Mosquito Joe: Preparing for Spring & Summer

mosquito joe

Mosquito Joe: Preparing for Spring & Summer

Let me set the stage and scene for you. You are in a fabulous mood. The sun is shining. The air is crisp. The sky is blue. It’s just a fantastically beautiful day. So you head out to your back yard for your kids to run off some energy. Then what happens? Well, in my house – the kids turn around requesting something. I’m thirty. I’m hungry. And the list goes on and on. Those requests I can manage. What I can’t manage is the amount of times my daughter, in particular, comes and says – “can we go inside? I keep getting bit by mosquitos.” And even though the day is glorious and I really want to stay outside, we reluctantly come inside and have to enjoy the outside just by open blinds.

I know this scenario doesn’t just happen to me! You’ve had a similar situation happen a time or two yourself. And I’m a big believer in oils. We have used those to repel. And they do work but they need to be reapplied often. Wouldn’t it be nice if the yard could be covered in repellant?

mosquito joe

Introducing Mosquito Joe

I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to introduce Mosquito Joe and their excellent service to you. I’ve already signed up. Because we do deal with a good bit of mosquito issues especially in our backyard (due to a nearby creek).

I want to share with you three things I have learned about Mosquito Joe’s.

1 – Mosquito Joe’s motto is to make outside fun again.  I love that their heart is around family time outdoors. They truly want you to not have to worry with mosquito bites while you play outside this spring and summer.

2 – The way they work is by spraying barrier spray. These treatments are done every 3 weeks. Their trained technicians treat the yard using a backpack sprayer so the spray is accurately distributed. After about 30 minutes, your yard is ready to be played on.

3 – Their products are all-natural. They will not damage your yard or anything in your yard (like playgrounds, fences, etc.). In case you are interested, here is what they had to say when I asked about what makes their product all-natural?

All of the barrier spray chemicals we use are synthetic forms of pyrethrins called pyrethroids. Pyrethrins are insecticides that are derived from a naturally occurring compound called pyrethrum found in the chrysanthemum flower. Pyrethroids are used in numerous commercial products that consumers use to control insects such as household pets insecticides, pet shampoos and sprays, and even lice shampoos applied directly to the scalp. The standard barrier spray treatment is effective on other pests such as fleas, ticks and some flies as well.

As you are preparing for spring & summer (which is right around the corner), I recommend you to give them a call for a price quote to treat your yard. The peace of mind knowing your yard has been treated will allow you to have an even better time playing outside this spring and summer.

Special Offer

In even better news, I have a special offer to share with you! For your first spray, the cost would be $44.99 (up to 1/2 acre lot). All you have to do is register online and use the promo code –  cumminglocal.

More About Mosquito Joe

As a family owned and operated local mosquito control business, Mosquito Joe of Northwest Georgia cares deeply about investing our time into Mosquito Joe of North Georgia | Mosquito Sprayhelping cultivate strong, healthy families in the Cumming, GA area. By treating your home for outdoor pests such as mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, we create an environment that fosters quality time outside.

Our three-week recurring mosquito spray treatments for your yard will break the breeding cycle and also provide a preventive barrier for effective mosquito control. Let us help you create family memories and traditions that will last a lifetime with our professional mosquito services.

Call our office today at 770-809-3708 | Connect with us online

Sweet Home Bakery: Uncovering The Truth About Artificial Dyes

Sweet Home Bakery: Uncovering The Truth About Artificial Dyes

We eat them all the time. Probably almost daily. Artificial dyes are in all kinds of our foods. In fact, when I started researching this – I discovered that we are consuming food dyes more than 500 percent in the past 50 years. WOW! I believe it all has to do with marketing. In fact, here’s what TruColor has to say about artificial dyes:
“Color is used to attract consumers, and the good news is that synthetic, petroleum-based dyes are not irreplaceable. There are a lot of natural dyes that can be used to brighten food. Blueberry juice concentrate, carrot juice, paprika, grape skin extract, beet juice, purple sweet potato, corn, and red cabbage are just a few alternative dyes. CSPI names a few stark differences in foods served in the United States and Europe in the report.  In Britain, Fanta orange soda is dyed with pumpkin and carrot extract while the U.S. version is dyed with Red 40 and Yellow 6. Kellogg Strawberry NutriGrain bars are colored with Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1 in the U.S., but with beetroot, annatto and paprika extract in the UK. McDonald’s Strawberry Sundaes are colored with strawberries in Britain but with Red dye 40 in America. Consumer advocacy groups are calling on the FDA to enact similar policies in the United States. These groups argue that we deserve real strawberries too.”

