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HOME Living in North Georgia

December | 2017

Fresh starts:

New year, new looks, and even new habits

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December 2017 Getting a jump on the new year Money makeover

6 Experts offer tips on how to get your finances in order, and when to adjust your financial goals.

8 Get ready for the new year by taking stock of your current wardrobe and tossing out the untrendy clutter.

12 Chiropractors give

advice on standing desks and better ways to sit.


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Change of scenery 24 Freshen up the look

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Think healthy

32 Registered dietician

Amy Roark helps us get a jump on a healthier new year.

28 Organize your life to start the new year off right.

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Little Big Town’s Kim Schlapman

Cornelia’s country star shares her new cookbook and fondest memories

Education issue: Learning for a lifetime

School leaders discuss classroom goals

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Pantone’s color of the year for 2018 is Oceanside, seen here on the walls and accents. AHT Interiors tells us what’s trending for the coming year in home decor and furniture. PAGE 16 Photo courtesy AHT Interiors

4 | HOME | December 2017

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Financial adviser recommends making a plan and sticking to it Story by Pamela A. Keene | Photo by Scott Rogers Most people would say they never have enough money, and very few people can say they are truly debt-free. However, you can take steps to make the most of what you do have and to whittle down your debt for the new year. Whether you’re paying down debt, saving for a major purchase or investing in retirement, a long-time financial adviser in Gainesville says it’s best to make sure you have a plan and that you refer to it regularly. “Make sure you have a goal, a game plan for your finances,” says Beth Baldwin, financial adviser with the Gainesville office of investment firm Edward Jones. “And once you have that plan be sure to do periodic check-ins to assess where you are and readdress any necessary changes.” One of the best places to begin an assessment of your financial position is to check your credit report with the three credit-reporting services: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. All three have credit reports and in Georgia, consumers can get a free credit report from each service once a year. Just log in to the respective services and request the report. Consumer expert Clark Howard suggests getting individual reports 6 | HOME | December 2017

from each about every four months. That way they will all be free, and you’ll be able to review your credit more frequently at no additional cost. “By checking your credit reports, you can make sure there’s no fraudulent activity on your credit report, no unauthorized credit cards, loans or accounts,” Baldwin said. “You will also get a good picture of your finances as well as your credit score, which can have far-reaching effects on your ability to obtain additional credit, loans or mortgages.” She says that the next steps are dependent on your age, your game plan and your goals. “If you have a large amount of credit card debt, it’s wise to begin paying down the balance with the highest interest rate first, more than the minimum payment, all the while making the minimum payments on all other credit card balances,” she said. “Once the highest-interestrate card has a zero balance, pay off the card with the next-highest interest rate and so forth.” Of course, having a monthly budget for your day-to-day living expenses, such as mortgage or rent costs, utilities, insurance, food and entertainment, and an amount designed for paying off revolving debt

“... you need to look at your goals, budget and game plan at least annually because circumstances change over time.” can help you keep on task with managing your money. Check online for free budget worksheets that can help guide you in establishing a realistic budget. The worksheets have prompts to help you include expenses that you may not think about. “We talk about the four uses of cash: unexpected or emergency expenses, specific short-term savings goals, everyday spending and looking at your sources of income and investment spending,” Baldwin said. “Have at least six months of cash available to deal with emergencies, and if you don’t, start regularly saving at least $20 a week or as much as you can monthly to reach this goal. At least do something and stick with it.” She advises that individuals have separate savings and checking accounts, using the checking account for day-to-day expenses and designating the savings account as a cash reserve. “The adage ‘pay yourself first’ is good advice, unless you’re getting control of debt. Have a set amount deducted from your checking

account, or your paycheck, at least monthly to deposit in your savings account,” she said. “That way it’s automatic. And by the way, automating payment of loans or regular bills can also be beneficial.” Baldwin warns that perhaps the biggest stumbling block to managing money is impulse spending. “I have a good rule of thumb: if you don’t have the cash in your pocket to pay for the purchase, you probably don’t need to buy the item,” she said. She also said planning for retirement at any age is important; the earlier you begin saving and/or investing, the more chance you have of building a bigger nest egg. “If your employer offers a match for a retirement account, save the maximum amount that qualifies for the match,” she said. “If you have a retirement account, review it and consider building or rebuilding it; if you don’t have one, start one.” Now is a great time to be investing, Baldwin said, with a caveat. “We’re expecting a major correction; we haven’t had one since 2008-’09, so be prepared for a correction,” she said. Life changes, such as a marriage, birth or adoption of a child, divorce or a death are crucial times to re-evaluate your financial situation. “You may need to adjust your goals,” she said. “And you need to look at your goals, budget and game plan at least annually because circumstances change over time. And because of this, you need to review and update your financial strategies regularly.”

