From Home to Hollywood!

Kason Lester was a fixture on the last season of American Idol.

Yes, that American Idol. The televised talent show responsible for breakout artist-turned-superstars Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.

Thousands of singers across the country tried out at open casting calls in hopes of making it on the small screen to be critiqued by Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan.

Kason made it, and despite the attention and newfound following, gives the glory to God, family, musical influences – and yes, his hometown.

  • AMERICAN IDOL - "208 (Showcase/Final Judgment)" - For the first time ever, "American Idol"'s iconic showcase round hits the road, heading to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, where the show’s Top 40 contestants take to the beach for incredible solo performances in front of a live audience and the superstar judge panel. Following the performances, it’s an emotional roller coaster in paradise as the judges sit down with each contestant to reveal their fate, culminating with the show’s Top 20 finalists. The search for America’s next superstar continues on The ABC Television Network, SUNDAY, MARCH 31 (8:00 - 11:00 p.m. EDT), streaming and on demand. (ABC/Karen Neal) KASON LESTER

Kason was raised in Lebanon, Tennessee – where his family operates Lester Farms. He discovered music at an early age. He’s always loved The Charlie Daniels Band and recalled his mom introducing him to the pop hits of Michael Jackson.

“I’ve wanted to create music and sing for as long as I can remember. I remember knowing that at 5-years-old. Growing up, I’d write songs and beats and guitar licks,” he said. “It wasn’t until I finally realized that nothing else was going to make me happy that I started really pursuing it. I ended up doing a complete 180 from what I was doing, built a recording studio in my apartment and decided to go to Belmont.”

In short, he started trusting that God would give him a path. He knows God also gave him a strong, supportive family. Kason is the son of Kevin and Teresa Lester and grandson of Bob and Fran Martin and Ken and Lynn Lester. His brother Mitchell started Lester Farms on Coles Ferry Pike.

“Their support is really what has allowed me to pursue music. I think most people go through some tough years growing up, trying to figure out what they want to do in life, as I did, and my parents stuck with me and believed in me the whole time – even when I didn’t believe in myself,” he said. “They even supported my metal band days and
would show up to my heavy metal shows in Nashville – even my Grandma!”

His family has watched American Idol since the show aired. Beginning in 2002, it was a hit on Fox for 15 seasons. “We’ve always love it and we used to have ‘Idol Nights’ watching it in the den,” he said. Last August, his cousin, Doug Corn, called to inform Kason that they were having open auditions in Chattanooga. After some convincing, Kason agreed to go try his luck.

“Mom and I drove down at 4 a.m. and I waited in the line of thousands of people until it was my turn. I played an original song and the producer loved it. The rest just kept rolling from there,” he said.

In October, Kason had the opportunity to play in front of the superstar judges. He commented that it was one of life’s coolest experiences.
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“I received a ‘yes’ from all three judges and got my golden ticket to Hollywood,” he said. “I made it through all of the rounds in L.A. and was told I was going to Hawaii for the top 40.”

While in Hawaii, sitting on the beach, waiting to perform in front of Perry – Kason had a revelation. He was part of a national show – one he’s watched since childhood. “It’s surreal. The whole process was positive for me,” he said.

Kason said the exposure received from appearing on American Idol has been “mind blowing.”

“We’ve had people from all over the country come to the strawberry stand just because they saw us on American Idol. It’s opened up so many doors in the music business, as well. It’s given me the platform I need to make it a career,” he explained. “I thank God for the opportunity. I’m recording and writing music, playing shows – and this is just the beginning for me.”

Kason has played shows as far as Nebraska and is planning a tour this fall with his band.

“It’s an exciting time and a dream come true,” he said. Still, home will always tug at the rocker’s heartstrings.

“My hometown support has been a blessing. At my American Idol viewing party at the Capitol Theatre, there were so many teachers and people who have made a difference in my life, going all the way back to Mrs. Stephens – my kindergarten teacher,” he said. “Friendship Christian School has also played a big role in my life, giving me a strong environment to grow up in. I’m really thankful for it and for the people involved with it.”

