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Giving from the heart Local moms help women in Haiti, Africa


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northside women { 8 }

THE INTERVIEW National Charity League Moms & daughters volunteer together

{ 12 } UNSUNG ‘SHE’RO Open Hand founders Alisha Ballew and Lisa Rogers

the cover

Alisha Ballew, left, and Lisa Rogers stand with children in one of the poorest villages in Haiti, a place Ballew calls “the saddest place on Earth.” Ballew and Rogers’ compassion for widows and orphans led them to create their own nonprofit, Open Hand, which provides interest-free micro loans to women, and clothing and shoes for children in both Haiti and Africa. Read more about these two remarkable women on page 12.

{ 26 } WOMEN IN ART Carlyn Romeyn Art teacher leads trips to Europe

{ 20 } HER STYLE Sensational Scarves

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{ 24 } HER HOME Showcasing family heirlooms

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GOOD EATS American Gra-Frutti Gluten-free bakery in Roswell

{ 10 } SHE READS Books to be thankful for { 18 } THANKSGIVING RECIPES From the Legacy Garden

{ 28 } HER HEALTH Cutting holiday calories { 31 } PET OF THE MONTH { 34 } CALENDAR






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Let them eat cake! And bread… And muffins…

American Gra-Frutti serves up gluten-free baked goods in Roswell Story & Photos By KATIE VanBRACKLE

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resh baked goods are an essential part of every Thanksgiving feast. But for those suffering from gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, the sight of Grandma’s angel biscuits or Aunt Betty’s pumpkin pie can induce shudders of apprehension rather than delight. Marilyn Santulli, owner of American Gra-Frutti bakery in Roswell, understands this anxiety all too well and considers it her personal mission to provide families on a gluten-free diet with worry-free breads, desserts and snacks for the holidays as well as year-round enjoyment. Gluten-free products sometimes have a reputation for being bland, but at American Gra-Frutti, gluten-free never tasted so good – from Sunshine Lemon Pound Cake and Mia’s Sweet Potato Muffins to Cheddar Jalapeno dinner rolls and buttermilk biscuits. All of Santulli’s products are gluten-free, and many more are also dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and egg-free. Owning her own bakery is the fulfillment of a cherished dream for Santulli, whose favorite childhood moments were spent in a Kansas farmhouse, baking and canning homegrown fruits and veggies in her grandmother’s kitchen. “My grandmother was my inspiration,” she said. “The homemade treats she and my mother shared with friends spread such joy. I always knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps.”

1. Marilyn Santulli, left, and assistant Sarolyn Loner greet potential buyers at a July trade show in Atlanta. 2. Apple cinnamon muffins. 3. Tins of cheese straws and cookies can be ordered online. 4. Brownie bites and gluten-free baking mixes. 5. Gluten-free multigrain bread loaves and rolls. 6. Cheese straws, graham crackers and flatbread crackers.

Santulli’s career took her around the world giving corporate technical presentations and performing in commercials and industrial films. She even dabbled with acting, in a role on the television show “In the Heat of the Night” with the late Carroll O’Connor. But through it all, baking remained her favorite hobby. Her first culinary goal was to change the world’s view of the much-maligned fruitcake. Using old family recipes, Santulli created three varieties of moist, nutritious fruitcakes with names like Citrus Berry Bliss and Berry Wonderful and began selling them at local farmers markets, eventually adding other homemade edibles such as coconut drop candy and pimento cheese spreads. To produce her wares, Santulli leased space from a café in Marietta, working in

► See BAKERY, Page 16

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Mother-DaughterTime { 

National Charity League volunteers grow closer through service




t can be a challenge for mothers of teenage daughters to stay connected with their children during the busy middle and high school years. Teens tend to prefer spending time with their peers and may consider bonding time with Mother Dearest to be a bit of a chore. Several North Fulton mothers have found a creative way to snag a bit of quality time with their daughters while simultaneously helping local community charities – and peers are welcome. The National Charity League (NCL) is a unique mother-daughter philanthropic organization for girls in grades 7 – 12, committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. NCL was established in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1925 and today’s chapters continue the tradition of mothers and daughters volunteering side by side, getting to know their neighbors and peers and bonding through service. NCL’s Milton chapter, formed in June 2012, is the 173rd chapter nationwide and the eighth in Georgia. It was formed due to strong interest from women familiar with the organization’s other Georgia chapters: Roswell/Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Buckhead, East Cobb, Northeast Atlanta, which encompasses the areas surrounding the Highway 141 corridor from South Forsyth to North Norcross, Gardenia, which includes West Roswell, East Cobb and East Cherokee, and Cherokee Rose in Macon. NCL is a small group program and classes are typically 20-25 teens per grade level. Each year, new members are sponsored by existing members, keeping the group’s size manageable. Milton chapter Vice President of Philanthropy Amy Pauls says all members are expected to jump right in and lend a hand. “Every mother and daughter has a role to perform and a way to participate. In addition, each member must fulfill 8 | | november2013

a certain number of volunteer hours each year. In our first year, the Milton chapter logged almost 5,000 hours. That’s impressive, and an important source of volunteer labor for many local charities,” she said. For example, the mothers and daughters provide home-cooked meals and offer childcare support for homeless mothers attending life skills classes at the Drake House or HomeStretch. They pack healthy snacks for hundreds of children receiving afterschool tutoring through STAR House, writing messages of support and encouragement on each brown paper sack. They sort through clothing donations at Foster Care Support Foundation and conduct food drives for Act Together Ministries’ food pantry in Cumming. NCL volunteers are currently helping the Alpharetta Library staff with inventory in preparation for the facility’s move to a new city center location. And last month, a large group of NCL moms and daughters helped staff two “Walk to Cure Diabetes” fundraising events in Atlanta and Alpharetta for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). For Pauls, the mother of Centennial High School freshman Haley, NCL provides an opportunity to witness firsthand the personal growth of her

daughter. “I grew up in a family that stressed community service, and I’m trying to do the same with my two daughters. When we work together as volunteers, I have the chance to observe gifts, talents and abilities in Haley that I might not experience otherwise. Watching her work with underprivileged children brings out a whole new side of her. She can really see the impact her efforts are making on behalf of others, and it makes an impression. We have had many significant conversations about how fortunate we are and how important it is to give back,” she said. Milton chapter President Lezlie Reneé Pipes agrees that NCL is also helping her daughter Sydney develop as a young woman. “Sydney is learning that there are so many different needs right here in our own community. She is beginning to understand that taking the time to volunteer for five hours at a JDRF fundraising event could help save the life of a child with diabetes. Every individual can make a difference,” said Pipes. Personal development is a big part of the NCL experience. Each year, the mothers and daughters focus on a new theme such as manners and etiquette, diversity and world cultures or