Beth Baldwin, financial adviser with the Gainesville office of investment firm Edward Jones, advises everyone to have a financial plan.

December 2017 | HOME | 7

Ridding your closet of yesterday’s looks New year’s clothing purge can declutter and help you freshen up your wardrobe Story by Andrea Corona | Photos by David Barnes


s the end of the year rolls around, now is a better time than any to get rid of all the unnecessary clothes in your closet that have been taking up too much space.

Let’s face it, ladies, we always make our new year resolutions something huge and unnecessary but this year, we can keep it simple and easy. Let’s start the new year with a new wardrobe. By new wardrobe, it doesn’t mean go on a shopping spree. But perhaps if a piece of clothing has been in your closet for years but

has yet to see the sunlight, it’s time to toss it out. “A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t worn it in the past six months, you’re not going to wear it,” said Tatiana Ayala, Belk sales team manager. Going by this rule would make this process so much quicker and easier. But the A rack of the latest arrivals at Dress Up in downtown Gainesville.

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more frequently you do this, the easier it will become. First be attentive to the top five must-get-rid-of items. Now we all know that clothes can have a sentimental meaning behind each piece, but are we ever going to wear our prom dress again? And what about those high school T-shirts we still have that are outworn? Those are a must-go as well. What about that black necklace that started off being a silver necklace? As Dress Up team manager Savannah Williams said, “jewelry goes out of trend quicker than clothes, not many people realize this.” If the color of the jewelry is no longer the color it started out as, it's time toss it out. If a piece of clothing hasn’t fit you in the past five years and everytime you try it on, all it does is bring your spirit down: toss it out. And ladies, there are shoes that finalize our outfits but if it feels like we’re walking on concrete, it’s also time to toss them out. Looking trendy and in style is what makes us happy and a little more confident about ourselves, but how much money are we really wanting to spend just to look trendy? “If it’s trendy, don’t waste so much money on a piece of clothing,” Ayala said. “Trends only last so long.” She said it’s better to invest in neutral-colored clothes that cost more but will last longer. Some good investments would be neutral-

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Top: Tiffany Sweatt, a part-time associate at Dress Up, helps a customer. Above: The latest footwear sits on a shelf at Dress Up. Opposite page: A rack of earrings and necklaces. Accessories tend to go out of fashion faster than clothing.

colored tank tops, a black vest, some blouses and a good pair of sneakers. If we’re ever thinking of keeping trendy clothes past their trend in hope that it’ll make a comeback, you better be ready to hold onto those pieces for years. “Trends sometimes come back,” Plato's Closet manager Jessica McClury said. “However, they usually take around 10 years to make

a comeback so I definitely don’t recommend it.” For the clothes we do keep, maintaining them properly is important. And that means not tossing them into the wash too often. “A good way to keep our clothes in good shape is by not washing it every time you wear it,” said Lorry Schrage, owner of Saul’s on the downtown square in Gainesville. Washing your clothes too frequently can wear them out, he said, adding that clothes last longer if you hang them right after they're dried. If you’re not really wanting to give something away but you know you’re not going to wear it because there’s a hole in it you can patch or sew up, take it to a seamstress. McClury said that Plato’s Closet tries to take in as many clothes as possible, but there are certain items they’ll turn down. “If we see that a piece of clothing has been worn out, we usually won’t accept them. We also won’t accept clothes that aren’t trendy anymore,” McClury said. If that’s the case, another destination for used clothing is Goodwill.

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To sit or stand? 12 | HOME | December 2017

Better posture at work can ease stress Story by Amber Tyner Employees who work in an office know all too well how much time they spend sitting in front of a computer screen throughout the day. The majority of their eight-hour workday passes as they sit in a chair with little movement other than their fingers across a keyboard. But sitting for so long, especially with bad posture, can have negative effects on your health. Dr. Walter Piekarczyk, chiropractor at Chiropractic Family Center in Gainesville, said that proper work posture is critical. “Poor posture causes misalignment of the spine and fatigue in the muscles and increases stress on the spine,” he said. “People go home at the end of their day and they’re just totally wiped out as a result. Poor posture long term can definitely lead to poor health.”