Are artificial food colorings and dyes good for you?

If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering – are artificial food colorings and dyes good for you? I believe they aren’t good for you. Research has shown that “food dyes can cause everything from hyperactivity and allergic reactions to cancer.” Colors have been linked to brain tumors, bladder cancer, thyroid cancer & much more. The ones you will want to avoid are Yellow 5 and Red 40, as well as Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 and Yellow 6.
With this many links, shouldn’t we all try to avoid? I think so!
Image via Alisha Natic

How can we do our part?

This one is easy! We just need to make wise choices to avoid artificial dyes. That means checking lots of labels. Which I know is more time consuming. We stick to a paleo-ish diet and I believe that has helped this situation a lot.

Sweet Home Bakery

What about celebrations where you need a cake or any baked goods? Well, if you are looking for a baker who doesn’t use artificial dyes, you’ve found her.
Introducing Cynthia, of Sweet Home Bakery. To learn more about her bakery, you can check out this article I did about her – Sweet, Sinful & Safe Goodies From The Sweet Home Bakery.
She uses the TruColor, which is a plant and mineral based color. They are free of FD&C dyes, artificial flavor and preservatives and free of the Big 8 allergens (including milk, eggs, fish, shell fish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy) and are GMO free.  They don’t perform the same as synthetic, petroleum based dyes.  The colors don’t come as bright and true, and it’s often necessary to design around particular colors and how they are applied.  As a side note – they aren’t cheap.  In some cases, trying to reproduce a colorful cake similar to a wild creation off the pages of Pinterest can mean a $25 – $50 dollar charge for just color. Cynthia, of Sweet Home Bakery, says:
“I buy TruColor by the GRAM and it is powdered, then it needs to be made into a gel and then added to the cake or frosting.  The colors can change drastically depending on the alkalinity or acidity of the food it is being added to.  For example, the blues and reds often turn purple, the greens turn brown, etc. All that to say that it can be tricky to work with.”
Research pulled from TruColor & Food Network

Connect with The Sweet Home Bakery Online:  Website | Menu | Facebook
Email –

More About Cynthia, The Sweet Home Bakery:

As a diagnosed Celiac, with life threatening food allergies, I understand firsthand the frustration of never being able to just waltz into a bakery and buy something to sink your teeth into.  I also know too well what it’s like to have a fun evening with friends turn into a horrible night in the ER.

I was diagnosed prior to food labeling regulations.  Eating out was trial and lots of error. There were no physicians who could point me in the right direction to regaining my health, so I began studying alternative medicine and nutrition.  My eventual practice as a Professional Herbalist employing functional medicine, gave me years of clinical experience using the nutrition of real food to optimize health.  I authored The Get Real Cookbook, to help my clients find a solid foothold and thrive.  Clean eating is a wonderful thing, but life needs a little indulgence now and again!  The Sweet Home Bakery is here to help with that.

Home Warranties in Georgia: To Buy or Not to Buy

Home Warranties in Georgia: To Buy or Not to Buy

When deciding whether or not home warranties are a wise purchase for new homeowners, you first need to fully understand what a home warranty covers and how it works. Home warranties offer coverage that goes beyond that of homeowners insurance. For a low monthly cost a home warranty covers repairs and replacement of a home’s appliances and home systems, and the more you pay the more systems are covered through the service agreement.

The key to learning whether to buy a home warranty for your home in Cumming relies on understanding the ins and outs of how home warranties work, and understanding and of course signing up with the right company which accepts clients from Georgia.

