The Secret to a Healthier, Safer Pregnancy That Many Women Don’t Know About

The following is a post from Contributing Writer, Dr. Kristin Marchman.  Dr. Marchman is a Licensed Chiropractor at Vickery Chiropractic in Cumming, GA.


The Secret to a Healthier, Safer Pregnancy That Many Women Don’t Know About

If you’re anything like me, you’ve recently looked around and spotted a lot of pregnant women. Either it’s that time of the year or it’s the fact that I’m pregnant and my belly makes me notice every other woman with a pregnant belly that I pass. Regardless, there are a lot of us out there, so I feel it is only fair to reveal my biggest secret to help pregnant moms-to-be achieve the healthiest, safest pregnancy possible.

The secret is receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy.

Many women I see in my office didn’t even realize they could see a chiropractor while pregnant until a friend or family member told them. And still others simply don’t know the benefits f chiropractic care during pregnancy. You’re probably assuming this recommendation is due to the lovely aches and pains we women endure throughout our pregnancies. Yes and no. Lower back pain, sciatica, and headaches are all conditions that benefit greatly from chiropractic care, whether a person is pregnant or not. However, there’s more benefit than that for all of us pregnant moms out there.

Chiropractic care aligns the spine, pelvis, and hips in order to prepare the body for labor. Would you ever run a marathon without making sure your body is ready? Of course not. So, why would you try to have a baby without making sure your body is prepared?

We as women are blessed with bodies that are designed for childbirth. We don’t have to push a special “I’m pregnant” button when the time comes. Our hips begin to expand on their own, making way for the little miracle that is growing within us. In a perfect world, we would stay in proper alignment throughout the entire nine months. However, due to repetitive motions, sleeping patterns, and the expansion that is occurring naturally to prepare for a baby, misalignments occur that put our bodies into a position that is often not optimal for childbirth.

Pelvic and sacral misalignments can cause major disruption in the body of a pregnant woman. If the baby has limited space within the womb, he or she may not be able to get into the proper position for delivery. This often inhibits the mom’s ability to have a non-invasive, natural birth.

The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nervous system and balances maternal pelvic muscles and ligaments. This in turn reduces torsion in the uterus, a cause of intra-uterine constraint of the baby, and allows for optimal fetal positioning in preparation for birth.

Chiropractors can choose to take a course to become certified in the Webster Technique, which was one of the first things on my “to do list” after graduating from chiropractic school. You can find the Webster Certified chiropractor nearest you by searching here.

I am not the only one endorsing chriropractic care for pregnant women. The American Pregnancy Association lists the following benefits for chiropractic care during pregnancy based on scientific research:

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
  • Controlling symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
  • Relieving back, neck or joint pain
  • Prevent a potential cesarean delivery

There it is, my secret to a safer, healthier pregnancy, from one pregnant mom-to-be to another!

Connect with Dr. Marchman:

Dr. Marchman is dedicated to providing optimal health to her patients through chiropractic care. She is certified in the Webster Technique for pregnant women, a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nervous system and balances maternal pelvic muscles and ligaments. While Dr. Marchman specializes in pregnant women, children, and athletes, she welcomes patients of all ages and from all walks of life.

Connect with Dr. Marchman online: Website | Facebook | Phone: 678.947.4449

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

Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Parent Review


Fernbank Museum of Natural History

This is a guest post from one of our contributing writers, Ashley Jansen. She recently took two of her boys to visit Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

So my 4 year old is coming up on his third year of being obsessed with dinosaurs. Last year he only wanted to go to the ‘dinosaur museum’ for his birthday instead of having a traditional party. He’s been begging to go back since so we ventured back out today.

It is a good hour drive from Cumming, so plan accordingly regarding your commute. Also, take it from someone who goofed today, there is NOTHING to eat around the museum – nada! My boys were starving for lunch when we left and I had planned to run through a trusty CFA on our way home and we were out of luck. So bring snacks or pack a lunch. There is a diner in the museum, but it is museum priced food.

I will say the museum is very ‘mom’ friendly in that there are true changing tables for babies (not just the kind you pull down from the wall in the handicapped stall of the bathroom), nursing rooms, and is very stroller friendly. However, I wouldn’t consider all the exhibits to be ‘kid’ friendly – or maybe ‘pre-k kid’ friendly (see below).

The most breath-taking part of the whole place is the ‘Giants of the Mesozoic’ that takes up the entire Great Hall. It can be seen from all vantage points during your entire visit.