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Sweet Success at the 10th Annual Chocolate Affair!

Chances are, if you drove around Lebanon in the month of April you saw two pinwheel gardens. One by the train station and another by the main office of Wilson Bank & Trust. Combined, they showcased 260 blue pinwheels. Each pinwheel represented one case of child physical or sexual abuse reported in 2018.

“That is an average of 20 reports a month – in our community,” explained Jason Lawson, who serves as Treasurer on the Board of the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center.

Thankfully, the CAC is there to help.

Whenever there is a case involving child physical or sexual abuse, the CAC conducts a one-time forensic interview. This is then viewed by assisting agencies, including the Department of Child Services, law enforcement and more.

“Interviewing one time prevents further traumatizing the child from having to retell (their story) over and over to everyone. It is also a very child-friendly environment,” Lawson said. Cece Ralston is the center’s forensic interviewer.

This past year, the CAC team – including Ralston and Director Nancy Willis – acquired family advocate Kira Bailey thanks to a grant. The CAC provides free counseling services to child victims of abuse. Bailey goes the extra mile by providing the family with information about community resources available to them.

“Your support makes those service available,” Lawson continued, “during the 10th Chocolate Affair – a fundraiser held on Saturday, April 6 at The Capitol Theatre in Lebanon.”

The Chocolate Affair, which included a scrumptious meal, chocolate fountain, live and silent auctions and performance by Audience of One, is held annually to benefit the 15th Judicial District CAC.

Bob Black, who owns The Capitol, also serves as Vice Chair of the board of directors.

“We are the ones who have to be their voice,” Black said. “You are supporting how we can grow and help the kids more than we already do. We know that this job is extremely important for the children.”

Willis thanked everyone who made the night and the Child Advocacy Center possible including Fundraising Coordinator Jackie Ramsey, Board Chair Dr. Bill McKee, Assistant Treasurer Judy Jordan, Secretary Anne Barger, Past Chair E. Marie Farley, Dr. Eric Cummings, Brian Harbaugh, Tom Swink, Lance Howell, Marilyn Bryant and Mary Ann Sparks. She also thanked Judge Ensley and Andrea Hagan, who were in attendance and mentioned longtime sponsors Vance Law, Bank Tennessee, Vanderbilt Medical Center and Wilson Bank & Trust.

For a complete list of sponsors visit www.cac15.org.

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Here comes the bride…The Estate at Cherokee Dock

Whether you are hosting hundreds of family and friends for epic all-weekend wedding festivities or looking for an intimate way to say “I do,” The Estate at Cherokee Dock can make your dreams come true.

Once home to legendary country songstress, Reba McEntire, in recent years the mansion and lush 14-acre estate has been transformed into an event center. The mansion is just under 13,000 square-feet and hosts eight bedrooms with king or queen size beds, indoor/outdoor ceremony sites and a movie theatre.

“We can comfortably sleep up to 40 guests,” said Kelly Uldrich, The Estate at Cherokee Dock’s Social Media Manager. Uldrich described two of the popular wedding options
they offer. “We have an elopement or intimate wedding option and we also have a wedding weekend option as well,” she said. “The wedding weekend offering is something that really sets us apart.”

With the wedding weekend option, the bride and groom have access to the property for the entire weekend.

“On Friday night, they would have the rehearsal dinner. Vendors and your wedding planner would set up and the bridal party would spend the night in the top level of the mansion. The groomsmen would stay in our Groom’s Quarters, which is our fully furnished apartment above the stables,” Uldrich explained. The wedding would take place on Saturday, including a reception and even an after-after party if you choose to do so. Then on Sunday, the couple could host a “Send-Off Brunch.”

“It slows down the process,” Uldrich said. “I remember with my own wedding, it all happened so fast – like a dream. Having a wedding weekend slows the pace and lets the bride and groom really savor every minute with their family and friends before going off on their honeymoon.”

