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Healing energy for animals and us PLUS: Airbnb, holiday cocktails and ways to give


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What’s Inside

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Inside Every Issue 6 40 42

From the Editor Calendar Around Town

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Brenau University dance instructor Madia Cooper-Ashirifi said dance is the medium through which she shows the world who she truly is.

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Holiday festivities are in full swing across North Georgia with the downtown Gainesville Jingle Mingle among them. Kiddies gave Santa their wish lists while parents sipped cider and shopped the square.

Interior designer Allison Havill Todd shares some of the top trends spotted at High Point Furnishings Market.

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Photo by Erin O. Smith

Giving people a chance to discover themselves and make their own decisions is a key part of what Center Point does.

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Even if money is tight this holiday season, there are many ways to make a difference.

On the Cover

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HOME Living

In North Georgia


22 34

8 12

22 ‘Tis the season to drink to better things to come.

We talk to mixologists for tips and recipes that will make you merry.

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Trees aren’t the only things you can trim. Keep your waistline in check during the holidays.

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Interfaith healer Tammy Billups says that she sees individuals’ energy in various forms ... but it’s not just people.

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Many travel for the holidays and taking the entire family can mean loading up the family dog.

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Skip the sketchy motel and spend a weekend in the home of a complete stranger! More Lake Lanier houses are showing up on Airbnb.

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Historic Homes in Northeast Georgia opens at the History Center as national author Karen White discusses her latest book, “The Guests on South Battery.” December | 2016

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From the Editor All I want ...

Editor/Designer Michelle Boaen Jameson General Manager Norman Baggs Advertising Sales Leah Nelson HOME Magazine, a division of: The Times Gainesville, GA A Morris Multimedia Inc. property 345 Green St. | Gainesville, GA 30501 | 770-718-3421

www.homemagazinenorthgeorgia.com July| August 2015

Dear Santa,

1

Please bring a few very important things to North Georgia this Christmas. First, we would greatly appreciate many of the absolutely fabulous home furnishings mentioned on pages 12-14. In particular, something in a lux Lucite. Second, an array of liqueurs needed to fashion the tasty martinis and Champagne cocktails seen on pages 22-25. And a mixologist to make them. Third, a week on one of the amazing houseboats or bungalows listed on Airbnb, preferably with all the trimmings as I hate dragging out the decorations. But most importantly, I wish you would bring us rain. And lots of it. Enough to quell the parched farms and fill the rivers and lakes. Enough to drench the forests and tamp the smoke so our firefighters can come home.

M

Sincerely,

J

ichelle ameson

Michelle Boaen Jameson editor@homemagazinenorthgeorgia.com 6

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| 2016 Spring

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HOME: Living in North Georgia reserves the right to refuse advertisements for any reason. Acceptance of advertising does not mean or imply the services or product is endorsed or recommended by HOME: Living in North Georgia. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Morris Multimedia Inc. Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy of published materials, Morris Multimedia cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. Manuscripts, artwork, photography, inquiries and submitted materials are welcome.

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All things dance Brenau instructor was born to move Story by Jennifer Linn | Photography by Erin O. Smith Madia Cooper-Ashirifi says her job doesn’t feel like work. “I don’t like my job here. I love my job here!” said the visiting assistant professor of dance at Brenau University. 8

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Cooper-Ashirifi said dance is the medium through which she shows the world who she truly is and who she aspires to be. Working as a dance educator has brought her joy and HOME Living

In North Georgia


Madia Cooper-Ashirifi, a visiting assistant professor of dance, walks through a dance routine before students perform the routine to music during a jazz technique course at the Brenau University East Campus.

happiness. Cooper-Ashirifi is in her second year teaching various subjects at the college she once attended. This semester, she’s teaching jazz, a special topics course called Black Dance Studies, Composition II and a freshman seminar — all while preparing to be a dance major and teaching methods of dance education. As a teacher, Cooper-Ashirifi said her specialties are modern dance, Afro modern, west African and jazz. “I am an avid lover of all things dance, actually,” she said. “Anything that is creative, well-crafted, well-performed gets my attention. That (ranges) from classical ballet to urban hip hop and everything in between. ... I’m just a lover of all things dance.” A child of Liberian parents, Cooper-Ashirifi was born in Ohio and raised in Albany. Her mother fled the West African country of Liberia while pregnant with Madia. A monastery in Liberia assisted her mother in the move to the United States. Cooper-Ashirifi said she began dancing when she was 2 1/2 years old. She later started playing classical piano and violin, which culminated in a love of all music genres. As her college days approached, she dreamed of going out of state

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to pursue music. But when Cooper-Ashirifi was a senior in high school, her mother fell ill. So the teenager decided to remain in Georgia and stay close to her mother. That’s when she discovered Brenau’s dance program. “I actively wanted to dance and perform,” she said. “But at the same time, I also wanted an income. So that’s why I chose the track of dance education.” After graduating from Brenau in 2004 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance education, Cooper-Ashirifi worked in the Gwinnett County school system for several years. She then moved to New York and earned a master of fine arts in dance choreography and performance at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. Her resume in dance education expanded as she taught dance and choreographed pieces at colleges and universities, such as Middle Tennessee State University, where she worked for five years prior to coming to Brenau. She also guest taught at several colleges and universities over the last seven years. “I heard about the Brenau job through a good friend, and of course, through Facebook,” Cooper-Ashirifi said. The ‘good friend,’ Natalie Dollar, a fellow Brenau alum, reminded Cooper-Ashirifi of her passion and suggested her skill in dance should be shared with the college they both attended. “Therefore, I wanted to give back and educate the world’s future artists and dance specialists at Brenau University,” she said. Cooper-Ashirifi interviewed for the position at Brenau when she was eight months pregnant with her son. She got the job followed by a couple of whirlwind events. She gave birth to her son and moved her family to Lawrenceville in summer 2015. Two years later, Cooper-Ashirifi is happy to be making a living doing what she loves at her alma mater. “Every element of Brenau I love,” she said. “No. 1, my colleagues have been great. They have been accepting. We have great conversations. We really bounce many ideas off one another. “We all have similar backgrounds similar moral compasses, and we just have that vibe,” she said of her colleagues. Cooper-Ashirifi also said she believes in a rigorous learning regimen and pushes her students to achieve. “All of our students are dedicated. They’re passionate, talented (and) respectful,” she said. “I really do see success (for them) ... whether it’s in dance or something else. Many of them are going to be successful and great leaders.” 10

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The feeling seems to be mutual. “I think she’s great to work with, because she really pushes you as a student. And she’s by force going to pull it out,” said Shanik Moore, a Brenau senior who has taken several classes from Cooper-Ashirifi’s. The dance education major said Cooper-Ashirifi teaches real-world values and doesn’t baby students, which will prepare her for life after graduation. Moore also decided to follow a similar path as CooperAshirifi. Originally, she enrolled as a dance performance major but changed to dance education. “I think I have a greater opportunity there to impact more lives and also it’s more substantial,” she said. “With this, you have a certificate to teach in schools, and you can eventually progress to university status.” The dance program at Brenau is open to male and female students. Several shows are open to the public each year, including the annual Evening of Dance in November that showcases works by students taking dance composition II. It gives students a chance to learn how to put together a dance production, Cooper-Ashirifi said. Brenau students aren’t the only ones to learn from Cooper-Ashirifi’s expertise. She travels for residency opportunities at other colleges and universities. She recently received her second residency at Amherst College in Massachusetts, where she will focus on black women and dance and the complexity of the black dancing body. Residencies typically last three to five days and allow colleges or universities to bring in educators who have specialties in the topics they will address. “The black dancing body has been and is viewed as an entity encapsulated by the African Diaspora and is given the label of ‘over sexuality’ through lens of society,” Cooper-Ashirifi said. A diaspora is a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived. “Why is the black body viewed as a sexual ‘object?’” Cooper-Ashirifi asked. “This question and statement is what I lecture about and research about in regards to black dancing bodies and dance being underrepresented and discriminating(ly) labeled in order to ostracize.” Outside of work, Cooper-Ashirifi performs in a West African dance troupe in Chattanooga performing throughout the Southeast. She also enjoys cooking and spending time with friends and family, including husband, Kwabena, and 16-month-old son, Cooper Nana.

HOME Living

In North Georgia


Students rehearse a dance routine to music during a jazz technique course taught by visiting assistant professor of dance, Madia Cooper-Ashirifi, at the Brenau University East Campus.