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“When people have the stand-up desks, they’re up at a point where their computer is a little bit higher and their keyboard is at a good level. It keeps them from slouching.” Piekarczyk offered advice to help avoid this. “I’m a big fan of the standing desks,” he said. “One of the big things with the sitting posture is that most of our computer monitors are too low or people are working off a laptop that is sitting on a desk so they end up hunching forward and end up having neck pain and lower back pain.”


A standing desk could solve that problem. “When people have the stand-up desks, they’re up at a point where their computer is a little bit higher and their keyboard is at a good level,” he said. “It keeps them from slouching.” Another trend to try is a yoga ball. “We have some people (who) have used the fit ball, the Swiss ball,” he said. “And that’s a good way for them to sit because you have to sit up straight for the most part. And also every time they try to move, the ball will shift and of course that causes the muscles to have to contract and fire, which helps to build core stabilization.” But if you can’t convert your worktable to a standing desk or bring a big yoga ball to the office, Piekarczyk said there are some things you can do to better your posture while sitting in a chair. “One of the big things of course is to make sure (your) workstation is set up comfortably so that you are in a neutral posture,” he said. He also recommended getting a lumbar cushion. “A tip that we give a lot of our members who sit at a desk is to have a lumbar cushion behind their back that puts pressure into the lower back,” he said. “It reminds them to make sure they’re sitting up straight.” And even though you’re at work, try to be a little active. “Get up and walk around at regular intervals (and) stretch,” Piekarczyk said. “Don’t sit for hours and hours without moving.”

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Tracking trends What’s new in home decor for 2018

During the week of Oct. 13-17, interior designers and aficionados from around the globe converged upon the High Point International Home Furnishings Market to see all the new product offerings from thousands of different manufacturers. Having recently returned from our annual trip to this show, I’d like to share with you what we viewed as the top trends within the interior design industry: By Allison Havill Todd, AHT Interiors

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1. 2018 Pantone Color of the Year: Oceanside. This beautiful Caribbean style of blue is being widely used in wall colors, accessories, bedding and furnishings. This color is used in the striking backdrop of a room setting in the Ambella Home showroom (cover), a bedding collection from Eastern Accents and accessories from Global Views. 2. Succulents. While I love using live greenery throughout the home, many of us are not blessed with a green thumb or don’t have adequate natural light in an area for live greenery to flourish. Amongst many different vendors offering “permanent” greenery options, succulents were most prevalent. These pieces can be strategically placed in bookcases, on side tables and many other areas of the home to add a breath of freshness to a room. 3. Mixing of Metals. This is not a trend new to this market, but it continues to be a strong influence Photos courtesy AHT Interiors in many showrooms and room settings. The old adage of all metals being the same finish throughout the home has been thrown out the window! Pewters and aged golds cohabit nicely with champagne and bronze finishes. Even bathrooms are mixing the use of different finishes for light fixtures and cabinetry hardware. 4. Bright Colors and Prints. (opposite page) We started seeing the trend toward a more colorful palette at last year’s market, and it continues to be a strong influence in the season’s latest fabric and upholstered furniture offerings. While gray remains the neutral of choice, it is quite refreshing to see the use of color again! Ambella Home provided some particular bold and colorful prints in their showroom. 5. Unfinished Furniture. (above) OK, I am not a fan of this look but wanted to share a few ideas of pieces we saw in many different showrooms of this style. From sofas to dining or accent chairs, this partially finished look adds a certain “rustic” feel to a room.

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6. Blush Pink and Orchid. These have both been named The Color of The Year in recent years, and they continue to be used successfully as accent pieces in a room to give a softer more feminine look. A blush pink lingerie chest from Currey and Company would work nicely in a bedroom to break up a collection of darker wood pieces. Bedding ensembles from Eastern Accents and accent pillows in the Bernhardt showroom (page 16-17) provide great examples of the use of orchid colors being used in combination with other neutral shades of gray, cream or beige. 7. Blending Old with New. We have been successfully incorporating older, more traditional pieces with the introduction of newer, more transitional or contemporary pieces in our clients’ home for years. It was interesting to see this emerging as a very strong trend at this year’s market. An example would be to add a pair of host/hostess chairs in an upholstered fabric to give a fresh look to an old dining room ensemble. Another idea is to replace outdated lamps with some cleaner more contemporary styles or adding a piece of abstract artwork to your existing interior. While I always enjoy sharing the latest and greatest from the interior design and home furnishings industries, it is important to remember that not all trends work for everyone. I have always felt strongly about helping our clients create timeless and lasting interiors for their homes that they will enjoy for years to come. If you struggle with how to update your home, office or vacation retreat, give us a call. We would enjoy helping you create a place where you love to live! Allison Havill Todd, AHT Interiors 770-887-7612,,


in motion’ Step right up to a healthier, stronger you with Tai Chi Story by Pamela A. Keene | Photos by David Barnes