The maximum number of guests for a wedding is 500. The Estate at Cherokee Dock does not provide catering but welcomes all licensed caterers and vendors. Uldrich, who works with Venue Directors Daniel Spires and Aryn Meyer, said they found that having an open vendor policy for the property gave the bride and groom more options and the ability to customize their perfect day – rather than offer a one-size-fits-all inclusive package.

Another option The Estate at Cherokee Dock offers is their new elopement package.

“We provide seating for up to 25 family and friends, the ceremony can take place indoors or outside. The couple has two full hours of time and we provide a licensed officiant and photographer to capture their day,” she said. “The bride and groom can get ready on-site and we provide florals – the bouquet and boutonniere – based on what colors they would like.”

She shared that they recently hosted their first elopement wedding. The couple told their children that everyone was spending the night at the mansion, then surprised them the next morning with suits and ties to wear to their wedding.

“The children were very excited. It is nice to see those intimate moments,” Uldrich added.

“We want to make sure you feel like it is your special day, even if it is an intimate production.”

For more information on The Estate at Cherokee Dock, email info@cherokeedock.com.

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Town Square Social

Whether you’re looking for date night ambiance, award-worthy wings, or just a local place to have a brew – Town Square Social welcomes you.

Lebanon’s latest and coolest restaurant and bar, nested downtown next to The Arcade, is the brain-child of longtime friends-turned-business partners, Kyle Shaffer and Cody McCray.

  • Town Square Social owners, Kyle Shaffer and Cody McCray

Both men have a lengthy resume in the restaurant business. Shaffer, a graduate of Lebanon High School, spent 13 years with Corner Pub, while McCray, a graduate of Friendship Christian School, worked at Nashville’s historic Broadway honkytonk, Tootsies.

On their Sundays off, the guys would talk about someday opening their own place. Then they noticed the spot on the Lebanon Public Square.

In recent years, the Square has been more visible and vibrant than ever – thanks to the many businesses, including multiuse facilities like The Arcade and Capi-tol Theatre for example, who call it “home.” Lined with law offices, boutiques, antiques, hair salons and a coffee shop – the Square still lacked a sit-down restaurant.

“We saw the building and knew it was what we wanted. We wanted to keep the original design and not take away from the history of it. When it came together and the menu came together, we finally found our stride,” explained McCray.

Renovating the space took more than a year. The guys were careful to keep it true to its roots with exposed brick and hardwood floors which created a vibe that is both classic and cool.

They restored the front façade of the building to the original storefront and took part in the Main Street Façade Grant from the state of Tennessee.

Town Square Social officially opened for business on September 28, 2018. They said things are going very well in their first four months.

“We are selling a lot of food and a lot of drinks. The community has supported us. We couldn’t be happier, honestly,” said Shaffer.

Three of their most popular menu items are the burger, wings and fish and chips.

“Our wings are a best seller. People love them,” Shaffer added. “They are smoked, low and slow for six hours.

Most places fry their wings and are done in 15 minutes. Ours takes a long time to taste the way they do.”

Prior to smoking, the wings marinate for about 12 hours. Shaffer manages the restaurant during the day and McCray takes over at night.

“I hear a lot of comments about the food. ‘Those are the best wings I’ve ever had,’ is something I hear multiple times,” Shaffer said. “Shawn Smith (owner of The Jewelers in Lebanon) heard someone say their only complaint was it was so much food they needed a to-go box!”


McCray said one of the best reviews he’s gotten came from a producer out of Nashville.

“He was passing through town and someone told him to check out (our restaurant) on the Square. He liked it so much that he brought his girlfriend back on their fourth date here instead of someplace in Nashville,” McCray recalled. “I thought it was really cool.”

The gentleman is now in talks with Town Square Social to shoot a music video in their location.

Both men take pride in their work – and are very hands-on in managing the restaurant, working the floor and checking on guests.

“If there is an issue, (our guests) can reach out to us and we will do our best to make it right,” McCray said. Their latest addition is a drink menu.

