Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happenings in Norcross

Whistle Stop Farmer’s Market - 5/17 through 10/11/11, 4-8pm
Two words:  FRESH, LOCAL.  Stroll through this open air market every Tuesday evening at Thrasher Park.  As a farm stand / locally-grown junky, I have to say this is pretty impressive.  The wares go above and beyond produce too.  Stock up on healthy homemade baked goods, meats, cheeses, dairy products, jams and jellies.  Yum!

Strawberry Stroll - Saturday 5/28/11, 11-3pm
Word on the street is this will be a berry good time.  Visit downtown Norcross for all things strawberry.  Main attractions:  live music (yay!!!), bake sales, strawberry ice cream, upscale shopping, delicious strawberry-inspired chef's specials at the various restaurants and of course STRAWBERRIES!  Locally-grown, fresh and pesticide-free strawberries no less.

And, after all that eating, why not walk/jog/sprint it off for a good cause?  It’s not too late to sign up for the Strawberry Stroll 5K.  All 5K proceeds go to Kingdom Kids, an organization that grants wishes for children facing challenging times and health issues.

Summer Concert Series - 5/30/11 through 9/2/11, 7:30-9:30pm
Pack a cooler, bring some chairs and come relax under the stars with neighbors and friends at Thrasher Park.  You’ll hear everything from cover bands (Eagles, Journey, Elton John, Sinatra, Jimmy Buffet) to country, R&B, to pop.  I can’t think of a more perfect way to unwind Friday night after a busy week.  Admission is free!  For table reservations and info, please contact Rip Robertson via  See you there!

Independence Day Celebration - 7/3/11, 4-9:30pm
Come celebrate our Independence with fellow patriots.  Fireworks at dusk.  Food, fun, the whole nine yards!

Bluesberry Festival - 7/9/11, 5-1am 
No, that’s not a typo.  I mean the music not the fruit.  Actually, I meant BOTH. You won’t want to miss this.  Two great things collide equaling one really great night on the town.  Come early and purchase locally-grown blueberries but be sure to stick around.  With three spots to listen to some blues (Iron Horse, 45 South Café and Mojitos), you’ll want to stay out until last call!  Get a baby sitter and put this on the calendar!   

British Car Fayre - 9/10/11, 10-3pm 
British motorists and enthusiasts unite at this most proper event!  There is no charge for the general public.  Car registration is optional.  Fees:  $15/car, $10/additional cars and $10/motorcycles. The fees collected help fund local charity Rainbow Village – a Duluth based organization assisting homeless families with children.  Great cause!  Learn more:

Come check out this year’s assortment of 130+ British rides and enjoy some oldies courtesy of 106.7 with Randy, Spiff, Greg Talmadge et al.

Food to get you in the mood: 45 South Café (a “JINNY’S FAVORITE”) will be serving afternoon tea complete with scones and Devon Cream (noon – 4pm) and The Iron Horse Tavern will be selling to-go “Ploughman’s lunch” (pork pie, cheese, pickled onion and a Branston pickle). Could there be a better incentive for a Thrasher Park picnic?!

Norcross Art Festival -11/1 & 11/2/11 
While smaller than Dogwood or Yellow Daisy, Norcross Art Festival is an intimate venue that attracted more than 50,000 visitors in 2010.  Almost 200 artisans exhibit their creations for two days right here in Historic Norcross.  Everything under the sun is on display/available for purchase; sculptures, jewelry, pottery, photography, paintings and more. I bet you can’t leave without buying something!  Enjoy!

Almost in your backyard!

Where:  Dunwoody Nature Center 
5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody 30338 
MARTA Accessibility:  YES!  Rte 150 will take you to DNC and Rte 129 comes pretty close.  Check MARTA website for schedules/maps. 
Dog Friendly:  YES!   (Two obvious rules apply: dog must  be leashed and owner must “clean up”.) 
Hours:  7 days a week, 7am to sundown
For more info:  (770) 394-3322 or 

Their website sums it up nicely:  Dunwoody Park is beautiful in every season. Turn into our lane, walk through the woods, and enjoy Dunwoody's hidden treasure. So much is happening at Dunwoody Nature Center.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself!

The truth is, there’s no easier way to get close to nature.  This is an amazing and FREE spot to visit for Dunwoodians and all locals who enjoy exploring outdoors.  The park first “opened its doors” in the mid 70’s as a part of America’s Bicentennial celebration.  Thanks to numerous Dunwoody volunteers, DeKalb Parks & Recreation and the US Forestry Service, the Nature Center hosts 25,000 visitors and 8,000 program participants each year.  The Nature Center was incorporated in 1992 and relies solely on private funding and programs generated revenue.  Something to think about:  Dunwoody Nature Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  Donations of $100 or more include membership. Any amount over $50 is tax deductible.

On any given day, the park is chock full of fellow nature lovers, helpful volunteers and other friends.  Expect, or at least hope, to meet a Barred Owl, a Red-Tailed Hawk, a Cooper’s Hawk, an Alligator Snapping Turtle, opossums, squirrels and other miscellaneous rabbits and birds.  Don’t forget to visit the gardens.  The Gateway Garden, The Rock Garden, The Native Plant Garden and Wet Meadow all offer something unique and beautiful.  *JINNY’S TIP* -  Bring the camera!  Take a couple minutes to learn more about composting and Vermicomposting (composting with worms & micro-organisms).  Don’t miss the Wetlands Boardwalk and the serene babbling of Wildcat Creek.
Summer programs currently being offered:
Summer Camp
A full day camp running June through August, M-F 9:30-3:30
Welcoming campers grades K-5th

Weekly Mini Camp
Daily camp running from 9:30-12:30
Welcoming little campers ages 3 and 4
Early AM and Late Afternoon Classes
Extending the outdoor fun for campers and non-campers alike.
The Nature Centers invites your little outdoor enthusiast to Breakfast with the Birds (8:15 – 9:15am) and Games of Strategy and Cooperative Team Building (3:45 – 5:00pm).  Check website for price and availability.

