March 2022

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C O B B ’ S FA M I LY L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E MARCH 2022

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In This Issue

Travel Our Town’s Travel Expert, Heather Meliski, shares her Must-Have Travel Items................10

MARCH 2022

Cover Story: North Cobb Christian, “It’s just a contagious environment”!................................................15

Take a Bite Out of Our Town at Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria........................................................19

15 Cover Story North Cobb Christian School

Home Town Heroes!................................21

Sports + March = The Madness in Talkin’ Sports with Justin ..........................22

Beauty Secrets Eliana Ocheseanu is sharing a dirty little secret in The Science of Beauty................................26

Fitness Ashley Inglese wants to help find the perfect fit when it comes to your workout....................29

10

19

Travel Packing Must-Haves

Legal Probate & Real Estate

Take A Bite Our Town Visits Crispina Fitness What to Look for in a Gym

29

22 Talkin’ Sports March Madness PAGE 6

Before you start looking for a home real estate professional Deborah Ratchford wants you to make a list.................................31

“A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find but lucky to have” Happy March my friends! -Tara Our Town


Our Town onthly M

in this issue

F A M I LY L I F E S T Y L E N EW S M AG A Z I N E

Publishers/Editors Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not Linda Demery & Lori McLinden

in Cobb County. Opinions expressednecessarily by the editorial staff their own reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our are Town reserves the right to Graphics and Design edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town Terry Tanner for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made reservesTanner the right toInc. edit and or reject any editorial or advertising Graphics, by advertisers. content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond Account Executive Entire contents copyright 2018 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in sara@ourtownmonthly.com the Sara costYoung, of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher. Feature Photographer Entire contents copyright 2022 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole Our Town Monthly or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher. 109 Anderson Street Contributing Writers

Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

PUBLISHER/MANAGING EDITOR 678-337-7844 Tara Hill Hanover Fax: 678-337-7825 info@ourtownmonthly.com

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Senior Living Communities

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www.ourtownmonthly.com EDITOR/SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR Justin Hanover

DIGITAL EDITOR/SOCIAL MEDIA CONTRIBUTOR Kimberly Watkins-Swenk GRAPHICS AND DESIGN Jules Fandos ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES West Cobb Sara Young sara@ourtownmonthly.com Smyrna/Vinings/Galleria/Cumberland Misty Flanders-White misty@ourtownmonthly.com North/South Cobb Stephanie Mellom stephanie@ourtownmonthly.com FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHER M. Jae Photography CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Meliski Eliana Ocheseanu Ashley Inglese Deborah Ratchford PO Box 813610 Smyrna, GA 30081-8610 (678)337-7844 info@ourtownmonthly.com www.ourtownmonthly.com FB: Our Town Monthly

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Feature Photographer M. JAE PHOTOGRAPHY

I’

m Michelle, the girl behind the camera and behind M. Jae Photography. I’m a wife, mother, and a seeker in finding the beauty in all things. I am a lifestyle family photographer, based out of Kennesaw, GA. My love for photography began over 30 years ago with my first photography class. Yes I know, that ages me a bit! I’m grateful I had the opportunity to learn with film and processing in a dark room. My career path took me another route, but my fondness for photography stayed strong! Throughout my travels, I was always looking for my next shot. Then, I had my babies! That is when my true passion for capturing human connection in its truest, rawest form began. I realized how truly precious life is. The moments were fleeting, and they were growing and changing right before my eyes. I wanted to capture all those special moments. So I got my first digital camera, started studying, and snapping away. Now, I want to capture these moments for you! As a family photographer, my goal is to tell your beautiful, timeless, authentic story!

www.mjaephotography.com michelle@mjaephotograpy.com @mjaephotographybymichelle PAGE 8

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register for a variety of camps for ages 4 - 12th grade Open to the public

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PAGE 9


Best Travel Gear

By Heather Meliski

travel a lot, especially for work, and I’m often asked what my must-have items are when I travel. Here are my top items that I can’t leave home without.

