Nine Signs That Your Child Is Being Bullied

Thank you to Christi Cawley, M.A., Lower School Counselor at Pinecrest Academy for writing this impactful article on bullying.

A parent’s natural instinct is to protect his or her child from harm.  That’s why the issue of bullying is top of mind for most parents of school-aged children.  It’s first important to understand what bullying is so that the signs may be recognized and addressed.

Bullying behavior can be distinguished from other inappropriate behavior by remembering the acronym “RIP,” which stands for:
  • Repeated
  • Imbalance of Power
  • Purposeful
While “repeated” and “purposeful” are self-explanatory, the “imbalance of power” criterion can sometimes be confusing. Here are some examples of power imbalances between children: physical (size/strength), social standing/popularity, and being outnumbered (two or more children picking on or excluding another child).
Bullying can take several forms:
  • Physical (hitting, punching, beating)
  • Verbal (teasing, name-calling, threats)
  • Emotional (intimidation using gestures, social exclusion, threats)
  • Sexual
  • Racial
  • Cyberbullying (online harassment, hate messages, threats, impersonation, and other digital abuse)
  • Hazing
Signs that may point to a bullying problem:
  1. Unexplainable injuries;
  2. Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry;
  3. Frequent headaches or stomach aches; feeling sick or faking illness;
  4. Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home; from school hungry because they did not eat lunch;
  5. Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares;
  6. Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school;
  7. Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations;
  8. Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem;
  9. Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
Sadly, adults are notified in less than half (40%) of bullying incidents, so it is important to recognize the signs and communicate with your child in a calm, open manner.  Kids don’t ask for help for many reasons, including: fear of being seen as weak or a tattletale, fear of retaliation from the bully, embarrassment, fear of punishment for being weak, feeling like no one cares/would understand, fear of rejection by peers, and belief that adults can’t or won’t help them.
Most parents (if their child tells them about a problem) tell their children to 1) ignore it; and/or 2) “stand up” for themselves.  These strategies are good life skills for children to have, but they are typically more effective in situations where there is not an imbalance of power or the behavior is a minor, one-time incident.  Our job as adults is to help children when they need us, and in a true bullying situation, they do.
The effects of bullying can be very severe, long-term, and life-altering. Please reach out to your child’s teacher, school counselor, and dean immediately if you have concerns about a potential bullying situation.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

 Pinecrest Academy is a private Catholic school serving Pre-K through 12 students. We provide an atmosphere of academic rigor and critical thinking while offering personalized attention in a Christ-centered environment of faith and reason.

Connect with Pinecrest Academy: Online | Facebook

Choosing The Right Path For Your Child’s Education

Weighing the benefits of a more custom education style and the cost of the school is enough to stress any parent out. Don’t let the overwhelming amount of information deter you from making one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your child: where they receive an education.

If you are planning for the 2019-2020 school year, let Horizon Christian Academy help your child find their bigger purpose at school. To help you with your decision, below are the five main benefits of your child attending HCA.

Smaller Class Sizes and Increased Teacher Dedication

One of the most effective ways to improve student performance is to decrease the size of the classroom. This can completely change the dynamic of the student-teacher relationship. Your child will be able to receive the attention they need to learn and grow in a way that meets their individual needs.

Your Child Will be Known by Teachers

Due to the strong emphasis on teacher-student relationships, you can be secure in knowing that educators are aware of your child’s strengths and limitations. The class sizes are smaller which leads to more opportunities for relationship development. Your child will not go unnoticed. The more comfortable your child feels is directly correlated to their performance.

Community Focused Environment

When students are a part of something with a bigger purpose, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and dedication. At HCA, your student will want to be involved in serving the community. The goal at HCA is to develop a heart of servant leadership, first through biblical teaching and then with a hands-on approach.

A Shared Educational Philosophy

If you are looking for a school that helps extend the biblical foundation that you are laying for your child, HCA is the perfect partner for you. Our Christ-centered focus allows us to continue the biblical teachings you are doing at home. This will help your child develop independence and unique skills that are extended beyond what would be gained at a public school.

Encouraged Participation in Extracurricular Activities

A wide variety of extracurricular activities are offered at HCA, and a high level of involvement is encouraged. It is proven that students involved in activities outside the classroom have lower levels of stress and higher levels of motivation. Not only are these activities a good break for the brain, but they also encourage the crucial development of soft skills and even discipline.

If you want to know more about the Horizon Christian Academy difference, join them on a Tour with the Principals held throughout the year. Check out their Facebook page for more details

More About Horizon Christian Academy:

Home to approximately 225 students and 45 full and part-time staff members, Horizon Christian Academy offers a Christian-educational experience serving Forsyth and surrounding north Georgia counties. Horizon continues to be fiercely committed to the complete development of students, both educationally and spiritually, making it the perfect home for families seeking an all-encompassing education driven to foster a Christ-like character in the lives of their children.

Connect with HCA Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Halcyon Forsyth: Here’s What You Need To Know

I have been so curious as to what the status of all things Halcyon Forsyth is lately. So I reached out and got TONS of information. Of course, I had to share all this with you! I hope it answers some questions you had as well. And of course, keep scrolling as this article contains tons of information for you!

Confirmed Retail Tenant Information


Halcyon’s first signed tenant is a state-of-the-art cinema venue – CMX. The deluxe cinema chain will open a 9-screen, 38,000-square-foot theater, marking its first Metro Atlanta location and one of its first in the country. Halcyon’s CMX theater will include approximately 500 luxury seats in its 10 viewing rooms, with the ultimate in audiovisual technology by Meyer Sound Laboratories and one Dolby Atmos room, which takes traditional surround sound to the next level enabling powerful moving audio to travel from all directions.

