June 2018

New Mayor in Town

Mayor Brumbalow is ready to roll up his sleeves and work to bring more community events and a true city center to Cumming. By Tiffany Norris Photograph by Brandy Craig Photography  New Mayor Troy Brumbalow has an immediate approach-ability that allows you to see one of the reasons why he won the election for the City of Cumming last November. But don’t let the homegrown personality fool you into thinking that he isn’t all business. His enthusiasm and excitement for his plans to create a city center in Cumming is underlined with his confidence and ability too make those plans [...]

Just Grill It!

Easy tips to master to grill. By Tiffany Norris Fire it up and smoke it out. If it makes flames chances are I will figure our a way to cook on it. Whether cooked directly over open flames or indirect heat there is nothing like the charred flavor that only grilling can bring to food. I think at one time or another I’ve looked at most foods and gone, “Can I cook this on the grill?” Most cases I have found that I can depending on the equipment. Somethings work better on a traditional charcoal grill while others do better [...]

Fighting Breast Cancer

Your age, lifestyle and family play role in prevention. By Dr. Kim Lairet and Dr. Ryland Gore, North Atlanta Breast Care There is no magic formula that predicts who will be diagnosed with breast cancer and no one is absolutely not at risk for breast cancer. Breast cancer is typically most treatable whenit is detected at earlier stages, so breast screening is a very important part of a woman’s health care plan. Most people don’t realize that about 80 percent of people diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a relative who had the disease. That is why it’s so [...]

Abba Father

God wants to love us in a way that compels our hearts to stay a little longer, to stay close by. By Kimberly McLeod   I’ve been thinking of my dad a lot lately. I remember he had grease stains in the wrinkles of his fingers from always repairing something in the garage. I remember he smelled of grass and dirt and Sunday morning cologne. He loved plants, music, old movies, nice clothes and especially watches. Life changed as he spent more and more days in the hospital. He traded the grease stains for IVs and nice clothes for hospital [...]

A Second Chance

Cumming Home Ministries faith-based program provides homeless men a clear and narrow path of re-entry into society. By Sonja Bullard   Each June, we take time to celebrate the men we call Dad. Father’s Day greeting cards contain the things we admire most in dads: Strength, stability, and family leadership. Unfortunately, some our local fathers have lost the connection with their families through homelessness. Many of these men struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol. Others have experienced periods of incarceration, job loss and financial difficulties making economic recovery difficult. Surprising to most, Forsyth County has a large population of [...]

May 2018

The Art of Mothering

In finding a quiet place, with a broken spirit and broken legs, breathing a prayer, I found a treasure.  By Kimberly McLeod Mothering has never been easy for me. It has required lots of hard work, and I usually feel like I am failing, but three strong-willed, amazing boys later, here we are. Mothering is a wonderful, challenging blessing in my life. Things are loud and crazy at our house most of the time. Our days consists of dirt, fights, dancing, kisses, prayers and forgiveness. Lots of prayers and forgiveness.  I remember one night we were exploding. The boys were [...]

Where Every Drop Counts

Jalynn Barr’s concept for a coffeehouse centers more around community and giving than just caffeine.  By Tiffany Norris  Five minutes after meeting Jalynn Barr you will notice two things, her exuberance for life and her passion for her new venture. During a 40-day yoga challenge, she kept asking herself one question, “Is there a way I can make a career out of something I love?” Combining her experience in the restaurant industry with her love of coffee, Community Cup was created. But Community Cup is not your run of the mill coffeehouse. You will of course be able to get [...]

May is for Moms

From mother daughter date ideas to kid-free dates nights and ways to help mom unwind, here are ideas to celebrate the moms in your life all month long!  By Sarah Johnson Mother’s Day Weekend May 11 Craft with your mom or surprise her with a string heart at Pinspiration on May 11. The heart string art project is $30 and $10 of the price will be donated to The Place of Forsyth. Be sure to call and make your reservations! 470-253-7251. May 12 Head to Fowler Park for Race Like A Mother & Mini Mother Runner (10 & under) benefiting [...]

Sonos Sound System

Create a series of zones that can play music throughout your house simultaneously with the quality of sound that outplays all of its competition.  By Sonja Bullard  Wireless pairing of sound speakers with portable devices has opened up a new world for music within our homes. Music apps on iPhones and other electronics give homeowners the technology to manage audio and video sound for every occasion. Yet streaming technology has limits such as requiring the phone or tablet to be within the range of the Bluetooth speakers. This stream can lose continuity, often because it is interrupted by incoming texts [...]

Planting in the Spring

Tips and advice to help you get the best results choosing and planting your gardens and flower beds this season.  By Tiffany Norris After experiencing the equivalent of a bi-polar Winter this year, I have the urge to get outside and get my hands in the dirt. Spring has always been one of my favorite times of the year;  .raking, sweeping and power washing all the grime of the cold months away is cathartic and so is watching my plants sprout and grow. Longer days mean most afternoons are going to be spent cutting grass and tending to the new [...]

Organizing Mom Central!

How to make mom happy on Mother’s Day.  By Chip Wade After polling our followers, asking our friends, taking a good hard look at our own house, the over-whelming winner of ‘What area in your house would Mom like organized?’ is the kitchen DROP ZONE!  So, for Mother’s Day this year, let’s spend some time with Mom for Mom! Creating a system to help keep everyone organized is a great project you can do together, plus you score bonus points when Mom’s love language is quality time or acts of service. If your house is anything like ours, the kitchen [...]

April 2018

Low Country Entertaining

It’s time for some outside food and fun!     By Tiffany Norris Okay ladies and gents, the weather is getting warmer and it is time to get outside. What better way to kick off the season than inviting your near and dear over for some outside entertainment in the form of cold drinks and great food! I’m originally from low country South Carolina, a little area outside of Myrtle Beach and if there is one thing I know how to do is entertain with large amounts of seafood. New Year’s brought a round of oyster roasts that I happily attended [...]

411 Community News

Spring Market at Vickery Village April 14, 11-2 Located at The Commons (in between The Phase Shop and Village Italian). Please join us for an afternoon of shopping. We have some amazing vendors such as LuLaRoe, Dotdotsmile, Tupperware, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Terri’s Novel Treats, Lipsense, Arbonne, Designed by LBG, Color by Amber, Rodan and Fields, Vintage by Tos, Monday Hair Care, NuSkin, Color Street Nails, Young Living, Paparazzi, Monarca Leather and B3 Designs. All vendors will have items available to purchase that day. Cash and Credit Cards accepted. For more information email Tricia Meeker atpinkdrinktricia@gmail.com. Ladies Night Out at Vickery [...]

Investment Properties

There’s a lot to consider before you take the plunge. By Chip Wade Are you considering purchasing an investment property? This type of investing can deliver immediate return as well as long-term appreciation. Doyourhomework in terms of conditions of the market and consult an expert! Because this can be a complicated pro-cess, you may want to make sure you have explored all the different possibilities prior to investing. Fluctuation in real estate markets and local economies can impact your return. However, adding real estate into your portfolio can still be a solid investment with the right team of experts on your [...]

Outdoor Adventures

From glamping on Lake Lanier to hiking at Sawnee Mountain, Forsyth County is made for exploring. By Sarah Johnson Spring Break falls the first week of April and we’ve got tons of activities to keep your week – and month – filled with outdoor adventures! From glamping on Lake Lanier to hiking at Sawnee Mountain, Forsyth County is made for exploring. The hiking trails, campsites, bike paths, parks, playgrounds and ideal weather make our town the perfect place for enjoying the outdoors while staying fit. Cumming is also home to a variety of outdoor camps and recreational programs to keep [...]

Next Generation Focus

A nonprofit that is slowly and surely transforming the town by tutoring and mentoring its students, also offers fun summer camps. By Hailey Hudson   Tucked away in a back hallway of Grace Chapel Church of Christ lies an excellent organization that’s undiscovered by most of Cumming: a nonprofit that is slowly and surely transforming the town by tutoring and mentoring its students. Next Generation Focus (NGF) is a local nonprofit organ-ization whose goal is to empower the future generation through education, because every child deserves a chance. NGF serves kids like Laura. Laura is a young Burmese refugee who speaks [...]

