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Building Your Own At At Home Home with with Pets Pets || Memphis’ Memphis’ Best Best in in Show Show Chattanooga Chattanooga and and Nashville Nashville Green Green Cuisine Cuisine

January 2010 • | 3


contents january 2010


48 Memphis’ Best in Show

36 At Home With Pets



See the award-winning homes of the 2009 Vesta Home Show in Memphis. From innovative interior design and sustainable building techniques to affordable plans, this show displayed the latest in home design.

Meet Linda Jones, co-owner of Three Dog Bakery in Collierville. Jones’ shop has been catering to the four-legged crowd for years with decadent treats, toys and the latest in pet wear.

60 Chattanooga and Nashville Green Cuisine 38 Building Your Own



Going green isn’t just for homeowners. With guidance from the Green Restaurant Association and a drive to support local food and the environment, two Tennessee restaurants— Nashville’s Tayst and Chattanooga’s 212 Market—are emphasizing top quality food and sustainable living.

Don and Jennifer Aston’s new home is the way of the future. Constructed from structurally insulated panels—an alternative, sustainable building material—by Nashville’s MM&I Construction and Design, the home blends practicability and beauty.

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contents january 2010 42

20 32


SELF 18 BEAUTY GADGETS Get glamorous with the latest in beauty technology.

20 WELCOMING WELLNESS At Home Tennessee has made a resolution to get healthy, and we want you to join us. Working out is better with a buddy, right? Start off slow with these exercise suggestions and easy, healthy eating ideas.

22 CANINE CARE 101 Your pet’s health shouldn’t take a backseat to the rest of the family’s well-being. Learn the basics of keeping your furry friend looking and feeling good with advice from UT veterinarians.

24 SPOILED ROTTEN Check out the best in pet fashion and accessories, from pearl collars and scarves to plush, Tiffany’s-inspired bedding.


TRAVEL 28 TRAVELING WITH PETS Pack Fido’s bag for this month’s road trip. With pampering, pet-friendly destinations across the state, your furry 8 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

24 friend might get better treatment than you!

30 CRUISE AWAY FROM WINTER If the cold has got you down, trade sweaters for swimsuits and book one of these Caribbean cruises. Major lines offer great deals in the winter and there are plenty of ports accessible from Tennesse.


52 THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF CHOOSING A HANDYMAN Hiring the right handyman can be just as complicated as the actual home improvement project. Learn what qualities to look for, which to avoid and the right questions to ask.


Enjoy East Tennessee’s snowfall with a trip to Gatlinburg. From the Winter Magic Festival to Ober Gatlinburg ski resort, this destination is perfect for winter fun and the adventurous at heart.

Host a party for your best pal this month. Not only will it be tons of fun for you—your pet will love these healthy recipes and dog-friendly activities. Don’t forget the camera!





51 APPLIANCE COMPLIANCE Take expert advice when it comes to choosing the best HVAC units and appliances for your new home. Find out how these products work and why they’ll benefit you.



January 2010 • | 9

January 10 • Vol. 8 No. 10 PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Margaret Monger -

EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lindsey Phillips - SOCIETY EDITOR Lesley Colvett - EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Terri Glazer, Willow Nero, Cara Sievers, Jordana White CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Mike Boatman COLOR MANAGEMENT Charles Reynolds -

ADVERTISING GRAPHIC DESIGNER Nikki Aviotti - ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Virginia Davis - Hilary Frankel - Amy Garland - Bob Irwin - Scharlene White - REGIONAL SALES Melissa Hosp -


HOW TO REACH US 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018 KNOXVILLE 865.686.5271, FAX 865.354.4886 MEMPHIS 901.684.4155, FAX 901.684.4156 NASHVILLE 615.469.1504, FAX 615.469.5991 TOLL FREE 877.684.4155, FAX 866.354.4886 WEBSITE BEAUTY INQUIRIES WEBSITE INQUIRIES At Home Tennessee does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. To inquire about freelance opportunities, send a letter, resume and three writing samples to - Lindsey Phillips, Associate Editor, At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018.

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE Call 877.684.4155 or subscribe online at Annual subscription rate: $19.95. Single copy price: $4.99. At Home Tennessee is published 12 times a year. Postmaster: Send address changes to At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018. We make every effort to correct factual mistakes or omissions in a timely and candid manner. Information can be forwarded to Lindsey Phillips; At Home Tennessee; 671 N. Ericson Rd., Suite 200, Cordova, TN 38018 or by e-mail to

10 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

January 2010 • | 11

publisher’s note

Welcoming a New Year


elcome to a new year filled with hope, excitement and new resolutions. With all the hectic planning this holiday season I was in a “last-minute panic mode” to get the magazine to the printer, on time, which requires writing my publisher’s note, on time. The “on time” aspect of this equation was not working in my favor so I decided to get some help from the staff and ask them to share with you their New Year’s Resolutions. Enjoy reading them, and maybe they will help those of you still on the fence to decide on yours too! At Home Tennessee’s 2010 Resolutions “I can’t think that far in the future—I’m just trying to get this issue out! Ask me again in two months.”-Nikki Aviotti, Graphic Designer “I’m going to stay more organized and focused on my daily to-do list—and get my photographs from the past two years out of the envelopes and into my (very nice and personalized) photo albums.” -Lesley Colvett, Society Editor (I have been saying that for more 20 years, Lesley, and all our photos are in a very large box in my guest room closet!) “This year, I’m going to give back to others by volunteering and participating in other community service events.” –Virginia Davis, Sales “2010 is the beginning of my new organized life, starting with my closets. I’ve been talking about doing this for years, but it’s true this time. I would also like to rid my life of negativity and procrastination. Everything will fall into place!” –Hilary Frankel, Sales “I’m going to better manage my time and start staying ‘no’ more. When any opportunity comes along, I am addicted to saying ‘yes,’ whether it’s a church committee, work opportunity, party invitation or just helping out. This creates an over abundance of items on my schedule, and then I have a hard time keeping up with those commitments.”-Amy Garland, Sales “I would be happy if I could get at least one closet in my house organized this year!”-Ginger Goforth, Administrative Assistant “This year, I will master a new aspect of jewelry making such as working with precious metal clay.” –Melissa Hosp, Sales “This year I’m going to get organized in the office—no more losing phone messages under a sea of story notes for me. Also, I am running my first 10K race in April. Wish me luck!”Lindsey Phillips, Associate Editor “This year I plan to be more consistent in all aspects of life starting with working out!”Scharlene White, Sales My dear husband Trip Monger, our CFO, never got his resolution to me so I am putting in writing that he is going to get organized, stop procrastinating and do everything his wife asks him to do this year. I’m so excited! As for me, I have several resolutions. All of the above sound great and are things I would like to work on, except the jewelry making and running a 10K race. Those will not happen for me. My main focus this year is going to be to work smarter and not harder. I am not sure how to do this, but I am working on it. Getting organized is a great place to start and who knows, maybe that will help me get my publisher’s letter in on time to Lindsey and make her life a little less hectic as well. Happy New Year everyone!

P.S. Don’t miss all of our At Home Tennessee fuzzy friends — we’ve scattered them throughout the magazine in honor of our pet issue! 12 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

January 2010 • | 13

contributors’ page

Lesley Harris Colvett is pleased to rejoin At Home Tennessee magazine. Her 10-year career in magazines began promptly after graduating from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Journalism as editor of RSVP magazine, where she covered countless parties in Memphis. She then joined At Home Tennessee as an account executive. After having two children, Lesley was back as editor of VIP Memphis magazine. Most recently, she was one of the founders of by invitation Kansas City, a social magazine in Kansas City. Lesley is proud to bring social pages to Tennessee!

Mel Headley has owned Handyman Connection in Memphis since March of 2000. The business specializes in worry-free, small-to medium-size home improvement, repair and remodeling services performed by professional craftsmen who are licensed, bonded and insured and have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in trades such as carpentry, painting, window and door repair, tiling and remodeling work.

Marty Marbry is West Tennessee Regional Manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, a position she has held since 2005. She works with 21 counties developing tourism opportunities, creating and implementing strategic marketing plans and working with local, regional and national media to inform about the importance of tourism to the local and state economies. She also serves as the department liaison. Prior to joining the state, Marty spent nearly 10 years in retail-tourism as marketing/tourism director for Wolfchase Galleria.

Elizabeth Fletcher has worked with numerous publications during her extensive career in the bridal industry, including Southern Bride, Best Weddings and Elegant Bride. In 1986 she launched the regional publication I Do for Brides, and later went on to represent Federated and Belk’s department stores as spokesperson for area bridal events. After the sale of I Do for Brides in 2007, Elizabeth turned to what she was most passionate about—event planning. Through her event planning business, Elizabeth crafts diverse events of all sizes and styles from weddings and parties to corporate events.

Stephenie Ward is a Registered Dietitian who partners with clients of various medical and fitness backgrounds at Germantown Athletic Club. Her clinical experience includes pediatrics, cardiovascular disease, lifecycle changes, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders, osteoporosis and athletes desiring improved athletic performance. Outside of work, Ward enjoys training for triathlons, playing the violin, cooking and spending time with her family of five.

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Beauty Gadgets There are just some problems that makeup alone cannot solve. In these cases, it’s necessary to indulge in the ultimate gear—beauty gadgets! Technology has infiltrated the beauty industry and it is time to take advantage. Want to look like a runway model? Try airbrushing on your makeup in the morning. Hate shaving? Snag a hair removal system. Power tools may be for boys, but these hi-tech beauty gadgets are for just us girls. TEXT Nikki Aviotti

Beauty Blender Cosmetic Sponge Applicator

Temptu AIR pod Foundation

Zeno Hot Spot Blemish Clearing Device

no!no! 8800 hair remover

Turbolash Wand Heated Eyelash Curler

18 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

Estée Lauder Perfectionist Deep Wrinkle Filler

Clarisonic Skincare Brush

Tanda Regenerate Anti-Aging Light Therapy Starter Kit

January 2010 • | 19

Welcoming Wellness At Home Tennessee has made a resolution to get healthy, and we want you to join us. This month, discover the benefits of an activity as simple as walking and lighten up your meals. Check upcoming issues for more healthy habits.

