of Peter and the Starcatchers for FREE! Go here to get your free download!

You MUST download the audiobook by July 10, but if you do so, it’s yours to own forever.

The other free audiobook this week is Torn from Troy, by Patrick Bowman. It’s a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey. I don’t know much more than that, but it has a great cover, and it’s free, so worth downloading!


Add comment July 4, 2014

2014 Blueberry-picking season has started!


Blueberry season has started! Here in Maryville we have an excellent organic blueberry farm called Falls Farms. Their orchard is over 30 years old and has never
been sprayed with pesticides. They encourage to “eat as you go!” and are proud that they are chemical-free.

The best time to pick blueberries locally is usually  in July and August, and I’ve heard reports that the berries are delicious now!
You can find Falls Farms at 111 Harmon Road, Maryville, TN 37804, across from the drive-in movies.

Phone: 865-982-3457

Open: July and August, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday,
from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm; Closed Wednesdays and Fridays.

Cost: $1.50/pound, cash only.

Whether you’re going alone or for a field trip with your kids, you’ll have a great time. We love picking blueberries here every year!


Add comment July 2, 2014

Win early shopping passes to the Fairview UMC consignment sale July 11-12

Fairview United Methodist Church is having its annual Children’s Consignment Event Saturday, July 12, and you’ll definitely want to make plans to be there. The sale starts at 8 a.m. and closes at noon for an hour. At 1 p.m. they reopen and everything without a red dot is on sale for half price. Sale items include clothing for all seasons for newborn to children’s size 16; all things for baby–furniture, strollers, pack-n-plays, etc., costumes, sports equipment, toys, puzzles, books, DVDs and gaming systems.

For more information, call the church office at 865-983-2080.

I am excited to be able to give away two passes for you and a friend to shop early on Friday, July 11 at 7:00 p.m. If you’re not a winner, you can purchase presale passes at the door on Friday at 7:30 p.m. for $10 each. Of course, if you choose to consign you’ll shop early as well!

The giveaway is going to take place via Facebook, so head to this post on the Thrifty Christy Facebook page or look for the above flyer to participate!

This giveaway will end on Friday, July 4 at midnight EST. Winners will be announced Saturday, July 5 via Facebook. You can also get more information on the sale on the Fairview Consignment Sale FB group.

Add comment June 26, 2014

Shakespeare on the Square presents free performances of Much Ado About Nothing and Titus Andronicus

July 17 – August 16, 7:00 PM
Tennessee Stage Company: Shakespeare on the Square: Much Ado About Nothing

July 17, 19, 25, 27, 31 and August 2, 8, 10, 14, 16
7:00 PM outdoors on Market Square
2:00 PM indoors at the Square Room on August 2 only

Directed by Tom Parkhill and Jennifer Alldredge

This most perfect of romantic comedies centers on Shakespeare’s wittiest lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, two people determined to avoid the foolishness of love at all costs! The verbal fireworks between these two make up some of Shakespeare’s best writing. Along the way we meet more lovers, distraught fathers, villains and the 16th century’s answer to the Three Stooges – Dogberry and the Watch. Of course, like all good comedies, everyone ends up married – more or less. “I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes.”

July 18 – August 17, 7:00 PM
Tennessee Stage Company: Shakespeare on the Square: Titus Andronicus

July 18, 20, 24, 26 and August 1, 3, 7, 9, 15, 17
7:00 PM outdoors on Market Square
2:00 PM indoors at the Square Room on July 26 only

Directed by Julianna Sanderson

One of Shakespeare’s earliest tragedies, and far and away his darkest, most bloody play. Titus Andronicus is like an Elizabethan horror movie. Interestingly, it was also Shakespeare’s most popular play during his lifetime. The story rests on a struggle for control of the Roman Empire but the play is awash in blood – beheadings, mutilations and horrible crimes against humanity. This play is not for the faint of heart. “These words are razors to my wounded heart.”

