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FEATURED PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS: All American Pub City Tavern Stonecrest City Tavern SouthPark City Tavern Rivercrest Dilworth Neighborhood Grille Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub Jackelope Jacks Restaurant & Bar Kennedy’s Premium Bar & Grill Pizza Peel Tavern on the Tracks Wild Wing Café EpiCentre Wild Wing Café Ayrsley Zucca Pizza Tavern

DINNER FOR TWO AT $25 Two Sandwiches | Two Sides | Four Pints (Doesn’t include tax or gratuity)

For a complete listing of all restaurants and their special menus please go to: ElevateLifestyle




All natural and organic Infinity sun-used by all the stars Sugar cane base formula Mobile Services

PCA skin care | FDA approved Waxing, lash and brow tinting Chemical peels and facials Glo Minerals makeup line

1920 Cleveland Ave., SB | Charlotte, NC 28203 | 704.295.7505

Redefining the Art of Tanning

20% OFF ANY PACKAGE Expires 10/31/12

HOURS: Monday - Thursday 10am - 8:30pm Friday 10am - 7pm | Saturday 10am - 5pm | Sunday 12pm - 4pm The Iveyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Building | 127 North Tryon Street | Charlotte, NC 28202 (Uptown - Corner of Tryon and Fifth Streets) 704.887.9727 |

the EVOLUTION of modern style

Now taking REservations Charlotteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest luxury apartment community is currently taking reservations. Junction 1504 is everything youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll want to call home, with upscale features like hand-scraped hardwood floors, gleaming granite counters, stainless steel appliances, private garages, and so much more. Call today and ask how you can save $250 off your first month of rent.* *Some restrictions may apply. Not valid with any other offers

Bring this ad in to receive $250 off your first month of rent

2504 Dunavant St. Charlotte, NC 28203 Ph: 877.579.8920 | Fx: 704-333-9794 visit us at

Come Check Out Our Newly Renovated Dining Room and Expanded Lounge Area! CHARLOTTE’S BEST UPSCALE JAPANESE SUSHI BAR AND LOUNGE Now Serving Sushi Till 2am Friday and Saturday

NOW BOOKING CORPORATE AND PRIVATE EVENTS Please call 704.334.0009 to make your reservation now! Mon. - Wed. 11:30am - 10:30pm | Thur. 11:30am - 12am Fri. 11:30am - 2am | Sat. 12pm - 2am | Sun. 4:30pm - 10pm

1100 E Metropolitan Ave S120

P i s c e s S u s h i . c o m







nO COnTRACT get a free 3-day guest pass on our website




rethink fitness.

Opening August 2012 Birkdale Village

1111 Metropolitan Ave., Ste. 160 16836 Birkdale Commons Parkway Charlotte, NC 28204 Huntersville, NC 28078 704.370.2440 704.655.1243 Follow us @LippBoutique and on Facebook for updates.

Every spa has relaxation. Every salon has stylists. Every med clinic has botox. WE HAVE IT ALL...SHOULDNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T YOU?

1212 South Blvd | Charlotte, NC 28203 | 704-334-8087 |

publisher’s note Hope all is well with everyone. As hot as it is, it’s hard to believe in less than one week the Panthers will be kicking things off with the first pre-season game against the Texans. With the team the Panthers are building, it looks like we should have a winning season. This month’s magazine is our HOME issue and it’s packed full of useful information. You will learn from some of the area’s real estate experts, such as the do’s and don’ts when you are either looking to buy or sell a house. Whether you are decorating on a budget or if you are looking for a makeover we have you covered, including a piece by Brandon Russell, formerly the Carpenter Host of “Trading Spaces,” on TLC, and A&E’s “Drill Team.” Not in a position to buy a home? We have profiled over twenty Charlotte-area apartment complexes as well. As you are reading this month’s magazine you will see there is lots of stuff going on this month. We kick it all off on Thursday, August 2 for our ReFresh THURSDAYS at City Tavern SouthPark. Then on Friday, August 10, we are having our WEB AWARDS 2012 at BlackFinn Saloon. On Wednesday, August 15 we are having the Second Annual COVER GIRL SEARCH, and the following day we will be starting the American Fare and Brews Restaurant Week, which is from Thursday, August 16 to Sunday, August 26. To learn more about these events and others, you can always go to our Web site at or head to our Facebook page. Have a great month, Steve Caldwell

> WEB > AUGUST 10, 2012 | 8-11PM

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BLOG CLT Buzz : 417 BEST MUSIC BLOG Charlotte Events Calendar : 128 BEST PERSONAL BLOG A Healthy Slice of Life : 339 BEST ARTS BLOG Art With Heart : 3


BEST DESIGNED WEBSITE R(IV) : 107 FUNNIEST TWITTER FEED Dr. Space Taco ESQ : 13 BEST KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN Brandon Kirkley and the Firecrackers : 179 BEST CHARITY WEBSITE Humane Society : 109


BEST FOOD BLOG Foodie Fresh : 466 BEST SPORTS BLOG Carolina Huddle : 213 BEST ARCHITECTURE BLOG Laura Casey Interiors : 57 BEST POLITICAL BLOG John Locke Foundation : 7 BEST PHOTOSTREAM FLICKR Indigo Charlotte : 74 BEST USE OF VIDEO Nightlife TV : 229





HOSTED BY BLACKFINN AMERICAN SALOON 210 East Trade Street : Suite 120-B : Charlotte, NC 28202

TEAM MEMBERS Publisher Steve Caldwell, Editor: Edy Hinson Creative Director: Greg Smith Design and Production: Greenspon Advertising Graphic Designer: Alex Ramsey Uptown Chic Cover and Photo Spread: Photography: Jim Merrill, Jim Merrill Photography Models: Rhema Helm and Jenna Petraglia Styling: Emily Denby | Wardrobe: PURE at SouthPark Advertising, Sponsorship, Website Sales, and General Advertising Sales Information Brad Cheek | Carla Shober | Steve Caldwell Contributing Editors Culture Editor: Louise Albano-Hurley | Dining Editor: Nikki Wilson Entertainment Editor: Denise Gregory | Fashion Editor: Debra Kennedy Fitness Editor: Dr. Ryan Shum | Nightlife Editor: Sean Flynn Contributing Writers Alison Penland | Anna Starnes | Claire Cilip | Corinna Kahn | Chelsea Flower Dupp & Swat | Franchesca Wicker | Jay Johnson | Jeremy Bonham Lisa Lemaster | Monique Douglas | Sarah Hudson | Stanley Owings TekaRose Contributing Photographers Eun Park | Jeaumane McIntosh | | Justin Smith Interns Anna Starnes | Oscar Coyotl-Pacio




Over 25 Women Will Compete for a Prize Pack Valued Over $1000.

Wednesday, Aug. 15th 8 pm – 11 pm


Contents August 2012



40 44 48


84 90


NIGHTLIFE Don’t Label Me DINING Sweet Lorraine’s Bakery FASHION Natural Beauty Criswell Style ENTERTAINMENT Charlotte’s Hottest Summer Bands FITNESS Home Exercises to Drive Your Golf Game FASHION At Home Beauty Treatments


Take It To The House!

m o n day, S e p t e m b e r 1 7 2 0 1 2 7 p m – 1 1 p m

m i x o l o g i S t C o C kta i l C h a l l e ng e

“Charlotte’s most inspired bartender Search” do yoU haVe What it takeS to Win? Email us at to receive your official contest entry form to fill out. Winner receives a cash prize and a feature in Elevate Lifestyle Magazine

52 52 Uptown Chic



64 The McDevitt Agency 74 Home Sweet Home! 96 Real Estate No More Bubble?! 106 To Sell Or To Buy 112 Making Your Home Family-Friendly 118 Anything The Home Desires 124 Update Your Home

ABOARD THE RAGIN’ LUXURY YACHT ON LKN Friday, September 14th 7pm – 1am

Your ticket includes transportation from uptown; dinner, drink and beer specials at Dixie’s Tavern. There will be a cash bar on the two story 90’ yacht with DJ spinning on our three hour booze cruise. $25 for one person | $42 for two people SPACE IS LIMITED, SO BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW AT Need More Information? Go To

