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A mom bloggers fight for lactation rooms


Turning Passion Into Profit

VH1’s Corri McFadden shares her secrets to success

15 May/June 2012

Pages of Fashion Ideas for You & Your Pooch

ehind b s or a in e br roduct f h t t Mee ottest p curlBox! h the ral girlsnatu pg 17


Making the Cover Make Up Artist: Kristina Ross Make It Up! Artisty Wardrobe Stylist: Keren Charles Fashion Style Studio Photography: Chanda Scott cmsphotography


COVER STORY.: Mom blogger Sojourner Marable Grimmett talks about her effort to establish lactation rooms in public places.

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Tastemaker Spotlight: DeShawn Snow


Events Around Atlanta


10 FAB Finds

12 9 8

Gentleman’s Corner


Food for Thought


Editor’s Note Contributors


VH-1’s Corri McFadden

Little Black Page {By Gary Johnson}


10th-Sweet Auburn Springfest on The Historic Auburn Ave 11th-Sight + Sound Gallery Grand Opening 14th-Atlanta Braves vs Reds at Turner Field at 7:10 p.m. 16th- Titanic The Artifact Exhibition at Premier Exhibition Center at Atlantic Station 5 p.m. 18th- Diggy Simmons at Macon Centreplex Coliseum at 7 p.m. 19th-Funk Fest 2012 at Wolf Creek Amphitheater at 5 p.m. 20th- Drake at Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood 7 p.m. 22nd-Jersey Boys at Fox Theatre Atlanta at 8 p.m. 26th- The Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park 27th- Peter Pan at the Center for Puppetry Arts at 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.


Fashion 21

Tropical Excursions: Swimwear + Accessories

32 41 39

Puppy love with Atlanta Humane


Stella & Dot Must Haves Foot Loose and Fancy Feet

Beauty 15

At Home Beauty Remedies


Top Health Scares for Men


Get the Beauti-Scoop: Myleik Teele

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Arts & Culture Up Next: Mishon

Lifestyle Get In the Zone with AJ

54 56

Cultivating Wines

60 64

Summer Ultimate Vacations


Posh Tots Events Gives Tips on partying on a budget


Designing a celebrity nursery on a budget with Shalena Smith


Press Pass

2012 Food + Win Festival

Car Review: 2012 Buick Verano

Little Black Page {By Gary Johnson}


4th- Bohemian Circus at Apache Cafe at 7 p.m. 7th-Foster The People at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at 8 p.m.

30th- Jill Scott’s Summer Block Party at Chastain Park Amphitheater ASO at 7 p.m.

9th- Anthony Hamilton at Albany Civic Center 8 p.m. 10th- Childish Gambino at The Tabernacle at 8 p.m. 12th- Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Super heroes at Columbus Civic Center at 7 p.m. 13th- Gavin Degraw & Colbie Caillat with Andy Grammar at Chastain Park Amphitheater ASO at 8 p.m. 16th- Kathy Griffin at Fox Theatre Atlanta 7 p.m. 20th- LMFAO at Phillips Arena 7 p.m. 29th- Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil Jill Scott


Deena Poythress

Carmen Blakely

Briana Augustus

Ruksana Hussain

Terrell Johnson

Mary Walker

Chanda Scott

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CONTRIBUTORS cont’d Kirstin Fuller

Aisha Stith

Erika Ward

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Atlanta TASTEMAKER Editorial Director Tiffini Gatlin Fashion Editor Deena Poythress Contributor Terrell Johnson

Beauty Contributor Carmen Blakely

Lifestyle Editor Andrea Janise Contributor Erika Ward

Arts & Culture Contributor Terrell Johnson

In Every Issue Contributor Mary Walker Contributor Aisha Stith

Features Contributor Briana Augustus




Photography Chanda M. Scott

Copy Editor Ariann Thigpen Aquila Butler

Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine



Phone: 404-884-8296 Email: Twitter: @tastemakermag


Facebook: Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine Website:

PIN WITH US 8| May/June 2012

We are Family!

Next month marks our 1 year anniversary! Yippie! My how time flies. If you are new to reading Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine, I would like to say Welcome and thank you so much for taking the time to subscribe and reach this labor of love. You are now apart of our family!

family. For Mother’s Day we had readers to send in a picture of their mom describing her in 3 words and I must say that by you sharing I felt overjoyed and connected to you and your family.

I’m often reminded why this publication is so important to me through the stories I write about, the If you are an avid reader of ATM thank you for events we cover and the extended family I continue coming back. So since we are family, can I tell you to pick up along the way. that this issue was the most difficult issue i’ve put together thus far. Why you ask? Well we would So thank you for helping us to grow and for sharing need to go have dinner over lobster tails before you your remarkable, stories, talents and point-of views. would completely understand, however I’m excit- I hope you enjoy this issue...see you in July! ed that this month in nearly passing by and a new day awaits us. What I will say is that I’ve met some really amazing people along my journey who I now consider

Tiffini Gatlin Editorial Director

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10 FAB

In the Market for

Everyone will know when you leave the room when you spray the Scent of Departure (Unisex Fragrance); starting at $45.00


a new phone? The Nokia Lumia may be it!; Price var- > ies with wireless provider

Create the illusion that your walking on air in these Unbout Illusion Christian Louboutin Fluorescent patent leather pumps; $795 >

Eco-Friendly, these Okabashi Massaging Sole < Flip Flops will feel like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re floating on air; $14.99

Men, Mediate Razor burn and combat ingrown hairs with these aftershave pads from Arcona; $28

Joy ride in the park in style on this > bianchi by gucci carbon urban bike; $14000

This & That Fab, Cute and a little yummyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;cool things that will never go out of Mary Walker Never mix your PB&J together again with the use of the neato Double sided spreader; $8

Be the talk of the town when you cover your iphone > with this Bamboo Plaid iphone; $85.99

Come home to apple tv where you can enjoy all your entertainment in one place; $99

Be nice to your nails with Priti NYC Soy Nail Polish Remover; $11.25

Gentleman’s Corner Survey Says


of men say yes! To be committed you need to be in love! Do you agree?

We’re back!!! In keeping with the theme of this issue, we wanted to take a look in to the male mind and find out do love and commitment go hand in hand. Here four guys give us their take on what percentage LOVE encompasses in the modern day marriage. Does love truly conquer all? Read below to find out what these gentlemen think. And don’t forget, you too can be featured here in our next issue? Just email us at and let your voice be heard.-by Mary Walker Name: Kodak Boi

Name: Odie Donald

Age: 27

Age: 32

Occupation: Blogger/Photographer

Occupation: Principal/ Owner- The Donald Group Relationship Status: Single

Relationship Status: Single and ready to mingle Love is: I truly believe that it’s 100% love and devotion. When you settle down you have to be willing to give 100% of your love to your mate. Name: Tony Rhone III

Love is: 35% of marriage. The rest in comprised of commitment to the vision if the partnership of the two individuals ups and downs, finances, moral beliefs, and mutual respect. Name: Jackson “Trey” Smith

Age: 31

Age: 42

Occupation: Assistant, Television Production

Occupation: Home schooling Father

Relationship Status: In a Relationship

Relationship Status: Married, 19 years in June. Love is: 100% of marriage along with !00% communication, 100% teamwork, and !00% friendship. You have to give everything you have to each other in every department and if you are not not--check yourself.

