Flavors by Julie: Simply Seafood

Simply Seafood

Simply Seafood

Today’s guest post comes from a new contributing writer,  Julie Brennan. She is sharing her love of delicious food with us! This recipe can be easily adapted to be gluten and dairy free. I hope you enjoy!

There’s something about the ocean that makes me a happier person – the water, the smell, the sounds, colors and rhythm of the waves. I just love every part of it! Well, except stepping on seaweed, going in when the water is cold, and swimming with barracudas. I do try to avoid those things.

Though we may not live close to the sea, we do have the ability to buy wonderful seafood at local markets. Numerous restaurants and markets alike often offer a wide variety of seafood from the deep flown in fresh, sometimes daily.

Chef Tony Casino was kind enough to share his expertise with me during a recent getaway to visit my parents in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Originally from Chicago, Chef Tony finds fish “fun to cook.” His repertoire includes tuna, cod, mahi-mahi, scallops, and salmon.

A delicious appetizer I tasted was Plantain Crusted Scallops. The recipe is easy, the taste marvelous.

Plantain Crusted Sea Scallops

  • 3-4 large fresh scallops
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green plantain
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour (use an all-purpose gluten free flour to make this dish gluten free)

Place the chopped plantain, egg and flour in three separate bowls. After thoroughly cleaning the scallops, garnish each piece with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pass each scallop through the flour, then the egg and finally through the plantain.

In a frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sear each scallop for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Serve on a platter garnished with your favorite sauce.

Another tasteful recipe that Chef Tony shared can be served with your favorite piece of fish, whether grilled or fried, steamed or raw. I love this Coconut-Ginger Rice as a delightful side.

Coconut-Ginger Rice

  • 1 cup cold, cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In a hot pan, place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat. Add the rice and enough coconut milk to wet the rice. Add the garlic and ginger. Toss and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

A great sauce to try with your favorite piece of fish is Mango Salsa.

Mango Salsa

  • Mango, 1
  • Red pepper, 1/2
  • Red onion, 1/2
  • Chopped cilantro, 2 Tbs.
  • Orange zest, 2 Tbs.
  • Salt/pepper

Dice a green and a ripe mango to make 1 cup (1/2 of each works well). Add red pepper and red onion, finely chopped. Add chopped cilantro and the zest of an orange. Add salt and pepper to taste.


The next time you are looking for a little something different to serve your family or dinner guests, try serving an entrée with seafood. You can often get recipes at the market where you purchased the fish. With a little imagination and the right ingredients, you’ll have an island treat in your own kitchen.

Pin this recipe:

Simply Seafood

Julie Brennan has been publishing My Forsyth magazine since 2010. She volunteers as part of the Kick It Up and REACH programs for MentorMe North Georgia, South Forsyth High School Culinary School Program, and the Forsyth County Schools College and Career Development Program. Julie was born and raised in the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. We like to refer to her as the Forsyth Foodie full of local flavor!

Follow Along with Forsyth Foodie: Facebook | Instagram 

To learn more about Julie and other contributing writers, click here.

Tips To Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium

Auto Insurance Premium

Four Tips To Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium

The following is a post from Craig Crawford of Southern Way Insurance Agency. Craig has been a contributor to Cumming Local since the creation in 2010. We are blessed to have him share some insurance tips with us today!

I think we can all agree that we’d like to save money on our monthly bills. Some bills we aren’t able to lower. But there are some that we can have control over. Your auto insurance premium is one of those bills. And we all want to have lower auto insurance costs, right? I have been in the insurance industry for over 25 years. Today, I’m taking my expertise and sharing with you a few ways that you lower your auto insurance premium right away.

Combine Your Auto Policy With Your Homeowners Policy

My advice would be to use the same company for your auto and homeowners policy. In fact, in our office we have companies that offer up to 35% savings if you combine your home and auto coverage. If you have two separate companies covering your auto and home, you could be paying way too much!

Auto Insurance Premium

Increase Your Comprehensive And Collision Deductibles

If you have comprehensive and collision coverage your vehicle(s), you could look into increasing the deductible you’d pay. I tell my clients that my recommend action is a $1000 deductible at a minimum.  By doing this, you are not only saving money on the overall auto insurance premium, but you are also eliminating filing smaller claims. You see, when you file small claims (i.e. less than $1500) you are going to have your premium increase at the time of your renewal. And a little insider information for you – these small claims can stay on your record for up to 5 years!