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I always return from my visit to the High Point Furnishings Market feeling energized and inspired by all the wonderful product lines and new introductions. There is always so much to see in such a short period of time. It is, at best, a whirlwind tour! After spending several days and visiting dozens of vendor showrooms, I am excited to share with you some of the top trends that I spotted. 1. Bold Colors and Patterns: Yes, color is back! This has been refreshing to see after several years of the ‘great gray-out’. Several showrooms featured bold, bright colors with hot pink taking the lead role. From upholstered furniture to artwork and rugs, vibrant hues were readily found. The bright fuchsia-colored chairs and bold patterned drapery fabric found in the Ambella Home showroom were our first hint of this colorful trend. Bright, jazzy colors were also prominent in the Woodbridge Furniture showroom with products from C.R. Laine and accents pieces designed by Tobi Fairley. The octagonal shaped accent stools covered in a bold pink and orange striped fabric (right) would add a fresh pop of color to any environment, and they handily tuck in under a console table. The use of a bold, graphic-patterned fabric on an otherwise traditional piece of furnish gives it a breath of new life. Accent chairs in The Tomlinson Companies showroom were covered in a bold geometric print; the more traditionally styled occasional chair from Kindel Grand Rapids in a wide cabana striped fabric is a new look! 2. Blush Pinks and Rose Quartz: In complete contrast to the brighter colors, the Pantone Color of the year, Rose Quartz, was equally present. This soft, delicate hue adds a touch of femininity and romance to its environment. A wallpaper used as an accent wall in one room setting at the Ambella Home showroom is a great example of how this color is being used in combination with its Pantone partner, Serenity. It works well with neutral colors to create an ethereal look or pairs with deeper, richer shades of blue or gray for more contrast. This pair of tufted armless chairs (left) in blush pink against a backdrop of midnight blue creates quite a striking setting. 3. Greek Key Motif: A classic symbol that has been used for centuries has come to the forefront of home furnishing 12

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HOME Living

Photos courtesy AHT Interiors

High Point Furnishings 2016 Fall Market: 7 Top Interior Design Trends

In North Georgia


trends. The Greek Key emblem was sighted in many different product lines in many different showrooms. From wallcovering to bedding and even casegoods, this motif kept popping up over and over again. I particularly liked the used of this symbol in an accent tape used along the skirt of a sofa and the metallic finish on the base of this lamp (top right). 4. Curves, Curves and More Curves: Sexy shapes and curves are everywhere! This is a nice complement to the other straight lines and track arms on many other upholstered pieces. Upon entering the Ambella Home showroom, we were greeted by a display featuring a curved front sofa along with a pair of accent chairs with curved backs. What a great conversational setting! More great shapes abounded in upholstered pieces we viewed at Kindel, Karges and Councill. A kidney-shaped sofa/chaise and swivel chair (top left) from The Tomlinson Companies also show off this trend in high style. 5. Nailhead Trim: A juxtaposition to the more feminine curves and colors is the strong influence of nail head trim on upholstered pieces and casegoods, lending these pieces a more masculine touch. I am seeing nailhead trim in different sizes and styles on the same piece of furniture, as seen on the two chairs from Leathercraft Furniture (see page 5). Notice the smaller size along the arms and a larger more widely-spaced version along the base of the chair. Some other interesting examples of this finish technique are seen in several pieces from Ambella Home. One room setting shows several products with a nailhead trim application: sofas, accent ottomans in leopard print and even the coffee table show how different variants of this technique can be successfully used in the same room. Celebrity designer Corey Damon Jenkins skillfully uses nailhead trim accents on several pieces he has designed for Leathercraft Furniture. He takes some traditionally inspired pieces such as the Bergere chair and wingback chair and gives them a new twist by adding nailhead trim. The black leather sofa (right)has an abundance of metal studs out14

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HOME Living

In North Georgia


lining the entire piece — which looks great on a piece of furniture that is ‘floating’ in the room rather than backing up to a wall. His cabinet with padded leather doors shows off a unique use of nailhead trim as well. Consider using a piece or two with this feature in any room of the home; it works well in both a more traditional style of interior décor and a more contemporary one. 6. Lucite: This clear material continues to be a strong trend in home furnishing products; I think it is here to stay for a while. It is appearing in new and different ways … note the use of this product in the arms of this chair (left)from Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth, Carter, Directional. You certainly won’t need to worry about these arms soiling or staining with use over time! Lucite works equally as well as an accent table or on the back of dining chairs from ST2 Furniture. I think it is especially appealing to mix this material in with other mediums such as wood, metal or upholstered pieces. For example, a bench with lucite legs from Ambella Home shakes up a matching dining table and chairs, and clear legs on an accent ottomans from Bernhardt keeps the view to the foot of the bed open to see the accent nailhead trim pattern. A lucite cocktail table can help to keep a room from feeling too heavy and provides an open view to a stunning area rug that you may not wish to cover up with a solid wood table. 7. Tufted Pieces: The use of tufting on upholstered furniture also continues to be a strong trend; from deep tufting to lightly quilted surfaces, it remains quite popular. An updated wingback chair from Ambella Home uses tufting placed on the outside as opposed to where you would traditionally expect to see it. The lightly tufted back of a sofa from Leathercraft Furniture translates well into a more transitional style of décor. The fabulous upholstered bed (below)with the deeply tufted back from Bernhardt Furniture makes quite a statement in any bedroom! I am just touching the surface of all the many interesting products that we saw at market; there are so many wonderful and creative pieces to use in any style of décor! I urge you to break out of your comfort zone and update an area or two in your own home with newer styles that appeal to you. It can often be difficult to know how to successfully combine styles and pieces of furniture to create a harmonious and well-balanced interior that is not only stylish but also inviting. If you feel overwhelmed by this process, I urge you to visit my guide, How to Work With an Interior Designer. This is a complimentary guide that can be downloaded from my website to help you navigate the waters of working with an interior design professional. It can answer many questions you may have about this process and what to expect, no matter who you may choose to work with on your project. As always, Love Where You Live…. And if you don’t, do something about it! Allison Havill Todd is President and Director of Design of Alpharetta-based AHT Interiors, www.ahtinteriors.com.

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Center Point

Helping to enhance the youth of Hall County Story by Jennifer Linn As a freshman, Gainesville High School student Charles Hall enrolled in an ethics class at Center Point. That one class set the now-high school senior on a course of volunteering he never anticipated. Hall was introduced to area senior citizens when he and his classmates had to design and implement a community project as part of their ethics class. The assignment included raising the money for the project. Hall’s class hosted a cookout and fun activities for residents of a local senior facility. Since then, many students including Hall have returned to visit the residents. “I think it’s very fulfilling,” Hall said. “It takes a bit of effort in conversing with all the people and handling logistics.” Hall’s life is just one of many Center Point has shaped. The nonprofit’s mission is to enhance, strengthen and change the lives of students, families and children in Hall County in various ways. One way Center Point reaches its mission is through education. They are geared to engage students in critical thinking about religion, faith and the combination of their impact on society, according to the organization’s website (centerpointga.org.) Hall has taken advantage of the classes, but he is certainly not alone. Gainesville High School senior David Davenport has been taking Center Point classes for the past several years. He has learned about media and technology, history and literature of the Old Testament era and comparative religions. “I think it is a really wonderful and unique opportunity that I’m very grateful for,” Davenport said. “I think Center Point is really one of the best organizations in Gainesville for education. It really presents a unique way to learn, especially ... from the Bible.” 16

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Center Point members and volunteers pose for a photo during the recent fundraiser. From left: Donna Shaw, Barbara Hicks, Linda Ingle, David Smith, and Paige Green.

