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Cobb Life

December 2012  Volume 8, Issue 9 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER


Lee B. Garrett V.P. ADVERTISING Wade Stephens

Hearing Evaluations • Hearing Aids Hearing Aid Repair • Assistive Listening Devices Batteries • & MORE!



Mark Wallace Maguire


75-Day Trial Period on Hearing Aids


(from Dry and Store)

Hearing Aid Dehumidifier


with purchase of any pair of hearing aids. Not valid on prior purchases. Expires 2-28-2013.

990 Whitlock Ave, Ste D • Marietta, GA 30064

770-427-3033 •


Stacey L. Evans, Mark Wallace Maguire CONTRIBUTORS

Allen Bell, Joan Durbin, Melissa Kossler Dutton, Stacey L. Evans, Leanne Italie, Amy Lorentzen, Michael Pallerino, Michael Venezia PHOTOGRAPHER


Emily Barnes, Jennifer Carter, Todd Hull, Nathan Self PROOFREADERS

Beth Poirier, Jennifer Hall, Anna Clark

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 404 - Gold Agent Corner Aqua Guard Atlanta Ballet Atlanta Botanical Gardens Atlanta Communities Atlanta Fine Homes - Jim Glover Atlanta Kubota Atlanta Lyric Theatre Bernard's Bakery Blackwell's Jewelers Carpet Dry Tech Christmas In Cobb City of Smyrna - Facilities Cobb EMC Cobb Hardware Cochran Shutters Compassionate Care Ministries Cumberland Diamond Exchange Debbie Redford All Around Atlanta Realty Dermatology Consultants DK Gallery Expert Carmedics Fleming Carpet Fresh N Fit Gaines Park Assisted Living Home Georgia Memorial Park H & H HVAC Harry Norman Realtors Henry's Louisiana Grill Heywood's Provisions Hong Kong Star Hutcheson Horticulture Inga's Spa Johnson Ferry Baptist Church Kids R Kids KSU Continuing ED Life Grocery Marietta Hearing

72 81 79 23 65 14 22 44 70 45 51 76 41 71 2 78 14 39 31 74 80 76 38 73 39 10 72 60 38 45 49 11 24 30 9 57 27 6 4

Marietta Imaging 77 Marietta Podiatry 24 Marlowe's Tavern 47 Mayes Ward - Dobbins Funeral Home 83 Miracle Method 18 New Times Culture 69 Next Stage Theatre 71 North Cobb Spine & Nerve 61 Northside Hospital 5 Northside Hospital Physicians Group 53 Northside Sleep Center 64 Okinawa 50 Old Mountain Christmas Trees 10 Parc @ Piedmont 75 Pinnacle Orthopaedics 15 Plastic Surgery Center of the South 60 Private Gallery 32 R & D Mechanical 22 Resurgens 33 Robins Realty 50 Roeber Designs 67 Roswell Street Baptist Church 13 Sawyer Bailey Salon 74 Sterling Senior Living 19 Sue Hilton 18 Sundial Plumbing 40 Superior Plumbing 3, 56, & 70 The Bottoms Group 7 The Framery 39 The Wild Wing Café 49 Three 13 Salon 68 Wellstar 84 Wellstar Foundation 35 West Cobb Funeral Home 25 White Rabbit 33 Winnwood Retirement 12 Woodstock Antiques 34 Ye Olde Christmas & Candy Shoppe 32



Stephanie deJarnette, Dawne Edge, Paula Milton, Candace Hallford, Tara Guest, Katelyn Ledford, Liz Ridley GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Beth Poirier, Jennifer Hall, Anna Clark PRODUCTION CREATIVE DIRECTOR


Matt Heck I N F O R M AT I O N

Cobb Life magazine is published nine times a year by the Marietta Daily Journal and distributed to more than 33,500 homes and businesses. SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

To request a copy or to subscribe, visit our website at ADVERTISING

To advertise, contact Wade Stephens at 770.795.4001 SUBMISSIONS

Please send all editorial correspondence to Follow us on facebook and twitter


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20 features departments 26 HOME Use lighting as an easy way to change a room 36 EYE ON BUSINESS We take a look at the Cumberland area

16 WINTER GLOW Nine tips on warding off dry skin 20 DALE ELLIS OPENS UP The storied roundball star discusses the second act of his career 28 DIY GIFTS Three gifts you can make at home

42 SPICE Three Cobb families share their culinary traditions with us

52 BRANCH OUT Tips on how to open up your room for the Christmas tree

54 WINE Wine guru Michael Venezia writes to Santa

62 GO SOUTH Take a break from Christmas fare at this restaurant

58 PULSE Salt therapy comes to Cobb

66 COFFEE FOR A CAUSE Fair Trade coffee a good option for presents


08 10 68 71 82

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Welcome to our


o it yourself gifts. Oh yes, the idea sounded grand at first. Talking to a few folks, my imagination concocted a wave of intriguing and easy DIY gifts, including homemade jams and jellies, hot chocolate mixes, easy-to-make crafts and one-of-a-kind pieces of art. While our staff could never quite nail down one of these types of gifts, we doggedly plunged ahead and created our own three, including my creation – a hollowed out book. You can read the culmination of our efforts on page 28, but to give you some insight into my venture I will just say it was a lot more work than I anticipated. When I started the project, I imagined knocking out three or four books at a time. “I’ll have gifts for several friends,” I pontificated. “Imagine how cool this will be when they open a rather drab book to find it hollowed out. They will feel like they have stepped into a Sherlock Holmes novel, an episode of Downton Abbey or a James Bond movie.” That was before the actual work began. It took much more effort and time than I expected and when I finally finished it, or perhaps “finished it off, decided to keep it for myself. (As an aside, the gifts created by Stacey L. Evans and Reid Traylor are much easier to make and fashionable for the season.) Our DIY gift section is just one part of this issue that showcases the unique items and people that help make a Christmas in the area all the more meaningful and personal. On page 42, we feature family recipes that have been passed down generation to generation. Our centerpiece feature is a heart warmer and a palate pleaser. While I have no experience in cooking family recipes (unless you count my dad’s own unique twist on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich), I do have experience in eating family recipes and rank that experience high on the totem pole of holiday rituals. Another good read in this issue is our feature on Marietta native and retired NBA star Dale Ellis. Our photo shoot with Ellis went great. Despite notching up amazing statistics in his college and pro career, Ellis was beyond amiable. We also got great help from Direc-


tor of Athletics at Marietta City Schools Paul Hall and MHS’s basketball coach Matt Lyons who were both flexible and congenial in letting us use the school’s fine gym. However, the most memorable part for me took place when Ellis – in between shoots – started draining three pointers. He went to get his own ball, but I waved him off and instead fed him his shots for a few minutes. I’ve interviewed some high profile people in my time, including politicians, rock stars, actors and NBA and NFL players. But I had never passed the ball to any of them, especially one of the NBA’s top three-point shooters. What happened as a happenstance gave me quite a rush and even though I haven’t officially suited up myself in a couple of decades and my passes aren’t half as crisp as they used to be, I left the shoot thinking, “I just dished passes to Dale Ellis.” My personal enthusiasm aside, Ellis continues to have a strong legacy on and off the court in the community. Michael Pallerino’s article on him, see page 20, is as good as they come. For our wine fine readers, Michael Venezia’s letter to Santa on his wine wish list on page 54 is superb. It also hints at a racy Mrs. Claus which is a first in this magazine. And Jaillene Hunter’s column on Recipe Disasters is a great way to end this issue. I promise if you don’t smile, well, you just might need to work on getting in the Christmas spirit. We’re glad to share this issue with you during this special time of year and we’re glad that Cobb Life is a small part of your holiday. Happy holidays from all of us here. Best,

Mark Wallace Maguire

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[arts and culture]


Series returns to theatre

After the holidays end, empty winter days may loom ahead. But take hope, there are ample opportunities for quality entertainment at a reasonable price during the Encore Series at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civil Center. The series presents a strong variety of artists each year and 2013 is no exception. Before the new year arrives, the annual Home for the Holidays series is on tap. It opens Dec. 14 and runs through Dec. 16. Tickets are $15. Below is the schedule for 2013 and a few details on each act. “Crazy For You” The Musical is performed by Pebblebrook High School. The talented group from Pebblebrook High will perform this classic by Ken Ludwig, Ira Gershwin and music by George Gershwin. It kicks off Jan. 31. The Association has sold over 80 million albums and had number one hits including, “Never my Love” and “Cherish.” The concert is slated for Feb. 23. Gold records, number one hits, holiday hits, standards and the smash hit, “I’m sorry” are all part of Brenda Lee’s repertoire. She comes to Cobb March 9. Bobby Goldsboro has toured with The Beatles, been a guitarist with the Roy Orbison band and had his own chart-toppers. He’s also been a TV regular and penned songs for John Denver, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. Catch him March 30. Ray Price has been performing for over a decade with musicians such as Willie Nelson, Roger Miller and Hank Williams. He’s had a number of number one hits and will perform them April 13. Johnny Rivers, may be known best for his song, “Secret Agent Man,” but he has also scored 9 number one hits. His performance is slated for April 27. Information: 770-528-8490

[things we love] Christmas cookie contest

10 Cobb Life

December 2012

Get into the holiday spirit early, or add some fun to your Christmas party with Gina Hyams’ “Christmas Cookie Contest in a Box” set. The kit contains all the essentials for a cookie contest: Prize ribbons, judge badges, table tents, scorecards and a handbook full of recipes and tips from professional bakers. The recipes and tips are helpful to bakers even beyond Christmas. The set is an especially fun way to keep the kids entertained during the holidays, and share some quality time together. The kit is available at and some local retailers.

