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#LovingtheLocal with Green Thumbs Galore

It’s spring time and that has many ‘Noogans out in their gardens, stalking the aisles at local nurseries, and generally enjoying the beauty and bounty of the great

The Green Thumbs Galore greenhouse.

The Green Thumbs Galore greenhouse.

outdoors. This week our #lovingthelocal featured business can help you make your garden more colorful, whimsical, welcoming to wildlife,  varied — or whatever else you’d like your yard to be!

Green Thumbs Galore is a local nursery operated by Jeff and Belle Jarret. The couple runs the business from their home on Missionary Ridge, where they transformed the property from a kudzu-covered hill into a beautiful and colorful garden.

Belle says she loves helping her customers be successful in their gardens with interesting plants, and showing them that something really nice doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to care for. It doesn’t hurt that she always has an excuse for having dirty fingernails, either!

“I love when customers send me pictures of their gardens,” Belle says.  She is dedicated to answering questions, and solving gardening mysteries when she can. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener, you should check out Green Thumbs Galore. You may also want to connect with them on Facebook: They also host driveway sales twice a year, so you can visit with Belle and Jeff, and see their beautiful gardens, and probably find a plant or two that would fit in perfectly at your house!

 

It’s Spring. Are You Cleaning?

This post was written by local freelance writer Dava Stewart. She’s a better writer than she is housekeeper.

I wish I could tell you that my house gets two thorough cleanings per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The best I can do is say I pink dustpanintend to wash my blinds twice a year. I’m easily distracted in the spring — by the garden, books, movies, my dogs, and almost anything else that will keep me from wiping down baseboards. There are just as many fun things to do in the fall. So, every year, I make lists of big housekeeping projects but rarely actually do them.

With Pinterest around, it’s easier than ever to find helpful hints and tricks when it comes to cleaning and organizing. Chattanooga offers a few great resources as well. Local professional organizer Julie Bestry, who has been profiled on thenoogalife before, writes a great blog called The Paper Doll, where she offers lots of organizational advice for those of us who…ahem…struggle in that arena.

On Facebook, I follow a company located in Copper Hill, TN called The MountainClean Team . They offer tons of ideas for nontoxic cleaning. Things like “use half a lemon and some salt to scrub the sink” are right up my alley. If I can remember to buy lemons.

Recently, the team at Pearl & Associates Real Estate have been sharing some excellent tips for staging that could easily double as spring cleaning tips.

What about you? Do you do any extra spring cleaning? Do you paint your porch rails every spring or wash the drapes on May Day? 

 

Gardening in Chattanooga

There are lots of ways to garden, and it seems like most of them are going on in Chattanooga! Whether you have a big vegetable garden, a flower bed that is the envy of the neighborhood, or a few plants in containers, you are part of the gardening movement. The climate favors growing things here in Chattanooga, and the burgeoning local food movement is helping people learn about the tastiness of super fresh food.

There are tons of resources for gardeners in this town, from big retail operations like The Barn Nursery, to smaller places like Green Thumbs Galore or Possum Creek Herb Farm, where you will find a more personal touch. You can also get involved in several community garden projects:

Lemon Balm is easy to grow and makes a tasty tea!

Lemon Balm is easy to grow and makes a tasty tea!

Planting, nurturing, and enjoying the produce — whether it’s food or flowers — of even the smallest garden is rewarding, no matter your age. It’s especially fun to garden with children. A single growing season is short enough for kids to stay interested, and enough happens that they are usually amazed.

Do you garden? What do you grow? Would you encourage your neighbors to try it?

 

(Half of) the Mega Post of Things To Do in May

This post is so big that we are breaking it into two posts. Today, we offer a whole bunch of events going on in Chattanooga through Mother’s Day. If you know of something awesome, interesting, fun, or cool happening in or around Chattanooga this month that we have left off or that you’d like to see in the second half, please let us know in the comments. We’ll be happy to add your event!

Without further ado, here’s (half of) the mega list:

May 1 – May Day

May 1 – Artists of all stripes will gather at the Heritage House for the Ambi Artists Creative Cluster.

May 1 – Scenic City Roots Live at Track 29. Tickets are $10 and the show includes music from a wide variety of genres.

