Best Self Atlanta 0420-0520

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Regenerative Injection Therapy ....Breathing New Life into An Aging Knee Let us rejuvenate your joints with regenerative medicine! Our genetic code is a powerful database of “life-giving” instructions for cells. These codes facilitate a programmed response when the cells are exposed to certain stimuli. These responses can be triggered by RIT techniques, forcing the treated area to regenerate healthy tissue & cartilage, resulting in stronger joints.

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FOUNDER Sherri Adair

PUBLISHER Patti Stephens SENIOR EDITOR Alex McCray CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Jill Becker ASSISTANT EDITOR Cory Olesen ART DIRECTOR Dona Halliday GRAPHIC DESIGN/PRODUCTION A.J. Weston MARKETING AND EVENTS MANAGER Wyndi Kappes MEDIA CONSULTANTS – PRINT/DIGITAL David Leonard Dawn DeSantis Amy Smith Andria Lavine Lisa George SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANT/ NORTH ATLANTA REGION Witt Beckman OFFICE MANAGER Gail Sawyer CONTRIBUTORS Captured by Jo Photography CatMax Photography Jennifer Colosimo Amy Meadows Melanie Preis

For print, web, email and digital advertising information, contact us at: 80 W. Wieuca Rd. NE., Ste. 115 Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 303-9333 x15 FAX (404) 303-0030

Inquiries and submissions regarding advertising and editorial should be directed to the address above. Atlanta Best Media does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does Publisher assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Readers are encouraged to notify Publisher when they suspect false advertising. Atlanta Best Media reserves the right to edit editorial for clarity and space availability. No content i.e. articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from Publisher.

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contents APRIL/MAY 2020



Photography by (top row) CatMax Photography. Photo courtesy of (bottom) Hachette Book Group, photography by Serena Martineau.

Amazing One-Hour Makeovers

At this fourth annual event, Best Self Atlanta reader attendees were transformed from head to toe.

56 Honoring Foster Moms

Three local foster families share how they are stepping up to aid children in crisis.

63 Pat Mitchell

Talks about taking risks and her path to becoming a powerful changemaker for women’s voices.


19 2020 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board

Meet the experts who can help you live your best life at age 40 and beyond.

On the Cover:

Wife, mom, entrepreneur, 2019 Over 40 & Fabulous! Give-Back Award winner and foster mother Bridgitte Ferraro Hatfield joined by her son Cross. Photography: Jojo Stylez of Captured by Jo Photography. 6

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8 From the Founder

Stay Positive. Stay Present.

10 From the Editor Marking Milestones

12 2020 Partners in Health

Learn from Atlanta’s

Top Health Care Experts


15 Best Bulletin

New Ideas and Activities

17 Best Bites

Healthy Eats and Treats

66 Best Fun


Connect with Yourself

67 Best Family

Live Your Best Life Together

Photo courtesy of (top right) City Takers, photography by Jazmine Bledsoe. Photography by (bottom left) Jojo Stylez of Captured by Jo Photography.

Photography by (top row) CatMax Photography. Photo courtesy of (bottom) Hachette Book Group, photography by Serena Martineau.

In every issue

68 Best Cause

Making a Difference Through Music, a Drive for Mother’s Day and More


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Give-Back Guide

Community Volunteer Opportunities

70 Best Fitness

Stay Strong and Active


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from the founder

Meet our team of aesthetic dentists

Stay Positive. Stay Present. A few days ago when this letter was due to the editorial team (I’m so late!), my intention was to write about something totally different. However, life can change in the blink of an eye, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced this of late. As I sit here contemplating recent events surrounding the coronavirus, it’s easy to work myself into a panic. What are the health risks and how will it affect our business and the Best Self Atlanta community partners we work with every day? And what does it mean for the future of our city, country and the world?

With over 30 years in dentistry, Dr. Debra Gray King is a pioneer in cosmetic dentistry. She is one of less than 76 dentists worldwide to be an Accredited Fellow, which is the highest level of competence recognized by the prestigious American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). She has been featured on The Doctors, Extreme Makeover, The Wall Street Journal, and various media outlets.

Then I remember to BREATHE and fully recognize that this internal dialogue is counterproductive. Even debilitating. So I try to stay positive. Not like Pollyanna positive, but like positive we will all be OK in the end. In order to stay positive, I need to stay present. That means it’s alright to laugh, celebrate and find joy in as much as I can. Worrying about what may happen does nothing. Action conquers fear. So let’s make good things happen. Let’s celebrate good health, family and friendship. Let’s exercise our bodies, take time to reflect and help others. There is nothing bad that can come from any of these activities.

Dr. Charlie Cooper is an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He has transformed thousands of smiles and his cosmetic cases are used in lectures nationwide. Dr. Cooper studied at the world famous Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He is a regular participant in the “Give Back A Smile” Program in which he and the ACCD donate their time and skills to help battered women achieve a new smile

In fact, why not take it a step further and embrace this opportunity to take a “pause” from the day-to-day grind and constant incoming barrage of, well, everything. It’s time for introspection.

If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present ... gratefully. —Maya Angelou

Let’s take this time to assess our personal and business lives and figure out how to make them better, and to be present and find happiness in little things. We don’t need a pandemic for this message to be relevant, of course. It’s a helpful practice for everything life throws our way. Tag us on Instagram @bestselfatlanta in your stories and posts and let us know how you’re staying positive and present. All the Best!

Sherri Adair, Publisher


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Photo courtesy of (top left) Richie Arpino Photography.

Dr. Brett Reeve studied Dentistry at the University of Southern California where he earned a membership to the Honor Dental Society “Omicron Kappa Upsilon.” He is a Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. In 2015, Dr. Reeve earned the Hero in Healthcare award for his constant service in the community and outstanding dental work.

Atlanta At l ant Center a Centerfor fo Cosmetic Dentistry

Co smeti| c D entistr 404.994.4509

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Dr. Brett Reeve

Sustaining Member American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Debra Gray King

Accredited Fellow American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Charlie Cooper

Accredited Member American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

As seen on: Call to schedule your consultation 404.994.4509 or visit us at

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from the editor


Marking Milestones 2020 is going to be a big year for Best Self Atlanta. This year marks the 10th anniversary of our groundbreaking Over 40 & Fabulous! contest, but that is not all we will be celebrating. Beginning with the June/July issue, the magazine will have a new appearance and enhanced focus on mindfulness and self-improvement. In perfect pairing with the publication’s refreshed design and added content, our website is also getting a face-lift and organizational overhaul. More information on the official relaunch of will be announced soon. In keeping with the theme of makeovers, we are thrilled to bring you our fourth annual Amazing One-Hour Makeovers event. We recruited a handful of local makeup artists and hairstylists to transform readers in just 60 minutes. Tracy Nicole’s sexy and sleek fashions were also incorporated to complete the looks. Turn to page 36 to see the before and afters. Something I love most about our makeover event is hearing why readers put their names in the drawing to receive a new look. Some have simply never seen themselves glammed up, for others it’s a deep desire for change. The latter is something I can relate to, as I have realized it is time for me to make a change of my own. I am sad to say that this issue will be my last as the editor of Best Self Atlanta. It has been a joy to be at the helm of this magazine for three and a half years and to call Atlanta Best Media home for nearly five years. I am certain you will continue to enjoy the hard work the talented team here puts into every page. As you thumb through this issue, I hope you are motivated to embrace whatever change is tugging at your heart. Maybe it’s the same call media pioneer Pat Mitchell (p. 63) heard to be a voice for social change. Or perhaps you’re moved to embrace a new definition of family the same way the local foster parents featured on page 56 did. Whatever the pull may be, I encourage you to boldly follow it.

Alex McCray, Senior Editor

Coming in June/July Special Issue: 10th Anniversary 2020 Over 40 & Fabulous! Winners. H O U S T O N



T O O T S I E S . C O M

The Real Cost of Food: Find out how what we eat can impact our mental, physical and financial health. And more of everything for healthy and happy living in Atlanta!


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Photography by (headshot) Sarah Diller’s Photographs.

Happy reading,

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Specializing in Hair Color, Cuts, Styling, Hair Extensions and Skin Care. 3220 Paces Ferry Place - 404.848.0047 -

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Photography by (headshot) Sarah Diller’s Photographs.

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Hair is the Essence of a Woman.

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2020 Partners in Health DERMATOLOGY MEN’S HEALTH

Men’s Health Is Boring

Busy Mom Skincare By Corrie Alford, MD

MetroDerm, P.C.

Dr. Corrie Alford is a board-certified dermatologist, specializing in general and cosmetic dermatology, at MetroDerm P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of Spellman College, and earned her medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her dermatology residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2006. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Alford is passionate about providing individualized skincare to enhance the overall health and well-being of her patients. Read article on p. 51.

By Scott D. Miller, MD

WellStar North Fulton Hospital Men’s health advocate Dr. Scott D. Miller is an innovative surgeon with one of the largest and most diverse experiences in laparoscopic and robotic urology in the Southeast. As one of Georgia’s best surgeons, Dr. Miller is guided by one consistent philosophy: focus solely on patients’ special needs and perfect the techniques necessary to deliver the best possible care. He believes that when patients have a better understanding of the conditions they are facing and how to improve their overall health, they have a chance to improve their quality of life. Read article on p. 49.


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A Cutting-Edge Treatment for Severe Back Pain By Paul R. Jeffords, MD

Resurgens Spine Center Dr. Paul R. Jeffords is a board-certified and fellowship trained orthopaedic spine surgeon and an expert in minimally-invasive spine surgery, including endoscopic and laser spine surgery. As part of Resurgens Orthopaedics, the largest orthopaedic practice in Georgia, and former co-medical director of Resurgens Spine Center, Dr. Jeffords combines his compassion for his patients with his skills in the latest spine care technology to improve the lives of thousands of patients suffering from back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, stenosis, and sciatica. Read article on p. 55.

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2020 Partners in Health SLEEP MEDICINE

Sleep Easy: CPAP Alternatives To Consider By Dr. Marianna Kovitch, DMD, DABDSM

Atlanta Smiles

Dr. Kovitch is an expert practitioner in cosmetic dentistry and dental sleep medicine. She is a Diplomate in the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, the highest distinction in dental sleep medicine. She is also an active member of the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and serves as Vice President on the board of the Georgia Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Kovitch is passionate about treating patients with sleep apnea and snoring using oral appliance therapy. She is also a certified HealthyStart™ provider, helping children correct early signs of sleep disordered breathing. Read article on p. 52.

Are you looking for

experienced, compassionate health care

experts to help you feel better and live


Overuse Injuries BenchMark Rehab Partners

BenchMark Rehab Partners is a family of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and hand therapists committed to inspiring and empowering people to reach their full potential. Its providers know that connecting with patients on a personal level helps to build trust. This trust is crucial in allowing patients and therapists to work together to make the best use of advanced certifications and refined techniques. A focus on proven methods and a hands-on approach help the BenchMark team achieve the goals of the patient in a safe and effective manner. Read article on p. 53.

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REAL People. REAL Smiles.

Let Your Smile Change The World If you are looking for a change in your life, you have come to the right dental office in Atlanta! Dr. Kovitch and Dr. Giesler and our experienced team are here to help you capitalize on one of your greatest assets: your smile.

