Time to try new things

By Angel Kane

So the text from my friend Caroline went something like this...”Handgun classes and kickboxing! You go girl! What’s next? Eating #5 at Pad Thai??!!”

For those who’ve ever eaten even a #1 Pad Thai, you know there is a huge difference between a #1 and a #5 and while I’m trying new things, there is no need to go crazy just yet.

Especially since I still order a # zero and even that seems hot!

But you see, I’m turning 45 in three months and for some reason this is bothering me more than turning 40 did.

45 is such a big number! It’s kind of an old number. I get it. 40 is the new 30 and all that jazz, but in reality 45 still sounds old.

Don’t hate me for saying that because hey, I’m almost to that age where I can get away with saying about anything I want.

So, with 45 fast approaching, I’ve decided to start working on my bucket list.

Get a gun, shoot a gun. Check and check.

Well, maybe not quite like that.

Last weekend, in an effort to work on my bucket list, Brody took me to the Gun Room in Lebanon. With a 9mm Glock in hand, I was sure this would be an easy one to mark off the list.

Who would have thought a gun would be so heavy? And so darn loud!

An avid watcher of Chips, Hill Street Blues and 21 Jump Street, I don’t recall an episode where Johnny Depp discussed how heavy or loud guns were. If he had, I might have been better prepared.

Second mistake, tapping Brody on the shoulder as he was shooting.

“Hey, your bullets are falling out!!” I thought I was doing him a favor pointing this out. Apparently you don’t tap someone on the shoulder while shooting, and bullets come out both the back and the front of the gun.

Sorry, I must have missed that episode of Cagney & Lacey.

Third, when shooting, closing your eyes and hitting the target in the aisle next to you, makes those around you nervous. Really nervous!

Either way, check and check and I’ve signed up to get my gun license and a gun of my own.

Kickboxing went a little more smoothly

Although how planks and sit ups fit into kickboxing, I don’t quite understand. But I wore gloves, channeled Rocky and broke a sweat, so check, check and check!

The text Brody received after the class, from Bill (Caroline’s hubby) went something like this…“How did Angel do? You sneak in an accidental kick?”

Hmmm… looks like someone has a bucket list of his own.


Big thanks to the Gun Room of Lebanon for hosting the most recent fundraiser for Lieutenant Bob Harrison, who is battling cancer. Lt. Harrison is a 35 year law enforcement veteran having proudly served our community with the Wilson County Sheriffs Office, the Lebanon Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. To help with mounting medical bills, donations can be made in his name at Wilson Bank & Trust.


Share This:

Hey! Wait for me!

Back to School fashion for kiddies and tykes

[slideshow_deploy id=’10532′]



Photographed by Jessica Klingler with The Perfect Touch Photography

Location: Gravel Road Traditions

For this shoot, Wilson Living Magazine partnered with boutiques Hadley & Finn, Major Love, and Posh all located on Lebanon square.

Models: Bella Klingler, Major Klingler, Max Scruggs, Chayton Lowe, Jemma DiCicco, Kaid Clay, and Norah Dillehay.

Share This:

Election Mom

High School Senior Peyton Smith on her mother, Wilson County Assistant Administrator of Elections, Tammy Smith… and all the ways she has put parenting first


By Peyton Smith

Main photo by Jana Pastors/Kindred Moments Photography

“You two look just alike!” This is a phrase my mother and I have heard for the last 17 years. To this day, we still cannot see the uncanny resemblance that everyone else likes to point out, but as I am approaching my senior year in high school, I am finally able to pinpoint just a few similarities between our personalities.

If I had to pick one shining example of how we are alike, I would have to choose our shared love for traveling. Looking back on my life so far, some of my fondest memories are those that took place on family vacations or trips that my parents sacrificed to send me on.

Photo 2One of my favorite memories as a child is the day that my mom and dad decided, completely out of the blue, to drive down to Orlando, Florida and take me and my younger brother, Parker, to Disney World for the first time. We were at the perfect age: young enough to truly experience the magic of the place (although if I’m being perfectly honest, I still haven’t grown out of my Disney phase), yet we were old enough to be able to recall the details of that trip years later.