1. NCL volunteers staffed a local diabetes fundraising walk in October. Front row: Lauren Rielly, Katie Elema, Cara DeWit, Nancy Fasciana, Amy Pauls and Madeline Lamon. Back row: Kim Rielly, Krista Elema, Taylor Sherman, Bernie DeWit, Deborah Moore, Sophie Moore, Nicole Fasciana, Haley Pauls, Sarah Gould, Lisa Gould and Sara Lamon. 2. Milton chapter President Lezlie Reneé Pipes with daughter Sydney. 3. Helping with a coat drive for Act Together Ministries are, from left, Lezlie Reneé Pipes and Amy Pauls. 4. Peyton Lea Henyon and Mychelle HenyonTravis from Johns Creek prepare to stock the food pantry at Act Together Ministries. 5. An NCL Milton chapter meeting.

professional and personal image. And Dads are not entirely left out – a father/daughter event is held annually with events to date featuring hot dogs and bowling or movies and hot chocolate. The hope is that each girl who joins NCL as a seventh-grader will continue with the organization all the way through high school graduation. Pauls says the NCL six-year experience is designed to make a big impact on each young woman during some very formative years. And Mom can be right there beside her the whole way. To learn more, visit the National Charity League’s Milton chapter website: ■

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I’m thankful for

Reading! Readers share their most cherished books By KATIE VanBRACKLE


uring this month of Thanksgiving, let’s share the love with some of our most cherished, lifelong companions – our favorite books! We can all point to one or two well-worn novels on our bookshelves that hold a special place in our heart. Books handed down from mothers or grandmothers, books that spoke to us in a time of need, books that opened our eyes to the world or gave us new insight into the human psyche. Books that made us laugh till we cried. This month, we asked several Northside Woman readers to share their most cherished books with us. We would like to hear yours as well. Send an email to

I’m thankful for… Gift from the Sea By Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“Gift from the Sea” was a wedding gift to me in 1983 from a family I babysat for during and after college. The giver inscribed the first page with, “One of my favorite books on relationships.” Each chapter’s subject is a different seashell, which Mrs. Lindberg used to draw life lessons, spiritual secrets and wisdom. As I read, I was exposed to the disciplines of stillness, contemplation, rest and reflection for the first time. Learning to practice those disciplines has certainly helped me in my marriage and other relationships over the years. —B. J. Jones, Roswell

Mutant Message Down Under By Marlo Morgan

This book was given to me by a close college friend with whom I backpacked through Europe. It looked like nothing I would have chosen, but I remember her words, “Trust me, it’s inspirational.” The story is about an American woman who goes on a four-month walkabout with an Aboriginal tribe in the Australian Outback. The things she learns from these people as she goes into the woods in her Banana Republic clothing and slowly has to adapt 10 | | november2013

to their ways is an amazing adventure. I remember wanting to highlight every other line as words of wisdom from the Aboriginal people were spoken. The year I read it, I bought several copies and gave them as gifts – when you walk away from a book that inspires you, you feel a need to share. I was forever thankful for this book. It opened my mind to other books I might not have read. – Diane McNamee, Milton

The China Study By T. Colin Campbell

This book is about a large study done in China by an American Ph.D., which found a strong correlation between ill health (cancer, heart disease, diabetes) and consumption of animal protein. I’m thankful for the book because it spurred us as a family to start eating better. By eating only a plant-based, whole foods diet for 30 days, my husband’s previously high total cholesterol dropped 53 points. No medicine needed! Two-and-a-half years later, we are still eating this way and thriving. Of all the books I’ve read in the past decade, this one has been the most impactful not just for me but for those most precious to me. —Michelle Weston, Milton

To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee

As a young woman, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee was required reading in college. Many young people resist required reading in college as I did. But the book was great and the movie was wonderful. I was living in the South, but knew nothing of the historical importance of the Southern region. —Nancy Snyder, Alpharetta

A Wrinkle in Time By Madeleine L’Engle

I cherish “A Wrinkle in Time” book because I have special memories of reading this book to my children. I first read it to our two older children together, then again eight years later to our youngest child. The book introduced me to Madeleine L’Engle and her treasure of writing. I can always pick up one of her books and find something meaningful to me at different stages in my life. Her books help me look at life through a lens I wouldn’t otherwise consider. —Christina Appen, Alpharetta

Glimpses of Grace By Madeleine L’Engle

I am thankful for a book I received from my friend, Mary Dantzler, after I had major surgery five years ago. “Glimpses of Grace” by Madeleine L’Engle has been an inspiration to me and I have read it several times and given copies as gifts. —Jean Williams, Alpharetta ■

A Neighborhood “Book Box” Linda Lizaso and the ladies of the Steeplechase neighborhood book club in Roswell devised a charming way to share their love of reading—a neighborhood “book box” placed on a post in the Lizaso’s front yard. A side panel folds down to reveal a variety of paperbacks, novels and children’s books, with a sign inviting neighbors to “borrow, exchange or donate.” Lizaso writes: “Our neighborhood book box has been in place in front of our home for about one year and it has been heartwarming to see all the folks who stop to use it. Walkers stop, people stop in their cars and children come on their bikes with their parents. Our neighborhood book club helps to see that the box is appropriately stocked. The box was constructed by Ray Hughes (a book club husband) and my own husband Mario Lizaso. They built it with loving care and quality – it will probably last 100 years. Ray and Mario are planning another box of a different design in the near future. Their work has produced an element of warmth and sharing in our neighborhood community.”

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Giving with anOpen Hand

Local moms help women and children in Haiti, Africa



hen you first meet Lisa Rogers of Alpharetta and Alisha Ballew of Cumming, it’s easy to tell these two ladies have been friends for a long time. Lisa is the boisterous, outgoing one who never allows Alisha to stay serious for too long, and Alisha is the calm, gentle presence who keeps Lisa on task. Yin and yang you might say. But both women share one core personality trait in abundance – a heart that’s three sizes bigger than most – and growing. Compassion for others has always been the driving force in both women’s lives. Lisa obtained a degree in social work and volunteered as a court appointed special advocate, helping abused and neglected children. Alisha traveled to the Republic of Congo to help build schools. She also spent five years mentoring girls and counseling sexually abused women. Both women developed a special passion for helping widows and orphans and decided to travel together to Africa to observe the work being done by Darrin Haughan, an American who personally funds micro loans for poor women in Burundi. Alisha’s eyes light up when she talks about the ripple effect micro loans can have on a poor community. “The loans are not a large amount, but they allow women to start a small business and support themselves, changing the cycle of poverty and preventing them from falling into traps which often lead to human trafficking. 12 | | november2013

With a steady income, widows can improve their living conditions, send their children to school and buy food – benefits that affect the entire community,” she said. Alisha and Lisa returned from Africa energized and ready to form their own charitable organization, Open Hand, with two goals: offering micro loans to women and collecting shoes to distribute to children in poor villages around the globe. Lisa recalls visiting an African village where not a single child owned a pair of shoes. “Not only are shoes required in order to attend school, but they can actually save lives,” she said. “Two major sources for worms are contaminated water and walking barefoot. It is critical that these children wear shoes. Crocs or Croc-styled shoes are best as they are light weight, washable and long lasting.” Creating and operating a nonprofit is very timeconsuming, especially for two full-time moms. Alisha is the

