Jan-Feb 2016 Digital Edition

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All Natural

By Angel Kane

For several years now, I’ve been fascinated by all the “organic” offerings in my sister-in-law’s home.

Opening her fridge or cupboard, is like looking into a health food store. Most everything is organic and healthy for you. There are no sodas, added sugars or antibiotic laced dairy products anywhere to be found in her house… and believe me, I’ve looked and looked!

As much as I poke fun at her for being so granola, deep down, I know that her hard core  nutritional ways are a good thing. And so, in an attempt to be a better person in 2016 ( it’s still January right?), I made the decision to stop at Whole Foods Market while we were out and about in Franklin last weekend.

Convincing my husband to battle the traffic a little while longer to stop for groceries, took some serious effort. So as Brody and Neill silently protested by “waiting in the car,” Zoe and I went inside, thrilled to be one of the cool kids.

And in case you’ve been wondering, yes, all the cool people do hang out at Whole Foods. And low and behold they all look just like my sister-in-law with their carefree, fabulous hair styles, hipster clothing and personal shopping bags. The cool kids don’t do plastic or brown bags, unless it’s their own!

Cart in hand we started to strut the catwalk with them.

Aisle after aisle we were in awe of all the healthy offerings. Artisan breads, fresh cut flowers, local home grown vegetables, make it yourself granola bars, salad bars, juice bars… it was like my sister-in-law’s pantry on steroids.

After filling our cart with pomegranate seeds, organic kale, meyer lemonade and making our own personal bags of coconut infused granola, we got down to business.

We searched and searched for the basics – Velveeta, Ro-tel, tortilla chips, Sprite, Mac and Cheese and Toll House cookies. After circling and circling and circling, we finally figured out that Whole Foods doesn’t carry the basics.

Don’t get me wrong, instead of tortilla chips we could’ve purchased veggie chips and instead of Sprite we could’ve purchased all natural soda, but then again had we done so, instead of riding home with my husband and son, we would’ve had to take an Uber home.

Giving it one more shot, we broke down and finally asked someone, and I kid you not, they don’t carry any of these products… which isn’t cool at all.

On the way home, therefore, I happily stopped at Al’s Foodland to finish my grocery shopping. Aisle after aisle, I was greeted with friendly faces, frozen pizzas and artificially flavored everything!

And while “all natural” is all the rage, take it from me, the grass isn’t any greener on the other side of the tracks. In fact, it’s not green at all.

And do you know why? Because they don’t use any chemicals, not even a few…

To read more of Becky and Angel’s columns go to www.wilsonpost.com

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What’s Old is New Again

Elizabeth Scruggs of Superior Construction and Design contributed this column to the Jan-Feb issue.

Elizabeth's page

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Baby, it’s Warm Inside

fashion for the winter months

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This spread was a partner project between Wilson Living Magazine and The Lady & Rock Photography and Styling, as well as three of our local boutiques: Classy Chics, Dreams Boutique, and JeweLL Boutique.

Photography, Creative Direction & Styling: Genese Gigi Trèmel / The Lady & Rock

Models: Aubrey Vorderberg & Sungeun Park

Hair & MUA: Anais Shiba & Chelsea Esquibel

Assistants: Jessica Ives, Molly Slemp, & Zoe Keller / The Lady & Rock

Clothing: Classy Chics, Dreams Boutique, and JeweLL Boutique



Look 1 

Aubrey wears: green top, pants and necklace – JeweLL Boutique

Look 2 

Sung wears: top and denim bottoms – Dreams Boutique.

Look 3 

Aubrey wears: tan sweater and bow top – Classy Chics, pants – JeweLL Boutique.

Look 4 

Sung wears: white cardigan – Dreams Boutique, green dress – JeweLL Boutique.

Look 5

Aubrey wears: burgundy top, grey cardigan, and scarf – JeweLL Boutique. Hat, model’s own.

Look 6 

Aubrey wears: denim style shirt, taupe wide leg pants, jewelry – Jewell Boutique; Sung wears: long gown – Classy Chics, vest – Dreams Boutique, necklace – JeweLL Boutique.

