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It takes some pretty refined organizational skills to care for up to 12 kids at a time. Our May 2019 cover girl Kelsey Ballard says she keeps meals simple as possible, providing comfort foods and meals everyone will like. This recipe, from her own mother, is a favorite.

Read Kelsey’s story here:  Kelsey Ballard on a mission to help kids- May 2019.

Spaghetti Pizza
Author: Kelsey Ballard
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
 
It takes some pretty refined organizational skills to care for up to 12 kids at a time. Kelsey says she keeps meals simple as possible, providing comfort foods and meals everyone will like. This recipe, from her own mother, is a favorite.
Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz. package spaghetti, regular, thin
  • or angel hair, broken into 2” pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¾ tsp. garlic salt or powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 qts. spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. hamburger, browned
  • ¼ lb. small pepperoni
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti. Drain. Stir in egg, milk, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, salt, butter, and parmesan cheese. Place in two 9x13” greased baking pans. Bake at 350? for 15 minutes.
  2. Layer pepperoni over spaghetti. Mix sauce with browned hamburger and pour over pepperoni. Top with remaining mozarella cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts.
3.5.3251

 

The post Spaghetti Pizza appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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My friend and neighbor Jody Stringfellow enjoys baking pound cakes, and she loves sharing them with friends. She has often shown up at my door with a loaf of pound cake in hand. No reason, just southern hospitality. Her repertoire of pound cakes includes lemon, blueberry, sweet potato, and coconut to name just a few. Her pound cake is a gift made with love.

One of my favorite things about a pound cake is how versatile it can be. It pairs well with fruit, ice cream, and sauces. The pound cake doesn’t need icing, having the perfect flavor and light sweetness, but it can be iced for extra sweetness and to create beautifully decorated works of art. The classic pound cake has earned its place in Southern cuisine.

“For best results use only fresh, firm berries. You will tell the difference if you use frozen berries,“ says Jody. “Lightly coat them in flour, and then gently fold them into the batter. Stop as soon as they are distributed evenly throughout. Don’t over mix.”

See  POUND CAKE: A VERSATILE SOUTHERN STAPLE  for tips and rules on making the best pound cake.

Jody's Blueberry Pound Cake
Author: Jody Stringfellow
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
 
“For best results use only fresh, firm berries. You will tell the difference if you use frozen berries,“ says Jody. “Lightly coat them in flour, and then gently fold them into the batter. Stop as soon as they are distributed evenly throughout. Don’t over mix.”
Ingredients
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries- washed
  • and well drained
  • 2 sticks of butter or margarine softened
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 325?. Grease and flour a tube pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color.
  3. Add eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed in.
  4. Add vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  5. Dredge berries with ¼ cup of flour and set aside.
  6. Sift remaining flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Fold flour into batter until well blended.
  8. Gently stir in berries.
  9. Pour into pan and bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cakes tests done.
  10. Place pan on wire rack and cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
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More Pound Cake Recipes:

Jody’s Coconut Pound Cake

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Jane’s Pound Cake

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Quick and Easy Lemon Pound Cake

The post Jody’s Blueberry Pound Cake Recipe appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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If you find making a pound cake intimidating (which you shouldn’t), this easy recipe starts with a cake mix. It is kind of cheating, but it does create a delicious final product.  

Apricot nectar can usually be found in small cans or a large bottle in the Mexican section of the International food aisle of the grocery or in the juice aisle. It can be substituted with other flavors such as peach or mango but be sure you select a nectar and not a juice. A nectar contains both juice and pureed fruit giving it a thicker texture.

