WLM - These divas from Sparkling Tiara know how to throw a party

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun


WLM - These divas from Sparkling Tiara know how to throw a partyWhen you walk through the door, you’ll ‘Think Pink!”

The bad economy didn’t stop Mt. Juliet’s, Melody Holladay, from finding her own piece of the good life and living out her dreams of opening Sparkling Tiara this past November.

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Telling Tales – There Ought to be a Law

Wilson Living Magazine

In order to own gun there is a legal protocol that must be followed. There’s a background check, the purchaser must be of legal age, and after a mandatory waiting period you will become the proud owner of a firearm.

Some gun owners opt to take safety classes, which is fabulous. It amazes me that with all a person has to go through in order to purchase a firearm, any idiot with enough cash or high enough credit limit can go into any big box retailer and buy their very own digital camera to go about town shooting whatever they choose… without warning.

Most of my friends, family, acquaintances (and a lady I met on the subway while visiting New York City) know that I am a little peculiar about having my photo taken. I’ve even noticed a few of them cringe when someone says, “Let’s find someone to take a quick picture of all of us.” Silly, silly people. The stars, moon, and planets have to be in perfect alignment for me to approve a snapshot. I demand 100 percent veto power. And usually get it except when my children were born.

For obvious reasons, I didn’t get a chance to approve the photos that would fill empty Humpty Dumpty frames in our baby’s nursery. This was before the instant gratification of digital cameras. You can imagine my surprise when I picked up the developed film and saw the shot of my husband, our first child and some strange looking woman. This woman had my hair but a nose like Gerard Depardieu and a face so swollen you could barely make out the existence of eyes. The next photo was a shot of me and our little guy right after he was born. Even though I looked like someone stuck an air hose in my neck and forgot to shut it off, it was a moment captured I’d never want to forget.

When a friend came to visit and noticed the photo she said, “Awe. Look at him. You look HUGE!” That was the last time my husband was allowed to take pictures. This explains why there are very few pictures of me during the first years of my children’s life.

When digital cameras came on the scene I thought my prayers had been answered. Then facebook came along, and photos starting popping up. They weren’t just popping up; they were being “tagged” so your “friends” could see them.

One afternoon while snooping on facebook, a message came through that there was a new “tagged” photo of me. In it I was standing beside my child’s stroller, still wearing maternity clothes and had just taken a very large bite of a hamburger. I couldn’t believe it. How dare her. I immediately untagged it.

For a couple of weeks we went back and forth. She’d tag the photo, I’d untag it.  For that reason, she’s no longer a friend on facebook. (Facebook has made it so much easier to break up with friends) It’s not that I don’t like taking a stroll down memory lane, but I refuse to do it with mustard on my kaftans and a triple chin.

Not long ago, Angel and I had to get a photo taken together that would appear on promotional materials. After much debate, airbrushing and photoshopping, our photographer created an acceptable publicity shot. A few months later I met someone who had only seen this particular photo. She shook my hand and said, “Wow! You don’t look anything like your picture! I need to get your photographer to redo my driver’s license picture.” I’m not positive but I think she insulted me. 

Call me shallow, call me vain but I’ll say this: if there were tougher laws on owning cameras there’d be fewer friendships lost on facebook and acceptable snapshots of pregnant women.

Comments? Email becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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WLM - Wedding Day - Feb 26, 1956

Love Everlasting

Harold Graden Gaines & Betty Ann Oldham
February 26 1956


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WLM - Cold & Flu

Ask the Experts – How to manage a common cold or the flu

WLM - Cold & Flu

This time of year, doctors’ offices are swamped with patients suffering from the common cold and influenza. Both are respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses. Often the conditions present have mirroring symptoms and make it difficult for people to determine which is to blame. In general, the flu is more intense than a cold. “The flu usually starts off abruptly with a fever reaching temperatures of 103 or 104, headache, body aches and progresses into a cough and sore throat,” said Dr. Toby Smith, pulmonologist at Summit Medical Center. Sometimes people come in with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea and believe they have the flu, but typically that is a gastrointestinal virus. A cold tends to be little more subtle. “Colds may start out with a runny nose, cough and body aches but does not have a fever,” said Smith.