Putting On Love

Wearing a tie every day can help you be your best. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher   My dad once time told me to stop wearing ties. It was right after seminary, and I was wearing ties to church. He told me I shouldn't do that, because the world had gone more casual. He is a minister, and like many churches, his had gone to a more casual style than the way many of us grew up. People no longer wear their “Sunday suit” to church anymore. While that is true, and is certainly true of my church where jeans and [...]

March 2018

March Ribbon Cuttings

Kiddie Academy of Cumming is officially open! Located at 450 Brannon Road, Cumming, Georgia 30041. Kiddie Academy is more than a daycare. Stop by and see the standards for safety, education and trust. #supportFOCObusiness www.KiddieAcademy.com

Chip’s Tips: Getting your Garden ready for Spring!

March is here and time to start planning your gardens for the season. By Chip Wade March marks the start of spring, and for me it means that it is time to start thinking of planting season! I always look forward to getting my garden ready each spring season because there is nothing better than sitting outside on the back patio with my family and looking out at the variations of colors and plants, smelling fresh flowers in bloom or serving home-grown vegetables on my dinner table! It can be a lot of work, but it is extremely rewarding. The [...]

2018 Home Decor Trends

  Here we go again, another season another wave of home interior Pinterest favorites. It is easy to get swept away when we are on Pinterest, gobbling up the new trends like a dehydrated man in the desert. This Spring is no exception and I must admit I’m right there with you. The one thing that I have learned through renovating my house is design for what you love and what makes sense for the individual style of your house. Take bits and pieces of this seasons trends to update or refresh the solid foundation of the space you have [...]

Helping Hands

On it’s 80th anniversary, the March of Dimes still leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. By Kim Williamson It didn’t go as planned. Savanna Hejnas had already had one healthy pregnancy and she expected her second to be the same. In February of 2017, she was admitted to Northside Hospital – Forsyth due to preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous complication for both mom and baby. Doctors told the Hejnas family their baby would need to be delivered that day. At 33 weeks, Reid Hejnas was born and whisked away to the newborn intensive care unit where [...]

Hop into March with Easter Festivities

Easter may fall on April Fool’s Day, but we aren’t kidding when we say the month of March is packed with Easter festivities! By Sarah Johnson, 52Forsyth.com Egg Hunts and Blooms Begin the month at the 7th Annual Daffodil Color-fest at Gibbs Garden. From March 1 through April 15, take a beautiful family photo amongst 20 million daffodils in more than 100 varieties. www.gibbsgardens.com Hop on over to Warbington Farms March 24, 25 and 31 for “EGGstravaganza.” Admission is $10 for kids and $5 for adults and includes an egg hunt with prizes, a visit with the Easter Bunny, Poppy [...]

Sunday Dinner: Spring chicken recipes for Easter or Everyday

The tradition of Sunday dinner is one of my favorites. The smell of Mama cooking as we all get ready for church is one of my fondest memories. It was always something roasted, stewed or slow cooked. The perfect Sunday Dinner is cooked in stages as it is assured we would all be rounded up for church. Sides like peas and beans would be cooked and ready to be reheated while rolls were buttered in the pan ready to go into the oven as soon as we hit the door. More often than not the star of the show would [...]

March Announcements

2 Northest Georgia students admitted to the Military Acdemy and Naval Academy Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) congratulates two northeast Georgia students who have been admitted to the United States Military Academy and to the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School. “Emmi Schakat and Jack Haller have made their dedication to service clear, and I’m proud of their commitment to protecting our nation. These students have excelled across the board, and I look forward to seeing their careers unfold at West Point and the Naval Academy Preparatory School,” said Collins. Emmi Schakat, daughter of Mr. William and Mrs. Mary Schakat, will [...]

The 411- March Events

  First Baptist Annual Yard Sale for Missions March 3, 8am to 3pm, 1597 Sawnee Dr, Cumming Furniture, clothes, electronics, toys and much more. Breakfast will be available and a bake sale - sponsored by the Kathy Jolly Women on Mission group. All proceeds benefit missions. Open Studio at Brannon-Heard Every Tuesday through March 27, 10am to 3pm Looking to join a group of artists that meets weekly and have fun? SAA invites you to Open Studio! Let’s face it, not everyone has precious studio space to create, or sometimes you would like to get together with friends who love to create and [...]

Make Summer Unforgettable and Beneficial!

As Spring slowly rolls in, most know that here in Georgia, it won’t be long before the heat waves of Summer will be upon us. That also means that the kids will be out of school soon. Don’t panic Mom and Dad, take a deep breath there are options available to make this Summer not only fun but also educational and easier on you. There are a lot of benefits to keeping kids focused during these days they aren’t in school. It is an opportunity for them to discover a new interest or delve deeper into ones they already have. [...]

February 2018

February Ribbon Cuttings

Congratulations to these New Businesses! Welcome to the Forsyth County Area! Glass Guru of Johns Creek "I am proud to be opening the Glass Guru of Johns Creek providing superior residential and commercial glass services to Alpharetta, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek.  We offer foggy window repair at half the cost of replacement as well as window and door replacement, glass shower enclosures, doggy doors in sliding glass doors, and mirrors."                                                 - Tom Bore, Owner Glass [...]

A closer look with Brasstown Beef at what makes the best tasting beef.

A closer look with Brasstown Beef at what makes the best tasting beef. By Tiffany Norris Friday nights when I was growing up meant “steak nights.” Being lucky enough to have an uncle that raised cattle meant that we always had a steady supply and I must admit that this has made me a little spoiled when it comes to good beef. As any good cook and chef knows, a recipe is only as good as the quality of its ingredients. In the world of beef there is an abundance of types from prime and dry-aged to kobe and grass-fed.  I [...]

411 Community News

Forsyth County Women's Club Thursday, February 15 Polo Golf & Country Club 6300 Polo Club Drive, Cumming 11 am, Cost is $22 Luncheons are on the third Thursday of the month and open to all women of Forsyth and surrounding counties. To make a reservation contact Lynne Nielson at FCWCReservations@gmail.com. Visit our website at www.forsythcountywomensclub.net The Cotillion of Forsyth February 25-March 25 Back for our sixth year in Forsyth County, The Cotillion of South Forsyth is a five week dancing and manners program. We offer social and business instruction in a fun environment! Curriculum includes traditional and modern dances along [...]

Chip’s Tips: The Heart of the Home

If you have that perfect kitchen, consider cooking a special meal instead of dining out. By Chip Wade   The Valentine’s Day markeing is in full swing!  Flowers, gifts, restaurant reservations…the pressure is on! Although it is big business, we do enjoy showing the ones we love how much we care. It is an exciting day, but what about the other 364 days in the year? It is typical that the heart and the love in a home emanate from one place – the kitchen! My best memories growing up, and the ones I make with my family today, center [...]

Not Your Normal Oatmeal

A savory take on a sweet treat. By Tiffany Norris   My Mama always made us grits, but when we would come visit my Nana here in Georgia, she always made us oatmeal. I’m not talking about those instant packets that you buy in a box. She wasn’t known as the best cook, but she did cook a few things very well and that included stove top oatmeal (Oh! And her biscuits, but that’s another story). As her designated kitchen helper I dogged her heals and would run fetch anything she needed. So when she asked me to go grab [...]

The Generation of Pressure Cookers

These new and improved units are electric, programmable and countertop, revolutionizing the way people prepare meals in their kitchens. By Sonja Bullard Download: Pressure Cooker Cheat Sheet A mere mention of the words “pressure cooker” brings back memories of solid steel pots in my mom’s kitchen in the 1970s- a 312-pound contraption topped with a pressure gauge. When .she cooked stew or collard greens on the stove, it rattled loudly, spitting angry hot steam up in the air. Fast forward to 2018, and pressure cookers have returned. These new and improved units are electric, programmable and countertop, revolutionizing the way people [...]

Easy Sweet Treats

By Tiffany Norris It’s Valentine’s Day, and what better time to splurge than now. I like to make tiny bites for my hubby and friends and these two recipes are the easiest and fastest I have in my arsenal. They are even kid friendly if you like to let the little ones help in the kitchen. Easy Peanut Butter Fudge The first time I saw this was in an old church recipe book. It is definitely for those with a sweet tooth and a love of fudge. Smooth, silky, sweet and EASY, you won’t be disappointed.  Ingredients 8 oz. unsalted [...]

