How to Get Started Juicing!

VC-21If you haven’t already, watch the Joe Cross documentary, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” It will change the way you view food and will give you a great jump start to your new juicing lifestyle. You’ll learn how to juice, hear success stories, and learn medical evidence behind the science of juicing.

Next, go to the website and download Shane’s free starter guide. This is truly the best juicing starter guide on the web. It includes step by step processes as well as some great recipes and juicer reviews.

Go get a GOOD juicer. If you’re not sure you’re going to like juicing, or you think may not stick with it, borrow one from a friend first or make a few visits to your local juice bar before investing. But, whatever you do, don’t buy a cheaply made juicer! If the chute isn’t big enough for a whole apple, you will quickly lose interest because the massive amounts of chopping will prove to be too time consuming. Additionally, if you don’t get an all stainless juicer, you will spend an enormous amount of time hand washing your juicer. Get one that’s stainless and can go right in the dishwasher. (I’ll review and recommend specific juicers in a later post).

Once you have your juicer, choose a good, staple green juice recipe and start juicing in the morning only. (I’ll share some of my favorite recipes in a later post). After a few days, you can start replacing breakfast and lunch with juice (if you’re juicing to lose weight) and can work your way up to a 3-, 7- or 10- day fast if that’s a goal of yours. A fast can be an incredible way to cleanse the digestive tract as well as to jump start a whole new lifestyle!


Remember the 80/20 rule. You’ll want to juice about 80% vegetable juices and only 20% fruit juices. Consuming too much fruit juice can hinder your weight loss results and can also cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar.

Also remember that fresh juices are always best, but if you must make ahead, here’s a general rule: juices made with a centrifugal juicer last no more than 8 hours and those made with a masticating juicer last no more than 24 hours. If juices must be stored, they should be kept in air tight stainless steel or BPA free containers.

And lastly, always clean your juicer immediately after using it. Bacteria can begin to grow within minutes, plus once the tiny particles begin to dry, they’re much harder to remove later.


What to do this weekend in Middle TN


Opryland Hotel unveils this year's "A Country Christmas" on November 17.

Breathtaking Christmas Tree in the Delta area of Opryland Hotel.

Fireworks during the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Opryland Hotel on November 17.

I love this time of year when holiday events are in full swing! Make your way downtown to the Murfreesboro Square tonight for “Movies Under the Stars.” The Murfreesboro Parks and Rec Dept. will be showing “Elf” at 6 p.m. this evening (11/18). The event is free and concessions like hot chocolate and popcorn will be available for sale. Be sure to bundle up and bring your lawn chairs or blankets. If you can’t make it tonight, “The Polar Express” will be shown on Dec. 16. For more information, contact the Murfreesboro Parks and Rec Dept. at 615-893-2141.

Also remember that the free carriage rides continue tonight on the Murfreesboro Square from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. You could make an evening of it and have dinner downtown at one of our fine restaurants like Marina’s, Three Brothers, or Maple Street Grill, enjoy a cozy carriage ride, and then watch a great holiday movie on the big screen!

If that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, then the first Murfreesboro Santa sighting surely will! Santa will arrive at Stones River Mall on Saturday (11/19) at 8 a.m. The mall will provide a Chick-Fil-A breakfast as well as cookies to decorate. You will need tickets for the breakfast. They are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Tickets can be purchased at the Stones River Mall management office. Santa will be on hand for photos from now until Christmas Eve in the Sears wing of Stones River Mall. For more information, contact the mall office at 615-896-4486.

There will be a Healthy Holiday Bazaar at Carriage Lane Inn Reception House on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Here, you’ll find shopping, live entertainment, and food as well as healthy living seminars on yoga, teas, and ways to go green and save on gas.

For more holiday shopping, you don’t want to miss Wilson Living’s 3rd Annual Holiday Expo this Friday (11/18) and Saturday (11/19). Festivities include breakfast with Santa, door prizes, goodie bags, holiday shopping, food, fun and more! The Expo runs from Noon – 7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Expo is located at The Mill at Lebanon, 200 N Maple Street. For more information, call 615-969-6751 or click here.

This weekend the The Stones River Crafts Association presents the 18th Annual Art Studio Tour in Rutherford County. This event run on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Sunday from Noon – 5 p.m. During this annual weekend, local craft artists open their studios to the public, offering a unique and wide selection of artwork and demonstrations.  You can find some of the Stones River area’s finest forged iron, pottery, stained glass, weaving, wood work, fine jewelry and functional home accessories. The tour is a free community event.  For more information and a map for the tour, click here.

And don’t forget about the Farmers Market Sunday! The Rutherford County Farmers Market has closed its regular season but has started operating on its extended schedule, 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 18. The market is held at Lane Agri-Park  in Murfreesboro, 315 John Rice Blvd. Call 615-898-7710 for more information.

