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Home Sweet Home Celebrating Atlanta
Did you know it’s been almost 20 years since Atlanta last hosted the Super Bowl? Super Bowl XXXIV was hosted at the Georgia Dome in 2000. This year, the gorgeous new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is hosting the Big Game for the first time. My wife and I won’t be attending the game — why deal with the traffic when we have a huge flat screen at home? — but as we discussed the upcoming Super Bowl, I realized that I reached an important milestone. Even though I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, I will no longer be cheering for the Ravens. My loyalty belongs solely to the Atlanta Falcons. This was when I realized that Atlanta had truly become my home. I moved to Atlanta shortly after my wife and I got married. We’d met in South Carolina, and at the time, Kaori was working for Bellsouth. The company approached her about relocating to Atlanta for work. Since we both wanted to live in a big city with southern hospitality, we decided to give Atlanta a try. I was in my late 20s when we first moved, and I pictured Atlanta as a fun, diverse city with a lot of stuff to do. I’m originally from Baltimore, up in the rust belt. You don’t get to see a lot of growth there. That’s an area whose heyday seems to be long in the past. Don’t get me wrong, my hometown holds a special place in my heart; it was a good place to grow up. But right from the start I could see a future in Atlanta. Over the last two decades, I’ve watched the city grow, and I don’t just mean with three new sports stadiums.
It’s thanks to the tremendous growth we’ve experienced that all kinds of industries are able to flourish here. There’s a reason this city is becoming a leader in finance, technology, music, and film. Everyone here is optimistic, driven, and full of ambition. Atlanta is a great place to be and offers huge opportunities. I see Atlanta differently today than I did when we first moved here. Every city has its problems, but overall, I think Atlanta has the makings of a top-five city. This is a great place to be with amazing opportunities around every corner. I’m excited to be part of the city’s growth and run my practice here. And above all else, I’m proud to call Atlanta my home. -David Brauns
“There’s an energy in Atlanta that I love.”
There’s an energy in Atlanta that I love. One cool thing about Atlanta is how much the people who live here want to be here. So many people here are transplants, drawn to the city by the mild winters, low cost of living, and the many opportunities that are opening up here. Sure, this means the traffic gets worse, but it also means that every day you can meet motivated people who have big dreams.
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Safe and Sweet
Allergy-Friendly Valentines for Your Child’s Classmates
For a parent of a child with allergies, every day can feel like a battle with food labels and ingredients lists — and Valentine’s Day only exacerbates this fear. Avoid the danger of an allergic reaction on Valentine’s Day by creating alternative, candy-free valentines that the whole class will enjoy! Get Creative This valentine idea taps into your kids’ desire to create by using commonly found household items. Have your children draw pictures, create cards, mold tiny sculptures, or braid together friendship bracelets to create one-of-a-kind gifts that will be safe for their classmates to enjoy. Kids can put their own effort into gift-giving, and their valentines will have a personal touch candy cannot replicate. Think Like a Kid If you’re looking for a creative valentine that will be safe for all your child’s friends to play with, check no further than the toy aisle of your local dollar store. While being mindful of latex allergies, you can purchase little toys that kids will love that
won’t break your bank. Think bouncy balls, mini skateboards, Army men, yo-yos, puzzles, rubber ducks, hand-held games, markers, or bubbles. Adorn these little gifts with yarn, ribbons, or personalized tags, and slap on cute sayings to make them fit for the holiday. Finish off the masterpiece by having your kiddo sign their name on each valentine, and you’ve got a kid- approved Valentine’s Day favorite. Fancy Up Some Fruit If you’re worried about food allergies but still want to make a yummy treat, ask your child’s teacher for a list of students’ allergies, then just work around them. Fruits are usually a safe bet, but it’s best to double check. You could skewer strawberries and heart-shaped pieces of watermelon onto kabob sticks for a sweet and fun snack, or pass out goody bags with apples, bananas, and clementines. Offering a group snack that is allergy- friendly will keep your children and their friends safe and healthy, and it can also help children with allergies feel included in the festivities.
As with all Valentine’s Day gifts, keep in mind that it’s not the item or money spent that means the most. It’s the thought behind each gift that makes receiving valentines the sweetest part.
DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT
“I loved the focus on the one-to-one customer-to-client experience. Your calls are not routed to a receptionist or a paralegal, which I really loved! Whenever I called, I either spoke directly to Attorney Brauns, left a voicemail message, or emailed his office with a question and/or concern, and I always received a response in a timely manner.” –Erika P. “Mr .Brauns is the BEST! He and his staff are CARING, UNDERSTANDING, AND THOROUGH! I would recommend him to anyone! I absolutely love his service!” -Latonya W.
“I just can’t say enough about David Brauns. David did an amazing job with my husband’s case. I knew from the start he was the right attorney for us, because the day we called him he took the time to meet with us. Wait, did I mention it was a Saturday? There was no long, drawn-out appointment to be made. We asked if we could see him as soon as possible ,and he said, “How about today?” From that day on, he hit the ground running. He took the time to listen and answered any questions. He explained the process. David communicated with us himself. There was no paralegal calling or emailing us. It was David. David was fully engaged in every step. David showed empathy for our family. He went above and beyond to make sure my husband was receiving the best treatment for his injuries. He was awesome to work with and if the opportunity ever arises, I will certainly work with him again and again. I am happy to have met him, and I thank him for restoring what someone took from us: a peace of mind.” – Lisa C.
