Tips From BAR: Starting the New Year Out Well

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” -Melody Beattie

It’s hard to believe that 2019 is already upon us. But here it is! I love that quote by Melody Beattie. I would reword it like this for you today – 2019 is standing before you, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. What will be written in your story this year? Personally, professionally – 2019 is going to be YOUR year!

As a business owner, I step back and think about how to best start out the new year. Thankfully, I’m a part of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. They have a program called BAR which is short for Business Advancement Resources. I have loved being a part of this excellent resource!

The mission of  The Business Advancement Resources (BAR) is to to provide small, existing, and emerging businesses with resources to succeed.

In connection with their mission, they have graciously shared some tips to help start your new year out well. These tips are specific to business owners. Please feel free to pass this article along to anyone! The hope is these tips will help everyone in some way!

  1. Become a member of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. If you are on the fence about this one, please read my article on “10 Things You May Not Know About the Chamber.”
  2. Have a business roundtable or join one. A business roundtable is a group discussion of business issues, facilitated by a business professional. If you are interested in further information, contact Carlos Cantu at ccantu@cummingforsythchamber.org.
  3. Do some market research. Are you in need of demographic research or reports? The Chamber is here to help. If you need a customized report, they will try to accommodate your inquiry. Contact Scott Evans for more information at sevans@cummingforsythchamber.org.
  4. Think about doing some continuing education through the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center or the University of North Georgia.
  5. Access the Small Business Toolkit created by the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce
  6. Make sure to request and/or renew your business licenses.
  7. Last but not least, set some goals for the year. A Harvard Business study “revealed remarkable statistics relating to goal setting and success: 83% of the population do not have goals; 14% have a plan in mind, but goals are unwritten; and 3% have goals written down. The study found that the 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. The 3% with written goals are three times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals. Writing your goals down sets you up to be exponentially more successful.” 

Happy New Year, Forsyth County & Cumming GA!

This article was written on behalf of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce

Annual Gala And Live Auction For Horizon Christian Academy

Each year dozens of families join together to help support Horizon Christian Academy through their annual Gala and live auction. This year the local community is invited to join in the festivities enjoy the dinner, entertainment, and raffles.

Get dressed up and support a great cause as HCA hosts it’s annual Gala Friday, November 30th at the Forsyth Conference Center at Lanier Tech. Doors will open at 6 PM and the night’s festivities will begin at 6:30 PM. The evening promises to be filled with great prizes like a series 4 Apple Watch and art made by local artisans.

A delicious dinner will be provided by Chef Kern for guests as well as a live musical performance by Forsyth County native, Jacob Davis Martin. Guests can also bid on items during the silent auction and show off their silly side in the HCA Gala photobooth.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true live auction without highly highly sought after items like a Starbucks gift card wreath worth $500, 2 UGA Autographed Footballs in Cases by David Green, and a luxurious weekend trip to Doboy Island, GA that are sure to bring a little spice to the bidding that evening.

Don’t miss out on your chance to bid on a beautiful beach house on Dauphin Island, AL with enough space to sleep up to 16 guests. This gorgeous 5,100 square foot getaway boasts waterfront views, a recently renovated and spacious kitchen, and a large patio with a pool and jacuzzi overlooking the north bay. A week at this vacation home is valued at $5,000!

Thanks to generous donations from the HCA community, all proceeds from the Gala will be used to make improvements to the school campus such as purchasing new playground equipment for students play on during outdoor recess.

Recently all proceeds from the Gala have been used to make improvements to the property such as purchasing new playground equipment for the students to play on during outdoor recess. Funds during this year’s Gala will be used to continue to provide facility expansion and growth.

To get your tickets to the HCA Gala and support the growth of the school and local community you can visit the Facebook event page or contact Cathy Ransom at Cathy.Ransom@hcaga.org or (678) 947-0711 ext 3.