On the main floor is the ‘Georgia’ exhibit. It has a lot of animals on display that we quickly walked by. It leads to the only dinosaurs on exhibit (five large ones). That’s the only exhibit on the main floor.

We headed downstairs for the exhibits that change seasonally. Right now there is a ‘Creatures of Light’ exhibit and ‘Wild Music’ exhibit. The light exhibit is completely dark and then they have on display replicas of different organisms that ‘light up’ (mushrooms, fireflies, jellyfish, etc.) The boys thought this was pretty cool. The music exhibit you have to put headphones on for each display and maybe it’s just me but that grosses me out. Then a lot of the displays were broken which was disappointing. They had a jam room with lots of buttons and instruments and maybe two things worked.

We moved onto the ‘Sensing Nature’ exhibit which has been there for years. A lot of the displays are broken or don’t make sense and it’s not geared for young ones. There was no way for me to read the instructions and make it work fast enough to keep the attention of my kids. The only thing they enjoyed about this exhibit was a balcony that you can look over to see the dinosaurs again.

The last thing was the NatureQuest exhibit. Which is actually a fun playground-type atmosphere for the kiddos. My boys spent the most time here and loved seeing the real alligators, turtles, and snakes. There are a lot of nooks and crannies hidden around this room so make sure to explore it all. You can also pick up a scavenger hunt list at the front to help you explore all the areas.


We did not choose to see the IMAX movie (they offer two different shows that also change seasonally), but if I had older children I would have.

They have a new WildWoods outdoor experience opening up late summer (this will be a permanent exhibit) that did look pretty cool and the new ‘World’s Largest Dinosaurs’ exhibit will be open September thru January. So, both of those things may just lure us back this fall. Something always does.

One last tip I’ll provide – Fernbank offers an awesome date night experience if you are ever in the search for something. Every Friday night from 7-11pm they have Martinis & IMAX. It’s makes for a fun and unique date!

Connect with Fernbank Museum online: Website | FacebookTwitter

Learn more about Ashley:


Ashley Jansen is wife of 14 years to Mark and mom to three boys, Hamilton (9), Luke (5), and Garrett (2). Originally from Texas, she has lived in Forsyth County for the last 13 years.




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


The Ark Encounter: Parent Review


The Ark Encounter: Parent Review

This is a guest post from our contributing writer, Ashley Jansen. Ashley and her family recently visited the new Ark in Kentucky. 

My family took a road trip and stopped at The Ark Encounter in Williamston, Kentucky, on our way home. First, let me say this attraction (and review) is for skeptics and believers alike. It was extremely well done – quite beautiful actually – and I highly recommend that you and your family experience it.

We went on a Sunday and got there around 9:30 a.m. For the first forty days it is open (7/7-8/15) they have extended hours from 9:00 a.m. to midnight. Starting 8/16 they will resume standard hours 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the week and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the weekends. We made it inside the ark around 10:15 a.m. So what took 45 minutes? We did not pre-purchase our tickets and did have to wait about 10 minutes to purchase them at the window. You have to take a 5-minute chartered bus ride to the ark. Once you arrive I highly suggest you take your family photos and general photos of the ark before you enter. They will also take your picture once you get inside for you to purchase. (The prices were actually reasonable, but I wasn’t a fan of the background so we didn’t purchase).


The first deck you enter on shows you a lot of what the smaller animals would’ve been like in their cages. You also get to examine and enjoy a lot of the architecture of the boat. There is some information on the dinosaurs and other extinct animals as well a model of the ark. I would recommend not lingering too long at this deck because the top two decks are much larger and take much longer to get through. There are refreshments at the back right for purchase on this deck.

As you move from one deck to the next make sure you turn right and go around clockwise. We accidentally turned left and realized half way through that we were going backwards.

The second deck starts with what the pre-flood world would have been like. As you move through this deck there are replicas of larger animals in what their cages may have looked like throughout the entire center area. There are exhibits on what may have been involved in the care of the animals as well as thoughts on water, waste, and lighting in the boat. There are three different exhibits on the technology of the ark: education, woodworking, and blacksmithing. The boys loved the Kids Spooky Animal Encounters area so if you are with children make sure not to miss it! The grand finale of this deck are the entrance doors – absolutely amazing!


