Goodreads names Brentwood Children’s Library Magical

The Brentwood Library is no stranger to recognition, and this time the website Goodreads has named the children’s section one of the most magical in the world.

In an article published last week, has the Brentwood Library listed first among four other children’s sections as some of the most magical and enchanting spaces known. is a book recommendation website that recognizes libraries, authors and books or all kinds.

“Fairytales come alive in Brentwood Library’s whimsical children’s section,” Goodreads article says. “Children are greeted by a talking owl and the bookshelves are placed deep in an artificial forest. Stay alert when you visit this library wood! Live animals, magicians and puppeteers frequently drop by.”

The article also lists the East Hampton Library in New York, the Cerritos Millennium Library in California, the Raja Tun Uda Library in Malaysia and the Laramie County Library in Wyoming.

The Brentwood Library isn’t just a place where residents can go to check out books. It’s a library that lets children’s imaginations go wild. Complete with the talking owl and a story tree with oversized books, Brentwood’s Children’s Library has been recognized by articles like’s several times this year alone.

In January, listed it one of the best in the entire U.S. Along with libraries in Washington, New York and California, the Brentwood Children’s Library placed second in’s list of the six best children’s libraries in America.

MommyNearest is an app that lets users explore family events and activities in specified areas. It’s free for users and allows users to add their own favorite child-friendly resources in their home towns.

The Brentwood Children’s Library features cozy corners, majestic fairytale trees and programs like creative writing, leading it to be recognized not only as one of the best in the U.S., but the world as well.

Listed alongside libraries in Sweden, England and Thailand, Brentwood’s Library placed fifth in’s list of the eight most incredible children’s libraries in the world earlier this year. Retale is a website that gives hyper-localized information on shopping and things to do in cities all around the world.

The library has a huge children’s program, including events like After School Explorers, Brentwood Bunch Book Club, Twisting Time Yoga and a Scholastic Chess Club. They have story time quite frequently and even host Lego Mania events.

The library is located at 8109 Concord Road in Brentwood. Their hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, call 615-371-0090.

Samantha Hearn
Brentwood Home Page

Leiper’s Fork, Frankln, TN

LEIPER’S FORK — In mid-February, a couple in a white Jeep pulled onto the 11-acre farm of Dorene and Stephen Pearson’s luxurious Leiper’s Fork estate.

The Pearsons wanted to sell, and the couple wanted to buy.

A contract was signed for the $5.3 million home and repairs were designated. The Pearsons bought a lavish dinner for the couple, Kim and Phil McDowell, and gave them four $250 bottles of wine.

But two weeks later, after the Pearsons paid more than $60,000 for the requested renovations, the excuses began. Kim McDowell, the charming wife who spoke in a British accent, had been in a car wreck, then she had cancer, then the millions she’d inherited from her family in Wales was trapped in a New York clearinghouse and several lawyers were working around the clock to free the money up.

Meanwhile, the Pearsons, who have five children and an elderly parent living with them, had all but moved out of their home. Three-quarters of their belongings were in storage. The house the Pearsons wanted to buy in downtown Franklin went to another buyer.

Six months later, the couple still receives messages almost daily from Kim McDowell, saying the money is coming. The Pearsons don’t believe it.

We didn’t extend our contract past the two weeks when they said they could close,” Stephen Pearson said. “The agreement was verbal after that. After all, their realtor said (the McDowells) provided a proof of funds, so we believed they had the money.”

As the Pearsons spoke to families in Leiper’s Fork, it appeared others had been similarly duped, paying thousands of dollars in renovations and lavish entertainment for the McDowells, who posed as prospective cash buyers accompanied by an entourage of staff and proof-of-funds letters.
Along the stretch of Leiper’s Fork where the Pearsons live, several homes are priced in the $5 million to $6 million price range and the Pearsons said most of the families know one another. Prospective home buyers with sufficient funds to close on such large purchases, especially with the kind of cash on hand the McDowells claimed to have, is often a rarity, even in some of the most affluent corners of Williamson County.
The Pearsons were disgusted and confused as to how they could have been victim to a scam. A Realtor had vetted the couple and the McDowells brought an estate manager and a professional chef to help evaluate the Pearsons’ property. A local property inspector also came and spent a day examining the home, Dorene Pearson said.
“Finally, I’d had enough,” she said. “I wanted answers. I wanted to face Kim, and I wanted her to tell me that this was all a lie.”

