Climb the CD Ladder to Higher Interest Earnings

By Yvonne Marsh, CFP®, CPA

We all need “safe” money in our investment strategy: Money kept in FDIC insured bank accounts for our emergency funds or perhaps parked on the sidelines waiting for a market correction.  FDIC insurance gives us peace of mind – insuring up to $250,000 per depositor at each bank.  But it’s painful watching your bank savings earn a mere pittance, all while inflation is averaging 2.2% and you’re losing purchasing power.

Want a quick solution to increase your bank interest earnings?  Enter the CD ladder.  A certificate of deposit (CD) is an FDIC-insured bank deposit where the bank guarantees you a rate of return for a given period of time.  The longer the period of time, the higher the interest rate. Of course the challenge in this low rate environment is who wants to lock in an interest rate for a long period of time when interest rates could/should rise?  With a CD ladder, instead of investing $50,000 in one CD at a locked-in rate for 2 years, you invest $12,500 in 4 CDs, maturing in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 2 years.  Then every 6 months you have 1/4 of your portfolio coming due to reinvest in the prevailing interest rate environment, so you can ride the wave as interest rates rise.  Using today’s interest rates, a 2 year CD ladder can earn roughly 3 times more interest than a money market account earning 0.5% in that same time period. A 3 year, 4 year, or 5 year ladder earns even more.

Let us help you construct your CD ladder.  We can shop hundreds of FDIC-insured banks across the country to find the best rates and then buy the CDs all held within one account at our independent custodian, TD Ameritrade.  As the CDs mature every 6 months, you can decide to keep investing in the CD ladder, or have the money sent to you, or move it in the markets.  We’ll take care of everything for you.  Our annual flat fee for this service is $150, and you need at least $50,000 for the ladder to be effective.  Call, email, or visit our website to schedule a complimentary meeting and start earning more interest today.

Marsh Wealth Management, LLC
1341 Branton Blvd, Suite 105
Knoxville, TN 37922

Financial Planning & Investment Advisory Services are offered through Marsh Wealth Management, LLC (“MWM”) an independent investment advisor registered with the state of Tennessee.  Yvonne Marsh is an Investment Advisor Representative of MWM in the state of Tennessee.  Marsh Professional Group, LLC is a TN registered public accounting firm and a separate legal entity from MWM. For a detailed discussion of MWM and their investment advisory fees, see the firm’s Form ADV on file with the SEC at

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Best Wishes for a Joyous Christmas & A Prosperous New Year

By Jack Wilson, Owner of Sweetwater Flower Shop

Everyone here at Sweetwater Flower Shop and Upstairs at The Mansion Restaurant would like to wish each of you a merry and blessed Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. We would also like to take this time to express our heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you for your continued support and encouragement throughout the years.

The Christmas season is a very special time of the year when we transform our entire two floors into a winter wonderland showcase that we look forward to sharing with you and your family. We would like to personally invite each of you to share our special holiday wonderland all throughout the month of December. You’ll find it truly magical and inspiring, and it’s also our way of saying thank you to all of our faithful customers and friends. Please come and share this most special time of the year with us.

Our shop has a spectacular selection of Christmas wreaths and table arrangements, as well as holiday home décor, Christmas ornaments, and gifts. You’ll also discover hundreds of floral arrangements and wreaths, all designed and handmade by me personally, along with a large selection of beautiful gifts, including ladies’ apparel, scarves, designer handbags, designer-inspired jewelry, home décor items, and much more that will make perfect holiday gifts even for that person on your holiday shopping list that seems to have everything. Also, Upstairs at The Mansion Restaurant is the perfect venue for sharing the holiday spirit with friends and family. With limited holiday seating, please call 423-371-4100 to make reservations and for special holiday hours.

We have finished stocking our University of Tennessee room with all new merchandise for the Big Orange fans on your Christmas list, so be sure to visit our “Big Orange” display area.

Not sure what to buy that special person on your Christmas list? How about a gift certificate to Sweetwater Flower Shop? Gift certificates make great holiday gifts.

During December, please be sure to stop by. We look forward to your visit and for the opportunity to share our holiday greetings and a bit of cheer with each and every one of you.

Sweetwater Flower Shop
118 W. North Street
Sweetwater, TN 37874

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Rediscover the Magic of Christmas’s Past

By Vickie Saladin, Owner of Gallery on Main

As the holidays quickly approach, it becomes increasingly obvious to each of us that time is passing faster than we could ever had imagined. Thanksgiving has already passed, and Christmas will arrive in three weeks. There is so much to get accomplished, not to mention shopping for all of those loved ones on our holiday shopping list.