Pay Your Premium In Full For The Year

I recommend paying your auto insurance premium for the full year instead of monthly, if possible. Did you know that some companies are charging up to a $12.00 fee each payment made? If you can’t do the full year at one payment, you could possibly look into paying quarterly.


This is one of the most important tips I give my clients. Shopping around is so important! If you have been with your current company for several years without shopping you most likely paying too much! You don’t have to do the shopping around yourself. Give me a call or email anytime and I’d be happy to look around for you. My office number is 678-965-4243.

Southern Way Insurance Agency is an independent agency.   We can shop your coverage for you with several different companies to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck! Call me anytime for a free quote – 678-965-4243

Craig Crawford has over 25 years in the insurance industry.   He graduated from Georgia College and State University in 1994 with a  major in business.   He joined Southern Way Insurance Agency in 1999 as an owner in the agency.   Craig became an Accredited Adviser in Insurance in 2006  (AAI).


Connect with Craig online: Facebook | Website

To learn more about Ashley and our other contributing writers, click here.

NOW ENROLLING for Fall Dance Programs at Footprints Dance Alliance

Fall Dance Programs at Footprints

NOW ENROLLING for Fall Dance Programs at Footprints Dance Alliance

It’s hard to believe that we are already thinking about all things fall. But the reality is that back to school and fall programs are right around the corner. Since we are talking about fall, let’s talk about the fall dance programs at Footprints Dance Alliance. Whether you are looking for a new sport for your child or you have been looking for a new studio to join, we think Footprints Dance Alliance is the place for you to call home!

Why Choose Footprints Dance Alliance?

At Footprints Dance Alliance – their focus is on faith, family, and dance. They work to perform with purpose for His glory. In a culture where the focus is not any of those things, Footprints offers a safe environment for their dancers. {Disclaimer: Footprints Dance Alliance is not a church, but they are a place where people can come to be loved, accepted, and lifted up in their daily lives.} Footprints Dance Alliance also makes sure that their students are always modestly dressed and only uses age appropriate and conservative music and choreography.

As a mom of two kids, this concept of providing a fun and safe environment is very important to me. My daughter is 5 years old and going into Kindergarten. And I can’t wait for her to start dancing at this fabulous dance studio. And the fall dance programs at Footprints Dance Alliance is a great place to start.

Fall Dance Programs at Footprints

Fall in Love with Footprints Freebie Classes:

Exciting news – your children can do a free trial class through their Footprints Freebie Classes. In August, they will have several options for your child to attend:

  • Ballet/Tap/Jazz Combo (Ages 6-7): August 14th 4:30-5:30pm
  • Creative Movement (Ages 2-3): August 15th 4:00-4:45pm
  • Ballet/Tap Combo (Ages 4-5): August 16th 4:00-5:00pm
  • Ballet/Tap/Jazz Combo (Ages 8-9): August 17th 5:30-7:00pm

Cumming Local Special Discount:

Offer: Register before August 1st and receive the registration fee waived ($25 Value) and 10% off the first month’s tuition (tuition offer available until September 2nd)

How to Redeem: Use Promo Code LOCAL17 on the online registration page

See what others are saying about Footprints Dance Alliance:

As a former faculty member turned Dance Mom, I highly recommend Miss Bonnie (the owner/director) and her outstanding instructors. They choose music and costumes that are uplifting and appropriate for children, and encourage the dancers to use their talents for a higher purpose than just competing and performing. The recitals are fun and well-directed, and the studio environment is welcoming and friendly. – Darcy P.


This studio is more than a place to dance. It’s home to some of the most talented, passionate dancers lead by the inspirational and gifted, Bonnie Dixon! If you’re looking for a dance studio that focuses on strong technique, excellent showmanship, and operates in a professional manner with integrity, then Footprints is for you! -Jaime T.

fall dance programs at footprints

More About Footprints Dance Alliance:

Footprints Dance Alliance is dedicated to training the next generation of dancers to be catalysts for Christ. We use Biblical philosophies, principles, scripture and values to lead our dancers to not only a future in dance, but also a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We are not a church, but we are a place where people can come to feel loved, accepted and lifted up in their daily lives. Although we enjoy helping our students explore their Faith, we do not discriminate or follow any particular doctrine or denomination. We merely love as Christ loved and work to create a positive and uplifting atmosphere where every student has the chance to be both challenged and successful! We also make sure that our students are always modestly dressed and use age appropriate and conservative music and choreography. We spend a tremendous amount of time making sure that we are honoring God with our bodies and our choreography at all times. We use dance as a way to move our audience and Glorify God.

