Richie Arpino - BSA 1116Arpino Salon has a new look and a new location. After watching the reconstruction of Buckhead happen right before his eyes, Richie Arpino decided it was time for his salon to join in on the change. The salon’s modern new high-rise home also includes a Pilates studio, massage therapy studio, Thai restaurant and gym. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of Buckhead and amenities like a doorman, valet and balconies for breezy lunches and wine dates before or after hair appointments.

Details: 550 Pharr Rd., Atlanta;

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Washington Farms - BSA 1116Head just outside of the city to Washington Farms for some festive fall fun. During the day, wander through their pumpkin patch to find just the right selection for carving or making pies.

Once the sun sets, put your directional skills to the test during the challenging “Flashlight Nights” and make your way through their 8.5-acre corn maze. With plenty of corny jokes and clues, you’re sure to be entertained the whole way.

Daytime explorers can try the Farms’ newest maze, inspired by the Peanuts gang. Afterwards dig into fan-favorite concessions, like caramel apples, BBQ and kettle corn or snuggle up with a hot chocolate and freshly made s’mores.

Details: 5691 Hog Mountain Rd., Bogart;

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“Be the change you wish to see in the world” might be one of Mahatma Gandhi’s most famous quotes of all time. And one Atlanta-based nonprofit is helping high-school students do more than just remember those words, GivingPoint is helping young people put them into action.

Jesse Lavender - BSA 1116

Derek Smith launched the organization in 2009 after gathering a group of ChoicePoint employee volunteers to discover ways to empower young people to create an impact on the causes that mattered most to them. During their research, they found that a number of young people expressed interest in getting involved with social causes, but lacked the tools to do so.

Utilizing its online platform, GivingPoint connects organizations and volunteers, allows students to track volunteer hours and more. The organization’s reach extends beyond computer screens, too. The GivingPoint Institute offers a 10-month-long workshop that ultimately equips 15 to 25 local high-school students with the building blocks to create their own nonprofits.

Now, over 9,000 nonprofits, volunteers and donors seek out GivingPoint’s resources. Whether you’re a teacher, counselor, student or charitable organization, GivingPoint can help you be the change you wish to see in the world.


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Bonaventure Quartet - BSA 1116Treat your ears to the sounds of classical, jazz and vocal music with Heritage Sandy Springs’ Winter Classics. Taking place one Sunday evening of every month, November through February, this indoor concert series kicks off on November 13 with The Bonaventure Quartet. The Atlanta-based group’s name pays homage to the street that founder and guitarist/composer Charles Williams lived on for 20 years. The Bonaventure Quartet blends Broadway show tunes with Latin noir, folk ballads, sea shanties and the occasional ring of rock ’n roll for a one-of-a-kind sound.

Details: 6110 Blue Stone Rd. NE., Atlanta; 

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Lowering sugar intake is not only good for overall health, but can also help decrease risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Below are Strong4Life’s tips for working with The American Heart Association’s new recommendations on the amount of added sugar children should consume.

  • Almost half of the added sugar children consume comes from sugar-sweetened beverages. Reducing the intake of these would make a significant impact.
  • The best way to identify added sugars in foods is to consult nutrition labels’ ingredient lists. Parents should look for anything from sugar to fruit juice concentrate to molasses and more.
  • Strong4Life’s team of dietitians suggests fresh real fruit, unsweetened applesauce or a pack of raisins as great snacks that bring nutrition along with natural sweetness.


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Bluehair Technology Group - BSA 1116

Even though their mother had barely so much as turned on a computer, Jane Ratliff and her brother were convinced a tablet would make a great gift for her 86th birthday. After a few months of putting her education and training skills to use, Jane had helped her mother learn how to send emails, keep up with friends and family on social media and play games.

The realization that there was a whole generation of adults cut off from popular technology simply because no one had shown them how to use it is what led Jane to create Bluehair Technology Group. The Atlanta-based nonprofit offers books and PDF quick-start g

uides to help seniors get going with their new gadgets. With the help of volunteers and trainers, Bluehair brings hands-on programs that help seniors learn how to navigate smart phones, tablets and social networking to independent-living communities throughout the city.