Pinecrest Middle School Students Engage in “2018 Space Odyssey”

Pinecrest Middle School Students Engage in “2018 Space Odyssey”

Pinecrest Academy’s Middle School teaching teams are presenting a unit on “Space” in a creative way this week. Principal Denise Cress introduced “thematic units of study” in 2016, and the concept was so well-received by teachers and students, it now happens each November.

“We all know the best way to learn a language is by immersion,” commented Denise Cress, Middle School Principal at Pinecrest Academy. “We’ve taken the same approach with our all school themed units, which are multi-sensory, and focus on experiential learning. Our students have a great time learning, and our teachers enjoy sharing in their excitement,” she continued.

This year’s theme is 2018 Space Odyssey, an intriguing approach to learning all about space. The launch of three rockets is planned for Thursday, and the entire Middle School took a field trip to the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, GA, on Wednesday.  A multitude of classroom activities that are everything “space” are happening daily.

The Middle School lobby has been transformed into a space station, and the week will culminate on Friday, November 16, with a talk by Mr. David Weigel, Director of Christenberry Planetarium at Samford University.  His talk will be about Pluto, its recent related discoveries, and how the scientific process relates to individuals. Mr. Weigel is a 2008 graduate of Pinecrest Academy.

“What’s great about presenting a themed unit in the way we are doing so is that the theme runs across every subject area,” explained Cress.

In 8th grade English, students read Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day, a story written in 1950 and set on the planet, Venus. After reading and discussing the story, students had the options of creating a Powtoon, a PowerPoint, or a Popup Book about All Summer in a Day.

In Spanish class, students have been introduced to space-related vocabulary and placed on teams to compete in various activities. They participated in an all-Spanish Kahoot trivia, which tested their Spanish knowledge, as well as their science-knowledge of all things space.

Math classes have challenged students to become engineers and design space landers with 4×5 inch cardboard, straws, index cards, mini marshmallows and tape. Their aliens (marshmallows) cannot bounce out of the cup (alien’s cabin) when they test the lander for shock absorption and stability from 1-foot and 2-foot heights.

Students will complete their study of “space” on Friday, which also happens to be Pinecrest’s annual Grandparents Day, during which more than 200 grandparents will be on campus.

As a follow up to the 2016 themed unit of study on World War II and the Holocaust, Middle School students will engage in the third annual Daffodil Planting, supporting the “Daffodil Project,” on Friday, from 10:45-11:15am, in front of the Middle School. Started by Am Yisrael Chai!, a non-profit Holocaust Education and Awareness Organization, The Daffodil Project is a world-wide project empowering Holocaust Education. During the Holocaust, 1.5 million children died senselessly in Nazi-occupied Europe. Am Yisrael Chai! aspires to build a Living Holocaust Memorial by planting 1.5 million daffodils around the world to remember the children.

The site at Pinecrest designated for the daffodils was named the “Children’s Memorial Garden,” and was dedicated and blessed by former Middle School Chaplain, Fr. David Barton, LC, just before the daffodils were planted in November 2016. Students look forward to the spring when these daffodils will bloom, offering another reminder of the children of the Holocaust.

All are welcome to attend the talk on Pluto and the Daffodil Planting ceremony.


Pinecrest Academy is a private Catholic school conveniently located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children.

To learn more about our educational philosophy, please visit our website or connect with us on social media – Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Easy Instant Pot Elderberry Syrup For Cold & Flu Season

Easy {Instant Pot} Elderberry Syrup For Cold & Flu Season

I make a big ole batch of Elderberry Syrup every fall to help my family boost their immune system. Truth be told, I have two auto-immune diseases and elderberry doesn’t work for me. So I only make it for my husband and two kids. However, I’m glad it does work for them. Elderberry syrup has helped to shorten colds and ward off coughs every year that I’ve been doing this. In the years past, I used Dr. Marchman’s recipe. It’s a stovetop one, so if you are looking for a stovetop recipe head over to her article – Stay Well This Winter, Naturally.