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The slow and graceful movements of Tai Chi can be deceiving. They can pack a punch for building body core stability and strength and many people swear by the benefits for people with aching and sore joints. “Doing Tai Chi can improve your fitness, balance and ability to relax,” says Megan Poole, wellness coach at the J. A. Walters Family Branch YMCA. “It’s not very hard to catch on to the movements and you can go at your own pace. It’s great for all ages and fitness levels.” Imogene Palmer teaches Tai Chi at the YMCA. “People call Tai Chi ‘meditation in motion,’ but it’s so much more than that,” she said. “It’s based on the ancient Chinese understanding of nature and it’s one of most effective and prominent methods of Chinese Martial art, but it’s soft and focused, not abrupt and quick.”

Donnie Haynes concentrates while participating in a Tai Chi for arthritis class at the J. A. Walters Family YMCA. A positive message is written on the mirror of a workout studio. Instructor Imogene Palmer practices hand movements with Carol Woodall during a Tai Chi.

December 2017 | HOME | 21

Top: Instructor Imogene Palmer leads a Tai Chi for arthritis class at the J. A. Walters Family YMCA. Above: Attendees perform the movements of Tai Chi. Opposite page: Carol Woodall concentrates while participating in a Tai Chi for arthritis class.

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Tai Chi uses your internal strength, controlled movement and breathing to work out the whole body. “It works the deep core muscles, the internal organs and the mind by doing slow repetitive movements in a fluid way at a relaxed tempo,” Palmer said. “It can increase flexibility, reduce stress, create better balance and have positive effects on the joints.” Most of the people Palmer teaches are aged 50 and older, but she says that people of any age can benefit from regular classes and at-home practice. “It’s so much more gentle on the body than traditional exercise, and the level of exertion can be adjusted to suit the individual. Plus you do Tai Chi standing up or even seated in a chair, so there’s no getting down and getting up,” she said. Participants need no special equipment or clothing; just wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and comfortable shoes. Most classes last 60 minutes including a programmed warm-up and cool-down. There are many types of Tai Chi, each with formalized and specific movements and patterns.

Learning Tai Chi forms, the postures or positions, is progressive. One of the most popular styles, and one of the most modern, is called Sun. Developed in the early 1900s in China, it combines several other Tai Chi styles. “In many ways, Tai Chi is about depth and resistance,” Palmer said. “Once people learn the moves, then they can use more resistance to increase the intensity. And, of course, breathing is an important part of Tai Chi; breathing deliberately and deeply can aid in focus and the ability to relax.” Tai Chi Classes at the YMCA will resume in mid-January as a six-week program offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “The class will start with the most basic moves and then work through the sessions by adding more challenging movements and forms,” said Jennifer Vandiver, personal trainer, wellness coach, instructor and active older adult coordinator. “Come out and give it a try. You’ll be surprised how much fun it is.” For information or to register, visit www. or call 770-2979622.

“Once people learn the moves, then they can use more resistance to increase the intensity.”

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Color your world Freshen up a blah room Story by JK Devine Beige. That was the color of the walls of my first apartment in May 2000. The color made me feel drabby. But I was renting, so I was not allowed to paint. My next apartment had mostly white walls. My landlady was kind enough to let me paint, but she wanted to approve the paint first. I didn't mind. She was nice and I only wanted to paint the two bedrooms. In my third home, I rented a three-bedroom, single-story house in a residential area with a big backyard. I loved it, except for the walls. Can you guess the color? Beige. And the carpet? Beige. Could I paint it? No. I was a renter.

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So when I finally bought my first home in 2010, I was looking forward to turning my white, vaulted walls into a serene color of my own choosing. But when you are faced with so much freedom, it is really hard to select colors. Luckily, plenty of websites and even people are willing to help. For example, the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) network ( and HGTV network ( have advice for picking the perfect color. The paint retail store, Sherwin-Williams also has handy tips online for selecting colors. Plus, the store clerks and most home improvement stores can help you match any color from almost any item in your home.