He said some of the topics were more of an academic study rather than purely devotional. “It gives us the perspective to look at things differently,” Davenport said, adding the class has helped him consider different ways to interpret the Old Testament and the Bible. Giving people a chance to discover themselves and make their own decisions is a key part of what Center Point does, said David L. Smith, Center Point executive director. “Our hope is that first of all, we want the kids that are taking classes to learn to think critically,” he said. “We’re trying to challenge them to think about broader, bigger issues of life and how to take those issues and assimilate the information so they can determine their beliefs and how they fit into the bigger picture.” Center Point’s educational program offers dual enrollment for students, allowing them to transfer class credits to their public or private schools. In addition, the organization seeks to help youth by giving them the tools to help them live a successful life. Center Point offers counseling, mentoring and prevention programs. The counseling offers financially accessible services to Hall HOME Living

In North Georgia


fulfilled.” County children and their families on Center Point Center Point was founded in 1967 a sliding fee scale. The mentoring pairs 1050 Elephant Trail, Gainesville but did not start serving the communiadult role models with students in Center Point South: 3584 Atlanta ty with its programs until 1969. Smith Gainesville and Hall County schools. Highway, Flowery Branch said after Center Point was incorporatAnd prevention educates students and 770-535-1050 ed, founders spent 14 months building parents about the dangers of alcohol, http://centerpointga.org the facility, establishing programs and drugs and teen pregnancy and aims to earning state approvals. equip them with knowledge necessary Smith became involved with the to make healthy choices. In particular, the prevention program helps students learn nonprofit 27 years ago, saying he had a desire to make a difference in people’s lives. to set goals and incorporate preventive measures to succeed, “What we want them to do is stay true to their mission, Smith said. their purpose, what they’re trying to do, who they are, so they “I like to say it’s like the handles on the bike,” Smith said. can feel like they’re being successful,” Smith said. “Because “Giving them handles to where they can steer their lives and find purpose in lives.” once you know yourself, you’re going to be relevant and happy.” Last year, the organization served more than 8,500 stuTo help maintain its programs, Center Point held a funddents through its programs, Smith said. But it does not end raising auction Nov. 11, (see page 48) offering items such as there. Center Point’s leaders evaluate their services and its a trip to the Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Ky; several clients to track their improvement, Smith said. “I think it makes a healthier community if we have people vacation trips, a skeet shoot and barbecue at the Jim Walters Barn; spa packages, collegiate packages and tickets to The who are being fulfilled through relationships, through their Masters; and two tickets to the Broadway hit musical “Hamilwork, through their school,” Smith said. “It’s all win-win for ton” in New York City. For information on volunteering for or the community. So that’s the reason we’re doing what we’re receiving services, visit centerpointga.org. doing, and most importantly that (the students are) feeling

Celebrating Over

Years of Service 1983-2015

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Being charitable when money is tight Story for Home Magazine The term “charitable giving” is often associated with financial donations. But charity is not exclusive to donating dollars, and those who want to give back but can’t fit donations into their budgets can explore various ways to make an impact without writing a check. Volunteering: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 63 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015. Up north, the General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating from Statistics Canada found that more than four in 10 Canadians ages 15 and older volunteered to some degree in 2013. Volunteering is a popular and rewarding way to give back to one’s community. Nonprofits and charitable organizations may fall short of meeting their missions if not for the valuable services provided by volunteers, so pitching in can be just as valuable as writing a check. Discuss your personal and professional experience with an organization to find a volunteering opportunity that suits you and your skill set. In addition to charitable organizations, schools, hospitals, libraries, and religious institutions may have volunteering opportunities for those who want to give back. Item donations: Donating time and money may be among the most popular ways to give back, but those are not the only ways to donate to organizations and people in need. Go through your closet and donate clothes you no longer wear. Instead of selling furniture you plan to replace, contact local chari-

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table organizations to see if they would like your furniture, or donate pieces that they can then sell to finance their operations. Some donated items, such as vehicles, may earn donors tax deductions. Medical donations: Donating money or dropping off canned goods at food banks may be the first things many people think of when mulling charitable donations, but medical donations also present a great way to give back. The American Red Cross notes that blood donations help millions of people and a single blood donation can end up helping more than one person. The Red Cross also notes that roughly 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the United States alone each day, while nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily. Donating blood, plasma or platelets can help save lives, and making such donations does not require substantial commitments of time. Organ donations also present a great way to give back. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that an average of 22 people die each day waiting for transplants that cannot take place because of the shortage of organ donors. Many of those deaths may not happen if more people signed up to be organ donors, an act that may be as simple as checking a box on the back of your driver’s license. Charitable men and women without much room in their budgets to make donations can still make a difference by giving back in other ways. What better way to spread holiday cheer than volunteering locally?

Hall County has many options to give back from donating to food drives, to helping domestic violence victims, to providing toys to less fortunate children this Christmas or loving on homeless animals. “It is very important to volunteer, regardless of where you choose to volunteer, because there are so many wonderful community organizations, people and causes that depend on the

HOME Living

In North Georgia


work that volunteers do,” said Avein Gober, volunteer and outreach coordinator at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. “Oftentimes, volunteers are the ‘backbone’ of any cause.” Gober said volunteers bring passion to their service, and their work helps make communities better. The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia has a small staff and relies on volunteers to ensure each animal gets the care it deserves. HSNEGA’s top priority is to find “furrever” homes with an emphasis on quality and passionate care for all animals in its care. “Since we deal with live animals, it is extremely important that we try to mimic their lives outside of the facility, by making sure that they have adequate exercise, proper dieting and important companionship and socialization with humans,” Gober said. Action Ministries Mountain Region Director Tina Grubbs agrees volunteers are life-changers. Action Ministries mobilizes communities to address the challenges of poverty by focusing on hunger relief, housing and education. “Our programs are designed to engage volunteers at every level to meet the needs in local communities,” she said. “Whether it’s serving lunches during the summer, reading to children, donating linens to a family in need or packing food boxes, we can’t do it alone.” To help area residents decide on where to offer their time and money is a list of places to volunteer this holiday season.

tional families in crisis. The organization also supports the Southern Blood Services region in its efforts to ensure a safe and ready blood supply in Georgia. How to help: Volunteers are needed to assist in administrative services such as fundraising, public relations, translating, interpreting and office support, as well as disaster volunteers and blood services volunteers. Contact: 770-532-8453. For more info: www. redcross.org/northeastgeorgia Gainesville Action Ministries Action Ministries Inc. is a nonprofit that provides an extensive network of community partners and volunteers with the tools and expertise to lead fellow Georgians out of poverty. By meeting basic needs of hunger relief, housing and education, Action Ministries removes barriers that prevent thousands of Georgians from breaking the cycle of poverty and realizing their potential. How to help: Volunteers are needed for various tasks. Opportunities include assembling housing kits, assembling hygiene kits, transporting food from farmers or merchants, helping with taxes and teaching financial

literacy curriculum, providing enrichment activities for children, assembling lunches for children, sponsoring families during the holidays and writing inspirational letters or cards. Contact: Tina Grubbs at 770-531-0144. For more info: actionministries.net Gateway Domestic Violence Center Through crisis intervention, comprehensive support services and community collaboration, Gateway Domestic Violence Center helps create an environment for safe, healthy, selfsufficient growth and violence prevention. How to help: Volunteers are needed to assist with children’s support groups, answer crisis hotlines, clerical work, meal preparation and facility maintenance. Contact: Shelby Kinsey at 770-536-5860. For more info:gatewaydvcenter.org Georgia Mountain Food Bank Georgia Mountain Food Bank’s mission is to address hunger, health and quality of life by serving those in need. An affiliate of Atlanta Community Food Bank, the organization provides a vital link between sources of food

American Red Cross The American Red Cross helps people prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. It teaches life-saving skills, provides resources for military families and helps interna-

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supplies and hardworking communitybased partner agencies who help get the food into the hands of families and individuals in need. How to help: Volunteers are needed for a variety of areas including at the volunteer action center, food drives and for outreach and administrative efforts. Contact: Phil Dennis at 770-5344111 for any questions or information on how to schedule a large group, or volunteer as an individual. For more info: www.gamountainfoodbank.org. Good News Clinics Good News Clinics provides medical and dental care at no cost to the patient for uninsured residents of Hall County who cannot afford to purchase health care services. How to help: Spanish-speaking interpreters, medical assistants, dental assistants and hygienists, nurses, physicians and nurse practitioners are needed. Other volunteers may assist with administrative duties from 9 a.m. to noon or 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact: Jean Peeples at 770503-1369 or jpeeples@goodnewsclinics. org. For more info: www.goodnews clinics.org. The Guest House Inc. The Guest House Inc. is a health care and activities center for seniors who need day-time care and company. Fees are based on the patient’s income. How to help: Volunteers are needed to help clients with routine activities, bring a craft, art project, musical talent or just your heart. Contact: Brenda Webb at 770-535-1487 or email activities@theguesthouse.org. Habitat for Humanity of Hall County Habitat for Humanity of Hall County is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian 20

