Telling Tales – That Darn Elf on the Shelf

By ANGEL KANE

As if we didn’t have enough going on this holiday season, along came Elmo, Buddy and Steve. Welcome to my holiday world of horrors where three little elves reign supreme

If you have older children, then you may not know about Santa’s new helpers – better known as “Elf On A Shelf.”

With the population exploding as it is, Santa has simply become too busy to check on all the children in the world who have been naughty or nice. So, in an ingenious (and commercially brilliant) moment of forethought, he has enlisted the help of personal assistants – the elves – to do this job. Santa usually sends out his army of elves right after Thanksgiving. And once they get to your home, they’ve been instructed to only come out to play when everyone is asleep.

Santa must certainly have a wicked sense of humor though because many of his elves have a mean streak. They are known to create havoc eating crackers and leaving crumbs; finding toothpaste and scribbling messages; climbing over furniture and turning things over. And when the family awakens, they then magically freeze in place until the next evening – watching all you do.

So when our elves appeared this year, my children were overjoyed. I, on the other hand, was not too excited to see our  new visitors. You see, I had things to do, presents to buy, trees to decorate, cookies to bake and now . . .

Each and every morning since Thanksgiving my children have run about trying to see what mess the elves have created and where they have ended up. But being “our” elves, ironically, their mess is miniscule and, astonishingly, they only move a few feet each morning. All of which appears to have seriously ticked off my 7 year old.

Saturday morning, having found the elves, “just” sitting on the mantle, he couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out, “We’ve got lazy elves. Ours don’t do anything!”

“What do you mean? Our elves aren’t lazy. They’re just calm and neat,” I tried to explain. “No they’re not,” chimed in my middle child. “In fact, I think they are dead. Look at them, they just sit there – doing nothing!!

“What exactly are they supposed to be doing?” I inquired, hurt that the elves weren’t living up to expectations.

“Sara’s elf leaves her presents.” “Garret’s elf makes him homemade crafts.” “Madeline’s elf writes her notes … in magical elf handwriting that only her mom can decipher.”

That evening, after putting the kids to bed, I walked up to the elves who were still sitting on that mantel – doing nothing. “Did you hear all that? You better step it up or next year you’ll be back working the line at the North Pole.”

Angel Kane can be reached at angel@wilsonlivingmagazine.com.  For more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonpost.com and hit Columns & Blogs.

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WLM - Holiday Home

A Holiday Home Decorated in Time for Christmas

WLM - Holiday HomeStory by Angel Kane
Photos by Donna Neely

Take a drive into the Southfork subdivision and all of a sudden you are on Memory Lane. Not too far back on Memory Lane, but just far enough to reminisce about the Barnes and the Ewings. This well-known subdivision, with its street titled after the main characters of the unforgettable hit television series “Dallas”, is home to some of the most beautiful houses in the County.

Continue reading “A Holiday Home Decorated in Time for Christmas”

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Strawberry Surprise Salad

Dining With Doc

By DR JOHN GALLAHER

WLM - Poppy's PizzaIn my never-ending search for great food and new places to dine in Wilson County and the surrounding area, I love just stumbling upon a place I have never been. This month I had a little help from a patient. Jill Major, wife of Brad Major, told me about a great little pizza place in Mt. Juliet that she said had some of the best New York-style thin crust pizza around. Pizza has been one of my favorite foods since I can remember.

Over the years, I cannot count how many pizzas I have consumed from the old Mr. Gatti's, Gondola, David's, and in more recent years Painturo's. They are all different, and I love them all. I knew I was going to have to give this highly recommended place a try, and the very next day I found myself heading down I-40 to the Mt. Juliet exit to check out Poppy's Pizza. I had already informed Angel of the next restaurant I was going to review, but after one trip to Poppy's, I called and told her to stop the presses.

As I walked into Poppy's, I had already decided that I HAD to try the pizza, but what I discovered is that Poppy's has a very large lunch buffet that, to my surprise, is served every day, seven days a week for a very affordable $6.99. I immediately saw four or five very large pizzas that looked great, but to my appetite's delight, I found so much more. Poppy, whose actual name is Frank Ienna, hails from Sicily. His family moved to the States years ago, living in Brooklyn, so Frank has spent time in two parts of the world that know a thing or two about Italian fare.

As I spoke with Poppy, I learned something that made me flashback to my youth. My very first memory of the food court at the then brand new Hickory Hollow Mall in Nashville was a place called Picnic Pizza. I got a slice from there countless times, only rarely opting for one of my other favorite food options that had just come to Nashville … Chick-Fil-A. And even though Chick-Fil-A made it difficult NOT to choose them by handing out free samples, I almost always made my way down to the very right-hand end of the food court line for some Picnic Pizza. Well, amazingly enough, it was Poppy’s owner, Frank, who was one of the owners of Picnic Pizza, along with his Italian friends Sal, Franco, and Tino (hey, these were the Soprano's before there were Soprano's.)

