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Publishers/Editors Linda Demery & Lori McLinden

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

Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc. Account Executive Sara Young

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 by advertisers. Entire contents copyright 2013 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Feature Photographer Karen Roberts, Karen Roberts Photography Contributing Writers Jimmy Arispe Farley Youman, M Ed, USPTA Holly and Diana Parks Meredith Warnock Deborah Ratchford Michael T. Morris II, MD Shelia Frey Shasta Clark Mark Orler Leisa A. Bailey, PhD

Our Town Monthly 109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

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Our Town

in this issue


Calendar of Events


About the Cover


The SAE School


April Crossword

15 Winning the Tennis Match Before it Starts 16 They Killed the Prince! 17

Home & Design

18 Real Estate in Our Town – Comparative Market Analysis 19 Healthcare Technology 21

Shopping with Shelia

23 Mommy Moments 24 Prom Time! 25 Smyrna Market Village Flash Mob 26 The Impact on Pets in Mental Wellness 26 Pet of the Month

Custom Services: Upholstery Draperies Valances Roman Shades Cornice Boards Headboards Throw Pillows Seat/Window Cushions Table Covers Bedding Fabric/Trim Decorative Hardware Blinds/Shutters & Much More

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calendar of events

FOOD TRUCK TUESDAYS: Food Truck season is upon us! Taylor-Brawner Park will roll out the dinner bell each Tuesday from 6pm-9pm beginning in in April. From April to October nine trucks with dinner options and three trucks featuring deserts will be serving it up to Smyrna familes. 10% of the proceeds are given to a non-profit charity. Make it a weekly family event!

OPEN MIC NIGHT AT REV COFFEE: You're invited to play your music every Wednesday night in an open mic forum in front of a cozy, supportive crowd. Performers are encouraged to bring their own instruments however, partly in due to Rev’s community atmosphere, but mostly due to the friendliness of our fellow Rev-goers, just because you forgot your instrument doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to play. A musician sign-up board will be set up near the coffee counter, so you’ll know when you’re up. Though a lot of the music played at Rev is acoustic, don’t be afraid to crank up the dial. People can read the newspaper and play chess between 8:00am-8:00pm. The hours of 8:00pm10:00pm are for music. No purchases are necessary. But we hear caffeine is good for dexterity and teas are great way to warm up your vocal chords. 1680 Spring Road SE, Smyrna. SPRING REV FEST: One day Music and Arts Festival featuring several local artists, musicians, and great food. Saturday, April 13th, from 10am to 8pm. Rev Coffee is located at 1680-B Spring Rd., Smyrna, GA 30080.

MATHEMATICS… SIMPLE & EASY Math Tutor for Grades K - 10 Call


SOUTH CITY KITCHEN AND RELAY FOR LIFE: An event that feels as good as it tastes! Tuesday, April 23rd any time between 5 - 10 pm. Write "Relay For Life" in the special requests section of your reservation and Relay For Life of Vinings - Smyrna, GA will receive a percentage of your bill! South City Kitchen Vinings is located in Ivy Walk Place. 1675 Cumberland Parkway Suite 401. Smyrna, GA 30080 You can also call 770.435.0700 for reservations. Be sure to say your reservation is to benefit "Relay For Life"! You can also sign up, start a team, or make a donation to fight cancer at Like us on facebook at Follow us on Twitter @ForBirthdays

SMYRNA SPRING JONQUIL FESTIVAL: April 27 & April 28, 2013. The Jonquil Festivals are located on the beautiful Village Green in downtown Smyrna. The Spring Jonquil Festival will showcase arts and crafts by more than 150 artists/crafters from across the country. The event also offers fun for the entire family to enjoy with continuous entertainment, a children's section, and a wide selection of festival foods. The shows will draw crowds of around 15,000 people. Show hours are 10 AM -6 PM on Saturday and 12 Noon - 5 PM on Sunday. Admission is FREE. Booth space is $100 for a 12 x 12 space. For more information, please call (770) 423-1330. JONQUIL CITY JOG: The Jonquil City Jog is a Peachtree Qualifier! At the Jonquil City Jog 5K participants run (or walk) for fun, education, and PIE at this annual race for education held in downtown Smyrna will be held Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 8:00 AM at Smyrna City Hall - 2800 King Street. Proceeds benefit the Campbell High School Educational Foundation, Inc. - a non-profit organization that provides financial and community support to Campbell High School students. Campbell High School is a recipient of a Georgia School of Excellence award and has an outstanding International Baccalaureate program. Register at, and visit for event details.