1. Longtime friends Alisha Ballew, left, and Lisa Rogers are the founders of Open Hand. 2. Lisa Rogers and Alisha Ballew with a woman selling bananas. 3. Selling beans in a Haiti marketplace. 4. The first recipients of shoes from the Crocs4Kids program, at an orphanage in Burundi, Africa. 5. African children display their new Crocs.

mother of two boys, Joshua, 13 and Aaron, 11, while Lisa has 4-year-old Will in tow. Thankfully, both husbands offered to support their wives’ dream 100 percent – financially, and with “Mr. Mom” duty as needed. While the trip to Africa provided initial inspiration, Alisha and Lisa soon turned their focus to Haiti. A chance inquiry at a friend’s prompting resulted in a partnership

► See HAND, Page 14

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unsung‘she’ro ▼ HAND, Continued from Page 12 with Bobby and Sherry Burnette, founders of Love a Child, a nonprofit working to reduce poverty in Haiti. Love a Child’s latest project is the construction of a large marketplace called Miracle Village, due to open in Haiti in the summer of 2014. Inside the marketplace, Haitians will sell their wares in 600 open stalls, enabling the vendors to stimulate their local economy and become more self-sufficient. Love a Child was seeking micro lenders to offer start-up loans to entrepreneurial Haitians. Out of a pool of much larger, more established charities, the Burnettes selected Open Hand, to provide micro loans to 300 of the 600 vendors. Robin Dover, a Milton mom who volunteers with Open Hand, says winning this partnership with Love a Child was a huge accomplishment and speaks to the level of care and compassion that Alisha and Lisa pour into everything they do. “It’s remarkable when you think about it. Open Hand Inc. is a brand new charity with no proven history, run by two suburban moms. And yet they were chosen. I believe the Burnettes could see that Lisa and Alisha have their heart in the right place. They are not out to earn anything for themselves, but are working as hard as they can simply out of love and concern for poor women and children,” she said. Alisha studied microfinance and

14 | | november2013

Top: Open Hand's founders with women in Burundi, Africa. Bottom: A rendering of the new Miracle Village marketplace in Haiti.

business for eight months in order to create a well-planned manual for Open Hand’s operations, including mandatory, extensive training for each loan recipient on business procedures and fiscal responsibility and a pledge to never charge interest on their loans. “You won’t hear a lot about this, but many organizations offering micro loans in poor countries charge high interest on those loans, even as high as 40 percent,” said Alisha. “We couldn’t in good faith do that.”

“Lisa and I want to do things with excellence and a generous spirit. We owe it to the women and orphans we support to give them the absolute best of us. Beneath it all, the Haitians are smart people and show great ingenuity, but there is so little hope. We want to empower them so they can dream again.” Alisha and Lisa visited Haiti for the first time in June of 2013 and held a meeting to determine how many local Haitians might be interested in one of the 300 micro loans, expecting maybe

75 to 100 people to show up. To their astonishment, more than 700 arrived. “Our mission was clear, but we had no idea how we could make it happen in the time frame necessary,” said Lisa. “We were still waiting for our 501(c)(3) papers to go through, and sometimes that can take years. Everything hinged on getting that tax-exempt status. We arrived home from Haiti, and our approval papers arrived in the mail the very next day. It was like a miracle – it was meant to be.” Alisha and Lisa are currently fundraising to raise the $150,000 needed to fund the 300 loans for Miracle Village. They are also collecting clothing and Crocs through shoe drives and Sole Sisters parties, and sending the goods to orphanages and schools in Haiti and Africa. The Haitian loan amounts range from $100 to $350 and because the operation is so small, Alisha and Lisa can tell donors exactly who their money will support, and in the case of larger donors, actually take them to Haiti to meet the people whose lives they are changing. Alisha’s sons plan to go with her when she visits Haiti to hand out clothing and shoe donations in January and even Lisa’s 4-year-old, who can’t quite pronounce “Haiti,” has already asked, “What about toys, Mom? Can we send toys to ‘Katie?’” Sounds like Alisha and Lisa are passing along their gift of compassion – that extra generous heart – to the next generation. For more information on Open Hand and the Crocs4Kids program, please visit ■

november2013 | | 15

goodeats ▼ BAKERY, Continued from Page 6 the kitchen at night after the café closed. In 2007, she opened her own business, named American Gra-Frutti in honor of her fruitcakes. Her dream of bringing quality products to market was becoming a reality, but soon an unexpected hurdle arose. After suffering for years from a series of unexplained health issues, Santulli was diagnosed with gluten intolerance, meaning wheat and many other grains were now on the forbidden list. Not good news for a professional baker. Determined to hold on to her dream, Santulli educated herself, changing her diet and her business in the process by adding a new line of Marilyn’s Gluten-Free Gourmet products. American Gra-Frutti became a completely gluten-free facility with Santulli spending hours researching and testing new recipes or re-working old favorites. “Thankfully, a few of my recipes were already gluten-free, but many others had to be completely changed. It was a huge challenge and there was a lot of trial and error,” Santulli recalled. She relied heavily upon her two young grandchildren, Jake and Sophia, who were ready and willing tasters. “Children do not lie,” said Santulli. “If they asked for more of something, I knew it had to be good.” Back at the farmers markets, Santulli found enthusiastic response for her efforts. “At the time, gluten-free products

Top: “They’ll Never Know” carrot cake, You Love Chocolate Chip Cake. Right: American Gra-Frutti cakes are sold at Whole Foods Market.

American Gra-Frutti 1007 Mansell Road, Ste. D Roswell, Ga. 30076 770-587-5874

were not always very tasty, so people were excited to discover wholesome, delicious baked goods that were safe to eat. Customers started coming out of the woodwork saying, ‘Thank you! We need these products.’ I had no idea the demand was so high. This was when my mission became clear and I really shifted into high gear,” she said.

Determined to reach a larger market, Santulli presented her goods to the grocery buyers at area Whole Foods Markets and soon her products were on the shelves in stores across the Southeast and selling fast. Today, her Roswell bakery produces hundreds of cakes for Whole Foods Markets, including Very Vanilla, You

Love Chocolate and a unique flavor called “They’ll Never Know.” “It’s my favorite cake,” she said. “A nutritious twist on a traditional carrot cake made with carrots, squash and spinach. It’s delicious, but I couldn’t name it ‘Veggie Cake’ because that would be a big turn off. I kept promising customers that their families would ‘never know,’ so that name eventually stuck.” Santulli and her small bakery staff in Roswell stay busy filling large wholesale orders, but retail customers can walk in the Mansell Road facility anytime to purchase gluten-free cheese straws, crackers, snack mixes and pimento cheese spreads as well as a new line of baking mixes for everything from pizza dough to sandwich rolls. Freshly baked breads, biscuits, dinner rolls, muffins, cakes, cupcakes, cookies and desserts can be pre-ordered online at www. and picked up on Tuesdays and Fridays. A small staff handles the daily production at the bakery, allowing Santulli time to experiment in the kitchen with new recipes, her favorite passion. Knowing that she is bringing a little bit of freshly baked joy to those with restrictive diets is very rewarding. “My mother, who is now 87, suffered from digestive problems for years and I wish she had been diagnosed earlier. She could have had a different life,” Santulli mused. “She and my grandmother gave me my love for baking and inspired me to share my creations with others. I love what I do and am excited to see where the road leads next.” ■

