ariccia trattoriaIf you’re looking for a weekend culinary adventure, head over to Ariccia Trattoria at The Hotel at Auburn University. Sharpen your knives and get ready to dice, chop and sauté your way through their Tour d’Italia cooking classes hosted by Ariccia’s culinary team.
Attendees will learn how to create pasta from scratch, make signature Italian sauces and prepare tasty appetizers and desserts. Cooking classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month from August through November.

These Italian cooking classes are limited to 14 guests and reservations are required. Cost is $100 per person and includes the prepared meals, a bottle of wine and a personal gift basket to take home. Call (334) 321-3179 for more information.

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By Krysta Wilkins

Help put an end to childhood hunger with Share Our Strength at this year’s sixth annual Give Me Five Event. In recognition of their No Kid Hungry® campaign, Share Our Strength is inviting Atlantans out for a night of exquisite food, wine, and more.

On Sunday, August 19, come out to Cherokee Town and Country Club to sample the works of six local chefs and wine pairings with wines selected by some of the finest sommeliers Atlanta has to offer.

In addition to a gourmet five-course dinner, guests will also enjoy live entertainment and live and silent auctions that will include special donations and items from each participating chef. Auction items will include jewelry, wines, travel packages, and in-home chef dinners. The event will be emceed by Jenn Hobby of Q100′s The Bert Show and WSB radio host Scott Slate.

Tickets are $275 per person and $2,500 for a table of ten. Tickets can be purchased online at

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By Anne-Marie Berte (FitGirl)

If you’ve ever wanted to try a pole dancing class but were a little unsure, take it from me, we all feel this way at first! It all started with a conversation:
Friend: I’m going to Jiggle With it class on Saturday, want to join me?
Me: Um, sure, what is it? I am always up for something new when I’m in town.
Friend: It’s a pole dancing/butt jiggle class. You need to bring booty shorts tank, a yoga mat or knee pads because we will be on our knees for part of it.  Oh yeah, and wear stripper shoes.

I’m laughing out loud at this point. What did I get myself into?
When I walked into Polelateaz Atlanta, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But as the class got going, I started having fun! The teacher was amazing and the class was packed with women decked out in (you guessed it), sexy booty shorts, stripper shoes and knee pads.

The dimly light room had about 20 stripper poles scattered about. As upbeat hip hop music started and we moved our hips to the beat, I realized what a workout I was in for. Within 10 minutes I was sweating.

The best part? No one was watching or judging – you just moved and followed the teacher. The mirrors in the room helped guide your form and keep you on track with class.  The jiggle with it class worked on just that – teaching you how to jiggle your booty the right way, the sexy way – while standing, squatting, on your knees and on the floor – and even while lying down.

The class challenges you to use your quads, glutes, calves, core and even upper body as you move your arms while you dance.  I love how the class kept me in my own zone, dancing, moving, and feeling sexy in my body and mind.  The moves help stretch your hips and help you to stay out of your head and on the dance floor.  A lot of awareness goes into this and the minute you tense up, the proper form dissipates.

All levels are welcomed and Polelateaz Atlanta has all sorts of classes I will definitely be back to check out.

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By Erin Cotter

Lace up your sneakers for the Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Marathon in Atlanta on October 7. The race will start at 7 a.m. at Town Brookhaven on 4330 Peachtree Rd. NE Atlanta GA 30319. All runners must reach the start location at Town Brookhaven by the specified time or they will have to utilize the race transportation.

If you are a first-timer looking for an easier course, try the Karhu 5K, which is walker friendly, and begins at the same time as the 13.1 marathon race. This 5K course will be open for 3 hours and 30 minutes. So if you are walking, there is no reason to be intimidated by those 13.1 marathon runners.

Runners and walks should be aware of the weather and make sure to drink plenty of water to help ward off heat exhaustion. If you’re looking for a prize to take home to show off your hard work, besides crossing that finish line, all runners who finish the half marathon will receive their very own finisher’s medal.

Check out the Allstate Life Insurance Atlanta 13.1 marathon training programs available for people of all fitness levels to work up to finishing the race.

To register, for the Allstate Life Insurance Atlanta 13.1 marathon at the website:

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If you have unwanted spider veins or varicose veins, you can have them looked at by Dr. Louis Prevosti and the professionals at VEIN Atlanta. Dr. Prevosti explains that varicose veins can create some health hazards like blood clots, swelling or sores.  Take preventative measures now! If your veins are troubling you, try going in for this free consultation.

Have your veins looked at by Dr. Prevosti who has dedicated himself to the treatment of venous disorders since 2010 and is board certified in cardiovascular surgery and in general surgery. The best part about this leg screening is, it’s free and open to anyone with an appointment.

Vein Atlanta is offering a free leg screening on August 14, 16 and 18, simply call (404) 446-2800 to make an appointment. In addition to this free leg screening, you will also receive an ultrasound scan and personal consultation with Dr. Louis Prevosti himself.