Lastly, one of my favorite holiday experiences kicked off last night with the annual tree lighting ceremony at Opryland. Gaylord Opryland’s 28th annual A Country Christmas® will run today (11/18) through January 3rd. The holiday experience features attractions like Louise Mandrell’s Christmas Dinner Party™ and the 10th anniversary in Nashville of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular® starring The Rockettes®. There are some great new attractions this year like the DreamWorks experience featuring Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar in ICE! and ShrekFest. There’s also a new Holly Jolly Town Square with shopping, Christmas trees, a train ride for the little ones and much more! For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

We were lucky enough to grab a sneak peek last night of the new ICE! exhibit, the new Rockettes show, and the Holly Jolly Town Square. Look for reviews and photos coming soon!

Have  a great weekend!

What to Do This Weekend in Middle TN


When I first moved to Murfreesboro, I fell in love with the quaint town square which has only grown in appeal and charm since then. This weekend kicks off the holiday season downtown and I couldn’ t be more excited!

On Friday (11/11) and Saturday (11/12) head to the Square for the annual Christmas Open House featuring carolers, specials in every store, and my favorite – FREE carriage rides! The stores will stay open late until 7pm, and you can catch the carriage rides from 5:30 – 8pm. Many of the stores will have fun demonstrations, hot chocolate, etc. The Square is one of Murfreesboro’s treasures – let’s support our local businesses by shopping downtown and letting them know how much we appreciate them!

For more great holiday shopping, visit the 2nd Annual Fall for Shopping event at Bob Parks Realty at 1535 W. Northfield Blvd. in Murfreesboro from 9:00am – 1pm on Saturday (11/12). The event will feature vendors such as Thirty-One Gifts, Got Hands? University, Scentsy, Clever Container, Gold Canyon Candles, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Stella & Dot Jewelry, Avon, Party-Lite, and Premier Jewelry to name a few. There will be special savings, complimentary snacks, beverages, and door prizes too.

And yes, even more shopping…The eighth annual Christmas on Madison Avenue will take place from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday at 315 John Rice Blvd. in Murfreesboro. Admission is free. The event will feature more than 50 vendors with items such as art, games, jewelry, candles, purses and bags, hair accessories, makeup and skin care, cookbooks, jams and jellies, handmade children’s clothing, dolls, kitchen accessories and more. Raffles and giveaways will be held as well.

And if you still haven’t had enough, this weekend is also host to Nashville’s oldest and most prestigious consumer show, Christmas VillageMore than 250 vendors and 20,000 shoppers from all over the U.S. participate in this superb shopping event. Items offered include: toys for all ages, clothing for children and adults, jewelry, food items, pottery, collectibles and unusual pieces for the “person who has everything”. Christmas Village is organized and operated through the volunteer efforts of the Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club to benefit the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center and other Pi Beta Phi philanthropies. You can purchase tickets for $8 from Nashville area branches of SunTrust Bank, The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, and Vanderbilt Valet Stations. Tickets are $10 when purchased at the door. Children age 9 and under are free. Times are as follows:

  • November 11, 2011 Fri 9:00am- 9:00pm
  • November 12, 2011 Sat 9:00am- 6:00pm
  • November 13, 2011 Sun 12:00pm- 6:00pm

If you’re like me, and you’ve been in a great depression ever since the Farmers Market on the Square closed for the season, you’re in luck!  The Rutherford County Farmers Market has started operating on its extended schedule, 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 18. Many vegetables can be harvested well beyond frost, such as greens and winter squash. Also available: farm fresh eggs, honey, beef, pork, preserves and baked goods. The market is held at the Lane Agri-Park Community Center in Murfreesboro, 315 John Rice Blvd. Call 615-898-7710 for more information.

And lastly, The Center for Arts in Murfreesboro’s production of “Annie” will run 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights and a matinée on Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets start at $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, students and military, and $10 for children age 12 and younger. Purchase tickets online, by phone at 615-904-2787, or in person at The Center for the Arts, 110 W. College St. What a great way to support local artists!

Have a great weekend everyone!

The Chattanoogan Spa: The Ultimate Relaxation Experience

With four tranquil treatment rooms, a separate manicure/pedicure room, a fitness center, and spacious locker rooms (complete with a steam room and sauna!), The Chattanoogan Spa truly is the best there is.

During our recent visit, I decided to take some time off from sight-seeing and shopping to try the signature Rock City Stone Massage. The therapist incorporated Swedish massage with heated river stones which is supposed to relieve aching muscles and improve circulation as well. It felt amazing and it also didn’t hurt that it was cool and windy outside, so a warm stone massage was just what I needed.