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Recipes from the ‘Legacy Garden’ Start a feeding frenzy at your Thanksgiving table


ersonal chef Scott Wilson grew up in southwest Alabama with five generations of his family living within a 10-mile radius of his home. Getting together for Thanksgiving was “an ordeal that took days of planning and preparation.” His mother and aunt would start cooking the week before, making casseroles, cornbread dressing with giblet gravy, a multitude of cakes and pies, a big roasted turkey, fresh veggies from the garden and the “dreaded congealed salad.” Wilson, former owner of the personal chef service Healthy Home Cooking in Cumming and Alpharetta, has released a new cookbook entitled “The Legacy Garden,” written with his mother and containing creative twists on traditional Southern recipes. Here, Wilson shares a few of his favorites along with some cooking tips. “The Legacy Garden” can be purchased online at www. Northside Woman readers can enter the promo code “NPW” for .99¢ shipping during the months of November and December.

Pimento Cheese

Makes about 6-7 cups Pimento cheese is one of those Southern staples we always had on hand. The trick is to have the cheese come to room temperature once it is grated, allowing it to soften and absorb the mayonnaise. Pre-shredded cheese has its place, but this is not it. Mother always added a block of softened cream cheese in place of the additional block of cheddar. I prefer the extra block of cheddar. • 2 (10-ounce) blocks sharp cheddar cheese • 1 (10-ounce) block extra sharp cheddar cheese • 2 (7 ounces) jars diced pimentos, drained • 1 teaspoon lemon juice • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic • 2 dashes cayenne pepper • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Duke’s mayonnaise Grate the cheeses into a large bowl and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Add pimentos, garlic, cayenne, Worcestershire and lemon juice

then toss. Add 1 cup of the mayo and stir until blended. Add more mayo if needed. Refrigerate overnight for the best flavor. Will last for 1 month, but it is always gone before then.

• • • • • • • •

Pimiento Cheese Stuffed Eggs

Makes 12 halves These are not your mother’s deviled eggs. If you like pimento cheese and traditional stuffed eggs, you will really like these. To make a pretty presentation, cut the eggs in half with a waffle-fry cutter and then fill the eggs with a piping bag. • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise • 1/3 cup pimiento cheese (homemade or a real cheese purchased product) • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise • Chopped fresh chives for garnish

6-7 small sweet potatoes 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup apple cider, divided 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and place on a foil-lined baking pan and bake for 1 hour and 3045 minutes, or until soft. In a 2-quart saucepan, add the dried cranberries and 1/4-cup apple cider and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the milk, butter, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until the butter is melted. When the potatoes are baked and have cooled enough to handle. Carefully remove the pulp and place in a mixing bowl with remaining apple cider. Reserve 6 of the best potato skins as you will be stuffing them with the potato mixture. Using a hand mixer, blend until smooth. Add the contents of the saucepan and blend until combined. Place the potato skins on a baking sheet and evenly spoon the potato mixture into each of the skins and top with the chopped pecans. At this point they can be made ahead and refrigerated later use (set out for 30 minutes before baking). When ready to bake, place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Scoop egg yolks into bowl; reserve whites. Mash yolks and add pimento cheese, mayonnaise and stir until creamy. Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture into whites. Garnish with fresh chives.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Makes 6 servings Our family loves sweet potatoes and this recipe is one of the newer recipes we have grown to love. More of a savory side dish versus the “could be dessert” sweet potato casserole that we also love during the holidays. Make sure that your pumpkin spice is fresh and fragrant, as it an essential ingredient to the dish. I usually bake an extra sweet potato so that when you refill the skins you get a nicer presentation.

18 | | november2013

Apple-Caramel Pecan Mini Muffins Makes 48 mini muffins These are a tasty fall treat and are a great addition for a dessert when tailgating at your favorite football game.

You can make them a day or two before you need them, but just keep them in an airtight container. You will need to make a batch of Caramel Frosting to go with these. For uniform muffins, use a small ice cream scoop to fill the tins. • 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (6-8) • 1 cup apple cider, divided (reserve 2 tablespoons for frosting) • Vegetable cooking spray • 1 cup sugar • 1/2 cup vegetable oil • 2 eggs, lightly beaten • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, *toasted and divided Peel, core and slice the apples and place in a bowl with the apple cider. Finely chop and add back to the cider and set aside. Coat the mini muffin tins with vegetable cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla. In a larger bowl, stir together the flour,

pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt. Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a spoon until just blended. Reserving 2 tablespoons of the cider drain the apples. Stir in the apples and 3/4 cup of the toasted pecans to the muffin batter. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups, filling cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean. Let muffins sit for 10 minutes and then remove from pan to let cool. When cooled, dip the muffin tops into the caramel frosting then sprinkle the muffins with the remaining chopped pecans.

Caramel Frosting

• 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk • ¼ cup brown sugar • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Place all ingredients in a heavy 2-quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Remove from heat and using a wire whisk, whisk for one minute. Frosting will thicken as it cools. ■

november2013 | | 19


SensationalScarves Fun ways to wear fall’s favorite accessory

How to tie a flower knot



ooler weather is finally here and so are the wonderful fall fashions. Adding layers to outfits is a necessity for warmth and a way to look “pulled-together.” Remember the Secret of Three’s: adding a third piece to complete your outfit (top, bottom, plus jacket or statement necklace or scarf). An infinite number of women and teenage girls are wearing the infinity scarf (a double loop around the neck). Just as many are wearing the European Loop, which is a long scarf folded in half and the ends pulled through the middle to secure it around the neck. If you are like me, you want to make more of a statement with your scarves. Or perhaps you have a wonderful Hermes square scarf that you or a loved one purchased in Europe but you have never worn it because you didn’t know how. Here are some of my favorite knots that can be used with casual or business outfits. Full details and instructional pictures can be found on my website at

Belted scarf

Created with a long narrow scarf. Use a narrow or wide belt. Great way to lengthen a torso, create a longer neckline. Perfect for women who do not like something tied around their necks but would love to make use of their scarves. Great for adding color to a monochromatic outfit.

Pleated bow

Created with a square scarf. Use a multi-colored scarf with separates of different colors for a “pulled-together” look. In this case, the colors of the sweater, tee and pant are found in the scarf.

Flower knot

Created with a large or small square scarf. Add a small one to a ponytail or lapel on a jacket. Raid your husband’s or boyfriend’s pocket squares to add a dash of color to your own wardrobe. A large scarf tied in the flower knot worn around the neck can add flair to a basic casual or business outfit.