I asked Poppy how he got his name. He said his daughter, when trying to say Papa as a toddler, called him ‘Poppy’. And even as she grew older, she continued to call her dad ‘Poppy’, with her friends referring to him, by this, as well. So the name has stuck to this day. Anyone that knows him when they come into his restaurant and sees him cries out “Hey Poppy!”.

Getting back to the food, Poppy cooks everything as he says the “Old Sicilian” way, no rush. He slow cooks his homemade tomato sauce for over three hours to get the acidity out. I'm not sure what it's pH level is when he is through cooking it, I just know it is awesome! And I was amazed at the time and effort he puts into his cheeses that he uses for his pizzas, lasagnas, and other tasty treats. Poppy could do as most restaurants do these days and just use pre-sliced or pre-shredded cheese. Instead, he buys large blocks of three different types of cheeses and blends them together to give his pizza and pastas a wonderful flavor and your taste buds a mouthwatering experience.

On a recent visit, Poppy let me try some of his calamari. It is lightly breaded and seasoned in his special Italian seasonings and is so good. For the non-meat eaters, he makes a great eggplant lasagna, or just order one of his great pizzas sans the meat.

I think most of my readers know I don't steer you wrong when it comes to great food. Please come give Poppy's Pizza a try. I promise you will not be disappointed. You can't go wrong at lunchtime with the incredible buffet he serves. And come for dinner and order exactly what you want straight off the menu. Poppy even has chicken tenders that I like, and I know your kids will love too.

Poppy's is located at 1209 North Mt. Juliet Road, just a quarter mile off the Mt. Juliet exit. They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, so you have no excuse NOT to go.

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WLM - Dawn Scruggs

The Good Life

“I recently had the pleasure of reading a novel titled, The Deliberation, by local author, Dawn Scruggs. Prior to reading the book, I was approached by three people who all told me that I had to read this book! So you can imagine my delight, when I read it and couldn’t put it down. And I was even more delighted when Dawn agreed to share her story with the readers of Wilson Living.” – Angel Kane

By DAWN SCRUGGS

Continue reading “The Good Life”

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WLM - Our Anniversary

Congratulations on our Anniversary

By ROY W. HARRIS

A wise man will make sure he doesn’t forget two very important dates; his wife’s birthday and his anniversary.

WLM - Our AnniversaryAnniversaries are celebrations commemorating the annually recurring date of a past event, of historical, national or personal importance (according to The Free Dictionary by Farlex). Wow, that’s quite a mouthful, but we all have anniversaries that are important to us. In this issue of Wilson Living we are celebrating the anniversary of the successful launch of the magazine some three years ago. Congratulations Angel and Becky and to all those who’ve worked hard to produce a top shelf magazine that is a credit to Wilson County and an asset to Middle Tennessee.

In reality, we celebrate a variety of anniversaries. A lady reminded me this past Sunday that she and her husband were celebrating the first anniversary of their baptisms and that I was the minister who performed the baptisms one year ago. This was an important personal occasion for them. Birthdays are also anniversaries celebrating our births and the births of those we love and cherish.

This time of the year also reminds us of a couple of events that occur annually. We celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is truly a unique and special holiday with Christmas following right on its’ heels. Thanksgiving and Christmas are highlighted by family, food and fun all wrapped up in symbols of the holiday season, symphonies of holiday song and somber reflection of the past year’s goodness and blessings.

I recently returned from a visit to the Middle East and was once again reminded of a number of the blessings that we sometimes take for granted. Just like at Christmas time when we are blessed to receive special gifts from those who love us, we Tennesseans have been blessed by our heavenly Father with many national gifts. We are blessed to live in peace. Even though we’ve suffered war and tragedy at times, we live in the safest country in the world. We are blessed with the freedom to worship openly or not to worship at all if we so choose. We are blessed with the freedom to speak our minds without fear of reprisal. We are blessed with one of the highest standards of living in the world.WLM - Our anniversary

While in the Middle East I observed a Bedouin boy in the desert on the West Bank of the Jordan River near the Dead Sea herding a flock of sheep and goats. He was crouched down in the hot sun seeking relief in the shade of the only bush I saw in the area. We had just passed the tent camp of his family and friends in our cool airconditioned bus. I was reminded of just how blessed we are. We are blessed with running water. The Bedouins drew theirs from a tanker, which had been trucked in from miles away. One out of three people in the world do not have adequate sanitation facilities, and over one billion do not have safe water to drink. We are blessed with food. We all have our Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites.

