Ponce City Market Gift CardStill need stocking stuffer ideas? Ponce City Market now offers property-wide gift cards. Foodies can treat friends to an Italian meal at Bellina Alimentari and fashionistas can bless their besties with a card to leather goods company, Cobbler Union. Consider holiday shopping done!

Details: 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE., Atlanta; poncecitymarket.com

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GiftsAlli Allen, co-founder of Second Helpings Atlanta, has launched a new charitable giving platform named PlanetGive. Whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, or a wedding registry, online users can create a profile page and list the causes they support. Friends and family can see the profile page and charities the user cares about and make a donation in their honor. Members can even create a Circle of Giving with their comrades. Receive birthday notifications and garner charitable gift ideas with this standout system.

Details: planetgive.org

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Barry's BootcampSultry lighting, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, fast-paced pop songs—it’s easy to mistake the new 5,233-square-foot Atlanta location of Barry’s Bootcamp for one of the city’s hottest nightclubs. A reported favorite of Carrie Underwood, each class is divided into spurts of treadmill intervals and resistance training to maximize fat loss. For a tone tush, sign up with Steven Ridges on Tuesdays for a butt-and-legs-focused sweat session.

Details: 305 E. Paces Ferry Rd. NE., Atlanta; barrysbootcamp.com

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GIRL, YOU GOT THIS - BluHazlLaticia Rolle is more than just Shaquille O’Neal’s fiancée. The Atlanta-based beauty is an inspirational speaker, blogger, and now author. In partnership with her sister, D’Ana Rolle, the creative forces behind BluHazl.com have released their first book, “Girl, You Got This: The Glow Up Guide to Loving Yourself & Your Tribe.” Give it a read for nutritious recipes, exercise ideas, and positive affirmations.

Details: amazon.com

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Sawyer PhotographyIt is hard to believe the new year is around the corner. I have been thinking a lot about this upcoming year. For the first time in a long time, I have decided to make this year about me.

That’s right! I am going to give myself permission to be selfish in 2018! I mean this in a good way. It’s time to turn the focus inward to self-care, self-love, and self-worth. Sometimes we get so focused on taking care of everyone else or so passionately immersed in our work, we forget that if we don’t value our own health and well-being now, we may not be in a position to care for others in the future.

This is something I’ve lost sight of for a while. If you feel like I do and are ready to renew, refresh and reinvent yourself, you’re in the right place.

This “Best of 2017” issue has everything you need. From fitness to health checkups, dental upkeep, back pain solutions, cosmetic enhancements, and beyond, you have the best of the best in Atlanta right here at your fingertips. These professionals and businesses are here because thousands have given them their stamp of approval.

Join me and make 2018 the year of you! Don’t apologize for it either. After all, your family and friends will directly benefit from you being your best self.

Here are a few of the places and people that help me be my best self on a regular basis.

Best Two-Hour Attitude Adjustment

Concourse Athletic Club

I’m not kidding when I say this place is like a third home to me. I have worked out here since the early ‘90s. Suzanne Cypert and her team have established more than just a top-of-the-line fitness facility, they’ve created a place to retreat from the day-to-day. It’s a great place to be social but to also go for alone time. A quick 30-minute workout, followed by a leisurely steam and shower, and then a healthy drink (the fruit-filled Club Smoothie) and bite (grilled chicken salad) take me to my happy place every time. concourseclub.com

Best Make-My-Body-All-Better Massage

Elements Massage-Buckhead

When the aches and pains can’t be ignored, I visit the Elements Massage near my home and office at Chastain Park. Chuck McNulty is a miracle worker! elementsmassage.com

Best Media Besties

Christine Pullara, Tom Sullivan, and Nyssa Green

Our friends at 11 Alive “Atlanta & Company” are amazing. This great show highlights so many of our favorite people and places in the city. These media professionals are at the top of their respective fields. We are honored to work with them to provide helpful information, support great causes, and have fun! 11alive.com/atlanta-and-company

NEW! Partners in Health

As part of the “Year of You” we are excited to announce that we have partnered with the city’s leading experts to deliver even more health-focused content to you. Not only will you receive high-quality information, but you will also know where to go for solutions to a variety of health issues. From back pain and gastrointestinal disorders to dental care and physical fitness, we, along with our 2018 Partners in Health, will help you nurture your body from the inside out. Meet them all in the February/March issue.

Sherri Adair, Publisher

sadair@bestselfatlanta.com

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Former Buckhead schoolteacher, Michelle Hodgson, created the nonprofit Children Helping Children (CHC) in 2008 for one reason—to teach kids how to give back.

“What we like to do is highlight what makes each kid special, whether it’s music, art, math or writing. We use it as a way to get them motivated to give that particular thing back,” Hodgson explains.

One of the most empowering aspects of the organization is that it gives children the opportunity to lead. Every spring, applications become available for kids (ages 12 to 16) to be a part of the organization’s Junior Board of Directors. In May, the Senior Board of Directors select 12 applicants from drastically different backgrounds (including being homeless or being the child of a National Basketball Association player) to fill the coveted spots.

Michelle Hodgson (back row, middle) and the 2017 Children Helping Children Junior Board of Directors at the 2017 Little Hands, Big LOVEFEST event.

Michelle Hodgson (back row, middle) and the 2017 Children Helping Children Junior Board of Directors at the 2017 Little Hands, Big LOVEFEST event.