Criss-cross bow knot

Created with a long narrow scarf. Dress it up or down. Can be used with scarves of varying weights. You can create different looks by wearing it lower or higher on the neck and by making the bow bigger or smaller. 20 | | november2013

Scarves add interest to the most basic outfits. They come in a variety of prices, sizes, colors and shapes. Most every closet I look into these days has at least a few. If you are motivated to add scarves to your seasonal accessories, an inexpensive place to start is This site has a wonderful variety of scarves categorized by shape, color and pattern. ■

As a personal wardrobe consultant and owner of Alpharetta-based Fashion With Flair, Lori Wynne’s expert advice helps people look their personal best. Contact her at

november2013 | | 21


A woman you might like to know By DEBBIE KEEL

North Fulton Hospital CEO


he stands about 5 feet tall. Her pretty dark hair and large dark eyes are strikingly beautiful. She had a baby just a few months ago and whispers that she still has four pounds to lose—though she hardly looked like she was expecting when she was expecting. Just wait a minute though and she will show you a picture of her beautiful baby girl. Her smile lights up the room and makes everyone she meets feel immediately comfortable. You can’t help but think she is the kind of woman with whom you’d like to be friends. Then you get to know her and you realize what you really want is for her to be your physician, your cardiologist no less. She is Dr. Ayushi Ahuja, one of the two cardiologists in North Fulton Cardiovascular Medicine (NFCVM), a new cardiology practice and the first ever located on the campus of North Fulton Hospital. NFCVM will be the nucleus of the hospital’s newly expanded cardiology program and its cardiology affiliation with WellStar Health System. While Dr. Ahuja appears slight of stature, her resume is anything but demure. Dr. Ahuja completed her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., before beginning her medical training at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 2003. She completed the J. Willis Hurst Internal Medicine residency and the Emory Cardiology Fellowship Program. 22 | | november2013

During her career, Dr. Ahuja has discovered a passion for congenital heart disease and a desire to help women find better heart health. She strives to help women prevent heart disease and improve their long-term outcomes by providing the highest quality of patient and familycentered care. In case you missed our announcement, soon NFH will be performing interventional cardiac procedures in its new cardiac catheterization lab and EKGs, echoes, stress tests and nuclear medicine exams in its new outpatient cardiology diagnostic area in the Roswell Imaging Center. Dr. Ahuja and her partner, Dr. Rajesh Sachdeva, NFH’s director of cardiac services, are delighted to be providing the North Fulton community with the cardiac services it deserves. As a woman approaching 60 (as slowly as I can but approaching nonetheless), it’s also exciting to know that early next year, Dr. Ahuja will be the medical director of our Women’s Cardiology Program, designed with the special attention that our cardiac health deserves. Stay tuned for more details in the new year. In the meantime, you can reach Dr. Ahuja at NFCVM by calling 770-410-4520. And don’t forget to ask about the baby! ■ Debbie Keel ►

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Makingmemories Practical ideas for displaying family treasures By CHARLENE TITTLE


am Phillips Blackstone was lucky to spend her entire youth on a storybook-charming, tree-lined street in Macon, Ga. Her dad, Bud, was well known for his porch gatherings, which included sittin’, visitin’ and talking about his beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Bud was an extraordinary welder and sign maker, so when he departed to join the team in that big Sanford Stadium in the sky, Pam naturally wanted to keep some of his handcrafted pieces. The challenge was finding the right spot in her suburban Roswell home to showcase them. Having completed several design projects for Pam and her husband Bill, I was happy to make a home for her dad’s special creations. Since I love the “ta-da!” of the big reveal, I chose to place the items while the Blackstones were away. The iron house numbers that resided above the door at Pam’s childhood home in Macon became the centerpiece for a family wall of special photos. A lovely garden gate welded by her talented father was placed in Pam’s office where it reminds her each morning of her beloved parent as she begins her workday.

Not everyone is blessed with great handcrafted family heirlooms, but we all have items that conjure special memories. Even those awful dining room chairs that Aunt Agnes was sure you wanted – but are still sitting in your basement – could be painted in fun colors, seats covered in whimsical fabrics and transformed into everyday treasures. The latest chalk paints now available make this process a mere weekend project. A quick Internet search will provide the how-to details. Dig out those old family photos and choose a few favorites. For a few dollars, they can be enlarged and the color changed to black and white. Then house them in thrift shop frames by collecting a non-matching group of frames in appropriate sizes and painting them one color that unifies. Add a couple of shelves or even letters or words to the arrangement …and voila! It’s a family gallery that takes you back. What’s more special than having your little people know what Great Grandma looked like in her glory days? Did you inherit Dad’s vintage rock and roll album collection from the 70s? Many retail outlets offer frames specially sized for albums. How much fun would it be to decorate a hallway or terrace level

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herhome room with a little Led Zeppelin or Rolling Stones? Every good Southern woman has a handwritten family recipe for that one special dish. No matter how tattered, spattered or used it is, it can be framed to add a warm memory to your kitchen. Or what about that treasured board game you played with your siblings every rainy summer day? Why not turn it into a flash-back piece of wall art that could be the beginning of a collection for your own family? Give a little thought to your own hidden treasures, spend a few minutes thinking creatively and you will find an affordable way to incorporate your special pieces into the here and now. ■

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women in art

Exploring the World of art Carlyn Romeyn teaches art history, leads trips to Europe By CAITLIN WAGENSEIL




arlyn Romeyn, a Roswell resident since 1985, began teaching art history as a way to share her love and knowledge of art with others. Growing up in a small town with a family who always appreciated art, Romeyn said she knew art history was the direction she wanted her life to move in, prompting her to pursue a Ph.D. from Emory University in that subject. For the past eight years, Romeyn has taught art history courses in Alpharetta through Seniors Enriched Living (SEL), a nonprofit, interfaith organization providing continuing education to seniors ages 55 and up. SEL has served the North Fulton area since 1990, and in addition to art, offers classes in theology, history, science, current events and literature. “I started off with a traditional art history course and got such a huge response from it, that I immediately got hooked. After about a year, I started designing my courses around themes, and it became so much more fun,” she said. On Thursdays, Romeyn teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 535 Rucker Road in Alpharetta. Her class this quarter is currently focusing on portraits through the ages and the underlying meanings behind them.

Above: Carlyn Romeyn in Northern Thailand. Left: Art history teacher Romeyn poses with an itinerary for her fall 2014 group trip, Art Treasures of Italy, which she planned.

