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The West Cobb Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine DECEMBER 2010

Merry Christmas! VISIT US ON LINE AT WWW.OURTOWNMONTHLY.COM Visit us on Our Town Magazine Become a FAN!

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Happy Holidays from Dr. John Kayal and Staff Tis’ the Season to Put Your Best Face Forward TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR HOLIDAY SPECIAL FOR JUVIDERM AND KISS YOU LINES GOODBYE.

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Call: 770-426-7177 or info@nwgadermatologists.com JOHN D. KAYAL, M.D. FELLOW, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY FELLOW, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF MOHS MICROGRAPHIC SURGERY AND CUTANEOUS ONCOLOGY DIPLOMAT, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF DERMATOLOGIC SURGERY

Follow us on Dr. Kayal specializes in diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, including: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Malignant Melanoma, Paget’s disease and Recurrent Skin Cancers. He also specializes in a variety of cosmetic procedures to include: Botox, Fillers, and Chemical Peels.

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OurTown Marietta Kennesaw Acworth PowderSprings Publishers/Editors Linda Demery & Lori McLinden Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc. Feature Photographer Sherri Noftsinger Sherri’s Portraits Contributing Writers Shelia Frey Jason Goggans Karen Hartley Leisa Bailey, PhD. Mark Orler Shasta Clark Dara Hosch, MD, FAAP Pam Walker Andrei Smith Bernadette Dimitrov Deborah Ratchford Dr. Keith Lamberson

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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 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 2010 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

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

678-337-7844 Fax: 678-337-7825 info@ourtownmonthly.com www.ourtownmonthly.com

6 Calendar of Events 8 About the Cover

12 December Crossword 17 Christmas Customs Around the World

18 Shopping with Shelia 20 Preparing for the Holiday Season 21 Health & Fitness 23 Home & Design

24 Making the Holidays Happy 25 WellStar Comprehensive Bariatric Services 26 The Third Miracle 26 Mommy Moments

28 Family Focus 29 Our Town Travel

in this issue

The West Cobb Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

30 The Zelda Marathon 31 Traveling with Your Dog

31 Pet of the Month 32 Jingle Bells, History and Fun Facts! 33 What’s Cookin’? 34 Real Estate in Our Town

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Our Town


W

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calendar of events

HOLIDAY EVENTS AT THE AVENUE, WEST COBB: Every Wednesday, from 3pm to 7pm now through December 22nd, enjoy complimentary horse drawn carriages and photos with Santa near Stride Rite.

FREE WORKSHOP AT PEACHMAC: December 10th, from 1 – 2pm. For our customers new to the Macintosh, or who want to sharpen their computing skills, we offer free instructional workshops. Please register ahead at www.PeachMac.com. 4th ANNUAL PET LOSS MEMORIAL & CANDLELIGHT SERVICE: Dream Land Pet Memorial Center, the areas only pet crematory and chapel, will be holding its 4th Annual Pet Loss Memorial and Candlelight Service, on December 8th, 7:00 PM, at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw. This service will honor those pets who have passed this year along with their families. Included in this service will be guest speakers discussing grief and memorialization, as well as a tribute DVD that will be shown during our candle light portion of the service. The DVD will include pictures of the pets that have passed. There will be refreshments and a time to share your pet’s life with others. Dream Land will be offering a beautiful porcelain photo ornament of your pet’s photo for $25. A portion of that purchase will be donated to local rescue organizations. For more information, please contact Jill at 678.594.0041, or at jill@dreamlandpetcremation.com JOURNEY BACK TO BETHLEHEM: Come to Burnt Hickory Baptist Church for a free family journey back to Bethlehem, the hometown of Mary and Joseph. It’s census time! Visit with merchants and craftspeople displaying their wares to the scores of people returning to be counted. Pet some of the animals including donkeys, cows, and sheep that have come to town with their owners. Be careful to avoid the Roman soldiers and tax collectors. Sit back and enjoy a dramatic and musical presentation December 10th, 11th or 12th. Village gates open at 5 pm and the program starts at 7pm. BHBC is located at 5145 Due West Road, Powder Springs. For more information, go to www.burnthickory.com.

CANDLELIGHT SHOPPING ON HISTORIC MARIETTA SQUARE: Friday’s through December 17th, Marietta Square shops stay open until 8pm. 770.429.1115.

CAFÉ NOEL: Enjoy a night of entertainment and fellowship as Powder Springs First United Methodist, in conjunction with the City of Powder Springs, hosts Café Noel. This Christmasthemed musical variety show will be Saturday, December 11 at the Ford Center, 4181 Atlanta Road in downtown Powder Springs. Tickets are $15 per person and reservations are required due to limited seating. There will be two performances, 5:00 pm & 7:30 pm, featuring local noted talent and offering a variety of desserts in a café atmosphere. Café Noel has been a holiday favorite at Powder Springs First United Methodist for over a decade and is being expanded as a gift to the community, featuring talent from several local schools and churches. Proceeds will benefit C.A.M.P. (Christian Aid Mission Partnership). Tickets may be purchased at www.powderspringsfumc.org, or by calling the church office at 770-943-5130 Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR & LOCOMOTIVE HISTORY: Mommy & Me, Now through December 17th, every Thursday from 10am to 11am. Designed for children ages three to five and their caregivers, these fun educational activities have different themes weekly. FREE with Museum admission. Make it & Take It, Now through December 19th, Saturdays from 10am to noon (no workshop on 12/11). Students age six and up will love these workshops with hands-on projects and engaging information. FREE with Museum admission. For directions and detailed information on the many programs available, please visit www.southernmuseum.org or call 770.218.1705. PHOTOS WITH SANTA AT TOWN CENTER MALL: Now through December 24th in Center Court. Check out Santa’s day-to-day schedules and photo package pricing at www.towncenteratcobb.com. Pet photos with Santa, December 5th at 5pm and 7:30pm in Center Court. Bring your furry friends to have their holiday photos taken with Santa. No exotic animals please. Please enter the mall through the main entrance between Belk and JC

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Penney. Simon Kidgits PJ Party with Santa, December 11th from 1 – 3pm. Santa is stopping by to read stories to the children during this festive pajama party, hosted by Mrs. Claus! Milk and cookies included. Upper level in the JC Penney wing. To learn more about Simon malls, including Simon Kidgits Club and holiday mall hours, visit www.simon.com . SANTA’S WORKSHOP AT THE MARIETTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY: Now through January 8th, Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Santa has set up his workshop at the Marietta Museum of History. Showcased in this exhibit are the dolls from the Mauldin Doll Collection. These dolls include Chatty Cathys and Patty Playpals and other popular 20th century dolls. For more information, please visit www.mariettahistory.org or call 770.794.5710. WONDERFUL DAYS OF WINTER 5K/1-MILE RACE: Join runners in Marietta on a January jog and help at-risk pre-school children. If you don’t want to run, you can be a phantom runner for the sixth Wonderful Days of Winter race. The 5K/1 mile race starts at 8 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 at St James’ Episcopal Church, 161 Church St., Marietta. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The entry fee is $15 or $20 after Jan. 1st. The race has raised $85,000 for Wonderful Days Preschool, Inc., an accredited program that helps children prepare for kindergarten. Contact Anne for a registration form at 770-434-0136 or annepatrick@bellsouth.net. HAUNTED PUB WALK IN MARIETTA SQUARE: Join Ghosts of Marietta on Saturday, December 18th from 8 to 9:30pm, and visit 4 local pubs in the Historic Marietta Square! Each location will offer a discount libation and we will share local legends and lore. Tickets are $15.00 plus cost of drinks. $5.00 from each ticket will be donated to a local charity. Please call Ghosts of Marietta for information and reservations 678-290-9193.