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Dermaplaning - BSA 1116

Day-to-day, dead skin cells accumulate on the skin’s surface. These dead skin cells can not only trap oil, cause clogged pores and make skin appear dull but can also prevent your favorite beauty products from penetrating the skin. According to Dermani Med Spa, Dermaplaning is an exfoliation method that involves using a scalpel to closely “shave” away those dead skin cells and fine hairs, leaving behind a bright, glowing complexion. Unlike other exfoliation methods, such as chemical peels, Dermaplaning requires no downtime and is even safe for pregnant women.


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By Nyssa Green, professional makeup artist

Ukies - BSA 1116Style and comfort … can the two exist in a high heel? According to Atlanta-based shoe brand Ukies, the answer is “Yes!” Husband-and-wife duo Umaesh and Kavita Khaitan are passionate about creating a better life and, in turn, a better planet—and they’re starting with shoes! “We have seen innovation in phones and everything else, but no innovation had been made here,” says Kavita, the company’s creative director.  The secret to their shoes is nanoGel® technology. Umaesh used his engineering background to develop a gel layer that’s added to the shoe to provide comfort not normally seen in shoes. As simple as it sounds, there’s a lot of science, podiatry, technology and style that goes into the making of their luxury shoes. Ukies talks the talk and definitely walks the walk! They’ve made it possible to look good and feel great in heels again!

Details: Foot Solutions, 6307 Roswell Rd., Atlanta;

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Jesse Itzler - Center Street - BSA 1116

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s (MJCCA) book festival returns for its 25th anniversary November 5–20. Look out for local authors there like Jesse Itzler. Jesse will present his recently released memoir, Living With a Seal, which chronicles his journeys of trying almost anything, such as offering to run a 100-mile race in SPANX® to get the attention of the beautiful founder of the company, Sara Blakely, and later marrying her and much more.


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Readers were invited to share their stories of transformation while overcoming difficulty for the chance to be awarded the Best Self Atlanta Magazine Courage Award created by House of Payne Personal Training at the 2016 Lee Haney Games. Eric Montgomery’s and Miranda Karasch’s continued dedication to becoming their best selves is why they are the winners of this year’s Courage Award.

Eric Montgomery - BSA 1116

Eric Montgomery

Eric Montgomery’s journey to health began in 2012. He had just turned 53 and found himself on a myriad of prescriptions.

“I weighed 234 pounds and wasn’t involved in any type of physical activity. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and as much as I wanted,” says Montgomery.

Realizing the severity of his condition, he decided to make a change. “I started slowly with light cardio and weight routines,” says Montgomery. Eventually Eric ended up losing two inches off his waist and dropping down to 212 pounds.

He then went on to enter a FitTrip Challenge—a 12-week fitness and nutrition contest conducted by Corporate Sports Unlimited. “During the contest, my body fat percentage dropped from 17.8 to 13.1 percent. I lost 11 pounds of fat and gained three pounds of muscle,” explains Montgomery. To his surprise, he emerged as the men’s winner for his gym, 191 Resolution Fitness, and winner of the 2016 Achievement Award.

“I am no longer a high-blood pressure or high-cholesterol patient. I am down to one pill for diabetes, taking insulin only as needed, which is not that often. That’s my story of inspiration and success,” says Montgomery with pride.




Miranda Karasch - BSA 1116Miranda Karasch

In December 2014, Miranda Karasch was the heaviest she’d ever been. “I was tired, stressed out and severely unhappy,” says Karasch. She decided to dedicate a year of her life to focusing on improving her fitness and health.

“I wish I could say I fell in love with the process immediately, but I didn’t. It took four months of working with a personal trainer for something to start shifting,” says Karasch. She began to gain momentum. “I wanted to get better, get stronger, lift more—and I got sick of listening to my own excuses. My mental transformation began and, soon after, so did my physical one.”

Even the heart-breaking end of her 13-year marriage couldn’t slow down her progress. “The gym became my safe place. Training was my one constant, my therapy,” says Karasch. In May of 2016, she was offered the opportunity to expand her business to the state of Georgia. Her biggest concern? Finding a new gym.

“Deciding to invest in me to become the best version of myself strengthened not only my body but also my mind and my spirit. The best part is that I’m not done and I never will be,” says Karasch.

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