Jenny Reed Travel
Green Star Roofing

A Family Forward Family

Family Forward Family

After a crazy busy summer with lots of family time – both the good-relaxing-enjoying kind and the hair-pulling-sister-brother-constant-fighting kind, we’re slowly getting into our back-to-school routines.  This means the calendar is filling up with commitments, ball games, practices, and homework too.

If we’re not careful and intentional family time can become left-over time.   Later this month, I’m actually headed to an event at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando with my entire family through Mom It Forward.  It’s really got me thinking about practical steps I can take to help my family become a Family Forward Family – one that’s always moving forward.  Together.  Not in a bunch of directions without each other!

Family Forward Family2

Here’s a few steps to consider …

  • Get Up Early -  Wake up in plenty of time to get morning duties done before the kids wake up – this one usually makes me a MUCH nicer parent in the mornings!
  • Unplug – After the kids get home from school until after they go to bed at night – it’s hard, but worth it!
  • Track My Time – Certain things can consume MUCH more of our time than we anticipate (hello Pinterest?!) but setting a clock helps realize how long we’ve been distracted.
  • Work Together – Whether it’s chores together at home, working in the yard outside or volunteering in the community, doing something hard or doing something for someone else is so good for the kids to see!
  • Eat Together – Some dinners go better than others, but if we’re all home we definitely all eat together – no cell phones or tablets!  It’s the only time we’re usually all together each day!
  • Play Together – It can’t be all hard work and homework.  Plan a family game night or just spontaneously decide on something fun to do.

Family Forward Family3

What are your tips for a Family  Forward Family?

Poole’s Mill Park in Forsyth County

A Trip to Poole’s Mill Park in Forsyth County

I can’t believe I’ve never written about a trip to Poole’s Mill Park – actually I can, because there are LOTS of things I’ve never written about … so much to do, so little time. But we spend a lot of time here so it’s about time I sit down and write a little. If you’ve been then you probably already know all about this little gem. If you haven’t, hopefully you’ll know more after reading this!

Poole’s Mill Park is located in the far west part of Forsyth County – it actually has a Ball Ground address – 7725 Pooles Mill Road, Ball Ground GA 30107.

It’s probably most famous for its old covered bridge – so much history (and tacky graffiti, what a shame). It’s an incredibly popular spot for family photos – my family included. But it’s also a great place to make new memories too.

Poole's Mill Park in Forsyth County GA

Poole’s Mill features include:

  • Playground
  • Covered Picnic Pavilion
  • Outdoor Picnic Tables by the River
  • River – for fishing or swimming
  • and of course the famous “rock slides”

A typical spring or summer visit for our family will include a visit to the playground, a picnic lunch down by the river and an hour or two at the rock slides. If my husband is with us then we’ll tack on an extra hour for fishing at the river.

The following “Pros, Cons & Tips” are strictly from my (Mandi) perspective. They may look different for your family but hopefully, if you’ve never been before, it will help you with some of your planning.


  • Completely free to enjoy – so much entertainment without having to open up your wallet
  • A little something for everyone – playground, swings, river, picnic tables, and the rock slides
  • Pavilion available to reserve or use if not already reserved (note: It gets crowded though, so if you want it make sure to reserve through Forsyth County Parks & Rec).
  • Picnic Tables down by river – makes for a great picnic setting
  • Grills available for use – just bring your charcoal & supplies
  • Playground is great for elementary age children and there is also a smaller slide and swings for the little ones too.


  • The bathroom isn’t convenient unless you’re spending all your time at the pavilion. I always make sure the kids use the bathroom before we go to the park itself and then again before we go down to the river or rock slides.
  • While there is some good shade throughout the park, there is little to none afternoon shade on the playground itself so just be prepared.

Tips for the Rock Slides & River:

Poole's Mill Park Rock Slides

  • Wear old swim suits or ones you don’t mind getting messed up. While the rocks are smooth it’s also a lot of wear & tear on them.
  • Bring a chair or blanket to sit on – there is some great, sandy places to sit if you want to relax while the kids enjoy themselves, but nothing to sit ON. So pack a bag of blankets or carry some folding chairs.
  • I’ve even seen some families enjoying a picnic at the rock slides – plenty of room to do that if it’s not too crowded.
  • Consider bringing an inflatable tube to lounge in the river. We usually don’t do this, but I see plenty of people that do.
  • Don’t go past the private property signs. Ok, so this is a pet peeve of mine – there are fences & signs clearly marked. I see so many people (sometimes parents with their young kids), walking right past them. If you cross a fence you’re on private property.
  • Whatever you carry in, carry it back out. This is a beautiful area of Forsyth County – people travel just to come enjoy it. Let’s keep it clean. The ugly graffiti and spray painting on the historic covered bridge is so sad to me. And just as sad is all the trash that you might find on the river banks. It’s easy – if you bring it in, bring it out!
  • Enjoy & have fun – this truly is a special gem here in Forsyth County!
  • Want to get family photos taken? Be sure to check with our website sponsor, Cassesse Photography – Terri goes there a lot for mini sessions or as a requested location.