If you’re making plans to visit the Chattanoogan, be sure to build some time in your itinerary to spend a morning at the Chattanoogan Spa. It was well worth it, and I left feeling relaxed, reenergized, and ready to enjoy more of this beautiful city!

For more information, or to book your next spa experience, click here.

Where to Stay in Chattanooga: The Chattanoogan Hotel

If you’re looking for a great weekend road trip (albeit a couples weekend, a girls getaway, or a family adventure), Chattanooga is where its at. Only a couple of hours – and one beautiful drive – away from Middle Tennessee, this favorite town of mine is full of good food, unique shopping, and fun family activities all year long.

To start planning your trip, begin by making reservations at The Chattanoogan Hotel. The Chattanoogan is the area’s only four diamond property meaning everything – from the upscale restaurants and lounge to the state-of-the-art spa – is meticulously maintained and renovations occur every single year.

The architecture and interior design was all created with Tennessee in mind. The lobby’s focal point fire-place is made from Tennessee limestone and all the ironwork is local as well. The hotel itself was even constructed by local contractors and workers.

This property is really as good as it gets in terms of encompassing all possible needs. If you’re looking for luxury, the guest rooms and suites have absolutely every amenity you can think of…and oh, those pillow top mattresses – to die for! The Chattanoogan also has a large convention center with breakout rooms for business meetings, and with the largest ballroom in the state and catering capabilities it has quickly become a hot wedding destination as well!

Check back soon for posts on the The Chattanoogan Spa, restaurant (Broad Street Grille) and lounge called The Foundry. For more info or to book your stay, click here.

What to do this weekend in Middle Tennessee


holiday rag wreaths OchristmasTree (17)

There’s nothing to get you into the holiday spirit like this cooler weather and some holiday shopping! This weekend is the perfect time to begin your Christmas shopping and there are several opportunities to support local crafters at the same time.

The Junior League of Murfreesboro hosts its annual Hollyday Marketplace this Saturday, November 5th at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center from 9:00am – 5:00pm. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Tickets are available at: CB&S Bank, Ray Hines, Carla & Co, E.Allen, Mimi’s Boutique, Merle Norman, Write Impression, The Greenery, Murfreesboro Toy Company, Reeves-Sain, F&M Bank, Lascassas Drugs, and Mills Family Pharmacy. There will be dozens of local vendors and retailers on hand. This is great way to shop local, plus you’ll know your family and friends are getting one-of-kind gifts!

While you’re at the Avenue, stop by the Belk Charity Sale. From 6 am – 10 am, shoppers at Belk will receive 20 – 70% discounts throughout the store. To participate, you must purchase a $5 ticket to the sale from one of the more than 50 participating nonprofits (who get to keep 100% of the ticket sales) or from the store directly. Your ticket entitles you to $5 off your first purchase including cosmetics and fragrances, 25% off shoes, 60% off fine jewelry, 25% off kids, watches, handbags, dresses, juniors, and much more. In addition, the first 100 customers in each store will receive free Belk gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $100, and a chance to win one of three $1,000 Belk gift cards awarded company-wide.

From 10 am – Noon, Yankee Candle Company (also at the Avenue) will be hosting a Holiday Open Housing featuring giveaways, special offers, and “other surprises.”

If you’re heading to Franklin, you don’t want to miss the 21st Annual Franklin Holiday Craft Bazaar at the Williamson County Ag Expo Area (off exit 61 in Franklin). There will be more than 150 vendor booths plus a photo op with Santa for the little ones. There will also be a classic car expo. Just $2 gets you into both events. The event runs Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 am – 4 pm and Sunday, Nov. 6 from Noon – 4 pm. Click here for the event flyer.

If you’re not into shopping this weekend, load up your furry friends and head to Nashville for the Nashville Woof Walk Fun Run and Community Dog Walk on Saturday, November 5 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Centennial Park . The event is free. This includes the community dog walk plus lots of family and pet friendly activities including free pet wellness screenings by veterinarians from Banfield® Pet Hospital as well as arts and crafts, a bounce house, face painting, and fitness demos.

And even though MTSU is away this weekend, you can cheer them on Saturday night on Fox Sports South as they take on UT at 6 pm. Go Blue Raiders!

With the cooler weather and no home game, this would be the perfect weekend to gather some friends for a casual dinner or tailgating party (which is exactly what my friend Diane thought of doing)! We can’t wait for some great comfort food and even better company. Check out two of my all time favorite party/appetizer recipes below. Enjoy!


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing

1/2 cup FRANK’S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cans (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained


HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.

MIX in salad dressing, Frank’s RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.

BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.


(I have no idea where this one is from…heard it from a friend and I love it…great flavor and so easy to throw together. I serve it with sugar snap peas, carrot sticks, and crackers, but you could use pretty much any vegetables).