I would personally like to invite each of you to join us in Sweetwater for two very special days of holiday shopping for friends and family as we host our First Annual Cookie Crawl in historic downtown Sweetwater. The “Cookie Crawl” offers you a unique opportunity to join us for a two exciting days of holiday shopping in our historic downtown shopping district on Friday, December 8th, from 5 to 8 pm and all day on Saturday, December 9th, for this all-new event. You are invited to browse in each of our shops and boutiques in Sweetwater, where each will present you with several tasty holiday cookies. At the end of the evening on Friday or Saturday, you will find yourself returning home with at least a dozen holiday Christmas cookies, just for shopping with us, in addition to some great holiday gifts that you won’t find at the mall or “big box” stores. It promises to be lots of family friendly fun, so please plan on joining us when we transform Christmas shopping to a time of excitement and holiday wonder.

Merry Christmas and seasons greetings on behalf of all of us at Gallery on Main in historic downtown Sweetwater.

Gallery on Main
109 Morris Street
Sweetwater, TN 37874

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Consider a Legacy Gift This Holiday Season

By Angie Carroll, Owner of Amish Excellence

As 2017 comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to share how grateful we are to the many customers, craftsmen, and staff who have helped make this year a huge success.    We’ve been blessed beyond measure. During the past year, we expanded the showroom and added talented designers and an experienced delivery team.  Our desire is to continuously improve and enhance the customer experience with Amish Excellence.

With Christmas fast approaching, I would like to welcome you to visit Amish Excellence to enjoy all of the newest furniture pieces we recently brought into our newly expanded showroom. And here’s a novel idea for you to consider this Christmas season: How about giving furniture from Amish Excellence as a holiday gift this year?  If you’re shopping for that hard-to-please person, we have gift certificates available as well.

Throughout the month of December, there will be unannounced specials and sales on numerous showroom pieces as well.  In addition to beautiful furniture, Amish Excellence stocks home décor pieces such as candles, galvanized metal trays and planters, cutting boards, and hand-crafted Nativity sets.

Crafted to last for generations, Amish Excellence furniture is individually designed and hand-crafted to last many lifetimes. Both beautiful and functional, Amish Excellence furniture will create a living legacy not only for the giver, but also those loved ones that will continue to share your thoughtful gift with future generations as well.

How about an exclusive hand-crafted, wooden rocker for that new mom to cradle your granddaughter or grandson? Or how about a beautiful new bedroom suite for that newlywed couple? If you have a son or daughter who are just beginning to raise children of their own, then a new dining table and chairs or even a bench might be the perfect gift for a growing family. Or perhaps you have a special family member that is moving into their very first home? Consider a hand-crafted dining table and chairs, sideboard, buffet, or entertainment center.

Amish Excellence furniture is individually hand-crafted by craftsmen who have dedicated their lives to their art. Each piece we sell tells a story of the craftsmen who created it and of the legacy that will be created by those who gift it and those who lovingly share it with generations to come.

Why not let us help you make this special holiday season one that will be remembered for many years and generations to come with your very own legacy gift?  Stop by the showroom during the holidays and enjoy refreshments and hot apple cider with us.

Amish Excellence
613 N. Campbell Station Road
Knoxville, TN 37934


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Rebalance and De-Stress

By Tom Irmen

Entrepreneurs understand that owning and operating a small business is anything but a stress-free experience. Stress is an inevitable part of our lives and can often be accelerated when we find ourselves out of balance. Oftentimes we believe that we can achieve greater productivity simply by working longer hours, although often at the expense of family, friends, and other healthier pursuits. But, in fact, we often discover that when we neglect these other important facets in our lives, stress will often worsen, negatively impacting not only our business and important relationships with our customers and co-workers, but our family and friends as well.
Most small business owners find that there isn’t always a direct correlation between the hours you invest in your small business and the productivity that results. Just the opposite can result, where longer workdays can often diminish your productivity and increase the stress that you experience.
Stress should not be taken lightly, as it can have a very serious impact on not only your health, but just about every other aspect of your life. While true stress-free living is unachievable, you can strive towards a balanced life that will allow you to truly appreciate and enjoy your relationships with your family, friends, co-workers, and customers and the success in business you are working to achieve. The secret is balance.
Commit to making time for those special people in your life. Don’t risk sacrificing your relationships with these very special people in your life in pursuit of your dream. After all, it’s that same dream whose rewards you hope to share with those closest to you in the future.
Date night and quality time with your kids are not negotiable. Cherish them as rewards for the many hours of effort you have invested in your journey to achieve success in your small business endeavor. Sacrificing relationships for the sake of success is a recipe for disaster and a fool’s errand.

