Local Idol Star

Janelle Arthur
Shines Bright

Helene Singer Cash

Capitol Theatre
A Must See

Big Star
Everyday Vintage

Cigar Lounge
Tulip Grove Farm’s


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Dear Readers,
I am thrilled to unveil the new look and feel of Our Home magazine. For this project, I had the pleasure to collaborate with industry leaders and community contributors to create a unique community experience. It is with great excitement and much anticipation that Our Home magazine debuts Wilson resident, Janelle Arthur. From Idol to Opry, Janelle is an undeniable representation of local roots and unyielding determination for success. As Wilson County expands, so does the immense talent and commerce. We dedicate this issue to the exciting ventures of local talent, bustling business, and emerging arts. From niche nesting’s of local eateries to the rejuvenation of Capitol Theatre, our community is thriving. I urge you to experience and explore all that Wilson County provides.
Published by Lebanon Publishing Co. 402. N. Cumberland St. Lebanon, TN

Publisher Joe Adams Concept Director Charity Toombs Editor Jared Felkins Art Director Mark Rodgers Assistant Ad Designers Jina Bostick Pam Wingett Marketing Specialists Cathy Wair Traci Walker Melanie Ray Contributing Writers Laurie Everett Kimberly Jordan Sara McManamy-Johnson Gabe Farmer Chris Russell Summer Vertrees Helene Singer Cash Jenny Newton Katie Carlton-Beale Dr. Noel Lucas Lauren Breeze Rachel Kline Alison Nash
Our Home Wilson County, published annually by Lebanon Publishing Co., distributed through the circulation of The Lebanon Democrat and Mt. juliet News, a newspaper group with a readership of more than 39,000 daily, the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce and the Wilson Co. Joint Economic and Community Development Board. The magazine is also provided to participating advertisers and is placed in local businesses and professional offices.

Best, Charity Toombs, Concept Director

Behind the Cover:
We were delighted at the suggestion of Janelle to shoot at a local Century Farm in Mt. Juliet. Located within the hustle of Providence, the charming farm, much like Janelle, is “country with a touch of glam.” The cover shoot was part of an eventful week that included Janelle’s debut at the Grand Ole Opry and the launch of the Season 12 American Idol summer tour. The combined efforts of local photographer Jordan Hunter with the styling of The Crystal Couture Store made the shoot a success. Janelle returns to her home state in late August as she completes the final leg of the tour.

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4 7 8 9

Smoke em if you got em More than Just Fair For the Love of Setting Goals Top 5 Pet Care Advice

A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

10 Tojo Creek Gourd Farm 11 Capitol Theatre 13 Janelle Arthur

19 Fall Fashion Trends 2013 22 Day to Night 24 Beauty Scoop

26 Treasure Trove of Toys 29 Everyday Vintage

31 Mirko Pasta 32 Niche Nestings 33 Honor Roll

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Smoke em

you got em
there’s no way I’d say I’d be doing this,” Partridge said. “This is a wonderful business.” Entering the lounge early that Tuesday afternoon, a couple of regulars occupied the leather chairs that surround a bigscreen television tuned in to Spike TV. As the afternoon progressed, more folks began to fill the scenery while others made quick stops for cigars or tobacco. One man bought a box of cigars to be given as a gift. “We are very fortunate,” Partridge said. “We are 10 months into it now, and it’s continually getting better. We continue to see new faces in here, but we still have our core group of people.  “It takes people walking through the door for the first time to see what we are

Jared Felkins


Typical Tuesday afternoon. It’s mixed with some regulars, a couple of new faces and two guys who bring them all together every day in Mt. Juliet. “We made all this happen in about a month,” said Scott “Poppa P” Partridge, owner of Big Star Cigar Lounge. “It’s still a work in progress. This was a dry cleaners, so we had to do some work.” After acquiring the N. Mt. Juliet Road location in late-July 2012 with his business partner, Tony Benken, the strip mall spot was quickly transformed into what has become a regular hangout spot for Wilson County’s cigar and pipe aficionados. It opened Sept. 1. “If you were to ask me 10 years ago,
4 • OUR HOME 2013

all about.” Jim Marsh, a regular at the lounge, stopped by to show off his new pipe he had made from a centuries-old block of black petrified wood found in Ireland called bog. He grabbed a cigar and sat down with the other regulars to join in the conversation. “We hooked him up with a gentleman in Ohio who carves pipes for us and other folks,” Partridge said. “It’s really difficult wood to work with. The challenge was finding a carver who would carve it. There’s apparently a high risk of it cracking while carving it.” Partridge said it’s the people who make it special. “I think one thing that has been very cool here is there is not just people

coming in and buying cigars and leaving,” he said. “It’s the camaraderie. You look around and see 10-15 guys or ladies in here on a Friday or a Saturday afternoon. When you get to meet them, you realize they are from all backgrounds. One might be a lawyer and another might mow lawns, but they are all great people.” BEFOrE tHE CIgArS Like many other business owners who have graced Wilson County, Partridge’s roots run deep in the Nashville music industry. “I actually came to Nashville about 20 years ago and toured with a musician named Verne Gosden,” Partridge said. “I worked for Billboard. I still have a music studio.” But Partridge saw the industry evolving, and that’s when he sought to put it behind him. “About six years ago, the company was going through some big corporate changes, so I made a complete career change,” he said. “I decided about a year ago to become an entrepreneur, and that’s when Tony and I hooked up.  “When I left the corporate world, I was fortunate enough that I didn’t have to take just any job. I took a little time to figure out what I wanted to do. For a short period of time, I set up some freelance work in the publication industry. I was bored to death, when I saw an ad in Nashville for a cigar shop several big names in music in building relationships between the client and the radio stations.” Soon after, Benken was managing a cigar shop in Nashville, but he knew there was more out there for him. “After I left Uptown’s, I still kept in contact with Scott,” Benken said. “Instead of us being competitors, I thought we needed to join forces. That’s kind of the short story.” And, as they say, the rest is history. “From there, it was a matter of convincing Tony on where to do it,” said Partridge, who had made his home in Mt. Juliet. “That wasn’t a selfish thing. I told him he had to come out and see everything that was going on here. We realized there was nothing like this here.  “This really was an area that needed something like this. Tony came out here and saw what was going on.” A resident of Bellevue, Benken needed a little convincing. “The last time I was in Mt. Juliet prior to this, there was nothing here but Charlie Daniels,” he said. tHE BIg drAw As more people drifted into the lounge that Tuesday afternoon, it included an old friend of Partridge’s, Brooks Garland, of Nashville. “I knew Scott for a long time,” Garland said. “I had no idea you were this far out.” Garland and Partridge chatted for a while before Garland entered the lounge’s famed walk-in humidor – a temperature and moisture-controlled space that keeps cigars from drying out. Garland emerged with a favorite cigar and lit up with the others as he continued his conversation with Partridge. “We get to walk in the humidor with the customers and spend some time with them,” Partridge said. “That’s what we like about it, and I think that’s what people like about us.” Included in the humidor are lockers, where regulars can safely store their cigars when they are ready to smoke them on trips to the lounge.   “Probably next year at this time, we are going to need more lockers,” Partridge said. “Our humidor is probably our pride and joy. We’ve got those names people recognize, but we’ve probably have a number of cigars you’ve never heard of.” Partridge said he also has a Honduras trip planned, where he will take a handful of customers to see the cigarOUR HOME 2013 • 5