The final third deck showed what the living quarters may have been like for Noah and his family. The impact of the flood was shown in the following exhibits: Babel – Origin of Languages, Ice Age, Fossils – What Happened Outside the Ark, Ancient Man – Brilliant or Brute? (Evolution vs. Creation), Flood Legends, and the Rainbow Covenant. The finale of this deck was fascinating…it started with Jerusalem and then followed the Bible and Torah as it spread across the world. It had artifacts and pages of Scripture dated back to AD 200 – I mean that’s impressive to any type of history buff!

You exit back down to the ground floor where there is a gift shop. The shop has a lot of stuffed animals (duh?), books, T-shirts, and time period gifts. (so pottery and jewelry from ancient Israel/Jerusalem).

Quick Tip: There is a rest room on each deck to your right as you come onto the level.

We had lunch at the restaurant, Emzaras Kitchen, not even 100 feet from the ark. The menu was pretty simple and everything was $8 or less. You have the choice of 6 items: pizza, chicken wrap, veggie salad, chicken tenders, and burgers. It was open seating and you order cafeteria style. There is also upstairs and balcony seating. It is Pepsi products only. You can buy a souvenir bottle ($10) that can be refilled (for a $1 each time) and the refills are good for a full year. Otherwise the normal cup is filled behind the counter and there are no refills on them (although I’m not sure how they monitor refills on either cup since the Pepsi machine is public use).

About another 100 feet behind the ark there is a petting zoo with goats, sheep, and ponies. In this same area there is a zoo that has kangaroos, ostrich, yaks, zebras, and llamas. There was no signage in the zoo with information on the animals – I’m assuming this is coming. The animal ride area was finished, but not yet open. When it opens you can purchase tickets to ride a donkey or a camel.

There are many areas that are a work in progress. The large entrance sign is still not finished. There is a lot of landscaping still not complete. They have a few empty exhibit areas on each deck of the ark for exhibits they will add and change throughout the years (think seasonal/traveling galleries at the art museum or history museum). The zip line area is complete, but not yet open. Phase II that will be open next summer will include: Fossil Find, Outdoor Amphitheater, Tower of Babel, and Walled City.

We were back to our car by 2:00 and if it wasn’t for the 2-year-old melting down we probably could have stayed longer. The atmosphere in the ark was just beautiful – almost relaxing/spa-like. They had beautiful music playing, air conditioned, and the structure itself was just really pretty. If I had not had the younger kids with me I probably would have taken more time to read and enjoy some of the more ‘wordy’ exhibits on the third deck, but I still really enjoyed my experience. My nine-year-old read almost every sign so it was not too over-the-top in regards to the information or level of reading.

The entire area was very stroller and wheel-chair friendly. I don’t think I saw one step of a stair – everything was ramps.

Overall, I would highly recommend you go. Whether you believe the story of Noah and the Ark as depicted in the Bible is true or not – it was very fascinating and absolutely amazing to see. Part of me would recommend that you wait a year for Phase II to open, but at the same time I so enjoyed it and am excited to go back after Phase II opens. I guess what I’m trying to say is: GO!


To learn more about the Ark Encounter:  visit their website or connect on Facebook. 

Learn more about Ashley:


Ashley Jansen is wife of 14 years to Mark and mom to three boys, Hamilton (9), Luke (5), and Garrett (2). Originally from Texas, she has lived in Forsyth County for the last 13 years.

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


Disclosure: Ashley was provided with two tickets to enter the Ark. However, her opinions are 100% her own.

Southeastern Railway Museum – Parent Review



Today we have a parent review from Ashley Jansen. She and her younger boys recently visited The Southeastern Railway Museum

My family has been a big fan of the Southeastern Railway Museum for years now. My now 9 year old son had his 2nd birthday party there where we rented the party car and it was fantastic!! I took my 2 year old and 5 year old and his friend this past week. The museum opens at 10 a.m. and we got there right at opening to avoid the heat. Although a lot of the rail cars are inside a warehouse-type structure, it is not air conditioned. We left on the west-side of Cumming and it took us a solid 40 minutes to drive there.

There is a historic diesel train ride that the boys loved. The train whistle blew many times and we even lucked out with a real long train drive by on our ride. You are on the train for about 20 minutes. The current departing times for the train are: 10:40, 11:30, 1:00, 2:30, and 3:10.

Unfortunately, the park train ride is under repair (with the rains earlier this spring the train got flooded) and will not be back working until after Labor Day. When it is working, this small (think fair ride) train ride was so fun – went pretty fast and took three really long loops around the track.

The tip I would provide is to get there as close to 10:00 as you can. Tour the train cars in the warehouse (which took us right up to the 10:40 train ride). Ride the train. Tour the remaining buses and train cars under the pavilion. We were in the car heading home about 11:45.