Also, if you’re truly sincere in your desire to minimize the stress associated with building your small business and in achieving balance in your life and in your personal relationships, go one step further. Tell a trusted friend about your commitment to de-stress and rebalance, and then ask them to periodically review your efforts and to hold you personally accountable. An unwillingness to become personally accountable may signal your true lack of commitment.

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Plantation Reclaimed

Incorporating the Beauty and Sustainability of Reclaimed Wood into Your Story

Dedicated to the preservation of our remaining old growth forests, Plantation Reclaimed reclaims the unique species of wood discovered in centuries-old tobacco barns, old abandoned barns, and warehouses that might otherwise deteriorate to an un-useful state. In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are excited to feature Plantation Reclaimed founders and owners, and daughter and father team, Jenny and Jim Blalock. You’ll learn how this antique wood can be incorporated into both new and existing homes in a variety of applications, including flooring, siding, mantels, and beams, just to name a few. The sheer beauty and rich patina from these reclaimed pieces of history simply cannot be replicated.

Jenny has also successfully combined the entrepreneurial skills she developed early in her life while working alongside her father in his plumbing supply business with both her skills as a general contractor and her talents as an interior designer. She is the founder and owner of the highly recognized and award-winning new home construction company, Luxe Homes & Design, which has earned a reputation for designing and creating homes that not only meet the existing needs of each and every member of your family member, but anticipates their future needs as well.

EK: Describe how you successfully create an authentic sense of style using reclaimed antique wood in homes and offices that is difficult to achieve using modern building materials.

Jenny: Reclaimed antique wood is unrivaled in terms of its ageless beauty and charm and is unparalleled in its architectural quality and character. Using authentic reclaimed wood in your home or office adds great character that you cannot duplicate using newly sawn wood alternatives.

EK: You describe reclaimed wood as pieces of living history. Explain that for our readers.

Jenny: The barns of yesterday are pieces of a living history. They have a story to tell. Some will tell of hard times during drought or floods, disease, and war. They may also tell a happier story of hardworking families brought together and succeeding. By incorporating reclaimed wood into your home or office, you are restoring a part of history. As we like to say, “Reclaiming history one floor at a time.”

EK: You also describe salvaging antique lumber as environmentally responsible. Why?

Jenny: We are dedicated to the preservation of our old growth forests, protecting them as a legacy to future generations.  Our unique, antique wood comes from tobacco and abandoned barns and warehouses and other structures as much as 200 years old! Not only is it environmentally responsible to recycle antique lumber, but the character and unique patina of each piece of reclaimed wood, which occurs naturally over decades and centuries, just can’t be replicated.

EK: Why is the use of reclaimed wood important for home and business owners wishing to create that one-of-a-kind appearance?

Jenny: Using reclaimed wood in your home or office offers you that one-of-a-kind look that cannot be duplicated. Therefore, each floor, accent wall, or beam will never appear alike. That is the natural beauty inherent in every reclaimed antique board that you just won’t find using today’s manufactured products – it’s the real antique deal.

EK: How affordable is the use of reclaimed lumber?

Jenny: There is a great deal of labor involved in reclaiming antique lumber. From disassembling old barns and warehouses to the finished products we sell, there are a great many steps. Reclaimed wood must first be removed, transported, sorted, de-nailed, and kiln dried before being milled into the finished product. During the process, each piece of wood must be handled dozens of times before it’s finally installed in your home or office. We strive, however, to ensure that our pricing is as affordable and competitive as possible.

EK: Describe some of the creative uses for reclaimed wood at home or at the office.

Jenny: With the wide variety of hardwoods we mill that are available to be used for flooring and siding, we have the perfect opportunity to really get creative. By combining our talents with our clients’ desires, we create our one-of-a-kind masterpieces. We can customize any flooring or siding to have rounded edge beveling to provide more of a plank look. We can even custom mill any species of un-reclaimed wood. We take pride in being a custom mill shop dedicated to creating the finished look you want. We are also very proud of our custom designed barn doors, shutters, tables, and countertops, which offer you that extraordinary, one-of-a-kind look you’ve been searching for.

EK: Tell our readers about the different types and species of reclaimed lumber available for them to select from.

