Nashville Nutcracker Auditions: Youth Cast

Are you wondering about Nashville Nutcracker Auditions for their youth cast?
IMG 6406 300x300 Nashville Nutcracker Auditions: Youth Cast

Last year was the first year my daughter participated as a youth cast member in the Nashville Nutcracker with the Nashville Ballet and she made it on her very first audition!

She was taking classes at the Nashville Ballet at the time, but is not this year…and children between 8-11 don’t have to be Nashville Ballet students to be in the Nashville Nutcracker.

Children 12 years old and older do however need to be enrolled at Nashville Ballet this fall in order to audition.

The greatest part about the experience is that you only pay a $10 fee to audition and if selected, pay only a small fee for costume maintenance…and that’s it!

Nashville Nutcracker Auditions: Youth Cast details:

When: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Time:
Boys (7 to 11 yrs) Registration 11:00 a.m. Audition 11:30 – 12:00 p.m.
Girls (7 & 8 yrs) Registration 11:30 a.m. Audition 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Girls (9 to 11 yrs) Registration 12:00 p.m. Audition 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Where: The Martin Center for the Nashville Ballet
Fee: $10

(Keep in mind, children must turn 8 by December 31, 2013 to qualify to audition)

If you want to see some behind the scenes footage of the Nashville Nutcracker auditions and youth cast rehearsals, check out my Nashville Ballet Nutcracker Youth Cast videos I made as their official blogger mom last year!

 

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Kid Bargains Consignment Sale Nashville this weekend!

kidbargains 300x172 Kid Bargains Consignment Sale Nashville this weekend!

If you live in TN, then you have to check out the Kid Bargains Consignment sale Nashville going on this weekend at Forest Hills Baptist Church on the corner of Hillsboro Road and Old Hickory Blvd. It starts tomorrow (Friday, 9/13) from 7am-7pm and then again on Saturday (9/14) from 7am – 2pm (Many items will be 1/2 price on Saturday!)

If you’re a new or expectant mom, you actually get to shop EARLY! Shop up between 7-9pm on Thursday, 9/12 to help you in your efforts to welcome your new bundle of love without breaking the bank.

This is a HUGE sale with great items at great prices. All proceeds benefit 2014 Youth Mission trips.

And I’ll just go ahead and say it – even though we were just out of town, I even managed to find time to tag some items and get them in for the sale, so I should mention your visit help supports the Cone Family in addition to the Youth mission trips icon wink Kid Bargains Consignment Sale Nashville this weekend!

This was the very first kids consignment sale I participated in when I moved to Nashville four years ago and continues to be one of my absolute favorites, not only for the selection and quality, but also because of the friendliness and organization of everyone involved.

Kid Bargains Consignment Sale Nashville Details

When: September 13-14, 2013 (1/2 price day on Saturday)
Where: Forest Hills Baptist Church
What: Fall, Winter & Holiday kids clothes, as well as toys, electronics, books, gear, furniture & more!


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My First Koko Fit Club Experience; does the workout fit me?

Have you heard of Koko Fit Club yet? I’ve noticed the clubs popping up around Nashville in the last couple years, so when I was approached to give their unique workout experience a try, I was immediately intrigued as to whether or not their program would be a ‘fit’ for me.

UPDATE: Want your first Koko Fit Club Experience to be at a bargain? Check out the Koko Fit Club Groupon going on right now to get your first month for only $39!!!

However, I was also hesitant to jump in with two feet right away. Here’s a peak into why:

The past two months have been rough for me and I honestly didn’t know if I had the bandwith to commit to a 90 day program.

But at the same time I knew something had to change in my life and my current fitness regime, so I was willing to at least find out more.

I went in simply looking for a few answers and within minutes I found myself signing up and buying in 100% to this custom program!

The bottom line is this: it’s just smart.

Koko Fit Club has taken all the guesswork out of your workout! From the customized strength tests to measuring range of motion, this method seems to be a great fit for people of any fitness level, regardless of whether you’ve never gotten off the couch to if you want to truly amp up your workouts!

Here’s a simple look at the progression of my time there.