Some of the trains take some climbing to get into. The 5 year olds were fine doing it on their own, but I was lifting and carrying my 2 year old throughout. I would not say it is handicapped accessible in that those in a wheel-chair or that need assistance walking there is no other way to see the inside of the cars without climbing the stairs. It is stroller friendly in that there are sidewalks around all the cars, but again to get the child into the train car you would have to climb up with the child in your arms.

Please note they are only open Wednesday thru Saturday from 10:00-5:00. Adults are $10 (65+ is $8). Children are $7. Under 2 is Free. Train rides are $3 per person (under 2 is Free).

Everyone who works there is a volunteer and are so friendly and helpful. They love to answer questions and talk about the trains to the kids. They started offering a preschool program the second Thursday of every month. The details can be found on their website if you are interested.

I highly recommend this outing! My son said on the way home, “Mommy, I loved that place. It was so so fun!”


To learn more about the Southeastern Railway Museum, visit their website by clicking here. 

More About Ashley:

AJAshley Jansen is wife of 14 years to Mark and mom to three boys, Hamilton (9), 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 and her husband are active in Browns Bridge Church serving as adult small group leaders, 2to1 premarital mentors, and GroupLink connectors. She also serves as Coordinator of the local Cumming class of Community Bible Study and on the Advisory Team of Titus2 Mentoring Women. 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 Facebook Changes Impact the News You Receive From Cumming Local


How Facebook Changes Impact the News You Receive From Cumming Local

Have you ever wondered why you aren’t seeing more posts from Cumming Local in your news feed?

Facebook announced a few weeks ago that it is tweaking it’s news feed algorithm to emphasize more posts from friends and family. This means that over time you will see less posts from pages that you like. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, that’s because it impacts how you see posts from Cumming Local. Over the last month, I’ve had a several readers reach out and ask why they aren’t seeing Cumming Local posts in their newsfeed.

So, I thought it would be helpful if I give you some step-by-step instructions on how to guarantee you will see all of Cumming Local’s posts.

Take these quick steps to be sure you still get Facebook posts from Cumming Local in your news feed.

  1. Go to Cumming Local’s Facebook page and make sure you have liked it.
    On your mobile device, click on “Following” and you receive three options. If you’d like to see every post from Cumming Local, click “See First.” If you’d prefer to see what the Facebook algorithm serves you, click “Default,” and Facebook will show you posts based on how often you engage Cumming Local’s content (by engage it means how often you like or comment on a post).

    On desktop, you can find the “See First” and “Default” options by clicking on the small arrow right next to the Like button.


  2. Set up your notifications.To manage your notifications on your mobile device, click on the “More” button and then click down to “Notifications.” There you can select which notifications you’d like to receive on the page.

    On desktop to edit notifications, click on the small arrow to the right of the like button and select either all on or all off. You may also choose to receive specific notifications, such as videos and photos. To do so, click on the pencil next to the notifications button to select which post types you’d like to receive notifications for.


My hope is this will help you understand how to not miss any posts from Cumming Local. You can also subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter that is emailed out. Click here to subscribe. Also, one quick note – this information goes for any business pages that you like on Facebook. So you can use these same instructions to set them up as well.

And if you have any problems with this or still have questions, you can send me a message on Facebook or email me at

Medieval Times Atlanta: Parent Review

Medieval Times Atlanta: Parent Review


Cumming Local is so grateful for contributing writers! This guest blog post is from one of Rachael’s very best friends, Ashley. Her family recently experienced Medieval Times. Ashley’s boys are 9, 4 1/2, and 20 months old. They chose to hire a babysitter for the 20 month old. And they were glad they did. 

I will say Medieval Times is a little pricy. We chose to go ‘all out’ and do the VIP option which we thought was completely worth it, but the regular tickets would provide just as nice of an experience if you were needing to be a little more budget friendly.

The food was actually pretty good, but just remember there is no silverware given – you eat everything with your fingers or from the plate. So the soup you drink from the bowl, the baked potato you pick up and eat. This is one of the main reasons I’m glad we left the 2 year old at home. Also, the seats are normal chairs – we did not ask if there were booster seats or high-chairs, but I did not see anyone else using one.

I would highly recommend you take their advice on getting there early because the seat where you sit is given out based on when you get there. You can reserve the ‘type’ of seat (i.e. we reserved a VIP seat), but the ‘quality’ of seat you get is based on when you are in line to check-in.