This year, I thought I would experiment with a new way of making my good ole Elderberry Syrup. And of course, I wanted to use my trusty Instant Pot. Did you know that the Instant Pot is my most used kitchen appliance? Totally worth the $100 price tag. I use it for making rice, mashed potatoes, steaming vegetables, soups, and so much more! If you don’t own one, I recommend you get one asap! The one I have is on sale for $99 right now. Let me give you a few selling points – I can make perfect rice with a 4-minute cook and 10-minute natural steam release, I can hard boil eggs in 5 minutes, I can sear my roast and then cook it slow cooker style all in the same appliance. I could go on and on and on!

Anyway – back to the Elderberry Syrup. The desire for me to write this article was from a simple social media post on Instagram and Facebook. My post received hundreds of comments asking for my recipe. Not at all what I expected. I’m glad you guys wanted to make my recipe. I sure hope this keeps your family well this cold & flu season!

I purchase my dried elderberries on Amazon. This 1lb package will give me 3 batches. Which basically lasts me for two years. If you want to purchase the same berries as me, simply use this link – Dried Organic Elderberries, 1 Lb. {Please note – this is an affiliate link. If you purchase with my link, I will make a small percentage of income. That income helps to keep Cumming Local running}

Instant Pot Elderberry Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of elderberries
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup of honey

Instructions:

  1. Put the elderberries, water, cinnamon, and ginger into the Instant Pot.
  2. Zest the orange and lemon. Squeeze both the orange and lemon to get the juices in the pot. Throw the orange and lemon in.
  3. Seal the Instant Pot and set it to manual and high pressure for 8 minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, set the valve to “vent” and strain the mixture. Discard the remaining berries and citrus.
  5. Once the syrup has cooled to room temperature, add the honey and vanilla extract. You can add more vanilla and/or honey to your desired taste.
  6. I pour mine into a large mason jar and store in the fridge.

Dosing Information: Adults take 1 Tbs and children take 1 tsp daily to boost immunity. The dose can be tripled daily when fighting a cold, cough or flu.

And that’s it – so simple. It was done in about 15 minutes. The longest part of the process was waiting on it to cool so I could add in the honey and vanilla extract.

PS- My kids take this without any complaints. I don’t make it overly sweet but if you have a finicky husband or kids – you may want to up the sweetness.


Rachael Walkup has lived in North Georgia all her life. Since 2006 – The Walkup family has made Forsyth County their home. Along with being a wife and mom, Rachael is an avid blogger, social media expert, and owner of CummingLocal.com. Her time is spent promoting local events and small businesses in North Georgia.  With a background in Marketing and Sales, coupled with her experience in Project Development and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Rachael offers consultations and classes to help clients reach their fullest potential.

Your Pie Pizza: Why You Need To Dine There Often

Your Pie Pizza: Why You Need To Dine There Often

Have you heard about Your Pie Pizza? Let me tell you this – the pizza, panini, and salad combinations are endless. Let that sink in. This new restaurant in Forsyth County has over 50 combinations of sauces, cheese, and toppings. You really can make something different each time you visit Your Pie Pizza. We recently dined there as a family last week. On the way home, we all said that we will definitely be back soon! In fact, I’m still dreaming about the gluten-free pizza I ate.

Probably our favorite thing about Your Pie is that everyone can customize to have exactly what they desire. In this article, we are highlighting all the best things about Forsyth County’s newest Your Pie location in Cumming/Brookwood.

Kids’ Meal Options

My kids were delighted to be able to pick whatever they wanted. The kids’ meal gives your child the option of pizza, 1/2 panini, or side salad. As with all their meals, the kids got to decide exactly what they wanted. One of my children chose a pepperoni, olive, and sausage pizza.  My other child chose to have a salad with chicken, olives, feta, mushrooms, and ranch dressing. And we have to mention that we felt the kids’ meals were priced very well for all that comes with it. It included the main entree, a drink, and a cup of gelato. As a bonus: Kids’ meals are $1.99 on Mondays!