May 1 – Sound and Image: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights and Beyond at the Hunter Museum. UTC Professor of Saxophone and Hunter curators will explore the current special exhibition. Event begins at 6 pm.

May 1-3 – 24th Annual Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival. If you’ve spent much time in Chattanooga, you’ve probably seen the white bumper sticker with the silhouette of a man playing a stand up bass. This festival is a Chattanooga favorite!

May 2 – Sister Rosemary, subject of the book Sewing Hope, will speak at Christ United Methodist Church. Sister Rosemary has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Admission is free, and the event is non-religious.

May 2 – The Appalachian Pig Pickin’ Block Party at TerraMae. Tickets are $20 and include dinner and one drink. There will be music and plenty of fun!

May 2 – Here Come the Mummies at Engel Stadium. The show will raise money for the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at UTC.

May 2 – Seether at Track 29. Tickets are $29 in advance and $32 the day of the show. This is a standing room only show, and restricted to those age 18 and older.

May 2 – Nightfall Kickoff with Forro in the Dark. Chattanooga’s favorite free concert series gets started with some lively Brazilian dance music.

May 3-4 The Green Thumbs Galore Driveway Sale — if you love plants, you’ll want to make it to this sale. The owners are friendly, knowledgeable, and love to talk about plants. Plus, their yard is gorgeous!

May flowers

May flowers

My 3 – 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge for all the bicyclists.

May 3 – The 8th Annual Children’s Hospital Dragon Boat Festival. Help support the Children’s Hospital and enjoy some dramatic boat racing fun.

May 3 – Make Your Own Zine at ArtsBuild from 9am to noon. Spend the morning creating your own work of art. The class will be taught by Aggie Thompson, professor of graphic design at UTC.

May 3 – Friends of Stringer’s Ridge will be holding Burger-Pint Night from 6-10pm at the Gear Closet. Tickets are $15, and all ages are welcome; ID will be required for beer.

May 4 – Bike to the Park – The Chattanooga Lookouts help kick off National Bike Month with this fun promotion. Ride your bicycle to AT&T Field and enjoy valet parking.

May 4 – The Chattanooga Market will feature authentic Mexican food, salsa dancing, and cerveza on el Cuatro de Mayo.

May 4 – First Free Sunday at Hunter. Enjoy the museum and have some fun — for free!

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo

May 7 – Society of Work presents Nuts + Bolts: The Psychology of Business. Shelley Prevost will speak about the psychological aspects of starting a business. Tickets are $10 and the event is from 5:30-7pm.

May 9 – Nightfall – Packway Handle Band

May 10 – Tennessee Aquarium Sleep in the Deep Family Sleepover – An overnight adventure and behind the scenes look at the animals in the Tennessee Aquarium. Ticket prices range from $60 to $73.50

May 10 – Indigo Dyeing Workshop. Spend an evening learning something new, enjoy a meal and cocktails, and have a great time. Tickets are $60, and the event is in Lafayette, GA.

May 10 – Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival. Beer lovers rejoice! There will be food, and lots of beer to sample, and Soul Mechanic will provide music. Pre and post parties to be held at the Terminal Brewhouse. Tickets are $50, no children or pets.

May 10 – If you prefer wine, you may want to check out the Spring Wine Fest at The Georgia Winery. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

May 10 – A music series for kids, the Grasshopper Concerts will take place at various parks throughout the summer. The first one will be at Riverview Park at 2.

May 11 – Mother’s Day

May 11 – Mother’s Day Celebration at the Chattanooga Market. There will be a special performance by the CSO!

May 11 – Moccasin Bend Brewery Tour and Tasting

#LovingtheLocal: Change-N-Go

How many times have you put off having your oil changed because you didn’t have time to get it done? A new company in Chattanooga, Change-N-Go, is revolutionizing how Chattanoogans get their oil changed. Change-N-Go comes to YOU. So, while you are at work, and your car is in the parking lot, they will come and change your oil. You don’t waste valuable evening or weekend time change n go 2— and their prices are competitive with other service stations.