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WLM - David Rhodes

Charis Health Center

“Community Compassion in Action”


WLM - David RhodesWith the struggling economy and government health care reform on the horizon, it seems changes to insurance coverage are inevitable. For the past three years, Charis Health Center has served the healthcare needs of Wilson County residents who are employed but without insurance. It’s through the success of their programs that progress is being made. Their actions have brought compassion to a community in need.

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WLM - Food for Thought

Food For Thought – Cupcakes take the Cake

WLM - Food for Thought

Makes 24 cupcakes

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. coconut extract
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups self rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 (14 ounce) bag of sweetened coconut flakes; 2 2/3 cups for the cake, use the remaining coconut flakes to sprinkle over iced cupcakes

Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together eggs and sugar until smooth. Add extract and oil and beat for 1-2 minutes. Add flour and buttermilk, alternating dry then wet ingredients in three additions. Stir in 2 2/3 cups of coconut flakes.

Place 24 paper liners in 2 muffin pans. Spoon mixture into paper cups. Fill each cup ¾ full. Bake in a preheated 350º oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Poke small holes in the top of each cupcake. Using a pastry brush, spread glaze over the top of each cupcake. Allow the glaze to soak in. Repeat with another layer of glaze. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. coconut extract

Heat water and sugar over medium high heat in a saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add extract. Cool to room temperature.

3 cups confectioners sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add coconut extract and milk. Continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding milk, if needed for icing consistency.


Makes 24 cupcakes

2 ½ cups self-rising flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted

Combine flour and cocoa in a medium-sized bowl. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat for 1 -2 minutes. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer until mixture is smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate. Place 24 paper liners in 2 muffin pans. Spoon mixture into paper cups. Fill each cup ¾ full. Bake in a preheated 350º oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add chocolate, cocoa and milk. Continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding milk, if needed for icing consistency.


– Muffin pans aren’t all the same size. You may end up with a few extra cupcakes or a few less depending on the size of your pans. Don’t worry, just fill each cup ¾ full and they will turn out perfect in any size pan.
– Look for colorful and creative paper liners. The standard pack of rainbow colors is boring! You can find these in the cake decorating section of any craft store or specialty food store.
– Are your decorating skills questionable? Use a medium sized scoop to scoop the icing and place on top of the cupcake as if you were scooping ice cream and placing on top of a cone. Smooth out any rough edges.

Do you have a favorite recipe to share with Wilson Living readers? Send your original, unpublished recipes to Stacey@wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

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WLM - Rosemary Beef Tenderloin

Dining With Doc

WLM - Dining with Doc

Always being on the lookout for great new places to satisfy my daily hunger pains (or is it pangs? I think I get BOTH!), I was excited when I saw the sign for Tom's Blue Moon Bar-B-Que. I knew this was going to be something different as soon as I stepped in the door (and different is usually good with me!). I felt as if I were back in Memphis, Tennessee, eating at one of the many great Bar-B-Que restaurants I frequented when I was in school there (oh, so many years ago). From the pink pig, to the red and white checkerboard table cloths, to the hubcaps on the ceiling, the decor is very apropos.

Owner, Tom Ferrell, spent the last 20+ years of his life studying and perfecting the art of good Bar-B-Que…and his efforts did not go to waste. Long before Tom and his wife Lisa were FINALLY talked into opening their first restaurant in Hendersonville by family, friends, and the multitude of fans of his fantastic fare (pardon the alliteration), Tom won numerous trophies and ribbons on the Bar-B-Que circuit, including some top finishes at the world famous Jack Daniel’s Invitational Championship.

