Restore Your Life With a Revolutionary Approach
to Treating Urine Leakage at Advanced Urology

 

If you suffer from the urgent need to urinate, frequent urination, nighttime urination that often disrupts sleep (also known as nocturia), or incontinence, which includes the involuntary loss of urine that requires diaper or pad usage, Advanced Urology now offers a revolutionary treatment for you.
ADV U P1Advanced Nervestim™ is a life-changing way to regain control of urine. It is a special and innovative technique developed at Advanced Urology to fix the nerves that result in urinary urgency, frequency, and incontinence. The outpatient procedure simply involves two tiny incisions and is even covered by insurance.

 

 

Key Benefits

• Amazing improvement to quality of life (92% of patients have dramatic improvement in urinary symptoms)

• Great outcomes (92% cure rate, 0.001% infection rate)

• Safe (Procedure done with two small incisions and sedation in our outpatient surgery center)

• Minimal pain, faster recovery, minimal to no downtime from work

• Covered by insurance

• Fixes the underlying cause

ADV U P2Patients who choose Advanced Nervestim™ have the best outcomes. This is an amazing way to get your life back.
Advanced Urology is the only center that utilizes the Advanced Nervestim™ technique. Its surgeons are the world's most experienced at implanting Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy Delivered by the InterStim™ System. Advanced Urology performs more of these procedures than any other center. Its expert team utilizes cutting-edge techniques that result in exceptional outcomes.

 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 20:27

The Magic of Matcha

Local Supplement and Matcha Companies
Join Forces to Help Atlantans Live Well

MatchaGi and HiveFit are the perfect blend. Combine this nutrient-packedtea and clean fitness supplement for increased energy, a boost in antioxidants, and help achieving your wellness goals.

By Jennifer Colosimo

You already know about the reported benefits of green tea: weight loss, mental alertness, long-lasting energy, etc. But do you know about matcha, a powdered form of specially grown green tea leaves?

It's an antioxidant powerhouse, packing a high concentration of the natural calorie burner and hunger suppressant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Matcha's combination of caffeine and amino acids improve concentration and energy levels without giving you the jitters, and it boasts much larger amounts of chlorophyll than other green teas to make it a mighty detoxifier.

But here's what's important to note. "While steeping dried green tea leaves reaps about 30 percent (one-third) of the plant's nutrients, matcha is grown differently and the entire leaf is ground into a rich, fine powder that
provides versatility for consumption to unlock nearly 100 percent of the nutrients from the leaf," says Cal Supik, chief operating officer and co-founder of MatchaGi (MA-cha-Gee). Ceremonial grade matcha—the highest grade matcha made from the youngest tea leaves and manufactured by tea sommeliers in Japan—is why Cal Supik and Arya Suprayogi invested in the company in 2016 and flew to Nishio, Japan to begin their own wellness journey with MatchaGi.

P1"Our mission is to educate people on what high-quality ceremonial matcha is," Suprayogi says. "We believe that matcha is a great 'fuel' alternative for your body to avoid caffeine overload, jitters and the crash that you would typically get from coffee and energy drinks. 'Gi' is Japanese for uniform. Just as a samurai wears a 'gi' during training or battle, we realized that every individual wears their own unique 'gi' while pursuing their goals and passions. MatchaGi provides the fuel to help you focus and achieve your goals."

The passion to deliver high-quality products is why they blend well with HiveFit, an Atlanta-based supplement company that is also committed to 100-percent ingredient transparency. HiveFit offers clinical doses of pure supplements made without fillers, genetically modified organisms, added sugars, artificial flavors, hormones or antibiotics.

"I knew their standards aligned with my own business practices, and it's very comparable to what we're doing—trying to provide a better, healthier product for consumers," says Raul Hiteshew, co-founder of HiveFit. "We have the same vision, we're fighting the same things, so we knew we could make a bigger impact if we did something together."
"There is this 'high-end' life, in terms of health, that most people don't understand," Hiteshew explains. "Most people don't know what feeling optimal means. But when we mix these companies' products together and start replacing things like matcha for your coffee, HiveFit protein shakes for your snacks, etcetera, then people can begin to access that next level of health."

"We believe in it because we've been there," says Supik, who hopes to grow MatchaGi grassroots-style in the community. "We know how much better we feel and how we're better versions of ourselves, and we really want to share that with other people."

"Sandy Springs is the ideal spot for us to do that," adds Suprayogi. "There are tons of gyms, natural food stores, and influencers with a general awareness of what it means to be healthy. If we can start here, we know it will radiate outward.

Join the movement at F45 Sandy Springs during various vendor pop-up events where you can try products, including the natural EnerGi drinks (also sold regularly at the gym), and learn how to start making changes. When the MatchaGi and HiveFit guys aren't busy attending events, they're grabbing a bite at Chipotle or Zoës Kitchen nearby.
HiveFit, HiveFit.com, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; MatchaGi, MatchaGi.com, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
The content for this article is brought to you by HiveFit and MatchaGi.

P3Wellness Warrior

With plenty of trendy ways to detox, HiveFit and MatchaGi make it easy to cut through the fat to what makes a positive, lasting impact on your health. Their tasty products deliver increased levels of wellness without the high costs.
Here's proof: Blend this quick and simple smoothie for a powerhouse
pick-me-up whether you require on-the-go nourishment, a low-carb snack or workout recovery drink. Something that goes with everything? Sounds like the best kind of uniform.

Ingredients
• 1 teaspoon MatchaGi
• 1 scoop HiveFit vanilla protein powder
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
• Ice
Blend ingredients until smooth.

 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 19:26

Liz Carlile

My Best Self: Liz Carlile

Like so many new mothers, Liz Carlile struggled balancing caring for her family, herself, and her career. As she felt less connected to those around her and ultimately not as happy, she knew something had
to change.

By Alex McCray

In 2017, Liz launched the blog Motherhood Unstressed to share how she gained control of her life and created her own joy. Today, the certified health coach and founder of her own cannabidiol (CBD) supplement company shows her 20,000 monthly blog visitors how they can do the same through self-care and holistic living.

So many mothers struggle with trying to juggle too much and placing unrealistic expectations on themselves. How were you able to let go of that perfectionist mindset?

That is something I definitely struggled with! My emancipation from that way of thinking came when I realized I wasn't living the life I wanted. The majority of my mental space was taken up by resentment and martyrdom while also feeling like I wasn't doing or being enough. I decided that my happiness needed to be the priority in order for me to fully give to my children, my marriage, and my work.

I started to carve out nonnegotiable time for myself for yoga, journaling, running, and meditating. It was a shift that completely changed how I felt about myself, and how I interacted with everyone in my life. I was no longer a victim of my circumstances—I was actively running my life, making joy an everyday occurrence, and providing a positive example of self-love to my family.

