Roe’ing for a Cause: Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia

LuLaRoe clothing is one of the year’s most popular clothing brands for women and girls, and today, women in Macon have the opportunity to shop LuLaRoe for a good cause.

Today, Thursday, November 17th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., there will be a LuLaRoe clothing pop up sale at 915 Hill Park, Suite 100C, in Macon, hosted by LuLaRoe consultant Kayla Blades and benefiting the Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia.

LuLaRoe's Carly dress
LuLaRoe’s Carly dress

The Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia is a non-profit organization that provides support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They provide a broad range of services, including legal and financial help, planning assistance and shelter for families needing to escape abuse, access to counseling and support groups, and community education programming.

The Crisis Line and Safe House operates through a combination of local, state, and federal grants, as well as through donations made by members of our community. Their services are free to families and individuals in need. Purchases of LuLaRoe clothing items made through today’s sale, which also be available on Facebook at LulaRoe Kayla Blades, will benefit the Crisis Line and Safe House and families in our community.

LuLaRoe leggings come in sizes to fit little girls up to the curvy woman, and each pair is buttery soft.
LuLaRoe leggings come in sizes to fit little girls up to the curvy woman, and each pair is buttery soft.

LuLaRoe is popular for many reasons: their clothing is beautifully designed in a wide range of sizes that can fit most women. Their fabrics are soft, especially their leggings, which are often described as “buttery,” and rightfully so! They also come in awesome patterns: from holiday themes to fanciful “hobby” designs (like bicycles, books, and animals), and lots of geometric patterns.

The LuLaRoe Nicole dress comes in a variety of patters and fabrics, perfect for work or weekend wear.
The LuLaRoe Nicole dress comes in a variety of patters and fabrics, perfect for work or weekend wear.

One of the most popular design trends for women is pattern mixing, and LuLaRoe saleswomen are excellent at helping you find the right patterns to make a great outfit.

Today is a great opportunity to try on LuLaRoe in person, and support the work of the Crisis Line and Safe House in their mission of helping make Central Georgia families safer.

The pop up sale is today, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at 915 Hill Park, Suite 100C, in Macon. Hill Park is located at the bottom of Coleman Hill, off Spring Street. If you can’t come try on clothes, check out the Facebook page, where you can shop November 17-18 to benefit the Crisis Line and Safe House, at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lularoekaylablades.

For more information about the Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia, please visit http://cl-sh.org.

Azul Salon and Spa: North Macon’s relaxation destination

Azul Salon and Spa is tucked into a little shopping center on Arkwright Road, just off Interstate I-75 north of Macon. It’s a surprisingly airy space, with natural lighting and a subdued palette, perfect for relaxing. The original works of local and regional artists decorate the walls.

Azul Lobby in Macon
Azul Salon and Spa serves all your style and rejuvenation needs. Photo by Doug Deal.

At Azul, the options are seemingly endless. The salon services vary by stylist and include everything from color to keratin treatments. The spa services include basics like manicure and pedicure, massages, basic facial waxing, and facials. Azul also offers more specialized services such as gel nail treatments,  microdermabrasion, hot stone massage, body waxing, and permanent makeup application.

One of the best feature of Azul is that each stylist works in his or her own private space. One of my favorite features of Azul is that the staff members are there for their customers. Nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting in a hair or nail chair while two or more stylists have a private conversation over your head. At Azul, the customers are the focus of attention, whether it’s your first time or you are a “regular.”

Stylist Lee Tillman specializes in curly hair, cuts, and hair coloring. One of his most unique style techniques uses undercuts with cut-in designs. He introduced us to Azul through his Facebook photos of his hair design work.

I got a far less edgy cut, long layers. My son, Sam, who is 8, also got a long shaggy ‘do, swept over the eyes. Lee talked to Sam to find out what kind of style he wanted, and he delivered. My daughter, Bell, who is 5, got a long, angled bob. Lee gave my husband a great, short professional style.

A few weeks later, I returned to Azul to find the same friendly staff greeting me at the door. After several stressful days, my neck, back, and shoulders were so tight that a deep breath hurt. I wanted a Swedish massage, and I was pleased that I could get an appointment the same day with massage therapist Tommika Clark.

I’ve had many spa massages, and Tommika is one of the best massage therapists I’ve experienced. She did a great job identifying the muscles groups that were tight, and then finding the right location to massage to release the knots in the muscles. It was a relaxing experience, and I enjoyed her work so much that I purchased a three-massage package when I left, so that I could come back. My second massage was as therapeutic and the first.