What’s Covered

Typically a home warranty in Georgia covers kitchen appliances like the refrigerator, freezer, built in microwave, oven, stovetop, dishwasher, garbage disposal and other home appliances like the washer and dryer. It also usually covers the hot water heater, furnace and sometimes the air conditioning unit.

Optional add-on coverage can be purchased. Add-ons like a pool, spa, second fridge, and other luxury appliances (within reason). You can even add on if you have a second air conditioning system, which are usually only found in homes of a certain square footage.

What’s Not Covered

With any coverage, there are things that are excluded from coverage. Understanding when things are not covered is an important part of understanding what IS covered under the home warranty. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. If you buy a home warranty after your ac has already broken it will not cover the repair or replacement of it. If everything is in working order when you buy the home warranty coverage it will most likely cover it, but not always. If your home has a 35-year-old fridge, there is a good chance that even while it is ‘working’ it may not be included in the home warranty coverage, especially if this older fridge is a second fridge that is in the garage or basement.

It is important to understand that even with a home warranty service plan you need to maintain your home’s appliances and home systems. This means changing filters and having annual maintenance done on furnaces and other home systems. If a service professional comes out and sees the appliance has been neglected the home warranty service repair or replacement could be denied. Not fully understanding how to upkeep appliances and home systems is one of the main reasons homeowners call for professional service people to perform regular maintenance and repairs.

Helpful Homeowner Tips to Keep in Mind to Make Sure They Meet the Policy of Home Warranty Companies

  1. Change your furnace filter monthly.
  2. Air-conditioning filters should be changed every 3 months.
  3. Have your AC unit serviced before summer.
  4. Service your furnace before winter.
  5. Clear debris away from the AC fan.
  6. Regularly clear the lint trap from the dryer.

What’s the cost?

Depending on your home and where you live the prices for a basic home warranty service plan may vary, but on average a home warranty will cost between $25-40/mo for the basic plan. It appears like residing in Cumming, Georgia, does not impact the cost of the home warranty in comparison to the most popular locations (Texas, Arizona and Florida). With add-ons the price will go up. When considering a monthly coast for any size budget, putting in $25-40/ mo is much more feasible than repairing an air conditioning unit, which ranges from $350-3500. Some home warranty service plans have service call fees from $60-100 and this service call fee would be the only payment when the repairs needed are covered. If you purchased a home warranty service plan that does not have a service call fee, the monthly cost might be a bit higher, but not having to shell out $60-100 each time you need service performed might make it worth the while.

Why Wouldn’t You

There are a few scenarios where a home warranty may not be cost effective or even outright unnecessary. However these are usually for only short-term periods of time. After you have built a brand new home, all home systems and home appliances should be covered by a manufactures warranty. However once those manufactures warranties expire, it is a good idea to purchase the home warranty coverage. Even with brand new appliances not all things will be covered by the manufactures warranty that would be covered by a home warranty, so it’s not a ‘bad’ idea to have the added coverage even with the brand new appliances.

Where to Find Reputable Home Warranty Companies

When looking for reputable home warranty service providers, it’s always a good idea to check out what others have already experienced. Check out the top home warranty providers found on, which auto sorts its selection based on your geographic location. Review Home Warranties offering valuable information on home warranty providers all around the United States. Whether or not you feel the home warranty service plan fits in your budget, it is always wise to weigh out your options and be prepared for the unexpected.

Loving Those In Need: An Interview with Nadyne Siegel-Brown

loving those in need

Loving Those In Need: An Interview with Nadyne Siegel-Brown

I had breakfast with Nadyne, owner of SwimKids of Georgia, last week and it was such a joy being with her. She is so passionate about teaching children and adults to swim. And her dedication to that purpose is so attractive. It makes you want to be part of what she is doing.

Nadyne is known for the special way she connects with babies as well as those with special needs. She meets them in a unique way and they respect her over time even without a spoken word. I wanted to get more of an insight into what she does through SwimKids of Georgia. Below are some questions I asked her when we had breakfast.