One out of six people in the world go to bed hungry every night. We are blessed with warm and dry places to live. The average American home or apartment is considered to be homes of the very wealthy by most of the rest of the world. We are blessed with warm clothes to fend off the winter cold. Water, food, shelter and clothing, the necessities of life – we have them all.

As we celebrate the 390th anniversary of the first Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts and the approximately 2000th year anniversary of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, maybe it would be wise for us reflect a moment.

WLM - Our anniversaryThe holy scriptures teach us that every good and perfect gift comes from above, given to us by our heavenly Father. Thanksgiving and Christmas should be times for family, food and fun; but may I suggest one more thing? When we gather around the table and Christmas tree, let us take a moment to recount our personal and family blessings, remind the next generation where our blessings came from and resolve to reach out and share those blessings with others. The scriptures also remind us that God blesses those who help others which are truly in need. The Lord said; I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. When He was asked; when did we do these things? He reminded them that every act of kindness to others was an act of kindness to Him.

There are several worthy nonprofit organizations in our community whose business is lending a helping hand to those in need. Why not adopt one this holiday season and share part of the bounty of blessings that God has sent your way? It would be a nice way to celebrate two great anniversaries and pass the precious gift of giving down to a new generation. Congratulations Wilson Living Magazine. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas everyone!

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Telling Tales – Dog Daze

Almost 2 years ago our beloved Sasha went to doggie heaven. She was 14 years old and seriously the sweetest dog. She was our child before we had the two little humans who inhabit our home now.

Shortly after Sasha died, my husband and our children began the search for a replacement. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her, but when she died I assumed that was the end of our dog days. As much as I adored her, I didn’t want another pet. Not because I didn’t want to replace her or my heart was too broken. Our family just doesn’t have the time to give a puppy all the attention it deserves. Sure my husband does all the feeding and playing and training. But what happens when he forgets to pick up dog food, the dog gets sick or has to go out to pee in the middle of the night. That’s right, it’s my job. Since giving birth to my first child, I have enforced a strict rule: I don’t feed, water or play with anything unless I’m required by law to do so. It’s not like I will purposefully ignore the needs of our pets or houseplants, there’s just a good chance I’ll forget to feed or water it.

It wasn’t long after we married that my husband decided against sending an innocent houseplant to its inevitable death just because it was our anniversary. Instead he opted for a nice Fichus tree. It’s still as green as it was the day he gave it to me AND it doesn’t shed dead leaves.

So back to the dog. The kids and my husband are really starting to put pressure on me about the dog. And now that Christmas is approaching the first thing my youngest says to our “Elf on the Shelf” in the morning is, “Please, please, please Isaac Sprital, make sure Santa brings me a new puppy for Christmas. Amen.”  Usually I completely ignore his request and instead explain to him that if he really wants a puppy it might be a good idea to pray to God, not Santa.  I’m not expert on religion but that’s the kind of thing that might tick The Almighty off.

So just last week my husband tried one more time to plead his case to ensure a new puppy might be waiting for us on Christmas morning.

My husband, Jay, said, “We really need to start looking to make sure one will be ready by Christmas. Remember how we waited too long last summer and the puppies were all gone.”

I completely forgot I told him the puppy store had run out of puppies. I was more shocked that he believed that story.

“The boys aren’t ready for an inside dog,” I said.

 “I’ll take care of him if the boys don’t.”

For the record, this is the same man who said he would have the baby for me if he could when I was in the 15th hour of labor with our second child. 

Becky, we live out in the country. Don’t you think it’s a good idea to have a guard dog that will bark and let us know if strangers are coming up the driveway?”

“We have a guard dog. Her name is Barbara Andrews and she lives next door. And who is scarier, a fluffy white dog or a white-haired woman wearing a nightgown speeding towards you in a golf cart and holding a loaded shot gun?”

“But we could train our puppy to warn you when she’s leaving her house to come over so you can make an escape.”

SOLD! The dog will be ready for pickup any day now.

by Becky Andrews

 

Wilson Living

To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns log onto www.tellingtalesblog.com

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Strawberry Surprise Salad

Food forThought – A Holiday to Dine For

WLM - Food for Thought

The holidays are right around the corner!

This year we are serving an old family favorite instead of the traditional ham or turkey. Rosemary beef tenderloin is a simple and flavorful preparation. Not only does this recipe taste amazing, but the leftovers are perfect for serving on biscuits or rolls the next morning. Roasted brussels sprouts are another family favorite. Even our pickiest eaters love this recipe. Enjoy!