I

ly used this for my trip to Egypt and was never concerned about being pick-pocketed. I’m partial to the Travelon crossbody messenger bag which you can find on Amazon.

Phone Power Bank – when I’m traveling, I use my phone a lot. Between photos, videos, social media posts, client communication, and keeping in touch with my family, my phone battery drains fast. My power bank will recharge my phone up to three times so I’m never looking for an outlet to keep my phone from dying.

Packable Rain Coat – you never know when rain is going to pop up, so having a packable rain coat is a must. They fold up really small so you can stash them in a purse or backpack, and they can also keep you warm if the weather cools off.

Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones – these are great for sleeping on planes to drown out the cabin noise, as well as for having the best quality sound for inflight entertainment. I’m partial to Beats by Dre but there are a lot of good options. Twelve South Air Fly – this handy little gadget connects to the onboard entertainment systems on flights so you can use your wireless headphones with the system. These eliminate the need for ever using corded headphones on flights again. This can be found on Amazon. Travel Purse – my travel purse is like the Swiss Army Knife of purses. It locks, it’s slash proof, water resistant, it has a million places to store things, there’s a light inside so I can find things, and it even has areas on the side that will unzip to hold a water bottle or travel umbrella. I recent-

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Travel Backpack – my travel backpack holds a ton of stuff (you can pack for a whole week away in one of these), it fits under the seat or in the overhead, and it frees up your hands since you don’t have to pull a suitcase. Packing Cubes – if I had to pick just one item I wouldn’t leave home without, this would be it. I often change hotels a lot when I travel for work and these keep all of your things organized and make it easy to pack up and move in snap. There you have it, my top items for traveling! Heather Meliski, Global Travel Senior Advisor 678-522-4495 heather@ yellowshoetravel.com YellowShoeTravel.com 1517251236924_fb Yellow Shoe Travel - Heather Meliski @yellowshoetravelheather

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4461 South Main St. l Acworth, GA 30101 PAGE 11


This lack of inventory was felt throughout the year by buyers (residential, commercial and land). The average sales price and property values increased from the previous year, in both detached (single family) and attached (town homes, condos) homes in these 5 counties. 2021 did not equal LOWER housing values and there is no projection of a housing crisis in 2022. Last year’s sellers were not accepting offers lower than the fair market value. Most owners received multiple offers as well as above asking price offers. Property values and interest rates are projected to rise in 2022. Angie and I help our buyers navigate this swift market by guiding them, as we manage their purchase and sell transactions at the same time. Give us a call if you would like to learn what your property would sell for in today’s market. Our team knows what it takes to sell homes and commercial properties for top dollar. We would be honored to help your friends and family achieve their 2022 Residential and Commercial real estate goals.

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COVER STORY

LIVING FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE

North Cobb Christian School is Teaching Teens to be Countercultural for Christ

By Kate Hartley

T

here is a hidden pandemic impacting our youth that’s been simmering under the surface long before COVID came on the scene. It’s the pandemic of loneliness. Young people today are more anxious and isolated than any previous generation -- an ironic reality since they’re also the most technologically “connected” generation in history. “Today’s teenagers are consumed with media, and though it would seem to give them more interactions, it actually diminishes real relationships and creates loneliness,” says Parker Smith, the Director of Student Life at North Cobb Christian School (NCCS), where his job is to nurture the social and spiritual development of students. “Media comes from the word medium, which means ‘in between’ -- a go-between of reality and perception. Our young people are literally living ‘in the middle;’ they’re living in the gap between real and perceived relationships. And in this ‘reality,’ value is assigned based on numbers on a screen.” BEING COUNTERCULTURAL The challenge, however, is that it can feel like social suicide to disengage from the very thing that brings you a thread of connection, however tenuous. “Real connection is rare in the lives of many young people, so they all go to social media for connection. If they turn it off, then there’s a fear of being truly isolated,” says Smith. So, what’s the solution? “The answer is to instill countercultural pathways in our kids’ thinking,” he says. “Culture is moving in one direction -- away from biblical values, away from absolute truth. We, as a school, are trying to move in another direction -- towards biblical values and truth. It’s like tug-ofwar. It’s a battle.” FOSTERING REAL RELATIONSHIPS In this battle, authentic connection is the armistice. “At NCCS, we invite students into real, solid relationships, so they can experience true connection. Our school calendar revolves around giving students opportunities to draw closer to each other and to their teachers, as well as opportunities to learn that their true identity and value come from who they are in Christ.”