Our Favorite Date Ideas

February is a month for making memories with those you love and we rounded up some of our favorite local spots for dates! By Sarah Johnson Romantic Dates For the sweetest date in town, take a candy making class at Behind the Sweets. From making truffles to decorating cupcakes, a variety of interactive classes are offered. Check the website for the schedule. www.behindthesweetsinc.com Dine at Tam’s Backstage, located in the lower level of the historic 1927 Cumming Schoolhouse, and then head upstairs to the Cumming Playhouse to see the show Southern Sirens. This Southern comedy runs Feb. 8-25. www.playhousecumming.com Fondu [...]

SAFT: Supporting Adoption and Foster Families Together

By Kim Williamson In 2017, Forbes magazine ranked Forsyth County the seventh fastest growing county in the nation -- maybe because of excellent schools, affordable housing, prolific greenspace or low property taxes. Regardless, Forsyth County continues to boom. Yet look beneath the surface; things are never as perfect as they seem. Like any community, Forsyth experiences poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, broken families and children “in the system.” While many Forsyth families are living the American Dream, there are approximately 160 foster children – and subsequently, their birth parents and foster families – who need support. Ten years ago, Ashley [...]

Express God’s Love

(Babette's Feast) This year remember all of those small ways that people showed love to you. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher I had a church member, in a small country church, named Helen who made the best Sour Cream Pound Cake. Ask anyone and they’d agree. We would have pot-luck dinners, cake auctions and fundraisers for the local volunteer fire department, and Helen always had the best pound cake. People from all over would ask her how to make it, and she would very willingly give them the recipe. However, as hard and as often as people tried, they [...]

January 2018

Chip’s Tips: Don’t Paint that Wall, Plant it!

  An imaginative way to bring the outside in. By Chip Wade   Happy New Year! I wish you all health and happiness in 2018! January is usually a month when people renew their desire to be healthy and implement new workout programs and change their eating habits. What about a way that can make your home a bit healthier for you and your family? Just about every designer you see on TV talks about ‘bringing the outside in’. They typically focus on nice, big windows that let in all that natural light. I’ve recently noticed a trend in design that is right up my alley because I love taking things [...]

Your Fitness Journey

  Fun runs will lead to a love of fitness and a healthy lifestyle. By Allie Marmion   It started with one. A friend asked you to try it and you caved and said yes. You were shocked when you enjoyed it and did it again. What am I talking about? I’m talking about “fun runs”. The face of fitness is changing as the traditional gym setting had become very intimidating for many. Fun runs have been around for over 5 years. They range from color being sprayed at various stations to bubbles and giant foam slides. Some fun runs [...]

5 Home Detoxifying Plants

  A simple way to create a healthier environment. By Dr. Dale Brown   This day and age regular detoxification has shown to be essential to the overall maintenance and restoration of one’s health. While detoxification of our body from the chemicals and bio-toxins that we are exposed to is more obvious, many overlook one of the easiest and best things we can do to “detoxify” our homes. You probably do not realize that your home may contain 5 times more pollutants and/or toxins than outdoor air (according to the EPA). Our bodies already have a built in system to [...]

Listen to your Body

It’s easy to ignore signs of gynecological (GYN) cancers. By Dr. Guilherme Cantuaria Women do it all: raise children, work, care for elderly parents and family members, run a household — and so much more. But while they’re so busy taking care of everyone else, they’re not always taking care of themselves. That’s why it’s important to listen and be aware of your body, especially when it is telling you something is a little off. Figure out what is normal for you. What is normal for one woman is not always the same as what’s normal for another. Then listen. [...]

Serenity Orthodontics

Dr. Susan Podray-Donovan and her team pride themselves on personalized care. By Kim Williamson   When you think about orthodontics, you probably picture a mouthful of metal, some pain and a high price tag. While that may be the stereotype, Dr. Susan Podray-Donovan and her team are changing the way people think – and smile. A native of Florida, Susan and her husband, Jon (who just happens to be an excellent Practice Manager) came to North Georgia because of the excellent schools and job opportunities. After living near Lake Lanier, they fell in love with Cumming and decided to stay. [...]

Northside Hospital Forsyth

Committed to balancing clinical excellence with compassionate care.   As one of the most respected and trusted health care organizations in the Southeast, Northside Hospital Forsyth is committed to balancing clinical excellence with compassionate care. Northside Hospital Forsyth is continuing to expand its services in 2018. These projects have a common goal of providing the region and the community with greater patient access to quality medical care. Northside Forsyth, a 304-licensed bed hospital, recently added two patient floors to better serve the burgeoning North Georgia corridor. The 77,975-square-foot expansion added a seventh floor to care for patients undergoing cancer treatment [...]


  The change you want because you are convicted of a need in your life or the purpose of your life can start today. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher   I don’t think I have ever kept one of my New Year’s Resolutions. I think it is a wonderful practice; to take the opportunity of a New Year as an opportunity to improve our lives by making a change, I’m just not very good at keeping them. Most of us aren’t. I do not have any scientific evidence for you, just anecdotal evidence, but I know that gyms are at their [...]

December 2017

’Tis the Season

From the best local holiday light shows to the best places for your kids to share their wish list with Santa, we’ve got you covered!   By Sarah Johnson   Holiday Light Shows   Magical Night of Lights   Through Jan. 3, celebrate the 25th anniversary of Magical Night of Lights at Lanier Islands. Sing holiday tunes while driving through 7 miles of scenic roads lined with millions of lights, including a new 65-foot illuminated Christmas tree. After enjoying the lights, come visit with Santa and his elves, roast marshmallows over at the lakeside fire pits and enjoy carnival rides [...]

The Perfect Gift

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” By Reverend Jordan Thrasher I am a person who really enjoys giving gifts. I think I am good at it, particularly if I am close with the person. When it is a gift given out of obligation rather than out of joy, I have a hard time getting excited about that. But, I will work long hours and coordinate many moving parts to give someone the perfect gift. I have found that a good gift does not have to [...]

November 2017

Adventures in Tree Picking

A family holiday tradition that started over 30 years ago gets bigger and better every year. By Lizzy Johnson   Our family holiday tradition started 33 years ago as a day trip to cut down a Christmas tree. The tradition has now grown into a Four day celebration where we try to cram into it as much food, fun and festivities as we can. Initially was a family of five cutting down a tree and bringing it home, evolved to a family of eight going and getting a tree and coming home for a huge chili dinner and Christmas movies. [...]

Meals by Grace

Founded by Suellen and Stephen Daniels, who saw a need in the community for a home delivery food program for children and their families, and made it their mission to ensure that no child goes hungry. By Sarah Johnson In this season of giving, there are several opportunities to get involved with local charitable organizations and help out right in your own back-yard. Best of all, kids can be a part of the experience so you’ll be creating family memories while introducing your kids to the importance of community service and giving back to others. Meals By Grace One amazing [...]

Attitude of Gratitude

Everything can be taken for granted, but by being grateful, we can celebrate with all we have found anew. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher You have probably heard the phrase “attitude of gratitude” at one point or another in your life. When I first heard that as a kid I would run around repeating it over and over. It rhymes and is gen-erally fun to say, and for some reason just stuck in my head as a kid. Even now, when I say it out loud, it still makes me smile. But I’ve found that it is not only a fun [...]

October 2017


Forsyth County Women's Club October 19, 11am Polo Golf & Country Club 6300 Polo Club Drive, Cumming Lunch cost is $22. To make a reservation contact FCWCReservations@gmail.com or visit www.forsythcountywomensclub.net.   Lily’s Run 5K and Family Festival October 8th, 12pm - 4 pm Vickery Village 5920 Post Rd, Cumming Event proceeds will help grant the wishes of 3 children in our community who are struggling with serious illnesses. To register go to active.com and search Lily’s Run.   Fest-of-Ale October every Thursday 5am – 9pm 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta Explore scarecrows under with flashlights, which they [...]