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The Perfect Piece

Melinda Spivey married into a family that adopts… and years later, that’s how their daughter Merissa joined them

By Melinda Spivey

Rick and his daughter Merissa, both adopted into new families… 35 years apart.

What a pathway for so many children was laid when baby Moses was placed in the river. How many children have been blessed with wonderful homes since then; and more importantly, how many homes have been blessed with wonderful children?

I met Rick in college. I had known him through his aunt and uncle but didn’t know much about his family’s love for children until after we started dating. It didn’t take long for me to know that we were going to have a long life together.

He comes from several generations of a family that supports adoption and foster parenting in Smith, Macon, Sumner, Dekalb, and Wilson counties. In his family, they have adopted 8 children and his sister and her family have welcomed well over 100 foster children through the years in their home. As we started talking about the future, marriage, and kids, he asked me how I felt about adoption. Intrigued by the way they were so willing to open their homes to children, I was drawn to that kind of love. We talked about it and I told him that I would be willing to follow his lead; and if the timing were right in our marriage, I would love to adopt a child.

Madison, Cameron, Merissa. This picture was taken in Red Boiling Springs before the wedding of Brandon and Lindy Clark, who is the son of Merissa’s foster parents, Jo and Hugh Wayne Clark. This wedding took place right in the middle of the adoption process.

Being adopted himself as a baby through the Agape agency in Nashville made this even more important to him. We were married, made our home in Carthage near our families, and in the next few years were able to have two children of our own.

During this time, Rick’s mom had a daycare in her home. Jo and Hugh Wayne Clark, a foster family who attended church with her, had a baby from Agape that they asked her to watch. This baby was named Merissa. I loved the name Merissa and always wanted to use this name because my sisters were named Meranda and Melissa and this combined their names. We joked in the beginning about her being our adopted baby because her name was perfect. A few months passed and Merissa continued to not be placed in a home, continuing to be drawn to our hearts. In May, Rick and I attended our two nieces’ graduation, where the Clarks were present. It was that night when I felt a huge conviction to want this baby in our home permanently. The next morning I mentioned to Rick my feelings and he admitted that he felt the same way.

Rick called the Agape agency, which if you remember was the same agency that placed him years ago, to inquire about her placement. He told them that we had experienced the joy of parenting and we would NEVER take the place of someone’s only chance of having a baby, but if they didn’t have a placement for her we would love to have her. She told him they were looking at a family in Memphis and would be in touch. My heart sank. I was, all of a sudden, devastated that it may not work out. Through the Clarks and daycare, we had grown to love this baby who already had the name we would have given her.

ris 3
This picture was her first bath in our home after the adoption.

The next morning Rick received a call at work. He was told that it was important and he needed to take the call. It was the caseworker calling. She said the family in Memphis had backed out and they were interested in talking to us. We went that afternoon to meet with them. During this meeting, the case worker told us all about what would happen during the adoption process. I had so many emotions. Was this truly in God’s plan for us? Would she be happy in our home? Would we be able to give her the best life possible? Will my other two kids want a baby sister? With all the questions that came up, I could hardly contain my excitement about the possibility of adopting this precious baby girl, nor could the rest of the family.

Our two other children were persistent in asking daily when the new baby was coming. Within the next few weeks, we continued to go through the adoption process. During this time there were so many signs pointing to us that this was the right decision for our family and in God’s plan for us. One thing after another happened to show us that God had put this sweet baby in our lives for a reason.

I have to be honest, there was doubt at times that we were making the right decision and over whether this was the right placement for her. I prayed that this decision was right for her and not because my emotional attachment to her name, but because it was in God’s plan. My husband would continue to say, “If it’s in His will it will happen, and if not, we will know.” Daily, things would just work out too perfectly for her to be our baby. Trusting in my husband and keeping the faith, we proceeded rapidly with the process.

Merissa at her kindergarten graduation ceremony at Forks River Elementary School.