From there, the junior board members are given the rundown on other philanthropies CHC has supported in the past including Kate’s Club, Camp Sunshine, and Emmaus House. Hodgson explains that the junior board members are also given an opportunity to research other Atlanta-based 501(c)(3) charities that benefit children. The goal is that the kids will connect with one of the causes or a specific nonprofit. Each child then reaches out to the executive director of his or her chosen organization to find out what its wish list needs are.

Using this information, they get to work creating hands-on projects that will benefit the nonprofits they’ve selected. These tasks could be anything from a food can drive to collecting toys and therapy materials. The projects comprise CHC’s signature fall event, Little Hands, Big LOVEFEST, which was held on Oct. 29, 2017, at Piedmont Park. Here, visitors go from tent to tent and get involved with each activity.

Following the festival, the children’s term as a board member comes to an end and they embrace the status of mentor. Hodgson’s ultimate hope is that they will take what they’ve learned and become stewards of service for the rest of their lives.

(L – R, top row) Tanner, Philip, Nora, Didi, (middle row) Eliza, Justin, Myles, Bhuami (bottom row) Ellie, Aidan, Riley, Kate.

(L – R, top row) Tanner, Philip, Nora, Didi, (middle row) Eliza, Justin, Myles, Bhuami (bottom row) Ellie, Aidan, Riley, Kate.

Apply to be on the Junior Board of Directors

In the spring, kids ages 12 to 16 can fill out the one-page application (which includes strategic questions to gauge their level of interest in community service) for the opportunity to be a part of the board.

Assemble and Donate “Be Well Bears”

Help stuff teddy bears that will be distributed to children in need and local nonprofits.

Get a Group Together

CHC has year-round programming to bring its Compassion Curriculum for children to schools, neighborhoods, and churches.

To learn more, visit chcatlanta.org

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Ten Thousand Villages Atlanta - Zemirah Robinson, Juliet WhiteYou don’t have to travel the globe to help an international artisan in need. Simply take a trip to Ten Thousand Villages Atlanta. Since 1993, the store has offered fair-trade gifts, jewelry, clothing, home décor, and more from creators in 37 countries. By paying the crafters a living wage, they are able to afford housing, education, and health care. Locally, volunteers are needed to assist the nonprofit with store display set up, social media, outreach, and more. Volunteer open houses are held every second Saturday of the month from 10-11:30 a.m.

Details: 1056 St. Charles Ave. NE., Atlanta; tenthousandvillages.com/atlanta

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By Alex McCray

If you’re like me, you are always somewhere between being a meal preparation master or scrambling through the freezer desperately hoping one more frozen dinner is buried within its depths. Enter the Atlanta-based meal delivery company Dinner A’Fare. When I say they make dinner easy, I mean easy. Whether you’re cooking for just yourself, you and your honey, or a family of four, a delicious homemade dinner can be on the table in 15 to 30 minutes. A claim I put to the test (and it passed with flying colors).

Dinner AFare_Aug 2017_PorkTenderloinwithLentils_preview

The process begins with the fun part: Look through Dinner A’Fare’s monthly rotating selection of 15 meals and choose your favorites. Then select your delivery date and sit back and relax. Convenience and time efficiency are a constant theme with this company. Can’t be home on delivery day? Simply leave a cooler by the front door to keep the ingredients fresh until you arrive.

Each meal comes with the needed amount of ingredients already chopped and prepared for you. All you have to do is put them together. The majority of dishes I tried like the Blackened Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Ranch, and Pork Tenderloin with Coconut Lentils and Spinach, involved minimal work, like stovetop sautéing or baking in the oven. There’s no skimping on flavor either. The chipotle ranch added a creamy hint of spice to traditional tacos and the powerful coconut flavor enhanced basic ingredients like spinach and lentils. The dishes are quick and tasty, an appreciated combination. Not to mention, the meals are all delivered fresh but are also designed to be kept frozen until you’re ready to make them. So there’s no pressure to cook them all back-to-back. Meaning you won’t waste food if you decide to grab a last minute dinner with friends.

If you’re ready to try new recipes, take dinner off your to-do list, or check out how they can make preparing your holiday dinners a breeze, visit dinnerafare.com to get started.

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David Whiteman, M.D., F.R.C.S. | Southern Plastic Surgery  SouthernPlasticSurgery.com | 770.622.9100

Dr. Whiteman

Dr. Whiteman

Although every woman ages differently, it’s a fact that our figure can be significantly changed by pregnancy, weight fluctuation, and natural aging. It’s only natural to pine for the trimmer, pre-baby body of your youth. Unfortunately, as we age, it only becomes more difficult to rejuvenate our figures with diet and exercise alone. That’s why I offer my unique Mommy Makeover procedure.

By combining a tummy tuck (using my signature Scarpa fascia waist enhancement technique), liposuction, and cosmetic breast surgery, the Mommy Makeover is designed to provide comprehensive, long-lasting body contouring results for women trying to rejuvenate their appearance and regain their younger figure.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.10.27 AMDuring the procedure, abdominal muscles are tightened, stubborn excess fat is removed with liposuction, and the breasts are augmented, lifted, or reduced depending on the patient’s aesthetic needs. To help patients complement the results of their Mommy Makeover, I recommend that they undergo Viora ReactionTM skin tightening treatments at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center. Viora uses RF energy to help achieve healthier, firmer skin by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin fiber. The consultation phase is especially important for Mommy Makeover patients due to the highly customizable nature of this combination procedure. To schedule a Mommy Makeover with Dr. David Whiteman, please contact Southern Plastic Surgery.

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Stumped on what to pack for lunch? Try these easy out-of-the-box healthy lunch ideas by Chef Megan McCarthy of healthyeating101.com in partnership with United Healthcare.

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