Jenny: Some of the most popular items you will discover on our website include our Highlands Hit, Skip Oak, and Tennessee Tavern hardwoods. We also sell of large quantities of our Original Face Barn Siding for accent walls and ceilings and hand hewn or rough sawn beams for ceilings or mantels. Also, our black walnut flooring is one of our most popular items in our old growth series of flooring. From oak to pine, Plantation Reclaimed can custom mill just about any type of wood. If there is something else that you are interested in, contact us and we will try to make it a reality.

EK: Where is your antique wood sourced from, and where is it milled into the different types of products Plantation Reclaimed offers?

Jenny: We are committed to buying locally and supporting small area businesses. Although we ship our products nationwide, our products are all sourced locally and are milled right here in Knoxville.

EK: How do you feel that reclaimed wood enhances your home or office’s value?

Jenny: When purchasing any of our products, whether it’s flooring, siding, beams, or doors, we believe it adds a truly unique and intrinsic value to your home, and you’ve added something of historic significance to your home that cannot be duplicated. No antique wooden floor, accent wall, or barn door will ever be alike. Reclaimed wood adds that one-of-a-kind appearance, character, and warmth to your home or office that is unavailable with any other building material.

EK: Describe your customer care experience.

Jenny: Plantation Reclaimed is dedicated to providing you with the very best customer care experience possible. We want each of our clients to love their finished products as much as we do. You can depend on us to provide you with quality products that add value to your home or office. We stand behind it. That’s our commitment from my family to yours.

EK: You have a spectacular gallery that can be found at, which can serve as inspiration for home or business owners open to the idea of using reclaimed antique lumber in a future building or remodeling project. For our readers who might wish to learn more about either Plantation Reclaimed or Luxe Homes & Design, what is the best way to reach you?

Jenny: Thank you for recommending our website as a resource for our clients. We are very proud of the reclaimed wood products produced by Plantation Reclaimed and enjoy sharing our clients’ photos in our online gallery. They really have served as an inspiration for new clients. For your readers wishing to contact me, the best way to reach me is either by email at or by phone at 865-243-4604. I’ve discovered that most people prefer to email.

EK: In closing, is there anything you would like to add?

Jenny: First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our many customers for both their support and encouragement since first launching Plantation Reclaimed and Luxe Homes & Design. I would also like to thank my dad, who works so hard alongside me every day. I’ve had the honor of working with him for 20 years now. Many people have told me throughout the years that they could never work with their parents, but despite the inevitable ups and downs of self-employment, these challenges have actually strengthened our relationship. Whether building homes for people like you or milling antique reclaimed flooring for your home, my dad shares my passion for quality craftsmanship and personal integrity. We absolutely love what we do and feel blessed to be able to serve our customers each and every day. 

Plantation Reclaimed

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Ready or Not… Here They Come… You Can’t Hide!

That’s right… the holidays are quickly approaching, and we’re here to help you make this your year of being ahead. To kick off the holiday season, we are celebrating BIG by bringing you a double designer trunk show on Thursday, November 2nd, and Friday, November 3rd! Our trunk show will feature Melody Vintage Jewelry and Michele Ma Belle Designs.

Our local jewelry celeb, Melody Stallings of Melody Vintage Jewelry, will be bringing you her latest pieces she’s been working on especially for the holiday season full of unique vintage pendants, pave diamonds, hand cut deer hide, chandelier chain, and much more. This is a great time for you women to treat yourselves, create your Christmas wish lists, or stock up on some great gifts for others!

The two ladies behind the designs of Michele Ma Belle will be with us as well with their newest re-done vintage Louis Vuitton handbags, belts, key chains, and more. These are a sight to see and would make someone super happy this holiday season. We will be shopping, sipping champagne, and celebrating the new season from 10-6 both days, so come join us for all of the festivities!

On top of these special holiday items that will be shown at the trunk show, we are also excited to offer you a wide range of other gifts this season in a variety of price points for those perfect teacher, aunt, sister, best friend, and stocking stuffer type gifts. Some of our favorites include pre-boxed pajama gift sets from Eberjey, all natural, non-toxic, organic skin care products from Babescrub and Herbivore, Capri Blue candles, Sara Happ lip gloss, Ceri Hoover handbags, Mantraband bracelets, and more.