The McDowells listed an address on documents the couples exchanged, so Dorene Pearson drove to the home in Spring Hill.
“I knocked on the door, and a young woman answered,” Dorene said. “I asked her if she knew Kim and Phil McDowell. As soon as I said their names, the color drained from her face. She looked like she was afraid.”


The Tennessean
Reporter Jordan Buie can be reached at or on Twitter @jordanbuie

Steeplechase Facts and Benefits Vanderblt


2016 marks the 75th running of the Iroquois Steeplechase.

Even under threatening weather conditions such as the Nashville Flood of 2010, the Iroquois has run continuously since 1941 only taking one year off during World War II.

The list of Iroquois winners includes the greatest steeplechase horses in America. Five Eclipse Award winners – Flatterer, Lonesome Glory, Correggio, All Gong and Good Night Shirt – have won the Iroquois. Several others have competed in the race.

When Iroquois, the namesake of the Nashville race, became the first American-bred winner of the English Derby in 1881, Wall Street closed temporarily for a celebration.

The Iroquois Steeplechase grounds were constructed in 1936 as part of a parks improvement project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
The Iroquois draws an average crowd of 25,000 on race day.
Improvements to the Iroquois Steeplechase grounds that are paid for by the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation from race proceeds provide year-round benefits and enhancements for the Equestrian Center at Percy Warner Park.

Since 1981, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has been the official charity of the Iroquois

Iroquois Steeplechase – May 14, 2016

The Iroquois Steeplechase has been Nashville’s rite of spring since 1941, attracting more than 25,000 spectators annually to watch the best horses and riders in the world race over hurdles and timber on a manicured turf track.

Held the second Saturday of each May at Percy Warner Park, this iconic sporting event is Music City’s annual celebration of time‐honored traditions, Tennessee hospitality and Southern fashions. Guests enjoy areas for families, well‐appointed tents and individually organized tailgates where the emphasis is on race day pickings, larger‐than‐life hats, Honey Jack Juleps and crowd‐pleasing recipes.

10 Signs You’re From Franklin, TN

Outsiders should visit at least once in their life.
By Jenna Beaudin in The List on Apr 25, 2016

Franklin, Tennessee is not your everyday small town. Growing up there my whole life until I moved away for college is truly a blessing, and I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else. With Nashville’s popularity on the rise, people shouldn’t forget about the beautiful town only 30 minutes southwest of the big city. If you’re from Franklin, I hope you agree that these are some things that only we will understand.

1. Always being tempted to explore the red caboose.

2. Knowing you’ll be late to school because of the one lane traffic, even when it’s a late start.

3. Going to Nashville on Saturday night and walking on Broadway only to laugh at the drunk people walking around.

4. Trying to be a hipster at Frothy Monkey.

5. When your only options to go out on the weekends are the mall, going to the movies, or walking around Downtown Franklin.

6. Scaring your friend with the “DTF?” text when really it means “Downtown Franklin?”

7. Getting to brag that Miley Cyrus basically grew up there and shows it off to her famous friends.

8. ….and that she loves our town so much she filmed that scene from the Hannah Montana Movie in our high school.

9. When we all thought the end of the world was upon us when the flood hit in 2010. (This is a grass field beside my house by the way)

10. When you’re visiting family from college and the night before you go back, you eat your feelings because college will never be Franklin.

I never appreciated how wonderful Franklin was until I left for college. Every time I go back, I cherish every moment. If you’re a senior graduating this year, go outside and breathe in that beautiful, clean, Franklin air, because college air is just not the same.