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But the best advice I heard was from a Sherwin-Williams sales clerk, which has been reiterated by paint professionals at local home improvement stores. Start with colors you like. Select colors that will complement each other. n Colors should make your favorites pieces, such as a bed, couch or table, stand out or "pop." n Pick the right finish for the right room. For example, I decided to paint my kitchen yellow. It is a cheery color and would make my grandmother's red formica table stand out. Once I had that color, I knew green would be ideal for my living room adjacent. Green is a neutral and complemented the yellow. The muted color also made my cranberry color couch and loveseat stand out as the centerpiece of the room. Finally, the walls by the big bay windows and the entryway would be a chocolate brown. The dark color made the whitetrimmed windows appear like picture frames of my backyard. And the dark color of the entryway would make the white tile and door standout. So my colors were selected. Now it was time to paint. I started with the kitchen for three reasons: n It was the smallest area to paint with only three walls. n It only had one window that I would have to paint around. n I could tarp the floor easily, but if paint got through, cleaning up tile would be easy. Before painting you want to do a couple of things. First, have all of the tools. You need a paint brush for the small spaces, a roller brush for large surfaces, a tray for the paint, a drop cloth for the floor — trust me no matter how careful you are drips and splashes happen – and a damp cloth to clean up any spills quickly and easily. Trust me, having the tools at hand before starting is much better than rushing back to the store to buy them in the middle of the job. Second, prep the wall by doing the following: n Wipe down the wall with a damp sponge. This way you don't paint dust into the wall or even cobwebs that you find in the corners. This also helps you identify any holes in the wall from hanging pictures or errant nails. n Remove any nails or screws and patch them with spackle. You can wait for the spackle to dry and sand it down or wipe it smoothly with a wet sponge. n Use tape on any trim or edges such as the baseboard or window frames that you don't want painted. This will save time and create nice lines. n n

26 | HOME | December 2017

Finally, you are ready to paint. Consumer Reports offers these tips when painting. Pour a thick film of paint into the sloped section of the tray until the reservoir is filled about halfway; disposable liners will save time with clean up. A plastic paint pourer, which costs a few bucks at hardware stores and home centers, will help prevents spills. Cutting, sometimes called trimming in, is when you paint a couple-inch-wide strip around any borders of a wall where the paint roller can’t easily reach. Once the entire room is cut in, switch to the roller to fill in the large fields. Use short-nap rollers (1/4-inch deep) for most interior projects, since they tend to result in less splatter while still rolling on a smooth, thick coat. Follow the four S’s. Saturate: Load the roller by passing it through the paint several times to force in the paint. Then do a few lighter passes until the paint is just about dripping from the roller. Smear: In a 2x2-foot section, smear the paint in an X, V, or Z pattern. Spread: Spread the paint to cover the 2x2-foot section. It doesn’t matter which way you roll because you’re going to smooth it over. Smooth: Do a series of single roller passes from top to bottom to smooth it out. Repeat this process in 2x2-foot sections until the room is finished Once you are done painting, give the paint about 10-20 minutes to dry before removing the tape. This will create a nice edge. If you wait too long to remove the tape, it will peel off some of the paint. I can verify that. Two spots near my windows and baseboards had to be patched because I waited too long to remove the tape. Now sit back and watch your paint dry, and enjoy your new color. If you don't like it, then you can always repaint it.


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Getting the house in order

Starting 2018 with a clean slate: Tackle clutter for a fresh beginning

28 | HOME | December 2017

Story by Pamela A. Keene Photos courtesy All Things in Order Do you dread opening that closet or going into your garage because it’s a cluttered mess? How often do you struggle to find that “I-know-I-putthat-thing-somewhere” item you just saw yesterday? It’s kind of a joke that if you’ve misplaced something, you’ll find in the last place you look. It can be frustrating, but don’t despair; you probably just need a little help. “The key to effective organization is to consider your lifestyle,” says Angelina Manolakis, owner of All Things in Order, a personal organizing service based in Gainesville. “You need to think about the way you live and adapt organizational methods accordingly.”