Love Is: 40% of marriage. The other 60% is split between business and friendship. I feel that it will take a well balanced mixture to sustain a marriage.

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“Too me, beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. I t’s about knowing and accepting who you are....”-Ellen DeGeneres

Tastemaker Beauty How to Get Your Makeup Right This Summer! DIY Remedies + Success of a Product Junkie + Health Scares Men Should Know About!


Photograph by Chanda Scott

BEAUT Y | DIY Remedies Give Your Face Some TLC Grab yogurt and some honey and get to work. Yogurt contains high amounts of lactic acid; great for refining pores, exfoliating the skin and stimulating collagen production. Honey, a natural humectant softens and moistures the skin. The two mixed together makes for a great mini facial.

n e e

e gi

g e V

r c S Hitting the beach soon, up your tomato intake. While this will not completely replace your need for sunscreen; tomatoes include lycopene. Lycopene not only aids in the treatment of acne (detoxifies skin cells), they are high in antioxidants. Lycopene neutralizes molecules found in the skin after being exposed to the sun’s UV rays; thereby reducing your chances of being sunburned.

Women pump billions of dollars into the cosmetic industry annually. In fact, during the great depression women still ensured they had still had lipstick. Our love for instant gratification; shiny sparkly things and fancy bottles outweigh our good sense and we splurge on perfumes, mascara and a host of other ‘non essentials’. While I’d never forego great skin and hair care, here are a few ways to cut corners with homemade potions.-by Carmen Blakely

Butter Up Your Skin Instant Gratification Are your sleep habits leaving something to be desired? Get to your cutlery drawer for instant gratification. Take two spoons and leave them in a freezer for an hour or so. On clean dry skin press the spoons against your puffy, tired under eye area- bags be gone! Craving buttery soft skin? Try a mixture of brown sugar and milk to slough off dead skin and exfoliate your body. Are your tresses in need of CPR? Warm up some olive oil and apply to your strands. Let it sit for 30 minutes and shampoo. The olive oil imparts softness and incredible shine.

BEAUT Y | Men’s Health

Health Scares For Men The Top 10 Health Killers in the U.S. that you need to know about!

Most men despise going to the doctor. They are always complaining about the long wait and they always say that nothing is wrong with them. What you don’t know can actually kill you. It is important for men to have regularly scheduled yearly or semi annual doctor visits just to be sure that everything is ok. A light headache or small chest pain could actually be much worse especially if it occurs pretty often. According to a survey on Facebook 72% of men stated that they don’t like going to the doctor because they don’t want to know their diagnosis. It is pertinent that men know what is going on so that you can take back your life and begin a healthy journey. —by Brianna Augustus

Didn’t You Get The Memo?

5 Tips to stay healthy today, tomorrow, and in the future 1. Stop smoking: Smoking is the lead contributor to lung cancer and emphysema. 2. Balance: Maintain a healthy weight. 3. Let’s Move: Engage in some type of physical activity every day and eat a heart healthy diet. 4. See the expert!: Get routine medical care and physical examinations and get recommended screening for prostate colon cancer. 5. Touch Yourself: Perform routine home testicle exams--you could save your own life!

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*Heart disease #1 killer of men *Lung cancer *Prostate cancer *Colon cancer *Stroke *Diabetes *Kidney disease *HIV/Aids *Pneumonia *Suicide

BEAUT Y | Product Junkie

The Beauti-Scoop on

Myleik Teele

It’s the newest beauty phenomenon that hit the market in February 2011 and is specifically geared towards a special niche of girls with curly hair. We dubbed curlBox the Netflix of beauty because of it’s $20 VIP subscription based system that sends customers, on a monthly bases, trial size and sometimes even full size products for them to try. When you hear of a brand like curlBox you immediately think “why didn’t I think of this” a nd then your next thought is who is the brains behind this brilliant idea. Myleik Teele

is a veteran publicist in Atlanta, representing some of the most recognized brands in Fashion, Beauty and Entertainment. Teele is no stranger to the beauty industry. Prior to becoming one of the most sought after Publicist in the industry, Teele recalls feeding her love for beauty by being a freelance make-up artist supporting he way through college. “I’ve always had disgusting expensive taste, so I knew I needed to make money. I worked at Glamor Shots, Clinique, MAC, produced ads for Gap and Real Simple Magazine and even worked Parttime at a beauty salon, washing hair and doing blow-outs. A self-proclaimed product junkie, Teele says when she saw all the beauty boxes popping up, although a great idea she figured she had an even greater idea. “I’ve never tried any of the other beauty boxes that are on the market. I’ve tried enough stuff and I wasn’t completely impressed. I wanted to come up with a product where everything inside was for brown beauties like me. That’s how I cam e up with curlBox.” Teele represents a great example of how you can live exponentially and not be tricked into thinking that you can only do one “thing”. Teele says she’s actually shocked no one came up with the idea prior to her. “Through my PR firm I consult with small businesses about company names, colors and branding, last summer I thought about curlBox, and bought the name for $10 before I knew

curlBox has become a hot commodity, selling out of subscriptions in minutes. In three months Teele says the brand has grown about 500%. “We’ve grown faster than I could have ever expected and have exceeded our projections. I dialed in all my connections to help launch the brand.” Women can be seen via twitter and facebook stalking the brands social media sites for exclusive deals and VIP membership availability. curlBox subscribers are proving to be loyal patrons of brand that promises exclusivity. Although, the anticipation of new products is a treat in itself, we get the feeling Teele is cooking up something special for beauty aficionado’s out there. “Women of color spend more money on beauty products than anybody. While hair is what brings us together, it gives me the platform to say you deserve more.”

Teele’s platform has the potential to change the beauty industry for not only curly girls but curly guys too. Who knew guys would have so much fun with products just as women do. She’s convinced that her product will revolutionize the way we currently view beauty. Teele tells us she is obsessed with body care. “Your skin is the largest organ on your body, so don’t be surprised if we dabble with skin care, body care , makeup and skin care for our babies. I’m not sure What are subscribers saying about @curlBox: how fast or when, but don’t be surprised if you see @LenaloveXO says “I love the exclusiveness this in the near future.”

of the service, the care that goes into each box and the anticipation that comes along with not knowing what will be in the box each month.” @Urbanbella98 says “It’s an unbelievable value for trying various natural hair products, whether you wear your hair straight or curly. My daughters and I share the Box each month....I’ve been a subscribe since the beginning.” subscribe at

Spotlight | DeShawn Snow


From Real Housewife to Author DeShawn Snow triumphs over drama to pen her first chapter book series for teens.

hilanthropist and businesswoman DeShawn Snow has been really busy since her starring role on the first season of Bravo’s hit reality show, “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”  Between her “Lil Shawnee Chapter Book Series”, her non-profit organization, the DeShawn Snow Foundation, and her ministries, the mother of three boys can be described as a literal superwoman. The “Lil Shawnee Chapter Book Series,” focuses the adventures of Lil Shawnie, an African-American girl with multiracial friends.   The books have a strong biblical influence and positive parental figures, which are important for the emotional and mental growth of young girls. The character of Lil Shawnee is loosely based on Snow’s life and many of Lil Shawnee’s adventures are derived from Snow’s past experiences. The purpose of the book series is to help girls, age seven to twelve, build self-esteem and to empower them to make positive choices.