Spring into a New Smile! Schedule your COMPLIMENTARY consultation today!



Follow us on Instagram @atlsmiles and see what Atlanta influencers have to say about us. Dr. Dina Giesler

Dr. Marianna Kovitch

(404) 262-7733 4405 Northside Pkwy NW Ste 110 Atlanta GA 30327 0420_014-015_BULLETIN.indd 14

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Seasoned citizens ages 55-plus are invited to a multicultural expo on May 12 filled with local and international artists, performances by Atlanta dance ensembles such as the Beulah Boys and teaching kitchens featuring local chefs. Organized by Georgia Power, the City of Atlanta’s Mayor’s Office, AARP Georgia and JenCare, the Aging Well Expo: “Make Your Mark” gathering is designed to educate, empower and celebrate the city’s golden-ager population.

Photos courtesy of (top left) SageNavigator, Inc., photography by Courtney Bush Photography; (top right) Zondervan, photography by Amy Paulson; (middle left) Johnson Publishing Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Details: Georgia State University Stadium (formerly Turner Field);

On Display Check out artist Theaster Gates’ exploration of the legendary photo archive of the Johnson Publishing Company (founder of Ebony and Jet magazines) at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. On view now through May 16, “Theaster Gates: The Black Image Corporation,” an interactive exhibition, features never-before-seen images of African-American women from the company’s rich collection.

Superb Self-Reflection Atlanta-based best-selling author Rachel Macy Stafford is at it again. The “Hands Free Mama” author and former Best Self Atlanta cover woman will release her fourth book on April 28. In “Live Love Now,” Stafford challenges adults to explore their own wellness and purpose. Through this journey of self-reflection, adults can become the role models today’s youth needs and provide support for the modern stressors they’re facing. Details:

Going Green

Change up your dog’s day with a walk by Chattapoochie Dog Hiking Adventures. Professional dog walkers take your pooch on a fun two-hour trek through local trails. Hikes can even be tailored to your dog’s interests and age.

What better way to spend a beautiful day than by participating in Keep Cobb Beautiful’s Spring 2020 Community Recycling Event? From 9am-1pm on April 25, head to scenic Jim R. Miller Park to drop off your hard-to-recycle items like electronics, Styrofoam and appliances. Afterward, take a stroll through the park to appreciate the natural beauty you just helped protect.


Details: 2245 Callaway Rd. SW., Marietta;

Details: 440 Westview Dr. SW., Atlanta;

Fun for Fido

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Green Tahina and Seared Rainbow Trout Greg Gettles, chef de cuisine of the popular farm-to-table restaurant The White Bull, shares a simple recipe for his fresh Green Tahina sauce. Try it as a healthy salad dressing, dip for crudité or paired with fish, as shown here. INGREDIENTS


For the Green Tahina Sauce

Combine olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a blender. Blend on high for 10 seconds until smooth. Add herbs and blend on high for 10 seconds. Be careful not to overblend the herbs because the heat will cause them to brown quickly.

• 2 cups fresh parsley roughly chopped, with the stems • 2 cups fresh basil roughly chopped, with the stems • 2 cups fresh mint roughly chopped, with the stems • ¼ cup lemon juice

Photos courtesy of (top right group) The White Bull; (bottom left) LVNGbook, photography by Victor Protasio, Bagwell + Protasio. Photography by (bottom right) Angie Webb.

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 1 cup tahini • 4 garlic cloves • 1 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, combine the herb purée, tahini and salt. Mix well to incorporate and adjust seasoning. Add a splash of water as needed in case the dressing seizes up. Set aside. Pat the trout dry with a paper towel to ensure it is completely dry.

• water, as needed For the Seared Trout • 1 rainbow trout fillet • 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as sunflower, grapeseed, vegetable or canola

Heat a sauté pan on medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil, then add the fish skin-side down. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the fish until almost cooked through, about


3 minutes. Gently flip the fish over to finish cooking for about 30 seconds and then remove from the pan. Top with Green Tahina sauce and enjoy. Details: 123 E. Court Sq., Decatur;

Conscious Cooking

Israeli Eats

Diet can be crucial to managing conditions such as high blood pressure, but navigating a doctor-prescribed list of foods to avoid can be difficult. Locally-based, former Time, Inc. cookbook editor Shaun Chavis founded LVNGbook to ease that burden. LVNGbook is a cookbook generator that allows users to build a custom cookbook that incorporates their medical, religious and personal food preferences. The book also comes with a habit-changing guide and journal that Chavis hopes will help users create lasting healthy lifestyle habits.

After cruising the Atlanta BeltLine, pay a visit to one of its newest restaurants. Rina serves up fresh Israeli street food favorites, including a falafel recipe that hails from owner Tal Baum’s grandmother. Inside the Tel-Aviv-beach-café-inspired eatery, dig into dishes such as the sea bass platter with Persian rice and charred vegetables while snacking on sides like Moroccan carrots and roasted cauliflower.


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Details: 699 Ponce De Leon Ave., Ste. 9, Atlanta;


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Facial Plastic Surgery

Dr. Brian Maloney Owner

Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery

hat you might not know about Dr. Brian Maloney, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, is that growing up in rural Ohio he wanted to be an old time family doctor. Fortunately for his many patients today,




Patient-Centered Philosophy

“We view our role with our patients similar to the oldfashioned family practitioner who really got to know their patients and was their guide on the journey of life,” says Dr. Maloney. “We have a very private, intimate setting at the Maloney Center. Our patients are like family, and we treat them that way.” (L TO R): AVERY, ELISSA, DR. MALONEY, MEGAN AND LINDSEY.


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In fact, the relationships Dr. Maloney and his staff work to build and maintain reflect the character of their overall

Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by Patricia Hernandez of Blushbaby Lash & Makeup Studio.

he found a passion in facial plastic surgery and built his business to be a standard in the industry—in terms of both quality treatment and unmatched patient care.

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business philosophy—one based on prioritizing the patient. As a result, patients travel from all over the world to be treated at the Maloney Center, and the customer service is only the icing on the cake of an exceptional patient experience.

Continuum of Care Dr. Maloney, who has written more than 80 book chapters and scientific articles on cosmetic surgery and participated in multiple FDA studies, works to educate patients so that together they can make the best decisions for treatment. This, in turn, helps him provide results that are exactly what the patient wants and leave them feeling more confident and ready to be their best self.

Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by Patricia Hernandez of Blushbaby Lash & Makeup Studio.

That includes helping patients understand how to take care of the skin they’re in right now. From sun protection and sunscreen education to eating and sleeping well, as well as getting regular exercise to boost overall health, reduce stress and increase selfesteem, he works with patients to help them understand how to care for their skin before moving onto facial cosmetic procedures. “Electing to have a facial cosmetic procedure when your face begins to show some signs of sadness or fatigue can help you feel your best on the inside as well as looking your best on the outside,” says Dr. Maloney. The center also uses the most advanced forms of anesthesia for patient safety, comfort and convenience. Lastly, he BEFORE AFTER provides the latest in technologically advanced procedures, A DR. MALONEY PATIENT BEFORE AND AFTER A FACELIFT, FAT TRANSFER, UPPER BLEPHAROPLASTY, BROW LIFT, CO2 LASER AND RHINOPLASTY. including options that let a patient see potential changes in their appearance before treatment and introducing minimal-incision procedures that are less invasive and require less downtime than in years past. The content for this article is brought to you by the Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery.

Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery (770) 804-0007 | 6111 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Bldg. E, Ste. 201 Atlanta, GA 30328

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Fitness and Well-Being

Suzanne Cypert General Manager Concourse Athletic Club


uzanne Cypert has been in the health and fitness industry since she graduated from college. Realizing she could help people feel better,

look better and perform better for a living was all it took to pursue turning a passion into a career. Now, as general manager of the Concourse Athletic Club in Sandy Springs, she exercises that passion by inspiring wellness through a complete fitness experience for her clients—and it’s changing the way people view their gym experience.



Knowing Your Needs

Photography by Sawyer Photography. Hair and makeup by A Glamour Affair.


Exercise was a way of life for Cypert’s family growing up. So the fact that there are so many people in today’s world who are unconditioned and inactive stays at the forefront of her mind. “People just don’t know how good they would feel if they incorporated wellness into their lives,” she says. “Each person is different and, therefore, [Concourse has] a multitude of amenities and programs that will fit their profile. We go one step beyond and engage with them through their entire experience.” According to Cypert, everything you’re capable of doing to improve your overall well-being, which is probably more than you think, is up to you. Understanding that is the first step to a healthier and happier life. At Concourse, Cypert and her staff preach five steps to discovering that version of you. It begins with mindfulness, an integral part of wellness 22

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and happiness, that refers to understanding how your emotions are connected to your physical state. Secondly, getting moving aids in creating that better state of being. Simple things such as choosing to take the stairs or parking farther away make a difference. Next is being consciously aware of what you eat and drink, which not only changes your physiological function, but can also alter your mood. Understanding how your system works is essential to getting the most out of what you consume. Fourth, the simple act of giving back can increase feelings of self-love and soulsatisfaction. Lastly, regular checkups and physical exams highlight areas that may need attention and emphasize great results from healthy habits.

Real Results Cypert and her team know this process works because they can tangibly see their clients’ results.

Photography by Sawyer Photography. Hair and makeup by A Glamour Affair.

“We get to witness the feeling people get when they know they’ve accomplished their goals,” says Cypert. “The most satisfying part of my job is seeing people improve their lives and inspiring them to continue to live their best lives. I’ve heard the statement ‘This place saved my life’ numerous times in my career. It’s the best thing in the world!” The content for this article is brought to you by Concourse Athletic Club.

Concourse Athletic Club (770) 698-2000 8 Concourse Pkwy., Sandy Springs, GA 30328

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Nonsurgical Facial Aesthetics

Monte Slater,


Medical Director Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging


here are many scary rumors to face when it comes to improving the way you look.

But for metro Atlantans, Dr. Monte Slater, who is double board certified in OB-GYN and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, debunks the lot and redefines what it means to want to look younger. With a big heart for patients and a philosophy founded in quality treatment and customer service, he’s been changing lives for almost 13 years.

Younger-Looking Truth

Dr. Slater sees every day how men and women age 40 and beyond are wanting to look younger but they can’t afford the time off for surgery, and so they turn to him for his expertise in nonsurgical alternatives and anti-aging procedures that require little to no downtime. He offers, for example, a CO2 laser peel after which patients can wear makeup and be back at work the next day! Dr. Slater can tighten, lighten and brighten their faces, and the results, as well as his patients’ boost of confidence, is incredible. He is constantly receiving feedback from clients, especially those in the corporate world who are competing with younger colleagues, about how happy they are with the work his does to help them achieve their desired goals. 24

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Photography by Brian Reeves, Perfect Day Photos.


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Dr. Slater’s practice is centered around enchancing a patient’s natural appearance rather than changing it. And that means staying on the cutting edge of current treatments while sifting through what really works and what doesn’t. Which is just one of the things that makes his work at Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging stand out. “At ABS Clinic, we strive to provide top-quality service not only in treatments, but also in the overall experience that patients receive from our entire team,” says Dr. Slater. “Our staff is amazing and fun. It’s a very happy environment, and I think patients feel very welcome and comfortable.”