For instance, the old school approach of always having a clean desk at the end of the day or lining up all the cans in your pantry with the labels facing the same way may not work for everyone. “You can’t just go into someone’s life and decide to change it based on rules,” she says. “That’s a recipe for disaster.” Manolakis meets with clients to discuss organizational goals and find out what’s important to them, how much space they have and to learn about their lifestyle. Does the client like to accumulate “things,” such as multiple kitchen tools that all perform similar tasks? Is the client a visual organizer who would benefit from grouping items together and storing them in clear bins, or someone who does better with labels and colors? “Most people don’t like to get rid of things, but they’re open to reorganizing them,” Manolakis said. “For instance, when you tackle a kitchen and begin to group like items together, you may find that you’ve got

four different tools that basically do the same thing. Or maybe you have kitchen tools that you just don’t use anymore, or that might be broken. Perhaps it’s time to donate a couple of them or simply discard them. That way, you’re

freeing up space and eliminating clutter.” Even with today’s electronic readers, books and magazines can seemingly multiply overnight for a family that likes to read. Think about donating already-read books to a

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“When everything has its place and is put back every time it’s used, you’ll save so much time and frustration. library, school or used book store. Closets and garages are major concerns for many of Manolakis’ clients. “If people are living in older homes, closet space may be at a premium, but think about organizing up by using stackable containers on the top shelf that are clearly labeled. This is especially good for items that are not frequently used,” she said. Garages can be a catch-all for everything from old clothes and gardening tools to sports equipment and overflow storage. “Sometimes it can be overwhelming to take on a complete overhaul of your garage, but if you start with just one area, you’ll soon see progress. It doesn’t have to be completed in one session,” she said. Manolakis suggests working with three bins, boxes or big bags to help with sorting; label them “Keep,” “Donate” and “Trash.” You may also add a fourth container marked “Yard Sale,” if you are so inclined.

Organizing tips No matter what your style, here’s a compilation of tips for organizing and decluttering: n Start small, either one closet or room or one area of a larger space. Stick with it until you’re finished, even if it takes two or three different sessions. n Sort items into three or four groups: Keep, Donate, Trash and Garage Sale. n Handle each item only once. 30 | HOME | December 2017

n Kitchen storage plasticware; match up lids and bottoms and discard any that don’t have a match. n Use laundry baskets or plastic storage bins to group like items together. n Keep frequently used items close at hand and store those used less often or considering donating or getting rid of them. n If you’re organizing at the end of the year, keep a record of any items that you donate. The donation may be tax-deductible.

“Handle each item only once and stick with your decision,” she said. “And promise yourself that you won’t go back and change your mind. It may take a little longer to decide in the first place, but remember that decluttering and getting organized is a process.” Organizing doesn’t need to be an expensive investment. “Find stackable storage bins at big-box retailers or dollar stores, and make your own labels rather than purchasing a costly labelmaking machine. Use colored paper and large markers and attach the labels with clear packing tape,” she said. “Pinterest and other

online sites have plenty of innovative and fun ideas that don’t cost a lot of money.” Manolakis encourages her clients to embrace their personal style and be flexible. “There’s no one right way to organize,” she said. “No matter what your style, you can make the most of your space, eliminate clutter and feel like you’ve tackled a major lifestyle obstacle when you take time to organize.

“When everything has its place and is put back every time it’s used, you’ll save so much time and frustration. And you’ll really feel better that you’ve gotten yourself organized.”


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32 | HOME | December 2017

A more

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Eat right and feel right By Pamela A. Keene The new year is a time for resolutions. The new year will be here soon and it’s a great benchmark date to turn over a new leaf for all kinds of things — dieting, beginning a workout routine, calling your friends more often, getting together with family more frequently, and making major life changes. But what’s in a number? December 2017 | HOME | 33

Amy Roark, registered dietitian with Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic, meets with a client in her office to create a game plan for healthy weight control.

“You can get a head start on improving your health and eating habits today,” said Amy Roark, registered dietitian with Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic. “There’s no time like the present, and if you can maintain your current weight during the holidays, you’re way ahead on a healthy new-year weight-loss program.” The first step toward improving your eating habits is to start keeping track of what you eat. “Track what you eat – all your meals and snacks – and you’ll start being more mindful of exactly what your eating patterns are,” she said. “Tracking can give you a realistic picture of how much and what kinds of foods you’re eating. “Yes, it will be hard during the holidays, especially because there are so many special occasions for indulging, but if you’re committed to doing your best to track what you eat, you’ll be more aware,” she said. “That sets a good pattern for adjusting your diet after the first of the year. And you can see where things are creeping into your food intake.” People who eat a healthy diet enjoy a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. 34 | HOME | December 2017