Connect with Footprints Dance Alliance Online: Website | Facebook

Back to School Supply Shopping

school supply shopping

Today’s article comes to you from Ashley Jansen. She is getting ready for the new school year and wanted to share some ways to shop for school supplies. She also shares a spreadsheet list she created as well as ways you can give back to those in need of school supplies this year. 

I know, I know – “School Supply Shopping” is probably the last thing you are wanting to see the second week of July. I promise you I’m not trying to make your summer feel shorter – I’m just trying to save you money & time!

School Supply Lists are already posted on your school’s websites. Please note – each school may be a little different so make sure you go to your school’s specific website. If you are like me, I have 3 children across 2 schools and in 3 grades. It was hard for me to keep it all straight of just how many folders, glue sticks, etc. I needed. So I made this simple Excel Spreadsheet that I’m sharing with you here. It should be easy for you to manipulate for your specific supply lists. Note: The yellow column is the one that has the formula in it so don’t clear that one. I’ve added some extra blanks at the bottom for you to add yours.

school supply shopping

You can download Ashley’s spreadsheet for free, by clicking here – School Supply Checklist

You might notice at the top I have BBC, H, L, & G. The last three initials are my son’s names. But the first, BBC, is our church. They do a backpack drive each year and put out their own list of supplies that are most needed by the schools and children in Forsyth and Dawson counties. These are the kids that need assistance in fulfilling their school supply shopping. So I add them to my school supply shopping list each year to give back.

If you are interested in helping provide school supplies to those unable to do so for themselves here are few options:

  • Backpacks of Love at Morrow Family Medicine
  • Forsyth County United Way – Stuff the Bus
    • Drop off is from 6/1-7/31 at the UW County Office (240 Elm Street) Monday thru Friday 9-5. You can CLICK HERE to see the supply list
  • Publix – School Tools for Cool Kids
    • Drop off is thru 7/31 at all local Publix stores. See each specific store for their specific supply list needs.
  • Browns Bridge Church – Back to School Backpack Drive
    • Drop off is 7/16 & 7/23 before and after all services (Services are at 9, 11, and 4:30) just inside the main lobby (3860 Browns Bridge Road). You can CLICK HERE to see the different supply lists for different age groups. (Because their labels are a little different I wanted to let you know: WaumbaLand = PreK; UpStreet = Elementary School; Transit = Middle School; InsideOut = High School). TIP::I have 2 boys in PreK and 1 in Elementary so I usually will match for each boy so they are a part of the giving experience. They each get to pick out the backpack and fill it with the supplies and turn it in to church – it’s a great learning experience.
    • Vickery Village Backpack Drive
    • Stuff the Bus at Northside Forsyth

So what about that promise at the beginning of me saving you money? Well here you go…I actually usually do all of my school supply shopping at Staples. This week they are having a great sale. If you buy a backpack you get all school supplies 25% off the already low sale price. My boys don’t need new backpacks, but because I will be buying one for the Church drive mentioned above I get to take advantage of the sale for all my boys as well. There are also great sales going on this week and next. TIP: I would recommend you pay close attention to this website – it always helps me with sales.

We would love to hear from you on this. Please post a comment with any school supply drives/donation centers you are supporting so the rest of us can help. And if you find any great sales and/or deals inform us of those too!

Happy Back to School Supply Shopping!!! (21 days and counting…now see…that was intentionally trying to make your summer sound shorter)

school supply shopping

Ashley Jansen is wife of 14 years to Mark and mom to three boys, Hamilton (10), Luke (5), and Garrett (2). Originally from Texas, she has lived in Forsyth County for the last 13 years. She loves Mexican food, watching football and baseball, reading a good book, making Excel spreadsheets, and prefers candy over chocolate and Dr. Pepper over Coke. She is a recent breast cancer survivor, but still prefers purple over pink.

To learn more about Ashley and our other contributing writers, click here.