After home studies and visits, parenting classes, and mounds of papers to complete, Merissa came to live with us in July, just a few days short of her daddy’s 35th adoption anniversary from the same agency.  As they say, “the rest is history.”  We changed her middle name to Elaine after Rick’s sister, who also has a deep love for foster children.

Merissa fits perfectly in our home and knows her role as the youngest child or “baby sister” well. She is the youngest of three children. Her older siblings are Madison and Cameron, whom she looks up to. We have normal sibling rivalries, a busy schedule of sports, school events, and family functions, and we love deeply. She told me just this week that she looks up to Madison and her favorite thing Madison has said to her is, “Dream big and when you think you are dreaming big, dream bigger.”

The three women of the family… at dinner on formal night in the Sunset Dining Room aboard the Carnival Sunshine.

Adoption is a very open and talked about subject in our family. We want her to know that she grew in my heart instead of my tummy.  Rick often says he appreciates his birth mother for recognizing that he would need a better life than she could give him during that time. He is thankful for the sacrifice she made to allow his mom and dad the opportunity to adopt him and loves his birth mother for the sacrifice she made to better his life.

Moving forward, we want to instill that “agape” love in our own children, that they may want to spread the love of adoption with others and share a “piece of the good life” with the world.





Top photo: Family photo… Merissa, Cameron, Rick, Melinda, and Madison.

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Lebanon Animal Hospital

Welcoming pets into a no fear zone

By Sue Siens

Photos by Kindred Moments Photography

Lebanon Animal Hospital has a long history of loving and caring for small animals, with primary treatment for dogs and cats.  Founded in 1971 by Dr. Jim Hundley, the practice was purchased by Dr. Allen Craig and Dr. Amanda dsc00708_23172354802_oWesson in 2014.  Located at 1613 West Main Street, the clinic was renovated to enhance the treatment and care of our pets.  The hospital features separate dog and cat lobbies (to lessen kitty’s stress and anxiety), with new treatment, surgery and dental care areas. Dr. Craig, Dr. Wesson, and Dr. Kelley Brown, who joined the practice in July, 2015, and their wonderful employees, recognize that visiting the doctor can be scary for our pets (just like it can be for people).  This team of professionals aims to provide an inviting and comfortable experience for our cats and dogs, and the highest level of treatment and care available.

Their promises to pet owners and their pets are:

  • We will evaluate each individual pet’s stress level.
  • We will assess each patient for pain at every visit.
  • We will be mindful of anxiety triggers within the hospital.
  • We will use appropriate fear-free techniques individualized for your pet.
  • We will use appropriate drug therapy to maintain the safety and well-being of the patient, owner, and staff.
  • We will continually strive to improve the emotional health of your pet at each visit.

One way to create a no fear zone for your pet is to start bringing them to the animal hospital as soon as possible.  Dr. Craig explained, “Our goal is to provide life-long care for your pets.  When pets are brought in young, as puppies and kittens, and then come regularly for veterinary care, they become accustomed to the visits.  They know they are safe, and have less fear and anxiety about coming to see us.  We also send information packets home with tips for pet owners to help them know how to care for their puppies and kittens.”

dsc00661_22653527553_oDr. Craig recommends twice-a-year wellness checks for all dogs and cats.  He said, “We emphasize preventative care, so our pet patients have the healthiest and longest lives possible.  Owners no longer bring their pets in only for vaccinations, but also for overall health screening.”

Dr. Craig noted that regular dental exams along with periodic cleanings and dental x-rays are also very important. This is what we expect for ourselves and it makes a huge difference in the pet’s life.  Regular visits and preventative healthcare are particularly important for our senior pets, age 7 and older.  “Identifying and treating problems early, and ensuring comfort and pain relief for older pets will give them a longer and happier life,” he said.