Although she taught at Georgia Southern University for six years, Romeyn said teaching to seniors is much different because unlike college students, they aren’t solely concerned on receiving a grade. “They come because they want to and because they’re motivated to learn,” Romeyn said. “We’re all sharing ideas because

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I’ve never felt so welcomed by a group of people.” I don’t claim to know everything. It’s a mutual environment of learning, which is delightful for me.” She added that SEL gives her a perfect forum for sharing, which she finds very fulfilling. And the seniors constantly keep her thinking and on her toes, something that Romeyn said is just another reason why she enjoys what she does. One concept Romeyn tries to impress upon her adult students is the idea of communicating with a certain piece of art and finding a connection with it. Because once you can do that, she said, you can evolve. “I connect visually with things, and that enriches me. I love to gain knowledge and then pass what I’ve learned along to someone else, because if you can’t share what you know, then it’s meaningless,” Romeyn said. In addition to portraits, Romeyn has taught themes including the physical and spiritual qualities of light in art and architecture, the history of the human figure in art, themes of good and evil in painting and more. Artists make definite statements through their work, Romeyn said, and she explores that with the adults she teaches. She also expressed how important it is that her seniors ask questions and

challenge her. Because if there is one thing she knows for certain, it’s that she loves the interaction with them. “I’ve never felt so welcomed by a group of people,” Romeyn said. “These people are so wonderful and generous, and we’re all sort of in the same place — we want to make sense of our lives and we want to make everything count. Because when you’re doing something that’s driven from passion, it enriches and gives meaning to your life.” And traveling is one of those meaningful things. Since the start of her journey at SEL, she has organized group trips to places including Paris, Greece, Italy, London and Eastern Europe. Romeyn said there is a big difference between learning about art in a classroom

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setting and actually seeing it in real-life form. “There’s a lot more freedom to make a personal discovery when you go on a trip and see the art for yourself,” she said. Romeyn, who travels abroad frequently, is now planning her next group trip, “Art Treasures of Italy” for fall 2014. She studied in Florence while in college, and said she never tires of traveling there. “It was unbelievably eye-opening for me to be there [Florence] with all of the incredible art that’s commonplace to the Italians,” Romeyn said. “I’m very excited for the 12-day trip I have planned.” Romeyn added she will be giving preparation sessions before the actual trip, so that those going will better understand and appreciate what they’ll see along

Left: Romeyn at the National Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Right: Romeyn in Ireland overlooking the cliffs of Moher.

the way. When Romeyn isn’t teaching, she spends her time with hobbies including photography, reading, playing the flute and leading the Taize Group, one of several music ministries at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Roswell. And Romeyn said she plans to continue teaching art history courses at SEL. “It’s the interaction with the people and the fellowship,” she said. “I don’t know what I would do without it.” For more information on SEL and its services, visit ■

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november2013 | | 27


Keep the trimmings trim this year How to cut calories during holiday feasts

whipped topping with fat-free instead and you’ll be surprised how fantastic it tastes. If none of these options float your boat, there is always the tried and true, hardest option of them all: portion control. The two least fun words to say and implement over the holidays. Fill up half of your plate with greens and other non-starchy veggies. Fill another quarter of it with lean meat (remove the skin to remove a good portion of the fat and calories) and the last quarter with stuffing or potatoes. As for dessert? Cut the amount you’d normally have in half. The holidays can still be fun and the food can still taste great by tweaking it just a bit or watching what you eat. And of course, you can always go for a walk after a big meal, or even the next morning to help burn off some of the sins of the meal. Good luck! ■



t’s that time of year again. The time for food, fun, family and well, fat. Sadly, we’re not bears or squirrels, and fattening up to hibernate isn’t an option. Does that mean we can’t enjoy the fabulous foods of the holidays? Of course not. It just means we have to make wise choices. Here are a few hints to help you keep your calorie intake manageable during the holidays. ► When cooking, replace butter with healthier fats like light cooking spray, canola oil, whipped butter, olive oil or a trans-fat-free margarine. ► Baking with no-sugar-added applesauce is a tasty alternative to oil and butter. ► Use imitation whipped cream instead of calorie-dense real stuff. ► If you’re fan of gravy, put it in

the refrigerator before serving. When chilled, the fat will collect on top and can be skimmed off prior to serving. ► Use turkey sausage instead of pork in stuffing. Instead of white bread, use low calorie wheat or whole grain bread. Reduce butter requirement to half or use the trans-fat-free margarine. Choose lower sodium, reduced fat chicken broth and remove the yolks from the eggs. ► Replace milk and butter in

mashed potatoes with reduced fat chicken broth and trans-fat-free margarine. ► Ah, pumpkin. Pumpkin is a low-fat, low-calorie food with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Pumpkin is healthy. It’s what we put pumpkin in that causes problems. You can still have pumpkin pie, but to cut back on the calories, use evaporated fat-free milk from a can, reduce the sugar by half and use a graham cracker crust. Replace the full-fat

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What’sinyour bag? Fall and winter beauty must-haves

By CYNTHIA MORRISON EIKE Visage Designs by Cynthia


ooler weather signals time to change up our look and clean out our makeup bags. This season’s colors feed our senses with delicious hues of chocolate, cherry and berry on smooth and creamy skin. Here are some makeup bag must-haves to transport you deliciously through the fall and winter of 2013. ► Dry winter air draws moisture out of our skin and lips quickly. Keep skin and lips hydrated by protecting them with luscious balms like Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Balm SPF 25 for face ($95) and Dermalogica Climate Control Lip Treatment ($9). These products hydrate and protect your skin while acting as a primer for rich lip colors and foundations.

► Create a flawless complexion by keeping dark circles and discoloration hidden with a great concealer. Benefit Cosmetics Fakeup ($24) is a hydrating and crease-control concealer that diffuses fine lines and covers dark circles instantly and can be used for touchup throughout the day. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Waterproof Concealer ($22) can be used anywhere on the face, under and over foundation, for long wearing, buildable coverage. Each fits easily into your makeup bag for touchups. ► Chocolate hued eyeshadows and liners work for any eye color and can go from day to night easily. Look for a palette with several colors, from dark to light,

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like NYX Cosmetics Natural Eyeshadow Palette ($7) or Tarte Neutraleyes Palette Vol. II ($44). For daytime, keep lids light, medium shade in the crease and a little dark shadow at the outer corner and lash line. Lightly line upper lid with a fine eyeliner like Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Liner ($8). For evening (apply over what you have on) richly line lashline and water rim with Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Kajal Liner in Black Coffee ($24), apply darkest shadow to lids, then lighter color to crease, and lightest color under brows. Finish by smudging darkest shadow under lashline and to outer corners for an instant chocolaty smokey eye.


► Rich red and berry tones for lips and tips can be coordinated or mixed and matched for an ultra-chic take on the colors of the season. Try a classic red lip color like Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Red ($25) or Revlon Certainly Red ($7) paired with a beautiful deep-berry toned nail color like OPI Miami Beet ($9) or Christian Dior Vernis in Graphic Berry ($24). ■ Cynthia has been a makeup artist for more than 25 years. She provides consulting and makeup application services through Visage Designs by Cynthia. Email her at

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Ask the Vet Question


y dog has medium-length hair and I keep her shaved during the summer. Will this make her shed more as her hair grows this fall? Is there a certain diet that helps with shedding?