An Experience with i9 Sports Forsyth County

i9 Sports Forsyth County

An Experience with i9 Sports Forsyth County

A few disclaimers as you read this review:
• We have three boys: 10, 5, & 2
• My husband is a previous college/professional athlete
• We have participated in Forsyth County, Church (Creekside & First Redeemer), and i9 Sports teams over the last 6 years.

So as I stated in my disclaimer we have participated in a wide variety of youth sports programs, but for the last three years we have chosen to stick with i9 Sports Forsyth County exclusively. We have played t-ball, soccer, and flag football with i9 and each time we have walked away having a very enjoyable experience.


It is typically about $140 per child and it is usually an 8 game season. You get a reversible [home(white)/away(gray)] uniform jersey and hat (with baseball only) with your fee. The first day you receive your jersey and if you want to have a name put on the back of the jersey you can turn it back into them and they will put it on both sides (white & gray) of the jersey for $7.

i9 Sports Forsyth County


My husband has always coached my boys’ teams. As a coach the i9 Sports’ website is incredibly comprehensive which has practice plans and tips, rules, team roster, you can email the entire team from the site, parents can sign up for snacks, view the schedule, and all i9 communications come into the coaches ‘inbox.’ NOTE: To be a coach with i9 you are required to do an online coach training program as well as do a background check. This is not always something that he experienced through other programs in Forsyth County.

Time Commitment

As a parent, I love that practices and games are on the same day back-to-back. Nothing for i9 Sports Forsyth County happens throughout the week – it is all on the weekend. We have always done Sunday afternoon sports, but they do have Saturday offerings as well. The length of the game gets longer as the age increases. For example, the 3-4 year-old team will be a 30 minute game but the 5-6 year-old team will be a 60 minute game. With a 30-minute practice before each game (no matter what age team you are on).


i9 Sports Forsyth County offers very convenient locations. We live in West Forsyth area and we have played at Fowler Park and at South Forsyth High School which are both centralized locations. They have other areas opening and sports being offered each season so just check the website and see what sport and what location best services your family.

i9 Sports Forsyth County


The philosophy behind i9 Sports is also incredible. Each week there is a different character quality such as sportsmanship, hustle, listening, positive attitude, etc. The coach is given guidance (again found on the website) and as part of the practice he talks about the word of the week with the team. Throughout the afternoon the coach reiterates the quality. You would hear things like “Ryan you are doing a great job listening to my instructions.” Or “Jack thanks for hustling back from your water break.” At the end of the game the coach has two medals and two free Chick-Fil-A ice dream cone gift cards to give to two of the kids that have displayed the quality of the day the most. Each week two medals are given so by the end of the season each child will have received a medal.

About mid-season individual and team pictures are taken. You do not get to pick your picture and they do not have retakes. You just choose your package and you receive them the next week. On the last game of the season no medals are given, but a trophy is presented to each child.

Don’t just take it from me why i9 Sports Forsyth County is a great place to kick-off your sports experiences with your kids – here are what other parents and coaches are saying:

“What I love about i9 Sports is that the practices are right before the game and not on a different day. I also love that it’s not very competitive and gives all kids a chance to just have fun!” 

“Our experience with i9 has been fantastic! We feel like it was a great introduction to baseball for our young son. We also appreciate the one day per week format, and the emphasis on character development. I9 is top notch!” 

“i9 Sports Forsyth County is the best sports program available for families looking to introduce their kids to a particular sport and for families who value learning the fundamentals of the game without the ‘win-at-all-cost’ mentality. They are kid and family experience focused whose mission is to ensure the player has fun while learning the game.”

What about you? Have you had any experience with different youth sports programs in the Cumming Local area? If you have been on an i9 Sports team share your experience with us!

i9sports in Forsyth County

Ashley Jansen is wife of 14 years to Mark and mom to three boys, Hamilton (10), Luke (5), and Garrett (2). Originally from Texas, she has lived in Forsyth County for the last 13 years. She loves Mexican food, watching football and baseball, reading a good book, making Excel spreadsheets, and prefers candy over chocolate and Dr. Pepper over Coke. She is a recent breast cancer survivor, but still prefers purple over pink.

To learn more about Ashley and our other contributing writers, click here.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Theme Park Day

theme park day

How to Get the Most Out of Your Theme Park Day

One of my favorite things about a theme park is it offers something for everyone. Little kids can ride colorful carousels decorated with their favorite cartoons. Thrill seekers can enjoy death-defying coasters. Funnel cakes and corndogs can satisfy those hungry for fun. And stage shows or nighttime fireworks entertain everyone.

