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As part of The Mommies Network, is a free community for moms in Knoxville and surrounding areas, Tennessee. We realize that all moms need local support -- and who can't use another friend? offers a simple way to connect with local moms for friendship, support and fun. Members meet on our private discussion forums to share information on everything from where to get the best haircut to tips on transitioning to a "big kid" bed. Each month, we also offer many face-to-face events for our members, their children and their families. Register today to access our discussion forums, events calendar and more! It's free and we'll keep your info secure and private.

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Fall Family Fun!
Autumn is in full swing, and with it comes crisp weather, football, harvest activities, and lots of opportunity for family fun! There are several ways you can get out and enjoy this cooler season. Here are some of my ideas, and we'd love to hear yours if you'd like to share!

Take a nature walk- there are several areas around town that you could take the family for a nice stroll. Some suggested locations would be Ijams Nature Center, the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge, UT Gardens, the Knoxville Botanical Gardens, and numerous other greenways or walking trails in Knoxville and up in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Take a camping trip- get out and enjoy the cooler weather that fall brings before it gets too chilly for the kids.

Have a bonfire- make sure you follow your county guidelines on fires, but having a bonfire is a lot of fun. Let the kids help roast weiners and marshmallows, make yummy s'mores, and just spend some time together.

Go on a leaf hunt- find that perfect leaf for pressing, doing a rubbing of with crayons, making a mobile, or even making leaf people. Or rake all the leaves in a pile and take turns jumping in.

Host a football party- it is that time of year, and whether you want to get together with friends to watch a local rec league, college team, or the NFL team of your choice, it's the perfect time to get together and enjoy yummy snacks and a little rivalry between friends. You could even throw together your own football game with your friends and family in the backyard.

Take the Kids Pinecone Collecting - visit a local park or even your own backyard and let the kids gather up some pinecones. You can use their collected treasures for fun crafts, like making pinecone bird feeders to hang outdoors for your feathered friends, painting them or scenting them and placing in a bowl for decoration, or even use them to make a cute pinecone turkey for your Thanksgiving decor!

Work on your spring garden - get the kids outdoors to dig in the dirt and plant some bulbs in your flower beds to get an advanced start on your spring gardens.

Enjoy some yummy fall foods - Bring the kids in the kitchen and let them help out with making some delicious foods that are perfect for fall. Try making apple butter, apple pie, pumpkin pies or breads,

What fun fall things are on your family's list this autumn? Feel free to share your ideas! Happy Fall Y'all!!!

Taco Stew

Here is a delicious recipe perfect for the colder weather. It freezes very well too, so make some extra to pop in the freezer and you'll have a trouble-free meal for another night!

Taco Stew

2 pounds ground beef
2 cans pintos (do not drain)
1 can black beans (do not drain)
2 cans whole kernal corn (do not drain)
1 large onion, diced
1 packet taco seasoning
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
3 cans mexican-style tomatoes, pureed in a blender til smooth
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
2 cups water (optional if you'd like to unthicken stew to make more soupy)

Topping options: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips

1. Over medium heat, brown ground beef with the diced onion and a dash of garlic powder. Drain off grease. Put meat/onion mix into a big mixing bowl, setting aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Add to the meat in the mixing bowl and stir well.
3. Add the pinto beans, black beans, and corn with their juices to the meat mix and stir.
4. Add the pureed tomatoes and the tomatoes with green chiles. Stir well. (You can freeze at this point if you'd like. Before cooking, thaw, and proceed as follows. I usually double the recipe and end up with dinner one night and several bags frozen in the freezer for later.)
5. Put into a big pot over low to medium-low heat. Up to 2 cups of water can be added at this point if you want to unthicken and make more of a soup, but I find it is pretty soupy as it is. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours until hot and bubbly, stirring occasionally.

When serving, top with cheese and sour cream, and serve with tortilla chips.

Straight No Chaser Ticket Giveaway

KnoxvilleMommies, courtesy of Sherpa Concerts, is excited to bring you the chance to win a pair of tickets to see Straight No Chaser in concert when they stop in Knoxville on November 14, 2013 as part of their Under the Influence tour!



With Special Guest Caroline Glaser


Knoxville, TN - If the phrase ?male a cappella group? conjures up an image of students in blue blazers, ties, and khakis singing traditional college songs on ivied campuses? think again. Straight No Chaser (SNC) are neither strait-laced nor straight-faced, but neither are they vaudeville-style kitsch. They have emerged as a phenomenon with a massive fanbase, numerous national TV appearances and proven success with CD releases.

Straight No Chaser?s upcoming tour will support the release of Under The Influence on May 7th, their fourth album release through Atlantic Records. The album features contributions from superstars Jason Mraz, Rob Thomas, Phil Collins, Dolly Parton and more! Straight No Chaser is the real deal, the captivating sound of ten unadulterated human voices coming together to make extraordinary music that is moving people in a fundamental sense? and with a sense of humor. On the road, Straight No Chaser has built a reputation as an unforgettable live act.

For more information, please visit


For more information please contact: Rachel Adams, Director of Marketing, 615-301-8728,


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