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C o b b ’ s F a m i ly L i f e s t y l e M a g a z i n e December 2018

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777700 .. 44 3322. .778 86 86 8• • Our Town

In This Issue

Holiday Traditions We’ve listed some popular traditions that you may want to add to your holiday

D E C E M B E R 2 018

activities this year. .................................................. 8

10 &11

Feature Photographer Andrew Edwards Photography.............................. 13

About the Cover & Life Style Report

Real Estate in Our Town Renting vs Buying by Debra Ratchford........................................... 18

Meet Callie Dauler! Callie shares her views about living a life centered around “Gratitude” with Tara Hanover in our Life Style Report.


Simple Decorating for the Holidays............................. 19

Harrison High School Wrestling Team “Gives Back”

The Lights of Life

An Annual Harvest Dance held at Heritage of Brookstone

Pets of the Month.................. 26 & 27

The 2018 edition of the annual Lights of LIFE on the campus of Life University.........................25


Santa House in Smyrna Get your Christmas list ready!......................... 30

Memories from Snow Jam 2017................................. 32 Tips to Stay Safe While Traveling Abroad


Heather Mileski uses her expertise to guide international travelers with sound safety advice. A Christmas Bubble Story Anthony Alvarez enlightens us about all things Champagne!

What’s Cookin’? Christmas Eve Fondue........................................... 35

Tech Dad by James Floyd Kelly.......................................... 38

Keeping Your Pup & Christmas Tree Safe During the Holidays by Amber Burckhalter ...................................... 42

Villas at Montclair Residents and involved HOA give the Villas at Montclair in Smyrna a New Look!

Holiday Sangria................................ 34

December Calendar of Events..............44 & 45


December Crossword Puzzle.................................. 46

in this issue

Our Town onthly M


Publishers/Editors Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious Our Town is published and direct mailedOur monthly to prestigious homes inhomes thein the West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not Linda Demery & Lori McLinden Cobb County. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not Le necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to Graphics and Design aedit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible s necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to i n Ce for errors Terry Tanner nte gin advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made Tanner Graphics, Inc. r Op by content. edit and or reject any editorial or advertising en advertisers. Our Town is not responsible Account Executive copyright Reproduction in whole or in forSara errors in advertising beyond the cost ofEntire thecontents space or2018 forby Our the Town. validity of claims Young, Photographer made byFeature advertisers.

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4 Variety of Fine Options Large 7500 sq.Dining ft. Wellness Center 4 Continuum of Care Living Options Locally Develo Variety of Fine Dining Options Continuum of Care Living Options d, Own 4peNew Cottages Available NowOptions e d a n d Continuum Living Maof EAST COBB WEST COBB naCare ged 4220 Lower Roswell Rd 3165 Hwy Why Settle For Less? Come Live aDallas Sterling Life 4 New Apartment Homes with Large Clubhouse Under Construction Why Settle For Less? Come Live a Sterling Life Marietta, GA 30068 Marietta, GA 30064 Come See Why So Many Are Calling 678-946-4454 770-255-7000 Sterling Estates Home Locally Developed, Owned and Managed

Independent and Assisted Living Communities Why SettleIndoor For Less? Come aLicensed Sterling Life Variety of Fine DiningLive Options Heated Saltwater Therapeutic Aerobic Pool

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHER Andrew Edward’s Photography

Our Town onthly CONTRIBUTING

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Tara Hanover



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

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Heather Mileski

Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the

Anthony F. Alvarez

West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to

James Floyd Kelly

edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made

Large 7500 sq. ft. Wellness Center

Why Settle forFor Less? Livea a Sterling Why Settle Less?Come Come Live Sterling Life Life Indoor Heated Saltwater Therapeutic Aerobic Pool Variety of Fine Options Call Sherry orDining Martha at 770-255-7000


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by advertisers.

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Entire contents copyright 2018 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Our Town Monthly

uting Writers

Beautifully Designed Neighborhoods on 10+ and 25+ Acres Cottages and Apartment Independent or Assisted Large Wellness Centers Indoor Heated Saltwater Therapeutic Pools 25 Acre Beautifully Designed Neighborhood Locally Developed, Owned and Options Managed Variety of Fine Dining Cottages, Garden Homes Apartments Cottage Floor&Plans: All on One Level

in this issue


109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

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1000 Whitlock Avenue •678-337-7844 Suite 320 • PMB 141 • Marietta, GA 30064 Fax: 678-337-7825 678-337-7844 • PAGE 7


Caa a T T

Our Town Come See Why So Many Are Calling

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After 20 years, it’s time for big changes! The Smyrna stores will be shutting down by the end of the year for extensive renovations. We’ll be reopening in Spring 2019, with a brand new Love Street experience!

It’s Christmas as usual at our Dallas location! 80 Seven Hills Blvd. Dallas, GA 30132 678-483-0283

Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Love Street Gifts Heart & Sole 770-434-8578 678-238-0130 1295 & 1275 Concord Rd, Smyrna, GA 30080

Hurry in for the best selection! Stock up for the holidays & beyond! • Visit a tree farm to find the perfect holiday tree for your family. • Arrange for a family night out to check out “The Lights of Life” - A must see for everyone at least once! • Hop in the car or take a stroll through the neighborhoods near you that love to decorate and show the lights fantastic at Christmas time. • Set up a nativity scene and discuss the “real reason of the season” with your kids. • Sit down with your little ones and help them compose Santa letters to be “mailed to the North Pole.” • Set aside an afternoon for baking holiday cookies and treats with the family. • Save the date for a cookie exchange with your friends. • Get together with good friends and plan a “White Elephant” gift exchange. • Purchase matching Christmas pajamas for everyone in the family to wear on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The holidays bring families and friends together (near and far) to celebrate the special season. The traditions that we share make a huge imprint on our memories and give us something to look forward to in the years to come. We’ve listed some popular traditions that you may want to add to your holiday activities this year. PAGE 8

• Countdown the days to Christmas with an Advent calendar. • Begin a tradition by giving your children an ornament each year. • Watch a favorite holiday movie together as a family. • Decorate your Christmas tree with family and friends accompanied by your favorite Christmas carols. • Remind yourself to leave cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve.

Our Town




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Our Town

In early November we gathered at Andrew Edward’s Photography Studio in the Marietta Square with Callie Dauler and Tara Hanover for our December 2018 cover shoot. As you can see - a good time was had by all! Many thanks to Callie, Tara and Andrew who all share in Callie’s “Good Vibe Tribe”!

about the cover

In this month’s Lifestyle Report, Tara shares a conversation with Callie and how she keeps the gratitude vibe at the forefront of her life. We’re SO NOT surprised that Tara and Callie are great friends!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All! Linda and Lori

As the month of giving begins and as fun as receiving a present is, I want to point out that really it’s not about the physical gifts...the gift that is most important is the giving of ourselves: Our smiles, our time, our kindness and our gratitude. I want to introduce you to one of my friends who has seemed to master the talent of not only giving of herself, but mastered the act of gratitude...Callie Dauler. This native Atlantan (literally born in the city limits) is the wife of Star 94.1’s, Jeff Dauler, and mom to two rescue pups, Lily and Sadie. She is a super inspirational blogger with a very popular website and a devoted Instagram following. Her website covers everything from a daily dose of motivation to fashion to beauty favorite tabs to click on are “Good Vibes”, “The It List” and “Gift Guides”. When you visit you can find information on practically everything. I’d call it a current and trendy girls survival guide because let’s face it, we all need a little guidance and inspiration some days. 


Can you tell me about when you and Jeff first met and how you feel he has helped you grow as a person?


When we were dating, Jeff asked me if I would want to start writing down one thing a day that we were grateful for. I said “sure” nonchalantly and had

ZERO clue how much gratitude would change my life and become a central part of our world. For the past three years, we’ve written one thing down daily that we’re grateful for. Gratitude is a great mind trick because your brain starts the day thinking about what you have instead of what you don’t have. The abundance of love and happiness in our lives is 1000% a result of that daily routine. I started sharing a lot on Instagram about gratitude and how it’s completely changed our lives and it took on a life of its own. People would hear us talk about it and either say “OH MY GOSH I KNOW GRATITUDE IS AMAZING” or say, “I want to do that! Tell me more!”. The dialogue stemming from that has turned into an incredible group of people who not only experience real things, but who encourage each other to be better and to do better. It’s a little good vibe tribe. We printed our own gratitude journals and sold them to raise money for causes close to our hearts. This year, we are making a donation to The Letter Project for every journal sold. The Letter Project is a group of women that sit down to hand write letters to other women in need of support. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re going through, if you say you need a letter or let them know a friend needs a letter, you’ll get a letter. I love that. When Jeff and Jenn started the Jeff and Jenn Show on Star 94.1, they made a list of what they wanted to accomplish. At the top of their list? Making their listeners feel good. They want anyone who tunes in to the show to leave in a better mood than they started. That sentiment extends to my blog and my Instagram. There’s enough hurt and hate in the world. We want to focus on kindness and positivity. If we leave you feeling encouraged and hopeful, we’ve done something right.

Tara So it seems that you have found your perfect match in Jeff... gratitude teammates! However I do have to say in all the years I have known you, you always seem to be doing something AMAZING for others. This is nothing new...this is just who you are and have always been. 

Callie I know it’s the season of giving, but I really do embrace giving all the time. I

don’t mean making a financial investment in something (although that’s good too), I mean making an investment in yourself and in the world around you. I ask myself all the time- What can I do today that’s going to make me better tomorrow? Do I need an hour today to fill up my own cup or am I overflowing with awesomeness today and I can share that with someone else? I think it’s easy to forget how to emotionally invest in someone or cause because of how busy we are. Are you taking care of yourself? No? Find a way to get an hour of “you time” today. Make the time. Life will be there after that hour is up. Are you kind to everyone you interact with? Have you called a friend you haven’t thought about in a while? To me, those are the things that matter the most as it relates to giving. I love the expression “You can’t pour from an empty cup” because it is so true. If we take more time to fill ourselves up, we can give a better version of ourselves to other people who need us. When we make that investment in ourselves and others, suddenly you look around and there’s a whole group of “full” people who now have enough to fill other people up. It’s a ripple effect. It’s amazing and SO important.

We have an AMAZING announcement that Callie has been working on! Are you ready for this?

You can join her good vibe tribe by visiting Pottery Barn at Lenox Mall from December 1, 2018 through the 1st week of January 2019. Find the “good vibe space”, take a photo (with the quote) and then post it online with the tag @potterybarn_lenox and @calliedauler 

*POTTERY BARN WILL MAKE A DONATION TO ST. JUDE’S FOR EACH PHOTO!!!! Thanks Callie and thanks to Pottery Barn, Lenox....We’re proud to be a member of the “good vibe tribe”! **Also, please remember MUST Ministries Toy Shop...Christmas morning is exciting for the 4,000+ children whose struggling parents come to shop at one of the three MUST Toy Shops. Children in Cherokee and Cobb counties receive toys, fleece blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, school supplies, underwear, socks and a family game. Thanks to thousands of donations, the Toy Shops are well stocked for each parent to make special selections for their children. You can donate and item or your time.


Our Town


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Andrew has been a professional photographer with his studio on the Marietta Square since 1994. He has been published locally and nationally with several awards along the way. His success has been made possible because he has been able to provide his clients with fresh, creative photography with an emphasis on client satisfaction. Andrew truly enjoys photography and it shows in his work. He specializes in a wide range of photography including commercial, family portraits, senior portraits, weddings, professional headshots and has a great reputation with kids. His fun personality, artistic vision and technical knowledge have kept clients coming back through the years. Andrew’s style is a blend of traditional photography, lifestyle and photojournalism. Whether his clients want studio portraits, location or just something unique and different, Andrew is known for capturing the essence of the moment, which in his own words is the true measure of a great photograph. Andrew has also done extensive work with professional modeling and talent agencies in and around the metro area.

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Our Town

Love Where You Live

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Merry Christmas


CENTERING PREGNANCY® SITE Journey through motherhood in a comfortable community group setting with pregnancy care “centered”” around you. Our Centering Pregnancy® Program is a holistic and dynamic group model for expectant mothers that moves prenatal care out of the examination room and into a group setting combining health assessment, interactive learning, and community building.

Centering Pregnancy® • Your journey will begin after your first trimester and will consist of approximately 10 prenatal visits with a midwife and your “mom” group. Your “mom” group will be comprised of 8-12 expectant mothers who have similar due dates. • Our group prenatal care includes both private time with your provider and additional time for sharing and learning.

Why You’ll Love Centering Pregnancy® • You will spend more time with your providers • You will participate more in your own healthcare • You will be better prepared for your birth • You will be better prepared to care for your baby • You will make friendships that may last a lifetime For more information visit or contact us at 770-422-8700 Ob-Gyn Associates of Marietta is located at 699 Church Street Suite 300 Marietta, GA 30060

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*Valid through 11/30/16. Offer valued at $39. Valid for new patients only. *Valid through 11/30/16. Offer valued at $39. Valid for new See clinic for chiropractor(s)’ name and license info. Locations owned and *Valid through 11/30/16. Offer valued at $39. Valid for new patients only. SeeCalifornia, clinic forPCchiropractor(s)’ name and license info. Locations operated by Harkins Chiropractic Southern and managed through 11/30/16. Offer at $39. Valid for ofnew patients only. See clinic for chiropractor(s)’ name*Valid and license info. Locations owned andvalued operated by Harkins of Southern California, PC a by The Joint Copay claim based on 2015 Milliman ReportatChiropractic ($41). clinicCalifornia, for chiropractor(s)’ name andCorp. license info. Locations owned and operated by Harkins Chiropractic ofSee Southern PC and managed *Valid through 11/30/16. Offer valued $39. Valid for new patients only. by The Joint Corp. by The Joint Corp. Copay claim operated based on 2015 Milliman Chiropractic Report ($41). of Southern Restrictions may applyCalifornia, to Medicare eligible patients. Individual resultsCopay may claim based on 2015 Milliman R by Harkins PC and managed See clinic for chiropractor(s)’ name and license info. Locations owned and Restrictions apply to 11/30/16. Medicarebyeligible Individual results may The Joint Corp. Copay claim based on Milliman Report ($41). vary. ©for2016 The Joint2015 Corp. *Validmay through Offerpatients. valued at $39. Valid new patients only. Restrictions may apply to Medicare eligible patients. Individua


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LIMITEDconsultation, TIME OFFER visit includes exam and adjustment


Monday - FridayPlace 10:00AM• -Suite 7:00PM1011 • Saturday 10:00AM -GA 4:00PM 4500 West Village • Smyrna 30080 STOP BY TODAY. Sunday 12:00 Noon - 6:00PM 4500 West Village Place • Suite 1011 STOP BY TODAY.

Friday•10:00AM - 7:00PM • Saturday 10:00AM WestMonday Village-Place Suite 1011 • GA Smyrna GA 30080 Smyrna 30080

Sunday 12:00 Noon - 6:00PM y - Friday 10:00AM - Monday 7:00PM •- Friday Saturday 10:00AM - 4:00PM 10:00AM - 7:00PM Sunday 12:00Saturday Noon - 6:00PM 10:00AM - 4:00PM

See clinic for chiropractor(s)’ name and license info. Locations owned and operated by Harkins Chiropractic of Southern California, PC and managed by The Joint Corp. Copay claim based on 2015 Milliman Report ($41). Restrictions may apply to Medicare eligible patients. Individual results may vary. © 2017 The Joint Corp.


See clinic for chiropractor(s)’ name and license info. Locations owned

operatedOffer by Harkins Chiropractic of Southern California, PC *Valid throughand 12/31/18. valued at $39. managed by The Joint Corp. Copay claim based on 2015 Validand for new Report patients($41). only. Restrictions may apply to Medicare 4:00PM Milliman eligible patients. Individual may vary. © 2017 The Joint Corp. See clinic for chiropractor(s)’ name and license info.results Locations owned and operated by Harkins Chiropractic of Southern California, PC and managed by The Joint Corp. Copay claim based on 2015 Milliman Report ($41). Restrictions may apply to Medicare eligible patients. Individual results may vary. © 2017 The Joint Corp.

Orcutt Law Offices

Protecting you, your family, your future. With over 20 years of legal experience, we offer our clients individualized attention and customized legal planning in a comfortable environment.

Our Practice includes: Estate Planning for all ages Wills and Trusts Elder care and special needs law Long term care and veteran’s benefits planning Probate Services Call me for a free consultation 678-383-7857 Erika K. Orcutt, Esq. Orcutt Law Offices, LLC 2959 Cherokee St. NW •Suite 203 • Kennesaw, GA 30144

Photography by Dan O’Connell

A T L A N TA ’ S S P I N E S P E C I A L I S TS S I N C E 1 9 7 9 W e a r e A t l a n t a ’ s m o s t c o m p r e h e n s i v e s p i n e c e n t e r. Since 1979 we’ve prided ourselves on providing the most up-to-date spinal care on the market. From robotically navigated spine surgery and r e g e n e r a t i v e t h e r a p i e s , t o o u r u s e o f i F a c t o r, t h e o n l y bone graft product FDA approved for cervical fusions, you can feel confident that you are receiving the best care.





• Over 20 years of experience

Mix & Match 6-Packs or Single Options Available

• Craft Beer, Spirits, & Wine Consultants on Site


with a Variety of Exclusive Store Barrel Picks such as 1792, Knob Creek, Maestro Dobel, etc.

• Cigars Available • Kegs Upon Request


• We Take Special Requests • Party/Wedding Planning Available


3997 Dallas Highway • Marietta, Ga 30064 • 770-966-2148 • Located at the top of the hill next to Sprouts.

A big part of the American Dream is centered on owning your own home. For this reason, real estate is a subject that never strays too far from people’s minds. After all, real estate is all about homes: Where you live, where the market is, and what neighborhoods are like. With all of this to consider, many people find themselves asking whether they should buy or rent? If this question has been hopping around in your mind, here are the follow up questions you should ask yourself.

QUESTIONS TO ASK: • How long do you plan to stay in the area?  • Do you want to be responsible for repairs?  • What are the financial perks?  1. HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO STAY IN THE AREA?  Are you planning on moving to a different state or city in the next few months or in a couple years? If you are, you are probably considering renting instead of buying for two reasons. Renters not only have the benefit of relatively low upfront costs when compared to buying a house, renters also have a cut and dry date that they can move. Renters know when their lease will end and when they either have to reup their lease or look for a new home. Most homebuyers, on the other hand, will have to wait until after they sell their home to move. With a professional real estate agent selling your home may actually be a quick process, but it’s worth keeping in mind that you may have to wait a couple months to sell a home.

2. DO YOU WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REPAIRS? When you a buy a home, you buy every part of it. This can be incredibly exciting as it gives you the ability to customize your home! This also means, however, that you’re responsible for any maintenance issues your home may have. For each home, home warranty, and HOA, the maintenance issues you’re responsible for may differ. Some HOA fees cover landscaping, some don’t. Some people have home warranties that cover appliances breaking and roof damage. Make sure that when you’re considering whether to buy or rent, you’re also considering the responsibilities that come with it.    3. WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL PERKS?  If you are planning on staying in the area for a while, buying a home may be a worthwhile investment. When you rent, your monthly payments come out of your pocket and go straight to your landlord. However, if your monthly payments are for your own home then your money is an investment. Homebuyers also benefit because they may see a ROI and a few tax breaks. For the past couple of years home values has been trending upwards, so not only will your monthly payments be an investment for yourself, but when you’re ready to sell you may see a sizeable return! Furthermore, homebuyers may be able to deduct their interest from their taxes. This can help offset some of the costs homebuyers have in the beginning.  4. COMPARING SIMILAR HOMES THAT ARE FOR RENT VERSES FOR SALE.  What realize homes quality

renters ultimately when looking at to rent is that the and condition is

Holiday Open House Join us for some British Treats whilst you shop our showroom. Sat. December 8th - 10am to 4pm

Simple Decorating for the Holidays For a great tablescape, take a silver serving tray and tuck Christmas bulbs and greenery in to make a simple but elegant centerpiece. Turn holiday-theme scrapbooking papers into an inexpensive tabletop display. Cut and fold papers to create simple cone trees of different sizes. Secure the seams with double-sided tape. For a dazzling effect, hang single-color ornaments tied with ribbon from a window near your table. Improvise a tiered cakes stand by placing an urn or vase upside down on a large plate and setting a smaller plate on the top. Tie wide ribbons around solid-color pillows as if they’re presents going under the tree. Place on chairs, sofas or beds for an instant spot of holiday color.

404.351.4464 • 4880 S. Atlanta Road SE, Atlanta, GA 30339 (1 mile inside I285 on the right hand side, look for the British flags)

Beautify a birdbath by adding fresh greenery, a large red ball, red-painted pinecones and a bright bow to bring a festive look to the winter scenery. OPEN Monday - Friday 9AM - 5PM • Saturday 10AM - 4PM

Place paper whites in a large compote or bowl. Cove the potting soil with mini ball ornaments in colors that coordinate with your holiday scheme. Celebrate the season’s simple joys by creating a free flowing look on your mantle with natural materials: green apples, pinecones and long-needle evergreen branches. Turn surplus ornaments into an easy holiday display. Choose coordinating colors of ornaments in urns, vases, goblets and bowls of different sizes. Finish with bright green pine branches for a woodsy touch.

404.351.4464 • 4880 S. Atlanta Road, SE • Atlanta, GA 30339 (1 mile inside I285 on the right hand side, look for the British flags) O PEN M ONDAY - F RIDAY 9 AM - 5 PM • S ATURDAY 10 AM - 4 PM

Luxury Living in Acwor th The Holbrook is bringing a new way of living to Acworth. Enchanting, state-of-the-art cottages, luxury residences and unmatched amenities and services — all designed to live a life filled with possibilities and passion.

We want to pamper you before the holidays Come join us for a mani & Pedi • deCember 6th • 11am - 1Pm and learn more about The holbrook and our limited move in sPeCials! Nail Care Spa • 3805 Dallas HWY SW Suite 104 • Marietta 30064 404-909-5625 Call to RSVP

CaPers informational lunCh • deCember 11th • 11:30am - 1Pm 1635 Old Highway 41• Suite 403 • Kennesaw 30152 404-909-5625 Call to RSVP Come check out our limited move-in specials! Now reserving cottages. Opening in 2019. Schedule an appointment today. • (404) 445-7777

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500 Concord Rd. SE Smyrna, GA 30082 770-432-5455 ™

Dr. Barry Cohen has been a respected Orthodontist in the Smyrna area since 1988 and is a Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. In mid-2017, Dr. Matt Cohen joined the practice to make a strong father/son team. At Cohen Orthodontics, we provide interceptive treatment, comprehensive adolescent as well as adult orthodontic treatment with traditional appliances, metal and clear braces and Invisalign for teen and adults. Our goal is to work with you every step of the way to ensure your treatment is as relaxed, convenient and rewarding as possible.




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(Continued from page 18)

much better in the ones that are for sale. A home that someone buys will normally have a lower monthly payment than a rent payment. There are usually many more homes to choose from that are for sale, than the available ones for rent within the same area of the search.  

It’s always best to contact a Real Estate agent for guidance whether renting or buying. Renting and buying are both exciting ideas that require time and consideration. If you’re torn between the two, or even if you’ve already made the decision, contact your local real estate agent! An experienced real estate agent will help find the perfect place for you! Make sure to visit Deb on the Web for more information. 

*details on website find us on GIVING TREE YOGA 1295 W. SPRING ST. #120 SMYRNA MARKET VILLAGE

DEBORAH RATCHFORD Top Producing Agent • Keller Williams Cityside Office: 770-874-6382 • Cell: 678-570-4779

Unlike the typical physical therapy practice, our patients experience private and individualized treatment, one on one. We evaluate your whole person while focusing on the area of injury to achieve the ultimate goal of total body bo wellness.

Mari Smith, PT, DPT Advanced training in Neurological and Vestibular Disorders

Call today to schedule a complementary consultation to discuss your pain or injury with one of our physical therapists!

Orthopedic Dysfunction

Alexis Lowery, PT, DPT, OCS Board Certiied Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and Certiied Manual Trigger Point Therapist

Seth R. Oberst, DPT, SCS, CSCS Board Certiied Specialist in Sports Rehabilitation, Advanced training in treating Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain 3680 Highlands Parkway, Smyrna, GA 30082

Board Certiied Specialist in Women's Health and Pelvic Floor Disorders

Advanced training in treating the Spine and Orthopedic Dysfunction, Certiied Manual Trigger Point Therapist

Katie Moise, PT, DPT

Kellie Dushner, DPT Specialist in Women's Health and Pelvic Floor Disorders, Certiied Manual Trigger Point Therapist

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Tony Fox, PT, DPT

Jessica Reale, PT, DPT, WCS

Specialist in Orthopedic Dysfunction and Pelvic Health, Certiied Manual Trigger Point Therapist  

Vertigo and Balance Impairment

(770) 989-1405

We will be collecting toys for our local military families.

Melissa is known as the Bear of Real Estate. Melissa and Angie have over 30 years of Real Estate experience and were named the # 1 Sales Team in 2014. She and her associates are very protective of their clients. Their team is fully staffed to provide excellent customer service. •

Direct: 404.793.BEAR (2327) • Cell: 770.310.3269 Don’t Settle for the Bare Minimum, Go with the Bear of Real Estate!

patrick patrick family dental care

family dental care

The Patrick Dental Team

Offering comprehensive dental care for your entire family in a comfortable environment.

770.863.0005 4480 Cooper Lake Rd. • Suite 210 Smyrna, GA 30082 At the corner of Cooper Lake & the E-W Connector Dr. Leslie Sclafini Patrick & Dr. Alex Patrick



NOW HIRIN G DEDICATE D STAFF training ava ilable

Welcome Home...


SPECIALIZING IN THE TREATMENT OF Bunions, Hammertoes, Heel Pain, and Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. Mike Laur 4450 Calibre Crossing - Suite 1130 Acworth, GA 30101

678-403-7000 PAGE 24

RSON DayBreak Village, your warm and friendly home nestled in the heart of historic Kennesaw. DayBreak Village provides our residents with the lifestyle they want, services they deserve and care they need!

Schedule your tour today, call 770-790-7008 3056 Cherokee Street • Kennesaw, GA 30144

“Where your next chapter of wonderful begins…” INDEPENDENT LIVING • PERSONAL CARE • RESPITE • HOSPICE • 24/7 STAFF

Our Town

Moving you closer to your potential one interaction at a time. At KLH Leadership Consulting... We help Executives at the Manager, Director, VP level and start up businesses identify the priorities to success, remove obstacles to peak performances and implement a plan for immediate impact! We provide tailored solutions in Leadership and Strategy that move you forward: One step




closer to your potential. Please contact us for a complimentary business review to see how KLH Leadership Consulting can support your business goals.

The 2018 edition of the annual Lights of LIFE on the campus of Life University, will run every night, rain or shine, through New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31st. LIFE introduced the Lights of LIFE in 1989 as a gift to the local community, and it has now grown to be one of the most popular light shows in the Southeast, attracting nearly half a million spectators from the surrounding region. Cars, vans and buses cruise through the spectacularly illuminated campus each year, often stopping along the 1.5-mile drive to enjoy an array of seasonal entertainments. Costs are $5 per car Monday through Thursday, $10 per car on Friday through Sunday, as well as November 22-25 and December 14-31. It is $20 per bus regardless of the day. Families are encouraged to come during the week to take advantage of the lower price, as well as to avoid the busier weekend traffic. The display opens at dark every night and runs until 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Each year, the display is a little different, making each experience unique. With more than one million LED bulbs, combined with the low cost, Lights of LIFE is the most affordable, quality light display in the metro area. As in years past, Santa Claus will be visiting on weekends for photographs. Pony rides ($5 per rider), train rides ($3 per rider) and the petting zoo ($3 per person) will also return, as will our concession stand, offering seasonal drinks and snacks for purchase. The Lights of LIFE is a zero-profit operation. Per-car fees go to offset the cost of electricity and those associated with ongoing operations. Fees for individual goods and services are at the discretion of the vendors.


Our Town

Expert care with your child’s future in mind. A positive, caring dental experience for your child, focused on prevention.

Our commitment is to make you and your child feel

welcome, informed, comfortable, and respected. Our key philosophy is prevention.

We provide the best care with a personalized approach. Our commitment is to make you and your child feel

ic Dentistry ediatr of P rd a Bo

mate of the A Diplo me ric a

We provide the best care with a personalized approach.


Our key philosophy is prevention.


welcome, informed, comfortable, and respected.

Independently rated Top Independently rated Pediatric Dentist by Atlanta Magazine and Five Star Professional in 2014!

Independently rated TopDentist by Top Pediatric Pediatric Dentist by Atlanta Atlanta Magazine and Five Star Magazine and Five Star Professional in 2014 & 2018 Professional 2014! Lifestyle Magazine! also “Best Of” in Vinings Trust your child’s oral health to a pediatric dentist and a team with unparalleled experience.

Trust your child’s oral health to a pediatric dentist and a team with unparalleled experience.

bb pe t wh o lives in Wes t Co Cider is a re d br ind le Whip He ts each day wi th a ru n. wi th his fami ly.  He st ar he r his mom an d even he lps th wi s nd ra er n ru to es lov He rite sn ac k is Ch ick-fil-A .  ca rr y ite ms !  Cider ’s favo ize n te st at 6 mo nt hs old ha s pa ss ed his K9 Go od Cit y do g. an d as pires to be a th erap


JOIN US AT OUR FAMILY OPEN HOUSE January 13, 2019 | 3:30pm–5:30pm

Informational Coffees Also Available December 11, January 8 & 29, and February 5 | 9:30am–11:30am St. Benedict’s Episcopal School is a close-knit community that embodies the traditions of Episcopal schools to provide a diverse, faith-based education with high standards of excellence. We are an independent school serving students in preschool through 8th grade.

For more information and to register for one of our events, please visit our website at or call (678) 279-4300.

Hi ! My name is Ch oc o. I’m a 3 ye ar old Sh ih po o. I lo ve to travel an d ta ke ca r rid es . I lik e to ge t rubb ed right be hi nd m y ea rs . I lo ve to sh ow m y tr ick s an d ge t so me pe an ut s as a treat. My fam ily lo ve s me an d I lo ve th em .

f rom s a m t s i r h C Me r r y ! s i t O & y z e e H ubb a, Br

K4 – 8th Grade Educating Christian families since 1975

Visit our website for more information and to sign up for an Open House or a Tuesday Tour.

M in dy is a 15 ye ar old M al te se -p oo dle m ix w ho lo ve s ever yo ne th at sh e m ee ts . Sh e lo ve s treats an d preten ds to go ou ts ide an d pe e so w he n sh e comes ba ck in th e ho us e sh e ge ts a treat. Sh e is no w de af in he r old age bu t un de rs ta nd s sig n la ng uage .

If you would like your pet to be Our Town’s Pet of the Month, then email a photo with a short bio to:


2953 N. Cobb Pkwy., • Suite 16/17 Kennesaw, GA 30152

678-483-6880 Our Town

Tips to Stay Safe While Traveling Abroad by Heather Mileski

A question I often get, especially concerning international travel, is about safety and whether a particular destination is safe to visit. The vast majority of destinations are very safe for travelers. Regardless of where you’re traveling here are some things to keep in mind. Before you leave, log onto the U.S. State Department’s travel website and register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This is where you will find the latest information about any security concerns and/ or travel advisories associate with your destination. Make sure that you register with STEP before you travel so the State Department knows where you are and can easily find you if there is an emergency such as an evacuation due to a hurricane, a medical emergency, political unrest, and the like. It only takes a few minutes to register and is incredibly helpful if there is a situation that arises. S mart T raveler E nrollment P rogram A SERVICE OF THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS

U.S. Department of State

Create Account

What is STEP?

Log In

Benefits of Enrolling in STEP

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Stay Safe!

Learn common travel scams for your destination – Before you leave, Google travel scams, as well as, travel scams with your specific travel destination. The results will prepare you for what’s out there. Some examples are the broken taximeter scam, the overbooked or closed hotel scam, the found ring, or the friendship bracelet. Keep copies of your important travel documents with you in a safe place – Before leaving home, make photocopies of all of your important travel documents (passports, visas, etc.) as well as all of the credit cards and insurance cards you are traveling with and keep them in a safe place with you while you travel in case anything is lost or stolen. Typically, the safe in your hotel room is the best location. Also make sure you keep a copy at home with friends or family in case the information is needed. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Create Organization/Group Account Subscribe or Unsubscribe FAQ Contact Us Privacy Paperwork Reduction Act

Stay Connected


Travel.State.Gov U.S. Embassies & Consulates Country Information Latest Travel Advisories

Write down emergency information and keep it with you at all times – If, heaven forbid, you have an emergency while traveling, time is of the essence and you don’t want to be scrambling to find basic contact information. Program important numbers and addresses - such as the US Consulate, the hotel you are staying at, etc. – into your phone and also keep a written copy of this information in your


wallet, bag, or purse. This gives you a backup in case one of the two is stolen, lost, or damaged. Cash, cards, and ATMs – Before you leave, let your financial institutions know where your are traveling to help protect your information (they can flag your cards for high dollar transactions) and also to ensure that they won’t freeze your accounts if they see unusual activities such as charges in a foreign country. Only withdraw money at banks to avoid ATM scams. Travel with as little cash as possible and use cards over cash. Make sure you hide some emergency cash (sewn into the lining of a pair of pants, hidden in a fake shaving cream can, etc.) in case your money is lost or stolen. Try to not look like a tourist and avoid unsafe areas – Nothing screams ‘tourist’ like a t-shirt announcing the location you’re visiting and a camera. Try to dress similar to the locals. Familiarize yourself with the area you’re visiting prior to heading out for the day and be discreet if you’re looking at a map. Pay attention to the people around you, and be wary if someone seems too interested in you. Generally speaking, if you see women and children walking around in the area it’s going to be a safe area to be in. If you’re unsure, ask the concierge at the hotel before venturing out for the day. Keep expensive items at home – Don’t travel with expensive jewelry, purses, and tech gadgets. These items will draw attention to you and make you an easy target to spot. Avoid using public WiFi – Public WiFi is not secure! There’s no easier way to get your personal data hacked than using public WiFi, particularly in another country. Use secure networks or the data network for your cellular company instead. It’s worth paying for roaming fees to save the hassle of having your personal data stolen. For an extra layer of security when traveling abroad, turn your cellular data off except when you are actively using it so someone can’t hack into your phone and/or apps. Don’t post on social media while you’re traveling – I know this one is difficult because we all get excited to share our latest travel adventure with our family and friends back home. Posting on social media while you are traveling, though, is a great way to get your home broken into because you’re letting everyone know that no one is there! If you do choose to post on social media while traveling make sure that your location settings are turned off to ensure that you aren’t an easy target to find for local criminals. These are a few tips to help keep you and your family safe while traveling. Above all else, using common sense and trusting your gut is good advice. If something seems too good to be true or feels off, it probably is.

SAFE TRAVELS! Heather is a travel agent specializing in Disney Destinations, Universal Orlando, Sandals/Beaches, cruises and more. Email her at heather@ Visit her on FB @heatheryellowshoetravel for updates and more.

Our Town

Smyrna Pediatric Dentistry is excited to announce our opening in the Belmont Physician’s Center! Dr. Sara Twardy is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist focused on creating a personalized experience for patients and parents. We look forward to being part of the Cobb County community!

• Board Certified Pediatric Dentist • 5-Star Reviewed • In-Network with traditional insurances • Games, books & toys for children • Pediatric Sedation • One-doctor practice for individualized •

attention Convenient to Smyrna, Vinings, Marietta & West Cobb

678-324-7335 • 1060 Windy Hill Road SE • Suite 220 • Smyrna, GA 30080



Studies show that children who spend time in the garden develop a love for fruits and vegetables.

Same day sick and well child checkup appointments (770) 941-7709 Monday-Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM Cobb Pediatric Associates is excited to announce that BALANCED LEARNING WAY:

we will soon be moving to a new office at the Belmont

Look, I made a carrot!

Physicians Center in the Smyrna/Vinings area. We are a


well established pediatric practice which has been serving


the Cobb County community for 40 years. We welcome

Primrose School of Providence Pavilion 770.819.1286 |

new patients!

Primrose School of Smyrna West 678.217.4455 |

Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools® and Balanced Learning® are registered trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2017 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail.


WE MOVED! Now located in Belmont Hills 1060 Windy Hill Rd. Smyrna, GA 30080


Our Town

Tis the Season for Backyard Birds! ®

AIR & KILN DRIED FIREWOOD DELIVERY AVAILABLE NEIGHBORS FEED & SEED SUPPLY CO. 1565 Roswell Street • Smyrna 678-653-8838 • 1/2 mile from the Market Village Across the RR tracks in Historic Williams Park

Santa House in Smyrna

Make sure to get your wish list ready because Santa’s coming to town!

Young Children and the young at heart may hand deliver Christmas Wish Lists to Aunt Fanny’s Cabin (located on Atlanta Road across the street from the Market Village) at the Santa House in Smyrna and have a private conversation with the jolly old elf himself. Santa will be available each weekend in December before Christmas. This event is co-sponsored by the Smyrna Optimist Club and the City of Smyrna. The Santa House will be held in the Smyrna Welcome Center – (Aunt Fanny’s Cabin) 2861 Atlanta Road – Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 to 8pm through December 23rd.

2018 SANTA HOUSE SCHEDULE: December December December December


1 - 2     7 - 9      14 - 16  21 - 23

Our Town

Reflections Skin and Laser has a genuine desire to enhance your self image and confidence at any age by delivering results-driven individualized treatment plans, quality care with state-of-the-art equipment through our highly trained staff, emphasizing a personal clinician-client relationship.


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HOLIDAY SANGRIA • 2 750 ml bottles of your favorite white wine, like Pinot Grigio • 1 pomegranate • 2 oranges, sliced thin • 6 ounces cranberries, about 1 1/2 cups • 1 cup pomegranate juice • 2 cups ginger ale, or club soda for a less sweet version

1. In a large pitcher, combine the white wine, pomegranate arils, orange slices, cranberries and pomegranate juice. 2. Chill for at least one hour. 3. Stir in the ginger ale and serve.





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INGREDIENTS • 2 cups lightly packed shredded Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) * • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed shredded Swiss cheese (about 6 ounces) * • 2 tablespoons cornstarch • 1 cup low-sodium, good-quality chicken broth • 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice (don’t leave this out! I just gave a quick squeeze of a lemon without properly measuring) • 1 tablespoon finely minced or pressed garlic • 1/4 teaspoon ground black or white pepper • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg • Dash of paprika

DIRECTIONS 1. Place both the shredded Gruyere and Swiss cheeses in a gallon-size re-sealable bag with the cornstarch and shake until evenly coated. 2. In a stovetop-safe fondue pot (or in a regular saucepan or electric fondue pot), add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and garlic and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cheese, a small handful at a time, stirring constantly, but not briskly. Use a wooden spoon and stir in an S-shaped motion, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t burn. 3. Once the cheese is melted and begins to just barely simmer, add the remaining spices and move it immediately to the table on the fondue stand with the sterno flame below. It should be the consistency of warm honey. Add more or less cheese for perfect consistency and additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.



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4. Serve with your favorite dippers: steamed broccoli and/or cauliflower, carrots, apples, chicken sausages, bread, bread and more bread, lightly sautéed mushrooms, or tender potatoes. *FONDUE CONNESOUERS RECOMMEND THAT YOU SHRED THE SWISS AND GRUYERE CHEESES AND DO NOT BUY PRE-PACKAGED SHREDDED CHEESE DUE CONSISTANCY. 4-6 SERVINGS


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SPECIALIZING IN: Public/Private Wine Events Wine Tastings & Education One of Atlanta’s Oldest Wine Clubs Pouring Wine & Beer by the Glass & Bottle Retail Sales of Wine & Beer The Vineyard Wine Market at Smyrna Market Village 1295 W. Spring St. • Suite 100 • Smyrna, Ga 30080

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It’s the most Wonderful time of the Year, a chance to partake in a number of joyous events with co-workers, friends and family. It’s also a time to reflect, rejoice and to remember the true meaning of the holiday. When I think of the holidays, only one wine comes to mind, SPARKLING. Whether it be Champagne, Cava, Prosecco or others, nothing yelps celebration like a glass full of bubbles. Why? Early on in my experience with wine, I asked one question about sparkling wine. “What do the bubbles actually add to my experience?” According to Gérard Liger-Belair, a professor in the laboratory of Enology (wine studies) and applied Chemistry at the University of Reims Champagne– Ardenne in France, as written in the American Chemical Society’s “The Journal of Physical Chemistry B”, notes that effervescence plays an important role in the look, taste, aroma and mouth feel of champagne and other sparkling wines. I have long been of the understanding that there are as many as 35 to 40 million bubbles in a bottle of proper Champagne. Have I been wrong all along? The answer may not be as simple as sitting around on a Saturday afternoon counting bubbles in a glass then extrapolating the numbers in a bottle. Liger-Belair suggests, that much of the carbon dioxide escapes from the bottle and glass without forming bubbles at all. He also suggests that the temperature of the wine is also a factor in determining the number of bubbles. Liger-Belair advocates, the temperature, the process of creating the sparkling wine and the size and position of the glassware all play into the final numbers of bubbles in the glass. Meaning, the process in which it is made, whether traditional champagne method or other manual processes, the temperature at the time of pouring, and the stemware play an important part of the number of bubbles experienced. The answer is not precise, but according to Liger-Belair, you should experience about 1 million bubbles per glass. Which extrapolates to about 8-10 million per bottle. What to do next Saturday?


So that’s the bubbles, but what flavor do the bubbles add? Bubbles do more than tickle your tongue and your nose. They add flavor to the experience!

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The bubbles themselves actually taste different than the liquid remaining in your stemware. Think of them as a flavor train, not to your palate, but to your nose. In the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal, Liger-Belair suggests that the effervescence is filled with “so called surface-active compounds”, chemicals that are attracted to interfaces between gas and liquid—some of which play a role in conveying the aroma of the wine. (Even when a substance is on the tongue, aromatics contribute to flavor, which is a blend of taste and smell). So let me put it in a manner we non-scientists can understand. When you open a bottle of Champagne or any other sparkling wine, you are not only ready to begin a party, you are releasing a party from the bottle. The bubbles themselves are on a journey, to all of your senses. And, don’t worry. There is no scientific proof that bubbles make you inebriated faster, just be cautious of how much you have. One last thing, be careful opening that bottle of sparkling wine. The speed of the cork in an uncontrolled release can reach up to 25 to 30 mph. Here are the steps to opening that bottle of sparkling wine. You’ll need a clean towel: Step 1 Remove foil from the bottle Step 2 Cover the cork with a towel and place your thumb firmly on the top of the cork. Step 3 Twist the cage wire 6 times counter clockwise while your thumb is firmly in place. Step 4 Hold the cork and wire firmly in your hand and twist the bottle slowly with your other hand. Step 5 Your cork will release with a wisp instead of a pop If you want the pop, just make sure the cork is not pointed at any human or pet.

As you traverse the final days of the year, always be cognizant of your alcohol consumption and utilize the myriad of ride-share services, for your safety and the safety of others. We at The Vineyard Wine Market wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy Holidays. -- it costs less than $4.

My boys love their videogames, and I can’t blame them; the graphics are amazing, as are the sound effects and the various in-game challenges they can attempt to earn achievements and bonuses that keep the games fun and new. Digital games are going to be part of their lives, no matter how much I wish they’d reduce their screen time, so I figure I might as well try and find ways to use their enjoyment of these types of entertainment to my advantage. One of the ways I do this is by finding ways to link science or math topics to their love of games. It’s not always easy, but occasionally I find something that grabs their attention. My boys spend a lot of time in games that are three-dimensional – Minecraft and Roblox for my youngest, and Fortnite for my oldest. In all of these games, there are always objects in the distance as well as nearby. That got me thinking about how our eyes work to help us see in 3D and determine what is near and what is far away. Depth perception requires two eyes and uses a process called stereoscopic vision.

Next, you’ll need to figure out how to take a screenshot in your game. On an iPad, it’s easy. Just press the Home button and the Sleep button at the same time. You’ll want to Google “How to take screenshot on” and the name of your device – Xbox, Switch, Windows, Mac, etc. You’ll follow those instructions to take two screenshots. (You’ll also want to make sure the game is in first-person view – this means your character doesn’t appear on screen. Instead, the view is as if you are standing there looking through your own eyes.) Take the first screenshot. Make sure there are things in the distance and things nearby. This will be the image that your right eye “sees.” Next, shift to the left just a tiny amount. This can take some practice, but in Minecraft it works be pressing the A key quickly; you’ll move to the left just a tiny amount. Take a second screenshot. This will be the image your left eye “sees.” Download these screenshots and print them out (color works best) just like you would photographs. Put the photos side-by-side, making certain

To see in 3D, your brain converts the light that enters the left eye into an image. The light entering your right eye is also converted into an image. Your brain then takes these two images and merges them into a single “image.” This happens constantly and fast… it’s how we can interact with the world around us using our eyes and make decisions based on objects and persons that are close by… or far away. We reach for a book or tap the brakes on our car when we approach a red light.

the “right eye” photo is on the right.

Our brain must merge these two images properly to allow us to have depth perception… the ability to differentiate between near and far objects. You can have your child prove there are two images by holding a book a few feet in front of them. Have them look at the book with their left eye (right eye closed) and then with their right eye (left eye closed). Ask them if the book shifted position as they flip between left and right eye. The farther away an object is, the less of a shift that object will take.

Look at the two photos through your stereoscopic viewer. You’ll have to experiment with the proper distance between the viewer and the photos, but once you’ve found it, the right and left images should blend into a single 3D image. You may have to trim the photos down in size to get the effect; place the right photo on top of the left photo and trim ½” to 1” from the left and right edges. Trim the photos together to ensure they remain the same size.

Now here’s the fun part. A videogame on a TV screen is a flat image. It’s also known as two-dimensional. Even though a mountain looks to be far away and a tree appears to be closer, on the screen they are flat and the same distance away from the viewer. But there’s a fun and simple way to view a Minecraft world or Fortnite scene in three dimensions… and I hope your kids like this.

I’ve taken numerous photos inside my sons’ games – Fortnite and Minecraft – and given them the ability to see their games in 3D. I hope your kids enjoy the effect, too.

First, you’ll also need a stereoscopic viewer such as this one -- http://ww-

and programming. He lives in Smyrna, Georgia with his wife and two boys.

James Floyd Kelly is a full-time technology writer. He has written over 35 books on a variety of technologies that includes LEGO robotics, 3D printing,

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R esidents and an Involved HOA Give the Villas at Montclair in Smyrna a New Look! Reader, Brian Ollison, contacted us this fall with a great story about community teamwork and what can be accomplished when a neighborhood joins forces and works together. The Villas at Montclair (a townhome development with 72 homes) was one of the first luxury townhome communities built in Atlanta in 2001. Anyone who has lived in a community with an HOA, can tell you that the many personalities and opinions involved in a large group can be, well, let’s just say complicated. Brian pointed out to us that the Villas at Montclair was somewhat unique, “We have a very diverse demographic as far as age and race go, yet all of our residents share a common trait of community pride.” $500,000 had been marked as an item in their reserve study, which forecasted the required maintenance work and associated costs for 30 years. Brian explained, “Repainting and restoring the exterior of our homes was on the list of required maintenance to be done and funds had been allocated for the project through our HOA fees. A few residents had noticed that the color scheme for our trim, gutters and garages was nearly 18 years old and appeared dated compared to some of the newer developments in the area.” On the list of things to be repaired were rotten wood, windows, chimneys and an upgrade to architectural roofing shingles. The most difficult part of the process was getting a majority of the residents to agree on the color change and to agree on the changes. This is where teamwork and participation definitely kicked in. The residents of the Villas at Montclair used their community Facebook group page and a web page that was dedicated entirely to the project ( to share renderings and updated color schemes. They had 5 companies come out to give them quotes for the projects and decided on Blueprint based on price and reputation. “Blueprint painted two sample homes in our community with the new color combination. We also sent a simple survey out to homeowners asking them whether they though we should keep the original colors or update to recommended colors. A team of residents went door to door to ensure everyone was aware of the survey. At the end we only had 5 out of 72 homeowners that preferred the original colors,” Brian shared. Many residents jumped on board to get involved and three committees were formed to assist in running the project. Brian added, ”We hired an experienced project manager to represent us, and Blueprint also had a project manager on site. Both managers, along with a board member did regular walkthroughs. Our project manager often identified things that needed to be re-addressed. Residents were free to contact Blueprint re-

garding their individual units which helped to smooth things along.” In conclusion, Brian happily explained, “The community is very happy with the results. Prior to the project, many residents voiced concerns about our dues considering we do not have a pool or clubhouse. However, after seeing real results, everyone has a newfound appreciation of the value of having an HOA that has the authority and resources to ensure the community is kept up. In the end, the project was a success because our community came together and got the job done as a team.” Kudos to the residents at the Villas of Montclair for the wonderful work they’ve been able to accomplish with community collaboration- Great job!


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Keeping Your Pup and Christmas Tree Safe During the Holidays The holiday season is right around the corner and many of us will decorate our homes with a variety of adornments. Lights, Christmas trees, presents, Menorahs, yummy treats and more will be placed out for your families and friends and pups to enjoy. Every year we hear about the antics some of your pups have experienced during this time of year! Stories of stolen gifts, eaten treats, broken bulbs and tipped over trees are shared with our team! While these stories are often entertaining, sometimes our guests tell us of injuries or irreplaceable gifts being destroyed. This year, we decided to share with you 5 success tips for the most common area of danger and antics to the dogs: the beloved Christmas tree!



There are many options out there to elevate your tree just enough to keep your curious pup from drinking the tree’s water or using the tree as a potty spot. Water from pine trees can be potentially toxic and drinking all that water can lead to housebreaking issues. And when you put what seems like the best potty spot ever in your living room, you run the risk of your pup using it as so! Options to elevate your tree include stands, tree collars, boxes and more. Not only will this eliminate potential potty problems, it will also keep your pup from drinking the tree’s water!

While we have all seen the Christmas movies use tipped-over trees as a comedic device, it is not really funny. Curious pets can accidentally tip or knock over a tree and this can be dangerous, a fire hazard and a general mess. By purchasing a sturdy stand to secure the base of the tree, you will help anchor the tree securely to the floor. Go the extra mile, place the tree in a corner and securely anchor it to the ceiling or wall. Tie heavy weighted fishing line to the top of your tree and then tie the other end to a molly bolt secured in the wall nearby or the ceiling above the tree. This ensures the tree will remain upright and not in a heap during your festivities.

SET UP TREE EARLY: Begin with a bare tree before you decorate! Bring your tree into the house (in the stand and filled with water) and let it sit for a few days. This will allow your pup to explore and then ignore the tree before you adorn it with your lights and ornaments. They will likely have lost all interest by the time you plug in the final bulb. The tree will also have a few days to settle and really reach its best state, making your decorating even easier.

DECORATE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE CORRECTLY: Skip the glass ornaments when you have curious hounds. Instead choose shatterproof Christmas ornaments, such as silver bells, silk, wooden, cloth or paper ornaments and even natural ornaments, all which are great alternatives. These ornaments rarely get damaged when played with by curious pets and there are many beautiful options on the market. Avoid adorning your tree with any edible ornaments such as popcorn strings, candy canes or berries as these will likely get eaten by your pup and could encourage eating other adornments as well.

ALARM YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE: Dogs have an uncanny way of knowing when you are distracted and using their time to get themselves into mischief. Avoid this by setting an “alarm” on your tree. Simply secure sleigh bells on the bottom branches of your tree and should a nosey pet begin exploring your tree, the bells will notify you of their antics so you can intervene. You can also place faux presents around the base of the tree! Filling gift bags with aluminum foil or tissue paper and then setting them around the base of the tree will not only make the tree beautiful but also sound the alarm if your pet gets too close. Some families opt to skip the alarm and simply invest in a baby gate system to surround the tree and block all pets from getting to close. We hope that these tips help to keep your Christmas tree and your pup safe this holiday season!

Thank you for allowing us to care for your beloved pups and to serve our community every day. And to each of you, we wish you a beautiful and peaceful holiday season and a Happy New Year. Established by Certified Canine Behavioral Consultant and Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Amber Burckhalter, K-9 Coach is Atlanta’s ONLY complete canine experience, providing industry-leading: Training, Playcare, Lodging & Grooming. @K9CoachLLC – Facebook • K9CoachAtlanta - Instagram • @K9CoachAtlanta – Twitter


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with Santa, or a tryst with Classic Santa to maintain a Marietta tradition of nearly 20 years. A special day for pets to visit Santa Paws is available on Thursday, December 6th and Thursday, December 13. Pre-paid photo packages and pre-booking are available on-line at, no purchase necessary!

LIGHTS OF LIFE: Now through December 31st at Life University, 1269 Barclay Circle in Marietta. LIFE introduced the Lights of LIFE in 1989 as a gift to the local community, and it has now grown to be one of the most popular light shows in the Southeast, attracting nearly half a million spectators from the surrounding region. Cars, vans, and buses cruise through the spectacularly illuminated campus each year, often stopping along the 1.5-mile drive to enjoy an array of seasonal entertainments. For more information, visit CANDLELIGHT SHOPPING ON MARIETTA SQUARE: Every Friday in December until Christmas Eve from 5-9pm. SANTA HOUSE AT AUNT FANNY’S CABIN: Visit with Santa at Aunt Fanny’s Cabin (located across the street from the Market Village) 2875 Atlanta Rd., SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. Bring your wish list and have your picture taken with Santa! Presented by the City of Smyrna and the Smyrna Optimist Club. December 1-2, Dec 7-9, Dec 14-16, Dec 21-23 from

CHRISTMAS AT PIEDMONT: Piedmont Church’s annual gift to our community. This free 2-day event features local school choruses, orchestras, and bands performing holiday music, inflatable jumpers for kids, crafters offering hand-made gifts, and the only Snow Tube slide in Cobb County! You won’t want to miss a minute of Christmas at Piedmont. Friday, December 7th from 4 – 10pm and Saturday, December 8th from 9am – 5pm. Piedmont Church, 570 Piedmont Road, Marietta, GA 30066. ENGLISHMAN’S FINE FURNITURE HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: Join our friends at Englishman’s for some British Christmas treats whilst you shop their beautiful showroom during their Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 8th from 10am – 4pm. 4880 S. Atlanta Rd., SE, Atlanta, GA 30339. THE HOYA MERRY MARKET: The 3rd Annual Hoya Merry Market will be held on December 8th from 9:00- 3:00pm at Harrison High School. Admission is FREE. Items for sale will range from jewelry, pet treats, Christmas décor and more. Santa will be on hand for photos, and Harrison’s orchestra band and chorus will provide Music. Proceeds will go to the Hoya Foundation. Please contact, Christie Schomer at for more information. SANTA’S WORKSHOP AT THE SOUTHERN MUSEUM: December 8th from 9:30am – 5pm, 2829 Cherokee St. NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144. The Southern Museum is assisting Santa this year with his toy production and hosting a special day for families. Using the Glover Machine Works exhibit, staff will transform the factory floor into Santa’s Workshop where children and families may meet and take pictures with Santa. The big guy himself, along with Mrs. Claus, arrive at 1 pm to

6-8pm. SANTA ON THE SQUARE: Santa will once again spread magic and merriment to the Marietta Square NOW through December 24th. Amidst a wonderland of holiday festivity, tucked away in his own cozy house, children of all ages will have a chance to visit the Jolly Old Elf. Guests may choose a special personalized Visit

begin with a story and holiday sing-along. The Polar Express will be shown in the theater at 10 AM and 2 PM. Visitors will also get a chance to make their own wood ornament to take home and view two holiday themed train layouts. Guests are encouraged to wear their best Polar Express pajamas or holiday sweaters to the museum. FREE ESTATE PLANNING BREAKFAST December 8th from 10:30am- 12:00pm, 3101 Cobb Parkway, Ste 124, Atlanta, Ga 30339 (inside of ROAM Innovative Workplace.) Alex Gaines, a Smyrna-based mom and estate planning lawyer who works with families to protect their loved ones with holistic estate planning. In this FREE, informative and empowering class, Alex will cover everything you need to know about ensuring your family’s future. Breakfast and childcare is provided to all who register. Reserve your seat at UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER BLOCK PARTY: Bring your family and friends to the Veteran’s Memorial Lawn next to the Smyrna Community Center Saturday, December 8th from 5-8pm. Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater to this special Smyrna holiday happening! Movie begins at 6:30pm (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). For more information call Smyrna Parks & Rec at 770.431.2842 CHRISTMAS HOUSE ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW 2018: Friday 12/7, Saturday, 12/1 through Sunday, 12/9. Over 50 local vendors and artisans sell their handcrafted work at this show. Jewelry, painting, food and many other home and holiday items available. Mable House Arts Center is located at 5239 Floyd Rd., SW, Mableton, GA 30126. HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES DEADLINE 12/12: Collecting toys and gift cards to support our local military families through the Georgia National Guard Family Program Office. You can deliver your donations (UNWRAPPED PLEASE) or gift cards to: Bounce-U, 9 Round West Cobb, Peartree Home, Aqua Tots Swim School, or contact Melissa at 770.310.3269 or FREE PHOTOS WITH SANTA AT THE BATTERY: Free digital and printed photos with Santa on Thursdays through Sundays and Christmas Eve. Don’t miss Santa Paws Night for your four-legged friends On December 16th from 5:307:30 pm. A special low sensory Santa will visit on December 2,9, and the 16th from 10am-noon for special needs children. Reservations for Sensitive Santa sessions are available at CHRISTMAS AT BRAWNER COAT DRIVE: Friday, December 14th from 5-8pm, at the Taylor-Brawner House, 3182 Atlanta

Rd., SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. Experience the season and give the gift of warmth by donating a coat to those in need and enjoy the holiday festivities. Movie (A Christmas Story) begins at 6:30pm. For more information contact Parks & Rec at 770.431.2842. SMYRNA ALA CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY: Please join Smyrna’s American Legion Auxiliary for some holiday cheer and visit with Santa. They will be hosting its Annual Children’s Christmas Party at Post 160 on December 15th from 2-5pm. Goodie bags for children and light refreshments provided. Children of all ages welcome! Please find them on Facebook @ALA160SmyrnaGA. SMYRNA CANDY CANE HUNT: Ages 3-10 years. This is a FREE event at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080. December 20th from 3-5pm. This is a true hunt! You will have to participate in a series and game/challenges to earn the clues that you will need to find the hidden candy canes.  Make sure you put your thinking cap on for this one! for more information. PJ’s POPCORN AND POLAR EXPRESS: December 21st from 5-7pm at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle, SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. Dress your entire family in their favorite Christmas PJ’s, grab some blankets and head over to the small gym at the Community Center for a free viewing of Polar Express. Enjoy free popcorn for all! POP-IN FOR POP CULTURE: Every 2nd Tuesday at The Marietta Museum of History, Depot Street, Marietta, GA 30060. Pop-in from 5-8pm and explore different topics of pop culture from the 1950’s and 60’s. All activities are FREE with regular admission. For more information, please visit www. MARIETTA SQUARE FARMERS MARKET/ ARTISTS MARKET: Year round every Saturday morning rain or shine, and on Sundays from noon to 3pm. Customers can choose from heirloom tomatoes, fruits, and vegetables. The Artist Market is held on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays along side the Farmers Market. If you have an event for the Our Town Calendar, please e-mail us at Listings are free, but space is limited! Deadline for calendar submissions is the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue.

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Thanksgiving (Nov. 22, 2018) through New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31, 2018). • All buses are $20, regardless of the day. • All cars/trucks are $10 on the dates of November 22-25, December 14-31 and all Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. • All cars/trucks are $5 on the dates of November 26-29, December 3-6 and December 10-13. Share your Lights of LIFE photos on social media with us for a chance to win a prize! Snap

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Our Town Monthly - December 2018  
Our Town Monthly - December 2018