BSA - Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers raise the first wall of the Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta home for a deserving family in Mableton. The home build on Valentine’s Day kicked off the 2015 build season for the nonprofit that serves Cobb, Douglas and Paulding Counties.

Home is where the heart is, but it’s also where many Americans’ investments are. Investing in a house has a positive impact on personal wealth and community stability, but buying a home – especially for people supporting a family on a low income – presents many challenges. If your entire paycheck is dedicated to the daily finances of life, it can be next to impossible to save the amount needed for a down payment or qualify for a traditional mortgage, preventing many hardworking adults and parents from making that investment.

Habitat for Humanity is best known for its signature “builds” that bring the community together to build a house for a deserving family. But in addition to actually building the house, Habitat also helps families by making their purchasing requirements more realistic. The Atlanta Habitat for Humanity website details the benefits, such as a no-interest mortgage and low closing costs – nothing more than an $800 “good faith deposit.” Habitat also offers perks such as energy efficient building standards and brand new Whirlpool appliances.

If you’re ready to swing a hammer for your fellow Atlantans, join Habitat for Humanity’s Northwest Metro Atlanta affiliate as they break ground on a new build site on April 2. Volunteering with Habitat requires no specialized experience – onsite training is provided for anyone interested in participating. Check out other Atlanta area affiliates by visiting and typing in your zip code.

Another great way to help is through the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Donate your new or gently used furniture, appliances, cabinets, building materials and more to any ReStore location, which will then sell these items at a fraction of retail price in order to raise money for more builds. A new Habitat ReStore opened in late March in Roswell, and you can find a full list of local ReStore locations at 

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Tantuco, DMD, Kathleen_cred Vernon Woods Dental Care AssociatesDr. Kathleen Tantuco from Vernon Woods Dental Care Associates answers a reader’s question about bleeding gums.

Q: Why do my gums bleed? 

Unlike most diseases that give us early warning signs, gum disease progresses silently, often without pain. Bleeding of the gums is one of the few initial signs and is due to bacterial infection and inflammation. Progression of the disease will result in the loss of bone surrounding the teeth. However, with regular check-ups and proper home care including brushing, flossing and using a mouth rinse, you can significantly decrease your risk.

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Sycks, Janell_cred Richie ArpinoJanell Sycks from Pantry Takeover is here to share her best advice to reduce stress about food.

What is the most common food-related stressor people experience?

Most of my clients struggle with trying to properly plan out their weekly meals. If we do not plan ahead of time, we end up stressed out, in a fast food drive-through and overeating foods that are harmful to us.

How cam people reduce food stress? 

Preparation is key to preventing stressful meal times – never wait until 6 p.m. to determine what you will have for dinner. Instead, every Saturday or Sunday, dedicate time to plan and shop for your meals.

How do you minimize food stress? 

I set aside 20 minutes each Saturday morning to search for new recipes and ideas. I use healthy food blogs, Pinterest and Facebook to inspire me to and show me new ways to use my favorite foods.

What phrase or quote can help people put their eating habits into perspective? 

“You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake!” – Author unknown

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BSA - Kam ThrockmortonKam Throckmorton from GlamKam is here to share her best advice to reduce fashion stress.

What is the most common fashion-related stressor people experience? 

The feeling of having a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.

How can people reduce fashion stress? 

Know your body, accept it and embrace it. Be realistic when shopping, and create a wardrobe that works for the body and lifestyle you have today.

What should people avoid doing? 

Don’t overthink it! If something makes you happy and confident, wear it. It’s an outfit, not a tattoo.

What is your personal fashion-related stressor? 

Standing 6’1″ and a size 16, it’s hard to find clothes I love that fit. It is frustrating that, as a stylist, I can always find amazing pieces from my clients by not always for myself.

How do you deal with it? 

I have learned to embrace my body and more importantly, my shape. Dressing well is all about balancing your silhouette. I only buy clothes that work for me. Also, a good tailor makes a huge difference!