o shave or not to shave, that is the question. Many dog owners get their pets shaved during the summer. Shaving seems to serve a dual purpose: control the amount of hair floating across the floor and keeping our pets cooler. An important thing to know is that deciding on whether or not to shave should be based on the dog’s breed. In many instances, the longer the hair, the less likely they are to shed. So while shaving may help reduce the length of the hair being shed, it does not increase or decrease the rate at which each individual breed will shed. Shaving is also done in an effort to keep our pets cooler during the warm summer months. But it may not be as helpful as it may seem. When we sweat, sweat condenses and we cool down. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have sweat glands anywhere on their body, other than on

their paw pads. So when dogs get shaved, we are not really making a difference in their ability to cool down. With that said, dogs may feel better when they get shaved. They may feel “lighter” and start enjoying human touch even more as it is magnified in the absence of a thick coat of hair. With regards to diets that may help prevent shedding, there is a definite correlation between nutrition and the quality of the hair coat. Good quality diets with balanced nutrition and supplements such as Omegas 3-6-9 fatty acids will help in maintaining coat health. Without an adequate diet, some dogs may develop

skin problems that can result in excessive shedding. Your dog should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be triggering excessive shedding and/or hair loss. Allergies, immune mediated diseases and endocrine disorders are some of the possible medical conditions that may be to blame. Bottom line, all dogs will shed to a lesser or greater degree depending on their breed. If you are in the market for a low shedding breed, consider Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Poodles and Yorkies to name a few. The hairless

breeds, such as the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli, are the only true nonshedding breeds. And remember, that a good diet is key in maintaining a healthy coat, and a healthy coat will have a normal shedding cycle. ■ Dr. Beatriz Segarra is the owner and veterinarian at the Village Animal Hospital on Abbotts Bridge Road in Johns Creek. www.thevillage

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The Drake Closet celebrates new Alpharetta store T he Drake Closet, a boutique that sells new and gently used women’s clothing, shoes and accessories as well as new unique gifts, recently opened a second store in downtown Alpharetta at 26 Old Roswell Street, also known as “Food Truck Alley.” To celebrate, a fashion show was held in September, featuring food and fashion and some familiar faces on the runway. Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann walked the catwalk to display some Drake Closet fashions, as did Candice Belle Isle, wife of Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle, and Trudy Davies Davis, Mrs. Georgia International 2013, to name a few. All proceeds from the Drake Closet benefit the Drake House in Roswell, a crisis residential assessment center for

1. The fashion show featured fashions from the new Alpharetta location of the Drake Closet. 2. From left, Nequana Holmes, Drake House Executive Director Kathy Swahn and Sharon Cross. 3. From left, fashion show models Amelia Appen, Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann and Mrs. Georgia International 2013 Trudy Davies Davis. 4. Look for the red roof of the Drake Closet’s new Alpharetta location at 26 Old Roswell Street.

homeless women and children in the North Fulton area, offering immediate

housing and programs designed to provide stability for the children and assist

the family in working toward housing selfsufficiency. Two women who received help from the Drake House shared their life story with the fashion show audience. Nequana Holmes and Sharon Cross spoke eloquently about their struggles to make a new life for themselves and how Drake House played a key role in that transformation. Alpharetta’s new Drake Closet and the original Roswell location at 825 Mimosa Boulevard are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations of new and gently used women’s clothing are accepted Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by appointment. To learn more, visit ■

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Open Daily Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 1-5 | 1570 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Roswell | | 32 | | november2013


your Who is favoriteNorthside Woman? from Tom & Martha Campbell


ur favorite Northside Woman, Ann Blevins, works tirelessly as a director and founder of a new successful homeschool located at 41 Church Street, Alpharetta. After teaching kindergarten through fifth-grade children at HOME SWEET HOMESCHOOL all day, she returns home to her husband and her 17-year-old daughter, who is a senior in high school this year. She is active in her church, a member of the Alpharetta Business Association, a member of Alpha Iota Music Honors Society, a member of Alpharetta Home Schoolers Association and gives time to her community. Let us celebrate this amazing talented teacher.

from Kate Wittschen


ometimes outstanding women are those who make a splash with a talent they have. Sometimes it can be those who achieve great success monetarily or politically. However, sometimes outstanding women are those who work quietly and tirelessly behind the scenes, helping people in their time of greatest need, without looking for

recognition at all…and it makes our lives richer when we find them. In the past few years, I have come to know Lisa Machado – wife, mom to three great kids, active in the community and owner of “Visiting Angels,” which she runs with her husband. I got to know Lisa because my daughter Caroline and her daughter Erin became best friends at school. They would often joke that their moms had been separated at birth because apparently the same words would often come out of our mouths – even though we had never met. After they arrived at school, on several occasions, with the exact same lunches (leftovers from previous nights), we knew we had to meet. It was pretty comical. Lisa is one of the busiest momsI know. She makes sure her kids’ needs are always met. She volunteers at school and her church whenever needed, and runs a business which serves the elderly, sick and disabled in our community. The Machados’ “Visiting Angels” is a 24-hour, 365-day operation. She has a staff that she treats like family and her phone doesn’t just ring all day, it continues into the wee

Ann Blevins

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hours of the morning. If you call and leave a message in the middle of the night, you will get a call back – and she will be patient with you. She truly cares about the people she serves. I have decided that Lisa has an extra gene. It allows her to care – every hour of every day – for people in need, most of whom she has never met before.


Our families were together on the Fourth of July this year to view fireworks at Wills Park. As the fireworks exploded overhead, I glanced over and could see Lisa returning text messages to staff and clients. She was reading and texting, turning to ask her husband questions and smiling. She never complains about long hours or not having time for herself. She really seems to enjoy every day. She is grateful for what she has and for the opportunity to serve others. ■

Who is your favorite


Do you know an Unsung She’ro who works tirelessly? A fabulously creative artist, author or musician? Talented teacher or mentor? Successful businesswoman or entrepreneur? Outstanding athlete or fitness guru?

Or a best friend, mom or neighbor with an inspiring, funny or touching story to share?

We want to hear from you!!

Northside Woman is all about celebrating and connecting the amazing women who live in the North Fulton and South Forsyth communities of Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton, Johns Creek and Cumming – helping you get to know your neighbors and build business and social networks which allow women to support and encourage each other. Please share your story ideas with our staff by emailing Editor Katie VanBrackle at

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Holidays Along the Divine 9 Through Dec. 31. The Alpharetta and Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureaus have teamed up to promote a special list of holiday events such as Santa sightings, Christmas services, ghost tours, tree lightings, historic home tours, open houses, caroling, historic event reenactments and special promotions in stores and galleries. Download your free copy of Holidays Along the Divine 9 at and you will be eligible to win a $100 Visa gift card.


Fall Colors Canoe Tour 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Enjoy the splendor of fall leaves on a peaceful canoe tour at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Appropriate for ages 6 and up. $35. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell.

Alpharetta Restaurant Week ▲ Through Nov. 9. A weeklong celebration of food. Visit any one of a number of eateries for a palate-pleasing experience. Two-course lunch is $10 – 20; Three-course dinner is $20 – 30. Go online for a list of participating restaurants. Chili cook-off and Georgia/Florida football in Alpharetta 2:30 p.m. Police officers, firefighters and public safety staff will compete for awards with pots of homemade chili while attendees watch the Georgia-Florida football game on a large screen. Pre-game tastings and festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. with the game starting at 3:30 p.m. Chili cook-off tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Old Roswell Street, downtown Alpharetta.


An International Festival Concert 4 p.m. The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra presents “An International Festival Concert” featuring Korean violinist Janet Sung, Peruvian baritone Jose Sacin and local wunderkind pianist Joshua Shue. Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors over 65 and $12 for students under 21. Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth.