Now Open In Uptown Charlotte

Open Tuesday - Saturday 12 noon - 8 pm

The Ivey's Building | Uptown corner of 5th and TryonSts. 127 North Tryon Street S232 | Charlotte, NC 28202 Call 704-887-9742 to make an appointment or visit us on the web @



Thursday, August 2, 2012 6pm - 10pm Then Every Thursday in August InvIgoratIng cocktaIls | savory BItEs ExhIlaratIng atmosphErE | tranquIl patIo $6 30v | $3 stella | $5 Wine vIp area With Bottle service 1/2 price select appetizer Bar, lounge and patio | DJ spinning City Tavern South Park Mall | 4331 Barclay Downs Drive Charlotte NC 28209 | 704.442.4000


Great Fun, Food and Drink Specials Every Day Serving the Best 21 Day Aged Angus Steaks in South Charlotte. Catering available offsite in your office, home or facility. Rivergate Shopping Center, Steele Creek Stone Crest Shopping Center, Ballantyne SouthPark Mall-NOW OPEN

7 Days a week Lunch, Dinner, and Late Night Bar Service.


Sweet Lorraine’s Bakery It’s been one sweet year for this shop, as Sweet Lorraine’s Bakery is celebrating being one year older and one year tastier. Located in Dilworth at 220 East Blvd, this bakery opened last July and has made quite a name for itself here in Charlotte. Michelle, part owner, would often come from New York City to North Carolina to visit family. It didn’t take long to notice the lack of traditional bakeries in Charlotte and Sweet Lorraine was soon born. Like any new business owners, the nerves were high as three sisters and their father opened the doors to the public. Yet the excitement was just as high and the shop was a labor of love as this family-owned bakery was named after the sisters’ late mother, Lorraine. Christine Guerriero, Michelle’s sister and part owner, is a classically trained French pastry chef. Yet, she uses her Italian roots to inspire many of the desserts you’ll find in house. Many of the pastries made daily in

the bakery are actually her grandmother’s recipes. Yet despite being professionally trained and having a vast knowledge of the craft, it’s the love for the business that really makes the difference. Christine has always dabbled with baking but it was after the loss of her mother that she decided to turn it into a passion. She soon left her job trading stocks on Wall Street and joined her family in the venture to open a bakery business. With a love for the industry and the idea that Charlotte could use a good bakery as much as the family could, the shop came to life. It didn’t take long for customers to discover the shop and then keep on coming back. The Sweet Lorraine, which is a brownie bottom with a chocolate chip cookie top, is one of the bakery’s signature items. The lemon blueberry muffins, fresh fruit tarts and the bacon cheddar scone, which is one of Michelle’s favorites, are also hot items that keep the customers talking. And everyday fresh artisan bread is made from scratch. You better get there early, though, as this is one delicious treat that sells out almost daily. But it’s not just up to the chefs at Sweet Lorraine’s Bakery to decide what’s stacking the shelves. The team is always searching for new flavors, and the customers’ suggestions and requests give the crew an inside look on what is trending in the industry. Lately, a salty and sweet combination has been very popular and once fall arrives, more pumpkin, cinnamon and apple pastries will be crafted. Yet in the meantime, the chefs have been working hard on the newest item, the s’mores whoopee pie. You can’t find this treat just yet as the family has been playing around with different recipes and until it’s up to their standards, they won’t produce it for the store.


Despite being from New York, the love of the city runs deep. The shop uses local ingredients whenever possible, including serving coffee that’s roasted right here in NoDa. All of the goodies are made from scratch every day, including the breakfast items like the croissants. Don’t forget about the desserts, however. With an Italian hand manning the kitchen and crafting the cakes, be sure to try the Charlotte russe cake with strawberry fruit mousse. There’s also the vanilla cake with chocolate pastry cream topped with fresh strawberries and bananas. And make sure to swing back by and pick up a chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream and chocolate glaze. Here at Sweet Lorraine’s, the treats are tasty, the pastries are fresh and the crew invites you to stop in and become part of the family as they celebrate one amazing year in Charlotte. 220 East Blvd. Charlotte 28203 704.332.5222 Nikki Wilson, Dining Editor




Charlotte’s most prominent plastic surgery team, Bryan and Kara Criswell, expanded their practice to include a location in The Village at Southpark (next to Cowfish Restaurant) recently. The husband and wife team have a successful practice in the Ballantyne area, and their vision to share their passion of helping more people “enhance their natural beauty” became a reality several months ago with the new location opening.

The Mommy Makeover, Liquid Facelift and Breast Augmentation are among the fastest growing procedures in plastic surgery today. Bryan and Kara Criswell, who are both Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, are top in their field in all of these areas. MOMMY MAKEOVER There are many changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy. Often times diet and exercise do not get the body back to the pre-pregnancy look and this is frustrating. The Mommy Makeover eliminates sagging breasts, flabby tummy and stubborn pockets of fat. It allows you to reclaim your pre-pregnancy body and look and feel great again. The procedure is completed in one surgery and allows the new Mommy to feel confident and beautiful again. LIQUID FACELIFT I can say personally, Bryan and Kara are masters at this skill. This procedure involves a skilled plastic surgeon strategically placing Botox and fillers to tighten and lift the face. This non-surgical procedure will remove wrinkles and sagging skin, enhance shallow contours and plump up thin lips. In Hollywood the “Pillow Face” look is on the rise. This look gives away celebrities who have had injections to try and recapture their youth. The problem is certain plastic surgeons do not know where to draw the line and the patients plump and rounded cheeks end up looking scary. The Criswells understand that today’s woman and some men want to see in the mirror what they feel like on the inside. The Liquid Facelift allows you to look fresh, rejuvenated and confident in less than 60 minutes. My favorite part is you come out looking very natural and people think you just returned from a tropical vacation. That is why I love and recommend the Criswells. You will not end up with the “Pillow Face” look. BREAST AUGMENTATION Breast Augmentation is one of the most popular types of plastic surgery in the U.S. This surgery can improve your confidence as it makes you more pleased with your body.


Portion is the key factor, and with all of the new types of implants available now, it is easier to find the perfect match. Implants have changed over the years making them more patient-friendly and more importantly, natural looking. Finding a plastic surgeon that has your best interests at heart as well as state-of-the-art skills is quite the task. I love to share with you when I find â&#x20AC;&#x153;gemsâ&#x20AC;? that work for me, and Bryan and Kara Criswell are true GEMS! Call Criswell and Criswell to schedule a consultation today at (704) 424-5050. Or visit their Web site: Thanks for allowing me to bring you the best in Beauty and Fashion. E-mail me with any beauty or fashion questions at Debra Kennedy, Fashion Editor



The apex of summer may have come and gone, but that does not mean the carefree feeling of lazy days at the lake and warm, starry nights will pass us by. There is an abundance of local talent that will let you hang on to that feeling for many more days to come – through albums and shows you won’t want to miss no matter what type of music you’re into. So take the time to sit back, relax, and check out these summer struck tunes that will keep you going even when the first chill of winter sets in! Aqualads This four-piece instrumental band from Charlotte is the perfect beach trip music. Tropical surf rock is melded with a blues influence to create a chilled blend of tracks that will take you back to the 1960’s and Southern California. Of their tracks, Bikini Jungle is one that stands out the most, mingling a quirky tune with a background of birds and wildlife. So next time you have a Tiki party, pop in one of their albums to set the atmosphere! For more information, check them out online at Facebook. com/aqualads. Sun-Dried Vibes Keeping with a tropical theme, Sun-Dried Vibes is a fantastic reggae band from Rock Hill, S.C. The most enticing thing about this band is how well they marry reggae and rock, tracing along lines of ska influence to create a well-rounded sound that will have you tapping your foot or up in the aisles dancing. The energy and