Interestingly, our family ended up moving to a suburb of Orlando several years later; it was after that move that my mom began her journey in the ever-changing world of elections. After moving back to Tennessee, the Election Office in Macon County became a place of familiarity for me and my brother when my mom took the Administrator position there.

Unfortunately, within two years being in that job, it was evident to both my parents and myself that the school situation I was in was not ideal. I wasn’t very comfortable in the public school system, so my parents agreed for my seventh grade year to let me attend a weekly tutorial in Hartsville, as it provided a more challenging curriculum and welcoming environment. The only downside to this arrangement was that both my mom and dad had full time jobs, and Parker was at school every day, so I spent the majority of that school year at home, alone, pouring over my Latin textbooks and struggling to muster up enough artistic ability to draw maps of Europe.

By the time eighth grade rolled around, my mom had humbly decided to quit her job in order to spend more time with me at home; however, soon after this huge decision was made, election officials and administrators alike began constantly contacting her to see if she was interested in taking any job opportunities elsewhere. She had worked diligently in her previous position, organizing elections year round for a whole county, and now, no one wanted her talents to go to waste.

One offer in particular stood out among the rest: Phillip Warren, the Administrator of Elections for Wilson County, wanted my mom to join him at the office as the Assistant Administrator. She had helped to train Mr. Warren, and he was quick to offer her a position when he heard she was leaving Macon. If she accepted this offer, this would make Wilson County Elections different from all other counties in Tennessee, as it would be the only one with two certified administrators working in the same office.

Photo 3While praying and thinking about this offer, the biggest thing my mom kept in the forefront of her mind was my education, along with my brother’s. If we relocated to Wilson County, my parents would be able to put us both in a school where we were challenged and felt right at home. I was ecstatic hearing the news that my mom had decided to take the job offer and that Parker and I would be attending Friendship Christian in just a few short weeks. We toured the school a couple of days later, and I instantly knew this was the place for me.

Fast forward five years into the future, and here I am, preparing for my senior year at FCS, both excited and terrified of what the future has in store. Nonetheless, I feel prepared for the next few years of my life because of the superb job my parents have done while raising me. They have supported me every step of the way, including some of my crazy life dreams, which include moving to Chicago one day and practicing law in the city. My parents have always encouraged me to follow my dreams, even if that means eventually moving away from where they are.

The last five years living in Wilson County have been the best of my life, and I am forever grateful for the sacrifice my mom made in order to give me and Parker a truly memorable high school experience by taking this job. She has also shown me what hard work looks like from the innumerable nights spent working on various projects. Most importantly of all though, I have been shown the unconditional love of a mother my whole life. Even when I have done things that she has disagreed with, she is still compassionate in a way that I know I will not understand until the day, far in the future, when I become a mother myself.

Now that I am older, I have learned to love the phrase, “You two look just alike!” because to me, that means maybe the person saw some glimmer of my mom reflected in me, which is the greatest honor I could possibly receive.


Biographical note:

Tammy Smith was born in Macon County to Larry and Shirley Crowder. Her mother was killed in a car accident when she was four, and her stepmother, Martha, is the woman she now calls “Mom.” She has 2 brothers, David & John Crowder. When she was young, she vowed that she would 1) go to college (the first in her family to do so) and 2) marry a man with the same values and would help her to build a stable family.

By the grace of God, both of those things happened. She has a Marketing degree from WKU. She married her husband, Neel, in 1992 in a small church in Red Boiling Springs. Their children are Peyton, a Senior at FCS, and Parker, a Junior at FCS.

Photo 1Tammy has worked in sales, volunteered at church, homeschooled their children, supported her husband in ministry (which is what moved the family temporarily to Florida), supported her husband’s business (Smith Insurance), served on the Macon County Election Commission and, for the last six years, has held major roles in the election offices of Macon and Wilson Counties.

Her work as Wilson County Assistant Administrator of Elections takes an incredible amount of time, planning and organization.