As an added note, we ate at Wildflower Eatery in downtown Cumming. It is always fresh and super tasty!

Being that February is all about love. How does SwimKids show love to the staff and swimmers?

“We do a lot of positive reinforcement with our swimmers and staff. With the swimmers, we get right to their level and always make eye contact. During a session, I will talk to the child one on one about everything that’s going on. I think keeping them informed helps them to trust me over time.”

What is your favorite service project you guys have done?

“We have done quite a few service projects over the years. I don’t have one that stands out above the rest. But I do have a four that I think of right away. First, we had a great time collecting items for a backpack drive. It was so fun to do it with the swimmers and staff. We’ve also done many food drives and those are great as well. I like when we can do something where we all come together. Another one that was very touching – was when we sponsored a single mom. We helped with any needs she had plus pampered her as well. Last but not least, if I become aware of someone in need that needs swim lessons I will give them for free. No one should not know how to survive in the water.”

What are a few good ways for swimmers to give back to their coaches?

“This is a great question. I would love to see our swimmers give their coaches verbal affirmation. And don’t forget about coaches when it comes to the holidays. They are teaching your children just like at school. This is just swim school. Also, letting me know when a coach does something fantastic or above and beyond would be wonderful so I can praise them as well.”

Tell me more about your non-profit – JACOB.

“I’m so glad you’ve asked me about this. JACOB stands for Just a Couple of Bubbles. And it stands for much more than that. JACOB was started as a way for me to honor my son. He loved the underdog. He was a champion for the underdog. He simply hated seeing someone struggle and would go out of his way to make positive change for others. He started teaching with me when he was only 17 years old. And if I could put words to what he would say to me today it would be – “It’s about time, mom.” Yes – it’s about time that I do something to honor him. He left this earth 9 years ago in 2009. But I believe it’s taken me this long to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. With JACOB, I want to find ways to love those in need. That could mean random acts of kindness, seeing a need and meeting it, doing for one what I’d like to do for all, helping in the fostering system, more food drives, more backpack drives, a luggage drive, giving children an opportunity to help other children, and so much more. We are just getting started and I can’t wait to see what we can do and how we can change lives.”

“The world is covered with water and I can’t believe how many people can’t swim. I want to change that. That’s how I change the world – one swimmer at a time.” – Nadyne Siegel-Brown

Learn More About Nadyne Siegel-Brown (Owner) at SwimKids of Georgia:

Nadyne has been teaching aquatic survival since 1987, dedicating her life to saving children from drowning. Her focus is on teaching infants, toddlers and young children proper survival skills and educating parents and caregivers on the layers of aquatic protection. Her passion is contagious, and most of her young students develop a love for swimming, which translates to a lifelong sport for health and well-being.

A message from Nadyne: Growing up in Central Florida, water has always been a huge part of my life. In 1986 I was introduced to aquatic self rescue for infants and toddlers when I enrolled my 18 month old in such a program. I was a water baby and that’s what I wanted for my son. Watching Jacob’s aquatic transformation inspired me to become an instructor. Searching for a gentler and more comprehensive approach to teaching swimming, Aquatic Specialist of Atlanta and then SwimKids of Georgia was born. Today, I am continuously honing my skills by learning new and innovative ways of teaching swimming from other instructors in the aquatics field. My young students never cease to amaze me with their aquatic abilities and their love for the water.

Over the years, I have received calls and letters from parents whose children have experienced an aquatic accident. Whether at a pool, lake, or hot tub, parents are incredibly relieved to find that their children have saved themselves. “The lessons really work!” It also gives me great pleasure to see so many of my students move on to competitive swimming both on summer and year round teams. The satisfaction gained from working with these children is the reward for all my efforts, and I look forward to waking up and going to work every day. I want to thank you for your interest in SwimKids of Georgia home of Infant Aquatic and I hope that you will take the steps to give your child the edge that could possibility save his/her life.