Snow has another series of books, “Vanderbilt High,”  in the works.   It was originally meant to be a television dramedy, but will be released as a publication first.  “Vanderbilt High,” is based upon three teenaged girls from the other side of the tracks, and the things they go through. “I have a passion helping   young girls,” Snow told Tastemaker Magazine.   “My ultimate goal is to have a book series, a merchandising line, and an animated series.”  The “Real Housewives of Atlanta Alum,” has come a long way since her television debut.   She was initially disappointed from not being asked to return for another season, however this let down was short lived.  Snow has used her innate creativity and entrepreneurial savvy to spark up several business ventures since then. She is currently the CEO of DeShawn Snow Enterprises Inc., which is her brand and handles anything that she is involved in, and DeShawn & the

Boys Productions, a company that oversees all of her innovative endeavors. This living, breathing superwoman’s experiences are the inspiration for her next book, this one is for grown-ups, “Drawing Strength: How God Uses Your Challenges to Fulfill His Plan for You.” According to Snow, she plans to share testimony,  “from [her] own difficult journey to equip readers with practical and biblically based lessons on handling adversity in their lives.”   The book will hit stands early next year. DeShawn also plans on creating a reality television series with the purpose of empowering divorced women.   She’s not interested in recreating the drama that RHOA is famous for.   Although drama and conflict tend to be a cash cow in the reality television genre, Snow wishes to maintain the integrity of any show that she produces.   The odds may be against her but she believes that, “You can’t give up hope because there is a market for it.” She told Tastemaker Magazine that being a part of the RHOA cast was an amazing experience but she doesn’t feel that she’s defined by it and does not regret leaving the show.  Snow admits that the last two years have been very difficult, but she’s pulled through and wants to help others do the same.   She is a firm believer in finding a blessing in every situation.     “We go through things for a reason and then sometimes it’s not really just for us, but it’ to help somebody else out.”   The talented author offers some words of wisdom for all of you Tastemakers out there who are currently going through a negative or traumatic experience: stay true to yourself, don’t lose yourself in the moment, realize that everything happens on God’s time, and just try to be more understanding toward the people around you.   Take her word for it, “It’s not good to judge.   You have to understand that hurt people hurt people.   When someone is acting a certain way, they’re more than likely hurt themselves.” To find out more about the DeShawn Snow Foundation and “The Lil Shawnee Chapter Book Series,” visit  You can order the books at, the series is a mustread for all tweens. —Gary Johnson

Tastemaker Fashion What We’re Coveting This Summer 15 pages of fashion ideas

Tropical Swimwear + Couture Haute Dogs + Pedi Worthy Sandals + V H-1’s Corri McFadden


Photograph by Chanda Scott

tropical excursions

Swim In Style

Photographed By Diamonde Williamson Styled By: Deena Poythress Make-up Artist: Wendy Chaney Models: Jerrina King Ashley Lester

Take a walk on the tropical side as we show you our favorite tropical swim wear and accessories! Leather necklace one pieceLenny Swimwear; Cayetano Legacy necklace; Fraas Scarf, Bloomingdales Lenox

The Right Frame of Mind! Sunglasses are a Beach necessity! Get them in different colors, shapes and prints to show off your personal style! Shown: Moscot Frames

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Girl Cut It Out! Stand

out in this slate one piece Karla Colletto Swimwear, Jazz it up with a multi-colored scarf to give your tropical wear more pizzazz! Swimwear-Karla Colletto; Echo Scarf- Bloomingdales Lenox

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Tropical Kiss

This 2-piece Manhatten fringe Beachwear is just what the summer ordered! Pair it with a multicolored turban and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re turn heads. 2 piece swimwear-Manhatten Beachwear; Scarf-Aqua Scarf at Bloomingdales 26| May/June 2012

Go Bold or Go Home Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no time to be shy! Make a statement in your swimwear with big hats and bold accessories!

Swimwear- Lenny black bamboo belt maillot, Necklace-Cayetano Legacy; Hat- Eric Javits; Bloomingdales Lenox

Green with Envy Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll stand out like a green thumb in this granny apple 2 piece from Lenny Swimwear with a hint of gold for luxury! Swimwear- Lenny Swimwear Leaf Bandeau Top, Band American bottom

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Psych Your Mind Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t decide on which color looks best on you? Who says you have to choose! Go multi! Swimwear-Manhatten Beachwear

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You may be looking for love in all the wrong places! The Atlanta Humane Society has puppyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s looking for loving homes. We decided to pamper the puppyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in puppy couture to show you how adorably cute they can be on their best day! Whoever said fashion has gone to the dogs was absolutely right. But who said this had to be a bad thing? These haute dogs show us how to do doggie fashion fabulously. Thank you to the Atlanta Humane Society and their volunteers for allowing us to make their day! Consider visiting the Atlanta Humane Society and adopting a pet today! Visit

Photography by: Diamonde Williamson 32| May/June 2012

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These pups arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t shy about showing off the latest fashions. From polka dot tutus to preppy school boy tees you can dress for your new pet for any occasion. Thanks to Posh Puppy for keeping our pups Haute to Trot for their first photoshoot. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a photoshoot without accessories that pop? Whether you are looking for Pearl necklaces, cross and bone collars or super cute hair bows Spoiled Rotten Boutique has what you need to make any pooch look their best! Visit: Posh Puppy and Spoiled Rotten Boutique

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Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t she the cutest puppy sporting her yellow tutu? She can be yours! Contact the Atlanta Humane Society today!

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has the

Ever! c

coolest job

One-of-a-kind vintage finds! Killer shoes! High End closet raids! This is the job Corri McFadden, 30, founder of E-Drop off and Star of Vh-1’s House of Consignment, geniusely created. Here’s the scoop!

by Deena Poythress orri McFadden has made her way onto our top 50 most influential Tastemaekers in 2012. You never think about skipping your college graduation—after all that’s the day you dream of after 4 years of testing and long nights of studying while eating cold pizza, but Corri did just that to attend Ebay LIVE!, where she found the tools to start her luxury consignment service eDropoff in 2004.

Now with a hit reality show on VH-1, House of Consignment, McFadden is showing fashionista’s on a style budget how to consign high-end items. McFadden’s show focuses on the every day activities of running eDrop-Off and showcases her glamorous life as a young entrepreneur while giving viewers a behind the scenes look at the hard work it takes to run a successful business in the fashion world. Although glamorous, McFadden shares with us in an interview that the rode to success wasn’t easy. She may have the coolest job ever, but she’s not slowing down a bit! McFadden’s most recent endeavor is the development of her own jewelry lines Corri McFadden, a collection of one-of-akind pieces made exclusively from vintage materials and CMC by Corri McFadden, which features stackable bracelets and necklaces for everyday wear to fit into every girls wardrobe. Check out her interview with Tastemaker Magazine. >>

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Tastemaker: What peeked your interest in consignment? Corri: I started the company (E-Drop Off) in 2004. I was graduating from design school and had to decide whether to go into design or take a more strategic approach to the degree and follow a career in sourcing and pattern drafting. Well, I wasn’t really passionate about either of those so I decided to take my own road and start my own company. I saw a void in the consignment market and eBay was currently budding and an amazing market so I redefined the consignment model by bringing it online. Tastemaker: What struggles did you face in pursuing such an unordinary career? Corri: (laughs) Everyday is different. As you grow the business and grow as a person, the severity of struggles change. I face things now that if I had faced 8 years ago would have been detrimental. You have to make sure that as the business grows you also grow. You learn how to put out fires and not let them turn into explosions. Whether it’s starting with $37 or getting a FDA loan and maxing out a line of credit, I’ve been through it all. Tastemaker: What would you say your motto is in being a consigner? Corri: Be smart with your closet! Your closet should be a well curated collection of you TODAY. Tastemaker: What is your must have piece that you keep on you at all times while on the job? Corri: My iphone and my lipstick. I believe in keeping my lips bright and colored. With a lip you always look finished. I could have gone to hell and back that day but as long as I have my lip on you would never know I got ready 12 hours ago.

