Food Allergies Are On The Rise: Speak Out!

Hi everyone!  Yes, I’m posting again!  So much important information to share.  

I don’t know about you, but when I was in school kids with food allergies were very rare.  These days so many kids are being diagnosed with allergies that foods like peanut butter are are actually being banned from schools and camps.  And studies show there really are more cases of allergies being diagnosed in young children.  Unfortunately in our litigious society, schools in many states are not allowed to stock and administer that small, yet lifesaving device known as the Epi-pen, which can save lives.  Last week I spoke with a couple of people who are working to raise awareness about this issue, and to offer support for families living with this life-threatening condition.  Listen to Dr. Keegan Smith, allergist with Heritage Medical Associates and Heather Duncan, a mom to a teen with severe food allergies.  Then jump on Facebook and join the Food Allergy Community of Tennessee, otherwise known as FACT!  

Do you really know what the First Amendment to the Constitution means?  As a reporter, I focused on my freedom of speech everyday.  But there is so much more to this often misunderstood Amendment.  Recently, challenges to the rights outlined in it have made headlines, so I went to the expert!  Gene Policinski, Sr. Vice President and Executive Director of the First Amendment Center, explained what the First Amendment actually says and why it has everyone so confused these days.    If you have additional questions, check out the First Amendment Center’s website just to your right!

Have a great day Nashville!

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Salute to Mother’s Day

This has been quite a week for us!  All the kids are home and the house is alive with the sound of….laundry!!!!  Yep, it’s a mess around here, but a happy mess and I’m grateful for it.  I hope you are a enjoying this transitional time, school ending, summer almost here, the anticipation of a vacation.

Last week was Mother’s Day and I was so privileged to talk to one of my favorite authors, Mary Higgins Clark.  She is one of those rare women who has lived a very full life, overcome hardship and had one heck of an adventure.  Her latest book “The Lost Years” is another blockbuster you simply must read this summer.  Consider that an order from your mother!  Listen to some stories from Mary’s amazing life!  

If you’re as big a fan of Cheekwood as I am, you’re not going to want to miss their latest exhibit.  This weekend marked the opening of the new Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden and it’s gorgeous!  Consider this your own private (well not quite) space to relax and enjoy.  I talked to Jane Offenbach, the lovely President and CEO of Cheekwood about this new garden.  It’s the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Middle Tennessee and it’s right in our own backyard.  Jane also told me about some other fun things happening at Cheekwood this summer, so check out my interview, then pack a picnic and head over.  Aaaaah, summer in Nashville!  

Well, that’s about it for now.  Check back later in the week for some more fab interviews with folks you’re going to want to hear from.  Have a great week, everyone!

Springtime Goings On in Middle TN

Been a busy few weeks for me!  Personally, my honey and I took a dream trip to Paris, France.!  And when I say a dream trip, I mean it was a dream come true for me.  We’ve been there once before but it was so long ago, it feels like another lifetime.  This time around, all I can say is “Wow”!  Even the cold, rainy weather couldn’t dampen my spirits as we wandered around and through the streets, countryside and even the underground catacombs.  Upon our return, our daughter completed her degree and graduated from MTSU!  It was a long-awaited and hard fought victory for her and we are elated and proud!  So, it’s back to reality for me and I’ve got some amazing folks for you to listen to.

While I was away, Nashville hosted its annual Film Festival.  I was fortunate to speak with someone who has made it his mission to bring the Batman story to the big screen.  Michael Uslan, executive produced every incarnation of the Dark Knight since the campy but, for me, beloved TV version of  the 1960s.  He’s written a fabulously entertaining book that is both inspirational and funny.  Listen to his interview and then get your own copy of “The Boy Who Loved Batman” and live your own dreams!  

Next up is a really special guest for me!  My cousin, Bill Sebastian, an extremely talented filmmaker.  He and his wife Dana and their newborn daughter Amelia were in town for a screening of their film “Qwerty”.  This true indie film follows the story of a scrabble nerd and her blossoming romance with a curmudgeonly  recluse.  Bill talks about the journey of QWERTY and what it’s like to follow the dream.  

This past weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of talking to a dear friend of mine who is also one of the most awesome women I’ve ever met!  Laura Reinbold is the Nashville Branch Manager of TTL, a geo-professional engineering firm.  Laura talks about what it takes to make it in a man’s world and how she’s developed her own unique leadership style.  Listen and learn, my friends!  

Autism Awareness Month just wrapped up and I had my annual talk with the folks from Autism Society of Middle Tennessee.  This year, their spokesperson was someone many of you will know.  Melissa Meadows, AKA Wylie Rose of WKDF, is the new Community Outreach Director for ASMT!  She speaks so movingly about her own journey raising a child with Aspberger’s, one of the disorders on the Autism spectrum.  Listen to Melissa and then check out ASMT’s website for support and information.  

Well friends, that’s about it for now.  This coming weekend, we’re off to Steeplechase again!  I’ve got my hat and my dress ready to go.  And Sunday is Mother’s Day.  So a very Happy Mother’s Day to anyone who mothers people.  It’s a tough job, definitely not for sissies!  And, listen on Sunday to a couple of great interviews.  One is with a very famous author, and that’s all I’m going to tell you.

Au revoir, mes aimees!

Spring is Here…Are You Ready?

Hi Everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed a great holiday weekend!  I had a great time celebrating Passover with family and friends.  This is one of my very favorite times of the year here in Middle Tennessee.  The leaves have sprouted, the air is warmer and the days are longer (finally).  Ahead for me is a trip to Paris, my daughter’s college graduation, reuniting with my Freshman son and the promise of a really fun summer.  Maybe I’ll even get to squeeze in a trip back home to L.A.  