You get a picture made as soon as you walk in (ours was made with the princess – I wish now we would have requested the sword in the stone which would have been more ‘boyish’). After our picture we took the time to go to the gift shop and purchase a souvenir for the boys. I’m glad we did this before because it was pretty packed after the show. We were able to let them keep their souvenir swords on the floor under our chair during the show.

The show was very entertaining and kept both of my boys very engaged the entire time. It was such a pleasure to see the excitement and watch the experience through their eyes.

Overall, I am so pleased and impressed with our experience and felt it was money well spent. The boys are begging to go back again, but we will need to space the cost of this experience out by at least a year.

Location/Ticket Information:

Location: Atlanta Castle – 5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy Lawrenceville, GA

Tickets: $54.95 per adult and $36.95 for children 12 & under.


Note: There are a lot of different specials available as well. All seats $30 on Wednesday and Thursday; Free Royalty Upgrade; Summer Fun Savings Adults $35.95 and Kids $29.95 (everyday but Wednesday and Thursday due to previous special); and a Father’s Day special where Dad is free 6/13-19.

Connect online with Medieval Times:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Top Five Travel Agent Myths


Have you used a travel agent to book your vacation? I’m going to be very honest and tell you that I have not before. A few weeks ago, my husband and I started planning our 10 year anniversary trip. We decided to go back to the place we honeymooned at 10 years ago. I started shopping online. It was A LOT of work trying to find what we wanted. I ended up booking our trip through an online company. But you know what they say – “Hindsight is 20/20.”

The booking experience was very impersonal. I just shopped for the best flight, hotel room, and price. Then I typed in my personal information, payment information, and clicked book trip. That’s it. It took a little bit before I received a confirmation email which made me a bit nervous.

Now that it’s booked, I wish I would have gone through a travel agent. It would have helped me to book much easier, saved me stress, and probably saved money. And using a travel agent would have given me a person to call with any questions.

Yesterday, I was able to spend some time speaking with my friend, Jenny Reed who has been a travel agent/planner for over 15 years. She and I talked through the myths about travel agents. I felt these were too good not to share.

If you are thinking about summer, fall, or spring vacations – I recommend you give Jenny a call (678.947.5115) or email (Jenny@OurCruisePlanner) to have her help you with booking your vacation. Lesson learned for me. I will definitely use her next time!

Myth 1: Travel agents are expensive.

Truth: Travel agents are usually compensated by the hotel, cruise line or tour provider they are booking for, which means you probably don’t have to pay them a penny. Ask up front if the agent charges a planning fee.  Agents also have insider access to deals not advertised and a large buying power since they are searching and purchasing travel year round, and have strong relationships with each travel brand, which is a benefit to you. In reality, it can be less expensive to use a travel agent.

Myth 2: I have the Internet, so why would I need a travel agent?

Truth: The Internet is a great tool for researching travel, but when you have 25 different windows open and you can’t figure out which ones to close, you are bound to get stressed. Travel agents can help break through the overwhelming clutter of so many options, offer tried-and-true recommendations based on their personal travel experience and help narrow down choices to create a customized vacation experience based on your desires.  Also, it is their personalized customer service after the sale that often is the key to using an agent as well.

Myth 3: A travel agent will cut me out of the research and planning process.

Truth: It’s all about teamwork. Working with a travel agent allows you to be as involved as you would like to be in the travel planning process. Vacations are investments, so just like you would want to hire a professional to manage a cash investment, you should consider using a professional travel agent to help with your vacation investment. Find a travel agent that has a robust website with information about destinations to make you an even more educated, savvy traveler.

Myth 4: Travel agents only recommend products that will earn them the highest commission.

Truth: While some travel agents might have a favorite cruise line or destination, their recommendation is based off of personal experience and what you are wanting for your vacation. Many travel agents take familiarization trips, so they are knowledgeable about the products they are offering and can give you insider tips to make your vacation even more special.

Myth 5: I can book a vacation myself and save time.

Truth: Don’t lie to yourself…you are insanely busy. Why spend four weeks planning a four-day vacation all on your own when a travel agent has the resources, knowledge and often personal experience to help you and in a timely manner?    Travel agents actually save you time so all you have to do is worry about is what to pack.