The theater will also offer full-service gourmet in-seat dining and an exceptional assortment of wines, as well as handcrafted cocktails made-to-order by a top mixologist. Additionally, the theater will feature oversized full recliners with a swivel table and a service push button. Each chair will include a dim LED light and storage compartments for purses and shopping bags for added convenience. CMX will be the only dine-in movie theater in Forsyth County, giving residents and visitors an upscale dine-in and relaxing movie experience. The VIP Cinema experience extends to any portable device with CMX’s extensive and easy to use geo-targeted application, allowing customers to pre-purchase tickets and order food.

Marc Taft concepts

Atlanta Chef Marc Taft will bring three restaurant concepts to Forsyth County that will include CO-OP Community Table + Bar, FEED – Fried Chicken + Such and Best Burger. The three concepts will augment Halcyon’s southern appeal and launches the many choices that will be available to visitors and residents.

CO-OP Community Table + Bar will be a full-service, farm-to-table concept with a Southern ingredient focus. CO-OP will be a neighborhood-gathering place that will provide effusive Southern hospitality while emphasizing the importance of sustainability.

FEED Fried Chicken + Such is a fast-casual concept that was inspired by Southern roadside restaurants Taft ate at with his family while traveling from Alabama to East Tennessee to see his Grandmother. Taft’s team of experts is carefully crafting more details about Best Burger.

Cherry Street Brewing

Cherry Street Brewing will open a nearly 6,000-square-foot brewpub and beer garden in the center of the restaurant village. Already a local Forsyth staple, Cherry Street will fit perfectly into Halcyon’s locally focused tenant list. As a brewpub, it will bring both locally brewed beer and food to the new location. The brewpub will have 19 Cherry Street beers on tap, including existing fan favorites and a new HALCYON-specific brew.

 Cherry Street recently won the title of Grand National Champion at the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship, taking home three gold, one silver and two bronze medals for its various beers. Several of the award-winning beers will be staples at the Halcyon location.  As a brewpub, Cherry Street will also feature an upscale pub food menu with seasonal, chef-inspired food options. The brewpub and beer garden is designed with the greenery-focused, open-air style of Halcyon in mind.  The beer garden will feature communal tables, ample bar space and a stage for special events. 

Never Enough Thyme:

Never Enough Thyme, which opened its first location in Alpharetta, is a family-owned-and-operated gourmet restaurant that specializes in high-quality, homemade food. The owners, Michele and Mike Doyle, and Rob and Patrice Pniewski, are relocating the restaurant and expanding at its new Halcyon location. The new location will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and will occupy approximately 3,500 square feet and is positioned between the green space and CMX.

“For 15 years, we have loved being a neighborhood gathering space known for our homemade food, and fast and friendly service,” said Michele Doyle. “Now, as the area is changing, we are excited to change with it by moving to Halcyon, where we hope to maintain our regulars and attract new guests.”

Sweet Tuna

Sweet Tuna, a Hawaiian Fresh Poke concept, is opening its second Georgia location and first Market Hall concept at Halcyon. Sweet Tuna employs a different approach than other Poke concepts: rather than using pre-made flavorings from distributors, it crafts its own flavorings for the authentic build-your-own bowl experience.

The Sweet Tuna chef has a background in fine dining at sushi restaurants and will introduce seasonal dishes, desserts and limited-time flavorings at the Halcyon location. All bowls are gluten-free and made with organic produce sourced from local farmers.

Pita Mediterranean Street Food

Pita, a Mediterranean street food concept that is already a Georgia staple, is also opening its first Market Hall concept at Halcyon. It will bring authentic Mediterranean culture and an open kitchen with cooked-to-order food to its newest location. In typical Mediterranean style, Pita will feature vertical rotisseries, peanut, and dairy free food, certified halal meats and authentic, pure olive oils.

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company

Founded by Jonathan Golden in 2005, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company is opening its largest coffee house yet at Halcyon. After realizing the tangible opportunity to make a difference in Rwanda, Africa, which had experienced one of history’s most devastating genocides, Golden started Land of a Thousand Hills and utilized farmers in Rwanda. The introduction of specialty coffee to Rwanda not only allowed the people to rebuild homesteads, but it also allowed the country to work toward a lasting peace

Land of a Thousand Hills’ Halcyon location will be the company’s fourth corporate coffee house, with locations ranging from Roswell, Georgia to Cypress, Texas. (Halcyon will be the fourth corporately owned location, and there are five franchise locations.) The Halcyon location will be unique in that it will serve as a music venue as well, with the interior and large patio space deliberately created for presenting local and national artists. Along with the 100 percent, Arabica coffee and unique blends offered at Land of a Thousand Hills, this location will also serve craft beer. When visitors purchase Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, they are helping families provide for themselves with living wages, building homes for orphans, giving care to widows and giving hope to communities.

Butcher & Brew:

Halcyon will be home to the second location of Butcher & Brew. The original location, which opened in 2016, is located on South Main Street in Alpharetta. Owner Louis Soon also owns South Main Kitchen, located next door to the original Butcher & Brew, and has more concepts upcoming. Butcher & Brew is a Craft American Shop, focused on quality ingredients and eclectic craft beers. Each dish, from the risotto fritters and wings to the selection of bowls and one-of-a-kind sandwiches that uses locally baked bread, is crafted to provide a unique experience with every bite. Butcher & Brew will have 3,000 square feet in Halcyon and face the greenspace. Soon is also opening a new taco concept as part of Halcyon’s Market Hall.