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principles seeking to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. It is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. The ReStore is open to the public 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. How to help: Volunteering opportunities include help with building homes, store inventory, organizing displays, data entry, carpentry work and repurposing items. Contact: 678-450-5998. For more info: www.habitathallcounty.org Hall County Animal Shelter How to help: Volunteers needed to walk and play with animals. Contact: Cindy Langman at 678-450-1587 or 770-531-6831. For more info: visitwww. hallcounty.org/276/Animal-Services. Humane Society of Northeast Georgia The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia’s mission is to create a community recognized for responsible pet ownership and humane treatment of animals by offering basic pet wellness and spay/ neuter services, public education and placement of companion animals. How to help: Come play with puppies, socialize with cats, walk and train large dogs or help with special outreach and fundraising events. Contact: Avein Gober, HSNEGA’s Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 770-532-6617 or agober@hsnega.org. For more info: Visit www.humanesocietyofnortheastgeorgia.org. Meals on Wheels Approximately 350 seniors receive hot lunches delivered by friendly volunteers each Monday through Friday. For

some seniors, this daily visit may be the only social interaction they have during the day. How to help: Deliver meals within the city of Gainesville. Routes take approximately one hour; training provided. Type of drivers needed: • Delivery — pick up meals from a designated site and deliver to client homes. Meal routes operate Monday through Friday. Pickup time is between 10:30 -11:30 a.m. • Satellite site drop-off — Pickup meal bags from the Meals on Wheels distribution site and deliver to one of the satellite sites in North Hall, South Hall or Clermont. • Substitute — Fill in when regular volunteers are unable to delivery their route. Volunteers must submit to a background check. Background fee is $10. Contact: Volunteer orientation is the second and fourth Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Community Service Center, 430 Prior St., SE in Gainesville. To schedule an orientation at another location for a large group, contact Stepheine Hood at 770-503-3338 or shood@ gainesville.org. For more info: www. gainesville.org/meals-on-wheels. My Sister’s Place My Sister’s Place provides a nurturing home, transportation assistance, nutritious meals and other basic necessities to the single women and mothers with children. My Sister’s Place provides life skills workshops, case management, counseling and tools to help them be in a better position when they leave than they were in when they arrived. How to help: Volunteers are needed for special projects and on a regular basis. Special projects include childcare, overnight supervision and committee members. Weekly needs include organizing donations, reception help HOME Living

In North Georgia


answering phones and accepting donations, and drivers to transport residents to church. Contact: 770-532-5111. For more info: www.my-sisters-place.org Randy and Friends Randy and Friends Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a vision to make Gainesville a model community that values its members, including those who may have been previously overlooked because of a disability. Randy and Friends’ mentors and volunteers tap into the individual strengths and creativity of each young adult with the end desire that they become successful and independent. Programs such as making pottery, beading various items, woodworking, horticulture, , communications and others will provide training for developing marketable skills. How to help: Assist and be a friend to an adult with a significant disability. Meet from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in the coffee and gift shop at The Roosters Perch or volunteer to help with clerical work, making phone calls and being an instructor. Contact: Marty Owens at martyowens@randyandfriends.org or 678-617-5527. For more info: www.randyandfriends.org.

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Salvation Army Help with after school programs, teach music, drama and art, coach a sports team, landscape, paint, clean and organize community centers, prepare and serve food in one of our shelters, organize donation drives for food, new clothes, or supplies for our children’s programs, data-entry, or administrative support. How to help: Through the Angel Trees program, individuals can “adopt” an Angel, and donate presents from their Christmas list. Contact: 770-534-7589, salvation armygeorgia.org/gainesville Toys for Tots The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. How to help: Volunteers needed almost every day to collect toys and sort toys for Hall County Toys for Tots. During late November and the first two weeks of December, volunteers are needed to help with toy distribution. Contact: gainesville-ga.toysfortots.org. homemagazinenorthgeorgia.com

Get the look in store or on belk.com

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Bartender Tyler Francisco serves a “Persian 75� at Antebellum in Flowery Branch. Opposite page: A Burnt Marshmallow Bourbon. Photos by Pamela A. Keene

Stirring up

holiday cheer 22

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Capture seasonal flavors with cocktails Story by Pamela A. Keene Cinnamon apple, maple syrup, crushed candy canes and tart dark cherry flavors rule the bar this holiday season. Two area restaurants have shared their signature seasonal cocktails to inspire joy and cheer this winter. All can be made at home with items readily available at the local package store and grocery. Some as easy as combining ready-made ingredients. Others require a bit of prep to create such flavors as burnt-marshmallow infused bourbon or flavored vodka. Tyler Francisco, bartender at Flowery Branch’s Antebellum, has crafted several holiday drinks that are sure to become seasonal favorites. Maple Twist features botanical gin, maple syrup, lemon juice and orange bitters. His Persian 75, a variation on a champagne cocktail called French 75, starts with black cherry vanilla vodka, sour cherry syrup and lemon juice. Tart cherry and saffron bitters add some punch. “Bitters can be a good ingredient in many cocktails, kind of like salt on food,” Francisco says. “Just a dash or two can mellow the hotness of the alcohol. And bitters now are available in many flavors.” Scott’s Downtown has created several holiday cocktails that capitalize on the season. Bartender Jan Truesdale’s Cinnamon Apple Martini has an apple cider base, laced with cinnamon-flavored tequila and triple sec. It can be served on the rocks or straight up. “People really like our Chocolate

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‘Jandy’ Cane, a creamy drink that’s excellent for dessert,” she says. “We use whipped cream vodka, crème de cacao and bits of crushed candy cane.” A popular drink anytime during cold weather, hot toddies have been known to have a certain healing affect for winter colds. It’s typically sipped in a warm coffee mug and begins with several squeezes of lemon and a tablespoon or so of honey. “You can add your favorite brown liquor. Most people prefer bourbon or brandy,” Truesdale says. “Then top it off with hot water. You can cradle the cup in your hands and with one of these you’ll probably feel better soon.” Garnishes add fun to cocktails. From serving a drink in a martini glass over a cinnamon stick, a slice of tart apple or an orange wedge, you can add a splash of color and a punctuation mark of flavor. When making specialty cocktails the focus of a home party, Truesdale suggests keeping things simple. “The best approach is to offer fewer choices — two to three — and supplement with wine or a nice punch,” she says. “Make the punch without alcohol and serve champagne or a flavored vodka or gin so that guests can add their own. Don’t go wild trying to please everyone. Just be sure to have a few non-alcoholic options for guests.” Here are recipes from these experienced bartenders that can make your holiday entertaining sparkle:

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Antebellum Burnt Marshmallow Bourbon To make the marshmallow infused bourbon, toast six to eight marshmallows – over a campfire is best – and put into a container with a liter of Four Roses Bourbon. Let this sit for a week, then filter several times, using coffee filters or cheesecloth to remove any undissolved marshmallow bits. This will keep up to four weeks at room temperature. For the cocktail: Burnt marshmallow bourbon – 2 ounces (it will have the consistency of syrup) Simple syrup – 1 ounce Small skewer of toasted mini-marshmallow Combine the bourbon and the simple syrup in a shaker over crushed ice. Strain and pour into a frosted old-fashioned glass. Garnish with the marshmallows across the top of the glass. A Chocolate “Jandy” Cane Martini and a Cinnamon Apple Martini at Scott’s Downtown.

Scott’s Downtown Cinnamon Apple Martini Cinnamon tequila – 1.5 ounces Triple sec – 2/3 ounce Apple cider (not apple juice) – 3.5 to 4 ounces Combine ingredients and shake over crushed ice. Serve straight up or on the rocks with a fresh-cut wedge of orange. Scott’s Downtown Chocolate “Jandy” Cane Whipped cream vodka – 1 ounce Dark creme de cacao – 1 ounce Crushed peppermint candy cane – 1 teaspoon Half and half – splash Combine ingredients and shake over crushed ice. Serve straight up or on the rocks. Scott’s Downtown Hot Toddy Lemon juice – 2 to 3 squeezes Honey – 1 tablespoon Hot water – 2 tablespoons 1.5 ounces of brown liquor (bourbon or brandy or flavored bourbon) Combine lemon juice, honey and hot water into a coffee mug and stir to dissolve. Pour in the bourbon or brandy. Top with additional hot water. Garnish with a lemon wedge or lemon twist. Antebellum Persian 75 Black cherry vanilla vodka – 1.5 ounces Sour cherry syrup – .5 ounces Lemon juice – .25 ounces Tart cherry and saffron billers – 3 dashes Saffron sugar cube Champagne Combine ingredients, setting aside the saffron sugar cube. Shake over crushed ice, strain and pour into a chilled martini glass. Drop in the saffron sugar cube. Top off with chilled champagne.

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Antebellum Maple Twist Botanical gin – 1.5 ounces Maple syrup (not pancake syrup) – 1 ounce Lemon juice – 1 ounce Orange bitters – dash Cinnamon stick – two Combine ingredients, setting aside one of the cinnamon sticks. Shake over crushed ice, strain and pour into a chilled martini glass. Serve over the reserved cinnamon stick.