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BSA- Crossroads HospiceJust as birth is a special, honored time, the transition of death deserves respect and special care too. At Crossroads Hospice, staff and volunteers provide compassion, support and day-to-day engagement to patients nearing the end of their lives. As a volunteer, you can support patients directly in their homes or assisted living facilities with conversation, puzzles and even bingo. When you sign up, you will undergo volunteer training about the basics of hospice, your role, and certain common health conditions such as dementia. You can also support the organization with administrative volunteer time or bereavement support for families. Call (770) 270-9898 or email to sign up.

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This month, enjoy reading these books from local publishers and authors.

BSA - April Best Books 1“Simon vs. the HomoSapiens Agenda” 

When 16-year-old Simon Spier begins exchanging emails with a secret admirer, his high school days have a new current of excitement running through them. But when a classmate discovers their messages – and the fact that Simon’s secret admirer is another boy in their high school – their fragile romance gets complicated. This story is full of humor, heart and characters you’ll root for till the last page. On April 11, author Becky Albertalli will visit Little Shop of Stories in Decatur to sign copies of her book, released this month. Visit for more details.

BSA - April Best Books 2“New Rules at the Game”

Susan Packard, a co-founder of HGTV, knows what it takes to be successful in business. She distills her 30 years of experience into this book, which offers gamesmanship strategies for women’s success in the workforce such as playing offense, being a team player and more. Order a copy for $25.95 form Penguin Books at

BSA - April Best Books 3“Lighten Up, Y’all” 

A healthy lifestyle and a Southern diet might seem incompatible, but they aren’t if Virginia Willis has anything to say about it. This Atlanta-based, French-trained chef knows the value of good comfort food, so in her newest cookbook, she gives a healthy overhaul to the classics like mac and cheese and buttermilk pie. Order a copy for $24.99 from Random House at

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BSA - Sushi and SakeLuxury complex Buckhead Atlanta welcomed Doraku Sushi last month. This new restaurant offers family style sushi and a mix of other Asian-fusion dishes for lunch and dinner, including sea urchin and live scallops for the adventurous foodie. They also offer a full bar and an extensive sake menu, so your night out will be delicious from dinner to drinks.

Details: 267 East Paces Ferry Road NE, Atlanta, GA, (404) 842-0005.

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Dr. Tasneem BhatiaDr. Tasneem Bhatita from Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine answers a reader’s question about glycemic index.

Q: What is glycemic index, and does it really affect my overall health? 

The glycemic index (GI) measures the impact of carbohydrate-containing food on blood sugar levels and has been used to pair foods together that will keep insulin stable. Insulin regularity is the key to reducing inflammation, which is in turn the root of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, along with many other autoimmune diseases. Lower your inflammation by eating goods that have a low glycemic index and keep your blood sugar stable!

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View More: easy spinach salad with mushrooms, red peppers and goat cheese makes a delicious starter for any meal. This recipe also includes instructions for a homemade salad dressing so you can avoid the hidden sugars and added ingredients in a bottled dressing. For a stand-alone meal, try adding shrimp or chicken, or for a vegan version, skip the goat cheese. And if you’re just too busy to cook tonight, head to Davio’s Atlanta in Phipps Plaza and order this delicious dish off their menu.


8 ounces baby spinach

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of garlic, chopped

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 large portobello mushroom, sliced

2 ounces roasted red peppers, sliced

3 ounces goat cheese

Salt and black pepper to taste


Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan, over low heat, add the olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar until warm. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced peppers to the spinach and toss. Divide the spinach mixture between the four plates or bowls, and evenly divide the goat cheese and dressing over each. Serve immediately.

- Courtesy of Davio’s Atlanta,

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BSA - Breast Cancer RibbonBreast cancer awareness steals the show in October, but another key fundraising event happens next month: Susan G. Komen’s annual Race for the Cure. On the morning of May 9, come ready to run, walk or simply be inspired by the post-race festivities and survivor ceremony. This is Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta’s 25th annual run, and 75 percent of proceeds raised will stay in Atlanta to educate and screen local women.

Details: Lenox Square Mall, 3393 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA,

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