Walk the Walk

Photo courtesy of


The key to beginning a healthy lifestyle regime is not to overdo it. This month, start with walking—this simple exercise helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase bone density, improve balance and increase self confidence and body image, says Becky Fox, a certified trainer and owner of Knoxville’s Fox Fitness. While walking is an exercise that can be done every day, (outside or on a treadmill depending on your preferences), Becky suggests that beginners commit to at least three days per week. Once walking becomes a routine, increase this to no less than five days per week. One size fits all Because walking is low-impact it is great for beginners, sedentary individuals or people with back and knee problems. Walking is also a good choice for seniors, since it helps increase bone density and builds strong legs and strength. Listen to your body The duration and intensity of walks depends on you, Becky says. She recommends starting with 15 minute walks and increasing by five minutes as the activity gets easier. The goal should be to walk for 30 minutes to an hour most days of the week. If you find you are sweating less, able to breathe better or that your heart rate is lower, it’s a sign to up the duration and speed. The faster you walk, the more calories you will burn. Most people will burn about 200-400 calories per hour, or about 100 calories per mile, Becky says. Shoe sense “The most important piece of gear for the walker would be the walking shoes,” Becky says. Don’t wear your normal, every day footwear—good walking shoes will support your body, help reduce pain and blisters and provide flexibility. Everyone’s feet are different, so find a pair that feels right to you. A pedometer is also a great gadget. Before beginning your walking program, track the number of steps you take in a normal day. From there attempt to increase by a minimum of 500 steps a day on a weekly basis until you regularly reach the recommended 10,000 daily steps. Buddy system Invite a friend to join or look for a walking group in your area. Training for a walking event will give you a concrete goal to work toward, so check area calendars or websites like for dates. If your routine starts to get dull, try a local hiking trail, nature walk or greenway for a change of scenery, Becky suggests. Challenge yourself To benefit from walking, your routine must be challenging—“You should be tired and feel like you worked when you are done with your walk,” Becky says. To determine if you’re working out hard enough, evaluate your workout. Try the talk test. Talking should be a bit difficult while exercising but still possible. If talking is a breeze, pick up the pace. If you’re wheezing and couldn’t talk if you tried, slow down the pace. Determine your target heart rate range. Whether you count it yourself or use a monitor, your pulse can be a great measure of intensity. You want to keep your target heart rate range between 65-85 percent of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Multiply that by .65 and by .85 to get your target heart range. This number gives you the beats per minute you should expect to reach fat burning intensity. Keep in mind this is an estimate and some medications can affect your heart rate. 20 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

Lighten Up


Shop Covington

TEXT Stephenie Ward, Registered Dietitian, Germantown Athletic Club 1. Planning at least three meals and snacks in advance puts you in control. Whether you’re packing a lunch, eating on the run or dining with friends, design a daily eating plan to stay on track. 2. Portion sizes are deceiving when presented on oversized plates. At home change to a smaller dinner plate. When eating out, place 1/2 of your meal in a to go box before you begin eating. For more info on correct portion sizes visit 3. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize you are getting food, so slow down. Your brain needs time to get the message that you are full. 4. Fill 1/2 your plate with vegetables, 1/4 with lean meat, poultry or fish and 1/4 with whole grains. Incorporate low-fat dairy and fruit into your meal as well. 5. Begin meals with low calorie foods such as veggies, fruits and salads that are not saturated in butter, oil or milk-based dressing. The fiber from fruits and veggies satisfy hunger longer and prevent you from filling up on fatty, sugary foods. 6. Plan your daily snacks and choose them according to calorie and nutrient content. Pre-measure the correct serving size into bags to prevent from overeating. Keep portable, nutrient-rich snacks in your backpack, desk or car. 7. Don’t engage in activities such as watching TV, working on the computer or talking on the phone while eating— you’ll eat more than you realize and won’t thoroughly enjoy the meal. 8. Soda is filled with empty calories. Drink water throughout the day and get your caffeine boost from coffee or tea. Limit your alcohol consumption – no more than 1 drink for women and 2 for men. Alcohol tends to increase your appetite and provides calories without any nutrients. 9. Instead of turning to food for comfort call a friend, exercise, read a book, do a craft, get a massage or find a hobby you enjoy. Turning to food for emotional reasons will not make you feel better in the long run. 10. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 60 minutes of physical activity for adults each day. Exercise is an integral part of weight-loss, but it certainly does not stand alone. Proper nutrition is actually more beneficial for weight loss than exercise alone. The best weight -loss prescription, of course, is to do both. If you are currently inactive, check with your doctor before beginning any physical activity program. January 2010 • | 21



Canine Care 101

(left to right) Dr. Beth Johnson, fourth-year veterinary student Michael Lane and Dr. Amy Holford on the job.

Keep your dog looking good and feeling fine with these tips from the experts. Just like humans, dogs need dental and skin care, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to look and feel top-notch. TEXT Jordana White | Photo courtesy of UT College of Veterinary Medicine


taying healthy is always foremost in people’s minds. But how do we keep our four-legged friends looking and feeling good too? At Home Tennessee spoke with Dr. Amy Holford and Dr. Beth Johnson, both clinical assistant professors at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, to find out the best ways to keep dogs well during the winter months and beyond. Looking Good A healthy outward appearance reflects a healthy interior, so keeping your pet’s coat shiny is crucial. The best way to do this? Dr. Holford advises feeding a good quality pet food, specially formulated for skin and coat health, along with occasional bathing and grooming. She says the frequency of grooming “depends on the breed. If your dog is one that grows hair like we do (like poodles, maltese and others) they should be professionally groomed every one to three months. Long-haired breeds need to be brushed daily to several times per week.” If that sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry—most dogs don’t require frequent grooming, Holford assures, “usually just around shedding cycles.” Even if you don’t have a furry dog, skin care is still a major issue. Dogs with

22 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

shorter or spikier hair can be predisposed to acne, as they can disrupt hair follicles when placing their chins on hard surfaces. In order to avoid such issues, Holford says it’s important to “use bowls that are not made of plastic which can accumulate oils.” On the other end of the spectrum, shorter-haired dogs can be prone to dry skin. “Avoid over-bathing your pet, especially with shampoos formulated for people,” Holford suggests. If your dog’s skin is still dry, it may mean that you need to use conditioner, but “it could be a sign of a medical problem, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian,” Holford says. Once your pet’s coat is shining, you’ll want to focus on those pearly whites. Start caring for your dog’s teeth from a young age—“after all the baby teeth have fallen out and adult teeth are in— at just about six months or so,” advises Holford. The best way to ensure canine dental health, she says, is ideally by getting your dog used to having his or her teeth brushed, or by using foods, treats or rinses approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council and recommended by your veterinarian. Can’t get your dog to open wide? Don’t worry. “Professional dental cleanings are also available,” Holford says.

Feeling Good Clearly, pet appearance and health go hand in hand, so it is no surprise that keeping your dog at a healthy weight is of utmost importance. “Extra weight can cause problems with breathing and joints and can predispose a dog to other health problems such as diabetes and ruptured ligaments,” Dr. Johnson warns. The best way to keep weight in check is to get your pet regular exercise and avoid feeding excessive treats. “Dogs need to eat a certain number of calories based on their body weight and life stage,” Holford says. “Feed what the package suggests for the ideal weight of the dog and adjust based on body condition scoring. Make sure to really use an 8 oz. cup for a cup—not a cup that had a Big Gulp or a Slurpee in it.” Even if your pet eats the correct amount of food, certain items can throw his or her system out of whack. Fatty foods (like meats, gravies and bones), onions, garlic, grapes and raisins and chocolate should never be given to your dog, warns Holford. “These foods can cause things such as pancreatitis, anemia, kidney failure, gastrointestinal obstructions and ultimately death,” she says. Unfortunately, even if your dog

self has the perfect diet, there are many canine illnesses that are difficult to avoid. Johnson explains that common illnesses include gastrointestinal or pancreatic diseases caused by dogs getting into things they shouldn’t or by viruses, bacteria or parasites. The best way to keep your dog safe, she says, is by feeding him or her only dog food and dog treats, restricting their access to the pantry and garbage, having routine exams and providing preventative treatment for parasites. “Vaccinations against viruses are also crucial,” Johnson says. “The core canine vaccines (DA2P, Rabies) recommended are given during the puppy series (starting at around six to eight weeks), one year after completion of the series and then every three years. There are also optional, lifestyle and risk-assessed vaccines, administered every six to 12 months depending on the vaccine and the dog’s risk. The best way to determine which vaccines your pet will need is to ask your veterinarian to tailor a vaccine protocol for your dog based on his or her lifestyle.” What to Avoid Even with the best of intentions, every pet owner is bound to make some mistakes. The biggest problem, say Holford and Johnson, are owners who get a dog but are unprepared. “Know the care your pet will require before you purchase him or her,” says Holford. Johnson also recommends that anyone interested in adopting a dog should be aware of the costs that come with the pet, especially factoring in illnesses and injuries. It is probably a good idea to consider pet health insurance, both advise; your veterinarian can help you choose a plan with static rates, coverage for genetic conditions, preventative care and good representatives. “Most people wish they had pet insurance too late, when something has actually happened,” Johnson says. When it comes to keeping your pet healthy, common sense plays a big role. Feed and care for your pet like you would any other family member and consider his or her needs in your overall family plan. Following these suggestions will keep everyone in your home looking and feeling their best. January 2010 • | 23

special products

Spoiled Rotten Indulge your pet with the best products available. Give your pooch a yummy treat in a hand-painted ceramic bowl, or keep him warm in snuggly sweaters. Your number one friend deserves the best, and these products are sure to please!

Buddy and Lola

Belleville Lounge

Pearl Necklace

Chilly Dog hand-knit Monkey Sweater available at Come.Sit.Stay Nashville, TN 24 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

“Spiffie” hand-painted pet bowl and treat jar combo Chowtime Productions

Pup Pies

Pet Towelettes

Chocolate and Taffy Dots Bow Collar

Plush “Sniffany and Co.” Pet Bed Trixie + Peanut, Inc., photography by L. Irizarry

Pawtucket Cashmere Sweater and Scarf Trixie + Peanut, Inc., photography by L. Irizarry

Hot Spots to Shop

Gifts and Collectibles at Colonial Heights Pharmacy 4221 Fort Henry Dr. Kingsport, TN 37663 423.239.9191

9289 Poplar Ave, Suite 2 Germantown, TN 901.529.7670

2 Girls and a Trunk Unique Women’s Apparel and Accessories 694 N. Germantown Pkwy. #60 Cordova, TN 38018 901.758.6311

26 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

January 2010 • | 27

travel Bentley

Traveling with Pets

(top to bottom) Playing in Petsafe Village Park, Miss Kitty’s Bed and Bath.

This month, take your pets on vacation in style. From doggy turn-down services and five-star room service to pup playgrounds and pet-friendly hiking trails, this Tennessee road trip highlights the finest in canine companionship. TEXT Nikki Aviotti | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Jennie Huettel for PetSafe Village, Miss Kitty’s Bed and Bath,


veryone loves vacations, but bidding your furry friend farewell can put a damper on the trip. But did you know this doesn’t have to be the case? There are many pet-friendly destinations in the state– we’ve compiled a road trip through Tennessee that lets you bring Buddy and Fido along for the ride.

Johnson City To begin your trip, book a stay at the Carnegie Hotel, where pets are welcome (a $25 per-day per-pet charge applies). Take your pet to the Winged Deer Park ( for trail hiking and walks around Boone Lake. Or travel about 10 minutes outside of town to nearby Elizabethton where you and your pooch can romp in Sycamore Shoals Park (, a 200-acre park with trails and lakefront area.

Jonesborough Jonesborough is not only the oldest city in Tennessee—it’s also very pet friendly! Pets are welcome at the AmericInn (, situated minutes from the historic downtown. Located on Main 28 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

Street, Bone Ami Pet Boutique ( has everything from clothing and accessories to leashes, toys and beds. Bone Ami also offers a large selection of pet lovers’ gifts like T-shirts, key chains and notecards. Don’t forget about the Bone Ami Bakery, serving up delicious pet treats and cakes.

Pigeon Forge/Sevierville Rent a condo for the night at the Riverstone Resort and Spa ( in Pigeon Forge and for $25 per night per pet as many as two pets are allowed in each condo. Not all condos are pet friendly, so make sure to request one when you make your reservation. You can also stay at the Starr Crest Resort ( in Sevierville. The cabins sleep between four and 12 people, and many also accommodate pets. While in Sevierville, stop in Paws Etc (paws-etc. com). Started in Gatlinburg in 2004, Paws Etc moved to the Governor’s Crossing Mall in Sevierville in April of 2009. Gifts, pet fashions and supplies are all available, and there is a doggy bakery too.