Travel Tips for Leaf Peepers

Georgia State Parks’ “Leaf Watch” Website Tracks Best Fall Color. By Kim Hatcher For many people, the perfect autumn weekend includes cozy campfires and gooey s’mores surrounded by fiery-hued forests. To help leaf peepers plan their fall escapes, Georgia’s state parks will soon launch “Leaf Watch 2017” to track fall color as it moves across the Peach State. Found at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/LeafWatch, the travel planner is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events and hiking safety tips. Shutterbugs are encouraged to share their favorite shots on the Georgia State Parks’ Facebook page and Instagram, tagging #GaLeafWatch [...]

No Boundries

  With help and support from his parents, Asher Nash has become an overnight sensation. By Kim Williamson   The power of social media can be truly amazing. Ask Meagan Nash, a Gwinnett county mom who used Facebook to submit her child’s photos for a casting call. Atlanta-based Carter’s, the baby and kids clothing mogul, was searching for some new faces.  Meagan’s son, Asher, had just turned 1, and fit all the requirements – he was the right age, could crawl and sit up, but was a non-walker as the casting call requested. In his one-year old portraits that Meagan [...]

Putting People First

I did not meet an autistic, a banker, a poor person, I met a fellow child of God. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher   My wife is a special education facilitator and was the first to tell me about the “people-first” language that should be used in her profession. For example, instead of saying “he is autistic,” we instead should say, “he is a person with autism.” To many, this may seem like semantics or a policing of speech, but it was a big deal to me when I learned about it. The labels we put on one another defines our [...]

September 2017

Chip’s Tips: Room to Grow

Consider creatively using spaces in your home for different purposes at various stages.   By Chip Wade   New parents spend months planning the perfect baby nursery and what does that baby do?  As soon as the pastel paint is dry, she is on her way to walking and talking. The peaceful, muted tones form a calm backdrop to a hurricane of toys and the next thing you know, you’ve got a big kid trading out the stuffed animals for technology, trophies and homework. “The days are long but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin This is the current [...]

Reno Plan

  Consider all of your options for financing your dream home renovations.   By Sonja Bullard You’ve pinned your favorite décor, sorted through swatches, picked from paint chips, and viewed hours of HGTV programming to perfect your home renovation plan. Your next step is to determine your budget, then figure out how to pay for it! Creativity in financing your renovations is as important as the creativity in your plans to renovate your home. No worries if you do not have cash on hand for your project. Luckily, there are several financing options available to you. Credit Cards: One easy [...]

Blunt Force Injury to the eye can cause Traumatic Hyphema

By Cassandra Baker, Milan Eye Center   Blunt force injuries to the eye can range from very minor to visually threatening. They are typically from projectile objects that hit a portion of the eye not protected by the bony orbital rim or hit the eye at high speeds: rocks, paint balls, toys, balls, fists, airbags, bungee cords, etc. Blunt eye trauma due to physical injury, can lead to damage to the iris and ocular drainage structures. When this happens, an internal eye bleed can occur, called a hyphema. A hyphema is the presence of blood in the anterior chamber of [...]

The Gathering Place

I hope you find yourself at one of these tables, and that you put people you love around it to share a meal and share life together. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher   After graduating college and before attending seminary I had to do a lot of things I had never done before, having only lived at home and in dorms so far in my life. I was moving into an apartment near Emory with my cousin and we set about to the work of furnishing it. A simple task at first thought, we divided furniture responsibilities up amongst ourselves. We [...]

July 2017

Kid Care Expo

Kid Care Expo When it comes to your children’s health do you get confused, overwhelmed and anxious? You are not alone, most parents are unsure of the first steps they should take after having a baby. I bet you would love it if you could get all the various healthcare options together in one place at one time to ask the questions you need. Well on August 19, 2017 your wish is coming true at the Kid Care Expo. The first event of its kind in Forsyth County, both primary care physicians and specialists will be there to meet with [...]

Chip’s Tips: The Whole House Workout

Make healthy living a priority by incorporating a plan for physical fitness into your living space. By Chip Wade Just like everyone else, I am busy.  Juggling work and home and kids and life takes more hours than I have in a day and working out is the easiest thing on the to-do list to go by the wayside. I’ve learned that the busier I get, the more important it is to make sure I keep my body fit so that I have the energy and healthy mindset to get all my other important tasks accomplished. Do I love it? [...]

Treetop Experience

Get out, get moving and schedule your adventure today at Navitat Canopy Tours. By Lizzy Johnson Looking for something different to do? Something adventurous? Something outside your normal weekend plans? I would implore you to drive north a few hours and visit Navitat Canopy Tours and treetop experience. It is worth the drive as a day trip or even an add on to an already planned trip to Asheville, NC. A short 25 minute drive out of Asheville brings you to their treetop adventures. Navitat offers two ziplining excursions to choose from, Moody Cove Adventure and The Blue Ridge Experience. [...]

From Goats to Zedonks

Scottsdale Farm Garden Center & Nursery Visit with the pigs and chickens in the front of the barn which is also one of our favorite pumpkin patches come fall and a prime spot for getting a freshly cut Christmas tree in the winter. Go through the barn and grab lunch on the beautiful covered patio at Bella Luna Café (tasty and healthy kids meals) and surprise your crew with King of Pops for dessert before making your way out back to see the goats, play some corn hole and explore the gardens and grounds. The 65-acre farm features annual family [...]

Just Going About

As our busy schedules take over our family’s lives, take the time to see what good there is to be done. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher Back to school is happening all around us. In my house, that means a lot of getting things ready that we expect such as school clothes, school supplies, etc...but it also means signing up for sports, lessons, and other activities. It means coordinating schedules over and over again to make sure that one of us is able to pick up and drop off our children where they need to be and when. The old adage [...]

Chips Tips: People love their Pets

They’re great companions, lots of fun, and can be good for our health! By Chip Wade WebMD says a life loving pets can lead to a healthier heart, soothe your stress, lighten your mood – and can even boost a baby’s immune system. Many of the families I’ve worked with over the years have at least one pet as a beloved family member. Most often, the family pet is a dog, but over the years on HGTV, I met a few exceptions. As I consider a design plan, it is important to include the role our animal friends play in our [...]

9 Kid-Friendly Things to do at Biltmore Estate

By Sarah Jihnson   Most people think of Biltmore as a romantic retreat, which it is, but did you know it's also an ideal spot for a weekend getaway with the kids? Biltmore Estate is less than 200 miles from Forsyth County and is packed with activities for the entire family. Splash in the pool at Village Hotel. This new hotel on Biltmore’s property is the perfect place for families to spend a weekend getaway while being in the middle of Antler Hill Village’s family-friendly activities. Relax on the grass for Live After Five. On the weekends, dine at Cedric's [...]

Play Under Patriotism

Have some all-American fun in Forsyth County throughout July with these patriotic summer ideas. By Sarah Johnson   Sweet Land of Liberty On the Fourth of July, get your sugar fix at Dutch Monkey Doughnuts and stay for the 8th Annual Independence Day Doughnut Eating Competition. The event is free, but funds col-lected at the event will be donated to the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Specials are posted every morning on their Instagram page and they even have a drive-thru window so you can pick up made from scratch doughnuts on hectic weekday mornings. We love coming inside [...]

When is the right time to consider Cataract Surgery?

By Dr. Samir Vira, Milan Eye Center As you get older, your natural lens in the eye can turn into a cloudy cataract. This process slowly worsens as you ..age. During the early stages, cataracts may not impact your vision or have only a minimal effect on the quality of your vision, but as they become denser, you may notice a general blurring or fogginess of your vision. This can interfere with your ability to read, requiring extra light. Others may notice difficulty seeing road signs or glare from oncoming headlights, especially when driving at night.  Colors become faded and dimmer and objects can often appear [...]


The most PIN-TERESTING place you will ever see. We hope you have your Pinterest boards ready! Pinspiration® has arrived in Cumming and is the world’s first DIY Pinterest-inspired makerspace. The muse and owner of Pin-spiration; Brooke Roe, developed the art studio and wine bar as a solution to a real-life problem after spending countless hours on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) craft-focused websites such as Pinterest with few finished projects to show for her time. Pinspiration makes use of Pinterest as a tool to select the most popular arts and crafts projects. Customers create crafts in studio using pre-assembled project kits and they follow [...]