EMORY-ADVENTIST HOSPITAL SWING INTO SPRING GOLF TOURNAMENT: The 21st Annual Swing Into Spring Golf Tournament scheduled for Monday, April 29th, 2013 will be at a new venue! Sculpted from lush rolling terrain, Brookstone Golf & Country Club, located in Acworth Georgia, is a 6,815-yard, par72 championship layout designed by Larry Nelson to take full advantage of the landscape’s natural contours and breathtaking beauty. Inspiring golf in a truly memorable setting, creating an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all abilities! Registration and range opens at 8am, putting contest at 9am, shotgun start at 9:30am, with a $25K shoot out at close of tournament.Your participation will help raise the funds needed for new patient beds at Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna! For more information please visit COMMUNITY EDUCATION CLASSES AT EMORY-ADVENTIST HOSPITAL: Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna offers Diabetes Education Classes on April 11, April 18 and April 25. Whether you have pre-diabetes, have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or have had to live with diabetes for a while, this class is for you! The class is conducted by a Registered Nurse, a Registered Dietitian, a Podiatrist, and a Pharmacist. Topics include signs and symptoms, monitoring, key test results, complication prevention, exercise, medications, a personalized meal plan, carbohydrate counting, label reading, eating out and sick day management. The classes are held in the hospital’s cafeteria. Cost is $45.00 for all three nights. A support person—without diabetes—may attend without charge. Fee is payable the first night of class. Call 770-437-6913 or 770-438-4373 for more information or to register. Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will host a free class, “Accomplish Your Running Goals” on Thursday, April 4, at 7:00 PM. If you are a beginning runner and have only hopes of finishing a 5K, or if you already have that 5K under your belt and looking for something more challenging like the Peachtree Road Race 10K, this is the presentation for you! Doctor of Physical Therapy and USAT Triathlon Coach Emily Yake will present this free class. Come join us to learn tips and get motivation for training while learning to stay injury free! Call 770-319-2025 to make your reservation. Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will offer a free workshop called “The Vegetarian Way” on Wednesday, April 10, at 7:00 PM. Whether you are already a vegetarian, considering a vegetarian diet, or would just like to incorporate more plant-based meals into your existing diet, this class is for you! Learn the myths that often derail vegetarian diets, how to truly benefit from a completely or mostly plant-based diet, and how to stay on track when you’re eating out. You will also be provided with some tasty recipes to get you going on the right path. Call 770-319-2025 to reserve your spot. Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will offer a free “Back Pain Relief ” class on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:00 PM. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain. While back pain is very common, it most often can be treated without surgery. Dr. Holly Zywicke will discuss the natural course of back pain and non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Make reservations by calling 770-319-2025. VININGS HISTORIC PRESERVATION SOCIETY 8th ANNUAL VININGS GOLF CLASSIC: Tuesday, May 21st from 8:30am to 4:30pm at Pinetree Country Club, 3400 McCollum Parkway NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144. There will be a Pairing Party at SOHO Sunday evening, May 19th with entertainment, food and libations along with a silent and live auction. To register for the golf classic, or to become a sponsor, please contact Gillian Greer at 770.432.3343 or, or Dr. Richard Block at 770.314.8229. For SOHO Pairing Party tickets only, please visit

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Blessed with a height of almost 6 feet, she began a modeling career about two years ago. She has signed with agencies in Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham and Nashville. “This has truly been an exciting ride from shooting with worldwide famous photographers, to modeling dresses and clothes for many magazines and walking the catwalk in fashion shows. Apart from modeling, I also love to ride and show my quarter horses, which I have done since I was a little girl. I’m so excited to see what God lays out for my future plans and passions!”

about the cover

Our April cover just screams SPRING thanks to Brittany Pritchett and Karen Roberts Photography. Brittany is a senior at Whitefield Academy and has lived in Smyrna for 6 years. She plans to attend Auburn University next year to study Psychology and Art Therapy.

Our Town wishes Brittany all the best in her future endeavors.

2355 Cumberland Parkway Suite 40 • Atlanta, GA 30339

770-633-7309 PAGE 8

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feature photographer

Salon One

Karen Roberts was born in 1975 in Pensacola, Florida. She grew up in Marietta, GA and graduated from South Cobb High School in 1993. Karen always has had an interest in decorating and fashion. She went on to attend Kennesaw State University to peruse Studio Arts and studied Photography under Professor Barbara Swindell. She did her internship photographing for The Vinings Gazette newspaper. She opened her studio in 1996. Karen specializes in newborn and child photography and has a boutique studio in Smyrna, GA. Over the past 16 years she has been published in Photographer's Forum Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, and recently was had an image chosen to be the International Ad for Holga Camera Company. She has won dozens of awards for her work. Her work has been shown on Good Morning America and 11 Alive News. Her fine art coastal photography can be found in beach homes from the East Coast to the West Coast. Karen feels grateful to have found her true passion in life.

Our Town

Grow a love of reading "Your neighborhood paperback book store!"

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Dinner Parties • Wedding Events • Birthdays Graduation • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs • Seders Anniversaries • Kids’ Parties

LINDA BIGGER • 770-952-0696 Party Hostess and Coordinator

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The SAE School by Jimmy Arispe — CEO, Head of School Imagine creating a school based on common sense principles, where children are individually challenged to reach the pinnacle of their capabilities, and where innovation and ingenuity are employed in every aspect of the school to keep costs low, productivity high, and learning always at priority number one. Now, imagine finding a talented group of educators, legal professionals, business developers and investors who share that vision. We not only imagined it, we created it, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring The SAE School to Smyrna in August 2013! With deep foundations and experience in education, and as parents of children for whom we want a better opportunity, we’ve built a truly unique, innovative and compelling Preschool – 12th grade option for our community. The SAE School will be governed locally, and managed by committed members of our community. As an independent school, we are free to innovate, imagine, and operate so that everything we do is laser focused on the best result. And, as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, all of our financial resources are focused on providing the highest quality education, without diverting any money to a profit center. This allows us to keep tuition low, while providing an education that is second to none. There is so much innovation to explore at The SAE School! Project Based Learning approach will teach students not just to memorize information, but rather will show them how to apply new knowledge to real-world tasks and challenges, better preparing them to cross the finish line at 12th grade as leaders and problem-solvers. Flipped Classrooms will reverse the often unproductive homework dynamic. At the SAE School, precious classroom time is spent digging into and applying concepts, where students have the full attention and guidance of their teachers as they solidify their understanding through projects and group discussions. Rather than the traditional model where hours of homework time are spent in solitude practicing concepts introduced in the classroom, SAE students will be introduced to new concepts via video or other delivery at home, and will then practice and apply this information in the supportive environment of the classroom. Homework time will be limited, providing for better school-life balance for students and their families. Academic Families are a cohort of students, teachers and support staff who remain, grow and learn together for 3-4 years at a time. For example, our Kindergarten family of students will remain as a “family” with their four teachers until the end of their 3rd grade year. Fourth through sixth grades are an Academic Family, as are seventh through ninth. And at the high school level, our tenth grade students will begin with a cohort of teachers who will see them through their senior year to graduation. Within our Academic Families, teachers are better able to fully understand students’ individual learning styles, capacity for growth, how to overcome any academic challenges to better assist in their overall development. Communication and trust are enhanced between faculty and parents as well, creating more opportunities to tailor the curriculum to an individual student’s needs. Creating a culture of accountability among teachers, students and parents raises the bar for all, with the student reaping the rewards. The SAE School offers a tuition plan unlike any other in the Atlanta area, and quite possibly the country. We believe that education expenses should be stable, and a family should be able to plan confidently for the future. Once your child enrolls in The SAE School, your annual cost will never increase from that year’s published tuition schedule. If you have a student aged one year through 8th grade, The SAE Preschool and The SAE School are opening for you in 2013 along the Chattahoochee River in Smyrna. Visit us at, email or call 678-310-9136 for some straight talk and much more information about a common sense, innovative and advanced educational opportunity. Our school is a very cool place for children!


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Our Town

april crossword

a uniquely inviting salon offering the best in hair cutting and color 30% OFF Salon Services


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678-279-4300 PAGE 12



43 Compass point

1 Otherwise

40 Armed

5 Rift

44 Less cooked

2 Danish

42 Color of grow

9 After-bath wear

46 Not old


13 Threaten

47 Act in opposition to

3 Ghost sounds

45 Custard filled pastry

4 Daub

48 Common fish

15 Poetic "evening"

50 Parasite

5 Distress call

51 Time zone

6 Idle

49 Spring flower that can kiss

Summer camps for all interests

16 Footwear

52 Pelt

7 Pope's country

17 Abraham's son

54 Escape

18 Legal document

56 Gangster

8 Business leader

59 Troller

9 Saver

57 Gawk

art • cooking • dance • sports • language • science • lego • Dr. Seuss • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory • Harry Potter • & more

19 Imitation

63 Billboard

10 Done

21 Fragrant blossom

64 Iranian's neighbor

11 Honey maker

58 Christ's gift bringer

66 Harvard's rival

14 Filling

67 Doing nothing

61 Women's magazine

20 Steals

68 Waist beeping object

62 Stink

22 Crooked

63 Title of respect

29 Loop

69 Heap

65 Proof ending

31 Lesser goddess

24 African country

70 Marsh grass

26 Tasks

71 Glided

27 Cargo ship

72 Journey

28 Sphere

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14 Dirty

23 Water falling from the sky 25 Past times 26 Run

34 Fat 35 Kellogg's waffles

12 Cease

55 African nation 56 Shield

60 Den

30 Sounds

37 Vivacity

32 Level surface

39 Puffs

33 Underworld

41 Vane direction

36 Letter part

42 Evaluate

38 Salamander

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Our Town

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Farley Youman, M.Ed., USPTA ALTA and USTA matches have started for the Spring season, and the playoffs will begin soon. Two important factors are decided before the match even starts; which team serves first, and which partner serves first. Which team should serve first? For most teams, returning first in the match is the best method. The exception is when you have a partner that can win her serve virtually every time, and your team plays better psychologically when you are ahead.


get an extra point of service in a tie-breaker

make the opposing team play against the sun and/or wind for the first six points of the tie-breaker (set this up by following the rule of deferring below); this does not apply when using the Coman Tie-breaker that has been implemented in USTA matches

best time to break serve is the first game of the match (opposing team is not physically warmed up and nervous)

your team will be guaranteed to serve during the crucial 6-4, and 6-3 scoring scenarios in the tie-breaker

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Deferring rule: assuming the other team wants to serve first and your team wants to serve second, you can set this up and put the other team in the sun for the first game and the crucial first six points of the tie-breaker. Example: your team wins the toss, and defers to the other team to decide first. They choose to serve, and you choose to be on the non-sunny side.

678.305.0000 4480-G South Cobb Dr. Smyrna GA 30080

Which partner serves first? Whoever serves first for your team will serve an extra game if the set score ends up being 6-4. Since the rules of tennis allow to choose either partner to serve the first game of any set, in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 match, it can be set up where one of you serves three more times than your partner. *Note that it is not always the more powerful server that should serve first. If you have played with your partner before, which one of you holds serve the most often? The bottom line is that one of you normally holds serve more often, and this is the partner who should serve first. If you have never played with this partner before, then discuss both of your histories in regard to holding serve. The advantages of having the partner who can win their service game the majority of the time and having this person serve first include: 1. Higher chance of holding your first service game. 2. The partner who serves first (during game two) will also serve the sixth game, which can be pivotal during the middle of the set (3-2, and 4-1). 3. This partner* will also serve first for their team in the tie-breaker, so that the team will get off to a good start.

Conveniently located in the

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TENNIS LESSONS Farley Youman, M.Ed, USPTA • all ages and types (ALTA Teams, summer camps, etc.) • lessons at your subdivision or on our courts • certified by the United States

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*You will also serve the tenth and eleventh points (assuming you served the second game of the set). These points are crucial during the end of the tie-breaker, as your team will be serving at all of the following scores: 6-4, 6-3, 5-5, and 5-4. Two out four of these scoring scenarios are at set point!



Finally, the best time to talk about these decisions is prior to arriving at the courts. Trying to make quick decisions during warm up can lead to hasty decisions. The main key for getting to the city championships (and winning the championships) is to win over half the sets that go to a tie-breaker, and over half of the three setters. Use the above tips , and let me know when you are in the championships, so that I can come watch you.

adjustments for



•Month to month membership plan required. Initial visit includes consultation, exam and adjustment.

Farley Youman is a certified tennis professional by the United States Professional Tennis Association at the highest tested level (Professional 1). He has taught 5500 players that have ranged from beginners, to state and nationally ranked players. With his company (ProMatch Tennis Services), he teaches tennis lessons, and also helps high school players (in all sports) attain college scholarships. For more information, call 770-817-0559, or visit

770.805.9977 Vinings Location • 4300 Paces Ferry Road Suite 125 • Atlanta, GA 30339 Monday - Friday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM • Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM


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by Holly and Diana Parks


Claire’s is out of tiaras, and nail salon calendars are filling up. Storefront windows are flowing with gowns, and limo drivers are waxing their cars. Prom season is near. The high school wrestler has just finished an awkwardly spirited rap over the intercom, asking his lab partner to prom. The softball player opens her locker to find the first clue of a scavenger hunt, which will end with her date on the pitcher’s mound, holding a bouquet and cardboard sign. Such creativity escalates the school-wide anticipation to a new level of excitement. On her way home, the pony-tailed driver can only imagine what her date has planned on that special night after such an elaborate invitation. Meanwhile, her date is congratulating himself on a job well done, relieved that his role in prom is now finished. The disconnect is understandable. The boy has knocked himself out and has a date to the dance. The girl believes his impressive efforts are only a glimpse into the magical night to come.

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Patience: The natural inclination for most girls is to decide on the dress, find the matching jewelry, schedule the up-do, and then stand in front of the mirror twice a week in all her tulle-d glory. The anticipation is at least half the fun; will the night ever arrive? The problem arises when three weeks before prom, her date still hasn’t made reservations for dinner, and he’s not quite sure how they’re going to get to the dance. Panic sets in, and she picks up the phone. Next thing he knows, she has confirmed restaurant seating with her six best friends and their dates. And oh, by the way, the limo costs a hundred dollars per couple, and her corsage will be ready for pickup by 2:00 the day of prom. Procrastination: In his mind, he would have risen to the occasion, but now he’s off the hook, and the precedence has been set. What he would have discovered when he finally called, though, is that the first seven restaurants on his list were already booked. He dragged his feet and missed the opportunity to sweep her off hers. He could have put her on cloud nine, but she’s now grounded in the details of what he should have already planned. Instead of letting go and appreciating his efforts, she’ll now have the night she was expecting, only to discover later that it might not be what she really wanted. Parents: You have a role in this night too, but it may be different than you assume. It shouldn’t involve your planning or your wallet, but rather your guidance and a curfew. If he knows in advance that he’s financially responsible for the evening, he’ll have time to save up; it’ll mean so much more to your son when he’s actually paid for it. Clue him in on how much prom means to her. She should feel as special that night as she did the day he asked her. When it comes to your daughter, insist she step down and leave the planning to her date. Help her recognize that he may not pull off the fairy tale she could have accomplished, but the night will have been planned for her by him instead of for her by her. When it comes to prom, guys and girls need to step out of their comfort zones. Women in their twenties complain today that there are no men, just 27-year-old boys who have yet to step up. But it is the girls who took control of the ball, and in the process, they killed the prince. Diana and Holly Parks are a mother/daughter writing duo. For further information, go to

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When & Why to hire an Interior Designer by Meredith Warnock, RID Engaging an interior designer is an enormous step up in yielding your project’s full potential. Working with an interior designer is a very personal and completely customized experience. Among many things, we want to know how you live in the space now and how you want to utilize it after the project is over. Your goals guide us in making the best recommendations for you. Good communication, h o n e s t budget expectations and a clear picture of your project scope aid in the interior d e s i g n process. Knowing when and why you should reach out to an interior design professional can go a long way in clarifying your decison to add him or her to your design team.

that is a reflection of you. Interior design allows you maximum utilization and enjoyment of your space. Also, working with an interior designer means that you will not see your room when flipping through a product magazine or catalog.

A Wealth of Resources Interior designers have hundreds of resources at their fingertips. Working with a designer allows you access to more than what you’d ever know is available. In addition, we have workrooms and artisians that customize the experience further. Do you love a console table that you found in the lobby of an exotic hotel during your last trip? We can find the exact piece or customize one for you to fit in your space.

Your Compass Naviagting the project process can be tricky. What do you do first versus what should be done just before your new furniture arrives? Adding to the complexities of a design project is scheduling & communication with the rest of the team. An interior designer is your compass in the project process and your liason for communication between you and the general contractor, sub-contractors, architect and engineers.

Confidence in the Results Why make the investment in your home when you don’t know if you are making the right decisions? From the start of the process to the grand unveiling for family & friends, with an interior designer to guide you, you’ll be confident in your design choices every step of the way.

Earlier The Better When you engage a designer to work on your project, it is an investment. It is wise to bring the designer on board early in your design process, before expensive mistakes are made that cost you money.

Design Takes Time Despite what is depicted on home improvement TV shows, a full room make-over is not near instantaneous. Project timeline is dictated by a number of factors, including your scope of work, manufacturer’s lead-times, availability of products & materials and your budget. Enlisting the help of a designer will help realize your true timeline.

Most of the time, a designer’s role on a project is defined by the scope of the project. Sometimes, a designer is involved in every aspect of a project from pre-construction planning & documentation to completion. At times we act only as advisors, available to lend our ideas and expertise as needed. To suit these scenarios and all sized projects in between, Meredith Warnock Interior Design offers 3 different ways to cater to our clients needs. Refer to for details.

Return on Your Investment Regardless of the size of your budget, hiring an interior designer and implementing a design is an investment. For commerical & hospitality projects, the return on investment is much more obvious when patrons buzz about the interiors and keep coming back for more. In a private home, your investment in interior design yields a completely customized design


Meredith is a registered interior designer (RID) with a design career that spans 12-years with residential, commercial and hospitality projects throughout the U.S., including Georgia, Texas, California and New York.

Photo by Matt Boyd Photography

Projects Large and Small 210.464.2366

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The Real Estate Market

patrick family dental care

Dr. Leslie Sclafini Patrick & Dr. Alex Patrick

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

by Deborah Ratchford

COMPARATIVE MARKET ANALYSIS There is no doubt that Spring is a time when many people are looking to buy or sell a home. Now, more than ever, people want to be educated about today’s market as they evaluate potentially selling their home. I thought it might be helpful to provide you with answers to the most popular requests I get - on my website and in person. • What is my home worth? Is now a good time to sell? For this, a Comparative Market Analysis is always in order. • How quickly will my home sell? Who will see my home? Have your real estate professional review how they will be marketing your home to potential buyers and their overall marketing plan. What does a CMA include and what does it tell the Seller? The value of your home is much more difficult to predict and the information available to home sellers can be less than accurate. While Trulia and Zillow are great home shopping sites, they are rarely correct when it comes to market value. This is because these sites are national, and they don’t take into consideration the local market. In addition houses vary from community to community, and it’s hard to make a fair comparison. Comparison - A CMA is a comparison of your home printed on a quick overview spreadsheet that shows what current homes are on the market, their prices, and how their features compare to your home. A CMA will also include the properties that have sold, what they sold for and any pending sales. Also, a detailed back up sheet for each property on the spreadsheet is great to compare details such as square footage and other unique features. Sold - The important part of a CMA is always the “sold” prices, often referred to as comps. These determine what buyers have actually paid for homes in your area. A CMA should take into consideration your home, your immediate surrounding area, specific features of your home, local and current market conditions, including what buyers are looking for. Real Estate Agent Expertise - Because CMAs can be somewhat subjective, the agent's experience and expertise in the business and familiarity with the local area can affect the accuracy. Typically, a CMA prepared by an experienced agent with good knowledge of the local market is right in line with your home's appraised value which is one of the first items a buyer will order for your home. A CMA is the first step to insuring a smooth real estate transaction. And, your real estate professional will provide one absolutely free. What should a marketing plan for my home include? The second question concerning marketing is a little more unique to an individual real estate consultant, and depends on how they structure their team. Generally, items you should look for in a marketing plan include a 360 degree approach and might include the following:

Individualized Care for Children & Adults

Mobile App - The website should be optimized for mobile devices and agents should have an app that can be downloaded directly from their site to make property details easily available when you are on the go.

• General medical physicals

Agent Network - Most agents also have a website or blog for the community. Blogs that reach out to their network of real estate professionals help to maintain a healthy network.

• Well child exams • Sports physicals

Online Connectivity - An agent should also have a presence with popular syndicated sites such as Zillow and Trulia (plus others) because almost 90% of home owners begin their home search online today. It is important that your home is highlighted where buyers are searching.

• Immunizations • Management of chronic medical conditions • Same day sick appointments

Social Media - Social media is an absolute MUST in today’s market. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Google+, and You Tube are all places where you should expect your agent to be - and your home. Your agent should be well connected within a digital marketing platform.

• Most health insurance plans are accepted

Print Media - And, for a full 360 degree approach, agents should have an offline presence with print media including local community magazines, a relationship building campaign, and other community touch points. It’s so important for agents today to have the right balance of high touch and high tech in their marketing plan.

• Accepting new patients Carla Y. Neal-Haley, M.D.

Christine Wasilewski, FNP. BC.

Medical Director, Genesis Healthcare Associates Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Chief of Staff, Emory Adventist Hospital

Family Nurse Practitioner

Located on the campus of Emory Adventist Hospital


Website - Agent specific website(s) which are easy to navigate usually include traits a home buyer would look for - including community news and real estate market statistics. It should also be Search Engine Optimized to be picked up by larger sites like Google, Yahoo and others. The more fresh and relevant your content is, the more likely it is to move up in the search results for buyers.

Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8AM-5PM

Call for Appointment • 770.434.1904 3903 South Cobb Drive • Suite 225 Smyrna, GA 30080

Marketing Updates - You should expect a marketing update from your agent at least every 14 days to make sure you are priced right. This would include the marketing activity on your home, feedback from agents who have viewed the property and other relevant market conditions. If you would like to find out the value of your home, please go to my website and look under Seller’s Resources. I can email you the CMA or, if you need a more accurate assessment, I would be happy to schedule an in-home appointment.

Deborah Ratchford Keller Williams Realty Cityside 678-570-4779 •

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Healthcare Technology by Michael T. Morris II, MD Every day we use technology to make life more convenient. Most of us have used computers and the internet for shopping, travel, or simply to get more information about a subject. Despite the many advances in the practice of medicine, the patient experience has remained relatively unchanged over time. However, this is changing. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health ACT (HITECH Act) was created to help promote and expand the adoption of health information technology. Some of the goals include: • Improvements in care coordination • Reduction of healthcare disparities • Engagement of patients and their families • Improvement of population and public health • Maintain adequate privacy and security

also help improve the patient care experience. If you have had any recent travel, you may have experienced a “self check-in” at the airport, or you may have booked your flight on the internet. These modern tools are rarely seen when interacting with medical practices. A survey by Deloitte showed that 72% of patients were interested in online scheduling for medical office visits. However, most office visits tend to be scheduled in a traditional manner through telephone calls. Another survey by Deloitte showed that nearly 80% of patients were interested in having access to an integrated record of test results, medical information, and office visits. There are growing numbers of medical practices that have modernized the patient experience by implementing patient portals, where patients can securely log-in and complete patient forms before the first visit, review their medical history and problem list, review test results, communicate medical practices, and schedule appointments.

Many of these technological advances allow for a higher quality of care and improved efficiency within medical practices. Physicians spend many years of education and training with the focus on providing the best care possible to their patients.

All of these tools are intended to improve patient engagement with the medical practice. These types of interaction allow the patient to not only have a more active role in their care, but also to be better informed and educated about their care.

However, they have traditionally worked within a system where all the documentation has been maintained in a record system of paper charts. This type of medical record is highly dependent on the organizational style of each individual office. Combine this with the longstanding reputation for poor handwriting among physicians, and there is a strong risk of transcription errors. This is when physicians and other members of the healthcare team are simply unable to properly read what is in the record. With many practices moving to electronic medical records and others using electronic transmissions of prescriptions to pharmacies, there are fewer mistakes from transcription errors.

More recent developments include smartphone apps that allow patients to monitor chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure, review information about their medications, or keep track of medication dosages. In some practices, there are even smartphone apps that allow patients to review information from the medical record and patient portals.

The electronic record also allows for a more coordinated transfer of information between various members of the healthcare team. Healthcare technology is not just a tool to improve things “behind the scenes”. These advances can


Technology has become an integral part of our modern lives and is becoming an integral part of the healthcare delivery process. As in many other industries, it has the possibility to greatly improve the effectiveness of the healthcare team, while improving the the lives of patients. Michael T. Morris II, MD is a board certified cardiologist and founder of Atlanta Vanguard Medical Associates. Atlanta Vanguard Medical Associates is located at 3692 Highlands Parkway, Smyrna, GA 30082, 678.305.1700

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At Pinnacle, our physicians maximize results and minimize recovery time. How? By using leading edge technologies and the most innovative techniques. We take this advanced approach in every area of orthopaedic care, including Pinnacle specialties such as sports medicine, joint replacement, fracture care, spine, foot and ankle, hand, general orthopaedics and pain management. Visit for a complete list of services, physicians and locations near you.


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We Create Beautiful Smiles

3621 Vinings Slope SE Atlanta, GA 30339 678.310.0166

Addison Dental Associates Clarence Addison, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Cosmetic Veneers • Root Canals Invisalign • Zoom Whitening Periodontal Services • Implants All that is good begins with a SMILE and your SMILE is our top priority!

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770.433.0445 4045 ORCHARD RD. • BUILDING 300 • SMYRNA, GA 30080 • Produced in a USDA inspected kitchen ALL NATURAL NO PRESERVATIVES LOW FAT LOW GLYCEMIC LOW SODIUM

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770-509-2232 • PAGE 21

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Swim Lessons

Positive Instruction Baby and Me 3 Months + Private Lessons 12 Month - Adults Free Safety Evaluations • Discount Intro Packages Swim Year Round in Our Beautiful Heated Pool


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mommy moments

Better than a Honeymoon by Shasta Clark My husband and I have come a long way with our anniversary celebrations. Our first was a disaster; our eleventh was a dream.


We started off our marriage like a lot of starry-eyed, lost-in-love couples. On our honeymoon in Maui, we promised that we’d take romantic, tropical trips every anniversary. Year one, we were barely making rent so Maui was out. Heck, Six Flags was out. By year five, we had a newborn and a mortgage. By year 10, we had two children, our third due in two weeks, and a bigger mortgage. Sound familiar?



Finally 11 years later, we did it! We went to the Caribbean for seven whole days, just the two of us. It was the first time since having our first child seven years earlier that we’d ever gone away alone together. We slept in, ate meals that someone else cooked and cleaned up, spontaneously hopped a ferry to see what another island had to offer, slow danced to live music late at night, and lay quietly on the beach while the sun kissed our pasty-white skin. I think I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed our honeymoon. No, I’m sure I did. On our honeymoon, I didn’t realize the luxury of eating dinner without getting up from the table 16 times. I didn’t understand that finishing a conversation with my husband

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would be darn-near impossible someday. Other things were better too. On our honeymoon, I remember wanting to feel skinny in my bikini, so I skipped dessert. Now, well into my mid-thirties and three pregnancies later, I ate dessert or drank wine nearly every night. I still wanted to look good, who doesn’t? But I cared more about living. I’ve also lowered my expectations of my husband. I know that sounds insane, but on our first anniversary, when my new husband didn’t do anything, no reservations or candlelight, I was distraught. By year two he understood that anniversaries are important milestones, and I understood that he couldn’t read my mind. That year, he took me on a surprise getaway to New York City. Years 3-10 were a series of dinners at respectable restaurants, where we were so worn out from the kids and work, we barely had energy to talk. So about five days into our Caribbean trip, when my husband asked me, “Do you miss the kids?” I nearly burst out laughing. Then I felt bad for nearly laughing. The politically correct answer was yes, but I wanted to scream, “No way, man!” Truth was, I did miss them, but I knew that two minutes after returning home, I’d be right back in the swing of changing diapers, helping with homework, refereeing Wii time, and fetching another cup of water for a fouryear-old who’s trying to avoid bedtime. I was going to live every last second of our vacation to the fullest. The day before heading home, my mother-in-law sent videos of the kids to my iPhone. When I saw them, I nearly burst again, but this time with tears. I missed them finally! And I wanted more than anything to get home and hug them. The plane couldn’t fly fast enough for me. The day we returned, we lavished our love and attention on the kids. After they were tucked in that night, I looked at my husband and said, “Hi. Have we talked today?” “I don’t think so,” he said. “I guess we’ll talk again on our next romantic, tropical vacation—in 11 years,” I said. We both laughed..


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Prom Time

by Mark Orler

Springtime is always described as a time of rejuvenation and a reminder of the precious gifts that life bestows upon all of us who dwell in its midst. It is also a veiled celebration of youth, when young men and women don their tuxedos and dresses to show the world what smooth skin, good physical hygiene, and what incredible genetic coding can produce. And then you see them at the restaurant before their proms and witness the opposite. I will begin by admitting that my fashion sense stems from a DNA strand gifted to me from my father that locked in to 1959 and stayed there. I can look at pictures of me from 30 years ago and recognize the outfit as something that can just as easily be hanging in my closet today. “Hmmm, what to wear today? Let’s see, it’s Monday so that means Khaki pants. And it’s Spring which means short-sleeve button-down shirt”. My fashion conundrum is only ever limited to “plaid or solid” shirt? NEVER do I have to look at an outfit that I have just wrapped around my frame and think, “Is there too much of my belly and backside showing, or just enough?” Since this question appears to confound many “yutes” today, I will give them an answer, “not as much as you apparently think.” My wife and I have instilled upon our young children that modesty in dress is not about being prudish, but it’s about recognizing the amazing gift that God has given you. If we treat our bodies as temples, as our Creator suggests, then we certainly wouldn’t leave that temple half-exposed to the elements or cram it into a sack so tight that it tests the tensile strength of both thread and fabric. People confuse the whole “temple/body” thing to mean that we should worship our physical selves, and then they reject the notion because it sounds too “conceited.” That’s just wrong. The Temple was the building that surrounded the veils that surrounded the presence of God. The building was not something to be worshiped, it was just to be treated with respect because God abided in its midst. That’s what our bodies are, merely the housing that surrounds God’s image, if you believe such crazy things or have a smidgen of self-respect.

Birthday Party Packages Private Event Bookings Tiny Tot Sessions SKATE RENTAL $3 • PLAYGROUND $3


Visit to sign up for skating lessons or call 404.484.5277

These are not new battle lines, I know fullwell that parents had these conversations with their girls many years ago when their precious angels appeared before them showing an ankle or a wrist from beneath their prom dresses. I am certainly not that bad, but when a five-year-old tries on a dress at a mall that barely comes to her ankles and it is explained to her mother that this particular dress is a High School PROM DRESS, then we’ve got problems, right here in River City! I know it is a right of passage to look like an idiot at your prom, I get that. I wore a tuxedo with an ascot for Pete’s sake, and looked like I had just stepped out of a scene from My Fair Lady. My date revealed nothing but a shoulder and two ankles and put little Lord Fauntleroy to shame. Enjoy your prom, but just remember those pictures stick around for a long, long time.

Not to be combined with other offers or birthday parties

666 SMYRNA HILLS DRIVE • SMYRNA, GA 30082 • (BEHIND HOWARD’S) • 770.432.6222 PAGE 24

Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and part-time observationist. Mark can be reached at

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our town community

St. Patrick’s Day Flash Mob in Smyrna Market Village A St. Patrick's Day Flash Mob featured students from the Smyrna Dancers, a community institution that has served thousands of area children over the past twenty years, with classes held at the Smyrna Community Center and at several area schools and churches. Mary McGehee, owner and Artistic Director, defines the company's mission: "We believe that dance, movement, and teamwork are essential learning skills for young children, instilling poise, confidence, discipline and social interaction. Our studio, after school programs and summer camps focus on each child's development. We pride ourselves in offering classes at a most affordable level to allow students the opportunity to experience and enjoy dance. For the most talented we offer the foundation of instruction that has allowed many students to move on to college scholarships and professional careers on Broadway and with major dance companies. For the average student we make it fun, healthy and creative. " Mary announced that the Smyrna Dancers is now scheduling new after-school programs for the 2013-14 academic year. If your school or church is interested in more information, please contact Mary McGehee, 404-695-7563,, Smyrna Dances offers classes in Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, Creative Movement, Jazz and Tap for children ages two and older every month except July.

april crossword solution PAGE 25

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The Impact of Pets on Mental Wellness by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D.