“The moments we love to see are when a student connects with God during a retreat or serves others selflessly on Spring Term, and a lightbulb goes off. No photo went up. No Instagram reel happened. Just real life happened. In those moments, they’re freed from having to promote themselves. They’re freed from gaining or comparing. They’re just free.” EXPERIENCING TRUE FREEDOM North Cobb Christain School senior Caeden Callahan can attest to this freedom. “It radically impacts you to experience the life-changing power of God,” affirms Callahan. “Last year on Spring Term, I went to the Dominican Republic with my group, and it was insane. We walked from house to house sharing the gospel, and we built a worship center for the kids in inner-city Santiago. You realize what real contentment is when you’re focused on God and others like that.” To Caeden, the countercultural environment at NCCS has impacted him and his peers for the better. “At North Cobb Christian, it’s just a contagious environment. Even the students who come in and don’t have faith get pulled up. It’s hard to be here and not realize the freedom of living for Christ. Real joy is living side by side together for an audience of One.”

Tour North Cobb Christian School: info@ncchristian.org, 770-975-0252, ncchristian.org. NCCS is home to 1,000+ students in K3-12th grade. FAITH ON THE FIELD Caeden Callahan has signed to play football for Liberty University (D-1) in the fall. In addition to a love for the game, Caeden says that, to him, football is one more opportunity to impact others with his faith. “Every day when I go out and work hard on the field, I realize it’s not about me. The fire that’s been instilled in us by each of our teachers and coaches at NCCS is to go out and impact our world for Christ -- to use our influence, whether on or off the field, to be fishers of men.”

These truths are developed through daily Bible class and weekly chapel from age 3 through twelfth grade, as well as through regular discipleship groups for every student in fifth through twelfth grade. Students also take part in annual fall retreats in August, Spiritual Emphasis Week every winter, and Spring Term mission trips in March. “Sometimes students joke that it’s overkill, but what they may not realize is that it’s part of the battle,” asserts Smith. “We are doing everything we can to fight against the destructive direction that culture is trying to pull them.

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ncchristian.org / info@ncchristian.org / 770.975.0252

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TAKE A

OUT OF Welcome to Italy…I mean, Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria! OUR TOWN

O

h my goodness from the moment you walk in, you feel like you have been transported to the most amazing restaurant in Naples, Italy. Ciao Bella! I was greeted at the door immediately by manager and co-owner Andriano Djula. Next, the smell…the bread is baked fresh daily, the smell hits you the moment you open the door. Then the taste, super crispy on the outside- warm and soft on the inside. I had to stop myself as I was not there to eat my weight in bread, however I could have. Raffaele Crispino, the chef and co-owner came up to me next with a piping hot bowl of lentil and sausage soup. Not only was it delicious and full of texture, but it was also the perfect place to dip the crispy edges of the bread (I told you, this bread…I couldn’t stop myself). The options for my main course were endless… between Raffaele’s mother’s recipe, the famous Chicken Cacciatore, one of their most popular dishes-Wild Caught Salmon or the notorious “Sophia Loren” (fried Pizza, finished in the wood fire oven) how was I supposed to choose? I told them to surprise me… The Arrabbiata it was! A spicy thin crust, wood fire pizza with hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, grated Parmigiano, spicy Salame Napoletano, Calabrese Peppers, EVOO and fresh Basil (WOWZER) from the “Stefano Ferrara” of course, an over 6000-pound wood burning oven directly from Naples. No shock that Crispina was the first to bring the authentic wood fire oven to Kennesaw, GA and most of