First thing’s first: before every workout, you take your Koko Fit test to log your progress:

koko fit club analysis 768x1024 My First Koko Fit Club Experience; does the workout fit me?

After my strength workout, I started a 15 minute cardio session:

koko fit club cardio 768x1024 My First Koko Fit Club Experience; does the workout fit me?

The Koko FitClub screen tells you exactly what level and resistance to be on minute by minute while you listen to your trainer in your earbuds doing the workout with you the entire time. After completing your workout, it logs your time, calories burned and Koko points earned (another fun feature if you’re competitive like me!):

koko fitclub cardio screen 1024x768 My First Koko Fit Club Experience; does the workout fit me?

Here are my ‘after’ thoughts:

You see, Koko FitClub takes all the excuses out of getting fit by creating a custom exercise and nutrition plan for each of its members.

From the minute I walked in, not only was I made to feel like ‘part of the team’, but every subsequent member who came in was greeted by name with a smile. Even a member getting ready with me in the locker room started asking me questions about how I liked Koko Fit Club because she’s LOVED it for the past year.

It’s easy to understand where the love comes from – for one reasonable, monthly price, you get unlimited training sessions customized to your body and fitness level, plus a private web page that tracks your progress and delivers your individualized nutrition plan.

The other thing I love: not only do you have a personalized trainer in your ear and on the screen during your workouts, but you can get individualized training attention during the club’s staffed hours, or choose to go workout on your own from 5a-11p with the member key you’re given!

I know, I know; you want to know my numbers, right? Koko FitClub isn’t as concerned about weight as they are about helping you build your strength and overall fitness level. While I did choose the “Burn” track because I do want to lose weight, we’ll be tracking my BMI and lean muscle mass specifically.

As of right now, here are my stats:
eBMI: 30.1
Lean Muscle Level: 118.4 lbs
Koko Q Score: 52

I’m hoping to see some major improvements over the next 90 days and just as I plan on sticking with this program, I hope you too will stick with me. Koko FitClub currently has 3 Nashville locations (and I can visit any of those that I choose on any given day) and they’re also located throughout the country.

If you decide to check out Koko FitClub where you live, make sure to stop back and let me know; I’m hosting a VERY special giveaway at the end of my 90 days and you’ll get extra entries if you leave a comment here letting me know that you’ve visited a Koko FitClub to find out more (If you visit a Nashville location, make sure to tell them Sami sent you!).

Have you ever tried a training program like this before?

 

Koko FitClub has invited me to train with them for 90 days at no cost to myself in exchange for my honest feedback about the program, which I will be sharing with you over the next 3 months.  As always, all opinions expressed, pictures presented and results given are completely my own.
pin it button My First Koko Fit Club Experience; does the workout fit me?

Why I’ll Be Eating at Captain D’s with my Kids: #DsNewLook

Screen Shot 2013 04 05 at 1.12.58 PM Why Ill Be Eating at Captain Ds with my Kids: #DsNewLook
I wanted to share with you, my friends, why you’ll soon be seeing me and some of my favorite Nashville bloggers on social media eating at Captain D’s with our kids.

We pride ourselves on being a family on the go and I know that to be true of so many of you as well. I also know one of the reasons you frequent SamiCone.com is to learn how to save money so you and your family can go off on more fabulous adventures together without breaking your budget.

One of the biggest budget-busters when traveling (or any day for that matter) is eating out. As much as we may try to eat the majority of our meals hand-prepared at home, the truth is that many of us find ourselves needing something quick and easy at one time or another during our week. And if I said we only ate local, organic food and never walked through the doors of a fast food restaurant, I would be lying…

So when I learned that Captain D’s wanted to invite a group of bloggers to experience the revitalization of their brand, including a new look In their restaurants to make families feel like they were escaping to their favorite beachside destinations, I was intrigued. Not only that, they’re making every effort to put the emphasis back on the dining ‘experience’ and welcoming atmosphere by creating new seating options so that more families, teams and friends can gather around the same table!

Screen Shot 2013 04 05 at 1.13.22 PM 300x162 Why Ill Be Eating at Captain Ds with my Kids: #DsNewLook

But most importantly, I found out they have teamed up with the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program, a nationwide initiative that provides parents and children with healthful menu options when dining out. This means their new kids meals and 3D Kid’s Program now come with a choice of entree with two sides…and with 4 entrées and 10 sides for kids to choose from, that equals 400 potential kid’s meal combinations (including grilled options for both adults AND kids)!