Gluten Free Pizza

Oh, how I am thrilled to tell you guys about the gluten-free crust at Your Pie Pizza. First of all, I must disclose that I have had a lot of gluten-free crusts in my days! The crust as Your Pie was thin and crispy, which is what I prefer. It was cooked absolutely perfectly. And the taste was delicious! Even my husband agreed and he usually doesn’t like a gluten-free crust. We got the BBQ Chicken and the Lineage. In our opinion, we liked the BBQ Chicken better than the Lineage. I’m not sure if it was because it’s different than a traditional pizza flavor but the flavor combination in the BBQ Chicken was just so tasty – sweet smokey and flavorful!

I did ask about how they handle someone with an allergy. I wanted to know and I’m sure you are curious also!

All allergies are treated the same. There is a prep kitchen in the back where items can be prepared without any cross contamination. When it comes to cooking, they put the pizza in an aluminum pan so it never touches the oven. All their staff is instructed to use clean gloves as well.”  

Gelato

The gelato was rich, creamy, and so flavorful. They had 6 flavors to choose from when we were there. My kids had a hard time deciding which flavor to get. They ended up going with Cookies and Cream and Mint Chocolate Chip. Of course, I tasted both! I liked the mint chocolate chip better. But they both tasted great!

Customer Service

The employees at this location were incredibly nice. They were very helpful with our ordering process. I also watched them help other customers. Every customer was treated as a highly valued person. I loved watching that! I also met the managers and they were sweet as well.

Highlight Video

I put together a little video to highlight Forsyth County’s new Your Pie Pizza. Take a look! I also encourage you to try out this new restaurant. Be sure to follow up and let me know what you think.

What are your favorite toppings on a pizza?


More Information About Your Pie Pizza:

Just like in Italy, food and family come first at Your Pie. Their passion for improving their communities by changing the way people experience pizza can be seen and tasted: Doughs are always hand-tossed and made from scratch, and they celebrate the importance of customization using only the freshest ingredients.

At Your Pie, the perfect pizza is an art, not a science. We invite you to experience for yourselves the difference craftsmanship and a deep passion for tradition can make.

Connect Online: Facebook | Instagram | Website

Location: 2609 Peachtree Pkwy, Ste B, Suwanee, GA
Phone: 470-533-2121


Rachael Walkup has lived in North Georgia all her life. Since 2006 – The Walkup family has made Forsyth County their home. Along with being a wife and mom, Rachael is an avid blogger, social media expert, and owner of CummingLocal.com. Her time is spent promoting local events and small businesses in North Georgia.  With a background in Marketing and Sales, coupled with her experience in Project Development and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Rachael offers consultations and classes to help clients reach their fullest potential.

Tuesday Talk: Let’s Talk About Botox By It Is What We Do

Tuesday Talk: Let’s Talk About Botox By It Is What We Do

Hi, Friends! Ashley here from It Is What We Do and today, I am getting pretty candid with you all! Have you ever thought about Botox?  Maybe you’ve just been curious or had questions about it? Well, I am sharing my experience first hand with you!

Yes, I do get Botox.

I usually go every four months for my injections and typically, I get the same exact thing every time.  Mainly for these forehead lines that will not go away.  There are some great skin creams available, I have a box full of them but nothing worked quite as I wanted it to on these lines, aka valleys.  So, a little over two years ago, I thought I am going to give it a try.

Who Does It?

Let me first start out by saying, I go to a Cosmetic Dentist who is skillfully trained in Botox and we go back about 10 years.   So, when I found out she started offering it, I gave it some thought and made the appointment.  If there is anyone I would try this with, she was the one.  Having full faith and trust in her was the biggest factor for me in taking that first step.