Poole's Mill Park Rock Slides

Yoga in Cumming GA


Yoga in Cumming GA

Thinking about trying out Yoga? We did a Facebook post asking our readers and you can see that post by clicking here. Yoga is a great way to exercise with all the stretching, balance, and relaxation. But it does work up quite a sweat. It’s all about strengthening your core. And I know I need that! Maybe I will try it out too. Anyway, i’ve listed out all the recommendations. Hope you find one that works for you. Happy Yoga-ing!

In no particular order:

  • Yoga Selah
  • Do Yoga with Doug Keller
  • BodyPlex
  • Fowler Park Rec Center
  • Breathe Yoga Atlanta (Cumming location)
  • Freedom Journey Yoga
  • Central Park Rec Center
  • Be Here Now Yoga
  • South Forsyth Rec Centers

 Anywhere else you might add to take Yoga in Cumming GA?

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Review: Disney on Ice Celebrating 100 Years

disney on ice 100 years

Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic:  A Review

On Friday, my daughter and I had the opportunity to catch the latest Disney On Ice production – Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic.  We’ve been to several of the Disney on Ice shows and it’s always been something we’ve really enjoyed.  So I was thrilled to be able to check out this big celebration!


If you missed our first announcement about the show, here’s a summary of what to expect:

Join the celebration as more than 60 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!  You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and many Disney Princesses.   Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Storyfilms; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you’ll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!

The first half was filled with lots of princesses – Cinderalla, Snow White, Belle, Little Mermaid and others.  The second half had the hysterical Incredibles and a big celebration of all the characters.  It even went back to It’s a Small World & Pinocchio – way back!  And of course Mickey & Minnie were our “hosts” throughout the night!


I’m always amazed (although I shouldn’t be since it is Disney after all), by the incredible costumes and props – everything is so real and life like.  And the dancers are incredibly talented – top notch moves & stunts like Olympians!

And of course the face of the little one you bring, might be the best part of the show … I love just looking at my kids when they are taking it all in!


Once again, the show was about 2 hours with a short intermission in the middle.  So the timing is perfect for little attention spans.

There are still several shows to take advantage of – and the location couldn’t be better!!  I LOVE the Gwinnett Arena.  It is so easy to get to from Cumming, GA and parking is so easy – even free!!  So no extra expense there.  Plus it’s just super easy to get in & out of.  The staff is usually very helpful – even eager to help us find our seats, the restroom, food, etc.  I’m a big fan of fun, family events coming to the Gwinnett Center.  Oh – and their seats are super comfortable too:)

If the kids get to go, feel free to let them dress up as their favorite Disney Characters – you’ll see little princesses all over the place!  And that’s always a fun treat for the kids.

For other locations across the US, click here.


There are still several show times left.  You can buy tickets by going to the Gwinnett Arena website by clicking here.  The ticket prices range from $28-$98 per person.

And I love that parking is FREE at Gwinnett Arena – no extra expense there plus it’s super easy to get in & out of!!

Remaining Showtimes:

Friday, May 16, 2014 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 17, 2014 – 11:00 AM
Saturday, May 17, 2014 – 3:00 PM
Saturday, May 17, 2014 – 7:00 PM
Sunday, May 18, 2014 – 1:00 PM
Sunday, May 18, 2014 – 5:00 PM


Want to help your little one get ready for the fun?  Click here for a fun Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Coloring Sheet.

Discounted Tickets:

Gotta love discounted tickets!!  Be sure to check out Goldstar for discounted tickets on all shows.   They have discounted seats on all showings right now.  Click here for more information.   And while you’re there, check out all other great Atlanta discounts they have too – Atlanta Braves, Gwinnett Braves, LEGOLAND, and more!

Stay Connected to Disney on Ice:

Official Disney on Ice Website  |  Like Disney on Ice on Facebook

Disclosure:  We were provided four tickets to attend this event in exchange for hosting a giveaway and providing an honest review.  However, as always – this did not alter my opinions provided.  

Movers and Handy Men in Forsyth County


Movers and Handy Men in Forsyth County

Spring and Summer are the biggest times for moving. Whether you are moving a little or a lot, having movers will always help. If you are looking for a mover, we have some recommendations below for you.

We also understand that things can break over the spring and summer around your house and you might need a handy man. We have recommendations for that as well.

To find these recommended movers and handy men in Forsyth County, we did a Facebook post on our Facebook page . We really hope these will help you out! And feel free to share the information with your friends!


  • Best Deal Movers
  • Jason Taylor Moving and Storage (Many recommendations for this one!)
  • Two Men and a Truck
  • Pair of Guys Movers
  • Local Guys Moving and Repair

Handy Men:

  • Handy Man Malcolm
  • Elite Homesteads Inc.
  • Daniel Woodman
  • Mark Caron
  • Bell Electric
  • Local Guys Moving and Repair

New Farmer’s Market in Cumming GA

Farmer Markets in Forsyth County

New Farmer’s Market in Cumming GA

New stores and opening in Cumming GA and Forsyth County is always a hot topic (click here for more new business news)!  We love seeing new {good} growth in our county!  And this is one that many of you will be excited about.