Cocktail glossary for amateur mixologists When entertaining, hosts are sometimes called on to make and serve mixed drinks for guests. Making drinks may seems as simple as throwing a few ingredients into a shaker and pouring the resulting mix into a fancy glass, but authentic cocktail creation requires a little more effort than that. A cursory knowledge of common words and phrases can help you become a master mixologist in no time. Bitters: Made from herbs and berries, bitters can add a diverse flavor profile to your cocktails and balance out sweeter drinks. Boston shaker: Device used to make shaken drinks and chill them thoroughly. Flute: A long, narrow glass used to serve champagne and sparkling wines. The shape of the flute ensures bubbles fizz for as long as possible. Collins glass: A tall glass with a heavy base, quite similar to and often interchangeable with a highball glass. Dirty: A word typically associated with martinis. Dirty refers to serving the drink with an olive and some vinegar-based brine. Dry: Like wine, cocktails can be sweet or dry. Cocktails that are dry tend to include dry vermouth. Frosted glasses: Glasses that are kept in the freezer so cocktails can be served very cold. This technique

A Chocolate “Jandy” Cane Martini is poured up at Scott’s Downtown.

works well for martinis and drinks that include gin, vodka and/or vermouth. Highball: A highball is a spirit served on ice with carbonated soda as a mixer. Infusion: Spirits that have a special flavoring or ingredient added to them are known as infusions. Mixers: Mixers are liquids added to hard drinks. They include fruit juices, sodas and tonic water. Neat: In the world of cocktails, “neat” refers to a single spirit or liqueur served on its own without ice, water or any other ingredients.

Scott’s Downtown: 131 Bradford Street Northwest, Gainesville. 770-536-1111. scottsonthesquare.com Antebellum: 5510 Church St., Flowery Branch. 770-965-8100. www.antebellumrestaurant.com homemagazinenorthgeorgia.com

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Don’t let the holidays

weigh you down Story by Bekah Porter Sandy

The holidays are meant to be a time for giving. But too often, it becomes the season of giving in ... to temptations. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the common claim is the typical American gains an average of 5 pounds in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. And each of the holidays is known for a signature dish or treat. A bit too much gravy in November, a few too many cookies in December and an extra glass or two of cham-

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pagne in the first wee morning hours of January can pack on the pounds. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain a significant contributor to adult obesity. It doesn’t take much, said the staff at Obesity Solutions, a weight-loss program offered through The Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville. “In my personal opinion, the holidays are one of those times when people feel like they don’t have to be so restricted. That they can splurge a little, because it is the holidays,” medical receptionist Whitney Swing said. “When people think celebration, they associate it with food.” For that reason, she and the rest of the staff at Obesity Solutions

compiled a list of tips to help North Georgia residents avoid overindulgence. Drink plenty of water. While this tip might seem most obvious, it’s for good reason. It’s one of the most important, since many people confuse thirst for hunger. So staying hydrated can prevent cravings. Limit sampling while cooking. If you are entertaining others, cut down on tasting while you prepare the meal. Those calories can add up without you knowing it, and soon you’ve eaten an entire portion even before the festivities begin. Avoid social snacking. Basically, don’t sit around and chat with a big tray of food at hand. “Don’t hover over that food,” Swing said. “And don’t just have

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unending amounts at hand while you’re talking with your friends and family.” Go for protein first. Not only does reaching for chicken before chips get you fuller faster and keep you fuller longer, it helps stave off those pesky sugar crashes following carb binges. Chew slowly. The slower you chew, the more time your food has to reach your stomach. That means you’ll be satiated sooner, thus avoiding extra calories. Drink after you eat. Although you might have heard glugging water during a meal has benefits, the clinic recommends the opposite. “Do not drink with your meal,” Swing said. “Drink after.” Not only does this mean you fill your body with the proteins that will curb your appetite long term, it ensures that your body has the proper acids to ideally break down nutrients and get those good bits into your system. Use a small salad plate instead of a full-size dinner plate. “That way, you run out of room on your plate a lot more quickly, and it tricks you into thinking you got more,” Swing said. Be selective with sweets. Sweets are readily available during the holiday season. Rather than filling up your plate with a little “bite” of each dessert you want to try, select your favorite and then enjoy a reasonable portion. Plan ahead. “If you want to bring your own dish that’s a healthy option, that’s great,” Swing said. Show up a little late. Although nobody is suggesting you be rude and appear four hours after the event was supposed to end, Swing said arriving to a buffet meal a bit after the main crush is a good idea. You will not be in line with people and tempted to fill your plate the same way everyone else does. homemagazinenorthgeorgia.com

Eat before you go shopping. Leaving the house hungry may tempt you to make impulse food purchases that can compromise healthy diets. It’s easy to grab a quick convenience item at the food court or from a vending machine. However, eating a snack before you leave will alleviate hunger and you can control the foods that go into your body. Mind your drinks, too. Many beverages, including alcoholic beverages and sweetened soft drinks, are high in calories. A single serving of wine can have anywhere from 100 to 300 calories. It’s easy to lose count of caloric intake when indulging, but opt for low-calorie drinks or water whenever possible. Socialize more. “When people think celebration, they think food,” Swing said. “People don’t always focus on the socialization aspect.” She recommends spending time playing cards with your grandparents, chatting with your cousins or any other one of the numerous options involving quality interaction rather than returning to the buffet for second or third helpings. Increase your level of physical activity. Find ways to remain physically active during the holiday season. Park further away from mall entrances so you can walk a greater distance and burn more calories. Take a few extra laps around the mall. Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. If you’re at a party with upbeat music, get on the dance floor and work off some calories. Have an accountability partner. When you feel tempted to reach for a second piece of pie, your designated dieter friend can talk you off the ledge if need be. Whatever tip works best for you, the best tip of all is to just enjoy the time with loved ones and not take any missteps too seriously, according to staff at Obesity Solutions. “Obviously, no one is perfect,” Swing said. “It’s not about how you fall down but how you get back up.” December | 2016

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A healing touch for all creatures’ spirit People and pets alike benefit from Tammy Billups’ bioenergetic therapy Story by Bekah Porter Sandy Haley growled and lunged. In the space of mere seconds, the white lab/terrier mix transformed from a sweet dog to a vicious attacker. Her prey — a placid puppy who had offered no provocation — was injured, and the discussion of where to place Haley shifted to a conversation about if she could find a home. “It was so severe,” said Gigi Graves, founder of Our Pals Place, an animal rescue organization in Marietta. “It was so unfortunate.” So the work began. Graves arranged for Haley to see a veterinarian, and the medical professional ruled out any physical causes for the aggressiveness. “We really thought there was no way that she’d ever be able to be placed in a home with other dogs,” Graves said. But then Tammy Billups got involved. The storm before the calm Before her mother died, before she became a published author, before she started physically seeing energy in and around everything as colors and shapes and re-enactments of past events, Tammy Billups was another corporate

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success story, bringing in the big bucks and assuming the extent of her joy correlated with the size of her bank account. “I was career-oriented, and I believed that the more money I had, the happier I’d be,” she said. “I had a great income and title, but it clearly wasn’t working out so well. I wasn’t happy. And I was always sick. Cancer. Asthma. Endometriosis. Chronic sinus infections. Gallstones. You name it, I had it.” The Woodstock resident watched her mother pass away, as well as her three beloved pets. Then in a moment that changed everything about her life, Billups experienced something that shook her sense of the world. “It was like waking up from having amnesia,” she said. She said she began to see and feel and sense energy. “And I didn’t know what to do with that,” she said. “I had just gone through all of these deaths of my loved ones, and then all of these memories from my childhood came rushing back up into my consciousness, memories that were quite horrific, including abuse, that I had suppressed. The energy around me

was showing me, trying to tell me, what I had gone through, and I was scared.” Seeking relief, Billups scheduled a bioenergetic healing session, telling the therapist that she was “open to trying anything.” Within moments of the session starting, Billups said she felt like she was “home.” “I sat up afterward, and I said, ‘I don’t know what just happened here, but I feel great. I want to do what you do.” Since that first bioenergetic healing, Billups has racked up an impressive resume, leaving her corporate career to become a certified interface therapist, author, speaker, founder of the Unity North Spiritual Community’s animal HOME Living

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Photos courtesy Tammy Billups

ministry, and editorial board member of the Conscious Life Journal where she pens a column called “Animals as Guides.” She has appeared everywhere from CNN to “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She has earned ordination as an interfaith minister, and she donates weekly sessions to animal rescue centers. What’s more, she found her own happiness in the process. When she first sought training at The Center for Integrative Therapy, she realized that she had to fix her own problems before she could attempt to mend others. “I had to heal from the inside out,”

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she said. And in turn, her physical ailments completely healed and she no longer needed the eight daily medications she thought she’d be on her entire life. Her new career first focused only on people. Individuals would seek treatment for various ailments, be it physical or psychological, and Billups would work to clear what she calls energetic congestion. “If you came in for a session, we would sit and talk about what is weighing on you that day, both emotionally and physically, and you would state your intentions for what you want to work on. I am not the orchestrator of the session; I am the conduit,” she said.

