Lauren Smith_Pippen_Fix Georgia PetsThey know they’re cute – they just can’t manage the selfie stick by themselves. Give your pets a hand a snap a selfie of the two of you together for our second annual Best Pet Selfie contest. Between May 15 and May 31, send your pet selfies to us at or upload them  to our website. Then from June 15 to June 30, vote on Facebook for the cutest pics. The top three winners (determined by total votes on Facebook) will receive up to $500 for their pet-related charity, plus a prize package to pamper their pets.


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BSA - May Best Health 1Driving home from dinner, you glance over at your husband, and you know something isn’t right. His right arm appears limp – paralyzed , even. His speech is slurred and his mouth is drooping. What’s happening.

The First Minute

During a stroke, a blood vessel responsible for taking oxygen and nutrients to the brain is affected in one of two ways. Hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel bursts. The more common type is ischemic stroke, a clot blocks a blood vessel, and blood can’t get to the brain. “In ischemic strokes, the brain may continue to get some blood through back channels,” Dr. Lakhanpal says. “That may allow the tissue to survive for tens of minutes to a few hours.” But every minute that goes by, two million brain cells die. That’s why experts say that “time lost is brain lost.” It’s also why it’s important to get help right away.

The First Hour 

For people who have had an ischemic stroke, a drug called IPA can be give to bust the clot. The first hour after the onset of symptoms is known as the “golden hour.” That’s when the drug has shown the most benefit, helping to restore blood flow and to prevent further cognitive and physical problems.

The First Three Hours 

While getting treatment within the first hour is best, the window might be a little wider for some. “The clot-busting drug IPA is approved for use up to three hours.” Dr. Lakhanpal says, “and in some patients, it show some benefits up to 4.5 hours.” So if you think someone is having a stroke, don’t wait to see whether the symptoms go away on their own. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of long=term brain damage and death.

Gwinnett Medical Center is a nationally recognized leader in stroke care, with multiple accreditations and awards. Their comprehensive program includes having one of the best door-to-tPA times in the state, a dedicated neuroscience team and a leading acute rehabilitation program at Glancy Rehabilitation Center. To learn more, visit

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Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 1.45.09 PMWhen it comes to running, you’re never too young to start! That’s the philosophy behind the Peachtree Jr., a kid-focused version of the famed Peachtree Road Race. Children ages 7 to 14 can tackle the 3K. Kids ages 5 to 9 are the perfect size to try the 1/2K. And for your tiniest track stars 6 and under, the 50 meter dash is perfect. Each race option takes place in Piedmont Park on May 16, rain or shine, so register today!

Details: Registration ranges from $10 to $25, 

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Smith, Maria IMG_0201 8x10Blogger at Mamlicious Maria Maria Smith is here to share her best advice for mothering four young children.

What is an enjoyable part of mothering children at this stage? 

Little kids love their mama. They run to me at school pickup and are happier to see me than anyone else in my life. They are so open with their love!

What is a challenge of this stage? 

Being a mom of little kids is physically hard – I tend to have a child on my hip for most of the day. Lack of sleep, organization and privacy come with the territory.

What is the biggest misconception people have about this stage? 

People think it’s all play dates and crafty Saturdays, but they don’t understand that those play dates and projects might end in temper tantrums or a huge mess. Most people don’t understand the extreme amount of patience that is necessary.

How can Best Self readers support moms in their own lives? 

Do the same type of things you did when she first had her baby:  bring her a meal, offer to fold her laundry, take her kids to the park so she can shower alone. Even if her “baby” is 2, she still needs everyday help.


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McKenna, MD, Mark_need credDr. Mark McKenna from ShapeMed by Life Time answers a reader’s question about Botox.

Q: I’m interested in trying Botox. How often should I expect to have injections? 

A: Botox typically is administered every three to four months. Allergan, Inc., the manufacturer of Botox, recommends treatment every three months. In practice, however, we recognize that each patient is different, so evaluation and treatment must be tailored to fit the needs of the individual. It is not uncommon for patients who have been receiving Botox regularly for a period of years to experience a benefit for five to six months.


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Madison JamesDon’t leave home without it! When you hear that phrase, you automatically think car keys or maybe your cell phone. Yes, those are important, but what about adding exercise bands to that list? Yes, I said exercise bands!

I know it can be so hard to find time to work out, so make it fit in your life. If you travel, work crazy hours or only have 20 minutes of free time, grab your bands and work out. This is a very affordable and low-impact way to stay healthy and tone. Great places to buy exercise bands are TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Target, and most pre-boxed bands come with simple exercises to get you started. You can find great deals or less than $10 – workout equipment does not have to break the bank. PhotoGrid_1425440578908

Once you get your bands, start by standing on your band with feet shoulder width apart. From this starting point, you can do bicep curls, shoulders press, squats and abs. It’s a great, simple workout no matter where you are. So the next time you walk out that door, make sure you have your cell phone, keys and exercise bands.

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By Laura Carson Miller

BSA - May Best Beauty 1The Word on Everyone’s Lips 

Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips is a multitasking serum that’s lightweight but truly packs a punch. Not only does it treat vertical lip lines and wrinkles with collagen support complex, it also helps them look plumper and fuller using mustard sprout to boost circulation. What’s more, it moisturizes with hyaluronic acid and shea butter and can be used under lipstick, gloss or balm.