Screen Shot 2013 04 05 at 1.14.34 PM Why Ill Be Eating at Captain Ds with my Kids: #DsNewLook

That spoke to me as a mom.

To me, if I am going to eat fast food, I want it to be somewhere that will provide my family with a quality, consistent experience, while also providing a variety of options for all of us.

So while I’ll be walking in with no pre-conceived notions about what my family will find once we get there next week, I am always open to an adventure where I have the opportunity to express my honest opinion to a brand that cares enough to listen.

My family and I are looking forward to our Captain D’s experience on April 8 and you can follow along with our adventure by joining the conversations on Twitter and following @CaptainDs and #DsNewLook.

Screen Shot 2013 04 05 at 1.13.35 PM 300x90 Why Ill Be Eating at Captain Ds with my Kids: #DsNewLook

UPDATE: You will never believe what my kids’ thought of their 3D Kids Meal at Captain Ds…

pin it button Why Ill Be Eating at Captain Ds with my Kids: #DsNewLook

Nashville Easter Egg Hunts 2014, Red Caboose Park Egg Hunt & more

Looking for all the Nashville Easter Egg Hunts 2014? I’ve put together all the Easter Egg hunt information I could find!
nashville easter egg hunts Nashville Easter Egg Hunts 2014, Red Caboose Park Egg Hunt & more
The majority of Nashville Easter Egg Hunts happen the Saturday before Easter (April 19, 2014), including one of our favorites, the Red Caboose Park Egg Hunt (at the corner of 656 Colice Jeanne Road – just down from the Community Center & Bellevue Branch Library), as well as the Cheekwood Spring Art Hop & the Nashville Zoo Eggstravaganza.

kids easter Nashville Easter Egg Hunts 2014, Red Caboose Park Egg Hunt & more

As I discover more information about the 2014 Easter Egg Hunts and celebrations, I’ll continue to update them here.

Nashville Easter Egg Hunts 2014

* Red Caboose Park

Starts at 11:15, but egg hunt times are separated by age:
Time:
11:15 – Toddler to Age 3
11:30 – 4 and 5 year olds
11:45 – K through 2nd Grade
12:00 – 3rd through 6th Grade

Free Snacks and Drinks provided by local churches.  Also Games, Prizes, Face Painting, Washable Tatoos, Over 20, 000 Eggs

* Nashville Zoo

More than 40,000 plastic eggs will be distributed on the Zoo’s Festival Field for 10 scheduled hunts held throughout the day. Participants can redeem their eggs for exciting prize packs from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m on April 19.

Festival Field Egg Hunt Schedule:
• Ages 2 & under: 10 a.m. OR 12:30 p.m.
• 3 years: 10:30 a.m. OR 1 p.m.
• 4 – 5 years: 11 a.m. OR 1:30 p.m.
• 6 – 7 years:  11:30 a.m. OR 2 p.m.
• 8 – 10 years Noon OR 2:30 p.m.

There will also be a Zoo-wide hunt for larger, golden eggs also redeemable for prizes. Visitors can watch as Zoo animals hunt for special “eggs” hidden just for them. Other activities include Easter-themed games, bounce houses and face painting.

*Cheekwood

Egg hunts will be going on every 1/2 hour from 11a – 4pm (divided by age). Members are free. You can visit the Cheekwood Spring Art Hop website for more details on pricing and entertainment.
Activities include:
• Community Project: Flowers & Friends
• Easter Ears
• Spring Seeds
• Bubbles & Blooms
• Butterfly Rings

There also will typically be a big Easter Egg Hunt at Two Rivers Park in Donelson as well as ‘flashlight’ Egg Hunt taking place at 7PM (yes PM!) in Fairview.

Be sure to check out my 32 Cheap Easter Basket Filler Ideas & Top 7 Tips for Cheap Easter Baskets I shared on “Talk of the Town”.

Where will you be egg hunting this Easter?

