Valentine’s Day Events in East Tennessee!

Here are some Valentine’s Day events coming up in East Tennessee!


Valentine’s Day is next week!

If you haven’t made plans yet, there are lots of great, local options for celebrating this day of love. We did a little digging to find some events in the area, whether you’ll be looking for a date locale or just enjoying a little “me” time. Since Valentine’s Day falls during the work week, some of our events actually happen a couple of days after the official holiday. Don’t worry, you could always bring your sweetheart a traditional box of chocolates and surprise them with an I.O.U. for a great event on the upcoming weekend!


Read on to put a little love in your social schedule!

Rose Center in Morristown

We write a lot about The Rose Center in Morristown. Their ongoing, dynamic schedule of classes, exhibits and performances always gives us something fun to do! If you’re in the mood for an eclectic blend of music, then check out this event:

The John Myers Band: Friday, February 16th

This performance is sure to be packed with fans, because frontman John Myers consistently packs his shows full of personality and talent!

Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville

The Knoxville Symphony: Thursday, February 15th

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will be performing their Russian Passion concert for an audience of lovebirds. If you haven’t experienced a KSO performance yet, the historic and beautiful Tennessee Theatre is definitely the perfect venue for your first time!

New Market Fire and Rescue

Valentine’s Dance: Saturday, February 10th

If you’re so excited for the big day of love that you just can’t wait, the New Market Fire and Rescue is putting on a dance the Saturday before Valentine’s! Featuring live country music and roses for the first 25 ladies, this might just be the perfect event to bring OR find a date!


Knoxville Convention Center

Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show: February 16-18 (Friday – Sunday)

If home shows really get your motor revving, then check this out: the 40th Anniversary Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show! Get inspired for spring with designers and landscapers. Go shopping to freshen your home’s décor. Stroll around with your sweetheart and enjoy the displays!

Dandridge Memorial Library

Love Rocks Party: Wednesday, February 14th

Looking for a family-friendly event? Check out the Love Rocks party at the Dandridge Memorial Library, where you can paint a rock for a loved one. There will be refreshments, too.

Tennessee River

Romantic Cruises: Evenings in February

Why not take a cruise this Valentine’s Day? The Tennessee River Boat offers romantic cruise packages with the backdrop of city and mountain scenery slipping by, all while you float along the Tennessee River. Dinner and treats are available for purchase, too.

Knoxville Civic Auditorium-Colliseum

Weiner Dog Races: Saturday, February 17th

Ok, so this isn’t really a Valentine’s Day event, but it still seems like a ton of fun! The Knoxville Ice Bears, our local hockey team, is putting on Weiner Dog Races, Part 2! If you’re looking for a little bit (pun intended) of good fun, come out to witness dozens of weiner dogs racing on ice!

Interested in buying or selling a home in East Tennessee? Stop in at to get started! We’d love to help.


Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

Have a Happy New Year!

Well, it’s that time of year again … the very end of it! Let’s say a fond farewell to 2017 and look ahead to what 2018 has in store. There are lots of possibilities for the new year, and we thought we’d take a moment to list a few of our favorites.

But first!

A look back at 2017 on the Darlene Reeves-Kline blog:

We found some awesome natural beauty right under our feet in this Tennessee caves post! We also looked at a few great reasons (including great cost of living!) for retirees to come on up here to, well … retire. And, we looked at some of the reasons that young families have to love our area.

We checked out some great Christmas gifts from right here in Tennessee. (Hint: these still make great gift for birthdays or late holiday surprises!)

2017 in Tennessee has been pretty nice. We brought our water table back up, so our risk of another devastating wildfire, like the one that burned through Gatlinburg last year, went way down. The economy is pretty good, overall—including the housing market. We think people are getting the word that our area is a pretty nice place to call home.

We spent time with neighbors and family, and made some new friends (some through this blog!) 2017, we cheers you with an uplifted cup of hot cocoa!


And now, on to 2018!

We don’t know what the most popular resolutions for 2018 will be, but on a Google search quoted by, the top New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 are probably pretty close to what you’d predict:

  • Get Healthy: 62,776,640 searches, a 13.77 percent increase over last year during the same time period, when it was searched 55,177,290 times.

  • Get Organized: 33,230,420 searches, dipping by 7.41 percent compared to last year’s tally of 35,888,700.

  • Live Life to the Fullest: 18,970,210, spiking by 13.04 percent from last year, when it maxed at 16,782,030.

  • Learn New Hobbies: 17,438,670 searches, up 4.72 percent from last year’s total searches of 16,652,950.