Quick and Easy Lemon Pound Cake
Author: Jean Zerkus
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
 
If you find making a pound cake intimidating (which you shouldn’t), this easy recipe starts with a cake mix. It is kind of cheating, but it does create a delicious final product. Apricot nectar can usually be found in small cans or a large bottle in the Mexican section of the International food aisle of the grocery or in the juice aisle. It can be substituted with other flavors such as peach or mango but be sure you select a nectar and not a juice. A nectar contains both juice and pureed fruit giving it a thicker texture.
Ingredients
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 4 eggs
  • GLAZE
  • Confectioners sugar
  • Lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine cake mix and sugar.
  2. Add vegetable oil and nectar.
  3. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. Beat until mixture is thoroughly combined. Scraping the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Grease and flour a tube pan.
  6. Put cake in center of a cold oven and turn on to 350?.
  7. Bake for one hour.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then turn onto cake plate.
  9. Mix the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice to create a liquid.
  10. Drizzle over cake.
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Learn to make a Pound Cake with all the tips and rules:  Pound Cake- A Versatile  Southern Staple

More Pound Cake Recipes:

Blueberry Pound Cake

Coconut Pound Cake

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Jane’s Pound Cake

 

The post Quick and Easy Lemon Pound Cake appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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A basic pound cake recipe is like a blank canvas to which you can add different flavors and ingredients, creating endless options. It seems every family has at least one favorite pound cake recipe with tweaks and tips learned over the decades.

One of my favorite things about a pound cake is how versatile it can be. It pairs well with fruit, ice cream, and sauces. The pound cake doesn’t need icing, having the perfect flavor and light sweetness, but it can be iced for extra sweetness and to create beautifully decorated works of art. The classic pound cake has earned its place in Southern cuisine.  This Brown Sugar Pound Cake is one of our family favorites.  

Both light and dark brown sugar are a mixture of sugar and molasses, with dark brown sugar containing more molasses. Light brown sugar has a delicate flavor while dark brown sugar has a stronger more intense molasses flavor. They can be used interchangeably depending on your personal preference. However, we recommend the light brown sugar for this recipe.

“Pecans are optional to this cake, but really add a great texture and pair well with the molasses flavor of the brown sugar. This cake can be glazed, but it really doesn’t need it,” says Jane.

For a full list of tips and rules for making the best pound cake see Pound Cake:A Versatile  Southern Staple. 

 

Brown Sugar Pound Cake
Author: Jane Conyers
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
 
Both light and dark brown sugar are a mixture of sugar and molasses, with dark brown sugar containing more molasses. Light brown sugar has a delicate flavor while dark brown sugar has a stronger more intense molasses flavor. They can be used interchangeably depending on your personal preference. However, we recommend the light brown sugar for this recipe. “Pecans are optional to this cake, but really add a great texture and pair well with the molasses flavor of the brown sugar. This cake can be glazed, but it really doesn’t need it,” says Jane.
Ingredients
  • 1 box of light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ lb (2 sticks) butter
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Grease and flour tube pan. Preheat oven to 325?.
  2. Cream butter and Crisco, then add sugar
  3. slowly. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Combine vanilla and milk.
  6. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda.
  7. Alternate mixing flour and milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
  8. Fold in chopped pecans with a spoon until evenly distributed in the batter.
  9. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  11. Turn onto serving plate.
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More Pound Cake recipes:

Jane’s Pound Cake

Blueberry Pound Cake

Coconut Pound Cake

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Quick and Easy Lemon Pound Cake

 

The post Brown Sugar Pound Cake appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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Sometimes there are happy accidents when preparing a story.

“This isn’t my recipe,” said my friend Jody when I sent her a copy of our story Pound Cakes: A Versatile  Southern Staple, to proof read the recipe.  I had accidentally pulled the wrong recipe for Jody’s Blueberry Pound Cake.  But, in her accommodating southern style, she appeared at my door step  the next day with a cake. 

“I decided to try  the recipe out and it is good,” she said. “This one is so light .” 

And she was right. This recipe instructs you to beat the egg whites and then fold them into the batter.  Doing this step creates a very light cake texture and the hint of lemon from the zest and juice is a lovely combination with the blueberries. 

Her original recipe is delicious (you can find the link at the bottom of this page) but its texture is more like a muffin.  

“For best results in both recipes,  use only fresh, firm berries. You will tell the difference if you use frozen berries,“ says Jody. “Lightly coat them in flour, and then gently fold them into the batter. Stop as soon as they are distributed evenly throughout. Don’t over mix.”