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Free Jurassic Park 3D Movie Premiere Tickets for Nashville!

image001 300x230 Free Jurassic Park 3D Movie Premiere Tickets for Nashville!

After the HUGE response you all gave me to the last free movie ticket offer, I’m excited to give my Nashville readers more free movie premier tickets, this time to see the “Jurassic Park 3D” movie premiere this weekend: Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 10am at the Regal Opry Mills on the IMAX screen!

As always, RSVP opportunities are limited, so you have to act fast!

I can’t remember all the details from when I saw the original Jurassic Park, but if I’m not mistaken, I wouldn’t exactly categorize this as a family-friendly film, so this may be perfect for parents wanting to introduce their teens to the movie that scared them when they were 13, as well as introduced them to the world of movie innovation.

Anyone who wants to attend can RSVP directly to www.TINYURL.COM/JP3DNASH.
(ATTN: Once RSVP limit is reached, link will no longer work) 

SYNOPSIS:
Universal Pictures will release Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking classic Jurassic Park in 3D on April 5, 2013. With his remastering of the epic into a state-of-the-art 3D format, Spielberg introduces the three-time Academy Award®-winning blockbuster to a new generation of moviegoers and allows longtime fans to experience the world he envisioned in a way that was unimaginable during the film’s original release.

 

You’re welcome to leave a comment below thanking me for this lovely opportunity to scare your socks off, but remember, you have to actually visit the link above to RSVP. Of course, you can always tweet your gratitude to @UniversalPics to thank them for letting @TheSamiCone offer free movie passes…it worked before so hopefully it will work again!

 
pin it button Free Jurassic Park 3D Movie Premiere Tickets for Nashville!

Country Music Hall of Fame Free Tickets for MNPS Spring Break

hatch show print Country Music Hall of Fame Free Tickets for MNPS Spring Break

I just learned the Country Music Hall of Fame will be giving out free tickets admission to MNPS students for their Spring Break in 2013.

Yes, when Metro Nashville students wear their MNPS t-shirts to the Country Music HOF box office, not only will they get in for free, the accompanying adults will receive a discount AND the students can get a FREE Intercession Activity Pack!

This offer is good for Metro Nashville families from March 16-31 and the adult discount applies for up to 2 accompanying adults.

The FREE INTERSESSION ADVENTURE ACTIVITY PACK includes:

  • Museum “Artifact Safari” scavenger hunt
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum souvenirs
  • Take-home puzzles, games, wall poster, and more!

For more information, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame website calendar.

country music hall of fame Country Music Hall of Fame Free Tickets for MNPS Spring Break

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Cathy Rigby’s Peter Pan delights another generation in Nashville!

10276562 cathy rigby as peter pan 210x300 Cathy Rigbys Peter Pan delights another generation in Nashville!

Cathy Rigby’s Peter Pan delights another generation!

It’s midnight and I just got back from seeing Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby, at TPAC in Nashville! I wasn’t asked to write a review, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how entertaining this show was that I wanted to let you all know that if you haven’t bought tickets for this show yet, do it now!

20130301 235709 Cathy Rigbys Peter Pan delights another generation in Nashville!

As soon as my son found out that Peter Pan was going to be opening at TPAC on his 7th birthday, his request was made official. So that’s what we did…

After dinner at his favorite (Outback), we made our way to TPAC for this show. One of the things I loved most was that it stayed very close to the classic Disney film we all love so much.

20130301 235733 Cathy Rigbys Peter Pan delights another generation in Nashville!

But what I didn’t expect was how absolutely entertaining this show was going to be! From Cathy Rigby’s high flying Peter Pan to the stupendous dance numbers, it embraced the simpleness of this classic while giving us great energy and humor that kept the adults AND kids in the audience on the edge of our seats.

I will warn you, the one thing that is different from the movie that totally freaked EVERYONE out was the mermaid – not only was she not like Ariel at all, she was actually quite disturbing, with freakishly long nails and a shriek that I thought was going to send my kids out to the lobby!

Although, one of my favorite moments of the night came in the lobby. No, not the Peter Pan cut-out I forced my kids to stand behind…

20130301 235743 Cathy Rigbys Peter Pan delights another generation in Nashville!