pure passion Sun-Dried Vibes exudes when performing also plays a large part of what makes them so enjoyable, and encourages their fans to dance along Bob Marley style. One of their tracklist highlights is Positive Vibes, which has a relaxing rhythm and hints of funk, with Zach Fowle’s mellow vocals reminiscent of Andrew de Torres of Danger Radio. For the most part, lyrical content is laid back and uplifting, making them a perfect go-to on a hot, carefree summer day. Look them up on Facebook, at sdvmusic. The Turnstiles For country fans, The Turnstiles provide a classic mix of folk rock and country that is perfect for Carolina nights and barbecues with the family. Clean vocals and love ballads are laid over acoustic guitars to create a smooth sound that’s vivid enough to not just visualize the stories behind the songs but also become a part of them – and there’s nothing like a band one can empathize with, that can tug at the heartstrings while drawing to surface memories of a simpler time. From their self-titled album, the songs “Catalina” and “Something in Between” stand out the most with the signature country heartache and a sound that elicits the warmth of late summer afternoons. To listen to samples of their music or buy their album, visit them online at Cement Stars North Carolina group Cement Stars delivers something different for music fans by blending indie and dream pop with 90’s shoegaze influences. Their sound is similar to the popular indietronica group Shiny Toy Guns: their music atmospheric and airy, while retaining a dark ambiance perfect for those long night road trips. Their debut album, “Form & Temper,” contains six mellow tracks featuring clean guitars, otherwordly vocals, and ballooning synths. The first track, Passable Ghost, is their strongest, most catching song – one that deserves multiple plays to really grasp the complexity and layers. Check them out on Tumblr at, and follow them, listen to samples, or buy their EP. The Spongetones The Spongetones know a thing or two about longevity in the music business; this Charlotte-based band has been around since 1979 and has gained national acclaim through magazines such as Rolling Stone. Throughout the years, they’ve maintained a classic pop sound with a British Invasion edge,


drawing on influences and bands from the 60’s such as The Beatles and The Byrds. Just like the popular music of the 60’s era, The Spongetones’ music is light, upbeat, and catchy. From their song-catalog, “On The Wings of a Nightingale” and “Eloquent Spokesman” are prime examples of how their music will transport you back to another time. You can follow them on Facebook at Daniel Gallagher The pop-punk movement saw growth in the mid to late 2000’s, with bands such as Fall Out Boy, Dashboard Confessional, and All Time Low propagating the scene. Pop-punk with a more acoustic flare also rose, and has been seeing popularity since. Charlotte’s own Daniel Gallagher provides a continuation of the genre with his indie-fused pop-punk tracks, reminiscent of Never Shout Never and Plain White T’s. Having written and played since he was 12 old, Gallagher has already produced two albums of tightly written material – ‘Well First of All,’ and ‘Then Again, That’s Just Me.’ Track highlights include “Fly,” and the exuberant, “I’m Happy,” both of which provide a positive message and a relaxing tone. For more information, check him out on Facebook at Local bands have some of the most overlooked talent out there, so don’t pass up the chance to see them live or hang out at a bar on a Friday night to gain exposure to a new group. You never know what you’ll discover if you scope out the underground or pop into a venue to check out a show. Who knows – you might even find your next favorite band that way. Sarah Hudson, Entertainment Contributor


Sell with uS. Advertise for FRee here next month. text t183291 to 85377 for more info.

• 2 Bed/2 Bath • Penthouse Level • Views of Entire City • Highest Luxury Living in Center City • Move In Ready

Andrea Franceschelli


Matthew Means


Elevate Lifestyle interviewed Shane McDevitt, owner of the McDevitt Agency, to learn more about this boutique real estate firm. The McDevitt Agency assists buyers and sellers of properties in the heart of Charlotte. Recently, the company opened a new branch, Live on Lake Norman, which specializes in waterfront property in the Lake Norman area. McDevitt also discusses real estate problems that clients frequently encounter and expounds on the state of Charlotteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real estate market. Elevate Lifestyle: How did The McDevitt Agency develop and when was it started? Shane McDevitt: Kelly McDevitt and I broke off from the previous firm we were with in May of 2008 to start a new vibe. While other firms were trying to see how big they could get, we looked to open a boutique firm of top producing agents. EL: What types of real estate does the agency sell as far as price range? Does it sell houses as well as townhomes and condos? We started out selling a majority of condos and penthouses in and around Center City Charlotte and handling the sales of new

Photo courtesy of The McDevitt Agency

McDevitt Agency

Photo courtesy of The McDevitt Agency

construction developments, but we have since expanded into the single family home market from Dilworth and Myers Park and out to South Charlotte. We also launched a Lake Norman waterfrontonly division. We sell a lot of property in the higher end real estate market... but we also have properties listed ranging from $100k to over $2.5 million. EL: What type of client typically uses the agency? We work with everyone from first time home buyers to professional athletes and business executives, and everyone in between. EL: Do you work with corporations as well? Yes. We work with many local corporations with employees moving within the city, and also with employees from corporations relocating to Charlotte. EL: Why did the agency open the Live on Lake Norman division? We like niche markets and those that are interesting and fun to work in. We saw the Lake Norman waterfront real estate market to be just that. Also, we believe it will be one of the first to begin the upswing as the market continues to improve. Visit our new Web site at


Photo courtesy of The McDevitt Agency

EL: How does it differ, if at all, from the main division other than property location? Do the same agents work at both locations? We run it the same as our main office... Professional, experienced agents just focusing on a different type of property. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spent several years planning on launching this division, doing research, and just waiting for the optimal time to launch. We have agents who live in the lake area and some that were already doing good business in that market. We are also looking to bring on a few new â&#x20AC;&#x153;lake specialistâ&#x20AC;? agents. EL: Why does the Lake Norman division only sell lakefront properties? We like to go after a niche market and make a big impact. Also, if you are going to live at the lake, you may as well live waterfront! EL: Has the real estate market in Charlotte improved at all recently? Are house prices currently rising? The real estate market has seen a great improvement over the last year. Interest rates are great, prices have stabilized at a low, and inventory is declining. Some areas and developments have even seen prices


Photo courtesy of The McDevitt Agency

start to increase. Because of a combination of the above, buyers who have been on the fence are now in the market and buying. Our sales volume numbers are up 42 percent year-todate this year versus last year. EL: Is it hard to get approved for a loan without perfect credit now? Why? Lenders seem to be loosening up on assisting buyers with getting loans and down payment amounts seem to have become more flexible. That, in combination with interest rates being so low, is making it a great time to buy. Our preferred lender, Brick McDermott with NCBT, can provide insight to anyone looking to learn more about todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rates and loan options: EL: How do you help a client interested in a new construction? There is not a lot of new construction out there, but people are still excited about new developments and being the first to live in a new development. We are selling The Madison in Uptown Charlotte which is 75 percent sold out and is move-in ready: We are also selling SKYE Condos, one of the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most unique high-rise developments that incorporates a Hyatt brand hotel, ground level retail, 69 luxury condos and a rooftop restaurant and pool. Now preselling with a Summer 2013 completion date. SKYEcondos. com 70

Photo courtesy of The McDevitt Agency

EL: How do you advise clients when trying to negotiate a price for their new home? We are market experts and work with our buyer clients to get the best value based on current market value, stats, trends, and negotiation skills. EL: How do you advise clients trying to sell their homes? We are realistic with our clients. We do an in-depth market analysis of what the true value of their property currently is and then provide them a price range for a quicker, average, or longer period of time to sell their home. We then put a very detailed and extensive marketing plan in place to get their property the maximum amount of exposure. EL: Is it better to rent in the current market or buy? Rental rates are at a high, sale prices are at a low, and interest rates are currently very low as well. With that, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an optimum time to buy to take advantage of current prices and interest rates... Before they both potentially go back up. The McDevitt Agency 704.333.2475 | Twitter: @TheMcDAgency @LiveOnLKN Friend The McDevitt Agency on Facebook Anna Starnes


now open


neweSt Bar Great HanD toss neW YorK tHin Crust stYle Pizza. ClassiC italian Pasta DisHes, salaDs anD entrees.