I don’t usually get salon nail services, but I wanted to experience as many of Azul’s services as possible, and so I made two separate trips to manicurist Megan Hayes. Like all of Azul’s services, manicures and pedicures are done in a private room. Megan was easy to talk to, and she helped me decide what I might like for my nails. She took the time to explain to me the difference between the different nail polishes, including gel nails. For my toes, I chose regular nail polish, but for my fingernails, I chose to try gel polish. I loved the look, feel, and durability of gel polish, and since I don’t routinely wear them, I didn’t notice any adverse effect on my nails or cuticles after the gel was removed.

Azul is a comfortable retreat, where you can relax in an intimate atmosphere and enjoy being the center of your stylists’ attention. I have enjoyed each of my visits. I didn’t call very far in advance to make my appointments: although I recommend scheduling your salon and spa services at least a week in advance, I was able to get same-day appointments for both of my massages, my manicure, and my pedicure. I also found their prices to be competitive with other local salons and spas, and their staff was exceptional.

To find more information about the services and prices at Azul Salon and Spa, check their website, http://azulsalonandspa.com.

 

 

Movie review: Doctor Strange explores the paranormal side of superheores

Comic book movies have taken the world by storm. By now, you’ve probably heard that Doctor Strange has opened around theaters in the United States. While this offering from Marvel is a slight departure from the normal (you could say it is paranormal), it is still highly entertaining and yields all the quality we have come to expect from a Marvel movie.

Doctor Strange is a tale of a brilliant surgeon, Stephen Strange, who loses the use of his hands. Through his trek to regain his livelihood, he enters an unknown world of magic and mysticism. In a very broad sense, it is Harry Potter meets Inception meets M. C. Escher wrapped in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although you can view Doctor Strange as more of a standalone movie, similar to Ant Man, you can definitely see where potential team-ups and crossovers will come into play in future movies. Also, as with most of the Marvel hero movies, there is enough comic relief to keep you interested in the movie and give the characters dimension and depth.

Visually, many of the movie’s scenes are beautiful. Much of the movie was filmed on location in Nepal, but other locations include Hong Kong, London, and LA. However, the most impressive aesthetic of the film comes from its digital arts department – many scenes look they were filmed through a kaleidoscope while others feel like you’re traveling through the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the titular character and turns in an excellent job, showing quite a range of emotions as his character transforms from an arrogant know it all into a bona fide hero. At first, I had trepidation about Tilda Swinton playing the part of the head mystic known as The Ancient One, but she pulled it off flawlessly. But, to me, the actor who stole the spotlight in his scenes was Benedict Wong, who played the character known simply as Wong. Wong’s sternness contrasted Doctor Strange’s wisecracks so much that you can’t keep from smiling every time.

If you are going to see Doctor Strange, come early and stay until the very end. The preview lineup includes Rogue One, Logan (which seems to follow the Old Man Logan storyline from the comics), and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. After the movie, there is both a mid-credits scene and an after-credits scene, both of which look to set up future movies.

Doctor Strange is offered in standard definition, Real D 3D, GTX Extreme, and Digital 3D GTX Extreme. I viewed the movie in GTX Extreme, which was beautiful, but the magic effects could be quite stunning in 3D. With a PG-13 rating, the movie is great for most families and holds with the same level of action, violence, and language as most of the other Marvel movies. So, if you’re looking for a highly entertaining movie to see this weekend, keep Doctor Strange in mind.

Get big, delicious and smoked wings at Pig on a Pie

Wings are a dime a dozen, or at least they used to be until they became popular, now the are more like $10 a dozen. Most places do fried wings which are almost always tiny to increase cooking speed and cost. Lately, I have mostly found wings disappointing, and I sometimes question whether they could possible be from a chicken and not a pigeon or sparrow.

PigOnaPieWings
Three types of Pig on a Pie’s pecan smoked wings, mango habanero, bbq and hot Buffalo. Photo by Doug Deal.

If you’ve had a similar experience, you should give Pig on a Pie in South Bibb a try. Of all of the wings places I have gone, they are among the best. Since they slow cook the wings in a smoker, they are huge and moist. The flavor goes beyond the sauce of your choice, the pecan smoke penetrates the meat all the way to the bone.