 

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake
 
For the best results, use only fresh, firm berries. You will tell the difference if you use frozen berries,“ says Jody. “Lightly coat them in flour, and then gently fold them into the batter. Stop as soon as they are distributed evenly throughout. Don’t over mix.”
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ? cup milk
  • Grated zest of one fresh lemon
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1-2 Tbsp flour for dusting berries
  • Glaze:
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1-2 tsp hot water
Instructions
  1. Grease and flour pan. Preheat over to 350.
  2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and the shortening with sugar until very light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg yolks, one at a time to the batter being sure each is mixed in.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the batter alternating with the milk. Begin and end with flour.
  7. Stir in the grated lemon zest.
  8. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg white .
  9. Dust the blueberries with flour and fold into the batter.
  10. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes or until cake springs back if lightly pressed in the center.
  11. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently loosen and flip cake onto serving dish. Cool thoroughly before adding either the glaze or dusting with powdered sugar.
  12. Glaze: Sift confectioners sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Stir in the hot water one teaspoon at a time, until glaze is smooth, creamy and good consistency for drizzling consistency.
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For all the tips and tricks of making the perfect pound cake-  The Pound Cake: A Versatile  Southern Staple

More Pound Cake recipes:

Blueberry Pound Cake

Coconut Pound Cake

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Jane’s Pound Cake

Quick and Easy Lemon Pound Cake

 

The post Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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My friend and neighbor Jody Stringfellow enjoys baking pound cakes, and she loves sharing them with friends. She has often shown up at my door with a loaf of pound cake in hand. No reason, just southern hospitality. Her repertoire of pound cakes includes lemon, blueberry, sweet potato, and coconut to name just a few. Her pound cake is a gift made with love.

This recipe was shared with Jody by a dear work friend. The tropical flavor of coconut makes the classic pound cake even more decadent.  

“When I am baking, I use a name brand sugar over a generic. The size of the sugar crystals differ between the two,”  she says. The generic sugar crystals are not uniform and are much smaller, which can affect the rise of the cake. Also, some store brands are actually beet sugar.  If the package doesn’t say 100% cane sugar, it is probably blended with beet sugar.

See POUND CAKE: A VERSATILE SOUTHERN STAPLE  for tips and tricks on making the best pound cake.

Jody's Coconut Pound Cake
Author: Jody Stringfellow
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
 
The tropical flavor of coconut makes the classic pound cake even more decadent. “When I am baking, I use a name brand sugar over a generic. The size of the sugar crystals differ between the two,” she says. The generic sugar crystals are not uniform and are much smaller, which can affect the rise of the cake. Also, some store brands are actually beet sugar. If the package doesn’t say 100% cane sugar, it is probably blended with beet sugar.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 7oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • GLAZE
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp coconut flavor
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add 1 cup flour and add to mixture.
  3. Add eggs one at a time. Alternate adding flour and eggs.
  4. Combine remaining cup of flour with coconut.
  5. Add to cake batter.
  6. Add vanilla.
  7. Pour batter in a tube pan that has been greased and floured.
  8. Bake at 350? for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  9. The Glaze: Mix ingredients. Simmer for 10 minutes and then brush on warm cake
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More Pound Cake Recipes:

Blueberry Pound Cake

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Jane’s Pound Cake

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Quick and Easy Lemon Pound Cake

The post Jody’s Coconut Pound Cake appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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Do what’s right. Even if it’s not popular. Think outside the box and always be kind, friendly, and positive. You never know what people are going through. – Chasity Cloud age 13

Believe in yourself. If you know in your heart that what you’re doing is right, if you know you’re helping people and it’s good, it’s good. Don’t worry about what others think. – Charity Cloud age 14

Women to Watch June 2019
Photos by Marie Thomas and Makeup by Alex Lucas

Most young teens are primarily concerned with homework, extracurricular activities, and their social life. The Cloud sisters certainly value these things too, but they also have something much bigger on their plates. Charity, 14, and Chasity, 13, run a full-fledged nonprofit with their mother, Ivory.

Launched by Ivory when the girls were just preschoolers, Dreams of Lois began as a support group for girls who lost their parents young. The organization honors Ivory’s mom Lois, who died of breast cancer on Mother’s Day at age 34, when Ivory was just nine.