Full liquor Bar over 55 Beers – DraFt, CraFt, anD DomestiCs. DrinK sPeCials mon: $6 stoli martinis, $4 Jager/Fireball, $3 omB tues: Half off Bottles of Wine, $4 sierra nevada, $4 royal Flush WeD: $3 Yuengling, $5 Jack Daniels tHur: $3 Flat tire, $5 Jameson Fri: $4 sam adams and seasonal, $4 Jager/Fireball, $2 Bud, Bl, Coors, ml Bottles sat: $2 10 oz. Yuengling, $3 Kamikazi/red Headed sluts, $4 Jack and tito’s Cocktails sun: $4 Guinness, $2 Bud, Bl, Coors, ml Bottles, $5 Jack Daniels, $4 Bloody mary, $4 momosa

late night menu – serving till 2am every night sunday – saturday 11am – 2am 2000 south Blvd. Charlotte, nC 28203 704.332.6076

life’s too short to eat Bad Pizza

home sweet home! Whether you crave the quick pace of the city and require a skyline view from your bedroom window or prefer a close-knit, small town feel, Charlotte and the surrounding areas offer apartments that suit your specific needs. This apartment list was compiled taking into account all budgets and amenities while including the newest apartment complexes available. Find that one bedroom with stainless steel appliances and a washer and dryer or that three bedroom near your favorite restaurants that lets you keep your beloved Golden Retriever. All the information is right here, including monthly rent and square footage, to help you find your new home that checks every item off of your wish list.

1225 South Church (New Phase Opening Dec 2012) Southend 1225 S. Church St. Charlotte, 28203 704.334.0222 | Price Range: $920 - $1,285 | Square Footage: 872 - 1,067 BR/BA Range: Studio - 2 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A swimming pool (heated in winter), a fitness center with weight room, an internet café, a movie theater, a business center, a cyber café with game center, a courtyard with grilling areas and fire-pit, a large gaming room, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, a clubhouse with butler’s pantry and a conference room for residents. Alpha Mill Uptown 220 Alpha Mill Ln. Charlotte, 28206 704.817.2051 | Price Range: $810 - $1,380 | Square Footage: 416 - 1,037 BR/BA Range: Studio - 2 BR/2 BA apartments and townhomes Amenities: Two roof-top terraces, a designer pool, an outdoor fireplace with a grilling area, a cyber café with wireless internet access and a resident lounge with billiards and a widescreen television. Some units also boast private balconies and roof-top terrace access. Units are available with hardwood floors, 17 ft. ceilings, exposed wood beams, large closets and modern lighting. Ashley Square SouthPark 4845 Ashley Park Ln. Charlotte, 28210 704.643.8006 | Price Range: $895 - $1,520 | Square Footage: 518 - 1,400 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A swimming pool, a courtyard, a fitness center, a parking garage, an internet café, elevators, controlled access and a media room. Units feature private balconies and black appliances.


Ashton South End Southend 125 W. Tremont Charlotte, 28203 866.226.9881 | Price Range: $1,713 - $4,661 | Square Footage: 849 - 1,665 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 2 BR/2.5 BA apartments Amenities: A club with wi-fi internet cafe and sports lounge, elevated outdoor terrace, gourmet kitchen with private dining room, spa-inspired fitness club, executive conference room and resort-style pool and aqua bar. Units feature high ceilings, gourmet kitchens, granite countertops, hardwood floors, washers and dryers, French balconies and walk-in closets. Auston Woods Northlake 5301 Roundstone Way Charlotte, 28216 866.981.5615 | Price Range: $753 - $1,110 | Square Footage: 706 - 1,274 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: Just one mile from Northlake Mall, a gated community, two swimming pools, two fitness centers, a sand volleyball court and a dog park. Units include washer and dryer and a deck. BRADFORD PARK Rock Hill 417 Bushmill Dr. Rock Hill, 29730 803.981.5001 | Price Range: $609 - $949 | Square Footage: 600 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1,335 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 3 BR/3 BA apartments Amenities: Tucked away in a peaceful setting and conveniently located near I-77 and the Galleria Mall. Swimming pool with fitness center, onsite laundry facility, picnic area with grills, 9 ft. cathedral ceiling, French doors to porch or patio and tile kitchens and baths.


CAMDEN SOUTHEND Southend 1205 S. Tryon St. Charlotte, 28203 866.652.5821 | Price Range: $920 - $1,853 | Square Footage: 794 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1,167 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 2 BR/2 BA Amenities: Their one and two bedroom apartment homes include custom upgrades like contemporary cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, granite islands and crown molding. Resort-style swimming pool, covered parking for all cars, an expansive fitness center and a community room. The Catalyst Uptown 255 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Charlotte, 28202 704.930.2900 | Price Range: $1,100 - $1,948 | Square Footage: 713 - 1,130 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 2 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: Floor-to-ceiling glass, an elevated pool and activity deck, a private clubroom, a state-of-the-art fitness center and concierge service in the lobby. Units include 10 ft. ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, balconies and contemporary finishes. Cielo Southpark 4943 Park Rd. Charlotte, 28209 704.525.8810 | Price Range: $920 - $1,620 | Square Footage: 613 - 1,652 BR/BA Range: Studio - 1 BR/1 BA lofts and flats Amenities: A fitness center, a game room, a media center, a pool, an attached parking garage, controlled access entry and a business center. Units feature vaulted ceilings, tile and hardwood floors, walk-in closets, washers and dryers, stainless steel appliances and balconies.


Circle at South End Southend 222 E. Bland St. Charlotte, 28203 704.820.4623 | Price Range: $915 - $3,000 | Square Footage: 507 - 1,645 BR/BA Range: Studio - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A smoke-free residence, an on-site light rail, all around green living, parking access, a courtyard, a pool and grilling area, a fitness center and a resident lounge with free wi-fi. Units feature washers and dryers, energy-saving appliances and nine ft. ceilings. Diggs on Sixth Uptown 1025 W. Sixth St. Charlotte, 28204 980.224.0094 | Price Range: $1,300 - $1,600 | Square Footage: 1,100 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1,300 BR/ BA Range: 2 BR/2 BA - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: Brand new apartments, covered parking, short walk from Gateway Village and YMCA and convenient to dining and shopping in Uptown. Units include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors. Elizabeth Square Elizabeth 730 Hawthorne Ln. Charlotte, 28204 704.375.3033 | Price Range: $962 - $2,185 | Square Footage: 620-1,422 BR/BA Range: Studio - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A gated parking deck, an iMac computer lounge, a theater/ game room, strength training studio, heated salt water pool and a fire pit. Units include a stainless steel appliance package, washers and dryers, hardwood floors in kitchen and foyer.


Enclave Uptown 710 E. Seventh St. Charlotte, 28202 866.956.5259 | Price Range: $1,125 - $2,475 | Square Footage: 550 - 1,713 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A swimming pool, a sundeck, direct access to the Free Gold Rush Trolley Service, an outdoor conversation area with a fireplace and a concierge service. Units include washers and dryers, 10-20 ft. ceilings, gourmet kitchens, stainless steel appliances and private balconies. Junction 1504 (Pre Leasing for Fall 2012) Southend 2504 Dunavant Street l Charlotte, NC 28203 704.333.9796 | Price Range: $1,125 - $1,830 | Square Footage: 770 - 1,167 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 2 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: Brand new apartments, private one-car garages, resortstyle swimming pools and grilling areas with premium outdoor cooking equipment. Units include granite countertops in kitchen, hardwood floors, track lighting in kitchen and dining areas, walk-in closets and private balconies. Metro 808 Elizabeth 808 Hawthorne Ln. Charlotte, 28204 866.956.5259 | Price Range: $1,085 - $1,925 | Square Footage: 723 - 1,475 BR/BA Range: Studio - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A heated salt water pool, pet friendly, fitness center and 100% smoke free. Units include washers and dryers, walk-in closets, dark hardwood floors and granite and marble countertops.