The flavors available include the normal ones like Buffalo in hot or mild, bbq and teriyaki, but also more unique flavors like Carolina gold, honey mustard, Bourbon, sweet red chili and my favorite mango habanero. Mango habanero is probably too hot for most people, but if you like a little heat, the sweet fruity flavor cannot be beat. I would put those wings up against any in town.

PigonaPiePizza
Pig on a Pie large cheese for the kids. We recommend the meat extreme, but don’t forget the bbq pizza. Photo by Doug Deal.

Sizes range from 10 for $9.99 to 20 for $18.49 and 40 for $35.49 and if you are throwing a party they have 100 for $86.90. Keep in mind that these are larger than the microscopic wings that you might get elsewhere. There is actually meat to bite into and not just a bone to scrape it off of.

For those that aren’t into wings, they also make a serviceable pizza. I say serviceable because it is by no means gourmet, but if you are throwing a party and want some large reasonably priced pies, you will get a good deal here. We like the “meat extreme”, which is regularly priced at $16 for a 14 inch. It feeds our family of four (two elementary school children) nicely.

PigonaPieOutside
Pig on a Pie is a small restaurant that has limited dine-in as well as pick up and delivery. Photo by Doug Deal.

Even if pizza and wings aren’t your thing, they also have ribs and pulled pork as well as various salads, calzones and “pizzasandwiches”. All is good quality, so every can find something they’ll like.

There are also specials for those looking for a great deal on their website which change from month to month. In October, they had $2 off any pizza with a 20 piece wing order. With the big games of the Fall coming up, it’s a nice value. To order for pick-up or delivery, call (478) 781-3430.

Halloween safety tips for parents

Halloween is a fun time for kids and even adults, but children face special risks on that day that parents that parents should keep in mind. The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a list of recommendations for a safer holiday for the little ones. The highlights are summarized here.

Trick-or-treaters by the fireplace
Trick-or-treaters take a quick break to pose for some pictures. Photo by Cyndi Cheek.
  1. Bright and reflective costume colors are the best. Costumes should also give kids freedom of movement, particularly around their legs and be short enough to prevent snagging and tripping.
  2. Halloween often involves candles and other sources of open flame, be sure to use flame retardant material and follow the advice above on keeping costumes short to avoid accidental contact with fire.
  3. Masks often block eyesight, so favor makeup instead. Be sure to test the makeup on a small patch of skin in advance to make sure there are no allergies.
  4. Don’t use long, sharp or pointed props with your kids costumes. Children like to swing things around and the longer something is, the more it can reach and the sharper it is, the more damage it can do. A long and dangerous prop (even glass) could easily hurt the child or others in the event of an accidental fall.
  5. Be sure children have some form of identification and know how to dial 9-1-1 in case of separation or getting lost.
Wonder Woman and Steve
Wonder Woman and Steve from Minecraft demonstrate the use of short costumes and bright reflective colors. The mask on Steve might not be the best idea due to the limitation on vision. The sword, although it is long, is foam and will not cause injury in the event of a fall.  Photo by Doug Deal.
  1. Consider dispensing candy in a place away from trip hazards. Children will be wearing masks and have draping clothing and forcing them to go up stairs could result in falls. Also, tight squeezes between bushes can catch on loose clothing and also trip a child. Also, make sure their is a clear path through decorations and light the way with glow sticks or spotlights so children can see where they are going.
  2. Keep wet leaves and other debris off sidewalks and pathways.
  3. A parent or other trusted adult should accompany all young children at all times.
  4. Get some small flashlights for everyone in your party, including escorts. These will come in handy in case anyone is lost or a pathway is too dark to walk through carefully. Also, the light can be used to alert passing cars to your presence, especially by pointing the light toward the ground and away from the drivers eyes.
  5. For older children going alone or in a group of friends, set a schedule and agree to an acceptable route.
  6. Only knock on doors with a porch light on that are clearly welcoming trick-or-treaters.
  7. A little bit of reflective tape can go a long way on costumes and treat bags.
  8. Carry cell phones for emergencies.
  9. Use the sidewalk whenever possible, but in the many neighborhoods without sidewalks walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic and stick to well lit areas or use a flashlight.\
  10. Do not cut across yards and down alleyways. There can be unseen hazards in the dark and especially isolated places like alleyways.
  11. Don’t assume drivers see you, give them a wide berth and avoid cars as much as possible.
  12. Tampering is rare and the fear is overblown, but still examine all treats before the children start eating them.