I knew I didn’t want to look frozen or unnatural. I just wanted a little touch up on my forehead and while I am at it, let’s tackle those crows feet!  To say I was a bit nervous was an understatement, I HATE needles.  Probably like the majority of people, that thought alone made me anxious.   Let me just say, these are tiny needles.  It’s not 100% painless just a little uncomfortable.  I would compare it to tiny pinches here and there.

What happens during the procedure?

It is pretty quick.  I am usually in and out in less than 10 minutes or so.  When I go in, they put numbing cream on the areas I will have the injections.  Once it sets after a few minutes, she will have me make faces-smile, eyebrows up, frown, etc. to see where the trouble spots are.  She marks them and grabs the syringes to go to work.  Here come the tiny pinches all over my forehead, then she moves to my eyes.  I get very little around my eyes, just right where my crows feet are to tighten up a little.

As I mentioned, the majority are in my forehead.  Once she is finished, I am all done (And she’s quick!). There is no downtime afterward.  I am right back to tackle my day!  The results will appear within a few days and can take up to 14 days to see the full effect.

Side effects can vary.  Obviously, it depends on the patient and these can include mild bruising, occasional headaches, and mild soreness. I have had a couple of small bruises from the injection. Nothing major, just light bruises that fade within a few days.  That’s the worst effect I have experienced which wasn’t bad for me at all, especially once I noticed the results.

How much does it cost?

If considering Botox, you are in complete control over how much you have.  You can customize the amount to your specific needs and to your budget.  My Dr. charges per unit, so depending on how many units used, the cost can vary from patient to patient.  The average cost per unit ranges $10-$20.   I would plan on spending at least a couple hundred dollars and it can go up from there.

Please note: I am in no way a professional and this is just based on my personal experience.  Due diligence is so important to find the right provider and checking with a dr. to confirm one is a good candidate.  Ask questions!

My provider is Dr. Ashley Curington with North Atlanta Center for Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, located in Buford.  I highly recommend her! She would welcome any questions you may have. She also has a helpful link on her website that can be found HERE.

I am really pleased with my Botox experience and absolutely love the results.  I hope this has helped provide a little insight into the procedure and please feel free to ask me any questions!

I am also happy to share before and after pics!


Learn More About It Is What We Do

Ashley
I graduated with a Marketing degree and I have always loved every aspect of it. From branding to product merchandising, I take interest in every step along the way. I am thrilled I am able to share my love of shopping and fashion finds with each of you while partnering with one of my best friends! I have been married for 12 years and have two children, a boy, 8 and girl, 12. We love to travel so along the way, I will also share some of my favorite destinations, places to stay and travel tips or recommendations.

Morgan
I graduated with a Finance degree.  I was always good at math, so this was a major I gravitated toward because for me it all clicked.  Entering this field, I found myself a little unsatisfied. So, once I had my first child I left corporate America and have not missed it at all!  Fashion has always been a huge love and interest of mine.  I really enjoy sharing things I love with others.  It is even better doing this with my best friend.  I have been married for 12 years and have two boys ages 7 and 5.  They keep me busy, but I love being able to be home with them.  I hope to share with you all ways to fit functional and affordable clothing into your life!

We love to shop and we love to travel. We try new products and look out for the perfect pieces to add to our closet. It’s time to bring the best to you. Stick with us to help you through work, wife and mommy life.

It’s What We Do.

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“I Am One” Clubs & Just One Africa

“I Am One” Clubs In & Around Forsyth County

Just One Africa truly believes in students and their ability to change the world. At the heart of all that we do you can find this to be true over and over again as we partner with students and their incredible teachers locally and nationally. Just One Africa was founded on the belief that each person CAN change the world for someone, just one person at a time. We work hard to model that in the local school systems through our “I Am One’ clubs.

What is an “I Am One” club exactly?