Southern Growers (currently sold at the Vickery Village Farmer’s Market on Fridays) is opening a Farmer’s Produce Market & Country Store in North Forsyth County!

Location:  4310 Settendown Village Road, Cumming GA 30041

Store Hours:  Sunday – Noon to 5pm
Monday through Tuesday – closed
Wednesday through Saturday – 8am to 7pm

Grand Opening:  Spring 2014 – Click here for their website with updates.   OR Like on Facebook for more updates too.

More Information

Be sure to check out our past round-up for additional market options in Cumming GA & Forsyth County too.  And those of you still asking about a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods – no change there, but don’t forget we’re still scheduled to get a Sprouts Farmer’s Market at Lakeland Plaza and The Collection has officially included EarthFare on their coming soon banner!

Extermination Companies in Forsyth County


Extermination Companies in Forsyth County

I’m starting to find spiders all over the place in my house. What about you? I’ve been searching to find a good exterminator here locally. Luckily we did a Facebook poll to find some recommendations of Extermination Companies in Forsyth County. Here is a link to that post. But to make things easier on you, we have the list right here as well!

In no particular order:

  • Arrow
  • Lanier Exterminating
  • Forsyth Exterminating (several recommendations for this one)
  • Allgood Exterminating
  • Pest Ban
  • Pure Defense
  • Elzey Exterminating
  • King Green
  • Earth Conscious Pest Control
  • Crabapple Pest Control
  • ARK Pest Control
  • Skyline Pest Solutions
  • Forever Green
  • Bulwark Pest Control
  • Surguard Exterminating
  • Spencer Pest Services

If you know of any other extermination companies in Forsyth County, please let us know!

Wedding Locations in Forsyth County

Wedding Locations in Forsyth County

Wedding Locations in Forsyth County

It is officially wedding season in Forsyth County. If you are a bride or a friend of a bride that wants to get married here at home, then we have some ideas of places you could get married either here in Forsyth County or very close to Forsyth County. Our Facebook fans helped us create a list of some recommendations on wedding locations in Forsyth County. If you know of other wedding locations in Forsyth County we would love for you to comment on this post and let us know.

  • The Foster House
  • White Oaks
  • Forrest Hills Mountain Resort
  • Autrey Mill
  • The Reid Barn
  • The Wheeler House
  • Gibbs Garden
  • Wolf Mountain Vineyards
  • Brannon-Heard House
  • Waters Mill
  • Windermere Golf Club

Let us know if you have other recommendations!

 Photo Source

Best BBQ in Forsyth County

Best BBQ in Forsyth County

Best BBQ in Forsyth County

Summer is coming soon and when I think of summer I think of BBQ and watermelon on a hot day. Not sure why, that’s just what I think of. If you think of the same then this post will be great for you. We asked our Facebook fans for a recommendation on the best BBQ in Forsyth County. Here is the link to that question on Facebook. But to make things easier we are gonna list out what was recommended as well.

And by all means, if you know of somewhere else in Forsyth with great BBQ – please comment on this post and let us know! For now, bring on the sauce and hot summer days!

These are in no particular order:

  • ‘Cue (LOTS of recommendations for this place)
  • J’s Southern Smoke
  • Dickey’s
  • Smokejack (this one is close to Forsyth – located in Alpharetta)
  • Jim n’ Nicks
  • Big D’s
  • Amos BBQ
  • Dreamland BBQ
  • Grand Champion BBQ
  • Slopes

Which do you consider the BEST BBQ in Forsyth County?

Alterations in Forsyth County


Alterations in Forsyth County

It’s Spring! You know what that means? Wedding season is upon us! I am always on the lookout for a good dress alteration place. Do you know of one? We recently asked our Facebook fans for recommendations. Click here for the original post.

We also have the recommendations listed out for you here (in no particular order):

  • Cumming Alterations – several votes for this one
  • Lakeside Cleaners & Alterations
  • Enclave Cleaners and Alterations
  • Laurel Springs Cleaners
  • World Cleaners

Anywhere else you could add?

Disclaimer: We do our best to provide accurate, useful information about events, activities and small business within Cumming & Forsyth County. Information (including times and locations) is gathered from various sources including press releases, Facebook postings, signs around town, event submissions and word of mouth. We always attempt to confirm details before published. It is possible that details change or we are given inaccurate information. Whenever possible we link our articles to the source or information provided and strongly urge you to confirm details before you go. Cumming Local is in no way responsible for any problems that occur while participating in activities recommended on this site or for any errors & omissions. The goal of this site is to highlight businesses in Cumming, GA – the availability of them and praise ones that I personally love. It is not to provide personal reviews of each, that will be left up to you.