Information: 865-546-4280 or

Add comment June 26, 2014

Book review and Kindle sale: What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done, by Matthew Perman

I recently had the chance to read What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done, by By Matthew Perman (and foreword by John Piper). This nonfiction book was released on March 4, 2014 by HarperCollins.

About this book (from the back cover):

Do Work That Matters. Productivity isn’t just about getting more things done. It’s about getting the right things done—the things that count, make a difference, and move the world forward.In our current era of massive overload, this is harder than ever before. So how do you get more of the right things done without confusing mere activity for actual productivity?

When we take God’s purposes into account, a revolutionary insight emerges. Surprisingly, we see that the way to be productive is to put others first—to make the welfare of other people our motive and criteria in determining what to do (what’s best next). As both the Scriptures and the best business thinkers show, generosity is the key to unlocking our productivity. It is also the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in our work.

What’s Best Next offers a practical approach for improving your productivity in all areas of life. It will help you better understand:

  • Why good works are not just rare and special things like going to Africa, but anything you do in faith even tying your shoes.
  • How to create a mission statement for your life that actually works.
  • How to delegate to people in a way that actually empowers them.
  • How to overcome time killers like procrastination, interruptions, and multitasking by turning them around and making them work for you.
  • How to process workflow efficiently and get your email inbox to zero every day.
  • How your work and life can transform the world socially, economically, and spiritually, and connect to God’s global purposes.
By anchoring your understanding of productivity in God’s purposes and plan, What’s Best Next will give you a practical approach for increasing your effectiveness in everything you do.

My Verdict: My husband is a theology nerd, and I requested this book for him when I saw it had a foreword by John Piper, who we both love. As Piper says, regarding this author: “I doubt there is a person on the planet who knows both theological issues and time-management literature to the depth and extent Matt Perman does. This combination is at times mindboggling.” I agree with Piper when he says, “This book is simply extraordinary.” What’s Best Next has sections on the theology of productivity, which was really interesting, as well as sections on speed reading, task management, and a lot more. Perman includes an amazing selection of quotes from Christian history, which I loved. The main reason this book was so appealing to me was that it was such an interesting blend of theology and business management. As a believer, my theology and my worldview influence everything in my life, including my work, and that’s what makes this book so unique: Perman offers insightful advice for time and work from a wholly Christian perspective. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says (in a quote included in this book): “Every Christian must be fully Christian by bringing God into his whole life, not merely into some spiritual realm.” So if you’re not a Christian, would this be a good book for you? Maybe; try it out. If you’re not opposed to reading great business advice from someone who has a Christian worldview, I believe you can benefit from the techniques listed in this book. If you’re interested in things like theology and time management, this is definitely a good read for you.

If you’d like to check out What’s Best Next it is currently on sale for $7.99 for the Kindle version right now, which is 60% off (Regularly $19.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the hardcover version is currently on sale for $15.92. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Add comment June 25, 2014

Get FREE customized maps of all 4 Disney parks as keepsakes or planning tools!

My family went to Disney last summer and we’re in full Disney withdrawal this summer. Whether you’re planning an actual scheduled trip, or one in the indefinite future, like us, you’ll enjoy this offer. Right now, you can order FREE customized Disney maps that highlight your family’s favorite Park activities and attractions and then have them delivered to your door, as planning tools or keepsakes! To get started, just click on the picture above.

(Note: Links in posts may be referral links that help support this site. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Add comment June 25, 2014

FREE: Anne of Green Gables audiobook, through tonight!

I’ve written previously about how absolutely fantastic the SYNC free audiobook program is and how you all need to be getting your free audiobooks this summer, but I wanted to highlight this week’s selections. Through tonight (June 25), you can get the audiobook of Anne of Green Gables for FREE! This is one of my favorite books from my childhood, and would be perfect for a road trip! Go here to get your free download! You MUST download the audiobook today, but if you do so, it’s yours to own forever!

Also this week, you can get the audiobook of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter for free. Download both books here.

Add comment June 25, 2014

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