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news & noteworthy [leisure and recreation] Lights of Life underway The 2012 edition of the Lights of LIFE, an annual holiday light display on the campus of Life University, began Thanksgiving and will continue its run through New Year's Eve. This longstanding colorful Cobb tradition began in 1989. In addition to a variety of holiday light displays, the event offers several other activities including train rides, pony rides and a petting zoo. On the weekends, live music is slated to be performed. The cost is $5 per car during the week and $10 per car on Sunday. Information:

[arts and culture] Opera given grant for community efforts The Atlanta Opera recently received a major boost from AT&T. AT&T donated $50,000 to the opera's Community Engagement Program. The program benefits students and teachers in Grades K-6 and works to expand and strengthen its effectiveness with more in-classroom education and additional outreach to the general public. Specifically, this contribution will be supporting The Atlanta Opera Studio Tour, which introduces thousands of school-aged children to the art form of opera through a touring

production and an education guide to be used in classrooms to prepare students for the opera experience. The opera performs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.


December 2012 Cobb Life


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[leisure and recreation] Garden Lights back at the botanical garden The Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is back this year and is well worth the short jaunt into Atlanta to check it out. This year, the garden will feature more than 1 million lights scattered across the facility’s 30 acres. The show runs through Jan. 5. New sparkling attractions include spectacular lighting effects casting an icy cool vibe on the "Liquid Lights" in the Cascades Garden, while the "Starry Night Walk," inspired by Van Gogh's famous painting, features dozens of swirling stars twinkling along the walkway through the camellias. The Great Lawn will once again be transformed into "Orchestral Orbs" — a one-of-a-kind topiary light show choreographed to holiday music. Information: or call 404-876-5859.

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[arts and culture] Might we recommend...’la source’ A story that traces a hero’s journey to bring fresh water to his native Haitian village and is aided by the help of earnest Ivy League students sounds, frankly, clichéd and worn out. But when the story is true, the hero works two jobs, the Ivy League students raise over $30,000 in funds to boost the project and the documentary is filmed by an outstanding crew, it becomes downright inspiring. Toss in narration by Don Cheadle and you’ve got a winner. And a winner is what the documentary, ‘la source’ is. In a nutshell, ‘la source’ follows the work of Haitian emigrant Josue Lajeunesse who works two jobs – one as a taxi driver and one as a janitor at Princeton University. He is interviewed near the beginning of the film discussing his native village la source – located about an hour outside of Port au Prince – and how the residents have to travel upwards an hour to get fresh water each day from a spring at the top of a mountain. The travails are tough. They have to scale rocky terrain. Water from other local water sources are foul and result in disease. The film shifts between chronicling Lajeunesse’s day-to-day life as a worker and a father at Princeton and life in the village. Enter the massive Haitian earthquake of 2010 and the film takes a completely different turn. Lajeunesse travels to Haiti where his brother still lives, gets hooked up with various humanitarian groups, such as NGOs Project Blessing and Generosity Water, and work on capping the spring and bringing fresh water to the village begins. It is an arduous project. There are logistics and the physical work itself, but Lajeunesse rouses the villages with words that often sway between a preacher and a football coach. In a Cinderella story, water would then flow from the mountain, the village would be saved and Lajeunesse dubbed a folk hero. But this is not a Cinderella story and the crew follows the project as the villagers cope with issues such as having to re-dig hundreds of feet of trenches, fine tune diplomacy over water rights with other villages, secure the building supplies and wrangle with the overall cost of the project. Though the ending is predictable, it is no less impactful. And while the story is the driv-

ing point, it is worth noting how well the film is shot. Directors Patrick Shen and Brandon Vedder push the boundaries of your basic documentary style and a combination of intriguing angles, outstanding use of light and creative cinematography make this story come alive even more. ‘la source’ is not just a film about finding inspiration in dark times. It is about finding inspiration, despite dark times. It is currently showing at sites throughout North America and can also be ordered through its website. Information: - Mark Wallace Maguire

December 2012 Cobb Life


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[leisure and recreation] Waving farewell to Wheelie Six Flags Over Georgia bid goodbye to a classic thrill ride in October as the Wheelie made its final ride. Six Flags is demolishing the ride to make room for the SkyScreamer, a new ride that is expected to debut in 2013 at the park. The SkyScreamer will be the park's tallest ride. The Wheelie debuted at Six Flags in 1977. In 1985, the ride was moved to its current location in the park’s Lickskillet section. Since its debut, Wheelie has thrilled millions of riders by spinning them horizontally and vertically through intense revolutions at high speeds. Information: visit

Got an item for news and noteworthy? Let us know. Email us at cobblifemagazine@


Cobb Life December 2012

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[shopping] Town Center opens new stores Kennesaw-based Town Center mall has opened new stores this fall, following a yearlong trend. Recently, the mall announced Body Central, Fiore Boutique and P.S. from Aéropostale were coming to the popular north Cobb shopping mecca. Vans, the popular shoe store opened its store in early November. Body Central is located in a 4,200-square-foot storefront on the lower level of the Belk Wing. A shopping destination for trendy women’s apparel at affordable prices, the retailer sells tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, footwear, jewelry, and accessories Fiore Boutique, slated to open in December, will be located in a 2,300 square foot space in the lower level of the Belk wing next to Finish Line. With a vintage yet feminine feel, the boutique boasts a calming shopping ambience through both its atmosphere and offerings. P.S. from Aéropostale will be located on the upper level of the Belk Wing next to Vans. The specialty store features trend-right apparel at compelling values for girls and boys ages 7 to 12. Information:

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9 ways to ward off dry skin and retain a healthy

WINTER GLOW As summer foliage begins to wither and shrivel as the days become colder, so does, it seems, our skin. As damaging as the summer weather can be, there’s just something about winter that makes everything uncomfortable — dry, itchy, patchy, flaky and red. And with all the casseroles to bake, gifts to buy, and holiday parties to attend, go ahead and add puffy eyes with dark circles from stress and lack of sleep to the list of winter skin woes. This is the time of year you want to look your absolute best, so we asked to skincare specialists for tips on how to ensure you “sparkle and shine” for all those holiday parties and photos. The change in humidity during winter months is to blame for most of our dry skin, says Yvonne Harper, a licensed esthetician and massage therapist in Kennesaw. “Here in Georgia, we are used to humidity in summer months. When that cold weather comes, the humidity leaves the air and we’re not used to that arid dryness. So immeKennesaw resident diately we notice it Brandi Hellemn apand turn the heat on plies a mask to her in our houses and face. Replenishing offices and it robs with a mask is one of the air of all its the ways to keep moisture. Then we your skin looking feel the effects of fresh in the winter heat in our nasal months. passages, our skin, our hair, our overall wellbeing,” she said. Jennifer Dungan, lead esthetician at Village Health Spa in Smyrna, says in addition to humidity, other factors play a role in damaging skin. “The change in weather is also a change in your atmosphere, what you’re doing, the way you eat,” she said. “The wind and cold will basically strip the top layer of the skin, which is what causes the dryness and cracking.” So should you change your beauty regimen as the weather changes? Absolutely. Here are nine steps to maintaining healthy skin throughout winter. by stacey l. evans photography by reid traylor

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Start off by treating yourself to a facial. Both

Harper and Dungan recommend monthly facials for optimal skincare, but at the very least you should start fresh each season. “With a professional, you can discuss the health of your skin and get recommendations on products that may work best for you as the seasons change,” said Harper. In addition to a deep pore cleanse and mineral replenishment, one of the most beneficial aspects of a going to a professional is the facial massage. “The biggest thing people don’t realize, especially if you are looking for anti-aging, is the massage,” said Dungan. “It stimulates the skin, stimulates cell regeneration, and also relieves tension. When you start to wrinkle, it’s actually from tension in your muscles. Even if you’re not doing much at home, having a facial does major improvements on the skin just from the massage.” A calming facial can also work miracles for holiday stress, said Harper. “When you’re stressed out it comes out on your skin,” she said. Harper offers a package deal called Ultimate Relaxation, which combines a facial and full body massage. “You feel like a new person both physically and outwardly. It makes you more confident, gets the stress off your shoulders, and your skin feels good. You’re ready to go to that party or take those family pictures,” she said.


Use the right cleanser.

Toss out those bar soaps and harsh facial cleansers. Opt for something creamy instead. “Sometimes people don’t realize the products they are using could be causing the redness on their face,” said Dungan. “A soap bar will cause a lot of irritation and dryness because the top layer of skin is acidic. So with your face being acidic and soap being alkaline, it changes your pH balance.” What to look for? Something that has an acidic base to it, for instance a cleanser that’s fruit-based. Stay away from cleansers that are too soapy. If you have oily skin, try a foamy cleanser. Both Dungan and Harper stress that natural products are much better for you. “Staying away from chemicals is the best thing to do. Sulfates and parabens are two of the main things that irritate the skin,” said Dungan.


Moisturize. And moisturize again. In the winter

you should switch to a heavier emollient cream, said Harper. If you prefer to use a lighter moisturizer in the day, Dungan suggests using a thicker one overnight. “Also, do a mask at night when you notice your skin is inflamed, itchy or dried out,” said Dungan.

5 Jennifer Dungan, lead esthetician at Village Health in Smyrna, examines massage therapist and Powder Springs resident Pamela Feltman’s skin before giving her a facial.


Hydration starts from the inside.

Just because it’s not hot outside doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be drinking water, said Harper. In addition, good nutrition and sleep are vital. Vitamin C and omega oils are especially critical in dry weather, said Harper. “If you uptake the fish oils or omega oils, and start drinking 60 ounces of water a day, it can make a difference on your skin. In four weeks you’d see a huge change,” she said. The average skin cell turnover is 30 days, so keep that in mind when looking for results, Harper said.

Shed your skin. Exfoliation

can work wonders on the skin, but it’s a step in the skincare regimen many people neglect. Sloughing off dead skin cells helps our skin function more properly and also helps absorb products, said Harper. “It’s really important to keep that glow and even skin tone. It keeps away flakiness,” said Dungan. “Exfoliating two or three times a week will ensure gorgeous skin.” Tip: “After I exfoliate, I immediately follow with a mask. Because when you remove that dead skin, you remove some of that top layer of skin, so you want to replenish with something good like antioxidants and collagen,” said Dungan.


Use a toner.