Mosaic South End Southend 1312 S. College St. Charlotte, 28203 855.558.7434 | Price Range: $956 - $3,049 | Square Footage: 488 - 1,355 BR/BA Range: Studio - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A pool and spa, a 24-hour fitness center, a gated parking garage, an internet coffee bar and directly on Lynx Light Rail. Units feature washers and dryers, granite countertops and side-by-side refrigerators. Perimeter Station Northlake 10051 Perimeter Station Dr. Charlotte, 28216 888.334.4996 | Price Range: $895 - $1,155 | Square Footage: 745 - 1,142 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 2 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: Large swimming pool and sundeck with Wi-Fi access, executive fitness center with 24-hour access, valet waste service and resident cyber cafĂŠ with billiards. Units include washer and dryer, large walk-in closets, pantries and linen closets. PHILLIPS MALLARD CREEK (Pre Leasing for August 2012) University 655 W. Mallard Creek Church Rd. Charlotte, 28262 980.819.5503 | Price Range:: $810 - $1,215 | Square Footage: 784 - 1,321 BR/BA Range: 1BR/1 BA - 3 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: Swimming pool with poolside summer kitchen, luxurious clubhouse with social room and coffer bar. Billiards room, 24-hour fitness center, garages and covered parking available.


Spectrum SouthEnd Southend 2225 Hawkins St. Charlotte, 28203 704.332.5022 | Price Range: $900 - $1,877 | Square Footage: 554 - 1,422 BR/BA Range: Studio - 1 BR/1 BA - 2 BR/2 BA apartments Amenities: A saline pool, a fitness center, an outdoor living room and grilling center, an outdoor fireplace, an internet cafĂŠ and billiards and game room. Units feature gourmet kitchens, granite countertops, laminate wood floors and full-size washers and dryers. THE VUE Uptown 404 W. Fifth St. Charlotte, NC 28202 704.374.0089 | Price Range: $1,305 - $5,735 | Square Footage: 571 - 3218 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 3 BR/3 BA lofts, studios and penthouses Amenities: This Uptown apartment has breathtaking skyline views, a clubhouse, a dog park, a pool, a fitness center, covered parking, a concierge and is gated. The units feature a spiral staircase, granite countertops, hardwood floors, large balconies and stand-alone showers. Wesley Village Uptown 2715 Wet Stone Way Charlotte, 28208 877.705.9695 | Price Range: $1,129 - $1,716 | Square Footage: 566 - 1,435 BR/BA Range: 1 BR/1 BA - 3 BR/2 BA apartments and lofts Amenities: A clubhouse, billiards, a gaming center, a Starbucks, pools, a fitness center, a grilling station, an outdoor fireplace and a bark park for pets. Units include oversized bedrooms, private terraces and sunrooms, skyline views, 9-20 ft. ceilings, washers and dryers and stainless steel appliances. For a complete listing of all the apartment communities they we profiled go to our Web site at and search for Home Sweet Home.


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Home Exercises to Drive Your Golf Game

This is the home issue, but it is also summer time and there is beautiful weather to enjoy. In this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s issue, we look at some ways you can effectively exercise to help boost your summer golf game while at home. Golf demands proper full body mobility to allow optimal mechanics and form. One of golfâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most common injuries includes the low back. It is essential to continue to work on conditioning even when not spending time on the course practicing your swing or short game. Here are some of the best exercises I have discovered, and Head PGA Golf Pro, Todd Burrell, agrees. However, there are plenty more out there, so consult a golf pro, trainer or health professional for further assistance. With any of these exercises, do not forget to breathe, ensure proper form (if uncertain ask for help), and do not overstretch or excessively prolong duration.

Rotational Hip Stretch This stretch is designed to improve hip mobility. As you perform your golf swing, your hip and pelvic muscles are set up as a pivotal base to allow for proper motion, which your low- and mid-spine function rely upon. This stretch is done lying on the ground. Bring one thigh up to your chest and hug the shin close. With the opposite hand of the leg bent, bring the lower shin to rotate and bring close to the opposite hip. A more advanced version can be done while standing on one leg, with the planted leg slightly bent. The more advanced version will require good control of balance. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with other leg. Complete 3 to 4 rounds. Lunge and Hip/Flexor and Low Back Stretch This can be done taking a lunge forward or backward. If possible, try both and alternate. Taking one step forward/backward with feet shoulder width apart, drop your thigh and bend your knee to 90 degrees (or as best you can if you have prior knee conditions). Avoid pushing your knee cap (patella) past the plane of your front toes. Drop and lower your pelvis down to achieve this position as best you can and to ensure you engage some hip stability muscles as well. With the 85

hand opposite to the lunging leg, slowly reach up and over, laterally bending your lumbar spine slowly into a stretch. If desired, you can gradually rotate away and backwards towards the side of the lunging leg.

Chest (Pec) Stretch and Low Back Stretch If you have prior shoulder/neck (cervical spine) conditions, proceed carefully. Take a club horizontally and rest on top of your upper back and shoulder blades. As your wrap your hands and wrist around, you should feel a gentle stretch of muscles in your front chest (pectoralis). Gradually, as you breathe, lean and laterally bend to one side, feeling a stretch on the muscles of your low back and rib cage of the opposite side. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat twice for each direction. IT Band/Hip Flexor/Quad Stretch This stretch continues to assist in improving hip mobility. Lie on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are resting flat on the floor. Flex one thigh and lift to bring one foot to rest on the opposite sideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thigh. Contact your ankle on the outside aspect of the thigh and slowly pull, using your ankle opposite the thigh to the floor. Your hip should rotate (leg being pulled) and you should feel a stretching tension in the hip and low back. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times per side.


By no means are the above exercises a substitute for professional consultation, nor is this an extensive or complete exercise selection. Please consult a health professional before engaging in an exercise program and ensure that you find the right training or treatment plans that are specific to your needs or goals. If there are any further inquiries, please contact us at any time. Happy golfing! Dr. Ryan Shum and Todd Burrell About the authors: Dr. Ryan Shum is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and Doctor of Chiropractic. He has been a consultant to a variety of athletes from high school to college to professional levels. His past research focus has included exercise science/kinesiology with a focus on muscle physiology and metabolism. He currently practices in Charlotte, N.C. and is Chairman of the North Carolina Chiropractic Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sports Council and Research Committee. He can be reached at Todd Burrell is the senior level Head PGA golf professional currently based out of Carolina Lakes Golf Course. A co-host and analyst to the sports/golf show on ESPN Radio, Todd has had extensive golf experience in training, competing and coaching in both Canada and the United States. A former college golf athlete of Queens University of Charlotte, Todd has had extensive background in golf game performance development. He can be reached at


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At-Home Beauty Treatments 5 Inexpensive tips on how to look fabulous using items from home.

I thought it was very apropos to discuss at-home beauty treatments for this, The HOME Issue. I am excited to share with you five easy, inexpensive tips to get great-looking skin using items you have right in your home. All of us have spent countless dollars on products from luxury brands to mass-market brands. Many of these products have synthetic ingredients and

harsh chemicals that are not good for the skin. Using natural products, such as fruits and vegetables, is much better for the skin and offers amazing results. So, without further ado, let’s get to it! @HomeTip 1: One of my absolute favorite at-home beauty treatments is the art of icing. Let me explain. Many of us suffer from under eye issues such as puffiness or congestion. If this is an issue for you, then ice is your answer. Yes, ice! First thing in the morning head straight to the freezer and grab a few ice cubes and wrap them in a thin cloth. Next, softly pat the ice pack around your eye area for 10 minutes. Not only will it “de-puff” under the eye, it firms the skin and also stimulates brain activity. You may find that it benefits you more than your morning caffeine. Let me warn you, this tip can become highly addictive! @HomeTip 2: I am crazy about the next tip I found in my research. It is an at-home rose-water toner. Delicious! This is super simple. You will need one cup of firmly packed rose petals and two cups of boiling water. After combining the two, cover and steep until the liquid is cool. Strain the liquid from the rose petals into a sterilized bottle and refrigerate. I recommend using a bottle that has a spritzer so you can simply spray over your skin when desired. Rose-water has wonderful calming benefits to the skin and serves as a great toner. The perfect summer treat for your skin. @HomeTip 3: Now it’s time to grab your blender! While you are at it, grab cold cream, yogurt, honey, aloe vera gel and avocado. Combine all of these ingredients in your blender. Once 91

youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve whipped up this concoction, you have an amazing hydrating facial mask! Using a foundation brush or your fingertips apply the mask all over your face and allow to dry on the skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Your skin will feel refreshed and hydrated like never before. @HomeTip 4: When it comes to taking care of your skin, make sure not to neglect the skin on your body. If you have one cup of brown sugar, one cup of raw oatmeal, and one cup of olive oil in your home, then you are on the way to better skin. This is one treatment that is to be enjoyed and not rushed. Combine the three ingredients then apply to the skin all over the body. Be sure to move in slow circular motion. Take your time and indulge. I recommend doing this in the evening in a low-lit bathroom with candlelight. Rinse off in a hot shower and be prepared to be amazed at how smooth and supple your skin feels. @HomeTip 5: Even if one is very committed to exfoliating regularly, sometimes there are areas such as elbows and knees that tend to remain rough. If that is the case for you, all you are going to need is a lemon. Take a slice of a freshly cut lemon and rub it on the rough areas. The acid from the lemon 92

will soften these spots and also help fade any darkness. I guess you could say this is definitely one way of taking lemons and making lemonade. Life Trend: My life trend for this month is to create more peace in your life and in your home. Be sure you are taking responsibility for the energy you allow to come in your life and home. It is up to you to create a peaceful ambiance to reside in. I mentioned it briefly earlier, but I feel it bears repeating; be sure to incorporate candlelight in your life! The minute you light candles there is an immediate element of peace emitted. We experience a lot of craziness everyday in the world we live in so make sure your home is your sanctuary. Create it. Love it. Stanley Owings, Fashion Contributor Founder/Creator of iMpact color cosmetics (research credits:



REAL ESTATE - NO MORE BUBBLE?! We’ve been waiting it out for years, watching home prices plummet, and seeing many of our friends and neighbors lose their homes. Yet now ever the venerable Wall Street Journal tells us that “The Real Estate Housing Bust Is Over”! But, you ask - is it really true? While some markets around the U.S. still suffer, Charlotte has been seeing increases in the number of sold properties as well as sales prices inching back in a positive direction. This is welcome news to sellers, many of whom have watched their values decrease steadily over the past few years. Some areas of the Charlotte region have remained somewhat stable, but others have seen record foreclosure and short sale activity, diminishing prices even further. The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association reported that the number of June closings increased 14 percent over the same period last year, and the average sales price went up over five percent compared to June 2011. While sellers’ actual list prices are slightly down, sellers are now receiving almost 93 percent of list price, compared to less than 90 percent this time last year.

If you were still “waiting for the bottom” to buy, sorry to say that has passed, but it’s still a great time to get out of your rental or move up to a larger home. Why? How about some of the lowest mortgage rates we’ve ever seen (ask your parents about that 10 percent, 15 percent or higher - mortgage they had back in the 1980 and 90s)! For qualified buyers, many are borrowing at unprecedented low rates, and current homeowners are slashing their mortgage payments by refinancing their current loans. Just today, my friendly mortgage broker offered me a 15 year loan at 2.875 percent. If you don’t know anything about loans, just ask… seriously, how low is it? (When I bought my home seven years ago, my 6.25 percent 30 year fixed mortgage was a DEAL! That’s just how good it is today…) Sellers are starting to breathe just a bit more easily now, knowing that if they list their home at the RIGHT price, the buyers will come to look at it. Buyers still want a “deal,” and they often want “move in condition,” but a great home in great condition at the right price will sell in a much timelier manner than in recent history. Technically, it’s still a “Buyer’s Market” but homes are selling! Also, while there are still “distressed” properties available on the market, great foreclosure and short sales homes are not available for long. Prices for bank-owned properties are increasing along with the market, and while short sales may be appealing, many buyers do not have the time or patience to wait for the sale to be approved (which can often take many months). And the fear of “Shadow Inventory” (those distressed homes waiting in the wings that some think will flood the market and drop prices again) may be moot. Some experts say that many of those properties could never reach the market place and certainly not all at one time. We could fill this magazine on this topic, so ask me for information if you’d like to know more. Charlotte is still growing, and is one of the most desirable areas in the country. Our rental market is extremely strong, so if you are looking to rent, it might be tougher than you thought to find the right place. People are getting the message that it’s often cheaper to buy than to rent, and newcomers to the region may skip the initial rental period and look for their dream home right away!


Don’t forget our friends from the DNC will be visiting soon, and with them will come the media, and a lot of great PR for the Charlotte region. It won’t be surprising if some of them fall in love with our region and start considering it for their new home. (How many of us are transplants from some foreign place - like when I moved here from Michigan way back in 1993?) There is so much information available to consider when you are starting the process of either buying or selling a home. Why not have a trusted professional in your corner who can provide you with accurate information and give you peace of mind. The bubble is over… let’s Find Your Place! Julie Tache, Realtor®/Broker, Homes With Cachet Licensed in North and South Carolina CRS, ABR, e-PRO, QSC, 704.236.7536








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Take it to the House! Do you find yourself struggling to find time to make it to the gym? I know for many, it seems IMPOSSIBLE to find time to build a healthier, happier and hotter body; especially if you have kids, right? Wrong! Many times people think this way because they think a workout must consist of blood, sweat and tears, and go on for hours upon hours. However, this is not the case at all! I am here to tell that you do not need a gym full of weights and cardio equipment to achieve a better body, you just need to get YOUR body in motion and act on your goals! Working out can happen in many places: gyms, parks, Suite, Kazba, etc., but the place I have in mind is one that you visit every day, sometimes multiple times ... can you guess where that is? If you guessed your own house then you are correct because we are going to tackle a few ways to get your FIT on in a timely manner from your own home!

The first thing to understand about fitness and its relation to your goals is that it is all about adaptation. What this means is if you have not done a push-up in two years and you do a push-up today then guess what? You are officially doing more than you did yesterday and your body is the tiniest bit more prepared for that next time you work out. For those of you who just did a push-up and told your husband or wife you worked out today ... just stop. The point is, a workout does not have to be crazy and extreme in the beginning steps toward a healthier lifestyle, just something to get your blood moving and wake your body up! In the next few paragraphs I want to help you create a plan of movement for yourself to get you on the right track with some cool moves and tips that only require you, yourself, and your house. 1) Jump Nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jacks. This first grade gym classic is one that I love to have people do, even in the gym! The reason for this is as we move, we create more circulation of blood throughout our bodies causing our heart rates to increase and more calories to be burned. When you perform a move in which your upper and lower body are moving at the same time, your blood circulates even more -- traveling up and down, which in turn makes your body burn even MORE calories! Even 25 of these guys a day may leave you breathless for at least a bit of time (for enhanced results, watch the Magic Mike trailer while performing these, ladies). 2) Push-Ups. I also love these primarily because everyone else hates them! When we think of a pushup, most of us think of a move designed to hit only your chest; but this could not be further from the 101

truth. A push-up is one move that will NAIL your entire upper body leaving you sore in your chest, triceps (arms), shoulders and possibly even your back and abs! There is a reason that the push-up is such a popular (and hated) fitness move, because it works.

3) Crunches. These are a great way to work your abs with not a whole lot of movement. When done properly (not pulling on your neck, jerking around, etc.), these can really put a burn into your midsection that can be felt the next day! This is a simple beginner move that can be done easily enough and be felt where it is intended to be felt. 4) Putting it all together! A simple plan for putting these moves all together would be to do it by sets, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say of 15. For example you would do one set of 15 Jump Nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jacks, one set of 102

15 Push-Ups and one set of 15 Crunches, rest one minute and then repeat! You can also time your rest in between each set easily enough by your watch, microwave, commercial, etc. after going through ALL of the moves once. Repeat this process four times to equal four sets of 15 of each move described above. I know to some of you this may not seem like much, but for those of you who are looking to build a beginner workout routine for yourself, this is perfect! This simple set-up will ensure that you are moving each day and get you going in the right direction toward your goals whether they are weight loss, muscle toning or muscle building. As with anything else, your body will adapt eventually and will need more to challenge itself and those muscles of yours. Once you reach that point you can look into researching for more moves or have a professional design a program that is specific to your needs. If you run into obstacles along the way, you can also always contact me with any questions you may have. In the meantime, pick a goal, pick a plan, run to it and let no one stand in your way. No matter what it is you are doing, make sure that you are stronger than yesterday! Jay Johnson is a CSCS certified personal trainer and owner of Muscle Lab Performance in Charlotte, NC. For information on training rates and more visit or contact Jay directly at


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Insider’s Guide: Buying & Selling Real Estate Think ‘Real Estate’ and many things come to mind. Honestly, most people don’t know where to begin. What about the How? What? When? I’ve been an agent for many years, in the good times and the bad. Read below for a few of the “basics” that I tell anyone thinking of buying or selling a home. PLANNING TO SELL Spend a Day with a Handyman. This is the best money spent and will save you hundreds of dollars from inspection repairs. Not to mention it will freshen up your place and take several years off the age of the structure.