Trending Toward Technology Having a finger on the pulse of new technology also plays a big role in being able to deliver great results. The office employs, for instance, treatments using the Discovery Pico Laser for tattoo removal, the Subnovii (BACK ROW, L TO R): SCHYLER EVANS, LAUREN TAYLOR, GLYNIS LEFLORE, JILL ZAMMIT (MIDDLE ROW, L TO R): VIANKA GARZA, CARLYE PAGURA, JULIA PETERS-TOBIN, LESLIE VOLK, Plasma Pen for reducing deep lines and Hydrafacials to CASSIE SMITH (FRONT ROW, L TO R): GAIL SLATER AND DR. MONTE D. SLATER promote cell stimulation. Another treatment combining the Vivace/CoolPeel performed using high-energy radio-frequency energy with gold standard C02 skin resurfacing requires only one day of downtime. Each new procedure helps patients see better results without being invasive. Furthermore, says Dr. Slater, “There are so many new pharmaceutical-grade, scientifically grounded skin care products available that use advanced technology for better penetration into the skin, that better stimulate regenerative cells and that accelerate the release of your own healing growth factors, reversing years of sun damage and aging.”

A Renaissance Man Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency.

Photography by Brian Reeves, Perfect Day Photos.


When Dr. Slater isn’t busy taking care of his patients, he likes to hang out at Maple Street Guitars, where he says “the people are friendly and they let me play around with my dream guitars.” He also enjoys partaking in the British cuisine and culture at The Ship & Anchor Pub in Sandy Springs, and taking in concerts with Gail, his wife of 40 years. “We share a love for music and are avid rockers,” he notes. The content for this article is brought to you by Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging.

Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging SANDY SPRINGS (770) 777-7707 4840 Roswell Rd. NE. Bldg. D #100 Atlanta, GA 30342

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WARNER ROBINS (478) 225-2379 400 Corporate Pte. Warner Robins, GA 31088


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Hair Care

Amanda Hair

Owner and CEO, Bob Steele Salon

manda Hair has always loved all things beauty and fashion, but as she honed in on a career as a stylist, her colleagues at Bob Steele Salon saw something else in her. And the rest is a long, stylish history.

Tressed for the Top “I knew I could provide more value supporting our talent rather than being the talent after many years of watching the skill, care and passion our stylists take with each client in their chair,” says Hair, now the owner and CEO of Bob Steele Salon. Running a top brand in the industry, she focuses mostly on attracting and retaining top talent. She’s helped solidify Bob Steele Salon’s reputation and ability to grow through managing the operational systems and by hiring people who fit the culture and core values. She also invests in training stylists, managers, guest relations and administrators to execute the services Bob Steele provides.


Photography by Dan Sawyer, Sawyer Photography.


“Our continuous education courses help our stylists shine and find what truly fuels their passions,” says Hair, motivated by her drive to impact women and their professional growth. “I love forming connections with the team and seeing them create relationships with their peers and clients.”


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Her philosophy for harboring those connections? Each voice is equally important, there’s power in numbers and collaboration is key. Now in her nineteenth year at Bob Steele Salon, Hair loves her job more than ever—something clients can see and feel from their own experience inside the stylists’ chair (and at home, in the mirror).

Building the Best “We [purposely] hire people who live our core values in and out of the salon and are truly caring and relatable,” says Hair. “[Our stylists receive] education and training from successful, in-house educators before they even touch a paying client for the first time,” ensuring our newer talent is watching and learning from the best.




The best delivers the best, including keeping their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends by offering color hazing, feather extensions, babylights and balayage in addition to expert traditional cuts and color services. In addition, clients enjoy fringe benefits including complimentary bang trims and brow tinting with paid services, a retail rewards program, convenient online and mobile booking, and access to top salon products. Selfies popping up on clients’ social media pages after a visit are a big motivator for Hair, but she’ll tell you that the most satisfying part of her job is watching her “creatives” grow during their tenure with the company. It’s a passion that continues to fuel her drive to give both employees, and therefore clients, the very best. The content for this article is brought to you by Bob Steele Salon.

Bob Steele Salon (404) 262-9499 | ALPHARETTA 2500 Old Milton Pkwy., Ste. 130, Alpharetta, GA 30009

Photography by Dan Sawyer, Sawyer Photography.

ATLANTA 4403 Northside Pkwy., Ste. 160, Atlanta, GA 30327 EAST COBB 2960 Shallowford Rd., Ste. 202, Marietta, GA 30066 ROSWELL 625 W. Crossville Rd., Ste. 122, Roswell, GA 30075 SMYRNA 1265 W. Spring St., Ste. C, Smyrna, GA 30080

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Amanda Hair, front row/center, surrounded by some of the standout stylists who’ve worked their hair magic at Bob Steele Salon over the years.


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Body Plastic Surgery

Dr. Alan N. Larsen Owner Buckhead Plastic Surgery

r. Alan N. Larsen took a roundabout journey to plastic surgery. By way of astronaut dreams and admiration for the surgeon who saved his life afer falling ill as a young child.


A Goal of Perfection

What helps Dr. Larsen stand out from his competition in a competitive, fast-paced world is that he is a self-proclaimed perfectionist. With a persistent “pursuit of perfection,” he spends ample time with his patients to ensure not only individual customization but a successful outcome through realistic expectations. This attention to detail is what keeps client referrals coming, and patient satisfaction rates consistently high. Dr. Larsen is well respected in the medical field in Atlanta and sharpens his skills with the latest technology and methods through continuing medical education and plastic surgery conferences throughout the years. He is revered in the Atlanta 28

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Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency.

Dr. Larsen is a Double Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who is known for his outstanding surgical results in both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. For over 22 years at Buckhead Plastic Surgery, Dr. Larsen has been providing a comprehensive array of surgical and non-surgical procedures.

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2020 OVER 40 & FABULOUS! ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER area and Southeast for his impeccable facial surgeries, body lifts, mommy makeovers, and breast surgeries. Dr. Larsen is a pioneer in some of the most challenging yet life-changing procedures in plastic surgery, like the body lift (belt lipectomy). Along with the tummy tuck, a body lift in a single operation can rejuvenate the entire abdomen and waistline and is one of the most transformative and life-changing plastic surgery procedures.




Debunking the Past The past is also where Dr. Larsen has to work from, and misconceptions are plenty. “People often think that plastic surgeons can accomplish and do more than we actually can. So sometimes it can be hard to meet their expectations if their expectations are unrealistic,” he says. “My staff and I do thorough preoperative counseling, where we educate our patients on realistic outcomes of the procedures we offer, which increases the likelihood that they’ll be happy with their results.” Practicing his craft perfectly and treating his patients with honesty and respect are huge drivers of Dr. Larsen’s business philosophy. That genuine doctor-client relationship blended with his expertise and experience delivers great outcomes every time. Which, for Dr. Larsen, makes it worth giving up his one-time dream of being an astronaut. “One of the things that keeps me motivated is that I love what I do,” says Dr. Larsen. “I’ve picked a profession that is what I want to do every morning I wake up.”

Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency.

Dr. Larsen has a unique medical complex. This complex is made up of three boutique-style practices and now an exceptional AAAASF accredited surgical center all in one location and allows for an individualized, intimate experience. Enjoy non-surgical face and body treatments at LUX Med Spa and non-invasive body sculpting at Slim Studio. This complex fulfills Dr. Larsen’s vision of personalized, whole-body care in a private and luxurious environment. Dr. Larsen values giving back and helping others in the community. He devotes a significant amount of time providing breast reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients. For years he has helped women restore their confidence. He partners with the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund and BRADay USA, through ASPS (American Society for Plastic Surgery). Whatever your aesthetic goals may be, they can be achieved by Dr. Larsen and his professional, dedicated staff, who will provide a thorough client education process to help you make your decision with the utmost confidence. The content for this article is brought to you by Buckhead Plastic Surgery.

Buckhead Plastic Surgery (404) 367-9005 | 4684 Roswell Rd. NE., Ste. B Atlanta, GA 30342

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Hair Restoration

Dr. Ken Anderson Founder and Director Anderson Center for Hair


n 2003, Dr. Ken Anderson discovered the field of hair restoration surgery as the perfect combination of his love for both art and medicine. He left the field of facial reconstructive

surgery and has since worked to change both lives and the reputation of the niche anti-aging field, to the tune of some of the happiest patients he’s ever seen.

A Growing Reputation Even with some of the most pleased patients in the medical field, he continues to battle the excess of misinformation that both men and women initially have when they come to see him about hair loss.




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Photography by (left and top right) Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by Christine Amelie Saint Louis of Amelie Artistry LLC; (bottom) Xxxxxxxxxxxxx.

“Because hair restoration is immensely private and personal, it is not shared and talked about like other cosmetic procedures,” says Anderson. “There are a lot of unknowns and fears that can cause hesitation or anxiety.

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Photography by (left and top right) Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by Christine Amelie Saint Louis of Amelie Artistry LLC; (bottom) Xxxxxxxxxxxxx.


We work hard to educate our patients about hair loss and hair restoration options to overcome those things.” Educating their clients is how Anderson and his staff work to stand apart from their competition. In addition, with hair restoration surgery as their sole focus, rather than amongst a long menu of cosmetic procedures, the triple-board-certified surgeon can work on honing his expertise and techniques. That includes bringing the first ARTAS™ Robotic Hair Restoration system to Georgia, followed by the iX ARTAS™ Robotic Hair Restoration system. Through robotics, regenerative medicine and more, he’s worked with the industry to evolve hair restoration into an anti-aging agent that delivers 100% natural results, debunking those prior misconceptions, and inspiring people to start talking about it.

Unlocked Potential “When you lose your hair, it can have serious psychological effects. Restoring hair restores youth, confidence, and self-esteem,” said Anderson. “Patients will style their new hair and send me pictures of their new look. Patients find themselves in new relationships or tackling new professional challenges with newfound self-esteem and self-image. They’re always shocked at how easy the entire process is.” Delivering that feeling through a philosophy founded on being the best version of yourself at any age, is what drives Anderson. “I love everything about what I do—it is a dream come true,” said Anderson. “I am able to take my passions and help others regain their confidence. When our patients feel good about themselves and how they look, they are more confident, more outgoing. It changes how other people perceive them because it has changed how they perceive themselves.” The content for this article is brought to you by Anderson Center For Hair.


Anderson Center for Hair (404) 256-4247 | ALPHARETTA 2710 Old Milton Pkwy., Suite 170, Alpharetta, GA 30009 AFTER

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ATLANTA 5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Suite 106, Atlanta, GA 30342 BEST SELF ATLANTA

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Seth A. Yellin,


Founder and Director Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center ne of the biggest challenges for facial plastic surgeons is that altering someone’s face is an enormous responsibility. Dr. Seth A. Yellin, who is

inspired to solve problems with creative, artistic solutions, is up to the task. As a facial plastic surgeon with 25 years of experience, including founding Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center nine years ago, and formerly as Chief of Facial Plastic Surgery at Emory Healthcare for 12 years, his reputation as a meticulous, talented surgeon has brought him national recognition.