WLM - Roasted Brussel SproutsROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Serves 6-8
2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup bacon bits
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken stock
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ shredded parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425°. Toss prepared brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper and bacon. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the brussels sprouts are roasting, whisk together balsamic vinegar and chicken stock in a small bowl. Remove brussels sprouts from the oven. Pour mixture over brussels sprouts. Toss to combine. Top with panko breadcrumbs. Return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove brussels sprouts from the oven and top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

ROSEMARY BEEF TENDERLOIN

WLM - Rosemary Beef TenderloinServes 6-8
3 ½ lb. beef tenderloin roast, trimmed and tied with cooking twine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°. Gently pat tenderloin dry with paper towels. Season all sides with salt and pepper. Tuck rosemary sprigs under cooking twine on all sides

Heat oil in a heavy roasting pan over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Brown tenderloin on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 120° at the thickest part of the tenderloin. Transfer tenderloin to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. The tenderloin will continue cooking and the juices with distribute throughout the roast. Discard the rosemary sprigs and twine. Slice to desired thickness.

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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Strawberry Surprise Salad

Food for Thought

WLM - food for thought

The holidays are right around the corner!

This year we are serving an old family favorite instead of the traditional ham or turkey. Rosemary beef tenderloin is a simple and flavorful preparation. Not only does this recipe taste amazing, but the leftovers are perfect for serving on biscuits or rolls the next morning. Roasted brussels sprouts are another family favorite. Even our pickiest eaters love this recipe. Enjoy!

WLM - Roasted Brussel SproutsROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Serves 6-8
2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup bacon bits
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken stock
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ shredded parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425°. Toss prepared brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper and bacon. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the brussels sprouts are roasting, whisk together balsamic vinegar and chicken stock in a small bowl. Remove brussels sprouts from the oven. Pour mixture over brussels sprouts. Toss to combine. Top with panko breadcrumbs. Return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove brussels sprouts from the oven and top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

ROSEMARY BEEF TENDERLOIN

WLM - Rosemary Beef TenderloinServes 6-8
3 ½ lb. beef tenderloin roast, trimmed and tied with cooking twine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°. Gently pat tenderloin dry with paper towels. Season all sides with salt and pepper. Tuck rosemary sprigs under cooking twine on all sides

Heat oil in a heavy roasting pan over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Brown tenderloin on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 120° at the thickest part of the tenderloin. Transfer tenderloin to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. The tenderloin will continue cooking and the juices with distribute throughout the roast. Discard the rosemary sprigs and twine. Slice to desired thickness.

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 - Rachel's Challenge

Rachel’s Challenge

WLM - Rachel's Challenge

“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.” – Rachel Scott

By ANGEL KANE

The word “Columbine” brings back many memories. Most of which are centered around fear, anger and disbelief that such a horror could have ever occurred, that so many lives could have been lost and that so much innocence could have been wasted.

Continue reading “Rachel’s Challenge”

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WLM - Styles & trends

Classic Comebacks

BY ERIN BROWN

Happy Holidays! (Albeit early)

WLM - Styles & trendsI’m so proud of this issue. Showcasing, Style, with our photo layout inspired by the fashions of the 40’s and 50’s. I can truly say this was our most fantastic shoot to date. Creativity ran wild! Creating the flashback looks was so much fun!

The perfect backdrop for the scenes was shot on-site from the Lebanon Square. Collaboratively The Wilson Living Team as well as Asante Salon and Spa, and Amy Rich Photography worked creatively to get the authentic “throwback feeling” combined with a modern flair, bringing out specific colors and cuts of the clothing. We wanted to highlight the Lebanon Square, as if it were “way back when”! The dust from decades past was shaken off.

Many Lebanon Square store fronts are new. A prime example was the last year’s opening of the Crystal Couture Store, which is consistently hosting community events and drawing people into the central area. The Art Mill is another store on the old square which has been a shining star! Parents drop their little ones off to paint when school is out, friends can come together to host painting parties, and others just come to find their creative side. The Art Mill has brought a fresh idea to an old town. In addition, ladies also have a new place to buy pretty underpinnings, at Dreams Boutique, which has just opened. Last, but certainly not least, you will find Lulu’s, another new clothing boutique that recently opened!

Of course there is always the “tried and true” stores where you can find antiques, yards of fabric and trim, design wedding invitations, and have your business cards or signage printed. It’s now a more convenient, user-friendly one stop shopping experience!

Let’s all promote these business owner’s ventures by supporting them with our holiday shopping! I know they will look forward to serving you. In turn, you will find great treasures among the selections on the comfortable old Lebanon Square.

Peace, Love, Fashion & Joy to You and Yours this Season

Erin

You can contact Erin at erin@wilsonlivingmagazine.com

Continue reading “Classic Comebacks”

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