Co-Owner Scott ‘Poppa P’ Partridge

manager.” Around the same time, Benken was also making some serious career choices of his own and decided to leave the music business, as well. But he wasn’t a musician.   “We both came from the music business too many years ago, but we never really knew each other,” Benken said. “A friend of ours, Phyllis, kind of put us together.” Partridge said, “He is very humble, but he was responsible for the careers for

Co-owner Tony Benken shares some cigar knowledge with customer Joe Bergman

making process take place. The lounge also plays host to cigar events, where people behind the brands are invited to talk about their cigars. Benken said the lounge features songwriter nights and live music often. He said the lounge also participates in charity events to help Toys for Tots, Christmas for Kids, among others. ““It’s also a place where we entertain,” Benken said. Partridge said, “We donate cigars for soldiers. We collect them here and we give them to him who turns around and gets him to his son while on leave. His son gets them to the soldiers.” NOt JuSt CIgArS Partridge said the lounge is also the place to find pipe tobacco and pipes. “Pipes and pipe tobacco are very important in what we do,” he said. “On the pipe side of things, we work with what we call indie carvers. We have found a network of people who carve their own pipes. We blend our own tobacco. You are going to get something here you will not find anywhere else. We also have all the accessories to go along with it.” NOt JuSt FOr tHE BOyS Partridge said the love of a good cigar doesn’t lie within a man’s world. “A misconception is that this is a guy’s thing,” he said. “Ladies come in, and we have couples who come in and smoke together. It’s a big misconception that it’s just for the guys.” OH

Know Cigar Lingo
There are a few terms in the cigar world every budding aficionado should know. The following are a few terms that will make any novice cigar lover an expert among the smoke rings, according to Big Star Cigar Lounge owner Scott Partridge. rINg gAugE refers to the circumference of a cigar, generally a number between 32-80. The larger the number reflects a wider circumference. rOBuStO is a cigar size. It’s typically a 50-ring gauge and usually about 5 inches long, but Partridge said that’s not the set rule. tOrO is another cigar size larger than a robusto. The standard would be about 5 ½ inches long with about a 50-52-ring gauge. CHurCHHILL named after the British prime minister, this is the largest cigar size. It’s about 7 inches long with about a 48-ring gauge. MILd refers to the strength of the cigar and is not harsh on the pallet. Partridge said this is a good strength for beginning cigar smokers. MEdIuM StrENgtH will have a little more spiciness to it. The smoke will taste a little more spicy or peppery. FuLL is the highest strength with even more of what’s already been described. “Strength is far different than flavor,” Partridge said. “you can have a very mild cigar that’s packed with flavor.” He said when it comes to cigars, looks can also be deceiving. “It’s a big misconception that the darker the wrapper, the stronger the cigar,” Partridge said. “It all depends on the inside tobacco. Certain regions will grow stronger or weaker tobacco. “There are several things that determine a cigar’s strength. Where does the filler tobacco come from and how long it’s aged.”
—Jared­Felkins ­

6 • OUR HOME 2013


Chris russell
story by

MOrE than

covers round-trip train fare and one-day admission to the fair. The possibility has also been discussed of continuing the railway into the actual fairgrounds at some future point. “There are lots of ways the fair gives back to the community,” Moss said. For example, “fair proceeds trickle back into the community from civic clubs,” such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club and 4-H Club, which set up booths at the event. Odell Bain, the membership chairman for the local Lions Club, says that proceeds from their booth (which is maintained by the three Wilson County clubs of Watertown, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet and sells hot dogs, chips, their special Lions Burger and other concessions) go to help local residents who cannot afford to buy glasses. “Last year we donated around $4,000 in glasses. We work with a local eye doctor who helps us with eye exams,” he said. OH

Saying the Wilson County Fair is big to the area is like saying the Tennessee Titans would make a good flag football team. With an annual economic impact to Wilson County of millions of dollars and the creation of hundreds of jobs, the fair and its scale have grown to become something that few people could have imagined. The nine-day event at the James E. Ward Ag Center since 1979 is repeatedly named as one of the Top 50 North American Fairs, according to carnivalwarehouse.com. It routinely draws more than 500,000 people annually (the 2011 event clocked in at 545,945 attendees). Not surprisingly, it was rated as the best county fair in the state of Tennessee. While Wilson County plays host to several revenue-generating opportunities during the year, including, the Mile-Long Yard Sale and the Watertown Music Festival, it’s those nine days in mid-to-late August that bring the true sizzle. Keeping with an agriculture theme, this year’s subject is “The Year of the Honeybee” and will showcase, among other things, Wilson Central High School’s beekeeping class, which will be on hand to teach about that subject. Burt Bee’s products may also be included. In terms of scale, few things measure up. In 2012, there were more than 528,000 attendees from 29 states and two countries and 13,194 individual entries for the different shows and contests. Almost 62,000 total volunteer hours were tallied. After expenses, the 2012 Wilson County Fair projected net income was estimated at $400,000, and that’s just a slice of the overall pie. Even back in 2009 during the recession, visitors to the fair were responsible for an estimated $12 million in travelrelated expenditures to the local economy. Hale Moss, chairman of the board for the fair, said the physical preparation for the event begins at the start of August, and that in and of itself is of financial benefit to the county because of the goods and services that are purchased to produce the event. “The company that sets up the rides, Amusements of America; their 200 employees live in the community while they work here and buy fuel, RV supplies and grocery items,” he said. But more important than where the money comes from is where it goes. “Our guidelines as a nonprofit organization say that any money we make above operating costs goes into enhancing the James Ward Ag Center,” said former Wilson County Fair chief operating officer Andy Brummett, who added the biggest impact of the fair in Wilson County is bringing so many out-of-town visitors to the area. “Revenues that the fair generates go to the improvement of the fair itself, as well as the Ward Ag Center,” Moss said. “It goes to pay premiums on horse shows, car shows, baking contests and other competitive events. It helps preserve local Wilson County history through growth of the Fiddlers Grove Historic Village.” And speaking of bringing people in, the Music City Star will offer train service on the two Saturdays the fair is going in 2013. There will be 400 tickets available at $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under 5, and the price