Holistic living is a big part of your message. What are some of your favorite holistic living practices that you encourage people to try, and why?

I am a big proponent of setting the tone for the day. Carving out space for yourself to connect with who you really are and to the bigger world around you is crucial in feeling loved, supported and connected. Some of my favorite ways to start the day are by drinking a large glass of lemon water, meditating in front of my Joovv red light, journaling for at least three pages, and doing some gentle stretching. How you start the day is dependent on what works best for you, but the ultimate goal should be that when you're done, you feel strong, happy, and grateful to be alive.

P2

What's your go-to quick and easy healthy meal?

My favorite way to incorporate a ton of nutrition quickly is to blend a smoothie! I can put a ton of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in, plus some of my favorite adaptogens like ashwagandha and reishi mushrooms, and take it with me. And I typically make more than I need so that I can freeze the rest in Popsicle molds for my kids. It's so easy and everyone loves it.

You also have a top-rated podcast that is an extension of your blog and you've featured big names such as Primal Blueprint founder Mark Sisson. What episode is your favorite and why?

I have had so many amazing guests, and each one has taught me something new and life changing. One of my favorites though was my conversation with Danish actress and author, Marie Tourell Søderberg on the topic of hygge ("hoo-gah"). Hygge is a Danish word for that warm feeling you get when you are comfortable and happy, whether reading a book by the fire with some tea, or having an intimate dinner party with friends. It's about slowing down and focusing on what really matters. That conversation changed how I spend time with my kids and how I create more opportunities for hygge to occur in my own life.

Who helps you be your best self?

My husband, Sam, is a huge partner in my success. I trust his opinion and his strengths complement my weaknesses insanely well. I also have to say that I help myself be my best self. I make the decision every single day to make self-care the priority in my life, so that I can accomplish my goals and dreams from a place of strength and love.


To learn more about Liz Carlile and Motherhood Unstressed, visit MotherhoodUnstressed.com.

 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 18:48

DIGging DEEP

Atlanta Nonprofit Brings Sustainable Farming to African Countries

Development in Gardening co-founder and Grant Park resident Sarah Koch helps African communities harvest crops and so much more.

As a bright-eyed College of Charleston graduate, Sarah Koch didn’t know what she was getting herself into when she applied for the Peace Corps. It was 2004, and she wanted a change of pace and scenery that a more traditional graduate school route couldn’t provide. Koch had two choices in front of her: continue on to a Ph.D. program to pursue her art history endeavors or choose a different path. She opted for the latter. Little did she know, her choice would change her life forever.  

P3In 2005, Koch was sent to Senegal in West Africa to work in rural health education in a village 13 hours from the capital of Dakar. She recalls, “I lived in a village that had no cellphone service, no phone, no electricity, and no running water. I really had to confront a lot of my notions of comfort, and who I was. I had gone into the Peace Corps thinking, ‘This is just going to be a fun experience.’ And I pretty quickly realized that’s not what this is about.”


As she trudged through an unfamiliar landscape and culture, Koch felt herself changing. “As I stayed there, it slowly wore on me—in both good and bad ways—and shifted what I wanted to do. It became an opportunity. It shaped how I was going to move forward with my life and my career.”


Eventually, Koch connected with Steve Bolinger, another Peace Corps volunteer. Bolinger was stationed in Dakar working on urban agriculture. On her rare visits to the city, Koch would find herself lending a hand. “Steve was building this garden for the Infectious Disease ward, which had been experiencing a significant challenge where they couldn’t get their HIV patients to maintain their antiretroviral drugs,” she explains. “Because the drugs are so physically hard on their bodies, nutrition is a critical component to their well-being.” The garden became an integral part of the hospital’s success. Bolinger’s garden flooded the kitchen with fresh, healthy produce, and patients were able to improve their diets and therefore, their ability to absorb their medications.


Something clicked in Bolinger and Koch. The pair realized replicating the garden elsewhere could potentially have long-lasting, far-reaching impacts. Development in Gardening, aptly known as DIG, was born in 2006.


The Atlanta-headquartered nonprofit works with African communities to teach local residents how to produce working, sustainable, income-generating gardens. Koch explains, “We talk about cultivating the land, growing produce for their unique nutritional vulnerability, how they can incorporate that produce into their diet, how that food is affecting their health, the impact it’s having on their bodies, how that food can be used to generate additional income, and how to manage that income for the betterment of their families.”
The idea is that through farming, a practice that is already generationally familiar and ingrained in day-to-day life, the participants will improve their health, their knowledge, and their income. “We’re just trying to help them shift to more sustainable long-term practices,” says Koch. Today, DIG’s mission has expanded beyond a strictly HIV focus to bring other people with nutritional vulnerabilities into its fold. The 37-year-old says, “Nutritional vulnerabilities are defined by people who have a heightened need to maintain a nutrient-dense diet. We work a lot with children who have been diagnosed as malnourished, and we still work a lot with people who are HIV positive.”
DIG has also held projects in nine nations. This year, the group is continuing their mission in Kenya and Uganda, where in 2018 they worked with 760 beneficiaries through 12 demonstration gardens in Kenya and 170 farmers from 16 groups in Uganda.


While Bolinger has since stepped into an advisory role, Koch continues her work with DIG today as the executive director. Her staff, small but mighty, includes two
full-time and two part-time team members in the United States, seven full-time Kenyans in Kenya and six full-time Ugandans in Uganda, and the results of their hard work and dedication are incredible. The organization found that a year after “graduating” from the program, on average, a family who was spending roughly $4 a week on food before DIG programming, cut their spending to 40 cents after it. Further, many more than tripled their income by shifting their farming to grow a variety of unique, nutritious produce instead of simply relying on common, familiar crops like sugarcane. Koch says that impact is all about broadening horizons. “They now know how to grow for the market, access the market, and save and utilize that income to help continue their farm and their farming activities.”


P1Perhaps the biggest impact, however, is DIG’s community cultivation, particularly for people coping with an often stigmatized disease. “We worked with several HIV groups in Senegal who were not at all open about their HIV status,” Koch explains. “And that farm or that garden was the only place in their daily life that they could go and actually talk about what it’s like to live with HIV.”


As DIG grows, Koch, who resides in Grant Park, says she desires to replicate the program in many communities—even right here in Atlanta. “My hope is that we can create a scalable model that can be taken anywhere in the world, and anybody could ask us [about it], and it would make sense. My immediate dream is to have centers of excellence in Kenya, Uganda and Senegal where if you want to see our program in its full, robust quality, you could go there and see that. You could understand what’s possible with our program.” And with DIG, the possibilities of hope and impact are endless.