Ask any one of our students and they would tell you that it is a way for them to have fun with their friends while also changing the world…one bead at a time. Our clubs are at numerous schools in Forsyth and Fulton County, and we are constantly growing and being asked to be at other schools. We believe that every student has the capacity to change the world and we work to give them the tools to create change the world through volunteering with our recycled paper beaded projects. We don’t just want to share global problems or tell them our story, we want to invite them to actually be a part of changing their world locally and globally.

For every recycled paper bead bracelet or ornament that you purchase from Just One Africa, there is an amazing story woven within, and the students get to be a part of that story. While our Masai mama friends make the beads in Kenya, the beads come back to the U.S.A. and are cleaned, cut apart, strung, and assembled by a middle or high school student. This gives the student service hours but also instills in them that they can change their world. These products are then sold at events, online, and in stores with 100% of the proceeds going back to our Clean Water Program in Kenya. How cool is that?

Lately, our clubs have been taking a break from stringing bracelets and have been stringing beads on wire for our handmade ornaments with the beautiful paper beads that change the world. They do such an incredible job and it is so amazing to see them create change before or after school, once or twice a month.

Just One Africa is about equipping people to make the world a better place and what better way to do that than to invest in the next generation, support their teachers and give them all the chance to re-make the world in a tangible and world-changing way by providing clean water as they string beads.

If you have any questions about our “I Am One” clubs, please email info@justoneafrica.org. If you would like to purchase one of our world changing bracelets or ornaments you can shop in our online store: shop.justoneafrica.org

 

5 Tips For A Happy Family Photo Session

5 Tips for a Happy Family Photo Session

Humidity, wardrobe malfunctions, fussy kiddos, miserable parents. There are so many factors that can make your annual family photo sesh a total nightmare.

I’m sharing 5 tips on how to have a successful family photo session, so this year you and the fam can actually look forward to your photoshoot instead of dreading it!

  1. All about timing.
    Tired hungry kids are not going to be happy campers any time, but especially not during a photoshoot. Make sure everyone gets a good night’s rest the night before, and if your children are still napping make sure to schedule the shoot so as NOT to miss that oh-so-important naptime! It’s also a good idea to avoid scheduling your photo session too close to bedtime. Definitely make sure no one skipped a meal (including yourself!), and always bring a few snacks to the photo shoot just in case!
  2. Stop telling your kids to say cheese.
    It’s a habit. We all do it. Telling your kids, especially toddlers, to say cheese usually only gets that weird unnatural sort-of-growling looking smile. Instead, do your best to make your children laugh. Maybe tickle them a little, tell their favorite joke, make funny sounds, dance like a weirdo behind your photographer. Do whatever you have to do, just don’t say cheese!
  3. Candid is sometimes better.
    Keep in mind that everyone doesn’t have to be looking at the camera for every picture. We often get stuck on this notion that eye contact with the camera is best, but in my professional experience often the pictures parents fall in love with most are the ones where the whole family is laughing and playing with each other, looking at each other, being candid. The in-between moments are the sweetest, they’re authentic, and they show your, your children, your family’s personality. So, loosen up and enjoy your family during your session. Try not worry too much that your two-year-old isn’t looking at the camera 😉
  4. Bring water and a small towel
    Always bring water, especially if its hot outside, and if anyone (ahem, Dad, cough) has a tendency to collect droplets on their forehead bring a towel to help mop them up between pictures. You’re investing in artwork to hang in your home and cherish forever, and you want to make sure everyone looks happy and dry in the pictures on your walls 😉 PS- If your hair has a mind of its own, it might be a good idea to throw some hairspray and a brush in your bag as well to hopefully help keep your hair in line!
  5. Don’t bribe the kids…but maybe bribe Dad.
    The kids will just be thinking about their treat or toy or whatever you promised them the whole time and will be upset that it’s taking so long to get it. Dad, however, might be more willing to cooperate if there’s a steak dinner or a round of Top Golf coming. Dads, I know photo sessions aren’t your favorite, but for just an hour put on your happy face and smile for the camera! These pictures will be important to your kids when they are all grown up and you will love being able to look back at your happy little family 🙂

Cheers!
Sarah


Sarah Trulove is a local family and senior photographer, yogi, & creative. While photography is her passion, she also loves to paint, run, read, eat & sip coffee in the morning sunshine. When she started her business, she focused mainly on weddings only to realize that families are where her heart is. She’s always loved children, holds a degree in social work and child advocacy and volunteers with children in foster care alongside her photography business.
 