Keep up with all of our upcoming holiday festivities, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Christmas parties, and more, by signing up for our email list on our website at

5508 Kingston Pike, Suite 130
Knoxville, TN 37919

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FML Painting

By Florin Leuciuc

When my wife and I launched FML Painting more than 15 years ago, our goal was to provide homeowners and business owners with a superior customer service experience that is increasingly difficult to find today. In creating this experience, we turned to our experiences in Europe, where skills such as painting were regarded as an art performed by highly skilled craftsmen that invested years learning their craft as apprentices before becoming fully qualified craftsmen.

At FML Painting, our painters progress in their craft as apprentices under the careful supervision of an experienced painter. This commitment to quality is to also offer each of our customers an unconditional guarantee on all work we perform. Also, to provide a completely turn-key customer experience, we also offer pressure washing, drywall repair and finishing, and remodeling. And because all of the work we offer is performed by our own employees, you never have to worry about the challenges that often result from painting contractors who rely almost entirely on subcontractors.

We have earned a reputation of listening carefully to each of our clients before recommending the necessary services to achieve our customers’ objectives. We remain focused on the quality of the work performed. With a close eye on affordability, all work is performed in a safe and efficient manner with as little disruption to your daily routine as possible. And we finish on time.

If you own a home or business and are considering an interior or exterior painting project, I invite you to discover the FML Painting difference. Rediscover the old-world craftsmanship you’re looking for but thought no longer existed today.

There’s no need to accept poor quality workmanship so prevalent today. A complete turn-key experience, no subcontractors, quality materials, highly skilled craftsmen, fully insured, and affordable is your guarantee of the very best customer experience available from FML Painting. Let FML Painting transform your next painting project from ordinary to extraordinary.

FML Painting
245 Long Bow Road
Knoxville, TN 37934

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Closets by McKenry

Designing a Great Laundry Room

Does your laundry room have a “Caution, Do Not Enter” sign on the door? A good, working laundry room should not be closed off from the rest of the home, but open for use.

Laundry rooms should have the same attention to detail as other rooms in the home. After all, work is more pleasant when you enjoy being in the space. A well-organized laundry room also allows family and guests to help themselves when needed.

Just like any organizing project, start by discarding what is no longer needed or wanted. Then send those items that should be elsewhere in the home on their way. Now you are starting with a blank canvas to design a room that is aesthetic and functional.

Create “zones” for various chores. These include guest supplies, house cleaning, laundry, linens, ironing, and even entertaining. When we design spaces, we ask questions to define your needs. Are drawers needed for smaller items? Do some shelves need to be deeper than others? What is going in the space?

A well-designed laundry room makes delegating easy. Kids can help by folding clothes if there is a space dedicated for doing so. A drying rod can handle delicate items after they are removed from the washer, helping decrease the “chore” of laundry.

Staying organized will help you focus on enjoying your family, friends, and fun during the holidays and all seasons of the year. Overnight guests tend to feel more welcomed if they are invited to help themselves when in need of more towels, soap, or tissue. If your area just doesn’t seem to work for you, think about creating a blank canvas to paint an organized home for your family.

Closets by McKenry offers custom-designed spaces to meet your needs. To learn more, call 865-249-6382 or visit

Closets by McKenry

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Spa 9700

Think Spa 9700 This Holiday Season

Here we go again… that time of year when there are not enough hours in the day and not enough of you to go around. Your list of “to dos” is long, and the last thing you have time for is to relax.

We can help at Spa 9700! We have assembled a fantastic selection of gifts for men, women, and children sure to shorten your list. Spa 9700 will make your shopping a pleasure, plus schedule your much-needed relaxation time! The extensive gift boutique has carefully selected unique gift items such as Sonoma Lavender neck wraps, P J Harlow and Cats Pajamas, and affordable, on-trend jewelry. There are also many options for candles from the Murano glass of Lafco to the holiday versions of Capri Blue’s Volcano and the timeless Frasier Fir by The Thymes. Of course you’ll also find Christmas ornaments and other decorations from Glory Haus, Patience Brewster, and Demdaco. The selection right now is incredible! That’s just a start. You’ll want to investigate for yourself.

Best of all is the fact that you can do all this shopping and then enjoy one of Spa 9700’s seasonal massages or facials. Maybe what you need is a manicure or pedicure for those holiday get-togethers. While you are relaxing, the elves at Spa 9700 will put your carefully chosen gifts in one of our beautiful gift bags sure to earn you the adoration you deserve. Also, let’s not forget the one-size-fits-all Spa 9700 gift certificate, a Christmas tradition for many years. They make great stocking stuffers, too!

Go ahead pack your schedule full of family and friends and all the festivities, then we’ll see you at Spa 9700!

Spa 9700
9700 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37932

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