One in a Million “I am a healthcare provider first, so I take the time to delve into my patient’s medical history and really listen to their concerns,” says Dr. Yellin. “I have a unique and comprehensive way of evaluating faces and explaining



Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC.





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the aging process and how it specifically relates to them. I frequently recommend solutions that my patients aren’t expecting, and deliver results that far exceed what they ever thought possible.” Technology helps with that. New advancements lift and tighten skin and sculpt faces, necks and bodies. Dr. Yellin does extensive research to find the treatments that deliver real results, such as Profound® RF, which uses microneedle delivery of radiofrequency energy to stimulate elastin production, tightening skin and enabling improved neck and jawline contours, and the longlasting, artistically demanding Injecta-Lift™ procedure that can balance left-right facial symmetry and create a more idealized facial shape, making the face appear more youthful and beautiful. Today, self-improvement is more accessible than ever before. It’s also more effective, safer, less invasive and requires less downtime for recovery. In combination with scientifically proven skin care, patients can often look great without major surgery.

Feeling Great About Your Face “For many people, as their appearance noticeably changes due to the march of time or if there’s dissatisfaction with a particular facial feature, it can be emotionally difficult and chip away at their self-esteem,” says Dr. Yellin. “The confidence we have in our appearance matters. I am in the business of wellness, and one’s appearance is a vital component to that sense of well-being. Maintaining a positive outlook, especially during these trying times, is critical.” Dr. Yellin notes that getting an early start with treatments such as Botox, fillers and skincare will lead to fewer lines and issues to deal with in the long run, thus keeping us looking fabulous longer. “Properly reshaping faces with injectable fillers is an art form,” he says. “Fillers should always create an appearance that looks beautiful, natural and undetectable.” Creating a natural look is a hallmark of Dr. Yellin’s practice. “Patients always tell me that they love how people comment that they look beautiful, but can’t figure out what was done,” he says. “They ask them, did you change your hairstyle? Come back from a vacation? They just can’t figure it out.”

Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC.

The content for this article is brought to you by Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center.

Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center (770) 425-7575 | 111 Marble Mill Rd. NW., Marietta, GA 30060

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Nonsurgical Body Aesthetics

Renee Smith, Robbie Spence & Dr. Alan Larsen Owners, Slim Studio

enee Smith and Robbie Spence along with Dr. Alan Larsen own Slim Studio BodySculpting and together have decades of experience in aesthetic medicine. They’re passionate about delivering amazing results that can be produced by the combination of science and medicine. How that synergy improves self-confidence and boosts an individual’s overall well-being inspires them to provide the best nonsurgical body sculpting in Atlanta.

Expertise with Concierge Service

Slim Studio exclusively performs EmSculpt and CoolSculpting. These noninvasive body sculpting procedures serve different purposes. CoolSculpting reduces unwanted fat in areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. EmSculpt builds muscle fibers and muscle volume, resulting in increased strength and more defined and toned muscles. By building core muscles with EmSculpt some clients are even experiencing reduced back pain, improvement in posture and diastasis recti and are even achieving longer distances with their golf swings! “EmSculpt and CoolSculpting are the most highly sought-after nonsurgical body sculpting procedures available for men and women of all ages,” says Spence. They are very appealing to individuals over 40, including busy moms, dads and professionals who find it difficult to find the time for self-care. 34

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Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency.

“We thrive on delivering amazing results and providing the highest level of patient satisfaction,” says Smith. “We follow very specific guidelines and only treat the best candidates to obtain optimal results. We became leaders in nonsurgical body sculpting through our extensive experience, concierge service and specific product offering.”

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In March 2020, Slim Studio was determined by Allergan Medical AestheticsTM to be the #1 provider of CoolSculpting by volume in the state of Georgia. “Experience matters. Our staff has an incredible breadth of experience and tenure in performing these treatments. They have all had advanced training and are truly Atlanta’s body sculpting experts,” says Spence.

Look Good, Feel Great Patients are raving about the experience and the results they receive from their treatments at Slim Studio. Renee, Robbie and Dr. Larsen share a passion for helping patients achieve their personal fitness goals and agree that self-care and well-being will ultimately lead to feeling great.

Photography by Krys Alex Photography, LLC. Hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency.

The content for this article is brought to you by Slim Studio.

404.410.7777 4684 Roswell Road, NE., Atlanta, GA 30342

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Onlookers, friends and family witnessed the amazing makeovers while enjoying bubbles and bites from Under The Cork Tree restaurant. Read on to see how our gorgeous readers revitalized their style and unleashed their inner diva.

t Best Self Atlanta, we’re the biggest fans of the ultimate before-and-after transformation. At our fourth annual Amazing One-Hour Makeovers event on Feb. 27, some of our favorite makeup artists and hairstylists worked their magic on lucky reader attendees. These creative talents had an hour to transform their lovely models, with the help of Atlanta clothing designer Tracy Nicole, who brought racks brimming with her fabulous pieces.

By Melanie Preis | Photography by CatMax Photography Fashions by Tracy Nicole Clothing and Simple by Tracy




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Model is wearing the Tracy Nicole Lisa top paired with matching Camille skirt, both in sage.

Olivia: “Everyone should own Organic Spa Rosehip Oil. You put it on in the morning and evening, before moisturizer, and it creates the most beautiful glow.”

TRUSTED TOOLS: JazmenGlory: “I love Mizani 25 Miracle Milk because it works for every hair type.”

AFTER: JazmenGlory created tussled, beachy waves with a volumizing spray. Olivia stuck with bronzes, peaches and gold shimmers to create that sun-kissed beach goddess look.

BEFORE: Jennifer wanted a look that was different from her everyday, simplistic style yet still celebrated the things she loves, like being outdoors. The team decided to go with a sassy, beach look that was sexy, playful and fun.

Model: Jennifer

Beach Babe

JazmenGlory: “My favorite part of this whole process is having the client turn around, look in the mirror and see their reaction to the makeover and what they envisioned.”

Olivia: “I like helping women find their authentic look that represents how they feel on the inside.”


Authentic Beauty

Hair: JazmenGlory Kelly,

assisted by Crystal Archibald, Authentic Beauty

Makeup: Olivia


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Makeup and hair:

Crystal Ngozi, Crystal Ngozi Beauty @crystalngozibeauty Crystal: “Self-care ties into self-image. I really enjoy being able to help my clients feel better about themselves, to become their own motivators.”

Earth Mother Model: Veronica


BEFORE: Though Veronica reported there were no real problem areas she wanted to focus on, she did request to look like a “breath of fresh air.” AFTER: Crystal turned Veronica into spring incarnate with a bright, “amped-up” look that included a soft, nude eye and color on her cheeks and face. Crystal completed the “Nubian goddess” makeover with a flower crown. TRUSTED TOOLS: Crystal: “I’m big on skin care, so my go-to is a really good cleanser and moisturizer, like Sonia Roselli Water Balm Skin Prep.”


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Model is wearing jewelry by L George Designs.

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Makeup: Heather Petty-Harris,

Beauty and the Brow @beautyandthebrow Hair: Byron Evans, Urban Tangles @theurbantangles Heather: “I’m an artist and I put my work on faces—my canvas. This developed my pursuit of making people feel good about themselves.”

Miami Cool Model: Grace


BEFORE: Heather wanted to give Grace a new take on the power of cosmetics and how someone else’s vision can transform you. Grace wanted to make sure to address her “dark circles and hollow temples.” AFTER: “I love a Miami glow and bronze,” says Heather. Much of the attention went to create the smoky bronze eye, with the help of Stila liquid glitter eyeshadow. Byron completed the fun look, perfect for date night, with a cool side braid and loose curls.

Photography by Richie Arpino.

TRUSTED TOOLS: Heather: “My specialty is eyebrows. You just need brows and lashes to make your face look alive. Smith & Cult mascara is the best on the market, and Anastasia Beverly Hills is the mother of eyebrows.”


Model is wearing the Simple by Tracy Melia dress in red.


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Makeup: Renelyn Thomas,

Makeup by Ren Ren @makeupbyrenren Hair: Adriana Zamudio,

Artist A Hair Studio @artistahairstudio Renelyn: “I love what I do because I can really bring joy to somebody. And it’s more than just the physical. Being a part of a big moment, like a wedding, is so special for them and me too.”

Hollywood Glitz Model: Farah


BEFORE: Farah is a busy wife and mother of young kids, so she doesn’t get a lot of chances to show off a high-glam look. AFTER: Renelyn and Adriana wanted to create a classic Hollywood look, with big waves, a bold red lip and a style that screamed total transformation. TRUSTED TOOLS: Renelyn: “I love Laura Mercier. All of their products make you look lit from within.”



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Adriana: “I love the soft hold of Monat Studio One Refinish Control Hairspray and the finishing look of Redken Triple Pure 32 Hairspray.” Model is wearing the Tracy Nicole Elle top paired with the Dina wide-leg pant in black.

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Makeup: Nisha Lagana,

A Glamour Affair @aglamouraffair @nishalagana

Byron Evans, Urban Tangles Hair:

@theurbantangles Nisha: “[The Amazing One-Hour Makeovers event] is one of my favorite events of the year because I get to hang out with makeup artists and help women look and feel their best. I love the before and after photos!”

Soft Glam Model: Lauralyn


BEFORE: “Lauralyn has the most beautiful, icy-blue eyes that I’ve ever seen, so we focused on them,” says Nisha. AFTER: Because of Lauralyn’s vibrant blue eyes, Nisha used gold, a complementary color, to truly make the hue pop. She went with a gold shimmer on the lids, adding Anastasia Beverly Hills’ bronzer as another layer of depth. Byron’s hair added to the soft, elegant look with fun body curls.


TRUSTED TOOLS: Nisha: “A must for me is a nice set of false lashes. It can make anything glam.” Model is wearing the Tracy Nicole Kristian top paired with the Ebony long shorts, both in teal.

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Makeup: Raya Johnson, The Glamatory @theglamatory @rayaroxmakeup Hair: Alicia Igess Jones, Urban Tangles @theurbantangles @aliciaigess Raya: “I try and encourage clients to step out of their comfort zone with a bold lip or color on the eye to make their features pop.” Alicia: “A hair consultation is always first [when I work with clients]. A lot of our discussion is centered on the client’s wants, but I’m always going to suggest what I think is best.”

Girls Night Out Model: Sonya


BEFORE: Being open to anything is the perfect way to go into a makeover, and Sonya was ready for whatever Raya and Alicia wanted to do. Sonya, who admits to splurging on weekly hairstylist visits, wanted a bold and vibrant makeover. AFTER: Both stylists worked together to create a girls-night-out look. Raya created a gold smoky eye and a pop of burgundy on Sonya’s lips to celebrate her youthful spirit. TRUSTED TOOLS: Raya: “I’m obsessed with mascara, especially Too Faced Better Than Sex. I also need to have Glamatory’s lip potions. They’re all matte shades and they’re amazing.” Alicia: “I love the whole Olaplex line. I can use it on just about anybody’s hair and they can get success. Also my own product, Urban Tangles’ Urban Curl, is a curl amplifier and definer that’s amazing.”


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Makeup and hair:

Thomasina Moyer, TM Beauty @enhanced_glam_experience Thomasina: “I have a passion for people. To me, makeup artistry is more of a ministry to encourage and empower women—both on the outside and inside.”