“At Butcher & Brew, we focus on the people – both those working here and those eating here. We have created an environment where guests can have an upscale meal while cheering for their favorite sports team or connecting with friends over a craft beer,” said Louis Soon. “Halcyon is the perfect development for our next location, and we’re excited to bring our high-energy concept to Forsyth County.


After visiting Tulum, Mexico with his team, Louis Soon knew what his next concept would be: a taco stand. Inspired by Mexican street food, TOCAYO will have a simple menu of tacos, perfect for the fast-casual atmosphere of Halcyon’s Market Hall.

“With this Market Hall space, we’re creating a very simple, but an elegant vibe that will have Bohemian-inspired décor, Mexican draft beers, and margaritas,” said Soon. “TOCAYO will have amazing tacos that are reasonably priced, and visitors will be able to grab a taco and a margarita and walk out to enjoy them on the green space.”

Gu’s Dumplings:

Gu’s Dumplings has been voted the No. 1 place to eat dumplings in Atlanta, one of the best Chinese restaurants in America and one of the 49 things you have to eat in Atlanta before you die, and now it’s coming to HALCYON’s Market Hall. Gu’s, which was founded on Buford Highway, currently operates in Krog Street Market and in SunTrust Park. The authentic Szechuan restaurant focuses on dumplings, noodles, and stir-fry and lets its menu remain fluid, allowing for creativity and customer input. It will be one of the first Szechuan restaurants in Forsyth County.

“We opened our first family-run restaurant, Gu’s Bistro, in December 2010 off of Buford Highway,” said Yvonne Gu Khan of Gu’s Dumplings. “We decided to open a smaller version of Gu’s Bistro in Krog Street Market called Gu’s Dumplings, which focuses on dumplings and noodles, but also includes our most popular stir-fried dishes. The Gu’s team knows Szechuan food because it is in our blood. We want to introduce Szechuan food to the masses and want them to enjoy it as we do because we are proud of our heritage.”


Kilwins will be opening a Chocolates, Fudge, and Ice Cream store in the Halcyon village. Kilwins Halcyon will have a wide selection of “Original Recipe” Ice Cream, which is served in a freshly made Waffle Cone for a special in-store treat, and it will also offer specialty Sundaes, Shakes, and Malts. Kilwins Halcyon owners, Christina and Tony Abunassar, wanted to bring high-quality confections and ice cream, along with the Kilwins’ family-friendly service, to their friends and neighbors. Kilwins Halcyon will occupy approximately 1,440 square feet as part of the Market Hall.

Cocina & Taqueria

Cocina & Taqueria, which is currently located at Abernathy Square in Sandy Springs, will open its second location at Halcyon. The restaurant and bar offer a mix of Mexican and Latin flavors, with a menu that includes tacos, rice bowls, and flavored margaritas. CT will occupy 6,000 square feet across from the CMX Cinema.

Hog Island:

Halcyon announced that Southern Proper Hospitality has signed a long-term lease for their newest restaurant, Hog Island, at its 135-acre mixed-use village, Halcyon. The hybrid concept combines the best of a smokehouse and oyster bar under one roof, bringing the heartiness of the land to meet the freshness of the sea at Hog Island.

Hog Island, which will occupy a 4,220-square-foot space, will be housed in a contemporary barn-like building. Natural light and wood detailing will add warmth to the restaurant’s clean, crisp and bright interior, creating a comfortable, laid-back vibe. The menu will feature signature smoked meats and seafood dishes.

Retail Tenants: Willow Jane (formerly Lavender), Canoe and Nina + Leigh

Halcyon announced its first retail tenants to join the mixed-use village: boutiques Willow Jane (Lavender) and Canoe, and a brand-new clothing boutique, Nina + Leigh. The retail options are the latest additions to the community, joining various restaurants, a Market Hall, a luxury movie theater and more.

Willow Jane, which originally opened as Lavender in 2004 and is currently in the Collection at Forsyth, is relocating and expanding in Halcyon. The boutique carries women’s clothing and accessories for all ages.

Willow Jane will be joined by another existing Georgia boutique, Canoe, a lifestyle brand, and boutique. Canoe is opening its second location in Halcyon provide shoppers with unique jewelry, bags, and accessories. Founder Lynn Kemp first opened her store in Blue Ridge, GA, and had been looking to expand into the Atlanta area when she heard about Halcyon.

Halcyon will also be home to a new retail concept: Nina + Leigh. Nina + Leigh will be a clothing boutique for women in their late teens to thirties and will carry clothing, jewelry, and various accessories. After working in retail for nearly 10 years, founder Candice Sinisgalli decided to follow her passion and open a store where she could provide affordable, on-trend clothing to women.

The boutiques will join Allure Nail Bar, which will occupy 3,500 square feet, and Uni K Wax, which will have a nearly 1,200-square-foot space.

Uni K Wax

Halcyon’s latest addition of Uni K Wax brings another lifestyle component to the restaurant and retail roster at the mixed-use village. A unisex waxing studio with an organic wax formula, Uni K will occupy a 1,100-square-foot space alongside other retail tenants.

Already a staple in Florida, New York, and New Jersey, Uni K is opening its first Georgia studio at HALCYON. Uni K, as the first-ever waxing studio to offer unisex services, continues to offer safe waxing to men and women of all ages.