Our Town

their ingredients (minus the water) come from Italy as well. Is your mouth watering yet? By the way, did I mention their pasta is made fresh daily? Crispina also offers vegan and gluten free options and 80% of their wine selection is Italian too with 20 wines by the glass and a full stocked bar. If you are looking for an authentic Italian atmosphere with original regional ingredients- Southern Italian food, Neapolitan Style Pizza, a full bar all with amazing daily specials, this is it! When I spoke to Rafaele and Andriano on how they keep up with the daily demand and commitment it takes to run, not one, but two restaurants of this caliber, their reply was, “our mission is to share our Italian heritage and delight our guests with exceptional cuisine. The community keeps us going!” Crispina has two locations to serve you, Vinings and Kennesaw. It’s a great environment for luncheons or parties (as they have a private dining room), date night or a casual dinner with family. Also, don’t miss out as kids eat free on Tuesdays at the Kennesaw location. Trust me, you will feel like you have been gifted a free trip to Italy the moment you walk in. And when you do, tell them Our Town sent you!

PAGE 19


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Our Town


Cobb ’s Hometown Heroes!

COBB HORIZON HIGH SCHOOL

1765 The Exchange SE / Atlanta, GA 30339 / 678-594-8240 / cobbk12.org/cobbhorizon

“W

hen you get up everyday don’t try to be the best IN the world, try to be the best FOR the world”

These inspiring words were spoken by the Cobb Horizon high school principal, Mr. John Kelly, our Hometown Hero! Of course, this fearless leader wants you to know the “heroes” are really everyone that makes up this amazing school community! Cobb Horizon High School is an academic alternative school that is available to Cobb County high school students who have fallen behind their graduation cohort. Students may apply to attend Cobb Horizon instead of their designated Cobb County high school if they need a different path to earn a high school diploma. “Being able to come to work each and every day, to serve our student population is a blessing, said Principal Kelly. Our teachers and staff are committed to doing everything they can to remove barriers so our students can earn a high school diploma. Part of what we do is celebrate every student when they earn that last credit by having what we call our high five hallway. All students and staff line the hallway and the student gets to ring the bell and be recognized for their accomplishment. Many of them have overcome the odds to earn that diploma, so this ceremony has become a special part of what we do to recognize all students that graduate.” What Makes Cobb Horizon Different? · Low student/teacher ratio · One-on-one attention · Computer-based curriculum · A shorter school day and school week Q: Tell us about your students at Cobb Horizon High School. A: Our students at Cobb Horizon are unique. They come to us from the various high schools around Cobb County, each possessing a different “story” about how and why they chose us. They are academically (on level, over achievers, learning disabled, etc.), socially (introverts and extraverts), emotionally (self-aware, empathetic, motivated, self-regulated, and social skills), and physically (appearance/style, culture, self-care, self-love) different, but that is totally why they are unique, and we love them one and all. Q: What would you say to a parent considering enrolling at Cobb Horizon High School for their student? A: We are the answer to your prayers for the right environment for your student. We have seasoned, highly qualified teachers, counselors, and administrators. We offer small classes which equate to smaller teacher-student ratio. We offer whole group, small group, and individualized instruction. There is no seat time re-