Jenna Beaudin

Franklin, TN Main Street Festival April 23-24, 2016

Main Street Festival activities will run Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 24, 11 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The Heritage Foundation’s Main Street Festival, presented by First Tennessee, returns to downtown Franklin April 23-24. The free spring celebration is expected to draw a crowd of about 120,000 for a fun-filled weekend of music, arts and crafts, food, and children’s activities.

This year, live music will take place on two stages: The XFINITY Stage on the Public Square and The Guitar Center Stage on Main Street at First Avenue. A performance schedule is available on the Main Street Festival event page at Franklin’s own Daphne and the Mystery Machines will headline a Saturday night performance on the Guitar Center Stage at 7 p.m. A lucky attendee will have a chance to win a $150 gift card to Guitar Center at the performance. Visit HistoricFranklin to enter this contest.

New to 2016, Centricity Music and WAY-FM present contemporary Christian artists JJ Weeks Band and David Dunn leading worship for the first ever “Worship on the Square.” This event begins at 10:45 a.m. Sunday on the XFINITY Stage at the Public Square.

The King Arthur Bake Truck will make an appearance this year next to the XFINITY Stage at the Public Square handing out homemade cookies and collecting donations for the Heritage Foundation.

Three photo opportunities on the Public Square give attendees a chance to capture and share spring photos. Third Avenue South will offer a kids’ zone with a variety of inflatables, train and pony rides, a petting zoo and other activities for a small fee.

The centerpiece of Main Street Festival is the juried arts and crafts show featuring more than 150 artisans and crafters with handmade wares. Vendors will offer jewelry, pottery, furniture, woodworking, leather work, photography and more from First to Fifth Avenues.

No street festival is complete without food. More than twenty-five vendors will offer an international assortment of food including original corn roast, barbecue, Greek food, Mexican cuisine, Italian ice and old fashioned soda located at two food courts on Third Avenue North and Fourth Avenue South. A French food truck and grass-fed organic food truck will join the lineup for the first time this year. And as always, kettle corn, hot dogs, and funnel cakes will be offered. Also, a beer garden located down Fourth Avenue South will feature a variety of beer and wine selections.

Offsite parking will be available at Church of the City and Harlinsdale Farm on Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and at Franklin High School and Harlinsdale Farm on Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Shuttles will service each location for $1 each way/ each person. Food, drink, pets, and non-folding strollers are not allowed on the shuttle.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, and their missions, respectively: to protect and preserve the architectural, geographical and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of Downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

The Heritage Foundation

Pricing your home in the Nashville TN area.

Not Sure How to Price Your Home? Use These Expert Strategies to Hit the Sweet Spot

Pricing your home based on data, not emotion, can mean a swift sale.

You don’t need to be Bob Barker to know when the price just isn’t right. Just ask Candace Talmadge. She originally listed her Lancaster, Texas, home for $129,000, but “eventually had to accept the market reality” and chop $4,000 off the price.

The home’s location proved challenging: Buyers were either turned off by the area — a lower-income neighborhood south of Dallas — or unable to afford the home.

“Sellers have to keep in mind the location,” says Talmadge. “Who are going to be the likely buyers?”

Home pricing is more of a science than an art, but many homeowners price with their heartstrings instead of cold, hard data. Here’s why crunching the numbers is always the better route to an accurate home price — as well as what can happen when home sellers overlook those all important data points.

Read more:
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Selling your home? Curb Appeal is Essential.

The Art of the Approach: Curb Appeal, and More

When considering the mysteries of what attracts the ultimate buyer, few will deny that “curb-appeal” is a sort of magic bullet. The term is a buzz word for the enticing image of your home as seen from the street, and is similar to the adage of “judging a book by its cover.” Buyers who rely upon this might overlook a treasure in the rough, but savvy sellers know curb appeal is a key tool to finding a buyer more quickly.