ONGOING KENNESAW BUSINESS ASSOCIATION: Climb Aboard! With over 300 members, the KBA has been around for over 30 years. Monthly luncheons are held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Kennesaw State University Center on Busbee Drive. Buffet lunch begins at 11:30 am and costs $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Alive After Five is an evening mixer held on the third Tuesday, and the Wake-up KBA morning mixer is held at Bar B Q Street on the fourth Tuesday of selected months. For more information, check their website at www.kennesawbusinessassociation.com or call 770.423.1330. MARIETTA TROLLEY TOURS: The Historic Marietta Trolley offers tons of fun for everyone this spring and summer. From Scary-etta Ghost Tours, to a great ride to and from the Braves games’. For details and complet tour schedules, please visit www.mariettatrolly.com. COBB PARENTS OF MULTIPLES MONTHLY MEETING: Please join us on the second Monday of every month (except December) at 7:00pm for our monthly meeting at North Metro Church in Marietta, Georgia. We are a parent's club for families with or expecting twins, triplets, quads, etc. We also offer monthly play dates, Mom's Nights Out, and special family events throughout the year. Please join us at our fun and informative monthly meetings and find out more about us! Visit our website for more information, www.cpomc.org, or call the information line at 770-924-1474. WEST COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION: WHO DO YOU KNOW? Monthly luncheon meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at the Lost Mountain Baptist Church. Doors open at 11:30 am. Cost is $12 for members/$17 for non-members. Find out about West Cobb happenings and become involved with other businesses interested in giving back to the community. Register on line at www.westcobbbusinessassociation.com, or call 678.776.6331.

(Continued on page 34)

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about the cover Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Wilkes' girls to Our Town readers! Ashton, Jordan and Kendall are the daughters of Greg and Jennifer Wilkes of Acworth. Ashton, 15, is a sophomore at Dominion Christian High School. Her sisters Jordan, 13, and Kendall, 7, attend Eastside Christian School. All three are extremely involved with school activities and spend most of their spare time at Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre in Marietta where they are each company dancers. They love spending time with friends, being outdoors and simply having fun wherever they go. Greg is a financial analyst with United Parcel Service and Jennifer, a native of Marietta, owns her own freelance PR firm, JDW Integrated Marketing. Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season from their entire family!

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ONLY $20 TO ANYONE WHO NEEDS HELP BUT HAS NEVER BEEN TO A CHIROPRACTOR BEFORE (Or Hasn’t Been In A Long Time) Dear Friend, If you’ve ever thought about going to a chiropractor but you’ve hesitated because you weren’t sure it was right for you please read on… My name is Dr. Erin Arnold. I would like to show my heartfelt thanks to the community by celebrating the Christmas season with the announcement of Community Health Week. It’s my way of saying THANK YOU to the people who have been so helpful and mean so much. I hope this will benefit you and yours. I have agreed to “give away” (to anyone who asks for it) $200 worth of my services for only $20. That’s right-$20. In the years that I have been practicing I have helped many people in the North Georgia area feel better and live healthier, more productive lives through chiropractic care. I would now like to introduce you to the many benefits my profession has to offer. For instance, chiropractic care may be able to help you if you are suffering from any of the following conditions. • • • • • • •

Low back pain Neck Pain Migraines Sciatica Herniated discs Degenerated discs Shoulder/arm pain

And a whole host of other problems, ranging from TMJ to carpal tunnel. These symptoms can be caused whenever the vertebrae in your spine are out of alignment, because this “misalignment” directly affects your nervous system. Fortunately, if you are suffering from such problems or similar conditions right now, they may be relieved or eliminated by proper chiropractic treatment (commonly called “adjustments”). So if you’ve always wanted to “check out” chiropractic care and see what is in it for you, now is the best time because….. Right now $20 will get you all the services I normally charge my new patients $200 for!

WHAT DOES THIS INCLUDE?

DOES CHIROPRACTIC REALLY WORK

Everything. Take a look at what you’ll get… • An in-depth private consultation about your health and well being. • A chiropractic spinal examination… • A set of specialized X-rays to determine if a misalignment in your spine is causing your pain or symptoms… (NOTE: Nobody gives these kinds of X-rays FREE. They would usually cost $100)… • An analysis of your X-rays and spinal exam results so we can see what needs to be done to help. • Helpful literature that shows how your body works and why you experience pain… • Answers to all your most probing questions about chiropractic care and what it can do for you….

Absolutely! When you come in I’ll provide you with studies that show why chiropractic is a preferred method of treatment. But what provides the best “proof” on how well chiropractic works is what our patients say about it.

The appointment will not take long at all. And like I said, we normally charge $200 for this (most of which just covers the cost of the set of X-rays). But now, as a part of this one time offer, you can come in and find out for certain if you need chiropractic care and how it can help you eliminate the pain you are feeling. Before you come in, though, you’ll probably want to know a little bit about me. So let me tell you….

KNEE PAIN AND LOW BACKPAIN (sports related)

MEET THE DOCTOR Prior to obtaining my Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in Marietta, GA, I received my B.S. degree in Biology. I am nationally and state board certified in Chiropractic and Physiotherapy. I am one of the few doctors in this area that performs specific Activator analysis technique for the treatment of degenerative discs, scoliosis, herniated discs just to name a few. I have happily donated my time to organizations such as MUST Ministries, YWCA (Domestic Violence Shelter for Women), and Ross Memorial, just name a few. I am very proud to be a wife and mother of 2 beautiful daughters and a member of Liberty Church in Marietta, GA

NECK PAIN AND TINGLING ARM PAIN I came to NLCC with moderate to severe neck pain and tingling sensations (paresthesia) in my left arm. I feel better and do not have the pain anymore. I sleep better and have more time to spend playing sports with my children. They have an incredible team here and they make me feel like a part of their family! Thanks, Dr. Francisco Puentes-Endocrinologist

I came into NLCC because my mom is a patient here and suggested it when I started having severe back pain while playing sports. My back feels much better when I play and my knee pain is rare. I am a lot more enjoyable to be around. I have never met people in the medical field as comforting and welcoming as the staff at NLCC. I have told everyone one about the wonderful care here! Thank you, Emily Jones

lifestyle and I am able to participate in more activities! Thanks, Mike Creech

HIP, KNEE AND RADIATING LEG PAIN I was having pain in my hip, knee and leg all the way down to my ankle. The pain kept me up at night! The pain is now almost entirely gone and a good night sleep has returned! I never realized how wonderful it was to sleep! I was amazed at how quickly I responded. I have had chiropractic care before but never such a gentle progressive healing. Thank you for your help!, Phyillis Waddle

GUARANTEE OF GREAT SERVICE Obviously we can’t guarantee results. No one can. But there is one guarantee we can give you and that’s a guarantee to accept your case only if we truly feel we can help.

LIMITED TIME OFFER Obviously, with an offer like this we can’t afford to do it for very long. So we’ve picked the dates of Dec. 1st-15th. If you would like to take us up on our offer and see what chiropractic can do for you, all you have to do is call our office and set up an appointment.

Call our 24 hour help line @

678-574-5678 and tell the receptionist you’d like to come in for the

Special Introductory Examination during Dec.1st-15th

LOW BACK PAIN, HIP PAIN AND REFLUX Chiropractic care has helped me with many different issues. For a very long time I suffered with hip pain and low back pain from an injury from the service. Since receiving care from the doctor I can stand and sit for long periods of time. I USED to suffer from reflux everyday! My symptoms have gotten a lot better and I am even off of the daily medications I used to take for it. I have learned the importance of a healthy

I expect to get flooded with appointments for this event, so please call me as soon as possible to be sure that you don’t miss out. Thank you very much, and I look forward to helping you get rid of your pain so you can start living a healthier, more productive life. God bless. Sincerely, Dr. Erin Arnold, D.C. Paid Advertisement Total Practice Management International©


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ARE IN GOOD HANDS! The doctors and staff of Advanced Eye Associates are committed to ensuring your family has the best vision today and in the future by providing a comprehensive eye health exam using state-of-the art technology. Come in to experience our elegant optical gallery, where we can assist you in selecting the best frame design and lenses for looking your best at work or at play. We also carry the latest in Contact Lens design. Be assured that you will be taken care of with our 2 year Frame and Lens Warranty, experienced staff and modern facilities. Call today to make an appointment. We are here to help!

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Christmas Customs Around the World Take a new slant on Christmas this year and teach your children some of the traditional holiday customs from different countries. Every Christmas, it seems as if we all do the same things. Buy presents. Eat food. Buy more presents. Put up the Christmas tree. Eat more food. Hang the stockings and put out the cookies. There are many customs in our country that help mark the Christmas season. But it’s always interesting to learn about the activities that people in other countries do to celebrate Christmas, and there are unique ways in which you can teach your children about the various customs. You can Google a country to look at statistics such as population, climate, primary industries, and popular social customs. You can have a "customs night" in your home, using some of the information here, so your family can imagine what it's like to celebrate the holiday in another country. The following is a peak at European countries and their Christmas traditions. Belgium A large festival held on the 5th day of December celebrates the arrival of Sinterklaas, the patron saint of children and sailors. The celebration of is an entirely different holiday from Christmas. Sinterklass arrives on a Saturday in mid-November on a steamboat. He wears a long red cape, a traditional white bishop's robe, and holds a long gold-colored staff with a fancy curled top. In his hand, he carries a big book that tells which children have been naughty and which have been nice. He traditionally rides through the streets on Amerigo, his gray horse, while being cheered on by singing children.

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May your heart find peace during this holiday season as you remember and pay tribute to your special friend. We honor you – and we honor them – at this most special time of the year…

During the weeks before his arrival, treats of mandarin oranges, chocolate and marizipan candies are enjoyed. On the night before Sinterklaas’ arrival, children put their shoes next to the fireplace. In the shoes, they place a carrot or hay for Amerigo with a small bowl of water nearby. In the morning, the children awake to find presents in their shoes left by Sinterklaas. Of course, on Christmas Day, Saint Nicholas brings gifts, as well. These presents are left in stockings hung by the fireplace or under the Christmas tree. Breakfast on Christmas traditionally starts out with "cougnou" which is a type of sweet bread. The bread is shaped into a figure resembling the baby Jesus.

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Finland In Finland, "Father Christmas" is the name for Santa Claus and he supposedly lives in Korvatunturi in the northern part of Finland. People all over the world send letters to Father Christmas asking for special gifts. On Christmas Eve, a meal of fruit soup and porridge is served either for breakfast or lunch. Spruce trees are decorated. Usually in the middle of the day, a Christmas message is broadcast on radio and tv and given by the mayor of Turku. Later that evening, everyone partakes in a traditional Finnish meal, which includes casseroles, liver pate, salmon, mushroom salad, and a dish called "rosolli." Rosolli is similar to our potato salad but also has carrots, apples and beets in it, as well. Desserts consist of spice cakes, cookies, and gingerbreads. These are usually eaten with milk or coffee during the Christmas message in the afternoon or before going to the church. Christmas Day brings presents! Children find their presents under the tree or sometimes in big sacks near the front door. Usually, people spend Christmas Day enjoying coffee and sweets, playing games with family, or playing with the gifts they’ve received. Some families will visit graveyards the night of Christmas and place a candle on the grave of a family member. Twinkling candles make the cemeteries very beautiful.

Romania Christmas carols are an important part of celebrating Christmas for Romanians. Usually on the first day of December, carolers will walk through the towns carrying cardboard stars that are decorated with various Bible scenes. The leader carries a special foil-covered wooden star with ribbons and bells. At each home the carolers go to, they receive fruits, nuts, breads and sometimes money. On Christmas Eve, it is traditional to eat stuffed cabbage for dinner. It is believed that this custom came about because more time was needed to decorate and organize for Christmas. Stuffed cabbages could last for up to four days. So, preparing in advance would allow more time for other things. Presents are opened on Christmas Eve, as well. Children do not leave cookies or milk out for "Mos Craciun" (Santa Claus.) On Christmas Day, families attend church and then eat a huge multi-course dinner consisting of pork sausages, rice, beets, stuffed cabbage, and wine. Cozonaci is the traditional dessert. Certainly there are other countries that you and your child can explore to discover various Christmas customs. In addition to using your own traditions this year, make it a round-the-world multicultural Christmas! www. buzzle.com

PAGE 17

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Can You Shopping Find Love with Shelia at the REAL STYLE FOR REAL WOMEN Hairdresser's? Spa Pac Gift Cert kage ifi for Chris cates tmas!

I think you can, but like any good relationship it's going to take some work. You might even have to break up and start seeing someone new. It's complicated. As a member of AICI (Association of Image Consultants International), I had the opportunity to meet Brandon Darragh, one of the beauty industry's most sought after hair stylists. Brandon is the head stylist at Van Michael Salon in Buckhead and has been featured in Vogue, Elle and Modern Salon. He shared some valuable tips on how to get the most from the time spent with your stylist. How should a client communicate the style they want? Clients should bring in or ask to see pictures featuring the style she or he wishes to emulate. Magazine pictures and hair style magazines are the best place to start. I use an iPad loaded with pictures to show my clients.

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During the initial consultation, talk to your stylist about past hair styles, your lifestyle, how much time you are willing to put into styling your hair and the products and tools you use. Also, personal concerns, such as "my husband likes my hair long." A hairdresser is one of the few people allowed in a person's personal space; he or she needs to know what you're trying to achieve. So tell them.

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How can a stylist educate the client? Stylists should be willing to teach clients how to use hair product and tools. Sometimes a client doesn't necessarily want a new cut; she may be just bored with styling her hair the same way and would benefit from learning a new styling technique. The stylist should also be capable of assessing your face shape and personal coloring in order to create a style that is most flattering for you. What is the most frequent communication error/disappointment for clients?

Happy Holidays

When someone goes too dark with their coloring. Women going lighter never call back unhappy, but the ones that go darker are less satisfied. Ask to see the sample hair color strips. Even though the color may not come up exactly the same as the color on the hair strips, you will at least be in the ballpark. Women going through hormone changes can also be dissatisfied with their look. We can't always recapture the color of our youth or the way we used to define ourselves. What advice do you have for men? Men are used to getting cheap haircuts. Men should aim for a squared-off cut that is styled closer to the head. I see a lot of round haircuts on men that make their features appear puffy. After many years of trying to recapture the strawberry blonde hair of my youth and ending up everywhere from plum (I wish you could have seen my daughter's face when I drove through the school carpool line!) to apricot, I have finally found my new BF (best friend) Amber. Amber is a stylist in Roswell and no- she isn't the most experienced or highest priced but she got me! She took the time to listen to my trials and tribulations of trying to achieve hair color nirvana, she looked at the handful of wrinkled pictures I have carried in my wallet for the last couple of years, and sympathized as I complained of being old and grey. She brought out her hair color samples and conferred with her colleague and then got to work. Result A happy client that can I say, dare I say - loves her hair! If your stylist doesn't get it or isn't making you happy, please do not stay in the relationship a minute longer. Ask for another stylist or get a recommendation from someone whose hair you admire. We spend way too much time and money to be unhappy or worry about hurting someone's feelings if we aren't pleased with our hair. Yes, it was a bit awkward for me to switch stylist in the same salon, but hey, I'm worth it. People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it” — Edith Schaeffer

Merry Christmas and God Bless! Accepting new students in January 2011in Dance, Drama & Tumbling for ages 3 - Adult and Professional Dancers: Kelly Parker, Meghan Roberts, Keely Harding, Sydney Adams • Photo by 770Studio

Director - Janet Rowthorn Cobleigh

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Shelia Frey, owner of Signature Image Consulting, will help you discover your personal style and give instruction on creating your individual look. To maximize your personal potential, contact Shelia at Signatureimageconsulting.com or 770-893-8944.

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The upcoming months are some of the busiest of the entire year as people anticipate the holidays and rush to get their homes and families prepared. With a season as busy as this one, the last thing you need to deal with is a preventable injury. To help you avoid such injuries, here are some tips of how to stay safe so you can enjoy the holiday festivities. Decorating: As you decorate your home for the holidays, remember these important points to avoid painful falls: 1. Always choose the right ladder for the job: make sure when you’re working at low and medium heights you use a step stool or utility ladder and when working on outdoor projects in high up places, such as hanging items from the rooftop, use extension ladders. Make sure the ground is level and have someone else hold the base of the ladder. When using any ladder, always make sure that the weight on the ladder does not exceed the maximum load capacity. 2. Choose a step stool or ladder when trying to reach items that are high up rather than standing on furniture which could be unsteady. However, never stand on the top step of any ladder. 3. Minimize clutter around your house. As the holidays approach, you may find gift boxes, packages or decorations clogging up hallways. Be extra careful to ensure that pathways are clear so no one trips over an unexpected obstacle. 4. Let professionals clean gutters or repair your roof instead of attempting to do it yourself. Travel: If you’re traveling for the holidays, be mindful of your luggage. Pack light and use suit cases with wheels so as to minimize the burden of a heavy bag. When lifting your bags, always use proper lifting techniques by bending at your knees and lifting with your leg muscles instead of your back and waist. This will significantly decrease your risk of a back or shoulder injury which can be extremely painful and inconvenient. Also, remember not to rush when lifting a suitcase or carrying a heavy package. If a piece of luggage is too cumbersome when traveling, ask for help. When flying, ask an airline professional to stow your baggage overhead. When doing your holiday shopping, try to minimize heavy loads by making frequent trips back to the car. Weather: As the winter months approach and the weather gets colder, here are several things to keep in mind when participating in outdoor activities. 1. To stay warm when outdoors, wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s ever-changing temperature. 2. Replenish fluids to stay hydrated. Unlike the hot summer months, you may not feel as thirsty; however, it is just as vital that you stay hydrated when being active in the cold weather. 3. When using winter sports equipment, such as skis or snowboards, ensure that all equipment is in good working order. Many of these items have been stored for several months and should be carefully inspected before being used again in the winter season. 4. Of course, seek shelter and immediate medical attention if you or anyone with you is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite when in the cold. 5. When walking or driving on ice, be especially cautious. Ice can cause serious injuries. When walking, make sure you wear appropriate footwear and use handrails whenever possible. If you do begin to slip, try to fall on your side or on your buttocks. When driving, allow plenty of extra time to brake as you approach stop signs and red lights. Be sure to reduce speed when driving in any hazardous conditions. In general, it is best to stay home during snow or ice unless necessary. Lastly, for all parents and grandparents: Do not let the excitement of your children or grandchildren get the best of you. Avoid the temptation to test out that new skateboard, scooter, etc. When preparing for the holidays this year, keep these safety tips top of mind. By taking these few simple precautions, you’re more likely to avoid those uncomfortable and untimely injuries that detract from the excitement of the season. So be careful, and have a happy holiday! Dr. Keith Lamberson is an orthopaedic surgeon at Pinnacle Orthopaedics. Get to Know Pinnacle. Call 770-944-3303 or visit www.pinnacle-ortho.com for a complete list of services, physicians and locations near you.

PAGE 20

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health and fitness

6 Things to Do Now If You Are Frustrated With Your Fitness Progress by Jason Goggans

I’ve had a lot of success training clients over the years, but I have to be honest…not one of them would have been successful if they didn’t have their heads on straight. You’ve heard of the old clichés …”Fitness is 90% mental and 10% physical”. In reality, the percentages don’t really matter. If you are not completely mentally dialed in to your fitness routine, your chances of success are slim. In effort to help your fitness cause came up with a list of things that you can do to get yourself on track mentally to achieve great physical changes. Here they are…. 1) Stay off the scale! – This is not helping things. The stress alone will hinder your progress, and that’s a scientific fact! It’s good to be motivated, but sometimes it’s to a detriment. The scale only tells you the force at which gravity is pulling you towards earth. It doesn’t tell you how much of your weight is fat, water, or lean tissue. It is very common to see a person weigh very little on the scale but have a body fat percentage that is way too high.

2) Keep a food and exercise journal – I’ve recently given myself a new nickname…”Broken Record”. This is because I have said this at least a million times but some still fail to see the importance. Here it is in no uncertain terms….keeping a food journal will enhance your results more than any other single thing you can do…PERIOD!

enough to be a fitness junkie!...and that’s a nice place to be. 5) Be honest with yourself about your current habits – (or take some time for some serious soul-searching) – Are you falling into your old habits again? Hopping on the scale every hour, skipping meals, low carb all day, taking bits and pieces from different diets and trying to piece together some semblance of a meal plan. I’ve seen it all. I don’t remember who said it, but someone smarter than me said that “Your destiny is shaped in your moments of decision”. Something to keep in mind every time you find yourself falling back into old habits, or forming new bad ones. 6) Schedule your workout time – This also goes along with being honest with yourself about your current habits. You might be doing well with going to all your boot camp sessions or going to the gym, but what about “off days”? Here’s the deal…you should be doing some sort of high moderate to vigorous exercise at least 6 days a week to see massive results. Going to boot camp or the gym 3 days a week and throwing in one day of cardio will NOT be enough. I wish I could keep tabs on my clients at all times, but that might be a bit intrusive. So, schedule a time on your off days to fit in your cardio. People who fail to do this end up skipping their “off day” workouts more often than not. Try your best to workout at the same time every day including your off days from boot camp or the gym. Also be sure to make these workout times non-negotiable. Don’t let anything get in the way. Bumping your workout time is favor of something else almost guarantees you will fail to get it done.

3) Ask for help – I don’t know of any successful person in this world who hasn’t gotten some good help along the way (and most get frequent help). While I believe that the help of a personal trainer is very important, especially when it’s your health that’s on the line, your family and co-workers can help you too. They can help by holding you accountable and being courteous enough about what you are trying to achieve to not tempt you into eating bad foods and skipping workouts. This combination can mean the difference between success and failure.

There you have it, 6 secrets to keep perspective about your fitness journey. Adhering to these secrets will ensure that you maintain a focused mind and a focused mind equals a knockout body!

4) Stop thinking of your workouts as “something else you have to do” – Here’s what I mean…proper exercise should be challenging in the moment. Yeah, it’s hard, but it becomes a drag after awhile if you are looking at your workouts as the most miserable part of your day. When you start to look at your workout time as “time for me”, then it becomes a bit more bearable. Who knows, you might even become fit

Jason Goggans, B.A., ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, graduate of the University of Florida and fitness professional located in Kennesaw and Marietta, GA. Goggans is the owner of BodyBack! Women’s Fitness Boot Camps and has posted more information on his website, www.BodyBackBootCamps.com. Log on to receive a copy of Jason’ s latest report, “10 Quick Ways to Weight Loss…How to Look and Feel Better FAST!” or call Jason @ (404) 452-5208.

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PAGE 21

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Our Town 3/9/10 10:21 AM


home and design

7 Steps to Successful Family Room Decorating!

sure o l c n E m My Drea

by Karen Hartley

1. COLOR. The color of your new room should be harmonious – in pleasing proportion and selected with regard for your family likes and dislikes.

2. COMFORT. Comfort is key to selecting sofas and chairs. If you want your room to be totally hospitable, then be sure to select well proportioned and comfortable seating. Comfort is really rather scientific! Tall people need larger, deeper pieces; short people need smaller, shallower seating that sits lower. Older people may need higher seats and arms to help knees and just getting up. How soft and cushy the piece is not only affects how it sits, but how you sit in it and how you get up out of it. Again, the person with difficulty standing up from a seated position will be better suited to a firmer, tighter sitting upholstery piece.

3. FURNITURE. Be sure to group your furniture to allow talk to flow easily. (Most conversation happens in an eight foot circle!) It’s also important that your furniture be adaptable to different situations. Be sure there is ample space for extra seating when you must accommodate an unusually large number of people. Arrange your furniture so that it’s pleasant to watch TV, listen to the radio, or even work on the computer if needed. Consider traffic lanes carefully so that there will be no awkwardness in moving around the room. Also, give a thought to coziness as well as the aesthetics of your furniture. A home without warmth, no matter how tasteful, can have an adverse effect on most people

4. FABRICS. Be sure that your fabric selections are pleasing in texture as well as harmonious in color, with good wearing and maintenance qualities for your sake and your budget’s. A really good sales person will know about fabric contents, wear tests, and soiling resistance. Be sure to ask where it is important. Mix it up! Combine a variety of textures and patterns in a room to create interest. Never buy ALL the upholstered pieces in the same fabric!

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5. LIGHTING. A lighting plan must be created to enhance your overall room setting and illuminate special room’s activities. Provide soft lighting for entertaining and direct or task lighting for reading. Be sure the whole room is addressed when putting the lighting plan in place. 6. LAMPS. Be sure your lamps are the right height and of a size that’s in balance with other furnishings. Today’s lamp shades come in a variety of textures, colors and styles, so consider selecting decorative shades to compliment your room’s overall décor. 7. MAINTENANCE. Since your family room must be comfortable for you, maintenance is a major consideration. Select practical, yet decorative, furnishings and fabrics that will work easily with our lifestyle. You’ll enjoy sharing the space with family and friends and they will feel far more welcome. When in doubt, call a professional. Let someone else do the hard work of pulling it all together! Karen Hartley is a member of the Interior Design Society and is a DDCD, Decorating Den Certified Decorator. She has been the owner of Decorating Den Interiors since 1986. You may preview her portfolio at www.decdens.com\khartley. Karen can be reached at (770) 459-9096 or by email at khartley@DecoratingDen.com.

PAGE 23

Style, Comfort, Elegance It simply couldn’t be easier! With design solutions you’ll adore. A talented decorator you’ll love. Impeccable service you’ll rave about. Visit our website and then call for an appointment. I look forward to seeing you soon!

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Making the Holidays Happy by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D. It is heard throughout the season - - the hopes for and the wishes offered to others to “have a happy holiday” or for a “Merry Christmas”. It is helpful to reflect on what composes a joyful experience of this holiday season. By understanding what creates a general sense of happiness, there are clues on what elements in the holiday season will facilitate a truly Happy Holiday. What produces happiness is somewhat subjective to an individual, yet the discipline of positive psychology has determined that many underlying determinants of happiness are consistent. A large influence in level of happiness is personality. General temperament and outlook on life are key factors. These factors include optimism and resiliency which can be nurtured and developed over time, leading to an improved overall sense of happiness. For some when they consider happiness, they often think about things that bring them pleasure. Food, possessions, or sex often are mentioned when people are asked about what brings happiness. However, research conducted by positive psychologists has determined that often these bring temporary pleasure but are not the core of deep joy. True happiness has been found to be more connected to having things in life that are both pleasurable and meaningful. Humans are a social species, and social interaction is crucial. Healthy relationships are important in an overall sense of happiness and fulfillment in life. An interesting statistic is that people who describe themselves as very happy watch 20% less television than unhappy people. TV seems to be a shortterm pleasure, but humans crave connection; and while a distraction, TV offers little opportunities for meaningful interpersonal interaction which is crucial to life satisfaction. One of the most highly rated predictors of happiness is being in love. Additionally, while all marriages are imperfect and often complained about; married men and women are generally happier than people who are single or divorced. It may be that marriage contributes to happiness or that happiness causes marital satisfaction. Whatever comes first, people who are happier tend to have better intimate relationships and more stable marriages. Money does little to make us happier once basic needs are met, but how someone spends money can affect happiness level. Using money to buy experiences such as a vacation or outing has been shown to bring far more joy than a new toy. Additionally, using money to do good and help others brings higher levels of happiness than funding fun activities. This suggests that spending money on charity contributes more to happiness than the same amount of cash spent on oneself.

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Research confirms the connection between faith and happiness. Religion and spirituality can give a sense of purpose and meaning in life, provide a connection to a caring, supportive community, and offer a sense of comfort. Generally, people of faith express greater levels of happiness.

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In the rush to do it all, the importance and meaning of this holiday season can be forgotten. There is more happiness in a holiday season when relationships are focal, religious expressions are nurtured and less when spending money and gift giving are the predominate elements of the experience. The materialistic features of Christmas celebrations may undermine joy, while family, social, and spiritual activities may create the most satisfying holiday memories.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It can without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

770-435-6888 IN SMYRNA • 2220 Atlanta Rd. • Suite 104 • Smyrna 30080 WC www.mandersdentalcenter.com PAGE 24

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~Dr. Seuss Dr. Bailey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Marietta. You can learn more about her and her practice by visiting the website: www.marietta-psychologist.com. You may reach her at (770) 428-6698 or by e-mail to LeisaB@marietta-psychologist.com. Your comments or questions are welcome.

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67 8.3 03 .5 082 360 6 HIGHLA ND S PKWY. S E • S U ITE 1 • S MYR NA, GA 3 008 2 WellStar Comprehensive Bariatric Services at WellStar Kennestone Hospital What is Bariatric Surgery? Bariatric Surgery is surgery for the treatment of morbid or severe obesity. This surgery is a proven treatment that can improve some of the weight-related health issues that result from severe obesity, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and lipid disease. Bariatric surgery, combined with healthy food choices, proper vitamins, and exercise is the most successful weight loss option for those suffering with morbid obesity. At WellStar Comprehensive Bariatric Services (WCBS), we use a program approach; we focus on quality bariatric surgery. Our Center of Excellence bariatric program includes many skilled and highly trained professionals to provide education, consultations, diagnostic testing, and nutritional instruction. Life-long follow up visits, comprehensive laboratory studies, and support groups improve weight loss success and healthy outcomes. WCBS offers several surgical options. Your unique situation will impact the surgery that is best for you. Your first visit with Dr. Dennis Smith and the bariatric team will include a discussion of your medical history, co-morbidities, expectations and desires for surgery. Together, you and your surgeon will choose a surgery that is right for you.

WellStar Comprehensive Bariatric Services (WCBS) 780 Canton Road | Suite 320 | Marietta, GA 30060 Phone: 770-919-7050 www.advancedobesitysurgery.com WellStar Kennestone Hospital 677 Church Street | Marietta, GA 30060 WellStar Bariatric Program Manager: Sue Wood, RN, CBN Phone: 770-919-7050, ext 313 www.wellstar.org Dr. Dennis C. Smith Jr. has focused on bariatric surgery and the development of aparoscopic techniques for bariatric surgery since

PAGE 25

1997. He is one of the few surgeons in the world to regularly perform the Gastric Bypass, the DS, the Sleeve Gastrectomy and Adjustable Gastric Banding, all completely laparoscopically. He is involved with the education and training of other surgeons in the principles and techniques of high quality bariatric surgery. Dr. Smith is an active member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Society for American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).

WellStar Comprehensive Bariatric Services Patient Carla Loftin Why Bariatric Surgery? I wanted to be here for my young kids. I couldn’t get on the floor and play games with my kids, and heaven knows I certainly couldn’t fit on a roller coaster. Even simple fun events wore me out, after fishing or bowling, my feet and back ached terribly. How did surgery change your life? My whole world has changed for the better. I can’t name only one thing, because there are so many. I weighed 342 pounds when I first saw Dr. Smith before my surgery and now I weigh 171 pounds. Yes, that’s exactly half! I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lots of pains (back, feet). I was borderline diabetic. All of this is resolved!

before

What is special about WellStar Comprehensive Bariatric Services? I feel like I have done so well in part because I was so well educated by Dr. Smith’s staff and Sue Wood (Bariatric Program Manager). It helped me to know what to expect, and how to counter act some of the difficulties. Just do it. Don’t be scared, just be prepared.

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after Our Town


What a surprise it was when Shasta Clark and Mark Orler sent their columns in this month! Both of them wrote about having a third child. We thought it might be fun to place the articles side by side. Who knows this may even be a sign for Shasta! Enjoy!

The Third Miracle by Mark Orler

When we announced to our family that we were going to have our first child it was like Christmas morning. Everybody was thrilled and the overwhelming sense in the room was one of hope and expectation. My parents were literally fidgeting with happiness standing there like two toddlers waiting to dive into their presents shifting from foot to foot with their hands clasped close to their chests. My sisters and their families were equally jovial whilst trying to mug my wife with hugs and whispering preferred name choices into her ears. A year-and-half later when we announced that we were going to have our second child the event was more like Thanksgiving. Everybody was reservedly joyful and the family spent a few minutes walking around shaking hands and politely smiling with understated and comforting “congratulations” being offered in lieu of raging bear hugs. So when my wife and I were preparing to tell La Familia that we were once again going to add to the world’s population we expected the response to be a less formal version of the Christmas/Thanksgiving events, but what we got was more like April Fool’s Day.

Mommy Moments THE BIG DECISION by Shasta Clark Having children is a huge decision. But deciding not to have any more is a staggering one that’s tugged at my soul more than I ever anticipated. I think a lot of women find themselves in my position. That is, they are mid-thirties, have one or more children, feel content with their family, but unsure about whether to have another child. It haunts them. It pounds in their ears, almost as loud as the sound of their biological clock ticking. When having a first child, ignorance is bliss. With no idea what we are getting into, we dive in head first. For many parents a second child is an easy decision - they want a sibling for the first. But number three (or whatever the case may be) stumps the band. Do they go for it and risk disrupting their family with another personality? Or do they play it safe and stay with the cards they were dealt?

“You’re WHAT! Are you insane?” “You DO know what’s causing this, don’t you?” “They’ll have you outnumbered now.” “So after this one your done, right?!” It was the same reaction you would expect from your child on Christmas morning after you had taken the time to give them a present full of desperately needed socks and underwear and just happened to wrap it in an empty iPhone box. So what changes in the dynamics of family planning that the addition of a third child to the mix moves everyone away from palpable joy to “really…a third?” The first dynamic is one of simple math, there are only two of you and if there are three of them then the ratio between calm and crazy gets flipped on its ear and the result is a greater loss of both sleep and sanity. But the good news for us is that we are already exhausted and well, crazy runs through our families like butter in a toaster so that damage has already been done. Second, the average family in America has 2.5 kids and having any more than that is just going to put an undo burden on the system. My only response to that argument is that as soon as you figure out a way to have half-a-kid call Ripley’s so you can get paid for that freak show. And if by “the system” you mean my wife’s two food factories then, yes, I agree that our kids have put undo stress on that system, but if you are referring to our local, state and federal governments then feel comforted in the fact that I, (and/or my life insurance) will be picking up the tab for these kids. And finally, maybe the hesitancy to welcome that third miracle stems from a misguided belief that love is measured in time and that having more than two children means you will divide your affection while you divide your time. That may be true, but I am reminded of saying I heard that bares repeating, “A kiss is greater than a peck, an embrace is greater than a hug and your love outlasts them all.” And I think I have enough to go around.

Happy Holidays! Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and pert-time observationiest. Mark can be reached at mlorler@yahoo.com

PAGE 26

In my case, I’m 34 and deep down I want another baby, but strangely I have fears that I never experienced with the first two. Yes, I fear suffering from post-partum depression again, like I did after my second child. But you know what I fear most? Regretting not having another baby. What if, ten years from now when it’s too late, I wish I had had another child? I often ask myself, will I ever cradle a newborn baby in those first, precious moments of life again? Will I ever feel that first flutter of life moving inside me again? Will I ever stand sideways in a mirror, mesmerized at my swollen belly again? Will I ever dig out those boxed-up baby clothes, hold them to my nose and drink in the sweet baby smell again? Will I ever look into my husband’s eyes, just before the doctor tells me to push, and our teary gaze speaks “I love you” to each other again? Will I ever hear, “It’s a boy!” again? And if I never do, will I be okay with that? Is anyone ever completely over those things? Or, as humans, are we programmed always to yearn for those moments? I wish I had an answer for all my 30-something peers who are wrestling with the same thoughts, but I can only speak for myself. I have been praying about it because God is the giver of all life. And I realize that if He wants me to have another baby, He will work everything else out, the post-partum depression, the family dynamics, etc. And if He doesn’t, I will be a loving mother of two, who has enough love to bestow upon other children who need an extra hug or word of affirmation.

Shasta Clark, a former writer for CNN Headline News is a freelance journalist who writes about her most challenging job yet, motherhood. You may contact her at clarkshasta@hotmail.com.

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Our Town


We strive to provide an environment where kids can have a fun and happy dental experience while receiving the very best dental care available. Come tour our state of the art office with themed rooms representing each continent from around the world.

3698 Largent Way • Suite 201 • Marietta, GA 30064

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Michael A. Rossitch, DDS, MS, PC Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry

www.RossitchPediatricDentistry.com Conveniently located across from The Avenue West Cobb PAGE 27

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family focus

Eating Disorders in Children by Dara Hosch, MD FAAP, Cobb Pediatrics

Most adolescent girls admit to having concerns about their body shape and weight starting in elementary school. Fifteen percent of them will develop unhealthy eating behaviors and five percent of them will develop serious eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Although eating disorders are more common among females, ten to fifteen percent of patients with eating disorders are male. These conditions are extremely dangerous to the patient’s mental and physical health. In fact, statistics indicate eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Less than half of affected patients fully recover. Therefore, prevention and early detection of this medical condition are vital. Parents need to be aware of the prevalence, symptoms and complications of eating disorders.

Eating disorders result from obsessive thoughts about body shape, weight and food intake. There is no single cause that leads to eating disorders but low self esteem, society pressures and the need for more control over life stressors seem to be a recipe for problems. From an early age, children are bombarded with messages from the magazine and film media that glorify unnaturally thin bodies. Certain sports such as ballet, wrestling and gymnastics also pressure adolescents to maintain a certain weight and body habitus. This can be very difficult for children who are in the midst of puberty and natural growth spurts. Parental eating behaviors and values can have a significant impact upon a child’s body image and eating habits. Some studies linked eating disorders with a desire for perfection and approval by parents.

Anorexia typically begins with the desire to lose weight. It evolves into a pattern of extremely restrictive calorie intake. The need to be thinner becomes secondary to the obsession with diet control. Patients with anorexia have such a distorted body image that they do not stop even when they become frighteningly skinny. Hiding under bulky clothing and refraining from eating with others can keep the problem a secret for a while. Most patients do not get medical attention until they develop health complications. Some of those complications include heart problems, loss of menses, increased bone fragility, and suppressed immunity. The death rate for adolescent girls with anorexia is twelve times higher than all other causes of death for this population. Bulimia is at least four times more common than anorexia. It involves compulsive overeating followed by a need to purge the body in order to avoid gaining weight. The eating binge may be triggered by daily stressors or the need to fill a perceived void in the patient’s life. While initially eating provides comfort, that feeling is soon replaced with guilt about the excessive calorie intake. To purge their bodies, patients vomit, use laxatives and enemas, or partake in excessive exercise rituals. The cycle of binging and purging may go on for many years before treatment is sought. It is harder to identify a typical bulimic patient because they do not become excessively thin. Some of the physical signs of this condition include tooth decay, swollen salivary glands, fainting, bloating, bowel irregularities and chest pain. Depression and anxiety are common conditions that accompany bulimia. Parents need to be role models for healthy eating and exercising patterns. Eating meals as a family is a great way for parents to monitor their children’s attitudes about food. Teaching children to focus upon their non-physical qualities rather than emphasizing their appearance is essential. Children need to know that they are loved unconditionally. If there is concern about a possible eating disorder, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.

We know how busy you are, but we also know how important your pregnancy is to you! For your convenience we are NOW open on Saturdays for new Obstetrical patients. An Independent Practice Serving Cobb, Cherokee, Paulding & Neighboring Communities for over 40 Years

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travel

HOLIDAY TRAVEL....TIME FOR FESTIVITIES & TRAVEL NIGHTMARES!

By now all your holiday travel plans have been made. Or have they?

As I sit waiting for yet another trip, in another airport that I have never been to, there are some new realities facing the American public which we are going to have to get used to.

Most of us by now are aware of the 3-1-1 rule- three ounces in one 1 quart clear plastic baggy and only 1 per passenger. But did you know there also numerous other things that you can’t take in a carry on?

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No baseball bats or hockey sticks, or even replicas of things that look like weapons. That means no toy guns, swords or bows and arrows. No children’s sewing kits with scissors and toys with any type of plastic item that resembles anything that a TSA officer might think dangerous. All of these must be put in checked luggage. And please don’t wrap anything! I am sure you don’t want some TSA officer unwrapping your beautifully designed package. This begs another point about holiday travel. The cost of checking bags. At $25 per checked bag, everyone is doing carry- ons. No one wants to pay extra these days. With so many families traveling to visit relatives and taking their gifts with them, can you imagine what the scene is going to be at the gate when trying to board your flight? To those of us that travel frequently, this is a nightmare scenario and the rush to get on the plane before anyone else and grab those overhead compartments is of paramount concern.

Pam’s Pointers for Holiday Travel

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets already, you are way behind the curve. But if you haven’t, use one of the new credit cards that permit the 1st checked bag with no charge.

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If you have bought your tickets, make sure that you get your seat selection in advance. Don’t wait until you arrive at the airport. Most airlines board from the back forward, so if you are taking a lot of carry-on, ask for a seat in the back of the plane so there will be ample space in the overhead compartments when you board. And please, don’t get aboard and put your bags in the front compartments if you have a seat in the back. That only causes problems for those passengers sitting in the front. Have a little consideration for others at this happy time of year. Please listen to the announcements and board when your row is called. Don’t run up at the last minute and expect to find a place to put your bag. Also, and this is now true for most overhead compartments, put your bag in wheels first, not horizontally, but vertically. Often people don’t listen, and they shove their bags in lengthwise which leaves no room for anyone else’s bag .Then the flight attendants have to re-shuffle everything thus delaying take off. Get to the airport very early. The lines will be long and the patience of the airport staff short. Give yourselves plenty of time to get through the mess of ticket counters and TSA lines.

.Be ready- you know your shoes come off, so don’t wear shoes with laces but ones you can slip on and off. Remember to take that 3-1-1 bag and put it on the belt separately. Take off your coats and jackets and be ready to go through the new body scanners if you are directed there. You can always ask for a “pat down” if you don’t want to go through the body scanner. For further information, check this valuable TSA website http://www.tsa.gov/311/

6.

Most of all have patience! Weather conditions, the shuffling of plane crews and mechanical problems can happen. Don’t let any of these ruin your wonderful holiday in 2010.

Plan ahead and be Merry, and have the Happiest of Holiday Seasons! Pam Walker is a Virtuoso travel consultant and can be reached at pliwalker@earthlink.net. You can follow her travels by visiting Pam's blog at http://www.pamwalkers.blogspot.com & www.walkeradventures.com

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RECORD SETTING LEGEND OF ZELDA MARATHON TO AID CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS WORLDWIDE This December, four Georgia Tech students will host the third annual 4/48 Zelda Marathon and attempt to establish a new world record (pending approval by the Guinness Book of World Records) for Child’s Play Charity, which donates toys, books and games to patients of children’s hospitals all over the world. The event, projected to begin on December 20, will be broadcast live online, and has previously attracted thousands of viewers from around the world to watch as the team of four plays through all the major releases in the Legend of Zelda series of video games, dating back to 1986. Last year the marathon lasted forty one hours, and garnered thousands of viewers who interacted with marathon team members and other viewers around the clock. “Zelda is one of the most recognizable names in gaming,” says Peter Sohl, Event Coordinator, “people of all ages have played and love the series, and the 4/48 Zelda Marathon is a great way for those individuals to interact with each other while raising money for a good cause.” Those who tune in for the marathon will be able to chat with the team, and will have the opportunity to determine the games which will be played through their donations. Child’s Play Charity (www.childsplaycharity.org) is a gaming industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of patients in over sixty children’s hospitals worldwide through donations of toys and games. Since its inception in 2003, the charity has raised over 5 million dollars in total donations. “We rely heavily on community run initiatives,” says Kristin Lindsay, Foundation Coordinator for Child’s Play. “These fund raising events represent our greatest strength: the generosity and determination of gamers.” “The 4/48 Zelda Marathon is all about playing great games for a great cause,” says Ryan Adams, another member of Team 4/48, “and we’re really excited to be able to tailor the marathon based on the donations of our viewers. It really is a community effort.” Watch The Zelda 4/48 Marathon live online at www.zelda448.com starting at 4:00 pm EST on December 20th.

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TRAVELING WITH YOUR DOG by Andrei Smith Learning how to travel with your dog can make the experience less stressful and a lot of more enjoyable! Traveling with your pooch can be a major hassle if you don’t make all the right choices .You should plan ahead of time so you won’t ruin your family weekend getaway or long vacation. If you’ve decided to carry your dog during the trip, here are a few reminders that you can do to ensure a safe travel experience:

Buy a dog tag or collar with identification Your dog needs to wear a collar or tag with all the necessary identification in it. A microchip may also be beneficial for additional security. The tag should contain your dog's name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. Keep your dog's collar and tag on whenever you’re outside. No matter how well behaved your dog may be, there’s always a chance that he may accidentally get lost or get away from you. All the information on your dog tag will be very important as you travel or decide to leave your pet at a kennel.

Safety first Always remember safety first. To ensure your dog’s safety while he’s in the car, purchase a dog car seat. With the use of this equipment, your furry friend will be safer and more comfortable if your car makes a sudden stop.

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Train your dog Before you travel, your dog should have basic training so he will be well-behaved during the trip. It is a good idea to make your first few trips in the car to somewhere fun for your dog before embarking on a long trip. Take your dog to a park so he associates a car ride with something fun.

Bring all the necessary dog supplies When taking a long trip, don’t forget to pack all the necessary supplies for your dog. Among the essentials include water, dog food, treats, his collar and leash. You should also bring your dog’s favorite toys and plastic bags for his poop. Also, he sure to bring any medications your dog needs.

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pet of the month

Be prepared always Emergencies can happen while you’re traveling with your dog, so you need to make some additional preparation. Planning your trip can make any form of emergency less stressful. Prepare a list of veterinary hospitals in the area where you’ll be staying, a l o n g with a d e tailed map.

My name is Emmy Baker. I am a seven year old pure bred boxer. My Parents, Mark and Dana, rescued me from the Gwinnett Humane Society. I love playing ball, and chasing my best buddy Smokey Joe (the cat). I was in the Theater Projects production of "Oliver" in November and that was so much fun. My Mom and Dad were very proud.

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 info@ourtownmonthly.com

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Dr. Vincent S. Scott is pleased to announce the opening of his new practice specializing in the medical and surgical care of the non-pregnant woman. With 23 years of experience, Dr. Scott intends to focus on the needs of this special group of patients. From adolescence to beyond the menopause, we will be there to listen and address the important medical issues affecting women during the most challenging phases of life.

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by Bernadette Dimitrov 'Jingle Bells' is one of the best known Christmas songs in the world yet its history tells us that it is not specifically a Christmas song. Known today as a fun and laughter filled Christmas song and it is popular as the subject of parody. James Lord Pierpont originally wrote the song in 1857 and it was copyrighted at the time as 'One Horse Open Sleigh'. The song was reprinted in 1859 with the revised title of 'Jingle Bells'. Pierpont wrote the song for a Thanksgiving program at a church in Savannah, Georgia where he was the resident organist. The tune of 'Jingle Bells' has been used in German and French songs to celebrate winter fun. Lyrics are completely unrelated to the ones we all know and love. For example, Francis Blanche wrote the French song 'Vive Le Vent' meaning 'Long Live the Wind' with references to New Year's Day. In 1898 'Jingle Bells' was first recorded by the Edison Male Quartette in the USA. It has since been recorded by many great artists including Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters. In 2006 when Kimberley Locke sang it, it became a number one hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Here is a fun fact. In 1965, December 16th 'Jingle Bells' was the first song broadcast from outer space. Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford, the astronauts aboard Gemini 6 played a prank. They relayed to mission control that they saw a UFO with eight smaller UFO's in front. Their reports followed that the pilot in the larger command module UFO was wearing a red suit. The prank concluded with the astronaut duo playing 'Jingle Bells' on a harmonica accompanied by sleigh bells that they had smuggled on board. Today at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum both instruments are on display. Interestingly, they are considered the first musical instruments to be played in space! 'Jingle Bells' has also been the subject of parody. The best known homage to the original song is 'Jingle Bell Rock' by Bobby Helms. In the 1960's children commonly sang the verse 'Jingle bells, Santa smells, Easter's on its way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a beat up Chevrolet.' Here is another parody of 'Jingle Bells', a verse which adults and children alike loved and continue to love to sing while enjoying a few laughs along the way 'Dashing through the snow, on a pair of broken skis, crashing into trees, and a piece of moldy cheese Ha Ha Ha, the snow is turning red, I think I'm almost dead, please rush me to the hospital before I lose my head. Ha Ha Ha.' 'Jingle Bells' continues to be a Christmas favorite song whether sung in its original form or whether by parody, it is still popular throughout the world today. A song that brings families and communities together sharing good cheer and holiday fun at Christmas time each year!

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Since we know you'll be asked to celebrate with friends, family, co-workers and children, we at the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta wish to share with you several festive recipes from the chapters "When Holly Berries Shine" and "Making Seasons Bright" from one of our favorite cookbooks, Southern On Occasion. However casual or grand your event, these tasty treats are a perfect compliment for your celebration. This beautiful book makes a great present along with our classic cookbook, Georgia On My Menu. Just in time for the holidays, you can purchase six of these books for an outstanding price of $60 plus tax. Under this low rate, you will get three copies of each book which means you can give a set or two as gifts and even treat yourself to a present as well! For more information about purchasing cookbooks from the Junior League of CobbMarietta, please access our Web site at www.jlcm.org. We hope that you and yours have an incredible holiday!

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Timeless Tassies Southern On Occasion, p. 188 Pastry 3 ounces cream cheese 1 cup sifted flour 1/2 cup butter 1/8 teaspoon salt Filling 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon melted butter 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup chopped pecans To prepare the pastry, beat the cream cheese, flour, butter and slat in a mixer bowl until creamy, scraping the bowl occasionally. Chill, covered, for one hour or longer. Pat the dough over the bottom and up the sides of miniature muffin cups. To prepare the filling, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and salt in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until blended, stirring constantly; do not boil. To assemble, sprinkle half the pecans over the bottoms of the pastry cups. Spoon about 1 tea-

spoon of the filling over the pecans. Top with remaining pecans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes two dozen tassies Holiday Toffee Southern On Occasion, p. 188 1 cup of sugar 1 cup butter 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 3 tablespoons water 1 (5-ounce) package sliced almonds 2 cups milk chocolate chips Combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup and water in an iron skillet. Cook over high heat for 10 minutes or until caramel colored, hardball stage, stirring constantly and in 1 direction. Stir in the almonds. Pour onto a greased baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let stand until the chocolate begins to melt; spread evenly. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours or until set. Break into bite-size pieces. Store in a box or tin at room temperature. Makes two pounds. Coffeehouse Pecans Southern On Occasion, p. 199 Toast 3 cups Georgia pecan halves in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 4 teaspoons instant coffee granules, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Spread on wax paper and

separate with a fork to cool. Store in an airtight container. Buttermilk Pralines Southern On Occasion, p. 203 Toast 2 cups pecans at 300 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Combine 3 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 cup buttermilk, 3.4 cup light corn syrup and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook over low heat to 234 to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Beat until mixture loses its luster and stir in the pecans. Beat until thickened and drop onto waxed paper. When firm, store in an airtight container. Always Ambrosia Southern On Occasion, p. 212 Sections of 10 to 12 navel oranges Sections of 2 to 3 blood oranges 1 (14 ounce) can crushed pineapple 1 cup fresh or canned shredded coconut 1/4 cup sugar (optional) 2 bananas, sliced 1 cup pecan halves, broken Remove the membranes from the orange sections. Combine the oranges, undrained pineapple and coconut in a large bowl, tossing to mix. Taste and add the sugar if needed. May be prepared to this point 1 day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Add the bananas and pecans 1 hour before serving. Chill until serving time. To serve twelve

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what’s cookin’?

The twinkle of tiny white lights, the chill in the December air coupled with excitement that bubbles over through a child's laughter are all signs that the holidays have arrived along with all the joy and magic the season brings.

Our Town


Real Estate in OUR TOWN by Deborah Ratchford

It’s a Prime Time to Buy a Home! For those of you that missed out on the real estate tax credit opportunity don’t worry! It is still a buyers market and now is an excellent time to buy. Interest rates are at an all time low and there is a surplus of inventory on the market at discount prices. Keep reading if you need more convincing.

cause a large percentage of current homeowners are unable to pay their mortgage, they are forced to either sell their home as a short sale or, in the case of foreclosed property; the bank becomes the actual seller. In either of these scenarios, the sale price of the property is drastically reduced and offers some unique opportunities for buyers.

If you are a first time homebuyer and missed out on the $8,000 tax credit, here’s a news flash. According to a recent report from Keller Williams, another $8,000 tax credit is off the table. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, contends that further intervention at the federal level will be counterproductive. At today’s rock-bottom rates, buyers stand to save $8,000 many times over during the course of a 30-year mortgage.

If you find a resale property priced well, sellers are more likely to contribute to closing costs or fix inspection items because of increased competition. Additionally, not only will you pay less money for a home, you will get a better property.

The interest rates now are historically at an all time low, meaning mortgage payments are even less than they were 6 months ago. Basically, mortgages right now are cheap and you are going to gain major savings on your mortgage payments. As referenced in the Keller Williams report 7 Reasons Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Home, the national average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.36 percent in August 2010 – lower than it’s been in the past half century. Additionally, interest rates for the same time last year averaged 5.19 percent, representing a difference of $90 in the monthly payment on a $200,000 home with 10 percent down, as well as a savings of $175,424 over the life of a loan.

If you currently own a home, you can still be a buyer in this market. You can put your current home up for sale, knowing that you may take a loss but you would be getting immediate equity in your new home. Another option is to rent your current home until the market turns around and purchase a new home. Lastly, if you are in the position to invest, real estate is not a bad choice at this point in time. Buying a home at a discount price and renting it out can generate additional income in the short term and may yield capital gains when you sell in the future. According to Keller Williams, it is no longer time to stay on the fence and wait for prices to drop further. After 30 months of declining value, home prices appear to be stable or appreciating in nearly every U.S. market. In August of 2010, the median home price was $182,600, amounting to an 11 percent increase over the low that was reached in February of 2010 at $164,000. The market will eventually come back and buyers will have missed their chance. Now is the time to take advantage of some remarkable home ownership opportunities. Let’s get looking! To receive a full copy of the Keller Williams study referenced in this article, 7 Reasons Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Home, please contact Deborah Ratchford.

Deborah Ratchford, Keller Williams Realty Cityside can be reached at 678.570.4779 (direct) or 770.874.6200 (office), debratchford@kw.com. Keller Williams

There are also some unique lending options for first time homebuyers including the popular FHA loan requiring only 3.5 % down. This money may also be gifted from a family member or friend if a first-time homebuyer doesn’t have the money upfront. Money is available if you have good credit and house prices are low. There is a surplus of inventory on the market right now contributing to the fact that this is a buyers market. What this means to the buyer is that they have many choices. Sellers are in high competition to get homes sold so they are forced to decrease their prices. Not only are sellers in competition with their “neighbors”, they are also finding themselves competing with banks. Be-

DebDidItAgain.com

Calendar of Events (Continued from page 6) THE ROTARY CLUB OF NORTH COBB: Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays 7:30 a.m. at Pinetree Country Club. Find out how we support our groups individual projects in SERVICE ABOVE SELF. We provide humanitarian service that encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build good will here and internationally. Become involved with other businesses who are interested in giving back. Visit our web site @ www.northcobbrotary.org/index.htm. WEST COBB SENIOR CENTER: A variety of activities take place at the West Cobb Senior Center. Movie Madness, Dining Out, The Stardust Dance Club, and even Bingo! Call 770.528.8200 for a complete schedule and detailed information. NEWCOMERS OF COBB COUNTY: The Newcomers Club of Cobb County holds a wide variety of social activities throughout the month including Bridge, Canasta, Book Club, Maj Jongg, Ladies Night Out, Golf, Bunco, Chick Flicks, Out to Lunch, Out and About Atlanta, and Weekend Pot Luck Dining. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month at John Knox Presbyterian Church, 505 Powers Ferry Rd., Marietta, GA 30067. The meetings begin at 10 am. For further information, call 770.234.5068 or email newcomersofcobbcounty@yahoo.com. NORTH METRO SYNAGOGUE: Congregation Ner Tamid is a reform synagogue serving West Cobb, Paulding, Kennesaw, Acworth, Cartersville, Douglasville and surrounding areas. We offer Shabbat services, Tot Shabbat, religious school, and much more! For more information visit www.nertamidonline.com or call us at 678-264-8575. MARIETTA CIVITAN CLUB: The Marietta Civitan Club is a volunteer organization dedicated to serving individual and community needs with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities. We provide assistance to those in need through our fundraising projects and our volunteer service. We meet at noon on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesday's of the month at the Marietta Conference Center. For more information, please call Chris Busby at 404-240-5443.

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NORTH COBB CIVITAN CLUB: The North Cobb Civitan Club focuses on the Acworth/Kennesaw communities and especially performs projects involving special needs children. They meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday’s at noon at the Pinetree Country Club. For more information, please call Penny Warren at 678.331.3952. MOTHERS AND MORE: The West Cobb Chapter of Mothers & More, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of mothers through support, education and advocacy. We address mothers’ needs as individuals and members of society, and promote the value of all the work mothers do. We offer many opportunities for our mothers to have some "me" time while bonding with other mothers. We also offer playgroups for moms and their children. The West Cobb Chapter meets the first and third Thursday of the month at West Cobb Chiropractic, 5041 Dallas Highway, Suite 500 in Marietta. For more information, visit us at http://www.geocitiees.com/wcobbmothersandmore/index.htm JEWISH CONGREGATION AHAVAT SHALOM: Congregation Ahavat Shalom is a Reform Jewish Congregation serving the Northwest suburbs of Atlanta and its surrounding communities. There is an increasing Jewish population in North and West Cobb County and the area needs a well balanced congregation to serve residents of all ages in a friendly and upstanding manner. We have meaningful adult and children's Sabbath services, adult education, a religious school with certified teachers and social gatherings for all ages. Everyone is made to feel welcome and join our expanded family. Having formed in a modern era we are cognizant of the evolution of the Jewish landscape. Congregation Ahavat Shalom is therefore accepting of all family structures. For more information please call us at 770-218-3556 or e-mail us at congahavatshalom@yahoo.com. MARIETTA CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S CONNECTION: Enjoy lunch and a speaker on the second Wednesday of every month at Brookstone Country Club from 11am to 1pm. A nursery is available and all women in the community are invited. Please contact Diane Rose for more information. 770-971-6077

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Our Town December 2010 - West Cobb