Gatlinburg The Great Smoky Mountains National Park ( is a great place to take your pets. They are allowed in camping

grounds, picnic areas and along roads as well as on the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. However, pets must be kept on leashes at all times. Take a ride on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift (, where pets are allowed to join at no additional cost. Near the top, a picture will be taken of you and your best friend, which will be available for purchase at the gift shop located at the top. Book a cabin at the Mountain Shadows Resort ( where pets are welcome during your stay in Gatlinburg. The cabin sizes range from one bedroom to six bedrooms, and all have hot tubs, full kitchens, gas grills and fireplaces.

Knoxville Knoxville is a great pet-friendly stop. Check into the Crowne Plaza (, where your dog will be treated to bottled water and his or her own dog bowl. Then take your pooch to one of Knoxville’s many dog parks like Dogwood Park in Victor Ashe Park ( It has a completely fenced puppy playground with a doggy water fountain, inclined hill, tunnel and puppy jump. Or head to Petsafe Village Dog Park (, a one-acre

travel Molly


Dixie and Cole


on-leash park with agility equipment, a pond and walking trails. The facility also provides boarding and grooming services as well as doggy day camp and training. Petsafe Village is the sponsor of the dog park located at Tommy Schumpert Park and the Downtown Dog Park. Another great spot to walk your furry friend is the University of Tennessee Gardens ( The gardens are open from sunrise to sunset and admission is free, but pets must remain on leashes at all times. Stop in for a bite to eat at the Tomato Head (, a great pizza and sandwich place with patio seating.

Chattanooga Book a stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo (, located in the heart of Chattanooga. Stay on a Victorian Train Car or in a standard room with your four-legged friend. There is even a dog walk for your pet. Take your pup for play time at the Chattanooga Chew Chew Canine Park located on Carter Street or take a walk through Rock City Gardens, where pets are allowed on leashes. After playtime stop in at Bone Appetit (423.756.2663), a pet bakery and boutique, for a snack of paw print cookies and peamutt butter sandwiches. You can also pick up some holistic pet food, supplements or toys for your pet. As for human meals, stop in at Aretha Frankenstein’s,

the Mudpie Restaurant or have a drink at the Hair of the Dog Pub, all of which have pet-friendly outside seating. For a list of pet-friendly restaurants in Chattanooga, visit

Nashville For the ultimate experience, take your fuzzy friend to the Hermitage Hotel (—Fido will thank you for it. Upon arrival, your pet will receive a welcome letter at the front desk as well as a bottle of water, bed and special treat in your room. Ordering room service? Don’t forget your dog—there is a pet room service menu with vet-approved meals prepared by Capitol Grille chefs. Pet sitting and walking services are available, as well as pet massages and aromatherapy. When it’s time to turn in, your canine buddy won’t be left out. Turn down service is done for Rover, too, with fresh water in his bowl and a bedtime snack. If your pet needs a day of grooming on the road trip, look no further than Miss Kitty’s Bed and Bath (, an all-breed grooming salon, boutique and pet hotel for small dogs. Open since 1991, Miss Kitty’s also has doggie day care for smaller dog breeds as well as a pet bakery. Best known for designer collars, leads and harnesses, Come.Sit.Stay (comesit- is a pet boutique that specializes in high quality, durable products with an emphasis on items made in America. Pick up a handmade sweater or a charm for your dog’s collar. Off-leash dog parks in the Nashville area include Centennial Dog Park, Edwin Warner Dog Park and Shelby Park (

Memphis Let your dog run free at the Shelby Farms Dog Park, an off-leash area ( There are also paved and unpaved trails in the park that are great for on-leash walking and hiking. Another option is Overton Park, located in Midtown. The park includes a large field and pond where, on a nice day, local dog owners bring their pooches to play. It is not an off-leash park, however. A third option for doggie fun is the Mississippi Greenbelt Park, located in Harbor Town in Downtown Memphis. The park runs alongside the Mississippi River and is great for long walks. Book a room at the Westin ( located in Downtown Memphis. Your best friend will sleep like a king (or queen) on the Westin Heavenly Dog Bed. Another pet-friendly hot spot is Three Dog Bakery ( in Collierville—learn more about this location on page 44.

January 2010 • | 29


Cruise Away From Winter If snowy weather isn’t your thing, pack your bags for a Caribbean cruise. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly trip or a luxurious vacation filled with spa treatments and tanning, these major cruise lines have you covered. TEXT Lindsey Phillips | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line


hen warming your hands by the fireplace isn’t doing the trick, trade wintry weather for balmy days and cruise south. The winter months are peak times for cruises and many lines offer great deals in January and February. If you want to avoid flying, there are plenty of ports accessible by car from Tennessee.

New Orleans, Louisiana Sailing from New Orleans in January and February is the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Spirit ( Board the ship for a seven-day Western Caribbean trip with ports of call in Costa Maya, Santo Tomas De Castilla, Belize City and Cozumel. Spirit is equipped with nine restaurants, 10 bars and lounges, Maharaja’s Casino, a spa and fitness room and ample pools (including Buccaneer’s Wet & Wild, an area just for kids). Onshore activities range from exploring Mayan ruins, shopping and snorkeling to relaxing beachside or even tubing through a cave. With almost 600 ocean-view staterooms and penthouse options (with priority boarding and 676 square feet of living space) the Norwegian Spirit has accommodations for every type of trip. Traveling with family? Book one of the ship’s 300 connecting staterooms. Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival 30 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

Triumph ( ship has sailed regularly from New Orleans since November. Choose from four and five-day Western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. The Triumph’s 13 decks are packed with 18 bars and lounges (including the California wine bar and Hollywood dance club), four swimming pools and a 214-foot water slide. Try your luck at Club Monaco casino or wind down with a massage at Spa Carnival. Be sure to check out the Big Easy piano bar during your stay—designer Joe Farcus created its walls from New Orleans’ popular Acme Oyster House’s oyster shells. To accommodate the more than 625,000 total children who cruise on Carnival’s ships annually, Triumph boasts plenty of supervised kid and teen-friendly activities like Camp Carnival and Club O2. Fleet-wide, Carnival offers 1,400 onshore excursions including the popular dolphin encounters. After a day of activities, you’ll be happy to crawl into bed in one of Triumph’s 1,379 staterooms (444 of which have ocean views and balconies) or relax in a penthouse suite with amenities like a walk-in dressing space, vanity, sitting area, a safe and a refrigerator.

Charleston, South Carolina Board the 866-foot Celebrity Mercury ( in February for a luxurious Caribbean trip. Ten and 11-night itineraries include ports of call in Key West, Mexico, Belize and the Baha-

mas on the Western Caribbean vacations or Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, on the Eastern Caribbean option. This upscale vacation even offers onboard treatments like acupuncture, facials, teeth whitening, massages and Botox procedures in the AquaSpa. Mingle in Pavilion Night Club or browse the boutique-lined Entertainment Deck for mementos and gifts during your stay. For Broadway-inspired stage performances, grab a seat in the Celebrity Theater or participate in a ballroom dance class in the Navigator Club. With the new Celebrity Life program, you can take more than just a tan home from this cruise—sign up for a wine dinner, learn a new language or take a yoga or couples reflexology class. On-shore there are tons of activities to choose from as well, like horseback safaris and airboat adventures.

Mobile, Alabama Carnival Fantasy has sailed on four and-five day cruises from Mobile since November to ports of call in the Western Caribbean like Cozumel, Progreso and Calica, Mexico, depending on the trip’s length. The 10-deck, 2,056-passenger ship provides guests tons of entertainment, like the waterpark-esque Carnival WaterWorks (including a 300-foot water slide) and the kids-free Serenity whirlpool and lounge area. The Fantasy features 12 bars

travel and lounges and three dining venues, a City Sports Park with mini golf, ping pong and a jogging track and shops, a game room and supervised activities for children and teens, among myriad onshore activities and other amenities.

Galveston, Texas While a bit further away, Galveston is home base for cruises aboard the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas (, a luxury liner that is well worth the trip. The 1,020-foot, 3,114-passenger Voyager is one of the world’s largest cruise ships; its 14 passenger decks house everything from a three-story rock climbing wall and ice skating rink to a 1950s style restaurant and even a wedding chapel. Book a seven-night Western Caribbean trip to Cozumel; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Jamaica in January and February, or a trip to Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico in February. Onshore excursions like snorkeling (in Roatan, be sure to check out the second largest coral reef in the world), exploring ancient ruins and flightseeing tours will pack your days in port with activites. The 10-deck Carnival Ecstasy sails from Galveston on four-and five-day Western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel and Progreso. Like the rest of the Carnival fleet, this ship has multiple supervised activities for youth and ample onboard entertainment. Escape to the Society cigar bar or explore the ship’s twelve bars and lounges and three dining venues. Book a penthouse suite for your stay, which includes a whirlpool bathtub and king-size beds. For longer cruises leaving from Galveston, the Carnival Conquest is the way to go. This 1,487-stateroom, 13-guest-deck ship sails on seven-day western Caribbean trips to Jamaica, George Town and Cozumel. Also in January, sail east to Caribbean ports of call like Key West; Freeport, Grand Bahama Island; and Nassau, Bahamas. While onboard, take in a show on Seaside Theatre’s 270-square-foot LED screen or get active in Spa Carnival’s gym. (Don’t worry—you can follow your workout with one of the spa’s treatments like a massage or facial.) This ship is artistically themed with public areas like the Monet Dining Room, Painters’ Library and the Impressionist Boulevard. Four swimming pools and seven whirlpools, among Carnival’s other signature features like City Sports Park and Camp Carnival, Circle C and Club O2, make this a family friendly vacation ship. January 2010 • | 31


Tennessee’s Winter Wonderland Gatlinburg is a snowy paradise at this time of year, ideal for those with an adventurous spirit. Spend crisp winter days skiing, hiking, horseback riding and participating in friendly snowball fights right here in Tennessee. TEXT Marty Marbry | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Ober Gatlinburg and Gatlinburg CVB


ber Gatlinburg is a winter destination that delights outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. This year-round playground is a resort-within-a-resort community. Located in Gatlinburg in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, this popular mountain village offers snowboarding, skiing, snow tubing and an indoor ice skating arena. To reach the top of Mount Harrison just take the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway or drive up Ski Mountain Road. If you prefer more of a spectator role, you’ll enjoy the Tramway Mall and downtown Gatlinburg where there is an abundance of activities, shopping and dining to keep you entertained. Where to Stay Gatlinburg lodging offers affordable, comfortable accommodations for everyone. Buckberry Lodge (buckberrylodge. com) is Smoky Mountain exquisite. The premium lodge suites feature a large bedroom, private balcony and a dramatic fireplace with unique Adirondack style furnishings. Be sure to eat in the restaurant and enjoy the stunning views of Mount LeConte. The Foxtrot Bed & Breakfast ( not only fills you with a 32 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

sumptuous breakfast to start the day— they pamper you with four luxurious guest rooms, private baths, deluxe robes and spectacular views. The chalet style exterior blends into the landscape, the perfect place to watch the morning sunrise. At Baskins Creek Condominiums (, offered through Mountain Vista Luxury Rentals, you’ll love the stunning mountain views, covered parking, outdoor pool and convenient location. There are 64 two-bedroom suites with amenities to indulge the most discriminating guests. Where to Shop Located across the street from Ripley’s Aquarium, Arrowcraft Shop ( is the oldest gift shop in Gatlinburg. Founded in 1926, Arrowcraft assisted mountain people in the region by selling their crafts and providing them with a source of income. Today as one of the Southern Highland Craft Guild shops, this store sells a wide variety of fine handmade items. Situated in the heart of Gatlinburg, Aunt Mahalia’s Candies (auntmahalias. com) has been cooking up goodies for more than 50 years. Watch the candy makers as they create sweet confections. Then head over to the retail side to purchase fudge, crunchy brittle, pecan