For our feline pets, the animal hospital takes extra care to help cats feel safe and comfortable.  Dr. Wesson said, “The kitties have their own private lobby, so they aren’t scared by barking dogs.  We use mats on the exam tables so they have something to grip, and we spray a safe hormone in the air, that only cats can detect, which has a calming effect for most cats.”  When pet owners have an appointment to bring their cat in for a visit, they can come by ahead of time and pick up a packet of the calming hormone, to wipe inside their kitty’s pet carrier.  For most of the cats, it soothes and calms them for the trip to the vet.

dsc00744_22912660129_oLebanon Animal Hospital provides the full range of pet healthcare services including diagnostic blood and urine testing, digital x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy and digital dental x-rays for their teeth.  They also perform laser surgery, dental treatments and complex oral surgery.  They can also assist with behavioral issues, nutrition assessments, pain management, and boarding for pets needing ongoing medical care.

To ensure compliance with the highest standards in pet care, Lebanon Animal Hospital is voluntarily accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association.  They are currently the only facility with this accreditation in Lebanon.  AAHA has stringent quality standards for all aspects of pet care, in nearly 1,000 different areas of quality of care and operation of the animal hospital.  According to the AAHA, only about 12% of veterinary clinics in the U.S. are accredited.

Meet the Doctors

Dr. Allen Craig, Dr. Amanda Wesson, and Dr. Kelley Brown, have dedicated their lives to excellent and loving care and treatment of small animals.  All three of the veterinarians at Lebanon Animal Hospital received their Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of TN.

dsc00684_23172386082_oDr. Allen Craig began working at Lebanon Animal Hospital immediately after graduating from UT in 1999.  He purchased the animal hospital in 2012.  Dr. Craig and his wife Valerie live in Mount Juliet, with three children, and pets Daisy, a Walker Coon Hound, cats Captain Cuddles and Max, and three water turtles.  Dr. Craig enjoys family time, gardening, and playing tennis.  He is also an alumnus of Leadership Wilson.

Dr. Amanda Wesson is a native of Smith County, TN.  She began working at Lebanon Animal Hospital in 2007, and became an owner of the animal hospital in 2014.  Dr. Wesson and her husband Anthony have a daughter named Autumn, a dog named Cricket, and a cat named Festus.  Her hobbies are spending time with family, church, and cycling.

L-R: Dr. Wesson, Dr. Craig, and Dr. Brown

Dr. Kelley Brown joined the team at Lebanon Animal Hospital in July, 2015.  She and her boyfriend Nathaniel reside in Hendersonville.  Dr. Brown has a dog named Cade, and two cats, Alli and Layla.  In addition to working at LAH, she is an emergency vet for Nashville Pet Emergency Center.

Drs. Craig, Wesson, and Brown regularly answer pet questions for our Wilson Living Magazine readers.  To submit a question that may be featured in an upcoming issue, send them to:  tilly@wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

For more information about Lebanon Animal Hospital and their pet care services, visit their website at www.lebanonanimalhospital.com, or call (615) 444-4422.

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The Jan-Feb 2016 issue is here!

…in this issue



4 Notes from the Editor

8 Sabrina Out on the Town

46 One Last Thing



16 It’s Greek to Me

18 Lebanon Animal Hospital

28 Sweaty Palms: Toastmasters

40 Charlie and Friends



10 Breakfast with Brandi

22 Baby it’s Warm Inside: fashion for the winter months

32 The Complete Antiquer’s Guide

36 What’s Old is New Again: Coming Home

38 The Discerning Pet

42 The Perfect Piece: Melinda Spivey’s Good Life

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Breakfast with Brandi

brandi working for web

By Brandi Lyndsey, Wildberry Cakes & Catering


Contributor Brandi Lyndsey runs restaurant and catering company Wildberry Café and Catering in Lebanon. The restaurant, located at 120 N. Greenwood, is open for lunch Wed-Fri, 11-2. For catering needs or to-go orders, call 615-547-4494.




It’s not hard to imagine why a hot breakfast might come in handy in these coldest days of winter. Thankfully, breakfast is right up my alley. I’m so excited to share these family recipes with you! School day? Go for it. All of these wake-me-ups can be made the day before and kept in the fridge, ready to pop in the oven and fill your house with comforting, energizing smells.