The client then lays on a healing table, and Billups goes through a process she describes as connecting to “the source of our good.” Then for 30 or so minutes, she observes the person’s energy. “I might see that your energy is out of balance, and that stuck energy, which are more fear-based emotions, are releasing and is being replaced with the energy of love, joy, compassion or the like. It’s really different for each session,” she said. The goal is to improve the client’s quality of life by helping their energy levels reach optimal levels and heal deeper emotional wounding that might be causing physical issues, dependencies, addictions, depression or unhappiness. Billups is aware not everybody understands or believes in her methods, but she does not have time to doubt

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“We love animals with our whole hearts because they’re safe and they accept us just as we are.” her practice. When she experienced what she calls her awakening, she had no choice but to believe. “Most people simply have to have faith that there are something more, that we are souls first, but I am blessed that I have proof through experiencing energy more intimately than most,” she said. Billups says that she sees individuals’ energy in various forms, whether it be colors or beams of lights. But it’s not just people. ‘I need to do this’ Billups always considered herself a lover of animals. “We let animals in where we wouldn’t let people,” she said. “We love animals with our whole hearts because they’re safe and they accept us just as we are. We don’t have any past issues to heal with them so we get more emotionally connected to them than we let people.” So when her friend told her that a horse had been diagnosed with a condition that would prevent it from running or becoming pregnant, Billups figured she should at least see if the animal received any relief from the healing techniques she used on humans. “After the first session, you could see an improvement in (the horse’s) gait,” Billups said. “And after the second sessions, she took off running. It was the most beautiful thing.” A year later, the horse produced a foal and did not encounter any more issues with the leg. “When I saw that, I thought, ‘I need to do this work with animals, too,’” Billups said. Since then, she has used her organization, Sundance Healing Center, to treat thousands of clients “both two- and-four-legged.” Both humans and animals receive her treatments, and 30

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Billups has become a pioneer in the field of animal energy healing, recently releasing the book, “Beyond the Fur: Discover the Hidden Keys to Understanding Your Animals’ Behaviors and Physical Issues.” A universal emotion Gigi Graves was distraught when Haley bit the other dog in the rescue organization. This attack upset her for many reasons. Not only was it unfortunate for the dog who had been bitten, but it also clearly conveyed that Hailey was not happy. Furthermore, it reduced the number of potential residences that Hailey could make her forever home, as she could not be housed with other dogs. “It was upsetting,” Graves said. Then Graves met Billups at their spiritual community, and Billups offered to volunteer her services to the rescue animals. “I immediately noticed that (Bil-

lups) was just a very real person, and by that, I mean she is who she is,” Graves said. “She’s sincere and open and centered and down-to-earth. And she just has a phenomenal connection with the animals. As you can imagine, the energy level in our facility can be outrageous at times, with all those animals, and when she does the session, she always brings this calmness and stillness that the animals respond to.” Billups sat with Haley and Graves, who watched the dog fall into a deep, sleep-like trance. After a few sessions, Graves noticed Hailey was a different animal. “We ended up putting Haley into a home with another dog, and those two dogs are just the best of friends,” Graves said. “I run into those dogs frequently, and to this day, they’ve never had an altercation. It’s something I thought would never, ever be able to happen, but it did.”

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Can’t leave Fluffy or Fido at home? Tips for stress free holiday travel with your pet There are many things that can be stressful about hitting the road for the holidays. However, traveling with pets doesn't have to be one of them. If you're like most people, you hate leaving your furry kids behind, and (provided that your pet is a good traveler) you really don't have to. With the right preparations, taking your pets along is not only easy, but way more fun than going it alone! Here are some tried-and-true tips for traveling with pets for the holidays. Should Your Pet Travel? This is the first thing to consider, as your pet's safety and comfort are always paramount. If your pet is sick or injured, has a nervous temperament, or has any condition that will make traveling uncomfortable, it's best to leave him at home with a trusted caretaker this holiday season. If you will be flying, there are circumstances under which you may have to leave your pet at home, even if he is healthy and adaptable. According to USDA regulations, your pet has to be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned for at least 5 days in order to travel by air. In addition, pets with flat, "snub noses," like Persian cats, pugs and bulldogs - are more susceptible to breathing problems, and flying can put their health at risk. Some airlines will not even allow these types of pets on commercial flights. To ensure that your pet is in tip-top shape for travel, bring him in for a quick checkup before you head out. You should also make sure that he is up to date with all of his vaccinations. If you will be traveling by plane or driving out of state, have your vet issue you a certificate of good health and rabies vaccination certificate. Many states (and Canada) require these documents, as do many airlines. Here is a master list of a few mustbring items that can make all the difference during a trip: n Ample food and water This may sound obvious, but 32

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it's easy to underestimate how much food and water your pet will need. Bring enough food for the whole trip; your pet's specific brand or type of food may not be readily available everywhere, and it isn't a good idea to introduce your pet to a new brand of food while traveling. Make sure your pet has frequent access to fresh water. n Travel bowls The collapsible kind are recommended — they are highly portable and don't take up a ton of space. n Bedding If possible, bring bedding he uses at home. The familiar smell and feel will make him more comfortable. n Favorite toys An entertained pet makes a happy travel companion! n Grooming supplies Pets find as many (or more) ways to get dirty on the road as at home! n Medical necessities Bring a first aid kit, as well as any medicines your pet may be taking, and your vet's contact information. Before your trip: Choose the right pet vehicle safety device wisely, and familiarize your pet with it You take great care to secure your human family members in the car; you should do the same for your pets. A simple pet safety device, such as a vehicle pet barrier, a pet seat belt, pet car seat, or a travel crate can keep you both safe, and give you peace of mind. You should choose a device that's right for your car, your trip, and the size and temperament of your pet. It's essential to ensure that your pet is comfortable with the safety device. The best way to do this is to acclimate him to it slowly over time. n Get a temporary ID In addition to your pet's regular ID tag (and microchip), it is strongly rechomemagazinenorthgeorgia.com

ommended that you get a temporary tag for your pet before you travel. Include relevant contact information like your cell phone number and the address where you will be staying. A current photo of your pet is also helpful to have on hand. n Plan for potty breaks and exercise Give yourself a time cushion for frequent pit stops, both for potty breaks, and for letting your pet stretch his legs. n Heads inside windows, please! It's true that pets love to stick their heads out of car windows. But this is a dangerous practice. Your pet could easily become injured, or worse. n Limit Food Intake You should limit how much you feed your pet on the road. Also, avoid sharing your fast food lunch with him, no matter how much he begs. Travel can upset a pet's stomach, and excess food can make things worse. n Never leave your pet alone in the car Leaving your pet alone in the car can subject him to dangerous temperature fluctuations. You also run the risk of him running off (if your window is down), or even being stolen. n Stay calm Your pet can sense your energy. Staying calm and rolling with the punches — traffic jams and all — will help your dog stay calm, and ensure that you both have a relaxed road trip. n Be prepared for accidents Even the most well-trained pet can have an “accident” in a new place. Bring your own cleaning supplies, and take care of your pet’s business promptly. Tips for traveling by plane: n Book early Airlines do have limits on the number of pets they allow on any given flight. To make sure your pet gets a spot, book your flight early.

Book direct flights during offpeak times Layovers aren't fun for people or their pets. They add stress, and provide more opportunities for things to go awry. Book a direct, non-stop flight if at all possible. It's admittedly hard to find off-peak flights during peak season. An early morning flight is your best bet for avoiding crowds and delays. n Get your pet used to his carrier If you're flying, you don't have a choice in restraints; you'll have to use an airline-approved travel carrier. It's important to get your pet used to the crate long before you head out to the airport. The type of carrier will depend on whether your pet will fly in-cabin or below-cabin. Review the airline's pet policy to determine how your pet will fly. n Trim your Pet's Nails Clipping your pet's nails keeps them from hooking onto the carrier's door, holes, and other crevices and potentially causing injury. n Label your carrier Make sure that you secure a label with your pet's name, your name and your contact information firmly onto the outside of the carrier. n Use a proper collar and tags Use a collar that can't get caught in the carrier, and make sure both his temporary and permanent ID are secured to the collar. Keep your pet under your control Always keep your pet leashed and well-controlled, and avoid taking him into dining or food preparation areas. In the end, with a little savvy, a lot of preparation, and some good oldfashioned common sense, your trip can go smoothly. It will be a great memory shared with your four-legged loved one, instead of a source of holiday stress. Safe travels and happy holidays from TripsWithPets.com. For Home Magazine n

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Airbnb host Aimee Martens prepares a room inside her Lake Lanier home for a guest to rent while visiting the area. Martens' success has inspired to to expand a portion of her home for more guests.