Connect Online with SwimKids of Georgia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune SystemNatural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

 Along with the chill of winter comes the season of sore throats, fevers, and sniffles. As a chiropractor and mom to two little boys and a baby girl, natural health is my passion and I am constantly researching the best ways to keep my family well, especially this time of year.  The key to health is creating a foundation that allows the body to express pure wellness, which in turns helps increase immunity to fight disease. Staying active, eating well, drinking plenty of water, and getting adequate rest must come first.  If our bodies are not being cared for properly, anything we put into them will not work as effectively. As promised, I am sharing with you my best found natural ways to boost your immune system any time of the year. Please note, these are in no particular order.

 Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a great way to keep our immune systems functioning at their optimal level.  It is common knowledge that chiropractic helps with back pain and headaches, but it goes much beyond that.  The spine and nervous system are in direct correlation with the immune system, so keeping our spines aligned helps to keep us healthy.  It’s as simple as that. Adjustments are safe and effective for babies, children, and adults.

Whole Food Supplements

Since it is impossible to eat a perfect diet and get the nutrients we need every single day, I recommend a base multivitamin catered to your gender and age group.  During the colder months, it is especially important to add extra vitamin D3 and vitamin C to our daily intake.  Wellness starts in the gut, so a quality probiotic is vital to ensure we are getting the good bacteria that we need to help fight off whatever may come our way. Be sure to choose whole food supplements so they are properly absorbed and easily digested.  My daily regimen of immune boosters consists of Baby & Me Multi (even though I’m not pregnant, I’m still nursing my baby girl so those extra nutrients are key) and Vitamin D3 from Innate Response as well as Super C, Multigreens, Life 9 probiotic, and Super B from Young Living. My boys take Young Living’s MightyVites and Klaire Labs probiotics.

Essential Oils

Essential oils have amazing therapeutic benefits to our bodies.  We use essential oils for everything in our home from sleep support to keeping our skin “forever young,” but I first started using oils for their immune boosting properties. Young Living essential oils are the oils I recommend and trust for my family. We get our immune support from Thieves oil, our respiratory support from RC (respiratory care) oil, and our digestive support from Digize oil. I take an oil infused supplement called Inner Defense anytime I start to feel run down, and it always kicks whatever I am fighting to the curb. My family has been able to completely revamp our medicine cabinet thanks to essential oils and oil infused supplements. Oils were also our first step to a chemical free home (we’ve switched out all our cleaning products, bath products, beauty products, etc) and I can honestly say we are much happier (and healthier) now because we took that first step. If you are interested in starting your journey toward a chemical free home or if you just want to obtain oils and supplements at a discounted wholesale cost, click here for more information.

Colloidal silver

Bio-active silver hydrosol is colloidal silver at the purest form.  This natural antibiotic is the first thing I reach for when I wake up with a sore throat (along with my Inner Defense I mentioned above).  Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, it does not lead to resistance and has none of the negative side effects.  It can be taken orally as well as through the ears, nose, and even.  It is safe for children as well. As with essential oils, not all colloidal silver is created equally and I recommend Argentyn 23 .

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Homemade elderberry syrup is another great addition to your winter wellness regimen.  Black elderberries contain high levels of vitamin A, B, C, and antioxidants, which increase the effectiveness of the immune system.  When mixed with other natural immune boosting ingredients, elderberries have been shown in research studies to effectively fight the flu and other diseases. My favorite homemade elderberry syrup recipe is:

  • 2/3 cup black elderberries
  • 3 1/2 cup water
  • 2 T fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup raw honey

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until liquid has reduced by almost half.  Remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled.  Pour through mesh strainer into glass jar or bowl.  Discard elderberries and let liquid cool to lukewarm.  Add 1 cup of honey and stir well.  Pour syrup into mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle.  Store in refrigerator.  Take 1 teaspoon daily for children and 1 tablespoon daily for adults.  Take weekends off.  If sick, take normal dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms are gone.

If you need elderberries quickly, you can grab them here. If you have some time, Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to purchase them.

