Tennessee Theatre: Free Advance Screening of the Finale of Downton Abbey’s Final Season


Calling all you Downton Abbey fans!  Sunday, March 6, 2016 the Tennessee Theatre  is hosting a FREE  advanced screening of Downton Abbey’s Season 6 (the final season) finale. You can check out all the details here.

Join us for an advance screening of the finale of Downton Abbey’s final season, Season 6. The screening is free and open to the public, no ticket needed. Arrive early to secure your seat at this once in a lifetime event! Downton Abbey themed attire is suggested.

A ticketed VIP reception benefiting East Tennessee PBS will be held before the screening. For more information and to purchase tickets for the reception, go to

For DVDs and more Downton Abbey items, East Tennessee PBS will have a merchandise booth at the event.

Downton Abbey is a Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production. Funding for Masterpiece is provided by Viking River Cruises and Audible: An Amazon Company. This is a presentation of East Tennessee PBS.

Celebrating Life By Being A Brunette

Recently I was discussing my upcoming hair appointment with THE HUSBAND. He was enthralled, I assure you. He finally asked why I didn’t just go to my natural hair color. I said, “What are you talking about? Blonde is my natural color. “

He just looked at me with confusion.  I looked in the mirror with confusion.

When did I become a brunette? When I was young I was blonde, like towhead blonde. In high school and college  I was blonde.  I know each child made my hair a tiny bit darker. And somewhere along the way I started highlighting it- a little.  But these deep brown roots, where did they come from?

It took a few days until I decided to come clean with myself and the world. I am not a young blonde.  I am a brunette mom of 5, who is rapidly burning through her 30’s.

Here’s the amazingly unexpected thing- I am so happy with that.

For me it was more than just changing the color of  my hair. It was about self awareness and being comfortable with who I am, and who I am not.

Being brunette is about celebrating all the stuff of life that changes us and makes us better. It is about embracing where I am.

This new freedom of being good with myself overflows into most other areas of my life. My workouts for example. I no longer swing kettle bells and suffer through burpees with the hopes of flat abs. Let’s face it, after birthing five kids in just under nine years my abs have given me the middle finger and settled happily into droopiness.  That’s okay. Now my workouts are about strength and health, what they should have been about all along.

This is a good place. A freeing place.  A hard place to find.

If you highlight your hair I am not saying you should quit. Highlight on sister. I’m just hoping that when you see a true glimpse of yourself;  in the mirror, in a quiet time, in a friend’s words, you embrace it. Celebrate the gift of your life. Look in the mirror at those developing laugh lines, changing hair and possibly kid food stained yoga pants.  Smile at that lady and congratulate her on living a full life. Say, keep it up. You’re doing great. 

Because you are.

In case you were wondering here is a pic of the new hair.  ( I have also learned I cannot take a good selfie if my life depended on it. I am okay with that. I cannot stop making weird/stupid faces. I am mostly trying not to laugh. )



Ripley’s Tennessee Attractions: $5 Admission for Anderson, Blount, Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox & Sevier County Residents February 7-11, 2016


$5 Admission to Ripley’s Tennessee Attractions for locals is  happening February 7-11, 2016.

If you live or work in  Anderson, Sevier, Blount, Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson, or Knox counties, you can visit all Ripley’s attractions for $5 per person (per location)!!

$1 from each admission will be donated to Sevier County Food Ministries.

This $5 promo includes:

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure

Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze

Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf

Ripley’s Old McDonald Mini-Golf

Guinness World Records Attractions

Each person in the party must live or work in a qualifying county to get discount. You will need a photo ID and a pay stub (if you don’t live in one of the counties).  I know utility bills have been used in the past but I have been told they will not work this time.  You can call 888-240-1358 with other questions.

Ibotta: $10 Welcome Bonus for New Users

Post may contain affiliate links, read Coupon Katie disclosure policy here.


So I was working on my next column about saving apps and noticed the Ibotta New User Bonus is back!! If you have never used Ibotta now is a great time to start. You will get a $10 bonus after your redeem your first rebate!

Step 1: Create a NEW Ibotta account.