NOVEMBER ogre to dazzling new life on the stage. Full of all-new songs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, “Shrek the Musical” is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone. The Milton Center, 86 School Drive, Alpharetta. $15 tickets at the door, $10 online.


Holistic Healing and Healthy Aging Lecture 10 a.m. – noon. The North Fulton branch of the American Association of University Women invites the public to their monthly meeting featuring Vicki Steine speaking on a holistic approach to the latest information on nutrition, supplements and the many faces of healthy aging. Roswell Public Library, 115 Norcross Street, Roswell.

demos, live entertainment and a kids’ zone. $5 gate fee per person; children under 10 free. $5 for five tasting tickets and one vote ticket. $3 parking per vehicle. Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming. Picture Yourself with Santa 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Alpharetta Welcome Center to take your family’s holiday photo for free! Bring your family and friends, but no pets please. Refreshments will be served until 4 p.m. No reservation required. Alpharetta Welcome Center, 178 South Main Street, Alpharetta.


Alpharetta Community Thanksgiving Worship Service 7 p.m. Join several Alpharetta congregations at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church for the fifth annual Alpharetta Community Worship Service. Featuring inspirational music from congregations and Thanksgiving reflections from Alpharetta youth. Clergy from Alpharetta congregations will share in worship leadership and an offering will be taken in support of North Fulton Community Charities. A time of refreshments and fellowship will follow the service. 535 Rucker Road, Alpharetta.

21 Wire and Wood Songwriters Festival ▲ 4 – 9 p.m. Music will flow through the streets as talented artists perform their own songs with soulful melodies, magnificent voices and expressive lyrics while interacting with the audience. Listeners will learn the stories behind each song and may recognize some of the tunes from the radio. Free admission. Downtown Alpharetta, 2 South Main Street.


Milton Moms Holiday Bazaar 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Kick off the holiday shopping season with a wide array of arts and crafts, edibles, jewelry and gifts from 90-plus vendors. Proceeds benefit the Milton High School PTSA scholarship fund. Milton High School cafeteria, 13025 Birmingham Highway, Milton.

‘White Christmas’ at the Cumming Playhouse Through Dec. 15. Based on the beloved film, this heartwarming musical features 17 classic Irving Berlin songs. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis bring their song-and-dance act to a Vermont ski lodge where they romance two sisters and help their former army commander. The Cumming Playhouse, 101 School Street, Cumming. Tickets available online.


Chanukah Dinner and Shabbat Worship Service Dinner at 6 p.m., service at 7:30 p.m. All ages are welcome to Temple Kehillat Chaim in Roswell for a festival Chanukah dinner and Shabbat service. The worship service is free and no reservations are required. For dinner prices and reservations, please call 770641-8630. Temple Kehillat Chaim, 1145 Green Street, Roswell.


Tryptophan Half Marathon and 10K/5K in Cumming 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. This event raises funds for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Start and finish location is the Totally Running store, 405 Peachtree Parkway, Cumming. Registration and details online.


‘Deathtrap’ by Georgia Ensemble Theatre Through Nov. 24. This wickedly clever thriller is filled with twists, shocks and plenty of laughter. Sidney Bruhl, a writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a dry spell when he receives a script from a student. Sidney soon devises a devilish plan and is prepared to go to any lengths, even murder, to alter his fortunes. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 38 Hill Street. Tickets available online.


‘Shrek the Musical’ by CYT Atlanta Christian Youth Theatre brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite

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National BBQ Cup ▲ 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Also on Friday, Nov. 15 from 5 – 10 p.m. This Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned cook-off will include an opportunity for you to taste championship barbecue and decide for yourself which is the best! The two-day event benefits local charities and includes food vendors, arts and crafts, product

success, others have not, and Mother may be facing her last Christmas. Amid much laughter and witty dialogue, the family discovers something you’ll surely want to discover with them. Alpharetta Christian Theater is located inside Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, 180 Academy Street, Alpharetta. Tickets available online. City of Milton Tree Lighting 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Kick off the holiday season with Milton’s fourth annual Tree Lighting at the corner of Ga. 9 and Webb Road (in front of Target). Enjoy performances by the Milton High School chorus and an Off Broadway Expressions dance troupe. After Milton’s mayor and councilmembers light the tree, St. Nick will arrive by fire truck to pose for photographs amid holiday music and refreshments.

‘The Nutcracker’ performed by Roswell Dance Theatre ▲ Through Dec. 8. Roswell Dance Theatre’s “Nutcracker” has truly become a holiday tradition for over 21 years. The entire family will enjoy watching the magic of Christmas come alive with dancing dolls, dragons, mice and so much more. Enchanting for all ages. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest Street, Roswell. Go online for tickets and a performance schedule.

Looking Ahead



Johns Creek Tree Lighting 6:30 p.m. Ocee Elementary School’s chorus provides holiday music for the lighting of Johns Creek’s Christmas tree and dreidel. City Hall, 12000 Findley Road, Johns Creek.


Christmas High Tea at Bulloch Hall 4 p.m. Also held on Dec. 10, 12 and 17. A relaxing and enjoyable holiday tradition as ladies in period dress serve tea, sandwiches and desserts in this magnificent historic home, decorated for Christmas. The event also includes a holiday tour of the home. $40 per person. Reservations required. Call 770-992-173, ext. 2 to register. Bulloch Hall, 180 Bulloch Avenue, Roswell.

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‘Home for Christmas’ by ACT1 Theatre ▲ Through Dec. 22. Celebrate the spirit of Christmas with the Clayton family as they return from all over the country for a yuletide reunion. Some have achieved

Alpharetta Tree Lighting 5 – 8 p.m. Enjoy the traditional lighting of Alpharetta’s 45-foot live tree with 10,000 lights at 6:15 p.m. At 5 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting with children in the gazebo. Mayor David Belle Isle will read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” On Milton Square City Park, pre-lighting entertainment will consist of strolling elves creating free balloon sculptures, lighted train rides and holiday crafts. Milton Square City Park, Alpharetta.

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Welcome to

North Fulton Women’s Specialists

Sowmya Reddy, MD Board-Certified OB/GYN

The specialized care you want. The personal attention you deserve.

Sheila V. Garnica, MD Board Certified OB/GYN Certified Menopause Practitioner



• Preventive Exams and Pap Smears

• Birth Control

• Preconception, Family Planning and Contraception Consults • Prenatal Care and Delivery

(IUD, Nexplanon, Depo Provera) • Treatment for Heavy or Frequent Periods

• Teenage and Adolescent Care

• Investigation of Incontinence

• Menopause/Peri-Menopause Management

• Colposcopy and LEEP

• Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery • Waterbirths

(treatment for abnormal paps) • Ultrasonography

Alexandre K. Eaccarino, DO

To learn more about the services and physicians at North Fulton Women’s Specialists, visit Now accepting new patients and most major insurance plans. Same-day appointments available; call (770) 410-4388.

Michele P. Clark, MSN, CNM Certified Nurse-Midwife

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Northside Woman November 2013  
Northside Woman November 2013  

Northside Woman is a work and play publication and companion website that covers news and features for the northern Atlanta suburban female....