“No one knows how many details and how much planning is involved in conducting elections,” says Smith. “Although there may be years when no elections are occurring in Wilson County, planning and preparing for the next election is already taking place.

“…we do much more than required, by law, in visiting the local high schools. We conduct student council, BizTown, superlative and homecoming elections and go to speak to the government classes for all of the county high schools, FCS, MJCA and HCA. Since our children were born, we have never missed an election and always take them with us to vote. Surprisingly, most students have never been exposed to the voting process… like most things in America, voting is taken for granted and many do not exercise that privilege.”

On the move to Wilson County: “Moving to Lebanon allowed us to put our kids in Friendship Christian School, and it has been one of the best decisions that we’ve made for our family. It wasn’t easy leaving everyone and everything familiar behind, but we vowed, as parents, to provide the best opportunities for our children–our needs have always been second to theirs.”

On faith (Tammy became a Christian at the age of 11): “Through it all, I know that God is guiding our path and provides a way for us. In Him, all things are possible.”

Share This:

hit the ground RUNNING

back to school fashion for teens and adults

 [slideshow_deploy id=’10500′]


This shoot was a partner project with all the following boutiques at Historic Lebanon Square: Classy Chics, Dreams Boutique, Hadley and Finn / Southern Swank, High Cotton, Major Love, Pink Cactus, Posh, and Wilkie’s. A big thank you to all of our models, volunteers, and boutique partners!

Photographer: Caitlin Steva Photography (www.caitlinstevaphotography.com)

Location: The Cedar’s Preparatory Academy

Makeup and hair for pre-teen , teen, and adult women: Beauty Boutique and Locks and Lashes

Models: Jacob Andrews, Mackey Bentley, Spencer Burge, Trevor Clay, Jenna Clay, Kaid Clay, Mikey Jones, Zoe Kane, Chaz Lowe, Chayton Lowe, Stephanie Morgan, Mia Scruggs, Macy Scruggs, Laura Tidwell.



Share This:

Sweet Renovation

A Mount Juliet landmark gets new life, retains old charm 


By Sue Siens

Photos by Chesley Summar

You might do a double-take as you drive down Lebanon Road in Mount Juliet, and wonder, “Is that a new building?”

The iconic Dairy Queen building, where sweet treats and burgers were served from the early 1960’s until it closed a few years ago, is now the Mount Juliet business home of Bentley’s Heating & Air Conditioning Company.  When Bill Bentley, co-owner of the company, looked for a location to expand their heating and air conditioning services into Mount Juliet, the well-known Dairy Queen building provided the perfect location.

“We saw the potential for growth in Mount Juliet.  When we moved into Mount Juliet in January, 2014, we began looking for a permanent location for our new offices,” said Bentley.  “Everyone remembers and loved the Dairy Queen, and the location has great visibility on Lebanon Road, so we purchased the vacant building.”

Bentley’s Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned business, with their original office founded in Wilson County in 1945 by Bill’s grandfather, Grady Bentley, and later owned and operated for many years by Bill’s parents, Mackey and Judy Bentley.


[slideshow_deploy id=’10522′]


“We are all about service,” said Bill, “and we will offer “Free Filter Fridays” at our Mount Juliet location, where on Fridays we will give a free filter to anyone who comes by to visit us.  And, because the Dairy Queen reminds all of us of ice cream, we decided to give out free ice cream, too.  We still have the original ice cream machine that was in the building,” noted Bentley.

Bill and wife Stephanie sought the help of local award-winning design and construction specialist, Elizabeth Scruggs, owner of Superior Construction and Design, to assist with the renovation project.

“I was honored and excited to be a part of this project,” said Scruggs.  “The challenge was to redesign the building into practical office space, and still maintain the family-friendly atmosphere that the public remembers from the Dairy Queen days.”

Superior Construction and Design, awarded the 2015 Best of Service Award by Houzz.com, worked with the Bentleys for about six months to complete the project.   “We included a few of the original restaurant booths into the plan, and also kept the drive-thru. It’s a beautiful blend of old and new,” said Scruggs.