Jenny Reed – Our Cruise PlannerTravel Planner in Cumming GA

Jenny Reed has been traveling the world since she was a little girl. She turned her love for travel into her own business over 14 years ago. From cruises to escorted tours to customized travel plans, Jenny has helped her friends, family and clients in the Cumming area and nationwide take the vacations of their dreams. She shares her passion for travel with her customers and does not charge a service planning fee. For Jenny, the best part of her job is creating travel plans so people can escape their busy lives even if it’s just for a little while!

Connect with Jenny:

Email – Jenny@OurCruisePlanner (dot) com
Website | Facebook  | Twitter
Phone – 678.947.5115

New Trails and Playground at Sawnee Mountain Preserve Mountainside


Have you taken a hike up the new trails at Sawnee Mountain Preserve – Mountainside? Personally we haven’t. But we hope to real soon! Just need to find a time when we can do it without our littles. We’ve heard it’s a tough hike and better to go without kids under 6 years old.

The New Trails

There are 4 trail tracks you can take up the mountain. They range from 0.6 miles to 3.2 miles. Click here to check out the map.

The Playground

I (Rachael) went to the Mountainside Playground for a playdate a few weeks ago. The playground is pretty amazing! It has slides, poles to slide down, a rock wall to climb, a bridge to cross, and more. My children’s favorite part was the cave to play in. You can climb down into the cave from the top of playground but also from the ground. Inside you find “spiders,” “lizards,” and cave drawings.


This playground also offers several swings, a playground for the younger kids, and clean bathrooms. The ground of the playground looks like mulch but it’s a solid ground. It has a bounce to it. My daughter fell a few times running around and she didn’t get hurt so that’s a win!

SMP-Mountainside2 A few tips for you:

  • The ground is a dark reddish color so it is hot. And it puts off some heat too. The playground is not covered.
  • Pack water! You kids will be thirsty after playing here.
  • Make sure to have sunscreen handy since it’s not a covered playground.
  • There is a covered picnic area that you can sit to watch your kids play. Also, that’s a great place to share a snack before you head home. 🙂

More about Sawnee Mountain Preserve:

10676361_903043403053383_2197766904284198221_nLocated just 40 miles north of Atlanta in Cumming, Georgia, Sawnee Mountain Preserve provides visitors with 963 acres of scenic passive space, hiking trails and an interactive Visitor Center. Sawnee Mountain visibly links to the summit of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, as well as the rich history of the woodland culture of North Georgia’s Native American inhabitants. The mountain is named after a local Cherokee Native American, Sawnee.  Now, after having survived the passage of time, natural disasters, searches for gold, timber clearing, and urban development, Sawnee Mountain is the landmark host to The Sawnee Mountain Preserve & Visitor Center.

Connect with Sawnee Mountain Preserve Online: Website | Facebook

Grub Burger Bar: A Family Dinner Out and A Date Night

* As of May 16th, this contest has been closed. Congrats to Bert G!*



Grub Burger Bar had it’s GRAND OPENING here in Cumming GA on May 3rd at 11am. I am so happy that this new burger place is open. I was offered the opportunity to go to Grub Burger Bar on May 2nd for a sneak peek and to try the food and drinks. It was a great experience! The staff was wonderful, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was just fantastic. You can’t ask for anything better in a restaurant.

For the Family:

Right when I walked in I knew my kids would love this place. It’s got a great vibe. As I walked up to order, I noticed they have some great options for the kids at an excellent price. All the kid’s meals are $5 for either a burger, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, or macaroni n’ cheese. It comes with a side and a drink. The restaurant does have a lot of high tops around the bar area. But they also have an excellent covered patio with tons of regular tables as well as booths inside. 

Grub Burger Bar also have tons of delicious milkshakes! What kid doesn’t love that? And their shakes are considered lactose-free.

For the Date Night:

One thing I love about this restaurant is how perfect it is for Forsyth County. It can be great for the family. But it can also be an awesome place to take your significant other out on a date. The exposed brick and industrial lighting give it a cool factor.

Grub Burger Bar has a full bar with anything from beer and wine to spiked milkshakes and everything in between. Here’s a fun option – have everyone order a different burger and then split them into fours. That way you can try more than one burger. I tried the Bacon Love #9, Guacapotle, Jive Turkey, and Greek To Me. Hands down my favorite was the Guacapotle. But they were all really good.

On Monday-Friday from 3pm-6pm, they offer “Happier Hours.” During this time they have drink and food specials. You can learn more by visiting them in person.

Gluten Free?