Curb appeal is key when buyers are looking through multiple listings, getting a feel for neighborhoods from the comfort of their cars — just “driving by.” Often, buyers will look at advertisements and listings online or in print, and if they are local will take a peek on their way home from work. Because of the power of this “curb view,” often the primary photographs used in advertisements and listings are from this angle. Money spent in improving this viewing angle is among the smartest investment. Simply put, painting and pruning trees and shrubbery can transform a home, helping to shed light on its features.

Other aspects of the approach to a home can be equally enticing and help to pave the way for a successful interior viewing. After all, when care is taken to the outside of a home, people feel that the interior will also have what they are looking for. Driveways and walkways that are well maintained and artfully presented greet potential buyers as soon as they step out of their vehicles.

Trees and shrubs that lose their leaves can create slick areas on driveways and walkways and be unattractive if allowed to affect landscaping and lawns. Ensure that you consider this when selecting trees to plant near driveways, and keep leaves in check during fall viewings. During the winter, when snow and ice might prove to be a problem, it is essential to maintain driveways and walkways carefully. This is not only for safety, but it illustrates the type of person who has owned and maintained the house itself.

One helpful exercise is to take time to view a home with curb-appeal in mind. At each juncture where a potential buyer might approach and view your home or property, stop and look around. Notice details. Take photographs. Look straight ahead, to the right and left, and even at the ground. If there are appealing features, play those up. If there are issues that block the enjoyment of the home, you can choose to address them. In each instance, seek to frame the view of the home or property in an appealing light, tending to the ground under foot, the areas close to the viewer, and that which they see.

The Results of curb-appeal come when assessing views from inside the home and at various places on the property. All views are important because they are attention-getting elements of the property you are selling. Views are memorable, and a bad one can deter potential buyers. Whenever possible, seek to create eye-catching points around the home. If certain views are less than desirable, seek to minimize, distract, or even block those views. If you can remove the offensive elements, do so, but whenever possible, contain them, screen them or otherwise affect a change.

Additionally, certain areas in homes have an element of “approach” to them. You control all the views inside the home, so assess each one carefully. The foyer or entryway has its own view into the home and serves as a curb of its own, or a launching pad, so to speak. As a viewer enters the home, moves to the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, or backyard, each transition creates an impression and should be considered a “view.” Try walking through the home and noting the approaches so that you can begin to create views within the home that offer the best feelings and highlight the home’s strengths. Make sure lighting, furniture, and clutter are all under control so that impressions are good every step of the way.

Follow these tricks for creating the best impression:

Ensure that the yard and landscaping is neat, tidy, and well-maintained. Seek to flatter the home first, then to show off your gardening skills. Freshly pruned vegetation illustrates careful stewardship.

If flowering plants are past their prime, trim them back and add in some seasonal plants for color. Re-edge and add mulch to existing beds. Plants in containers may be easily changed out or positioned where they are most needed, and if you invest in nice pots, you can take them with you.

Control growth of large trees to optimize light and safety of the home and surrounding buildings and property. Remove debris under trees daily, if needed.

Pay close attention to the front door and garage doors, including paint or stain condition and color, hardware and details ? these doors command a lot of attention. Consider adding seasonal decorations like a wreath or potted plants near the door, but keep these tasteful and few ? don?t distract from the house itself.

Clean steps, ensuring that they are free of scratches, chips, moss or signs of wear. Repair or upgrade handrails when appropriate.

A new Welcome Mat at the door will not only make a statement, it is also an invitation for viewers to wipe their feet as they enter the home.

Investing in new and unique numbers for your home not only makes it easy to identify, but can set it apart with flare.

Pressure wash the exterior of your home and ensure the gutters and roof are clean.

Assess and improve the driveway and any walkways to and around the home.

Upgrade lighting by doors and pathways. Providing safe and stylish lighting will make your home stand out in viewings throughout the day and evening.

Upgrade your mailbox. Creating a secure and attractive mail receptacle is akin to having a plush welcome mat at the end of your driveway or by your door.