Be Smart with your closet! Your closet should be a well curated collection of you TODAY.

Tastemaker: What was the best piece that you have ever consigned? Corri: We get it all! We have gotten a special Hermes oversize travel bag piece to a Cartier art deco diamond necklace that sold for over $50,000. Just yesterday a client brought in 11 pieces of oversize Louis Vuitton luggage. Every piece is a special piece. Tastemaker: How were you approached to do the show with VH-1? Corri: We were actually approached by a production company out of LA that saw an editorial feature on me. They were intrigued by the business and thought it would be a good fit for reality tv. They pitched it to the networks and VH1 bought it and put it in full production. Tastemaker: How have things changed since the show? Corri: My purpose for doing the show was to bring the consignment business to a national forefront. Our service is useful for everyone and now everyone is catching on. Since the show our web traffic has gone up over 1500% and we have had over 150 nationwide pickup request. For more info about E-Drop Off visit

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Fashion | Sandles We Love

Foot Loose & Fancy Feet

s l a d 10 San

Get your party on in

The IDA by Dolce Vita these blue suede shoes

with gold buckle detailing--momma said once you buy a pair of blue suede shoes your closet is set! ; $109

to show off your pedi There’s no doubt summer time is here--at least in Atlanta, and we know you’re craving our insider picks of the hottest strappy sandals of the season that will show off your tropical colored pedi! With festivals being the thing to do during the summer we decided to give your feet a rest and show you the perfect walking sandal that doesn’t compromise your style--that would be a tragedy! DSQUARED2 Infradito Sandal Glam up your feet in these DSquared2 Infradito Sandal Salome. We love the contrast between the tan suede and the gold detailing ; $850

H&M Imitation Leather Sometime faking it until you make looks just as good! Although imitation leather sandals are in budget and cute with everything! ; $39

Love MOSCHINO love Red Plastic Sandals Where your heart on your sandals! May be a bit of a splurge but what better way tell yourself you love you! ; $130

Wallis Tan and Zebra Flat Take a walk on the wild side in these leather and zebra print cross front ankle strappy ; $63

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Daisies by Modcloth This shoes says spring has sprung! Dainty, functional and affordable! #winning; $33

Flat Jelly Sandals This is a ankle strap sandal you can dress up or down for any occasion. Zara; $90

Jill Sander Red Sued Kid The the curve appeal in these one-of-a-kind Jill Sander â&#x20AC;&#x153;Flat Backsâ&#x20AC;?; 394.99

Halle Berry wearing Sam Edelman Gigi Flat Sandals.

Vionnet Embellished suede sandals *Splurge! Black Suede with red, yellow and blue studs, clear crystals with an almond peep word---Hot! ; $925

Halogen Softy Sandals Coral leather flat sandals with rose gold metallic panels...great for shopping! Top shop; $44.80

Fashion Cravings: Stella & Dot

Tastemaker’s editorial director Tiffini Gatlin is in love with the Spring/ Summer Collections of Stella & Dot. Check out what she’s craving!


2gi o g l t a he




I Love... 1....Zahara Bib

pictured above, I love how a bib necklace can take you from day to night and the colors in this piece scream summer!

2....Layering Bracelets

are so fun! Gone are the days where you coordinate your bracelets to your outfit! Now it’s all about how many can you stack! Stella&Dot makes this a fun obsession!

3....Limited Edition

Fatima Necklace



this look is regal! Another great neck piece that can quickly transform an outfit it’s a must have for the season!

4....Serpant Bangle

Other than stacking bracelets, I love a bangle with character and I love the feeling that this cute piece is someone crawling up my wrist!

5....Limited Edition

Nahla Earrings per p o h s l a n o s r e p y m Simple but elegant! ? Use g in p p o h s p l e h d e e re! N e h ly e v o L d n a y k c u with L t is u q n r e H ie n la e M Enjoy, xoTiffini 41| May/June 2012



Next They’re new, fresh and now! We’re featuring the next generation of talent in radio, television, film, music, fashion and beauty. Check out our pick of who’s UP NEXT!


If you think your UP NEXT and want to be featured, email 42| May/June 2012


Anybody can be a celebrity but it takes a special talent to become a respected star and there is something about Michael Shontay, affectionately known as Mishon (My-Shawn), that says he has staying power! Singing since the age of 3-years-old, Mishon says he’s always known he was a singer. “I had the incredible opportunity to record my first album at 11-years-old with a couple of videos out. I’ve been on Soul Train, performed at the Venetian in Las Vegas, performed on school tours—there was a lot going on that helped condition me towards my craft of being an entertainer.” Although he’s been in the music business now for over 9 years, and has the backing of record executives like Vincent Herbert, who eventually aided in him signing to Interscope Records, he’s intentional in staying focused and remaining grounded. “You never know what’s going to happen next so you have to stay ready. It’s important to give people what they love most about you. My team and my family keep me grounded. I know at the end of the day it’s not all about me.” Mishon is only getting started and already has his sights set on a worldwide tour and working with artists such as Prince. “In five years I see myself on a worldwide tour, writing and producing with people who have the same integrity and passion for music as I have. I’d love to work with Prince because he’s a legendary artist and you can see progression through his music.” It’s difficult to imagine that Mishon is only 19-yearsold with all of his accomplishments. If you ask him he still has a long way to go, but one thing is for sure—he definitely has scream appeal! Besides having young ladies gyrating off his sexy new single “Victoria Secret”, Mishon has already positioned himself as not only a talented musician but he’s tested his skills with acting. Appearing in his first television role on the hit ABC Family drama “Lincoln Heights” as “Tay”, he’s quickly showing off his versatility in entertainment. Mishon says his voice will be his foot print in the music industry. “I wouldn’t classify my voice. I have the opportunity to say things that haven’t been done yet. Michael Jackson made his Thriller Album. I’m going to make my Thriller album. It’s not necessarily going to be called Thriller but it’s going to be that album where it leaves a footprint. You will know who Mishon is as a person and what my message is.” Check out Dorm Room Music here. Follow Mishon on Twitter and facebook.


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Tastemaker Living It’s Atlanta Living at It’s Best! Pages of Tips, Tricks and Ideas to get your summer


Women who Breastfeed + Getting Fit in the Zone +’Wine’ Down + Celebrity Designs on a Budget+More 45| May/June 2012


She’s the Truth!