We are fortunate that Tom and Lisa (a native of Lebanon), brought their great Bar-B-Que here to Wilson County. After a brief stop at the old SuperBurger location on North Cumberland (I'm sorry, I still miss that good hot-off-the-grill greasy burger from my youth), they are now located at 711 Park Avenue, home of the former tenant, Little Paul's. Tom said, “I really hated to see Lebanon lose Little Paul's. They had served Wilson County folks well for seven years. We do want to welcome all of his fans to come give our place a try.”

Besides some of the best pulled pork I have ever had, along with great ribs that are slow cooked 14 hours over hickory wood and topped with Tom's secret rub, Blue Moon Bar-B-Que has the most tender and juicy brisket that would rival that found in the Lone Star State. The smoked sausage will literally melt in your mouth. And fans of good, smoked wings (sans sauce similar to the ones Little Paul made famous) will not be disappointed. Some of the fresh sides include (among others) very tasty mac-n-cheese (a favorite of the kids), broccoli casserole, bar-b-que beans and the most tender turnip greens this side of Grandpa “Doc” Gallaher's. And if possible, save room for dessert because the homemade banana pudding is the perfect finish to a great meal here.

Tom's Blue Moon is open Tuesday through Saturday, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not being an early riser myself, I have not tried the breakfast, which is served daily beginning at 4:30 a.m. And be sure to look for the $5.99 daily lunch specials. March 5th marks the first of some monthly live music on Saturday nights. Martin Family Circus is set to perform (fans of Marty Stuart would want to be in attendance for this). Just last night I visited Tom's Place (about my 10th visit so far). I decided to try the smoked 1/2 chicken that my buddy Rob Gwynne keeps raving about. I had just gotten in the already long serving line when Aaron announced from behind the counter, “We are fresh out of the chicken!” They have a sign posted with their motto that reads, “Because our meats are smoked fresh every night, yes, it's true, sometimes we do run out of one … but we'll do it all over again tomorrow.” Ah yes, an excuse to come back tomorrow!

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Telling Tales – Small Town Yogi

Wilson Living Magazine

A few days ago I caught Angel in a weak moment, and before she knew it we — along with our friend, Beth — were on the interstate headed to Hot Yoga. What was the catalyst for a spur of the moment, mid-week trip to a facility that boasts a 110-degree room and instructors who encourage students to clear the mind of all distractions? Honestly, I forgot.

I had been once before so knew what to expect. But Angel and Beth only had my descriptions to go on. When we arrived, the instructor led us to the studio so we could “focus on the journey and not the destination.” Which in Yogi speak means, “Keep your mouth shut so you don’t distract others,” a rule made clear to us when one person pantomimed that our whisper was distracting his peace chakra.

A little bit of advice for new yogis: don’t, seriously, don’t EVER mess with the regulars. They are the ones who arrive early to ensure their spot, and unless you want to get into a brawl with a woman who has more pit hair than your husband, pick up your mat and quietly move on.

When the little “Bikram” hall monitor sat back down, Angel looked at me and ever the perfect student said, “If you say another word, I’m telling.”

Halfway through the 26-pose series I glanced at my two friends. Beth and I have been working out together for nearly a year and she’s in incredible shape. Like me, Beth was standing in a puddle of sweat, legs shaking and trying not to fall while performing the warrior pose.

Then I looked at Angel. She had a tiny bit of perspiration around her hairline. Meanwhile, I looked like I’d just stepped off Splash Mountain. She noticed me staring and whispered, “I’m better at this than you.” Maybe it was delusion caused from the excruciating heat but I still swear she stuck her tongue out at me. 

It’s harder than you’d think to learn to pose correctly. Every time the instructor would encourage students to clear the mind I would try to interpret the meaning of tattoos a lady in front of me had on her calf and back. Then began making a mental grocery list and planning the following week’s work schedule. One more time our super fit instructor walked by and said,

“You can do this. Let your mind go. Forgive the past. There is nothing to worry about.”

Nothing to worry about?! Was she joking? Apparently she didn’t have a mortgage, children, husband, bills or a mother-in-law who lives next door. Instead of leaving, I stayed and desperately tried to accomplish the breakthrough everyone talks about in hot yoga.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, the class ended. We made it. Angel was like a duck in water. She barely broke a sweat and insisted I must have something wrong with me because of all the perspiration.