In addition, to photography, Sarah opened Village Yoga this summer in Vickery Village! Learn more about Village Yoga on their website
Connect with Sarah: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Office Phone: 678 856 6313

Five Health Reasons To Do Functional Fitness

Five Health Reasons To Do Functional Fitness

You’re driving and get stopped at a red light. You’re thirsty and remember your water bottle is in the back seat. Being careful not to take your foot off the brake, you quickly wrench your back sideways and reach for your water bottle.

Pop. Followed by searing pain. You just threw your back out…

Has this happened to you?  I think something similar has happened to all of us at some point in life. I’m here today to explain how you can keep it from happening again. It’s two words – “Functional Fitness.”

Although the term functional fitness might seem overused in the fitness industry today—ad nauseam—there’s a reason for it.

Here’s a quick explanation of what we mean by functional fitness: It’s a way of training that forces your muscles to work together, as opposed to in isolation. In other words, it mimics the way your body needs to move during day-to-day activities in life.

We’re not saying isolation strength training is a bad thing. Bodybuilding-style lifting is definitely going to help you gain strength. But that kind of strength doesn’t lead to fluid coordination in your movements, and it will likely only hinder your mobility if it’s all you’re doing.

Basically, through training functional movements, we’re trying to get you moving the way you were able to when you were a child or even a toddler.
Think about how easy it is for a baby to get down to the floor and stand up again, and to get down and stand up without using their hands. Or remember when you were a kid and going across the monkey bars was fun? But now you hang from a bar and your joints immediately ache?

That’s what we’re trying to eliminate. We’re trying to make playgrounds fun again for you, and the best way to do this is to practice in the gym what you’re going to see in life in a way that will make life feel easy, and more importantly fun, again.

#1 -Better for your joints

Training multi-joint, multi-muscle groups puts seriously less strain on your joints than isolation work. Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t also do isolation work, but isolation on its own is much harder on your joints. Functional movements, on the other hand, will help strengthen your joints. It will also help you steer clear from joint-related injuries, like arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.

#2 – Better for bone density

Osteoporosis and low bone bass are considered a public health threat in the U.S. today. Close to 44 million men and women above the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis in the U.S. alone. Weight-bearing activities and strength training are particularly good for maintaining bone density to help fend off the dangers of losing bone mass as we age.

#3 – Better at protecting from acute injuries

The hypothetical reach for your water-bottle in the car situation is less likely to happen if your body is accustomed to moving like that on the regular. From lifting your hands over your head to pulling and pushing, to squatting, hinging and carrying, training functionally helps your body be OK with doing all of these things in the real world.

It means your back won’t be shocked when you lift a heavy suitcase onto a conveyer belt at the airport, or you reach over your head to put a heavy bowl away in the cupboard.

Like the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it…We’ll make sure you keep using it.

#4 – Better at the leisure activities

So you want to go hiking, skiing, swimming with your kids and grandkids, but you’re scared you won’t be able to keep up on the ski hill and will spend the day either feeling guilty because you’re holding them back or skiing alone.

What we do here will prepare you physically and build your confidence to not just go skiing with your grandkids, but to keep up with them!

#5 – Better at life

When you’re functionally fit, you won’t need to worry about getting too old to handle the stairs in your house. You’ll be able to help lift a couch to vacuum underneath it. Carrying groceries won’t ever be a concern. In short, we’ll help keep you out of assisted living and old age home situations.
It goes without saying, this means you’ll live a longer, and more importantly, happier and more fulfilling life.