Owner James Chapman says that he came up with the idea for his business by “thinking like a consumer.” He said he needed an oil change himself one day but thought, “I hate going to get my oil changed,” and he wished there was some other way to do it. He did a bit of research and found that there are services in other cities that go to customers and do oil changes, but nothing like that existed in Chattanooga.

Encouraged, James continued researching, put together a business plan, got funding, and launched Change-N-Go last October. He says they do one big thing differently than similar services in other places though: “We added some useful technology. For example, we have an app you can download for scheduling.” Makes sense that an oil change company in the Gig City would take advantage of the convenience of technology!

Sometimes, customers ask when Change-N-Go will start offering batteries, air filters, windshield wipers, and other products normally sold at service centers. He says maybe someday. “We don’t ever want our customers to feel pressured. If we do add services, they will be available, but we won’t try to upsell our customers.” For now, Change-N-Go will focus on oil changes and inspections. “All of our technicians are ASE certified, and we do a full inspection with each oil change. If there is something wrong, we will let you know, and make suggestions about where you might want to go to get it fixed. Since we don’t gain anything, our customers know we are telling the truth,” James says.

If you are intrigued and you need your oil changed, make an appointment. You can save $2 on an oil change by mentioning this blog post! You can schedule on the Change-N-Go website, or by calling 423-228-0450.

Easter in ‘Nooga

Easter dresses -- a lovely tradition!

Easter dresses — a lovely tradition!

Whether you celebrate Easter or simply that spring has sprung, the weekend of April 19-20 promises to be a busy one in Chattanooga.

Last week’s Mega Post of Things To Do in April left out a Chattanooga tradition: the egg hunt in Coolidge Park. Hosted by Stuart Heights Baptist Church, this year is the 6th annual community egg hunt, from 9-11am. Children up to age 11 will search for 100,000 eggs hidden in the park.

Following the egg hunt, there will be an open air worship service. Families are invited to stay later for a picnic, face painting, music, and story-telling.

If your family traditions skew more towards big meals, you might be interested in following Pearl & Associates seasonal board on Pinterest, where they are gathering traditional, southern recipes you may want to try this year.

Regardless of your religious affiliation or traditions, we here at theNoogaLife hope that you are enjoying this beautiful time of year in Chattanooga. With redbuds, dogwoods, tulips, and iris in bloom all over the city, you don’t have to look very far to find colorful beauty!

 

 

#LovingtheLocal: The Longhorn Restaurant

Not too long ago, our friend @ModernSauce posted a photo of The Longhorn Restaurant on Instagram. That got us thinking about how many awesome local businesses there are in Chattanooga, and how they get overshadowed by the chains so often. Everyone knows about The Waffle House, right? But not nearly so many people know about The Longhorn Restaurant. You’ve probably driven past it on North Market:

Longhorn sign (correct)

photo credit: ModernSauce

 

 

You may be wondering what’s so great about The Longhorn? Here are just a few things we love about it:

  • The look — the vintage decor sets the mood for an excellent diner meal.
  • The food — it’s just GOOD.
  • The service — friendly and thorough.

The Longhorn is only open for breakfast and lunch, and is located at 129 North Market Street — in the same plaza as Taco Mamacita and ClearSpring Yoga. You can’t miss the oddly shaped building.

In an effort to share some of our other favorite local spots, we are starting a new series called Loving the Local. Each week, we’ll feature a business, organization, or citizen who helps make Chattanooga a great place to live.  Our friends at Pearl & Associates Real Estate have decided to show some local love, too. They are giving away a $25 gift certificate to The Longhorn Restaurant (plenty for breakfast for two!) on May 1. There are two ways to enter the drawing:

1. Subscribe to the Pearl & Associates newsletter. You’ll get emails once or twice a month about all sorts of local real estate topics — how to sell a home faster, what kind of credit score and savings you need to buy a home, special programs, taking care of your house, and much more.

2. If you are already subscribed, you can still enter the drawing. Simply forward the Pearl & Associates newsletter to a friend.

Do you have a favorite locally owned business that you’d like us to feature? Let us know in the comments!

Orchard Knob History

Anyone interested in history should find Chattanooga fascinating. From the ancient artifacts discovered around Moccasin Bend to the more recent Civil War, the area has a rich and broad history. Many neighborhoods can tout historical significance as well, including Orchard Knob.