Blogger, mom, and business woman Sojourner Marable Grimmett advocates for lactation rooms in public places. by Tiffini Gatlin She may not be on the cover of our magazine with her 4-year-old son hanging off her right breast hoping to recreate a Time Magazine moment, but her passion for breastfeeding rights and her campaign fight to establish public lactation rooms for nursing mothers is considered to be just as effective. A mom blogger for Fox 5 News Atlanta and a Mom-To-Mom Blogger for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Sojourner Marable Grimmett is known for writing and blogging about issues she’s most passionate about like breastfeeding. In 2008 Grimmett had her purse stolen from her son’s daycare. “I was furious,” she recalls. Enraged about the incident, she penned her first story in a local parenting magazine and hasn’t looked back since. At first meet, It’s easy to see why the 33-year-old wife and mother of two wanted to be a News Reporter after graduating from Clark Atlanta University with a BA in Communications, because she’s relentless in her search for the facts. “There are 83 million moms in the United States and about 61% of us work,”to professes Grimmett. “These women are deciding to ween early because they don’t have any accommodations available upon return from maternity leave.” Despite her family’s generational legacy of breastfeeding, Grimmett says with her first child she had to make the painful decision to stop nursing after only three months. “The only option available, after returning to work, was to pump in the bathroom.” She remembers seeing two other moms who used their lunch breaks to pump in their car and Grimmett says she didn’t want that to be her reality. “I get nervous knowing that someone could be watching me pump which instinctively causes my milk supply to slow down, so I ruled out that option.” Determined not to be bullied by her environment, Grimmett decided that she wasn’t going to be forced to stop breastfeeding after the birth of her 46| May/June 2012

“Eating in the bathroom is gross so why would you want your baby to eat in the bathroom?”

—Soujourner Marable Grimmett

second child two years later and boldly asked her employer, SCAD Atlanta, if they would establish a lactation room on campus for nursing mothers. She scored her first lactation room in 2009. “We not only established a lactation room for mothers and visitors, but we started a brown bag luncheon for moms to educate them about the the stay at work family balance which became very successful.” Grimmett’s persistence and success with the establishment of her first lactation room had her to do what any notable blogger would do—take to social media. In August of 2011, Grimmett asked her followers on Facebook if they thought it were appropriate to ask if a lactation room exist on site during an interview with a potential employer. A response from a follower not only refueled Grimmett’s position on having lactation rooms in public places, but she took on one of the largest companies in Atlanta—HartsfieldJackson International Airport. “It was at that moment that I said we should overcome this battle. It wasn’t fair. So my immediate thought was how to bring a voice to the voiceless.”

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Reverting back to her communication degree, she decided to go, what she calls, “old school”. “I put together a really tacky green sign that read ‘Would you eat in the bathroom?’ with the Airports phone number at the bottom.” This she says, birthed her campaign Table for Two, an initiative that rallies around public entities providing a table and two chairs in a sanitary and safe environment that comes with a door and lock. With the help of her friend Monica Ponder, they set out to create graphics that stuck in peoples minds, so they turned to their photographer friend Allen Cooley. “We aimed to shoot images of people eating in the bathroom, because eating in the bathroom is gross so why would you want your baby to eat in the bathroom?” Grimmett’s campaign efforts had somewhat paid off, when she finally received a call from Airport officials who responded to her ‘tacky poster’. “In the beginning we heard from them [the Airport] indicating that something was in the works and as they expand, are highly considering establishing a children’s area and a couple of lactation rooms.” In the meantime Grimmett explains that the world’s busiest passenger airport, is asking that you call ahead if you need to pump, but her argument is you never know when you have to pump so it’s not a convenient option for mother’s.

Through imagery Table for Twoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campaign urged people to understand what it looks like to have to eat in an unsanitary location. This is how women who have to breastfeed their babies in the bathroom feels like. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Photography by Allen Cooley

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She assures that she’s not giving up on that fight and that the airport was their first organization of many that she and her partner will tackle to establish lactation rooms. In the meantime, Grimmett is focused on educating the community about breastfeeding through summits and partnering with organizations like R.O.S.E. (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere). Grimmett is clear of what her mission will be in the pursuit to rally a community together to evoke change. “Our focus when we speak at the Breast Feeding summit in July, is to reclaim our African American tradition of breastfeeding.” Breastfeeding may arguably be one of the most sensitive subjects around the water cooler. Despite the graphic images of nudity we see on a daily basis through television, and print and digital ads, society seems to shun a woman for feeding her infant and or toddler in public. Grimmett explains that the rate of breast feeding among African Americans is low and attributes the numbers to the lack of convenience. “Breastfeeding is a lifestyle, and although I can’t say what has completely attributed to the low numbers, I can say that if this particular group of women don’t feel like they have the ease and convenience to nurse their baby or pump milk after returning from maternity leave , they will simply stop.” Grimmett is hopeful that with laws like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Obama signed in 2010 which mandates an employer with more than 50 employees to provide a lactation room, is a step in the right direction. When talking to men about the subject of breastfeeding they get a little squeamish, but rest assured Grimmett has thought of everything. She offers advise to men too. “My husband, Roland, has been very supportive so I wrote an article entitled Dad’s tips on how you can help with breastfeeding.” A woman who seems to have a heart for just about anything , Grimmett notes that she is also compassionate towards women who simply can not breastfeed. “My very best friend couldn’t produce enough milk and that happens. I just want people to know that I understand that breastfeeding is a choice, however I understand and sympathize with woman who for whatever reason do not have the option to nurse.” Grimmett isn’t slowing down anytime soon. She’s a quite storm rallying for the rights of women. She’s the truth and wherever you find the truth—you find good. Be sure to follow Sojourner here and Married with Two Boys. You can find Sojourner on Twitter @sojournerruth

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“I understand and sympathize with woman who for whatever reason do not have the option to nurse.” —Sojourner Marable Grimmett

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Living | Get In The Zone

A.J. Johnson

As a healthy living expert, it is AJ’s mission to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. Her no-nonsense straight talk approach has won her a loyal clientele. “People are more interested in health and not just weight loss,” she observes. “They are interested in degrees of information and life application of those findings. The true remedy to the health issue is to identify the conditions that cause a poor lifestyle. Approach this information to change your lifestyle and apply it to survive problems that poor living brings about.”

AJ’s message to readers: 1. Live open - People create their own stress by making a plan and then trying to live that every day. 2. Refrain from the word ‘exercise’ reminiscent of gyms and machines. ‘Movement’ is the preferred term. Walking, gardening, playing with kids or climbing the stairs, at least 30 minutes daily.

Healthy Living Served Celebrity Style Her client list reads like the who’s who of entertainment, her energy is infectious, her zest for life admirable, and her mission for all truly remarkable – “Just when you think you’ve reached your best, helping you reach your better!” Meet celebrity lifestylist A.J. Johnson (Adriene-Joi Johnson). No airs or graces, this healthy living expert is all business. You might remember her from movies like Assassins, Dying Young and Sister Act or seeing her on TV Guide network and VH-1, but she is busy creating a movement towards global wellness. 52| May/June 2012

3. Eat healthy whole foods, preferably raw veggies. There are also plenty of convenient and healthy recipes on her website. 4.For the busy lifestyle we live these days, take Akea Essentials live enzyme supplements. This is a product made in the USA that AJ uses and shares with her clients. A New Jersey girl, AJ pursued a Psychology and Chemistry major at Atlanta’s Spelman College, even though she felt drawn to the arts from a very young age. Upon graduation, she decided her artistic calling should also be explored and moved to Hollywood. She has been working there since, not just pursuing her acting prowess, but also spreading her life’s purpose, dedicating herself to wellness education and

approachable and attainable – even with the price points. As a result, the website recently moved from a membership basis to more personal programs online, and our programs have lots of lifestyle questions.”