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OUR HOME 2013 • 7


Love OF Setting goals
By Kimberly Jordan

Everyone has goals. right? And a little encouragement can help us to meet them. Well, now there’s an app for that. Mt. Juliet business owners Scott Schwertly, Jeff Loper and Chris Roberson spent the last year developing and perfecting Tortoise, an app designed to aid people in creating a “life plan,” which allows them to create goals and offers steps to help achieve those goals. “The app takes them through what we call the three cornerstones – assess, plan and track,” said Schwertly. Using what are called “buckets,” the app user answers a series of questions in areas including career, financial, relationship and spiritual, to name a few. “The app takes you through a series of questions in each area to help you determine how you are doing in that area,” Schwertly said. Once the questions have been answered, it is on to the second phase. “Planning is the core of the app,” Schwertly said. “This is where you set goals for yourself. you do that in every bucket. Then the tracking kicks in. you check off whether you are completing tasks in your bucket and this helps you tell if you are accomplishing your goal.” Loper likes to think of the app as “vision casting.” “you look and say ‘here’s what my life looks like now,’ and ‘this is where I want to be,’” he said. Schwertly said the inspiration behind the app came from his love of

goal setting. “I’ve always been into goal setting and life planning,” he said. “I found a cool goal setting packet, but I had to carry around a big binder. I looked for apps, but nothing really existed.” Loper added there are “lots of individual apps that do the things in [Tortoise], but we get comments from people saying that they like that ours has it all in one place.” The app gives scores in each bucket based on the number of tasks you have completed from your list, and there is a large “shell” that shows how the user is doing in each category. “They are color coded,” said Loper. “If a category is red, that means you need improvement. The goal is for all of the fields to be green.” “The idea of a life plan is probably foreign to 95 percent of people,” Schwertly said. “If you create a business, you create a business plan; if you are into finances, you create a financial plan. A life plan allows you to look at your life and Tortoise puts it in a digital format.” He calls it “a life plan on steroids.” The app is currently available for the iPad only, and can be purchased through iTunes for $4.99. The co-founders said there is discussion of doing a streamlined version for the iPhone in the future, and possibly down the road doing a version for Android. There are videos and other information on the app available on the website, tortoiseapp.com. “We hope people discover it and use it,” said Loper. “Tortoise is based on the whole tortoise and the hare story ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Take these deliberate steps everyday and you will ultimately achieve results,” Schwertly said. OH

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8 • OUR HOME 2013

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1. CuRRENT VACCINE GuIDELINES Vaccinations are a critical part of your pet’s preventative care, and they help protect against some severe and fatal diseases. However, many advances in vaccine technology and scientific research has resulted in vaccines lasting longer. Veterinarians can now customize your pet’s vaccines based more on lifestyle, age, breed, and travel habits. No longer is the current standard of care to vaccinate all dogs and cats every year for all diseases. We are now advocating pet owners have a discussion with their veterinarian about which vaccines and how often they should be given for each pet in the family. For more information on the current canine and feline vaccine guidelines, go to aahanet.org. 2. NuTRITION MYThS Is “organic, holistic, grain free, and natural” pet food really best for pets? Does it just make us feel good? Nutrition is a key area of health for humans and pets. But are the marketing terms used to get us to buy food really benefiting the pet? Overall, pet nutrition has come a long way in the past 20 years. We understand pet nutrition better and can improve their length of time with limiting calories and feeding high quality ingredients. Basically, pets need a consistent and balanced diet. Feed your pet a diet that fits your budget and your philosophy but use your vet, not marketing, to help guide you on proper pet nutrition. 3. hEARTWORM DISEASE...QuIET KILLER. Tennessee consistently ranks in the top 10 states for cases of heartworm disease diagnosed each year. Dogs with heartworms may not show symptoms until later in the disease. At that time, they may show lethargy or inability to exercise/take walks, coughing, swelling belly or sudden death. Mosquitoes are the carrier of heartworm larvae that are injected into pets when they bite. When you walk through the yard or hang out on the patio, do you know which mosquito might be carrying the potentially fatal disease? All dogs need to be on monthly heartworm prevention year around. We also know that cats get exposed just as often as dogs, they just don’t have clinical disease like dogs. The most common clinical signs of cats with heartworms are vomiting, lethargy, trouble breathing/asthma like symptoms, and sudden death. Testing cats for heartworms is difficult due to the low worm burden they carry. Veterinarians want cats to be on heartworm prevention just like the dogs in the family. 4. SENIORS...AGE IS NOT A DISEASE BuT DISEASES COME WITh AGE. Veterinarians know that as your pet ages, some common diseases start to get more prevalent. Common diseases in dogs and cats are kidney and heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and dental disease to name just a few. Remember, for every year that passes, five to seven years pass in your pet. Veterinarians can help find and manage these diseases earlier with more frequent exams and blood and urine testing, ideally every six months. If you want optimal senior pet health, see your veterinarian more frequently. 5. WhAT ARE PET PREVENTATIVE CARE PLANS? How do they benefit my pet and I? Veterinarians are the experts in keeping pets healthy. We have the expertise to prevent disease and detect illness early. Often veterinarians make recommendations to pet owners that include semi annual exams, vaccines, heartworm testing, fecal exams, annual bloodwork and flea/tick/heartworm prevention. All these recommendations cost more and more each year. However, we recommend these because we know these services and products keep our patients healthy. As a result preventative care plans have been developed to help our pet owners afford the best care for their pets. Some veterinarians have developed plans that take all the annual services we recommend then discount those services and split them into easy monthly payments. As a pet owner you can feel confident you can provide the best care and afford it as well. Blue Oasis Pet Hospital has customized our own preventative care plans called BluePaw Plans. Please call us to discuss how we can make optimized pet care more affordable or answer any questions about your let’s health. We are here for loving care, support and knowledge.
OUR HOME 2013 • 9



things a
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Dr. Noel Lucas has more than 13 years experience practicing veterinary medicine in Nashville and the surrounding area. She has extensive experience in many facets of professional veterinary practice from private practice and corporate medicine to emergency and critical care. She is a graduate of Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and was salutatorian in the class of 2000. She is a member of the AVMA and AAHA. She lives in Hermitage with her husband, two dogs, Tater and Apple, and two children, Grant and Kate.

A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

gourd farm
by Lauren Breeze & Rachel Kline
Fall is a great time to get outside and explore new places. I always think of colorful foliage and pumpkins, but recently after a visit to Tojo Creek Farm I realized there are lots of other gourds to celebrate in the fall. Tojo Creek in northern Wilson County is a wonderful day out for all ages. We visited on a quiet morning and had a tour of the farm lead by the owner, John Swendiman. He and his wife Zena have 40 acres near Old Hickory Lake. They grow three different types of gourds – hard-shelled gourds in many different shapes and sizes, colorful ornamental gourds and Luffa sponge gourds. Both the hard-shelled and ornamental varieties can be used for crafting. We took a short walk through the fields outside, and John explained the science behind growing gourds. Both the female and male flowers grow on one plant, and the vines easily cross pollinate so to ensure the plants maintain the same characteristics you need to start with fresh verified seed every year. John made it all easy to understand, and our children had lots of questions. After the fields we saw the dried gourds available to buy. Tojo Creek offers all shapes and sizes of dried that can be used for birdhouses, baskets and ornamental decorations. You can purchase the gourds washed or unwashed. They also had luffa sponges for sale as well – our group was really surprised to discover that that luffas are a gourd. We all thought they came from the ocean like sponges. After our tour outside we went into the Tojo Creek workshop and store. John and Zena have created beautiful works of art available to buy. If you feel creative, classes are available to make your own gourd art. There are activities that are simple for children and more complex projects for adults. Our children made “spinners” which are small gourds that you can spin like tops. After instruction of how to wash the gourds, the children were let loose with a pan of water and some scrub pads to clean their gourd. After they were clean and dry John provided a huge array of different color sharpies to decorate the spinners. When the children were done crafting John taught them all how to spin their gourds on the floor. Tojo Creek is open to the public on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. from the first Saturday in September to the last Sunday in November. Groups can come out by appointment for tours and crafts though the year – we thought a crafting night would make a great moms’ night out. Dried gourds and crafted gourds are also available for sale by appointment through the year. Check out tojocreek.com to schedule a visit. OH
Fresh from Texas, Lauren Breeze arrived in Wilson County last year looking for a resource for ideas of fun in her new home. After much searching and no success, she convinced her best friend Rachel Kline, a Nashville native, to create their own. The website, nashvillefunforfamilies.com, was born. The site offers local adventures, events and reviews of fun places in the Nashville metro area. Next time your children say they are bored, check out nashvillefunforfamilies.com and get some new ideas of family fun in Nashville.
10 • OUR HOME 2013