logs and the best divinity. Be sure to buy enough to take back home. Spend the day wandering through the Village ( A collection of 27 unique boutiques, galleries and dining options, this quaint European-themed center is located just steps off the main drag. Where to Eat A favorite dining option is the Peddler Steakhouse (peddlergatlinburg. com). This restaurant is literally built on tradition. Constructed around the cabin of one of Gatlinburg’s first pioneer families and using materials from four other original homesites, the landmark dining venue charms with its unique atmosphere that will exceed all your expectations. Naturally aged steaks are cut tableside and then grilled to your specifications. Your meal won’t be complete until you try one of the multiple dessert offerings like warm blackberry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream. The Pancake Pantry (865.436.4724) has been welcoming Gatlinburg visitors since 1967. With menu choices like Swiss chocolate chip, wild blueberry and pecan pancakes, folks line up early to get inside. Be adventurous and order the sweet potato pancakes served with butter and cinnamon cream syrup. If you really want to be a rebel, opt for the

travel (left to right) Snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg and Peddler Steakhouse

waffles—you won’t be disappointed. If you are looking for home cooking, then head to where the locals go. Mountain Lodge Restaurant (865.436.2547) is open for breakfast and lunch and serves good food at reasonable prices. All entrees come with two vegetables and the best homemade bread. Try the vegetable soup—it’s better than the kind Grandma used to make. Where to Play Do you want to push the envelope and stretch your outdoor comfort zone? New this year, Ober Gatlinburg ( features a 10-lane, 400foot snow tubing park. With a 50-foot vertical drop and 100 percent snow making coverage, this new activity is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. You don’t need special skills or equipment—just bring your sense of adventure. Whether you’re a veteran of the slopes or more the bunny hill candidate, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is the perfect place to give it a try. Certified instructors will teach you the basic techniques. Skiers and snowboarders are also welcome to take a refresher course or a more advanced class before boarding Ober Gatlinburg’s three chairlilfts up the mountain to the slopes. Inexperienced skiers should start with Ski School Slope and Club Way, while intermediates can brave the Ober Chute, Bear Run, Castle Run and Alpine Run trails. Advanced skiers take on the challenges of Grizzly Trail and Mogul Ridge. And the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down—all of Ober Gatlinburg’s slopes are lit for nighttime skiing. With hundreds of miles of horse trails and four rental stables, it’s the perfect time to spend an afternoon on horseback ( Not built for a horse and saddle? Check out hayrides around the Cades Cove loop or carriage and wagon rides. Horseback is the perfect way to view mountain wildlife.

January 2010 • | 33

Hot Spots

P.O. Box 1034 Covington, TN 38019 901.475.1530

3092 Poplar Ave. (Next to the main public library) Memphis, TN

131 West Liberty Avenue Covington, TN 38019 901.476.4081 34 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

January 2010 • | 35

at home with

It’s A Treat Running Three Dog Bakery Linda and Glen Jones, owners of Three Dog Bakery in Collierville, have been serving up healthy, delicious dog treats (and some cat treats in the ‘We Pity the Kitties’ section of the store) for 10 years. Whether it’s stylish dog attire or frosted baked goods you’re looking for, a trip to this shop is a treat for dogs and their owners alike. TEXT Cara Sievers | PHOTOGRAPHY Nikki Aviotti


inda Jones’ customers just can’t stop barking for her biscuits. For the past 10 years, Jones and her husband, Glenn, have owned and operated Three Dog Bakery in Collierville, catering to pampered pooches and their proud parents alike. It all started the late 1990s when Jones read about a boutique dog bakery in New Orleans—it sounded so adorable, she just had to go. So, on a girlfriends’ trip to the Big Easy, she made a pilgrimage to a little shop that would change her life. “After one visit to that Three Dog Bakery shop, I knew this was what I was born to do,” says Jones. Subsequently, she and her husband went to Three Dog Bakery headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, to “check it out,” and a year later, in 1999, she had her own store. Jones says she had wanted to be a shopkeeper since childhood, but becoming one wasn’t a direct route—both she and her husband spent decades at well-known Memphis advertising 36 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

agency Archer Malmo. Glenn’s position as senior vice president and Linda’s job as production manager were very different roles compared to their days running the bakery. “I never regretted changing my career for one minute—I adore what I’m doing,” Jones says. “The people who come in smiling are what make this such a happy place to work, and the customers never complain about the food. We don’t have all the rush jobs here like we did in the advertising business—well, maybe around the holidays, we do.” Three Dog Bakery, just like any other retailer, is busiest from Halloween to Christmas. “Still, we’re busy all year long because people love their dogs, and they want to come in and buy them a shamrock cookie for St. Patrick’s Day,” says Jones, adding that they do specialty themed treats for most holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Thanksgiving. Furthermore, as it turns out, dog birthdays are big business. The bakery churns out at least 15 personalized

birthday cakes per week, most of them complete with the coveted peanut butter frosting and paw print candies. The bakery even was commissioned to do a three-tier wedding cake for a couple of border collies who tied the knot a few years ago. “You know how smart they are,” Jones laughs. “I think they even wrote their own vows.” Joking aside, Jones is very honest about the fact that the bakery is a lot of hard work. She and her husband and two other employees split the shifts—those are “human” employees, of course, but they are accompanied by the rescue pit bull, Harlequin great dane, boxweiler (part boxer, part rottweiler) and rescue schipperke that work there. The Joneses’ golden retriever, Ghillie, even pulls a shift or two as a “professional greeter and treat eater,” as it says on the dogs’ business cards. Yes, the dogs’ business cards. Each day, the canines and their human counterparts are hard at work baking the SnickerPoodles, Beagle Bagels and Pup Tarts with the finest human-grade ingredients. The mixes,

at home with

(left to right) Felix, a five-year-old Labradoodle, knows just where to get treats at Three Dog Bakery; owner Linda Jones; Three Dog Bakery employees make dog delicacies fresh daily.

provided by Three Dog Bakery corporate headquarters, are made mostly with wheat flour or rice flour, and the frosting is a low-fat, yogurt-based mix. “Humans might find the treats a little bland because there is no sugar,” says Jones. “But the frosting tastes a little like flavored cream cheese.” Three Dog Bakery mixes and ingredients are regulated and monitored by the Department of Agriculture, so customers can be assured that they are serving their dogs safe and healthy snacks. Jones also takes great care with selecting the nonperishable merchandise in the store, choosing only American-made rawhides from a supplier she is very familiar with in Chicago, along with stocking only the safest and most durable chew toys. Additionally, the bakery offers a higher-end selection of leashes, bowls, collars and other musthaves for the dog owner looking for something a little unique. Jones also promotes the welfare of her customers through community involvement. Three Dog Bakery often partners with the Collierville Animal Shelter and Fayette County Animal Rescue, providing fundraising help or supplying snack-packs for events. Recently, Glenn served as a Barkitect for a Barkitecture event put on by the Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue and the Weimaraner Rescue of the South— “He built a dog castle that ended up

reaching a pretty princely sum at the silent auction,” says Jones. Not surprisingly a lifelong “dog person,” Jones feels the bakery’s work in the community will continue to raise awareness of animal welfare issues and increase humans’ appreciation of their pets. “I still think there are way too many people in this part of the world who treat their pets like livestock,” frowns Jones. “But, of course, our customers are the super pet owners.” Jones says she knows her work in the bakery and in the community has paid off because she’s been seeing the same faces in the store for the past 10 years. With the Collierville location being the only Three Dog Bakery between St. Louis and Asheville, North Carolina, her customers come from far and wide, traveling from all over Memphis, North Mississippi and beyond. “We’ve made a lot of good friends with our customers and I hope those relationships can continue,” says Jones, adding that her favorite part of this whole endeavor has been each and every customer who walks through the door—and that’s both the two-legged and the four-legged kind, of course.

Three Dog Bakery 2136 W. Poplar Avenue Collierville, TN 38017 901.853.5464,

January 2010 • | 37

The atrium, located just off the kitchen, features a three-layer, daylighting skylight and indoor planters. Two bedrooms open onto this central area, and 68� diameter fans help to circulate air in the airtight SIP home.

A Labor of Love Three years ago, Don and Jennifer Aston of Florence, Alabama, decided to build a sustainable home with an emphasis on natural materials and an earthy color scheme. Arming themselves with research and an experienced team—including Nashville’s MM&I Construction and Design—the Astons finally moved into the house of their dreams. TEXT Lindsey Phillips | PHOTOGRAPHY Mike Boatman

feature Insulspan structurally insulated panels compose the exterior walls and roof of the Aston’s California modern home.


hen Don and Jennifer Aston grew weary of the Florence, Alabama, home they had occupied for 35 years, they first considered embarking on a home improvement project. But the 1960s-era, two-story house had never quite seemed like home to Jennifer, and now that their daughters were grown, once-positive features like the backyard swimming pool didn’t seem worth the upkeep. “We thought about filling in the pool and then we thought, ‘Wait a minute. Do we really want to be in this house the rest of our lives?’” says Jennifer, a Florence native and vice president of operations for Dallas-based Nouveau Cosmeceuticals. “We just decided that to get what we really wanted, we would have to build.” So the couple made a list of their ideal home’s requirements—a separate shower and bathtub, endless hot water, bamboo kitchen cabinets—sifted through more than 2,000 house plans and purchased “the perfect lot,” a quiet, one-and-a-quarter acre plot on a culde-sac in Florence’s Heritage Village neighborhood. Then the self-proclaimed “information junkies” set to work researching the house of their dreams, a three-year journey that led them twice to Nashville’s Kelly Costanza of MM&I Construction and Design, first for expert advice and finally for her company’s unparalleled service. “When you start getting that kind of service, people who are going to be there with you and who

40 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

help you make the big decisions so your home gets done properly, that’s what you’re looking for,” says Don, a metallurgical engineer who grew up in Brooklyn. “That’s why we went with MM&I, right there. We never regretted it.” Costanza, a general contractor, interior designer, certified green professional and certified aging-in-place specialist is also an authorized dealer of Insulspan™ Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), an energy-efficient building alternative that Don and Jennifer came across during their research. “The energy conservation and green building were always really appealing to us,” Jennifer says. “We have children and hopefully we’ll have grandchildren and we don’t want to take away so much from Earth that they don’t have anything else. If you can do something where you reduce your carbon footprint and you can also save money doing it, why not?” A SIP panel is a pre-fabricated building panel that incorporates the exterior framing, insulation and sheathing all combined to reduce the labor and number of steps in a building envelope. The Insulspan™ SIP system consists of solid, one-piece, pre-cut SIP units that are ready to install as wall and roof components. Overall the SIP system creates a strong air-tight envelope that is much more energy efficient than a traditional stick frame and requires a smaller HVAC unit. This method of building is also affordable and pays

off in the long run, Kelly says. “The design of the home dictates how the panels are utilized and the amount of structural lumber used to complete the SIP package,” Kelly explains. “We work with our clients to ensure the most cost effective SIP package for their home. When the homeowner adds the energy efficient windows and the appropriate size and appropriate ductwork design of the heating and cooling system they will meet most of the key requirements of energy performance standards. Not only can SIP homes be affordable and energy efficient, but they are also worth more at resale, healthier, environmentally friendly, stronger, safer and quality assured with the Insulspan™ ISO 9001 Quality Control Program. Building with SIPs just makes sense.” After briefly seeking a SIP company closer to home the Astons, disatisfied with that service, returned to Costanza for good; she then helped redesign their chosen floor plan to fit SIP requirements, as well as the Astons’ personal tastes. “Kelly and [MM&I] were great about doing redesigns and looking at some of the difficult things we were asking for,” Don says. “They got everything done right.” Because the SIP panels are manufactured, all the rough openings for windows and exterior doors are created in the factory; even the pet door for the Astons’ Yorkshire Terrier—was planned beforehand. The team broke ground on January

The Astons’ chose an open floor plan for their home, incorporating soft, modern furnishings with natural design elements like Indian multi-colored slate floors to achieve a tranquil atmosphere.