Details: Pick it up at Sephora, Ulta or Massage Envy Spa locations,$24,

BSA - Best Beauty 4Serving Up Beauty 

Atlantan Sha’Donna O’Neal named her hair care line “Nancy’s Kitchen Products” after her beloved maternal grandmother and the way her family’s kitchen also served as their beauty parlor. Formulated with natural ingredients, the line offers silk buttercream deep cleansing wash, silk buttercream argan conditioner, deep moisture masque, hair growth oil and a shea olive hair smoothie. Nancy’s Kitchen Products are great for all hair textures, especially those craving moisture.

Details: 1290 Gresham Road #7956, Marietta, GA, (844) 545-6224,

DSS.HungarianMudPicture1Sugaring Adds Spice 

As spring fashions have you showing more skin, get over to see Marlonda Currie at Defined Sugaring Studio. “Sugaring is suitable for men, women and teens with all skin types, hair textures and skin sensitivities,” Currie explains, because this hair-removal process uses only 100 percent natural and biodegradable ingredients: sugar, lemon juice and water. The studio also offers services like their Hungarian Mud mask. Currie says, “That mask is anti-inflammatory while deeply penetrating tissues and clearing stored toxins. This is a must-try mask for clients with ingrown hairs and discoloration.”

Details: 375 Pharr Road, Suite 217. Atlanta, GA, (404) 464-7146,

thehugbox_packageA Hug from Home 

Whether you’re sending your own mom a treat or celebrating one of your mom friends, Atlanta-based thehugbox will pamper the recipient for days after she unwraps the gift. Shoppers can choose from pre-packaged gift boxes filled with fun products for various occasions. This month, try the “Mom’s Day at the Spa” box, the “New Mommy and Me” collection, or the “Nothing Says Home Like Mom” option. That final choice contains products all from Atlanta artisans, such as lip balm from Turnrow Bath, Body & Home, herbal tea from Just Add Hone Tea Company and more, all to help Mom feel beautiful inside and out.

Details: $30 and up,

Smile, It’s Strawberry Season! 

May means strawberries are in season (happy dance!) so in between popping them into your mouth for a healthy and delicious snack, try this simple recipe to put your best smile forward:

BSA - May Best Beauty StrawberriesStrawberry Teeth Whitener

2 ripe strawberries

1/2 tsp baking soda

Remove the leaves and stem, mash strawberries and mix them with the baking soda. Dip your toothbrush into the mixture and brush for two minutes. Malic acid strawberries is a natural stain fighter, while vitamin C makes short work of plaque.

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 Cooper, Meghan IMG_0247 8x10JaMonkey blogger and founder of “Yeah, Let’s Go!” Meghan Cooper is here to share her best advice for mothering young children.

What is an enjoyable part of mothering children at this stage? 

I love that their minds are little sponges. They pick up everything they hear – and I mean everything. I love teaching them about things and getting them interested in things that we enjoy.

What is a challenge of this stage? 

Potty training. It’s the worst. Lots of extra stuff to carry around and icky things to clean.

What is the biggest misconception people have about motherhood? 

That we as mothers have to give things up in order to raise children, or that it takes all our abilities to do so, leaving no time for other aspects of our lives.

Around Mother’s Day this year, what support would be most helpful to you? 

Support from my partner to go have a mom’s vacation. Moms don’t get sick days or time off. We are always “on,” so it would be great to be able to disconnect and unwind for some adult nurturing.

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This month, the Advisory Board members share their memorable client and patient success stories. 

IMG_6509 high resDr. Brian Maloney | Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Fitting the Image 

“Wow!” That’s the reaction most of Dr. Brian Maloney’s patients have after a procedure or treatment with him. “I have the best job in the world,” he says, remembering one young girl in particular. “She was very overweight. She came in and said, ‘If I can get my face more in line with my image, I feel that I can shed this weight.’ So even though she was a young girl, I wound up doing a facelift on her because of all the loose tissue she had. It was probably about eight years later that this skinny girl walked into my office - she had lost 250 pounds. It was just so exciting to see.”

Even Dr. Maloney’s own mother is an example of the unexpected benefits of his work. “My mom came in from rural Ohio, and I did the works on her. When she went home, my dad called me up and said, “What did you do to your mother? She’s running around here with more energy than I’ve seen in years!’ “That energy boost, Dr. Maloney says, comes from looking the mirror and feeling like your best. “That’s something I offer to people every single day.” he says.

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BSA - May Give-back CHarMWe’ve all been there – you’re cleaning out the closet, and you come across that old phone charger that won’t charge anything these days or your printer that’s long outdated, and you’re stuck. These aren’t the most useful items to donate, and surely they don’t belong in the garbage, but they also seem out of place next to your glass bottles and cardboard in this week’s recycling.

As of April 18, the place you need is now open in Atlanta: The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials. CHaRM, as it’s known, is Atlanta’s first permanent facility to recycle those household items straddling that confusing line between recycling and trash. Styrofoam? Check. Printer cartridges? Yep. Furniture? Sure! CHaRM accepts these items and more, such as batteries, textiles, light bulbs and other household items completely free. For a small fee (ranging from $2 to $10, depending on the item), the center can also accept gallons of old paint, electronics, tires, mattresses, appliances, toilets, thermometers, smoke detectors and more.

And the best part of CHaRM? you can make it a one-stop-shop and also drop off your shoes, books, musical instruments, sports equipment, bikes and more, which the center will distribute to local nonprofits and other groups in need. The moral of the story here is to think before you toss something because now, more likely than not, you have a better option than the trash. Drop off your recyclables and donations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Details: 1110 Hill St., Atlanta, GA,

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