The Dog I Always Wanted

"I hope your pet is the kind of pet Riley was." By Reverend Jordan Thrasher Our pets have the potential to teach us a tremendous amount about the world, and to look at it from new perspectives. I had pets growing up, but they were always a little quirky. Then, for our first Christmas my wife gave me Riley. My parents quickly dubbed Riley as “the dog I always wanted.” Riley was a mixed golden retriever and wherever I went he would follow. Even if we were staying at someone’s house, he would quickly find me and sleep on the [...]

June 2017

Chip’s tips: Home is Fun

Designing your outdoor space for maximum fun. By Chip Wade   After school last week, my son was lamenting his plight of never-ending boredom, sitting in a room full of toys in typical 8-year-old exasperation. I suggested reading an adventure magazine and he quickly observed that everyone in the photos were doing something fun away from home. “These kids are camping,  .fishing, skiing and having lots to do when they are NOT at home! Home is for eating and resting. We have to go somewhere else to have fun!” As adults, we can easily fall into the same mindset, feeling [...]

What is Glaucoma and how can it be treated?

By By Cameron Johnson, MD Milan Eye Center   Glaucoma is a common disease that progresses slowly, gradually causing damage to the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. It is “the sneak thief of sight,” as patients usually do not have symptoms until it has caused severe damage.  Patients lose peripheral vision, and in advanced cases can even become blind. Risk factors include advancing age, a family history, having thin corneas, African American race, being near sighted, and elevated pressure inside of the eye. Studies have shown that reducing intraocular pressure can slow, or even halt the progression. [...]

Being a Father

Nothing can separate us from that kind of love. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher   There are more than a few instances in the New Testament where we see God as Father, but one that stands out to me is after Jesus’ Baptism. He comes out of the water and the Holy Spirit descends on him like a dove and you hear the Father’s voice from heaven. In a newer translation of the Bible, the Common English Bible, the familiar words we hear from the Father are a little different. Instead of saying, “This is my son, the Beloved, in whom [...]

April 2017

Celebrating Mom

Giving her what means the most. By Heather Cole On Sunday, May 14th of 2017 many of us will celebrate Mothers Day as we reflect on the purest form of conceivable unconditional Love. It seems a Mothers job never ends with her children and family. She constantly tries to help those around her grow, while cultivating and planting seeds to build a good foundation upon. Since the beginning of time, God has blessed Women with the gift of love and sensitivity that helps carry us within our daily lives. Proverbs 31:28 “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her [...]

What is the Symfony Lens?

FDA Approved new lens technology. By Cameron Johnson, MD Milan Eye Center   Cataracts cause the eye’s natural lens to become cloudy and decrease vision. Surgery removes and replaces it with a clear artificial lens. Depending on the individual, there are a variety of lenses that can be used. Standard monofocal lenses allow vision to be set for distance or near, but not both; and multifocal intraocular lenses allow for decreased dependence on glasses altogether. However, they have significant limitations, such as increased halos and glare at night. Many also lose some contrast sensitivity, or crispness, of distance vision when [...]

Summer Fun

Unplug this summer and spend quality time with your family. By Reverend Jordan Thrasher Do you remember those times where the family came together only to be pulled away into the screens held in front of them? What about those weeks where everyone simply just went their separate ways? If you’re as fortunate as I am you haven’t been placed in these scenarios, but most families have, as this seems to be a growing theme of normality. Of course I did things on my own as a child and indulged in the occasional video game; but the memories that are [...]

February 2017

Pantone Color of the Year 2017: Greenery

Spring is right around the corner and here in South we are expecting an early one. What better way to embrace an early Spring than with a color that evokes it. Pantone’s color of the year is Greenery and it is the epitome of nature’s revitalization. According to Pantone “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate… Greenery is nature’s [...]

Restored to Purpose

“Don’t confuse losing confidence in your ability and losing confidence in God’s.” ~ Polly Herron By Polly Herrin   I absolutely love the show Fixer Upper with hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines. Their ever increasing popularity comes from taking run down, dilapidated, homes in Waco, Texas and revitalizing them. It’s intoxicating to watch this process and see something so visibly damaged be transformed and enjoyed for decades to come. I learned a valuable lesson when I was hired as the assistant to the President for a successful customized home builder in Atlanta. I sat in many partnership and planning meetings, [...]

Let the Sun Shine In!

Former Teacher Scott Selzer Trades Lesson Plans for Louvered Roofs and Builds Himself a Fortune.   Scott Selzer, founder and CEO of Arcadia Louvered Roofs was featured on CNBC’s January 11, 2017 episode of Blue Collar Millionaires. The series, narrated by Tim McGraw, follows different Americans with blue collar occupations who have become millionaires. The episode shows the Arcadia manufacturing facilities, multiple installed products, and viewers are able to hear from Selzer the story of how Arcadia came to be the successful company it is today. Selzer may be crafting, one of a kind, high end, adjustable pergolas now, but [...]

Not your Ordinary Noodle

Zoodles are a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional noodle we are all familiar with.    By Tiffany Norris   I love pasta, in fact I adore it. Un-fortunately, it is not feasible to have it everyday…or is it. I recently discovered “ZOODLES!” And if you have browsed Pinterest at all you couldn’t have missed the trending recipes that are utilizing these vegetable noodles. After trying a few of these recipes out, I must say that “I’m hooked!” The key is the cutter. There are a variety of vegetable spiralizers out there and most stores are carrying them now. [...]

5 Ways to Persuade a Picky Eater

Family Features For parents with a picky eater, it may seem that no amount of coaxing or prodding will get that little mouth in motion. A fresh approach may be all you need to make meal time a more enjoyable experience for all. Proper nourishment is essential for a child’s development, so when a battle of wills erupts over food, it can leave parents feeling especially frustrated and concerned about their child’s well-being. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can adapt to get meal time on track and healthy eating habits underway. Make a one-bite rule. A simple fact is [...]

You, Be Love!

 “Hug a hater, it makes them nervous.” - Pastor Chris Hill   By Polly Herrin   Most of the male popu-lation will not relate to this article but I guarantee there is a fraternity of women who will! Have you ever encountered a mean woman? A vindictive foe? Or a jealous friend? Someone that reminds you of “Nelly” from Little House On The Prairie, Yeah, me too! This face isn’t pleasant, nope it's intimidating. Like a loaded pistol ready to be released; haughty eyes, arrogant nose, and crossed arms are popular tactics used by women towards other women with the [...]

December 2016

Spice it Up!

By Tiffany Norris   Baby it’s cold outside! Finally! And I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to curl up in front of a fire with a nice cup of cocoa or cider. As a child I use to love when the weather started to get colder, it meant that my Mom would whip up that special treat with the little marshmallows. We would have little red cheeks from running around outside and it never failed she would have something warm waiting on us. As an adult, it is still one of my favorite things about colder weather and [...]

Let’s Talk Fudge

By Alex Hughes   There’s no better time to indulge your every craving than the holidays. Sure, you may gain a few pounds, but you need somewhere to get back to once you restart your “get fit” New Year’s Resolution, right? That’s what I’ll keep telling myself, anyways. And what better way to sate that sweet tooth than with some rich, creamy fudge? It suits winter perfectly – a soft, inviting texture that soothes the soul like a warm fire. It also takes forever to spoil, so you can make a gigantic batch and eat it until all the way [...]

Griswold (Don’t) Wannabe’s

There’s no better act of worship this season than displaying God-like love to those around us. By Tricia Lovejoy I thoroughly enjoy this season of the year and all of the tra-ditions my family has come to love. Like watching our all-time favorite movie, Christmas Vacation. Even though we’ve seen that movie hundreds of times, we still laugh at the true-to-life scenes. Remember the scene in Christmas Vacation when the extended Griswold family arrives? Too loud. Too many critiques. Too much in-formation. And as their visit continues, they are needy, messy, demanding, and yes, even embarrassing. I love that family [...]