Antioxidant Drink

My newest obsession for wellness is Young Living’s Ningxia Red drink. My kids ask for this “juice” on a daily basis and since it has the highest amount of antioxidants of any drink currently on the market, I’m happy to oblige. Antioxidants protect the body against free radicals and support immune function, cardiovascular health, and even healthy eye function. I feel that it gives me a natural boost of energy without sugar, caffeine or other artificial stimulants, so I don’t miss my daily shot of this bottle of goodness.

There you have it, my most trusted natural immune boosters for any season but especially winter.  Here’s to staying healthy all year long, naturally! 

Connect with Dr. Kristin Marchman:

Dr. Kristin Marchman loves serving the Cumming community and assisting in educating about health and wellness.  As a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and Georgia Birth Network, 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. 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.

Connect Online with Dr. Marchman at: Facebook | Website

5830 Clarion Street, Suite 101, Cumming, GA 30040 | 678.947.4449​

When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

With a new year comes the million dollar question – when is the best time to sell your home? Whether you are looking at going to a new bigger home or downsizing or just a new area of town, you are probably wondering about the answer to this question. Last week, I had lunch with Meriellen and Stephanie of the Cole Team Real Estate. We got into a discussion about this and decided that it would be helpful to share with you!

If you’d like to find out the answer, listen in to the experts at Cole Team Real Estate:

And for my readers who want it written down, here is what Stephanie & Meriellen had to say…

  1. When is the ideal time to put your house on the market? With the right agent, any time can work. However, the ideal time to put your house on the market is between April and June. This is because of the school schedule. Most people want to get moved before a new school year starts. You should also know that during this time you will have more competition.
  2. What if you needed to move sooner than that? Sometimes there are job relocations and you need to move sooner. Now is actually a great time because there are not a lot of sellers in the market. You still have a great chance at seeking now if you needed to. Keep in mind that having the right agent makes all the difference (PS-We will talk about that in our next video)
  3. How do you stand out in the market? When your house goes on the market during the ideal time (April-June) you want to make sure your home stands out above the rest. Things like staging, professional photography, and walk through video is going to be very important. It comes down to marketing. If you have a great agent who does this well, that will be what stands your home out above the rest.

A big thank you to Stephanie & Meriellen for their time! I hope you all have found this helpful. If you or someone you love is in the market, please reach out to them. 

And tune in next month when we share some helpful tips on how to pick your real estate agent!

More About the Cole Team:

Cole TeamThe Cole Team, Meriellen Cole Arenz and Stephanie Cole Patterson, is a full-time mother/ daughter led team with over 45 years of experience dedicated to tenaciously protecting their client’s interests. They epitomize integrity, energy, hard work, and creative service in every detail of a real estate transaction. They have earned respect in the North Atlanta community not only for their unparalleled professional track record and high ethical standards but for being an honest, hard working team that does absolutely everything in their power to ensure their client’s success. They have worked in every aspect of the industry representing sellers, buyers, and investors in the residential market. To learn more about this mother/daughter team, watch this video.

Connect with the Cole Team online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Phone: 770.316.3110

How Do I Save Money On Auto Insurance?

Auto Insurance Premium

How Do I Save Money on Auto Insurance?

I’m thrilled to have Craig Crawford, of Southern Way Insurance Agency, to share helpful some tips all about insurance this year! The first tip he is sharing with us is all about saving money. I have three ways for you to digest this information. First, you can scroll down to read all about it. Secondly, you can watch the video below where Craig gives a brief overview. Or thirdly, you can do both. We hope you find this helpful!

PS- If you have any topics or questions you’d like Craig to answer, please let me know and I will add them to our schedule!

Click Here to watch a video from Craig

Introducing Craig:

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.


This is one of the most important tips I give my clients. Shopping around is so important! You should be doing an annual auto insurance review to make sure you are getting the best rate.  Companies change their rating tiers all the time so you may miss out on a better rate if don’t do your homework.   We can help you with that on an annual basis to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck! 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.