All that fun comes at a price, and everyone wants to make sure their investment results in wonderful memories of grand adventures and huge laughs with family and friends. Use the following tips to get all you can out of your next day at your favorite theme park.

theme park day

  • Start early. Crowds will get larger and lines will get longer as the day goes on. If you can be at the park when it opens, you’ll be able to knock out a handful of rides before the crowds get busy.
  • Choose your priorities. Let each person in your group pick one thing that they really want to do that day. It might be a ride, a snack, a character meeting, or a show. Then prioritize those things as you choose what to do next. That way each person gets one special moment during the day.
  • Consider skipping the lines. All theme parks offer an option for bypassing the lines, usually at an additional cost. If you’re visiting during holidays or the summer, and it can fit in your budget at all, it really might be worth it. You’ll find your day will be more smooth and efficient.
  • Prepare for the weather. If there’s a chance of rain, take along a poncho or rain jacket and some dry socks. If it will be warm and sunny, wear a hat and sunscreen, and drink plenty of water. Taking a few precautions will help you be more comfortable and enjoy your day regardless of the weather.
  • Download the park’s app. Most theme parks have an app with real-time wait times for rides, park maps, and daily schedules. Download the app and get to know how it works. It can be very helpful during your day.
  • Familiarize yourself with the park schedule. Knowing when shows and parades are scheduled will help you know when to take breaks to enjoy them, or when to go to a different part of the park to avoid them.
  • Consider multiple days of park tickets. Most theme parks reduce the per day price when you buy multiple days of admission in advance. And often the daily tickets do not need to used consecutively. Additionally, season passes usually come with discounts on parking, food, and merchandise. Consider your schedule and budget, read the fine print, and then decide if more than one day’s worth of tickets might benefit your group.
  • Take breaks and have fun. Pause to laugh at your ride photos. Stop for an ice cream when the group needs to be refreshed. Play games while you wait in line. Resist the temptation to rush through experiencing everything and instead enjoy the togetherness of the day.

For personalized help planning your visit to your favorite theme park, contact your travel agent. Need an agent who specializes in Disney and Universal destinations? Email me at jessica@travelmation.net.

Jessica McKee 

As an Authorized Disney Travel Planner, and a mom to two tween boys, Jessica has fully experienced every thrill attraction and enjoyed everything Star Wars at Walt Disney World. She knows how to save the day with the Marvel heroes at Disneyland. And she knows the award-winning service and relaxed fun aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Plus, outside of Disney destinations, she’s even cast a magical spell with Harry Potter in Universal Studios. And she loves helping other families create magical memories of their own.

Don’t Miss The Saturday Storytime at Post Road Library on July 15!


SAVE THE DATE: Local Author & Illustrator Visits Post Road Library on July 15

As you know, I love to support all things local. Today’s news is all about a local author and illustrator who put together a new children’s book. They are coming to visit their hometown of Cumming, GA to share about “Time for Bed with Ford and Red.” 

**Mrs. Leigh & Ms. Fink were recently featured in the Forsyth County News! Click here to read that article.**

“An adventure awaits as we lay down to bed. Come journey with us, the brave Ford & Red”

Event Details:

Jacqueline Leigh, author of the new children’s book “Time for Bed with Ford and Red,” will appear as a special guest at Saturday Family Storytime on Saturday, July 15 at 11:15 a.m. at the Post Road Library. The book’s illustrator, Mackenzie Fink, will also attend the event, which is free and open to the public. During the event, you are welcome to have your copy signed by both the author & illustrator. There will be a live reading of “Time for Bed with Ford and Red,” dancing and more fun for the whole family.

“Mrs. Leigh and Ms. Fink were both raised in Cumming, GA. We’re so pleased that both of them are traveling to Cumming, GA to celebrate the publishing of their first children’s book with our library,” says Program Manager Laura Bradley.

The Story Behind the Book:

Time for Bed with Ford and Red is a picture book that follows a little boy named Ford and his beloved rabbit companion, Red, as they lay down to sleep each night. Adventure awaits the pair as they journey through blistering deserts, deep oceans, and wild savannas in this illustrated tale of a young child’s dreams.

Aside from offering a charming story for bedtime, the tale also serves to combat common nighttime fears small children often experience.