October 2016


411 The New Art of Digital Photography A One Day Workshop Saturday, November 12, 9am-4:30pm This workshop will take the mystery out of your DSLR or other advanced camera and will dramatically improve your photographic skills! The workshop is designed to meet the needs of the beginning DSLR photographer, and will help you break out of "auto mode." The workshop will be held at Midway United Methodist Church, 5025 Atlanta Hwy, Alpharetta, GA. Contact the instructor, Phil Winter, at 770-664-5850 to enroll. Visit philwinterphotography.com for more details and an application. Class size is limited - Enroll Today!   Forsyth County [...]

Northside Heart

Northside Cardiology and C.P.N.A. partnering for your care.   What do you get when you bring 16 cardiologists together to provide a team-based ap-proach to patients at seven convenient locations? The answer is Northside Heart. The physicians from two practices — Northside Cardiology and Cardio-vascular Physicians of North Atlanta — have come together to bring excellence in cardiology to their communities. In addition to the Cumming location, Northside Heart has convenient locations in Suwanee/Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Woodstock, Roswell, Sandy Springs and Atlanta communities. New locations in East Cobb and Canton will open soon. “We have within our group subspecial-ties like electrophysiologists, [...]

The Sentence That Stopped Me In My Tracks

By Tricia Lovejoy It was the Fall of 1993 when I first realized my opinion wasn’t the only one that mattered. I had recently married the man of my dreams, and together we moved into our first home which, by the way, was a total fixer upper. It needed new paint, moulding, carpet, and some elbow grease to strip the questionable wallpaper off the dining room walls. Always up for a challenge, I tore into the project. But I was stymied when my husband, Shawn, had a different opinion about the paint color. And the carpet. And where to position [...]

August 2016

411 Community Events

Country Land Golf Anniversary Celebration Monday, September 5, noon Country Land Golf Course is celebrating their 25th anniversary this Labor Day weekend! They will be hosting a lunch cookout on Monday, September 5, and a round of golf will be only $25! For more information or to book a tee time at the "best kept secret in town", find them online at facebook.com/countrylandgolf.   Free Kids Fishing Event Saturday, September 24, 9am-1pm Attention anglers! Cumming Kiwanis and Optimist Club will be hosting a FREE kids fishing event at Lower Pool Park below Buford Dam on Saturday, September 24. The event [...]

Football, Fire pits and More!

Entertain Outdoors this Autumn   Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, September is synonymous with the beginning of football season. With that fact comes the inevitable planning of many entertaining nights cheering on our favorite teams. The party doesn’t have to stay contained to indoors, with todays technology the T.V. can be taken outdoors. This allows you to take advantage of the milder weather that fall offers. In addition to the T.V., keep everyone relaxed and warm with a fire pit. Increasing in popularity you can choose from a wide variety of prefab styles and sizes [...]

How to Choose the Right Flooring that fits your lifestyle

  Tired of looking at those old worn floors that are scratched and damaged from years of kids, pets and more? I know how you feel, I’m constantly dreaming about flooring and have pinned hundreds of beautiful Pinterest pics. But where does one start? Choosing the right floor seems such a daunting and overwhelming task. Does that distressed hardwood I fell in love with really fit my lifestyle? Flooring has a huge impact on our home’s ambiance, completely changing the look and feel. With so many types and styles, it could be easy to make a costly mistake. When choosing [...]

Accept the Cost

Following Jesus brings great reward and responsibility. By Tricia Lovejoy I love a good, action-packed super-hero movie. Over the summer break my family indulged in several trips to the theater to watch high-speed chases, mind-boggling explosions, and of course the ultimate boy-gets-girl endings. I like movies. And movie popcorn. With the butter (put your wagging finger back in your pocket; I usually ate a salad for dinner to make up for it). Remember the famous line from a super-hero movie, “With great power comes great responsibility”? The Spiderman series of movies is another family favorite for us, and I couldn’t [...]

July 2016

And a Child Shall Lead Them… – Kids Boost founded by Kristin Stocks gives kids the opportunity to bring a positive change to our world.

  By Kim Williamson Generation Z – also called The New Silent Generation. These are today’s children, raised in a world that’s always known the Internet. A digital generation that can text and Snapchat but doesn’t recognize the ring of a telephone. Kids who can dunk a basketball on NBA SK16 but complain when parents make them go outside. Studies show these kids lack patience and communication skills, can only be social on an iPad or phone and are a generation at risk. Absorb this information, stress about it, but then spend the day with Kristen Stocks and you may [...]

Charge Up! By Tricia Lovejoy

Have you ever tried to do something and failed? Tried again and failed? Me, too. In small areas of life and in major commitments, I try and sometimes fail. I try to avoid sugar-filled goodies, but the gooeyness of a warm cookie gets me every time. I try to guard my actions and responses to other people, but sometimes my words or attitudes are a disappointment. I fail often. But then these words are in the Bible: “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty [...]

Lending a Helping Paw

Healthy Paws provides basic animal care at a discount. By Kim Williamson   If you drive by Healthy Paws for a Cause you may not even notice it. From the outside, it’s a small, unassuming building, the parking lot dotted with only a few cars on most days – after all, the clients here don’t drive. But, it’s what happens inside that makes it such a remarkable place. Healthy Paws for  a Cause, founded by Adrienne Patterson almost three years ago, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the pets of our community live healthier, better lives. Working mainly with [...]

One Bow at a Time

10-year-old Isabella Masso designs bows for animals, donates to shelters and rescues. By Amber Pittman   Most 10-year-old’s aren’t concerned with their future careers or spending their free time catering to others, but most little girls aren’t Isabella Masso, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and designer since the age of 8. When she was 8-years-old Isabella came to her mother Mariamar and informed her that she already knew what she wanted to be when she grew up – she wanted to make clothes for pets. Instead of brushing off her daughter’s blooming passion, her mom gave her a budget of $20 and [...]

Bless Your Heart

By Tricia Lovejoy   I live in the South where the phrase “bless your heart” can be a warm sentiment or an insult. More often, it’s a pity-filled insult. Whether it’s the lady wearing the worst outfit ever or the man with the over-the-top personality, we notice. Oh yes, we size people up and judge their attitudes and behaviors. Guilty as charged. In the last hour, I’ve had opinionated thoughts about a local lawyer’s questionable TV ads and some-one’s choice of social media posts. Don’t even get me started on people’s driving habits. In that arena, I always have an [...]

May 2016

Hiking, Camping, Playing Oh My!

GA State Parks offers fun for the entire family. By Amber Pittman It’s been 85 years and 85,000 acres, and I bet you didn’t know there were nearly as many cool things happening at the state parks in Georgia as there are. Growing up I always thought you went to state parks to go camping and get poison ivy while your family fished. As I got older I realized how amazing they really are. There’s underground spring water to drink (not kidding, out of stone spring house) at Indian Springs State Park, there’re playgrounds and picnic tables, hiking and camping, [...]

About the vision, that is.

By Tricia Lovejoy Wondering what I’m talking about? Vision. Tenacity. Determination. The ability to finish the race to which God called us. Whether you are a pastor, a parent, a leader, or an employer, you started with a vision – an idea of what you wanted to accomplish. We all did. Pastors want to shepherd and disciple a group of people. Parents want to raise God-loving, integrity-filled children. CEO’s want to run purpose-filled, profitable organizations. People want to accomplish their goals. All of us have a vision of what we want to do and who we’d like to become, yet [...]

411 Community News

Library MakerDay: Chocolate Sugar Scrub May 1, 12pm & 2pm Sharon Forks Library Learn how to make chocolate sugar scrub - just in time for Mother’s Day! This program is designed for adults however children 10 + are welcome to join with a parent. Please register each adult and child separately as space is limited.   Read to Lead May 2, 4pm Cumming Library Come and welcome motivational speaker, Jackie Martin, who will lead a discussion on the book, International Living by John Maxwell. No registration is required.   One World Forsyth Celebrates Cinco de Mayo May 5, 6:30pm Cumming [...]

Outdoor Appeal

Creating Fun, Functional and Unique Spaces By Hali Higginbotham Updating your yard and outdoor spaces can seem overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. We are here to help! Peruse the next few pages for tips on how to extend your garden past where the grass ends and transform the appeal of your home’s outdoor spaces. Whether your deck needs an overhaul or you just need to add a little pizzaz to your porch take a look at some ideas and trends for your next weekend project. Deck Makeovers Summer is a time for friends, family, late nights [...]