“We have 10 cocktails that we have come up with. Those menus are getting printed right now. When you don’t have a menu, people are more apt to order a drink like Jack Daniels – because they recognize the name. Having a drink menu is a way to get those other great liquors and wines out there,” McCray explained. “We are looking to do off-site catering eventually.”

There is also some mystery surrounding the top loft space in the building. McCray and Shaffer teased that it could be used for live music and event space; however, remained mum for the mo-ment.

As Shaffer put it: “We are still working out some kinks.”

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BILL LEE, Tennessee’s 50th Governor

  • Pamela Garrett with the 50th Governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, Dalena Berrett, and Dr. Cristy Stumb at Boots on Broadway - an event prior to inauguration at Acme Feed & Seed.

More than two years ago, businessman Bill Lee, founder of the Lee Company, em-barked on a new adventure. He would run as a republican candidate in the Aug. 2, 2018 gubernatorial primary.

He knew the process wouldn’t be easy. He was an outsider to the political process – running against seasoned politicians from both parties.
His company employs 1,200 skilled tradesmen al-ready, but Lee longed to make a difference on a larger scale.
Lee and his wife, Maria, prayed about their decision for a year before he entered the race and were pleased when he won the Republican primary to face-off against Democratic candidate, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
“I am a person who gets asked all the time why I would want to run for governor,” Lee remarked during a final campaign stop at Cumberland University in October 2018. “I have a private life that is blessed, indeed, but I found myself on a journey. God puts us on journeys that lead us places unplanned.”
The polls on November 6, 2018, showed Tennesseans had voted Lee to be their next governor – and on Satur-day, January 19, 2019, he was sworn in.
Bill Lee is the 50th Governor of Tennessee.
A series of celebrations were held over the weekend, beginning with a Boots on Broadway party at Acme Feed & Seed on Friday, January 18.
An inaugural worship service kicked-off events on Saturday. The ceremony was held at Legislative Plaza, followed by a tour of the Tennessee State Capitol for supporters who signed-up.
Two balls were held that evening at the Music City Center – the First Couple’s Dinner and Ball and the Believe in Tennessee Ball.
Gov. Lee thanked the ticketholders in attendance.
“I am a little overwhelmed but so encouraged, so grateful, so humbled and so honored. So many people in this room have been responsible for where we are today and I just thank you … I certainly hoped (to be elected) but in some ways never imagined we would be standing here doing this,” he spoke to the crowd, with Maria by his side. “The Lord has been very good to us for our entire lives and through so many ups and downs, and certainly has been good to us in this last season of life. We are grateful to Him for what He has done and the spot He put us in.”
Lee next introduced special guests for the evening – which delighted the crowd at the Inaugural Ball. They were four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan, and outspoken country songstress, Wynonna.

Online writing services come with its advantages and disadvantages as well. Not all writing services are genuine and not all offer quality work, but our service http://cochisecountyhistory.org is one of the best. Just visit our website to check it out because it’s up to you which writing company you prefer.
Bryan said it was an honor for a “kid from Georgia” to play the governor’s inaugural ball.
He sang several of his hit songs and dedicated “Here’s to the Farmer” to the Lees as the couple had their first dance.
Lee concluded by reiterating his commitment to his posi-tion.
“We will live our lives in the fullest capacity we can to serve every single one of you and the 6.5 million people that live in our great state of Tennessee,” he said. “We are deeply indebted. We count it a true honor to be in the spot that you have put us in. We will work to serve you – thank you very, very much.”

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pregnant sabrina

Think before you speak (to a pregnant woman)

pregnant sabrinaI gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy named J.R. in February of this year.

Becoming a mother has changed my life completely and I’m sure there will be many more blog entries inspired by my new little guy. However, this blog was inspired by the things that people said to me when I was pregnant — things that didn’t sit quite right with me.

I would advise you to not utter these common statements if you encounter a pregnant woman.

Statement 1: “I don’t like that name.”