At her session in downtown Atlanta, a small audience gathered for a one-day glimpse into how AJ helps you reach your better. The intimate ambience set the tone for the day with lots of interaction between AJ and the audience, questions coming at her from all corners of the room as she expertly answered and demonstrated her tips and tricks. “My retreats are based on audience response and addressing the issues they bring up. Retreats have a very casual feel,” offers AJ. Clients can sign up for any of these retreats, as well as several other programs apart from customized consultations through The AJ Zone website. “The website is built for the audience, so you see many programs there because the Internet as a medium allows that,” AJ adds. “We use email and Skype for interaction. The idea is to be affordable,

AJ has hosted and produced for television and radio, appeared in and written for several publications and has a strong

growing online presence. She frequently hosts seminars and classes for corporate, media and celebrity clients in both formal and island retreat settings. She has many speaking engagements and television appearances planned as well as some retreats in the near future. She also works on college level healthy living with her alma mater Spelman, She is touring many cities at the moment trying to reach out to as many as she can in helping them reach their better. “I am a girl with no plan,” she laughs. “I will go where I am called to be.” To learn more about the programs offered at The AJ Zone, check out You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter: TheAJZone.—Ruksanna Hussain

Living | Love Affair with Wine

Cultivate Wines


Drinking wine with a conscious Ali & Charles Banks, Owner of Cultivate Wines, Atlanta, Georgia

ho could imagine that drinking a great glass of wine can increase your charitable efforts? Well, the folks at Cultivate Wines make it possible with the purchase of each bottle. Lifestyle Editor Andrea Janise had the pleasure of interviewing the couple and finding out more about how they got their start, their wine blending process, and how the entire community can benefit. Cultivate Wines is a unique wine brand focusing on bringing its customers delicious, quality whites and reds at affordable prices. It all started when native Atlantans Ali and Charles Banks were a young married couple hosting dinner parties; this eventually peaked their interest in picking the right bottles of wine for their guests. “It was interesting to watch who drank what and why,” Charles said. For a birthday gift, Ali bought two mixed cases of wine from a specialty shop, each with a handwritten tasting note from the owner. “For the next month or two, just about every weekend we’d open a bottle and read the note and taste the wine, and that started our love affair of wine,” Charles said. From that to eventually working with the most expensive wine brand in California, Screaming Eagle, Charles took his knowledge and experience and opened several wineries including, Cultivate Wines.

With Cultivate Wines, Charles and Ali wanted to bring people the best wine at a fraction of the cost. “With Cultivate in particular, the goal is to essentially make wine from all over the world from wherever we find or feel there is interesting wine to be made,” Charles explained, “the advantage is at a more affordable price point and by not owning land or being tied to just one vineyard, we can make a much better wine by blending from lots of different vineyards; it’s a wine that is much more complex.”

Photographs by: Michelle Warren Photography

Double Blind Pinot Grigio 2010; $16.99

Also putting a conscious spin on the wine buying process, 10 percent of the sales from each bottle of Cultivate Wine goes towards THE GIVE campaign, a consumer-driven process that provides substantial grants to non-profit organizations focusing on issues like improving education and access to basic needs. “THE GIVE campaign raised over $175,000 for human needs and education last year,” Ali commented. “Since its inception, three Atlanta charities benefited from the proceeds.” With a focus on bringing quality wine from around the world right to your doorstep, the couple began to travel to find the taste they were looking for. “The goal is to essentially make a wine where we feel we want to go all over the world,” Charles said. “Before, we had specific land in California, but it was a narrow range. Now, we are able to create the opportunity for brand loyalty without limiting the wine experience,” Ali explained. “The wines are expertly blended to create the perfect tasting wine each and every time.”

Look for Cultivate Wines in Sherlock Merchant Stores, in all Ruby Tuesday locations and in the Atlanta-based restaurant, Two Urban Licks. Also visit to purchase wine and for more information. —Andrea Janise

Dream Walking Chardonnay 2009; $25.99

The Feast California Red 2009; $28.99


friendly recipes

Looking for great recipes that can get the family in the kitchen to make amazingly delicious dishes? The solution: Make it easy, make it fun! Here are two quick entrees to get you started!

Calzone Comfort! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thursday night, and you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a yoga class, gymnastics or anything similar! Your kids are running around in the den and you need to get dinner ready ASAP. I recommend you make this a homemade calzone night! From toddlers to teens any aged kid can participate and with these healthy alternatives you can make pizza night, nutritious and delicious.

Photographs + Recipes By Aisha Stith 57| May/June 2012


*1 package of dough, believe it or not, your grocery store carries fresh dough, don’t settle for anything less! *Turkey Pepperoni *A handful of spinach *¼ cup of fresh tomato sauce *½ cup of Buffalo mozzarella cheese

1. Make sure your oven is hot and your dough at room temperature. 2. Heat your oven before you start to 400 degrees 3. If you have a pizza stone go ahead and put it in the oven and let it heat up. 4. Prepare your veggies. 5. Place dough on the stone or any metal sheet pan. 6. On half of your dough add your red sauce, pepperoni, spinach, and then mozzarella. 7. Fold the rest of the dough over, just like an omelet. 8.Your calzone will be ready in about 12 minutes!

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*Sugar cookie dough (or your favorite cookie dough) * Milk chocolate bar *Cinnamon *1/3 cup of milk *1/4 cup of powdered sugar

Cut baking time in half! Bake your favorite store bought cookies and drizzle with an impressive homemade cinnamon chocolate frosting. Simply melt the chocolate, add 1/4 cup of confectionerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sugar and 1/3 cup of milk, stir continuously. The secret ingredient is a teaspoon of cinnamon (a healthy anitoxidant) just a pinch will do. Then drizzle and sizzle.

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Ultimate Family The Travelin’ Diva, Kirstin N. Fuller, tells Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine about the perfect fun-filled family vacations. Photos courtesy of: Coco Key Orlando & Gaylord Texan


Summer Vacations

ummer is quickly approaching and before the kids are out of school, you will need to have a fabulous destination in mind for the family’s summer vacation. And what’s a vacation without amazing choices? We have narrowed it down to two great destinations that are within driving distance or a very short flight from Atlanta. Our first destination is a hidden jewel in the amusement park heaven of Orlando, Florida. The Coco Key Hotel & Water Resort is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family vacation. The largest canopy covered outdoor waterpark in Orlando, Coco Key, is home to four fabulous pools and fourteen thrilling adventurous water slides, which means endless waterpark fun for the entire family.