January 2010 • | 49

The conversation pit features cork floors and a comfortable seating area perfect for entertaining guests. Because the original plan did not include windows, Jennifer and Kelly incorporated six acrylic block windows into the wall to let in light.

Bamboo plywood composes the cabinetry of this kitchen, which Jennifer designed. A large support beam was placed in the ceiling so the cabinets could be hung above the counter.


Indian multicolored slate and bamboo cabinetry continue throughout the home. Kelly redesigned the floor plan of this bathroom to fit the Astons’ requests.

30, 2009, and the SIP panels, which compose the exterior walls and roof of the Aston home, were delivered at 8 a.m. on a rainy Monday in late March— Don’s birthday. “When the panels were delivered, we worked through the rain off-loading, checking in accessories and staging the panels for installation,” Kelly says. “Once the SIP walls were installed, the framing crew completed the interior stick framed walls. Then it was time to put the SIP roof package on. Installing the entire SIP package for the Aston’s took about five days.” Finally, on October 31, Don and Jennifer moved into their new home, a 3,000-square-foot structure Jennifer describes as “California modern,” with an open floor plan and an emphasis on natural materials and color schemes. Earthy taupe and green paint tones flow throughout the home, with reddishbrown accent walls in the dining room, living room and master bedroom. The flooring alternates between cork and Indian multicolored slate, with slate used heavily in the interior design. “Basically the interior came to fruition because we knew the materials we liked,” Jennifer says. “We knew we loved slate, we knew we wanted to use cork flooring, I was adamant that I wanted bamboo cabinetry. The rest of it just came from searching in books and through the Internet.” To ensure that the house was exactly how the couple envisioned it, Jennifer even sketched many of its features on graph paper like the large display case in the atrium and the cabinetry in the kitchen, bathrooms and study. The home’s many innovative features include a conversation pit located just off the dining room with cork floors and comfortable seating for an intimate visiting atmosphere. Six acrylic box windows, half running vertically and half arranged horizontally, mimic the three 44 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

windows on either side of the front door and the windows in the master closet. A double-sided gas fireplace, wrapped in stainless steel, is accessible in the pit and the living room; the stainless steel theme also carries throughout the house, in the display case and in the kitchen, where bamboo cabinets over the counter are suspended from a ceiling beam by stainless steel-covered rods. “I adore my kitchen,” says Jennifer. “I designed it, it’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted functional with lots and lots of cabinetry and storage and just something beautiful to look at too. I think we got what I was after.” The home also includes a central atrium with a daylighting, three-layer fiberglass skylight inside an aluminum frame to help with energy efficiency. The atrium is lined with a 14-foot indoor planter filled with peace lilies, palms, ferns and other plants that don’t require full sunlight. Two of the home’s four bedrooms open through sliding glass doors into the atrium, with one even exiting onto the indoor garden, where Don and Jennifer placed slate stepping stones. The house is equipped with Energy Star appliances, dual-flush toilets, a tankless water heater, zoned heating and cooling and a two-stage heating and ventilating system. “Our goal was to build an energy efficient, comfortable and peaceful home,” Jennifer explains. “We wanted a place where people would enjoy coming to relax, to feel calm or serene, and that’s kind of what we’ve done.” On their quest for sustainable living, however, the Astons ran into obstacles from the ground up. Because of the 43 windows included in their first-choice floor plan, which is not energy efficient, the house is actually based on their second choice with plenty of alterations

at Jennifer’s request and Kelly’s recommendation. Even the concrete slab on which the home sits, lined with two inches of foam insulation, evoked head scratching. “That was something that was really questioned by our concrete people, saying ‘Well, we never do that,’” says Don. “I said, ‘No, I’ve been doing a lot of research, particularly on the Department of Energy site and one thing they constantly say is insulate your concrete slab from the ground. That keeps your slab warmer than the ground and moisture tends to go from warm to cold. That way you won’t have moisture coming into your house through the slab.” Even Jennifer’s kitchen presented some setbacks. First, the bamboo she wanted for the cabinets was nowhere to be found—except in China. And in order to place cabinets in the opening between the kitchen and the dining room, the cabinetry would have to hang from the ceiling. “Of course everybody first said, ‘You can’t hang cabinets from the ceiling,’” says Jennifer. “I just looked at the people and said, ‘Don’t tell me I can’t, because I know I can.’” Through research, the Astons tracked down bamboo plywood in Indiana and a cabinet maker in Tennessee willing to take on the project, seamlessly fusing the four-foot bamboo plywood into eightfoot cabinets. Their framer installed a heavy-duty beam from which to hang the finished product. “The cabinets are exactly what I dreamed,” says Jennifer, repeating what seems to be the Aston’s mantra. And as for that list the couple made three years ago, Jennifer and Don say the home has practically every item they jotted down. “This is definitely a labor of love,” Jennifer says. “It’s our house, it’s us. It has been quite a project, and it has been amazing.” See Sources for Details

The indoor planters are filled with plants that require very little light, since the skylight only filters in a small percentage. One bedroom exits onto the stepping stones in the planter, and the acrylic box windows on either side of the door are identical to those in the conversation pit.

Southern Magnolia home garnered the “Best Foyer” award. Heidi Dawson and Donna Scruggs of Diva Redesign took a chance with this daring black wall.


home and garden

This treehouse-themed boys’ room was a favorite in Southern Magnolia.

Best of Vesta

Southern Magnolia’s outdoor living area won “Best Special Feature Room” with a koi fish pond incorporated into the landscaping, a stained beadboard ceiling, furniture from Brewer’s Pool and lanterns.

The 26th annual Vesta Home Show, presented by the Memphis Area Home Builders Association, showcased the latest in environmentally friendly, affordable building and design. Three homes were awarded the coveted Vesta prizes—see what made them shine here. TEXT Lindsey Phillips | PHOTOGRAPHY Mike Boatman and courtesy of Regency Home Builders


oing green was the focus of this year’s Vesta Home Show, an annual event presented by the Memphis Area Home Builders Association (MAHBA). Now in its 26th year, the three-week Vesta show featured the latest in affordable, environmentally-friendly building and proceeds benefited Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. “The green aspect [of the show] has never been done before,” says Joe Callaway, director of special events for MAHBA. “We as an association are kind of taking it to heart and are urging all of our members and builders to adapt to these green building standards. It’s the way of the future.” The show opened in October with six builders constructing eight eco-friendly homes in the Villages of White Oak in Arlington. This year’s home selling prices were kept between $250,000 to $350,000, a much more affordable price range than in previous years. The MAHBA chose the new budget

partially because of the economy and home-buying trends that suggest the rising popularity of smaller floor plans, explains Callaway. “It’s a lower price point, affordable, but still with Vestaquality amenities,” he says. “A lot of people responded to that.” The construction materials and practices were also required to meet the National Green Building Standard set by the National Association of Home Builders and the American National Standards Institute. All Vesta homes were third-party verified and featured displays explaining which aspects of the home were environmentally friendly and why. The show also included seminars on green living. “We saw this as a tremendous opportunity to educate the public as well as other builders,” says Callaway. “The green [theme] is so encompassing. It just covers about everything that a homeowner is concerned about from insulation, the type of windows, the wall coverings, the paint, the type of tile and granite that are used. It even goes so far

as the type of plants you put in your yard. Everyone that participated in the show was truly interested in learning about green practices.” The show, named after the Roman goddess of hearth and home, Vesta, drew about 12,000 visitors to Arlington despite inclement weather. The homes were judged by a team of nine professionals in relevant fields, from a kitchen designer to a landscaper, says Callaway. Regency Home Builders’ 4,599 heated-square-foot Southern Magnolia home, built by Sean Carlson took home the most awards, with three design prizes, a landscaping award and a win in the sales presentation category. It also garnered first place in the “People’s Choice” category. “We wanted to take this opportunity to show you can be green and still have a beautiful home and a bigger home,” Carlson says. Among the award-winning spaces was Southern Magnolia’s outdoor living area. It took home “Best Special Feature Room,” with elements like a water feature with live koi fish, a fireplace and January 2010 • | 47

American Holly’s dining room blends classic elements with contemporary patterns and helped the home win “Best Interior Design.”

home and garden

American Holly’s “Best Master Suite” featured a shag rug and soft lighting for a romantic feel.

an outdoor television, says interior designer Heidi Dawson of Diva Redesign Group. “We opted to hang lanterns instead of the usual ceiling fans from a beautiful stained beadboard ceiling,” explains Dawson. “The furniture from Brewer’s Pool and Landscaping finished the space perfectly.” Dawson worked with partner Donna Scruggs on Southern Magnolia and its neighboring home, American Holly, also built by Regency. The two homes tied for Vesta’s coveted “Best in Show” prize. “People seemed to really enjoy both homes and lingered longer than normal because of the relaxing atmosphere,” says Dawson. “Many visitors returned numerous times for pictures and ideas.” In the foyer of Southern Magnolia, a two-story ceiling, grand staircase and “a daring black wall,”—which Dawson says drew the most comments from the home’s visitors—paired with interior design accents like art from I.O. Metro and a chandelier from Graham’s Lighting, helped bring the area to awardwinning status. “The goal for the interior design was classic, clean lines with an edge,” says Dawson. “We created that feel while maintaining a warm and livable home. The atmosphere was inviting and intriguing with a surprise

around each corner.” Another visitor favorite was the “treehouse” room, a bedroom with live trees anchored to the ceiling, a working rope swing and a twin bed that appeared to be hanging from the tree with twine rope, says Dawson. Staying true to treehouse theme, designers hung a “No girls allowed” sign on the door. But Dawson and Scruggs didn’t leave out the girls—a bedroom with twin beds, seven-foot headboards made from mirrors and small chandelier lights worked with a color scheme of pale pink and silvery taupe shimmer paint to create a perfect oasis for a slumber party. The 2,806 heated-square-foot American Holly home was the smaller of Regency’s projects. Along with winning second place in the “People’s Choice” award category and “Best in Show,” American Holly took “Best Interior Design” and “Best Home Design” and shared “Best Master Suite” with Willow Oaks, a home built by Jon Ruch Builders. “I think the floorplan [of the American Holly] just flowed really well,” says Carlson. “Even though the plan was fairly open, I think we created some nice angles and points of interest.” The monochromatic color scheme January 2010 • | 49

home and garden

Knotty alder cabinets and a porcelain backsplash reminiscent of slate were popular features of this award-winning kitchen designed by Janiece Todd-Parsons of Henco Furniture. of American Holly’s master bedroom, along with soft lighting, a plush, shag rug and drapes with a tone-on-tone geometric pattern gave the popular room a romantic atmosphere, says Dawson. Another crowd favorite in the American Holly was the unique living space for boys, with bamboo rafts suspended from the ceiling above twin beds. “We definitely have a classic taste with a bit of an edge, and it shows in this home as well,” Dawson says. “The floor plan was a favorite of ours with an open plan and cozy feel.” Vesta’s third award-winner was Willow Oaks, a 2,900 heated-square-foot home with furnishings, interior design, flooring, kitchen and bath design by Henco Furniture. In addition to the shared master suite award, Willow Oaks won “Best Kitchen” and placed third in the “People’s Choice” category. “I think probably several things came together [to help us win],” says Ruch. “We got a lot of comments on the front 50 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