Using a toner helps keep your pH balance level. Dungan’s favorite is rosewater, which is good for all skin types. “That little thing does wonders for the skin,” said Dungan. “I prefer to put

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Yvonne Harper’s recommended treatments: +Lemon zest enzyme facial exfoliates, hydrates and brightens the skin. It is a great treatment for anyone who is feeling excessively dry. +An aromatherapy wrap is dry brushing, a massage with essential oils and then you are wrapped in warm towels. It’s very relaxing, hydrates the skin, and helps with joint stiffness. Recommended products: Harper uses SkinScript, which is fruit-based, contains mostly natural ingredients, and works for all skin colors. +Pomegranate Antioxidant Cleanser is mild, hydrating and contains aloe vera and green tea. +Cucumber Hydration Toner has Hyaluronic acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water. +Ageless Skin Hydrating Serum helps balance the water and oil in your skin. +Hydrating Moisturizer has shea butter, aloe and seaweed for intense hydration.

Skin care specialist and massage therapist Yvonne Harper in her therapy room in Kennesaw.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT: 678.907.0708 or

it in the refrigerator because it gives you a refreshing jolt in the morning or in the evening after a long day. If you wear mineral makeup you can spritz it over the top because minerals love hydration. It will keep you from having that powdery look as well. It’s a simple trick without adding any more oil or moisture to the skin to weigh it down.”


Always wear sunscreen. “The sun

is actually closer to earth during winter months and sunlight accelerates premature aging, and one of those symptoms is dry skin,” said Harper. “Use UVA/UVB SPF 30 everyday. You always want to protect yourself from UVA rays. They bounce off concrete. They bounce off snow. Fluorescent lights emit UVA rays. You may think ‘I’m just going to drive to the office,’ but you’re getting rays through your car window. They are everywhere, everyday, even on a cloudy day.”

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No more hot showers. Most of us

savor a hot shower on a cold morning, but the heat robs moisture from the skin. Especially when washing your face, lukewarm water is the way to go. Steaming works great to unclog pores, but you don’t want hot water directly on your face. “After a shower I would do a splash of cold water on your face because it does have a tightening effect, and it also helps close up the pores for those worried about their pores enlargening as they get older,” said Dungan. And don’t forget to moisturize the body after a shower, said Harper.


Add moisture indoors. “Use a hu-

midifier in your home to replace some of the moisture in the air. That goes a long way. Not only does it help keep skin soft but it helps you breathe better,” said Harper.


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Jennifer Dungan recommended treatments: +Pumpkin facial with pumpkin peel. “The peel is like having thousands of pacmen on your face that eat all the bad stuff off. Pumpkin is very hydrating and there is also lactic acid, which was Cleopatra’s trick for staying young. She used to bathe in soured milk, which had lactic acid in it.” Pucker up: The pumpkin facial has lip plumping treatment that gets rid of dead skin. “That’s another thing that affects people in the winter — their lips get chapped, and they just want a little life brought back to them,” said Dungan. +Revitaleyes treatment is a collagen treatment that helps plump up skin. It has red wine extract in it which helps with dark circles and antiaging. It includes a package you can continue to use for a day or two. Recommended products: +Farmaesthetics Eyebright. Eye makeup remover and treatment oil that reduces puffiness and wrinkles. +Reviva Labs Rosewater Facial Spray is not only hydrating, but also refreshes and stimulates the skin. TIP: If your eyes are puffy, smiling actually helps to remove fluid buildup in your eyes.

Village Health lead esthetician Jennifer Dungan, front, with manager Jaclyne Roe. BOOK AN APPOINTMENT:; 770.444.9191

December 2012 Cobb Life


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e v ’ e

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t o lg

l i t s

w , de


Marietta native and former NBA superstar Dale Ellis talks about the second act of his storied career By Michael Pallerino Photography by Reid Traylor

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Jim Glover Group, Inc. If you are selling your home, I am dedicated to using every possible marketing tool needed to get your home sold. My goal is to provide my clients with a superior level of service and resources to make informed decisions with your real estate purchases. As a Cobb native, my network and knowledge of the metro Atlanta area proves beneficial in purchase and sales transactions. As a member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, I am constantly networking with area agents and affiliates. • Fifteen Years Experience • Coauthor, Marietta 1833-2000 • Sixth-generation Mariettan • Cofounder, Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour

Office: 404.974.4420 | 3290 Northside Parkway NW | Suite 200 | 404.835.9600 © MMX Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Street in Saintes-Maries, Van Gogh, used with permission. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

Sometime during his sophomore year at Marietta High School, Ellis dared to dream where the game could take him. The dribbling and passing and shooting came easy. So he took his talents to Knoxville, where as a Vol he would become the school’s all-time field goal percentage leader and sixth all-time scorer. He was a two-time All-American (‘82, ‘83) and a three time All-SEC performer (‘81, ‘82 and ‘83). Twice he was named the SEC Player of the Year (‘82, ‘83). He was a member of the 1982 SEC Championship team. And there was the shot. In his first NCAA Tournament game against VCU, Ellis hit the winning jumper in overtime. The shot, Ellis would admit later, actually was his validation. From that moment on, the dream became real. The Dallas Mavericks took Ellis with the ninth overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft. But with a team featuring the likes of NBA stars such as Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper, Ellis had to settle for being the ninth man. So the Mavericks shipped him off to the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma Thunder) in 1986, where he responded by being named the league’s Most Improved Player. He scored 27.5 PPG, an NBA record 17-plus points improvement. He would finish eighth in scoring that year and help lead the Sonics to the Western Conference Finals, where they eventually lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Ellis’

25.2 PPG during the postseason led the team. For 17 years, Ellis arguably was one of the premier three-point shooters in the history of the league. His pictureperfect release landed him in the NBA record books, where he holds, among other records, the distinction of being the first player in league history to hit 1,000 3-pointers. He ranks 24th all-time in 3-point percentage at 40.3 percent. “I told myself early on that I would be one of the greatest players to ever play the game,” Ellis says. “It was a dream come true. I had teammates, good NBA players, who sacrificed their games to get me the ball. That was my job – to shoot.” Ellis smiles when he recalls a game in his fourth year when head coach Bernie Bickerstaff ask him to sit by him on the bench. “He told me that I could either start shooting the ball or I could sit next to him and watch the game every night with him. So I started taking my shots.” At 52, Dale Ellis still trains as if his NBA career depended on it. He works out five days a week with a regimen that includes push-ups, sit-ups and crunches, and at least 100 miles per

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Ellis, above, at Marietta High. Below, a shot of him in the Marietta Daily Journal chronicling his high school success. Top right, shots of him as a ruthless 3-point shooter in the NBA.


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UP CLOSE WITH ELLIS Best High School Moment – Shooting around with Marietta Coach Charlie Hood at practice Best NCAA Moment – Overtime shot to beat VCU in his first NCAA Tournament game Best NBA Moment – Beating the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 1986 playoffs – the team that drafted him Best NBA Player You Played Against – Michael Jordan Best NBA Teams You Played Against – Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics Best Coaches You Played For – Charlie Hood (Marietta High School) and Bernie Bickerstaff (Seattle Supersonics) Favorite Thing to do in Cobb County – Play golf at the City Club in Powder Springs with Charlie Hood (former high school coach), Rupert Raines (his godfather and former assistant police chief for City of Marietta, and Ray Broadway, executive director Georgia Athletic Coaches Association)


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week (20 miles a day) on a bike (a routine he supplements with trail running). “If you work your body, you work your mind,” Ellis says. “When I work out, it puts me in a good place. When I was kid and I had any kind of problems, whether it was in school or at home, wherever, playing basketball took me away for a bit. It helped me refocus. That’s what exercise does for me today.” Upon retirement, Ellis traveled the world as an ambassador of the game. For 12 years, he visited places such as Asia, Europe and South America. He spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait visiting the troops. Today, as president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), he helps the more than 140 retired players who live in the Atlanta area make that transition from the court to life after the game. “You spend your whole life doing one thing, so it’s a real big transition. I know what it is like. The game is all you know. And then comes the reality of, ‘What do I do now?’ It’s hard.” Partnering with Olympic track & field athletes Mel Pinder and Kevin Young, and Olympic hoops star Debbie Miller, he also is working with kids through a summer camp program, something he did a lot of during his playing days. “We’re teaching them simple life skills to complement their athletic skills. We tell them that it’s okay to reach for the stars when it comes to athletics, but the most important thing is education.” Ellis recently moved back into the home he bought 25 years ago off Dallas Highway to help take care of mother, who suffers from diabetes. Of all his accomplishments, it is the one he’s most proud of. “I’m just happy that I can be there for her. She did so much for me.” And there’s Dale Jr., his two-year old son, who Ellis says is helping keep him forever young. He also has three grown children: Nicholas, 32, Christian, 28, and Ashley, 27. Whether it’s his family, or the NBA players and kids he works with, Dale Ellis offers the same advice. “Figure out what it is you want to do with your life and do it. Reach for the highest level, because if you don’t make it, you’ll always find something in between that is rewarding.”


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with a simple change

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ome interior designers tout paint as the best way to change the look of a room. For Lisa Roberts, "It's lighting. ... It's more bang for the buck."


With the holidays approaching, a new chandelier could be a fun and affordable way to make over the dining room, said Roberts, a Minneapolis designer who organized a chandelier fashion show at the home and garden show in that city earlier this year. Michelle Jennings Wiebe, president of Studio M Interior Design in Tampa, Fla., agreed, saying a dining room should be about more than the table and chairs. "You really need that piece that caps it off and makes it special," she said. "It's almost like a piece of artwork." Chandelier shoppers have plenty of choices these days. Chandeliers come in a variety of styles, and can range in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. "We have a lot of fun picking them out," Wiebe said. "It's a way to make a special impression." New manufacturing techniques have led to the creation of designs and shapes that previously were not possible, said Joseph Rey-Barreau, an architect and lighting designer and a professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Trends include jewel tones, geometric-inspired pieces, retro fixtures and the use of lamp shades, these lighting experts said. Roberts included several colorful chandeliers at her show. She favors deep jewel tones, and showed one piece made out of black cut crystal. A chandelier can add sophistication or whimsy to a home, she said. The decor featured on the television show "Mad Men" has created more interest in Mid-century Modern, said Wiebe, and many of her clients are choosing slim, sleek pieces reminiscent of the 1950s and '60s. In Florida, shell, coral or other nature-inspired lighting also is a common choice, she said. Shannon Cantor so appreciates the seashell-inspired chandelier in her condo in Redington Beach, Fla., that she put a variation of it in her second home, in Tampa. She said she and her husband wanted something they would enjoy looking at every day. "We walk by it a lot," said. "You want something that grabs your attention. It's going to be there for a long while." Rey-Barreau called lamp shades on chandeliers "a very, very fashionable trend," from lights surrounded by a single, round drum shade (a little like a hanging table lamp) to a group of mini drum shades covering each bulb. Some chandeliers have removable shades, so you can use them or not.

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diy gift ideas

from the Cobb Life staff Getting a homemade gift from someone always makes the holiday season a bit more special. You see that someone took the time, effort and creativity to make you a gift and not just go buy what was on sale the day after Thanksgiving. While some are better at making these gifts than others, our staff gave it a shot. Here are three distinctly different gifts for you to try. By Stacey L. Evans, Mark Wallace Maguire and Reid Traylor

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rock clock


Rock clock Give a loved one the gift of time, but with a twist. This clock we created stands out from a wall, instead of blending in. And, yes, it is truly one-of-a-kind. Materials needed: - A relatively inexpensive wall clock. We bought ours at Target for $10. - Screwdriver Philips head/flat head - Masking tape - Cans of spray paint (for this project we used a stone texture paint and a purple paint. - A scrap cardboard. How we did it: 1. The first step after opening the clock is to find where and how it comes apart. The clock we used was attached with six Phillips head screws.

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rock clock


7 2. After removing the screws the face should come apart from the clock. Set the face to the side. 3. Tape the dials of the clock using the masking tape. 4. In a well-ventilated area, spray the clock base in the color of your choice. Multiple thin layers add up to a better color than several thick layers. For ours, we sprayed several base layers of purple and added a stone texture layer to give the purple some texture. 5. Set clock base aside to dry, and spray clock face with color of your choice. For ours, we chose to use only the stone texture paint. The texture paint has a longer drying time that regular spray paint. 6. After letting the paint dry, (up to 6 hours is recommended for texture paint), remove tape from dials carefully. 7. Re-assemble clock by reattaching face and tightening Phillips head screws. 8. Insert a battery and set the time.

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Hollow Book hollow book 1

An antiquated gift for a contemporary time, perhaps, but, interesting, nonetheless. If you know someone with a fetish for all things antiquated (Sherlock Holmes, Downton Abbey fans, we’re calling you), this could make for an intresting gift. Perfect for storing old letters, passports, cash or any other contraband or collectibles you may have. Materials needed: -A hardback book. Preferbally thick. It also helps if the subject matter is rather dry, since that will decrease the chances of someone discovering your secret book. -Pencil, ruler and a box cutter or utility knife. -Elmer’s glue, a cup, brush, water. First of all, this will take longer than you expect so be prepared. (I recommend listening to music to help alleviate the effort). Secondly, select a page that you want to be the first one cut out, and save that page to be cut out at the end. Even if you don't want to save any pages at the beginning of the book, you must set one aside for a later step.

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hollow book

1. Blend a solution of white glue and water – ours was about half and half. 2. Then, hold the remaining pages together and brush the edges with the glue solution. You want to make sure the solution soaks in, but is not too runny. 3. Allow this to dry, but use an object or two to space the first couple pages so the front cover doesn’t get stuck. We spaced ours with pencils and then put a heavy object on top to keep it mashed down. Though it only takes half an hour or so to dry, we let ours dry overnight. The longer, the better. 4. When the book is dry, open the book to the first glued page. Draw out a half-inch border around the edge on all four sides. (Don't forget along the spine too.) Grab your utility knife or box cutter, cut out along the inside of the lines. Continue cutting down through the layers. I found that a box cutter was easier to keep straight. This part takes a long time. I actually liked the rough edges, but A-type personalities might prefer straighter lines for their hollowed space. 5. Once you get to where you want your hollow to end, smooth out the paper fuzz left over from cutting, then brush the solution over the inside pages. Let it soak in good. Then I recommend to let it dry, overnight if possible, and then re-apply at least twice more. Let it dry. And dry. Then you’re ready. Remember that first page I told you not to cut out? That is now your opening page for the book to maintain the illusion.

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Michele L. Swann, GM/CEO of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority inside the Cobb Galleria Centre.

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By Michael Pallerino Photography by Reid Traylor

CUMBERLAND business booms The Big Chow Grill is one of those restaurants where one visit just isn’t enough. That’s all owner Michael Tabb could have hoped for when he opened for business in 2008. With an economy in the throes of an economic meltdown, Tabb had enough faith in his site selection process to know that the Cumberland area, which stretches for all of 5.5 miles (Cobb County encompasses 344.51 square miles), was where he needed to drop his anchor.

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name Tabb gave his restaurant before rebranding it as the Big Chow Grill in 2010, was an instant success among conventioneers, and the working crowd and families in an around the Vinings, Smyrna, Paces Ferry and Buckhead areas. “Our business, much like the surrounding area, has really evolved since we first opened our doors,” Tabb says. “When we first opened, we had a lot of loyal followers and a strong convention crowd. Today, during the day, a good portion of our business (two-thirds) is driven by conventioneers, and at night it’s local families and people who have grown with us over the

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past four years. We have affiliations with Marietta Middle School and North Atlanta High School, so we get a lot of support from those families. That gives us a family, neighborhood feel. The area has all of the dynamics you look for when you want to open a business.” Strategically surrounded by a bevy of solid upper and middle class neighborhoods, the Cumberland dichotomy ranges from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, to business travelers and tourists, to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre crowd. According to Reference USA, there are 5,835 businesses that call the Cumberland area home, 5,251 of which have 20 employees or less. “It is stable, diverse and unique,” says Brooks Mathis, VP of economic development for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. “Cumberland is one of the strongest economic engines in the state of Georgia and Southeastern U.S. Thanks to partnerships like the Cumberland CID, the environment constantly is being developed and enhanced to accommodate this diverse business base, which is both large and small. Developments come in form of streetscapes, transportation initiatives, etc.” With the opportunity to take advantage of Cobb’s low cost of doing business, and access to metro Atlanta, Buckhead and Vinings, Cumberland is an attractive place to do business.

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The recently renovated Cumberland Mall has helped add a boost to the area.


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December 2012 Cobb Life


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Smyrna resident Tracy Andrea leaves Cumberland Mall after a day of shopping.

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One of those places is Cumberland Mall, which draws its customer base from Marietta, Smyrna, northwest Fulton County and unincorporated Cobb County. “After the 2006 remodel and lifestyle center addition to the property, the mall has become the retail and dining hub of the Platinum Triangle area of Cobb County,” says Charles Tharp, GM of Cumberland Mall, which is owned by General Growth Properties. “It has 29 million square feet of office space, which is a combination of six restaurants, 150 retail tenants and a diverse selection of popular department stores. It is a destination.” And despite a still tepid economy, Cumberland continues to be the place to be. “Even in the midst of this economic turndown, area managers and business owners remain encouraged by the notoriety and traffic generated by venues such as the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre,” says Michele L. Swann, GM/CEO of the CobbMarietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority. “We have elevated the profile and awareness of our sub-market throughout the region and our diverse performance schedule has generated an influx of new visitors to the area.” On performance days and during major trade

shows and conventions, Swann says the Galleria Specialty Shops, and Cumberland Mall retailers and restaurants experience an upside in activity, especially on weekends. “The Arts Centre has brought an entirely new cultural experience to the Cumberland area with a more dynamic, urban feel. The area has benefitted from this public-private partnership, which has brought about success.” Swann says credit goes to the Cobb County Commission, which has spearheaded the public part of the partnership. “CEPAC is a prime example of how the arts can be an economic redevelopment tool.” Public assembly facilities such as CEPAC return value to Cumberland and surrounding community in many ways, helping to increase property values, sales taxes, hotel/motel taxes, new business and job creation. “In addition to those measurable contributions, the Galleria Arts Centre make a substantial contribution to the overall well-being of the community by serving as a venue for education, entertainment, recreation and culture,” Swann says. “Our community has incredibly bright minds and motivated individuals who are willing to be inventive, creative and work hard,” Mathis says. “With these qualities, we will continue to see small businesses grow aggressively.”

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Christmas in the kitchen

Some of the most cherished traditions families have involves holiday food. Recipes for Christmas goodies are passed down from generation to generation, as are the skills and techniques necessary to produce a wonderful finished product. Three members of the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta shared their Christmas food memories with us and invited us into the kitchen as they and family members prepared their seasonal culinary legacies. By Joan Durbin + Photography by Reid Traylor, Jennifer Carter and Mark Wallace Maguire

Above, Stacey Thompson and her daughter Skylar, 7, whip up a batch of fudge. Far left, Tracy Rathbone always appreciates help from daughter Lila in making holiday desserts such as these Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars. Left, Teresa Nolan and granddaughter Trinity Seals place sprinkles on tree-shaped cookies.

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Stacey Thompson and her daughter Skylar, 7, make two holiday favorites, fudge and cherry pie.

{the Thompsons} In keeping with her own childhood experiences, Acworth’s Stacey Thompson wanted to bring her daughter, Skylar, now 7, into the kitchen with her at the holidays as soon as she could safely get up on a step stool. That’s how Stacey started with her own mother. “Some of my best memories of being in the kitchen with my mom were watching the way she never needed a

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measuring cup. She kind of eyed everything to the point that it suited her,” Stacey recalled. “She cooked so gracefully as she separated the egg whites and yolks, yet made the biggest mess with the flour. I remember watching the beaters, and wondering how much longer it would be before I got to lick them clean. Then of course came the spoon, then you got the bowl. She always left just a little bit

more in the bowl than she should’ve, so that I could be a little more spoiled.” On alternating years, the Thompsons either spend Christmas with her parents here in the U.S. or go to New Zealand to be with her husband Warwick’s family. No matter where they are, however, one thing doesn’t change. There must be marshmallow crème fudge. Everyone in Stacey’s side of the family, including second and third cousins, makes the

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sweet treat at holiday time. “When we go to New Zealand it is quite an effort to find the same ingredients, not to mention doing the measurement conversions using a U.S. recipe,” she said. “In the end, however, even though I worry a little bit, because it is my American name on the line here, the marshmallow fudge always turns out fluffy, creamy and goes really, really fast.” When the family is spending the holiday here, one of the first things Stacey and her mom think about is going to get the ingredients to make the fudge. “I have to say that even though I put on a show for the inlaws in New Zealand, cutting it nicely, finding a nice platter and so forth, here at home, the fudge barely has time to cool in the glass dish we pour it in to before we are all touching it and eventually digging out a very soft piece to eat.” The fudge is not the only holiday tradition. “My grandmother every year would make a chocolate pie and either an apple or cherry pie because my grandfather liked them. He had quite a sweet tooth,” Stacey said.

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{the Seals} Four generations of Amanda Seals’ family will be celebrating together this season in the historic Marietta home where Amanda lives with her husband Paul and five-year-old daughter Trinity.

Top, from left, Amanda Seals with daughter Trinity, mom Teresa Nolen and grandmother Denny Hipps. The four generations make almond Christmas tree butter cookies and a “Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus” red velvet cake every year.

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has always had a beautiful, deep red velvet cake on Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,” Amanda said. “To put it into context for us children, my Nana and Mom dubbed it, ‘the happy birthday, Jesus cake.’” Her Mom always puts a big, fat red candle in the middle with sprigs of holly around it, which “I thought was real only to find out later it was 1970s plastic,” Amanda said with a chuckle. As early as she can remember,

All of the womenfolk live in close proximity. Teresa Nolen, Amanda’s mom is in Kennesaw and grandmother Denny Hipps lives just blocks away in Marietta. But the family has roots in England. “My grandmother and mother were born in London and my grandfather was a Marietta native, which is why they settled here after he retired from the Navy,” Amanda said. “Nana helped Mom raise me and my mom is helping me raise my daughter, Trinity. She just started kindergarten at West Side Elementary and she will be a fourth generation student in the Marietta school system.” Baking skills have been passed from generation to generation. Amanda got an early start in the kitchen with her grandmother. “My cousins and I would beg Nana to make the almond Christmas tree butter cookies every year. It is what we would leave out for Santa with a large glass of milk,” Amanda said. “We all loved being able to soil the pristine batter with drops of dark green food coloring in the tear-drop shaped bottles. The large silver and copper cookie press is a staple for the cookies as well as for Nana’s famous cheese straws that my sorority sisters learned of when I was in college. Everyone knows that Nana taught her girls how to bake.” One particular item is so ingrained in the fabric of Christmas tradition that no one can now imagine a holiday without it. “As long as I can remember, my family

Amanda helped ice this very special cake. “As a three-year-old, I started dragging behind me a little red wooden chair to stand on to help crack the eggs, stir the batter and ice the cake or decorate almond tree cookies in the Christmas kitchen. “When I was pregnant with my daughter in 2006, my mom had the chair refurbished so that my daughter can have the same chair to stand on. It is quite the keepsake.”

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Tracy Rathbone and daugther Lila prepare and taste the “magic cookie bars� they put out for Santa every year.


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{the Rathbones} Aaron and Tracy Rathbone have both sides of their families living nearby, so they are able to gather everyone together at Tracy’s house during the holidays. “Because we have been together since high school, many of the memories and traditions we share are a combination of things we both did growing up,” Tracy said. “Since Lila was born, we have been committed to not only ensuring our favorite traditions are recreated for her, but making sure we create new memories as well.” When Tracy was young, she and her mother and grandmother all lived together. She still remembers baking peanut butter balls and tea cakes at Christmas. Today, in the Rathbones’ east Cobb home, there is not an occasion that isn’t celebrated without a spread of food, Stacy asserted. “Aaron and I both enjoy cooking, but the baker in the family is my mother-in-law, Judith. For years, she has blocked out two solid weeks to

make dozens of cookies, candies and delights for family and friends.” The family owns Dirt Cheep Music in Smyrna, and Tracy said all year the staff there anticipates their delivery of Mama Judi’s sweets with their Christmas bonuses. “It’s funny to watch a bunch of grown men salivate over her magic cookie bars! I know that someday this will be a tradition I will inherit, but am grateful that she will be keeping it up for a while.” Though her signature dish at Christmas is the homemade macaroni and cheese recipe her mother passed down to her and she has tweaked along the way, Tracy said she “dusts off my mixer during the holidays to make cookies and truffles with Lila,” which are given to Lila’s teachers and neighbors. One of the best new traditions in the Rathbone household is putting out the cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. On that plate will always be the cream cheese-filled cookie bars and magic cookie bars Tracy makes

from her mother-in-law’s recipe. Then the three of them snuggle up as a family to read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” “It is a time of year that I hope Lila looks back upon fondly and one day, shares with her family,” Tracy said.

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{recipes} Mama Judi’s Magic Cookie Bars Courtesy Tracy Rathbone 1/2 cup butter or margarine 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs 1 1/3 cups (about) coconut 1 cup chocolate baking chips 1 cup chopped pecans 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk >>Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in 13x9-inch pan and place in oven

Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars Courtesy Tracy Rathbone 1 (12oz) package butterscotch-flavored morsels 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened ½ cup margarine or butter 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chopped nuts 1 egg >>Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for glass dish). In medium saucepan, melt

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morsels and margarine; stir in crumbs and nuts. Press half the mixture firmly onto bottom of greased 13x9-inch baking pan. In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy; beat in condensed milk, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Pour into prepared pan; top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature; chill before cutting into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

to melt butter. Remove pan from oven; sprinkle crumbs over butter and press down with fork. Sprinkle coconut over crumbs, then add layer of chips and pecans. Drizzle surface with condensed milk. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and cut. Makes 30 bars.

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{recipes} “Happy Birthday Baby Jesus” Red Velvet Cake Courtesy Amanda Seals 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cups Wesson oil 2 eggs 2 1/2 cups plain flour (Amanda uses White Lilly) 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda 2 Tbsps. of cocoa 1 to 2 bottles of red food coloring (Amanda uses two for that rich deep dark red color) 1 tsp. vinegar 1 cup buttermilk 2 tsps. of vanilla Cream sugar and oil together. Add eggs and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together. Add red food coloring to creamed mixture; then add vinegar. Alternately add buttermilk and flour mixture. Last,

add vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt or tube pan. Baker’s Joy spray is an excellent and quick way to do both at once because it already has the flour mixed in the spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting Cream Cheese frosting 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese 1 stick of margarine 1 box confectioners’ sugar 2 tsps. vanilla Set cream cheese out until at room temperature. Add softened margarine (I use Land O Lakes) along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and spread on cool cake. Now you’re ready to decorate.

Christmas Marshmallow Crème Fudge Courtesy Stacey Thompson 1 (7 ounce) jar of marshmallow crème 1 ½ cups of sugar 2/3 cups evaporated milk ¼ cup of butter ¼ tsp. salt 1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup pecans (optional) Butter a rectangular pan. Combine marshmallow crème, sugar, milk, butter and salt on a low heat while adding everything. Bring all ingredients to a full boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in chocolate chips, vanilla and pecans. Stir quickly since it starts to thicken almost immediately

Pour liquid fudge into the buttered pan and let cool until the fudge is firm to the touch. Cut into desired size pieces. Decoration of holly berry Cinnamon dots (red hots) Small tube of green icing Flat decorating top for icing tube Place desired number of cinnamon dots (holly berries) on each piece of fudge. Finish with green icing leaves.

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The Christmas tree

is the focal point of many homes during the holiday season, so if yours is looking less than lush, here are some tips from the pros for, well, sprucing up its appearance. — Location, Location, Location Whether your Christmas tree is real or artificial, placing it in the right spot can go a long way toward giving it a bountiful look. Avoid placing a thin-looking tree in front of a window or lightcolored wall, which will highlight its patchy areas. Real trees should be kept away from heat sources and radiators, which can drain them of moisture and fullness.

She advises starting at the bottom of an artificial tree and working your way up, carefully adjusting each section as you go. To get the best coverage, tips that are closest to the center pole should be angled vertically and out to the sides to resemble a peacock's fanned tail. Consider researching the natural bend of branches and tips that your tree should imitate. "Modeling your tree after a photo of that style will help you ideally shape your tree," Warner says. Her organization's website,, has pictures to help guide in fluffing.

— Fluffing with Flourish Spend time fluffing your tree for a more voluminous look, says Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, a California-based trade group.

— Nourishment Real trees should be well-nourished to keep them looking full. Some green thumbs swear by a teaspoon of brown sugar or flat ginger ale, but Warner says fresh tap water daily is all you need.

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— Dazzle With Light So you've placed your tree in a cozy spot, arranged its base and branches just so, and now it's time to make it shine. Sabrina Soto, Target's home style expert and an HGTV designer, says one of the easiest ways to give a tree life is through lighting. She recommends allotting at least 100 bulbs for every foot of height. "A full, brightly lit, decorated tree gives a feeling of abundance that puts everyone in a happy holiday mood," Soto says. A lighted garland can go far in filling empty space on a thin tree, she says, and creates an even warmer glow. Add any extra lighting before you decorate with ornaments so you're not getting them tangled up. Also, while lighting makes your tree sparkle, it also can highlight bare areas and show where ornaments or other items may be needed to create an ample appearance. — Trimming the Tree If you're looking to create bulk or a new look, Soto says hot ornament trends this holiday season include unconventional colors such as pinks, purples and blues. Jewel tones and bright citrus hues are also popular, as are gilded and mercury ornaments that really "jazz up" a tree.

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Also popular are nature themes, and upcycled or recycled items. Karen Edenfield, a designer with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, suggests using feathers, pine cones or artificial pine stems for natural-looking filler, or floral stems and bushes for bulk, texture and color. Berry stems can be placed deep in the tree to mask gaps and give a glimpse of color. Reused and recycled items could include old sheet music, jewelry, and gift wrapping or bows. Other trendy themes include wine and grapes; seashore; and cupcakes and other sweets. Themes can be a great fix for sparse-looking trees: "People won't focus as much on the tree as they will on the overall look," Edenfield says. Ribbons are another simple way to fill out a scraggly tree, and can be found in an array of patterns. If placed horizontally, they should go on after lights and before ornaments. Or use a large, multi-bow ribbon at the top of the tree with ribbon streamers hanging down for a finishing touch. And decorations aren't just for the tips of the branches. Remember to place lights, ornaments, garlands, picks, stems and other decorations deep and outward to give more dimension. "A full-looking tree signifies abundance, family and warmth of the holiday season," Warner says.

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CHRISTMAS WISH LIST By Michael Venezia Photography by Reid Traylor

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Dear Santa, I have a confession to make and hopefully it will not detour you from your planned visit to our home this Christmas Eve.

It happened quite by accident and after this past year of regular correspondence with Mrs. Claus we have developed a strong emotional bond through wine. Before we knew it our short email messages and texts became longer and more complex. How did this happen you might ask? What brought two people from very different backgrounds together? The explanation is quite simple. It was over mutual love and desire for wine, and it was you, dear Santa who was the catalyst for this unusual liaison. If you recall, last year I left by the fireplace a few bottles of wine for you to share

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with the elves once you re-turned to the North Pole after your long journey delivering gifts to families throughout the world. However, instead of enjoying the wine with your “little helpers” you and the Mrs. shared the Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The beautiful ruby color of the wine was as red as Rudolph’s nose and it created such a warm feeling of contentment in Mrs. Claus’ heart that she begged you to reveal the source of this beautiful wine. Shortly before New Year’s Eve of 2011 she contacted me via Facebook and revealed that she had to evolve a relationship with the mysterious man of wine in Cobb County, Georgia, USA. She and I have been for almost a year exchanging first short messages and now much longer, detailed letters describing the sensory memories of that first bottle of cabernet sauvignon to course from her lips to her heart. Although we have discussed potential opportunities to meet personally we both have realized that it can never come to pass. Therefore I have decided that instead of continuing this long distance vinous relationship, I will offer six bottles of wine for you to take back to your North Pole home to share with Mrs. Claus. Be sure to let her know that the greatest joy of Christmas is to share gifts with those you know and love, as well as giving gifts to friends who you have never met personally. The wines will be in the box with the red bow just to the right of the fireplace near the window clearly marked Merry Christmas Mr. & Mrs. Claus. The six bottles represent a selection from my cellar which over the past year has given me much pleasure, and I hope will continue the long happy relationship which the both of you have shared for these many, many years. Oh, by the way, I am also including a really good corkscrew to help you easily rescue the wine from the bottle on its way to your heart. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good wine! Michael P.S. The six wines are: - Hanzell Vineyards, Sonoma Mountain Estate, Pinot Noir - Emblem, Oso Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon -Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, Chardonnay -Iron Horse Vineyards, Green Valley Estate, Wedding Cuvee Vintage Sparkling Wine - Stags’ Leap Winery, Ne Cede Malis, Proprietary Red Blend - Joel Gutt, California, Sauvignon Blanc

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worth its

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hough it gets a bad rap sometimes for causing high blood pressure (but that wouldn’t be the case if it wasn’t so adept at transforming bland food into tasty), if you really think about it, salt is truly a ‘salt of the earth’ mineral. When you have a sore throat, it’s suggested you gargle salt water. When you have a wound or sore muscles, you soak in Epsom salts. In the shower, salt scrubs work wonders for the body and mind. Saline sprays are quick to clear clogged nasal passages. And something about breathing in salty beach air just refreshes the spirit. For centuries, Europeans have been trekking to salt caves as an alternative treatment for relieving symptoms of allergies, asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions, as well as skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. While a beach or salt cave isn’t readily available to Cobb residents, a halotherapy room is the best, or perhaps even better, substitute. Halotherapy, or salt therapy, is the process of breathing in dry, micronized salt particles in the form of salt air. Marietta residents Linda Nordahl and Brad Menz opened Salt Therapy of Georgia earlier this year to provide residents with the same experience they had a year ago in Knoxville, Tenn. The couple visited a salt therapy center there at the suggestion of friends. Linda, who is slightly asthmatic, said within 20 minutes of being inside the salt room she could breathe better. After finding there were no halotherapy businesses in the Atlanta area, the two decided to open their own in Smyrna. Before making the decision, Linda devoted hours to research. “We wanted to make sure we were offering something that didn’t have any harmful side effects,” said Linda, who sings with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Some clients may develop a slight cough,


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by Stacey L. Evans photograhpy by Reid Traylor

or a runny nose, but that’s part of the process of eliminating toxins. Some may experience mild skin irriation that will disappear after a few sessions. Otherwise, there are no side effects, said Linda. In the therapy room, walls are covered with a half-inch of hand-thrown Dead Sea salt. The floor is lush with pebble-sized granules of Himalayan salt, and a hearth feature of salt bricks provides a warm and inviting centerpiece. The dimly lit room contains six comfy slingback chairs for clients to relax in. During a session, Dead Sea salt is pumped into the room. Himalayan salt can be used if requested. How does it work? “People go to salt caves and spend 8-hour days for three weeks for its healing properties,” said Brad. “We cut that down with the halogenerator.” Halogenerators crush rock salt into .1 to .5 micrometers, ionize them, and release them into the air. The small particles are able to travel deep into the lungs, and spread through the respiratory system. “Properties of salt are anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial,” said Linda. “We aren’t here to replace your medications, but we are here to help you breathe and help your immune system. Salt therapy helps to expel mucus quicker. It detoxifies your lungs and sinus passages.” Sandy Springs resident Sue Medcalf describes her experience with halotherapy as “phenomenal.” “I could feel the difference the very first time I went,” she said. “It has been amazing the capacity my lungs can hold on a daily basis [since I began going]. I just got finished with a session a few hours ago and I’m driving to the mountains now and I can smell things I can’t normally smell and taste things I can’t normally taste. The ears, nose and throat are just remarkably more sensitive.”

Linda Nordahl and Brad Menz of Salt Therapy of Georgia. The blue shoe covers are worn to keep the salt clean. Above left, the salt therapy center also sells products such as sole, rock salt and salt lamps. Opposite page, the children’s room features sandy-like salt for kids to play with.

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Sue, a massage therapist, said she refers many of her clients who have allergies or asthma to Salt Therapy. “I know from experience that people don’t take full, deep breaths and there is a portion of our lungs that we don’t utilize that continues to build toxins and stagnation. But if we continue to exercise our lungs we can expel those toxins. Living in Atlanta with all the pollution it seems to me logical people would want to do that regularly.” How long does it take? That depends of what you are seeking to treat, and how severe the symptoms. One client came in just as a migraine was forming. To combat the headaches, she usually has to take medicine and go to sleep. But halotherapy knocked out the migraine before it strengthened, said Brad. Julie Neal of Marietta took her three daughters to the children’s room before a vacation to Disneyworld. “The children always have colds around October so I didn’t want them to be sick,” said Julie. “One daughter always gets an awful sounding cough when she gets a cold. When she started getting a little sniffly I signed up for a session. When you have chil-

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dren it spreads around — when one gets sick, they all get sick. We went a few times before vacation and none of us got sick and [her sniffles] never turned into a cough. I was really impressed; that was the first time that has ever happened.” The children’s room contains toys and the salt on the floor is table saltsized granules. Children are allowed to play in it as they would sand on the beach. Julie said her daughter Sydney, 5, loved it. “She asks me when we can go back. She told me she wanted a salt room in her house,” she said. But for most, Linda recommends 6 to 24 initial sessions to help alleviate the problem, and after that return for maintenance. “If you make a commitment of once a week, that may help you better than waiting until the symptoms come back,” advises Linda. Even if you don’t have respiratory or skin problems, salt therapy is beneficial to everyone because of the relaxation element it provides, said Brad. “Negative ions in the air feels better,” said Linda. “You go to the ocean and you feel that calm. There’s science behind it.” 

DID YOU KNOW? Though salt therapy is a relatively new concept in the U.S., the use of salt for respiratory ailments was recognized in the mid1800s by Polish physician Felix Boczkovski. He noticed miners didn’t have respiratory ailments as did the rest of the village, and determined the salt aerosol they inhaled daily was the contributing factor. CNN, BBC, Dr. Oz and The Doctors television show have all featured segments on salt therapy. Salt therapy creates negative ions, just as nature does in waterfalls, mountain air and beaches. Negative ions help improve your mood through boosting serotonin. Dead Sea salt contains 26 minerals. In the Middle Ages, salt was so expensive it was sometimes referred to as “white gold.”

SALT THERAPY OF GEORGIA 2424 Herodian Way SE, Smyrna 770-384-SALT (7258)

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outh American to Folia for a

break from traditional cuisine this month

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General Manager Dain Ryner of Marietta displays some of the meats served at the restaurant.


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The holidays are a grand time to indulge in the array of culinary traditions. Turkey, ham, green bean casserole, sweet potato soufflé and all their cousins make their requisite appearances at tables throughout Cobb. And though we look forward to and enjoy our seasonal feasts, well, sometimes one could use a break. This year, instead of ordering the clichéd pizza the day after Thanksgiving, you may want to try something different, but still stay within a reasonable price range that won’t set you back on holiday shopping. One option is Folia Brazilian Steakhouse in Marietta. Located at the corner of Powers Ferry and Terrell Mill roads, the restaurant offers a variety of the typical Brazilian steakhouse fare, but at a fraction of the costs of other similar restaurants in the metro area. Like most Brazilian steakhouses, it is all-you-can-eat. Meats are roasted over charcoal. Servers arrive at your table with meat on swordlike skewers and you pick which items you would like. At Folia, the meats run the gamut. Over a dozen are featured, depending on the day and whether it is lunch or dinner. Our favorites include

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top sirloin and chicken wrapped in bacon. These two, in particular, were moist and savory. The salad bar is worth mentioning as well. Forget your run-of-the-mill offerings, this bar contains 30 items, including several types of cheeses, pickled vegetables, fruits, unique garnishments and even a cold crab and shrimp salad. The bread that is served with the meal is delicious as well. It is lightly cooked in oil, with the inside featuring a soft mixture of cheeses. The richness and lightness of this side is enough to serve as a dessert in itself. Speaking of desserts, the passion fruit mousse was excellent. We recommend pairing it with an espresso, though the restaurant serves a limited beer and wine selection as well. Lunch generally runs $14.95 per person, with dinner at $30. Both prices are significantly lower than other Brazilian steakhouses in the area.

Information: 770-627-3170 1360 Powers Ferry Rd., SE Marietta, GA 30067

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FAIRLY GOOD GIFT IDEAS Holiday shopping can be such a grind. You buy, you wrap, you hand it over — times 20. If you're feeling overly cynical, try some Fair Trade gifting and offer your recipients the story behind their gifts as well. Not unlike the terms "organic" and "eco-friendly," figuring out exactly what Fair Trade means and where to find the real deal can be confusing. With no one oversight or regulatory body, a variety of organizations offer Fair Trade certification. Some distributors of handcrafts and gifty foodstuffs like coffee, tea and chocolate do without a Fair Trade sticker or label on their products but tout their embrace of broad principles promising they do business ethically. Others have been through a careful screening process after developing long-term relationships with small farmers and artisan cooperatives around the world. Most sell online or through small boutiques and shops. "During the holidays we get all this stuff. It's all about the stuff and we never take the time to think about where it came

from and who made it," said Renee Bowers, executive director of the Fair Trade Federation, based in Wilmington, Del. "Fair Trade is really talking about a commitment and the relationship between a buyer and a seller as a method of poverty alleviation," she said. The Fair Trade Federation publishes its core principles at Transparency is a stalwart in the Fair Trade movement, but if you don't want the hassle of digging deep into the business arrangements behind the baskets, home decor or accessories you choose as gifts, the federation has about 250 screened members in the United States and Canada. Some possibilities:


About 20 years ago, in the southeast forests of the Indian state of Rajasthan, a nature preserve was established to preserve the habitat of tigers. People living on the land for centuries were forced off, away from access to wood and water

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supplies. Dastkar Ranthambore was established to help villagers relocate just outside the park and provide women a way to generate income. Among their products are table coverings, placemats and bedspreads inspired by traditional animal murals found on homes. They're done using a handblocked printing technique in earth tones but also brighter blues, greens and yellows. "The women have an open-air workshop where they work together doing embroidery and sewing," Bowers said. "They've been able to, over time, build houses and really create a sustainable living situation." Some of their wares are available at and


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"It's kind of a cool example of how Fair Trade organizations are trying to innovate in order to support artisans," Bowers said. Giftier items include the small Smart Bag, with a fabric liner and detachable cross-body strap, and the Shaggy Bag, a "wristlette" with long fringe in black or silver.


We've all seen tote bags made of recyclables. The nonprofit Nomi Network, operating in Cambodia, does the same thing using colorful, graphic fish-feed and rice bags made by women and girls who are victims of human sex trafficking or are vulnerable to falling prey. The Manhattan-based Nomi Network, named for a victim whom co-founder Diana Mao once met, partners with rehabilitation homes and other organizations in Cambodia to train and educate the women who sew the bags. The company also works with trafficking victims in India.


Roasting in small batches from its facility in Orange, Mass., Dean's Beans buys only shadegrown (no pesticides) coffee from villages and importers fully committed to Fair Trade. In addition, the company works on pre-financing, helping small farmers gain access to reasonable credit. "From the consumer level, it's those details that we often forget about," Bowers said. "But for the farmers, that's really key because a lot of times they only have access to credit that is incredibly expensive, and they can't maintain a small business without it." Among the locations where the company buys beans are some unusual ones, including East Timor and Papua New Guinea. The company also helps with a revolving loan fund to dig wells in Ethiopia, and is a partner in Leon, Nicaragua, in a cafe owned and operated by a prosthetics clinic that gives free limbs and therapy to land mine victims and the poor. At, the company offers sampler gift boxes that include the book "Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee," written by founder Dean Cycon.

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Handbags and other accessories made of recycled aluminum pull tabs from cans may not be for everyone, but Escama Studio in San Francisco connects their customers with women's collectives in Brazil where their products are made. Each item comes with a tag introducing the creator in Brasilia. The company's website,, offers a place where the recipient can write a message to the gift's creator. Escama translates the messages into Portuguese and sends them on. Some of the Escama looks incorporate a traditional crochet technique into contemporary Western designs. In addition, the company funds computer literacy programs for those interested among the more than 100 women it works with.

Upholstery • Window Treatments Bedding • Furniture Repair

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ig h lights

INDIGO GIRLS>> For the first time ever, Grammy-winning folk duo the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, will embark on a national symphony tour. With 14 albums to their credit and a career that spans decades, the iconic duo continues to challenge themselves creatively, adding to a body of work that contains such hits and fan favorites as “Galileo” and “Love of Our Lives.” For this tour, they’ve brought in musical arrangers Sean O’Loughlin and Stephen Barber to write orchestral charts for a selection of songs spanning their career, from the 1980’s through their most recent release, “Beauty Queen Sister.” For Ray and Emily Saliers, who’ve been performing together for over two decades, this is a chance to hear their music performed in a new way and to bring something special to their fans. The Indigo Girls will perform with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. in the John A. Williams Theatre at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $35 to $85. Information: 770.916.2808 or

A closer look at events and activities throughout Cobb in December

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA>>The Brian Setzer Orchestra, fronted by three-time Grammy Award-winner Brian Setzer, brings their “Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza” to Cobb County. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Setzer has smash hits as founder and leader of The Stray Cats, his 18-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra, and as a solo artist. His December concert will include Setzer’s legendary guitar magic on hits such as “Rock This Town,” “(She’s) Sexy 17,” “Stray Cat Strut,” “Jump, Jive and Wail,” as well as his re-imagined and acclaimed Holiday classics. Brian Setzer is credited with consistently taking chances with innovative and daring musical styles and single-handedly resurrecting two forgotten genres of music – rockabilly in the ‘80’s and swing in the ‘90’s. The Brian Setzer Orchestra performs Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. in the John A. Williams Theatre at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $40 to $60. Information: 770.916.2808 or

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BUDDY VALASTRO LIVE: THE CAKE BOSS>> Candy canes, carols, and the Cake Boss – celebrate the holidays this season with America’s favorite baker, Buddy Valastro. The star of TLC’s “Cake Boss” brings a special holiday show the entire family will enjoy. Sharing the holiday traditions and stories from his family at Carlo’s Bakery, Buddy presents an all-new show full of holiday spirit and jingle bell rock. Demonstrating the techniques that have made him the most famous cake artist in the country, Buddy will share behind-the-scenes stories from his hit TV show, answer audience questions, and bring several lucky members of the audience to the stage for cupcake and cake decorating. Buddy Valastro appears Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the John A. Williams Theatre at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $35.75 to $45.75. Information: 770.916.2808 or


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celebrity house DJ and some of the biggest names in comedy, this year’s tour will entertain sold-out crowds nationwide. The “All Star Comedy Jam” line-up includes tour host Gary Owen, fresh off his co-starring role in the blockbuster hit “Think Like a Man,” as well as Capone, known as The Gangsta of Comedy, Tony Roberts, The Comedian’s Comedian, and Michael Blackson, The African King of Comedy. There will also be special surprise guests on select tour dates. Shaq’s “All Star Comedy Jam” is Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. in the John A. Williams Theatre at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $55 to $125. Information: 770.916.2808 or

WEST SIDE STORY>> More than fifty years ago one musical changed theater forever. Now it’s back and mesmerizing audiences once again. From the first note to the final breath, “West Side Story” soars as the greatest love story of all time. This revival, based on Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents’ Broadway direction, remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.” The Gas South Broadway Series presents “West Side Story” on Dec. 13 through 15 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 14 and 15 at 2 p.m., in the John A. Williams Theatre at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $26.50 to $64. Information: 770.916.2808 or SHAQ’S ALL STAR COMEDY JAM>> Last year, Shaquille O’Neal took “All Star Comedy Jam” on the road after his NBA Allstar Weekend show in Los Angeles became such a hit. Playing to sold out crowds across the country proved that the “All Star Comedy Jam” tour was just what audiences wanted. With the beautiful and legendary DJ Spinderella as the featured DJ on tour, there is a fresh new spin to the show. Having a

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SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS>> In “Sanders Family Christmas,” the sequel to the ever-popular “Smoke on the Mountain,” the Sanders family returns to Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. It’s Christmas Eve 1941 and Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe has invited them to sing and witness, getting the congregation into the down home holiday spirit before the boys, including one of the Sanders’ own, are shipped off to World War II. More than two-dozen Christmas carols, many of them vintage hymns, and hilarious yuletide stories from the Sanders family keep the audience laughing, clapping, and singing along. Richly entertaining, this infectious musical brings cheer to audiences eager to see how their friends from “Smoke on the Mountain” have been getting along. As the family celebrates the season and welcomes the Savior, Mervin plans a surprise of his own. PlayRight Productions presents “Sanders Family Christmas” on Dec. 1 at 8 p.m., Dec. 27 through 29 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. Ticket prices range from $20 to $35. Information: 770.293.0080 or ATLANTA BALLET’S NUTCRACKER>> The holiday season begins with the return of Atlanta Ballet’s “Nutcracker” to the Fabulous Fox Theatre. It’s a fun-filled, magical adventure that continues to thrill audiences. Bring the whole family for an enchanting and memorable evening that keeps the spirit of the holiday season alive. Choreographed by John McFall with music by Tchaikovsky performed live by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, the show runs approximately two hours including a 25-minute intermission. Atlanta Ballet presents “Nutcracker” from Dec. 7 through 26. Performance times vary. Tickets start at $20. Information: 404.873.5811 or