…but as we were leaving, we heard, “Make way for Peter Pan!”. A press person whisked Cathy Rigby right in front of us to go sign autographs for her fans. I said, “Britton, look – there’s Peter Pan!”. He looked at me funny and said, “That’s not Peter Pan; that’s an old lady!” True, my son, but if I can do 1/8 of the things that grandma did when I’m her age, I’ll be a happy camper!

Cathy flipped, sang, kicked, flew and sprinkled Pixie Dust like a champ. Considering she has four kids AND four grandkids, this Tony Award nominee knows the true meaning of entertainer.

Did we have a good night? Here’s all the proof you need:

20130301 235753 Cathy Rigbys Peter Pan delights another generation in Nashville!

As tired as this newly-crowned 7 year old was during the show, he stayed awake for the whole two and a half hours and waited until he got in the car to fall asleep.

Peter Pan runs through March 3, 2013 at Nashville’s TPAC.

UPDATE: As we were going through our day today, Britton turned to me and said, “Peter Pan was my favorite show I’ve EVER seen at TPAC”. Nuff said.

I was provided tickets for my family for this show, but no expectation was put on me to write this, I simply wanted to share with you all the fun we had!

pin it button Cathy Rigbys Peter Pan delights another generation in Nashville!

Flight Park Nashville Airport Parking Review – a tale of poor customer service

To be completely honest, I gave a lot of thought as to whether I should write this review of Flight Park Nashville, whose airport parking services we chose to use this past week after purchasing a Groupon.

Realistically, sharing my experiences with my friends is what I did way before I started blogging (don’t we all?). But now that I have a public voice, with that comes responsibility.

But I was EXTREMELY disappointed in our experience with Flight Park tonight and would hate for any of you to be treated the way I treated.

The deciding factor for me in whether or not to write this unsolicited review of Flight Park airport parking was that a slightly similar experience happened with the Nashville parking service we typically use (Executive Parking), but with a MUCH different result. So if they had enough wherewithall to handle a mistake with grace and dignity, I don’t know why others couldn’t possess the same basic human skills as well.

UPDATE: I was contacted by Eric, the co-owner of Flight Park expressing his great concern over the fact that I had a less than desirable experience. He said in the 12 years he’s been in business, he’s had less than a handful of negative complaints. I truly appreciate the fact that he reached out to me and I suggested there needs to be a different level of customer service amongst his employees, especially those in an ownership role. He felt my blog post was very harsh, and did not appreciate that I said there was a lack of common sense used. Obviously, I’m not in the airport parking business and trust he knows how to run his business better than I do and that I may be an anomaly in this situation.

I ended the conversation by saying that regardless of whether or not we agree or disagree, I can’t change the way I was made to feel (much like I can’t tell my 8 year old daughter to stop crying when she’s upset, regardless of whether it’s a rational reason or not). Bottom line is this: I will accept the fact that what happened to me at Flight Park was not their usual level of service and the fact that Eric went through the trouble to rectify the situation speaks volumes to me. It’s just unfortunate that I was made to feel the way I did.

*****
Here’s the low down:
We arrived at Nashville International Airport around 6:30pm after logging a 12 hour day up to that point. We gathered our bags from baggage claim and called Flight Park as we were instructed to do. Making our way to the ground transporation with (admittedly) far too many bags and two small children was not what I would call a quick process, but, as I later explained to the manager, it’s not like I was hanging out, chit-chatting with the locals while smoking a cigarette either.

It appeared that we just missed a shuttle pulling away from us as we made it outside, so we proceeded to the pickup location. Seeing as it was in the teens and we just emerged from 70 degree weather, we weren’t thrilled about waiting outside, but we also didn’t’ want to risk missing another shuttle by waiting in the ‘waiting room’.

We noticed both of their competitors each had two shuttles come while we continued to wait, so I called again. They said two shuttles were on their way. When we finally saw a shuttle, they announced they couldn’t stop where we were standing – apparently, we were on the left side of the sign instead of the right (a detail that they failed to mention to us, but in all fairness to them, did turn out to be on the bottom of the back side of our parking receipt).