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Parrots Perch resort and waterpark The resort and water park feature the exclusive interactive play island called as Parrots Perch. This kid friendly favorite features amazing slides, a jungle gym, water cannons and a 400-gallon dump bucket that tips every 5 minutes for the ultimate soaking experience. Three adventure slides are also on site for even more family fun. For those who want to dry off for a while, today’s hottest video games await you in the 6,500 sq. ft. Key Quest Arcade. Kids love the water park, but parents will also enjoy the luxury of the resort that wonderfully captures the tropical spirit of the Florida Keys. Parents can unwind and relax at the resorts exclusive pool side bars while the kids enjoy the slides. Not to mention, Coco Key is centrally located and provides free shuttle service to Universal Studios and Sea World. Plus, Disney World is also just moments away. If Orlando is not your first choice for a vacation destination, consider Grapevine, Texas. I know you are probably thinking, Grapevine, Texas? Yes. It is home to one of our favorite family friendly luxury resorts, the Gaylord Texan and the newly renovated water park Paradise Springs. Paradise Springs is the Gaylord Texans’ exclusive water park. No need to worry about long lines, the water park is open to hotel guests only. Paradise Springs features a 6,000 sq. ft. family lagoon that includes a 27-foot winding water slide and a pool dedicated to toddlers. If you just want to relax by the fabulous pool you can choose from 1,200 inviting seats including ultra-private cabanas or just enjoy a quiet moment in the adorable horseshoe-shaped hot pools. Delicious dining options are also on site for guest to enjoy, including the Pool Bar & Grille, Silver Bar, Riverwalk Café and Java Coast restaurants.

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Relax in the horseshoe-shaped hot pools at Paradise Springs While the kids enjoy endless hours at Paradise Springs, Moms and dads can enjoy a round or two of golf on the 18-hole championship course or enjoy a cruise on Lake Grapevine. Parents can also relax with a fabulous couples massage or spa treatment at the resorts signature Relache Spa or dance the night away at the Glass Cactus Nightclub. Retail therapy is always a great addition to any vacation, and the nearby Grapevine Outlet Mall is sure to please. The Gaylord Texan is a luxurious, yet high-energy home away from home that has something for everyone in the family. Open weekends only before Memorial Day, current deals at the Gaylord Texan include the Bring on Sprin deal featuring 15% off and the exclusive “DreamWorks Experience where the kids get to vacation with Shrek & friends. For details and pricing please visit, and click on the Gaylord Texan tab. Tell them The Travelin Diva (Kirstin N. Fuller) sent you! Current Coco Key deals include 20% off two or more nights. Coco Key also offers exclusive discounts for Florida and Georgia residents. Day passes are also available for guests from other resorts who want to enjoy the waterpark. For more information, please visit: Visit for the latest deals and destinations.

Follow The Travelin’ Diva @thetravelindiva

like the coveted Blackberry Farm dinner which honored Southern Farmers with food prepared by the talented Chef Joseph Lenn from neighboring Tennessee; the Rathbun’s Watch List dinner where brothers Kevin and Kent Rathbun cooked alongside ten up-and-coming chefs that we all should be sure to keep our eyes on; and the Oceans 6 dinner featured top culinary talent including Charleston’s beloved Mike Lata, former Next Iron Chef contestant (Season 3) Bryan Caswell from Texas and Atlanta’s very own chef Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen.

An assortment of food demonstrations and seminars showcased fun and interactive sessions, such as the History of the Southern Cocktail tasting seminar featuring local mixologist Miles Macquarrie; the Bar-B-Que & Wine pairing seminar complete with “paper plates and crystal stemware”;  a culinary technique demonstration by Top Chef star Richard 12 0 2 Blais; and a New Orleans cooking demonstration by esteemed chef John Besh. There was even an option Text by Andrea Janise| Photos courtesy AFWF/Rafterment for a fun field trip to tour the historic Sweet Auburn Curb Market with Georgia’s David Jones.

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Fascinated with all things food and wine? The annual Atlanta Food and Wine Festival delivered all that and more, from chef demonstrations and educational seminars to extraordinary food and drink tastings. During May 10-13th, the heart of midtown Atlanta was transformed into a food extravaganza where locals and visiting foodies had the opportunity to indulge in the best of all things culinary that Georgia’s capital had to offer. The Atlanta Food and Wine festival has become one of the most anticipated food events of the year. Now in its second year, this 4-day festival pays tribute to southern food and highlights Atlanta’s top chefs and local cuisine. This year’s festival included some of the region’s most notable culinary influences. Lucky diners had the chance to attend one-of-a-kind culinary experiences 62| May/June 2012

follow Andrea Janise @atlfoodwriter

The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival is becoming the  culinary event of the year in Georgia’s capital. So, if you didn’t get a chance to check out this year’s festival, be sure to make plans to attend next year; locals can opt for a day pass for around $180 to take advantage of the festivities. From celebrity chefs and local culinary artists, to delectable cuisine and food galore, the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival is one not to be missed.

And the food? The aroma of fried chicken, shrimp and grits, barbeque, and hand-crafted sweets drifted throughout the area leading guests to the famed tasting tents. Inside the tasting tents, guests sampled mouth-watering bites prepared by nearby restaurants -- many of whom put their own unique spin on southern cuisine -- making sure that no one left hungry.

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Modern Luxury 2012 Buick Verano Car Review

Text by Tiffini Gatlin| Photos by Chanda Scott

The first time I laid eyes on the Buick Verano was at the 2011 Black Enterprise Conference, where I was the guest of General Motors. The vehicle was in it’s testing phase and was only out on the floor as a demo. You couldn’t even open the doors to sit inside, that’s how new it was. I immediately turned to Buick’s social media coordinator and said ‘as soon as this vehicle becomes available to drive in my market, I must have access.’ I’m no stranger to the General Motors brand and have an affinity for their fleet of 64| May/June 2012

vehicles. In fact in my last interview with GM’s Director of Interior Design for the Buick Enclacve, I dubbed the Enclave as the ultimate swagger wagon for moms. But when I saw the Buick Verano, I knew this vehicle was in a class all it’s own. Buick isn’t your Grandparents car. I must admit if someone would have asked me if I would buy a Buick, I would have looked at them as if they had three heads. Now the sleek design and the overall performance of the vehicle has undoubtly put this vehicle at the top of the must have car list of 2012-2013.

Once I received the keys to the Verano, I immediately pushed its agility to the max, and literally I felt like the car had been lifted off the street and placed on some kind of floating cloud--that’s how smooth the ride was. I decided to place a call to my mom in Baltimore using On-Star, and without taking my eyes off the road, all I had to do was speak the telephone number, verify that what I said was actually being dialed and then chatted with my mom about my first day with the Verano.

You can access over 180 channels of commercial-free music from this 7” color touch radio--it’s like have your iphone at your fingertips!

Getting my groove on (musically) in the Verano, was likely one of my favorite past times. Because i’m a mom, it was often tuned into Radio Disney but when I was riding by myself I channel surfed through XM radio, connected my USB drive to hear my favorite tunes on my ipad.

Your dashboard gives you control and puts you in command of the vehicle. You don’t feel overwhelmed or confused with all the gadgets.

As a busy mom who is always on the go, my goal when looking for a vehicle is to find something that doesn’t compromise style for safety and vice versa, while also giving me ease of mind--sort of like a car concierge. I was impressed with it’s 10 standard airbags, rear parking assist, electronic brake force distribution and On Star with Automatic Crash Response.

The safety features are plenty, but as a mom I look for tethering for my kids booster seats!

If you are a social media or techy person like myself you’ll enjoy using the On Star remote link mobile app that allows you to lock/unlock your doors from any distance, start your engine remotely, activate your horn and lights to help locate your vehicle, check your remaining oil life, view your current tire pressure information and more directly from your phone! My mom use to have a saying when we would eat off her plate “Don’t find your home in my meal” I started hearing that in my mind when my week escapade was coming to an end. I found my home in the Verano! From the Intellink system that kept me thoroughly entertained to the appreciation of being able to use regular gas in a luxury vehicle, the Verano has my pick as the top Tastemaker car of 2012! General Motors got this vehicle right! 65| May/June 2012

Trunk space for all my kids sports and ballet equipment is abundant, and when I shut the trunk, you see a beautiful emblem that means modern luxury!