What other year-round programs does the park have to offer?  To name a few:  Nature classes, school field trips, scouting field trips (Many clinics meet badge requirements!), overnight and evening programs for scouts and other youth groups, adult classes, homeschooler classes, children’s birthday parties, nature hikes and much, much more. 

The Dunwoody Nature Center is a budget friendly, pet friendly, close to home, breath of fresh air outing no one should miss.  So log-off, grab some sunscreen and water and go see for yourself!  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

To carpet, or not to carpet (the bathroom), that is the question!

Carpet in bathrooms.  Three words that surely send a chill down the spines of Realtors everywhere.  As a Realtor, I know it's as much an asset to a house as being built on an ancient Indian burial ground.
When it comes to bathroom flooring, the possibilities really are endless.  So many choices:  tile, vinyl, engineered wood, hard wood, laminate, linoleum.  And the list goes on.  But wait, what about carpet, you ask.  While a lot of buyers give two thumbs down to the notion of stepping out of the shower onto someone else's hand-me-down wall-to-wall bath mat, it is still everywhere.  Especially, for some reason, in master bathrooms.  Coupled with brass fixtures and shell-shaped toilet seat lids, almost nothing screams "OUT" more. 

Made popular in the late 70's and 80's, wall-to-wall carpet covered virtually every floor surface in our homes.  Gleaming hardwoods were hidden and immaculate ceramic tile was banished.   But those days are over and hardwood flooring is seemingly back to stay.  Folks love the rich warmth of oak, the elegance of cherry and the rustic appeal of hickory.  I am personally a maple girl.  I just love it.

However, as a cost effective alternative for builders and homeowners alike, carpet is still very mainstream.  At as little as $1.00 / sq ft, it remains quite popular.  The trick, however, is selecting the right product for your home and lifestyle.  Especially for the bathroom!  

If you simply must carpet a bathroom or powder room, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

1.  Plush, natural fibers (read: wool) retain the most moisture.  Therefore, something synthetic is far better option.  Hint:  nylon yard has just become your best friend!
2.  As with any room in the house, proper padding (stay tuned - more to come about padding) and cleaning treatments are crucial.  Regular vacuuming and occasional steam cleaning are recommended. 
3.  Be sure to select carpet that is water, mildew and stain resistant. 
4.  Carpet backing should protect padding from any spills and moisture.
5.  Lay a (washable, please) bathmat on top of the carpet.  Step on it when exiting shower/tub to reduce water contact with carpet.
6.  If budget allows, it is highly recommended that you install bathroom carpet on a concrete sub floor.  If you are unable, products such as Wonderboard will suffice. 
7.  Consider modular flooring tiles rather than actual wall-to-wall.  Tiles are, so they say, easily laid and removed.  I like the sound of that!  Visit for details.
8.  Investigate using indoor/outdoor carpet.  It's rubber backing deflects moisture and eliminates the potential for mold and mildew.

If you are reading this and you are a fan of carpeted bathrooms, I hope you learned a thing or two.  May your carpet provide many years of warmth and comfort! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stage like a pro!

Everyone knows the power of the paintbrush.  Of course you should vacuum too.  Oh, and de-clutter while you're at it.  And, for a while there, the aroma of baking cookies wafting from the kitchen, was a popular tactic.  But home staging goes a bit beyond the obvious.  Especially now.  Especially in this competitive market. 

What continues to amaze me (among other things) is the seller's lack of concern for the exterior!  Sagging, overloaded gutters send buyers running the other way.  If a seller can't be bothered to weed their flower beds, who on earth should believe they've had their HVAC serviced in the past decade.  Ratty, past-their-prime doormats are anything but welcoming.  Overlooking these details sends a clear message to prospective buyers:  "Skip this house!".

Staging doesn't have to cost a fortune but it will make a difference.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas Lights Recycling Program

It's that time of year again.  The time of year when all the holiday decorations are banished to either the attic or the basement.  If you're anything like me, it's also the time to organize, part with broken ornaments and sort through strands of Christmas tree lights.  There is finally something we can do with old/nonfunctioning lights.  A friend of mine passed along this link to me.  I think it's a GREAT idea:

Furthermore, this program benefits a charity near and dear to me - Toys For Tots.
Keeps a little more out of landfills AND gives to the tots!
Two birds, one stone!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A new addition for 2011?

What better way to start the new year!  I can't think of a better place to fall in love than Atlanta Humane Society...  I came across Mr. Cody today and thought I'd spread the word - THIS GUYS NEEDS A FAMILY!  He also needs plenty of love and understanding.  Please pass this along if you know someone in the market for a wonderful, loyal companion.

Looking for something smaller, bigger, a cat?  Follow this link and get acquainted with all the guys and gals looking for a forever home:

Wonderful (and EASY) appetizer

Wanted to share this delicious appetizer I made for several parties this holiday season. 
It's super yummy and can easily be prepared low-cal.


1 15-oz. carton whole milk ricotta cheese (Jinny used reduced fat...)
6 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 tsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 1/8 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 Tbsp. honey
36 toasted baguette slices (Jinny used both white and whole grain baguette - prefered the whole grain!)

Sliced apples, more fresh thyme, and/or toasted walnuts - set aside
Honey - set aside


1. Place ricotta in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in Gorgonzola, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon rosemary until combined. Fold in 1 tablespoon honey until just combined. Spoon mixture into a serving bowl. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours. Makes 36 appetizer servings.

2. To serve, spread on baguette slices and top with apple slices, thyme, and/or walnuts. Drizzle with honey.