Be Mindful of Smells. Think about when you visit homes of friends and family. Some smell inviting, others smell like food they just cooked and some reek of animals. Be proactive and buy a few fragrant air fresheners, something very neutral and not overpowering. If you do have pets, take into consideration that some people don’t care for animals or may be allergic. Clean up their areas and have the least amount of evidence that you have pets. I know this sounds harsh. Personally, I’m an animal lover, but I’ve had clients not buy homes because animals lived there. This has happened on more than one occasion.

No Personal Items. A good rule of thumb is to make the buyer feel as if they can move in today. You want the home to look as if you don’t live there. Example: no photos on the fridge or school diplomas hanging on walls. Remember, the more personal info you have around the more the potential buyer knows about you and your motivation to sell. This can hurt 107

during the negotiation period of price. Example: you just got married, having a child or even going through a divorce. This can give power to the buyer and allude to why you are selling and your motivation. Less “of you” is much better for your position. Show Ready. If your taste or style is not up to par, or you’ve heard your pad looks like a college dorm room, maybe think about bringing in a professional stager. They’re much less than you think and stats show a staged home sells much faster than one that is not.

PLANNING TO BUY Make Sure You Have a Good Agent. Obviously this is coming from one writing this article, but honestly, it makes all the difference. Make sure they know the pocket areas of Charlotte and history of the buildings or homes in and around the city. Most importantly, make sure your personalities jive! 108

Get Pre-Approved. A pre-approval finance letter must be submitted with any offer for the seller to take it seriously. Take the time to have a conversation with a mortgage lender and have this ready before you even start your search. You may be surprised at what you actually qualify for. This will help guide you in the price range you should be looking. Don’t forget about Home Owners Association dues and property insurance when figuring in the monthly payment you’d like to stay in. This may sound like a lot, but most of the time it’s a 20 minute conversation over the phone. Do Your Due Diligence. During the buying process you are given a time period to do inspections, appraisal and/or just step away from the purchase for any reason. This is the time for you to feel out the neighborhood, the commute, the flow of the floor plan, and the mechanics of the structure itself. Make sure you and your agent go through this process fully. After all checks out, you should get excited in knowing that it’s your property soon! I hope this comes as a nice reference when planning the next big move of your life. Take time to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row and I promise the transaction can be easy and fulfilling. Remember things always come up unexpectedly, so plan for it. All of these “wish I would have known” issues are solvable, just have your agent guide you. If you need an agent or have questions during this process feel free to e-mail, text or call me. I’d love to help. ~JG Jenny Greenspon, Realtor NC & SC 704.965.3790


Home Life: Making Your Home Family-Friendly A home is a place where a family dwells. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the safe haven for children and a place of rest for parents. It serves as a refuge to conduct private family matters. It is intimate, comfortable and peaceful. A home, in essence, is the sacred place where precious memories are formed and kindred love is shared. In order to keep your home family-friendly, it needs a few key components. The components are safety, cleanliness, and a loving environment that

is free of strife. These are crucial to making your home thrive. Comprising a home that is safe, clean, and free of strife, sets the standard for a family-friendly household. Let’s look deeper into this issue and examine the prototype of a family-friendly home. Golden rule number one, “Protect your home, protect your family.” If a home is not safe, it cannot possibly be family-friendly. A safe home is one that is secure and protected from outside intruders. However a person chooses to protect their home is up to their discretion, but the fact remains that it must be protected. Whether by an alarm system, locks or a guard dog, some form of protection should be in place. The mentioning of safety may seem like a “no-brainer” when it comes to making your home family-friendly, however, it must seriously be the first priority. A safe and secure home makes for a safe and secure family. Not having to worry about faulty locks or inadequate security meets the first criterion for a family-friendly home. Cleanliness is the next essential component to ensuring that a home is family-friendly. When cleanliness is of importance, you minimize the spread of germs, reduce sickness, and ultimately keep your family healthy. Be sure to clean up messes after cooking and place items back where they belong after family play time. It’s difficult to look past sticky resi113

due on kitchen counters or dirty socks in the living room. There’s nothing worse than trying to live in peace with a dirty home. One may argue that it can be done, however it’d be at the cost of another biting their tongue. Someone would inevitably yell at another to clean up a room, or wash the dirty dishes in the sink. To avoid the chaos, a cleaning regimen should be initiated. Whether it is a chore list for the kids, or a “to-do” list for the parents, with a system in place to produce cleanliness, no one will be counted out. Last, but certainly not least, a home that is family-friendly must without a shadow of a doubt be a loving environment that is free of strife. In order to create this type of atmosphere, problems or issues that arise must be dealt with immediately. It is impossible for a home to be free of strife, if strife is left unattended to wreak havoc on another person’s emotions. A classic example is an unresolved confrontation between the parents that in turn causes tension between the children. Children will begin acting out or misbehaving according to what they see happening in the home. The behavior of the parents is directly connected to the behavior of the children. Parents must strive to keep disagreements with their spouse just that, between them and their spouse. A child can be emotionally damaged by watching parents argue or fight. This emotional distress can cause further detrimental effects on a child’s fu114

ture relationships. Unity must be the goal at all costs. This is not to say that problems will never come, but rather when they do, prepare to tackle them head on to maintain peace in the household.

Overall, the fundamentals for making a home family-friendly are pretty basic. The standards are safety, cleanliness, and a loving environment that is free of strife. A family-friendly home is not one that is perfect, rather one that is working toward improving the lasting bond that a family shares. Through ensuring the safety of the family, promoting cleanliness and maintaining an atmosphere that thrives on love, a home has satisfied the requirements to be family-friendly. However, if your home is not at the â&#x20AC;&#x153;family-friendlyâ&#x20AC;? level just yet, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry, simply consider the precepts mentioned and your home will be well on its way! Unrelenting Truths: 100% Truth, 100% of the Time Franchesca N. Wicker 115

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anything the home desires My name is Brandon Russell, formerly the Carpenter Host of “Trading Spaces” on TLC, and A&E’s “Drill Team.” When I am not filming, I am here in Charlotte running my company called the Homecierge, covering “anything the home desires.” Yes, that is a big claim to cover – and, as they say, big shoes to fill – but I welcome every challenge. My belief is that you should not ever have to stress out worrying about your own home and things needing to be fixed or addressed in it. Why should you only be able to relax on a vacation?

Your home should always feel like a vacation and a place to relax. That was the reasoning behind starting The Homecierge. The Homecierge mission statement is to be there to take care of any need you have, so you do not have to stress and worry about small or even large issues. I have designed and built additions, custom desks, and cabinets; but I’ve also done tasks as simple as just changing light bulbs. The list goes on and on. So to relieve some stress around your home I have some simple maintenance musts to help you with some common household fixes. Here is a list of five simple ‘do it yourself’ projects you can do in the house easily to help cut electric costs, and all other repair costs. • If you have a stubborn screw that won’t stay put in a cabinet and the hinge is coming loose, no problem. Back the screw out and then take a golf tee or toothpicks along with some wood glue. If the golf tee is too large you can whittle it down with a pocketknife or just bundle as many toothpicks as needed to fill the whole. Put some glue on the end of the golf tee or tooth picks and push them in the hole. Wipe off any excess glue and let dry. After dry, cut the golf tee or tooth picks flush with the surface. Now you can screw in the old screw and it should hold tight. • Easy maintenance to squeaky doors. If you will just go around twice a year and add a couple drops of 3-in-1 oil to all your door hinges, they will be quiet and free of defects.