Ensure that windows and screens are clean and well-maintained. Viewers from both the inside and outside of the home rely on being able to see through them. Shutters and screens should be in top shape. Easy-to-install PVC trim neatens and dresses up older windows and doors. Drapes and shades should be clean and in good working order.

Familiarize yourself with views from decks and various rooms, and improve those views when possible.

Decks can be used year-round in many places. Spruce up your deck, porch or patio and show what an inviting space it can be to potential buyers.

Brentwood, TN one of the Top Ten Cities for Kids

There’s a good reason why Brentwood, Tenn., has the highest percentage of children per household (41 percent) of the cities on this list. Its highly rated schools, large-lot neighborhoods and small-town atmosphere create an ideal setting to raise kids. Considered one of the richest suburbs in the state, Brentwood offers many advantages to children growing up here. The biggest advantages are schools that offer low student-to-teacher ratios and well-funded academic and athletic programs. While Brentwood has a solid assortment of restaurants, parks and entertainment options, its location near Nashville and other Middle Tennessee cities puts residents in proximity to professional sports venues, legendary performance spaces and lots of activities for kids.

More than 10 parks in Brentwood offer space to take the kids for a walk, play on playgrounds or kick a soccer ball around. The city’s network of walking/biking trails covers more than 20 miles, connecting several neighborhoods to parkland and open space. The Brentwood Library features a whimsical children’s area that made our Top 10 Libraries for Children list. Both in and around Brentwood are several indoor play facilities that feature pirate ship playhouses, large inflatable slides and dress-up areas.

For mommies and daddies: A collection of cafes and grab-n-go eateries lets busy parents pick up more sophisticated and healthy meals than fast food restaurants offer.

Want to live close to new Smith Park in Brentwood, TN?

Call, text or email me to view 1823 Bronwyn Ct in INGLEHAME Farms.

While a date has not been set for the opening of Marcella Vivrette Smith Park in Brentwood, city officials still expect a late summer opening as work continues to progress.

According to city engineer Mike Harris, the project is approximately six weeks behind schedule, and the city will be hiring additional crews to speed up completion.

Although some of that delay has been due to weather conditions, Harris said it has taken longer than expected to gain approval from CSX for a right-of-way access to cross the railroad lines for utilities.

“Approval was gained for the main waterline which crosses under the railroad and the waterline is now in place. However, we are still working with CSX to gain approval for the sewer line crossing. We anticipate approval from CSX any day,” Harris said.

Construction crews are currently focusing on the area surrounding Ravenswood Mansion, installing utilities, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, drainage and parking areas.

As of now, Ravenswood Mansion has no connected utilities and only temporary electricity. Still, community relations director Linda Lynch is confident the mansion will be ready for events by September.

“Reservations are coming in pretty good considering they haven’t finished the park yet,” Lynch said.

The historic mansion is also still in need of select furnishing that fit the 1820s motif. Lynch listed antique or oriental rugs as the top item needed.

To access the mansion, crews are in the process of completing the entrance road bridge over the CSX railroad. The travel surface is now in place, allowing attention to be turned to the stonework and bridge entrance features. Installation of the stainless steel bridge fencing, which will protect pedestrians crossing the bridge, is slated to begin June 9.

Irrigation work, conduits for the electric entrance gates and street lighting are all underway. Harris also confirmed the traffic signal at the main entrance is in place and ready to be activated.

Further back in the park, Brentwood Parks and Recreation staff continues to clear hiking trails.

“While the trails will remain natural, unpaved rustic type trails, there was a lot of work involved in clearing vegetation and marking the trails. Color coded maps of the trail system are being prepared and will be available at the trailhead and on the city’s website when the park opens,” Harris said.

A pre-fabricated restroom building is scheduled to be delivered in early June, and will be placed at the park’s trailhead. Utilities are already in place to serve the facility.

Staff writer Jonathan Romeo covers the city of Brentwood. Contact him at