RW Design

that RW Designs, an upscale interior design studio, and gallery, is joining Halcyon’s impressive tenant list. RW Design & Exchange will relocate the showroom from its current location at The Collection in Cumming, Georgia and will occupy a 7,500-square-foot space at the entrance of Halcyon. Halcyon, the new mixed-use village currently under construction in Forsyth County, is being developed by RocaPoint Partners and New York-based The Georgetown Company.

Founded by Rhonda White in 1987, RW Designs has become a name uniquely associated with Atlanta interior design. Rhonda offers customers impeccable design and timeless distinction in each of her high-end product lines, along with guidance throughout any stage of the design process. In 2009, RW Designs opened its first storefront, RW Design & Exchange, allowing customers to visit the design gallery and buy products. RW Design & Exchange offers services ranging from residential and commercial design, to model home design.

Lizard Thicket:

Lizard Thicket, a unique woman’s fashion boutique, will join Halcyon’s list of retail tenants. Halcyon’s Lizard Thicket will be the twenty-second Lizard Thicket boutique to open in the U.S. and will occupy approximately 3,000 square feet in HALCYON’s mixed-use village.

Lizard Thicket prides itself in selling the latest, most fashion-forward styles and accessories at surprisingly low prices. With only six pieces of each clothing style carried in-store, Lizard Thicket guarantees that its stylish clientele can wear Lizard Thicket threads with confidence that their wardrobe is as unique as they are.

Totally Running and Walking

Totally Running and Walking will open its second location at Halcyon. Totally Running’s new location will be steps from the Big Creek Greenway and will promote an active, community-oriented lifestyle in HALCYON.

Totally Running has been a Forsyth staple since 2007 and is opening its second location to provide expert services to a wider audience. The store specializes in athletic gear and fitting each customer with their perfect running – or walking – shoe.

By bringing Totally Running to Halcyon, Kim hopes to host races from the store and provide healthy, productive ways for families to get out and spend time together. At Totally Running, everyone is welcome, regardless of age, size or experience level, and the Halcyon team will find everyone their perfect shoe.

With the addition of Totally Running, Halcyon will be home to future 5Ks, fun runs, walks, running groups and more. From competitive runs to runs that end at the local brewpub, Halcyon and Totally Running welcome all levels of runners and walkers.

Embassy Suites by Hilton at HALCYON

Halcyon announced a 152-room Embassy Suites by Hilton will be added to the 135-acre mixed-use development. Embassy Suites by Hilton at Halcyon will include multi-functional ballrooms and more than 6,500 square feet of much-needed meeting space in the northern arc of the region. Demonstrating its fit within Halcyon’s ethos, the hotel will have a distinct focus on fitness that will incorporate yoga and saunas in its state-of-the-art fitness center and broad green space as part of its forward-looking design. An indoor pool and hot tub, two presidential suites, and a large lobby bar and atrium will also be included for social events and gatherings.


Built from Italian roots, Popbar blends authenticity, innovation, and high-quality ingredients to bring a unique and mouthwatering experience to Halcyon. Its inviting location, just off the retail village green space, is positioned for customers to easily enjoy more than 40 rotating flavors of frozen treats in the surrounding open areas. For added convenience to Halcyon’s visitors, residents and employees, Popbar’s mobile cart will deliver pops around Halcyon and to events outside the village. This all-natural franchise offers creative and customizable frozen treats including Hot Chocolate on a Stick, Frozen Hot Chocolate, the Double Shake (Popbar’s take on a milkshake, made with any two pops), and the newest menu item, the PopWich, a gelato sandwich on a stick. Popbar offers vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free options, so visitors with any dietary restrictions can experience the delicious frozen treats. Popbar currently has 17 stores around the country, 11 internationally, and four under construction. Popbar Halcyon franchise owners Charel and Jamal Palmer dreamed of owning a business that would allow them to leave as a legacy for their three children while bringing members of the community together and bringing the first Popbar to Georgia is helping realize that vision.


JOEY, a contemporary Pilates and dance cardio studio, will open its first location in Halcyon, Forsyth County’s most anticipated mixed-use village. JOEY, named after the founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, will provide a well-rounded fitness experience in a sophisticated studio environment, offering both Pilates and dance cardio classes. JOEY’s dual-class offerings will provide the community with an engaging way to meet their fitness goals.

Pilates classes will be intimate and individualized, taught with a contemporary approach to the classical method. Dance cardio classes will provide clients with a calorie-blasting, music-driven, group fitness experience incorporating lightly choreographed movements along with equipment such as hand weights and resistance bands. Beyond fitness classes, JOEY will sell a curated collection of athleisure wear, accessories and home goods.


SafiraMD Medical Aesthetics and Wellness Center will join the mixed-use community’s tenant line-up. The med spa’s highly trained personnel will provide personalized customer service with elevated standards, state-of-the-art products and customized treatments in a contemporary environment. The med spa will be led by Dr. Andrea L. Volk, Medical Director, and Rafael Santos, RN, Office Manager, both trained and certified professionals. The two will oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility and the evaluation of the various spa and retail programs.

The med spa offers a variety of skincare and wellness services targeted to men and women, including laser skin rejuvenation, laser hair removal, Botox®, and dermal fillers, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) rejuvenation, body contouring, revitalizing facial peels, clinical facials, healthy living programs, and medical-grade skin care products.

RBM of Alpharetta Mercedes-Benz Experience Center

The RBM of Alpharetta Mercedes-Benz Experience Center will be one of the first permanent, small format retail spaces at Halcyon. The experience-driven store is slated to open in conjunction with the opening. This location will offer access to new Mercedes-Benz product launches, select brand accessories and purchasing incentives for Halcyon customers. The space will incorporate modern design elements with experiential factors, including interactive digital displays and showcasing new vehicles. Knowledgeable product specialists will offer information on the luxury auto brand and offer access to new Mercedes-Benz product launches. To establish a convenient connection between the nearby RBM of Alpharetta dealership, just two and a half miles from Halcyon, and the new retail space, RBM of Alpharetta will offer a shuttle service to-and-from HALCYON, to allow customers waiting on vehicle maintenance to enjoy strolling around the outdoor mixed-use village and visiting the experiential store. RBM of Alpharetta has also been selected as the valet sponsor.

Progress Updates

• Heading into 2019, we are nearing the opening of Halcyon, the $370 million mixed-use development coming to Forsyth County.

• At this point, the majority of buildings have been topped out and spaces are being turned over to tenants, allowing them to begin executing the interior buildout and design.

• This year, Halcyon will bring 480,000 square feet of office and retail space to Forsyth County with Phase One slated to open spring 2019. Phase One will focus on the commercial retail components of the project. •

RocaPoint Partners has worked closely with JLL, the retail leasing team for the mixed-use development, to carefully curate a tenant mix that will create a place where families can walk off the Big Creek Greenway to enjoy a bite to eat from one of the unique restaurant concepts, where dogs are encouraged to stroll through the property and visit pets-welcome retailers and where office tenants have the opportunity to host meetings at a variety of restaurants and outdoor meeting spaces. Halcyon is roughly 70 % committed at this point. (See additional List of Tennant Summaries for a glimpse at individual tenants coming to Halcyon.)

• The mixed-use destination will also extend the Big Creek Greenway with a fully functioning trailhead, including restrooms and parking space.

• Once complete, Halcyon plans to bring two hotels and 690 residential units, including multifamily, active adult apartments, single-family homes, and townhomes.

• Office leasing, provided by NKF, is well underway. The office component of Halcyon will have access to a number of amenities and offerings at Halcyon, including the Wi-Fi connected outdoor pocket parks, green spaces, restaurants and more.

• Over the next 20 years, Halcyon will have a $150 million impact to Forsyth County.

Private Parties at Pinot’s Palette in Johns Creek

Private Parties at Pinot’s Palette in Johns Creek

Host the best night ever! Your guests don’t need any art experience to have a good time at Pinot’s Palette. One of their local artists will guide the group through every step of the painting. Your party will have a private room, complete with all the little extras to make the night run smoothly.

With a private painting party, you get to call ALL the shots! {Insider Tip: Ask Pinot’s Palette about custom paintings, catering partnerships and music playlists.}

How To Book

Private events are booked by placing a refundable deposit to secure your desired date and time (after availability is confirmed by the studio).

What’s Included

Pinot’s Palette wants your event to be fun, organized and effortless. They will provide you with all the supplies needed for a party, including their helpful artist(s) to host and guide your guests through the event. They  include the following:

  • Private Party Room

In-studio parties will have an entire room to themselves, with plenty of space for all guests.

  • Art Supplies

Canvases, brushes, paints, palettes, aprons and anything else needed to finish a masterpiece. They also have a designated area to keep purses and coats.

  • Professional Instruction

Their instructors are professional artists themselves, and they are well-trained in making the painting process simple and enjoyable for painters of all skill levels. Everyone gets step-by-step instructions at a comfortable pace.

  • Ice, Ice Buckets, Bottled Water

The studio is equipped with ice and ice buckets to make it easier to keep drinks and food at the right temperature. Bottled water is available for all guests. You’ll also have counter space for food or gifts.

  • Glassware

They provide real glassware for all guests. No need to go out and buy disposable cups!

  • Music

Pinot’s Palette will have a crowd-pleasing playlist ready for you. Or, you can tell them what sort of music you’d like for your event and they will tailor a playlist to your needs. And don’t worry – they make sure the music doesn’t get in the way of hearing the artist’s instructions.

Painting Selection

Please provide your top three (3) desired paintings. They will always try to make sure you get your first choice; but due to occasional scheduling conflicts or materials shortages, it’s advisable to have a backup or two.

You don’t have to choose a painting in order to book an event, but the final selection must be confirmed with the studio at least two weeks before your event date.

Their painting library is huge! If you need assistance choosing the right painting for your group, just get in touch with them. They have hosted quite a few events and can help you narrow it down.

Offering Examples

We have a product quote to show you some of the most popular options. Take a peek at the image below!

Pinot’s Palette opened for business on May 6, 2009. Our first location was a cozy, local studio in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, TX. Being a new concept, we started small, with the hopes of hosting a wine and painting class three nights a week.

Before long, word spread, and now we have paint and sip franchise locations from coast to coast and internationally.

Together, we’ve created over one million paintings with our customers. And while we haven’t counted the corks, our guests have enjoyed plenty of wine with friends along the way.

We love being your go-to spot to relax, unwind and let loose. From date nights to birthdays and bachelorette parties, our paint parties are a unique way to celebrate all of life’s special moments – even if the occasion is just called “Friday.”

Connect Online: Website | Facebook
Location: 11720 Medlock Bridge Rd, Suite 175, Johns Creek, GA
Phone: 770.783.1783

Shop Local This Year: A Message From The Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce

Shop Local This Year

A Message From The Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce

Since the inception of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce in 1954, the purpose has remained the same; increase prosperity and promote a better community life for all. Their organization continues to be the leader in economic development, advocacy on issues of interest to business and engaging business leaders to ensure the long-term economic health of our community.

Cumming Local has partnered together this year to encourage you to shop local this year! We have several businesses to highlight this year. But we hope that you will choose to purchase your holiday gifts locally this year!

When you support a small, local business – you are supporting someone’s dreams!

Parsons Gifts

Parsons Gifts has been open for business in Cumming since 1946. The original store in Cumming was on the square and was a general store with groceries, hardware, farming supplies, dry goods, etc. Parsons remained on the square until 1982 when it was completely destroyed by fire, shortly after being completely remodeled. It was reopened in Tri-County Plaza and was there until 1990 when it was relocated to Lakeland Plaza.

It is still family owned and operated by the grandchildren of the original owners, Kate and Calvin Parsons. Gary and Cris Willis, and, Kay and Mike Montgomery, all work in the business. The Parsons family has been successful and stayed in business because they haven’t been afraid to change and update with the times. Parsons has always strived to carry unique merchandise. Some of the customers’ favorites right now are the extensive selection of Brighton, Pandora along with Ladies Clothing and other jewelry lines. Also, Parsons Buyers have a great eye for decorative accessories for your home. Parsons carries a nice selection of home décor items along with a wonderful selection of gifts for all ages. The Christmas Village displays are a big hit with customers, and Parsons Specialty Chocolates will keep you coming back to Parsons week after week!

Parsons carries a large selection of Christmas gifts and decorations each year. There is a 5,000 square foot Shoppe next door to the main store that features Garden Décor Feb to Aug. This store is then converted to Parsons Christmas Shoppe that opens each year in Sept. Parsons is known to have some of the most beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the Atlanta area. Christmas is definitely a great time to shop at Parsons!

Parsons Gifts: Website | Facebook

Location: 525 Lakeland Plaza Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-887-9991

The Collection at Forsyth

Are you aware that the Collection has over 90 places to shop local at? Check their shopping directory at any time to look over the businesses located in the Collection at Forsyth.

The Collection at Forsyth is an outdoor lifestyle shopping destination in Cumming, Ga. Owned and managed by CORE Property Capital, The Collection at Forsyth features a variety of premier national retailers, restaurants and a movie theater, as well as specialty local stores and eateries.

In the Collection at Forsyth, you will find unique stores like Gibson Company. Gibson Co used to be located in the sweet little house next door to Browns Bridge Church. They moved to the Collection to have a bigger location. If you haven’t been in lately, I highly recommend it. Such a unique and fun store to walk through. And believe me, you will walk out with buying something. Everything in there is awesome!

The Collection at Forsyth: Website | Facebook

Vickery Village

I’d love to invite you to dine, shop and play at Vickery Village! You can enjoy one of the many fine restaurants, shop with the local merchants and bring the whole family to any of their free outdoor events in the Village Green. Housed in classic architecture surrounding a charming courtyard, Vickery Village is home to 200,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space.

The tenants include top restaurants representing many types of cuisine, an award-winning craft brewery, healthcare providers, local boutiques, a creative arts space as well as hair and nail salons.

On a typical day, friends meeting for coffee at Nido, people crafting at Pinspitation, and local residents enjoying a local craft beer from Cherry Street Brewing Coop.

On the weekend, you can enjoy live music at many of our restaurants, dine inside or out on the patio, craft with friends at Pinspiration, or even watch a movie outside on the big screen on selected evenings.

Please note: Vickery Village also hosts a Farmers Market. For more information on that event, head over to the Farmers Market Facebook page.

Vickery Village: Website | Facebook

Location: 5855 South Vickery Street, Cumming, GA 30040

We hope this encourages you to shop in Forsyth County this year! For more businesses to shop local at for the holiday, head to the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce’s Business Directory.

Happy Holidays!

10 Things You Might Not Know About Our Chamber of Commerce

10 Things You Might Not Know About The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce

I finally joined the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce last year and it has been such a blessing. I’ve loved the networking events. And I have loved getting to know so many fabulous small business owners. But above all else – I have learned so much about our Chamber. As I was reflecting over the past year, I felt this information would make a great article. So today I’m sharing with you 10 things you might not know about the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.

1 – Our Chamber planned and put on the Play at the Park event with the Forsyth County Parks Department. I totally did not know this was put on by our Chamber, but it sure was!

2 – Guess what else is put on by our fabulous Chamber of Commerce? The Food Trucks n’ Foco events! For me, this was another shock.

3 – They have networking Facebook groups for members. And I have really enjoyed being able to share my articles with the other members. It’s also a great way to stay connected in between networking meetings.

4 – Their website has a business directory. This has come in handy when I was looking for a particular type of business to use. I’m hopeful it will come in handy to you as well!

5 – They do business training events all the time for members. Marketing, Social Media, HR, and many other trainings were put on this past year. To learn more, follow this link to their Business Advancement Resources.

6 – They have a free Visitor’s Guide available online. Grab a copy for yourself, right here.

7 – The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce was created in 1954. And their purpose is still the same today – “to advance positive business growth and community partnerships to promote a superior quality of life.”

8 – They have 12 people on their staff and over 50 people on their Board of Directors and Executive Committee. I can personally tell you that our Chamber has an excellent group of leaders on their staff. Did you know that our Chamber is not part of the government in our county? They are a private 501c6 organization that is owned and operated by a Board of Directors. Basically, they act as a vendor to the City of Cumming & Forsyth County Government to create economic development in the area.

9 – The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce has a tourism department. The tourism department works to get visitors into our community through film, sports, and recreation. In fact, you should take a moment and read this article in the Forsyth County News about Forsyth Film. You may be wondering why do I care if there is a tourism department?  Well, I believe you should care because the tourists shop in local stores, eat in local restaurants, and pay hotel and sales taxes that generate revenue. That revenue helps to keep our property taxes low. Pretty cool, right?

10 – The website has been a great resource for looking into all the business development in our county. I recommend that you take a few minutes and look around. It’s all such interesting information.

What I Love About Attending Horizon Christian Academy

What I Love About Attending Horizon Christian Academy

Each Horizon Christian Academy student’s story is unique to them. Today we want to highlight one student who joined the Horizon family during the spring semester of 2018. Carter Bennett is a senior at HCA who has seen tremendous growth since transitioning from public school and was so excited to share his experience at HCA.

One of the pros of public school for Carter was the opportunity to make connections with various groups of students. While the student body of Horizon Christian Academy is diverse, it certainly does not have the numbers that a typical Forsyth County public school has. “The students at HCA really do show Christ’s love. Everyone feels really welcomed.” Carter says.

With a smaller student body comes smaller class sizes, a feature Carter genuinely enjoys. “Teachers are able to give one on one attention when a student is struggling.” he said, “In public school the classes were big and it could be hard to get help if the teacher is trying to get through a lesson.”

Carter is really thriving in the smaller class setting and has even seen his GPA rise since switching to Horizon. “It’s hard to stand out in public school. I don’t feel like I just blend in at HCA.”

In addition to more one on one attention in class and through the 412 program, Horizon gives high school students and parents the option to choose advanced placement courses and even dual enroll during their last years in high school in order to complete core classes before they graduate. Some HCA students have graduated from high having completed a full year of college core classes and are able to start college taking sophomore courses.

Carter, like so many other HCA upperclassmen, has chosen to take advantage of the dual enrollment option. He is currently taking 4 courses at Truett McConnell University and plans on taking more classes next semester, putting him ahead of a majority of his peers when he begins college.

Horizon doesn’t only offer a rigorous college preparatory education; they also have an outstanding lineup of extracurricular activities. Carter Bennett is active in football, baseball, and the one-act play.

Students can also participate in cross country, basketball, seasonal plays, marching band, cheerleading, and volleyball. As a large portion of the student body, one of Carter’s favorite after-school activities during the first semester is to attend the varsity volleyball games when the Lady Warriors play at home.

With such an active student body and a staff that is focused on educating the whole student, academically, spiritually, and athletically, it’s no wonder students and parents love Horizon Christian Academy. If you and your student are looking for a school that specializes in giving each student the attention they need to succeed, contact the friendly admissions office at Horizon Christian Academy to learn how you can become part of the HCA family.

More About Horizon Christian Academy

Home to approximately 225 students and 45 full and part-time staff members, Horizon Christian Academy offers a Christian-educational experience serving Forsyth and surrounding north Georgia counties. Horizon continues to be fiercely committed to the complete development of students, both educationally and spiritually, making it the perfect home for families seeking an all-encompassing education driven to foster a Christ-like character in the lives of their children.

Connect with HCA Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Why Choose i9 Sports In Forsyth County?

Why Choose i9 Sports in Forsyth County?

In Forsyth County, there are countless options to put your kids in sports. You can choose to do with the county or with the city. You can choose churches like First United Methodist or Creekside. Or you can choose between United Futbol leagues or National teams. With so much to choose from, the question often is – why choose i9 Sports?

I’m going to list out 7 reasons why in my opinion you should choose to sign your children up with i9 Sports:

    1. Practice Time: This is one detail my family LOVED! The practice time happens just before each game time. No more do sports have to take up more than one day in your busy schedule.
    2. Positive Experience: You can expect a fun and safe environment that encourages good sportsmanship over winning. i9 Sports’ pride themselves on the positive atmosphere that makes i9 Sports a great way for children of all skill levels to experience team sports.
    3. Communication: We have experienced several different sports with i9 Sports. Yet one thing stayed the same. Communication was also done very well. Whether it was knowing that one week prior to the season starting, I would know our schedule. Or if it was letting us know about a rain delay or cancel, i9 Sports does an excellent job with communication.
    4. There Are No Favorites: This was another thing we loved as a family. There are no favorites on the teams. Their program is great for children of all skill levels and experience! It is very common that all teams have a mix of brand new and returning players. Rest assured, every player gets to play every game – all season long.
    5. Age Levels Make A Difference: As the child gets older the practice time + game time lengths change. It’s great they have accommodated for that. Here’s what the guidelines currently look like: Ages 3-4: 60-75 minutes, Ages 5-6: 60-75 minutes, Ages 7-8: 75-90 minutes, Ages 9-10: 75-90 minutes, Ages 11-12: 90-120 minutes, Ages 13+: 90-120 minutes. {Please note: the times listed are the total time spent. It includes practice and game time.}
    6. Discounts: If you register early then you are rewarded with a LOWER price. So make sure you stay on time of the registration dates.
    7. Sports Options: Because i9 Sports offers several different sports options, you can stay with this company. Right now they offer flag football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and many more! To learn more about the i9 Sports experience, click here.

About i9 Sports

They offer youth sports leagues, camps, and clinics for boys and girls ages 3 and up in today’s most popular sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball, and baseball. In their programs, no child will ever be excluded by a try-out, be made to feel like they aren’t good enough by a league draft, ride the bench for an entire game, or be cut from a team. Yes, they keep score, but they have created a fun way to help kids develop an athletic ability, a love of team sports, and an understanding that how you play a game is as important as the score. They don’t just help kids become better athletes, they help them become better people.

To learn about how i9 Sports is different, follow this link to read more.


The registration process is pretty simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Head to and put in your zip code.
  2. That will pull up all the sports options for you online. All you do is pick the one you want.
  3. Fill in all your information.
  4. Pay and you are all registered!
  5. Then, you just wait to be notified of the practice/game schedule.

If you have any trouble registering online, feel free to contact your local program director. For Forsyth County, ours is Carlos & Pegah Jimenez. You can find their contact info by following this link.

Register today for the Fall or Winter season!

Connect with i9 Sports: Website | Facebook | Instagram


The Five Study Skills Your Child Should Know By 5th Grade

Study Skills

This guest post was provided by Pinecrest Academy

Each school year provides us with a new beginning, another “first day” to do our best academically. In this post, you’ll find five study skills you can easily implement at home in order to help your child be successful this school year.

As an educator with 25 years of experience, I have observed some techniques that actually work. Any child can master them with effort, consistency, a desire to learn and with the support of their parent. We often think that learning content for quizzes and tests is often the primary focus for studying; however, forming good habits for a lifetime of learning should be the ultimate goal in studying. The process of learning is just as important as the content being learned, because it is often during the process that one makes the necessary connections for real learning.

Here are key study skills for children in kindergarten through 5th grade:

  1. Memorize. Top on the list (but not necessarily most important) is memorization. Memorization is easier to do when a child is younger, as the brain synapses are more malleable and fire more easily, making the necessary connections to remember details.  Such aids as mnemonic devices, songs, rhymes, stories, etc. help students remember the order of events, the important characters of a story, the United States and their capitals, the books of the Bible, etc. Almost anything worth remembering can be made into a song, rhyme, story or mnemonic device.
  2. Repeat. Some students don’t always understand content or concepts when first introduced to them.  They require more time to “get it.” This is where repetition comes in. When writing, doing math problems or reading something for the second and third time, the process begins to click and make sense. Very few students grasp a new concept right away. Many need ample time to work with the new material in various ways. This is the ultimate reason for homework. The goal is to practice at home what was taught (and hopefully learned) in school. Often a child has forgotten how to solve a math problem by the time he comes home and has to “relearn” it at home. This process of relearning can take more time than parents think it should, but patient repetition is the best approach when helping students learn or practice a new or difficult concept. You could ask the teacher for suggestions on how to work with your child. For example, when striving to master multiplication tables, create a game, whereby you throw your child a ball and say a problem as you throw. Your child must answer correctly before throwing the ball back.
  3. Identify Patterns. Identifying patterns helps students make connections to prior knowledge. All learners need a place, a construct, to “hook” or connect new information or concepts to understand them. Children are always learning and naturally trying to figure things out, whether it is a toddler trying to stack blocks so that they don’t fall, a third grader trying to put a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle together, or a fifth grader making an outline. Parents can help their children, according to their age and maturity, to look for patterns and connect new concepts to prior knowledge. A few examples of learning patterns: comparing a movie to the book in how the information is presented; looking at themes presented in movies or books; learning the location and shape of the 50 United States; seeing how multiplication is just repeated addition. Choose educational games which support the subject content children are learning or will be learning during the year. Some suggestions are US map, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division facts, and spelling words. If your child has access to electronics, select games which help her memorize through repetition, repeated concepts, and terms, such as spelling words, math facts, geography, and pattern games.
  4. Build good habits and routines. What is the ideal study environment you want for your child this year? A quiet place (desk, kitchen/dining room table), a distraction-free zone, (no music, TV, video games, electronics, even younger siblings.), and a set amount of time (preferably at the same time) in which to work and accomplish the task at hand. Good routines are not haphazard or spontaneous, but thought out and planned. Observe your patterns and what works best for your family’s lifestyle. As a teacher and a mother, I know that often I need to sacrifice my wants (ie, no phone calls, email, or Facebook during homework time) to allow real studying to happen. I need to be available to my child for questions.  It is a quiet time for everyone. I might be reading a book or article or even preparing dinner, but the atmosphere is free of extra noise. Even siblings can have quiet time during homework time. This time is crucial in building the habit of concentration. The human mind cannot comprehend at the greatest level possible if there are distractions.
  5. Review. One last point for improving study habits in the elementary student is to help him learn how to review the content and concepts he is learning.  Students in 4th and 5th grades often have interactive notebooks. These are great study tools. Reviewing content for 5-10 minutes a day or even 15 minutes a week would do wonders in actually learning the information. Also, teachers in these grades often give study guides two weeks prior to upcoming tests. Have your child complete the study guide, filling it out with the answers when he receives it (and create flashcards), and look at it for 5-10 minutes each night in preparation for the test. The night before will be just a basic review because he will have already learned and connected the concepts.

Study skills for elementary students are simple but vital for establishing the life-long habit of learning. Parents are key to establishing these consistent routines and fostering this positive learning environment. Learning happens all the time, but learning how to study and do your best takes hard work and discipline on the part of both students and parents.

Do you have any tried and true tips that help your child master the art of learning?

Denise Madgey is a former teacher and principal and currently serves as a tutor to students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. She is married to husband, Scott, and they have one daughter, Anne-Marie. She can be reached at


Pinecrest Academy is a private, Pre-K3 through 12, college preparatory Catholic school, located in South Forsyth, just one mile from The Collection. We provide an atmosphere of academic rigor and critical thinking while offering personalized attention in a Christ-centered environment of faith and reason. Go online to schedule a tour today!

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

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