IMG_1543marshSpecial Fruit Salad

1 can fruit cocktail

1 can crushed pineapple

1 can peach pie filling

1 container frozen sliced strawberries

2-3 bananas


Allow the strawberries to thaw slightly and then drain off some of the liquid. Drain the crushed pineapple. Mix the first 4 ingredients together and refrigerate up to two days. Right before serving, slice the bananas and add them to the fruit salad. This is such a simple recipe but I know your family will love it as much as mine does!


Breakfast Scramble

1 Tbsp vegetable oilIMG_1508mars

½ green bell pepper

½ (or a whole!) red bell pepper

1 lb. breakfast sausage

½ cup Colby and Monterey Jack cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

6 large eggs

1 cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat an oven safe skillet—9 inch if you have it—over medium high heat. Heat the oil in the skillet and sauté the sausage until slightly browned but not completely done. Add the peppers and cook until tender and the sausage is cooked through. Combine the eggs, cream, and salt together and whisk until combined. Remove the skillet from the heat. Top the sausage mixture with the cheese and add in the egg mixture. Place skillet in the oven and cook for 35-45 minutes. Enjoy!


Blueberry scones

4 cups + 3 Tbsp all-purpose flourIMG_1528marsh

1/4 cup sugar, plus some for sprinkling

2 Tbsp baking powder

2 tsp kosher salt

1 lemon, zested

3 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced into cubes

4 large eggs, beaten

1 cup cold heavy cream

1 cup blueberries, dried or fresh

1 egg, beaten with 2 Tbsp water or milk, for egg wash


For the glaze

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus 2 Tbsp

4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and zest in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the cold butter (I usually dice mine the night before and then add it in straight from the fridge – this makes the scones really buttery and delicious!). Mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended – Don’t overmix! Combine the blueberries and 3 tablespoons of flour and add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Flour your surface and put the dough on the surface. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough to about 3/4-inch thick. Flour a biscuit cutter or square cutter and cut out the dough. If you use a square cutter, cut them down the middle to make triangles. Put the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the tops are browned. Don’t overcook. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice, and drizzle over the scones. More is always better in this case!

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I Resolve

By Angel Kane

The first week of 2016 is upon us. And unlike all the other years before, this year I’ve resolved to do something that is probably the craziest (yet sanest) things I’ve ever done.

This year, I’ve resolved to slow things down.

Just the thought seems absurd to me as I’m a list maker and never feel quite right unless I have a pen in hand and am checking things off hour by hour, one by one. Yet, somehow for the first time in a long time, this resolution makes me breathe that much easier.

I, like many of you, am a product of the me and now generation. Achieving, competing, doing, isn’t that what life’s about? And with each passing year the goals seem that much more unattainable, bigger and bolder than the year before. Not just one goal but several – all at the same time.

January is the month for resolutions and I was right there with you, working on my list, when not having a list, for the first time in years, seemed like the better resolution.

Sometimes the hamster just needs the wheel to stop turning. And this year, I resolve to do just that. Mind you, I intend the wheel to keep moving but I resolve for it to move slower and with purpose.

I’m not quite sure what slowing down looks like. For some, it’s completely getting off the grid and for others, it’s sipping coffee in the quiet solitude before the kids get up.

I’m hoping for somewhere right in the middle, shopping at Whole Foods once a month while vowing to not look at my phone before 8 a.m..

And then maybe, when I slow down….I’ll host dinners on my back porch again. Make fudge from scratch. Play tennis, take a yoga class, build a container garden. Catch a movie on a Sunday afternoon. Read a book –  not a biography or self-help one, but a book that is pure fiction – that teaches me nothing at all.

And granted, it would appear that I’ve just compiled a new list – (some habits are hard to break!) – but the difference is this list is one that I can check off or not check off and either way life will be just fine.

That is my resolution for 2016.

It’s a journey that I hope will unclutter my thoughts and recharge my mind.

So circle back soo, and I’ll tell you how it’s going. And if you dare, I challenge you to slow down with me and then imagine all the things you might do… or not do.

“For once we stop rushing through life, we might all be amazed how much more life we have time for.”

Author unknown

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