Contact us about starting your functional fitness plan today!


Jill Thornton is a mother of two, wife, and gym owner. Her passion for helping others is infectious!  She channels her passion for fitness from her athletic background as the co-owner at Cumming Strength and Fitness located just west of downtown Cumming. To learn more about Jill, click here.

Connect with Jill & Cumming Strength & Fitness: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Healthy Back To School Habits From Dr. Marchman

The start of the school year brings many changes, one of which being a significant change to family schedules. It is not uncommon for these changes to throw us off track in terms of our healthy lifestyle habits. Here are some tips to help keep your family on track as this school year begins.

1. Don’t skip breakfast. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast score higher on tests, concentrate better, solve problems more easily, and have better muscle coordination. For adults, benefits include enhanced vitamin and mineral intake, weight control, increased mental clarity, and greater production at work. If you are running short on time in the morning, here are some quick options:

  • Oatmeal topped with nuts or raisins
  • Low-fat yogurt with sliced fruit or a banana
  • Whole-grain toast with almond butter

A fruit and vegetable smoothie that can be put in a to-go cup (put the ingredients in the blender the night before so all you have to do is add your frozen items and zap it in the morning)

2. Pack lunches together the night before. Allowing your child to be part of the process and decision making means they are more likely to be happy with the selections and will be more likely to eat it. It also gives you an extra set of hands to get things done, all while empowering them. It’s also one less thing you have to worry about in the morning. Pack yours while you are at it! Some ways to keep it fun:

  • Cut fruit into fun shapes
  • Have a themed lunch like certain colored foods for holidays
  • Present food differently like putting chunks of fruits, veggies, and a protein on a wooden skewer
  • Fast options: turkey and cheese roll-ups; almond butter and banana sandwiches; yogurt, fruit, and granola; leftover pasta; whole grain crackers with cheese and fruit

    3. Stay active. Running from one activity to the next leaves little time for meals as a family and homework, let alone unstructured play. Carefully consider the activities your children are involved in. Plan family time around physical activity such as bike riding, hiking, or playing soccer in the yard. Limit screen time for your children to one to two hours a day. There are all sorts of benefits that come from being active for both old and young, but a few big ones come to mind: improved energy, improved mood, enhanced learning and memory, improved concentration, better sleep, increased immune function, decrease risk for disease, and improved weight control.

4. Write everything down onto a calendar or planner. Fitting in your physical activity can be a challenge as well as finding time to prepare healthy meals. Putting all activities and obligations on a master family calendar allows you to see where you can carve out time for your own activity, as it’s so important to practice self care. Get creative. Maybe it is running around the field while your child is at soccer practice. Maybe it is taking turns as to who does drop off so you can hit the gym first thing in the morning. Maybe it is taking turns with a friend watching each other’s kids so that you can each get some physical activity in or have time to prepare dinner.

5. Get enough sleep. This goes for the entire family. Sleep is just as vital to us adults as it is to growing children. Sleep is important for learning and memory. Not getting enough sleep can lead to irritability, impatience, the inability to concentrate, and a decrease in productivity. Additionally, sleep deprivation alters immune function. Getting enough sleep leads to a happier and more efficient environment, so that your family is better able to face the challenges that a new and busy routine brings.

6. Use essential oils. From valor for those first day of school jitters to thieves for immune support to a focus roller to help your child stay on track, oils are a huge tool for back to school season. To learn more about essential oils, check out this page. You can also follow Dr. Marchman’s oily Instagram page at @dropsofhealth.

7. Get adjusted. Getting your spine aligned helps you function better, mentally and physically. And who couldn’t use a little mental and physical boost once school is back in session? Adjustments are safe and effective for the entire family and regular adjustments can make a huge difference in the overall wellness of your family.

Hopefully these tips will help you maintain your healthy lifestyle habits with the start of the school year. Here’s to a happy, healthy year for your family!


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​