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MORE IMPORTANT THAN WINNING
Youth sports are one of the most important activities kids can participate in. Sports encourage physical fitness and foster teamwork, work ethic, and resilience. Kids who play sports experience a kind of personal growth their peers who don’t participate in sports miss out on. But youth sports can also be dangerous if winning is prioritized over a young athlete’s well-being.
a concussion. Even if your child is playing a sport that doesn’t require a mouthguard, like soccer, encourage them to wear one.
Even the best equipment won’t protect against all concussions, so it’s important that the adults involved are aware of the risks and ready to act appropriately. Most youth concussions go untreated. If a young athlete appears to be suffering from a concussion during practice or a game, their coach should be prepared to pull them out so they can get the medical care they need. Likewise, parents need to be aware of the pressure they are putting on their children. It’s important to encourage a drive to succeed, but that drive shouldn’t come at the cost of ignoring warning signs and jeopardizing personal well-being. Make sure athletes know they will not be judged for coming forward if they are worried that they may be experiencing a concussion after a hard hit, even if that means they have to sit out the rest of the big game.
The Biggest Mistake in Youth Sports
School-sanctioned sports are the biggest cause of concussions in kids
and teenagers. The Brain Trauma Foundation estimates 3.8 million athletes suffer from a concussion every year, and most go untreated. Far more than just a “bump on the head,” concussions are traumatic brain injuries, and they can negatively impact a young person’s ability to focus, alter their personality, and potentially lead to long-term brain damage. The sports with the highest risk for concussions are football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey. Concussions are a risk in high-contact sports, but there are ways to reduce this risk. Make sure your athlete wears properly fitted equipment, including helmets, shoulder pads, and a mouthguard. Mouthguards, which do more than protect the teeth, take pressure off the jaw and are incredibly important in reducing the impact of
There are risks in youth sports, but when proper care is employed, the risk can be minimized and the rewards can be great.
WORD SEARCH February
VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIE CARDS
Ingredients • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour • 3/4 cup sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into
• 1/2-inch cubes • 2 large egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • Royal icing, sprinkles, and edible markers, for decorating
Directions 1. Heat oven to 375 F.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour with sugar and salt. Add butter and combine using a mixer at low speed, until butter breaks down into small, crumbly pieces. Increase mixing speed to medium and mix until butter and flour clump. 3. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract to bowl, return mixer to low, and mix until dough congeals. 4. Carefully roll dough into a sheet 1/16-inch thick and cut into 4x6-inch cards. 5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake cookie cards for 6 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 6. Let cookies cool completely, decorate, and distribute. Inspired by Food & Wine magazine.
AQUARIUS CHOCOLATE FEBRUARY LEAP ROSES YEAR
ARROW CUPID FLOWERS LOVE SWEET CANDY
DATE HEART PISCES VALENTINE
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What Makes Atlanta Amazing
What Some of Our Clients Are Saying
Are Young Athletes in Danger?
Valentine’s Day Cookie Cards
3 Ways Nature Improves Your Health
A Walk in the Woods Is the Prescription
AMood Boost Observing the benefits nature has for cognitive function, scientists wondered what effects it might have on individuals diagnosed with depression. In one study from the University of Essex, participants with major depressive disorder reported an improvement in self-esteem and mood after spending time in nature. Exercising while in nature resulted in even more of a mood boost for participants. A Calming Effect Research also shows that spending time in nature reduces stress. In a study conducted by Chiba University in Japan, participants spent two nights in the forest. Researchers evaluated their levels of stress hormones during and after this period and compared it to their normal work days in the city. Across the board, participants’ stress levels were much lower during the days spent in the forest and for several days afterward. Today, we’re less connected to our natural environment than our ancestors were. Modern comforts and technology mean we don’t have to go outside to get our food. But nature is still accessible and you don’t have to go far to find it. In many of the studies, even minor exposure to the outdoors, like adding plants to your home or looking out a window during work, showed health benefits. This winter, find ways to bring a little more nature into your life each day. Your brain will thank you.
3 Ways Contact With Nature Improves Your Health
Our ancestors were deeply connected to their natural environment, mostly because their survival depended on it. With no Whole Foods available, those who could best track a mammoth, find water, and forage for edible plants kept themselves alive and passed on their genes. Given our history as hunter-gatherers, it’s no wonder contact with nature provides us with several health benefits. A Memory Boost In a University of Michigan study, a group of students were asked to take a memory test that involved repeating numbers back to researchers. Next, researchers separated the students into two groups. Group A took a walk around an arboretum and Group B walked along busy city streets. Afterward, they were asked to take the memory test again. Group A, the students who had walked in the arboretum, performed 20 percent better on the memory test. Group B didn’t show any marked improvement. Additional research has corroborated the memory-enhancing effects of nature.
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