The tub deck is composed of flat rivera pebble terra cotta.

door, and the floors and cabinets and colors all go together really well. I felt that this particular house worked out really well from a green standpoint.” The craftsman style kitchen, designed by Henco’s Janiece Todd-Parsons, made the space seem simple and approachable. Features like knotty alder cabinets with a walnut finish and black glaze; exotic granite countertops from the African Range Collection illustrating the beauty of natural stone with all its imperfections; and a porcelain backsplash mimicking slate all attributed to the kitchen’s win. The area also featured two recycling centers, a custom wood hood and a counter-space saving cabinet built to accommodate a microwave. For depth, Todd-Parsons placed the gas cooktop three inches deeper than the ajacent cabinets, allowing for more room at the back of the cooktop. The master bathroom, part of the master suite, was also outfitted in knotty alder cabinets, a wood known for its

signature knots, burls and blemishes. The bathroom included a coffee bar and a separate shower and bathtub. Both the tub deck and shower floor were composed of pebbled terra cotta. Homes built by Chamberlain McCreery and FaxonGillis tied for “Best Exterior Elevation.” While the Vesta show is now closed and the majority of the homes sold, the MAHBA is gearing up for the spring 2010 show with a new set of houses and participants. “Vesta has always presented the latest in home construction techniques and unique, innovative home designs and interiors, but don’t think the show’s over,” says Callaway. “There’s much more to come this spring. Just keep watching!” See Sources for Details

home and garden

Appliance Compliance

With so many cutting-edge appliances on the market today, you might not know where to start when outfitting your new home. Get it right the first time with these efficient, energy saving products recommended by Mike Miller, vice president of sales for Greenway Home Services in Memphis. PHOTO Courtesy of

At Home Tennessee: How can homeowners save energy on heating and cooling costs? Mike Miller: Zoning your home allows you to save energy by heating and cooling only the parts of your home that you are in throughout the day. Normally we would term those daytime and evening zones so when you’re only living in your living room and kitchen type areas during the day, you only have to heat and cool those rooms. Then in evening time when you’re in your bedrooms, it’s just the bedrooms that are heated and cooled. In doing that, you’re able to save money on utilities simply by not heating and cooling sections of the house you’re not in. You can save 20 to 25 percent on efficiency savings in a year’s time, and probably more than that by zoning. AHT: What kind of water heater is best for a new home? MM: The best investment you can make in a water heater will be a tankless unit. We have a big practice in this area to put these water heaters full of 30, 40, 50 gallons of water in your attic. When you have water leaks or tanks burst, the water inevitably can come through your ceiling. A lot of people have a true fear of that all together. One, this eliminates that because there is no tank. It is about a two foot by three foot piece of equipment—it takes up less space to start with—but it literally does not hold those gallons and gallons of water. The water actually comes through the unit when you turn on a hot water faucet. It comes on immediately and instantly starts heating up that cold water and bringing you hot water and continues to keep heating that water until you turn the source off. Say your unit at home is a tank heater. It is continuously heating up and cooling down, keeping that stored water hot so it’ll be ready when you need it. While you’re gone, even if you’ve got temperatures set down, it is using utilities to keep that water warm in the tank. A

tankless does not. You can be gone five days and it never comes on. Energy savings are great, safety-wise is a yes and the big benefit that they’ve marketed for years is, if you live in the traditional twoto-three children home, someone winds up taking a cold shower. This eliminates that. There is no more running out of hot water. It will heat from now to next week if you leave the hot water valve on. AHT: How can homeowners ensure top air quality in their new space? MM: Indoor air quality has been a really, really big hot button for homeowners and manufacturers for the last three or four years. The problems have always been there, there just hasn’t been any media focus on it. There are many high-quality filter systems out on the market—Trane Clean Effects has the best rated filter system, a HEPA filter. It is the most efficient system out; it’s a 99.9 percent effective filter. Surveys say most of your home’s indoor air quality is worse than the air outside from all the cleaning products, all the pets. Everything that happens in the house gets trapped in the house. The actual filter system in the home is cleaning up the air, making it a lot more comfortable for people with allergies, asthma—a big improvement. The other way of improving it is through your ultraviolet lights. Legionnaire Disease came from the mold and build-up in the air conditioning systems. The best protection you can have in your home to prevent mold and mildew in your heating and air system will be a UV light; this also prevents a number of other airborne viruses. UV lights can be installed by your heat and air conditioning contractor. AHT: What energy saving equipment would you recommend for a new home? MM: If you are building a home and can work with the contractor, ask what high efficiency units are available today and ask him to show you the savings available

for upgrading above the standard units. As far as energy savings, air conditioning equipment is rated in Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings (SEER). Today government standards are at 13 SEER and go up to 20 SEER. Of course the government is not giving us tax credits on these standard efficiencies, but 15 SEER and up (though brands vary) normally is where your tax credits come in on air conditioning. The higher the SEER rating, the more your overall savings. On your heating side, your base model today is 80 percent efficient and going up to a 95 percent efficiency. Again, the government steps in. On a standard 80 percent furnace, no tax credits are available, but going up to the furnaces that have variable speed motors or to the higher 90 percent or up efficiency furnaces you can get your tax credit. And again, the difference in the investment on the front end or especially the long term pay off of the next 10, 15, 20 years in the home would be so substantial that it actually pays for the investment. AHT: Are there other ways for homeowners to save money? MM: It’s not all in actually putting in the highest, best, most expensive equipment. You do have other features as far as the programmable thermostats to make minor efficiency changes. You also have to ensure that your duct work is sealed properly and your equipment is sealed properly so as not to have an air leak. Another thing, efficiency wise, is to make sure your equipment is cleaned. Preventative maintenance should be performed each season. You always want to make sure you have your heating system clean and checked for maximum efficiency and safeness. You want to do that on your air conditioning unit as well. If it’s not checked you’ll never know. See Sources for Details

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home and garden

The Nuts and Bolts of Choosing a Handyman Education is key when tackling a home improvement project. Before you hire a professional, know how to protect yourself, your finances and your home. TEXT MEL HEADLEY, owner of Handyman Connection | PHOTO Courtesy of


eady to start in on that next big home improvement project? The timing couldn’t be better, as home price gains have been seen in every part of the nation for the first time in two years. Although the decision to improve your home may be a natural one, finding the right person for the job is anything but. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a handyman: Question everything. A home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, so when it’s time to make repairs or do work, hire a contractor who is as committed to protecting it as you are. It’s a common misconception that handymen are masters of every trade—in reality, most focus on one or two skills instead of dabbling in many— but you won’t know what their specialty is until you ask! The right questions will give you a good sense of the handyman’s strengths, weaknesses, reliability and character. Remember: A reputable contractor will never resent you asking good questions. Do your homework. First impressions are important, but looking beneath the surface reveals what a company is made of. When you make the initial phone call, do you 52 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

get a live person on the phone? If you have to leave a message, a reputable handyman will call you back promptly. A legitimate business card and at least a year in business are also good signs, but don’t stop there. References, licenses, certifications and insurance should be verified as soon as possible and if a handyman or contractor advertises himself or herself as “licensed and insured,” ask for both the license number and liability insurance number to check them out on your own. Reviewing feedback on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau and speaking with past clients are also helpful in deciding what contractor is right for you. Get it in writing. Insist handymen provide estimates and guarantees on company letterhead; if they attempt to give you a copy, request the original. This seemingly small move can make a huge difference in the long run: if the contractor demands far more money, takes too long to complete the work or does a sub-par job overall, you’ll have documentation of the previously agreed upon terms. Choose plastic over paper. Always pay with credit cards or checks because doing so creates a record of each transaction and a paper trail. Lump-sum payment or hefty

deposits before any work has been completed are also red flags. If the handyman will only accept cash or refuses to work with you to create a mutually-agreeable payment plan, decline his offer and look elsewhere for your home improvement needs. Warranties should be free. Using a handyman isn’t like purchasing something from an electronics store where you need to pay for an extended warranty. Most handymen will warrant their work for six months to a year. If you hire someone to install a new toilet and next week you notice the toilet is leaking, you shouldn’t have to pay the handyman to come out and fix the job he originally did. Be sure to ask about warranties before hiring. Stay in touch. Communication is key in a job done right so be sure you can reach your contractor at any time and vice versa. Although busy schedules mean that much business is done wirelessly, a cell phone shouldn’t be the only way for you to contact your handyman. Ask for a landline or e-mail address. A reliable business should have all three and be accessible (or at least willing to be accessible) at any hour in case of an emergency.

home and garden

Tips for Choosing a Reliable Contractor: You’ve done your homework and you’re ready to get started on that next big project. Now it’s time to call the contractor. Here are a few tips from Handyman Connection that’ll help you find a reputable, reliable handyman to perform the work. “Asking a contractor the right types of questions will immediately let you know if that contractor is on the level, and a reputable trades person will never resent you for asking,” says Mel.

1. Insist that contractors provide written estimates on company letterhead. 2. Ask contractors to provide written guarantees. 3. Find someone else if a contractor insists on cash payment. 4. Are the contractor’s licenses and registrations valid? 5. Did the contractor offer you a legitimate business card? 6. Ask for proof of third-party property and injury insurance. 7 Are the contractor and any related trades persons bonded? 8. Check to see if the contractor is registered with the Better Business Bureau. 9. Ask for proof of membership in local Better Business Bureau, Home Builders Associations or chambers of commerce. 10. How long has the contractor been in business and can he/she provide references from previous customers?

For more information on Handyman Connection or choosing a handyman, visit or contact Mel directly at 901.405.3150.

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(left to right) Tayst’s Jeremy Barlow in the kitchen; 212 Market in Chattanooga.

Certifiably Green

Armed with certifications from the Green Restaurant Association and a love of good food, the owners of 212 Market in Chattanooga and Tayst in Nashville are doing their part to save the environment. And don’t forget the cuisine—both restaurants serve mouthwatering, innovative dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients TEXT Willow Nero | PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Tayst and 212 Market


t seems everyone has gone green these days from boutiques specializing in organic cotton T-shirts to reusable shopping bags at every checkout line. But in the grand scheme of things, both consumers and businesspeople are having a hard time distinguishing which eco-friendly changes make the biggest impact on the environment. Two Tennessee restaurants — Tayst of Nashville and 212 Market of Chattanooga — have turned to the Green Restaurant Association, a 20-year-old Boston-based nonprofit that provides green consulting, guidelines and a sought-after certification. While the GRA’s system of accounting for points in different green categories may seem daunting, it works and is based on years of expertise and current market research in the restaurant business. GRA Communications Manager Colleen Oteri says the two most important things on the GRA list are ones that are often overlooked. “If a restaurant is not recycling and if they have any Styrofoam—no matter what else they’re doing — they can’t really call themselves green,” she says. “They could have solar panels on their roof but if they’re not doing something as simple as recycling...” Simplicity is much of the draw for the GRA. Like Oteri says, solar panels are a great investment, but the biggest changes the GRA recommends to new members are often money-saving tricks like putting