Glamazon Model: Chloe


BEFORE: Eighteen-year-old student Chloe spends most of her time in sweats and leisurewear and is still dealing with acne and acne scars. She wanted to address her skin’s problem areas and “look like a different person.” AFTER: Thomasina took Chloe to full glamazon mode with a bronzy, brown, smoky eye and a nude lip. The look completely played up Chloe’s stunning curly hair, adding lots of volume and drama.


TRUSTED TOOLS: Thomasina: “I typically use my own line of eyeshadow sticks: Glamour Sticks. They’re really easy to use, either as a primer for eyeshadow or alone.” Model is wearing the Gail wide-leg jumper in powder blue.

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Makeup: Maria Dowling, Blo Blow Dry Bar Hair: Kaya Glenn, Blo Blow Dry Bar @blobuckhead Maria: “It can be hard to see women who put themselves down. I try to uplift them and remind them they’re beautiful inside and out.” Kaya: “I have a passion for hair. My favorite part of my job is the transformation. It changes a client’s demeanor and confidence in such a short period of time.”

Springtime Fresh Model:

Lauren Loper

BEFORE: Lauren wanted a fresh look that would also cover up her age spots. AFTER: This fresh, bright look that screams springtime was created by sticking with bright pops of color on Lauren’s cheeks. Says Maria: “I used bright but neutral eye colors and made sure to keep all dark colors in the crease and not on the lid, which can age and darken your face.” Maria also used a foundation that provides great coverage without looking cakey and aging skin. The look was finalized with a basic blowout featuring soft curls.


TRUSTED TOOLS: Maria says her go-to is “Glo Skin Beauty, a line of natural, mineral makeup that helps with skin care and doesn’t have any adverse effects.” Kaya swears by Unite 7Seconds leave-in conditioner, which she says anyone from a busy mom to a professional hairstylist can use every day and have wonderful results in seven seconds. Model is wearing the Tracy Nicole Chloe dress in fuchsia.


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Makeup: Tabitha Dove,

Beauty and the Beat @beautyby_tabbyd Hair: Renata Williams, Drybar @thedrybar @rn_beauty87 Tabitha: “I’m more into the natural look. Even when I try to be extreme, it always comes back to natural glam.”

Soft Romance Model: Melanie


BEFORE: Melanie enjoys wearing her hair natural and wanted to style it accordingly, while learning how to find the right makeup for her complexion. Though her style is classic, she likes to push the envelope too with a few avant-garde pieces. AFTER: Tabitha went for a natural glam, romantic look with a bridal-type theme for Melanie. She evened out her complexion and added shimmer on the eyes. Renata left her hair curly for a simple, soft updo, adding a few accessories to create a crown halo. TRUSTED TOOLS: Tabitha: “Skin prep is important so makeup lays as smoothly as possible and gives you a flawless face. I love Milk Makeup’s Vegan Milk Moisturizer.”


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Special thanks to

Tracy Nicole

A true makeover happens from head to toe. Good thing Atlanta fashion designer Tracy Nicole was on hand to dress each of our readers-turned-models in her beautiful clothing. Her designs offer classic, versatile looks for women to dress up and feel sexy, comfortable and confident. Tracy Nicole creates pieces for women of all body types and for a variety of events. She understands how we look on the outside completely impacts how we feel on the inside. This award-winning designer has many titles—mother, author, breast cancer survivor, activist, entrepreneur—and tirelessly works to help women of every shape and size look and feel their best. Tracy Nicole Clothing @tracynicoleclothing Simple by Tracy @simplebytracy


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DISCOVER YOUR BEAUTY Injectables Halo Forever Young BBL Forever Clear BBL Pro-Fractional Coolsculpting Ultherapy® Vivace™ PRP Hydrafacial Intraceuticals Microcurrent Chemical Peels IV Therapy THERMIsmooth THERMIva Luxury Facials Le Remodeling Face


CoolTone™ & ClearSilk™

Mention Best Self & receive a $50 credit on your initial aesthetic treatment. Hanover Buckhead Village | 3150 Roswell Rd NW suite b-1, Atlanta, GA 30305 | (770) 637-2919 |

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$19.99 3555 Gwinnett Pl Dr NW #202, Duluth, GA 30096 (678) 990-0048 |

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Partners In Health



heart burnsleep dental health sexual health


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2020 Partners in Health

Men’s Health Is Boring By Scott D. Miller, MD

Let’s face it, repetitive tasks are boring. However, those who can master mundane undertakings will lead the pack in any endeavor— including staying healthy. Unfortunately, we go to incredible lengths to avoid actions that we know are good for us. Our brains try to protect us from the discomfort of monotonous activities, missed opportunities and emotional or physical stress. In essence, immediate gratification has the upper hand. The first step in becoming a better “you” is having a good attitude. Chores can often transform into opportunities. Interestingly, much of our daily tedium can yield some immediate gratification. Here are some examples: • Exercise – A single session at the gym will not make you physically fit, but it can boost your energy level and give you a sense of satisfaction. • A full night’s sleep – Feeling rested and productive is always a good thing, but the real benefit is a more resilient cardiovascular system. • Flossing – Not only will flossing give you a fresh taste in your mouth, it also leads to better cardiovascular health (buildup of oral bacteria can cause inflammation of and damage to the lining of our blood vessels). Other repetitive tasks that lead to long-term gains include reading, meditating, eating healthy foods and managing emails. Not only do we need to exercise our bodies, but we also need to exercise our brains and reduce emotional stress. So, what separates the high performers from the mere mortals? Here are some tips to give you a start:

• Make it a habit – Incorporate those boring but essential tasks into an existing routine. For example, try keeping some dental floss in the shower. • Associate tasks with something fun – For example, walk on a treadmill while you catch up on those YouTube videos (rather than while lying on the couch). • Focus on the reward – The incentive can be as simple as the satisfaction of conquering a challenge. This reward will increase your desire to repeat the behavior. • Don’t worry about perfection – Consistency always trumps occasional quality. • Give up on shortcuts – We often spend more effort in finding a shortcut than just completing the task itself. • Enjoy turning off your brain – Schedule “mindless” tasks as a break from your more thought-intensive obligations. Hopefully, these tips will help you recognize the impact of regular routines on your future health. In the words of Thomas Edison, “Most people miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Look for my article on “Men’s Health Summer School” in the next issue. Scott D. Miller, MD, is the Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at WellStar North Fulton Hospital. He is a urologist with WellStar Urology in Roswell and has practiced in Atlanta for over 20 years. WellStar North Fulton Hospital offers the Know Your Heart Screening that can determine your risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious conditions. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Scott D. Miller, MD • WellStar North Fulton Hospital • (470) 956-4230 •

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The women of MetroDerm welcome

all mothers and women to visit our

offices for their dermatologic and cosmetic needs.

MetroDerm Prioritizes


Patient Care MetroDerm's goal is to provide every patient the best of care. Our providers will always take the time to listen to patient concerns as well as provide answers to all questions, to the best of their ability. Part of this process is the explanation of diagnosis and treatment plans. These will always be discussed with the patient as we feel that an understanding of the treatment plan is part of the healing process.

Provider Education MetroDerm providers are constantly educating themselves on the most recent medical, surgical, and aesthetic techniques with the explicit goal of passing on this knowledge to the patients. This continuing education is part of our doctor's requirement to being board-certified in dermatology and dermatologic surgery.

Active Referral Network MetroDerm providers welcome physician referrals. The referring physician will promptly receive a notification outlining our diagnosis and the course of treatment prescribed for the patient.


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The Center for Plastic Surgery 875 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 300 Atlanta, GA 30342 404-835-4191

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2020 Partners in Health Busy Mom Skincare By Corrie Alford, MD

Being a mom can be all-consuming, and often times facials, massages, and coffee dates with friends become pushed to the end of the to-do list. However, no matter how busy life gets and how much mom-ing takes over, one thing you shouldn’t compromise is skincare! Being committed to your skin is important as it will be with you long after the kids are gone. Preventive skincare is key to control acne, pigmentation problems and later actinic (sun) damage. Below are our routine recommendations and a few tips to keep you on track. Skincare Regimen • Cleanse your face at least once daily with a gentle cleanser. Avoid harsh chemical exfoliants, masks and brushes initially as they can be more irritating as we age. • Apply antioxidant product to clean, dry skin to help correct damage occurring from sun exposure, visible light exposure and pollutants. These products generally contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Resveratrol or other antioxidants.

Skin Fact Healthy, beautiful skin cannot be found in a single product but is easy to attain with these few targeted practices. Dr. Corrie Alford is a board-certified Dermatologist, specializing in general and cosmetic dermatology, at MetroDerm P.C. in Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate of Spelman College, and earned her medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her dermatology residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2006. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Alford is passionate about providing individualized skincare to enhance the overall health and well-being of her patients.

• Moisturize in the morning with non-comedogenic product that contains sunscreen SPF 30 or greater. A tinted moisturizer or a makeup that contains a similar level of sunscreen can eliminate a step from your morning routine. • Use a retinol or retinoid product (adapalene, tretinoin, tazaroten or triferotene) at night. These products help to treat acne, reverse sun damage and build collagen to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. • If you struggle with dark spots or patches, fading agents can help. Over the counter options include low strength hydroquinone, alpha and beta hydroxy acids and azaleic acid products. Pigmentation problems can be particularly difficult, so evaluation by a board certified dermatologist may be necessary to properly address this issue.

MetroDerm, P.C. • • (404) 257-9933

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2020 Partners in Health Sleep Easy: CPAP Alternatives To Consider By Marianna Kovitch, DMD, DABDSM


Despite widespread agreement that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a fast and effective way to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it is estimated that 50% of patients who use a CPAP machine are noncompliant within one year.

These custom appliances have to be adjusted and prepared individually in order to meet your needs. We are all anatomically very different and so the appliance has to be custom made to your specific airway needs to work properly.

Top 5 reasons people don’t like CPAP: • I turn a lot when I sleep and the cord gets in my way. • This machine may keep me single forever. • I can’t sleep with something on my face all night. • I am waking up every hour feeling like I am in a wind tunnel. • I feel excessive air in my stomach.

The use of these devices has been on the rise for many years now due to their small size, ease to travel with and overall comfort and effectiveness. No power needed!

What are other treatment options for sleep apnea if I cannot wear the CPAP? Seeking out an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor to determine what may be contributing to the obstruction-causing apnea is beneficial. ENT doctors can evaluate the airway and try to identify factors that may be contributing to your sleeping problems. Oral appliance therapy is heavily researched and recommended for mild to moderate OSA. I have treated many severe OSA patients who just can’t tolerate CPAP therapy as well with great results. There are now over 150 approved custom oral appliances on the market for treatment of OSA. Do not just go buy one online.

Another option for severe OSA is combination therapy, where we use a much lower pressure on the CPAP machine in conjunction with minimal advancement with oral appliance therapy. Dr. Kovitch is an expert practitioner in cosmetic dentistry and dental sleep medicine. She is a Diplomate in the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, the highest distinction in dental sleep medicine. She is also an active member of the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and serves as Vice President on the board of the Georgia Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Kovitch is passionate about treating patients with sleep apnea and snoring using oral appliance therapy. She is also a certified HealthyStart™ provider, helping children correct early signs of sleep disordered breathing.