The Bentleys want to encourage the community to stop in and visit their beautifully renovated building.  “We want people to feel at home at Bentley’s Heating and Air, just like they did at Dairy Queen,” said Bill.  “We are very happy with the way the building turned out, and we are enjoying being a part of the thriving Mount Juliet community,” he said.

The company’s Mount Juliet location has 15 employees, with future employment expected to be about 35.  For more information about Bentleys Heating and Air Conditioning, visit them at 11674 Lebanon Road and online at www.bentleysheatandcool.com, and contact Superior Construction and Design at www.superior-construction-and-design.com.

Share This:

September-October issue out now!


…in this issue



4 Notes from the Editor

8 Sabrina Out on the Town

9 Upcoming Events

46 One Last Thing



14 Black/White Enough: AsOne duo makes history

18 House Rules: Fellowship House changes lives

20 Back to school fashion for kiddies and tykes

24 Back to school fashion for teens and adults

32 Sweet Renovation: historic Dairy Queen becomes Bentley’s location



10 Easy recipes for a school night

30 Ask Dr. Craig

37 Living in the Past

38 More cute faces from our 2015 Cutest Kid Contest

42 Election Mom: Tammy Smith’s Good Life


facebook banner 2

Share This:

Buy your GALA and Breakfast with Santa tickets here!

Expo GALA: Thursday Nov 19, 2015 

5:00-10:00 pm

Tickets include free appetizers, drinks, and swag bag!

Buy tickets for Wilson Living 2015 Holiday Expo GALA


Breakfast with Santa: Saturday Nov 21, 2015

1st seating – 8:00 am

Buy tickets for Breakfast With Santa (1st Seating)

2nd seating – 10:00 am

Buy tickets for Breakfast With Santa (2nd Seating)

Wilson Living Expo FREE ADMISSION

Remember, the shopping is still free all day Friday and Saturday, Nov 20-21!

Friday 9 am – 8 pm, Saturday 9 am – 6 pm

The Wilson Living Magazine 7th Annual Holiday Expo

7th Annual Holiday Expo Scheduled for November 19th – 21st

Soon the weather will be cooler, the days will be shorter and the holiday decorations will be everywhere. That’s the perfect time for the Wilson Living Holiday Expo & Gala and we couldn’t be more excited to be bringing it to you for the seventh year in a row!

Make plans now and save the dates, Thursday, November 19 through Saturday, November 21 to come out to the James E. Ward Ag Center in Lebanon as we transform the fairgrounds into a winter wonderland filled with all sorts of vendors!

This year we have added even more room to accommodate even more vendors who are coming, not just from Tennessee but from as far away as Florida and California.

We kick off the Expo on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. with our ticketed Light Up The Night Gala which includes complimentary tasty treats and drinks, gift bags and preview shopping. The fairgrounds will be aglow with holiday lights turned on exclusively for our guests. Only this year we are limiting the number of tickets due to the crowds we had last year, so be sure to purchase your tickets (see links above)!

Then on Friday and Saturday no tickets are needed. The Expo remains free to the public on both these days although this year we will be collecting donations for the Chamber Education Fund by all our entrances.

Also new this year, we are adding a second seating to Breakfast With Santa and all Santa photos will be taken on Saturday morning. For tickets and times be sure to go to our website on September 2nd when our tickets go live! Again, tickets are limited so don’t delay. Once again Cumberland Pediatric is our sponsor for the breakfast and we will have all sorts of goodies for the kids while they visit with Santa.

We have a very small number of booth spaces still available so contact us atinfo@wilsonlivingmagazine.com if you have not reserved your space or call Becky at 969-6751 or Denise at 364-9082 for more information about booths and sponsorship opportunities.

Last year we lit up social media with our Holiday Magazine Cover Photos and this year sponsors can be part of the fun!

So save the dates, November 19th, 20th and 21st and kick off the holidays for the 7th hear in a row with the ladies of WLM!

Share This: