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Our Town onthly M



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

Linda Demery & Lori McLinden

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.

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.

Account Executive Sara Young, Feature Photographer Al Eckford • Ally Shots Contributing Writers Leisa A. Bailey, PhD Holly & Diana Parks Shelia Frey Shasta Clark Deborah Ratchford Mark Orler Jill Barron Pam Walker Michael T. Morris, II, MD Amber Burckhalter Jason Goggans


Entire contents copyright 2014 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

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

678-337-7844 Fax: 678-337-7825

in this issue

6 Calendar of Events 8 Romantic Love – A Basic Human Need 9 Business Spotlight – Love Street Gifts and Heart & Sole 11 What’s Cookin’? 12 February Crossword 14 Heir-Raising Issues 15 Shopping with Shelia 16 About the Cover – Pebblebrook High School 19 Mommy Moments 19 Real Estate in Our Town 21 BUD-GET 22 Liquid Face Lift? 25 Our Town Travel – Philadelphia 26 Understanding Cholesterol 27 Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta 28 Nine Tips for You and Your Puppy 30 Health & Fitness – High Intensity Exercise

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

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Our Town

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february calendar of events

23RD ANNUAL LITTLE MISS COBB COUNTY PAGEANT: The event will take place at Southern Polytechnic State University, 1100 South Marietta Pwky., Marietta, Feb. 8th, 9:45 a.m. Six beauty titles will be awarded for ages 2 yrs. through 18 yrs. Separate talent search for ages 8 through 12 yrs. Information: Gene Phillips, 770-435-6378 and Chloe Esslinger, age 4, daughter of Chris and Traci Esslinger of Smyrna, will be among last year's winners on hand to crown the new Cobb County Sweethearts. Winners will be public relations ambassadors for Cobb County during coming year. MOMS CLUB OF SMYRNA: Are you looking for a support group of other stay-athome moms and their children? You have found it! The club is intended to be a resource for mothers at home to meet and learn from others. For more info visit, or email us at Our club is zoned for Teasley, Nickajack and Russell elementary school residents in the 30080 and 30082 zip codes.

MOMS CLUB OF SMYRNA WEST: MOMS Club of Smyrna-West is a national non-profit organization which offers support to stay-at-home mothers. Our chapter includes mothers of all ages, as well as those who work part-time, in or out of their home. We offer you the opportunity to share activities during the weekday with other moms and their children. MOMS Club plans a monthly calendar full of events for mothers and their children, including park play dates, playgroups, trips to local attractions, Mom’s Night Out and more. MCSW includes the King Springs and Norton Park Elementary School Districts. For more information please contact us

SMYRNA MOPS (MOTHERS OF PRESCHOOLERS): Smyrna First United Methodist Church’s MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group will now offer a Night Group in addition to its traditional program. Keeping up with the program demand and meeting the needs of working Moms, the Night Group will meet once a month on Wednesday evenings. All Smyrna-area Moms of kids age birth to Kindergarten are welcome, both SFUMC members and non-members alike. If you are interested in joining the MOPS Night Group, please contact or visit

JONQUIL GARDEN CLUB: The Jonquil Garden Club meets every 4th Tuesday at the library in downtown Smyrna at 10:30 a.m. The objective of the Jonquil Garden Club is to beautify and preserve our environment by encouraging conservation and plantings, not only in our own gardens, but in public places as well. For further information regarding registration or inquiries about membership, contact Marilynn Parker at 770-949-6640. You may also want to learn more about the club and upcoming events at: JUNIOR LEAGUE OF COBB-MARIETTA MARDI GRAS RUN: SAVE THE DATE The 5th Annual Marietta Mardi Gras 5K Run will be on Saturday, February 8, 2014 on the Marietta Square. All proceeds benefit the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta and its Community Partners. Visit to register and get detailed information.

LIL’ LAMBS CLOSET: Lil’ Lambs Closet. First United Methodist Church of Marietta. Registration begins online at on January 29th for church members and February 5th for the public. Shop Early on Thursday, March 6th from 6pm – 8pm ($5.00 early shopping fee, Thursday only), Friday, March 7th, 9am-7pm and Saturday, March 8th, 9am-1pm. No strollers allowed on the sales floor. 56 Whitlock Ave., Marietta, GA 30064. (770) 429-7850, ext. 7858 or

Bookkeeping / Tax Service “COMPLETE FINANCIAL THERAPY”

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BORN AGAIN BLESSINGS CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT SALE: Children's and maternity clothes, shoes, toys, nursery items, baby equipment, furniture and more! Friday, March 21, 9am-7pm. Saturday March 22, 9am-noon. Preview sale: Thursday open to workers and sellers only. First time moms can sign up for early shopping privileges. Cobb County Civic Center. 548 Marietta Parkway, Marietta. More info:

BUSINESS EXPO: an opportunity for local businesses to advertise and network their business with an established advertising company. The event is held at the Smyrna Community Center in the large gym on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 10 am- 2 pm. This event features local businesses, entertainment, raffles and give-aways. Something for the entire family, FREE admission to the public. For information about becoming a vendor, call Gary Hill at 770-438-6961. 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.


For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

Research Shows Romantic Love is a Basic Human Need by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D.

Dr. Sue Johnson is a clinical psychologist and researcher in the field of couple therapy. She presents and writes on attachment and bonding, the science of love, and interventions to repair relationships. She has just released her latest book: Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Sceince of Romantic Relationships. The book presents new scientific evidence that humans are not only capable but are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and in her newest book she presents how to develop a “love sense” – the ability to develop satisfying, long-lasting relationships.

Love Sense is a wonderful book that presents Dr. Johnson’s research and has been embraced by the most gifted and respected professionals in the field of couple therapy. Dr Johnson states that her research has determined that the first and foremost instinct of humans is neither sex nor aggression (as Freud believed). Rather, it is to seek contact and comforting connection. Dr. Johnson asserts that “the need to depend on one precious other – to know that when we ‘call,’ he or she will be there for us – never dissolves. In fact, it endures from cradle to grave.”

John Bowlby, an English psychiatrist proposed that humans are inherently disposed to love a few precious others who will hold and protect. This drive to bond is innate, not learned. Babies enter the world small and helpless and require years of nurturing and guarding before becoming independent. Dr. Johnson has identified that as adults, “we simply transfer that need from our primary caregiver to our lover; and that romantic love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival.” 770-432-0070

In Western culture dependency is a dirty word insisting that healthy adulthood requires emotional independence. However, close connections to others is one of the strongest predictors of happiness, associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression and makes one more resilient against stress and trauma. Humans need emotional connection to survive and thrive. Humans are happier and healthier when close and connected to others. Consistent emotional support lowers blood pressure and bolsters the immune system. Dr. Johnson asserts: “Emotional dependency is not immature or pathological; it is our greatest strength.”

Dr. Johnson writes in Love Sense: “It is understood that a love relationship is now not only the most intimate of adult relationships; it is also often the principal one. And for many it is the only one. The American Sociological Review reports that since the mid-1980’s, the number of Americans saying that they have only their partner to confide in has risen by 50 percent. We live in an era of growing emotional isolation and impersonal relationships.”

Given the incredible need for connection and attachment, Dr. Johnson identifies the essential question in intimate relationships as “Are you there for me?” This question is replayed in many ways throughout the span of an intimate bond.

She asserts that a secure bond has three basic elements:

• Accessibility – you give me your attention and are emotionally open to what I am saying; • Responsiveness – you accept my needs and fears and offer comfort and caring, and

• Engagement – you are emotionally present, absorbed, and involved with me. When these elements are missing, alienation and disconnection take over, and the relationship bond is damaged. Dr. Johnson offers an approach to couples therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy that is designed to help couples learn to open up, send clear messages, and respond to each other on an attachment level. The skills change the level of emotional engagement and allow the couple to truly “be there” for each other. I am hoping all find the ways to enjoy connection and bonding with their Valentine this year!

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) 4286698 Your comments or questions are welcome.

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Our Town

Love Street

heart &BOUTIQUE sole

Travel down Concord Road, through the middle of Smyrna, and you’ll find Love Street Gifts and Heart & Sole Boutique, two unique shops that are as cute as they are hard to miss. Located next door to each other, in two period houses that are a part of the old neighborhood, they have become destination shopping, with loyal customers from all over metro Atlanta.


ara hV aughan

Love Street Gifts, the older of the two stores, opened in 1999 as an antique store, which was the passion of its owner, Carole Keith, who had been collecting and selling vintage clothing, jewelry and other collectibles for several years while also working at Bellsouth as a software engineer. “I had 3 booths around Atlanta, but my dream was to open my own little shop” explains Keith. “One day I noticed that the business at the end of my street looked like they would be closing soon, so I contacted the landlord to let him know that I would like to open an antique store if they ever moved out. Within a month or two, I got the n call!” a ge on T She named the shop after the little a cc Br , Be end Smyrna side street where she lived. “People h t i a Sc Ke hwerin always thought it was cool that I lived on Love arole C , n i t r , Nancy Ma Street, and I thought they would remember that,” she says. Just a few of the local landmarks featured on Custom Coasters by Hazel. Created in Decatur, they are Love Street’s bestselling local product.

Love Street Antiques, as the store was originally named, was an immediate hit, but Carole noticed that patrons were asking for candles and “gifty” items. She began transforming her shop into what it is now: a boutique brimming with gifts for every occasion, accessories for the home and garden, jewelry and other girly things. There’s also plenty of “humorous and silly stuff,” as Carole calls it, for the child in all of us. Today their focus is on acquiring made-in-the-USA and locally made products. Two of the most popular are Custom Coasters by Hazel, made in Decatur, and Re-wined Candles, from Charleston, South Carolina. They also feature lots of fair trade, giving back and eco-friendly items.

Love Street in Dallas/Acwo rth moved a few doors down in December, into a much larger space.

In the fall of 2007, Carole opened a clothing, jewelry and shoe boutique, Heart & Sole, in the house next to the gift store. This shop offers a wide selection of affordable clothing, from boho to preppy, and major brands like TOMS shoes, Frye boots and PANDORA Jewelry. They are also proud to carry many “Made in America” clothing, jewelry and candle lines. They are an exclusive retailer for the highly sought after Alex & Ani jewelry, made in Rhode Island from recycled metals.

Three years ago, Love Street expanded beyond Smyrna, when Carole opened another Love Street in Dallas, Georgia, at Seven Hills Station shopping center. The shop has become such an important mainstay in the growing Cedarcrest community, just west of Acworth, that they expanded into a much larger space in December. “My customers are so loyal and conscientious about supporting their local, small businesses,” Carole says, excitedly. “The best is when a customer brings in their friends and family who are visiting to show them their favorite store. This happens a lot and it makes me so happy!”

The Love Street slogan, “Shop Local, Share the Love,” doesn’t just apply to its loyal customers. Carole makes certain that all her stores participate in their communities, by supporting local charities and schools, and also sponsoring the Smyrna Heroes Gala, an annual event to support Smyrna’s public safety workers.

“The other great joy of owning Love Street is having amazing employees, most of whom are college students and working moms,” Carole explains. “We have created a work life that is flexible and supportive for each other, and best of all, a fun place to work! Happy employees make for happy customers and keep us growing.” Alex & Ani jewelry is “Made in America with Love,” from recycled metals. is big-hearted company donates part of its profits to charity. Love Street Gifts & Garden 1295 Concord Road Smyrna, Georgia 30080 770-434-8578


Heart & Sole Boutique 1275 Concord Road Smyrna, Georgia 30080 678-238-0130

Love Street at Cedarcrest 80 Seven Hills Blvd, Ste 501 Dallas, Georgia 30132 678-483-0283

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town


Diabetes Education Classes: 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 will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and are held in the hospital’s cafeteria. Cost is $45.00 for three classes. A support person—without diabetes—may attend without charge. Fee is payable the first night of class. Call 770-4376913 or 770-438-4373 for upcoming dates or to register. You may also register on-line at Managing Diabetes with Insulin: If you are knowledgeable about diabetes, but want more information about insulin or are having problems with your insulin, this would be an excellent review class for you. This free class is held in the hospital cafeteria on the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. Please call the Education Department at 770-4376913 to register or for further questions.

Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will host “Why Forgive” on Tuesday, February 11, at 7:00 PM. People often focus on forgiveness concerning how it will impact the person being forgiven and their feelings and well-being. Forgiveness is not a mandate to agree with actions of wrongdoers, nor is it an agreement to welcome those individuals back into your life without holding them accountable for their actions. There are physical and psychological benefits to forgiving others and forgiving yourself. This presentation will teach the benefits of forgiveness, how to forgive others and yourself, and give you steps to do so. If you choose to forgive you can live a healthier and happier life through finding more inner peace. This free class will be held in the hospital cafeteria. Call 770-319-2025 to reserve your spot. Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will offer a class on “Chest Pain & Coronary Artery Disease” on Tuesday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. February is American Heart Month. Jacob Levy, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, will host a talk on way to develop a heart healthy lifestyle. This class will cover small changes in order to improve y our lifestyle and heart health. Dr. Levy will speak on the importance of a heart healthy diet, exercise and changing poor health habits. This free class will be held in the hospital cafeteria. Call 770319-2025 to reserve your spot.


For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

what’s cookin’?

Still trying to stick to your New Year’s Resolution of maintaining a healthier lifestyle? Join the Junior League of CobbMarietta (JLCM) for the 5th Annual Marietta Mardi Gras 5K Run on Saturday, Feb. 8 on the Marietta Square at 8 a.m. Visit for more information or to register. All proceeds benefit the JLCM and its Community Partners. For an extra push to get you going, the JLCM cookbooks, Georgia On My Menu and Southern On Occasion, offer a variety of recipes that will help you stick to your 2014 goals. For more delicious recipes like the ones below, purchase a cookbook by visiting the League Web site at or one of these local retailers: Doodlebugz, The Chandlery, Cottonwood Gifts, The Local Exchange, and The Keeping Room. boiling water for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Add the grapes. Steam for one minute. Spoon into a serving bowl. Drizzle with the butter.

Charlie’s Caesar Salad Georgia On My Menu, page 71 Yield: 4 Servings 2 Cloves Garlic 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste 1/3 cup olive oil 1/2 cup box seasoned croutons 1 medium size head of Romaine lettuce 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated Break garlic in large wooden salad bowl. Add vinegar and lemon juice; soak for two hours. Remove garlic from liquid and rub sides of bowl. Dice half of one clove and leave in liquid. Add egg, olive oil and anchovy paste. Tear Romaine into one inch squares. Toss with croutons and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Add Pepper to taste. Brussels Sprouts with Red Grapes Southern On Occasion, page 201 To serve four to six 12 Brussels Sprouts 30 Seedless Red Grapes 1/4 Cup Melted Butter




Don’t Miss Your Own Party! Let me do the work before, during and after.

Honey Chicken Southern On Occasion, page 328 Yield: 4 Servings 4 boned chicken breasts 1/2 cup honey 1/4 cup butter 1 teaspoon curry 1/3 cup yellow mustard 1 teaspoon salt Cooking oil

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt Butter in small pan. Stir in honey, curry, mustard, and salt. Set aside. Brown chicken in frying pan with a little oil. Drain oil. Put chicken in casserole and pour mixture over it. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Our Town

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770.863.0005 4480 Cooper Lake Rd. • Suite 210 • Smyrna, GA 30082 At the corner of Cooper Lake & the E-W Connector PAGE 12

1 Northwest by north 5 Vertical line 10 Saclike structures filled with fluid or diseased matter 14 Realm 15 Tally 16 Two 17 Indonesian island 18 Dickens' "__ of Two Cities" (2 wds.) 19 Reverse 20 Fern seed 22 Light 24 Legend 25 Sabre 27 Froth 29 Makes bigger, with "up" 32 Gone With the Wind's Mr. Butler 35 Negative (prefix) 38 Central daylight time

39 Smoggier 40 Toilet 41 Legit (2 wds.) 43 Ocean 44 Complain 46 Rainy mo. 47 TV award 48 Overturn 49 Grassy plain 51 Improvise a speech 54 Classifies 57 Doctoral degree 59 Young person 62 Gives off 64 Intertwine 66 Car shoes 68 A spinning toy (2 wds.) 69 Vessel 70 Sporty car brand 71 Scan 72 In addition 73 Shoot clay targets 74 Had known

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

1 Grabs


35 __ matter

2 Coats

36 Part of speech

3 Nether

37 Twisters

4 Kenya capital

39 Wounds

5 School group

41 Completely

6 Plenty 7 American state

42 Environmental protection

8 Boys

agency (abbr)

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45 Dirt

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57 Guilty or not

28 Megahertz

58 Dog sound

30 Not JFK

60 Real

31 Lash

61 Not there

33 Seethe

63 Gush out

34 What waiters carry

65 Not amateur 67 Rested

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For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

HEIR-RAISING ISSUES by Holly and Diana Parks

Fill Your Home with Beautiful Furniture

During the second half of the 20th century, twins “Dear Abby” and Ann Landers fielded life questions with humor and common sense answers. In a similar vein, this mother/daughter team is offering Our Town readers their own outlet for parenting problems. Holly and Diana would like to address your specific questions and encourage you to email them at Also in Dear Abby fashion, we will preserve your privacy with pertinent aliases and will welcome any feedback.

Presented in print, parenting questions typically morph from individual cases to universal issues. Take heart; you are not alone.

“How do I get them to stop bickering…or is that normal for sisters?” - Wits End in Mableton

It’s inevitable. We tend to take advantage of those we love the most and who we know are stuck with us. Think of the kid gloves we wore during the dating years vs. the boxing gloves we sometimes tie on after the first few years of marriage. Siblings are no different, and they didn’t even get to choose each other. Over the years we’ve stumbled upon some tools that have helped hurdle the sometimes seemingly incessant arguments.

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• When it involves splitting a candy bar, the person to call, “You cut, I get first pick” creates comical pressure for the other to divide evenly down to the last crumb.

• Each child gets to claim three “Have to Ask” toys. Those “Holy Grail” toys are off limits to the siblings unless specific permission is given. Sharing is important, but there’s nothing wrong with having something to call your own.

• If an argument lands two little rascals in time out, they may get up when each child has imposed a punishment on the other, and the other accepts. The tension is often diffused by the absurdity of a six-cartwheel consequence or the silliness of imitating the dog for three minutes.

• When the squabbles are based on the “me first” issues, link the privileges of the day with a daily chore. For example, whoever is on tap to feed the dog or set the table that day chooses the car music or the after-school snack.

• If they don’t come to you, let them work it out. As tempting as it is to step in and solve your children’s problems, your intervention can encourage tattling. If the decibel level borders on the red zone, send them upstairs to settle their “discussion.”

• Establish non-negotiable phrases that are not permitted under any circumstances. “I hate you” is a good one. “Shut up” is another. Even in the midst of blinding frustration, respect is vital. Creating margin minimizes the danger of hurling words you can’t take back.

• When the bickering evolves to the point of needing a parent to step in, a good starting point is to require each child to say what she did wrong. Accusations are off the table; any attempt to point the finger is immediately shut down. If neither child admits to any wrong-doing, “then I guess there’s not a problem, is there?”

Sibling conflicts are often rougher on the parents than on the kids, but just know this too shall pass.

DISCLAIMER: THESE TECHNIQUES HAVE ALSO PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE WITH SPOUSES. THE CARTWHEELS ARE CLASSICS. Diana and Holly Parks are a mother-daughter duo who have co-authored the book I Didn’t See Me Do It. Visit their website at or go to Amazon to order.

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

Shopping with Shelia real style for real women


Are you guilty of being so focused on work or being a mom that you’ve completely neglected your feminine, flirty side? Are you constantly buying business clothes or yoga pants and “making do” with unexciting choices for weekend engagements? Do you say no to social invitations because you don’t have anything to wear? If you’re like most women, you’re neglecting the part of your life that could use an infusion of attractive, attention-getting items. If you’re someone who thinks “looking sexy” is only for 20-year-old starlets, you may be ignoring this playful, fun part of dressing. Everyone has her own way of expressing sexiness. I’ll break this down into categories so you can consider choices for your own sexy recipe.

Eye-catching accessories

Chandelier earrings with movement Bold bracelets with shiny details like rhinestones, beading, and gemstones High heels or high-heeled boots in black, bright colors or nudes Small clutch or small-framed handbags Metallic bags Cocktail rings on a manicured hand Hair ornaments or clips that help create an easy up-do Fishnet or patterned stockings

Essential clothing pieces

Sexy, yet elegant black dress Pencil skirts or mermaid shaped skirts A dress or skirt with a prominent back zipper Slim black pants Well-fitted dress with draped neckline Strapless necklines Feminine tops or dresses with one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder or open back styling

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Beauty kit must-haves

Black kohl eyeliner with a wing that extends out and up from the lid Lip-gloss with a hint of color and shine Your best shade of red lipstick Flash eyelashes Classic nail colors, freshly applied Blush or bronzer

Undergarments to own

Pretty lingerie Shapers that create smooth lines under slim, snug silhouettes A smooth surfaced (no lace) bra with a thin foam cup for sheer tops or dresses A full slip (which may be what’s visible under a lace dress) Well-fitting thong underwear for no panty lines

Key notes for getting it right

Go for form-fitting pieces, not overly tight ones. Show off your waistline with a belt or with the cut of a top or dress. Flatter your legs with slim skirts or tapered pants. Pay close attention to your hair and makeup. Walk with confidence.

Making the extra effort is worth it and will be appreciated by that special someone this Valentine’s Day.

My Personal shopping service is available for women who don't have time to hunt through racks of clothing, don't know what looks good on them, or just don't like to shop. I can take the stress and frustration out of looking your best. Contact me at or 770/893-8944.


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Our Town

Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School

Members of ComPAny 2014 on our February cover

May Alwan, Grace Arnold, Maya Bowles, Kirby Burgess, Julia Captino, Amanda Frothingham, Alexandria Garland, Maggie McCown, Erica Morchower, Heather Morgan, Ariella Riapos, Jordan Wilkes, Jacob Attaway, Jabari Carter, Max Chamber, Lane Eberle, Daniel Forbes, Jordan Garcia, Nacoleon Hillsman, Cansler McGhee, Comodore Primous, Austyn Rich, Billy Shearstone, and Alex Sherwin

Year Pep Rally.” ComPAny closes their season in May with a final performance at The Art Place on Sandy Plains Road in Marietta. While this seems like a prodigious schedule in itself, most of them also take online classes while all of this is going on. One ComPAny mother, Jennifer Wilkes, laughed, “They actually see Frank (Timmerman) more than they see their families.” In late December following the Christmas holidays, Timmerman gathers his troops in ComPAny and shuttles them to New York City for a week of intense classes and training with some of the leading instructors and teachers on Broadway. During this week, their 10-hour days consist of intense focus on choreography, vocals, dance, and more. Timmerman told Our Town, “ We are so fortunate to have these great connections in NYC. Space is rented at Ripley-Grier Studios, and the kids work their hearts out during that entire week. In the evenings, we hit several Broadway productions. This year we were able to see “Pippin”, “Motown: The Musical”, “Cinderella” and “The Glass Menagerie,” a real treat for the ComPAny!” Broadway Bound and More

ComPAny 2014 members with Program Director, Frank Timmerman Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts, the magnet program at Pebblebrook High School, is set in the heart of Cobb County. Established more than 27 years ago as the first magnet program in the Cobb County School District, CCCEPA has not only made its mark in our little corner of the world, but is recognized as one of the premier performing arts training programs in the country! A Look inside the CCCEPA programs

At CCCEPA there are four areas of concentration for majors: vocal, dance, drama, and technical theatre. A large percentage of the students actually “double major or minor” and take classes in three areas of concentration rather than two. Students study in their major concentration for two class periods each day. In addition, many of these kids work late into the evening crafting their talents and taking online classes in order to focus on more training during the school day. The program consists of 300 -350 students who attend Pebblebrook High School, which is also home to over 2000 Cobb County students. The energy of the program lives in the halls at Pebblebrook! The vocal program includes the Pebblebrook chamber choir, select choirs such as 18 Voice, solos, classical, musical theatre, music theory, piano, and piano theory. The dance program incorporates hip-hop, jazz, classical ballet, modern dance, conditioning and enrichment. The Drama program comprises internal timing, projection, emotive studies, cold readings, improvisation, Shakespearean study, monologue study, traditional and contemporary plays, classical theatre, comedy and musical theatre. The Technical Theatre program consists of concentration in set construction, lighting, sound, costume and stage management.

As you can imagine, the students enrolled at CCCEPA are not only talented, but their academics play an important part of their success in the program as well. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA to participate. Program director, Frank Timmerman told us, “ The students who are enrolled in our programs are talented and driven. Early on, they recognize what they need to do to get the most out of CCCEPA. From day one, college and further study after graduation is encouraged. Because of our reputation, our graduates are accepted into a host of prestigious colleges and universities. We have many former students who have enrolled in the Juilliard School, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the University of Michigan, to name a few. To date, CCCEPA students have been awarded $16.5 million in college scholarships. Last year alone, $4 million was awarded in scholarships to CCCEPA graduates.” ComPAny 2014

Each year more than 100 students audition in May for a spot in ComPAny for the following academic year. Twenty+ talented scholars and performers are chosen for ComPAny. Their work begins the week before school starts in the fall and ends in May of that school year. Members of ComPAny 2014 gathered for the Our Town February cover shot taken by photographer, Al Eckford. As you can see, they are a group of young talented teenagers who love to have fun, but are not afraid of the hard work their schedules demand!

ComPAny begins their performances in the fall at the Miss Cobb County Pageant and the North Georgia State Fair. In October they present their own weekend production at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. This year’s presentation was titled “Déjà vu.” In December, they joined other performers for “Home for the Holidays” at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre as well. This past December, members of ComPAny 2014 performed at the “66th Annual Great Tree Lighting at Macy’s at Lenox Square,” which aired live on WSB Channel 2. During the academic year the group is invited to perform at several Cobb County events, including the “Teacher of the


A record number of students are currently performing on Broadway this season. Timmerman says, “Broadway is a dream come true for many of our theatre alumni. This year we are proudly represented by eight CCCEPA students in Broadway productions.” They include Billy Tighe in “Pippin,” Cody Williams in “Cinderella,” Justin Patterson in “Annie,” Cary Tedder in “Big Fish,” K.J. Hippenstill in “Book of Morman,” Nathen Madden in “Chicago,” Ryan Breslin in “Newsies” and Carlos Valdes in “Once.”

Timmeran adds, “ We are represented in productions and performance art all over the world. Our graduates include students performing in ballet, opera singers, choreographers, playwrights, conductors and teachers. We’ve earned a reputation in New York and around the country as one of the top training programs for young performing artists.” Auditions for the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Each year, CCCEPA travels to the 24 middle schools in Cobb County to audition talented rising 9th grade students for the magnet program. To be considered, a student must prepare a one to two minute presentation in acting, technical theatre, dance or vocal music. CCCEPA is looking for well-rounded students with solid academic records. Their goal is to train, develop, and nurture talented young artists for successful careers in the performing arts through extensive training programs. All students must be residents of the Cobb County School District to be eligible for the program. Cobb County eights graders interested in auditioning for CCCEPA should speak with their middle school counselors and also to refer to the CCCEPA website under the admissions tab for an admissions form, admission calendar and further information about the audition process. Cobb County high school students and students not enrolled in a Cobb County middle school should contact Frank Timmerman, program director, to schedule an audition on the Pebblebrook campus. Auditions are held each year from November through June. Our hats are off to the Cobb County School district for having a vision 27 years ago to establish and develop the CCCEPA magnet program at Pebblebrook High School. With hard work and dedication from the students, Program Director, Frank Timmerman and community visionaries Dance Instructor, Ellen Edwards work with ComPAny 2014. and school leaders, they have put this extraordinary program on the map throughout the country and the world!

Te winter production of the season for CCCEPA will be LES MISÉRABLES presented as part of the Encore Series at the Cobb Civic Center’s Jennie T. Anderson eatre on February 13, 14, and 15th at 8pm and February 16th at 3 pm. Tickets are available through the Jennie T. Anderson eatre Box Office at 770-528-8490 and at Cobb County Center for Excellence of the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook high School is located at 991 Old Alabama Road, Mableton 30126 770-819-2521 Cobb County Center for Excellence of the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School is located at 991 Old Alabama Road, Mableton 30126 • 770-819-2521

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Our Town

feature photographer

Meet this month's photographer Al Eckford of Ally Shots. Al spent more than 25 years in the corporate world, but his passion had always been to turn his love of photography into a successful business. Through the creation of Ally Shots, he has done just that. Specializing in commercial photography, families, individuals and sporting events, Al will tell you he has an "ability to capture the personality and the spirit of any moment." As he shows you his impressive gallery, you will see that each photograph tells its own story. "Each is special in its own right," said Al. "Whether it be a family portrait or a corporate site, I believe my photographs speak for themselves." He loves being creative with his photographs and enjoys finding ways to capture each of his subjects' personalities. A supporter of the arts, Al especially enjoyed the Our Town assignment at Pebblebrook.

Al is a lifetime resident of Marietta and he received his BA in business from Kennesaw State University. He and his wife, Sally, have two daughters, Alex and Turner. He is a proud member of the Professional Photographers of America and the Georgia Professional Photography Association. To learn more about Ally Shots visit or on Facebook at



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Our Town

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Our Town

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MOMMY MOMENTS by Shasta Clark I Don't Freak Out Anymore

On December 31, my husband lost his job. There was a time in our marriage when I would have been in full-on freak-out mode within hours of hearing that news. I'd be crying, worrying, calling my best friend and my mom so I could discuss every what-if scenario with them, and I'd be losing lots of sleep. But I haven't called my best friend, I'm sleeping like a baby, and I'm not worried. Actually, I'm excited to see where this journey will lead us. That probably sounds crazy. When I put it on paper, I should be losing it, big time. On the day I'm writing this, my husband doesn't have any interviews lined up. We are a single-income family (now no-income) with three children and a mortgage. It's a terrible time of year to become unemployed: Christmas, property taxes due, high heating bills, and two months ago, we dipped into our savings to pay cash for a new-to-me car. To top it off, my husband's industry is in limbo because the Affordable Care Act is taxing it heavily. Yet my heart is peaceful. Here's the difference between the younger freak-out me and the older peaceful me: The older me has gone through a refining process that's given me more wisdom, more faith and more peace. When I was younger, I really wanted those things. I didn't like flipping out, but I didn't know how to get them. I didn't get them overnight. Through the years, my husband and I have journeyed down tough roads. If you're married, you know what roads I'm talking about. Ours have street signs named, "Post-Partum Depression St.," "House Won't Sell Ave.," and "Job Loss Rd." Yours probably have different names, but all married couples have them. For us, every time we ventured down one of those roads, we ended up in a better place than where we started. Sometimes we ended up with a better paying job or a house that sold for a profit, sometimes we didn't. But we always ended up with more faith in God and a stronger marriage, and that's a better place to be. Through trials, we learned how to pray together, and we witnessed God carry us through every single time, without fail. So the next time we met adversity, we prayed earlier, trusted him more and worried less. I started seeing God's faithfulness over and over, and I slowly stopped freaking out. I slowly became more peaceful. Until this time, when my husband got the call that he lost his job on December 31, I didn't freak out at all. Peace is an amazing gift.



by Deborah Ratchford

ATTENTION ALL BUYERS!!!! It is time to get off the fence and purchase a new home. Interest rates are on the rise!!!!

In 2012 interest rates fluctuated between 3.4% and 3.5%. 2013 brought an entirely different story. In July buyers were struck with ever-changing interest rates that eventually spiraled out of control towards the end of the year. This began with the announcement from the Federal Reserve stating that they would withdraw funding of their bond purchasing program. This program was created to keep interest rates low as many loan borrowers were expecting. The Federal Reserve has been hinting at ending bond purchasing for months with speculation that this will come to fruition in September 2014.

However, borrowers should not lose hope. Interest rates are still at an all time low. Buyers and sellers should make their move now if they are planning on buying or selling in the near future. 2014 will still be a healthy home buying year with plenty of opportunities to purchase and sell a home. There are still opportunities to obtain loans with a good down payment. Interest rates will more than likely rise during 2014. Sources are predicating that rates could creep back up to 5% towards the end of 2014 and into 2015.

We feel that rates will continue to rise as the economy continues to improve. With that in mind, interest rates may be a factor in qualifying for a home loan and buying power. There are many knowledgeable lenders in the market place and I would be happy to recommend a reputable lender to help you explore what your options are.

My team would be happy to assist you with any of your buyer or seller questions. Please feel free to give us a call at 678-570-4779. We would be happy to be a resource concerning areas, prices, or any question you may have about Real Estate and the entire process. We would also like to invite you to visit our website at

Deborah Ratchford Keller Williams Realty Cityside 678-570-4779

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Our Town

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Our Town

BUD-GET by Mark Orler

On occasion I get asked to speak to different groups about subjects relating to family, faith and fatherhood and typically these are presented in lighthearted atmospheres where my feeble attempts at humor are at least politely appreciated, if not shared.

But recently I was asked by our local congregation to give a class on Family Finances. At first I thought it was someone else’s feeble attempt at humor, or they needed an example of “What Not to Do” but I was surprised when more than 20 young couples showed up to listen to my take on the role of money in a Christian families household.

What came out of that series of classes both educated and emboldened me on the subject of fiscal household responsibility and as a lovely bi-product made my wife’s life miserable.

Here is what we learned. First, money is not evil, however, loving it can put you on an interstate whose destination would make Florida in July feel like the North Pole. I am reminded of a quote from a movie called “The Jerk” where Bernadette Peter’s character has just learned the depth of their family’s financial woes and says, “I don’t care about losing all the money, I care about losing all the stuff.” There is an atmosphere of “stuff envy” that has corrupted our lives and has been enabled by “easy credit” and “creative financing” to a point where families are financially drowning underneath their stuff because we have bought into the fallacy of Rent-toOwn vs. Save-to-Own. Second, there is an entire financial class in the book of Deuteronomy that should be taught in every High School. The foundational principles shared in those chapters would create much more stable households and would enhance both your faith and fiscal peace. Regardless of your religious background, honest rules like “don’t lend money,” especially to near-do-well brother-in-laws needing that loan on their new Harley to be co-signed, have a bigger punch when you can quote chapter and verse.

College campuses are awash with credit card companies signing up our young people for cards that will inevitably cause them distress, and there is usually only one guy holding up a Bible in the quad trying to get our kid’s attention drawn in another financial direction…he has the right idea.

Thirdly, a Budget is not a four-letter word…literally! One of the best quotes from my wife when I asked her about whether or not we had “budgeted” for a particular purchase she reminded me of a conversation where she said, “BUD, you better let me GET that!” Therefore, the answer was yes.

And finally, what made my wife’s life so miserable is that I shared all of her ingenious ways of cutting costs around the household so that now she is constantly fielding emails and calls about family meal planning, pro-active grocery shopping and high-end consignment to the point where she would have preferred remaining a “silent” partner in all this.

But like I told her, “It’s not the stuff I love, it’s the person who bought it.” So there are chocolates and Flowers in this month’s “BUD-GET.” Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and part-time observationist. Mark can be reached at


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Our Town



by Jill Barron Cosmetic Consultant and Licensed Aesthetician • Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa Many patients seeking anti-aging treatments or cosmetic enhancements are calling cosmetic injectables and fillers a "liquid face lift". Injectable fillers and neurotoxins are used in many dermatology, plastic surgery practices and med spas for cosmetic enhancement. For many people, they have become a great alternative to more invasive anti-aging procedures or surgeries.

These injections are typically used to treat, smooth, or "fill in" some wrinkles, lines, creases, and other facial depressions quickly, and with little to no downtime. They may also add volume to thin or shallow cheeks, hands, scars, lips and other areas needing a slight lift or fill. What types of injectables are available and what do they treat? There are many types of injectable treatments used for cosmetic enhancement, but the most commonly used and well known are: hyaluronic acid based fillers, calcium hydroxylapatite, and neurotoxin injectables. Hyaluronic acid based fillers are typically used to add volume, plump up lips, reduce or remove wrinkles and fill shallow contours and creases. Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, and Belotero are examples of hyaluronic acid based fillers. These are commonly injected into nasolabial folds (creases from the sides of the nose to the corner of the mouth), marionette lines, cheeks, fine lines above the mouth, hands, and the upper or lower lip.

Another type of facial filler, (brand name: Radiesse), is made of Calcium Hydroxylapatite, a mineral component of bone and is thicker than many other fillers. This filler is used for cosmetic enhancement and to fill/add volume to many of the same areas listed above.

Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin, are neurotoxin injectables. Small amounts of botulinim toxin are injected with these to temporarily paralyze the contraction of the muscle that causes the wrinkle(s). Neurotoxin injectables are typically injected into the forehead, glabella, and around the eyes where crows feet are.

Some injectables work best, or are indicated for, specific areas. For example, thicker fillers may not be the best choice for fine, thinner lines and could result in unnatural looking lumps or complications. To add volume to deep lines, wrinkles or shallow contours, a thicker filler may deliver better results. An experienced doctor can help you decide which is the safest and most effective injectable treatment for your specific concern(s). Are injectables safe? It is extremely important to ask the right questions before scheduling any cosmetic treatment or procedure. It is not worth the risk of personal safety to save a few dollars. As a patient, being “armed” with a little knowledge and asking the right questions can help with choosing the best doctor for your cosmetic procedure and may prevent severe complications.

Choosing a doctor who is board certified, extremely experienced with various types of injectables, has expertise in, and is knowledgeable of facial structure and the anatomy and physiology of the skin may reduce the risk of complications occurring.

Some of the more common areas treated with cosmetic injectables are actually done "off-label". "Offlabel" use is not regulated or FDA approved and often has little to no safety data available. For example, the FDA may approve an injectable treatment for treating forehead wrinkles, but not for wrinkles around the eyes even though doctors may have been using it around the eyes with great success for several years. With almost any cosmetic procedure or treatment there are risks associated, but when used "off-label" that risk may be higher, so expertise and skill are of greater importance. Good questions to ask before scheduling a cosmetic procedure: • Who is administering the procedure? • How long have they been doing the procedure? • Are they Board Certified by the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Plastic Surgery or American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery? • Is there any downtime associated with the procedure? • Is there anything I need to know before scheduling? • What risks are associated with the procedure? • Who do they order the injectable/filler from? • Is the product shipped directly from the manufacturer to the doctor and from the US? • What is the cost of the procedure? If the cost seems very low compared to others, why? If it seems very high, why?


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Our Town


We are pleased to announce a new choice for pediatric healthcare in the Smyrna/Vinings area:

West Vinings Pediatric Group • Crystal L. White, M.D., F.A.A.P.

We are excited to serve you and your family. We want to provide your child with high quality healthcare and give you and your family the excellent service that you deserve!! • Warm and friendly atmosphere • Board-certified pediatrician with 12 years of experience • Full-range of primary healthcare for newborns through teens • Modern, attractive office

• Convenient location minutes from South Cobb Drive and I-285 • Same Day Appointments Available • Prenatal/Meet the Doctor visits • Sports Physicals • We accept most major insurance plans.


West Vinings Pediatric Group • 3644 Highlands Parkway • Smyrna, GA 30082 Please call for more information: 404-446-3960 •


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Our Town


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Our Town


Little did I know when I attended a meeting in the Northeast that I would be visiting Philadelphia too. I had been born there too many years back to mention, and had not been back since. What a surprise! Hosted by the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia, I was in the center of everything. From the window of my room I could see all of the sights of the city and most were within walking distance. The Ritz is housed in what was one the Girard Trust Company. Built in 1904 it was one of “Philly’s” most prominent banks and is now an architectural masterpiece of turn of the century design. There are many such buildings in Philadelphia. The forefathers wrote our constitution here and the newer generations were not about to destroy the history found here. I had no idea that the Philadelphia in the old “Rocky” movie was more than an art museum alongside a river and some run down areas as seen in the film. Philadelphia is a beautiful city with numerous Colonial sites that ring with the history of our country. There is a museum dedicated to Benjamin Franklin, and The Betsy Ross House is where the famous flag maker constructed the first flag of the United States of America. You can visit the Liberty Bell Center and view the 2800-pound bell with its famous crack that rang on July 8, 1776, to announce the first reading of our Declaration of Independence. Not to be missed is Independence Hall where our Declaration of Independence was adopted and the US Constitution drafted. There are many other things to do and see in Philadelphia. The famed Reading Terminal Market is a must see. Wonderful hot apple dumplings and other great Amish treats, as well as, Philly Steak and Cheese steak sandwiches, and fresh grown fruits and vegetables can be purchased at the myriad of booths located there. Chinatown is not far and almost as good as those in San Francisco and New York. There are other areas to visit as well. Try Penn’s Landing


along the Delaware River for some great seafood... or visit Rittenhouse Square to shop your heart out at designer and boutique shops. Or enjoy Chestnut Hill with its historic cobblestone streets and homes from the early part of the 18th century. Philly is also a city for the arts. Everywhere you go you will see murals painted on walls of city buildings. There are over 3,500 of them throughout the city. The Ritz Carlton also sits in the center of the city’s cultural arts community and is located on the Avenue of the Arts. There are theatres, museums and beautiful examples of turn of the century architecture all around. There are art tours, sculling tours (rowing boats), bike tours, trolley tours, mural arts tours, food tours and even Segway tours if you are so inclined. Restaurants run the gamut from American to over the top eclectic and cuisines from around the world. Philadelphia is known as the “Birthplace of the United States.” but has definitely become a World City. It is a great, fun city to explore. ……and learn at the same time! Pam Walker is a Virtuoso Travel Advisor and can be reached at

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february crossword solution

Our Town

Understanding Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Risk What Is Cholesterol?

Most people are familiar with the term 'cholesterol'. The word appears in print ads, television commercials, and is listed on the nutritional information on almost anything you eat. But how much do you really know about cholesterol and why is it so important?

Cholesterol is an organic molecule that is necessary for cell membranes and serves as the basis for hormone production and bile acids (part of the digestive process). However, too much of a good thing can be bad. When there is a high concentration of lipids (including fats and cholesterol) in the bloodstream, there is more plaque growth in the arteries. This plaque can develop in any of the blood vessels of the body including those of the heart (leading to heart attacks), the brain (leading to strokes), and the legs (leading to peripheral artery disease). Cholesterol is ingested through the foods we eat, but a large portion of the cholesterol in the body is actually created by our own bodies! The Cholesterol Panel

Cholesterol is unable to circulate in the bloodstream in its pure form and must be 'packaged' with lipoproteins. The density of these lipoproteins determines the form of the cholesterol molecule. The common types of cholesterol that are measured in a standard cholesterol panel are: Total Cholesterol • LDL Cholesterol • HDL Cholesterol • Triglycerides

Total Cholesterol is the more frequently used cholesterol number. Traditionally, whenever the total cholesterol is over 200, you are considered to have 'high cholesterol'.

LDL Cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, is a form of cholesterol that carries cholesterol from the liver to your tissues. However, when there is an excess amount of LDL cholesterol, the cholesterol can begin to form plaques in the arteries. For this reason, LDL is often called 'Bad Cholesterol'. When the LDL Cholesterol is too high, your risk of cardiovascular disease is also high.

HDL Cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, has an opposite role. It picks up cholesterol from the tissues and carries it back to the liver to be excreted from the body or used in production of new cells or hormones. Because it is effective in clearing cholesterol from the blood stream, thereby preventing formation of plaque, it is often called 'Good Cholesterol'. When you have a low HDL, your risk of cardiovascular disease is higher. Having a high HDL is a GOOD thing.

Triglycerides is another name for fat and can also increase plaque formation in the arteries, leading to cardiovascular disease.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ): What is a normal cholesterol level? Traditionally, Total Cholesterol should be less than 200, HDL over 40, LDL under 100, and Triglycerides under 150. However, updates to the cholesterol management guidelines in November 2013 have gotten away from using strict numeric values and place more emphasis on risk factors. Now it is recommended that anyone with heart disease, diabetes, very high LDL cholesterol (over 190), or high cardiac risk (based on risk scoring systems) should be started on medical therapy. How is cholesterol treated? The two main ways to treat cholesterol are lifestyle changes (such as diet and exercise) and medical therapy. Diet changes will help decrease the amount of cholesterol that is being absorbed and will help decrease the amount of cholesterol in the blood. The dietary changes include decreasing the amount of cholesterol in the diet by eating more lean meat and less fried food. Decreasing carbohydrates in the diet helps reduce triglycerides. Medical therapy often involves a class of medications called 'statins'. These medications, which go by trade names such as Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), or Zocor (simvastatin), block the enzyme that is involved with process that the body uses to create cholesterol. Lifestyle changes typically will result in lowering of LDL levels by up to 10-15%, in contrast some of the statin medications can lower LDL by up to 65%. Combining lifestyle changes and medical therapy is a powerful method to improve cholesterol numbers and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Is it possible to have heart disease with normal cholesterol? Yes, it is possible to have heart disease with normal cholesterol. Even though you are much less likely to have heart disease with normal or low cholesterol, there are some forms of cholesterol that are more likely to cause disease, even at normal numbers. More advanced cholesterol panels can be performed that look deeper into the cholesterol levels and evaluate for additional markers of inflammation and use methods to determine those individuals that have variations in LDL and HDL that are more likely to form plaque. These abnormalities are often not significantly improved with statin therapy and require a more tailored therapeutic approach. These advanced tests can be especially useful in those with normal standard cholesterol panels, but a strong family history of heart disease. I take a statin and my cholesterol is normal. Now can I stop taking the medication? The cholesterol level is normal now because the medication is helping to lower the levels. If the medication is stopped, it is very likely to increase back to the previously elevated levels. Key points: Cholesterol is ingested with the foods we eat, but is also synthesized by the body. Treatment often includes diet AND medication therapy. Remember: LDL = Bad Cholesterol. HDL = Good Cholesterol (H for Happy). Michael T. Morris II, MD is a board-certified cardiologist and is a Founding Partner of Atlanta Vanguard Medical Associates in Smyrna, GA (

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Our Town

There’s more to Girl Scout Cookies than What’s in the Box

In January the largest girl-led business in the nation kicked off with the Girl Scout Cookie Program, offering more than 46,000 girls across 34 counties in Metro Atlanta and Northwest Georgia direct access to life changing skills that help today’s girls develop into tomorrow’s business leaders. Girls use money raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program to make the world a better place-thinking outside the cookie box and bringing their service ideas to life, taking action with projects funded by cookie proceeds. Girls also learn responsibility through financial literacy and key business and leadership skills:

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1. Goal Setting

4. People Skills

2. Decision Making

5. Business Ethics

3. Money Management

The Girl Scout Cookie Program provides girls the opportunity to get involved with communities while learning life long skills that will help them excel as leaders and role models. There is a direct correlation between women business leaders and Girl Scouts- 80 percent of women business owners were Girl Scouts, 69 percent of female U.S. Senators were Girls Scouts, 67 percent of female members of the House of Representatives were Girl Scouts and virtually every female astronaut who as flown in space was a Girl Scout. On average, for each box of Girl Scout Cookies sold, 76 percent goes to support girls. Money from Girl Scout Cookies helps Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta:

• Deliver programs to more than 46,000 girl members in 34 county territory spanning 200 miles from North to South. • Provide membership and /or camp scholarships to girls whose families need assistance to participate. • Provide over $52,000 in scholarships for higher education. • Provide training to more than 17,000 adult member volunteers. • Provide financial support for council-sponsored events to keep these activities affordable for most. • Operate regional Service Centers and four Girl Scout Badge & Sash Stores. • Maintain five camp properties. • Provide volunteer screening and background checks.

When a Girl Scout knocks on your door or you see them at your local supermarket selling the world’s most beloved cookies, please remember what is actually behind the cookies- a world that helps girls to learn and grow! And we know that you will enjoy those Thin Mints and Tagalongs too!

On February 1, customers can locate Girl Scout Cookie Booths in Greater Atlanta at! For more information regarding Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc. located at 5601 North Allen Road, Mableton 30126 please contact Nekeidra Taylor at 770-702-9176


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Our Town

Nine Tips for You and Your New Puppy by Amber Burckhalter

Has the Christmas puppy worn out it’s welcome? Chewing, nipping or using the carpet as the outdoors? Welcoming a new puppy, or even a young adult dog, into your home can be an exciting and emotional time. But with any new life, parenting a young dog takes care, attention and discipline. A growing dog needs much more than a food bowl and chew toys to thrive. And although it may seem to be a lot of work at first, it’s worth the effort because that new puppy will be with your family for many years to come. Establishing good and healthy habits in those first few sleep-deprived weeks will lay the foundation for many years of happiness for you and your dog.

Here are 9 tips for establishing a great relationship and lifetime of joy: 1. Find a Good Vet

The first place you and your new puppy should go together is to the vet for a checkup. This will not only help ensure that your puppy is healthy and free of serious health issues but it will help you take the first steps toward a good preventive health routine. If you don’t have a vet already, ask your friends or us here at K-9 Coach for a recommendation. 2. Make the Most of Your First Vet Visit

Ask your vet which puppy foods he or she recommends, how often to feed, and what portion size to give your pup.Set up a vaccination plan with your vet, discuss safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal, learn which signs of illness to watch for during your puppy’s first few months and ask about when you should spay or neuter your dog. Veterinarians are partners in your pup’s new world, so remember to ask as many questions as you need! 3. Establish a Training and Discipline Routine.

Even if you have a lifetime's experience of caring for dogs, establishing a routine for this dog is vital for his, and your, long-term happiness. At K-9 Coach we have many training classes and programs designed specifically for young dogs. Our Premier Puppy Package includes; free puppy classes, puppy daycare or overnight boarding; a private in home lesson for you and your family with one of our certified, experienced trainers and puppy's first grooming session. 4. Buy Quality Food

Your puppy is growing in fundamental ways, and you need to select a food that’s formulated especially for puppies as opposed to adult dogs. Look for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on the packaging to ensure that the food you choose will meet your pup’s nutritional requirements. Small and mediumsized breeds can make the leap to adult dog food between 9 and 12 months of age so make sure to discuss nutrition with your veterinarian during your first visit. Make sure your puppy has fresh and abundant water available at all times.


5. Establish a Grooming Schedule

Even though you may think your short-haired dog doesn't need grooming, having your dog become familiar and comfortable with being handled in this way is essential to future care and handling sessions, either with you or a vet. Puppies who learn that looking into their ears and mouth as well as handling their feet avoid stress later in life. And don't forget, every puppy's claws get long and their ears may need cleaning etc. 6. Establish a Potty Routine

Housetraining quickly becomes a high priority in most puppy owners’ lives. Three P's of housetraining are key to success all around. patience, planning, and positive reinforcement. It’s also probably a good idea to put a carpet-cleaning battle plan in place, because accidents will happen. Until your puppy has had all of her vaccinations, find a place outdoors that’s inaccessible to other animals, such as your back yard. This reduces the danger of coming into contact with viruses and disease. Give lots of positive reinforcement whenever your puppy manages to do her business outside and, very importantly, don't punishing him when he has an accident indoors. Knowing when to take your puppy out, how to properly crate train your pup and well as other hints are offered in our free puppy classes. 7. Look out for Early Signs of Illness

For the first few months, puppies are more prone to sudden bouts of illnesses that can be serious if not caught in the early stages. Discuss with your vet what signs you should look for and when a vet visit is needed. 8. Teach Good Manners and Obedience

Teaching your puppy good manners will set your puppy up for a life of positive social interaction. Consistent and positive training will help forge a stronger bond between you and your puppy and avoid the side effects of punitive based training, such as aggression. At K-9 Coach our Puppy Classes are especially developed to help establish the basics of good manners and behavior. Our puppy classes teach the fundamentals of discipline for both you, the owner and your dog. 9. Be Sociable

Just like proper training, socialization during a young puppy's first few months helps avoid behavioral problems down the road. At approximately 2 to 6 months of age, most puppies begin to accept other animals, people, places, and experiences. What experiences a puppy has during these crucial months shape their behavior for life. Safe human and puppy socialization with healthy other puppies is key and fundamental in our puppy classes. K-9 Coach is committed to helping the families in our community have long and happy relationships with their dogs. Our services are designed to be both convenient and effective for you and your family. Take a look at our website and stop by for a tour of our newly remodeled facility!

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Our Town

Michael D. Friedlander, D.V.M. Cat Care of Vinings Services Early Morning Drop-Off and Late Pick-Up Services

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Our Town

Does High Intensity Exercise Scare You?

It Shouldn’t and Here’s Why… by Jason Goggans

The more research that is done and the more empirical data that is obtained the more it’s becoming obvious that high intensity exercise is by far the most effective type of exercise when it comes to burning body fat and building a high level of fitness. High intensity exercise boosts metabolism, rapidly improves cardiovascular capacity, builds lean muscle, and salvages lean muscle. High intensity exercise is effective for almost any fitness goal you may have.

Some examples of high intensity exercise are sprints (running, biking, rowing, etc), interval work, shortening rest breaks during your workout, and so on.

While the amazing effectiveness of high intensity training is unquestionable, it doesn’t make much of a difference if you are scared or intimidated to do it. I know for a fact that there are people out there for whom just the thought of high intensity exercise invokes visions of passing out, getting hurt, or puking in a trash can. These same people steer clear of the most beneficial style of training to avoid those undesirable consequences. Who can blame them?? But are the consequences a reality?

If you begin a high intensity exercise regimen irresponsibly those things are a possibility. When you begin a high intensity program the right way, however, it is safe, effective, and potentially life changing.

The key is to find the intensity that is right for you. The proper intensity is different for everyone. For someone who hasn’t worked out in years maybe a light jog is intense. That’s okay. The idea is to start from wherever you are at today and slowly progress from there. Maybe increase the light jog to a slightly faster run, then over time start adding some sprint intervals, and so on. If you work out at the gym you can start by shortening your rest breaks between sets and continuing to shorten them more and more as your fitness improves. Just be sure you are at least getting enough rest to maintain proper form and stay safe.

My goal with this article is to simply take away the fear of high intensity training. Yes, it can be hard. Yes, it will challenge you. Yes, you will have to learn to push yourself. These are the things that will elicit the amazing results discussed above. What you do not have to do is push so hard you throw up, or so hard you get hurt, or so hard you pass out. That’s just silly and unnecessary. Take a responsible approach and high intensity is safe and extremely effective. So, fear no more!

If you are interested in beginning a high intensity workout routine but are unsure how to do so responsibly you can always seek the help and advice of a fitness professional. Most qualified trainers should be able to set you up on a reasonable progressive plan that will keep you safe and get outstanding results. There are also numerous online resources out there as well.


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Our Town

Our Town Smyrna/ Vinings February 2014  

The Smyrna/ Vinings Family Lifestyle Magazine

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