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quirement for completing courses. That’s really awesome because a student can finish courses as quickly as he/she wants, and it provides them more opportunities to complete more courses during a quarter. In addition to all of this, we have many wraparound services provided by our Site Coordinator and Counseling Department. - Almeda Walker, English Teacher Q: What makes Cobb Horizon a great place for students? A: I feel every student at CHHS is made to feel welcomed, valued and they are given every opportunity and support possible to help them be successful and reach their goal of a high school diploma. Every staff member at CHHS from administration, to teachers, to counselors, to office staff spend time getting to know students and what roadblocks may be in the way of their success and we work together as a team to remove those roadblocks. So many students say this is the first time they have ever liked school, or the first time a teacher took a real interest in helping them succeed. Students are recognized for their successes, and they have a sense of feeling important and cared about. Q: What would you say to a parent considering enrolling at Cobb Horizon High School for their student? A: The first thing I often say to a parent is, “I look forward to seeing and celebrating with them at graduation”. I say that because I want them to know that we will do everything possible to help their student reach that goal of graduation and I think as soon as they hear that, a sense of relief comes over them because they know immediately that we really are here to help their student graduate. I also like to share former student success stories along with what they had to overcome to be successful to allow a new parent or student see that we are accustomed to helping students break down barriers and move past any former obstacles. - Tammy Maclean, Math Teacher What our students have to say: “Cobb horizon is a great place because of the relationships you build here and the flexibility. The teachers and administrators actually care about you and your future. I would say definitely enroll, this is by far the best school I’ve attended and I actually feel that I have succeeded here. - Emma “What makes Cobb Horizon a great place for us students is consistent enlightening and clean energy from all the teachers and administrators…everyone that works there. The environment is always positive and uplifting. What I would say to a student considering enrolling, is that they’re in good hands and will enjoy and receive the same equal treatment, care, appreciation and good positive energy every day. Everyone who works inside the school wants you to succeed and will help do everything in their power to help you get to where you need to be. Everyone that plays a role inside this school is just so amazing and awesome at what they do. I would truly recommend highly anyone or everyone should go to this school.” - Cam “The Tassel is worth the Hassel”!

PAGE 21


Talkin’ Talkin’ Sports Sports By Justin Hanover

T

The Madness of March

he calendar has turned to March and that means one thing for any college basketball fan, March Madness! Terms like “Cinderella”, “the bubble”, “Final 4”, “Sweet 16” and “the first four out” have become synonymous with this time of the year. It’s college basketball’s final tournament, the NCAA Tournament, which begins in mid-March and will crown a champion on a dramatic Monday night, April the 4th.

The format has changed throughout the years with play-in games recently added allowing 68 teams to enter but for the most part it’s still a 62-team field and one that normally only has about eight to 10 legitimate title contenders. Last season ended with Baylor taking winning it all, as the Bears upset Gonzaga, 86-70.

one and done 5* blue chip studs. The problem, though, is these players are fleeing after their year and creating little to no continuity in the program which results in more losses and a worse overall product. The evolution has helped the smaller Division one programs gain some parody, no not equal footing but some parody, thanks to the fact that they have many more players sticking around for the full four years, constantly growing their game and the overall team’s game. This togetherness creates chemistry and better overall team play as the gap shrinks between the smaller and bigger programs. Don’t get me wrong, the better and far more talented teams are still, for the most part, the same, as the Blue Devils and Wildcats and a few others are pretty much always the favorites to win it all. But the dynamic has shifted a little bit as the usual dominant programs are now changing personnel yearly instead of every four years when legends like Christian Laettner and Patrick Ewing and Akeem Olajuwon stayed in school for the duration.

The college basketball landscape has gone through changes over the past 15-20 years as the elite players have been leaving early for the NBA. Many guys, including Future Hall of Famers like Lebron James and Kevin Garnett, did not even have to play college ball and were allowed to go straight to the pros. But then in 2005 came “the one and done rule” where NBA athletes must be at least 19 years of age and at least one year removed from the graduation date of their high school class.

Back in the day we would see a Final 4 of the top seeded heavyweights many more times than not. Now we have schools like Loyola, Chicago and George Mason wreaking some havoc as they consist of experienced older players who have gelled well at the end of their four years together.

The end result of this rule has actually meant rougher sledding for the giants of the college basketball world. Schools like Duke and North Carolina and Kentucky, perennial powerhouses, are the ones recruiting these

Justin Hanover is a sports reporter/analyst who has worked in the business since 1996. His stops have included ESPN, CNN, 790 The Zone and 680 The Fan. He has also done play-by-play analysis and color commentary ranging from the high school level all the way through the professional level. Justin lives in Smyrna with his wife and three children.

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So, what does it all mean for this 2022 tournament? It’s March Madness, so who knows!?!? Tune in and see!

Our Town


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Your Local Garden Center

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WINDOW CLEANING l WINDOW TINTING GUTTER CLEANING l PRESSURE WASHING

WINDOW CLEANING FIRST 25 WINDOWS Valid for Whole House Window Cleaning

Removing, dusting or cleaning window screens is a separate and independent service.

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The Science of Beauty

MINERALS: HEALTHY SKIN’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

W

ho doesn’t love the warm, soothing embrace of bubbling hot springs or therapeutic mud baths? These types of mineral-rich locales are revered for their healing, calming, and rejuvenating powers for mind and body. In fact, cells can’t survive without minerals. However, in the skincare realm, the importance of minerals is sometimes overlooked. When it comes to promoting healthy, glowing skin, minerals quietly yield their place in the limelight to bossy, swaggering ingredients like growth factors, stem cells, and peptides. THE MANY FACES OF MINERALS Scientific and medical studies of anti-inflammatory and healing properties of minerals show that the proper balance of topically-applied minerals leads to long-term improvement in the appearance of skin. Why? Because minerals play a multitude of roles contributing to cellular health and skin regeneration. So, how do minerals suit each person’s unique skin signature?

Here’s a meet-and-greet overview of minerals edging their way into the skincare spotlight: Copper: Skin-firmer is known for its anti-inflammatory wound-healing properties as well as its teamwork with zinc in promoting collagen synthesis and re-gifting skin with strength and elasticity. Excellent in post-treatment or anti-aging serums. Silver: Post-care champion provides anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial benefits that promote cell regeneration and skin recovery. Recommended in post-treatment serums and creams to reduce redness and accelerate healing. Calcium: Barrier function “repair expert” protects skin from external aggressors and facilitates cell division and skin renewal. Moisture-boosting team player in face and neck creams.

Magnesium: “Spark plug” of the skin provides power to improve cell function and blood flow, boost antioxidant activity, and maintain moisture levels. Ideal in mineral-based toning solutions. Manganese: The “Oxygenator” pumps up oxygen levels in blood for vibrant skin, while activating enzymes and amino acids that give collagen fibers strength and stamina. Power player in serums and toners. Pearl: Treasure trove of skin-loving minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and copper inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase to even out skin tone and diminish dark spots. A favorite in glow-getting creams and masks. Potassium: The “Great Equalizer” maintains fluid balance in skin, which keeps cells hydrated, moisturized, and functioning optimally. A welcome ingredient in toners and creams to prevent dryness. Selenium: Anti-inflammatory superhero protects skin from UV damage and fights free radicals by empowering antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory benefits for photo-damaged or acne-prone skin. Sulfur: Pore de-clogger with detoxifying anti-bacterial properties soaks up excess oil, reduces inflammation, and bolsters collagen structure. Game-changer for oily, acne-prone skin, rosacea, and eczema. Silica: Smooth operator supports glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) to keep collagen and elastin fibers bathed in moisture. Perfect in eye creams and moisturizers. Zinc: The “Mighty Z” accelerates wound healing and wards off environmental damage. Ubiquitous in sun protection as well as post-treatment repair. Sources: LeMieuxskincare.com Eliana has over 20 years of experience in skin care. She is the owner of Refinery21 Aesthetique and she is always available for free consultations. Email her with any skin care related questions at eliana@refinery21studio.com

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What to look for in a new gym or fitness program:

N

ew Year’s resolutions or not, the gym and fitness industry has a consistent influx of newbies looking for a new gym home for workout programs. Maybe you’re new to town, have never worked out, you’re looking for a change, or you just need to modify your existing routine. If you are one of these people and either on the fence or not sure where to start, here are a few tips and things to consider in your decision-making process. What do you ENJOY? First and foremost, what do you actually like to do? There are so many options from weight training, to yoga, pilates, barre, running, cardio, HIIT, spin, and more. It can be overwhelming! The truth is, there is no right or wrong! Some of it depends on your personal goals, but at the end of the day, what you really want is to move your body and these all accomplish that. If it’s something you dread, you aren’t going to go so choose something that you like, can have fun with, and look forward to! Is it CONVENIENT? How far away from your home or workplace is your new gym? If it’s farther than 15-20 minutes, consistency and motivation to get there may be a challenge. It’s fun to have an adventure from time to time but when adding in a new routine, convenience is key so choose something typically within 5 miles of home or work. Does it offer VARIETY? Specialty studios are great but cross training is key! Generally throughout the week you want to look for a variety of activities to effectively train all aspects of your fitness so look for a place that offers options for cardio, strength, and stretch/recovery. Is it within your BUDGET? With so many options ranging from free {hello walking} to bougie and everything in between I definitely advise finding a price point that feels comfortable for you. Investing in your health and fitness is one of the most solid investments you can make but there are so many options to choose from based on what you can afford to stay consistent with.

Is it ACCESSIBLE? You may not be new to working out but maybe it’s been a while or you’re recovering from an injury. Find a gym or trainer who is able to modify for you and an encouraging environment where you feel comfortable going at your own pace. Does it fit your LIFESTYLE? If you plan to take classes, are they offered at times that work for your schedule? If you need to workout at 4am or 10pm is the gym open at those times? Do you need childcare? Do you want a social environment where you can make new connections or do you prefer to get in and get out without much interaction? For these reasons and more, I love HOTWORX. It’s a 24/7 infrared fitness studio offering 11 different workouts. These workouts include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), strength training using the FX Zone or resistance bands, as well as stretch/recovery workouts like yoga and pilates. All workouts are 15-30 minutes and combined with the infrared heat, you get 3x the calorie burn in less time! Talk about convenient; all for a very affordable rate starting at $59/month for 24 hour unlimited access. Visit hotworx.net/locations to find a location near you! At the end of the day, HOTWORX and most other gyms have a free trial or affordable introductory rate. The best way to find your perfect gym home is to shop around. Ask your friends or do an online search and start calling around. How does their customer service make you feel over the phone? Do they have class times that fit into your schedule? Book your trial and see how you feel afterwards. It’s okay to let them know that you’re visiting multiple locations while you find the best fit! There’s no right or wrong; only what’s right for YOU! Ashley Inglese is a local Smyrna resident and has lived in the area for the past 12 years. She is a wife and mother of 2 human kids {Lila, 11 & Leo, 8} and 2 rescue fur babies {Maple, chiweenie & Hazel, tabby}. Ashley owns HOTWORX Smyrna, opened in 2019 and will be celebrating their 3 year anniversary next month!! She is also in the process of opening HOTWORX Marietta square with her good friends and HOTWORX Kennesaw owners, Morgan and Jared Shattuck. Ashley is very involved in the community and loves supporting local schools, events, and non profit organizations.

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Independent & Assisted Living Call (770) 738-4143 to learn more. Why are the people in our ads so happy? Because they’re actual residents.

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PAGE 30

Our Town


Warmer Weather is Right Around the Corner, Let’s Buy a Home!

T

he beginning of the new year is a great time to make goals. For many people, this includes thinking about where you want to live. Do you want to change from renting to owning? Are you thinking of taking a new job and need a closer place to live? Does your family need more space? Before you start looking for a new home, it’s important to come up with a list of must-haves and wants.