Orchard Knob was the site of a minor — but critical — skirmish in the larger Battle for Chattanooga. Compared to Lookout Orchard KnobMountain, or Missionary Ridge, Orchard Knob may not seem like a big hill but during the Civil War the rise provided a comprehensive enough view of the area to be of vital importance.

From November 23 to 25 in 1863, the rocky hill was the focus of fighting. In the end, the Union was victorious, though that outcome was certainly not assured at the time. Chattanooga as a whole was viewed as the “gateway to the Deep South” and the fight at Orchard Knob was the opening of a long, bloody battle to secure the city. Today, the site is officially part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

After the Civil War, in the 1880s and 90s, the area was divided into parcels, streets were paved. According to the Orchard Knob Neighborhood Watch Association, the area became one that “provided housing for middle and working class people” after being annexed by the city of Chattanooga in 1905.

Today, Orchard Knob is still an area where middle class people can afford to live. It is within walking distance of many businesses, and is attractive to people looking for affordable housing near downtown. There are active neighborhood associations, churches, and a growing sense of civic pride.

 Here are a few photos of the area today:

 

 

 

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Weekend Planner: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

This year, March 17 falls on a Monday, so many of the events and celebrations will be on March 15. It seems like there are more fun activities every week in Chattanooga. Here are just a few for the upcoming week/weekend:

The Rump Run — Be active and have fun while raising money for a great cause. The Rump Run helps to raise awareness of, and funds to research colon cancer. One hundred percent of the proceeds stay local.

Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention — On Saturday, March 15, at noon, at the Lindseay Street Hall, a foot-stompin’ good time will begin! Musicians from all over will converge to compete for cash prizes. Admission is $10 for adults, and free for children under 12. No electric instruments or mics allowed, just old-fashioned fun.Shamrock

St. Pawtrick’s Day Dog Walk & Yappy Hour — Dog lovers in Chattanooga will dress themselves and their dogs in green, gather together in Renaissance Park at 10 am on Saturday, March 15, and take a walk together. Then, they will enjoy some time together in the Whole Foods Courtyard promoting responsible pet ownership. It’s sure to be a barking good time.

St. Chatty’s Day Parade — After the dog walk, you may want to check out a parade being organized by The Chattanooga Shamrock Society on the North Shore. Everyone will meet up at Renaissance Park at noon and the parade will head down Frazier Avenue.

Shamrock City at Rock City — Music, dancing, food, beer…and a green water fall! Celebrate at Rock City for some family fun.

If St. Patrick’s Day = pub crawl for you, there are lots of options. Pints & Pedals will be cycling from pub to pub — with a leprechaun on board! Ride the Chattanooga Double Decker Bus for St Paddy’s on the Parkway with stops at Hair of the Dog, Terminal Brewhouse, and the Honest Pint.

The Georgia Winery will host St. Patrick’s Day Happy Hour, featuring $3 glasses of (green) wine, music and fun.

However you choose to spend your weekend, we hope that you have a great time!

 

Chattanooga Shopping, Adventure, Films, and More!

A week of wonderful weather had Chattanoogans out enjoying the beautiful city. The good news: there’s more warm weather and fun stuff to come. The bad news: spring in the Tennessee Valley is wildly unpredictable. In the past month we’ve had snow, thunderstorms, rain, ice, sunshine, high winds, and temperatures over 70 degrees! Local meteorologists

Signs of spring!

Signs of spring!

do their best, but spring time offers them a true challenge when it comes to predicting the weather.

Whatever the weather does, there will be plenty to keep you busy around town for the next month or two, as outdoor events crank up. One exciting announcement last week is that the Chattanooga Market will be open on Wednesdays this season. Beginning May 7, the market will be open from 4-7pm on Wednesdays. Look for a round-up style post about all of the local markets in ‘Nooga in the near future.

If you are interested in Stand Up Paddleboarding, or you enjoy stories and photos detailing exciting adventures, you may want to go hear Ben Friberg speak at Outdoor Chattanooga. Ben paddled the Yukon (238 miles!) and will be sharing stories about that trip and others at an indoor event this Wednesday, February 27 (that’s TODAY!).  Bring your own chair if you attend!