“The idea of darkness and nighttime often fills toddlers with a sense of nervousness,” explains Leigh, drawing on experiences with her own two children.

“The story is geared towards preschoolers in hopes of promoting healthy and happy sleep, so caregivers can use Time for Bed with Ford and Red as a tool for improving restful sleep in their children. It also serves an adventure guide to inspire the use of imagination within toddlers,” explains the author.

It’s especially fitting that Ms. Leigh is visiting the library’s popular Saturday Family Storytime program, since she managed to write the book and shepherd it through the publishing process with a baby on her hip and a toddler underfoot.

“Parents and caregivers at this storytime program will be able to identify and connect with Ms. Leigh, even as their children enjoy her lively reading of the book,” added Bradley.

Insider Information:

Mascot Books will publish the picture book later this month, but the author will have limited quantities of advance copies available for purchase. The author, along with the illustrator, will be available after the reading to meet young readers, chat with parents, and sign copies of “Time for Bed with Ford and Red.”

Purchasing Information:

At the event on July 15th, you will be able to purchase a copy of the book for $14.95 (cash, debit & credit will be accepted).

**Cumming Local is partnering with Mrs. Leigh to give away a signed copy of the book. In order to be entered to win, you have to come to the story time on July 15th. You will be able to gain multiple entries and I will be drawing a winner that day!**

Post Road Library | 5010 Post Rd, Cumming, GA | Phone: 770.781.9840

For more information on the Forsyth County Libraries, please visit them online at www.forsythpl.org.

Be Sure to Connect with Author Jacqueline Leigh on Facebook!

A Family Friendly Experience at Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

A Family Friendly Experience at Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

Experiencing a Gwinnett Braves Game is a must do for any family in our area. Obviously it’s not Forsyth County, but it is just a short 30-minute drive from downtown Cumming. (TIP: We took a MUCH shorter alternate route using the Waze app. It took us Old Atlanta to McGinnis Ferry over 85 to Horizon and then taking Old Peachtree Road NE. This saved us literally 30+ minutes of travel time). This was our third Gwinnett Braves game to go to as a family. This time we chose to go to a “promotional” game which was Star Wars Night. Let’s just say it wasn’t our previous and normal experience.


Parking is easy and a simple walk to stadium (It is $5 for parking). Usually the concessions have no lines and really purchasing seated tickets doesn’t really matter because it is pretty open and relaxed. Kids can run up and down the aisles if they want. The game is the game. There are lawn seats behind the outfield that is just an open lawn that we take the kids to run around, body roll down, and get the wiggles out during the 7th inning stretch. We have gone just the four of us and we have gone with a large group of 50+ and both times it was fantastic!


Parking was abysmal. We parked in beyond overflow and still paid $5 when we were no where close to actually being on property. We arrived at 6pm for a 6:05pm start & were not all seated together as a family until the bottom of the 6th inning because the lines were SO long for the concessions. Good to know: The promotional opportunity of pictures with Star Wars characters was not worth it. My boys didn’t want to wait in those lines either.

The game lasted exactly 3 hours. The element that saved the entire evening was the excellent firework display that occurred 20 minutes after the end of the game. It was A-MAZE-ING! It lasted just under 10 minutes and really felt like a ‘finale’ show the entire time the fireworks were going off. They were shot from the outfield of the stadium so they were very close. It was so wonderful and enjoyable that we already have tickets to attend the July 4th game as our holiday fireworks show.

Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field


My recommendation is to take your family to a Gwinnett Braves game! Tickets are as cheap or as expensive as you desire (ranging from $7-$40 a seat). {TIP: We have always sat in the $13-$15 seats behind the visitors dug-out. It’s under the overhang. The reasons we choose to sit there is because it’s always shaded and has a great view.} There are inflatables behind Left Field that are $2 per ‘ride’ or $10 for a wristband that is unlimited but only until the bottom of the 8th inning. Concessions were typical concession pricing = pricy! For dinner we paid almost $60 for the four of us to eat (hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, & drinks). Then an additional $20 on snacks (ice cream, pretzel, & popcorn). However if you compare the total pricing of an experience at the Gwinnett Braves to the Atlanta Braves, you will most likely end up spending a lot less at a Gwinnett Braves game.

Gwinnett Braves: 2017 Schedule | Tickets

Have you been to a Gwinnett Braves game? What has your experience been? We’d love to hear your feedback and please share any other tips you may have.

Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field

Ashley Jansen is wife of 14 years to Mark and mom to three boys, Hamilton (10), Luke (5), and Garrett (2). Originally from Texas, she has lived in Forsyth County for the last 13 years. She loves Mexican food, watching football and baseball, reading a good book, making Excel spreadsheets, and prefers candy over chocolate and Dr. Pepper over Coke. She is a recent breast cancer survivor, but still prefers purple over pink.

To learn more about Ashley and our other contributing writers, click here.

Unique Gifts Worth Giving From Naturally Curated

Unique Gifts Worth Giving From Naturally Curated

From the most conscious brands…In a perfectly packaged experience

Weddings, birthdays, new babies, graduations, retirements, mother’s day, father’s day…the list could go on and on with all the gift giving times. And I don’t know about you but as the years pass it gets harder and harder to come up with a great gift idea. I will confess that most of the time I settle for giving a gift card. Yet I always think there has got to be a better way! Today it’s an honor to introduce you to Naturally Curated. A new local company being run right here in Forsyth County. And as you know I have a deep love and passion for sharing about local businesses.

“Naturally Curated’s mission is to provide quality products and a unique experience for our customers.” – Elizabeth Hood, owner & operator

Quality Products: We deliver the best products we can find!  We seek out natural, local, organic, American-made, fair trade and eco-friendly products, as much as possible.  This same philosophy is applied to our office practices and packaging, too!

Unique Experience: Our goal is to build long-term relationships.  We want you to be excited about your purchases, understand the product benefits, and expand your knowledge of clean living and eco-friendly practices.  We would love to help you individualize your purchase and make the process simple; we are here to support you and those you care about.

Discount Offer for Cumming Local Readers

I’m pleased to offer a special discount code for you to use. This code will give you 20% off your order.

The promo code is CUMMINGLOCAL20.

You will need to enter the promo code at check-out. This offer is valid until July 31st.

Now that you have been introduced. What’s the next gift you need to get? Give Naturally Curated an opportunity to provide the perfect, unique & quality gift for your friends, family, or business partners.

Insider Information: Naturally Curated has gifts already put together on their website. But they can also create customized gifts. You can reach out to them directly for more information on this. Whether you need a meaningful gift for your employees or a special gift for a friend going through chemo or your father-in-law’s retirement, Naturally Curated will take excellent care of you.

Check out Naturally Curated today! 

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Forsyth County Fire Department Urges Fireworks Safety This Independence Day

Forsyth County Fire Department Urges Fireworks Safety This Independence Day

Fireworks are best left to professionals

Forsyth County, Georgia – The Forsyth County Fire Department urges citizens to practice safe handling of fireworks and to be alert while observing fireworks displays this Independence Day.

“Fireworks displays are a part of many Independence Day celebrations but they are also very unpredictable, and accidents can occur with little to no warning,” said Fire Chief Danny Bowman. “The best way to avoid injury is to remain alert and to leave the fireworks displays to trained professionals.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 230 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around Independence Day. More than 50 percent of the injuries are burns, and the body parts most commonly injured include the hands, fingers, head, face, eyes and ears.

“One fireworks-related hazard seen often is the use of sparklers by children,” said Division Chief Jason Shivers. “Sparklers burn at temperatures of approximately 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, so they pose a great hazard when handled by young children.”

Those who choose to use or watch fireworks are urged to proceed with caution.

Follow these safety tips provided by the Forsyth County Fire Department and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission when using or observing fireworks:

  •   Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  •   Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  •   Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
  •   Do not allow anyone under the age of 12 to handle sparklers at any time.
  •   Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  •   Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  •   Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  •   Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  •   Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  •   Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  •   Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  •   After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  •   View fireworks from a safe distance.

    Be sure to make provisions to keep your pets safe as well.

  •   Keep pets indoors with a safe, secure place to hide.
  •   Turn on ambient noise, such as a radio or television, to provide some distraction from the loud sounds of fireworks.
  •   Ensure pets’ microchips and IDs are up-to-date.
  •   Resist the urge to take pets to fireworks displays and instead leave pets at home.

Always dial 911 for any emergencies.

110 E. Main Street, Suite 210 | Cumming, Georgia 30040 | (770) 886-2802 | (678) 965-7195 fax | TV Forsyth | forsythco.com