â&#x20AC;˘ Sealing around your windows and doors. Houses settle over time, which can lead to small cracks around doors and windows, which add up in cooling and heating loss. Simply buying a few tubes of caulk can save you a lot in energy cost. â&#x20AC;˘ Cleaning of your appliances. Too often, just simple routine maintenance to major appliances is overlooked. For example, the bottom of the refrigerator and the washer and dryer clean-outs. The refrigerator is constantly running, and over time dust and lint build up underneath, clogging the bottom of the air intake, which helps to cool the motor in the bottom. Simply dust it to keep the refrigerator running properly. Most of the new front-load washer and dryers require very simple cleaning but neglecting it can result in expensive repairs. Make sure to clean the drain out spouts and perform the maintenance to ensure years clear of any problems. â&#x20AC;˘ Filters, Filters, Filters!!! Something so easy to do but always the last to remember before it is too late. You must change the filters on your heating and cooling systems. Both the heating and cooling systems run the air through filters. Do this not only to keep the equipment running free of problems, but it will help with allergies and dust within your house, keeping you healthy and free of unplanned doctor visits. 120

When it comes to design, I have a simple way of helping those who have trouble working a space because they lack a vision for it. Four steps that I believe can help are simply following and relating to the elements of life: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. I start with Water, the simple fluidness of the room; that is, how the space should flow. Step back and observe the pattern of entry and exit and the most common path that feels comfortable, and be aware of this when deciding placement of furniture and accent items as to not obstruct the simple flow and calm fluidness of the space. Allow for the eyes to comfortably travel effortlessly through the room. The next step is Earth, symbolizing the colors and textures of the room you are trying to achieve. I use earth as a whole to basically pull from scenery and your memory of how colors are placed all throughout landscapes and how they are used together and complement one another. So often I think of fall leaves and how when looking on a mountainside it seems that every single tree was perfectly placed so that all the colors work together. Also adding different textures â&#x20AC;&#x201C; like rough rock juxtaposed with smooth glass â&#x20AC;&#x201C; can complement a room. The third step is Fire, the attention grabber. When I think of fire, I think it is something you are always going to pay close 121

attention to. I do not mean that you have to actually add a real fire (although it may be in some cases), but rather something that pops and grabs your attention. Choose a piece that will leave a lasting impression, making the room something to remember. It may be the use of a bold color in the curtains or pillows, and of course a very proud and unique art piece you want to draw attention to that inspired the idea of your space. The last area that I feel is most important for anyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s space is Air, symbolizing life and the representation of the homeowner. Without air we would not survive -- we must have oxygen to live and that is how I relate the air to a room. Without pieces that represent who you are, the room does not feel alive and full of your personality. So always remember to keep who you are within the space you are creating. Remember, it is your space for others to enjoy but one that you must live in. I hope this helps you maintain your home with some easy household fixes. Be courageous and find your inner handy man by exploring the Internet for helpful tips on fixing many problems yourself before you immediately run out and spend a fortune on something you could have fixed or prevented on your own. I also hope the four elements of life help you bring your room or home to life as well; and remember, it should be a joy creating the space within which you live. Often you can be your own worst critic so let the space evolve and most importantly donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allow it to stress you out, but rather enjoy the design you are creating. Brandon Russell


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Update your home It is easy to become complacent with dated and uninspiring designs when you have lived in your apartment or home for years. If not knowing where to start redecorating is holding you back, reflect on where you spend your time. You will enjoy the changes in these rooms the most. The kitchen is a good place to begin as it is a space where people congregate to entertain and relax. The bathroom, as a smaller space, also makes for a manageable area to update.

Knowing when to splurge and when to save is the first tenet of good design. Skimp on costs for decorations as the average guest cannot determine the cost of small items. Instead, make an investment in things like refrigerators and flooring as they will last longer. To break up an overly traditional kitchen, add a touch of whimsy and originality. Mark your territory as the chef of the kitchen by hanging a wooden or metal monogram on the wall with a grosgrain ribbon. Or incorporate the latest pattern trend: the zigzag. Also known as Chevron to the serious interior designer, this classic yet playful pattern is perfect in accent pieces such as seat cushions or placemats. Mason jars are another inexpensive decoration and not just for your grandmother to house her signature jams. This Southern staple can transform into anything from soap dispensers to light fixtures. To provide a homey ambiance to the kitchen, tie a ribbon around the jar and fill it with fresh flowers or colorful candies for a simple centerpiece. To use the jar as a salt and pepper shaker or a spice container, slap a chalkboard strip on it to create a reusable label. A refrigerator is the main focal point in the kitchen and new innovations on the traditional stainless steel refrigerator are now available. Try purchasing one with a transparent door, which acts as a window so you always know when you are running low on milk. This design is perfect for foodies who want to incorporate their heirloom tomatoes or homemade cookies into their decoration. French style doors are another burgeoning trend in which two doors sit side by side with a door underneath that pulls forward.


If utilitarian stainless steel appliances have your kitchen feeling more like an industrial cafeteria than a cozy gathering area, bring a pop of color and warmth into the kitchen with trendy, loud colors like turquoise or coral. KitchenAid offers countertop appliances in more than 20 different shades. To ramp up an impression of luxury in your kitchen, pair these bursts of color with a white-on-white kitchen. The starkness and simplicity of the absence of color makes the space seem more upscale. Another worthwhile upgrade is replacing that tired linoleum with tile in both the kitchen and bathroom. Tiling does not only have to be relegated to flooring though. It also looks impressive on the walls in a mosaic design. If a completely tiled wall sounds too pricy, consider a tiled backsplash in a unique design. While Uptown apartments offer amazing views of the skyline, they often skimp on space. Try installing oversized light fixtures to lend a larger feel to the kitchen. Hanging many different sized mirrors in contrasting directions on a wall also opens up a cramped room. For the truly space impaired, consider miniature appliances that can be tucked away in a corner. Sharp offers a half-pint microwave, which is much smaller than the typical appliance and more energy efficient. Some cool new gadgets for the person whose kitchen is more than just for show is the Creativi*tea kettle by Sarina Fiero. Making tea gets a little more exciting as the kettle changes its red hue while it heats. The Waterfall Wine Bottle Chiller can save you when you


forget to chill that bottle of wine for girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s night. The bottle chiller cools a bottle in less than 14 minutes, allowing you to enjoy your glass of Pinot Grigio in no time. A few gadgets that have not made the metamorphosis from imagination to reality but the modern chef wishes were available, are the scan toaster and teleport refrigerator. While it is more novelty than useful, the scan toaster hooks up to a computer and toasts anything from the weather report to a vacation picture onto your breakfast. The teleport fridge is another lofty dream in which users could teleport whatever item they desired from the grocery store into their fridge. The bathroom is a space where most people spend an exorbitant amount of time getting ready each day and for special occasions. Make it more relaxing by adding a comfy chair or stool so you can sit while fixing your hair or brushing your teeth. If you are looking for ways to incorporate color, then paint the inside of a shelving unit. This simple yet unusual design choice will make your originally grimy shelves a focus of the room. If you require additional counter space, add an island in the middle of the room. Make sure it is in the same wood as the cabinets so it feels natural instead of an intrusion. Another inexpensive fix is to replace those garish looking gold cabinet knobs and faucets. New faucets resemble modern art in crazy geometric shapes while others cause the water to cascade down in a waterfall. Many people focus on updating the floors in their bathroom; but try looking up instead. Paint the ceiling either a bright color or incorporate a lattice work design. You do not have to free hand the ceiling like a modern day Michelangelo, as stencils will let you create an easy, unique ceiling. Incorporate these inexpensive fixes, new trends and gadgets into your kitchen and bathroom to lift them out of a style rut and stay up-to-date. Anna Starnes



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Coming in September 2012

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August 2012 "HOME ISSUE"  

This month’s magazine is our HOME issue and it’s packed full of useful information. You will learn from some of the area’s real estate exper...

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