Marianna Kovitch, DMD, DABDSM • Atlanta Smiles • • 404.262.7733 52

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2020 Partners in Health

Overuse Injuries

Maybe you’re active but not a “real athlete,” so you think you’re immune to overuse injuries. Think again. Anyone who’s active is prone to the nagging injuries that come with repetitive motions or misalignment in the body. “An athlete can be a recreational runner, swimmer, or golfer,” said Andy Patterson, physical therapist for BenchMark Physical Therapy. “They’re all athletes.” Among recreational athletes, overuse injuries are more common than acute injuries, such as broken bones and torn ligaments. Overuse injuries can hamper mobility and cause pain. They can strike at any age. They are preventable and they are treatable, so active people can stay in the game. What is an overuse injury? You’ve probably heard of tennis elbow, Little Leaguer’s elbow, shin splints, or plantar fasciitis. All are overuse injuries, and there are many others. The underlying cause is the “cumulative or repetitive microtrauma” endured time and again by a single part of the body, said Patterson. Damage accrues to bones, muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Tissue becomes inflamed, and the area degenerates. Causes of overuse injuries: • Repetitive motion • Overtraining • Sudden bursts in activity • Built-in risk factors such as misalignment, muscle imbalances, muscle weakness, and joint instability Avoiding overuse injuries To prevent overuse injuries, remember the fundamentals of staying active: • Warm up properly: Start at lower intensity and “give the heart and tissues time to adapt to what you’re doing,” said Patterson. Today’s warmups are dynamic, not stretching cold muscles but gentle movements that activate muscles and nudge up the heart rate. • Cool down: “An active cooldown with stretching or myofascial mobility – using a foam roller over the areas that may be contributing to your pain –can be very beneficial,” Patterson said. • Vary activities: Because repetitive motion is a frequent culprit, adding a new sport gives overburdened muscles and joints time to rest. This is

especially important for children and teens, when “the bones are getting big and the muscles are playing catchup,” said Patterson. Treating overuse injuries If you suspect an overuse injury, have a doctor check for weakness, flexibility, and imbalances. “The body is influenced by everything around it,” said Patterson. “If I have foot pain, it may be local to that area, or it could be coming from higher up in the chain.” Once the problem area is diagnosed, a physical therapist or athletic trainer specializing in the condition can recommend a course of treatment. Typical elements include: • Resting the inflamed area: Rest doesn’t always mean no activity. A physical therapist might recommend modified activity, known as “active rest,” when the injured area is idle but the whole body doesn’t decondition entirely. • Strengthening regimen: Stronger muscles in the shoulders or core, for instance, can support movement throughout the body. • Progressive return: Just because the injured area is healed doesn’t mean it’s ready to perform at 100 percent. The physical therapist can reevaluate the body and suggest a gradual restorative plan, perhaps with modifications to prevent recurrence. The physical therapists of BenchMark Physical Therapy are highly trained, dedicated, and ready to help athletes of all types get back to their active lifestyles. BenchMark Physical Therapy is a family of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and hand therapists committed to inspiring and empowering people to reach their full potential. Its providers know that connecting with patients on a personal level helps to build trust. This trust is crucial in allowing patients and therapists to work together to make the best use of advanced certifications and refined techniques. A focus on proven methods and a hands-on approach help the BenchMark team achieve the goals of the patient in a safe and effective manner.

BenchMark Physical Therapy • • 1-844-264-5307

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MORE DOCTORS, MORE ACCESS, MORE CARE The most trusted Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physicians and Orthopaedic spine surgeons in Georgia


Winner Best Back and Spine Care Practice

Thank You Atlanta for Voting Us Best Spine Care Practice Four Years in a Row!


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2020 Partners in Health

A Cutting-Edge Treatment for Severe Back Pain By Paul R. Jeffords, MD

In 2007, Laura Alvis, a nurse at Piedmont Hospital, became the first patient in Georgia to receive an innovative lumbar artificial disc-replacement (ADR) implant called the ProDisc-L. Dr. Paul Jeffords performed the procedure to remove and replace a severely degenerated disc in Alvis’ lower back which had caused years of severe back pain. The surgery was successful in relieving Alvis’ pain and in July of 2008, she gave birth to her first daughter, Sarah Clair. Thirteen years later, Alvis is still going strong and now has a family of five. “Before this surgery, my husband and I had quit contemplating having a child,” she said. “We wanted a family, but I didn’t think I could stand the additional pain, and I didn’t know what further damage it would do to my back.” Alvis had suffered from a bad back since she was 16. “In 1997, I sought out specialists and they prescribed a whole range of epidural steroids, muscle-relaxing medication and physical therapy,” said Alvis. “By the time I met Dr. Jeffords, I was depressed and never out of pain. I couldn’t assume any position that would relieve the pain and had to cut back on my hours at work. “My husband, Scott, and I married in August 2005, and it seemed like our whole dating, engagement and married life was him taking care of me,” said Alvis. “He’d have to strap me into a traction machine at night.” Most patients with degenerative-disc disease deal with the pain through physical therapy and medication. In the past, the only surgical option was to remove the degenerated disc and fuse the two bones together. That puts added pressure on the adjacent discs and leads to less mobility. The advantage of disc-replacement surgery over fusion is that patients can return to normal motion relatively quickly after the operation, with better function and faster recovery. It is an elegant solution, because it removes the source of the pain, while maintaining the spinal motion. Of course, not every patient with back pain is a candidate for this type of surgery. Recently, Alvis developed some pain related to moderate arthritis that has developed in the facet joints of her spine, unrelated to the disc surgery. Fortunately, this was

successfully treated with injections performed by “With pain no longer Drs. Krystal Chambers and Reuben Sloan, fellow partners a part of my life, at Resurgens Spine Center, and no further surgery has I am able to enjoy been needed. Alvis said after the surgery in 2007, “I was walking within hours and, with physical therapy and then regular exercise, I was able to return to work in eight weeks.” After eight pain-free months, Alvis and her husband were ready to start a family. “I never had a problem with my back during pregnancy,” she said. “The whole pregnancy and delivery went well, but I couldn’t have done it without first having this surgery.”

my family and our time together.”

Now, 13 years after surgery, Alvis and her husband have a daughter who is 11, and two sons, who are 7 and 4, and she states, “The surgery not only allowed me to have our three children, but it has also allowed me to be active with them. We walk in the woods, ride bikes and explore National Parks. Last year at the beach I was able to carry all the beach items each day—and play in the ocean and build sandcastles— without experiencing back pain. Everyday things like wrestling, having Nerf gun battles or playing catch are possible. With pain no longer a part of my life, I am able to enjoy my family and our time together.”

Resurgens Spine Center • Non-surgical & Surgical Spine Care • 24 Convenient Atlanta Locations •

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Foster Moms

Atlanta’s foster families give children in crisis the hope and love they need By Amy Meadows


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The statistics are as staggering as they are heartbreaking. “Foster care is a desperate crisis in Georgia and in the U.S.,” says Lynette Ezell, adoption and foster care advocate for Send Relief and creator and co-host of the podcast “Adopting and Fostering Home.” “We have approximately 14,300 [children] in the state’s foster system. There has been an 88 percent increase in the number of children in the system over the past five years. In Georgia, 700 of those age out of the system each year without a family. Today, in Fulton County alone, there are 757 foster children and 515 additional foster homes needed to help protect them. Sixty-eight percent of them had to be placed outside of their known communities because there weren’t enough available homes in Fulton County. We have to accept the reality that brokenness is all around us, and our state’s foster children are our responsibility.” Since 2018, Ezell has helped train foster families through FaithBridge Foster Care, a private agency that partners with local churches to work toward solving the foster care crisis. It’s one of several comparable organizations across Atlanta that is striving tirelessly to find safe temporary homes for children in need, matching welcoming families to young people of all ages who require both respite and ongoing care. In many cases, those children are waiting for reunification with their biological families; in others, they may be looking for forever homes through an eventual adoption. Whatever the situation, they have to have open arms that can give them support and love as they prepare to move in the future. “The rewards of opening one’s life to a hurting child are immeasurable,” notes Ezell, who became an adoptive mother 18 years ago and saw great need in the foster community after moving to Georgia from Kentucky a decade ago. “If we’re lucky, we all have about 70-plus years to do something significant, something that is eternal. To make a difference in the life of a child is to change a part of the world, to truly change their future forever.”

“Today, in Fulton County alone, there are 757 foster children and 515 additional foster homes needed to help protect them. Sixty-eight percent of them had to be placed outside of their known communities because there weren’t enough available homes in Fulton County.” —Lynette Ezell

In honor of National Foster Care Month, which takes place in May, and Mother’s Day, Best Self Atlanta spoke with local foster mothers about their own experiences of navigating the challenges and reveling in the rewards of giving children in need a safe place to land. These are their stories.

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Bridgitte Ferraro Hatfield

A Servant’s Heart

“That beginning stage is the honeymoon stage. You have three days to get them to the doctor and the dentist, and there’s so much paperwork. The kids are learning a brand new environment, and there are so many emotions going on. You just have to be present. You want to stay in the moment and love on them so hard,” Bridgitte explains. And as she and her family cared for the brothers over the next 11 months, she also came to know their mother well, mentoring her as she strived to retain custody of her children. At that nearly year mark, though, state law required the Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) to find a more permanent arrangement for the boys. With their mother still unable to bring them home, DFCS found “fictive kin,” or a family friend, to take the siblings. “That was heart-wrenching,” Bridgitte admits. “It was difficult because you fall in love with them. You know their schedules, and they call you ‘Mama.’ And when they go, there is a grieving process.” However, Bridgitte continues to be a part of the boys’ lives and mentor their mother. The Hatfields are currently housing their second sibling placement. “I’m a boy magnet,” Bridgitte muses about the 7-year-old and 20-month-old brothers who have joined the household. “Foster care stretches and shapes you and puts you back together,” Bridgitte concludes. “I have a servant’s heart, and our children are also able to have a servant’s heart. They’ve opened their hearts and their home to children they’ve never met before. As a family, we’ve always been a tight group, but this has elevated us. The bar has been raised.”


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Photos courtesy of Sharon Koerber.


“We consulted within our family because it wasn’t about me being a foster mom—we had to be a foster family. We all had to be on the same page and on board,” Bridgitte recalls. Soon, the Hatfields, who include children ranging in age from 10 to 21, began the meetings and intensive training that are required to be certified in the state to foster young children. They also sold their home so they could purchase a larger one to accommodate foster sibling groups. Then they bought a car that could fit up to 14 people. With everything in place, they were ready, knowing that they planned to serve strictly as a reunification home, which comes with the primary goal of keeping children safe and happy until they can reunify with their biological parents. And not long later, they received their first placements: sibling brothers ages 4 months and 15 months.

Photography (top) by Sawyer Photography. Makeup and hair by The Green Room Agency, Dakota Sue Willy of Salon Red Candler Park.

“Foster care stretches and shapes you and puts you back together. I have a servant’s heart, and our children are also able to have a servant’s heart. They’ve opened their hearts and their home to children they’ve never met before.”