1 – 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened

1 – small container of French Onion Party Dip (I like Purity)

About half to 3/4 of a bag of Kraft Cheese Crumbles

Blend together and voila!

Halloween Weekend Planner


Since Lincoln is now almost two-and-a-half, this is the first year he’s starting to “get” Halloween. We’ve got his costume and trick-or-treat bag all ready to go…so that means packing another weekend full of as many fun events as possible!

First I’ll give you our plan for the weekend, but keep reading for a complete listing of what Rutherford County has to offer this Halloween.

Remember this weekend is your last chance for the pumpkin patches, corn mazes, etc. to be open. (Most are open on Monday the 31st but close for the season after that). We love Lucky Ladd and Walden Farms, but if you’ve done those and are looking for more of a drive, check out my very favorite – Grandaddy’s Farm in Estill Springs. Everything at Grandaddy’s Farm is less expensive than at its Rutherford or Williamson County counterparts, plus you get to enjoy a beautiful drive along the way! There’s an array of games, a corn maze, a long hay ride that takes you out to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin, an animal barn, half mile nature trail you can hike, and a playground with great tire swings. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for kids 2-9 and children under 2 are free. The farm is open from 9 am – 6 pm  Tuesday – Thursday, and 9 am – 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. Click here for more information.

When you’re done with the pumpkin patch, venture into Winchester and stop at the town square. Make time for lunch at John T’s BBQ and shop for some deals at Hammer’s! If your little one is into tractors like mine, don’t miss their entire wall of John Deere toys upstairs. Hammer’s also carries a ton of heavily discounted Melissa and Doug merchandise too.

If you need to stay a little closer to home, another one we tried this week and really liked was Rabbit Foot Farm at 11131 Bradyville Pike in Readyville. Here you can also pick your own pumpkins and go on a hay ride. They also have a small petting zoo. (The two Donkeys – Jack and JoJo – were our favorites). Its not as big or commercialized as some of the other farms, but definitely gives the kiddos a look at a real farm in a less crowded setting. Admission is $8, and children younger than 2 are free. Rabbit Foot Farm is open from 10 am – 6 pm on Saturdays and noon – 6 pm on Sundays. For more info, call 615-893-5944 or click here.

On Monday you do not want to miss trick-or-treating on the Murfreesboro Square. Our city has such a beautiful square (prettiest, I think, in the fall), so that coupled with the unique shops and warm, friendly business owners is a recipe for Halloween success. The event runs from 3pm – 6pm. Your little ones can show off their costumes and get lots of good candy! This is especially great for those like us with toddlers.

Another great idea for the little ones is the Preschool Pumpkin Patch at Patterson Park Community Center. This event, just for ages 2 – 5, will take place from 5pm – 7pm on Friday (the 28th). More costumes, games, etc. The cost is $3 per person. Call 615-993-7439 for more info.

We are also going to try to stop by the trick-or-treating event at the Avenue Shopping Center. There will be candy stations, a balloon artist, and face painting 4 pm – 6 pm. At dusk (approximately 6:30 pm), Disney’s Gnomeo and Juliet will be playing in Central Park. Be sure to bring your chairs/blankets for that! Click here for a map you can download showing you where the candy, movie, and activities will be.

That’s probably all we can handle in one weekend, but here are some other great activities going on this weekend as well: (I wish we could get to all of them!)

Today (Thursday Oct. 27) the Discovery Center will host The Great Pumpkin Festival  from 4 pm – 7 pm. Admission is $3 (free for members), plus a canned food item for the local food bank. Dress in your favorite fantasy literature character and cook up your own potions with Mr. Bond the science guy and enjoy other activities. The costume contest is a $1 entry fee. Click here for more info.

The annual Barfield Halloween Bash runs Oct. 26-29 at Barfield Crescent Park. Old Scream road haunted hayrides from dark until 9 pm. Cost is $5 per person. The Not-So-Haunted Hayride for the little ones is 5 pm to 7 pm on Friday and Saturday. The cost for that ride is $3 per person. A carnival will be going on from 5 pm – 9 pm also on Friday and Saturday, featuring prizes, games, costume contests, candy, live music and more. Admission is free, but there are fees for food and game tickets. Call 615-890-5333 for more info.

And finally, Smyrna’s 15th annual Halloween in the Park festivities will take place from 3 pm – 8 pm on Saturday (Oct. 29) at Sharp Springs Park. Costume contests will start at 3:15 and run every 30 minutes for each age group beginning with ages 3 and younger up to ages 15 and older. Hayrides will run from 3 pm – 5:30 pm, with haunted hayrides going from 6 pm – 8 pm. There will be a children’s train, inflatables, games, races, egg toss, pie-eating contest, door prizes, vendors with crafts and foods, and candy for trick-or-treaters. Call 615-459-9773 for more info.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone!