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The West Cobb Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine February 2017


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Our Town onthly M

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

Publishers/Editors Linda Demery & Lori McLinden Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc. Account Executive Sara Young, sara@ourtownmonthly.com Feature Photographer

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 2016 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Lindsay Larson Photography

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

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Contributing Writers

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Gillen Joachim

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Tara Hill

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Kelly Dean

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in this issue we’ved! move

6

Calendar of Events

7

KBA Business EXPO

8

About the Cover

11 Does Romance Matter in Relationships?

Cut • Color Specialty

14 Business Spotlight – My Rent Source

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15 Style Report 16 Letters from Abroad 17 What’s Cookin?’ 18 Valentine’s Day 20 Designer Shortcuts 21 February Crossword

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24 Trees 26 February is Responsible Dog Ownership Month

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Our Town


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february calendar of events

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KENNESAW VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE: Saturday, February 6th, from 6-9pm at the Ben Robertson Community Center in Adams Park, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144. The Valentine’s Day Dance Party features all your favorite tunes spun by a DJ, plenty of dancing, character entertainment, games, prizes, memorable photo opportunities, an “allyou-care-to-eat” dinner, along with decadent desserts. It’s the perfect date night with your son or daughter; or make it an entire family outing! All adults must be accompanied by a child, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Seating will be open; however, tables will be reserved for parties of six or more. This year’s Valentine’s Day Dance Party theme is New York City. Tickets are only $15 per person, and can be purchased online at www. kennesaw-ga.gov, or at the Ben Robertson Community Center. Advance purchase is required. Tickets are non-refundable after January 29. Children two (2) years of age and under do not need a ticket; however they must sit on an adult’s lap. For more information, call the City of Kennesaw Parks & Recreation Department at (770) 422-9714. MARIETTA ANNUAL DADDY DAUGHTER DANCE: Sunday, February 7th from 2:30 to 5pm. Open to fathers and their daughters ages 5-12 years old, and features a fun afternoon with great music, dancing, and refreshments. Dress is semi-formal to formal. This is a great opportunity to make another magical childhood memory! Bring your dancing shoes and camera! Register early because space is limited and reservations are required. Registration and more information is available online at: http://www.mariettaga.gov/city/residents/ parks/specialevents/daddydaughter Tickets are $30, $5 for additional daughters. Cluster Park Sports and Fitness Center, 545 Kenneth E. Marcus Way, Marietta, GA 30060. For more information, call Marietta’s Parks and Recreation Department at 770-794-5601. 26th ANNUAL LITTLE MISS COBB/TEEN MISS COBB: Young ladies ages 2 through 18 are invited to participate in the 26th annual pageant set for Feburary 11th at 9:30am. Six beauty titles including: Tiny, Petite, Little, Pre-teen, Junior, and teen will be awarded. The Pageant will take place at the Cobb Civic Center, 548 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta. For information and application, please contact Gene Phillips at 770.435.6378 or visit www.misscobbcounty@yahoo.com. A NIGHT OF JAZZ AND SILENT AUCTION: Presented by Harrison High School Jazz Band. Friday, February 17th at Lost Mountain Baptist Church on Dallas Hwy. Doors open at 6:30pm. Night of Music with light appetizers, coffee and desserts will be served tickets are $10 in advance $15 at the door students are $5. Silent Auction items include fire pit baskets,date night and many more exciting things to bid on. For more information call 404-353-5417. ACWORTH DADDY DAUGHTER DANCE: Acworth’s annual Daddy Daughter Dance takes place on Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 7 – 9 pm, at the North Cobb High School gym. This year the theme is “Country-Western Hootenanny!” This dance is a great opportunity for dads and daughters to spend a special evening together. This event is open to all girls 13 and under with their dad or adult male escort. A DJ will be providing music for the duos to dance the night away and light refreshments will be provided. There will also be a photographer set up for optional pictures. Admission for two is $25 for City of Acworth residents or $35.00 for non-City residents. Additional daughters are $10. North Cobb High School Gym, 3400 Old US Highway 41, Kennesaw, GA 30144. For more information, please call 770.917.1234. BORN AGAIN BLESSINGS CHILDRENS CONSIGNMENT SALE: Children’s and maternity clothes, shoes, toys, nursery items, baby equipment, furniture and more! Friday March 10, 9am-7pm. Saturday March 11, 9am-noon. Preview sale: Thursday open to workers and sellers only. First time moms can sign up for early shopping privileges. Riverstone church, 2005 Stilesboro rd. Nw, Kennesaw, Ga 30152. More info:www.bornagainblessings.com EMAIL US WITH YOUR EVENTS! INFO@OURTOWNMONTHLY.COM. Deadline is the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue.

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


Kennesaw Business Association Business Expo Slated for February 28 DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING BUSINESS LOCAL From painting services to money markets, from insurance to local eateries, the Ben Robertson Community Center will be full of Cobb County businesses at the Kennesaw Business Association Business Expo on Tuesday, February 28. The event will be held from 4 p.m., to 7:30 p.m. “The business expo is a great way to support local businesses that give back to the very community we live in,” commented David Persson, President of the Kennesaw Business Association. “Through support of the local businesses KBA has been pleased to give thousands of dollars back to local schools and this is just one of the opportunities they have to share their business with the community and build on our 2017 theme of Building and Encouraging Total Health in Yourself, Your Business and Your Community through the Kennesaw Business Association.” The Business Expo is a free event and provides patrons a unique opportunity to see some of the local business leaders in a comfortable setting and is looked at as a way busy professionals can achieve greater productivity and efficiency while growing their potential customer base.

Contact me to learn more about your local housing market, and about buying a new home or selling you current one!

Kortneye Albritton-Gill

Associate Broker

“Your West Cobb Specialist” 404-914-0483 • kortneye@gmail.com

(Continued on page 26)

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3405 Dallas Highway • Suite 720 • Marietta, Georgia 30064

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Meet the Gahan family and read about the incredible journey that they have traveled. In honor of February and Heart Health month, Our Town celebrates Mya Gahan’s and the non-profit organization, Enduring Hearts, that Madelyn and Patrick created to make a difference in the lives of pediatric heart transplant patients. by Mysia Prickett

instead of staying at home, because Mommy and Daddy both needed to be at the hospital. Anya would always reply with an “OK!” and her classic Anya smile.

In 2010, Madelyn and Patrick Gahan were on a vacation at Disney World with their daughters, Anya and Mya, when Mya, at 15 months old, began experiencing serious respiratory distress. She was admitted to the hospital in Orlando, and the Gahans’ were informed that she was in heart failure. It turned out that Mya, who had always been considered a healthy child, had dilated cardiomyopathy, and she would need to stay in the hospital for a little while. After a couple weeks away from family, friends, and Anya, Mya and her parents returned home to Marietta, and Mya began receiving follow-up care at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Gahan’s were told that there was a chance Mya’s condition could be managed with medication, but she may also need a heart transplant. Mya did well on medications for almost two years, but in the early hours of her third birthday, she began to show signs of heart failure again. Her parents took her to the hospital, and she was admitted and placed on the transplant list as status 1A (most urgent). Mya’s family (Mommy and Daddy, sister Anya, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) came to the hospital to celebrate her third birthday with her. That was the first of several special days that Mya would celebrate in the hospital, including Easter and her big sister’s first day of Kindergarten. The Gahan’s had been told to expect to wait about six weeks for a new heart for Mya. Instead, they waited six months! Their family and friends all pitched in to support them. Thankfully much of their family lives locally, and those who don’t, such as Patrick’s family in Maryland, made the trip down to stay and help. The doctors, nurses, and hospital staff became part of the family, too. This support, as well as her own strength and personality, helped Mya to thrive during her stay in the hospital. As she understood it, her heart was broken, and this was her home while she waited for her new heart to “come in the mail.” Mya’s room was decorated with artwork she made during her stay, as well as artwork from her family and friends. She even decorated her IV pole, which she named “Mr. Bossy Pants” because he would beep at her when she got too far away. And Mya got too far away a lot! She would ride her tricycle down the hallways so fast that whatever grown-up was pulling Mr. Bossy Pants behind her could barely keep up! She also loved going to the library, where she would read books and play on the computer. Sometimes a nurse would show up to the library because they were getting an alert that something was wrong with

Finally, on September 2, 2012, Patrick got the call that there was a heart for Mya! Madelyn recalls that, after waiting so long for that call, when Patrick turned to her and said, “It’s time,” she had no idea what he meant. Then it clicked, and the family sprung into action to prepare for the lifesaving operation they had been waiting and praying for. It was on the drive to the hospital that the two were overcome with emotion when they realized that another family, in their time of loss, had made the selfless decision to give life to another child. Mya’s surgery lasted through the night, and early in the morning of September 3, 2012, Mya had her new heart. That was a Monday, and by Friday she was recovering at home. The staff said she held the record there for the longest wait for a heart transplant and for the quickest recovery. Like most families who go through this type of experience, the Gahan’s felt a variety of emotions, including elation and relief. But relief turned into concern and fear when doctors explained to them that this is not the end of the journey for Mya. Despite how well this new heart was doing in Mya’s body, and the multitude of medications that she would be taking to keep her body from rejecting it, this heart will not last forever. On average a pediatric heart transplant only lasts about ten – twelve years, and one in four children need a second transplant after only five years! This means that, even with the best odds, Mya will need another heart when she is in high school, and then another only about ten years after that. Patrick and Madelyn, refusing to accept these odds, started looking around to see what research was being done to improve them. What they found is that there were many scientists and institutions out there with promising ideas, but they weren’t getting the seed funding to begin their studies. In April of 2013, Patrick and Madelyn founded Enduring Hearts, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the longevity of pediatric heart transplants and improve the quality of life for transplant recipients. Since its inception, Enduring Hearts has aligned with both the American Heart Association and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. To date, they have funded over $2 million in research at world-renowned universities, transplant centers, and institutes, including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University. Today Mya is a healthy 7 year-old who continues to move too fast for adults to keep up, and Anya is a dear 9 year-old with that same big smile. They both enjoy gymnastics, piano lessons, and school. Patrick and Madelyn have the pleasure of trying to keep up with the two and will be eternally grateful to the family who gave them such a priceless gift.

Mya’s vitals, and it would turn out that one of the many wires connected to her little body had come off as she was lying in a beanbag or a nook under some bookshelves, reading. During all of this time, Anya also showed tremendous strength and resiliency. Patrick and Madelyn tried their best to maintain as much normalcy as possible for her, but often she would get picked up from school by a grandparent or an aunt, instead of by Mommy or Daddy. And sometimes they would tell her that she’s staying at Grammy and Grandpap’s house tonight, or with her cousins Cammy and Caroline,

PAGE 8

To learn more about Enduring Hearts, please visit www.enduringhearts.org, or visit www.donateheart.org to support the organization directly. Photography by Lindsay Larson Photography www.lindsaylarsonphotography.com

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Our Town


Make Your Sweet Plans for Valentine’s Day! We’ll have decorated heart cookies, heart cookie cakes, and image cookies as well as pre-packaged gift boxes for those last-minute shoppers. Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, but we will also have special cookies for your mom, dad, children, friends, etc. Special customized orders are always available.

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And No Painful Exercises. My name is Dr. Amy Valente, D.C. owner of North Cobb Spine & Nerve Institute. I understand what it feels like to live in pain, because I see it every day. I’ve seen hundreds of people with back pain, numbness, and sciatica leave the office pain free. This is why for 14 days ONLY, I’m running a very special offer where you can find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression.

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Does Romance Matter in Relationships ?

by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D.

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Valentine’s Day is intended to be a day for love and romance. For many it’s a day to honor a partner, a love, and a spouse. It’s a day to remember to pause to consider loving well by bringing tenderness and romance into this most important relationship. It is well established that long-term relationships take effort to be successful. One of the secrets to keeping love and passion alive is in putting forth the effort which is always shown when love is new. In those early days of courtship there is typically great effort to keep the other interested (otherwise the budding relationship dies). When one is newly in love, even the “cheesiest” of gestures can feel romantic. However, as this early infatuation passes, staying romantic can feel less comfortable. This phenomenon doesn’t mean love for a partner has diminished; but, when two people are committed by marriage, laziness and complacency can become significant problems. In the context of a committed relationship, there is hopefully a sense of trust of being loved. However, it makes a difference to have this love demonstrated. A blog titled, “What Exactly Is Romance and Why Does It Matter in Marriage”, by Shannon, states: “It’s like getting to indulge in a delectable dessert. Like dinners, our marriages can be sufficient and even fulfilling without romance, but they will lack the excitement, fun, and adventure that they could have if we enjoyed an occasional dessert.” Writer and social worker, Kelli Hastings asserts that adding romance to an existing relationship is enhanced when there is a mindfulness of the need to bond with the partner, a desire to enhance the joy and fun, a commitment to keeping humor, intimacy, respect and adventure alive, and a strong value for the shared memories in a long-term relationship. She states that “romance feeds the elements that comprise a loving relationship. Without it, desire and adoration for one another will almost assuredly fade, rendering the relationship dull and mundane. Understanding the importance of practicing romance in your relationships will add spark to your love life, prolong feelings of connectedness and result in your ultimate happiness for years to come.” Some suggest that movies and books have “ruined” the understanding of romance. The unrealistic expectations set forth in fiction are often not a part of daily life and real relationships. Romance isn’t necessarily about flowers, chocolate, candlelit dinners or moonlit walks on the beach. Some people many find these to be romantic, but others may prefer a massage, a handwritten note, or a snuggle on the couch. Romance is subjective. Each person will have slightly different things that speak to the heart and say “I love you”. It is more challenging (and much more fulfilling) to take the time and make the effort to figure out what is the best expression of love or romance for one’s spouse. There is no magic to romance, but finding what is right for a partner is discovering what makes them feel cherished. Trying to meet your partner’s romantic needs requires understanding of their perspective. While there are many exceptions, generally, men primarily focus on physical intimacy and women like to be romantic in other ways. These may include: actions that communicate affection and thoughtfulness; and planning activities to promote connectedness. Rekindling romance in a marriage doesn’t require a lot of money, and it doesn’t even take much time. What is needed is the commitment to never stop the courtship. Valuing romance is one way of letting a spouse know they are still loved, needed, and that there is a renewed commitment to the relationship. Dr. Bailey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Marietta. You can learn more about her by visiting: www.marietta-psychologist.com. You may reach her at (770) 428-6698 or by email to LeisaB@marietta-psychologist.com. Your comments or questions are welcome.

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“ Running a small business takes time, systems, patience, extra hours, hard work, determination, strong ethics, and most of all perseverance. The success of the My Rent Source business model would not be possible without our employees that uphold our company vision and values every day.”

Steven Kubon, owner, My Rent Source

My Rent Source has been assisting property owners since 2004 and provides property management services throughout the Metro Atlanta area. We met with owner, Steven Kubon, to get the inside story about his successful company and what makes My Rent Source tick. OTM: What prompted you to start your business, My Rent Source? MRS: I established My Rent Source in 2004 and incorporated in 2006. I was a new investor and excited about buying and leasing properties as an additional income source. After acquiring my 7th property, I quickly realized that it requires a lot of work to manage these properties and it takes up a tremendous amount of time to do it the right way. I started managing a few properties for other investors and they were happy to pay a management fee to know that their property was in good hands. At that point I knew I could go to market with a management service to the public. OTM: Can you explain the Mission Statement at My Rent Source? MRS: Our objective at My Rent Source is to work as a team to ensure that properties are well maintained and profitable for our clients. We are a new school technology based real estate firm with old school customer service values. Our success is largely due to our willingness to embrace technology and our dedication to customer service. We rely on smart phones, digital faxing, digital signing, online management software, cloud storage and paperless systems to process transactions quickly for our clients and keep our operating costs low. OTM: Can you explain the operations of My Rent Source? MRS: At My Rent Source we are a one-stop real estate management firm. We handle everything from purchasing, selling, leasing, tenant screening, evictions when necessary, to general maintenance and full renovations. We have an amazing team of skilled employees that go above and beyond each day to make sure our properties are managed efficiently and with top - notch customer service. OTM: What do you think sets My Rent Source apart from other property management companies in the Metro Atlanta area? MRS: Our customer service, technology, tenant screening and personable approach to our owners separates us from all others. We treat others the way we want to be treated. Our tenants and owners always get the best service and we always look out for their best

interests. We guarantee our tenants for 90 days, and we have a less than 3% delinquency rate due to our extensive screening processes. Our near paperless systems and online portals for tenants and owners allow quick access to any information, anywhere, anytime. OTM: You’ve got a great web site that seems very user friendly. What are the benefits that renters and owners experience with this technology? MRS: Having an easy to read and navigate website is key. Tenants and owners can log into our website at any time to view their account, upload/download documents or submit a maintenance request. Tenants even have the ability to upload photos of a maintenance situation so we can quickly diagnose the issue and send the appropriate vendor to repair. Owners can quickly see how their property is performing or even click on repair photos to validate a repair or check the quality of the repair. Tenant prospects can view all vacant inventory from our site and can submit their application. OTM: Why do you think that customer and personal service is so important in today’s business world? MRS: In my opinion, customer service has greatly diminished in our country, and My Rent Source actually counteracts that by giving over the top customer service and face-to-face meetings when needed resulting in the establishment of strong business relationships. We answer our phones and we meet clients at their properties. It’s very important for our clients to earn our trust. Our clients want to know that we have their best interests at heart and the My Rent Source staff doesn’t mind going the extra mile to prove it. OTM: Do you also assist clients if they are considering getting in the investment/rental property business? MRS: Yes, we are a one-stop real estate firm. We are able to provide free consultations for investors looking to get into the market. We also provide free property evaluations for our investors before or after they go under contract in order to ensure the property is a quality investment. We want our owners to be successful.

For more information about MyRent Source

visit www.myrentsource.com • 404-419-6459 • info@myrentsource.com

PAGE 14

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STYLE REPORT by Tara Hill February....the month of love. The month of passion...

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I met the most fantastic people from the community last month at our “Super Saturday/ Meet & Greet”. The ladies in attendance were fabulous and the local businesses that participated were amazing. After speaking to some of our community entrepreneurs, I was inspired by the LOVE and PASSION that they have for their businesses. Life gets so busy that often times we all lose “the passion and love” for our jobs, our hobbies and unfortunately ourselves...we start operating in “auto-pilot”...and I am guilty as well. “Live Beautifully, Dream Passionately and Love Unconditionally” That quote should be our life mantra! That is how we should not only think of life... we should think of ourselves! Waking up everyday and being your best self mentally and physically should be a priority. Trust me, I know it’s hard, some mornings are much harder than others but have you ever heard of the “Look Good Feel Better” program? The name is 100% accurate! Psychologists have done study after study on this theory and the answer is always the same. Attractive people are not only happier and healthier but also live longer. And remember when I say “attractive”, I mean well groomed and pulled together. We need to reclaim the love and passion for life and ourselves! I want you to be as inspired as I am (after that weekend)...put yourself first. If you didn’t do it last month, do it this month, buy a new outfit, get a new haircutfor no reason other than you deserve it! I asked a few of the ladies that happen to be in the business of health, wellness and beauty to share with us their why’s, their passions and maybe even a tip to help us get inspired too! Brenda Bugg, Jazzercise Owner I needed an activity that could withstand the “test of time”. Mentally and physically, I could not afford to get bored or quit. That is why I choose Jazzercise. It is more than my career (35 years, by the way). It has taken me through life, from a new mom, to the mother of teenagers to an empty nester. It has kept me healthy, happy and sane. Tip: Physical activity is so important. You must find something you love and that you can do forever! Katie Georgiana, Professional Make-up Artist “I’m so passionate about this business because I love to see the big reveal at the end of a makeover, seeing someone’s face light up, seeing how beautiful and confident they feel is what it’s all about. Tip: For a great makeup application, always cleanse and tone your face morning and night, it’s what’s underneath the makeup that makes makeup look good, good skin equals good makeup..

Opportunities

Samantha Morrow, Personal Hair Stylist My passion for hair goes back as far as I can remember. I used to take my mom’s Conair curling iron, turn it on low heat to style Barbie, Skipper and any other doll I could get my hands on. The secret to curling plastic doll hair was to use low heat. Fast forward twenty some odd years later, and I still feel like the same girl playing with hair only now clients leave with their heads held a little higher and walk a little taller. I love what I do; I’m excited I get to do it for a living. Tip: Regular trims are non negotiable, especially if you want to grow your hair out. Cut the damage before it occurs. Donna Georgiana, Mary Kay Beauty Consultant I love Mary Kay because it provides me with the opportunity to run my own business and to see other women feeling so happy and looking beautiful. Mainly I love that I get to meet so many wonderful people and build new relationships. Tip: My favorite new product is the lash intensity mascara that offers volume and length...high-end mascara at a very affordable price. I’m inspired by Mary Kay’s quote, “If you believe it, you can achieve it”! Tia Wowk, Massage Guru “Relax, Recharge, Reset” Beth Fore, Beauty Counter My favorite product is our Cleansing Balm. This do-it-all product is one of our best sellers, and it’s no wonder - this powerhouse product does so much, and one jar will last a LONG time. It can be used to deep clean skin, but it also removes waterproof makeup and can be used overnight as a hydrating mask. Best of all - I know that the ingredients are all SAFE for my family and me. I’ve even started using this to help heal skin irritations and as a deep lip moisturizing treatment. Tip: Unfortunately the beauty and personal care industry is virtually unregulated and the lotions, makeup, skin care, and other products we all use every day contain ingredients that are not necessarily safe for us. Take a minute and consider switching to safer products. Georgana Pierce, Rodan + Fields I LOVE helping people!! When a mama calls you crying because her baby finally has clear skin and is no longer embarrassed to go to school that’s worth everything! Or when a friend who’s had a cancerous tumor removed from her face changes the appearance of her scar without surgery, you know why it’s called “life changing skin care”! Tip: Exfoliation! A regular exfoliating routine will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy! Nicola Fuller, Stella & Dot, “Spend your time on the things you are passionate about. Work hard for something you love.” Happy Valentines Day and thanks to you all for inspiring me everyday! Always remember: Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up and Never Give Up!

PAGE 15

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Letters from Abroad Every year for Christmas, we rotate between going to Georgia and going to Spain to see my husband’s family. We were in the States last year so this year was our turn to go to Spain. Even though I was looking forward to seeing my in-laws and celebrating the holidays with them, I was already dreading the journey from England to Spain. Normally, getting to Galicia (northwest Spain) requires a plane change in either Madrid or Barcelona, as there are no direct flights from Manchester. Often we fly to Porto, Portugal instead and then drive across the border to their town. But as there were no good flight options when I was buying tickets, I ended up with a flight that stopped in Lisbon in route to Porto. I say “I” because my husband left a few days before with his younger sister who had been staying with us the week before Christmas. The morning of December 23rd, the weather looked ominous. Rain and heavy winds were predicted, so I was already prepared for some travel hiccups. The train journey is usually one hour to the airport, but due to work on the lines, my trip to the airport included two trains and one bus ride. At the station, my train was delayed, so I hopped on the one that had

by Kelly Dean

been delayed the hour before. I didn’t have any other troubles on the trains or the bus, and surprisingly, the line through security went quickly. I thought things were turning up until I saw the dreaded ‘delayed’ sign next to the flight number. The thirty-minute delay evolved into 2 hours and it was actually closer to 3 by the time we took off. Running off the plane and praying my connecting flight had been delayed, I reached the gate to a scene of chaos. Stranded passengers from earlier flights were all vying for the last remaining seats on our flight. I squeezed my way to the front to show my ticket to the agent. They reprinted my ticket with a different seat assignment. I didn’t ask any questions, I didn’t look back. I could hear the cries of the left behind shouting in Portuguese. Traveling at Christmas is no picnic. I did make it to Porto that night, but sadly, my bag did not. It was now 4:00am and there were lots of people with no bags and only two client services staff to assist. They took each passenger in a room one at a time and spent about 30 minutes a person collecting addresses. My poor husband was stuck waiting outside forever in the arrivals lounge. After filing my lost suitcase and driving to Galicia, we pulled up to the house at 7:00am. 24 hours since I woke up the day before. As you might imagine, I only had the clothes on my body, my laptop, and a knit chicken hat and Christmas boxers I bought as a joke gift in the airport for my brother-in-law. Thankfully, the singing chicken hat was a huge hit with my 6-year-old niece. All the other gifts we gave out a few days after Christmas when my suitcase was delivered. I had a great time being with my Spanish family over the holidays, but I don’t think I will ever forget that epic Christmas journey! Kelly Dean is a Marietta native and former Miss MHS. Kelly lives in northern England with her Spanish husband. Her travels through Europe have taken her as far as Turkey and Morocco, with many mishaps and laughs along the way. Currently, she is working in the International Student Recruitment Office at Lancaster University.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake This recipe takes delicious traditional red velvet cake and gives it a creamy twist.

WHAT’S COOKI N’? COOKIN’?

Make your Valentine’s Day perfect with this romantic dinner that combines texture, taste and color.

Beef Tenderloin with Roasted

Cauliflower Pomegranate Salad This juicy beef tenderloin is brightened by a tangy cauliflower-pomegranate salad. Serves 6 3 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed 6 tbsp. olive oil 2 tsp. Kosher salt

Optional: Chocolate leaves, powdered sugar unsweetened cocoa powder, fresh raspberries and/or small whole strawberries.

In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and ½ cup butter over low heat; transfer to a bowl and cool completely. Place wafer cookies, chocolate pieces, almonds and brown sugar in a large food processor. Cover and process until finely ground. Add the 1/2 cup melted butter; cover and process until well combined. Transfer crumbs to a 10x3inch spring form pan with a removable bottom. Press crumbs onto bottom and up the sides of the pan, leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top of the pan. Set aside. For filling: In a very large mixing bowl, beat the cooled chocolate mixture, cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, buttermilk and red food coloring with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Add 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks all at once. Beat on low speed just until combined.

1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper 1 head cauliflower 5 large shallots 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard 1 package baby kale ½ c. pomegranate seeds Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Place the beef on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 1-tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 475 degrees F for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, toss 2 tablespoons oil with cauliflower and shallots; season with additional salt and pepper. Quickly scatter vegetables around beef in the pan and continue to bake, stirring vegetables once, 18 more minutes (for medium-rare) or until meat reached desired degree of doneness. Remove beef from pan and cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir kale into hot pan with vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil mixture and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Slice beef and serve with cauliflower pomegranate salad. Recipe source: Midwest Living

PAGE 17

1 pound milk chocolate, chopped 1/2 cup butter 1-9-ounce package chocolate wafer cookies (40 to 45 cookies) 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces 1 cup slivered almonds 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup butter, melted 4- 8 - ounce packages cream cheese, softened 1-8 - ounce carton dairy sour cream 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup buttermilk 1-1 - ounce bottle red food coloring (2 Tbsp.) 4 eggs + 2 egg yolks

Pour filling into crumb-crust lined spring form pan. Place spring form pan in a shallow baking pan on the oven rack. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 1 hour, or until 2 inches of outside edge appear set when shaken gently. Remove spring form pan from baking pan. Cool cheesecake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a small metal spatula to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Cool 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan. Cool for 1 hour; cover and chill at least 4 hours. To serve, use a paper doily to decoratively sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder on the top, if you like. Garnish the center with chocolate leaves and fresh raspberries, if you like. Clean knife between each cut. Makes 20 servings.

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Valentine's Day by Mark Orler I remember sitting in front of a stack of newly purchased Valentine’s Day cards meticulously categorizing each one trying to assign the perfect match in preparation for our elementary school’s card exchange. Having been forced to decorate shoeboxes with red, white and if you were brave enough to endure the mockery from your buddies, pink construction paper in preparation for the cards to come, it was critical that you send the correct Valentine message to each kid. All boys received cards filled with sarcasm for the holiday because even at the tender age of ten you just knew it was weird to want another dude for your Valentine. So cards adorned with cartoon skunks saying things like, “Happy Valentines you big stinker!” were the selection-du-jour for them. The girl’s cards, however, were exponentially more difficult. At that age girls fell into one of four distinct categories: Cooties, Weird, Friend and Fantasy. Cooties Girls warranted the most toned-down version of a card because you definitely didn’t want them thinking you had any Valentines-type feelings toward them but, you also didn’t want them thinking you were a jerk, because, well, women talk! They typically got something that had a cartoon chicken on the front saying, “Have a clucking-good Valentine’s Day.” Weird Girls were a little more complicated. Sometimes they could swing close to being a Cootie Girl and then other times they could pendulum into the Friend Girl category; it all depended on what kind of day we experienced during recess. So for them I would select cute insect-cards with bees, caterpillars or butterflies, saying something like, “Stick to me this Valentine’s,” or “I am here to ‘bug’ you this Valentine’s.” You wanted just enough creepy in their card to have plausible deniability should any of your buddies think you liked them. “Oh, so is Ramona your honey?” “No dude, she just always dresses like Charlie Brown.” Friend Girls were a cakewalk. They were just dudes who wore dresses. However, seeing as they were completely “girl” you had to combine the awesomeness of your buds with a tinge of romanticism. They received cards that had big-eyed rabbits, deer or other Bambi-esque images conveying the not so subtle message, “if you were hotter, I’d be Valentining all over you.”

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I almost hate to admit it, but even after all the time I spent culling cards and assigning the most appropriate image and sentiment to every classmate, I inevitably came home and opened my pink (yes, I was that guy) shoebox only to enjoy a surfeit of skunks! Happy Valentine’s Day, you big stinkers!

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Fantasy Girls. In modern vernacular these would have been the one, or two, girls in the class that were “out of your league.” Even so, they always got the cards that were a size larger than the rest and because there were never more than a couple of them in the class, would have been purchased separately. They said things like, “Be Mine,” or “I’m Yours.” And, they would always be signed using my full name so that they would be able to practice writing their post-nuptials new one.

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

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PAGE 19

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D Our home interiors often fall far down or even off of the list while we deal with our hectic, everyday schedules. Ideally, we want our homes to shine and represent our own style and creativity, but realistically there is not always time to make this happen. The following are some designer

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RE-ARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE

Interior Designers will tell you that the placement of your furnishings is one key to creating visual symmetry in ll ForIt’s all about rotating and rearranging your Cahome. r By moving your furniture away what you have. ou aT from your walls, you can open up your rooms by Today! creating interesting angles and appeal.

LAYER YOUR LIGHTING

Lighting has an aesthetic appeal and the ability to set the mood and carry significant weight to the overall design of your home. Light fixtures, recessed can lighting, lamps and dimmer switches are all ways to layer your lighting in your home.

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A unicolor palette is especially helpful for decorating small homes or spaces. Neutrals, creams and beige tones brighten up a room and make it look larger. The last thing you want to do with a small space is emphasize the square footage. Very light-colored walls, floors and window treatments will accomplish this goal. This design trick can be used in any room you want to appear larger or make livelier.

PAINT OUT DATED FIXTURES

Are your light fixtures out of date, but your budget won’t allow you to replace them at this time? You can give your old brass chandeliers a makeover with a quick coat of hammered-bronze or satin-nickel spray paint. Dingy switch plates, vents and doorknobs can all be transformed with paint. By painting your kitchen cabinets and adding new hardware, you can refresh this space with a little elbow grease and time. The transformation can be incredible.

HANG MIRRORS

Hanging or is one of the quickest and most budget friendly shortcuts to make. They have an Call Fmirrors amazingoability to bounce light, open up a room and have a nice decorative touch. Experts go as far as a T ur adding at least one mirror per room. to recommend !

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Many people avoid placing area rugs in their home because they know they’re expensive. Rugs soften hardwood floors, add color, come in all sorts of designs and make a room feel warm and cozy. Do your homework before making a purchase so it’s the right size, style and material for where you’ll be placing the area rug.

PAINT ON A POP OF COLOR

WHY ADVERTISE IN OUR TOWN? Our Town is the only direct mail community Developed, publication that stands outLocally from the rest withOwned and Managed beautiful covers of local families in an OVERSIZED format. Informative articles, calendar of events, and monthly crosswords, are all designed to keep OT in your home and on the coffee table all month long!

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We’re locally owned and operated. We are small, but wear many hats and are proud to service our clients personally!

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One of the easiest and most practical interior design shortcuts is to add an unexpected pop of color. A coat of paint is the simplest and most economical way to enhance and transform a boring room. By simply painting the inside of a bookcase with a pop of color, you can instantly add depth and color. Fireplace mantles, closets, hallways and ceilings are other great places that pops of color can shine.

USE WICKER BASKETS FOR STORAGE

Organization and properly stored items will not only make your home look neater and less cluttered, but it’ll make your life easier. Bathrooms and kitchens are perfect for wicker baskets to use to stow items that you don’t necessarily want to have on view.

Shortcuts save you time and are the quickest way to get your end results when you’re balancing a busy lifestyle. By implementing these tips to collect, rearrange and upgrade, you will be pleasantly surprised with the end results.

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PAGE 21

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2575 Whitehaven Drive Marietta, Ga 30064 678-567-9936 (Hurt Rd. @ Powder Springs Rd)

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TAX PREPARATION SERVICES For new customers. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with any other offers or used toward past services. One coupon per customer and per return. Void where prohibited by law. Valid 1/2/2017 to 4/10/2017.

LibertyTax.com

Liberty Tax

Manuel A. Davila, D.M.D. Chris Vandewater, D.M.D. Scott P. Rose, D.M.D., M.D. Neysa Alice Coker, D.M.D., M.D. Richard W. Kinsey, D.M.D. Diplomates, American Board of Oral &Maxillofacial Surgery

PROCEDURES OFFERED: Dental Extractions, Including Wisdom Teeth Dental Implants

7 Convenient Locations: Dallas Acworth Douglasville Lost Mountain Marietta Woodstock Blue Ridge

770-505-9100 770-429-2326 770-949-3797 770-429-5507 770-422-7630 770-924-1083 706-632-7801

Facial & Oral Trauma Maxillofacial Reconstruction Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology Corrective Jaw/ Orthognathic Surgery Sleep Apnea & Snoring Surgery Surgical TMJ

We are on most insurance plans and GA Medicaid.

PAGE 22

www.nworalmax.com

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


Smile. Your search for a new dentist is over! We provide thoughtful, modern dental care. Call for an appointment today. Emergency appointments available.

“Surprise is the secret of joy.” - G.K. Chesterton JOY

New Patient Special

59

$

Cleaning, Exam & Digital X-rays* 678

50 off Dentistry† $

574-8622

AcworthSmilesDentistry.com

ACWORTH SMILES DENT IST RY

Amir Ghalehgol, DMD; Stella Bonner, DMD

3384 Cobb Pkwy NW, Ste 130, Acworth, GA 30101 *Regular value of at least $290. In absence of gum (periodontal) disease. New patients only. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Coupon must be presented at appointment. Limit 1 per patient. Subject to insurance restrictions; cannot be applied to insurance co-payments or deductible. Not valid for appointments with pediatric dentist. †Not valid on previous or ongoing treatment. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Coupon must be presented at appointment. Limit 1 per patient. Excludes cleaning, exam, Digital X-rays, root planing and scaling and/or periodontal maintenance. Subject to insurance restrictions; cannot be applied to insurance co-payments or deductible. Not valid for appointments with pediatric dentist, orthodontist, periodontist, endodontist or oral surgeon. AZ and CO Delta Dental members: valid toward cosmetic dentistry only. No cash redemption value. If full value is not redeemed, no credit value.

PAGE 23

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Our Town


TREES

I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. - Joyce Kilmer

by Gillen Joachim - GANEK WRIGHT MINSK PC www.titlelaw.com

Trees are indeed lovely. But, a tree on or near a property line can be a bit of a nuisance between neighbors. As a rule, a homeowner has the right to cut limbs and branches (and even roots) of a tree that is located on his or her neighbor’s property if a part of that tree crosses the property line onto his or her property. There is an important caveat to that rule, though. The exception is that they can do so as long as cutting it back will not harm or destroy the tree. If a tree or shrub straddles the property line, either neighbor can prune or trim it back with the same caveat above. However, neither neighbor can remove or cut down the tree or shrub without the other’s consent. Another issue arises with unsafe trees. The rules vary depending on whether the property is in a rural or urban area. Most of metro Atlanta is considered urban, but some outlying counties are rural. In a rural area, a property owner is not required to actively determine if trees on his or her property are dangerous and in need of removal. However, if they are on active notice, they are liable for damage caused by the tree falling. Property owners in urban areas are held to a duty of reasonable care to ensure the trees on their property are safe and are liable for damage caused by the falling of unsafe trees or their parts. In no case can a neighbor go on to another neighbor’s property without their permission to remove a tree, unsafe or otherwise.

678-247-1157 MARIETTA OFFICE

10

%anyoff purchase

Must bring in this ad. Some exclusions apply. Expires 3/1/17.

camping l hiking l backpacking l survival gear 1302 CONCORD RD SE • SMYRNA, GA 30080 • 770.435.4103

678-265-8078 KENNESAW OFFICE

2950 King Street Smyrna, GA 30080 770-435-4467 www.carmi c hael funeral homes .c om PAGE 24

1130 Whitlock Avenue Marietta, GA 30064 770-424-4924 Our family serving your family for over 37 years

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


Gas LogsEtc., Inc.

VISIT OUR SHOWROOM IN HIRAM!

Just a short drive from West Cobb

We Can Bring the Showroom to You Call for Details!

We Can Bring the Showroom to You Call for Details!

Thermo-Rite Custom Glass Doors Accessories

We are A+ Rated

Locally owned and operated since 1995

770-420-LOGS www.gaslogsetc.com

(5647)

156 Hiram Acworth Hwy (Hwy 92) Hiram, Ga. 30141

Roofing Problems?

Thermo-Rite Custom Glass Doors Accessories

We are A+ Rated

500 150 500

any $ any $$ anyRoof New Locally owned and operated since 1995 Complete Exterior New Roof Painting Project 770-420-LOGS OFF OFF www.gaslogsetc.com 156 Hiram Acworth Hwy Hiram, Ga. 30141 OFF any Roof $$ any any Roof Not valid with other offers. Must present this ad. Not valid with other offers. Offer expires 4-30-15 this ad. (5647) Not valid withMust otherpresent offers. Must present Offer expires 2-28-17. this ad. Offer expires 6-30-14

Call “Georgia’s Most Trusted and Dependable Roofing Company”

100 100 Repair 50 Repair (Hwy 92)

ELITE ROOFING of Georgia

10

YEAR No-leak Warranty Featuring Available Lifetime No-Leak Warranty and Roof Maintenance Programs l l l l l l

Complete New ($300 Installation or more) Siding Not valid with otheror offers. Must present ($300 more)

Financing Available

770-445-1290

Licensed & Insured l Local Family Owned Company l Excellent Standing with the BBB

PAGE 25

Not valid other offers. present this with ad. expires 4-30-15 NotOffer valid withMust other offers. Must present this ad. Offer 6-30-14 thisexpires ad. Offer ex pires 2-28-17.

100 100 100

$$$

any any RoofComplete Gutter Gutter Repair Installation

OFF OFF OFF

Installation ($300 or more) Not valid with other offers. Must present

www.roofelite.com

New Roofs We Specialize in Insurance Claims l FREE Estimates Repairs Seamless Gutters Siding Replacement & Repairs Metal Roofs eliteroofga@yahoo.com Construction

OFF OFF OFF any Complete

Not valid Not with other offers. Must valid with 4-30-15 otherpresent offers. Must present thisOffer ad. Offer expires this ad. 6-30-14 thisexpires ad. Offer expires 2-28-17.

500

$

OFF

any New Roof Not valid with other offers. Must present this ad. Offer expires 6-30-14

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


1600 Kennesaw Due West Rd., NW #507 • Kennesaw, GA 30152

770-419-0362 • Fax 770-419-8891 • kennesawvet.com

by Amber Burckhalter Happy Valentine’s Month! We spend February celebrating love in all forms especially our pups, which are a constant source of truly unconditional love. February also is Responsible Pet Ownership Month and there’s no better way to return that unconditional love than through responsible dog ownership. This month, we wanted to take the opportunity to outline some specific things related to responsible dog ownership and how you can show them your love year-round.

1. Choose a Dog Breed That Fits Your Lifestyle. The choice of a pet should

be a carefully researched decision and not an impulse purchase. Owners who get a dog based on its appearance, and not breed characteristics, can be in for a bad surprise. If you are considering a pup, visit us for a matchmaker consultation or see www.akc.org/find-a-match.

2. Keep an ID tag on your dog. Having your dog micro-chipped as well as keeping a collar and tag on them is vital to keeping them safe. Your veterinarian can micro-chip your pup and explain the process to you.

20% OFF DENTAL CLEANINGS THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY & MARCH FOR DENTAL HEALTH MONTH To learn more about our team & services, visit us online at kennesawvet.com

3. See Your Veterinarian Regularly.

Keep your dog healthy by getting regular check-ups, maintaining their vaccinations and getting them spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering helps control animal population AND protects dogs and cats from various diseases, including cancer. Keeping your dog free of parasites and heartworm disease is crucial for their health, as well, and your veterinarian can recommend products that do both.

4. Feed Your Dog Properly. Feed your pet a well-balanced and nutritious diet. There are

many quality dog food choices on the market today. With a little research, such as www.dogfoodadvisor.com, you can select a food that is best for your pet.

5. Train and Socialize Your Dog. Dogs should understand and follow basic direc-

tions like “sit,” “come,” and “stay.” In an emergency situation, these cues could save your pet’s life. By training and socializing your dog, you greatly reduce the chances of your dog developing behavioral problems, getting lost or ending up in a shelter. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, puppies can and should start socialization classes as early as 8 weeks of age.

6. Give Your Pup Plenty of Exercise and Play. Dogs need play and exercise

to truly be healthy. So, play together. Some ideas include fetch and Frisbee, of course, but also games like hide and seek, soccer, water-based games (for those who like to swim), long walks with play breaks, etc...

7. Groom Your Dog. A clean, well-groomed dog is happier and healthier. Also, dogs need conditioning to grooming such as nail trimming and blow-drying. Because this helps your pup get used to examination by a stranger, this can also make veterinary trip less stressful.

8. Clean Up After Your Dog. Whenever you take your dog for a walk or to play outside,

make sure you bring some bags to pick up after your dog. No one really wants to pick up poop, but it is unsanitary and illegal to not pick up after you dog. Recycle your grocery bags as poop bags and make less waste!

We trust that you are already great pet parents and that your pup knows you love him every day. So, share the love! Share these tips with friends, family, colleagues and especially children so that their canine companions will know that they are as cherished as your own.

PAGE 26

Solution:

february crossword solution

M O A N

T U N A

A M M O

L O O P

V I G I L A N T E

O B I F E D F L E L A L

O P E C G O S H E L I C A V E M Y E D F O E R D R I N A R E S T L E D D R A S K I E N S N A R E A T E E S P Y E C E D A T H E I D A O S D O

K I L N K N U R L

I L L

A L E R O N Y E P T O N A E G O G R I D T O A V A H O S T R A G K S I R H E R E C O N A L I S T R Y C O W E A L I T L O T

Kennesaw Business Association Business Expo Slated for February 28 DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING BUSINESS LOCAL (Continued from page 7)

Visitors will find lots of free give-a-ways and coupons as Cobb businesses show off new products, deals and upcoming releases of future products or promotions. The Expo kicks off at 4 p.m., on Tuesday, February 28, at the Ben Robertson Community Center located near Adams Park, at 2753 Watts Drive, in Kennesaw. Light hors d’oeuvres and admission to the expo is free and for information on the event or to become an exhibitor, please contact JRM Management Services, at 770.423.1330, or visit the KBA website, at kennesawbusiness.org. You can also email Peter Jezerinac at pjezerinac@jrmmanagement.com.

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


BRINGING YOU THE POWER OF ENERGY

Cobb EMC members are invited to attend our free Energy Efficiency Seminar and learn how to save money with simple and low-cost home improvements. Weather permitting, we will tour the Safety Village and see the interactive Cobb EMC building, where you can learn about electrical safety and view our new solar power generating station.

Thursday, April 13 at 6 p.m. (Safety Village tour 4:30-5:45 p.m.) Cobb County Safety Village | 1220 Al Bishop Drive, Marietta, GA Cobb EMC members are invited to attend the seminar, enter to win a $50 bill credit and more. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. Please reserve your spot today.

www.cobbemc.com/seminar

cobbemc.com

Join us and learn simple ways to save energy!


Great Teams Get Great Results Find Out What Your Home is Worth. www.CowanHomeValues.com

514 Lombard St., Marietta, GA 30064

139 Brier Bend Ct., Acworth, GA 30101

FMLS#5774641 | 5 Bedrooms | 5.5 Bathrooms Full Finished Basement | Cul-de-sac | Nob Ridge Subdivision For More Information Call 678- 293-9001 Input Code: 61773

4 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | Unfinished Basement | 2 Story Bedroom on Main Level | Firepit | Bentwater Subdivision For More Information Call 678-293-9001 Input Code: 81203

5 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms | Cul-de-sac 3 Car Garage | 2 Story Finished Basement with Media Room | Balcony For More Information Call 678- 293-9001 Input Code: 62813

141 Meadow Glen Way, Acworth, GA 30101

2825 Gatlin Way, Cumming, GA 30041

6205 Heritage Manor Dr., Cumming, GA 30041

FMLS#5766764 | 4 Bedrooms | 2.5 Bathrooms | Full Basement Double Deck | Cul-de-sac | Creek Access For More Information Call 678- 293-9001 Input Code: 81243

5 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms | Unfinished Basement | 2 Story 3 Sided Brick | Bedroom on Main Level | Waterstone Falls For More Information Call 678-293-9001 Input Code: 61723

4 Bedrooms | 2.5 Bathrooms | No Basement | 2 Story Cul-de-sac | .7 Acre Lot | 4 inch Hardwoods | Heritage Manor For More Information Call 678-293-9001 Input Code: 81233

Tim Cowan Co-Owner, Listing Specialist

Jennifer Cowan Co-Owner, Visionary

Melissa Gilbert Listing Coordinator

Ari Holt Closing Coordinator

3653 Belgray Dr. NW, Kennesaw, GA 30152

Jason Smith Inside Sales Agent

678-631-1879

Stephanie Rast Buyer Specialist

Michelle Burge Buyer Specialist

www.TheCowanConnectionTeam.com 2651 Dallas Highway | Marietta, GA 30064

Our Town West Cobb February 2017  

West Cobb's Family Lifestyle Magazine

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