“My mom had a very giving heart,” Ivory says. “She always gave back. I wanted something that would carry her legacy on, especially since my own daughters never got to know her. My husband Dr. Antré, and I involved the girls as much as we could from the beginning and it has been a part of their lives, I think as long as they can remember. Today they really are driving forces in the organization. Much of what we do was their idea and they take on amazing responsibility for making our events and projects come together.”

The girls with their mother Ivory

In fact, the teens’ work with Dreams of Lois is so inspiring that they received multiple nominations for this year’s Women to Watch list.

“Charity and Chasity relish the opportunity to encourage, motivate, and inspire other young people to a life of service,” wrote one nominator. “In addition to being committed to charity work, they are both exceptional students, athletes, involved in church activities, and members of school clubs.”

Over time, Dreams of Lois has grown into a community outreach program with several events each year. Three key annual events benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Charity and Chasity spearhead the March event, which involves collecting donated pajamas in honor of their cousin, Kevon, who passed unexpectedly. The girls distribute the pajamas to CHOA kids at a big social gathering. This year, they extended their collection efforts to six Fayette County schools and even received a donation from Mayor Johnson. The result? More than 300 sets of branded pajamas donated. The girls also organized crafts for the kids to do at the event, and had bread, peanut butter, and jelly for sandwich-making.

In January of each year, Dreams of Lois also organizes a meal and crafts event at CHOA in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. May brings another big event: the annual CHOA Mother’s Day tea.

“Charity and Chasity do an incredible amount of work for the tea,” Ivory says. “They make sure that we have all the inventory we need, they order the cupcakes, collect toiletries, and so much more.”

In July, the organization collects new books and donates them to Northside hospital NICU unit.  In December, they host a holiday and craft social and collect new toys for children in need. Basically, no matter the time of year, Charity, Chasity, and their family are either holding an outreach event or preparing for one!

“My mom started this organization,” Charity says, “but we really feel like it’s our mission too. I love seeing the people smile, especially the kids, and I like that I’m honoring my grandmother and my cousin. The kids in the hospital are going through a really tough time and I just think it’s important to try to make a difference.”

Chasity agrees.

“I really just love helping others,” she says. “I love making their day go better. I also really enjoy the process of planning and figuring out all the details.”

The organization is certainly a family affair. The girls’ father actively participates in events and projects, and so does their grandfather, Ivory’s dad Cornelius Heckstall. Heckstall and their grandmother, Sharon Cloud, – a breast cancer survivor – is an active participant.

While Dreams of Lois is important to the entire family, it hardly takes up either busy teens’ entire lives. Their day typically starts at 6 AM and rarely ends before 11 at night.

Charity, a ninth grader at Whitewater High, loves math and her AP human geography class. She’s been involved in gymnastics since she was two years old and has racked up nearly 100 medals. She also plays basketball and runs track, and she’s on Whitewater’s varsity and JV squads for both. She also plays AAU basketball and was recently inducted into Beta Club. She really enjoys travel and her favorites include Barbados and Saint Martin’s. She’s hoping to go to Italy and Australia soon, and she went to Spain last year. She likes to read sports books and mysteries and loves arts and crafts.

Women to Watch 2019- Charity
Photography by Marie Thomas
Makeup by Alex Lucas

Chasity is in seventh grade at Whitewater Middle. She also loves math as well as social studies and history. She’s fascinated by technology and IT, and she likes figuring out how things work. She also participates in dance (jazz) and theater, plays the violin for her school orchestra, plays volleyball, and is involved in her school’s builders club. She loves to read, particularly mystery and nonfiction/autobiographies.

Women to Watch 2019- Chasity
Photography by Marie Thomas
Makeup by Alex Lucas

Both young women already have clear ideas about future careers. Charity wants to be a pediatrician and Chasity intends to be an engineer. They also have a shared passion for the future of Dreams of Lois: they want to take it global.

“We want everyone to know about it,” Charity says. “We really want to have an event next year in New York.”

Dreams of Lois is well on its way to becoming what Charity and Chasity dream it to be. Last year, Ivory won a Winship 80 award from Emory University for the organization. Other award winners include Shirley Franklin, Monica Kaufman, and Jimmy Carter.