Where do you Air? Almost anyplace. Find a getaway on Lanier using Airbnb Story by Bekah Porter Sandy Sandra Moreland spent years in the corporate world as a marketing consultant. Each day brought new obstacles and challenges, and the busyness of it all left her seeking solitude. For that reason, the Cumming resident and her family jumped at the chance to purchase a piece of land off Lake Lanier.

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“It’s just a very serene place to enjoy nature and quiet,” she said. That was almost 20 years ago. Now her boys are grown and living in Hawaii, and her husband has retired from his equally hectic career as an ad agency executive. And while the little standalone bungalow that came with the home had seen its fair share of overnight HOME Living

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Yasmine Knighten of Roswell uses the site Airbnb to rent out her four-bedroom houseboat in Flowery Branch. Clockwise: Sandra Moreland’s lake bungalow on Lanier offers hidden privacy. The bungalow has groomed gardens and patios overlooking the water. Photos courtesy Airbnb

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guests throughout the years, Moreland thought it seemed a little lonely. “We’ve hosted so many people there, and they have all said how relaxing and enjoyable it has been, and they urged us to put it on AirBnB,” she said. “Now that we’re empty nesters, we decided we’d give it a shot.” Moreland is one of more than 1 million individuals worldwide who has decided to get in on the room-sharing web business that has already overtaken the largest hotel companies, according to Business Travel News. According to the InterContinental Hotels group, AirBnB had about 37 million room nights rented in 2014, and reports show that this number is expected to increase by 44 percent in the next year. “I think (AirBnB) has made the lake more accessible,” said Stacey Dickson, president of the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Here in Hall County, we only have about 1,000 traditional hotel lodging rooms, so we are limited on space, especially during peak time in the summer when those hotel rooms fill up very quickly.” The online company has been making business headlines since its launch in August 2008. Its website al36

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lows people to rent residential properties for profit, with a percentage of the cost paid to AirBnB for facilitating the exchange. Yasmine Knighten of Roswell uses the site to rent out her four-bedroom houseboat in Flowery Branch. “(AirBnB) was a great way to get the word out, with (it) having such a big footprint established already,” she said. “It’s an easy way to get to know who you are putting in your investment, and likewise for the guest.” Knighten found that she naturally fit into the AirBnB community. She manages 350 gulf-front properties in Florida, and said it seemed a perfect way to generate revenue when she wasn’t using the boat herself. “(You can) stay where you can see the water from every room, have coffee on one of the many outdoor spaces, catch and cook right on the dock, or just relax on the rooftop hammock and read a book,” she said. “The nature and all that surrounds you has no comparison to the traditional settings of a rental.” Dickson said the CVB has noticed a surge in AirBnB properties largely for exactly that reason: the properties do

differ from the traditional hotel room stay. Hall County AirBnB properties range from cabins to gypsy carts to treehouses. “It’s something unique and quirky,” she said. Moreland agrees her property drastically veers from the traditional hotel stay. In her cozy bungalow, she does everything she can to make the experience personal. “I try to anticipate what will make our guests happy,” she said. That means providing a paddleboat, a fire pit, a fridge stocked with goodies like beer and ice cream bars, and all sorts of bamboo products (from toothbrushes to sheets to kitchen utensils) to pay homage to the bamboo garden on the property. And her guests seem to appreciate these touches, one couple even going so far as to insist on making Sandra and her husband breakfast. “They insisted. They absolutely insisted,” she said. “So they came in and made us this amazing Indian dish. It was wonderful. Truly, we’ve met some great people. Super, super nice people. We’ve had great conversations and met the type of people we’d like to associate with anyway.” While Moreland hadn’t anticipated this chapter in her life, she said that she’s glad she gave it a chance. “We started mid-September and thought, ‘We’ll see how it goes,’” she said. “We’ve been booked every weekend.” HOME Living

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Where mystery meets history: National author comes to Hall for book luncheon as the history center opens its exhibit on historical homes Story by Pamela A. Keene It’s a rare treat when a national author comes to Gainesville on the first day her new book is released. Bestselling novelist Karen White will be the speaker for the Northeast Georgia History Center’s Book Luncheon on January 10. On that day, the latest in her Tradd Street Series of historical mysteries, set in Charleston, goes on sale across the country. North Georgia residents can meet her, purchase a signed copy of “The Guests on South Battery,” have lunch and get the first look at the History Center’s newest exhibit: Historic Homes in Northeast Georgia. The luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. “We are so pleased that author Karen White will debut her newest novel here at the Northeast Georgia History Center,” says Glen Kyle, the museum’s executive director. “She will be our luncheon speaker and mingle with luncheon attendees.” Guests will also have the first glimpse at the History Center’s newest exhibit: Historic Homes in Northeast Georgia, developed to showcase Southern homes in the area. Opening on January 10, the exhibit will continue through March 10 in the rotating exhibit gallery. The exhibit features photographs of significant historic homes and written narratives by people who have either lived in or repeatedly visited these residences. The houses include White Path

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Cabin on the campus of the museum, with insights by Mabeline Weaver, who lived there as a child when the home was still located in Gilmer County; the recently renovated Hardman Farm in Sautee Nacoochee, now listed as a Georgia Historic Site, with comments from Cindy Randolph who spent her summers there; and Dahlonega’s Vickery House on the campus of the University of North Georgia, based on written accounts of the home. “This is an excellent exhibit that showcases some of the finest historic homes in Northeast Georgia,” Kyle says. “We have carefully researched and interviewed people to create these narratives that will be shown next to the photos of the homes. In some cases, we’ve spoken with people who have lived in the homes. In others, we’ve researched back to written records to tell about the homes’ histories.” The luncheon marks the launch of White’s three-week national book tour. “The Guests on South Battery” continues the story of Charleston Realtor Melanie Middleton Trenholm that began with “The House on Tradd Street.” In this fifth book in the series, Melanie has just given birth to twins and she’s reluctantly returning to work. A middle-of-the-night phone call with no one on the other end lures her back. She quickly sells her recently inherited home on South Battery Street, but ghostly spirits from the home begin

haunting her. The search for longburied secrets leads to the unfolding mystery. As the author of 20 novels, White has been listed on the New York Times Best-Seller List. She has twice won the Readers’ Choice award and been nominated for the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance Fiction Book of the Year. White’s Tradd Street novels are set in Charleston. The luncheon will be catered by Green Gables Catering. Tickets, at $35 per person, are available through negahc.org or by calling the Northeast Georgia History Center at 770-297-5900. HOME Living

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Calendar

Ongoing

Northeast Georgia History Center Family Days 1-4 p.m. Second Sunday of each month through December. Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St. NE, Gainesville. Free. 770-297-5900, www. negahc.org. Northeast Georgia History Center Forums 7 p.m. Second Tuesday of each month through December. Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St NE, Gainesville. Theme differs each month. Admission free for members, $3 for nonmembers. 770-297-5900, www.negahc. org. Bowen Center for the Arts 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. New shows monthly. Bowen Center for the Arts, 334 Ga. 9 N, Dawsonville. Free. 706-216-2787, info@dawsonarts.org. Lake Lanier Rowing Club classes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Clarks Bridge Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville. $100. www.lakelanierrowing. org, llrc@mindspring.com, 770-287-0077, 770-540-7144. Toastmasters program, improve communication and leadership skills 6 p.m. Mondays. 611 Spring St., Gainesville. Free. 706-265-6710, 2520. toastmastersclubs.org. Square dance plus classes 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays. Mulberry Creek Community Center, 4491 J.M. Turk Road, Flowery Branch. Free. 12 years old and older. 770-965-7140. American Business Women’s Association 6 p.m. fourth Tuesday each month. Recess Southern Gastro-pub, 118 Bradford St. NE, Gainesville. Dinner, speakers, meeting. 770-654-9277, abwallcc.org.