The shuttle driver shouted so much as that out the window as he passed by us. By the time we got the kids and the luggage together and made our way to the right pickup location, the shuttle had filled again and left us on the sidewalk.

So I called again.

They assured me a second shuttle was on its way, and it did show up a minute later.

To our surprise again, we let ourselves into a shuttle with absolutely no heat going on. After our family and another couple loaded in and the driver finished loading the bags, we had to ask for him to turn the heat on.

He radioed ‘base’ and told them our names and that we were on our way back. When we arrived, we found our van with the trunk open, front windows down, and the heat blaring out the car at 84 degrees.

But here’s the kicker: it had been running for 25 minutes!!!!

Would you EVER sit anywhere in your car and let the engine run with full heat and open windows for 5 minutes, much less 25?

Not this girl.

Perhaps my mistake is that I operate in this world with a basic understanding of common sense and expect others to do so as well. Obviously, my expectations are too high.

When I went in to the office, they let me know I had no balance because of my Groupon. I questioned whether or not to say anything else because there was another customer in there and while I believe in being honest, there’s no need to embarrass anyone.

However, they asked how I was, so I proceeded to tell them how shocked I was that our engine had been left running for so long. Here are a few of the responses I got back from them:
“How do you know it was 25 minutes?”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Why did you wait so long before getting on the shuttle?” (This is when I offered then the above-mentioned cigarette smoking comment along with the question of whether or not they’d sit in their car in a parking lot with the engine running for 25 minutes).

I got blank stares. I got snarky comments thrown my way. He made his frustration with me clear.There may have eventually been a pathetic apology, but it was masked with a blatant disregard for any sense of customer service.

He asked me what I wanted, to which I replied, “I want to understand why this happened and I don’t want this to be how my vacation ends).

I got nothin’.

So I walked away, but when I met up with my husband a few steps later and he noticed the workers rolling their eyes and obviously talking unkindly about me as I walked away, I marched myself back in there to confront the men.

WHen asked why they would do such a thing, he denied any such action. When I asked for a manager’s card, he said he was one of the managers. When he then tried to ‘make it right’ by offering me $3 for a gallon of gas, I was mortified.

Really?

I suppose you get what you pay for.

At the very end of the exchange, the second worker decided to pipe up in his company’s defense and said that they left windows open because ’90% of cards these days auto-lock once the engine is running, so it’s for everyone’s safety’…because leaving the trunk flung open isn’t protection enough against a lock-out?

Again, I don’t understand the lack of common sense.

I finally walked away, realizing this wasn’t how I wanted my vacation to end and coming to MY senses that I wasn’t getting anywhere with these people.

****

(Afternote: I’ve sat on this for a week or so and debated again whether of not to publish this, but ultimately decided to post because it met the criteria for everything else I post…to help YOU!)

Has anyone else in Nashville (or where you live) experienced something similar when it comes to a service like this?

pin it button Flight Park Nashville Airport Parking Review   a tale of poor customer service

The Lion King Nashville TPAC tickets on sale February 8!

3x3 LionKing 300x300 The Lion King Nashville TPAC tickets on sale February 8!

It’s finally here! The smash Disney Musical, The Lion King, is coming to Nashville’s TPAC and tickets go on sale on February 8, 2013!

Thankfully, TPAC must know there are a lot of us DIsney fans here in Nashville, because the show runs for 6 weeks (May 7 – June 2, 2013). But that doesn’t mean you should wait to get your tickets: they go on sale starting at 10:00 am CST, so don’t wait if you want great seats (though anywhere in TPAC is amazing!).

S03 01 Buyi Zama Compressed for Sami Cone 300x200 The Lion King Nashville TPAC tickets on sale February 8!

Ticket prices range from $27.00-$138.00. My husband’s 40th birthday falls within the show range, so I feel a party coming on icon wink The Lion King Nashville TPAC tickets on sale February 8!

I’ve seen this show in NYC before I got married and now I can’t wait to share it with my family. It brings together everything you love about the movie with all the innovation you expect from the folks at Disney.

Purchases can be made at www.tpac.org, by calling(615) 782-4040, or by visiting the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick Street, in downtown Nashville.

pin it button The Lion King Nashville TPAC tickets on sale February 8!