“When I started Dreams of Lois,” Ivory says, “I wanted to make giving and outreach generational. Dreams of Lois really is about legacy. It’s about who my mother was and who my nephew was and who I wanted to be and who my daughters are becoming. The girls were always interested and they’ve always been incredibly creative. We have done more than I ever imagined because of their passion and creativity.”

The post Chasity and Charity Cloud appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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“Be you. Don’t let other people tell you who you should be.”  Paige Grisamore  Age 16

Women to Watch June 2019
Photos by Marie Thomas and Makeup by Alex Lucas

Hairstyle changes are part of any teen experience, but to 16-year-old Paige Grisamore, haircuts mean something more. A few years ago, she and her mom decided to donate their hair to Wigs for Kids, a 30-year-old organization that supports children who’ve lost their hair due to chemotherapy, burns, alopecia, and other conditions. Since then Paige has donated three more times, one with her mom and twice on her own.

“I like to be around kids,” she says, “and I want to contribute something to the world around me. Donating my hair lets me make kids happy and it makes their lives better.”

In fact, Paige realizes how important personal appearance can be for all people’s self-esteem. She’s been a Girl Scout for 10 years. When it came time to choose her Gold Award project, she decided to work with Bridging the Gap, an organization in Newnan that provides food, showers, and other necessities for those struggling in our community. Paige’s project provided haircuts for 17 people and personal grooming products for several more.

Paige, who grew up in Fayetteville and Peachtree City, is currently a sophomore at Starr’s Mill High. She’s an officer in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), and a  member of Beta Club, the Spanish Honor Society, the National Honor Society, and the Chick-Fil-A Leadership Program. She’s been playing soccer for the last 10 years, and she loves her school dance class which includes many different forms. She also dances ballet, tap, and pointe at Compass Dance Academy and has been dancing for 11 years. She says her favorite subjects are math and English. One of her unique hobbies? Selling clothes she no longer wears on Poshmark.

She loves to travel and has been to Ireland, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Italy, England, France, Switzerland, Jamaica, Dominican Republican, and the Bahamas.  In The US, she has enjoyed New York, Idaho, Washington state and Mall of America in Minnesota. She says, however, that her favorite was Ireland. This summer she will be going on a mission trip to Honduras.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel,” she says. “I feel it’s an experience not everyone gets to have. You get to see a whole other part of the world, meet different people, and see how they live. It’s really cool.”

After high school, Paige hopes to earn an early childhood education degree from UGA and would very much like to teach in a high need area. Her mother and paternal grandmother and great-grandmother were teachers, and she says she’s wanted to be one since the first grade, thanks to her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Donna Buffington at Braelinn Elementary School.

She certainly has plenty of experience with kids. She’s worked in her church’s nursery at New Hope since she was 14 years old. Paige also enjoys her early childhood education class at SMHS in which she gets to work with the preschool children during the school day. Her family often serves as a foster family, sometimes for a few nights and other times as long as nine months, depending on the children’s needs. So far, Paige has had 29 foster siblings between the ages of two and 14.

“I actually really like it,” she says. “I have two older siblings and I always wanted younger ones. Now it’s like I’ve had 29!”

Paige’s mom, Holly, is incredibly proud of her daughter.

“She’s a very hard worker, especially in school, and has many accolades from her teachers,” Holly says. “She’s organized and dedicated, and a terrific role model and mentor. She has a positive attitude and just a heart for helping others.”

The post Paige Grisamore: Haircuts from the HEART appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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“If you have a dream, never give up until you make it a reality.”   Isabelle Roberts ,Age 9

Not many nine-year-olds have almost 200,000 followers on their Instagram accounts – and nearly 50,000 YouTube followers. Isabelle Roberts, a third-grader at Sara Harp Minter, is an exception. Then again, Isabelle is an exception in a lot of ways. She’s already made a major name for herself as a gymnast (she’s @_gymnastisabelle_ on Insta and Isabelle Roberts on YouTube, by the way). Currently finishing her level 6 season, she’s been practicing gymnastics since age three, and she began winning competitions as a level 1 gymnast.