The instructor was right. The toxins had left via sweat glands and we were free from some harmful radicals. Now that the toxins were gone I didn’t want them back. I was halfway through an ice cream sandwich later that night before I realized my mistake. If there’s one thing hot yoga has taught me, it’s forgiveness… Namaste, ya’ll.  


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WLM - Learning to Lead

Learning to Lead

WLM - Learning to Lead
Leadership Wilson motivates new leaders in the community


Even if a person was born and raised in Wilson County, there is still a lot to learn from the Leadership Wilson program – including how to feed and milk calves, the ins and outs of the public safety system, touring the Wilson County jail, University Medical Center and Brooks House.

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WLM - Telling Tales

Telling Tales – Blind Justice

WLM - Telling TalesBy ANGEL KANE

I always cringe when I hear my middle child running down the stairs with her younger brother following close behind, crying out… “Noooooo … please don’t tell Mama …please, I didn’t mean it.”

My middle child is our Lady of Justice. If you wrong her in any way, she immediately demands that the accused be swiftly brought to justice. And usually, no matter what the crime, she expects the perp to get the chair!

So as she leaped down the last three steps, with her brother running in hot pursuit, I could see the glimmer in her eyes. “Mama …Mama – guess what he did?”

Behind her stood her brother, with tears streaming down his face, “I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry,” he begged for his life.

Knowing that our Lady of Justice considers even the slightest indiscretion to be a crime punishable by death, I wasn’t too worried. In fact, in years past, I would have simply ignored her rants.

However, time has taught me that if I don’t at least appear to inflict a harsh penalty onto the accused, Lady Justice will simply take matters into her own hands and inflict her own form of cruel and unusual punishment. And believe me – my middle child – could care less about civil rights. Her forms of retribution put Sadam to shame. For instance, if you dare to touch her Barbie, without having executed the appropriate waivers and releases, she will chop off the offending hand and ask questions later. Innocent until proven guilty is not a legal principle she readily embraces.WLM - Blind Justice

“What happened?” I inquired, trying to act as incensed as she was, in an effort to save my son’s hand, for yet another day.

“You are not going to believe it!”

“What is it?” I said, still trying to appear interested as I wrote out my grocery list.

My youngest cried out again, “I didn’t know…I’m sorry…don’t tell Daddy.”

I put the pen down – could it be – that the accused was actually guilty of a real crime? He was playing the Daddy card – which my children only play when they are guilty as charged.

“What did he do?” I inquired, this time with more attention.

She then looked at me triumphantly and said …“He said the F word.” I gasped!

My son is only 5. My mind began to race. Had my baby moved from just that morning watching “Bob the Builder” to this afternoon blurting out the F-word? I took a deep breath and thought for a minute. I quickly considered that the F-word, to those under the age of 8, could be something other than the F-word you and I know.

So, I asked the question no parent wants to ask, “What F word?” And then, with a huge smile on her face, hands on her hips, looking directly at her brother, she bellowed into his face, “He said … stupid!!”

I don’t know what made me angrier. That my 5 year old said the S-word – a word that is strictly forbidden in our home – or that I had spent a small fortune on private school tuition so that my 8 year old could tell me that the word stupid starts with an F.

I sentenced both of them to life….otherwise known as….6 o’clock, when their Father would be home. My youngest took it well. Life was better than death by stoning, which had been the sentence his sister had been pursuing.

Lady Justice, however, didn’t take it as well. She stomped her feet as she went up the stairs muttering something about having me removed from the bench.

Yeah, I thought…when you figure out what letter the word bench starts with, …we’ll talk.

Lady Justice is now 11 years old and still considers herself to both Judge and Jury. Unfortunately, for our youngest, redemption is still not a word she recognizes, as she continues to be a strong proponent of retribution.

I am proud to say, however, that Lady Justice did make it into the finals of her class Spelling Bee this year. Unfortunately, she didn’t win, and considers that to be yet another miscarriage of justice.

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