Well maybe I don’t like your name! Have you ever thought about that? Totally joking. This is not a positive way to respond when someone expresses their disapproval of the baby name you have selected. But guess what? It isn’t their baby to name. This person likely has their own children, animals and plants to name. It is NOT their choice.

You are the one who is pregnant, carrying the baby around for 40 weeks, losing sleep and mourning the loss of your skinny jeans. You have the right to name your child. If you ask someone for their opinion on your name choice, then be prepared for an honest response. But never, ever, ever should someone offer it without you first asking.

Statement 2: “I can’t believe you aren’t breastfeeding.”

Breastfeeding is a touchy subject for most women. Those who have had positive experiences and know all of the health benefits (for both mom and baby) are very pro-breastfeeding. Those who have had a negative experience or who have chosen not to breastfeed will tell you about their struggles.

I find it unfair that society paints women who breastfeed children publicly as exhibitionists who need to hide in a closet — and then condemns women who bottle-feed as too career-oriented, selfish or unnatural.

My pediatrician shared with me a motto which I will now re-share: “Whatever works for you, works for you.” We are all aware that “breast is best” and there is a ton of research out there proving this – but sometimes due to health reasons, work schedules or personal preference formula is chosen. Provide helpful information, if you have it – but don’t push.

The last thing a pregnant lady needs is for you to be stressing her out about how she has decided to feed her child.

Statement 3: “Wow, you are huge.”

You should have gone with, “Wow, you are glowing!” That is a much safer statement to make to a pregnant woman. We are pregnant, not overweight. We have a miracle growing inside of us and that should be celebrated. Even if you aren’t trying to be mean, talking about how large and in charge someone is isn’t cool.

I didn’t hear this until after I had the baby. People would say to me, “You looked miserable and ready to pop those last couple of months” — which I interpreted as “Five months ago you looked like a whale/M&M candy hybrid, but today you’re looking foxy.”

click here Statement 4: “I loved being pregnant.”

It is my personal belief that out of the 10 women who tell you this, five of them are lying.

Pregnancy has a lot of incredible moments – like the first time you feel a kick or see your sweet baby during an ultrasound – but I wouldn’t want to live in my pregnant state. I had severe morning sickness for the first four months. Once my belly popped out and people could see I was pregnant I thought it was super cute; however, the big belly made it hard to sleep comfortably, walk or sit. I remember one day I got down on the floor to do some stretches and I couldn’t get up. I was laid out like a cockroach trying to roll from side to side trying to gain momentum.

My favorite awkward pregnancy story involves my mother. She gained 60 pounds with me and got stuck behind the driver’s seat of her sports car. She had to roll down her window at the grocery store and wait for someone to pass by and ask for help.

The point is, a lot of women don’t “love” being pregnant because it is hard on their bodies. By month 8 I was ready for it to be over and for the baby fun to begin. When I heard someone gush about how they could “be pregnant all the time” it made me feel like I was doing pregnancy wrong.

Statement 5: “Being a working mom is so hard.” Both working moms and stay-at-home moms work. If you work a 9-5, your work is never over. Because once you pick up Junior from daycare or Granny’s house, you are on your next shift as “Mommy” from 5-9. Your downtime is filled with bottles to wash, diapers to change, tummy time, snuggle time and laundry. You are really lucky if you get a chance to do something frivolous like cook a meal for yourself or workout.

And if you do not work a 9-5, you work a 24-hour shift as “Mommy.”I was blessed to have a mother who had time to be a PTO member, Girl Scout Leader and carpooling cheer mom. She was at all of my games when I was a cheerleader and at all of my concerts when I was in choir. Even though she didn’t have to go “into the office” daily, her time was filled up with other obligations – which mostly involved me and my activities. For me, being a “stay-at-home” mom is just as hard because you don’t have the option to clock- out for lunch.