Follow Me

By Tricia Lovejoy A few friends and I are reading through each of Paul’s letters in the New Testament of the Bible. We read a chapter each .day and then share our thoughts in a group email since we all live in different states. In the quiet moments of my mornings, I read, journal, and share with my friends. The other day, one particular verse grabbed our attention. “And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ’s.” (I Cor 11:1 NLT) Wow. Sometimes I THINK this thought to myself, but I would probably never write it in a [...]

March 2016

Fashion Intro – Warm Up Your Wardrobe – Spring fashion Trends

Spring is here! Which means it’s time to shed those layers and step into something lighter and brighter. We’ve pulled together some outfits featuring pieces from your favorite local shops to help you incorporate this season’s latest trends into your weekly outfit rotation. Pops of citrus, breezy mesh cut-outs, comfy maxi slip dresses, denim everything, and boho attitude are some of the top trends of spring 2016 and they are so easy to integrate into your daily style. Lemons, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruits aren’t just popping up on spring menus, along with teals and mints, they’re the shining colors of [...]

Cleaning Up and Clearing Out

By Tricia Lovejoy I’m a list person. I make lists. Grocery lists. Reminder lists. To-do lists (my list). Honey-do lists (my hubby’s list). Errand lists. Gift lists. Wish lists. You name it, I probably have a list for it. What I like most is seeing items scratched off the list. I find something so satisfying about seeing the progress of my activities, and drawing a line through an item on my agenda puts a literal smile on my face. One of those items is sticks. My backyard is somewhat wooded, and the underbrush and fallen limbs have taken over. So, [...]

February 2016

Ways for a Greener Home

Save Time, Money, Energy, and the Earth By Anna Brown Hello Healthy Life   Over the last couple years, we’ve noticed a huge increase in the “green” industry. It’s no surprise that massive growth of industry, use of fossil fuels, and, dare I say, lack of knowledge are wreaking havoc on our mother Earth. There are tons of green options out there, but the reality is we just aren’t educated on why we should use them or we wonder if it’s just a marketing ploy. Let me throw this out there and fully confuse you, some of them are. But [...]

What’s the easiest and most cost effective Interior Design trick?

Paint of Course! By Mary Ann Merfeld   If you want  to add a splash of color to your home, transform outdated pieces of furniture or even spruce up your kitchen cabinets, there are some amazing paint products available to make it easier than ever for the DIYer! As a decorative painter for the last 20 years, I’ve used many varieties of paint and was always taught to sand and  prime everything before painting. Well, that’s not necessary any more! Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, one of the most popular furniture paints, can be applied over almost anything with very little [...]

Dreamy Spring Decor 2016 Pantone Color(s) of the Year

By Rhiannon Johnson   For the first time in history, the Pantone Color Institute has chosen two colors, Rose Quartz and Serenity, as their Color of the Year. They chose these colors because “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains that when “joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose [...]

Sherlock, John, and Paul… and life lessons along the way

  By Tricia Lovejoy  Ilove TV. What can I say? I'm a child of the 80's when we watched all the greats: Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Cheers, The Wonder Years, and MacGyver. On summer days, I would wake up in time to watch reruns of The Love Boat while eating Captain Crunch. On school nights, my homework was completed in time for Moonlighting with Bruce Willis. Oh, yes. I'm a TV girl. Still to this day my TV is on most of the time. But network programming is so yesterday for me. Now, Netflix owns me. No commercials. Binge [...]

Georgia Artisan Cheeses

World- Class Taste Close to Home By Rhiannon Johnson   In recent years consumers have become more aware of the importance of locally sourced food. Interested in reducing extraneous packing materials, fossil fuels use, and transportation expenses, as well as contributing to the local economy, they’re visiting their local farmers’ markets and signing up for CSAs in droves. While our state is immediately associated with peaches, the product that is gaining momentum is our artisan cheeses. Sheep and cows are transforming their Georgia grazing grass into flavorful milk. Local cheesemakers are then using this milk to produce world-class, award-winning cheeses [...]

Stepping Up for Our Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office

  Benevolent Association Dedicated to Giving to Employees (B.A.D.G.E.) of Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office    Benevolent Association Dedicated to Giving to Employees of FCSO, Inc. (B.A.D.G.E. ), founded in 2015, is an independent, charitable, 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing aid and fostering the well-being of employees of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. The mission of B.A.D.G.E. is to give back to employees of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office who serve and protect us. B.A.D.G.E. hopes to restore confidence and peace of mind to FCSO deputies through financial and other support when unforeseen or unwelcome circumstances arise.   Forsyth County [...]

Don’t Go it Alone by Tricia Lovejoy

Not long ago I read through the book of Acts. Reading about the lives of the very first followers of Christ in one short chapter each day is a fantastic way to learn how to live an effective, bold, and impassioned life for the cause of Jesus. Over those 28 days, I read stories about baptisms and life change and the persecution Christians faced. But, maybe my favorite part of the book of Acts was the stories of relationships. Since most of the book focuses on the missionary trips of Paul, I was privy to an up close view of [...]

April 2015

3rd Annual BYOT Golf Benefit

Providing Technology for All Forsyth Students. In today’s world of technology, we Google answers to questions we don’t know or send someone a Facebook message. Likewise, children don’t rush to the encyclopedia but research topics online and create Pic Collages and multimedia reports. Presentation skills that were once reserved for the boardroom are being taught from kindergarten on up and proudly enough, Forsyth County is at the cutting edge of technology in the classroom! But do we ever consider that not every child has an iPod where they can practice STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills while playing Minecraft [...]

Bold is Love

Finding Peace in Your Purpose Writing these articles has definitely been a challenge for me. Although I’m deeply gracious for the opportunity for God to use me in this platform, it’s rather uncomfortable to expose yourself to the vulnerabilities of societal scrutiny. It’s been a challenge but definitely a rewarding learning process; a journey if you will. God is continually at work in each of us, perfecting us for glory in Heaven. I have to constantly remind myself when I’m nervous about writing what I feel He has placed on my heart that God is in control. My new favorite [...]

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Not long ago a few friends and I decided to avoid the dreaded “What’s for dinner?” question that inevitably arises every afternoon at 5pm. Our mad ­dash sprints out the front door to sports practices often meant our families were settling for PB&J sandwiches instead of a hot-­cooked meal. Well, no more. My friends and I made a plan. A plan for the entire month, as a matter of fact. As we sipped coffee with caramel macchiato creamer and ate whole grain chips with blueberry salsa (um, surprisingly delicious, btw) we planned our dinner menus and swapped recipe ideas. I [...]

Treat her to the Closet of her Dreams

Husbands, listen up! We’ve got a project for you. You’ve been great. You’ve bought us the boots we wanted for Christmas and handbags for our birthdays, but now we need somewhere to store these thoughtful gifts. It’s terrible to shove these cherished items in the back of our closet when they are not in use. You might think our closet is already bursting at the seams but we simply need a more streamlined option, you see, we would love a closet makeover. Updating this space will help us see all of treasured items at once; cutting down the amount of [...]

Doing the Bunny Hop

I opened my mailbox the other day to find a magazine with this tag line at the bottom: Build A Bigger, Better Basket. Over $80 In Coupons Inside Inside the magazine is a kid’s dream world. Fisher-Price Smart Tablets, Disney characters, DVD combo sets, battery powered ride-on toys, and yes, even Dream-Come-True bedroom collections. I don’t know who does the marketing for this particular store, but my hat is off to them. (Ok, I don’t wear hats, but if I did, I would tip mine to them. I wouldn’t actually take it off since I’ve seen hat-head. It’s not attractive.) [...]

February 2015

It Takes a Village

By Kim Williamson   And here in Forsyth County, give thanks that Kara and Kevin Clemmons are part of ours. As the owners of a local business and parents to one-year old son Kyle, the Clemmons’ have a full plate. Add active in their church, North Point Community and involved in other charities, and that’s a busy calendar Yet, none of this stopped them from joining the team at Young Life (www.younglife.org), a Christian group focused on bringing teenagers together and to Jesus. Young Life is all about the kids, but it starts with the adults – the people who [...]