Check Your Credit

Making sure you have a good credit score is very important. Most insurance companies use your credit score as a factor in your rate.   If your credit has improved then you need to see the first tip…it’s time to shop for a better rate! And if you need to improve your rate, click here to read some tips from Clark Howard on that subject.

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!

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! Give me an opportunity to bundle your home and auto insurance and we will see how much money you might save right away.



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.


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 Craig and our other contributing writers, click here.

Swim Lessons with SwimKids of Georgia: Getting The Kids Summer Ready Now!

Getting The Kids Summer Ready Now!

I know it’s January and you may think I’m crazy talking about swimming in the dead of winter. But now is a GREAT time to be talking about it. SwimKids of Georgia has an indoor facility with a nice warm salt water pool to train your kids how to be good swimmers in a short period of time (most often).

If you have been thinking about your spring break or summer vacation, then I urge you to think about your children’s ability to swim. I know that when I go on vacation I have 100% certainty that my children can safely swim to where they need and desire to go. Not that I don’t watch them, because I do. But it gives me peace knowing they are good swimmers!

Aside from swimming, SwimKids will teach your children (all ages welcome) how to survive in the water. That knowledge is absolutely priceless. Their techniques work. I’ve seen it over and over again with my own eyes and ears. To learn more about this, check out this article we wrote last fall – “Aquatic Survival Lessons at Swim Kids of Georgia”

Right now, SwimKids of Georgia is running a special winter promotion. If you sign up for the one on one training before February 4th, you will get a FREE month in March. That free month of classes will be totally age and skill appropriate for your child. 

Please, I am begging you! Take advantage of this opportunity. I want the rate of drowning children to vanish. But if it can go down this year that would be a small victory.

Thanks for listening to me preach. Now go sign up for swim lessons with SwimKids of Georgia!

More Details On Private Lessons:

What’s included in the private lessons?
-Weekly 10-minutes lessons
-One on one with a swim instructor
-Typically a six week process

These weekly lessons teach your child how to survive in the water! Private class times for this promo are Mornings (7am – 1:30pm) or Afternoons (3pm – 7pm)

Cost: $600 per swimmer with a $100 non-refundable, one-time registration fee.

{Best for ages 6 months – 4 years}

Click here to RSVP on Facebook

Learn More About Nadyne Siegel-Brown (Owner) at SwimKids of Georgia:

Nadyne has been teaching aquatic survival since 1987, dedicating her life to saving children from drowning. Her focus is on teaching infants, toddlers and young children proper survival skills and educating parents and caregivers on the layers of aquatic protection. Her passion is contagious, and most of her young students develop a love for swimming, which translates to a lifelong sport for health and well-being.

A message from Nadyne: Growing up in Central Florida, water has always been a huge part of my life. In 1986 I was introduced to aquatic self rescue for infants and toddlers when I enrolled my 18 month old in such a program. I was a water baby and that’s what I wanted for my son. Watching Jacob’s aquatic transformation inspired me to become an instructor. Searching for a gentler and more comprehensive approach to teaching swimming, Aquatic Specialist of Atlanta and then SwimKids of Georgia was born. Today, I am continuously honing my skills by learning new and innovative ways of teaching swimming from other instructors in the aquatics field. My young students never cease to amaze me with their aquatic abilities and their love for the water.

Over the years, I have received calls and letters from parents whose children have experienced an aquatic accident. Whether at a pool, lake, or hot tub, parents are incredibly relieved to find that their children have saved themselves. “The lessons really work!” It also gives me great pleasure to see so many of my students move on to competitive swimming both on summer and year round teams. The satisfaction gained from working with these children is the reward for all my efforts, and I look forward to waking up and going to work every day. I want to thank you for your interest in SwimKids of Georgia home of Infant Aquatic and I hope that you will take the steps to give your child the edge that could possibility save his/her life.

Connect Online with SwimKids of Georgia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Winter Music Lessons with Music Authority

Try Something Different This Winter: Learn To Play An Instrument

Did you know that research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory? If you are looking for something different for your child or yourself this winter – why not check out the winter music lessons at Music Authority.