Women to Watch June 2019
Photos by Marie Thomas and Makeup by Alex Lucas

In her level 3 year, she won first place in every competition she participated in and, this past March, she placed first out of 322 in her age group at the state meet and became one of just 100 gymnasts to earn a spot in the regional competition in April.

Isabelle also participates in TOPs (the Talent Opportunity Program), which tests young women aged seven to ten on their physical abilities and provides additional gymnastics training. Gymnasts who pass at the state level move on to nationals, and those who pass nationals testing earn a spot at one of two camps, TOPs A or TOPs B, depending on their scores. Last year, Isabelle was one of just 46 gymnasts nationwide to win a spot at TOPs A camp, and she hopes to do it again this year.

“I really love camp,” she says. “We make tee shirts and dance. Last year, we trained with the National Team coaches. It’s so much fun!”

Isabelle says her favorite school subject is math, and she plans to go to college at UGA, compete at the college level, and then become a gymnastics coach. In addition to school, though, she trains five times a week at Georgia All-Stars Gymnastics in Woodstock.

“I just switched to this gym a few months ago,” she says, “and I really like it. At my last gym, I was the only one who’d done TOPs. At this gym, there are a group of us, and that’s really fun because we can talk about it and we know the things the other girls are working on really well. I’ve made friends there already.”

In addition to training and competing, Isabelle is already an ambassador/model for several brands including Plum Practicewear, Eurotard Dancewear, Foxy’s Leotard, Destira Leotards, and others.

“It’s a fun thing to do,” she says. “They send me products to try and I take pictures or do videos wearing their things and then tell them what I think.”

“She’s one amazing kid,” said her Women to Watch nominator, and her parents agree. What Isabelle’s done (and can do) is pretty impressive. But while she admits that she really loves the awards ceremony part of competition, she’s a pretty down-to-earth kid who likes spending time with friends and family when she can.

With everything else going on, Isabelle doesn’t have a whole lot of time for hobbies. But that’s pretty typical for someone who hopes, one day, to represent the US at the Olympics.

“2028 is my year,” she says. “I’ll be 18. I can’t wait!”

The post Isabelle Roberts: High Hopes appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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Best friends who share a birthday, Lauren and Briana were like sisters growing up together after Lauren’s mother, Kendra, took Brianna in when her parents abandoned her in favor of their own life pursuits. The girls thought they were together forever in life, but broken promises and jealousies tore them apart. Now as they approach their 40th birthdays and Lauren’s wedding, they consider the choices made and paths taken in their lives. Can they reconcile?

Now a successful novelist, Lauren returns home from New York to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with her talented and glamorous fiancé in tow, to claim the wedding dress worn by generations of women in her family. Meanwhile, ex-best friend Bree, a bookstore owner and burgeoning novelist, struggles to fulfill her dreams while juggling an unfaithful husband and kids.

As is true in life, things are not always what they seem. Lauren, whose book sales are down, is struggling with a serious case of writer’s block, while Bree has finally finished the book she has been working on for almost 15 years. As the two ex-best friends struggle to work through their issues with each other, a visitor comes knocking on Kendra’s door forcing her to confront a secret she has kept from Lauren for four decades.  

Filled with the inner workings of the publishing industry, My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding is a story about the power of love, forgiveness, and friendship told through the alternating perspectives of Lauren, Brianna, and Kendra. If you’ve been lucky enough to have a best friend, this book is for you.  

Wendy Wax, Author

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says USA Today bestselling author Wendy Wax “writes with breezy wit and keen insight.” Her contemporary women’s fiction explores family, friendship, and self-discovery and has been compared to that of Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green, and Mary Alice Monroe. Her books, A Week at the Lake, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey and her Ten Beach Road novels—Best Beach Ever, One Good Thing, Sunshine Beach, The House On Mermaid Point, Ocean Beach and Ten Beach Road—have been featured in national media such as USA Today, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Woman’s World.

Inspired by a wedding dress in Wendy’s own family, her 15th novel, My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding, will be released May 14, 2019.

A former broadcaster and the mother of two grown sons, Wendy lives in Atlanta with her husband where she’s traded in her picket fence and gardening gloves for hi-rise living and a desk with a view from the 37th floor.

The post My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding appeared first on Fayette Woman.

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