Wave Goodbye, Say Hello

By Tricia Lovejoy 17 years ago, we said goodbye. My husband and I packed our belongings, hugged a lot of necks, and waved goodbye to the very first church congregation we ever served: Ebenezer Baptist Church in Hammond, Louisiana. My husband had been the Minister of Music and Youth, and we made memories with every member of that small church. Some of the best, though, were with a few students (and their families) who latched onto our hearts. Thinking back over our time at Ebe-nezer, flashbacks of specific moments fill my mind. Sunday lunch at the Johnson’s house, followed by [...]

Weekend Getaways

ROMANTIC WINERY AND BREWERY EXCURSIONS CLOSE TO HOME OR A SHORT DRIVE AWAY By Rhiannon Johnson   Love is in the air this month and you may be planning a weekend getaway with your special someone. Why not check out some breweries and wineries in nearby Braselton and north Georgia, or hop over to one of our neighboring states? We have some weekend getaway ideas that will make you feel a world away from your everyday. The biggest benefit of nearby getaways is that virtually no time is spent driving to your destination, leaving you more time to enjoy your [...]

Show Me the Love

By Tricia Lovwjoy As I thanked my friend for a lovely evening and prepared to leave her home, she encouraged me to drive slowly. Apparently someone was posting the license plates of potential subdivision speeders on the neighborhood Facebook page. I chuckled because this wasn’t the only neighborhood dealing with the exact same problem. Theirs is not the only community experiencing a war of words on social media, either. One neighborhood Facebook page publicly names of-fenders and offenses of conflicts. Still another airs dirty laundry - as prayer requests, of course. My own neighborhood Facebook page has had its share [...]

January 2015

The Dental Specialist

Which One is Right for You? What’s So Special about a Specialist? We’ve established that taking care of your pearly whites means more than just a pretty smile. But, when it comes to your smile, who should you trust? Well, we have a little Dentistry 101 that goes beyond fluoride and fillings to educate you on specialists available. As with all health care, you always want a starting point – your general dentist that handles your overall need. Your dentist may then recommend you to one of nine types of dental specialists: Endodontist, Orthodontist, Periodontist, Prosthodontist, Pediatric Dentist, Oral Maxillofaical [...]

Kid’s Fitness

Gone are the days of kids slamming the screen door and Mom yelling after them to be home when the street lights come on. Today’s kids are busier than ever. Homework, tutoring, and practices of all sorts take up what used to be “free time” when children played outside. Unfortunately, these lifestyle changes are affecting our children’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years” and “In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.” These statistics are [...]

Health Check

December was the month to focus on others with the new year upon us, January is a great time to focus on a healthier you! Before going any further, start with an expert and make sure you’ve scheduled an annual check-up. A physical with your primary care doctor is a great baseline to determine what you’re doing well and areas that need improvement. Then, read on as we share how to do what you need to be a healthier you, now and in the years to come. What happens next? Yes, the crux of your check-up will actually happen during [...]

The Medical Me

Organize and have instant access to all of your Medical Info. A new year means time for organization and one aspect of our lives that usually needs organizing is our medical records. Instead of having your health information spread between different providers and your home file folders, put all of your information right at your fingertips. Personal Health Record (PHR) apps keep all your health infomation in one place, including doctors’ and emergency contact information, health insurance information, medications, allergies, and vaccinations. Different apps offer different options such as the ability to add audio and text notes, scan prescription bottles [...]

November 2014

October 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s amazing how quickly summer has passed by! It seems like only yesterday multiple cars were stuck on the road with snow and ice in downtown Atlanta. With all the back-to-school preparation and the chaos that it brings, it’s easy to get out of the routine of practicing and neglect the hard work that students have done on their golf games. With a little bit of time management, players can find the time to finish their school work and still practice on their games. Even as the golf season slows down, it’s important to set aside practice time to continue [...]

Makeover Your Winter Workout

As summer winds down and we gear up for fall and the oncoming winter it's important to adjust not only our wardrobes for the cooler weather but also our workout routines. The best way to freshen up your exercise program is to take an honest look at what you have been doing, assess what is or is not working and make the appropriate adjustments. Here are some pointers for making over your winter workouts: Too much cardio There is a myth in the fitness industry that if you don't do cardio, you will put on weight. Because of this phobia, [...]

Putting Tips

One of the most common mistakes students make in putting is to allow the wrist to become too active in the stroke. To be a consistent putter, one must keep the wrists quiet (or firm) throughout the stroke. One of the most popular putting coaches today is Dave Stockton. I believe he stated it best by saying you must feel as though the back of your left hand (for right-handed players) should feel as though it is going to hit the back of the cup when you make the forward motion in the stroke. The bottom three pictures show the [...]

Lazy Day Picnic

St. Patrick's Day and Easter are both great holidays. However, this month it's time to celebrate a lesser known holiday, National Goof Off Day. It may not be on your calendar yet, but what can you expect with a holiday based on putting off responsibility for another day? Forsyth is full of many gorgeous parks the whole family can enjoy. With spring in full swing, it'd be a shame to stay inside on this National Goof Off Day. This month I'm sharing some simply delicious, portable recipes perfect for the first picnic of the season. Once you've called in sick [...]

September 2014

APPly Yourself

With school right around the corner and the summer winding down, you may be wondering how you can prepare yourself and your kids for the hustle-and-bustle that is the school year. Have no fear! With all of the new technology available at our fingertips, preparing is easier – and cheaper –than ever before. There are hundreds of apps for your smartphone or tablet that will help test, teach, and reinforce your child’s studies. The best part? They’re free! Elementary: It’s no secret that a good foundation early on in education leads to greater success. But if you’re working and your child [...]

Spice it Up

I’m no Tim Allen. To me, home improvement is just a television show from ages past; I’m hopeless beyond that. But home owning is a huge part of life, and there’s no faceless neighbor to give advice from behind their fence. So how can we get the most return out of our homes without breaking the bank? Basics First – When you think of home improvement or remodeling, extravagant things come to mind first. We all want those granite countertops and the stainless steel appliances. While these are great things, they aren’t exactly selling points of a house that has other [...]

Back to Basics:

I was watching television the other day when a talk show host promoted a new weight loss tech-nology. She claims to have gotten outstanding results from a machine that radiates heat while hovering over a person’s midsection. Apparently, all that is required to lose unwanted pounds is the ability to lie on a table and allow the heat to melt the fat away. Lies we believe. We ought not believe something that is so obviously false, yet marketers make such appealing promises that we lose all reason and find ourselves buying the lie. We do it everyday, don’t we? We believe we’ll be happier with [...]

July 2014

An APPetite for Outdoor Summer Fun

Just the other day, my 22-month-old son pulled out my iPhone, clicked on the camera icon, and started snapping photos of our dog. I heard his sweet voice tell our dog to “Say cheese!” and was astonished to find his chubby little fingers maneuvering the phone like a pro. My photo-taking, app-loving, techy toddler is no different than most of today’s youth. From the Xbox and PlayStation to iPads and of course the television, technology consumes our young ones and they are getting more adept at using it by the day. Now that summer is upon us, it’s easy to ditch [...]

Rollin’ On the River

Spring has finally given way to summer, and what better way to spend it than enjoying all the beautiful, relaxing waterways that Georgia has to offer? It’s cheap, there are no height limits for the kids, and the whole family can enjoy it! You have to admit, there has always been something magical about being on the water. Whether you’re just cruisin’ down a creek in a canoe or blasting down the river in an inner tube, there is something just for you – and it’s right in your back yard! With new information and media at their fingertips, kids [...]

June 2014

Back to Basics:

Each year I read through the bible in chronological order which means I read the bible in the order that the events happened. I just finished Chronicles, including some chapters of family genealogies. You know what I’m talking about. So-and-so was the father of so-and-so. Verse after verse of so-and-so’s. It’s the type of stuff most of us usually skip over hoping to get to more enlightening reading. But, this time I was enlightened. Reading through the genealogies, I took note of the famous names, like Noah, Abraham, and David. These were men that God loved, men who obeyed God [...]