In preparation for the season, I had fun interviewing my friend Mridu Parikh, owner of Memories Organized.  She has given me some amazing tips for organizing my home, my mail, my life!  Her creativity, understanding and compassion make the task of clearing up the clutter almost fun!  Listen to my interview with Mridu and then get busy.  It’s cheaper than therapy!  

During the spring and summer, I like to spend lots of time outside.  Whether it’s gardening, swimming, hiking or just taking a walk, my feet take a beating.  My dear friend Dr. Carmen April is a podiatrist who can save your digits from lots of pain.  I talked to her last week about how to make sure you get a healthy pedicure, how to wear flip flops (yes, you can!) and how to make sure your feet can get you where you need to go.  She’s amazing!  Check out her interview.  

As the economy continues to recover, there is good news for women in Tennessee.  According to a study by American Express OPEN, Tennessee ranks number 17 nationwide for women-owned business growth.  The study also suggests that most of these businesses are start-ups.  The Small Business Majority says small businesses are key to continued recovery and that now is a good time to take the leap.  I talked to Julie Weeks, author of American Express OPEN’s study, to get the 4-1-1 on what it takes to be a successful business owner.  

Looking for some great Spring reading material?  Michael Grant, author of the “Gone’s series, has taken a new leap into the world of transmedia.  His new book “BZRK”, out now, could drive you out of your mind.  Listen to his interview, then go Bezerk!  

Well, that’s about it for now.  Next week, I’m off to Paris for a long-awaited vacay.  I’ll try and post from there so be watching for pics and updates.  A bientot, darlings!

Journey Returns to Music City

This week, I had the opportunity to talk to a member of one of my fave bands!  Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of decades, they’re probably one of yours too.  I’m talking about none other than Journey and my interview with keyboardist Jonathan Cain was a blast!  And the best part is, we can all hear them in person right here in Nashville!  The group is performing on the 24th at the TPAC auditorium, a pretty intimate venue for them.  Jonathan is such a down-to-earth guy and a very devoted husband and dad.  Listen to him and then make sure to get tickets!  I’ll see y’all there!  

I also had a chance to interview a fantastic children’s author.  Jane O’Connor, of the “Fancy Nancy” series, talked with me about what inspires her, her collaboration with her friend and illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser and what it means to be really “fancy”.  Check it out!  

Well, that’s it for this week.  Just remember, there are so many great things to do and experience in Middle Tennessee.  So whether it’s a fundraiser, film premiere, book signing or great food, go out and just do it!  Have a great week everyone!  Ciao!

It’s Tax Season…Again…

It’s the beginning of February!  Have you started working on your taxes yet?  I think I have, but you’d have to ask my significant other to be sure!  Every year changes to the tax codes spell confusion for many of us.  Last year, I spoke to my friend, Tax Manager Gail Childress from Flood, Bumstead, Mcready & McCarthy.  She was so helpful, I thought I’d bring her back in to give everyone some updates.  And, lo and behold, there are many new things to know this year.  Listen to Gail and then get yourself organized and ready for that deadline!  

I love to talk to people who are bold risk-takers, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers.  Two friends of mine are embarking on a great venture that is unique yet something we all wish we had: a wife!  I wish I’d thought of it!  Debra Fish and Terri Bond have started WifeWorks, a business that offers all the services of a really organized, cheerful, guilt-free wife!  I could sure use one of those.  I talked to Debra and Terri to learn more about their services and they’re making it all work while managing a family of their own.  

For families and caregivers of folks with Alzheimer’s or children with Autism, there is so much to do.  One of the biggest challenges is when an elderly spouse wanders away from home, or when a youngster dashes away from parents at the park.  It’s frightening for everyone, and can sometimes lead to a dangerous situation.  There are lots of products on the market to help, but only one that offers a monitoring service.  Emfinders has created a small, comfortable wristband that will help you find your loved one in no time.  I interviewed Patrice MacAree, CEO of Emfinders to get the scoop!  Check him out and if you need more info, you can contact Emfinders.  

Well, that’s about it for this week!  Coming up this Sunday, I’ll be talking to Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain about the group’s upcoming concert benefiting Franklin Road Academy!  

It’s Time To Stop The Hate

Hi everyone!  This week has been jam packed and the sun is shining (for now).

I’ve got several interviews to post, but first up is an event you won’t want to miss.  Thursday, January 26 (that’s in two days!) Metro Human Relations Commission is hosting a forum that takes a look at hate crimes both in Middle Tennessee and around the country.  It will be a rare opportunity to hear from Federal law enforcement, prosecutors and others working to stop hate crimes.  The forum will look at the Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Law, which outlines specific protections.  Special guest that morning will be Dennis Shepard, father of Matthew Shepard, a young man who was killed because he was gay.  It should prove to be a powerful day of healing, learning and inspiration.  I had the privilege of speaking to Caroline Blackwell, Executive Director of the Metro Human Rights Commission.  She has some great info about the forum, which is open to the public!  Check it out.  

On a lighter note (much lighter), TPAC is reprising the smash Broadway hit Spamalot this week!  This production stars one of Nashville’s own, local performer Thomas Demarcus, in several hilarious roles.  If you missed the show last time, or want to laugh til you cry, again, hurry up!  Tickets are still available but going fast.  And for those of you alums of Brentwood High, here’s Thomas Demarcus!  

Well, I have a couple more interviews for you, but it will have to wait until tomorrow!  Check back because you won’t want to miss these two blockbuster interviews!

Ciao darlings!  Enjoy the evening!