A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T
fter decades of darkness, the lights are bright again at Capitol Theatre on Lebanon’s town square. Thanks to the vision and investment of Wilson County residents Bob and Pam Black, the once vacant and dilapidated theater is now a fully restored and functional entertainment venue available for all to enjoy. Bob Black, a self-proclaimed “Air Force Brat,” grew up living all around the U.S. During travels, he could remember enjoying various 1950s historical theaters throughout the country. Upon relocating to Lebanon in 2002, Bob and Pam Black both fell in love with Capitol Theatre, linking it to fond memories from the past. After watching the theater continue to degrade, the Blacks both began to see the opportunity before them to reclaim the theater’s former glory days, and after a call from Mayor Philip Craighead in 2009, the couple, according to Bob Black, felt like Capitol Theatre was their “chance to make a difference” for the city and county in which they resided and loved. With extensive renovations necessary, Black said a true challenge presented itself. Trying to keep original architecture and design, while also modernizing for current codes and safety standards, meant that the work ahead would be tedious but critical in the theater’s overall success. In the end, the hard work and dedication have resulted in a beautifully redesigned, functional, yet historically accurate space. According to Black, at the Capitol’s grand re-opening in June, attendees were blown away with the beauty of the space. “It was exciting to see people’s reactions,” Bob Black said. “We had purposely shut down renovation pictures to our Facebook followers to keep the surprise…The way people’s eyes lit up and mouths dropped open was very rewarding.“ The welcoming feature outside of the theater is the original marquee, and in the renovation of the lights, Black found a “moment of pride,” seeking to keep things as “people would have remembered it.” Visitors can also see original hardwood flooring in much of the theater, as well as historic movie posters to help recreate the past. In order to help evoke those emotions, the new décor is vintage at its best, with some features, such as chandeliers, being brought all the way from California in order to provide the most accurate and stunning complement to the venue. With the theater now fully open, Black still admits to “learning as we go” and wanting to grow slowly in order to grow right. One of the first steps in growth will be to hold Thursday night comedy to the community, as well as Sunday matinees. Soon, Black hopes to book more theater and musical

By Summer Vertrees

OUR HOME 2013 • 11

A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T
opportunities that can help boost the nightlife on Lebanon’s square. “We have college students at Cumberland that need this. People go to Nashville for these type of events, and now we have it in Lebanon,” said Black. Even being on the knowing end of the renovations and improvements, Black acknowledges feeling overwhelmed at the success and beauty of the recreated space. Right before the grand re-opening, he recalls standing on stage and looking out at the venue thinking, “Wow, just look at what we have done here, cause it is even better than I could have imagined.’” Ultimately, the space is a wonderful addition to the city and county. From weddings and reunions to performances and plays, Capitol Theatre is a must see. Those interested in seeing the theater’s line-up or booking the venue can learn more at capitoltheaterproject. org, by following their Facebook Page, contacting Paula Hamblin at 615812-6086 and soon by following the theater’s Twitter handle for news and updates. OH


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the third time no doubt was a charm for

Janelle Arthur
who skyrocketed to fame in Season 12 of American Idol.
story by Laurie Everett photos by Jordan Hunter Photography styling by Helene Singer Cash

OUR HOME 2013 • 13

ith her signature turquoise cowboy boots, stunning good looks – she’s part Irish and part Native American – and unique southern vocals, Arthur, 23, snagged fifth place in the highly rated singing competition. Because she sang her way to the top, she’s currently touring the country performing shows with the nine other finalists.  It’s a dream come true for this southern girl who lives on a farm in Wilson County and vows to remain true to her heritage. She’s humble about her recent Idol stardom and revealed it really wasn’t an “overnight success” story. Arthur, whose hometown is Oliver Springs is a 12year viewer of Idol and was a threetime auditioner – thus the “charm.” “The whole experience was life changing,” said Arthur, just before she set off on a 30-show performance gig that will culminate Aug. 31 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. “I’ve wanted this since I was little. There really was no other option to me than

to try to be a good singer.” And, the Season 12 judges repeatedly professed she was a good singer. Legendary in their genres, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban praised Arthur’s performances week after week as she slayed her competition with millions of viewer votes. Before the intense competition phase, Minaj gushed over her initial audition performance and said, “I think you are really, really special, and you already seem like a star.” Like Arthur professed, that “star” quality didn’t happen without years of honing.   Arthur said her first two tries to get on the show were “lessons,” and prepared her for where she is now. She made it to Hollywood Week in Season 10 and to Las Vegas in season 11.  “I think I knew season 10 was just meant to be that way,” said Arthur, who is inspired by singers Vince Gill and Eva Cassidy. “In season 11, I learned what I needed to know. I had been trying to show what I could do, when really I needed to show who I was – show my roots – to pick songs that showed who I am as a person.”

This wisdom from one so young comes from years of performances. An only child, Arthur grew up on a small family farm. Before she could even talk she loved music. “My mom said she realized I loved music so much it was the thing that stopped me from crying,” said Arthur. “It engaged me.” Mom, Judy and dad, Gene, are huge country music fans. Her mother loves Vince Gill, and she would play Grand Ole Opry music all the time. “I listened to Vince’s ‘When I Call Your Name’ repeatedly when I was 2 years old,” said Arthur. “I was trying to sing before I could talk.” Judy said she wrote in her daughter’s baby book, “All babies may like music, but there’s something about Janelle loving music.” Arthur smiled when she said neither of her parents were musicians. But, her mom realized music made her daughter happy, and she encouraged her to sing. Arthur was 5 years old the first time she performed on stage. At this tender age, she “auditioned” for a Christmas play when she and a friend were asked to sing “Jesus Loves Me.”  She got the part, and “after that I was bitten by the bug.” In first grade she won her school’s talent contest. As a second grader she sang the “National Anthem” for the Harlem Globetrotters in Knoxville. After that her parents drove her near and far to perform at various functions. Though she never had formal singing lessons, her mom would send her to “show camps.”

A little “setback” actually ended up jumpstarting her singing career. She signed up for a choir tour and received a dreaded rejection letter. That spurred her mom and after she saw a brochure about a new Dollywood show (yes, Dolly Parton) that was being formed, Judy signed up her 7-year-old daughter to audition. “It was a show about Dolly Parton’s life, and they were looking for a part to show Dolly as a child,” recalled Arthur. Yes, she got the part.  “Of course I met her.” said Arthur. “I absolutely love her.” She loved her so much Arthur played the part, whisking from home to Pigeon Forge until she was 10 years old. “I loved it,” she said. “It was a dream going to Dollywood. I told my mom I wanted to sing at Dollywood when I grew up. Just think, I got to be on stage and then go ride a ride. It was the ultimate.” She did fulfill that desire she told her mother. Arthur ended up singing at Dollywood until she was 20 years old. “I guess you could say I grew up on the stage,” she said quietly. She said this intense work schedule

prepared her for what she went through during Season 12 on Idol, “with people, both the good and bad stuff, the emotional stuff.” She performed more than 2,500 shows at Dollywood and then decided she needed to “rest.” “I had been performing my whole life,” she said.  At the age of 20, on a cold February day, she moved to Nashville. “I know, my mom was so worried,” she said.  Something “pulled” her to Nashville. “I knew eventually I would move to Nashville, that it was where I needed to be,” Arthur said. “I didn’t know where I would work or live or make a living.” She said it was a “God” thing, and when she toured Mt. Juliet she knew it would be her home.  She worked some jobs in Nashville after the move. She heard about Idol auditions, but told herself she’d never do it. “But one night I thought ‘I’ve made one bold move to Nashville, I can do American Idol.’” One time she went to Bridgestone Arena to watch an American Idol tour

finale. Her seat was on the back row with her back against the wall. Three years later, she will grace the stage.  The final few weeks of Season 12 the finalists were narrowed to five women, a first in the history of the show.  “It was apparent to me the female talent was really strong the whole time,” said Arthur. “Any girl could have won.” An unusual twist for Arthur was the fact fellow finalist Kree Harrison was also a country singer. Though they were competitors, they became fast friends.  “There was room for Patsy Cline and Dolly,” said Arthur. “There’s room for Janelle and Kree.” Arthur was finally eliminated after singing Gill’s “When I Call Your Name, “ and an early Dolly Parton hit, “Dumb Blonde.” She said she doesn’t regret the choices. “I thought of Jolene, but I would have done Jolene just like Dolly did it,” said Arthur. “I had an arrangement of Dumb Blonde in my head from a year ago. I wanted to show my creative side.” Urban told her, “You have something different.” “I guess he meant I was creative,” said
OUR HOME 2013 • 17

Arthur. “I think an artist does that, makes it relevant and fresh and new.” She admits she was disappointed the judges chose not to use a “save” to keep her in the competition, but has let that go.  “I’ll never forget my experience, it was awesome, and it will propel my career,” she said.  Arthur said Carey was the only one who supported her the entire time. “She came up to me at the end and told me she had a lot of faith in me, and that I would be fine,” said Arthur. “She said not to get down and not to worry and that she would be coming to see me perform one day. That was amazing.” Already Arthur got to sing and play at the Grand Ole Opry. She strummed a guitar made exclusively for her by her Uncle Robbie. It’s made out of wood from a tree on a mountain in her hometown and from a building where her “Papa” worshiped. She named the treasure “Pearl.”

Arthur is grateful for her fans.  “They stayed up late and got me to the top 5,” she said. “That’s huge. It shows their support and dedication.” Most people don’t know Arthur crocheted during down times in the competition as a stress reliever. “Purses, hats, scarves,” she said with a laugh. “You name it. It’s soothing and calming,” She also entertained her competitors with impersonations of Britney Spears and Shakira. After the tour, Arthur plans to get the ball rolling and cut an album that will be a sound mix of Cline, Jewel and Parton. “It will be eclectic,” she said.  She’ll also take part in songwriting sessions with Nashville elites. As far as the cowboy boots, part of the disappointment of not going to No. 1 on Idol was that she didn’t have an excuse to buy a new pair of boots. She’s up to 10 now.  “Who knows,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll have a very special reason to splurge on another pair.” OH

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18 • OUR HOME 2013


Fall Fashion Trends 2013
by Helene Singer Cash

Vegan Leather

  Luxe is key when we talk about leather, but the hottest trend is vegan leather. Vegan leather is a ‘leather substitute’ used for clothing, shoes, accessories, upholstery and more. Your initial cost is much less than leather and can be virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Vegan leather has been around for a long time and may be known to you as PVC, polyurethane or vinyl – but recently a textile of microfiber.   If there is no other trend you decide to incorporate into your wardrobe you need to pay close attention to the detail of Vegan Leather. Tough bad-girl leather is not what’s hot, feminine and soft in traditional silhouettes is what you will see. It does not matter if it is trim on your collar or a pair of pants, you will see this trend anywhere and everywhere.  



Winter White

Beauty and Elegance   Just because fall means a chill in the air it does not mean that you need to wear only dark colors.  Grab winter white.   Winter white is not just for the evening out.  Wear denim for a great casual statement or a chic outerwear oversized parka (think eye catching outerwear). Head to toe winter white makes the strongest statement.   Leather accessories, shoes, boots and handbags keep the look streamlined and rich.  Adding a touch of taupe or tan with hats or gloves add a tone on tone finish to the look. You will be amazed at how much you will love wearing this elegant look. 
photo:­roxyturtle.tumbler.com photo:­roxyturtle.tumbler.com photo:­thebestfashionblog.com

Shoes--Reality Check!

  What a great year for style and comfort. Shoes are grounded with lug soles with or without platforms. Rounded toes with heavy soles...thick stacked heals. Comfort, style and weather appropriate. Thin reinvented combat boots.   Ankle boots have worked their way into every style from flat heels for running errands to a mid heel that can be worn both casual and dressy.  Metallic or suede, color or neutral, ankle boots are everywhere.  No worry for all of the high heel girls, Stilettos done as a boot, gets an added degree of comfort. Worn to a more formal event, they give an outfit a bit of attitude. 



OUR HOME 2013 • 19



Soft Feminine Shapes   Not sure how to mix your textures, shapes and fabrics?  Well this fall season is full of layering and the mix of pattern, texture and color. Mix your textures in your pants, skirts and tops. This spring showed us floral and stripes, a bold statement. This fall is more feminine with softness and texture.   Think of a sheer dress over leather pants and a cashmere cardigan. Texture. Layers. Feminine.   Tips to layering: limit colors or patterns. Even though your style will have many components it can still be simple and streamlined. Tone on tone layering with texture is how this trend is accomplished.



Eye Catching Outerwear

  Bold fur, oversized parka, cool leather, how will you wear your eye-catching outerwear?   Don’t be afraid to experiment with various colors, length or texture. Consider keeping everything else simple and splurge on the outerwear. It will instantly take your look to the next level and you wear this style decadence more than once a week.   Cinched waists help keep things slim and avoids shapeless winter bulk. Color and texture can be added with your outerwear-have fun. Choose weather appropriate stapleschunky knits, jeans and jackets. Layer your eye-catching outerwear and enjoy the statement.
photo:­fashiongonerogue.com photo:­habituallychic.blogspot.com


the return of the Power Suit...sort of!   Think classic feminine suiting with a refined revamp.  Structured slim pencil skirts and tailored or fitted jackets for the power suit fit.  You cannot be shy about borrowing from the boys look but turning it to a feminine style.    For a funky or more aggressive kind of suiting, that will turn the classic to modern with overstated metallics or textures, skirts or pants look to strong shoulders, cinched waists and straight skirts or trousers.  The suit has returned.  

Clearly, Suiting is Fall 2013



20 • OUR HOME 2013


Emerald Green: Pantone Color of the Year 2013  

“Lively. Radiant. Lush…A color of elegance and beauty  that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” – Pantone Fall 2013 Color Report   So often when we think of fashion trends it is about style, form and silhouette. What about the impact of color? How does it impact the style? Each year, Pantone selects a color of the year that you will see both in spring and fall...this year that color is emerald green.   Wear your emerald green with other jewel tones such as garnet, amethyst and sapphire. Not sure how to wear this wonderful color? Choose a scarf, handbag or shoes to add this pop of color.

Emerald Green – the richness of the color is bound to make anyone wearing it feel luxurious – it’s a “look at me” color with out being too brash. – Pantone Fall 2013 Color Report



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OUR HOME 2013 • 21

How to seamlessly dress from day to night is a skill all women try to master. Men have it so easy. After-hour events are suit appropriate and, if they need to be more casual, remove the tie and roll up the sleeves. Voila. But ladies, we have our work cut out for us. There are so many factors. What kind of event is it? Sitting or standing? Inside or out? It’s a wonder we don’t travel with a mobile closet. And forget about going home to change. We all know how that ends. Hello couch, P.J’s and TV. My goal is to give you three easy go-to adds that will make any work look shine on the go.

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Upcoming events inclUde sUnday matinees, live mUsic inclUding jazz and symphony series, and children’s theatre

Shoes and handbags go a long way. Bring an extra pair of something with pizazz. A bold color or metallic makes you stand out. It can be a flat of heel; the key is to know your limits. Because no one looks amazing limping around or stumbling. With handbags, I prefer a clutch for evening, it keeps like look streamlined and you’re less likely to have to dig through old receipts, etc. to find your lip gloss. Statement jewelry does just that. The work adage is to take one piece of jewelry off before you leave the house. Fine, but put it in your purse to add later. The easiest pieces for this are a bold cuff bracelet or cocktail ring. Try something with sparkle for an ultra-feminine look or toughen it up with a something studded. A bold jacket keeps you hot. A lot of thoughts on night wear involve losing layers, but bearing skin might not always be the way to go. If that’s the case, a well-fitted blazer in a graphic print, bright color or even leather can rock a workwear look. This is also a great add on if you wear jeans to work. It can add polish to casual Friday. Just throw a few of these in a tote and be ready to shake of the day and step into night fresh and fabulous. —Jenny Newton


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OUR HOME 2013 • 23

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w H At w O M E N wA N t !
As women we have all experienced some form of “moisturizer” anxiety. At some point in our lives we are all guilty of staring aimlessly into the abyss of skin care products carefully aligned on over-stocked cosmetic shelves and felt the despair of attempting to decipher the skin care code of retail. Sadly, most of us have walked away with a “results guaranteed” product, only to be used less than a week before abolishing it into our graveyard of un-used product. Before my years as a Medical Aesthetician, product knowledge seminars and intense ingredient research, I too was guilty as charged. But there is hope! Educating yourself in what your skin needs can boost your confidence and restore your buying power the next time you stroll down the moisturizer isle.

MOISturIzErS FOr tHE 20s BEAutIES This is THE most important decade for your skin. your collagen production is at an all time high and your skin is not yet of showing signs of sun damage. How you care for your skin RIGHT NOW will determine how it looks for the rest of your life! Using products that maintain proper PH balance, stimulate collagen production and contain UVA and UVB protection (with and SPF of 15 or higher) is vital in keeping your skin healthy, supple and clear. BOSCIA Oil-fee daily Hydration SPF 15 has it all. It’s a power packed cocktail of skin care ingredients that will keep your skin at its best! ($36.00 Sephora at JC Penny’s) Always remember it is NEVER to late to start treating your skin. Regardless of age, ethnicity or skin condition, choosing the right product for your skin WILL make a difference! For free skin care consults please contact me for appointment availability.

IN yOur gIrLy 30s you are probably starting to notice some fine lines and wrinkles, especially around your eyes and mouth. Even if you’ve taken good care of your skin you’re seeing the first signs of hyperpigmentation (dark spots) on your cheeks and forehead. your collagen production is beginning to slow down and your skin is becoming thinner and finer. your looking dull, and you need to brighten up! Using a moisturizer with anti-oxidants such as green tea, vitamin C and pomegranate will help fight wrinkles and support healthy cell growth. A daily exfoliant is CRITICAL for increasing your skins cell turnover rate and will quickly restore your skin’s natural “glow”. Moisturizers that contain salicylic acid, glycols and retinols, paired with an SPF 20 are ideal. I recommend Boots NO 7 Protect and Perfect day Cream. ($20.99) IN yOur FABuLOuS 40s The years you spent in the tanning bed and the sun-loving vacations you took as a teen are now showing up on your face. your skin looks blotchy, age spots are seen through make-up and you may have red marks. your retaining less moisture and your skin is loosing collagen and elastin by the minute. your panicking in the mirror and spending more money on skin care than you ever have before. you need a moisturizer rich in anti-oxidents (which fight free radicals), exfoliants ( aha’s, glycolic and salicylic acids to stimulate cell turn over) and Peptides (which strengthen collagen) to restore what your loosing everyday. Olay regenerist is power packed with citric acid, vitamins B3 and B5, green tea and amino-peptides. Results have shown a reversal of up to 10 years of aging! (Available at wal-greens $29.99)

Work-to-Casual Denim Swimwear Footwear Accessories

Photos by Heather Hargrove

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24 • OUR HOME 2013

IN yOur MAgNIFICENt 50s ANd BEyONd Don’t even think about retirement when it comes to skincare. you are beautiful and your skin needs you! your cell turn over-rate is low, you’re losing elasticity and are no longer producing collagen. The most noticeable changes in your skin include expression lines that don’t disappear after you stop smiling and severe de-hydration. your skin needs moisture and Retinols (vitamin A derivatives that increase collagen production and reduce pore size). roc retinol Correxion deep wrinkle Cream features r advanced sun protection, shea butter, glycolic acid and retiniods that will help turn back the hands of time. you can purchase this product at Ulta Beauty as well as many neighborhood drug stores for $22.99.



treasure trove
Story and photos by Sara McManamy-Johnson

M t. J u L i e t ’ s



rom the street, the Robinson home blends seamlessly with the other homes tucked in the quiet neighborhood near the lake in Mt. Juliet. As you walk behind the house, though, the back yard rises before you like Wonderland come to life. Or at least like a McDonald’s playground. A giant Officer Big Mac stands sentry while the Hamburglar flanks a metal slide. Nearby, Ronald McDonald smiles from his perch on a porch bench in front of a small two-story building. The guest book as you enter the small building bears signatures in childish scrawls and comments such as, “Speechless” and “Amazing.” And no wonder. Toys of all shapes and sizes emblazoned with McDonald’s golden arches, Burger King’s crown and even Shoney’s bear rest in hand-built glass display cases. But the walk through fast-food history doesn’t stop there. A stained-glass table divider hangs in a homemade wooden frame on the wall. A framed painting of Ronald McDonald skipping along with a boy and a girl on either side of him hangs on another wall. “That was done by the guy who drew the Dick Tracy cartoon,” says Linda Robinson, pointing to the painting. “There aren’t a lot of those because they were recalled soon after they came out.” Linda is a walking encyclopedia of fast-food memorabilia. For more than 23 years, the Mt. Juliet retiree has collected all the toys, statues and trivia she could get. “Somebody told me I should call the Guinness Book of World Records and turn in how many things I have, and I said, ‘Well, I probably don’t have more than other people,’” says Robinson. “So I counted them, and I had over 5,000 toys.” “That’s not counting displays,” adds Linda’s husband of 47 years, Paul Robinson. Linda says she has about 200 displays, which are the cardboard cases McDonald’s uses to display each complete set of available toys. In 2009, a British boy made international news after he sold his 5,000-piece collection of McDonald’s memorabilia – including displays – for $11,500 at auction. But for Linda, the collection is not about the money, it’s about the joy the pieces bring. She beams as she carefully cups a small wind-up McDonald’s toy from Hong Kong.

26 • OUR HOME 2013

“This is one of my favorites,” she says. When you ask her why she loves these toys so much, she pauses. “I don’t know,” she says. “I never had toys when I was growing up – that could be it. I had six brothers and sisters, and there was always somebody to play with, but we never had toys to play with.” Her collection began well into adulthood. “My oldest daughter went to work for Hardees in 1989,” says Linda. “She brought me a set of toys home, and I thought, ‘Oh, those are so cute.’ So I stuck them in a cabinet. Then she brought me another set, and I put them in a cabinet…It just went from there.” Eventually she filled six curio cabinets, and more pieces kept coming in. Linda scoured yard sales, antique stores, Craigslist and Ebay, traveling as far as Florida and Chicago to pick up items. “We got so much, we had to build a building,” says Linda, laughing. Paul volunteered his work shed for the project and the couple worked for six months to convert the structure into a 16-footby-24-foot, two-story museum of sorts. Paul built 13 glass-fronted display cabinets for the building. Inside the cabinets, toys, Happy Meal boxes, cups, glasses, pencil toppers and more are grouped by type. Many of them bear tags labeling the name and release date.

Linda Robinson and one of her many McDonald’s displays.

In other cabinets, toys are grouped by country of origin, with pieces representing countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom. “I kind of just put things where I can put them,” says Linda. “I just try to put things together that go together.” As she walks through the narrow aisles, she points to various items and details the history behind each item – what makes it unique; how she found it.

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OUR HOME 2013 • 27

She pulls out an unfolded Happy Meal box. “There aren’t many of these,” she says. “This one has the rounded top…They replaced them quickly because they couldn’t stack them in the store.” Linda shares her font of information with anyone interested. Neighborhood children frequently stop by to play on the playground or to admire the building’s treasures, and Linda gives them guided tours. “This one little girl, she has brought I don’t know how many kids herself to look at the building,” says Linda. “I’ll just look around and say, ‘Now who hasn’t been here,’ and one of them will raise their hand.” Of Linda’s and Paul’s seven grandchildren, Linda says they all were fascinated by the collection as children, but one in particular adored it. “He graduated this year, but he was the only one out of all my grandkids that would beg me to play with my toys,” says Linda. “He’d say, ‘Granny, please. I’ll be careful. I’ll be real careful.’” So she let him, and she began collecting sets for him until he lost interest as he got older. But Linda keeps adding to her collection with Paul’s help. Each month, Paul goes to McDonald’s and buys another set of their latest offerings, and he takes her out scouring the shops for more. “If there’s a box of toys or something, she just goes through it ‘cause I don’t know what she’s looking for,” says Paul. “I have helped pick out some stuff, but really I don’t know what I’m

Paul and Linda Robinson in their backyard McDonald’s playground

doing. She knows it all; I just support it.” Linda says she has no plans to stop collecting anytime soon, and she says anyone is welcome to stop by to see the collection. “We’re not the type to keep things boxed up and put away,” says Paul. “We want people to be able to see them and enjoy them.” And much of Linda’s own enjoyment of the collection comes from children she shares it with. “Those kids just love it, and that makes me feel good,” says Linda. “When it makes them happy, it makes me happy.” OH

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28 • OUR HOME 2013

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By Laurie Everett

If the paint is chipped and the patina has rusted, it’s a sought-after treasure. Anything old, worn, homemade, and used for years is growing increasingly popular for home decor. Artsy sites, such as Etsy and Pinterest, are awash with reclaimed, reused and repurposed decorating items and ideas. There’s beauty in old, wellused and loved things, and they can be turned into oneof-a-kind treasures that add nostalgia and charm to the home. Twin sisters Dianne Clark and Marianne Jordan

partnered together to sell repurposed antique items they find on treasure hunts all over the country. Honoring vintage pieces and turning them into art or practical things is an outlet for this pair and they love to inspire others to do the same. Anyone can haunt barn sales, flea markets and estate sales to find a piece that speaks to them. “The idea is to find an old piece, clean it up a bit, but not too much, and put it in an unexpected location,” said Marianne. Both ladies said they love places like Pottery Barn and

A table is made by using an old door as the top and adding an iron foundry base. The table is decorated with vintage silver bucket with flowers, vintage restaurant china, and table runner made from burlap.

This beautiful vintage piece can be used in a dining room, foyer or bedroom.

A camera tripod re-purposed into a floor lamp. It was created and is for sale by Bob Gager, owner of Junk is the New Black at the Downtown Antique Mall in Nashville.


An eclectic mix that represents incorporating re-purposed items in the home is this Ausden Inc. Brooklyn farm table with reclaimed wood from a McMinnville barn dating back to 1886. The doors in the backdrop have been refined. The light was once an industrial piece that came out of an old building in downtown Nashville at a production company.
OUR HOME 2013 • 29

T.J. Maxx where people can find replicas of old-fashioned items. “But, we don’t want people to walk into our homes and know instantly it was completely decorated by Pottery Barn,” said Dianne. She said it’s great to find staple pieces such as a couch or chest at these high-end places, but the trick is to add “your own personality and fill in the gaps” with special vintage finds. “I’ve never seen anything old I didn’t love,” she said. “And my sister has never met an old basket she doesn’t like.” Dianne said shows on HGTV have introduced the younger generation to antiquing. “Those age 30 years and under don’t collect like their mother’s generation,” said Marianne. “But, they want their home to reflect their personal style.” She noted the emerging popularity of incorporating reclaimed items is related to nostalgia. “Some remember the things at their grandmother’s house and want to bring back those feelings,” said Marianne. Old, rusted channel letters are popular as well. They are sheet metal letters of all sizes that were once store-front name plates. OH

Vintage channel letters are hot, especially for the young 20-35 year olds. They can be hung on a wall or placed on ashelf. you can hang one letter, maybe your initial or spell a word.

30 • OUR HOME 2013


Mirko Pasta began serving its freshly made Italian food to customers in Mt. Juliet on April 1, but has since proven it’s no April Fool’s joke. The made in-house cuisine has received great response from the community leading to the franchise breaking sales records in its first month. Customers at Mirko Pasta are treated to freshly made Italian pastas, soups and sandwiches. Regional Manager Daniel Hader said what separated Mirko Pasta from its competition is the effort they put into making their ingredients. At the beginning of each day, Mirko Pasta creates its own pastas, filings and sauces from scratch in its own kitchen. “Most other Italian places will put a lot of effort into making