Music Authority offers lessons on many different instruments and to students of all ages.  From the future Rock Star, just starting guitar at the age of seven, to the adult who always wanted to learn piano but never had the chance – they have the teacher just for you!  Their instructors are fun, engaging, and professional educators.

Pricing & Special Offer

Private lessons and classes are $105 per month.  If you mention this article you will receive $15 off your first month’s tuition.

Benefits of Music Lessons

  1. Physical Skill Development: There are a few instruments like drums, that help to progress coordination and motor skills because they requirement movement from your hands, feet & arms. Some other instruments can help develop ambidexterity. And hey, who wouldn’t just love to have that skill?!
  2. Academic Improvements: When you understand beat, scales & rhythm you are learning to divide, recognize patterns & create fractions. As you can see – math and music go together. As time goes by, memorization takes place in the form of short-term and eventually long-term memory.
  3. Discipline and Patience Refining: A great lesson for children to learn is delayed gratification. Many instruments will have a learning curve to start playing them. Leaning to play an instrument also teaches perseverance as you wade through hours, days, weeks, etc of practicing to be made perfect.
  4. Self-Esteem Booster: Learning how to take criticism is an important life skill. In the end, it does make you better to turn negative into positive feedback. Also, learning how to play an instrument publicly will aid in confidence to do public speaking.
  5. Aids in Social Skill Development: Communication, teamwork, collaboration are all experiences that will take place in a group lesson format. These social skills are imperative for a child to learn. And what better a place to learn these social skills than to be learning how to play an instrument as well.

Don’t take it just from us, take a moment to read Jackson’s story of how music changed him for the better in this article –  Music Makes A Difference.

Learn more about Music Authority:

MusicAuthority-LogoMusic Authority is a single location music store and music school in Cumming, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. It sees 500 students each week and contracts with almost twenty instructors.

Aside from private lessons, Music Authority offers two Rock Camps, two Showcase Bands, two large Rock-Style concerts, a String Ensemble, a Jazz Ensemble, an adult Choir, a Teens-Only New Year’s Eve Concert, and monthly Student Jam Nights, Open Mic Nights, and Adult Jams. In August Music Authority will be open its own intimate fifty-seat performance venue.

On any given weekend Music Authority alumni can be seen playing music in small and large venues from Savannah to Los Angeles. Since 2002 Music Authority has touched the lives of thousands of students, the young and shall we say the young at heart.

Connect with Music Authority online: Facebook | Website

Overcoming Four Things People Dread About Weeknight Dinner

Weeknight Dinner

Overcoming Four Things People Dread About Weeknight Dinner

When you look back over the year, how do you feel your meal times went? I think every year we can improve. Meal times are super important for your family’s growth. It’s a perfect time to connect as a family. During our dinners, we use the time to share highs and lows with one another.  The questions in this book always make for good conversation as well.

I am thrilled to introduce my friend and fellow blogger, Tiffany from Eat at Home. On her website she shares meal plans, tips, and lots of great recipes to incorporate at your home. Her goal is to get more families around the dinner table. For the next few weeks, she will be sharing some tips and giving away some free downloads. Today, I am sharing week one…

Week One

In this video update, Tiffany has shared some simple solutions and strategies for cooking, clean-up & compiling family members. To watch week one’s video, click here.

Weeknight Dinner

Also, I have an announcement about Eat at Home for 2018…

NEW FROM EAT AT HOME: A No Flour/No Sugar plan will be available in 2018. No Flour/No Sugar plan will have five meals each week, plus one “salad of the week” that can be used as lunches, side dishes or an extra dinner.

Get a head start by downloading these snack ideas: 85 Simple No Flour/No Sugar snack ideas.

I’ve already downloaded my copy of the snacks and I am LOVING it! It’s helpful to have a handy list as my guide. Next week, I will have another free download from Eat at Home! But for now, make sure you keep an eye out for the next blog. It will include a video titled “Four Types of Recipes to Master for Easy Weeknight Dinners” plus a free download – “Let’s Eat: 8 Simple Dinner Recipes.”