“Your body needs a variety of nutrients to work effectively and efficiently,” Roark said. “It can’t run on one or two types of fuel.” She says that fats turn into fatty acids to maintain the health of cell walls. Proteins, which create enzymes vital to the body, are life’s building blocks. Carbohydrates are the body’s quickest and most easily used form of energy. Fad diets that restrict certain food groups or nutrients typically aren’t successful in the long term. “One of the best ways to manage your weight is to count calories,” Roark said. “And today there are so many easy ways to keep track, with phone apps such as Calorie King or My Fitness Pal, especially if you get in the habit of tracking after every meal and snack.” In general terms according to www., the average woman needs to consume around 2,000 calories a day to maintain her weight; an average man needs approximately 2,500 calories. On average, reducing daily caloric intake by 500 calories can result in a weight-loss of 1 pound per week. “Slow and steady weight loss is the best

approach, and if you cut your caloric intake too severely, you run the risk of slowing down your metabolism,” Roark said. “For the best results, calculate your caloric intake for your current weight based on your age and activity level, then reduce it by 500 calories per day. Be sure that you’re eating a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and fats and that you’re making healthier choices to include fresh fruits and vegetables, plus foods high in fiber.” Roark also suggests that keeping adequately hydrated will offset hunger pangs. “Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you may really just be thirsty,” she said. “Drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. Many times the hungry feeling will pass.” Drinking water will also improve your overall health. Most experts recommend a minimum of 64 ounces each day. If you’re also exercising, you may need more. Planning ahead for special occasions or meals out is a smart approach. Most of the popular restaurants offer nutritional guidelines on their websites. Before you go, look at menus and make your selections, going for healthy choices.

“When you have a more balanced diet with three meals and occasional healthy snacks, you’ll feel satisfied longer,” Roark said. “You’ll also be getting the vital vitamins and minerals your body needs. Give yourself a gift during the holidays and resolve to have a more healthy diet.”

A new you through healthy eating

Here are some quick tips for maintaining your weight during the holidays and for setting a path for weight-loss and healthy-eating success in the new year: n Check with your physician before beginning any exercise and/or weight-loss program. n Write down or use an app to track everything you eat. n Calculate your ideal intake of calories at your current weight and reduce your daily amount by 500 calories to safely lose a pound a week. n Eat all of your meals seated at the kitchen or dining room table; take time to mindfully enjoy your meal. n If you’re going to a party or special event, plan ahead, perhaps by having a healthy snack before that will also help reduce the temptation to overeat at the event. n Choose to drink water instead of calorie-rich beverages. n Slowly add more activity into your daily routine by parking your car farther from the front door of your destination, or taking short walks periodically throughout the day. n Lighten up and allow yourself some treats, but eat these in moderation.

Using a simple scale will give you an accurate measurement of food intake, which is key to weight loss and maintaining weight loss.

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December Through Jan. 3 25th Anniversary of Magical Nights of Lights. Lanier Islands 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. $35 per vehicle when purchased in advance online or $45 per vehicle at the gate. www. Dec. 1 Lessons and Carols. Presented by Piedmont Chorale. 7:30-9 p.m. Piedmont College Chapel, 992 Central Ave., Demorest. 706-7783000, Free. Dec. 2 Clermont Christmas Town & Country Tour.Tour of homes,

businesses and historic sites. 5-9 p.m. Clermont Chattahoochee Center, 639 Main St., Clermont. 678-677-6491, kristicrumpton@ $15-24.

3000, Free. Michelle Malone. 8-10 p.m. The Crimson Moon, 24 N. Park St., Dahlonega. 706-864-3982, crimsonmoonpublicist@gmail. com. $25-30.

Flowery Branch Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting. Ceremony and 5K jingle jog. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Main Street Flowery Branch, 5517 Main St., Flowery Branch. 770-967-2934, Free.

Toys for Tots at Left Nut Brewing. 1-8 p.m. Left Nut Brewing, 2100 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville. Free.

Holiday Children’s Performance. 11 a.m. to noon. Atlanta Botanical Garden — Gainesville, 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville. 404888-4763, wcannon@atlantabg. org. Lessons and Carols. Presented by Piedmont Chorale. 7:30-9 p.m. Piedmont College Chapel, 992 Central Ave., Demorest. 706-778-

Dec. 3 Christmas on Green Street. 4:307 p.m. Green Street, Gainesville. North Georgia Chamber Symphony holiday concert. 4-5:30 p.m. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1397 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville. 706-867-9444, Free.