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aerators on water taps or partnering with a local farm to provide kitchen waste for composting.“There’s still a misconception out there that green means expensive,” she says. “Consumers know that when they go to the grocery store, organics cost more money, so people kind of lump that mentality into ‘everything green costs more.’” The GRA also steps in to help owners in areas where recycling or certain other resources are unavailable. On the GRA’s Web site,, individuals can browse the list of certification standards in categories like furnishings, sustainable food and disposables. Soon, consumers will be able to see what steps GRAcertified restaurants have completed, which will be helpful since not all the GRA’s certified restaurants fulfill exactly the same requirements — they’re allowed to pick and choose upgrades each year once the baseline commitment is met. “Our restaurants are not 100 percent green,” Oteri explains. “They never will be. There’ll always be a reach for more and better things.” Tayst the Difference For chef and manager Jeremy Barlow at Tayst in Nashville, going green is just as much about serving the best braised short ribs and shrimp beignets as making a community impact. In the former furniture showroom not far from Vanderbilt University, diners might notice tiny nods to the restaurant’s green

ambition, but the ambiance and menu are just as Barlow says: playful, American fine dining. “I’m passionate to find the best food to put on the plate,” he says. “It is dining first. We are a restaurant, and our goal is to serve people. I believe you can do that and do it well and still operate in a sustainable manner that is good for your community.” Indeed, Barlow has been bringing playful and sustainable together for years. Recently diners enjoyed choice cuts of Jerebob, a local cow raised just for Tayst by DW Farms near Pulaski. Another avant-garde dinner included a surprise menu — choose a protein (like chicken or beef), and the kitchen decided how to prepare it. On the day of our interview, though closed for lunch, Nashville’s only GRAcertified restaurant was abuzz as staff bustled to deliver local foodstuffs to Belmont University, where the freshman class was reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Barlow jokes he’s not a tree-hugging hippie, but he can nearly quote from Michael Pollan’s 2006 bestseller. He admits that what started as a search for the best food has turned him into a bit of an activist. “Nobody’s talking about the connection between the processed food we eat and the health care issues, obesityrelated issues,” he says. “I’ve looked at the big picture, and I’ve said, ‘Wait a minute. I have kids, and they’re probably going to have kids one day, and if I want for them to be able to eat well, we need

food to seriously look at the way we grow our food.’ “ Barlow’s first forays into going green came from his desire to increase the quality of the food by researching the local food movement. “In that process of building that relationship with the people who grow my food, I realized the environmental impact of it and the importance of how close it’s connected to what’s going on in our environment,” he says. Today Tayst’s relationship with farmers extends to providing kitchen waste to a local chicken farmer, from whom the restaurant, in turn, buys its poultry. Another farmer to whom Barlow provides compost lives right next door. “We’ve closed the cycle within the local community,” Barlow says. After Barlow’s initial research, his environmental view and passion spread not only in his kitchen, but through the entire building. Besides composting and buying local, Tayst underwent many transformations to become a three-star member of the GRA. Originally the restaurant had no recycling pick-up, which is often first on the GRA’s list of must-dos. Now Tayst’s kitchen produces a seventh of the waste it did before. Another important change was installing aerators on water taps. This inexpensive move ($6 per tap) saves 14,000 gallons of water each month. The biggest challenge, however, was choosing new lighting that was both environmentally friendly and could be dimmed. Barlow tried more than seven different, and expensive, bulbs from several companies before finding 5-watt CFL bulbs at $100 each. Tayst now saves about one million watts of electricity each year. “We’re just a small restaurant, and we can make a difference,” he says. “Think of what you could do if you got them all together.” Market Sense In the early 1990s when sisters Sally and Susan and their mother, Maggie Moses, chose a location for their eclectic dining space, fuel tanks and asbestos debris littered the old Studebaker dealership property and a stream literally ran through the building. But with a vision of the experimental dining space they wanted to create, the trio became an integral cornerstone of downtown Chattanooga’s cultural and environmental transformation. “Any time you make a decision, you can choose to make it the right way or choose to pollute a little more,” says manager Sally. “We lived all around the world and we wanted to produce local foods the way we had

seen them from moving around.” 212 Market used local foods from the beginning, and today they even donate meat scraps to a local wolf, coyote and fox curator; provide other kitchen scraps as hog food and garden compost; give used fry oil to a local Mercedes driver; make sure their seafood is sustainable; and serve seasonal foods, among less obvious environmental choices. Using local products and having relationships with farmers allows the chefs at 212 Market to develop the best dishes for their changing menu. “I read and watch and taste, and the farmers actually come to us with different products, so we get to try them right when they’re at their peak,” says Sally. “Having four or five chefs really play

with it — they all have a different idea. One person thinks one thing and the other says, ‘Mmm, let’s do this.’ “ And while they emphasize green, the ladies are probably more interested in having a good time. When Susan, a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America, isn’t in the kitchen, she may be blowing sugar pieces. Sally’s wine list draws diners back again and again and Maggie mans the bakery, which even uses local grains. It’s a true eclectic mix of genius that makes the menu and atmosphere so special. 212 Market first received a GRA charter certification in 2007 and is converting from the previous step program to the point-based system. Sally, Susan and Maggie started out with their own green initiatives, but the GRA helped them pinpoint other areas to focus on like outlawing Styrofoam and replacing certain appliances. Sally says it’s important that restaurants adopt these changes, so consumers will follow suit. After 212 Market switched to biodegradable to-go boxes, churches and others in the community have made the change, too, making these products more readily available. Soon, the restaurant will even have a solar-paneled roof over its outdoor dining area. The ladies believe it’s the small differences that others should at least try to adopt. “We as a little tiny business can do it, then some of those with big pockets can do it,” Sally says. “It’s easy. It’s a lifestyle change. You don’t even think about it being an effort. It’s just what you do.” See Sources for Details January 2010 • | 61

Man’s Best Friend Celebrate your dog’s special day with a themed party complete with homemade treats, games and visits from his best pals! Pamper your pooch, but remember that safety always comes first. TEXT Elizabeth Fletcher| PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Joseph Aczel Photography,

food As pets become more entwined in the lives of people, we find ourselves catering to our dogs more and more. Pets are considered part of the family and just as we commemorate our family’s birthdays with celebrations we can also plan parties for our four-legged friends. There are tons of pet party options, so determine what makes your pet happy and incorporate those elements.

Menu Woofy Cookies Peanut Butter Bones Ice-Cool Tail Wagglers Pooch Party Mix Rachael Ray’s Dog Sliders

Setting the Scene The theme of your party will vary based on the dog’s interests. Just as you would plan a party around the likes and dislikes of your child, the same goes for your dog party. Also consider his heritage; if he is a German Shepherd, a German-themed party would be great, with sausages as a main dish. Or if you have an Australian Border Collie, consider dried kangaroo jerky for appetizers. Most dogs prefer being outside, so hold your party in a location like a fenced-in backyard or at a dog park (although the downside of the dog park is uninvited party crashers.) Of course, have a backup plan for inclement weather. Many doggie day care facilities and county or state parks also rent out for parties. As for the guest list, remember not to invite dogs that your four-legged friend has not previously met and played with. With all the excitement of the event it’s a good rule of thumb to invite only close friends. Minimal decorations are needed for your party, and contrary to what you may have heard, dogs are not color blind but see fewer colors than humans. Dogs are dichromatic (they see only two primary colors—blue and yellow) whereas humans are trichromatic, meaning we see three primary colors—red, blue and yellow. So use blue and yellow for dog parties unless you have a certain theme such as incorporating a tartan plaid for your Scottish Terrier. Piñatas are great for dog parties, but remember that the guests can’t jump up and break them so put about four on the ground and spread them throughout the area. (Be sure to have a video camera handy to record the dogs breaking open the piñatas.) Determine the party attire based on whether your dog is used to dressing up or wearing clothes. Dogs are used to collars, so provide decorative collars and party hats (though it’s a little harder to get the dogs to wear a hat). You’ll find a large variety at your local pet stores or online. If you do decide to supply costumes for the guest of honor and attendees, be sure the outfit doesn’t constrict the dog’s movement, breathing ability, hearing or even vision. The key is to have fun, but always put your dog’s safety first. January 2010 • | 63


If you have a Labrador retriever or a dog that loves water, consider holding the party at a river or creek. You could even set up small baby pools and sprinklers in your backyard. For activities, form teams with your dogs and hold relay races or have the dogs retrieve decoys. The team with the most decoys within a certain amount of time wins. Remember that dogs have a short attention span so five to 10 minutes is a long time for your canine friend. Some dogs love physical challenges and enjoy having a party with an agility course. You can set up a ring or tunnel for the dogs to run through and create teams with their two-legged parents. Also, for a nominal fee, a local dog school employee or obedience trainer may be able to chaperone the party to ensure the dogs play nicely. Most dogs love food and their palate is easier to please than ours. Try to stay away from rich foods and, of course, chocolate. Give them a nutritious and delicious snack like Peanut Butter Bones made with molasses and peanut butter. Or if your dog is more of a chewy meat lover, try beef jerky treats. Most trainers use these for training or showing dogs. Party favors are easy for this event. Small toys for each guest or a bag of Woofy Cookies are always appreciated. Remember, don’t give toys that have eyes or anything else a dog can tear apart and choke on. Rubber kong toys are an excellent choice because the dogs can’t chew through these. You can also include a can of Cheez Whiz or a small jar of peanut butter. Remember to have plenty of leashes and waste bags on hand, as well as disposable cameras. Not only will your fourlegged pals be entertained, but your human guests will be too! See Sources for Details 64 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010


Invitation by Katy Carlson Design

Recipes Woofy Cookies 3 c. whole wheat flour 3 c. uncooked oatmeal 1/2 c. wheat germ 5 Tbsp. margarine 1/4 c. plain molasses 1 c. evaporated milk 1 c. water 1. In a large bowl, combine flour, oatmeal and wheat germ. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. 2. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. 3. Preheat oven to 300°F 4. Carefully roll out the dough. Cut out cookie shapes and place on oiled baking sheet. 5. Bake for about one hour. Leave to cool. Store dog party treats in an airtight container.

Peanut Butter Bones 1 packet dry yeast 1/2 c. lukewarm water 1 c. mashed potatoes 1 c. milk 1/4 c. molasses 1/2 c. chicken stock 1 c. chunky peanut butter 1 c. whole wheat flour 1/2 c. rye flour 1/2 c. rice flour 1 egg 2 c. all-purpose white flour January 2010 • | 65


1. Preheat oven to 325°F 2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Put aside. 3. Using a large saucepan, mix together potatoes, milk, molasses, chicken stock and peanut butter. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. 4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add yeast mixture. Gradually blend in egg, wheat, rye and rice flours. (Add enough white flour to form a stiff dough.) 5. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. 6. Shape dough into a ball and roll to 1/2 inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out biscuits. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them about 1/4 inch apart. Gather up scraps, roll out again and cut additional biscuits. 7. Bake for 45 minutes. Leave to cool overnight. The biscuits should be the consistency of pizza crusts and are great dog party treats.

Ice-Cool Tail Wagglers 4 oz. water 8 oz. strawberry yogurt 1 banana 1. Using a blender, mix ingredients until smooth. 2. Pour the mix into a variety of shaped holders like novelty ice-cube trays, small muffin pans, small paper cups (cut in half) or even purchase special bone shaped trays. 3. Freeze. Note: Remove paper cups before giving the dogs these party treats. If you use muffin tins, try spraying them with nonstick cooking spray first.

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Pooch Party Mix 2 c. Cheerios 2 c. Chex Mix 1/2 c. melted butter 1/2 c. of mild shredded cheddar cheese 2 Tbsp. of brown gravy mix, dry 1. Preheat oven to 275 ° F. Mix Cheerios, Chex Mix and melted butter together. Blend in cheese. 2. Sprinkle the dry gravy over mixture and stir in well. 3. Pour onto large cookie sheet and bake approx 45 minutes until crisp. 4. Let cool completely and then store in a air tight container. Humans love these too!