 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 17:24

Today’s Top Treatments for Infertility

The Modern Path to Parenthood


From Brooke Shields to Chrissy Teigen, the topic of infertility is no longer off the table in Hollywood—or at home. With an ever-increasing wealth of information regarding infertility now available, more hopeful parents are having conversations about this hurdle to having a family. Not only has this new level of openness lifted some of the emotional burden associated with fertility issues, it has also helped dispel myths related to this medical issue, as well as shine light on the many treatment options available today.

P1Myths vs. Facts

One of the most prevalent myths swirling around fertility issues is that it’s a woman’s problem. The reality is, infertility affects women and men equally, approximately 40 percent each, with the remaining  20 percent resulting from a combination of male and female factors or just plain unexplained.
Other myths with no footing in reality include whether men wear boxers or briefs, being healthy or having a healthy sex drive means you can’t be infertile, and an orgasm is required to get pregnant.
The simple reality is fertility and infertility issues, like many other medical concerns, don’t play favorites and can affect anyone at any time.

True Causes

Although there are a variety of medical causes of infertility, some health issues are more common with regard to fertility. For instance, dysfunction of the ovulation process quite often disrupts a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may have irregular menstrual cycles or not ovulate.
Endometriosis, when uterine-lining tissue develops outside the uterus, can also vastly impact fertility.
Structural problems with the female reproductive tract, such as fibroids, polyps or scarring, may also negatively impact fertility.
On the male side, low sperm number, low sperm motility and low testosterone all can affect fertility. “When it comes to male fertility, it’s all about the number of healthy sperm—easily demonstrated with a simple lab test,” says Scott D. Miller, MD, of WellStar Urology and WellStar North Fulton Hospital. For both men and women, increased age also plays a pivotal role in fertility, because the older we get, the less fertile we become.
The key to resolving fertility issues is for both partners to get tested. “You can’t predict infertility,” says
Carolyn R. Kaplan, MD, of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Group. “There may be more than one problem.”

Today’s Treatments

While there are many “old wives’ tales” regarding how to improve fertility, for the most part, they have no effect at all. Instead, some of the easiest steps men and women can take to improve their fertility are simple lifestyle changes.
“Do not smoke,” says Natalie Stentz, MD, MSCE, of
Shady Grove Fertility. “The rate of infertility is approximately twice as high in male and female tobacco smokers.” Those who use vaping products are not exempt. “There is ample evidence that cigarette smoke contains carcinogens and has negative effects on sperm motility and function. There is evidence that e-cigarette flavors contain toxicants (or toxic substances) and carcinogens and may damage male fertility,”
Dr. Kaplan says.
Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and reducing stress also will aid in improved fertility.
Of course, there are a number of medical treatments available to treat infertility.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the most common treatments for a number of fertility problems, and involves placing washed sperm (which involves removing dead sperm, white blood cells, and seminal fluid, and concentrating the sperm into a very small volume of fluid so it can be used for intrauterine insemination) directly into the uterus at the time of ovulation. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a more aggressive treatment, and consists of taking eggs and sperm from the female and male partners and combining them in a lab. The fertilized egg is then implanted in the female partner. Success rates with IVF are usually higher than IUI, but cost is much higher. If the woman’s tubes
are blocked or the sperm count is very low, then IVF is the best option.
“IVF has come a very long way,” says Obehi A. Asemota, MD, of Aspire Fertility Atlanta. “It’s a very good way to conceive for the right patient.” She goes on to say the technology involved has improved substantially, leading to very good success rates. “It has become more affordable with the possibilities of grants and discounts of medications that can help alleviate the costs of IVF,” she says.
For some women, hormone treatments can be a viable option as well. “Oral fertility medications work by helping your body increase its own production of the hormones that encourage your ovaries to develop eggs,” Dr. Stentz says. “Injectable fertility medications contain the same hormones that your body makes to develop eggs, but are delivered in concentrated doses. It is important to know that studies have shown that fertility medications do not increase a woman’s risk of cancer.”
On the male side, hormone manipulation also can be effective in treating infertility. “The goal is to get the testicle to maximize production,” says
Ronald E. Anglade, MD, of Georgia Urology P.C. “When they produce more testosterone, that may lead to more effective sperm production.”
Surgery could be another option for men. For instance, they may want to consider vasectomy reversal or need microscopic reconstruction to bypass a blockage.

Trends

Because many women and couples are waiting later in life to have children, there are a growing number of women who are freezing their eggs. “This is due to changes in educational and career opportunities for women as well as changes in social norms,” Dr. Stentz says. “As such, more women are freezing their eggs early as insurance against an uncertain future.”
More and more LGBTQ couples also are utilizing
fertility treatments to start their own families. For instance, a female couple will come in for donor insemination; another scenario would be with one partner donating the eggs and the second partner receiving the egg implants, says Dr. Asemota. Male couples are using egg donors and surrogates, she adds.

P2Tough Topics

When faced with the stress and uncertainty of fertility issues, it can be easy to buckle under the pressure, pressure from one another and from family and friends. However, it’s important to stay focused on the goal. “Don’t blame one another,”
Dr. Asemota says. “Infertility is just like any other medical diagnosis. The good news is there are treatment options. For most couples, there is hope.”
In addition, keep in mind this is you and your partner’s private medical business and yours alone. “There are many resources and support groups for those struggling with infertility. That said, you do not owe anyone, even family or close friends, an explanation about your attempts to conceive or struggles with infertility,” Dr. Stentz says.
Overall, it’s important to know two key facts about fertility issues. First, you are not alone, and, two, there are options available. “A lot of infertility patients feel they are the only ones suffering from this. One in eight couples suffer from infertility,” Dr. Asemota says. “There are good treatment options, and they should seek help. They should not suffer alone.”

 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 17:00

Amazing One-Hour Makeovers

Best Self Atlanta's popular Amazing One-Hour Makeovers event returned for a third year on Feb. 20. Some of Atlanta's best makeup artists, hairstylists, and beauty and fashion experts transformed 17 lucky readers in just one hour. Onlookers nibbled on light bites from Chicken Salad Chick and sipped the signature "Berry Beautiful" cocktail created by Hendrick's Gin. Guests lined up for five-minute makeovers with Beautycounter products and perused fashion finds from Bloomingdale's and Stella & Dot. Models also received finishing touches for their "after" looks courtesy of the fashion companies.

The night's give-back initiative was Development in Gardening (DIG), an organization working to implement sustainable farms in African countries, which guests were encouraged to donate to and were able to experience what it is like to work on a farm in the Batwa community in Uganda by way of a virtual reality tour, making this beauty event more than skin deep. For all the final page-turning looks and every gorgeous detail, read on.

P1Beautiful Brows

Model: Sydney Vogt
Makeup Artist: Theresa Stone, Theresa Stone Makeup Artistry
@theresadstone
“My favorite part of what I do is getting to know people on a different level, inspiring them to feel like the best version of themselves through the makeup, and teaching them that obtaining that feeling at home is in their abilities.”