Since I’m gluten free, this was the best part about my meal. They can and are happy to accommodate a gluten free person. The one downfall is that their menu isn’t labeled with what is gluten free and what’s not. However, their staff is knowledgeable and can help you choose what to order that’s safe. The buns they use are made from Pure Knead’s. Mine was soft but yet toasted perfectly. Also all of their plain flavored milkshakes are gluten free. I had salted caramel and it was amazing!


In summary, I have to encourage you to go try this new restaurant. I know you will enjoy your meal and the service! And to encourage you to go, I have a gift certificate for a complimentary milkshake or fries.

Enter to win here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learn More about Grub Burger Bar: 

12507270_950427731710995_8374375215156410142_nThey are passionate about great food, great drinks and great hospitality. They believe in fresh ingredients and big flavors, delivered by caring, friendly people. And they know that a lively environment makes it all feel and taste better. At Grub they use quality, fresh, and differentiating ingredients.

snaps-0166Their buns are baked from scratch every hour. They grind their signature blend of chuck and brisket in-house daily. All of their sauces and dressings are homemade. And they are proud to source local when possible.

Connect with Grub Burger Bar:

The Collections at Forsyth
410 Peachtree Pkwy, Ste 204
Cumming GA 30041

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Disclosure: Grub Burger Bar provided Cumming Local with a complimentary meal in order to provide this review. I was not compensated for this post. All of the opinions are my own. 


Day Out with Thomas: Parent Review


Day Out With Thomas: Parent Review

Cumming Local is so grateful for contributing writers! This guest blog post is from one of Rachael’s very best friends, Ashley. Her family recently took a trip to Chattanooga for the “Day Out with Thomas” experience. Ashley’s boys are 9, 4 1/2, and 19 months old. This exhibit is open for 2 more weeks. It’s not too far of a drive from Cumming GA & Forsyth County. Go check it out while you can!

We purchased our tickets on the Tuesday before we attended that Saturday. They sell the tickets on a timed schedule and then within each time by the train car. There is no perk for being on the different cars. We were on train four and it was the same thing as train one. There are a certain number of seats per car and time slot so when we purchased our tickets the only time slots available were 5:30 and 6:30 in the evening. They start as early as 9:30 and run on the hour with 6:30 being the last train.

It is about a two hour drive from our home in Cumming GA to Chattanooga. The drive was really not bad at all and of course we watched Thomas movies all the way there and back to enhance the experience for our kids.

They recommend you arrive an hour before your train ride and you get in line to board 20 minutes before. We purchased 5:30 tickets and arrived at 4:30. It was plenty of time to see most of what we wanted. When you arrive they give each child a piece of paper that they are to get three stamps on when they visit different areas of the train yard. The problem is that some of these are timed experiences.


The first ‘stamped’ activity is at the ‘Imagination Station’ tent. This is where my boys got their choice of train tattoo. There were also train displays, but there were not nearly enough trains for people to play with so we got our tattoos and stamp on our paper and were on our way.

The second ‘stamped’ activity was seeing Sir Topham Hatt. Because it was 4:45 he wasn’t there and no one was there to stamp our paper. To see Sir Topham Hatt: 9:15 to 6:15 on the hour. He is only there for a short while to take a photo with.

The third ‘stamped’ activity was hearing a story or watching a video. It is upstairs. We were a couple minutes late and she had already started reading (Got there about 4:50). The boys weren’t that interested in the story, but there was a sweet lady at the back that stamped our papers. NOTE: there are bathrooms in this room. To see the Thomas Video: 9:15 to 5:15 on the hour. It is just a short 10-15 minute video. To hear a Thomas story read aloud: 9:45 to 5:45 on the hour. Think librarian story time reading a couple Thomas books that takes about 10-15 minutes.

After we left the storytime we headed to the bouncy, putt-putt, and petting zoo. The bouncy is only for 5 and under which was a bummer. My 9 year old couldn’t do it and my 4 year old didn’t want to do it without big brother so that was an unfortunate bust. On to the petting zoo. My kids always get a kick out of these. My 19-month old loved petting all the goats.


A lucky-for-us now tip-for-you: As we were at the petting zoo we heard Thomas’ whistle (all of us Thomas the Train lovers or parent of lovers know this sound well). So we ran over to the track and got to watch Thomas come in. Then they had a platform that you could get your picture made with Thomas behind you. It was 4:50 and we were first in line for the pictures (way before the entire train deboarded to get their picture made). So my tip is: I would head over to the jumpy/petting zoo area about 10 minutes before the hour.