Film buffs will want to be sure to attend the Chattanooga International Film Festival, from February 28 to March 2, downtown. Registration is at the Sheraton Read House, and events will be held at both Carmike Majestic Theater and at the Tivoli.

On March 1, the Hart Gallery will host a fundraising event that includes a five course meal. This unusual gallery provides a venue for homeless people to sell their artwork.

These events, and many others, are featured on a few websites. We like to check The Pulse calendar for events, as well as Chattanooga, Take Me There, and the Times Free Press Community Section. If you know about a local event that you’d like to share with our readers, please send me an email (davaleestewart at gmail dot com) and we will be happy to feature it here on thenoogalife.com!

5 Chattanooga-Only Valentine’s Day Activities

There are lots of reasons you might want to do something big for Valentine’s Day this year. Parents of young children, couples who have overcome some major life obstacle, and singles who prefer to pamper themselves all might find V-Day the perfect time for a little luxury and/or extravagance. Chattanooga is a fun place to live, and local attractions have unique, interesting activities planned for February 14 and 15.

If you are ready to go all out, book a stay at the Mayor’s Mansion to enjoy their Valentine’s Day Package. You get chocolates, rose petals, champagne, breakfast, and more! Your partner will smile.

southernbellelogoFrom a carriage ride to a river cruise, you can get it all in one package with the Southern Belle Valentine’s Package. Get started with a carriage ride around Chattanooga, then enjoy either a lunch or dinner cruise on the Southern Belle, and end your evening at the Courtyard by Marriot downtown.

Have you ever dreamed of traveling across the country in an old-fashioned train car? Well, the Tennessee Valley Railroad trainMuseum isn’t offering that, but you can have a four course dinner aboard a fully restored 1924 dining car as it travels around the area with a ticket to one of the Special Valentine Dinner Trains.

For something uniquely Chattanooga, and also just plain unique, check out Romance at Ruby. The special tour includes lantern light, hot chocolate, a gift, and the romantic story of the man who discovered a beautiful, underground waterfall and named it after his wife.

If the commercialism of Valentine’s Day annoys you, but you still want to do something fun, check into the Broken Hearts Ball presented by the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults. The ticket price includes drinks and hors d’ oeuvres. Couples and singles are welcome to come, have a good time while doing good for the community. BROKENHEARTSBALL

Valentine’s Day Is in 2 Weeks – What’s Your Plan?

This post is a friendly reminder that Valentine’s Day is coming up quick. Now is the time to make reservations at your sweetie’s Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 9.51.49 PMfavorite restaurant, if going out is what you prefer to do. It’s also a good time to go ahead and buy cards for kids’ school parties, and supplies to decorate the shoe box. (Is that still a thing? Do kids still decorate shoe boxes for cards to go in?)

To get the ball rolling here are a few ideas for you:

Make dinner reservations, and confirm that your babysitter will be available. It’s a bad idea to procrastinate on either of these things. Waiting in line while hungry is not particularly romantic — especially if you have fidgety kids along!

Start researching recipes for a romantic dinner cooked at home. Cooking and eating together can be more romantic than a restaurant and night out. Make sure you have candles and that you can get all the ingredients you’ll need for a special meal. (You may still want to check in with the babysitter!)

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 9.50.45 PMPlace your order. If you are planning to order a gift online, now is the time! You’ll have plenty of time to make sure your order is correct, wrapped, and perfect.

Buy tickets. This year V-Day falls on a Friday, which means there will be plenty of live entertainment options around town to keep you busy! For example, the Chattanooga Symphony and Orchestra presents vocalist Valerie Duke that night, and The Odd Couple will be performed at the Chattanooga Theater Center.

Plan a weekend getaway. A quick trip may be the perfect way to celebrate your coupledom. If so, now is the time to decide where to go, reserve a room, and arrange all the details.

Create the perfect playlist. Everything is better with music, so take the time to gather some songs that are special for you and your partner. A soundtrack for the night, whether it plays while you roast potatoes, or drive to your destination, can create the right tone and mood for your evening.

Of course there will always be those who don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. A zombie movie marathon might help you forget all about Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 9.51.29 PMthe the hearts, flowers, and chocolates you can’t seem to escape in the middle of February!