The vehicle I had was on loan for a week courtesy of GM and it’s total price was $24, 670

GET Party the


Posh Tots event was created by Jennifer Shields after planning her son’s first birthday party and could not find any of the party supplies she had in mind. When she realized that there were no companies that specialized in children’s event the idea for Posh Tot Events was born. Posh Tots specializes in all inclusive themed parties for children ages 1-8. The ideal party for Jennifer to plan is with a theme that is unexpected. For instance, Last summer she planned an entire event around the birthday girl’s favorite song “Zippidy Do Dah”. The most rewarding thing of course is the look of excitement from the client. The weather is changing! It’s time to pull out the grills and fill up the swimming pools. With both Memorial and Independence Day around the corner we know that you all will be planning the perfect backyard parties but may not be anticipating spending a lot of money as things can get very expensive so Jennifer gave us some party tips.

text by--Brianna Augustus

2. Set up an All American beverage station and let guests help

themselves. Stick to non-alcoholic options like lemonade, iced tea and citrus flavored water to cut costs. All can be homemade to save dollars. Dress up the table with a casual linen cloth and serve drinks in mason jars or re-use old jelly or pickle jars that you save, wash out and remove labels from. This created a fun and vintage feel and is very budget friendly.

3. Have a BYOM (bring your own meat) party! Make a few

traditional sides like potato salad, slaw, etc. and have guests bring their own favorite grilling item. Set up a condiments station with buns, paper plates and napkins. Assign a grill master or let everyone take a turn grilling their own specialties.

4. Decorate with flags. Buy inexpensive flags from the Dollar 5 Quick Tips to take your Backyard party from Bore to Gorg--on a shoestring budget.

1. Keep the kids busy! Set up a coloring station by down-

loading Memorial Day coloring sheets from the Internet. Try, and buy crayons at the Dollar store. Set up some traditional yard games like sack races or tug of war and assign a friend to be in charge of the kids.

Store fill vases with them rather than flowers. Cheap and theme friendly!

5. Do a make your own hot dog bar. You can purchase hotdogs by the case to save money and then provide numerous toppings to allow guest to personalize. Print out a list of popular combos and display it in a photo frame or guests can get creative and build their own. You can find recipes online but here are a few to get you started: Georgia’s Scrambled Dog, L.A. West Coast Dog, New York City Street Cart Dog, Texas Chili Dog. Check out more ideas from Jennifer @

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Creating Celebrity Nursery On a Budget a


a Sm n le a h S r e n ig s e with d

Shalena was called for her interior design services to spruce up this baby girl’s nursery, using products from

Shalena Smith, celebrity interior designer and founder of Gaga Designs, specializes in designing baby nurseries, children’s rooms and play spaces. Shalena’s international client list includes Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Sean Diddy Combs and Franklin & Bash star MarkPaul Gosselaar, among others.

The client had existing furniture, painted walls and window treatments but wanted to start from scratch, keeping only the furniture. In order to be more budget conscious, Shalena chose to build around the window treatments and incorporate the fabric design into the room, if only she could find the perfect signature piece.

Let’s check out Shelena’s inspiration board for her upUntil now you may have thought that design- coming project. ing a celebrity inspired room was out of reach, however Smith shows us how she transforms a clients room into the oasis they’ve always wanted--while on a budget . 67| May/June 2012

Room re-creation, using the window treatment as the focal point This is our Color Palette for the room


Beautiful Toile prints to choose Our focual point is so magical!

Arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t these floating scalloped shelves too cute?

picture frams to sit on our new shelves. 68| May/June 2012



No more bare walls. Painted canvas artwork is a great way to bring color to a room and saves you money on hiring a muralist. Toile prints are whimsical, soft, and blend well in color. Floating scalloped shelves are also an inexpensive way to add more dimension and color to the walls. Perfect place to sit a cute cottage picture frame and in this case itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a convenient place to prop the video monitor. To accentuate the crib, we opted for a custom-made dust ruffle in the pink toile fabric to tie in the window treatments and added a ready-made breathable bumper.

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Once Shalena found this amazing pink and green chandelier, the soft sage greens walls and pink and white window treatments were a definite keeper. To achieve the celebrity look a chandelier is a must-have and the end results will be magical!

Rather than purchasing a bed or chaise for mom, dad or nanny, we created a daybed look with a twin mattress set, bed frame, simple white sheets and lots of pillows. By eliminating the headboard and footboard we saved space and money.

Shalena Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design services are available in the Atlanta area. To contact Shalena visit

PRESS PASS Andrew Youngâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 80th Birthday photos by: Chanda Scott

Perhaps the biggest star studded birthday celebration of the year in Atlanta, Andrew Young celebrated his 80th birthday at the Downtown Hyatt Regency last night. Jasmine Guy and comedian Johnathan Slocum were the masters of ceremony introducing the entertainment for the evening such as India Arie; Simone,daughter Nina Simone; Tyrese; Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of Ray Charles; among others. The evening lended the perfect opportunity to honor Oprah Winfrey, Laura Turner Seydel, Dallas Austin and Edwin Moses for being extraordinary businessmen and humanitarians. Click for more pictures

PRESS PASS Hotel Noir Photos by: Chanda Scott

It was the most sophisticated event in Buckhead last night! Everywhere you turned was a beautiful moment. R&B singer Monica hosted the launch of Grey Goose’s first new flavor in five years, Grey Goose Cherry Noir. The evenings theme of “Hotel Noir” played off the brands national TV Advertising Campaign and invited guest to reveal stories about their favorite hotel experiences through a vintagestyle phone booth, while enjoying various intriguing elements and top-secret rooms that featured specialty bespoke cocktails. Click here for more pictures.

71| May/June 2012


The top 5 travel apps you should download Click to download now!

Ambassador Andrew Young turns 80 and celebrates with a host of celebrities.

Red Table Talk

Roland Martin moderates a panel at Spelman College’s Lead Conference.

Are families sitting at the table talking about issues that directly effect them? Check out Jada’s new video Red Table Talk.

Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment We have you’s the latest fashion tips you want to know about, the hair trends that keep you looking fabulous and the entertainment that’s relevant and now! Go Now:

Credits Page 1 Cover Photo: Chanda M. Scott Make-Up Artist: Kristina Ross Wardrobe Stylist: Keren Charles Pages13 and Pages 21 Courtesy of Diamonde Williamson Page 42 Courtesy of Fly Publicity Page 46 Photographs by Chanda Scott Images Provided by Allen Cooley Page 52 Courtesy of AJ Johnson Page 54 Courtesy of Michelle Warren Photography Page 60 Courtesy of Cocokey Orlando and Gaylord Team Page 62 Courtesy of AFWF/Rapterment Page 64 Courtesy of Chanda M. Scott Page 66 Courtesy of Posh Tots Page 67 Courtesy of GaGa Designs

73| May/June 2012

May_June Family Issue  

Sojourner Marable Grimmett covers our May_June issue talking about ther fight for lactation room in public places. Plus, VH-1's Corri McFadd...

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