The Before: Theresa wanted to frame the face of this busy mom and highlight her bright smile.
The After: By filling in Sydney's eyebrows with a shade closer to her hair color, the stunning shape of them stands out. Soft blush on the cheeks and a classic mauve lip balance the brows and complete this mommy makeover.
Trusted Tool: "The Iconic London highlighter—it's gorgeous! It's liquid and looks so sunny on the skin, catching the light to bring out parts of your face you want to pop," Theresa says.

 

P2Mama-Va-Voom

Model: Karen Villa
Makeup Artist: Heather Petty-Harris, Beauty & The Brow
@beautyandthebrow; BeautyAndTheBrow.com
“I love the transition a woman goes through in my chair, making her feel beautiful.”
The Before: Heather noticed Karen's eyes first and knew that she immediately wanted to draw attention to them.
The After: Heather created a neo-soul look with brown eye shadows and an unexpected electric blue liner that made the eyes really stand out. She kept the lips soft and neutral ... with a little glimmer. The perfect finishing touch for this busy mom turned glamazon.
Trusted Tool: "My Chanel bronzer may be a little bit more expensive, but it's worth it. The quality is incredible—it lasts all day and it's perfect on any skin type. You can also use it all over the face," Heather says.

 

P3Elevated Elegance

Model: Casey Ehlers
Makeup Artist: Richie Arpino, Richie Arpino Salon
Hairstylist: Maxx Holmon, Richie Arpino Salon
@richiearpino; ArpinoSalon.net
“I get excited about doing makeup because often it gives women an opportunity to change their look in a way they didn’t know they could before,” Richie says. Maxx adds, “I was a former hair and makeup director for Miss Universe for 10 years. I don’t know how to do anything else.”

The Before: Richie and Maxx wanted to create something that would enhance Casey's natural beauty and showcase her spunky personality.
The After: With the help of Bumble and bumble products, Maxx added voluminous curls to Casey's hair and created an elegant and romantic look. Richie complemented that with a dramatic eye and a bold hue on the lips.
Trusted Tools: Richie touts blendSMART®, a revolving makeup brush that makes it easy to apply foundation. Maxx always carries his Champion flat iron because it can curl, flatten and smooth to add shine.

 

P4Romantic Waves

Model: Evelyne DaSilva
Makeup Artist: Nyssa Green, The Green Room Agency
Hairstylist: Dakota Sue, Salon Red Candler Park
@nyssag; TheGreenRoomAgency.com; @hypnotic_heartistry; SalonRed.com
"We hold a lot of expectations in our hair," says Dakota. "It's something we see every day. I like to help people feel beautiful, and you can greatly affect somebody by giving them a great hairdo. I love being able to help other people bring out something in themselves."

The Before: DaSilva has rich, healthy hair but said she doesn't do a lot with it. Dakota decided to transform her locks with a style that was romantic and classic.
The After: Dakota teased and curled DaSilva's hair big, uniform S-waves that showed off her hair's natural shine, then swept it to the side for a dramatic, glamorous effect. Nyssa echoed the timeless hair look with a modern spin on a retro cat eye and red lip.
The Trusted Tool: "I love Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray," Dakota says. "The hold is so light and you get a great build off of it, which is perfect to give curls airiness and movement."

 

P5Sparkling in Silver

Model: Kseniya Conniff
Makeup Artist: Mimi Johnson, The Glamatory
@theglamatory; TheGlamatory.com
“Outside of being able to create art, I love the reaction that my clients have when I do their makeup. Some of the women have never felt so pretty, or worn makeup, and it makes them happy.”
The Before: Mimi wanted to highlight Kseniya's beautiful eyes and bring out her cheeks.
The After: False lashes and metallic eye shadow in the inner corners of the eyes, plus a little glitter eyeliner make the eyes sparkle. A light contour also adds dimension to Kseniya's face, while a slightly dark lip color defines her mouth.
Trusted Tools: "I'm all about glowing skin, so I love Becca's Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation and the brand's highlighters," Mimi says. "The foundation is water based, so it's not heavy and it makes someone's skin look exactly like skin."

P6Bright and Beautiful

Model: Kera Dupree
Makeup Artist: Nyssa Green, The Green Room Agency
@nyssag; TheGreenRoomAgency.com
“I love the instant gratification of making a change in someone’s life that they can see immediately,” Nyssa says.
Hair Stylist: Alicia Igess, The Green Room Agency
The Before: Nyssa zeroed in on Kera's flawless deep complexion and knew she could make it truly glow.
The After: "So many people do black makeup wrong," Nyssa says. "I wanted to do it right, and make sure I showed off her gorgeous skin tone." A smoky eye with metallic green and blue undertones and a punchy purple lip made her features bright and vibrant. A modern fishtail braid gave her a look that was purposefully messy, perfect for day or night.
Trusted Tool: "Great brushes are a must-have item. I'm an artist and I use a brush to create my art," notes Nyssa.

P7Dark and Divine

Model: Jude Fox
Makeup Artist: Leigh Carroll, Van Michael Salon
Hairstylist: Portia Rutherford, Van Michael Salon
@leigh.mua; @portia_rutherford; @VanMichaelSalon; VanMichael.com
"It's nice to impact people's lives in a very personal way," Portia says. "Sometimes I can change their whole day in a short period of time just by changing their look." Leigh adds, "I love making people feel pretty. You don't necessarily have to follow any set of rules, but the result is making someone see a version of themselves they hadn't before."
The Before: With bold eyebrows, dark eyes and beautifully thick, dark hair to match, Portia and Leigh wanted to soften up Jude's look to enhance the natural beauty of her striking features.
The After: Leigh used a romantic palette of rose gold to show off Jude's eyes and brows. Portia added a side braid and a soft wave to Jude's hair for a classic, romantic look that made an understated impact.
Trusted Tools: "The new Aveda brow pencils go on really creamy, but they're waterproof and sweat resistant, so they last all day," Leigh says. Portia swears by the same brand's Smooth Infusion™ Nourishing Styling Creme, which she says is like, "ChapStick for hair—it feels as good to our locks as a balm does to our lips."
ACCESSORIES: Juliana Statement Studs The Always Cardigan - Black Eric Javits Squishee Brigitte Crossbody StellaAndDot.com/AndreaSeeney

 

P8Beachy Waves and Bold Lashes

Model: Jessica Walters
Makeup Artist: Nisha Lagana, A Glamour Affair
Hairstylist: Kristen Collins, A Glamour Affair
@aglamouraffair; AGlamourAffair.com
“I was studying architecture in school so I am used to building things,” Kristin says. “Now, I’m inspired to build looks on people that can last all day long because I know that’s something that will help them feel beautiful.” Nisha adds, “Makeup is powerful. It can literally transform or simply enhance your look to give you that extra boost of confidence needed to tackle the day ahead of you.”

The Before: The duo set to work accentuating Jessica's eyes and eyebrows.
The After: Kristen added soft beach waves that can hold volume for a more refined look that will last several days. A toned-down lip color and natural-looking false eyelashes allow Jessica's eyes to be the focal point.
Trusted Tools: "I love anything from Make Up For Ever," Nisha says. "You can build on it and it lasts all day." Kristen's favorite tool is the Little Wonder Teasing Brush by Spornette, because it gives hair awesome volume.

P9Ageless Beauty

Model: Bhimi Cayce
Makeup Artist: Ashley Smith, Ashley Ann Glam
@ashleyannglam
“My favorite part of a makeover is when my clients look in the mirror and love what they see staring back at them. I like to help them feel beautiful in their own skin. Plus, because my style is a more natural look, it’s usually not heavy and reveals a version of themselves they hadn’t seen before.”

The Before: Ashley wanted to create a cohesive look that would frame Bhimi’s face.
The After: To brighten Bhimi’s eyes, Ashley used a palette of brown eye shadows with a hint of shimmer and increased depth to her lash line by adding a lash strip.
Trusted Tools: "I can’t live without Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. I swear it makes your makeup waterproof, so it’s essential for long-lasting looks.”

 

P10Beautiful in Berry

Model: Nissa Elliott
Artist: Thomasina Moyer, TM Beauty
@enhanced_glam_experience
“Being a makeup artist is my calling. ... I get to empower, encourage and motivate women.”

The Before: Thomasina wanted to sculpt Nissa’s features to help them stand out.
The After: Thomasina used shimmering berry-hued eye and lip colors to complement the rich color of Nissa’s skin.
Trusted Tools: “Having the right brushes is key,” Thomasina says. “Real Techniques offers quality options that are affordable.”
ACCESSORIES: Bowie Fringe Earrings Bowie Lariat necklace StellaAndDot.com/AndreaSeeney

 

P11Standard to Stylistic

Model: Michael Allan
Hairstylists: Moriah Anderson and Ruskin Seabrook, Van Michael Men
@moriahandersonhair; @ruskinseabrook; @VanMichaelMen; VanMichael.com
"The variety of men’s hair is so interesting,” Moriah says. “It can be edgy and specific or soft and conservative. It’s easy to make it different with all of the products that are out there, and I love that creativity.”

The Before: Michael already had healthy hair, and a lot of it, so Moriah wanted to focus on giving him a style that would do more for him.
The After:A soft fade enhanced the versatility of his style, giving his hair more shape to allow for a sophisticated, finished look.
Trusted Tools: The combination of Moriah's go-to Wahl Magic Cordless Clippers and Andis Clipper Comb give her freedom to do precision haircuts anywhere.

 

P12Day-to-Night Diva

Model: Lynn McCray
Makeup Artist: Crystal Ngozi, Authentic Beauty, LLC
@crystalngozibeauty; MyImageJourney.com
“My goal in makeup is to let every woman be her authentic self.”

The Before:Crystal wanted to focus on letting Lynn's inherent beauty show through her makeup. She also taught her how to elevate her look from day to night.
The After: Crystal started with a neutral eye and finished with a bold red lip for a super natural yet glam look that brightened up Lynn's features.
Trusted Tool: "The Sonia Roselli Water Balm moisturizer is everything. This product moisturizes really well, and gives me a clean base on all ages and shades of skin," Crystal gushes.
ACCESSORIES: Francis Hoops Ren Slouchy Knit Top Engravable Getaway tote StellaAndDot.com/AndreaSeeney

 

P13Purposeful Panache

Model: Sean Monahan
Hairstylists: Moriah Anderson and Ruskin Seabrook, Van Michael Men
@moriahandersonhair; @ruskinseabrook; @VanMichaelMen; VanMichael.com
“A lot of men have had the same cut for a very long time and I get to make it better. I love showing them that potential,” Moriah says.
The Before: Sean was comfortable with his style, but it was one-note and he was unsure of how to switch it up.
The After: The duo trimmed the sides of his hair to give him something more purposeful—a stronger contrast to define his existing haircut and the versatility of a hairstyle that looks finished whether he does nothing or works hard to style it.
Trusted Tool: Both Moriah and Ruskin love the Aveda Men Pure-formance™ Grooming Clay because its matte finish doesn't look like you've used too much product. A little goes a long way for natural-looking hold and texture.

P14Noteworthy Nails

Model: Marian Kelly
Manicurist: Alyce Keys, Keys2Beauty
@moriahandersonhair; @ruskinseabrook; @VanMichaelMen; VanMichael.com
“I absolutely love the field of cosmetology! ...
There is literally nothing better than making clients feel good about themselves.”

The Before: Marian revealed to Alyce that manicures were not part of her regular routine.
The After: After shaping Marian’s nails, removing excess skin, and caring for her cuticles, Marian received a moisturizing hand and arm massage. The relaxing service ended with applying CND Creative Play’s Life’s a Cupcake nail color.
Trusted Tool: “I can’t live without a good base coat and top coat,” Alyce says. “I have been using Orly Bonder Basecoat and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat for 10-plus years.”


P15

 

Sparkling Eyes

Model: Kawain Lane
Makeup Artist: Amber Wade, Amber Wade Makeup
@amberwademakeup; AmberWadeMakeup.com
“I love it when the base of the skin looks really good. It’s fun pulling out what someone maybe couldn’t see before and giving them tips for things that might change their life in terms of how they feel about themselves.”
The Before: Amber wanted to brighten Kawain's eyes and make them appear larger.
The After: Gold sparkle and warm eye shadow colors illuminate Kawain's entire face while showcasing her eyes.
Trusted Tool: "Brows are the one thing you can enhance to dramatically impact someone's look," Amber notes. "I like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pro Palette because it gives you two tones in each compact."

 

P16

 

Modern Maturity

Model: Vanya Borisova
Makeup Artist: Kaniz Rashid, Blo Blow Dry Bar
Hairstylist: Kaya Glenn, Blo Blow Dry Bar
@blobuckhead; @bloponce; BloMeDry.com
“Hairstyling is a form of art,” Kaya says. Likewise, Kaniz sees makeup as a form of self-expression.

The Before: The pair wanted to showcase Vanya's great eyebrows and freshen up her long-standing hairstyle.
The After: Kaya added a soft, modern wave to Vanya's hair, while Kaniz filled in her brows and highlighted her incredible complexion. The overall look was trendy and fresh, yet still within Vanya's comfort zone.
Trusted Tools: Glo Skin Beauty (formerly glominerals) Pressed Base Powder Foundation works like a liquid foundation for incredible, smooth coverage on all skin types. UNITE's versatile 7SECONDS™ Leave-in Detangler is a must-have for big styles or something subtle.

 

P17A Clear Complexion

Model: Elena Taylor-Bagger
Makeup Artist: Nicole Ivery, Simply Nicole I. Makeup Studios
@simplynicolei
“I’m all about you looking like your most beautiful authentic self, so I like to emphasize good skin care.”

The Before: Elena was concerned about masking the dark circles under her eyes and wanted to make her face appear more vibrant overall.
The After: Nicole applied a concealer/highlighter duo under the eyes using the one-stop shop MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette to illuminate her skin.
Trusted Tool: "I love how Thayers Witch Hazel hydrates and plumps the skin," Nicole says. "It's a toner so I use it to hydrate the skin to give your base a good glow."

 

 

As we grow older, it’s not uncommon to experience various aches and pains as our bodies age. That applies to our eyes as well, which also suffer the effects of getting older. We find it harder to read things up close, our vision starts to cloud and our eyes start to dry out more now than ever before. These all are indicators of age-related eye problems that become more common after the age of 40. A family history of eye disease and a past need for glasses play a vital role in prescribed eye exam frequency to screen for these everyday issues, but thankfully, in most cases, easy-to-implement treatments are available.

P1REFRACTIVE ERROR
In simple terms, refractive error means the shape of your eye doesn’t bend light correctly, resulting in nearsightedness and farsightedness. For most people, this starts before 40, but can worsen with age. As a result, people would need reading or regular glasses or contacts.  

CATARACT
A cataract occurs when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy over time. “Cataracts can cause people to have more trouble reading the restaurant menu because there is not enough light,” 
says T. Chris McCurry, MD, refractive specialist at Woodhams Eye Clinic. 
“It can also cause driving at night to be very difficult because of glare from the car lights and street lights.”
Although it cannot be prevented, wearing sunglasses to reduce ultraviolet exposure can help slow down development as can controlling blood sugar and not smoking.
Currently, surgery is the most common treatment to remove cataracts. “It has been done with ultrasound energy traditionally, but laser technology has become a part 
of the picture,” says Andrew Feinberg, MD, partner at 
Georgia Eye Partners and medical director at 
Eye Surgery Center of Georgia. “It’s thought to be gentler to the eye, and we can do specific things like correct astigmatism.”

GLAUCOMA
Simply put, glaucoma is the increased pressure within the eyeball, usually from fluid, that can reduce or eliminate sight. Common treatments for glaucoma are topical medications in the form of eye drops, laser surgery or incisional surgery.

DRY EYE DISEASE
As the name implies, dry eyes result when the eyes do not stay lubricated. This issue can be caused by not producing enough tears but, more commonly, happens because the body does not produce good quality tears, especially as we age. “It can manifest as burning, irritation, foreign body sensation (like something is in the eye), intermittent blurry vision and even tearing,” McCurry says.
Certain steps can help prevent dry eyes. “Symptoms can be prevented by controlling environmental conditions such as drafts, smoke, low humidity and allergen exposures, avoiding prolonged uninterrupted computer or screen sessions, consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and by engaging in regular exercise to optimize cardiovascular health and improve blood flow,” says 
Anisa B. Threlkeld, MD, physician/owner of 
North Atlanta Eye Care.
Treatments range from over-the-counter drops, gels, and ointments, to prescription drops, and sometimes to minor procedures depending on the cause, says 
Jonathan Woolfson, MD, president and founder of Woolfson Eye Institute.

P2MACULAR DEGENERATION
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that damages the macula, which is the center of the retina and is responsible for detail vision. This damage can cause distorted, blurred, or severe loss of vision in the central visual field. Those who smoke, are over the age of 60, and have a family history of AMD are at risk.
The condition occurs in two basic forms, dry and wet, explains Paul Kaufman, MD, and Jessica McCluskey, MD, of Thomas Eye Group. Dry AMD results in bare patches of vision because the macula is no longer getting the proper nourishment and support it needs. Whereas wet AMD may create rapid central vision loss caused by bleeding or leaking abnormal blood vessels that grow under the macula.
Recently, medications have been developed that can be injected into the eye of someone with active wet AMD, often resulting in the shrinking of the abnormal vessels. With adequate treatment, most patients will experience stability or improvement in their vision. So far, treatment to reverse dry AMD has been unsuccessful, although much research is being performed in this area. Early detection through exams at least once a year can increase the chances of treating AMD successfully.

PRESBYOPIA
Presbyopia is the natural aging process of the eye. 
“The natural lens becomes less flexible, making it harder to perform near tasks,” Threlkeld says. “If uncorrected, it can lead to fatigue or headaches.” Unfortunately, there’s nothing to be done to prevent it.
For most patients, glasses or contacts are required to counteract the effects of presbyopia. Laser refractive surgery, commonly known by brand names like LASIK, PRK and SMILE, is another treatment option.
Another, newer option is PreLex™ surgery. “PreLex™ works by removing your natural lens with any degree of hardening and/or cloudiness, and replacing it with special lenses that give you a range of vision without glasses,” McCurry says.

EVOLVING TREATMENTS
As with all medical research, treatments for these and other eye ailments continue to change and evolve, leading to more effective treatments in the future. One such treatment involves stem cell therapy, but experts caution against using these treatments this early in the process.
Currently, there has been a lot of discussion about it, which leads to a lot of hope for the future, Woolfson says. However, at the moment, there are no proven treatments. “We’ve been very careful to stay with treatments with proven science behind them,” he says. “[Stem cell therapy] makes a lot of sense, but we don’t know how long it will take until it’s proven and effective.”
For now, the best step those age 40 and older can take to keep their eyes healthy is to have regular eye screenings to monitor for early signs of these ailments. “Those with diabetes or other similar systemic medical conditions, or a family history of such conditions may need more frequent screenings,” Feinberg says.

 

Friday, 01 March 2019 13:09

2019 Diet Review

Navigating diet trends can be overwhelming. There are plant-based diets, elimination diets, fat-heavy diets, "caveman" diets, points-based diets, carb-based diets, and the exhaustive list goes on. If you're finding yourself in uncharted diet waters, reflect on your objectives before setting sail. Then, determine which way of eating—like any of the trends below—will get you to your destination.

Elimination Diet
An elimination diet, like Whole30, is best described as emphasizing clean foods while eliminating sugar, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy. It can also leave individuals with a wealth of knowledge about their bodies. Expert
Sonza Curtis, ND, PAC, IFMCP, of
Three D Wellness, agrees. "An elimination diet empowers individuals to discover which foods work best for them," Curtis says. However, she also notes preparing for a diet like Whole30 might be its demise. "It takes more time to prepare meals and pay close attention to food labels when shopping." Another con might be your social calendar. "Individuals can feel left out or isolated during social outings when eliminating alcohol, sugar, gluten, and dairy from their meals," she explains. The most important pro, however? "Consuming 'real' food in place of processed foods. Whole foods decrease toxic burden, which improves overall health and makes people feel better."

P1Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet (keto) is perhaps the buzziest diet on our list. Dubbed as 2018's most Googled diet, keto is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet that puts the body in a metabolic state known as ketosis—a ketones-producing, fat-burning zone. Most participants eat 50 grams (or fewer) of carbohydrates, but some adhere to an even tighter carbohydrate count. O'Neil says, "We've had a version of the ketogenic diet for decades. It's something that really does work—even in a medical or weight management supervised setting—to jump-start fat burning." However, despite popularity, O'Neil cautions about its longevity. "It's not something that you can continue for the long haul because it's not a natural state of affairs to stay in a state of ketosis," she explains.

P2Plant-based diets
Plant-based diets, sometimes more widely known as veganism, are expected to continue to trend. Leslie Graham, owner of 3:8 Juice & Eatery, says there are two schools of thought here. "Veganism is abstaining from any animal products such as dairy, meat, shellfish, and eggs, as well as purchases of leather products due to animal cruelty. A whole food
plant-based diet is the vegan diet but limited to no oil and no processed foods and is more for your health." The concept of eliminating processed foods is an integral part of distinguishing between vegan and plant-based diets, especially for weight loss. "Going vegan, you may not experience a significant amount of weight loss because vegan food is heavily processed and full of oil and sugar. Oreos are vegan," she says. Instead of veganism, Graham suggests focusing on the whole foods plant-based approach.

P3Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is defined as a specific window of time when zero to a few calories are consumed. This period could range from a few hours to a full day, but it is ultimately a cycle of alternating eating with fasting. While participants will inevitably be taking in fewer calories,
Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD, says that intermittent fasting also encourages mindfulness. "It gives you pause. When you do eat, you're really paying attention, and it's going to matter more," she says. The downside? "Experts say when you fast, and then you eat again, your body thinks you may be in a state of starvation. The fear is that when you do begin eating again, your body holds onto every single calorie," O'Neil explains. If you think you might want to give it a try, consider this: most of us are already practicing intermittent fasting naturally—through sleep.

P4Mediterranean
Another popular way of eating that is not so much a diet but more of a
nutrition-focused lifestyle is the Mediterranean approach. Continually noted for its ability to not only lead to weight loss but to also aid in the reduction of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke risks, this approach promotes the consumption of primarily
plant-based foods. Its followers are encouraged to load their plates with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fish and seafood should appear a few times a week, while meats and sweets are limited. Butter, coconut and palm oils get the boot for healthy fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, and seeds. O'Neil notes, "This is not a vegetarian diet because it includes fish and meats, but enjoyed in moderation with plant foods as the star of the plate."

Whether you're seeking weight loss for medical or cosmetic reasons, there is certainly a course for you. Curtis says it best. "The key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to take a personalized approach. The days of one size fits all are over. It's time for people to discover what works for them to achieve
long-lasting results."

Sources
Three D Wellness | ThreeDWellness.com
3:8 Juice & Eatery | 38Juice.com
Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD | CarolynONeil.com

 

Thursday, 28 February 2019 20:26

Clean Beauty

For nearly a century, few legislative steps have been taken to ensure that personal care products in the United States are safe. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an activist organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the area of toxic chemicals, this means that chemicals linked to cancer, damaging reproductive systems, and beyond, can easily wind up in the items we use every day.
As awareness of this issue grows, more shoppers are turning to cleaner beauty and skin care products made with safer ingredients. With an increase of untainted options to choose from online or in stores, ridding your vanity of toxin-filled products doesn't mean sacrificing quality. Here is a snapshot of resources to help you make the change.

P1Makeup

The EWG makes it easy to know what's in the products you use and how potentially dangerous they may be. Its Skin Deep® database allows you to search for items and see safety and ingredient ratings assigned by scientists for over 70,000 products and 2,000 brands. There's also a handy EWG app that allows you to scan barcodes quickly at the store.
Brands like Beautycounter offer high-quality cosmetics that are free of 1,500 questionable chemicals such as butylated hydroxy anisole and butylated hydroxytoluene, which extend the shelf life of products like lipsticks but are likely carcinogens and may cause liver damage. The company also advocates for legislative change says Ashley H. Monk, an Atlanta Beautycounter consultant.
Sephora has jumped on the bandwagon too. The makeup mecca recently launched its Clean at Sephora seal. This makes it easy to browse for skin care, makeup, hair care, and fragrance items without sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oils, and more both in-store and online.

P2Skin Care and Body Care
For this category, controversial ingredients can often be found in deodorants, moisturizers, bath products and more. When it comes to using natural skin care and body care products, Dirty Beauty founder, 
Samantha Dickey says, "Natural skin care performs and delivers extraordinary results when used in the correct application."
Her local line of farm-based products combines the best of science and nature for true effectiveness. One of Dirty Beauty's most popular products demonstrates this harmonious unison perfectly. "STRIP is both a makeup remover and one-step cleanser," says the professional engineer. "Oil and water don't mix but oil and oil do. With STRIP, you are using the oil cleansing method to gently remove makeup and grime that accumulates on your skin."
Along with other Atlanta-based green beauty and body care brands such as 
Sally B's Skin Yummies and Little Barn Apothecary, there are local stores such as 
Fig & Flower that you can visit to test-drive products in-person to see which ones work best for you.
Removing harmful products from your daily beauty routine can seem daunting but today's resources are making the switch easier than ever. Try a safer brand and let us know what you think about it by tagging us on Instagram: @BestSelfAtlanta.
Details: Beautycounter.com/AshleyMonk; DirtyBeauty.com; EWG.org; LittleBarnApothecary.com; 
SallyBSkinYummies.com; Sephora.com/Clean-Beauty-Products

P3Steer Clear of:
•Aluminum
•Triclosan
•Phthalates
•Fragrance
•Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
•Formaldehyde
•Propylene glycol
•Synthetic colors

 

Tuesday, 26 February 2019 23:10

Finding Your Happily Ever After

Midlife dating is a testament to love's battle scars—divorce, children, time-intensive careers. As we age and our life experiences increase, so too do our hearts wrack up both wonderful and not-so-wonderful moments of love. But that's the great thing about hearts—no matter the age, the capacity to love and find love always exists.
The stories of these local couples will entertain and inspire you, reminding us all that love is always waiting to be discovered.

P1-MariaTeresaRodriguez-Curtis-KeithCurtis-CatMaxMarried for 10 years
Maria Teresa Rodriguez-Curtis, 42, and Keith Curtis, 51
Met through Single Atlanta

Prior to meeting in 2007, Maria and Keith were each newly divorced with five young children among the two of them. Frustrated with the bar-hopping dating scene, they each sought out nontraditional methods of meeting that special someone, and eventually landed on matchmaking service Single Atlanta. Keith became known as the service's pickiest client and Maria participated on a whim with a free trial. The stars eventually aligned, somewhat, as Maria became Keith's fourth match and Keith became Maria's second match. Once the two waded through earlier matches, they met each other and it was love at first sight. Literally.
"Single Atlanta offered its clients the option to see a picture of their potential dates; Keith and I both opted not to see pictures," says Maria. "We were perfectly comfortable, for the most part, being matched based on non-aesthetic qualities of a potential match. We both trusted the matchmaking counselors and the process."
They both bonded over the love for their children and God, as well as their desire to find soul mates. About two years after their first date, Keith and Maria married in front of their newly blended family, and their marriage has withstood the test of time over nearly 10 years.


"We both chose to be very intentional about dating; we sought a relationship that would last forever," says Maria. "As a thirtysomething woman, I found it difficult to find a potential partner that didn't mind when I talked about my kids. I struggled with putting myself out there, opening up to someone, and I feared rejection."
Not trusting her own dating instincts is what pushed Maria toward a matchmaking service, like Single Atlanta. Her journey toward true love was guided by a professional agency that could help her fulfill her dreams and fill the voids left in her heart by past relationships. "[Single Atlanta] opened our minds to try new things and meet new people,"she continues. "They offered a sense of security while also offering a sense of exploration. Dating can be fun and exciting at any age!"

 

P2-AdamGhali-JacklynGhali-RichieArpinoMarried 2 years
Adam Ghali, 68, and Jacklyn Ghali, 64
Met on Match.com

Jacklyn Ghali's love life seems to be straight out of a romance novel—a hair color specialist, divorced for 30 years, catches the eye of a glamorous man with a sexy foreign accent. The two fall in love and eventually get married in his native Egypt, taking a spectacular cruise down the Nile River, where both their families meet in Alexandria. The couple sails off into the sunset, back to the United States and eventually celebrates their nuptials with their friends and families back in Atlanta.


So there may not be any dastardly pirate or a menacing vampire, but Adam and Jacklyn Ghali's love story is primed for novelization. The two first met on Match.com after this "happily divorced" woman decided it was time to get back on the dating train. Instead of filling out the questionnaire with her standard responses, she decided to think outside the box and target a relationship that didn't fit the usual men she looked for. She opened her heart to love and the perfect man stepped in.
"The first time I saw him at Villa Christina, he came running down the stairs and I kept thinking, 'This person enters a room like a member of the Rat Pack!'" Jacklyn says. "I was so busy looking at his feet and legs, it took me a second to realize he was headed straight toward me. When he got close to me, he said my name in a beautiful accent, put his hands on my face and kissed me on my cheek three times. I thought, 'Oh my God, this will be the one!'"


The eye-catching moment led her to a flourishing, healthy relationship, where each partner respects and appreciates each other. He loves to cook elaborate dishes and she brings home lovely flowers, as they ignore generic gender roles and celebrate his and her strengths and wants. Though at times, Jacklyn loves the "old-fashioned rules" of courting, where the man holds the door, helps put on her coat and lovingly pursues her. "We listen to what each other has to say," she says.
When it comes to dating, she credits her realization looking beyond what she had always sought in a potential partner. "My dating advice to people, whether male or female, is not necessarily opposites attract, but maybe try a different path."

 

P3-AdrienneAllen-FloydAllen-CatMaxMarried almost 2 years
Adrienne Allen, 44, and Floyd Allen, 46
Met at work

Sometimes you actively seek out love and sometimes it just pops up out of nowhere, even at the watercooler. That's what happened for Adrienne and Floyd Allen—their work lives coalesced into their love lives, eventually leading to a wedding in May 2017.
Adrienne, originally from Baltimore, Maryland, and a mother of three from her first marriage, admits it wasn't love at first sight, or rather sound, when she started at her job in 2016, where Floyd had already been employed for eight years.


"He did not like me at first and told his mom that the 'loud girl' at work wouldn't leave him alone. He had been single for eight years and wasn't interested in a relationship at all," she says. But she was persistent about going out with him. The two talked more at work, grabbed lunch and, over time, started conversing and socializing away from the office. When he found out that his mom, who is also originally from Baltimore, shares the same birthdate as Adrienne, it became a bonding moment the two couldn't ignore.


The couple may be opposites—in fact, one of Adrienne's favorite things about her husband is his "quiet power"—but it's this celebration of each other's differences that she credits to the strength of their relationship. They each enjoy their own space while being together—he has his man cave; she has the living room. But they continue to come together, still dating and eating lunch together.
"Dating requires effort from everyone involved," Adrienne says. "Go to your favorite spots and pay attention to the people that make your heart smile; those are the people you want to keep around. After 40, people don't have time for the games—stay in your truth and don't waiver. The best is yet to come!"

 

P4-MargaretHayes-TimDuff-CatMaxDATING 6 MONTHS
Margaret "Garet" Hayes, 48, and Tim Duff, 54
Met through Eight at Eight Dinner Club

Whereas politics have been known to tear relationships apart (especially in today's turbulent climate), politics is what brought new couple Tim and Garet together. The two met through Eight at Eight Dinner Club, seated next to each other at one such dinner. When the topic of politics popped up, Garet joked that perhaps the group should avoid such a sensitive subject; Tim interjected with a clever quip about easing into any subject matter. That was it. As Garet puts it, "He had me at politics."
Garet, divorced for six years, and Tim, divorced for seven years with two children, each turned to Eight at Eight Dinner Club after trying, unsuccessfully, online dating. "I hated online dating because I felt like I had to convince someone that I was a decent person before I could even get a response," says Tim. "I really liked Eight at Eight because it allows you to meet someone in person and see who they are right up front. While anyone can act differently in person too, it still gives you a much better way to gauge your interest and compatibility."


Tim and Garet have been together for six months and they both credit timing and communication as the key factors to finding the right partner, and flexibility and fun to keeping the bond strong. Garet also advises that any singles over the age of 40 invest in themselves, learning about what makes you happy and what you want out of life. She also says that every relationship, failed or successful, has something to teach: make strong friendships and if one way of meeting singles isn't working, keep trying other ways.


Tim agrees with Garet, adding that dating at an older age creates a different set of rules. "I am looking for a partner but I'm not willing to be with the wrong person just to avoid being alone," says Tim. "I think at our age, it's easier to know what you are looking for in a relationship. When you are in your 20s, there's this goal of finding someone to marry and start a family. While I don't need anyone in my life to make it fulfilled, I want someone to share my life with."

 

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