They tell you to get to the train to stand in line about 20 minutes before the ride. You stand in line by your train car number. As I mentioned we were train number four. The order you are in line is the order you will load the train which means the order you get to pick your seats. Since we were needing 4 seats we wanted to make sure we were able to sit with each other. No food or drinks are allowed on the trains (so make sure not to buy your ‘carnival’ snacks right before your train time because they won’t allow you to bring it on). There are also no bathrooms on the train so take those potty breaks with plenty of time before to get in line. (We did have my youngest sippy cup and bag of fruit loops on the train that he did snack on). The train left at 5:35 and we were back at 6:00 – so it’s about a 25 minute ride. Another tip for you: Sit on the side of the train you loaded from and sit as close to that door as possible. The view out that side of the train is way more interesting (stalled train cars, houses, bridges, etc.). The other side is woods the whole way. Also, sitting close to the loading door means you are the first ones off. The train is air conditioned which is a nice reprieve. A conductor walks through the car and hands out a blank, black and white, certificate. We threw these away, but some kids might think they are special. They also had a photographer going around the car taking pictures. (more on how to order pictures later).


After the train ride is when we decided to let the boys get their snacks. There are refreshments like cotton candy, ices, hot dogs, and other carnival-type food.  We then decided to get one more picture with Thomas. This was at the front of the Thomas (so directly face-on). I read on the sign that you could give them your camera as long as it was ready to go and they would use your personal device. So we waited in line to get this picture (to myself I was thinking it would save me from having to purchase the other one that I tipped you on). Unfortunately, when we got up there for the picture she said we are allowed to use our own cameras, but she could not take them. I needed to have someone else take our picture. So my tip: Coordinate with another family (even if it is a stranger) to hop out of line to take your picture and then you can return the favor.

By the time we were done with the picture we realized Sir Topham Hatt was back out (it was 6:20) so we went over there, but were in no moods to stand in another line. We went around to the exit, let the boys see him and got our third and final stamp.

We headed to the merchandise store (where you turn in your paper for your prize). The prize was disappointing to the boys, it was a Thomas clapper. Exactly what parents want to hear all the way home, Ha! My four-year old asked why it wasn’t a train. I understand why it wasn’t a train, but something more useful would have been nice. There is a great selection of Thomas the Train trains, sets, cups, towels, shirts, and anything else you can think of in the merchandise store. My tip: there are four very nice Thomas the Train tables with a good number of trains at the back of the merchandise store that my boys were able to play with easily. So if you want a break in the shade (but are prepared for the tears when they have to walk away) go play on these train tables.


The last thing I would say is that our crowd was not big at all. We really didn’t have to wait for anything. I asked a staff member when we left if this was typical crowd size or if there were busier time during the day. She said the first two and last two train rides of the day were the least crowded, but the times in between were extremely ‘crazy and crowded’. Those were her words. So initially, I was a little worried and concerned having our experience later in the day, but the weather was beautiful and the crowd was lite and I think it worked out perfectly.

Would I recommend the Day Out With Thomas experience? Absolutely! If you have a Thomas the Train lovin’ child that lives in your home the expression on their face and absolute joy is worth every penny. Yes there were some disappointments along the way, but overall it was a wonderful family outing!

FYI: This is the same train ride you take if you have ever done the Polar Express with the Tennessee Valley Railroad.


P.S. I got a lot of compliments on my shirt (My shirt says “Outnumbered #boymom) while I was there. I was able to secure a 60% discount code just for CummingLocal readers if you are interested in BoyMom, GirlMom, or even ‘Best of Both World’ shirts, hats, and more. Just go to: and use the promo code: 3l (that is a lower-case L)

Ticket Information:

Tickets are $21 per person that is age 2 or older. Under 2 is free (but do not get your own seat). There is a $4 fee per ticket as well. Everything else I have mentioned is included with the train ticket – the only other thing you purchase when you are there are snacks, drinks, and any merchandise you choose to buy.

The pictures they take are through JED Photography. You can stop at the tent to view the pictures (they give you these little tickets with passwords on them that they scan). There is a little discount if you order at the event and they print them on the spot. Our last pictures had not been uploaded yet so we didn’t want to wait. You can order everything up to 14 days after online for the same price (and you can text them for a 10% off coupon).

To see the nation-wide tour schedule CLICK HERE. We attended the Chattanooga, TN location (CLICK HERE to go straight to purchase tickets) which is open 4/30, 5/1, & 5/7. My review would still be applicable to any location since it’s the same thing that travels to all locations.