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Pick & Bow raffle kickoff benefit concert. 7-9 p.m.The Crimson Moon, 24 N. Park St., Dahlonega. 706-864-3982, crimsonmoonpublicist@gmail. com. $20-25. Dec. 4 A Little Night(hawk) Music concert series. Featuring University of North Georgia’s professors Bart Walters and David Peoples. 7:30-9 p.m. UNG, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood. 678-717-3930, connie.esford@ Free. Dec. 5 Snowy Crystal Morning. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville. 770-536-2575, paula.lindner@ Dec. 6 Alcohol Inks with Joan Darflinger. 9-11:30 a.m. Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville. 770-536-2575, paula. Dec. 7 A Russian Christmas. 7:30-9 p.m. University of North Georgia, Gloria Shott Performance Hall, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega. 706-864-1423, Free. Dec. 9 Breakfast with St. Nick. 9-11 a.m. Atlanta Botanical Garden — Gainesville, 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville. 404-888-4763, $10-17. Community Christmas Dinner. Noon to 3 p.m. Mount Zion Baptist Church, 4000 Thurmond Tanner Road, Flowery Branch. 770-967-3722, pastor@ Free. Holiday Card Workshop. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hall County Library System, Gainesville Branch, 127 Main St. NW, Gainesville. 77038 | HOME | December 2017

532-3311, ext. 114, gkoecher@ Free. Holiday Choral Festival. Presented by University of North Georgia choirs. 3:30-5 p.m. and 7:30-9 p.m. Grace Episcopal Church, 422 Brenau Ave. NE, Gainesville. 678-717-3930, connie. Free. “The Wedding Singer” musical. 7-9:30 p.m. Johnson High School Performing Arts Center, 3305 Poplar Springs Road, Gainesville. 770-536-2394, brooke.evans@ $8-10. Dec. 10 Boomers Gone Wild. ‘60s and ‘70s hits by full live band. 7-9 p.m. The Crimson Moon, 24 N. Park St., Dahlonega. 706-864-3982, crimsonmoonpublicist@gmail. com. $9-12. “The Wedding Singer” musical. 3-5 p.m. Johnson High School Performing Arts Center, 3305 Poplar Springs Road, Gainesville. 770-536-2394, brooke.evans@ $8-10. Dec. 11 “The Wedding Singer” musical. 7-9:30 p.m.Johnson High School Performing Arts Center, 3305 Poplar Springs Road, Gainesville. 770-536-2394, brooke.evans@ $8-10.

Park St., Dahlonega. 706-8643982, crimsonmoonpublicist@ $15-18. “Lanier Snow Queen.” Presented by Serenbe Playhouse. 11:30 a.m. Cherokee Bluffs Park, 5867 Blackjack Road, Flowery Branch. $10-15. Wreaths Across America. 2-3 p.m. Alta Vista and Memorial Park Cemeteries, 521 Jones St. and 2030 Memorial Park Drive, Gainesville. 770-532-2325, Free. Dec. 17 The Solstice Sisters holiday show. Folk. 7-9 p.m.The Crimson Moon, 24 N. Park St., Dahlonega. 706-864-3982, crimsonmoonpublicist@gmail. com. $10-12. Dec. 20 Gainesville Newcomers Club. 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chattahoochee Country Club, 3000 Club Drive, Gainesville. 678943-1845, cleaburnlubeck@yahoo. com. $20-30. Dec. 21 Play in the Clay. 4:30-6 p.m. Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville. 770-536-2575, paula.lindner@

Dec. 16 Breakfast with Santa. 9 a.m. to noon. Unicoi State Park & Lodge, 1788 Ga. 356, Helen. alexandra@ $5.

Dec. 22 An Evening With Shawn Mullins. Grammy-nominated Americana. 8-10 p.m.The Crimson Moon, 24 N. Park St., Dahlonega. 706-8643982, crimsonmoonpublicist@ $45-50.

Children’s holiday magic show. Presented by Jeffini The Great. 11 a.m. to noon. Atlanta Botanical Garden — Gainesville, 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville. 404888-4763, wcannon@atlantabg. org.

Dec. 23 An Evening With Shawn Mullins. Grammy-nominated Americana. 8-10 p.m.The Crimson Moon, 24 N. Park St., Dahlonega. 706-8643982, crimsonmoonpublicist@ $45-50.

EG Kight. Southern blues. 8-10 p.m.The Crimson Moon, 24 N.

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Home Living in North Georgia  

December 2017

Home Living in North Georgia  

December 2017