Step 2: Log in to  you new Ibotta account on a mobile device that has not  been associated with another Ibotta account already.

Step 3: Redeem your first rebate within 30 days of creating their account.

Once these three steps have been completed, you should  be credited within 24 hours in your Ibotta account!

What exactly is Ibotta?  It is my favorite savings App.

Download the Ibotta on your Apple or Android device. Before you go shopping, unlock cash rewards on products by completing quick simple tasks like watching a commercial, learning a fact about the product or completing a survey .

Next, go shopping at your favorite store. Ibotta works 100’s of chains including CVS, Kroger, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Publix, Whole Foods Markets, Sam’s Club etc.

After you shop, take a photo of your receipt with the app and upload it. Your account is credited with the money you receive within 24 hours, and you can withdraw it to Paypal or choose from a selection of gift cards.

To make this even more useful you can use Ibotta in conjunction with other store and manufacturer deals. For example, you can use coupons to buy products, then receive money back from Ibotta too.

Netflix Offers Fake New Years Eve Countdown for Kids So You Can Put Them to Bed Early


This. is. Brilliant.

Netflix has released a series of family friendly New Year’s Eve countdowns so you can ring in the New Year with your kiddos before they are so tired they lose their minds. Then you can tuck your tiny revelers in bed and enjoy a movie, an adult conversation, a glass of champagne or just go to bed too. 🙂

Your options include programs with the Project Mc2 girls, Inspector Gadget, Oona and Baba of Puffin Rock, and DreamWorks characters Mr. Peabody & Sherman and King Julien.

As if I needed a reason to love Netflix more….

Cocoa Dusted Almonds- Easy and SO Good

Cocoa-dusted-almondsHave you ever tried cocoa dusted almonds?  Oh. My.   I am in love.

They are easy to make and they are better than I expected them to be. You can find a plethora of Cocoa Dusted Almond recipes on Pinterest. I tried a recipe my friend told me over the phone. This was my first attempt so I have nothing to compare it to, nevertheless  I am calling it a success! Here’s how I made them:

About 1 tsp coconut oil
1 1/2 TBSP of unsweetened cocoa poweder
1 1/2 TBSP powdered sugar
1 cup Almonds (mine were salted, which makes them taste even better in my opinion)

Heat the oil on medium then add almonds. Stir them for 1-2 minutes just until they are coated in oil and warm. Put almonds in bowl. Sift cocoa powder and sugar over almonds and stir until they are all covered. Let them cool, then enjoy!

Store them in an air tight container. My friend said they would last for a week or two this way but I don’t think long term storage will be a problem in this house. 🙂

Teacher Gifts: Ideas, Budgets and Lists


So, I told you earlier about the Burt’s Bees gift sets I found for the boys’ teachers this year.  I bought three; one for each boy’s main teacher.  But doing so made me start to think about the rest of the teachers that teach my kids everyday.

Art Teacher


Gym Teacher

Resource Teacher

Music Teacher

Teacher’s Assistants

My oldest son has a homeroom teacher but switches to two other teachers during the day too.

This list quickly starts to get long.  What is a mom on a budget supposed to do?   I truly value all that the “other” teachers that work hard to teach my kiddos every day. My guys LOVE their special areas. It is often a topic of after school conversation.

So, seriously, what do you do?

This is our first Christmas attending public school and having such a long list of teachers! You don’t have to share how much you spend I am just wondering if you give gifts to all your kid’s teachers. If you do, then do you give the same thing to all teachers or different gifts?    Do you buy gift cards,  make homemade treats, or get really crafty and cute?

(I am considering some kind of homemade treat, possibly pumpkin chocolate chip muffins or cinnamon sugar candied almonds in holiday bags for the other teachers on our list. Oh, and I did get a good deal on cute holiday Bath and Body Works pocket hand sanitizer. )

Clearly, I need help. My Teacher Gifts pinterest board is woefully small. 🙂  If you are seasoned teacher gift giver comment and share your best ideas. If you are a teacher share with us what you really love to get!  I think most of us sincerely want to say Thank You for all that you do!