It was a mission trip to an African orphanage in 2017 that really got Bridgitte Ferraro Hatfield considering foster care. The concept had always been on her mind and her heart, particularly having worked in Catholic social services in the early 2000s and as the co-founder of the nonprofit organization Refuse To Do Nothing. Yet, as a wife, mother of six and business leader, the timing never seemed right. Then she took that fateful journey and everything changed. She returned home on a Tuesday, and by that Sunday, she and her husband, Craig, developed a partnership with FaithBridge Foster Care.

An Unexpected Blessing

Sharon and Michael Koerber were surprised when they were told they would not be able to have any more children. After she gave birth to their first son, they planned to expand their family as soon as possible. However, her doctor told her that it was a miracle their first child was born. And Sharon simply could not imagine not having another child in their home. “We both have good relationships with our siblings, and we love having kids in our home,” Sharon says. “We love a full house.” The couple had considered becoming a foster home before, but the medical news accelerated their desire to become involved. They have friends who have fostered, so they decided to begin the process with a local private agency and completed all of the training and preparation. Unfortunately, that agency was more focused on adoption, and the Koerbers wanted to foster only. So they transitioned to Giving Children A Chance of Georgia (GCAC) in 2010. By January of 2011, they received news that a newborn baby boy needed a foster home. They brought him home—and he became their second son.

“We both have good relationships with our siblings, and we love having kids in our house. We love a full house. We have had five to seven long-term placements and 20 to 30 respite situations.”


“We adopted that baby,” Sharon recalls through tears. “It was the greatest gift. We wanted to provide for children in need, and while adoption wasn’t a motivator for us to foster, we were so grateful.” That baby boy is now 9 years old, and he is one of three sons, as Sharon soon found out after the adoption that she— miraculously—was pregnant again. And although they ended up with the full house they had always dreamed about, the Koerbers continued to be part of the foster community, taking in girls predominantly under the age of 3. “We have had five to seven long-term placements and 20 to 30 respite situations,” she says. And no matter how long the children remain with the family—from a few days or weeks to several months—the family strives to provide as much comfort as possible. “We always want the child to feel safe and part of the family,” Sharon continues. “They are welcomed into the family. And we make sure to ask each of our kids individually how they feel about each foster scenario before we welcome them into our home. They are valued in this. We do this together, and it gives us a unified purpose.” Photos courtesy of Sharon Koerber.

Photography (top) by Sawyer Photography. Makeup and hair by The Green Room Agency, Dakota Sue Willy of Salon Red Candler Park.

Sharon Koerber

Of course, when the foster children are either reunified with their biological families or receive new forever families, there is always a feeling of sadness and grief. So the family often takes a bit of time off between each foster placement, as sustainability is very important to them. The Koerbers feel that it is a great learning experience for their boys, and they plan to continue fostering for as long as they feel called to serve. As Sharon says, “This is what our family does. I’m hoping that my children will have love and empathy for all people. I want them to see a need and act. And they’re seeing that through what we do. It gives them a sense of responsibility, and as much as it hurts to let go, the benefit is greater.” SHARON KOERBER WITH HER HUSBAND AND ADOPTED SON.

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Mary Kathryn Kaye A Complete Family “Fostering changed our lives in the most wonderful way when most families, at this age, start going in different directions with children becoming more independent. But for us, it wasn’t just like two parents fostering because our son was so committed.”

Mary Kathryn Kaye was surprised when a foster care trainer from Giving Children A Chance of Georgia (GCAC) said to her, “Families that come into fostering to adopt often have heartache. They may be placed with foster child after foster child and never have one who is in a position to be adopted. And many of those who come in just to be fosters will end up adopting.”

—Mary Kathryn

Mary Kathryn never expected to be in that latter group. She and her husband, Wes, along with their son, who was born when Mary Kathryn was 39, planned to be a foster family only. But in October of 2016, they received a call about a five-pound, three-week-old baby girl. The plan was to reunify her with her biological grandmother, the primary caregiver, at some point. But the child was ill and required a great deal of medical attention. The Kayes happily brought her into their home as a foster and cared for her, supporting her through an array of medical issues, including a frightening bout with respiratory failure at seven weeks old. After about a year, Mary Kathryn, now 54, was told that the little girl would need to find a forever home, as being restored to her biological family was no longer an option. “In October of 2018, she became a legal member of our family,” Mary Kathryn says. “Our son is 16, and now he has a 3-year-old sister. Fostering changed our lives in the most wonderful way when most families, at this age, start going in different directions with children becoming more independent. But for us, it wasn’t just like two parents fostering because our son was so committed. We all really worked together. And it added so much to our lives that we didn’t know we were lacking. We didn’t realize how much we would benefit from this.” Today, the Kayes serve as a respite family for GCAC, usually accepting infants who need a temporary home. And she credits the agency with their ability to navigate the foster process so seamlessly. “Private agencies are skilled at working with DFCS and the system. It can be overwhelming,” she notes. “As foster parents, it’s easier to have an advocate and someone who can be the bridge to guiding the family and working with the state. And Giving Children A Chance of Georgia is the best—they prepared us in the most practical and realistic way.” Mary Kathryn and her family, including her now healthy daughter, plan to continue fostering for as long as it’s possible. “It’s scary to take in a child, but it puts life in perspective,” she concludes. “To foster a child is something positive I am able to do in the world. It makes me feel good, and I’m able to participate in the world in a meaningful way. It’s just the greatest thing we’ve ever done.” Sources



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Division of Family & Children Services, FaithBridge Foster Care, Giving Children A Chance of Georgia,

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Pat Mitchell:

A DANGEROUS WOMAN How taking risks shaped the life and career of one of media’s most prolific women By Amy Meadows Pat Mitchell was uncharacteristically wavering. She had spent decades telling people’s stories, first in front of and behind the camera as a renowned journalist and award-winning documentary producer and then as the first female president of legendary organizations such as Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), CNN Productions and The Paley Center for Media. Yet, she wasn’t sure that she was ready to commit her own story to paper. She certainly had considered writing a memoir, but something kept stopping her in her tracks. “I didn’t want to feel like I was writing about the past and not living in the present. I also couldn’t find the time, and I struggled with the focus,” Mitchell reveals. More importantly, though, she worried that telling her story, complete with recollections of all of the incredible work she has done during her highly successful career, would be tantamount to bragging. Fortunately, a good friend pulled her aside one day and said exactly what she needed to hear. “She said, ‘Pat, it’s not bragging if you did it.’ Women

I realized during the writing process that I needed to write my memoir to shine a light for those who are following me. Women are still facing so many challenges, and my dream is to help women and girls everywhere break those barriers and achieve.”

Photo courtesy of Hachette Book Group, photography by Serena Martineau.

struggle with not wanting to praise our own risk-taking, and I had to get past that,” she says. “And

Today, women of all ages can be inspired by Mitchell’s new book, “Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World,” which was released in October of 2019. In it, she delves into her life as a journalist and an activist, taking readers on a journey through all of the ups and downs she experienced as she forged an uncharted path to become one of the most influential and acclaimed women in media. And at age 77, even as she looks back on everything she has accomplished, she has no plans of slowing down, as she realizes that there is still much work to do.

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Following Her Curiosity “Unlike a lot of people, particularly men, I did not come into my career with a plan from A to B to C to D. What I did throughout my career was follow my curiosity. I took risks. I may not have known how to do a job, but it was about believing in my own ability to figure it all out,” Mitchell observes. “If you can’t risk failing, then you’ll never have success.” Growing up near and in the small town of Swainsboro, Georgia, Mitchell always felt a certain pull toward academia—a pursuit encouraged by her eighth grade English teacher, Miss Shirley Rountree Reid, who went so far as to help thenhigh school senior Mitchell secure acceptance and a full drama scholarship to the University of Georgia (UGA). And while Mitchell thrived and planned to go to graduate school, an unexpected pregnancy and subsequent marriage altered her plans. She began teaching, and a divorce not long later transformed her into a single mother with a toddler. She did move on to graduate school, ultimately becoming an English instructor at UGA and then Virginia Commonwealth University. Yet, she reveled at the opportunity to move into journalism and work for LOOK magazine—until the publication suddenly went bankrupt, leaving Mitchell jobless in New York City. On a whim, she decided to “try television,” and thus began her true ascent as a bona fide media powerhouse. In fact, Mitchell’s credentials are as impressive as they are copious. She began by working with the media team for John V. Lindsay’s 1972 presidential campaign, and while the bid was unsuccessful, it led Mitchell to begin her television news career in earnest at WBZ-TV in Boston. Her love of telling stories, PAT MITCHELL SPEAKS AT TEDWOMEN 2019: BOLD + BRILLIANT particularly those of women, paved the way for her to burst onto the scene with such positions as host of the midday talk program “Panorama”; creator, producer and host of the Emmy-winning syndicated female-driven talk show “Woman to Woman,” which was produced through her own independent production company; and as a regular on the “Today” show and an international reporter for NBC. Those experiences eventually brought her back to Atlanta and to Turner Broadcasting in 1992, where she moved into the executive position of president of Turner Original Productions and CNN Productions.

By 2000, she was named president and CEO of PBS, followed by an appointment as president and CEO of The Paley Center for Media in 2006. Today, she is the co-founder and editorial director of TEDWomen and the chair of the Women’s Media Center and Sundance Institute.

Photo courtesy of Jasmina Tomic/TED.

“Everything you do prepares you for something else, even if it isn’t in your plan,” Mitchell says. “With every job, no matter how different they were, I took something forward. Women are fast learners and adapters to new environments. We have to trust ourselves and believe that we can learn as we do.”

At the Intersection of History Throughout what Mitchell calls her “zig-zaggy career,” her proclivity toward activism has been as important to her as her professional success. Her involvement with both the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Movement is an integral part of her own story, dating back to 1961 when UGA was first integrated and she became friends with Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first African-American female to attend the institution. As a budding journalist, Mitchell also faced sexism in the workplace. And as a single mother, she realized how few rights she actually had. All of this led her to boost her own efforts as a feminist activist, fighting for everything from equal pay to


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Photo courtesy of Jasmina Tomic/TED.

reproductive rights. From attending marches to working with an array of well-known humanitarians and activists, including good friends Jane Fonda and Eve Ensler, she has become part of a conversation that continues to this day. “I feel fortunate to have come of age as those big changes were happening. I was at the intersection of historical changes,” she notes, adding that many of the struggles from yesterday have come full circle and are continuing to be fought today. “We are living in dangerous times. Much of the progress that has been made—there have been rollbacks in those areas. Women have advanced and have greater representation, but it’s far from complete equality. It’s going to take a different kind of commitment, bravery and boldness to meet the challenges of these dangerous and disconnected times, to build common ground and to work toward a more just world.” To achieve that end goal, Mitchell has dedicated herself to creating a platform of opportunity to help elevate other women. For instance, she began working with Ronda Carnegie and The Rockefeller Foundation in 2019 to convene the Connected Women Leaders (CWL) Forum, which brings women together to problem-solve the issues facing females from all backgrounds around the world. “In many ways, the most important thing to do is to build alliances and coalitions. We have to reach out to other women and show up for one another. I believe that showing up for each other is the biggest game changer of all,” Mitchell says. “In fact, my friendships are my renewable source of energy and power.” Recently, Mitchell moved from serving on corporate boards to dedicating all of her time to the boards of nonprofit and service organizations. For her, it’s a powerful choice. And

while she has declared herself “a dangerous woman” in these times, she looks at that phrase differently than most people. “I have become braver and bolder. I want to carry the torch higher and brighter to encourage others to be bold and brave and to take risks,” she concludes. “Each of us can make a difference. Each of us can help create a better world where everyone has more equal

opportunity. It’s possible. But you have to take risks. You have to step forward and imagine the future you want and go for it.”