Details: VEIN Atlanta, 1100 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 165, Atlanta, GA 30342

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By Krysta Wilkins

They may be weird and kooky but America’s creepiest family is hitting the stage at Fox Theatre for a spooky show that the whole family is sure to enjoy. Take a look into the mysterious world of the Addams family and join well-known characters like Lurch and Wednesday in this smash hit musical comedy.

The Addams Family will be showing from August 14 to August 19, so bring the family out and sit back and enjoy this enchanting performance based on the beloved family of characters created by the cartoonist Charles Addams. Ticket prices ranges from $25 to $65 and are on sale now.
The Fox Theatre, (404) 881-2000,

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By Neal McSpadden

Farm to table is all the rage these days. Discerning diners want to know where their food is coming from, and for good reason! Whether it is the latest chicken recall, e-coli in the spinach, or illegal fertilizers in Chinese milk, our international food distribution system has definite problems. Many chefs in Atlanta have responded with dishes that use local, fresh ingredients that never go through the industrial food system.

But one Atlanta chef goes one step farther, or maybe one step closer: roof to table. Chef Craig Richards and his team at Ecco have taken a wasted resource and made beautiful food out of it. On the roof of the restaurant sit several boxes containing raised bed gardens. These gardens give the chef and his staff incredibly fresh ingredients to make dishes like stuffed squash blossoms, which come from the garden and were picked the same day you eat them.

The menu changes daily at Ecco as the in-season foods from the garden and local farmers change, but you can rest easy knowing you will find something fantastic. I especially liked the rabbit sausage and the rainbow trout when I dined there last Friday.

So go! And ask your server which dishes are from the garden today.

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By Kaylyn Hinz

As the summer comes to a close and children head back to school. It is very important to get their eyes checked. Since UV rays are still strong in the month of August, it is known for being Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control only one in three children in America have ever received eye care services before age six, even though more than 12.1 million school aged children have some form of vision problem.

Being that children are outside more than adults they are more prone to UV ray eye damage. Here are some sunglasses picking tips to insure your child’s eyes are protected at all times.
1. Purchase sunglasses that offer UV protection.
2. Make sure the sunglasses fit the child’s face and shield the eyes from all angles.
3. Choose lenses that are impact resistant.
4. If they do not want to wear sunglasses insist on them wearing a brim hat.

Visit for more eye protection information.

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peter panAdults and children alike will enjoy the magical, all new production of Peter Pan. Playing at the Fox Theatre August 7-12. This production stars Tony Award-nominee Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan, who answered a few questions for Best Self about this high-flying role:

You have been playing this role for so long – have you grown into the part or was it a perfect fit from the start?
This role has been a natural fit from the beginning I grew up a tomboy, athletic and adventuresome… my gymnastics was very helpful for “flying.” The part of the show that has evolved and grown is the effortlessness and spontaneity of just being a child. I don’t have to play at being a boy, the minute I fly into the nursery during the first scene, I’m no longer Cathy!

How do you stay in shape for the impressive acrobatics scenes?
When I’m at home and not on tour I work out about three times a week – weights, Pilates, stretching walking/running.

How does this Peter Pan production differ from your earlier versions?
The sets and costumes are all new and refurbished. We have added a sort of Cirque du sole “silk” number with Tiger Lily and the Indians at the opening of Neverland, a really magical and graceful dance. With the use of a single and double wire…my flying has become much more daring and athletic.

Is flying through the air so high and so fast as scary as it looks?
It’s not so scary for me -I trust my flyers, Paul Rubin and Jimmy Little -we’ve been doing this for many many years. Their participation and  involvement is  similar to a perfect partner in figure skating or cheerleading.  We have to feel and anticipate each other’s energy and timing. When the flying is as difficult and exact as landing on a 4 inch balance beam, trust and focus is of utmost importance.

Peter Pan has been around for a long time – how do you take into account all of these versions when you take on the role of Peter Pan?

One of the things we have tried to do over the years is to honor Barrie’s original intentions…that the story be told with honesty and earnestness, that Neverland is a magical beautiful adventuresome island where children fly and explore.
It’s also a place of danger and mystery. Many people I talk with after the show tell me of their experience  both as a child and as an adult as children they loved the flying and dancing, the  sword fighting and of course all the special effects. the adults tend to remember a time when they were (like Peter) adventuresome, spontaneous, hopeful, and joyous. They watch their children and grandchildren as they experience this story,  many times they tear up as they tell me their own experiences. It’s a bittersweet experience about growing up and getting older. Many times they say…. ‘I felt young again!’

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Winner of the James Beard Foundation Award, Iron Chef champion and author Marcus Samuelsson introduces his newest book, “Yes, Chef” a candid memoir about food, family, and his journey of finding himself.

Chronicling Samuelsson’s journey from being an orphan to being raised by a Swedish family, to finally becoming an award-winning chef, this book is a story about where talent, passion and ambition can take you. $27 at your local Barnes & Nobles

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