 

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Sabrina

Sabrina Out On The Town – May/June

By SABRINA GARRETT

Spring was all about socializing here in Wilson County and I cannot wait to see what fun happenings this summer has in store. We loved catching up with1. Sheriff Robert Bryan presents service award plaques to Lt. Phillip Tomerlin (Ret.) and Detective Bonnie Wells (Ret.) at Heroes Behind the Badge. 2. Look who ran into Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line at Jonny’s Trivia Night in Nashville. 3a. Former Senator Bob Rochelle and Rep. Susan Lynn at the Library Roast. 3b. Hale Moss was a good sport as the 2013 Roastee of the Wilson County Public Library Roast. 4. Mayor Hutto as Willie at this year’s Books from Birth Dinner. 5. Seventh graders were ready to run at the 2nd Annual FCS Commander Run. 6. The Moms Club of Mt. Juliet and Lebanon went all out at the always fun Books from Birth.
our readers this season at the 23rd annual Wilson County Public Library Roast – where Wilson County Promotions President, Hale Moss, took comedic punches for a good cause. Many of you were also seen out and about having a great time at this year’s Books From Birth dinner event. And, can you spot anybody famous in our pictures? That’s right, you guessed it, none other than the infamous Mayor of Watertown, Mike Jennings, with another pretty famous guy, Willie from Duck Dynasty.

We also ran into friends at the FCS Commander Run and the Mt. Juliet Senior Center Spring Gala, enjoyed fine dining at The Standard at Smith House, oneof Nashville’s premier restaurants and private clubs, and met Voice of the Tennessee Titans, Mike Keith, at the Habitat for Humanity Luncheon in Lebanon.

And this last month we also paid tribute to our local law enforcement at the Heroes Behind The Badge event. We’re very lucky to have these men and women taking care of us here in Wilson County! Of course, I also need to mention that the always entertaining EMTAR Awards Banquet was held recently and many of our local realtors and title companies celebrated another great year.

Be sure to also check out my new, “younger” friends – this local team is about to rock the world as they have been asked to compete in the World Tech Championship in St. Louis. It’s quite an honor to be one of the 128 teams invited from 2000 worldwide! Look for more about these special, young men in an upcoming issue.

See you soon!

7. Our local robot team is ready to compete! (L-R) Chandler Bastin, Ryan Baxter, Josh Freiberger, Josh Ganto and Chance Ferguson. 8. Local TV personality and D.T. McCall spokesman, Tom Grant was the Emcee for the Mt. Juliet Senior Center Spring Gala where Judge John Gwin and Mac McCluskey were also in attendance. 9a. Jason and Dana Loggins enjoyed a night out at the EMTAR Realtor Awards Dinner. 9b. Amy Hamilton and Lyndon LaFevers were spotted at the EMTAR Realtor Awards Dinner. 10. Eric Thompson, Susie James, Voice of the Titans Mike Keith, Brody Kane and Romel McMurry at The Habitat Humanity Event. 11. Judge CK Smith, Delaine Smith, Pamela Garrett, Allen McKendree, David Castello, Nashville’s 2012 RAW Musician of the Year BREE, Gary Ashton, Gail Childress and State Rep. Curry Todd at The Standard at Smith House in Nashville. 12. Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings with the “real” Willie from Duck Dynasty. The Duck Dynasty family were in Watertown for a music video shoot.

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Mother of mine

Walking through Kroger today I noticed an Almay makeup display. The sign featured Hollywood’s beloved Mother-Daughter duo Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, who is the company’s current spokesperson. The advertisement reminded ladies to remember their own moms this Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 12).

“All the best makeup secrets come from my mom,” Kate was quoted.

If my mom and I had a makeup campaign, my quote would be: “All the best advice comes from my mom.”

Whether it is beauty advice, boyfriend advice, style advice, etc. – my mom has the answers to just about everything.

I do not know how she does it, but mom is an expert at smoothing over any situation. I could be at the point of hysteria and in about 30 seconds my mom can calm me down and make me see the light.

She says that this wisdom is partly due to the fact that she isn’t 24 anymore, like I am, and has gained experience “just by living.”

