Chris Montes

At just 4 years old, Chris Montes was diagnosed with liver disease, resulting in a childhood full of medication and doctors. Although his parents continuously monitored his health in hopes that his condition would improve, his greatest challenges lay ahead. At age 17, a bacterial infection caused Chris’ health to deteriorate so rapidly that he was in critical condition and in…

Feeling Grateful

This year I wanted to write the parting thoughts for 2018 myself because it has been the best year of my life. It has not been without trials or hardship, but it has been a year of God showing me mercy, love and great growth.

The Art of Social Sustainability

I have found it heartwarming to feel a stronger than ever sense of community and desire for connection through a wide scope of personal experiences. Starting in my own household, into my own neighborhood, into the vibrant city of Atlanta and, hopefully, beyond. In my opinion, this trend of social sustainability, if it is true, needs sustaining, just like the planet we…


 Mini boxwood topiary
$32  Candlesticks
$178/each  Preserved hydrangea arrangement

I Love My Mayberry-esque Village

2018 is here, and I have much to reflect on as I embark on perhaps the most exciting chapter of my life: retirement! Visions of cruises, beaches and family vacations dance in my head! 

Jackson Martin Comes Back as a Champion!

As I sit at Jackson's physical therapy appointment, I can't help but think sometimes words aren't enough to adequately describe feelings. When Jackson was diagnosed with Perthes disease right before his sixth birthday, we were taken off guard. We adjusted our lifestyle to the situation and set our course for getting through to the other side.

Smyrna Rotarian Travels to India to Fight Polio

The horrors of polio used to be global. America’s most famous victim was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But now it’s been eliminated in all but three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. India is off the list. While India’s last case was in 2014, 167 million children under age 5 are vaccinated every year to prevent another outbreak.

Josie’s Friends

Our feelings on consignment seem to be a mixed bag, and rightfully so. Some of us have had dreadful experiences, have felt like it is too much work or are oozing with excitement over the savings. The good news is that consignment has been evolving for years. There has been a rise in online consignment options that will benefit every…

Summer Leagues for Adults and Kids

Summer sports leagues are a great way to meet new friends and get a dose of exercise. No longer just for school-age children, adult leagues are also available in the Smyrna/Vinings area.

A Peek Inside a Local Woman’s Purse

Handmade in Savannah, Georgia, Satchel makes purses that ooze luxuriousness. We picked the small bag and it still had plenty of room not only to carry your essentials but have room for extra items.

Travel Edit | Steps of Style

Escape the cold weather to the white washed walls and bright blue roof tops of Greece with Steps of Style blogger, Amy Dreyer.

Travel Edit

travel at top- Steps of Style blogger, Amy Dreyer, brings a few local favorites along with her as she hits the streets of New York CIty.

Ray’s on the River – Wildflower Salad

No matter where you live, spring brings with it a love of all things floral. Besides being pretty to look at, they make for lovely ingredients to brighten up dishes. Here is a recipe you can make at home to embrace spring’s floral offerings.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Some historians believe that our modern celebration of Valentine’s Day originally was tied to a pagan Roman festival called Lupercalia, which was held annually in mid-February. During the festival, men would run through the city swinging freshly skinned animal hides and women would line up to be struck by the hides in the belief that it would ensure their fertility.…

Real Gift Giving

This year I traveled on a mission trip to Lima, Peru where I was confronted with a level of poverty that I never knew existed. The poorest in our society often are wealthy by developing nation's standards. The experience reset my view of how blessed we are and the meaningful difference between 'wants' and 'needs.'

Home Renovation

As a well-to-do bachelor in the late 1800's, George Vanderbilt built a summer get-away in the western North Carolina town of Asheville, which he named the ‘Biltmore Estate.’ The 250-room home sprawls out over four acres. It has 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces along with a swimming pool, gym and bowling alley. He referred to it as his…


On our first dinner date, my wife, Liz, asked me to order a bottle of wine. Narrowly avoiding the onset of panic, I surreptitiously chose an unfamiliar bottle based upon its affordable price-point. “A finer choice could not be made!” exclaimed François, our flamboyant French waiter, who evidently sensed my desire to impress without the benefit of private equity funding.…

For the Love of Football in the South

The arrival of college football season makes southerners as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. There are only a few Saturdays down here when white-tailed bucks graze peacefully in open pastures and doves fly unmolested over soft brown fields of sunflower while hunters exchange their camouflage for collegiate jerseys. Staunch southern Republicans and Democrats…

Lessons from the Swamp

Georgia is called the ‘Adventure State’ because of the variety of its destinations from the Appalachian mountain highlands to the sandy beaches of the Golden Isles. One lesser known gem is the seven hundred square miles of Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge – the largest swamp in North America.

The Outpost

Have you ever wondered how our community of Vinings came to be? It all started in the 1830's when a tar heel transplant named Hardy Pace began offering a ferry service to help shuttle folks across the Chattahoochee River in Vinings. Hardy eventually owned 10,000 acres of land from Vinings to Buckhead, along with a farm, grist mill and a…

Now Open: Real Subs

Located in Olde Ivy Village, Real Subs Cafe features fresh organic, all-natural subs, wraps and salads made, along with gluten-free items. Even the soft drinks are organic with flavors such as cherry cream, lemongrass and ginger beer. For a unique drink, be sure to visit the Detox Bar that offers reverse osmosis waters with a variety of detoxing ingredients.

Local Spotlight: Porch Light Latin Kitchen

If you’re looking for a fresh dining experience with some Latin flair, stop in Porch Light Latin Kitchen. Porch Light recently opened in the Smyrna Village Green area with a menu highlighting Latin American flavors with classic touches. Residents have seen Porch Light as a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Owner/Chef Andre Gomez describes it as “part restaurant, part lunch…

Top Ten Resolutions Even I Can Keep

Uptown Pups is an independent pet boutique for "pet parents" looking for something unique and special for their animals. They can supply the needs for all the cats and dogs in the Vinings area and are dedicated to making sure their products are both fun and affordable. Uptown Pups specializes in toys, food, accessories and grooming for canines (by appointment…

Get Ready…
The Holidays are Coming!

It is amazing how each year passes by a little faster. In January, I seem to have razor sharp focus and a calendar of goals to hit, achievements to accomplish, quarterly, monthly and weekly to-do lists I take pride in compiling. Catch me mid-year and I am still on a roll. Not sure what happens after that though. The year…

9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving hasn’t always conjured up images of a picture-perfect family gathered around the table, joyously partaking of turkey and pumpkin pie. The history and celebration of our American Thanksgiving is fraught with amusing traditions and colorful characters. Here are nine things you might not know about everyone’s favorite November holiday:

Become a Wine Aficionado in 5 Easy Steps

Autumn is the perfect time to embrace wine. The heat and humidity are gone (for the most part) and wine can be sipped, not gulped because you're dying of thirst. This is the time for football on Saturdays, outdoor patios for dinner, and relaxing by the fireplace in the evenings. For anyone who wants to pair these fall activities with…


Do you want a little break from the day-to-day grind but don’t have the time for a full vacation? You need a staycation! Pack your bags and book a few nights away right in Vinings for a nice break from the everyday.