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Dec. 8, 10, 16, 17, 18, 20 & 21. $8. www. gwinnettEHC.org The Pilot Club 5:45 p.m. every fourth Thursday. Elk’s Club, Dec. 8-11 1547 Riverside Drive, Gainesville. 770“Nutcracker,” Clarkesville. Dec. 8-11. 532-2528, jlc814@yahoo.com. Habersham Community Theater, 1370 Washington St., Clarkesville. 706-768The Georgia Art League 2199. Noon, third Thursday each month. Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. Dec. 9 NE, Gainesville. Georgiaartleague.org. Finding An Angel Holiday Concert, Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, 202 Friday sketch Club Boulevard, Gainesville. 8 p.m. $35-$100. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. first Friday of the Eventbrite.com. month. Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville. $20. Dec. 9 770-536-2575, info@qvac.org, www. Live Windows at Woods, Woods quinlanartscenter.org. Furniture, 1475 Washington St., Clarkesville. 5:30-7:15 p.m. Free. 706-499Joints in Motion class, Braselton. 0466 9:30, 11:30 and 2 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Northeast Georgia Medical Dec. 9-18 Center Braselton, 1400 River Place, Braselton. Free. www.nghs.com/braselton- “T’was The Night Before A Christmas Carol,” Dahlonega. Dec. 9-11, 16-18. The events. Holly Theater, 69 W. Main St., Dahlonega. $12-$19.99. 706-864-3759. www. “Savoring the Square” culinary walking tour, Dahlonega. 19 E. Main St., Dahlonega. hollytheater.com. $45 per person. 706-482-8795. Dec. 9-10 Dahlonegawalkingtours@gmail.com or Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony www.savoringthesquare.com. Orchestra, 8 p.m. Dec. 9, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Healing Strong meetings, Gainesville. 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. $21-70. 6 p.m. First Tuesdays of the month. atlantasymphony.org Natural Juice Cafe, 2480 Limestone Parkway, Gainesville. Free. 404-918-9551. Dec. 9-11 holcomb4@bellsouth.net. Sautee Nacoochee Community Chorale, Sautee Nacoochee Community Association, 283 Highway 255 N, Sautee Nacoochee. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 4 p.m. Dec. 10, 2 p.m. Dec. 11. $12 members, $14 non-members, 16 and younger free. 706 Dec. 7-23 878-3300. ‘A Christmas Carol’ 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 The Shakespeare Company, 499 Peachtree Celtic Woman 7:30 p.m., Atlanta St. NE, Atlanta. $19-$39. 404-874-5299 or Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. www.shakespearetavern.com NE, Atlanta $47.50-$102.50. www. atlantasymphony.org Dec. 7 UNG Wind Ensemble and UNG Dec. 15 Symphonic Band, Gainesville. Dec. 7, Feb. John Berry presents “O’ Holy Night,” 22, April 19. Riverside Military Academy, Gainesville 7 p.m. Riverside Military 2001 Riverside Drive, Gainesville. Free. Academy, 2001 Riverside Drive, www.ung.edu/music. Gainesville. www.johnberry.com/tour.

December

Dec. 8-21 Candlelight Tours of McDaniel Farm, 3251 McDaniel Road, Duluth 7 p.m.

Dec. 15-18 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “The Elves Impersonator” 7:30 p.m. Dec.15-17 HOME Living

In North Georgia


and 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Habersham Community Theater, 1370 Washington St., Clarkesville. $12. 706-839-1315 or www. habershamtheater.org Dec. 16 Christmas with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, Duluth. 7:30 p.m. Infinite Energy Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. $40.50-$151. www.infiniteenergycenter.com Dec. 17-18 Disney Live! Mickey & Minnie’s Doorway to Magic, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 17 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec.18, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. $20 and higher. 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com Dec. 18 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra ‘Messiah’, Ramsey Concert Hall, UGA Performing Arts Center, 230 River Road, Athens. 3 p.m. $31-$72. pac.uga.edu or 706-542-4400 Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Hodgson Concert Hall, UGA Performing Arts Center, 230 River Road, Athens. 7 p.m. pac.uga.edu or 706-542-4400

January

Through Jan. 3 Lanier Islands Magical Lights Tour, 5-10 p.m., Lanier Islands, 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. $45 per car, $36 advance tickets online, www.lanierislands.com Through Jan. 4 Ocean Bound! Exhibit. Environmental and Heritage Center, 2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford. Included in admission. $7$13. gwinnettehc.org Jan. 7 Jordan’s Run for Riverside 5K, 2001 Riverside Drive Gainesville. 9:30 a.m., $20 advance registration, $35 on race day. runsignup.com/jordansrun Through Jan. 8 Lanier Islands Winter Adventure, 11:30 a.m. to close, Lanier Islands, 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. $19.99-$35.99. www.lanierislands.com Jan. 17 “ARTRAGEOUS” 7:30 p.m., Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, 202 Boulevard, Gainesville. $35. 770-534-2787 or www.TheArtsCouncil.net Jan. 24 The Last Waltz: 40th Anniversary Tour, Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 7:30 p.m. $69.50 - $499.50. Ticketmaster.com or 404-733-5000

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home around town NGCF Celebration of Community October 14, 2016

North Georgia Community Foundation’s annual Celebration of Community awards dinner was held at the Gainesville Civic Center. In it, Brett Fowler and Jim Moore were presented annual awards, and former, retiring president Jim Mathis was recognized for his decades of service to the foundation and the entire region. Mathis officially retired from the foundation in December. Philip Wilheit Sr. said he believes Mathis will be best remembered for his legacy at the foundation, which supports several community philanthropy services in and around Hall County.

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Secret Santa Car Show October 29, 2016

Several hundred people attended the Secret Santa Car Show held at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus in Oakwood. Proceeds from the event go toward the Community Care and Share, Inc., Secret Santa Fund, which gives toys, coats, pajamas and other items to children in need at Christmas. Community Care and Share Inc., a certified nonprofit, gets the names of the families from Oakwood elementary schools and through the Oakwood police department. It is the second year the event was held at UNG and the seventh year of the show.

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home around town Medical Center Foundation’s 25th annual Marketplace November 4, 2016

Shoppers from all across the region ventured to Gainesville to search for gifts at the 25th annual Marketplace. Items for sale from more than 86 vendors included home interiors, clothing, gourmet food, jewelry, gardening tools, skin care and antiques. All proceeds went to Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County, which provides education to families on preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids is an initiative within the Medical Center Foundation’s Healthy Journey Campaign.

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home around town 14th annual Futures for Kids Gala November 5, 2016

During the inaugural Novembeer Fest, more than 20 craft brewers showed off their brands to thirsty customers at Tap-It Gainesville Growlers. One of the breweries with a tent was Left Nut Brewing Co., a three-year old company with its roots in Gainesville. The festival benefited Little Heroes of North Georgia Children’s Tumor Foundation and included live music.

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American Legion Post 7 Veterans Day honors November 11, 2016

Eleven gongs sounded at Lakewood Baptist Church to kick off the American Legion Post 7’s program in honor of Veterans Day. Dave Dellinger, a five-time commander of the American Legion, recognized prisoners of war and missing in action veterans, and an empty table was set at the front of the stage to honor them. Judge-elect John Breakfield of the Hall County State Court was also there to honor the veterans and gave a speech. He also recognized the Vietnam War veterans, who organized the event.

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home around town Center Point 11th annual Live Auction November 11, 2016

The Center Point Live Auction was held at the Junior League of Hall County League Lodge on Riverside Drive in Gainesville. It is the first year that Center Point, a local nonprofit agency providing a wide range of support and treatment services for local youth and families, has held the event. Center Point, which has served Hall County for five decades from its Gainesville location, is expanding to South Hall with an office on Atlanta Highway in Oakwood to serve the rapidly growing area. Doug Carter served as auctioneer and items up for bid included trips to Tuscany, Broadway tickets to “Hamilton” and Master’s tickets for the final two days, including housing and transportation to and from the event.

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My Sister’s Place annual dinner-dance fundraiser October 13, 2016

Banks Burgess and Paul Shane performed a fundraising concert for My Sister’s Place at Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. The evening began with dinner followed by a live auction and culminated in dancing to the band Banks and Shane. My Sister’s Place provides a nurturing home, transportation assistance, nutritious meals and other basic necessities to single women and mothers with children. The organization offers life skills workshops, case management, counseling and tools.

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home around town 69th annual Members’ Exhibition October 20, 2016

The Quinlan Visual Arts Center hosted its annual Members’ Exhibition kicking off the activities with an opening reception at the center. The exhibition was open to all current members of the Quinlan and consisted of a variety of artwork. Angela Nichols judged the exhibit and bestowed awards at the opening reception. Nichols is the director of exhibitions and programming at The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth. Honors given were for best in show; first, second and third places; and honorable mentions.

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Home Living in North Georgia  

December 2016

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