Once when I was in Kindergarten I swear my mom read my mind. It was one of those bad, stormy, tornado-watching days in Middle Tennessee and my class at Tulip Grove Elementary in Hermitage had been practicing our “tornado drill.”

For a little kid, the tornado drill is almost as scary as the real tornado. We didn’t know what was going on other than the fact that the lights were off, the thunder was roaring and we kept receiving these emergency instructions. I remember being at my desk and just wishing as hard as I could that my mother was there.

Lo and behold, not 20 minutes later there was a knock on our classroom door – and it was my sweet mama. This was quite a few years ago when school security was not as tight and parents could stop by for a visit in the middle of the day.

She didn’t stay long, just wanted to make sure that I was okay since she knew how scared I was of storms.

She has always been there for me – cheering me on in school plays, in the bleachers at every football and basketball game I cheered at in middle school and high school, teaching me how to accessorize and match my shoes with my purse, sacrificing things for herself so that I could have the perfect prom dress, homecoming dress, Abercrombie jeans, limo ride on my seventh birthday or a brand new Mustang when I graduated from high school.

And yes, she also taught me about makeup. How to contour my cheeks, which eyeliner will last through a night of dancing, and the mantra that Miranda Lambert has now made famous: “Go and fix your makeup, girl. It’s just a breakup!”

“Because,” mom says, “When you look good you feel better. You never let them see you sweat.”

I hope that one day in the future I will get married to a wonderful man and have a baby girl of my own to share all these life lessons with. Of course at that point my mom will probably have to move in with us because I won’t have a clue what I am doing – and like I said, she has the answers. (Ha Ha)

This blog is dedicated to my mother, #1 fan, stylist, therapist and best friend, Pamela Garrett – and all the other incredible mothers out there who have gone above and beyond for their babies. Mothers are truly angels on earth!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Miranda-Lambert-at-Kentucky-Derby.jpg

What horses? It is all about the Hat!

Horse and hat enthusiasts, rejoice!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Miranda-Lambert-at-Kentucky-Derby.jpg

The Kentucky Derby kicks off this weekend – which means celebrities and other notables will be breaking out the mint juleps and heading to Churchill Downs in their most colorful spring attire.

For those of you who prefer to remain closer to home – the Iroquois Steeplechase will take place the following weekend, Saturday, May 11 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. I have been searching all over local stores and the internet for outfit inspiration. Here are three of the best looks I have found!

Which ones do you like?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Kim-Kardashian-at-Kentucky-Derby.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_Erin-Andrews-at-Kentucky-Derby.jpg


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Pregnant women are NOT “fat”

“Fat” is such an ugly word. I hate it.

Anytime I hear someone call another person “fat” – I cringe over how cruel it sounds.

Sure, some people are really thin. Some people are overweight. And some people are in between.

But you know what? It takes all shapes and sizes to keep this world moving – and shame on you for berating another person!

This topic has been on my mind ever since it was announced that reality star Kim Kardashian is pregnant. Every time I am in the grocery store, all the tabloids say – “Kim Kardashian gains 200 pounds!” – or something to that effect and I think it is beyond mean.

She is a shorter, curvier girl to begin with – of course she is going to gain some weight when she is pregnant! In one article I saw, they interviewed a doctor who said that pregnant women should only gain 25 to 35 pounds and that Kardashian appears to have gained much more.

She must be on the same diet that my mother was on. I was born weighing only 5 pounds and 11 ounces – but my mom will tell you that she gained about 60 pounds when she was pregnant with me and once got stuck in a sports car. But you know what? I came into this world happy and healthy and she managed to lose the weight in six months.

Pregnant women are experiencing a miracle and growing another person inside of them – and should never be called “fat.”

Instead of criticizing each other and putting unrealistic expectations on young women in real life and in Hollywood – let’s compliment one another! My challenge to blog readers is a piece of advice I learned from Mom. She said “not everyone can look like a model, but all people have something unique and beautiful about them. It may be inside or it may be on the outside – but when you see it, compliment them on it.”

What comes around goes around.

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