Your 2020 Vision

Three Great Ideas for New Year's Resolutions

Each new year is an ideal time to envision an even better version of ourselves and to make a few personal promises for improvements. However, the dawn that dawns this January 1st is an especially propitious one for our New Year’s resolutions, offering us a 2020 vision. 

Along with classic resolutions like eat more leafy greens and take the dog on longer walks, here are three personal promises to consider adding to your list. Happy New Year!

Learn Italian!

Since Italy was always better at cooking than at colonizing, Italian, unlike English or French, is not a world language. But no matter. Italian is the language of Italy which is plenty reason enough to parla come un italiano. And, for that, there’s no better place in town than Italian for Fun! Much more than just a school, Italian for Fun! is a social network for locals interested in all the wonderful attractions that Italy has to offer: the food, the art, the music, the culture -- ah, the romance of it all. But you will need to command basic Italian to enjoy the full experience. “Unless you are in a tourist area such as Rome, Florence or Venice,” says director Patti Nelson, “you are unlikely to find many Italians who speak English. Our students tend to be those who want to experience real Italian life and go off the beaten path where they need the basics of the language.”  Learning a language is seldom so fun. The basic classes often feature Italian food and drink and intermediate and advanced groups meet at Italian eateries and enjoy conversation. “Patti creates a learning environment that is engaging and encouraging,” says student Rebekah Leach. “Questions are welcomed and laughter is a must. I would recommend this class to anyone.”   

To join the Facebook group for Italian for Fun!, search for the three names of its director, Patti Franklin Nelson. You can also get more information on their website:   

Master the Macaron!

Like chess, there are a million levels to the macaron, the queen of cookies. 

“They are the pinnacle of baking,” says local macaron maven Gianna Larson, proprietor of By Gianna Bakery. “French macarons are as gourmet as they come! But making them is not for the faint of heart!”

But just what makes them so challenging? 

“The delicate balance of whipping meringue with sugar,” Gianna explains, “and then ever so carefully folding with sifted almond flour and powdered sugar. The amount of time that must be allotted to successfully prepare, bake and fill these cookies definitely sets them apart from any other American or French cookie.”

Yes, but it is time well spent. A macaron -- not to be confused with a macaroon which is a shredded coconut cookie -- is an almond flour meringue shell sandwiched with a plethora of decadent fillings. Once matured -- set in the fridge for twenty-four hours and then removed until it reaches room temperature -- the sandwiched cookie is soft and chewy and perfect. 

“They are my number one seller,” says Gianna, offering over forty flavors on her website. But Gianna also offers her expertise, teaching others how to make macarons, too. "I have taught several classes already and they’ve been a hit!"  To sign up for a course or even just to see the amazing images of her cakes and cookies, visit

Ensure Your Insurance!  

Each new year brings changes to our lives.  People get married or move to new states or have babies or change their jobs.  In short, qualifying life events happen, and, of course, affect our insurance coverage needs.  This year, make a personal promise to ensure that your own insurance is up to date, providing you with the most comprehensive coverage and at the best possible rates.  For that, there is no better option than setting up a meeting with Craig McElhaney of StateFarm. A Nashville native whose own father was an agent in Green Hills, Craig is a loving family man, a father of two and a granddad of four, and an expert in his field with vast experience in all areas -- home, property, life, health, and business.  Like taking care of his own family, he will review your coverage for free and take the time to get to know you and your goals. "I've been around a long time, and have seen it all,” Craig says. “I can see what can happen if you don't have the proper coverage. I'm going to ask you questions about your life and develop a personal report. It's how I keep my business."  To set up your appointment with Craig, email him at or simply call directly at 615-386-9335. 

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