Hosting Parties? If you enjoy hosting get-togethers with friends or hosting family holidays, you’ll have to think about spaces in your home where people can sit and talk. Perhaps this means having an open concept floor plan, where the kitchen opens into the living room. Maybe this means having a separate dining room for formal dinners.

How many bedrooms? Are you looking for a Master on the Main? Maybe you have a family and need space for every member, or maybe you need a home office. Many people enjoy having a guest room for friends or family members to stay in when they visit. It’s important to figure out the minimum number of bedrooms you are comfortable with, as this will help you cross out many homes.

Do you want a backyard? Backyards are great if you want a place for dogs to run around, to host barbeques, or to have space for the family to be outdoors. Having a backyard also means that there is a fair bit of yard work to maintain. Some people enjoy the low outdoor responsibilities of a townhome or a condo.

Location, Location, Location! Location is always a big aspect of a home to consider. This is because location may affect every part of your life: school district, commute to your job, and also what amenities are nearby. For some people, living near nature trails is more important than living near shopping. Location will ultimately have an affect on your home’s price and even the resale value of the property in the future, so it’s important to take a hard look at your priorities and figure out what is most important to you.

Are You Comfortable with Renovations? Some homes are listed with fully updated features and other homes feature old carpets and older appliances. These features will definitely affect the price of your home, with upgraded homes having a higher initial cost. Buying a home that needs a few renovations, however, is a great choice for homebuyers with lower budgets that don’t mind future updates to the home. Creating a list of needs for your home is incredibly important, and if you’re considering buying a home this year consider contacting your local real estate agent for their expertise and insider view on the real estate market. They can help match your budget to your expectations, navigate the home buying process, and even help you sell the home you’re currently in. Deborah Ratchford Keller Williams Realty Cityside 678-570-4779 / Debratchford@kw.com

Expires March 31, 2022

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Free Service Call

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Call Chattahoochee today for a free no-hassle consultation: 678-804-5567

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Celebrat ing 10 Year s in North Atlanta! Mobile Dog Grooming

The waggin’ wagon provides professional mobile dog grooming services to the North Atlanta community. We are currently servicing Buckhead, Brookhaven, Smyrna, Vinings, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody extending 3 miles north of I-285.

Our services include: Bath with hydro massage Ears cleaned Nails Trimmed Sanitary Trim Basic de-matting Full brush and blow dry Shave downs Full cuts

Call us today to book your next appointment!

www.thewagginwagon.com PAGE 34

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Deb D id it ! Again

Reasons to Hire a Top Realtor l l l l

l

l

Expert Guidance on Pricing & Local Market Value Negotiating Powerhouse Buyer Exposure resulting in Higher Offers Access to the Best Network of Lenders, Appraisers & Industry Professionals Keep the Closing on Track and your stress level down by staying on Top of Documents and Deadlines Licensure, Education & a Strict Code of Ethics

*According to the National Association of Realtors "For Sale by Owner Homes" tend to sell for less than homes sold by agents.

Deborah Ratchford has been a top producing agent for over 20 years. Her goal is finding the dream home for every owner as well as negotiating top dollar for every seller.

Don’t buy and sell alone, EXPERIENCE has it REWARDS! Debs’s extraordinary reach, attracts extraordinary results.

Looking for Listings and Buyers! Call Today! 678-570-4779 Deborah M Ratchford Keller Williams Cityside 3350 Atlanta Road Smyrna, GA 30080

C: 678-570-4779 O: 770-874-6205

All information is believed to be accurate, PAGE 36 but not warranted.

Each Keller Williams Realty Office is individually owned and operated.

www.guaranteedrate.com/barrybutler

Barry Butler

Branch Manager/VP of Mortgage Lending NMLS ID: 658820

barry.butler@rate.com / O 404.474.3974 C 770.365.7179 Our Town 125 Townpark Drive Suite 300, Office 23 / Kennesaw, GA. 30144


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