MARIETTA/COBB MUSEUM OF ART>> The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art hosts two exhibitions during December, including “RED” with selections from their permanent collection through Dec. 15 and an exhibit featuring the works of well-known local painter Thomas Arvid through Dec. 16. When an artist partners red with the elements and principles of art including line, shape, space, form, texture, movement, rhythm, unity, balance, emphasis, size and contrast, a work of art is created with feeling and excitement. “RED” combines contemporary works of art from MCMA’s permanent collection with work by installation artist Susan Cipcic, school-aged children, local artists, and art collectors to provide a fun and enthusiastic way to learn about the many facets of red. Thomas Arvid continues to astonish both art and wine enthusiasts with his monumental compositions that capture the delicate beauty of wine and the evocative pleasure of its consumption. Achieving widespread success with his iconic portrayals of the wine experience, Arvid has become synonymous with the art of living graciously. The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art is located in downtown Marietta at 30 Atlanta Street. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, free for children younger than six years and free for members. Information: 770.528.1444 or

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Cobb Arts Ball

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The Cobb Arts Ball took place at the Cobb Galleria in October. This year’s theme was a black tie masquerade. Funds from the event go to support a variety of the arts in Cobb. 1. Waldon and Renee Garriss of Marietta. 2. Becky and Mike Varicak of Marietta. 3. Eric and Jenny Hammett of Marietta. PHOTOGRAPHY BY TODD HULL

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Mistletoe Market

The 22nd annual Mistletoe Market took place at the Cobb Civic Center in October. Hosted by the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta, the three-day event offers attendees an opportunity to get great deals on Christmas gifts while, at the same time, supporting the league. 1. From left, Michelle Grasso of Newnan, Beth Rogers of Marietta and Reagan Zottnick of Dallas. 2. From left, Georgia Lendahan of Kennesaw, Samantha Johnson of Marietta and Debbie Phillips of Marietta. 3. Author Sonya Jones of Smyrna, seated, with Cathy Blanco of Marietta, owner of The Book Exchange. 4. From left, Laura Miniotas of Jacksonville, Fla., Annette Hodgson of Marietta and Jenn Levine of East Cobb. PHOTOGRAPHY BY REID TRAYLOR

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Mistletoe Market




7 5. Carey Merritt of Marietta and Crista Huffstetler of Acworth. 6. Raquel Hernandez of Smyrna and Melissa Reynolds of Marietta. 7. From left, Paula Colburn of Marietta, Kelly Kramb of Marietta and Nancy Vail of Kennesaw. 8. Frances Scimeca of Marietta and Mallie Steele of Fulton, Mo. 9. April Wright of Powder Springs and Leigh Wright, both of Marietta.



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Polo for Parkinson’s

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Dozens of residents attended the fifth annual Polo for Parkinson’s event at Chukkar Farm and Polo Club in Cherokee. The event took place in September and featured a polo match, music, concessions and more. All proceeds from this fifth-annual fundraising event went to Parkinson's Disease awareness. 1. Ashley Harris and Greg Gronholm of Ragamuffin Music performed at the event. 2. From left, Randal Valverde of Atlanta, Taleha Delaine of Marietta and Nico Poulopoulos of Atlanta. 3. Alex McMichael of Marietta and Lisa D'amato of Sandy Springs. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER CARTER



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Polo for Parkinson’s



4 4. From left, Ryan and Doherty Riebesell of Atlanta with Tricia, Katie and Greg Creel, all of Marietta. 5. George and Catalina Erneston of Smyrna.

Have you been

SCENE? If your photograph has appeared in Cobb Life, visit our website to get a copy. We also have exclusive deals on getting your photograph on shirts, hats and cups.

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Art of Wine Expo

The Art of Wine Expo took place in late October at the Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain. Tastings of over 200 wines as well as food, art and music were featured at the event. 1. Valerie Stoney of Woodstock and Shari Wood of Marietta. 2. Steve Smith and Barbara Gladstone, both of Acworth. 3. Frank Kawulich of Mableton and Eric Davison of Charlotte, North Carolina. PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY BARNES





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76 Cobb Life

December 2012

SUPERIOR UPERIOR CARPET ARPET CLEANING LEANING & FLOOR LOOR SERVICES ERVICES • Latest Carpet Cleaning Circular Extraction Technology! • Safe & Effective Process That ‘Scrubs’ Your Fibers Clean & Dry in less than 1 Hour! • Pleasant, Mild Citrus Aroma! Finally No More: • Nasty Hoses Dragged Through Your Home! • Fading Carpets Due To Excessive H2O! • Delaminating Of Carpet Backing • Taking Days To Dry!


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Art of Wine Expo


4 4. From left, Tim and Becky Wrighton and Jeffrey and Stephanie Gaba, all of Marietta. 5. Jill Walter of Buckhead and Brooke Sklut of Marietta. 6. Jim and Meg Crawford of Marietta. 7. Shelby Eanes of Kennesaw and Angela Eanes of Marietta. PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY BARNES




December 2012 Cobb Life


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YWCA of Northwest Georgia

Two Sunday school classes from Marietta First United Methodist Church were invited to former Governor Roy and Marie Barnes’ home to learn more about the YWCA of Northwest Georgia and their plans for the future. The YWCA of Northwest Georgia are in the final phase of a capital campaign project to renovate the only domestic violence shelter in Cobb County. The Barnes have been long time supporters of the YWCA. 1. From left, Holly Walquist with Kathleen and Mark Atkins, all of Marietta. 2. Holly Comer of Marietta and YMCA Northwest Georgia CEO & Executive Director Carole Kell of East Cobb. 3. Jill Sforza of Miami and Erica Graus of Marietta. PHOTOGRAPHY BY REID TRAYLOR




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78 Cobb Life

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YWCA of Northwest Georgia


4. Steffani Salter of Dallas and Robin Lane of Marietta. 5. Former Gov. Roy Barnes and Marie Barnes of Marietta. 6. Ron Diaz and Vivian Battershill-Diaz, both of Kennesaw. 7. Colin Meaders and Leigh Smith, both of Marietta.




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Booked for the Evening

The Cobb Library Foundation held its annual ‘Booked for the Evening’ event in late October at the Marietta Country Club. Funds from the event benefit the Cobb County Library System. New York Times best-selling author Sue Monk Kidd attended the gala to accept the Jim & Carol Ney Literary Award. Kidd is known for her books “The Secret Life of Bees” and “The Mermaid Chair.” 1. From left, Ann Kidd Taylor and her mother, Sue Monk Kidd, author and recipient of the Jim and Carol Ney Literary Award, with Teena and Rob Garcia. 2. Dr. Leroy Ervin of Stone Mountain and Dr. Betty Ann Cook, a Cobb Library Foundation board member. 3. Ray and Mona Burick of Kennesaw. 4. Jodi Siciliano of Kennesaw and Lynn Kljucaric of Powder Springs.




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Recipe for disaster So much of Christmas is found in the memories we make. It is the time-honored traditions, annual recipes we enjoy, and gatherings with the ones we love that make December so merry. But looking back, it isn’t always the “perfect” event or meal that create the best memories. Often, it is the worst disaster at the time. Growing up, we had a fake Christmas tree. Every year, Dad simply brought it down from the attic, assembled it in less than an hour, and we decorated it while drinking hot chocolate. We begged our parents for a real tree and finally won out when it was announced we would bring home a tree that needed water to stay alive for the month of December. And a real tree from the nearest Home Depot wouldn’t do; we had to have the “perfect” tree. We drove to North Georgia, hiked deep into a tree farm, chopped down a tree and loaded it on top of the - very tall - conversion van. We must have been tired from singing Christmas carols on the ride home because most of us were nearly asleep when a very loud screeching noise startled us awake. Apparently, during the hour-long drive home, Dad had forgotten about the tree tied to the top of the van when he pulled into the garage. My sister started

By Jaillene Hunter crying and lamenting that “Christmas would be ruined” as we unloaded a tree with half of the branches missing from one side. Christmas wasn’t ruined; and we still laugh about that awful looking tree. Now every time I smell pine needles, it brings me back to that first real tree in our living room. Have you ever noticed that a certain scent can bring a rush of vivid memories? Some studies show that smells can transport us back to strong memories of

the past more effectively even, than sounds. The Proustian Phenomenon proposes that distinctive smells have more power than any of our other 4 senses to help us recall far-off memories. It’s why the smell of gingersnap reminds you of your grandmother’s house, or peppermint and chocolate cookies bring you back to a Christmas from childhood. It is even why the cook can relax if the turkey is just okay. According to those who advocate the Proustian Phenomena, just the aroma of a turkey will ignite an emotional memory and keep your guests content. So if you burn the choice side dish, ruin the cookies by accidently substituting salt for sugar (as a good friend of mine once did), or drop a platter with the “perfectly” baked ham, you can rest assured you have still created an imperfect memory. Although some holiday mishaps may not seem like the best scenario at the time, working to make your Christmas “perfect” frankly, isn’t what Christmas is about. The first Christmas certainly didn’t turn out the way Mary had intended. In a barn, surrounded by noisy animals, and nothing to dress the babe but swaddling clothes. And wasn’t it perfect after all?

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Our Family Serving Your Family Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home & Crematory invites you to explore your funeral care options at either of our locations. If you’re a United States Military Veteran, you may qualify for specific assistance programs which we can help you apply for. Veterans and civilians alike can benefit from sitting down with a Funeral Preplanning Professional to record your wishes and we are the area’s trusted experts in funeral care. For nearly 90 years, Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home & Crematory has brought comfort and peace of mind to you, your friends and neighbors.

We welcome you at our downtown chapel, just north of the historic Marietta Square on Church Street.

Additionally, our new Powder Springs location, Macland Chapel, is located at 3940 Macland Road and fully staffed by the same experienced, professional staff you’ve come to expect.

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Cobb Life Magazine December 2012  
Cobb Life Magazine December 2012  

Cobb Life Magazine December 2012