Italian made fresh
By Gabe Farmer

aromas and friendly, casual atmosphere in a café setting that is quintessentially ‘Mirko.’” Customers seem to agree Mirko Pasta embodies that atmosphere at its location on N. Mt Juliet Road. In August, the chain will open the doors on a new Mirko Pasta in Donelson. OH

their own sauces, but their pasta comes in boxes,” Hader said, “at Mirko Pasta we make everything in our own kitchen.” In addition to creating food in house, the locally owned store supports the area’s economy and ensures fresh meals by buying local produce and ingredients. Hader said some are popular among their customers. One such meal is the lasagna verde, which is spinach lasagna sheets layered with meat sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and béchamel sauce. Another favorite Hader named was the tagliatelle crab, a cuisine of homemade tagliatelle pasta with crab, sundried tomato, green peas in a brandy infused light cream sauce. Each Thursday night, Mirko Pasta has live music to serenade guests as they enjoy their meals at the Mt Juliet café. Earlier in the week on Mondays, families receive a special treat with free meals for children. Another attraction of Mirko Pasta is its quarterly wine tastings. Once every quarter, Mirko Pasta plays host to a winery and invites customers to partake in the enjoyment of a wine-tasting event. Mirko Pasta’s website describes the restaurant as a place to “sit back, relax and enjoy the blend of Italian flavors, savory

l l e W e Liv thern Belle Sou

“12 Noon Purple Lemonade Lunch” Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A fundraising event for alzheimer’s. $10 Fabulous Lunch Awesome Guest Speaker, Door Prizes, Jewelry, Book & Art Sale (all proceeds go towards ALZ) Please RSVP to 615-773-6111
435 NW Rutland Rd. Mt. Juliet, TN 37122 (615) 773-6111 RutlandPlaceSeniorLiving.com
OUR HOME 2013 • 31

It’s no secret that Wilson County has grown the past years, especially when it comes to restaurants and eateries. However, nestled within Wilson County lie several food gems that can’t be found anywhere else.
The Cuckoo’s Nest

Niche s g n i t s e N
son by A li N as h

On N. Greenwood Street in Lebanon, The Cuckoo’s Nest offers seasonal menus and weekly specials. Owner Debbie Harden has catered for 33 years and served at her current location for 14 years. “The Cuckoo’s Nest is often mistaken for a tea room, which we aren’t,” Harden said. “We’re upscale Southern cuisine… with a twist.” Visitors here start off their meal with homemade orange honey butter and bread reminiscent of pound cake in its texture. Favorites include the chicken and strawberry salads and fruit tea. Try the taco salad (and especially the ranchero beans) if it’s available when you visit; you won’t be sorry. The Cuckoo’s Nest is open Mon. through Fri. for breakfast and lunch and is available for special evening events upon request.

Scarlett’s Garden Tea Room

For those looking for a tea room, look no further than in Mt. Juliet. Ten years ago this November, Linda Morrison opened what started as a gift shop that served light refreshments. As people kept coming for the food, the menu continued to expand until it became what is today. Now patrons come just to order Linda’s cornbread salad and hot chicken salad casserole and hope coconut or strawberry cake are part of the daily specials. “Food influences past memories,” Morrison said, and she offers dishes to help people invoke those memories without having to dirty up their kitchens at home. For those wishing to re-create the experience, however, she does offer a cookbook, “Scarlett’s Garden Tea Room Favorites,” available in the gift shop along

with collectables from her inspiration for her tea room: Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind.” The décor creates a feeling that you’re sitting on the front steps of Tara as you enjoy good food and the company of friends. The Tea Room is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thurs. through Sat. and by appointment for groups of 10 or more Tues. and Wed.
LuLu’s Coffee House and Café

Last but certainly not least is LuLu’s Coffee House and Café in Watertown. LuLu’s offers a whimsical atmosphere and serious food. Current owners Ron and Gabrielle Hardy recently celebrated their one-year anniversary with LuLu’s with LuLuRoo, an event that invited the community to come and enjoy food, crafts and music. Live music, provided by musicians from all across the country every Saturday night, is perhaps the biggest draw here, but let’s not overlook the rueben, burgers, homemade pies and, of course, the coffee. Meat and produce are sourced locally, and herbs are grown out back. LuLu’s is open Thurs. through Fri., and the musician of the week can be found on LuLu’s Facebook page. OH

32 • OUR HOME 2013

Local Business Honor Roll
124 Years 61 Years

52 Years

Roofing Specialist • 3rd Generation Contractor 615- 449-1200 • www.scottmaynardconstruction.com

29 Year

The name to know when you need a tow.

8594 Central Pike • Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

101 Jennings @ 231 S.

Family Owned Business since 1962

Phone 615-758-5142 Fax 615-754-5142


18 Years

18 Years

Pre-owned Imports

615/449-CARS (2277)
1003 West Main Street • Lebanon, TN 37087 www.lebanonmotortn.com
Complete Lawn Maintenance & Bushhogging • Licensed - Insured • Residential - Commercial

Come see Tommy and Debra Edwards or Jimmy Griffin.
Tommy & Debra Edwards, Owners Check us out at Autotrader.com!
OUR HOME 2013 • 33

For ALL your lawncare needs. Ask what I can do for you!

17 Years
For All Your Flooring Needs
Somerset Hardwood Daltile and Stone Mannington Flooring Karastan Carpet Expert Installation Free Estimates Financing Available

17 Years

1010 West Main • Lebanon

(615) 453-3000

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8-5, Saturday, 8-12 Rex Atkins Jr. • Johnny Bush

16 Years
Mt. Juliet’s Only Locally Owned Funeral Home

13 Years

FUNERAL HOME ANDY & TRACEY BOND Funeral Directors & Embalmers
1098 Weston Drive • Mt. Juliet, TN 37122 (615) 773-2663 24 hour obituary line-641-2663 www.bondmemorial.com

Groce Electric Inc
1803 Murfreesboro Road Lebanon TN 37090 615-453-6880 615-812-7334 www.groceelectricinc.com groceelectric@yahoo.com

11 Years

11 Years
Aaron Pryor, DDS

Joe Clere, Owner (615) 444-9981 627 N. Cumberland St. Lebanon, TN 37087

Treating you like family!

1079 Weston Dr. • Mt. Juliet • 758-7745 201 Signature Pl. • Lebanon • 444-7999

9 Years
A business built on the principles of quality, honesty and understanding the customer’s expectations.

4 Years
Joni Cochran Owner 401 S. Mt. Juliet Rd., #235 Mount Juliet, TN 37122 M - F 8 am - 7 pm Sat. 9 am - 4 pm, Sun. closed 615.773.8015 Tel 615.773.8031 Fax store6148@theupsstore.com www.theupsstorelocal.com/6148

All Insurance Claims Welcome • Frame & Unibody Repair • Locally Owned and Operated Limited Lifetime Warranty • Certified Technicians • Free Estimates

1020 Murfreesboro Rd. (Route 231 South) Lebanon, TN 37090 fetchosprecisionautobody.com Monday Through Friday – 7:30 am to 5:30 pm • Saturday By Appointment

34 • OUR HOME 2013

Lebanon High School 2nd Chance Prom held at Capitol Theatre, Lebanon

Women Like Us Event Night at the Art Mill, Mt. Juliet

FFHI2117LS Big 21 Cu Ft. Slide out Glass Shelves Energy Star Factory Ice Handle on left only!!!

FFBD2411NS Only 55 Dba Quiet 14 Place Settings 5 Cycles Tall Tub
Self Clea n

Fac inst tor y ice malled aker

Get handle on right for $50 extra

FFEF3048LS 5.3 Cu Ft Oven 1 Expandable Element Self Clean

FFMV164LS 1.6 Cu Ft 1000 Watts







sales • service • parts

800-900-1000 • 76 Belinda Parkway, Mt. Juliet
tworiversford.com • @tworiversford

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