300+ PREMIUM FLASHLIGHTS & HEADLAMPS On display & in stock! Best selection in the South.

Photo is an actual image using the Olight M30 Triton Located at the start of the Silver Comet Trail.

camping l hiking l backpacking l flashlights l survival l knives l fire starters l hammocks


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Must bring in this ad. Expires 5/1/2013.

4480 South Cobb Drive, Suite U - in the Publix Shopping Center

770.435.4103 •

pet of the month Meet Scout! Our Town met Scout at Smyrna Market Village during the St. Patrick’s Day event. He’s a friendly guy, not quite 2 years old. One of the tallest toddlers I ever met. If you would like your pet to be Our Town’s Pet of the Month, please send a photo with a short bio to: Our Town Magazine, 109 Anderson Street, Suite 109, Marietta, GA 30060 or email it to PLEASE SPECIFY SMRYNA/VININGS EDITION

Ending your pet’s pain & suffering IS THE KINDEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE, and in the comfort of your own home We offer… •Guidance and consultation •Helpful information to assist you with the grieving process •Professional relationships with local veternarians •Cremation/burial options and services 770.880.1596 • PAGE 26

Americans love their pets. A recent survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) shows that more than 57% of U.S. households include one or more animals as pets. Many pet lovers intuitively appreciate that quality of life is enhanced from the relationships with animal companions. Numerous scientific studies performed over the past 25 years confirm that physical and emotion health is improved when life is shared with a loved pet. “Pet ownership is good for your health both physically and psychologically”, says Connecticut psychologist Herbert Neiburg, author of Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children (HarperCollins). Additionally, the CDC identifies the following health benefits of pet companionship: decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels (indicators of heart disease); and feelings of loneliness. Having pets reduce stress immensely. A study recently published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine showed pet interaction reduces the amount of stress related hormones. Additionally, these positive effects are experienced faster than the impact of many drugs taken for stress. The decrease in stress hormones occurred after only 5 to 24 minutes of pleasantly interacting with a dog. Other studies have shown that when people are asked to do a stressful task, having their pet with them lowers their stress levels even more than having a supportive friend or their spouse close by. Pets can help prevent loneliness and isolation. They provide unconditional love, companionship and the opportunity for close connection. Pets encourage playfulness and often revive a sense of fun and adventure in their owners. Physical contact is important to good mental health and loved animal companions provide an opportunity for hugs and touch that might otherwise be missing. Pets have been found to be especially therapeutic for people with mood and anxiety disorders. Dog ownership has been implicated in helping to alleviate symptoms of depression among terminally ill patients, the elderly, and veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Elders can be particularly at risk of becoming lonely, isolated and depressed. Research looked at people 60 and older, who lived alone. The likelihood that a non-pet owner would be diagnosed as clinically depressed was four times higher than that found in the pet owning people of the same age. There was also evidence that these older pet owners required fewer medical services and were generally more satisfied with their lives. Children benefit greatly from the relationships with pets. Some studies have suggested that children with pets have higher self-esteem and lower levels of fear than those from pet-free homes. New research in the journal Pediatrics shows that children who live in a home with a pet during their first year of life are more likely to be healthier. “It’s more support in a growing body of evidence that exposure to pets early in life can stimulate the immune system to do a better job of fighting off infection,” Dr. Danielle Fisher, of St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Additionally children learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having pets. Pets are never critical and don’t give orders. They always love and provide a sense of security. Studies have shown that pets can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive children. As wonderful and beneficial as life with pets can be, it is not for everyone. Owning a pet is comforting only for those who love and appreciate domestic animals. If you’re simply not a “pet person”, pet ownership is not going to provide you with any therapeutic benefits or improve your life.

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” ~Ben Williams~ Dr. Bailey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Marietta. You can learn more about her by visiting: You may reach her at (770) 428-6698 or Your comments or questions are welcome.

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Michael D. Friedlander, D.V.M. Cat Care of Vinings Services Early Morning Drop-Off and Late Pick-Up Services Annual Examinations, Vaccinations, Behavioral Consultations Surgery, Dentistry, Ultrasound and Digital X-ray Condominium and “Special Needs”Boarding Supervised by Our Highly Trained Medical Staff

4 6 9 1 S . AT L A N TA R D . • S U I T E 2 0 0 • S M Y R N A Located in the Vinings Court Shopping Center-Upper Level

404.792.0700 • HOURS: WEEKDAYS 7AM - 7PM, SATURDAY 8AM - 12PM

• Full-Service Animal Hospital • In-House Bloodwork


• Late Evening & Weekend Appointments • On-Line Services • State of the Art Digital X-Ray

1860 Spring Road • Ste C • Smyrna (Right next to Cumberland Animal Clinic in the Spring Village Shopping Center)

Call to schedule an appointment (770) 874-3647

$6.00 OFF GROOMING SERVICES with this coupon. Expiration: April 30, 2013. Not valid with any other offer. One coupon per household. Must be presented at the time of service.


Monday and Friday 8 - 6 Tuesday thru Thursday 8 - 8 Saturday 9 - 1 • Sunday CLOSED Become a fan of CAC on Facebook

1860-D Spring Road Smyrna - in the Spring Village Shopping Center 770.433.1414 •

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Our Town Monthly Smyrna/Vinings  

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