Rachael Ray’s Dog Sliders 1/2 lb. ground lamb or chicken 1/2 c. cooked white or brown rice 1/4 c. plain yogurt 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (eyeball it) Pinch of allspice 1/2 tsp. salt Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling 4 small round dinner rolls, split 1. Combine the meat, rice, yogurt, cumin, allspice and salt in a medium bowl. 2. Form 4 patties and drizzle each on 1 side with extra virgin olive oil. 3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties, olive oil side down, for 3 to 4 minutes per side to well-done but still juicy. Place the burgers on the rolls, chop into pieces and serve. January 2010 • | 67


Get Moving Tennessee

As part of BlueCross BlueShield’s new campaign to increase the health and well-being of Tennesseans, the company is providing interactive weight loss tools. Movement for Life includes everything from motivational internet radio stations to online health forums.


revolution is going on in Tennessee. It starts with a few small steps—taking the stairs instead of the elevator, playing catch with the kids, parking a little further away from work. Eventually, these small steps can turn into bigger ones—going to the gym, riding a bike, competing in a sport. These activities are part of a new movement—the MVMT (movement) for Life. Did you know that Tennessee is one of the least healthy states in America, ranking 44th out of 50? Faced with this startling statistic, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state’s largest not-for-profit health plan, recognized the need for change and has launched a new media campaign to encourage Tennesseans to improve their health and the state’s ranking. “Changing our lifestyles to live healthier lives is a big step for anyone,” said Janet McConnell, director of brand strategy and new media for BlueCross. “We can all take little steps and make small changes to improve our own health and as a result, the health of Tennessee.” Movement for Life is about the everyday, incremental changes that lead to more substantial lifestyle improvements, eventually to a healthier life for all Tennesseans. BlueCross is promoting the campaign through a variety of media outlets. You may have seen the commercial on television, heard a commercial on the radio or seen an ad in your favorite magazine. BlueCross also has ads on popular lifestyle, news, health and wellness websites. All the communications direct you to the interactive Web site. The site provides a forum for you to make healthy proclamations in four categories including weight loss, fitness, smoking cessation and healthy community. It’s open to everyone, not just BlueCross members, to declare their health and wellness goals and to serve as motivation and inspiration for each other. 68 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

If you happen to be a BlueCross member, there’s an additional feature just for you—a virtual coach that will provide daily or weekly health tips on these four topics. Messages can be delivered via e-mail, a desktop widget, mobile text messaging and Facebook wall posts. People can also become a fan of the MVMT for Life on Facebook and follow it on Twitter (MVMTforlife) to further encourage health and wellness conversations as well as communicating information about BlueCross’s community-based sponsorships and programs. The next addition to the campaign is a group of three MVMT for Life Pandora radio stations. Pandora Internet Radio allows you to build your own custom stations. By partnering with Pandora, BlueCross has created three unique options: Extreme Vibes provides high energy music for the extreme sports enthusiast; Active Beats delivers music to fit your daily gym workout and keep you motivated; and Quiet Times features soothing music to help you unwind and relax. Each station also includes a link to the MVMT for Life website. The MVMT for Life radio stations should be available on Pandora soon. To find these stations, please visit the MVMT for Life Fan page on Facebook and look for the link to Pandora. About BlueCross BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is the state’s oldest and largest not-for-profit health plan, serving nearly three million Tennesseans. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on financing affordable health care coverage and providing peace of mind for all Tennesseans. BlueCross serves its members by delivering quality health care products, services and information. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at

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January 2010 Through January 3

January 13

Holidays on Ice


Market Square, Knoxville

Music Road Convention Center, Pigeon




Through January 30

Trolley Ride of Lights

January 13

Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza,

Hogaku: New Sounds of Japan


Nashville Symphony


January 16

January 3

Moody Conducts Mozart

Winter Bridal Show

Cannon Center for the Performing

Agricenter International, Memphis

Arts, Memphis



January 3

January 17

Coppélia Mother-Daughter Tea Party

MidSouth Wedding Show

Germantown Performing Arts Centre

Germantown Athletic Club



January 7-9

January 17

‘The’ Organ Symphony

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Nashville Symphony

National Civil Rights Museum, Mem-


January 9


Elvis Birthday Pops Cannon Center for the Performing

January 29

Arts, Memphis

Neil Berg’s ‘100 Years of Broadway’


Germantown Performing Arts Centre


January 9-16

Wilderness Wildlife Week

January 30

Pigeon Forge 865.429.7350 January 10 New World, New Sounds New World, New Sounds Oak Ridge High School Auditorium 865.483.5569

70 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

St. George’s Art Show Collierville campus 901.830.6843

February 11-13 Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville Nashville Convention Center 615.352.9064 Each year, the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville offers the finest in antiques and horticulture with more than 150 related booths and landscaped gardens on display in the city’s convention center. Now in its 20th year, the show is the largest of its kind, drawing about 15,000 guests annually. This year’s event, “The Shape of Things to Come,” features three noted guest lecturers: Her Grace, the Duchess of Northumberland, the visionary behind the Alnwick Garden in Northumberland; Michael S. Smith, noted decorator to the White House; and Ryan Gainey, an award-winning garden designer and author who designed the show’s entrance garden. Attendees can browse antique booths for china, oriental rugs, furniture and lighting or pick up garden-related furnishings and orchids at horticultural tables. Special related events include a preview party on February 10, a Young Collectors Soiree, Jazz Night at the Show and an Ask an Expert session. The Antiques and Garden Show benefits the non-profit Exchange Club Charities and the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art.

January 2010 • | 71

sources 22 Welcoming Wellness Fox Fitness, Knoxville, 865.243.5361, Germantown Athletic Club, 901.757.7370, 40 A Labor of Love Builder—MM&I Construction and Design, Nashville, 615.673.9294, Architect—Irving Palmquist (modifications by MM&I). Interior Design Staging—Audra Kennedy Designs, 26.337.8223, Huntsville, Alabama, Flooring—Evora Cork,; Indian Multicolored Slate, Home Depot, Cabinetry—Roberts Custom Cabinets, Collinwood, Tennessee, 931.724.9361. Bamboo—Franklin Wood Products, Indiana, 317.439.0382, Shower and Tub Surround Design—Chris Dean, Huntsville, Alabama, 256.366.4513. Appliances—Electrolux, Lighting—Eglo lighting, Entry door—Door Emporium, dooremporium. com. Bath Fixtures—Price Pfister Pro Series,; Danze Home, Master Framer—Scottie Lambert, Huntsville, Alabama, 256.762.4383 50 Best of Vesta Southern Magnolia & American Holly: Builder, Kitchen Design, Bath Design— Regency Homebuilders, LLC, Cordova, 901.275.8502, Architect—Gardo Design Group, Bartlett, 901.844.7990, Interior Design—Diva Redesign Group, Memphis, 901.361.0654. Flooring—Steve Donaldson, 901.870.4413, Tim Hogan’s Abbey Carpet and Floors, Lakeland, 901.382.5825, Appliances—Siano Appliances, Memphis, 901.382.5833 sianoappliances. net. Landscape—Burchfield Landscaping Design, 901.553.6374.Willow Oaks Home: Builder—Ruch Builders, LLC., Memphis, 901.258.8820, Architect—Ralph Jones Home Plans, Cordova, 901.756.6070. Interior Design, Flooring, Kitchen Design, Bath Design—Henco Furniture, Selmer, 731.645.3255, Appliances—Siano Appliances, Memphis, 901.382.5833 sianoappliances. net. Landscape—Yards Plus, Arlington, 901.870.7785. 56 Appliance Compliance Greenway Home Services, Memphis, 901.381.9001, 66 Certifiably Green Tayst, Nashville, 615.383.1953, 212 Market, Chattanooga, 423.265.1212, 68 Man’s Best Friend Event Planner—I Do Events Atlanta, 404.569.9104, Invitation—Katy Carlson Designs, Atlanta, 770.313.1753,

January 2010 • | 73


Building for the Future TEXT Bill Marler, director of Jacob’s Ladder Community Development Corporation | Photography courtesy of Jacob’s Ladder


landscape contractor tells a story about his first job. Of course, he didn’t want to appear to be the rank amateur he knew he was, so he feigned a casual kind of nonchalance and expertise. One of the first tasks he had to tackle was blasting out some stumps with dynamite for a farmer. Since the farmer was watching, he went to some length to measure out the fuses and set the dynamite—just as if he really knew what he was doing. But his problem was he really didn’t know how much dynamite would be just right to do the job. When he was all set up, he breathed a prayer that he had enough dynamite packed under the stump, and yet not too much to blow them all to kingdom come. The moment of truth came. He glanced at the farmer with a knowing expression of what he hoped came across as confidence and pushed down the plunger. The stump rose high in the air with a resounding boom, and arched magnificently over toward his pickup truck and landed right on the roof of the cab, demolishing it. The farmer placed his hand on the shoulder of the much-dismayed contractor and exclaimed, “Son, you didn’t miss it by much. With a bit more practice you’ll be able to land those suckers in the truck bed every time!” A question those of us who have responsibility for the ministry of Jacob’s Ladder Community Development Corporation ask ourselves from time to time is, “Are we getting it right?” The now famous experiment once known as the Broken Window Theory—for Anywhere USA, you name the city—describes a neighborhood with perpetual signs of neglect signals that no one is watching or even cares and 74 | At Home Tennessee • January 2010

thus becomes an incubator for crime. Jacob’s Ladder formed a partnership with churches, businesses and residents five years ago to address the special needs of a proud but struggling inner city Memphis neighborhood called the Beltline, just east of Hollywood and the Liberty Bowl Stadium. We wanted to address this broken window phenomenon and the crime it births by helping to eliminate vacant, boarded-up houses, care for blighted eyesore lots, establish stronger community networks and challenge the city to end its neglect by building a park, community center and school. Recently, an answer to our question (Are we getting it right?) emerged in the form of hard statistics provided by the Memphis Police Department. According to MPD, overall crime in the Beltline has decreased by 30 percent since Jacob’s Ladder began its community development ministry in 2004. TK Buchanan, a consultant with the urban research arm of the University of Memphis known as Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA), described crime reduction in the Beltline as the “Inverse Broken Window Phenomenon.” “If you begin removing the troublesome elements (cleaning blighted lots, restoring vacant homes, organizing churches, etc.), you can safely predict a reduction in crime,” she says. We are grateful for the good news and more especially to a team of concerned neighbors, churches and businesses who have helped us to rebuild or repair 26 houses. Code Enforcement has torn down at least 10 more beyond recovery. Shelby County Land Bank has entrusted us with the care of several lots we maintain for future homebuilding. And of course MPD

has provided a vigilant and watchful presence. The synergistic effect generated by all these combined efforts promises a hopeful future. Our broken window recipe requires at least one more ingredient—providing better options to children and at-risk youth. Too often we see teenagers loitering on street corners talking with an older adult in a fancy car. That young person is undoubtedly thinking, ”This may be the way I want to go. I may have a future there.” Dr. Mike Ryan, vice president of advancement for Christian Brothers University and a Jacob’s Ladder board member, says it is our collective responsibility to give our children better alternatives. In 2007 the only option for Beltline youth were a neighbor’s trampoline, the streets and sports teams in other neighborhoods. Jacob’s Ladder opened a youth center in January 2008 which has become enormously popular. Church volunteers and honor students from the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University come to the center daily to tutor, teach and play games, explore life skills and create lifelong relationships. The center is so crowded we are now opening a second one this month for older youth. The good news is this story is replicable in any city, town or community across the nation. If you would like to help with our story or exchange ideas for yours please feel free to contact Jacob’s Ladder. Bill Marler can be reached by calling 901.338.7055 or e-mailing To learn more about Jacob’s Ladder, visit

January 2010  

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