  • Spend Less/Save More: 15,905,290 searches, up 17.47 percent from 13,539,500 in 2016.

  • Travel: 5,964,130 searches, down by 0.82 percent from 2015’s 6,013,550,

  • Read More: 4,746,560 searches, down 5.63 percent from last year’s 5,029,790.

East Tennesseans already have great ideas for achieving these popular New Year’s Resolutions! We’re all for making the most of every year! If this list of resolutions looks good to you, then let us make a suggestion or two:


How about hiking?

Hiking in the Smokies is an excellent hobby, and it can help with getting healthy. Hiking is also virtually free (after you get the initial investment of good boots!) It’s definitely a great form of travel. While hiking won’t get your closet in order, it’s a great way to get a little organization to your thoughts, and some peace of mind.

And reading more?

Well, this blog has you covered! Browse around for some great articles on stuff to do, lifestyle highlights and cost of living comparisons for our vibrant, lovely part of Easts Tennessee.

Of course, when you’re ready to browse for your new home in the New Year, stop by Happy New Year!

Last-Minute Gifts for Christmas!

A few great ideas for last-minute gifting, Tennessee-style!

December is rapidly coming to a close, and with it: the crazy roller coaster ride that was 2017. Here on the blog, we’ve talked about all kinds of Tennessee fun this year. Most recently, we’ve discussed end-of-year finances, and some ways we love Tennessee Christmas. And now, Christmas is just one weekend away! For those of you who have squirreled away all your stocking stuffers, bought and wrapped gifts for your nearest and dearest, and made holiday treats until people thought your new perfume was chocolate and peppermint, we solute you with a white-gloved hand to a fuzzy red hat!


But for those of you (and us) still scrambling for those last-minute ideas, we found a few. Read on for ideas for those hard-to-buy-for folks on your nice list—with a Tennessee twist!

Lifestraw for The Smokies’ Hiker

This personal water filtration system lets you drink right from the source, while filtering out parasites and bacteria that can really ruin a nature excursion. It’s the perfect hiking accessory for the Smoky Mountains National Park lover in your life! It’s just the right size for one person to get the hydration they need out of a mountain stream. You can follow the above link to find this on Amazon, or you can swing on by your local outdoors outfitters to pick one up.

Throw in a sturdy water bottle, and there you go! The complete hydration gift package, and you can check the hiker off your list.

Muk-Luks for The Cabin Cuddler

You already know it can get awfully frosty this time of year in Tennessee! The coziest blanket won’t quite do the job when it comes to keeping chilly toes toasty warm. Choose slippers that are lined, with non-slip soles, and you can check off your favorite cocoa-drinking friend as they kick back and relax, nice and warm!


Layers and More Layers

For the power-shopper and Dollywood-lover in your world, lightweight layers are an absolute necessity. Tennessee weather can get pretty unpredictable; one day the high can reach the 60s in the winter, and plunge to a deep freeze before you can say, “Where’s my coat?” Dressing in layers means you can pull a Superman-style wardrobe change if it gets too hot, and you’ll be ready to defend against the cold again in no time. The above link takes you to long underwear, but thinner sweaters and fleece jackets are great layering options, too. Don’t forget to check your local stores for what they have in stock!

Made in Tennessee

Tennessee has always been home to some stellar craftsmen and women, with a work ethic to match their innovative spirit. What could be better for the Tennesseans on your list than stuff made right here in the Volunteer State? Check the link above for some great gift ideas. And, if you don’t think fine pewter, refined wines and award-winning chocolate sound like Tennessee natives, think again!



If you’d like a new home in sweet East Tennessee for the holidays, now’s the perfect time to browse


Things We Love About Christmas in Tennessee

Things we love about our Tennessee Christmas.

Christmas in Tennessee is pretty special. Gone are the days when Southern Appalachia was isolated from the bigger, more modern world. Even those of us who live up in the hollers and hills have high-speed internet and satellite television! Our Great-Mamaws and Papaws might have cut an old cedar down and decorated it with strings of popcorn, and stuffed old, rough-spun stockings with horehound candy and the occasional coveted orange, but we’re all spoiled with ready-made decorations and treats these days.

Even with our modern ways of celebrating, there are still some mighty special things about this time of year in Tennessee. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite things about Christmas in Tennessee.  Read on to rev up your holiday spirit!

Sparkling Frost

Sometimes we have snow on Christmas, and sometimes it’s warm enough to drink our eggnog out in the sun! But, usually, Christmastime in Tennessee is a time to wake up to frost covering grass and trees, bursting into sparkling brilliance in the sunshine. It’s gorgeous and brisk, and it makes cuddling by the fire so much better.


Old-Time Christmas

We have our share of modern life: malls, shopping, even laser light shows! You can tech it up as much as you’d like this holiday season, but if you ever want to slow down just a bit and enjoy the simpler things in life, we do that, too. We have old-fashioned parades and candlelight celebrations. You can go to the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, Tennessee, to see how folks ‘round here used to spend their holidays. You can enjoy the pleasures of a live choir concert at Walters State and Carson Newman—and, of course, at local schools and churches, too!


It’s big, and it’s flashy, but there’s no denying you’ll feel that festive tingle as soon as you get there! Dollywood does the holiday season to the max, with tons of live stage shows, millions of bright lights, locally made crafts and seasonal snacks and drinks. It’s worth a visit for the whole family!


Tennessee is the birthplace of country music, and here is where you’ll find all the banjo, mandolin, dobro, dulcimer and any other down-home style music you can cut a rug to! Christmas music is even sweeter with that Appalachian twang.


Family Time

Don’t get us wrong; right up until Christmas we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off! Church and school plays and concerts, gift shopping, parties and get-togethers, cooking, wrapping, decorating … we know how to do it up, just like any other part of the world this time of year! But when it comes to the special day, we spend it with our cherished family and community. We reflect on what matters most to us, and even though we love to give bountifully, we understand it’s not all about the stuff.


Interested in finding a new home in East Tennessee for the holidays? Get started at

Make Your List and Check it Twice!

Stay off the financial naughty list by making sure these things are taken care of!

So, it’s December y’all! The last month of the year. This is the month for holiday decorations, for cheer and good times, and for parties.

It’s also … the last month of the year. And even though we’d like to spend our time shopping, baking and generally enjoying our loved ones, it’s important to make sure all the year’s financial considerations have been taken care of, especially if you bought or sold a home in 2017. Read on for a few considerations in closing out the year on good financial footing!


Real Estate Gains

Most people won’t have to worry about paying taxes if you earned money from the sale of your new home. As this article points out, only gains above $250,000.00 (or $500,000.00 if you file with your spouse) require taxes to be paid. There are other rules to consider, too: your house must have been your primary residence for two to five years, for example, for the gains to be tax exempt. If there are any other complicating factors, such as divorce or inheritance, it’s very important to make sure you’ve covered all your fees and taxes. To be absolutely sure you’ve crossed all your t’s and dotted your i’s when it comes to paying taxes on real estate gains, make sure you consult with your tax professional soon!

Consider Taking a (Polar) Plunge

If you’ve been putting off buying your new home, now might be the time to jump on it. Why? Because that home could be as much as 12% cheaper now than it will be in the summer, according to this article. While there are more houses on the market in the summer, largely because families prefer to make their move in between school years, if you’ve found your perfect place in the winter, pounce on it!

Change of address!


If you moved this year, there might be a few places you overlooked while changing your address. Don’t worry, Santa will probably still find you. (He can fly all around the world in one night and get into houses without chimneys; he can find you in your new neighborhood!) But you want to be sure your 2017 W2 forms will find you, too. Here’s a change-of-address list from to check twice:

    Your place of employment

Your financial institution

Your credit card companies

Your utilities, cable, phone and internet providers

Your doctor, dentist, optometrist and other medical professionals you see regularly

Your health insurance company

Your life insurance company

Your vision/dental/catastrophic insurance company

Your car insurance company

Your rental or home insurance company

Your child’s school

Your child’s doctor, babysitter, music instructor, and others who provide paid services

Your pet’s veterinarian and kennel

Your alma mater

Circulation departments of magazines, newspapers and catalogues you subscribe to

Anyone who may need to send you final bills or info about their professional services in your new area

Friends & family, particularly those who go through the trouble to send holiday cards and paper invitations


Now that you’ve taken care of all that, feel free to toast yourself with a bit of eggnog and get to wrapping presents! Luckily, you can re-purpose some of your moving boxes for gift boxes.

Of course, if you’re ready to start out 2018 in a new home in East Tennessee, go to



A New Community for the Holidays

Use these ideas to make your new community a home this holiday season.

December is here! It’s time for holiday decorations, visiting with friends and neighbors and showing how grateful you are for those folks we didn’t choose, but love anyway: our families.

If you’ve recently moved to a new community in East Tennessee, the holidays can be a bit lonely. Your familiar streets and people are far away, and you haven’t yet made those deep connections that give you warm fuzzies this time of year. The good news is, this is the time of year that people are even more likely to welcome you with open arms! So read on to pick up a few tips on how to put yourself out there this holiday season, and start making your new town feel like your home.



If you’re feeling a bit lonely, chances are others are, too. Especially those who are down on their luck. Volunteer at local shelters. Find charities to give time, food or clothes to. Not only will you brighten someone’s day, but you’ll meet like-minded folks that could turn into lifelong friends! Check these places to find out when they’d welcome your help:

Rose Center

Volunteer Match

Join a gym

Gym classes are a great place to find folks who share your love of spin or yoga class! Plus, releasing endorphins and getting your body in a healthier state helps alleviate the stress of the holidays, making you happier, naturally.


Join a church

Church communities in our area are more than happy to open their arms to new folks in town. Try out a few and see which communities feel the most comfortable for you.

Join a class/learn a new skill/offer your own skills

The Lakeway Area is full of artists, dancers, readers, crafters, builders and more who like to share their love of their activities with others. Taking a class is a great way to put yourself out there with others who are looking to broaden their horizons. You can also offer to host a class, if you’re already an expert in weaving, or reading to little ones, for example. Start at the Rose Center to see what other artists in the Lakeway Area are up to.

Go to festivals and events

Festivals and street fairs are a great way to perk up your holiday spirits! Even if you’re just there for the window (or street booth) shopping, you never know what you’ll see or who you’ll meet to deepen your appreciation for your new home. To get you started, Christmas Downtown in Morristown is coming on December 15!


Introduce yourself to your neighbors

Don’t underestimate how a smile and a handshake can brighten someone’s day. We don’t spend enough time on face-to-face conversation these days, and sometimes new neighbors feel too intimidated or set in their own ways to come over and introduce themselves. Taking a friendly initiative to walk over and say “hi” might be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Start a food drive, or volunteer to do a little something extra at work or at your child’s school

If you have kids, making friends with other parents can make life so much easier! It’s nice to be able to let your kids play together while you enjoy a cup of coffee and talk about adult things—you know, something other than Elmo, potty training and Sophia the First. Oh, who are we kidding? You’ll end up talking about that stuff with other parents, too.

Looking for a new home in the Lakeway Area? Check out

Black Friday Options in East Tennessee

Wondering how East Tennesseans do Black Friday?

For some in East Tennessee, Black Friday isn’t complete without the extreme competitive shopping: being the very first customer, getting those crazy door buster deals, and using your new shopping bags full of loot as weapons to fight your way to the next store and the next crazy deal! Some people sit down with the Black Friday store ads after Thanksgiving dinner like a war general, mapping out a plan for their shopping battles to come. But where do they go? If they live in the Lakeway Area, there are more shopping options than you might think. And if you’re new to the area, here are a few ideas to get started.


In Morristown, WalMart is always a classic option for Black Friday deals. College Square Mall is full of retailers for your cut-throat shopping pleasure. With that option, you can even come down from the shopping adrenaline with lunch and an afternoon movie.

Strap on Your Shopping Shoes

For even more shopping options, you can hop on the interstate for a drive just under an hour and check out the outlets in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. Warning: they’re very, very crowded this time of year! Expect long lines on the road and in (and winding along the sidewalk outside) stores. But often people find great deals, so if you can bring your patience, it might be worth the hassle.


Knoxville has West Town and Knoxville Center malls, as well as the Turkey Creek shopping district for your shopping pleasure. Not as crazy as Sevierville, but bound to be more crowded than Morristown.


Small Businesses

Don’t forget shopping small! Lots of small businesses in the Main Street and Historic districts of Morristown, Dandridge and other smaller burgs roll out the savings for Small Business Saturday, but they’re worth a stop in on Black Friday, too. You never know what delightful little gifts you might find there. Plus, the smaller stores come with a laid-back atmosphere, even on a shopping-crazed weekend like this one.

Don’t be Afraid to Split Up.

Especially in the Sevierville and Pigeon Forge area, there are tons of museums, mini-golf spots, go-cart tracks and more ways to entertain those in your family much less inclined to go shopping. Take advantage of these close-by entertainment options to give you more shopping time!


Don’t forget about #OptOut!

REI, and other outdoors outfitters, have created a movement that lets their employees spend Thanksgiving and the day after with their families. They close their doors and encourage both employees and patrons alike to go outside for a game of Frisbee, a bike ride or (of course!) a hike in our majestic state parks. Even though the leaves are down and the fall weather is crisp, this is a great time of year to enjoy our great outdoors. The stark beauty is every bit as enjoyable as the lush summertime. And, hey, the bugs are pretty much all hibernating at this point, so you can leave the bug spray at home!

Looking for a home in the Lakeway Area? Check out and let’s get started!