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Discover You Imagine embarking on a journey of self-exploration that is unlike any you have ever gone on before. Through Human Design, you can do just that. This blueprint tool is used to shed light on your energetic DNA, allowing you to understand how you exchange energy in this world and align with your highest potential in all areas of your life. Human Design is a synthesis of ancient wisdom from astrology, the chakra system, kabbalah and the Chinese “I Ching” text with the science of quantum physics, genetics and astronomy to bring an accurate expression of who you are. Energy shaman and founder of The J Way LLC, Jessica Calderon is one of the only practitioners offering this insightful experience in Atlanta.

JESSICA CALDERON Photography by (top) Andria Lavine Photography. Photo courtesy of (bottom) Jamestown.

During a 60-minute Human Design video session with her, you will discover your energy (aura), type (e.g., projector) and understand how to create more flow in your life. Expect to learn how to master your energy, navigate your world through your strategy (e.g., waiting for the invitation) and authority, and reveal specific themes such as bitterness or burnout that show up when you are not living your design. At times, Calderon also incorporates meditation and/or clearing techniques into her sessions for added support. Once the session is complete, you’ll walk away with your own Human Design chart and guidance on how you can experience life in a way that is fulfilling and nourishing. Details:

Make a Mess It’s a paint party at Binders Art Supplies and Frames! The popular resource for the creatively inclined now offers a magically messy Splatter Room experience at Ponce City Market (preregistration required). Upon arrival, you’ll receive a protective suit to wear over your clothes and shoes, then you and your friends are free to grab a paintbrush and other utensils and sling vibrant pigment on canvases. Once your masterpiece is dry, you are welcome to take it home to put on display. Details: Ponce City Market, Ste. S102, Atlanta;


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Photos courtesy of (top left) Mina & Vine; (middle right) National Vitiligo Bond Inc Foundation; (bottom right) Linda W. McNay. Photography by (bottom left) Vernon Brown Photography.

Nifty Nursing Scarf When Brittany Garman and Anita Rajendra met, they had no idea their friendship would morph into a mission to make the lives of mothers easier. The Atlanta-based entrepreneurs recently launched Mina & Vine, a nursing scarf designed for mamas who have their hands full. Available in four patterns, the scarf features a magnetic closure that allows it to quickly transform from fashion accessory to nursing cover. The (L TO R): BRITTANY GARMAN AND ANITA RAJENDRA quick-drying and machine-washable piece can also be worn 10-plus ways.

A Mindful Mother’s Day Take a holistic approach to celebrating Mother’s Day this year. From noon to 3pm on May 10, Oyun Ministries will host an intimate Mother’s Day Lunch & Meditation. Sons, daughters, mothers, grandmothers and beyond are invited for an afternoon to reflect, release and relax. Guests can expect a light lunch and guided meditation that aims to leave attendees rejuvenated and inspired. Details: 3353 Washington Rd., Atlanta;


The Power of Words Obstacles beware! Nine-year-old Kyler Eric Smith rewrites stereotypes for fellow students with his debut children’s book, “I Define Me.” Using autobiographical stories, he empowers other multitalented kids with learning differences like dyslexia, dyspraxia and dysgraphia to define their own futures. Details:

Just Like Me Founded in 2010, the goal of the Atlantabased organization National Vitiligo Bond Inc Foundation is to advocate for vitiligo awareness while uplifting those living with the autoimmune skin disorder. The group recently partnered with Mattel to spread the word about Mattel’s new Barbie® Fashionistas™ Doll with Vitiligo, which is part of a collection of inclusive dolls. The toy company also donated 300 dolls to the nonprofit, which Vitiligo Bond Inc will give away to local children. You can support the work of the group by signing up for its fourth Vitiligo Awareness 5K Soca Fun Run Walk on the Atlanta BeltLine on May 23. Details:

Friendships and Philanthropy Meet Phil, An, and Thropy—kids looking to make an impact bigger than themselves. Local fundraising gurus Linda Wise McNay, Del Martin and Ailena Parramore spin their tale about helping others through their new book, “The Adventures of PhilAnThropy,” inspiring a new generation of philanthropists. Details:



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City Takers is an Atlanta-based mission focusing on bringing hope and assistance to the city’s marginalized groups such as the homeless, at-risk youth, inmates and senior citizens by using hip-hop as a tool to engage with the community. Through a combination of events, practical assistance and training, they are bringing hope to those who need it most.

Making a Difference with Music

To get a true City Takers experience, sign up online for one of its inner-city mission trips. This weekend- to week-long experience completely immerses (L TO R): JACOB HAWKINS AND GABRIEL GARZA AT THE 4TH ANNUAL CITY TAKERS JAM & DANCE BATTLE. groups and individuals into the City Takers mission. Volunteers stay in the on-campus dorms while assisting with outreach activities such as feeding the homeless, building relationships with community members and more on a daily basis. The goal is for volunteers to gain firsthand perspective of the challenges underserved groups face and the impact City Takers has had on their lives. Youth groups, schools, churches and companies are all welcome to participate, with food, housing and travel included. Itineraries can be customized to suit a group’s size and age range. Details:

Welcome Home

This Mother’s Day, help moms in need by participating in HomeAid Atlanta’s 19th Annual Essentials Drive. From April 6-May 5, the organization will be collecting diapers and baby wipes for infants and toddlers at collection drives across the city. By partnering with UPS, HomeAid Atlanta will distribute these items to local nonprofits that assist homeless families. Volunteer, donate online through Target and Amazon, or help coordinate a drive at your office, social club or church.

In 2015, music industry veteran and manager to Grammy-nominated artist Khalid, Courtney Stewart founded the Right Hand Foundation. The nonprofit supports women and children’s shelters in the Atlanta area through financial donations, mentoring programs and more. Stewart’s latest philanthropic initiative is opening transitional facilities for single mothers and their kids. Recently, the Atlanta native purchased homes COURTNEY STEWART IS ALL SMILES FOR THE UNVEILING in College Park in an OF THE FIRST REMODELED COLLEGE PARK HOME. effort to revitalize the residences and make them comfortable, rent-free “havens” for struggling families.





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Photos courtesy of (top) City Takers, photography by Jazmine Bledsoe; (bottom left) HomeAid Atlanta; (bottom right) Jax Jinx.

Gathering Goods

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give-back guide

Featured events For more events, visit

April 19

April 30

May 9

CHASTAIN CHASE 5K & 1 MILE FUN RUN Run through the winding trails of Chastain Park and raise money for a good cause—the Cancer Support Community Atlanta. The nonprofit provides education, exercise and aid to patients and families with cancer.

HANDBAG HULLABALOO!™ Sixty designer handbags will be up for grabs at this Ronald McDonald House Charities event. Play fun raffle games for your chance to walk away with a brand new bag while enjoying food, wine and fun.

6TH ANNUAL BELIEVE BALL Dress in your best to help beat pediatric cancer at CURE Childhood Cancer’s 6th Annual Believe Ball, hosted by comedy legend of the South, Jeff Foxworthy. This black-tie affair will feature cocktails, dinner, auctions and a live band.

April 25

May 2

FASKIA MASQUERADE CHARITY BALL Dawn a mask and dance the night away to support the mission of Friends and Sisters Keepers in Action (FASKIA), which aims to empower women in all facets of their lives. There will be a cash bar and contest for the best masks.

DANCING STARS OF ATLANTA The competition is back for another year of twirling on the dance floor to help raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. Thirteen local Atlanta celebrities will be paired with professional dancers to compete for a coveted mirror ball trophy.

April 30 A NIGHT OF BROADWAY STARS Enjoy a star-studded night of theater while supporting Atlanta’s homeless youth. The evening will feature dinner and auctions, followed by a live show featuring some of Broadway’s best talent performing alongside Covenant House’s youth.

May 2 ST. JUDE SOUTHERN EVENING OF HOPE (GALA) Support the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital while enjoying live entertainment, a wine pull and Southern-style cuisine. There will be a silent and live auction.

May 16 ATLANTA FIELD DAY Gather up your friends and relive the best part of elementary school with a day of relays, tugs-of-war and obstacle courses. Proceeds will benefit Playworks Georgia, a nonprofit that fosters physical activity and community in Atlanta’s low-income schools.

Ongoing INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEER Green thumbs or not, Trees Atlanta needs hands-on help with projects, events and general tree care at local plant sites.

Look for this icon to find out where you can volunteer.

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Photos courtesy of (top) City Takers, photography by Jazmine Bledsoe; (bottom left) HomeAid Atlanta; (bottom right) Jax Jinx.




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bestfitness Golfer’s Paradise Turn your next shopping trip into a game at luxury golf retailer PXG’s first retail store in the Southeast. The 3,000-square-foot space boasts a practice putting green, dual fitting bays with state-of-the-art golf simulators and a hospitality area alongside premium custom golf clubs and athletic apparel. Details: Lenox Square;

Fit in a Flash Imagine getting fit with just two 20-minute workouts a week. Using high-tech machines that don’t rely on traditional equipment like weights and treadmills, The Exercise Coach offers personalized fitness programs that are designed for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Visit the company’s new Dunwoody location to experience its proprietary machines, which can adjust the workout to your strengths and weaknesses in real time. Details: 2090 Dunwoody Club Dr., Ste. 119, Sandy Springs;

Routine Shake Up Mix up your yoga routine and take part in the Free Community Yoga class held every Tuesday from 7-8pm at Patagonia. Danielle Roycroft (pictured below) hosts a relaxing class here. All levels are welcome and attendees can expect a blend of traditional and out-of-the-box pose combinations. No registration is required; simply show up and enjoy the flow. Details: 34 E. Andrews Dr. NW., Atlanta;

Do it on The Daily. This boutique fitness studio in Inman Park (with a second location in West Midtown) offers Pilates Reformer classes, high-intensity interval training and their signature class, SCULPT. With small class sizes, an intimate setting and a heavy focus on proper form, The Daily offers the perfect fitness setting for everyone from newbies to Pilates veterans. Details: 900 DeKalb Ave. NE., Ste. 600, Atlanta;

Chill Out Freeze your way to feeling better. Just three minutes inside the liquid nitrogen cold sauna at CryoClub Atlanta is said to help unlock incredible health benefits such as reducing pain and inflammation, repairing tissue and boosting your immune system. Details: 2355 Cumberland Pkwy. SE., Ste. 90, Atlanta;


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Photos courtesy of (top left) PXG; (top right) The Exercise Coach USA; (middle) The Daily, photography by Morgan Beatton; (bottom right) CryoClub Atlanta. Photography by (bottom left) Katie Karel.

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